Inspiration: Newport Rhode Island

chic getaways for families in Newport Rhode IslandWe were inspired this week by Newport Rhode Island, a beautiful and elegant town replete with seaside mansions, museums, great restaurants, beaches and more.

The “Must Do List” in Newport, includes Cliff Walk, where visitors can take a walking tour of the shoreline dotted by spectacular mansions, home long ago to the Vanderbilts and their ilk. If just seeing the outside is not enough, get a ticket to go inside and enjoy the opulent furnishings and lush settings- saddle up to a tour guide, as some of the stories are entertaining, especially for the kids, of well dressed dog companions, table manners and dining habits.

Speaking of dining, when you’re done drooling over these over-the-top pads, for a bite, head on over to The Clarke Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf, for some fresh fish and lively atmosphere. For an after dinner ice cream, Sprinkles is a good choice on Bowan’s Wharf, where you can enjoy a casual cone while you check out the shops in the area.

Our heart belongs to The Chanler at Cliff Walk (a hotel with a delicious restaurant inside) for Sunday brunch – their menu and enviable perch are both scrumptious. The hotel is hop and a skip from Second Beach that surely wins beach with best land-view (back at the Chandler House). After showering off the sand after a delightful day at the beach, catch a   movie in town at the charming Jane Pickens theater, and then grab an appetizer or two at Forty 1° North, one of the chicest hotels in  town.

Tempted? Time to pack: get yourself in the spirit with these hand picked goodies: Go old school with the vintage mauve bathing suit, snazzy it up with a pair of stylish shades, hold tight to a Coco Chanel doll (in lieu of teddy), don’t forget a Pride & Prejudice primer and play set, and, if you’re really setting up shop and outfitting more than just yourself – say installing yourself in the Breakers or Rosecliff – we suggest a (so not shabby) shabby-chic canopy bed - perfect for those of us who’s last name should have been Rockefeller.

Been there, Done that? Check out some of our other travel ideas!

City Solutions: Uber Family

Dr. Alisa Baer and Uber launch UberFamily in New York CityOne of the biggest problems in the city is how to get a toddler around in a cab or car service safely and easily.  Enter, UberFamily to solve the problem. We had first heard about this revelation while it was in development from Dr. Alisa Baer, “The Car Seat Lady” who collaborated with Uber on the service.  Now a couple months in, it’s addressing a true, underserved need in the market, much to city parents’ delight. She trained and certified the highest rated UberX partner drivers on how to safely secure the car seat so you know its properly installed in the car.

Uber now offers an on-demand car seat option for a $10 surcharge (additional to the UberX rates). That’s a small price to pay for a lot of peace of mind.

Want to know how to choose your own car seat? Read more about what Dr. Alisa Baer has to say in Car Seat Conundrum. Need to compare models? Read our Friday Face offs as we compare models and pick the best features of each.

Shop safe car seats at Babesta.

Studio Visit with Rebeca Raney

Rebeca Raney of Raneytown

 

We were thrilled to be invited to a studio visit at Rebeca Raney’s this weekend. Her work is prominently displayed and for sale at Babesta – from her signature llamas to the subtle and naive black and white illustrations of sweet girls, some looking like familiar Raggedy Ann type dolls. The RISD graduate has made quite a splash on the art scene, already collaborating with Madewell for a line of product and cultivating over a million followers on Pinterest as Raneytown.

Raneytown sculpture and painting

Some of the most exciting things we got to see at the studio were her hand embroidered sculptures. Her embroidery is stunning and, having an adorable little girl herself, she invited kids & adults to touch all of her soft sculptural works. For sure, art is meant to be experienced.

She also showed a lovely alphabet book, something she did back at school many years ago, with an illustration standing for each letter. With K for kissing and W for whisper and ephemeral illustrations of ghosts and zephyrs, it’s a lovely compilation of her works in black and white, some with color. Many had stood the test of time, shy of one she said she’d never do again. “The owl,” she notes, adding that the market had overdone the wise forest creature.

View more art at Babesta or visit Raney’s installation at Babesta Cribz, 56 Warren Street, NYC 646 290 5508. Inquire about available works.

Read more about Raney’s Xtreme Playdate at Babesta and view her works.

Car Seat Conundrum: Demystifying car seats & boosters with Dr. Alisa Baer

choosing a safe car seat for your infant, toddler and childWe know that choosing a car seat is tricky (you want the safest car seat that’s easy to install and transport while looking great in your car!). No doubt, there are a lot of factors at play, but it needn’t overwhelm! There is a science to it. Guiding factors include the age, height and weight of each child, how many kids you have, your lifestyle and type of car you are most likely traveling in. Luckily most seats work with most models, but some work better or worse depending on your vehicle and the backseat configuration. “It’s like a puzzle,” says Dr. Alisa Baer, dubbed “The Car Seat Lady.” With thousands of car seat installations under her belt, she has created magic formulas of seats countless times.

There are a few things that you can look for or consider when making your purchase to ensure a good choice, including how long it remains rear-facing (the longer the better: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends at least two years) and how secure the seatbelt installation is.   Even if you picked a great seat, proper installation is key. “What’s shocking,” says Baer, “is that an overwhelming number of car seats are not installed correctly.” Baer notes, “If you’re not sure how to do it, you can go to seatcheck.org or safekids.org and find a certified installer in your area.” In fact, considering the misuse rates, she’d recommend it.

Living in the city can add extra complication to the car seat question. “Although it’s legal to travel in the city in a cab without a car seat,” says Baer, “this doesn’t mean it’s safe.”  The best solution depends on the baby’s age and stage she says.

Weekend Pick: Jeff Koons at the Whitney

Whitney Museum New York City Jeff Koons retrospective

We loved visiting the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney Museum. It’s full of all the fun and whimsy as you would expect – from balloon dogs to giant mounds of Play-Doh to floating basketballs. I let  Camille man the camera phone and take some of her favorites. It’s a fun family activity in New York City, for visitors and for locals.

Note, for anyone thinking of going, there is 1 room on the 3rd floor that you might want to preview for appropriateness. It is labeled (thank you Whitney Museum) so it won’t come as a surprise. Keeping families in mind, the Whitney also gives out fun little workbooks for kids visiting the exhibit. It definitely inspired everyone to bust out the art supplies when we got home.

All in all, a great, very “New York” afternoon! Check out our picks for other fun things around the city for families.

Reviewed: Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes

We’ve started to rev up our youth book selection and as such have asked our 10 year old reviewer Amina (a voracious reader & my daughter) to read and write a blurb about the books in our collection.
Peter Nimble and his fanta
~Review of Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes~by Jonathan Auxier
“If you know anything about blind children, you know that they make spectacular thieves,” states the author in Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes. So starts the story.
An orphan is born into the world. In the water he lies, nameless, parentless, sightless in his tiny basket. He was sent by sailors into a church, in order to be given a real sense of the world. Yet the church, having no use for a blind child, called him Peter Nimble and sent him off into the streets alone.
Peter Nimble somehow managed to survive the hard roads by robbing the markets of
food. After that had been done, he saw to getting himself other important items, such as
a bandage for his eyes, clothes and more necessities.
A horrible man named Mr. Seamus saw his obvious talent, so he milked the boy for all his worth.
For little Peter, life was hard. He earned his food by stealing. He earned his life by stealing. He earned his gift by stealing. That all changed the day he found the Fantastic Eyes.This powerful, moving book allows people to see what blind children such as
Peter go through, speaking with the power of imagination.
Though Auxier had stolen more than just time in the making of this book, he can be
forgiven for his masterful work, done by skillful hands.

-Amina, 10

Summer Sale at Babesta!

Summer Sale at BabestaTime to get cool! Our summer sale is going on at Babesta and we have the best indie brands–Munster Kids boys and girls clothing, Sons + Daughters sunglasses, Ruff & Huddle shorts and more. Snap up your faves to be spot on style for the summer! Meanwhile, we’re prepping the shop for fall, Back-to-School, if you can believe it! (As much as we love B-2-S, it’s so hard to think of sweaters and jeans when it’s soooooo darn hot!)

Shop Babesta Sale!

Do you Q? Introducing the Aton Q at Babesta!

Aton Q car seat at BabestaWe love the latest car seat by Cybex, the Aton Q. Does it make the grade? We say decidedly yes!

Beauty: A+: It’s got an XXL canopy, comes in lots of fashion colors (but we’re New Yorkers, so we’ll almost always go for black) and is made with premium fabrics. It’s sleek and modern and as far as car seats go, it’s a stunner.

Brains: A++: Superior side impact protection ensures forces are distributed in the car seat shell, away from baby; it features super easy and secure installation; and requires no rethreading the straps—the adjustable headrest does it for you! To boot, the seat’s even safer for preemies due to super flat positioning.

Also, like the Aton 2, the seat has a load leg that reduces forward pitching of the seat, reducing the stress on your baby’s head and neck in case of an accident, is washable and works seamlessly with a range of strollers making for an easy travel system.

 Aton Q review car seat babesta

Here are some of the features in detail:

Superior Side Impact Protection: The seat features “Telescopic Linear Side-impact Protection”, which means that in an accident, the first forces are transferred by the pull out side protector facing the door and distributed to the car seat shell, thereby absorbing the forces of the impact and channeling them away from baby. This is an upgrade from the Aton 2 increasing the safety quotient.

Automatic height adjustment of the seat: For preemies and newborns especially, the angle of the head, neck and chest is important, as the wrong position can create breathing difficulties. The new Cybex Q adjusts the sitting angle as the baby grows and you adjust the headrest.

No more rethreading straps!  With the new 8-position height-adjustable headrest with integrated harness guide, the length of the harness changes automatically when the headrest is adjusted. This prevents any need for the difficult threading in and out of the harness and makes it almost impossible to misuse.

An XXL foldaway sun canopy: UVP 50+ sun canopy protecting baby’s skin. It also protects from wind and rain!

Easy travel system:  The Aton Q infant car seat can be effortlessly converted into a travel system with many buggies and strollers.

Other features:

  • Load leg reduces forward movement upon impact decreasing the stress on your child’s neck and head in the event of a collision. The load leg distributes the force into the back of the car seat instead.
  • Seat is equipped with EPS foam, which absorbs energy in a collision.
  • The Aton Q base’s belt-tensioning plates makes installation quick and easy using latch or safety belts
  • Seat release is two-step.
  • Seat features five point harness with shoulder and buckle pads.
  • It’s super light – only 8.8 lbs (seat) and 10.25 lbs (base)
  • Removable infant insert to position newborns and newborn inlay
  • Indicator confirms the correct attachment of carrier to base (again, making correct installation easy!)
  • Breathable fabric covers are machine washable

The new Cybex Aton Q infant car seat is suitable for children weighing 4-35 pounds, and up to 30” tall. Comes with a car seat and base. Additional bases (for additional cars) are available separately.