The Fairmont Tamarak

Baby Strollers For Kids
The Fairmont Tamarak

Summer Of ’16 Captured

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Photography has become one of my favorite hobbies. I love capturing moments each and everyday, and then sharing these experiences and images with all of you. Most photos are just the kids, with the occasional shot of Jason or I, mixed in. As you well know, getting the perfect family photo can be near impossible, because just getting everyone to look at the camera, let alone smile is a monumental accomplishment.

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Most of our family photos are taken during special occasions, or vacation. When we are away, it’s easy  to quickly hand over our camera, and ask someone to snap a few. But here in NYC, I rarely ask a passerby to take our photo. This is mainly because everyone is in a hurry, or we are so busy enjoying our time together, that I actually forget to document it with a simple picture.

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Since Gemma was born, I have regularly hired a professional photographer for family photos. Usually taken during the summer months, and with an iconic NYC background, these shots have been circulated to the grandparents, who are always eager for more photos of the kids. And, of course, these special pictures make their way into my cherished holiday cards.

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For this shoot, I connected with the super talented Amanda Gentile, a New York City based photographer, specializing in family session. Most of her time is spent in beautiful settings, like parks, where she shoots children, families or couples, or she works indoors for sittings with newborns.

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Prior to meeting for our session, we chatted on the phone about my vision. While I love candid shots most, I wanted to nail at least one good family photo. We discussed numerous locations, agreeing on one location that I had never considered, Washington Square Park.

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Last week, we met late morning, with the kids all ready to go. Amanda instantly connected with each of the them, knowing their names, and quickly learning about their personalities. Since she had scouted the park before our arrival, she knew exactly where to shoot for best light and backdrop. Having this all planned out, allowed the shoot to move very fast. This was a nice change from other shoots, which had tended to drag on, losing the children’s brief attention and patience.

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As the big pay off for being part of another shoot, I brought along a change of clothes for the kids, so they could play in the fountain, when we had finished. Amanda hung around while the kids started to jump around in the sprinklers, and captured some shots of them splashing around. There are some of my favorite of the entire bunch.

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I could’t be more thrilled with the results from our photo session. One of the shots will be the new header for Stroller In The City! Can you guess which one?

If you are in need of a photographer in or around NYC, look up Amanda and schedule a session. And don’t forget, the holidays are just three months away!

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Bounce To A Whole New Level

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Even though my kids are not babies any more, I often find myself scouring the baby market for the newest and coolest gadgets and gear. There are so many products that I wish were around when I was a new mama. Some items will come and go but there are a few that are absolutely vital. Bouncers are probably the most helpful and essential pieces of baby gear you will ever purchase. After all, they can be a life saver.

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Swings are fun, electronic motion seats are amazing, too—but there is still nothing like a basic bouncer seat. Most bouncers are lightweight so you can carry them from room to room and keep an eye on your baby while they safely sit and coo or sleep, giving you the freedom to prepare dinner or take a shower.

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Well, there’s a new bouncer on the block folks. The new Skip Hop Uplift takes a traditional bouncer seat and adds the most essential upgrade ever, the adjustable height! I know I just blew your mind. As you probably know, plenty of bouncers can adjust to recline a bit, but the majority just stay in one position on one level. The Skip Hop Uplift uses smart design to take bouncers to a whole new level; literally!

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All parents at one point or another have made the dangerous decision to plop a bouncer on the table while we eat or prepare dinner or even just to interact with your baby and sit in a chair not on the floor. Crouching down on the floor to play with or feed the baby can be hell for your back. It was especially hard for me recovering from a c-section to scramble on and off the floor to engage with my children or simply pick them up from the bouncers. This adjustable height feature is major.

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The Skip Hop Uplift at it’s basic setting is a traditional bouncer that sits at floor level BUT now you can adjust the height to be level with your seat and anywhere in between with a simple turn of a knob. Baby can join you at the dinner table not on it and you can relax on the sofa without hunching over to play with your baby.

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The footprint is comparable to most bouncers and easily fits into the smallest of living rooms. It is lightweight for easy transport, folds for storage and has an auto-off setting. The Uplift also offers an assortment of entertaining features: vibrations, sounds, stimulating removable activity bar. Keeping the chair looking good is also important, so the removable and washable fabric seat with 5-point harness and washable infant insert is key.

Another important aesthetic detail I really appreciate is no more wild safari themes or cheesy monkey jungle patterns. The Skip Hop Uplift has a clean look and neutral color palate, which blends in with any modern home. Skip Hop is constantly re-engineering and improving standard products, from diaper bags to bouncer seats, without sacrificing style.

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Skip Hop is one of my favorite brands and because their mission is to constantly question functionality, form and design. Skip Hop’s philosophy is Must-Haves—Made Better and I can’t think of a more apt example of that philosophy in action then the new Skip Hop Uplift bouncer seat.

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Sunday Styles: Little Charmers

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My girls have love collecting anything and everything, and I’m super excited to feature this weeks’ Sunday Styles, because I’ve become a little bit obsessed with these collectibles myself. Meet CHARM IT!

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CHARM IT! brand debuted in 2000 as the original, detachable charm jewelry line, offering an  infinite selection and endless possibilities. A few weeks back, I introduced the girls to the CHARM IT! website, and we sat for almost an hour looking at all of the fun, sweet charms they offer. These little trinkets totally remind me of something similar I had as a child, so I was all about these collectibles for my girls.

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I let the girls each choose ten little charms, along with a bracelet and necklace from which they would be attached. I cannot tell you how much fun we had picking out these charms. Some of their favorites included ballerinas, a taxi cab, ice cream cone, princess figurines, and art and crafts. When their packages arrived, the girls carefully unwrapped each individual charm with tiny squeals.

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While finish up on their website, I realized that CHARM IT! makes great party favors packs, so they will definitely make it into the gift bags for the girls’ next birthday parties. CHARM IT! is available online worldwide, and sold exclusively at independent specialty retailers and premium department stores.

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