How to Swap Everything

piggybank.jpgWith everyone looking to shave a few dollars off their expenses a be a little greener too, swapping is becoming more and more popular. This is something we've always been big fans of and we get together with our friends regularly to trade clothes and other items. We do brunch and dish as we try on each other's clothes. At the end, someone takes all the left-overs to a Housing Works to donate.

Besides swapping clothes with your friends there are many local and national resources that can help you swap everything from your child's toys to your actual house or apartment. Here are the resources you need to cut the cord to your cards and trade what you've got for what you want. You'll be more than prepared for Buy Nothing Day on November 28th.

Free Play November 22-23: Movie Shorts, Concert, Crafts, Books and Art

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A little bit of everything this weekend, so whether you're looking for indoor or outdoor activities, film, art, a cool concert, or something literary, we've got it and it's all free. See wonderful short films at MoMA, A Mr Ray concert, buy discounted books and holiday gifts at a charity book fair, story time, magic and skating at Bryant Park, and crazy cool can art in Battery Park City. Have a great weekend and get ready for some turkey eating.


Unique Baby Gifts: New York City On This Date


Are New York kids different than other children? Some people think they're more mature, more precocious, maybe more sophisticated. Who can say how and if New York kids are really different, but there's no question that when you grow up in NY, New York City becomes a part of who you are.

That's why I think the work of Tom Matt is the perfect way to celebrate the birth of a new New York baby. Tom Matt does wonderful original pastel cityscapes: Whether it's the romantic sultry streetscapes of Lower Manhattan or the burgeoning industrial views, Tom Matt sees NYC just the way I like to imagine it.

But what makes his work perfect for a baby gift is not just what he draws, but what he draws it on.

New Free Shuttle To Brooklyn Attractions Makes Them Even More Attractive

Unfortunately due to cutbacks, all of these trolley routes have been discontinued as of 2012. What do the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children's Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park and the Prospect Park Zoo all have in common? They're wonderful NYC cultural institutions that you almost feel guilty for not going to more often (or ever). You know they're great, they're just a little...inconvenient.

But now, they all have something else in common too...they're all stops on the brand new FREE Heart of Brooklyn cultural shuttle. The Heart of Brooklyn Culture Shuttle is a free hop-on hop off service running three different programs:

Beauty and the Beast: Now NOT on Broadway!

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In New York, our children are being raised with a cultural world at their fingertips. Yet, somehow I always seem to find myself wondering why we aren’t enjoying more of the cultural excursions that NY has to offer?

I suppose it’s because the simple thought of taking my two sons, ages 5 and 3, to a Broadway production brings chills to my spine. The crowds, the dark theater, the fact that I know someone will have to use the potty in the middle of the show and we’ll have to interrupt the entire row of attendees to get out (and back in)…But the reality is that there are many terrific production companies specifically geared to introduce children to theater and create a lifelong appreciation for it.

One such company is Literally Alive, and Sunday we headed to the Village to attend their latest production, Beauty and the Beast. Designed for kids ages 3-10, we knew this production was our speed when we heard there was a workshop held before the show where the kids could make an art project. The project in this case included making a mask, and the children were simultaneously crafting and learning about theater. The playwright and producer, Brenda Bell, visited with the children and engaged them in some Q and A which taught them that theater is about acting out the boooks we might read at home, and that what we were about to watch was real people getting dressed in costumes and masks and acting out stories for entertainment.

Linkin Blogs: Over Parenting? Over Private School? Over CNN?

It seemed like it would never end but the frenzied election and even the high of victory seems to be winding down.  Hopefully, hope and optimism will remain a bit longer and judging by the number of people who are trying to get tickets to the inauguration this year it appears to still be in tact.  I admit that I am glad to rescue my television from CNN and return it to less important things like the new season of Top Chef, though if you are suffering from detox, keep reading for some advice.  As for the news, posts this week ponder over parenting and the new forms it takes (editing your college kids essays via email), some resolution to the confusing process of getting into public kindergarten, private school's economic woes, the 12 germiest places you encounter in daily life and more.

Jodi, Go See Cirque Mechanics

200811151833.jpgThis past summer, I was talking about blogging with my friend and incredible writer, Liz. Liz writes a very funny blog about motherhood, called MOM-101. I don't really remember what we were talking about, but Liz said, "You know how when you're writing your posts you have someone in your head that you are writing to?" and I kind of nodded along because I didn't want to admit that I was not privy to this, obviously, important secret to great writing.

In fact, I don't usually have anyone in mind when I write a post and often I feel like I'm talking to myself, unless one of you nice people happens to email me and tell me I made a mistake in the post. (Thanks!)

But this post I wrote to Jodi. Why? Because on Friday I went to see Cirque Mechanics Birdhouse Factory, the new show at the New Victory Theater. And, feasting my eyes on the opening routine where a dozen performers danced and did acrobatics in sync across the stage amidst working gears and cogs, I couldn't help but think,

Mommy and Me Classes on Saturdays

[UPDATED: July 14, 2012]

They say that when you have kids everything changes. By everything, I think they predominantly mean Saturdays. Remember when your Saturdays could include marathon sessions of, well, pretty much whatever you like to do. Now Saturdays can just feel like marathons of...marathons. Sometimes structured weekend activities help make Saturdays run smoother.

Mommy Poppins reader, Josie from Riverdale, asked if I knew of any Mommy and Me programs that offer Saturday classes and I thought I'd share some here with all of you. I mostly picked places that have multiple locations so that you can find a location near home. Click on the links to visit each site and find the most convenient locations.

Free Play November 14-16: Having Fun While Doing Good

200811140851.jpgNOTE FROM ADMIN: I discovered an error in our events calendar that was causing the server to add two hours to the start and end time of each event. I am really upset about it and worried that people may have gone to an event at the wrong time. MY most sincere apologies if it did. I have taken the calendar down temporarily while it is being fixed.

On a more positive note, dont forget to enter our Blurb giveaway by 5pm today. Winners will be reported tomorrow.

What's up with the raining every Saturday thing? Isn't this going to be the third rainy Saturday in a row? Luckily, there's plenty of fun and free activities going on inside this weekend to keep you busy. This weekend has a bunch of interesting events that are easy and enjoyable ways to teach your kids about helping others. The rest of the events are all about helping you...helping you have a super fun weekend without spending a ton of cash.

Click on the blue links to get the full event information.

Charity for Children
It's never too early to teach our kids the importance of helping others and the Holidays are a great time to do it. This weekend there are a bunch of activities that make doing good fun.


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