On the heels of the rather tumultuous election results, many families find themselves worried about what the future holds and whether or not they are embraced by local communities and the nation as a whole. A couple of local Bay Ridge moms (and my dear friends from the FB mommy group I created 3 years ago) decided it was time to step up, and put together a FREE event to celebrate kindness, diversity, inclusivity, and generosity. Seeing how quickly they were able to put it together (in THREE DAYS) was heartwarming - dozens of moms and local businesses jumped at the chance to help out!
The first "Love On" event brought together over 60 families on Sunday, November 13 from 3-5PM at Play Days & Parties (space donated by the generous Marotto family!), and included activities for the kids, pot-luck style food brought by attending families and businesses, coffee provided by The Coop, donuts provided by Coffee Rx, and a photo wall where families wrote their own messages of what love means to them. Safety pins were distributed to those wanting to grow the #safetypin movement (wearing a safety pin shows your support and willingness to stand up for the vulnerable), as well.
As the indoor play space filled up, event-goers happily spilled out onto the sidewalk where they mingled and noshed. We even spotted owners of beloved coffee shop rivals The Coop and Coffee Rx meeting, shaking hands, and chatting it up, all in the name of supporting the community!
Raffle prizes were generously donated by local shops wanting to support this heartfelt community event, including Kaleidoscope Toys, Norma’s Arts & Crafts, Play Days & Parties, Paco’s Tacos Plus, Gourmet Fit, The Coop, Christ Central Brooklyn, Barefoot Books rep Alison DuBois-Eker, Pampered Chef rep Michelle Okabayashi, and Fit Mom Coach Kiera. Photography was generously provided by Picture a Day by Maia.
The idea is that the movement will grow, with more free events here in Bay Ridge and beyond! The group hopes to show Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, America, and the World that love will win if we "Love On”, and to show our children that everyone matters, everyone deserves our compassion and support, and together we truly are stronger.
Donations were collected at the event and will be distributed to a charity (TBD - possibilities that are being discussed include Bay Ridge Cares, Planned Parenthood, The Brooklyn Arabic Friendship Center, and ACLU.)
I've called Bay Ridge home for over 5 years now and it's a truly remarkable place. Coined a "Small Town in a Big City", it's really an amazing community and its events and people like these that make it so! If you're nearby, get involved, join local FB groups, reach out, feel the love!! If you're in another neighborhood or state or country, why not organize your own "Love On" event. Be sure to share it with me on social at @usjapanfam!!
Whether you are a sucker for children's books that feature cute rhymes, learning the alphabet, or introducing sports and culture, I have a pretty awesome one to recommend...
R is for Rugby!!
Written by Mike Petri, a local Bay Ridge dad of 2, who also happens to be a player on USA's National Rugby Team (rated #11 "hottest thighs of the 2016 World Cup" no less!!), R is for Rugby is educational not just for kids, but also for parents like me who don't know a darn thing about rugby! HA! And obviously it's a MUST HAVE for any family with rugby (or sports in general) running through their veins already...
Basically, it's an alphabet book with each page featuring a rugby word starting with a different letter of the alphabet. The rhymes are both clever and cute, even chuckle-worthy at times, with great illustrations by Max Thompson.
I mean, come on, "sin bin"?? Love it! I may have a new word for my toddler's time outs...
Played by over 2 million people in 100 countries, rugby is one of the most popular sports in the world. Whether you're a player or a "non-rugger", you'll definitely get a kick out of this book (HA!!! Pun TOTALLY intended). R is for Rugby is self-published and available on Amazon and their website for $14.95.
Shopping local when possible and supporting small businesses in your own community is vital, and nothing makes me happier than to promote a member of my very own local mommy group.
Just yesterday we had a shoot with Bay Ridge mama and photographer Ira Prystai, and just wait til you see some of the photos she captured - and had them ready for me in less than 24 hours! Amazing!!!
I found Ira unique because she doesn't do the typical in-studio shoot with kitschy props and what not (which I have to admit I also love). Instead, she takes you out in the field and plops you down in spots that catch her eye. She takes a slew of photos, and then it's off to find another quick spot nearby. Spots that the average person, such as myself, would kind of look at and wonder what the heck she was thinking. But you know what? It takes a really talented photographer and amazing eye to know what is going to come out spectacular on film. And Ira's got that eye!
Here are some of my favorite shots she captured in our mini shoot right here in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn!!
Amazing, right!? Looks like we're way out in the middle of the forrest! I half expect Little Red Riding Hood to come skipping along, HA!!
Anyway, if you're looking for a great photographer (kids, engagement, events, etc) definitely look her up! You can check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this service free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
Bay Ridge Families' latest events roundup is up, for the week of August 3-9! Download here:
Some highlights include a LuLaRoe pop up at The Coop, Big Playdate at Bay Ridge Library, and SummerStroll of course!!
You'll also find a few deals thrown in there: $35 off Hello Fresh meal delivery, and discounts for The BookMark Shoppe, e-vitamins and Blue Man Group!
Feel free to reply or e-mail me questions or comments, or if you'd like to advertise! Our first two BIG publications (“Classes & Activities for Toddlers & Babies” and “Fall Classes for Kids”) will be released this month - e-mail me ASAP to get your ad space!!
You can also subscribe to receive these newsletters and publications by email!
The Bay Ridge Families' Roundup Newsletter for Kids Events in the Greater Bay Ridge Area during the week of July 27 - August 2 is up!! Download here:
Some highlights include 2 new Henna events @ The Coop, Barefoot Books Story Time @ Coffee Rx, DIY Duct Tape Wallet, Session 3 deadline for free learn to swim program at NYC Public Pools, and Harry Potter fun (there's a new book being released this week - whaaaaat!??).
You'll also find a few deals thrown in there: 30 day ABC Mouse free trial, $15 off your first Peapod order, and 15% off at The BookMark Shoppe! Woohoo!
Sign up here to receive these publications by e-mail!
Feel free to reply with any questions or comments, or if you'd like to advertise! The deadline to advertise in our first big quarterly e-publication ("Classes & Activities for Toddlers & Babies") is August 1!!
And don't forget to follow Bay Ridge Families across social on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Pleased to bring you the latest edition of Bay Ridge Families' weekly guide to kids' events, for the week of July 20 - 26, featuring an awesome magic show in Coney Island, coupons for The BookMark Shoppe and Burt's Bees, and a free trial of Amazon Prime!
Come and get it - my weekly roundup of kid-friendly activities for the week of July 6 - 12 is ready!! Download the PDF below and be sure to sign up for the newsletter to come directly to your inbox!
E-mail me if interested in advertising in this weekly newsletter or future quarterly / annual e-publications for Bay Ridge, Brooklyn families - rates as low as $5!
I've said it a million times and I'll say it again, Bay Ridge Brooklyn is a totally amazing place to live and raise a family. There's so much going on for families it's really hard to stay on top of it all. From free classes at the library to a movie nights at the toy store, street festivals, and drop-in music classes, it could be a full time job trying to research and pencil in all this stuff on your calendar!
I spend a lot of time researching all this for myself, often sharing it with the 1,000+ members in the 2 local FB mommy groups I founded 3 years ago. So I thought, why not share the love on a bigger and more organized level? *LIGHTBULB*
I've decided to launch Bay Ridge Families' Weekly Newsletter, which will feature a roundup of all the kid-friendly events and activities going on each week (Wednesday-Tuesday) - it's pdf format meaning links are active, making clicking through for more info super easy. In addition, I plan to do quarterly and annual e-publications, roundups such as Summer Camps, Fall Classes, Birthday Party Places & Vendors, and more!!
All of these publications will be completely free for the 3000+ parents who will receive it through Facebook, my blog, social media, or my newsletter list serve (sign up here).
The plan is to monetize it through advertising. While basic listings of events, activities, and services will be free, businesses can buy enhanced listings and advertising space for as little as $5. If you have a business or service that you'd like to advertise to families in Bay Ridge, shoot me an e-mail to discuss the various options available!
You can download my inaugural newsletter below!
About Me ^_^
I'm just a NYC mom blogger and YouTuber living in Bay Ridge Brooklyn with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1)! Sharing the trials and tribulations of raising bi-lingual bi-racial bi-national babies in the Big Apple! Humor, honesty, family travel, product reviews & giveaways, galore!