New York City – Day 1

My Little Bee had been asking for about 3 years to visit NYC.  So, Finally last May I planned the BEST first timers trip to the Big Apple for this gregarious 9 year old I have on my hands.  Being from New York by way of birth, but a California girl by way of moving there when I was 4, I was excited to take this trip with her so I too could play the tourist!

For being only 9 she’s a great traveler.  We have family in Hawaii which we visit almost annually so she’s used to fitting everything into 2 carry on luggage pieces.  We tend to try to travel light, which with a child is sometimes hard but we’ve learned over the years.

NYC for a 9 year old can be overwhelming and daunting.  When I began the planning I made sure to ask her what she wanted to see. Stature of Liberty, The Empire State Building and the Natural History Museum to see The DumDum who had a staring role  in the movie Night at the Museum, where her top 3.

I’d like to make it easier for all you moms trying to plan a NYC trip with the little ones with sharing our itinerary and where/how we got tickets on the cheap.

Empire State Building


First stop, ESB!   I’m lucky enough to work for a tech company with offices in the ESB, which allows us a self guided pass to the 86th and 102nd Observation Decks.  With my office providing breakfast for employees and family, we arrived at my office at 7:30am, grabbed a quick bite and were in line with our VIP access card at 8am.   We were able to bypass the normal tourist line and went right up to the 82nd Observation Deck – my kid was quite impressed with our VIP status.  Win for Mom!

Since our pass also allows us access to the 102nd floor observation deck, we were early enough to be the first visitors up there.  The elevator attendant was amazing and allowed my little bee to turn the wheel of the manually operated Otis elevator.  AMAZING!

Here’s a photo of her at the wheel of the Otis elevator.  Isn’t she lucky?!?

I suggest ensuring you get there before 8am as a line begins to form.  Another suggestion is go at night – you can’t get a brilliant view of the NYC Lights.  We had purchased a CityPass Booklet (post on our CityPass experience coming soon…) that had a ticket that we used to return to the ESB to see later that night.

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Marionette Puppet Show at The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre

NYC City Parks

As I was researching for Broadway shows that might be age appropriate for my 9 year old I came upon The Swedish Cottage and their fabulous Marionettes’.  A total NYC hidden Gem!

We caught the show titled, Little Red’s Hood, about a Little girl who is always on her cell phone and missing what’s going on around her.  A little bit of a re-imaging of the classic, Little Red Riding Hood.  The story line was perfect for my 9 year old who seems to be reminding us to get off our phones on the daily.

Ticket pricing is between $8 – $12 – can’t beat that.  With 2 daily shows at 10:30am and 12pm – you can catch a show in between breakfast and lunch.  It’s a great treat for all!

For over 40 years, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre has been bringing enjoyment to legions of people through its contemporary and innovative marionette productions based on children’s classics.

The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre is located inside Central Park at 79th Street and West Drive. When visiting, enter from West 81st Street.  The only suggestion I have, don’t use your Apple phone for walking directions.  It had as walking in circles.

You can purchase tickets at Ticketfly   Ticketfly

Family Photo Shoot in Central Park   


We were well overdue for some family portraits and I thought it would be great idea to hire a photographer to meet us out in Central Park.  I started my search on and I was lucky to find

Ed and Karl made it so easy to setup!  I contacted them via Yelp, they were extremely responsive and answered all my questions quickly.  The afternoon before we arrived in NYC, we setup a place and time to meet with Karl, our photographer near Columbus Circle.  It was a very hot and humid day but Karl was great and dealt with our whiny California attitudes and got some great shots!!  He even had my daughter thrilled to run through the sprinklers to catch her in action.

Had the proofs within a few hours the same day, chose 4 shots and they delivered printed portraits to our hotel.  Couldn’t have made it any easier!

If you area headed to NYC and want to get some family portraits in while there – use Snapped. You won’t be sorry.  Best part – prices start at $149 for the entire package.

1. You can book a photographer for any event, even at short notice.
2. Your photographer will arrive on time.
3. They will take as many photographs as you want during 45 minutes.
4. Within a few hours you will have the photographs available to share online.
5. Select your 4 favorites and we will Photoshop them for you.
6. Within 24 hours we will deliver prints of those 4 favorites to your home or office.

Yankee Game


We ended our first day in the Big Apple with a visit to Yankee Stadium to see the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays baseball game.  I’d recommend using the Subway to get to the Stadium, it’s great fun for kids and good place to people watch.  Tends to get crowded during game days but it’s about the experience, right?

We bought $25 bleacher seats via Ticketmaster, the only thing that was a bit confusing was that I actually had bought the tickets through the New York Yankees Ticket Exchange and then received my tickets via

We had a great first day in New York City.  We crammed a lot into one day but we loved every minute of it.

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Stay tuned for our Day 2 adventures…






Talk about Procrastination

I started the shell of this blog 3 years ago. Even drafted my first post about my little bee’s 2nd grade classroom end of the year gifts, but didn’t publish it. She’s about to be a 5th grader come fall.  Oops!

Yep, I’m a self admitted procrastinator!  How could this have happened?  Well, I think my procrastination is a pure unadulterated sign of that awful ego based word we call FEAR. Fear of starting a blog and no one reading it or maybe I’m afraid I can’t commit my time to something like a weekly blog.  Either way…

I’ve decided to take that word and make it my bitch.  Seriously, fear has limited us in our dreams, desires and future.  I will no longer allow her to keep me from pursuing those dreams or reaching for the stars.  She’s been a monkey on our back since we’ve first learned what the word even means.  No more – she’s being removed from my vocabulary.

So – without any fear I introduce you to Mommy UnPerfected.  A blog about everything and anything.  I’m not one of those moms who is good at re-creating those perfect Pinterest crafts or a mom who can cook a gourmet meal.  I’m just your everyday mom who works really hard to make sure she’s doing it kinda right.

If you’re a “doing it kinda right” kind of mom then join me on my journey and share those “kinda right” and “kinda not so right” moments.

Love ya,

Mommy UnPerfected

Blacklight Run – Age Appropriate?

You betcha!

My little bee had a fantastic time at the local BlackLight Run.  At first, I wasn’t to keen on having her attend but since it was for a fundraiser supporting foster care youth I agreed. I actually planned the organizations annual fundraising galas so I gathered a group of friends together and we joined the organizations team.

You can see the group of friends I begged, bribed and forced to participate.  As you can see in the photo we all brought our kids.  The kids ages ranged from 5 – 16 and all of them had the best time.

The event itself began with a pre-run concert where the kids danced and were covered with glow in the dark powder.  They couldn’t get enough. The littlest ones became the biggest party animals. 😉

Of course with little ones it’s best to walk but they had us moving fast to keep up with them.  Overall, it was a fun experience we were able to do together with the kids which is what I’m always looking for.

Check out the Blacklight Run – you won’t be disappointed and either will your little ones.

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A ColorFul Summer

Working on an end of the year gift for my little bee’s classmates. We’ve decided on a box of Crayola Crayons and a set of these super cute summer activities sheets courtesy of Mique over at 30Days.  The little bee is super excited to give her classmates these come Friday.

I’ve volunteered in her classroom every Monday this past year, as well as when she was in Kinder – so it’s little bittersweet when the last day of school arrives and we won’t be seeing some of them again until the Fall.  We’re hoping to schedule some play dates throughout the summer, want to keep her busy

The Little Bee helped glue on the tags and loved doing it.  She can’t wait to hand them out in class.