Jersey City’s First Midnight Market – November 4th 6:30pm-Midnight

Growing up in Jersey City in the early 90’s, I led a typical childhood — going to the mall, movies, and going out to eat with my parents. Occasionally we would drive out of Jersey City looking for some culinary diversity. After living somewhere your entire life, eventually you will have eaten everywhere. Luckily, Jersey City now features some of the most diverse and delicious food establishments, ranging from food trucks, store fronts, and pop-up shops. Nowadays, I don’t have to travel far to satisfy any of my food cravings!

On November 4th, a bunch of those great establishments will be at the first ever Midnight Market, hosted by two Jersey natives and fairly new Jersey City residents, Perla Nieves and Alysis Vasquez. The ladies are best friends, with a combined expertise in social media and hospitality. Alysis is also the owner and chef of Chilltown Kitchen, the JC pop-up supper club. They cooked up the Midnight Market idea together.

“As people in our late 20s, there isn’t much to do in town after dark besides go to a bar or head into the city.  The ideal spot would be a place to go and just dance with our friends, grab some late night bites, sip on an inexpensive drink and just vibe,” says the French Culinary Institute graduate. “Since that space doesn’t exist, we decided to create it ourselves. Tapping into JC’s love of markets and need for nightlife, we came up with the Midnight Market.”

The Midnight Market is going to be a ‘pay it forward’ campaign, focusing on community strengthening and supporting local businesses. “As an exercise in building community and supporting our vendors, we decided to take a shot of grassroots version of kick starter. The vendors agreed to sell food at a $5 price cap. As a community we can support and encourage their hard work by essentially crowdfunding the participation fee ($150 per vendor)! Contributors can choose their favorite vendor or leave it to fate through random selection,” says Alysis.

The event will be held at the increasingly popular Harborside Atrium, located at 210 Hudson Street. I’m looking forward to covering this event — not only do I get to eat delicious, non-expensive food, but I also get to support our community, which is what Jersey City Mom Blog is all about. See ya there!

xoxo

Namaste, Moms

I’ve practiced yoga on and off for the past 7 years. When I was first introduced to yoga, I instantly fell in love with how it made me feel. I’ve practiced vinyasa, hot yoga, pre-natal yoga and most recently, gentle yoga and meditation. I’m always on the go, both physically and mentally — I just don’t know how to stop. I’ve even contemplated taking up transcendental meditation but finding the time to attend an introductory class has been an obstacle in itself. Luckily for me, Kathleen Kraft, studio manager and YogaCity NYC regular features writer, offered me the opportunity to attend the gentle yoga and meditation class by the Michelle Timek Yoga studio.

Anytime I am covering an event or business for the blog, I want to make sure it can be beneficial to my fellow moms. Well, a few minutes after sitting down with Kathleen, owner Michelle Timek and her husband Dan walked in with their newborn baby girl and it made me smile from ear-to-ear. Seeing her walk in with her child assured me kids are welcomed and will be treated with care and attention; it can be very disheartening to support a business that does not welcome children with open arms. At that very moment, I knew exactly why I was sitting there! In addition, I get to support a new mom and a fellow mompreneur.

Kathleen has been teaching yoga for 3 years and also teaches kids yoga/creative movement to 3rd and 4th graders at the Stevens Cooperative School in Jersey City and Hoboken. A few of the other instructors are moms as well, and all of the instructors have a pre-natal background. The studio offers mommy and me classes for children ages from newborn to 5-years-old. At the moment, they offer two sessions on Tuesday and Saturday. This is a mommy friendly studio!

Located on the 9th floor at 150 Bay Street in downtown, you immediately feel an at home vibe; maybe that’s due to the fact you are in an actual residence. Studio owners Michelle and Dan actually live on one half of the studio. The space has great natural light and a wonderful corner of horticultural beauties.

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On October 29th, the studio is hosting a babycare and breastfeeding preparation workshop. The course is being taught by Jayne Freeman, who has been working with pregnant families for over 8 years in and around Jersey City. She is a certified childbirth educator, breastfeeding counselor and postpartum doula. Jayne has also taught at several pediatric practices & hospitals; she was a consultant for the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health where she directed the postpartum mood disorder initiative. To register for the event, please visit: http://www.michelletimekyoga.com/workshops

I will keep you all updated on future workshops. When the warm weather returns, we can all attend rooftop yoga, the only studio is Jersey City offering such a thing! I simply can’t wait.

xoxo

Spooky fun for the whole family at HudsonPLAY

On Sunday, October 30th at 12pm-3pm, HudsonPLAY is hosting a fun Halloween event. The event will feature a magic show, face painting, a DJ and dancing. All HudsonPLAY activities are included in the admission price except for the Virtual Reality roller coaster rides.

Prizes will be given to those individuals who win the Best Dressed and Most Creative (individual and family) costume contests.

If you purchase tickets before October 23rd you will take advantage of the early bird prices at $20 for kids over 2 years old, $5 for kids 2 years old and under and $5 for accompanying adults.

At the door prices are $25 for kids over 2 years old, $10 for kids 2 years old and under and $10 for accompanying adults.

Follow this link to purchase tickets: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=845184

 

 

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking

Over the years, I have visited countless nail salons. I’ve tried acrylic nails, gel manicures, French manicures, spa pedicures and the standard manicure/pedicure combo. I have bounced around from salon-to-salon looking for the best, but have never truly felt completely satisfied. If it’s not being bombarded with obnoxious amounts of chemicals in the air, I’m constantly being subjected to inferior work. I’ve literally walked from the manicurists table to the drying table to find smudged polish on a few of my nails. Grrr!

Recently, I’ve been taking my daughter, Lola. She is a 5 year old who is obsessed with beauty products. Seeing her sad face as she pointed out the bad polish, along with the horrid smell of products in the air, was too much for this mommy to bare. No one messes with my baby!

Luckily for me, I saw an “opening soon” sign on Central Avenue in the Heights for a salon, “The Nail Loft.” The name sounded so sophisticated, my interest was immediately peaked! I quickly googled the name and the first thing that appeared was a beautiful chandelier, with gorgeous furniture in the background. The walls are covered in abstract wall paper, which is only enhanced by the sun’s rays reflecting from their enormous storefront window.

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Opened in January of 2016, not even one year ago, the place is just as fabulous as promised! Lola and I absolutely love getting our manicures there. They provide sparkling water, all the technicians are professional and courteous and there’s no horrid smell. We have never left unsatisfied and I’m even planning on throwing Lola’s next birthday party there; yes, you can rent the space out for birthday parties, bridal showers, or baby showers! Oh, and most importantly, the prices are affordable on just about any budget.

The Nail Loft also condemns the use of MMA (Methyl Methacrylate), which the majority of nail salons use since it’s less expensive. How do you know if a product contains MMA? The product has a strong irritating chemical odor and/or the nail extensions are extremely hard or virtually impossible to remove with normal solvents designed to remove acrylic nails.

That’s all I’ve ever experienced in any salon my daughter and I have ever visited. The Nail Loft promised to never use products that contain MMA — I was immediately sold! If you haven’t visited them yet, I highly recommend it. Your fingers and lungs will thank you for it later!

xoxo

In Mamas Kitchen

Tina and I connected over social media – we are two passionate moms pursuing our dreams, in hopes of inspiring others to do the same. I recently sat down with Tina Rivera, head baker and owner of Baking Mama where we discussed her love of baking and her family.

Hoboken’s quaint new family owned bake shop, Baking Mama, offers a variety of handmade French macarons, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and other baked treats. Tina welcomed me with a big smile from behind the counter, where I can see she was arms deep in dough, baking something I’m sure would be delicious!

One of her bucket list items was to open up her own bake shop. She has been baking from home in her free time since 1994 and just 6 months ago, with the support of her husband, opened Baking Mama. With her two kids all grown-up (tear), her husband reminded her this is her time and she should go for it. When they saw the for sale sign on the front door of the vacant shop, they signed the lease within a week. Sounds like destiny to me.

Open 7 days-a-week, you’re likely to find Tina or one of siblings behind the counter welcoming you with a warm smile. Due to the community’s voice, Tina will soon be opening up for the morning commuters and offering breakfast, treats and drinks.

Additionally, the shop hosts baking lessons for groups of 3-4 people. Sounds like a great girls/moms night out, or even date night! They also host kid lessons. Follow them on Instagram to keep up with all the exciting updates @Iambakingmama.

Tina will be creating Lola’s birthday cake for her upcoming 6th birthday party and I will be sure to post pictures!

xoxo

 

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Baking Mama is located at 88 Hudson Street

Find Your Creativity in Jersey City @ HudsonPLAY

Looking for a unique, safe and sanitary environment for your child to enjoy this weekend? Well then I have the perfect place for you! HudsonPLAY, located in downtown Jersey City at the Brunswick Center, is a new open-play space for our kids.

HudsonPLAY is a unique family space that encourages play time, rather than screen time. The space has activities for the body, as well as the mind, with a focus on interactive entertainment and fitness. HudsonPLAY is designed for fun, with active play areas for toddlers, state-of-the-art activities for preschoolers and a challenging Ninja Warrior course, rock climbing walls and a virtual reality roller coaster for everyone else!

When I walked in, I was thoroughly impressed. Upon entry, you’re welcomed by bright colors and stark white walls, accompanied by dynamic blue and yellow equipment. The staff is extremely friendly as well.

Conveniently located within the premises, their very own HealthBAR café allows parents clear visibility to the kids from their tables. You can actually sit back and relax!

Programs currently being offered include:

Ninja training: Babies: (ages 12 months and under), Kids (ages 4-7 years old), and Youth (ages 8-12 years old).

Tumbling: Toddlers (ages 13 months to 3 years old) and Kids (ages 4-12 years old).

Robotics: Kids (ages 8-12 years old)

They also offer mommy and me classes, which include music enrichment and baby tumbling. Please note that ninja training and tumbling classes do not have a start or end date. You can skip a week or 2 and come back for the class.

You do not need to be a member to join classes, but there are great benefits to joining. If you become a member of HudsonPLAY, you are entitled to discounted play pass rates, 10% off the HealthBAR and special events. Members get free and first access to all new features, and you will also have the pleasure of enjoying family movie nights!

Prices are rising due to high demand, but you can take advantage of membership discount if you sign up before Monday, October 10th. Annual memberships start at $15 for individuals and $25 for families.

If you’d like to visit the space before committing to any classes or membership, Jersey City Mom Blog has a SPECIAL OFFER just for you! All of my readers can use the DISCOUNT CODE: 5offJCMB’ to sign up for any daily play passes and/or classes (online and in-person)!

Maybe I’ll see you there!

xoxo

The Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County: Taste of Hudson

I am a major foodie; I don’t mind admitting that I stalk my favorite local food truck vendors. Luckily for me and all the other ravenous foodies, The Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County is hosting their “Taste of Hudson” fundraiser on Thursday, October 6th at the Atrium at the Harborside Financial Center from 6pm-9pm.

I work in this building and I can personally tell you that the venue is beautiful and newly renovated. Lined with marble floors and equipped with Wi-Fi, the atrium is adorned with bright red couches, orange plush stools and bistro seating.

This is a family-friendly event so the whole family can enjoy a night of dining! All children under the age of 18 enter for free. Tickets are $50 per person. Your entry fee entitles you to food and drinks from over 40 local restaurants and vendors.

This is a great opportunity to support Jersey City’s youth, as well as local businesses. The best part of it all is that you get to tantalize your taste buds with food, drinks and desserts from a variety of cuisines. Yum!

With access to the Exchange Place boardwalk directly outside, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a night out before the cold weather creeps in.

Tickets and a full list of participants can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-hudson-presented-by-the-boys-girls-clubs-of-hudson-county-tickets-27035141837

Bon Appetite!

xoxo