Polished in Plaid

When summer comes to a close and the first brisk gusts of wind swirl through the towering New York City skyscrapers, we wrap ourselves in fleece blankets, sip spiced cider by the fireplace and delight in the splendor of the upcoming holiday season. At this time of year, fashion enthusiasts often become inspired by nature’s vibrant autumn palette.  Along with Jewel-toned cashmere and pumpkin hued embellishments, we commonly gravitate towards brightly colored plaid accessories. While the festive grid-like design is most often seen on flannel pajamas, plush throw blankets and other festive home décor, this season we’re really seeing plaid rule the runway like never before. New York City’s most fashionable are stepping out with swoon-worthy tartan-themed accessories and chic plaid footwear that will have NYC women sashaying all throughout autumn and winter. From sky high boots to chic flats, everyone can partake in this here-to-stay trend. Below are my most highly coveted plaid shoes of the season.

Chiara Ferragni Pointy Toe Flat – Nordstrom Rack

Chiara Ferragni

This Chiara Ferragni Italian-made loafer is a classic shoe with an air of luxe eccentricity. The playful twist on a traditional fabric and sleek silhouette is both unexpected and masterfully executed. Thanks to the remarkably impressive acquisitions of Nordstrom Rack, these $420 flats can be yours for only $289. Sold!

Jeffrey Campbell “Lilith” Boot – Nordstrom

Jeffrey Campbell Lilith block heel boot

Leave it to avantgarde shoe designer, Jeffrey Campbell, to put the perfect feminine spin on the traditional combat boot. Punk meets plaid in this edgy patchwork boot that screams rocker-chic! Jewel-toned plaid swatches and silver-tone studded accents present a striking contrast to the thick lug sole and chunky block heel.

Jeffrey Campbell “Siren” Bootie – Nordstrom

jeffrey campbell siren

The “Siren” booties are made from strechy neoprine upper and instantly mold around your feet like a sock. For my friends who often complain about finding comfortable boots – you’re welcome. These are also available in 4 other color variations, including solid black and camouflage.

Karl Lagerfeld “Nara” Plaid Ballet Flats – Lord & Taylor

Karl Lagerfeld Nara jeweled flat

Karl Lagerfeld can do no wrong! An homage to Manolo Blahnik’s Hangisi flat, the “Nara” ballerina’s classic silhouette is both sophisticated and timeless.  Adorned with an opulent jeweled embellishment, this shoe can transform skinny jeans and a sweater into quite an elegant ensemble.

Mr & Mrs Italy Plaid Mule – LuisaViaRoma

Mr and Mrs Smith 

Move over Gucci “Princetown” mules, there’s a new fur-lined slipper in town. Mr & Mrs Italy, most well-known for their luxurious outerwear (and incorrect usage of punctuation), is the mastermind behind these decadent plaid mules. Crafted from virgin wool (taken from a lamb’s first very first shearing) and lined with mink fur, these slippers are fit for royalty.  Regal gold chain embellishment and dramatic pointed toe set this slide apart from others of its kind.

Tommy Hilfiger “Tonny” Plaid High Top Boots – Lord & Taylor

Tommy Hilfiger Tonny

These boots by Tommy Hilfiger are far from your ordinary hiking boots. For ladies looking to experiment with fashion trends without fully committing, this practical boot is the answer to your prayers. Crafted from cozy flannel plaid and lined with faux shearling, these boots will be sure to keep your tootsies warm all winter long.

Sorel “Major” Moto Boots – Saks Fifth Avenue

Sorel Major Leather & Suede Moto Boots

Sorel is most well-known for their expertly-crafted and waterproof cold weather footwear, but this season their design team has really upped and ante with their “Major” boot.  Fashion meets function, the biker-inspired boots lined with red/black plaid add instant style cred to any look and are insulated enough to wear throughout this winter’s deep freeze. With rugged leather upper, these boots will power through the slush on city streets this winter and beyond.


Bridging The Gap 

As children turn 3 or 4, New York City parents often start considering the possibility of moving to the suburbs. After all, raising children here is not for the faint of heart. Living in New York City offers our children a myriad of rich cultural experiences and exposes them to a melting pot of ethnic diversity. But at what expense? In this sprawling metropolis, it’s virtually impossible to shelter our kids from the poverty, profanity-laced conversations and vulgar displays of human indecency found on the city sidewalks. Eager to ditch the concrete jungle for backyards and barbecues, thousands of Manhattan families every year partake in a mass exodus to the suburbs of Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey. But that leaves us, the courageous leftovers, addicted to the urban hustle and determined to raise well-adjusted, resilient kids in the world’s very best city.

Wouldn’t life be easier if we could open our back door and let our children spill out into the yard? Absolutely! But with Central Park only a few short blocks away and a multitude of iconic New York attractions at our fingertips, city kids are exposed to an exhilarating, diverse environment that challenges their curiosities and nurtures their desire to know more about their world. Sure, my kids may not have 3,000 square feet to stash the toys they seldom use, but after nap on any given day they will experience the thrills of riding the tram to Roosevelt Island, playing peek-a-boo with the animals in the Central Park Zoo, or studying the colossal dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History.  Although at times it would be nice to have a bit more space, I feel so very privileged to offer my kids these unique adventures.

Whenever we have the opportunity, we strive to engage in quintessential New York City experiences and have amassed quite a bucket list of Big Apple essentials. Last weekend we capitalized on the unseasonably warm conditions and embarked on an expedition by foot across the Brooklyn Bridge. The elegance of this beloved landmark of grandiose proportion is surpassed only by the breathtaking views of lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and Freedom Tower. While walking the promenade, I couldn’t help but marvel at the potpourri of both tourists and NYC dwellers – a veritable melting pot of ethnic and cultural diversity. It is my hope that continuous immersion in such a heterogeneous city will encourage my children to grow into compassionate adults who understand and respect similarities and differences amongst people in their communities.

Once across the bridge, we wandered through Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo, where the kids galloped through the large lawns like wild stallions against a backdrop of the most magnificent Manhattan sky-line. And no trip across the bridge would be complete without a visit to Jane’s carousel, the majestic waterfront merry-go-round enclosed in a genuine glass jewel box. The exquisite attention to detail is as extraordinary as the panoramic view from within the ornate crystal enclosure. Horses painted with genuine gold leaf are adorned with custom bridles hand-painted by the same authorized agent who puts finishing touches on the finest Mercedes-Benz vehicles. As the blazing afternoon sun began to weaken, I watched as my son circled round and round, dipping and rising to the tune of life’s most simple melody. There he was – my little boy, riding off into the sunset – the city at his back and only the horizon ahead. Sometimes in life we need to take a step back to see the beauty of what’s right in front of us. It was in this moment I felt so overcome with gratitude for the opportunity to rediscover this awe-inspiring metropolis through the eyes of my children. You see, while we may not have the picture-perfect suburban home and private back yard surrounded by a white picket fence, what we have is far more valuable. We have New York – the “Big Apple,” “the city that never sleeps,’’ the “concrete jungle.” And here, anything is possible. 


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Mom Plans, G-d Laughs

In lieu of a calendar, I’ve always relied on Starbucks to notify me of the upcoming shifting seasons. When is the first day of Fall? As soon as the Pumpkin Spiced Latte makes its seasonal arrival, of course! After several days of fueling myself with autumnal drinks that spark a cult-like following, I was itching to celebrate the commencement of Fall with an afternoon of family-friendly seasonal activities. Aside from scoring a new pair of limited edition Louboutins, nothing tickles my fancy quite like meandering through a field of vibrantly colored pumpkins with my children or picking apples at our favorite orchard.  For the past several years, Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard has provided us with the most perfect destination for family fun amidst a backdrop of crinkly leaves under foot, crisp red apples begging to be picked, and the aroma of fresh apple cider donuts in the air. And for parents whose children stage imperfectly-timed meltdowns on their grounds, rest assured – their spiked cider is some of the best I’ve had.

We couldn’t wait to make our annual pilgrimage to Harvest Moon this Fall and had been looking forward to our visit all week. I made an elaborate mental blueprint of our day from start to finish beginning with photos in the pumpkin patch followed by pony rides and culminating with apple picking. Spending the afternoon traipsing through the picturesque countryside with my little sidekicks would be nothing short of delightful. After draping myself in my favorite fur vest (because what else should one wear apple picking?) we packed the car with all the essentials (extra layers, camera, bottles of water and several pairs of shoes for different terrain). But despite my painstaking efforts to adhere to a thorough agenda for the afternoon, what ensued could best be described as sheer pandemonium. We’ve all heard the bitter Yiddish proverb, “Man plan, g-d laughs,” but the individual who coined this expression of wisdom was most certainly referring to my life in a nutshell.

What I had anticipated would be a mild September afternoon actually capped out at a sweltering 91 degrees. The assumption that we would have quintessential Fall weather was only my first of many miscalculations about how the afternoon would transpire. What a fool. Luckily I was able to change into a more weather appropriate outfit I had stashed in our car. As we entered the pumpkin patch my ordinarily easygoing 16-month old clung to me like a current-season pair of Manolo’s at a sample sale. Seemingly overwhelmed by the mass quantity of future jack-o’-lanterns, she fought me tooth and nail as I tried to lower her to the ground. What about the photos? How can I possibly get the highly-coveted instagram-worthy shots if I can’t even set her down for a moment? Mom plans, G-d laughs. As I snapped away for the next few minutes, the images I captured were ones of an adorably nurturing older sibling and the cutest pouty lip on this side of the Hudson. The unwavering connection between these two had never been so palpable as in these tender moments. And although the images weren’t the idealized representation of children in a pumpkin patch, they epitomized the chaotic reality of parenthood.

Next on the agenda – apple picking! I had spent the night before perusing Pinterest for the most appetizing baked apple recipes and ultimately selected a scrumptious apple crisp. My 3-year old had also spent the previous week in preschool learning to identify different types of apples based on color and shape and was eagerly anticipating this segment of our afternoon. As we began our ascent up the steep hill to the orchard, the blazing afternoon sun was beating down on us with relentless fury. Just keep going. With beads of sweat already dripping down our foreheads, the prospect of pushing a double stroller up this steep hill seemed absolutely dreadful. As a result of these unforeseen sizzling conditions, we made the executive decision to forgo what would most certainly be a painful apple-picking experience for all. So much for my homemade apple crisp.  Mom plans, G-d laughs. I quickly ushered my son over to the farm animals, and after a pony ride he had completely forgotten all about apple picking.

This may not have been the exact day I had choreographed for my kids, but it was their day and they lived it just how they wanted.  Despite the tears shed, stifling temperatures endured, and disappointing changes of plans, the laughs we shared are memories I will always hold dear. And as we enter this new season, I will strive not to burden myself with disappointment of activities not completed, play dates not had or trips not taken. So what if we didn’t get a picture-perfect moment in the pumpkin patch? So what if we didn’t make it up the hill to the orchard? Although I’m consistently searching for teachable moments in the day-to-day activities with my kids, some of the most valuable lessons learned are my own.  So frequently we foolishly hold tight to our expectations and assume that we are in control over the details of our lives. But despite our most careful planning, life with kids is unpredictable and much of what happens is beyond the realm of our control. The sooner we can surrender ourselves to the uncertainty of motherhood, the easier it will be to implement tools that will help us stay calm amidst the struggles and challenges thrown our way. It will be chaotic. It will be far from perfect. But it will undoubtedly be the most wonderful time of your life.


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Off-the-shoulder top  – H&M


Ray-Ban Shrunken Aviator Sunglasses – ShopBop   RAY-BAN-Aviator-RB-3025-112-85-58-14-6570_HD

VALENTINO GARAVANI Rockstud Jelly Sandals – Saks Fifth Avenue


Picnic Ruffle Romper – Moonlight Bundles


Ralph Lauren Childrenswear Boys’ Performance Polo – Bloomingdale’s

Ralph Lauren Toddler

DKNY Khaki Cargo Shorts & Belt – Zulily

DKNY khaki shorts