Cherry Blossom Hunt NYC

I've always loved Cherry Blossoms. They truly make me happy and I think a tree absolutely covered in flowers is simply stunning. My husband and I have gone to D.C. to see them, and perhaps we will find ourselves in Japan one day. But my obsession with hunting down Cherry Blossoms in NYC began in 2014 when Chase was born. He was born mid April aka the peak of Cherry Blossom season~ I had a complicated delivery which kept me on bed rest for a month. Hence, missing out on any Cherry Blossom sightings. This was the start of my FOMO for Cherry Blossoms! They bloom for what feels like a second. I have gone back to many spots the NEXT DAY and all the petals were blown away~ or brown on the floor.. This year I made it my mission to catch every glorious moment up to post bloom. I'm going to share with you my finds because timing these trees can be frustrating!

Let's do this chronologically - here are my photos from the past few years. Here we go!:

White Blossoms:

As early as March 15, 2016 - Cooper Union

As early as March 15, 2016 - Cooper Union

April 20th - Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue

April 20th - Plaza Hotel, 5th Avenue

Central Park:

April 28, 2015 - Upper West Side around 85th street

April 28, 2015 - Upper West Side around 85th street

April 11, 2017 - Sheep's Meadow North West Corner

April 11, 2017 - Sheep's Meadow North West Corner

April 9, 2017 - South West Entrance by Columbus Circle

April 9, 2017 - South West Entrance by Columbus Circle

April 18, 2015 - South West Entrance by Columbus Circle 

April 18, 2015 - South West Entrance by Columbus Circle 

April 11, 2017 - Sheep's Meadow North West Corner

April 11, 2017 - Sheep's Meadow North West Corner

April 11, 2017 - Sheep's Meadow North West Corner

April 11, 2017 - Sheep's Meadow North West Corner

April 14, 2017 - West 72nd st by the Lake, Cherry Hill

April 14, 2017 - West 72nd st by the Lake, Cherry Hill

patricia chang cherry blossoms nyc
April 14, 2017 - West 72nd st by the Lake

April 14, 2017 - West 72nd st by the Lake

April 14, 2017 - West 72nd st by the Lake

April 14, 2017 - West 72nd st by the Lake

Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park:

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

East Village:

April 22, 2016 - 17th st & 2nd avenue Park

April 22, 2016 - 17th st & 2nd avenue Park

Washington Square Park:

April 27, 2013

April 27, 2013

patricia chang cherry blossoms nyc
patricia chang cherry blossoms nyc

Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival - last weekend of April

Note: No picnic mats or food allowed. It is very crowded during the festival and $30 versus the usual $15. Free on Tuesdays and 10~noon on Saturdays. 

April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

april 26 2015.png
April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

patricia chang cherry blossoms nyc
April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

patricia chang cherry blossoms nyc

Central Park:

May 1, 2017 - 70th & East Drive

May 1, 2017 - 70th & East Drive

May 1, 2017 - 70th & East Drive

May 1, 2017 - 70th & East Drive

patricia chang cherry blossoms nyc

Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Again, No picnic mats or food allowed. It is very crowded during the festival and $30 versus the usual $15. Free on Tuesdays and 10~noon on Saturdays.

May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

Photo by Agata Young

Photo by Agata Young

May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

Photo by Agata Young

Photo by Agata Young

May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

Photo by Agata Young

Photo by Agata Young

May 4, 2017

May 4, 2017

Central Park:

May 4, 2017 - 76th st by The Loeb Boathouse, East Dr

May 4, 2017 - 76th st by The Loeb Boathouse, East Dr

May 16, 2014 - 72nd st Terrace Drive west of Bethesda Terrace 

May 16, 2014 - 72nd st Terrace Drive west of Bethesda Terrace 

Madison Square Park:

May 14,2015

May 14,2015

More:
Central Park: the bridal path at 90th Street

Sakura Park aka Riverside Park Cherry Walk in Morningside Heights along the Hudson River

Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival at Roosevelt Island, last Saturday of April

New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx

Laduree Soho - April 25th, 26th, 27th (photo from Laduree, still on my bucket list!)

Laduree Soho - April 25th, 26th, 27th (photo from Laduree, still on my bucket list!)

May 14, 2013 - Ah! I can't remember where downtown this was..

May 14, 2013 - Ah! I can't remember where downtown this was..

THE END! Tag me in your photos @patriciachangNY ;D

Necessities for a Newborn / Baby Registry

 
 

Hello Mamas/Dads!

I'm less than 2 months from my due date with my second baby (my first, Chase, is nearly 3 years old now), and many of my best friends are pregnant right now (CONGRATS!!), so I thought it appropriate to create a "Nesting List" for them and you! I remember how overwhelming it felt to dive into a world I had NO IDEA about, let alone a world where SO MANY products existed. Fortunately I had my mom friend, Ahyun who gave me a tour of every aisle at Buy Buy Baby, and recently new moms Nancy and Annie who walked me through their finds as well. Hopefully I can be that friend for you and this can be an organized starting point. Use it as a guide for creating your registry and preparing your nursery. Go through the list slowly, digest it one by one and don't stress, instead, have fun!

Crib - We found one with good quality for a great price at Buy Buy Baby.

Crib Bumper - This is a BIG "no-no" for newborns. It's not to be installed until they are older for safety reasons (ironically). Infants can suffocate on them..

Mobile - I recommend one that plays music (for an extended time)

Crib Mattress

 

Fitted Mattress Sheets (x2)

Waterproof Mattress Protector (for all beds)

 

Snuggle Nest or Dock A Tot - Great for newborns to have a safe place on a bigger bed next to you for easy reach. I loved the Snuggle Nest with Chase and he slept here more than he did in his crib.

Rock n Play - I used different chairs/swings, such as the Mamaroo with Chase. With my second baby, I'm really looking forward to using this Fisher Price one because I've heard from too many moms that it's the only one their baby will stay in for an extended time. Apparently it's a life saver!

 

Boppy - a safe place to put baby down while they are awake. 

 

Play Mat - Here is just a small sample of the wide range of play mats for the floor. Not a rush, this can wait until 3-6 months.

White Noise - For Chase, we used the white noise from his rocker or an iPad. The reason babies need a noise maker is because we are trying to recreate their experience in the womb, which was very noisy. Saying "SHHHHH" in their ear will help them fall asleep better than being silent!

 

Baby monitor - I think this should be researched for what works best for you. You should also think about having a security camera around the house to be able to check on baby while you're out. We use Foscam and Canary.

 

Swaddle Blankets - You should still get the conventional square swaddles because they are extremely versatile (as blankets, covering the stroller, etc.) I discovered the velcro and zipper swaddles maybe a month after Chase was born and they are AWESOME! They do cost more, but you'll favor them over the square ones that they can wriggle loose from.

Swaddle Sleeper - since babies can't use blankets, they will be swaddled. 

 

Baby Carrier - Many people have different opinions so I would research, try them on at the store, and go with what works best for you. Just keep in mind when choosing a carrier that the more spread apart the baby's legs are is actually more comfortable for your growing baby. 

 

Onesies - Just get a lot of them because babies are messy and you will go through multiples a day. Also, don't stress too much about how cute the design is because it will be covered by a swaddle or bib.

 

Top/Bottom - Same as above. I would focus more on comfort here. You should get a couple cute outfits for photos.

Socks/Booties, Hats - Babies need to be kept warm. Rule of thumb is to go up one layer from what an adult needs to wear.

Shoes - I would say SKIP until they can actually start walking. I made the mistake of getting too excited about miniature shoes/sneakers and bought a bunch for Chase. He ended up only wearing them for photos because you want your baby to be as comfortable as possible. Instead, invest in soft booties. Don't worry they will be walking before you know it and will be growing out of size after size - there will be plenty of (adorable) shoes to come!

Bibs (about 6) - Start with soft ones for newborns, the plastic ones are for when they get older and start eating real food. Chase spit up after every feeding.. Hopefully yours won't, but regardless you will be going through multiples a day. The bib will be what's visible and thus be your little one's "outfit". Shameless plug for my baby line here! ;) I can't wait to put my second baby in these sets!

Burp Cloths (about 6) - This is for wiping their drool and spit up, or throwing over your shoulder to protect your clothes (when holding baby over shoulder). You can get proper burp clothes or just use a small towel.

Mittens - Our hospital gave us mittens when Chase was born. I don't know that many first time parents know to have mittens. Babies will accidentally scratch themselves, so this is to protect their precious little face.

Nail File - I remember newborn's nails are so so tiny. You literally have to have good eyes to see them well enough to be able to trim them. Therefore you will start filing them before clipping them. Or even letting them grow a bit with mittens on.

Breast Pump & Insulated Cooler - This is another area where you should research what works best for your lifestyle (will you stay at home? go to the office?) There are pricey electric versions and much more affordable hand held manual pump versions. I was fortunate that my friends splurged for the electric and portable version for my baby shower. I absolutely recommend it if can fit your budget. It was great because I was able to take it to weddings where I could not take Chase with me for instance. Also I nursed Chase for over a year and will be able to use it again for my second baby, so it will have a long lifetime. Some moms go back to work right away and continue to pump there, or just nurse for a few months. If you won't be pumping for a long time, you can always start with a manual pump and decide later.

Breast Milk Bags - If you do decide to breastfeed/pump you will need bags to store/freeze your (precious) milk.

 

Breastfeeding pillow - I found myself using the nursing pillow less and less and just stacking up regular pillows. I also found nursing in "Side-Lying Position" extremely comfortable as a tired mom, but it is nice to have a nursing pillow around for other positions.

Nursing pads - Oh gosh, I will never forget the day I didn't wear a bra and my milk leaked onto my dress. No one saw (thank god!), but I had to wear a swaddle blanket around my neck in the heat of summer and it was so miserable! Haha, Don't leave the house without your nursing pads because you never know! (YES, MILK WILL JUST RANDOMLY COME OUT OF YOUR BOOBS)

 

Nipple Cream & Nipple Guard - WARNING: you are not going to enjoy reading this. I once heard someone describe nursing as "scraping your nipples against cement". I agree - very accurate. I hope that is not the case for everyone, but it was a painful experience for me for the first few months.. I would start to (actually) cry when someone would hand me my hungry baby to feed.. Therefore this is a MUST! Unfortunately I didn't know about nipple shields until a couple months into nursing. Now I tell all my pregnant friends that this is my "Number 1 Must Have" as a new mom! Good luck, mamas! And hang in there! It will be worth it :)

Nursing Cover - I remember just using a thin swaddle blanket or putting baby under my sweater in the colder weather, but it is nice to have one handy for nursing in public.

 

Bottles (about 8 with newborn nipples) & Bottle Brush - There are many great brands out there. Newborns will start with a smaller sized bottle and start to drink more as the months go on. So get a variety of sizes starting from 2 oz or 4 oz.

 

Bottle Drying Rack - Just incase you're wondering what the flower and tree is for in the below example, it's for the nipples and small bits from bottles. If you have space on your kitchen counter, I would get a larger size, you can use it to dry baby's plates too in the future.

 

Baby Formula - Even though I planned to strictly breastfeed at first, Chase was so hungry he demolished the formula given at the hospital as soon as he was born. It may take time to build up your own milk supply so in the meantime these "ready to feed" bottles are really convenient for supplementing. I recommend taking home as many as the hospital will give you as they may come in handy. Breastfeeding vs Formula is a large topic where every parent has their opinion. Long story short: Chase was on both until one day without us even realizing, he became strictly breast milk (mostly because we were so excited to be finally producing enough to keep up with him). Once we weened him off breastmilk, he refused to transition to cow milk because it simply did not taste as good. Therefore with our second baby, we plan to continue to supplement some formula so he can transition to cow milk (cow milk tastes better than formula). I felt that formula gave me freedom to leave the home without Chase, and someone other than myself was able to feed him. For powdered formula, apparently Earth's Best has great taste.

Pacifier - You will probably play around with a few brands until your baby finds their favorite one. I was worried about Chase getting buck teeth as a kid so I didn't encourage him using one. You can bet with my second baby, I plan to use it! The reason being, I would take Chase out to eat at restaurants with other babies for example, and they were quiet and soothed by their pacifier. Meanwhile Chase was fussy and bored staying still. I'm looking forward to a less stressful experience with baby #2 (I hope!)

DIapers (newborn size) - I personally like Pampers brand and found the "wetness indicator" line very helpful as first time parents. If you go the cloth diaper route, please tell me more about it in the comments below! 

 

Wipes

 

Diaper Changing Table - My personal opinion is to SKIP this piece of furniture. It just takes up space and it is a piece of furniture after all, with a short life span. 

Diaper Changing Pad - I would also SKIP on the "nice thick" changing pads which you would think you need to have. Instead more practically, you can change your baby anywhere in your house (you will find yourself doing this anyways) with a portable changing pad. For leaving the house, get a pack of Wee Wee Pads for public changing areas (yes, exactly the ones for dogs/puppies!) 

Diaper Pail - A special odor sealing trash for baby's diapers, and refills.

Diaper Rash Cream - I would consolidate this with "Baby Aquaphor" and just get a big tub for multi use. It works great for all over the baby's skin in general to keep that soft baby skin.

Baby Lotion

 

Baby Shampoo/Wash

 

Bath Tub - When Chase first came home, he bathed in a.. shallow bucket? (that the hospital gave us) Then we used to just hold him in the kitchen sink. After a few months, he grew into the Whale Tub.

Hooded Towel (2x)

Car Seat - Living in the city without a car, this is where I have the least experience. We borrowed a hand-me-down for the infant (rear-facing for up to 2 years old) car seat. Currently, we did buy a toddler car seat from Graco to keep in my parent's car since it will grow with him to kid size and last much longer. Hospitals will not let you take your baby home unless you bring in your car seat. I believe you can also bring your stroller if you are walking home.

 

Sunshades for Car & Baby on Board Safety sign - If you have a car, you will definitely want sunshades so your baby can nap peacefully.

Stroller - I feel like Strollers can be a blog post on it's own! You should go to the store and push all the strollers around, and watch many youtube reviews to see what works for your lifestyle. Our everyday stroller is the Uppababy Vista. We chose it because it is one of the few strollers you can add a "normal" second seat for baby #2. Living in the city and strolling everywhere, big wheels are important for us (especially great for the park). I also love the ginormous storage basket, magnet (not velcro) peekaboo window, and the largest range of seating positions for baby. Later, you may also need a second umbrella stroller for traveling.

Stroller Hook - I never leave the house without stroller hooks. Great for holding your purse or groceries/shopping bags. Heads up: When the baby is not in the stroller, the balance will be off and you may weigh your stroller down, causing it to tip/fall backwards. 

Diaper Bag - Honestly, any large bag will do! This is completely personal preference. What we did like is a nice big backpack because my husband doesn't mind wearing it around too (haha). Note: Don't forget to always have a plastic bag inside for messy clothes you need to take home (for that reason, don't forget to pack one of each spare clothing also!)

 

 

Some additional things that are "Nice to Have":

Glider - We don't have room for a glider in our apartment, but if we had a house I would love to have one!

Humidifier - with NY's dry winters, this is a must for everyone in the family.

Formula Dispenser & Bottle Warmer - We didn't have these with Chase but I hear that they are insanely convenient. We are excited to try the Baby Brezza brand for number 2!

A few more of my favorite baby things from a previous post

Hope that helps! May you have a smooth pregnancy and safe delivery/recovery!

XOXO, Patricia