This past weekend I attended both the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival and The Seed Experience Market.  I had such a great time, met inspiring people, tried amazing vegan food, and spent way too much money!

On Saturday, my business (TLB Music) joined The Solutionary School at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival to lead a “Compassion Rocks” music class for the children at the festival.  It was so much fun!  We sang songs about animals, love, compassion, and world peace while the kids played on drums, shakers, and bells and we even drummed together on the Djembe:
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Juice Press is one of my favorite juice bars in the city.  They have amazing cold-pressed juices, healthy smoothies, and an assortment of delicious raw, vegan food.  Here are 6 of my favorites from their menu, what I love about them, and their nutritional value:

1. Mint Matcha Latte
This latte is cool and dreamy! The antioxidant-filled matcha green tea powder gives an energy boost, the potassium-packed coconut water hydrates, and the fresh mint awakens your senses. Perfect for a morning walk.
Ingredients: water, almonds, coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt, coconut water, coconut meat, coconut nectar, matcha powder, mint extract, chlorophyll concentrate

2. Lucky Seven Juice
This is one of my favorite juice blends ever! The taste is fresh, sweet, gingery, and completely addictive. The beets are high in vitamins and minerals, help improve stamina, and lower blood pressure. The carrots provide more than your daily dose of Vitamin A and the ginger- in addition to tasting amazing with this mix- helps maintain normal blood circulation, prevents cold and flu, alleviates stomach discomfort, and reduces pain and inflammation.
Ingredients: carrot, pineapple, pear, orange, ginger, beet, lemon

3. Vital Force Very Berry (probiotic non-dairy superfood ‘yogurt’)
This smoothie tastes like an amazing berry shake and is an antioxidant powerhouse with a blend of delicious almond milk, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, and bananas. The probiotics balance your digestive system and the maca provides a natural energy boost. This is a must-try!
Ingredients: almond milk (water, almonds, coconut oil, vanilla, sea salt), bananas, filtered water, strawberries, soaked cashews, blueberries, raspberries, dates, lime juice, goji berries, proviotic vegan probiotic, maca powder, sea salt

4. OMG! My Favorite Juice
Alkalizing, cleansing, slightly sweet, and loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. Try one of these in the morning (for best absorption) and you’ll feel the health benefits immediately.
Ingredients: celery, cucumber, pear, grapefruit, kale, and parsley juice

5. Pink Punk
A sweet, tart and gingery smoothie with all the benefits of beets and vitamin-filled pineapple and strawberries.
Ingredients: frozen pineapple, frozen strawberries, shredded ginger, cold pressed beet

6. Doctor Green Juice
This 5-ingredient juice is one of Juice Press’ all-time best sellers and once you taste it, you’ll see why! It is the perfect choice for skeptical, first time green juicers- the lemon, ginger, apple, and pineapple create a sweet and spicy base for the nutrition-packed kale. Your body will love the natural energy your body gets from juicing!
Ingredients: red apple, pineapple, kale, lemon, ginger


Juice Press has 22 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Southhampton, Bridgehampton, and Long Island City!  Find one here.

I was so happy to see the Van Leeuwen truck today!  It means Summer is almost here! This ice cream company’s vegan options are the BEST in NYC. Last time I had Van Leeuwen, there were only two vegan flavors: chocolate and vanilla. Sounds boring but it was actually the most creamy, rich, and indulgent ice cream I’d had since going vegan. Now, they have 4 vegan flavors! Chocolate (Michel Cluizel), Pistachio (Hand-Picked Bronte Nuts), Banana Nut (Roasted Bananas & Candied Walnuts), and Mint Chocolate Chip (Oregon Peppermint & 72% Askinosie Chocolate Chips). Their vanilla flavor is on hiatus undergoing reformulation! I just tried the Banana Nut and am blissfully in dessert-before-dinner heaven.

Read about Van Leeuwen here and make sure to try a cup or cone next time you see the yellow truck!


(Meeting the Banjo at TLB Music)

Music education at an early age stimulates the brain and can improve cognitive, motor, language, and social skills.  It’s also one of the most natural activities to enjoy with your child, starting with lullabies.   So, it’s no surprise that a music class is most often the choice for a baby or toddler’s first class!  At the Upper East Side music studio that I co-own with my best friend Katia, our classes target age-specific development goals through musical play and the benefits are apparent every day. Whether it’s a mother bonding with her baby while dancing in motion to a waltz, or a toddler learning words through song, or a 4-year-old understanding how to bow back and forth with their right hand while holding their violin’s fingerboard with their left hand- we see music stimulating and benefitting children in so many ways.

Here are four of my favorite places for kids to make music in NYC.

{Upper West Side & other locations} Creative Play for Kids
This drop- in “Live Music Plus” class is developed for a mixed age group of 8 months – 4 years. “Different musicians rotate each week so children hear a different instrument each week! Classes include singing, dancing, playing music, stories, bubbles and an open play time!” Creative Play for Kids also offers a variety of creative classes in Battery Park, Tribeca, Chelsea, Williamsburg and the Financial District.

{Upper East Side} TLB Music
This is my company- we’re a children’s music studio and indoor playspace! We offer music classes for kids ages 4 months – 6 years. Our talented teachers introduce our little students to almost every instrument of the orchestra…up close and personal, no microphones or concert-feel here.  Kids work on motor skills while playing along on age-appropriate instruments to every genre of music:  in class we play Classical, Jazz, Rock, Country, Folk, Broadway, Pop, music from around the world and more!

{Union Square & Brooklyn} Música Para Mi
“New York City’s original music-in-Spanish program, where children from infancy through age 3 and a half share the joy of music, dance, and the Spanish language with their families or caregivers, through weekly forty-five minute classes spent singing, dancing, playing percussion, and more, in a playful, supportive, total immersion environment.” 

{West Village} Baby Moves
Baby Moves, at the Perry School, has a variety of specialty baby classes- music, gym, art, cooking and more!  One of my favorites: “Bluegrass for Kids – Join this knee slapping Bluegrass music class for babies and toddlers! Sing along with Woody Guthrie, Dolly Parton, Earl Scruggs, The Dillards, Johnny Cash and more! Our talented bluegrass musicians will demonstrate instruments such as the banjo, mandolin, fiddle kazoos and guitar. They will even teach the little ones to play the washboard!”

*Look by location but don’t limit yourself! If you find a music studio you love that’s a bit of a schlep for you, see if they offer drop-in classes, Saturday classes, or ask if they can prorate your class package in case you can’t make it to class every week.


Last week, we hosted our first annual Halloween Costume Party at TLB Music!  Our amazing staff teamed up to transform our music studio and playspace with giant cobwebs, bats, jack-o-lanterns, lights, balloons, LED candles, and more.  We created a Trick-or-Treat table filled with yummy vegan sweets like YumEarth lollipops, Dandies Marshmallows, Newman’s Own Cookies, and fruit.  I also baked almost 300 mini brownies!  (Brownies are so easy to veganize:  just substitute eggs with flax eggs in any brownie recipe.)  Continue reading to see my photos from the party!

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Katia and I are so excited to be throwing our first Halloween costume party for kids at TLB Music!  We can’t wait to decorate the studio with cobwebs, spiders, glowing lights, pumpkins, and more.  If you live in the NYC area, please join us on October 30th for music, making Halloween-themed crafts, playing in our indoor playspace, and snacking on yummy sweets. We’ll be giving away $100 in Bird Bucks to TLB’s staff pick for favorite costume of the day and will be raffling off a full session of music classes ($688 value) for our Winter/Spring 2014 session!

What: Halloween Costume Party for kids ages 4 months – 6 years
Where: TLB Music 266 East 78th Street (between 2nd and 3rd) NY, NY 10075
When: Wednesday, October 30th 2013
Time: come anytime between 2:30 – 5:00! We think most people will stay about an hour.
Tickets: $20 per child in advance | $25 per child at door | 50% off siblings
How to Purchase Tickets: Call 212-744-0404, email, or purchase tickets online at:

Henry and the Hot Air Balloon (Music Classes): I finally finished my curriculum, “Henry and the Hot Air Balloon”, for TLB’s Fall music classes and am so excited to kick off the school year with this diverse program!  Our music classes follow a theme that changes every 4 months.  This theme’s concept is that we’ll be “flying” to a new country each week in class, meeting its music, culture, landscape, and animals.  Kids will listen to songs in different languages and be introduced to a full orchestra of classical instruments and a variety of world folk instruments.   The great part is that we target goals in each developmental phase as they’re simply having fun making music!  Some of the countries we’ll visit throughout the session:  Brazil, Nigeria, Austria, France, Australia, Russia, Mexico and Argentina.  Classes are available for kids ages 4 months – 6 years. Schedule/Registration Info

I ♥ Broadway: This drama class is for kids ages ages 4-6. It’s taught by our amazingly talented Playroom director, Chad. Students learn the plot and history of Broadway musicals in addition to choreography, singing, and acting! Schedule/Registration Info

Hip Hop 101 with Princess Superstar: Princess Superstar is a renowned rapper and DJ who has played in over 20 countries and worked with amazing musicians and producers! She’s designed a class for kids ages 3-6 and it is so much fun. Students learn about Hip Hop’s origins, write lyrics, practice rapping, dance, freestyle, learn slang and create beats with percussion instruments. I wrote about this class in detail here. Schedule/Registration Info

Let’s Gogh Art: Let’s Gogh Art offers mobile classes around the city and we’re excited to be hosting two of theirs this Fall. Munchkins and Masterpieces introduces students ages 2.5 – 4 years to works by great artists and uses their style as inspiration for unique art projects. Let’s Gogh Dance (ages 2.5-4) incorporates movement and story into this creative art class. Schedule/Registration Info

All classes are held on the Upper East Side at:

TLB Music
266 East 78th Street
(between 2nd and 3rd)
New York, NY 10075

[Brass at Jon Baltimore Music, NYC click to enlarge]

Katia and I dropped off one of TLB’s saxophones yesterday for repair at a place we’ve been going to for years, Jon Baltimore Music on 46th street. This place is amazing- I highly recommend it for NYC musicians! It is full of saxophones, trumpets, tubas, clarinets, bassoons, violins and much more. Everyone who works there is friendly and welcoming, down to the resident cat, Bruce.

This summer, my company, TLB Music, teamed up with renowned rapper and DJ Princess Superstar to create a Hip Hop 101 class for kids. The class is a fusion of Hip Hop dance, music and culture perfect for kids who like to dance, perform, and use their imagination.  I had the pleasure of sitting in on a class and it was SO much fun!  At the beginning of class, Princess Superstar helped students pick their rap names and made name tags for everyone. The kids chose adorable names like P-Flower, J-Star, and D-Heart, using their first initial and a symbol! Then, she taught the class some classic dance moves like The Robot, The Wave, The Moonwalk, and The Running Man. The kids were impressive- one student even pulled off a believable Moonwalk!

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If you love shopping like I do, when you walk into an impeccably designed boutique filled with gorgeous clothing and accessories, you feel like a kid in a candy store- wide-eyed with excitement and hungry to try everything. The twist on Cynthia Rowley’s new Upper East Side retail location is that there actually is a candy store right above the boutique! Cynthia has come up with the clever idea of combining shopping for beautiful designer clothing and indulging in a visit to the candy shop with your kids.

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On Friday, we celebrated Katia’s birthday with champagne, Dr. Cow vegan cashew cheese, Basilcotta, Faux Gras and delicious cupcakes from Molly’s Cupcakes.

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