The #MeatballShop Flop #buzzKill #Bam #Lame #NotCool #Balls

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

Riding Dirty(1)- This was our 3rd attempt to eat at The Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side. I love it here and hit it up a few times before I had Bastian. Always packed but always a great meatball. We had been turned away 2 times before but it was on a weekend so we didn’t let it bother us b/c it’s to be expected. However, we go on like a Tuesday EARLY around 430pm with ZERO seats outside taken, and ask if we can sit on the patio- they actually said no, we can’t have our stroller in there bc it’s a fire hazard. Don’t ask me how, as the table we were asking to sit at blocked no entrance or exit path, no other tables were behind or in front it was all by itself in a corner. So we got the balls to go, and literally sat at a bench right across the street looking at the empty patio tables- strange but I wanted that meatball and just walked 2 miles for the 3rd time, I wasn’t taking no this time, especially when the joint was EMPTY. Lame. Baby haters. 

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The Spot:  “The Meatball Shop”  East Village, LES, Union Square, NYC, Manhattan, NY, New York City

  • Food:  Obviously I love the food, and got it to go even though the Baby Haters snubbed us a 3rd time. Lame.
  • Price:  $-$$ Fair prices for a good meatball. Read more on Yelp! 
  • Location:  East Village, LES, Lower East Side, New York, Manhattan, NYC, NY, Union Square

Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate…shake it off.“-  Taylor Swift 

The Brazen Fox Kitchen & Craft Bar #NY #Brunch #NYBrunch #BabiesWhoBrunch

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

Rollin- They were not packed at 1230pm on a Sunday brunch because the venue is so large with an upstairs and downstairs, so there was zero wait time, and they had high chairs that fit the high top tables(a reason I always passed on the place before). Food was great. 

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The Spot:  “The Brazen Fox”  East Village, LES, Union Square, NYC, Manhattan, NY, New York City

  • 106 3rd Ave
    New York, NY 10003  (212) 353-1063
  • Food:  The food was really great. We all got breakfast sandwiches of different types and they were all really tasty. Not the most kid friendly choices for them to eat, but Bastian still really enjoyed the seasoned potatoes. I would pack an extra snack and something to eat for the little ones, or ask for just plain over easy eggs etc.

    My friend, Kyra and Bastian.

    My friend, Kyra and Bastian.

  • Price:  $-$$ Super affordable and on Brunch days it includes drink cocktails. Check out Yelp!
  • Location:  East Village, LES, Lower East Side, New York, Manhattan, NYC, NY, Union Square

Be brazenly, passionately, defiantly you. Every damn day.“-  Collin Wright

Ring my Bell-llll, Ring my bell…The Bluebell Cafe in #Gramercy #Brunch

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My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

Rollin- It was Sunday brunch at noon. Basically hell. We called ahead and they said it would probably be a 15min wait, and I have to say it was much shorter, and they were able to seat us as soon as the last person in our group arrived. The hostess even bumped us up bc we HAD THE BABY. Total bonus points. AKA, they wanted us the hell outta there and FAST. 

The Spot:  “The Bluebell Cafe”  Gramercy, NYC, Manhattan, NY, New York City

  • 293 3rd Ave
    New York, NY 10010  (646) 649-2389
  • Food:  Home comfort like you never. I got the Blue Bell Breakfast, and let me tell you- you can not go wrong here. The potatoes are like mini french fries- yes please. Little B had a toasted blue berry muffin which we all took a bite of because it was so darn tasty. He also dug into some of my eggs, and this boy isn’t typically an egg eater. Other dish at the table was Chicken Curry Salad, which was super filled with flavor and amazing color. So fresh. My husband got the pulled pork sandwich and it was AMAZING- I’m totally trying this when I’m in more of a lunch mood. Overall it’s amazing. Just note that you get FREE OJ with your brunch. Score. bluebell-9
  • Price:  $$ A bit more than your typical cafe/diner but it has such a cute atmosphere and the food is WORTH it. However, this was the brunch prices, and I think the menu prices drops a lot during the regular week- I’m DYING to go back on a lazy Monday. Check out Yelp!
  • Location:  Gramercy, Murray Hill,  New York, Manhattan, NYC, NY, Union Square6a00d8341c565553ef01a73dcca231970d

The Bluebell is the sweetest flower
That waves in summer air:
Its blossoms have the mightiest power
To soothe my spirit’s care.“-  Emily Bronte

Mancora #LES #NYC #Peruvian #Spanish #StrollerFriendly

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My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

Rollin– We called ahead bc it was freezing out and dinner time- which all of us NY’ers know that means lots of people crammed in tiny spaces- esp when there’s a #HappyHour in full effect. They were more than happy to save a table big enough to accommodate us. When we got there the manager remembered our call, and took us right to the table as we made our way through the narrow isles. Sangria here we come.

The Spot:  “Mancora”  LES, East Village, Union Square , NYC, NY, New York

99 First Avenue New York NY, 10003Telephone : 212.253.1011

Fax: 212.253.1035

Email: Mancora99@yahoo.com

  • Food:  The last time I had Peruvian/Spanish food was in Brooklyn with some friends years ago. It was good, expensive and didn’t leave me wanting to try it again anytime soon. So when my husband suggested Peruvian I wasn’t thrilled but up for it none the less- so glad I gave it another go. This place is SO well priced and the food is seasoned perfectly. They have this green dip with plantains that we ALL loved- Toddler Friendly!
  • Price:  $-$$ Great tapas happy hour, well priced drinks and food. I thought it was all a great value for the quality and quantity you get here. Check out Yelp!
  • Location:  Lower East Side, LES, East Village, New York, Manhattan, NYC, NY, Union Square

Peruvian food is so simple yet amazingly flavored with their traditional spices.“-  L’Wren Scott

A NYC Kids Birthday!?!? OMG My baby just turned #1 #BirthdayBoy #HappyBirthday

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BASTIAN!!!!! 10915263_10100235314325163_5991272975507907528_n

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

IT’S A BIRTHDAY POST

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This post is going to be about my baby boy who is now a toddler. I can’t even believe the year has gone by so fast. It seems impossible that one year ago I had only just met the love of my life. Happy Birthday my love, I hope you have the most adventurous life filled with love and laughter.

New York City and kids Birthday Parties is no joke friends. It’s NO Joke. First place to start, the place. Where can you house 15 plus people and let your little one be free to crawl around in a clean, safe environment? I asked other moms…the YMCA, baby gyms like AppleSeeds or MyGym, a restaurant. So I called these spots and got quotes.

$450/HR with 3 HOUR MINIMUM?!?!!?!?! Excuse me YMCA, come again? Holy cow. That was just the beginning. I’m not cheap but that was more than my 16th birthday, 21st and probably 30th all in one. So I had to start thinking out side the box…Churches, schools, bookstores…then it hit me. Rehearsal studios. Being an actor in NY you are introduced to another world that most don’t even know exists. The black box theaters, studios, and more. So I booked a rehearsal studio and threw a baby’s 1st Birthday. BOOM.

We were able to bring in our own food, drinks, toys, and decorations. The only thing we needed was to make sure we left it the way we found it. Most of these spaces also provide chairs and tables (yes all the other kid birthday spots charge per table and chair).

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:

I won’t say exactly which space we threw our party at because it’s sort of on the down low and I’m sure the artists would be a little peeved if all these kids were swarming the quiet studio space with these events. But, I will provide a list of resources for other moms to call and check out…just best to say it’s for a birthday part and not mention it’s a kid. HINT.

Ripley-Grier studios– Several locations around the city.

440 Studios– East Village and under $40/hour

Roy Arias Studios–  They are cool with kid birthday’s but have special rates.

Art New York– Several spots

Shetler Studios– Lots of locations

These are just a few options and if you want more try this website below.

NYC Space Finder– you can pick your rate and location.

The LOOK:IMG_3853

I kept it super low key and simple. He’s 1 people. We filled the table with memorable quotes and info from this adorable company called CiinolinCiinolin_BirthCard_FA1_3__62396.1405323398.451.416 who has adorable stuff, and I decided to base my “theme” around the color of these cute cards. Yellow, light blue and brown.

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FOOD:

I also thought of the babies here. I did light finger foods all of which were baby friendly. Fresh fruit, bite size rye bread, Vegan/Sugar Free treats made specially with the allergy notes from Whole Foods, Pirates Booty, Plum Organics Puffs in various flavors, and bite size cheese. It was over all pretty simple and we easily transported it all ourselves- in NYC no less. We did have a lot of hands on deck and the use of a GETT car which I use like my left arm. It’s still $10 bucks flat in the city…doesn’t get better people it just doesn’t. Use my code and get $20 bucks in your account when you sign up. I’m not joking, download that app. #GTKRIST7 use it. image2

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHOS WHO:

IMG_3889IMG_3877Bastian only has 1 friend but Mama has a few amazing friends who despite the fact I haven’t had a lot of one on one time in the past year at all, they are always so loving and supportive of every baby event. I feel so blessed to have friends like this in my life. Sara, Renie, Dan, Kyra and Robby you all are amazing people and we all love you so much!! Thanks for not ditching us when we became parents! 🙂 We also had a special visit from Bastian’s Sassy from Ga- who braved the cold weather to spend time with us and celebrate his day!! She spoiled this boy so much from endless toys, books, bath toys, treats to quality cuddle time, boy loves his Sassy.

 

 

The Smith- and some Natural History #UWS #NYC #BabyBlog #MamaBlog

Bastian. The Squid and the Whale. 2014

Bastian. The Squid and the Whale. 2014

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

Last week baby B and I hit up the UWS, Upper West Side- Motha…you get it. We went to the Natural History and saw some rocks, bones, fish…the whole nine yards and B loved every second of it. We can’t wait to go back! After that we were starved and rolled into The Smith.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “The Smith  1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
(212) 496-5700

  • Food:  I love it here. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been to The Smith bc there is one in the East Village near us, but on a cold #NY day nothing hit the spot better than the creamy tomato soup with french fries and sparkling water. Yum!
  • Price:  $11 for the soup and $8 for the French Fries. It’s not the cheapest spot to hit up but when on the #UWS, and it’s cold around lunch hour you have no choice but to think BIG as in SPACE. Splurge wisely. Check out Yelp!
  • Location:  UWS, Upper West Side, LES, Lower East Side, East Village, NYC, New York

“What is it about high school, that you read all the worst books by good writers? ”  ~ Noah Baumbach’s “The Squid and the Whale” 

Tacombi at Fonda Nolita: Soooo Soho

Tacombi NYC Soho

Tacombi NYC Soho

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “Tacombi at Fonda Nolita 267 ELIZABETH STREET

NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10012

TELEPHONE: 917.727.0179

Baby B Rank:  Strollin I love the food here. I seriously dream about it. For the price and flavor I think it’s the best Taco in NYC. I said it. However…I will say I have been firstly, without the B-man and it was epic, great etc. Then we went back mid day- it was dead inside compared to a night crowd…and they wouldn’t let me give Bastian his baby food b/c it wasn’t off their menu? Um. Ok. Lame. Like so baffled my mind lame. Seriously who are offending here? I kindly and quickly stuffed it back in my bag and said I would feed it to him from there without displaying the baby food brand- in case it tempted the other customers(all 4 of them) to put down their taco for some Baby Plum Rice Puffs. 

  • Food:  Best Taco in the city.
  • Price:  $3.96-15 The tacos are cheap and solo freaking good.
  • Location: SoHo, LES, Lower East Side, East Village, NYC

We don’t allow outside food or beverage, can you please throw it away or put it in this cup? ”  ~ Tacombi Host on my feeding baby food at the table.

As Taylor Swift would say: Welcome (back) to New York #NY #NYC #TaylorSwift #BRB #LANY #LA

After 4 weeks in LA we are finally back in NYC just in time for the Christmas window displays and decorations. I have to say each time I go back to LA to visit it’s like this odd mystical pull that slightly seduces you into falling for it with it’s consistent weather, epic sunsets and palm tree lined streets. Then the days haze all together and you realize it’s a major time suck…and I remember why I moved back to NY. If anything living in NY allows me to appreciate LA for all it’s beauty and hippy-ness when I’m there…something I never did living there, because all I did was compare it to NY.

So, in conclusion, Bastian got to see all of his Hollywood Auntie and Uncle’s and we hit up some great baby friendly spots while there as well. I somehow managed to squeeze in a ton of work as well, which I’m super proud of. I have to say though- Bastian may have gone totally Hollywood on us. He came back with a slight attitude and an uber “cool-ness”….or it could be he’s coming a toddler.

Now back to old business- The FOOD.

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “Cucina Di Pesce

87 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
(212) 260-6800

Baby B Rank:  Rollin(be respectful- at the right times) WOW. BEST Trout I have had EVER. Done. I am a HUGE seafood fan..coming from a family of men who loved fishing and always eating some type of seafood..this says a lot. If you want Italian and Seafood- you HAVE to hit this spot up. They were all so sweet to baby B- even when I had to take him to the bar when he got rowdy, smacked his hands down and said “..what’ll it be bartender?“. The hostess was so sweet and was keeping us company as my husband and his parents finished their dinners in peace…and our waiter came over and hung out with us for a bit too. I just couldn’t say more for this place. Inviting, warm and feels like home. Yes…we still rolled in with our BIG ASS STROLLER and it was no big thing. Boom. 

  • Food:  Ok so I already went ape over the Trout..which was buttery, light and perfectly simple. I got the early bird special bc we now eat that early due to B-man- it’s us and the geriatric crew what can I say. my mother in law ordered the Salmon which also looked fantastic and she got extra dressing for it which also looked killer. We got some appitizers – the best was the eggplant.  Get it. Bean dip with bread I’m there. I mean I could go on and on but I won’t. Food it amazing and all under 25/plate. You can’t beat that.
  • Price:  $9-21 The early bird special is $13.95 it comes with FREE wine- HELLOOOOO You need to go here. Ok. Check out more reviews on Yelp Ah- should be noted only thing to be mindful of, they only accept Amex or Cash..fyi.
  • Location:  LES, Lower East Side, East Village, NYC

“Welcome to New York…It’s been waiting for you. ”  ~ Taylor Swift 

Always, Often and Today #Love #Loss #Life

Circa 2001 High School Days #WV #cchs

Circa 2001 High School Days #WV #cchs

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I haven’t posted on here in a while due to the tragic loss of my former husband and true friend, Rob Ruhlin. I say “former” because he isn’t my “ex” which sounds so final and sad…he was one of my true best friends and family. We grew up together from the age of 14 and were inseperable until our late 20s, but at that point really had grown into different people, but were both struggling to hold on to the relationship that was so important to both of us. Until we realized that no matter the direction our lives go, we will always be in each others lives because we truly cared for each other on a multi-complex level. I am sad I won’t ever hear the sound of his voice on the end of a phone call…or get some witty, snide email from him with a funny video…or our dog Chip will never get a pat on the head and hear “Hey buddy”…I’m sad I won’t get to tell him one last time just how much he meant to me and my life(even though he knew).

I am thankful I saw him one last time this past winter in NYC right after I had Bastian. We were suppose to have a dinner with our significant others but at the last min he canceled and just wanted to have lunch with me and meet Bastian. So the 3 of us met at a diner and caught up. It was particularly cold that day and started to snow. He wasn’t dressed nearly warm enough, coming from Texas…but he wanted to walk me home even though it was so far out of his way. That got us in some more time to talk. I’m glad he fought me, and walked me home. When we got there we did our usual goodbye, but like always I took an extra long, tight hug and can still smell his familiar scent that’ll I’ll never forget. We said we loved each other like family members do, he peeked in to say bye to Bastian in his stroller.  I walked into my building and watched him walk away down the sidewalk into the falling snow. That was and will be forever my last memory. Thank you for that.

Every I love you, you said today has already expired…so when you love someone, tell them, and tell them often, always and today.

‘Welcome to the Jungle’…Congee Village Bowery #LES #NYC #ChineseFood

Bastian hanging out at our large space in the corner.

Bastian hanging out at our large space in the corner.

Congee Village LES Bowery

Congee Village LES Bowery

My name is Kristen Ruhlin, I’m a new mama to a boy named Bastian.

This blog is all about hitting the top restaurants  with BIG strollers, tiny babies in big cities. So check in to see where Bastian and I have ventured and if we were asked to leave once they saw our HUGE SUV of a stroller roll in(we have a Bugaboo Cameleon, it’s big). We’re eaten’ food, burpin babies and taken names.

RANKINGRiding Dirty (1)- the lowest of the low;  Strollin (5)- kindly asked us to hit the road; Rollin (10)- these ballers know how to roll.

The Spot:  “Congee Village” 207 Bowery NY 10002 (212)766-2828

  • Baby B Rank:  Rollin- There was a wait when we walked in. Fear sets in. No worries, you got a baby…no wait-y. They rolled us in and sat us at this huge table in the corner. I admit I felt bad taking at 5 top when there were people waiting, but we have a baby and ‘aint nobody got time for that’. So we scarf our food and enjoy the moment we had.
  • Food:  This Chinese food isn’t messing around. It’s won several foodie awards and I had always wanted to try it out bc it looked HUGE and because it looks like a jungle inside. Score. I’m a sucker for theme park decor in places. Ghetto yes, cool no…mama don’t care. It should also be noted these plates are HUGE and meant for family style sharing.
  • Price: $10 and up. Very well priced for the size.
  • Location:  LES, Lower East Side, East Village, Chinatown, Soho, NYC

“The things that people cannot do without everyday are firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, and tea.”
–Phrase coined in the late Southern Song dynasty.