Mommy-Daughter Date in NYC


On a recent stay in Northern New Jersey, Aubry and I headed into New York City for the day. I had a 3 o’clock photo shot with Keith Barraclough for The Redhead Project so we figured it was the perfect excuse to explore the city.

It had been to New York City 10 years earlier, to the month and it was Aubry’s first time in the city!

Aubry loves trains and trolleys, buses and subways… public transportation really so this was a fun trip for her.

We parked at the Red Hawk Deck Parking Garage in Montclair, New Jersey and walked the short bit to the Montclair Heights station on NJ Transit headed for New York Penn Station.

The ride was nice, not too long, not too short, right under an hour


We exited the train at New York’s Penn Station and stepped out onto 33rd Street with a great “Welcome to New York” from the Empire State Building!


We were on W 33rd Street outside Penn Station for this photo! K-Mart across the street- FYI

Check out Broadway Ave in the Garment District to see what they have for sculptures.

Since we were waiting for a friend to meet us, we decided that Times Square and all it’s excitement was were we needed to go.

Didn’t realize creepy Superheros would greet us, they work for donations but we passed, or I passed, Aubry liked them but they were creepy and Universal Studios does it way better.

We found the Disney Store ,to use the bathroom – upstairs in the back right and we actually found a really good deal on Elsa jewelry.

After connecting with our friend, Sam, we played on Umpire Rock and Heckscher Playground. The rock is amazing!

The playground was under construction, busy and just fun because of the location, newness and massiveness of Umpire Rock with every glance at the playground.


After a bit to eat and an ice cream we made our way to the subway and grabbed a ride south to Washington Square Park.


What a great park! Fun because you see it often in movies and being a neighbor to NYU you’re bound to find something going on. We played near the fountain and then to the playground. A decent little playground, fenced in and gated. One way i n- one way out and the swings are in a separate fenced area. Handicap swings, that Aubry loves, and plenty to climb on for all ages.

After our playtime in Washington Square I had a 3 o’clock photo shoot to get to!! A short little walk landed us at the Soho loft of Keith Barraclough and his wife Kate. I had so much fun being photographed. It was weird at first.

I had never done anything like this and really shy from having my photo taken. After a few hours and some clothing changes we found ourselves back on the streets, this time with a destination of a playground.


Teardrop Park, I had read about this park on Pinterest but we never made it. It was getting dark and a playground on the corner of Warren and West across from the Battery Park Fields.

The playground had a great backdrop: the Freedom Tower as well as great monkey bars and play ground sized for older elementary children. An open space and basketball hoop were also on site. Fenced in, clean and across from public fields.

Speaking of Freedom Tower, once the sun set the playground was closed and we moved on, south toward Ground Zero.

If time had allowed and I didn’t have a 4-year-old, I would have enjoyed exploring this area and museum more. Oh well, just another reason to return.

The fountains at the base of the towers were touching, sobering and done very well.


Well, this momma needed to get home at a reasonable hour so we jumped back on the subway, headed north to a sushi burrito place on W 37th Ave (we used the Herald Square subway station). With an original destination of the sushi burrito place, we found a familiar sight when Chick-fil-A appeared practically next door.

We had to eat here.

I knew my daughter would eat and fill up, she’d been mostly snacking all day on snacks I’d packed.

Please note this selfie I took at Chick-fil-A NYC—it’s the BEST PHOTO BOMB in a personal picture of mine.


After eating, using their bathrooms and saying goodbye to Sam and to the Empire State Building, Aubry and I caught a 9pm train back to Montclair Heights.

And this is how she rode home.


Thank you New York, see you soon,

-Michelle and Aubry



Total Frugal Cost:

Train: $15.50

Subway: $12.00

Parking: $12.00

Food*: $50, hot dogs, gyro, chick-fil-a, packed healthy snacks and water

*can eliminate this for even more frguality

total for day: $89.50



Heritage Farms, DeLand, FL


I was excited when I heard about Heritage Farms in DeLand.

I’ve been looking for a pumpkin patch with all the extras like a hay ride and corn maze closer to the east coast, so thanks to all of my friends on Facebook and social media who liked the page and posted pictures of their visit to Heritage Farms, that’s how I heard about it!

We visited last night and had a blast. Check her Facebook for upcoming events and stop by her stand to get fresh picked veggies. She’s open year round Thursday-Sunday.


W Plymouth Ave.

We rode the hay ride.

Explored the obstacle course

and looked for scavenger hunt items in the corn maze.




Baby chicks, soda and feeding chickens entertained Aubry for hours and several photo spots made me happy.


So there it is, our new annual pumpkin patch.

Heritage Farms

1338 W Plymouth Ave

DeLand, FL


Am I Really A Frugal Travel Mom?

I recently completed a 2 week Florida to Maine, east coast road trip with my 4 year old daughter in tow.

The first 10 days of it I had my friend Katie with me and she helped share a small part of the cost.

I was curious as to how frugally do I really travel?

So I will lay it all out here and let you decide!


FL –> NH: East Coast Road Trip #katella2016 #aubsanditravel2016

Car Rental: $370.19

Gas: $243.48*

Room and Board: $209*

Food: $265.59 (breakdown: $154.97 at grocery store -here’s my travel kitchen post and I also buy food for a few of the meals when we’re couchsurfing at friends; $110.82 food out at restaurants)

Cash: $200 ($60, 3-day drive north; $100,  for day in NYC; $40, drive home)

CITY TRAVEL: $39.50 (parking, train, subway)

Misc.- Staples/The Redhead Project: $15.42

THAT’S A GRAND TOTAL OF: $1,365.40 if you take out the normal grocery bill, which for me is $125/week so $250 total, it drops the trip to costing $1,115.40

or $79.67 a day !

*This is the grand total of these two items; however, I shared the cost of these with Katie so I didn’t pay that amount, my total came to $73/day for 2 people FL to ME East Coast road trip.

I think that’s pretty frugal. 

What do you think?


Now to begin to save for Greece…




7 Date Night Ideas on Your Disney Vacation

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t grab a date night.

For child care options read The Frugal Travel Mom’s Guide to Childcare at Disney World.

Now that you have the kiddos taken care of the next step is to decide what you’re going to do.

Here Are:

The Frugal Travel Mom’s 7 Date Night Ideas while on Your Disney Vacation

1. Disney Springs at Night

Disney Springs at night is awesome. The lights on the water, the atmosphere and the activities presented make this a go to for the locals as well.

Ride the hot air balloon, eat dinner, order chocolate, shop or just simply sit and relax. Whatever your budget or interests Disney Spring will not disappoint.

2. Cirque du Soleicirque2

I know this is at Disney Springs but I feel it needs it’s own section. Pricey, but worth it; we missed our early showing tickets and they found us seats for the late show, strolling Disney Springs and a fabulous show make for a great date night.

3. Hit the Parks

There no reason why you can’t cut a day with the family short and return again that night with your date!


Continue reading

Guide to Childcare at Disney World


It’s your vacation at Walt Disney World,

you’ve saved and planned,

packed and arrived.

While it is a blast with the whole family it’s also important for the grown ups to get a little child free time.

One way and the easiest is to bring along a baby sitter. Grandparents work best, especially if they are free to be on their own schedule as well as be your in house babysitter. Another idea is for older children to watch the younger ones, maybe even pay them or order pizza in the room for a kids night in.

Disney offers Children’s Activity Centers located throughout the Disney

Walt Disney World’s main Child Care website is a great resource and with Disney you can expect the highest quality of employees and top notch care.

Disney lists Kid’s Nite Out for in-room babysitting sitting.

That’s it.

Pretty simple.

I highly recommend taking advantage of a date night or couples night out while at beautiful Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Now…what to do without children while at Disney?

Read The Frugal Travel Mom’s: 7 Date Night Ideas While on Your Disney Vacation.