Thursday, December 31, 2015

Miami Style Map: Saying Adieu to 2015!

The champagne is on ice and somewhere in Times Square, Ryan Seacrest is getting ready to count us down into the new year. Another year has come and gone, with its triumphs and tribulations, and we welcome 2016 like a fresh chapter in a crispy, new book! We take the lessons and experiences of 2015 and repackage them as useful tools for the new year. We are one year wiser, one year stronger, and one year more successful and savvy (I like to think) as we prepare to navigate and conquer what 2016 has in store for us!

A new year is exciting; yet, the unknown can also be a bit scary. But I like to think of a new year as being full of hope and unimaginable possibilities. It is an opportunity to soar- to jump blindfolded into the unknown and hoping to find something unexpected when you land.

2015 was the year of continued growth for me. Not just emotionally, but physically as well. We kicked off the year with news that we were expecting another baby. And by September, our family had grown by one more. Rocco Sebastian joined our happy clan and he has brought so much joy and personality to our family of four. Becoming a mother for the second time, this time to a boy, is not just a blessing, but a gift. Little boys are gaga over their mommas, and I'm going to milk every smile, every giggle, every deep stare before I have to share him with another missus. The love in my heart and in my soul continues to expand and burst with excitement and hope. I'm still learning to semi balance the exhausting and happy chaos that exists in our lives and in our home and I have a feeling that lesson will be a consistent factor in my life. I don't believe in the 'perfect balance' or that 'having it all' phrase. It's not realistic and amounts to so much unnecessary and unwanted pressure. Life comes in ebbs and flows and sometimes that balance teeters. There will be days where one gets shortchanged more than the other and that's perfectly okay. The acceptance of that reality allows me to be the best mother to my two kids, the best wife to my husband, and more importantly, the best possible version of me. And I've only just begun! 

There were the unexpected curve balls that life likes to throw our way at the most opportune times (and I say that sarcastically)- like when Coco ruptured his Achilles and required surgery one week before Rocco's arrival. That was FUN! There's an image in my head of Coco rolling around in his knee scooter during my delivery that will always make for a good story. The only one not phased by this tiny hurdle was Maya, who relished  those scooter rides with her dad and took advantage of any opportunity to show off during school pick up. But we managed and survived, as we Buccios do. We stick together.

I'm grateful for both the blessings and challenges of 2015. Overall, it was a great year. I consider myself fortunate as I look back on the year, because even those overwhelming moments that can often feel defeating, served their purpose. They remind you to keep going because there's usually some type of reward on the other end, whether that reward manifests itself now or in the new year. I'm lucky to have a husband who although, sometimes, tests my patience and drives me mad, is probably one of the most amazing human beings on the planet. He is an exemplary husband and a loving father. He is my best friend. This year, we celebrated eight years of marriage and there is no one else I want by my side. I am proud of how much our marriage has grown (and continues to grow) and how much it has been strengthened. Marriage is not easy; and I consider it a great achievement. I want Maya and Rocco to know how beautiful marriage can be; how wonderful to spend your life with someone who shares the same goals and principles as you; to be with someone that respects and encourages you and your dreams; that makes you laugh uncontrollably and is there with you when you need to cry or just sit in silence. It is that same person that no matter how much they rattle you, there's no one else in the world you want to spend the rest of your life with. Marriage is supporting and loving each other through the difficult and questionable times, because its easy to love when things are going smoothly. It's holding each other's hand, smiling and saying, 'it'll work out,' because it always does. My wish is that one day my children will find that kind of love and I hope that Coco and I will serve as their inspiration. 

As we sit in limbo trying to figure out where our next career move will take us, whether its here or New York, it is not lost on me that Miami has opened a vault of career enhancements and opportunities that I did not expect in 2015. I came here kicking and screaming, yearning to return to New York, not wanting to give my hometown another chance. But sometimes you find opportunities in the least likely of places. It has been eye-opening on so many levels. I've reconciled with this city that once brought me so much pain. I have created some happy and fulfilling moments since coming back. It's not New York, but Miami is now home and I'm thrilled to share it with my family. Never underestimate someone with great resilience and determination- they are two of my best qualities and I have put them to good use in this amazing city and in life! I am proud of what I have accomplished and I look forward to what's to come, especially in my career. I have two happy children that give me the best reason to smile and to keep working towards a bigger and better tomorrow. 

2016 is going to be PHENOMENAL (and Buccio approved)!

 I don't believe in making resolutions; but, I do believe in starting the new year with an overall sense of positivity and possibility. I believe in living life to the fullest. I believe in being happy and creating my own destiny. I believe in living one day at a time and cherishing every moment with my awesome family. I believe in creating even more wonderful moments with my children, and helping them grow and mature into the kick ass little humans they are destined to become. I believe in surrounding myself with friends and family that nurture me with love and push me to become a better person. Last but not least, I believe in being thankful; as long as my family and I are healthy, happy, and safe, we're already off to a great start!

Here's to 2016. The best is yet to come.

In Style, 


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music in Downtown Miami!

I could describe last night's musical experience in three words for you- beautiful, nostalgic, and captivating. But, because I have a flair for specifics, I'm going to tell you all about why I absolutely loved the new The Sound of Music production, directed by three time Tony Award winning director, Jack O' Brien, in great detail! There's a reason The Sound of Music is the most successful movie musical of all time.

First and foremost, I cried my way through the whole performance. Chalk it up to nostalgia, but The Sound of Music was one of my favorite films growing up. I performed Do-Re-Mi in my Kindergarten end of year program and I have been in love with the story since. 

With O'Brien at the helm, the musical has definitely seen a slight face lift, particularly with the inclusion of a younger and more energetic Maria, played by newcomer, Kerstin Anderson. If you were expecting a replica of Julie Andrew's Maria, well, you are in for a surprise. Kerstin is not only physically, a younger Maria, but she brings a fresh and enthusiastic vibrancy to the role, evident in her interaction with the Von Trapp children, who are quick to fall in love with her. Sometimes, she seems almost kid-like herself! 

I have many memorable moments from last night's show, but a duet of My Favorite Things sung by Maria and Mother Abbess (played by a phenomenal Ashley Brown), literally gave me goosebumps. It was such a tender moment between these two leading ladies. 

Another performance that literally brought me to tears, was Ashley Brown's (Mother Abbess) rendition of Climb Ev'ry Mountain. The audience came alive when she hit the final note of that song and the applause continued well after the curtain dropped. It was a show-stopping performance. As my husband said, 'she just stole the whole show.' 

The Von Trapp children were all charming and engaging and they each complimented the other in musical style and personality. The exchange between the witty Brigitta and a dumbfounded Maria on the staircase on the night of the party (Brigitta confirms what we all know by now- Maria and the Captain are in love), was surely funny and sweet! And their performance of So Long, Farewell was just as enchanting and melodious as I remember it (If I could only get my four year old to sing like that before bed every night)! 

The power of a great musical is falling in love with it all over again no matter how well you know it or how many times you've seen it. There's a scene in the production where after banning music from his home and turning his children into 'marching machines' as Maria jokingly calls them, the Captain (played by a dashing Ben Davis) returns from his trip ready to dismiss Maria, only to be distracted by the sound of his children's singing. It is at that moment, that you witness this grand and powerful man, let down his emotional walls to feel the beauty and joy of what he's been missing all along. He comes alive and the rest is history. 

Before I wrap up my recap, I must make note of Merwin Foard, who plays the self-proclaimed 'lovable' and unforgettable, Max Detweiler. His robust delivery during the How Can Love Survive number, was a definite scene stealer! My husband and I sat mouth-agape in awe of his vocals and presence. I have a new love for Max! 

The Sound of Music continues to captivate audiences, old and young, with its classic story, it's invigorating music, and beautiful set design! What a wonderful excuse to enjoy a night at the theater with your family! 

The Sound of Music is playing through January 3rd at the Ziff Ballet House at the Adrienne Arsht Center ( and you can find tickets for as low as $29! Don't miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to catch the Roger and Hammerstein classic! 

In Style, 


Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Tucked away amongst the buzzing and chaotic hub of Herald Square, lies the most charming boutique hotel providing a fashionable and zen-like getaway for their equally trendy counterparts. Feast your eyes on The Gregory (, a 132-room hotel that resembles a pre-war NY townhouse with its quaint common areas and cozy bedrooms. It's modern luxury meets Old New York. 

The Gregory, originally opened as the Gregorian in 1903, to accommodate the overflow of affluent guests that weren't able to check-in at the original Waldorf-Astoria, which was once located where the Empire State Building now sits. Because of its location and proximity to the city's Garment District, the hotel pays homage -through details and amenities- to one of NY's most popular fashionable destinations. The hotel maintains its classic early 20th century features like high ceilings and vintage moldings  but, with its recent renovations, it has been infused with sleek and hip details like its color aesthetic of grey, black, and white and contemporary illustrations that adorn each of the rooms. 

As a writer/blogger/producer/mom on the go, the location couldn't have been more prime! Living in NY for over 12 years, you usually avoid the popular yet crowded city destinations because of tourists, commuters, or eager shoppers. However, after staying at The Gregory, it couldn't have been more convenient. I was steps away from every major subway line, which made it extremely easy to get around. The holiday shoppers and tourists were not even a bother and it was actually kind of magical (and nostalgic) to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade preparations and rehearsals come to life before the big show. We had delis, restaurants, and shopping at our fingertips and the hotel literally sits across one of the best Korean restaurants, Han Bat (, in the city (so says the NY Times)! We were centrally located, close to both the east and west side. This made it a breeze to get to my shoot locations at any time of day without hassle. 

Another hotel perk was the staff's friendliness and attentiveness. When we arrived, exhausted, to check in, we weren't really feeling the king size bed. When you're a parent of two, double beds are a heaven sent from the sleep gods! The staff quickly found an available room with double beds for us and made sure we were happy and comfortable. When the bathroom product dispensers ran out late in the evening, again, they were quick to refill them with new ones. Good service is hard to find, especially in hotels, but the staff at The Gregory was always available to help in whatever way. 

Lets talk about the rooms because they were my second favorite thing after the hotel's common areas (we'll get to that a little later). I love how the hallways and doors were so similar to that of a residential apartment building. As a former NY resident, this was a nice touch. The rooms were generously spacious; not huge but also not shoebox-sized. The muted color palette enhanced the relaxation factor after a long day. The beds were plush and soft and the room even boasted a small walk-in closet enviable of most NY city apartments! A small desk sits in a corner and it got plenty of use when I needed to finish some last minute writing assignments. 

The decorative wall display, made up of an array of mixed prints and illustrations in black and white, was a hip addition to the room's decor. Motifs that touched upon the hotel's homage to the city's Fashion District were clear- garment samples, tailored suits, buttons, and sewing machines- were just some of the pictures that hung on the wall. This hotel is a fashionista's dream! 

Kick off your stilettos and indulge in a relaxing bubble bath in your bathroom's all white simplicity. Know I did! The black and white mosaic floors and subway tiles along the walls, are reminiscent of the hotel's original pre-war architecture. It's gotten a fresh face lift with marble counter tops and bath and body products from Brooklyn-based line, Apotheke. I made any excuse to take two baths a day just so that I could take advantage of these products. I loved how the products were on full-size dispensers as opposed to those travel-sized bottles you find yourself annoyingly squeezing to get that last drop. 

One of the things I look for when I check in to my room at any hotel, is how pitch dark that room gets when its time to go to bed. I'm all about my beauty sleep and when a room has the ability to transform into total darkness, that's a huge plus for me! How original and clever are these 'Do Not Disturb' signs to display outside your door?! Another ode to the Garment District or to '50 Shades of Grey.' It can go either way! 

 Here's another amenity my husband, Coco, and I enjoyed during our stay at The Gregory- the hotel's lobby space. Only, it didn't feel like your run-of-the-mill lobby. Sitting on these gorgeously upholstered leather couches and chairs, felt strangely but comfortably similar to sitting in someone's living room. The space is intimate and exudes some of that Old World charm prevalent in NY's early days, but its injected with vibrant and young energy evident from their trendy and well-rounded visitors! Coco and I often hung out in the area to people watch, catch up on emails, or enjoy a coffee in the morning. 

Speaking of morning, the common area offered a complimentary coffee and tea service, which for a tea drinker like me, was the most perfect way to start my day before heading out into the concrete jungle. It became my thing to come downstairs early, grab my tea, plop myself on the couch, and read emails in such an elegant, yet welcoming setting. It was easy to pretend I was in my old Upper East Side apartment; only I shared it with a bunch of people I didn't know! 

The beauty of that coffee and tea bar is that in the evening or when that clock strikes 'happy hour,' it becomes 'The Liquor Cabinet,' a cocktail hotspot that brings in the city's most stylish inhabitants to kick back after a hectic work day. When it came time to 'raid the liquor cabinet,' I opted for a Kir Royale as my drink of choice. It was amazing to not have to jump in a cab to meet anyone at the latest 'it spot,' because it just so happens we were already staying at one. We met friends for drinks at the bar and as the night progressed, more and more groups made their way to the tables and couches. I couldn't think of a better way to unwind! It won't be long before this 'hidden gem' gets uncovered as the masses of editors, publicists, bloggers, and models make their way to NY for Fashion Week. This boutique hotel will be the go-to spot for the fashionably elite. 

I can see it in my crystal ball- glamorous trendsetters clacking through the lobby in their Louboutin heels, taking selfies at The Gregory (with their #iwokeuplikethis hashtags), before making their way to the fashion week tents! 

In Style,


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Miami Style Map: Gearing Up For a Miami Christmas

Hello dear Squeezers! Hope you are all doing swimmingly and gearing up for fun and merry festivities with friends and fam. I know a few of you (okay, more than a few) are still running around doing some last minute shopping..ahem, me included! Yet, despite the 'down to the wire' rush to get things done, nothing beats that magical feeling of the holidays- even the unavoidable family theatrics that come along with it! 

This year, we are staying put in Miami with my family since we were in NY last Christmas with Coco and his family. Since we've been together, we take turns splitting the holidays so its fair for everyone! Despite the unseasonably warm winter up north, we are definitely missing celebrating the holidays in New York! I've said it many times before, there is just nothing like the holidays in the Big Apple. From the wintry weather to the storefront windows, NY is the poster city for all things holiday! We love getting all bundled up, walking through Central Park, seeing the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center, oh, and catching a glimpse of that ol' Rockefeller tree, even if it means getting shoved by all the tourists. 

Coco still hasn't adjusted to Christmas in Miami and I get it, Christmas in a tank top isn't exactly what you have in mind when you think of the postcard holidays. But Christmas is more than weather; it's about family, about waking up together at the crack of dawn with your kid to open presents and relive the wonder of being young and experiencing the Christmas magic through the eyes of a child. This year, we are hosting both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and I can't tell you how excited we are to have a full and cozy (very cozy) house the next two days. Coco has set the menus, the Christmas place settings are ready to go, and our fake Christmas tree is shining bright waiting for the guests and kiddos to make an appearance. Christmas music has been playing nonstop in our house and we're wearing our ugly Christmas sweaters despite the sweltering heat. And I'm loving every second of it! Yesterday, Coco took Maya to pick out two toys for kids in need, or as she calls them 'Papa Dios' kids.' We want to teach her from now, that it's not always about receiving; it's also wonderful to give to those less fortunate and create a happy memory for them during the season of giving. 

To me, that's what Christmas is all about....Even if its 85 degrees outside! 

I like to think that Christmas came a few months early this year with the arrival of Rocco! We couldn't ask for a better gift. No return necessary! We are so looking forward to celebrating Rocco's first Christmas together. Maya is excited to help him open his gifts and though he won't really know what's going on, I'm sure he'll get a kick out of all the crinkly wrapping paper and chaos on Christmas morning. I've got a baby with a bad case of FOMO (he gets it from his daddy) and he won't want to miss out! 

One of the perks of winter in Miami, is well, there's no winter! You got year round sunshine and for us, that means enjoying the beach 365 days a year. It also means getting to enjoy the outdoors and trading in pine trees for palm trees. It means summer dresses with a hint of cold-weather accents (like booties)! And for this momma, it means more strolls and park time with my little ones during school break! For Rocco, that means coming along with me to any photo shoot I may have going on- like this one! 

Shopping for boys is a little more challenging than girls, I think. Call me high maintenance, but I'm definitely more particular about Rocco's wardrobe. I take pride in cultivating his baby style! You can say I'm going for that preppy/hipster/urban/city chic baby look- basically, a kid in adult clothing! A lot of the inventory you see is commercialized clothing, and while I'm all for that when it comes to pajamas (and trips to Disney), I can't have my kid looking like he's a walking advertisement for cartoon characters. I love big box stores like Peek Kids, Baby Gap, H&M, and Zara. But I've also found some small boutiques via Instagram that are really stepping up the 'kid fashion' game. I've already stocked up on goodies from these smaller retailers and can't wait to have Rocco sport them! 

For this shoot, Rocco is wearing Peek Kids ( fall collection! I love their cool and on trend selection for both boys and girls! I actually picked up Maya's 'Miami appropriate' Christmas outfit at their store.

I color-coordinated his look to my camel-hued sleeveless shirt dress! While I'm not particularly big on dressing within the brown family, I am a huge fan of camel. To me, it's such a great neutral and goes well with grey, navy, black, and even plum! I paired the dress with these suede ankle booties and my London Sparkles Hat from Goorin Bros. Its my go-to hat for EVERYTHING these days. And we can't forget about my Walgreens sunnies- yes, Walgreens! Can you believe it?! Best 12 dollars I ever spent. 

My plan is to wear this camel-colored shirt dress for one of our many holiday celebrations, sans the hat. With a great pair of leopard heels, and a bold purple lip, I'm ready to fa-la-la-la my way through 2016! 

I wish you all a very merry sandy (or snowy) Christmas! And I hope you make lasting memories with those you love the most! Don't forget to spread a little cheer, give a little love, and have a few glasses of egg nog with your Jingle Bells!

In Style,


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rocco Report: How The Grinch Stole Our Hearts

Last night I had the pleasure of attending opening night of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical with my three year old, Maya ( A literary staple during the holidays in our home, getting to see this book come to life on the stage at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, was simply magical. 

The miserable-Christmas-hating Grinch (perfectly played by Stefan Karl) vows to steal Christmas from the wonderfully cheerful and delightful Whos of Whoville, who happen to be filled with delirious amounts of holiday spirit- and the Grinch isn't having it! Narrated by Max the Dog (played by Bob Lauder), we are taken on a heart-warming journey of love, friendship, and Christmas cheer, to witness with excitement and joy as The Grinch's heart ceases to be two sizes two small. 

Dr. Seuss' children classic, was first published in 1957 and has seen different variations of films played out on the big screen. But nothing captures the music, the colors, the set design, like the Broadway show! Maya was hanging from the edge of her seat, all wide-eyed and giddy, each time that charmingly menacing Grinch appeared or when the candy-cane colors of the Whoville scenes would come to life. Stefan Karl as The Grinch was simply phenomenal! He engaged the crowd, even pushing for a hearty sing-a-long during the performance. And who are we to say no to the Grinch?! 

The songs are just as catchy and there's no doubt you will be singing the lyrics of 'You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch' well after the show is over, because how could you not?! Other songs like 'Welcome, Christmas' and 'It's the Thought That Counts,' reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas- being together and spending time with family and friends you love dear. 

Fans of the Christmas classic know how the holidays turns out for the Whos and the Grinch; but, the power of a feel-good story is allowing that magic to feel brand new all over again. There's nothing more tender and beautiful than Cindy Who's and the Grinch's innocent and loving friendship, proving that even the grouchiest and meanest of thingamajigs, need love too! 

The musical is running through December 27th, and if there's anything that's a must-see on your holiday agenda, is catching a performance of How The Grinch Stole Christmas! It's perfect for the whole-family and a guaranteed good time! Tickets as low as $35 are available and this is one musical your kids won't want to miss. So don't be a mean one- let the Grinch steal your heart and remind you what the holidays are all about! 

Whoville is waiting! 

In Style, 


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Rocco Report: Making Ourselves at Home at the NY Marriott Marquis

Standing tall and bright in the epicenter of the city- Times Square.

There's nothing like the holidays in New York. And there's nothing like experiencing New York from its palpitating center of Times Square! A few weeks ago, we took our first trip back to the city since the birth of our son, Rocco Sebastian. Believe it or not, we got to experience Manhattan in a whole new light just by hunkering down in a different neighborhood and one of New York's most visually iconic hotels.

When I think family-friendly travel and hotels, the first name that pops into my head is Marriott. Marriott hotels have always epitomized an inclusive 'family first' travel experience wherever you go in the world. With over 4.500 hotels in 79 countries, Marriott Hotels is at the forefront of first-class lodging without the extra hefty price tag. It's where we stayed when we first traveled to Aruba when our first child, Maya, was born ( And when you are a growing family, you don't want to sacrifice quality in order to make the most of a trip! 

Teaming up with Marriott for our trip back to the city, was an anticipated collaboration. The NY Marriott Marquis in Times Square ( a landmark in the Big Apple, and one that I had history with; however, I had never actually stayed on the property. Living in New York for over 12 years and being an entertainment producer, I covered many big red carpet events at the hotel. I never needed an address- because when anyone says 'the Marriott Marquis in Times square,' I knew exactly where I was going. Working a few avenues away, my commute often brought me to Times Square and like so many NYC residents, I rarely stopped to admire the view. It's a view you often take for granted because you're too busy trying to dodge the tourist traffic. 

I'll be honest. I was slightly hesitant when the idea of staying in Times Square was brought up as an option. I reverted back to that resident mentality of, 'It's Times Square. It's going to be so crowded and so many tourists during the holidays, so I don't know.' But I stopped myself and thought, 'How awesome would it be to experience this city, to stay in Times Square as a visitor, and see it through the eyes of a kid?'

And that's exactly what we did! 

How many monkeys jumping on the bed?! Maya and Rocco enjoying the most comfortable beds at the Marriott Marqius Times Square. 

One of the perks of staying at the Marriott Marquis Times Square? Large rooms that can accommodate families.

I knew this was going to be a good stay the moment we checked in. The front desk clerk was not only efficient and had us checked in in less than 10 minutes, but she was contagiously friendly and helpful. She gave us a rundown on the property- from restaurants we should definitely check out to the fitness center and coffee spots we could indulge in during our stay. We requested a crib and by the time we got to our room, that crib was already there waiting. The maid service employees were also helpful- never blinking an eye or questioning when we needed extra towels or soap. Requests were always made with a smile and when you're a family of four, you're always making requests!

When I spoke to the hotel's marketing director of Public Relations, Kathleen Duffy, and asked her how Marriott hotel sets the bar for family-friendly travel, she said to me, "our associates are ambassadors of service – for a first-time visiting family, New York City can appear exciting and overwhelming, with so many choices. Our staff is ready to provide suggestions on where to go, what to see, in a friendly way. Mr. Marriott has always said that “You can’t teach people to be friendly.” So we hire friendly people." And I was able to experience this philosophy first hand during our stay. 

It's easy to get overwhelmed in a big hotel, especially when you're traveling with little ones and an obscene amount of luggage, but staying at the NY Marriott Marquis, was an adventure! Believe it or not, it was easy to navigate. There were so many things to see and do on the property alone, and for a kid, there's nothing more exciting than glass elevators that look like tiny rocket ships and plush beds that were obviously made for jumping! For mom and dad, a large room with not one but two double beds is basically sleep heaven. The rooms were remarkably spacious and that's a big plus when you have kids because we all know that families need space and Marriott delivers in that department. When you have kids, sleeping by yourself in your very own bed is the definition of luxury! Coco and I took turns sleeping solo without having to worry about getting kicked in the face by bed-hogging children. We call that a successful vacation! 

Take a little time and enjoy the view at Marriott Marquis' The View Restaurant and Lounge, the only spot in the city that has rotating views of the NY skyline. 

Get up close and personal with all the Broadway lights at the hotel's Broadway Room.

The first item on our agenda was a visit to the hotel's View Restaurant and Lounge ( It is the city's only revolving rooftop restaurant and boasts impressive 360 degree views of the city skyline (the restaurant does a full rotation every 58 minutes). Whether you're a born and bred New Yorker or a tourist, dinner or drinks at this hotspot should be a must on your list! It was such a unique experience and Maya got a kick out of being so high up and seeing all the buildings. Despite the light rain, we were still able to experience all the breathtaking views! Our waitress, who has been working at the lounge for over 20 years, went the extra mile to make Maya a toddler-friendly cocktail she could enjoy with us. This is a very big deal for a three year old and she was very pumped to be clinking glasses with her parents! 

We met friends for drinks at the lounge and even they were wowed by the rotating views. It was pretty spectacular! Another great perk about the hotel is its proximity to other landmarks and popular locations. You are steps from countless Broadway productions, Rockefeller Center, shopping on Fifth Avenue, Bryant Park, Columbus Circle, and Herald Square. The hotel is also situated right by every major subway line you'll need to explore Manhattan and beyond, including the shuttle to Grand Central Station. In my case, I was a block away from a screening I needed to attend for work so it made my commute quick and easy! 

Another spot that lets you get up close and personal with the views and lights of Broadway? The hotel's Broadway room, which is perfect for drinks and snacks before catching a show. You can't beat a view like this! 

Starting our day the right way- with a proper jump!

These glass enclosed elevators provide hours of entertainment for little ones. 

Maya can't wait to get on the Toys R Us ferris wheel.
We couldn't start off our NYC adventures without a proper bed jump! I told Maya that as long as we stay at the Marriott, we can jump on as many beds as we like! I might as well have told her we won the lottery. After we rode the hotel's rocket ship elevators a few times (seriously, this was a thing), the first order of business on our to-do list was a visit to Toys R' Us. One of the things I loved about staying at the NY Marriott Marquis was getting to explore everything that Times Square had to offer- the sights, the sounds, the culture, the colorful personalities and shows- that surround you as you walk through the crowded streets (I could do without the invasive cartoon characters). And Toys R' Us is part of that cultural landscape, at least until it closes at the end of the month. Again, here's another fun and popular institution I would walk by many times without giving it a second look. I shot several segments at the store, including a Harry Potter meet and greet; yet, I had never taken the time to actually walk through all three floors of it. Now as a mom, I couldn't think of a better place to spend an afternoon with my kids and it wouldn't have been possible if I wasn't staying at the Marriott Marquis. Maya had a field day at the store! She was so overwhelmed with excitement, she didn't know where to begin. We started at the Ferris wheel and we had so much fun taking in all the oversized toy exhibits each time we went full circle. We made stops at Jurassic World, Barbie's Dream House, and the Lego Department. Everything was met with 'oohs and ahhs' of genuine joy. 

Navigating through Times square with a double stroller was a bit of a challenge and the only downside to our travel experience, but Coco and I took turns pushing the stroller and carrying Rocco in the baby carrier in order to better navigate the crowds. Maya and even baby Rocco, were mesmerized by all the lights and billboards in the area. Maya kept pointing and screaming, 'Mom, look!' at every turn until we disappeared down the subway stairs to head to our next adventure in the city. 

Now playing at the Marquis Theater- On Your Feet the Musical. 

Catching an evening show of Aladdin the Musical. 

No trip to New York City is complete without catching a Broadway show! It so happens that  the NY Marriott Marquis in Times Square is also home to the Marquis Theatre (, which is currently playing, On Your Feet!, the story of Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan. As a Miami native and a Cuban American, this musical is a dream come true and I cannot wait for my next trip to the city so I can watch the show and dance my way through the spectacular! This time around, though, we kept it kid-friendly by watching Aladdin the Musical, which was absolutely amazing! It's a show for the whole family and Maya was at the edge of her seat singing all the songs. Watching her enjoy herself so much on this trip was heartwarming. Two weeks after our stay, she's still talking about the elevators at the hotel, the Broadway lights, seeing Princess Jasmine, and ice skating at Wollman Rink. Marriott Marquis made all these unforgettable experiences possible for me and my family and I'm forever thankful! 

Taking in all the pretty lights from down below. 

Mimosa brunch at the View Restaurant and Lounge. Perfect way to end our stay.

Dessert spread at the hotel's famous mimosa brunch was on point.
On the last day of our stay, we treated ourselves to a Sunday Mimosa Brunch at The View Restaurant. What a way to wrap things up! For $59 (killer views included), you get two champagne mimosas and your pick of a very vast and very delicious buffet spread that included everything from lobster shooters to Belgian Waffles. And let's not forget dessert! 

Before brunch, I was able to squeeze in a photo shoot for my blog with photographer extraordinaire, Kim Mancuso (, in Times Square. There was something quite magical about shooting in Times Square early in the morning. To shoot in the heart of the city without the hustle and bustle of the crowds or congested streets, was pretty surreal. It was the first time in a long time, that I was able to take in the awe-inspiring energy, and electrifying sights and sounds, of one of the most iconic landmarks of the world. And here I was, right smack in the middle of all its glory. It was something special and something I'll never forget. After staying at the Marriott Marquis, I have a newfound love and respect for Times Square. 

As the holidays descend upon us and we find ourselves in the midst of travel plans and preparations, make sure to make the NY Marriott Marquis part of your family's holiday story. All I saw at this hotel during our visit, were families from all walks of life enjoying the best city in the world- from starry eyed toddlers to those hard to impress teenagers that couldn't resist taking selfies outside the hotel. The wow factor exists for everyone! If what you want is to stay in the heart and pulse of all that is happening in the city, to be immersed in Frank Sinatra's New York, in Kevin McCallister's New York, even Taylor Swift's New York- then the Marriott Marquis in Times Square is your home away from home! Go on and make some memories- NY is waiting. 

Even squeezed in a photo session with Kim Mancuso photography in Times Square.