As the year winds down, take a moment–between making your resolutions and ringing in the year to come–to reflect on what a wild and wonderful year 2013 has been! From a myriad of fab celebrity babies to intriguing trends in baby names and NYC family neighborhoods…not to mention Cronut- and Rainbow Loom-madness!
Royal Baby Mania: Last December the world received news that Great Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton were expecting their first child. As excitement and speculation built over the baby’s gender, the growing anticipation, dubbed “the Great Kate Wait,” finally ended with baby’s healthy arrival in July. His Royal Highness Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge became the most famous baby of 2013.
Thanksgivukkah: We may have to wait another 125 years (or maybe up to 70,000 years!) until Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day again. But 2013 brought us the “Menurkey” (turkey-shaped menorah), and many clever holiday-hybrid dishes like pumpkin challah bread, sweet potato latkes, and pecan pie rugelach.
The Cronut: Yet another clever combo-food, the Cronut (part croissant, part donut) was the newest fusion food craze to hit the streets of New York City. The croissant-style pastry is fried like a doughnut, then sugared, filled, and glazed. Chef Dominique Ansel introduced the heavenly hybrid dessert at his NYC bakery and crowds went wild. Imitations have cropped up, but customers are still willing to wait in line for his original creation. Next up, look for the following mash-up desserts to arrive shortly from the UK: “townie” (tartlet-brownie), “muffle” (muffin-waffle), and “duffin” (donut-muffin).
Baby Names: For the fourth year in a row, “Sophia” is the number one girls name in the U.S. “Emma” follows in second place, according to BabyCenter’s list of most popular names for 2013. For boys, “Jackson” became the most popular, with “Aiden” falling to the number two spot.
Rainbow Loom: First it was Silly Bandz and slap bracelets, and now the Rainbow Loom is the newest kids’ craft craze flying off store shelves. Kids and tweens are obsessed with the kit that creates colorful rubber band bracelets in different shapes and sizes. Rainbow Loom was invented when a Michigan father tried to help his daughters make rubber band bracelets by putting push pins in a board to help weave the bands. What started in a suburban basement, now has more than 100,000 instructional YouTube videos.
“Over-sharenting” Parents: Digital technology allows today’s parents to publicly share precious images of their children. But how much is too much? Are parents posting too much about their kids online? In 2013 a record 64 percent of parents uploaded images of their children to social media at least three times a week. Tech-savvy parents must be mindful of “oversharenting,” which can breach their children’s privacy and leave kids with an unwanted digital history.
Universal Pre-K: New York City has a new leader too, for the first time in 12 years. Within weeks of the election, mayor-elect Bill de Blasio rolled out his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund full day pre-K and afterschool programs for all NYC children. A central promise of his campaign, UPKNYC demonstrates de Blasio’s commitment to early childhood education. Getting the legislation passed through Albany could be a different story.
Neighborhood Watch: Finding the best family-friendly neighborhoods in New York City can be tricky. This year, Neighborhoodscout.com ranked Park Slope, Brooklyn highest overall in quality of life for raising kids. The ranking is based on data important to families—housing, schools, services, parks, transportation, crime rate. Most popular Manhattan neighborhoods include the West Village (voted best for families) and Tribeca (voted safest), according to Rentenna.com.
Kiddie Style: 2013 was a banner year for celebrities designing clothing lines for moms and kids! Sure, celeb lines are nothing new, but when you add the specialization of children’s wear—think Christina Applegate’s FabKids line and Heidi Klum’s one-year anniversary of Truly Scrumptious, and even a new baby line from J. Crew—and maternity (we can’t wait for Jennifer Love Hewitt’s collection for a Pea in the Pod) the result is truly special!
Baby KimYe: Though we all thought that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West might have been punk-ing us, the famously egocentric duo did indeed welcome a new life into the world this year—and we have to admit, baby North (“Nori”) West couldn’t be cuter! We can’t wait to see what kinds of parental hijinx K-squared have in store for 2014.