5.23.2018

Art Prints for Kids' Rooms


Collecting artwork for kids’ rooms is so special. I really enjoy finding unique pieces that inspire storytelling and creative thinking. Surrounding my girls with engaging yet playful artwork has not only livened up their bedroom but has also given their imaginations a chance to wander.

I selected these five pieces to share with you today! They don’t necessarily belong together in a gallery wall, but could potentially work well together with a little reshuffling. One of the greatest things about artwork as decor is you can easily switch it up over time, especially once your little ones start having more of their own preferences.

I love these whimsical pieces - so full of life and energy! I also love that they are playful and colorful without being too cutesy. This makes them young enough for the kids but aren’t too specific so the kids won’t outgrow these prints quickly.

Mix and match and make collecting art a fun activity with your kids and don’t be afraid to change things up! It’s a wonderful feeling to create a space filled with art that both you and your children can enjoy together.


5.14.2018

Boston Public Garden in Springtime



I have been photographing Mother’s Day Mini Sessions at the Boston Public Garden since past three years. The weather starts to warm up by the end of April and spring is at its best so it’s always fun being outside and capturing some smiles. In between these sessions, I love sneaking some pictures of the garden on its own.  I have hundreds of photos of the Boston Public Garden but I still enjoy photographing it every year in every season. Enjoy some of my favorites from this year’s spring -- it’s lush and gorgeous all around.



Raise your hands if you love spring as much as we do : )

5.09.2018

Children's Fashion Blog: Mix and Match summer styles


The sweet smell of summertime is finally in the air! We love adding new styles to our closets as the seasons change. These minimalistic yet funkily-designed pieces create the perfect balance for a unique look. Their cooler tones allow you to pair different articles together interchangeably, making it easier to dress your kiddos in the mornings. We love the bird prints that seem to be popping up this season and of course you can't go wrong with classic stripes. Which ones are your favorite?

Green Swallows Tee
Off-White & Navy Dots Sweater
Blue Flamingo Sweatshirt
Blue Print Long Skirt
Pink Bird Top
Green Stripe Walking Lady Tee
Checked Shirt Dress
Blue and White Striped Top
Rose Cloud Shorts

5.08.2018

25 Things To Do With Your Kids in NYC

High Line Summer 2016

I always see parents on social media asking for recommendations about what to do with their kiddos when they visit New York City. Of course, this is a very broad topic and there are a ton of variables -- kids’ ages, personal interests, weather, proximity, number of days in the city, etc. There is no one size fits all but I’m excited to share with you some of the activities my family has enjoyed!

My personal top choices would probably be limited to museums, theatres, parks and activities that involve walking around and exploring the city. But at the same time, we are always open to ideas and having off the beaten path adventures. And now that the girls are getting older, they are starting to express their own preferences more often. That’s the beautiful thing about visiting the city - the options are endless!

Below I’ve shared twenty-five engaging and beloved NYC activities - many are popular recommendations amongst my friends and family. We have personally only explored a handful of these, but you’ll be able to choose what’s best for you and your family based on your personal preferences!

Museums
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Children's Museum of Art (CMA)
  • Children’s Museum of Manhattan
  • National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)
  • New York Transit Museum
  • National Museum of the American Indian
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Theatre/Shows/Exhibits
Bookstores
Other Attractions
  • United Nations (UN Kids Tour)
  • Central Park: Lots to-do in Central Park -- Marionette Puppet Theatre, Belvedere Castle, Balto Statue, Zoo, Model Boat Sailing, and just good old picnics and park time!
  • Sea Glass Carousel at the Battery Conservancy
  • Bronx Zoo
  • High Line and Chelsea (Chelsea Market, art galleries, parks - We once had a great time at the Clement Clarke Moore Playground that we randomly discovered while in Chelsea)
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 6, Carousel) or just a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • Bryant Park Le Carrousel
  • Most obvious: Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Freedom Tower, Times Square, Rockefeller Center
There’s something in there for all age groups and interests - history buffs, art connoisseurs, innovation and adventure seekers, book lovers and more. While it can be in the best interest of everyone to have a general outline for the day, sometimes it’s equally as fun to not have an agenda.Walking around the city, exploring residential neighborhoods, Chinatown and other areas can lead to even better memories made. See where the day takes you, keep a positive attitude and just go with the flow!

Do you know any other kid-friendly, offbeat activities in New York City? Please do share as we’d love to know!

5.03.2018

print mixing like a pro


That feeling when you see two separate pieces of clothing and you just know that they just belong together! Mixing this girly floral top with printed shorts creates such a fun, unique look. Print on print with contrasting colors that totally work together. This outfit is so my older daughter N's personality.

What's your take on print mixing? As you know, we are huge fans here!

Floral Ruffled Top
Print Shorts

5.02.2018

Here comes the sun


Feels like summer this afternoon. After a stressful morning getting the girls out of the door and then being glued to the computer getting some website updates and edits done, I finally stepped outside on the balcony for some fresh air. One hour later and I’m still here. I unfolded the balcony table, spread a clean tablecloth, and ate lunch outside. The birds are chirping, there’s a light breeze and, suddenly, everything feels all right. I’m about to make my afternoon tea and sit quietly for 10 minutes before it’s time to pick up my older one. Just wanted to write a quick note about how amazing it feels to finally have some great weather after a long, hard winter.


I can’t help but quote lyrics from Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles:

"Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)

Here comes the sun, and I say

It's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter

Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun

Here comes the sun, and I say

It's all right"

5.01.2018

5 Beautifully Illustrated Kids Books to Cultivate Creativity and Cultural Curiosity


We love introducing the girls to beautifully illustrated books that tell inspiring stories and get their young minds curious about art and different cultures. I’m excited to share five books we’ve read and enjoyed in the past few months. Each book is either based in or starts off in a different country - Japan, France, China, Italy, London. This collection is a combination of gifts from friends, recommendations and our own selections. Enjoy!

We picked up From Here to Infinity this past Saturday in honor of Independent Bookstore Day from our neighborhood bookstore. It’s one of my little dreams to be able to view Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit one day. I was so close to making it a reality this past November at David Zwirner gallery in New York, but ultimately it didn’t work out. We couldn't get to the gallery first thing in the morning and there was a more than three hour wait (which was expected but worth a try!) that I couldn't have pulled off with the girls. When I saw this beautiful, colorful book at the bookstore, I just HAD to buy it.

This book tells of  Yayoi’s life in Japan and discusses her love for art beginning at a very young age. Her art education took her to NYC where she had her first show. Since then, her art and her dots have traveled the world with her. My 5-year-old especially loved pointing out the different colors and patterns and had a great time reading with me.


Cloth Lullaby is about Louise Bourgeois, a famous artist, and the relationship she has with her mother. Louise started her career as an apprentice to her mother in their family tapestry business before she branched out on her own. Her childhood memories play a critical role as she creates some of her most famous works. The colors and illustrations are absolutely stunning! What hit home the most is the concept of how wonderful memories woven into us as kids have such a lasting impact. I hope some experiences we share with our girls inspire them as they grow up!


In Ruby’s Chinese New Year, animals from the Chinese zodiac help Ruby deliver a gift to her  grandmother. Having lived in Boston Chinatown for more than five years, and raising two girls there, our family gained a deeper appreciation for Chinese culture. We find it similar to Indian culture in a lot of ways even though it has its own nuances and folk tales. Our daughters have also been learning Mandarin since they were babies and have participated in Chinese New Year performances every year since they were toddlers! However, none of us knew much about the Chinese zodiac. It was fascinating to read this book with the girls. They had so much fun discussing the animals that corresponded to our birth years. “I’m Year of the Snake! Hissss” “Mama, you are Year of the Monkey!”


The Music of Life is a story of the invention of one of the world’s most popular instruments: the piano. I had never heard this tale before so it was nice to read about the piano’s history and experience it first-hand with the girls. It takes a couple of pages to fully get into the book but it gets more interesting as you go along.

The illustrations are vibrant and engaging. We especially loved how Cristofori used science and his creativity to make an instrument that makes the perfect blend of soft and loud sounds. There are a few Italian words throughout the book. It was fun reading those words out loud and to relive some of the Italian words we had learned on our trip to Italy last summer. Fortissimo!


Clara Button and the Magical Hat Day is about a little girl Clara Button and her excursion to the Victoria & Albert Museum with her mother and brother. A book full of imagination and Clara Button’s love of hats. We learned a thing or two about the museum’s artworks: Tipu’s Tiger and Chihuly Chandelier to name a couple. We even wondered about some of the Indian artifacts on display at the V&A acquired from India at the time of the British rule. My cousin, an artist in residence at the museum last fall, recommended this book to us and we are thankful she did! We really enjoyed reading it together and picturing the various hats.


What are some of your favorite children’s books that dive into other cultures?

4.30.2018

Family Lifestyle Blog: Summer Picnic Ritual


Summer picnics have been a family favorite ever since our oldest daughter Neve was born in July 2011. Since she was a summer baby, and summers in New England are so short-lived (and precious), a stroll in Boston Common/Boston Public Garden followed by a picnic was our favorite way to spend our evenings with a newborn.

Now that she is older, she loves having a party with her friends. However, we still make a point to have a little family picnic for her birthday whenever we can.

Picture of my daughter at her third birthday party at the Boston Public Garden

This coming summer, the girls are psyched to go picnicking and spending relaxing evenings outdoors. We are all craving warmer weather and can’t wait until we can savor more time outside.

Packing a refreshing summer spread with the help of kids is also such a wonderful way to spend time together and make memories. We try to remember to pack board games or a deck of cards to play on the picnic blanket.

A little picnic in the park when the girls were 4 and 2

It’s always nice to enjoy a little adult time while the kids are running around entertaining themselves. A picnic can be as simple or as ‘fancy’ as you’d like it to be. The fun simply lies in tossing out that blanket and unpacking all the goodies together and spending some quality time with one another in the sunshine!

What's left of a delightful grown-ups + kids picnic

Are you as big of a fan of summer picnics as we are? What are some of your favorite picnic foods to pack?

4.27.2018

Happy Independent Bookstore Day - April 28


Small independent bookstores are so special! I rarely get the chance to casually walk into a bookstore and peruse books anymore. Before we had kids, my husband and I loved going to Trident Booksellers to unwind after a long day at work. Some days we would grab a hot beverage and browse a book or two, and  other days we would just soak in the atmosphere and enjoy being there. I miss doing that.


This year, winter seemed never ending. A few weeks ago, after exhausting most of our go-to options for indoor activities, I wanted to find a quiet book store with a little cafe where we could enjoy an uneventful afternoon as a family, relaxing and browsing books. Seems like such a simple, doable activity but it isn’t all that easy unless intentionally planned.


My hope is that once our five-year-old starts reading more independently, the four of us can spend a couple afternoons a month at our local bookstore (especially in the winter time) and turn it into a little family ritual. Some undivided time away from technology, supporting our local community, will definitely be time well spent.



Just last week, we were away on spring break in beautiful Charleston. After long unstructured family walks exploring the city, we would find a quiet bookstore and take a short break before moving on to the next activity.  I was pleasantly surprised how well this reading ‘downtime’ worked. The girls were totally into it and the adults could enjoy some quiet time, too. My younger one (after she was done flipping pages of her books) had fun spending time by the bookshelves trying to find books for her sister while my oldest sat and read for as long as we let her. We also bought the girls a couple books to bring back as their Charleston trip souvenirs.





Visiting bookstores is also a great way to keep up with new titles and broaden your horizon simply by randomizing your reading material. I hope we can do this more often!


Do you have an independent bookstore you love visiting? I am really hoping to take the girls for Storytime at our local bookstore after soccer this Saturday in honor of Independent Bookstore Day. Hope you are able to find some great events at your local store as well. Happy reading!

4.24.2018

Spring Cleaning + Decluttering Party

It's a tough job getting the whole family onboard for spring cleaning + decluttering. Weekends are so packed with activities/my shoots/social commitments that we rarely have any spare time. And when we finally have some time to relax, decluttering is the last thing on anyone's mind (except mine!). So I thought the only way I could get the rest of my family to participate is by making the task less aversive. I tried to turn a boring task into a somewhat attractive package - we can play music, munch on snacks, time box the activity so it feels less like a chore. I emailed this flyer to my husband and printed it out for my daughters. My older daughter quickly said "at least snacks will be served." There you go, I think I am headed in the right direction. An intentional approach by sending a 'party invite' may be the way to go. If I get more ambitious, I'll ask each family member to pick five very small projects to simplify and streamline the process.

How do you handle long procrastinated family projects when everyone's so busy even on weekends? Any tips/tricks to accomplish those tasks smoothly?