school anxiety

boots

 

I never thought I would be thinking about, or saying the word “school” so soon in my children’s life.  At least, not without the word “home” preceding it. As we prepare to enroll the kids in a private “school” program a few mornings a week, I’m battling with mommy guilt, negative feelings, and doubt. Allow me to explain. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with schooling my entire life. I remember the excitement of a new school year (mostly thanks to my mom’s back to school parties), the rush of adrenaline as I climbed onto the school bus with a brave face, and the thrill of making new friends and learning. However, most of my school memories revolve around anxiety. Heavy, at times debilitating, anxiety. As much as I loved (and love) to learn, I struggled with the environment and always felt it was a distraction from the education itself. When we started planning for a family, I began to look into our educational options. Preventing my personal issues from clouding my thought process and decision making has been a challenge.

My research kept pointing me in the direction of homeschooling…my thinking was, who understands my children better than I do? If I can provide a safe and loving environment for them, the focus can be on learning. However, quite a few things have chipped away at my desire to homeschool. One is my career – I have many exciting opportunities coming my way that I want to pursue. Nurturing my passions + entrepreneurial spirit is essential to my happiness, and my happiness directly affects my children. Another reason is my sanity…when you are literally WITH your children all the time, it can take a toll, especially with twin toddlers running circles around you! I don’t know how to maintain my own identity, my marriage, my business, AND dedicate adequate time to their education. Also, the issue of socialization comes into play – with twins, it’s easy to become lazy with playdates and outside activities. They have each other to play with, so why go to the trouble? Luckily, Marie is a social butterfly, but Henry struggles a bit, and we feel that he needs an environment that takes him out of his comfort zone. I’ve also come to the inevitable realization that we cannot shield our children from struggle and pain. In fact, it is almost essential to success in life that they experience it. This is tough pill to swallow as a mother, as instinct calls us to protect, fiercely. Allowing them to fight their own battles will be a constant struggle for me.

As the summer begins to fade away and their first school experience approaches, I am riddled with anxiety and questions. Will they like it? Will they thrive? What I do know is that if it’s not working for them or us, we will take a step back and reevaluate. If we need to switch gears or make more sacrifices for the sake of their education, we certainly will. I’m so thankful to have had two solid years with them, and know how lucky I am to have the option to be a stay at home (WAHM) mom. I never take that for granted. I feel I’ve established a very strong foundation of discovery and learning which will stay with them always. Of course, I intend to continue to educate them to the extent of my abilities on a daily basis…everything is a learning opportunity, and that excites me. Seeing the wonder in their eyes, and learning along with them, is such a joy. I would love for you to weigh in friends, and share your thoughts on education and choosing a path for your children. What have you struggled with? What has worked for your children? I appreciate your feedback.

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dîner en blanc inspiration

diner-en-blanc-inspiration

 

The countdown to Dîner En Blanc Philadelphia has begun…less than 3 weeks to go! If you’re planning to attend the magical affair, I hope you will enjoy this little bit of inspiration. There are so many details, rules and logistics, it can be overwhelming! First and foremost, be sure you are properly registered-you most likely already received a letter with an overview of guidelines + instructions. I won’t get into the nitty gritty of it all, but want to share some of the items that I’ve had my eye on. Also, I recently discovered the Dîner en Blanc documentary which takes an intimate look at the event in Paris, revealing the behind the scenes planning as well as the actual event! If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend a viewing…it reminded me just how magical the evening is, and got me even more excited for 2014. I hope to see you there!

 

1…   fancy details can really set you apart…you’re sure to get noticed with a lace parasol!

2…   while it doesn’t have to be white, I love this one from crate + barrel (shown), OR the picnic for two basket kit

3…   a bit of sparkle never hurts, and can dress up a more casual outfit…statement brooch + sash buckle

4…   many attendees wear hats, or fascinators…I love mixing it up each year!

5…   a flowy white dress is my outfit of choice, but there are so many options for both men + women (too many to list).

6…   be sure to capture the magic…we all have our phones, but consider film with this fun fujifilm instax camera!

7…   should you choose to bring your own dinner (rather than catering), these weck jars will transport your food elegantly.

8…   don’t forget your wine + champagne!

9…   more importantly, don’t forget your wine glasses…because, well, drinking out of the bottle is not so classy.

10… first and foremost, go for comfortable shoes (i.e. low heels, wedges) so you can dance the night away!

11…  there are many chairs to choose from…shown is the bistro chair by terrain…more options on the pinterest page!

12…  porcelain dinner + salad plates by apilco are simple and classic.

13…  beautiful hemstitched linen napkins look beautiful on any table.

14…  these porcelain flowers make lovely napkin ties or table decor…you can see how I used them here!

 

items not shown (table, tablecloth, candles, flowers, etc.) can be found here

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”A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

So…this happened this week, and I’m so thankful to have captured it. They were playing in our closet, trying on shoes, and I sat down on the floor to join in their silliness. Marie asked me to take a few photos of her (she does that now, ha!) and Henry wandered over to join in. He started wrestling with her, giggles ensued, and then this kiss. A most passionate, innocent kiss…pure love on display. Witnessing their love is such a beautiful gift that I am grateful for every day.

post inspiration

calling all philly creatives!

philly-creatives7

 

Hello friends! I’m anxious to get back to featuring philly creatives on a regular basis, so in addition to the people I’ve already invited, I’d like to open it up for submissions! If you’re a creative, in any field, and living in the Philadelphia area, please get in touch so we can connect…I’d love to meet you (whether in person or via email)! I continue to be inspired by the talent here, and the supportive community surrounding it. I enjoy sharing stories of artists and entrepreneurs…they are always inspiring. For immediate inspiration, you can check out my archives + twitter list! Also, pay a visit to the awesome new project by husband and wife team Jen + Dave Cooper, South of Brooklyn. They’ve already featured some amazing creatives, including my friends Shauna Alterio + Stephen Loidolt! I guarantee you’ll be inspired.

merci…I look forward to hearing from you!

hello shiso

hello-shiso-heart-clip

hello-shiso-heart

I’ve had my eye on Hello Shiso…hair accessories are one of my favorite things to buy for Marie. You can imagine my excitement when they offered to send us product to review…yes please! Based in Berkeley, CA, this small design studio creates accessories for girls, boys, and even parents (Marie better share these with me)! With so many cool modern designs, it was hard to choose a few, but these metallic leather clips really jumped out at me. The simple pinch clip design works well with so many hairstyles. I think they’re also awesome as a clothing or bag accessory, don’t you? I enjoyed planning the outfits for this shoot…click through to see more photos and more Shiso goodness!

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