These are some of my favorite posts from the last year. Click the image to read more. Happy New Year everyone!
I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by. So much has happened and my girls have grown so much. In the past year I have taken many trips (both business and family), attempted to potty train the twins, launched our webshop, shot a lookbook, and begun the first steps in curating a vintage selection. I have made friends, created memories, and focused on family. Life is short and I work everyday to really appreciate it and the amazing people in my life. I am feeling lucky and nostalgic but more importantly, I feel very hopeful and excited to see what’s up next.
I am not a huge fan of resolution but am certainly compiling a list of goals for 2012. So here, along with pictures from the last year, are my goals for 2012…
1. Continue growing Monkey & The Bug. I want to expand, bring in new lines, finalize our plans for the vintage section, and shoot a new lookbook.
2. Travel (even) more. I’d like a nice, long vacation with the girls and my husband. Just relaxing by the beach sounds perfect!
3. Get better at blogging for both Stel’s and Monkey & The Bug. In the last year I have really started to learn my way around the internet but there is always room for improvement. I’m hoping to blog more often!
4. Relax. Balancing twins, a marriage, and two businesses is HARD WORK. I want to do more yoga, take more time for the family, and learn to stress less.
What are your goals for 2012?
Filed under: Behind The Scenes, Family | Tags: Aiko, Electric Feathers, Kaelen, Monkey & The Bug, Opening Ceremony, Pamela Love, Parlor Showroom, Showroom, Stel's, Suno, VPL, working mama
I have been wanting to write a bit about being a working mom on here for a while now. However, between balancing the two stores and the two kids, I haven’t really had the time. (Shocking, I know) I’m going to get into it more in another post but for now, here is a little look at one of my trips to NYC for womens market week. One of my many responsibilities within my shops is to do a lot of the buying which involves visiting showrooms and pouring over lookbooks and pictures. I really do love my job and being a working mom is something I am really proud of but it certainly isn’t easy. Then again, nothing worth having is.
These pictures were taken by my friend, Adriana of Just By Living, who came along for the trip back in September. If you want to see more, I have been blogging over HERE for the last few months about each individual showroom we went to.
Looking over the Kaelen line at the beautiful Parlor Showroom.
More of the Parlor Showroom.
Pretty colors from the Kaelen line.
Again, more from Parlor.
The Opening Ceremony showroom, this is the Suno area with Pamela Love in the back.
Up close look at Suno’s amazing patterns.
Pretty ruffles at Electric Feathers.
Piles of ballet shoes on display at VPL.
Filed under: Family | Tags: Apple Orchard, Autumn, Birthday, Fall, Massachsuetts, Pumpkin Patch, Stow, Twins
A couple weeks ago, as part of their third birthday celebration, we took the twins apple picking. About an hours drive out of the city and we were in Stow, a small, quintessential “New England” town known for its abundance of family friendly farms. We chose Shelbourne Farm because not only did it have an apple orchard and pumpkpin patch but also an array of fun activities for the kids such as pony rides, moon bounce and a hay mountain. Both Gemma and Riley really got into picking the apples. It was cute to see them work as a team and take turns holding the bag. I recommend walking a bit at the orchard if you can to the back sections. Not only will you find more apples in those areas but it is also less crowded. The cider doughnuts were served pipping hot and were delicious. You can actually see the people making them through the windows. They were also dipping caramel apples right there in front of us which was tempting but we skipped on those. Overall, the experince was a lot of fun, the girls really enjoyed themselves, and it’s always a treat to see them discover something new. I’m hoping to make this a yearly tradition.
Gemma (left) and Riley when they were just little bits.
My little ladies will be turning three in October! It is unbelievable how quickly time flies. I’m curious…how big a party have you (or will/would you) thrown for your toddler? There is so much hype nowadays with parties for children. Maybe it started because of MTV’s Sweet Sixteen and grew from there? I’m not sure of the origins but it seems a bit much to me. Shows like TLC’s Outrageous Kids Parties kind of scare me. I just don’t believe in spending thousands of dollars on parties that are more for the adults than kids. One mom even bought her 6 year old a car for her birthday. A CAR! There is only one word for that…INSANE.
I am, however, all for decorations, fun themes, and lots of friends and family! Courtney Novogratz, when asked how she handled her seven kids’ birthday parties famously said “I invite some friends over and bake a Fucking cake”. Ha! I think I am more of that school of thought. I do want them to feel special and to know that they are loved. Those are my biggest goals for the day because in the end it’s not about what toys they got or what outfit they wore but about celebrating their lives and the love they have brought into all of ours.
I am curious as well about how all you moms (and dads) of multiples handle twin birthdays? Do you celebrate them together? Give them separate cakes or parties or anything like that?
Our trips back to my hometown of Delafield, Wisconsin are such a wonderful respite from the hustle and bustle of Boston. As my parents (the twins’ Lola & Lolo), brother (Uncle Erik) and best friend (Auntie Jenica) still live there, we travel there frequently. Particularly since my dad suffered from cancer and strokes 2 years ago, our time together is invaluable. And no matter what time of year we visit, there is always some activity for the girls.
The most simple entertainment for Riley and Gemma comes in the form of playing in Lola’s and Lolo’s backyard. (See some pics of them playing in their backyard HERE) My parents’ home sits on over 1 acre of land. So we can merely open the doors and let them run wild. And the wildlife abounds in the neighborhood. It’s not
uncommon for us to spy a family of white tailed deer, wild turkeys, and bunny rabbits. While we take advantage of the lovely parks in Boston, we rarely have direct access to this much green space.
The Milwaukee Public Zoo, a quick 20 minute drive from the house, has amassed an amazing collection of animals. From the polar bear arena to the ape and monkey sanctuary, this zoo is one of the best I have visited in the United States. It also boasts a large playground, a petting zoo filled with goats (the girls’ favorite area), and a slow moving locomotive that tours the grounds. This is a must-see on a visit to Southeastern Wisconsin.
Another children’s attraction is the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. There are several interactive and educational areas
to explore, such as the toddler play area, the town center, and the art and music theater. The museum can get quite congested, so I would
recommend scheduling your visit accordingly.
For a cultural fix, the Milwaukee Art Museum is a great stop. The modern wing, which opened recently, is a beautiful
architectural specimen. Encasing the wing is the Burke Brise Soleil, a sunscreen with movable wings. And after a trip to the museum, take
a picnic lunch to the shores of Lake Michigan. The lake shore is very peaceful; one cannot understand the enormity of this Great Lake until
one sees it up close and personal.
Food is also a big part of traveling to Wisconsin. This is the dairy state, after all, so the treats are endless. Brennan’s Market
has an abundant selection of local cheeses, along with fresh produce and baked goods. My favorite frozen custard stand
is Le Duc’s in Wales. My perennial favorite is the turtle sundae, but as Riley is allergic to nuts we now indulge in
classic hot fudge sundaes topped with fresh whipped cream. Finally, when Dave and I schedule date night, we have dinner at Jake’s
Restaurant. This steak house has been in business for over 50 years; the quaint, cozy Midwestern feel of the joint nicely accompanies the farm fresh food. Aside from the steaks, the duck is succulent, and the fried onion strings are to die for!
This is just the tip of the iceberg; I haven’t even touched upon camping in the northern woods, attending the State Fair, going to
Lambeau Field for a Packer’s game, or visiting the farmer’s market in Madison. There is so much to see and do here and I’m so proud to call Wisconsin home.
This month has been a bit hectic. I have been traveling, shooting our lookbook, and taking some time for a vacation with my family. I just got back from Wisconsin and I’ll be sharing more from our trips there tomorrow but for now he is a lil peek at my girls playing at the park in WI.
I am in love with instagram. I think its my favorite social media outlet thus far. Although, I just signed up for Pinterest and so far its pretty addictive so that may take the lead for my fav. You can find me on pinterest HERE and if you are on instagram my username is @monkeyandthebug.
This week has been crazy! The sale has gotten a great response and next week I am off to NYC for a buying trip. After that we will be shooting our Monkey & The Bug look book and launching a brand spankin new web shop! I plan on making this happen while wrangling two year old twins. Crazy, who me? Nah, just ambitious.
I am curious….what would you all like to see from the shop come fall? Favorite brands? Styles? I’d love to hear feedback from other Mamas and Papas.
Here is my week in pictures from Instagram…
If you follow me on Twitter (you can find me HERE) than you know a few weeks ago the fam and I headed back to my home state of Wisconsin to get in some time in with the grandparents and relax. It was great to be “home” and to just chill with my girls. I have many more posts coming up on our trip but here are a couple of pics of my ladies painting in the warm Wisconsin sun in my parents backyard.