I’m Rosie Jansen, mom to an active two-year old, my son Toby. I’m also the founder of Tribe Bags, a luxury line of stand-out leather diaper bags. Our signature diaper bag, the “Singapore Sling”, was named Best Changing Bag in the prestigious UK Junior Design Awards, and is often seen carried by several Hollywood celebrity mums including Katherine Heigl and Denise Richards. While I was born and bred in Australia, I now live in sunny and humid Singapore with my husband and son.
Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
I collect contemporary Asian art and several of my friends are art curators and gallery owners, so I’m always looking around for pieces that take my fancy. I’m running out of wall space though, so I don’t buy as much art as I used to. I’m always looking at interior design magazines and lately, blogs. Besides Bloesem, I like checking out designsponge, and apartment therapy for general ideas and inspiration. My taste stays fairly constant but I have fallen in love with colour over the past few years, and that love has translated into my designs for Tribe as well. Colour works well in my home because I have a backdrop of a lot of stone-coloured and light wood fixtures and furnishings.
When I was pregnant. I bought a very modern and generous-sized rocking chair which I placed next to my son’s crib. Since birth, my son and I have cuddled up in that chair every night and read book after book. Toby loves the chair and has become quite territorial about it.
I always make a nice creative sign celebrating the occasion – “Toby’s 1st Birthday”, “Toby’s 1st Christmas” etc. – and make sure that the sign appears in photographs taken on the day. As Toby grows older, it will be nice to look back at photos and to instantly know how old he was at the particular point in time when the photograph was taken. It’s a good way of keeping track of time without having to look at the date stamp of when certain photographs were taken.
What are your all time favorite books for children?
Toby and I are both obsessed with books, and they’re my absolute favourite things to give as baby shower and newborn baby gifts. I love Australian author Mem Fox and her books Hello Baby, The Green Sheep, Time for Bed, as well as classic children’s books like Peter Rabbit and Winnie The Pooh. I also enjoy reading fairy tales to my son.
How do you buy your books? Bookstores? Online?
I like visiting bookstores as it gives me an opportunity to flick through the pages of a book to get an idea of the story line and to also see the illustrations. I have a soft spot for beautifully illustrated books.
Luckily for me, there’s been a growth of lovely independent bookstores in Singapore, like Woods in the Books which specializes in children’s books. Another one I like is Littered With Books, which carries books for both children and adults, so there’s something for Toby and myself. Both stores have a very relaxed and warm vibe, which just makes the shopping and reading experience so much more pleasurable.
What movies do your children like to watch, is there one from your childhood you would love to show them?
My son Toby just loves Thomas the Tank Engine. Currently, he doesn’t have the attention span to watch a movie, but he likes short 10-30 minute episodes of Thomas the Tank Engine and various other animations like Shaun the Sheep that I also love. I liked the Smurfs when I was a child and have around 100 Smurf figurines, which my mother kept and stored for me, but my son just isn’t interested in them!
How do your children prefer to spend their leisure time?
I suspect my son isn’t dissimilar from most young boys his age - he’s active for the whole day and never stops! He loves playing at our local park (on the slippery slide and in the sandpit), playing at home with toy cars and trains, and really enjoys running around and just making his own fun. He just turned two and has started go to pre-nursery school several mornings a week which is something he really enjoys due to the mix of different activities and the company of other toddlers.
Thank you Rosie for sharing your lovely Mom Story with us!