17 posts categorized "..mom in USA"

Mom Story: Mimi from Hello Shiso

Opening pic

Mimi from hello shiso

Hi, I’m Mimi and I live in Berkeley, CA with my husband and two kids – Otis (7) and Bee (4).  I’m the owner and designer of hello shiso, which makes accessories for kids. We’ve mostly been making hair accessories for girls, but I would love to make bibs and bags for girls AND boys soon.  

I write a blog shisomama, where I post pictures of my kids on Fashion Show Sunday, and I’m an avid user of Pinterest

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here, or is there anything you find lacking, or would like to change?

We live in a Craftsman-style house built in 1906, and there had only been one owner in this house before we moved in (he moved in when he was 6!). It was a mess and really needed a lot of work when we bought it, so we were able to update it and make it what we needed, including a kid-friendly backyard full of fruit trees. We added a backyard studio a few years ago, and it’s been really wonderful having a space so close to home for my business.

Neighborhood pic

What do you like best about living there?

I love that everywhere I look, I see memories that we’ve built as a family. And I truly love our neighborhood – we all know each other (street parties and BBQs are common, and there have been many jumpy houses rented) and kids are always on the street, traveling in packs. You can’t walk down the street without stopping to chat. 

Do you like to spend time decorating your home, and your children’s room?

I love it! I just wish I had more time for it. I’ve got a long list of projects that I’d like to get to soon, and the list just gets longer and longer.

Kids'-room-pic

Do you keep your children’s play area separate, or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

The kids have a play room, which started out as a playroom/studio until I got kicked out and we built a studio in the backyard. But the kids play all over the house and in the yard. 

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?

I’m a little bit obsessed with Pinterest. I also love Design Sponge, Remodelista and A Merry Mishap, among a million other blogs that I don’t have time to read. And I love Japanese books and magazine, which I buy when I’m in Taiwan – they always have great styling.

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?

Cardboard boxes, if you can believe it. Every box gets pulled out of the recycling and co-opted for play. After a while, I can’t take it anymore and recycle a few while they’re at school, but then more show up.

Cardboard box pic

Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?

Unfortunately for my children, clutter makes me crazy! Recently, we borrowed a neighbor’s policy of getting rid of the things that the children do not clean up, and it’s been somewhat effective. But we all try to tidy up and do chores like laundry folding together, and we’re all trying to be better about putting things away as soon as we’re done with them.

What places in your neighborhood do you like to shop at?

One of the reasons we bought our house is because we’re within walking distance of so many great stores and restaurants.  We’re definitely regulars at  Elmwood Café, which used to be an old fashioned soda fountain and pharmacy.  The new owners have continued the tradition with homemade sodas.  They’re also right next to our beloved bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway, and you can peek into the bookstore from the café.

Elmwood cafe pic

What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?

We start the day off with something relaxing, like a leisurely breakfast or a trip to the farmer’s market, continue with something fun like a hike or bike ride and finish off by hanging out and having dinner with friends. With no fighting or whining.

Park pic

What is a normal day with your children? What do you do on the weekends?

Weekdays can be a bit chaotic with carpools, play dates, activities and a little bit of “alone time” with me for each kid, but we are often lucky enough to have our weekends look like our idea of a perfect day. Though occasionally with more whining and bickering. And every Sunday, we do Fashion Show Sunday, where one or both of the kids gets dressed up and we take pictures. We’ve been doing it since Otis was teeny, and it’s usually good for a few laughs. My family always looks forward to seeing the pictures.

Fashion show sunday pic

Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ advice?

I think you have to do what feels right to you and your family.  I always tell my kids “Different rules for different families” and I feel that’s true in so many ways.  So much depends on what kind of parent you are and what kind of kids you have, and I try really hard not to judge other people’s choices. 

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?

We love to make art together, as well as cook and garden. Lately, Otis has also been interested in sewing, and it’s been fun watching him try something new which requires so much patience and concentration. He’s very proud of his projects.

We always take sketchbooks and pens when we go out. I have a little packet filled with thin sketchbooks that is always ready to go – it helps us kill time when we’re waiting. Otis also loves to make word puzzles of all kinds.

Making art pic

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

I love DIY!  I always feel like if I just had enough time, I could figure out how to do just about anything.  I’ve made a giant homasote board and a chalkboard art table for the kids’ playroom, and my husband made a fort for the kids in the backyard. The DIY to-do list is long.

Otis's cape pic

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home, or in school?

We have a huge stack which keeps growing, even though I try to go back periodically and weed some out.  I’ve also been trying to take pictures instead, which is also good since then I can show them to family that live far away.  I’m so sentimental, so it’s really hard!

Artworks pic

How do you like to celebrate birthday's and other special days in your house?

I love traditions and it seems like most traditions around here are celebrated with food.   For birthdays, we always eat noodles, which is a Chinese tradition. The birthday boy or girl gets to choose whether we eat the Chinese noodles which I grew up with, or spaghetti and meatballs, which is our new tradition. We usually throw parties for the kids’ birthdays, and last year for my husband’s 40th birthday, we had a pig roast, which was amazing and completely memorable.

Birthday pic

Do your children have friends over often? If yes, what activities do they do?

YES! I try not to pack my children’s schedules with too many activities, since I feel it’s such a luxury of childhood to be bored and to create fun with friends. Luckily, there are often impromptu play sessions with neighbors, and we’re almost always happy to have kids over to play. They stream in and out of the house, and create amazing games. There are many lemonade stands, and the occasional yard sale.

Play date pic

How do you buy your books?

We love our local bookstore, and we receive a lot of wonderful books as presents. Luckily, our public library is very close, so we visit every week or two. We are discovering how wonderful it is to have knowledgeable book sellers and librarians, who always give us such wonderful advice.

Library pic

What are some nice activities you can do with children in your area, and what would you recommend when people are visiting?

We have amazing playgrounds in Berkeley, plus some great parks where families can take hikes together. We also love going to our local farmer’s market (there are so many in the Bay Area) – ours always has live music and kids playing in the creek, whether there’s water or not. If we’re ambitious, we go to a museum – the Exploratorium in SF is one of our favorites. 

Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?

Both! I used to be completely obsessed with food, but starting with my first pregnancy, when I was sick for 9 months, I became less interested.  Isn’t that sad?  Even though I’m not dreaming about the next meal in the middle of eating one anymore, I still love to cook for friends. 

Cooking pic

Do you cook together with your children? Does Dad cook?

I do try to cook with the children, which they love. My family has also slowly been teaching the kids to make their favorite foods, including dumplings. I do most of the cooking in the household, though my husband is an excellent pancake maker. Lately we’ve been doing a food exchange with our neighbors (so we cook for them one night, and they cook for us one night) and it’s been really great – I cook one less meal, and it’s also such a treat to eat by someone else’s palate. 

Where would you like to go on vacation - with or without your children? 

I try to take the kids back to Taiwan every summer. I have a lot of family there, and it’s important to me that they get the family time, the culture and the language. I just wish it wasn’t so hot! Some times we take trips to other countries in Asia with my family.   

My husband and I are dreaming about the day we can take a nice, long trip by ourselves. I’d love to go back to Paris, which I love!

Beach pic

What are your tips for traveling in a plane or on a long road trip with your children?

I always search for small, portable items and fill their backpacks with these toys and a special snack or two. I’ve heard of wrapping each toy like a present, and I think I’m going to try that this summer.  We also have an iPod filled with music and especially audio books. We also bring books, though I think we might have to move our son to a Kindle pretty soon. 

What a lovely Mom Story, thank you Mimi for sharing it with us!!

..hello shiso

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 1 Bloesem loves comments

Mom Story: Abigail from aewilder

A1

My name is Abigail Wilder. My husband and I live in Louisville, KY with Baby Jesus and The Gerber Baby, nicknamed so because we still wake up and gawk at how awesome our kids are. In real life their names are Luke (5) and Lucy Wren (3). I’m a part time children’s minister. Another part of my time is spent sewing for my Etsy shop aewilder, and the rest of my time is spent chasing kids and chickens, laughing with my husband, and drinking coffee.

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here, or is there anything you find lacking, or would like to change?

We live in a 6oish year old house that is actually smaller than the one bedroom apartment we lived in before we had children. It’s adorable and yellow! Evidently houses in the 50’s were built without foyers or shower heads because our front door leads you right into our living room and the first shower head was installed in 2006.

A2

What do you like best about living there?

I love, love, love this house.  The best parts are the ginormous back yard, the arched entryways, the wood floor, and the street on which we live.We’ve also loved that we’ve developed relationships with neighbors. There’s a clown caddy-cornered to us who isn’t afraid to get his mail in full costume, and there are Germans behind us who have us over for Raclette.

Do you like to spend time decorating your home, and your children’s room?

To be honest, my husband is more of the decorator. It kills me! We work well together though. I have a knack for collecting cool stuff and he has a knack for knowing where it should go.

A3

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?

Lucy spends a lot of time playing music on an old record player my husband bought and restored for my birthday. Luke has a passion for the front porch because it lets him keep an eye on the comings and goings of everyone in the neighborhood. By the time he was 4 he could tell you which neighbor drove which car. Inside, though, he’s usually on the couch either in a hideout made from the cushions, or flipping over it during an important “spy training exercise.”

Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?

I was a Montessori teacher before I had children and a principle of the classroom was that you had a place for everything so the children always knew where things went; nothing was arbitrary. I’ve carried this into our home and it’s indispensable. When they’re not looking I will trade old toys out for things they haven’t seen in a while. They have both developed pretty good habits of putting things away before they get new material out, and my husband and I emphasis how cleaning up your things is done out of consideration because you share the house with others.

A4

What is it like to raise a child in your town?

Our suburb is amazing. There is a tiny “downtown” area with a coffee shop, ice cream shop, craft store, and park all within walking distance. In the summer the town holds outdoor concerts and picnics.

What is a normal day like with your children? What do you do on the weekends?

Our busy days are busy, but our slow days are very slow. My husband and I both work, but we also share the task of childcare. I work three days a week outside of the home before he goes into work for a night shift. Our “weekends” end up being on Sunday’s and Monday’s when we keep our lives simple and playful as a family. We bake, we do art, and we hike through area parks. The one part of every day that remains consistent is the family quiet time each afternoon. Lucy sleeps, Luke runs off to his room with a pile of books, and my husband and I take a deep breath with an hour to ourselves.

A5

Tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made.

The other day as Luke was climbing into the car for some errands he said, “Mom, how ‘bout we skip the store and just go out for coffee so you can tell me about when you were a girl.” I mean, who says that?  It makes sense, now, doesn’t it, why we call him Baby Jesus.

Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-children’ advice?

Ha!  No.  We’re all doing our best to bring up these amazing SMALL PEOPLE.  I think mothers and dads around the world are doing fantastic things for their families. All we can do is our best. I had awful postpartum depression with both of these guys and it put me in a funk that tried to convince me the family would be better without me. I see now that each day with these guys is a gift for me.  I don’t care anymore if we accomplish anything. As long as I can hold them, smell them, and feed them I have done all I need to do that day.

A8

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

I hand embroider linen and sew things like growth charts and makeup cases for the shop on Etsy.  I love how the shop has forced me to work on something long enough to get really great at it. It’s true what they say about things being more fun when you’re good at them. I still do most of my sewing after the kids go down for the night.

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?

I’m not sentimental and my husband and I are constantly going through our things to throw the excess away. Having children makes you rethink that a bit because they feel differently about the box of rocks they found that they’d like to see on the kitchen table. Every. Day.  In honesty, though, I do have a folder where I tuck sweet art I’ve confiscated.

A6

What are some favorite games in your home?

Lots of pretend play, Hide & Seek, and a variation of CS Lewis’ The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe that involves faux injuries that need healing through magical cordial.

Are there musical instruments in your house?

I’m taking a stab at the ukulele and Lucy plays one mean harmonica.  Luke has recently gotten more specific in his likes and dislikes and often tells me that the ukulele isn’t rock-band enough for him.

A9

What are your all time favorite children's books?

Now that their attention spans are longer, we’re venturing into the world of Chapter Books.  So far they love everything I remembering enjoying as a child :: Charlotte’s Web, Peter & the Wolf, The Narnia Series, and the Little House on the Prairie series. They have a penchant for Roald Dahl right now. I think it’s his gothic descriptions of the characters. Not everyone in those books is nice and sweet or even pretty to look at.

Where do you buy your books? Bookstores? Online?

We have a bookstore here with the largest, ever changing area of clearance children’s books.  We’re talking 25 cents! I am there monthly. My kids also enjoy books on CD.  They’ve heard longer books this way because it allows them to play while they hear it being read. We love our library and get most of our books and CD’s there.

A7

How do your children prefer to spend their leisure time?

This duo is outside in the front yard or the back for 3 of the 4 seasons. They like the swing set, the sandpit, the chickens, the bikes, the running, the jumping…everything.  We have a lot of campfires in the back yard and have even tented out back.  The street has 7 boys on it, all older than our kids. Yet somehow Luke and Lucy have managed to befriend them all in their own 3 & 5 year old way. Once winter hits they come indoors to make elaborate ramps for their cars, tall towers for demolition, or creative training exercises for spies. And there’s dancing. Lucy is always dancing.

What a sweet Mom Story, thank you Abigail for sharing it with us!

..aewilder..

*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany - tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 4 Bloesem loves comments

Mom Story: Anna from Goose Grease

A1

I’m Anna Leigh Donado and I live in Brooklyn with my husband and our little 2 year old, Simone Louise. Besides being a wife and a mom, I’m the artistic director of Goose Grease and an artist myself. Goose Grease specializes in custom hand-painted wooden dolls such as wedding cake toppers, families, pets, etc. We have two Etsy shops, Goose Grease and Goose Grease Undone, for D-I-Y wooden craft supplies. My husband, Juan, is finishing his PhD in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He’s writing his dissertation on French philosopher René Descartes. He is Colombian, from Bogotá, so our life is half Spanish, half English. I learned Spanish from him and a little bit in high school. We are raising Simone to be bilingual and bilingual education is something I never expected I would do. It has been absolutely exciting!

What kind of house do you live in - are you and your family happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?

We live in a first floor apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We have a space set up for working –one smaller space I use to paint in the evenings, and another one where we can do the daily shipping from home. We also have a studio in an old warehouse about a 20 minute walk from our house, where Juan does his daily writing and we keep our excess supplies. I also use this space for painting on large canvases when my artistic side is needing a balance from the detailed work of doll painting! We give Simone a lot of freedom when it comes to art-making, so I am most happy that we have many spaces available for her to express her imagination whenever inspiration hits her. We just learned that we are moving soon to the apartment across the hall, which enables us to have our working and living spaces all under the same roof. We are happy for this change!

A2

What do you like best about living there?

I love that we don’t need a car and can walk or take public transportation wherever we have to go. We always end up on an adventure someway or another. For instance, just walking around the neighborhood we met an old local woman who ended up constantly bringing gifts for Simone. That type of experience is really unique to the grassroots community that still lives in Brooklyn.

A3

Where do you look for interior inspiration - favorite magazines, websites, or blogs?

My main inspiration comes from necessity. Space is limited in NY, so we are always finding creative ways to set up and re-set up our home. 

A4

What is your child’s favorite items in your house?

Her musical instrument basket and her CD player. She loves the Beatles’ song “Hey Jude” and can periodically be found with her mini guitar around her neck, strumming her own rendition of the Beatles’ classic. She also likes scissors, packaging tape, glue, etc.

A5

What places in your neighborhood do you like to shop at?

I love our neighborhood because of its many cultures. One of our favorite places to go, of course, is the local art store –Artist and Craftsman. We go there two or three times a week and Simone really likes picking out a marker. 

A6

If you are living in a foreign country, how do you feel about it? How do you meet new people, make new friends? What is it that you miss most about "home"?

I’m from Virginia and Juan is from Colombia, so I guess you could call NY a foreign country to us. Because everything is in close proximity, and other mothers are also out strolling their kids, its pretty easy to meet people here. We also live in a Latino neighborhood, which gives Simone and I many great opportunities for practicing our Spanish.

A7

What is it like to raise a child in your town?

I feel blessed to be able to raise a child in NYC. We still don’t go to museums as much as I would like (Simone is 2, so we’re not quite at the behavioral level required for quiet museum browsing, but we’re getting there ;). Nevertheless, there are so many free events for kids here it’s unreal. For instance, Simone had free swimming lessons at a local pool this summer. I moved to Brooklyn when I was 21 and Simone gets to be here since she was born! That’s pretty lucky.

What is your idea of a perfect day with your child?

It would begin after a full night’s sleep. We would have to pick up from there…

A14

What is a normal day like with your child?  What do you do on the weekends?

Juan wakes everyone up in the morning. We have coffee and breakfast, and then he drops Simone off to her preschool, which is a block away from us. We work during the hours she’s away, and then at noon I go to pick her up. He heads off to our studio or the library to work on his dissertation or other projects. Simone and I take a walk and then she comes back to the house for a nap while I work on emailing and shipping. When she wakes up I usually paint dolls and have her paint alongside with me. We generally end the afternoon with a walk to the post office, where she loves to sort out the packages and hand them to the attendant. Juan comes home around 5 or 6 and then we all eat dinner together and finish the night listening to music and/or watching the news. Simone goes to sleep, and Juan and I finish our night painting, sanding, and writing. 

A8

Tell us a funny story, quote or remark your child recently made.

Simone is just starting to really articulate sentences. That’s always amazing to see –how the mind actually begins to construct through language. Recently, someone asked Simone what street she lives on.  I wasn’t sure how she would respond, as this is a question we’ve only just begun working on. I was quite surprised when she confidently answered: “I live on Sesame Street.” 

Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-children’ advice?

I would say: guided freedom is the key. Especially with arts and crafts. One of our biggest selling products at Goose Grease is our Doll Family DIY kit – which comes with paints, brushes, top coat and everything you need to get started (and finished). A lot of parent's are worried that their kids can’t do certain craft projects. They think a five year old would have trouble painting a doll, but that’s more the parent’s mental chains than the child’s incapacity! Put some plastic down, give them an apron, and let the kid go to town! The paint will come off, eventually! Even when Simone was a year old we brought her to the studio and had her painting with acrylic paint because as long as she doesn’t eat it, it’s good. I love letting Simone explore new, creative things. With great freedom, of course, comes great responsibility, so we’re trying to get her to understand that.

A9

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your child?

Pretty much everything. From Play dough to painting to cutting to gluing. Simone’s current favorite thing are pompoms – which has given us hours of play. We just got a bag with three different sizes, so I have been drawing circles on paper, small, medium and large, and have her glue the matching pompoms onto the painted circles. This teaches her color and size matching.  

What do you do with all the projects your child makes at home or in school?

We pack them in a brown envelope and send them off to the grandparents! (We have kept a few good ones though ;) 

A13

Does your child have friends over often? If yes, what activities do they do?

Yes, Simone has two favorite friends, Bob and Simon, that come over quite often. Alongside with a painter we’ve hired in Colombia, Simon’s mom, Sandra, has helped us with painting for Goose Grease, so she’ll bring Simon over and we’ll paint while the kids play.

How do you buy your books? Bookstores? Online?  

There is a great program at our local library, where during the weekly story time session, every third week the child gets a free book. We have stocked our shelves with these books! Also, my mom has a childcare center in Virginia, so every visit to her place finds us returning with an arm load of books.

A12

What are some nice activities you can do with children in your area, and what would you recommend when people are visiting?

I just discovered a puppet group that meets once a week in our neighborhood. It has been wonderful. There’s a great website called Mommy Poppins that has a running calendar of activities for kids in NYC. I get a lot of ideas from there.

A10

Do you cook together with your child? Does Dad cook?

We all cook together. Juan is really good at marinating the meat and Simone loves to throw in the spices. I once thought of writing a cookbook with one recipe for every day of a year… I think it will be a life-long project.

Do you keep some sort of travel journal with your child?

Yes, I am an avid journaler myself, and I think having a notebook with you at all times is very important. I created one for Simone to use the first time we went to Colombia when she was a year old, hopefully it will be the first of many!  

A11

What are your tips for traveling in a plane or on a long road trip with your child?

When I know we’re going on a trip, I start setting aside lightweight activities about a week beforehand. Sticker books from DoverArt, finger puppets, I think I even brought some tin foil one time and we sculpted swans and chain bracelets out of it. One time during our flight to Colombia, I had Simone color on some card stock and when we arrived we used them as postcards and sent them to her grandparents in the States.

What a lovely Mom Story, thank you Anna for sharing it with us!

..Goose Grease..

..Goose Grease Undone..

*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany - tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 1 Bloesem loves comments

Mom Story: Amy from Little Alouette

A18

{Photo Credit :: Karen Walrond}

I am Amy Turn Sharp and I am a wild creative from Columbus, Ohio. I own Little Alouette and am trying to be a real writer. Joe and I have three little boys and are busy navigating the world of handmade together as a family.

A17

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?

I am married to a British master carpenter. This sounds dreamy but mostly it means we move around a lot fixing up old houses that would have fallen into ruin if not for Joe. BUT. We live in them while we do this. Eeek. So, Yes, I love our current home as it is a charming 100-year-old home in Worthington, Ohio {village living} but I am also in constant state of remodel. It’s like the cobbler’s children have no shoes. We have lived here for 4 years + we are now finally remodeling the world’s ugliest kitchen. We have lovely rooms and then you turn the corner and it is a very sad room. We hope this year is the year that we can love our home- all of it!

A4

What do you like best about living there?

I do love the fireplace though. And the coffered ceilings that Joe created. And the dark wood floors he put down. And the plans for the secret bookcase and the joining tunneled closets between nursery and the boys room. I like this house. It will be a wondrous house someday.

A9

Do you like to spend time decorating your home and the children’s room?

We just keep it changing. We might move things around and change it up as boys change interests. We have bunk beds now because the boys begged for them and they love it. We keep it pretty eclectic. I like walking into a children’s room or a nursery and not thinking it looks juvenile, but cool. A place I may want to sit for a spell.

A8

Do you keep your children’s play areas separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

Our kids have free play rule. We have toys + books in all rooms. It is not a massive house so we have to share. We do have a playroom but they tend to wander into our living space to play.

A10

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, and blogs? 

I devour design bogs. It’s like I need a hit once a week or so. I like looking. Voyeur.

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?

We have a swing in our house and it is the best thing ever. Quiet times just a swinging!

A7

Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?

Yes. I make them clean up toys in the living space every night, but I allow them to slob around in their rooms for days on end because if you saw the state of me + Joe’s bedroom =you would die!

A16

What places in your new neighborhood do you like to shop at? 

We have a local hardware shop + a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams down the road + Igloo Letterpress is a pal + The Candle Lab + House Wine and Northstar + the best farmer’s market in Midwest! Oh my- my little town rocks! I did not have a car the first year we lived here and it was fine. Walking town. Love.

A13

What is a normal day with your children? What do you do on the weekends?

My kids are wild boys. We are a pretty high-octane family. It is loud and crazy always. The oldest is in school and the middle is in preschool 3x a week. The baby stays with me as I work. I have twin homeschooler babysitters that come 2-3x a week to help. It works but it is a challenge working form home with Little Alouette + my writing. I am already a taxicab service for shuttling to and fro to sports + school activities. I can’t imagine how the future will be with 3 boys.On the weekends we tend to be more child led. Joe works every Saturday but Sundays are sacred days off for us! Sometimes we won’t leave the house if they want to just relax and play. Yesterday we sat for three hours in front of a fire reading our library books and playing around. 

A12

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?

Don’t worry too much. Kids need to see us being relaxed and involved in the process. Preciousness is not cool.

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

Bit of both. We make a lot of art + learning projects. Like the God/goddess wall from last year. They LOVED it. Easy and educational. Read home schooling blogs to get ideas. They are the fountain of amazing!

A11

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?

Buy a plastic tub for each school year. Stick stuff in it. Done.

What kind of sports do your children like to do and are you involved?

I am a total soccer mom.

Do your children read books online? Do they go to the library?

My kids don’t have a computer. Gasp. We go to the library at least 3x a week. We are obsessed with the library. I just wrote a poem yesterday about it.

A14

Where would you like to go on vacation - with or without your children? 

Joe and I love Greece. I lived there back in the day and we have been together for our very belated honeymoon a few years back. I would love to take the kids someday when we can afford it. We secretly plan a year off someday and want to do a round the world trip. It’s a desire. It’s a life goal I suppose.We just went to Lake Erie this past summer for a quick trip. Large bodies of water make for amazing kiddo trips. It’s all you need. They just stare. Boats. It’s amazing. Kids and water. Mouths hang open. Love it.

What a lovely Mom Story, thank you Amy for sharing it with us!

..Little Alouette..

*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany - tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 5 Bloesem loves comments

Mom Story: Suzzanna from Sushipot Shop

SUZ1

I’m Suzanna Scott, a 36-year-old artist living in Manhattan, Kansas (affectionately referred to by its residents as “the Little Apple”) with my husband Patrick and my 6-year-old daughter Lizzie. We’re living in Kansas while my husband finishes up his PhD in Economics at Kansas State University.

We home school Lizzie who just started first grade and we’ve been running our home business, Sushipot Art Objects, for five years now. I have two Etsy shops that keep me quite busy and provide many learning opportunities for Lizzie. She’s my kindred spirit—a little artist, a prolific crafter in her own right and always an inspiration to me in my work. You can follow along on our family ‘n business adventures through my blog, view my artwork at Sushipot or browse Sushipot Parts which is chock-full of vintage goodies that our family has picked up on our many “treasure hunts”.

SUZ2

What kind of house do you live in - are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you find lacking or would like to change?

We are currently leasing a 3 level duplex while Patrick is working on his PhD. It is touted as “maintenance free” living, which we knew we would need during this busy chapter of our life. I could live without the faux wood trim, “popcorn” color walls and beige carpeting that are standard with rental homes such as these. I try not to think about the hardwood floors and white trim of the home we sold back in Alabama but right now it’s all about efficiency! Oh yes, and I miss having our own private yard but thankfully there are parks everywhere in this town!

What is it you like best about living here?

The best thing about this place is the s-p-a-c-e! I have a whole room to myself to use as a studio with an adjacent “den” which serves as office, schoolroom, playroom and shipping area for Sushipot.

SUZ11

Do you keep your children’s play areas very separate or do you believe they should have a space in every part of the house?

Lizzie plays everywhere in the house. The dining table makes for a great play house once you throw a sheet over it. The garage is best for messy painting projects. The walk-in closet in the master bedroom is the best hiding place. We’ve set up cozy reading spots for her in almost every room—beanbags, pillows n’ throws are great for that!

SUZ13

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs? 

I love reading the blogs Poppytalk, Kickcan and Conkers, Aesthetic Outburst, all the blogs on the Simple Living Network and of course Bloesem and Bloesem Kids! The number of artist’s blogs that I read on a daily basis are too numerous to name. My hands-down favorite magazine of all time is Uppercase Magazine“the magazine for the creative and curious”. Even Patrick and Lizzie like to read them. If you don’t have a subscription yet you need to get one now or at least put it on your x-mas wish list!

Some tidying tips?  Do your children tidy up after themselves?

As for keeping things tidy, Lizzie and I have a daily “pick up” time in the studio and playroom area and she is responsible for picking up her own room every night before bed. We tackle any weekly house cleaning chores as a family on the weekends.

SUZ6

What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?

A perfect day for us would have to include a trip to the public library, an hour or so at the park (possibly with kites involved!), an afternoon snack and tall coffee at Starbucks, a bit of quiet reading time, a fun craft and dinner magically waiting for us at home in the crock-pot.

SUZ15

What is a normal day with your children?  What do you do on weekends?

A typical day for us starts out with Patrick and Lizzie getting up and having breakfast together. After Patrick leaves for school I get up (they are really sweet to let me sleep!), get Lizzie started on her “morning routine” of making bed, getting dressed, etc. I down my 1st cup of coffee for the day and jump in the shower. We spend the morning working in the office together—Lizzie doing schoolwork while I supervise and answer emails, blog, pack orders and tackle any other computer related chores. It’s a bit of a juggling act some days but it works. The afternoons are spent together in the studio where we work side by side on the 8-foot workspace that Patrick built for us. On sunny days we spend a bit of time outdoors while I work on product photography and Lizzie plays. Most days we work in a walk ‘round the neighborhood or a trip to the park. When Patrick arrives home at 5 it’s strictly family time until Lizzie’s bedtime around 8ish. Every evening is spent in our respective office/studio spaces, as this is when our main “work” happens. We rarely call it quits before midnight.

Our weekends are spent grocery shopping, doing laundry and other house chores. I usually have a couple projects for the business that I need Patrick’s help with. We work in at least one family outing whether to the park or a local antique shop. Our mantra is “work hard, play hard” and we find little ways to include Lizzie in our projects.

SUZ16

Tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made.

I was explaining to Lizzie what a chameleon was and how they change color to blend into their environment. A couple minutes later she asked me “Mom, when chameleons sit on rainbows do they turn rainbow striped?”

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?

We always have some sort of DIY project going. A project we’re currently working on is fixing up an old wooden doll cradle that we bought for a couple bucks. It’s getting a makeover with white paint, some wooden braces and a new mattress complete with a antique patchwork quilt top. It will be Valerie’s (Lizzie’s most favorite doll) new bed.

SUZ10

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?

Most of the crafting happens in my studio. In an effort to keep the rental carpet from getting mucked up we installed 4 extra large, hard plastic office mats before arranging the furniture. This way I don’t have to worry about paint or playdoh being ground into the floor. We just sweep up our messes as needed and vacuum once a week. It’s also handy ‘cuz I can use a rolling work chair to move easier while working.

SUZ5

Books, websites, or local shops you can recommend to get tips and ideas for kids crafting?

I get lots of crafty ideas for Lizzie from websites like One Pretty Thing, Made by Joel, GiddyGiddy and of course library books!

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?

Most crafty projects find a home on a shelf or cork board somewhere in the house for a few months. They all are documented (thanks to the handy iphone camera) at time of creation so when older projects have seen their heyday they can be disposed of without “as much” guilt on my part.

Any decoration ideas on how to hang, keep or use them as presents?

We’ve turned Lizzie’s drawings into many different gift-able forms such as buttons, magnets, ornaments, doorknob hangers, key chains, etc. Select drawings are framed, displayed on the fridge, hung with washi tape or pinned to one of many bulletin boards in the house. The majority of drawings are added to a box of artwork that I’ve loosely filed by age and date of creation. When it comes to drawings I can’t bear to pitch any of ‘em.

SUZ9

How do you like to celebrate birthdays and other special days in your house?

Birthdays and holidays are family days. We take the day off and spend it together. It always involves opening presents in pajamas, a special breakfast and an outing of the birthday persons choosing. The day ends with birthday cake of course.

What are some of your favorite games in your home?

We’ve collected most of our games from thrift shops and many are vintage classics such as Uncle Wiggly, Chutes and Ladders, Husker Du, Candy Land and lots of puzzles too. Our most recent addition is an antique, hand carved Chinese Checker board—it’s so unique and been fun to teach Lizzie the game.

SUZ14

What are your all time favorite books for your children?

Patrick and Lizzie are currently reading through the entire Wizard of Oz series. They read a chapter or two every night and are currently on the 7th book in the series, The Patchwork Girl of Oz. I have great memories of my mom reading these out loud when I was a kid.

SUZ4

How do you get your books? Bookstores? Online? 

Most of our books have come from thrift shops, used bookstores, the public library’s yearly book sale and when we have to buy it new--Amazon.com.

SUZ8

How do your children prefer to spend their leisure time?

Lizzie spends her leisure time in one of 3 ways: reading, crafting or drawing. She’s a voracious reader, a self-dubbed “crafty chick” (which is always followed by a “peep, peep”) and a prolific artist who loves tiny renditions with lots ‘n lots of detail.

SUZ12

Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?

I love to cook and bake but I don’t have the time to do much of it these days. We usually fall back on the standards of veggie stir-fry ‘n rice, “breakfast” dinners, some sort of pasta meal and lots of crock-pot stews in the winter months.

Do you cook together with your children? Does Dad cook?

Patrick loves to cook. He can make a mean quiche, a “to die for” lasagna and has perfected his red velvet cake recipe over the years. He makes one for me every year on my birthday. It’s my favorite part of aging (hah!). Lizzie knows how to make scrambled eggs, her favorite pickles ‘n peanut butter sandwich and she loves to chop up vegetables.

SUZ3

What kind of place do you like to go to on vacation with or without the children? 

Most trips involve extended family events and visits to grandparents these days. Vacation days are few and far between while writing a dissertation and running a home business. We do dream and speculate on the luxury of week long family vacations once we enter the next chapter of our lives!

Tips for traveling in a plane or a long road trip with children?

Lizzie has her own suitcase with wheels when we travel and we’ve never had to carry it through an airport or into a hotel. She loves wielding it around all by herself and never lets it out of her sight. We always travel with a lap desk in the car. Our iphones and ipad are invaluable on long interstate drives or airport layovers. How’d we live without ‘em when we were kids?

SUZ7

What an adorable story Suzzanna, thank you so much for sharing it!

..Sushipot shop..
..Sushipot parts shop..
..Sushipot's blog..

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 5 Bloesem loves comments