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17 posts categorized "..mom in USA"

Meet Mom Hadley living in New Jersey the USA...


I’m Hadley Peterson one of the founders of tada! shop, I live outside New York City in New Jersey with my husband Clark and our three girls, Anna, Courtney and Ella. We moved here about 7 years ago right before the birth of our second. I love being close enough to New York to get in and enjoy all the incredible things about the city and at the same time having a yard, living space and close neighbors that the suburbs offer. I love art, interior design,  cooking, exercise of all kinds, yoga, pilates, gardening and most of all spending time with my family and friends.   


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 house on street in the suburbs, Our neighbors are quite close. We love it. 

Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children’s room?
I love it. I do find it all consuming, especially with so many blogs and now pinterest!


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?
I do like to keep my kids’ play areas separate. We didn’t have a playroom for a long time so their toys were in their rooms and our den. I have a thing for containers. If it’s in baskets, I just feel more contained, more organized. Now with a playroom, I like to keep the toys down there and a few in their room.


Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
Lonnymag, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, old dominos, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Tom Scheerer, David Netto, Absolutely Beautiful Things blog, Design Sponge, Mecox Garden. Pinterest.


Who do you consider is a good example for your children?
My parents and my husband’s parents. We have a very close extended family with a lot of cousins, I would say everyone in it. 


What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
Coffee, exercise, a trip into NYC (not forced, it has to be easy), just walking around, an early dinner at a great spot. Some of our favorites with the kids have been at Serafina, Lucky Strike, Blue Ribbon Bakery. 

Any books you can recommend for parents and how to raise your children?
I am sure there are more out there, but I lived by Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child when my kids were babies. I don’t really read parenting books though. 


Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ values?
I believe in letting them be themselves. I try not to over schedule after-school activities. If I feel like they are overwhelmed, I rein it in. Eating as a family is very important to us so we do it whenever we can. I also believe in trying new things, experiencing new cultures, new meals, new activities, I get antsy if we do the same thing over and over. I believe in being impulsive, if we are all in the mood for a CMA visit, we will jump in the car and go. I am a type A person, no question, so I try and break out of that for my kids every now and then to surprise them. I’ll never forget the time we were out on our dock in Rhode Island and I just got up on one of the pillons in my clothes and jumped in. The girls followed and were squealing with happiness.


What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
We have fun with Valentine’s Cards and Birthday Party invites. I have most fun with the projects we come up with all on our own kind of out of the blue. One year it was an Easter card for my mother-in-law and the girls and I spent hours putting it together. We were all so proud of the paper cutting. I would say my all time favorite DIY project are their birthday parties. My girls do a lot of their art projects on their own. A favorite is taking cardboard boxes and creating houses. 

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?
Have you seen my kitchen table? Glitter glue and paint will never come off. I think its doing it in a place where you don’t care about the mess. 


Are you a crafter or DIY person?
I’m not sure. I would say DIY.

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

Purl soho, Moomah, Children’s Museum of the Arts NYC, Giant Learn Play book, saras party perfect; no biggie; simple song blog, inchmark blog, Bloesem. Babyccino and Small Magazine and Mom filter.

What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?
I have a large plastic storage bin in the attic for each of them. I save the pieces that they are particularly proud of or that I like…I save a lot of the in-class standard pieces, but some I admit I throw out. If its just cookie cutter, I will not save, unless they show a particular interest in it. They love going through the bins, it’s a great rainy day activity.
 For pieces that are exceptional, either I love or they do, I’ll frame. I have a ton of IKEA Ribba frames I keep on hand. We have a wall in the basement playroom for their artwork and in their rooms. I also tape seasonal things that they bring home up in our kitchen.

How do you like to celebrate birthdays and other special days in your house?
We always do a family birthday with our immediate family and usually my husband’s parents who live near by. We have a dinner and open presents. The birthday girl gets to pick whatever she wants to have. We decorate the table. We also have a birthday party for their friends. We like to keep it small, their closest friends. We do it usually in our backyard. Last year for my 8 year old we did a pretend camp out and for my middle daughter who was born on Cinco de Mayo, we have so much fun with that celebration!

Do your children have friends over very often?
If yes, what activities would they do?I actually don’t do a lot of playdates. I have had too many backfire. I much prefer the impromptu ones with friends’ kids who my kids don’t always get to see. Also, my two older daughters are in school from 8-3 and with other acitivites, they don’t have much time to play themselves just together so I like to give them that time. 


What are some favorite games in your home?
Hoolahooping, Monopoly Kids, I Spy, Hide and Seek

What kind of sports do your children like to do and are you very involved?
Soccer, lacrosse, gymnastics. I helped coach our local lacrosse clinic this past season, but I would say other than that I am mostly just on the sidelines. I do think sports at my kids age should be all about fun and I don’t like to put too much pressure on them.


Are there musical instruments in your house?
Not right now. They are asking to play piano so they will start lessons this Fall.

What are all time favorite books for the children?
Iggy Peck Architect, A Girl and Her Gator, Emily Brown, The Curious Garden, Adam Rex's Psst,Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories and I loved Dr. Doolittle and Julie of the Wolves growing up, I am excited to read them to my girls.


How do you get your books? Bookstores?  Online?
I have two favorite bookstores in the U.S.A, one I get to at least once a year The Northshire in Manchester, VT and the other is in Powells in Portland, OR which I got to visit once but not sure I will get back there. At both, I love to get recommendations from the people who work there and then I buy a bunch. Our schools have book fairs, and I buy a lot there as well.  And, tada! shop and amazon for the rest.

Do your children read books online? Do they go to the library?
No they do not read books online. We go to the library once a week.


What are nice activities you can do with children in your place and what could you recommend when people are visiting?
I can’t say that Summit, NJ is a super exciting destination for visiting so I will give you our favorites in New York City. We love the Children’s Museum of the Arts down on Lafayette and can’t wait for their new space to open. Moomah is another favorite. The Highline is incredible and now with the new section open, it was so much fun walking it with the girls because my husband and I got to experience it both through their eyes and our own. The water pools, the amphatheater, the plantings and the views it’s breathtaking. I want to take them to Hudson River Park in the next couple weeks. In the winter, we have so much fun going ot the museums, the Met and the Natural History Museum. And the train show at Christmas time at the NYC Botanical Garden is a hit with them.


What movies do your children like to watch, is there one from your childhood you would love to show them too?
They just watched Annie which was a great one when I was little. I need to find the Black Stallion, I remember that being a favorite. I am curious about the new Smurf movie as I was obsessed with those when I was a girl. 

How do they prefer to spend their leisure time?
They love imaginative play. They create little rooms with pieces from all different sets of their toys. Even though they have a dollhouse, they much prefer to create “set-ups” in unexpected places, on the second shelf of their bedside table, in their play refrigerator, in little nooks around the house. They seem to have a knack for using toys in so many different ways, and most often it is not it’s intended function. I created what I thought would be a great reading nook in basement, but instead they love to pile up pillows and make a fort. 

Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?
Do and Yes Dad cooks too. He is much more by-the-book cook I would say. He is great at breakfast, poached eggs is his specialty and his Swedish pancakes are amazing. 


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

When we were without kids, Clark and I loved to travel abroad. I was born in Panama (my parents are American) and I spent time two summers and a semester in Spain so I feel drawn particularly to Spanish-speaking countries. I  have so many places I want to go with them but I do believe in waiting until my kids can appreciate their travels too. Right now, we ski a lot in the winter. We go to Vermont for that. For Spring break we go to the Keys which is just fun to explore. And in the summer, we are lucky to have a little beach time in Rhode Island and then the beautiful mountains and woods of the Adirondacks. We hike together and have so much fun experiencing the outdoors, playing tennis, swimming in lakes and oceans, clamming, camping…we do a lot.

Do you keep some sort of travel journal with the children?
I do. They each have a summer journal and they have been so diligent about writing in them every day. When we go on vacation, we usually bring a little journal for each. I stocked up on these little ones from Target that I give them.

What kind of souvenirs can they bring back home?

We usually let them pick one thing while we are away. When we were in Florida, it ended up being stuffed animals at Theater of the Sea where we saw a show. I cringed as we have SO many stuffed animals but we got them and they play with them a lot.


How do you prepare for a trip, any useful tips?
I am not a model packer. I do it the night before. There is a system, I lay out clothes, as few as I can get away with and then put them in a bag and hope I remembered everything.  But I am not sure I have any tips. I do each girl bring a bag and they carry that with them on the plane.

What place do your children love to go to?
NYC. Anywhere really with their cousins which is Rhode Island and Adirondacks. We went to Anguilla a few years ago with my sister’s family and it has stuck with them. We are still trying to knock it off their favorite desintation….its become a running family joke.

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Meet Mom Margaret from the USA...


Hello my name is Margaret Grafenstein, creative force behind Star Graf design blog and Etsy shop. I love working with my hands, stretching myself creatively & trying new things. Crafting is a passion of mine and I can't limit myself to one medium, I enjoy them all. 

My Husband and I live in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. When I’m not working, or playing with our two little misters, Oliver (3) and Lucius (15 months), I’m blogging, reading, crafting and trying to start a photography business. If you got to know me, you’d find I was an open and honest friend with a few quirks: I don’t really enjoy doing my hair, hardly ever wear jewelry or makeup and whenever possible enjoy running around barefoot through all four seasons.



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 currently own and live in a hundred year old three bedroom, two story house but we are facing foreclosure.  (I’m not proud of that because I am a hard worker and great with money, we just don’t make enough anymore. Foreclosure has now become a part of my story). It’s plenty of space for our family of four but we do wish we had a bigger backyard to play in. We recently moved the boys into the same room. That freed up space in the third bedroom, which I turned into a play room by day and a relaxing getaway for myself after the boys are tucked in for the night.


What is it you like best about living here?

I love the outdoors and here in the land of 10,000 lakes we’re blessed to have many state parks, playgrounds and lakes to visit making us feel like the world is our back yard. We’re minutes away from so many adventures; weather it’s a trip to an art museum or an underground cave we try to expose the boys to the wonders that surround us.


Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children’s room?
My husband, who’s the real artist of the family, actually chose to decorate the boys’ nursery when we were expecting our first son. He picked out the colors, did most of the painting and even a free hand drawing on the wall. I like to spend time organizing, so I make sure everything has its own place.

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?
We try to keep the kids toys in only a few rooms, but don’t fret if they mingle into other areas, as long as they’re cleaned up before bedtime. Our bedroom is most decidedly a toy free, fuss free zone.


Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
I find plenty of inspiration on several blogs, including Bloesem kids and paper n stitch. I also enjoy flipping through Real Simple magazines. I tend to be more minimal in my décor, with fewer pieces of furniture means more space to run around.  Our house is an eclectic patchwork of furniture; each piece has a story or memory behind it about when and why I built it. We do have a few items we’ve bought here and there that complete our home.

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
Oliver just discovered the joys of assembling and disassembling puzzles. He will sit for quite a long time at the kitchen table putting them together repeatedly. We are also huge book lovers, we spend time reading together daily.


Some tidying tips?  Do your children tidy up after themselves?
As soon as the boys could crawl they were cleaning up after themselves. The little misters thrive on the responsibly and it doesn’t hurt we celebrate their helpfulness with lots of cheering and clapping. Both love helping put the dishes away and we always make them clean up toys before bed. It makes for a clean, fresh start when we wake up.
The biggest thing I’ve learned since having kids is let them help, even if they do things slow or not the way you’d have done it. Let go and know it’ll eventually need cleaning again, so it really doesn’t matter.

What's it like to raise a child in your town?
We have great resources around town. The public library has free “museum passes” to local art museums, the zoo, gardens and historic places around the cities. We also attend an early childhood and family education class once a week so the boys get to play with others their age for a couple hours while I share the joys and frustrations of being a mom with other parents.


Who do you consider is a good example for your children?
I hope to be the best example for my children that I can be. Having kids and knowing they follow my lead makes me think about a lot of things I never thought I would ever have to think about.

What is a normal day with your children?  What do you do on weekends?
My husband watches our little misters in the morning while I’m at work. I work twenty hours a week at an Architectural Office as a computer aided drafter. Around lunchtime I’m home to play with them so that my husband can do his work from the home office. Fridays is the start of our three day weekend and whenever possible we like to take day trips. I like to call them our family adventures, even if it’s as simple as running an errand all together.

Tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made.
There was a food drive at our church and we attempted to explain to our three year old what would happen to his money after he gave it away. He paused to think and then asked “are the hungry people going to eat my money?”


Any books you can recommend for parents and how to raise your children?
I read these two books when I first become a mom and found them insightful: “The Read Aloud Handbook” by Jim Trelease is great for preparing ourselves and our kids to become avid readers. Also “The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook”, although we probably won’t be homeschooling our kids I did learn a few practices and principles that fit into our family values.

Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ values?
I’ve learned to make do with very little the past few years without having a lot of money for extras. (My husband quit his job three years ago to follow his dream of becoming a writer.)  It has made me more inventive as a crafter and a mother. I take joy in the simple pleasures around me and find that making messes with my boys is a treat.  We’ve turned giant boxes into forts and used masking tape to create a railroad in our dining room.
My dream for my children is that they become respectful, observant and aware of the greater world around them. I hope they think of others and attempt to help them to the best of their abilities. I try to teach by example, which means I must do these things first. 

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
When my second son was born, I knew I wanted to make a special time for my (then) two year old. We started “make a mess Mondays”, a time when we could be crazy and make as big a mess as we wanted too. We’ve done paper mache, created giant paintings, made felt mosaics, and played in the water at the kitchen sink.  I do use a drop cloth for easy clean up- but it’s a great reminder to me that being messy shouldn’t have “rules” and in turn, more creativity will happen.


Are you a crafter or DIY person?
Both! I love to craft, even more now that I have kids. But I also love to get down and dirty building furniture and other things out of wood. My grandma taught me to love using my hands to craft and my uncle patiently showed me the joy of using power tools.

What are some favorite games in your home?
The Little Misters are still too young to play a lot of my favorite board games, so we make up silly things to do. Our favorite is “Wild Rumpus”. We take all the cushions off the couch, putting them on the floor right in front of it and then jump off onto a soft landing pad. I’ve been known to bring down a mattress or two to make a wall to wall indoor pillow play land.
How do you get your books? Bookstores?  Online?
I encourage grandparents and other relatives when buying the boys gifts to get them books instead of toys. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way we’ve generously been given something the boys love, books just tend to hold their interest and imaginations long after the toys break. Personally, I have a very hard time walking past a bookstore and not finding a book I want to take home for our library.


Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food lover’ or both?
Neither. I enjoy baking: cookies, muffins and bread.  But the day to day cooking is wonderfully prepared by my talented Husband. (I’m super lucky) He’s the real chef and experiments in the kitchen, creating amazing meals we all enjoy. I couldn’t do it without his help because some days it feels like all the boys do is eat.

Do you cook together with your children? Does Dad cook?
When possible, we let the boys help in cooking, mixing and watching the food being prepared. My mother in law taught my husband to cook at an early age and I couldn’t be happier she did.

What kind of place do you like to go to on vacation with and without the children?
I absolutely love to travel. Before I was married and had kids I traveled all over the world, mostly on short term missions trips. Helping people and seeing the world as it truly is in those areas was an amazing experience. I am grateful to have been able to experience ten different countries on four different continents in the ten years after high school.  I hope to one day be able to take our family on trips all over the world.

Tips for traveling in a plane or a long road trip with children?
When traveling for long periods of time in the car, we like to leave around naptimes or bedtimes so most of the ride the boys are asleep.  When they are awake we keep plenty of children’s music and books on tape for them to listen to. Keeping them actively looking out the windows for different things also works well for temporary distractions.

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Meet Mom Katie from Walnut Creek, California...


My name is Katie M. Zeigler and I created k.t. blue designs., a handcut paper artwork design business in Walnut Creek, California.  k.t. blue designs. was created seven years ago when my oldest son was born. (Actually, it was created in the two weeks before he was born, since he arrived two weeks late and my nesting instinct was in overdrive.) Bored with watching bad television reruns and unable to walk across the room without hyperventilating, I took out some construction paper, scissors and a glue stick and began creating personalized artwork for his nursery. Seven years (and another son) later, I've created wall art for nurseries, living rooms, children's rooms and kitchens from California to Virginia and lots of spots in between.


I started out specializing in handmade, personalized framed artwork, featuring a child's name and likeness. I've now grown to offer a wide variety of artwork, stationery (including note cards, notebooks, magnets and other cute items) and apparel (children's tees and onesies). I’ve also begun the wonderful adventure of teaching art classes for children and have loved every minute of introducing art appreciation to those who appreciate it most! I also provide “art parties” for children’s birthday parties and write two blogs: one about my business, k.t. blue. blog, and one with recommendations for children’s books; my mamas goodnight blog.


Every piece of original art is made entirely by hand by me (still using construction paper, scissors and a glue stick...).  I am a wife, a mother of two boys, a writer, an artist and a firm believer that all the best things in life are handmade.


Walnut Creek, California is a beautiful, family—oriented town within driving distance of San Francisco. My husband and I met in Washington D.C. and stopped in a few places along the way before finally settling here and we couldn’t be happier. We’re nestled right at the base of Mount Diablo, a 3,800 ft. mountain that you can see from just about everywhere downtown. And our home is within walking distance of a gorgeous downtown shopping area. Where else can you sit in your backyard where the occasional deer takes a leap and, within a fifteen minute walk, be at Tiffany’s or Nordstrom?


Our children’s elementary school is two blocks from our house and we adore the fact that we live among such a multitude of families with children of similar age. There’s something so comforting about our neighborhood – the children can walk to each other’s houses and there’s a wonderful mix of new families, older couples, tree-lined streets and really fantastic Halloween trick-or-treating! There’s an air of old fashioned Americana in Walnut Creek that we just love.


On the rare occasion that we actually want to leave Walnut Creek, we can literally just pop into our car and be in downtown San Francisco, the beach, the foothills, Napa Valley, Monterey Bay, or even my alma mater, Stanford University!


I love my home and I am a constant redecorator. Not in terms of furniture, because the pieces I have mostly came from my mother and grandmother and I’ll love them ‘til the end of time. But I am constantly switching out art in my home. I love mixing fine art pieces with pieces I’ve made or the wonderful artwork of my children. One of my favorite things to do with my boys is have “art time” – we just think of a theme and run with it. My son recently decided that there really is not enough artwork devoted to mustaches, so we spent the afternoon making “mustachioed men” out of clay and painting them. These little hairy beasts now occupy a place on honor in our home!


I also LOVE to use wrapping paper as artwork. I’m a huge sucker for all things paper and I really think wrapping paper deserves its rightful place as art! I completely redecorated the boys’ bathroom based on this goldfish wrapping paper I found while on vacation in San Diego – because, honestly, who could resist those little goldfish! Vintage wallpaper is another love of mine – and I just adore taking big sheets of gorgeous vintage wallpaper and throwing them in a beautiful white wood frame. The look is spectacular and it’s much less expensive than buying a framed piece of fine art!


What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?
The perfect day with my boys would entail reading lots of books…I’m lucky to have two little book worms and we love going to the library and finding new treasures to read. More than anything, I just love being with my sons. They’re imaginative, creative, silly, witty, kind and wonderfully individual. We have a big backyard for them to play in and we’re lucky to be able to walk anywhere from our house. Within a few minutes walk, we can be at a restaurant, at a book shop or in a beautiful city park. 


Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-your-kid’ values?
Most of our parenting values come from the wonderful way both my husband and I were raised. We were nurtured, loved and, most importantly, allowed to become the people we were meant to become. Both of us were given every opportunity to become good, highly-educated, well-rounded people  - and we both want to instill that same sentiment in our boys. My sons couldn’t be more different – my oldest is sensitive, empathetic, thoughtful and cerebral and my younger son is more outgoing, outspoken…much more of a risk-taker than really any of us!


And I adore their differences – and want to make sure that they always know that we, as parents, support them and will encourage them to be whatever it is they want to be. Which doesn’t mean we don’t set parameters and have rules within our household…we definitely expect our children to behave and have manners and speak politely and respect others. Our role as parents is just that – to parent – and to teach them how to go forward into the world successfully and with kindness.

I’m constantly making new paper artwork for my k.t. blue designs business, and my children love it when I bring out my big boxes of paper, my scissors and glue sticks and get to work. I wish I could say I use my actual office for my work, but I can’t seem to tear myself away from the dining room table. I put the extra leaves in the table, cover it with a big bright tablecloth, put some great music on and get to work right smack dab in the middle of everything. I love that my boys join me in their own art projects too – they’re quite handy with a pair of scissors! At this stage of the game, most of their artwork revolves around Star Wars…so we see lots of Yoda and Darth Vader on our walls.
Perhaps because both of my sons enjoy books so much, they also really like to create their own stories and illustrate them. What great keepsakes these are! Especially my older son’s first book, written at the age of 4, entitled “The King Who Picked His Nose.” An instant classic.


What are all time favorite books for the children?
My sons both inherited my love of reading and we really enjoy diving into a new book together. I love to read to my sons and now that they are both reading themselves, it’s such fun to find them, tucked away on a couch, deep within the pages of a new book. We, as a family, are enormous Roald Dahl-ophiles. We’ve read them all, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to The Twits and, my sons’ favorite, George’s Marvelous Medicine.  My older son really loves Hardy Boys as well, and my younger son has just realized the splendors of Captain Underpants.


How do you get your books? Bookstores?  Online?
We tend to get our books from the library – we go at least once every two weeks to stock up on new books. I also love small, independent bookstores – like Storyteller here in Lafayette, Calif. It’s a lovely little children’s bookstore with the most wonderful employees who know more about children’s books than anyone I know and are so eager to point my sons in the direction of their next great literary love.


What kind of place do you like to go to on vacation with and without the children?
Every summer we visit our family house on Heron Island, an island off the coast of Maine. My husband’s great grandfather bought it in the 1940’s and it is our favorite place on Earth. There are only 24 cottages on the island and most of them are the original structures from the late 19th century. There is no electricity – only gas lamps and some gas-powered appliances and we use collected rainwater for showers and baths. It sounds a lot like camping (which, between you, me and the lamppost, isn’t my favorite gig in the world) but it’s utterly wonderful with my husband’s great grandmother’s blue willow dishes and the original antique furniture and cocktails every night overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. With no modern conveniences, no television, no video games and fundamentally no cell phone reception, we, as a family, become so much more connected while we’re there.


We talk, play games, make s’mores, read books in the hammock, spend time with our extended family, play tennis, beat each other at croquet, eat way too many lobster and just allow each day to bring forth its blessings. It’s my favorite place in the world. My husband has never missed a summer in his entire life, nor have my children. And I’ve never missed one since meeting my husband. It’s this special place tucked in our hearts that we look forward to visiting all year long.
It’s also a wonderfully inspirational place in terms of new artwork. I love to take lots of photographs of the island and then create those images in paper art. I’ve done a few of these – like “Lobster Dinner” and “Little Skiffs” and I love creating artwork from real life. Turning the realistic into the whimsical.

..k.t. blue designs..
..k.t. blue. blog..
..my mamas goodnight blog..


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Meet Mom Kim from Portland...


My name is Kim Sly and I live in Portland, OR with my husband, two sons & our large cat {Gato}. I am an artist/designer who has a passion for illustration, and I recently launched an online design boutique with a small line of graphic tops for children, illustration prints for all ages, and a custom line of paper goods.

My mission is to create fun & personal design for all ages.  About a year ago I decided to step out of my corporate job and take the plunge to follow my dream. My mom always said "do what you love & the money will follow"....Well the money may not be following just yet, but I am doing what I love! Please visit my shop here or you can also stop by my etsy shop.


What kind of house do you live in, are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you all terribly miss …?
We live in a small ranch home in a suburb of Portland.  I love our house b/c we have completely renovated it, and it fits us like a glove. Other then wanting more space from time -to-time we couldn't be happier with our little pad.


Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children’s room?
I wouldn't say I love to decorate, but I am obsessed with designing and re-designing my living space, every room. My home is absolutely an extension of my art & design passion. I don't spend a lot of money for a variety of reasons,  but I do visit second hand shops frequently & craigslist is my BFF.  My husband often says" if my wife could paint the cat she would!"  It's probably true, I am almost always working on a new project, and I'm often changing or rearranging something.


Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
Blogs, blogs, blogs.... I love all of the following (and in no particular order).. Design Sponge, Apartment Therapy, OhJoy, Design Crush, Poppytalk and many more. My favorite home magazine was DOMINO, but sadly my friends and I just mourn the late publication. I loved that magazine b/c it was the only one that featured good design, but it wasn't unobtainable for someone on a budget {just my style}!


Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?
it's a losing battle for sure, I try and do most of my projects in my workspace or in the garage, but no matter what it typically ends up all over my house. It's particularly difficult with young children in the house. Normally I look around the house at 5:45ish and start cleaning up the days wreckage, otherwise I would spend my days cleaning up.

Are you a crafter or DIY person?
DIY person for sure! DIY person for sure!  I love that in almost every room in my home there is a piece of furniture or something that has a story behind it, and probably the left over paint on our garage floor could tell you all about it.
I wouldn't say I am a design snob, but I am the first to admit that I can not stand the " I bought everything at Ikea or Crate & Barrel" look.


What do you do with all the projects your children made at home or in school?
I don't currently have the best system for displaying my children's art,  but we do have a magnetic strip that proudly shows off my children's art in their playroom.

What are favorite games in your home?
Building forts! Almost every day a fort is built in my household, usually my husband is the architect and builder, but sometimes it's me. However it's always my son's that
are on the demo crew.

Are there musical instruments in your house?

We have a guitar that my husband plays sometimes, and my kids love it! I have no musical ability, so it's up to my husband to help out our kids in that dept.


How do they prefer to spend their leisure time?
Currently top on the list of leisure sports for my children are: climbing over the back of my couch and rolling on to a big pile of pillows. Another favorite is dress up as your favorite superhero or Starwars character and chase chase chase....

Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food’ lover or both?
I am a food lover and my husband is a cook which works out well for me!


What kind of place do you like to go to on vacation with and or without the children?  
We often travel over the mountain to Bend, OR to visit my mom and brother. It's an added bonus that it's a great family city. I love it so much I even did a print of it. It's a great place to take children, as there is no shortage of fun outdoor activities for everyone.

What place do your children love to go to?
We visit all of our neighborhood parks, in the limited number of sunny days here in Portland we try to take advantage of the nice weather and frequent new parks.

..albie design..

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Meet American mom Anna Joyce living in Portland, Oregon


My name is Anna Joyce and I am an artist, designer and mother living in Portland, Oregon. My husband Victor and I have two beautiful daughters, Angelina, age 4  1/2 and Iris who is 20 months old.  We have been back living in Portland for the last four years and I do all of my sewing and designing for my business Anna Joyce Design out of my home studio.  Victor and I are both artists and  have studios at home so we can always we close as a family and still make our art (all though sometimes it would be easier to concentrate if the studios were a little further away...) I have a nanny 2 or 3 days a week so I can sew and work on growing my business.  I am also very excited that I am going to be teaching sewing and applique this summer- new things are happening all the time, we are a busy little family.

What kind of house do you live in, are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you all terribly miss …?

We live in a mid-century duplex that we rent in a wonderful part of SE Portland. I think the children are very happy in our house. We are surrounded by the most wonderful neighbors- there are so many people  on our street who love our children and our wonderful nanny only lives two doors down. It is amazing!
I think the only thing we miss is a fenced yard- I would love it if the girls could play outside without an adult being having to be on guard all the time. But we are so close to a lot of great parks, playgrounds and coffee shops that walks in the afternoon are nice too.


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

Yes! I love decorating and dreaming and watching our living space evolve over time as we collect more and more things that we love. Angelina's room is a constant struggle to keep organized, but I try to just let her have all of her things and remember how magical all of my possessions were when I was very young and not judge her room as a "mess". It doesn't always work!


What's it like to raise a child in your town?

I think raising a child in Portland is wonderful. It is a large enough city to have action and culture but there is a very gentle spirit in this town that embraces children and parents. Portland is also so green and beautiful and there are wonderful things to do outside.


Are their any books you can recommend for parents and how to raise your children?

I really love and stand by "The Mother's Almanac" by Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons. It covers everything from crafts, tantrums, hiring a babysitter and how to cope with a bad day.  If I am having a hard day (or week...) I know that after a little bit of quiet time with "The Mother's Almanac" I will come back to being a mother a little bit more refreshed and inspired. And it was passed on to me by one of my best friends and a mother who I respect very much. And when all else fails- I call my own mom, she gives great advice and always listens.


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

Since Victor and I are artists we are always working on something. Angelina has been drawing since she could hold a pencil and really loves it. We just keep art supplies out for her all the time. Iris loves dancing and music and is not ready to sit still and craft just yet. We also take the children to a lot of art openings and shows with us, so they are surrounded by art and craft all the time.


Are you a crafter or DIY person?

Yes of course! Anna Joyce Design is a line of home goods, apparel, and design items for children that I lovingly design and make by hand. Both of my girls are used to spending time with me in my studio and especially shopping at fabric stores.  I also love making holiday decorations, cards, collages... we just all love MAKING in our house.


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

Both Angelina and Iris have a special birthday banner that I made for them out of fabric and wool felt. We also have a number fairy that comes and brings you your new number on your birthday morning! It is a tradition my mom started and I love it.


My childhood numbers were made of paper but I sew the ones for my girls out of felt, fabric and ribbon. We also say goodbye to our number the night before our birthdays and thank our year for everything we learning and think about our new birthday number and what we would like from the coming year. It is a very meaningful tradition to me, and I hope it will be for the girls as well.


Are there musical instruments in your house?

Oh yes- we just inherited this size drum set and there have been many jam sessions lately...


What are nice activities you can do with children in your place and what could you recommend when people are visiting?

We love going to Jamison Square in the Summer here in Portland. There grass for eating a picnicpicnic really wonderful fountain that all the children play in. It is also on Portland's street car line so we love taking the street car around the city and getting an ice cream cone on hot nights.


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

Both!  I love baking with the girls. When I was pregnant with Iris, Angelina and I baked almost every afternoon and it was really special time together. We like cooking together. And I can get her to peel the garlic!


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

We have a beach house on the Oregon coast where we go as a family every chance we get. My girls will be the 5th generation to grow up spending summers in our small beach town and it is our favorite place in the world to be.

{All of the photos were taken by their good family friend Greg DeBoer}

..Anna Joyce Design..
..Anna Joyce her blog..

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