• bloesem design

17 posts categorized "..mom in USA"

Meet Filipino-Danish Mom Isadora living in LA

JAGS_022710_06

As way of on intro to me, I’m a multi-racial (Filipino-Danish) multicultural (grew up on four continents) who was lucky enough to find her prince charming who is also multi-racial (Indian-German). My son managed to get our blond/blue eyed recessive genes, so doesn’t look like my husband or I. J Being exposed to different cultures has been very important; it not only shaped me, but has informed my aesthetic style and my eye as a photographer.  I am the photographer behind THOMPSON and SPRING photography, and I specialize in modern, lifestyle, family photography in Los Angeles.

IGS_INTERIOR__01

What kind of house do you live in, are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you all terribly miss …?
 
Los Angeles is a very big city with no real center.  One of the things we love about our house is that we are a 15 minute drive to most places so never have to spend too much time in the car.  We live in a duplex (a building which legally has two dwellings) but we converted it into a single family home so that we could have more space.   Many duplexes in the area have small yards, but ours is quite large, with plenty of room for our son to run around.  We’ve been happy here, but having grown up in Europe as a pedestrian we miss living close to a proper high street.

IGS_INTERIOR__06

Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children’s room?
 
In another life I think I would be an interior designer.  We’ve lived in our house for over five years now, and I have redecorate most rooms at least twice not only because my style has changed over the years, but so have our needs.

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?
 
I loved reading Domino magazine; I still can’t believe it folded. My other favorite magazines are UK’s Elle Decoration and Living Etc. and the French Cote Sud. Of course, I’m an avid blog and website reader from décorpad, to designsponge and décor8 and bloesem.

IGS8

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

Currently my son’s favorite item in the house is the bed cover on my bed.  He likes to make a “tent” under it and hide.
 
What places in your new neighborhood do you like to go to for shopping?

Since ours is not really a pedestrian neighborhood, the place that we like going to nearby is Larchmont Village.  It has a lovely weekend Farmer’s Market, cute little boutiques and restaurants.  It still retains a small town feel.

 IGS

What's it like to raise a child in your town?
Since becoming a parent I’ve actually discovered a whole new side of Los Angeles that I never knew before.  There are a surprising number of parks and playgrounds scattered all over town, and because the weather is nice most of the year we can really enjoy the outdoors, especially going to the beach.  My son is only 2 ½ years old, but I already have visions of him becoming a surfer boy.
 
Who do you consider is a good example for your children?

 
My husband is actually the best role model I can think of for my son.  He’s super intelligent yet sensitive, focused and hardworking yet gentle and sensible.
 
What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?

My perfect day would start with me sleeping in… but that won’t happen for a few more years.  That would be followed by a morning of playing at the beach, with lunch at a cute restaurant.  Then the afternoon would be fun activity like baking with dinner in the garden, capped off with movie viewing outdoors with our outdoor projector.

IGS_INTERIOR__02

Can you tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made or happened?
 
Recently my son woke up from his afternoon nap and said, “Buy house.”  I asked him where, he replied “In Paris.”  Of course it made me smile, especially as he later told me that the house was for me, but what I still can’t quite understand is how he came up with the idea of buying a house, let alone a house in Paris!
 
Are their any books you can recommend for parents and how to raise your children?
 
When I was pregnant I read a couple of books on pregnancy, but haven’t really read any books on child rearing.  I tried the sleep books, but I’m still co-sleeping.  I borrowed a potty training book, but didn’t read it… just decided to stop using diapers cold turkey and it’s worked quite well.  The one book I did read that resonated with me was “Raising Boys” by Steve Biddulph.  As a mother/woman, I don’t know what it’s like to be a boy and this book provided some valuable insights into the male world.

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

I’m a very affectionate person, so I’m a very affectionate mother.  I believe there is no such thing as “giving your kids too much love”.  I try not to over analyze myself or my parenting style.  I give my son a lot of freedom within certain boundaries and try not to be too fussy.  I will make mistakes, he will be naughty… that’s life.

IGS_INTERIOR__10

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
 
I’ve always been a visual person, probably one of the reasons I’m a photographer, so I love to draw and paint with him and see what he comes up with. Of course, like every parent, I see genius in every scribble J
 
Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?
 
With painting, I like to do it outdoors on a blanket. It’s nice to get the fresh air and that way there’s no paint on furniture.  When inside I like to do it on the floor on a large office plastic mat.  It’s intended for a desk, but we use it as a “get dirty” play surface.
 
Are you a crafter or DIY person?

I’m both.  I got myself my first cordless drill when I was eighteen, so I’m definitely not afraid of getting dirty; I’ve re-upholstered flea-market furniture, rewired thrift store lamps. I also love to make things whether jewelry, or personalized stationery and custom wrapping paper.  I just wish I were better at sewing.

IGS_INTERIOR__17

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

I like this place called Scribble Press (Scribblepress.com) in Santa Monica that helps you create books from your own drawings/photographs.  My son thrives at Creative Seeds (growcreativeseeds.com), they do special projects for everything ranging from Chinese New Year with a finger painted tiger, to Mardi Gras “beads” with macaroni.  I also recently discovered the blog, the Artful Parent (artfulparent.typepade.com), with some great ideas for art and crafting with kids.
 
What do you do with all the projects your children made at home or in school?
 
My son has just started coming home with projects, so I have yet to do this but I plan on creating a rotating gallery wall.  We have a hallway upstairs that is quite bare. My plan is to use magnetic paint, then use magnets to hang and showcase different projects throughout the year. I’m not big on covering my fridge with stuff.  I want a gallery space that he knows was created to celebrate his creativity.
 
Any nice decoration ideas how to hang them, keep them or use them as presents?
Scribble Press in Santa Monica is great.  Bring them a stack of drawings and paintings and they will transform them into a beautiful keepsake book.

IGS2

How do you like to celebrate birthdays and other special days in your house?
 
I love setting the table for a special dinner or birthday. I’m big on tablescapes, from choosing the right linens to creating flower arrangements.  I used to work in PR for luxury brands and planned many swanky events, so I guess I still have an event planner in me.
 
What are favorite games in your home?
When we have friends over for dinner we love to play Catchphrase, but with my son, I’d say he’s favorite game is “Hide” not “Hide and Seek”, just “Hide”.

IGS_INTERIOR__16

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

For now nothing yet, he’s still too young but soon I’m hoping he’ll start doing karate or some other martial art sport.

Are there musical instruments in your house?
 
In another life my husband would have been a professional musician, so we have a keyboard, two guitars, a bass and a saxophone; all of which my husband knows how to play well.  I’m visual but not at all musical so my husband makes sure he teaches our son how to play and appreciate music.
 

IGS_INTERIOR__19

What are all time favorite books for the children?
 
My son loves Cool Car, as well as Bee Bim Bop, a cute little kid’s book about how to make this Korean dish.  No one in the family is Korean, but we sure know what it takes to make a Bee Bim Bop!  I personally love Iggy is an Architect, but my son doesn’t appreciate it yet.
 
What are nice activities you can do with children in your place and what could you recommend when people are visiting?
 
We live near the Los Angeles County Museum and we love going there.  The grounds are kid friendly, the exhibits are great and they have a new Boone Kids gallery where you can paint and they have a great program called Next Gen that gives my son free membership to the museum until he is 18 and entitles him to be accompanied by one adult.  That’s a great way to get him to appreciate art.  We also like hikes in Franklin Canyon, or going to the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.

IGS_INTERIOR__30

What movies do your children like to watch, is there one from your childhood you would love to show them too?
My son is a typical boy and LOOOVES the Pixar animated film “Cars”, personally I’d love to show him the “Sound of Music” but it might be too girly and too retro for him.
 
How do they prefer to spend their leisure time?
At this point since he’s not yet school aged I’d say it’s still mostly leisure J

IGS_INTERIOR__28

Are you a ‘cook’ or ‘food’ lover or both?
Both.  I love to cook but since my mother moved in with us a few years ago I haven’t cooked as much.  Everyone in the family loves food and going out to discover new restaurants.  My son has been going to restaurants since he was an infant and loves eating out, especially going to eat Japanese.

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

If my husband and I spend time alone, we’re usually only away for a long weekend, San Francisco and Palm Springs are our favorite nearby destinations.  Since most of our family is in Europe when we do take time to travel it’s to go back “home” either to France or England. It’s a long trip for a kid so we only do it if we can go for at least two weeks.
 
Do you keep some sort of travel journal with the children?
 
Nope, not yet but that’s a great idea as I plan on him discovering the world.  He has a big map above his bed and can already identify a few places.

What kind of souvenir can they bring back home?

My son has already developed a fascination for the camera, so I imagine he will soon be snapping his own photos.


IGS_INTERIOR__23

How do you prepare for a trip, any useful tips?

I just tell him we are going on a trip and he helps me pack his bag.  That seems to get him excited!

What place do your children love to go to?

My son loves the merry-go-round at the Trocadero in Paris.  It’s super old-school, not one of those new rides with tons of bells and whistles.  Plus with a view of the Eiffel Tower you can’t do much better than that.


Tips for traveling with a plane or a long-time trip on the road with children?

Have something new (a book, or toy) that will engage their attention for a while.  Bring a portable DVD player with their favorite movie and a change of clothes.  I didn’t bring a change of clothes for our first transatlantic fight and I lived to regret it.

IGS_INTERIOR__08

Thank you very much Isadora!

..Thompson and Spring photography..

..Thompson and Spring photography blog..

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 8 Bloesem loves comments

Meet American mom Carina living in Rhode Island...

Please meet Carina Schott, founder of fashion label Nonchalant Kids and the gorgeous webshop NonchalantMom. Carina lived and worked in Manhattan for a long time, but when her eldest son Sander was born it was time for her and her husband to move to Rhode Island ...

Carina12

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

We really LOVE our home, when we finished all of our renovations someone said to us "okay so what would you change?" and I said NOTHING, I really love it all! It's such a friendly place and honestly whenever anyone comes over here they are just drawn to stay! There is a lot of light and openness with the outdoors/indoor that it's great for kids and everyone!

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

Not really, sometimes I find something at the flea market, bring it home and it invites us to change the entire room. This just happened with a new rug I brought home from the local thrift shop... we changed the whole house!.. cut off the legs on the dining table, put pillows instead of chairs... we went crazy! The kids have been sleeping in the same room but they just decided to split up and so now I am really excited to do my daughters room... I'm in the stage where I am just collecting stuff right now (my favorite part!) My husband is better at implementation.

Carina

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

Your blog of course! it's always so inspiring! I used to love World of Interiors but now I think it's not so inspiring anymore... I can get really attached to an image of a room and live with it for awhile and then I figure out how to make it work for our home. Most of the time it's one thing or an object that inspires me for a whole room, like the new rug. For my daughters room it was a vase I found.

Carina16

What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
Our Ligne Roset-Togo sofa.. it's their favorite thing in the whole house! maybe even over the toys because it always turns into a great tent, or slide, or hut...

What places in your new neighborhood do you like to go to for shopping?

We have some good thrift shops, I had a bad day last week and I thought "I am going to stop into the thrift shop and find an treasure", that's when I found the rug!

Bloesem-small-6

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

It's a small town so its amazing how things get around and how everyone knows everyone... this can be good and bad... so far it's been good!

Who do you consider is a good example for your children?

There is a couple that I always looked up to as a young girl, they were my parents friends but they were 10 years younger than them (my sons name came from them). They have an Island on a lake in Minnesota so we try to visit--they are very natural and loving people-hippies without being hippies-they are now in their 70's so I want my kids to know them as best they can even though they live far away. I am sure they will have their own role models when they get old enough, for now I just want them to know what it looks like when people are free of inhibitions and loving people, and just a little bit crazy too.

Bloesem-small-7

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

Every Sunday we go to Beavertail, which is a point on Conanicut Island (here in Rhode Island, USA). There are HUGE rocks, big waves and we jump all over the rocks, look into tide pools and just have fun, We all love it (so does our dog!)! Then we have sleeping bag night and watch a movie in front of the TV... we all love it!
Carina18

Can you tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made or happened?
My daughter is four and she is full of crazy stuff at the moment. She wore these snakeskin leggings from my store (by shampoodle) to her montessori school today and she came home and said everybody loved them! (I have to say that they are a bit crazy!) She told everyone that they could buy them in 'my moms store'.... She also told me today that it would take a long time for her friend 'Jade' to get home because she has to go to the 'Chinese world' to get home (she just moved here from China).
Carina14

Are their any books you can recommend for parents and how to raise your children?
No! never use those books... it's just too much information... just follow your intuition, it's all inside of you but you have to trust yourself. If you notice on my blog I rarely talk about following a book, I use tips and information from other parents and myself...

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

Play outside A LOT, love your kids and show them your love, and always feed them REAL food that you have cooked yourself, show them how to get their dinner from your garden and did I say love them...!! I think that love is the most important thing. We live on the edge of our seats, each month (financially I mean), but I don't really care if we live in a rented apartment or a tent--as long as we are together! (and I think that would make for some pretty resilient kids!)

Bloesem-small-4

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?
I certainly have favorites, and I'll do them with glee but when my son comes to me and wants me to play with his cars I have a hard time with that... or my daughters castle... ?? We made paper maché eggs yesterday... that was GREAT! carving pumpkins... GREAT... sewing clothes for my daughters dolls.. GREAT!.. you get the picture (maybe this is more of a 'nonchalant mom' thing...).

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?

Giant Ikea trays... nothing better! My husband is really a neat freak, I am the messy one (I have heard I am very lucky about this).

Carina12

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

Yes, I never used to be but I think that when you 'work at home' your time seems to work out for this kind of thing... When you work at home you have to really make a point of being with your kids when you 'play' with them otherwise you are playing while you are thinking about that email, or packing that order, you see what I mean. I also work really late at night (we rarely go to bed before midnight) so that we can be with our kids! We have a strict schedule and we trade off mornings and after school with my husband who is an artist (his studio is on our property in a separate building) it works out really well.

Books, websites, local shops you can recommend to get tips and ideas for kids crafting?
I get so many ideas from you Irene!! and then Martha Stewart (I just mentioned you two in the same sentence you should feel honored!), you can say whatever you want about Martha but I still have a subscription and I do many of her projects and recipes.

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

They both have their 'memory box' and they put things in them all the time and then from time to time we take them out and look at what's inside (they are BIG boxes!) -- we keep favorite clothing, projects, schoolwork, etc...

Bloesem-small-7

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

we have LOTS of those cheap colored picture frames from Ikea and we use them for parties, projects and to give people photos etc...

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

We decorate the whole house with balloons and streamers, we come up with a theme and run with it... I like to make a cake (nothing fancy, I like to make the number for the birthday) and then the kids have a few friends over and we play games, it's kind of that old-fashioned thing...

Bloesem-small-2

What are favorite games in your home?

Making a tent is high up there... a pogo stick at the moment, my son can bounce through the house-out the door onto the deck-and then across the yard! (he even did it onto a rock the other day!)

What kind of sports do your children like to do and are you very involved?
They do the normal things, soccer, baseball and karate, my daughter just started a 'ballet' class. They both do gymnastics (mommy is was a gymnast)

Are there musical instruments in your house?

We have a guitar and my son and I keep saying we are going to take classes but not yet.... we sing a lot...elvis, beatles, queen, micheal jackson... etc...

Bloesem-small-8

What are all time favorite books for the children?
Most Beloved Sister - Astrid Lindgren
This is... books - This is London, This is Paris, etc - by M Sasek

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

We have lots of New York friends that have kids come up here to visit and we always end up at the Beach... we have great beaches here! (well not as nice as KL I'm sure!!), there is one of those beach shacks that has ice cream in the summer, we ride out bikes there... it's right on the beach... it's very old fashioned like that, typical American!

Bloesem-small-9

What movies do your children like to watch, is there one from your childhood you would love to show them too?

My son is 8 and I am just starting to introduce him to Star Trek, I am a big Trekkie and I am so excited to introduce him! It's one of those things that we have together and we can do just the two of us... I like that! I'm not sure that that will be for my daughter... maybe Project Runway!

How do they prefer to spend their leisure time?

I guess I should be thankful that they are still in that age where it's anything as long as we are doing it together. We are all very into camping right now, last summer we made a road trip to Minnesota so we went around the Great Lakes, through Canada etc. it was great! The best thing we have done together as a family!

Bloesem-small-11

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

I think that food is very important, knowing the seasons, what grows at what time, where things come from and cooking crazy thing in a tasty way so that my kids will eat anything! They are pretty good, I was macrobiotic years ago so I still try to make macrobiotic meals from time to time so that they are easy with seaweed, nuts and seeds on their food, condiments and such. I let them have 'awful' snacks from time to time but that is very seldom (they still think that you can only get Fruit Loops in Mexico).

Bloesem-small-10


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

My husband and I have always traveled a lot, and I guess we still do, we are not the kind of people to save up for years to go to Europe, we will do it in a cheap way and visit friends etc. We both like the idea of a summer family trip, even if it's just a camping trip to Maine or something like that we have fun doing just about anything. I also think it's important to travel apart, I like to go to Paris or visit family in Stockholm while my husband goes to England quite frequently to look at Art, and Switzerland for Art Basel, etc... I think it's good for the kids to know that it's a big world out there and either of us can be far away at times. But we don't have family living here in Rhode Island so we have to make plans for the 'Nanas' and the 'Mor Mors' to come here and help out (they love it! I think?).

Carina13

Do you keep some sort of travel journal with the children?

Oh YES! well... not really... each time we go, I buy a special notebook (at Muji or something) and pens and tape and ... there are big plans for the travel books.. I think last time my daughters had a leaf taped into hers (and a bunch of scribbles) and my son started keeping the hotel cards that you use to open the door for the hotel... that's as far as we got....

What kind of souvenir can they bring back home?

we collect those snow domes (the touristy thing), but my daughter keeps playing with them and breaking them (what the heck is inside those things by the way!?) so we only have about ten or so left... but we are trying to 'collect'!

Carina17

How do you prepare for a trip, any useful tips?

Both of the kids have their own suitcase and they can pack them with whatever they want and then I usually make a little bag of new things (just those little kind of toys or coloring books and new pens, etc..) that they have never seen before and that usually makes a big splash!

What place do your children love to go to?

I just wrote about or Winter trip to Disney World on my blog... but I really think that the camping in Canada trip last summer was the most memorable, the car trip was great (it could have been really awful but somehow it was great!) it was something like over 3,500 miles for two weeks! we took it easy and just had a good time! When you are going along the Lakes like that there is always something to stop and see no matter where you are... beaches, rocks, trees, rivers, mountains...

Carina15

Tips for traveling with a plane or a long-time trip on the road with children?
We had borrowed a movie machine from our neighbor for the car trip but funny enough we only used it on the last two days of the trip... when we would stop for gas the kids would clean the windows, a stick of gum would be fascinating for almost an hour... you never know what is going to come up!

Thanks so much Irene! I'm so excited to be a part of your blog again and I LOVE BLOESEM!!!

..NonchalantMom shop..
..Nonchalant Kids..
..NonchalantMom blog..

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 10 Bloesem loves comments

Meet American mom Christine living in Dallas

My name is Christine Visneau and I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband Steven, a fashion photographer. We have two beautiful girls, Miette 6 and Amelie 3. I am co-editor of Small Magazine, have a girls clothing line called Baby Bean Vintage and we just opened up a kids shop in Dallas called Little Bean.  I grew up in New Jersey and lived and worked in NYC for about 10 years. Love brought me to Dallas and I adore living here.

Cristine_1

What kind of house do you live in?

We live in a small brick cottage built in 1952. It has an amazing feeling to it and has a huge backyard, which is why we bought the house. In the warmer months we spend most of our time out on the deck drawing, playing on the jungle gym and listening to music.

Cristine_2
Cristine_3

Cristine_4

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

We live in a small house so every room is set up like a family room. Our kitchen was built with lots of counter space so we can cook with the kids and our dining room table is an old one they can craft on without worrying about the glue and markers. Our children’s room and playroom is a group effort from the whole family. It’s a mixture of art I have purchased from Etsy, Strawberry Shortcake posters, leftover party decorations and family pictures.
 
Cristine_5

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

Design Sponge, BKids, Minor Details, Fine Little Day, Nest Explore Design, Simple Lovely, Sweet Fine Day (I could go on and on!) and of course all the amazing artists we have worked with for Small Magazine. A friend just lent me a book called Paris Family Style published by Paumes and I adore the lived in but decorated feel of these artists homes. It makes you feel better about all your Ikea furniture. Plastic and wooden toys can live harmoniously together!

Cristine_13


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

The dress up box! It is a mixture of princess dress ups, some of my old dresses and hats and amazing Wovenplay costumes. Every night we sit on the couch while the girls dress up and put on a wonderful performance. Our living room is their stage.

Cristine_6

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

Dallas has a fantastic art community so we are always going to The Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art. They often have scavenger hunts so the kids can learn about each artist while having fun. We also live about a mile from White Rock Lake so feeding the ducks with their grandfather is a daily occurrence.

Cristine_7

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

Well, I am always sewing clothing for my shop and I feel it is important for our children to know that they can make anything.  Miette just designed and built a swing for her baby doll with her grandfather.

Cristine_8

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

Drawing, painting, photography & coloring are what we do most. Their imagination is so inspiring so I love to just sit down with them and create art. In the summer we crank up the tunes in the back yard and roll out my husbands used photography background paper and make a huge family painting.  My husband is a photographer so they love to take pictures!

Cristine_9

Are there musical instruments in your house?

We have a lot of toy instruments and always play in our family band! My husband is a drummer so music is very important to us. My 6 years old Miette really wants to play the flute so I scored about 5 flutes at an estate sale so we have been playing those. There is a terrific kids rock and roll music school here called Zound Sounds and we just signed Miette up to start taking keyboard and drum lessons.

Cristine_11

What are all time favorite books for the children?

This is New York, Madeline, Uncle Andy, The Velveteen Rabbit, Freckleface Strawberry, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, If You Give A Mouse A Muffin, Joseph Had A Little Overcoat.

Cristine_12

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

Both! I love to cook and I am always trying new recipes. Amelie my 3 year old loves to cook as well so she helps me cook dinner every night. Last night we made pasta from scratch.

Cristine_10

What kind of place do you like to go to on vacation with the children?

Every summer we rent a beach house for a week with entire family in Surfside, TX. It is a small, quiet beach town on the Gulf. We often go to Austin, TX for a quick family getaway weekend. The girls LOVE Austin. It is an amazing city for kids!!!

Cristine_15

..Baby Bean Vintage..
..Little Bean..
..Small Magazine..

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 19 Bloesem loves comments

Meet Canadian mom Kristen living in Las Vegas

Hello!  My name is Kirsten and I am a Canadian living in Las Vegas with my husband and three girls.  Sophie is twelve years old, Isabella is ten, and Caroline is seven.  They attend local public schools and are involved in many extracurricular activities, so this is a busy time of life for our family.  I feel fortunate to be able to stay home with them.

I love to write and enjoy keeping a blog at tollipop.  I also have an Etsy shop where I sell my drawings of quiet, wistful girls.  Having this creative outlet, in addition to the joys and challenges of a marriage and family, add up to a life for which I am very grateful.  

Tollipop aa

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 neighborhood where one home looks like all the other homes.  When we first moved here, it seemed I would get lost all the time because everything looked the same.  But I love our house.  On the inside it seems like our special world: cozy, interesting, and filled with love.

Tollipop n

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


Decorating my home does interest me, but I get so easily caught up in other demands that it sometimes seems the way my house looks in my mind is more delightful than it may actually be in real life.  Nevertheless, if you were to ask me what "effect" I am trying to create in my home, I would say I hope it feels welcoming, with lots of comfortable corners for reading, making things, and being together.  I like the feeling of browsing through an attic or an old, secondhand bookstore...hopefully my home is not as dusty as that, but I try to create many interesting places for the eye to wander.  My children often bring home little discoveries from nature, and I love displaying these around the house.


Tollipop y

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


We do not have a cable connection in our home, so we use our television only to watch the occasional weekend movie.  Also, I deny my children video games and most other forms of electronic media, making me one of the most inhumane mothers on this planet.  :)  As a result, my children are very connected to books, art supplies, and imaginary games.  I love listening to them play in their bedrooms, especially when my eldest daughter takes time to be a part of my youngest daughter's games.  Their happiness seems to fill the house.

They also love their hamsters, but wish we would get a dog.

Tollipop v
Tollipop h

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

Raising children in Las Vegas has been a wonderful experience for me.  I sometimes hear negative opinions about our schooling system, but my impression is there are great opportunities to pursue an education here.  The cultural opportunities are also here if you look for them.  We are fortunate to have some of the best music teachers I could ever imagine.  We live within walking distance of an excellent library.  There are also many places to get frozen yogurt!  The amazing desert is a ten minute drive from our house and although the weather is sweltering for about five months of the year, the rest of the time it is beautiful and we are often outdoors.  We have many wonderful friends and family in this town, so although I grew up somewhere very different, I am happy to call this place home.


Tollipop s Tollipop l


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

One important value that has guided me in raising my children is simply to be with them.  I spend a lot of time with my girls and that seems to translate into a natural respect on their part for my role as a mother.  I'm quite sure they feel how much we as parents love and enjoy their company.  I hope the love in our home feels like a natural extension of God's love, and we have many interesting conversations about making sense of life from a spiritual perspective.  
I also try to avoid comparisons in our family.  Each daughter has her own path and I never want one girl to feel she is somehow "more than" or "less than" the other girls.  I think it becomes clear, as children grow older, that they "shine" in different areas.  I try to foster an atmosphere where my children celebrate each other's accomplishments with genuine joy, since they know their interests and abilities are also important.

Tollipop d
Tollipop o

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


We are working on a hand stitched advent calendar...hopefully it will be ready by next Christmas!  I often wish we had more time for creating things.  I do keep a well stocked shelf of art supplies in the girls' bedroom and they are always making things for me to hang up around the house. 


Tollipop g

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

I like to keep celebrations simple, creative,  and inexpensive.  I also love involving my girls in the planning and execution of these events.

Tollipop k
Tollipop j

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

We do a lot of swimming, bike riding, hiking, and my eldest daughter just started playing volleyball.  For myself, I find it very important to get out and exercise several times a week.  I love to run and ride my bike...it always helps to clear my mind and makes me feel calmer and more balanced.

Tollipop-zzz Tollipop c

Are there musical instruments in your house?

Yes, we seem to spend a lot of time on musical pursuits.  Sophie plays the piano, Isabella the violin, and Caroline is very pleased to have a cello that matches her hair.  Our musical journey requires a great deal of work, but it also offers many joyful moments.  It truly is a wonder to watch my girls reach such a beautiful level of expression with their music.

I love to have music playing in our home as often as possible.  Favorite composers include Bach and Vivaldi, favorite instruments include cello and voice.  I also love folk music and my children look to my husband to keep them informed on more popular genres of music.

Tollipop b

What are all time favorite books for the children?

We love to read in this family.  And I love to read to my girls.  I try to read them a bedtime story every night...even when it is very late I will go in there and read as they are falling asleep.  It's one of my favorite times of the day.

Some books we enjoy: The Little House series, the Burgess Bedtime Story series, the Frances books (by Russell and Lillian Hoban), The Hundred Dresses, The Country Bunny,  Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, fairy tales, folk tales, poetry, myths, stories from The Book of Mormon and The Bible. 

Tollipop m

How would you describe a perfect day with your children?

A perfect day would include a morning hike on the red rocks of the desert, a wonderful fruit salad for breakfast that someone else cut up for me, a trip to the library, the pet store, and the international market for Haribo treats, and snuggling up on the couch that evening to watch a movie together with lots of pillows and popcorn.
But even better than that would be to spend a summer day with my family in my hometown of Vernon, British Columbia.  We would spend the entire day at the lake, beginning with a morning swim when we had the clean, clear water all to ourselves.  We would have a picnic basket filled with many good things to eat.  Old Dutch potato chips.  German deli sausages.  Tons of local fruit, the best in the world: cherries, strawberries, apples, peaches, pears...

I would have a great book to read.  My husband would take the girls for a discovery hike.  The sun would feel so lovely, the air would smell so good...

Tollipop w

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


We love to cook and we love to eat.  The girls enjoy working in the kitchen with me.  My husband is also adept at making amazing bread and pizzas.  Although we are very busy during the week, I feel it is important to sit down and enjoy an evening meal together.  When this happens (not as often as I would like), we set a simple, lovely table with music, candlelight, and fresh clippings of leaves or flowers from outdoors.  I think it's nice to make every meal seem special.

Tollipop f 

Thank you Kristen!

..tollipop..

..Etsy shop..

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 16 Bloesem loves comments

Meet American mom Brooke living in Dallas

I’m Brooke Fish, a stay at home mommy of two. My husband and I live in Dallas, Texas with our amazing boys. Together we run a small advertising/editorial photography business. I do some styling here and there for the business, but mostly do the books. It’s my husband who gets to do all the creative stuff day in and day out, which is why I started my craft blog, Pure and Noble.

Brooke_1
 

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 traditional1950’s home about 15 minutes from downtown Dallas. A lot of our friends live within a mile of us and that is a ton of fun.  But we also miss living in our old apartment where we could walk to local shops and restaurants and hop on the hike and bike trail that was basically in our back yard!

Brooke_2
 


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

I absolutely love decorating our home.  I’m changing things up all the time and making new stuff here and there. Because my husband is a photographer, I get a lot of really cool prints to put throughout the house and lots of great photos of the kids. It’s funny, my husband and I have a pretty different design aesthetic so decorating can be tough sometimes. He prefers clean and modern and I like more of a bohemian modern style. We try to find a happy medium. I love rearranging things too; it gives the room a completely different feel. The kids’ rooms are a bit of a challenge for me because I’m a bit of a neat freak. I have to live with the reality that I have two boys that are into super heroes and leave their toys everywhere. I try to make toys as accessible as possible and clean up a speedy process.

Brooke_4
 

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

I’m kind of addicted to blogs. In fact, my best friend sent me your Bloesem blog a few years back and it’s what started my addiction. I’m consistently amazed by the amount of creativity out there. I also love magazines and books on interior decorating. I’m a bit heart broken that Domino is gone. I haven’t found anything to really replace it, accept maybe flickr. I can be on the computer for hours looking at photos of people’s homes and interiors. But, there is something so relaxing and serene about flipping through the pages of a magazine and being able to tear out pages that inspire. My husband’s work also inspires me. His use of color and his eye for composition blows me away.

Brooke_5
 

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

Their bathtub and our bed. They love to wrestle their daddy on our bed and jump around there too. It’s pretty much an indoor jungle-gym for the boys.

Brooke_6
 

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

It can be really hard to raise children in Dallas.  There is such a focus on materialism and status. We work very hard on keeping our children grounded and in the real world.

Brooke_7
 

Who do you consider is a good example for your children?

Christ is the center of our home and really the only example we point our kids to.

Brooke_3 
 

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

A perfect day for me would be sleeping in late (my oldest wakes up WAY too early) and having pancakes, eggs and bacon for breakfast with a fresh cup of French press coffee. If it’s a hot summer day, we’d play outside in our kiddie pool or sprinkler with friends and then have a picnic. This of coarse is followed by naps for the boys while I go to estate sales and thrift stores. And then we’d end our day with a nice quiet date night with my husband. Mexican food (Tex-Mex) and a margarita for sure.


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

We teach our boys first-time obedience; to love, honor and respect others and to treat others as they would want to be treated. We also ask that our boys treat one another as forever bothers and not temporary friends.  We want them to cherish and respect one another, knowing that they will be brothers forever and hopefully forever friends. We reward good deeds with smiley faces on our chalkboard in the kitchen. If he gets 7 smiley faces, he gets to pick something special to do with his Daddy. We try not to reward with food.

Brooke_11
 

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

I’m a bit of both, but I’m trying to get into kids crafts now that the boys are getting a bit older and I have less time for big projects. I love to sew, but haven’t quite figured out how to get my boys involved. They usually color or go into our long hallway for car races or golf (which my youngest calls hockey!) 

Brooke_13
 

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

We have family that lives out of state, so I try and keep them connected by sending them projects and paintings from time to time. We recently started sending a small journal back and forth with my husband’s Grandma that include activities we have done that week. Then she keeps it for a week and journal’s what she’s done, including drawings of her activities. My oldest is learning to write, so this really helps him practice his letters. All of the school stuff gets stored in a box for the boys to have once they have children.

Brooke_12
 

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

We have two big metal memo boards from Ikea in our oldest’s bedroom along with a row of clipboards on one wall. This allows us to change artwork in and out without putting holes in the walls. We also use the clipboards for his homework like sight words and anything specific he’s learning about that month.  Right now it’s space! 

Brooke_10
 

What are favorite games in your home?

Does fighting bad guys and wrestling count as games? We also love indoor golf, Connect Four, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Hop Scotch and anything on the wii.

What are all time favorite books for the children?

Anything by Mo Willems. He’s so simple and funny. And his use of color is inspirational.

Brooke_8 

How do you prepare for a trip, any useful tips?

I like going through a typical day in my mind and preparing a list while doing so.  This helps me think through what we do on a daily basis and prevents me from leaving anything basic behind such as diapers, “bookies” (blankets), sound machines, nightlights and favorite books, toys and music. My kids sleep habits are pretty high maintenance (self created, I know) and highly energy dependant. Sigh.

Brooke_9
 

What place do your children love to go to?

Because we have family out of state, we do a lot of road trips. Thirteen hours in a car with two children under 4 can be a challenge. Sometimes we break the trip up and stay in a hotel to let the boys play and swim. My all time favorite gift and family photo is from one of our stays at a hotel in Kansas City. We were having breakfast in the hotel room and my husband broke out the camera. I never knew a generic hotel room could be so beautiful! He gave me a framed print for Mother’s Day last year. It now hangs in our living room. I love it!

..Pure and Noble..

..Fishfotography..

Thefishes

Image above :: the Fish family Christmas card ... super I (irene) love it! Thanks Brooke for this fun interview.


 

  • SHARE it
  • PIN it

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... 8 Bloesem loves comments