A Beautiful Mother’s Day

A Beautiful Mother’s Day

What initially was going to be a quick and early brunch in the city for Mother’s Day (to beat the swarm of “NYC brunchers”) followed by dessert and movies at home turned out to be one of the most beautiful days spent out and about with my handsome little family! I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful, relaxed Sunday. Rather than take the fastest, most efficient route to a destination when you have a tiny person in tow, which is what we normally do, we decided to trek through the city in hopes that Theo will enjoy the stroll all the way through. And luckily, he did just that! It’s a bittersweet feeling partly because our little boy is maturing before our very eyes (I mean, this kid could hang no matter where we go) but also because it seems like it’s happening all too fast. He recently turned the big TWO and now after a couple weeks it seems like he’s going on FIVE. Every morning when we open his door it’s like experiencing what Lucas and I call the “Theo upgrade”. Haha! More new words, new phrases, new thought patterns than the day before…and they all make complete sense. He’s just absorbing the world around him and it’s fascinating how quickly he’s picking up on it all. But…I have to admit I find myself doing the routined “camera roll scroll” and re-watching all of his videos from newborn and on, wishing for him to morph back into an infant again (even for a brief moment). Sometimes I’ll wake up at the craziest hours of the night just to watch his old clips and begin to cry. Lucas has actually woken up at 4am to find a crazy lady holding her iPhone and sobbing beside him. LOL! He’ll always be my little baby. Oh and by the way, I should mention that after becoming a mom I’ve noticed that my emotions have reached an all-time high. I think I’ve always been a pretty emotional person, but now, the tears…oh man it really doesn’t take much. As I’m typing these words I’m already getting that ball-stuck-in-your-throat feeling. Yes, I’ve become that gushy mom type. We’re starting to plan for a second baby, but when all you’ve known for the past two years was being a mommy to ONE incredible little person, the idea of loving another seems unfathomable. Any moms out there know where I’m coming from? Regardless I welcome more babies with open arms!

I digressed again as I normally do when I think about Theo. Getting back to this awesome day – we walked all over downtown, taking many, MANY pictures along the way. Below is a little photo overload (prepare to be bombarded), but this is not even a fraction of the amount we took. I used to take New York City for granted and would barely look up or around to enjoy the views. Back then my only concern was getting from point A to point B. As I’m getting older, I find myself appreciating simple, yet beautiful things. Flowers, for instance! Put me in a flower shop and leave me in a botanical garden and I’m set for the entire day. This is pretty much why I chose to brunch at The Butcher’s Daughter in the West Village – my pick firstly because I was attracted to their gorgeous displays of greenery and antiques, and secondly because of their menu. If you’re into vegetarian dishes like us, you’ll love this place. And if you’re all about that “plant life”, even more so you should give it a try. I’m already contemplating a DIY project in our future home and assembling a huge “plant boat” installation suspended over our dining area (scroll down and you’ll see what I mean).

An entire building covered in greenery – is there anything more comforting to the eyes?

(above: floral dress by Uterqüe, wedge espadrilles by Castañer, vintage rattan purse)

Eeeeeeyyy, it’s Theo! Our two year old boy who is often mistaken as a five year old, according to many passersby.

Major *heart eyes* the moment I saw this plant installation above!

The two greatest loves of my life, sitting right over there.

It’s almost as though I’ve completely forgotten how beautiful New York City can be. The character, the charm. And for a second the thought of moving to the West Village, “making it work” in some tiny apartment creeped in our heads.

Spotted a basket of doggies – now I ask again…is there anything more comforting?

A pitstop for lattes at another charming favorite, Buvette.

Strolling around this big city with my little man, who in my eyes will always and forever be my baby. He made me a mommy for the first time and for that I’m eternally grateful for my “Teo Teo”! And of course, so thankful and blessed to have the MOST AMAZING husband and daddy (and huge role model for Theo) by my side.

Hope you all had a wonderful and memorable Mother’s Day with your loved ones!

xo,

Lauren

In Progress: Mini Bedroom Makeover

In Progress: Mini Bedroom Makeover

Over the past few weeks our apartment has been undergoing a ‘mini purge’ and I’ve been dedicating time here and there towards decluttering our space. There’s been an accumulation of unnecessary stuff over the years, but what a refreshing feeling it brings to be able to donate/sell items and simply minimize each room! At the moment, I’m working on my closet and our bedroom, which needs the most attention. The closet in particular looks a little horrifying right now (I’m even scared to go in there), so I’ll save a photo of that for a later post. While reorganizing I’ve also been sifting through so many clothes that are either too small or too big on me now and lots, LOTS of shoes/accessories that I’ll be posting on my Poshmark closet this week. After having a baby it seems like my body just morphed into an entirely different human shape, feet included. LOL! Any moms out there know what I mean? Anyway, everything in our home at the moment is a complete work in progress, but I wanted to share with you some areas of our bedroom that have recently undergone a slight revamp.

First off, we removed our enormous tufted headboard/footboard and opted for a simpler, pared-down look, keeping only our mattress and boxspring. The upside was much more floor space and the ability to move the bed alongside the floor-to-ceiling window. At first I actually attempted moving the entire bed (headboard and all) by the window, which just looked so wrong and extremely awkward. I was trying to be optimistic. Basically imagine a beam of natural light through a small tunnel and then closing it off with a brick. Haha! That’s pretty much what happened – the bed was so tall and wide that it didn’t stand a chance, even against a giant window. Once the unit was removed, a calm and relaxing atmosphere instantly set in and we were left with so many more options on how to rearrange the room. And lately I’ve been spending much more time in there simply because of the calm feeling it brings. Even Theo’s loving the new rearrangement – in the mornings when I take him out of his crib his new routine before breakfast is picking up his favorite truck, toy shark and a few legos and heading towards our bedroom for a little early playtime. And now that the bed is set lower to the floor it’s easier for him to climb up on his own. Bonus!

(Wayra throw pillow by Mae Woven)

Since the room is currently our favorite space we’ve also been spending more evenings there after dinner, reading books and having our dedicated story time with Theo on the bed. This called for a little more lighting but instead of adding another floor or table lamp, I thought to make it a little fun with these super affordable frosted, string ball lights (above). I’m one of those people who love the look of white christmas lights all year long (Lucas too) so this was the perfect addition.

A few favorite homey things that I’ll never grow tired: plants, dried flowers (and fresh ones, of course), fedoras and vintage straw baskets/bags. As much as I enjoy decluttering I can be a total hoarder when it comes to these. For the baskets, Salvation Army has become a little piece of heaven. That black and white frame on the corner above is a portrait of Françoise Hardy who looks over us day and night. I’m planning for Jane Birkin to join along soon and watch over us from the other side. 😉

Another obsession of mine are cameras, and if I had all the money in the world there would be a shelf dedicated to an awesome camera collection from all eras (currently on the hunt for an antique one, possibly a Rolleiflex). While I usually shoot with an Olympus E-PL7 I rediscovered this little one at the bottom of my camera bag and I’m still in love (Sony DSC-RX100).

Lucas has been collecting loads and LOADS of books over the years and literally reads all of them. He never ceases to amaze and inspire me. And now Theo’s on board with his own collection. It’s one area we don’t really put any limit on when it comes to spending, and definitely not something we throw away regardless of how much decluttering we go through. Oh and that charm bracelet is my little favorite from Merci in Paris – have to give a little shoutout. 🙂

Only recently did I realize the amount of dried baby’s breath I have lying around in almost every corner of our apartment.

By the way, it’s May and I still find myself switching from a tank to a t-shirt to a cardigan on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. It would be nice if this New Jersey weather would make up its mind.

Quick Theo cameo! This was taken the other morning during our “pre-breakfast play”. It’s become a regular thing in our bedroom. I think it’s kind of amazing how a simple rearrangement of furniture can totally change your perspective in a good way, and I’m one of those who thrive on change even in the simplest of settings. I’m loving every bit of our bedroom makeover and can’t wait to show you more once it’s all nice and tidy. There is literally another side to the room that’s still in need of some cleaning up. Stay tuned!

 

xo, Lauren

NYC LOVE

NYC LOVE

A special night out with my love are few and far between these days when you have a toddler running around. But thankfully, my family came to the rescue to watch Theo while we spent much of the day and evening in NYC…and oh, what a beautiful time we had! Before being a mom I used to take for granted our walks through the city, the nights we spent scrolling through Yelp to scope out the next “must see” restaurant and actually hopping on the train to try it out the same night on a whim. After work hours, time was all ours and we spent it exactly as we wished. Nowadays, going out for drinks with friends or meeting up on Friday nights after work in the city seems like a distant memory. To make a night for ourselves requires a little advanced planning ahead of time and coordinating with others’ schedules. But…I wouldn’t want it any other way.

On this lovely day, Lucas and I strolled around everywhere and anywhere while I babbled incessantly about my newfound love and appreciation for Manhattan – if anyone else was with me they’d instantly see how often I venture out without a little boy in tow. Suddenly the city was like walking through Paris and Lucas found it all very amusing. We had an early dinner at The Standard Grill, where everything just tasted amazing. I’m still not sure if that was my “OMG, I just love everything about NYC” smitten self talking that day or not, but nevertheless, I enjoyed every second. As we sat sipping our drinks, waiting for dessert, I texted my best friend telling her we were out on a date just the two of us and that “I feel reborn” LOL. To which she replied, “Get it girl.”  – safe to say I get really excited about the little things way too easily at times. And of course naturally, after dinner, I made him my designated photographer for the next 20 minutes shooting outside in the Meatpacking. That part was inevitable. Oh how I love him so! We spent the next couple of hours walking, talking about the deep questions of life, a little bar-hopping and me having to stop and admire EVERY flower shop along the way before making it to our show: A Sunday in the Park with George starring Jake Gyllenhaal. It was my little belated birthday gift to him (and maybe me too)! Never a dull moment when we’re together.

No pics of the food, I’m afraid, because we ate it too quickly – happens to us all the time! I noticed a trend on my camera roll whenever we eat out. Lots of “restaurant ambiance” snaps but rarely any shots of the food we order. But on a happy note, the dishes were good…really, really good.

(Wearing: Vintage Etienne Aigner trench coat, Zara eyelet top and boots, Levi’s jeans, weaved bag from Provence)

By the way, it may not look like it but I’m actually quite happy in this picture. The ‘itis’ though was setting in.

Our Home: Theo’s Mini Room Tour

Our Home: Theo’s Mini Room Tour

Thanks to parenthood, I’ve grown to love (okay more like obsess over) children’s interior decor. When Theo was born we moved from our one-bedroom apartment into my mom’s house for a few months. And although we had an extra room to use as a nursery, it was pretty much co-sleeping the whole way through. Being a first-time (rather overly-anxious) mom, my entire focus was on him. Even with all the help my family offered, it was difficult to multi-task, let alone think about decorating. Even taking the time for a proper shower/blow dry/makeup session while they watched Theo was an incredible feat in itself!  I just couldn’t let him out of my sight. During our entire stay his “nursery” became more like the changing room / storage space unit up until it was time to find our new place.

When Theo was six months old we moved into our new two-bedroom apartment. It was there that my inner “mommy-zilla decorator” self slowly emerged. And I’m still having fun playing this role now! The space I envisioned for him was something modern and cool, yet cozy and inviting. Monochromatic in a sense with unexpected pops of color. I pulled lots of inspiration from many stunning Scandinavian kids’ rooms, and now with Theo recently turning the BIG 2, his room is starting to look less baby and more boy-ish. It’s heart-wrenching and exciting all at the same time! I guess his space has become more like a fun, ongoing project with little tweaks here and there.

The most recent addition we made was a series of wall shelves for his books. At first we installed one small shelf unit, displaying the books like picture frames. We noticed him gravitating towards those books more so than the ones displayed sideways on a traditional bookshelf. He even seemed more interested in that little ‘book nook’ than his toy bins. That gave me the idea to dedicate an entire chunk of wall space from top to bottom, displaying all of his books using MOSSLANDA picture ledges from IKEA – pretty much the best purchase decision we’ve made in terms of decor ideas! From morning until night, whenever he wakes up or pops into his room those shelves are the first thing he reaches for. We also created a little reading corner using IKEA’s Stuva benches. Again, another great buy especially if you’re on a budget! An area dedicated to reading time, while providing loads of storage space for toys, clothes, etc.

Scroll down to see more room details. And stay tuned for more ‘sneak peek posts’ of his space coming up!

Above: that’s his roommate, Miffy – also a big fan of the bookshelves.

Above: Theo’s custom silhouette with curls and all, thanks to A Family Print Shop. It was so precious to have something like this framed – serves as a true keepsake for your little one(s).

Above:  A custom banner from Matriarch Handmade  – there’s something quite special about buying handmade items from small businesses. The quality and attention to detail is beautiful.

Above: Bunting garland by Numero 74 from my FAVORITE SHOP, Smallable

Above:  Racing Car by Vilac, gifted from his uncle Thiago. We adore its classic, timeless look – a toy that Theo can pass down

Above: Wooden Noah’s Ark Toy by The Little White Company, gifted from grandma

Above: Awesome President Block Set, gifted from friends

Above: Hand carved animals by Ostheimer Wooden Toys, from dad

Above: Tyrannosaurus Animal Kit, from uncle Thiago