We got a peek at the new spring introductions – bedding, wall art, pillows, and bath items – inspired by three of our fav Little Golden Books – Saggy Baggy Elephant, Shy Little Kitten, and Tawny Scrawny Lion – and let’s just say it is to die.
The Chicagoan has been working on a seriously quirky new hobby – read on to learn what she’s up to – and why she’s the least likely to be called a “soccer mom” anytime soon. Meet Michelle!
I love sleep, so I sleep as late as possible, which is usually until 7:30am – and I’m out the door by 8am. We have someone who lives in, which helps get the kids off, so I only have to worry about myself. In those 30 minutes, I get dressed and drink as much coffee as possible, then hop in the car for an hour-long commute from our home in Barrington, Illinois, to the Chicago LON office.
My daughter interned at LON this summer, and I quickly realized how much I love that time to myself in the car! She’s interested in pursuing a career in photography (well, for now – she is just 16), and I wanted her to see how much hard work goes into the “glamorous” creative side. She got to see those unglamorous parts (hauling equipment, packing up bags of product), and I was really proud of her – she held her own around a lot of different people and matured from the experience.
The Long Chicago Winters
I love to craft with the kids and am always on Pinterest looking for ideas. For Thanksgiving, we will make place cards out of construction paper, glue, glitter – I buy a lot of supplies to get the creativity going. I have no issue with mess and feel the more relaxed you can be with that kind of thing, the better. Recently, my little guy and I painted a wall in the house with acrylic paint – I just let him go crazy! I ended up covering it with wallpaper, but it was such a fun activity.
The way parents today incorporate toys and imagination into their home is different even from when my kids were little. It used to be that you threw everything in your kids room to hide it, but now people live with it harmoniously. A bright storage piece holds toys and allows grownups to live more playfully – a beige house is so boring! It’s a unique time in your life when kids are small, so you should celebrate that and feel comfortable in your home.
You get a lot of mileage out of big wooden blocks and play tents or teepees because kids love having their own secret hideout within the home. They can be an enchanted forest, a hideout to read – the possibilities are endless.
I let my kids dictate their own play, so I don’t get too involved, but I find that keeping things organized and to a minimum fosters creativity.
Clothes Make This Woman
I have to dress to my mood. Today, for example, I had on jeans, and I felt they looked sloppy with my shirt, and I wasn’t comfortable in my skin. So I went to Madewell and got a pair of faded blue boyfriend jeans and a gray tank top, which went with the jacket I was wearing. If you know me well enough, you know my mood based on what I’m wearing!
I am obsessed with the clothing line State. Beautiful Dreamers in Brooklyn is my favorite store in the whole world. And Ace & Jig is just so good.
Every room in our home is multi-functional, and we use every single inch of the house. There isn’t a single room we don’t go into every day – that’s important to me – I think you shouldn’t have a house that you don’t use. And with kids around, nothing should be so precious that you would be devastated if it was broken. I teach them to be respectful of our things, but kids are going to be kids.
Just A Phase
Every step of parenting is a phase. No matter how horrible they are acting or how much they say they hate you, it’s not about you as a parent. If you can remember that, you can get through it.
I unwind by making things. Every night, I come home and cook dinner. I LOVE to feed my family. During the week it’s something easy like tacos, but on the weekend, I’ll make Julia Child’s beef bourguignon. And the last 3 or 4 months, I’ve been weaving wall hangings. It’s such a great way to decompress, and you can do it anywhere.
The Family That Travels Together…
We take a family vacation somewhere different every year. This past summer, we went to DisneyWorld, and the 6 of us were out for dinner. I had this moment of clarity where everyone just seemed so grown-up – we were having this amazing meal, where no one was fighting or whining or spilling anything, and I just realized how much I really enjoy spending time with these people that I made.
I have no interest in my kids sporting activities – I rarely go to their games. My husband coaches and is so involved – he is appalled by me! It’s usually so cold outside that I can’t even pay attention to what’s going on in the soccer or football game.