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Philadelphia

Kids

BOOKROO BLACK FRIDAY SALE!

Bookroo Black Friday Promo CodeHappy Black Friday! The only day of the year you should really consider not leaving the house for any reason at all. Seriously. It’s scary out there, guys. Small Business Saturday is way better anyway, amiright?

I’ve told you about Bookroo before (here). We love it, and I’ve teamed up with them again to share a Black Friday code with all of you. You know, so you don’t even have to leave the sofa on a scary day like today.

If you need a refresher, Bookroo is a children’s book subscription service. The best titles wrapped and delivered straight to your door. It’s an excellent and thoughtful service for new parents looking to grow their kids’ library or those of you whose kids are book obsessed, like ours. The folks at Bookroo pick and share their favorite titles and you end up with an eclectic collection of titles you’ve probably never heard of before. Plus, the kids gets wrapped presents in the mail and what kid doesn’t get excited about presents?

When Isla and Theo were younger we got books from the Board Book Box, but this time around I asked for the Picure Book Box, since we now have more board books than weight in children. Also because as the kids get older I’m looking to grow their collection of more mature literature, specifically stories that teach kindness, adversity and empathy, and encourage a curiosity about this great big, diverse world.

This latest delivery (thank you, Bookroo!) featured two titles I had never heard of before: Night Knight and Bernice Gets Carried Away. If you’re a Grumpy Cat fan like my daughter, I highly recommend that last one. The kids were thrilled to unwrap their special packages and I’m thankful for some new reading material. I could recite every page in our entire library with my eyes closed.

So if you’re expecting, in need of new titles or looking for a great gift option for your next birthday party or baby shower, I can’t say enough good things about Bookroo.

In honor of Black Friday, here’s a discount code just for you!

Use code BFRISA for 25% off any multi-month subscription (3, 6 or 12 months).
One redemption per family. Valid for new customers only. Existing customers may use for the purchase of one gift subscription. Valid 11/24 – midnight PST 11/27

Bookroo Black Friday Promo CodeBookroo Black Friday Promo CodeBookroo Black Friday Promo CodeBookroo Black Friday Promo CodeBookroo Black Friday Promo CodeBookroo Black Friday Promo CodeBookroo Black Friday Promo Code

Style

IT’S RAINING LEAVES!

Free People Royale Flat; ASOS black jeans; Miss Demeanor linen top; Zara knit cardigan; Made By Mary necklaces

The first thing Isla said to me on Sunday morning when we stepped outside was, “It’s raining leaves, Mommy!” She was thrilled and it was adorable. The leaves are finally turning and falling and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome autumn and all its fun seasonal festivities. I’m also pretty excited it’s cool enough to wear these leather flats. They’re a recent purchase and a fast favorite; incredibly comfortable and gorgeous. A nice bootie/flat compromise. They’re on the pricey side, but I rarely buy new shoes anymore (what with two growing kids stealing my budget) so I want them to last. These are worth every penny.

Anyway, happy fall!

{Free People flats; ASOS jeans; Zara sweater (old / cardigans I like below); Miss Demeanor top;
Made by Mary necklaces (Lana bar + charm)}
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Free People Royale Flat; ASOS black jeans; Miss Demeanor linen top; Zara knit cardigan; Made By Mary necklaces
Free People Royale Flat; ASOS black jeans; Miss Demeanor linen top; Zara knit cardigan; Made By Mary necklacesFree People Royale Flat; ASOS black jeans; Miss Demeanor linen top; Zara knit cardigan; Made By Mary necklacesFree People Royale Flat; ASOS black jeans; Miss Demeanor linen top; Zara knit cardigan; Made By Mary necklacesFree People Royale Flat; ASOS black jeans; Miss Demeanor linen top; Zara knit cardigan; Made By Mary necklaces

Style

RESIST HATE: A FEW THOUGHTS AND AN ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

Resist Hate Love is Love T-Shirt to benefit ACLUI want our kids to grow up in a world where everyone gets affordable healthcare and a quality education. Where their friends with two moms are considered a typical family. Where no one thinks twice about the girl in a hijab sitting next to them in class. Where hearing someone speak another language makes them want to learn that language, not shun that person as an outsider. Where climate change isn’t a polarizing partisan issue but a recognized side effect of human existence that can be collectively reversed. Where every person has the opportunity to earn a livable wage, not just to put food on the table or make the rent from month-to-month but to enjoy life and make it better.

I want my daughter to know her brain is more important than her waist size and her hard work and opinion is as valuable as her brother’s. I want my kids to know that no human being is “illegal.” That no skin color is better than another. That their kindness is worth more than their belongings. That their lives are no more important than anyone else’s.

I want our children to be guided by a shared sense of humanity.

We do not currently live in this world I want for my children. But I believe it’s possible. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

Despite the chaos, confusion and fear, I’m heartened to see friends who previously loathed discussing politics now getting actively involved. People are calling their members of Congress, joining grassroots groups, donating to worthy causes and staying informed. I believe less in what I’m going to call the “Facebook approach” to the shit show unfolding in Washington and more in the idea that every single action, big or small, counts.

I have three of Sen. Pat Toomey’s office numbers on speed dial (and here’s the White House comment line: 202-456-1111). Chris and I regularly donate to causes we care about. We read enough news from a variety of sources to stay informed on what’s happening beyond the 140 characters dominating entire news cycles. We vote in every election (we’re coming for you 2018, however unlikely the odds). And we’re trying to get involved locally in ways we hope will have a big impact in the long run.

Avoiding politics is so 2016.

It’s this notion that every little action matters that leads me to my t-shirt and the point of this post.

My friend Ben Pinder is an artist who’s using his talents to respond directly to this new administration’s policies. Ben created an online shop called Resist Hate to sell clothing emblazoned with original designs featuring messages of both solidarity and resistance, and is donating 100 percent of the profits to the ACLU. I asked Ben what motivated him to create and sell his designs for the ACLU and what kind of impact he hopes they will have on those who wear and see them.

Here is what he said:

“I started Resist Hate for two reasons. First, I wanted to fund the ACLU because they seem best at fighting for people and groups threatened by Trump (which includes many, many different types of people). Every penny I make I donate to the ACLU. Second, I wanted to visually amplify resistance to the Trump administration by putting protest slogans on clothes people could wear every day. It can feel risky to wear a shirt supporting, say, Muslim Americans or LGBTQ rights if you’re in a red state or county. But it’s important for people to realize they are not alone in this. We are the majority! Sometimes it’s easy to forget that, so visual reminders are important. I try to keep things positive and not dwell on snarky messaging. A collaboration with my friend Jenny, of  Your Soul Style, helped keep the focus on love and rising above.”

I picked the “Love is Love” design (from Ben’s collab with Jenny) specifically because I thought Isla would love the rainbow and ask me about it. I was right. This simple t-shirt sparked an adorable and important conversation with my three-year-old about love and acceptance. I’d say that potty talk (we have our most in-depth conversations while potty training), was worth every penny.

Ben is both a working artist and a stay-at-home parent, which makes his decision to donate all profits to the ACLU pretty incredible — if you ask me. Thank you, Ben, for using your talents and precious time to raise money and awareness for a worthy cause.

(Note: This t-shirt was NOT a gift and this is  NOT a sponsored post in any sense of the word. That would be ridiculous. I purchased my shirt to benefit the ACLU and I’m featuring Ben on this blog because I hope to see his designs walking around Philadelphia and beyond.)

{Resist Hate shirt; Old Navy shirt; Gap jeans; Sam Edelman boots (on sale); Made by Mary necklaces (Lana bar + charm); Ray-Ban sunglasses}

Resist Hate Love is Love T-Shirt to benefit ACLUResist Hate Love is Love T-Shirt to benefit ACLUResist Hate Love is Love T-Shirt to benefit ACLUResist Hate Love is Love T-Shirt to benefit ACLU

Life

FAMILY PHOTOS WITH KATE LEIGH

Family Photos with Kate Leigh, Philadelphia

Way back in October, Chris and I hired photographer Kate Leigh to capture our family out and about in Philadelphia in honor of Theo’s first birthday. We had professional newborn photos taken of both kids and did a one-year shoot for Isla so we really wanted to document this milestone with Theo, too. I also have literally thousands of photos of the kids but not many of the four of us. We’ve done professional photos in our home and at a studio, so this time we wanted to use the city as our backdrop. Philadelphia is so beautiful and we loved running around the museum properties and streets with the kids. It felt more natural and they cooperated much better being out and about rather than posing in a studio. Wild (city) animals in their natural habitat! But, really, I give all credit to Kate. She was incredible! These kids did not want to sit and smile and I was certain she’d come back and say, “Sorry, I only got five photos with everyone’s eyes open, and P.S. your kids are total monsters!” Nope! She worked her magic and I had a really hard time narrowing down which photos to share with you because there are so many and they are gorgeous. She was great with the kids and it shows in their relaxed smiles!

Thank you, Kate, for capturing our family and helping us commemorate our little guy’s first year!

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Kids

THEO’S PARTY ANIMALS | A WOODLAND-INSPIRED FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY

#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party cake by Vanilya Bakery, East Passyunk

Remember that time you decided to throw your child a really low-key, chill, no frills first birthday party but then you accidentally opened Pinterest and the whole thing just got away from you? I have no idea how that feels.

Just kidding. The struggle is real people.

Theo turned one last week and we decided long ago that our kids’ first birthdays would be a big deal but then things would just go down hill from there. Okay, maybe not down hill, but you know what I’m saying. Or at least that’s my justification for the carpal tunnel I got cutting paper trees and random tiny animals and spending too much money on tree stumps and weird-looking, prickly hedgehogs made out of sticks. Which, by the way, was totally worth it because Theo’s woodland-inspired birthday party was awesome! We had a lovely day with all our friends and both kids had the best time ever.

Since a lot of our friends have kids Isla’s age I wanted to have a toddler-friendly activity that would entertain them for at least five minutes. We already had a bunch of cool animal masks (which you’ve seen a dozen times if you read this blog or follow me on Instagram) so I decided to make a photo booth. I cut triangles and made tree garland to hang on the wall for the forest backdrop and my friends at Opposite of Far sent me some really amazing masks the kids could color themselves. There were four animals (a deer, fox, owl and raccoon) and I printed them on cardstock and cut them out ahead of time. After the kids were done coloring we taped the masks to dowels so they could hold them up and get their picture taken or just run around like tiny crazy people (which they did for hours!). The masks turned out so cute and the kids loved them! And so did I! Our niece, in particular, was in heaven. She’s older than most of the kids (she’s 5) so it was the perfect activity for her and her masks were beautiful. She colored all four animals and shared them with the other kids. It was super cute.

The coloring masks are a new idea Opposite of Far’s owner, Jessica, has for her shop and we’d like to give her a special thank you for letting us test them out! They were a hit!

I also bought some woodland animal party ear headbands on Etsy. Oh, and I had a hashtag (#TheosPartyAnimals) because I obviously have an addiction to Instagram.

I asked our local baker (Vanilya Bakery) if she could make me a cake with a bunch of trees in various heights and shades of green. Kind of like a forest. The result was unbelievable. I contemplated not even cutting into it because it was so gorgeous! But of course that would have been a crime because that beauty was delicious! If you live in Philadelphia and need someone to bake you a cake, call Bonnie. Seriously. You will not be disappointed. I might have eaten cake for lunch the day after the party. And maybe dinner, too. I’m not sorry.

For Isla’s first birthday party we went a little overboard with the food, specifically sweets, and we had a lot of leftovers. This time we went a bit simpler with the snacks and ordered our favorite pizza in the city (Santuccis). We had forest berries (strawberries and blueberries), twigs (pretzels), popped acorns (popcorn), hedgehog hummus, trees (broccoli), porcupine peppers, chipmunk cheese rolls, bunny treats (carrots), caribou cookies, bear pee (beer), dew drops (water), pond punch (wine) and poisoned apple potion (apple cider).

I’m just kidding you guys. I didn’t name the food until I was writing this. I could not be bothered to make up little food signs. I was too busy cutting out tiny, ridiculous hedgehogs. My hands still hurt. But how funny would that be to offer our friends bear pee? I’m totally going to find another reason to do that.

Anyway, below are a few party details and picture overload because kid birthday parties are way more fun than I ever imagined they’d be.

Party Details:
~ felt animal masks + printable coloring animal masks by Opposite of Far
~ woodland trees cake + cupcakes by Vanilya Bakery
~ ‘Woodland Friends’ print from Occasionette
~ DIY tree garland + hedgehog garland + woodland animal cupcake toppers
~ invitations by INVITEDbyAudriana
~ animal ear headbands by PartyEars
~ light box by A Little Lovely Company via Rich Hippies
~ acorn chalkboard + wooden hedgehog + tree stump food stands + tabletop trees from AC Moore (all on sale!)

#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party tree cake by Vanilya Bakery, East Passyunk#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party Etsy invitations: InvitedbyAudriana#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party tree cake by Vanilya Bakery, East Passyunk#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party tree cake by Vanilya Bakery, East Passyunk#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo boothwoodland_birthday_party_decor#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth#TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booththeos_woodland_first_birthday_cake_8 #TheosPartyAnimals | A woodland-themed first birthday party with Opposite of Far animal masks and photo booth