In our house, the year doesn’t end when we reach December 31. It ends tomorrow. When my daughters finish Kindergarten and 3rd grade. When they have to say goodbye to their teachers and friends and leave school premises for the last time in two and a half months. Ahead awaits 10 weeks of me and them, ten weeks of enjoying the summer together, 10 weeks of adventures and ten weeks of trying to sneak a bit of work in whenever a few minutes of quiet time comes my way.
When you’re a mother of three daughters, having a closet full of children’s dresses becomes almost inevitable. Some dresses will be passed on from one sister to the next. Some will be passed on to friends and some proves to be so popular that they’ll stay with the first owner for years. Saying goodbye to a favorite dress, or maybe even worse, having to pass down your favorite dress to your little sister, can be a heartbreaking affair and so I like to try and find dresses for my girls which in some way can grow together with them.
12 school days left before the calendar says summer vacation, and my to-do list of things I need to do before spending my next two and a half months with my daughters, just keeps getting longer and longer. Work projects which need to be finished, deadlines that need to be held, birthday parties that need to be arranged, playdates and sleepovers just waiting to be coordinated and wardrobes that have to be sorted. A few days after school is out my daughters and I leave for a very long vacation in our home country and before going, I always try and sort out both mine and their wardrobe.
We moved to New York with four suitcases and a two small boxes. Our favorite clothes, the children’s most beloved toys, teddy bears and books, jackets and a few pair of shoes. That was it. Everything else, our Danish design furniture, our books and art, a lot of clothes and boxes and boxes of stuff that I no longer remember what is, was left behind in the attic of our old apartment.
For a long time, we kept our decor in our Brooklyn apartment to a minimum and I guess in many ways, we still do. But as we’ve slowly realized that we won’t be moving back to Europe any time soon, we have felt the urge to settle in a bit more, surround ourselves with a few furnitures and lot of green plants. All things that we truly love and which make all the rooms in our apartment functional and places we enjoy to hang out.
Last year I met a woman called Justine. We first connected through Instagram, and soon thereafter we met in real life and I guess you can say we both felt an instant and very honest connection to each other. We care for a lot of the same things, share the same perspective on many subjects and are both women who are trying to find our way through motherhood as well as life in general.
Justine is the mother of two children, Hunter who’s 7 and Vivienne who’s 5. They live in Connecticut from where she runs her online children’s shop, CLOTH which she founded 18 months ago. Here she carries a small selection of children’s clothing, all handpicked with a lots of thought and love by Justine herself.
One of the things we share a big interest in, is children’s clothing. Not just any children’s clothing, but clothes that are produced under sustainable conditions, let the child move, be itself and play and items that are of such good quality that they can be worn over several seasons and passed down to siblings. Last time I wrote a post about a sustainable children’s wardrobe a lot of you readers responded very positive and asked for more information on the subject (you can read the post right here) and so I decided to ask Justine a few questions about her view on children’s clothing and on how you as a parent can focus on building a capsule wardrobe for your child, which in the end will mean buying lesser pieces that are all being used.
I started taking pictures in 8th grade. My best friend and I joined a photography class at school, and here we did our very first experiments with visual art. Black and white pictures of each other, shot on film that we developed ourselves in the school basement. I still have those pictures of her in a box somewhere in the attic of our old apartment in Denmark. She’s still my best friend and I love that I still so often think of her when I take pictures.
My 5-year-old daughter has dresses and sweaters in her closet, that she has had since she was 3. They still fit her and she gladly uses them. Where they used to be long and roomy when she first got them, they’re now shorter and with 3/4 length sleeves, but the wear hardly shows and the fit is still perfect. I’m often asked why I bother spending more money on my children’s clothes than just necessary, and this exactly is a big part of it.
The last few days I’ve felt it. The energy that comes from the arrival of spring, the sudden sun in your cheeks and lots of fresh air in your lungs. The urge to go from hibernation to constantly being outdoors. Luckily my daughters feel the same way. So we pack our bags with snacks and water and take out the scooters and the stroller and spend as much time as possible roaming around our neighborhood. This weekend we payed the first visit of the year to one of our local favorites, Janes Carousel in Dumbo. The rides are cheap and a few rounds on a wooden horse never fails to amuse. Even my little 1-year-old Evy joined her sisters for the first time.
When you choose not to give your children any kind of religious upbringing, you put it on yourself to create your own traditions to fill out the Holidays. Little things, that will give your children those memories of a happy childhood, of parents who cared and bothered to do a bit extra, go the extra mile. Of slow days full of nice things and little events that when you’ve done them year after year, they become your own family traditions and something worth remembering.
Do you know those days where your child is too ill to go to school but too good to be sleeping all day? My eldest is having one of those days today and instead of just handing her the iPad we decided to do some crafting together. My 5-year-old loves to wear hair bows at the moment and since she’s the only one who didn’t get to stay home today, we decided to surprise her with a few new ones. And since we were at it, we did a little DIY hair bow tutorial for you, dear readers, as well.