Another month gone by – farewell May

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Another month has gone by; warm days, eating ice cream, playground trips, grazed knees, and muggy New York nights. It’s time to say farewell May. For my little family, May was the month where …
… we celebrated a sixth birthday ( read about it here )
… we got rid of a pink leg cast.
… we waited patiently for 2 weeks for Alma to walk again.
… we saw Eleanor perform in her first school musical.
… Alma learned to ride a tricycle.
… We spent more time outside than in.
… We decided that we are staying in New York, for at least for another year.
… My husband and I watched the final season of Mad Men ( oh what an ending!) and said goodbye to Don Draper.
… Alma started taking art classes.
… I picked up a real camera for the first time in years.
… I finished up Eleanor’s handmade rag doll (see it here)
… Eleanor and I fell in love with Sufjan Steven’s new album Carrie and Lowell
… We petted a pet pig.
… We visited Brooklyn Botanical Garden and enjoyed a day amongst dozens of cherry blossom trees in full bloom.
… The sun burnt our noses red.
… We ran through a fountain with 2 metre high water jets in Jeppe Hein’s art piece, “Please, touch the art”, under the Brooklyn Bridge.
… we booked our plane tickets back to Denmark for a long summer holiday.
… we went to the beach and dipped our warm feet in the chilly sea for the first time this year.

 

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Endnu en måned er gået, med hede dage, smeltede is, turer til legepladsen, asfaltknæ og svedige nætter. For min lille familie, maj var også måneden hvor…

… Vi fejrede en 6 års fødselsdag (læs mere om den her)

… Vi kunne sige farvel til en pink gips.

… vi ventede nervøst i 2 uger, indtil Alma lige med begyndte at gå igen helt af sig selv.

… vi så Eleanor optræde i sin første skolemusical.

… Alma lærte at køre selv på en en ter-hjulet cykel.

… Vi brugte flere af vores vågne timer udenfor end inde.

… vi besluttede, at vi bliver i New York. I hvert fald i endnu et år.

… min mand og jeg så den sidste sæson af Mad Men (og hvilken afslutning).

… Alma begyndte at gå til kunstklasser.

… Jeg forsøgte mig med at tage billeder med et rigtigt kamera for første gang i årevis.

… jeg færdiggjorde Eleanors hjemmelavede dukke (Se den her)

… Eleanor og jeg forelskede os i Sufjan Stevens nye album Carrie and Lowell.

… Vi klappede en hygge-gris.

… Vi besøgte Brooklyn Botaniske have, og nød en dage blandt de mange blomstrende japanske kirsebær træer.

… solen farvede vores næser røde.

… vi bestilte billetter til 1 1/2 måneds sommerferie i Danmark.

… Vi tog til stranden og dyppede vores fødder i havet for første gang i år.

 

Farewell May!

Denim clothes for kids

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My children love to dress up in pretty dresses, twirl around and look like princesses… But what they love even more is to run around in comfortable clothes that can withstand anything from rolling around on grass and climbing rocks to melting chocolate ice cream stains. Eleanor’s favorite go to outfit is her denim jumpsuit. After she got it, I realized what a perfect material denim is for kid’s clothes.

Which is why I have been on the lookout for the best denim clothes for kids:

1. shirt / Wolf and Rita 2. Apron / Odette Williams 3. Dress / Motoreta 4. Dungarees / Zara 5. Sunhat / Little Creative Factory 6. Overalls / Mabo Kids 7. Blouse / Wolf and Rita 8. Ruffle bloomers / Emile and Ida 9. Pants / Wolf and Rita 10. Bear rattle / Polka Dot Club 11. Shorts with belt / Little Creative Factory

DIY Rag doll

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Some of you have asked to hear more about the rag doll I made for Eleanor’s birthday (I have mentioned it before in this post). It seems like rag dolls are extremely popular at the moment, and several smaller companies and crafters make adorable versions, which would have been an easier solution. But since I’ve always wanted to make a personal present from me to my daughter and I actually love to sew, I decided to do a DIY rag doll instead.

The doll is made of a white organic cotton fabric and dyed in black tea to give it just the right skin tone. I chose to stuff it with a locally produced wool stuffing. The face is inspired by some of Eleanor’s drawings and the hair is made of wool (another option could have been yarn, which I might go for next time).

The wardrobe and the accessories I really enjoyed designing and making. All outfits are inspired by some of my favorite designers, and made from old clothes of Eleanor’s and mine. I wanted the doll to be a kind of secret friend to Eleanor, someone, who she can pretend will help her out of troubles and comfort her, when she’s upset. So I decided to make the rag doll (who Eleanor later named Super Ella) into a secret super hero doll with a super hero bunny rabbit sidekick and Eleanor loves that she isn’t just another ordinary doll.

I have made a lot of mistakes along the way, and have a small list of things I’ll do differently for my next doll projects. But even though she isn’t perfect, I still love this one. She’s the first doll I’ve ever made, and everything i made with Eleanor in my mind. Since I really loved making this one, and my younger daughter has ordered one “with pink hair” I’ve already started making the next few dolls. And hopefully we know of another few little girls out there, who would like their own little secret super hero friend cause I don’t think I can stop after just making two.

 

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Nogle af jer har bedt om at se mere til den håndlavede dukke, som Eleanor fik i fødselsdagsgave (jeg har før omtalt den her). DIY rag dolls eller kludedukker, som man vel kalder dem i Danmark, er meget populære i USA for øjeblikket, og der er flere mindre firmaer og kreative damer, der laver nogle virkeligt skønne versioner. Man da jeg længe har haft lyst til at lave en personlig gave til Eleanor, og jeg faktisk elsker at sy, besluttede jeg mig for at DIY.

Dukken (som Eleanor senere har døbt Super Ella) er lavet ud af en kraftig organisk hvid bomuld, og er farvet i sort the for at få en fin og levende hud tone. Hun er fyldt ud med organisk uld, og ansigtet er inspireret af nogle af Eleanors tegninger af piger.

Noget af det sjovest var at lave Super Ellas garderobe og accessories. Tøjet er syet ud af gammelt aflagt tøj af Eleanors og mit, og Eleanor har moret sig meget over at kunne genkende stof fra gamle bukser og kjoler. Jeg har hele tiden haft en idé om, at dukke skulle være en slag hemmelig ven for Eleanor. Én, som kan give lidt imaginært hjælp og trøst når man har brug for det. Derfor besluttede jeg mig for,  at lave hende til en hemmelig super hero dukke og give hende en hemmelig super hero kanin som sit side kick, hvilket har vist sig at være en meget populær idé hos begge børn.

Jeg har lavet en masse fejl undervejs og har en hel liste af ting, som jeg gerne vil gøre anderledes i mit næste dukkeprojekt. Jeg nød virkelig at lave Super Ella, og lillesøster har heldigvis bestilt en “med pink hår”, så der er allerede gang i et par nye dukker. Og så håber vi bare, at vi kender et par små piger derude et sted, der også godt kunne tænke sig at modtage sin helt egen hemmelige super hero ven.

15 things I would like my children to see

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Because childhood is short, and I don’t want to find myself in 10 years from now, regretting all the things we never got around to do while my kids were still young, I have started making lists. Here is one of 15 things, I would like my children to see before they become teenagers.

Before my children grow up, I want them to see…

… the beauty in small things. A flower, a simple drawing, a painted nail or a cats’ tail.

… that it pays off to be nice, honest and helpful.

… a classical art masterpiece, and not just run around in a museum and look at 3 paintings in 5 seconds. But to sit down and let it all in.

… themselves.

… the magic in words.

… nature. Not just a nearby forest or an overcrowded beach, but great wide open landscapes, wild animals, Redwood trees, waterfalls and mountains.

… the diversity of the world they live in.

… an abstract painting, and experience the emotions it gives them.

… The NeverEnding Story and The Brothers Lionheart. I don’t care if they are dated and don’t have a singing princess. They should still see them.

… me and my husband dance all night.

… that it’s okay to change your mind.

… old family pictures and laugh out loud at bad haircut and styling decisions.

… the Wadden Sea.
… a dead bird. Not in a scary way, but just as an answer to many a curious question.

… themselves getting really good at something, a talent they didn’t know they had, that makes them happy.

 

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Jeg er begyndt at lave lister. Fordi barndommen er kort, og fordi jeg nødig vil vågne en morgen om 10 år, og fortryde alle de ting, vi bare ikke lige fik gjort. Her er den første ud af noget, jeg tænker let kunne blive en hel lille samling. Den handler om ting, som jeg gerne vil have, at mine børn skal se inden de vokser op.

Inden mine børn vokser op, vil jeg gerne have de ser…

… skønheden i de små ting. En blomst, en tegning, en malet negl eller en kats stribede hale.

… at det betaler sig at være, venlig, ærlig og hjælpsom.

… en klassiske kunstværk, som de virkelig sætter sig ned og studerer. Jeg tror på, at der kan findes mange svar i den klassiske kunst.

… dem selv.

… magien i ordet.

… naturen. Og ikke bare i form af en lille skov eller en overbefolket strand. Men de store åbne vidder, vilde dyr, Redwood træer, vandfald og bjerge.

… diversiteten i den verden som de lever og  vokser op i.

… et abstrakt kunstværk og de følelser et sådan kan frembringe.

… den uendelige historie og Brødrene Løvehjerte. Det kan godt være de er gammeldags og ikke indeholder nogle syngende prinsesser, men de skal se dem alligevel.

… min mand og jeg dansende en hel nat sammen.

… at det er okay at ændre sin mening.

… gamle familiefotos, hvor en fantastisk frisure eller et helt forfærdeligt outfit kan få dem til at grine sig halvt ihjel.

… Vadehavet.

… en død fugl. Og ikke på en skummel måde, men blot som et svar på et utal af nysgerrige spørgsmål.

… dem selv blive rigtigt gode til noget, som de ikke troede de ville kunne klare.

 

 

Sun protection for kids

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Though only a month has passed since we had our last snow fall in New York, the temperatures are hitting 30 ºC / 86 ºF and the sun is shining all day. While I turn red faster than most people can say the sun is shining, it turns out that my youngest daughter is allergic to the sun. If she flashes any skin without being covered in sunscreen she will not just turn red, but get a really bad and itchy rash that won’t disappear for days. So we apply sun block, wear sun hats and cover up in light cotton fabrics all day long to avoid ending up looking like cooked lobsters.

Here are a few recommended guidelines regarding sun protection for kids that were recommended to me by a Danish dermatologist specializing in skin cancer.

  • If possible, keep you children out of the sun from 12 pm – 15 am. Otherwise try and stay in the shade as much as possible.
  • Wear white cotton clothes or uv clothes.
  • Use a sunhat with a shade.
  • Apply a sun lotion 30 minutes before going out into the sun
  • Since all sun blocks and lotions contain chemical ingredients that can cause a allergic reaction, do only apply sunblock to the part’s of skin not covered by clothes.
  • Reapply sun lotion every time your child has been in the water.
  • Be generous with the amount. A good rule is to use one hand full of lotion for one person. The number of the factor is only to be trusted if you apply the right amount of sun lotion.
  • Children under the age of 1 should be kept out of the sun at all times.

1. Shirt / Tocoto 2. Kids Sun Lotion / Rudolph Care (my absolute favorite, and the only one that my youngest isn’t allergic to) 3. UV jumpsuit / Petite Crabe 4. UV jumpsuit / Petite Crabe 5. Cotton summer suit / Grey label  6. Sun hat / Oeuf NYC 7. Cotton dress / Pierrot La Lune 8. Sun hat / Atsuyo et Akiko 9. Pocket tee / Grey Label 10. Sunglasses / Sons and Daughters 11. Sun stick / Rudolph Care 12. Hat / Zara 13. Dress / Popup Shop

Soleil-illustration / Nice Mice For You

 

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Birthday celebration for a 6-year-old

 

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After …

… 3 parties
… 47 cupcakes
… 6 golden candles
… 11 amazing presents
… 14 dancing girls
… 1 limbo competition
… 1 visit to Central Park Zoo
… 5 hungry sheep
… 3 birthday songs
… 20 cups of coffee (or was it even more?)
… 1 huge 3-layer cake
… 1000 pieces of confetti

… And a lot of smiles, kisses, hugs and thank you’s, we are finally done celebrating my eldest daughter’s 6th birthday. Last year we kept her birthday celebration low-key, so there was never any doubt that this year we would go all in with 3 different parties and more cupcakes than even a cupcake monster could eat.

The first party was held on the day of her birthday, with immediate family and her grandparents visiting from Denmark. The day was spent eating pancakes, visiting Central Park Zoo (if you ever end up in New York with small kids and nothing to do go here. It is small but cute and definitely worth a visit), blowing out candles, eating cake and opening presents.

The following day she celebrated at school with 26 home made cat themed cupcakes, story time and birthday songs.

The last party was the one that meant the most to Eleanor. Together with her best friend she invited all the girls from her class for a two hour party at a very cute kids’ place one block from our house. With a great hostess, even more cupcakes, sweets and a few carrot sticks the girls spent two hours having plenty of fun and playing party games. From earlier experience, I have learnt that both adults and the kids will have the best party if most of time is spent playing games arranged in advance. Free play is great but can be very chaotic with a lot of kids, and can easily end up in tears.

Here’s a short list of some games we played at Eleanor’s birthday parties through the years :

– Candy bingo – instead of using the normal checker, use small pieces of candy.

– Limbo dance. This can be done with nothing but a skipping rope and some music.

– Freeze dance / musical statues.

– Hidden treasure. A good old treasure hunt can make even grown-ups excited.

– Sticker decorations. When Eleanor turned 3 we did a fairy theme party. All the kids got a homemade crown and magic wand that they then had to decorate with a lot of different stickers.

– Repeat the word.  You probably played it as a kid yourself. It is the one where the kids sit in a circle and whisper a sentence to the child next to them. The fun happens when the 1st kid tells the rest what the sentence started out as.

– Pin the tail on the donkey (or pin the braid on Elsa.)

And one last tip. It’s always difficult to get the attention of 15 children who are on a sugar rush. Instead of yelling, try these lines “If you can hear me, touch your nose.” “If you can hear me spin around.”  “If you can hear me touch your ears.” ” If you can hear me, sit down and be quiet.” It worked on 12 6-year-old girls yesterday.

 

 

 

 

Scandinavian simplicity and kids clothes

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As a child of an architect and a Danish design lover, I grew up with the simple Scandinavian style and modernism as an essential part of my life. I still prefer the Scandinavian simplicity when it comes to my wardrobe, our apartment , our way of living and my children’s wardrobe.

But minimalism and good quality is not always easy to explain to a six-year-old, who goes to school with kids dressed in pretty pink dresses, and sparkly shoes. Eleanor calls it dressing fancy and even though she thinks it looks pretty, she feels much more comfortable in a simple outfit. She’s starting to recognize that a simple dress with nice details can be just as pretty. I love, that she has the confidence to dress differently than the rest of the girls in her class, and I love that she’s aware that if feels different to wear a dress made out of organic cotton and one made from a synthetic material that doesn’t allow your body to breath.

It means a lot to me, that I can pass a bit of my Scandinavian influence on to her. And hopefully she will end up as a great mix between Scandinavian simplicity and New York coolness when she grows up.

Here’s a small selection of simple kid’s clothes that I really like and she will love to wear.

1. Dress / COS 2. Dress / Crew Cuts 3. Dress / Christina Rohde 4. Bag / Fawn Shoppe 5. Top / Christina Rohde 6. Dress / COS 7. Sandals / Salt Water Sandals 8. Dress / Wolfechild 9. Skirt / COS 10. Shoes / Zuzii 11. Top / Mabo Kids 12. Skirt / Mabo Kids

 

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Som barn af en arkitekt og en dansk design enthusiast, har den simple, skandinaviske stil altid været en del af min opvækst. Jeg foretrækker stadig skandinavisk minimalisme både når det gælder min garderobe, vores hjem, vores valg af livsstil og den måde hvorpå min børn går klædt.

Men minimalisme og god kvalitet er ikke altid er ikke altid let at forklare en 6-årige pige, der går i skole med børn der møder op i syntetiske pink kjoler og glimtende sko. Eleanor kalder det fancy tøj og selvom hun synes det er flot, føler hun sig meget bedre tilpas i en mere simpel påklædning. Indtil for kort tid siden gik hun slet ikke op i hvad hun havde på, og var allermest glad i en hættebluse og et par leggings. Idag betyder det noget for hende, hvad hun har på, en hun siger selv, at en enkel kjole med en fin lille detalje som et smukt broderi eller en guld lynlås er finere end de fancy kjoler. Jeg elsker, at hun har modet til at klæde sig anderledes, end de andre piger i hendes skole, og jeg elsker, at hun ligger mærke til, at der er en forskel på at gå klædt i en kjole af økologisk bomuld og en af et syntetisk materiale, som kroppen ikke kan ånde i.

Her er et lille udvalg af børnetøj, som både Eleanor og jeg ville være glad for at have hængende i hendes garderobe.

1. Kjole / COS 2. Kjole / Crew Cuts 3. Kjole / Christina Rohde 4. Taske / Fawn Shoppe 5. Top / Christina Rohde 6. Kjole / COS 7. Sandaler / Salt Water Sandals 8. Kjole / Wolfechild 9. Nederdel / COS 10. Sko / Zuzii 11. Top / Mabo Kids 12. Nederdel / Mabo Kids

10 iconic pictures to celebrate Mothers day

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In celebration of  mothers day and motherhood in general, here you have 10 of my favourite iconic mother / daughter pictures.

1. Jacqueline Kennedy and daughter.

2. Kate Moss and her daughter Lila Grace, shot by Mario Testino, 2011.

3. Jane Birkin and Lou Doillon, shot by Kate Barry.

4. Demi Moore and her daughter, shot by Ellen Von Unwerth, 1996.

5. Goldie Hawn and her daughter Kate.

6. Gwyneth Paltrow and her mother Blythe Banner.

7. Florence Owens Thompson (32-year-old mother of 7) shot by Dorothea Lange after Florence had sold her tent to provide food for her children. Oklahoma 1936.

8. Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Anne, shot by Lord Snowdon, 10 October 1957.

9. Beyonce and her daughter Blue Ivy.

10. Shirley MacLaine and her daughter Sachi Parker, shot by Allan Grant, 1959.

Happy mothers day.

All pictures through Pinterest.

How becoming a mother has changed me

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Celebrating my daughter’s birthday, got me thinking about how becoming a mother changes people and lives.

Six years ago I became a mother for the first time. Before then I was a girlfriend, an editor-in-chief, a stiletto lover, a partygoer, a traveller, a good friend and a fashion enthusiast. Becoming a mother instantly changed me. From the moment I held my daughter for the first time, some of the things mentioned above didn’t matter anymore. Some things are still important to me, like being a good friend and a caring girlfriend, but more than anything being the best possible  mother to my kids and bringing them up to becoming thoughtful human beings is now the most important thing in my life.

 

Below is a list of 10 ways in which I have changed since becoming a mother:

– I care more about someone else’s wardrobe than my own. If someone had told me about this 7 years ago, I would have called them a crazy liar.

– I hate travelling alone. I used to travel alone all the time as part of my job and back then I would love to arrive to a new hotel room and have it all to myself. Now I get a stomach ache when I’m away from my family for more than a night or two, even though I know, that they’re having the time of their lives, doing all the things only their dad would allow them to do.

– I wear Birkenstock sandals instead of high heels. Before I got pregnant, flats were for Sunday brunch and very late work nights only. Now I don’t even own a pair of stilettos.

– I fear death. Not that i didn’t before, but I would never really think about it. I do now.

– I have learned to cook meatballs. Who would have thought.

– I no longer follow the fashion trends. Before becoming a mother, fashion was one of my biggest passions, and I loved to travel from Copenhagen to Milan or New York just to spent all my time watching models present the latest fashion collections on the runway. After becoming a mother, fashion became just a job, and I would be happy to stay away from Paris, New York, Chanel and Chloé if it meant I wouldn’t have to say goodbye to my daughters. I don’t even know what Chanel’s latest collection looks like, and to be honest, I don’t really care either.

– I don’t mind leaving my house without makeup.

– I appreciate my own company more than I did before. I love being with my children, but a bit of me-time makes me a calmer and nicer person.

– I have given up on some of dreams, but found some other ones along the way. My career used to be one of the most important things to me, and even though it still matter, right now it makes perfect sense putting it on stand by for some years and spend my time and energy with my kids instead.

 

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Fejringen af min ældste datters fødselsdag fik mig til at tænke over, hvordan det at blive mor, kan ændre personer og liv fuldstændigt.

 

For seks år siden blev jeg mor for første gang. Før det var jeg kæreste, Chefredaktør, stilet-elsker, festabe, rejsefreak, en god veninde og absolut mode enthusiast. Fra det øjeblik, hvor jeg første gang holdt min ældste datter i mine arme, var der nogle af de ovennævnte ting, der ikke længere betød noget som helst, og aldrig kom til det igen. Andre ting var stadig en del af mit liv, men i en mindre skala. For over alt, så er det nu det, at være en god mor og bringe mine døtre op til at blive gode mennesker der har betydning for mig.

Her er en lille liste over måder hvorpå jeg har forandre mig, efter jeg er blevet mor:

– Jeg tænker mere på mine børns garderobe end min egen. Hvis nogle havde fortalt mig at det ville blive sådan for syv år siden, havde jeg helt sikkert kaldt dem en løgner.

– Jeg hader at rejse alene. Der var engang, hvor jeg pga mit job hele tiden rejste afsted bare mig. Og jeg pleje af elske det. At have et helt hotelværelse bare mig, var lykken. Nu får jeg ondt i maven så snart jeg forlader mine børn i mere end en nat eller to.

– Jeg går rundt i Birkenstock sandaler dagen lang. Førend jeg blev gravid, var flade sko forbeholdt søndagsbrunchen og meget sene arbejdsaftner. Nu ejer jeg ikke længere et par stiletter.

– Jeg er blevet bange for at dø. Ikke, at jeg ikke var bange for det før, men det var bare ikke noget jeg tænkte over. Det gør jeg nu.

– Jeg har lært at lave frikadeller. Hvem skulle tro det ville komme dertil.

– Jeg følger ikke længere med i alle de nyeste mode tendenser. Førend jeg blev mor, var mode en af mine største passioner, og jeg rejste gerne halvt omkring jorden, for at se modeller gå ned af et podium iklædt alt det nyeste. Nu ved jeg ikke engang hvordan den seneste kollektion fra Chanel ser ud. Og helt ærligt, så er jeg også fuldkommen ligeglad.

– jeg har ikke længere problemer med at forlade huset uden makeup.

– Jeg sætter mere pris på de få minutter, jeg får lov at nyde i mit eget selskab. Jeg elsker at bruge tid med mine børn, men at have bare en time helt for mig selv her og der gør mig til et roligere og bedre menneske.

– Jeg har opgivet nogle drømme, men fundet nogle nye. Min karriere plejede at være det vigtigste overhovedet, og selvom det stadig er af stor betydning, føles det lige nu helt rigtigt at stille den lidt på lavt blus i nogle år, for istedet at kunne bruge min tid og energi med min familie.

 

Moving to New York – a 6 month status update

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Exactly half a year ago, we spent the first night in our new Brooklyn home. Before leaving Copenhagen I remember feeling anxious and excited. We spent several months thinking, talking and visiting what could become our new home. And then one day, we decided to stop talking and dreaming and make it a reality.

Six months in, I’d like to share a few thoughts about my new found reality of moving to New York as a family.

 

– Our life has slowed down; I get to spend much more time with my kids. The morning rush and stress of getting kids ready for school and nursery is non existent. Our pace of life has changed.

– We’re focussing on creating great memories and enjoying time together and much less on materialistic object. We have realized, that we can live without our designer furniture, huge wardrobe and creature comforts.

– We are more curious than before. We’re open to new ways to live life, enjoy our surroundings, simple pleasures like a great cup of coffee, a pretty flower amongst other things that we meet along the way.

– People are extremely polite and well mannered and my daughters have been influenced by this.

– We are more creative. In the US, homemade, home-grown and handmade outranks mass production. This makes me happy.

– We eat more kale.

– We have a bathtub. Back in Denmark we had a tiny shower. When you have kids, a bathtub changes bath time, it’s much more fun for kids and parents.

– My kids are experiencing incredible diversity and brand new culture, which I believe will make them more open minded and free thinking individuals.

– People are friendly. I like chit chat. I know the name of one store owners pet hamster.

– We miss our family and friends and our Christiania bike (but we are member’s of the same gym as Ethan Hawke)