Last week I brought my five year old on a two hour tour of Heart of Los Angeles, a fantastic after-school program that provides academics, art and music to kids living below poverty level. I wondered how much she understood despite all of my explaining. This week I volunteered at school to help her class make sandwiches for the homeless and again, asked myself how much the kids absorbed when the teachers spoke about people without homes. Our Christmas mission is to collect enough money for her “Tzedakah Box” (thank you, Jewish holiday kid services) to buy presents for a family at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, an institution that needs constant support. For many, teaching your children about those less fortunate is an on-going challenge, especially if you live in a bubble like Los Angeles. But since exposure is key (even at this age) we decided that we would all partake in a bake sale over Thanksgiving for more CHLA money. Family members are the best people to hit up for charity anyway, right? This beautiful kitchen from Palumba, a birthday gift to my youngest, is a lovely way to help her get in the baking groove. With time we hope that she appreciates it.
Today was our first day of Kindergarten. Big time. My daughter, so immersed in her stencils by the time we kissed good-bye, barely realized we left the room. Though she’s still a little kid in every way, her new elementary school reminds me that before we know it, she’ll be entering a more grown-up phase at home: the homework phase. Well for the next few years at least, she can use this Japanese designed desk by Ichiro as shelter for her animals – and whatever else seems to be jammed in that box. And while I don’t look forward to the days of desk work, with this versatile space, multiplication tables won’t be so boring.
I’m not one for a DIY post. But tonight my girls asked if we had any boxes to decorate for their jewelry. The first thing that came to mind was, did my nanny toss that Amazon shipment? And then it hit me: That! Is why I kept all that space-sucking Hermes packaging from my wedding china. I mean, they could have decorated the china as well for all I care – what a bad registry call on my part. So I dug up what once housed an ashtray and a creamer and the kids went to town with feathers and abstract drawings. A few glitter stickers and some scribble signatures later and they presented me with personalized, designer boxes for homemade name bracelets and Atsuyo et Akiko pom pom rings alike. And while it feels too young to introduce them to mandarin orange, it beats my fake bakelite purchase that have drawers that stick.
While I’m anti cutesy wall hangings for nurseries, I happen to love this watercolor alphabet poster by Brit artist Sarah Doyle. It’s playful enough for any child’s room but artsy enough for picky mothas. And please note: those who despise cutesy ‘hangings more than I do can opt for her “mythical creatures” version, featuring a vampire and werewolf in place of a vulture and walrus. They both appeal to me but a baby might learn his abc’s quicker with this one. And her grown-up art is edgy enough for even the biggest cute nursery haters.
My oldest daughter just started begging me for pool toys – in August, no less. My first instinct was to deck out the pool with Alexander Wang’s murdered out inflatable shark, ball and ring. But she quickly veto’d that idea, arguing for a florescent serpent raft and major water bazookas. Since we can’t seem to compromise – due to a lack of chic pool accessories in the marketplace – the verdict is still out. For now, this lovely stuffed koi from my East Coast temple, ABC Carpet, seems like the best fit. Although float, it won’t.
At the circus yesterday my husband and I looked at each other, both filled with self-hatered. You could say that PETA’s picketing outside was enough to make us feel like the biggest low-lives, but really it was just watching the show through the lens of an adult that shifted our perspective. In the car home we talked to the kids about treating animals with respect and how we don’t believe that they should be coerced into doing tricks for entertainment value. Basically, if we hadn’t taken them to the art museum for “Jazz Night” a few days earlier we’d probably be on a downward spiral right now. Ethics check! Below, an ode to the beautiful (but probably sedated) creatures who aren’t meant to be doing handstands in sequin vests.
There’s just shit everywhere, all the time. Even with my OCD nanny and my fits of cleaning that could be categorized as manic, there’s still shit everywhere, all the time. A design person posted this lucite trunk on Pinterest – probably with the idea that it would make a lovely alternative coffee table – but all I can see is one, big, gorgeous storage box for animals and dolls that can’t seem to find their respective bed or monogrammed toy chest. I envision jelly cats jammed in the corners and cute french baby dolls stuffed in the center. Let’s just do this. And in five years? Boom. A coffee table.
Last weekend I met my girlfriends from college at the Ojai Valley Inn for some good ol’ fashion girl time. We gabbed about horrendous exes, got lost on bikes, soaked in the jaccuz, and got tipsy on two whole glasses of wine (no this is not my party crew.) I shacked up with my bestie Natalie who came in from New York – the only one who didn’t leave little ones behind. Being whisked off to some private island in the Bahamas next weekend by a man she just met makes me want to live vicariously through her. It’s easy to forget how freedom can be so free-ing. Below, a super cool sleeper for different type of sleepover. It’s the kind where no one is talking about having broken up with someone because he “didn’t hail a cab with authority.” (True story.)
Today was my birthday and I met it with mixed reviews. I wish I were someone that could be proud of aging but a facial peel that “makes you look ten years older before you look ten years younger” coupled with heavy news regarding someone’s health just kind of made the day a bit of a bummer. Dinner at Matsuhisa and a maxi dress from Trico Field (for me, actually – and only twenty dollars more than the same style for a five year old!) certainly livened my mood. So would this red paper pouf chandelier – a perfect party decoration for any occasion. But mainly I just hate turning 34. Yup, I said it.
My daughters went ape shit when they saw me flipping through a Met Gala slideshow on the Huffington Post. It was if they were in the presence of 113 real life princesses. Oh wait! That’s only Lauren Santo Domingo. Was that Belle? No just Hilary Rhoda. This post is an ode to the fashion fest that is blowing up in my home town because sitting in the pouring LA rain, I couldn’t feel farther away. I imagine that these Visionaire designer toys would sit nicely on the bookshelf, next to all our Fancy Nancies.