The mom: Lots (and lots) of Philly families know Manayunk-based Carolyn Clement as a family photographer extraordinaire. After nine years in the business, she’s extremely well known in the area for her work with babies, moms, kids, whole families. “My clients are super busy, so I help them with everything from what to wear to how to best display their gorgeous photos in their homes. I also spend a lot of time reassuring parents that I’ve seen it all, and their kids don’t need to be on their best behavior.” She’s a natural with kids .. perhaps because she’s also mom to Elliott, who’s five-and-a-half.
Did you grow up in Philly? I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova-Scotia, Canada. After several moves (Ottawa, San Francisco, New York), we moved to Philly almost 5 years ago and I love it here!
Where does your little one attend school? Our son just started Kindergarten at the French International School of Philadelphia (EFIP) and so far, we’re very pleased with the school. I am fluent in French and it was important that Elliott have the opportunity to connect with my French Canadian family. How awesome that Philly has just the perfect school for our situation!
Best way to spend a Saturday afternoon as a family: Anything that pairs being outdoors with food and kid-friendly activities! We love Winterfest at Penn’s Landing in the winter months and Spruce Street Harbor Park in the summertime.
Date night: We just celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary, and my husband brought us to iFly in King of Prussia. It was amazing! Such a cool, high-adrenaline experience to share with your spouse!
Special find for families in or near the city: Last year, we did ice-skating lessons at Dilworth Park (City Hall). It was such a cool way to spend a few weekends in the winter. Some ice skating followed by coffee at La Colombe – yum! Read more →
I don’t know about you, but I am a believer in getting some real mileage out of a Halloween costume. After all that time spent assembling the thing (or buying it … whatever!), one night of trick-or-treating just doesn’t quite cut it. Enter, the big Halloween bash, which doesn’t just extend the costume-wearing window, but also the fun and the family bonding. And there is no Halloween bash in the city like NESTIVAL, NEST’s big annual shindig.
On October 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., families can hang out and enjoy an obstacle course, a candy bar, face-painting, costume contests, a magician, prizes and giveaways, a tattoo bar, crafts … even wine and beer for moms and dads. (Yay!) Kids can also take advantage of the open play space to have fun and run off some energy. Read more →
Some depressing but also rather helpful advice here from The Cut about how to financially prepare for your maternity leave (since most of us get nada).
How cool is this? Dr. Harvey Karp (yes, he of Happiest Baby on the Block fame) invented a bassinet that helps soothe newborn babies with motion and white noise and even a built-in swaddle. It sounds AMAZING.
This sounds super special: PlayArts is hosting “The Not So Quiet Children’s Event” with best-selling author Zacharia O’Hora. October 22, 9 a.m. to noon. There’ll be a reading and Q & A with Zacharia, as well as food trucks, free play time, pretzels from Frankford Hall and fresh juice from Stripp’d, and a couple of bands! Also: Zacharia will teach a class for kids 5 to 9 about how to create illustrations in his distinctive style. (You have to register for that part in advance!) Admission is just $10 per family ($5 or $10 per extra kid, depending on your membership status, and the art class is $15.) You can register here, and read more about it here.
Love, love, love this story about a Michigan barber shop that offers discounts to kids who read a book aloud to the barber while they’re getting their cuts. Read more →
Sheila Akhavein* — Logan Square resident, longtime Montessori teacher, mother, soon-to-be preschool founder (more on that later!) — took a bit of a break from school when she had her daughter Emma almost two years ago. These days, she is running Philly Montessori, a consulting service for schools and — more recently — for families who want to apply the Montessori approach in their own home.
“As I played with Emma, I realized that almost everything that I used to do with my kids in the classroom could be transferred to my home,” Sheila explains. “The goal in working with other families is to give them the tools and the knowledge they need to create purposeful and engaging environments that will enhance their children’s learning and fun at home. My hope, too, is to help parents simplify their homes and routines in order to reduce stress and increase quality family time at home.”
Did you hear the magic words there? Simplify! Reduce stress! Increase quality time! Not only is this intriguing, but I have to say, Sheila’s blog is awesome. So we wanted to dig a little deeper here and ask Sheila about Montessori at home, her consulting gig, and what it all means. Read more →
I think most of us can agree that gathering the fall stuff is relatively easy compared to hauling out all the massive piles of voluminous winter gear and heavy boots and etcetera … but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few necessities to check off your list as you shift from t-shirts to puffer vests. Here, our (overly opinionated) annual list of the best stuff to have on hand as the weather gets chillier, cold-and-flu season kicks up, and we all want to get a bit cozier. (Feel free to weigh in with your favorites!)
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You might not have heard of Rachel Mednick — Fairmount resident, fashion designer, entrepreneur — but chances are pretty good at this point that you’ve heard of her label, Lucy & Leo, the all-organic, made-in-America line of kids’ clothes. (Adorable kids clothes, we should add.)
The company started a few years back, when Mednick was living in New York, freshly graduated from Drexel U. Her cousin had just had a baby — Lucy — and was frustrated by the pervasiveness of pink, leopard-print, sparkly, foofy baby-girl clothes on the market. “So I started making stuff for Lucy to wear,” Mednick says. “I was working full time and doing it on the side, but then, a couple of years later, when Lucy’s brother Leo was born, I decided I was ready to make kids’ clothes full time.” Thus Lucy & Leo, the brand, was born.
Mednick started small, with a pop-up in Bryant Park in Manhattan; four years later, she’s running a rapidly expanding business, with several seasons worth of collections (all of which are sourced, designed and patterned by her, and produced in Brooklyn), clothes in a handful of local stores (Minnow Lane, Cloth, Art Star), an online registry, even a newish skincare line, which is also organic and vegan. (Bonus: Her website provides styling ideas for her clothes!) Read more →