I've always loved school. Back-to-school was my favorite time of year when I was a kid and I always approached the first day of school with excitement. As I prepare (physically, with school supplies, and emotionally, with tissues handy) to send my first-born to kindergarten in less than three weeks (omg), I've obviously got school on the brain.
For all the families getting ready to go back to school or go for the first time, or maybe if you're homeschooling and need gear: Overstock has partnered with the fabulous PBS KIDS (which is on quite a bit at my house) to create the Overstock Kid Zone.
There are several categories within the shop that include products for school (supplies, desks, and watches to keep older kids on schedule), artistic expression (easels, paint supplies, and craft kits), learning through play (tablets, science activities, play kitchens, dress up clothes), and kids' rooms (beds, storage, and decor).
The Kid Zone page also links directly to PBS KIDS videos and activities families can do together. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of products purchased from the Kid Zone goes to support PBS KIDS and its mission of educating children. I know as long as my daughter has access to Peg+Cat and Plum Landing for a long time to come, she'll be happy. And since some students, like my godchildren, have already started back to school: I wish learners of all ages a happy and enriching year!
images via overstock
Well, it seems like a million years since I had a chance to last post, but I can finally share one of the reasons I've been so busy. I was totally caught off-guard and flattered when Arhaus Furniture asked me to be the first guest blogger on their blog, Greenhaus. I've worked with Arhaus for years on editorial stories and it's always been a pleasure and I remember how fun it was to get a preview of their Manhattan flagship store before it opened.
It actually took a long time for me to figure out what I should write about for the post. I was trying to think of some grand theme I should try to create but finally it occurred to me to talk about what I know, dinners with my family, and make it look exactly like it would if I were buying it for myself with no online attention.
I knew I wanted something bright and fun, something that would make me smile, and even though I was stressing out until the very last second, I think it came out well and somehow from my brain translated to the table exactly how I wanted it to.
This was the first "full-scale" shoot I've done since I moved and let me tell you, it was as fun as I remember but so much harder! For a typical magazine shoot, you put your concept together but you can order lots of options to choose what works best together. I couldn't do that so I just had to hope that my idea would come out right and make me look like I know a little about what I'm doing and not criminally insane.
I really love the pieces I chose and I can't wait to keep using them in different ways. I had a great time digging through my own things and finding a few new pieces (can't get enough of these zebra glasses) to pair with them.
If you read the post, let me know what you think!
full disclosure: I was allowed to keep the products that I selected to photograph for my post, but all opinions are my own.
This time of year makes me think a lot about my grandparents: April marks the birth dates and death dates of three of the four—though all of them have been gone a long time—and Mother's and Father's Days will be here soon. I lost my maternal grandmother, Helen, when I was just 4, my paternal grandfather, Marvin, when I was 8, and my other grandmother, Sylvia, and grandfather, Bill, within three days of each other when I was 19.
Because we lived a few hours from both sets of grandparents, and because I was so young, I didn't really know grandma Helen at all. My mom's parents lived in Rochester. I distinctly remember hiding in the space between grandma's fridge and the wall, listening as she came down the hall. I would pop out and "surprise" her and she would call me a rascal. That's really the only memory I have of her. Long after she died, we were at my grandfather's house and found a copy of Playgirl that I guess she got from her friends. I really liked thinking of her making jokes with her friends about something like that. She was my only grandparent that wasn't one of five siblings. My grandfather Bill would go to places like AC and bring us back t-shirts with little animals and rainbows on them, super 80s stuff. He would call us Petunia McGillicuddy, which my sister and I loved. His father died of Spanish Influenza when he was around 6 so he had to drop out of school after eighth grade and start working to help take care of his mother, brother, and three sisters. He also was a boxer and apparently there's something about him in the Boxing Hall of Fame, but I haven't seen it yet. He also earned a Purple Heart in WWII. I don't have anything of theirs, though my mom has some things.
When I was 8, we moved to Syracuse which is where my dad's parents lived. I recall the time I asked about a little mark or scar near the corner of my grandfather Marvin's mouth. He told me it was from eating red onions on his bagels and lox. I was scared of eating onions for a little while after that. We would celebrate the Jewish holidays at their house. A few years ago, we uncovered a video where they came to visit us when we were young and he's saying something about cherishing the time we have together because they [my grandparents] won't be around forever. It's on VHS but I want to put it on DVD so I can watch it sometimes. My grandmother Sylvia is the one I knew best. She loved swimming and always wore a swim cap. She would just do laps and laps while we splashed nearby. She was funny. After my grandfather died, she would perform in skits at the JCC and have everyone in stitches. She would come over for dinners often and we'd talk on the phone a lot since she and my dad spoke every night. She had clothes left over from the 70s and I wore one specific technicolored shirt and a pair of bellbottoms through out high school and college. When I started driving, I got her car because she was unable to do anything after her stroke. I like that she met my husband (then-boyfriend) at least once before that. The stroke wasn't the end of her life, but I don't think she would call the subsequent years living.
Right now my husband and kids and I live in my grandparents house. Four generations have now lived in this house. We're wrestling with whether we should buy the house and try to update it or buy something different. I'm not sure what we'll do, but I like that I had a chance to live here.
I wish I had asked more questions of all of them. I wish I had more knowledge of what they were like as young people. I wish I had more pictures and tangible pieces of them. I would share some of the things I have, but I'd have to dig to find them. I decided to write this post on a whim after seeing the wonderful and charming video above, created by animator and illustrator Gemma Green-Hope about her grandmother, Gan-Gan. I love the Roger & Gallet soap and the photos and bits of her life.
I wish we could all have something so beautiful to remember each of our loved ones.
video via colossal/vimeo staff picks, family photo my own
#checkout this blog with shop-themed puns
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