Category Archives: City Mouse + Country Mouse

News about my children Macy and Hudson

The One Second I’ve Waited Two Years For

I have so much to share in this post.  This post is not about sweets or interiors or even ballet.  Its about being a proud parent and an exciting event in my daughters life.  Its a post about that one time (of many more to come maybe) Macy was in a movie!  It is info, picture & video heavy because Ive been saving it up for two years, not joking.  And Im really using this post as a personal web log to save and cherish, I hope you enjoy reading along.

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In April 2012 as Macy prepared for her 4th grade state tests we receive a call from her agent that she had been “booked” for a feature background role in a movie.  Macy had been going on auditions for about 9 months with a couple of call backs and a lot of disappointment.  Im no stage mom and I hardly knew what was going on half the time or what we were getting ourselves into but I understood the word “booked” and it was a big deal.  Macy didn’t audition for this role, in fact I had blacked out her week for state tests, meaning I told her agent she was unavailable.  We really couldnt believe that of all weeks this would come up on this one.  But it seems that the director had hand picked Macy from her headshot and she was guaranteed the part, we just had to say yes.    So we did what any parent would do, we freaked out.  4th grade state tests are super important in NYC, the results are sent to middle schools when the application process happens in 5th grade.  We thought we were pretty crazy for allowing anything to disrupt Macy concentration but fortunately the filming took place in the afternoon after the tests.  So it was actually possible for us to let her do this without any conceqences.

We weren’t told much about the movie, just it was a pre-production flash back scene for the character “Young Marie”, it was set in 1960’s Brooklyn and called Blood Ties.  I was able to find out other info just because the movie already had an IMBd page.  It was a crime thriller and full of well know names, squeal!    The cast includes Clive Owen (Chris), Billy Crudup (Frank), Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis, Zoe Saldana, James Caan & Lili Taylor (Marie).  It is directed by Guillaume Canet a french director and husband of Marion Cotillard.

Macy was to have a wardrobe fitting on Monday and the filming was on Wednesday, so we handled it like this:  We told Macy that she had won the part but it wasn’t until Friday so there was no point in getting all excited until after the tests were done. We went to the monday fitting but we surprised her and pick her up at school early on wednesday afternoon after her test was finished. Heres a video of me picking up Macy from school and telling her she was doing the scene that day:

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/90596255″>surprise news</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user26485187″>Nikki Berry</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

The wardrobe fitting was fun, it was in Williamsburg (Thats Brooklyn FYI) and Macy tried on three 60’s era outfits.  The costume department went with a vintage white peasant top, jeans and blue keds.

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We were to report to a Little Italy address for the filming.  The location was the production offices where we met the other two children that were in her scene and the kids were dressed.  The scene would include a Young Frank played by Eli Tokash and Young Chris played by Austin Williams.  I got to chat with the other parents while we waited, Young Frank had taken a  red eye bus from Virgina and Young Chris lived in NYC, he was a seasoned child actor who worked for 6 years One Life to Live and also had roles in Michael Clayton and The Good Shepard.

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Young Chris, Young Frank & Young Marie In Blood Ties

 

Since this was a pre-producitons scene there wasn’t a lot to it.  It wasn’t like the trailers and cables and crew that we run across in NYC everyday. No catered food tables (darn!)  It was just a small crew and the scene was to be filmed with a real Super 8 camera as it was to be used as a home video that one of the characters watches in the movie.

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We loaded up in a van with the director, crew, the other kids and their families and they took us to a gritty park in the Lower East side, I think they intended for the kids to just play baseball there.  We waited around for a while while the crew and director discussed the location.  It wasn’t to the directors liking, he envisioned grass.  So they loaded us up again and took us to Central Park.  I took a few videos while we were waiting and watching.  My favorite is the part where the director is talking with the kids and shows them the vintage gloves they are to use.  Macy tells him hers isn’t good, it has no laces.  I wanted to be mortified that she was giving him any grief but this is typical Macy, she’s not really trying to be difficult she was just letting him know.  He does seem to mind though, he just gives her another one.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/90589812″>Macy filming blood ties in NYC</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user26485187″>Nikki Berry</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

The kids played tag, baseball and climbed on the natural rock formations in Central Park, the director acted as the “Dad” filming the kids with the Super 8 camera, directing them to do what kids do, including picking on the little sister.  There was no real acting or lines.  It was very casual and fun for Macy and it didn’t take more than an hour.  After we were done we returned to the production office and Macy changed.  And that was it.  Then the anticipation began!

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We over heard a lot of information just waiting for this scene to take place, such as the filming to end in July, so I knew it would be a long time to wait before the movie was released.  I assumed it would be at least a year.  So we tried not to get too excited because this  didn’t seem like a very important scene and we all know that scenes get cut from movies all the time.  We also knew that we wouldn’t be told anything about the movie before it came out or invited to any pre-release screenings, it just wasn’t that big of a role.  So we kept the news about it all very low key, only telling our family.  As the filming got started I was able to see press on the other scenes being filmed all around NYC, a lot were in Brooklyn and Queens.  Here are some press shots.

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Then in May 2013 we got really excited, the film was shown at Cannes International Film Festival!  Release dates for other countries started showing up but there wasn’t any US dates!  Something obviously was going wrong with the distribution in the US, it was killing us to know that the movie was done and we couldn’t find out if Macy’s scene was in it!

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So here it is March 2014, nearly 2 years after the scene was filmed and Jake and I run across Blood Ties on iTunes.  I could say that we were a little disappointed that it didn’t make it to the big screen.  We honestly don’t know why, it had all the right names to make it there.  I really wanted to see Macy’s head 10′ tall and scream out “thats my daughter” to a bunch of strangers in a dark theater.  But at least it was finally available to watch.  Then the real suspense began.  At this point I almost didn’t want to know, I didn’t want to know for a fact that the scene was cut.  We already knew that Macy wasn’t listed in the cast on the IMBd page.  Young Frank and Young Chris were, but I also knew that the boys had a bigger scene to film together that didn’t include Young Marie.

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So we didn’t tell Macy, we put the kids to bed and we watched it with very low expectations.  The movie is 2 hours long and we both liked it. It was a good story about brotherly love, hince the title Blood Ties.  One brother is a cop, one is a criminal that just can’t be good.  They don’t get along very well but do what matters most for each other.  So at 1 hour 54 minutes into the film Clive Owen (Chris) sits in his living room with a projector and watches old family movies.  Jake and I jump up and run to the screen.  Its like 5 seconds tops but it shows the boys climbing the rock formations and at the last second MACY COMES RUNNING AT THE CAMERA SMILING AND LAUGHING!!!!  We scream, its midnight at least but we don’t care what the neighbors think, OUR BABY GIRL IS IN A MOVIE!!!

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So here is the scene, don’t blink because you’ll miss her!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/90596023″>Macy’s scene in Blood Ties</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user26485187″>Nikki Berry</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

When we told Macy the good news she reacted the way most people would, she jumped up and down in excitement.  Big or small it was an experience that she enjoyed and also even thought she wasn’t in the credits (double darn!) she can put it on her resume.  We do plan on getting her name on the cast list on IMBd, there are several extra actors that have attached themselves to the list that are uncredited, we think Macy deserves that just as much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Brooklyn Love, Celebrations, The Chic Tween

Nautical Stripes and Sugar Sequins Cake

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If you’ve followed along with my blog for a while you probably notice this pattern: I have several posts and then I wont have any for weeks.  My silence is not laziness, during those weeks that I don’t post I am always super busy making the beautiful sugar works that I share!  I wish that I could be more consistent and always have a regular MWF blog but it’s just a lot of work when the majority of my content is all my creations.   If you would like to see sneak peaks of my day-to-day creations you can follow me on Instagram (my live feed is in the sidebar).   If you do follow me, then you have seen the beautiful cake I made for my daughter’s 11 birthday.

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Macy loves nautical striped shirts, first it was just the plain navy ones, then J.Crew started making ones with sequined hearts & anchors.  She has striped dresses and skirts, all mostly in navy.  In general navy is a neutral for all of us.  We often go out as a family looking very stripey, bluey and coordinated.  Not on purpose, we just all like it!  Ok, Hudson doesn’t really know what he likes but we like it on him (currently his favorite shirt is one that we tie dyed, he calls it his “color shirt” it makes him very happy to wear it…with navy shorts of course).

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For the first time ever Macy didnt have a party for her birthday.  It was a break that had been decided when we planned on during the planning of  her Dylan’s Candy Bar birthday party last year.  So there was no disapointment for her or me, it just the decision that was made.  I still knew that I would make a beautiful cake.  In fact, I did plan to make several cakes (all fake except one for us) but I had too many other projects going on that it fell to the wayside.  Hopefully I can make the beautiful Nautical Suite of cakes that I sketched out,  I just have to make it a project on my list.

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I made Macy’s cake an extra tall 6″ round.  It had 2 layers of chocolate and 2 layers of vanilla cake with swiss buttercream.  I used brand new recipes for every bit of the cake and I am so happy with them!  Both the chocolate and vanilla cake recipes were suggested by Jessica Harris of Jessicakes, they are the sturdiest cakes Ive ever made.  They are definitely the type of cakes you need to get a flawless fondant finish.  If you are new to fondant and find it frustrating to get perfect, it’s probably your cake and icing that is the problem.  I know when I started researching the best tips and techniques I found my fondant skills were fine, my cake stacking skills were really bad!  So along with Jessica’s recipes I also used the upside down icing technique, (its crazy sounding but for small cakes it really works!!) and I’m a big fan of the wax paper transfer method for applying cake decorations.  With horizontal stripes this is the ONLY way to achieve perfect level stripes all the way around.  You will lose your mind and too much sleep any other way.  I will post links to recipes and tutorials at the end of the post.

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So the design was simple really, it mimicked the stripped shirt Macy loves (and now has 3 of).  The sugar sequins technique on the anchor was new for me, new in general really.  I had seen it somewhere on the internet and filed it away in my mind.  In going back to look for any tips or the example I had seen I could not find anything anywhere.  So  I winged it.  I pressed candy sequins into still soft fondant and let dry over night.  Then I painted on metallic luster dust.  It turned out beautiful but I’m sure there must me some other ways to cover the candy sequins more completely.  The thicker I painted on the luster dust the less definition I got on the shape of the candy, I tried the spray color too but it didn’t cover the colored sprinkles at all.

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Over all I liked the creation enough to make cupcake toppers for my etsy shop with this technique. These cupcakes were not for Macy’s birthday but I still had the nautical theme in mind when I combined them with stripped Simply Baked baking cups I purchased from Pick Your Plum ( you can also get them here  or here and on amazon)  I’ve listed heart shapes in gold or silver in my shop, but really the shape and colors are limitless!

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Although we didn’t party like rock stars, we did spend the whole day celebrating Macy, with a movie, dinner, stroll in the old neighb (Lower Manhattan) and she had a friend stay over.  It was a beautiful and unseasonably cool August day, we enjoyed our stroll on the Battery Park City Promenade as we always do.

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My chic tween rocked a new Target dress with an on trend origami bird pattern on her birthday, she added to it a glitter Crewcuts belt (the type that inspired the sugar sequins technique) and a brass whistle necklace she bought at the Brooklyn Flea, oh and a navy blazer, lol.

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Check out my new Sugar Sequin toppers here.

My new favorite Vanilla Cake recipe for a dense sturdy cake here.

My new favorite Chocolate Cake recipe for a dense sturdy cake here.

Swiss Meringue recipe by Martha Stewart here.

Jessicakes wax transfer technique here and a video on icing a cake upside down here.

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Filed under Cakes, Celebrations, SugarCoated, The Chic Tween

2013 Ikea Doll House Furniture

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My 2013-2014 Ikea catalog was delivered yesterday and I immediately spotted a toy that I have to have…..I mean my kids have to have.  A set of miniature iconic Ikea furniture!  The Huset Dollhouse Furniture set is new this year and its already a hit in Europe.   I dont think I can get to Ikea fast enough and I have a feeling that it’s not even in our American stores yet, but Im going to see anyway.

IKEA HUSET Doll's House Furniture

Ikea Dollhouse furniture

IKEA HUSET Doll's House Furniture

The European bloggers are already having fun with this set, this blogger has set up a well designed barbie house with it, check out all the pictures here:

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I hope Ikea has manufactured A LOT of these sets, I definitely need two.  I have a feeling Macy wont want to share hers with Hudson and I think that its not specifically designed for girls, so he’s going to want it too.

I did a little looksie around the web and the idea of miniature ikea furniture has been introduced before, a New York Times article featured a dollhouse crafter that created her own modern furniture when she couldn’t find any available.  Check out some of her amazingly styled and handmade ikea dollhouse pieces: new-york-times-modern-miniature-dollhouse-ikea-bookshelf

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Many modern furniture enthusiasts collect miniature Vitra chairs, I thought about it myself but being they cost several hundred anyway, I’d rather just invest in the full size chair.

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Vitra Miniatures Source

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Vitra Miniatures Source

If you know me, you probably know that I have a little obsession with designer chairs and have a pretty good collection that Im proud of, but the miniatures are so cute and tempting, so big thanks to Ikea for making affordable modern miniatures for me (I mean my kids) to indulge in!ColourCheck: Proof Magnus G

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Filed under City Mouse + Country Mouse, Design 101

The Brooklyn Berrys

Scratching one of my oldest To Dos off my list today, I’m sharing a photo shoot from last fall!  My sister happens to be a rock star photographer and I’m lucky she likes to captured beautiful pictures of my family.  We love to have our picture taken in DUMBO, Brooklyn.  Its one of our favorite places to visit in the city and after we moved to Brooklyn it also became symbolic for us to have our picture made there with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.  The first year we were back in NYC we took pictures their ourselves for our Christmas card! This past year my sister and her family visited for Thanksgiving and gifted us these amazing pictures.  Our Christmas card shot happened to be this one:

 

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A magical ride on Jane’s Carousel!  Such beautiful colors came through on that cold, dismal November day.  We cherish this picture so much, especially the experience of my sister riding the carousel with us to get it.  We put this picture on the back of our card:

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Another one of our favorites is this one inside the Jane’s Carousel building with the Brooklyn Bridge seen through the glass:

 

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How sweet are Macy and Hudson!  How beautiful is my family!!  We look like total Brooklyners (Brooklynites?) right?

We also went uptown to Lincoln Center since this spot is so important in our lives right now with Macy dancing at School of American Ballet.  Another Christmas card worthy shot!

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Here is one that is sweet to my heart:

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Swoon!  My husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary this year!

Although my sister is based else where in the USA she travels frequently to NYC ( Michigan and Tennessee) to visit.  If you are interested in an on site shoot for family pictures contact her HERE!

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A Day of Ballet Class for Macy & Some Exciting News

nikkiikkin a day of ballet Our family’s schedule dramatically changed when Macy started attending classes at School of American Ballet last September.  It wasn’t a hard decision to accept her invitation to dance there, but we knew that we would also have to accept that ballet rules our life right now.  We are so proud of her and her diligent attitude in her dance studies.  She has come up leaps and bounds in her strength and ballet education since she started.  With only a handful of absences and almost zero complaining, this has been her life 4 days a week.  3 of which are right after a long day at school.  Our time everyday at SAB is more than just waiting the 90 minutes while she is in dance class, we have much more time invested in it than that.  I wanted to share our family’s nearly daily journey and the logistics it takes for Macy have this amazing experience.

MACY’S DAY AT BALLET

We made a decision early on that it was a waste of time for us to pick Macy up from school, walk home, wait 45 min and then walk back to the train.  So we leave straight from school pick up and get to SAB earlier than needed.

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It takes 3 trains for us to get to Lincoln Center.  Its not really a big deal, when you live in NYC, transferring trains is a just how its done.  Sometimes you get lucky and there’s no wait for the next train to arrive and sometimes the train runs late and you have a long wait.  Its sort of the way traffic is everywhere else, its out of your control and you have to be patient. On the plus side you have time to read a book while you travel, in Macy’s case she has 45 minutes to work on homework.  She usually uses the time to do her reading but sometimes she gets distracted.  Especially if a 6 foot tall transvestite with purple hair and giant boots is making a scene on the train.  Would anyone be able to pay attention with that going on?

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We dont always take the last leg of train, sometimes we walk from 59th street to 66th street.  It’s not much difference in waiting for the 1 train and making the 7 block walk.  I often use the extra time we give ourselves to run an errand at the Shops at Columbus circle, printing at Kinkos or to mail a package.

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There is always something going on at Lincoln Center.  We stumble upon events ranging from the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera, to movie premieres (we saw Leonardo DiCaprio and other celebs at the Great Gatsby premier last week) just going about on our day of ballet.  The area of Lincoln Center for Performing Arts is made up of several world renown organizations.  The New York City Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, The Julliard School, New York Philharmonic, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts  and School of American Ballet to name just a few.  Last fall a sky walk crossing over 65th street opened to connect the buildings holding Julliard and SAB to the main Lincoln Center buildings.  Which makes it easier for me to stroll Hudson over to the plazas where a fountain, a reflection pool and grassy lawn are, if the weather is good we often walk over to enjoy their beauty.

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At our earliest arrival to SAB we have about 30 minutes before we can order from the dinner counters at the Julliard & SAB Cafe.  We LOVE the cafe!  I honestly dont think I could handle all of the hours and days we have to spend doing this if I didnt have the cafe to eat and wait in.    Serving  just Julliard and SAB students, staff and families, it has a  grill, hot entree counter, soup and salad bars and sandwich counter, several drinks and luckily brews Starbucks coffee.   We spend a lot of time there and see many interesting performing arts students.  It really is the heart of these two performing arts schools, as students are not just eating there between classes before they go home.  Both SAB and Julliard have resident students that depend on it for meals that are healthly and full of variety.  We on the other hand eat mostly pizza, Hudson does at least.  Macy likes to eat salad and yogurt and I enjoy the fact that its affordable and I don’t have to cook dinner on ballet nights.

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The Cafe is located on the lobby level of the Rose Building, SAB is on the 5th floor.  Unfortunately the school has very strict rules about photography on the 5th floor.  Parents are not allowed to stay on the 5th floor while their child is in class, which is a new rule this year.  There is actually several seating areas with big comfy sofas up there, its a shame really that we can’t enjoy it during class time anymore.  We are also not allowed to observe classes, but twice a year there is a Parents Observation week.

Before each class, I get 20 minutes to help her get ready, not that it takes that long.  Some days she has a morning shower and we do her bun in the morning.  On those days her bun is high and more classic looking.  On dry hair days we do a low bun with a side part just before class.  Macy is getting good at doing the bun herself now, she likes to use a bun form to get a big showy bun, but in general she has pretty silky hair that goes into a bun easily without too many fly aways.

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And here she is ready to go to class!

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After class, if we are lucky and Macy isnt socializing too much she can be dressed and ready to go in 10 minutes.  We don’t usually run any errands after ballet, we have about an hour commute and are just ready to be home.  If you are wondering about Hudson during our ballet days, he doesn’t go every time.   On most weeks, Jacob is home for 1 or 2 of the ballet days and  one of us stays with Hudson.  When he does go, he often falls asleep in his stroller on the train ride there and of course eating dinner and watching some netflix is part of his day anyway, he just has to do it away from home.

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And now for Macy’s exciting news!  During the year SAB students are asked to fill childrens’ roles in ballets at New York City Ballet.  This being Macy’s first year learning ballet so intensely we have not auditioned for any of the open calls, but some of the ballets roles are chosen directly by the Children’s Ballet Master……

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Macy has been chosen to perform in the ballet Firebird with the NYCB for 4 nights in May at David Koch theater!   It really was a surprise to us that she was offered this experience so soon, we are so proud of how hard she has been working. This week she begins rehearsals and of course we plan to attend all 4 performances.  I cant wait to she my baby girl on stage at Lincoln Center!  I will certainly have more to share as it happens, so stay tuned.

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Filed under I heart NY, The Chic Tween

Hudson’s Superhero Party featured on Amy Atlas

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Amy Atlas is internationally know as “The Sweets Stylist”.  Her blog Sweet Designs is full of dessert tables for which Amy has set the standard for.   She is so supportive and encouraging to other aspiring stylists in the events industry.   Beautiful guest dessert tables from around the world grace her blog pages, it is always an honor to be excepted as a featured guest.   This  submission is my third party to debut on Amy Atlas and there will be many more to come as I celebrate my children each year and as friends and family allow me to create for them.

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Check out the rest of Hudson’s Superhero Party on Amy Atlas HERE

Now that the party is out of the bag, I cant wait to fill you all in on some great DIY tips about the crafts and display.  I will be introducing my first free printable as well as sharing how you can do a cake like this one at home!

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Filed under Celebrations, City Mouse + Country Mouse, SugarCoated

The Chic Tween {Holiday Wish List 2012}

nikkiikkin chic tween holiday 2012

My daughter Macy is 10 years old, she straddles the age between child and teen that we call tween.  Fortunately she is not the type of tween that is into annoying mainstream fads.  She’s classic and on trend, she has style and I call her my Chic Tween.  This Christmas my husband and I started shopping early for her, we wanted to have plenty of time to pick just the right gifts. I secretly got my husband a set of wooden watches, I know he will be so happy, now I can focus on the others. I have put together a fabulous board of gifts that speak to me of Macy’s style.  She’s getting about half of what is on the board, thats why its a wish list, I wish we could give her all of it!   Luckily she doesnt look at my blog unless I share it with her so, SHHHHH! don’t tell her what Santa might be bringing her :)

Harajuku Mini  velvet dress -Target

1/2 pound gummy bear – giantgummybears.com

Star headband – Giantdwarf on Etsy

Military Jacket – Johnie B 

Initial bracelet – C Wonder 

Glitter Tote – Crewcuts 

Gold ballet flat – Gap

Resin rings with gold flakes – Daimblond on Etsy

Hersey Barbie – Barbie collector 

– Shirt Dress – Zara 

– Daisy Chain necklace – Anthropologie 

Mini Edie glitter bag – Crewcuts 

– Sequin sweater – Target 

– iPad Mini – Apple

– Clog Boots – Gap

Toothpick Cords – Crewcuts

Peter Pan collar necklace – LittleBunga on etsy

Viscid Watch – Anthropologie

– Lomography Camera – Urban Outfitters

Singer sewing machine – Target

– “Be What You Want To Be” print – by Neryl Walker via LLK-C

I hope you see something that might make your Tween’s eyes sparkle!

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Filed under Holiday, The Chic Tween

A Ballet Journey Begins

Macy Berry’s ballet shoes

Yesterday Macy’s dancewear arrived.  Nothing in the order was out of the ordinary, except the amount.  Never have we had to order so many leotards and tights for one year of ballet.  It’s a small symbolic moment to compare the move she is making from dancing 1 hour a week to 6 hours a week.   I studied her little ballet slippers this morning, thinking about how much wear and tear they will soon be receiving.  This is our last lazy weekend, next Wednesday Macy will start her classes at School of American Ballet.  We enthusiastically anticipate this new journey and I look forward sharing our joy and stories with you all!

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Filed under The Chic Tween

Toddler By Design – part two

 

I love modern childrens’ furniture.  Its a trend in juvenile products that has caught on like wildfire.  But the funny thing is, most of the popular modern pieces are reissued mid-century designs.  Something fabulous and unforgettable was happening in the 50’s.   My second child Hudson is my modern child,  I happily splurge on designer furniture for him that is a fraction of the size and cost as the originals.   My inner child lives vicariously on those indulgences without sacrificing my adult decor style.  I’ve already featured my son’s bedrooms as he progress from Nursery to Toddler, and along with a toddler comes (lots of) toys and play spaces.  Here is how I live happily with ours.

Part 2 – Play Area

While his bed and dresser are in the bedroom, Hudson’s toy box, table and chairs are in the living room.  He drags all the toys out there anyway so I decided not to squeeze them into the shared bedroom.  There’s a funny little family story about how I’ve been on the hunt for a coffee table for a few years.  With transitions in our life, moves and changes in spaces, I finally thought I was ready to pick something.  Then Hudson needed a play table and pouf!  I gained a “coffee table”, at least is looks good in my living room!

Hudson’s play area may intrude on our living room space, but I’m happy with the modern childrens’ furniture that I get to add to my collection.  Like little works of art, the Eames Elephant and Panton Junior chairs are not just pleasing on my eye, their colorful, sculptural and nearly indestructible construction are perfect for my son’s rambunctious pretend play. And like all of our polypropylene furniture, they clean up like brand new with a Mr Clean Magic Eraser.

Modern childrens’ furniture isn’t cheap.  You have to appreciate that you are paying for the design to justify buying it.  I’m a big advocate of buying licensed design products, I don’t buy knockoffs, its sorta a professional courtesy.   That doesn’t mean that I think there aren’t great designs out there without a big name designer name attached to it.  Target and Ikea are excellent companies cranking out modern and on trend products.  Hudson’s toy box is from Ikea and his table is from Target and they all look perfect together.  We also pick up more expensive items one at a time.  Obviously the pink Panton Junior chair is Macy’s, so we’ve had it for a few years.  Hudson got the orange one for christmas and the elephant for his birthday.

My kidos love building blocks, this natural wood set from Melissa and Doug, sits out in a wire basket (from Moon River Chattel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn) ready to be made into an architecural masterpiece on a whim.

So there are “toy box people” and there are “cubby box people”.  I was once a “cubby box mom”, all of Macy’s toys were housed in cute little pink wooden boxes that sat on a shelving unit.  I would stress over the collections being separated properly and spend way to much time organizing it all.  I got over that and LOVE throwing all of Hudson’s  toys in the toy box now.  But it doesn’t mean that its completely an unorganized mess.  The majority of the childrens’ bedroom closet is shelving designated for board games, playsets and a few cubbies. And within the toy box, I came up with a solution to keep collections like cars, puzzle pieces, block sets & Schleich animals grouped for easy play.  I reuse the cloth pull string bags that sheets and other home items are packaged in for a few of those popular toys…..and then I toss them in the toy box, done!

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Put A Bird On It – BIRDday Cake & Cupcakes

A few weeks ago my cake decorating skills were out shined by my 10 year old daughter.  It’s not hard to believe that being surrounded by my crafts and cakes for years that she would pick up a few tricks.  Of course I’m actually very proud of her and happy to share her creations, that I promise I didn’t suggest, influence or implement her cupcake designs below.

So here is the cake I made a few weeks ago for a dear friend.  The request was a sparrow.   A simple silhouette on a 6″ cake is easy to make for a small group of friends getting together for dinner.  I love to use the FMM letter cutters for my name plates.

After I finished the cake, we craved some cupcakes so Macy mixed and loaded the cups, I don’t allow her to work with the oven so I did that.  The icing was already colored blue from my cake so she had to work with that color but she pipped the cupcakes.   She told me she was going to make fondant birds for them and I left the kitchen to her.  I came back to see that she made these adorable molded birds, eggs and nests!  The colors were perfect, so cheerful and modern!  Beautiful work and consistency on each topper.  Best of all she enjoyed doing it and that’s what makes me happiest.

I’d like to give credit to my husband and friend Jenn for the title of this post.  Its an inside joke but also describes these cakes perfectly :)

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Toddler By Design – part one

Preschool of Art rendering by Nikki Berry

Just shy of 10 years ago there was a major shift in my personal design style.  After beginning design school and absorbing knowledge of design theory like a sponge, I had a gravitational pull toward modern design, especially design that spoke of a child’s delight.  My design school projects always leaned toward fanciful and whimsy, my biggest dream was to design interiors for Disney.  As I developed my senior thesis on symbolism and a child’s built environment I was inspired by Post Modernism, Maria Montessori and the grand idea that arose to create Kindergarden for children.  I would have benefited significantly to have seen the MOMA’s latest exhibition: Century of the Child, as scraping together resources for my thesis research was tough.   But my intelllectual design voice was understood and my senior project that bloomed from it was a gorgeous, modern Preschool of Art.  It was 2005 and the boom of modern children’s product had not yet taken off.  But with sources like Design Within Reach’s children’s store JAX, The MOMA store, Kido, Modernseed and Vitra my modern preschool was well furnished and flowed with symbolic references that would appeal to the child in all of us.  Little did the jury panel know, I was really just nesting for my next child.

Part 1 – Bedroom

My daughter Macy, now 10 years old, is an old soul.  Her style has always been more traditional.  She might have been a Victorian they way she likes to collect tchotchkes. So when my design style changed to modern I used the birth of my second child Hudson, now 2.5, as a reason to buy all the reissued mid-century childrens’ furniture and toys that I really wanted for myself. Giraud, Eames, Panton, Nelson and new comers Stark, Ouef, & Dwell Studio are high on my radar for Modern children’s design.  All of their products work in harmony in a home like mine where I collect mid century  and modern furniture and color is always welcome.  Where form is the priority and the history behind a piece always the price tag.  Items like the Panton Jr chairs and Eames Elephant will never be packed up and stored away when my children are older.  They are pieces of art to me.

I’d like to share how my toddler design collection is coming along.  I have already shared Hudson’s Nursery HERE.  Its a big hit on Pinterest and one of my most popular posts.  He and Macy share a room in our Brooklyn apartment, these pictures are only of his spaces.

Hudson’s side of the bedroom is in transition right now, its sort of an in-between phase for him.  While he’s done with a “nursery look”, the main components of his room aren’t ready to be replaced yet.  His Ouef Sparrow crib will soon convert to a toddler bed and he will continue with grey, green and aqua colors but I have changed out some smaller details to update his Nursery into Toddler room.  Later on I have I have ideas for a navy and orange room with bunk beds for his young boy bedroom.

Hudson’s Oliver the Owl nursery was inspired by the Dwell Studio Owl bedding. So now that his bumper and matching quilt are phased out I could work in the sheeting from the Dwell Studio collection.  We’ve also begun picking up softgoods, like the navy Star Wars pillow by Pottery Barn Kids, that we know will transition to his young boy bedroom.

We adore maps, especially the NYC MTA maps, making them art for the room was an easy addition. I just completed this awesome DIY wallcovering on the closet doors in the childrens’ room.  Look for a post on that soon.

Since I added plenty of map graphics in the room we replaced the framed vintage subway map with a circus letterpress print we pick up on a trip home to Nashville from the legendary Hatch Show Print.

We love books!  We started collection our favorite childhood classics even before we had children.  The wide window sills in the bedroom make for an easy book shelf and I used an Ikea Lack wall shelf that we no longer used as a color pop and platform to display the books.  The canvas art is my creation along with the Arctic Friends painting.  The Blue Brooklyn Brownstones illustration is from Claudia Pearson.

Im not done yet!  Check back in later for the second part of Hudson’s toddler spaces: the play area.

 

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Macy’s 10th Birthday Party at Dylan’s Candy Bar

Macy Berry ready for her Dylan’s Candy Bar Party

On the last Saturday of the school year, my daughter celebrated her tenth birthday at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan.  It was a birthday wish that we promised her 2 years prior, when we weren’t even living in NYC.  Longing so much to get back to New York, we had a very long wish list of sites and to-dos that we promised ourselves we would never take for granted again.  As Macy’s tenth birthday approached she didn’t let us forget that she was due this dream party.

Dylan Lauren, the daughter of Ralph Lauren, opened this candy emporium in 2001.  Inspired by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and a life long love of sweets it was her dream to open a candy store.  The original NYC location expanded in 2008 and is now 3 floors of sugar and wonderment for the eye.  A visit to the store is like walking around a real Candyland game board. It is hands down my favorite interior designed space…..well besides all of Disney World and Disneyland.  It just makes me happy to be there.  I don’t even have to leave with pounds of candy, but I always do.

 

nikkiikkin dylans candy bar invite 3

See how I made the candy invite HERE

We first moved to NYC in 2006  just a week before Macy’s fourth birthday.  We took her to Dylan’s on her birthday to celebrate.  From then on she was hooked (and yes she has the Barbie doll).  We never tire of it being a must-do on our list when we have guests in town and all of our friends are just as crazy about going as we are.   So when we decided to host Macy’s tenth birthday party at Dylan’s we extended the guest list to friends and family back home in Tennessee (as if they needed a reason to make a trip to NYC!) And we were overwhelmed with excitement when 3 of our extended families mod podge themselves into a large collaborative group on a mission to celebrate  a “Decade of Macy” with us.

Sweets Party at Dylan’s Candy Bar

Dylan’s Candy Bar has a special events room that is located on the top floor just off of the cafe.  When you book a general party there you choose between 3 types of parties packages that are all-inclusive.  One type is just for 1,2&3 year olds, one type is for 21 & up and the third is for anyone 4 to 20 years old.  Invitation, cake, pizza, drinks, favors, games, craft, decorations, guest of honor gift & lots and lots of sweets are all included in the party packages.  And of course the sky is the limit on add-ons.  The party coordinator was very easy to work with and even granted my out of the ordinary request of a signed copy of Dylan’s book and having one of their giant signature prop cakes in the room.

My parties are always very hands on….meaning my hands are what create everything from the invite, cake, food, favors, crafts & decorations.  It was hard for me to let go of this responsibility that brings me so much joy.  By booking an all-inclusive party there was no need for me to do a thing except show up with the birthday girl.  But I couldn’t really stop myself, while the included invitation and cake are both very nice, they were not my style.  So I made custom invitations that included a candy necklace for the lucky guest.  Not wanting to waste Dylan’s yummy cake, I made a dummy cake inspired by the gorgeous signature cakes that Dylan’s uses in magazine spreads and then displays in the store.(Here & Here & Here)   My cake was smaller than the original cake and there was only one reason I made it: to use as a photo prop!  I took a picture of each guest at the party holding the cake and we gave them the picture in their thank you cards.  It was funny to watch the girls timidly hold the cake thinking that it was heavy or that they would hurt it.

Candy Cake by Nikki Berry

Hudson says: “I’m gonna touch the cake!”

First up on the party schedule was the craft, out of a list of candy related crafts Macy choose the gumball machine decorating.  The girls took home a 12″ machine full of  gumballs and decorated with stickers.

After pizza, the girls played Macy’s chosen sweets games: cupcake walk and freeze dance, which the winning guests received a boxed cupcake to take home.

Cupcake walk

Although the girls were surrounded by candy on the tables they were probably most excited to do the candy spree.  As their party favor each guest received a bucket to fill with whatever candy would fit from the hundreds of choices of confections on the main floor.  To build up the excitement the party directors marched the girls through the store chanting “CANDY!, CANDY!, CANDY!”  it was quite the experience!

Candy Spree at Dylan’s Candy Bar

Not only did the party include 3 very helpful party staff but at the door to the event room Macy had her very own security guard to keep out the paparazzi and we actually noticed several party crasher attempts!
Finally after the craft, game, pizza, & candy spree we sang Happy Birthday and ate cake.  I added-on extra cupcakes to our package to send parents and siblings home with a treat.

Cake by Dylan’s Candy Bar

Happy Birthday Macy!

Partially due to fun music played the entire time the party went on and a lot due to the sugar high everyone had, Macy’s party was full of happiness and energy!    I never repeat party themes but I think we could repeat a party at Dylan’s Candy Bar…..maybe a SWEET 16?

Candy Cake by Nikki Berry

Macy having fun with her Candy Cake

Like the cake?  It can be yours!  I am now offering a made to order Faux / Prop Candy Cake in my Etsy shop.  She the listing HERE!

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School of American Ballet Invites Macy Berry to Enroll

Macy Berry, Brooklyn, New York

I am delighted to share my family’s wonderful news, my daughter Macy has been accepted into the prestigious The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center.  Macy has always loved to dance and enjoyed a few years with Joffrey Ballet School when SAB auditions fell into our lap.  We weren’t looking for change but after learning more about the school felt that the classical technique that they offer is more of the style that Macy enjoys.  She has been placed in level III at SAB and is excited that she is one level below learning Pointe, her biggest goal.

Alfred Eisenstaedt dancers at George Balanchines School of American Ballet lined up at barre during training.

Alfred Eisenstaedt ballerinas on a window sill in rehearsal room at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet

“The School of American Ballet, the official training academy of the New York City Ballet was established in 1934 by legendary choreographer George Balanchine and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein”  “Many SAB students have unique opportunities to gain performing experience through the School’s affiliation with New York City Ballet.  Younger students are featured in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Coppelia, among other ballets”  – http://www.SAB.org   While learning about the school we found an amazing 16 minute video.  We think it gives an excellent overview and inside look  at what SAB is about from auditions to alternative high school education.

Students from SAB’s Girls IV class perform Coppélia Photo by Paul Koknik

Macy Berry Ballerina

As we learn about the opportunities that a path with SAB can bring, Macy becomes more interested in becoming the best dancer she can be.  Everyday she is stretching, dancing and studying ballet terms to stay in shape this summer.  She starts classes in September for a 90 minute class 4 times a week.  We will sorely miss our trips to Joffrey Ballet in the West Village but I am excited to explore more of the UWS.   Hudson and I will be spending a lot of time there while Macy is dancing her heart out!

Snowflakes from The Nutcracker
New York City Ballet photo by Paul Koknik

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
New York City Ballet photo by Paul Koknik

At least 5 years ago Macy cut this image of the Waltz of the Flowers out of the NY Times, we laminated it and it has hung around her room since then.  We look forward to seeing more ballets this year and maybe one day Macy’s dream of being that Dewdrop in the middle will come true.

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A Bright and Beautiful Easter

Macy & Hudson Easter 2012

Today was a lovely Easter Day.  Beautiful NYC weather and time with my children. My son is 26 months and I am amazed to watch his wonderment with each new event we share.   Although we didn’t take him to see a costume easter bunny, he was excited and curious about the introduction of this “new” holiday.   Basically he likes candy and happy anytime he can get his sticky fingers on some.  I think most of all, I’m proud to witness my 9 year old daughter finding enjoyment in watching and showing him how we celebrate holiday traditions as a family.

Park Ave Tulips on Easter Day

Where ever we are, whomever we are with, on Easter we celebrate with finding eggs and baskets hidden by the Easter Bunny.  We put on our finest (color coordinated and stylishly chosen) clothes and go to church and we spent the rest of the day with family.  This year the weather was too beautiful to spend the day inside and I found myself heading toward Central Park as we left our church on Park Ave & 59th St.  Being New York  Zoo Members we often pop in the Central Park zoo just to see the polar bear and thats just what we did today!

Easter at Central Park Zoo

I can’t lie, I think I had the best looking kids in Central Park today! ( I looked pretty good too in my new green dress,  but nobody ever takes mommy’s picture)

After the afternoon in the park, I made the classic Betty Crocker Easter Bunny Cake, I think everyone has seen or made this cake.  My mother made it in the 80’s and its at least been around since the 60’s according to this blogger who found a 1966 copy of Betty Crocker’s Cake and Frosting Mix Cookbook.  I made my bunny’s ears out of rice crispies covered in icing and coconut instead of paper and added uncooked spaghetti noddles as whiskers, but there really isn’t much reason to change anything else.  Its a classic just the way Betty designed it, way back when!

I hope you enjoyed your holiday and spent it making memories with the ones you love!

Love,

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The Chic Tween {Navy Base}

Macy Berry is The Chic Tween! Crewcuts Sweater, Lands End Shirt & Target Skirt

I am officially naming my 9 year old daughters style and coining the phrase “The Chic Tween”.   Macy definitely has her own modern yet classic style, she’s Chic.  We have always experimented with her fashion, towing the line between cutesy and mini-me.  I cant help but live vicariously through her clothes since its hers that need replenished more often than my own.  We have always loved some outfits more than others but recently I think she has come into her own style and it seems that we have been able to curate a collection rather than single outfits. I’m proud to say that after years of denying her character sneakers, sweat pants, hoodies and over styled graphic t-shirts, she can pull together a classy outfit without our assistance and with our beaming approval because we have figured out that its not about quantity of items she has, its about the quality and the style we carefully help her choose .

The Chic Tween - Target Dress & Sweater

A tween is a girl that is between a teenager and child, its a new term for girls that are younger than pre-teens.  The age of a tween is subjective, but basically around 7-11.  A tween’s clothing size is in the section for 7-14 year olds and we have yet to understand what a 7 year old and a 14 year old have in common in fashion or lifestyle.  Dressing Macy became hard a few years ago when she no longer fit in children’s size 6 and we were forced to scrape together age appropriate clothing out of clothing sections that frankly look like tramp starter kits.  The past year Macy has found a love for navy as a wardrobe base, (and I have too!)  It spans the gap between colors like no black or brown can and always looks spot on, whether dressed down with Converse or up with sailor stripes.

The Chic Tween - Crewcuts Dress & Necklace

The Chick Tween - Lands End Shirt & Shorts

Its my goal this year to document Macy’s outfits and clothing collections more regularly to share and inspire other moms to have fun with their daughters wardrobes.  Keeping a Chic Tween in fashion doesn’t mean always shopping at Bloomingdale’s or Crewcuts but definitely check out their sales and clearances for great items.   Most of Macy’s clothes come from Target, Lands End and Zara, catch their sales and it costs next to nothing!  From our experience pulling together a clothing collection doesnt happen in one trip.  Some parents do one shopping trip for the start of school, then maybe for winter season and then summer season.  But in reality, buying new clothes really never has an ending with kids, I mean they are kids, growing out of clothes, ruining them and losing them.  Their wardrobe is never complete and always in need.  We are constantly picking up a new piece here or there, to replace or add to Macy’s wardrobe.  We have limits and regrets and after 10 years have learned that we have to really love the item to get it(high or low priced) and I will never pay $100 for crewcuts ballet shoes.  A couple of other good rules to go by: Don’t jump too early for over priced items, they will go on sale.  Don’t settle for the wrong item, if it doesn’t work or your daughter says so wont wear it, she wont and its a waste no matter how inexpensive you get it.   And know when to just get it, even if its a swim suit in January, because its sad to come back and find that perfect piece is gone.

The Chic Tween - Navy Base Collection

 The very heart of Macy’s wardobe is currently styled around navy basics.  We feel using navy as her neutral has allowed us to use color as layers, not as the canvas and we have been able to buy better pieces because we’ve kept the quantity she needs lower.
Here is how Macy’s {Navy Base} comes together:
Shoes – A riding boot, a ballet flat, a sneaker and a special occasion.
If you stay away from the department store shoe sections you can actually find REAL leather boots for girls that cost half as much.  Gap always has a leather riding boot and this brown one is from Zara $36.
You can pick a ballet flat almost anywhere, this navy one with toe cap is Zara $20
Converse is the most versatile tennis shoe for girls, it looks great with jeans or a dress.  Gym day doesnt have to mean a no style day.  All converse are not created equal.  We prefer Jack Purcells, they are made better than Chucks and they stay looking great longer.  They cost more but are worth it for the look, longivity and comfort. A basic blue is always available but Macy has rocked them in watermellon before too.  You can find them online at Zappos or Piperlime, J Crew carries them also, $50
I say special occasion but what little girl doesnt try to wear her sparkly shoes with every outfit?  Being a dancer, Macy especially appreciates this jazz shoe style from Zara $25 
Dresses – A long sleeve and a short sleeve
The style is up to you and whats on the market but we have been very happy with a nautical stripe cream and navy dress similar to this navy and white stripe from Crewcuts $43
A great collection going on right now is the Harajuku Mini at Target designed by Gwen Stefani, it has a nautical theme and many pieces are navy.  This vintage looking dress is  from Target and only $24 ! 
The reason I say a long sleeve and a short sleeve is because by adding tights and a cardigan either of the dresses can be worn in the middle of winter.  And as long as the fabric isnt a winter weight (corduroy, velvet or wool) the long sleeve can be worn with sandals on transitional spring and fall days.
 Skirt – a pleated full or apron style
A five pocket denim skirt is a standard, but try stepping out of the crowd with a chambray apron style skirt, it was a steal from Target $12.
If you dont find any this style you can always get the standard school uniform skirt, nearly all the stores carry them every season now.  Choose the one that is cotton instead of the cheap polyester.  Macy has never had to wear a school uniform but has wanted a navy jumper and the pleated skirt every year (to accessories with pins and colorful knee socks and cardigans).
Cardigan Sweaters – these you really cant have too much of
Jackie O, Boyfriend, Cropped, Wrapped and Embellished, there are SO MANY styles continuously on the market.  This is where you add your color layer so don’t buy navy.  Macy is really into this apricot color, she identifies it with “J Crew” but other stores are picking up on the color, this one is Crewcuts (and on sale) $24  Yellow always looks perfect with Navy too, Gap $30.  Other favorite colors of the past have been Kelly Green and Raspberry.
Shirts – Striped and Graphic
A striped boatneck shirt will never go out of style for you or for your daughter.  Look for a 3/4th sleeve for greatest versatility.  Lands End has a great one every year, Macy is pictured in it above.  This one is from Crewcuts (and a more than I would pay) $50. 
There is a fine line between good and bad graphic tees.  More than often they are over the top and just ugly in my eyes.  We look for simple graphics and little works of art. Some words are okay but never brands or logos  Sometimes they are from gap, sometimes like this heart one are from crewcuts $20.
Skinny Jeans and JODHPURS
I still love flare and boot cut jeans, but they just arent in style or on the market at the moment.  Skinny Jeans – Yes.  Jeggings – NO!  I didnt even picture jeans, we all know that they are a navy basic, they always have been.  Just wanted to hate on Jeggings for a moment.  So jodhpurs are classic ridding pants…that go great with ….riding boots!  But the style has jumped the ring and doesnt necessarily read equestrian anymore.  Instead of stretchy leggings look for a thicker knit pant, they arent always refered to as jodhpurs or have the patch at the inside of the knee but they keep their shape better, are warmer and arent skin tight.  Ralph Lauren stocks them at department stores, Gap ususally has them and these are Crewcuts $38
 
Trench coat – your mini me daughter!
How cute are little girls dressed in trench and pea coats?  Macy rocks this classic from Zara $40 in navy.  Many stores carried them this fall and I suspect will still next year, look for a fall clearance one now to wear in the spring.
Accessories – Belts and Jewelry
Macy loves belts, in fact I think she’s becoming obsessed.  It started when one of her dresses came with a skinny navy belt.  We added it over the cardigan layer and BAM!  realized that she could do this in so many outfits.  Now she has started shopping in my closet, this braided leather one from Zara $10  wraps around a couple of times and fits any size because the pin goes through the braid.   Keeping her happy in sparkles, a glitter belt like this one is like the glitter dance shoe, it goes with everything too, Zara $10
 I’m not a huge jewelry person, I like my basic silver pieces but I try to help Macy not get in a rut like I think I am.  Plus being a little girl she can have more fun with her pieces than me.  J Crew’s woman’s jewelry is over priced, period.  But their Crewcuts pieces are reasonable and sized to fit.   Macy usually gets a piece of  jewelry for her birthday and we have seen that Crewcuts lasts longer than something from Clares.  We also love to add to her charm bracelet with the Charm It collection at the Gap checkout counter.  The necklaces and bracelets pictured above are from Crewcuts $10-16.
So thats it!  If you look at the collection board above you can see that everything will work together, the outfits are endless and its only a handful of pieces!  Macy is pictured in several of the pieces above but when she looked at this board she started getting excited, “oh this will go with this, and that goes with that”  I think she put together a few new outfits!  I honestly cant say that this is really all the clothes she has, she has a few other shoes and clothing that is not navy but one day we realized that we were gravitating toward navy more and more and then it felt like her mornings became easier to get ready.  I hope my examples can help you build a collection with your daughter, whether its with navy or her favorite color its really not hard to make the right pieces go a long way.
 
Close on on Macy’s kitten heels is my 4 year old niece emma, here she is in a sweet Harajuku Mini dress, “waiting for the boys to come home” in Fort Bragg, NC.  Photographed by my sister CapturedbyJes

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The 9 Year Evolution of Macy’s Bedroom

My baby girl turns 9 in just a few days.  I always like to look back at old photos around this time of year and now that she’s older we look together.  It’s amazing that places and things I thought she’d never forget, she has forgotten.  I decided write a post showing the transformation of her room from Nursery to Tween; it would be fun to do and great for her to look at too.  I came across some decent vintage photos last week, although I never had publishing them on a blog in mind when I took them, I think they are good enough to share.  What is most important from this post is that you will see how I took Macy’s nursery design to a toddler design; to a whirl wind of changes during our moving adventures; to what she is now an: 9-year-old on the brink of a being a teenager or whats now called a tween.  Her colorway has not changed in these 9 years but amazingly enough I have made it work and grow with her.  We’ve had some major transitions in our lives but I’ve always made sure that no matter the space, size or shape she has had a familiar room that she was proud of.   Now that she has become older with less toys and her own taste we have promised her a design change this winter. She wants blue and I dont blame her!  She’s been surrounded by pink for 9 years & I want a change too!

Macy's Nursery 2002

Summer Fruit Bedding From Pottery Barn Kids

Macy’s Nursery

There was no theme for Macy’s nursery.  I simple picked what I liked based on colors.  Her bedding was Summer Fruit by Pottery Barn Kids and although it set the colorway for her room I didnt add fruit anywhere else.  I had a logical reason for choosing a butter yellow color for her walls, I knew the rest of the room would have entirely enough pink in it.  From toys and clothes to accessories and art, I didnt need to be surrounded by it on the wall too!  But I couldnt resist, the top 20 inches of her wall was a cotton candy pink!   It said “baby girl” without screaming it.

Macy's Toddler Room 2006

Kasey Quilt and Madeline Bed from Pottery Barn Kids

My DIY Version of a Land of Nod storage unit

Macy’s Toddler Room

Out with the baby gear, in with toys!  While Macy was still in her toddler bed I created a toy storage unit to vertically house her bulging toy boxes.  This is a copy from a storage unit in Land of Nod but mine was custom designed to match her room by me!  It was available for years but is gone now so if you like it you’ll have to make it and dont worry,  its sew easy!  I bought the wire shelving from Bed Bath and Beyond, its not cheap but its sturdy and can be used anywhere later on if you decided to do away with the cover.  I made the cover out of 2 pairs of cotton duck cloth drapery.  I actually only used 3 of the panels and opted to not cut the 4th because I only needed a small section for the top of the unit. (I saved the 4th panel and used it a few different ways in her room you will see) I added a coordinating stripe fabric on the top, scallop and inside front, but that was all extra and not necessary.  I came up with the idea to use drapery because it has a good hanging weight and its already hemmed on the sides and bottom.  It also proved to be cheaper than buying fabric by the yard.

When Macy was 3 1/2 she got a big girl bed.  The Madeline canopy bed from Potter Barn Kids.  To avoid changing the wall colors and the rest of the rooms accents, I went with a quilt and sheeting that had the same yellow, light pink and dark pink combinations.  I guess I made a good choose because her Kasey quilt and Madeline bed are still a staple of PBKs collection.  The transformation of her room literally happened in a few hours.  The white glove delivery put together the bed and we rearranged the room.  I made a few additions like the dress up wall but that was basically it, everything else already matched!  Her dresser became the nightstand, the rug was a neutral, the shades with ric rack that I sewed on still matched and the yellow fabric and striped fabric on the toy unit were a perfect match to the quilt!  Here I used the extra drapery panel on the canopy at the headboard to block an unsightly electric panel.

Macy's Mini Bedroom

Macy's Full size Manhattan bedroom

Macy takes Manhattan

Not long after Macy got her big girl room we had to pack it up and put it in storage :(  We moved to NYC and lived in corporate housing that was fantastic but not meant for a child.  Macy was small enough that she could fit back into a toddler bed temporarily and we were able to give her a slice of her bedroom design in the corner of our one bedroom luxury apartment in Lower Manhattan.  Look at how cute she was!  She only had to endure this “mini bedroom” for 5 months until we made NYC our permanent home and transferred our own furniture there.  I feel that decorating in a small space is more about editing than adding and although I didnt attempt to do any painting to the 13 foot walls, her beautiful furnishings made her room her own.

Macy 2nd Manhattan bedroom with the view of Trinity Church

Trinity Church bedroom view at Christmas

Macy's 2nd Manhattan bedroom gallery wall

Macy's Manhattan Playloft

The Pottery Barn Kids Kitchen in the Playloft

Macy’s 2nd Manhattan Bedroom

While on our first tour of NYC we moved into a second apartment within the same building and Macy got an even better bedroom.  This was her view! A 13 foot window and balcony view of Trinity Church.  It was breath-taking during all the seasons, especially winter when it looked like a gingerbread castle dusted in powdered sugar.  Her room was similar to the first apartment just bigger.  Big enough that we put the christmas tree in there instead of in the living room.  This time I did do some decorating on the walls, still not painting but a gallery wall that also had an Ikea shelf as a writing ledge.  But most fantastic about this apartment is that Macy got a playloft!  Lucky Duck!!  It was her little hide away or tree house we called it sometimes.  She had so much fun up there!

Macy's Tween Room 2010

Macy's Tween Room Storage Unit and Cafe Table

NC children's bedroom gallery wall

Chinese lanterns over the canopy

Macy’s Tween Room 

For our 14 months in North Carolina, Macy’s room was updated from a toddler style but had the same foundation in colors.  She had new polka dot sheets instead of fish but we kept the Kasey quilt and pink gingham duvet.  We gave her a bolder pink wall and a fabulous chinese lantern installation over her canopy!  The largest lantern was illuminated with a switch that she could operate while in bed.   We gave her PBK kitchen to my niece Emma, but Macy kept the food and dishes, I couldnt get her to give those up as she still likes to play pretend sometimes!  The toy unit was still in use but its near the end of its life and the girly cafe set from Target that she got for her 2nd christmas is soon to be replaced this christmas with a modern boy version for Hudson. And I finally used that 4th drapery panel on a window!

Now that we are back in NYC, Macy and Hudson share a room but their bedroom styles remain separate.  She has her half of the room and he has his. We have painted his side but are refraining on hers since she will get an updated look very soon.  Check back this winter to see how it turns out!!

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Filed under Baby + Child, City Mouse + Country Mouse, NBID

My Mice

Easter 2011

Bklyn GirlIn Dumbo

 
 

Although she looks like a City Girl, Macy is my Country Mouse.  She loves nature and animals.  Give her a stick and she’s happy.  She tells us that she will move back to the country when she grows up but right now she appreciates the culture and beat of the city.  While we were away, it was her asking, “where’s the dinosaur museum?’ and to do other activities that only exist in NYC that made us realize that if she missed it too then it’s where we belonged.

Hudson @ 12 months
Blue Eyes
Hudson & Jack Skellington

Hudson is my City Mousebut he doesn’t really know the difference yet.  Because he never lived in Tennessee he only has us to introduce him to country life on our visits back home. He was named for the river becasue we could see it from our rooftop when we were expecting him.  He also loves the beat of the city, he will grab his coat and climb up in his stroller to ask me to go for a walk or to our courtyard.  He constantly carries around his bouncy ball and is just as full of energy just as Macy.

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Filed under City Mouse + Country Mouse