Two and a half years ago when we began putting the pieces of Lewis together, we never would have imagined that within six months of launching, both of us would have birthed a baby! But here we are! And with our babies' first holiday on the horizon, we thought it would be fun to round up our favorite non-baby gifts for a new mother. Did we miss anything?
Liz + Lizzy
Clockwise from top right:
Wary Myers Soap : prettiest and best smelling soap out there. For those crucial showers alone in those early days.
Sip Cups : I use one of these for making any beverage feel special. - Liz
Farmaesthetics Dreaming Oil : inhaling oil to use any time, but we like it right before bed
Aquaphor : use for any rash, cut or dry spot on baby; great for rough spots on mama and lips!
Mario Badescu Facial Spray : a little spritz and you're going to get through the day
Beautycounter Hydrating Face Oil : I'm obsessed with this. - Lizzy
Chloe May Brown Bowl : Serve oreos in this and they'll taste better.
Murray's Cheese Greatest Hits : Can never have enough snacks around.
Jennie's Kitchen NYC : We were gifted their frozen meals after James was born and they were not only life-saving at keeping us out of the kitchen but also so so delicious. -Liz
Marble Soap Dispenser : You wash your hands more than you ever thought possible with a newborn baby, so a nice smelling pump soap for you and your guests is such a small simple pleasure.
Block Shop Scarf : For color, warmth and coziness.
Last Friday, a few friends and I met up for a quick bite + gallery visit. We all get itchy to see something new (and each other!), so when Erin suggested meeting up, we all jumped at the chance, kids in tow.
After dropping (most of) our kids off at school, we met up at Nickel & Diner - a beautiful spot in downtown Manhattan. (The light streaming in made me think of this Edward Hopper painting.) From there, we continued on to the P! Gallery for the exhibit of Karel Martens - the influential Dutch graphic designer. My eye was immediately drawn to his letterpress monoprints, all created on found cards with keen attention to color and form. The one above was one of my favorites. I love the colored shapes overlapping all the different lettering styles.
His methods are slow but very precise—he prints one color per day, waits for it to dry, and prints the second colour the next day. By this method, Martens’ prints may take days or weeks to be completed.
The exhibit is now closed, but you can see more images from it here as well as read a bit more about Martens' process.
Since my then fiance Josh and I moved in together we have been editing or replacing our hodgepodge of furniture. We're still at it today ! I love our apartment. We have crazy high ceilings, exposed brick, and a working fireplace. We live on a brownstone block in Harlem + we're friends with all our neighbors. We feel like we take in a fresh breath of air when we get off the train uptown and chat with every person we pass.
As I worked on our bedroom I knew I wanted bright and calming : all neutrals with lots of white. We ended (in addition to a few things that aren't seen) with what you see above. First I had the walls painted in Farrow & Ball All White (Josh couldn't understand the difference between the yellow tinged walls and my choice, but that crispness is everything). The rest is woods, whites, some pops of black, a rug that can withstand abuse, and our two most sentimental pieces : the elk head my husband shot on the trip when we got engaged (romantic, no ?!), and a large basket we bought on our honeymoon in Laos. I could have come home with every basket in Luang Prabang. And then we found out we were pregnant with a baby girl ! In a one bedroom we weren't ready to leave...
And so we began round two of bedroom edits. How to take a too serious adult bedroom and add a baby girl, while still feeling like it represents us and our style. We started by getting rid of two vintage tall dressers (not shown) for one low long one. We needed a changing surface, and this baby girl needed some dedicated storage. A Keekaroo for changing (I don't like the idea of added linens to wash when there are wipe down options), a sweet nightlight for feedings, and a Muuto basket (the best) to hide diapers and creams. We added a large round mirror over top, and a wire sculpture. Our Design Dua bassinet is perfect to carry room to room, with a rocker stand for the end of our bed. We can't wait to get Lewis sheets in there ! They'll have to be a hack until she's in a full size crib, but I can't resist. Along with the mirror I planned a gallery wall over the dresser for color and pattern stimulation. I sourced some more mature pieces, and then pieces that felt bright and easy. We're also replacing a black leather chair we have from Josh's father with a slip covered rocker. I love knowing it can be cleaned, and that at some point I can have a new slipcover made in any print or color
All in all, Im so happy with our bedroom for four (our 9 year old lab is in there too on his Pendleton dog bed !). It didnt seem so ideal at first, but we're lucky enough to have a large bedroom to make it work. I never would have chosen pinks and yellows for a room on its own, but given our base, their cheerfulness is just what the doctor ordered.
Now we just wait for baby girl Ott ! 4 weeks to go...
I've long admired the work of Brooklyn-based artist Tamar Mogendorff. Her soft sculpture pieces always stop me in my tracks when I see them at ABC Home in Manhattan. They're incredible works of art -- beautiful and artistic interpretations of natural subjects. There's no room I wouldn't put these in. So so gorgeous.
[All photos courtesy of Tamar Mogendorff.]
Ever since our kids were tiny, we've been taking them out to eat. It's one of our favorite things to do, so from the beginning, we were determined to teach them how to sit still long enough to get through a meal. Happily, without meltdowns. It's not always seamless, and with a baby in the mix, we're bound to encounter new hurdles, but we've come up with a few strategies over the years that make the experience enjoyable for all.
1) Order a kid drink upon sitting. Our kids usually drink milk or water at home, so ordering a lemonade is a treat. Having it in front of them before we even order makes for a great start to the meal. (We encourage them to drink it slowly or they'll fill up and won't eat. Not a great start to the meal.)
2) Order an adult drink upon sitting. Whether it's alcoholic or not - this sets the tone for us, too! I usually choose a local IPA beer.
3) Notebooks & a bag of crayons. We always bring a notebook for each kid, plus a bag of crayons to share. It's become such a habit for them to draw when we're out to eat, that the times I've forgotten to bring these things, we use old receipts from our wallets and borrow a pen from the restaurant. It's amazing how these simple things keep them occupied.
4) Exquisite Corpse. (A recent example in photo above.) This is one of our favorite drawing activities. It cracks us up every time we open the folded paper to reveal the wonky body form come to life. (Here's a little tutorial on how to play. They use three people, but we use two.)
5) Tic tac toe. A classic. Of course it's easy to win every time (and easy to let them win every time!) but do not! It's so much more fun to let them get a sense for "real" competition. :)
6) Rock Paper Scissors. Another classic. It's always a thrill when you get to wrap that Paper around Rock!
Our strategies rely pretty heavily upon paper and crayons because that's what we find most fun. Do you have any go-to activities that don't involve these things? Or amazing ones that do? I would SO love to hear!