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A Family-Friendly Guide to New York's Art Gallery Scene

Jordan Rhodes

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By Katharine Earnhardt

The New York gallery scene is one of the best in the world, but it's also SUPER intimidating; there are so many options that aren't always apparent or welcoming, and figuring out a route that's family friendly (i.e. near some snacks) is so tricky.  As the Founder of Mason Lane, a Brooklyn-based art advisory that styles walls nationwide, I'm into art and efficiency, and as a fellow mama I'm always all about family-friendly anything. SO, I wanted to share some ways to approach the New York gallery scene and have your kids enjoy the ride with you.  

 First, some basics:

1. Don't sweat. Galleries can be quiet, stark, and echo-y, and if your kids come in not bathed and making noise, that's OK. The gallery model is a retail one - people come in and out all the time. Some buy and some don't, and despite the moderately awkward and unwelcoming set up, it's totally fine to pop in, make noise, and take pics. 

2. Ask questions. Galleries will always have a staff member and some reading materials at the front desk. Depending on the gallery, it could be a 22 year old receptionist OR the owner. Either way, ask that person to tell you about the show. The answers you get will likely be much more informative and fulfilling than any marketing collateral that you grabbed and will likely never read. 

3. The Two Rules. No touching, and no wet, dripping foods are really the only two rules to follow in the gallery. The second issue is under your control, and the first is straight forward. I do, however, recommend taking snacks on any gallery hop, and Cheerios in those no-spill containers are an all-around win.  

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Next, the gallery hop

The Lower East Side is a great place to take kids and enjoy some art. The galleries are small and manageable, they lack pretension (in general), and there's a wide variety of artworks that would be amusing to people big and small.  Plus, there are retail shops and restaurants everywhere (unlike in the Chelsea gallery district), so taking a break is easy and encouraged. Here's a recommended route: 

1. Rachel Uffner Gallery - A contemporary art gallery, representing an impressive collection of emerging to mid-career artists that are gaining recognition on an international level. 

2. Anastasia Photo - 143 Ludlow Street. One of the city's only true documentary photography galleries that has branched out into mixed media works including collage and painting.

3. Denny Gallery - 261 Broome Street. Specializing in emerging artists that produce compelling, beautiful pieces that are engaged with contemporary issues, materials and technologies.

4, McKenzie Fine Art -55 Orchard Street. A Sizable gallery space showing mid-career artists who work in painting, drawing, and sculpture.

5. Gavin Brown Enterprise - 291 Grand Street. Known for edgy emerging art. 

6. Nathalie Karg Gallery - 291 Grand Street. Showing a colorful mix of abstract contemporary art across various media

7. Canada - 333 Broome Street - One of the most established and largest galleries on the Lower East Side, representing artists with a gritty New York aesthetic

For more on Mason Lane Art Advisory head to www.masonlaneart.com or check out their Instagram at @masonlane_art

Stress-free Packing Tips by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, founder of Gilt Groupe

Jordan Rhodes

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Stress-free Packing Tips by the Founder of Gilt Groupe

As frazzled parents who can barely keep our lives in order – this most definitely includes myself! – the last thing we want to do is organize our closets. So I was thrilled when my friend Lindley Pless of The Sentimentalist introduced me to Gilt Groupe and GlamSquad founder Alexandra Wilson who just launched a brilliant new organization service called Fitz. The company’s personal stylists will come to your home, go through your closet, and help you decide what to keep, how to organize it, how to wear it, and also which pieces to sell. And they’ll do it for your kids, as well. Afterwards, you will receive a list of recommended products and outfits to purchase, and they will also resell the items you no longer need. For $300 for three hours, I can’t think of a better way to spend money on my house (and my sanity). As a bonus for Glimpse readers, Wilson and Fitz’ head of marketing, Rachel Sacks-Hoppenfeld, have compiled a list of packing tips for your summer travels:
•    Less is more!
•    Pick a color theme for your travels (this will ensure that your pieces are all interchangeable and will help you create outfits easily, and then you will need fewer options!)
•    Pick your travel outfit well (try to wear your bulkier items, e.g.. outerwear & denim, and make sure they coordinate with the other pieces in your suitcase)
•    Use packing cubes or zip lock bags to stay organized and save space
•    Roll instead of fold! (it takes up less room and clothes come out surprisingly less wrinkled!) Undergarments, socks, and other small items can be rolled inside shoes or bags!

Key items:
•    Pack a bathing suit (they take up virtually no room and always end up coming in handy!)
•    Flip flops take up very little space and are always functional (our current favorites are Tkees, they can be dressed up or down and are incredibly comfortable!)
•    Denim shorts (they go day-to-night, with flats or heels and never go out of style)
•    Pack that easy, breezy dress (dresses take up less room than pants and can be worn day or night depending on your shoes!)
•    Minimal accessories (wear most (or all) of what you want to bring during travel, and try to include a simple pair of hoops or a statement earring to accent any easy outfit)
•    A neutral bag (right now small cross body bags work for day or night and a pale pink, light grey or tan color will go with anything this summer!)

 

Our Favorite Childrenswear and Monogram Team

Jordan Rhodes

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(Originally published on our old site in October 2016)

Growing up in Arkansas, I was constantly surrounded by gorgeous smocked outfits, and everything was monogrammed. Just like most of my fellow Southerners, I feel like a bit of an expert on classic childrenswear, so when a Greenwich friend introduced me to two local businesses – CPC Childrenswear and Monogram Mary – I immediately fell in love with both and was transported back to my childhood.

Based in the picturesque, coastal town of Rowayton, Connecticut, CPC Childrenswear focuses on modernizing traditional pieces for boys and girls, ages newborn to 12 years old. New owner and designer Ginger Drysdale (who recently took over the brand from the three founders) has a strong background in New York’s fashion industry and has brought that knowledge to the gorgeous line. Fabrics are made up of corduroy and 100% Pima cotton, and the timeless pieces are designed in fresh colors with elegant detailing.

While the clothes are of course beautiful on their own, there’s nothing better than a great monogram or personalization, and that’s where Monogram Mary comes in (website currently being updated.) Located in Greenwich, CT, also on the east coast of the Long Island Sound, founder Brooke Labriola Shepard works with CPC Childrenswear, among many other well-known brands, to create the ultimate partnership for all of your child’s clothing and monogramming needs. Specializing in traditional as well as contemporary fonts in a large array of colors, Brooke brings perfection to any piece.

For the holidays, there’s nothing better than personalized outfits from the two brands, and since we’re approaching Thanksgiving, now is the perfect time to place orders for upcoming parties, family get-together’s and photo sessions. Girls will love the corduroy dresses in greens, reds and blues, or choose the adorable plaid pants and colorful longalls paired with a preppy roll neck sweater for your little boys. Your kids will definitely be the best dressed in the room, and your attempts at capturing the perfect family photo will be all the easier.

To order, head to www.cpcchildrenswear.com or Wiggles and Giggles in Darien, CT

 

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Beulah London: An Interview with the Designer

Jordan Rhodes

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(Originally posted on our old site in July 2017)

British fashion has always been something I’m particularly drawn to, maybe because of the avant-garde designers the country has produced, or because of the eclectic wardrobes for which the Brits are known. I love their bold panache – they’re not afraid to take chances with colors or patterns. But having said that, as an American who lives in conservative Greenwich, Connecticut, here it is de rigeur to have a more structured, polished look, and that’s where I think British brand Beulah does a wonderful job of merging the styles I both covet and feel the need to wear. The pieces are tailored yet romantic; the patterns striking, yet modern. It has quickly become one of my favorite designer brands, and it’s no wonder they count everyone from Kate Moss to Kate Middleton as clients. The brand has also recently added a new component – Beulah Mini. The luxury childrenswear includes dresses for girls ages 3-12, in similar styles and patterns as some of the pieces for women. How fun to wear corresponding outfits with my oldest daughter when out for lunch or shopping!
The best part about Beulah, however, is its social impact on the issue of human trafficking. The brand focuses on improving the lives of survivors in several ways, most importantly by providing them with sustainable employment. These women create each season’s accessories, as well as work on a proportion of the ready-to-wear collection. Widespread marketing campaigns also help the company raise awareness, and 10% of all profits go towards the Beulah Trust, which was established to provide rescued women with healthcare and the chance to reintegrate with society. This commitment is something that has garnered Beulah respect not just from the fashion world, but also from organizations like the United Nations. To further their devotion to social justice, the company donates 10% of the sales from its blue heart products, found here, to the UN Blue Heart campaign, which is also focused on ending the sex trade.
So by wearing Beulah, clients are not only supporting the eradication of modern day slavery, but are also providing new beginnings for these vulnerable victims. How amazing is it to know that your fashion choices can help to save and empower women who need it the most? And Beulah makes that decision quite simple with the stunning pieces they create. In my interview below with co-designer Lavinia Brennan, who founded the brand along with Lady Natasha Rufus-Isaacs, take a further glimpse at Beulah’s history, social evolution, and plans for the future, as well as some of Lavinia’s England favorites.
When was Beulah founded and how did the partnership begin?
The brand was founded in 2010 after Natasha and I spent two months working in India in an aftercare home with women who had been rescued from the sex trade. We spent our afternoons teaching the women very basic sewing skills that they could use to create products and generate an income for themselves. It was here that we first understood the importance to provide an alternative, sustainable livelihood to victims of trafficking and witnessed the power of employment to transform lives. And so Beulah was born.

 

The brand is famously dedicated to promoting social justice. Please explain your focus and how you chose it.
Ultimately we seek to empower.
To bring hope and opportunity through employment to some of the most vulnerable women in the world, giving them a chance to live a life free from abuse.
Simultaneously, we’re on a mission to inspire women to look and feel beautiful, with the conscious knowledge that the choices they make and the actions they take can make a real difference to the lives of others.

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How does that impact the way you design your line?
Each season we try and plan the narrative so that it ties back to the essence of the brand and build on the skills that the women have. For example, for SS18, which we are currently working on, we have been inspired by our recent trip to India and are building on the screen printing that is done by the women, to incorporate a new skill set of embroidery.
When we are designing we try to create pieces that will last a lifetime, and can be passed down from mother to daughter. This is because we are passionate about sustainability, creating good quality pieces that go against the trend of fast fashion.

 

Because Glimpse was founded as a luxury resource for families, we adore your childrenswear pieces. When did Beulah Mini first launch and what made you decide to include childrenswear?
We launched Beulah Mini in SS18. This was actually inspired by one of our mentors who has two beautiful daughters and thought it would be cute to have matching outfits to them. Natasha also now has two baby girls and Beulah Mini is something we have always dreamed of so we ran with the opportunity and started very small with one of our best selling summer dresses.

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What does the future have in store for Beulah?
Our vision is for Beulah to grow into a lifestyle brand – dressing a woman for every special occasion in her life, whether it be on her holiday, her wedding day, her child’s christening. And at the heart of that we want to make sure that we are having as much impact as possible on the lives of those most vulnerable. We want to shake up the industry a little, turn things on its head and do things differently.
Watch this space!

 

And finally, since I am constantly updating our London guide for families, my readers and I would love to know your favorite:


Restaurants? The Ivy, Chelsea – i just love the outdoor garden, Chicama, Chelsea, and The Palomar, Soho


Hotels? My husband’s family own two beautiful hotels down in Cornwall called The Idle Rocks and St. Mawes Hotel. Cornwall is so special to me because we got married down there – when the sun is shining it is the most beautiful place to be.
Clothing boutiques? Beulah of course (located at 145 Ebury Street). My friend owns a boutique on the King’s Road called Baar and Bass, when I’m not at Beulah I’m there.
Home décor boutiques? Oka, India Jane


Gift boutiques? Baar and Bass
Beauty spots? I love having facials at the moment! and have just discovered this great place called Koia in Notting hill. Otherwise the cowshed spa at Soho Farmhouse is great.


Park? Richmond Park


Neighbourhood? Notting Hill


**To shop the line or to find out more about the Beulah Trust, visit the Beulah website here, or follow along on Instagram @beulahlondon

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Purple Dragon: Private Children's Club in London

Jordan Rhodes

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It's always fun to see guest bloggers on websites, and I'm excited that my first one is reporting from London, my favorite city. Rebecca Thomson moved there in 2010 to pursue her Master's in Contemporary Design from Sotheby's Institute of Art. After working in a London gallery for four years, she is now launching a children's bedding company (I am so excited!) alongside business partner Clara Sheppard, with whom she attended Sotheby's. She and her husband Ben, who owns a bicycle company and a distribution company, live in Wimbledon with their 4 year old daughter Georgia Isabel, and 1 year old daughter Elizabeth Emmet. Today, Rebecca talks about one of her favorite places to take them...

When I moved from Virginia to London 6 years ago, the smaller living spaces and lack of giant backyards wasn't a major concern of mine. Finding the perfect (albeit it tiny) flat in the cutest neighborhood, exploring the plethora of pubs, and going to the newest exhibitions were at the top of my list instead. Fast forward to April 2014 when my daughter Georgia was born, and this all changed!

London has no shortage of beautiful parks, and we are lucky enough to have one of my personal favorites (Wimbledon Common) on our doorstep. But with all the highs of living in what I consider to be the best city in the world comes its biggest and most infamous low: the weather. What was I going to do with my "highly-spirited" 2 year old that loves to run, jump, and be downright WILD during the long winter months and rainy spring days when playing outside just wasn't an option? (To put things into perspective, my Georgie is the child that tries to climb into the shark tanks at the London Aquarium and doesn't think twice about attempting to slide down the 5 flight railing in Knightsbridge tube station.)

Lucky for us, Purple Dragon isn't too far and has been the ultimate lifesaver. Here she can do all of those things within the comforts of Central London- minus the shark tanks- although they do have an aquarium! The Art Room seems to be her personal favorite (she gets it from her Mama!) but other days she can be found jumping on the giant trampoline, playing in the ballpits, or sharing a fresh pasta bolognese with her sister and friends in the restaurant. Added bonus: there's even a full bar menu for the parents to enjoy while their littles are swinging from the rafters. It's a win-win.

For children we’re a place of limitless opportunity, somewhere to roam and have choice, to discover and create, to laugh and learn. State of the art facilities for music, dance, art, design, cooking, sport and imaginative play, which are brought to life by our highly trained play buddies. Fun with a learning by-product. - Purple Dragon
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Purple Dragon is a private member's club for children located in Chelsea, West London. They offer full time, part time, and out of town memberships. Price on Application. For more information, please contact hq@purpledragonplay.com

Photos by Rebecca Thomson

My Battle with Postpartum Bell’s Palsy

Jordan Rhodes

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This article was originally published on our old site in January 2017

Many surprises come with labor and delivery, but I don’t think any are as shocking as waking up with half of your face frozen in place. I have Bell’s Palsy. And I got it as a result of giving birth to my third baby. Some of you probably don’t know what that is, so I’ll break it down simply – Bell’s Palsy is when half of your face becomes paralyzed, and mine was most likely a result of “the trauma of childbirth combined with a severe ear infection” according to my doctor. While I was one of the lucky ones whose facial nerves started coming back within two weeks, it can take up to six months to move your muscles freely again, and some people don’t make full recoveries; four months later I still have pain and tenderness around my eye. It was a terrifying experience, and the worst part about it was not being able to freely enjoy or smile at the little miracle I had just given birth to. But for every bad thing that happens in your life, you have to look for the good, or you’ll never fully heal. Here are the lessons I learned from having Bell’s Palsy, and the things I did to recover, besides constantly praying. Hopefully they’ll help some of you going through the same thing.

1) Don’t panic
Most people make a full recovery, and those who don’t are usually suffering from something much more serious, like a stroke or brain tumor. Bell’s Palsy is actually not uncommon for people between the ages of 18-45, and who are pregnant or have just given birth. Keep that in mind because panic makes everything worse. You need to stay as stress-free as possible to regain full use of your muscles again.

2) Start medication immediately
Go to your nearest Ear, Nose and Throat doctor so they can first, diagnose you, and second, start you on steroids plus anti-viral meds or antibiotics, depending on what ailment most likely caused the BP. Starting the steroids is extremely important because this is what will help reduce the inflammation that is pressing on the nerve. I won’t tell you how much I was on, because I don’t want to contribute to self-medication, but the dosage was high. I credit it to my fast recovery, but a warning – steroids are no joke and made me extremely moody and irritable for several weeks (I apologize again to anyone who had the luxury of being in my presence during that time).

3) Take vitamins
I also credit vitamins to my fast recovery. I admit, prior to this I hadn’t been taking them every day like I should have, especially for someone who was nursing a newborn (by the way, my meds were deemed safe to use while breastfeeding and my now four-month-old is healthy, a normal size, and one of the happiest babies I’ve seen), so this was one of the blessings of having BP. I’m now in the habit of taking vitamins everyday which will benefit my health in the long run.

4) If you believe in the power of crystals, get a Himalayan salt lamp
While I definitely thank God everyday for my recovery, and highly believe in the power of prayer, I also believe in other earthly healing powers. A friend told me about Himalayan salt lamps, which, when plugged in, emit a glow that promotes the sea salt to penetrate the air. As natural negative ion generators, they promote healing by reducing symptoms of illnesses (in addition to cleansing the air and calming the mind as a result of its peaceful glow). I’m not kidding, the first night I plugged it in and slept I woke up with slight movement for the first time. Of course that may have been a coincidence, but I was willing to do whatever it took to improve. And oftentimes people just need something to believe in to feel better.

5) Rest
Obviously as a mom with a three day old this was a challenge for me, but it forced me to give up absolutely everything else in my life – a blessing in disguise. For several weeks I stopped the usual nonstop socializing, the constant charity commitments, school commitments for my other two kids, household chores, work on my website and app. While this wasn’t totally ideal, it did force me to step back and prioritize what was most important in my life, and in the process I reconnected with my husband and kids in a way that I had lost in this social town that I live in. Galas and nights out lost their importance and were replaced with movies in bed and wine on the couch. I’ve cut back on everything I used to do, and I’m thankful for the excuse because my time with my family has become so much more precious.

6) Talk about it
The power of conversation is so important to healing and moving on. I’m not always good at expressing my feelings to others, but this has made me open up, and along the way I have made new and better friends as a result. There are wonderful people in this world, especially fellow mamas who know what it’s like to just be a mom and to struggle. The steroids gave me the baby blues like I’ve never had before, but talking about it with other women has made a huge difference. I’m thankful for my tribe, and while I’m still saying no to a lot of social activities, the ones I say yes to have been really healing.

7) Smile
There’s nothing like waking up and losing your smile. The power it holds is amazing; I realize what an impact a smile can have on your mood. Those days of zero facial movements were dark for me, made worse by my worry over my baby not receiving joy and warmth from this new person staring down at her. I was so worried she wouldn’t be happy, and I hated hearing my two older kids say, “mama, what’s wrong,” and “why are you sick.” Now that I’ve regained the movement, I smile at them as much as I can, because it is a gift, and it also has an incredible influence on the way you feel. Smiling instantly changes a mood. Try it now. Smile. I bet you feel a little happier.

 

Tips for Dining in Nice Restaurants with Young Kids

Jordan Rhodes

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When I became pregnant with my daughter over six years ago, one of the millions of things that crossed my mind was, “where are we going to eat now?” I wasn’t about to sacrifice the stylish restaurants I loved for fast food, or becoming a hermit just because kids are boisterous, so I set out to find which restaurants in my area (Greenwich, CT and New York City) were cool yet kid-friendly. Fast forward a couple of years and Glimpse Guides was born – our family loves to travel and friends were always asking where we took our kids in other cities, so I decided to start creating guides. The restaurants we visit are the same ones my husband and I would visit even if my kids weren’t with us. They’re the fashionable spots, and they are also totally fine for toddlers – if you’re prepared. Here are a few tips I’ve come up with for enjoying yourselves while trying to stay au courant:

1) Preview the menu
The second you sit down at the table, place an order for the kids. They need to be doing something at all times – preferably eating. I like to look at the menu ahead of time so if there’s no kids menu, I’ll already know that they’ll eat the pasta.


2) Bring activities
I start with crayons and paper and then move onto books. My kids aren’t too into coloring so we usually move on quickly (Where’s Waldo? is a great book that keeps them busy forever.) I also bring their iPads if all else fails – trust me, it will bother no one if they’re just sitting there well-behaved (although of course you’ll get the random judgey stare – just remember those people probably don’t have kids, so who cares?).

 

3) Try not to let them out of their seats
Wanting to get down and walk around can become a bad habit. But if you’re desperate, take a walk to the restroom and come right back. If you choose a particularly lively spot, which most of our choices are, you won’t disturb anyone by making a long loop. You do not want this to happen:


4) Eat early
You’ll avoid the crowds and have the place to yourselves for most of the time. Plus, who wants a toddler staying up past their bedtime anyway? Bonus - you'll lose weight by eating early.


5) Look good
I like to dress my kids up in their cutest outfits, so they might have a chance of charming other patrons into thinking they’re adorable little angels.


6) Bribery
I’m sorry, but who do you know who has honestly never bribed their kids? Offer up dessert if they are well-behaved, and keep mentioning it throughout the meal. Works like a charm.

 

A Truly Great Parenting Book

Jordan Rhodes

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Since I was a little girl the thing I’ve always loved to do most is read books. To me nothing is more exciting than starting a new one that you just can’t put down, one that transports you to another place or another time. I also love books about parenting because let’s face it, I definitely need tons of help in this department. So when my sister-in-law Betsy sent me Love That Boy by Ron Fournier after raving about it, I knew it was a must-read because not only is she a parent, she is also an avid reader, as well. And she was spot-on with this recommendation – I devoured it. Fournier is a well-known political columnist who began his career under Bill Clinton in my home-town of Little Rock, Arkansas, then spent many subsequent years in Washington covering the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. It was fascinating to gain insight into this world, but the bulk of the memoir is about his youngest child, Tyler, who was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. At the beginning of the diagnosis Fournier struggles with things like popularity, athleticism and acceptance for his child, but as he embarks on this journey to understand his son, he realizes, (largely from encounters with these former presidents as well as fellow parents of children with autism), that parents need to shift their focus more to things like character and kindness. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to do things differently than other kids. The smiles and tears I felt page after page made me want to write down several of the sentiments, as well as important statistics, which I’ve shared below, but I hope all of you will go out and buy this book because I in no way listed everything I learned. And you do not need to have a child on the autism spectrum to benefit from the parenting points Fournier makes:


“We should measure our children not by the mountains they conquer but by their efforts to climb."

"The next parent who Googles ‘Is my 2-year-old gifted?’ should get a curt response: ‘Your 2-year-old is a gift.'”

A 2014 University of Virginia study lead by Joseph Allen “found that…’cool’ teens had a 45 percent greater rate of problems due to substance use by age 22, and a 22 percent greater rate of criminal behavior, compared with the average teen in the study…(and) they never developed the skills needed for deep, durable friendships.” Fournier also reports Allen saying “there is a quiet majority of adolescents who are destined to be far more socially functional at an older age than their in-crowd peers.”

“One of every five 18-year-olds has suffered major depression, and nearly 9 percent of adolescents have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder…the consensus of experts is that the rise is strongly linked to parental expectations.”

“Modern child behaviorists are united in the belief that parents should embrace the fact that a child’s future depends chiefly on the child. Focus on the moment, build a loving relationship, and redefine the perfect outcome. Don’t limit yourself to standard measures of a child’s success, such as grades, trophies, and acceptance letters from elite preschools and graduate schools. And don’t swaddle your kids in praise and privilege.”

“Privileged kids are more likely to develop stress, exhaustion, depression, anxiety (etc)…You might think you’re avoiding this trap by praising your kids – telling them they’re the smartest, funniest, and best-looking of all children – or by shielding them from failure and responsibility. You would be wrong. Praise begets pressure. And it can be counterproductive.”

“The best approach, according to decades of studies, is to be what child development experts call an ‘authoritative parent.’ These mothers and fathers are involved and responsive. They set high expectations but respect their kids’ autonomy. They are the Goldilocks of parenting – not too hard (clinically defined as “authoritarian”) or too soft (“permissive”) – and they tend to raise children who do better academically, psychologically, and socially than their peers. The children of Goldilocks parents don’t get trophies just for showing up. They’re allowed to fail. A Goldilocks mother would never declare, ‘You’re going to an Ivy League school,’ nor would she shrug and say, ‘I don’t care if you go to college.’ A Goldilocks father doesn’t second-guess his daughter’s academic and career choices, doesn’t push his son into sports, and doesn’t fret over his daughter’s choice for a husband.”

“People who focus on living with a sense of purpose are more likely to remain healthy and intellectually sound and even to live longer than people who focus on achieving feelings of “happiness” via pleasure…Raising kids, working through marriage troubles, and volunteering at a soup kitchen may be less pleasurable (than a fun meal or night out), but these pursuits provide fulfillment – a sense that you’re the best person you can be. Researchers call this “hedonic well-being” and link it directly to lower levels of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other maladies. The research appears consistent at every income and education level, and among all races.”

Fournier then sums up parenting with some final thoughts (and make sure you buy the book because he goes into further detail):
• Don’t parent for the future; parent for today
• Guide, don’t push
• Don’t beat yourself up
• Celebrate all victories
• Slow down
• Make different cool
• Be a spouse first, a parent second
• Share even the bad news
• Fight for your kids
• Channel your inner Aspie (some traits include loyalty, honesty, wittiness, dependability, integrity)

“In his or her own way, every child is lucky enough to be different.”

 

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An Interview with the Founder of Cabana Life Swimwear

Jordan Rhodes

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(Originally published on our old site in March 2017)

My family and I are right in the middle of a two-week Spring Break, and because we live up north in Connecticut, we typically like to flee to warmer weather in March. Our first week was spent in Florida with my parents at John’s Island Club with excursions to Palm Beach and Disney World, and now we’re at my in-laws’ house in Scottsdale, Arizona. The beach and desert obviously require swimwear, so I was really excited when Cabana Life and I connected on Instagram. Not only does founder and mom of three Melissa Papock create adorable bathing suits, cover ups and other items for all ages, they contain 50 UV protection. What more could you ask for in resort wear?? Melissa started the line after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma at the age of 26, and I am grateful to her for having the vision to help prevent cancer for others – and doing it in a chic way! I love the brand and concept so much that I asked Melissa if I could interview her, and luckily she said yes.


1) Tell us a little about your company and how you came up with the idea for it.
I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma when I was 26 (2001), and learned the hard way about the dangers of the sun and the startling skin cancer statistics. I never expected to hear the word “cancer” in my 20s, and I didn’t realize at that time that skin cancer could actually kill you. Like so many other people, I thought of skin cancer as “Cancer Light,” no big deal.
After learning that a lightweight cotton t-shirt provides the equivalent of SPF 7, and when I saw the less-than-stylish sun protective clothing options available, I started Cabana Life. Combining fashion and function, Cabana Life offers chic styles with a UPF of 50 , blocking 98% UV. Cabana Life launched in 2005 and now includes a full-line of stylish sun safe options for women, children and men.
I wanted to use my experience with skin cancer to help educate others about the dangers of the sun and to give back to organizations that support skin cancer research. I figured the best way to get the “ugly” skin cancer message out and not make it so scary, was to provide the information by encapsulating it in a stylish, fun solution.
Proper sun protection is critical at all ages, and a quick and easy skin check can help save your life, as I now know.

2) How do you spend a typical day at work?
By the time I get in, I’ve usually checked emails and am likely already on the phone when I walk through the front door. I try to handle tasks requiring creativity in the morning, as the afternoons fly by in the blink of an eye and usually consist of working with team members on their projects. I’m lucky because I truly enjoy laughing and learning alongside everyone at Cabana Life. We all share a “work hard, play hard” mentality, and keep an even-keeled work atmosphere even when facing unexpected hiccups. I always make sure to thank everyone when they leave, because I sincerely appreciate everyone’s contribution towards Cabana Life’s success. I love that every day is totally different, with opportunities to grow and learn.

3) How does social media play a role in your business?
The role of social media in EVERY business is constantly evolving. It is fascinating to see the importance of connecting with our customers through the different platforms. It allows you to have an honest and fun dialogue with followers, beyond just the traditional brand relationship of yesteryear. We are active on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, and LOVE seeing how people live the Cabana Lifestyle. The content our followers generate is absolutely amazing, and it makes me smile to see how much people enjoy staying sun safe in the very styles we work so hard to design, manufacture and sell.
While I’m 100% committed to following the bouncing ball of how social media impacts business, I fall down big time on my own personal posting. I may or may not have remembered to post that I had a 3rd kid….about 4.5 years ago

4) What are some of your favorite Cabana Life pieces for this season?
I always love our ruched rashguard, because it can be worn up as a convenient swim top or extended down as a cute dress for a quick dash to the pool bar. It is flattering for virtually every body type, including pregnant mamas.
For relaxed UV protection from your ankles to your neck, I go for our comfy beach pants paired with a scallop rashguard.
My other new favorites this season are our super lightweight woven fabric tunics with thick embroidery and our Sardinia Sands tie waist cover up. Of course, the classic Cabana Life shift dress is always in style (and comes in practically every print).

5) What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Success is getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down. Expect your fair share of set backs and challenges, it comes with being an entrepreneur. What dictates success is how quickly you push through and pivot, learning from every single experience in the unrelenting pursuit of your dream.

6) What do you see in Cabana Life’s future?
I’m very excited to watch the brand continue to grow, and offer women, children and men sun safe solutions for every aspect of their outdoor lifestyle. We continue to expand our collection, and are launching a full line of sand-to-sidewalk dresses in 2018. It also makes me happy to see our signature Cabana Life prints and overall aesthetic becoming so recognizable and in demand. We are continuing to explore collaborations with like-minded brands to feature our Cabana Life prints on different items, like the Scout Bags beach cooler coming later this month.

7) And some fun, short questions when traveling with your family:
-Mountains, beach or city?
City- we live at the beach so for vacation, we like to mix it up (plus less sun).

-Favorite hotel?
With a family of 5, we are more into renting houses these days. Airbnb is great. I like to feel like I really live somewhere, even if just for a few days.

-Favorite city?
New Orleans, on my way there as I type this. I went to Tulane and it is my happy place. Great food, music, art, drinks and anything goes vibe.

-What’s in your carry on?
My laptop, always!

-What’s in your carry on for kids?
600 page novels, carrot juice and wooden toys. Seriously, headphones, ipads and candy. Plus stuffed animals they smuggled on. Oh, and Sunscreen!

-Travel outfit?
Skinny jeans, flats, tee and Barefoot Dreams ombre cardigan (it is a comfy blanket disguised as clothing)

-Favorite skincare products?
Anything I remember to actually use. I love Perricone MD’s Face Finishing Moisturizer Tint with SPF 30. It gives a great sun-kissed glow the safe way, and then I layer on La Roche-Posay sunscreen for even more protection.

-Best vacation memory?
That’s a tough one. There are so many and in such different chapters of my life. Single- St. Tropez Married- Mustique (coolest private island) Kids- China with my oldest daughter, visiting our overseas offices and hanging in Hong Kong.

-Worst vacation memory?
Luckily I don’t have too many of those, probably because of my ability to laugh at most anything. I’d say anything that feels too much like “manufactured fun,” like a cruise.

-Advice for traveling with kids
Do it as often as you can, relax, and find the fun in everything- including the flight delays, meltdowns, unexpected events and everything in between. If you give off calm, relaxed vibes (preferably with a nice cocktail in hand), they will follow your lead. I will remind myself of this often as I travel through Greece and France this summer with 3 kids in tow.

You can shop Cabana Life here and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram @cabanalife

 

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Tips for Flying with Kids

Jordan Rhodes

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I'm not going to lie. I dread flights with my kids. They cry, throw food, kick the seats in front of them, stare awkwardly at the people behind them. During boarding, I literally run down the aisle to our seats and avoid all eye contact with my fellow passengers, because I know, at some point, they are going to hate me, and I can't bear any type of interaction beforehand or I begin to feel guilt (okay, I'm being a bit dramatic - there are always a few tolerant, helpful passengers who are, themselves, parents, and to them, I could not be more grateful. But I emphasize the word "few.") Even when traveling on a private plane a parent does not have the luxury of taking it easy.
However, that is not going to stop me from traveling with my family. Because to me, exploring the world, learning about other cultures, giving my children life experiences, and teaching them at an early age that they are blessed, is one of the most important things my husband and I can do for them. So, in an effort to help other parents view it the same way, I have compiled a list of helpful tips for airplane travel, for both commercial and private flights. Read it with an open mind and a glass of wine for courage.

1) Book flights as early as possible
This way you can pick seats close to the bathroom if you are in the toddler phase, and you will be able to reserve a coveted bassinet on longhaul flights if traveling with infants - typically only a handful are available, and allotted on a first-come, first-served basis. Plus, needless-to-say, tickets booked early tend to be cheaper.

2) Try to book domestic flights in the middle of the day
This way kids will not have to get up extra early or stay up late, thus disturbing that ever important necessity we parents call a schedule. And if your kids still nap, hopefully they will do it on the plane.

3) For red-eye flights, comfort is key
Pack a pillow, blanket, pajamas, loveys - whatever will help them get into a semblance of their nighttime routine. Never forget a swaddling blanket for newborns or a beloved stuffed animal for toddlers.

4) Get to the airport early
There is nothing worse than being late for a flight and having to rush. We all know how slow kids are - they're doing this on purpose, aren't they?? - and ample time will be needed to get them through security (especially if strollers are involved,) stop for juice, milk or forgotten snacks, make them use the restroom one more time in case taxiing to the runway takes a while, and get them situated on board. Rushed parents and kids equals stress.

5) Bring a carry-on full of surprises
The biggest issue we face flying with kids is boredom. I like to bring a variety of brand-new toys and simple objects, and pull out a different one each time I start to see movement. These can range from iPads loaded with movies and games, to coloring books and crayons, to thin, paperback picture books or stories. Even completely random items will do the trick, like a mirror from your handbag or a calculator from dads briefcase. Kids will take anything they think is a "present."

6) Snacks, snacks, snacks
A well-fed kid is a happy kid. So I have NO problem whatsoever plying them with goldfish, fruit pouches, pretzels, you name it. Plus there's the chance they will pass out after a meal.

7) When all else fails? Benadryl
Controversial? Perhaps. A desperate solution? Absolutely. Many parents swear by it - I'm merely suggesting what I've heard (promise...)

On a serious note, here is one final, helpful piece of information. I have traveled with my kids dozens of times, overseas and back, and I promise that once the flight is over and they have had one night adjusting to a new time zone, they will bounce back to the delightful kids you once knew, and you will immediately begin to enjoy your vacation. It's getting through the flight that is the hard part. Don't let that stop you. They serve wine.

 

A Glimpse of LA and Palm Springs

Jordan Rhodes

Jordan took a trip to LA and Palm Springs in February, and below are captured moments. Included in the trip were stays at the Beverly Hills Hotel and the Parker Palm Springs, as well as meals at Vincento, Sunset Tower Hotel, the Polo Lounge and Nobu Malibu.