5 years ago…
Long shunned by a younger me as dated and dull, one-piece swimsuits have not only made a comeback in fashion generally but I have found myself naturally leaning towards them now that I have two kids to minimize perpetual wardrobe malfunctions. Thanks to the many original one-pieces these days (with retro looks being my favorite) you can still make your fashion beach splash while splashing in peace with your kids!
An enchanting collection of islands in the Indian Ocean balancing by virtue of its location and history striking tropical beauty and a devotion to religious spirituality.
Vacationing here is a speedboat trip to the senses: from dipping in the crystal clear turquoise ocean to touching the soft white sandy beaches to savoring the delicious Indian inspired food to relaxing to the healing scent of coconut oil during a traditional Asian massage to hearing the Friday call to prayer in Arabic from a small local island next to the resort… A humble traditional country drizzled by luxury resorts attracting the world to dots barely visible on the world map… The many contrasts invite you to relax, reflect and be inspired…
Halloween arrives this year as my daughter completes her transition from a toddler to a preschooler and therefore, unlike last year, I will have less control over her choices, and this time around her trick and treat experiences are much more likely to impact her eating habits… I will therefore want to make sure that this highly marketed and colorful occasion doesn’t turn into a celebration of unhealthy eating which risks creating a fascination with unhealthy sugary treats. Furthermore, as I’ve noticed at my NYC building last year with children racing to my door, Halloween literally becomes a competition of who hoards the most treats and therefore kids end up amassing loads of candy, which can last them for weeks or months! So, while I cannot control the neighborhood, I have plans to make the Halloween experience as wholesome as possible for my daughter and her friends by coordinating with a couple of moms and her school to create a fun event focusing on the pretend-play and the costume side of the event as well as line-up healthy replacements in Halloweeny disguise (i.e. themed packaging or presentation) to give them a chance to compete with the shiny packaging of the typical sugary and highly processed treats.
Below is my list of suggested replacements:
Cereal and granola bars
Trail mix, unsalted plain roasted peanuts or pumpkin seeds (careful with allergic trick-or-treaters)
Cheese strings or individually wrapped mini cheese shapes
Unsalted plain popcorn
Mini boxes of raisins
Unsalted plain pretzels
Single serve boxes of ready-to-eat cereal
Individual juice boxes (100% juice)
Apple or pear sauce
Dark chocolate bites
Finally, what’s also important is that when the kids return home with their big bag of goodies (hopefully with more healthy than unhealthy stuff this year!) you should try to explain that while the treat wraps are colorful, those treats are not gift-wrapped toys! and they are not to be all opened and consumed in short order but rather they should be left in a “treasure box” and consumed as snacks and in moderation.
As much as I encourage excitement and novelty in my life, which is why I welcomed the idea of moving our +2 (toddler and baby) family across the Atlantic, I’m the type that needs a degree of silhouettetiquette-designed predictable order to feel balanced and lean on my nest for that balance. Lately, I’ve been wondering about the moment when this empty white shell I’ve moved to in London and drizzled my furniture around truly started feeling like “home”. It’s been a slow process this time around as the logistics with two kids are many many times multiplied (and I think I’m getting more silhouettetiquette (i.e. demanding on the required esthetics) with age) but thankfully I am getting that home feeling back and here’s why:
- No more boxes!
- I’ve stopped moving furniture around to find their optimal place
- Kitchen appliances are working again after investing in voltage transformers (seriously this London/NYC difference in voltage makes no sense in a globalized world and they need to end it for all us cooking moms out there!)
- Curtains/blinds are installed. Sorry neighbors for discontinuing your favorite baby vs. toddler and home decoration reality shows!
- British jargon is starting to sound natural: Rapessed oil for canola oil, buggy for stroller, nappy for diaper, lift for elevator, cheers for thank you, court shoes for high heels, pound instead of dollar and entrée is finally a starter and not a main course.
- I can take a shower without first getting splashed by ice-cold or burning hot water because I wasn’t sure how to use the shower handles.
- I don’t spend 5 minutes at the door figuring out which key opens which lock.
- I can finish a cup of tea without being disturbed by a zillion bell rings… ok, not really…but at least this time around it’s a delivery from net-a-porter and not the plumber! (oh and that door bell ring finally sounds familiar and doesn’t startle me anymore. Although for God’s sake does it have to be that loud!)
- My toddler daughter declared “j’aime ma nouvelle maison!”
- I can blog again.
- Me time is back (i.e. read something other than how to deal with baby crises and home maintenance + finally I get to do some of my internet shopping!)
- We’re eating more home cooked meals again rather than delivery! (sorry salt)
Ultimately, after having moved so many times in the past decade I believe that one can truly make anywhere feel like home as long as they unconditionally dedicate themselves to make the place functional and customized to their lifestyle (i.e. in my case a whole lot of silouhettetiquette touches here and there!)
Happy Autumn Everyone, soon the weather won’t be warm anymore, but there will always be the warmth and blessing of home so cozy it up for the new season.
Share your thoughts and let me know what/where “home” is for you…xoxo