Tag Archives: nyc

why yes … there is a santa

girls with santa

i adore the ages of four + six when christmas magic is fully alive!

one of my favorite christmas traditions, since living in nyc, is visiting with santa at the plaza hotel. this year my father-in-law spoke to santa {while the girls were not looking} “reminding” him of their names. without skipping a beat, santa invited the girls by name to join him. watching the wonderment, excitement and the look on their faces after receiving a personal invitation from the big guy ignited within all of us a renewed sense of magic! this gentleman is thoughtful, engaging, calming and never in a rush. i will forever be thankful to him for taking the time to talk {and listen} to my girls.

i know as they grow older the magic {of santa} will look a bit different as they begin questioning the mysteries more deeply. i came across a letter written by author martha brockenbrough to her daughter lucy after she questioned who santa really was. martha’s thoughtful words and explaination are simply eloquent. while reading this letter i have cried with a mixture of saddness that the magic {as it had been known} was now revealed as well as with tears of joy that she is now empowered to embrace and share the magic with others.

i hope that you enjoy her words as much as i do!

may the magic always be alive within you! happy holiday!!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dear Lucy,

Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
 
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
 
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
 
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
 
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the Christmas magic stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
 
This won’t make you Santa, though.
 
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
 
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents, and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
 
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
 
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
 
So, no, I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
 
I love you and I always will.
 
Mama

*a version of this essay {designed as a picture book} will be available for purchase in 2015 by scholastic!

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about me … about us

in case you missed it … the sprouse clan was featured this week on matilda jane’s blog! thank you to cj isaac of charlie juliet for spending the day with us in the city and capturing our family perfectly!

here is the interview …

sprouse 1

Q:  Please tell us a bit about yourself.  Where are you from and where are you now?

A: I am a southern girl recently transplanted to NYC.  Our family of four made the big move to the intimate community of Park Slope one year ago and I cannot imagine raising our children anywhere else!

Q:  I always love to hear about the incredible husbands that support the crazy schedule of a MJ Trunk Keeper.  What makes yours so special?

A: Matt is my best friend and greatest supporter hands down! Together we created and owned Abode – a home furnishings + accessories store in Knoxville, TN in 2006. Over the four short years of owning Abode, we welcomed our daughters {Sophie + Hazel} into the world while Matt continued to hold a full-time position as a television producer. Abode taught us many life lessons and reminded us how imperative it is to be in constant communication and to support each other unconditionally. Having past retail experience has allowed Matt to better understand the support that I need in Matilda Jane.

sprouse 2

Q: You’ve got two absolutely precious daughters!  Give us a glimpse into who they are.

A: Sophie {6} + Hazel {4} are the coolest gals I know! I have loved watching them grow and become young girls with Big dreams! Sophie loves to write and sing songs. She has a classic fashion sense while still making an outfit tailored to her. Hazel longs to be a cowgirl and definitely marches to the beat of her own drum. She has a free spirit approach to most things in life including her wardrobe, making it fun to see how her selections work in ways I would not have originally imagined.

Q:  If you could wear one item every day, what would that be?

A: I am in loving the midnight ruffle pants. – I wear them all the time! In fact, when talking to my girlfriend about Halloween costume ideas for herself she quickly replied, “well I can just throw on some Matilda Jane pants and go as you!” I may need to add some more staples into my clothing rotation …

sprouse 3

Q:  How did Matilda Jane find YOU?

A:  I have loved Matilda Jane from the time Sophie could fit into the clothes. The longevity and versatility of each piece has had me coming back for six years!

Q:  If you could have lunch with ANYONE, who would it be and why?

A: My mom. I was completely spoiled during the seven years we lived in the same city during my adult life. I miss her terribly and long for our impromptu mother/daughter dates.

sprouse 4

Q:  What are 5 words your friends would use to describe you?

A:  Passionate. Dreamer. Trend Setter. Listener. Creative.

Q:  Besides your family, what are you most passionate about?

A:  I have a passion for creating editorial through styling. Each summer, my sister-in law and I create a themed photo shoot involving our four kiddos and enlist the talents of a local photographer to perfectly capture each tyke’s personality. Each year these photos tell such a unique story of who are children are in that stage of life.

Q:  Share with us just ONE very important thing you do to try to leave this world a better place.

A: Instilling the importance of accepting others into my girls’ everyday life. This is one of the most important life lessons from my father that has made a huge impact on my life.  Throughout my life I have met and become friends with people that have a slightly different outlook on life than I do and because of that I have been inspired to grow, create and see the world through different lenses. I believe that individuality is what makes our world exciting and brings purpose to getting out of bed in the morning!

sprouse 5

Q:  What store makes your heart go pitter-patter when you shop in it?

A: The Brooklyn Flea. I love mixing old {sometimes what others may view as junk} with highly polished new home accessories. Our home holds many stories and is carefully/methodically put together so that our friends and family are able to easily join us in our story.

Q:  What do you value more?  Possessions or travel?

A:  Absolutely no question – Travel. Matt and I have always said that if we give our children anything it is that of a larger worldview. We walked through my grandparents’ home after they had passed away and marveled at the love that they had for each other and the memories that they shared while traveling the world together. Instead of investing in possessions that would eventually gather dust and then be sold at an estate sale they traveled – – seeing the world, visiting with family both in the US and abroad.  It is our hope to continue their legacy.

sprouse 6

Q:  If given the opportunity to have the day to yourself, how would you spend it? 

A:  I have recently come to understand how important it is to give myself “moments” in the day that are just mine.  These moments are long enough to spend time with a friend, organize my home, go to the gym or simply stare blankly at social media outlets. No matter how I spend these moments I hold them close because they are all mine and not dictated by the constant noise of “must-get-dones”.

Q:  If you could crawl into the pages of any book, what would it be and why?

A: One of my most favorite books is What Alice Forgot. I read it last year and have not been able to shake the message that it gives throughout showing unconditional love and forgiveness.

Q:  What is YOUR “must have” Paint by Numbers piece?

A:  My favorite dress out of the entire collection is the Rose Gold Jane Dress.  This dress gives a nod towards vintage. Giving girls a tailored and innocent look while having the freedom to run, play and discover new things.

sprouse 7

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stay eager …

rain room

“do stuff. be clenched, curious. not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. pay attention. it’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. it connects you with others. it makes you eager. stay eager!”

-aida azlin

happy friday friends!

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halloween in the slope

we were worried that halloween would not happen this year after sandy’s visit to nyc earlier this week but thankfully the show went on in park slope. families {thrilled to be outside} occupied stoops and businesses that had been closed this week due to the storm opened their doors to offer treats to giddy dressed up children.

sophie + hazel dressed up as their current obsessions – –  fashion + mermaid barbie. the costumes were quite simple this year as we gathered most of the costume components from their current dress-up box. the newest additions to the costumes were the construction of the mattel barbie box and the shell bra.

however, despite the sugar, costumes and laughter – – devastation is still apparent in park slope. downed trees block entire streets and are the cause of the temporary closure of prospect park. we have only lived in park slope for a few months but are already overwhelmed by the sense of community that envelopes this neighborhood. it is an amazing sight to see people come together to add normalcy {in the wake of such a terrible disaster} to children on a much-anticipated evening.

– happy halloween –

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puddle jumper

just because the weather is ugly does not mean that you have to be . . .

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{experience} scotch & soda

i have had a long distance love affair with scotch & soda for some time now {via their online store} and have recently discovered that one of their u.s. stores is located in soho!

scotch & soda is sure to please – – check.them.out!
273 lafayette street; new york, ny 10012

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moomah

“be inspired and know that you are doing enough”

that simple tagline is all it took to make me a complete addict to the amazing site of moomah! {thank you erin kalb for pointing me in the direction of this little gem created in the heart of tribeca.}

living in the city, there is always … ALWAYS something to do, see, experience right at your fingertips. upon moving to brooklyn, i made a vow to myself that we would take advantage of all that the city had to offer us throughout our time here. that vow, although well intentioned, gave me permission to place a standard so high for what our days {in my idealistic mind} should consist of and as i am sure one can assume … that lovely little vow backfired on me {already … yeah … i’ve only lived here a week}! with my little ladies in bed and a glass of wine in hand i found myself glassy eyed staring at nyc event calendars, local mom websites, etc. to ensure that sophie + hazel {and myself} were getting the most out of big city living.

after perusing through moomah, i was reminded that inspiration and creative experiences are not fostered through all things planned – in fact it is rather the opposite!

today we had a lovely date with our friends amelia + anna drake daniels who are living in the city for a short time as they escape hurricane season in the british virgin islands. {you can read more about their adventures on island hopping.} we began our day shopping in soho as she introduced me to c. wonder. upon walking in to the store i watched as sophie’s eyes began to light up and asked to use my iphone to take photographs of colors, displays, patterns that inspired her {yeah … she really did … pretty sure she stepped in as teacher on my self-taught course on how to foster your child’s creative spirit.} upon returning home she grabbed her crayons and began drawing things based on all that had inspired her little creative spirit during our time in soho.

today was simple in nature but completely eye-opening for me. i can learn a lot from sophie + hazel. their ability to see beauty and creativity in so many {day to day} things is allowing me to view a much bigger picture of this amazingly diverse city that we now call home!

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27 Cupcakes

cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes. cupcakes.

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