December 10, 2016

Local Love: Santa’s Back At Frankford Hall

Hey, Philly!  Know what’s back?  Santa at Frankford Hall.  Over the years, this has become one of our family’s most beloved traditions.  Frankford Hall does a Santa experience like no other:  there’s Santa (of course), the requisite Christmas Story-style slide, fake snow, lights, trees, holiday music (that frankly I wish was a little less kid-friendly)….and beer.  With pretzels.  And ping-pong and Jenga and brats and kraut and adult shakes that are totally worth my weekend dairy splurge.  (Think ‘Toasted Marshmallow’ that comes with an actual toasted marshmallow and a shot of Jack.)

There’s free hot chocolate for the kiddos, but if they prefer the impressive shakes (mine do), the staff is well practiced at differentiating between kid shakes and adult shakes, so…..yeah.  There’s that.

This holiday extravaganza happens over the next two weekends in December, Dec 10 – 11th from 10:30 – 3PM, and Dec 17-18th from 10:30 – 4PM.

We’ll be heading over at some point (either this weekend or next), but keep reading to see a few fun pics from last year…..

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By December 10, 2016 10 No tags Permalink
October 6, 2016

Cropped Pants and Socks….And A Philly Ghost Tour (With Kids)



The kids had a couple of days off of school for Rosh Hashanah, so we took advantage of the later-than-normal bedtimes to do a walking tour in Philly’s Old City.  We needed a later-than-normal bedtime because the walking tour was actually a Ghost tour.  Oooooo…..

Of course nothing ever goes as planned, so Pax fell asleep on the Uber ride over to the restaurant (5:30PM #PartyLikeParents), but thankfully dinner was at a seriously accommodating tapas restaurant within easy walking distance to the ghost tour.  Amada, whose staff didn’t blink at our request to sit at hightop tables near the bar (with a sleeping Pax in arms), has two kinds of Cava by the glass (yessss), a killer happy hour menu, and tapas reminiscent of our trip to Barcelona.   Once Pax woke up, he promptly asked for a plate of chorizo while Raines pounded octopus tapas and Mike and I smiled nonchalantly, all We Are Successful Parents Because Our Kids Are Worldly Eaters….Suck It, Everyone Else.

You’ll forgive us the obnoxiously smug behavior.  Typically our kids are NEVER the Worldly Eaters, rather the I’ll Just Have More Bread, Please or, my personal favorite, Black Burgers Wuf JUST A BUN kids. (This was based on the ONE TIME I tried to sneak a veggie burger onto their plates.  It was a slightly different color and they never quite recovered from the shock.)  So please allow us our one moment of parenting glory.  AND OH, THE GLORY.  The waiters were all very impressed.  (Ok fine one waiter.  The one waiter was impressed.)

In any case, many of you have been asking about cropped jeans + socks for the upcoming winter months, and it just so happens that I was rocking a rather warm and cozy cropped jeans + smartwool sock combo that night.  Slightly unusual, but I think it worked!  Keep reading for a few more pics from our seriously fun night….

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By October 6, 2016 16 No tags Permalink
September 28, 2016

Updated Skinny Jeans, Soccer Walks and Beer



First things first:  Nordstrom asked me to take a look at Fall denim trends, and, well…if you’re up on your blog reading this week, you know how I feel about The Chaos That is Fall Denim.  But there is something wonderful happening in the world of denim, something I hesitate to call a trend, per se, it’s more like a movement [cue swelling music], and that is….

Skinny Jeans.  They’ve gone all interesting.

Patches, rips, paint splatters, frayed hems, fringe hems, step hems, released hems, twisted hems (no I am seriously not making this up), [BIG BREATH], distressing, cool zippers, sailor-pant spoofs, moto spoofs, colorblocking and embroidery.

What these things do to a boring sweater.  SHIVERS, I tell you.  I get shivers.

My not-so-boring skinnies almost made up for the fact that our Sunday was terribly boring.  It was one of those days where Mike and I were trying our hand at Adulting: paperwork, bills, emptying the dishwasher, updating iPhone OSs, folding 276 loads of laundry.   You needn’t feel sorry for us – as evidenced by the sheer amount of laundry, Adulting is a rare occurrence that we save for when things are truly dire.

But Sunday was a perfect storm of  Too Much Adulting + Tired Kids and our usual remedy (GET TO A PLAYGROUND) wasn’t happening because, on top of it all….hangry.

So we grabbed a handful of nuts (WOMP WOMP), two soccer balls (cause sharing sucks), and set out on a Soccer Walk.  Destination?  The PHL Pop-Up Beer Garden*.

Man, we love Philly.

*Also, the game was on and they have TVs. You are welcome, Mike.

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By September 28, 2016 40 No tags Permalink
August 28, 2016

Sunset Cruising On The Miss Avalon



We have fun friends.  Namely, they know how to find fun that is both kid and adult friendly.  Balance, people.  It’s all about balance.  And really, any fun that is to be had after 6PM – especially in the summer – should start with WIN and end with an E.  #winwithanE #thatswhatI’msaying

So this past Thursday, we took the kids on a sunset cruise aboard the Miss Avalon.  It departs from Avalon (bay side) and either cruises around the bay, or heads oceanside to look for dolphins and such.  Depending on the weather.  But it almost doesn’t matter, because A. you are on a boat, and B. you can bring whatever food/snacks/drinks you’d like.

Our buddy brought this canned rose (no seriously – it was gooood) and a full cheese platter.  Like I said, fun friends.

The Miss Avalon does such a nice job with the kids, too.  Not only is there something naturally calming about a boat, but this baby is two stories (so fun to explore), and the Captain lets each kid take a turn driving the boat (and they print a certificate after).  The Captain takes back the helm to cruise under a drawbridge, and watching the bridge lift – just for us!! – is a thrill no matter the age.

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By August 28, 2016 9 No tags Permalink
April 26, 2016

Army Jackets, Boyfriend Jeans And Morgan’s Pier



My first army jacket was bought ten years ago in a Parisian flea market.  (Stay with me here – I realize that’s one heck of a pretentious opener .)  I felt so very worldly, as I strolled through le marche, jacket casually tossed over my arm.  Ou est la cafe, Monsieur?  Ah, bien.  Merci.

The reality, however, is that the jacket smelled faintly musty, and while it was soft and ever-so-perfectly-oversized, the sleeves were much too short for my long, goony arms (inherited from my German father, not my French mother) and so the jacket lived mostly in my closet.  I’d trot it out from time to time, sleeves rolled up.

Army jackets (or army-inspired jackets) are one of those pieces that always seem to be cool.  Perhaps not Prince-in-sequin-hot-pants-and-chaps cool (did you see that SNL tribute?  I mean WOW), but cool in an effortlessly casual way.  And for some reason, I’ve been pairing mine with boyfriend jeans for at least EIGHT YEARS.  Forget florals, this combo is my Spring.

Speaking of Spring, Morgan’s Pier is open!!  It’s where we’ve spent many happy Sunday afternoons.  If you follow me on instagram (@shanachristine) you’ll know we kicked off the Spring/Summer season with a bang.  Unlike Friday or Saturday nights, late Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to let the kiddos take over the dance floor.  Some friends came out to join us, and it turned into an epic party.

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By April 26, 2016 14 No tags Permalink
December 4, 2015

Kate Spade NY & Ice Skating At Philly’s Rothman Rink

If I had to pick my very favorite month to visit Philly….it might actually be December.  Despite the cold, despite the gray skies and the fact that it’s dark by 4PM(!!)…Philly serves up one heck of a winter wonderland.  Rothman Rink, smack downtown in Center City, is a perfect example.   Lights twinkle, music plays, and you skate around this little rink surrounded by beautiful buildings.  (Also?  Heat lamps.)



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By December 4, 2015 11 No tags Permalink
October 9, 2015

Local Love: Indian Orchards In Media, PA (The Anti Linvilla)



Don’t get me wrong:  I have nothing against Linvilla Orchards.  We go and play, ride the hayrides, eat cider doughnuts, and just deal with the traffic/lines/masses of people that mean October at Linvilla.  But I’ve been looking for an alternative – something chill, organic, and easy.  For those weekends when apple picking means just that:  spending an hour or so picking apples off trees.

I think I’ve found it.


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By October 9, 2015 7 No tags Permalink
July 16, 2015

Thank You, Mainline Today!




Gang, I was so incredibly honored to be featured in the July issue of Mainline Today magazine!  There’s a pic of me (in sneaks, naturally) being silly, and a little Q&A where we talk about my favorite designers and trends for summer.  If you’d like, you can read the whole article here.

Their July issue is my fav – it includes the yearly “best of” and it’s the issue I refer back to all. year. long.  Which is why I’m doubly excited to be featured along with some of my favs: Local Ardmore, Theresa’s Next Door and Tired Hands Brewing Co.  SWOON.  (There’s even a shout-out to Tuxe’s new Suburban Sq. opening.  Congrats, Tamar!)



By July 16, 2015 4 No tags Permalink
June 10, 2015

How To Pull Off Pencil Skirts and Flats (Even For Petites)




We had a blast at the World War Two Weekend in Reading, PA this past weekend.  (For more deets on the event, see my full coverage here.  It’s pretty amazing.)  But dressing for the weekend is always a challenge:  it’s hot, it’s sunny, I’m on my feet all day, and then at night…..there’s a swing band and dance party.  To make matters worse, most of the other attendees arrive in full 1940’s costume.  Every year they look GORGEOUS and glamorous, and that level of dedication truly makes the weekend feel like stepping back in time.

So. I wanted to wear something comfortable, but something that could hang with all of the pin-up girl glamour (although a few women came dressed as Rosie the Riveter which was awesome).  Inspired by Cam “grunging” her pencil skirt (bless her preppy little heart), I used Cam’s grunge to make mine…glam?

But here’s the thing:  Cams is tall. I am not.

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