May 25, 2015

Local Love: The WWII Weekend in Reading, PA (Making My Boy’s Dreams Come True)



Any longtime reader of this blog (or my instagram feed, @shanachristine) might have picked up on the fact that Raines, my oldest, is obsessed with WWII.  We don’t really know where it came from.  He went from a train obsession to planes and then to….war.  WWII, specifically, with a special passion for the dogfights that happened in Pacific, and D-Day itself.  As a parent, our philosophy has always been to support and even fuel their passions (a philosophy that was sorely tested with years of mind-numbing train facts), so when I heard that one of the largest WWII gatherings occurs each June, barely an hour from Philly?  Well.  Game. On.

Admittedly, I had some pretty low expectations for the Mid Atlantic Air Museum’s World War Two Weekend.  I thought we’d show up, see some stuff,  Raines would be mildly impressed (check the box – yay parents), go home.

Instead….minds were blown that weekend.  BLOWN.

This weekend isn’t just about seeing a few planes fly around and maybe a gun or two….it’s a total and complete WWII experience.  Thanks to a (literal) army of dedicated re-enactors, there’s entire military camps re-created – both on the Western and Pacific fronts.  Tour the German camp (even late at night) and you’ll see Nazi “soldiers” playing cards, smoking, and listening to German music from the 40’s.

Pax being helped out of a Nazi Tiger Tank


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By May 25, 2015 16 No tags Permalink
January 25, 2015

Philadelphia Love: Ice Skating at Bluecross RiverRink

If you are looking for something fun to do in Philly on a friday night with (or without) the kids, we highly recommend moseying on down to the Bluecross RiverRink.  It. Is. Amazing.  A total winter wonderland.



We were up for a little ice-skating, but I’d be lying if I said that the happy hour specials and brewery tastings weren’t part of the draw.

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By January 25, 2015 5 No tags Permalink
December 15, 2014

Frankford Hall – Is This Philly’s Best Santa? (Hint: There’s beer)



Every weekend day in December from 12-3PM, Frankford Hall morphs from a Philly beer hall to rocking kid-friendly party, complete with Santa, free food for the kids, and live music.  Since any kid party that includes beer is one Mike is willing to attend, off we went.

Of course, Pax was terrified.




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By December 15, 2014 7 No tags Permalink
December 8, 2014

Spotlight on Goodnight Macaroon (Not-To-Be-Missed For Easy, Affordable Holiday Style)


When Goodnight Macaroon first reached out, I guess I was expecting an online children’s bookstore.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I realized that Goodnight Macaroon is actually a very clever name for an online boutique specializing in of-the-minute clothing (at reasonable prices).

This jacket, for example, is just the thing to dress up a turtleneck/graphic tee situation.  (See?  I promised I’d work that turtleneck in somewhere.)  And if you’ve been reading The Mom Edit closely over the last week, you may have already stumbled upon a few other Goodnight Macaroon pieces.  (This Ramones tee is theirs as well.  Raines picked it out for me – it’s his fav band.)

[Side note:  I’ve been getting several questions about photography – equipment, settings, etc.  I’ll start including shot details with the last pic (the one that also has outfit deets).  I’d also love to hear from you seasoned photographers with tips/tricks/improvements…..Thanks!!]

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December 5, 2014

Faux Fur & Philly Love: Holiday Nights At Franklin Square Will Blow Your Mind



Franklin Square is one of our favorite places to take the kids – there’s a decent playground, mini golf, and a gorgeous carousel.  And it’s walking distance to some of our favorite Chinatown restaurants in Philly.  (Or try a burger at the Square – they’re surprisingly good.)

But for the holidays, Franklin Square has created some sort of holiday extravaganza that is simply not to be missed.   There’s a light show, carolers, and food trucks, if you come on Friday night.  But in addition to all of that….



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By December 5, 2014 1 No tags Permalink
November 3, 2014

A Holiday Outfit For The Chronically Cold…At Philly’s Magic Gardens




Ever since Megan sent in a pic of herself rocking a dress over pants….I’ve been scheming.  I figured – HEY!  I have cocktail dresses.  I have pants.  Why….not….put them together in some kind holiday mash-up and come up with something festive and warm?   RIGHT????

Well.  My initial attempts were total failures.  You know when you run into a dressing room and don’t feel like trying anything on but know you should?  So you just throw the dress over your head – leaving your jeans on – and then kinda squint into the mirror, balancing on your tiptoes all, “if I were in heels….and wearing spanx…” Yes?  All of my earlier attempts looked like that.  Like I was trying a dress on in a hurry, then forgot to take off my pants.

For the record, flare jeans and heels worked a little better than my trusty light-wash skinnies (and either type of jeans worked with a casual dress – see this old 2012 article for an example of a dress over flares)….but with an actual cocktail dress?  No.

My “epiphany” came (wow – that’s dramatic) while perusing Nordstrom’s selection of holiday denim.  I was surprised by the number of….let’s call ’em fancy pants.  There’s a whole host of patterned, textured, and otherwise very lux-looking jeans that are making my heart beat fast.  And while they’re perfect for dressing up a sweater….while browsing around….Trixie. Realized. Something*.



As it turns out, all my cocktail dresses needed was a pair of fancy pants.

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September 25, 2014

Friday Favs, Local Love, and Those Boots With Jeans (you know the ones)



A few of you wanted to see the Marc Jacobs ankle boots with jeans.  Trust me: you’ll have plenty of opportunity.  Consider this the first of many.

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By September 25, 2014 10 No tags Permalink
July 1, 2014

White Dresses, Birkenstocks, and our New Fav Patio, In Riva (Local Love)



A few weeks ago, we headed down to Kelly drive to go for a little family walk.  And were greeted by this sight: 



Oh.  Oh.  It was the Manyunk Bike Race, which is, apparentely, a big deal.  There was music, and beer, and a kiddie carnival.  They had some sort of zip-line thing for kids that dare-devil Raines was ALL ABOUT.



And guess who's behind Door #2?


It's Pax!!  Pax typically hates this kind of stuff so I don't know WHAT ON EARTH possessed him to try this.  I was freaking out (and taking pics, naturally).



Brave little puppy.  But he did it.  And when he was done?  There were a bunch of people watching and laughing and pointing – he looked so small, you know?  

Waving to his fans.



This was my reaction:



Dork.  I am a dork.

Raines proceeded to go 2394876 more times, and Pax went ONCE more and then was all "I done, Mom" and really…who can blame him?  You couldn't pay me to go on that thing.  Well.  You could, I suppose, but it would be for a lot of money

After all of that excitement Mama needed a drink, so we wandered into a parent-wonderland known as In-Riva's patio.



I consider any joint with a patio to be kid-friendly.  But this place also had crazy-amazing pizza, great drink selection, and live music.





Yup – it was as good as it looks.  In-Riva is now one of our fav weekend haunts.  They don't always have live music, but tiring the kids out with a walk along the river then stopping for pizza and drinks is one of the great joys in life.  You know?

As are white dresses in summer.  I like mine with birks.  I have to credit Garace Dore with planting this seed.   A year ago she was talking about white dresses and said, "With Birks?  I do not think I am ready" and I thought "I SO AM" and now – just this past week!! – even Who What Wear is on board.  So there you go.  I'm not crazy.  (Almost.  I have a shirt that says almost not crazy and I think that's about right.) 



dress: Milly…similar white cotton eyelet shift dress by Theory (on sale!)

Shoes: Naot Tahoe (like Birks, but more narrow)

Bag: Kate Spade (similar bag)

Sunnies: Ray-Bans

On Pax: Afrika American Apperal leggings, One Jackson shirt from Thred Up, Vans, Strider Balance Bike (aka the best money we've ever spent on anything, ever.)

On Raines: Tribe is Alive Be Brave tee, Tea Collection Knit Playwear Pants, Saltwater sandals


I also put together a little white dress + birkenstock shopping list, if you're interested.



April 18, 2014

A T-Shirt On Date Night….Sigh. (And Friday Links)

So I have this going-out uniform of sorts.  Disappointingly, it involves a t-shirt.  I keep meaning to find some fabulous top – something silky, pretty, patterned, whatever….but I seem to have this mental block where silky shirts are involved and instead, a closet full of cotton and wool.

Which is why I find myself, most Friday nights, clad only in underwear and squinting into my closet, Mike (wisely) tip-toeing around me.  "Ready, Babe?" he'll eventually ask.  "Yes, Honey!" I'll chirp.  "Let me just plop on a necklace to match these panties and I'll be right down!" #NO 

I mean seriously.  A half-naked wife should be the first sign that THINGS ARE NOT READY.   

So, yeah.  Eventually I'll just grab a t-shirt, add my usual necklace (what did I do before this necklace??) and plop my ancient jacket on top.  Typically, I throw on jeans because by this time I'm totally annoyed and – wow – that makes no sense at all total sense and then I stomp down the stairs STOMP STOMP STOMP to my waiting husband (who knows this drill by heart) and he exclaims, "Babe!!  You look beautiful!!!!!"

Bless his heart. 

But sometimes, if my annoyance level hasn't reached reach-for-denim proportions, I will grab one of my short little bandage minis.  So easy to style!  So sexy!  So cheap!  (Target, baby.)



jacket – similar on sale at Boden

skirt – similar on sale at Piperlime

t-shirt – similar

boots – similar on sale at ASOS



We don't always bring the kids to date night, but the Art Museum was doing their Art-After-5 party, and last month's involved k-pop music and a little show and then a dance floor and we thought, why not?  So I put on some flat boots (to make this skirt ever so practical) and dressed the kids in head-to-toe FabKids and off we went.



And then we arrived and I realized where we had to sit and all at once I had flashbacks of that one time my bum was inadvertently part of the Franklin Institute's spy exhibit.  

This damn skirt.  You'd think I'd learn.  Cause getting into THIS POSITION ON COLD MARBLE STEPS took some serious skirt-wielding skillz.



So this is where I swear off bandage minis while on kid-duty but why bother because I'll probably just wait another week and then do it again.  So if you ever visit Philadelphia, be sure to see the Liberty Bell, the Battleship New Jersey, and S's bum.  And now that I've compared my @ss to historic treasures, we'll move on.  

Pax, it turns out, loves k-pop.



So does his mama.



Raines was totally annoyed by the both of us.  Dancing?  So embarrassing!!


 But since it's Friday, here are a few fun links:

I was thrilled to do another podcast with Meagan from The Happiest Home.  This time, Meagan and I chat about dressing for your high school reunion.  Gulp.

The Modern Mrs. Darcy has a genius technique for faking a clean house.  

Would you wear a fanny pack? I…..might.

Loved this article (and picture!!) of Plus Size Princess.  Awesome.  

Since I've been relying so heavily on soft jackets to dress up my t-shirt, I just picked up this one in white.  Insanely comfortable and flattering.  And check out the swing back – it's my fav part.    

Someone please go buy this Soft Joie dress that is currently 30% off.  I'm smitten, but they only have M and L left. 

BCBG is offering 50% off of everything. I'm seriously considering this chic twist on an everyday t-shirt dress.

For those of you who miss the old Lucky Magazine, Andrea Linett has started doing personal outfit posts on her blog.  Finally!  

Happy weekend!


March 17, 2014

Local Love: The Clay Studio & High Street On Market

We had a seriously amazing weekend.  I had booked us for a family workshop at The Clay Studio after spotting their bumper sticker on the back of a car.  When I eventually looked them up, I couldn't believe the find.  The Clay Studio started as affordable studio space for students just out of art school…but has since expanded into an amazing community resource.


The Clay Studio has outreach programs with some of Philly's public schools, and every Saturday morning they hold a family workshop.   The space is stunningly gorgeous. 





Our class? Making mugs.  But it's the real deal – each kid gets to work on a pottery wheel.




My guys were a little tentative at first….



…but quickly got into it.   There were no rules, per se, no expectations of what they were supposed to be making, just quiet encouragement and support from the staff.



They loved it.  Like, really, seriously, LOVED it.  Raines, in fact, spent almost the entire two hours on the wheel.  Throwing, building, crashing-and-burning, rebuilding again.   Then, when he was satisfied, he turned off the wheel, and added his own finishing touches. 




Once your, uh, "mugs" are off the wheel, it's time to paint, and then clean up.  After the workshop, the staff fires your pieces, and they can be picked up (or shipped!) two weeks later. 

"Mom, do you mind if I put more paint on your bowl?  I'm jus thinkin….it's not really that pretty, Mom.  See, you missed a spot here…and right here and here and here… "

Uh.  Ok, R.


And even three-year-old Pax was totally engaged. 





It's so hard, sometimes, to get kids in that place where they are totally engaged and inspired, yet quiet and focused.  The Clay Studio nails it.  It's a perfect combination of exploration (what happens when I do this?) with a sense of purpose.  The tools and techniques are real.  This isn't a kiddie art class, it's a class for little artists.  (And one that adults can participate in without feeling their sanity slooowly drain away, unlike some other kid classes I've attended *cough*Gymboree*cough*.)   


The Clay Studio is located in Old City…which means that going out for brunch after is a no-brainer.  May I suggest High Street On Market?  It's just a short walk away.



The kids can have homemade bagels and cream cheese for under $3, and, well…for the parents?  The best bloody marys in the city (oh yes I did just throw that down) and serious yum for even the biggest food snobs [raises hand]:


 Nuff said, I think.

We will BE. BACK.


wearing (because this is theoretically still a fashion blog):

jacket: old Rag and Bone (from Ebay!)….love this sweater-moto…or WOW – this bright one in tweed and ponte

cardigan: old Banana Republic…but if I were to layer these again, a cardigan with this shape (long in front, shorter in back) would be better

tee: Gap

jeans: old Rag and Bone…similar at H&M

sneaks: Nike….similar

accessories: sunniesbag c/o Lily Jade….belt c/o Lucky Brand – similar





By March 17, 2014 4 No tags Permalink