Posts tagged brooklyn
10 Ways To Balance Work With Motherhood
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Hi everyone! I'm so excited and honored to welcome my dear friend Samantha Hahn, a talented Brooklyn-based illustrator and author who has so touched so many beautiful things with her work from illustrations and hand lettering for major magazines to her own beautiful books.

She is celebrating the launch of her two recent titles, A Mother Is a Story and a Journal to match called Stories For My Child, both published by Abrams, so in honor of mother's everywhere I've asked her to visit us today and give us 10 tips for balancing work and motherhood. 

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family photo5

As a working mother of two young children (shown above with her husband and two little ones), Samantha definitely has a lot to share in this area. It's not easy to ru a successful business AND be a responsible mother. It constantly requires you to stay on the ball. There is rarely any "down" time. From early morning until late night, working parents are swimming upstream. Yet, parenting has so many rewards which is why the extra work doesn't stop women from wanting to raise families. It just requires that we each find our recipe for success.

Below are her tips, please comment with some of your own so we can build out this conversation. I'm a freelancer too with an active toddler so I'd really love to see how other moms are finding their way balancing family life and their business.

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10 Ways To Balance Work With Motherhood

1. Don't overdo it. Set expectations high. Really high. Then exceed them. KIDDING. You’re a working mom. Life laughs at your expectations! Celebrate if you tick off 40% of everything you’re supposed to accomplish:

- Wake up cheerfully at 6 a.m. - Knock out a quick 5K or Crossfit session - Meditate really, really mindfully - Cook up an organic, local, non-GMO breakfast for the family - Shower and slip into your favorite pair of skinny jeans - Make bento box lunches for everyone—don’t forget Instagram! #lazylunch - Execute a dazzling array of child-delivery maneuvers - Get to work on time and clear your inbox before you finish your half-skim latte - Efficiently accomplish the day’s tasks in priority order - Break’s over; go pick up the kids - Throw together a quick and easy weekday soufflé #voila - Help with homework, praising only in developmentally appropriate ways - Get everyone to bed in time—to answer more emails - Experience gratitude - Grab 7 hours of quality sleep

2. Be flexible. Look, forget the list. Did you get them to school and back? Go, Mom.

3. Go with the flow. Children change constantly, so there’s no point settling into a routine. Write while the baby naps. You’ll get the time back when your teenager sleeps all day.

4. Kill two birds. Put your kids to work. If that toddler has so much energy, he can push a broom.

5. Embrace conflict. Resolving disagreements and learning to compromise is an important skill for life and work. Use arguments as an opportunity to show the kids how to get through them. More effective than any lecture.

6. Don’t be a phoneworm. My dear friend Linsey’s 8-year-old daughter coined this term for an essay about the bookworm’s screen-addicted mom. Sure, you may occasionally need to answer an important email during family time, but otherwise keep it in your pocket. Put the mom back in “working mom.” Show your kids how to balance a dynamic career with a family life you actually live.

7. Respect the clock. I want to be with my family 24 hours a day and work the other 24 hours. Since I can’t make the Earth rotate any more slowly, I have to give myself a break and do the best I can with the time I’ve got. Let go of the guilt.

8. Show and Tell. I’m a freelance illustrator and that means I have to hustle to survive. I don’t know about the media-ready mom entrepreneurs who gracefully float through business and life, but my work demands as much energy and passion as being a mom. Doing both pushes me to the limit, but as a result my kids get to see me get knocked down and get back up again to face another day.

9. A little self-care goes a long way. I used to jog 5 miles day. Today I’m thrilled to crack 5 a week. It’s nothing to be ashamed of—being a working mom is its own marathon. I just take a few, small, imperfect actions when I can to thank my body for the hard work. A short walk. A five-minute meditation. Even a deep breath can make a big difference when life gets ahead of me.

10. Don’t do it alone. When my son was young, I felt guilty about sending him to daycare. His pediatrician set me straight: “The more people who know and love your son, the better.” Build a community for your children. Expand their horizons by introducing them to new people and different places. You’ll always be their home.

So everyone, can you add to my list? Holly and I would love to see what tips other mom's out there have to add to the list! It's always so fascinating to hear stories of how others are making things work. Seems everyone out there has a different recipe to parenting!

A Mother is a Story and Stories for my Child_Samantha Hahn
A Mother is a Story and Stories for my Child_Samantha Hahn
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If I could distill the feelings in my heart when I first looked at my children, each time I smelled them or felt the softness of their skin and the warmth of their bodies, I would bottle it against the days I both dread and feverishly work toward, when they need me in their hearts but are strong enough to stand apart.

So on to my book... Creating this book and the journal to go with it (all shown in the photos above), I wanted to see if it were possible to portray this shared experience of motherhood in all its glorious, messy beauty. Instead, I’ve found that each idea resonates at different moments, as different aspects of this incredible journey come to pass.

Nothing prepared me for motherhood’s constant whirlwind of emotions, simultaneous and conflicting. Deeply in love and deeply exhausted. Exasperated and proud, worried and blissful. These feelings make their own special harmony and become the song of motherhood.

I hope these words and illustrations strike a chord with you. I hope you recognize yourself, your children, your own mother, and the love that permeates your life in these pages.

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Holly!

You're welcome Samantha, it's a pleasure to welcome you here and to share your gorgeous book with everyone reading. Loads of luck and success with it! I own copies and love them so much, I can't wait to fill the pages of the journal with notes about the special little boy in my life. xo

(Photography with permission from Samantha Hahn and Abrams Books. Top image styled by Randi Brookman Harris. Family photo by Nick Steever)

Book Review: Sunday Suppers

I'm so very pleased to share this lovely cookbook, Sunday Suppers, and author Karen Mordechai with you today. Karen is such a force - a talented woman who wears many hats in her business yet does it with such style and ease (and a warm smile) that you'd never know just how much work it really takes to run her company. In our chat today you'll soon see that Karen's passion motivates her to work so hard, to keep her business fresh, to propel it forward. With the support of her husband and the close relationship that she has built with her little girl, along with her friends, the online community and all of the local friends and businesses that she teams up with -- there is no stopping this lovely woman from bringing good food, joy and beauty into the world. 001SundaySuppers

Go-getters like Karen are a true inspiration. Karen knows what she wants and doesn't veer off the path she's made for herself and her business. Anyone who has watched her from the beginnings like I have, I still remember her first blog about her Brooklyn-based supper club, cannot help but be inspired and motivated by her success story, which now includes a shop and product line along with a #1 bestselling book on Amazon that is flying off the shelves despite being in the very saturated, competitive cookbook market.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

It's great to see a wife and a mother, an entrepreneur, an author, a visionary who still remains so humble and warm too. I've met with Karen a few times when I've been in New York and she has consistently been so kind and genuine. I'm so happy that Karen and I had a chance to talk recently and that I can share our conversation below because I love her new book and am so proud of her success with it thus far.

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decor8: Karen, can you tell us about your background and about Sunday Suppers? KM: Yes, of course. I am a trained photographer by trade, I have a masters in photography from the ICP + NYU. I am the founder of Sunday Suppers, a food and design community based in South Williamsburg Brooklyn. Our focus is on seasonal fare and simple, thoughtful living. Through shared meals and the act of cooking communally we celebrate the traditions of food and gathering. The food is seasonally focused market fresh. We work with local artisans and crafters to create seasonal dinners in our space. We host approximately 20 events each year between public and private suppers.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: What do you do primarily for Sunday Suppers? KM: I wear many hats -- I style and produce the shoots as well as do a lot of the recipe development and cooking. I also collaborate with guest chefs to cook for events and classes at the studio. Sunday Suppers has been an opportunity to combine my love for food + cooking with styling and photography.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: When was your company founded and why? KM: Sunday Suppers started six years ago in our home. A few friends gathered at our apartment. We cooked and dined and made a toast. From there our dinners have evolved and we have grown into a beautiful new space, our community has expanded beyond our expectations. The concept however centers on simplicity and a love of food.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: Tell us about your staff... KM: We have a staff of about 6 people, one full-time creative assistant at the studio, myself and the rest are part-time or freelance positions.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: Who supports you the most in your day-to-day life? KM: My husband is my rock, he gives me stability and guidance and a good honest answer when needed.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: You also rent your space, how does that work? KM: During the week we use the studio as our home base for creating, working and doing our own shoots. If we are not using it however we do rent it out to others as a photo studio for shoots, some companies that shoot with us include Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Design Within Reach and some more.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: Who are some of the most interesting people you’ve met at a supper? Why? KM: We meet people from New York that we wouldn’t perhaps get to connect with otherwise but we also get to meet folks from around the world who either plan their trip around a supper or happen to be in town for one - those are the greatest connections we get to have and so amazing to know that our community stretches that far.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: Do you imagine doing this forever or do you plan to evolve into something else or more? If so, can you share some of your future goals? KM: Sunday Suppers has grown organically over the years - from a communal dinner series into a community of food + design. I believe organically we will continue to grow into those realms a bit more and I hope we do. Our shop and product line has become a new and very fun project for me personally and I hope to expand on that in the next year.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: How did Sunday Suppers the cookbook come to life? KM: I was approached many times actually to do a book, but about 3 years ago I was contacted by a lovely agent at Random House. I enjoyed working with her directly on the process, she guided me to be able to create the book I had in my mind for a long time.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: Why is your book special to you, what really makes you happy about it? KM: Sunday Suppers the cookbook, is a collection of intimate gatherings that we photographed across the country - they are small and more intimate gatherings for 4-6 people. I love that our recipes are beautiful and inspiring but at the same time super attainable and not overly fussy. The goal is to create a book that inspires our readers to cook and explore and find their own beauty in their lives.

 

decor8: Can you please tell us about your favorite recipes in the book? KM: Every recipe has a story to me - the granola is one that we make at home and have been making for years, and so are a few others. Shakshuka is a childhood meal to me that is very nostalgic and comforting - and for a sweet tooth the date cake is near to my heart and just the most indulgent treat.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

 

decor8 Do you have any fun stories that happened during production? Or stressful funny ones? Or big mess ups? KM: I learned so much on the book shoots, some tales were funny and some not that funny at the time- we traveled a lot for the shoots and so something was always unexpected. Our first shoot was on the beach in Eastern Long Island and I remember lots going wrong, we couldn’t quite build our campfire - our wood was wet, etc and the meal was all to be prepared on an open fire. Eventually we figured it out and had a lovely evening on the beach, but we worked very hard on that one.

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decor8: On a more personal note, Where do you live and what inspires you about your neighborhood? KM: We live and work in South Williamsburg Brooklyn. Our apartment is on the waterfront, and so we are lucky to enjoy peaceful views of water and skyline from our apartment. The neighborhood is a little gritty and industrial but also filled with very good food, coffee and design shops. It has a good creative energy to it and there is always something new popping up around here.

Sophia, daughter of Sunday Suppers Founder

decor8: Out of curiosity, I know that you have a young daughter. How do you fit it all in, mom and business owner? KM: I have a four year old daughter named Sophia. She is absolutely everything to me and the most important part of my day. Balancing it all is always a challenge and so I just do my best to be a present mother, caring and engaged in all the details, and I also love working and being creative and teaching Sophia those lessons of strength and diligence. I find those to be equally important things to teach a young girl.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

decor8: And finally Karen, why should people buy your book? KM: I hope readers will find inspiration and a resource for cooking in my book. My goal was to create food that people can actually make at home and show people that they can think outside the box, pack a fried chicken picnic, go have some iced coffee on the beach - and just add a bit of joy and lightheartedness to cooking and gathering. Simplicity and enjoying good friends and good food is the ultimate goal.

Sunday Suppers Book and Interview with decor8

Before we go, I have to share this lovely video that Design Within Reach had with Karen - such a great introduction to her work. I'm sure that you'll enjoy it.

The Gift of Know-How from Design Within Reach | Food from Design Within Reach on Vimeo.

Thank you Karen for chatting with me and sharing your beautiful photography and book peaks with us today. Readers, if you want a copy of Karen's book you can find it on Amazon HERE. Also, make sure you check out her newly launched website and if you're ever in Brooklyn, definitely try to get to one of her beautiful events. Thanks again, Karen!

(images: sunday suppers)