Kindergarten · Lane · Parenthood · Summer

Goodbye kindergarten; hello summer! ☀️

Lane is fresh outta kindergarten, and as I reflect on the school year, I’m absolutely blown away by her growth in so many ways. She’s blossomed in ten short months, from outward things like her appearance – no more baby face 😢 – to inward things like confidence, integrity, and pride.

Kindergarten brought with it many things I hadn’t been prepared for. Lane is my first, and while she did two years of pre-school, it was only 3 half-days a week. I hadn’t fully processed the idea that she’d be immersed in a classroom environment day in and day out. That she would meet and make relationships with people I didn’t know. That she’d see, hear, and experience things that don’t quite align with the way we do things at home.

It was only a few weeks in that she came home after school one day, looked at me with her huge, innocent brown eyes and declared, “Mama. Joey said THIS *boldly holds up middle finger* is a bad word.” She must have misinterpreted the reason for my expression of disbelief, because she continued, “I KNOW! I told him that was the silliest thing I ever heard because THIS *finger again* isn’t even a word!”

Then, maybe a month later, she approached me with another doozy. With a genuinely confused, almost sad expression, she asked me, “Mama? Is it bad to be skinny?” My heart sank as she shared with me that another little girl had been staring at her and then commented that Lane was “so skinny.” We talked about how that remark made her feel, and I couldn’t believe we were already discussing body image. I asked Lane how she responded to the girl, and was surprised and proud when she told me she answered, “I’m not skinny. I’m fit.”  For the record, we don’t use words like “skinny,” “fat,” or even discuss other people’s (or our own!) body shapes in our house – in fact, Lane actually asked me what “fat” meant last summer at age 5.

Thrown into the mix, of course, were typical reports of kindergarten spats, bumps, bruises, and hurt feelings, coupled with my own heartbreak of not being able to fix everything for her. But overwhelmingly more frequent than all the drama were Lane’s stories of the fun she had each day, her amusing observations about the people and situations she encountered, how she adored her teacher, books she read, and fun games she played in her favorite subject, gym.

I loved hearing the knock-knock jokes her friends would tell her (well, the first time anyway), and watching her teach Lauren all the things she picked up, like how to dab and do the floss dance. 😂 But mostly, I’ve loved watching her evolve. She’s got her own, confident, IDGAF-what-you-think little style (oversized glasses with the lenses popped out and Jordans are her jam), and is very proud of her ability to read second grade books. She doesn’t follow the crowd, writes in a diary that she keeps locked (I honestly don’t know where the key is), and while she’s been craving alone time more and more, she still loves a good snuggle at bedtime.

She is pumped to become a first grader, but first, we’ve got a summer of memories to make. And we plan to enjoy every moment.

Dance · Product Reviews

Product Review: FASTEN Leotards

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. I was provided sample products for review purposes, but was not financially compensated for this post. Opinions are entirely my own and based on my personal experience with FASTEN products.

Ask any busy mom – when it comes to kids, every second counts.  Each moment of our busy days is meticulously planned (yet somehow, we’re still always late 😩), and you can bet I’ve factored in time for putting on mittens and hats, zippering coats, grabbing snacks for the road, running back into the already locked house to get purple blanky and kitty or a forgotten backpack, hitting the Dunkin’ drive-through for a medium hot Hazelnut… the list goes on.  But nothing throws us off more than last minute trips to the bathroom – especially when we’re on our way to dance class.

Dance moms know that potty emergencies take on a whole new meaning when leotards are part of the equation. Simple bathroom trips with little kids are a project to begin with, but when you add peeling off all the layers, tugging down leotards and tights, and pulling it all back together again, you’ve exponentially increased the hassle factor.  And your minute-to-minute-get-there-on-time plan is an absolute wash; everybody’s rushing and crying and miserable (including me!).

FASTEN: Lauren

Enter: FASTEN.  I stumbled across this brand on Instagram, and couldn’t be happier I did.  Their genius patent-pending technology makes bathroom breaks a breeze by eliminating the frustration and wasted time of taking everything off.


The hidden snaps and magnetic strips are magical – they unfasten at the waist and open easily (why didn’t I think of that?!), enabling a quick, clean, fuss-free trip to the potty.  That way, tiny dancers can get back to what matters most: mastering their pirouettes. 💃🏻

FASTEN: Lane and Lauren

And now, a word from the real experts.




img_8211Lane was excited to try out her new leotard and called it “comfy.”  This is huge coming from her, as this girl tugs at tights and leotards like no other and will literally cry actual tears if her clothing is not comfortable.

Lauren, on the other hand, will put fashion over function any day of the week, and was mostly concerned with whether or not the leotard would have a tutu.  To her delight, the skirt is attached, which is another win for me.  One less thing to fuss with!  That being said, she was happily surprised when she didn’t have to take off her entire ensemble to use the bathroom, and commented that it was “convenient.”  Yes, she knows that word.  Yes, she’s 3.

FASTEN: Lauren

Ready to give FASTEN a try and make life easier for your own little superstar?  Click here for free shipping!  Happy twirling!





Play outside · winter

My Love/Hate Relationship with Playing in the Snow


I am happiest in the summer, when the sun is warming my skin.  When I’m barefoot and wearing a sundress.  When I’m able to get in my car, open the windows and sunroof, and drive somewhere without cumbersome winter coats, and boots, and mittens, and hats, and scarves.  When I’m not cold.

I am a creature of the sun.  Despite having grown up in Massachusetts, I spent almost ten years of my adult life living in Los Angeles, where I could happily prance around coatless all year long if I really wanted to.  Don’t get me wrong – I wore “fall boots” and cozy clothes during the colder months for fashion and to feel seasonally appropriate, but never out of necessity.  But despite the weather perfection in Southern California, we decided that the East Coast was the right place for us to raise our family.

So here we are in December, 8 years later, and it’s snowing.  The sparkling, powdery stuff that used to delight me as a kid is not so delightful these days.  In fact, I now hate the snow.  HATE.  There are a bunch of reasons why, like the fact that I can’t stand winter coats, warming up my car for ten minutes before going anywhere, inconvenience, or being cold.  But the girls’ eyes absolutely light up at the first snow, and I know I’m in for it…

Playing outside in the snow.

I know it sounds harmless.  But let me educate you if you have never played outside in the snow with very small kids.  It’s freezing.  It’s wet.  It takes 45 frustrating minutes to get everyone into all their layers of snow gear, some of which is always too small or too big.  It’s slippery.  And there’s this when it’s all over:

Snow -

A wet, messy pile of more stuff to do.  More things to add to all the other things when you really just want to snuggle under a blanket on the couch with a cup of tea and a movie.

There is this frown when your 5-year-old realizes that her boots are full of packed in, cold snow, but she hadn’t noticed outside because she had been  having too much fun playing “Elsa and Anna’s Ice Palace” with her sister.

So why do I do it?  Why don’t I bribe them to stay inside with promises of hot chocolate with marshmallows, tablet time, and movies?  Well, my childhood memories of playing in the snow are happy.  Maybe even magical.  For a kid, there is almost nothing better than the carefree feeling of running through a yard covered with a fresh blanket of clean, white, glittery, delicious snow.  It means snow angels, snowmen, snowball fights, and imaginative play.  Something I hadn’t realized was that to Lane and Lauren, it means something even more special.

See, last year at Mother’s Day, Lane made me a present at school.  It was a frame she had decorated with sequins and gems.  Inside it was a picture she colored and a list that her pre-school teacher helped her complete.  There were all kinds of things about me – like things she thinks I’m good at (going to the gym was what she said – she must have made it during the one week I went to the gym last year), things I always say to her (“I love you” – so glad it wasn’t “Hurry up!”), and then there was one that really got me.  It said “My favorite memory with my Mom.”  And next to it, she wrote, “When I was really little and it snowed really high and my mom made snow angels with me.”

In that moment, I knew that sucking it up every year and facing the brutality of snowsuits and icy puddles in the kitchen was going to be my reality each winter until the girls didn’t want to do it anymore.  Because to them, playing in the snow with me is part of the fabric that’s becoming their childhood.  So, as much as I will continue to dread so many things about winter – one thing will warm my heart: knowing I’m making my kids happy.

Now… how many more days ’til summer?