I Am Brave

For the full post visit Junior Style London here.

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A few short weeks shy of ski season’s end, Elise suffered an unfortunate fall and a broken leg. While we weren’t able to reach her for an hour, she was supported by outstanding individuals on the mountain who came together like family for this brave girl. As I approached her laying on a rescue sledge, time stood still for me at that moment. I witnessed my little girl putting her trust in the ski patrol and coaches as they stroked her hands and discussed the attributes of Disney princesses like fine wine. Like a sponge, she borrowed on the strength and wisdom of others. Through the physical pain and emotional turmoil that followed, her repose was a blanket of calm that eased us all.

In time, we learned a new routine and managed all the joys that come with having a full-leg cast. And while this period is relatively short-lived, her experience has been rewarding in its own right. Friends have selflessly given up recess to spend a quiet moment reading with Elise. Her heart dances with every kind gesture and friendly check-in. As the old adage “what comes around, goes around,” she’s found a common language with others in need of helping hands or a simple hug.  She’s embraced a wardrobe of culottes and fanny packs while navigating the world in a wheelchair.  But what amazes me more, is something I don’t observe. Her psyche is completely void of self-pity but filled with gratitude and courage.

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I Am Brave Clothing Credits:

Vintage 1930's dress from Mary Beth Hale

Traditional Croatian floral headdress from Ethnicdress

Return to Pooh Country

We welcome you to visit our friends at Junior Style London for the full contribution.

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We first visited the Hundred Acre Woods two summers ago and often reminisce fondly about those precious few hours.  The magic of these woods is something of a trance.  Without hesitation, we found ourselves back for another romp through this storied land.  Retracing the steps of Christopher Robin and his beloved Winnie-the-Pooh bring life to our treasured bedtime tales from A. A. Milne.  Paying homage to the nostalgia of these woods, Mila wears a vintage find from the London-based brand, Marlon and Little Friends.

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The team at Marlon and Little Friends continues to surprise and excite us with an exquisite range of French and English vintage clothing and linens (much of which is unused deadstock).  A strong focus is placed on creating and sourcing heirloom pieces that link generations, a timeless essence that encapsulates the stories of Winnie-the-Pooh.  Alongside vintage pretties, we swoon over hand-knit creations that are thoughtfully produced in France and finished with the knitter’s name.

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A game of ‘Poohsticks‘ commences on the legendary Poohsticks bridge, deep in the Ashdown forest.  This scene has been recreated time and again on the silver screen and whenever we catch a glimpse of the bridge, it is hard to suppress our delight.  As we dream of another return to these woods, we’re eagerly awaiting a new Winnie-the-Pooh film and perhaps a glimpse of this fabled spot.

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Return to Pooh Country Clothing Credits:

Mila's dress: Vintage by Marlon and Little Friends

Elise’s dress: Vintage

Elise’s shoes: Pom d'Api

Elise and Mila’s hair accessories: Eva’s House

Elise's Winnie-the-Pooh:

View the Junior Style London contribution featuring our first adventures in Hundred Acre Wood, here.

Skipping Stones: Paying Homage to Vintage

Read the full post today on Junior Style London: https://juniorstyle.net/skipping-stones-paying-homage-vintage/

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Everything old is new again.  For us, this often rings true upon discovering a vintage gem that finds new life in our wardrobes.  Handcrafted garments from decades past satisfy cravings for one-of-a-kind pieces with timeless appeal.  There is a world of vintage and antique childrenswear that awaits discovery and repurpose but knowing where to look is often key.  Elise's Depression-era netting dress is one of many treasures you'll find in Mary Beth Hale's scrupulous collection of vintage apparel.  'In with the old' I say! 

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These vintage treasures find us immersed in nostalgia.  We're transported to simpler times, wading barefoot along the banks of Lake Champlain.  A hunt to find perfectly shaped shale ensues and we try our hand (rather unsuccessfully) at skipping stones along the water's edge.  I'm left to wonder if these garments could talk, might they tell a similar story?  One thing I'm certain, Mila's dress may actually hold such memories from my own childhood.  My Mother diligently cared for and saved a wonderful collection of clothing, now sprinkled throughout the girls' wardrobes.  

Thankfully we don't need to scour store racks or attics to find pieces like these.  Mary Beth Hale has done the work for us with a stunning collection of unique and pristine childrenswear from the past century and beyond.  From hand embroidered baby bonnets to velvet rompers and fur slippers, I can assure you, it won't be easy to browse without temptation.  But if you simply must, she's offering readers 10% off at purchase with the code BlakeAcres.  

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Quiet Play

Now that fall is upon us, our lives are once again busy shuffling between school and various actvities that will soon become our life blood during a long and at times brutal New England winter.  With all the bustle, the girls are naturally drawn to moments of quiet play.


Mila explores her toys transferring them from hand to hand with a pit stop in the mouth.  Elise loves to gather her heard of friends and line them up in an assembly where they have mostly peaceful conversations.  There isn't much else I'd rather be doing than watching these two play.


This Play Mat has been a godsend since the day it arrived from the talented Syd + Stitch. The mat features a print by Wee Gallery of woodland animal friends at play.  Each can be dressed with removable garments making it a toy in its own and one that can grow with the child.   


While Mila takes her morning nap, Elise wanders over to her sticker book for more quite play (until the stickers start their own conversations of course).


A few throw back photos from our vacation earlier this year when the girls were cuddling on their special mat. This mat is super portable and folds up easily to carry along in a tote bag.   An essential for family travel!


Everything old is new again

Our New England travels took us on a last minute trip to my hometown in Connecticut last week and we all soaked in some grandparent pampering and fresh air.  I came back with a treasure trove of dresses and tops from when I was Elise's age.  For the most part, they are timeless, classic pieces and I can't wait to repurpose them.  Others scream the early 80's but lucky us, that late 70's early 80's vibe is back big time this year.  

The little dress that Mila wears below is from our favorite store for vintage clothing, Mary Beth Hale's Etsy shop.  I first ordered some items from her when my husband and I were in search of Halloween costumes for a party last year and I was blown away by the quality and pristine condition.  


This little dress has the perfect amount of smocking and embroidered rosettes.  I love that some of my favorite photos of Mila at this age are with her in this simple piece.  


Apparently Elise's floral dress was a favorite of mine when I was her age.  It was the first of my own vintage finds that she reached for.


If you're on the lookout for vintage children's clothing, you may run across sheer white dresses similar to what Elise has on below.  I'm guessing they were worn with a slip underneath or perhaps they were undergarments.   For our purposes, they are delicate, airy works of art from times past that are perfect for hot summer days.  This was another find from Mary Beth Hale's shop and one of my favorite pieces.  I imagine Mila will wear it as a dress not too long from now.  


Its fitting that Elise's blouse pairs so well with shorts from a brand named Tocoto Vintage.  The blouse that Mila wears above is also from this nostalgic children's brand.  In fact the brand was conceived from a love of antique patterns and clothing.  The collection can be purchased at Minikin in the U.S.


Thankfully it is still sandal weather and these classic Stevie sandals by Zimmerman have been good to us.  Fall we be here soon so on the to do list this week is to measure Elise's feet for our next pair.  Tough part is deciding which of these beauties we'll be ordering!  


An approach to Minimalism

A favorite blog of mine, A Merry Mishap, recently drew my attention to an interesting article called 'The New Minimalism' from The Spaces.  It discusses minimalism in the digital age and how this influences what we choose to acquire.  The idea that we use "the absence of things to enhance the meaning of what we choose to retain" speaks to me on a personal level and can be translated in a number of ways.  The piece also discusses how we choose those things we hold dear and the growing desire to bring handcrafted, personalized items into our lives that maintain their quality over time.  

I feel very connected to this practice of consumer behavior and perhaps it has a little something to do with how I was raised.  My Mother shopped for our family with this same mindset and wouldn't you know, decades later, we now have lovely clothes and toys that my own children can enjoy.  These dresses stood the test of time and look like they were purchased yesterday.  They epitomize the definition of heirloom.


With Elise in one of my favorite childhood dresses, it felt fitting that we visit a special place that I've been going to since I was her age.  The towns of Warren and Waitsfield Vermont haven't changed much over the years.  Institutions like the Warren Store and All Things Bright and Beautiful help maintain a small town charm that is hard to top.  


All Things Bright and Beautiful (pictured to the right below) is every child's fantasy.  It was a tradition in our family to visit this unique store year after year and on occasion to come home with a special bear friend.  The owners are a delight.  If you wander in with some extra time to spare, they'll tell you wonderful stories of the bears that live here.


Elise is wearing another favorite dress of mine which has a classic floral appliqué on a simple silhouette.  If you're on the lookout for vintage, please check out Mary Beth Hale's shop.  She has a discerning eye for timeless pieces that have little to no signs of wear.