Meet Lauren of A Lovely Lark!

A-Lovely-Lark-HeaderNAME: Lauren

WEBSITE/BLOG: A Lovely Lark

HOMETOWN/CURRENT CITY/TOWN: Central Pennsylvania

FAVE FOOD: Chocolate

FAVE HOLIDAY: Halloween

FAVE COLOR: Pink

FAVE MOVIE: Love Actually

FAVE TV SHOW: The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey!

FAVE WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Going on adventures with my three favorite people – my husband, Kevin, and my two daughters, Violet (4) and Lucy (1)

A Lovely Lark Family Christmas

What inspired you to create A Lovely Lark?

After having my first daughter, Violet, I fell in love with children’s design and decor. I love that it’s all so fun and whimsical. There are really no rules – the sky’s the limit! While I was already admittedly a bit of a blog addict, there weren’t many resources out there for cute/modern kids’ design, so I decided to start my own!

Your home is gorgeous! What was your favorite room to makeover and why?

Thank you! My favorite rooms to makeover have definitely been my girls’ rooms. I felt like there were really no rules – I could really get creative and play with color, pattern, and all of those sweet, whimsical elements that really make a child’s room feel special. Plus I loved adding personal touches like the tree mural in Violet’s nursery and the cloud mural in Violet’s big girl room.

A-Lovely-Lark-Violet's-Room-Update-6A-Lovely-Lark-Living-Room-Family-Room-Art-Wall-15A-Lovely-Lark-Wood-Floors-Kitchen-RenovationWhat has been your favorite DIY project? Tell us about it!

My favorite recent DIY Project was the water table that I created for the girls this summer. They are both obsessed with water and I wanted to give them a fun, but safe place to play outside while I was pulling weeds or doing other not-so-fun outdoor chores. At the same time I didn’t want a plastic monstrosity that would sit on my patio for a few years and then be shipped off to the donation pile or a landfill somewhere. So instead I created a DIY water table out of a thrifted side table and a deep metal tray. It took a little elbow grease, but they love it. We can also use it as a sensory table with sand or rocks in the cooler fall months, and I love that when they outgrow it it could take on a new purpose as a pretty outdoor planter.

DIY-Water-Table-A-Lovely-Lark-3What do you like best about your work? What is the most challenging?

I love having a creative outlet. While I absolutely love and cherish my role as a mother, since having children I’ve sometimes felt like I lost a piece of myself. My needs are no longer first and finding time for those things that were previously my hobbies and interests can be very difficult. Blogging has helped me to hold onto a little piece of myself that I otherwise feel like would be completely swept away in the crazy ride that is motherhood. I also love that I have a way to support my family that allows me to spend more time with my girls. My writing has allowed me to take over a year of unpaid maternity leave and to recently return to work part-time rather than full-time. I’ve also met some really amazing people through the blogging world. The thing I’m currently finding the most challenging is just having the time and energy to write after a long day of work, making meals, giving baths, romping around the yard, playing princesses, reading books, and you know, just being a human being. The most important thing for me is being present for my girls and maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with my husband. My family comes first, and finding a balance between work, motherhood, marriage, and writing has been especially challenging.

photo 1How would you describe your style?

I would definitely describe it as happy and whimsical, with a mix of both traditional and modern elements. I have an equal love of the bright, clean feeling of white and bold, vibrant color, so I love creating rooms with a very light overall palette that have pops of color throughout. I also enjoy playing with pattern and texture, so I’ve used a lot of wallpaper, playful fabrics, and patterned rugs throughout my home.

IMG_2660 A-Lovely-Lark-DIY-Banner-5If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I’m kind of obsessed with Peter Walsh and would be insanely thrilled to have him work with me on organizing my home. Back in the Oprah days I used to dream that he would – Surprise! – show up at my door. Unfortunately, (considering that I’m not a hoarder) I knew that it would never happen, but a girl can dream, right?! While I do my best with keeping the toys and general clutter under control, I just know that there are all sorts of tips and tricks that he could teach me for making the most of our tiny home.

Do you have advice for other working moms?

You’re doing okay, ma. When you start to feel that mom guilt creeping in or those feelings that you aren’t enough, remember that you’re doing the very best you can for your kids and you’re enough. I love the saying, “You can do anything, but not everything.” It’s helped me to remember to choose what I’m going to make a priority in my life and I try to do my very best at those few things. I may have a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, I might not craft up Martha Stewart-worthy Halloween costumes, or create perfectly styled Bento-box lunches, but do you know what? That’s okay. If you’re keeping your kids safe and making them feel loved, then you’re doing it right, period.

A Lovely Lark AboutIf you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

I absolutely loved our honeymoon to Germany and Austria and would go back in a heartbeat. I’d also love to visit more European countries – they’re just so different from our young country. I’ve visited Australia a few times now (my sister and her family live there), and while it’s so unique and beautiful in its own way, there’s nothing quite like the sense of history and depth that you experience in Europe.

What are your 3 favorite Rosenberry Rooms products?

1. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets

2. Blabla Knit Dolls (Love Wooly the Sheep!)

3. Little Auggie’s Pretty With Pink collection

Laurens-PicksWhat’s next for A Lovely Lark (upcoming events, projects, etc.)?

I’m so excited to be putting the finishing touches (finally) on Lucy’s nursery! I’m currently working with Restoration Hardware to finish off the space and I’m thrilled with how it’s all coming together. I’m also working on my annual holiday gift guides, which are always super fun to put together!DSC05693Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog, A Lovely Lark, for beautiful inspiration and fun DIY projects!

 

Meet Raegan Moya-Jones of Aden & Anais!

Growing up in Australia, Raegan Moya-Jones, co-founder of aden + anais, was introduced to many traditional practices of motherhood and was most fascinated by the practice of swaddling babies in generously sized, gentle muslin sheets. She found that even the fussiest babies seemed to sleep more peacefully in muslin. Swaddling also has a natural ability to recreate the warm and cozy feeling of the womb. Raegan created aden + anais when she moved to the States and couldn’t find any swaddles like the ones she remembered from back home. Within months, her swaddles were in stores around the country and on virtually every celebrity gift registry out there! We know this is true because we’ve spotted celeb moms like Selma Blair, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and more using her swaddles! For more on how this amazingly popular brand got started, read our interview with Raegan below and be sure to check out the entire aden +anais line on RosenberryRooms.com!

How would you define the Aden & Anais style philosophy?  

The aden + anais® style is really based on my own personal taste and I think it has evolved from there.  I’ve never been a big fan of cutesy baby designs so when I started to design our swaddles I wanted to create something that I would use for myself and my own girls.  I also recognize that different styles do better in different parts of the world.  For instance, one of my favorite designs is Super Star because of the big bold colors and the simplicity of the design.  This pattern is very popular is Australia, but the primary colors are not as popular here in the US, which is why we created Super Star Scout.  It has the star pattern but in a more subdued color palette.

What inspired you to become a designer and start a business? 

In 2003, I was expecting my first baby while living in the United States, half a world away from my family, back home in Australia.  Like all new mums to be, I was preparing for the baby’s arrival, and one of the must-have “things” that all Australian mums used on their babies were muslin wraps. I looked everywhere for them in the US and not only could I not find them, no one had any clue what I was talking about! I resorted to having my sister send me some from Australia.  Upon their arrival it dawned on me that all Australian mums couldn’t have it wrong, and that if I introduced them to American mothers, I knew they would feel the same way.  Before I could stop myself, I took a page from Plato’s Republic – inventing by way of necessity – and decided to take matters into my own hands.  I co-founded aden + anais® and took my first pack of aden + anais® muslin wraps to market in the US in July 2006. Today, we can be found in twenty countries around the world and in many thousands of stores.

What is your favorite part of your daily work when you reflect on the day, what is most rewarding?

Coming home to my four daughters and the fact that mothers email me on a daily basis to tell me how much they love the product and to thank me for introducing it to them.

If you had to pick a favorite piece from your collection, what would it be?

I love the Princess Posie and Prince Charming classic swaddles because they were the designs that started it all and still remain two of my favorites 5 years in.

What sets Aden & Anais apart from other designers in your industry?

We offer an excellent combination of unique, contemporary designs with unmistakable functionality and unparalleled breathability, the aggregate of which is the foundation of our success in the baby market. I whole-heartedly believe that this combination is ultimately what sets us apart in the industry.

Do you have any news that you would like to share, perhaps about upcoming designs or introductions to your line?

2012 is going to be a big year for aden + anais®.  We have a lot of new products and line extensions coming out this year that I’m very excited about.  For instance, we’ve created a beautiful skin care collection called mum + bub™.  The range has been in the works for years, so I’m incredibly excited about it.  What makes this collection different is the use of pawpaw fruit in each of the products.  Pawpaw has been used in Australian skin care for over a century and just like swaddling, it is a staple back home.  I’m confident that mums here will fall in the love with the versatile nature of the mum + bub™ skin care range.  We’re also coming out with our serenity  star® which is an innovative multi functional nursery accessory.  As far as we know, it is the first system to combine an electronic feeding diary, room temperature indicator, night light, sound machine and clock in one modern design that I believe fits with any nursery décor.   I’m very excited about these two new products since they are a bit of a departure for us, but in both cases there is really nothing like it on the market.

Now…Just for Fun

Favorite Food – Custard tart from Michel’s Patisserie in Sydney

Favorite TV Show – Right now – Modern Family

Favorite Movie – The Deer Hunter

Favorite Weekend Activity – Having breakfast with my family in our PJs

Favorite Band – That’s too hard to say.  My favourite band depends on the mood I’m in when I turn on my iPod.

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