Staying engaged with ourselves and our kids
Like many in our community, we’ve found ourselves at home with the kids for the next little bit. My husband is working from home, the two kids are home, and we’re postponing our SHK photo sessions for now. Like with every email you’re getting, this is an evolving situation and hopefully we can get back to taking pictures of your lovelies sooner rather than later
In this newsletter, I wanted to share thoughts about how we’re trying to use this as a moment to bond as a family and to look inwards while engaging outwards (from a distance)—and hopefully start a conversation with you all. We wanted to share activities we’re doing, some resources we’re calling upon, and advice we’ve found about finding rhythm and talking about Coronavirus with our kids. Also, since we’re all at home, food and cooking is both a new challenge and a source of fun, so we’re sharing some links about that.
This is all something we’re continuing to figure out as we go, so we’ll keep sharing as we move forward. I would love to hear from you all about what you’re doing. While we have decided that we’re keeping in-person contact to a minimum, we’re doing everything we can to strengthen community in other ways.
Also, since many of us will be spending more time at home with our families, this can be an opportunity to photograph daily life with your kids in a more meaningful way. In that vein, we’re exploring putting together an online workshop about photographing your kids at home, where I’ll share thoughts about techniques, but also about capturing the right moments without being intrusive. Hit us up if you’re interested in participating in an online family photography workshop, and we’ll keep you posted as we have more information.
Finally, we want to take this opportunity to send our love out to all of you. While we’re keeping the tone of this newsletter positive, we know that there are real health and financial risks coming our way. We hope that you’re staying safe, happy, and healthy. Please check in on each other, and please share with us how you’re making this transition. How are you talking about this with your kids? What activities are you doing? How are you keeping your spirits up?
As always, share this newsletter and please share your experiences.
– love love love xoxoxo Mariliana and Noah Stylish & Hip Kids Photography
Crafts and Activities
We’re also experimenting with some online classes and events. We met Jo from Brooklyn Mamas and Papas last week, and she’s got a great list going on streaming events for kids including Rocknlolo with her guitar and the Drag Queen Story Hour. We did a trial online class with Bilingual Birdies today. That was loads of fun. We’ll keep you posted once those online classes for French, Mandarin, and Spanish are launched to the public. is also doing online classes on Instagram, which is another great option.
We mentioned Story Lab above, there are lots of great family-run business in our city that are entering seriously challenging times. When you’re purchasing things, try to find them over the Amazons, because lord knows Amazon doesn’t need our money like they do. A few folks we’re trying to send love to, and who you can buy online from, include Geometry Kids, who have a great selection of toys and clothes, and Little Kin Studio, where in addition to their gorgeous dolls, you might check out their Waldorf inspired bunny doll pattern that you can purchase to make a doll with your kids.
This article about stocking your pantry from the NY Times was a nice inspiration as we’re trying to keep our supermarket trips to a minimum. The Times also has several pantry cooking collections. Cooking dried beans/legumes is something we’re always into. We’ve been particularly in love with cooking this easy yellow-split pea dal. One trick for cutting cooking time on your beans, and for getting them nice and soft, is to add baking soda to the cooking liquid. This is especially important if you want to cook up some chickpeas to make hummus.
Batch cooking, and utilizing your freezer well, is also a great way to reduce the time you spend cooking during the week (by spending a little more time on the weekend). We first got into batch cooking—cooking and prepping base ingredients on the weekend so you can combine them into different recipes throughout the week—through Chloe Sucree’s Being Biotiful, weekly batch cooking plans (in Spanish). It takes some planning, and we’re not as on top of it as we would like, but we do our best to do some solid prepping on the weekend (ie chopping veggies, stemming kale, or cooking a big batch of chickpeas etc.). Some nice recipes that can be cooked in larger batch cooking recipes here and here. Lately we’ve been working on having weekly regular recipe, a stir fry, a soup, a sheet pan meal, an easy miso and garlic ramen, and then mixing it up with a few new things from spots like 101 Cookbooks, Smitten Kitchen, Serious Eats.
5 Rhythms Mixes
5 Rhythms Sweat mixes are a great way to have a morning dance party with the fam. They start out slow, great for stretching and warming up, and then meander into a faster pace. You can dance the whole thing through or use it as a background for cleaning and dancing at the same time. Here is a sweat mix, but you can also just search “5 rhythms sweat” on MixCloud.
The folks who gave you the Mr. Sunday dance parties have canceled in-person parties for the time being, but they’re working a series of online events that we’re excited to check out. You can find more info on the Nowadays Patreon page, and also support the venue and workers through some financially trying times.
Finally, the husband put this SHK dance mix together for one of our Mother’s Day events a couple years back at Geometry Kids. It’s still guaranteed to get your booties shaking.