here it is, folks – the VERY long overdue part two of the Q&A – enjoy!
WHAT WAS THE DESIGN PROCESS OF YOUR NYC APARTMENT LIKE?
Settling into our apartment was honestly SO much fun and a really unique process with it being only 600sqft. Before moving here, we basically sold everything except our couch, mattress, books, the girls’ beds and favorite toys and started from scratch. We knew that if we were going to live small, we needed to make sure we had the right furniture to make it as functional as possible without sacrificing style. We hadn’t seen our apartment in person until we moved in, so when we arrived we were really able to get a sense of the layout/space and how we wanted to work with it.
We knew we needed to maximize the walls and go up as much as possible, so we opted for some unique wall shelves for our books and tall furniture/stackable crates/hanging baskets for the girls’ rooms. We also knew that Michael would need a comfortable place to work from home/study and carved out space in our room for a desk with really tall shelves for storage (not something we thought we’d have space for in 600sqft, but we made it work!).
The fact that Facebook marketplace here is a goldmine (and has delivery *praise hands*) made furniture hunting very easy and allowed us to find lots of unique pieces that fit our budget! We’re all about shopping secondhand and finding unique pieces – we honestly prefer it!
TIPS FOR SIBLINGS SHARING A ROOM?
We always knew we wanted our kids to share a room. When we were first transitioning six-month-old Georgie into a room with Lennon, my very wise friend Allison (a supermom of four who needs to write a parenting book – please petition for this, you guys) told me to give it two weeks before pulling the plug. I did my best to remember this in those first days of room-sharing when no one was napping and they kept waking each other up and I was kicking myself wondering why I had uprooted our routine and chosen this new chaotic reality for us all. But sure enough, we hit the two week mark and it clicked – they adjusted, got used to each other, and now it’s the best thing ever. We try to hold it loosely even still and it ebbs and flows as they all enter different stages (we definitely have days where someone gets woken up early or doesn’t nap at all because someone else is playing, you feel me!), but 99% of the time it’s fantastic. It’s fostered so much bonding and quiet, alone time for them to be together without us in the room. We wouldn’t have it any other way!
Since our apartment is so small and James is still napping a lot, we did end up getting a foldable mini crib to keep in our room – mostly because all the girls’ toys are in their room and we found that James was napping so much that the big girls were hardly ever able to play in their room! It just didn’t work in such a small space. Sometimes if Georgie and James are napping at the same time they’ll nap together in their room, but we just kind of play it by ear and roll with however each day goes.
GO-TO WAYS TO KEEP KIDS ENTERTAINED?
ALWAYS have craft supplies on hand! Stickers. Especially stickers. I owe so much to the inventor of stickers.
We always keep these things within arms reach – crayons, oil pastels, colorful paper, cardstock, paint sticks, pipe cleaners, glue, tissue paper squares. It’s all just in a big basket in the hallway, we pull it out multiple times per day and I let the girls just have at it. (I have a ton of our favorites here!)
We also make it a point to mostly have open-ended toys that will grow with our kids. We’ve really paid attention to the things that hold their attention most and have gotten rid of the excess. They love magnatiles, their dollhouse, baby dolls, Schleich animals, wooden unit blocks, their play kitchen, and pretend play/dress up stuff.
I also try my best to let them in on things that I’m doing, like cooking, cleaning, etc., and try to be cool/keep my crazily organized self in check when they rearrange the dining chairs to play “subway” and stack all the couch cushions on the floor to make a mountain – they entertain themselves best this way and even though it makes me a bit crazy sometimes I’m always asking myself, “do I actually need to say no to this? Probably not!”
Also, a mid day bubble bath with measuring cups and mixing spoons is a go-to for us for indoor entertainment!
STAPLE WARDROBE PIECES THAT ARE WORTH IT?
I have really been trying to pare down my wardrobe and invest as much as I can in quality items that will last forever. The older I get, the more I find myself reaching for the same few items over and over again. Here are some of the things I’ve been reaching for a ton lately:
Blundstone 1351 Chelsea Boots (I have Rustic Brown)
this Hayley Bridget jacket
literally anything from Sister Katie
a MATE the Label sweatsuit
WEEKLY MEAL REGULARS?
I plan to do a whole blog post dedicated to this – but here are some go-tos that come to mind immediately! Stay tuned for the recipes. 🙂
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Italian Tortellini Soup
- Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Oven Baked Ribs
- Cacio e Pepe (my all-time favorite pasta)
HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE BABY/KID STUFF (BOTTLES/SIPPY CUPS, MEDICINE, ETC?)
I try to buy as little of this stuff as possible. We really have to be mindful of excess living in such a small space, so that helps. For example, each of the big girls has one plate they use for every meal and use regular cups and silverware (we just teach them to be careful and expect spills/broken cups now and then, ours aren’t expensive or precious). We have one bib that James uses and a couple of bottles that just stay in the cabinet, and we keep medicine stored in our medicine cabinet along with ours so that’s usually always out of sight!
TIPS FOR BATHROOM STORAGE THAT DOESN’T HAVE ANY?
Liiiiiterally one of our biggest struggles in this apartment! Our bathroom walls are entirely tile, so drilling anything into them with it being a rental is a big no-no. We have one tiny mirror/medicine cabinet that basically fits our toothbrushes and nothing else, and our sink is tiny with no vanity space whatsoever. Not to mention it’s like 1 square foot total. We use this Yamazaki storage cart, make the most of the tiny medicine cabinet, and use one of our dresser drawers for the overflow. If we were able to drill, we definitely would’ve hung some shelves!