The moment I read her first post, I knew I was a fan of Lauren and Littles. It’s hard not to be, not only because I love her dearly, but because its packed full of great playtime activities, children’s book ideas, mommy and child fashion tips, and features her beautiful self and her incredibly adorable boys Henry (3) and Forrest (almost 1). It’s very easy for one to understand why Lauren Hill is a “Mom I heart”! We met in college, will be friends forever, are both moms of boys, and share the same affinity for classic children’s clothes.
I love reading your blog! It’s so informative and I love the ideas I get for quality time spent with my boys. Not, to mention you always look darling! What was your inspiration for starting it? What can readers expect to take away from it?
Thank you so much! Same to you! I was inspired to start Lauren and Littles by my boys and my friends. I found that friends were asking for advice on books, educational toys, etc. for their kids and I figured if they were asking then other people must be interested! I added some style for fun because I love dressing my boys! I hope readers take away book recommendations, play ideas, educational guidance and advice for styling children…and mommies, too!
I’m one of those friends who asks you for book advice! And I’m always glad I did! Tell us about your experience as a teacher, your education, and how you’ve applied that to your blog?
I taught at a Christian school for seven years before having my own children. During that time, I spent time as a substitute teacher, kindergarten teacher, first grade teacher and finally a 3-year old teacher (3’s were my favorite). I have a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in reading. I use this to guide the books and toys I choose for posts and I try to give simple, layman’s terms explanations for why and how to use them.
Given your strong background in childhood education, what are a few activities you recommend every parent implements in their toddlers daily routine to help them develop a love for learning?
Read! Read! Read! It is so easy to implement into a daily routine, doesn’t take any supplies except for books and it can be done anywhere. Aside from reading, I would say to play with your child. Play is so important for development and it is truly where the bulk of learning happens at this age. Keep it fun and interesting, never forced. Remember that kids need to be kids.
It’s back to school time! Any pointers for mommies to help their little ones deal with separation anxiety at drop off? I need some!
From personal experience, I would say to prepare your child for the separation by discussing the situation. Ask your child’s teacher about the drop off process and then prep your little one for it. Explain that you (or someone else) will be picking your child up again in a few hours. For most children, it helps if the parents do not hang around, so try to make the drop-off process short and sweet. The sooner you leave, the sooner your little one can get his or her mind on something aside from the separation event. I’m not a psychologist, but I’ve witnessed and been part of many a drop-offs!
Do you have special bedtime rituals with the boys?
We read two or three books of Henry’s choosing, I tell a story, and then we sing songs. Henry wants to sing forever, so I typically dance out of the room while singing the last song. He thinks it’s hilarious and it keeps him from crying as I walk out after a couple of songs!
I want to see that! Tell us about Saturday mornings at your house?
“Tacos, Mommy! Tacos!” is typically what I hear upon waking. Henry loves breakfast tacos, so we usually walk to Highland Park Village where we get tacos at Royal Blue Grocery. On the walk home, we stop at the park and let Henry play while Forrest swings.
What are your favorite hobbies? Things you like to do to blow off some steam?
I play tennis a couple of times per week and I go to classes at The Tread Barre/The Pilates Barre when I can. I find that I am a much better mom when I get away for a little bit and come back rejuvenated. Is drinking wine a hobby, too? If so, then that, too!
Of course it is! Lets talk beauty and fashion. What are three beauty products you couldn’t live without?
- Bae Blu Organic Highlighter – I think that highlighter is key to looking glowing, well rested and youthful. This one is my favorite!
- Beautycounter Color Define Brow Pencil – I had the best brows when I was younger, but years of waxing them too thin in the 90’s left them less than full. I use this to fill in any sparse areas.
- Revision skincare Intellishade Original – A tinted moisturizer with SPF 45. It is the perfect consistency and leaves a dewy look. They make a matte version as well, but I’m a fan of the glow!
A few staples you keep in your closet?
How would you describe the boys’ wardrobes?
I adore their classic style. Has the way your mother dressed you carried over into the way you dress your children?
Thank you! The way my mother dressed me has been the biggest influence in how I dress my own children. My mom is from Mobile, AL and she dressed us southern to the bone. My grandmother hand-smocked and sewed most of our holiday and occasion outfits growing up. Beyond that, my mother purchased timeless pieces that are just as relevant now as they were 20 or 30 years ago. Both of my boys have worn outfits that my grandmother smocked for my brother, as well as Florence Eiseman pieces that my youngest sister wore 23 years ago (don’t worry, they are gender-neutral bubbles). I think that is so special for my boys, my mother and me!
What are 5 items in the boys’ closets that you couldn’t live without? Maybe that you find yourself buying over and over again in the appropriate size?
- TODDLER KEDS!!!! I nearly cried this summer when Henry outgrew them!
- White peter pan collar shirts that button up the back. They are the perfect layering pieces for cooler temps. It is really hard to find these for boys nowadays, so sometimes I end up buying them from the girls’ section! However, Bella Bliss makes a good one that both boys and girls can wear!
- Boy Bubbles. I just can’t get enough of those baby thighs!
- White Knee Socks
- Heirloom-quality outfits with lace collars. EVERY. FAMILY. PHOTO. I have bought the same outfit in 3 different sizes!
I’m sure that anyone who meets your mother can instantly tell that she is amazing! What is the best advice she ever gave you?
She would say the same about you! That is so nice. I’m not sure if she ever said it with words, but “to be kind to others.” She lives this motto everyday of her life. She never meets a stranger and she knows everyone’s life story by the end of their first conversation. It’s not necessarily mothering advice, but life advice, which I use as a mother. I hope to be more like her every day.
What the boys wore:
What Lauren Wore:
If you love these outfits you may like to read the Q&A I did with Leda Jackson, the founder of Pixie Lily. You can also find my little ones wearing these outfits with the valentines day tab on them in this post.
Photography by JerSean