Go Mighty

Book Launch Event: Bébé Day by Day by Pamela Druckermann by Leslie Fandrich

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I was thrilled to photograph the New York book launch party for Pamela Druckermann's new book Bébé Day by Day. Go Mighty hosted the event with Penguin Press at Pasanella and Son in New York and the evening was a delight. Pamela is charming, smart and has lots of great tips about how to relax as a parent, raise thoughtful, respectful children and to let go of the guilt and over-scheduling and really enjoy the time that we have with them.

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Throughout the space were chalkboards highlighting some of the tips from the book, like "Tell Your Baby the Truth" and "Let Them Eat Cake" along with delicious food from Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell of Brooklyn Supper, art from Laura Trevey and Caravan Shoppe, and chocolate from Mast Brothers.

My favorite tips from the book are these:

  • Calm is Better for the Baby
  • Tell Your Baby the Truth
  • Let Kids Cook
  • Back Off at the Playground
  • Give Kids Lots of Chances to Practice Waiting
  • Give Kids Meaningful Chores
  • Show Kids You Have a Life Apart from Them
  • Say "Yes" as Often as You Can

Of course, with any parenting book, you have to choose what works for you and focus on that. Not everything in this book was for me. My feelings and choices about sleep in our family are still pretty in line with attachment parenting principles, but overall I found these keys to French parenting are focused on finding balance, calm and mutual respect with your children. All wonderful things to strive for in a family.

To see the rest of the pictures from the evening, visit the Go Mighty Flickr stream and to order Pamela's book, visit Amazon.

Go Mighty Party & My Blog Crushes by Leslie Fandrich

Go Mighty asked me to photograph the Friday night Mini party that they hosted at ALT Summit with Red Envelope. What a fun party to shoot. Creative Bug made an incredible piece of pin art that spelled out the words "crush on you" and guests decorated hearts for their blog crushes. By the end of the night, the wall was covered with beautiful love notes for everyone's favorite bloggers.

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I love to see a little love thrown around. Everyone in the room was smiling and it was such a great energy to experience. Check out the rest of the pictures on Flickr.

Here are a few of my blog crushes! I have met all these lovely people in person and they are just as wonderful in real life as they are on their blogs. I'm going to keep it simple and just link to them, go read for yourself and you'll see how amazing they are.

Do you have blog crushes? Have you told them lately? I encourage you to leave your blog crush a comment today or send them a tweet and let them know that you love the work they do. It might just make their day.

Speaking of love, you have two more days to order my Tinsel Heart print for Valentine's Day

GO SHOPPING ↦

Life List: Write a Book by Leslie Fandrich

Camp Mighty is next week and I can't wait! I'm ahead of the game this time and I have already picked the five goals from my Life List that I want to complete this year. If you have a look at my list, they are the ones that are in bold. I'm going to do one post about each of them over the next week and through Camp Mighty. Typically, I don't post about goals until they've been completed, but because of Go Mighty, a related community website where you can share your life list goals, I've been thinking a lot about these five goals and why I am choosing them. 

My first goal, and one that I am just beginning to work on, is to write a book. Initally I had on my list "Publish a Book", but I realized that can come later. Right now I just want to focus on writing it and not worry or think too much about the publishing part, or even the part about other people reading it. If I worry about other people reading it, I might not write the hard stuff that I really want to write.

Writing assignment for Alice Bradley's Practice of Writing class.

Writing assignment for Alice Bradley's Practice of Writing class.

A page from one of my favorite books, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.

A page from one of my favorite books, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.

I love to write, and I think I have gotten better at it because of blogging, but blogging is a very different kind of writing. It's more conversational, often bullet pointed and can be more train of thought ramblings. I've dipped my toe in memoir writing, and even published a few things here on the blog for an online writing group  that is now called Write on Edge. It was a great experience and the people who participated were so supportive, but publishing everything online once a week brought some anxiety for me and limited me in terms of what I felt comfortable sharing. I think I just need to do my writing in private until it's bigger than just a few pages.

Last year I purchase a book from Jen Lee called Writing Your Story. It's a fantastic workbook that comes with an audio CD, but it was hard to motivate myself to get in there and do the exercises. As if she knew I needed it, last month Jen started an online workshop called the Story Academy, to work through the book with other people and to delve deeper into personal story telling. Jen is so inspiring and amazing and with this direct involvement from her, I have finally cracked the book open and begun working. I've been learning so much and I have also really enjoyed watching people tell their stories at The Moth. I'd love to go to a Story Slam event in NYC and I'm even considering putting my name in the hat to get up on stage and tell a story! It freaks me out a bit, but it seems there is something (crazy) inside me that wants to do this.

The final thing I have been doing to work towards this goal of writing a book has been Alice Bradley's online class, The Practice of Writing. Alice is incredible, funny, warm and smart and her daily emails, affectionate admonishments and writing prompts have got me finally filling up a writing journal that I have had sitting in my drawer for, oh, twelve years. I think I am really starting to get it. And while I am just at the very beginning of this process, I have hope that I can make this goal happen. 

My first book is probably going to be crap, but I am going to write it anyway and see what happens. I have so many stories to tell, from my own personal experience, but also important messages that I want to share. I'm still not sure what kind of book I want to write, but I feel like I have ideas brewing that fall into the memoir and YA fiction categories. I'm excited at least, to see what I can spin together.

"Happier at Home" Book Party & Giveaway by Leslie

I was honored to attend a book party for Gretchen Rubin's new book, Happier at Home. I've seen Gretchen speak twice and both times she inspires and gets me excited about living my best life. Her previous book, The Happiness Project, was filled with great advice, anecdotes and principals for being happier in your life. In her new book, she dives deeper and discusses what we can do in our homes to cultivate a sense of safety, inspiration and calmness. 

I'm so excited to share this great book with you that I've decided to give away the copy I received at the party! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me ONE thing that makes you happier at home, OR one thing you would like TO DO to be happier at home. Here's mine:

I am happier at home when I spend time on my screened porch reading in the hammock.

To be happier at home, I would like to tackle all the clutter in my studio and have a place for everything. 

I really look forward to hearing what everyone has to say! I'll leave comments open until Sunday, 6pm EST, do a random drawing and announce the winner of the book on Monday. Just one entry per person. In the meantime, here are more pictures.

Check out the full set of my pictures on Flickr, as well as Maggie's pictures.

The Go Mighty team of Maggie, Sarah, Laura and Amber have also posted about all the details!

Check out the gifts that were given to each guest.

The party guests were all beautiful, inspiring women.

There was lots of good stuff to Oooo and Ahhh over, including Laura's homemade pickles!

You can also enter to win a complete set of gifts!

Here's a picture that was taken by Sheri Silver of me at the party with my partner in crime Jill Vaughn from Terra Savvy. We had such a great time!

Most of all though? I'm looking forward to hearing what makes each of you happier at home.