Lemonade for Ava

I am just so blown away by the humanity of friends and strangers alike that I felt compelled to write about it on the blog.

Recently, our dear friends' 3-1/2 year old daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia (you can read about her story here). We lived with Ava and her family, sharing a house since she was 6 months old. They moved out of the city in June and was almost immediately diagnosed. My 5-1/2 year old daughter, Louella, misses having her friend around, but it's unclear how much she understands about her being sick. I've tried to speak with her openly about it, and I know that she talks with her teacher about it.

Louella and her friend Sadie, my dear friends' Erin & Pat's daughter, wanted to do something to help Ava & her family, so they organized a lemonade stand this past weekend. And you guys, it was amazing. Old friends, new friends, folks who live all the way across Brooklyn—they all came out. The girls were charging $1 a cup, but folks were giving them extra, and in the end they had a total haul of $438!!! Those were some expensive cups of lemonade. Check out Louella & Sadie's faces when they realized they'd earned their first $100!

Last week I had asked friends about matching their earnings, figuring that they'd make $20 or so. Many friends and family members—probably 40 people—were kind enough to agree to match them. Of course, that just became a silly number when we realized what they made. They have, though, had a few matches and many incredibly generous donations from folks who know Ava well and others who are touched by her story. 

If you want to donate, you can do so here, but I truly just wanted to share the story with you. I am so proud of those girls showing such love for their friend. They were beaming with pride as were their parents. The amazing turnout of support—both by coming to the sale and in financial support spoke volumes about people. Even strangers would throw in a few extra bucks when they realized that the girls were raising money. 

Brooklyn is full of good friends. We love you, Ava.

xomeg

Who loves L&V: Kaitlin Palmieri

In honor of Mother's Day, we have mom to three, Kaitlin Palmieri. A teacher in Rhode Island, Kaitlin somehow manages to juggle it all: a full time job, family, and friends—all the while with the most impeccable style. Funny that she references Jackie O. in her interview, because that would definitely be her historical doppelganger.

Kaitlin & I are both tight pals with Erin O'Rourke, and I often joke that Kaitlin and I probably hear more about each other through Erin than most friends hear from each other directly. And from what I hear, lady's got her act TO-gether. Teach me the ways, Kait!

xomeg

 

Name? 

Kaitlin Palmieri

Age? 

36

Where do you live? 

 Barrington, Rhode Island

Occupation?

Teacher {grade 5}

Which product did you pick? 

Custom Cut Paper Silhouettes of my three children. I had these made in a larger size in pink and navy and they are a permanent fixture on the mantel in our living room.  I love them because they were made when we first moved into our house so they serve as a nice reminder of what the kids were like when this became our home almost two years ago.  Also, the silhouettes look so much like each of them!

What do your kids think of them? 

Ellie {8}: I like them. A lot!
James {5}: They're good...I really like the one of me. 
Beatrice {2.5}: That's Ellie. And James. And Bea!

How would you describe your style? 

Someone recently said something about my style being preppy with an edge, and I guess that's me.  As classic as some of my clothes are, I like to mix things up a bit too.  I suppose that applies to the way I decorate my home as well.

Whose style do you stalk? 

As cliche as this may sound, my style icon is Jackie Kennedy. I do love Jenna Lyons's style and seeing what new things she's bringing to J.Crew.  I'm a big fan of Erin Gates's Elements of Style blog and book. I love the color and pattern Bailey McCarthy incorporates in her design and what she's created at Biscuit

What's your favorite way to spend Saturday Morning? 

It's a luxury for me to lounge in bed. I leave my house pretty early during the week so I enjoy reading in bed on weekend mornings before I go for a run or take a yoga class. 

Coffee or tea? 

Neither, it's shocking to most people!

Secret recipe breakfast of champions? 

Favorite Breakfast: whole wheat everything bagel toasted with chive cream cheese and sliced tomatoes (preferably heirlooms)

Cocktail of choice? 

Grapefruit flavored vodka with diet lime tonic, and 2 lime wedges squeezed, on the rocks

Item you’d never part with? 

My camera, I'm a crazy photo taker.

Most regrettable fashion choice? 

There may have been some bad choices involving Jessica McClintock and Laura Ashley dresses back in the early 90's.

Next on your reading list? 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr—historical fiction is my favorite genre and I especially love books about WWII 

Biggest peeves? 

Unkindness and bad punctuation.

Biggest indulgence?

The child-free vacation that my husband and I take annually.  We always try a place that's new to at least one of us. Last year we went to Puerto Rico and this year we are going to Carmel, Big Sur, and Monterey before heading to Napa for the wedding of one of my college roommates. 

LOUELLA + SADIE

My friends Molly Magnuson—the photographer who took photos of Louella and I a little while back—and Love & Victory's Kerry Ann Stokes were working on a project this past weekend and needed some girls to model Kerry's gorgeous flower crowns. I was thrilled for the opportunity to have some pics of Louella and her bestie, Sadie, whose mom, Erin O'Rourke, and I have been friends throughout our NYC adulthoods. It's so sweet that her daughter and mine are such good friends. 

Some of the photos feel like a modern take on a Vermeer painting with their serious expressions. It's kind of comical, because they were running around the set like a bunch of banshees, so it's a miracle that she got them to be still enough for the shots. Aren't they so amazing?? 

xomeg

Photoshoot with Molly Magnuson

Last week, I had the ridiculous privilege of having photographs of Louella and me taken by my insanely talented neighbor, Molly Magnuson. She does children's fashion photography and has a family photography business, Dear Family, here in Brooklyn.

I'm pretty camera shy, and I thought Louella would be, too. No chance. Total ham. I love having these photos of my almost 5 year old girl. Doesn't she look so BIG??? 

We also got some wonderful shots for Love & Victory products, and I couldn't be more pleased. Really a snapshot of life at this moment with all its nuttiness. I'm going to go grab a tissue now.

xomeg