The Moms

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Jeanne Chan

Author of Shop Sweet ThingsPhotography & Story by Lauri Levenfeld

I was recently introduced to Jeanne and her blog of all things wonderful. Upon our first meeting (the shoot), my team and I immediately fell in love. Jeanne is adorable, her kids are adorable!!, and her love of fashion, design, and home are infectious. Jeanne is an original however, as she is a great curator of finding the beautiful things in the not so obvious places and always supports and promotes the smaller and more unique labels and boutiques that hold her celebrated findings. I lost count of the number of times she clued me into a fabulous shop or a local designer in my city (and I call myself a local!).

It is exciting to see a creative person make a successful living out of doing what she loves, especially in the blogosphere world which is so here and now. And all while balancing the act of being a mom to two young kids. More on all of this now from Jeanne.

I’m Jeanne…I author a lifestyle blog called Shop Sweet Things. I started the blog in 2011 after having my first daughter, Hayden. I spotlight my favorite finds in fashion, home décor, and kids. I believe in elevating a lifestyle that’s stylish and approachable. I also try to include shops and places I discover and frequent in SF since I have been living here for over 25 years. Prior to that, I was born and raised in Hong Kong.

I didn’t know too much about blogging when I began (especially “blogging as business”), but I was determined to make it my career. Blogging was something I could start with the least overhead cost and be my own boss! I also had 10 years of experience in luxury retail and interior design prior to starting my blog so I was always into fashion, decor, and beautiful products.

I love to inspire others to live in style by spotlighting my favorite finds and lifestyle tips, and the best part of writing a blog is that I incorporate my family into my posts. The other part I really love is the opportunities I have had to partner with brands, from independent to established, and also in meeting creative, entrepreneurial women (some who are also moms) along the way. It’s been really inspiring and empowering to be surrounded by people who shares similar visions and goals with you.

My inspiration comes from international and independent fashion magazines, concept retail shops and restaurants (especially when I travel), and Pinterest and Instagram (I love to see and discover what my friends are into).

As a mom, I like to inspire my kids to try different environments and cultures. They participate in kids stuff like visiting the parks and eating pizza, but I also want them to experience grown-up stuff, such as an art museum or a nice sushi dinner. I believe it is important to expose my kids to what I (as a parent) like to do as well. It can be such an inspiration to them – living life to its fullest and having an open mind to different things.

The hardest thing about the juggle is those nights when I’ve got a teething baby who won’t sleep and a tight deadline due at 8 am. I get frustrated, anxious, and nervous about my project, yet I have to be the most caring and patient person in the world because my baby needs and wants me. Learning how to deal with these emotional roller coasters “without” sleep is probably one of the hardest lessons I have had as a mother.

Kids: Hayden Hu-age 3.5, Hadley Hu-age 1

 

Hayden’s Faves

1. Jelly Cat Bunny (it’s a lovey she had since she was 6 months)

2. Moon Print by Omm Design (she said the moon is her best friend because it follows her everywhere)

3. Disney Princesses and Castles (kind of inevitable at this age) She’s in love with Frozen right now.

4. Temporary tattoo by Tattly (she’s addicted to them!)

5. Jumbo Size Legos (she loves to build tall castles and parks.)

 

Hadley’s Faves

It’s been hard to figure out what Hadley’s into because she just wants to play what her older sister is playing. A few things I notice she likes…

1. She loves music so she loves this karaoke machine we got the kids over Christmas.

2. Pushing cart (she’s learning how to walk so she loves this to help her.)

3. Ikea Kitchen (she loves putting in and taking out the toys from the drawers.)

4. Curious George “Pat-A-Cake” (She loves the hand puppet that comes with it!)

5. The Munckin Rubber Ducky (Her favorite toy when taking a bath.)

 

We don’t have a particular theme for the room. We mostly stick with modern pieces and lots of colorful accents, quirky art and their own creative work and personal items.

For the girls, basics come from Gap, H&M, and Target. I go to Zara kids, Crewcuts, Nordstrom (for shoes) and indie shops in SF for more unique pieces.

We stick with a lot of gentle products. Lately our family favorite is soaps from Everyone. And lots of Aquaphor for the kids!

 

Fave Indie Shop List…

1. The Podolls (the children’s line is The Podots)

2. Giggle

3. Shoe Biz

4. Cotton Sheep

5. Rare Device

6. Mudpie

7. Fiddlestick

 

I gravitate to a lot of different styles. There are days I like to be more preppy (like J.Crew), and there are days I like to be more grunge (like Rag & Bone). Lately, I’m really drawn to casual luxe. I suppose that’s a mix of the two. I love pairing my favorite blazer from Steven Alan and wearing it with a pair of Vans.

I love Jenna Lyons. Her style is always chic, and she always adds a bit of a surprise to her outfit that makes it very interesting. Whether it’s pairing different trends, adding an unexpected pop of color, or pattern play, she does it so effortlessly. I think her personal style really speaks of her confidence.

 

So happy I met Jeanne. What a delight! And she has got me running off in every direction for the latest cool. I can’t wait to put her amazing lists of hot shops to use. And like I said, the family rolled into one just couldn’t be more adorable and fun. Check out Jeanne’s blog http://shopsweetthings.com for the latest in all things amazing.

 A day in the life

Task: Running the day to days in life always takes a village

 
I chose the life and career of a blogger to be my own boss and to have my own schedule. That being said, life as a working mom is always busy and exciting. I am lucky to have my husband and mom to help support me in the juggle

 

6:30 – 7:30AM
That’s usually when my 1 year old, Hadley, wakes up and we (my husband and I) wake up too.

 

7:30AM
Wash up. Make and feed Hadley breakfast. We try to squeeze in a quick breakfast ourselves – usually a piece of peanut butter & jelly toast and coffee.

 

8AM
My husband and I take turns getting ready for the day.

 

8:30AM
My 3 year old, Hayden, wakes up. I help her brush her teeth and wash up. And then, I make her breakfast. She loves waffles, milk, and raspberries. My mom also comes over at this time to help with the kids so I can continue to get ready. Sometimes I have to take care of emails and do social media for the blog, especially on the days I publish content.

 

9:30AM
I leave for the office.

 

10AM
I get into the office and either have a cup of tea or onto my second cup of coffee, depending on how much sleep I got in the night before. I jump right into emails and write down a checklist of things I need to do.

11AM
Research, write, and put together blog content. Lots of searching online, photo editing, copy editing, etc. Sometimes if I’m putting together content that requires a shoot, I will go out to shop for props and/or style the set. I also try to squeeze in coffee/lunch dates with friends. Sometimes it’s just for fun, and sometimes we try to brainstorm some fun collaborations to do together.

 

5PM
I leave office to pick up Hayden from preschool

 

5:30PM
Hayden and I head home. Sometimes if I have an industry event to go to, I drop her off at home and head back out. But I always try to be back home by 8/9pm.

 

6:45PM
My husband gets home and my mom leaves. We get ready for dinner. Thankfully, I have a mom who loves to cook and will make us dinner. Otherwise, we order pizza or sushi delivery through GrubHub, or I pick up really simple meals from Whole Foods.

 

7:30PM
Clean up from dinner and get ready to bathe the kids.

 

8:15PM
My husband and I take turns showering and playing with the kids.

 

8:30PM
Lights out for the kiddies.

 

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