Life

Bye 2016

January 20, 2017 • KidsLife

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i’m not going to bore you with all the reasons why it’s been so quiet over here – instead i’ll dedicate my time and energy to getting this place back to life. because i miss sharing my stories on here, and i miss hearing back from you. this blog has been a driving force behind much of my professional life, a way to connect with so many likeminded people and new friends, and a logbook for some of my favorite memories of all time. and i’d like to keep it exactly that. even if it means posting christmassy photos by the end of january or disappearing for weeks on end and then probably posting four different articles in one week. erratic or not, this place will remain a reflection of my life, and i’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for sticking around as long as you have.

so i might be royally late in the holiday inspiration department, but it’s never too late to share photos of moments you’ll treasure forever, is it? last fall, my life in switzerland got a highly necessary injection of creativity and friendship. i had already started hanging out with my new friend NIENKE (she’s a talented interior designer, globe trotting supermom and gorgeous dutchie) – who i met through instagram but turned out to live exactly two streets away from me, how crazy is that? but then we met MARTA (she’s a whip smart university professor, gifted photographer and spanish beauty) and when we got together all three of us, something clicked. i can’t tell you how happy i am to have these two generous, kind, funny, smart and creative women in my life – and so close by! – right now. we have so many plans in store that i can’t wait to tell you more about.

but first things first – when i heard marta was looking to do more family photo sessions and expand her photography business in switzerland, i was so excited to have her come over and photograph juliet and i. marta brought along her beautiful baby boy théo, nienke brought some beautiful decorations, and the five of us had a wonderful time together – almost forgetting at times that we were there to take photos and not just laugh our asses of or ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over théo’s overall adorableness.

i am going to share more photos of our session (and i’ve already shared quite a few over on my INSTAGRAM) but i wanted to start with these shots around our christmas tree. because yes, i already miss the holiday season and yes, i am already counting down to decorating our next christmas tree. as this year was the first time juliet could really begin to understand the magic of it all, it seems to have become even more of a special thing for me now than it was before. i am reliving all of my wonderful childhood memories through her eyes, and i am loving creating new traditions with her.

in any case – marta did such an amazing job of capturing our living room in its full christmas glory, and juliet in her prettiest little LIILU dress and bonnet. she had the most fun of us all – showing marta around, playing with nienke, and generally basking in all of the attention. i’ll tell you one thing though – never first teach your kid to NOT touch the christmas tree under any circumstance and then have her take out and put in candy canes just because it looks so adorable on the photo. those kinds of parenting techniques will come back to bite you in the ass.

juliet’s dress and bonnet by liilu • tights by marmar • slippers by easypeasy • my sweater and shirt by cks • christmas stockings from fabelab via fourmonkeys.com • photos by marta villacampa

Framily Holiday

July 13, 2016 • IbizaKidsLifeTravel

well it only took me nine months to edit the photos of our framily trip to ibiza last october, but i still feel like sharing them, even though juliet has grown half a person since then. i’ve been thinking a lot about this trip for a lot of reasons. one of them is we just attended the wedding of very dear friends on ibiza a few weeks ago, and another is that i am craving a holiday like i have never craved a holiday before. when i look back on these past nine months, it’s no wonder i didn’t find the time to poke around lightroom (let alone make a selection of the nicest shots and have them printed and framed – some day though). that week spent with our framily – friends we definitely consider family – was about sharing our experiences as new parents as much as sharing our hopes and dreams for the future.

as i explained in the previous post, nele – who i hope won’t shoot me in the morning when she sees i’ve included pictures of her and her little family in this post – and i have started a business together last year. we did that right before both giving birth to our first baby daughters an hour and a half apart. i swear we didn’t plan it that way, and it sure posed some scheduling and timing and other challenges in running our fresh new business together while rocking our fresh new babies to sleep behind the computer basically all day every day of our maternity leave. but it’s also the reason why we need half a word to understand each other today – having gone through the exact same thing at the exact same time.

nele’s husband and mine have been friends for a really really long time, and i have know him for what seems like forever, too, so it was such a good time spent with our two families in the same house on our favorite island. disclaimer – we got an ah-ma-zing deal on that crazy villa, which could have been situated in beverly hills for the looks of it. we loved its laid-back vibe, huge pool, outdoor kitchen and weird old-fashioned marble bathrooms with giant jacuzzis. i kid you not. but i digress! one of my favorite moments has to have been when we opened up one bottle of cava after the other by the pool, little juliet and elle both blisfully asleep at the same time (literally the ONLY time that happened), brainstorming about our business. we’ve grown so much since then. we’ve made mistakes, we screwed some things up, but we also learned valuable life lessons and continued to refine our vision until we felt like we’d created a razorsharp picture of what we’d like the future to look like. we’ve also met many amazing people in the process, and we’ve created things that we are extremely proud of. i think back of that holiday and can’t believe it’s only been nine months – not even enough time to create a new baby, but it was enough for us to create our dream jobs.

speaking of dreaming… i can’t wait to pack up those lovely MARA MEA dresses again to hit the beach this summer. we’re leaving for belgium in a few days, and we’ll spend some time at the belgian coast, in our home town antwerp and in our beloved amsterdam. i can’t wait to explore new and old places with my favorite two-some again. juliet is growing so fast, and she’s currently hit the ‘extremely-early-extremely-annoying-terrible-two-toddler-wannabe’ phase and whew, it’s a doozy. i’m trying to keep my expectations low so i won’t be disappointed if she doesn’t behave like i want her to all the time. what a difference with nine months ago, when she was just starting to feel better after having been sick for most of the first six months of her life. honestly though, even though parenting is proving to be much more of a challenge than i had ever expected, it’s still such an awesome experience.

it helps to have multiple people in your life to share a bottle of vino and have a bitch fest with though, so cheers to that! and cheers to a few more ibiza posts coming your way – hopefully still in time to inspire those who are headed to the balearics, not just create FOMO in everyone else.

photos by STEPHANIE DUVAL • sun dresses by maternity label (not just for pregnant ladies, obviously!) MARA MEA • giant outdoor pillow INTO THE FOLD • céline sunglasses DE WOLF OPTICIENS (who just launched their webshop, yay!) • mint diaper changing mat CAM CAM • best (dutch) guide to ibiza ever written, by anne poelmans I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT UNTIL I SAW IBIZA (you gotta love that title) • juliet’s sun hat NOE & ZOE and navy body MARMAR • play mat slash storage bag (also known as best invention ever for parents and kids on the go) KAOS

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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.

 

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