Check out our interview with the woman behind the Camp by Mama blog! Megan Schinella is a New Canaan mother of three who started Camp by Mama “as a creative outlook into motherhood.” With children ranging in ages from 3 to 9, she’s been busy keeping up with work, eLearning and outdoor activities to keep her family active and entertained.
How many children do you have, and what are their ages?
We have three children: Ava age 9 in grade 3, Gianna age 7 in grade 1, and Nico age 3 is in preschool.
What brought you to New Canaan?
The school system. Two of our children need extra support, and we are very impressed with the administration, the teachers and all the school staff. We cannot thank them enough for the support, improvements and confidence they have given my children. Everyone in the New Canaan community has been so welcoming since we moved here just about a year ago.
What’s your favorite family activity in town?
Our family favorite activity is definitely going to Mead Park and the Apple Cart. Our kids love going to Mead Park to play with friends. In the warm months we live there, sometimes going three days in a row. The snacks and meals at the Apple Cart are delicious too.
How are you staying positive and keeping your kids engaged during school closings for the quarantine?
We are staying very positive in my household during these crazy times by creating somewhat of a schedule. Then once eLearning is complete my kids play in the yard, or we go for long walks. We have been doing family movie nights, game nights, lots of baking and arts and crafts.
What led to create your blog Camp by Mama and how long ago did you start it?
After I had my third child, I started to get that creative itch and wanted to do something for myself. Before kids I worked in the fashion industry at Camuto Group and Nine West Group. I started Camp by Mama as a creative outlook into motherhood. I’m always on the go with my three children, so my blog is to help inspire and provide fun information to other moms.
Favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about my job is connecting with other Moms. I love talking with other Moms, helping each other out with Mom life, or whatever it takes. Since blogging I have met and made so many great new friends that I’m so grateful for.
What kind of information do you share with your readers?
At Camp by MaMa I share fashion and style for kids and adults. Plus children’s activities and events, and the weekend picks, which will be back up and running very soon. I also share beauty tips and home décor, as we have a bunch of unfinished projects going on at home.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
Another mom once told me and I’ll never forget it: “Always make time for date nights.” Get a sitter, go out and stay connected to your husband. Marriage is hard work with kids. It’s so important to make time for each other away from the kids.
How do you unwind when you need some “me time?”
Plenty of options when I need some “me time.” First off, I love going for girls nights out. Then there’s barre class to sweat it out, or a mani/pedi plus facial for self care. Can always just meet a friend for coffee, or go shopping for a new outfits. In order for me to be the best mom I can be, I’ve learned through the years I need to take care of me. I always feel so refreshed after I step away from mom life.
Any words to live by?
“I love it when people doubt me. It makes me work harder to prove them wrong.” My favorite Derek Jeter quote. I’m a huge sports fan. I grew up going to Hartford Whalers and NY Yankee games. I would love for my children to each enjoy a sport in the upcoming years if they choose.
Favorite band, book, tv show…
I’m a huge fan of reality TV. Bravo is my go-to and I love anything Housewives related. To step away from mom life and watch the dirt is just so fun. I don’t have a favorite band these days, but I do and always will love Britney Spears. She has been my favorite since “Hit Me Baby One More Time.”
Anything to add?
I delivered my son Nico, our third and last child at home in my bed. Not by choice—he literally decided to enter the world 45 minutes from when I woke up. It was that fast. My husband Joe played doctor until the paramedics arrived. It was a crazy experience, and I definitely will not be having another kid after that. But ‘boy’ what a story!
We love supporting local businesses. Favorite places in New Canaan (or near town) to…
- Have dinner with/without kids: We love Tequila Mockingbird with or without kids. Their frozen margaritas are amazing. And the food is delicious too. My kids favorite place for pizza is Locali. It’s so good!
- Grab a drink with friends: When I can escape I love meeting my girlfriends at Spiga and then heading to The White Buffalo. I enjoy both beer and wine and cherish my time with my friends now more than ever.
- Have a date night: We love Sole for date nights. I love to eat dishes out that I never cook at home. Great wine selection and their pasta selections are my favorite. My husband always gets the salmon.
- Spend time together as a family indoors/outdoors: We are definitely an outdoors family. Not homebodies by any means. My kids love to go on adventures, explore and see new things. We love going to Waveny Park to run in the field, fly a kite, catch butterflies, and swim at the pool in the Summer. Grace Farms to run the grounds and their open art studio.
- Shop for yourself/shop for your kids: My girls and I love to shop at She La La. They have the best selection of women’s clothing, gifts, earrings and monograming.
- Spa/salon: I love to treat myself at Calme. When you walk through those doors it’s a breath of fresh air. So relaxing in the infrared sauna. And the décor and interior design is absolutely stunning.
- Grab coffee: For fresh delicious coffee definitely Zumbach’s.
- Any hidden treasures or other favorites you want to share? My daughter Ava loves Silvermine School Arts Center for summer camp and classes. The projects she comes home with are so impressive. My daughter Gianna loves The Studio for Performing Arts. She wants to be a singer when she grows up.