MEET A MOM—Laurie Ferris - New Canaan & Darien Moms

Laurie Ferris is a mother of two and blogger who “posts on curated, inspiring and affordable gift ideas” that she finds “uplifting and worth sharing to support small businesses” on her Instagram account @morning_laurie. She and her family moved to New Canaan four years ago from NYC, and she loves everything about the town! Find out more about Laurie, her favorite family activities, where she goes for date night and the best mom advice she’s ever received.

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two kids. My daughter Sally is 10 and goes to Saxe, and my son Brewer is 7 and is in school at West.

When did you move to town and what are your favorite family activities there?
We moved from the city four years ago to a happy house on the east side, but we’re moving into a new home over on the west side. We are so grateful to be in New Canaan. For activities, we love to take walks and bike rides in the neighborhood. Sometimes I run while my son bikes along beside me. Best of all though, we adore the New Canaan Library! When we first moved here, we were on such a tight budget and entertaining the kids was a feat but with all the programs the library had to offer, they ended up being my saving grace. I will always be grateful to the library for that. Their programs are so well thought out and engaging. The librarians seem to have met their calling—they’re so warm and friendly and professional. I don’t know what I would have done without it and them!

There are also so many playgrounds around as well as in neighboring towns. We are aging out of playgrounds a bit now, but they have been great for us. The Nature Center is a treasure for our kids too. Such a special spot and with their great programs and events. And then of course there is Waveny for its pool and courts, concerts, trails and open fields. On mornings or evenings, we enjoy walking around town with an ice cream or hot cocoa (especially during the Where’s Waldo days).

How did you get involved in blogging and supporting small businesses?
My sister nudged me. I have always wanted to open a store, but that reality wasn’t presenting itself. One summer while chatting with her in the kitchen, she talked me into doing this and I have been having so much fun with it! Then came my Instagram account @morning_laurie (I love Morning Glories, and it’s a play on my name). This is a hobby I do for myself, and anyone who wants to follow…it’s all the more fun!

Favorite part about blogging?
The creative outlet it brings me, and the fact I can do it from home and balance with kids’ schedules.

What other creative outlets do you have?
I paint on the side. I love painting as a release, and I have a vision of what is in my head, and I paint it…flowers, fruits, veggies, seashells. Sometimes I google things to perfect certain aspects of what I’m trying to achieve, but I pretty much paint from the vision in my head.

Top band, TV show, book
I’m in ‘80s music nostalgia these days, and TV shows are always changing as Netflix drops more and more new and old shows for me to watch. I love the book Everybody was so Young by Amanda Vaill and The Big House by George Howe Colt.

What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
For me, that best advice comes in the form of watching or listening to other moms in action instead of processing direct advice. Such as my mom’s example of making sure kids felt uplifted and loved. Or more specifically when I was on vacation last spring and overheard a mom consoling her son who had just fallen to either accept an ice pack to soothe the pain or take a deep breath and move on, but he couldn’t sit there and just cry about it.  I thought that was genius and have used that on my son.

But to think back, I probably only would have listened to advice from my own mother. After I had my daughter, I would spend my time on my apartment floor playing with her all the time, getting to know her and teach her things. I was the youngest and not too familiar with young kids so was figuring things out as I went along. When my mom came to visit, she said something that I wasn’t ready to hear, which was that I shouldn’t spend so much time playing with my children. Ouch! And from such a loving mother! At that time, it seemed harsh. Wasn’t that what I was supposed to be doing?  Wasn’t that showing love? But my mom suggested I step away and do some things for myself and once I got past that guilty feeling, I saw that my daughter was really learning how to play independently and that nurtured her imagination. Still true today! After that the mom guilt—at least in that department—got a free pass.

Do you have any go-to ways to relax and get a little “me time?”
Just stepping out of the house to sit on the steps alone for a bit to process what is on my mind and hear myself think gives me great clarity. That and puzzles, puzzles I can really get lost in my thoughts and clear my head. If leaving the house is an option, I would head over to the Carriage Barn Arts Center and walk around to see their latest exhibit.

Any words of wisdom?
Not really, I probably need some! Advice can be tricky because its personal and comes from different vantage points. Although I do think a universal reminder can be to focus on gratitude. You can’t feel unhappy and grateful at the same time. It can change your perspective quickly.  That said, things often get batty and overwhelming and that is in every loving household. We all know this but when we’re caught up in it, it seems very real, lonely and aggravating. In moments when you can’t seem to collect yourself, send your kids to their rooms for an hour with toys and books for a little quiet time and you should step away for a bit too, hit the porch or deck and take deep breaths and unwind there. Flopping on the sofa after with cards or a movie can be a great way to get back together after a nice break.

Feel free to add anything
If I could start over, I would have gotten involved in an organization or two right away such as your PTC or local organizations in town (there are so many!) When we first moved to town, I didn’t think I could find time with my kids’ schedules. Plus, I had been so involved with schools and committees where I last lived, so I thought I was giving myself a break. But it is such a great way to meet other moms outside your daily routines, and it can turn your thinking around. Giving back is its own adrenaline as well!

We like to support local businesses. What are your favorite places in the area to:

Have dinner:  Pesca—Those murals alone put me in a great mood! Rowayton Seafood is another fun one if we want to venture out for a change of scenery.

Grab a drink with friends: My house or a friends’ house is the best, but the easiest in town is Uncorked or that great big bar at Pesca.

Have a date night: Graybarns or Roger Sherman Inn, although we also try to branch out to other towns.

Spend time together as a family outdoors: Walking around the neighborhood or heading to Waveny. Local trails in Pound Ridge are great too!

Grab coffee:  I just tried the Adirondack Store and that is fun, but to meet a friend, I’d say Le Pain Quotidien.

Workout: I am a jogger, so I run in my neighborhood or walk at Irwin with friends. But for Yoga, I like Hothatha and Beyond with Whitney Riegel Mooney—bar none!

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