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Mom Style: Christine

On battling postpartum depression, and finding her way outside.

Mom Style: Christine

Name: Christine Fadel

Neighborhood: DUMBO, Brooklyn

Baby: Edie Cooper, 5 months

Describe your personal style: Modern, comfortable, classic

Describe your parenting style: Respectful of who they are as individuals and honest as possible about life.

“After the birth of my first daughter three and a half years ago, I suffered from severe clinical postpartum depression for almost 18 months. It was, by far and away, the most difficult portion of my life and something I wouldn't wish on anyone. I was so incredibly unmotivated and I very rarely left our home, minus the random grocery store run. I felt isolated and, yet, also extremely claustrophobic.

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Looking back, what would've done me a world of good was to be outside with my baby, meeting other moms and families who may or may not have some insight into this new world I was trying (and failing) to navigate. So, when I gave birth this past spring to our second daughter, I was determined to not let it happen again; rather, at the very least, I was determined to not let it turn our world upside down if it did. This time around, I also have a three year old at home to consider. Wearing my youngest baby allows our life to go on as normally as it possibly can, and to interact with other families and moms who can identify with what our life is like.

I didn't truly understand the importance of a tribe when I became a mother. Now, I can't imagine being a mother without one. While wearing my baby is majorly convenient, it has also become a major facilitator in maintaining my relationships with women who keep me strong and feeling capable.”

Christine is wearing:

Madewell sweater cardigan. It's crazy soft and it's also the single piece of color you'll find in my fall wardrobe.

VINCE slip-on calfskin leather sneakers. Because slip-on sneakers are footwear's equivalent to a fanny pack, just a whole lot chicer. They also happen to make my life a heck of a lot easier when I'm trying to run out the door, chasing my toddler before she jumps on the elevator without me.

DL1961 Farrow high-rise Insta Slim skinnies. So, here's the deal: any pair of jeans that prevents an unfortunate situation for bystanders when I bend down to pick up a dropped paci while also claiming to instantly slim my less than perky bottom after having a baby is typically A-okay by me.

T by Alexander Wang muscle tee. I must admit that ever since I became a mom, I've become a bit of a t-shirt snob. However, in my defense, I wear a t-shirt every single day of the week and need it to stand the test of time. So, in the case of t-shirts, quality over quantity, always. Yes, even if paying too much for a piece of cotton makes me feel like a bit of a jerk.

BabyBjörn’s newest Carrier One in denim blue. This carrier offers an ergonomic leg position and wide seat area for baby, and extra padded shoulder straps plus a strong, stable waist belt for you. Enter to win one here!

Photography by Stephania Photography.

This post was brought to you by BabyBjörn.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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It’s science: Vacations make your kids happy long after they’re over

Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

Whether you're looking for hotels or a rental home for a safe family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.

Research indicates that family vacations are essential. They make our, kids (and us) happier and build bonds and memories.

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