Morning Musings: Coltrane Curtis

Get a glimpse into the morning of a dad and his boy…and his boy’s closet.

Morning Musings: Coltrane Curtis

When you’re pregnant, the prospect of raising kids in New York City can seem daunting. And it’s true that without a little support (or a lot, depending on the day), we might not be able to make it happen. Urban parenting is often a team sport, and we owe endless gratitude to our nannies, teachers, dog-walkers and even the owner of our local bodega. But there’s one guy who rises above the rest, and makes all the difference day in and day out: dear old dad. We’re lucky enough to have met some pretty great dads in our travels, and Coltrane Curtis is one of them. Most know Coltrane as the intrepid founder of brand-solutions agency Team Epiphany, whose impressive roster of clients includes Nike and Cadillac. Some recognize him from his days as an MTV Style VJ, and others remember him as a former streetwear editor and brand executive. But Coltrane’s latest role as Ellington’s Dad is clearly the one he is the most passionate about, and one that’s earning him a pretty significant fanbase of its own. Tune into Coltrane’s popular Instagram feed and you’ll see why: Ellington is not only adorable, but he’s pretty much the best dressed guy we’ve ever seen in New York City. Adults included. Ellington’s epic closet dispels the myth that there’s no fashion out there for little boys, and he’s got a street style that is all his own. His wardrobe is a combination of the coolest kids’ brands out there, mixed with some drool-worthy “investment” pieces -- think En Noir leather pants or a Stella McCartney military style jacket. As a recovering sneaker addict, Coltrane has passed down the footwear baton to Ellington as well; he bought nearly 100 pairs of shoes -- including plenty of deadstock styles -- before his son was even born, in a range of sizes up to 11. Add that to all the mini kicks Coltrane just can’t help himself from buying -- Nike, of course, as well as AKID and Mark McNairy to name a few -- and Ellington now has nearly 200 pairs. Ellington’s got even more fashion options in his future; Coltrane and wife Lisa Chu (along with some friends at The Foundation showroom) currently have their own boys fashion line in the works. A recent visit to Coltrane’s Tribeca apartment revealed that Ellington is as sweet as he is stylish, and that his parents are as down-to-earth as they are cool. They are truly a family that makes raising kids in New York City seem not only manageable, but like it's the only natural place to do it in the whole world. “We love living in New York. Most people think life has to stop when you have a kid, but we had Ellington at Mr. Chow’s in a bassinet at 3 months,” says Coltrane. “Parenting is about sacrifice, but since having Ellington, I’m actually way cooler.” Below, find out how Coltrane and his family’s day begins...and then read on for details about the most enviable little closet you’ll ever see. 6:30am - Ellington wakes up. Neither Lisa nor myself is a morning person, so whoever can get up goes and gets him.   7:00am - We hang out and play in the living room. We're into puzzles right now. I can usually fit in a few minutes of SportsCenter to find out what happened in the game after I fell asleep last night. 7:45am - I start making breakfast for Ellington, which is usually an assortment of different options – right now it’s sausage, waffles, eggs with cheese, some type of berry and a green juice. 8:15am - Lisa feeds Ellington. During that time I’m getting dressed, and after Ellington eats, I dress him. 8:45am - We’re normally out the door around this time. We drop Ellington off at school and then head to the office together. FASHION FRENZY Five favorite boys brands: NUNUNU BABY - I’m a fan of their pants, especially the harem style. Nico Nico - I love their fleece – the sweats and hoodies. Ruff & Huddle - Their outerwear is great. Bit’z Kids - Hands-down, the best bang for your buck. Trico Field - The priciest of the five, but an amazing product. Go-to Spring Look: Street corner Ralph Lauren: sweats meet prep. Craziest clothing: En Noir leather pants; Stella McCartney military band-inspired outfit; Trico Field vests; Moncler outerwear Shoes on regular rotation: Nike – SC Trainers; Jordan – 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s; AKID – Jasper boots Most expensive pair: Mark McNairy Oxfords Most collectible: Jordan 2’s, 3’s and 5’s Pair you are most excited about getting him into: Definitely the Jordan 2 High’s. These are my favorite shoe of all time. HIS favorite pair: AKID Boots. He has a different theme for each different color. The red are his ‘Fire Boots.’ Blue are his ‘PoPo Boots.’ And gold are ‘Olympic.’ Photography by Sarina Cass of Red Anchor Photo.


I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

Keep reading Show less

Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play