What is your favorite thing to do on Long Island?
I’m a nature lover at heart, so taking nature walks or nature hikes is something I absolutely love to do. Being around nature, the woods, and beautiful flowers makes me happiest. One of my favorite places to visit is the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Oakdale. I have so many fun memories from childhood there. My dad used to take me, my siblings and friends there after church every Sunday. We would run around and play hide and go seek, climb trees, get hot chocolate in the café there during winter days, and just loved to explore the grounds. I love taking my children there now and telling them stories of when I was a kid or just admiring the pretty flowers together. My husband knows I love it so much he even proposed to me there!
Tell us about your kids!
I am a mother of 2 beautiful children. My son, Dean is 6 years old and my daughter Lily is 2 years old. Being a mother to them has been the best, most rewarding, patience testing, heart warming, hardest job I have ever had. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I became a SAHM 6 years ago when I had my son. Being able to stay home and raise both my kids has been a blessing and I don’t take it for granted. It doesn’t mean that some days are not hard, exhausting, and repetitive, cause they are but it’s totally worth it. My son is sensitive, funny, kind hearted, intuitive, and my daughter is strong, silly, sassy, snuggly, and smart. I do try to share small parts of my family life on social media, but also feel very protective over them and do it in a way that feels respectful of their privacy and my family’s.
What do you wish most for your kids?
Happiness. I think as mothers, we never want to see our children struggle. I hope they find happiness in themselves, in their lives, their future family’s, in their career paths, in their partners, in their friendships, in their passions. I want them to work hard, treat people with kindness and find something that inspires them in life. I hope they take risks, fall in love, and never be too distracted that they don’t see the beauty in life and nature around them. I hope they can create a life for themselves that just makes them happy, whatever that may be and know that my husband and I are always there for them.
What is the best mom advice you can give?
I’m a creative and artistic person but also I am an analytical ruler follower as well. I remember when I came home from the hospital after having my son, I felt lost in what to do. I remember thinking “ok, so now what?” How do I know when to feed him, change him, put him down for a nap, go the bed? I craved a routine and didn’t know where to start. I thought if someone could just give me a schedule I would be great, because I’m good at following a plan. I could do that. So I started calling other mom friends and asking so just tell me what I need to do and I will follow it. Give me a planned out time schedule and I’ll get started, but no one seemed to have one and I just kept hearing well this is what I did BUT “you need to do what works for you”. I remember not really getting this piece of advice and sometimes even feeling frustrated by it. But as the days went by I started to see more and more what people meant. There is no right way or wrong way to parent, create a routine or be a mom, it really is just following what works for you as a mom, or your household. If co sleeping is your thing and gets both parents and the baby a good nights sleep, then do that. If it doesn’t then put your baby in the bassinet or crib. Either way is not wrong. If breastfeeding feels great and easiest for you and your baby, then do that, but if its causing you stress and bottles are easier, than choose that. There is no one way to parent. Its finding what works for you and your baby and following that. Don’t be afraid to do things differently than your friends or family, its your children, do what feels best for you and your family. As long as your children are loved and safe that’s all that matters.
Tell us more about your business!
I am the owner of a luxury picnic company, The Picnic Lady. I started my business in May 2021. At this point I had been a SAHM for 5 years and I felt an urge to try to get back into doing something for myself that felt creative, inspiring, and challenged me in a different way than my prior jobs. Every job I had prior always lacked that creative, artistic piece that my soul craves. Creating this company allowed me to design things on my own, feeling free to make beautiful picnics, and then share those opportunities with others. I have always loved working and meeting new people and this business allows me to do that. I love hearing peoples ideas and then working to design something I know they will love. Picnicking is a simple concept but I try to elevate my customers picnic experience by creating something special and memorable for them. I make picnicking fun and easy for people to do. Starting a luxury picnic business felt natural in a way because my family already enjoyed picnicking together and it was something we did regularly, so why not create picnics for other people to enjoy with their loved ones?! My customers pick their location, park, beach, or residence and I bring everything they need. I even offer small food items, beverages, floral arrangements, themed décor, etc anything they want to make their picnic experience more special and easy for them to enjoy. A luxury picnic is great for a romantic date , quality family time, or even a beautiful shower/party celebrating a special occasion.
Why did you decide to launch your IG page?
To be completely honest, social media has been one of the hardest parts of starting a business for me personally. I was not a big social media user before starting my business in 2021. I did not even have social media pages personal or business until 2016! I am a private person and sometimes struggle with finding that balance in with keeping somethings sacred and private and also wanting to put myself out there and grow my business. When I started The Picnic Lady I knew I had to start an Instagram page to really be able to get the word out and drive business. Instagram is where a lot of my customers find out about me and my business. I had to teach myself how to use it pretty quickly. I still am learning and experimenting as I go. Making reels some days feels like it takes me forever and is another full time job but I know that its necessary. I try my best to show a well rounded view of my work and my personal life. I want people to try to get to know me as a person, and mom too because that’s important to me. I try to show up as much as I can on Instagram, but I also try to allow myself some grace if life happens and it falls on the back burner. Being a mom is and always will be my first job so showing up for my kids will always take precedence. I just hope that through social media outlets like Instagram, people can see the love and passion I have for my business and my family and will want to enjoy a picnic by me or just follow along on this journey with me.