Archive for July, 2010

Join us on Facebook

One of my favorite aspects of  this blog is getting the chance to share all the beautiful photographs friends and customers send me of their children wearing Papo d’Anjo. Now you can post photos yourself on our Facebook page.

We’re also using Facebook to share information–from travel tips to recommendations for parenting books–from my staff and myself. It’s also the place to go to find out information about sales and promotions. Please become a fan!

Meet Papo Staffer Andrea Varela-Afonso

It’s with great delight that I’m able to publicly congratulate longtime Papo staffer Andrea Varela-Afonso and her husband on the birth of their son Duarte, born on July 2.

Andrea has worked for Papo d’Anjo since 2000 and was part of the very small original staff of four employees. Over the years she has worn many hats, including stints in customer service, trunk show management, and the website.

And now, after ten years, Andrea’s also a Papo customer! “I love the quality, simplicity, elegance, and uniqueness of Papo d’Anjo,” she says. Since he’s only a few weeks old, Duarte’s wardrobe is limited mostly to Papo bodysuits, but Andrea has stocked up on bloomers, blouses, and rompers for when he’s 3 months old.


She’s also making the most of her Papo d’Anjo Baby Baskets. “You can never have too many nursing cloths,” she says. “I fill the basket itself with all Duarte’s basics–diapers, creams, nursing cloths, extra clothing–and bring it with me around the house.” Andrea is using the handmade Italian gift box that the baskets come in to store the clothes she wants to save.

Does she have advice for new moms? “My biggest tip is not to stress too much. You and your baby will adapt to each other perfectly,” she says.  Before Duarte was born, I had never changed a diaper and had not spent much time around newborns. But I love spending time with Duarte. He’s my new best friend.”

Family Vacation Insider: Wisconsin Travel Tips

Patrick and Edward enjoy a perfect Wisconsin summer day with their cousins Emma and William.

Every one of us has special places that no matter how old we are evoke the essence of our childhood summers. For me, that place is a remote lake in the Wisconsin Northwoods. Even though I’ve lived in Europe for almost twenty years, I return there with my family each and every summer.

Wisconsin is a huge state and it’s impossible to capture all of its charms in one blog post. But when I asked my brother Peter for recommendations for wonderful family experiences, he reminded me that part of Wisconsin’s appeal is that it always makes the most of its many lakes–from tiny rural ponds to the sweeping city vistas of Lake Michigan.

My family spends most of our time in Wisconsin waterskiing, canoeing, sailing, listening to the loons, and reading and relaxing on the dock. But when we do venture beyond the confines of our own special place, here are some of our favorite lake activities:

  • Biking on Madeline Island: This tiny dot of  meadows and forest is a true gem. Located just off  the southern shore of Lake Superior, it’s an idyllic throwback to the time when families escaped the heat and diseases of the cities to breath cool crisp air and enjoy summer days that stretch almost to 10 p.m. Swim at Big Bay State Park and immerse yourself in the island’s Native American history with The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich’s enchanting children’s novel.
  • Apple and cherry picking in Door County: Wisconsin is shaped like a mitten–which is appropriate when you consider that the state is covered in snow for months on end. The thumb of the mitten is Door County, a peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan. The region is covered in fruit orchards, which makes it a perfect place for late summer and early fall visits. Be sure to check out the many historic lighthouses.
  • Outdoor concerts and movies at the University of Wisconsin’s Memorial Union Terrace: Madison is one of America’s most lively and beautiful college towns and this outdoor hotspot overlooking Lake Mendota is the heart and soul of the campus. Don’t forget to sample the ice cream at Babcock Hall Dairy Store, the gourmet ice cream outpost run by the university’s Department of Food Science.
  • The Milwaukee Museum of Art: Set on Lake Michigan, the highlight of the museum is the stunning Quadracci Pavillion. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, it perches over the lake like a giant graceful bird opening its wingspan.

What are your family’s summer traditions? Share them on our blog and post photos on our Facebook page.

Summer Holiday Insider: Portugal’s Stunning Algarve Coast

In Portugal, summer means the beach. For years, my family has headed to the country’s incredible Algarve region for our holiday. It’s the perfect place to relax in the sun, eat delicious seafood, and enjoy the slower pace of coastal life together.

The tiny town of Cacela Velha is known for its oysters.

Some of our favorite inside tips:

  • The beautiful coastal town of Tavira, known for it’s pristine beaches, orange and fig groves, and classic whitewashed buildings.
  • Cacela Velha, a rustic jewel box of a fishing village that’s famous for its delicious oysters.
  • Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and surrounding beaches.
  • Golf at Quinta do Lago, a development that’s also home to the superb Hotel Quinta do Lago.
  • Lunch or dinner at Gigi’s, which gets our vote for best beach restaurant in the world. Also in Quinta do Lago.
  • Stay at Monte Velho, a boho chic bed & breakfast that’s perfect for a surfing holiday.
  • Swimsuits and coverups for boys, girls, and dad from Papo d’Anjo, of course.

California Insider: Los Angeles Travel Tips

At a time of year when many families take their vacations, a great American city often gets overlooked: Los Angeles. With its perfect weather and loads of attractions, it’s a terrific family holiday destination. I asked Natasha Croxall, our trunk show hostess in Pacific Palisades (her beautiful children are pictured above), for her recommendations.

  • An excursion to Legoland in nearby Carlsbad.
  • Walking the Santa Monica Pier.
  • Disneyland.
  • Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills.
  • Beverly Hills Hotel Coffee Shop.
  • Shopping at The Grove (American Girl!).
  • Universal Studios.
  • LaBrea Tar Pits.
  • Make your own books at Scribble Press in Santa Monica.
  • Sightsee and check out movie stars at the Malibu Country Mart and Lumber Yard in Malibu.

More Red, White, and Blue

I’ve received more adorable photos that I wanted to share. Papo d’Anjo is now on Facebook so be sure to post photos of your children there, as well.

Have a terrific 4th!



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