white house visit!

i am so so excited to share more with you all today from the two days i was able to spend at the white house in washington dc last week!

the entire experience is something i’ll never forget. it was a honor to receive the invitation and meet with the first lady herself, michelle obama! as someone who values movement coming from a past life of non-stop dancing, and now as a mother of three, i so appreciate her let’s move initiative to increase physical activity amongst our children and also embrace a healthier lifestyle when it comes to our food options.

in addition to touring the white house kitchen garden (and also helping plant the last few vegetables in preparation for the garden dedication), i was able to sit down with mrs. obama and 7 other family-focused editors and influencers for a full hour round table in the white house family dining room. my hands were pretty much shaking for a solid 15 minutes before it began (if you watched my instagram story from that afternoon, you’ll remember how shaky the video footage was i was taking in the dining room! haha! bless you, nerves.) once sitting together at the table, i’m pretty sure i jumbled most of my words together because i do not know how to play it cool whatsoever when it comes to these sorts of things and just geek out in the most awkward way possible.

you all had such great questions and thoughts on the topic of let’s move when i asked you on my instagram if there was anything specific you’d like me to ask. i made sure to thank the first lady for all she has done with this initiative and how appreciative so many of you are for the work that has begun, as it was apparent from reading through your comments! i told her about you all, and the comments that you left, and i said i hope she knows just how loved she is, and how grateful we are as mothers, school teachers, and individuals in general for the impact let’s move has made so far.

i asked her what advice she has for each of us, as individuals, how we can keep this kind of momentum going and keep this work moving forward. i absolutely loved everything she said in response.  she said she always encourages people to start in their own personal universe.  she went on to say that sometimes, particularly, we as parents, we start by thinking about the big picture. how we can change the entire school, or the entire community.  and then it’s overwhelming and we can become frustrated and we’re like, “forget it.”  but she said, “start small. start, as parents, with yourselves, number one. because we’re our kids first and best role models. so the first question is, what are you as a mom or a dad doing every day, or every week, to start getting into the good habits?”  i loved that. so true. she went on to say that you’ll start expanding those habits to your kids, because if you aren’t incorporating a healthy lifestyle of eating and exercise, you can’t expect your kids to be doing it on their own. she also said these simple personal habits can affect others outside your family, like your friend group.  she said, “i always brings my girlfriends into my journeys, my health and fitness journeys.” by expanding her whole philosophy to her best girlfriends, “so many of them have fundamentally changed the way they eat and live.” it changes their conversations, their households.

she also made a great point about how boys and girls move differently.  boys will follow a ball into the middle of space. but she’s noticed with her own daughters that their movement motivation is social. women are the same way. so creating social groups of fitness and exercise, can be very beneficial. but by starting small, and being smart with our own lives, “slowly, if we are really committed to it, it expands in ways that you don’t even imagine.”

her philosophy to start small, and with yourself, really resonated with me. this has been a huge year for me personally as i’ve tried to incorporate wiser and better changes into my personal habits when it comes to exercise and food. it’s been a struggle to stay motivated and on top of it at times, but i do see how my habits trickle down into my family members often, for better or for worse. so hearing her thoughts on this subject only solidified my motivation to keep at it.

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we weren’t able to take photos inside most of the white house (rest assured the rooms are stunning), but i was able to meet the first dogs, bo and sunny, just outside of it!

love-taza-whitehouse027475 after our round table, we were able to head out to the white house kitchen garden for the dedication ceremony.  mrs. obama planted the first garden at the white house since eleanor roosevelt’s victory garden.  she said she is hopeful that every first family kind of builds on it in the future, since gardening has increased, community gardens especially. there are 50 percent more community gardens in DC alone! and it’s helping change the way kids see fruits and vegetables, when they have a hand at actively growing and taking care of them (mrs. obama often invites and gardens along side many DC school kids at the white house garden.)love-taza-whitehouse01

the day before the garden dedication, i was able to garden a bit and plant the last vegetables of the season! despite not being dressed in the most appropriate gardening outfit (i didn’t know we’d be physically gardening until arriving that morning at the white house), i have to say all those years of having to plant and weed my family’s ginormous garden back home came in handy and i felt right at home in the weirdest way. (dad, i still hate weeding.)

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during the gardening, we were able to get a look at the woodwork of the garden archway, table and benches designed and made by students and faculty at the university of virginia school of architecture. they bonded together wood gathered from all over the country including pieces from thomas jefferson’s home at monticello, james and dolley madison’s in virginia and also pine from the georgia home of martin luther king, jr.

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seriously still can’t believe this happened. very thankful for the experience and also highly motivated to continue to bring better and healthier habits into my personal life, home and community. also a big thank you to popsugar for helping coordinate it all! i’d so love to hear from you all if there are things you’ve been doing in this area of your life that you see working for you, your family or friend group and community!

ps. for those curious, wearing this navy blazer with ruffles, these cropped wool flannel pants and these wooden clogs when gardening. and the second day when meeting mrs. obama, wearing a lace blouse that is sold out (but similar here and here), vintage skirt, same navy blazer and these camel pumps.

  1. This is incredible! Gasp. Can’t believe you met the First Lady, Michelle Obama!!!!! Isn’t she amazing? Her grace and intelligence is inspiring. What an awesome opportunity to be a part of something that will positively influence not only your life but others. Keep on keepin’ on Naomi.

    xo,
    Allie

  2. Tracy

    She is such an inspiration! Thank your for sharing your time with her!

    Start with yourself and small- so important

    Your kids are blessed to have you and
    Josh as role models!

  3. Briana

    This is such a wonderful thing to have experienced! So happy to see that you were involved because you truly deserve it.

    Briana
    http://www.youngsophisticate.com

  4. Beth

    OH MY WORD, MICHELLE OBAMA GOT TO MEET NAOMI DAVIS! ;)

    Seriously, though, SO cool. Both of you are filled with such grace and poise –– what an incredible opportunity for the two of you to spend time together and continue such an important conversation.

  5. Emily

    This is amazing!
    I love the table made of different woods from different important places. Lovely!
    Overall, just an incredible opportunity!

  6. Rena

    Really? Congratulations! This is the incredible experience you absolutely deserve <3
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

  7. Greta

    Hi Naomi,
    What a thrill! If you’re inspired to get the kids into a gardening program here in the city, we have Children’s Garden programs at Brooklyn Botanic Garden where kids (2-18 year olds) can grow and harvest food from their own plots, cook up snacks, and bring home harvest bags full of produce. Let me know if you’d ever like to bring the family by for a tour! (The Children’s Garden actually won a National Medal from Michelle Obama in 2014, so it’s got her stamp of approval)

    Greta

  8. nanette

    wow! how inspiring. it’s such an honor to be able to meet the first lady but to also be able to speak about things that are important to the both of you. i am also trying to incorporate a healthier lifestyle and it is really hard, but i’m striving to keep moving forward with it for the better of my health and hopefully my children’s health!

    what a great afternoon it must have been!

  9. Bryony

    I have been waiting with baited breath for this post! What a tremendous visit and exchange of ideas this was for you! Your description of being star struck was so sweet–Michelle Obama IS like a movie star, isn’t she?

    You ask your readers about what we are doing locally to encourage movement and healthy eating. I’m a writer for parenting publications in the NW region of the US, and look for urban sustainability issues to write about, as there is much crossover with healthy eating and exercise as a lifestyle roll-in to living lower on the food chain. And this way of living is very popular to aspire to in Seattle and Portland, the communities I write for.

    In particular, urban farming really caught my attention. I wrote about one such group here in Seattle–a bunch of families formed an urban farm co-op to share knowledge and get discounts on bulk feed and supplies. They farm everything from food to bee keeping to raising rabbits, chickens and goats, IN THE CITY! I was awe struck by the initiative and drive of these families to make food security something they control right where they live. Some people doing “farming” right on their balcony or in a shared or leased lot near their home.

    You can read the article here: https://www.parentmap.com/article/raising-urban-farmers-at-the-seattle-farm-co-op. It would be really cool to see your perspective on urban farmers in the NYC area–that seems like something right in line with your interests, and something you could do with your kiddos.

    May your visit to the White House inspire you ten fold–it sounds like it has already! xo

  10. Jessica

    How inspiring! I’d love for you to do a post about what you and the littles actually eat on a regular basis. Your insta shows a lot of ice cream and fast food, but surely you wouldn’t have been chosen for this if that was the norm. How do you say no to your little ones when they ask for treats? I struggle to find a balance with my own kids because I don’t want them thinking all sweets are bad, but they need to learn moderation.

  11. Sabine

    Love the occasion and looove your style!!! :)

  12. Chelsea

    So amazing!!!!

  13. Paige

    This is the coolest opportunity ever! This is something that you’ll totally remember for the rest of your life.

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  14. Wahoo! That’s probably the most amazing experience of your life! (after being a mamma ;)) Thanks for sharing :)

  15. Tammy

    OMG how exciiting!!! :D Oh the garden looks so beautiful! What an incredible experience!!!

    You look beautiful Naomi…even digging in the garden! You’re so incredibly chic ^_^

    Toodles~

  16. Alison

    Ahhh this made me tear up! I’m so happy for you to have this amazing experience. Michelle Obama is someone I admire so much and it’s incredible to see what she’s put in place during her time in the White House. So proud of you Naomi!

    Alison – http://alisonpate.blogspot.com

  17. Lu de la rosa

    FELICIDADES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Jessica R.

    This all sounds so amazing! I’m so curious about how you got invited? How did the First Lady hear about you?

    Thanks!

  19. Wow, what a treat! Such a great thing to have seen and done!

  20. Traci

    What a wonderful experience! I’m so pleased you were chosen to participate. I found that becoming a part of the Waldorf community was the best way for our family to learn to eat healthy foods, embrace the cycles of nature through celebrations throughout the year, and the strength of like minded families. My son is graduating from high school this June and we still consider ourselves a Waldorf family.
    Cheers,
    Traci

  21. Wow! What an incredible experience. Lucky you! Well deserved.

  22. Lindsay

    What an incredible experience!
    You are so lucky!!!

  23. Wonderful experience! I so happy for you! You are just amazing!

  24. Victoria

    What an amazing experience, your words almost moved me to tears. What a great legacy that woman is leaving and she seems to have done so much for kids in the US to get them thinking about their health in fun and interactive ways. Thanks for sharing, couldnt wait to see the post when you started snapchatting about it!

    http://victoriaspongepeasepudding.com/

  25. Sophie

    Wow what a amazing experience ! This is something you will remember all your life for sure !

  26. Damn, I’ve lived in DC for six years, and Michelle never invited me to her house! I’m so jealous right now.

  27. oh gosh the let’s move initiative is just one of the many things i admire about michelle obama. how exciting that you got to participate in this amazing experience! that photo of the white house made me all nostalgic; it’s coming up on the anniversary of when my (now husband) proposed. we don’t have photos of that either because no pictures in the oval office ;) i hope we can get back to DC soon!

  28. Caitlin

    I saw your post on Instagram and my first thought was how I love seeing two fabulous women in one photo! Sounds like an incredible experience – I’m so happy for you and you deserve every ounce of your success!

  29. What an incredible experience! So happy for you :D

  30. Kellie

    Wow- this is amazing!!!!!

  31. Magali

    Oh what an honor! I am happy for you!
    xxx

  32. MEGAN

    HOW EXCITING!!!! THANKS FOR SHARING:)