Many families move to the suburbs for the schools so when I heard lifestyle blogger, Laura is a 1st grade teacher by day, I was very excited to interview her. The interview got even better, when I found out both Laura and her fiancé, Ben are teachers in New Canaan’s Public Schools. Laura shares some valuable insights and advice on schools- both private and public schools. And of course on living in Stamford and New Canaan, CT.
Tell me about yourself- Where are you from? How long have you lived in Stamford?
I am originally from Brookfield, Connecticut- which is about 20 miles north of Stamford. I’ve lived in Stamford for 7 years already. Time really does fly! I chose to live in Stamford, because my older sister was living here at the time. I witnessed firsthand what a fun, safe city it was for young professionals. I was lucky enough to land a teaching job in New Canaan, and living in Stamford seemed like the perfect fit. I’ve now morphed into this major adult, 30-something, homeowner in Stamford. It feels good to have planted roots here!
You spend a lot of time in New Canaan, Can you tell us more about New Canaan?
My fiancé, Ben, is originally from New Canaan. We both teach in New Canaan. Ben’s parents live in town and own New Canaan Dance Academy. Needless to say, we feel very connected to New Canaan! It has such a small town feel, yet there is so much to do. Every part is beautiful! I think it is best to live close to town as there are tons of places within walking distance. Going for a run down South Avenue is always fun.
What do you love about living in the Stamford/New Canaan area?
It’s the best! We can be at the beach in ten minutes or in the city in under an hour. It really offers us the best of both worlds. We also love being so close to our families. Sunday BBQS or brunch are still weekly occurrences.
Where do you go on date nights? What are your favorite restaurants?
We love our date nights and have them weekly. Can you tell we don’t have children yet? It really is a luxury to have time to go out- just the two of us. Most of our nights out are split equally between New Canaan and Stamford. In New Canaan, we love going for a walk in town and having dinner at Cava Wine Bar and Wood Grille or our new favorite, Hashi Sushi. We also love our double-date nights with Ben’s parents. Ching’s Table is a favorite of Ben’s since he was a kid. In Stamford, we love going to Cask Republic. We went there on our first date and even got engaged there. It holds a special place in our hearts for sure.
Where are your go-to places?
Besides the gym? I go to Equinox in Darien, and it is- hands down- the best gym in the area. The trainers there are wonderful! Anyways, if you are following my blog or Instagram, Twenty Five Plus Five, you already know about my statement earring obsession. I love shopping at SheLaLa in New Canaan. She always has the cutest, budget-friendly earrings.
Where do you go to recharge?
I love going to Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee in New Canaan for coffee. The young high-school and college girls who work there are the sweetest. Their coffee is SO delicious! I also love going to Lorca Coffee Bar in Downtown Stamford. Their espresso is unreal.
How would you describe your social life in the suburbs?
For a bunch of 30-somethings, it isn’t too shabby! We have tons of friends and family in the area. We spend equal time hosting, going to friends’ homes, and enjoying all the wonderful restaurants in the area.
Are you a member of a beach club/country club/yacht club?
We belong to the The Lake Club in Wilton. Tennis is a big part of Ben’s life, and he plays there weekly with his friends. I go and watch occasionally! I never know what is going on, but I always enjoy spending time there. There are lots of great social events there, too.
You and your fiance are both teachers, which schools do you teach at? Can you tell us more about the schools in Stamford and New Canaan?
I teach first grade at South Elementary School in New Canaan and Ben teaches language arts at Saxe Middle School in New Canaan. Ben and I are a duo of diehard teachers. We absolutely love what we do, and we feel lucky to be in New Canaan. The schools truly are top-notch. I genuinely feel appreciated so often! The town cares so much about the schools, and it shows.
We can’t really say anything about the schools in Stamford as we are a bit uninformed. I will say that Stark School is in our neighborhood, and it looks like a lovely place!
Many people move to the suburbs for the schools- any advice on what they should be looking for?
I always say this, positive school experiences can happen anywhere. (I guess the same goes for negative ones!) Look for a school community that fits what you and your family are looking for. Ask questions about after school programs and clubs, parent-teacher council, and enrichment opportunities. Happy kids, teachers, and parents make happy school communities. School pride speaks a lot about a school.
Any tips for families thinking of private schools- what kind of questions should the parents be asking?
It is so funny that you’re asking this! I was just talking to my neighbor about this the other day. Private schools can be great! Sometimes they offer a smaller environment that a child may prefer. My mom worked for the Catholic Schools for years, and I know many families like the idea of having faith intertwined with their child’s education. Our area has tons of great private schools! I would say that if you are interested in private schools, set up a tour and interview. I would also recommend asking to speak with current parents and students to gain insights.
Any tips and advice for families moving to the suburbs?
Get ready for yardwork! (I’m kidding, you can hire someone for that!) It is great living out here. The city is still close enough to enjoy for the evening, but it is great to come home to the ‘burbs!
Laura Anne Barbosa is a 30ish girl who lives life to the fullest and beyond in Stamford, Connecticut. A first grade teacher by day, Laura dabbles in fitness, affordable fashion, healthy cooking, and travel. She lives for a good pair of statement earrings. Laura is perfectly content to live in her bubble- and share it with anyone willing to listen. She has a lifestyle blog, Twenty Five Plus Five. Instagram: @twentyfiveplus5 on instagram. Website: www.thetwentyfiveplusfive.com
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