Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

Fashion House Mom Tara Thorsen: 10 Reasons to Move to Bernardsville, NJ

Tara Thorsen, the face behind the Fashion House Mom and a mother of twins, opens up about her life in New Jersey. She talks about her reasons for moving to Bernardsville and gives us a glimpse into what it’s like to live in Bernardsville, NJ.

Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

Describe your move to Bernardsville, NJ. What made you decide to move to Bernardsville? 

I’ve always been a Jersey girl. Our move to Bernardsville was actually by accident. We were living in Basking Ridge, which is the next town over. 

Then, our current home came on the market. Though we weren’t actively looking to move, curiosity got the better of us and we decided to take a look anyway. 

We couldn’t resist the house and the charming street which is right near downtown and the schools. We made our offer and here we are 12 years later! I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

What’s the Difference Between Living in Basking Ridge versus Bernardsville?

Many people associate Basking Ridge and Bernardsville together but they are actually quite different. 

One of the main differences between living in Basking Ridge vs Bernardsville is that Basking Ridge is huge compared to Bernardsville. 

There are several elementary schools in Basking Ridge compared to only one elementary school in Bernardsville. 

Bernardsville is definitely our kind of town. It’s quiet and has a very small-town vibe. And it’s very walkable. 

Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

Give 10 Reasons to Move to Bernardsville, NJ 

  1. Small town vibe
  2. Smaller schools
  3. Great restaurants
  4. Very walkable downtown
  5. Friendly community
  6. Has a small movie theater
  7. Close enough to NYC and Philadelphia
  8. Easy drive to beaches
  9. Train station
  10. Has a dedicated historic district

How would you describe Bernardsville residents?

Everyone in Bernardsville is super friendly and approachable. Our neighborhood is always filled with walkers and joggers. It’s a very active town. 

I love how our block also hosts a summer block party, and cookie exchange towards the holiday season. My kids always look forward to the extra cookies!

Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

Did you know anyone when you moved to Bernardsville, NJ? Any advice for newcomers on the best way to meet people? 

We didn’t know anyone when we moved to Bernardsville. My twins were not born at the time but we did have two dogs, so we were always walking our dogs in the neighborhood. It’s really such a great way to meet people. 

Additionally, there is the Bernardsville town pool that you do need to sign up in advance for. This was a favorite when my kids were little. 

Even now that they are older, they love to meet friends at the town pool and have lunch at the Snack Shack. They do host seasonal events at the pool such as movie nights and ice cream socials. 

How old are your kids? What are fun things to do with your kids in Bernardsville, NJ? 

I have boy/girl twins who are 11 years old. Our home is just a few miles away from Morristown, where you’ll find Jockey Hollow National Park. We love to go there to hike or ride bikes as a family. 

There are also several playgrounds in Bernardsville that my kids loved when they were younger. We were regulars at all of them! 

Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

What are your favorite restaurants in Bernardsville?

We love going to the local restaurants in Bernardsville. The Coffee Shop and the Bernards Cafe are our favorite restaurants for breakfast. 

For dinner, there are so many options. Our favorite restaurant in Bernardsville for date night is Ristorante MV. It’s a bit loud and crowded but always so good. If you prefer a quieter evening out, you can’t beat Settee

For family dinners out, we all love Osteria Morini. Lenny’s Pizza is the family favorite for traditional-style pizza and Italian food. For takeout, we are always ordering from Chianti

And a trip to Penguin Ice Cream is always a must! The ice cream is all made in-house with local ingredients.

What has your experience been with schools in Bernardsville, NJ? 

Our kids are enrolled in the public schools in Bernardsville. We really felt that the public schools in town are so good that we didn’t need to consider private schools. 

My kids love it and we’ve really had some stand-out teachers over the years. A lot of the teachers are residents themselves and have had kids in the Bernardsville public school system. 

The Elementary school at Bernardsville is from Pre-K through 4th grade. There is a small Pre-K program at Bernardsville that you can enroll in by lottery. 

Bernardsville Middle School starts at 5th grade which seems a bit young. However, the school helps to minimize the transition by keeping the 5th graders in their own hallway. I found it really helped with my kids last year. It makes the jump from Elementary school to Middle school a bit easier and less overwhelming. 

The variety of after-school activities at Bernardsville Middle School such as student council, yearbook club, art club, etc. is really great. What makes it even better is that these activities are run by the teachers. My kids love the clubs!

Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

What has your experience been with the commute to New York City from Bernardsville? 

It’s fairly easy to commute to NYC from Bernardsville. I take the train into the city. Parking is easy at the Bernardsville train station. There are always spots available. 

Most trains into New York Penn Station have a transfer in Summit, NJ. It does make the trip longer but it’s an easy switch to make.

Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

You are a social media influencer. Tell me more about it.

Yes, this hobby of mine has become a legit second job (I currently work full-time at a pharmaceutical company). I’ve always had a passion for style and appreciate the creative aspect of fashion, art, and home decor. 

I started my blog- thefashionhousemom.com as a creative outlet after having my twins. They were about 4 years old when I started the blog. I was in 200% mom mode at the time and was consumed by trying to be the best mom possible. 

Tara Thorsen Fashionhousemo

Having twins is hard. It’s all double the work. And as much as everyone tells you to get them on the same schedule, they are individuals with different personalities, so that never worked for me. 

I started my blog because I found myself needing an escape. At the time, I turned to other blogs just to find a little light-hearted fun and thought I could do the same. 

My passion is fashion and writing so creating a blog made perfect sense. Fast forward to today and it’s been such a journey! I never expected to be where I am today working and collaborating with so many amazing brands! 

I really cherish the connections I’ve made with so many people that I otherwise would have never met. Some I feel so connected to even though we’ve never met in person. I found my tribe as they say!

Have you read any good books lately? Any book recommendations?

I’m a huge book reader! I often read at least one book per month. I’m currently reading The Chateau by Jaclyn Goldis which is a fun murder mystery surrounding a group of friends and taking place in a chateau in France.

My long-time favorite authors that you can always count on for a good read include Fiona Davis, Chanel Cleeton, and Lucy Foley.

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Follow Tara Thorsen

Tara can be found at https://thefashionhousemom.com/ and on Instagram at @thefashionhousemom

At Suburbs 101, we’re dedicated to building a library of first-hand perspectives and experiences for people moving to the suburbs. We rely on recommendations from the community to uncover hidden gems. If you know someone who deserves to be interviewed, please don’t hesitate to let us know here.

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