Month: October 2007

Click. Take a Pic.

I’m beyond tickled that my daughter has taken an interest at being behind the camera. But for now, I’m thinking the wooden version from North Star Toys is probably the safer bet than my Canon. This nearly functional camera, including a turnable focus "lens" and a button that actually clicks, is one of the many wonderful wooden toys we found at this shop. And considering this family-run business has been making safe wooden playthings since 1979, I’m willing to bet they know exactly what they’re doing. It’s a fantastic way to foster creativity in your kids. And the best...

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Keeping the Boogeyman At Bay

So what do you do when you and your sweet little fairy princess or cute pea pod or happy clown run to answer the door tonight only to find…17 year-old trick-or-treaters wielding machetes with bloody eyeballs hanging off the blades? 1) Hope it doesn’t require therapy. 2) Jot it all down in a Nightmare Snatcher Journal from Spiderbite Boutique. Artist Sarah Jane Evans’ brilliant handmade journals are equal parts fuzzy, fun and ferocious. Each one features 50 tea-stained pages, a tail for a bookmark, and an incantation to ensure the monster takes those nightmares off your kids’ hands. (Although...

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For Moms Not So Good With the Glue Gun

I can barely find time to take pictures of my kids, let alone actually get them off my computer and into a photo album or scrapbook. Or even a shoebox. If like me you’re not a contender for Organized Mom of the Year then Baby Memory Frame is worth a look. Mom/company owner Maggie Pearce will work closely with you to create a really beautiful keepsake out of that stuff that’s gathering dust in a closet somewhere. She’ll go as sweet and traditional or as funky and modern as you’d like – you supply the pictures, memorabilia, and handprints, and she...

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Alterna-Sleepers

As easy as it is for us to track down modern baby outfits out there, finding a sleeper that’s not soaked in pastel teddy bears or demure rosebuds is more of a challenge. What’s a slumbering alternababy to do? Answer: Check out the must-have sleepers from my one of my new favorite stops on the web, M.O.M. Designs. Created by a mom and dad team, the Yite Bub line (think "light bulb" in toddler talk) is full of quirky, refreshing prints on so-soft cotton that you haven’t seen anywhere else. I’m a freak for the Busy Bots pattern for...

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Yo Ho Ho, The Reading’s Life For Me

My son has decided he wants to be a pirate. For Halloween. And for a living. This is in large part because recently he’s become the star of a wonderful personalized book called Here There Be Pirates from Flatten Me. Just seeing his cute little face immortalized in a store-quality printed pirate adventure makes him want to major in plundering and pillaging. But when I think about it, isn’t that what reading is all about? Putting yourself in different shoes and situations? Mom of four and entrepreneur Margo Redfern gets this. She knows if kids are personally invested in...

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Sleep Is In The Bag

I think we can all agree that parents do not need another reason (teething, teething, teething) for our babies to wake up in the middle of the night. (Did I say teething?) With the right baby bag, like this incredible find from the Canadian designers, 3 Sprouts, you can certainly cross "too cold" off the list. The bag is a wonderful combo of poly fleece and cotton that will keep even your most mobile baby warm and safe on those cold nights without the worry of using a blanket. Having seen it in person – holy cow is this...

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A New Take On the Old Lunch Bag

Ever since we started poking around the web for alternatives to paper lunch bags for our back to school shopping guide, we can’t stop ourselves! There are so many great options to help us reduce that carbon footprint you keep hearing so much about. Our latest find: The oilcloth lunch sacks from Tatermash. Oilcloth is super durable, easy to clean and water resistant (you can even use it to keep a wet swimsuit in if your kid is taking lessons), and the styles are beyond cute. We particularly like the option with handles for kids–get it personalized so you...

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I’m in Love With the Milkman

Apparently the milkman is not some mythical figure we all hear about when no one can explain why cousin Marty looks nothing like his dad. Rather, he’s a Nashville based t-shirt designer with fantastic taste. Who knew? The Milkman (a.k.a. Alan Douglas) along with his wife Laura have created an awesome collection of handscreened, 70’s influenced kids shirts and onesies. Their simple alternative designs, made right here in the USA, keep it simple with cool fairly gender neutral icons. As a music lover, I’m partial to the headphones and the guitar, both of which would make fabulous gifts when...

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Rockin’ the True Spirit of the Holidays

Aside from stressing about what toys won’t poison my kids this holiday season and trying to communicate that clearly and effectively to my in-laws, I’ve got our Christmas cards on my mind — what to wear, what should they say, how are we going to strap down my son long enough to get his picture… But when the folks at Rattle-n-Roll sent me an email last night about their new holiday cards, I think they may have just solved my dilemma. This family-run business (and one of our very faves) has decided to donate 100% of their proceeds from...

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And Another Generation Gets To Love Paul Simon

With a non-stop flow of kid’s music producers using all kinds of schtick to sell their (sometimes not-so-great) albums, it’s hard to track down simple music that you and your kids will want to sing along to. Apparently musical parents Rob and Lisi Wolf felt the same way. Already known for their successful Jewish music CD/DVD Oy Baby, they’ve collaborated on a new effort, That Baby CD: Acoustic rock Classics For Kids and the Grownups Who Love Them. The album (a soundtrack to their newly released That Baby DVD) features beautifully sung acoustic covers from Bob Marley to Fleetwood Mac...

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And Then There Was The Time I Barfed On My Boss…

While I spend a whole lot of my life online, I understand that not every mother does. In fact, there are some pregnant women who actually (gasp!) don’t have blogs. So how’s a expecting mama to keep track of all those memories? With Expecting Tales, the latest offering from momtrepreneur Lara Frankovitch, the creator of baby book alternative Baby Tales. This fabulous early pregnancy gift includes a notepad with prompts to help you jot down that day’s pig out session, new hair in unwanted location, or unsolicited advice from strangers on the street. At the end of the day,...

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Grow, Baby Hair! (Damn You.)

When I find gorgeous ribbon ponytail holders, like the handmade ones at Gazzu, I can’t help but wish that my daughter had long thick hair. And I know I shouldn’t complain considering I thought we’d be stuck in baby hair clip land forever.  Mom Angie Sloan has channeled her love for sewing and designing into artful hair accessories that combine ribbon and fabric. I’ve never seen anything like them, and as a self-proclaimed hair accessory addict, that’s saying a lot. One day my daughter will be ready for these. In the meanwhile you’re going to be finding Gazzu holders in my...

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Baby Jail Makeover

As a fairly frequent flyer, I’ve always packed my own portable play yard because, well, you know why. The thought of using a hotel crib or that borrowed play yard that’s been growing mold in your friend’s basement for a few years gives me shivers on top of shivers. Well hooray for the briliance of mom Allison Costa who came up with safe and adorable covers for the things called, simply enough, Coverplayards. They are absolutely perfect for avid travelers ,or parents who are tired of that playpen fabric that was the best of what was available when you registered for it....

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Organic? Yes Way.

While I want to reduce the number of chemicals in and around my kids these days, I still want to get them dressed in the morning and think "Cute!" before I think "Organic!" Which is why Scout is a label worth knowing about. Mom Mimi Leinbach’s vibrant baby tees, bodysuits and pants feature unique appliqués and hand embroidery from Peruvian artisans, with her designs inspired by images like Tibetan clouds or the origami peace crane. Okay, so the concepts might be a bit esoteric for all but fans of Whale Rider, but the results are not – well-styled kids...

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Logs Abe Would Approve Of. Honest.

Recently I mentioned having discovered that the beloved Lincoln Logs of my youth are now mass produced in China, and a savvy reader pointed me towards Roy Toy. Score! If you’ve got a budding Bob the builder (or Brayden or Bianca) on your hands, I can’t imagine he wouldn’t love the Roy Toy log camp sets. They were first made in Maine in the 1930s by Roy Dennison and now, two generations later, his grandson is continuing the tradition. The company continues to employ hand-cut pine logs stained with non-toxic dyes that fit together tightly and beautifully. The prices...

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Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Snow

Whether you spend the weekend with your kids on hiking trails or just braving the sidewalk sales like me, I can safely say we have one thing in common: We want our kids comfy when we’re out and about. So I was so happy to learn that my favorite drizzle-proof stroller blanket, the All Weather Woobee, now comes in a scrumptious shaggy plush. Created by mom Heather Correa, the wind and water-resistant nylon combined with the extra plush polyester makes these blankets invaluable on rainy days, cold nights and everything in between. Plus the handy ribbons tie right onto...

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Murals You Can Move

As a first-time homeowner, I’m faced with the new and daunting challenge of decorating my kids’ rooms. I’ve weighed all my options: Wallpaper? Heck no. Murals? You obviously haven’t seen me draw. Decals it is! And so when the new wall images from one of our favorite designers, Mel Lim, popped into my inbox, I was ever so grateful. Known for exquisite stationery, Mel Lim has created an equally sophisticated series of six wall art designs for Blik, the chic parent’s go-to spot for wall graphics. Some, like hare hopping take more design know-how than others (with results to...

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Argyle Isn’t Just for Sweaters

If there was ever a time I that I wished my son would keep a hat on his head, it is now. The leaves are turning, the wind is chilling, and Kitsel is mocking me with their fantastic selection of Born to Love beanies. I’ve even considered super glue. Okay, I’m not that desperate just yet, but when you see these hats, the thought might pop into your head. Designed by a stay-at-home-mama and her artistic husband, these locally made beanies are way cooler than your classic baby skull cap but just as effective in keeping head and ears warm for...

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The Cow Jumped Over the Calico Moon

From the calicos to the bold geometrics to the disco dots, I’m a confirmed retro fabric junkie, always searching for kids clothes I won’t see on every other child on line for the slide. If you’ve got a love for vintage, the onesies and kids’ tees from mother-daughter designer team Lily+Amy (isn’t that cool?) will be just your cup of tea. Cotton onesies and tees are decorated with hand-cut appliqués made from truly vintage fabrics, not reproductions. In fact, Lily+Amy search for out-of-production finds that would otherwise be headed for the scrap heap. That way you won’t see the...

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Rake leaves? No thanks, I’ll wear them.

As we move into Fall and the greenmarkets in most parts of the country get sparer and sparer, it’s time to start putting some of the springier floral jewelry back into the jewelry box for the next six months. In their place, we found a beautiful and seasonal geranium leaf necklace from one of our favorite online jewelry shops, Blend Creations. The talented Vancouver couple (now new parents too) behind the designs have pressed real leaves, protected them with acrylic, then inlaid them into in smooth, sturdy stainless steel. Don’t miss the other pressed flowers while you’re there. That...

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