Month: January 2008

Bloomin’ Cute

It’s not coincidental that Bloom: A Little Book About Finding Love, comes out just in time for February’s Hallmark holiday. And yet Dutch-born author/illustrator Maria Van Lieshout’s sweet little tome on loving the one you’re with will delight kids the rest of the year as well. In fact my daughter can attest to this after making me read it about sixteen times in a row. It’s a simple, charmingly illustrated tale of a pig who’d rather smell flowers and chase butterflies than wallow in the mud with a potential soulmate. One broken heart and one overdramatic display of self-pity...

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Upping the V-Day Sweetness Factor

Valentine’s Day is the kind of holiday that challenges progress. In other words, Snoopy is about the most cutting edge character I like on my cards. When there are so many beautiful, vintage-y, lacey tokens of the day to be found, it’s hard to succumb to something crass and commercial. I suppose that’s why I just love the "Be Mine…" primer card from design studio Sweet Pea Ink that harkens back to simpler times. Designer Cristina Sequino’s olde time-y designs (along with her cool invitations) are charming, the cardstock is substantial, and the printing quality is excellent. Christine is...

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All Natural Teddy

I tend to avoid buying friends and family plush animals as new baby gifts. I figure that like me, the last thing they need is another stuffed bear to collect dust on an already full shelf. But then, browsing online shop Petit Baby, I saw the new organic bears from French company Kaloo. And I changed my mind immediately. This classic boutique line of stuffed critters features 100% organic cotton fibers, hold the pesticides and chemicals. So aside from being incredibly soft and huggable, you can feel good about giving one to a sensitive newborn. The 100% recycled round box...

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Valentine’s Chocolate Gets a Run for Its Money

Let’s face it, the last thing I want to be doing February 14 is baking cookies. Especially now that we’ve discovered the adorable Sweet Lil’ Gems Valentine cookies, available exclusively at Tiny McSmall. Bakers Lisa and Margie make each tin of eleven treats to order and then hand-decorate them way better than I ever could, although admittedly my sprinkle technique leaves much to be desired. The heart-adorned hippo, ladybug, doggie, and owl look almost too good to eat. Not you’d ever make that choice. –Liz Make sure to order by 1/31 to ensure shipping in time for...

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Fine Drooler-y

Now that I understand that every nanosecond of a child’s life (especially that first child – sorry siblings) will be photographed and documented, I can make a helluva good case for getting chic with the drool bibs at my friend’s baby showers. Plastic ones are nice and all but…no. No, they’re not. What is nice however are the swanky bib/burp sets courtesy Febe Bebe. Each one is handmade in Canada with just beautiful fabrics, and backed by about the softest minkie fabric in existence. They’re thick enough to do the job they’re meant to do, and absolutely the kind...

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I Want to Be the Girl With the Most Cake

The sigOth and I had this great idea to save all of our daughter’s birthday hats, ostensibly to watch the progression from Elmo to Diego to Toodee, if one day Yo Gabba Gabba licenses their characters to party supplies. The only problem with our plan: We didn’t count on her wanting to recreate her celebrations over and over, leaving her flimsy paper hats in less than keepsake condition. I just love that San Fran artist Leigh Metcalf is making delightful handmade party hatsthat might even last a few years in the costume box. In fact her main site, Note,...

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Minimizing to the max

After a day of lugging around The Diaper Bag That Can Hold Everything and Often Does, I am more than excited to head out for a rare night on the town with nothing on my shoulders but a spritz of No.5. Oddly, motherhood has turned me into a clutch girl. Hooray for the new pleated clutches from CMP rock star handbag designer, Crystalyn Kae. They’re as amazing and original as her matching pleated drawstring bag that we raved about here last year, made with the same faux leather exterior with contrasting vintage fabric pleats. The wrist strap even comes...

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What Are Other Children’s Albums Missing? Oh Yeah, Samuel L. Jackson

It’s rare that my toddler will instantly take to music that she hasn’t already seen on TV, but that’s just what happened when I pressed play on A World of Happiness. No Wheels on the Bus here, this is an album entirely filled with original messages of kindness, compassion and tolerance, all brought to life by an impressively diverse roster of celebs. The opener, the anthemic, inspiring Lou Rawls-led title song set the bar high from the get-go, and yet the rest of the album did not disappoint. My faves included a lively reggae tune from Debbie Harry (my...

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Going Nocturnal

Now that I know there are more mobile options than some ugly plush "registry essential" that plays a robotic rendition of Twinkle Twinkle, I’m determined to spread the word to all the new moms out there. Take this artful Wise Ol’ Owl mobile by IGE, beautifully carved out of plexiglass and found at my new favorite boutique Cape Weekend. It’s artful, simple, and can snazz up any nursery before transitioning to the big boy or girl room. The way I see it, if your baby is going to be awake at night anyway like mine was, might as well offer him...

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Parachute Pants Not Included

It’s the plight of pregnant women everywhere, and I’m not talking about constipation. Damn that belly grabbing! No matter how hard I tried, I could never get people to stop pawing at me. So maybe people will heed the words of everyone’s favorite rapper-turned-minister-turned-dad, MC Hammer, eloquently quoted on this Disco Belly maternity shirt. Handscreened on 50/50 poly-cotton (good for stretching over the belly), these shirts will get you a guaranteed chuckle all while telling everyone to back the heck off in the most catchy of ways....

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Shiny Happy People Dreaming Jam Band

Imagine if the B-52’s, Abba, REM and Devo moved into a house with four keyboards and a giant dress-up closet. And then imagine that they sang Beatles and Queen and Carpenters songs and sometimes rapped. Dream Jam Band is like that. One of them is related to Abraham Lincoln, one opened for The Who and sang with Bruce Springsteen, one was a Shakespearean actor, one is a music teacher, and one plays 87 instruments. So together, it’s not surprising that they make a sound that’s as eclectic as they are. Eclectic and joyful. When you and your kids start...

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Give Me Liberty!

I’m always on the look out for something to do with my favorite pictures, other than frame them. Custom bags, jewelry – you name it, I’ve got it. But puzzles? Not until now. While it’s easy to be mesmerized by Liberty’s unique vintage children’s puzzles with images from classic nursery rhymes, don’t stop there.  Click over to their custom page and you’ll see the masterpieces they can create with your own photos, which go well beyond some ordinary slice-and-dice grid puzzle that some of the photo sites offer. In fact Liberty does this really cool special thing in which...

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Lady in Waiting

We’ve seen a whole lot of handmade felt hair clips, but none that made us grin quite like The Little Lady Clip at Lily-Pie designs. Let’s just say Kristen and I had a grand old time coming up with other names for it – although granted The Bathroom Door Clip really doesn’t have the same sales potential. Besides being totally cute, think of the additional benefits. You’ll not only keep your daughter’s hair pristine, you’ll insure she never stumbles into that other bathroom by accident. You know, the one with the weird fountains on the wall. –Liz  Congrats to...

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Gotta Get a Dwell

A reader recently emailed asking about cool toiletry cases for kids. My answer was that most of them are pretty lame, and you’re better off sticking with something basic from your local CVS. (Not that he knows it though – my email bounced back twice. Grrr…) But that was before I discovered the beautiful new DwellStudio travel cases at Giggle, like the transportation style shown here. (Get it?) There’s also a throughly modern animal print and each come in smaller sizes as well as matching canvas weekenders. Who knows, maybe a kid-friendly print like this will inspire your child...

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Mr. Destructo

If there’s one huge difference between my son and my daughter, other than the obvious, of course, it’s that my son has a penchant for total destruction unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And so what’s more perfect than this Robot Destroyer tee from mom-owned shop Wee Wee Wear that comes complete with warning label on the back — "I destroy everything in my way." From the shop name you might think that they’re pawning some sort of special potty attire. But actually, they’re just kid’s clothes with a little something extra, handscreend by mom Karry Brook. Putting her background in art to really good use, Karry...

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Keeping Clips From Getting Clipped

No one tells you when you start buying cute hair clips for your daughter–probably long before she’ll even keep them in her hair for more than two seconds–that you might want to consider some way to put them away properly each night. As in, not a pile on the changing table, and not a green melamine cup on her bookshelf that the baby can get to. Ahem. Designer Kim Marable of Ribbies Clippies has such an awesome solution in her clever Clippie Holders. Maybe this is like some old skool barette storage trick or something, but basically two parallel...

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Little Details Making a Big Difference

My husband decided to invite a few more people than I had intended (um, that would be none) to my son’s first birthday celebration. Instead of freaking out and slapping together some terrible goody bag, the personalized favor tags from Cocoblu Studio turned me into an actual Martha Stewart. Okay so that’s a stretch, but even non-crafty moms will get kudos with a set of mom/designer Sarah Lemoine’s sleek and sophisticated favor tags. Have a set created for a specific event, or make them more generic so like me, you can use them in a pinch. If you’re not hitting the party...

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Little Love Monkeys

I know a few moms who think that Valentine’s day is strictly for adult-sized people. But knowing how much my toddler adores holidays, there’s no way I could leave her out entirely while her dad and I pop the Moet and scarf down truffles.  If you’ve got a pint-size love monkey come the 14th, check out the Luurve Monkey tote from etsy screenprinting shop Dogbone Art. It’s just the right size to fill up with inexpensive little goodies – maybe even from Dogbone Art? The shop also sells kids tees, magnets and cute sticker packs. But don’t forget the...

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The Eco Nursery is Here and It’s Not Crunchy At All

When I hear that baby furniture is eco-conscious, I admit the first image that comes to mind is some unfinished knotty pine something or other that would look more at home in a hunting lodge than a modern nursery. But then I got an early look at the new offerings from Spot On Square and…just wow. The lines of the brand new hiya collection are clean and appealing, the wood against polar white works with any decor and every piece is made right here in the US. Plus it makes me feel great knowing not just that the wood...

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The Friendly Skies Just Got Friendlier

I’ve just returned from our first ever overseas trip with two children in tow. Thankfully (seriously, thank you powers-that-be) they were both exemplary travelers. While I’d like to think that my stellar parenting skills are entirely responsible, I have to throw a hat tip to the FAA-approved CARES restraint system. No traveling parent should be without this genius grandma-invented five-point belt that hooks around the back of the seat and keeps restless kids up to 44 pounds from aisle surfing during take-off. I’d bet it’s especially great for more rambunctious kids, along with the under-two set who can’t be...

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