Month: January 2008

People Safe, Planet Safe

My husband and I go back and forth about my penchant for sleek, modern design versus his love for the old-fashioned basics. But what we don’t argue about is our desire for safe, environmentally conscious furniture for our children. I just may be able to tip him towards my camp a bit with Q Collection’s new junior line. Known for furniture and textiles that are safe for both babies and mama earth, Q Collection now offers a simply fabulous array of similarly fashioned kids’ furniture, organic crib bedding and accessories. The clean design appeals even to traditionalists like my husband, and the...

Read More

The Amazing Adventures of SuperChloe

I think every kid should have a costume chest (or costume closet if you have a big house like my sister-in-law). Boy or girl, there’s no better rainy day activity than pretending to be a butterfly or an alien or a superhero firefighting princess. The handmade capes from Panjo Kids are the kind of thing no imaginative child should be without. Designed by Portland mom Ellie Purvis when she’s not working as a sign language interpreter, the capes are totally customizable in terms of fabric (she has great ones), size, or even a letter or symbol on the back...

Read More

Aprons That Get an A

As much as I love those cute flouncy cotton kid’s aprons, frankly, they’re no match for a toddler and a spatula full of brownie batter. So I absolutely fell in love with the kids aprons from Beansoup the second I took mine out of the package. The first thing that strikes you about the chef’s apron is that it’s super durable, made from a strong, heavy denim-type cotton, just the way an apron should be. And with cute fabrics, nice sizing, and an adjustable neck, mom/designer Leigh Helberg definitely gets the balance of function and fabulousness just right. One...

Read More

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

Regardless of how you stand on the candidate herself, the fact that there’s a woman leading more than one presidential poll is pretty awesome. We’ve come a long way from the 70s when they ran ads in the back of Ms. Magazine for tees proclaiming A Woman’s’ Place is in the House…and the Senate. But wait! What have we found? Holy E.R.A. era redux – that very statement has been given new life on baby tees and onesies by the hilarious (if sometimes enigmatic) Miss Wit. It’s almost…quaint to consider that we used to be happy just settling for...

Read More

Royally Rocking

Right now, with writers striking and award shows canceling, we’re in need of some good entertaining. Thank goodness for Princess Katie & Racer Steve stepping in to save the day by pre-releasing Fast & Feisty, a fast (and feisty) tribute to all that’s great about kids music. The album features ten songs and four skits of pure musical goodness. Songs like Holidays swing, Sneakers rocks, The Pillow cha cha chas, while Go Go Go! uh, goes. And all the while, lead singer Princess Katie (nee Kathleen O’Sullivan) sings her big heart out with her perfected Natalie Merchant sound sprinkled...

Read More

Our Kind of Princess

With a princess-obsessed three year-old, I’m always on the lookout for pretty much any book that has absolutely nothing to do with them. And yes, I know it’s cruel to cut her off entirely from the little crowned ladies just because they drive me nuts. So if you’ve got a little girl like mine, I urge you to get your hands on The Paper Bag Princess, a book featuring one of the smartest, strongest, and most independent princess characters anywhere. What starts as a fairly typical princess story by author Robert Munsch takes a turn in the end, becoming...

Read More

Mommy = 1, Wiggly Baby = 0

I used to think baby clothes with snaps were the best solution for a wiry, wiggly baby. And then my brute of a son came along, and it was like wrestling a greased squealing pig into pajamas. So take my advice ye mothers-to-be, and invest in a few kimono tops, like the fantastic new designs from one of our favorite labels, Westcoast Baby. There’s just too much to love about them – they’re decidedly un-babyish with a huge range of truly amazing fabrics fabrics, and the ties mean no annoying snaps. Plus they’re extremely versatile, easily matched with their...

Read More

If Mama Can’t Go to the Sippy Cups, Bring the Sippy Cups to Mama

The one downside to The Sippy Cups‘ new concert DVD release, Electric Storyland Live at the Great American Music Hall is it just may bum your kids out – if only in that they’ll wish they were there instead of at home. That’s one heckuva show The Sippy Cups puts on. Think jugglers, outrageous costumes, whimsical story telling, engaging audience interaction. And of course at the center of it all, 16 wonderful songs that have made the six-member band a kids (and parents) favorite in their San Francisco hometown and beyond. Kids can’t help but dance (I think it...

Read More

A Face Cream A Mother Could Love

Lately my skin is starting to look…well, like it’s winter. Like the air is cold, the heat is dry, and more than a wee bit of holiday cheer has taken its toll. A detox is in order, inside and out. If you know what I’m saying (and I know you know what I’m saying), considering turning to the beautiful, beautifying products of McBride Beauty. Created by Brooklyn mom Wini Burkeman and inspired by her own Irish mother’s home skincare remedies, Wini’s own exquisite skin is the line’s best advertisement. Did I mention she’s a former model?  Her 100% natural...

Read More

Virtual Showers, Real Presents (Yeah!)

While we would hope that all of our bestest friends and relatives could fly/drive/hitchhike on over just to shower our babies-to-be with the requisite 84 receiving blankets, it doesn’t always work that way. For a better alternative than some virtual internetty-thing, you have to check J. Marie Events, and the amazing virtual showers that owner Jessica puts together. She’ll work around any theme or concept, custom design invitations, hook guests up with a few craft activities (not cheesy ones, promise) then package everything creatively so the lucky mama gets showered over the course of a whole week. There are...

Read More

What’s Better Than the Mercedes of Baby Carriers? The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 of Baby Carriers?

I fully admit that after writing up the PortaMEe hip carrier here last year, I wanted one. I sooooo wanted one. Not because it was expensive (seriously) but because it was awesome. Say what you will about whatever front carrier you’ve got being just fine thankyouverymuch but seriously, once you’ve tried this one it’s hard to be satisfied with anything else. Anything but the brand new limited edition Couture PortaMEe that is. This thing is totally over-the-top. In other words, Angie? Xtina? Gwen? You mamas reading? Now get one hand on the phone, and the other on your Amex...

Read More

Take-Me-To-Your-Nursery

While I love having two daughters to shop for in the wardrobe department, I absolutely love picking out nursery art for little guys. I suppose my tastes run a bit darker than the average girl’s – more demented space aliens, fewer happy ballerinas. Needless to say, I am totally loving the original kids artwork from the Baltimore mom/pop run PrestoBingo Studio. Joyce Hesselberth and Dave Plunkert create just amazing robots and Martians. Or maybe Venutians. I never quite get that straight. If their work seems familiar, you’re probably a New Yorker subscriber or an MTV watcher. (But you can...

Read More

Details, Details

Much to some people’s surprise, I’m a fairly crafty person. That’s not to say you’ll see me making my son a commemorative first birthday quilt or anything, but I do what I can to add personalized touches for parties and special occasions. Even so, I’m willing to ask for help when I need it — say these adorable personalized gift tags from Sarah and Abraham. Mom and owner Sara Tams will work with you to create the perfect extras for your party gift bags or baby shower favors using sweet, traditional motifs like sailboats and airplanes. Thanks to Sara, I’ll be...

Read More

Heads Turning Heads

I love that we’ve still got a good few months of hat-wearing weather in my neck of the woods, only partly because my bald baby rocks the chapeaux rather nicely without all those fussy locks to get in the way. Our latest happening haberdashery find: The awesome one-of-a-kind creations from Cozy Knits (Literally). No really, that’s the name. There’s a lovely selection of kids headwear that makes excellent use of hand dyed, hand spun, and recycled sweater yarn. But it’s not just the great yarns that we love, it’s the way knitter Cosette Cornelius-Bates Bates has so much fun...

Read More

Ballsy

Thanks to the toy recalls, I am much more concerned about where and how the toys I’m purchasing for my kids are made. But it’s not always as easy to get the backstory on your playthings as Fair Trade Sports makes it. Perhaps it doesn’t seem like having a certified fair trade soccer ball or basketball or rugby ball is such a big deal–but don’t you think a ball should make more of an impact on the child playing with than the child who is forced to hand stitch it for 4 cents an hour? Order Fair Trade Sports’...

Read More

Decorating With Florals

New Year’s not being what I had hoped for (i.e. We both passed out well before midnight) we’ve got a bit of a leftover stash of bubbly in the fridge. So my plan is to crack it open and turn a few regular old Tuesdays into something more special. And when I do, I want to be prepared with the cherry blossom set of coasters from Gamiworks. I’ve admired their Japanese chiyogami paper pendants for a while, but I really love the idea of sharing the elegance with anyone in my living room with a drink in his or...

Read More

Slinging in the New Year

After trying on a massive number of slings, they are not all created equal. Sometimes that’s a good thing – the sling I used for my summer daughter just didn’t cut it when my January baby boy came along two years later. If you’re looking for something a bit heartier for the season, you must check out Chic Papoose. Along with gorgeous patterns and smart reversibility, these slings feature two cozy layers of fabrics. So your baby will rest comfortably and warm inside the pouch without you having to toss blankets over his head too. Then when your baby...

Read More

Humpty Dunce

I know I’m not the only new mom who spent sweet quiet moments alone with my newborn singing the theme song from Happy Days. What can I say, I could never quite recall an appropriate tune when I needed to. I’d have been in better shape had Jennifer Griffin’s delightful Humpty Who? been out a couple of years ago. The subtitle, A Crash Course in 80 Nursery Rhymes for Clueless Moms and Dads, pretty much sums it up. This truly terrific book and the very helpful companion CD hooks you up proper with the classics, delivers all nine verses...

Read More

Gift Baskets Without That One Sucky Item In Them

The problem with most gift baskets is you don’t always like everything inside. (Unless it happens to be the chocolate assortment that my sister-in-law sent us this Christmas, in which case my thighs will tell you that I did, in fact, like everything inside.) Red Wagon Presents, on the other hand, gets it right. The mom/pop team behind the company puts together fun, themed book baskets for kids and adults. I particularly love the new parent set in a wicker baby bassinet, or the new mom set which forgos the tired old ass-vice books in favor of lighter titles...

Read More

Tickle-Me Phyto

As a child of the eighties, I was privy to the debut of many fads that should never have been, including parachute pants, bolo ties, and those cheesy Chia pets. If only the last one had died out along with the first two. If you want a cool plant to cultivate at home that really will entertain the kids, try the TickleMe Plant instead. (That’s Mimosa pudica to you science geeks.) The leaves of this Brazilian native actually fold up when they’re gently touched, flytrap style, and kids go nuts over them. You can order seeds and growing kits...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest