Month: October 2008

Natural face paints. As in, natural. Totally.

We go the whole nine yards on Halloween, which this year has me running around town for a child-sized red wig and face paint. But considering my daughter’s extremely sensitive skin, I’m reluctant to just grab cheapo store brand face paints for fear of the sketchy ingredients and wonderful rashes I’ll be dealing with the next day. Concerned mamas should definitely check out the German-made Artemis Natural Plant-Based Body and Face Paints. They meet all the body paint safety standards (yes, such things do exist) and they’re completely non-toxic, so you won’t have to worry when your kid begs...

Read More

Put some more money in the therapy fund

If How to Traumatize Your Children had been available when I remarried, I totally would’ve bought it as a wedding present for my husband. I think it would’ve been a fitting welcome to (step)parenthood for him, and I also plan to give it as a shower gift to every less-than-confident parent-to-be from now on. Sure, it’s just a little jokey gift book–it is from the Self-Hurt Series, after all. But it’s so much more; a great reminder that we survived all of our parents’ mistakes and our children will survive ours. Probably. With therapy. The 1950s-style illustrations of various...

Read More

Big Brands Doing Cool Things: Stride-Rite prewalkers go greener

Eco-friendly shoes may conjure up images of Birkenstocks or novelty moccasins from a gift stop in Maine, but more and more, the big brands are embracing small steps towards general environmental do-gooding. Now it’s Stride-Rite, that children’s shoe behemoth, who’s added an eco-responsibility component to their much loved prewalkers for babies. Styling wise, I think they hit it more with the boys designs than the girls this season, although all the styles have the excellent support and comfort that matter most in a baby’s first pair of shoes. But what’s really special is that the outsoles are actually made...

Read More

Hellooooooooo Brooklyn!

Yes, I’m biased as a (718) resident myself, but truly, who wouldn’t want one of the adorable Je T’aime Brooklyn kids tees from Atsuyo + Akiko? People who hate Coney Island? People who hate They Might Be Giants? People who hate sitting in Brooklyn Bridge traffic at 5PM on a Friday? Impossible – no such people exist. If you want to get your hands one, find it online at Bean New York along with other covetable kidswear. I hear it looks good on kids who live in other cities too. –Liz Get free shipping on orders $30+ with code...

Read More

Last chance to win a $5,000 tech makeover. This is it. Door’s closing. Say goodbye to 5k…

You know you’ll be entirely bummed if you wake up Tuesday morning and spring out of bed thinking, “Oh SHOOT. I forgot to enter the $5000 tech makeover contest from Intel.” But you know? It could happen if you don’t enter stat. Monday is the last day. Psst…we’re one of the judges So go! Tell us your tale of technological woe. Show us some pathetic photo evidence. Or enter a worthy friend and do your good deed for the millenium. Someone’s got to win and with any luck it could be...

Read More

Now that we’ve named the baby, what do we name the grandparents?

You can’t imagine the debates that went on in our household when it came to naming the grandparents for the first time. If you start factoring in inlaws and the inlaws’ inlaws, and everyone’s different traditions and expectations, it’s amazing we came to any agreement at all. We certainly could have used You Can Call Me Hoppa: The Grandparents’ Guide to Choosing a Name That Fits by mom Lauren Charpio back in 2005. It’s one part thought starter, one part grandparent keepsake. And in fact it would be a great little grandparent gift as a way to announce a...

Read More

Halloween goodies, guaranteed sugar-free

You know what comes with a week’s worth of Halloween parties, right? Candy. Way too darn much candy. So instead of doing goody bags for my daughter and her preschool classmates, I’m snagging some of these awesome paper shadow puppets from Orange Moon Toys. This set of five paper Halloween themed puppets comes complete with wooden puppet sticks and how-to instructions for creating your own shadow theater. If you’ve got older ghouls, I’m betting they’ll love the scary Undead or Monster Mash set. Either way, we think they’re a fantastic way to stimulate creativity and imagination without the m-n-m’s...

Read More

As the crow flies

I’m already on record as not being a fan of fluffy pastel nursery decor.  How are children supposed to develop good design sensibilities if you don’t show them the way? This striking mobile from Contexture, aptly named “As the Crow Flies,” is far from fluffy.  Laser-cut from recycled black paper and old road maps, it depicts 14 crows and a large hand-folded tree with fantastic detail. While far from typical, the high contrast mobile is actually perfectly suited for a baby’s room, and according to the Contexture site: “Family is important to crows. They mate for life, live in...

Read More

Like ohmigod, these are like, the cutest baby socks like, EVer.

Okay so stop it with the cute baby socks already. Seriously. I mean it. How many times can we be like, no–these are the cutest ever. Oh no wait…these are. Well, at least one more time since we discovered the 80’s inspired, dad-designed Sneaker Socks Set from Me in Mind, which makes teeny tootsies look like they’re sporting your favorite kicks from your misspent youth. The Vans-like checkers are easily my fave, and you can also get the set in a hot pink and black palette if you’ve got a rocker chick to shop for. You’ll find them at...

Read More

Quilted, collaged, and just plain cool

Chicago artist Kelly Ventura is making beautiful original art with fabric, paper, buttons and adorable stitching that you’ll want to leave on the wall well past the disassembling of the crib. Her Etsy shop, The Urban Thimble, has wearables, as well, but once outgrown they won’t look nearly as nice framed. Individual pieces like the flower field and the octopus (shown) are very clever, and the bright British transportation trio would look amazing as a set on your little boy’s wall. This is the sort of thing that makes me wish I could do something with a thimble other...

Read More

How to talk to your daughter about [her period]

My daughter chuckled nervously as the DVD from the My First Period Kit began with the image of Dr. Chrystal de Freitas facing a group of tweens and their moms. But within minutes we were both riveted. Where else were we going to see a tampon inserted into a balloon? Or hear the questions other young girls have right from their own mouths? The video is funny in parts, but mainly what works is how warm and maternal the doctor is. She’s definitely aware of how uncomfortable the subject can be and handles it with great finesse. It turned...

Read More

Baby gifts to support the boobies

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us, and with it, an influx of pitches, press releases and pleas to feature any number of pink ribbon-adorned cr…um, stuff. We’re all for supporting one of the most fantastic causes out there, but if you’re not just going to send a donation flat out to your favorite charity, you should at least be buying something you really, really like anyway. One idea we’re so glad to have come across: The “Joelle” new baby gift basket from Red Wagon Presents. 15% of the profits are being donated to Light One Little Candle, a...

Read More

Your Kid’s Name Up in Lights (Sort of).

In further developments regarding the quest to free my daughter’s room from licensed characters, I’ve discovered custom name wall art from City Art Photography. Each letter is a unique original photograph taken of individual letters for a mix-and-match, urban-cool look–a step above a lot of similar services that we’ve come across. Artist/photographer Mindy will work with you to get the color palette right, then assemble the piece, frame it, and back it with a soda tab photo hangers in the back give it a totally recycled and one-of-a-kind feel. They also happen to be very affordable at $15 a letter,...

Read More

I think I’ll go for a walk outside now

Snap the ingenious Strolling Tote by Built NY to your stroller handle and you’ll no longer need to haul a 20-pound diaper bag for a 30-minute walk. We spotted this tote and immediately recognized it as the perfect size for a diaper and wipes, a cell phone and some cash–or even diaper cream which, should it explode, will wash right off of the colorful neoprene. It’s the perfect carry-all for a quick escape to the corner coffee shop, or when you just need some fresh air while your sweet baby exercises his lungs. Earplugs not included....

Read More

Martha Stewart’s Halloween favor bags. Because sometimes you just can’t out-Martha Martha.

We make plenty of jokes around here about the “Martha Moms,” mainly because in our heart of hearts, we wish we could count ourselves among those crafty mamas who hand appliqué their children’s sippy cups and  make their own compact fluorescent light bulbs. Our jealousy is particularly heightened when the holidays roll around. Now that I’ve seen the Halloween selection from Martha Stewart Crafts, I’m not even going to attempt to do something  myself. Their kits, like the Broom Favor Bags shown here, contain everything you need to make about the best looking goody bags and decor eva-ah. But...

Read More

Monsters Giving Back

You rarely need a reason to buy jewelry, but the best one is when it’s supporting a fantastic cause. That’s the case with the  limited edition Metal for Monsters pieces from our friends at Blend Creations. They’ve collaborated with 9 different artists to create unique stainless steel pieces that definitely appeal to your whimsical side, especially with Halloween approaching. I’m completely smitten with Lars (pictured) but could be swayed by A Monster Heart. Plus every purchase contributes $16 to UNICEF, which is more than you’d ever raise in pennies on the 31st. ...

Read More

Step into my Laborastory! (Cue evil laugh)

My kids are always playing “laboratory,” where they collaborate on a grand experiment–real or imagined–resulting in one or both of them shrieking, “It’s aliiiiiiiive!” Never let it be said that we lack imagination around here. So when our top secret package arrived from Laborastory, they were beyond thrilled. The enclosed kit allowed them to design their own Morphadoodle, a unique creature they could both draw and describe, send it off, then receive a lab report on the creature’s progress. A few weeks later the mad scientists get their very own 15″ hand-sewn critter made to spec from their submission....

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest