Month: December 2008

You’re the onesie that I want

Since my sweet third child will most likely be relegated to a life of shared toys and hand-me-down clothes, it’s always nice when someone sends her a personalized gift that makes it 100% clear that it was meant for her and her alone. So if you’re looking for the perfect 2nd or 3rd baby gift, you’ll want to check out the hand embroidered onesie from Baby Gardner. The sweet vintage-inspired elephant design is personalized with your choice of name and is packed in a delightful coordinating personalized drawstring bag. It’s a keepsake that can at least make up a...

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Our favorite shops around the country – Making the last-minute holiday rush easy

With the last shopping weekend before Christmas and Hanukkah, we’re down to the wire. To save you from the dreaded rush shipping costs, we’ve asked our editors, contributors and some of our favorite savvy shoppers around the web to offer up their favorite go-to shops in their (and maybe your?) hometowns to help you snag some indie or artisan gifts for those you love best. NYC– The Union Square Park Holiday Market is always a great source for last minute stocking stuffers and recession-friendly gifts like hand-knit scarves, handmade toys, candles and personalized wooden ornaments from Chiosonne. You’re not only...

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Say goodbye to terry cloth

I realize that drooling over a baby towel might seem a bit ridiculous, but when your closet is stuffed to the gills with old, rough towels, then you’d be just as excited as I was to wrap your baby up in a Bamboosa Bath Wrap found at Peekagreen. The combination of 80% bamboo and 20% recycled polyester makes for a super absorbent, soft, almost chamois-like towel that will keep that baby toasty warm and dry. Known for its antibacterial and hypoallergenic qualities, Bamboo also washes extremely well, which works well when you’ve got a couple of kids that are...

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When good things happen to good people

Remember that awesome $5k Intel tech makeover we got to help give away this fall? And you helped vote for the winners? And you were kind of hoping it was you but realized that the people who won were so deserving that you felt perfectly great about it? Right! That one. Well Marco and Dave, the two cool guys from Hot Hardware, just hooked up the three winners and caught the transformations on tape. From a recent cancer survivor, to a non-profit community theater, to a cool family farm, if you want to feel the goodwill and high-tech holiday...

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All hail great handbag of exceeding awesomeness

I am reluctant to give away my most Awesome Bag Ever tip, but…okay. The holiday spirit has grabbed me this week and I’m feeling generous. The Elsa Carry-All has been my handbag mainstay since I won a free one (seriously, I won something myself!) earlier this year from most excellent indie shop Darlybird. The shiny faux patent leather in black (or red) makes it look cool for daytime with plenty of pockets for all the crap I seem to accumulate, but it can hold its own when I end up racing right from work to some cocktail-laden function. Plus...

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Redefining Christmas: The gift that really keeps on giving

My extremely generous in-laws keep bugging me about what they can get me for Christmas, and quite frankly, unless it’s some magic bubble that I can place over my children so that they will healthy for longer than one week at a time, I’m really fine without receiving a holiday gift. But since they insist, I’m asking them to give to my favorite charity instead, and Redefine Christmas makes it a bit more festive than just having them send twenty bucks to the Salvation Army. Simply choose a holiday e-card like the cute snowman seen here, fill in your information, and they’ll send it...

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I’m dreaming of a white Christmas table

I’ve been a fan of white serving pieces ever since my mother taught me that the food should be the star of the dishes, and not the dishes themselves. (Of course that presumes that I am capable of creating star-like food to begin with. Thank goodness for catering.) The handmade Lotus Nesting Bowls from California potter Whitney Smith are just my kind of thing: Useful, elegant, clean. Although by the looks of some of her other items, I could just be convinced to break my own rule and invest in a cake stand in a gorgeous robin’s egg blue....

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Adventure, True Love and Seafood

We hosted 16 relatives (seven in our house) over the long Thanksgiving weekend.  My job, besides cooking some stuff, was to read to the four little children in my daughter’s room each night before bed. And each night we read The Sign of the Seahorse:  A Tale of Greed and High Adventure in Two Acts. By request. Begging, and requests. And more begging. Graeme Base had me at Animalia, but this Aussie children’s book writer and illustrator just keeps getting better. Base shows his lyrical side with the writing of this tome, which is epic and rhythmic and descriptive...

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Four hot toys for 2008 (says us)

Recently, Better Homes & Gardens’ Better.TV asked me to show them four hot toys for the holidays and while it was nearly impossible to cull it down from about 6 million, I did my best to oblige. I didn’t decide based on what was selling out at the megastores this year, but what I thought were cool toys from responsible companies who actually care about the environment and the quality of the toys they put out. Plus, my kids really dig them. -The Recycled Tea Set from Green Toys available at Kangarooboo-All-natural Anamalz from Hape available at Oompa Toys...

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Plain [organic] jane

It’s no trouble finding a range of organic onesies bedecked with humorous sayings and adorable designs these days. But I’m a fan of the solid, slogan-free organic play clothes as well, which can be a little harder to track down unless you’re a big fan of oatmeal and white. Apparently moms Katie Winburn and Kristen McNicholas felt the same way and so they created Rattled, featuring bright organic basics for babies and toddlers. I’m loving the saturated colors and soft fabric, but most of all I appreciate that they won’t thin and pill after a few washings. And from...

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Rosy cheeks and everything

I wrestle with the idea of what to get my two-month old daughter for Christmas, because well, she’s two-months and what the heck does she care about what’s sitting under the tree for her, right? But then I have to wonder if it’ll come back to bite me in the butt down the road. So when I saw the completely handmade dolls from Poppy Seed Tree, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Artist Meredith Franz uses a variety of fabrics (some recycled, some not) to create adorable one-of-a-kind dolls that come with a name card, back story, and the...

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Oh the weather outside is frightful

I’ve not yet met a mom who loves stuffing he baby in some sort of hot, fuzzy baby bunting for a trip outside in the cold. Well, all that’s about to change thanks to Kate Quinn Organics’ baby bunting, found at Portland shop Little Urbanites. Made from soft sherpa and knit lined, this bunting features side kimono snaps for easy on and off, and reversible hand mitts to keep their hands warm without the old mitten struggle. Plus, there’s just something about the beautiful green with the furry trim that makes me want to put this on my baby...

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Calendar girl

I’m a minimalist where it comes to calendars.  I know some moms live and die by their beloved organizers, but give me a compact monthly view calendar at my fingertips and I’m set. The 18-month Mouse Pad calendar from Ann Kelle Designs is perfect for me.  Bright colors, hip designs, and since it does double-duty as a mouse pad, it’s literally at my fingertips–because it’s no secret I spend far too much time at the computer. Browsing around the rest of the shop, I found several more items featuring the same cheery graphics.  Perfect stocking stuffers for stationery lovers....

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Warm as a lamb. Under a blanket. Next to a heat lamp. In Cancun.

I often have feelings of envy as I push my 19 month-old in her stroller on cold days, thinking it would be nice if it were she pushing me around town instead. Eh, I guess there’s plenty of time for that when I’m 80. Now I’m feeling doubly jealous, since giving the Warm as a Lamb Winter Stroller Coat Cover a whirl. Designed by mom Christine Kosteas and available at Amazon, this thing is seriously amazing, if you live in colder climes. (I’m talking to you, Minneapolis/Chicago/Boston moms.) It’s basically a heavy, thermally insulated stroller cover that completely shields...

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So that’s what all those blank walls in the nursery are for

If you’re a sleek-lines-and-minimal-fluff sort of a mom, you’ll want to check out Nashville artist Michalle Sessions’ gorgeously simplistic prints for your progeny’s room via her shop, LJ Ink.  From the red-sock-wearing giraffe and monkey in the “Sock It to Me” series to the stick girl and her mommy in matching striped tights in the “Love Me” series, I want it all. Enough so that the the little girl print is now gracing the wall in my daughter’s newly remodeled bathroom. Michalle can also do some really cool personalized pieces with an initial under a set of  old-school knicker...

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My little kittens have lost their mittens

It is four days before the official start of winter and we are already down one scarf, 1 1/2 pairs of gloves, and two hats. Some of them mine. While I’m reluctant to shell out big bucks on replacing them, I’m sort of having trouble resisting the warm, wooly ruffle scarf and matching mittens from fancy kids clothes purveyors, Best & Co in a choice of two colors-none of them involving pink. It’s especially appealing at the super discounts they’re offering right now. Score another one for the procrastinators and mitten-losers among us. –Liz Best &Co is currently having...

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Oi! Christmas!

Eight days to go until Christmas and I’m already tired of the same six holiday tunes that seem to be in rotation in every store, taxi, and coffee shop in NY.  If you’re looking for a slightly more irreverent alternative, check out the virtual Punk Rock Advent Calendar courtesy of UK’s Plastic Punk Records. Each day connects you to a different MP3 of a punk Christmas cover, complete with lyrics. My fave so far: The Jam’s Old Christmas Card on December 4. You can download each song to make your own headbanging holiday playlist, but there’s no cheating allowed like...

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Let’s face it, a man’s first true love is meat

If you are still looking for a last minute gift for that hot, carnivorous man in your life, we have found the very thing: The men’s Meat Tees from Brooklyn’s Wooster Street Meats. These shirts are emblazoned with your man’s (or your kid’s) favorite part of his favorite Italian sub – brasciole, capicola, soppressata, or the #1 pig part around our place, prosciutto. I just ordered one for my sigOth and I know it will go over second only to actual prosciutto. For the vegetarians, don’t feel left out. We have it on good word that Cannoli is on...

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Forget Sugarplums; I’m dreaming of Kitchen Witch Brownies

I love to bake, but with all this “raising children” stuff, there is little time for me to create treats from scratch on a regular basis. So, when Casey of Pennsylvania’s Kitchen Witch asked if I’d like to try some of her all-natural homemade treats, I jumped at the offer. A few days later, I received a box of uncooked frozen brownies, cookies and scones, all packed carefully in dry ice.  I baked soft, chewy, sweet Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Cup and Ultimate cookies. I tried two different flavors of scones for breakfast and savored the combination of ginger and...

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Attention procrastinators, there’s still time to make Christmas cards

Shameless holiday card procrastinator #87146B here, hanging head low and admitting that I have not yet picked out our family’s holiday cards. Most likely we’ll do what I generally do, which is send out New Year’s cards instead. But for you Christmas card purists, we’ve taken the time to scout out a few last minute options for you. 1. Shutterfly has a nice selection of designer cards from some great modern graphic artists and they’re printed on a nice matte card stock. They also have photobooks, calendars and this cool photo recipe book which make great last minute gifts....

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