Month: May 2008

Chiara Kruza Maternity: One Shirt Flatters All

With my first two kids, I collected a pile of mediocre maternity clothes, not one of which I could wear from start to finish. Even my favorite pieces had to be retired after a couple of months – or when I hit the "sausage stuffed in casing" look. Now with the third on the way, I’m going to be smarter about my purchases. Enter Chiara Kruza, a designer (and mom) who has made me excited to get dressed every morning. Her simple, super comfortable pieces will not only take you from trimester to trimester and beyond, but they’ll make you feel like a...

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Sometimes Playtime is Way More Than Playtime

We’re seeing more and more toymakers and shops reaching out to kids with autism and other developmental challenges or delays and we think it’s pretty darn awesome. Parents of these kids often have their hands full, let alone having to reasearch which playthings will be the most suitable. I’m happy to learn that eBeanstalk has added a whole section of toys for children with developmental delays, all assembled by a group of impressive experts who are also parents themselves. What’s particularly cool though is that the stuff isn’t all lumped together under one heading like "for children with autism,"...

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BYO Kids’ Placemats

Going out to dinner with the kids can give me indigestion even before the food arrives. That is why I am in love with Doodles at Dinner, a smart solution for “the itchies” that strike kids who are forced to sit still at a restaurant table. Even if all you can find in your diaper bag is a broken crayon, your kids will have fun sketching mini works of art on the 36 tear-off sheets, following instructions like how to take a number 4; and turn it into a heron. Be sure to leave a few of these masterpieces...

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A show for kids with two mommies, two daddies, or even one of each

Who says great preschool entertainment has to be heteronormative? (There’s a new word for Scrabble for ya.) Not Dottie’s Magic Pockets, the self-proclaimed “greatest kid’s show not yet on TV” for alternative families. And lest you think it might be all about alternative families, well, it is and it isn’t. What it is is what would happen if someone put Mr. Rogers and Captain Kangaroo in a blender, and then topped it with a few sprinklings of Bear in the Big Blue House: There’s puppets and singing and animation clips and real life issues discussed in silly ways and...

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How Do You Know if the Bath Water Is Too Hot? The Whale Will Tell You.

I am one of those sad NYC moms with a single bathroom to accommodate our family of four. My greatest dream in life, besides the one about the full scholarships to college for both kids, is a second bathroom – one which I could fill with all that fun goofy kid stuff. My first purchase might well be the heat-sensing, non-slip tub decals from organize.com that turn from blue to white if the water gets too hot. It’s an easy way to head off that fear mamas have of lowering the baby into a scalding bath. Which, come to...

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Clogs: They’re Baaa-aaaack.

Remember those clunky wooden shoes with the suede leather strap that were all the rage about 25 years ago? Yeah, I’m trying to forget about them too. They were our generation’s Crocs, another trend I’m happy to avoid. I’ve found a much more fashionable option at Cape Clogs. These Swedish-made shoes feature alder wood soles and all-leather uppers in such a wide variety of cool patterns,  like dinosaurs and ladybugs, that any little girl can find one (or six) she likes. Plus, they make that wonderful clomping sound when you walk. What kid doesn’t love that? They make them...

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Green is the New…Well, Yeah. You Know.

Some of the kids eco-tees we’re seeing are a bit heavy-handed for my taste. There’s a fine line between a clever slogan and some creepy preachy statement on a preschooler. Junkfood’s ultrasoft Live Free/Live Green tee spotted at hip kidswear purveyor Stinkypants strikes the balance and finds the cool. Not that I entirely know what the line means – unless it’s some sort of Zen reference to the existential freedom one experiences by cutting back on needless consumerism. But that wouldn’t fit nearly as nicely on a size 4 tee. If you really want to practice what you preach,...

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The Incredible, Invisible Bib

I have long come to grips with the necessity of the bib. I have not, however, been swayed by the bib to match the outfit concept. To me, the bib and the outfit are entirely individual entities. Until now, that is, courtesy of the matching bib sets from Bibs and Match. The idea is pretty simple — the bib attaches right to the onesie with a snap so you don’t have to mess with food residue in velcro. You can even attach the bib before you put the onesie on the kid if you’ve got a squirmy one. Once...

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The Wii Fit: Getting In Shape Hasn’t Been This Fun Since…Well, It Never Has.

As bathing suit season approaches, I mourn that I am not more of a gym person. I am more of a sit on my butt and play Guitar Hero then complain about how bad I look in a bathing suit person. So I decided to give the new Wii Fit a whirl. Oh my goodness, am I smitten. No wonder these things fly out of stock as fast as they come in. Basically there’s a little balance board-like thingie that’s got a remote sensor to the Nintendo Wii system. It functions like a scale tracking weight, balance and BMI...

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Green Up, Green Up, Everybody Green Up

If you’re not yet familiar with Method Home, you haven’t been in my bathroom where the pink grapefruit liquid soap is a permanent fixture. (Don’t worry, you’re not missing much not having been to my bathroom.)  Their nifty line of household and cleaning products would best be described as "light green" – eco friendly and non-toxic, but not exactly made in small batches in some hippie’s bathtub. What’s most appealing to moms, besides the whole they won’t kill you thing, is that they smell way better than cleaning products have any right to. I recently tried out their Squeaky...

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Space Travelers: Your Book is Ready

The Way Back Home, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, is the most randomly appealing book I’ve read. For one thing, the main character discovers an airplane in his closet on the second page. For another, he gets stuck on the moon with a Martian who looks just like him, only green. And finally, after he parachutes back to Earth and swims home, he almost forgets to go back to help the Martian because he’s distracted by the television. There’s a surprise ending that had my daughter and I discussing possible storylines for as long as it took for...

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The Gentleman’s Diaper Clutch

When it comes to diaper carriers for the menfolk, there’s definitely a trend towards the heavy duty camo bag that screams “I’m a dude!” But for dads that want something sleeker and swankier, we suggest the new Gents line from two mom-owned Goober Baby. This isn’t an actual bag but a diaper clutch, which is perfect for the dad who wants to carry as little as possible then shove it under the stroller or into his backpack. Like our other faves from Goober Baby, we loooove the thick corduroy exterior lined with a hint of brightly colored argyle. If you’re thinking about grabbing one for Father’s...

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Have a Ball

I don’t care how technologically advanced baby toys get, how many bells, whistles, batteries, voice chips or solar panels  they have – a baby’s favorite toy is still going to be a jingly clutch ball. Also a spatula. Massachusetts mom Kwan Chan-House of Apple Blossom Baby makes such beautiful handmade jingle balls for babies that it’s hard to believe we were ever satisfied with the made in China stuff from the big stores. The fabric combos are lovely and for an extra $2.50 you can even get them filled with an eco-friendly corn-based fiber instead of poly. Kwan is...

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A Taste for Popadum

Boy, am I liking this new flowy peasant top trend for kids this season. With any luck it will stick around, while the prematurely provocative belly shirts and tight blingy tees take a permanent hiatus. In hell. As a change-up from the Mexican-style blouses, take a good look around online shop Popadum where mom Bipasha Shom has gathered a small but stellar collection of tunics and tops for kids inspired by classic Indian artistry. As soon as I laid eyes on the jaipur tunic I needed two; in person the natural cotton weave is luscious and the embroidery work...

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Just What a New Mom Needs, Her Own Laundress

I figured out real fast that that baby laundry detergent that’s supposed to be so great? Not so great. Overpriced and frankly, doesn’t seem to actually get anything clean. Lesson learned. If you want to keep your baby clothes looking great for the next wearing, the next kid, or the next generation, The Laundress is your new best friend. This luxury line of baby laundry products are absolutely wonderful. The detergent smells classic and yummy, it gets stains out, and it doesn’t contain anything bad for baby’s sensitive skin. And I love having some wool and cashmere shampoo on...

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What Do May Flowers Bring? Around My Place, Broken Vases

I love fresh-cut flowers as much as the next person, but what I don’t love is putting a tippy glass container in the middle of my kitchen table. Maybe I could just add a sign: "Hey, kids! I’m breakable! Please knock me over so that Mom can pick broken glass out of her roses!" My kids are old enough now that I can set out a vase without too much worry, but if you have little ones, check out the brilliance that is the Jill-able Fill Me Up Vase. It’s a plastic bag! Made from recycled materials, each vase...

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A Cherry of a Kids’ Tee

I am beyond tired of kids clothes that don’t hold up after oh, say three washes. The bargain tees I picked up turned out to not be such a bargain when I threw them out before the season was halfway over, reminding me that often times, you really do get what you pay for. Along those lines, Cherry Tees (who already does great tops for women) has just come out with a line of amazing quality kids tees in 2T-6 that are meant to be worn – and washed – over and over. They’re priced a bit higher than...

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A Cookbook For Moms, By Moms, So You Know There’s No Twinkie Casseroles in There

Last year’s Cookbook for Moms from our friends at MothersClick was such a resounding success, they did it again. The second volume includes more than 40 new recipes from more than 40 new contributors, all created and voted on by moms like us. Or at least moms like you; my contribution would be calling up for take-out. The forward comes courtesy of Sneaky Chef author Missy Chase Lepine, and  100% of the proceeds – as in all of them – go to the Boys and Girls Club of America. How very, very mom. –Liz...

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Bubalah!

My grandmother used to call me Bubalah, and so I was probably predisposed to find the Bholu Bubalah Critters utterly charming on name alone. I mean, come on — of all the Yiddish endearments my grandmother used, Bubalah is probably the most wonderful of all. Bholu comes with a great back story, too: Put together Australian designer Jodie Fried and female artisans in India, and the result is a fair trade and climate-neutral company making sweet baby gifts you won’t want to resist. Find the Bubalah Critters as well as their hand-embroidered swaddling blankets and throw pillows at Pajama...

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My first shades, hold the gratuitous use of bling

Sunglasses are at the top of my list of fun kids’ accessories – it’s a riot to watch my three year-old push her sunglasses on top of her head "just like Mommy." But fashion aside, sunglasses on kids are really about protection and My First Shades delivers just that. These basic glasses (no bling, no star shapes) are designed to fit a child’s face snugly yet comfortably, whether a newborn or a grade-schooler. They’re shatter-proof (good thing!) and you can drop in a prescription lens if need be. Most importantly, they stay in place with  a stretchy neoprene band....

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