Month: June 2008

Put Another Shrimp on the Barbie

With my kids loving their play kitchen (hello, best investment ever!) I’m getting a little tired of the heavy spaghetti and meatball dinners. How about a little summer fare, like this adorable BBQ Grill set found at Nico & Zoe? Almost identical to the real thing (except for the not-so-kid-friendly fire part) this adorable play set is a must-have addition to any budding chef’s kitchen. Made in Thailand using eco-friendly plantation wood and brightly colored non-toxic inks, the veggie skewers are probably almost as healthy for them to munch on as the real thing. Not that you would have kids that might...

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A Kids’ Keepsake Kids Keep Themselves

Admittedly, I’m terrible at keeping a record of what’s going on with my kids other than the pictures and stories I post on my own personal blog. But now that my daughter is old enough to draw her own pictures and tell her own stories, I couldn’t help but be totally fascinated by the This is Me journal. Created by mom Carrie Lundell, this archival quality journal combines most 3-8 year olds’ favorite pastimes — drawing, writing, creative thinking, and collecting — and allows them to use all of those to capture what they’ve done, seen, and experienced throughout...

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Dapple: Natural Dish Soap That Works. Naturally.

BPA-free baby bottles and pacifiers. Natural wood teethers. Organic baby food. We think a lot about what goes into the mouth of babes, but what about the soaps we use to clean off those bottles, nipples, spoons or pacifiers? Exactly. Fortunately two moms were one step ahead of me on this stuff and created Dapple, an all-natural, biodegradable dish washing soap that specifically works on milk, formula and baby foods without using dangerous chemicals. Best of all it cleans the gunk off the rest of your dishes too. I loved the clean scent of the dishwashing liquid and that...

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A Band of Bamboo

By this pregnancy, number three, I’m pretty familiar with the plethora of maternity belly bands that allow we lucky pregnant women to continue wearing our regular shirts. Or, if you’re me, make the bizarrely short maternity shirts actually cover the top of your pants. Unfortunately I’m also familiar with the lovely belly itch that’s brought by tight clothing on my stomach. But when I tried on the Bamboo Belly Band found at Bambino Land, I couldn’t even tell it was on. Made from a combo of bamboo and just enough spandex, this band is super soft and fitted enough...

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42 Rules for Working Moms. Culled Down from 8 Million, Perhaps.

It’s challenging enough trying to figure out what to do with a screaming baby who requires your undivided attention 24-hours a day, but add a job (and blog reading and spousal attention and Project Runway) into the mix and you’ve got a whole other ballgame. If you’re a working mama, either by choice or by necessity, you’ll want to check out 42 Rules for Working Moms, editor Laura Lowell’s smart new resource that offers tips and support in, you guessed it, 42 quick and easy-to-read chapters all written by working moms in the trenches. Of course, we can’t help...

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What’s Cool About Britax Car Seats? For One, the Names.

A few readers have recently written to ask us our favorite car seat reco, and right up there at the top is definitely Britax. These are like the Volvo of car seats – safe, well-built, thoughtfully designed, and worth every penny. I’ve been very happy with my Boulevard for the past two years (although a self-cleaning function would have been nice when we went through my daughter’s carsick phase). It was the first model with side impact protection which, like all safety features, you’re glad to have but are hoping never to use. It’s big, it’s comfy, it converts...

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Yummi Glass: Fragile. (Must be Italian.)

I’ve had my eye on the lovely, timeless glass jewelry from artist Allison Overbeke since I first found her showing her beautiful work at Bendel’s. (See how cool I am that I just shorten it to Bendel’s?) Her company is aptly named Yummi Glass and I’m craving one of her delicious Italian hand-blown glass creations to dangle around my neck this summer. A simple glass circle necklace, especially in gold, would look awesome with a tan should I ever get one. But I could also imagine splurging on one of the more elaborate creations like the dragonfly necklace, were...

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How to Buy an American Quilt

I am lucky enough to have a mom who slaved over handmade quilts for each of my daughters, creating two very special one-of-a-kind heirlooms. I’m doubly lucky that they’re not some cheesy grandma quilts, but exquisite, modern, and very very me. For the rest of you however, no, you can’t borrow my mother. But you can check out the work from Amherst mom and artist Rebecca Fricke of Bedscape Designs. Her handmade baby quilts are just spectacular, incorporating playful color and bold graphics while still retaining a timeless feel. Rebecca makes them in grown-up sizes too – I’m in...

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JetHeads: Helping Kids Sleep Better On the Plane Without Benadryl

After reading a New York Times article about how often airplanes wash their blankets and pillows  and what exactly can be found in those seat back pockets…shivers. I may just have to reconsider my status as confirmed non-germophobe. And I may have to reconsider how excited I get when the airplane has one pillow left and they toss it my way. How brilliant that someone – a mom, of course – finally invented a disposable pillow case for airplane pillows. Called JetHeads, they’re inexpensive at $4.95 for a two-pack and they’re made of that soft fabric that those airline...

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Greeting Cards You Can Wear

In our digital age, receiving an actual real live handwritten greeting card goes a really long way. So imagine how it feels to get a handwritten greeting shirt instead.  Meet Greeteez, a new company which is apparently in the business of making moms (and grandparents and aunts and uncles) look super thoughtful. The 100% organic cotton t-shirt has a coated design it all ready for you to go to town on with the included Sharpie and handy stencil–particularly helpful if you failed handwriting class like me. Even cooler, have your kids scratch away on it. Pop your creation in the mail with the special envelope and you’ve...

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Top Chef Comes to Your Kitchen. Yes, Sam Too.

Yesterday, both my kids’ daddy and my own daddy opened up their brand new copies of Top Chef: The Cookbook. Which is why I held this review until today. Publisher Chronicle Books always does an outstanding job with their titles and this canvas-covered tome is no exception. If your Wednesday nights are committed to Bravo, you’ll find the Top Chef cookbook most excellently captures all the fun, all the style, all the energy of the show – the cover is even wrapped in the same canvas as the chefs’ jackets. Between the covers you’ll be privy to great behind-the-scene...

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Squirrely

Honestly, I didn’t understand the appeal of the pull toy until after I had kids. I was like so, they just….pull it? Sure enough, yes. And sure enough, kids go nuts for them. Nuts being the perfect segue for what may be the most beautiful pull toy maybe ever: The squirrel pull toy from artist Kate Steurenagle found at CMP favorite shop Mahar Dry Goods.Kate brought one of her sketches to life with paper maché, wood and non-toxic (of course!) paint and the result is a toy that will look stunning on a nursery shelf until the baby is...

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Wall Papers

When you spent every waking moment of your pregnancy searching for crib sheets in just the right shade of persimmon, and tormenting yourself over the weave of the nursery rug, you’re not going to put up some poster on the wall, right? All the better if the artwork of your dreams is handmade and one-of-a-kind. Or better yet, a custom job. That’s just what you’ll get if you go halfway around the world to Australian mum Monique Gaspar’s art studio – or at least to her website, Look at the Wall. Monique’s whimsical pandas, swinging monkeys and yawning hippos...

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E-Cards That Don’t Make You Cringe As You Press Send

For those of you who woke up this morning thinking Oh [your favorite expletive], I forgot to send a Father’s Day card! we’ve got you covered with the hilarious free e-cards from Rattlebox. Click over now and you have a whole selection of honest-to-goodness, very funny e-cards, hold the bad animation. That’s because the two women behind the company are actual film and tv producers who employ stock video and film clips and decent enough writers. Actual production values! In a free e-card! Who’d have thunk it. I’m partial to the black and white Father’s Day option that has...

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Reigning Men, Hallelujia

We could tell you that instead of set of boxers this Father’s Day, a better idea would be to have gotten your guy a pair of organic cotton fair trade drawstring trousers for lounging around the house, from the very stylish UK shop Love Eco. And that would be true. But we could also come right out and admit that we just really, really, really wanted to post this picture. Hope you’re all having a great Father’s Day, cool parents. –Liz and...

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Born Free, Free of BPA.

Check out any of the mom message boards and you’ll find members bragging about having used Born Free bottles since 2006 before everyone knew the dangers of BPA or knew how to pronounce Phthalates. As for the rest of us–me included– we’re now freaking out a little about what our kids were sucking on for the first year or so of their lives. Invented by dads, Born Free bottles are pretty smart. They’ve got softer nipples than most and a venting system (similar to Dr. Browns) that yes, is a pain to wash out, but sure beats having a...

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Summer Sling

The SolarVeil sling from Mamma’s Milk has taken up permanent residence in my pool bag, right next to the sunscreen. Because my baby boy has that pale porcelain skin that absolutely must be shielded from the sun, but with two older kiddos who adore the pool (okay, I do too), staying inside all summer is not a reasonable option. This summer sling is made with light gauzy fabric that’s not only perfect for warmer days, it provides amazing SPF 70+ protection – above and beyond the sunscreen that I still insist on applying. I can nurse completely discreetly with...

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Read This Right After the Kids Draw the Line Down the Middle of the Back Seat

Brothers and sisters? They fight. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes even when they’re grown-ups. (ahem) So when you find a book that makes you want to not fight, you better cuddle up and read it out loud to those darling children of yours. One City, Two Brothers, written by Chris Smith and illustrated by Aurelia Fronty, is a must-read for siblings, especially when read to by mommies who are siblings. For the kids, it’s the story of two brothers who spat like weasels until they hear a parable told by wise King Solomon. For the adults, it’s also the story...

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Nursery Themes That Don’t Suck, Even Though They Sound Like They Might

If you like the idea of traditional themes for a nursery like firefighters, astronauts, or fairies, you might have found that a lot of what you’re seeing out there isn’t quite your cup o’ tea. We’ll let you in on one of our secrets: If you want to avoid the cheese, go retro. I’m totally digging on the kids vintage wall art, decor and clocks from the Sew Vintage collection at Dolce Mia. Even something like circus animal decor suddenly seems fun and fresh when the tigers and giraffes look like something from grandma’s day. I really like that...

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Education.com: Just Tell Your Kids It’s Called FunStufftoDo.com

Summer can be l-o-n-g when the weather is bad, the kids are bored and I refuse to turn the television on to pass the time. Thankfully, I have just discovered hundreds of activities on education.com. With a neat feature that lets me choose activities for kids based on grade level (pre-k through 12) I am assured that I’ll pick something that won’t have my kids whining about baby games. My oldest often complains that I try to turn everything into “a learning opportunity” so I’m most happy that the site’s activities teach kids something without being so blatantly obvious...

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