Month: July 2008

A Traveling Parent’s New Very Best Friend in the World: JetSetBabies

Packing for vacation used to be a labor of love, laying out the outfits and the shoes as I anticipated all the fun ahead.  But now that I’m a parent and the airlines limit me to 50 pounds of baggage to boot, packing can be a nightmare. JetSetBabies is my new vacation savior.  This absolutely fabulous service allows you to order baby gear–everything from formula to diapers to first aid kits to beach toys–and have it shipped directly to your destination. When I checked into my hotel, my box o’ goodies was waiting there for me. I didn’t even...

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Wicked Whoopies: No Seriously, It’s Totally G-Rated.

The average American school year is 180 days long, which translates to a whole lot of lunches to pack. It’d only be a number of days before I was sending my kids off to the bus stop with a can of tuna, a can opener and a note saying, “please don’t hurt yourself with this”.  All kidding aside, I know my kids would get pretty tired of my standard lunchbox fare a few weeks into it so here’s one way to make an effort to shake things up: Pack one of these incredibly tasty Whoopie Pies from Wicked Whoopies...

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Keep On Rockin’ the Summer Shoes

I realize that back-to-school is knocking on my door, but considering it stays warm and sunny in our neck of the woods until early October, I’m not sure my daughter will be sporting the brown eather Mary Janes on August 11. So I can blame the weather for my interest in these adorable canvas shoes found at Mama Om boutique, right? Imported from Spain and made with kids in mind (machine washable), these durable shoes are perfect for play or party time. They come in a variety of styles, including versatile solids and my favorites, the cherry ballerina flats....

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Bao Bei Active: Rekindling Every Pregnant Mom’s Love for Yoga Pants

While I’ve clearly arrived at the “Yoga Pants and Gauchos” trimester in my pregnancy, I’m not ready to give up on my style just because even my roomiest maternity clothes are suddenly very uncomfortable. So meet my new best friend, Bao Bei Active maternity wear. Granted, the only active thing I’m doing that warrants a special kind of clothes is chasing after my other two kids, but when did yoga pants ever discriminate? Their line of pants are body hugging without exposing every lump and bump, and the waistline fits perfectly under the belly without making you run to...

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Preschoolers in the Hood

It seems like hooded towels only come adorned with zoo animals and licensed characters, and considering my daughter isn’t into monkeys anymore and I’m not so into Dora, our options are pretty limited. That’s not the case, however, since finding the hooded towels at All About Baby earlier this summer. I’d snatch up a couple of these bright, bold hooded towels to get you through the end of the summer then transition them right over to bath time. They’re the perfect size for the preschool set, absorbent but not too bulky. You know, so when your kid is wrapped...

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Computer Games That Care and Cure

My daughter is already a bit obsessed with computer games and she’s only four. I’m afraid to think about what will happen when she hits the tween years and can do more than just move the mouse around. Thanks to Generation Cures, I’m armed and ready with a site that not only provides families with free online puzzle games and animated stories that actually teach tweens about helping others. So not only are the games hip and fun but the messages they instill are invaluable. Although the site was created with the hopes to raise funds to advance the...

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A Pocket Full of Posies

When your daughter is begging to stick 6,000 glittery clips in her hair, sometimes the plain old barrette doesn’t cut it. So I’ve come up with this motto: “All bling in moderation unless you are Carmen Electra.” And even then I can’t say it’s the greatest choice. But the wool felt clips from Little Pink Posies? They most definitely are. Created by stay-at-home-mom Leigh Houston, these pretty posies feature felt, silk flowers, and rhinestone crystals, without getting too sparkly for my liking. The alligator clips sport just enough gripper to ensure that it stays on, and they come packaged...

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An ABC Book for Minimalists, Modernists, and Just Regular Kids Who Love Animals

Not all of us can afford to hang real pieces of art in our toddlers’ rooms, or spend hours strolling with them through museums gazing at the works of masters.  Fortunately, for less than $15, we can all afford to share this little gem from American Modernist Charley Harper. You may think, Gee, thanks, but we really don’t need another ABC book.  But Charley Harper ABC’s is much more than just another ABC book.  When you sit down to share this chunky board book, you’ll be struck by how realistic and personality-filled the animals are; you can almost hear...

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One Way to Get Out of Painting the Nursery: Wallpapers

We don’t come across too many wallpaper options for nurseries, or at least ones that we’d feel comfortable recommending. With all due respect Peter Rabbit, I love you, but I don’t need a repeating pattern of 60,000 of you that my baby will outgrow before the decade is out. If you’ve got a thing for modern, you’re going to love the cool wallpaper collection from olli + lime. Babygeared carries four fresh, surprising patterns including possibly the best sports theme wallpaper ever. Even future jocks deserve a little style too....

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The Blue Bird of Barrette Organization Happiness

Being that my daughter was a little baldie for a very long time, imagine my excitement when she became obsessed with hair clips. Especially because I am not the type to stick barrettes on a bald scalp with Karo syrup. My enthusiasm was quickly dashed when I realized that keeping track of her hair clips so that we didn’t lose them (or worse, her brother didn’t eat them) was a nightmare. That’s why I’m seriously considering one of the adorable hair clip holders by Details spotted at The Silly Wagon. I’m completely smitten with the sweet felt blue bird that holds a simple...

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High Chairs of the Rich and Totally Lucky

A high chair isn’t exactly the kind of baby gear you think you’ll fall in love with. A crib, perhaps. A diaper bag, absolutely. But that eyesore in the middle of your dining room that you will spend the next 30 or so months of your life scraping dried baby food and milk-soaked Cheerios from? I think of it more as a necessary evil. But then I found the Fresco Loft High Chair from Bloom. And oh, did my heart go thump thump thump. It’s gorgeous and modern, as are all things from Bloom. But more than that, it’s...

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Haute Looks for Kids That Moms East of Hollywood Can Afford Too

It seems like everywhere we look, there’s a super cool new site popping up that hosts limited-time online sample sales of designer kids clothing. First it was Gilt Groupe, and now it’s Haute Look. Essentially, Haute Look emails you about steep online sales that only last a day or two. Their designers are truly excellent–they launch kidswear with Primp on July 30, move onto Splendid Littles on August 5, then hook you up with the likes of of Neige, Jigsaw (shown), and Tea Collection. And the discounts are spectacular. Like in the “how can they get away with it?”...

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Oh How Fast They Grow

When it comes to growth charts, we’re the pencil on the wall type of family. Believe me. It’s not like we love to write on our walls, but we have yet to find a growth chart that is both functional and is something we’d actually hang somewhere other than inside a closet door. But when I saw Tiny Sprouts’ new Grow With Me cloth chart, I thought that it was something I could definitely see putting up in my house. This extremely simple yet brilliant chart is hand embroidered with the text of your choice and includes numbers (in...

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Death to Scrunchies!

I find it hard to believe that there are still scrunchie wearers in the world, unless they have all arrived here via time machine direct from 1991. Better option–wayyyy better option–is Knotheads. I will admit it took me some time to come around on these no-pull, pipecleaner-esque hair accesories, but that may be more a matter of my utter spazziness than any sort of product flaw. The long ones are a most excellent solution for getting long hair off your neck without resorting to ponytails, and the 4-inch ones can stand in for barrettes or elastics. Check the site...

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Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

I love my husband and am perfectly happy giving his name to my children, but just a teeny tiny part of me would like to take some visible credit for pushing them out of my nether regions. (Except for the stretch marks, that is). That’s why I instantly had to grab one of the Mitetees onesies for our third bundle soon to arrive. They’ll combine your last name with your spouse’s ala movie production credits, celebrating both of your roles in the new baby’s arrival. If you’re on baby number two, three, or heck, six, make sure to grab...

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Like a new mom’s group where you never have to get out of your PJ’s

The very best gift you can give a new mother is a group of slightly more-seasoned moms upon whom she can rely. I was lucky enough to have such a thing after my first was born, but I also had times that I was pacing the floor at 2:00 a.m. with a fussy baby feeling more alone than anyone in the history of motherhood has ever been. Donna Holloran is a social worker who runs BABYGROUP, a playgroup designed to help new mothers gain confidence and, let’s face it, competency, in Santa Monica, California. But now the rest of...

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Make My Own Monster: No Sewing Required

In theory, I do love those make-your-own-doll kits, but even with the craftiest of kids (and moms) at the helm, they still scream “homemade” a little louder than you’re hoping for at times. (Oops…there goes Teddy’s eye.) With Make My Own Monster, a cool service from the folks from North American Bear Company, you get the best of both worlds – your kid gets to design his own monster, and someone else gets to make it for you. Purchase of one of their kits and you get a few drawing pages, coloring pencils, and a series of questionnaires to help...

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Back Away From the Stinging Nettles, Young Person

Having grown up in Iowa on a farm, I’m probably at a slight advantage for identifying poisonous plants and snakes. But for the rest of us, or just kids who love all things creepy and crawly and generally nasty, there’s Don’t Touch That! by Jeff Day, who is coincidentally both a pediatrician and an artist.   The colorful cartoon illustrations have my four-year-old daughter pretending to consult this book every time she goes outside. I skimmed the book cover-to-cover in about an hour while waiting for the turkey burgers to grill, noting the sections on snakes and spiders (gah)...

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Bring It.

It’s the invasion of the eco-bags! They’re flooding the market and the truth is, as long as they keep being cute, we’re going to keep posting about them. The latest entry: BYOB from two ever eco-consicous women up in Vancouver, Canada. The ethically-made totes have a nice lightweight but sturdy quality about them, and I really like the size and length of the handles. Definitely a fine substitute for a plastic bag and a half at the local deli. The certified organic collection includes some wonderful designs, from retro poppies to the not-fit-for-PTA-meetings F*ck Plastic. (Although let me tell...

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Barney. The Good One.

A certain purple dinosaur has given this dude a bad name. But I’m thinking Barney Saltzberg is taking the name Barney back (yeah!) with 30 incredible children’s books and four really swell CDs in his arsenal, including his latest musical artistry, Crazy Hair Day. (Did this pacifist just make a weaponry reference in the other Barney’s general direction? I think I definitely did.) Maybe it’s my Austin roots, but I’m really loving the laid back folksy brilliance of this album, which sounds like a relaxed rainy Sunday afternoon–the children’s music equivalence of the great background soundtrack you want to...

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