Month: February 2009

Pink baby clothes even I can adore

With my newest daughter’s wardrobe full of gender neutral green and yellow hand me downs, I’m always on the look out for adorable pink baby clothes, preferably clothes that aren’t covered in cupcakes and rainbows. Nothing against either of those things, but the layers of sugary cuteness can get to be a bit much. So that’s why I’m digging the pink elephant onesie by Smafolk found at Pajama Squid. The Danish-based kids’ clothes designer combines unique retro prints and bright fabrics which results in a cool look that says “girl” without going overboard on the girlie. And for $15 (hurry, it’s on...

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Quick! Read this book!

When we enter this insane world of parenting, we become masters of multitasking. Personally, I’ll do anything to get more out of the limited hours in the day, so of course I’m drawn to books like The Experts’ Guide to Doing things Faster: 100 Ways to Make Life More Efficient in part because I can read the bite-size, magazine-y chapters while doing other things. The next in the excellent Experts’ Guide series by Samantha Etttus, quick chapters from interesting experts and A-listers range from how to make your computer run faster (thanks Geek squad) to how to stock your...

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Smashies are a hit

Back when my daughter was a toddler, I’d stroll the aisles of the supermarket and get incredibly angry. As a working mom, I wanted nothing more than to buy convenient snack packs of her favorite foods, but then I’d look at the nutrition labels and walk away in frustration. As we all know, the organic companies finally did catch on to the kids’ snack pack craze, and there are now hundreds of choices when we want both convenience and nutrition. One of the better options is Smashies. These little packets of smashed fruit are both portable and neat. Kids...

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Forgot the valentines? No you didn’t!

You didn’t forget that the class party is on Friday and you’re baking cupcakes and, by the way, your kid needs 24 cards to share with her friends. Of course you didn’t; you were just waiting for us to tell you where to find the best printable Valentine’s Day cards, so that you can whip them out last minute. We like this heart balloon stationery from Little Brown Pen(above), which comes in different sizes so you can print your own tiny cards now, and even full-size stationery later. [ed note: They’re now known as the Paris Print Shop] Cool...

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Secret Agent 23 Skidoo: Old school meets preschool

Mommy, why you shakin’ your booty?, my son asked a few minutes after we popped in Easy, the 2008 release from Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Never mind where a four-year-old learns such language, Easy is one cool hip-hop CD with music that isn’t watered down for kids. An Asheville, North Carolina hip-hop artist who once rapped for adults, 23 Skidoo now mixes a hip hop beat with reggae, blues, rap and funk to weave fantastical stories about kids who turn on their imagination to travel far beyond their bedrooms. I loved hearing the positive messages woven throughout the album:...

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Azul Beach Hotel – Putting the word “vacation” back into family vacation

When my husband got his first vacation in about three years last month, we decided to leave the cold (yes, even Atlanta has been cold!) and head South. And then we remembered we had three kids under 4. Whoops. We figured we’d be relegated to chasing them around all week long and turning in super early. But that was far from the case when we were invited to check out Azul Beach Hotel, an intimate inclusive gourmet resort located on the Riviera Maya in Cancun, Mexico. At only about 20 minutes from the airport, it’s a quick ride to...

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Hey, we’re Etsy’s guest curators!

Here’s something way cool: Check out the Etsy blog, The Storque starting today and you’ll catch editors Kristen and Liz as this week’s guest curators. Whoo! It was so fun pulling together a collection of our favorite nursery art found on Etsy–minus the part when we were weeping about the hundreds of amazing pieces we didn’t have room to include. (If you have an Etsy artist you love, feel free to let us know in the comments at the Storque. We always adore reader tips.) And hey, if you’re visiting via Etsy, welcome to our humble abode. Grab yourself...

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Have imagination, will travel

With three kids, I’ve got to have toys up my sleeve any time we head out or risk the consequences–or better, bring along a fabulous Discovery Tote from Helicopter Studios. Artist and mom Shannon Duffy originally created these imagination inspiring totes for her own kids and then decided to share them with others – hooray for that! She hand stitches different play scenes like a forest (pictured at top) or beach on wool felt, and includes pieces that kids can move around. It all folds up flat in a handy self-contained tote made with beautiful vintage fabrics. Peruse her...

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Wow, like, tooootally modular

I always love finding great design elements for kids’ rooms that weren’t actually meant for kids’ rooms. Take for example the modular Modulari screen system from Brooklyn’s Razortooth Design that I discovered at the International Gift Show this month. The funky interlocking foam panels would make a cool modern partition to divide a changing table from the rest of the nursery. But they’d also look neat hung on a wall over a bed or a couch. Besides, the modular screens are made of safe– and lightweight– EVA foam. Which means the Modulari system can’t possibly bonk your kid on...

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Watch your back, Monet

My daughter is an art fanatic, and would paint until she was blue in the face. Funny, she’s actually done that, with blue hands, arms, clothes…you get the picture. She’s a four-year-old with paints. So when she tried Mahar Dry Goods’ handmade watercolor kit, I don’t think I heard a peep out of her for a solid two hours. Created by self-proclaimed domestic scientist Cynthia Hellman, this set of six non-toxic food safe colors comes packed carefully in a silver tin, complete with a mini-brush, and a few small water color cards. You’ll need to wet the colors a...

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February 10 is here. And if you’ve been following the CPSIA you know what that means.

February 10 is here – the day the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act goes into effect. Sort of. The rules are here to stay but the penalties have been delayed for a year provided manufacturers are not selling any bad stuff with knowledge. If you make stuff for kids and you’re confused about the guidelines, download this CPSC release which offers guidance specifically to small businesses, resellers and crafters (pdf). It spells out quite clearly that items presumed safe include wood, natural materials, yarn, and textiles unless they contain metallic thread, rhinestones, zippers or snaps. Children’s books printed after...

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Throwing in the towel on my old hooded towels

I just checked out one of the designer hooded towels from Tess & Tallulah, and once again I’m smacking myself upside the head and wondering where they were when my babies were cold and wet and drying off with some scratchy, sub-par, threadbare version. The generous size and absorbent terry lining make these towels extra cute for bath time. But with such lovely cotton fabrics on the outside, you’ll want to show them off at the pool or the beach. Let’s just say Massachusetts mom and designer Sarah Good has quite the eye for fabrics. Are they pricey? Eh,...

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All you need is love

I made the mistake of not purchasing “holiday” themed clothing for my daughter and I heard all about it, thanks to all her friends dressed in pumpkin and snowman covered t-shirts. So, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I’m not going to make the same mistake– except I’m playing by my own rules and snatching up a kids’ Recycle Love shirt from CMP fave Tiny Revolutionary. Along with the super cool message, the shirt is made of 100% recycled cotton and printed with safe water-based inks. And instead of being limited to a two week wearing window, she can...

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Buckle Beanie Hats are perfect right now, because winter isn’t going anywhere

Woe to us parents whose kids start to outgrow their winter clothing in February, when stores are stocking their racks with sandals and sun dresses. Thank goodness the mama at Two Seaside Babes in Indiana is still crocheting her très cool Buckle Beanie Hats. I was struck by how her use of thick wool yarn shows off the hat’s pattern, while the visor offers some eye protection and the silver buckle on the side adds a modern, urban touch. But what really made me feel warm inside was learning that this military mama donates one hat to charity for...

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Nothing says “Be Mine” like a little leather

My husband and I decided to forgo the Valentine’s Day gifts this year, mostly because we could use the money to furnish our new basement, and my butt does not need any more chocolate. But when I saw this gorgeous red necklace from Babetteworld, I was sort of wishing I hadn’t told him not to get me anything. British artist Geeta Patel combines beautiful red patent leather, suede, and vintage glass beads to create a stunning unique necklace that’s perfect for a special night out (Valentine’s or not). If red isn’t your thing, then you’ll want to check out...

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The diaper bag that carries everything including the baby

While I swear by slings and baby carriers for making my life easy and my hands free, they are not made for moms who like to carry a diaper bag. And while I’ve tried to stuff a diaper, some wipes, and my keys in those teeny pockets a few of mine come with, for anything other than a quick trip to the grocery store, that just doesn’t cut it. But now that the Kemby Sidekick has entered my life, my hands, arms, and– get this– shoulders are completely free. It’s a unique diaper bag that can actually double as...

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XOXO

So you tried and tried to resist the Valentines Day merchandising but suddenly you’re jonesing for a wee bit of heart-embellished something-or-other for the baby come the 14th. Nothing huge; no $94 satin bolero jacket. Just maybe…something small? Festive? Red? Fear not, for we’ve found the cutest solution at Spoon Sisters in the Valentine’s baby socks. Small? Check. Festive? Check. Red? Check. On sale? Whoo – time to shop. –Liz Find the Valentine’s Day baby socks on sale at Spoon Sisters or if they’re sold out, directly from...

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Sometimes you feel like carrying a diaper bag. And sometimes you don’t.

I’ve seen my fair share of diaper clutches, but none like JJ Cole‘s new Tactic Changing Purse, a diaper changing pad that makes a smart new addition to their super line of parenting products. Unlike the other diaper clutches I’ve used, the Tactic doesn’t fold out into a changing mat, but contains the mat within an easy-to-clean coated fabric bag that’s completely PVC and pthalate free. The zippered back pouch will fit a diaper, a modest wipes case, and a onesie or two (if you’ve got a tiny babe), and the adjustable strap allows you to strap it to...

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“Helvetica” – It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me spell

We love helping our readers discover cool and unusual kid stuff, but we love it even more when they return the favor. Especially when it’s something as cool as the ABC Helvetica Film Poster. Many parents put up sweet ABC art in a nursery. This bold and graphic homage to one of the world’s most popular typefaces is great alternative to the traditional kids’ ABC poster for modernists and design geeks like myself. You may also want to check out the actual documentary. I hear the movie is so much better than the book. -Betsy The Helvetica Film Poster...

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Turning your iPhone into Super Nanny

Okay, before you laugh, allow me to tell you why you totally want the Time-Out Application for your iPhone. You can pre-program this iPhone App for up to four kids with associated time-out durations, and then– this is the beautiful part– you can run them concurrently. Or you can do what always seemed the norm in my house, which is send one kid to time-out and then five minutes later when they’re still there but the sibling has just taken advantage of the quiet to steal a cookie, you can start the second kid in time-out and totally still...

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