Month: March 2009

Some girls have all the luck, as the new Ses Petites Mains line will hereby demonstrate

Are you sick of us oohing and ahhing over our favorite girls’ clothing for spring yet? No? Good. (Yes? Tough.) Because once again, Beth Miles of Ses Petites Mains is wowing us with her new spring/summer collection of spectacularly gorgeous dresses and separates for girls, which now go all the way up to a size 10. In fact, it just may be our favorite collection of hers yet. The plaid slip dress caught my eye first — the breezy style is casually elegant on princess wannabees and their tomboy sisters alike. I’m also loving the 50s inspired rose dress...

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Because the Easter Bunny loves kids with food allergies, too

My daughter is allergic to milk, meaning her Easter basket is usually filled with jelly beans and stickers while her siblings chomp on those awesome chocolate bunnies. So this year, I’m planning ahead and ordering Divvies’ hand-poured, solid chocolate bunny. It looks like the ones most other kids get, only this one has no trace of common food allergens like milk, peanuts, tree nuts and eggs. In fact, you’d never know there is anything different about this bunny until you take a bite — in a good way. With a mouth full of bunny ears right now, I can...

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A website for crafts and activities of the non-lame variety

I like doing crafts with my daughter, but usually one of two things happens: either the craft I come up with is lame (like taping purple things to a piece of paper and writing purple at the top) or the sites I visit for inspiration assume that I have such esoteric craft supplies as light corn starch or googly eyes on hand. But I was recently introduced to Make and Takes. This beautiful kid-friendly craft site has got simple, non-lame crafts and activities, like prettying up your straws, or experimenting with color in a milky rainbow connection, both of...

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Watch your back, Jacques Pepin

My kids have grown up knowing how important food is to me, so it’s not surprising that they are both fascinated by the kitchen. Children’s cookbooks are a frequent gift at birthday and holiday time, but I’m usually very disappointed in how so many of them dumb down of food for kids. We have cookbooks that are written in comic book format. We have cookbooks that feature only meals that look like something else (octopus-shaped hotdogs anyone?). We have cookbooks with dishes that have names so cutesy I feel like hurling. That’s why I was so pleased to find...

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Full of “Yo Ho Ho” but no bottle of rum

As the only boy with two older sisters, my son knows that he may get stuck playing dolls or carrying his toy cars around in a sparkly pink bag. He has always been a good sport when playing dress-up, donning whatever his sisters put on him, but I think it’s high time he had some cool dress-up items of his own. Take this awesome Pirate Supply Kit by California designer Miss Natalie. With a red bandanna on his head, black patch over his eye and Polly the Parrot pin to perch on his shoulder, my son can easily transform...

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Tie dye – get it?

I’ve always wanted to create fancier dyed Easter eggs, but I have the artistic ability of a preschooler (no offense to any preschoolers). Now, with the Tie-Dye Eggs Kit by Maude + Claude, I can create decorated eggs that make me look like an Easter egg dying rock star in front of my kids. Using enclosed pieces of colorful vintage silk neckties that you wrap around the eggs and a little boiling water and vinegar, the patterns come out magically–basically the pattern of the neckties but in a muted and totally unique way. Believe me, this is a fun...

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Spring in bloomers

We hit a stretch of gorgeous weather here in Atlanta and aside from making me run out for a pedicure and shave my legs (ha!), these balmy spring days have me packing up all the long sleeved onesies and swapping in the warmer weather baby clothes. My top pick thus far is the beautiful 100% cotton bloomer set found at Ginger and Scallion (love that name!). Made in the USA by designer Aiko Decelles of Dan Dan, this delicate, beautifully tailored set is adorable together, but can also be used as separates; pair the cute floral top with a...

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Hip Hop Speaks to Children (and their parents)

I thought I knew what hip hop was, but after picking up the kids’ CD-and-book set Hip Hop Speaks to Children, I have a whole new appreciation for this diverse and often moving art form of “poetry with a beat.” Edited by poet, writer and activist Nikki Giovanni, this children’s book gave my decidedly white family a glimpse of what it means to grow up black in America–not in some dry, textbooky way, but through incredibly creative poetry and a toe-tapping beat. With fifty poems from the likes of Maya Angelou and Ja Jahanes on colorful, full-page illustrations, my...

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Changing pads with personality (yes, there is such a thing)

After changing three little bums on the go, I’ve learned never to underestimate the power of a fantastic diaper changing pad. And while lots of diaper bags these days come with their own matching changing pads, the majority tend to be an afterthought and not the prime feature. The diaper changing mats from Rugged Idea – these I am digging. Created by two smart mamas, the mats have got a lot of thoughtful stuff going on. The nylon makes the pad comfy for baby and easy to wipe off (always key) while the fleece underside is rugged, soft, and fairly...

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Sending out an S.O.S.

There’s nothing quite like those halcyon days with the new baby; the staying awake for hours on end, the endless crying, and — my personal favorite — the occasional complaint from a (usually childless) friend that you’ve fallen off the planet. Arm yourself (or your favorite pregnant lady) with the ample ammunition provided by Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Post Partum Cards: 32 postcards are ready for tearing out and mailing, just to let people know that you’re still alive, and still have a sense of humor (even if you don’t have a spare minute). My favorite is the subtle approach,...

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The sun will come out tomorrow

With that first peek of sunshine coming out through the clouds, I head straight for our stash of sunscreen which includes different bottles for faces, bodies, and mommies. Thanks to Azur Natural Sunscreen, I can use one bottle for all us and all our parts. This natural sunscreen uses minerals and anti-oxidant vitamins to protect the skin, so it’s perfectly safe for kids. But the best part is that it does not contain any endocrine disruptors, so your immune system will be taken care of too. One note: Azur sunscreen definitely takes a bit more rubbing to make sure...

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Hot. Dog.

I’m what you would call a dog person. How could I not be when it comes to these adorable plush sausage dogs over at British etsy shop alice apple? These amazing stuffed animals, with their funky, retro fabrics, will stand out amongst any kid’s menagerie of ordinary teddy bears. Candy (shown) is handmade from 1950’s style Swedish linen and a cute felt nose — however, Alice buys fabrics from all over the world so no two are exactly alike, and her merchandise is always changing. She’ll also custom make toy elephants and owls that are so cute I just...

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One big happy family

I may have a family that looks like we come from a 1950s-era sitcom, complete with curly-haired children and a husband who carries a briefcase, but ours isn’t the only recipe for domestic bliss. Acclaimed writer and activist Rebecca Walker delves into the details of modern family units in her new anthology, One Big Happy Family. These eye-opening essays helped me more fully appreciate the commitment that every family makes to staying together.  In fact, I’d say that I’ve got it pretty easy by comparison. The book compiles essays from writers living in a variety of non-traditional situations, facing...

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Making math fun. You heard me.

My oldest is cursed with two parents are good at math. Yes it’s a curse, because while we can help her with her homework, we also tend to get frustrated at the drop of a hat: How can you NOT understand that? Guilty as charged. So I was relieved that she took an instant liking to DreamBox Learning, a subscription online educational math game for K-2 that is above and beyond any other I’ve seen. DreamBox actually adjusts each lesson — the difficulty, the pacing, the information provided to my daughter as she plays — based on her answers...

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Take note

I don’t care how many emoticons you use or how pithy an email you write, nothing will ever take the place of a thoughtful hand-written note. I still get a thrill when I receive an envelope in the mail from a friend, which is why I think the Signature Card series of eco-friendly custom notecards from Haute Note is so cool. Their long, narrow design makes them really distinctive. I love that! And each set of 8 comes with 9 envelopes — they know me so well.  I was drawn to the “preppy with an attitude” look of the...

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It’s a bird! It’s an origami!

I love the idea of decorating your baby’s nursery like it’s a real room and not a clearinghouse for fluffy lambs and bright colored safari animals. Not that I don’t love baby decor, but in this economy, when you’re trying to get the most of the room for a baby that who quickly become a toddler and eventually a kid, why not decorate your child’s room to grow with your child? So instead of the typical wind-up baby mobile playing the tinny, robotic music, we love this gorgeous one-of-a-kind origami mobile from Roundhouse Designs. Using dainty bamboo sticks, wooden...

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Cake mixes for the cake mix haters among us

I’m one of those really obnoxious food snobs who turns up her nose at boxed cake mixes. But here’s my secret: I always kind of wished I was the type of person who didn’t. Mixes provide a lot fewer opportunities for giant messes, and they truly do take less time. But every time I start to take the plunge, I look at the long, scary ingredients list and go back to scratch. Then I found Naturally Nora. These delicious cake mixes and natural frosting mixes look just like the kid-centric cake mixes at the supermarket with the wacky sprinkles,...

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Lola et Moi shakes up an otherwise dreary start to spring

The girls’ collection from Lola et Moi is vibrant, it’s candy colored, and it’s definitely not for wallflowers, people afraid of color, or those who live by the adage that less is more. Which is why it’s so exciting for spring. (Also, you might want to turn down the volume on your computer. Their music is vibrant too.) I’m especially loving designer Rania Tohme’s line of baby clothes which include a collection of baby onesies that you hope your best friend gets you for your shower, and I like a bunch of the girls’ dresses which totally brighten a...

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Candy girl

I’ve been smitten with big chunky rings for years, in fact long before I realized how brilliant they are for moms worried their grabby toddlers breaking the good stuff. So when I saw the selection of vintage button rings at Sprout Studio, I felt like it was a sign for me to stock up.They’ve got super affordable rings for every taste, including my fave, the candy pop ring (the striped one shown at center). And with bright, bold colors making their way back into style this season, these adjustable rings are a great way to hop on a trend...

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Keeping them in the tub without having to sing

I don’t know about you, but I can only reprise the entire Annie soundtrack for so long without wishing for amazing tricks to keep my daughter motivated to scrub. And now, I can. By whipping up amazing dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs) with Jurassic Towel Origami by Alison Jenkins.  The author of the original Little Book of Towel Origami expands her focus to plesiosaurs, pteranodons and saber-toothed tigers in this step-by-step instruction book complete with helpful photos and educational little factoids about each prehistoric creature. All you need is milk cartons, buttons, and you know — towels. – Rita Find Alison...

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