Month: March 2009

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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