Month: March 2009

More of Me Maternity – The must-have maternity dress for 2009

When I was pregnant, I was always amazed about how little I felt like myself. Yes, having babies is a beautiful, glorious thing, but darn if I didn’t feel like a beached whale stuffed in some boring tenty t-shirt. Oh how I longed to feel like former sexy(er) self. I’m guessing that’s what inspired mom and designer Jessica Boulanger to create her More of Me Maternity line. Her sophisticated and amazingly comfortable maternity dresses are pieces I’d pick off the rack on any given day, baby in my belly or not. My personal fave, the “Take it to the...

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Emphatical Piratical: Kids music that strikes pirate gold

Pirates may be lawless, mean and smelly, but I’m having a blast listening to the buccaneering rock of Portland, Oregon’s Captain Bogg & Salty on their new CD, Emphatical Piratical. And fortunately, instead of telling my kids to rob and pillage, they’ve taught them some of the more practical things one needs to learn for a life at sea with songs like Don’t Drink Seawater and Never Smile at a Crocodile. The first few songs remind me of the fast beats and choral chants of a Dropkick Murphys show minus the bodies hurtling through the air. But these hardened...

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Thank your lucky stars

With my mother-in-law the faithful member of her local Irish Club who makes Irish Potatoes from scratch every year, you can bet we’re pretty big on the Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. But while I might slug the green beer and and chow down on corn beef and cabbage, I still refuse to give in to the one-off holiday wear for my kids. I’d much rather snag something fun and green that they can easily wear the other 364 days a year, like this cool green star children’s hoodie from Boden. Still fairly festive with bright green cotton, this sweatshirt...

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Just when you thought there was nothing new in the world of baby wash cloths

Since falling in love with muslin swaddling blankets, I’ve donated most of my daughter’s other blankets to my kids’ play bin. So when Jessica Burros of the shop Bambino Land told me she was designing muslin wash cloths, I scrambled to get my hands on them — and they did not disappoint. If you can manage to wean yourself off terry, you’ll find the super soft muslin squares are perfect for wee baby bums, but are still large enough to work for older kids. They’re extremely durable but get softer after each wash, so unless you’ve got a washcloth...

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Cloud shelf, silver lining included

What do I see when I look at this cloud? I see a floor free from clutter. The metal Cloud Shelf is the perfect place to stash toys, books and even my son’s prized Spongebob baseball hat. It’s deep enough to actually put stuff on at 6 inches, the lip keeps books from falling off, and a hook wrangles jackets or backpacks below. Grab a few – they’d look great on a wall at varied heights so create a stylish and functional storage solution for your kids’ bedroom, a playroom, or any room where your kids, and all their...

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Sarah Waldo – 21st century organics for girls

If ever there were a sign that organics had bypassed the crunchy crowd and hit the mainstream, it’s the label Sarah Waldo Organics. The sweet, girlie spring line from Providence designer Sarah Waldo are as lovely as anything in any high-end department store. Only with the DNA of something handmade on the Haight. The thick, yummy box pleat Jackie Jacket with would be adorable over any Easter dress but for everyday summer wear I’m partial to the the swingy summer sundresses and skirts and the cutest seersucker long shorts. I also adore the organic girls nightgown (splurge alert!) shown...

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Oh, hello cutest tooth fairy pillows ever in the history of tooth fairy pillows

If I were the tooth fairy, I would not be all fair and diplomatic with my reward system. No ma’am. I would give the most money to the toothless child who lured me in with the cutest tooth fairy pillow and made the biggest production out of the whole lost tooth thing. What can I say, I’m a diva tooth fairy. That said, extra-high priority would go to the children with their former canines and bicuspids housed in the little pocket on the back of the totally adorable elephant tooth fairy pillows from Letter M Design. Designer Melody Miller...

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The luck of the mallow

St Patrick’s day treats don’t exactly inspire me the way say, Halloween or Valentine’s Day treats do. And frankly, some of them just plain freak me out. (I’m looking at you, Shamrock Shake.) So leave it to our friends at The Nibble to point us towards a really cool idea: Green, gourmet marshmallows courtesy of mom-run Manna Mallows. The Paddy’s Mint marshmallows are kosher and vegetarian (no pork gelatin!) flavored with natural mint and drizzled with Ghirardelli Chocolate, making them a nice light alternative to clover-shaped cookies covered in gloppy green frosting. Share them with the kids if you...

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Whereby hard-living rock god meets furry woodland creature

It’s hard to resist a designer whose bio proclaims that she draws inspiration from “the intersection between geeks and guitars.” Hey – that’s us, too! Except for the designer part. So yeah, we fell instantly in love with San Francisco artist/designer Willo O’Brien and her fun, quirky shop, WilloToons. There are all sorts of goodies on board (check out the bacon card) but I’ve got to give it up for my favorite of all: The rock squirrel kids and baby tee. It’s everything you want in a kids’ t-shirt: Cute, funky, and made in the USA. There’s some joke...

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Lillebaby EveryWear Carrier – Have it four ways

I suppose you could say that since having kids, I’ve channeled my shoe obsession into a sling and baby carrier obsession. But with the new Lillebaby EveryWear Carrier, I can retire at least four carriers. Four! This ergonomically designed baby carrier grows with your child. It allows you to hold a newborn baby facing in or out, and then, as your baby grows into a toddler, you can convert the carrier to allow your child to ride on your hip or back. If you add in the sling converter, you actually can hold an infant in a reclined position —...

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Childrens rugs get a much needed makeover

Modern children’s rugs are that one item that hasn’t quite proliferated at the same speed as other modern nursery decor. Mostly your rug choices for the kids’ room are stripes, butterflies, or um . . . stripes. But I’ve just discovered the really lovely children’s rugs from artist Katherine Yaphe at Oliver Yaphe and suddenly my kids’ floor is crying out for a makeover. The hand-knotted wool area rugs feature charming motifs like buttons, pears, or the word “love” highlighted in the alphabet, all using clean colors and fun squiggly lines. I particularly love the button and heart-adorned family...

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Kids slippers with values parents love too

Oh how I love the adorable children’s slippers from Satch and Sol. But more importantly, my daughters love them. They don’t know that these soft slippers are handmade from felted wool and suede soles by a fair trade artisan cooperative. They don’t know that the company is super eco-friendly from the natural berry and wood dyes right down to the recycled packaging. They certainly don’t know that owner and mom Susan Bell goes so far as to pay for carbon offsets to cover overseas shipping and energy use. What my daughters do know is that every night, the earth...

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The Modern Baby Company: Designer baby bedding you can actually afford

It’s so nice these days that a modern mama has more choices when it comes to nursery bedding and accessories– even more so than I did nearly (eep) four years ago when I became a parent. And with the proliferation of all this great mod decor, you know what that means? Yep, better prices. We loved Quilt-Baby when we found them a year ago, and now I think I love them more as The Modern Baby Company which offers a much wider range of US-made baby gifts and decor, all about 50% less than comparable items from the high-end...

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Get your kicks, Graffeeti-style

I used to draw on my sneakers as a child. It drove my mother crazy. Guess what my kids do with their sneakers? (I think my mom put them up to it.) With Graffeeti shoes, though, kids can color away. The special markers work together with the shoe’s surface like a white board– write on, wipe off, again and again. Each pair of customizable kids’ sneakers comes with six colored pens, so your kids can change their shoes with their mood. Plus, I love that the Graffeeti founders are committed to donating a portion of each shoe purchase price...

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All hail the chore board

I’m all for making sure my kids earn their keep around our house, but I have yet to find a system that we can actually stick with on a consistent basis. That is, until I found The Chore Board. This genius chore chart created by mom Sarah Malarkey features a magnetic board set up like a board game. You start by working with your kiddos to determine what constitutes a chore and what they will earn at the end, all of which you mark on the board using the included dry erase marker. Each participating kid picks a magnetic...

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Oh, so that’s what little girls and boys are really made of

There are so many tees out there attributing characteristics to a kid– rock star, diva, chick magnet– that probably better reflect the parents’ aspirations than any actual aptitude on the part of the pint-sized t-shirt wearer. I have no doubt that we’re raising a whole generation of tech geeks who are going to have those “rock star” onesie photographs in their baby books. As an alternative, check out what dad-run Sandbox Threads is doing with their Build-a-Kid onesies and tees. Pick up to five words that describe your child from a list of nearly fifty, and they’ll put it...

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The hightops for high waters

It may still be the beginning of March (and the beginning of Daylight Savings Time – whoopeeee!) but April showers are on the horizon. I love the idea of getting my kids rainboot ready with a pair of these fantastic new Converse-style hightop rainboots from Trumpette. Oh sure they come in bright red and navy blue. But with black in the running, really, do you even have a choice? –Liz Find the Johnny Sneaker Rainboots online at...

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Going greener for 5k. (Not that you wouldn’t do it for free.)

Last year my son noticed that snack time at school meant 20 plastic cups thrown away every day. He suggested recycling bins for all the classrooms and made a poster encouraging other kids to go green. (I’m so proud!) That kind of hands on approach is just the kind of thing that Just Do One is all about. Just Do One is an online community whose message is simple: Doing just one little thing, like using reusable canvas bags at the store, or turning off the lights when you leave the room, can make a very big difference to...

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Sun protection clothing? Almost that time again.

I’ll do whatever it takes to help my kids avoid the pain of a sunburn– and avoid me having to listen to them whine about it– but even so, sometimes I forget to reapply sunscreen or miss a spot. My bad. UV Skinz sun protection swimwear is a great insurance policy against those burns that happen in spite of parental vigilance.  No chemicals, no lotions, just tightly woven material that blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays. Plus some of the designs are really cute and comfortable, with their children’s swimwear making use of that layered look that’s so...

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Where tea time and bath time come together.

I dug into my Mother’s Day stash of bubble baths recently only to realize that they are filled with tons of artificial chemicals and additives. Hardly a relaxing thought. Cyan Bonacci must have felt the same way since she created Lee-Lai Bathing Teas, which really are all natural. Although A Little Lovin’ Calendula Milk Bath is technically for babies, I decided that if the blend of lavender buds, oats, calendula flowers and milk powder can relieve diaper rash and soothe a baby’s sensitive skin, it would probably work wonders on own winter-ravaged body. Behold, it did. Plus it smelled...

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