Month: April 2009

Me Gusta Spanglish Sing-Along!

I know less Spanish than the average eighth grader, so I was a tad skeptical about my ability to review a CD called Spanglish Sing-Along! (Exclamation point theirs.) I shouldn’t have worried. Miami’s Spanglish Wrangler, aka Will Thomas, moves between English and Spanish effortlessly, making it possible for even this gringa and her ninos to follow along with the lyrics. Accompanied by his acoustic guitar, the Spanglish Wrangler’s lyrics take center stage. Unlike a typical “learn Spanish” CD, Spanglish Sing-Along! helps kids (and adults) remember Spanish words and phrases through music, something I totally understand as someone who grew...

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Ring-ing in spring

At the top of my go-to accessory list are big chunky rings, mostly because they’re cheap, fun, and my kids can’t do to them what they’d do to, say, a pearl necklace. If you like the big ring look but aren’t really into the costumey stuff, take a look at the one-of-a-kind handmade rings from Bel Kai Designs. Their sterling silver rings featuring sweet flower prints are the perfect compromise between lovely and loud. Check out the Cherry Blossom (pictured) or the oval Pink Blossoms (love those colors!). And while they’re bigger than your simple bands or solitaires, they’re...

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Growing an organic garden: Sasha, Malia, and now your kids

Last week, I used Earth Day as an opportunity to introduce my girls to the idea of being good to the planet and all that other stuff we’re supposed to do as (mostly) responsible moms. A week later, the organic heirloom tomatoes we planted from the My First Organics seed kit we received are just starting to sprout, and now the fun really begins. The kits comes with everything you need to grow your own organic veggies, lettuce or herbs — just like the Obama girls! as I told my kids. Only we’re using our windowsill until we can...

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This is what happens when Star Wars geeks grow up and become parents

Last week my daughter had a playdate with a four-year-old friend and it blew my mind that he was drawing Darth Vader and Princess Leia figures on the sidewalk with chalk. (Actually, I was less blown away by the Princess Leia which was pretty easy with those big ovals where her ears might be.) It seems the next generation has discovered my generation’s sci-fi classic, and if you need any proof, check out the awesome child’s Star Wars cape at Little Dudes Only. Also check out the number of boys in your kid’s school named Luke. I totally love...

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Mother’s Day gifts that give back to one of the best dot-orgs of all

I love the idea of a Mother’s Day gift this year that gives back in some way, and I especially like the idea of giving back to the March of Dimes, a cause near and dear to our hearts since the recent loss of a prominent blogging mom’s little girl to complications related to her premature birth. Red Envelope is on the ball this year with that very thing, offering 10% of the purchase price of any item to the March of Dimes when you order through this link. There’s an entire selection of Mother’s Day gifts that we’d...

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Personalized stationery where you’d least expect it.

Personalized stationery is one of those things I never think to buy for myself, but when I get it as a gift I tear through it. So when I was looking to maybe be a little proactive and refill the stash, I was shocked to find what it cost — or at least the stuff I like. I guess I have expensive taste like that. I’m delighted to see that Shutterfly is now expanding their line past photo cards and offering personalized designer stationery at very reasonable prices. They’ve collaborated with stationery bigwigs like Boatman Geller and Stacey Claire...

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Cool budget tip: Make your own popsicles

Now that the weather is actually starting to be spring-like in these parts, the kids are asking for ice cream. So I was thinking that maybe this year, to save a bit of cash, we’d do more delicious frozen treat making instead of delicious frozen treat buying, which got me on a hunt for cool popsicle molds. I found what I was looking for from a company called Tovolo which sells at a lot of professional chef stores as well as Amazon. There’s a funky shooting star popsicle mold, the nostalgic favorite rocket pop mold (above) and a groovy pop...

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Springing for a Kit + Lili dress

Last fall, we couldn’t wait for the weather to cool off so that we could dress our girls in the gorgeous Kit + Lili winter line. Now it’s May and we’re itching to save our pennies so we can get our mitts on their new girls’ dresses for spring. With trademark bright colors and bold prints, plus styles ranging from shoulder-tie sundresses to puff sleeve A-lines, these are the dresses that little girls can live in all summer long. Splurge on one dress and you’ll get a whole ton of use out of it depending on whether you pair...

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Better living through less chemistry – natural cleaning products from Better Life

One of the first things I did when I started working again was hire a house cleaner, so when I needed to test Better Life’s natural cleaning products, I called in the pros to try them out. Of course my request was initially met with skepticism by my professional house cleaners: Evidently lots of their clients hand them all-natural products and the results are never quite as good as the chemical stuff, as most of us know. But with Better Life’s amazing smelling What-Ever! all natural all-purpose cleaner, they liked it! They really liked it! What-Ever! (exclamation point theirs)...

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Blooming adorable

I’ve suddenly become completely infatuated with bloomer sets this spring for dressing baby girls on special occasions, and at the top of my list is the gorgeous Petal V Dress from Go Gently Baby. I’d like to say I’m being practical by purchasing a pricey outfit that’s more versatile than your average “we have to bring the baby to a wedding” dress. The lovely organic cotton and bamboo dress can be worn alone, or over leggings or jeans as your daughter gets a bit bigger. And the bloomers (shown) are so beautiful on their own with that little ruffle,...

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s super [your kid’s name here]!

There are lots of cute birthday invites out there–heck, we feature tons of them right her–but we have not seen anything quite like the custom comic book invitations from Egba Originals. The company will create an entire comic book starring your child as the hero, and even incorporate the theme of your party into the storyline. How incredibly cool is that? They even come packaged in plastic sleeves, just like real collectible comics. As you’d imagine, this is not a service that comes either cheaply, or quickly. Figure somewhere between $15-$25 each (yes each) and about a month to...

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Nothing says I love you quite like recycled cardboard

I love the idea of making a small Mother’s Day gift (or really, any gift) more special through presentation, so these heart gift boxes caught my eye right away. Made from recycled cardboard and then laser cut to look cool, the inside is about 4″x3″ making it these eco-friendly gift boxes just the right size for something shiny. Or something chocolatey. –Liz Find these recycled cardboard gift boxes at Cardboard Safari, and something to fill it with on our Mother’s Day Gift Guide – less than two weeks...

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The perfect corsage for Mother’s Day and beyond

I have always hated corsages; they’re stiff and poke-y and awkward and dated, and they start drooping and looking sad almost immediately. But a brooch made to look like a beautiful flower? That’s a concept I can get behind. We featured a leather flower brooch in this year’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide, but if it’s possible, I may love these felted ones from Kireina Paper even more. The Bloesem Brooch (pictured) is perfect for both conservative and fashion-forward moms alike, with its pretty two-tone pink petals and deep green leaves. I could see wearing this pinned on the lapel...

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Affordable baby gifts that look like they’re not

I love buying artwork for baby gifts, but the idea of actually taking the time to get something framed is a bit of pain in the postpartum rear. So fortunately CMP (and pretty much every design blog) fave Binth Studio has a new line of wonderful framed prints, at prices that would make you think they’re not. You can imagine why the single letter alphabet prints are hugely popular already, especially at just $28 each. Man, you can hardly get a single letter alphabet onesie for that these days. But I also love their line of $38 city prints...

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Brittain Road: The road to cute tees

There’s no shortage of cute children’s tees out there; we ought to know, considering how many of them we’ve featured. But we’re still always on the lookout for cool new kids’ t-shirt designs that make us sit up and take notice, like the super-cute felt and fabric appliqued tees from Brittain Road. These creative, hand-stitched designs incorporate details that elevate them far beyond the typical tee — like the little buttons on the Mary Janes tee and the propeller on the Orange Submarine tee.  You can get them as tees or onesies as an extra-special gift for a new...

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Sweet knees and elbows and cheeks and bum.

The best part of bathing my baby is breathing him in afterward — but it does call into question exactly what’s in those bubbles and that bum cream anyway. The skin care artisans at Sweet Knee keep no secrets — all of their carefully-selected yummy ingredients are spelled out clearly and are recognizable even to a sleep-deprived mama.  I especially love the Oatmeal Cookie Bath, and the Bun Glaze, made with marshmallow leaf and calendula flowers. But what really sets Sweet Knee apart is their focus on humanity at large. They consider growing methods and worker conditions when choosing...

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Regifting the gift bag

I have been a fan of gift bags for a long time, because I truly suck at wrapping gifts. And, we all know the dirty little secret when it comes to gift bags — what comes around goes around. And around and around. That’s why I love these Traveling Gift bags from Celery Street. They’re made from cheery 100% cotton fabrics and each comes with a gift tag that travels with the bag to proudly show where else it’s been. Now, instead of feeling like a tightwad when you reuse a gift bag, you’ll feel like an eco-friendly, earth...

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Ballerina girl

Aside from good calves and bad toes, my many years of ballet training gave me a huge soft spot for ballet flats, especially when they come in mini versions for little girls. I nearly squealed when I saw these silver baby ballet slippers from Cheeky Little Soles. Like most soft leather booties, they’ve got a non-slip sole and lots of elastic to ensure that they stay on. But unlike the others I’ve seen, these have a flexible sole and truly look like real ballet shoes which is fantastic for crawlers and early walkers. I’m just hoping they don’t inspire...

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Stick it; stick it good

Why give a goodie bag full of useless plastic toys that will break five minutes after you give them out, when for the same price you could give each party attendee three sheets of personalized stickers that go with your party’s theme? At least that’s how I see it. Frecklebox is now offering personalized stickers in a variety of designs; I’m a fan of the pirate stickers (shown here), but my daughter has already called dibs on “I Got the Blues,” and “Later, Skater” has been declared “way cool” by my son. And what kid doesn’t like stickers made...

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Mother’s Day gifts for the mother of all mothers (or at least the mother of you)

Holy weepy grandmother – I just discovered the personalized plates from Aedriel Dixon’s etsy shop and if that’s not going to have Nana or Bubbie or Gamma flying through the Kleenex Designer Florals on Mother’s Day then I don’t know what will. These ceramic plates feature sweet little blue or black birds, and a coordinated painted rim. And because they’re all painted by hand, Aedriel can customize them with a nickname, the grandkids’ names, or a short message of love right in the center. The personalized plates take about two weeks to create and ship so best to order...

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