Month: April 2009

Off to the Hamptons, if only in my dreams

In our house, it’s not Easter that requires a fancy new spring dress, it’s Mother’s Day. I can’t think of a better excuse to get the girls dressed up in their finest than an excursion to some overpriced prix fixe Mother’s Day brunch (free carnation included!). One of the more lovely options that we recently discovered are the sweet US-made girls’ dresses from Kookie, which is actually a collaboration between the labels mini mommee and myKy. Or as my three year-old put it, “Look! All those pretty dresses!” The easy A-line shape of the Off to the Hamptons dress...

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Inhabitat opens their new online shop and you must go there immediately. (For more reasons than one.)

I think the final nail in the outmoded “eco=crunchy” coffin has been set firmly in place by our friends at the wonderful blog Inhabitat, who have just announced the opening of their brand new Inhabitat Shop. I want absolutely everything in there. And by everything I mean evvvvverything. There’s a dandy selection of kids and baby gifts (like the knit octopus at right), stylish home accessories, cool clothes, and the beginnings of an awesome furniture department. But we’re particularly excited for the jewelry category which doesn’t have a clunker in the bunch. Our pick – in time for Mother’s...

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This will be the year you don’t procrastinate and get your Mother’s Day cards done early. Right? Right?

I would say that now is a good time to start tracking down Mother’s Day cards so you’re not freaking out on May 9, and emailing us all Wah! You have to save me! Who makes e-cards that don’t suck? Not that we wouldn’t totally help you out. But still — a little preparedness in honor of the awesome moms in the world? I totally love the Most Lovely Duck Mother’s Day card from Foxy and Winston, just on sheer originality. It’s hand screenprinted in Brooklyn, NY (whoo!) using eco-friendly everything by artist Jane Buck, whose sensibility I just...

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Hip bibs – Yes, you read that correctly

Since discovering so many fabulous baby bibs here, I’ve crossed over to the dark side and now I love dressing my daughter in them. Good thing too, since she’s teething and starting solids, making them more of a requirement, and less of an optional accessory. On the top of my list are the lovely handmade baby bibs from Hip Violet, handcrafted by mom Jesi Josten. Combining fun fabrics and adorable fleece appliques, these sizable bibs will definitely keep baby’s clothes protected. And the fleece backing actually wicks away moisture and helps to keep drooly babies dry. Which really, isn’t...

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A sling that helps support other babies too

Leave it to textile mavens and cmp fave Serena & Lily to come up with a sling that’s both simple and chic. And we all know how important both of those factors are in a sling. The organic cotton  market baby slings are constructed from a single piece of fabric, which means no buckles or straps to futz with or irritate your baby’s skin. And it gets even better: From now through May 31st, for every sling purchased from Serena & Lily, they’ll donate a care package to a homeless child via Project Night Night. That means you get...

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Miami Ink for babies. Too cool.

As a bit of a tattoo fanatic, you can bet I religiously tune in for TLC’s Miami Ink. Okay, and the hot guys. Seriously, Ami. Hello. Now, five of the Miami Ink guys, including popular stars Darren Brass, Chris Garver, and former apprentice Yoji (YOJI!), have taken their artistic talent and channeled it into Ruthless & Toothless, an awesome line of baby and kids’ clothing. If you’ve been coveting a tattoo from one of these guys, then you’ll want to get your hands on one of their stunning pieces for your cool kid, like the geisha onesie (shown) or...

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Who’s Your Mama?

I thought I knew what to expect when I saw the cover art on Mama Mac’s self-titled kids’ CD: I was sure there would be an acoustic version of Kumbaya and maybe a few 70’s folk songs. Boy, was I wrong. A veteran of the LA indie music scene, Amy Elkins, aka Mama Mac, can take a toddler-friendly song like Rocket Ship and turn it into a rocking tune that makes me want to sing along, much to my children’s chagrin. I know why my kids adore listening to Mama Mac sing: She encourages them to jump around a...

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Children’s blocks for all

I notice when I hit the mass kids’ toy stores that the blocks are always in the boys section. It’s bizarre to me because both my daughters love blocks like a frat boy loves Spring Break. And I can assure you they’d go flat out bonkers for the vibrant, children’s blocks at Quiet Hours Toys. Canadian educator Matt Hiebert designed these fair trade kids’ building blocks out of sustainable wood, all in unique shapes to get those fine motor skills going and help expand the idea of imaginative block play. Put one of those long pieces inside one of...

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Not your mama’s charm necklace

Until this personalized necklace from the husband and wife team behind Searcey Designs, my only foray into the world of personalized jewelry was an ID bracelet purchased in my middle school years when they were all the rage. And that was just a cookie-cutter affair bought at Macy’s. That’s a far cry from having someone personally hand stamp your children’s names on sleek little bars made from reclaimed sterling silver. Hand stamping is such an earthy and modern way to customize jewelry; it has a clear human touch to it, and no two pieces can ever be exactly the...

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An alphabet with attitude, dude

Frankly, I’m not certain I’m actually cool enough for this Alphabet Learning Poster, but let’s just say I desperately want to be. What’s not to like about an alphabet where L is for Love, X is for Malcolm, and Z is for Zeitgeist? Oh, and don’t forget my personal favorite: Q is for Question, and the illustration is a thought bubble reading What would JOE STRUMMER do? Ha. These posters are being offered as limited edition prints, and there are just 200 available. Get to ordering if you must have it. And because this is Learning Poster No. 1,...

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Woodstock is back, and he’s shilling for Earth

Growing up in the Snoopy generation, I certainly had no idea that the Red Baron was some war reference, and no understanding of the whole Marcie-Peppermint Patty lesbian theory. But I did spent countless sleepover parties with my girlfriends, cooing over Woodstock and how cute he was and how we loved him and wished he was real and would come live with us. Junk Food has just brought my favorite cartoon bird back on a Woodstock kids’ tee — with an eco message no less, just in time for Earth Week next week. Heck, if I had only known...

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Baby journals: Not just new-baby homework, I promise.

When each of my kids was born we had a mad scramble to figure out how to record the details of daily existence — eating, sleeping, and pooping, with an occasional weight check for good measure. Although it’s not a lot of information to keep track of, it sure does get lost in The Newborn Fog. Deena Wachtel and sister Lisa (Aunt LaLa) took their family’s penchant for organizing and created RosieBear baby journals for moms like me. These cute hand-bound logs for new parents come in all sorts of adorable prints from modern florals to a retro outer...

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What children can wear on a date with Spring

After my daughter was born, I had to institute a no-smocked-dresses rule in my house after countless handmade gifts from well-meaning relatives somehow relied on this form of embellishment. Thank goodness shops like Livvysue Boutique exist and can provide adorable alternatives. Three generations of females are behind these handmade children’s clothes, each of them obsessed with finding the perfect fabrics for clothes like their handmade kimono tops. I’d say they are doing a pretty darn good job. And at just $19, they’re half the price of the fancy boutique brands.  The simple nature of the kimono top and shoe...

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Green Toys – A new line of eco fabulousness in the form of toy trucks

If you had told me a few years back that I’d be counting the days until a toy company released their new trucks, I would have said you were nuts. But if you’ve seen Green Toys then it’s not so hard to believe that I’ve had the date marked on my calendar. And if you see their new line, which includes a toy dump truck and recycling truck (pictured, left) then you’d see why. We discovered Green Toys early last year, even before Target (ha!), and we’ve been fans ever since. Made completely from recycled milk jugs, the toys,...

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Designer maternity clothes, hold the sticker shock

If you plan on leaving the house for any point of your 40 week pregnancy, you can’t just get away with nine months of stretch-waist yoga pants and Target maternity tees. Not that I didn’t try, mind you. I needed some clothes I could actually be seen wearing in board rooms and swanky(ish) parties from time to time, but it seemed so crazy to invest in a high 4-figure wardrobe with a shelf life of 6 months. If I were to do it all over, my first retail stop would be InstyleBelly, a mom-run online consignment shop featuring gently...

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Shirin Genius

Artist and designer Shirin Roubeni has been called a tee-shirt couturier, which I suppose is her fans’ way of saying that no, all tee shirts are not in fact created equal. I recently got a look at some of the tees from ShirinKIDS, her pint-sized offshoot of Shirin NYC and I totally get it. The kids’ tees, while not cheap, are really exquisite, featuring elegant hand silkscreens of floral patterns, dragonflies or leopards on eco-friendly lyocell/cotton blend tees that feel nearly like silk. There’s also cool detailing that makes each shirt really special. (And ignore that handwash instruction —...

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Gift baskets for Mother’s Day filled with hope

This Mother’s Day, you can honor thy mother (or a mother you love) by helping mothers in crisis. And I don’t mean “oh no, the babysitter canceled at the last minute.” More like women affected by humanitarian emergencies around the world. The wonderful International Rescue Committee has put together special “baskets” for mothers, but instead of chocolates or bubble bath, the gifts could include a carseat for an uprooted family, postpartum care for a mother with a life-threatening complication, or blankets to keep babies warm. As for you, you get a beautiful card to pass along to the woman...

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Still Tasty – Answering the age old question, Does this mayo smell okay to you?

I’m going to go out on a limb, here, and say that nothing strikes fear into my husband’s heart quite the same was as those three little words: Honey, smell this. Try as I might to keep track of what’s in our fridge and use it up in a timely manner, sometimes things get shoved to the back, or sometimes I buy unfamiliar produce and simply don’t know how long it’s supposed to last. Or sometimes I strongly suspect that jar of sauce has been in there for months, but it smells okay, and I just don’t know if...

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Presenting our Mother’s Day Gift Guide -New! Improved! Recession friendly!

Okay, you can stop emailing us already! Our annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide is finally here and we’re extra excited about it this year. We’ve put together a discerning list of fantastic gifts for Mom, Grandma, your BFF and more in every price range. We’ve even got an entire section of fabulous Mother’s Day gifts under $20–none of which will make you look like you cheaped out–plus a whole ton of exclusive discount codes as high as 50%. And because we love giving gifts as much as the next gal, we’re giving you a chance to win a $380...

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Get a green start to your Earth Day

This year for Earth Day, instead of confusing my four year-old son with talk of his “carbon footprint,” I plan to mark the day by sharing the four age-appropriate “Green Start” board books from Innovative Kids. The adorable soy-based ink illustrations seem to pop off the thick brown pages that are made almost entirely from recycled materials. I love the smooth, substantial feel of these board books, which will withstand a toddlers’ rough handling and a baby’s tendency to turn everything into a teething toy. Each Green Start kids’ book covers a different topic, like One Tree, which teaches...

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