Month: May 2009

A gift for the littlest graduate (or maybe even bigger ones)

If you’re looking for a graduation gift for the preschooler in your life – or even the high schooler who’s not so cool she can’t appreciate a sweet children’s book –  Peep: A Little Book About Taking a Leap gets a big thumbs up from me. Maria van Lieshout’s charming story of a baby chick trying to follow his mom down off a big scary curb wlll captivate kids with the old “try, try again” theme. Think The Little Engine that Could meets the Mo Willems’ pigeon books, but without the edge. I love the adorably sparse art direction...

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Kids dress clothes that make you hope for a special occasion on the calendar

We probably get more reader requests for cute wedding clothes for kids “that aren’t, you know…wedding-y” than nearly any other. And now that San Francisco-based Velvet and Tweed has opened their online shop, far more parents can breath a sigh of relief when outfitting their little flower girl or ring bearer or first birthday party guest of honor. These kids’ dress clothes come courtesy of Designer Tina Schreiber who helped launch Janie & Jack (one of our favorite mall store chains) and knows a little something about chic styling for kids. For girls I love the children’s garden party...

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Move over hippies, tie dye just got cool again

Hey, I know tie-dye. Tie-dye involves buckets, little boxes of dye, and an unholy mess, right? Not anymore, actually. Welcome to 2009, and the Jacquard Products Tie Dye Kit. The dye gets mixed in squirt bottles, the soda ash for pre-soaking your shirts makes the colors super-vibrant, there’s gloves and rubber bands and, oh yeah, an instructional DVD. Go ahead and laugh, but my daughter and her friends watched the entire thing and then they made some professional-looking shirts. (My son and his friends opted to skip the DVD; their shirts came out pretty well, too– with a bit...

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These are a few of my favorite things (in wood)

This little wooden giraffe toy set spotted at the adorable shop My Sweet Muffin is a perfect marriage of toddler toys. First, you have the giraffe on wheels, which is adorable. Next, you have a set of domino-shaped pieces suitable for stacking or other imaginative play. Third, the dominoes fit neatly into the cart which can be hooked to the giraffe or used to tote other items. The whole shebang is made of up to twenty different kinds of wood and finished only in linseed oil so it’s naturally beautiful, and ready for years of playtime. Surprisingly, it’s not...

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Get an A in teachers’ gifts with Khaya Cookies

I personally think that most teachers deserve a sports car and a month in Hawaii as an end-of-year gift, but know that many would just like to hear a heartfelt thank you as the kids scramble out the door for the last time. You might also add a box of the deliciously unique Khaya Cookies to make the beginning of summer break even sweeter. My favorites are the three shortbread flavors like Cranberry Rooibos and Grapeseed which are rich, buttery and crisp but not so sweet that my kids will snarf down the whole box. Khaya cookies have no...

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French shopping, hold the airfare

I must say, despite the CPSA I still remain most confident by mass produced toys when they’re made in Europe. The standards are consistently high, and the products seem made to last more than one kid. Or more than one month as the case often is. Plus, the French know a thing or two about cute. Comptoir d’Enfance is a lovely little online shop filled entirely with French toys, decor, and wonderful baby gifts. You don’t even have to be a Francofile to love sweet Vilac pull toys or fun wall decals, but it would explain why I got...

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Free movies for kids all summer. As in, free. No catch. I swear.

Call me frugal, or cheap, or just a big old party pooper, but there’s just no way I can rationalize taking three young kids to the movies these days when all they really do is gorge themselves on popcorn and bounce around in the big seats. But this summer–with apologies to the other guests in the theater–I think we’re going to be enjoying a break from the hot Atlanta sun with free movies courtesy of Regal Entertainment. As part of their summer free family film festival, Regal Theaters will be showing various G and PG flicks at 10am on Tuesdays and...

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Cards from Paper Culture: Design totally within reach

The beautiful new collection of modern cards, announcements and invitations from Paper Culture have me as excited as any note cards we’ve seen in a while. And we see a whole lot of note cards so that’s saying something. The baby announcements are a welcome change from the same old derivative designs we see pretty much everywhere, combining your own photo with sweet contemporary illustrations in color combos right out of the latest Wallpaper* magazine. There are also some fantastic kids’ birthday invitations (love that pirate!) and a great selection of personalized baby shower invitations that while modern, are...

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The Karaoke Channel: You’ll love it, hate it , or really really love it.

I’ve sung karaoke in a bar once, and my face still reddens at the memory of attempting Hollaback Girl in front of a room full of strangers. My kids share none of my shyness though and since I refuse to drag them to the nearest late-night “open mike,” I’m thankful we’ve discovered The Karaoke Channel website to scratch our sing-along itch. To get started, I tried out The Karaoke Channel Kit which includes two sturdy microphones and a USB vocal mixer, although those pros who have their own microphones can use them as well. I then visited The Karaoke...

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Your own personalized wine bottles – second only to your own personalized vineyard

It’s like we blinked and Mother’s Day is over, Father’s Day is around the corner, and as always, it’s darn near impossible shop for the dads in my life. Fortunately, I was just turned onto Etching Expressions, which makes custom wine bottles that I think would be awesome gifts for that proverbial Guy Who Has Everything. There’s a whole category of Father’s Day wine gifts but I think there are cooler designs if you poke around the site and use a little imagination. I love the funky retro-looking Love design and the Special Thank You bottle could be funny...

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