Month: July 2009

These ain’t your mama’s nursery rhyme illustrations

There’s a place for tradition, and there’s a place for innovation, and there is a place for both side by side. Sub-Studio design’s new nursery rhyme prints are a perfect combination of age-old nursery rhymes from past generations and a bold mid-century illustration style that takes them forward through the next. My favorite has to be the Wise Old Owl (shown). This modern-styled art print wouldn’t be relegated to the nursery in my house; in fact, it’s a message that I would appreciate being reminded of on a daily basis:     A wise old owl lived in an oak....

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The waste-free lunch kit with something for everyone

The day I realized how many plastic baggies I was using in my kids’ lunches each week was the day I began trying every sort of reusable container and wrap out there. Nowadays the kids take a cobbled-together assortment of reusables in their lunch bags, but the Kids Konserve kit appeals to me for three reasons. First, it’s everything you could possibly need for a single gone-green lunch, with a combination of reusable lunch sack, reusable sandwich bag, stainless steel bottle, cloth napkin, and safe food storage, all perfectly coordinated. There’s “fun” butterfly and caterpillar designs for the little...

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In the pink

There aren’t too many pink posters I’d hang in my daughters’ post-feminist non-pink bedroom, but artist and graphic designer Robin Rosenthal’s counting bird poster would easily make the cut. When we first found her original counting birds poster two years ago, we fell instantly in love with the sweet chick motif and elegant modern typography, so I’m pleased she’s re-released it in an elegant pink and red color scheme inspired by one of my kids’ favorite books, The Snowy Day. By the way, before she was making our children’ rooms look gorgeous, Robin was making Martha Stewart’s magazines look...

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Learning disguised as catchy pop songs, cool characters, and charming illustrations.

We don’t own a lot of kids’ DVDs in my house, primarily since it’s so hard to know if we will get our money’s worth or they will be watched twice before my daughter gets bored and just wants to throw the disk around. But one completely worthwhile standby has been our Readeez DVD. (Edited to add: Now also available for immediate download to watch right on your computer or tablet) Readeez are short vignettes with original songs, nursery rhymes, poems, and more, all designed to let the words sink in. As a musician and dad himself, creator Michael...

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Favorite baby carrier? Reader Q&A

I emailed a few months ago asking what your favorite baby carrier was and your reply was The Rockin Baby Sling, which I ordered and love.  I am now looking for an Ergo/Beco type carrier. Do you prefer one over the other or is there another brand you love? -Heather You’re talking to a baby carrier addict here, Heather. But if I had to pick my favorite Ergo type carrier, I’d go with the BabyHawk mei tai carrier (shown). Don’t let the long straps intimidate you. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be wearing this one all...

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Let them wheat-free eat cake

Since giving up wheat, there are a few foods I no longer miss, and others I dream about regularly. One of the items I’ve fantasize about binging on is chocolate chip cookies. I’d just not found a suitable replacement without the gluten. So I was excited to try the new Kids Central Kitchen 360 Chocolate Chip Flip bar cookie mix. Would it fill that Tollhouse-shaped hole in my heart? The answer is… yes and no. This is not the mix to buy if you want a cookie. But! This is absolutely the mix to buy if you miss cake....

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Diaper bags that look like nothing of the sort. Which seems to be the point these days.

It’s hard to believe a few short years ago, a diaper bag looked like (gasp) a diaper bag. Today, diaper bags are allowed to look like clutches, like hobo bags, like totes – pretty much anything besides something actually designed to help you manage the intestinal functions of your infant. Well Timi and Leslie claim to have started that trend, and whether it’s true or not, their convertible designer diaper bags certainly do fit the bill. The Mod and Parisien (shown) styles are probably my favorites, with sleek modern (and thankfully lightweight) designs that skip the fussiness of decorative...

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Why settle for a mere octopus, when you can make a Socktopus

I just do not have that kind of creativity it would entail to look at a traditional sock monkey and think, Hmm, I bet I could improve on that. But that’s what CMP fave Clarity Miller did when she turned one into a Socktopus. It’s virtually the same, only with 8 more arms for your kid to hit her sister with. If you are the crafty type however, the new Socktopus kits come with the sock, stuffing, needle and thread, buttons for eyes, and all the super clear directions you need to make your own. It’s a fantastic under-$20...

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Snug as a pea in a pod. Or at least in a baby sleep sack.

While I can’t say that sleep sacks miraculously kept my kids from waking up, they at least kept me from needlessly running to their cribs to cover them up or untangle them from their web of blankets. It’s a great practical gift for new moms, but it seems as though most baby sleep sacks are styled with the idea that kids are wearing them in the dark. That is clearly not the case with the gorgeous Mandarin Fun baby sleep sack from Violet’s Peapod. Fashioned in their unique signature pea pod shape to give baby’s feet plenty of room...

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World’s best pillow fight pillows (sound effects included)

For years, I dreamt about a playroom — a place (that wasn’t my living room) where my boys could make a mess with their superhero toys and have pillow fights and stand on the furniture without making me insane. Now that we have a playroom, I’m constantly on the lookout for accent pieces that are both kid-friendly and super stylish. In other words, stuff that can take a beating and still look great. diffractionFIBER’s onomatopoeia throw pillows are the perfect accent for kid spaces. Crafted of Eco-Felt (“100% recycled Plastic bottles!”), the pillows are a nice size for tossing...

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