Month: February 2010

Brass meets sterling, circle meets rectangle

I have delicate, dainty necklaces and I have chunky, rustic necklaces, and sometimes I wish I had something that was more, I don’t know, both. (Why yes–I am that person who always gets twist when we go for soft serve. How did you guess?) The love necklace by ripegoods hits that sweet spot right in the middle; the chain is brass, but made of almost lacy, tiny links. The round and rectangular brass pieces have a gorgeous natural patina and can be custom hand-stamped. (I went for my initial on one, my husband’s initial on the other.) And then...

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Charity starts at home, on the computer, in the KidzStore

YesKidzCan! is about co-founders Lisa Novick and Julie Chapman’s dream of making it easier for even busy families to participate in giving back to their communities. Which is great. So when I had the opportunity to chat with them last week, I told them right up front that while gratuitous Z’s usually turn me right off, in their case, I’ll make an exception. In the KidzStore you’ll find a variety of “Act of Kindness” kits for a mere $8 apiece (they’re even cheaper if you buy more), that contain whatever you need to bring charity to life in a...

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Cooking for dummies (and smarties, too)

Put down that take-out menu–I’m here to tell you that yes, you can cook a complete meal without pulling out your hair. Sure, there are a million recipe sites out there, and some of them are fantastic, but what if you want instructions on a whole meal, from what to buy to what wine goes best? Well, then you head over to NoTakeOut and start browsing. Each meal is completely laid out from what to buy at the supermarket to what kitchen tools you’ll need. Check the prep time, bake time, and even the dessert suggestion before you get...

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Blockhead! And I mean that totally in the best possible way

I’m not very good at math, so I can’t tell you precisely how many different forms and figures your child can create out of 25 wooden blocks, but I’m going to say it’s approximately a gazillionthousand. The ShapeMaker wooden block set by Miller Goodman is made of eco-friendly rubber wood and hand-printed with vibrant, non-toxic ink. So it’s no surprise that this cooler-than-your-average-blocks set is not just delighting kids, but style gurus as well. It was given a gold Practical Pre-School award in 2009 (whatever that means), and just a few weeks ago was named one of the top...

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Babywearing, now a nice new shade of green

Belle is now extra verte. That’s, Belle as in Belle Baby Carrier, and verte as in French for green, and green as in super-duper-eco-friendly-organic-awesomeness. The new Belle Organic Earth, like their original model, is crafted by artisans in Boulder, CO, only this one is made with 100% organic undyed cotton, pure Romanian hemp, and the fuzziest organic fleece lining. It’s a cute, lightweight, sturdy, and, most importantly easy carrier for babies 8 – 30 pounds, although I must say my pudgy 24-pounder was at the upper end of comfortable use. Another nice feature is that the baby can face...

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Crumpler does kids’ backpacks and cool moms everywhere go Yay!

You probably already know Crumpler for their sturdy, stylish bags for adults. Or at least you should. But now they’ve gone and shrunk two of their favorites down to kid-size and it’s definitely worth a look. The Baby Pea preschool backpack is for the 2-4 set, and the Baby Anchovy (pictured here) is for those 3-5. Though, truthfully, I think kids up to about age 8 will find the Baby Anchovy backpack perfectly ample for their needs. Unless they’re toting home bags full of bricks or 30-foot dioramas from school. Hope not. Both bags come in a variety of colors,...

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This Sesame Street contest is brought to you by the letter A and the number $50,000

Question: Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? Answer: 1. Be a puppet.2. Be Ricky Gervais.3. Win the 4th Annual Aniboom Awards 4 Sesame Street Competition. It’s that easy, animators. We’ve just learned that Sesame Street has teamed up with Aniboom Virtual Animation Studio to showcase talented animators leading the next generation of savvy children’s educational programming. And if seeing your winning work on the most iconic kids’ television program ever isn’t enough, there’s also $50,000 in prize money up for grabs. Let me guess– you’re making Cookie Monster googly eyes now, aren’t you? Submit your...

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The iCandy stroller – A new luxury stroller for growing families, if not shrinking budgets

It’s been a while since I saw a stroller that made me go oooh, or at least until this weekend when I got an in-person demo of the new-to-the US iCandy stroller. And oooh I did. The first thing you’ll notice is that this popular British stroller is designed very much like a Bugaboo, right down to the air tires, modern fabric colors, silver frame, and logo placement – only it’s a cute little apple or pear on the canopy depending on the model. But it’s definitely more than just a Bug knock-off. The seat on the basic Apple...

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Welcome to the Jungle House Pillow

My kids (probably like yours) aren’t lacking for stuffed animals. But when I saw the amazingly adorable Jungle House Pillow from Toronto’s So Chic Gifts I knew I could totally justify getting them this handmade pillow-and-stuffed-animal combo.  Made from beautiful recycled fabric, each one-of-a-kind soft, squishy pillow features three little critters tucked into little pocket homes, each one a different combination of cloths and textures. It’s totally fun for kids, since the stuffed animals can be taken out of their pockets at playtime or put back in for cuddling at night. If their bed is already crowded with lovies, or if...

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Charity and the JAMband know that sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don’t

My kids are at the age where watching Mommy boogie across the kitchen floor is met with groans. And I’m hearing groans from them a lot now that I’ve got Charity and the JAMband’s danceworthy double kids’ music CD, Party Like a Twinkle Star. Sure, it’s a CD for kids, but it is strong stuff for anyone to resist, something we knew way back when we lauded Charity and the JAMband’s Rock Your Socks Off CD in ’06. The first-of-two CDs, aptly called Party, does just that from the start with the rocking groove of Get Your Booty Out of...

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