Month: March 2010

A better way to put their heads on plates

Somehow I think my oft-repeated empty threat of serving my kids’ heads on a plate might have carried even less weight if we had owned had these adorable It Looks Like Me! personalized plates from Olliegraphic. Choose hair, eye and skin color, hairstyle, and (of course) add their name for the final touch. I can think of no small child who wouldn’t be utterly delighted to have a cherubic, cartoon version of themselves smiling up from underneath a variety of foods they’re probably planning to refuse. Note to Olliegraphic: Might want to consider adding in devil horns as an...

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Why you shouldn’t miss Ponyo or Hayao Miyazaki’s other family classics

I get to the movie theater about once a year, so it’s no surprise I totally missed Ponyo when it first came out. But ever since I heard the buzz around this animated film by Japan’s Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli, I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for the home release. Now, having seen it, you can bet that I won’t miss his next one. Ponyo, which is loosely based on the original The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen (but not nearly as tragic), tells the story of a little fish who falls in love with a boy and...

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Smite those locusts!

Passover isn’t exactly the giftiest of holidays, although if you were invited to join us in devouring my mother’s matzoh ball soup, you’d think that was gift enough. Still, I’m intrigued with this adorable little 10 Plagues Bowling Set which comes in its own little drawstring bag. It could be a fun reward for finding the Afikoman, or simply an engaging way to help bring the Passover story’s big climax to life at the table, and keep the kids distracted if your Seders are on the long side. I’d imagine little kids (reco is 3+) will enjoy smiting those...

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The little desk set that could. And will.

There isn’t a single thing not to like about the functional design of these groovy desk/chair pairings from midesk, from their hand-crafted here in the USA wooden cut-outs to the non-toxic paints used to finish them. These desks are a marvel of storage — the chairs have two shelves tucked inside the base — and they’re sized just right for small scholars. On top of that, they take up remarkably little space, when the chairs are tucked neatly into the desks. So, sure, love them for all of that, but prepare to really love them: For every ten desks...

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And a very happy vernal equinox to you too

There were many moments over the past three months that I thought it would never happen but, at long last, spring is here. (Once again: SPRING IS HERE!) My girls and I celebrated yesterday with a trip to the small farmer’s market in our neighborhood, oohing and ahhing at the array of potted daffodils and begonias and tulips that colored the card tables. It reminded me that I need some new planters and vases. Something sunny and bright and optimistic and very very spring. I love these hand-finished, sculpted resin vases by Tina Frey Designs at Design Public,with their...

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Of finger foods, flip-tops, and fingernails

You know that whole “kill three birds with one stone” thing? Well, Zo-li, the small company offering safe, green solutions to parenting problems, has conveniently solved three of my biggest problems with one Fedex shipment. First of all, we have the Case of the Constant Snacker. My kid’s a bottomless pit, but we’re always on the road. Zo-li’s eco-friendly answer is the on-the-go, a cute and convenient 4-part snacking system that’s BPA and pthalate free and comes with an easy-pour spout for formula users. Retailing at $15, it also makes a great toy and one-at-a-time cereal dispenser when you’re...

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Tween cool, entirely 100% hoochie free

As the mother of a fashion-conscious tween, I am here to tell you that sizes 10-14 or so are a forgotten wasteland when it comes to outfitting your kid. Little kid clothes are plentiful and varied, but the choices taper off with each successive size. Most days I’m faced with the choice between Too Mature and Too Boring, with precious little in between. I tell you this to explain my elation over discovering Axl’s Closet, which not only stocks plenty of kid-approved options in the 8-14 age range, but does so from trendy labels that don’t succumb to skimpy...

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Easter baskets. Hold the cavities.

The biggest challenge I face every Easter is finding cool candy alternatives for my kids’ Easter baskets. But thanks to CMP fave boutique Cattiwampus, my search for sugar-free Easter gifts just got a little easier. Their virtual shelves are stocked full of awesome, eco-friendly gifts that won’t make your kiddos think twice about the lack of sugary goodness. In particular, I adore the the Stitch-It Bunny keyring kit (pictured) for the older set, from the always awesome Little Experience. This adorable DIY kit features pre-cut felt pieces and instructions, all of which your elementary aged kiddo can whip together...

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Down on the cardboard farm

My kids are still completely obsessed with the Calafant toys Santa left under the tree last year, which means I really shouldn’t be eying anything else at all. But considering the prices and the versatility of these cool, cardboard toys, I just can’t help myself. The newest addition to the Calafant family is the large farm toy, a European-inspired farm design that your kids can easily construct, decorate, and fill with all those little animals you’ve got stuffed in a toy bin somewhere. When they’ve gotten their fill of it – which around here is a pretty darn long...

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The Easter dresses of my dreams

This will be the first Easter in a very long time that we’ll actually be celebrating with extended family. Other than a plane flight with three young children (help!), the toughest item on my agenda will be tracking down cool Easter best clothes for my kids. In years past, I’ve gotten away with more casual attire on Easter, but if I had my druthers, my girls would be wearing Easter dresses from the gorgeous new spring line from CMP fave NoKo. I’m completely in love with the Nico dress (at top), particularly that stylish sash. It’s Easter-fancy but not...

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