Month: May 2010

It’s true, fish really is brain food

So it’s become pretty clear that iPhone apps can be God’s technological gift to parents wanting to avoid toddler meltdowns in restaurants and pediatrician offices. Some of my favorite apps for the younger set come courtesy of Duck Duck Moose, which is slowly taking over the “educational app” category with their graphically clever learning games. When your 2-4 year old is ready to take those Sesame Street concepts a little further, they’ll love Fish School which uses funny little fishies, humorous sound effects, positive reinforcement, and an incredibly simple interface to help teach letters, numbers, shapes and more. The...

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Romper room

So I admit that this whole adult romper trend scares me just a little, mostly because my body is not cut out for any sort of one-piece clothing item not meant for a beach. But my daughters, on the other hand, look absolutely fabulous in them. And at the top of my list is the adorable Purr Kitty sunsuit from Mini Rotation, a hipster tee company that’s turned its attention towards cool kids wear over the last few years. I love the playful graphics on the simple, bright cotton one-piece, that’s the perfect summer play outfit for any little...

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Beautiful little dresses at beautiful little prices

Ses Petites Mains has been consistently one of my favorite shops for small-label, beautifully tailored girls’ clothes from designer Beth Miles. And right now, you can hit their private sale–oops, did I just make it public?– for fabulous savings on their very special clothing for very lucky girls. My picks include the lovely 1940’s-esque shirtwaist dress, the sweet plaid sun top, a plaid slip dress (shown) that I wish came in my size, and the billowy tallulah dress which we own and is a well-worn favorite that’s held up beautifully after multiple (multiple!) washings. The sizes are limited in...

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Lunchwalla stomps out event-planning indigestion

I used to organize a girls night out with friends once a month, and it always started with one itty-bitty email to the group. Pretty soon though, that email had mushroomed into dozens of reply-to-all’s, forwards, links to can we try this place, and before long, I’m wondering when my personal secretary is going to appear to simplify things. While not exactly a personal secretary, Lunchwalla has the right idea for people who, like me, want to get friends or coworkers together for lunch, a movie, or a five-hour dinner away from the kids. And it works a lot...

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We see cool crayons in your future

We’re always on the lookout for cool party favors that do not include small plastic toys that last all of four minutes, or sugar-infested treats that seem to last four hours. So if you’ve got a party coming up, stuff those goody bags with these cool fortune cookie crayons. Handmade from upcycled crayons, these adorable crayons come complete with their own fortune and are packaged in a Chinese take-out box. Pair them with a funky coloring book as a birthday gift or split them up and use them as party favors. Either way, I foresee them being a big...

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Charlie Hope’s latest CD puts us to sleep

I thought I was past the whole need-for-a-lullaby thing until my five year old started whispering I’m Scared into my ear every night at 2AM. Now, I think he needs a little Charlie Hope crooning into his ear from her World of Dreams CD, to help chill him out at night. Charlie’s voice is perfect for lullabies: Soft, gentle and warm like a mama’s hand stroking her little guy’s face. That is, if that mama wasn’t already downstairs trying to clean up the dinner dishes. I’ve tried lying down and listening to it with him, but her lullabies affect me...

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Family travel, four-star, and discount all in the same breath.

When my husband and I talk about taking a trip, it always goes along the same script:“How about here?” “Too expensive.”“How about here?” “No good with kids.”“How about here?” “Are you kidding??”“Fine, let’s just go camping.” And don’t get me wrong, I like camping, but I’d be okay with a luxury getaway once in a while. Which is why, I suppose, I’ve recently become addicted to Hotwire’s Travel Ticker. The prices appeal to my penny-pinching side, and the wealth of available information appeals to my mom side. Why, perusing the Family Travel section yields all sorts of possibilities I...

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Tea towels aren’t just for tea lovers

I always thought of tea towels to be completely prim and proper, but that’s absolutely not the case with the gorgeous block printed tea towels at Fisk and Fern.  The bright inviting designs are printed on absorbent 100% cotton which evidently is supposed to work just as well as paper towels, which makes the eco-ista in me even more intrigued. While these handmade tea towels make a lovely hostess gift, I say get them for yourself. It’s fabulous way to put a little zing back into your kitchen decor this spring without paying anywhere near the price of a...

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Ecards of the rich and famous

Ecard sites are no longer what they used to be, even a few years ago. I can’t even imagine why anyone besides your grandma would still send those digital cards made of stock photography rosebuds and garish wedding type. Well now here’s another one to add to your bookmarks: ecard website to the stars, Cocodot. While the service isn’t free — a very basic annual membership starts at $29 — it’s definitely a savvy choice for those of you chronic entertainers, birthday-rememberers, and general well-wishers who want to make an excellent impression without the use of actual stamps. The...

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Retirement gift for teacher? Reader Q&A

I need to find a retirement gift for my daughter’s first grade teacher. I saw your teacher gift suggestions post and thought they were great, and wondered if you had any ideas for a retirement gift.  -Amy For a retiring teacher who you love, I think a more sentimental gift is in order, like the short-but-sweet Seize the Day words or even a simple Thank You etched into a Tiny Bowl from Paloma’s Nest (shown above); while we know most teachers are averse to tchotchkes, this bowl is so lovely, and a perfect motto for your teacher’s days ahead....

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