Month: July 2010

Prettying up the nursery in unexpected ways

If you’re anything like me, you spent all this time picking out the nursery colors, obsessing over the crib sheets, and then completely forgetting to beautiful the very thing you look at 40 times a day–the diaper storage. I never really liked those hanging diaper caddies. And I’m iffy on the ubiquitous rattan baskets lined with fabric.  But I do like these handmade fabric storage buckets from Denver’s Mick & Mack. With colors from orange and teal to earthy browns and olives, they’d look fabulous in any nursery. I’d fill them with diapers and leave them in plain sight...

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Today’s UV index is holy cow, you’re never leaving the house ever.

Every parent has that one major sensitivity with their kid; that one issue that you are more freaked out about than other parents. For my sigOth, it’s sunscreen. He’s hyper aware of what SPF we’ve got, what ingredients are in it, and how long it’s been since we last applied. Honestly, I’m grateful for his diligence because I can be a little forgetful until their skin is starting to turn a little pink. So for him, and all the parents like him, it’s great to see the new Coppertone iPhone App. Aptly called My UV Alert, it’s an excellent...

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Weleda, take me away!

As the resident beauty product maven around here, I’ve always wondered why so many bath and beauty products include calendula. I mean, how powerful can a pretty little yellow flower be? I also wonder how they get the oil out of a rosehip, how they keep lotion from separating, and why unicorns don’t exist. At least three of these four questions will be answered for me (and you) next week by biodynamic powerhouse Weleda. I am thrilled to have been invited to tour the largest medicinal garden in the world this week at the Weleda Naturals Headquarters in Swabisch...

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Kids’ Garden Activity Cards provide get-out-there inspiration

I have no trouble getting my kids to go outside on a summer’s day, it’s getting them to stay outside when the siren song of kids’ cartoons and super-exciting video games beckon from the air-conditioned comfort of our home. That’s when I, the Cruise Director of Summer, need to come up with some fun ideas to engage and entertain them, and if I can sneak in a little summer learning without them knowing, so much the better. [don’t miss the giveaway after the jump!] Barefoot Books has put out new Kids’ Garden Activity Cards to help keep kids entertained...

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The British lunch bag invasion

I can’t believe I’m already looking at back to school items for my kids, but that I am. So I checked in to see if last year’s CMP find, Dabbawalla Bags, was doing anything new for 2010. And that they are. Good stuff too! I adore this Union Jack lunch bag made of a soft, sturdy neoprene that keeps those juice boxes cold or Thermoses of soup, warm. The design is a cool addition for kids that might be too old for the puppies and ladybugs. And the lightweight construction is great for younger kids. It’s also nice to...

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Five stars for Toy Story 3

This weekend, I finally managed to wrangle my kids–and a few of their friends — to see Toy Story 3. Now before you read any further, I must first disclose a major bias: In my mind, Pixar’s John Lasseter can do little wrong. I walked in wanting to like it. And loved it. Toy Story 3 opens with little Andy all grown up and packing for college, while Woody and Buzz Lightyear and the gang, now relegated to a toy chest of old playthings, contemplate their possible fate including retirement up in the attic, or a visit to the...

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Protecting little heads from UV rays, chlorine, and parabens too

I’m not one for fussing with my girls’ hair too much – if we remember to brush it in the morning that’s a good day. But I do know that the poor kids have inherited my frizzies, coupled with their dad’s thin hair, which is a great combo, especially in the summer. So Cozy has a nice protective conditioning mist with sunscreen that we’ve loved using this summer. I can just spray it on their hair after the bath, but because of the sunscreen, I think it’s best to keep in your beach bag or diaper bag for some...

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Geeks of the world unite! Then, breed.

Back in my day, kids wore My dad can beat up your dad shirt (well, certain kids) and they were considered oh so hilariously irreverent. We’ve certainly come full circle since then, haven’t we, because the new hilariously irreverent kids are declaring My dad can beat up your dad intellectually and probably has more career options. So to speak.[don’t miss a great offer after the jump] The My Dad’s a Geek onesie is such a perfect reflection of the current zeitgeist, you have to laugh, and then run out and buy it for your next 2010 baby shower gift....

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Terralina lets you be good to your skin, mamas. And mamas-to-be.

The first time I saw that little pink plus sign, my life changed. Not only because I was going to bring a human being into the world, but also because I knew that the skin care section of my medicine cabinet had become a mine field. No salicylic acid. No parabens. No retinoids. Add all those caveats in with the “no brie” dictum and I was ready to cry into my organic ice cream. [see the giveaway after the jump!] The two women who founded Terralina felt that way, too, and that’s why they  created a line of skincare...

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Free books from Borders. Yes, free.

They say you don’t get something for nothing but today, that’s not quite the case. Because Borders Books has got a special deal going right now when you download one of the Borders eReader apps, which are also free.  Downloads are for both Mac and PC, plus BlackBerry, Android, iPhone and iPads so you pretty much have no excuse not to try it out–unless you’re like our associate editor Delilah who’s using duct tape and bubble gum to hold together her relic of a cell phone. And the books aren’t bad either – while you won’t quite get the...

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For some of us, 30 minute meals take about 20 minutes too long

I really do like to cook, but I also like to keep my meals simple. Especially since my family eats like a pack of wolves and the meal that took me an hour to make is gone in about 8 minutes. So I’ve decided that, at least a few times a week, I’m going onto Funny Spoon and making one of their super simple, ridiculously quick and tasty recipes. And I don’t have to run to the store to buy ingredients I’ve never heard of. For instance, no matter how easy everyone tells me it is to make regular...

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New custom photo cards so cute I don’t actually want to mail them.

It was her very first ballet recital, and I wanted everyone we know to see her joyful smile as she hugged her first bouquet of roses. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to just give away our new custom photo cards from Shutterfly. I might just keep them all for myself. [don’t miss the giveaway after the jump!] I’ve never actually had photo stationery made — I know, shame on me. But the options on Shutterfly are mind boggling. Choosing from among the new 3×5 folded notecards collection alone is difficult, since there are a full 26 options, each...

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New York City for kids. And their suburban parents.

The first time I took my daughter New York City, she spent so much time swiveling her head in every direction, I was afraid she’d tip over. I could have done a better job planning New York City for kids, and prepping my little suburban dweller for the “big city”, but I was too busy trying not to forget to pack her bedtime lovey. Little travelers nowadays have a cool new way of learning about their destination in a way that is much more relevant than mommy pointing to the globe and talk, talk, talking. [don’t miss our giveaway...

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Saving your home pregnancy test – Don’t just admit it, flaunt it.

Bronzing baby shoes is so 1900’s. The real keepsake is that little plastic doohicky (or twelve) that you peed on and then stared at for ten minutes with your jaw on the floor. Sure, the plus sign or smiley face or digital proclamation of PREGNANT faded long ago. But the memories you made in that bathroom live on forever. So you will not believe what e.p.t. is doing about it. Right now, e.p.t is actually institutionalizing the used pee stick, with a Remember the Moment You Knew Keepsake Case to store the pregnancy test that changed your world. It’s...

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Laurie Berkner puts out a “Best of” album and car trips get that much easier.

I will always have a soft spot for Laurie Berkner, the first children’s singer to transfix my oldest daughter on Nick Jr., and then, years later, charm my youngest son with Rocketship Run. For those of us with older kids, I’m sure we can sing the chorus of at least a couple of her best-known songs. And tend to do so when we’re in the company of other adults, right? Whether your kids are Laurie Berkner diehards or if you are brand new to kids’ music, you can now have twenty of her top tracks all together in one place. ...

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All you need is love, and a mom who wants you to change the world

In a world where it’s easier to find tees for baby girls that say future gold digger than anything more…positive, I’ve always admired the I will make a difference tees from Booda Brand. [great offer after the jump!] The organic tees and onesies, which we’ve featured here before, now have a sweet new design just for girls; the word LOVE is beautifully printed in gold foil on the front, and I will make a difference is on the back. This is a message I sure hope all our girls grow up to believe. Besides, they’ll be making good on...

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Web Coolness – cool summer drinks, a children’s garden, and a maternity collection that’s freaking us out

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. The wonderful Food 52 rounds up some great summer drink recipes, and with the weather we’ve been having we think we need to try all of them immediately. A beautiful children’s garden at Ohdeedoh that makes us yearn for bigger, greener backyards. Sigh. The new maternity collection from Forever 21 is making us a little nauseous. This post at Forty Weeks takes the words out of our mouths. Smart tip at ParentHacks for keeping towels off the bathroom floor when your kids...

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Shear genius

My sigOth, the culinary school grad, has turned me onto the joys of scissors in the kitchen. While I use them mainly to cut off the stupid packaging I can’t pull open with my hands, he has always used kitchen shears for cutting herbs quickly, trimming veggies, and even cutting the kids’ food into manageable bite sizes. [see the giveaway after the jump!] So when I saw the thoughtfully-designed Tiny Bites Food Shears, I knew just where they were coming from. The shears are designed so you can safely cut grapes, slices of pizza, or hot dog slices into...

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These t-shirts put your kid in the director’s chair

If your morning routine is anything like ours is, then there’s probably a lot of hemming and hawing (that’s putting it very politely) about what the kids are willing to wear. Well, I have a sneaking suspicion that we could eliminate all the hassles with the brand new interactive t-shirts I just discovered. Yes, interactive t-shirts. These kids’ tees from Creative Director Clothing are designed by a Toronto-based artist, and I just happen to have one of his incredible pieces hanging in my living room – the curious among you can catch a glimpse of it behind me on...

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Keep your mitts off mommy’s forspecial mug

There’s just no comparison to the feel of handmade ceramics, knowing that an artisan’s hands shaped the clay and followed inspiration to decorate something just for you. Don’t moms deserve little islands of peace and beauty in our hectic lives? If I needed a new mug right now, I’d be browsing the yogagoat shop on Etsy. Artist Amanda Ryznar also has bowls, vases, wedding gifts, and lovely, custom fortune cookies. But what really catches my eye and makes me mutter Serenity Now are the carved plates and bowls, which would be perfect for a slice of my birthday cake...

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