Month: October 2011

W is for Walrus, Wookiee, and Wrench. Also Wow.

We’re suckers for anything that turns the alphabet into an art form, and this poster series takes the cake. Not literally, though. C doesn’t actually include a cake, although it does have a cuckoo clock, a camel, and California. Etsy shop eakdesign makes an utterly delicious Alphabet Poster Series complete with a signed-by-the-artist image on 11×17 cardstock. All of the letters are gorgeous, vibrant, and full of fascinating details that bring the letter to life. I mean, yes, that’s a weasel in the W. And also a teeny, tiny weight lifter. They’re colorful enough to go with anything for...

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Prima Princessa presents Sleeping Beauty. Prepare for squeals.

Certainly the giggles and happy sounds coming from my 7 and 3 year old daughters as they watched the brand spankin’ new Prima Princessa DVD would be enough to convince any mama how fabulous it is. Even so, I figured as a self-proclaimed classical ballet snob, I would take a peek at it myself before I share it with you. Llet’s just say I may have let out a few squeals myself. We’ve been long fans of  the Prima Princessa series; its creators, moms Mary Kate Mellow and Stephanie Troeller, have done a fine job of offering ballet loving...

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Sit on the rhino and eat your peas, kid.

I’m sure most kids would agree–wouldn’t life be more fun if you were sitting on an elephant? I’ll go with yes. That’s why we’re going ape for this adorable Children’s Menagerie table and chair set from our friends at Paloma’s Nest. The table is a jungle tree, and you can choose chairs shaped like gorillas, rhinoceroses, giraffes, and elephants. Each piece is hand-crafted of eco-friendly birch plywood with a non-toxic finish, and it’s perfectly sized for kids over about age three. Of course it’s not priced like an IKEA set, but that’s what you get for an eco-friendly work of art that...

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DIY: animal storage jars from all those figurines lying around

I am so not a crafty mom. I’ve said it a zillion times. But this here tutorial is so easy, and the results so awesome, even I can do it. The animal craft jar project idea at House to Home is literally as easy as gathering up all those animal figurines you’ve got lying around (I know you have them), gluing them to a recycled glass jar lid, and spray painting them a bright color. Let dry, then fill with all your kids’ craft supplies. I might suggest using a plastic jar (think the whopping jars of mayonnaise) and...

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You’ve come a long way, honey.

If you like your bath products indie and laced with nutritive honey, then we’ve found a new line that’ll make you a bee-liever. Heh. Beecology has such a lovely array of bath and beauty products that I wanted to try one of everything. From shampoo and conditioner to soaps, lotions, and lip balm, all Beecology products are as natural and sustainable as accidental beekeeper and company founder David Rzepka can make them. They even let their customers choose which charities receive the 20% of net profits they donate each year through SweetYear.org. Rare as it is for someone who...

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Baby, you’re a star

I’ve loved the spectacularly gorgeous, understated kids wear from Shirin NYC since first discovering them a few years ago. This is the kind of clothing I spot in a boutique, and the second I touch the silky cotton, I (attempt to) start justifying the splurge. Now I’ve got the same feeling all over again, having seen the new fall/winter line for kids. Bonus: Boys and babies can get in on this year’s styles too. I’m wary of too much glitz on kids, but the new foil print tees add a touch of metallic to their designs in a truly...

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Martha Speaks, and she says to adopt a shelter dog

On Saturday, our family will welcome a new addition. It’s a girl, and she’s black, furry and rescued from the streets of Indiana. So it seems entirely appropriate (if oddly coincidental) that one of our favorite PBS Kids’ cartoons, Martha Speaks, would help us celebrate our rescue of a 2-year-old black lab with a special week of programming this week in anticipation of National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week in early November. All week, Martha Speaks will feature special episodes around animals in shelters, keeping pets safe in your home, and even Martha’s own early days as a shelter pup....

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A Bugaboo stroller accessory not just for Bugaboos.

I’ve always admired Bugaboo for their inventive, practical design–their infamous strollers and thoughtful accessories have arguably influenced a new wave of great design in baby gear. And I really love what they’re doing with their handy new stroller organizer, especially since you don’t have actually to own a Bug to use it .(Shh…) The Bugaboo organizer is a really smart alternative to a diaper bag, especially if you’ve got an actual Bugaboo (which, as moms know, doesn’t have “tons of storage space” as a prime selling point). You just affix the two straps onto the handlebar and you’ve got...

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Sunshine on my shoulders

I know it’s hard to get excited about tote bags, but trust me, when they come from one of our favorite children’s labels, we do get a little excited knowing now they make something we moms can wear too. The new totes from Winter Water Factory really are something special. Don’t believe me? Let me count the ways…they’re beautiful. The eye-catching prints strike the perfect balance between gorgeous and earthy. Second, they’re smart. The roomy size and eight pockets keep everything you need at your fingertips, and one is the perfect size for an iPhone, so you won’t go...

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Tights season is here! Coincidentally, we’ve found some great tights.

October is here, which in my house means we move the tights from the back of the drawer to the front and get ready to say goodbye to those cute bare knees. I’m so thrilled to find a new line of tights for girls that’s not only affordable, the quality is something I’d buy for myself. The makers of Sculptz, some of my favorite shapeware hosiery, have come out with a kids version of (no, not their shapeware!) their Silkies line of tights. Aptly called Little Silkies, they are pretty much everything you want in a tight. Made of...

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Happy birthday, rock star

Birthday cards are kind of a big deal around our house; not just the ones we get, but the ones we give. My kids adore going through the big box o’ loose cards I have, picking out the very perfect one for their friends, and putting as much time into it as they did wandering the toy store aisle for the perfect gift. And now there’s another option that I liked the second I saw them.[don’t miss a giveaway after the jump!] The new boxed cards from Inspired by It are made by a husband-wife team in Rhode Island...

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Poof, you’re a leaf!

Regardless of temperature, I never believe it’s actually fall until the calendar reads October. Which…hello, October! Now that I’ve spotted this Autumn Oak Leaf Wand from one of our favorite Etsy artists, I realize I’m definitely in the spirit. It’s handcut from sustainable wood, hand-finished with non-toxic paints and natural finishes, and capable of performing as much magic as those mass-produced plastic star wands with lace tulle around them. Maybe even a little more. –Liz Find a nice selection of eco-friendly wooden Waldorf toys online at Imagination...

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a dinosaur?

Halloween is just around the corner and the overpriced costume catalogs are rolling in. As I do not own a sewing machine, I of course will be buying. Personally I am hoping to acquire something affordable, easy to get on and off, reusable and without any pink or glitter. Easier said than done right? Or is it?  You know, I never even considered a cape costume until I saw this clever little creation by Pip and Bean. Their Etsy shop sports capes of various concepts, but the coolest by far is this adorable dinosaur cape. This inspired little creation...

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Love Bottle. Yep, we love it.

I’m not one to compromise my design taste because I have kids, but I do generally pass by the fancy dishes or ceramic vases at my favorite stores, not having a lot use for them these days. Still, that doesn’t mean I have to rid my table of all the pretty things I love.[don’t miss a great giveway after the jump!] I admit that I was a little skeptical about Love Bottle, but after seeing them, I’m completely sold. Not just because I like the idea of keeping water in a glass bottle and not in plastic, but because...

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A breakfast that you can squeeze into the morning

I started a new job right about the time my little guys went back to preschool. The rush to get everyone where they need to be has made our mornings a little, uh, more hectic than we’re used to. And while I do manage to give the kids a good breakfast in the morning, I cannot remember the last time I actually did so for myself. Fortunately, these new organic smoothies are a step in the right breakfast direction. The HappySqueeze pouches are the ultimate eat-on-the-run food, since you just pop the top and start slurping.  Organic, low in...

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A baby quilt that’s photo op ready

Nothing says “welcome to the world baby” quite like a cozy quilt. We must have gotten half a dozen of them as gifts when each of my sons were born. We are fully loaded with brightly colored patchworks, dizzying animal prints and handmade woven blankets, all of which do the job, but oh how I wish one of those quilts were as delicate, soft and gorgeous as these lovely ones by Little Auggie.  Made with ultra-snuggly 100% cotton, the printed baby quilts from Little Auggie look perfect for wrapping little bundles. They are certainly not the most budget-friendly blankies...

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Once place to find Missoni for less, that isn’t Target

Maternity wear is a tricky thing. Looking like a slob for nine months is not what most of us want. On the other hand, spending a ton of cash on clothes with such a short shelf life can seem like a big old waste. The answer might be in a new online boutique offering designer maternity clothes on consignment–including everyone’s favorite designer of 2011, Missoni. Encore Maternity was founded by a celebrity stylist/mom who was faced with that same pregnancy fashion conundrum. She wanted to look chic during those nine months, but still wanted to save up for her...

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