Month: April 2011

The dream room that dream rooms dream about

I still remember when my mom painted a mural in my room. I was five, and it was a 70’s-style jungle scene. I got to help. Seven years later, I took up the muralist’s brush myself and even helped pay my rent in college by whipping up Snoopy nurseries and flower gardens and my own, 90’s style jungles. Sadly, painted murals have mostly been replaced with those clever stick-on decals, which are cheaper and easier to switch out when princesses are out and owls are in. But we’ve found a muralist taking kids’ rooms to the next level– and...

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Princess books for our modern-day princesses

Though they slept through most of the Royal Wedding live coverage, my girls were riveted by the images they watched in the many recaps. And while I was also transfixed by the royal pageantry of it all, I also was quick to talk about some of the qualities I hope Princess Catherine will embody as a modern-day princess: strength, charity, kindness and a strong sense of self. In other words, the same qualities I hope my girls will have.  So, with the images of yesterday’s ceremony fresh in our minds, I’ve decided to round up some of my favorite...

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Dog days of spring

Spring allergies are a) here, and b) not just a human misery. If you have pets, you probably know what I mean when I say I am really, really tired of falling asleep to the arrhythmic snorfling noises of my dog scratching and biting furiously at her itchy skin. I was so excited about this natural dog shampoo alternative I found at a local shop, I couldn’t wait to write about it. And that’s saying something. Shampoo can just exacerbate the issue, unless you use a shampoo gentle enough to actually help and not introduce new irritants. And that goes for people too....

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Missoni loves Havaianas (and So Do I)

Let’s face it: flip flops are a summer must-have. But instead of defaulting to a cheapie pair that will fall apart or fade the first time you wear them, think about investing in a really good pair and wearing them all summer — or forever. My pick for perfect summer flip flops is always Havaianas, and this summer, they’re cuter than ever. Havaianas has teamed up with Missoni (designers of the world’s best retro-pattern knit dresses) for a line of fun and funky flip flops that will make your toes happy all summer long. Made of the same high-quality...

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The anti-photo mug for grandma

Finding a non-cheesy Mother’s Day gift for grandma is no easy feat. There aren’t many obvious options, besides the expected grandchildren paraphernalia (ie anything that bears a photo of said grand-spawn). Not that we don’t love giving grandmas something with your kids’ actual mug on it, but an alternative is an actual mug–if it’s as cool as this one. The Postcup allows you to write a sweet message for grandma to see every time she goes to have a sip of her morning coffee or tea. Making the gift is half the fun. Create a fun message with your...

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Mother’s Day gift for newly divorced mom – Reader Q&A

Do you have any advice for Mother’s Day gifts for divorced mothers? My partner has two young children with his ex-wife. . .and this is their first Mother’s Day being really split up. She’s a wonderful woman and a wonderful mother. But, seeing as how I am something of an outsider in this, I don’t want to overstep my bounds. What sort of Mother’s Day gift is appropriate? – Alexandra Hi Alexandra, what a thoughtful question! We think that a personal Mother’s Day gift from the kids would be a lovely gesture. We’ve looked through our Mother’s Day Gift Guide...

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The beauty of Blissoma (or, how I learned to stop frying my skin and love the vitamins)

Sometimes, I feel like my face is a battlefield. Since that first, confusing teen pimple, I’ve tried everything from earth mama oil cleansing, to whatever Glamour told me to use, to a more…. well, scorched earth policy of serious prescription retinoids that made me peel like a lizard. Ouch. But for the first time, I’ve found something that makes my face feel blissful. Which makes sense, since “bliss” is right there in the name: Blissoma. [don’t miss a great offer after the jump!] The line of Blissoma skincare from Irie Star is an award-winning collection of 100% natural and...

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Web Coolness – royal wedding gifts, rainy-day crafts and the $6400 toilet

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web the week. We hope you will too. A simply lovely, colorful DIY mobile that requires nothing more than paper and thread. A great roundup of what moms really want for Mother’s Day Great design meets a great cause in the Kids of Kathmandu Desk Project. . .and you can bid on these one-of-a-kind pieces. Here are some great ways to reuse plastic Easter eggs for learning games and playtime activities.  The Okee Dokee Brothers‘ new video tells The Naked Truth, and it’s great fun.  Four favorite kids crafts. No need to check...

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Hopscout – The coolest stuff for families at even cooler prices

There are no shortage of deals sites out there these days, and I’m all for it. Who wouldn’t want a few extra bucks in their wallet? But after getting hordes of emails for 55% off dental services and a bunch of other stuff I wouldn’t consider buying in a million years, this new site is a refreshing addition to the sea of discount shopping sites and coupon services out there. Enter Hopscout, my new obsession, and I’m guessing in about two seconds, it’ll be yours too. This beautifully designed site makes deal shopping a high-end experience, with cute sketches, ...

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Mother’s Day jewelry ideas for my husband. (Not that I didn’t love last year’s vacuum.)

Our fabulous Mother’s Day Gift Guide just came out and already I’m ogling the mom jewelry section and crossing my fingers. (Don’t worry. I will also send the link to my husband with detailed directions because, we all know, finger crossing alone would get me nowhere.) I’m head-over-heels in love with the silhouette pendants from Vicente Agor. So very simple, yet also exceptionally sophisticated. What a fantastic new spin on mom jewelry. But with three kids, I’m not sure I’ve got a shot; not unless each kid gets a job and pays for one themselves. But that’s kind of...

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How to turn your email box into a baby book

We’re happy to be working with our sponsor Yahoo! Mail, who’s helping encourage families to stay connected via email. Which, as we know, is a good thing!When my first daughter was born, I was pretty diligent about keeping up her baby book. I even had a blank journal that I kept all sorts of notes in as well – first smile, first tooth, first poop in the bath tub (heh). But when I added my second–and then my third and fourth kid– I couldn’t even find the time to jot down notes to myself let alone notes about the...

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The Orbit Baby Travel System – life changing! Especially if your life is just a few weeks old.

You’re going to think I’m crazy, but believe me when I tell you that the Orbit Baby infant car seat has totally changed my life. It comes with the Orbit Baby Stroller Travel System G2–which includes the amazing stroller frame, too– and has some magical tricks up its sleeve that aren’t in any other car seats on the market. Like a flexible carry handle, amazing eco-foam and fabric, and the easiest to install base I’ve ever seen. The real life-changer, though, is the special circular “SmartHub,” which actually allows you to dock your baby into the car or the...

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4 ways to turn your kids’ art into Mother’s Day gifts

If you’ve got a prolific little artist in your house like me, then you’ve probably exhausted all the creative ways to turn their artwork into gifts for the grandparents. Or maybe you’re looking to start? I’m so excited about these discoveries that I’m sure will make any grandmother swoon this Mother’s Day. I’m already in love with artist Andie Marie’s embroidered hand prints that are featured in our Mother’s Day Gift Guide, but this talented mama of 3 will also take your kids art and turn it into a needlework masterpiece (above; unfortunately no longer available). What a lovely...

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Tween dresses that don’t scream teen – Reader Q&A

I am hoping you can help me with my latest shopping challenge – my 11 year old daughter! She is graduating from 5th grade and needs a dress. She hates pink, ruffles, and anything “too girly” AND shopping for an 11 year old girl is awful!   We need a not little girlish, but not teenagerish simple dress, and I feel we are never going to find it! Thanks! -Sharon Oh, how I can empathize—I have a tall 10 year old who will be attending a wedding in May, and also hates anything that is too frilly. I hope...

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Custom keepsake pendants short on shine, but long on cool

I just think that custom pendants make the ultimate Mother’s Day gift. We always have a few featured on our Mother’s Day Gift Guide each year but here’s one more that’s a far cry from the typical mommy jewelry that scares some (hello!) moms off. The custom portrait pendants from Henderson Dry Goods are nothing short of amazing looking. You just email a jpg of your kids, your grandma’s wedding picture, a baby photo–you name it. The photo gets printed onto walnut veneer backed with silver, finished with one of three decorative borders, and then hangs from an oxidized...

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Who says pregnancy can’t be sexy?

At 38 weeks pregnant, I can honestly say I feel about as unsexy as a sack of potatoes. But just like putting a smile on your face is supposed to make you feel happier, wearing sexy lingerie should do the same thing, right? That was my mindset when I tried on a set of aggressively saucy purple and black lace lingerie. We’ve all heard the term “hot mama” before, but You! Lingerie, a collection of nursing bras and maternity lingerie is taking the yummy mummy look to extremes. The Azalea Orchid (pictured), the set I was sent, is a...

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Talk about a sweet Mother’s Day card

What mom doesn’t love getting cards on the most important holiday of the year? Of course I’m talking about May 8th, (that’s Mother’s Day honey, in case you forgot). And while I’ve loved every glitter-laden handmade card I’ve ever received, I must say that this one might take the cake. Or chocolate. The chocolate postcards, by CMP Fave, Rogue Confections, would be a most welcome addition this year. Not only are they decorated with swoon-worthy Victorian themes, but they’re made of pure Belgian chocolate. Semisweet for the purists, milk chocolate for the masses, and white chocolate for…well, I’m not...

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Is honey safe for babies? This one is.

Back when my oldest was a little baby, I remember a frantic phone call from my mom reminding me not to give the baby honey. Little did she know that I’d already been warned oh, four hundred times by all of my pregnancy and new mom books. But recently I was introduced to a special vegan honey that’s safe for kids of all ages. Bee-Free Honee is made from apples and a little bit of cane sugar and has a syrupy, slightly tart taste that really is good, even if it does taste different than the real thing. It...

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The coolest Mother’s Day Gift Guide is here! Yay!

We’re just so excited to present our annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide which just so happens to be celebrating our very most favorite holiday! Of course we’re devoted to finding cool stuff for moms all year long, but it’s especially fun to put together an assortment of awesome in honor of the day that’s all about us. Whether you’re a mother yourself, are married to a mother, have a mother, or just know a mother or two out there who deserves a little  love and recognition, we hope you’ll discover some fabulous new finds out of more than 50...

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Cool Canadian craft and design for our “collectif” consciousness

If you’re lucky enough to live in Montreal, then April 30 is going to be one really amazing day of shopping. The mama-run Collectif nënë is launching their first annual baby show and you will want to be there. Of course, most of us aren’t Montreal mamas, but that’s what online shopping is for. I started browsing their websites to write this post and, well, let’s just say I’m amazed. These artists have some of the most original and incredible creations and I kind of want one of everything. From the endearing stuffed animals and creatures by Raplapla (above)...

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