Month: July 2012

Tree swings like they used to make them

One of my children’s very favorite thing about Grandma’s house is the the swing in the backyard. We are city-dwellers after all, and swings are generally something you have to wait in line for. This one started as a little baby swing hanging from a sturdy tree branch, evolved to a tire swing, and who knows what it will become after that. Maybe even this beautiful, totally handmade swing. The handmade tree swing from Philly woodworkers Margaux and Walter Kent is totally made of reclaimed wood and each one is made to order. The one in the photo is...

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A cool passport holder – you won’t believe what it’s made out of.

Not everyone gets excited about cool passport holders. But I do. While I’m not the most organized of people in my normal, day-to-day life, I turn into an organizational queen when my family travels, so I’m always on the lookout for organizational tools so amazing, I might actually get to relax a little. All the better if said tools are upcycled and totally gorgeous. Poketo’s Upcycled Leather Passport Holders will do the job quite nicely. These sleek cases are handmade entirely from leather of vintage sofas. Cool right? The results are textured collages, and no two are the same. Kind of a...

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Baby bloomers nearly as cute that little butt they’re covering

One of the essentials in my girls’ summer wardrobe when they were babies were bloomers. It was so easy to just toss a cute pair over a diaper, add a little tunic or tee, and we were off. I love the selection of high quality cotton baby bloomers at family-run Kicky Pants, which have the cutest little ruffle detail on the back–just enough to make a statement but not so much that the kid’s butt looks like a wedding cake. (Trust me, we’ve seen plenty of those.) They come in 9 sweet colors including a fun lime green which is now...

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Free printable French alphabet flashcards, from abeille to zèbre

Whether you are planning a trip to Paris or just want to sneak a little bilingual education into your day, I’m totally smitten by these adorable flashcards from our recent favorite freebie find, Mr. Printables.  With the same cute, colorful illustrations that we recently saw on their French Alphabet Poster, this set of French Alphabet flash cards can be in your hands today: Just print on card stock and cut out the set.  I love that each card includes the feminine and masculine articles “le/la” or “un/une” since this can be such a tricky thing for us English speakers. I only...

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If they had a hammer. . .

When my kids were little, they had a bunch of plastic “tools” that they could use around the house. But once they outgrew these toys and actually wanted to “saw” something, I was at a loss since our real tools were just too big and dangerous. But here, at last is a compact tool kit out of France that’s sized perfectly for their little hands. Moulin Roty’s Wooden Tool Box is such a nice gift for the young aspiring carpenter. With a child-size hammer, two screwdrivers, and a mini saw, this beautifully constructed and packaged kit is a great...

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A magnifique DIY doll pattern for your wee Francophiles

While you’re still allowed to love your American Girl, we’re all in favor of international love and acceptance amongst our treasured dolls. And now there’s a new doll in town, ready to put visions of Paris, croissants and classic French style into the heads of your little doll lovers. That is, after you sew her up. The I love Paris doll kit from MIKO Design on Etsy comes with two pieces of silkscreen cotton and instructions to make an adorable soft doll and a wee Eiffel Tower. While my talents in sewing are limited solely to “button replacement,” this kit...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest? Us too! Here are 5 great pins worth repinning this week. 1. Free printables for a cool lemonade stand. 2. A cherry-Nutella ice cream sundae recipe to die for. 3. Must have accessory: This awesome tote bag for camera lovers. 4. An adorable iPad case that brings out our inner child. 5. Maybe the coolest kids building blocks ever. (Grownups want them for themselves!) Are you following us on Pinterest? Hope to see you...

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Tetris, now in 3D. Also, no screen.

For those of you like me who spent far too many hours playing Tetris on your Gameboy (RIP), you’ll know instantly why I thought these blocks for kids were a fantastic idea. The Tetris Blocks by Kubix come with 50 colorful, geometric blocks that kids can lie flat and interlock, or just use them as they would regular blocks and let their imaginations go. They could even create games out of them, as you see how high you can stack them, or how many you can fit together of a single color or shape. Tetris blocks would make a...

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Our favorite swaddlers, now as crib sheets

The aden + anais swaddlers have been a staple in my household since my second baby was born, but now that my youngest is almost two-years old, we’ve outgrown them a bit. So imagine how thrilled I was to learn that they’ve recently launched crib sheets. The new aden + anais crib sheets are made from the same super soft muslin that their blankets are known for, and really, I couldn’t think of a better material for a baby to sleep on. It’s cool during the summer months, but still cozy in the winter. And if they wash as...

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Web Coolness – A bicycle built for 7, awesome Cookie Monster video, and the funniest birth plan ever.

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. We’re blown away by this biking mom in Portland who transports her six kids–without a car. She must have some calves! A “life-size” LEGO forest sprouts up in the middle of the Australian outback. At least there are no little pieces to step on in the night. (h/t My Modern Met) Kristen’s lovely and sage, What Will Be Precious, looks at all the “stuff” we save for our kids and questions if we should be keeping it all. You think...

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Mod kids furniture that looks just like the grownup stuff

Adding to the growing list of things I know now, that I didn’t when I had my first kid: I would have skipped the cheap stuff, and invested in a solid kids’ table and set of chairs. We’ve gone through far too many to count. If you’re a mid-century fan on the lookout for cool kids’ chairs at a fantastic price, you’ll want to snatch these up while they’re on sale.  Reminiscent of the Arne Jacobson chairs, the bentwood Kids’ Scoop-Back chairs at West Elm are a beautiful addition to any kids’ table. They’re available in either ash or white...

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The coolest temporary tattoos celebrate a birthday. But the gift is just for you!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since the launch of Tattly tattoos, those cool artist-designed temporary tats curated by design blogging guru Tina Roth-Eisenberg, that put the Cracker Jacks versions to shame. And because our heart is always with supporting small companies, we’re always happy to see one that’s made it to another year. We’re also happy to see that they’re offering a big discount for a limited time, just to thank everyone for supporting them for a year. Tattly has issued a honkin’ 50% off on all Tattly tattoos over the next few days....

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Sports drinks for kids, hold the artificial everything

We’re all a little prone to dehydration in the summer around here, so I’m not above letting my kids grab swigs of my Gatorade on a really hot day. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s not the best. So I’m all for trying out an electrolyte-enhanced drink made just for kids, especially when the ingredients are 100% natural. Grombomb is a very cool little mom/pop devised beverage with flavors definitely made to appeal to kids–sour apple, lemonade, watermelon, fruit punch. Lemonade is the most subtle (says the mom) and the only one I could see...

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Turning baby clothes into a quilt. Or better, having someone talented do it for you.

If you’re like me, then you’ve got a couple of boxes in the attic with a few of each of your kids’ baby clothes. Every now and then I wonder what exactly I’m going to do with them when I pull them out in ten years and they’re all dusty and mildewy. I’ve always liked the idea of keepsake baby quilts made from baby clothes, but so few actually look as gorgeous as these. Each Keepsake Quilt is handmade by mom Lucinda Snyder, who works with you to create a beautiful 30 x 30 blanket made from 12 to...

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Ice Cream Sundaes – 5 sensational recipes for summer

There is simply no substitute for ice cream sundaes in the summer. When you’re looking for hoots and hollers, a kiddie cone just won’t do. Pull out the big scoops and make one of these ice cream sundae recipes. These sundaes are made with the best fresh ingredients that summer has to offer, making them a little more on the adult side. (No chocolate syrup in a bottle, sorry.) Whether you make your own ice cream or pick some up at the store–I’m lucky to get mine at the  #1 Zagat rated New York City ice cream shop–these summer...

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Summer shampoos just for kids (and their paraben-averse parents)

I’ve been using Fairy Tales hair care products since my girls’ first haircuts, when the stylist recommended them. While they’ve become very well known for their gentle lice shampoos and repellants for kids, the rest of their line is pretty awesome too. And now they’ve got a few new kids’ hair care additions that are perfect for summer. The Lifeguard Clarifying Shampoo and Lemon-Aid Conditioner are fantastic for after days in the sun, dips in the salty ocean, or underwater time in the chlorinated pool. You can even leave the conditioner in a few minutes to stave off that green tint...

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Candy bars without all the junk? Yes, it’s Unreal.

I wish my kids would smack their lips over kale chips the same way they do the junk-filled candy they stare at in the supermarket checkout line. But while I can’t say I’ve found a line of candy made of kale (ha), I have discovered a brand that takes some of our favorite candy bars and reformulates them, without all the not-so-good stuff. Unreal Candy may sound too good to be true: No corn syrups, no GMO’s, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors or preservatives, made in the US and Canada. . .and priced the same as regular candy...

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When everything at Bluefly goes on sale, you kinda have to take a look, right?

With everything now at Bluefly up to 75% off I thought I’d poke around there and point out a few (a very, very few) great deals on gorgeous things. Should you be in a shopping-for-less kind of a mood. Just hurry–by the time you read this, who knows what will be left. But remember, it’s Bluefly, not Old Navy. It’s still going to be a bit spendy. Pour La Victoire Tote: $177.75 , was $395 Ray-Ban Havana Tortoise Glasses: $87 was $145 Kooba Handcrafted Leather Bucket Tote: $240.75 , was $535 Shoshanna Ikat Dress: $163.50, was $363Set of 13...

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Personalized baby gifts without the big prices

Some of my most favorite baby gifts to give and receive are personalized, but they can often be a little tough on the budget. That’s why I’m so thrilled that one of our favorite Etsy artisans has started making personalized baby name gifts that are easy on the eyes and your wallet.  Last year, we were all instantly smitten with the affordable embroidered initial necklaces from Merriweather Council–so much so that Liz featured them on the TODAY Show. So I’m not surprised that her new custom baby name wall art caught my eye. I just love the combination of whimsical fabric...

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How do you get the drawstring back in your sweatshirt? With the best silly little gadget thingie, ever

Lost drawstrings are up there at the top of all the annoying scale for me as far as clothing mishaps go. In fact, I just spent the last month frustrated that a small silk drawstring belt came out of a silk dress; I couldn’t figure out how to get it back through without jamming a safety pin in to thread it through, and probably poking holes in the silk. So when I got wind of this brand new doodad that helps you take care of those very lost drawstrings I was like, sign me up to try it out!...

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