Month: September 2012

A giant gumball machine filled with cupcakes? Oh lord, yes

We’ve seen gumball machines. We’ve seen the ones that give out terrible lead-paint drenched toys, tattoos and decoder rings. But finally there’s one that tops them all: A cupcake machine for your next party. Whoa. CMP and all-around New York City favorite Baked By Melissa, makers of those irresistible bite-sized cupcakes, took Fashion Week as an opportunity to roll out a 6.5-foot tall cupcake pod machine. Drop in a token, and one of 2,000 delicious, fresh cupcake will roll out, sealed in a little plastic pod. You never know which of the inventive flavors you’ll get, which is a...

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Party perfection: raise the roof AND raise money for your fave nonprofits

Planning a kids’ party isn’t for the faint of heart, even though the end results (adorable cake-face photos! happy wee ones!) are always worth it.  Let’s face it: life is crazybusy. So I can totally see why more and more parents are turning to online party-planning services to lighten the load. But we’ve found one with a little extra do-gooding awesomeness to sweeten the deal. A few years back we discovered ECHOage, a site which helps you can organize a fete for your kiddo that directly benefits more than 120 nonprofits. They’ve evolved since then, with adorable invitations, and even...

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Put a letter on it with a Jana Feifer custom tote

As we moms know, when your belly and butt are often times growing and shrinking thanks to your kiddos (not just me, right?), handbags and purses are the one thing that will always fit. Well, at least that’s the rationale I’m using to snatch up one of these gorgeous custom totes.  I’m not generally one to wear my name or initials, but for the Letters for Literacy tote by Jana Feifer I will make an exception. Known for her gorgeous color-blocked leather totes and hobo bags that even scored a place on Oprah’s Favorite Things List, Jana took a hiatus from...

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The Weelicious cookbook – the cookbook every family should own

Remember our list of 6 cookbooks that every parent should own? Well, make room on your cookbook shelf for one more: the new Weelicious cookbook by Catherine McCord. [Like great food? Then don’t miss a super giveaway for two readers after the jump] Before I get to the many reasons why Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes is fabulous, allow me to digress for a moment. When former chef Anthony Bourdain wrote his breakout book Kitchen Confidential, he caught flack for calling out his kitchen brethren. I’m about to do something similar, and not just because I’ll do nearly anything...

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Ahoy! Plunder this treasure of adorable shirts for your favorite matey

Avast me hearties, it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day! And if you have a little landlubber who likes to plunder your desk drawers and yell arrrrrrr at all hours of the day and night, we have got the cutest little tee to add to your booty. The Pepe the Pirate tee from b. childrenswear features a kid-friendly design for kiddos with an affection for life on the high seas. I’d call the design “pirate lite” since Pepe looks like he’d be perfectly amenable to swabbing the deck a second or third time, instead of doing something truly lawless. If...

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Puzzles that are curiouser and curiouser (and cooler and cooler)

I’ll admit it–puzzles don’t normally pique my curiosity. But when you combine a beautiful painting with intricate laser-cut wood pieces that are works of art in themselves, you have me grinning like a Cheshire Cat. Artifact Puzzles is pure puzzle genius, with offerings like we’ve never seen. Alice in Wonderland by artist Justin Hillgrove is just one option–they’ve got tons of others to charm you as well.  Each sophisticated puzzle is laser-cut of 1/4″ thick wood in the most interesting shapes. From cats to octopi and teacups to toadstools, these are not your average wiggly bits. And they’re not for...

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Color your own cake-venture!

Confession: I once baked a birthday cake so ugly my daughter cried. I’m not kidding. So for those of you without culinary arts degrees, here’s one way to make the birthday kid feel special and ensure that her cake will be exactly what she wants. With a bouquet of food-safe edible ink markers, the Sweetapolita blog shows us how a white birthday cake became the perfect canvas for budding artists and we’re smitten! We’ve recommended this cookie and food marker combo before, but any set will do, like these gourmet food writing markers. You can order a cake covered with...

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Baby-friendly bling: necklaces safe for little nibblers

When my son was a baby, he was fascinated by my jewelry–a fascination that led to his stuffing fistfuls of my necklaces into his curious mouth. Worried that my necklaces might be sporting some not-so-friendly chemicals, I stopped wearing them altogether. At the time, I didn’t have any other option–because I didn’t have any Chewbeads. Chewbeads, which we love so much you’ll find them in our Baby Shower Gift Guide, are every bling-crazy mom’s salvation. These non-toxic, silicone jewelry pieces are stylish for mama and intriguingly colorful (and mouth-safe) for babies who like to chomp. And now I’m loving...

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Got an awesome idea for a kid’s t-shirt? It could win you $5,000.

Think you can do better than “diva,” “boob man,” or the ever popular “my dad can beat up your dad?” Of course you can. And Threadless and Gap think so too. Which is why in their continued partnership, they’ve just introduced a contest for your kid–or maybe even you–to create the most awesome kids’ t-shirt design. The Gap Kids/Threadless T-shirt Design Challenge is pretty simple: think of  a wonderful, glorious, joyful design for a baby or child’s t-shirt and the winner will not only be sold at Threadless and Gap, you’ll win $5,000. I love the idea of them...

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Don’t you worry about a thing

While we’re big supporters of all the cool kids’ music out there, there’s so much great adult music that kids love too. And no, not just the Beatles. So I’m really happy to see one of my kids’ favorite “grown-up” songs has been turned into a joyful, colorful, exuberant children’s book that brings the timeless lyrics to life. Admit it: you sang Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds to your kids when they were babies like I did, right? If so, you’ll instantly fall for the children’s book Every Little Thing, which has been adapted by his daughter Cedella Marley...

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Pop art placemats that pack a punch

Ah, the poor humble placemat. Sure, placemats serve a noble purpose: to keep spills and mess (somewhat) contained. But have you ever fallen in love with one? I have. I’m totally smitten with Pop Placemats. These puppies demand attention with their hip styling and personalized pizzazz. They scream: “I am functional and fabulous, KAPOW!” Their old-school cartoon flavor, reminiscent of my favorite Batman episodes of yore, make me so darn happy…and that’s before coffee. Bold graphics keep young Warhols-in-training inspired, and 100% easy-wipe polyester (with no-skid bottoms) keep mama and papa smiling at all the, uh, mealtime art all over the table.  -Eva...

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The Fresco Chrome from Bloom is one hot high chair

Until now, I’d never realized that a highchair could be a style statement. I’ve always steered toward simplicity when it comes to kids’ furniture, but the dazzling new highchair from Bloom has me positively wowed. The Fresco Chrome Special Edition highchair from Bloom is an even cooler version of their already amazingly fancy Fresco highchair. The Fresco, if you hadn’t heard, is every design-centric parent’s dream highchair. The Fresco Chrome offers a metallic seat and some pretty rad updates to the original. It’s stylish, slick and futuristic–but trust us, this highchair does a lot more than just look cool....

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5 tech picks you won’t want to miss this week

We’ve got tech in the bag–get it?–with a few of our favorite picks from the last week, just in case you missed them. And of course, we’re serving up the big iPhone 5 news! 1. These stylish bags are utterly amazing. Wait till you read how they’re going to make your life easier and keep you from missing magic moments. It doesn’t hurt that they’re gorgeous, either. 2. What does Pam from The Office–er, Jenna Fischer–use to calm her one-year-old on the plane? Click here to find out! Hint: it’s not her Dundie award. 3. We’ve got the scoop on...

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Things to do in Manhattan that aren’t your typical things to do in Manhattan

Even as a lifelong New Yorker (more or less), I love that there’s always something new to do in Manhattan. Not just because there are new shops and museums and restaurants popping up all the time; but because there are so many old ones that you simply never noticed before. It’s probably why when visitors to Manhattan ask me, “what should I do when I’m here?” It’s hard to offer a quick answer besides Central Park and walking the Brooklyn Bridge. That’s why I’m excite about a super clever new website that helps turn you onto the Manhattan you...

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Run 10 Feed 10: running with a purpose

I’m a huge fan of FEED. If you’re not familiar with this amazing company run by Lauren Bush, let me give you the CliffsNotes version: you buy a funky bag, shirt or more, and you are directly helping to feed a school child through partnerships with organizations like the UN World Food Programme, UNICEF, Room to Read, Donors Choose.  Different from other retail organizations that promise to give a portion of proceeds to charity, the FEED donation is built directly into the cost of the bag. A bag with the number ten stenciled on it will feed ten children–it’s...

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Raise a Ruckus with Hullabaloo’s latest CD for kids

Steve Denyes of Hullabaloo has the kind of cool Johnny Cash-esque voice that would be right at home in a honky-tonk country bar. Fortunately for our kids, he and his childhood friend Brendan Kremer have decided to make great kids’ music instead of crooning to boring old grownups. And their latest release is a real barn-burner. The dozen songs on Raise a Ruckus mix swing-your-partner country with story-telling folk and good ol’ rock-and-roll for a toe-tapping, upbeat sound. The fiddle-and-banjo-filled title song alone begs for dancing (and could exhaust even the most energetic five-year-old).  I love that Hullabaloo has such a...

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Turning kids’ art into accessories with My Pretty Monsters

There’s an avalanche waiting to happen. Somewhere in your house, a pile of drawings and paintings is teetering, just waiting to collapse and terrify the cat. At least, that’s what happened to me.  Here’s a better way to honor your kid’s creations: by wearing their art as accessories. My Pretty Monsters transforms children’s artwork into lovingly crafted keepsakes. Whether you choose a messenger bag, a phone zippy, a purse, or even a giant stuffed animal, this gift will please your child as much as it pleases you.                      These aren’t assembly-line works, either. For example, each...

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A stylish solution for storage needs

Finding storage solutions is one of our obsessions. I love buckets and bins, but I need them to be on budget and, just as important for me, not boring to look at. Chewing The Cud has solved both of those problems by creating these adorable fabric storage buckets that are modern, whimsical and easy on the wallet. You can choose from a variety of colors and patterns as well as different sizes. These buckets are perfect for for display, gift presentation and storage. I can already think of so many ways to use them around my house!                                   Use them...

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What’s new (and awesome!) for families at Azul Beach Hotel

My family’s trip to Azul Beach Hotel in Cancun a few years ago was one of our all-time favorite vacations. And that’s saying a lot, considering we traveled with our (then) three kids under the age of 4, including a 3-month old. Since our first visit, this boutique family hotel has undergone a huge multimillion dollar renovation, and I was thrilled to be invited back to experience it firsthand. And based on what I saw, you’ll want to be sure to add Azul Beach to the top of your list for your next family vacation. Snazzy New Accommodations The biggest...

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Before Rowling there was Tolkien

This week, at their father’s insistence, we introduced the kids to Lord of the Rings–he wanted to get a head start before The Hobbit finally comes out. Well, my older daughter is now officially obsessed, roleplaying Frodo at every turn. (She didn’t want to be Arwyn, surprisingly. Kind of cool.) If you’ve got a kid who’s smitten with Tolkien, but you’re not ready to fill their room with giant full-color posters of Orcs, this minimalist design option is awesome. Designer Jamesy has created this lovely Minimalist Lord of the Rings series of posters. I think the Fellowship of the...

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