Month: September 2012

10 tips for camping with children for the first time

We just returned from our third tent-camping excursion, and while I wouldn’t call us back-country experts, I’ve learned a lot since that first trip when I was still nursing a toddler while trying to keep the other two from falling into the campfire. I think early fall is such a lovely time for an inaugural camping experience: fewer crowds, not too hot around the fire, and cool sleeping nights. So, if you are thinking of taking the plunge, here are my top 10 tips for a successful family camping trip. 1. Your first time? Go local The first time...

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Ralph Lauren Girls fall and holiday collection: gorgeous stuff

Last week, I was so thrilled to be invited to attend the fashion show for the Ralph Lauren Fall and Holiday Girls collection. I have to admit, I was surprised at how wearable and funky a lot of the fashions were, as opposed to the serious, preppy, classic equestrian look you might expect. In fact my own daughters were pointing at the things they liked–all while I kept reminding them we weren’t shopping, we were reporting. Here are some of the more wearable looks and trends that I really loved, along with some budget tips to help you get...

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Sports jerseys from a time when you could actually afford to see the game in person

All kids can rock their little league team uniforms but alas, my kids don’t play traditional team sports and therefore don’t get a complimentary skateboarding jersey (should there be such a thing). They want jerseys, but they want them to be unique and different. Jersey envy? You bet. This sportswear website is the answer to their dreams–and mine–because it’s a fundraising opportunity and a cool thread company. Prep Sportswear lets you choose from shorts, shirts, jerseys and so much more. But my favorite is the remarkably comprehensive vintage team jersey section. We’re talking teams from every state (plus Puerto...

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Vintage Fisher-Price toys that you can actually put in your mouth

I’m not a huge cook but I do dabble in cookie-making. Even I know my way around a hand-mixer, and can manage cookie cutters without any major culinary trauma. However if I had mad fondant skills? I would totally be making these vintage toy cookies and handing them out at every single baby shower for the rest of my life. The Vintage Toy Cookies spotted at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle are absolutely mindblowingly amazing. You will recognize all those Fisher-Price toys from your own childhood, like the xylophone, the ring stacking toy, the vintage phone, and that corn popper push toy that...

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Decorating takes (wicker) balls, but owning the book about it is easy

I love paging through home-furnishings catalogs and feeling that combination of envy and absolute astonishment. Have you ever looked through a spread and thought: “who the heck lives like that?” Of course you have. Well get ready to laugh. The new book, Catalog Living at its Most Absurd: Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls, is every bit as hilarious as it sounds. You may already be a fan of comedienne Molly Erdman and her blog, Catalog Living. It follows the life of Gary and Elaine and their ridiculous furnishings in a mockumentary style that is such an addictive read, entry after...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us and you’ll find goodies like these 5 pins we’re digging this week. A DIY chalkboard project that’s we want. (Will someone make it for us? Ha.) We’re already addicted to this shop–and now they have to go tempt us with this amazing necklace A very cool children’s counting book that makes an awesome first birthday gift. Vintage printable alphabet cards that make great nursery decor, crafts or cards. 10 great organization solutions for parents now that September is...

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A bib that’s less bib and more boho

Babies drool. My oldest was so good at it that every outfit was always drenched. If your pint-sized, drooly hipster needs something a bit cooler and less traditional than a regular bib the Bobobib might be your speed. Bobobib looks like a perfectly tied bandanna, but nifty velcro does all of the work for you in back. And unlike a bandana, Bobobib is truly absorbent and practical to boot and all made in the USA. The organic cotton fabric is super soft, and the 20+ patterns are all really funky and fun. I am partial to Her Cruisers, the...

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A first look at the adorable, affordable new baby line from UNIQLO (and a chance to win a shopping spree from us!)

Yesterday we introduced you to the fantastic new kids line of clothing at UNIQLO, the affordable styles, and the wonderful social good that this global company (and our newest awesome sponsor) is committed to. Oh, plus a chance to win a $100 shopping spree. Today we’re excited to see that not only has the kids line officially launched (Yay!), but there is an extensive and extremely adorable line for newborns, babies and toddlers in Euro sizes 60-100. Or 3 months-3 years. Plus, a second chance to win that shopping spree. You can get a sneak peak at the styles...

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Web Coolness: Fall style, flying with babies, and a sneak peek at Downton Abbey

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too.    Love the European back-to-school style inspiration found in the pages of the new issue of MyLittleSquare online magazine. Props to Target from one dad of an autistic child who meets a very special cashier. Would you pass out Goodie Bags on a plane when flying with an infant? Google Chrome features the story of one of our favorites mom-run businesses, The Cambridge Satchel Company, in their new TV ad. Hooray! Want to stop bullying? This is one solution we...

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Twas the night before your birthday…

I am a big fan of family traditions. And one of the best parts of having a family of my own is that we can create our own traditions. Whether schlepping to Aunt Stacy’s every Thanksgiving for her perfect roasted turkey or watching the NYC July 4th fireworks from our backyard every year, they belong to us and make up a big part of our family identity. So with our daughter’s birthday last week we were super excited to start a brand new tradition of Birthday Eve. We introduced this custom with the wonderful poem and picture book The...

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UNIQLO launches affordable, awesome kids clothes – and all we can say is whoo!

I have been a huge UNIQLO fan for ages. I love their chic mix-and-match basics, their long-lasting wear, the great prices, and the social responsibility commitment of this global company. And now for the first time, US kids can get in on the fabulous, accessible European styling with the brand new UNIQLO Kids and Babies Collection launching tomorrow. (Yay!) So we’re we’re thrilled to be working with them as our latest sponsor, and get the chance to give you a sneak peek of the coolness coming your way. This one is for every parent out there who’s tired of...

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A unique party favor for a forest of one’s own – The terrarium kit

The start of the school year means once again, the hunt for creative party favors and teacher gifts begins. Well we’ve brought you cookies in a jar, dreidels in a jar, and pickles in a jar. Now we’ve got a forest in a jar– made by your very own kid. The Terrarium Kit from the Acme Party Box company is a sweet way to bring the outside in. The kid includes everything you need to make one sweet little terrarium– except the soil and plants, although they include a guide with helpful suggestions so you don’t end up with...

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ThredUp reinvents itself and now buying discount designer kids clothes–or selling them–is a joy

You know how it goes: your kids wear their clothes for a ridiculously short period of time. Sure, there’s always hand-me-downs, or consignment and Craigslist, if you’re motivated enough to try to make some money. But those routes require time and energy that many of us are sorely lacking at this time of year. So we’re happy to discover that thredUP has newly relaunched, as a very easy, very good-looking online consignment shop. Related: Buy and sell designer clothes for the whole family, right from your smart phone Related: Chairish: Shop the country’s coolest vintage shops, all from your couch ThredUP features...

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Homemade soda: recipes as simple as P-O-P

Soda, or “pop” if you’re from the Midwest, is not something you tend to think of as homemade. Even as one of the great American culinary traditions it tends to be mass produced and super sized, laden with high fructose corn syrup, and tagged an enemy in the fight against obesity. But it wasn’t always so. Soda was originally made with nothing more than naturally flavored syrup and carbonated water, which made it much healthier than today’s version. Andrea Lynn, author of The Artisan Soda Workshop, a new handheld guide to homemade sodas, hopes to bring back the simple tradition...

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Esperos Backpacks – Buy a bag and help send a kid to school

During this back-to-school season, it can be kind of easy to forget that there are some kids in the world who don’t go to school at all. But you can help–all with the purchase of a super-cool bookbag or backpack from an amazing company. After a trip to rural Central America, ESPEROS founder Oliver Shuttlesworth was struck by how few children were able to attend school because their parents just couldn’t afford the $20 a year tuition. The philosophy behind ESPEROS was born: buy a bag, help send a kid to school. The process is blessedly simple: ESPEROS subtracts...

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Box Play Stickers turn trash into recycled toy treasure

I’ve always been envious of those crafty upcycle types who can turn a cardboard box or egg carton into an adorable toy or trinket holder. I just don’t have enough of the craft gene to make trash look like much more than…well, trash. But now that I’ve discovered these seriously adorable stickers, that’s all about to change. Eco-friendly craft stickers from Box Play for Kids give regular old recyclables like a quart of juice, a tissue box, or an egg carton a second life by turning them into a bright fire truck, a smiling kitty bank, or a clever place...

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Possibly the world’s cutest baby shoes ever. If you like elephants.

When my daughter was a toddler, she suffered from a malady we called “foot claustrophobia”. Wrangling a pair of shoes onto that squirming, hyperventilating child was an exercise in futility, until we found a pair that had a high “distraction” factor–a butterfly sewn on the shoe, right where she could see it. Much as it helped, that insect wasn’t even close to the cuteness level of these. The new pink/red Baby Elephant shoes from longtime CMP fave Livie and Luca are a bright fresh take on their popular Brown Elephants. These sassy pachyderms will steal your child’s heart (and...

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Free recipe card printables that blend classic design with modern technology

On one hand, actual paper recipe cards seems like they could be going the way of the Betamax and the Rolodex. On the other hand, here comes a wonderful stationer creating lovely free (free!) printable recipe cards that actually make use of technology in the perfect way. Just download the free recipe card printable template from Love Vs Design and you can do much more than print them and then hand write your Grandma’s famous peach pie recipe. You can fill them out on your PC in Adobe Acrobat, meaning they become interactive templates; type in the instructions or...

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Avast, me hearties! It’s a pirate rattle! And it’s cute!

Arrr! What could be cuter than a tiny pirate rattle? Why, a tiny baby holding on to a tiny pirate rattle, of course. September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. But just because you’re too little to talk, doesn’t mean you can’t participate. For every baby who ever dreamed of being a boatswain and swabbing the decks, this adorable tiny pirate rattle is a perfect introduction to life on the high seas. From the scruffy beard to the embroidered belt buckle, this freebooter might just be the cutest pirate I’ve ever seen. And, shiver me timbers, there’s even...

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ABCs from a time when B was for Balloon, not Boy Band

My mother-in-law is amazing at keeping childhood treasures — we have everything from my husband’s toy car collection to original copies of his favorite children’s books — and we treasure this vintage ephemera so. I love that these old toys and books are just as beautiful and appropriate now as they were back then, because childhood is truly timeless. Sometimes I wonder if these books will still be around when my kids have children of their own. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Which is why, while we definitely hang onto these old toys and books, I simply cannot imagine tearing...

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