Author: Betsy

Owls are the new black

If you’ve been anywhere near a children’s shop in the last year or so, you’ll know that an owl is the requisite children’s motif for 2011. And we’re not complaining a bit. Especially when it’s as cute as the ones we’ve just found. This adorable baby owl tee was designed by Holly Cruise, who with her sister Ariel, created Mimosa, a site devoted to great design. The design is silk screened onto 100% organic cotton fabric and sizing ranges from newborn onesies to 6T tees. In addition to an entire menagerie of animal tees (I’m pretty crazy about the...

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A simple Mother’s Day brunch idea. (Would Martha Stewart steer us wrong?)

Ironically, even though I’m the one who’s supposed to being “honored” for Mother’s Day I end up being the one working my butt off putting together a brunch for everyone else. But, before I hang streamers for my pity party I must say that I am actually looking forward to it this year, thanks to a bunch of simple recipes I picked up in this month’s issue of Everyday Food. I got to visit one of Martha’s actual test kitchens this week (and have bruises from pinching myself) while a team of remarkably talented food editors served up some...

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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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Thought you could never afford to be an art collector? Think again with Exhibition A.

I’m a big fan of all the members-only online shopping sites. I’ve bought many outfits, handbags and even a vacation through them, but now I can expand my shopping arena to the world of art. Real art. As in, by real artists. And the best part is, it won’t break the bank. Check out Exhibition A, started by one of my fave designers, Cynthia Rowley. She, along with Bill Powers and Laura Martin, owners of Half Gallery, created this smart service for bringing art to the masses. Sign up for your free account and start cruising works by contemporary...

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Swaddling blankets for the swaddling impaired

It used to drive me crazy when my son was a newborn that I couldn’t learn how to swaddle properly with a swaddling blanket. My husband could. In fact, everybody else could. Why wasn’t this genius product around then? I could have looked like a swaddling superstar! What’s cool about TrueWomb is that it not only secures your baby into the fetal position, which is how they feel most comfortable at that age, but is also made with stretchy, breathable, cotton, so that babies can extend their bodies and move their arms around when they want to–unlike the traditional...

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A Swedish sale on kids clothes as good as their meatballs

Man those Swedes are stellar when it comes to bringing beautiful design to the masses. We’ve long been fans of Vyssan Lull, an online purveyor of gorgeous, cheerful and eco-friendly kid’s clothing with style to spare. And even more so, now that they’re on crazy amazing sale. Usually clothes coming from of some of the best, high-end, Scandinavian fashion companies would have pretty steep price tags, but right now you’ll find them up to 70% off. The clothing, and accessories, range in size from Preemie to 7-years old and a lot of the merchandise is unisex (red and yellow...

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A parenting book you might be surprised to love

My dad died when I was 22 — long before I met my husband, or had my son — and my mom is very much alive. So you wouldn’t necessarily think that the book Parentless Parents, by my friend Allison Gilbert, would resonate with someone like me. And yet it is one of the most inspiring parenting books I’ve ever read. [don’t miss a giveaway after the jump – extended thru 2/16] Lots of moms rely on Grandma or Grandpa to watch their kids when they desperately need a night out, to get parenting advice, or to remember how...

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The Valentine’s gift that made me go Wow.

I love the Valentine’s cards my husband picks out for me each year. Truly, I save each and every one of them. But wouldn’t it be amazing if you got a personalized piece of hand-painted art to hang on your wall and enjoy it year after year? If you said yes, well then I’d have to agree. Check out these exquisitely personalized Heart Portrait Prints from Rifle Paper Co. The artist makes them complete with illustrations of you and your sweetheart, and a little banner featuring your hand-lettered names. Although it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day it doesn’t scream it,...

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The guy who told us to “Whip It Good” is all about doing good

Oh the red, plastic upside down flower-pot-ish hats, and the throbbing techno beat — Man did I love Devo back in the day. Frontman Mark Mothersbaugh has always been a visionary and an artist (maybe your kids know him from Yo Gabba Gabba?) but he also happens to be quite the philanthropist. Mark and fellow artist Shepard Fairey collaborated on a brand new art exhibit in LA called The Big Picture that’s worth a visit if you’re in SoCal. The exhibit features fascinating and fanciful prints that don’t just challenge the viewer to look deeper, but also raise awareness...

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Tie one on

I am generally a coffee drinker, mostly out of habit, but lately I’ve made the switch over to tea and I’m not sure I’ll go back. I enjoy the ritual: brewing the water, selecting the tea of your choice, burning your fingers as you try to fish the tea bag out of the scalding hot mug. Well maybe not that part. Here’s another thought, buy one of these Tie Tea Cups and anchor your tea bag around the tiny “cleat” before pouring the water into the cup. The tea steeps while the string and label stay securely attached. I’m...

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A winter clearance sale at the beginning of winter? Count me in

I love how when my son loses his glove–yes, glove; always the left–the stores are completely sold out of them. In January. Well, there’s one “make way for the spring inventory even though winter just started” clearance sale I think you’re going to want to know about. [don’t miss a great discount after the jump!] Estella is a fancy pants (and tops and onesies) Children’s Boutique in New York City which carries fabulous kid’s clothes in sizes 0-6 that most of us could normally only lust after. Until now; starting today they are taking 75% off all their winter...

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No ifs, and, just lots of butts

“Eyes and ears are much respected, but the butt has been neglected.” And so begins the masterful and hilarious The Butt Book, by Artie Bennett, illustrated by Mike Lester. Let’s face it, few things are funnier to a little kid (and those of us who are young at heart) than butts. [don’t miss a fun giveaway after the jump] Bennett has channeled Dr. Suess to create a picture book that sings the praises of this particular piece of anatomy in perfect bouncy rhymes. Even my 10-year-old son, who has outgrown picture books (but not butt humor) cracked up from...

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Join the circus like you wanted to

There are a gazillion ABC books out there–plenty of which we feature here. While I believe that as long as you’re reading to your child ,you’re already doing great, once in a while a book comes along that really stands out from the others. [don’t miss a nice giveaway after the jump] ABC is for Circus, which was just released a few weeks ago, is one of those books: A chunky little board book, perfect for little hands, filled with brilliantly designed, brightly colored circus images that will make teaching your kid the alphabet a little bit more interesting....

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Add this Dan Zanes’ song to your Hanukkah playlist

Although everyone from Rod Stewart to The Black Eyed Peas seems to put out Christmas albums, it’s pretty rare for anyone besides Adam Sandler to do something new and interesting with Hanukkah music.  New and interesting is something Dan Zanes knows well and his brand-new, just-in-time version of the traditional Hanukkah song Ner Li is a perfect addition to our holiday.  I have to admit I wasn’t familiar with this song, but it’s really lovely. You’ll recognize his famous Spanish-guitar vibe (which makes sense, since one of his collaborators is Sonia De Los Santos). Dan sings the first verse in Hebrew...

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Sandra Boynton – Udderly amazing

To say that Sandra Boynton is my favorite children’s author is an understatement, (with deep props to Dr. Seuss). But truly, for the first few years of my son’s life her chunky children’s books were a constant. Her writing is fun, bouncy and the pictures. Oh, the pictures. [don’t miss a FABULOUS $400 giveaway after the jump! Seriously, it’s a good one…] So squeeze me, because she has just released a new book called Amazing Cows, an ode to all things bovine. I am going to savor all 96 colorful pages of cowtastic jokes, poems, stories, games and more....

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Color me happy

Okay, what do you get when you cross a container junkie and an ex-Art Director? Someone who is madly in love these Pantone tin storage boxes, that’s what. In other words, me. These boxes are ample in size so they’re great for storing everything from art supplies (naturally), to the masterpieces that come home from school, or even a big batch of cookies for your kid’s art teacher. In fact, even if you left them empty (which would be a waste) you could collect several of them and display them to show everyone your artsy side. Get them in...

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Star power

‘Tis the season for lots of neighborhood parties and gatherings, and you know what that means–lots of hostess gifts. I have a closet dedicated to “cutesy gifts gone bad,” like dozens of fancy soaps. (I’m a pump dispenser girl.) Personally I think a hostess gift is to show appreciation for someone’s effort, so I like gifts that are thoughtful, unexpected and won’t break the bank. And we found a fab one. Check out these paper Origami Star Ornaments from rigmarole. The stars are 4” and come with wire eyelets so they’re ready for hanging. Don’t expect snowmen or reindeer...

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Books to bring the Festival of Lights to life

Every Hanukkah, in addition to the loooong lists of requested items (i.e. toys)  we always make sure to include several books as gifts. And guess what–long after my son is bored with the video game he received, he’s still reading and re-reading the books. For the younger set, I really like these Hanukkah activity books by Emily Sper, who we discovered last year for our 2009 holiday gift guide. But now her books have been republished by Scholastic, and they look even more lovely. Toddlers will love Hanukkah: A Counting Book, which is a simple board book, featuring brightly...

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The tribe has spoken, and they are very, very pleased this Hanukkah.

There’s a conversation that goes on in almost every Jewish household around the holidays, where kids wonder where all the cool Hannukah decorations are? Who gets more gifts? And, how is a spinning top not lame? I’m going to answer those questions in the order in which they were received, with the help of an awesome website called Modern Tribe, which gives every Jewish family the gift of cool. While we may not want to festoon our homes with sparkly lights and shiny balls, it is nice to make your home look special. That’s where these lovely hanging decorations...

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Jewelry that really makes a statement

Remember when slogan t-shirts were all the rage? (Yes, I still have my “Frankie Say Relax!” shirt from college.) Well here’s a new way for me to express myself through accessories, maybe even a little bit more cleverly than I could do on my own. Melanie Favreau’s conceptual creations are handmade sterling silver wearable art. Look around the shop and find rings, pendants and necklaces all pressed with sayings like Nosce Teipsum “Know Yourself” or a diamond shaped This is fake, I am not — perfect for us confident women who don’t take ourselves too seriously. Not to mention...

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