Author: Julie

Best baby books? – Reader Q+A

Any suggestions for a good baby book? I saw the “Baby’s First Year Journal” in your Ultimate Baby Shower Guide but I’m wondering if you have any other cool things you’ve found out there? -Janet First of all, our all new 2012 Baby Shower Gift Guide is going to be out any day now. You’re in for a treat! But back to your question–we’ve found no shortage of super cool baby books of all varieties. What we seem to be lacking, however is the time to fill them out. For you motivated mamas who are ready to document those...

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Play clothes for the sand trap or the sand box

One of the many surprise discoveries I made after having a baby boy was that I’m actually pickier about boy clothes. Specifically, a lot of sports-themed duds don’t pass muster, but select favorites make me swoon. But here’s a new line that gets the green light from me. Check out the spring 2011 connection from Fore!! Axel and Hudson and you’ll see why I love the subtle graphics, like the shower of golf tees and screenprint suspenders, as well as  the vintage 1970’s styles and patterns. I can totally picture my little dude in these golf-inspired designs, looking like...

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Turn those kiddos into busy bees

Spring break is on its way, and I’m making plans. But my spring break plans don’t involve beaches, bikinis, or beer. Instead, I’m looking for ways to keep my kids busy. (Besides cleaning the bathroom, my standard fallback response to the cry of boredom.) If you’re in my same boat, crafty DIY site WhipUp.net has a cool solution. The inaugural issue of the Action Pack Mini-Mag is all about paper and beeswax, with instructions for making origami boats (dipped in beeswax so they really float), beeswax candles and lip balm with printable labels, plus how-to steps for drawing bees,...

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Vancouver travel with families – O Canada!

When you think of foreign travel, Canada probably doesn’t spring to mind. After all, we’ve got hockey, maple syrup, and a Francophile or two here in the United States, right? Well, yes. But as I discovered on a recent trip to Vancouver and the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, thanks to a wonderful press trip put on by the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, the Vancouver area is well worth exploring on a family vacation. Vancouver My first stop was Vancouver. The Four Seasons Vancouver is situated atop the Pacific Centre shopping complex, within walking...

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That’s right honey, you can’t win

While I’ve never taken my husband to task for only buying three lemons instead of the dozen I requested (“Who asks for a dozen lemons anyway?”), I have to confess that I avoid sending him to the grocery store because…well, whatever he gets is usually wrong. So when I saw this reusable grocery bag from CMP fave Twisted Twee, I felt like it was made just for me. Or actually, just for my husband. Hand printed on washable cotton, “Whatever I get, it will be wrong” is absolutely right. I think I’ll buy it and stash it in his...

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Parenting tips from the (cool, funny) mom next door

I used to love reading parenting guides. My oldest child was an overachiever from the start, and the guides served as affirmation that she was a prodigy and I was a model parent. Then my middle child – my obstinate, tantrum-throwing, speech-delayed middle child – was born, and I chucked all those parenting books in the garbage. I really wish I’d had Jen Singer’s “Stop Second-Guessing Yourself” books back then. Creator of the much-lauded virtual community MommaSaid.net, Jen is the kind of mom we all wish lived next door. Her trademark candor and cheeky humor elevates these parenting guides...

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You say it’s your Birth Day

When I was pregnant for the first time, I developed an unhealthy affinity for those birth documentaries that had previously repelled me.  Something about growing a baby myself made me want to click over and immerse myself in the gory details. A new book from pediatrician Mark Sloan, Birth Day, would have been a far better alternative. Dr. Sloan is a fantastic storyteller, weaving historical information, medical studies, and his own professional experience into a truly fascinating look at childbirth over the centuries. I really like how the level of technical detail and writing style are accessible to just...

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Flipping for BrainFlips

Kids these days have it so easy: Cell phones, computers, and cartoons on TV twenty-four hours a day. Technology has even made studying a cinch. No more Encyclopedia Britannica — now it’s all about search engines. But flashcards are one classic study method that hasn’t been improved upon by technology, until now. Check out BrainFlips – an amazing way to create your own multimedia online flashcards when you’re teaching your kids the state capitals, basic arithmetic, animals complete with animal sounds, or learning a new language before a big trip.  Enter the questions, fill in the answers, keep your...

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Purple Trail makes anybody a professional party planner

I want to be a good hostess, really I do. But my idea of throwing a party involves opening a few bottles of wine and putting steaks on the grill. I’m a little shaky where it comes to the details that elevate a party from fun to fabulous. Purple Trail is exactly what entertaining-impaired hostesses like me need. It’s not just another online invitation service–though the design options are endless and gorgeous and totally ad-free.  What makes Purple Trail so appealing to me are the unique party ideas like diaper poker (I guess if you have to play a...

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Group gifts get smarter

With a child heading to second grade next year (how did that happen already?), I’m well-versed in the usual procedure of collecting money for a group teacher gift.  Problem is, we’re still doing it the same way we did it when I was a kid: Everybody sends in five bucks and one parent buys a gift card with all the dough. Next year, I’m going to strongly suggest that we use lolligift instead.  An online “social gifting” service, Lolligift makes the process of pooling funds practically effortless.  I love that all I have to do is send a few...

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