Author: Mir

Mix, match, stack, stun

I have a thing for rings, so when I first saw these recycled sterling silver stacking rivet rings from the very talented Julie Booras of Heart and Stone Jewelry I was immediately drawn to them for all of the obvious reasons. But I realized that — while getting your rings personalized with your kids’ names is very nice and all — part of what I really liked about them was the ability to wear one, two, or three as the mood struck. And so getting them with my kids’ names was not going to fit the bill. (Imagine that...

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Where’s the fun? Goby knows.

I’m a somewhat nervous traveler, but unlike most of our kind, it’s not the flying I hate. More like I need to know exactly what we’re doing when. My husband, on the other hand, is happy to just plan “camping” and “figure it out when we get there.” Ack. Thanks to goby, a new online search engine dedicated to activity planning, I can now just smile with him, agree, and then turn to my laptop. Input your location, dates, and what sort of fun you want and Goby hooks you up with all the available activities, plus links to...

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Prayers for the modern mama

The short, tongue-in-cheek “prayers” you’ll find in Tracy Mayor’s Mommy Prayers are perfect for believers and non-believers alike. Because no matter our faith, we can all agree that yes, we’ve all recited some version of the Before the Meltdown prayer–you know, the one that ends with a desperate plea to just please please please please let us get to the parking lot before all hell breaks loose. It shouldn’t surprise me that a Brain, Child magazine editor like Mayor brings a cheeky we’ve-all-thought-it-even-if-we-haven’t-said-it approach to the parental quest for serenity. This is the perfect gift for every new mom,...

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The skinny on scrumptious, kid-friendly recipes

We’re all trying to eat better, right? And preparing fresh, healthy food for our families is no problem at all, what with our busy lives, children’s picky palates, and our own dietary restrictions as we head into swimsuit season (ahem). Yeah. Here comes chef Jennifer Iserloh, a.k.a. The Skinny Chef, to the rescue. This media maven is something of an everycook–not only does her site boast an impressive category of kid-friendly recipes that are as delicious as they are nutritious, she makes it all palatable for the entire family. Read: She offers up a wine pairing for that Butternut...

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Let your baby pay it forward, right from birth

Sure, it’s awesome to be gifted all kinds of needed gear and cute outfits when you’re having a baby. We’re the first to tell you that! But maybe you’re doing well enough to afford all of that stuff on your own. Or maybe this is your second (or third or fourth) baby. Or maybe you just hold children-focused charities near and dear to your heart. If that’s the case, head on over to The Baby Effect to print out little enclosure cards explaining that you believe that every birth represents a chance to make a better world for the...

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Just Let Me Lie Down – The working mom’s ABCs of BTDT

Kristin van Ogtrop is the editor of Real Simple, which means that her life as a working mom is full of high-power glamour and nary a regret. Right. Okay, I’ll confess I was worried that might be true, but it turns out that Kristin is someone with whom I’d share a margarita any day, and her upcoming Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom is a hilarious must-read for any mom who’s ever struggled to balance home and career. Just Let Me Lie Down takes us through the entire alphabet of the trials and...

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A better way to put their heads on plates

Somehow I think my oft-repeated empty threat of serving my kids’ heads on a plate might have carried even less weight if we had owned had these adorable It Looks Like Me! personalized plates from Olliegraphic. Choose hair, eye and skin color, hairstyle, and (of course) add their name for the final touch. I can think of no small child who wouldn’t be utterly delighted to have a cherubic, cartoon version of themselves smiling up from underneath a variety of foods they’re probably planning to refuse. Note to Olliegraphic: Might want to consider adding in devil horns as an...

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The little desk set that could. And will.

There isn’t a single thing not to like about the functional design of these groovy desk/chair pairings from midesk, from their hand-crafted here in the USA wooden cut-outs to the non-toxic paints used to finish them. These desks are a marvel of storage — the chairs have two shelves tucked inside the base — and they’re sized just right for small scholars. On top of that, they take up remarkably little space, when the chairs are tucked neatly into the desks. So, sure, love them for all of that, but prepare to really love them: For every ten desks...

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Tween cool, entirely 100% hoochie free

As the mother of a fashion-conscious tween, I am here to tell you that sizes 10-14 or so are a forgotten wasteland when it comes to outfitting your kid. Little kid clothes are plentiful and varied, but the choices taper off with each successive size. Most days I’m faced with the choice between Too Mature and Too Boring, with precious little in between. I tell you this to explain my elation over discovering Axl’s Closet, which not only stocks plenty of kid-approved options in the 8-14 age range, but does so from trendy labels that don’t succumb to skimpy...

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Make your picture worth more than a thousand words

It’s all well and good when I shoot a picture or two off to my parents from my phone while the kids are at an event, but then sometimes I forget (or don’t have time) to type in a complete explanation. Later, my dad calls me up and says, That was great, but what the heck was it? But now that I can either visit the free Fotobabble photosharing website or load up the Fotobabble iPhone app, I’ve got everything I need to make sure that each picture can tell its story. Just load in a picture, record a...

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We built this city on nouns and verbs

The first thing I thought when I checked out the Grammaropolis website is that it’s like Grammar Rock and the Mr. Men books had an adorable love child. You’ve got the catchy music, the little cartoon parts of speech (the verb is a superhero ready for action, and the interjection kind of looks like a cheerleader), and then a variety of ways for kids to get their language on. Watch the video–my favorite part is when Gramma pops up to say thanks for the song and they’re all, No, Gramma, it’s not Gramma Ropolis, it’s Grammaropolis! You’ll only have...

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Get sentenced to family wordplay

Family game night getting a little stale? Gather round for a whole new game of speed, literacy, and I’d say, hilarity with this dandy little game I’ve found right here for you mamas of older kids. You’ve Been Sentenced! is deceptively simple; each player draws ten cards, flipping them simultaneously as the timer is set. Before time runs out, build a sentence. Easy, right? Each pentagonal card contains five variations of a word (say, zip, zips, zipped, zippy and zipper) with different point values depending on the form, so theoretically it should be easy to come up with something....

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Girls of substance and style, rejoice!

Oh, Kiki magazine, where have you been all my daughter’s life? Where are the scantily clad waifs in thousand-dollar outfits? Where are all the advertisements for more stuff that no one needs? Where are the tips and tricks about how to land boys, kiss boys, think properly about boys, and then tell boys no? Conspicuously absent, I’ll say. Kiki is fashion and style and activities and crafts and book chat and common sense talk about being happy and healthy, peppered with pictures of girls in all shapes and sizes. It totally passed the litmus test with my tween (“Hey...

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Brass meets sterling, circle meets rectangle

I have delicate, dainty necklaces and I have chunky, rustic necklaces, and sometimes I wish I had something that was more, I don’t know, both. (Why yes–I am that person who always gets twist when we go for soft serve. How did you guess?) The love necklace by ripegoods hits that sweet spot right in the middle; the chain is brass, but made of almost lacy, tiny links. The round and rectangular brass pieces have a gorgeous natural patina and can be custom hand-stamped. (I went for my initial on one, my husband’s initial on the other.) And then...

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Charity starts at home, on the computer, in the KidzStore

YesKidzCan! is about co-founders Lisa Novick and Julie Chapman’s dream of making it easier for even busy families to participate in giving back to their communities. Which is great. So when I had the opportunity to chat with them last week, I told them right up front that while gratuitous Z’s usually turn me right off, in their case, I’ll make an exception. In the KidzStore you’ll find a variety of “Act of Kindness” kits for a mere $8 apiece (they’re even cheaper if you buy more), that contain whatever you need to bring charity to life in a...

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Cooking for dummies (and smarties, too)

Put down that take-out menu–I’m here to tell you that yes, you can cook a complete meal without pulling out your hair. Sure, there are a million recipe sites out there, and some of them are fantastic, but what if you want instructions on a whole meal, from what to buy to what wine goes best? Well, then you head over to NoTakeOut and start browsing. Each meal is completely laid out from what to buy at the supermarket to what kitchen tools you’ll need. Check the prep time, bake time, and even the dessert suggestion before you get...

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Crumpler does kids’ backpacks and cool moms everywhere go Yay!

You probably already know Crumpler for their sturdy, stylish bags for adults. Or at least you should. But now they’ve gone and shrunk two of their favorites down to kid-size and it’s definitely worth a look. The Baby Pea preschool backpack is for the 2-4 set, and the Baby Anchovy (pictured here) is for those 3-5. Though, truthfully, I think kids up to about age 8 will find the Baby Anchovy backpack perfectly ample for their needs. Unless they’re toting home bags full of bricks or 30-foot dioramas from school. Hope not. Both bags come in a variety of colors,...

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See Jane get totally organized for her next trip

If you’re planning a trip to California, New York, or Chicago in the near future, See Jane Fly is ready to offer you a customized travel guide to help you plan. But regardless of where you’re headed, peep their latest free perk: The See Jane Fly Toolbox, which is filled with everything you might need to get ready to hit the road. I was impressed with the free printable ready-made checklists including ones for what to pack for your 0-6 month old, which is handy because I don’t remember having two spare braincells to rub together when I had...

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Now Alice is right on your iPhone

We were so smitten with the cheeky online shopping helper Alice when it first debuted, we’re now thrilled to find that we can take Alice everywhere, via their brand new iPhone App. It’s all the same things we love about the original–shopping reminders, 50 daily deals, an easy way to keep track of household purchases, and free shipping. Only now it’s on your iPhone. So if the urge strikes you to order up more TP while you’re sitting in the carpool line, you don’t have to resist.  -Mir Visit our affiliate Alice on the web and get a $10...

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Reusable grocery totes fit for the opera

We’ve long been a fan of Envirosax as a great, affordable option when it comes to going to reusable bags, and now they’ve gone and stepped up the chic another notch: Their new La Boheme series is “inspired by a fusion of the romanticism of Bohemia and the ideals of the Art Nouveau movement.” Okay so they’re still reusable nylon bags and not fit to wear out with your opera coat and pearls. But the five new lush designs will make you feel pretty fancy even though you’re hauling up to 44 pounds. If you’re looking to complete your...

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