Author: Mir

Swapping it forward with Swap Mamas

I used to do the consignment thing with my kids’ outgrown clothes, but I’ve just not found a store in our new locale that has enough stuff I want to buy to make it worth my while to sell there. And I admit that dropping bags anonymously at Goodwill can be hard when they contain something my kids really loved. Swap Mamas is the social media answer to a consignment shop – a way to send your gently used items to a new home, and find the items you need yourself all while connecting with like-minded parents. It’s like...

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The gift the kids will love to ruin

With the kids heading back to school, the birthday party circuit will be starting up again. If your kid is old enough to read, you may understand my temptation to give other kids books rather than more toys. The problem is that while their parents might love you for it, not every kid is delighted to receive a book. Except that every kid will be delighted to receive this book: Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. It’s a masterpiece manual of embracing creativity and bucking the ordinary, and entirely made to be destroyed. Really! So yes, by all means, write...

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Threadless + Childhood = BFFs

I have a giant soft spot in my heart for Threadless, already–my kids and I all wear the community-centered shop’s artist designed shirts–but now there’s one more reason to love them. Threadless Kids has recently teamed up with Babycenter to create the Threadless Loves Childhood design contest. Just create a tee inspired by the “fascinating journey of childhood” and it could win you a cool $2,500 in cash and prizes. And best of all? The winning design will be printed on both child- and adult-sized shirts, so the whole family can snag the latest and greatest design when it’s...

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What’s the baby going to look like?

So you’re pregnant, and every blurry black-and-white ultrasound photo of baby is up on the fridge, and you spend many a quiet moment imagining what your baby might look like. Will she have your eyes? His chin? That funny little dimple you get in the corner of your mouth? If you just can’t wait until baby arrives to get a load of that adorable little face, check out the latest bit of fun from the folks at Aha! Baby: Their Sneak-A-Peek picture maker allows you to upload photos of Mom and Dad and combine them to “make” a picture...

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Recession shopping tip: Last season it was new, this season it’s a sale

If you’ve been known to lust after designer backpacks and dream of sending your kid back to school in impeccable style, but can’t quite bring yourself to face the designer price tag, I have some great news. Now’s a great time to buy those gorgeous designs you drooled over a couple of seasons ago, at a price you might be able to stomach. Behold: Right now you can choose from an adorable array of Room Seven backpacks–sure, not this season’s, but who cares?–at a savings of up to 40% (or more) at Popodona. I won’t tell anyone you didn’t...

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The waste-free lunch kit with something for everyone

The day I realized how many plastic baggies I was using in my kids’ lunches each week was the day I began trying every sort of reusable container and wrap out there. Nowadays the kids take a cobbled-together assortment of reusables in their lunch bags, but the Kids Konserve kit appeals to me for three reasons. First, it’s everything you could possibly need for a single gone-green lunch, with a combination of reusable lunch sack, reusable sandwich bag, stainless steel bottle, cloth napkin, and safe food storage, all perfectly coordinated. There’s “fun” butterfly and caterpillar designs for the little...

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Let them wheat-free eat cake

Since giving up wheat, there are a few foods I no longer miss, and others I dream about regularly. One of the items I’ve fantasize about binging on is chocolate chip cookies. I’d just not found a suitable replacement without the gluten. So I was excited to try the new Kids Central Kitchen 360 Chocolate Chip Flip bar cookie mix. Would it fill that Tollhouse-shaped hole in my heart? The answer is… yes and no. This is not the mix to buy if you want a cookie. But! This is absolutely the mix to buy if you miss cake....

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A fashion fix fit for flats

I have jeans for flats and jeans for heels, but every now and then, a denim emergency does occur. Like, the flat-length jeans are dirty and I need to get the kids from school right now and I’m sure as heck not putting on heels for the carpool lane. Bristols 6 brings a little envelope of awesome to the solution: Their Hem Tape comes in sheets of pre-cut, double-sided sticky strips you can just lift, stick, and like magic, your too-long jeans are suddenly “hemmed” in a flash–no needles or iron required. It’s not a permanent solution (don’t put...

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Tastier than a Chia Pet

Remember Chia Pets? I remember blowing my allowance on one of those back in the day. Alas, they seem to have gone the way of Sea Monkeys and X-Ray glasses; momentarily entertaining, but ultimately kind of disappointing. Well it turns out that chia seeds are actually something called Salvia, and a very special variety of Salvia is now trademarked as Salba. Why do you care? You care because Salba is a veritable superfood–8x more Omega-3s than salmon, 6x more calcium than milk, 6x more iron than green beans, more fiber than flax (and yes I’m obsessed). Salba’s nutritional profile...

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The coolest thing to happen to pictures since flip books

Remember when we were kids and there were books with ridgy plastic covers where the picture seemed to move? I had one where a fish appeared to swim across the cover. I thought it was magic. Snapily allows you to make those, except with your own pictures, and in the application of your choice-a postcard, notebook, invitation or note card to send to camp or Grandma’s house in time for her birthday. Combine the before and after photos of that time the baby bit into a lemon, or juxtapose pictures of your son and daughter or you and your...

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The iPhone app for babies, bottles, and boobs

Proving the quip that, Yep, there’s an app for that, Baby Brain has created the ultimate iPhone app that we think you new moms will love for tracking baby’s vital stats. Once you’ve programmed in your baby (or babies), it’s as simple as the press of a button to log diapers, sleep, even every possible detail about feedings, from how many ounces in a bottle to which boob and for how long. I especially love that you can press a button to start the boob timer, in case–like me–you’re prone to nodding off while baby nurses. It’s all right...

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Ideal Bite – How to go green when you don’t have time to go green

My crush on Ideal Bite began with the first sentence of their philosophy: If we all knew what we could do in the day to day to impact the planet and our communities in a positive way, we’d do it. I used to say that I would live a greener life if only it wasn’t so expensive to do so. Then a lot of the more eco-friendly products came down in price, and I started being able to afford a bit more, but then it became an issue of time. There are barely enough hours in the day to...

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Avast, ye scurvy junk food

It had to happen eventually – -first Cookie Monster, and now pirates have gone on a health kick. Now your wee sea raider can easily sport a message of terror best befitting his or her station in life (right at the highchair) with these adorable pirate onesies. And really, is there any message that strikes more fear into a kid’s heart than the directive to eat yar peas and carrots! Find them from the terrific design studio, Red Prarie Press for just 15 bucks. Then when dinner is refused, you can feel free to declare it’s time for someone...

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Read it again (and again and again and again)

We’ve all been there; the kid has found his Most Favorite Book Ever, and he wants to hear it over and over. Sure, you were a patient and loving model parent the first 5,000 times, but after that I think you get a pass. With One More Story, not only your kid get his book fix, he can start learning how to read on his own, too. Their online library of awesome children’s books (about 50 so far of both old classics and new favorites) allows your child to view and listen to the actual book pages on screen,...

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Tiny little circles of awesome

I’m the sort of person who is into the idea of personalized jewelry a lot more than the reality — the reality usually being a little more twee and a lot more expensive than I like. But at SimaG Jewelry on Etsy, metalsmith Sima Gilady creates a wide array of simple yet beautiful customizable pieces that I can get behind. My favorite is the Circle of Joy necklace, pictured here. It’s just 1″ across, leaving me wondering how she manages the perfect stamped lettering. The result is my favorite sort of subtle effect; from a distance, it looks like...

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Good karma’s in the bag

Say that you need a giant-sized tote bag for the beach next weekend — or if you’re a family of geeks like mine, your library books — and you’re just not the preppy major-label canvas tote type. And say that you not only want something earth-friendly and a little funky, you’d really like it if it came from a company that’s employing and empowering women and dedicated to paying it forward. Say all of those things, and you have mi k babe and their four fabulous bag options. Whether you choose hemp, Recyclon or organic cotton, you’re getting a...

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Go play outside!

While I wholeheartedly support the idea of grandparents getting outside to play with the grandkids, don’t let the fact that this downloadable Go Play Outside guide is being offered through Grandparents.com dissuade you from checking it out yourself, mamas. It’s packed with 97 different suggestions for outdoor fun for just about anyone. And it’s totally free. As are plenty of the suggestions. Of course if you can con, er, convince a grandparent to hang out with the kids in the great outdoors and log their hours on the site, Grandparents.com and KaBOOM! will donate up to $10,000 towards building...

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Brag book lite

My husband is a photographer, and the good news is that we have countless professional-quality photographs of the kids. The bad news is that almost all of them exist only on my husband’s computer. Ahem. Because just as the shoemaker’s children go barefoot, the photographer’s wife tires of reminding him to please, just order some prints already. Now I can take matters into my own hands–or pocket, or purse–with these adorable ZoomAlbums; each kit comes with everything I need to make three 3″ square photo books, and the best part is that I just drop the family pictures into...

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Mamapedia – Like Yahoo Answers just for moms

I’ll confess that I don’t really have the time or the patience for most community bulletin boards and the drama that sometimes seems to come with them. But the concept has always appealed to me — a quick way to pose a question to the masses and get feedback. If only there was a way to take that model and streamline it.  Ah, wait! There is! Meet Mamapedia. The site not only allows you to ask your question and gather responses from other moms, it allows users to rate answers as useful or not — ostensibly to get rid...

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Paperless Post – Online invitations too beautiful to be online invitations

I’m a huge fan of the electronic invitation, because I’m an online kinda gal. But I have to admit that sometimes there’s simply no substitute for nice stationery if you want to be proper about it. So it’s about time someone created a service that combines both. Paperless Post is literally the best of both worlds. You can manage your event online, track who’s viewed your invite, amass RSVPs, even sell tickets online. But the custom designs you create are so gorgeous, you’d send them on paper if only you had the time. And the money. And knew where...

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