Author: Stephanie Mayers

Honor Black History Month with We March

Every February our communities focus on a very important part of our nation’s past during Black History Month. So I’m taking a cue from our schools and continuing the discussion about civil rights at home. Our pick to get the conversations rolling with your kids: We March by Shane W. Evans. In We March, author Shane W. Evans embraces the challenge of explaining Civil Rights and the historic March on Washington to young readers. For a picture book, it is dramatic and powerful, with expressive illustrations that are so expressive that they could almost tell the story all by...

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It’s all about you. Your necklace says so.

I never realized that with all my jewelry hoarding, I don’t have a single monogram necklace or initial piece to my name. Well, I think that is about to change as I have just found the most bad-ass original monogram necklace yet. No matter what your style, you are going to find your monogram match from designer Moon and Lola. These acrylic designs are completely customizable to fit your individual style from modern to froufrou, neutral to bold. Pricing starts at $60, making them a great special occasion gift for the fabulous ladies in your life too. You know you...

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Coolest soft book ever.

We’ve seen plenty of soft books for babies, but none quite like the ones from this Etsy artist. Let’s just say your J Crew catalog may now be safe from that adorable baby stage when your playful little angel mimcs reading magazines just like Mommy–and then destroying them. Crafter Alison James of Mini Me Papers was looking for a safe baby paper option to fit her style, Alison came up with a clever process making protected pages baby can get into without any worries. The result is a clever baby toy made from found and recycled newspapers, magazines and...

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That doll? My kid made that. Sort of.

I spent a good portion of my childhood coloring, drawing and creating and was very proud of what my mother assured me was some serious talent. I can’t even imagine how excited I would have been if she then had one of my creations turned into a doll from my very own artwork. Child’s Own does just that in an incredibly accurate and impressive way. What started as a way to make one boy’s wildly imaginative drawings turned into this uber cool home-based business. Their attention to detail what makes these handmade works of art so so special; if your kid’s monkey...

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The end of hat head

After taking the time to blow dry my mane, the last thing I want to do is pull on a claustrophobic thick wool hat and destroy all my hard work. So what? Just suffer the cold? Deal with the hat head?  Etsy artist Cheryl Bryan has my answer.  We just discovered these totally sweet and rather pretty knit headbands from 4th Generation Designs. Cheryl’s handmade cozy creations will keep you warm, looking lovely and won’t leave you with a flat top. Plus, I have to admit, the crochet flower accent is mighty cute. It’s like saying “Yes, it’s bitter...

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Here’s to us, framed.

While we may not be the kind of family to have our last name on a welcome mat outside our front door, it doesn’t mean we aren’t super proud of our clan. So, when my anniversary came around this past year I thought, sure, a traditional romantic tribute for my husband would be nice, but in the end I went another direction entirely. I decided to pay tribute to us, our lives, choices and our creations together with a custom family print. I have seen a few different artists doing this now but I really love the simple and...

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Lately Lily – World travelers R Us

I don’t have many strong beliefs but one thing I feel very passionately about is travel. We have just this one world provided to us and I believe it is our responsibility as global citizens to get to know it a bit beyond our own backyards. I fully plan on showing my daughter as much of the world as I am able and encouraging her to go out and explore on her own…. but she’s 2. So for now, we’ll start the global education at home with this amazing site.  I was so thrilled with the discovery of the...

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Close like Chopsticks

We do quite a bit of reading in our house especially now that bedtime has somehow extended to an hour. The hour mostly involves the reading and re-reading of a single book over and over and over. So I know a book has gotten a major kiddo thumbs up when it makes the evening rotation. Our newest addition? Chopsticks by New York Times best seller and CMP favorite, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Overall it’s a very cute story about the importance of friendship and independence. Similar to its predecessor Spoon, Amy’s story, accompanied by Scott Magoon’s adorable illustrations, is centered on the friendship of a...

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Vintage meets handmade meets gorgeous

I have a soft spot for stitch art and it’s not just because I live in the embroidery capital of the world (yes, there is such a place). As a gal who can’t even sew a button onto a pair of pants, I greatly admire those patient enough to create detailed designs out of those tedious little stitches. Designer Jamie Davis offers a fresh take on the use of embroidery with her line of vintage luggage pieces. Jamie refinishes her finds with sweet yarn stitching and updates the inner lining with retro inspired bold designs. One of my favorites is...

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Bananagrams go Hebrew. We’re kvelling!

While bananas are not normally something you find associated with Hanukkah, this year we have good reason for you to reconsider- Bananagrams have gone Hebrew. This awesome modern word game already exists in English and in Spanish so we’re excited to see Hebrew Bananagrams  in time for the holidays. I mainly love Bananagrams because it’s a game I can beat my mother (the queen of Scrabble) at. But besides that, it is a great game for the family, which after all is a big part of what the holidays are all about. Plus, it travels in a banana bag,...

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Lucky Kid is back! Lucky kids.

Remember your pre-baby years when you would gazing longingly at the adorable baby and toddler clothes in your favorite stores just dreaming of the day when you would be part of the world with a valid reason to buy them? That was exactly how I felt for years when shopping at the Lucky Brand stores. Lucky’s urban boho youth designs were exactly what I pictured my future child rocking one day. So wouldn’t you know ,as soon as I finally decided to woman up and have a baby, Lucky went and pulled the pint sized line right out from...

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The perfect gift for baby’s first Hanukkah

Baby’s first anything can be difficult to shop for and baby’s first Hanukkah doubly so. So if you are looking for something different and special for the little bundle I suggest you check out Judaica pioneer Emily Rosenfeld. I have personally been gifting from Emily’s charming line of judaica for years. Fashioned out of pewter and featuring funky and playful designs, every Emily Rosenfeld piece is great for the modern Jewish family who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.  In the past I have been known to give her tzedakah boxes and mezuzahs as baby gifts but this “chai” baby...

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Hey, that’s got my name on it!

Looking for a gift this holiday season that won’t take up any more space in the playroom? How about some practical and functional items for your little ones to call all their own?    Artist Mayi Carles has a full line of pieces that you can order personalized with your little one’s name AND likeness. Knowing how my daughter loves anything with her name on it and I am fairly certain she would flip if there was picture of her branding something hers as well. With 34 unbelievably adorable characters you are likely to find one to match your...

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Personalized initial necklaces made with real thread. Not fake gold.

I have an arsenal of go-to occasion gifts and one of my favs for the ladies in my life is the classic initial necklace. Perfect for a new mama or a friend’s birthday it always leaves my girls feeling extra special. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the discovery of these sweet embroidered initial necklaces from Boston jewelry designer Danielle Spurge. In her Etsy shop, the Merriweather Council you can customize your own darling pendant from the background fabric and thread colors to the style of the lettering. It is just a perfect and adorable little gift appropriate for all ages being...

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Eight Crazy Nights. (Not to be confused with Crazy Eights.)

Let’s face it people, good Hanukkah items are hard to come by. Fortunately Emily Sper, creator of those clever Hanukkah activity books is back and I’m especially pleased to find a fresh pick from her for 5772. Emily’ new collection of Hanukkah card games will be a fun way to educate the kids about the details behind the Hanukkah story outside of Sunday school. The set comes with 3 decks of beautifully illustrated playing cards themed around the holiday and intended for classic games like Rumy, Go Fish and Crazy 8s. Also included in the card designs are language...

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What thanks and giving is all about.

It’s the perfect spirit of the holidays come to life: Give a little, get a little, and well, a collectible holiday keepsake doesn’t hurt either. I just discovered the Heart 2011 Designer Ornament Collection from HSN, a partnership with a ton of celebrities and the ever so spectacular St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Browse a wide selection of ornaments including designs by some favorite celebrities. Big names featured in this year’s selection include Nate Berkus, Mariah Carey, Liz Lange and Martha Stewart. The foodie in me personally loves the selections from Emeril Lagasse and my personal inner goddess, Padma Lakshmi–that’s her design...

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You know what they say about gals with big feet…

Jackie O wore a size 11. Julia Child wore a 12. Me? Well, I am somewhere in-between the two. Yes, I’ll say it, I have big feet. I spent many years trying to hide my long and narrows, then eventually I began to accept my fate. But when not a single shoe store carries your size what can you do?  Enter Tess. Tess, a woman in Baltimore with the same affliction, took matters into her own…uh, feet? Teaming up with her mother, she created Barefoot Tess, which sells stylish footwear to ladies like me. You’ll find larger sizes from...

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Hey baby, what’s your sign?

A blankey is the the one gift that I didn’t care we received way too many of when my daughter was born. It’s a perfect idea when you have no idea what the new parents have or need, but want something more keepsake-y than diapers. But this one takes it up a notch, should you want your blanket to be just a wee bit cooler than the others at the shower. This hand stitched super cozy astrology baby blanket is so very sweet, and a more interesting way to personalize it than a mere monogram. It’s made from repurposed...

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3 good reasons to get a sitter in NYC this week

For NYC locals looking for some validation, a good laugh and a short break, we’re got a great excuse to get a sitter–or employ the significant other to give you a night with friends this week. We’ve been seeing more and more talented parents who have taken their own personal experiences and turned them into plays, comedy performances, and engaging performances that are so worth putting on the impractical shoes and getting out for the night. Here, three upcoming shows we’re excited about. Mommies won’t want to miss Motherhood Out Loud. We have been trying to get over to this...

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Indie meets affordable with Dana Kellin for Target

My first job out of college was managing a fantastic gallery of artisan crafts in Philadelphia. It was in that glorious place full of so many beautiful things that I began a love affair with handmade designer jewelry. Let’s just say that a decent part of most paychecks went to purchases for myself (at least I had a good discount!!).  Those relationships lasted and I still love and support many of those artists, but one more than the rest, the oh so talented L.A. based Dana Kellin. So imagine my shock and extreme excitement when I found out Dana...

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