Category: Around the House

Because every kid’s a winner when you’re the mother

A few years ago we fell in love with the MomAgenda School Year Journals, so much so that I raved about them everywhere, from my own kids’ classes to the TODAY show (where I also confessed my inability to maintain even a baby book). So I thought it was so clever to discover that this year they’ve come up with a new version, just for you parents of athletes and athletes-to-be.   The Sports Years Memory Journal has 14 folders for storing those rosters, certificates and other mementos, from a pre-k soccer club, through Varsity anything. On each one,...

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The Neato makes the chore of vacuuming suck, in the right way

Take three crumb-dropping kids, a big shedding dog, and a house without air conditioning, and you’ve got one mama who breaks out in a sweat just thinking about vacuuming. But lately, this chore hasn’t required me to do too much more than push a button. Like its predecessor, the previously reviewed Neato XV-11, the new Neato XV-21 robotic vacuum is a suction powerhouse with a motor that lets you know it means business as it revs up like a diminutive jet in my living room. No, it will not achieve lift off.  What makes this newer Neato XV-21 so ideal...

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How do you pit cherries? Aha! We have an easy answer.

I know I’m not the only one who’s always wondered if there’s an easier way to pit cherries. Every year, I wait for cherry season with much anticipation, only to be reminded that with half of my kids needing me to pit their cherries before they can eat them, I’m facing a slow, tedious task, even though I’m fairly handy with a knife. Well this year, I finally invested in an fantastic cherry pitter and now when the kids ask for them, I practically cheer.  The Cherry Chomper is a cute, inexpensive gadget that pops the pits right of cherries with...

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It’s map time

My 5-year-old showed almost zero percent interest in maps until we went on vacation to a beach town. Suddenly, it was very important that she be the holder of the map at all times. It was ultimately a good thing, even if said map ended up covered in melted chocolate ice cream and ripped in random places. Her newfound awareness about the world around her made me appreciate the genius behind Soft Cities even more. Soft Cities are exactly what they sound like: maps of your favorite places printed onto soft blankets and napkins (“mapkins”!). You simply write in the...

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Mobiles for when babies outgrow the black and white

While I will always have a soft spot in my heart for those high-contrast, abstract-shaped, infant mobiles, admittedly they don’t age well as your child gets older. The folks at CMP favorite Petit Collage have the perfect solution for that quiet corner of your kiddo’s room, or the bland area above your landing, or any place that needs a pop of color and little bit of movement. Their gorgeous cut paper mobiles are made with thick cardstock, stitched with cotton thread, and printed in delicious colors. And there’s not a zig-zaggy test pattern among them. All mobiles come fully-assembled and ready...

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Quilts go cosmopolitan

Ever look down from an airplane at the panorama below and consider how very much the ground looks like a crazy quilt? Us, too. That’s just one reason we’re smitten with how these stylish quilts that gorgeous capture the cities and places we love. Haptic Lab designs handmade luxury quilts that represent someone’s unique place in the world through the sense of touch. Each quilt is made of handstitched 100% natural cotton in a cooperative effort between designers in Brooklyn and certified fair trade labor partners in India. White quilts like the one above are so subtle–at first they look...

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A Brooklyn home without the Brooklyn prices

There’s a saying in real estate: location, location, location. But after that’s out of the way, in New York we tend to put a premium on character. You know, exposed brick, tin ceilings, original wood floors. (Don’t ever expect to find wall-to-wall carpeting here. If you do; wonder what it’s hiding underneath.) But now,  if you didn’t find the character you’re craving, now you can fake it with this unbelievable wallpaper series. The trompe l’oeil Brooklyn wallpaper series by Merci, at one of my long-time favorite shops, Rockett St George, is mindblowingly cool. The papers look like the turn-of-the-century...

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Teddy needs a bath

Poor Bun-Bun. I received the stuffed pink rabbit at my first baby shower for my first baby, and he’s been around and loved ever since. Two houses, two kids, and one horrifying overnight stay in the litterbox had turned Bun-Bun from a cheerful pink to a dingy grayish-brown. “I’m sorry about this, Bun-Bun,” I said, zipping him into the bag. And then I tossed him into the darkness. [don’t miss a giveaway after the jump] The darkness of the clothes washer! C’mon, we’re moms. We don’t throw away beloved stuffed animals just because they get a little yucky. But...

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A taste of summer, indoors

Sometimes art just speaks to you, and that’s how I felt gazing at the beautiful original artwork from artist Rachel Austin. I was poking around the Poppytalk Marketplace and discovered Rachel’s wonderful mixed media map paintings. Clearly bitten by the travel bug, her work evokes lovely images across the country, from a lakeside campground to midwestern birds on a wire in Long Island City, all created over original maps. Some are mounted on a boxy, appropriately unfussy wooden frame, and then there’s also a series of archival prints you can have framed yourself.                           I can imagine that...

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The modern family room, redesigned by the Novogratz family

Last week I got a sneak peek at a cool new collaboration between design gurus and parents (of seven!) Bob and Courtney Novogratz and CB2. When I did, all I could do is smile. The colorful wool Family Rug charmed me right off the bat; and I have to say, I’m not always open to peppering my home with “sayings” or words. But in this case, I think it would be so perfect in…well, a family room. But I could also see it in a playroom or a modern entrance way.  Should yours be a little bigger than mine. It comes...

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