Tag: Japanese

Hello Kitty gets in on the pop-up store craze

Is it wrong that I’m still a little obsessed with Hello Kitty? If it were up to me, I’d still wear those HK barrettes I had from the third grade. But, alas, I’m a grown-up now (ish). Well, this holiday season, I’m going to indulge myself in full-on Hello Kitty nostalgia as Sanrio celebrates its 50th anniversary. In honor of the big 5-0, Hello Kitty and her friends will be traveling around the country in a trailer festooned with graphics of all the Sanrio characters from over the years, including my other fave, Keroppi Keroppi. Small Gift, the mobile...

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Transforming the typical robot toy

Though I have a six-year-old son, I have somehow avoided those plastic transforming toys that are supposed to go from a car or a truck to a robot, though I can never get them to look like either one. But avoid a block of wood that transforms into a smiling robot that looks like he’s about to bust a move? No way: This one is just too cool. Created by amazing designer David Weeks, the Cubebot Wooden Robot Toy is a twist on the very-neat Japanese wood craft known as Kumiki. And unlike the typical battery-hogging, noise-producing, plasticky robot toy, the Cubebot is crafted of...

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Not just a nightlight, a magic nightlight. Magic, I tell you!

My kids are in that nightlight phase right now. (They’re also in a Silly Bandz phase, a make me a sandwich and then I won’t eat it phase, and a fighting about who gets to drink out of which princess cup phase. But that’s besides the point.) So when I see something that calls itself a magic nightlight, how can I not check it out? The magic nightlight spotted at Chloe in Style is not one for the eco-istas out there, but it is one for those who covet quirky little Japanese bits of random coolness. It’s like your...

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Clothes for your little baby Buddha

Come on, you know your little man fits the bill. Chubby cheeks, laughing eyes, and a perfectly round Buddha belly. Wouldn’t he look utterly delicious in a kimono? A masculine (but snuggly) kimono? [see our giveaway after the jump!] We’ve always loved Noko baby clothing for girls but we’re thrilled that they’re now offering clothes for boys in 100% pima cotton prints and solids inspired by tenugui, a traditional Japanese fabric that draws on the diverse patterns and colors in nature. But more importantly, these boy clothes are cute, soft, and definitely built to last.   You know how...

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Having a ball

With my daughter’s birthday coming up, I’ve got party decor on the brain. (Expect more on these pages in the coming weeks!)  So when I saw these awesome beach ball decorations made out of waxed Japanese washi paper I went oooohh…You just blow them up like a balloon, but unlike balloons you can actually reuse them again. I love this for a summer party of any kind. Just don’t let the kids try and toss them around the pool, okay? -Liz Find wonderful Asian-inspired party supplies and paper goods at Ginko Papers. [via...

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Bit’z and totally awesome pieces

On a near daily basis, I find myself thinking, “Dude, I wish I were in NYC.” The museums, the subway, the food, the conferences, the shopping, the excitement, the hanging out with CMP editor Liz. [ed note: Come visit any time! -Liz] Life in The Big Apple just seems so bright and shiny and hip compared to my lazy days in the suburbs. Okay, my days are not lazy at all, but you get what I mean. Once I saw the cute collection of clothes and doodads at Bit’z Kids, I had one more reason to sigh wistfully. Located...

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Trend alert – Kimonos are hot this spring

The kimono may have been around since the 8th century, but we are seeing its influence this season in everything from clothing to accessories to chocolate (hello!). The vibrant colors and gorgeous patterns are so fitting for these months following the drab of winter.  Check out how some of our favorite shops and designers have taken their inspiration from kimonos, giving it a modern twist. -Christina NoKo’s Japanese-inspired dresses (photo above) echo the kimono and obi sash with bright contrasting colors and traditional patterns on soft cotton. I love that the style is ready to play, while the look is dressy...

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Three dresses for Mother’s Day

Despite our incredible devotion to tracking down the most awesome Mother’s Day gifts around here, we recognize that not every family is gift-y. Sometimes it’s indeed the thought that counts, and that a beautiful card inscribed with a heartfelt sentiment goes a long way. The origami dress Mother’s Day cards from Kitty Kat Kards are just the thing to make more of a statement than your typical off-the-shelf card. Each of the three dresses are hand folded with love in Maryland, and subtle rhinestones are the finishing touch. It would be the perfect accompaniment to a donation to her...

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The Easter dresses of my dreams

This will be the first Easter in a very long time that we’ll actually be celebrating with extended family. Other than a plane flight with three young children (help!), the toughest item on my agenda will be tracking down cool Easter best clothes for my kids. In years past, I’ve gotten away with more casual attire on Easter, but if I had my druthers, my girls would be wearing Easter dresses from the gorgeous new spring line from CMP fave NoKo. I’m completely in love with the Nico dress (at top), particularly that stylish sash. It’s Easter-fancy but not...

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There’s way more to Japanese pop art than Hello Kitty

When I was in Japan a few years ago, I tried desperately to pack my suitcase full with as much adorableness as possible. But lucky for me (and you), I don’t have to endure the super long plane ride to stock up on imported Japanese goodies thanks to new find Japanistic. Take the Shinzi Katoh cotton tote bags, which feature the illustrator’s signature whimsical artwork that we’ve already completely fallen in love with (Remember these bento lunch boxes?) And I’m thinking that we might have to forgo the candy hearts for my oldest next week and stuff one of those totes with the adorable Elph +...

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Loloko is Japanese for oh-so-cute

I confessed my serious addiction to Japanese cute when I told you about Momiji dolls, so please cut me some slack if I seem a little gushy when talking about Loloko Shop. This little Northern California shop does cute right with little trinkets, home items and office supplies. And the frugalista in me loves that nothing in the shop costs more than $12, meaning things are priced right for kids–and for adults who could do without a credit card hangover. Opened back in 2006, owner Laura (“Lolo”) fell in love with Japanese kawaii during her two years spent living...

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The kids’ pajamas to wake up to Christmas morning – and every morning after that.

I know friends who have a holiday tradition of giving the kids a new pair of pajamas every Christmas Eve. It makes for fantastic photo ops on Christmas morning — but then I visit in the spring and those poor kids are still walking around in candy cane stripes with elves on the chest. For alternative, I am looooving the Kung Fu style Pajamas from mom-run Douglas & Cocoa. These soft, slouchy, sophisticated Asian-inspired pajama sets come in patterns like a forest plaid or a red and green flower print that look festive for the holidays without feeling theme-y....

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Momiji dolls make passing notes cuter than ever

I’m a little unbalanced when it comes to “Japanese cute” (kawaii!) like Momiji Friendship Dolls, the uber-trendy little resin dolls from London’s Artforum, which are a modern and more affordable spin on the traditional Japanese wooden Kokeshi dolls. Like the Kokeshi, Momiji dolls display an amazing attention to detail and expression that have both me and my eight-year-old daughter unable to decide which one is our favorite. At under $20, these heavyweight dolls are meant to be handled, not displayed–a good thing since I know my girls would have one in their pocket to take on their adventures. Before...

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