Posts in October, 2010

Happy Halloween

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

halloween-bumble-bee-baby

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween. I am looking forward to seeing all of the trick-or-treaters tonight. Hopefully my son will actually wear his costume… This bumble bee is the adorable daughter of my friend Kelly who is also one of the Sweet Peas & Stilettos featured modern moms. Thanks for sharing Kelly!


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Tory Burch Foundation Studded Cuff

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

tory-burch-foundation-studded-cuff

Want to add a little color to your fall wardrobe and help a good cause while you are at it? Check out these cool Tory Burch cuffs with sunflower-emblazoned studs. Don’t you love the colors? I love leather cuffs because they are so light and comfortable, you hardly feel like you are wearing anything on your wrist. All profits from the purchase of these cuffs will benefit the Tory Burch Foundation which is committed to providing economic opportunities to women and their families in the United States. It is wonderful that Tory Burch and her team have made giving back an integral part of their company. She is a real inspiration.

If you want to find more ‘shop for a good cause‘ options I have a whole page of cool products worth checking out. In addition, I am trying to add featured ‘shop for a good cause’ companies and organizations in every category on Sweet Peas & Stilettos. Please email me if you know of any other cool companies who have made philanthropy core to their organization.


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Shoe Storage Tower

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

sarah-shoe-storage-tower

I have to thank my friend Leslie for sending me the head’s up on this amazing shoe storage tower. Don’t you just want it! After seeing this picture I know what is going on the top of my Christmas list. The description states that the “Sarah Shoe and Handbag Storage Tower offers the luxury of a custom built–in at a fraction of the cost. Cubbies are lined in soft, pale gray fabric to protect expensive shoes and handbags and keep them looking newer longer.”  You can change the size of the cubbies to perfectly match your shoe and handbag collection. It is available online at Ballard Design. Now if I could just add a room to my house and get one for every wall….




Time Traveling Book for Kids

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

a-street-through-time-a-12000-Year-Walk-Through-History

Susan has found a a great book for all of the kids out there ready for a little time traveling. Here is her latest book review:

A Street Through Time: A 12,000-Year Walk Through History, written by Dr. Anne Millard, illustrated by Steve Noon.

One of the toughest things to teach kids is the concept of time. I’m not talking about the desperate “five minutes, one minute, now, now, I really mean it, NOW!” to get your offspring out the door for school. I mean giving your children a sense of the past, the ability to understand that an awful lot happened in the world before they were born.

Just telling kids that a building is “even older than Granddad!” gets tired quickly, especially for Granddad. So it might be time to reach for A Street Through Time: A 12,000-Year Walk Through History.

Each page of the book shows the same “street” during a different era, from a small, stone-age farming settlement in 10,000 B.C. to a modern city. The colorful illustrations stretch across both oversized pages, and every inch is necessary – each tiny person, depicted in careful detail, is doing something interesting. Early farmers hunt with bows and arrows, while Victorian city-dwellers arrive at a train station and buy cloth in a store. Many of the buildings have the walls “cut away” so the interiors are visible. Each page gets more and more crowded as the bucolic landscape is edged out by factories and apartment buildings and the people multiply.

It’s possible to spend minutes or much, much longer on each page, depending on the age and attention span of your child. For younger children, this is definitely a “reach” book, although they might enjoy looking at the animals, boats, and trains. Older kids will love comparing the different houses, clothes, and technologies of each era. The toilets and bathrooms (or lack thereof) may be especially fascinating. It’s also fun to find Henry Hyde, a “time traveler” from a present day museum, on each page, à la Where’s Waldo?.

A Street Through Time, however, does contain some violent and unsavory elements, though fewer than most Where’s Waldo? books. Several of the streets are destroyed by wars, and one page depicts a plague. Hunters shoot animals, factories pollute the sky, and people are wounded. You’re the best judge of whether your child can handle a less-varnished view of history. If they – and you – can, the trip is worth it.

Susan Fry is a writer and mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written for Stanford Magazine, salon, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications.

Interior Decorating Books

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Hue-Kelly-Wearstler

Do you ever look around your house with a desire to just start all over, liven things up, and create a fresh new environment for you and your family? All it takes is a little inspiration (and yes, a little money too…). I love interior decorating and design books. It is always a joy for me to get a sneak peek into other homes and rooms. Kind of like going to every open house in your neighborhood, without the hassle. It is also such a treat to see what these creative geniuses are doing. Kelly Wearstler is the ultimate modern mom and the author of HUE, pictured above. I must admit, I am more than a bit in awe of her and everything she does. Check out her gorgeous book and many others to help you get your creative juices flowing. Sometimes all you need is a fresh coat of paint, a new throw rug, and new window treatments to completely change the look of a room. Flipping through these books is a great way to get ideas about new color combinations too. Though I live in a very eclectic home, I always love finding new ways of combining objects new and old to create a really personal and colorful space. Now might be the perfect time to freshen up your living space, before all those relatives arrive for the holidays…

Holiday Party Invitations

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

holiday-block-party-invitation

Are you planning on throwing a huge fabulous holiday party this year? I am on the fence. We usually have a big Christmas celebration but I am not sure if I have the time and energy this year. It is always a great time so I am sure I will come around soon. The one thing that gets me really excited for hosting a holiday bash is picking out the invitations. I’ve searched high and low and have compiled a bunch of my favorites for all of you. Go check them out in case you also need a little party inspiration. This one is from Minted. Cheers!


Everybody Can Love Dragons

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

dragon-world

Earlier this week my son and I were sitting on the couch and he turned around and very deliberately asked, “Mommy, how do dragons get the princesses from their castles?”  It was clear his head was spinning in fascination – wondering how these colorful creatures spend their days and nights. He often plays with a very old wooden dragon I brought home from Vietnam. I am sure he will unearth it again when we read Susan’s next collection of books together. Here is her latest installment:

Thousands of years ago, some boy or girl probably wandered into a cave and found a T-Rex skull poking out of the ground. And while they missed out on the millions of dollars the Smithsonian would currently pay for the fossil, a legend was born.

Who, really, doesn’t like dragons? Dragons can appeal to even the most timid child. More adventurous children, of course, might admire a dragon’s ability to breathe fire and destroy an entire pirate ship. But let’s not forget the pretty, shiny scales that come in all colors of the rainbow. And if you bring up the possibility of actually riding on a dragon’s back, you’ll have even the most squeamish child begging for more.

For parents who aren’t willing to channel their inner Lord of the Rings geek, try thinking of dragons as a chance to introduce your child to different cultures – as the books below show, nearly every country seems to have produced their very own type of beast.

The Knight and the Dragon, by Tomie de Paola. Paola lets you indulge your child’s bloodthirsty desires for knights and dragons, but without the violence. A knight and a dragon learn how to fight by studying books and practicing with wooden dummies. Despite their best efforts, however, they are terrible – the knight runs into a tree, and the dragon falls in a lake. Thanks to a librarian/princess, they become friends instead. They even open a restaurant! The end isn’t too sweet, thanks to the humorous ways the knight transforms his armor into a barbeque. The story and illustrations are clear enough even for young children.

Where’s the Dragon?, written by Jason Hook, illustrated by Richard Hook. A little boy goes looking for dragons with his nearsighted Grandfather. But while the boy sees the dragons surrounding them, his Grandfather manages to miss them all, even when he walks into a dragon’s mouth. I like the way the books shows kids that grownups don’t always know everything. The illustrations are upraised, so kids can feel the scales while hunting for all the cleverly-hidden dragons. Kids also get a glimpse of a different culture, as the boy lives in a Norwegian village filled with traditional, intricately-carved woodwork.

Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like, written by Jay Williams, illustrated by Mercer Mayer. When a village is threatened by horsemen, the villagers ask the dragon god for help. But an old man shows up instead, and the adults scoff. “Everybody knows what a dragon looks like,” they say. It takes a child, of course, to treat the old man with respect, and he repays the good deed by metamorphosing into a truly magnificent dragon. It’s fun to see Mercer Mayer’s familiar style combine with the truly lovely, Chinese-inspired illustrations.

Dragon World: A Pop-Up Guide to These Scaled Beasts, by Milivoj Ceran, Keith Moseley, Skip Skwarek. This pop-up book presents a tour around the world through the “natural history” of dragons, from “facts” about dragon eggs and eating habits to brief retellings of famous stories. The last page compares dragons to actual animals such as dinosaurs and cobras. The pop-ups – one per page, each dominated by a single, bright color – are stunning, but they may be a little scary for younger children.

Susan Fry is a writer and mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s written for Stanford Magazine, salon, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other publications.

O+Kay

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

O-Kay-knits-for-kids

I am always on the lookout for cute clothes for boys. As much as my son loves having race cars and dump trucks on every article of clothing, I am much more partial to neutral basics like this handsome zip-up hoody sweater. With winter right around the corner, I am stocking up on sweaters and vests to keep him warm. I was thrilled to learn about O+Kay a few months ago. O+Kay is the ultimate luxury knit collection for fashion forward minis designed by Grace Sun. All O+Kay fall styles are 100% cashmere and are super soft and comfy for your little ones to enjoy. If you have a little girl you will certainly want to check out their signature ruffle cape. So cute! The Fall 2010 collection is the first delivery for O+Kay. I can’t wait to see their Holiday collection too. Hopefully it will be here soon.

Pop on over here is you want to shop for more children’s clothes and shoes.

The Women’s Conference

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Maria-shriver-womens-conference

I am getting so so so excited for next week’s Women’s Conference hosted by California’s First Lady Maria Shriver. I will start my Tuesday morning with First Lady Michelle Obama and end it with Oprah – can’t beat that! If you want to learn more about the event or watch the live webcast, check out The Women’s Conference website. Maria Shriver and her team have created a fabulous online resource for women looking for empowerment, inspiration and information. I always find so many inspiring stories, insights and new ideas, and I always log off the site feeling motivated to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. One of my favorite parts about the site is that the writers are a combination of celebrities/experts and everyday people like you and me. I have been honored to be one of the ‘everyday’ writers featured on the site a few times, and I can tell you it was very cool to see my own words in between Heidi Klum’s and Christiane Amanpour’s.

So be sure to take break on Tuesday and come join the event online. If you are able to snag a ticket and make it to the event in Long Beach – even better.

Shop to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

save-the-ta-tas-shirt

So many companies all over the country who have joined forces to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Grab some Boob Lube® and a Save the ta-tas® t-shirt to start and then support the great companies below.

Bumble + bumble – $5 from every purchase of Spray de Mode (made through their website) will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

Estée Lauder – Estée Lauder will donate $500,000 to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®. Show your support and help spread awareness by shopping from their Pink Ribbon Collection.

Hanes – t-shirts and panties – shop their Pink Collection and support the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®

Luna – the Berry Almond Bar was created in honor of the Breast Cancer Fund

Ralph Lauren – Pink Pony Auction – bid on incredible once in a lifetime opportunities with proceeds benefitting the Pink Pony Fund and the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation

Red Flower – 100% of the October profits from their moisturizing body lotion will go to Cancer and Careers.

Tiny Prints – 100% of the proceeds from this card collection will benefit The Pink Agenda’s mission to cure breast cancer through research, prevention and awareness.

Tory Burchfashion ribbon t-shirt – read the Nancy Brinker post on the Tory Burch blog

Wacoal – Wacoal will donate $2 to Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® for every woman who participates in their Fit for the Cure® event, plus an extra $2 for every item you purchase

White House | Black Market – Shop the Give Hope Collection, up to $250,000 will be donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer

White + Warren – fun pink leopard print accessories in their Pink Collection – 50% of the proceeds will go to Women at Risk