Posts in January, 2011

Purse Charm GIVEAWAY

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

beloved-trinkets-purse-charm

I want to send out a huge thank you to Beloved Trinkets for sponsoring a great GIVEAWAY for Sweet Peas & Stilettos fans this week. One lucky Sweet Peas & Stilettos’ Facebook fan will win a FREE silver personalized photo purse charm. The winner will be randomly selected and notified on February 7th, so come join Sweet Peas & Stilettos on Facebook if you haven’t already.

I used to travel a lot of work and people often asked to see a picture of my son. I always had to dig through my bag, find my wallet, sift through a stack of credit cards and 5 minutes later have a small, wrinkled photo to show my friends and co-workers. Beloved Trinkets makes these adorable purse charms that you can easily attach to your purse or diaper bag and easily show off your little one to everyone. You can buy one charm for each of your children and one with a photo of your pet and make a fun charm bracelet of sorts on your tote bag. These charms would make great gifts for grandma on Valentine’s Day…..  Beloved Trinkets makes a lot of great mommy photo jewelry in case you want to take a peek at their pendants and bracelets. Be sure to join Beloved Trinkets on Facebook too.

Good luck – I hope you win!

Bienvenue Chez Polo!

Friday, January 28th, 2011

the-adventures-of-polo

Friday’s book review by Susan Fry – it’s all about Polo:

In high school, my favorite part of French class was reading The Little Prince and The Adventures of Tintin.

Tintin was manga before manga was cool – the rip-roaring adventures of a young Belgium reporter and his faithful dog, Snowy, told in lovely cartoons with densely-inked words. Tintin’s travels ranged from the Arctic Circle to the Congo, and the plots often veered into the whimsical or the darkly supernatural.

The Little Prince, on the other hand, expressed a deeply emotional philosophy in a few simple pages, with deceptively simple drawings of a young boy living on a tiny planet.

Both are too old for young children. But if you’re eager to pass on some aspect of their fanciful outlook, humor, and adventure to your kids, welcome to the world of Polo.

Régis Faller’s series follow the travels of a cheerful little dog named Polo. Polo lives in a house carved out of the trunk of a big tree. Most of the stories begin with Polo poking his head outside his door and gleefully following whatever opportunities open up for him. His voyages take on a logic all their own. He balances on a tight rope that changes into a stairway that leads to a moving cloud. He hops on the cloud for a ride, scooping up part of it for a snack. Or he uses a crayon he finds in a treasure chest to draw a doorway that leads to a forest, where he meets a dragon.

On every trip, Polo makes new friends, from a snowman to an alien, a pelican to a wise man. The stories end when he brings them home to his tree house.

Faller’s pictures have the same slightly wobbly lines as The Little Prince, as if a child has drawn them. But Polo’s colors are brighter than The Little Prince, strong, rich primary colors that pop even from across a room.

And did I mention that the books are wordless? You don’t need to read French – or even to read at all – to love them. And when you become as addicted as my children and I are, you can even order the books that aren’t yet available in the U.S. from Amazon.co.uk without having to worry about translations!

The Adventures of Polo

Polo and Lily

Polo and the Dragon

Polo: The Runaway Book

Polo and the Magic Flute

Polo and the Magician!

From Amazon.co.uk:

Polo: A la Recherche de Lili

Polo et L’etoile Magique

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. You will find links to all of her children’s book reviews on our Toys & Books page.

Betterfly

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

betterfly

Sweet Peas & Stilettos, this website you are reading right now, it is all the work of one individual – me. The only exception is my friend Susan who writes a post on Fridays. I know first hand what it is like to be one person who wants to create a business and support themselves all on their own. I also know what it is like to want to help people and share with others what I have learned. I discover all of these cool products and services and I want you to know about them too. I always want to support other entrepreneurs and individuals who are trying to make their dreams come true too. That is why I like to highlight products and services from small businesses. It’s all about people helping people isn’t it?

Anyhow, awhile back I read an article about Betterfly and it immediately piqued my interest. Betterfly connects people who want to learn, look and feel better with the people – not companies – who can help them. What is amazing is that the site covers about 1000 different categories (I am sure that number goes up every day). You can go on the site and find everything from a nutritionist or personal trainer to someone who can teach you to dance Flamenco or pole vault. It kind of feels like a combination of Etsy (individuals who are trying to build a business & earn a living), Yelp (helpful reviews from customers), eHarmony (connecting people with similar interests together) and Oprah (it’s all about making yourself a better person) all rolled into one. Gotta love that! To top it off – it’s FREE.

So what do you want to be better at? Go check out Betterfly and find some new friends to help you realize your dreams.

Caviar Kids

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

caviar-on-china

My friend Elaine gave my son and I the incredibly generous gift of not just one but two Caviar Kid gift packs from California Caviar Company and I have to tell you we had a blast. This is the finished product above. (As a little side note, I was kind of excited to have an excuse to bring out my wedding china for the occasion.) Anyhow, these Caviar Kid gift packs are so cute. In addition to the caviar, they come with your pick of a t-shirt or bib (organic cotton of course), a cute little faux mother of pearl spoon, crème fraiche and either the puffed pastry shaped like fish (shown in my photo) or Whale Tails™ organic corn chips (these were super yummy too). There is even a card inside with a little game and fun facts so you can teach your child about ocean conservation and sustainable seafood. To top it off the whole thing comes in a cheerful, yellow, 100% recyclable, totally reusable, insulated lunch bag. (Was that too many adjectives to describe one bag??) Basically, I think these are fun, unique gifts for children of all ages.

Just imagine your daughter’s next tea party when she serves caviar to her friends and teddy bears….what a great photo op!

caviar-carl-loving-it

In case you questioned how much he really liked it – here is my son Carl enjoying his puffed pastry fish, organic crème fraiche and trout caviar.

If your child squirms from the caviar ‘pop’ – you can just pop open a bottle of champagne and enjoy a little treat for yourself…

The Container Store - New Low Prices

Noodle & Boo

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

noodle-and-boo-gift-baby-starter

My friends just introduced me to Noodle & Boo this weekend and I used some of their skin care products for the first time yesterday. So so so wonderful!!  My friend Lee Ann told me I would be hooked and boy she was right. What makes me extra happy about Noodle & Boo is that the company behind the product is just as cool and fabulous as the products themselves. First of all, Noodle & Boo was started by a mom, and I love to support other mom owned business. And then I learned that she donates the majority of the profits of the company to children’s charities. You can feel great about every purchase.

The Noodle & Boo line consists of personal skin care products for newborns, babies, children and pregnant women – everything is safe and gentle for sensitive skin. You can purchase the products online or at your local Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstom and other fine retailers. The packaging is so cute that I think the products make a wonderful baby shower gift too.

GIVEAWAY – Sutton Fitzgerald

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

red beaded cuff

Sutton Fitzgerald is giving away one of these gorgeous red glass beaded bracelets to one of Sweet Peas & Stilettos readers. This item is made in Bali by villagers using traditional techniques coupled with modern materials and design. All you need to do is like Sweet Peas & Stilettos on Facebook and you will be entered to win. Be sure to tell all of your friends! The winner will be announced on our Facebook page on January 31st.

Sutton Fitzgerald has a collection accessories for your home and person that showcase your individual style. Virtually all of the items at Sutton Fitzgerald are from Fair Trade producers and collectives that provide living wages for their craftsmen, factory workers, growers, and artists. Style, grace and compassion all come together to form what they call ‘Conscious Elegance’. Sweet Peas & Stilettos is proud to partner with a company that is focused on making the world a better place. Please go check out Sutton Fitgerald – from vases and votive holders to tote bags and bracelets, you’ll find great gifts for family, friends and yourself.

Sweet Peas & Stilettos readers can receive a 10% discount at Sutton Fitzgerald – available through February 28, 2011. Simply enter the discount code: Blog10

Vintage Barbie Prints

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

vintage-barbie-art

I have a son, so I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Barbie. I do know that many of my friends constantly grapple with the whole Barbie phenomenon and I often wondered how many Barbies would be in my home if I had a little girl. Would I cave in or would I try to convince her to love dump trucks and teddy bears instead?

I was poking around the Layla Grayce website and I stumbled up these cool Vintage Barbie Prints. These limited edition prints feature Barbie in exquisite haute couture outfits and are drawn by renowned designer Robert Best, seen on “Project Runway.” I was thinking about hanging up vintage license plates and road signs in my son’s room, but if I had a little princess or budding fashionista at home – I think these just might fit the bill.

Save up to 70% for moms, babies and kids

Outer Space Books for Kids

Friday, January 21st, 2011

nasa-mars-odyssey

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

This week Susan takes us on a ride to a far far far away place…

Space, for Beginners

A long, long time ago, my second grade class wrote to NASA, begging them to send us something, anything, to let us in on the secrets of space. We were hoping for chunks of moon rocks to arrive in padded envelopes, for Buzz Aldrin to mosey in through our classroom door, or for boxes of those nifty freeze-dried ice cream bars to replace our school lunches.

What we got, after several unbearable weeks of waiting, was what NASA could afford to send us. Pictures. Those, of course, were still pretty neat — nebulae as bright as backlit cotton candy and close-ups of Jupiter, with its colorful layers like a half-licked jawbreaker.

These days, even toddlers can go online and find far better pictures in just a few minutes. So much information is now available, in fact, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Not to mention all the disinformation about space from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Little Einsteins.

If your child’s favorite sentence is “3-2-1 Blast-off!” these books may be a good place to start. And if you really want to give your child a taste of space, you can even buy the freeze-dried astronaut ice cream online now, too.

I’m Going to Be The Best Astronaut Ever! by Moira Butterfield, illustrated by Caroline Davis. This is an excellent first introduction for a younger child, with cartoony illustrations and stickers to put in throughout the book. Follow an astronaut’s journey from astronaut school to landing on a new planet, then returning to Earth and becoming famous. The language is simple and focuses on the basics, with lots of kid-funny lines such as “I will wear astronaut underwear!”

On the Moon, by Anna Milbourne, illustrated by Benji Davies and designed by Laura Fearn. This slightly more serious approach dramatically combines actual photos of the earth and moon with cartoon rockets and astronauts. Even though the story is straightforward, with only a line or two on each page, the book offers a wonderfully thorough overview of a moon trip: “To go outside, you have to put on a space suit. There is no air on the Moon. Space suits carry air so you can breathe.” The book prioritizes the astronauts’ time on the moon, riding moon buggies, collecting rocks, and taking pictures, rather than the trip home.

If You Decide To Go To The Moon, by Faith McNulty, illustrated by Steven Kellogg. A little boy imagines a trip to the moon, from the supplies he’ll need to how he’ll feel in the spaceship and on the moon’s surface. Amazingly, the book captures not only the excitement of blasting off, but also some of the loneliness and otherworldliness of a space voyage. The landing home is joyful, with the returning astronaut running across a beautiful green field. The book reminds the child – and the reader – to appreciate the Earth left behind.

Ben’s Bunny Trouble, by Daniel Wakeman. A little boy takes his stuffed bunnies on a tour of the galaxy, finally finding a planet where they’ll be happy. The pictures of truly unique aliens and planets (a bunny planet with giant carrot trees!) will delight any children interested in space. The story is told in a nearly-wordless, comic-book format that may need explanations even for older 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.

Safe Motherhood

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Mother-Earth-by-Ryan-Paul-Simmons

I was flipping through Bazaar magazine tonight and read a wonderful article about the work that Christy Turlington Burns and others are doing to bring attention to, and improve, maternal health all over the world. Her documentary, No Woman, No Cry, will air on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network in May. If I have my statistics correct one woman dies approximately every 4 minutes during childbirth somewhere in the world. There is so much to learn and so much we can all do to help. Here are some of the organizations highlighted in the article that are worth checking out: The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, Every Mother Counts, and LifeWrap.org. Also go on over to charitybuzz and bid on this one of a kind painting (the one featured here), Mother Earth by Ryan Paul Simmons or one of these gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous gowns by Vera Wang, Catherine Malandrino, Marchesa, Donna Karan New York, and Diane von Furstenberg. The auctions close on January 31st so go place your bid now!

harpers-bazaar-white-ribbon

photo credit: Harpers Bazaar

“All proceeds from these unique dresses will benefit The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and go towards programs that help generate awareness around safe motherhood and maternal health around the world.”

Gucci Kids

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

gucci-kids-collection

Watching a little American Idol tonight put J. Lo on the brain and made me think about the gorgeous print ads she did for Gucci recently with her beautiful twins Max & Emme. That of course led me to pulling out my laptop and looking to see if the Gucci kids collection was available online at gucci.com (which of course it was) and I immediately loved the collection so much (especially the little shoes!) that I had to tell all of you about it. And I will tell you right now, you will see more baby & kids items from Gucci on this website because many of them are really really cute – it is as simple as that. I thought this mini fashionista photo was priceless. I really like the interface of the Gucci website too – they make it super easy to ‘shop the look’ or ask for a personal shopper to help you out. Go and see for yourself.

On a related note: In conjunction with the print advertisements featuring Jennifer Lopez & her family, Gucci donated $1 million dollars to the UNICEF Schools for Africa initiative and I believe they also made a donation to Jennifer’s charity, The Maribel Foundation.

photo copyright: Gucci

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