Posts in June, 2011

Kennedy Mum Bag

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

inhabit-kennedy-mum-bag

Looking to treat yourself to a new summer bag? inhabitLiving.com has recently launched a wonderful handbag collection. The handbags are handmade in the USA from 90% certified recycled materials and come in an array of beautiful prints. They prove that you can build ecofriendly products that look great.

This bag, the Kennedy Mum, has an adjustable strap so the bag can be worn over the shoulder or crossbody which is perfect when you are out shopping and want to have your hands free to carry your latte or your little one. Also, Inhabit’s matte coated-canvas fabric can be wiped down and it water-repellent – perfect for when you spill that latte you were carrying….

So head on over to inhabitLiving.com and see if you find a print that tickles your fancy. I hope you do. The hardest part may be settling on just one. As a little treat you can get Free Shipping on orders over $50 at inhabitLiving.com! Shop Now!

 

Everyday Shea Bubble Bath

Monday, June 27th, 2011

everyday-shea-bubble-bath

I popped into Whole Foods this afternoon to pick up a few random things. Top on my list was bubble bath for my son. I was in a bit of a hurry and without much thought I picked out this EveryDay Shea bubble bath. I guess I picked it for two reason – I liked the fact that it smelled like mint and also, it was one of the least expensive options on the shelf. I must tell you – it was such a great purchase.

With one cap full of soap the bathtub was completely full of bubbles. My son was thrilled. He hid his boats and animals in the tub and loved the fact that they would ‘go missing’ under the thick fog of bubbles covering his little ocean. The bubble bath has a really clean minty smell (not like a strong breathe mint or anything – just kind of fresh and clean minty) and makes incredibly long lasting bubbles. While my son was splashing and playing I started to read the label and began to love this product, and the company that made it, even more.

Here is the scoop, “EveryDay Shea is an extension of Alaffia Sustainable Skin Care. Alaffia was founded by Olowo-n’djo Tchala, a Togolese native, as a way to generate funds to conduct community enhancement projects in his home country and other West African nations in order to reduce poverty and gender inequality….This bubble bath supports the Alaffia Healthy Baby Program, which provides nutrition and health care for babies in central Togo during their critical first 18 months in an effort to reduce child mortality and malnutrition rates. According to UNICEF, 27% of children in Togo under the age of 5 suffer from stunting, and over 20,000 children die every year. Studies show that improved nutrition has a significant impact on a child’s quality of life and their ability to rise out of poverty during their lifetime.”

Needless to say I will be buying the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion…..you name it…

Modern Luxe Children’s Furniture

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

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Do you love bold colors and modern design? The furniture at Jennifer DeLonge is on my very very short list of favorites. The first time I saw her pieces I envisioned creating a Kelly Wearstler worthy home with Jennifer’s cool pieces mixed throughout. She has an incredible knack for combining great design with funky fabrics.

As her website states,”Jennifer’s lifestyle brand, Jennifer DeLonge, incorporates her contemporary, playful aesthetic in her interiors and product designs to create hip family living spaces and a sophisticated state of play in the home. Her collection is a favorite among celebrities and high-end boutiques.”

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I love the mini-me concept and these pieces are perfectly sized renditions of all the furniture I would want to have for myself. Luckily, she makes adult versions of many of the pieces too.

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Day beds are incredibly practical and it is hard to find one as great looking as this one. It is a very useful piece of furniture for almost any room in the house. Nap time has never looked so good!

jennifer-delonge-style guide

Be sure to check out Jennifer’s style guide too. This photo above is just one of the many chic modern rooms that she showcases. The images are full of inspiration and color and will motivate you to find a way to intertwine your children’s world with the “adult” rooms in your home.

You are What You Eat

Friday, June 24th, 2011

You are What You Eat by Susan Fry

Trying to get your kids to eat something they don’t like? Most parents, like me, will start by raving about the wonderful benefits of the rejected food. “Broccoli will make you grow big and strong, like Daddy!” I’ll exclaim, or, “Carrots will let you see in the dark!” Ok, perhaps I’m exaggerating with that one, but I’m certainly being honest by telling my boys that, “Prunes will help you poop!”

Sadly, I’ve discovered that describing the positives of icky foods rarely helps. Perhaps a better option is to provide negative examples, to persuade by fear. “If you eat another cookie, you’ll get giant holes in your teeth!” I’ll say, or “Too many French fries will make you throw up in the swimming pool, just like Nicolas!” And then there’s my all-too-frequent favorite: “Pasta will keep you from pooping!”

The following books also take this contrary approach, but in a hilarious way – by showing kids that they really are what they eat.

pinkalicious

Pinkalicious, by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann, illustrated by Victoria Kann. Don’t let the pink sparkly cover scare away your boys! Pinkalicious is perfect for either gender. The book addresses one of the primal human desires – to eat as much sugar as possible – in a hilariously imaginative fashion. When Pinkalicious eats too many pink cupcakes, she turns pink. The only cure? Green food. “Yuck!” says Pinkalicious, even though she has to flee from swarms of bees, butterflies and birds that think she’s a flower. But when she eats just one more pink cupcake, she’s horrified to see herself turn red. Pinkalicious quickly downs green food kids will delight in identifying, such as “Pickles and spinach, olives and okra.” Just when she’s relieved to return to normal, her brother appears, pink cupcake in hand, obviously thrilled to have turned pink himself. The drawings are delightfully bright and cheerful, with sharp, collage-style figures that resemble paper dolls.

burger-boy

Burger Boy, by Alan Durant, illustrated by Mei Matsuoka. The more boyish equivalent of Pinkilicious follows the misadventures of poor little Benny, who, you guessed it, eats only burgers. “’If you don’t watch out, you’ll turn into a burger one day,’” warns his mom. But does Benny listen? Of course not! And soon his body plumps out into a bun and his stripy shirt morphs into the meat-and-cheese filling of a hamburger. In a nod to the Gingerbread Boy, Benny is soon pursued by ten dogs, a herd of angry cows, and a group of hungry boys. “I’m not a burger, I’m a boy!” Benny shouts, but no one listens, not even the owner of Bigga Burgers, who puts him on display as a giant, talking burger. Luckily, Benny’s mom comes to the rescue. She feeds him fruits and vegetables until he returns to his normal self. Just when vegans might start feeling smug, however, Benny’s vow to never eat another burger takes a left turn: he changes into a carrot. The charming drawings are in a muted but rich palette of browns and yellows and oranges – just like burgers and carrots! There’s even a page that encourages kids to count the dogs following Benny.

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.


Hermès Baby Booties

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

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Your daughter may not be old enough to carry around a Birkin or Kelly bag but that doesn’t mean she can’t wear Hermès. These precious Hermès lambskin baby booties are the ultimate luxury for all of the infant fashionistas out there. I of course am incredibly partial to the orange, but they are available in white as well. They would look so cute on a little cake stand sitting on your daughter’s dresser (when they aren’t on her feet of course).

PetitNest

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

petitnest-crib petitnest-sophie-dresser

Beverly Hills 90210 alum Tiffani Thiessen (she dropped the ‘Amber’) has partnered with award-winning designer Lonni Paul (the reigning female finalist from HGTV’s “Design Star”) to create a gorgeous line of cribs and bedding. PetitNest is all about elegant style, and modern design. I was lucky to be able to see a number of pieces from the collection at a recent event and I must tell you – they were gorgeous. The colors and prints of the bedding are a sheer delight and left me feeling so peaceful and calm. Just the kind of environment you want for your little angel. The dressers and gliders are so lovely you will want to put them in your own bedroom. To top it off, the PetitNest collection is also eco-friendly and certified by the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Please check out the Sweet Peas & Stilettos Nursery resource guide if you want a little more help in creating the perfect nursery.


Well-Heeled Hostess

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

the-party-dress-inspirations from the well-heeled-hostess

Are you planning to throw a big bash this summer? Maybe you want to make your next dinner party a tad more chic and colorful. The ‘well-heeled hostess‘ (aka Kelly Lyden) is here to provide inspiration as well as an online shop where you can purchase everything you need to throw a perfect party.

Kelly also produces a quarterly magazine, The Party Dress, which is full of colorful party ideas. I have to admit it is a little addicting to read – I just can’t get enough of the festive colors. I want to be a guest at each and every party in the magazine! It is a sheer joy to read and explore. Believe me, you’ll be looking for a reason throw a party after flipping through an issue online.

well-heeled-hostess-table close up

In the WH Hostess store you will find everything from party invitations, cupcake toppers and all sorts of party accessories. This mix of bold color combinations and modern designs will bring a festive vibe to any party. You will also realize how attention to little details can make such a difference in pulling an event together and making it memorable for your guests.

well-heeled-hostess-party-gift-bag

And if you are super busy and want someone with great taste to pull everything together for you, hire the well-heeled hostess to develop a custom inspiration board, or hire Kelly as your official party planner and she can take care of designing a fabulous celebration just for you.


Minted personal stationery gifts

Sequin & Straw Totes for Summer

Monday, June 20th, 2011

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I was at a Kate Spade store last weekend and saw this sparkly summer Lawn Party Half Circle Tote, that I just adored. I love the combination of sequins and straw. Lugging around sunscreen has never looked so cute.

calypso-st-barths-target-straw-bag

And if you are a Target shopping, the CALYPSO St. Barth for Target® Straw Tote With Silver Sequins may be the bag for you. It is equally as roomy and practical as the Kate Spade bag. Yes – sequins can be practical…. Fill it up with some beach toys and this bag would make a wonderful hostess gift if you are staying with friends or family this summer. Save Up to 30% On Calypso for Target at Target’s Best Item Sale!

Hogwash

Friday, June 17th, 2011

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Hogwash, by Arthur Geisert, reviewed by Susan Fry.

When a group of pig children in Arthur Geisert’s Hogwash set off in the morning, they don’t go on an ordinary playdate. Instead, they embark on a messy, muddy, downright dangerous adventure we’d never let our own children experience. They tromp through a bizarre world filled with industrial machinery, water, and mud. It will leave kids giggling and grownups wondering, “How did anyone ever think of THAT?”

The wordless plot of Hogwash is simple – the pig children get dirty and then clean again. But Geisert fills each page with enough elaborate and unexpected images to keep kids busy examining each detail.

First, the little pigs wallow in mud – mud on an epic scale. The lead piglet, a bubbly girl in a white dress and blue scarf, turns on a hand pump to create a vast puddle. Dozens of piglets swim, make “mud angels” on the mud beaches, and bask buried blissfully up to their necks in mud.

Then, just when you think they’re as dirty as pig-ly possible, they stroll over to a parent’s nightmare – a rusting, dilapidated paint factory. Before you cringe, watch your own children’s reactions as the pigs tip over giant vats of paint and splash around in the colors. My boys squeal with glee at the perilous things the pigs get to do, such as perching on the very top of rickety wooden walls.

When the pig parents arrive, they aren’t angry with their mud-and-paint splattered offspring. In fact, they know just how to deal with the mess – with an enormous, Rube-Goldberg-esque machine that cleans and dries each little pig. There’s a pan of soapy water the size of a swimming pool, a colossal showerhead, and a walkway with overhead dryers and a giant bellows. There are gears, waterwheels, cranes and pipes galore. Even non-mechanically minded kids will have their fingers all over the pages trying to figure out how the machine works.

Geisert’s illustrations can feel a little dark, even grotesque. The rough pen-and-ink sketches are in murky colors, with black cross-hatchings reminiscent of woodcuts. But the expressions of glee on the little pigs’ faces throughout their journey lighten the mood.

My kids try to make their own hogwash machines now in the shower. If they turn into inventors, I’ll know whom to thank.

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.


Shoe Auction for Charity

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

I love fabulous shoes, I love supporting great charities, and what I love most of all is being able to combine my favorite passions together. CharityBuzz and Soles4Souls have put together the winning combination with an incredible celebrity shoe action that is open through next week, June 22nd.

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These gorgeous Brain Atwood heels are signed by one of our very favorite modern mommies, Sarah Jessica Parker. They are valued at $800 and it looks like you can get them for a fraction of that. Best part of all – the proceeds go to charity (guilt free shopping at its best!!)

shoe-auction-charitybuzz-kardashian-shoe-dazzle

The Kardashians know how to rock their stilettos. Kim, Khloe and Kourtney have all signed these ShoeDazzle platform heels.

And if you are in need of a last minute Father’s Day gift – there are tons of cool shoes from the biggest sports stars ranging from Roger Federer to Alex Rodriguez.