Friday, July 31, 2009

DIY Art at Moomah

I took my two older girls (5 and 6) to Moomah in NYC today. It is this incredible place that is a cafe, a store and a creative playscape all in one. I was in creative overdrive at every turn!

We had lunch first, and the girls rated the "grilled cheeses the best [they] have ever had" (my wrap was delicious too). As we ate, we played find-it games with the artwork on display, which are so incredible and so unique. They are all for sale and not inexpensive but beyond perfect for a child's room.

We then picked out our DIY art project. I say "we" because the girls opted for these diaramas and out of the hair-band project, which I just had to do myself! The projects were age appropriate and the staff were so hands-on including a visit from Supertryker. In the back room with a huge chalkboard, there was an Art & Nature class was going on. Take note, they are adding more classes this fall for both children and adults. I have never seen a place where every detail is perfectly done. The bathrooms alone honestly deserve a post unto themselves! If you are New York anytime soon, it is a really special outing for both children and adults.

The interior.

My 5-year-old's DIY diarama, $22.

My DIY headband for my daughter, $12.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Emily Green Imagination Mats

Two close friends were recently admiring our Emily Green Imagination Mats. Without a doubt, my kids enjoy fun place mats. These are perfect for the boys, yet tasteful (actually, quite beautiful detail) for adults. The artist and her daughter select vintage fabrics for each imagination mat. Emily Green also offers a line of plates, bowls and tumblers.

On the back, there is a blank mat so kids and others have free reign to draw or write messages to one another.

My son and I drew on this mat as we dreamed of a yummy breakfast.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Winter Water Factory Tee of the Month Club!

Holly and I are suckers for unique t-shirts for kids. We love seeing them mixed with traditional bottoms like gingham shorts for an unexpected look. Winter Water Factory is one of our favorites and what a cute idea: Tee of the Month Club. You don't have to buy 12 so join and you can buy only the ones you like the best or take advantage of your kids' birthday party shopping done for you! Boys and girls get excited about wearing them!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

He Said, She Said

With the fall catalogs arriving, I am slowly gearing up for back-to-school shopping. My sons and I took an initial look at the new fall offerings. Frankly, a lot of Mini Boden, Crewcuts, Gap and Garnet Hill Kids. Here is a short list of my sons' favorites with our joint points of view.

7-year old son: "I love the numbers. They show how old I am."
Mom: "They are fun! But, I really like the long sleeve Rugby Shirt."

5-year old son: "I just like hoods. They are cool."
Mom: "Like this hoody even more than the spring version. Put on our shopping list."

7-year old son: "I like this one and that one... this one, and that one."
Mom: "Graphic tees are a must, but some are better than others."

7-year old son: "I like the skull and cross bones!"
Mom: "Cute and a nice pair of pants. Tired of skull and cross bones."

Both sons: "I like the blue camoflage. The pockets are the best."
Mom: "I definitely prefer the khaki. A great pair of pants
for hanging around."

7-year old son: "Can I get a new pair like these?"
Mom: "Yes. Still weighing the slip on vs. laced for younger boys."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tag-Team Cooking

One of my closest friends has moved in across the street. We both love to cook but with three children each find it hard after a long day to get inspired or excited about those recipes we dog-eared. So it just started happening that we have gotten into the habit of sharing...this afternoon, she offered me half the pork, corn and carrots she had made as her husband was stuck at work—it made my evening! I was trying this recipe from Bon Appetit a few nights ago and gave her some of the salsa to use with her meal. Now, this doesn't happen all the time, but it is a nice treat here and there as we get to try that something new, our children eat well and there's no stress that the leftovers aren't getting eaten!

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Honeydew Salsa from Bon Appetit, August 2009.
Image from

A New Puppy!

I promise I won't become that dog-crazed owner who is posting photos nonstop, but I will post just this once. My husband and I have been talking about a dog for a long time but with three little kids, felt we had to wait. It sounds familiar to the many conversations I have had with friends about having children and was it the "right time." It has only been a day and it is definitely work, but watching my girls pick out their dog and bringing him home was very special. And picking out the name a family affair...we have yet to decide!

The selection process.

Our new dog!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Theatre for Kids

As I walked through NYC this weekend, I saw so many opportunities for children's summer theater and outdoor concerts.  One option was Theatreworks' Free Summer Theatre with Click, Clack, Moo until August 28th.  It all made me so excited.  It also made me feel as though summer was too short to fit in all my children and I have mapped out for ourselves.  Be sure to take advantage of the wonderful summer children's programs offered by so many cities, large and small.         

Friday, July 24, 2009

DIY Drinking Straws

DIY Drinking Straws at Think Geek, starting at $9.99 for 1 pack.

My brother (the "engineer") found these do-it-yourself straws for the boys. They offer lots of creative fun.  You can build all kinds of crazy straw structures.  You can build the straw to drink out of 3 or more glasses.  (We experimented with drinking milk, orange juice and water at once .. yes, it is good?!).  And, you can build a straw for two people to drink together at once.  So many ways to have fun with something so simple as a straw!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CPC Designs Lets You Make it All Her Own

For those who like to see all the options, this line is for you! When have you ever been given the chance to select the dress fabric, ribbon, design detail and monogram on your daughter's dress? So preppy and so cute! See what you can create and let us know!                      

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hoodies for Kids

This may be a little out there, but shouldn't we all mix it up once in awhile?!  These head hoods, with their interesting (sometimes absurd) designs on the hoods, make me laugh.  We received the gorilla hoodie for our 2 year old and he looks great!  His older brothers love it more than anyone.   

P.S.  This is not a children's site, but an artist who offers head hoodies of all types. 

Gift Tags & Stickers

I love wrapping gifts. I don't like buying cards. I always think I will make my own and that is why I don't buy the stickers, but it never seems to happen and right before the event I am scrambling for a card. This is all going to change as I just got an email from my friend Tina Johnson about her summer sticker sale! They are all her own unique creations (you might recognize one!) and a great price! Start shopping!

Mini Boden Fall 2009 Catalog Just Arrived!

On a beautiful summer morning, I didn't think I would be pouring over cold-weather clothing for my girls. Enter the new Mini Boden fall catalog! I am loving these fall staples: Cable Swing Cardigan, Tie Front Top, Gypsy Dress, Pointelle Marl T-shirt and Soft Stripy Scarf and Beret Set.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Great Gifts for 6 Year Old Boys

Lots of Happy Birthdays! This summer, we are celebrating so many birthdays for 6 year old boys. A friend recently asked for my list of favorite gifts for this age group. Here they are:

For the Scientist: This Moon in My Room is a big hit in our house and with friends. The shining moon can act as a nightlight and allows the boys to adjust the lunar phases by remote.

For the Athlete: Try this street hockey set or, for a more generous gift, the youth football uniforms (these were on the top of our birthday list).

For the Builder: You can never have enough Legos even if Mom may think so. Another great alternative are these motorized Erector Sets.

For the Artist: Go crazy decorating these Calafant cardboard pirate fortress or our all-time favorite shrinky dinks.

For the Star Wars Fan: The slight obsession with Star Wars seems to start around this age. These Star Wars t-shirts and Star Wars beginner books are great options (and, Star Wars Legos too).

For the Reader: The Magic Tree House series is the most popular book within our circle of 6 year old boys.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Aden + Anais Muslin Baby Wraps

I was at a baby shower this past weekend and we all flipped over these Aden + Anais muslin wraps. Created by two Australian women who moved to the United States and couldn't find baby wraps like the ones they had back home, they recreated them! The muslin is super soft and the blanket is large making it so versatilefrom swaddling to laying a little one on the ground to a nursing cover! They are sold in 1, 2 and 4-packs so it can be the gift or part of a gift, perfect for a new mom! 

Pink and White Muslin Swaddling Blankets $44 available at Nini & Loli.

Terricloth's One-of-a-Kind Baby Clothes

We get so excited when we find a new brand that is unique, high quality, well-priced and cute for both girls AND boys! Terricloth's products are handmade out of vintage fabrics in classic shapes that remind us of the styles we wore as kids. So many of the patterns are unisex so perfect for handing down to younger siblings regardless of gender! 

A-Line Dress $38-42. 

Rompers $38. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Weekend!

Summer is flying by! While we are told that children like structure, it is the season to relax and break out of our routines. Here are five simple ideas that will get them excited:
1. Let them stay up late to watch the sunset. 
2. Roast marshmellows. Build a little fire wherever and see what they like: charred or golden brown. 
3. Set up a tent in the backyard and "camp out."
4. Catch fireflies.

5. Offer them whatever they want at the ice cream store—even if it is a large!

Decal Wall Art

We are loving the idea of wall art as an alternative to framed pictures. We have rounded up our favorites. Be creative and put them up in a way all your own!

Inke Heiland's Tree $300 at Little Urbanites. Bird house not included.

Walter Stars $38. As mentioned on Cookie Daily.

Giraffe Chalkboard available at Jonathan Kaye. (Perfect for leaving little messages!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cookie's Inspiring Playroom

With domino gone, Cookie now takes its place as that little treat in the mail that I get excited when it arrives! This month does not disappoint! The 2nd annual Cookie 100 has some great new ideas, but my favorite feature is on this playroom. Not only is it beautiful, but it reflects how kids play from the surfaces to the storage to the furniture...and the sinkgenius! These are just some of the photos, see them all on

All images from Cookie, August 2009. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Books about Me

How are the kids doing on their summer journaling?  Here are two suggestions that I promise the kids will love and offer aspects of journaling.  My Book about Me is an oldie but goodie. We love it in our house.  I still have my book (filled out 3 times) which provides a lot of entertainment.  The book is filled with questions about yourself, your house, friends and more.      

My Book about Me by Me, Myself (with help from Dr. Seuss & Roy McKie) $10.17 on Ages 5-8. 

A page from My Book about Me, way back when.  
Favorite Songs:  Thank God I am a Country Boy + Letter 23.

Another very creative and original option is this Pirate's Log.  My sister found it in a new favorite store in Los Angeles, Yolk.  For older children, with suggestions for how to be a pirate and opportunities to journal.  Particularly "cool", the attached reading light for night time writing.     

Pirate's Log: A Handbook for Aspiring Swashbucklers by Jory John and Gilbert Ford $11.96 on (Not currently available on Yolk's website).

Support Your Local Stores

We had written about Sons + Daughters a little bit ago and were sad to hear that they are closing their doors. While everything on the site is 30-50%, it is a reminder in these times especially to shop your local boutiques as much as possible! 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Children's Summer Reading

I was out in Portland, OR this past weekend and stopped in at Powell's Books. Never have I seen such inventory and the children's section blew me away! The staff are so knowledgeable and have their own reading club for the kids' books too so they can tell you first hand a review. I raided the Information counter for this clever take away: these bookmark flyers with recommended reading lists broken down by "Hip" on one side and "Quintessential" on the other. I couldn't post them all, but here is just a sampling. 

(The asterisks are those that the lovely staff member helping me recommended personally, I wish I had gotten her to do this for all of them!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hable Construction Turns 10!

The fabulous Hable Construction is offering 10% off site wide to celebrate their 10th year anniversary! I love the new cornflower blue checker pattern for kids' storage or what about one of the photo brag books (cherry checker is my pick!) as a gift for a new mom! 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fun with Kids' Shoelaces

There is some great experimenting with shoelaces this summer, or so it seems.  We were recently in the J.Crew offices where I first saw Crewcut's MacAlister boots with different colored shoelaces.  I went a little crazy.  They are so fun for girls and boys. 

Converse has an extensive collection of shoelaces in a variety of colors and patterns.  

Converse Lace Collection.  Starting at $1.50. 

And then, I just returned from the beach where I saw a whole lot of slip-ons without shoelaces. 

Colored shoelaces, different colored shoelaces on each shoe, no shoelaces.  Why not have a little fun?