Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Design Mom on Back to School

Blair Family Photo (excluding, new baby June)

Meet Gabrielle Blair, mother extraordinaire of six children and the woman behind the wildly popular blog, Design Mom as well as Who better to share back to school traditions for kids and shopping tips? Gabrielle is our guest editor on tada! shop this week and we are thrilled. See her entire "interview" below. If she can make the beginning of the school year special for six, who knows what we can do. For us, the bar has definitely been raised!

Do you shop specifically for back to school? Yes. It's wonderful to have something shiny and new to wear on the first day of school. My mother-hen instinct is to have my kids looking as cute as possible so their teachers can't help but adore them.

Do you have any family traditions? For sure. Three things come to mind: 1) I go out with each of the kids and we shop for school supplies. They get to choose exactly what they want -- the color of scissors, the pattern on their composition books. 2) After the clothes shopping is done, they like to put together outfits and model them while I snap away with the camera (see her blog post). 3) We always take more pictures just before they head out to school on the first day.

Is there anything that you/the kids are particularly into right now? Definitely. My girls are loving sequins and florescent colors (it's like the 80's all over again!). My son Ralph likes classic white sneakers.

Metallic Superga Kids sneakers on Gabrielle's shopping list!

Is there anything else about back to school generally (not shopping related!) that is you and relevant for our readers? Back to school time is such a fresh start. Maybe even better than the new year in January. We like to discuss their hopes and fears for school. I remind them that if things aren't going well, they can reinvent themselves at any time.

What you do to get excited for the first day? In our last neighborhood, we had a wonderful first-day-of-school tradition. All the neighbors would gather on the lawn by the bus stop and we'd have breakfast together (donuts and juice) and take first day of school photos. I need to start the same tradition in our new home!

Do you all go together? Sigh. We wish! Since we have kids at 3 different schools, we have to go separately. But after school, we all gather around the kitchen table, have a big after-school snack and everyone reports on their day. I love hearing about what they noticed and what's on their mind.

Thanks Gabrielle. Would love to hear any of our readers back to school traditions!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ENK + Playtime

Here's a little round up from our stop in at ENK and Playtime, two NYC children's trade shows with all the Spring lines. Here are some things we got excited about with our jotted-down notes.

A sneak peek at some...clockwise from top left: Busy Bees Kids, Clover, Native Shoes, Flora and Henri (new print not pictured), Sweet Shoes, Bakker, Jess Brown Dolls.

1. J.A.C.H.S. Interesting plaids, casual and good price point

2. Native Shoes. Crocs-meet-Slip On Converse, Crocs-meet-Wallabees, Crocs-meet-Keds.

3. K-Way parka. Fantastic colors. We loved the orange.

4. Marysia bathing suits. Reversible and soft color palette.

5. Hartford liberty print bathing suits. Amazing how they pull off for boys/men.

6. Fred Perry. First season for kids. Colorful and nostalgic.

7. Sweet Shoes. We loved the infant shoes in orange and tan.

8. Kickers. Incredibly made and intricate detail. Loved boots and the Mary janes.

9. Sparkle seersucker and plaid at Ses Petite Mains.

10. Munster. The story behind street style. T-shirts with space (Star Wars inspired) and faces made from objects boys relate to.

11. Anais dresses. Beautiful prints and the little bows!

12. Eye Spy dress. Colors and the blend of materials/textures and patterns.

13. Pink Chicken. New fun prints and a mexican-inspired dress.

14. Busy Bees Kids coral prints.

15. Neige. The purple and mustard orange color combo.

16. Eddie Pen bathing suits

17. Clover smocking on a less traditional pattern and one of the best looking jumpers.

18. Jess Brown dolls and the beds! They are made from recycled spindles.

19. Bakker bags and bathing suits.

20. Littl by Lilit bloomers

21. Wovenplay. Everything.

22. Flora and Henri. Silk meringue party dress in new print.

23. Paige Lauren stripes and colors .. Unique, comfy essentials