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06.30.2006

Moroccan babouches from Zid Zid Kids

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Check out these beautiful ballet shoe-style babouches from Morocco's Zid Zid Kids. These are mini versions of traditional Moroccan leather slippers/house shoes that are sturdy enough to wear outdoors. I have a pair of baby blue ones that my oldest daughter loves to slip on and prance about in. Now she can have some of her own. Olliebollen carries them in green, chocolate brown and pink in sizes ranging from 5.5 to 12.5. All babouches are handmade and come with padded leather insoles, drawstrings for a snug fit and sequined stars at the tips.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: fashion
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06.30.2006

Swiss Strolli Rider

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Here's a different take on the stroller buggy board - a bicycle-like seat that attaches to the side of the stroller so your older kid can ride alongside you. Apparently it's "taking Europe by storm" and it's new to the US. Haven't seen anyone with it yet and we usually get a cross section of every stroller available out here in our 'hood, even the soon-to-be released in the States, Jane Powertwin.

It's an interesting alternative to the Buggy Board, which I find cumbersome and hard to push, so I'm curious about the maneuverabilty and ease of use. I wonder what would happen if there were actually pedals on that thing so that the kid could help move the stroller along, but would that even work?

See it at Strollers.com.

Posted by Jenna    Category: gear
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06.29.2006

Lily Latifi

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Lily Latifi does some pretty great things with felt as well as other textile materials (and if you've been reading Babygadget for some time now, you know my affection for all things felt). From these sweet teddy bear garlands to puzzle photo frames and floor mats, her tactile sensibilities blurs "the divisons between applied arts, visual arts, and industrial design". These photographs show some of her creations appropriate for kids' rooms, like the foam puzzle stools, but you should really check out her website for her other designs and interiors.

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via Fototiller, a great website of photo-related projects and nifty photo finds.

Posted by Jenna    Category: accessories
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06.29.2006

Baby Care Onesies

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Baby Care onesies are a cute collection of cotton baby undershirts with foolproof directions on the front of each. "Handle with care" and "This end up" just to name a few. Yeah, pretty basic, but have you ever seen my single brother pick up a kid? He needs all the instructions he can get. These tee's are made of 100% soft cotton and come in a cool little cardboard package that's hard to resist.

at Elsewares

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06.28.2006

Puzzle floor covering

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Here's a cool modular rug that would add style to a kid's room and be fun to assemble with him/her pitching in. Each set comes with six interchangeable pieces that can be added on to whenever you and/or your kid decide to redecorate and make the rug bigger. I can see my kids take it apart and put it together obsessively (which would drive me crazy), but I really like the concept, perfectly suited for their spaces. For now, the rug comes in light grey, charcoal and sand which, yes, limits decorating ideas for kids, but I welcome a muted palette and, besides, a floor covering with a mix of these shades is not only beautiful, but serene. The charcoal would hide stains, too. Who said everything needs to be in technicolor anyway?

At Ona.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: decor
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06.28.2006

Share chairs by Ineke Hans

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Here's an interesting take on the rocking chair/seesaw: 2 chairs share a rocking base for movement and play with friends. Designed by Ineke Hans of the Netherlands (seriously, why does all good design for children seem to come from the Netherlands?), the chairs are made of 100% recycled, wind, water, salt, acid and UV resistent plastic.

And just a note - sometimes we'll feature ridiculously out of reach products, price-wise, like this shared rocking chair. I'm not sure who would actually drop $525 on a non-essential piece of gear, but nonetheless, I love seeing what imaginative and beautiful products are being designed out there.

At Modern Child.

Posted by Jenna    Category: furniture
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06.28.2006

Tin tea set

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I haven't yet bought my kid very many "girly" toys, but I can't resist this retro-style tin tea set - it's just too adorable and something I would have loved when I was a kid. She's really into giving tea parties to her 2 pandas and all the ones that I've seen are ceramic or fiestaware and seem too fragile for a 2 year old. These would be perfect and are surprisingly affordable at $16 bucks for a 4 piece service set.

From My Retro Baby.

Posted by Jenna    Category: toys
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06.27.2006

Philippe Starck gnomes

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Philippe Starck designed these gnome side tables or seats that would be so great for a child's room or garden. The 17 1/3" character pieces are made of non-toxic, hand-painted technopolymer and can be used indoors or outside to infuse any environment with a sense of whimsy and humor. I love the garden gnome reference, makes me think of forests too, and find these not only fun but nostalgic for some reason. Choose from Attila, Napoleon or Saint Esprit.

At Karikter.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: furniture
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06.27.2006

Pressed baby powder by Pure Me

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Remember when babies used to be doused with baby powder after a changing or a bath? When my girl was born 2 years ago, my mom bought several bottles of baby powder and was all ready to shake away until I told her that it wasn't good for their lungs, at which point she scoffed and replied that it never hurt us any (then again, we never rode in car seats either!).

The thing is, powder does help your baby stay dry, and so powder in this pressed form seems like such a nice (and obvious - why didn't anyone think of this sooner?) idea. Blended with extracts, oils and vitamins, the powder puff is dustless so it's safe to use.

Available at Pacifier.

Posted by Jenna    Category: bath/health
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06.27.2006

Silicone baby spoon

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The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum now has online shopping from it's fantastic gift store and offers a few baby items including this very cool silicone baby spoon. I really do love the look of these spoons - although at $19 bucks it's pretty steep for a single utensil - but again, really wish that they came in more colors other than the predictable blue and pink.

From the Cooper Hewitt Shop.

Posted by Jenna    Category: mealtime
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06.27.2006

Crazy Creatures

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Seems like any animal is fair game as a ride-on toy these days. The Crazy Creatures scooters are available in a sassy little ladybug and also a round pink pig just to name a few. All Crazy Creatures have omni-directional wheels for smooth scooting without having to drag it sideways to get out of a corner. The handles are soft grip for hanging on tight while circumnavigating the kitchen island. All the creatures are made of tough plywood and have a vinyl cover for an easy wipe down (except the sheep which is covered in fleece). Check out the Skipper website to see all seven animals.

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06.26.2006

Astrological baby blankets

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I have a couple of friends who are amateur astrologers and one just did a natal chart for my youngest baby, a Taurus girl born in El Salvador in 2005 with a Libra ascendant, her moon in Cancer and Venus in Gemini, for starters. Pretty intense. These astrological baby blankets from Susan Lazar remind me of the chart reading with my friend and of my newest addition to the family. The blankets are beautifully made of the softest woven cotton, are available in sweet but sophisticated color combos (mint/army, for example) and come with a personalized name tag and an explanation of each sign. If you're into astrology, these cozy swaddlers are a great way to bundle up your star baby.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: accessories
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06.26.2006

Boon Flair high chair

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Boon, well-known maker of the Frog Pod and other less ubiquitous items (for now) such as the Potty Bench and Flo have expanded beyond the bathroom (and their usual color palette of white and green) and into dining with the introduction of Flair, their revolutionary highchair. This highchair looks like no other on the market right now, but it looks like much of the inspiration for the Flair comes from chairs at the hair salon, with the pneumatic lift for height adjustment, well...it really does resemble one! Kind of like how the Stokke Xplory Stroller looks like a stroller seat on top of an office chair base (and I'm not surprised that the stroller never really took off here as anticipated - that thing is just ugly, in my opinion).

Anyway...getting back to the Flair...along with the pneumatic lift (which is controlled by that orange button at the base), the chair features a chemical resistent, waterproof seat pad that removes for easy cleaning, 5 pt. harness, and multi-position tray. When your baby is old enough, just remove the tray and wheel the kid right up to the table. Unlike the wide-leg base of most highchairs, the stainless steel pedestal base should fit nicely under a table.

The Flair carries a hefty price ($399 for the model above - what were they thinking???) and $199 for a chair that's frosted translucent plastic with white pad. The Boon site says the highchair will be available in December, but Modern Tots is taking pre-orders and claims that the chair will be available in October.

Posted by Jenna    Category: gear | mealtime
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06.26.2006

Patchwork Julius rain boots

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It's been raining like crazy again in New York with no end in sight, so I thought these rain boots were the perfect thing to post about - though I must admit, the thought of stuffing your feet in rubber with this heavy, lingering humidity is very unappealing. But the patchwork illustrations are so cheery and whimsical in that typical Paul Frank way that it'd be hard not to smile walking in these boots.

Available at Black Wagon.

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06.23.2006

The Baby Keyboard

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Iíve brought home many toddler software programs for my kids over the years, which for the most part were a positive learning experience for them. The difficulty had always been in getting my little ones to properly manipulate the keyboard. There were always too many buttons to muck with and I had to watch over each move very carefully so that they did not shut down the game. I am impressed with the Baby Keyboard which boasts giant finger-friendly buttons that young children can easily manipulate without causing frustration. There is enough time for computer induced aggravation when they are older!

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The Baby Keyboard fits right over the top of your conventional keyboard with Velcro straps and is ready to play without having to plug or program anything. Just load the accompanying software that presents babies 12 to 36 months with their first shot at colors, shapes and sounds while also familiarizing them with PC basics. Requires minimum Pentium II hard drive and Windows 95 or higher. For ages 12 months and up.

at Constructive Playthings

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06.23.2006

Pixel colored pencils

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The great thing about these colored pencils? They're square so they won't roll off the play table or any surface for that matter. (I'm thinking about the airplane drop-down table to be specific. On flights, it seems like I'm constantly leaning down in the most uncomfortable way possible and in such a reduced space just to pick up runaway crayons and pencils). I personally love the pixel tech reference, making the whole "what is a pixel, mama?" query easy to answer. And interesting colored pencils are always a welcome addition to my kids' art supply drawer.

Find them at Fred Flare.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: toys
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06.23.2006

b-buckles from NOM

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Don't you wish you could wear your favorite pair of jeans while pregnant, at least well into your 4th month? Well, now you can with NOM's b-buckles. All you do is unbutton your jeans and loop, snap, go. That's it. Billed as THE buckles to help expand your wardrobe (get it?) they are a great buy at $22 while you wait it out to buy those pricey Marc Jacobs maternity jeans for months 5 and on. This would not have worked for me, however. With all of my pregnancies, I popped big time from the get go.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: pregnancy
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06.22.2006

Dr. Fresh toothbrush

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Here's a cool toothbrush for kids from Dr. Fresh. It's called the Float'n Firefly and when your little one grabs hold of it, it lights up for 60 seconds, a recommended amount of time to keep brushing for a good cleaning. My kids dig the brush-your-teeth rituals we've set up at home but our challenge has been figuring out how to keep them brushing long enough. This toothbrush promises to put an end to that battle. Comes in an assortment of colors with different toy figures/characters, too.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: bath/health
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06.22.2006

Rock Star Baby Stroller

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I guess when you're a rock and roll celebrity, it gives you license to do anything, like come out with a line of baby clothes (Gwen? Britney?) or in the case of Bon Jovi, strollers! Yup, that's right - Tico and Jon have designed a suspiciously Bugaboo-like stroller, which they call the Rock Star Baby Stroller because "cool people have cool kids. Cool kids need to travel in style."

The stroller, which comes in "true colors of Rock Ė black & white with shades of gray in-between" (pretty neutral, yes, but at least they're not using animal prints or shiny vinyl with studs), feature a reversible, multi-position seat, adjustable handles, air pump for tires, and the pram. All this at a rockstar price: $499, but hey, that's a bargain compared to the Bugaboo! It's a pretty good looking stroller, I have to admit, though it does lack the streamlined sleekness of the Bugaboo.

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You gotta love the above promo image of the 2 rockers with their kids. And at the risk of dating and embarassing myself, I will admit I went to a Bon Jovi concert once when I was in high school - they were the opening act on their first big national tour...yeah, I know, I know.

Available at Stroller Mama.

Posted by Jenna    Category: gear
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06.22.2006

Alex Finger Crayons

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These have to be the coolest crayons I have ever seen. Just look at them waiting to be stacked in perfect rainbows. The Alex Finger Crayons are fun for any age but are especially designed for little ones who might not have the finesse to grasp a regular crayon. I want to stick one on every finger and race my hands around a giant blank page. These crayons would even look good stacked on a dresser or table as a colorful monument to creativity. Set of 24 at MoMA.

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06.21.2006

Potette Portable Potty

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Miraculously, we've made some real progress with the potty training. Just 2 weeks ago, the toddler wouldn't even sit on the potty with her clothes on, even when bribed with promises of ice cream and videos. We had more success last summer when she was barely 17 months old when she actually went a few times on the potty (this after getting pressure from my parents, who are used to kids being potty trained around a year old over in Asia). Regression set in, I guess, and a real fear of using the potty.

But for whatever reason, after hard work, "therapy" sessions of conquering the fear, and prizes and stickers of course, it's working and now I'm sort of dreading the day when she goes completely diaperless out in the world. I mean it's just so much easier with diapers when you are out and about! No accidents! No pressures searching for a public restroom, and a clean one at that.

Our friend uses this portable potty called the Potette when she's out in the playground and running errands. When the kid has to go, she whips it out, unfolds the legs, wraps the disposable liners around the potty, and has the kid pee (or poop I suppose, though I have yet to witness this) wherever they are, be it sidewalk, playground or wherever. It's kind of funny because sometimes it draws spectators in others kids who are curious, and thankfully, most kids are not self-conscious enough to really care that they have an audience.

So as we are getting more and more successful with the potty training, I see the Potette in my near future. Thank god it's warm - I can't really imagine pulling down your pants out in the street with the kid's bare butt exposed to the wind and cold. Hopefully we can really wrap up the potty training by then and she can learn to hold it in till we can get indoors.

You can buy the Potette at One Step Ahead.

Posted by Jenna    Category: bath/health
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06.21.2006

Sand & Water Table

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Wonít you be the most popular mom with this kid friendly play table? The Clear Sand & Water table is a little bit of beach in your own back yard. I remember those days over at the pre-school where the sand table was quite the popular place to hang out.

There are multiple depths to the Sand and Water Table so kids have lots of areas to explore, wet or dry. The adjustable stand makes this suitable for growing kids and the wheels allow for easy mobility (although if full of water it might not wheel as easy as they say). The lid works as a play surface for the times you arenít up for a beach day inside your home. If it were mine it would definitely live outdoors.

At Sensory Edge

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06.20.2006

Imoga sleeveless onsies

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My parents are always buying my toddler pajamas, socks and underwear from Korean stores, and actually, if you are Korean-American and have relatives in Korea, you know what I'm talking about when I say that underwear, socks, long-johns and pajamas are THE standard gift that relatives bring over when they come to the US for a visit. So why is that? Because Koreans feel that they fit better on their bodies than the American brands and the quality is better. (I'm not arguing against this...often I find it to be true).

I really love these little onsies from Imoga, a relative newcomer to the children's wear scene, and the founders and designers happen to be Korean. You can tell from their extensive line of clothing that their play and leisure wear are actually inspired and influenced by the comforts of loungewear and underwear. This means that the clothes are soft and comfortable, simple and unadorned, but also sophisticated.

The onsies are available at GInger & Scallion.

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See the rest of the collection at the Imoga website.

Posted by Jenna    Category: fashion
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06.20.2006

iPop My Baby Onesies

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Need to access some smile files loaded on that kid of yours? Youíre only a click wheel away from giggles and laughs with these super fun shirts from iPop My Baby, formerly iPod My Baby. Yup, Apple got a bee in their bonnet over baby t-shirts being sold under the iPod brand. Their crack team of lawyers immediately sent off a nastygram asking that the company refrain from using the iPod name while selling baby click wheel shirts. For hilarious commentary see the Gizmodo blog covering the predicament. Sizes 6 to 18 months in Black, White, Pink and Blue.

At iPop My Baby

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06.20.2006

Baby Sunglasses

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Make way for brighter days. Summer starts this week and itís time to shade those baby blues from all that harmful UV radiation. I found a great selection of various glasses for little ones at Sand Pail Kids. The Baby Banz sunglasses are a hard wearing pair of shades made for abuse. I like the trendy wrap around style which keeps the shades snug against babyís face. The Velcro closure neoprene headband is cushy and wide and it helps hold the glasses secure against their head. There are also a couple of cute carrying cases for storing the sunglasses when not in use.

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Another style to check out are the Goo Goo Shades. The frames on these are wrapped in soft fabric. Very Elton John if you ask meÖ.especially the leopard print! There are glasses that come attached to the hat for double duty at the beach. The shades also flip up and out of the way when indoors. There are a couple of different hats and colors to pick from depending on what you are looking for.

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The design that I thought was pretty ingenious is the Julbo Looping Sunglasses which can be put on baby's face either direction, there is no up or down. Older kids can just grab them and put them back on themselves without goofing it up (although it is pretty cute when they do). These come in a bunch of great patterns and colors and are all made of tough polycarbonate plastics that resist breaking. All these glasses can be found at Sand Pail Kids.

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06.19.2006

Pregancy belly painting kit

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I remember going to a friend's baby shower and all we did was cast her belly with wet plaster all afternoon and I have to say, it was so much fun. Proudbody carries different belly kits for all types of art projects on your bulging tummy. There is the casting kit and a cool henna kit but I love their belly painting kit because pregnant moms can use it with their younger children for a totally fun bonding experience. The paints are water-based, making them both safe and easy to put on/remove. So imagine painting your pregnant belly with your other kids and then painting their faces with the same image. Great family project, great rainy afternoon type of activity. The Pregnancy Belly Painting Kit also comes with a sheet of, get this, Tummy Tats (temporary, pregnancy-related tattoos) for additional embellishment.

Find it at Proudbody.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: pregnancy
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06.19.2006

Coliseum Blocks

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HABA makes such great wooden toys and these Coliseum blocks are no exception. This set include 110 pieces to recreate the Coliseum in your own home.

Available at Mad Cat Toys.
Check out the other HABA buiding sets including Japanese, Russian, and Pyramid blocks.

Posted by Jenna    Category: toys
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06.19.2006

Big movies for little kids

If you're in New York City, check out the season finale of Big Movies for Little Kids, screenings of select movies and shorts for parents and kids playing at Cobble Hill Cinemas on 265 Court Street in Brooklyn. The finale for the season is today at 4pm and the E.B. White classic, Charlotte's Web will be playing with many more surprises before and after the screening.

I haven't been to one of these before, but I love Charlotte's Web (it would always be on TV every year around Thanksgiving) so it's a bit of nostalgia for me, like many of you I'm sure. And here's a shocker, for whatever reason, I haven't been to the movies since before the little one's been born. THAT'S NEARLY 3 YEARS AGO!! It's not really my choice for first trip to the movie theater, but hey, I won't be complaining.

Posted by Jenna    Category: news/events
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06.18.2006

Lickety Sips

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Hot summer days coming your way. The Lickety Sips is a smart idea right up there with the juice box holder I found last week. Keep those drippy popsicles self contained and nifty neat. I donít cope well with stickiness as it is, let alone staining my carpets with bright purple spots. Who am I fooling; my kids only get to eat popsicles outside. Anyhow, these slick little pop holders do a nice job catching the drips that are bound to occur and they also supply an attached straw so every last sugary drop goes down the hatch. I guess you could make them out of fruit juice instead of Kool-Aid like my mom did when we were kids. Set of four pop makers.

at Great Little Trading Company

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06.16.2006

Fatkitties

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It's hard to resist a cute stuffy especially one that looks like a kitty winking at you. These adorable plush cats can keep baby company without all the fuss and fur of a real cat. I counted 10 different kitties to choose from with names like Moonbeam, Starry and Mint Swirl. These sweet plush fatkitties are all hand embroidered and embellished by Aimee Ray for Little Deer.

At bright october

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06.16.2006

Faux fireflies jar

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There's no doubt that summers in NY can sometimes be a drag, what with the uncomfortable humidity and heat, but no matter how much I may complain about it, I've always looked back fondly at my childhood summers and remember 3 things: the loud, cyclical buzzing of cicadas, the dramatic lightning and thunder storms that signal a change in the air and lift away the humidty, and the glow of fireflies. I've lived elsewhere for a few years on the West Coast and it never really felt like summer without these things.

We didn't really trap fireflies in jars too often (seemed pretty mean), but we did love to chase and catch them as they flickered in our cupped hands. If you've never experienced just how cool fireflies are (and I was SHOCKED that they didn't live in the Pacific Northwest!), these faux fireflies in a jar are pretty fun. They don't in any way substitute for the real thing, but may add a little magic to your summer nights.

Available at Signals.

Posted by Jenna    Category: decor
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06.16.2006

Smocked sundress form Lands' End

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I've never bought anything from Lands' End before because I always thought it was "mom" clothing (and I'm still not sure that I would buy anything for myself), but their kids' stuff? Sooo good. And affordable! I was coveting cute smocked sundresses at one of our neighborhood baby boutiques and couldn't bear to pay those prices, but I found this cute smocked dress while on a search for a classic yellow slicker and I gotta tell you - at $17.50, it's the best find so far this summer. It's adorable and the cotton is super soft, unlike some of the stiffer, crisp cotton dresses I saw for 3 times as much. I love that it's easy to wash and wear - we have some cute dresses that we've received as gifts and while they are lovely and special, I find that I often have to IRON them after a wash.

I actually would love to wear a sundress like this on my pregnant belly this summer so I went back to see if they had an adult version....but alas, no luck.

At Lands' End.

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06.15.2006

Diaper bag organizer pouches

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Sure, you can just use plastic ziplock bags to organize your stuff, but I'm a sucker for nice packaging and feel a bit guilty every time I throw a ziplock away, no matter how often I try and reuse them. These attractive ziplock pouches are made from 100% cotton with mesh backing so you can see the contents at a glance. Yeah, I realize that dirty, spoiled baby clothes and messy foods are better off in a plastic ziplock, but these ARE machine washable...like I said, I'm a sucker for packaging.

At Wrapables.

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06.15.2006

"Picture Me" Growth Chart

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I don't really care for the aesthetics of this growth chart - the entire chart is made of clear PVC plastic and I'd rather like to see it in fabric or felt, save for the photo part. I do, however, like the idea of inserting a photograph every few months to see the progression of your kid's growth, especially if you took the photo at the same angle or pose. Now who has the time to snap a photo, print it and slide it in the chart when you can't even get your photos organized and into an album? Well, that's the problem now isn't it? These things should come bundled with a polaroid camera and some instant film.

Available at Spoon Sisters.

Posted by Jenna    Category: decor
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06.14.2006

Silver baby booties

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Every girl needs a pair of silver shoes. These little baby booties from Estella are perfect to get the little one started on what is sure to be a lifelong shoe obsession. The silver booties are totally cool and go great with literally anything. Babygirl will be totally styling with these! I love the cutout hearts that add sweetness to the silver's edge.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: fashion
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06.14.2006

ducduc dining table

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If I had an extra, oh 10k, to spend on furniture, I'd really consider the new ducduc dining room table. It would be the centerpiece of our living space (we have an open kitchen, dining, living room) and we'd use it for everything - dining, working, entertaining, and arts and crafts. What's so nice about this table is its versatility and functionality. The table top features sliding panels that reveal storage space for tableware or art supplies, and the dual panel surfaces of walnut and whiteboard are interchangeable. The bench offers even more storage, and booster seat and highchair attachments for the bench integrate right into the design, resulting in a complete, visually cohesive dining system for your family. A nice added touch is that the panels slide out to meet your kids so that they can be close to the table while maintaining a comfortable distance for the adults.

Of course your home would have to have a certain look to carry this contemporary design (can't really imagine this table in a pre-war, originally restored, turn of the century brownstone, for example) and I suppose it would look best if the rest of your furniture and decor was mid-century modern or equivalent (our place is currently a mish-mash of styles). So I guess I would really need more like 15-20k to really pull this table off. Ah well, sure is a nice table though.

Posted by Jenna    Category: furniture
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06.14.2006

Dolphin bath brush from Homegrown Kids

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You know, this bath brush from Homegrown Kids might actually work. You submerge the dolphin to fill with water, and you can control the amount of water flow as you comb the head with the bristles. We're currently using either a washcloth, a toy watering can, the peri squeeze bottle from labor and delivery (remember that?) or a plastic mug to rinse the toddler's hair, none of which really works perfectly. I don't know that the bath brush would completely prevent water from running down your kid's face, but it sure would make it easier to shampoo and rinse and at $5.99, is not such a big deal to at least try it out.

You can get one at Buy Buy Baby.

Posted by Jenna    Category: bath/health
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06.14.2006

Party, My Crib, 3 am Door Hanger

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Who said having kids was going to put a damper on your nightlife? Heck we go all hours around here. I do have to put my foot down now and then. Last call is at 4:00 am or I have bags under my eyes for days. Sometimes the party in the crib just has to go on without me. I can hear you now.....ignore, ignore.

sign available at Uptown Bee Baby

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06.13.2006

The Stokke Kinderzeat is now the Tripp Trapp

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Ok, so let me get this straight. Stokke renames their Kinderzeat the Tripp Trapp chair since it now has a 5 point harness system rather than the 3 point and they come out with a plastic Baby Rail to now accommodate babies as young as 6 months (provided that they can sit unassisted). That's great, since we love the Kinderzeat and up til now, was recommended for toddlers about 18 months and up. But what's this? The Baby Rail will ONLY fit the new Kinderzeat, uh, Tripp Trapp chair, and not the old versions? Why, why, why? Especially since our Kinderzeat is only 6 months old. I was looking forward to maybe using our Kinderzeat with the new baby instead of hauling out the big old frilly Fisher Price high chair when the time came for baby #2. So am I annoyed? Yes!!!

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06.13.2006

Already been chewed cookie cutters

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These are kind of funny - cookie cutters with parts already bitten off so you can make a headless gingerbread man, a circle with a bite, you get the idea. Of course you can get the same effect by taking bites out of all your cookies instead, which is what happens sometimes when you have a toddler who thinks it's fun to take one bite out of every cookie, but these cookie cutters can save you that trouble.

From Signals.

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06.13.2006

D.I.Y. T-Shirt Kit

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This D.I.Y. t-shirt kit by Peace Monkey is an original way to let your little one express herself. The black raglan tee has a spot on the front that can be drawn or written on with a permanent marker. I am guessing the shirt only comes in black in case your resident designer gets a little too inspired. Anyhow, children can draw their own designs on the shirt and proudly wear them out and about. Let's hope they like the first draft, it is a one shot deal. The D.I.Y. shirt kit makes a terrific gift for a toddler who already has enough toys to fill a U-Haul. The shirt comes in either pink, blue or green backgrounds and is available in sizes 4 and 6.

at mini Jake

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06.12.2006

Sushi Playsets

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I can't have sushi now that I'm pregnant again and it's a major bummer since it's my favorite food. I actually prefer raw fish over cooked (oysters, mmmm), so I'm not having much fish lately (besides, have you read the new Consumer Reports study that says pregnant women shouldn't have any tuna fish at all?).

So I have to settle with playing with fake sushi for now since California rolls don't quite cut it. We have the wooden Melissa and Doug Sushi Slicing Plyaset that velcros together that my toddler loves to play with it since she's a sushi fan herself, but I just found this plush Bento Sushi Set that's also fun. There's a ton of wooden and plastic food out there, but I've been sort of keen on plush food lately, mostly because I want to make them myself...but who has the time?

Posted by Jenna    Category: toys
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06.12.2006

Magic Message Bean

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They're pretty cheesy and they've probably reached "as seen on tv" status by now, but I still think that these Message Beans make a sweet gift for kids, especially those who are interested in plants and gardening. And if your kids aren't into that yet, it might be a fun way (with built in surprise message on the bean, no less) to learn about watering and taking care of plants. The beans grow into full plants with lush leaves long after sprouting "I Love You".

Posted by Jenna    Category: decor
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06.12.2006

Star Egg Nightlight

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Nightlights, as of late, have become so much more fun than the old standby of a white bulb that I remember as a kid. A bit ago, I wrote about the Candeloo nightlight which has a funky, modern look to it, along with being a functional, hand-held light. Recently, I came across the Star Egg Nightlight designed by J Schatz, which is another great contemporary option for a child's room. The light doesnít really look like a nightlight at all and I think visitors to the nursery will be intrigued by what is sitting on top of the dresser. You can tell them it is a chic new talcum powder dispenser.

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The egg, with its tiny little holes, put on a surreal starry show when turned on at night. It makes for a pretty panorama on the walls and ceiling. Add a few glow in the dark planets and you have created your own cosmos. The eggs come in 9 different colors to match any room decor.

at 2modern


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06.10.2006

Doomoo

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The Doomoo reminds me of a baby sized love sac. It looks like a fine place to nest a sleeping baby while keeping her close by. The Doomoo is a dual layered seat with micro-beans designed to give baby a restful and secure experience. There are two different tops that can be switched out as babies grow. The infant version has a harness for little ones to keep them in place while napping or just hanging out. There is a second ordinary upper cushion that can be switched out for toddlers and kids up to ten years old which makes the Doomoo a terrific contemporary seat to bounce around on as kids grow.

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at Babyworld

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06.10.2006

The Daddle

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Cowboy up partner...or should I say Daddle up. The Daddle is a soft stuffed saddle made just for dads (or moms...yeah right). Strap the comfy saddle on and let the fun begin. Toddlers will love the snug, secure ride around the house or yard. The Daddle is a lively way fathers can initiate creative play with their kids. I know my children loved to roughhouse and tumble with their father in ways that I just did not. Fasten on the cushy saddle with adjustable stirrups and let the living room rodeo begin, just donít forget to buy dad a pair of knee pads or he will be put out to pasture sooner than later.

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Too tired to pony up? Then check out the Daddle Pony. This cuddly stuffed ride-on horse can do the job when dad is not around for the bucking bronco show. Itís the perfect mount for horse-crazed little ones like mine. A lot cheaper too (we have moved up to a real horse now).

at Cashel

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06. 9.2006

Twist crayons

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I think we may need these plastic-encased twist crayons at our house. Why? Because the toddler has gotten into the habit of peeling the wrappers off of every one of her crayons instead of using them to draw. Now granted, this activity seems to occupy her for long periods of time and I've never seen her in deeper concentration (and it's about the only time she'll keep quiet from endless toddler chatter for more than a few minutes). So what's the big deal? When she actually decides to color with them, she'll slyly use her her fingernail to scrape bits of crayon off to eat while drawing (as if I wouldn't notice). Plus in the grips of sweaty toddler hands the colors seem to bleed everywhere.

From the MoMA Store.

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06. 9.2006

Nomad travel bed

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The Nomad travel bed reminds me of the Moss tent I used to own during my camping days and since most kids seem to love to crawl into tent-like spaces, might make a fun, cozy sleep spot when travelling. It includes an inflatable mattress for a comfy sleeping surface (which seems more comfortable than those flimsy matresses included with traditional pack-n-plays) and can accommodate kids from 0-3 years of age. The travel bed can also double as a UV-protective shelter at the beach.

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06. 8.2006

Ice-Cream Sandwich Molds

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Just in time for summer. Ice-Cream Sandwich Molds from William Sonoma make the grade on a hot summer day. Layering ice-cream and brownies was never so inspired.The Cow, Star and Pig make for fun, playful treats to eat right away or you can store your creations for another time. The molds make small sized treats that are just the right size for little hands and tummies.

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I love how inviting a plate of these sweet summer treats looks!
The set of three molds are dishwasher safe and can be found at William Sonoma for $14.


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06. 7.2006

"How Am I Feeling?" Hand Puppets

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Worried about your childís social emotional development? Maybe you'll want to invest in a set of How Are You Feeling Puppets. These hand puppets communicate detailed expressions of happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and embarrassment. They are designed to help children learn about their feelings. Perhaps they should make a set for me so I can get in touch with my tired, frustrated side that just wants to hide in the bathroom. That way I can collect myself enough to get the puppets out and make sure the kids are growing emotionally.

at Beyond Play

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06. 7.2006

Kinderkam toys

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One of my toddler's favorite toys is this wooden frog pull toy that she's had since she was about 14 months old. Almost a year later and she's still dragging this thing around the apartment behind her everywhere she goes. 20 bucks well invested. Here are some lovely push-a-long toys from Kinderkam that are hand painted natural wood. I especially like the butterfly since it's not your typical pull toy creature.

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Also from Kinderkam are these dragonfly mobiles that dramatically flap their wings when you pull the center string. A friend of ours had this hanging in their nursery and it was a great changing table distraction when we stayed at their house. We found a guy who handmade similar seagull mobiles at a fair last year, but I really like this colorful dragonfly variation.

All from Nonchalant mom.

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06. 7.2006

Juice Box Buddy

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Ok, this holder is a crazy smart idea. I have had it with juice boxes that, while a mainstay of modern living, make a sticky mess every time we pull one out. These days there's enough fermented juice between the seats of my car to qualify as a superfund site. With the Juice Box Buddy a child cannot accidentally squeeze and squirt juice out of the box willy nilly. The hard plastic red box has two easy to grasp handles for double the gripping power. It also holds juice bags which are equally messy if not more.

$3.95 at Baby Proofing Plus

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06. 6.2006

Lady Winter Coat

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I know it's already hot outside, but I cannot resist this orange Lady Winter Coat from Amelie Muse, mostly because I want it for myself. That color is a splash of sunshine - you just can't help but be happy looking at it and I'd bet it can cheer you up on an overcast winter day. I was sort of waiting to see if it would come down in price now that it's summer, but alas, it has not.

One of a kind, it's available at Stars & Infinite Darkness.

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06. 5.2006

Solid white gold diamond pacifier

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Yeouch! I found THE most ridiculous baby item with gratuitous bling ever. The solid white gold pacifier with 278 diamonds can be had for $17,000 (yes, that is 3 zeroes, but it is 3 carats worth of 278 diamonds after all...and isn't it super shiny and sparkly?). It's not even functional (they don't recommend actual use), but rather, a precious keepsake for those parents who have everything. Seriously, what does one do with something as expensive as this besides allowing it to collect dust on a shelf? I REALLY want to know.

OK, wait, hold up. I'm not one for celebrity baby gossip, but I just heard rumors that this was sent to Brangelina??

From It'sMyBinky.com. They also make personalized (functional) binkies as well.

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06. 5.2006

Stokke Xplory Stroller

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I ran head first into a Stokke Xplory yesterday for the first time and had to stop and marvel at this unique stroller. The child in the stroller was talking with me and interacting with the parents the whole time I was getting the story of the stroller out of mom. The more I took in the more I could see that the Xplory provided its rider a much higher vantage point from which to see what on earth is going on around her. The vertical design, mom told me, made it much easier to navigate while she was out and about. The seat height is also adjustable so she could pull her daughter up to the table while dining out. I popped on the Stokke web site and saw all sorts of configurations and accessories to make the stroller a really functional piece of gear for many years, not to mention very compact when not in use.

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Mom showed me how the handle was adjustable and comfortable to navigate with and dad of course had to show off the tires and shock absorber. Children can sit up or tilt back for a nap. The entire seat turns around to view mom or look out over the city. The baby basket makes an ideal carrier for infants not yet sitting up.

see at Stokkeusa

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06. 5.2006

Preserve Toothbrush

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I don't know what it is about the way toddlers brush their teeth, but ours goes through toothbrushes faster than us - just about every month it needs replacing because the bristles are so trashed. I just discovered Preserve Toothbrushes which can be found at your nearby Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Preserve Jr. is their line of kids' toothbrushes with softer bristles which are available at select Target stores.

The toothbrush handle is made of polypropylene which is a recycled material that is highly durable and flexible. The main recycled material source of the Preserve toothbrush comes from Stonyfield Farmģ yogurt cups, which I think is pretty cool since we go through plenty of those in our house too. When you're ready to replace the toothbrush, Preserve actually includes a postage-paid envelope to assure that your toothbrush will be recyled. This makes it a no-brainer to be eco-minded, so no excuse there!

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06. 5.2006

Owl and Penguin Nightlights

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I love these fused glass Owl and Penguin nightlights (though there is a place for all those glowing plastic Virgin Mary nightlights - yes my parents have one!). The heavy colored glass is reminiscent of vintage designs, like those lovely, celadon green glassware that you always see in antique stores and yard sales.

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06. 4.2006

Taggies

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Ever notice how babies and toddlers like to rub something soft between their fingers? I remember my son favored the edge of his security blanket that had a sateen finish which he rubbed till he fell asleep. Taggies are a similar idea created to give babies various bits of fabric all around their security blankets, pillow or even small toys. Each of the different, easy to grab ďtags" gives children a visually stimulating piece of fabric to look at and grab hold of. Children will love the different tactile sensations and eye-catching colors.

at Kool Roomz

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06. 3.2006

DNA art

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DNA11 makes art from your DNA sample. Their process is simple. Basically, they mail you an easy-to-use DNA collection kit. You send back a saliva sample, which they, in turn, process at a lab that produces an electronic "picture" of your DNA. DNA11 then digitally enhances the "picture" to create an original piece of art to adorn your walls. Imagine getting DNA portraits of the kids. You can also comission a two-person, two-children, mother-child, father-child, mom-dad, two parents, whichever-combo-suits-you split screen DNA family portrait. Pretty cool.

Find out more, place orders, start spitting.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: decor
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06. 2.2006

Alexander Girard pillows

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Modernseed has reissued designs from the great Alexander Girard's collaboration with Hermann Miller via linen pillows printed with six of his most iconic graphics. I love the way he was able to transform traditional folk art, through his genius use of color, and make it modern. Measuring 12" by 12", these pillows are perfect anywhere but, obviously, amazing in a kid's bedroom. I am partial to the LOVE pillow, but really, all of them are beautiful: simple, nostalgic and at the same time completely classic and timeless. Like old, comforting Marimekko which reminds me of my brother's room when we were little.

A Modernseed exclusive.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: decor
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06. 2.2006

Starfish bath alarm

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What's a bath alarm, you say? Stick the starfish to the side of the tub at the desired height of bath water, turn the faucet on, and go ahead and leave the room. The starfish will alert you with an audible alarm when the water has reached the bottom 2 arms so you never run the risk of overflowing your tub (by the way, has anyone ever done that?)

It'll also tell you the temperature of the water on the LCD readout, which is different than most water temp gauges which only flash an icon when the water is "ok", too hot or too cold. I always find the water on the cold side when I get the "thumbs up" from these things anyway, so I'd welcome a more accurate temperature readout.

From the Child Safety Store.

Posted by Jenna    Category: bath/health
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06. 2.2006

Urban Babies Wear Black

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How do all these urban babies get around? Well they have their own style guide in the form of "Urban Babies Wear Black". This charmingly illustrated board book describes the big city outings of Infantus urbanus. The book details the sophisticated excursions of black clad babies who have a penchant for the opera, architecture and dining on fine cuisine. This delightful book is all sophisticated silliness and the multimedia artwork appeals to both tots and parents. The author, Michelle Sinclair Coleman, an urban mom, lives in Chicago with her husband and her urban baby. This is her first book.

at Oliebollen

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06. 1.2006

Twins Feeding/Activity Table

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Several friends of mine have had twins in the last couple of years (Ramsay! Paulina!) and I've always wondered about feeding, among countless other things. Would the babies sit in a double stroller? And what about when the babies are old enough to sit on their own? Two high chairs? Also, when one baby is finished eating, but the other isn't, what do you do to keep the first from getting restless in the high chair and you're on your own and don't want to set him/her down on the floor? Well, this Twins Feeding/Activity Table seems practical enough if you have room for it. Although I'm sure, with twins, they take over and your whole living space is just theirs all of the sudden, so having enough room is not much of an issue. This table's design could be much improved, but let's use the word "practical" here as our mantra. The table has removeable, easy to clean seats that come equipped with seat belts. Wiping down a table, as we all know, is much easier than cleaning the crevices of a high chair. The table can be adjusted from 19" to 27" and comes in a choice of "practical" colors (as do the seats, by the way). And finally, when one baby is finished eating, or both are for that matter, just hand out the crayons and paper, puzzles or toys, adjust the table to 19" and have them play for a while. Convinced? Remember, it's "practical" and can be used with siblings that are close in age, not just twins. Now, if only it came with inserts to fill the seat holes once the table is outgrown, that would really be something you could use forever.

Posted by Gabriela    Category: furniture
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06. 1.2006

Barbeque grill play set

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Summer's pretty much here, at least in NY where the smell of barbeques have already started wafting through the neighborhood on weekends. This grill set is a perfect little miniature replica for your future grillers. Comes with a grill fork, tongs and spatula. But beware, it's only 14.5 inches (the $29 price tag should clue you in) which is a really odd size - not quite life-size for your toddler and too big for a doll house, but I guess perfect for little doll tea parties. In any case, I suppose the scale is more true to life for our household. We've got a balcony off our livingroom that's not big enough for a standard grill so we're thinking of getting a mini one or at the very least, a mini-hibachi. A little silly, I know, but hey! When you got a hankering for barbeque...

Available at Zebra Hall.

Posted by Jenna    Category: toys
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