OK, I know the whole concept of going on holiday is exciting for children, but you can make it even more so with a lovely piece of luggage like this old-style suitcase from Couverture. Stickers plastered across it are redolent of the old days of steamer travel and world cruises, and might - who knows? - even encourage an impromptu geography or history lesson. What's more, it's built to old-fashioned and robust standards, so with a bit of luck you'll get quite a few years' use out of it.
The nicest thing of all, though, is that Couverture will make each of these suitcases to order, and no two are exactly the same. With a choice of four different colours, it's enough to make the ordering process feel really special. All that excitement and the holiday hasn't even begun!
Jess and I share a modest living space. We're looking at houses and we'll be expanding soon, but we're lucky in that we know how to make a small amount of space work. That's why I love the Playdate Table and Stool set. It's modular, and when you're not using it you can put it in the corner and it won't bother you.
When you have a small place, furniture can either work with you, or against you. The best pieces of furniture have multiple uses; I swear my living room looks utterly different when we have friends over to watch movies than it does when the kids are painting. I think it's safe to say this table and stool set does what it needs to do, and then gets out of the way. It may be $700 or so, but versatility in small spaces sometimes carries a high premium.
I do love Robeez. Their supple leather and adorable designs are perfect for nascent walkers and their stylish parents. The only problem is that, given their popularity, it's hard to be original. So if you love the idea, but perfer to remain a little off the beaten path, check out the creations from Mini Toes.
Hand made by WAHM (work at home mother) of two, Anna, each shoe features the same soft leather as Robeez and others. But, as a cottage industry shop, her adornments are a bit more original. In fact, you can even request a custom design. Oh, and they're less expensive too!
This made me laugh out loud. Brought back so many memories and for some, especially those (that would be me, of course) who had to wear braces, retainers, night guards during the night and day, etc...well, childhood/adolescence had a sort of, how shall I put it, gothic tint to it. This charm necklace could be an empowering gift, a retainer cast in gold and by hand by New York City-based designer Kiel Meade. Retainers, and charms for that matter, have never looked so cool.
Kids like the idea of storing their coins in piggy banks. There are so many different types of piggy banks out there to choose from and yet these minimalist ones in glazed ceramic would make quite an addition to the modern nursery/kid's room. I am taken with the simplicity of their design--silhouettes that just burst with color. There's the requisite pig piggy bank in a soft, rosey pink or choose from a yellow duck, or an orange rabbit.
At The Conran Shop.
It's hard being a dad. Not for the normal reasons, and there is no parent with an easy job, but I'm hardcore into my job as a father and I dig the little items that make my life easier. I keep meeting dads, but rarely do I find a truly enthusiastic one. The dad's baby case however, is something all dads can agree on. It's made from recycled tires, so it's pretty rock n' roll, and it has pockets for your bottle, diapers, and of course, your iPod.
I've changed a lot of diapers, and if it's wrong to want to listen to R.E.M. while I'm doing it, I don't want to be right.
This is the sort of thing that helps me get up in the morning. It's functional, it's masculine, and at $175 it's much more affordable than many of the objects of parental lust I write about. A very nice product.
Who would have thought that a big-nosed, one-armed monster could be so appealing? Admit it, though, this fellow is very cute. He's part of the Skummis family, a collection of frankly amorphous creatures designed by Anna Hokenberg of Sweden. Despite their odd looks, they're obviously friendly, so I'm sure no baby could object to their bright colours and cheerfully misshapen bodies.
Available from the ever-appealing Nordic Kids.
It's a bunny. It's a frog. It's an alien. Well, perhaps I've just put my finger on the beauty of this innovative little guy. Chair, table, ride on, or play pal, Mico can be used for just about anything your child can imagine. And because it's made from durable polyethylene, it can even go outside!
It's one of life's cruel ironies that parenthood - the news of which is often greeted with proclamations of joy - can actually be the hardest and most challenging period of one's life. Often it's difficult to admit that, even while the congratulations are still ringing in the air and the champagne corks are popping, you actually feel like bursting into tears. How wonderful, then, that someone has not only recognised that mums often need cheering up, but has also written a book explaining concrete ways of doing so.
The book comes from Netmums, a UK online network of local mothers, and it very constructively looks at many of the causes of unhappiness in a mother's life, from sleep to relationships to battling against a cluttered house. So many books have been written about our children and what they need. I think it's certainly worth making a little shelf space for a book focusing on your own needs.
Dog lover or no, this is simply the best kid's rug. Its minimalist graphics perfectly capture the essence of "puppy," and like the real thing, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.
Each 32"x19" mat is made from 100% hand tufted, New Zealand wool. Available in black and white or white and black.