Saturday, August 6, 2011

Star Nursery Style on a Walmart Budget

You have a dilemma.  You love the clean, modern lines of high end crib brands like Oeuf, but you don't have $1000 to spend on a crib.  Your answer: Walmart.  Yes, Walmart.  Their line of Baby Mod nursery furniture looks almost identical to many of the Oeuf pieces, at a fraction of the price, and their cribs in particular have been getting rave reviews.  And if you think spending lots of $$$ on a crib will bring you a safer place for your little one to sleep, think again: the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires all cribs to meet the same safety standards.  So, below are two pics: one of the Oeuf Classic Crib and one of the BabyMod Parklane crib.  Can you tell which is which??

You can find the Baby Mod pieces online at Walmart here.  Now go use that money you saved to furnish your own crib (new couch, anyone?). 

Monday, August 1, 2011

By Order of the Management

Some days it seems like I say the same sentences over and over again.  Share your toys.  Say "Please".   Don't poke your brother's eye out. (It's not a good day when I've had to say the last one more than once).  North Carolina artist John W. Golden was apparently been listening in on my conversations with my children when he created his series of "By Order of the Management" prints, which you can buy on his Etsy site.   Okay, more likely, he was just putting in print what parents around the world have been saying over and over again to their children since the beginning of time.  His prints come in a variety of punchy colors and have a saying appropriate for nearly every child-rearing situation.  Now, if only he had one for my office which read "Get back to work!"

Friday, July 29, 2011

New York State of Mind

I took a few days off blogging to take a quick trip to New York City for a college friend's baby shower.  I had been anticipating the trip since the moment I booked my ticket (some much needed "me" time), but as usual packed in a hurried frenzy a few hours before leaving for the airport.  The whole flight in, I had a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something. And then it hit me: I had forgotten to buy the mama-to-be a gift, the whole purpose of my trip! Alas, good thing I was in the Big Apple and had a million baby boutiques to choose from.  And lucky for me, I was staying with my best friend from law school, who is also a New York shopping encyclopedia.   Without skipping a beat she said, "Don't worry, we'll get her something from Estella."  Of all of the many places to buy baby and children's clothing in the city, she gets almost all of her baby gifts from Estella. One trip there and I saw why: in addition to selling adorable, one of a kind pieces for young boys and girls, they also have their own Estella line of the absolute softest tops and leggings I've yet to put my hands on. After picking out the gift, I of course also managed to come home with a few pieces from their Estella line for my girls. For all you non-New Yorkers, good news: they have a website where you can pick up all of their wares.  Even better news: they have a huge 50% off sale going on right now until August 1. 

on sale for $59.50 (previously $85)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sign of the Times

I am loving the trend to decorate with Zodiac signs.  It's a fresh and subtle way to personalize your child's room.  A few of my favorites are below:
Leo Zodiac Pillow, Serena and Lily, $88

Capricorn Zodiac Art, Serena and Lily, $98

Pisces Pillow, Jonathan Adler, $98

What's your sign?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Organize in Style: Erin Condren Life Planners

I’m a techie.  I use an iPhone and a blackberry (one for personal, one for work, natch).  I have an iPad and a Mac laptop. And an iTouch.  And I use them all, often simultaneously.  However, I have yet to find an App that really gets my life streamlined and in check. (I’ve tried them all).  Let's just say that organizational skills are not my strong suit.  I've learned that if I really need to get things done, I know I need to use that old relic called a pen and write it down on real, tangible paper (yes, it still exists).  But I’ve also learned that I'm much more inclined to be organized when that paper is pretty and I’m proud to carry it with me.  Those plain office-issued datebooks just don’t do it for me, but Erin Condren’s Life Planners (which come in several other styles in addition to the one above, including ones with photos) are the supermodels of schedulers. Not only do they have the standard monthly and weekly calendars you would expect, but they also include food logs, and even newborn feeding logs for new moms.  (It's so fancy they even have a video showing all the great things you can do with it.) The 2011-2012 versions are just out, and they sell like hot cakes (Brooke Burke is a big fan).   With one of these in my purse, I may not only look like I’ve got everything control, I may actually have it under control (on some days, at least).  Now if only I could do something about organizing my closet...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More Mini's

I wrote yesterday about how some of the best fashion for kids comes from lines originally designed for adults.  Well, Women's Wear Daily is reporting that the ultimate style mama, Gwen Stefani, is bringing a kids version of her Harajuku line to Target in November.    The line, for babies through tweens, will be priced from $4 to $30.  Major style for your mini-me, at a mini price to match. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gilt-y Pleasures: Tai One On

Some of the most stylish children's lines are the ones that were originally designed for adults.  Case in point: bracelets by Tai.   I've scored the stackable bracelets on Gilt for myself in the past, and now the mini-Tai's are on major sale at Gilt.   So instead of your little girl stealing  borrowing your old baubles for dress up, you may find yourself pilfering these from her jewelry box.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bohemian Rhapsody

If you are in the process of decorating a nursery or child's room, and you haven't met Annette Tatum, stop what you are doing. Now.  Go visit her site and you'll be fast friends, promise.  I've always loved her bedding (my twins have coordinating bed skirts from her line).  However, I've fallen in love all over again now that she has come out with her "Bohemian Inspired" collection.  Ikat prints for a bumper, who would have thought?  Start your future fashionista out right!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

All You Need Is...this!

I popped into the new Glencoe outpost of Madden Home (formerly in Deerfield) the other day and have been lusting after this print ever since.  I'm mentioning it here because I think it would add a perfect dose of whimsy to any kid's room, but it would be adorable in practically any room (I've been imagining it on about six different walls of my house).  And lest I forget to mention, the words are printed in 18 carat gold leaf paint- because if you are going to spell it out, you might as well spell it out in gold...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rocking Style

Tip for any new parent planning a nursery: choose your glider wisely.  You and that chair will spend countless hours together as you feed, rock and read to your little one.  So it goes without saying that it should be comfortable. My daughter has the Cottage Glider from Little Castle and my twins have the Presidio Glider from Serena and Lily.  While they, like many gliders, both come with coordinating ottomans, why not mix it up a bit? A Morrccan pouf, like the one pictured above from Serena and Lily, is a fun alternative to the standard foot rest.  Plus, when the bittersweet day comes that you aren't spending hours in that glider, it will work great as extra seating in a play room or even your living/family room.  Rock on!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Style Craving: Push Pop Cupcakes

Birthday Cake, we know you've been feeling a little left out lately.  What with all the cool new kids on the party block- from cupcakes to cake pops- it may seem like it's hard to keep up.   Don't worry, we all know that the in crowds come and go, but there is one new guy you may have heard of that may give you a run for your frosting: the Push Pop Cupcake.   Moveover cupcake, sayonara cake pop, this guy is hand held, easy to make, adorable, and customizable.  The ones pictured above are courtesy of Sugarbaby's .  For you DIY'ers out there: just (1) order the push pop holders here or here, (2) buy a pack of mini cupcakes at an grocery store, or bake your own in mini muffin pans, and stick them (2 or 3 each) in a push pop holder, and then decorate the containers with stickers or lables.  A few examples of labels made especially for push pops can be found at Belle Party Accessories.  But don't worry, Birthday Cake, we won't forget you.  Afterall, we all know that old friends are the best friends :).   

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Paper Crush: Paperheart Press Invitations

Every year as my daughter's (and now the twins) birthday approaches, I go into what I like to call "OCD Etsy Mode."  I can spend embarrassing amounts of time browsing all of the adorable birthday invitations and coordinating "party packages".  I then find myself on all my favorite party decorating blogs (TomKat Studio is a fave) and start dreaming about my daughter's perfectly coordinated party.  Of course, by the time the party rolls around, I've picked out a great invite, but have otherwise gotten caught up in Life, and am running to Party City the day before to pick up the standard non-customized birthday party package.  And of course, everyone still has a great time. Yes, I probably should just suck it up and start sending Evites, but that won't happen until I stop finding adorable invites like the ones pictures above, created by the super talented Paper Heart Press, the style I used for Sophie's first birthday (found on Etsy, of course!) .

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Keep Calm and...

If I were a yogi, my mantra would be "Keep Calm." Not just because I need to  remind myself to CHILL a few (million) times a day, but more because I am obsessed with those Keep Calm and... posters that seem to be, yes, everywhere.  While the original  Keep Calm and Carry On version is always a good bet, you can find one on Etsy for whatever you fancy. (Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake, anyone?)  My twins' nursery has the Keep Calm and Rock On print pictured above that I ordered at Nuevo Designs (they will customize colors for you). I stuck mine in a vintage-y white frame from Tar-jay and called it a day, all for  about 30 bucks. It hangs quite appropriately over the changing table because when you've been changing two ten month olds' diapers all day long, it helps to look at something pretty to remind you to just "chillax" (my pre-schooler's new favorite vocabulary word). 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gilt-y Pleasures: Brinca Dada Dollhouse Sale

You may have caught my post the other day about the covetable Brinca Dada dollhouses.  You may have also thought "Pretty, but not spending that much on a house for dolls."  Good news for you, their newest model, the "Dylan" is on sale right now at Gilt, and comes with furniture for the living room, bedroom, terrace, bathroom and kitchen.  Think Barbie's Malibu Beach House if Barbie was me, and I was rich and famous from this blog, and living on the beach in, well, Malibu, and you've got the Dylan House. Happy Shopping!

Who's the Boss?

A typical encounter in my house: I attempt to give my 2-1/2 year old a time-out.  She has knocked over/taken a toy from/poked in the eye her little brother or little sister (again).  She stares me squarely in the face and flatly says, "Mommy, but you can't give me a time out."  Taken aback, I ask her why, and she responds, as if it's obvious, "Because, Mommy, I'm in charge." 
We will just pretend this is an example of her "strong leadership skills."  (and yes, I did make her take that time out).  If you, like me, have a current future boss on your hands, she might as well record their aspirations in a stylish notebook from Two Little Boys.  If your little ones have more heroic tendencies, or dream of being princesses, rockstars, supermodels or just plain troublemakers, check out the site, as they also sell notebooks for these little dreamers (we may be grabbing one of each).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Modern Family

My beloved dollhouse from the '80's is a Pepto Bismol Pink Victorian. Its walls are swathed in mismatching chintz, its furniture is quintessential Shabby Chic.  The most high tech thing about it is the fact that that we paid  for a guy to put working lights in it.  I remember the dollhouse store vividly. It sold every miniaturized accessory you could imagine (down to a "Shabbat Set"- wine glasses and challah which I of course had, Natch), and the people who worked there looked like I had seen them on an episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras."  So it doesn't seem right to me to call this Brinca Dada beauty a "dollhouse".  Architect's model home, perhaps?  And yet, it is a dollhouse, perfect for your budding architect or design aficianado (and begs the question: Who says dollhouses are just for girls anyways?)   The one pictured here is the "Emerson", but they sell a few different styles, as well as super modern accessories and "dolls" for your kids' my mini dream house.

Just Call Me the (Summer) Bag Lady

Summer is in full swing (at least every few days, here in Chicago) and what better way to spend a day than packing the kids up and heading to the beach.  But using your standard diaper bag is a risky proposition.  I still am finding pesky grains of sand at the bottom of mine long from last summer.  You want a  beach bag big enough to throw in all of your kids stuff Mary Poppins-style, but still stylish enough so you aren’t actually mistaken for Miss Poppins.  The solution:  Iomoi Custom Canvas Totes.  They have a million preppy-chic and tongue in cheek designs you can personalize with your name or monogram.   While there are several sizes, I went with the Extra Large Tote, and believe me, it’s not small.  But when you have 3 kids under 3, your choices always revolve around one adjective: BIG.  And as a bonus, it’s big enough that it works as great camoflauge for those of you like me who decided to get in shape for summer... after summer already started... ;)


We picked up this recycled barnwood plaque a few years ago in Laguna Beach at a charming store called Tuvalu Home.  It now hangs in the entryway to our kitchen, and always puts a smile on our visitors’ faces.  Each time I pass by throughout my crazy day, I am reminded of my grandma singing this song to me when she would put me to sleep or give me a bath.  Since that Laguna trip, I’ve spotted it on various online outposts, almost always offered for sale as a whimsical nursery touch.  It would look fabulous in any nursery, and for me it’s a perfect example that “children” and “style” do not have to be mutually exclusive. Oh, and if “You are My Sunshine” isn't your thing, there are a bunch of other great options for your nursery/kids room/play room/anyroom from this shop. 
And with that, WELCOME to my blog. Some people read trashy magazines, watch reality TV, or get a massage to relax. Ok, so do I. But I also have a somewhat obsessive habit of scouring the Web for anything and everything unique and pretty related to children, from nursery style to clothing to artwork, particularly for the pre-K set. Here is my little corner to share some of those finds with you.