Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas cheer

My mother's cousin knit me the most wonderful Christmas stocking when I was a baby. I still use it (though I've had to stuff it myself a few years, hint.. hint... husband oh, mine). This year my daughter is two and I found the perfect heirloom for her on etsy. I bought her the elf stocking and her name is knit in along the top. We can't wait to put it up Christmas Eve. Visit jpyle's shop. She has a wonderful selection.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

walk-in nook

Every month I can count on Domino magazine to give me some inspiration. The November issue did not dissapoint. Now, if only I had a walk-in closet.
Michelle Rubel I'm guessing from NYC since they titled her nursery "the uptown prepster," converted a walk-in closet into a sophisticated nursery with Martha Stewarts "Blue Agave" paint and white accents. It is hard to spot in the picture because it is painted blue to blend into the walls, but just to the left of the crib is a Murphy bed-style changing table. Great idea!
She's created a cozy space for her daughter to sleep and a cabinet for all the essentials.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Move over Viking!

This is one gorgeous play kitchen. It's too rich for my blood. Luckily we don't have room for it, so I don't have to fret that my daughter can't have it. Plus, she can't have a nicer stove than us!

These are from Pottery Barn Kids and they offer the stove ($299), island ($498) - but don't despair it's on special for $479. Yes, a whole $19 off. That has got to be the lamest special I've ever seen - it doesn't even cover shipping. Why not an even $20 bucks? and Fridge ($299).

If you are looking for play food my favorite online source is moolka where they offer a great array of wooden and felt food. You can also create a wishlist for relatives. Tis the season.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I agree

Check out the blog My Notting Hill for the "Round Rugs - When?" post, a lovely roundup of round rugs (say that 10 times fast) including this Anthropologie Dream Menagerie rug ($78-298) My notting hill writes "Wouldn't this be adorable in a baby's room in front of the crib." I agree!

This rug would make an amazing starting point for a palette of greens & blues, pinks & reds, or yellow & greens. Perfect for boys, girls and for when you don't know yet...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

country club chic nook

Thanks again Domino. This nook is part of interior designer Ruthie Sommers daughters room featured in the October issue. I think it's a lovely inspiration for a closet conversion, a nook in mom & dad's room if you're sharing or wherever you can carve out the space. While this hand-painted mural requires some skill try a "paired down to your talents" version in white on pink.

Target has a good selection of reasonably priced white crib options for recreating this look including the Bassettbaby Mission Crib ($219.99)

The addition of some wallpaper on the back wall really makes her closet special. A pleasant to open closet is always a good thing.

Maxi-Cosi at Target

This is the car seat we have and I'm happy with it. It started being sold in America just when we were ready for it. I was dreading putting the Britax seat in my car. It's ridiculous I know, but I think it's hideous. The Maxi-Cosi is easy to install, and easy to put in your child (though can be tougher w/a full diaper).

The first time we took it off to wash it we had a hard time pulling the buckle through but after some serious wiggling it came out. Now it comes out no problem. They say hand wash. But, hand washing didn't get rid of the vomit spell so we put it in the washer. It washed well - though there is a slight degrading of the stitching in one spot. Of course we have a low end washer which didn't help.

We recently brought in on a cross country flight. When buckled it fit on the handle of our pull luggage and was easy to get around the airport. It took no time at all to install in my parents car at the airport which was a lifesaver, since it was midnight and after 6 hours with a toddler who didn't nap we had no patience left.

Now they are carrying it at Target.

homemade sandbox with wheels

I clipped this from the July Domino magazine. I'm dreaming of something a lot smaller with grass in it for our little patio. On the way to work I pass a store front for a business called Pet a Potty that sells what I'm imagining. For a far different purpose of course. A sandbox would get a lot more use, but I love the idea of my babe barefoot on the grass. Truth be told there is no room for it at our abode. Still, it's a great idea if you have the space.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Families Squeeze In

My father clipped this New York Times article for me as I'm sure in instantly struck a cord with our situation. There are some clever sleeping solutions featured for some seriously tiny nooks. As with the subjects of this article, I really enjoy the urban atmosphere of our neighborhood. People walking on the sidewalks at all hours, playgrounds loaded with kids... it's hard to feel lonely.

My husband and I recently visited my parents on Cape Cod. They live in a lovely area near the beach (I live in a Pacific beach town but their is something special about an Atlantic beach town that you don't get here) where houses with yards are within reach. But each time we went to the local toddler playground it was empty. It felt lonely. Staying sane while staying at home with kids requires adult contact. I can't imagine not being able to just walk to the park for some "playtime" conversation with other moms. Although I still dream about a yard, I can be happy making due with less space here.
Here's the article.

Friday, October 10, 2008

trick or treat

Halloween is just around the corner and I am feeling crafty. These treat boxes from Martha Stewart are too cute not to make.

Now my daughter is old enough to have fun with Halloween but not old enough for trick or treating and candy. I'm thinking of having a few tots over for some treats and "play". I'm going to rope a few neighbors into an introduction to trick or treating with me supplying the treats. I think three toddlers and two doors should do the trick. I'd like to make some non-candy "healthy" Halloween inspired treats. I'd love some ideas...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tracy Garcia's Whimsical Kids'Rooms/Martha Stewart

I was perusing Martha Stewart's website looking for some ideas for snack time when I stumbled upon these two lovely ideas.

I didn't realize they made four poster cribs. Having that curtain all the way around would be great for blocking out light at bedtime/morning. We could use them here! Then we could watch TV when our babe goes to sleep. Right now the TV casts too much light on her crib.

Now I'm daydreaming. When the kids get their own room I want to (my husband) to build a 3D version of this scene with a Parisian bakery with a play kitchen in it and a Parisian fix it shop with a tool bench.

Friday, September 5, 2008


My babes plates are looking a little ragged and I wanted to swap them out for something cute. The melamine plates and bowls from French Bull are the winner. I like the superheroes and robots best.


The monsters all have sad faces. I don't want her to finish her food and see a frown.

 I'm ordering from bebebabble because you can buy the pieces individually.

attention brownie end lovers

I love a nice edge on a fudgy brownie.  This bakers-edge brownie pan gets you more!

Friday, August 22, 2008

fireplace fantasy land

It's time to clear out the half burned candles from the fireplace and create a play space. September's Cookie magazine suggests a conversion to an animal theater, robot planet or a fairy land. I love this idea.

a little privacy

Everyone likes a little privacy. Two simple curtains get the job done, plus offer a little shade from morning (or summer night) light streaming in the window.

From Domino magazine online.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

PB storage cubes

I am a sucker for storage cubes you can sit on. These are the latest offering from Pottery Barn ($45).

From Coastal Living magazine this children's bunk room is in a vacation house. It's a great idea to steal if you have a finished attic (or maybe now you will finish it) or a bedroom with sloped walls. I like the moulding and dividers used to give each child it's own nook. What a great idea for transforming what is usually useless space.

we have a kitchen!

It magically appeared yesterday morning on our steps with the sun! Our daughter loves it. It's the first toy she's ever played with for hours. We love it too. It's nice looking and just the right size. The slice able bread and carrot, fried egg, cheese, mushrooms and pizza are a great start to the pantry. We ordered a few extra veggies from Haba and a bag of pasta. I was thinking it would a fun thing for her to stir the pasta in a pot. But it turns out they're more of a choking hazard. I've put them away for now. The green pepper is my personal favorite.

Friday, August 1, 2008

P'kolino Kick

The P'kolino Kick ($199) is a great space saving desk for kids ages 3-7.

villa sibi

No this is not an architects model, it's a dollhouse. It looks like something you're not suppose to touch. For $640 (or $900 if you don't shop around) it would be a "don't touch" in our house. Those poor dolls, sleeping on hardwood beds. I can see how this toy would appeal to grown ups. It's beautiful. But as a toy to stimulate your child's imagination, please don't.

island changing table

This idea comes from Better Homes and Gardens. It's a kitchen island on casters. This is great idea because it has ample storage underneath for supplies and you can move it to make way for playtime, or perhaps gliding it out of site when company arrives.
I can't help but comment. This setup looks so modern with the Max push car and max lorette trailer ($450 smackers) nonchalantly parked in front of it.

faux headboard

More inspiration from my Domino magazine file circa March 2006. The two-tone green paints in latex pearl Benjamin Moore Pear Green and the lighter Lettuce Leaf make a charming, inexpensive, space saving headboard. Domino used a stencil from The Stencil Library. I think this is a charming idea for a little girl's bed.

oh kitchen, where art thou?

After three cancellations trying to order the kid kraft retro blue kitchen I got over it and ordered the my french kitchen from Moolka. It comes with everything pictured. They shipped it right away and... it was supposedly left on my stoop. Of course it wasn't. I've waited three days for the Fed Ex driver to come by to jog his memory on where he put it. He must have left it on the wrong street. Today they tell me that they were never told to call me. Are they kidding? Someone is probably enjoying my play kitchen, two potatoes, tomato and bag of wooden pasta. I just want my girl to fry up some fake eggs. Is that too much to ask?

crooked house

Our friends have this crooked playhouse in their backyard (in a cool bright green). I just love it. Though it leaves me with some serious backyard envy.

Friday, July 25, 2008

mini window sill garden

I came a cross this mini window sill garden while searching for a tea set. I love that the process starts with the kids painting all the pieces (pottery paint doesn't seem to be included). The mini rakes and shovels are too cute. $14.99

Friday, July 18, 2008

dream nook

The granddaddy of all nooks! Via Geekdad, the Uroko house in Japan. Book & toy storage, a cool hideout for a kid, I love it. This is setting my do-it-yourself brain into overdrive. Maybe a little too cozy for a baby, but a toddler or child would be so happy to have this nook.

inspired stenciling

This delightful paint job (emerald green chalkboard paint) invites little artists to add birds of their own, or perhaps some creepy crawlers that live under the grass. It ranks as one of my favorite nursery inspirations. Instead of toucans and parrots, I see squirrels, gnomes and fairies wrapping around the whole room. The hot pink angel peeking into the room is a nice touch.

Kudos to the NYC design team know as The Apartment featured in the February 2007 issue of Domino magazine.


Leave it to the Japanese to turn the chia pet into something so insanely cute. Handmade in Japan, the egg shaped ceramic critters are filled with a soil medium and rye grass seed. The "hair" grows to full length in two weeks. You can style it, cut it, then watch it grow again. My babe is too young to fully appreciate these. She'd rip their hair out! I've filed them away and plan to get a few when she's a bit older as a fun way to introduce indoor gardening.

I think they'd look cute on a shelf in a nursery. Bring a little bit of the outdoors in.

Characters include Kitty, Monkey, Chickee, Blue Bear, Froggie, Panda, and Piglet as well as some holiday friends. Available online at eggling.

P.S. Nyokki is a Japanese onomatopoeia that mimics the sound of a plant growing! It is pronounced "n-yoo-key".

the art of rocking

This has got to be the most whimsical, adorable, cool, did I say adorable? rocker I've ever laid eyes on. It's $179 bucks which I consider a splurge. My husband has been telling me for a few months now that he's going to make my daughter a cool animal shaped rocker. If he doesn't snap to it soon I am heading to the blood bank and selling every once of blood I can spare, then racing home and ordering this. I can just imagine my girl holding onto those long leather ears and rocking herself into some serious giggles. It is designed by Bjorn Dahlstrom for Playsam in Sweden. It even earned the "Excellent Swedish Design Seal of Approval." Amazing wood creations come from Scandanavia so I'm assuming this is a big deal. I think this would make a nice object d'art in the living room. We'll see.... If anyone wants to grace their nursery with it, you can buy it online at kidsonthirdstreet.

room and board goodies

Room and Board's little Jake chairs in green, blue, orange or white ($49ea) and the little jill table ($99) are simple, stylish and best of all colorful.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

august cookie - fave

These aluminum creatures from OWI robots are awesome. I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to build these, I am ordering my husband one now.

august cookie - fave

Cookie magazine is a fun read. Though I do have to shake my head at them this month for the cover which promises 21 decorating ideas on a budget p. 34, p. 78. When I think budget I don't think $2777 chair, $85 stuffed animal and fabric for $115 a yard budget. This is a $10,000 toddler room (that's just the stuff they listed).

Cookie transformed a bland built in office into a lively storage area. I love the cable rug from West elm. Even I want to roll on it. The leather handles from vandykes really add style. I love the lovely mix of orange, red and hot pink. It gives the room energy. Cookie installed fabric-covered cork panels in the cubbies. Fabulous idea.

so many questions

"If only I were in a real tub I could play with my rubber duck!"

Age 3 months to 14 months. What one year old would stay in this thing for a bath? How do you clean all their bits and pieces with them stuffed in the bottom? That poor babies feet are folded up to his chin. Do they stand so you can wash their bits? That wouldn't be a good precedent for bathtime. I got a plastic trash bin from IKEA for a few dollars, I think it would work just as well.

oh kitchen, where art thou

Look at this girl hugging her fabulous kitchen. She doesn't know how lucky she is. We thought we found the perfect play kitchen a month ago. It has a sink, a stove, ovens, fridge, freezer and a microwave. What more could you want. So I searched the web for the best price and ordered it off Amazon. Then I got an email that it was out of stock. I ordered from another shop on Amazon. A few days later another email. This time I bought one off eBay. I mean they must have it if they are auctioning it, right? Now I don't know. I got an email saying the auction is void and it had been pulled off eBay. I assume it's not coming. Of course, paypal charged me already and the seller hasn't sent me a word. We were so excited for this damn kitchen to come. We even went to a party at a play place and they had this kitchen. We thought how happy our gal will be when it comes. Shopping on the web can really suck sometimes.

It's back to the web to look for another one.

eiffel book case

We are knock on wood going to have another baby next March. So I am pondering a move to a two bedroom which seemed like it would solve all our space issues. No more toys in the living room - hooray! My daughter and the new baby will share a room. Then it occurred to me. When the baby is napping during the day, and my daughter is up she isn't going to be able to play in her bedroom. I'm still going to have to have toys out.

I think eiffel book case by argington is a perfect solution for toy storage in the living room. Bonus -it's a nice piece of modern furniture that isn't 2 grand ($630). It's available in four finishes: white, birch, walnut or red maple. You can also make it "two-tone" by selecting different finishes for the doors and case.

Unless she wants to play with her toy kitchen. Maybe we'll put that on casters?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

litto kids crib bedding

These litto kids Silly Owls caught my eye. I use to hate orange and brown together, but it's beginning to warm on me. The inside (baby side) of the bumper has a fabulous silky feel to it which is why I think it's worth a mention. This print reminds me of my childhood (1970's) and my mother's collection of owls.

I like the punch of turquoise with the orange and green in the Magic Garden set.

Retro Mushroom is a little too 70's for me.

Friday, July 11, 2008

kukunest bedding

I just stumbled upon Kukunest and thought their small selection of toddler and kid bedding was worth sharing. Lantern and sub adventure were my favorites. I thought their line was modernly sweet without being too themey (is that a word? I don't think so). The sub adventure pillow sham is great inspiration for a do-it-yourself sham.