Saturday, June 28, 2008
The Quinny Zapp stroller is my favorite stroller. Boo hoo for me, it wasn't available in the US when my daughter was born. Our big concern was how little space it can take up and how easy is it to fold up and toss in the car. Looks had to take second priority. But with the Zapp it doesn't. It's the total package. Look at how it folds up into nothing! You slip it into a carrying case when you travel! It looks like a case of tennis rackets (it only weighs 15.6 pounds.) Wish I had one. We have the Peg Pereggo which is easy to fold up and toss in the car, looks good enough and stores upright in a modest amount of space.
For newborns, you can snap in the maxi cosi infant car seat, which is lovely. We have the maxi cosi priori convertible car seat and like it's styling, ease of installation and use.
This stroller runs around $199.99 which is far less than it's other attractive counterparts like Bugaboo or Mutsy. If you're an on the go parent with little space definitely give this stroller a look.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The nano urban highchair by bloom caught my eye. It's simplicity is appealing. More appealing is its flat fold mechanism which allows you to stash it away when not in use. The seat is made of a supple micro leather. It's maker promises easy clean up. It's hard to tell from just looking at one how accurate that is. It is also available in a blue, pink and brown. In a color it doesn't have the same graceful appeal.
We've finally arrived at the "let's play house" phase. At 18 months it's probably really just "twist knob, chew on wooden beets, transfer egg from pan to pan" phase. My daughter goes for the kitchen play set whenever she sees one so I think it's time we make room for one. I was looking for a kitchen online when I stumbled upon this nice looking shopping cart from Plan Toys, $59.99. I can picture my daughter going up and down the aisles of Pavillions dropping her little selections into the basket. At home I picture her knocking into furniture as she gives her stuffed animals a ride.
Made of solid wood and finished with completely non-toxic, child-friendly paints and finishes. Hence the higher price. It's recommended for kids over 3 years. Not sure why, but that's that. The cart is L 18 x H 18 x W 14.5 in.
We gave up our dining room to create a nook for our daughter so this kind of table is a necessity. I think it's important to have a table the whole family can sit around. Without one we'd be sitting on the couch in front of the TV. That would be depressing.
We've spent years ridding our place of the IKEA furniture we bought when we were first starting out. I hate the idea of going back there. Let's face it they are a great place to get decent looking, inexpensive stuff for the home. We already have an antique gateleg table that we have up against the wall that we pull out for dinner. Otherwise, I'd be off to IKEA for one of there's. This is the Langed gateway table for $99.99. It's a great price.
I have spent way too much time looking for a little toddler chair. It will be a major part of our living room and frankly, most of them are just hideous. They all seemed to have been designed when Shabby Chic was all the rage. The exception is the Jennifer Delonge Ava toddler chair which is a really beautiful little chair. It comes upholstered in microsuede or cotton. Microsuede is the only way to go. The cotton gets filthy easily. I toyed with getting this chair but at $299 I just couldn't pull the trigger.
Then one morning as I strolled past Babystyle there it was. The Manhattan chair... in the exact same fabric as our couch! And, yes, only $160. It's clearly a knock off of the Eva chair. While it lacks the detailing of the Eva, I love it. More importantly our daughter loves it. This morning she kicked back in it with her blanket, bottle and a book. Too cute. The word on the street is that Babystyle has filed for bankruptcy, so you may need to act quick if you want this chair.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Hooray for summer! I love eating outdoors in the summer on our "patio." Patio is in quotes because I'm not sure it technically qualifies as a true patio. It's a 3 foot x 10 foot space which we spruced up with brick surrounded by pebbles. The pebbles were chosen way before the Babe was born. They are of great interest to all small children who have over the last few years moved them to various spots around the building. Our daughters favorite spot is under the Oleander leaves that covers the fence between our abode and the neighboring condos.
Anyway, we have a small bistro set and barbecue out there. I want to toss a few potted plants and make room for a chair for my Babe. There is a colorful chair at a local boutique made in Africa from recycled tires that I am leaning towards. At the moment, I am waiting to see if they get more in. I haven't located it anywhere else yet. During my internet search for it I came across some great summer seating for the kids.
I like this H back kids chair from loll Designs ($139). It's a modern take on the adirondack chair made from recycled plastic and it comes in a range of cool colors including sky and leaf (my faves). It works for kids up to age 6. I'm thinking it'll be easy to clean and you won't have to worry about splinters. I wonder how the color would hold up in the sun?
These OFFI Tiki stools ($59) are fun. Kids deserve fun colors. Plus these can double as little side tables.
The Nest Jax sling-back chair ($68) looks perfect for tots who like to kick back and relax. Besides being made from organic cotton and recycled wood, it's washable. A necessity for anything touched by children and the elements.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
This Full Circle crib bedding by American artist Denyse Schmidt is hanging in a shop around the corner from me. I stop and admire it each time I go by. It's a modern take on a very traditional craft, quilting. For some reason I think of a childhood trip to Amish country in Pennsylvania followed by a stop at Hershey park (home of the biggest Hershey bar I've ever seen.) The bumper ($89), quilt ($89) sheets ($19) and crib skirt ($39) are sold separately. This is great for those who choose not to have a bumper.
If you are on a budget check out IKEA's The Gulliver $99.99 crib.
The 5-piece crib set from Skip Hop includes a bumper, blanket, reversible skirt (vine floral/brown) and two fitted sheets (pink dot and solid pink) for $220. It's so nice when a company knows what there customers truly want and need. Two fitted sheets makes this set truly complete. I think the pattern is just lovely. It is available online at land of nod.
I love metal party tubs. I look at one and think icy cold bottles of lemonade and beer on a hot summer day. Someday when I have a place to put one I'm getting one from The Machbeth Collection. They have bar none the best selection of buckets, tubs, trays, containers and lunchboxes. There a ton of amazing patterns to choose from, as well as mongramming options.
Today, I am loving these patterns best.
The window boxes would make a stylish planter for any porch. Just the right size for your kids to tend to.
It is so important to have a place for all those toys and books that your child can access easily (so they can learn to put them back). I think this is a great solution for when that space has to be in your adult living space. Let's face it, we don't want to look at toys round the clock. This bookshelf is fitted with a tension rod and curtains that can be easily closed at bedtime.
This was designed by Carrie Naumann for a bakery-inspired theme girls room and featured in Better Homes and Gardens storage for kids' stuff 2007. Borrow the idea and transform a plain bookshelf by trimming the edges with molding that suits the decor of your abode. Hardware stores offer a great array of simple to ornate molding. At the moment, I would paint the cabinet the color of the walls and make bold patterned curtains.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I'm always ahead of the retail curve or too poor. For my wedding our colors were orange, green, and dark pink. We scoured southern california looking for orange and green neck ties for the groomsmen... nothing. We ended up settling for one's with a bit of a pattern. The following summer J. Crew and Banana Republic had them in the exact shades we were looking for. The same thing happens to me in home decorating. I get an idea from a magazine (it always costs a mint) then search high and low for a less expensive alternative. I'm even willing to make it if I can find the materials. I always end up having to settle for something not quite as spectacular as I was hoping.
This time round it's the pendant lamp above our couch. I wanted one with a cool pattern. I ended up with a solid silver dupioni lamp shade that I converted into a pendant myself. What I really wanted is something like the Thomaspaul lamps ($275) above. I like to interject pattern wherever I can. I think my Babe would love the orange finches! The flora aqua shade has a retro feel to it that I'm digging.
Fat Pendant Hanging Lamp with Stripe Shade from Target ($49.99) is a great option for, as always, a quarter the price.
I am very excited about the Dwell Studio for Target line. For a fraction of the cost we can now enjoy Dwell's sweet modern aesthetic in our nursery nooks! I like The Farm Girl collection because it features tractors in such a feminine way. You might argue that it could be a gender neutral print if paired with blue walls to play down the pink houses and cows. As shown here with a soft green it is decidedly all girl!
I might be mistaken but it looks like this farm has gone green with wind power. The structure next to the barn looks like a windmill (with a chicken head) to me. Love that.
This design is only available online. Target conveniently sells a 3 pc. set with comforter, bumper pad, and fitted sheet ($54.99), with fitted sheets ($9.99), bed skirt ($14.99), changing pad cover ($11.99) and curtain panels ($9.99 each) sold separately. I recommend buying at least one extra fitted sheet.
FYI the crib is also Dwell for Target.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I'm going to try my best not to blog too much about wall stickers or self-adhesive vinyl graphics for those in the know. But, there is an amazing selection out there and they are the perfect decorating item for a nook. The simplicity of sticking them to the wall and removing them when you move or just move on to a new idea is what I love. Here are two of my faves from decorette on Etsy (another thing I will try and not devote my blog to).
These two Ikea cribs: The Gulliver $99.99 and Hermelin $129.99 are both made from solid wood (not from intact natural forests) and come with conversion kits. They are simple and clean.
Now use your imagination and picture the Barnslig Flodhast linens on them. The 5-piece set includes 2 blankets, 1 quilt cover, 1 pillowcase and 1 fitted sheet for brace yourself... $12.99.
It's looking less like a baby jail and more like the start to a really great nursery nook.
Blue and green are not the colors most people go to when doing a girl's room. They happen to be my favorite colors. The tailored styling of the Marissa Suite bedroom from Pottery Barn Kids makes the color combo refreshingly feminine. The mix of stripes, polka dots, and mod starbursts gives the space a sense of whimsy that all kids deserve. My favorite element is the bedskirt.
This collection is currently on sale.
They had me at "folds up for easy storage". This is an ingenious product that snaps (it's spring loaded) on to any chair to give your kid a boost up to the table. Now you can say goodbye to the feeding table and tray that is taking up space! The Kaboost is recommend for kids age 20 months to 6 years. It holds up to 300 pounds (our whole family can sit on it) and doesn't come off when you move the chair. Check out the Kaboost web site for a video demo if you don't believe me. Buy it at Target for $29.99. I'm getting it in chocolate.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
A simple design in an eye catching pink. I think the Nurseryworks sea holly crib set is lovely. I felt the sheet in a store today and it was not soft. I'm wondering if it gets soft after washing. If anyone has bedding from Nurseryworks I'd love to hear what you think. Crib sheets should be buttery soft.
I got so excited when I stumbled on www.paperanimations.com and found these. Magic. I am a paper devote, but never thought of it in this fashion. My favorites are by Rob Ives' a former British Schoolteacher. I am already imagining a rainy Sunday seven years from now when I suprise the kids with this engineering craft. My tinkering husband will flip when he sees them. With a few squirts of Elmers we'll be glad we are stuck inside.
I want to make one for myself now. Brooklyn 5 & 10 sells a slew of them.
You don't need a patch of grass to have a garden. Lucky for us, because we don't have one. I'm taken by the cute packaging. My daughter who has already become quite excellent at watering the potted plants (at least the sidewalk and her shoes) will like sticking them into the dirt. Each match tip is full of seeds either Mixed Herb Garden (Basil, Chives, Parsley and Thyme) or Wildflower Garden (Cornflower, Shasta Daisy, Corn Marigold, and Field Poppy). I'd love to use the herbs in a dinner or two. I remember eating carrots, cucumbers and green beans from my fathers garden as a child. Even though we don't have room for a large garden we can still pluck a few herbs and make a nice pasta sauce. In this simple way we can help our kids make the connection between the seed, soil, water, sun and then... our dinner plates.
These have party favor written all over them. I found them for the best price at shopexit9 at $3.25.
When I read the description of this first year toy I laughed. "Patience blocks. Each colorful, wodden block features a small game that little ones can enjoy. Children learn to be patient while using their fine motor skills to succeed in each game." That's a tall order for such a small toy. To make it work it looks like the baby would have to gently roll the balls into place. I can't imagine a baby doing anything with this except chew, rattle, or throw it.
My sister, bless her told me about counter top dishwashers. Our lives are transformed. We bought the Danby counter top dishwasher when our daughter was a few months old. Funny story about that. I measured the space between the counter and the cabinets, compared it to the dimensions of the washer and perfect, it would fit. So, I ordered it. The box arrived. The huge box arrived. We opened it up and our reaction was instant. "There is no way that will fit under the cabinets". My stomach turned. What had I done in my sleep deprived insanity? Clearly, I had messed up. Luckily my husband refused to give up. He cut the molding off the bottom of the cabinet and the washer slid in. I am so glad he didn't let me ship it back!
I read mixed reviews about the machine on Target so we were sceptical. So far, so good. It looks from the picture, like we have last years model so I can't review this exact machine. Ours cleans the dishes well most of the time and it is relatively quiet. It is so nice to not have to waste time hand washing dishes anymore. Plus, we got rid of the unsightly drying rack.
Buy online for $209.00 at Target.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Pieces is an amazing online resource for finding contemporary furnishings and accessories. My favorite item is the owl umbrella holder. You need one, why not make it one the kids will think is cute too.
Owner Lee Kleinhelter, offers an ever changing selection of pieces (hence the name, I'm guessing) from markets all over the country. She has a keen eye for color, like this fabulous green ceramic lamp.
This has to be the most aptly named paint ever: Caribbean Holiday (aqua). Paired with Lime Green (Benjamin Moore) and hot pink and red accents this nook has personality. It has all the essentials; storage (under the mattress), shelves for books, toys, etc and a lamp. For older kids who share a room this could be a nice way to give them some privacy. Just double up. I would put the curtain on a rail so it can be closed completely for privacy and to block out the sun for snoozing in on weekends.
This is clipped from the May 2006 Domino Magazine. They advise "For a wee, windowless room like this one, choose paints in pearly or glossy finishes. They reflect light and make even the most minuscule spot feel brighter and more spacious." I agree.
This has got to be the most whimsical, adorable, cool, did I say adorable? rocker I've ever laid eyes on. 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." I think this would make a nice object d'art in the living room. We'll see.... If anyone wants to grace their abode with it, you can buy it online at kidsonthirdstreet.
Also available in red.