How about these great Boo Blankets by Modern Basics? I love the over-sized animal faces! Made of fleece, they're also super cozy.
I'm amazed at the progression of children's furniture these days. Just when you think it's been done, along comes an innovative design that makes you stop and stare. The Rinki Highchair by Seimi is one such design that converts from a stool to highchair -- growing with the child! As a consumer and parent, you've got to love stretching the lifespan of something that you've spent good money on.
I'm a huge sucker for good packaging and I was instantly drawn to vedaBABY's simple illustration of Ganesh -- the remover of obstacles (rather appropriate for the New Year). The lavender, jasmine and neroli essential oils in the shampoo & bodywash are some of my favorite scents. I could sneak some of this for myself *wink*. Take a look at the ingredients for the Baby Splash: Lavender Essential Oil, German Chamomile Essential Oil and Roman Chamomile Essential Oil...good packaging and pure ingredients.
On a whim, about 6 weeks ago, I splurged on these Ugg Boo Baby Booties for the Mini. The weather was starting to turn and finding a matching pair of socks every morning was starting to wear on me. Hands down, these have become the best $50 I've spent in a long time. The mini wears them every day and even she asks to put them on, "boo" -- I even use them as slippers in the morning. They're incredibly easy to slip on and slip off her tiny feet (bonus: no socks necessary!). Plus, there's nothing better than soft, warm baby feet after they've been toasting in a woolly booty.
The Thilde Pocket was created by the mother of a child who was an early riser. Instead of dragging mom and dad out of bed to keep baby busy, the idea is to fill it with your child's favorite things and some little surprises that will keep them occupied (when they're waking up with the birds) while mom & dad get a bit more sleep -- couldn't we all use more of that?
The Knoppa Hanging Crib is designed by Swedish designers Anna Häggblom and Ola Stålhammar. It's such a practical idea and great for small spaces. The cord's height is adjustable, so you can hang it at varying distances. They even suggest hanging it above your bed so you can sway the baby back to sleep in the middle of the night.
I've been meaning to write about the Woobee all weather blanket for about a month now. It deserves a little limelight! Woobee is a Seattle-based business that was inspired by Heather Correa after the birth of her first daughter.
So, allow me to break this very practical blanket down: one side is made of a unique, velvety-soft material and the other side is made of a durable water-resistant nylon fabric that acts as a protective barrier from the elements (hello, rain!). The other detail that makes these more than just a blanket are the ties that allow you to tie it to your baby carrier, stroller, or car seat. I got to see the Woobee in action while on a trip to Portland with our friends and their newborn on a particularly rainy day. Baby M's momma tied the Woobee to her Baby Bjorn, flipped the blanket over Baby M's tiny head and kept him perfectly protected from the rain -- that was the moment I was sold! Woobee also just introduced the Super Woobee (30”x 36”) that would be ideal for picnics -- no more wet bottoms!
eight3one is a local Seattle company that began when pending parents, Sven & Aimee, were frustrated with the lack of quality clothing available for babies and children. They took matters into their own hands and began designing and screen printing their own line of onesies and tees for babies and children. They even have a line of organics. I particularly love the Tyrannosaurus Rex!
I think every baby should own at least one NooNoo comfort blanket! Babies love to chew on tags and soft, cottony corners, not to mention having an attachment to a object. They're all handmade and hand-embroidered with cute little animals like bugs, slugs and sheep. I love their unusual shapes and sizes and I couldn't imagine a baby who wouldn't love snuggling with one of these.
There's been a huge demand to bring glass bottles back with the heightened awareness of bisphenol A, phthalate, PVC and polycarbonates as toxic materials. When I laid my eyes on these Babylife Wee-go glass and plastic-free bottles, I almost broke into a dance. With their playfully beautiful design and attention to details -- I have a feeling these are going to fly off the shelves! The colorful sleeves are free of plastics and are 100% non-toxic. The silicone nipple is also latex-free and non-toxic. The plastic ring, plug and cap contain no polycarbonates and are food grade, FDA approved and recyclable. Smart, smart, smart! I just wish they'd been around a year ago. By the way, you'll have to wait until mid-November to pre-order these little lovelies...
Babylife has quickly become one of my favorites! Check out their Comfort+Joy Teether that is phthalates, PVC, bisphenol A and latex-free. The design is simple and easy for tiny hands to clutch. Lucky for me, I can still take advantage of this product since the Mini is still working on those teeth...
Again, sorry to get you all excited but these aren't for sale just yet. They're coming soon though...
Today was one of those days where I was a little uncertain of what I was going to write about. I had a few things up my sleeve but nothing that felt very compelling. That was, until I checked my inbox and found a lovely email from Jennifer of Hazel Wood Children, a new online children's store that's quite compelling and worth celebrating. Jennifer has pooled together a unique range of designers, small businesses, artists and craftsmen with an overarching philosophy of environmental consciousness (yes, including lots of organic products!). You will discover things that you have probably never seen before (I certainly did) and find items exclusively made for Hazel Wood -- note the adorable coats pictured below. Great products and great philosophy, this is my kind of store! Thanks Jennifer.
So, I'm in a position where I desperately need to buy a baby book for Mini or I will lead a life of regret. Okay, it's not all doomed but she's already had her first birthday and my memory isn't as sharp as it used to be. How will I ever remember the date when she first crawled? Her first giggle? Panic is starting to set in! I have a baby book for Ms. Bean that is probably half full and I don't have anything to show for the Mini as of yet! So, I managed to drum up a couple of lovely choices, plus stumbled upon a gorgeous book especially for adopted babies.
First off, there's Binth! Need I say more? Everything they do is absolutely beautiful. It's just a bit pricier than I was intending to spend but I may end up springing for it (as the guilt settles in)...
May Papers created this lovely baby book with photographs that tug at the heart strings. Seeing some of the photos brought many of those fleeting baby memories back. Love it...
boygirlparty illustrated an utterly gorgeous baby book for an adopted child. The pictures speak for themselves (shhhh...)
Then there's Nikki McClure's "Baby's First 1000 Days" baby journal which might be a good idea for me since I'm already behind on baby's first 365 days!
Mikodesign wrote a comment on my post about Keet in Huis one day so, naturally, I checked out her lovely blog and found that she is one of those admirable women who gushes with creativity. Mikodesign is based in the Netherlands and makes fantastic bags, clothes, dress-up clothes (hint* Halloween), aprons, decorative items, toys and more. Her beautifully crafted things are found on etsy or poppytalk handmade. The owl underwear set is irresistable! Time to do some shopping...
Mahar Dry Goods collaborated with artist Kristin Loffer Theiss of klt:works to make this whimsical and adorable mobile of cats spying on unsuspecting birdies. Made of wool felt and cotton fabric. Very cute!
Oozing of form and function, the Culla Belly co-sleeper is an amazing design! I wish this was around when I needed it. I know plenty of parents who don't have enough space to fit a bed and a crib or another (larger) branded co-sleeper in their room. Culla Belly seems compact enough to fit in even the smallest of rooms. Check out how it can also be converted into a bassinet -- brilliant! Unfortunately, this little beauty doesn't appear to be available in the U.S. yet.
Being that we're all becoming acutely aware of sustainability in our world today, I thought the IoLine crib from Kalon Studios was an interesting and sophisticated design. Made from sustainable materials you can choose from painted birch or oiled bamboo.
Little Mini's 1st birthday is this Saturday and it feels like I've got so much to plan for. I ordered a cake for the friends and family yesterday and decided, after a bit of deliberation, that I had to make her first cake -- especially since I made Ms. Bean's first birthday cake. Afterall, it's only fair. I didn't want something so momentous to come back and haunt me 18 years later when the Mini can't suppress her disapproving opinion about my mothering style any longer..."mom, why didn't I get the same treatment as my older sister...?!". It's bound to happen one way or another but if I can dodge this bullet, then I will. So, I set out to find a unique cake pan tonight. I flew into Williams-Sonoma before they closed and found this fantastic octopus cake pan. It was perfect because it would be nearly impossible for me to screw it up. Frosting decoration is not one of my strong suits. I could handle the octopus because, if I happen to be short on time and energy, I can pour a simple glaze over him and...voila! Done!
I found this Backyard Bug Cakelet Pan on Williams-Sonoma site. If they'd been in stock this evening, I would've probably purchased them too; however, I would have become a hopeless baker all weekend. Whew...
Designed by a Melbourne mum, these faux fur Minimink bootees could possibly be the cutest booties I've encountered! Constructed of Minimink fur on the outside and 100% cotton lining on the inside, they look irresistably snuggly. They come in two sizes: XS goes up to 4 months and S is from 4-8 months. They come in three colors including milk, honey or chocolate.
While on the subject of Minimink, I can't help but mention their luxurious faux fur blankets. The ultimate snuggling blanket to keep your little one warm and cozy. They measure 3'x 3' which is a great size for oodles of practical uses beyond the infant stage.
With the news of Mattel recalling 9 million toys including Barbie and Polly Pockets -- I can't help but feel disturbed and even more disenchanted with cheaply manufactured toys. I'm tempted to throw a slew of toys and plastic figurines away that clutter my daughter's room but I know the reprocussions of such a hasty act.
I've always been a big fan of wooden toys made by artisans. My mom is from Austria, so I grew up with unique toys and dolls that were hand made in Germany and surrounding countries. So, on the heels of the unfortunate recall, I thought I'd focus on some of the smaller artisans that make great toys that will undoubtedly stand the test of time and could eventually become a cherished heirloom for generations (well, I like to be optimistic at least).
Being from Seattle, I was thrilled to find a local company run by two inspiring moms. They started Nico & Zoe Toys in 2006 and their website is a hub of "uncommon and artisan made toys".
Check out these adorable toys! I know Bean would love this sweet Wren Purse Sewing Kit. Handmade: Sparrowkids / London, UK
These sturdy wooden trucks called My Little Scoots, made in Vermont with non-toxic paints, are a sign of the times. Check out the recycling truck!
Then there's the knit Socktopi! Handcrafted by Blackbird Fashions in Anacortes, Wa. My 1 year old could chew on Socktopi without me second guessing it's safety. How great are those stripes!?
I find it comforting to know that there are fantastic toy artisans passionately crafting toys for our wee ones.