Like many three year old girls, Gemma wants to wear a dress to everything. She picked out a J. Crew party dress for her nap (with tulle tiers, no less), a brand new Popupshop tee-shirt style for dinner (now covered in apple sauce) and a Liberty printed number that I found on Etsy for watching Elmo. That’s three wardrobe changes in one afternoon. She might as well host the Oscars. Ironically enough, her pre-school this fall has a “no dresses, no skirts” policy for the girls as the owner doesn’t want anything to be about the child’s presentation, just the child. And I love it. So we need to get our fill now. I’ve been obsessed with Honey Collection for a year. Everything is one-of-a-kind and organic cotton. And then come September, it’s peasant tops and fring-y jean shorts all the way, if you know what I’m sayin’.
I feel a room isn’t complete without some kind of statement making light fixture (even if the statement itself is an understated one.) After a high/low search for a great looking chandelier for Gemma’s room (and I’m talking http://www.1stdibs.com all the way down to ebay,) the answer presented itself one day in the form of a ridiculously affordable, DIY garland from Tord Boontje, whom I’m guessing is Norwegian (isn’t all clever design from northern Europe?) Mind you, you need to get a bit crafty as your light fixture will arrive in the form of a flat sheet of metal. But by wrapping the garland around a solitary light bulb, you’ll create such a whimsical little fairy nest of a chandelier, and will quickly realize that you can’t really F it up. I found the cheapest one at Artecnica. And I’m trying not to curse so much.
In a moment of panic, one of my best friends asked me what she should get Reese Witherspoon for her wedding as she was in attendance this past weekend. I told her to buy the same thing I’ve bought for a few of my special (but non-famie) friends: a huge, hand-painted serving piece from the artist Sydney Albertini. Not only does she customize it to your giftee’s taste (ie. their apartment’s wallpaper, his sneaker collection, her vintage jewelery obsession!) she will engrave a special note on the bottom of the dish to make it even extra personal (for Jo I wrote the lyrics to the chorus of her first dance, which she loved.) And with a reputation for doing all the custom place settings for half Park Avenue (the super stylish Aerin Lauder included) you know your table is gonna look good. Below, some of her splatter paint pasta bowls.
On the heels of going to a ’70s themed fund-raiser for Gemma’s pre-school, I’ve been really embracing the groovy California healthy lifestyle. (As a side note, it’s like, I always aim to look “Studio 54″ to these things but consistently wind up going as Mrs. Roper…just can’t seem to get there.) Anyway, said lifestyle includes a slightly macrobiotic, now-and-then vegan diet with an arbitrary raw product thrown in. My newest obsession are these Ulimana raw cacoa truffles which are seriously dense and creamy and satisfying and freakin’ delicious. And if you are a desert household, you need not feel too guilty about letting the munchkins munch on them (because they’re packed with antioxidants and obviously have no refined sugar!) And they’re ex-hippie mother approved.
I love seeing what people buy my kids for birthdays as it hands me a jumbo dose of reality (what, noone gifted Gemma decorative Atsuyo et Akiko angel wings or a French gym-gray zip-up sweatshirt with a fur hood? What’s wrong with me.) The take-away message for me this year was: get more practical gifts. Like a kid’s digital camera (Gem loves it.) Or Magna Tiles (even Rafi loves it.) Nobody wants the fantastical shit, Zoe. Nobody wants the fantastical….shit. Now storing the gifts is a separate issue, one I’d like to address here. I just learned about Belle and Blue, a really modern and clean but whimsical and charming line of kid’s furniture out of Estonia. (Which must be the new Copenhagen or something because this line is super chic as you’ll see if you cruise the website.) Below, from the animal collection is the monkey storage box. For all those ugly, “non-decorative” but ready-to-be-played-with gifts!
After much anticipation, we unveiled our custom eight-foot-in-diameter Tipi last weekend which is living not in our backyard but, wait for it….our living room. My interior designer mom came over to help sort out the space and “make it work.” Every time I glance back there from the computer, I think, “what…is…wrong with me?” But then I see my brother and Gemma having story time in it or Rafi running naked through the opening and I stop questioning my mental state of health. And yes, you, too can have a giant, massive, meant-for-outside structure in the middle of your home by going to Reliable Tent (I researched them all and this was the best!) and can customize it with stencils from the brilliant Karen Kimmel. Here is a picture of our new toy, shot at the artist’s studio in Atwater Village.
One of the things that took me by surprise when I started this blog was the immediate support granted by the typing community (well, at least in the mama blog world.) There’s no competition, just lots of shout-outs and referrals and love that’s doled out. Having spent my twenties in the vicious editorial landscape, I’m thrilled to vibe with like-minded, expressive, stylish women who are also juggling work and parenting. Just yesterday, I tripped upon this artsy blog, Diaper Style Memoirs and died over the cut out dolls in designer kids clothes (Lale barrettes, Ketiketa jumpsuits….Tous Chez!) I saw there was a “download” tab on there which is extra cool. So really, this post just is a cheesy high-five to all the other cool mother effers out there who love to share what they find, learn and know.
I told Meeno Peluce, who shoots our family when we’re in need of some beautiful photos (meaning, Rafi isn’t charging at the camera, Gemma isn’t doing her crazy smile and I am actually able to have someone edit out my crow’s feet,) that family pics are all about making my kids wear accessories they don’t want to wear. Sorry but doesn’t that sequin headband/charm necklace add that little extra something? If you’re like me and are obsessed with cool hats (not to wear….just the idea of them) then you will die to learn that french milliner Maison Michele (of famed lace bunny ears) is coming out with a tiny collection of hats for kids. Please note, these are not the adult versions of the kid’s styles. But surely, you can get an idea….
I just became a member of Moda Operandi, an online trunk show that let’s you purchase directly from the designer (side-stepping shopping in an actual store.) As a former boutique owner, let me just tell you that this is a nightmare to all retailers BUT a dream for all mental shoppers out there. For instance! I’ve been in the “bag market” for some time now. It needs to be big enough for my Comme des Garcons wallet, IPhone and janitorial-esque key ring but also for crayons, stickers/sticker books, snacks and one or two spare diapers. So chic. I prefer a tote style as you can retrieve contents with ease. And while it has to look dope I’m not going to spend a lot of my hard-earned freelance cash on something that everyone else has. So when I found my perfectly unique, big-enough bag (Celine’s Luggage Knit Medium Shopper,) all the stores that claim to carry it on Celine‘s website do not seem to know of which bag I even speak! Which is why Moda Operandi is going to change lives. If the site had launched last September, I would have just bought it straight from Celine. And as one final note, Phoebe Philo…you complete me.
Even though I’m in the midst of a birthday explosion, I still feel as if I flail about when it comes to gifts that are age appropriate/reflect my taste/match the other person’s taste/enjoyable. But the newborn thing, I believe I have down pat (quick congrats-shout to my friend Jewels who had her daughter, Ryder!) My thinking is: when in doubt, buy a bubble. There is something about chubby legs in a poufy one-piece that is out-of-control. Please note that for a boy, however, it should be more of a special onesie as the “bubble” shape is way too feminine. (True, the onesie is never original, but is always needed.) One of my favorite brands these days, hands down, is Clover New York. And let me tell you about their Spring bubbles!