Gemma and I went shopping for newborns today and every time it’s like, OK. Am I buying something for the baby (ie. snugglie booties, groovy shaker) or for the mom (ie. decorative pillow, hand-made doll.) And while my friends may resent my choices, I usually get something for them. That means, once again, sh*t that looks good but might have to sit on the sidelines and look pretty. But today I surprised myself and actually went for the cozy pjs over a chic Ketiketa tiger blankie, only because I know my friend Eve doesn’t use blankets until the baby is in Kindergarten. So practical I went. But, this hand-made The Butter mobile is something that I would want (as well as another impractical friend) because seriously, the only thing a baby really wants are boobs.
Today my friend Joanna, bless her heart, educated me about “gum strength,” the power of a child’s gums in relation to her age. Apparently, age matters more than tooth count. It was a bit life changing as Rafi, now 20 months, still looks like a 95 year old man and so I continue to bark, “Chew!” “Chew!” “Rafi, chew!” But Joanna (who feeds my child all the time) pointed out that Rafi is “old” and so I should really just take it down a notch. On the heels of that parenting lesson, I’ve been super excited about my new favorite snack, Danielle’s dried whatever. Everyone is all into the pumpkin for the crazy health benefits, but there are lots of other fun flaves (here, I give my Okra shout-out.) And the packaging is obviously a huge draw, as it has that farm-y look that makes you feel as if someone picked those dehydrated fruits and veggies straight from the Earth and gave it to ya.
*By the way, the subject is a Seinfeld reference…But did I need to say it?
When my friend Kristen came over today with her four month old, it reminded me of all the crap my kids refused to use as babies. Rafi prefered the nipple of a bottle to the pacifier and Gemma could care less about anything that rattled. Both kids boy-cotted bibs which was such a shame in that so many good hand-me-downs got splattered with carrots and applesauce. But for those of you with obedient babies, you should know that there are good styles out there. My friend Ashley has an awesome company called Nest Prep for expecting mamas and just came out with bibs that are so stylish, you might be sad to watch them take a beating. But at least your Crew Cuts tee will stay intact as they’re lined in french terry to ensure that outfits stay safe. This one should be for those late afternoon feedings as it feels very Provence-chic. Pass the Rosé.
Garlands are so last year. My new fixation is tassels, but hold up, the cool kind. As someone who’s always on the hunt for chic party decorations (I don’t do themes,) I nearly lost my mind when I read about these couture pinatas and decorative items from Confetti System. Actually, I’ll go as far to say that I have been considering one or the other as permanent home decor (you will too once you see how freakin’ artistic this company is!) It’s easy to categorize the pinatas for your kid’s day and the tassels for your own but they’re all guaranteed to impress your most jaded party-hopping pals.
My friends know that I literally live for little kid’s underwear. Not in a freakish way, just in an I-can’t-deal-with-that-little-tush-way. I’m dying to potty train my toddler just so I can see her in little “days of the week.” My mother-in-law, bless her heart, actually reads this blog and came back from a trip to Paris with loads of Bonpoint and Petite Bateau and yes, those Stella McCartney undies about which I’ve blogged. I made Gemma try them on with the rest of the clothes, natch. Recently I was contacted by a Toronto-based shop called Gretchen & Co who now has e-commerce and let me tell you, it’s a stellar store. The boys superheros undies are truly adorable and these Scotch R’belle styles come in the cutest drawers ever (and there was no pun intended.)
Sometimes I design something up in my mind to such a degree that I always disappoint myself when I can’t find the fabric/wallpaper/bed spread of my dreams. And I do mean “dreams” as textiles are my happy place when I start to drown myself in thoughts of terror before falling asleep. (So healthy!) For the past few years, I’ve been on the mad hunt for vintage Indian bright yellow fabric but cannot find it anywhere, though I have not yet tried Rajasthan. I was inspired by an art dealer’s Greenwich home in Elle Decor and haven’t been able to get it out of my thoughts since. So I was intrigued when these vintage Kantha quilts popped up on One Kings Lane today. They all got scooped up pretty fast (which is fine as none were yellow) and I bet they are kinda gorgeous at the foot of the bed. And maybe if I actually slept under one of my dream textiles I wouldn’t lose my mind so easily.
Gemma drags around this “treasure” that was given to her on the afternoon she went to visit her new Pre-School. It’s really like a marble or something but since someone called it a treasure, it holds special value. Of course it’s a freakin’ choking hazard so I have to keep my eye on this thing at all times. And it’s a weird flat shape and a shimmery pale yellow, so I really wouldn’t know how to replace it if I ever confiscated it in a moment of rage (I have a small cabinet of rage-induced snatched toys.) When I saw this awesome Simple Kids pouch necklace, I thought it would be the ultimate treasure-carrier. Or maybe it could carry some coins, LA Pre-School’s other treasure.
I spent the morning volunteering for my friends Norah and Kelly, the new head honchos of Baby 2 Baby, which gives gently used stuff to families in need. Hours worth of sorting through other people’s donations (in addition to learning about the many, many single moms with many, many kids) made me realize how frivolous I am with my purchases. A $55 jumper is a season’s worth of clothes in many homes. And seriously, how many pairs of shoes does one 3 year old need. I’m certain my morning will give me pause next time I’m perusing the online stores, which I regularly do for this blog. That said….I thought this post should honor my vice. Below is a seriously un-necessary but very-desirable line called Waddler. But no I will not be buying those adorable cashmere knit shorts, uh uh.
When I review what my kids enjoy playing with it doesn’t really include toys, to be honest: it’s art, dress-up and loads of books. While I do my best to give gifts on the holidays and birthdays only, if I pass a book store I kind of can’t help myself. And over the past few years, I’ve truly realized the value of a good book (The Gift of Nothing, which opens up a convo about material value) as opposed to a book that requires my making excuses for the character’s behavior (Eloise, which imparts the worst message ever! How is it a “classic?”) And then the silly books that are fun and goofy and creatively challenging. I just picked up Spot It! Again, the second (and tougher) version of Spot It! Gemma and I enjoy scouring the pages together and I do think it helps her learn to focus. Plus, the graphics are so groovy, you’ll wish every page came as wallpaper.
At a Memorial Day barbecue yesterday, our friends whipped out, what I am now considering to be the ultimate entertaining ice cream. Meaning, it was a crowd pleaser. Whenever possible, I try to introduce my kids to sophisticated flavors, whether it’s my mom’s spicy Chinese stir-fry or Babaganoush. And hell yeah, the same goes for ice cream, especially with flavors like these: Queen City Cayenne, Salty Caramel and Bangkok Peanut. Say what? And while my success record for ethnic cuisines is only so-so, you can bet that little ones everywhere will be asking for “Mo!” of Jeni’s Askinosie Dark Milk Chocolate.