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Room For More!

by , owner and editor of Macaroon Original
Zoe Schaeffer

Zoe is the owner of where she writes about fashionable finds for moms. You can also find her extolling the virtues of form over function on twitter @MacaroonOrig.


When I had my first daughter, I instantly fell in love with children’s room décor. Two more daughters later, and I was officially in design bliss. Here are some of my favorite finds for little girl’s spaces:

Eva & Oli Storage Baskets

For some reason, finding cool toy storage is a challenge. They’re too cutesy, too bland or too collapsible. Once I discovered these Eva & Oli star bins in beautiful muted shades, however, I scooped up different sizes in a range of colors.

Soft Gallery Pillow

I covet anything from this Danish company. Soft Gallery makes quirky, stylish clothes and amazing throw pillows and bedding. My three year old has their rose sequin dog pillow on her bed and I have my eye on this peacock version for my youngest.

Aimee Wilder Tiger Wallpaper

I’ve been designing my next house for the past seven years (ever since I’ve been living in my current home!) At some point, this gold tiger wallpaper from Aimee Wilder will go up in someone’s room, coupled with hot pink dip dyed curtains.

Rex Kelly Replica Eames Hang It All

The accumulation of back-packs, jackets, umbrellas and totes has quickly taken up prime real estate in the closets. This retro hang–it–all keeps it all tidy: meaning, off the floors and away from the closets.

400% Shoko Nakagawa Be@rbrick

Nope! It doesn’t look as if I’ll have a son. But my obsession with robots doesn’t have to be sacrificed with these little lady-friendly pink figures by Shoko Nakagawa.

Highland Wood Natural Wood Baby Gym

Let’s just say that baby gyms are not known for lovely design. A little research led me to this minimal wooden style from Highland Wood – which kept my baby entertained for plenty of precious moments.

Hansa Giant Plush Ewe

I know, I know…Placing this in a nursery might come across as psycho. But I happen to think that any little one would love to wake up in the morning to this friendly face (meaning, ewe – not you).

CHICOLOGICAL GUEST POST Zoe of Macaroon Original

As a curator of all things chic in fashion, beauty, and baby goods, Zoe Schaeffer truly has an eye for the “next big things.” Zoe’s blog, Macaroon Original, profiles everything from vibrant new nail polishes to snuggly onesies for baby. Zoe embodies the modern American mama: fashionable, beautiful, and oh yeah, a great parent. Check out what Zoe has to say about her adventure sampling all-natural deodorants.  


I remember while working as a beauty editor for Mademoiselle, we weren’t allowed to write about deodorant because it was “too gross.” Well…copy that. But as I grow older, learn more about my familial history with breast cancer and read about the dangers of parabens and sulfates in beauty products, I’d say it’s a topic worth broaching, nasty or not. My blog, is devoted to all things beautiful, but this not-so-beautiful subject is what’s on my mind this moment, making it hard for me to write about anything else.

Summer in LA is not a choice time to make the big switch, this was my season of transition. When researching brands of natural deodorant to try, I asked a bunch of friends (whose collective response was “yeah, they don’t work”). So I decided to take it to the web. Some of the big name beauty brands were getting slammed left and right, and I will not mention them out of respect. But along came some comments aboutLiving Libations, a company I’ve known about, that have some other groovy products with things like, “Love Wine” and “Seabuckthorn Hot Lover Lips.” Now we’re talkin’! If I’m going to rub essential oils under my arms, it’s gonna be from a company that also makes “Wild Child Healthy Gum Drops.”  Meaning, this might mean a lifestyle change for me too! I remember hearing about their Poetic Pits (Yup! That’s the name) and how its small roll-on has a lovely scent and is cute to boot. And then I read an emphatic quote online from a devoted yogi that said, “I wore this to my Hatha Yoga class and when I came out, someone told me how delightful I smelled.” Really? Let’s give this a whirl. The one I chose was “Rose Glow” (the one the yoga lady suggested) and it’s made up of lovely things like sandalwood, rose otto, and geranium, which sounded better than parabens and aluminum any day.  My road test occurred while blueberry picking in a farm outside LA, where I surrounded myself by safe friends and family (so not to offend anyone outside the inner circle.) And while I kind of reveled in my new modern hippie persona, subtly smelling of floral essences while plucking berries with my children, I must admit, I still felt a little unprotected. I’m used to surviving Manhattan summers, subways and all, feeling like I could brush up against an ex-boyfriend, and still feel cool as a cucumber. But being outdoors in the wide-open plain and still feeling a bit vulnerable was a challenge.

My verdict? While this roll-on is the one I will continue to use (it’ll be amazing on balmy days and cool evenings,) it’s going to take a little getting used to.

Josie….do I smell a new product launch in the works?

Starting Early, and Young

Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times

Dr. Ami Shah Nagarajan estimates that she spends $150 a month on products with minimal chemicals for Prem, 3, top, and his twin sister.

DR. AMI SHAH NAGARAJAN, 38, a specialist in integrative medicine who lives in Manhattan, estimates that she spends $150 a month on Mustela and California Baby products for her 3-year-oldtwins. “I spend more on my kids than I do for myself,” she said. “It’s worth it to me to get something pure for them.”

The Honest Company, Aveeno, Johnson & Johnson and Lavanila are among the companies that have skin care and beauty products geared toward babies.

Stephanie Diani for The New York Times

Zoe Schaeffer with her daughters, from left, Gemma, Cleo and Rafi.

While Dr. Nagarajan said she was mindful of using beauty products with minimal chemicals even before she had children, other mothers have become more conscientious after giving birth. Zoe Schaeffer, 35, who lives in Los Angeles and has a mothering blog, Macaroon Original, said she spends $150 to $200 a month on a variety of natural lines for her three children, 3 months to 4 years old.

Ms. Schaeffer, who describes herself as a “product junkie,” said that her curiosity to try new beauty lines extended to her children when she became a mother. “I am not necessarily into natural lines myself,” she said. “But it was important for me to find pure and nontoxic products for my kids because I feel like their skin is so new.”

In the last five years, the premium baby skin care category, which is comprised mostly of natural and organic brands, has grown significantly. According to Euromonitor International, a London-based market research company, sales of premium baby care in the United States increased 68 percent from 2005 to 2010. In contrast, sales of total baby care rose just 16 percent during the same period.

And at, one of the largest online baby stores in the country, the baby skin care category has grown more than 180 percent in the last three years, with most of the sales coming from the increasing number of high-end natural brands, according to Kwany Lui, a company spokeswoman. The site’s top seller is a four-ounce jar of calendula cream from the Los Angeles-based California Baby that costs $21. Even the cosmetics giant Sephora ventured into baby care when it started selling Lavanila, a line of high-end natural products, in May 2010 in 150 of its stores. (The company also sells a popular French brand, Mustela, through its Web site.)

Other high-end brands include Love Me Baby Me, MD Moms, Dr. Robin, Lalabee Bathworks, Episencial and the Honest Company, which the actress Jessica Alba, a mother of two, helped found.

According to Euromonitor, the most popular skin care brand for babies in the country is still Johnson & Johnson, which itself introduced an inexpensive five-product natural line in 2010. But the choices in natural and low-chemical skin care on the market for young children today are head-spinning, and in many cases, the prices even more so.

These lines tend to use ingredients — sometimes organic — like almond and safflower oil, flower extracts and aloe, and are free from chemicals like parabens, sulfates and phthalates, which some studies have linked to a spectrum of ailments, like simple skin irritation.

In the world of baby body care, health has become synonymous with luxury. These soaps, lotions and diaper creams are usually attractively packaged and cost mostly in the double digits. The average price of an item from Mustela, the more-than-60-year-old Paris-based skin care line that reformulated its products in 2010 to eliminate chemicals that have raised concern among parents, like parabens, is $12. (The company has a Musti eau de soin, a perfume for babies, that costs $29 a bottle.) Love Me Baby Me, a Los Angeles-based line that uses ingredients like organic aloe and chamomile in its five products, has a lotion for $25.95, and MD Moms, also based in Los Angeles, offers a $12 72-pack of baby wipes with ginger root extract. Noni juice is the key ingredient in Lavanila products, which start at $15; and in the Noodle and Boo line based in Campbell, Calif., two bars of French-milled baby soap made with oatmeal and almond oil sell for $12. (Honest, a monthly subscription service, is more affordable. Customers can select 5 out of 14 products, which include detergent and hand soap, for $35.95.) Meanwhile, Aveeno, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson, has a new Organic Harvest line whose three products are made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients and cost $12 each.

California Baby was a leader in the trend in premium baby skin care. Jessica Iclisoy started the line nearly two decades ago, when she was pregnant with her first son and couldn’t find any soap or shampoo for him that didn’t have strong chemicals. She started off selling her products to small health food stores, and today, the line can be found at more than 10,000 locations, including Babies “R” Us and Target. According to Ms. Iclisoy, the company continues to grow 40 percent a year, despite prices starting at around $20 for a bottle of shampoo.

Ms. Iclisoy says the cost is justified. “Using natural ingredients such as calendula are much more expensive than harsh chemicals like sulfates and sulfites,” she said.

Still, babies tend to work their way through certain products like wipes and lotion at a rapid pace. And what parent hasn’t cringed when their child delights upon dumping half a bottle of premium bubble bath down the drain?

Some parents, though, say these products are not an indulgence, but a necessity.

Amy Shea, 33, who works in medical sales and lives in Boston, says that the scalp rub from MD Moms, which runs $22 a tube, cleared up her daughter’s cradle cap. “The product was life-changing,” she said. “The products aren’t a splurge. They’re something practical I have to use on my kids.”

But not all dermatologists are convinced. Dr. Sheryl D. Clark, an assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, says that skin care products, natural or not, can be harmful on babies younger than 6 months old. If a baby displays allergy symptoms, she said, the parent should see a doctor to pinpoint the issue before experimenting with a potpourri of expensive products.

“You think that you are spending more money so it must be a good thing,” she said, “but that’s not necessarily true.”

Here I am on GLO!

DRESS UP! by Macaroon Original’s Zoe Schaeffer

Posted on December 19, 2011 by admin


We are excited to have mother of two Zoe Schaeffer from the stylish blog Macaroon Originalsharing her thoughts on dress up and imaginative play.

Out of nowhere my older daughter became enamored with the Wovenplay “Indian Princess” tiaras that I bought her (while she was still in the womb, mind you) that have been perched on an I Golfini Della Nonna panda bear’s head for the past few years. I seriously thought the headresses would serve as room décor until she pulled them out to wear while building with magna tiles or dancing to new tunes. Which means…I now have license to really go for it! Already purchased: a one-of-a-kind Birdskull headpiece from Thumbeline and a hand-made headband version from some chick in Germany. The floodgates have officially been opened. On top of these purchases came a “dress up wardrobe.” You know. An open closet meant for over-the-top tutus, Sarah’s Silks Mermaid get-ups, DIY capes, and (obviously,) head gear galore. I see few problems with this new set-up: I’m encouraging imaginative play, organizing the chaos, and satiating an editorial nostalgia, left behind from years having worked as assistants at Conde Nast.

Even at my daughter’s Pre-School, a little bohemian spot in LA where girls can’t wear dresses, skirts, or anything they can’t get down-and-dirty in, has a closet full of princess costumes and fairy dresses alike, because our Director (who has a PhD in Early Childhood Development,) believes in the power of dress up. A flouncy skirt in the sandbox is a no-no but a mermaid on the swing is completely kosher. I like it!

When my brother and I were growing up in a small Manhattan apartment, my ex-hippie parents would fill up trunks with seventies stuff  (think squash heels, hand knit hats and patchwork denim,) and that’s how we rolled. Whatever was in the trunk was what went on our bodies (no fairy princess here!) It wasn’t really about what we were trying to become, rather than imagining we could be someone else. And while my friend Joanna claims her daughter is “so done” with this stage at age five, I believe she never switched gears from princesses to ninja geishas (or whatever my friend Jewels claims her seven year old has moved on to.) So yes! The dress up never goes away, it just changes. Meaning, I still live for dressing up, myself. But these days it’s in my Dries and Marni splurges.

Zoe Schaeffer lives in LA with her two daughters, Gemma and Rafi. Be sure to check out her blog,Macaroon Original,  for tons of stylish tips and great finds. Images courtesy of Wovenplay and Birdskull – thank you!




macaroon original: dress the part

2:00 PM, OCTOBER 6 2011

The following is a guest post from Macaroon Original.

At times it’s hard for me to relinquish control when my daughter get dressed and often I have to bite my tongue when she emerges in striped clam diggers, an inside-out floral tank, a tutu and purple Toms.

“Look!” she says. And while I know I’m supposed to reply with an “effective” compliment by describing in detail what she put on and then attributing a positive adjective, most of the time I find myself trailing off, “Cool, Gem….” So not effective. My bad.

But having special little pieces from Wovenplay’s artful, unique collection makes the madness look pretty rockin’. Because throw a reversable cape over that ensemble and you’ve got yourself a really dope Super Hero Ballerina. And canvas and jeweled tiaras and hand-made “leis” will be a sweet final touch to any “look.”

Featured Designing Mom: Zoe Schaeffer of Macaroon Original

by CAT on AUGUST 1, 2011

“Word of Mouth” is at a whole other level when it comes to motherhood…childcare, bottles, scooter brands, docs. I have never listened or shared more intensely. Today we have stylist and writer Zoe Schaeffer from the fab Macaroon Original recommending her favorite sites and brands. Zoe has two beautiful daughters, co-owned popular LA Boutique Presse, was an assistant to Anna Sui and beauty editor for magazines like Self… Phew! Her dossier is quite impressive and am thankful to have her lend some finds!

1) Smallable — Designer clothing, furniture, decor and toys for children from 0 to 12

“When I’m looking to be inspired or make that special splurge, I visit this Parisian e-tailer. The buying is impeccable and there are tons of things you can’t find here in the States.”

2) Jess Brown — Rag dolls: Hand-made & One of a kind

“I’m in love with these fanciful little dolls and have been ever since I discovered them while on a trip to San Francisco. They are special, chic, and totally collectible. I am slowly building a collection for my two girls.”

3) Romp — Toys, Dolls & Decor

“I heard a rumor this store is closing which is such a shame. They have artsy, eco, hand-made toys that are quirky and off-beat. It’s a well curated shop with special little finds. I particularly love the Shwe Shwe Friends key-rings which I hang on the girl’s backpacks. They remind me of the Prada robot versions that everyone had a few years back.”

4) Little Bean — Unique. Kids. Shop

“This Dallas-based store is such a gem. My mom tripped upon it years ago and it’s been a go-to for gifts ever since. It carries special lines like Little Warrior and Dagmar Daley.”

5) Donna Wilson — Critters and Products for you & your home

“I give Donna Wilson so much love, it’s insane. She makes these stylish little “critters” which are fun to throw on a rocking chair as well as these Nos Da “poufs” with which I am obsessed. We have a peach one in my older daughter’s room and she sits on it and braids my hair.”

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Macaroon Original blogger, freelance beauty/fashion writer, and mom to Gemma and Rafi, Zoe’s day is a marathon of meals, dance parties, writing projects, costume changes, meetings, and—fingers crossed—a little bit of alone time. What we love most? She makes being busy 24/7 look fun.

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7:00 The progressively loud babbling from Rafi, 16 months, signals she is awake and then Gemma, 3, shuffles into our room with her mini Fancy Nancy library.

 Jon comes home from spinning with my “treat,” a tea latte from Urth Café. The girls act as if Elvis has entered the building. We all have breakfast: Rafi wants “oh-mm-el” and “ah-jsa” (oatmeal and eggs) and Gem wants a pancake and greek yogurt.8:00 Jon gets ready for work as I wrestle the kids into clothes. (Gemma chooses her Mini Rodini splatter dress and Baby Gap tights, Rafi wiggles into American Apparel karate pants and a Stella McCartney X Gap striped sweater.)9:00 Janette is here! Our beloved nanny gets running hugs from both kids. She takes them to play with their friends down the street or to my mom’s who lives around the corner. I vigorously work at home on my fashion and beauty freelance writing as the second the kids step back in the house, it’s all over.

 Gemma chooses an outfit for her ballet/tap class: an old-school Danskin leotard, a Japanese tutu and hand-knit leggings from Etsy! I couldn’t have styled it better myself.

 We trek to Sophie Dance, a rad dance studio near our house. The kids practice their recital moves to the latest Taylor Swift.

12:00 Today is our “ladies who lunch” day and Gemma and I head to Mauro’s Café at Fred Segal with a friend from class and her mom.

2:00 Nap time. I stop by one of my favorite shops, Eggy, to buy some gifts for friends’ new babies and the owner, Jennie, tells me about a new line that I want to include in my blog.

3:00 I meet my friend Michael for coffee to discuss doing his “mom” content for his new retail venture. It could turn into a major project which is exciting.

 Bath time! Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles. And lots of Knotty Girl “Marshmallow” conditioner.

 It’s time for “5:00 Dance Party.”  Mostly it’s my entertaining them with a healthy mix of fist pumping, interpretive dance and The Roger Rabbit. My iPhone serves as DJ: Adele, Muse, Radiohead and a lot of electronic.

 I make the kids dinner with one hand because Rafi insists on being held.

 Rafi goes night-night and Gemma gets ready for bed. After that its story time in our massive, meant-for-outdoors, Karen Kimmel customized Tipi that lives in our living room.

 I make dinner or we order in, depending upon my level of exhaustion. After that, I tuck myself behind the computer and use this quiet time to work on my blog, answer emails and pitch ideas.

 Feed my soul with mindless TV: Watch What Happens Live, Millionaire Matchmaker, Housewives. And yes, 60 Minutes so that I don’t get “dumber” from the rest of the line-up.

 Read my Philip Roth book about the polio epidemic. And by “read,” I mean, skim a few pages until I get so depressed, I have to re-focus on something superficial like decorating in order to fall asleep.

Photos courtesy of: Zoe Schaeffer

Macaroon Original in Pint Size Social

JULY 27TH, 2010


Zoe fills us in on a few of her favorite things

There’s always one in the crowd, you know her. She’s THAT mom. Always pulled together, her kids are dressed perfectly without being too uptight and you wonder, how does she do it? What keeps her going? To get to the bottom of it, we chatted with Zoe Schaeffer, mom of two and current LA resident about a few of her local favorite things. And, if you love her picks as much as we do, continue reading about her daily obsessions on her uber plugged in blog, Macaroon Original.

Brunch Spot:
I always bring friends visiting from New York to The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotelbecause it’s so vintage LA. The McCarthy Chopped Salad and a glass of white wine by the pool on a hot day is the best. It’s the perfect grown-up lunch spot.

Park or playground:
We love the playground at the Malibu Country Mart because there is a huge, shaded sandbox that keeps the kids busy for hours. Afterward we shop for accessories at the nearby Crew Cuts and then eat the most delicious turkey burgers from Malibu Kitchen.

Guilty pleasure:
Terri Lawton facials are indulgent but worth it. She’s Demi Moore’s skin-fixer, need I say more?

Activity with your kids:
We just discovered Blueberry picking at Underwood Farms. I make sure to go with other East Coasters who also grew up picking fruit in fields! And the kids love the fun tractor rides.

OK on Third Street is really well-curated. They have the sickest book selection I’ve ever seen, hundreds of Comme des Garcons wallets and old-school toys like legos and comics. It’s quirky but super tasteful.

Kids clothing store:
Lately I’ve been hooked on Eggy, which just opened near my house. In the land of trendy, this shop carries really sophisticated brands like Kico and Maragnes that could be confused for Marni. And I stock up on the one-of-a-kind kimono hair clips.

Cold/Rainy weather activity:
I grab a friend and we shuttle them to Treehouse Social, a spacious indoor playroom on Robertson. It breaks my heart that they are closing because then it’s going to be about Elmo. All day. Until the rain stops.

Warm weather activity:
The Huntington Gardens in Pasadena is so special. The Children’s Garden has water bells and marble jets that captivate little ones. And the property as a whole is so perfectly manicured, you feel as if you are in a fairytale.

Dinner spot w kids:
Cheebo in Hollywood is the best. There are crayons, board games and everything is organic-even the Toddler Menu. But the music is amazing and the crowd’s super artsy so you never feel as if you are settling for a random kid-friendly spot.

Drinks w friends:
The patio at The Little Door Next Door is my go-to when I want to relax with a friend over a glass of wine. It’s an off-shoot of the beloved Little Door but is more of a lovely French cafe that belongs in New York. It makes me feel right at home in my fabulous adopted city.

Macaroon Original on

Zoe Schaeffer on Where to Take Kids in LA



Zoe Schaeffer and her two-year-old daughter, Gemma. See her online picks in the gallery below.

If you’ve got children, or know anyone who does, make sure the new blog is on your radar. Former magazine editor and owner of LA’s now shuttered, uber hip Presse boutique, Zoe Schaeffer decided to start the site after giving birth to her second daughter. “A lot of my fashion-y mom friends became newfound nesters,” she says. “When it came to finding stylish stuff, there seemed to be a real void here in LA, and I found myself cherry-picking off the cool online stores.” From baby Isabel Marant to vegan cookie dough, now serves as a richly curated selection of her favorite toddler and home décor finds. Here, Schaeffer shares some of her LA secrets and her latest online obsessions.

ELLE: What are your daughters’ names?

Zoe Schaeffer: Gemma, who’s two. And Rafael (Rafi), who is four months.

ELLE: Where do you live in LA?

Schaeffer: West Hollywood

ELLE: Why did you name the site Macaroon Original?

Schaeffer: It’s an ode to my sweet tooth and, in my opinion, the most stylish treat.

ELLE: What is your two-year-old really into these days?

Schaeffer: Dressing up and puppets. And the sand box at the Malibu Lumber Yard!

ELLE: Describe your own style.

Schaeffer: It’s about comfort for day (American Apparel leggings, Acne t-shirts, Burberry brogues) and big-time dressing for night (Proenza Schouler statement jackets, Bruce volume blouses, Dries van Noten heels and scarves). There’s no more room for in between.

ELLE: Favorite baby gift to give?

Schaeffer: You can’t beat gifting someone a session with a super cool photographer. It’s a beautiful way to capture a family portrait and it’s so worth every penny. I love, love LA-based Meeno Peluce ( No posed portraits here!

ELLE: Best restaurant to take little kids to?

Schaeffer: I love Lemonade, which has spots in West Hollywood and Venice. The service is really fast. Everything is chopped up super small. And there are four different flavors of lemonade on any given day—even a sugar-free kind for the mamas.

ELLE: Best-kept LA secret for children?

Schaeffer: Eco Station in Culver City. It’s an exotic wildlife rescue center for birds, reptiles, and wildcats. It’s better than any zoo! And it teaches kids about environmental responsibility.

ELLE: Best cultural activity?

Schaeffer: Ziggy Marley does a family concert that’s wildly popular here. I’m convinced that kids inherently love a reggae beat.

ELLE: What did you recently buy your own girls?

Schaeffer: I’m starting a collection of really special, one-of-a-kind dolls that I know my girls will appreciate when they’re a bit older.


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