Archives for category: Toys and Stuff

My middle daughter turns five today and whenever I reflect back on her achievements (which include not only becoming a crazy “Memory” whiz, but also overcoming intense anxiety), I always think of this blog. I started it a week before giving birth to her and it’s been a cathartic and creative outlet for me ever since. As of late I’ve sloooowed down, mostly because of my schedule and outside projects. But I have no immediate plans to quit spewing all of my golden nuggets of wisdom. And by “golden nuggets of wisdom” I mean, “shit I find online that you can also buy.” I thank any and all of you who are still with me. So…Happy birthday, Rafi and happy birthday, Macaroon! And PS, if you’re like me and are over the whole tassel-balloon-thing, grab these Sweet Lulu confetti styles as an alternative. I think I even see some golden nuggets in them.confetti

Like many of you, my kids are back in school and hyper-scheduled with extra-curriculars. Hoola-hoop and jumprope class? Mmm, let’s just say I’m spiraling into a pool of self-hatred as I write this. On the home front, we’ve issued Special Time: ten minutes of one-on-one time with each child. And while it’s been incredibly rewarding in terms of connectedness, I’ve played enough Memory to thwart any symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s, and the “Monster Picnics” are simply playing themselves out. On the hunt for new games, I found this Les Jouets Libres Checkers-in-a-bag. Each piece has its own chic lil’ French character (ie. The Dandy!) and the kids can stick on the faces themselves. I’m not sure if that counts for one or two activities but I’m starting the clock now.

jouets-libres3

A friend tipped me off to these Shakespeare in the Park performances that occur throughout the month of August. Yesterday we were lucky to catch one of my favorites, “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” which was tailored to kids, of course. And by “tailored to kids,” I mean that all the the characters were some kind of My Little Pony. Oh yeah. Nevertheless, my girls were enthralled and when we got home, asked me to explain the plot (because Old English-meets-pony is a bit confusing, even for an English major). So I quickly whipped up the best summary that I could find online. Lo and behold, I discovered these great Shakespeare Can Be Fun books that I snapped up for both future park performances and bedtime reading to boot. Below, not the version we saw in Culver City, but a similar UK-based performance. A-Midsummer-Nights-Dream-musical-2-Little-Brown-Theatre

My mother says I’m not allowed to be around newborns. It’s often hard for me to give them back to their rightful owner, making it awkward for everyone. But with two of my dear friends having babies this fall, it might be hard to control myself. So I am focusing on the nursery-decorating decisions: neutral with a splash of color (my stylish pal from Venice) vs shades of white with lots of texture (my polished pal from Tel Aviv). Since both ladies have impeccable taste, I think this moon and star Yume garland would be a welcome addition to either room. It has plenty of pizzazz for any hipster while remaining sweet enough for the uptown girl. I bought one for my own house in declaration of a nursery re-deux, and plan to drape it around a canopy for our new toddler bed. Unless we decide to keep the crib. yumeminikin

For some reason, I have a number of friends with babies turning one this month. All boys. I’ve already written about the cray-cray teepee that resides in my living room, but had I not temporarily lost my mind, I would have gotten Vilac’s lil’-bit-Western-lil’-bit-French style that actually belongs indoors. Friends with one year old boys, take note: an Indian headdress (for your viewing pleasure) and some pop-up books (for his viewing pleasure) will score you a strong five-minutes to yourself. Or maybe even six.
vilac teepee

 

I just got back from a 36 hour jaunt in Phoenix with m’old college boos. We had one full day there and it poured. In the desert! In April. I’m just sayin’. But in the spirit of a Girls Weekend we logged in Yogalates and spa treats, and then I put all of them on Instagram before our very chez sushi extravaganza (fact: Arizona is like Vegas – I didn’t know this!) And before the seaweed arrived, I was giving a filter tutorial to six special ladies. Let’s just say everything from red-eye group shots to camel toe was posted. Below, the new version of the beloved Poloroid, which can truly never be replaced by an app. Insert Emoji icon of your choice here.58013855us_14_f

For as long as I can remember, my friend Liz has been talking about creating a product to shove in your kids hair that would make it Marge Simpson-esque. Years ago, she demonstrated her idea for me with first-run prototype. Cut to: she’s selling it on Amazon! Perfectly coined “Pophead,” it comes in three punchy colors that are all different heights. We tucked my eldest’s wild waves into the tallest version and it was an instant hit. Girls who love to pile it on (meaning, everyone) will fancy the snap-in jewels coming out next month. Think Crocs, but way more glam, and for your head. Now that’s what I call a good hair day!
pophead

I’m experiencing major wanderlust after being away for a few days in Utah with the kids. Realizing that it’s all about the get-aways, I planned about six trips within the past four days (a special Hacienda in Mexico, a cherry blossom trip to Kyoto, a Sofia Coppola villa in an Italian hilltop town, and finally, the always-beautfiul and somewhat-local Lake Tahoe). I decided that I could be happy staying in this house forever so long as we can get a few special scenery changes each year. Below, a sweet handmade doll from one of my favorite artists, Mathilde de Turckheim, that looks as if it could have been sewn in France, Germany or maybe even the borough of Brooklyn. mathilde SW

Right about now, this could happen: you receive a note asking your child to create, design, decorate and label thirty Valentines. Now multiply that times the amount of school-aged kids in the house. So that would be sixty for moi. This year I decided to do a card “toppings” bar and turn the dining room table into a smorgasbord of googlies, glitter pens, stickers and gems. I know. Gang-busters. But the star of the show might be these eeboo pom poms (which come in awesome shades like “Crab” and “Flamingo”). Lemons are now you-know-what.eeboo poms

My Kindergartner is into these keychain thingies that kids dangle from their backpack. I have no idea what they’re called but apparently this is what’s happening in elementary school. As soon as I tuned in I realized that all the kids were sporting a version. Of course if she were going to follow a major trend, the keychain thingies were gonna at least have to be unique. Up first were these handmade fabric dolls from Tanzania of which I can’t seem to locate more (I’ve tried). Next we layered in a glitter heart coin purse – to stash her lunchbox stickers, natch. But then. I discovered these Mua Mua fashion keychain thingies and decided that I just might have to start my own trend. anna key chain kirna

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