My mailbox has been overflowing with catalogs, many of them filled with kids’ summer clothing. I’ve said it here before and I’ll say it again: I loovvveee looking at clothes for my two girls. It’s so much more fun to check out all the playful ensembles rather than agonize over bathing suits for me (sigh). To help you get a jump on the summer sales season, Lolly Wooly Doodle, an online children’s clothing e-tailer, is having a mega Memorial Day sale. Beginning Thursday, May 23 through Tuesday, May 28, shoppers will get 30 % off everything when using special promo code SAS2013. There are plenty of fun pieces for babies through kids, boys and girls. Check it out, and happy shopping!
A friend who was recently traveling with her kids wondered what snacks she could pack that would keep them full without having to resort to her usual stash of Goldfish and apple sauce cups. If you’ve bagged one too many cheddar bunnies and cheese strings in your day, it’s time to check out a new kid-friendly treat that’s as fun to say as it is to eat. Squoosh is a line of organic pureed fruit and veggies in a portable pouch. The all-natural snacks are the brainchild of a fellow mom who wanted to offer her kids nutritious snacks while on the go, but did not want to sacrifice taste for the sake of convenience. Each of the four fruity combinations — BeetBerry, OrangeBango, SquabbleBerry and Banago — contain a full serving of fruits and vegetables in a BPA-free pouch. They’re as palatable for little kids as they for backpack-wearing big brothers and sisters. Whether it’s for some after-school sustenance, a snack for a long car ride or a playdate at the park, Squoosh snacks are a refreshing no-brainer.
In a Nutshell: Don’t worry about sneaking spinach into their spaghetti and meatballs; these healthy treats will give kids plenty of reasons to eat their veggies and love it.
Next week, my older daughter will turn 9. When she was born, I was only able to hold her for a brief moment before she was whisked down the hall to the nursery (apparently, her temperature was down and she needed to warm up). Somehow, I felt like I was cheated out of those tender first bonding moments between mother and child. Because I have a few mom friends with newborns who also have older kids, I’ve been hearing about their guilt over not spending time with their own babies. “How can I enjoy my little one when I am busy reading stories/checking homework/making dinner?” For moms like these comes a new baby product unlike any other we’ve seen: the NuRoo Pocket. Upon first glance, it looks like an ordinary wrap-style shirt with a baby discreetly tucked inside. But it’s more than that. Unlike traditional slings and front baby carriers, the NuRoo Pocket isn’t an accessory item. Instead, you wear this product, keeping your baby as close to your skin as possible. And for the harried new mom who’s craving that together time, this product can turn that wishful thinking into real life. We took a closer look at the NuRoo Pocket and watched a straightforward demo that takes the guesswork out of how to get started. (What sleep-deprived parent won’t appreciate that?) Your baby will be able to nestle inside an inner no-slip pocket that is secured once you fasten the pocket closed; there are no ties or straps to contend with (a big plus). The support belt that goes around your lower abdomen provides extra security, not to mention peace of mind. And once you’re ready to take your baby out, there’s no need to remove the NuRoo Pocket — just gently reach in and lift out your baby, supporting her head, of course. Of course, we expect you’ll miss that closeness before long…
In a Nutshell: Make like a mamma kangaroo and keep your baby right where she belongs with this practical pouch.
I’m in the midst of planning a cooking birthday party for my daughter, so I definitely have food on the brain (more than usual). So when a copy of The Great Lollipop Caper landed on my desk, I admitted to being a little more than curious. After reading the book jacket and learning the gist of the plot (the evil Mr. Caper vows to teach the kids of the world to love capers as much as they love lollipops), I knew I’d found a story worth delving into. Let’s just say that my love of salt competes with sweets on any given day, making this one tale I could relate to. A cross between The Grinch and a tenacious troll, Mr. Caper pulls out all the stops to make sure kids will adore him just as much as they do Lollipop, a lovable candy man if ever there was one. When Mr. Caper invades a candy factory to secretly alter the flavor of candy from sweet to salty, readers won’t be able to contain their horror over his wrongdoing. But, much to his unpleasant surprise, the kids don’t naturally gravitate to capers and instead lose their very essence that makes them so loveable in the first place. Thanks to the smarts of the all-day sucker himself, lollipops return to their original taste, everyone is happy again and life returns to normal. By story’s end, Mr. Caper not only gets a real-life lesson in appreciating what you have, but he makes a new friend. And that makes for the sweetest treat of all.
In a Nutshell: Calling all foodies. Here’s a new story that’s one part sweet, one part salty and a satisfying read overall.
If my 3rd grader attaches another object to her backpack, I swear she’s going to keel over. She makes a personal statement while bringing her belongings to school, simply by switching out what’s dangling off the zippers: a flipflop keychain, a translucent dolphin, a Beanie Boo…you name it. Attachable collectibles is definitely trending with tweens, and that’s why I knew when I got my hands on the Radz Gone Wild line, it would be a big hit. These aren’t your everyday collectibles, mind you; Radz offer a sweet surprise, doubling as a candy dispenser that comes with a Radz Plus code for access to free gaming apps. Making up the new line are four animal friends, each with a distinct persona: Scratch the Tiger, Bandit the Zebra, Spanky the Monkey and Squeak the Penguin. With a simple twist, their tops come off so you can load in the fruit-flavored, bite-sized candies. Then, much to my 4-year-old’s delight, just pull back the lever on the back of the animal’s head and he sticks out his tongue to deliver a piece of candy! Even when snacking is done, there’s more fun to be had. Special access codes to RadzWorld let kids play interactive games and make art online. Plus, Radz refill packs include a small toy along with extra candy. And even when the candy has run out, kids will love toting these attachable friends as they head off to school, camp, or anywhere they bring their backpack. Lucky for us, Radz collectibles are just light enough!
In a Nutshell: Backpack-ready: These collectible candy containers are raring to go!
Today, my almost 5-year-old had kindergarten orientation, and couldn’t have been more excited (or me for her). After visiting a kindergarten classroom, meeting the principal and taking a spin around the school on a bus, she would have happily begun school today! Luckily I have a few months to prepare myself (read: stock up on Kleenex) and so does she. Before we leave the fun world of preschool, it doesn’t hurt to keep her already-active brain in tip-top shape. How apropos that we received a new board game to help get ready for September. HABA’s Loco Lingo Kindergarten is a visually-driven game that tests memory, storytelling and other basic learning skills that make a solid foundation for that first year of school. Picture cards make it easy for pre-readers to take part in the game play, as they master rhyming, solving riddles and other activities. My preschooler played multiple rounds of this game with her 8-year-old sister as teacher. The girls had a blast together: the older enjoying a chance to prove her smarts to her little sister, while the little one gushing over all the new stuff she’ll be learning, come September. This game comes with plenty of suggested activities, but you can also make up your own games. As we always think, the best part of playing is when the kids don’t realize they are learning as they’re having fun. With Loco Lingo Kindergarten, your little one will as excited about starting school as you are about watching her grow.
In a Nutshell: Get ready for school with a new board game that’s easy to play, especially with an older sib.
In a few short months, the wait will be over. We’ll finally be able to “meet” Kate and William’s royal bundle of joy. As people around the world speculate on what name the couple will decide upon and who the godparents will be, our thoughts are focused on more “important” things: Like what stroller they’ll be using and what clothes the new babe will be dressed in. That being said, we turn our attention over to the royal nursery. If Kate just so happens to be one of our loyal readers (hey, don’t laugh; it could happen!), may we offer a suggestion? Bratt Decor’s Chelsea Darling line exudes an elegance like no other room decor we’ve seen. Not only does the antique silver finish on this collection make a unique statement, but its versatility extends the life beyond the diaper days. Once a baby outgrows the cradle, it can be converted into a generously sized crib and later toddler bed. Of course, we don’t expect the Royal Family to be short on space, but it’s nice to know these pieces won’t take up the entire space. That means plenty of room leftover for a fetching armoire and matching changing table. Oh, and that sweet baby, of course.
In a Nutshell: Nursery decor that’s fit for a king. Or princess-to-be. The Chelsea Darling will be available this summer.
Happy May! Today, I saw that our town already posted signs announcing its annual Memorial Day parade festivities. That can only mean that the unofficial start to summer is not far off. To get our readers into the spirit, we’re paying tribute to the grand ol’ US of A with a few fashion finds that will help update your kids’ wardrobe sensibly and patriotically. Little girls can put their best feet forward with Venettini’s Savor shoe. These buttery-soft blue patent leather loafers give a kick to any everyday ensemble, even if it’s not a holiday. They may not be made of suede, but we think even Elvis would have approved of this fetching pair. And no patriotic celebration would be complete without a tee that proudly proclaims “I Heart the USA.” RUUM American Kid’s Wear, a new line for babies through age 14, is tailor-made for the casual kid who loves to flaunt his or her stylish side. We’re partial to this flag graphic tee, which borders on preppy with a fitted, polished look. Add shorts and sunglasses, and your kid will be set for any summer BBQ or holiday celebration–including parades.
In a Nutshell: Cute and casual is the order of the day, whether it’s Memorial Day, Independence Day or any day.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I knew I wanted an old-fashioned pram in which to parade my new little love around town. By the time my second daughter arrived on the scene, I had grown weary of the neutral-colored baby gear I had acquired along the way. Sure, a cream-colored bouncy seat may have fit into my traditional home decor, while a steel grey car seat meshed well with my car’s interior. But at the end of the day, I found everything to be a bit…oh, how can I put it? Bor-ing. If someone had told me that those first few months of life with a newborn would be filled with lots of cat-napping, diaper changes, rattle shaking, sleeping, bathing, feeding–did we mention sleeping?–punctuated by a bunch of mini milestones, I might have done things differently, especially in the baby gear department. First-time moms who dare to be different will have no trouble showing their sense of style this season, thanks to the brand-new Cybex by Jeremy Scott collection. We got word of the line just as it was making headlines and boy, are we jazzed! Having been in the baby biz for quite a while now, we can safely say that we’ve never seen anything this awe-inspiring before! Jeremy Scott, the fashion visionary, has lent his colorful eye to an entire “Food Fight” baby gear design motif that takes “playful” to the nth degree. Soda pop duking it out with a hot dog? Popcorn kernels pummeling a defenseless burger? A refreshing departure from an infant world saturated with ho-hum prints and yawn-inducing solids, the Cybex by Jeremy Scott is one baby line that remembers what it’s like to be a kid–and celebrates it. The Cybex by Jeremy Scott collection of strollers, car seats, a diaper bag and other accessories will be available in June.
In a Nutshell: A stroller that packs a punch. A diaper bag that defies its identity. Because now, you get to be a kid…all over again.
It was only a few weeks ago that fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer passed away. I had always been a fan of her bold, citrus-hued prints, having eyed them from a distance over the years, and only recently saved up to buy. Once I became a mom and was introduced to her line for kids, my interest in acquiring an entire super-stylish wardrobe only intensified. Now my girls could share my love of dressing with pizazz (too bad my pocketbook couldn’t meet those expectations…) So, when we learned of this week’s launch of another fashion icon’s line for kids, I finally got a grip on reality: maybe now we could play the part of the savvy shopper who can look great, without breaking the bank. GapKids + DVF Explorers Collection is a head-turning ensemble of adorable, yet affordable pieces that pay homage to the effortless style of Diane von Furstenberg. From skinny jeans paired with graphic tees, to swimsuits and other fun-in-the-sun accessories, these clothes exude a casual look and feel without skimping on quality. And of course, no von Furstenberg collection would be complete without a wrap dress or two; these pint-sized ones are too precious for words. Available for newborn up to age 14, the GapKids + DVF Explorers Collection puts girls on the path to designer clothing, without the debt.
In a Nutshell: Time to make room in your daughter’s closet for a new line of designer clothing you’ll both love. (Whether you choose to embarrass…er, delight her with your own von Furstenberg little number is up to you…)