Monday, February 23, 2009

Real Life Skills For Your Toddler

Sick of friends bragging about their precocious offspring's foreign language abilities or advanced yoga training? (Guilty yourself?) How about fighting back with some real life skills. Lisa Brown's hysterical Baby Be Useful series includes titles that will have your little one making your breakfast, cleaning the car, doing your banking, and best of all mixing your cocktails! So next time someone brags "My toddler can speak French, Spanish and Mandarin", simply respond, "Great, but can he mix a dirty martini?"

The series is published by McSweeney's and available at The McSweeney's Store and Candy Store Collective.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Loveliness from Rob Ryan

Oh, I wish this tile had been available when I was pregnant with my little one! Alas, I'm now gearing up for the terrible twos (I'm already getting a preview at 17 months) and this work by Mr. Ryan is definitely more appropriate for my current situation.

I think this would make a lovely gift for some expectant couple. I wish someone I knew would hurry and get pregnant, so I'd have an excuse to buy one. For those of you who do, the tile is available here.

Legos Make Me Happy

These sweet Lego cakes made me smile today and I needed it. It's nice to see fun stuff for kids that doesn't cost a fortune to buy or make for that matter.

Found via the inspiration packed Lolita. The recipe is available here at Betty Crocker. Thanks Lolita! Thanks Betty!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Perfect Little Skirt

Yesterday was my birthday so it seems perfectly logical that I ended up buying a gift for my daughter, right? Well, I couldn't resist when I saw this vintage looking watercolor skirt at Janie and Jack. (The barrettes also proved irresistible.) I was at the local mall for the sole purpose of exchanging a too small outfit for my niece at Justice and had every intention of just getting in and out as fast as possible. Justice is the kind of store that makes me glad I am the mother of an 17 month old and not a nine year old!

So, when I saw the Janie and Jack store, I happily strayed. I was introduced to the brand by my friend Caryn who bought my daughter a gorgeous coat and beret for her birthday. The quality of everything from the design, to the construction, to the wrapping is lovely. And no logos spelled out in rhinestones. How refreshing!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Signs of Spring

I'm finding the displays of seed packets in the stores a much needed sign of Spring and uplifting. I'm a sucker for them and can never resist buying a few packets despite my bad luck with raising plants from seed. Last summer I tried in vain to create a sunflower garden for my daughter, only to have my local chipmunk dig up all the seeds and eat them. My second attempt of planting tiny sunflower sprouts, that I had raised in little mini plastic greenhouses, only confirmed that chipmunks like sunflower sprouts as much as they like sunflower seeds.

Now I am looking at a bunch of beautiful seed packets, sunflowers included, and plotting my anti-chipmunk strategies. I know all to well that I'll end up buying ready-to-plant flats at the local nursery, but one can still plant seeds and dream too!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Playhouse of One's Own

Wow, talk about any little girl's dream! This rose covered playhouse looks as if it is right out of a fairy tale. My Grandmother had a little playhouse in her back yard that sadly, she used as a shed to store the push lawn mower, etc. It always seemed like such a waste to me.

On my list of things to do for my daughter is to create a real playhouse (no plastic or primary colors) and little garden for her. I'm sure I will need to buy the playhouse (so expensive!) but this photo makes me think that I could take a fairly simple hose and transform it with roses.

There are more wonderful rose covered cottages here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

For the Love of Hedgehogs, Otters and Owls ...

Hedgehogs kept popping up during my internet travels yesterday. Funny how themes sometimes emerge. I was delighted to find this little hedgehog and his felt animal brooch pals by Kate Broughton. I love how they are more realistic than cute. There's a full menagerie at her Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil vs. the Hedgehogs

Well it looks as if Punxsutawney Phil was correct in his prediction of six more weeks of winter. It must be nice to put in just one good day of work a year and enjoy job security! However, it turns out this cushy job was not always held by Phil or even a groundhog, but his wee little cousin the hedgehog. According to Hedgehog Central, February 2nd was originally Hedgehog Day, if you go back to Roman Times that is. I'm not sure who to believe, the Hedgehog Day page on Wikipedia has been deleted and now resides on deletionpedia. So while hedgehogs may win in a battle of cuteness, it would appear that Punxsutawney Phil is at no risk of losing his job any time soon.