Friday, October 30, 2009

Alex and Sam Holiday Trunk Show November 18th

Our friends at Alex and Sam are holding a Holiday Trunk Show to help with your gift giving needs. Items will be offered at a great discount and it's the perfect opportunity to get your wee one some personalized gear or wonderful toys from Melissa and Doug. And lest you forget, a portion of each sale goes to a great charity of your choice like Baby Buggy, Robin Hood Foundation, St Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Fund for Public Schools (Shop for Public Schools), Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, New Alternatives for Children, WomenWork!, Friends of Yemin Orde (a youth village in israel), and more. So spread the wealth this holiday and help those in need when you purchase your gifts for the ones you love!

Please join us for an Alex&Sam Trunk Show and Sample Sale!
Get an early start for your holiday shopping and save

Please be our guest... with the holidays around the corner, we wanted to invite our special customers to a Private Trunk Show and Sample Sale.

Save up to 70% off on jewelry, up to 40% off of toys, clothing, gifts and much more!

See our latest collection of unique Personalized gifts, Stationary,
Tabletop, and Judaica.

Shop for gifts for mom, child, baby and more! This is a once a year sale you don't want to miss! Hope you can join us!

250 West 90th Street,
Event Room
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fab Find: Amenity Home Eco-Wooden Bowl and Spoon set

If you read my post yesterday you know that Pooka recently started eating solids and with that comes a whole new set of gear to acquire. It should be simple to find safe and healthy products for feeding your baby but you'd be surprised. After a quick trip to Babies R' Us I realized there were still a lot of products on the market with BPA and finding bowls and spoons without PVC and phalates was nearly impossible despite a wall full of feeding gear. The only brands I found without those ingredients were Boon Inc. (which I love and own) and The First Years Meal Mates and Take and Toss sets. As the name implies, the Take and Toss are not exactly eco-friendly despite their safer ingredient list because they are marketed to be tossed although they are reusable.

Then I remembered Amenity Home's gorgeous Eco-Wooden Bowl and Spoon set they introduced this summer. The bowl and spoon are carved from non-toxic cherry wood and finished with beeswax and oil. You can use the bowl and spoon like a mortar and pestle and mash bananas, avocados,or steamed veggies right in the bowl. This bowl and spoon set will last through more than one child and will likely become a beautiful family heirloom (this ain't no take and toss). An added benefit is that the bowls are made by a co-op in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Purchase the Baby's First Meal gift set and get four organic wash clothes with your bowl and spoon, you're going to need them! And while your there pick up some of their organic bedding and bath gear (read more about Amenity in this post).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NHTSA gives Orbit Baby all clear on safety!

Many of you may have followed this debate between Orbit Baby and the negative review of their infant carseat by Consumer Report. I posted each new communication as the event unfolded starting in late August (post on 8/31, and 9/2). We are loyal Orbit Baby parents and were very disturbed by this turn of events, but wholly confident in their product. Below is the conclusion of this debate. The NHTSA has cleared Orbit Baby carseats of any safety concerns, and once again Consumer Report is looking less than credible in their evaluation of the safety of a baby product. I think many Orbit Baby parents had already come to this conclusion based on our personal experiences, so this won't be a shock to them!

Dear Orbit Baby parent,
Update October 26th, 2009: We had promised that we would update you on the situation with Consumer Reports’ testing of the Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat. We are pleased to let you know that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has sent Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports) a letter officially stating that no further inquiry is necessary because our product meets all federal safety standards.

NHTSA reviewed their comprehensive database of the safety history of the Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat on the road, and did not find any reports of injuries, seat separations, or other safety risks.
NHTSA conducted its own tests on the Infant Car Seat. All tests passed, and no separations occurred in both sets of tests:
Crash testing according to the official Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS)
Research crash tests to match the non-compliant procedures that Consumer Reports’ magazine used in August
You can read NHTSA’s official letter to Consumers Union about Orbit Baby here. We have also provided more information below in an effort to further clarify the situation.

Though Consumer Reports has repeatedly tried to raise what they felt were safety concerns with our Infant Car Seat, their concerns have been refuted by every subsequent test and piece of research conducted by regulatory agencies and independent labs. (You can read more about our past statements, and learn more about how Consumers Union improperly conducted its simulated compliance testing, here.)

Based on a comprehensive inquiry, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has now issued an official statement that it "believes that no further action is currently warranted" in researching the safety of Orbit Baby’s Infant Car Seat.
In its inquiry, NHTSA reviewed their database of over three years of comprehensive real-world reports from consumers, safety personnel, and NHTSA's Early Warning Reporting system with NO reports of deaths, injuries, car seat separations, or complaints. NHTSA does not solely rely on lab tests, like those conducted by Consumer Reports, when evaluating the performance of a safety product. At Orbit Baby, we have always emphasized the real-world safety that families face out on the roads, and we are proud of the fact that our track record of safety is a key factor in NHTSA’s conclusion.
NHTSA conducted the official Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213 tests that are required of all US car seats, and as expected, our Infant Car Seat passed this testing, and no separations occurred. In addition, NHTSA further conducted research tests to simulate the non-compliant test conditions that Consumers Union conducted. These tests were all done at the same lab that Consumers Union originally used, and were attended by three Consumers Union representatives. NHTSA also reported no issues or car seat separations on these tests.
In NHTSA’s recent letter to Consumers Union, it confirmed that the magazine’s original tests of the Infant Car Seat deviated from their official government test procedures and were NOT configured correctly according to FMVSS No. 213. We believe the improper test set-up Consumer Reports’ used likely contributed to their inconsistent results, and you can read our original response to their mis-testing of our product here.
We have always tried to put the concerns and safety of our consumers first, and have tried to do our utmost to research this issue independently as well as cooperate with NHTSA at every turn. Even though NHTSA has directly told Consumers Union that the inquiry into Orbit Baby’s Infant Car Seat safety is concluded, Consumer Reports maintains its assessment that this seat poses a safety risk. We believe that Consumer Reports’ decision unnecessarily confuses parents, and believe that they should reconsider their recommendations.

As an Orbit Baby parent, please continue to take advantage of these helpful resources on our website to ensure that you, as well as the caregivers of your children, are educated on proper car seat usage.

View Car Seat installation videos
Download Orbit Baby product manuals
Visit the FAQ's section
Read Orbit Baby's position on car seat safety
Email us anytime with any further questions at
Thank you once again for your support of Orbit Baby.


Joseph, Bryan, and The Orbit Team

Photo of Pooka by Hannah Hardaway Photography

Monday, October 26, 2009

Time for solids: The skinny on healthy feeding

My extreme dislike of peas is a family legend. At the tender age of four I went toe to toe with my dad at the dinner table, sitting for hours refusing to eat my peas and finally being sent to bed. I think I won that round, as dad never tried that tactic again. So when it came time to feed Pooka her first meal I put a considerable amount of thought into what that first meal would be. It became clear last week that she needed more than mommies milk to get through a night (she woke up ravenous at 3 AM three nights in a row, which is very unusual). I was very happy that we made it just shy of 6 months of exclusive breast feeding.

The first issue was what to feed Pooka for her first meal. I was armed with several books to help me make this decision. First, I had decided to make homemade baby food as often as possible. I have two books on home made baby food, the Organic Baby and Toddler Food Cookbook, by Lizzie Vann and Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes and have found them both very useful. To be honest though, at the outset you are steaming a single vegetable and pureeing it in your blender or food processor, so the cookbooks are a little irrelevant at this point. Many of my mom friends are also big fans of the Beaba BabyCook, which steams food and then purees it all in one bowl. It is BPA free but unclear whether it contains PVC or phalates, so make sure you do your research if you plan on using it daily. Personally, we live in a studio so adding another appliance to our counter didn't seem like a good idea. I actually use a hand or stick blender (sometimes called an emulsifier) which is great because I can use it right in the pot or a bowl, takes up little space, is portable for trips away, and makes a fab smoothie right in the glass you drink it from. I parcel out enough puree for a few days in the fridge, then freeze the rest in trays. Right now I am using the Beaba Multiportion Trays which are silicon and BPA, PVC, and phalate free. The silicon makes it easy to pop out a single portion when you need it, but I have found that I only need to fill them halfway to make a Pooka size portion at this stage. I also have the Kid Co BabySteps Freezer Trays that are designed more like an ice tray with a lid. They are BPA and phalate free and like an ice cube tray, you need to smack it on the counter a few times to loosen up a baby food cube. Kid Co also makes a manual or electric food mill as an alternative method of pureeing foods for baby (the battery operated food mill is great when you are on the go and want to feed baby from the table).

So now the question was what that food should actually be. I was inspired by two books, Feeding Baby Green by Dr. Alan Greene and Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton. Feeding Baby Green is a fantastic book describing how babies start experiencing tastes while still in the womb and continue exploring new tastes through the first 2 years. He discusses windows of opportunity to expand your child's palate and hopefully encourage them to eat a wider variety during the picky toddler years when children experience Neophobia (otherwise known as "I will only eat french fries and chicken nuggets, and don't even think about bringing that green thing near me!"). He suggests trying as many as 10-15 times before your child excepts a particular food, and making sure to feed your child produce from all 21 categories he lists in his book. He also dispels many myths about food allergies and outdated modes of thinking when it comes to feeding babies and toddlers. We're on board with his program, I only wish it had been out when I was pregnant! Hungry Monkey is more of a foodlogue about a gourmet dad's effort to expose his daughter to a variety of foods, particularly those that people say kids shouldn't eat. It's humorous and encourages parents to think a little outside the rice-cereal box!

So Pooka ate her first solids a little over a week ago. We decided to bypass the rice-cereal for now. Her first meal was peas and she can't get enough. Seriously! By the end of her first meal she was literally opening her mouth, leaning forward, grabbing my hands and pushing the spoon into her mouth. Thinking my luck would hold I introduced Pooka to one of my favorite veggies a few days later, green beans. On her first bite she made a lip quivering frown and spit them out. Hmmmm, certainly not what I had expected, but perhaps apropos since I loathed peas as a child and she adores them. Since then she has enjoyed roasted acorn squash and had a mixed review of raw avocados. Per Dr. Green's method we tried the green beans again last night which garnered a slightly less strident rejection, but I think we still have a ways to go!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Luxe Life: Baby CZ by Carolina Zapf

Madison Avenue certainly has its share of high end retail for babies, but head into Baby CZ by Carolina Zapf and you will not be disappointed. The first thing you will notice is the abundance of soft luscious cashmere for your dear one (and the accompanying price tags). Cashmere is Zapf's specialty and she does it well. She's known for her Ruffle Cardigan, but I'm a fan of the Tipped Reversible Hooded Sailor Cardigan. Pair the sweaters with a Chunky Cable Pom-Pom Hat or the delicious Cashmere Flower Hat. Cashmere is not all Zapf does well though. Her dresses are downright charming, particularly the Chloe Dress and Audrey Dress (love it in purple check). And make sure not to miss the Velvet Quilted Jacket with Hood. I realize this review has leaned heavily on the girlie side, but don't worry, their is plenty on offer for the boys too. So next time your on Madison Avenue or in need of that perfect dress for a portrait session or the holidays head to Baby CZ and bring a credit card with a low balance!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sail Away in Petit Bateau Maternity

I am a huge fan of Petit Bateau for Pooka and myself. Their onesies and t-shirts are extra soft and wear very well. Their clothing line for babies is darling, and she wears her cargo pants at least three times a week. And now, miracle of miracles, Petit Bateau has its own maternity line! It almost makes me wish I was pregnant again (soon enough, soon enough!). I will definitely be heading here to stock up on maternity clothes when it's time to make Pooka a sibling. My favorites are the Light Cotton Maternity Undershirt with Gathers (why don't they just call it a turtleneck???) and the Maternity Dress with Gathers. It's a small collection, but full of staples. Grab a few pieces in a couple of colors and you're done! And while you're there don't forget to grab some onesies and footies for your upcoming arrival.

Fab Find: Ugg's Honey B

I must be the only women in NYC that has never owned a pair of Ugg boots (although I have had a pair of their slippers). Pooka, on the other hand, has just acquired her first pair, but they are not the ubiquitous boots. I purchased a pair of Honey B's for her in black (they are also available in soft pink). The are a lovely soft leather with white contrast stitching and soft soles. The interior is lined with Ugg's signature sheepskin. They will be perfect everyday shoes with tights and pants on cool days, although I imagine a pair boots will still be necessary for the coldest days of the year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Homemade Halloween costumes for the craft challenged: Etsy to the rescue!

I consider myself one of the lucky ones because my mom can sew and I have fond memories of trips to the fabric store to pick out material for my Halloween costumes (and later prom and holiday dresses). I vividly remember being Raggedy Ann, and a beautiful butterfly, and a rather creepy Harlequin clown. Luckily for me my mom will also make Pooka's costume this year. Don't have the sewing skills or crafty family member to make a costume for your little pumpkin? Don't let that keep you from having a unique handmade costume. If you are a regular reader you will now that I love finding great handmade baby gear on Etsy (see this post), and Halloween is no exception. Here is just a sampling of the items you can find and many are still available for delivery before October 31st.

Candy corn is an often neglected icon of Halloween, but these designers have featured it front and center. Got a seriously wee one who's not ready for a costume? Try this absolutely ridiculous (I mean that in a good way) Candy Corn Bunting by Dahlhart Lane. I love these candy corn onesies by Bambinamia and Little One Boutique. Speaking (or writing) of onesies, I'm also a big fan of the I Love My Mummy onesie from Baby Grin and the Woooo Halloween Ghost onesie by Chloe's Ruffle Butt.

Need a full costume for your little man? What could be easier than a onesie costume? Make him a superhero with the Boy Wonder Onsie with Detachable Cape from Trusty Sidekick.Not into tights? Try the masculine Brown Tool Belt Onesie or sedate Corduroy Vest and Tie Onesie from Rock n Rags. Does your baby have a little more edge to them? Look no further than the Tuxedo Long Sleeve Romper or Punk Rock 80's Romper (think CBGB) from Lowleepop. Girls can get in on the Lowleepop action too with the Punk Rock Dress.

There are plenty of options to choose from for your baby girls. You could go traditional with this gorgeous Little Red Riding Hood or Snow White costume from Lover Dovers Clothing. I really love this sweet Pirate Girl costume by Rae Gun, or the Bumble Bee dress by April Scott. And don't forget the tutus! There are literally dozens of vendors making tutus for all occasions on Etsy, but some of the best for Halloween are offered by Polka Dots and Paisley, The Magic Tutu Shoppe, and Lil Southern Girl (if you are thinking along the lines of fairy or ballerina).

Still haven't seen something you like? Try this less traditional Rainbow Sprinkle Costume from Not The Kitchen Sink, or the spectacular Round Little Pumpkin costume from Dahlart Lane. And some other options for the less mobile little ones are the Sweet Swaddle Blanket Pumpkin by Tisha Too Designs, or the innovative Flower Cart Stroller Cover by Kikis Thing's for your Maclaren! One of my favorites by far though is Pinkadellic Industries Make Your Own Gnome hat. Make sure you read the seller description when you check out the hat, it will crack you up!

Already have your dear one's costume? Click on these links anyways because pictures of babies in costumes are always good for a smile. Seriously, doesn't that baby in the gnome hat above make you crack up?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fab Find: Feather Baby Organic Baby Clothes

Last week while visiting a friend in the West Village I found the most adorable outfit for Pooka made by Feather Baby. I hadn't seen their line before, but it was love at first sight. I purchased a soft faux-layered onesie/pant combo in grey with gorgeous purple flowers (I can't find a photo on the site to share!). We got lots of compliments on Pooka's stylish outfit when she debuted it yesterday. What I love even more is the obvious effort and care that goes into producing Feather Baby products. Founder Sude Peta, once a Sony music exec and NYC boutique owner, and her husband relocated to Lima, Peru with their triplets in order to better control the manufacturing process. These controls include using color-grown 100% organic Pima cotton, no-bleaching, and simple vegetable dyes for the Feather Forever collection. For silkscreened collections all inks are devoid of pvc and phalates and no solvents are used in the process. And to top it all off, this fab company supports fair trade practices meaning each farmer and worker is guaranteed good working conditions and a fair wage. Now, if only they were a little bit easier to find! We got ours at YoYa at 636 Hudson St.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Luxe Life: Anya Hindmarch Oakley Diaper Bag

Picking your diaper bag can be as difficult as picking a pair of jeans. Is your style utilitarian or whimsical? Would you rather your diaper bag scream mommy or hide your status? Should your bag be inexpensive or luxurious? So many questions, and so many bags! Updated for Fall 2009, Anya Hindmarch's Oakley Bag is a good choice if you want a subtle and chic diaper bag. Made of black nylon with patent leather trim it's perfect for winter's inclement weather and for wiping off drool or spit up. It comes with a nifty changing mat, a removable "nappy" bag, and smartly labeled pockets with terms like "bibs," "bobs," "books," and "bottles." So while the bag doesn't broadcast "mommy," at closer look it shows that you're proud to tote your little ones goods. New for fall are an interior key ring, cell phone pocket and cute striped shoulder strap that can also be used to hang the bag from your stroller. These are huge improvements on the previous canvas version from last spring, but with a new price tag of $695 you are paying for those upgrades!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tis' the Season: Snowsuits & buntings for every style

Today it poured and the temperature dropped below 40 degrees during the day for the first time this fall. It was one of those days that you order takeout for lunch and contemplate staying inside all day. And yet Pooka and I couldn't bear to miss out on our play date downtown. The question was how to get there. Drive ourselves (then search for overpriced parking), take a cab (and pray the tires aren't bald on the wet roads), or hop the subway. We went with the last option today, but the big dilemma was how to keep Pooka warm in the front carrier. That's when we reached into the closet and grabbed our fuzzy new bunting and ear flap hat and headed out the door. So that got me to thinking about the options out there for gearing up baby. Trust me, there are plenty out there, but here are a few of our favorite buntings for outdoor wear.

For the beefiest, burliest, most extreme baby outerwear check out Polarn O. Pyret's snowsuits. The company is Swedish so we shouldn't be surprised they have created bomber baby-wear for getting out in the elements. Their Performance Snowsuit is wind-resistant, waterproof, lined in fleece and has elastic stirrups on the feet to keep babies pants from riding up above their boots. Don't spend that much time outside? Maybe the Double Zip Snowsuit is a better choice for you. Featuring many of the same details as the performance suit, like the wind-resistant and waterproof outer shell and foot stirrups, but just a bit less extreme. Finally, if your baby will spend most of the time under a rain shield in their stroller or car seat during inclement weather look to the Wind Fleece Bunting. The bunting has roll over cuffs and feet so no extra boots or mittens are required, and I love the striped lining. I wish I had seen this one before purchasing ours!

Next on the list for technical baby outerwear is Patagonia. Most of Pooka's warm winter things are from Patagonia (as are Mama and Dada's) and we can attest to its design and quality. I love the Patagonia Reversible Puff-Ball Bunting because it is lightweight but extremely warm. It's also wind-resistant and water repellent, but coolest of all is that it is made of recycled materials and can itself be recycled when no longer needed (but realistically it will be passed onto many other children before that day comes). If you have a little girl you can't go wrong with the lovely Birds and Vines print! Accessorize the snowsuit with the matching Baby Shelled Hat or Baby Two-Way Blanket. Don't need that much protection? Try the Infant Synchilla Bunting in solid or printed, which has legs that can be zipped together to form a bunting bag when baby doesn't have to be strapped into the car seat or stroller. We chose the solid bunting in unisex Green Oasis so it could be passed down to other babies, and paired it with the Baby Shelled Hat in Birds and Vines which has a coordinating green in the pattern and lets everyone know Pooka is a girl. There is also the Infant High-Plush Bunting which is fuzzier on the outside, but is not made from recycled materials. We have found that the sizing runs pretty large, so if your baby is 6 months the 6 months size will fit an average size baby for quite a while. Pooka is almost 6 months and is still wearing her 3 month Baby Synchilla Cardigan, but she can also wear her 6 month bunting (though she does swim in it a bit, and it's going to fit for a long time).

Not decadent enough for your little one? Splurge on the fantastic Bon Point Blizzard Pilot Jacket with removable fur hood (real???) and boots or the courdoroy Neige Pilot jacket. Bon Point also offers the mid-weight December Pilot Jacket with removable booties and mittens. By the way, there must be something lost in translation because the "jackets" are actaully snowsuits.

How about something a bit dressier and less outdoorsy? Check out the snowsuits by Jacadi. Jacadi has the beautiful ruffled pink Degas Snowsuit, the boyish brown Doux Snowsuit with an embroidered carousel horse. My favorite is the Damisela Snowsuit for girls in brown with embroidered berries. All feature attached feet and removable mittens, and they also carry more tradtional light pink and light blue snowsuits.

Looking for something more economical? Try the trusted quality of Lands' End with their Baby Down Bunting with a cute fur trimmed hood and fold over hands and feet. Or how about the styling on Mini Boden's cute printed Snowsuit with stars for boys or bright dots for girls. I love the removable booties!

With so many options it's hard to choose just one. It's just so darn cute when our dear ones little faces' peek out from under the puffy hoods. Restraint girls, restraint! To soothe your angst get a variety of hats and mittens to keep things interesting!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fab Find: Giddy Giddy Hair Clips

I have fallen in love with these adorable felt hair clips and pony-tail holders from Giddy Giddy. Alas, Pooka does not yet have the hair to wear them, but I keep telling her it won't last forever! In the meantime we will be ogling these lovely clips! How can you deny the superb wearability of this Owl Hair Clip? How about the Apple for all you city dwellers, or the Gingerbread Man for the holidays? And let's not forget the boys who can sport the utterly fantastic Robot Backpack! Moms and older siblings can get in on the action too with ponytail holders and big girl clips. I'm thinking Whale or Bird for myself. And these would definitely make great stocking stuffers for the little ones in your life. Here's to keeping my fingers crossed that my follicle-challenged baby will have some hair to clip back by then! Oh, and Giddy Giddy supports microlending through Kiva (a fabulous non-profit organization) that helps women around the world kick start their own businesses!

Postmarked with love: Holiday cards to highlight your little ones

It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the smell of wood smoke is in the air, and the holidays are right around the corner. Too early to order your holiday cards? Hmmmm, not in this household where it took me five months to get my birth announcements out (actually, I still have a few to put in the mail!). I figure if I can address a few a day I will get them all out before the New Year. Oh, and I will definitely be ordering return address labels to speed the process. I really regretted skipping those on the birth announcements in the name of cost-saving. At this point I value time-saving more readily than cost-saving!

The go-to place for stationary needs for us is Tiny Prints. Several of our friends sent us Holiday cards and birth announcements from Tiny Prints last year, which was how I found them. We ordered Pooka's birth announcements from here and were pleased with the design and quality, and received many compliments on them. They have one of the largest selections, are reasonably priced and are delivered quickly. We had to reorder more of Pooka's announcements and their customer service was great. One great feature for their birth announcements is that you can choose your design and pre-order the envelopes to fill out before your wee one arrives. Once you have the photo (or not if you are a traditionalist) you can order the cards and pop them into the ready-to-go envelopes. We ordered the envelopes, but I never got around to filling out the addresses in advance, so it was all for naught! I like the Fanciful Flurry card, the more traditional Warm Memories with multiple photos, the Holiday Blessings photo and story card, and the charming Snow Lamp for NYC families.

My new favorite stationary site is Minted. The designs are fresh and unique in part because Minted holds regular design contests for new cards for their collections. My favorite options on the Minted site are the Yearline Holiday Photo Cards and the new Minibook Holiday Cards. While they are not inexpensive they are wonderful for sharing your latest news with family and friends. For a cost-saving measure you could get 25 of these style cards for immediate friends and family, and order a more traditional card for the rest of your addressees. My absolute favorite card from Minted is the Gift Wrapped Holiday Card. For NYC families, try the City Snow Globe Holiday Photo Card or the Bright Lights Holiday Photo Card or let your photo steal the show with the Paris Holiday Photo Card or Vintage Holiday Photo Card.

In a Baby Carriage has similar cute holiday card designs, and they do a cool trifold card. Pear Tree also has great designs and some interesting card styles. Check out the Pocket Cards like the Snow Falling Photo Card and Self-Mailer Cards. I love that you don't need and envelope if you use the Self-Mailer Cards.

Still haven't found what you are looking for? Stacey Claire Boyd offers fantastic designs like the Festive Flamestich (think Missoni), Hip Holiday (think Hable Construction), the bright Be Merry, or retro Hope, Joy and Love cards. Order Stacey Claire Boyd through our friends at Alex and Sam and a percentage of your purchase will go to charity...tis' the season! When checking out of Alex and Sam get 30% off your stationary with coupon code: Pooka

I have the holiday season for many reasons, but one of my favorite parts is receiving adorable photo cards from friends and family and covering our fridge in them! Already got your cards? Let us know what design you picked in the comment section so we can check them out!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fab Find: baby JaR Burp Cloths

Shortly after Pooka was born I purchased a set of baby JaR burp clothes at ZBaby Company. I love the fresh, colorful patterns! I appreciate how thick and absorbent they are and that the burpies themselves are colored, not just the accent fabric. I quickly found myself waiting for them to come out of the wash so I could put them back in the diaper bag. And speaking of the wash, my cloths have been washed weekly for the past few months and they still look fantastic. They may not be the cheapest burp clothes but thanks to their quality they are more than worth it and can handle a whole days worth of spit up (unlike some of the thinner ones out there).

A mommy friend of mine also loves her baby JaR burpies, but I was very jealous because hers are monogrammed with her daughters name. Recognizing my lust for these lovely monogrammed burpies, she thoughtfully ordered some for us (thanks lady!). That means we now have four of these burpies and can use them most of the week! baby JaR also makes matching bibs, blankets and clothing, although monogramming is only available on the burpies. Have a look at the Long Sleeve Anchor Tatoo outfit while you're there too!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mama's Night Out: Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower

Tuesday night I had the good fortune of attending Big City Mom's Biggest Baby Shower at American Girls' Place in NYC. What a fantastic event these ladies put on! Ironically, I didn't attend one of these events while I was pregnant but I am wishing I had. That being said, there was still plenty to offer for a new mama or mamas pregnant for their second or third time. Although the food spread would have been even more beguiling if I had been pregnant (ummm, cupcakes, cookies, and tarts, oh my!).

On offer were products from tons of baby companies and some really interesting seminars. For gear, I liked seeing the new Product Red Bugaboo strollers, the new iCandy strollers (I like the Peach Blossom for a growing family), diaper bags from Momma Couture and Rosie Pope, the new Cybex line of strollers and carriers (particularly the 2.Go carrier), beautiful knit items from Oeuf, and everything Skip Hop. We also got a chance to visit with our friends from Alex and Sam and Orbit Baby. And that's just a small sample of vendors that were displaying their wares. And you can't miss the gift bags. I was shocked with the amount of schwag loaded into the shiny silver bags. In my bag I found a Bugaboo stroller blanket, 6 bottles from different companies (I'm excited to try out the MAM bottle in particular), pacifiers, bibs, Baby Legs, a crib sheet from Company Kids, a baby t-shirt, scores of flyers, coupons and discount codes and more. In addition to the bags, nearly every Mama walked out laden with prizes from the baby shower bingo and raffles. Mamas won strollers, play gyms, carriers and every other kind of gear imaginable. Skip Hop alone gave away over a hundred gifts.

I also enjoyed two seminars. The first with the amazing Dr. Alan Greene who spoke about his new book, Feeding Baby Green. I was unfamiliar with his work prior to the shower, but now I am a huge fan. His ideas about how to feed your baby in the womb, while breast feeding and for the first year differ from what many pediatricians recommend, but make so much sense they are impossible to deny. I am now reading his book and will be sure to post a follow up when I am finished. I also sat in on the Save-A-Tot seminar that discussed infant health and safety topics and was a great refresher from the course I took before Pooka was born, and I even learned a few new things.

The evening concluded with a talk with the stunning actress and mother of two Kelly Rutherford (The OC, Gossip Girl, and many more) who shared her thoughts on being a working mother, breast feeding, vaccination, and more. I was astonished to learn that she breast fed her first child throughout her pregnancy with her second child, then continued to nurse both children after the birth of her second child. That's one dedicated Mama! Oh, and her children are not vaccinated if you were wondering (but I'm not touching that debate!).

Okay, so I guess I am gushing a bit, but I was very impressed by the whole event. If you have the chance to attend the spring shower I would highly recommend going. Big City Moms knows how to put on a great event!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Push Presents: Jewelry for Proud Mamas

My husband does not believe in "Push Presents." His attitude is similar to how he feels about holiday decorations (see Halloween post). I mean , realistically, that baby is coming out one way or another whether you husband is dangling a fancy bauble at the side of the bed or not. On the other hand, we are the ones who do all that pushing (or having major surgery) and dealing with the short term healing and long term scarring (physical and emotional) of bringing our little bundles of joy into the world. Needless to say, I did not receive a push present, but the holidays are coming and I'm still holding out hope for a baby inspired bauble (oh, and our 3rd anniversary is in December, so I guess I have two shots at this). So here's a collection of my favorite mommy jewelry, from the decadent to the recession conscious. And don't forget the grandmas, they typically love shiny things too!

Ok, let's start with the wish-listy, truly decadent pieces. By far the most inspiring mommy jewelry I have seen is by Heather Moore, but it ain't cheap. If I didn't already have a charm bracelet highlighting the important events in my life I would certainly be clamoring for one of the charm necklaces. Dream piece: a necklace with an initial charm (everyone in our nuclear family has the same first and last initial so that's a no brainer), Pooka's name and birth date charm, and a wedding date charm. Then more charms could be added as future offspring are added to our brood. I think I would like it to look like the Thomas and Heather Necklace. Or how about this stunning Rose, White, and Yellow Gold Channel Set Necklace (a girl can dream, right?). Some of the bracelets are amzing too. I love these very original Leather Cuff Bracelets. You can choose a series of names, words, messages and dates to fill this cuff in a graffiti style. I also like the bangle bracelets and cuff bracelets. You could add a new bangle with each additional child, although this could present a problem if you're like the Duggars! Heather Moore also offers rings, key chains, and even cufflinks and belt buckles. How cool would Daddy look sporting this belt buckle to work!

Another long time favorite of mine is Jeanine Payer. For years I have been collecting pieces of her unique jewelry featuring famous quotes. We've also given them as gifts to both of our mothers. My past pieces were chosen for their quotes and designs, but Payer now offers personalized photo pieces. Here's a great way to keep a picture of your little one close to your heart with a sweet saying (choose from 3 different quotes), and offers another chance to use that great birth announcement photo! I love the simplicity of the Hutton and Seurat necklaces. While you are there, take a look at the beautiful new 20th Anniversay Collection. I particularly like the Avalon and Vineet necklaces.

The Vintage Pearl has adorable silver necklaces that you can have personalized for a great price. Check out the Family Nest Necklace for a different look. I also like the elegant Mother of Pearl Necklace. Another designer to try is StephanieMc Designs who has an Etsy shop for her jewelry. The Framed Mommy Necklace is a great choice for moms and grandmas alike. Its features a charm with children's names and small charms for each birthstone. It's especially great for grandmas that have multiple grandchildren. Or for plenty of variety, Bliss Living has over three pages worth of mommy jewelry to choose among from multiple artists. The Julian & Co pieces with mini hand and foot prints are my favorite choice!

Don't know whether you are having a girl or boy or haven't picked a name yet? For years I have been wearing the simple string charm bracelets from Gas Bijoux. I actually don't take them off, sleeping and showering in them. When I was pregnant with Pooka I purchased the "Maman" charm bracelet for my mother to let her know I was grateful to her for raising me, since I was experiencing first hand the trials and tribulations of pregnancy. After Pooka was born I added the pink Maman bracelet to my own collection. Gas Bijoux has boutiques in SoHo and the Upper West Side. You can see the bracelet style among the flash slideshow on their site, but unfortunately they do not have images of the individual bracelets online. I will try to post a photo of them online in the near future.

There are choices in every price range if you want to wear your new mommy-hood in pride. They make a wonderful gift for new or expectant mommies, so with the holidays around the corner make sure to add them to your list. Oh, and you should do it soon because many of these vendors take a few weeks to make the personalized charms!