Calgary - MOMS & KIDS
July 8th, 2011
Dealing with a newborn, especially your first, is a challenge and a half. Thank goodness for doctors, midwives, moms and books to guide us through those first few months.
But what about those who don’t have access to that much needed information? The Information Blanket is a newborn blanket with basic info on size, feeding, and illness warning signs. Buy one for yourself, and they will send one to a country with a very high infant mortality rate.
So while we are sleep deprived and exhausted, we can feel good knowing we are helping out a fellow mom who isn’t as fortunate as us. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
US$40USD for a blanket for you and a blanket for Uganda, http://theinformationblanket.org
June 30th, 2011
We love a good DIY project.
Especially when the recipient is so gosh-darned cute, we’d do anything for her. Happy Sew Lucky kits come with everything we need to sew our own baby gifts. Our favourite? The dinnertime book. Printed on 100% organic cotton, it requires sewing only in straight lines (bonus!) and stars all the cute and cuddly characters in the Happy Sew Lucky family.
Just B.Y.O.S. (bring your own sewing machine). —Kelsey Dundon
June 24th, 2011
The good news: your toddler has finally started sleeping through the night. The bad news: she’s accustomed to sleeping at home, and you’re about to head out on a family roadtrip.
Don’t fret. The inflatable Toddler Travel Bed by the Shrunks is designed to use her favourite crib sheets and blankets, so she’ll sleep just as soundly as she does at home (at least until the crack of dawn). With security rails so even the most active sleepers will stay put, it inflates with its own electric pump so your lungs don’t have to do all the work.
You just might find you’ll start taking it on all your trips. Even when the destination is grandma’s house. —KD
Shrunks Toddler Travel Bed, $84.99 at Baby’s World, http://babysworld.ca/
June 17th, 2011
Not everyone is a fan of games at a baby shower, but we need to keep the mom-to-be entertained while we drink all her champagne.
1. Match the celebrity and their baby. Print out lists of celebrities and their baby’s (ridiculous) names, ask the players to match each child with their parent. The one with the most correct matches wins. Do you know who Bear Blu, Moon Unit, and Princess Tiaamii’s parents are? The fun begins….
2. Decorate onesies while mom-to-be opens gifts. Unwrapping presents can take a long time, so provide a few sets of plain onesies and let the guests personalize an outfit for the baby. Non-toxic fabric paints and printed fabrics (for appliqués) make for some very memorable onesies.
3. Baby bingo. A great opportunity to hand out some fun little prizes, you could make your own bingo cards, or go the easy route and order these cute ones from Etsy. We love nail polishes or antique tea cups and saucers as prizes, and if many of the guests aren’t parents yet, baby making kits (sexy panties) are fun too.
June 10th, 2011
If it's "early to bed, early to rise" for most people, then it's "never to bed, always to rise" for new moms.
You may not have the little one sleeping through the night quite yet, but Canadian-made sleep sacks by Big Fat Hen will at least keep them comfy while they learn to doze for more than two hours at a time. Made with eco-friendly fabrics, these sleeveless sacks unzip easily for diaper changes and are soft inside and out. Made for babie 0-18 months, they come in three cute designs (yellow chicks, pink piggies and green owls) and hold up well in the wash.
And one day soon, the sun will rise before you. We promise. —MT
$79.90 at www.bigfathen.ca
June 3rd, 2011
When we discovered the Vancouver-based designers Akimbo, who uses great Euro fabrics to make washable covers for their Mung-bean-filled toys, we called them up to brainstorm all their great creative and developmental uses:
1. Ask family members to balance one on their head all through dinner, thus perfecting posture.
2. Create a target toss for your kids, with high and low targets for age 2 to adult and see how many different ways you can throw them.
3. Throw the beanbags, pat your tummy and your head before catching them.
4. Put them in the freezer for instant “owie” relief.
6. Use a stack of them as a chic doorstop to the playroom.
7. Toss them back and forth with different emotions (happy, sad, silly, sleepy).
8. Toss beanbag into the air, do a pirouette, catch.
9. While your kids lounge on their FatBoys, their dolls can lounge on these.
10. Beaning your brother over the head.
$20 for set of three at Dilly Dally, 1161 Commercial Dr., Vancouver, 604-252-9727, www.dillydallykids.ca and Molly’s Furniture Salad, 4055 Macdonald St., Vancouver, 604-732-7712, www.furnituresalad.ca or email email@example.com
May 27th, 2011
In many hip 'hoods, it's easier to buy a crystal-studded chihuahua collar than a sippy cup.
New boutique Saf & Benjamin, opened by a Vancouver mom frustrated by the lack of baby and kid goods available in her Yaletown neighbourhood, stocks a fantastic—and practical—selection of Tawna Hill natural skin care products and pieces from Canadian lines, like Mini Mioche hoodies, Escargot cowboy shirts and 3 Sprouts storage bins and wall organizers.
See, there's room for the four-legged and two-legged babies... just try not to stare when you spot a poodle in a pram.
Shop the new online boutique or in-store: Saf & Benjamin, 1081 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver, www.safandbenjamin.com
May 20th, 2011
Designing a nursery is easy. There is a ton of choice, and let’s face it, babies don’t really notice their rooms.
Decor gets more complicated for children and teens. Kids need a space that reflects their personality and style, but without compromising the taste of their parents. Which is why it came as great news that PB Teen now ships internationally.
The PB stands for Pottery Barn, and the stock reflects that: stylish and reasonably priced. The site sells great bedding and bathroom accessories but the study spaces are probably our favourite.
Now you won’t feel bad for sending them to their room. —ASI
May 14th, 2011
While we hope our sons grow up to be responsible, successful men, we want them to enjoy being kids while they can. Even if that means dealing with a mini rebellious streak.
Red Dragon Apparel recently expanded its youth range, and kids with a bit of attitude will wear these pieces with pride. What started in 1988 as a skate gang founded by a group of 12-year-old boys in North Vancouver (they must have been so cute back then), RDS has evolved into one of the most well-known cult skateboard clothing labels in the world.
Some devoted fans even have the brand logo tattooed on their body. But of course our boys wouldn’t do something silly like that!
T-shirts from $26, hoodies from $49. Available at the North Vancouver flagship store, 201 Lonsdale Ave., North Vancouver, 604-990-4737. Find national retailers here.
May 6th, 2011
Picking toys up off the living room floor is inevitable, but aesthetically pleasing toys make the job much more enjoyable.
P’Kolino started as a project between two dads who wanted to improve play at home. Their design philosophy is “playfully smart,” which means all of their children’s toys are fun and engaging—and look good, too.
Our favourite is the multi-solution shape puzzle ($20, pictured), which is both challenging and entertaining because there are a multitude of solutions, unlike a standard puzzle. Even smarter is that each piece is non-toxic and durable.
Just don't try to pronounce the name. —ASI