December 7th, 2013
You’d go to the moon and back for your little one.
But would you fly to Barcelona every time she needs a new pair of leggings? Didn’t think so. A quick trip to Leuie will spare you the jetlag. Filled with European-made wares for babes of all sizes, the online boutique turned pop-up shop is now a permanent destination just off South Granville. We love the mod-style dresses for girls, the VW-printed button-ups for boys, and the dreamy mobiles for both.
In fact, you might say we’re over the moon. —Kelsey Dundon
1513 W. 8th Avenue (at South Granville), Vancouver and online at www.leuie.com
November 23rd, 2013
Mini Mioche's made-in-Canada and largely unisex line has long been our cure for cartoon clothing phobia.
And its collaboration with The Drake General Store and Shared History is an extra shot of cool (without trying to hard). We love the Eye Heart You eye print (how Kenzo!) and Good Luck horseshoe print (sure to inspire tantrum-free behaviour, right?).
Long sleeve dresses ($45), onsies ($34), Tees ($30) and snug pants ($29, pictured) in sizes 0-6 years will keep 'em covered head-to-toe in organic cotton pieces that stand up to wear and tear remarkably well.
Sorry Dora, this closet is full. —Maria Tallarico
November 16th, 2013
It's that time of year when summer swimsuits don't fit, but winter pool classes are in full swing. What's a doggie paddler to do?
NoZone swimwear, based in Victoria, BC, are a year-round lifesaver. With fast shipping and a fair selection of body suits and two-piece sets from 6 months to 12 years, they dry quickly and have high salt and chlorine resistence (and SPF 50, in case a family trip to Hawaii is in the works).Cannonballllllll.
From $34 for babies and from $45 for kids, www.nozoneclothing.com
November 9th, 2013
Whether it is playing, snuggling, reading, eating, or sometimes even napping, kids spend a lot of time on the floor.
So we are going to make our floors better looking and more fun with these Deuz Tapikid playmats. Featuring beautiful illustrations of a village, park, or city, the mats can be used with trains, animals, or doll houses. The only thing that is mandatory is imagination.
The mats are made in a fair trade factory in India with 100 per cent certified organic cotton and printed using non-toxic inks. Add to that the fact that they are machine washable, and we’ve realized they are both safer and cleaner than our kitchen floors. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Deuz Tapikid Playmats, $69.99 at Raspberry Kids, www.raspberrykids.com
November 2nd, 2013
Sure getting them down for a nap can be hard, but keeping them asleep in a house that people actually move around in? That sometimes seems impossible.
And no matter how gingerly we try to do it, closing doors seems to cause too much of a ruckus. That's why we're smitten with the ingenious Latchy Catchy, a handy device that slips over any door's latch, making for silent shutting. We love the multitude of patterns and colours (like the mint arrows for a gender-neutral nursery and the Dr. Seuss for older kids) that will discreetly blend in with any style of decor.
And while the kids are counting sheep, you can freely move between rooms. May we suggest the bedroom for an afternoon nap?
$10.67 on VitaminDaily's Etsy.ca page.
October 19th, 2013
The dreaded email from the classroom teacher; the creepy diagrams taped to the preschool door: yes, it's head lice season again!
And just in time for hat-swapping and costume-sharing, we've discovered a drugstore shampoo that could save us a whole lot of grief.
We knew the little critters don't like the smell of mint, but tea tree oil seems to be their real nemesis. We're lathering the whole family up with the new Tea Tree Shampoo ($5.99) from Rexall's just-launched house brand, Be.Better.
Why would any mom not try this? That's a real head scratcher. —Sarah Bancroft
$5.99, to find store locations across Canada visit www.rexall.ca
October 5th, 2013
Whether you picked your favourite years ago, are bound by family tradition or have no clue where to start, naming your baby is one of parents’ earliest responsibilities and privileges. Common concerns range from vetting potential nicknames to predicting a name’s future along the trend curve. Here's a few of our favourite resources.
Crowdsource your shortlist in the forums at Nameberry, with its 50,000 strong database. Unique lists and advanced search functionality make it one of the leading sites of the bunch. http://nameberry.com/
The seven deadly trends at You Can’t Call it It are fairly prescient, like sin five, the “K Kraze”. Lots of interesting name lists at this site from “1950s Baby Names” to “Geek Chic.” Betty anyone? www.youcantcallitit.com
For $75, Swistle will provide a private name consultation over email. We have seen the content of one e-session and it was both thorough and thoughtful. A great option if you suspect your friends are growing bored of the name game. www.swistle.com/babynames
And of course it goes without saying that your baby, by any other name, will be as sweet.
September 28th, 2013
If you usually have a rapt audience while you whip up meals and snacks, turn those curious kids into kitchen helpers. Here's how:
Get them comfortable: Anything that has a blade or requires electricity may be a bit advanced for smaller kids, but you can get them comfortable with a mortar and pestle. They can crush spices and nuts, and they’ll love seeing the result of all their hard “work." $62 at Williams-Sonoma.
Let the Making Begin: There’s a reason ham-and-cheese is such a classic – it’s a comfort combination loved by eaters of any age. For a warm, gooey take on this family favourite, use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and this simple 3-ingredient, 20 minute recipe for Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-Ups at www.mypillsbury.com
Don’t skip dessert: Keep them motivated with the promise of chocolate (mixed with fruit of course). Chocolate dipped strawberries (if they are out of season, try bananas) don’t have to be fancy - or neat: melt down a bag of chocolate chips with a bit of shortening, wait for it to somewhat cool and let them go to town with fruit and even sprinkles. A word of warning: lay down some parchment paper or your kitchen will look like Willy Wonka’s factory. Martha Stewart does hers with crushed pistachios; the kids can shell and crush the nuts with the mortar and pestle. Find the recipe here.
September 21st, 2013
As the cold weather kicks in, play moves indoors. Here are a few crafty activities that will keep your little ones busy for at least… ten minutes.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Collage Collage’s wooden toys can be decorated with paint or stickers, and they can play with them afterwards (which will occupy them for at least another ten minutes!) $12 at http://shop.collagecollage.ca
Star Struck: NPW’s space origami set comes with the supplies and instructions to make rockets, stars, or satellites. It will keep their little hands busy, and we like that paper is quite easy to clean up after. $9.99 at www.raspberrykids.com
Haute Couture: We Love to Sew by Annabel Wrigley features 28 simple, clear, and fun sewing projects. Get them making necklaces, zippy pouches, or pillows for themselves, or for holiday gifts (that’s planning ahead!) $15.64 on Amazon.
“When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best”: Pick up a set of blank Strathmore Watercolour Cards and get your kids decorating greeting cards for upcoming holidays. We picked up a pack of 100, and we distribute them for birthdays, Christmas, and anytime a card is needed. Babies can do handprints, toddlers can do scribbles, little kids can practice writing, and older kids can sketch pictures of iPads (or whatever it is they are into these days…) The best part is that you’ll never be short a card. 10 cards (with envelopes) for $7, 100 cards for $52.70 at Opus Art Supplies.
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
September 14th, 2013
Some of us swear we aren’t going to dress our daughters in ruffles and bows and pink. But then they are born, and we are longing to put them in ruffles and bows and pink.
So Vancouver-based Over the Loom is the perfect shopping destination for a special occasion. We’ll dress our girls in pink lace dresses with brooches ($29.50) and floral tulle cardigans ($32.95) for parties, high tea, and weddings. And they’ve not forgotten our little boys, who will be mini gentleman in this grey pinstripe two piece waistcoat romper ($24.)
These are also the kind of outfits that inspire us to get the whole family dressed for a portrait, and if we can’t get them to sit still, the pink tulle will look lovely blurred. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg