Vancouver - MOMS & KIDS
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
September 7th, 2013
Floating through summer in maxi dresses is fine, but come fall, bumps need a bit more support.
Starting with two maternity styles, J.Crew's newly launched collection will grow - just like expecting bellies - throughout the season to include denim and J.Crew'S classic staples.
Both the maternity Minnie Pant ($118) and Pixie Pant ($150) feature the same fit as their original, non-maternity predecessors, plus a waistline that dips at the front. Discreet and comfy elastic hip panels means both styles can be worn up to delivery, and after.
Who wears the pants? Moms, of course. —Laura Cropper
Available at www.jcrew.com
August 31st, 2013
When a blue lunch kit comes back red and a green jacket purple, some reinforcement is needed.
Help keep things from going MIA in the cubby hole with these very handy Emily Press labels. With very affordable write-your-own sets ($9.99) and eco-friendly reuseable sets with no sticky residue ($19.99/47), you can choose from a wide variety of themes (flowers, books, owls, stars, camo, splatter paint, pennants and even - gasp! - plain) and customize with your child's name. If starting from scratch, the First Class School package includes shoe and clothing stickers, too.
This is one label we hope sticks.
Available at Raspberry Kids, www.raspberrykids.com
August 24th, 2013
For some reason, granola bars have acquired a rep as the ultimate healthy snack. A quick glance at the ingredients of most store-bought versions just doesn't support it. So, like so many recipes in our book we decided to health-it-up. With the leftovers from an abandoned detox I came up with this crunchy, chewy version that you can feel good about giving to your kids (and yourself). This fruit and nut combo is one of my favourites but use what you've got - almonds, dried blueberries, walnuts, raisins... you get the idea!
Kitchen Sink Granola Bars
1/2 cup (125 ml) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup (80 ml) oat flour (if you don't have it, just throw 1/3 cup of oats in the food processor for a few minutes)
1/4 cup (60 ml) flax meal
1/2 cup (125 ml) dried apricots, chopped quite fine
1/2 cup (125 ml) dried cranberries, chopped
1/3 cup (80 ml) pecans, finely chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 ml) brown rice syrup (you could substitute corn syrup but I like the first option better)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Line an 11 x 7 inch (28 x 18 cm) cake pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang to lift out the granola bars later.
Mix together the sugar, oats, oat flour, flax meal, apricots, cranberries and pecans. Make sure the fruits and nuts are evenly distributed.
In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil and both syrups.
Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet and stir to combine thoroughly. Dump this granola mixture into the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly.
Bake for 30 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan at the end, you want the mixture to just begin to brown. Let the pan cool for about 10 minutes before lifting out the parchment. Rest the parchment on the counter and let mixture cool completely. Cut into 1 1/2 x 3 - inch (4 x 7.5 cm) bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
August 17th, 2013
I sometimes torture myself by wondering how I would have parented in the era of my own childhood, complete with a Little House on the Prairies lack of iPads and WiFi. Shudder. Lucky for all of modern parents, we have the interwebs to answer our late night questions on fevers, to quell the 3 p.m. “what’s for dinner” panic, and to provide us with post-bedtime shopping sessions. As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to raising a family, it doesn’t just take a village, it takes access to the whole world. Here are just a few of the sites that I turn to on the regular.
She may have become famous for the dinner diary she’s been keeping since 1998 but Jenny Rosenstrach gives her Dinner, A Love Story readers so much more than that. Funny, warm and helpful, I love stopping by for dinner inspiration or just a good laugh. www.dinneralovestory.com
I ended up making every bit of baby food my kids consumed (I know, I know but it’s way easier than it sounds) but I was super nervous about it to begin with. Wholesome Baby Food was my constant source of recipes, storage tips, and most importantly, introduction schedules. http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com
When I’m stumped for a birthday party (or any kid party) idea, I always check out what Jann Scott is doing on her fantastic site, Family Bites. An event planner turned writer, Jann has amazing ideas that are cute but never cutesy. Can’t wait for the book she’s working on with Julie Van Rosendaal. http://mixingbowlkids.typepad.com
Why do kids always get sick on Fridays at 5:15, just as your pediatrician’s office is closing for the weekend? A click on has more than once saved me from an unnecessary trip to the ER. Is there anything Dr. Sears doesn’t know? www.askdrsears.com
I love knowing that everything I find on Raspberry Kids has been vetted for safety, eco-friendliness and all-around cuteness by the brilliant Sue Sinclair. Pick up clothes, books, toys, body care and their amazing litterless-lunch range. www.raspberrykids.com
Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I just need a half hour to MacGyver dinner and for buying me that time I’m constantly thankful for Netflix Canada. Their new partnership with Scholastic Media means even more great kids’ content (The Mouse and The Motorcyle, baby!). All without commercials, thank you very much. http://movies.netflix.com/WiHome
Why does reading about a badly behaved child make me feel better about my own? I don’t know, but it just does. If you aren’t reading and following The Honest Toddler, you’re missing out on the internet’s gift to parents. http://thehonesttoddler.com
August 10th, 2013
It’s not like September weather really calls for a whole new wardrobe but the first day of school just wouldn’t be the same without a new outfit, now would it? I like to make my kids’ clothes a mix of practical and fun (and just look the other way when they put together combinations that make my eyes hurt). Here’s what’s on my list for back-to-school.
I love this line from California – they’ve always got the best prints and the fits are loose enough that a dress like this can become a tunic when that growth spurt hits mid-year. Tea Collection Bubble Dress $35 at http://store.kolkid.ca
I loved them as a kid and now I’m crazy about them on my kids – you can’t beat the traffic stopping yellow. $42 at http://k-way.ca
I don’t care what the New York Times Style section says, you will never see my 6-year-old in heels. Nevah. These are built to last so both my kids will get wear out of them. Kids Blunnies $89.95 at www.blundstone.ca
August 3rd, 2013
We are thrilled to welcome our August guest editor, author, mom of 2 and co-founder of Sweet Potato Chronicles. First up, her guide to traveling with the brood. Take it away, Ceri…..
Of all the things that I fretted would change after having kids (work/life balance, waistline) the thing I feared losing the most was travel. In my former life as the editor of a fashion magazine I kept my passport in my handbag all the time because I racked up so many frequent flyer points. I may not jet off as often, or as glamorously, but I’m happy to report that kids and a sense of adventure quite happily co-exist. We’ve taken our kids – 6 and 3 – on countless trips, from easy family cottage stays to multi-city European tours. Here’s some of the ways I make traveling en famille as stress-free as possible.
Research! A go-with-the-flow approach to trips does not bring out the best in kids. I love knowing as much about accommodations, family-friendly restaurants and activities as possible.
My Little Swans gives solid gold, detailed itineraries for cities around the world. www.mylittleswans.com/home.php
Ciao Bambino knows exactly what families need to know (from gear to babysitters) about hotels and resorts in top vacation spots. http://www.ciaobambino.com/
Let kids pack – and schlep - their own carry-on. Okay, maybe you need to supervise what goes in there…
I always bring a change of clothes for everyone in our carry-on in case of spills, sickness or lost luggage. I love the soft, thin layers made by Mini Mioche ($26, pictured) for the plane.
Heading to the U.S. or Europe and doing some driving? Sidestep the car seat nightmare by shipping Bubble Bum car seats ($39.99) to your destination. They pack up to nothing and you’ll save so much cost and hassle.
I always pack a new craft or small toy for every leg of a trip.
When my kids start to get restless on a long flight, I pull out something like this genius coated canvas art journal by P’kolino ($19.95) that has crayons and a pad fastened inside.
Don’t be disappointed when the in-flight screen goes dark. Load up the iPad before head to the airport. I can’t get enough of these little yellow guys. (Minion Madness on iTunes $3.99)
Worried they won’t remember all the great trips you took them on? Me too! So I white-knuckle through their use of my iPhone as a camera to document all the fun they’re having. And I keep a chic, yet heavy-duty Felony case ($60, pictured) on my phone for some extra protection.
July 26th, 2013
Aussie moms are vigilant about sun protection so it's no surprise that summer's ultimate sun shadem the Sombrilla, was designed by two moms from Down Under.
Airier than a tent, shadier than an umbrella and roomy enough for you and a child or two, we tested ours first on a tropical beach in Bali, then rigged it up on a windy beach day at Jericho Beach in Vancouver.
We love the selection of modern prints (we went with Fly Away Blue - turquose with white birds); the fact that you can adjust the sturdy canvas canopy shade to suit the sun's angle all day; and that putting it up is a breeze. It also arrives in a matching carry case and is lightweight enough to shoulder along with your other beach essentials.
$180, ships worldwide from http://www.hollieandharrie.com.au
July 20th, 2013
Just because a nation wasn't on the edge of their seat for the birth of our little one doesn't mean they don't deserve the royal treatment. Herewith, three gifts for the heir (or the spare).
Between waking mom and dad up at all hours and finding new spots to stick their fingers in, a baby's work is never done. But hopefully, sleepy is the head that wears this felt crown from Goop favourite Chloe in Syle. $61 at www.chloeinstyle.com
And just so there's no mistaking it, this King of the Castle raglan one-piece should make it clear who sits on the throne… hopefully he's learning to go potty while he's up there. $24.95 at Gap stores across Canada, www.gapcanada.ca