Vancouver - MOMS & KIDS
September 8th, 2012
The reason why most great childrenswear brands are founded by mothers is because they have the experience of knowing exactly what kids want to wear and how parents want their kids to look.
In the case of Vancouver-made Kiki Kids Wear, it is bright printed dresses, elegant little cardigans, and poofy skirts in colourful patterns, trimmed with flower shaped buttons and bow belts. We like the Sleeveless Tulip Print Dress ($72) for the next birthday party, and the Heather Floral Print Pull-on Skirt ($44) for dinner out.
Next question is of course the sizing, and sadly, it only goes up to a girl’s size 10. But that’s a 24 inch waist, and with an elastic waistband… us Moms can probably squeeze ourselves in. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Kiki Kids Wear online at www.kikikidswear.com
August 31st, 2012
Poppy hates celery sticks and Johnny doesn’t eat raisins on Thursdays, but Sophie needs her fruit separated from her granola. And we thought we left math problems behind in fourth grade.
But even the pickiest eater needs a cafeteria-chic lunch kit. Stock-up on waste-free, natural lunch accessories: sweet reusable sandwich bags ($10), stainless steel food containers, which allow for multiple snacks in one place ($23) and the glorious spork, which does double duty for soups and pasta ($11.50/four).
No plastic wrap, foil or pesky Tupperware to deal with – just simple, eco-friendly, non-toxic lunch buddies.
Happy back-to-school, Mom. —Maria Tallarico
Waste-Free Lunch at Lavish & Lime, www.lavishandlime.com
August 24th, 2012
When our Editor-in-chief Sarah Bancroft was on CTV talking back-to-school kids fashion this week, she didn't mean to send out a fashionable subliminal message.
But it seems many viewers (and a few women in our office) couldn't resist the lure of a casually stylish coat: Gap's Uniform rain slicker. Here's the scoop: A boy's XXL equals a woman's medium, and you can be assured that it's soft, comfortable, waterproof and durable (as GapKids clothes are known to be).
Best part? No chance you'll grow out of it!
Gap Uniform rain slicker, $32.86 at www.gapcanada.ca
Watch Sarah Bancroft's CTV appearance here.
August 17th, 2012
One plastic bib, worn under the cloth bib (which got changed six times a day). A permanent under-the-chin rash. Stains on every parents’ shoulder. That’s the reality of a baby who drools a lot.
And that’s why we think the Wee Drool is brilliant. A bib that looks like a T-shirt and features a waterproof middle layer is one of the best ideas we’ve seen in a while. Moisture can’t get through, the armholes mean it can’t be ripped off and the design ensures it won’t flip up or turn into a cape. It’s made from a soft, eco-friendly fabric that has anti-microbial features. And best of all, it looks like a cool-t-shirt.
You’ll be washing less bibs, and you’ll be changing less outfits. Less laundry and less work. Now we're drooling. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Wee Drool bibs, $28 at www.wee-drool.com
August 11th, 2012
If girls get pretty little socks with ruffle trims and lurex sparkle, then what do boys get? Socks with zombies, swamp creatures, and pirates.
Trend-setting boys are dressing their feet in Instance socks, the California brand that counts pro skateboarders, surfers and musicians as its collaborators and designers. Its Ankle Biters Kids Collection features gory monsters and leg-eating sharks, which will probably be a big hit with the cool girls, too.
Just make sure to buy enough pairs so that there’s always a clean set available. Swamp creatures may look cool, but we don’t want to imagine what they might smell like.
Instance Kids’ Socks, $9.99 a pair or $17.99 for a set of three. At Underworld Skateboard Shop in Vancouver (1043 Granville St., Vancouver) and Montreal (51, rue Sainte-Catherine E, Montréal) and online at www.underworld-shop.com
August 3rd, 2012
One of the toughest wardrobe conundrums this editor faced when having her first child was the lack of clothing suitable for breastfeeding. Maternity fashions are in abundance, but what about garments that allow you to whip out your breasts, made from fabrics that are resistant to milk stains?
Turn to Au Fait Mama, a Vancouver-made line of breastfeeding clothes, that features pieces like the Nurture t-shirt or Nourish Long Sleeved-top. Elasticized bamboo fabric allows them to be stretched down at the neckline and the elegant cuts accommodate a growing bump during pregnancy and the less attractive post-partum bump.
Next in line? Glasses that hide under-eye bags and a magic scrunchie that give the appearance of washed and styled hair. We wish…. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Breastfeeding tops from $68 at aufaitmama.myshopify.com
July 27th, 2012
Adorable doesn’t even begin to describe Calgarian Jill Hoff’s handmade hair creations for mothers and daughters.
Inspired by nature, Paperdoll Acccessories' colour palette and designs reflect her family’s love of exploring the great outdoors. The collection features butterflies, leaves and woodland creatures flock headbands and clips for babies, toddlers, teens and their moms.
Favourite piece of the collection has to be the Woodland Green Leaf headband (US$20, pictured. Hippie chic, indeed. —Kait Kucy
From US$6 at Paperdoll Accessories, www.etsy.com/shop/PaperdollAccessories
July 20th, 2012
This editor was totally against sandboxes until her son’s daycare mentioned that he was content playing in it for an hour straight. What they didn’t mention, was that a water table would keep him entertained for 90 minutes. It was a done deal.
The water table is safer than a kiddie pool, less dirty than a sandbox (albeit wetter, but water dries fast in the heat) and can be set up in a yard or on a patio or balcony. Pick one up from Toys "R" Us (pictured, $25), or make your own. A large under-the-bed-storage plastic box works great balanced on two cement blocks. Stick a few bath toys in there, and let the fun begin.
Just be careful if you do have a sandbox, too. This inevitably turns the water table and sandbox into two mud pits. Great for the production of tasty mud pies, less great when it comes to cleaning up. —Alexandra Sunher Isenberg
$25 at www.toysrus.ca
July 13th, 2012
It’s suggest that you bite them, tear them, or clip them, but whatever way you choose, trimming a baby’s nails is never fun.
What if we told you that there was a magical machine that would make baby manicures stress-free? Zoli’s award-winning Buzz B nail trimmer is a buffing machine, which gently files down the nails using textured pads. There are two different settings, and four different pads (depending on baby’s age.) The pads are soft enough that they won’t damage skin, and the Buzz B works on infants and toddlers.
Yes, we know it sounds expensive, but the good news is, the Buzz B is only $36, which is less than the cost of a manicure. Now, if only they’d invent a magic machine to paint our nails for us. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Buzz B Nail Trimmer, $36 at www.safandbenjamin.com
July 6th, 2012
We asked the VitaminDaily.com moms to tell us about one baby or kid’s product that was an absolute necessity (and sanity saver). Herewith, our mommy must-haves!
Sarah Bancroft, Editor-in-Chief, Mother of Emmanuelle, 6 and Charlotte, 3.
Tara gave my daughter Charlotte a lime green Fatboy beanbag (starting at $198) for her first birthday and it has since become a favourite crash pad for kids of all ages. We use it in the yard, the playroom, watching movies. I've got my eye on the cool new printed versions I saw in the window of Vancouver Special. www.fatboycanada.com
Tara Parker Tait, Publisher, Mother of Alexander, almost 3.
Tegu wooden magnetic blocks small kits are the best for restaurants. I keep them in my bag and Alexander gets them when we go out to eat. Starting at $36 a set, available from Babybot, www.babybot.com
Katherine Holland, Toronto Contributor, Mother of Roxy, 2.
The aden + anais muslin wraps were my fave when Roxy was little. They're super stretchy, so you can burrito your baby into submission, and also prevents them scratching their faces when they're little. They wash well, they're soft, and they're lightweight, so the little ones won't overheat. They work great as sun protection over strollers or bouncy chairs in hot weather. All you could ask for in a receiving blanket. aden + anais Muslin Bamboo Single Layer Baby Swaddling Wrap set, $59.99 from Lusso Baby, www.lussobaby.ca
Maria Tallarico, Managing Editor, Mother of Jackson, almost 1.
A gift from the team (thanks ladies!), the canvas SYM Charlie Diaper Bag ($175) eschews infantile print for modern, unisex canvas. It comes with all the bells and whistles you'd expect (change pad, convertible straps, smart phone holder) and easily fits the essentials: wipes, diapers, extra clothing and my 13" Macbook Air. It works wonderfully as a travel bag and includes a cooler pocket and two insulated bottle pockets. $175 at Saf + Benjamin, www.safandbenjamin.com
Alexandra Suhner Isenberg, Fashion Editor, Mother of Viktor, 1.
The O-Ball is the best first toy for little ones, which came recommended to us by our physiotherapist. It is very lightweight and has lots of holes, which makes it very easy for baby to learn to grab and pick up. It is also soft, so when baby decides hit himself in the head with it (they love doing that), there’s no harm done. This is good around 4-8 months, a short time frame, but one of the only toys you’ll need around then. O-Ball, starting at $8.95 at Saf + Benjamin, www.safandbenjamin.com
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg