Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who Cut the Dogs Out?

Our poor dogs, Lucy and Mia, are taking the brunt on Olivia's toddler-hood. She does not understand how to be gentle yet so her acts of affection end up being flat-out attacks on their ears and tails. The dogs are mutts - lab-something mixes - we rescued from a local shelter and are docile and loving. They don't even mind when she mounts them and bounces up and down as if they were a miniature pony!
To show Olivia's love for her lab-mutts, I'm dying to order this labrador onesie and pants set from Bella Blu Designs (recently featured on Martha Stewart's show!). The lab silhouette on the top is made from Michael Miller fabric - and notice the dog bone on the pants. Love that!
Don't have a lab? No worries. Bella Blu will create any dog silhouette you want - just convo to request.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More Fall Fashions for your Kiddos

Slick Sugar and Naartji - two of my favorite places to buy Olivia clothes - debuted their fall lines last week.
Slick Sugar, known for their edgy, rocker looks, dreamed up tops and sets that even classical music lovers won't be able to resist. They've turned up the volume adding more detail to their clothes than in their previous collection. Hoodies are in contrasting fabric, sleeve cuffs are turned, and the graphics have a bit more punch of color.
I like the hooded guitar tee ($22) for rockettes and live to rock tee ($25) for rockers.
Naartjie launched their "Fall Two" line - they launch several lines per season. I was surprised at the prevalence of pastels - normally thought of as spring colors. Nonetheless, the clothes are adorable.

For girls, I like the hooded long cardigan sweater ($39.95) and layered look sleeve striped tee ($16.95) for boys. Spend $75 and get 20% off now through 8/27 (code MOLLY).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cultural Kid's Music that Will Have CMMs Singing Along

Tolerable children's music is a must for CMMs. Enjoyable and educational children's music - well - that is no longer a luxury thanks to innovative Putumayo Kids.

Each CD in their line has a country or regional theme - French, New Orleans, African Dreamscape. The songs, many sung in the theme's native tongue, teach kids (and parents) about the culture in a non-preachy way.  

The songs are upbeat and have a positive message. We have the Folk Playground (check out track 2... it cracks me up!) and French Playground (Bonjour, Bonjour is our favorite) CDs and listen to them often. Olivia and I sing along together and it's a great way to pass the commute to and from day care. 

Check them out here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pop Goes the Color

I'm bored with the pillows in my great room. Luckily, we bought brown couches that are easy to punch up with color (and hide Olivia's mishaps!). Some of the chicest pillow choices I've found recently are from Joom.

For $28, take your pick of super-mod designs and colors. Pillows measure 12"x18" and are filled with 100% poly. The outer is silk screened by hand on cotton. If money were no object (and gas not still over $3.50 a gallon), I would snap up one (or two!?) of each design. Darn that budget! I have my eye on Olive Green Full Print Cardinal . There are also mini versions for $16 - I like the Aqua Bird

These are the times when I long to scrap my home's decor and totally redo everything (my husband would flip!)... I'll get it redecorated eventually... One pillow at a time. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Full Circle

I received an Etsy order today that I have to tell every one about! I ordered the Black Lotus top from Circular Accessories (CA) and adore every soft-cotton inch of it. Screen printed by hand, all designs from CA are fresh and modern. The Black Lotus is printed on an American Apparel shirt. The hems on the sleeves bell out slightly and are unhemmed for a chic effect. I was sold on the lotus design - one on the front and two near the neck on the back. 

Packaging makes a product, and Circuclar Accessories knows how to work it. The tee came wrapped in black polka dot tissue paper tied with straw ribbon and topped with a kitchy sweet birdy button pin. It was delightful. I swooned.

I can't wait to place another order at CA. Other favs on my wish list: Teal Peacock, Wall Flowers. There are even great designs for cool dads: Fleur de Lis. And don't forget your little one while you're shopping: Giraffe. So much goodness to be had... Check back often. CA regularly updates their offering. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trick or Treat, Already?

Someone asked me the other day what Olivia is going to be for Halloween this year. Um... Haven't really thought about it yet. But maybe I should have? Seriously. I'm just trying to survive the summer. Not to mention, the next holiday, Labor Day, is three weeks away. 

Even so, mommy-guilt settled in like an unwelcome friend, and I started perusing the Internet for costumes. That lead me to some other cool harvest finds. 

I ordered the yarn for and started knitting Olivia a pumpkin hat. Pattern is from Itty-Bitty Hats.

Bows 2 Cute has an adorable assortment of fall bows, including this candy corn bow I bought Olivia last year. 

A different take on a Halloween-themed top, this friendly witch tutu shirt will steal the show. Handmade and available at AlanyasCloset. 

I still haven't found a costume... Not that I'm crunched for time at this point. But if you see an irresistible costume, please post a comment to share. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Blog Roll, Please

A new feature was added to CMM this week - Blog Roll. On the left bar, the blogs I regularly read will be updated with new feed every time they are updated. How cool is that? 

We Covet - Better Living Through Consumerism is an irreverent, often hilarious product review blog - mostly household items. Their punchy copy makes me laugh out loud.  

Oh Joy is less product reviews and more a display collection of beautiful, quirky products found online and at retail. The writer's taste is impeccable

Baby Luxe Daily has a similar format to CMM. Their focus is reviews of products for baby and parents. 

Pixie Purls is my go-to knitting blog. The writer reviews products, her projects, and also blogs about her BG (baby girl).

Manic Mommies blog and podcast are daily and weekly must-checks. Their real-world take on working motherhood makes me feel not so alone in this hectic endeavour. 

What are your favorite blogs? Send me a comment and share with our community!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hair Raising Finds

Even though Olivia's hair is still really short, my hair is finally long enough to play with (been growing it out for some time) and am obsessed with buying different accessories. Headbands are a recent fashion fav. They're practical and add a quick punch to an outfit without fuss. That's what every cool mom needs, right?

I stumbled upon an Etsy shop, Jak Boutique, that sells flexible, no-hurt headbands, many made with Amy Butler fabric. Morning Glory and Full Moon Cherry are my picks - fantastic prints. There are more than 50 different headband prints to choose from. They sell for $8 each. Shipping is free if you buy more than one item. With the selection, that won't be difficult.

Jak Boutique also sells hats for little girls. Just look at this one called Summer Rainbow. A little pricy at $30. They also tempt accessory bugs with hair bows, hair flowers, and belts

The shop is a perfect blend of something cute for our darling daughters and trying-to-stay-hip-selves. What more can a CMM want? 

Friday, August 8, 2008

ManiMina, How Can I Resist Ya?

Have you seen Mama Mia yet? I was supposed to go with a bunch of girls from work but ended up being too busy with other stuff and couldn't go. Like most movies, I'll see it when it is released on DVD...
In the meantime, I can shop on ManiMina's Etsy shop. OMG. This stuff is adorable! So on trend, and fairly priced to boot.
I'm loving the kimono and the linen shoes! Both are lined with contrasting cotton vintage-looking fabric, and the best part about the fleece kimono is that it adjusts to grow with baby. The kimono is offered in sizes 0-4T for a crazy-low price of $22. I'm ordering one as soon as I'm finished typing this!
And the shoes... Oh how I wish I would have known about this before Olivia became mobile. But if you're on the market for a show-stopping baby shower gift, buy these shoes! The exterior is beige linen, which easily coordinates with most outfits, and the interior is soft cotton in a funky design. An elastic strap keeps them on little tootsies. Available in sizes 0-12 mo. for a mere $14.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fall Fashions

It's the time of year when I lament the nearing end of summer and all it's carefree joys but anticipate cool, crisp sweater weather. One fine way to bridge both seasons is to lounge in the sun while you shop online for fall clothes. Brill!
A couple of my favorite sites have debuted their fall fashions. Here's what I'm loving for kids this season:
Naartjie's Sweater Knit Trim Hooded Fleece Cardy. A steal at $29.95. 
Naartjie's Hooded Canvass Vest. Also retails for $29.95.
Robeez Trenz Blossom H&L Cream Girl Boots. A splurge at $49.95.
Stinky Pants' Houndstooth Jumper. For a special occasion at $58.
Tea Collection's Zoe 6-piece Collection. Bundle price of $105.
Red 21 Boys' Liverpool Hoodie. A catch at $36.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Element of Fun in Grocery Shopping

Don't know about you, but I'm paying at least 30% more for groceries today than a year ago. It makes me sick to my stomach. Because of my day job, I understand what vendors are going through in their own cost increases, but as a consumer it is a hit to our family budget.
Enter The Grocery Game, and online resource for coupons and discounts. Here's the gist: Members get access to lists from their local grocery and drug stores that tells them what is on sale plus has a coupon available so members get the ultimate deal. For example, salad is on sale for $2.00 plus there's a coupon for $1.00 off. 
The Grocery Game keeps a huge database of what is the best deal on each product. They color code the list by okay deal (black), stock up now because it's the best deal (blue), and FREE! (green). Yes, free. There are times when the sum total of a discount plus coupon is $0!
The idea is that you stock up on the best deals even if you don't need the product creating an inventory in your home of toothpaste, soap, noodles, soup, etc. 
A nominal fee of $10 per eight weeks for one store gets members access to the weekly list. Members have to be disciplined to clip coupons each Sunday, otherwise the system is pointless. What's the best deal I ever got? $92 in groceries for $13!
Try four weeks for $1 here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bonjour, Bebe Tam Tam

How smug does this sound? I bought Olivia a tambourin imported from France. 

Well, I didn't do the importing. I bought it at a boutique (Ashley and Hilary, which sadly closed last week...). But it is from France, nonetheless.

Tam Tam by Pylones Paris is a miniature kids' tambourin decorated with Euro-looking artistry (I bought the bunny). Recommended for 12+ months, they are about 6" diameter, les perfect for small hands. The sound they make isn't overly obnoxious, but I'm sure it will eventually get old. Product retails for $20.

Pylones makes other great products not easily found at mass retailers like maracas, jump ropes with funny bugs on the ends, and robot time-out timers. They aren't the cheapest option around, but they sure are tres temptingly adorable. You too will fall l'amour with them. 

Au revoir!