This Old Schoolhouse

Maybe it's re-reading Little House on the Prairie or my recent visit to the rural Midwest, but one room schoolhouses are on my mind. Growing up, there was a living history museum near my home that allowed children to be students in a one room schoolhouse for a day- it was a highlight of my summer vacation many years running!
Wouldn't it be great to set up your own?!


Right Bank Babies

GORGEOUS pictures from Right Bank Babies new fall line. Do yourself a favor and view them all here! It is worth it. There are so many, many beautiful clothes! Right Bank Babies just made tThe Best of LA in LA Magazine for 2009! Congrats- they deserve it. Clothes which are both classic and whimsical are not always easy to find. These will put a smile on your face!

I am going to continue this post assuming you went to their site and looked at all the beautiful pictures. So, I want to talk about the location! Isn't it wonderful! I feel very special for knowing it is the long out of commission -Los Angeles Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. I was first introduced to it on this lovely blog Big Orange Landmarks. Which is a great resource for learning more about Los Angeles history. The posts have great detail and really amazing photos!
What I was most struck by though, was the play room for children. This room was so beautifully created and designed. And to think that it was simply a room for keeping the little tykes happy while their parents enjoyed the newest Betty Davis picture.
We don't even have spaces this lovely at places meant for children. They had this handsome playroom as a holding room of sorts. Geesh. No wonder children played by themselves for long periods of time. I am entertained everytime I'm in a stunning space!


Dog Days of Summer

We are in the last days of summer vacation. Here are a few ideas if you need them for the home stretch...


Scribble Press

Scribble Press was created by two moms. Wanting to create a space which encouraged children and their families to write, read, and draw these two ingenious women have created the Color Me Mine of the 21st Century! A fabulous way to spend an afternoon! These books make the perfect Holiday gifts for Grandparents! Located on sunny Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, CA.

Peterson Automotive Musuem

Peterson Automotive Museum was started in 1994 and has grown into one of America's premier automotive museums. Spread out over 300,000 sq.ft. the Peterson holds more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. This museum has something for all ages. For preschoolers and school aged children, Mattel has a permanent exhibition of Hot Wheels! There is also a space where children can dress up, and "drive" real cars! Besides being fun- this is not an excursion that you have to dig deep for: children four and under are free! Children five and over are only $3! Big kids over 62 are only $5! So maybe send the kids with the grandparents when they are in town! And you can go across the street to LACMA for some quiet time.

Autry Museum

Autry National Center of the American West
I went here with a little trepidation. I had heard the Gold Rush Exhibit on the weekends was great- but it was a Thursday- how great could it be? I was WRONG! This place is perfect for low tech, casual, let them discover it themselves play! The Family Discovery Center is great for a variety of ages. Real materials are left for children to discover and explore. We spent a great deal of time in the 1930's kitchen (decked out with oldie time stove and icebox!) for almost an hour just making pies and sandwiches, before heading upstairs to the wonderful on site cafe (word to the wise- Eat here if you are headed to the Zoo, much healthier, quicker, and cheaper!) Oh and on that Thursday, we had the museum almost entirely to ourselves!
Also, great for anyone who has happened to read Little House on the Prairie lately!

This is why I love Abeego

So you are trying not to use plastic wrap and have been balancing various plates on top of bowls or finding remnants of tin foil. Which works out fine until the tin foil rips or a plate goes careening off a bowl. This is why we should all stop by the Etsy shop Abeego
Their covers are natural, reusable, eco-conscious.Made with hemp/cotton fabric infused with a blend of beeswax and plant extracts making them fluid-resistant. Easy to clean- simply hand wash in COLD, soapy water and enjoy the long life of this plastic free, durable product!


This may come in handy. . .

I saw this on Etsy awhile back and just keep thinking about it. I think it may be very helpful when out and about with toddlers and preschoolers. Just put dollars, phone, ID, and keys and go! Really be hands free! There might be room for a small toy or snack in case you get caught out in world past nap time! Helpful, kinda, or best thing ever.... I was thinking they may make great Christmas gifts? What do you think?
Here is the link to the Etsy shop: Happy Cow

And the winner is. . .

The winner of this week's giveaway is Bridgette DuChane of Naperville, IL!

Remember to stop by next week too when we have a wonderful giveaway planned for you!


School Desks

Thinking about the new school year has me thinking about desks. As a child, we had a row of vintage school desks in our basement that were always a great place to play school. These finds are great both for playing school and for doing your homework! ( The desks are from Car Moebel and the chairs are from ThreePotatoFour)


This week's GIVEAWAY!

Here is this week's giveaway! Thanks CurlyLulu!
Isn't it just adorable!
Post a comment within the next 36 hours and you could be the new owner of this lovely crown!
Winner announced on Thursday morning!


FOUND on Etsy: Curly

This week's FOUND on Etsyis really one of my favorites! Curlylulu is the creation of Julie Petrush from Asheville, North Carolina. Her designs are made after her husband and son go to sleep. We get to be the lucky recipiants of all her hard work! Her felted crowns are by some of the most unique and darling designs I have found in a long time! They are perfect for birthdays, princess parties, and just all around merriment. Also, these crowns make a great fashionable ear warmer for the fall!!


The Purple Twig

This fall, when seeking out classes for your little ones, try The Purple Twig! Samara Caughey has graciously taken part in a little Who, What, Where, When and Why....

Here are her wonderfully crafted answers:


I believe that art is an essential component of the human experience. Making art helps children develop their capacity for creative thinking, which is important in every area of our lives. It builds problem-solving skills and fosters self-confidence. To see the pride and excitement on the child’s faces as they hold up what they have made is incredible.

Reciprocity in learning is fundamental to what I do. A child may have a spontaneous idea or reaction to a particular material or situation and this might directly effect the direction of the class. For instance I gave one group of girls, age 3, colored paper, scissors and tape to make a three-dimensional collage. They finished so quickly, I could not get them to develop the collage further. But when an extra long piece of tape stuck to their bodies, they became interested. They wanted to put tape on each other, so I suggested we make ourselves into sculptures. They began taping paper onto each other and made the most incredible sculptures. They kept squealing with delight “We are sculptures”. It became a far more interesting project as a result of the reciprocity.


One of the important aspects of my teaching philosophy is that the activities and the thinking that occurs during the projects are at least if not more valuable then the end products. I give suggestions and encourage children to make there own discoveries with the materials. Age appropriate lessons on the use of particular tools and materials are given, whether it be scissors with 3 year olds, glue guns with 6 year olds or plaster with 9 year olds and I believe this facilitates self-confidence and helps develop problem solving skills.

Where + When?

The parents and I create the class together. They gather the children and I come with all the materials. We arrange a time and day together. I work in the client’s home, but we can rotate houses if that works better. If a parent has access to a community center or the like, that works great as well. I find the best number of kids for a class is 5, but I will go as high as 7. In a class of that size I like to have one of the parents helping out.

If one doesn’t have enough kids for a class, contact me and we can work something out. 10 sessions works really well for the development of a strong class dynamic but we can do less if that works better. In other words, we have a lot of flexibility.

We can also discuss a theme that the children might be interested in. This gives some structure for the class. There are so many themes to choose from; outer space, under the sea, bugs, architecture great and small, animal architecture, puppets, gardens and fairies just to name a few.


Winner this week....

The winner of this week's quick giveaway is. . . .
Tabiboo!! Please email me your address so we can send you the blouse right away!!
If you wanted this week's item (and really who wouldn't?) stop by Little Birds Fly.
And stay tuned for next week's giveaway- it's one of my favorites!!!


A giveaway with Little Birds Fly

Here is this week's giveaway! It's a gorgeous one from Salem, MA designer Little Birds Fly. Maker of adorable toddler dresses and blouses. This scrumptious blouse can be yours, if you post a comment within the next 24 hours! This week's giveaway is going to be a quick one so the early bird gets the worm! Post a comment before 9p.m. Thursday and you may have it by next week!
What a great way to start the school year! Good Luck!

Little Bird Fly

Here is a better look at all the wonderful pieces they have for fall. Being a mother of three herself, owner Jennifer knows just what those young toddlers love and want! While keeping in mind what those who love them want as well-- hand finishing and the use natural, time-tested fabrics like cotton, muslin and wool!

KIba Kiba Books

Jessica Riley founded Kiba Kiba Books in June 2009. In one of the truly brilliant ideas around, Ms. Riley has created an environment where children are more than just a target audience. They are active participants in the creation of images put to words designed for them. At Kiba Kiba books, children illustrate the books. Choosing from a variety of fabrics and in an environment which faciliates creativity, children design the book as they see it. Ms. Riley then uses all the children's designs to help illustrate the finished book.

The book "The Dream of a New Earth" is available in 5 languages!


Clean Well

A friend just turned me on to this product.
Seems like one can just never have enough hand sanitizer, but the harshness of the alcohol can be too much.
Clean Well is a hand sanitizer which kills 99.99% of germs without alcohol and is all natural!
This school year- we can keep our families safe and the environment safe too!

Handkerchiefs by Sukie

While we are talking about colds, tissues are great and some times very necessary, but for just run of the mill sniffles- handkerchiefs that's where it's at. With these stylish ones from UK maker Sukie how can one go wrong?!


More fun things for back to school.

Friends Address Book by Sukie

These are a few of the delightful choices in school bags offered by the UK company Rice !
These traveling toys boxes may be the perfect thing for younger siblings along for morning drop off and afternoon pick up! Also by Rice.


Benny and Moon

What would back to school be without classrooms? Love this collage of chalkboards found on
Benny and Moon's blog.
1. Frank, 2. Oranges, 3. P1130033, 4. Always on the board., 5. Vintage chalkboard circa 1943, 6. Front hall, 7. Final Kitchen 2, 8. Happy days, love dad, 9.Chalkboard thoughts, 10. Vintage chalkboards

Benny and Moon is a Chicago based clothing line with darling pieces for 2-7. Their dresses alone make us swoon!
They have been featured in multiple publications, were a featured vendor at a Harpo event, and featured in the enchanting blog Bella Vita


Amazing Playground

All this Back to School talk has me thinking about playgrounds and this giant by Sculptor Tom Otterness is beyond amazing. A private commission built in 2007- could you imagine having this in your own backyard?


Further Soap: Please Wash Responsibly

Okay, this is hands down one of the coolest ideas I have ever come across. In this current atmosphere where simply slapping a "green" or "natural" label on something makes it a hot ticket- this company is radiating! Further Soap is aptly named. They go further. Further, so much further than most of us. So much so that, just by reading their company mission statement one feels more informed. Who would have thought that the glycerin in soap should come from a renewable source? Who thinks of these things?
Answer: the makers of Further. They have done the thinking for us and we get to order and walk away looking smarter, better, hipper!
Start the school year off right- stock the classroom, bathroom, playroom, any and all rooms with this truly inventive soap!


Best Lunch Box Ever!

This fantastic lunch box by Belgium Manufacturer Ruitertassen will set you back a bit, but oh it really may be worth it. First off, it has back pack straps- great for running off and still being hands free! Also, both cloth and metal lunch boxes can sometimes be no match for a running, jumping, swinging on the go child! This lunch box may actually see a child through primary school!


Back to School

Norman Rockwell Print Available here.
In just a few short weeks, over 55 million children from ages 4-18 will be heading back to school! The American Academy of Pediatrics has complied a list of tips for new and returning students:
We have taken the liberty of adding to the AAP list:
  • Refresh their memories. Pull out photos from last year and maybe put together a little book or photo album of great memories from the previous year. ~ For Kindergartners- maybe snap a couple photos of the classroom and the teacher to give them a visual cue of where they will spend their days.
  • Sometimes being reminded they are not the only one's feeling uneasy can be helpful in calming first day jitters.
  • Accentuate the positive! The new school year can be such a fun time to see friends. And you get a chance to hear all about every one's summer adventures!
  • Find a friend. Is there someone in the neighborhood or a friend from years past who can ride the bus or walk to school with your child?
  • Let them know when you will see them- at the end of the school day, after an after school activity... just knowing when they will see you again will make the day a bit more manageable.

Eco Friendly School Supplies

Smencils are made from recycled newspapers, as well as being scented!
Available at See Jane Work

Eco Friendly Markers
Eco Friendly Pencils
Beeswax Crayons
Prang Soy Crayons


Pencils and Pencil Cases

These darling pencil cases are all offered by a variety of Etsy shops.
Keeping pencils safe has never been so atheistically pleasing. Clockwise from the top left:
2. Simbiosisbyjulia
3. Plonkas
4. Laurabucci

See Jane Work has great desk supplies!
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