Merry Christmas!


Mini Gingerbread Houses

Not Martha has just given Martha Stewart a run for her money.  Her gingerbread houses are ridiculously adorable and have a fussiness factor Martha would love.  
If we ever arrive at our Midwestern Christmas destinations we've vowed to give them a go.  Too cute!
All photos and creative genius via NotMartha.


Eco Friendly Toys.

We know it's a little late to be purchasing toys. Everyone's made their lists and checked them twice, but just in case you have a few rough munchkins on your list here are a few of our favorite eco-friendly toys this year.

Green Toys has long been the darling of the eco-toy elves. Made in the USA and from recycled plastic milk jugs will gain a great deal of eco love. Add to that their dedication to as little packaging as possible and being so darn cute- you have a winner! These trucks are adorable, safe, and have a baby carbon footprint.
( image via zrecommends)
Sprig Toys are adorable. Their boats float, which is a huge plus, and they have a sea plane- which is one of the cuter toys we've seen in a long time. They are made from recycled plastic and reclaimed sawdust. The limited packaging is great, but they are manufactured in China so the carbon footprint on these are a wee bit bigger- think large preschooler.

Korean company Soopsori Toys are lovely. They are made from rubber wood, which is considered eco-friendly because these trees, which give us latex for about twenty years,are burned when they stop producing. When manufacturers use rubber wood they are saving the trees from being burned and saving the atmosphere from thousands of tons of carbon dioxide. So that's great! These adorable toys make us want to walk through the house and trade up toys for these. Get rid of the plastic Doctor's Kit- this one is cuter.  And who can't use a wooden robot!


Junior Gaultier

Ok, so we think the entire Gaultier Junior line is genius.  He's managed to blend Holiday party outfits and Nautical Spring wear seamlessly within one collection.  Here are our favorites from MeliJOE:


Sugar Plum Fairy

MeliJOE.com has all you need for your Sugar Plum Fairy.  Check out this modern take from Repetto:
The entire Junior Gaultier line is to die for but these are especially sweet:


Channel the Power....

Remember when we were kids and some parent would exclaim "If only we could harness you kids energy...." Well, there are people attempting to do just that.  One example are the designs of Sara Paculdo, while not yet in production, her Fastronaunts are toys that are charged by a child's play. Attach the toy to your bike, roll it down the slide with you, push it around, and then it's all charged up and ready to go. While we are often suspicious of toys that are overly designed to teach, we can't help but be excited by the notion of anything harnessing the energy of children.


Personalized Pajamas

The UK's Stardust has adorable striped pj's that can be customized for an extra special touch.  Our new favorite go-to gift.  Even Santa would be impressed!


A Little Holiday Cheer

While it's probably too late to gather these lovelies for this year's holiday festivities... grab them for next year. The always fantastic Branch blends the perfect proportions of lovely for you and lovely for the world all around.  Even if it's too late to collect this decor for your home this year, we hope that these pictures bring you a little touch of cheer!

Need a tree- grow your own!

Love almost anything from San Fransisco design company Yellow Owl Workshop.


Stronghold Denim Apron

This is genius and made in LA!  Made from selvage denim and bathed in organic dye this apron can stand up to manual labor, gardening, and even the messiest of culinary escapades(let's face it, trying to clean a white apron is a nightmare).  Now if only they came in mini sizes!  For more fine denim offerings check out The Stronghold and for an insipiring collection of gifts Kaufmann Mercantile (where stumbled upon this apron) can't be beat. 


Brush Beauty

Designer Gavin Coultrip has ingeniously combined the beloved hobby horse and broom.  Sweeping or Riding?  What a fun choice.


Fun Toys for Bigger Kids

Sometimes it gets tricky finding toys that will still inspire children to play after they have grown accustomed to multiple electronic gizmos.  But these low-tech/ high science gadgets will have everyone interested.  Below is an assortment of toys from the UK shop Myriad Online.
This cable car is super fun.  We can see many, many trips with a variety of animals.

For the budding tinker-er this electronic motor kit is sure to please!
Know a star gazer in the making?  Well this should strike his fancy!  A build your own telescope!

And we don't know about you, but we would have died for this when we were preteens!  Just think of all the cool slides you could make outside of class!!  All we got to look at was a silly onion skin and some leaves.  From Imagine Childhood


Dream Ball

Let's hope this is the wave of the future. Designers for the South Korea design firm UnplugDesign envision a world where "waste not want not" is fully realized. By redesigning aid boxes that the Red Cross and the UN use to deliver goods to some of the world's most underprivileged, they were able to eliminate waste AND leave children a much desired football ( also known as a soccer ball to us Americans). Living in such extreme poverty children in most of these aid sites were unable to purchase footballs. In parts of the world where many live on less than a dollar a day- the price tag of even a cheap ball could be the equivilent of two weeks salary.  Not to be dissuaded children have been making balls out of palm leaves and plastic bags wrapped together. This inspired the designers to create what they call the Dream Ball. Their gift to all the children of the world. We think it's a gift to all of us!
Selfishly- we want these to become available for purchase too! Wouldn't that be the greatest way to send a gift to every seven year old you know?!


Write a Bike

Behance Network recently featured these amazing customized bikes by Juri Zaech.  They're still in the prototype phase but we're hoping they'll be ready for next Christmas(or this Spring if we're lucky)!


Tree-less Christmas

Last year Paige Appel of the blog, BASH had herself a tree-less Christmas.  We love being ecofriendly and festive!  Check out these cute pics for inspiration.


Let it Snow!!

We had these as little girls and often wish they were still made in our sizes. While in LA we may not need to be winter ready (though it recently was 37 degrees overnight) we both have trips planned back to the Midwest for Christmas. We are seriously thinking about getting some in our sizes!

From Etsy shop Little Muffet These should have you  in the Holiday spirit in no time!


DIY Marionettes

Truhlar Marionety has unbelievably gorgeous marionettes on their site!  We especially love the DIY Marionette kit.  What a fabulous Holiday gift for the older set!

A couple favorites:


Retail Philanthrophy.

An exciting organization that we recently were introduced to is  Nest, a non profit that "empowers female artists and artisans around the world".  Using a unique combination of interest-free micro finance loans, mentoring from established designers, as well as a market in which to sell their crafts, Nest helps its loan recipients create successful small businesses" (Nest website).
With so many fun offerings it won't be hard to help out!  We want that bag!!
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