I'm sure most of you know this but in case you don't the new issue of Small Magazine is now available! And it's oh so cute. Filled with beautiful pictures of summer fare- it will get you in the mood for warm weather.  New to me French line Ce Que Je Voeu is so fun! Not so sure the execution is worth $92, but the concept is perfect! PJ's as costumes- love it! Who doesn't want a detachable cape on Super Hero pajamas! Or be a pirate, fairy, or princess! All come with capes, a story printed on the costume and my favorite part- the tag turns into a wand!


Room To Read

Seth Godin's free ebook "What Matters Now" delighted me with its ingenious compilation of insights and introduced me to Room to Read.  Click the link to read the ebook; you'll love it, especially if you enjoy the style of Godin and Gladwell.  
Room to Read's mission is to change the world change through education.  They know that data shows a correlation between socioeconomic status and the Mother's education level and this makes educating girls supremely important.  Hop over to Room to Read's site and a smile will be brought to your face.  Change is happening one book at a time!  John Wood, founder of Room to Read, wrote the eye opening Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepeneur's Odyssey to Change the World and it makes a great follow-up read.  Hooray for kindred spirits!  


Kids On Roof- Uncensored Toys

While falling in love all over again with the Dutch toy maker Kids on Roof I was searching through their website. I have always loved their toys and really what's not to love. Great aesthetics, fabulous concept, and responsible production.  So I was surprised when I saw (I think) a new collection- the Uncensored Toys. And I'm not sure what I think about it. Here they are:
"Not meant to shock.......Let kids play war peacefully -as they have been doing for centuries and will do coming centuries..."  I am shocked. And also a little shocked by my shock.  I am so conflicted by these. While on one hand I completely understand the need to allow children to play without limits on that play.  I feel really awkward about providing children with the actual tools for violent play. I mean these are pretty directive. It's not like they are going to be mistaken for a kitchen utensil. I suppose a child who has no concept of war would see these are simply trucks. If we provide these to children aren't we subtly condoning violence or at least glorifying it a bit.
Can children play war peacefully? Is that an oxymoron?

I remember reading once about a group of preschool children who had lived through a violent attack on their school. It was a horrifying day. People were injured, some died. Teachers reported that for months after the attack the children would play, aggressively, the scenario over and over again. But in each go round children would take turns being the victims and the gunman. The outcome changed as well. Sometimes, police would rescue everyone at the school. Other times there were no survivors.  This play most often made the teachers very uncomfortable and they often wanted to stop it. But they as a group realized the importance that the play had on the children's healing. Eventually the children play through this scenario less and less until finally they were done.
Being mindful of the fact that children do need to engage in acting out the scenes that they see, are we helping or hurting when we give them the tools to play aggressively? Is this an American perspective? From the best of my understanding the Netherlands isn't really a war hunger crowd. Are we more touchy in the US about it due to our violent culture? What do you all think?


Kids on Roof - Totem Collection

I apparently have Dutch Designers on the mind this week! Because I can't stop thinking about the gorgeous Kids On Roof Totem Collection. I was a fan of the Totem Tree and now their new Butterfly and Dragonfly have me smiling again!
What a great way to usher spring in than with these fantastic interactive and beautiful pieces!


Kinder Garten

Danish Architects have created a world class, environmentally amazing kindergarten.
Dragen’ Children’s House creates an inspiring space where children's needs and the environment are both cherished. 
"The entire architecture is supporting the ambitions Odense Municipality has for the children’s development – namely that they enjoy attractive and challenging surroundings for learning and growing,” says Odense’s councilwoman for Children & Young People’s Services, Jane Jegind. As an example, the Children’s House Dragen has small niches distributed throughout, where children can play, read or just withdraw.
What a loving message they are sending the children of their community! A child's work is respected and honored. The environment has been set up to support and uplift a child's work. As well as, setting the underlying foundation of environmental consciousness. 
Doesn't this place just make you want to put on a jumper and a pair of  mary janes, put your hair in pigtails, and skip off to school with your backpack and lunch box!?!



We've found a new favorite.  Embodying Japanese minimalism and smart design Chigo makes one stop shopping simple.  It's like Muji's little sister with a children's collection that is well edited: fleece bonnets, neutral bibs, fun furnishings, books.  Take a peek.
Cozy Fleece.

Take the baby Over the River and Through the Woods in a coat so snuggly she'll feel like she's still in her bed!

From Finland a high chair that looks like art!

Dressers that can be reconfigured as your child's needs grow.  A changing table, toy chest, art supply cabinet. . .

This ball has us sold on bowling!


Someone to Watch Over Me.

Bedtime is always such a heartwarming time of day. The snuggling, the kisses, the book reading, it's really quite delicious. Most of us, young and old, are carried off to the land of nod with visions of loved ones and loved places. The youngest among us generally snuggle tightly to a favorite teddy, doggy, monkey, duck, lobster, what have you as well. Some of us like having a little light on too.
This sweet decal from CocoBoheme will light up your little one's room just a wee bit. How lovely to have a bunny fairy watch over your darlings while they sleep. 
And all the while wishing them Good Night!

 The Land of Nod
by Robert Louis Stevenson
From Breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.
All by myself I have to go
With none to tell me what to do--
And alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams. 
The strangest things are there for me, 
Both things to eat and things to see, 
And many frightening sights to see,
Till morning in the Land of Nod 
Try as I like to find the way, 
I can never get back by day 
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.



Year of the Tiger

Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year made for one celebratory weekend!  For your little Tigers check out this adorable Tiger cape.  Yes, it is made in China but it's just too cute for words.

Love, love, love!  Handmade and available for custom order, grown-ups and tots can be festive all year long! 


Presidents Day!!

It's Presidents Day! Hope you all enjoy your day off if you have one! These puppets from Unemployed Philosophers make me laugh!

Paper Mache Magazine

There is a fabulous Australian online magazine- Paper Mache is a fantastic resource for all things beautiful! This great wig is perfect for dress up! 

Mt Rushmore

Happy President's Day! I have family who grew up in and around the area of South Dakota where Mt. Rushmore is located. I found this picture one day when I was going through a box of old things. I love this picture of Mt. Rushmore before it was finished. Hope you enjoy your day!


Did you have a good Valentine's Day?!

Did everyone have a good Valentine's Day?  What did you do? Did you have a great dessert?
I made Molten Lava Cake with Pistachio Gelato and boy did we enjoy that!
Thank You Martha Stewart!
Here is a fun love pic!
This was actually my sister's proposal! Isn't that so sweet. Her (now) husband arranged for a friend (who was a pilot) to take them on a ride. And when they were flying over his family's acreage this is what she saw! Love it!


The Writer's Almanac

There are days I clamor for a piece of poetry to lift my spirits and express the feelings living inside of my being.  While my days are spent caring for those in childhood there are moments when I long to be feel well-read and a bit more connected to adulthood.  Searching for Valentine's poems I sought out Garrison Keillor's advice, albeit anonymously in cyberspace via The Writer's Almanac.  Where have I been?  I am from Minnesota and didn't know I could hear a new poem everyday read by a national treasure.  Hooray!  It's my new grown-up guilty pleasure and I wanted to pass it along.  Not only are there new poems everyday but you can even peek ahead.  It's like getting a horoscope in advance.  This week, in honor of Valentine's Day, they are featuring love letters from literary greats!  Hope others are as tickled as I.  "Be well, do good work, and stay in touch" are the words of Mr. Keillor and that phrase warms my soul with Midwestern comfort.  I love Valentine's Day, the scissors, paper, glue, handcrafted mailboxes, the love, and of course the chocolate.  This Holiday reminds me what long, cold, snowy winters are for. . . spreading warmth and love one handcrafted, handwritten Valentine at a time!  And now for today's poem:

Sonnet 30: When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times' waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unus'd to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
   But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
   All losses are restor'd and sorrows end.

"Sonnet XXX" by William Shakespeare. Public domain.


Snow Day

So it seems for most of the country we are having stormy weather. And those of you on the East Coast are having yet another round of Snow Days! Remembering those days fondly, I started to realize I may be romanticizing these days just a bit. After so many days, everyone has to have a good dose of cabin fever! Here are a few ideas to help elevate that just a bit.
There is this great blog called Kate Did.
Here Valentine's Day craft is just the greatest! I will be copying it for years!
Look at these!

A little bit of baking is always fun and can take up some time. Stop by Bake it Pretty for the cutest and sweetest accessories for baking through a storm!
Hot Chocolate and Donuts are always a good idea- find a full tutorial on Not Martha.
Don't those look good!
Best of luck to you all! Stay Warm and Safe!


Sit Down

Loving London and their Museum for Children thanks to their recent exhibit devoted entirely to seating for children.  Children were asked for their input on new design and learned first hand how chairs are made!  Looks like Goldilocks would have had a fabulous time!  Special thanks goes to Vintage for Kids for posting these fantastic pictures.


Caramel Baby and Child

Caramel Baby and Child started 10 years ago in London. Owner/ Designer Eva Karayiannis set out to change the way we view children's clothing. Instead of all the fussy, glitzy, and logo laden mass produced clothing, she created a line of exquisite and elegant clothes that most of us will long for in our size.  Now with 5 locations throughout the London area and one in Japan, Ms. Karayiannis has made good on her goal. In the ten years, since she started, there has certainly been a shift in design for children. We couldn't be more pleased. Or more grateful to the industry leaders like herself!

Also, this Valentine's Day pick up one of these T-Shirts. All proceeds go to the Naked Heart Foundation- a charity helping children. In pink or blue.


Common Thread Studio

Common Thread Studios is a delight for sewers and wannabes alike with their wide array of classes, private lessons, and open studio time. This place is it, for all who aspire to create with fabric. For those of you who are not so sure you care to sew- stop by for the great gift selection! Their unique and adorable finds will keep your gift closet stocked full of goodies! And the amazing array of fabrics will inspire most hearts to stitch something up! They even offer classes for kids! Right now, they are offering a sleep over bag class. Who wouldn't want to show up at the next slumber party with a pretty bag that they created!

Oh and before I forget, if you want to get a jump start on your summer camp plans, you could swing by the  Westridge School in Pasadena for a wonderful array of options. This Saturday, from 10 to 3, they are holding their annual Summer Opportunities Fair . Hop on by! Thanks to our friend Renee for filling us in on this great summer tip!
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