I have a love/hate relationship with confetti. Sure, it’s beautiful in the moment – a dazzling display of color and whimsy – but then there’s clean-up. And more clean-up. And still more clean-up, months later when you find bits of hued paper remnants stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Enter Throw & Grow confetti, a genius creation that blooms into beautiful wildflowers wherever it may land!
I never tire of a mom-inventor story; a tale of an everyday woman navigating the frenzied world of motherhood when – suddenly – a spark of creativity inspires her to better her surroundings. There’s Michaela. And Tina. And Ayelet and Tiffany and Maiken. And today, I’m adding to the ever-inspiring list with an introduction to Inna Florentin of Ettel Bettel fame.
Museum gift shops are kind of my best-kept secret for discovering new and unique (unewque?) kids’ gifts. From books to games to educational toys, the variety can’t be beat when shopping for all ages. (Also of note? Membership discounts!) And although I don’t have a museum we frequent here in the Midwest, I often take advantage of the following online museum gift shops to satiate my discovery-loving appetite!:
I recently shared the creative journey of Bryony Shearmur – a musician-turned-photographer-turned-author-turned-designer (are you as exhausted by that title as I?), and she mentioned something that has reverberated in my ears ever since – the idea of a creative ecosystem. The realization that our creative lives and passions and dream jobs are the sum of little more than our past experiences or failures or experiments. That our creative life isn’t necessarily linear, but spiraling closer and closer to our core – the point where each interest overlaps and meshes together, creating the ultimate nucleus of passion. And although I haven’t yet reached my core center (although I like to think I’m rounding a close corner!), I was thrilled to read that England-based artisan Becky Kemp is happily crafting in her own passion-fueled nucleus of a kid’s shop, Sketch Inc:
Raising Bee to have a respect and fascination for cultures other than our own is of utmost importance to me. Our world is small, indeed, and we have much to learn from those that walk this great Earth among us – whether they’re poets hiking aimlessly through the mountains of Austria or, in this case, artisans settling into the dry foothills of West Africa. And until Ken and I gain enough confidence to travel the world with an infant, we’re making efforts to surround her with objects that tell the stories of those living elsewhere. Exhibit A: charming baskets handwoven in Senegal.
I’m often asked where to find modern baby books – the kind that aren’t sugar and saccharine, but that are meaningful and high quality and will serve as a landing pad for the scattered memories we so desperately want to hoard during those first few months. And although my old favorite was an admittedly expensive Binth design, I’ve found a new kid on the block that I love even more (at a fraction of the price):
Sure, your baby might not yet know every digit of Pi, but you’ve got a funny feeling that deep down, he’s really just a nerd at heart. (After all, he’s got your genes.) Enter the Pythagorean Theorem swaddler, an organic blanket printed with nontoxic, vegetable inks and packed with a hefty sense of humor for those brainy babes…
Although I love the idea of gifting meals to new parents, I’m not particularly inventive in the kitchen so I often rely on shipping fresh fruit baskets or savory sweets to new mothers and faraway friends. And all too often I search high and low for a stylish option to send, dreading another unused wicker basket filling in the corner of my sweet recipient’s cabinets…
Wooden toys are some of my favorite gifts to give – they’re long-lasting, classic and add such a natural element to any playroom. Here are a few favorites to consider for the littles in your life!:
1. Croc pile ($35) at Areaware
2. Birthday cake set ($60) at Acorn Toy Shop
3. Wooden marble run ($150) at Honeybee
4. Selecta balance game ($16) at Amazon
5. Plan Toys wooden drum ($20) at Diapers.com
6. Selecta wooden pull toy ($89) at Amazon
7. Ferm Living plywood animals ($40) at Huset
8. Build-a-Robot ($30) at The Wooden Wagon
9. Breakfast menu set ($26) at All Modern
10. Wooden magic wand ($14) at Smiling Tree Toys
11. Deluxe art center ($450) at GuideCraft
12. Wooden geometric puzzle ($30) at Little Sapling Toys
13. Wooden tool box ($50) at Acorn Toy Shop
14. Castle towers ($135) at Manzanita Kids
p.s. Loved reading the profile of a real-life elf, a.k.a. wooden toy maker!
Tina first sent me a bundle of Tattlys two summers ago (before I started Design for MiniKind or even had a minikind of my own baking!), and I suddenly realized this morning that I hadn’t yet shared them with you. Surely you’ve heard of the temporary tattoo trend taking the world by storm, yes? I love the idea as a fun alternative to Halloween candy, goodie bag fillers, mailable treats to faraway friends or stocking stuffers throughout the holiday season…