December 9, 2016

Baby Gifts for the Design-Minded

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Lucky me… I got to round up adorable baby gifts! It can sometimes be tricky shopping for the itty bitty ones at the holidays though. You want to get something fun for them, but depending on how tiny they are, they may not be super into toys yet. Sometimes for the littles you’re essentially gifting to the parents, so you want something lovely and cute.

I tried to include a good mix of toys and special items to help ya out this year when shopping for the 0-2 year old loves in your life. Check them out here…

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December 7, 2016

Preschool Picks: 10 Bright Gifts for Your Little One

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Preschoolers are such a cool age – big enough to graduate from baby toys, not quite ready for the tiny pieces of big kid toys – but bursting with creativity, exploring pretend play and interested in figuring out how everything works. So creating a gift guide for them was incredibly fun! These toys are pure joy – think brightly colored, open-ended and safe for hours of boredom-busting this winter and beyond.

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December 5, 2016

Gender Neutral Dollhouses

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When I was three, I got a dollhouse for Christmas, built by my talented Papa (he went on to make grandfather clocks and I’m honored to have one in my dining room.) I was so excited; it was a memory I’ll never forget. As I got older, I remember decorating the walls inside with wrapping paper for wallpaper and placing the delicate furniture my grandmother got me in the different rooms.

I’m grateful for my thoughtful parents who carefully saved this dollhouse that is now sitting in Sienna’s room here in Portland (all the way from Arkansas via a stint in Nashville) and I’m so glad we lugged that around all these years. The coolest part? My papa painted the house yellow with white trim all those years ago…the exact colors of our new house in Portland. (Cue all the tears).

I know not everyone can have a talented Papa around to make a custom dollhouse, but I’ve found some seriously cute, high-quality options that will bring years of joy for your little.

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Why gender-neutral?  Well…for two reasons:  First, here at TME we strongly believe in moving past old, limiting stereotypes and embracing the child you have, whatever that may mean, and….as it turns out, non-gender biased dollhouses are less-gimmicky, more décor-friendly dollhouses, too.  The simpler designs allow for kiddos’ imaginations to run wild and give us mamas who enjoy a peaceful looking home a great option we don’t have to relegate to the toy closet. When on the hunt for these little houses, the designer in me was tempted to only choose the natural wooden ones, but I did find some cute, colorful wooden houses, too.

(My poor child and her black & white, neutral-toned life, haha. Except for the yellow dollhouse, of course.)

Check out the fun options I found below.

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December 1, 2016

Fun Modern Holiday Sweaters for Kids

Have you guys seen this year’s range of cool, offbeat holiday sweaters out right now for kids? (Apparently some of you have, since the boutique I set up a few weeks ago got decimated during Black Friday/Cyber Monday!) In case you’re still looking for a holiday outfit that looks nice, lets kids express some personality and is comfortable, I found some that check all those boxes, and at reasonable prices, too! Think cheeky spins on traditional patterns (from astronauts to ice cream cones), unique color combinations and versatility to wear beyond the holidays.

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November 27, 2016

The Best Suits For Little Boys (They’re WASHABLE)

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Over here, we suit up.  We suit up for holiday parties and Christmas Eve service, we suit up for weddings and kid’s plays, we suit up for Ballet X, and occasionally we suit up for a fancy-ish dinner out.  I want my boys to understand that sometimes an occasion calls for a suit.  (For Pax, this “occasion” is also known as “everyday” during his must-dress-like-Dad phases that pop up every few months.  It makes preschool dropoff highly entertaining.)

At this age, any suit I buy for my little guys have to meet the following criteria:

1. Affordable

2. Machine Washable

3.  Slim-fitting (none of that boxy suitcoat nonsense)

Well.  I found it.  The most perfect boys’ suits.

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By November 27, 2016 17 No tags Permalink
November 9, 2016

The Softest Pants For Boys (And What To Do When Sportswear Happens)

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Ok, I need a pick-me-up this morning.  Let’s talk about something warm and fuzzy:  kids.

I love seeing pics of everyone’s cute little babies on Instagram and Facebook.  Kids’ clothing has come SO far, and it’s evident in these pictures.  Babies and toddlers are often hysterically well dressed – in skinny jeans and fedoras, or dresses and rompers that I’d be happy to wear – at all price points!

But something happens to boys, once they start school.  Gone are my days of dressing my boys like little mini hipsters (or whatever look I happened to be snorting over).   Readers, you warned me this would happen – you warned me that one day Raines would no longer happily wear his banana-embroidered skinny pants and “I think I’m gonna kick it with my mom today” tshirt.  I didn’t listen, I DIDN’T LISTEN.  And this ‘something’ that happens….is called sportswear.

If I never see basketball shorts again it’ll be too soon.

To further complicate matters (at least around here), are Raines’ many Pants Problems.  All pants – with the exception of the dreaded basketball shorts – are uncomfortable.  They come up too high on his waist, they slide down too low, they feel tight on his ankles, they feel loose on his ankles, they are too scratchy, stiff, or too soft.   Yes, even sweatpants are hated.  Apparently, they feel too much like pajamas and THAT IS EMBARRASSING, MOM.  We’re big on not being embarrassing right now.

So.  How do I:

A.  Find pants that don’t involve morning tears?

and

B.  Let him express himself with sportswear and still look appropriate?  (I have a strict no-basketball shorts policy when going out to dinner, parties, etc.)

Here’s the compromise I reached with both boys (although Pax’s style is so nuts, it’s more for entertainment purposes)…..

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By November 9, 2016 40 No tags Permalink
October 10, 2016

How to Choose Oufits for Family Photos, Picky Kid Edition

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It seems like fall is the perfect season for family photos – the ‘golden hour’ light is literally golden, the kids won’t be sweaty uncomfortable subjects and the pics are ready just in time to order holiday cards.

Choosing outfits for the kids is the hardest part for me – coming up with a cohesive look is hard enough and if your kid is highly opinionated like mine, multiply that difficulty by infinity.  Shopkins fever has hit hard in the first month of kindergarten, mamas, and it ain’t pretty.  My oldest has exactly one pair of those leggings which she always wears on Monday – guess what I pry out of her insistent little hands every. following. day. of the week?   However, we’ve successfully taken family photos the last two years with nary a character or pajama piece in sight.  Magic?  Nope – mom strategy. (And maybe a little bribery.)

Here are some tips for getting kids to wear outfits you both like for family photos, while letting them express their individuality.

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September 19, 2016

Fall Capsule Wardrobes for Toddlers & Kids

What’s better than capsule wardrobes for toddlers?  Capsule wardrobes for kids as well!  GAP has some seriously adorable options for little ones that are well made, last a long time and are often on sale (promo codes vary – currently it’s 40% off with code TREAT).  Greenlea’s no longer growing out of her clothes by the week, so I’m comfortable spending a little more for clothes that last.

Keep reading to see the capsule wardrobes I’ve put together for toddler girls, toddler boys, aaannnd capsule wardrobes for the school-age set.

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By September 19, 2016 8 No tags Permalink
September 14, 2016

Back To School Kicks For Kids (That Will Be Warm Enough For Winter)

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Look at Pax, giving me the business.  Per usual.  But the little stinker started Kindergarten – today – and even though we drive each other nuts, I was a wreck.  My Little Chubbies is neither little or chubby these days, and part of me feels like My Work Here Is Done.   Thank You And Goodnight.

Of course that’s not really true…but having your youngest (YOUNGEST!!) start school certainly marks the end of an era.  Maybe I’ll start drinking more.

Anyway.

Each year when the kids start, I totally ignore the 90 degree issue and insist on finding “school shoes” that can withstand winter.  (I’m originally from Michigan, it’s how we do.)  The thought of sitting in a classroom all day wearing snowboots gives me the heebie-jeebies, so I’m looking for something warm-ish, but not overly so.  (Of course, last year Raines happily wore this pair of snowboots on the daily without complaint, but I always feel like There Could Be A Better Answer.)

I think I found it:  Warm, but not too warm (this find is still firmly in the shoe category, rather than the boot category), and – bonus – the kids can get them on/off themselves.  Do you know how hard it is to find shoes for an 8 year old that don’t tie???  #momfail #shutup

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By September 14, 2016 26 No tags Permalink