News

How I Get My Kids to Eat Healthy(ish)

By Tammy Woeppel

How I Get My Kids to Eat Healthy(ish)

One of the biggest challenges many parents face is dealing with mealtimes and picky eaters. It certainly was one of my fears before having my first son, and something that I really wanted to bypass if at all possible. Building a foundation to have a healthy, robust eater in the house is definitely a process, but with both of my children I have seen that it's totally possible to create good eating habits at a young age. I'm very lucky in that I think I was blessed with fairly adaptable children, but I also created a few guidelines that encouraged their good eating habits. Below is a list of things that worked for me- every child is so different, so I can't say it's failproof, but if you're struggling to find creative ways to feed your child, this may offer up some inspiration. 

1) You Don't Necessarily Have To Start With Rice Cereal

Right around the time I was starting my oldest on solid foods, the  dietary recommendations for introducing foods were changing from exclusively offering carbohydrates like rice cereal and plain oatmeal to foods with slightly more complex nutrient profiles like fruits and vegetables. I never saw the need to begin with cereal's as I knew my son would be fine digesting avocado, so that's what I started with (I did this with my 2nd son as well). Both have gone through phases where they ate copious amounts of this fruit, to months where they wouldn't consider eating it. At 2 and 4 years old, we are currently in a 'love' phase where they both go crazy over having guacamole as a side to whatever meal they're eating. As a mom, you need to trust your gut- if you think cereal would be safer to start with, or something different like sweet potato, homemade unsweetened applesauce, etc. go with it!

2) Show Them That You Also Eat Healthy

Setting a good example for your children can go a long way. Mine constantly saw me drinking green smoothies and it was only a matter of time before they started asking for a sip here/there and then it became a regular part of their routine. My oldest son actually calls them green milkshakes because to him, that is the only milkshake he knows! He is at the age where he wants to be big and strong just like daddy, so knows he has to eat his vegetables to achieve this. We've also been known to foster a little sibling rivalry by reminding him that his younger brother may just grow up to be bigger with all the veggies he's eaten and that always lights a little fire to finish his plate!

3) Don't Let Them Snack Their Appetite Away

I purposely held off on keeping snacks everywhere (thanks to Bringing Up Bebe) until my kids had their meal habits pretty established. I think my son was about 18 months before I bought cereal puffs/puree pouches for the 1st time and that was only to keep him occupied on a long flight. I never offered them anything in the stroller as infants, nor the carseat. Now, I'm much more lax because I know they won't opt to snack in place of eating meals. 

4) Juice Is A Treat, Not An Everyday Thing

Water is the most-requested things my kids want and I made sure to encourage that from the 12 month mark when we introduced non-breastmilk liquids. I actually hate the idea of juice boxes, and only allow them here/there when we are at playdates or birthday parties. In our house, we sometimes stock freshly-squeezed juices (the perks of living in South America where this is as common as having Coca Cola). If they want a little juice, that's ok but I make sure to dilute it with water before serving it. 

5) Offer New Foods To Them At Every Possible Opportunity, Along with "Safe Foods"

They can't try something if you don't offer it. My son got a tiny piece of plain lettuce with a carrot stick on his plate every night for weeks before I could get him to try it- along with foods I knew he already enjoyed. The salad inevitably got left on the plate, but little by little I convinced him to try it. Now, he eats a small plate of salad most nights. If he has indulged earlier in the day, he knows the salad will be a bit bigger to compensate. My 2 year old is in the 'tempermental' phase where one day, he loves a certain food, and the next won't even look at it, so we are not quite there in establishing the regularity with which he'll eat something, but I kow we'll get there.

6) Do A Pantry Audit

Does your pantry look like the cookie/cracker aisle of a grocery store? If you are trying to improve your child's picky-eating, then you need to get rid of the culprits. They won't insist on eating gold fish if they're not constantly in the house. 

7) Creatively Hide Nutritious Foods and Make Healthier Versions of Store-Bought

In this day and age of Pinterest, and a huge clean-eating movement, it's so easy to find healthier substitutions for just about any guilty pleasure. Your child will only eat sweet foods? Sneak spinach/kale/spirulina in their smoothies. Make black bean brownies, banana ice cream, whatever you need to do. I make my own granola so they get their sweet cereal fix but it's a healthier version of what I would find in the store. My toddler won't eat steamed veggies on their own but when we chop them up and mix them in with brown rice, he'll happily shovel it down. My mom also happens to be the best dumpling-maker on the planet and sneaks a ton of veggies into the filling so the kids don't realize how much they are eating. There are neverending opportunities to sneak in nutrient-dense foods.

8) Include Them in the Meal-Prep Process

Kids love to copy their parents, and this is no different when cooking is the activity at hand. If they are invested in the process, they are more likely to try the fruits of their labor (no pun intended). Something as simple as letting them sprinkle rosemary on the potatoes, putting the fruits and veggies into the Vitamix before you blend up your smoothie, or sprinkling the cinnamon on the granola mixture can generate a lot of curiousity and interest on their part. 

9) You Don't HAVE to Order From The Kid's Menu 

There is no reason that you can't order from a regular menu. My kid's have always loved soup, so I tend to order that and have them split 1 portion before I look at the hot dog/grilled cheese options. 

10) When All Else Fails, Bribe Bribe Bribe

If left to their own devices, my children would eat sugary cereals, cookies, lollipops, and pizza/pasta on a regular basis. Getting them to agree to healthy options can still involve a bit of negotiation and bribery. There have been MANY instances of "if you want to eat that, then eat this first". This has been especially useful when we are out at a birthday party where the meal looks a little something like chicken nuggets/fries/juice, followed by candies from a pinata, followed by cake, followed by a goodie bag with additional treats in it. If possible, I'll grab some raw veggies and tackle my sugar-filled child with the ultimatum that they cannot eat a slice of cake unless they compensate with some healthier foods first. He is so accustomed to this, he doesn't even think twice about accepting carrot sticks and broccoli. 

So there you have it, my simple-but-effective list of ways to make your child a healthier eater. Come find us next week, where I'll be sharing some of my kid's most-requested recipes. 

Do you have any tips and tricks to convince your little one to eat better? Share them in the comments!

photo courtesy of: @organicfoodforkids

 

 

Read more


The Must-Have Dresses You'll Live In All Summer

By Tammy Woeppel

The Must-Have Dresses You'll Live In All Summer

Summer is just around the corner, and with that, it's time to bust out all of the lightweight clothing that has been collecting dust for what seems like forever! This year, more than ever, I am REALLY feeling all the gorgeous ethereal, flouncy dresses that you can throw on with a slide/statement earring and be done. Here's a roundup of my current wishlist (plus a few maternity picks because preggo's need to look fabulous too!), although I could have definitely included so many more:

1. Zimmerman, $1150 

No summer dress roundup would be complete without some Zimmerman. This label is queen of bohemian luxury. This could go to a wedding with some strappy sandals and a clutch, or out to lunch with some white trainers and a crossbody bag. 

2. Asos Maternity, $103  

Pregnant or not, this is a wear-it-now-and-later silhouette. Perfect for the mama-to-be at her baby shower.

3. Zimmerman, $960
Once again, Zimmerman can basically keep you dressed all summer long. I love that the waist on this can accomodate a growing bump. 

4.. Teat & Cossett, $198
The flounce asymmetric hem on this adds just enough detail to keep  this dress interesting, but it's also basic enough to layer under a sweater or blazer. Like the rest of the Teat and Cosset line, it's also nursing friendly for the bf'ing mama!

5. LoveShackFancy, $395  

It's like the slipdress of my dreams came to life!

6. Saloni, $825
This gown can go fabulous with fun accessories or to the beach worn open over a white tank and cut-off's.

7. Asos, $83
Asos has an amazing assortment of summer-ready dresses and this one is at the top of my list- plus, you can't beat that price.  

8. See by Chloe, $645
Chloe makes me want everything in my closet to be neutral and romantic. This eyelet is the perfect throw-on for a hot summer day. 

 

Which pick is your favorite?  Or, do you have your own uniform that you swear by in the summer months? Share in the comments!

Read more


If You Hate Throwing Kid Birthday Parties, You Need to Read This

By Tammy Woeppel

If You Hate Throwing Kid Birthday Parties, You Need to Read This

Last week I went into great detail about why I won't be throwing elaborate birthday parties for my children. For those who find themselves in my camp, I am creating a roundup of alternative birthday party ideas so you can still celebrate your little one's special day without going too crazy or emptying your bank account. 

1. Camping Birthday 

So, if you read last week's post, you know that there was no way I was escaping this year without throwing some sort of party for my 4 year old son. My husband started taking Andrew camping a few months ago, along with some coworkers and their kids (the mom's all stay home and get a night off!), and mentioned that they were due for another trip. Light bulb! I decided I was going to send some food to feed everyone, stick a candle in a s'more and voila! The birthday 'party' was planned.

The advantage to this kind of gathering is that A) camping is not for everyone so it's easy to keep the headcount to a small group - we even included age-appropriate siblings and still only had 13 kids total.  B) a wide open space like a campground naturally encourages the kids to just run around and play together, therefore additional entertainment isn't necessary. We made sure to pick a non-holiday weekend so the site wouldn't be crowded and there was a small entrance fee per vehicle but no additional charge to stay overnight. Activities such as footballs, soccer balls, and glow sticks got packed, and my husband handed out kites to each child as their party favor. For food I sent: hotdogs and hamburgers for the kids, chorizos for the adults, roasted potatoes (I cooked them ahead and sealed them in aluminum so they could just get reheated on the campfire), fruit, salad, granola bars, juice, water, beer, and pre-made pancakes/coffee for breakfast. Each child also received a brown lunch bag with s'mores kits and i just sent the extras for the adults. All parents were notified what to expect, and what we were providing via group chat about 10 days before in case they had questions. 

Even though it ended up pouring like the world was coming to an end, the party was a success. The kids loved getting out of the city and having all that green space to run around in and more importantly, it was a serious bonding opportunity to be with their dad's in a place where internet and reception were almost nonexistent. Most of the mom's got a night off which made them really happy (I kept my 2 year with me so I was still #momlife-ing it). Pro-tip: if the weather is a bit unpredictable in your area like it is in ours, make sure there are a couple seasoned campers who can keep a fire going in the rain, otherwise, you'll have to turn back and try another time. For those that find camping is just too much of a commitment for (myself included), just nix the overnight portion and make an afternoon out of it. Here's a list of all the campgrounds in the US and Canada. 

2. Boxed Lunch Birthday 

I love this idea as a watered-down birthday party. You can still create a theme and go as crazy or keep it as simple as you would like, but the idea is that you invite a few close friends over (or to a park) and just serve lunch. Each child  receives a boxed lunch at their place setting (pick a cute lunch box like these and fill it with whatever you like- a sandwich, fruit, crackers, yogurt, etc)  and maybe a small party favor like hotwheels for a cars theme. The children have lunch together, gifts get opened, cake gets cut, maybe a mini play-date ensues, and voila! Everyone leaves. Short and sweet, but still a way to make a child feel special on their day while throwing an easy party. The best part is that you can look to google or pinterest for almost any theme, extract a few small elements to give your birthday lunch some detail, and still skip the balloon arch, custom cake toppers and signage, dessert station, etc. I love this back-to-school theme picnic that could easily translate to a birthday lunch in the park. 

3. A Movie Date

Again, very straightforward. Invite a small group of friends for a group movie viewing. I know this one can add up since movie's aren't exactly the most economical choice, especially once you add in concessions, but this can easily translate to a dollar movie theater in your area if budget is the main concern (for me, I am happy to pay up for a convenient and stress-free experience like this). Afterward, head to a local ice cream parlor or bakery to sing and eat dessert. You can also recreate this experience at home by creating your own simple concession stand with various packages of candies, individual bowls of popcorn (or serve in these retro popcorn boxes), and small bottles of water, juice, etc. then serve a dessert after the movie is finished. 

4. Rent a Hotel Room

This will really apply to small groups of 3 or less unless you are will to pay additional charges or upgrade to a suite, but find a hotel that has a great pool in your area and let the kids have a pool party. Order pizza or whatever your favorite takeout is and bring in your own cake/cupcakes. If you really want to splurge, go ahead and order room service. There is something about having ordinary experiences, like eating dinner, that just feel elevated when you experience it in a hotel. You can also opt to make it a slumber party, or just have parents pick everyone up before bedtime, and enjoy the remainder of your staycation. To stay organized on this, learn all the hotel's rules/policies: how many are allowed, their noise policy, pool rules, hours, and safety measures, plus reminders to bring bathing suits/flip flops, etc and print a copy of all this information for the other parents. It's best to avoid any issues by keeping everyone on the same page from the get-go. 

5. A Nail/Hair Party

This may be more applicable to a group of girl's (although I wouldn't think twice to send my son if he was interested). Find a salon or spa that offers fun services like nail art manicures or blowouts and braids (just make sure any spot you choose has proper ventilation). The head out for an ice cream sundae or cupcake after.  Super simple but definitely a pampering experience. If you want more of an organized party experience, there are day spa's popping up that specifically cater to hosting children birthday group's, such as this one, but expect to pay a base package rate and additional costs for increased number of guests, add-on services, etc. 

6. Throw a Beers 'n' Babies Party

A 'fancy' term for inviting close friends and their children over but add in a birthday cake. I actually have a friend who started this tradition in the name of craving those familial connections that most of us don't have as expats living overseas, and it turned into such a fun Sunday tradition (miss you SGS). It was basically boozy brunch for the adults and the kid's all played together. Appetizers were kept simple- think cheeseboard, quiche, pastries, and plenty of beer/wine/champagne. The vibe was always super-relaxed (it usually lasted several hours so there was a window for people to come/go as they pleased). If it fell near one of the kid's birthdays, we sang and cut a cake as well. It doesn't get more basic than this, but in a world where we always intend to get together, this really took the effort out of it. 

7. Offer an experience instead

For older children that are starting to take on decision-making, offer them a choice! They may be more interested in a day of fun with their parents all to themselves versus a 2 hour birthday party with friends. You can keep it simple (day at the museum, lunch, movie, etc) or go all-out with a Disney trip, a weekend in NYC, an island vacation at a kid-friendly destination, and the best part is, it's a great excuse for a getaway! 

There are so many creative ways to throw your child a memorable birthday celebration and I hope this inspires you to think outside of the party box that now includes event planners, branding, custom cakes, and theme-everything. While we will continue to enjoy attending these over-the-top soirees, I think we'll be using this list as inspiration for ourselves in the years to come and really keeping it simple. 

Have you thrown an alternative birthday party for your child? Tell us! We wanna hear in the comments.

photo credit: project nursery blog 

Read more


I'm Anti-Birthday Party For My Children And Here's Why

By Tammy Woeppel

I'm Anti-Birthday Party For My Children And Here's Why

To say that there is a vast difference between the birthday parties I had/attended as a child and the parties thrown for children today would be an understatement. I literally remember my birthday cakes coming from the grocery store cooler case, with the price sticker still intact on top of the clear plastic domed lid. Themes? Nope. Entertainment? Possibly a round of pin the tail on the donkey. Every once in a while a piñata would be involved but that was as crazy as it got. 

While I enjoy attending a Pinterest-threw-up-here-event, be it a wedding, a dinner party, a baby shower, etc (mainly for the Instagrammability factor, obviously), I in no way, shape, or form am interested in being a Martha Stewart-level entertainer. I'm just not a very efficient person who can do it all and I know my limits. I left my child alone in the crib this morning while I spent 15 minutes attempting to not look like a sleep-deprived crazy person, and came back to what can only be described as a scene of utter and complete carnage. Let's just say it looked like my son had gone to town on a chocolate cake...except there was no chocolate cake involved. I'll just leave you with that. But, I digress- my point is, I can barely keep it together with my current set of responsibilities and planning any type of event is so much additional work that I could only take it on if I was willing to let something else suffer- like spending time with my kids or working on my business.

Enter my 4 year old son. These last 6 months, he has truly learned what a birthday party is as he not only attended many, but started developing concrete ideas as a result. When he started talking about what he wanted for his birthday party 2 months in advance, I knew I wouldn't just be able to serve a cake in the house anymore and call it good.

While the parties we attend may be a bit extreme (we live in an urban setting in a very upscale neighborhood), they are typically a combination of the following:

-held in the party room of a luxury apartment building or at a country club that may or may not be 45 minutes away

-themed everything down to the color-coordinated linens, custom-labeled water bottles, and modern floral arrangements in the party color palette

-every inflatable possible- balloon arches and bounce houses, as well as some sort of playground because most building's have a kid's zone

-broadway show-level entertainment, complete with a full cast reenacting said theme's disney interpretation (for boys it's cars, toy story, and paw patrol, for girls- pick a princess and make sure your daughter wears the princess gown of her choice, because it is just a given that she just happens to have 10 in her closet).

-a sit-down plated meal of chicken nuggets and fries served by hired waitstaff, obvi.

-a piñata filled with prizes

-a custom layer cake complete with fondant figures

-a goody bag filled with more prizes and candies

-the event coordinator who oversees the entire production

And we haven't even gotten to the cost portion of it. While I am a bit practical and can't really wrap my brain around spending $500+ for a 3 year old, this mom's informal Facebook poll showed that most parents are ok spending this. 

With that being said, I do have friends who go overboard in throwing birthday parties for their kid's and I support them 1000% because they actually love the process. And for a party-goer, it's really fun to attend for the eye-candy factor alone. It's just never going to be my thing, and I don't think my children will feel like they've missed out on anything as a result. 

So, back to that 4 year old...what did we end up doing? Tune in next week when I post a roundup of althernative birthday party ideas.

What do you think about throwing extravagant parties for small children? Leave your thoughts in the comments below:)

 

 

 

Read more


The Ultimate 2018 Mother's Day Gift Guide

By Tammy Woeppel

The Ultimate 2018 Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is coming up fast and that means wishlist time! Personally, I think that I am the easiest person to shop for as I truly love everything from a chic candle to a serious, keepsake piece of designer jewelry, but not everyone falls under that category. Below, I listed some products that are a little more off-the-beaten-path than your average bouquet of flowers and chocolates (although, those are certainly always welcome!), yet are surefire ways to make mom smile.

 1. Mignonne Gavigan Earrings, $125 -the most fun, edgy-yet-wearable accessories that instantly elevate any jeans/tee shirt combo 

2. Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum, $185- I have yet to hear anything less than an evangelical review of this wonder serum. Even though it's a bit of an investment, I'm ready to see what all the hype is about!

3. Chanel Boy Bag from The Real Real, $4000- As long as we're wishing, I'm going for it hard. I have been lusting after a red boy since I had an unexpected encounter with Zanna Rassi carrying hers while we were both shopping in Buy Buy Baby. It was love at first sight! 

4. Color Me Floral, $24- my love of florals has no color limits, but there is something especially chic and sophisticated about a monochromatic arrangement.

5. Loeffler Randall Heel, $495- These bedazzled heels are just the ticket to dress up an LBD.

6. Luna Skye Ring from Ring Concierge, $1100- Traditionally, Mother's Day is a huge jewelry-gifting holiday, and I for one am not about to go against tradition. Lately, I've really been coveting the idea of a signet ring- traditional or modern both work for me, but I must admit I love the cool twist on this one with stars and moon motif.

7. LoveShackFancy Dress, $395- this clothing line is my spirit animal. I'll take one of everything! 

8. Family Cameo Print, $75-$175- For a slightly quirkier take on a traditional keepsake family photo.

9. Produce Tees Pineapple Shirt, $35- this is actually a line of maternity tops bearing the fruit that correspond to the appropriate number of weeks pregnant (perfect idea for the mom-to-be). Despite my non-pregnant status, this pineapple was just too cute and smile-inducing to pass up! There is also an adorable matching watermelon tee/onesie set for mama and bebe. 

10. Paris Picnic Club, $19- Imagine that your friend is a crazy talented chef that  co-authored a gorgeous collection of recipes based on her time in Paris, where a weekly picnic turned into a pop-up restaurant. Oh, and manages to create all the dreamy illustrations...while pregnant! You #humblebrag all about it and put it on your Mother's Day list asap.

Leave a comment below with the ways you're planning on celebrating Mother's Day this year!

 

 

Read more


Easy Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Today and Everyday!

By Tammy Woeppel

Easy Ways to Celebrate Earth Day Today and Everyday!

Thinking more ecologically is a trend that's here to stay. I know for me, becoming a mom made me even more aware that I had to change some of my wasteful lifestyle habits, like buying bottled water (thank you S'well!) and taking my reusable shopping bag with me every grocery store run. After all, the saying that "we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our grandchildren" is something that should be top of mind for everyone. In celebration of Earth Day today, I've listed some easy ways that you can participate in the holiday, or even better, incorporate into your greener lifestyle as a permanent habit. 

Plant Something-green spaces are beneficial for everyone. They are visually pleasing, calming to our nerves, and also such a source of pride when you see that little bud of a flower or tomato pop up.  Whether it be a full-on garden, or a little container pot of basil, you'll never not enjoy looking at it.

Unplug Your TV- Find something else to do with that time that is normally devoted to looking at a screen. Go for a walk, a hike, take a bike ride, stay outdoors and connect with nature. My hippie-dippy recommendation is to "ground" while you're at it- read more about it here.

Go Veggie For the Day- One of my goals is to become increasingly more plant-based in my meal choices. Whenever inspiration strikes and the recipe gods align, I try to go a full day without eating animal protein. Not only is it better for your health to eat a predominantly vegetarian diet, but it's better for the environment as well. In fact, there are some researchers who propose that humans will have to start consuming alternatives to animal meat (like insects!) in order to survive as food and water shortages become a concern, so get ahead of the curve and jump on the veggie bandwagon now! 

Do a Home Energy Audit (yourself or hire a professional  to come in)- This could be something you do for the environment and your wallet. Use your savings to put towards a fun new purchase...and speaking of...

Shop Vintage- Vintage shopping can definitely take a minute to get the hang of, but it doesn't always mean having to dig through the racks at the Salvation Army (although you can certainly have amazing finds there!). If you want to have a high-end experience from the comfort of your own home, sites like The Real Real, What Goes Around Comes Around, and Vestiaire Collective are all super curated sites that offer every brand in the contemporary and designer space that you can think of. 

Join a CSA- Each one has it's own schedule and pricing, but generally speaking you can sign up for a 1/2 share or full share, 1 season at a time or longer durations, certain categories (ie fruit and veggies only, or with eggs, poultry, etc). In a nutshell, there's something for everyone. By default, I used to show up right around closing time as I worked late, and the farmers would always tell me to take as much I wanted. I had never even heard of celery root before joining, but came home with about 15lbs of it one night and discovered that I actually loved it! There is nothing like eating fresh, nutrient-packed foods that literally just came from the farm. 

Leave a comment below with the ways you plan to honor Mother Earth today (or everyday!).

 

(photo source: @myspacetom )

 

Read more


The BEST in Kids Fashion

By Tammy Woeppel

The BEST in Kids Fashion

Don't get me wrong- Target/Old Navy/Carter's can be life savers when dressing your kids. But sometimes, it's nice to switch it up and get a few more special pieces- especially when the holidays/family photo time rolls around, or you want to gift a new mom with something a bit more luxe. These independent boutiques are all great alternatives to shopping the mass retailers (although I love me some Nordstrom's here and there), and the best part is that you can find really different pieces that you definitely won't be seeing on every other child at school pickup.

1. Zimmerman Kids- Sheer Floral Ruffle heaven. Almost a reason to try again for a girl. ALMOST. gold paisley dress
Best For:If you spend your summers in the South of France and winters in St. Barths. Or, if you just love a bohemian, romantic vibe.
Sizes range from 1y-10y

2. Wee Mondine - When I found out that my sister was pregnant with a little girl, I immediately made a beeline to this site. 
Best For: If you go for a minimalist/Scandinavian vibe with lots of neutrals. You won't find any baby blue or pink here!
Sizes range from baby-6y 

3. Pink Chicken/Blue Rooster New York- Pink Chicken is the label for girls while Blue Rooster offers a boy's assortment. Admittedly, their boys selection is MUCH more limited than the girl's (sigh, #boymom)  
Best For: The most adorable preppy-yet-bohemian prints
Sizes range from 3m-12y

4. Harlow Jade- A bell-bottom plaid overall. Need I say more?
Best For: Vintage shopping addicts.
Sizes range from 6m-8y depending on the item

5. June and January- This boutique offers super fun/colorful basics with a twist for basically the same prices you would pay at Baby Gap. If I had known about this brand when I had my babies, I would have ordered their knotted hats in every color!
Best For: Kids that just want to have fun with their styling choices 
Sizes range from 0m-5y

6. Thumbeline- Part hipster, part fantasy (hello, prettiest organza fawn-printed tutu dress I have EVER laid eyes on), the assortment here is anything but ordinary.
Best For: A little of everything. Their styles range from geometric/hipster retro/whimsical prints to boho romantic cotton gauzes with embroidery- you definitely won't see these clothes on every child.
Sizes range from 2y-9y

7. Norman and Jules- Also a popular toyshop located in Brooklyn, this is a 1-stop shop for all things baby. 
Best For: Special pieces with unusual, whimsical prints and a huge selection of wooden toys in true Brooklyn hipster fashion
Sizes range from baby-4y

8. 1212-  Modern yet simple pieces that get also get a stamp of approval from Eva Chen and Brooklyn Blonde
Best For: When you want elevated basics in organic fabrics- perfect for gift-giving.
Sizes range from newborn-4T

9. Childhoods Clothing- The cutest and comfiest line of 'cozy' apparel. I'm in love with their raglan hooded striped sweatshirts! 
Best For: When you want your child to still look stylish in their playclothes
Sizes range from 0m-7y

10. Maisonette- Founded by 2 ex-Vogue alums, this is actually a boutique agregator which aims to find the best children's 'stuff' from boutiques that you may not have found otherwise. 
Best For: If you are a looking for elegant options with a slightly preppy aesthetic (think monogrammed pajamas)
Sizes range from baby- 0months all the way to 14y depending on the designer


11. Ultraviolet Kids- A girly line of basics done in super fun and playful prints, not to mention they utilize overruns of fabrics. Gotta love a brand with a green mission.
Best For:  If you love basics with a modern twist.
Sizes range from 3m-10y

12. Oeuf- Super sweet and whimsical pieces in a you'll-want-to-buy-everything kind of way. 
Best For: Those that love animal ears on all their hats and hooded sweaters (so basically, everyone)
Sizes range from 6m-6y
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Read more


Read This if You Are Serious About Creating a Non-Toxic Home

By Tammy Woeppel

Read This if You Are Serious About Creating a Non-Toxic Home

We have so much information about health all around us. We start our days with lemon water and green smoothies, we all know to exercise on a regular basis, we turn to yoga and acupuncture just as much as we turn to medical doctors. There are no shortage of restaurants where we can find an organic, non-gmo, seasonal farm-to-table menu sourced with local, fresh ingredients through small-farmer cooperatives. Skincare and toiletries have seen massive growth over the last several years with demand for clean, non-toxic ingredients skyrocketing as people realize that it's not just what we ingest, but what we slather on and absorb through our skin. But one thing people rarely think about is the toxicity of their actual homes and everything we put in it, from the materials used to construct it to the throw pillows we casually toss on the sofa.

I recently made the switch to organic pillows (I plan to purchase the mattresses for our family once we make our next move), and I also had our sofa upholstered in organic fabric, so I've initiated the process to 'green' up our house a bit more now that I have a good system in place with non-toxic cleaning products (vinegar and water on #repeat). However, after reading this series in the Chicago Tribune, it was really eye-opening (and downright alarming!) to realize how prevalent these heavy-duty chemicals are in our everyday lives and especially those of our little ones. 

So, how is a busy family with a budget supposed to combat this? Well, we can only do what we can do and it's definitely overwhelming to try and make every change at once. I'm a big fan of starting small and working your way up to bigger overhauls and that's what I'm currently working on.

For starters, you can shop for non-toxic products such as low VOC paints or sustainable wood furniture, but this is obviously very limiting. Without the demand though, companies won't produce it so it's good to always ask and put the request out there! Another tip is to purchase a floor model or vintage pieces that have already had the opportunity to offgas (ie, release a chemical gas that was dissolved, trapped, frozen, absorbed or adsorbed in some material)- in other words, it has already 'aired out'. Considering vintage dressers make the cutest changing tables, this is a great option when decorating that nursery for your little one. 

As I mentioned previously, one swap I made was our pillows. Around the same time that I started educating myself more on this subject, a friend and her husband happened to start a 'clean' mattress company, Avocado Green Mattress, and I'm seriously so proud of what they're doing. From their responsible sourcing of non-toxic raw materials like latex, wool, and organic cotton to their made-to-order model to their super-competitive pricing (their most expensive california king mattress is only $2199 including an additional pillow-top), they just got.it.right. and if you look at the reviews, you'll see that a LOT of their customers would agree. I highly recommend reading this for in-depth information on why it's so important to sleep on an eco-friendly mattress.

Another company that has become my first stop when looking for fabric is Two Sisters Eco-Textiles. I originally contacted them when we were sourcing for NONA but I ended up loving them for all my home fabrics (they sell apparel, drapery, and uphosltery fabrics as well as my new go-to housewarming gifts, these adorable napkins and tea towels)! Their customer service has been on point, and the owners are all about helping, even if it means sending you somewhere else to get what you want. They are clearly passionate about educating consumers and ultimately offering safe products with a transparent process. 

So, it's a start. I still have a long way to go- this is just the tip of the iceberg. But, knowledge is power and living clean isn't a trend that is going anywhere. I hope that green construction and home furnishings is a category that will continue to grown like the skincare industry has, giving us consumers an easier way to provide safe spaces for our families. 

Have you made any changes (big or small) to live a cleaner life? Would love to get inspired- leave us a comment below!

Read more