Posts filed under ‘baby’

Birthday party ideas…hmmmm

Little Mini’s 1st birthday is this Saturday and it feels like I’ve got so much to plan for. I ordered a cake for the friends and family yesterday and decided, after a bit of deliberation, that I had to make her first cake — especially since I made Ms. Bean’s first birthday cake. Afterall, it’s only fair. I didn’t want something so momentous to come back and haunt me 18 years later when the Mini can’t suppress her disapproving opinion about my mothering style any longer…”mom, why didn’t I get the same treatment as my older sister…?!“. It’s bound to happen one way or another but if I can dodge this bullet, then I will. So, I set out to find a unique cake pan tonight. I flew into Williams-Sonoma before they closed and found this fantastic octopus cake pan. It was perfect because it would be nearly impossible for me to screw it up. Frosting decoration is not one of my strong suits. I could handle the octopus because, if I happen to be short on time and energy, I can pour a simple glaze over him and…voila! Done!



I found this Backyard Bug Cakelet Pan on Williams-Sonoma site. If they’d been in stock this evening, I would’ve probably purchased them too; however, I would have become a hopeless baker all weekend. Whew…



August 23, 2007 at 5:10 am 1 comment

Minimink bootees

Designed by a Melbourne mum, these faux fur Minimink bootees could possibly be the cutest booties I’ve encountered! Constructed of Minimink fur on the outside and 100% cotton lining on the inside, they look irresistably snuggly. They come in two sizes: XS goes up to 4 months and S is from 4-8 months. They come in three colors including milk, honey or chocolate.


While on the subject of Minimink, I can’t help but mention their luxurious faux fur blankets. The ultimate snuggling blanket to keep your little one warm and cozy. They measure 3’x 3′ which is a great size for oodles of practical uses beyond the infant stage.


August 21, 2007 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

Toy recalls

With the news of Mattel recalling 9 million toys including Barbie and Polly Pockets — I can’t help but feel disturbed and even more disenchanted with cheaply manufactured toys. I’m tempted to throw a slew of toys and plastic figurines away that clutter my daughter’s room but I know the reprocussions of such a hasty act.

I’ve always been a big fan of wooden toys made by artisans. My mom is from Austria, so I grew up with unique toys and dolls that were hand made in Germany and surrounding countries. So, on the heels of the unfortunate recall, I thought I’d focus on some of the smaller artisans that make great toys that will undoubtedly stand the test of time and could eventually become a cherished heirloom for generations (well, I like to be optimistic at least).

Being from Seattle, I was thrilled to find a local company run by two inspiring moms. They started Nico & Zoe Toys in 2006 and their website is a hub of “uncommon and artisan made toys”.

Check out these adorable toys! I know Bean would love this sweet Wren Purse Sewing Kit. Handmade: Sparrowkids / London, UK


These sturdy wooden trucks called My Little Scoots, made in Vermont with non-toxic paints, are a sign of the times. Check out the recycling truck!
recycling truck

Then there’s the knit Socktopi! Handcrafted by Blackbird Fashions in Anacortes, Wa. My 1 year old could chew on Socktopi without me second guessing it’s safety. How great are those stripes!?
I find it comforting to know that there are fantastic toy artisans passionately crafting toys for our wee ones.

August 17, 2007 at 4:26 am Leave a comment

The Bean’s Room

What better way to officially kick off my Kids design blog than to feature my daughter’s bedroom. Bean’s room was a blank canvas when I started. I mulled over several ideas for months and months, yet as she got older, I realized she had already outgrown many of those ideas. I didn’t realize how quickly babies grow out of the baby stage and right into toddler stage and then onto little girl stage! I highly recommend thinking of a scaleable design — something that will grow with the child and can be flexible enough for change.

Art is one of my biggest weaknesses. My dad was a painter, so I got a taste of art as a child — our walls were filled with original paintings which I was aware of as a child but learned to appreciate as an adult. I want my children to appreciate the beauty of art and, who knows, they may even choose it as a career. So, I like to put whimsical pieces of original art in their room to inspire. I keep one wall open for their own pieces of original work that we rotate; although i need to do a better job at displaying it — using frames or art rails or…something other than what I’m currently doing (scotch tape).

I knew I wanted a wall that popped so i chose pink! Not too bubble gum, not too pastel…it’s salmony pink. It’s actually pretty comforting. who knew!? The framed pieces are original silk screened posters that I couldn’t resist. I never get tired of looking at them. We’ve also got the token fish…Sammy Rainbow.


These little clay figurines are about 2.5″ tall. They’re made by a local Seattle artist, Sean Beasley. Our dear friend, Rich, gave them to our girls as a Christmas gift. They’re so adorable, aren’t they? Bean loves her yellow guy. She occasionally asks me to take him down from his perch so she can play with him.

Art gallery

This is my girls’ art gallery wall. I painted the cherry blossom branch on a whim one afternoon while my husband was watching football. I never got around to embellishing with more blossoms which i illustrated in Adobe Illustrator and printed on sticky-back cloth paper. I simply printed, cut and stuck them to the wall. I need more flowers but haven’t found the spare time. Instead, I decorate the wall with my daughter’s art (cat mask shown). To the right of the picture is local Seattle artist, Amy Hevron’s, paintings. We’ve got several of her little works of art scattered about the house.

Fox by Amy Hevron

Close-up of “Fox” by Amy Hevron

art wall

This is a mini art wall above my daughter’s bed. The piece to the left is an etching my husband drew as a child. His mom miraculously kept it and I framed it because it’s so adorable! Next to that are 2 pieces by the talented Portland artist, Trish Grantham. The two teeny pieces (panda and bee) are hers as well. The framed piece above them is by an unknown artist that I received as a gift.

window seat

This is the window bench that I hired a crafty carpenter to build. The drawers are filled with toys that I can quickly stash when it’s time to clean up. The cushion is a simple slab of foam from a local source and I went to Seattle’s fabulous Great Jones Home store and purchased the striped fabric and stapled it over the foam. It was a mini DIY project that didn’t take long at all.

You’ll notice two black rectangles on my drawers. Those are pieces of fiber board that i had my dad cut to size because while drilling holes for the drawer handles, I completely mis-drilled and had to cover my mistake. I painted the fiber board pieces in chalkboard paint; however, my daughter never uses them to draw on. Someday I’ll get those drawers fixed! (at least I keep telling myself).

August 17, 2007 at 4:24 am Leave a comment