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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Haute Tot's Toy of the Month

I love toys that don't rely on bells and whistles to entertain your child. That being said, I am particularly fond of the bilibo play shell, which instead inspires creativity from your child! Here is what fatbraintoys.com has to say about it:

"Magically attractive and deceptively simple, Bilibo's iconic shell shape and bright colors prove immediately appealing to young children. Developed by Swiss designer Alex Hochstrasser in collaboration with childhood development experts, Bilibo's unique form arouses curiosity, stimulates the senses, engages the imagination, and encourages creativity.

Both boys and girls can find virtually unlimited ways to play with Bilibos - from rocking, spinning, and sitting, to hiding under, carrying, and peeking through. At home, at the park, at the beach, in the water, and even in the snow, Bilibo provides hours of open-ended play.

  • Developmental Challenge In Unique Form
  • Acclaimed By Childhood Learning Specialists
  • Featured In Museum Exhibitions, Recipient Of Numerous Awards
  • 16 inches x 16 inches x 11 inches
  • Made of High-density Polyethylene
  • Ages 2 to 7 years"

  • Get yours from www.fatbraintoys.com for just $28.95 and let the creative juices start flowing!

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Back to School: Calming the Nerves

    So although I'm not there yet, this time of year (at least in Arizona, where things all seem to be going toward year-round schooling...and believe it or not, they're actually starting to send kids back in this heat...(if you're not familiar, it's been about 115 degrees here the past week)) I start thinking about all the little ones getting ready to go back to school, and about how much anxiety this can cause for some. I never really dreaded going back to school, living in a small town where we hung out with the same people in the summer anyway, but I DID always want to make sure I had the best possible outfit for that first day!

    Anywho, I was thinking about what it will be like for my son once he starts in school (this is still a couple years away...), and what I will do to help alleviate any anxiety should he have any, and here's what I've seen from others or come up with on my own...

    *Go shopping with your kids for new clothes
    *Go shopping with your kids for their school supplies, and let them pick it all out! (I know...I'd struggle with this one, too!)
    *Take a tour of the school before the first day (especially if they're new there). Having you there with them beforehand should make them feel a bit more comfortable.
    *Bake their favorite cookies to have after their first day of school (let them know they'll be waiting for them!)
    *Talk to them about why they feel anxious, and try to reason with them as to why they needn't be
    *Pack something that brings them comfort inside their backpack (depending on the age, this could range vastly - anything from a lovie, special stuffed animal, stickers, or what have you...).
    *Host a "Back to School" Party for your child with their friends

    Tuesday, July 28, 2009

    Fixing Boo-Boos in Style

    No child (or parent, for that matter) likes experiencing the pain from a boo-boo, of course, but perhaps a little stylish rescue from Mom or Dad would help lessen the pain. I know it worked for me as a kid!

    Start with an "Owie-All-Gone Bag" from Adam's Blankie. You can custom order these in any designer cotton fabric available from their shop, and they come in three sizes - small, medium or large. Store them in the freezer and then pull out when the owie beckons. The pain will go away and all in stylish, mod fabric, without any chemicals or the sting of ice. The better bang for your buck is that the medium and large-sized ones also double as heat therapy packs, meaning Mom & Dad can use them, too, to relieve aching muscles & cramps!

    Then you can apply any number of designer bandages out there. You've probably seen some basic character-themed ones in your local grocery or drug store, but check out a few sites listed below for vintage ones like Pac-Man & Peanuts along with your kids' favorite foods like pickles, bacon or sushi!

    Pac-Man bandages from Thisnext.com

    Sushi bandages from PerpetualKid.comMonkey bandages from Mcphee.com

    Cupcake bandages from PerpetualKid.comBacon & Eggs bandages from Thisnext.com

    Once the bandage is ready to be removed, you can do so in a painless manner by dousing a cotton ball in some baby oil (or olive oil, if you don't have some baby oil in the house) and then rubbing it over the bandage until it falls off!

    The only trouble now? Preventing boo-boos your child inflicts on purpose, just for the sake of some fashionable first-aid!

    Friday, July 24, 2009

    Telling Time Toddler-Style

    So one of the latest temper-tantrum causers in our household is learning patience, and of course, I know I'm not alone in this! The difference between minutes, hours, weeks and months really means nothing to a 2-year old, so you must explain how long they must wait for something in their own discernible terms.

    "Little" Waits
    What I've found is best is explaining all the processes, events, etcetera, that must take place before whatever it is they're waiting for will happen. If you need to prepare dinner, but Johnny insists you stop and sit down to play trucks with him, try explaining all the steps you must do to prepare this meal to him. For example, "Johnny, I'd love to sit and play with you, but first I must wash and cut the potatoes, then add the cheese & spices...."). Go on to say that once you reach such a point (e.g., putting the casserole in the oven), you can sit and play with him. For short-awaited events, you can also try setting a timer for them to watch so that they can "see" their time to play with you advancing.

    "Big" Waits
    Is your 3 year old anxiously awaiting an upcoming trip? Try explaining what will happen on the days prior to this event (e.g., "Today we're going to do "x, y & z," then we'll go to bed tonight. Tomorrow we'll do "a, b & c" and so on. Of course, not mentioning something they're excited for too far in advance is also a good idea!) Another option for distant events? Do it like you do at Christmastime: make a paper-link chain (also a great craft activity to do with the kids!), with each link representing how many days until you go to Disneyland, for example. Each day she can remove a link from the chain, and this will give her not only a great concept as to how long a day actually is, but she can feel good about seeing the links disappear and move that much closer to her great anticipation of the (dreaded & dizzying!) "tea cup" ride!

    Books to Help
    There are several kids' books out their on this topic, as well. You can try reading "The Pigeon Wants a Puppy," "Lucy's Secret," or "Green Yellow Go! Nat Knows Bananas."

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009

    Fab Ideas for Feeding Fiascos

    Here are some fabulous ideas I ran across that some brilliant mamas came up with for common feeding fiascos we may all have encountered before.

    Preventing a Burned Tongue
    When the oatmeal comes out hot, it's hard for your toddler to wait for it to cool off. To prevent a burned tongue and save time, freeze some cubes of milk prior and just drop into the oatmeal when it's ready. It will cool the oatmeal and add some calcium & nutrition to the breakfast.

    Preventing a Stained Shirt
    Instead of having to fight food stains your little ones have managed to get all over their shirts at dinnertime, try assigning some of those free giveaways shirts you've received along the way as their designated "eating shirts." Stains won't matter, thereby saving you time & money with the laundry, and your kids won't feel bad about getting their shirts a bit messy.

    Preventing Unnecessary Time in the Kitchen
    If you have a couple kids, and one is going to school, while one is still at home, this is a great idea to save some time in the kitchen. Instead of preparing lunch for the older child (in school) in the morning, and the younger one at lunch time, just make them both together in the morning. You'll not have to make lunch twice in the same day, and your littler one will feel so grown up having his own sack lunch like big brother or big sister!

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Keeping Germs at Bay on the Go

    One of the best items my husband & I ever bought for our son when he was just learning to eat was the TinyDiner mat by Kiddopotamus. It rolls up easily for storage in your diaper bag, has suction cups for sticking to most tabletop surfaces, includes a built-in scoop to catch food & crumbs, and has a surface that is easy to wipe clean. You can just pluck it out of the bag, unroll, stick to the table & then place all finger foods on top for your little one to grasp! This is truly one item every parent should have, and makes a great baby shower gift (particularly paired with a designer toddler bibbie from Adam's Blankie!).

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Sitting In Style

    These have got to be the most mod high chairs I've seen around, and they are fantastic, I gotta tell you! They are a bit pricey, of course, but isn't that what a stylish baby is all about, after all? C'mon now, I know you splurge on your own jeans or stilettos sometimes, so why not for baby, too? These are technically "accent pieces" for your kitchen, so it's for you, too (tell that to the hubby)!

    AGE HiLo High Chair - $299.00
    Bloom Fresco - $399.99
    Maclaren in Starck - $199.95

    Tripp Trapp from Stokke - $249.00
    EasyGrow from Mutsy - $148.95
    K2 from Kuster - $250.00

    K1 from Kuster - $250.00

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Bathing in Style

    Right along the lines of this week's earlier topic of what's the best of the best and "in style," (essentially modern), today I'm bringing you what bathing items I would consider fabulous finds and equally impressive baby shower or 1st birthday gifts. They again come from the wonderful company, Boon. It's a lovely company that not only produces thee (in my humble opinion, that is) most modern of children's items, but also graciously donates 10% of their profits to children's charities and produces all products BPA-, phthalate-, and PVC-free.

    Scrubble ($9.99) - Tots can interchange the different textured bulbs and attachments on these, along with scrubbing in the tub (get them started practicing early, right?). They can also be filled with water to squirt out, as well, and Moms will love that they are dishwasher safe, too.

    Splat ($7.99) - This is a floating ring toss for the bath, and includes one post, and 3 different colored rings to aim for the moving post.

    Flo ($14.99) - What a clever idea this li'l gadget is. Multifunctional, it starts by diverting the water from the faucet into a gentle waterfall, while also protecting your child's head from bumping the faucet. Even better yet, you can also store and dispense bubble bath from it by pushing the button!

    Frog Pod ($34.99) - Here's not only a great way to store your children's bath toys, but also to aid in the expediency of clean-up time. The frog can be removed from its pod, and used as a scoop to swiftly gather & rinse bath toys.

    Bath Goods ($14.99) - Here's a great starting collection for your child's bathtime play. The set includes 15 different appliques to stick to the side of the tub, 3 balls & 2 mini-scrubbies. The toys do not absorb any water, which thereby reduces the growth of mildew & mold.

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    Feeding in Style

    We've all seen the cutesy "Winnie the Pooh" and "Cars" or any other assortment of animated cartoon characters on children's plates and cups, but haven't you been like me and wished for something a little less "loud" and a little more modern to just blend right into the kitchen and be "hip"? Well, I found your answer, and if you love ultra-modern, you're going to be in love with these little gems from Boon! I think they would make a fantastic baby shower or 1st birthday gift, too ~ these are items generally missed at baby showers, and I, for one, would have loved to have received these myself. They are all BpA-, phthalate- & PVC-free, and come in variations of orange, pink or blue.

    Bender Utensils ($4.99)

    Squirt Babyfood Dispenser ($6.99)

    Saucer Divided Plate ($5.99)

    Groovy Interlock Bowl ($11.99)

    Catch Toddler Bowl ($6.49)

    Toddler Cup ($5.99)

    Modware Toddler Utensils ($4.24)

    Friday, July 10, 2009


    I have teamed up with Bliss Nine, and am giving away one of the ultra mod Adam's Blankie Rockstar Toddler Bibbies (valued at $14.50)! The bib is made of 100% cotton designer fabric, and backed with a plush, ultra absorbant & comfy chenille. The bibbie closes with a pearl snap, for extra "haute" factor, and for durability (versus velcro, which doesn't work after a few washes!). All fabrics have been pre-shrunk in baby-safe detergent, as well.

    HOW DO I WIN??
    Make sure to visit the Bliss Nine blog and leave a comment on the give-away there, along with leaving a comment on this Haute Tot and Baby Couture blog for your chance to win! Make sure to leave your email address so we have a way of contacting the winner.

    Extra entries:
    *Become a follower of this blog.
    *Make a purchase from Adam's Blankie - every individual purchase = one extra entry!
    *Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter (include link with your comment!).
    *Grab my Adam's Blankie button and post on your website (include link).
    *Grab my Haute Tot Couture button and post on your website (include link).

    Get Creative with Chalk Paint!

    You may have seen it in stores already - now not only can your toddler draw on your driveway, but they can paint, too! But you can also create your own less expensive "sidewalk paint," without paying the higher store prices but simply crushing up some regular sidewalk chalk, and mixing it in a contained with a cup or so of water. Give them a paintbrush, and they'll be busy for hours, creating masterful pieces (until Dad comes home and drives over it with the sedan, of course!). OR you can simply give them a container of plain water, if the other stuff is too messy (or they're too little), and a smaller toddler will have just as much fun with that!

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009

    Best of On-the-Go Items

    Going along with yesterday's topic on what is and is not essential for the ever-growing (or so it seems...) diaper bags, I thought I'd bring to you some specific brands that I believe to be one of the best in its category from those items mentioned as "needed" (or "nice to have") in the modern mom's diaper bag.

    Diaper Bag (DB) Item #1: Bib and Burp cloth - Adam's Blankie. I chose Adam's Blankie because every item is pre-washed in liquid baby detergent, handmade & constructed in designer all-cotton fabrics. They are creative, unique, comfortable and chic enough for Mom to wish she had her own matching item to coordinate with baby's! Not only that, but you can request custom items at no added cost - if you see an item you like, but want it in a different fabric, just ask! Now, tell me, how many companies out there do that for you??

    DB Item #2: Snack (or snack cup in this case) - Boon Snack Ball. I chose the Boon Snack Ball ($8.99) over others because it is not only modern & stylish in its design, but also BPA-, PVC- and phthalate-free. And at just $6 for one, I find that a real deal.

    DB Item #3: Bottle - Glass with Siliskin - Okay, I will confess that I did not use glass bottles with my son, but if and when my husband & I have another one, I'm going to use these glass ones with the mod, functional siliskin cover ($7.00), I promise! I've heard enough scary stuff out there about chemicals leaking from the plastic bottles, so let's just play it safe and go with these!

    DB Item #4: Hat - Sunhat from Polarn O. Pyret. I chose this hat ($20.50) because not only is it gender neutral and goes with essentially every outfit, but most importantly, it has an ultraviolet protection factor of 50.
    DB Item #5: Diaper Rash Cream - Diaper Rash Ointment from Kiehl's. This ($17.50) was my pick because of it's use of apricot kernel oil & shea butter, not to mention its soft smell.

    DB Item #6: Pacifier Clip - White Minky Clip from Adam's Blankie. Okay, so as my son was (and is still!) sooooooooooo into his pacifier (or "nee-nee," as it's affectionately called at our house!), I know all there is to know about the clips that keep these at bay! I tried every kind of clip out there, and came to the notion that I must create my own in order to make it the best around! Our company, Adam's Blankie, uses high-quality clips with a plastic insert to prevent damage to clothes, and minimize shifting. These were THE ONLY clips my son could not pull off from his clothing. The pacifier clips ($7.50) come in different colors, fabrics, and even lengths if you'd like to use one for holding toys in addition to pacifiers!

    DB Item #7: Wipes - Double Minky Wipes case from Mod Mami. I chose this wipes case (sale $12.97) becuase of its beauty AND texture - who doesn't love to caress some luxurious minky, afterall? This one's great because of its gender neutral palette, as well, although, if you're into something ultra girly or super boyish, Mod Mami offers that, as well.

    DB Item #8: Toy - Wooden Teether from Ticki Tacki Toys. Okay, I'm not sure if this actually classifies as a "toy," per se, but trust me, when baby's teeth start coming in, you'll want something like this in your diaper bag to appease her when she starts getting cranky while she's out! I actually have a couple of these myself, ready to give as gifts or to try with our next baby because I find them highly modern & fashionable, and LOVE that they're handmade, stained with berries of choice (blueberry, cranberry, or beets), and finished with beeswax and organic flaxseed oil.

    DB Item #9: Wet Bag - First Numbers with Zipper from Adam's Blankie. These wet bags ($17.50) are SUCH great items to have in your diaper bag whether you cloth diaper or not, because we've all been there when we're at the grocery store or out shopping, and baby has a blow-out! Now you can just whip the mess into the wet bag, zip it up, and you're done with it. Get home & toss the cloth diaper AND wet bag into the laundry and you're set! Another FANTASTIC use? Wet swimsuits! Get them in small or large size, and request custom fabrics from their inventory, free of charge.

    DB Item #10: Plush Toy - Giraffe Rattle from Adam's Blankie. These are soooooooo adorable and perfectly small for petite hands. The rattles ($12.00) are completely hand-made, washable, & rattle with a small jingly bell inside. They're made from designer all-cotton fabrics, and are pre-washed for minimal shrinkage; you can also request in any of their designer fabrics, free of added charge.

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    Diaper Bag Essentials

    So everyone carries a diaper bag around once baby comes along, but just what all do Moms carry in those things anyway? And, the better question, what is necessary, and what is not?

    The Essentials:
    changing pad
    diaper rash cream
    wet bag
    burp cloth
    onesie (or other change of clothes for baby)

    If Room Allows:
    extra shirt for Mom
    placemat (see post from last Friday!)
    plush toy/s
    first aid kit
    hand sanitizer
    baby's wide-brimmed hat
    baby lotion
    baby powder
    pacifier clip
    lovie or other snuggly blanket

    Friday, July 3, 2009

    My Wishlist of Children's Items

    So we all have our own "wish lists" that tend to run on the long side, right? (I hope I'm not the only one out there!) Here are some adorable children's items that I wish I could buy now for my son, or buy for any future children we might have...or maybe just buy to give away or even to sit around the house and admire for a while...nonetheless, some inspirational, plain old fabulous pieces!

    Musical Stacker from inhabitots.com - kids learn not only to stack but can make their own music as well - great space-saver, too, might I add (I love toys that double their purposes!)!

    Cork Children's Chair ($238) from inhabitatshop.com - so chic, hip & totally earth-friendly!

    Squeeze Me Mittens from inhabitatshop.com - soooooooooooo cute, and they are meant to "inspire hand-holding"!! you KNOW you would love a picture of you holding your kids' hands in these!!

    Miracle Ball by PlanToys from Oompa

    Market Stall by PlanToys from Oompa

    Maple-Walnut Rattle from Timbur - functional & beautiful

    Padded Toy Stroller from ForeverandAfters

    Swivel Chair from Ikea

    Wooden Toaster by PlanToys from Oompa

    Bamboo Racer by Hape from Oompa
    Noonie Swaddler from Lalas Pequenos - a stylish way to snuggle with your newborn!

    Bonsai Book Caddy from Ecotots

    Nesting Toy from Fine Wooden Toys

    Sweet Jasmine shoes from Gracious May - if I ever have a baby girl some day....

    Stuffed Owl from Tiny Warbler

    Seesaw from IkeaClick Clack Tree by PlanToys with "ladybugs" that roll down the rails!