Monthly Archives: May 2012

iPad Catalogs

You can now flip through your catalogs from your iPad?  Wow…ok!

I have fond memories of mail catalogs as a kid.  I would circle, tab and rip out what I liked, compiling a scrap-book of fashion.  I also played an odd game with my siblings where we would name as many variations of a color that would exist in a JCrew catalog.  IE.  Pink:  Watermelon, Azalea, Rose, etc.  It was actually a lot of fun.

Now a new generation can be inspired and visually stimulated by over 200 brand catalogs on google catalogs and  catalog spree, without killing trees.

It lacks the lustre of being in your mail slot, or the feel of flipping through the thin, glossy pages… but I’m sure I can get used to it.

Wooden Toys Galore

When I was in high school my parents lived in Prague and the city was full of little wooden toy shops.  “Mr. Flippy”, an acrobatic wooden fellow who does flips has been with me since I was 16… well made and fun for adults and kids alike.

Later when I had my own kids, I gravitated toward wooden toys: green, low stimulation, high creativity and beautiful to look at.  European companies like Haba, Plan and Brio, have gained in popularity.  But I had never seen an entire store dedicated to selling and making their own wooden toys, like in Prague, until I stumbled into Playing Mantis in Tribeca.

Playing Mantis is wooden toy heaven – floor to ceiling this place is a gold mine.  Their mission in their own eloquent words, ” I believe I make a difference to a few, not just to the artists and craftsmen, but to some children who would marvel about the natural toys a bit longer before picking up another plastic toy or video game.   The store exists to inspire children, to show them what our hands can do in collaboration with nature.   How it can spin, carve, knit, whittle and color… making things beautiful and functional.”

 

I will most certainly be ordering a few things for my son’s upcoming 2nd birthday!  So many wonderful things to choose from, I’m having a hard time even editing the images to post!

 

Edible Education

16 years ago Chez Panisse chef Alice Waters founded the Edible Schoolyard Project at the Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Berkeley, CA.  The program goals were simple: to build a garden and a teaching kitchen.  The program’s success has resulted in an entire Edible Schoolyard Curriculum, teaching children about food source, nutrition, food preparation and a general appreciation of health that can transform their lives.  Part of the funding goes to providing each child with a healthy lunch from their own garden.
The idea has been taking into different cultures and climates – now edible schoolyard curriculums are growing across the country.  Edible Schoolyard.org also provides resources for teachers and parents on how to include gardening and health into your everyday lives.  

 

 

 

Moving Target Boston

Brilliant!  Briiilllliannnt!!!!

Moving Target Boston offers a weekly contemporary dance class at Green Street Studios in Cambridge.  This group of rotating instructors offer a wide variety of under -represented modern styles and themes ranging from injury prevention to project development. Founders Annie Kloppenberg and Lauren Simpson are filling a hole in the Boston dance scene by providing release based movement.  Bringing in both local teachers from companies and out of state such as Liz Lerman, Caitlin Corbett, David Dorfman, Monica Bill Barnes, Bill T. Jones, etc.

I can’t resist pulling a quote from Lauren about the juicy, weighty, organic movement that is… r e l e a s e… collective sigh… Her comment on what she missed by not having this style of work in the community:

“…I just plain missed putting weight in my hands and finding my sitz bones to heel connection.  It wasn’t the look of released limbs and funky invertions I missed; it was the sensation of doing them in a room full of people also doing them.  I missed falling and disorienting, find the crease in my hip sockets, letting gravity take over in a big Bartenieff X on the floor.  And possibly even more then missing these sensations, I missed the values, metaphors and opinion embedded in those sensations…”

Thank you for bringing more freedom of movement and knowledge to the community!

Juice!

As I’ve written before, I am cleanse curious and cleanse wimpy.  I want to do it… next week.

However, I am warming up to the idea of a juice cleanse.  I think it allows for enough daily calories so I won’t fall over and looks delicious.  Fairly new to the juice scene, or at least to me, is pressed juicery out of LA.  They remind you that a meal takes up to 18 hours to digest – if you think of the constant taxing on your organs it really does seem logical to give it a rest once in a while.  They offer 3 different cleanses from novice to seasoned cleanser and even kids kits just for some healthy goodness.

 

Mothers Day Top 10 Wishlist

Mother’s Day is my absolute favorite!  A day to sleep in past 6 am (when my little one’s stir), a day to eat my favorite foods ( a gluttonous picnic complete with brie and baguette), a day to do what I want to do ( go to the De Cordova, take in some modern art and stroll the sculpture garden) and a day to, if I’m lucky, get a little treat!

Top 10 Mothers Day Treats

1.  Jewelry – Always the way to a mother’s heart ( vs. the stomach for a man).  I’m newly obsessed with Carolina.  Her fun, colorful chunky silver bracelets and necklaces have me daydreaming of the end of the day at the beach, when you’ve washed up, put on a cute outfit complete with neon green Carolina necklace and sit back with a nice cold Negro Medelo.

 

2.  Fab Sun Hat – How can we enjoy the great outdoors this spring without a fabulous hat to shade our lovely lady skin?  I don’t know about you, but I’m not getting younger each day and the collection over Malia Mills makes it hard to pick just one.  Maybe one city, one beach hat… hmm?

3.  Cookbook – I am confident many of you mothers out there can do it all.  I however, am a terrible cook.  It’s not gawd awful, but it’s a limited repertoire – let’s just say my kids would rather eat Dada’s food or “at restaurant” as they say.  They also would prefer to eat a steady diet of mac n’ cheese, but I’ll save those thoughts for another blog.  My only redemption is I’m not half bad baker.  Boston-based bakery, Flour, has an amazing, butter filled cookbook sure to loosen your belt buckle but well worth it!

4.  The Beautiful Dress – We all strive for the perfect, easy to wear, effortless dress.  A closet staple it can be rocked with boots, flats, sandals, clogs, etc.  depending on the season.  It’s hard for me to narrow to a few, but Matta has killed it this season with some amazing, looks great on everyone ( literally every gal that’s tried them on) dresses!

5.  Ladies Dutch Bike – I am still obsessed with Dutch bikes… who wouldn’t be!   A sturdy, upright, classic designed bike that allows you to put baby on the back and basket on the front all while wearing a dress.

6.  Rock Candy Ring – What gal doesn’t like a rock on her finger?  How about an organic, beautiful raw stone, chunky and delicate at the same time from MJ Manning.  Unlike the actual candy ring, I don’t recommend sucking on these.  At least not in public.

7.  A Getaway – Just the word sounds good.  There are many fabulous directions to head come spring in New England…. Bennington VT,  Lenox MA, Martha’s Vineyard, just pick a direction, put the top down and GO!  Of course with all that wind, you’ll need a great getaway scarf!

8.  A Great Meal – All that driving has made me hungry – Ha!  There are restaurants that do the trick for a family meal and then there are the amazing, once in a lifetime spots.  I’ve always fancied Blue Hill Farm, both the NYC outpost and the Pocantico Hills, NY farm.  Stone Barnes Center is a year round farm and education center that services both the Manhattan and Pocantico Hills restaurants.  A real farm to table place, Blue Hill at Stone Farms is one of those memorable great meals.

9.  A White Shirt – Classic.  I like it crisp, I like it gauzy, I like it with and without sleeves, I like it with buttons, I like it bohemian, I like it a million different ways.  The point is you can NEVER go wrong with the great white blouse.  Have one, have many, have this summer-y, mexican inspired beauty from Matta.

10.  A Peaceful Moment – For my 10th treat on Mother’s Day, I wish all the daughters, mothers, grandmothers a peaceful, quiet moment all to yourselves.  Enjoy!

Oh and don’t forget!
20% off all women’s collections in store and online with promo code: HappyMama  

* Now through Sunday May 13.  

Motherload Summertime

Motherload, NYT parenting blog, is full of thought-provoking idea’s and information.

This article, The Genuis of Unstructured Summer Time by KJ Dell’Antonia stood out as both an exploration of what happens when a child is left to their own resources to self – entertain and a larger statement about over stimulating and/or under valuing free play.

First, I think everyone should watch this highly entertaining and inspired mini-doc on Caine, a 9-year-old boy, who spent his summer constructing an arcade out of cardboard boxes at his Dad’s auto parts shop.  http://cainesarcade.com/

Then we can explore this idea of not enough free play in our well-intentioned, enriched family lives.  I admit I feel a little damned if I do, damned if I don’t when it comes to school, classes, lessons, etc.  I often feel our “down time” as a family is so little and my 4-year-old should be getting enough socialization in her 4 half days of school, that little else organized is needed.  Simultaneously, I think she would enjoy yoga classes, benefit from swim lessons and that it would be smart to introduce her to a foreign language early while she’s sponge like.

KJ writes clearly the lustre of a bright Caine making creative and productive use of his time is appealing, but will all children use their time wisely?  I don’t know, but it’s compelling.  What do you think?