Gift Guide: For the Coolest Kids

Win $150 to the DLK Shop!

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If you’re anything like me, you probably have some pretty cool kids in your life. Take my niece and nephew, for instance. These were kids who, from day one, had their own sense of style. Where I grew up in a time where everyone wore matching Sanrio-themed leggings and had basically the same haircut, Akira and Jolie make their own fashion rules, accessorize with freedom, and hop on trends before I even know that they exist. (Jolie, at age four, showed up in an asymmetrical moto jacket and little black boots the last time I saw her–all chosen on her own.)

So I’m not going to the usual kids stores to shop for my favorite littles. Not only do I want to buy them unique things they’ll love, but I also really want to support indie sellers this season. So it was a relief when my friend Kim of Design Life Kids (DLK) opened her online boutique, which is chock full of hip, fun clothes, toys and accessories for kids (along with a bunch of covetable houseware items for their parents), all in one place!

Today, I’m joining up with Kim and our fellow bloggers (and true friends) Lindsey of Cafe Johnsonia, MJ of Pars Caeli, and Melissa of Lulu the Baker to give away one $150 gift card to DLK so that you can get a jump on your holiday shopping! To enter, leave a comment below naming your favorite item from the DLK boutique. For bonus entries, like DLK on Instagram–you won’t regret it; Kim has the loveliest photos of her beautiful girls! Lindsey, MJ, Melissa, and I will also be posting our favorite DLK items to Instagram today, so for more bonus entries you can re-gram one of our images.

The contest closes on Thursday at midnight EST and will be announced on Friday morning on our Instagram accounts! Best of luck!

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Mini Cooks: Getting Kids Excited About Cooking!

Mini Chefs: A new miniseries about cooking with kids

When I was a kid, I was fixated on grown up things that were scaled down for kids. My parents will regale you with stories about how I wanted to spend my entire visit to Disneyland at the miniature driving course called Autopia. (The early list maker in me created dozens of “Favorite Things” diary entries with Autopia topping the lists every time.) I loved the play checking account that my parents set up for me, complete with real checks that I could write them to make withdrawals from my allowance. And I was obsessed with this kids’ cookbook that was full of easy recipes, which I could always get our babysitter to try out with me.

Cooking is such a fun way to get kids actively involved in something that everyone can benefit from. The lessons are boundless: math, science, English, even cultural studies! Not to mention the pride kids feel when they create something that their parents, peers, grandparents, and other loved ones can enjoy. And on top of that, it’s great preparation for that far off day when they’re living on their own.

I’ll be joining my friends MJ and Sheri in a six-week mini series on cooking with kids, entitled Mini Cooks. MJ is kicking off the series with tips on getting kids prepared to work in the kitchen. We’ll then be presenting you with a handful of simple recipes that kids can easily get in on. While I don’t have any littles of my own, I’m excited to try these all out with my niece and nephew the next time we’re in Hawaii.

Head over to Pars Caeli for the first part of Mini Cooks, where MJ is giving away 5 tips for your little chefs!

Mini Chefs: A new miniseries about cooking with kids

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Image Source: Playdate Yakima

For the Tiny Fashionista

Toddler Girl's Summer to Fall Outfit

There are few things I love more than shopping for little ones — just ask my friend Heather, whose little girl was always ready to play dress up when we both lived in Portland! (A fashionista in her own right, at just four years old.)

This past weekend, I had the chance to do some toddler girl shopping and I found so many cute things. In fact, they make so many adorable things for wee ones now that I’m a little jealous. Isn’t there some kind of ray gun that expands kids’ clothing into grown-up sizes? You may have seen the final outfit in my Instagram feed, but if I had a bit more time I’d have chosen all of these things.

I think toddler clothing should be comfortable, breathable, and adorable, and all of these fit the bill. It’s the perfect transitional outfit: the dress and Toms right now, layered with the leggings and (totally awesome) cardigan later.

Do you have a favorite place to shop for the kids in your life? I’m always looking for new lines, so I’d love to know!

 

Cardigan: Mini Boden | Dress: Baby Gap | Leggings: CarlyMegan | Shoes: Toms

Sweet Surrender

Two years ago, there was only one little one in my life: my nephew, Akira. Now, I’m lucky to have lots of wee ones in my life, and with Easter coming up I’ve been thinking about what I can give them that isn’t horrendously full of sugar. I’m also somewhat opposed to giving them tacky things made of plastic that will drive their parents crazy (my dad, for instance, hateshateshates Easter grass). These four are easy on the eyes for both parents and kiddos. As for the Rose Vanilla marshmallows from Whimsy & Spice…well, I should apologize in advance for leading you head first into a new addiction. Sorry. They’re just that delicious.

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Here are more adorable confections, complete with How To guides from two of my favorite blogs:

1. Pie Pops from Cupcakes & Cashmere / 2. Banilla Sandwich Cookies from Bakers Royale / 3. Pink Chocolate Filled Kisses from Bakers Royale

Generosity and giving are so important everyday! Thursdays are the day that we focus on giving gifts, whether they’re kind gestures, volunteering time, or giving presents. Giving gifts is a form of therapy — gifting therapy — in which you shift focus from  your needs to the needs of others. Let us know about your experiences with gifting!

Need a Cheer Up?

My family is Buddhist, and Buddhists have lots of memorial services. You’d think this would be kind of depressing, but they’re always really enlightening, happy events, usually with sweet old monks who get a message across with a story. I don’t really remember the whole story, but I never forgot the ending to one in which the reverend said, “So smile…always smile…you never know what the other person is going through.”

It’s surprising how much better I feel when I smile at people rather than waiting for them to smile at me. But sometimes I’m really grumpy or annoyed or tired, and smiling isn’t the first thing I want to do. In these instances, I have an arsenal of things that work better than tickles. Of course, you’ll want to create your own happy kit, but here’s mine to get you started:

Adorable baby animals. Yes, I am 100% girl. If I were a super villain, my kryptonite would be baby bunnies. And kittens. And puppies. And tiny piglets. Cute overload basically kills me.

1. Photos of Dude  2. Amazing Creature  3. Cute Overload  4. Just Call me Lynn

Tiny clothes for tiny people:

 

1. Tea Adik Elephant Romper  2. Burly Beard  3. Threadless Cookie Loves Milk

And my most valuable secret weapon of all. I give you Paul Rudd’s Sexy Dance:

Paul Rudd's Sexy Dance

(Couldn’t embed this, but you can see the video by clicking on the link…it’s worth it. It really is. Pretty much the best thing ever.)

 

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