top toddler picks

I have three toddler items that I use constantly. They are ingenious little items that have saved my sanity over and over again. And what is more — basically everyone who sees these products in action comments on how much caCHING the inventor must be rolling in

…or wonders aloud why they hadn’t thought of it first.

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Children and fairy tales

Kiera Knightly was in the news recently over her comments about Disney princesses. Basically, there are some stories she’ll allow in the house, and some that she won’t. Some send a message she wants her daughter to hear, and others don’t. 

I’m not going to comment on Kiera Knightly’s remarks right now. They are obviously controversial, otherwise they wouldn’t be making headlines. But the topic brought together some thoughts I’ve had over the past few weeks, and I’m wondering if I can tease out some sort of theme. 

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10 things to get the postpartum mom

Perhaps your best friend who lives in another state just gave birth to a brand new baby, and you want to show her you're there for her. Or you are bringing a new mom a meal and want to add a little something "extra" to help her along in those first few weeks. Maybe your sister-in-law is in the hospital with a new precious bundle, you're stopping by to say hi, and want to bring her a gift. Or you're attending a baby shower next month, and you're looking to put together a present that is thoughtful and unexpected. Who knows? You might be a postpartum mom yourself, looking for ways to treat yo' self!  

Whatever the scenario, we've compiled a list of helpful (and fun!) little ways to shower the postpartum mom in your life with love. If you don't know of any new moms, save this post for the future! 

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Workouts for Moms

For over two years, I have been using a particular workout site on a regular basis. When I first found it, I remember mentioning it to Maria. She already knew of it and eagerly seconded my liking. Recently, while working through one of the videos as usual, I thought again how much I love the site and how it seems especially perfect for moms. I felt like every mom on the planet should know about it. Then I thought, "I should share it on the blog!"

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Living with Family

Two years ago, when Edith was just about to be born, Philip and I decided we wanted to move closer to family. Seeing that his family had been in the same house since he was 3 years-old - whereas my family hadn’t stayed in a house for longer than five - it made much more sense to move to his family in Maryland than to my family, then in Florida. We were living in Massachusetts at the time, but as soon as a job in Maryland worked out, we took it. (Quite hilariously, my family actually moved to Maryland within the same year.)

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you don't always need the best for your baby

When I was 5 months pregnant with my first, I set out to create a baby registry. I opened my computer, logged into Amazon, and...found myself completely overwhelmed with the decisions ahead. Somehow, I imagined it would be comparable to creating a wedding registry, which I also did through Amazon (more on that another time). Not so. 

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building a children's library and 2 new christmas books

 I was a middle child. Growing up, there was always a steady stream of books available for me to read. My parents must have acquired books for my older siblings as they reached new developmental stages, so by the time I was old enough to read, there was already a vast library to choose from. When I was finished with one book, I would sit in front of the towering shelves and look at the spines, all neatly arranged, trying to decide which to start on next. The question never was whether I would start another book. It was always, simply, whichI can remember fingering certain volumes, intrigued by their covers, just waiting for the time when their wonders would be accessible to me. 

Recently, it dawned on me that it is one of my responsibilities, as a parent, to provide the opportunity for such wishful waiting to my own children. I want them to grow up with that same sense of eager anticipation.

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decor diy: updating vintage audubon prints

Or my brush with great fortune

Two years ago, I picked up a pair of bird prints at a thrift store. They were nice enough, but more importantly, they were only $2 a piece. We had just moved into a new place and I was 9 months pregnant, so nesting was on my mind. These prints would go somewhere on some wall. But little C arrived later that week and I never had a chance to hang the prints. Every time I hauled them out of the closest, they just looked so....tired. 

This weekend I was feeling all empowered to get on top of the blank white walls in the playroom. I examined the prints again. They were printed on beige paper, offset by a lackluster gray matte and trapped in a boring wood frame with peeling gold paint. How to update them? Bring in a bright color. 

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