Jack & Lily Baby Shoes SALE!

May 26, 2016

Jack & Lily, makes the cutest baby and toddler shoes out of super soft, supple leather. These shoes are high quality and very flexible, as baby shoes should be! Toddler sizes come with a durable rubber sole that provides great traction. 

The Jack & Lily line is on SALE today, with discounts of up to 50%! Sale prices range between $15 and $17! There are many styles to choose from, I only posted a small selection of what's available.

If you're looking for quality shoes for your little ones, you can't go wrong with Jack & Lily!











NEW! Inglesina Zippy Light Stroller

May 19, 2016



As you may well know, I have a soft spot in my heart for lightweight strollers, and the new Inglesina Zippy Light surely fits the bill!

The Zippy Light is a very well thought-through stroller with lots of features that are rarely found on lightweight strollers. If you live in the city and don't often venture out to uneven terrain, the Zippy Light could really be your only stroller. It is suitable from birth with a nearly flat recline and can also be used with an optional parent facing bassinet or as a travel system with car seat adapter.  

FEATURES:
  • Lightweight  - weighs 15.2 lbs (6.9 kg)
  • Suitable from birth to 55 lbs
  • One-hand, compact fold
  • Stands when folded
  • Roomy seat
  • One-hand recline lever
  • Nearly flat recline
  • 3 harness height positions
  • 5-point harness
  • Expandable canopy with pop-out sun visor
  • Peek-a-boo window in back of canopy
  • Flap behind the canopy unsnaps for ventilation
  • Removable bumper bar with gate opening
  • Removable, washable seat fabric
  • Adjustable calf rest
  • All-wheel suspension
  • One-step break (connects both rear wheels)
  • Lockable front swivel wheels
  • Roomy basket (considering stroller size)
  • Bassinet and car seat compatible
  • Rain shield and cup holder included



The Inglesina Zippy Light is available in United States in 5 colors (Sweet Candy,  Desert Dune, Vivid Red, Ocean Blue and Black) on a black frame. Two additional color options are available in Europe: Golf Green and Ocean Blue on a white frame.

Zippy Light retails for $329 and is available with FREE shipping and free returns on Amazon.






Greentom Upp Unboxing

May 3, 2016


Ahhh, I'm so excited! The Greentom Upp Classic has arrived! The whole family gathered around to witness the unpacking, but I had to take pictures of the box first. It's funny, my two older kids roll their eyes every time another stroller appears in our house, yet they're still curious and about each one and enjoy test-driving them. I'd like to think that I'm raising little stroller connoisseurs.

Back to the new arrival. The Upp stroller required minimal assembly and was ready to go within minutes. It came in 3 parts, the frame with seat, canopy and a bumper bar. All we had to do, was pull the stroller out of the box, unfold the frame and attach the canopy and belly-bar. Everything else, the wheels, seat fabric and basket was already attached. I love gear that doesn't over complicate my life! 

video

The Greentom Upp Classic is a unique stroller, made entirely out of recycled materials. It's easy on the planet and easy on the eyes. The stroller is very minimalistic looking with a clean, modern design. I was also impressed with how lightweight it is. I was able to lift the stroller effortlessly with one hand! 


Of course Little Missy had to climb right in, which she accomplished without any assistance from us. Once in the stroller, she sat back and was very relaxed and content. While the stroller is pretty compact, the seat is very roomy. 

I'm looking forward using the Greentom Upp on our Spring outings and will post a full review soon.


Ikea Play Kitchen Makeover

Apr 26, 2016


After some deliberation, I settled on the Ikea DUKTIG playkitchen for my kids. The simple, straightforward design appealed to me and this kitchen had all that my kids needed without being huge and overwhelming.

We purchase the kitchen at the IKEA Brooklyn store. My kids were on pins and needles to have it assembled, but when I started unpacking the parts, I found two cracks in the wood, much to our disappointment. Driving back to IKEA to exchange the defective parts was not an option for us. Instead, I called customer service and asked them to send replacement parts. They had me e-mail them pictures of the defects and told me that the parts will be sent out withing 5 days. It took over 2 weeks and many phone calls till the replacements arrived at our door! To be fair, I think IKEA generally has decent customer service, but it's a problem with the local Brooklyn IKEA where the replacement parts were shipped from. I guess huge stores in Brooklyn are not notorious for customer service.

The good news is, I was able to assemble the kitchen myself, without any assistance, which is not really a testament to my assembling skills, but rather to how easy it was to put together.

I also wanted to revamp the kitchen for Ben and Little Missy. Spray painting the kitchen would have been too easy, but because I'm a huge sucker for punishment, I decided to use chalk paint. I have a love-hate relationship with chalk paint. It dries way too fast, clumps up when you try to blend brush strokes and takes like 3 coats to achieve a solid color.


So why did I choose chalk paint? Because it's 100% VOC-free and does not emit any chemical odor whatsoever. Since our weather was bellow 0, I couldn't use a regular primer and spray paint outside. The chalk paint can be used and left to dry right in my living room without any worries that I'm poisoning my kids. Also, on most surfaces, chalk paint does not require priming. Did I already mention what a pain it is to use? I know, blasphemy! There are die-hard chalk paint fans out there who are gasping right about now.

I painted the upper planks before assembling the kitchen. It took me much longer than I bargained for because I had to apply 3 coats, sand in between, and then apply two layers of finishing coat to protect the paint. The sealer I used is called Clear Finish by Artisan Enhancements. It is all-natural, water based and quick drying.


Anyhow, I had big plans for this kitchen, but as you can see, I got as far as painting just the top and then quit. My kids were eager to put the kitchen to good use and I was getting pretty tired of messing with the chalk paint.

My husband is probably gloating while reading this, since he was against the idea of painting the kitchen in the first place. After all, our kids would have enjoyed it just as much the way it was. But mommy is crazy and always needs to improve things.

Another thing I did, was changed the ugly plastic cabinet handles to ceramic country-style handles from IKEA. Finally, I added two stick-on battery LED light fixtures under the shelf.

Originally I planned on putting in a backwall with decorative paper, but since I couldn't find anywhere the paper that I had my heart set upon, I just gave up on the idea for the time being.

Ultimately, while the kitchen did not come out exactly how I envisioned it (mostly because I didn't see my vision through), I think it's pretty cute. My kids are too young to know or appreciate anything in regards to decor and aesthetics, and would have been just as happy with the kitchen as it came right out of the box.







Accessories

I wanted Ben and Little Missy to have a few different cookware sets for variety and in hopes of minimizing fights over them. Here's what we got:

Cheff Set by Green Toys - The set includes a pot with lid, frying pan, spatula and ladle. I really like that the pot and frying pan are larger than most play cookware. Ben, the master chef, manages to fit quite a lot of ingredients into the 'stew' he cooks in this pot.
Just like all other Green Toys, these are made in USA out of recycled milk jugs. The Cheff Set is BPA and phthalates free, food-grade and dishwasher safe. The plastic is thick and feels durable. This set was on sale on Amazon for like $7, which I think is a pretty good bargain.

I also ordered a stainless steel KidKraft Deluxe Cookware set. I'm holding off giving this one to my kids till they're a little older and will want more realistic pots and pans.

The red enameled cookware set, I found in a local discount store. Here is the same one listed on eBay.

The white enameled pot with blue flowers (top shelf) is from Nova Naturals. It's very pretty, but probably better suited for ages 4+, since it's somewhat delicate.


Since we loved the Cheff Set so much, I also ordered the Green Toys Dish Set. Just like the cookware, the plates and bowls are much larger than most play dishes I've seen, which allows for more creative food combos. Once again, these dishes are BPA-free, food-safe and can be cleaned in a dishwasher.

The colorful goblets and cups are also from IKEA, only $3.99 for an 8-pack!



Play Food

I'm being very selective with the play food, trying to strike just the right balance between having enough of food items to spark my kids' imagination while avoiding having too much, so that my kids will appreciate each item. I wanted them to have high quality play-food in a variety of textures and took my time selecting each food set.

Here's what I've purchased so far:

HABA Biofino Ravioli Tin  -  This is a set of ravioli made of felt. It comes in a storage tin with lid. Since there's a lot of ravioli and it's relatively small, this is a great play food item for kids to practice mixing.


Felt Mushroom Slices - These are absolutely beautiful and were hand made by RootsClothWorks, a seller on Etsy. Since my kids love real mushrooms, they really enjoy having a play version to cook with in their kitchen. Over time, I would love to invest into some more artisan-made felt food. There are so many super cute options on Etsy, it's really hard to choose!

I also found a wooden set of petite food staples in a Home Goods store. Can't remember the brand, but here's a similar wooden set by Plan Toys.

Soon, I'm hoping to add a baking set to my kids' kitchen and trying to decide between the Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set and Sophia's Wooden Cupcake Set.



As much as we tend to focus on the external characteristics of toys, let's not loose sight of the end goal. Through play, kids develop cognitive skills, polish their imagination and learn to mimic adult behavior. Watching Ben and Little Missy make decisions as to what to "cook" for supper, what ingredients should go together in a pot and how to best set up their little table for a meal, reassures me that the play kitchen is providing them with the right setting to practice their domestic skills. Just today, Ben got it in his head that he needs to clean his kitchen, because he saw me cleaning the real kitchen. He took all the accessories out, asked me for a wet rag, and proceeded to wipe down every surface of his play kitchen. I do hope this means he will tackle household messes once he's older, without any reservations. A mom can dream :-).




NEW! Bumbleride Indie & Indie Twin 2016

Apr 1, 2016



A brand NEW Indie & Indie Twin? YES please!!!!!!!

I've been a huge fan of Bumbleride strollers ever since I laid eyes on the incredibly awesome Queen B. This pram-like all terrain stroller was my first from Bumbleride, followed by the original Indie and after Little Missy's birth - the Indie Twin. So what keeps me coming back to Bumbleride time after time? 

First and foremost - the quality. Bumbleride strollers are built to last. They are durable and hard-wearing which means you can keep using them as long as your child rides in a stroller, or if you tend to procreate on more or less regular basis. No other stroller in my arsenal has taken as much abuse as my Indie and yet, it's still going strong after 7 years!

Another thing I love about Bumbleride strollers are the air filled, all-terrain wheels. I don't particularly enjoy tripping over raised pavement or getting stuck in cracks with my strollers. The large pneumatic wheels plow through anything and provide a soft, cushy ride for my little ones. 

Finally, Bumbleride uses high quality, recycled textiles in an array of cheerful colors. I am simply allergic to dreary looking strollers and I appreciate having so many beautiful color choices.


Fast forward to present. Bumbleride has taken a good thing and made it sooo much better! Both the Indie and Indie Twin strollers have received a complete makeover for 2016! 

Here are some new and improved features: 

  • New, one step fold with auto-lock
  • Standing fold
  • New, single lever recline mechanism
  • New PVC-free TPR handlebar (replaced foam)
  • All wheel suspension (can you imagine the ride being even softer than it was already?)
  • OekoTex & Bluesign® certified fabrics (free of flame retardants and other harmful chemicals)
  • Eco friendly fabrics in all new color choices for 2016
  • New, UPF 45+ canopy with pop-out visor 
  • Back of canopy unzips for ventilation
  • Adjustable leg-rest converts seat into an infant cocoon
  • Car seat compatible with adapter
  • Pump storage pocket in basket
  • Pump and run-away wrist strap included
  • 3 Year warranty  

The new Indie 2016 will retail for $529. The Indie Twin - for $739. Both strollers are available for pre-order with an approximate shipping dates in May.





Strollers Blowout Sale! Valco Baby, Cosatto, iCoo and More!

Mar 29, 2016

Woohoo! Zulily is having a flash SALE on strollers and stroller accessories! These deals are pretty awesome with prices discounted by up to 50%! 

Valco Baby, Cosatto, i'Coo, Guzzie+Guss and many more brands are included in this sale.
Firebird Cosatto Supa Stroller - $299 (was $400)


Hipstar Cosatto Supa Stroller - $299 (was $400)
(More colors/motifs available)


i'Coo Acrobat Stroller - $270 (was $400)
(More colors available)


iCoo Acrobat Stroller & iGuard35 Infant Car Seat Set
(More colors available)


Valco Baby Snap Ultra Tailormade Stroller - $299 (was $470)
(More colors available)


Guzzie+Guss Connec+ 3 Stroller - $400 (was $700)
(More colors available)


Summer Infant Fusion 3Dzyre Convenience Stroller - $117 (was $160)


Englacha Two-in-One Cozy B Rider Stroller Board

Girls Special Occasion Spring Dresses

Mar 20, 2016


Is there anything more precious than little girls in sweet dresses? Here are some of the prettiest special occasion dresses that I came across and current promotions.

Boden - 20% Off full price items with code 4D4F (expires March 22)
Tea Collection - 15% Off everything + free shipping with code CIAO




SPARKLING TWIRLY DRESS




BABY FLORAL DRESS


BABY CHARMING PETAL DRESS


PRETTY TEA DRESS