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Archive for January, 2012

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

A birthday that’s truly off the beaten path.

Recently, my friend, Erin, put together a lovely birthday adventure for her daughter, Claire. Erin has created a fantastic and fulfilling life for her family amidst the beautiful backdrop of Lompoc, Callfornia (you can read more about in a previous post here!)

Ok, you guessed it; this little gal’s turning four! I love the idea of photographing your kids each year on their birthday holding a big number!

Some dream of being whisked away by a prince or a limo. But this all-terrain vehicle looks pretty sweet, and up to the task of taking you to a destination that’s truly off the beaten path!

Over the river and through the woods to Claire’s birthday party we go!

We made it! Check out that view! Now this looks like the happiest place on Earth.

Well, look here! You’re not dreaming; you really did just stumble upon a big, beautiful cake, perched on a tree!

And more surprises… a rainbow cake! Love it!

No question about it; Claire has found gold at the end of her rainbow. Happy birthday and thanks for sharing your beautiful day with us!

(p.s. I’ll be sending you my address so you can be sure to add me to your invite list next year!)

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Best Children’s Museums

Next time your family is headed to another city, check to see if there is a local children’s museum. Here’s a short list from Lil Sugar featuring their top ten picks. These types of museums provide endless educational opportunities and great fun for children (and your own inner child!)

I would also add a few more to their list:
Children’s Museum at Cincinnati Museum Center
Santa Fe Children’s Museum
Royal Tyrrell Museum (great for dino lovers, in Alberta, Canada)

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Houston
Young at Art in Florida
The Please Touch Children’s Museum in Philadelphia (is that a great name, or what?)
Brooklyn Children’s Museum (NYC)
California Science Center (LA)
Treehouse Children’s Museum (Ogden, Utah)
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (Amherst, MA)
Boston Children’s Museum
Minnesota Children’s Museum

(image courtesy Lil Sugar)

Friday, January 27th, 2012

uTales: E-books for kids

I’ll always love turning the pages in a storybook or scanning a bookshelf full of books but uTales might be a nice complement to use, especially on trips. (I remember in Livi’s younger days always packing bedtime reading but not wanting to lug a pile of hardbound story books in our luggage.) With uTales, you can view storybooks on your computer, iPad or iPhone, anywhere and anytime. You can purchase separate books or subscribe to their complete library for $9.99/month. Even better, some of the proceeds go to building schools in developing countries.

(image courtesy uTales)

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Mamentos Pregnancy Journal Featured in The Bump!

Many thanks to The Bump for including us in their round-up of top five pregnancy journals! Their write-up on the B.C. (Before Child) journal: “Overly formal pregnancy journals can seem like an intimidating time-suck. This journal takes an informal and humorous approach that gets the words flowing and makes chronicling your pregnancy fun.” You can find out more about the journal and ordering here!

p.s. What makes a great companion to the BC journal? The AD (after delivery) journal which chronicles mama’s first year! Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Happy Year of the Dragon

from Kate

Around the world, millions of people are ringing in the Lunar New Year hoping the Year of the Dragon (year 4710) will bring the especially good fortune tradition promises. Considered the luckiest year in the 12-year zodiac cycle, dragons are regarded as magical symbols of renewal. Last year’s rabbit brought wisdom, but the dragon brings powerful protection and blessings. So eat your noodles (which symbolize long life), light fireworks and celebrate. Or just collect stamps…The United States Post Office has been officially marking the start of the Lunar New Year since 2008 by coming out with its own celebratory stamp, as shown above.

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

2012 Newberry and Caldecott Award-Winning Children’s Books

from Jamie

Boost your home library with these winners of the most prestigious children’s book honors, representing the best books for young children.

(image courtesy Lil Sugar)

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The Makerie

from Jamie

This time of year I usually start thinking about where I’d love to travel later in the year. I never thought about a creative retreat like this, but it sounds amazing!

Whether you are a skilled crafter or have never picked up a paintbrush, The Makerie offers something for everyone and the environment is designed to inspire, encourage and nurture your creativity. In addition to unique workshops, they provide yoga, hiking and healthy food. I love their line, “Being at the Makerie is like being back at camp. Don’t you want to feel like a kid again?”

Even if a getaway like this isn’t in your near future, there’s no reason not to adopt their philosophy and host your own creative retreat for your family or friends. All you need is a pile of materials to play with and an unscheduled afternoon, day or weekend. Just be sure to get off the grid for the duration, if possible, to really feel the benefit of some uninterrupted space to play and explore. I can’t think of a better way to spend a January weekend!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Are you a moment junkie?

from Jamie

Moment Junkie is a blog dedicated to wedding photojournalism, so you can bet it’s a great place to find those one-of-a-kind shots, that, in their words are timeless, heartbreaking, hilarious, or all of the above. It’s all about capturing the memorable events of a wedding, but I was especially drawn to the title, Moment Junkie, and how it can really be embraced in day-to-day life. We all try to celebrate and capture life’s milestones in various ways, but I’d also like to be more mindful of the everyday, which may be hard to cherish in the present, but which will have its own sweetness as the years go by.

This is one of my favorites from the Moment Junkie blog. The moment before the big moment, which speaks of boldness, surprise and big things to come. You may think today is just another day, but be on the lookout for those elusive moments that may lead to the next big thing. You might not recognize it until it’s past you so take a cue from this picture and be ready!

(found via Design Mom, image by Caroline of Sweet Caroline Photo)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Happy Lab

from Jamie

One of the things I think about at the start of the new year is a theme for Livi’s next birthday bash. Lately I’ve been collecting inspiration for a science party, so I of course couldn’t resist falling in love with the packaging and graphics from Happy Lab, a new candy store that opened in Australia last August. Love everything about the store: its name, logo, displays and packaging. And in keeping with the theme, the staff is dressed in lab coats and the products are in test tubes and beakers. What a sweet store to shop! Now I just need a ticket to Australia…

(found via Eat Drink Chic, pics from Happy Lab and Westfield)

Friday, January 13th, 2012

CAPitalizing on all that plastic

from Jamie

Baby, it’s cold out (at least in these parts)! Wondering how to spend this wintery weekend? It’s time to get creative with something you probably have no shortage of — plastic bottle caps. We’ve been collecting these for awhile now, so we pulled them out a couple of weeks ago. Wondering what we could possibly create out of all these insignificant pieces? Keep reading!

Step one: Dump the caps out all over the floor! That’s right, make a mess. (It’s probably a job best left to the kids.) You’ll also need some fishing wire to string the pieces together, scissors, a metal ring or something of the sort to secure the end knot to and a drill. (You’ll next need to drill small holes through the caps — one job best left to adults!)

Then you may want to organize the caps by color or shape.

See how low you can go. Study each one for its unique color, shape and texture.

Begin to play with how the shapes fit together and what kind of larger shapes they create when strung together.

We played with a few variations, but this one by my hubby is my favorite!