Archive for the 'i love my….' Category

I Love My…. Bensimon Sneakers: A Little Bit of France at Home in Brooklyn

Bensimon sneakers

From France, with love.

It’s no secret that Bensimon sneakers are a popular accessory — but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the French tennis shoes anyway. I adored my purpley-taupe slip-ons last summer, but I walk a ton with the kids and they wore out quickly.

So when we were in France in July, I was happy to see that this year’s version has a much sturdier sole. (And they were less expensive than they are at home. Score!)

I picked up the dark-plum pair of canvas lace-ups above. Wearing them in the sunshine this morning, I felt a teeny bit better about being back home. (But just a teeny bit.)

They come in every color under the sun, including many neutrals, but the brights are really grabbing me. You can buy them online from Bensimon USA ($55) or snag a pair locally at Eric Shoes on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope.

Bensimon Collection

photo via Style Society

(photo via Style Society, which, by the way, has a fun post on color blocking the Parisian way.)


I Love My…Paperless Holiday E-Cards from Cartolina iPhone App

I’m really more of a paper person when it comes to holiday cards. At least I thought I was until I found this gorgeous app from Cartolina. For just $1.99, you can have your choice of nine holiday cards (that you can use over and over) to personalize and send to your friends with iPhones or iPod Touch.

Now these are emails I’d love to get:

Cute, huh? It’s available in the app store NOW! (And don’t miss the too-cute-for-school everyday card iPhone app as well).

Related Posts:

Shiny Brite Guide to the Best Christmas Cards Online

I Love My…. METALSGirl Jewelry!

MetalsGirl necklace

Square sterling silver necklace, 2 colors, resins and herbs - $45

This particular love affair began before I had kids. Actually, it began when we were trying to conceive. My friend Debra introduced me to METALSGirl jewelry — Chrissy and I both loved the colors and the look, and when we heard that, Laura, the designer, used herbs with enhancing properties (poppy seeds for fertility!), in her creations, we thought, hey, it can’t hurt. We had Laura design a ring for Chrissy. She wore it. She got pregnant.

A year later, it was my turn. I wore the ring. And a METALSGirl necklace. I got pregnant. We’ve since passed the lucky ring around to other friends trying to conceive — and it’s worked for them, too. Am I saying the ring is magic? No. But I am saying it has a damn good track record. It’s sort of become like Sisterhood of the Traveling Fertility Ring (if you’re interested in borrowing it, give us a shout.)

MetalsGirls ring

2 color round sterling and resin ring -- $60

Anyway, my love goes beyond that first ring. I have several METALSGirl necklaces and another ring, too. It’s very much in keeping with our Shiny Brite philosophy — Life with Kids, Made Better. I love the jewelry. I love to look at it and consider my next purchase every year when we go home to Texas. It makes me happy.

Happiness through consumerism and bold use of color. Sign me up. Always.

(Laura ships her designs, too, so go crazy browsing and ordering online. Say Chrissy and Melisa sent you.)

MetalsGirl charms

I Love My…Mabel’s Labels for Back to School

I ordered these a few years ago when Jasper was going into pre-k and they have been terrific. Tag everything: from clothes, to sippy cups, to school supplies, to shoes.

Tag, you're it

Mabel’s Labels ( is an easy-to-use site, that offers each product separately, or in one of their combo packs. We picked a combo pack for Jasper last time around, and have been very happy. But I think we could use more bag tags (good for things like backpacks and lunch boxes), and possibly some skinny-minis (good for school supplies, water bottles).

There’s a fun design element to the site: you pick your colors/design, and your icon (or have your kids pick what they like). I think Jasper would like a shark this year:

Bag Tag by Mabel's Labels

Both kids have been in camp this summer, and I’ve been feeling very remiss not having tags for Magnolia yet. Since she’s heading to pre-k this fall, there’s no time to lose. The “Classic Ultimate Back-to-School Combo” seems like a good choice. Thirty-nine dollars buys you 16 shoe labels, 50 “tag mates” for clothing (washer and dryer safe), 40 skinny minis,  and 2 teeny tags (for backpacks and lunch boxes). I chose a ballet icon for our little ballerina, and the color combo, “cotton candy.” Perfect!

Courtesy of Mabel's Labels

And now I’m done! No more lost swimsuits at camp or missing Sigg containers at school. Orders take about 2 weeks to receive with standard shipping.

Happy shopping!

I Love My…Skip*Hop “Central Park” Picnic Blanket

Green Acres

Even though we have our own backyard, it’s great to get out to our other yard: Prospect Park. Frederick Law Olmsted considered it his masterpiece (and this from the man who also designed the glorious Central Park). Featuring 585 diverse acres of parkland, including a lake, streams, glades, an ice skating rink, a zoo; it’s pretty spectacular. And in the neighborhood!

Whether it’s there, or just the Fifth Avenue playground, we often tote along a blanket to sit on. We have a couple, and weren’t really looking for a new one. Then luck intervened: I happened to enter one of the great giveaways they do over at Big City Moms. And I won! A big box with this terrific Skip*Hop blanket showed up on our doorstep.

This thing rocks. It’s called the “Central Park” Picnic Blanket. It folds up into a neat square that, with the help of detachable straps, can be carried on your shoulder, or as a cross body bag, or even as a backpack. One less thing for your hands to carry (especially since they probably are already holding sunscreen, hats, balls, etc).

Is it a picnic blanket? Or a man bag? Courtesy of Skip*Hop

Double-coolness factor: there’s a detachable cooler pocket attached to the bag as well. Just the right size for a couple of drinks and a snack (sometimes I throw the sunscreen in just so I don’t have to carry it).

The blanket itself is soft on one side and canvas on the other (the side you’ll put on the ground). It’s waterproof and wipes clean. And given how small it folds, it’s a great size at 5 x 5.

Central Park Picnic Blanket courtesy of Skip*Hop

It’s already made treks to the park a whole lot easier.

** Note: This post is a simple, “boy, we love this!” endorsement and NOT a quid pro quo for winning some cool merch.

Currently Obsessed with: Dresses and More from Wanderlust

File under flukes: I happened to open The New York Times Summer 2010 Travel issue.

AND I had time to read it.

So now I’m obsessing over a store featured in the magazine called Wanderlust. It’s based in Cambodia, and run by a former New Yorker. The dresses, bags, shirts and jewelry are all screaming summer to me. The good news is that the store has a shipping facility in the U.S. I must have this dress:

Maui dress from Wanderlust

Maui dress from Wanderlust

Continue reading ‘Currently Obsessed with: Dresses and More from Wanderlust’

I Love My Hipstamatic for iPhone App!

Magnolia on stairs, using Hipstmatic

We have a digital camera we love, but I have to say, now that I have an iPhone (how did I live without one before?), I use it ALL the time to snap pictures of the kids. Here’s a little app that makes it even more fun: Hipstamatic.

Gotta give a shout-out to two parties that tipped me off on this one — first, my friend Katherine, who I noticed was posting these fun, retro-looking shots on Facebook and, second, to the uber-cool moms at Cool Mom Picks.

Hipstamatic is a photography app that uses a filter to make your pictures look like they were taken with one of those old plastic toy cameras — shots are clear, surprising, and vividly colorful. Choose your lens, film, and flash and mix them up for different effects.

Purchase Hipstamatic at the iTunes store. It’s $1.99; extra lenses and flashes available for a bit more if you want additional options to play around with.

Happy shooting!

lilacs with Hipstamatic

sunny day with Hipstamatic

I Love My Salt-Water Sandals!

Saltwater Sandals

Magnolia actually had a pair of Salt-Water Sandals first, but I’ve glommed onto her style. They’ve been a popular children’s summer sandal since the 1940s and now come in women’s sizes, too. Here’s why I like them.

  • They have a retro look and come in every color under the sun — lime green, shiny yellow and fuschia, red, navy, white, fun metallics, and more.
  • They’re comfy — I have two pairs and there was no break-in period for either of them. They rocked from day one.
  • They’re extremely affordable — around $38 a pair.

Browse colors and styles and find online and local retailers here, or order a pair for your little girl from the tea clothing company.

Saltwater Sandals

Easter and Springtime Traditions We Love

The forsythia is blooming (or getting ready to); our little Magnolia tree is lush and gorgeous and smells like yummy lemon; the daffodils are popping, and the tulips are not far behind them…

At this time of year, when everything turns a brilliant chartreuse, I can officially come out of my winter slump, and rejoice in the coming of summer. It’s called spring, and it has its good points (more on those in a min), but to me, it’s a happy pit stop on the way to summer. Ah, summer.

The hallmarks of the spring season that make it wonderful (if not August) are as follows:

The bunny cake. Simple, delicious, and a crowd-pleaser every year.

Bunny cake

Bunny cake and baby Jasper.

Sometimes it’s pink. Sometimes it’s yellow, white or lavender (see below). Gooey frosting, gumdrops, toothpicks, and ears cut out of construction paper complete the “look.”

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. This one belongs in your permanent collection. Talk about a working mom! It’s the story of a country bunny, who grows up to be one of the five (yes there are five; it’s all explained in the book, kids) Easter bunnies, despite having 21 children (whom she teaches to run her house like professionals). Yes she can! The illustrations are gorgeous, a kind of South Beach bright. Perfect for spring.

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes,, $8.99

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes,, $8.99

Bluebonnets. Texas.

Jasper in the bluebonnets

Jasper in the bluebonnets.

April and May usually marks the annual pilgrimage to Texas to visit family and friends, and if we’re lucky, we’ve scheduled the trip in time to see the spring bluebonnets, too.

in the bluebonnets

Melisa (and Magnolia) in the bluebonnets.

Luckily, the margaritas, Tex-Mex, good music and company in Texas are not seasonal like the bluebonnet show.

Easter baskets.

First Easter basket

First Easter basket.

Easter basket

"A Clean Getaway"

Bunny and the bunny

First bunny.

Easter baskets 2008

"Look what we found!"

What else is there to say?

Bunny cake in purple

Hippity Hoppity.

I Love My Wallaroo Rain Hat!

Sounds banal, but it’s true: my rain hat makes life a little bit brighter. I can hold a child’s umbrella without juggling my own. I can push a stroller (again, no umbrella) and still have my head stay dry. And I can peek out from under the brim and feel mysterious. Not so much in this picture, taken on a non-rainy day, but you get the idea.

Wallaroo rain hat

Wallaroo rain hat, $40

Don’t moms always know best? And by that I mean my mom, who found this excellent hat, from the Wallaroo Hat Co., and gave it to me for Christmas. It’s lined with some soft fabric, and is adjustable, so the wind doesn’t rip it off my head when I’m heading out into the weather. Love that!

Now I just need a good raincoat. Maybe I’ll finally buy this one I’ve been coveting over at Ann Taylor Loft:

Ann Taylor Loft Ruffle Trench

Ann Taylor Loft Ruffle Trench, $128

Won’t it look cute with my hat?

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