As a university student I invested in metal dishes. They were durable and stylish and I hadn’t been able to find similar funky hand-painted designs since. My search is over with these gorgeous Eva Bird bowls and cups sporting a dash of hand painted colour. Highly durable, non-leaching and recyclable stainless steel cups and bowls with hand painted bird designs in red, green and varying shades of blue. Lavish and Lime
Incidentally, we love the guys so much we actually came up with 11 top 10 gifts. Or something. If he’s a baseball fan you can get the cufflinks for his fav team. Whiskey ‘rocks’ and a pizza stone. The wine chiller is pretty good too. And who doesn’t need a knit R2D2 hat? Lucky men.
1. Whiskey Lovers Set
2. Hidden message collar stays
4. New York Mets Cufflinks
5. Emile Henri Pizza Stone
6. R2D2 Hat
7. Hudson’s Bay Co. Burton Snowboard
8. Victorinox Swiss Army Dive Master 500 meter Watch
9. Go Pro HD Camera Helmet
10. The Big Green Egg Smoker
11. Stand-up Paddleboard
I recently saw an array of knives by Victorionox Swiss Army. My husband has made me somewhat of a knife snob (he worked at a butcher shop in his teens) and taught me everything I know. So I ‘investigated’ these specimen. I checked balance, heft, grip, sharpness. The plastic paring knives are great (and colourful) for everyday jobs, and I imagine that they’d be my go-to knife for most kitchen jobs. But what would make me feel like the gourmand that I aspire to be? What really got my juices flowing (so to speak) were the luxury knives. Pick up a professional forged chef’s knife from Victorionox and you’ll want to host a dinner party. All models are forged from one piece of black-smithed steel and have a seamless transition from the blade to the handle. And think of all the money you’ll save on dinners out.. Pictured: Forged Carving set. Retail: $230
Every new mom has a laundry list of stuff she supposedly can’t do without or must have, courtesy of her girlfriends, doctor, mother in law, or parenting book. Some of it is great, some of it is useless. Here are some things that every new mom must have, and they’re not all gadgets or gimmicks.
1. Baby supplies. No, this isn’t a “duh.” Be prepared, as much as possible. This doesn’t mean have a perfectly color-coordinated nursery and a designer layette: practical stuff. Always try to make sure you have the bathing, diapering and feeding basics at hand. If not, you’ll get stressed out, and everyone suffers because of stressed-out moms. Other items you may have forgotten: baby nail trimmers or files, a bulb syringe (for sucking mucus out), and a baby-specific laundry detergent (sensitive skin, remember?).
2. A bassinet or co-sleeper for your bedroom. Newborns seldom want to sleep in a crib: it’s big, cold, and unfamiliar. A bassinet, or (for me), better yet, a co-sleeper attached to the bed, is much more comforting. You and the baby will usually sleep better, being close enough to soothe and feed the baby right away, rather than having to haul yourself up, traipse to the nursery, and do it there. Believe me, you can get them in the crib later, but in those first days at home, be sweet to yourself and to the baby and ease into independence. You two were together for nine months, it shouldn’t end abruptly.
3. Nursing shields/pads. If you breast feed, you’ll find your chest often becomes a sprinkler system set on automatic at the sound of a crying baby (anyone’s, not just your own), an emotional moment on TV or a sad song, or getting sexually aroused. If you have to be away from the baby during feeding time, your milk will let down on schedule, baby or not. It’s mortifying to suddenly look down and realize that the nice man at the store is staring in horror at the growing twin stains on your shirt. So, keep some of these soft, disposable pads in your purse,diaper bag, glove compartment, wherever. Keep one set in your bra at all times, it extends the time you can wear a bra (because who has time for laundry three times a day, and who wants to buy a dozen nursing bras so you can change several times a day??), and prevents embarrassment. If you choose not to breast-feed, you’ll need these for at least a couple of weeks, until your milk dries up. Sometimes it stops immediately,while other women find they take weeks or months to stop lactating spontaneously.
4. Breast pump, milk bottles, storage bag. If you’re nursing, be prepared: you won’t always be able to be around, or maybe you shouldn’t. After all, Daddy had a part in conception, shouldn’t be get some of the job of feeding you child,too? Oh, and you deserve a nap and shower, too. Eventually, many of us go back to work, sometimes far too soon for comfort. So, you need a pump, and it’s best to start early, while your milk supply is plentiful and still a bit erratic, because that way you can have extra milk on hand. Ask around for advice on what model is best. Much of it depends on how big your breasts and nipples are, and how sensitive you are. Also, battery, manually-operated or electric versions are available. Comparison shop for the best deal and features.
5. Blankets. You can never have too many blankets, seriously. I mean the kind they give you at the hospital: lint-free, soft and warm yet lightweight, and practical. A blanket can be rolled into a bolster, used as a spit-up cloth in a pinch, used to swaddle a fussy baby, used as a towel if you have none clean, and be a great toy for a baby learning about peek-a-boo.
6. Equipment. Here is where gadgets come in. A vibrating seat, swing, play enclosure, baby monitor, etc. are all very helpful but not necessary. They’re mainly for ease and comfort, and if you can afford them, get them.
7. Baby sling or other carrier. No, I’m no earth mother, but I found that carrying my babies in a sling (nothing high-tech, a simple cloth sling was all I used) was immensely helpful and freeing. Not only was the baby close to me to be able to nurse and to soothe them when necessary, my motion comforted and rocked them and made them happy and sleepy. Also, the sling freed up my hands to do other things, like laundry, take care of other kids, clean house, whatever. Just don’t cook with the baby, ok? Some people prefer a backpack or front carrier with fancy straps and buckles and frames, but go with whatever you and your baby do best with.
8. Pillows. Pillows are awesome, to prop you up while nursing, to put between your knees while sleeping, to prop baby up against on the bed while you’re not holding her, etc. Just always supervise a propped-up baby. If you can afford them, there are special baby-oriented pillows, especially for nursing support, which are great–but a regular old pillow does in a pinch, too, with some positioning.
9. Diaper Disposer. If you use disposable diapers, do yourself a favor and invest in a diaper genie or other disposal system. Sure, your newborn’s poo is innocent and relatively odor-free…but that changes, all too soon. And oh my, how horrible it is to walk into someone’s house and be assaulted by the smell of a full, open diaper pail. Gross!
10. Toys. Sure, we could be talking about baby toys here, but honestly, babies don’t care for toys until they’re a couple of months old. No, this is toys for YOU. Make sure you have an iPod, iPad, or other device well-stocked with things to do, especially things you can do with one hand. Why? Because you will be sitting still frequently, whether you’re nursing or bottle-feeding. Yes, spend time gazing adoringly at your precious child, but it’s not a mortal sin to entertain yourself with a game, music or eBook. Catch up on your correspondence and reading, as long as you don’t let it eat up all your feeding/bonding time.
There are a million other things a new mom could use or need, but nothing will ever fully prepare you for the wonder, exhaustion and joy of new motherhood. You’re not a failure if you don’t have the latest and most expensive products–the basics will do the job. Just enjoy your early days with your baby and be as prepared as possible. It’s a roller coaster ride, but worth every exhilarating and terrifying moment.
Here are some tips for purchasing baby furniture, from the experts at Baby’s World
The task of purchasing baby or children’s furniture is not as easy as one might think. Price, colour, style, function, quality, and how much space your room has all play a role in choosing what’s right for you and your child. Here are a few tips to make this difficult (but fun) task a little easier.
Rather than the usual devices that need to be attached to the wall, or the door way, this is basically a folding measuring rod with cute little illustrations and a place to put the name and the date of birth and you can measure and record whenever you want to. And when you are moving, well, then you just take it along and don’t worry about finding another spot for the permanent one… Cute, practical, perfect for kids to play around with! Available at Charles and Marie.
And we thought that black chalkboard paint was cool. Imagine being able to make a wipe-off-able rainbow… Hudson Paint has just released its fab chalkboard paint in 24 new colors. Paint the kids snack table, create a child-height border around their bedroom, or finally get organized by making a flow chart on a wall in the mudroom. You could also paint the inside of kitchen cupboard doors, or make a wipe-able calendar on your office wall. Resolution to get organized? Done.
One of our resolutions this year is to proudly announce to the grocery store clerk… ‘no thank you. I don’t need bags. I have brought my own.’ Little did we know that few cloth bags are created equal. First there are those with skinny handles that cut into your hands or shoulder, then the crappy ones that develop holes, and finally, there is the ‘useless’ group – too small for any real groceries and good for only 2 wine bottles (what use is that?). UrbanMommies tried the stunning organic GreenOne Bag and we were thrilled beyond belief.
It’s time for back-to-school scrambling which usually includes shopping for brand new school supplies. But which school supplies are safe for your kids? Last year, a report was released by Environmental Defense and the US-Based Center for Health, Environment and Justice outlining guidelines for purchasing safe back-to-school products. Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC is found in many common school supplies and other children’s products and is of key concern in the report.