I love the classic preppy look – for me it never goes out of style. When I came across the newest summer 2012 collection from Janie and Jack I wanted to get everything for the Tiny Dancer. The collection is adorable and your toddler or child would look great in this sailing a boat, playing tennis or at a picnic – or they can imagine themselves doing those activities. The coordinating accessories are like the icing on the cake and are the perfect finish to these picture-perfect ensembles. As always, I wish some of these pieces came in my size. How adorable is that retro jumper pictured above?! You can purchase all of the items on JanieandJack.com.
When I was a kid, my mom was very crafty. She and her hot glue gun could do no wrong. And she didn’t stop there. She would paint ceramic decorations for every holiday and make candy & chocolate pops for our birthdays and holidays. There wasn’t anything she couldn’t make. So with these giant shoes to fill, I had to come up with something fun for my daughter’s Minnie Mouse-themed birthday party. And, I remembered my mom and her candy pops.
I tried to find Minnie Mouse candy molds but since it’s a copyrighted character it was impossible to find but I didn’t give up. While I was at the craft store I found a candy pretzel mold on clearance for less than $1 that was a bunch of round smiley faces. Trying to make do with what I had, I figured I could make polka-dot covered pretzel sticks and not paint faces on the circles.
While I was at the craft store I also bought the Wilton Candy Melts. The candy melts are very similar to the texture of chocolate but as a chocolate person, I have to say that I don’t love the flavor. It tastes very much like white chocolate which I hate but if you want to decorate in color then real chocolate won’t work unfortunately. That said, most people don’t have a deep-rooted hatred for white chocolate (which I don’t even think should be called chocolate) so you can feel safe knowing that it will be a crowd pleaser.
On to the pretzels, here’s what you’ll need:
-Pretzel Rods (be gentle with the bag you don’t want to use the broken ones though they make for good snacking while you’re making the candy pretzels)
-Candy Melts or Chocolate
-Small Glass Bowls (1 for each color you’re using)
-Small Spoons – I used espresso spoons (1 for each color you’re using)
-Frying pan filled half-way with water
How to make the candy pretzels:
1. Bring the water in the frying pan to a boil. When the water boils take it off the heat.
2. Put the candy melts in the small bowls and put the bowls in the hot water in the frying pan.
3. Stir the candy melts until they are completely melted.
4. Fill your mold according to the particular instructions (instructions may vary by design – if you’re layering colors you’ll have to do one color, set the candy and repeat).
5. After you’ve filled the candy in the mold, place the pretzel in the mold.
6. Set the candy in the refrigerator on a flat surface for 10-15 minutes.
7. Remove the pretzels from mold – if the candy is set it will come out easily.
8. Store in a cool, dry place and enjoy!
Some of you may remember that the Tiny Dancer had a Minnie Mouse-themed first birthday party. This year, I wanted to choose a theme that the Tiny Dancer would like – it turns out she’s a huge Minne Mouse fan! So, for a second year, we had a red/white Minnie Mouse theme. It worked out in some ways because I had things already lined up like the table runners and table cloths.
Last year I made Minnie Mouse birthday invitations and special ordered a cake from a bakery complete with fondant bows and ears. This year, I skipped the invitations since it was just the grandparents and one uncle (the rest of the family is in NY and we’re having a NY party in a few weeks!) and I put my crafty efforts in the kitchen.
Each day this week I’ll let you know how I made each treat – for now just feast your eyes on the Minnie Mouse feast!
Every blog you read probably has made a Mother’s Day gift guide. I didn’t make one this year and instead, I made a list of things that I would be happy to receive on Mother’s Day. I’m hoping to give my husband a big hint or nudge – even just putting things out into the universe so that they may come back to me at some point – maybe even a mother’s day in the future. So the five things I wouldn’t say no to on Mother’s Day (or any day for that matter) are in no particular order:
1. Hugs and Kisses from the Tiny Dancer
2. Anything CHANEL
3. A facial
4. Diamond Earrings – big ones!
So there, I’m easy, no fancy gift guide just the general things in life that make me happy. If you’re still scrambling for your mom’s gift don’t over-think it. Just go with your gut – you know your mom better than you think and all you really want to do is express your love.
Hi! It’s my tiny dancer’s 2nd birthday today so I’m taking the day off and we’re going to the Oakland Zoo to say hi to the lions, elephants and monkeys and ride the carousel repeatedly until she’s had enough. I’ll be back tomorrow – enjoy the day!
Jessica Alba has become the unofficial spokesperson for modern moms who embody modern values like using natural, chemical free, earth-friendly products. She’s taken her love of motherhood and giving back by co-founding The Honest Company, a company that makes safe, eco-friendly, beautiful, convenient, and affordable baby products. The product line includes diapers, wipes, bath and household cleaning products.
The diaper line is a plant-based disposable diaper line that is 100% non-toxic, chlorine-free, and sustainable – ensuring your baby is safe and not exposed to any harsh or synthetic chemicals. The diapers also come in an assortment of adorable patterns that are a step up from plain white diapers. The wipes are made from sustainably harvested plant cellulose material contain no petro-chemicals, chlorine, or anything synthetic and are 100% biodegradable and hypoallergenic.
The bath and household cleanser line is non-toxic and made from the highest quality all-natural & organic ingredients. The line contains no animal byproducts and is not tested on animals.
The Honest Company not only gives customers a chance to buy products that are safe for their child and environmentally responsible, each year The Honest Company chooses a non-profit partner and donates donates product, money, time, and effort to addressing critical health & social issues affecting children and families with every product purchased.
You can sign up for a free trial of a diaper and wipes bundle or a bath/household cleaner bundle by answering a few questions on Honest.com. From then on, if you are happy with your selection, products will be shipped to you monthly – saving you time on shopping. I’m really glad that more companies like Honest are popping up that are truly concerned with producing safe products for our children and are socially responsible.
I was finally able to get a copy of Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman thanks to Penguin Press – you may remember that I posted an interview with Pamela Druckerman a few weeks ago. As soon as I received it I dove in and was able to get through the whole book relatively quickly considering I rarely find time to read with the Tiny Dancer. Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting was so clever and full of interesting facts and stories I picked it up any free moment I had. And I’m glad I did.
An American living in Paris, Pamela Druckerman describes French parenting as she experienced it when comparing the American mode of parenting with the French way that she was surrounded by. She is the first to note that mothers do have it much easier in France than they do in the United States: “There’s the national paid maternity leave (the United States has none), the subsidized nannies and créches [full-time French day care center], the free universal preschool from age three, and myriad tax credits and payments for having kids.” The French will even pay for your tummy tuck! So, yes, French mothers have many reasons to be more relaxed than those of us on this side of the Atlantic. But even with all of these accommodations, French mothers are more relaxed because their view of children, life and parenting.
Pamela Druckerman does an excellent job researching French customs and interviews parents, doctors and parenting experts. She shares her wisdom from everything to getting your babies to sleep through the night, to eating more than plain pasta. A lot of what she writes is so convincing because it just makes sense on a very base level. I’ve already tried some of the techniques and I look forward to implementing more. If you’re feeling in any way overwhelmed and as if your children are taking over your life then I highly recommend Bringing Up Bébé. You can find
Mademoiselle à Soho is an adorable line for boys and girls that is very polished without being stuffy – simply put, the collection was lovely. The line is also endearing – see those adorable knit vests? Their knit by grandmothers – literally. A knitting circle of grandmothers does all the knitting for Mademoiselle à Soho. All of the other clothing is hand-made and they only use all-natural fibers. A lot of thought is put into how kids wear the clothing and adjustments are made to accommodate kids. One new feature is straps sewn inside of coats so that when kids aren’t wearing coats they can wear the coat like a backpack (or a superhero). You can purchase the line on MademoiselleaSoho.com.
Holt and Lulu is a line in it’s second season based in Seattle with all products made in the U.S. The collection features stylish pieces for boys and girls and the goal is to create “really cool clothes in really little sizes.” Some of my favorite pieces from the fall-winter 2012 collection included denim jackets, faux fur vests, tees with bow ties and a bubble faux leather skirt. Sizing ranges fro 2-6x and retail prices range from $49 to $108 (not bad for made in the U.S!). You can purchase these adorable pieces on the HoltandLulu online store (coming soon).