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Gabriella
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Play Time With Lego Duplo

lego duplo play

One of my favorite childhood toys were Legos. I remember building places for my little Lego people and I especially loved the funny little hats that my little Lego people wore. Fast-forward thirty years and when I had the Tiny Dancer one of the first toys I wanted to get her were Legos. I was happy to learn that since the time I played with them, Lego introduced a line of blocks for younger children – Lego Duplo.

lego duplo play

Lego Duplo blocks were one of the first toys we bought for the Tiny Dancer because the beauty of Lego toys is that they are gender-neutral and they inspire creativity. Legos are a wonderful toy to entertain the imaginations of little ones while they play, explore and develop their multiple senses. The Tiny Dancer creates her own world with Lego Duplos and she can play by herself or with us. Sometimes I wonder who likes playing with the Legos more – my husband or the Tiny Dancer. When I was approached by Lego Duplo to buy more Lego Duplo sets for the Tiny Dancer there was no hesitation – I already knew that we were fans.

lego duplo play

Courtesy of Lego, I purchased the Lego Duplo Read & Build Let’s Go! Vroom, Lego Duplo Read & Build Grow Caterpillar Grow! and the Lego Duplo Large Brick Box.

lego duplo play

The Read & Build sets are a great way to interact with the little ones. Each set comes with a story book and lego pieces. As you read the story, you are prompted to build characters in the story. The Grow Caterpillar Grow! story tells the growth story of a caterpillar and her outdoor friends. Let’s Go! Vroom! allows kids to build vehicles like cars and planes. At the moment, the Tiny Dancer loves vehicles and animals so I focused on those two stories. She didn’t have any of the Read & Build toys her in collection but she really enjoys the stories. It’s a great way for us to play together and she could hear the story over and over and not get tired of it.

lego duplo play

We already had some Lego Duplo sets so I also bought the large brick box so she could have more building blocks to add to her other sets. She has a great time with her papa playing with them but sometimes I’ll find her sitting in her room by herself just building stuff on her own. She’s two-and-a-half now and she’s starting to interact with her toys more and I love seeing her role play.

The Tiny Dancer loves her Lego Duplo sets and I’m sure we’ll keep adding to her arsenal of building blocks. She (and her dad) have years of fun ahead of them and the building and playing opportunities are endless.

You can enter for a chance to win $100 worth of LEGO DUPLO products! Here’s how to enter:
Step 1: Go to www.pinterest.com and log onto your account.
Step 2: Go to the Tend by Glam Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/TendByGlam) and click “Pin To Win” tab where you will be provided with the Contest image which you must pin to your Pinterest board.
Step 3: Fill in your email address and click “Submit & Pin”
Step 4: Re-pin the Contest Image to any Pinterest board, along with at least one (1) additional image from among a library of images available on the Tend LEGO DUPLO Pinterest board.

All steps must be completed during the Promotion Period to be eligible as an Entry. Sweeps ends November 30, 2012.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by LEGO DUPLO via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of LEGO DUPLO.

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Gabriella
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YOYAMART – A Design Boutique for the Whole Family

yoyamart
While I was in New York a few weeks ago I stopped by a boutique called Yoyamart, a family-oriented design store. When I first walked in I knew I was in a special shop. Unlike other children’s stores, Yoyamart is as appealing to adults as it is to children. The walls are lined with collectible vinyl figures and fun plush toys – the kind that I still collect, but that kids love too.

yoyamart

You can find anything you would need at Yoyamart from toys to books and educational toys, you’ll never be at a loss to buying a child (or a big kid) a gift.  I also loved the selection of apparel, footwear and accessories.  You can find designer clothing for kids from lines like Custo, Derhy, Munster, Dino e Lucia, Petite Louie and Bellerose.  The shoe wall was my favorite – they had mini versions of a lot of my favorite kicks including Vans and Native Shoes.  And, Yoyamart carries my favorite kid’s jewelry line Hijo Hija by Cubannie Links.

yoyamart

If you’re not in NYC, don’t worry, you can get the Yoyamart experience online at Yoyamart.com.  If you do visit NYC, then you definitely need to stop by Yoyamart – you can find it at:

Yoyamart
15 Gansevoort street
New York NY 10014
P : 212.242.5511.

yoyamart

yoyamart

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Gabriella
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Playtime New York FW12: Atsuyo et Akiko

atsuyo et akikoOne of my favorite brands that I discovered at Playtime New York is Atsuyo et Akiko.  Based in Brooklyn, Atsuyo Yang & Akiko Mukae offer a selection of children’s clothing, decor, bags, accessories and jewelry.  The screen printed designs immediately caught my eye and the little ONESi’s with clever sayings and graphics are perfect for mini, baby hipsters.  There’s a natural feel, look and almost Parisian sensibility to the line that I love.  The accessories are adorable and a ton of fun and I especially love the pillows.  Atsuyo et Akiko collaborates with artists and designers and their latest collaborations include projects with Jess Brown and Disney.  All accessories and screen printing is done in Brooklyn and you can purchase pieces on the Atsuyo et Akiko webstore.  See some of my favorite pieces in the collection below…

atsuyo et akiko

atsuyo et akiko

atsuyo et akiko

atsuyo et akiko jess brown dolls

atsuyo et akiko

atsuyo et akiko

atsuyo et akiko

atsuyo et akiko

atsuyo et akiko

atsuyo et akiko

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Gabriella
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Playtime New York FW12: Jess Brown Design

jess brown dolls

I was instantly captivated the first time I saw Jess Brown dolls (those mysterious dolls on display at Petite Parade). There was something about the eyes and the sweet little mouths that drew me in.  They were very simple dolls but incredible adorable.  Since they are made from fabric and soft, I could instantly see these dolls being toted around by little girls everywhere.

jess brown dolls

Jess Brown dolls are all handmade in her studio in Petaluma, California.  She sources vintage fabrics for the doll dresses and you can order a customized doll by choosing the hair color and clothing.  Her newest addition to the line of dolls is an elephant with soft fabric floppy ears – very cute.  If these dolls look familiar at all to you, it may be because she created an exclusive collection of dolls in collaboration with Bottega Venetta.  In addition to the dolls, you can buy a little tote to carry the dolls that turns into a little bed for the doll.  Jess Brown dolls retail for $180 and you can buy them on the Jess Brown web shop.

jess brown dolls

If you like Jess Brown’s overall design aesthetic, then you’ll probably like her lifestyle and women’s collection.  She recently added a line of Alpaca blankets to her collection that are as warm as they are beautiful.  Learn more on JessBrownDesign.com.

jess brown dolls

jess brown dolls

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Gabriella
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Todd Oldham Kid Made Modern For Target

Todd Oldham Kid Made Modern Target

In 2009, Todd Oldham released his book Kid Made Modern, a DIY book to help kids explore their creativity while having some fun. Inspired by his book, Todd Oldham has teamed up with Target to create a line of crafts products for kids ranging from multi-color crayons, jewelry-making kits, a comic book kit among many others.

These products look like so much fun for kids (and adults too!) and they incorporate Todd Oldham’s trademark design savvy with products that will keep kids happy for hours. Though the Tiny Dancer is too young for most of these products, I still want to buy some to save for when she’s old enough to enjoy them. Todd Oldham Kid Made Modern will be on sale in Target stores on May 20th.

Todd Oldham Kid Made Modern Target

Todd Oldham Kid Made Modern Target

Todd Oldham Kid Made Modern Target

Todd Oldham Kid Made Modern Target

All Images Except Collage: 2Modern Blog
Collage: A Bull’s Eye View

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Gabriella
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Best Toy Storage Options To Tame the Jungle of Toys

toy storage

Hello Kitty Storage on Amazon.com

The Holiday Hangover is slowly going away and in its stead I am surrounded in a sea of toys. I always said that I would not let the Tiny Dancer take over the house, but somehow, exactly that has happened. At any given moment I have the potential of breaking my ankle on any number of toys. This drives me crazy not only because of the health hazards but because I’m a bit of a neat freak. It makes my brain hurt to see toys everywhere. I went from picking up after the Tiny Dancer constantly to just dealing with toys during the day and having one major clean up at night before bed. Regardless of how many times you clean up you need a place for all the toys.

I recently realized that to accommodate the growing toy population I needed to get some more toy storage. I started looking online and was relieved to see that there were many options in many styles and price ranges. Choosing the best toy storage will come down to style and function. Will the toy storage be in the kids’ room or a shared space with adults? If it will be in the kids’ room then you can choose character based items (or not). If it’s in a space shared with adults you may want items that are subtle and maybe even double as a bench. Also, consider how much storage you need. Some options are finite in the amount of storage space they have, while others are modular and you can add to them. Before you make a final decision, remember to go through the old toys and try to get rid of some of the toys they’ve outgrown or are tired of. There are plenty of kids (or future siblings or cousins) that could use them so don’t be afraid to donate or recycle them!

toy storage

Character-Decorated Storage Pieces from Toys R US

toy storage

Neat and Basic from Land of Nod

toy storage

Customize It at Pottery Barn Kids

toy storage

Affordabel Clean Design at IKEA

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Gabriella
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This Rocking Horse Won

land of nod rocking horse
Before the holidays I posted some of my favorite rocking horses/animals for toddlers since I was doing a search for the Tiny Dancer. The rocking horse from The Land of Nod won out with us and I’m happy to say that the Tiny Dancer loves it! It’s the perfect size, she can get on/off herself and she figured out right away how to rock away. It even provides fun for me as evidenced by my crazy “Horsey, Horsey” voice in the video below – don’t judge me – there’s something about my adorable daughter that always gets me to act silly…

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Gabriella
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Classic Rocking Horses & Contemporary Rocking Toys for Kids

contemporary rocking horse modern rocking horse From top left:  Crafts Collection Rocking Sheep, Emu.Eno Rocking Sheep, Hiho, Eames Elephant, Walking Elephant *I realize the green elephant is no a rocker but it’s Eames and I love it.

For Christmas, I want to get the Tiny Dancer a rocking horse. Since I was in the market already, I thought I’d share some of the favorite rockers that I found. My favorites tend to be in two different categories – classic wooden rocking horses and contemporary rocking animals (they’re not all horses). There were some very cool looking contemporary styles that I didn’t include because I felt like they were more for the parents. I mean, I would rather have them around the house but they don’t look like animals and I think that’s part of the fun for the kids no? Check out my favorites – I think we decided on the rocking horse from the Land of Nod – which also happens to be on sale!

classic rocking horse wooden rocking horse From top left: Pottery Barn Kids, Little Sapling Toys on Etsy, Land of Nod, Tori Rocking Horse

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Gabriella
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tokidoki for Hello Kitty Collection

tokidoki for Hello Kitty
Two brands with instantly recognizable iconography, tokidoki and Sanrio, have joined forces again to present the tokidoki for Hello Kitty Collection. The super-kawaii collection is perfect for holiday gift giving (or personal shopping) and includes rolling suitcases, neoprene laptop and iPad cases, wallets, bags in various sizes, watches and plush toys. All of the items feature Hello Kitty and the artwork of Simone Legno and there’s something for Mamas and Tiny Dancers! The limited-edition collection will be in Sanrio stores, Sanrio.com and tokidoki.com beginning November 1st. Cuteness overload!

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Gabriella
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Hello Kitty x Momiji Message Dolls, Mugs & Pins

hello kitty x momiji dolls

Brace yourselves for some cuteness overload!  My favorite character Hello Kitty has teamed up with Momiji to create message dolls, mugs and pins.  If you’re not familiar with Momiji, they are little dolls that come with pieces of paper hidden in them.  The paper is blank so that you can write-in a message to the recipient of the doll.  They’re the cutest way to deliver a personal message – and now you can deliver your message with the help of Hello Kitty.  In addition to the message dolls, Hello Kitty and Momiji made pins and mugs.  The special set is adorable and I want them all!!!  You can purchase them online in the Sanrio web shop.

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