PLAE Time: Customizable (Celeb-Adored) Shoes Your Kids Need Now

Your kids? They skip, run, climb trees, and tumble over on a regular basis. Bottom line is, their feet take a beating. And without proper shoes, those just-learned-to-walk toes are bound to undergo injury. Enter: PLAE shoes for kids. Designed with the same techniques as Olympic sports gear, these sneakers promote natural development. Plus, they’re favored by a number of A-listers (ahem, the Affleck family).

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March 25, 2014

Make It Their Best Year Ever: Resolution Tips for the Kids

The New Year. It’s a clean slate for everyone. We’re all a little more optimistic, our willpower is stronger (for now), and our goals usually surround bettering ourselves in one way or another. So, this year, why not get the kids in on the action, too? Here, a few tips for starting them off right.

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Click to download a printable blank checklist for them to fill out.

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January 2, 2014

Prepare for Squeals of Excitement: 4 Toys the Kids (Really) Want

One wants to be a doctor. The other wants to be a veterinarian. And then there’s always one who wants to be a professional princess or a magician. No matter what they plan on being when they grow up, they’ve got big dreams, and these are the gifts to help feed their curiosity.

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November 22, 2013

Baby Talk: Blankets Go High-Tech

Remember your baby blanket? Soft, cuddly, and, well, probably not all that sanitary? Yeah, that’s not the kind of thing you want to pass on to your little one. Blankets these days tout benefits we couldn’t have even imagined years ago. Like germ-fighting fibers. Yes, really. Read on.

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October 3, 2013

How to Lull Baby to Sleep (So You Can Join the Ranks of the Well-Rested)

It’s always something of miracle when new parents are lucky enough to share (in hushed, grateful tones) that their baby is a “good sleeper.” You know, they’re those happy babies whose well-rested parents have hobbies and active social lives.

Can you imagine? (You’re tired, so we’ll answer for you: no.)

The key to joining the ranks of the refreshed, it seems, lies in a teddy bear. One with enough features to rival the latest turnout from Apple. Enter: The Original Slumber Bear. What separates this bear from the sleuth (which is apparently what you call a group of bears)? Read on to find out.

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1. Invented by a doctor – so you know it’s legit – this bear contains an actual intrauterine recording that helps recreate the experience of being in the womb and lulls baby to sleep within minutes. Consider fussy newborns fussy no more.

2. If baby cries or jostles the bear, sound and motion sensors reactivate the recording to renew that sense of calm. No midnight sprints to the crib, vocal warmups, or made-up lullaby lyrics necessary.

3. The audio box with that calming recording? It’s removable. Hook and loop straps make it easy to attach to crib rails, strollers, car seats (if strapping baby in and driving around the block is a pre-nap ritual), and more.

4. Like other teddy bears, this one’s made for nuzzling. The soft Silkie it comes wrapped in calls for a lot of cuddle time. But the Silkie also serves as a bonding tool – if Mom keeps the blanket close and transfers her scent to it, baby has another reason to never let go.

Our Prince Lionheart Boutique opens Monday, July 8, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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July 8, 2013

Set Sail: Transform the Kids’ Room into a Nautical Dream

Fact: Nautical décor is always in. Especially in the summertime. And even more so when the kids are involved. (Seriously, is there anything cuter?) Bring all their pirate-treasure-hunting dreams to life with these three easy swaps.

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1. Add sailboat and anchor wall hooks around the room for an instant dose of seafaring style.

2. Replace a plain carpet with a crab or anchor motif area rug.

3. Convert the kids’ beds into boats fit for the high seas. How? With this ship-shaped bed, of course.

Our Sail Away: Kids’ Nautical Bedroom Décor Boutique opens Sunday, June 30, at 11AM ET.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

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June 30, 2013

Smooth Sailing Ahead: The New Type of Baby Carrier

Parents’ lives are super busy, and having to tote the tot around everywhere isn’t always conducive to making crazy schedules easier. But thanks to this collection of ergonomic carriers, your baby can come along for the ride in complete comfort. What makes this gear different from the rest, you ask? Read on for a breakdown.

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1. It’s comfortable for parents.
The padded shoulder straps and waist belt evenly distribute the baby’s weight between your shoulders and hips. No stiff back here.

2. It promotes a natural sitting position.
Aligning with the recommended carry position from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, the carrier cradles your baby just the way you do.

3. There are multiple carry positions.
Choose how you carry the little one: on the front, back, or side. Because changing it up is a good thing.

4. Baby can come along for the ride from day one.
The carrier is good straight from newborn (with Infant Insert) to toddler (up to 45 pounds). If only they made one for adults.

Our Ergobaby Boutique opens Monday, June 17, at 11AM ET.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

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June 17, 2013

The Cutest Little Shoes You’ve Seen All Week

Flowered peep-toes. Velvet spat boots. Cuffed booties. Behold, shoes I imagine Suri Cruise would wear unabashedly and with abandon. Shoes that walk the line – as the best grown-up versions do – of function and pure delight.

Here, Jessica Haley of Joyfolie (the woman behind the shoes) fills me in on everything and anything about these adorable little pieces.

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Your shoes are downright adorable. What would you say sets them apart from the pack?
I’d dub our shoes unapologetically feminine, thoughtfully detailed, and meticulously packaged. Each pair comes in a drawer box with a styled image of the shoes inside and a matching hair clip, too. When I began the company, I didn’t aspire to grow so quickly or even grow at all, in the beginning. I was just delighted that customers loved my shoes enough to keep buying them. Often, as a thank you, I made clips out of the scraps from the handmade shoes. As we grew into a manufactured line, I wanted to continue that same expression of gratitude, which is why we continue to offer a clip with every pair of shoes.

So, how did it all start? 
I used to describe Joyfolie as my “hobby run amok,” which is to say, when it first began, I had no intentions of starting a company. I handmade a pair of booties for my daughter when she was an infant and on a whim, put a pair for sale on Etsy. In a short period of time, I had celebrity purchases, press in some great national magazines, and an overwhelming amount of wholesale orders. I handmade literally thousands of booties to fund our own growth, first making them myself, then hiring a team to hand-make them in the United States, and eventually transitioned into full-scale manufacturing to accommodate the volume we needed.

I’d take it then that your shoes are no longer handmade?
Oh, lands, no!  I do not miss those days!  I love to create, but I am more of a big-picture thinker. Back in those day, I would sew until 2 or 3 in the morning every night because my children were small at the time and that’s when I could work most efficiently. I would get bored making the same shoes over and over. Back then, counting the rubber of the soles and layers in the lining, a pair of handmade shoes (like this one) had 17 layers of fabric to make them stiff!!

Just throwing it out there – as a little girl I would have fallen head over heels for these. Is there a particular little girl you design for? 
I design with every little girl in mind!  Whether it’s sparkly pink loafers or silver sandals or brown studded boots, it’s my hope that we have enough variety for every little girl’s preference and that Joyfolie shoes make her feel happy and special.

Where do you picture her going in these?  
Traveling to meet a queen, trekking up a mountain, sipping tea with The Three Bears – that’s where my daughter tells me she wears hers!

And, next steps. What’s up for Joyfolie in the future?
Joyfolie is growing so fast… every new season I am both amazed and humbled by how much we are growing. As we grow, that enables us to expand into new product lines. We have some women’s boots coming out this fall that I am particularly proud of!

Our Joyfolie Girls’ Clothing & Accessories Boutique opened Tuesday, May 28, at 11AM ET.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

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May 29, 2013

The Anatomy of the Boxy Backpack

The Petunia Pickle Bottom classic on every mom's list

 
Moms are always juggling what seems like a million things at once: pacifiers, bottles, blankets, and (of course) the baby. In an effort to keep everything stylish and under control, Petunia Pickle Bottom set out to reinvent the unimaginative diaper bag. Behold: the Boxy Backpack – otherwise known as the fashionable carryall-turned-lifesaver for mommyhood.

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Our Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bags & Accessories Boutique opens Sunday, May 5, at 11AM ET.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

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May 5, 2013

Baby Talk: How to Decorate the Modern Nursery

Sunny décor tips from former Pottery Barn Kids designer, Bridget Kelly

Recently, a friend of mine completely revamped her study… into a sublimely stylish nursery. Grey walls splashed with yellow accents. Teeny little elephants posed next to chevron pillows. It was Pinterest-perfect, in the most lovely of ways, and it finally hit me: gone are the days when babydom meant generic décor. The modern world of baby is delightfully playful – and, best of all, personal.

No one knows this better than children’s design guru, Bridget Kelly. A former Pottery Barn Kids designer, Bridget now helms her own adorably whimsical, feel-good children’s brand, The Little Acorn. True to its motto “Grow Up Happy,” the brand encourages little ones to learn acceptance and dream big. Think happy messaging and lots and lots of color (as Bridget says, “The child in me has to be surrounded by it – color just simply makes us all happier!”).

Here, Bridget shares a few words about decorating the nursery.

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Always follow your heart when it comes to design. Creating the nursery is such a personal and defining moment in a new family’s life – it must mean something to you, as you are the ones who will remember it most… even more than baby!

Be inspired by tradition. Much like a wedding, the idea of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is a great starting point when it comes to the nursery-to-be.

Don’t be afraid of colors in this age of grey – color pops beautifully off of grey walls and grey furniture.

Get personal. It warms my heart to see art from mommy’s or daddy’s own childhood on the nursery wall mixed with current, meaningful art or family photos in black and white. Also, add a blanket that Grandmama made for you – or try our handmade quilts and bedding, which are made to be passed down from generation to generation.

Put safety first. It is important to keep the safest items in the nursery – a safe crib, a safe infant sleeping bag, art with no glass, and natural rugs. Our warm rugs are in natural fibers, with the quality and material that are safe for a baby’s room – don’t opt for synthetic rugs, which can emit dangerous off-gassing.

Our Dream Big: Kid’s Décor Featuring The Little Acorn Boutique opens Thursday, April 11, at 11AM ET.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor 

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April 11, 2013