One of my favorite creative toy brands is Invisible Creature. They have done collaborations with Odd Galaxy, Uncle Goose (Stack and Scare Blocks), Super 7’s Wormwood, and now (thankfully!) again with Uncle Goose with their addition of the Barn Blocks.
The Invisible Creature Barn Studio blocks create a replica of a barn 30 miles east of Seattle. The barn was originally built for horses in 1964, but was remodeled for use as an artist studio last year. The blocks were made by Uncle Goose, and depict all kinds of creative and fun prints on each side. Can you spot the Eames rocker?
I love the whimsical pictures on each side and the concept of using the blocks to build one specific building (among many creative free-play uses). My toddler son would have a blast using these blocks, and I have to admit that I would love them just as much as him. These are going on my next wish list for upcoming holidays.
When we announced Pantone’s new Color of the Year, Marsala, I immediately thought it may be difficult to find diaper bags in this particular shade for those who find it fun to stay on-trend with their baby gear picks. Surprisingly, I found a lot more than I had expected! Let’s take a look.
1- Oemi Baby Diaper Bag in Wine- $340
2- LeSportsac Large Weekender Handbag in Marsala Entwine- sale $110
3- TWELVElittle Allure Convertible Satchel in Plum- $230
4- TWELVElittle Allure Weekender in Plum- $310
5- TWELVElittle Allure Tote in Plum- $210
Oemi Baby’s bag looks so beautiful, and the LeSportsac would be the perfect travel bag; I’m going to look into that choice to have in the car and for quick trips. There is no question that TWELVElittle is going to be a heavy hitter in the popular bags category for gear this year.
If you’re not 100% committed to Marsala for the season, here are a few options that offer more of a pattern or hint of the hue.
6- timi & leslie Dawn Diaper Bag in Burgundy- $149
7- Skip Hop Duo Special Edition in Plum Sketch- $64
8- Tory Burch Convertible Nylon Baby Backpack in Cabernet- $375
9- Babymel Satchel Diaper Bag in Cherry- $85
10- Storksak Tania Bee in Burnt Orange- $210
11- Tory Burch Nylon Baby Bag in Cabernet- $395
12- Petunia Pickle Bottom Society Satchel in Plum Tart Cake- sale $226
Now… Drumroll please… If you have an expanded budget for bags (I would love that), here are my two personal luxury favorites for the season. I wish I could find these in person to run my hands over every seam — they’re gorgeous.
Surprise! I just found one more while writing this post, so I will add it here. I’ll have to keep this a growing list for the year.
15- timi & leslie Hannah Diaper Bag in Burgundy- $262.17
What do you think? Are you feeling this trend for winter? Do any of these diaper bags stand out as one you would like to throw on your shoulder immediately? Let me know if you find any others that were not included in this list, and stay tuned as I know a couple of companies will be launching a few more late in the season!
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Leslie Newton, one of the founders of the well-known brand timi & leslie, has recently announced news of her customizable collection of diaper bags called Newlie. Newlie has launched an Indiegogo campaign to help spread their brand and raise funds for this fresh new line.
Newlie is a “Moms-Based Business” which is designed for modern moms by modern moms. If you have ever wanted to have input into creating your perfect diaper bag, than this is the line for you. How is that possible? Each season, you help make selections for the style and then you can customize that style to fit your specific needs. I love this concept.
The first two bags in the collection are solid: The Perfect Backpack and The Everything Tote. These bags have it all; created with high-quality faux leather that is easily wiped clean, these bags are PVC-free, include a clutch purse, changing pad, interior and exterior pockets, bottle tote, key fob, and stroller straps.
The Perfect Backpack (This bag converts to both a backpack and a crossbody bag.)
The Everything Tote
A quick search for alphabet-related items on our blog reveals that we absolutely love seeking out cleverly illustrated, modern designs for you. Today we feature alphabet flashcards which could easily double as gorgeous artwork for your nursery and child’s room.
Giantsuper was founded by father-of-two, Paul Lee. Paul originally illustrated the super-deluxe set of flashcards for his son when he was learning the alphabet. The cards feature modern, iconic animal designs enclosed in a beautiful, premium box.
I’m not sure that I have ever used the word ‘gorgeous’ to describe flashcards before, but I am pretty certain that these qualify for that use. They are gorgeous!
Each card has a detailed animal image in the center, with corresponding capital letter in the top left corner and animal name on the bottom right. The animals look as if they are created in origami form and they seem to hold motion on each card.
They really are incredible. Also incredible is the affordable price point.
If you haven’t seen or heard of the Lollacup already, you should definitely check it out. It’s cute, playful, and receives rave reviews from many (including Shark Tank), so it was only a matter of time before Lollaland expanded on that success and launched more feeding options. It is always nice to have more options in the attractive mealtime category! New from Lollaland is the Mealtime Set.
Included in the Mealtime Set is a plate, bowl, and dipping cup. It looks to be the perfect size, too. I know my son would love that for the mustard he’s obsessed with currently.
Simple details rule the roost here. The Lollaland chick is featured subtly on the plate and the dipping cup. The bowl features the Lollaland logo along the rim. Attractive, pleasing to the eye, and complimentary for any table.
All materials are made and packaged in the USA, BPA-free and phthalate-free, easily stackable, and top-rack dishwasher safe. The shapes are both fun and educational.
The packaging is beautiful, if I may say so for tablewear, and would make a lovely gift for an infant or toddler. The Lollaland Mealtime Set is available in Spring or Summer colors for $20. The Lollacup is available in black, pink, blue, orange, red, or green for $13 a piece.
Esther recently posted on Instagram about her sadness in packing up their beloved Plan Toys contemporary dollhouse, and I started thinking about the perfect time to introduce my son to a dollhouse that I have had my eye on for quite some time. The Green Alligator is a local toy shop where I live in Jacksonville, FL, and they carry an amazing selection of Hape toys. I have long been a fan of the Happy Family line from Hape and wanted to highlight their range.
The Happy Family All Season House can be purchased fully furnished ($199) or unfurnished ($129). If you have a smaller space or would like to represent a cozier home, the Happy Villa ($99) would be perfect. The home is made from wood with water-based paints, and features reversible seasonal themes, a solar-paneled roof, six rooms, and moveable stairways. I love the details of the front door mail slot, the balcony, and ceiling lighting fixtures.
Make sure to expand outside with the Playground Set ($40). The puzzle-piece base provides the land for the swing, see-saw, and slide.
The Dining Room ($20) could provide hours of entertainment with all of the miniature place settings and tableware. I am dying to order this myself just to sit next to my computer so I can marvel in the details.
Bedroom sets include the Master Room ($20) and a Children’s Room ($20). Keep your Happy Family fed by including the Kitchen Set ($20) and the Patio Set ($20) with the outdoor grill. The pots and pans, mixer, and tiny dish towel all kill me with cuteness.
There are many more sets and figures to add-on for your Happy Family, but Hape doesn’t stop there with imaginative playsets. Every time I stop by our local shop, I am entranced by the Meine Kleine Welt (My Little World) farm, home, and play worlds. Check out the video below for a peek!
Quinny has never held back with color when it comes to their bright strollers– especially in their Moodd design collaboration with pop artist icon Romero Britto. This year, Quinny showed off their latest bold collaboration with Belgian artist Kenson that resulted in these designs for the Yezz and Zapp Xtra.
These strollers are edgy, funky, fresh, and fun.
The Quinny Yezz Special Edition Kenson Collection is a giggle exclusive and retails for $330.
Check out the detail on the seat. The white fabric would probably show dirt easily, but this is a stroller design that could handle some wear and tear and still look great.
The Kenson Limited Edition Zapp Xtra retails for $375.
I love the splashes of green on the wheels, the hood, shoulder straps, and foot rest.
If you missed our review of the Quinny Zapp Xtra, check it out here!
What do you think of this design collaboration?
We are excited to share a new stroller option with you. Jané, Spain’s leading stroller brand, is relaunching in the US and they debuted the North American product lineup at the ABC Kids Expo. Let’s take a look!
The Nanuq is an umbrella stroller with large diameter wheels, adjustable backrest, kickstand for storage, and carrying handle. Accessories included are the hood, cup holder, foot rest, and rain cover.
Adjustable handles make this stroller stand out, as well as the patented “ball joint” system, allowing it to fold to 12% of its height when standing. The Nanuq retails at $299 and is available in colors Aqua blue, Shadow grey, and Cosmos red.
The Rider has a sleek profile as Jane’s top of the range stroller. The aluminum chassis ensures a lightweight frame, and the adjustable rear suspension make it a quick and easy ride to push. The height of the stroller also makes it useful for using as a highchair when dining on-the-go.
The fabric available on the navy blue Rider is patterned with playful, sketches of fish. I love how compact the canopy shade is when in the up position. The seat can be adjusted to face forward or turn around so the child is parent-facing. The basket looks easily accessible and the fold of the stroller gets down to 30% of its size, as shown in the bottom right photo. The Rider retails at $750 and is available in Shadow grey, Blue, and Sand.
Trider Extreme is Jané’s stroller made for those who are looking for all-terrain capability and a stylish, elegant appearance. The larger wheels give it stability and maneuverability on both rough terrain and smooth concrete. Long length suspension and an adjustable shock absorber ensure baby’s maximum comfort. While I am not a fan of the writing on the foot rests, I am really loving the ruggedly sophisticated look. The Trider Extreme retails at $790 and is available in the Deep red and Azzure blue shown above.
The Jané Powertwin Pro double stroller is an all-terrain stroller with a two-position, rear wheel suspension for a smooth ride, including a front wheel disc brake system. Each seat has its own adjustable backrest and canopy. The Powertwin Pro will be available soon.
All of the Jané canopies are water-repellant, made from breathable fabric, and include anti-Uva, Uvb, Upf 50+ sun protection.
These are some good looking strollers, so we look forward to getting to know Jané!
I am a huge fan of large diaper bags, so when I first heard about a diaper bag that can be worn as a fanny pack, I had to check it out regardless of size. The boken ON-THE-GO HIP PACK Diaper Bag is designed with an adjustable belt to be worn as a hip pack or over the shoulder as a sling bag. The compact shape and size allow it to be folded into itself in a zippered pocket for storage and travel.
The folded bag is portable and has a convenient loop for carrying or storing.
The adjustable hip pack/sling bag easily wipes clean, contains an outer zip pocket for bottles or pacifiers, a Velcro cell phone pocket, an inner zip pocket which doubles as the bag’s storage pouch, and this is all at the incredible light weight of 5.5 ounces!
The lightweight material is comfortable to wear around your waist and over your shoulder, even when loaded with a full water bottle. Rubberized zipper pulls are easy to use one-handed (a big pet peeve of mine with some diaper bags that are impossible to close without two hands!). During trips to the beach with my stroller, I hang the boken from our stroller handlebars, so it hangs out of the sunlight. It’s super easy to toss anywhere needed, from the car console, to the stroller basket on our umbrella stroller, to wearing around my waist or shoulder when we walk stroller-less on the beach collecting shells. Bonus — the sand and salt water is simple to clean out after each use!
A peek inside the boken hip pack/sling bag when we go to the beach. I always try to bring extra water because we never know how long we’ll end up walking the shore looking for sea creatures.
Here is everything I packed with me, sans keys, phone (taking the photo), and sunglasses, for the dinner and reception party last week celebrating my sister’s wedding. The outside phone pocket fit my iPhone 4S with case perfectly, but my husband’s iPhone 5 in an Otterbox was too large for the Velcro closure. We had to put it in the outside front zipper pocket instead. The bag rested on top of our umbrella stroller canopy (UPPAbaby G-LiTE) which was in the up position. Carrying a bag much smaller than my typical daily bags has allowed me to streamline what we bring to only the most-used, essential items.
My final thoughts?
This is one versatile little bag — and my husband loves it as well for it’s size and material. The only issue that I have had is that the zipper to the inside pocket, which also closes the pouch up when folded for storage, broke within the first few uses. The bag can still be used and folded just fine, and this may have just been an issue with my particular bag. While the front outside pocket is designed for bottles (it is not insulated), the Born Free bottles that we used are too large, so you may also want to keep that in mind. I would love it if there could be a loop added to the bag while in use, so it can be hung on a hook or stroller handle easily. The outside pouch loop is great for storage, but an additional loop would be nice as well since I found myself looking for one frequently for some reason out of habit. Perhaps an ’80’s fanny pack flashback?
It is a surprising outcome that I find myself liking a smaller bag as much as I do. I definitely recommend the boken Hip Pack/Sling Bag as the perfect travel bag, beach bag, and on-the-go diaper bag, and at $34, you can afford to add this to your lifestyle.
While boken was generous enough to offer us this bag for review, all thoughts, opinions, and recommendations are my own.
Well known and loved for their children’s clothing line, Mini Rodini launches a new home collection online and in their stores coming in October. They announced a sneak peek so we could have a look!
This collection will feature their whimsical, modern eco-friendly dyed prints on organic bed linens and upcycled cotton products.
The pufferfish print is one of my favorites that I have seen on children’s bedding. I look forward to more details next month!
Stay tuned to Mini Rodini for their launch announcement.