The Truth About Trying

A friend recently told me about this amazing feature of video blogs on Redbook called “The Truth About Trying“.  I thought it was a fantastic way to personalize and put a face to the issues that many women silently face.  Whether you have ten children, one child, or in the midst of trying for your first  — the struggle to conceive is a difficult and emotionally taxing journey when it does not work out as planned.  Thought I would pass along and give praise to Redbook for helping to bring light to an often closely guarded subject.

-Dina

(Image from Redbook)

The Baby Chase

I must say, I am really liking that more and more information is starting to come to the forefront regarding the issues surrounding infertility.  My mother pointed me towards this article entitled “My Fertility Crisis” which ran in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago and I thought it was a real eye-opener.   All too often, when we DO actually hear about a woman’s struggle with conception, it is usually only discussed and disclosed only once “success” (aka a baby )  is achieved.  Rarely do we hear about those who have been unsuccessful in the journey to motherhood and/or have been dealt multiple blows over the course of years and years.  Infertility is still one of those closely guarded secrets that women keep to themselves, which is why I need to commend Holly Finn, the author of the article and of the new e-book “The Baby Chase” who bravely and honestly shares her experiences of IVF and the quest to have a child.  While not the usual post you would find at a place like Babyccino Kids — I know that many of the moms out there can totally relate and I thought it was a good article to share.

-Dina

Bracedlets

So I don’t know about you but I am SO happy that the “Silly Bandz” craze appears to be over.  The inventors, likely being fanned by a giant banana leaf as I type, made millions of kids happy and left millions of adults feeling emotionally devastated that they did not come up with the concept themselves.  I must alert my overseas friends however that the new “15 minutes” of bracelets has arrived in town.  Bracedlets are suddenly in vogue in NYC and were developed by two New York orthodontists using actual orthodontic materials.  Having recently received some as a gift for my daughters, I must say, they are actually kind of cool and I really like that they are durable, colorful and dare I say — stylish!?  While a tad pricey at $4.99 each but they do last and are funky enough for an adult to wear without feeling ashamed.

-Dina

Delicious Cake Toppers by Goodie Girl

Shira is a mom who owns and operates a small cafe in my neighborhood.  Not only does she make delicious and healthy things like quinoa chocolate chip cookies, lentil and feta salads and hearty organic ten vegetable soups…but she also has a dark side.  Shira is a self proclaimed candy-addict and master chocolatier (and it’s true – I have seen her sneak a twizzler or two when her kids weren’t looking!).  Recently she rolled out these solid chocolate birthday candles that I thought were fabulous.  Such a simple idea to jazz up a plain frosted cake or a cupcake and she can customize the candle to whatever shape you need.  We all love to lick the frosting off our birthday cakes right?…so how much does it rock that we can now eat the candle!  New Yorkers should check out her website Goodie Girl for cute and easy ideas to jazz up a party.

Miss Nelson is Missing!

We love this book!  Miss Nelson Is Missing! has been around since 1977 but we only discovered it in the last few months and we read it just about every night.  I don’t want to spoil the ending but let’s just say I am thinking of employing some of the tactics from the book’s storyline. The next time my kids either a) don’t listen to me or b) say I am unfair (which should be literally any second)  I am going to send in a decoy mom who is much worse to take over so that I seem like a walk in the park.  I recently read this to a class of five-year-olds and they LOVED it. Available from the Babyccino Kids Bookstore (US and UK).
-Dina

Avon Crawling?? Cosmetics Co. Launches Baby Line

A few weeks ago, Avon, the cosmetic giant, gave birth to a new business venture and launched the  Tiny Tilila website for babies!  who  knew?  They offer a wide array of high-quality basics for babies from sleep-time to bath-time and I am quite impressed!  I really like their cotton onesies, soft bath towels and cushy stuffed animals for little ones, all of which are very reasonably priced.   They were kind enough to send me a few samples which my girls took-off with immediately and dressed up their dolls.  I especially like their nail-protecting onesies and the little kimono pjs (pictured above).  The designer behind Tiny Tilila also happens to be the author Jackie Collins’ daughter which is kind of cool.

-Dina

Building a better clog

Clogs were a fashion must when I was a kid.  I am still traumatized however by all the foot injuries that I suffered as a result of wearing them.  Do you remember running in them and they would slip forward and you would crash down on the heel —  basically splitting your foot in half?  Or how they just made so much noise clanking around that people rolled their eyeballs when you innocently ran by?  Anyway, I am happy to report that the clog dilemma has been solved sparing droves of young feet from clog-related injuries.  I love these Dansko clogs with their quiet rubber sole and buckle.  Beyond cute.  I got this exact shoe for one of my daughters and she is obsessed.

-Dina

Glitter Tattoos — Parent Approved

I am really not a fan of temporary tattoos for kids.  Sure, fine, kids like them and all, but don’t you think they always look like a terrible, flakey mess after a few hours — not to mention the fact that there is always a fight when you have to remove them!   I do however adore a simple and beautiful glitter tattoo (from time to time).  While you used to only be able to get them done by people at street fairs and the like, they are now making easy to use stencil kits you can do at home.   I found these incredible little boxed sets at the upper west side store Make Meaning and they have become a prized possession in our home.   I just ordered a bunch for birthday gifts and now, thanks to my girls, I am sporting two of them.  Also worth nothing they last up to a week and come in simple, kid-appropriate designs.

-Dina

The delightful Anne Taintor


I always see these silly quotes from Anne Taintor in novelty shops in NYC and they always make me smile.  I saw these two refrigerator magnets the other day and immediately made an impulse purchase and they have worked wonders to keep me mentally intact when I hear one of my kids break into a “yodel-style” whine for something.  Part of me would love to get a giant size poster to hang on my wall, in fact, I am going to look into that asap – maybe I should even look into wallpaper.  Here is a link to some of their favorite quotes but there are a ton to browse through so enjoy hard-working mothers of the world!

-Dina

ReCrib: Out with the old in with the new

A friend just passed along this website to me and I am thrilled to see that someone took the time to put this together!  ReCrib is essentially a “Craigslist” for all things child related — a place to buy and sell cribs, baby gear, strollers and all the other wonderful and time-limited things that come along with having children.  It looks like the website is only catering to New York and New Jersey right now but I am sure once it gets rolling it will be everywhere!  The site offers high-end products from the likes of DucDuc, Stokke and Netto all for a fraction of their retail costs.  While I always prefer to donate bygone items to friends or local charities there is something to be said about recouping some cash to purchase the next needed items coming down the pipeline (ie: this crib for this toddler bed).

-Dina

Airplane Ear

Traveling with kids can be stressful enough as is but there is nothing worse than the oppressive hovering fear that someone will get “airplane ear.”  I remember getting it a few times as a kid and it was just plain awful, so now, during take off and landing, I basically open up my own small concession stand  — handing out lollipops, bottles of water and headphones (for some reason it helps) all while encouraging a “yawning” marathon.  So what exactly is this sinister “airplane ear”?   The technical name is “Barotrauma” which in a nutshell means trauma (yikes!) to your inner ear valve due to a a pressure differential.  Flight attendants always suggest filling cups with warm soaked paper towels to hold over your ears or holding your nose and blowing (neither which has ever really worked for me at least).  Sticking your fingers in your ears always seems to help (although probably not the best idea).  Any other suggestions?

-Dina

Rush Hour


Now that my girls are past the Zingo phase, the latest game obsession in our house is Rush Hour .  The compact game is not only excellent for travel but involves puzzle solving skills that even an adult will enjoy.  I am starting to teach them the basics of chess (which is not exactly a relaxing experience) and Rush Hour is great for working on those “forward thinking” moves.  In a nutshell, the goal is to navigate your car out of a traffic jam by methodically sliding pieces out of the way to free yourself.  My favorite part —  clean up time — it’s small and comes with a bag to chuck all the pieces in.   Love that.

-Dina

Kale Chips

As the mother of a child who refuses to eat anything but beige foods (pasta, chicken, rice and cereal) I do have one single window of opportunity to get a veggie into her — Kale Chips.  My whole family is obsessed with them and they are delicious and easy to make.  Not only do they offer the same satisfaction as a regular potato chip but making them is something the kids can get involved in when you need a quick snack.  Please note: the chips do not make for a good date food — it’s one of those items where you will literally get a small piece of green wedged in between every single one of your teeth — so take note and floss before leaving the house. Here is how I make them…

  • 3-4 bunches of kale ripped into pieces (I tend to make a lot because they go fast!)
  • wash and dry. drizzle with olive oil and salt and mix with your hands to coat.
  • lay on cookie sheet with space in between each piece and sprinkle a little more salt.
  • bake at 300°F for around 15-20 minutes until crispy.  The drier you get them the better.

Enjoy!

The Mundo Cargo Bike

Another cool spotting on the streets of Tribeca!  While walking my girls back from swim class last night (all of us tired, hungry and cranky as could be) a man on a bike whizzed past us with two kids sitting snugly on the back.  Immediately one of my daughter started screaming “I WANT THAT NOWWWWWWWWW!!!!! and I looked at her and said “ME TOOOOOOO!!!”

A few blocks later and I found it parked on the street and we all went to investigate.  Turns out there is a company in California called Yuba that makes them and it is way cool.  The Mundo Cargo Bike is essentially a utility bicycle that is  made with the intent of hauling heavier loads.  It’s not much longer than a traditional bicycle and has a long sturdy plank on the back, and because it doesn’t have a large basket like a Bakfiets,  it’s more city friendly.  True, it is a bit of an investment, but the way I see it it would have saved me a lot of stress about making it to school on time.  New York is becoming more and more bike friendly these days with separate paved lanes and ample bike parking cropping up everywhere so we will probably start to see more Mundos as time goes on.  Sad I missed the boat on this one….

-Dina

Floatimini Swimwear

In addition to my child shoe fetish (and trust me, it is pretty serious), I am also completely obsessed with swimwear.  I recently discovered the Floatimini line in a lovely store in the West Village and picked up the cute mermaid print (pictured above). What I especially admire about this particular swim line is that the prints are bright, fun for kids and not cheesy looking!  I guess this is what happens when you get two stylish New York design school moms together to produce a line for little ones.  The quality is exceptional and the fabrics that they use are SPF 50!  They also have an equally fun and durable line for boys.

-Dina

The Missing Piece

I have always loved Shel Silverstein but did not know of this book until last week — where the heck have I been? When visiting one of my daughters in class her teacher read this aloud and the kids were wild for it.  Needless to say, I ran top speed to Amazon and got it the next day and we have been reading it for the past few nights.  It’s a very simple story that appeals to all ages.  In a nutshell The Missing Piece is the journey of a circle that is looking the world over to find the piece that will complete him — he meets some obstacles along the way and even eventually finds the perfect “missing piece” only to realize that he is actually better off being somewhat incomplete.  Now if that isn’t a statement that applies to all of us — I don’t know what is….sigh.

Available from Amazon (US and Europe ).

-Dina

Crayons by Lil’ Doodlers

Birthday number FIVE for my twins is two short weeks away and I have been on the look-out for some cute parting gifts to send home with the little ladies who are coming to celebrate.  How sweet are these little crayon rings from Lil’ Doodlers?  Love them.  The creator,  not shockingly a mom, uses recycled 100% brand new crayola crayons and melts them down into all sorts of cool shapes –  leggos, robots, alphabet letters, etc; – just look at the website!  If you need custom orders she can help come up with just about anything you can think of and they ship internationally.  I not sure where she gets all these crayons to melt down but I certainly have a bunch, albeit sad and broken ones, to spare!

-Dina

Snowy Day Dinner Craving

It is bitter cold and snowing here in NYC and all I want to do is sit inside, hide under the covers, and have someone show up at my door with a giant hot cauldron of Cheese Fondue.  Somewhat cruel of me to post this picture now that I look at it.  I have had fondue on the brain ever since our friends had us over for dinner a few weeks ago as they made a complete spread which was not only delicious but great fun for the kids!  We kicked things off with fresh bread and cheese followed buy thin slices of marinated beef and chicken simmered to perfection.  Okay, now I am starving.  When the melted chocolate and fruit dessert arrived there was basically a complete riot.  Although there is a lot of prep work that goes into setting everything up it actually makes little mess in the end and the portions are perfect for little people (provided they are old enough to not want to stick their fingers in the flame).  Here is a great recipe that Emilie posted a while ago and I also found this great website called Fondue Bits that has a bunch of great ideas!

(Image found here)

-Dina

Cover-Ups for Girls

This extremely hard-to-find brand (called “Chach”) has THE most adorable beach cover-ups for girls in the history of beach cover-ups.  No joke.  The Belgian designer behind the brand noticed a void in fashionable beachwear during her travels and came up with a line that is as pretty as it is versatile. I have only seen the brand for kids at one store (a place we go on vacation) but recently I dug up what seems like the only place to buy them on-line —  Lil Swanky (they will ship internationally!)  The line is absolutely perfect because the dresses and rompers are heavy enough to double as a regular clothes if you want them to and all of her designs have that bohemian look that I adore!

-Dina

A year later and not much has changed…

Exactly one year ago this time my daughter was quarantined in the hospital for two weeks with Salmonella poisoning that spread to her bloodstream. Happy New Year!!!  Ever since that time I have been on high alert when it comes to food safety issues and the New Year (in the US at least) has already kicked off with several food recalls of my favorite foods including organic beef (E.Coli), Cilantro and Alfalfa Sprouts ( Salmonella) and even Pastries and Cookies sold at Whole Foods which apparently come with a lovely side of staph infection!  I don’t intend to cause panic or dismay here but I do like to be informed, especially when it comes to feeding my kids, and as I was doing research I stumbled upon this wonderful website called The Daily Green which I plan to bookmark and check regularly. It has also inspired me to really kick some of the bad habits that I have turned a blind eye to (ie: sipping out of plastic water bottle as I type — I know, I know). Make sure to check out this article on the Dirty Dozen as well as this great  New Years Resolutions list which I am all over starting today!

-Dina

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