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Archive for the ‘Baby Love’ Category

Super Sonic Birthday

In Baby Love, Drink, Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on August 16, 2013 at 6:03 pm

sonic birthday

Last month George (my baby!) turned five. I quickly found myself in a little over my head when he requested a Sonic the Hedgehog birthday party, and there were no easy cheats available for purchase because at this writing Sonic has not yet hit critical mass. I’m learning that five seems to be the age when kids gravitate toward single-sex parties, and since all of his girl pals from school were at a girls-only party, we decided to keep it boys and their siblings from his class, which I have to be honest, seemed a little daunting especially with water balloons involved (more on that later), but turned out to be a super sonic good time.

Sonic birthday cake

Okay, the cake was nuts. Can you believe this multi-tiered, fondant, piped-icing, chocolate insanity that my sister, Claire, produced? From scratch! She made the race track out of fondant, as well as the “golden rings,” which she then dusted with edible gold glitter. (Sonic and Tails action figures via Amazon.com.)

sonic cake topper

The day before, I ran by Blick Art on Beverly to grab a giant piece of cardboard and some tempera paints to make a five-foot-tall Dr. Eggman (old-school Sonic villain circa 1990) target for water balloons. Turns out water balloons are a HUGE hit with everyone except for the unsuspecting spouse who has to fill them up.

Dr EggmanThere was Sonic face-painting by the one and only Zayda, and a Sonic piñata from the outstanding Tony of Out Of This World Piñata on Etsy. (He was also responsible for last year’s Spiderman piñata.)

sonic piñata I also found on Etsy these adorable hedgehog party favors (filled with a single serving of hot cocoa), which I put in muslin treat bags along with Sonic tattoos, and little Sega-style race cars.

sonic gift bagsSince Sonic’s favorite food is a chili dog—and I wasn’t overly excited about the prospect of chili, water balloons and five-year-old boys—we played it safe with no-mess hot dogs, Sonic golden rings (organic onion ring chips), and hedgehog fruit salad served in a carved watermelon impaled with blueberries on toothpicks for eyes and nose.

hedgehog fruit salad

sonic golden ringsAnd just because they are the birthday boy’s favorite, there was mac n’ cheese and chocolate milk. Etsy was also the source for these mini plastic milk bottles, which I wrapped with rafia and then tied with butcher’s twine. They are reusable so I’m looking forward to serving blackberry margaritas in them at our next grown-up barbecue.

mac cheese

chocolate milk

Thanks to James Rosales and Char Langos for photos!

Spring Break

In Baby Love, Out of Town on April 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

gulf stream beach


We’re back from a week in paradise, namely visiting my in-laws in Gulf Stream, Florida. There was lots of swimming in the ocean, lots of french fries by the beach.



But best of all was watching my sons play together, with their cousins, with their grandfather. There is no vacation quite as perfect as the one that reminds us how lucky we are to have each other.


Chaos Theory

In Baby Love, Design on February 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm


Yesterday I hit something of a wall when I walked into my son’s room and tripped over a one-armed Batman action figure, just one of countless toys he’d removed from his toy basket and strewn around his room. The mess is crazy making, but also a potential hazard as his 10-month-old baby brother is now crawling like a speed demon and sticking any- and everything into his mouth. Because I’m what is referred to in polite company as “Type-A,” what followed was an intense organization spree, concluding in an extensive online search for a covered toy storage solution. I love the look of this Oeuf Toy Store (below), but the open bins make it an impractical option for us with a baby on board.


It turns out that most toy boxes are really, really ugly. Or more than I want to spend, such as this gorgeous Fuji Toy Box ($420) from Argington:


Or this sweet locally made Maude Box from Mod Mom ($450):


Somewhere deep in cyberspace I discovered a fabulous French option from Tolix, called the Tortue (tortoise) toy box.

tolix tortue

You may recognize Tolix’s iconic chairs, which are everywhere:

tolixchairOf course the toy box is not sold in the U.S.—that would be too easy—unless you are willing to wait for a container shipment six months from now, in which case you can order from Antiquaire, based in Lake Forest, IL. Instead, I hunted one down in hazard orange from a company in the Netherlands and with any luck it will be winging its way to us next month.

Beso.com (aka your new online addiction)

In Baby Love, Design on January 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Check out today’s beso.com—an awesome site devoted to shopping from former Lucky mag “it girl” editrix Elise Loehnen—for my favorite picks for boys bedrooms, as well as a ton of other great lists from virtual city guides to insider shopping picks from fashion designers, editors, stylists, creative directors and more. Happy shopping!


Baby’s First Food

In Baby Love, Food on October 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm

If you want to know the answer to the question: Are two kids more work than one? The answer is uh, yeah. Which is why I haven’t been posting as frequently the last several months. I can’t believe that our baby boy is almost seven months (or that our first baby is four years!). Something magical happened around the six month mark—he started sleeping until 6 am (which feels spa-like compared to his previous 5am wakeup calls), two little front teeth started to appear and best of all, I got to make baby’s first food.

I know, I know, this is just one more countertop device, but the Béaba Babycook makes it all so quick and easy. Just add water, put your veggies in a basket and it steams the appropriate length of time. I threw in a peeled new potato, a couple of green beans and a few cherry tomatoes and let it do its thing.

Then empty the basket into the bowl of the Babycook, flip the switch to blend and voila! This tomato-potato-green bean combo was surprisingly popular with my little guy, and best of all I know exactly what’s in there. Plus it makes me feel pretty on top of the world anytime somebody, no matter how tiny, likes my cooking.

Calling All Superheroes

In Baby Love on July 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Last weekend not-so Tiny G turned four. FOUR! And like most four-year-old boys he is obsessed with all things superheroes. Which is how I found myself up at 2am hand-painting these damn peg dolls for every kid in his preschool class. Spiderman was very nearly my waterloo. I admit, the 6-hour process was somewhat addictive in a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest sort of way, first drawing in pencil each superhero’s details on the wooden pegs, then painting one color at a time and letting dry before adding the next detail.

Tiny G nearly lost his mind when he saw them the next morning. For the gift bags, I found these little natural cotton muslin drawstring bags and decorated them with a handmade Spiderman rubber stamp that I ordered from Etsy. When it comes to kids birthday parties, Etsy.com—filled with people far more creative than I—is truly a girl’s best friend.

Tiny G handed out a superhero goodie bag to each of his preschool classmates yesterday. Etsy was also the source for these awesome cupcake toppers that can be personalized (however, you’ll have to speak to my sister about baking you some of these AMAZING chocolate cupcakes):

Since he turned four while we were in Vermont, we had his actual party back east last week with his cousins. Each cousin got a personalized superhero cape.

Even Tiny G’s brand new baby brother got in on the action. Because there is nothing babies love more than a cape.

I made this dreadful chocolate cake impaled with a spiderman action figure. I’m having PTSD just thinking about how much red food coloring I used in the frosting.

The highlight of the party had to be this awesome Spiderman piñata—another Etsy find. I filled it with noisemakers and packets of Annie’s organic gummy bunnies mostly as a PR stunt to atone for the toxicity of the birthday cake.

After the party’s over, piñatas also double as excellent scarecrows. Here’s to my super boy turning 4!

Brass Tacks for Boys

In Baby Love, Design on June 18, 2012 at 11:19 am

Last winter while pregnant with our second son, I started to think about where we were going to put the little guy. Would we turn our guest room into the baby’s? Or have him bunk up with his big brother? My husband is the youngest of three boys, and ultimately made the call. Share a room. He grew up in New York. He and his middle brother, Tim, shared a bedroom in which they would invent games, do their homework together, throw a ball back and forth. Hearing him talk about it, I wanted our boys to make their own memories in a shared room. Practically speaking, this meant finding twin beds, which is easier said than done. I knew I wanted a sort of early 20th century iron bed frame. I love these Hamilton Steel Bed Frames from Schoolhouse Electric in Oregon, but at $1,250 each they were a little out of my budget:

And then I made the eBay score of the century—two brass beds from 1901 for less than the price of one of the above. These beds had been living in the Reno garage of a Berkeley professor’s parents. The parents had purchased them from the Tahoe Tavern (below)—Lake Tahoe’s first grand hotel, which burned down in the 1960s—and their boys grew up sleeping in these solid brass beds.

The frames are so heavy you can barely lift them—so much more substantial and enduring than anything you could buy new. I love the history behind them, and I bet they last another 110 odd years. They look great with vintage Superman sheets (another eBay score!) and a summer-weight cotton Ticking Stripe Blanket in Breton red from Brahms Mount. We picked up an eco-friendly Sultan Heggedal mattress and box spring from Ikea, and I covered the box spring with a fitted percale sheet with yellow stars from Garnet Hill for my little superhero instead of a dust ruffle for a less fussy look.

One day we’ll have both beds set up, but for now we just have the one along with a crib featuring more red stripes and this Roberta Roller Rabbit baby blanket for my littlest monkey!

She’s Having a Baby, Beauty Edition

In Baby Love, Fashion, Media on March 1, 2012 at 6:19 pm

If you’re wondering why I’ve slowed down on posting, it’s because I’ve slowed way down on cooking to a near halt. And the reason I’ve slowed way down on cooking is because two weeks from today—beware the Ides!—I’m due with bambino #2. The nursery is ready, I have a few make-ahead dishes waiting in the freezer—all that’s left is to pack a hospital bag. Here are a few favorites for looking your best, even from a hospital bed:

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($16/3.2 ounces): This dry shampoo was my secret weapon for fresh-looking hair in the hospital after Tiny G was born. I love that it’s nontoxic. It is also a lifesaver for overnight flights and long travel days.

Malin+Goetz Lip Moisturizer

Malin+Goetz Lip Moisturizer ($12/.35 ounces): This super-intensive lip moisturizer is a must-have for restoring and repairing dry lips. I love how it goes on. You can find it at Barneys or look for the new Malin+Goetz boutique opening soon on Larchmont Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Yves Saint Laurent Crème de Blush

Yves Saint Laurente Crème de Blush in Velvety Peach ($38): A creamy blush that goes on sheer and adds just the right amount of natural-looking glow to cheeks or under eyebrows. Perfect for creating the illusion of being bright-eyed after a sleepless night.

Deborah Lippmann "Happy Birthday" Nail Varnish via atthetreehouse.tumblr.com

Deborah Lippmann “Happy Birthday” Nail Lacquer ($18/.50 fluid ounces). When I saw this glittering spectacle on the nails of friend and rock star Zinzi Edmundson (Zinzi is one half of the very awesome band Kisses), I knew it would be the perfect polish for welcoming our Ides of March birthday baby into the world. In the infamous words of Neely O’Hara, when you have to get up at five in the morning…

Pirate Ship Fruit Bowl

In Baby Love, Food on January 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

A friend is planning a princess and pirates birthday party, which reminded me of Tiny G’s pirate party this past summer. I kind of geeked out making a pirate ship fruit bowl from a watermelon. My husband wanted no part of it. Carving it out was the worst, but the portholes were easy enough thanks to an apple corer.

For the fruit salad, I took a page out of Mark Bittman’s book and chopped up watermelon, pineapple, banana and drizzled with a couple tablespoons of maple syrup. For the masts, I used bamboo bbq skewers and for the sails, a scull & bones stamp on mottled paper. My sister made these fantastic shark cookies:

That went into these muslin treat bags I made for Tiny G’s friends:

Which made for one happy pirate.

Elizabeth Street iPad App

In Baby Love, Fashion, Media on January 10, 2012 at 8:25 am

If you were flipping through last month’s Vanity Fair or perusing Vogue.com, WWD or the Los Angeles Times, chances are you’ve heard of—and downloaded—the fabulous new iPad app for stylish moms: ELIZABETH STREET. On a personal note, it’s particularly exciting as I was the editor on the project and worked with a truly incredible and talented team. The brainchild of Emanuele Della Valle, ELIZABETH STREET gives insider recommendations from chic moms in the world’s most fashionable cities. Want to know where LACMA curator Christine Y. Kim ducks out for a late afternoon facial in Los Angeles? Or where Dennis Hopper’s daughter Marin takes her daughter for art classes? Or where the A-list orders birthday cakes in London? It’s all here—so head over to the iTunes store and download ELIZABETH STREET! And I’d love to hear what you think!