As a new mom, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of baby stuff out there. Skip Hop is a favorite of mine for their refreshingly playful and modern designs, and for their affordable prices. I got to go to their offices to check out their Fall 2011 preview, where there were lots of new additions to the Skip Hop collection. I also got a behind the scenes look at Skip Hop’s design space, and met their lead designer (who is seven months pregnant!). Check out some photos from my visit on the next page!
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Justine has more fascinating and adorable creatures to share with us! She and i grew up surrounded and obsessed with critters big and small ~ while i found inspiration from them but went down a design path, she pursued an animal behavior/zoology phd. So, naturally, the more involved she’s been getting with NOTCOT, we can’t help but share all our passions and inspiration here! Also, just started her up on Twitter ~ follow her @NotCritters.
They may not have fur or feathers, but these little newt larvae still manage to be incredibly cute (between the big fluffy gills and four tiny little fingers and five little tiny toes, I’m smitten). These babies are Smooth or Common newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) that we raised from tiny eggs a few summers ago. See our family album, from egg to eft on the next page!
On silly trends that seem to be popping up… have you noticed the Magnetic Clothing trend? Sure, a lot of people switch their jewelry clasps to magnets to make things easier, and its definitely helpful for arthritic hands and such… but magnetic babies clothes are available from Magnificent Baby and magnetic lingerie from french Lingerie Dement… and if you’re ambitious enough, you could even wear, what one could barely call a bathing suit, a swim suit of magnets from Klik Klik Jewelry. Perhaps it’s just me, but i can just imagine being THAT magnetic ~ as if the horror of toilet paper sticking to your shoe isn’t bad enough, what if a fork leaps up from the table and stuck to your cleavage… or sticks to your CHILD? This could get dangerous! Are these rare earth magnets? How strong is this stuff? Then again, if its TOO weak, that could also pose a lot of problems! So i’m curious ~ would you go magnetic? On the upside, maybe the magnetic wallet could be an attachment that just snaps on to your… clothes? Could it be set up so this is even more effective than those magnetic therapy bracelets? Or could it be detrimental? I totally understand the appeal of not dealing with all those buttons on your baby’s clothes ~ and wanting to preserve your gorgeously lacy lingerie while still letting him literally rip them right off of you in no time at all… but would you wear it? And how does it react when you go through airport security! Clearly i have a million and one questions running through my head on this theme tonight ~ i blame Cool Hunting for kicking off this train of thought, and finding the adorable illustrations over at My Little Paris… now go see all the pics on the next page!
TO WIN: Leave a comment ~ with something space related! ENTER BY 12/21. WINNER: Kathryn in Indianapolis, IN!
This is quite possibly the coolest baby playmat EVER ~ well, if i for some strange reason popped out a kid today, this is the one i'd buy. Doesn't matter if its for a boy or a girl, it is gorgeously colorful, intriguing, and has ufos and rocketships! Part of an exclusive collection by Skip Hop for Babies'r'us ~ this is the Skip Hop Outer Space Activity Playmat. So this 33rd giveaway goes out to the babies (do we have any playmat sized readers out there?) and their parents or expecting parents or expecting aunts/uncles/etc! You can read more at Skip Hop as well ~ and more pics of these goodies, as well as my other favorites from the collection (i swear alien rattle looks like a flying spaghetti monster) on the next page!!!
For a chance to win ~ leave a comment with something space related!
Skip Hop's new Baby Log comes with an "Illminated Time Capsule" ~ and with a name like that, what tech loving new dad wouldn't want one to play with? With 4 leds, the time capsule creates a gentle glow, helps parents keep track of the time for every entry no matter how little sleep they are on, and even has a timer for monitoring nap/feeding times... and its tucked away in a canvas covered binder... so as techy as it seems on the inside, it still fits in and looks traditional on the outside. It is a 6-month book to track everything from feedings, changings, doctors visits, gifts and more... and at $39, this one is definitely going on my gifts for new parents lists! And as your child gets older, i'm sure the time capsule will prove useful in new situations as well! See more close up pics on the next page!
Babies everywhere! Or i'm apparently reaching that age where i have found myself constantly baby shopping for friends suddenly... So is it any surprise that Jill Fehrenbacher, of Inhabitat, in the midst of her pregnancy has launched Inhabitots, the latest addition to the Inhabitat family? Also, the new logo for the calm blue site is an adorable Owl with child! While many of the products there are right up our alley (and have shown up on NOTCOT previously) ~ they are eco-friendly, clean and modern... and my latest discovery on Inhabitots to add to the backup list for new-parent shopping is what is a bit scarily called "Teething Bling" by Smart Mom Jewelry. If you pick the subtler hues, its not a bad necklace/bangle, and the nice thing is, it's completely safe for your child to teeth on, and saves your usual jewelry from the nibble marks. My only worry is... will this help condition your baby to think its ok to chew on jewelry in the long run?
Twilight Turtle is another baby/toddler toy i came across the other day. Made by Sleep Sheep and Friends or Cloud B ~ this turtle is cuddly under its shell, lights up in various colors, and projects the night sky on to the ceiling (or your tent, fort, etc). "Choose from three soothing color options – blue, green, and white – to create magical, tranquil environments that are ideal for helping children of all ages ease into a restful sleep." And it projects 8 constellations for kids to learn. Also interesting is their Sheep Sleep, which plays 4 sounds that comfort babies ~ Mother's Heartbeat, Spring Showers, Ocean Surf, and Whale Songs. You can actually control the volume and it auto times out after 23 minutes. This one even now has a stroller/to-go version. More images of all below!
Honestly, with both of these being priced in the 25-40$ range, they've totally made my list for new parent gifts!
It's always nice to find a story that incorporates great design and great business. Emily over at Baggu sent me this NYTimes article "From Boutique to Big Time" By Laurie J. Flynn... it's the story of these beautiful Adiri Natural Nursers, the "Ultimate Baby Bottle", basically “Your breast doesn’t feel like plastic. Why should your baby’s bottle?” They've designed a polycarbonate-free plastic nursing bottle that has a soft rubbery grip. From the business side, the interesting story of a yahoo lawyer who's father passes away and leaves her the company.. and how she's gone from a mom with a boutique business to learning to scale up to fulfill large orders from places like Babies R Us... Anyhow, its a good read, and it looks like they've really cleaned up the design with this new model. Check out the new Adiri Natural Nurser and the article.
vedaPURE - on my late night packaging/branding finds... how sweet is this logo? And check out the stuffed elephant that comes in the gift set below. And with product names like Butt, Butt Plus, and Butter.... as well as Supple, Nurture, Scrumptious... and for vedaDUDEs: Glide, Chill, Splash... this is a family line... ok, mostly targeting moms and dads to be, as well as new parents and babies. But nice packaging, and definitely a great go to gift for all those baby showers, etc.
"vedaPURE uses the most pure, high quality ingredients. Our promise and commitment to our customers is simple: we bring nature's best ingredients together to make safe and effective skincare for the whole family. The vedaPURE collection is formulated with organic plant and fruit extracts, soothing oils and gentle ingredients. No hidden chemicals. No misleading labels. Natural pure beauty."
SwissMiss has been finding the BEST baby stuff... for people like us. Things like McSweeny's "Baby Be of Use" series by Lisa Brown. I still have no babies, but am tempted to order this set of board books (there's something so satisfying about flipping board book pages)... for future babies, for babies who might visit, for potentially brilliant babies i might meet in airplanes... But seriously, this maybe the the perfect way to leave a hint for that special someone that you want to make you breakfast, make you a drink, fix your car, or help with the banking.