April 13, 2012 at 11:20 am , by Sue Erneta
D-D-D-D-D-DORA! DORA DORA DORA THE EXPLORER!!!!!! If you’re a parent, there’s no doubt that you just shuddered from reading that. Listen, I know I should love her. My kids have learned more Spanish from Dora than from their Spanish-speaking father. And they love her. But, she’s just so annoying. I mean, I love a good exclamation point but why does every sentence need to be said with that much enthusiasm? Thankfully, we’re beginning to phase her out of our house. (Lily’s almost 4. I think it’s time.) And lucky for us, there are plenty of other cute, educational shows that have lovable characters – and even have good music. Here’s the Erneta-family approved list of fun kid’s shows:
Bubble Guppies (pictured) – In each episode, little mermaid/fish-type characters delve into one specific subject like flying in an airplane in Gup, Gup and Away or going to the hospital in Call Me A Clambulance. It’s fast paced and funny, with really cute songs. Don’t ask me how guppies have airplanes or hospitals but just trust me and go with it.
Team Umizoomi – This is Lily’s current favorite. Cute little characters solve problems in Umi City using math skills. And there is nothing wrong with that.
The Backyardigans – We always love the music, dancing and most importantly, the creative storylines. It really shows kids that you can go anywhere right from your backyard just by using your imagination.
Olivia – I must say I was worried when I heard that the beloved character from Ian Falconer’s books was going to be made into a TV show but it really does work. That Olivia sure has a mind of her own – and we love her for it.
Sid The Science Kid – A cool kid that learns about science at home and in school. Bonus: fantastic music and dancing. (I have been know to bust out Gabriella’s playground dance moves in my living room. True story.)
Super Why? – Superheroes go into books to solve problems. The characters are adorable and seeing Lily put words together is a treat too.
Doc McStuffins – We’re loving this sweet new show on Disney Junior. It combines the toys-come-to-life concept of Toy Story with a kid vet – something my little girls are obsessed with right now.
Little Einsteins – Lily loves this one and I certainly have no problem with her learning about fine art and classical music.
I hope this list will give you something new to introduce your kids to. Because, let’s face it, you have to listen to it too! And life is too short for Dora, The Wiggles and Barney.
March 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm , by Sue Erneta
I remember the night like it was yesterday. Sophia was nearly 3 years old, I was six months pregnant and all the impending baby excitement had turned our little angel into a terror. Then I said it, “Sophia, if you don’t get into your bed now, then you won’t get your binkie tonight”. Pablo — knowing that I never make empty threats — glared at me as if to say, “Really? Are we really doing this tonight?”
Sophia had never been the kid that walked around all day with a pacifier in her mouth but it was a sleeping crutch. She used it at nighttime, during naps, even for a little shut-eye in the car. We knew that it needed to go. But how?
I think we dreaded losing it more than she did. Anything that gets a kid to sleep is a blessing, no?
As you can guess, she didn’t get into her bed that night and I did take her pacifier away. She cried for 15 minutes, then went to sleep. The next night she asked for it and I told her she was a big girl and she didn’t need a pacifier anymore and pacifiers are for babies. This time she cried for 5 minutes, then went to sleep. The next night, she didn’t ask for it and she didn’t cry. We were shocked. Taking away the binkie — an act we had dreaded more than she did because, let’s face it, it was more of a crutch for us — was done in 2 nights. And Sophia felt great too. Realizing she didn’t need the binkie made her feel like a big girl and we gave her lots of positive reinforcement and love to support it.
March 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm , by Sue Erneta
I’m having a little love affair with those Gorjana bracelets over there. I mean, how could you not? Surely, you’ve been seeing them around. They come in a rainbow of colors including pretty shades of nude, some seriously shocking neons, and every color in between. The designer, Gorjana (pronounced Gor-E-Ah-Na) Riedel is a knock-out blonde who was born in Yugoslavia and raised in Canada and the US. She started her namesake company in 2004 and has become a favorite of editors, buyers and celebs alike. But here’s the part you don’t know: in addition to these fabulous leather wrap bracelets (that retail for $55), the company makes so many other little goodies, that I can’t possible name them all. Here are just a few of my favorites.
1. Adorable stud earrings – Gold plated stars for only $35. Love.
2. Alphabet jewelry – I know I should be over this trend by now but I can’t help it. I love me some personalization! The studs are so cute and I love the sweet heart charm on the alphabet bracelet (only $40!).
3. The neon harbor necklace – Just click this link and you’ll see why it’s a favorite.
And here’s a reason you should love Gorjana too: An exclusive discount for LHJ readers! Starting today, you can get 20% off at gorjana.com by using the code LHJ20. But act fast, this deal expires on April 3rd.
February 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm , by Sue Erneta
I remember my first Kate Spade sample sale. It was around 1993, I was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Kate Spade was pretty much the coolest brand on the planet. I carried the black nylon boxy tote – you know the one – as my bookbag (how cool was I?) and even snatched up another KS bag for an interview at Seventeen magazine because nothing else would do. Fast forward almost twenty years and I’m still loving Kate Spade. Check out our March feature (shot on the adorable Beth Behrs) and you’ll see quite a few credits – like the dress pictured here. Beth must have loved the dress too because she’s using this as her Twitter pic. And she was totally obsessing over the magazine clutch we shot too.
So, yes, we’re shooting Kate Spade like mad (here’s yet another credit in our March issue) but the newest collection isn’t the only reason to love love love KS. Here’s more:
1) Super sweet and very cool designer Deborah Lloyd. She had big shoes to fill when Ms. Spade stepped down but she’s filling them well. She’s even stylish at home – check out her lake house in Lonny.
3) Behind the Curtain. If you love the beautiful and colorful ads, you’ll love the look of the Kate Spade blog. Check it out here. Yesterday’s post reminds you to make donuts and follow Kate Spade on Pinterest. (Sounds like good ideas to me!)
4) Super Sales! I know, KS is no bargain brand. But the website does have amazing sales. Some of my favorites right now: The Irving Place Carmela Bag – originally $445, now $200. It’s a classic black satchel that you could use for years. And the Belina dress – originally $375, now $187. Navy with polka dots – need I say more?
February 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm , by Sue Erneta
I’ve always been a fan of Lego. My rule is build it first with the directions, then take it apart, be creative and rebuild it however you want. And as I wrote about back in this post, I’ve always been surprised and impressed by my daughter’s ability to construct the structure as it was intended and then to be completely creative and come up with something that I never would have dreamed of. It’s that combo that makes Lego such an amazing toy.
Sure, the designs are a little more boy-centric but that has never posed a problem for my girly-girl. She loved playing with Buzz Lightyear in this set or building a helicopter with this set. So, when I started hearing about Lego’s new girl-centric toys, I was perplexed. Why do we need those? And I wasn’t the only one confused. There were lots of people buzzing about traditional gender roles.
So when a Lego publicist offered me a set of the new Lego Friends collection to try with my kids, I was thrilled. Was this the original Lego we loved? Or an over-the-top pinkified version? We received Olivia’s Tree House and took it with us on vacation. You could see the differences right away – lots of pink and purple plus more characters: a brunette named Olivia and her pet cat and bird. The reason: the Lego folks found through research that while boys like to build structures, girls like to build environments and play within them. And play we did! Those pieces were reconstructed day after day. Olivia herself even joined us for dinner a few times. And when Sophia’s interest in the tree house momentarily waned because “it doesn’t have a disco ball”, we remedied that situation with a ball of tin foil and a piece of a broken bracelet. (See picture.)
Bottom line: Did my girly-girl like Olivia’s Tree House? Yes! But she also loves every other Lego set she’s ever played with. Now that we’re back home from vacation, I can’t wait for Olivia and her pets to meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody. They’re going to have a blast together.
January 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm , by Sue Erneta
With less than 48 hours until I leave for vacation, I’ve got beach on the brain. And traveling with me will be a few of my favorite items — my scarves from Lemlem.
For the uninitiated, I’ll give you the brief story. Lemlem was created by the gorgeous supermodel Liya Kebede in 2007. The line consists of handwoven dresses, tops, skirts, scarves and shoes for women and girls. I’m not gonna lie, it ain’t cheap. But when something is special and you can wear it over and over, then maybe $150 for a scarf isn’t so bad.
Her scarves are my favorite because they always have this beautiful color mix — some amazing pop of super bright against pure white — and they are so easy to wear. I love them around my neck on a plane to keep the chill away and then as a sarong on the beach. I even wrap them around my kids as little beach dresses.
The dresses and tunics are adorable too – and even come in kids sizes – though they do run upwards of $200+. They’re carried at one of my favorite place to shop – jcrew.com — so I’m always on the lookout to see some pop up on sale. Oh look: there are a couple right now!
Another reason to love Lemlem is that by purchasing the product, not only are you keeping alive the ancient art of hand weaving but you are giving a job to someone who may not have had one before. Check out these pictures of the weaving process. It makes it look totally worth $150 to me.
Photos from Lemlem.
January 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm , by Sue Erneta
I’ll admit it. I have a girl crush on Rachel Roy. I mean, she’s gorgeous and stylish and all but there is so much more to love than just that. Of course, there is her ah-mah-zing namesake collection that counts Kate Hudson, Eva Mendes and First Lady Michelle Obama as fans. But if you know anything about me, it’s a deal that really gets me going. And with the Rachel Rachel Roy collection, you (and I!) can have that same eclectic style that we love her in main line, in a much more affordable and extensive collection of clothing, jewelry, shoes, and handbags.
You can pick up the line at Macy’s stores and on Macys.com or you can check out Rachel’s website for blog posts and to shop from either of her lines. I’m obsessed with just about every piece from Rachel Rachel Roy but if I had to put just one outfit together, I’d pick the Susan dress, the Kimi pumps in nude (Yes – that’s a studded heel!), and the Small Frame Clutch that we shot in our February closet organizing story. At only $59, I think everyone should a clutch that versatile in their wardrobe.
And if we didn’t already love Rachel enough, check out her charity products that all give 100% of net proceeds to the participating organization. Available right now is the Heart of Haiti jewelry collection (that ring is gorgeous!) and the Kindness is Always Fashionable clutch. Proceeds of the clutch go to OrphanAid in Ghana.
So, if you’re looking for something new at a great price, please check out Rachel Rachel Roy at rachelroy.com and while you’re there, read about Rachel’s amazing charity work. She’s truly an inspiration and totally crush-worthy!
Image from rachelroy.com.