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19 Sep '17

Seven Autumn Picks for Mama + Child

Posted by Annie Messing
It's been almost five years since I bought a pair of jeans...and well, I've come to accept that my current pair isn't fitting me like it used to. (I have gravity, age, and a surprise c-section to thank for that!)

I think we can all agree that jean shopping is notoriously annoying...so many different fits and fabrics. So to my surprise, I found these jeans to be exactly what I was looking for...and it didn't take 20 pairs and half a day of shopping to find them! I'm pleased that even after several wears, the jean material hasn't stretched out and the high-waist feels very comfortable. Paired with this lovely cotton top, I feel comfortable and stylish while chasing my little 3 year-old around the house.

Speaking of being around the house, these children's pajamas/loungewear from Mabo are a real favorite for my 5 year-old right now. She comes straight home from school and puts them on...I imagine she'd wear them day in and day out if I let her! The high-quality cotton fabric paired with the classic polka dot design makes playtime at home very cozy and cute.

The fall season hasn't quite hit us here in DC, but I'm stringing up an autumn-inspired garland and dreaming of apples nonetheless. As my children spend more time playing indoors, I've brought more blocks out for them to play with. Blocks are rather like an ever-changing modern art installation, don't you think? (wink)

I just finished curating all the new fall/winter toys + books for the shop, including the milk-loving knit cat you can spot in this post. The new products will be arriving in about a month - Happy Fall!



28 Jun '17

Fantastic Gifts for Little Fox Lovers

Posted by Annie Messing in Gift Guides

SaveSave My five-year-old daughter LOVES foxes. I can't quite recall how it all started, but ever since she was a baby, she's always pointed out anything with a fox on it. Of course her favorite is when we spot the real red foxes that roam our neighborhood - oh the excitement!

Needless to say, Mei-Mei's love of foxes has endeared our whole family to this scruffy animal. With that in mind and summer being the most popular season to have babies, here's a fun round-up of gifts for all the little fox lovers out there.

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16 Jun '17

Splendid Summer Boredom Busters

Posted by Annie Messing in Brimful Favorites, Gift Guides, Happy Friday


School has been out for three weeks now and while my four children have been swimming daily at our neighborhood pool and enjoying playdates with friends, they naturally hit moments in the day when boredom overcomes them.

I believe boredom is very normal and actually quite healthy! It gives children a chance to problem solve and work together, perhaps while also winding down from a high-energy activity they may have just finished. More often than not, I spend a few moments helping them think of something new to do - and off they go! I thought I'd share some of the things we have been enjoying this summer. Hopefully it will help when your children hit a rut in their summer playtime routine. For school age kids down to toddlers - there's something for everyone.

1) Explore outside with this basket and collect interesting finds along the way.

2) Write a play/story for these wooden peg dolls and perform it after dinner.

3) Read all about real life inventions that seem too weird to work.

4) Take craft and art time to the next level with these wonderful watercolor pencils.

5) Introduce puzzles to toddlers with this wooden elephant puzzle that is a stacking toy too.

6) This visual perception card game is great to play during an afternoon lull or in the evening before bedtime.

7) Encourage open play with this castle block set. Use with or without the base to create different types of block structures.

8) Use this rainbow silk for dress-up or playscape. My children have their rainbow silks out every single day!

9) Paper dolls like you've never seen before - with adjustable limbs and stunning outfits, this paper doll set is sure to be huge hit.

10) Learn to draw 135 varieties of trees, flowers, animals - this fantastic drawing book has become a go-to for my kids this summer.

11) Even little fingers can learn to loom with this child-sized weaving peg loom.

12) Babies will enjoy these colorful ice cream rattles - makes a great newborn gift for a summer arrival too.

07 Apr '17

Book Review: 9 Months by Courtney Adamo and Esther van de Paal

Posted by Annie Messing in Brimful Favorites, Happy Friday, Product Reviews

In just a week or two, we will be welcoming a new little one into our extended family - and so all things baby have been on my brain! In fact a few days ago, I was the plus-one on the hospital tour, the only woman in our group who wasn't sporting a ripe bump - ha. As we stopped to observe the sweet newborns in the hospital nursery, I couldn't help squeeze back a few sentimental tears as it reminded me of my own four delivery experiences.

Over the last several months, there's been much discussion in our house about what this new little family member will need, emotionally and physically. And of course we've talked about how the baby has been developing in utero, a topic I've always found very meaningful to discuss with my children.

With all this "babyness" going on in our family, receiving an advance copy of 9 Months: A month by month guide to pregnancy by Courtney Adamo and Esther van de Paal could not have arrived at a better time! The book is beautifully illustrated and portrays pregnancy with an accurate, straight forward approach on how a baby grows in his/her mama's belly. It's really wonderful how the ladies have pulled so much information (that you'd usually need to cull from pregnancy books, parenting websites, and hospital pamphlets) into one easy to read book.

When I sat down to read it with my children, my youngest (age 2) was drawn to the colorful pictures, while my eldest (age 10) enjoyed learning the tidbits on animal pregnancies that's also included. The topic of conception can often make children (and parents!) feel a little uneasy - but Courtney and Esther have brilliantly addressed it matter-of-factly while still leaving room for parents to skirt the topic of sex if they haven't yet had that discussion with their children.

Parents will appreciate having this resource to prepare their children for a new sibling, but I also think 9 Months is a book for every family to have - whether a new baby is on the way or not. You can find it in the shop here


16 Dec '16

Twelve Stocking Stuffers Kids Will LOVE

Posted by Annie Messing

// 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 //

Are your kids like mine? On Christmas morning, my four look forward to seeing what's in their stockings almost more than the gifts under the tree! Instead of candy and cheap treats, I like to find stocking stuffers that are small but wonderful.

A warm neck scarf for the cold winter months, a wooden rattle to entertain a teething baby, and a card game to liven up a family night - these are some of the dozen stocking stuffers I've picked out in this gift guide.

Don't forget to also check out my holiday gift guides for The Little Foodie and The Little Traveler.