Holiday Gift Guide November 20 2015
These gifts give my little lady that girly-ness she craves, without making me want to barf. It’s all about compromise with toddlers, right?
My toddler LOVES the Madeline book series, and they were some of my favorites growing up too, so they are something we can enjoy together. Also, anything that will distract her from making me read "Cat and the Hat" 300 times a day, is a win for me. These books are available almost anywhere.
NICO NICO LONG JOHNS:
This is one of my favorite cozy outfits of the season. A great gender neutral piece that is actually made for day, but I won't judge you if your child wears it to bed. This romper is made of super thick, sweater like organic cotton, and is perfect paired with fuzzy slippers and hot cocoa.
YUMBOX LUNCH BOX:
As a first time mom I learned quickly, you basically should have an entire meal in your handbag at ALL TIMES. These adorable and modern lunch boxes can hold just about anything without leaking or making a mess, even yogurt!!! My daughter loves hers so much, that she sometimes requests to eat her meals at home out of it. The insert (the part that's holding the food) even pops out, so you don't have to wash the entire thing after each use. I can't say enough about how much we love our Yumbox.
Morgan here, because this gift is a personal favorite. I bought one for each of my kiddos and we just love them. My daughter likes to throw herself on to anything soft and this fulfills that need in a stylish way. They are the perfect size to make a comfortable seat but are easily carried around the house by the handy handle on the side. They move from our reading nook to our train table to the center of the living room floor and look good wherever they end up!
HANNA ANDERSSON SLIPPERS:
These are the cutest slippers I've found this year. We definitely have a footwear power struggle in our house, and I know my girl is going to be so excited to wear these because they look like adorable animals, and i'll also love them for aesthetic reasons, as well as for practical reasons like knowing they will stay on her feet because they are boots.
It's a jungle out there....
MINI RODINI LEGGINGS:
I LOVE leggings on all toddlers. Why should boys have to wear uncomfy jeans and cargo pants. Blah! This print is great for both genders, and seriously, who doesn't like tiger stripes? These super soft pants are made of 100% organic cotton.
QUIN TWIZZLIE LOLLIPOPS:
Quin candy is handmade in Portland Oregon by some pretty special gals that I happen to know personally. These Lollipops are a reimagined version of an old classic using real ingredients like actual strawberries, blackberries and chocolate. They make such a good stocking stuffer for all family members, as long as you can keep from eating them all yourself.
TATTLY TEMPORARY TATTOOS:
Tattly makes the most beautiful and artistic temporary tattoos around, that are appealing to both children and adults. I love the idea of a subscription, because your child can look forward to receiving new tats in the mail every month.
I'm not usually a fan of character shoes, but for some reason all the new disney themed vans seem to be tugging at my heartstrings. With options like the jungle book (shown here), alice in wonderland and Winnie the Pooh, you seriously can't go wrong.
BRIGHT LAB LIGHTS:
These colorful lights are not just for the holidays. With options to mix and match colors, you can coordinate with any child's room and taste. I see these as a great alternative to a night light, and a fun way to help a child who is scared of the dark.
I’m really trying to focus this year on toys that encourage imaginative play (versus pressing a button over and over or whatever), and I LOVE that this pirate-themed puppet theatre can be hung in a doorway or outside! I find my toys get the most longevity when I can put them out of site when we’re not playing with them. Fold this up and easily store it to maintain its wow factor, then hang it up in seconds for hours of fun!
MAPS, BY ALEKSANDRA AND DANIEL MIZIELINSKA:
Maps is loaded with intricate artwork and fun facts. This is fun to read to your kids, but also a blast for your little one to pour over at quiet time, looking at which animals and people are found where. Look for it at your favorite local bookstore!
BOY + GIRL OUTFIT, NICO NICO VEST AND HANSEL FROM BASEL SOCKS:
I love to shop and gift in outfits, and this is soft and warm and easy for your little adventurer to throw on for exploring and playing.
FOREST FRIENDS NESTING DOLLS:
It’s always a pleasure to find a toy that makes your space more beautiful, whether it’s neatly put away on a shelf or strewn across the floor. These are just cool to look at. I’m overflowing with nostalgia remembering playing with the nesting dolls I had as a girl and love that this toy is en vogue right now.
BLACK CAT, WHITE CAT BY SYLVIA BORANDO:
This book has so much visual interest! It’s a relatively short, sweet story about what happens when a black cat from the day time meets a white cat from the night time. It’s a great way to explore what is different about day and night and satisfy my little girl’s love for all things kitty. Available at all major online book retailers, and likely your local book store too!
ANTHEM OF THE ANTS DRESS, ULTRA VIOLET KIDS TURBAN AND HANSEL FROM BASEL "LEGGINGS":
It is so fun to play with color when dressing kids but in my own wardrobe I’m very partial to neutral dressing and think it looks just as sharp on kids (let’s be real, they usually look way sharper than I do). Obviously this dress is everything, and with a turban (this season’s must-have kid accessory) and footless tights it’s easy to make it play-ready. I can’t say enough good things about these footless tights, they go with everything, it takes way longer to grow out of a footless tight, they’re soft and thick, and we’re saved from the slips that come from footed tights.
This entry was written by myself, and my "mommy blogger" (for lack of a better term) friend Morgan. For more of Morgan's hilarious writing, please visit her blog:
Style spotlight - Bloomers May 09 2015
Yes, bloomers are back, and not the dorky ones we dressed our dolls in as children. Bloomers now come in fun and sometimes gender neutral prints. I know some parents are cautious of this trend, especially for boys, but trust me, your little guys deserves much more than just khaki cargo shorts for his summer wardrobe.
Here is the always fashionable Zooey, complimenting her Ultra Violet Striped bloomers with a band tee and leather jacket to create an edgy and gender neutral look.
Photo by @sylviagphoto
Bloomers can be worn just like a short. There is no need to hide them under a skirt or dress. They can also be worn over tights or leggings in the colder months. If you live in Oregon, like we do, this is a great trend for you! We are always chomping at the bit to wear our warm weather clothes but it usually doesn't get nice until July (except for this freaky year).
Here is little Edie adding warm accessories to keep her daisy bloomers still early spring appropriate.
Photo by @wallawallamamamama
How do you style your bloomers?
Smarter shopping April 17 2015
Some people are passionate about music, or travel, their pets, whatever. I used to have passions a long time ago (I think), but now my kids occupy most of my time, energy, thoughts, money… you get the picture. Necessity has made me adaptable, and I’ve channeled my passion for fashion into passion for clothing my kiddos. If you love shopping for your kids, I want to share something that’s streamlined the process for me that I really enjoy. If you despise shopping for children’s clothing maybe my method can help take the sting out of it.
First rule of shopping - SHOP IN OUTFITS. Either buy a piece that coordinates with 2-3 items already in your closet, or buy a piece that coordinates with stuff you’re buying. Don’t buy hot pink floral print sneakers for your little cutie (no matter how on sale they are) if all of the duds already at home in her closet will clash.
Shopping in outfits sounds simple, but as you are probably aware, there is nothing simple about shopping with children. I went to the mall with my 1 year old, 4 year old, girlfriend, and her 9 month old last week thinking my friend and I would have time for deep conversations and bonding. Reality was that the moment we walked into Messy Children’s Retailer, Thing 1 started whining at a pitch only dogs and moms can hear, begging to leave, and Thing 2 began flailing her arms and legs in an effort to escape from the baby carrier strapping her to my battered chest. In what seemed like my only choice, I released Thing 2 from her constraints and at that point her and Thing 1 ran in opposite directions. I just started shoveling clothes that looked like they might be the right size into my arms trying to corral my children towards the checkout counter. 2 hours (or 15 minutes, or an eternity?) later I finally dumped my massive pile of miscellaneous textiles in front of a sales clerk who probably scheduled his vasectomy the minute I left with a bag full of clothes I’d hardly looked at. I got home, put together like 2 outfits, and the other 80% of stuff I put back in the bag to return should I ever be insane enough to walk back into a store.
If that scenario sounds even vaguely familiar to you, may I recommend online shopping as the better choice for outfitting your children?
Step 1: Surf the kids websites you like. (I’m partial to shopping small and supporting mamas getting their hustle on.)
Step 2: Take a screenshot of all pieces you like.
Step 3: Make a wardrobe collage. I use PicStitch on my phone but you can go any route you see fit.
The idea with a wardrobe collage is to put together outfits, and see how they work together. Ideally you create a functional wardrobe you can mix and match. With this method my kids get more use out of the clothes, getting them dressed in the AM is a no-brainer, and I have the entire internet at my disposal, so I can match a sale top from Retailer A with a great piece from Retailer B. Check out my examples below.
If your son insists on wearing basketball shorts and athletic t-shirts in High School, so be it. Now is your chance to gift him with style that is funky and cool. I love how the pop of red from the pocket on the picnic tank and the red seams on the boy + girl sweatshirt both tie in with the trucker hat, which is the perfect accessory to add a rad skater dude vibe to your stud's look.
I’m a major proponent of black and white clothing for myself and everyone around me. To overcome this potentially boring tendency, throw in a colorful accessory, like a teal headband that works as a finishing touch on either look. Also, metallic is the most important neutral - overspend on one pair of metallic shoes for your tot that she can wear with everything for the short time she fits in them.
Print mixing can be intimidating, so why not practice on your kids? Your first instinct might not be to mix and match these looks, but the black and white Ultra Violet Kids halter works with the Thief and Bandit southwest legging because both prints are anchored by white, and if you find an accessory to repeat some of the main colors you're working with you'll really look like you know what you're doing.
Sometimes (especially when shopping for girls) you'll fall in love with something that doesn’t instantly integrate into your wardrobe collage. Maybe it's a romper, or a to-die-for shirt dress like the one by boy + girl pictured above. How do you justify the purchase when you're shopping in outfits? Figure out how to wear it multiple ways. For example, this dress can be worn with a pair of sandals and you're done, or you can put a funky jean jacket over it and a pair of Docs for a downtown cool vibe, or throw on a cardigan and a Mary Jane to prep it up. Wear it as a jumper with tights on a cooler day. If you love it, find a way to get your money’s worth!
The key is to give style some thought when you're buying so you never have to think about it again. Especially not when you're 15 minutes late, out of coffee, searching under the couch for your kid’s other shoe and just need to get out that door. Happy styling!
Want to see more of Morgan's writing? Please visit her blog: http://wallawallamamamama.blogspot.com/ to learn more about this reformed fashionista.
The begining April 09 2015
First off, I want to explain that I have been putting off this blog thing for quite some time. I am THE WORST speller, I am not a parenting expert, and I definitely don't have a degree in English. But here it goes anyway...
My name is Claire, I'm the owner of Minimart Kids. For the last two years I've stayed at home with my daughter River. I am obsessed with dressing her. On a daily basis, her outfits tend to look ten times better than mine. No joke! I'm not even sure when the last time I bought myself new clothes was.
Last year, when I realized that the majority of my free time was spent scouring the internet for cute new digs for River, I thought it might be wise to turn this into something real. I have a degree in apparel design that I have never really used, and have worked in retail for most of my life. But to be honest, I was terrified to do something like this on my own.
My husband has always been super supportive of my dream. He always tells me I can do it, and I believe him about fifty percent of the time.
Another thing that was really helpful is seeing mamas supporting mamas. There is this sweet community of ladies that encourage each other, share their own experiences, and help other people through Instagram and blogs. Also, it always feels good spending your hard earned money at mama run shops. It's these kind gestures that encouraged me to open my own business.
I look forward to seeing photos of your adorable children and helping you dress them.