Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Promos!

The fantastic Mabel's Labels which I have mentioned before are celebrating their 5th anniversary this month. Orders placed between 12:00am and 11:59pm EDT on Thursday March 27th will be shipped with a coupon for free Sticky Labels, our original product that started it all.

Also all B*Glam Baby ('The cutting edge in cute') items are now sale at %30-40% off- get them while they last!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

BabyGap Home Line!

First DwellBaby opens at Target, then Restoration Hardware adds a line, now... BabyGap is adding a home line. What will it be?

"...a premium collection of our favorite bedding, car seats, strollers and more. We're working with the world's most trusted brands to give you the best in quality, safety and style"

Well that's interesting, they aren't coming out with their own stuff? If they already do clothing, you would think at least that bedding wouldn't be a far leap for them. It sounds as if they are just going to retail other brands though. You may have to wait to see what's in store though because it also appears that they are only adding this line to stores in the California, New York/Jersey, Texas and Chicago areas. We'll keep you updated if we hear anything else!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Painting the Nursery: Part II

Once you've got an idea of theme and color for your nursery, the next step seems simple- go buy the paint! But paint can continue to give off harmful fumes even after it dries, it can harbor bacteria and be a pain to clean. So what paint is healthiest, greenest, most durable, most affordable? Well, you have lots of options:

Ceramic Paint- Low VOC, high durability and in some cases of this product comes with antimicrobial protection. Round ceramic beads in the paint pack closer together, and create a strong finish that is not very permeable- to dirt, bacteria, etc. Hence why the pain is able to withstand scrubbing while also preventing mold, mildew and bacteria from growing. Try: Ceramic Coat by O'Leary Paint, or Green Planet Paints Interior Clay paint.

Soy Based Paint & Finishes- To avoid using a petroleum base some companies are using soy and coming out with some great low VOC products. For interior painting try DuraSoy One paint, easy to clean, no need for primer and meets Green Building LEED requirements. If you are looking to seal natural wood (for a crib, rocker, changing table, deck, swing set...) use SoyGuard- non-toxic, low VOC, mildew resistant sealer. It lacks harmful chemicals such as biocides, pesticides, fungicides, or mildewcides that are often found in other wood treatments. Plus it's made in the US with American grown soybeans.

Milk Paint- Milk paint, also known as casein paint, is derived from milk and is a fast-drying, water-soluble paint has been in use for hundreds of years. Try the Real Milk Paint Company who uses all organic materials- powdered purified casein, lime and pigments. Milk paint is a little tricky though, you should use it right away once it is mixed and it does best on raw wood or unsealed walls or wall board. If you want to paint over an already painted room you will need to add UltraBond and clean and scuff the surface before applying the paint. Anna Sova also has a great pallet of casein based paints.

Others- BioSheild Paints is a great company that has a wide range of safe paints from clay and milk based to solvent-free paint and KinderPaint- a zero VOC, solvent free paint.

American Pride
- Green Seal Certified and Green Building LEED compliant. This paint runs with the best of them, easy clean up, fast drying and they claim virtually unlimited color match capability with any major paint manufacturer palette.

A last note: according to Scientific American Magazine a crawling baby inhales the equivalent of four cigarettes a day as a result of out-gassing fumes. But with the above mentioned paints you can avoid all of that. So pick a color and paint without worry!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Toy Recall

It seems like we had a nice quiet time where the recalls seemed to be a thing of the past. MEGA Brands America Inc. of Livingston, N.J. recalled about 2.4 million of its magnetic toys Monday. Magnets in the toys may come out, posing a choking risk. If children swallow more than one magnet, the magnets can attract each other and tear or block the digestive system.

The voluntary recall includes following:

1.3 million MagnaMan magnetic action figures
1.1 million Magtastik and Magnetix Jr. preschool magnetic toys

For the complete list go to

For further assistance MEGA Brands can be reached by phone at 800-779-7122 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST M-F.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Painting the Nursery: Part I

When choosing paint for a nursery there are lots of things to consider, the gender of the baby (if known), durability of the paint, healthiness of the paint, overall style, will it match all the stuff you registered for... the list goes on.

Babies can't see very far when they are born but unless you want to repaint the nursery often, you may want to think about what affect colors have on the mood of a 18-month old.

Warm colors are known to excite; cools colors to calm.

Red- stimulates, arouses, heightens awareness, stimulates appetite,
usually considered too stimulating for bedrooms

Orange- cheers, orders,
evokes excitement, enthusiasm and is an energetic color

Yellow- recharges, energies, revitalizes, some report that too bright a yellow may cause anxiety in infants and children

Green- stabilizes, balances,
calming effect of green makes it popular in hospitals, schools, considered the most restful color for the eye

Blue- relaxes, calms, transfixes,
brings down blood pressure and slows respiration and heart rate

Purple- protects and comforts

Look up too!
Freshome reminds us that , "The ceiling represents one-sixth of the space in a room, but too often it gets nothing more than a coat of white paint. In fact, for decades, white has been considered not only the safest but also the best choice for ceilings. As a general rule, ceilings that are lighter than the walls feel higher, while those that are darker feel lower. Lower need not mean claustrophobic: Visually lowered ceilings can evoke cozy intimacy."

Excited to start thinking of colors now? Try Behr's online paint visualizer tool.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Asthma in Children and Spring Cleaning

A recent study published in the European Respiratory Journal reports a link between wheezing and asthma in young children, and their mothers' use of cleaning products such as bleach and air freshener during pregnancy.

The study looked at 14,541 pregnant women and a large variety of lifestyle habits, including the use of household cleaners. Mothers that used bleach, air fresheners and other products during pregnancy and just after birth increased the risk of their child developing persistent wheezing by the age of seven by up to 41%. Authors have taken into account some other factors that lead to asthma such as heredity, environmental factors, animal allergies, pollen, dust mites and acknowledge that this study is only preliminary and more research needs to be done.

A study in New Scientist in 1999 reported that 'in homes where aerosol sprays and air fresheners were used frequently, mothers experienced 25 percent more headaches and were 19 percent more likely to suffer from depression, and infants under six months of age had 30 percent more ear infections and 22 percent higher incidence of diarrhea'.

For for your spring cleaning this year, try these alternatives:
  • Baking Soda - cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
  • Soap - unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates and that are labeled "antibacterial"- soap by nature is antibacterial and doesn't needed anything added!
  • Lemon - one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.
  • Borax - (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
  • White Vinegar - cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
  • Kosher Salt and Water- If you need a tougher abrasive on sinks and cast iron pans, sprinkle on kosher salt, and scrub with a wet cloth or sponge.
Resources:, Consumers Reports' Eco-labels website,,'s DIY Toxin-Free Cleaning Guide

Monday, March 10, 2008

Vaccines In the News

Rueters reports that a vaccine is on the way for strep throat. A research team at the University of California, San Diego, has altered the bacteria that causes strep throat and rheumatic fever to make it safe to use as a vaccine.

Meanwhile, the debate on whether vaccines can cause Autism is still quite a buzz. For the latest on the case in Georgia click here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Who Said Girls Can't Sail?

A new twist on a classic nursery theme... pink and nautical... all at the same time. Why is it that all the sailboat, ocean, whale themes are all for boys? Well, the ocean is blue for starters so that makes it easier, but tons of people- including females- also love the ocean and boats. So if you are one of those who wants a nautical, but not "beachy" theme this post is for you! Remember that some blue is ok, and with careful thought you'll be able to get a great room with an clear message.

What is more nautical than seersucker? Check out this cute crib bedding:

For wall art, get creative, you can paint a pink nautical star or lighthouse:

Small pieces around the room like this personalized sailboat are great:

For a sturdy diaper bag, try LLBean's Boat and Tote bag:

You can even get an adorable hooded towel set with a pink sailboat:

And baby shower invites:

A Healthy Green Easter Basket

Stores have had Easter candy out the since the day after Valentines day. But Easter doesn't have to be about marshmellow Peeps, Cadbury Cream eggs and plastic grass. Try these alternatives to make your baskets healthier for you kids and for the environment.

1. Replace some candy with books and other small gift items. A tiny stuffed animal, small puzzle or bubble solution can be just as fun as something sweet and it will last much longer. Silly Putty is already sold in an egg shape! Crayons and an Easter themed coloring book also are cheap and easy.

2. If you are going to do a plastic egg hunt, fill half the eggs with candy and the other half with money. Kids love collecting coins. Put a quarter or a few dimes in a egg and they will be over joyed. Keep the eggs and reuse them next year!

3. Line your basket with real grass (weather permitting) or green felt cut to look like leaves and grass. Green glass decorating beads- the kind that go in decorative vases found at any craft store, would also be a nice way to line your basket. One you have a nice woven basket- save it for next year!

4. Use natural dyes instead of store bought ones, better for the environment and you get a wider range of color options. Boil your eggs in water with a bit of vinegar and one of these ingredients below, then let simmer for at least 15 minutes:
  • Purple grape juice (for lavender)
  • Red cabbage (for blue)
  • Spinach (for green)
  • Carrot tops, orange peels or lemon peels (for yellow)
  • Yellow onion skins (for orange)
  • Beets or cranberries (for pink)
  • Red onion skins (for red)
5. Lastly, if you can find local sweet or fair trade chocolate that you like, go for that too!