Archive for April, 2012
Picture this: you are precariously pushing a grocery cart with one hand through the parking lot and holding your child’s hand with the other. Your car keys are in your mouth. Is this your worst nightmare or an every day occurrence? You can breathe now. The problem has been solved. The Reisenthel “motherchildbag” (from $11 – $20) gives you an extra hand, or really an extra handle for your kid to hold. And what kid doesn’t want their own special handle? [read more]
Happy Earth Day to our beloved readers! We hope you celebrated our favorite holiday in a way that was both inspiring and fruitful. Paper Culture has set a goal to plant 1,000,000 trees, one for each new Facebook like. Click here to get going, and dedicate your tree to someone special. We’ve planted 200,000 since Earth Day last year and are looking forward to the many, many more trees we’ll be putting into the ground through 2012 and beyond.
Can you remember a time before text messaging? The relatively new invention was launched in 1992, but it’s hard to remember a time when this wasn’t one of our primary forms of communication. To celebrate 20 years, notebook innovator Moleskine has launched a special edition analog SMS text message. The tiny notebook comes with a cover launching pad and tiny messages such as “I Love You” and “Call Me” which can be folded up and launched via slingshot across a room. For us it recalls the schoolroom days when we’d get busted for writing a note and passing it to a friend. It’s a fun idea to celebrate a form of technology we now take for granted, and a great gift for anyone in your life with a smartphone addiction.
A slew of startups, from Birchbox to TestTube are allowing ladies to sample new beauty products monthly. You sign up for a subscription (anywhere from $10-$50) and get a surprise box with a selection of miniature or fullsize samples to try out monthly or quarterly. We tried out Birchbox, and were disappointed by the small size of the samples. (Why pay for free samples?) Although most people don’t need more toiletries to fill their beauty kits, it’s a fun service that feels like getting a surprise present in the mail every few weeks.
Japanese design company MUJI is the king of creating beautiful, simple goods in gorgeous packaging. So naturally they’d be amazing toy designers. We stumbled upon these “Playing with LEGO bricks and paper” kits that look like endless fun for kids and grownups alike. Each set comes with a bag of lego bricks and coordinating paper that follows one of five themes: move, animals, Christmas, basic and vehicles. Muji sells a separate LEGO hole punch that creates the patented four-hole square lego mark in paper to connect sheets of paper into a variety of figures. When you run out of paper, use recycled note cards or construction paper to keep on playing. Props to MUJI for finding one more innovative use for paper.
Having just made a major move, I spent the last two months getting rid of most of my belongings, selling stuff, giving stuff away. It was a big realization for me of just how much I had accumulated in such a short amount of time. I had the space, so naturally I filled it. While it was very therapeutic to unload physical stuff, it was also very cumbersome. I made a decision to really start really thinking about my future purchases. Before buying anything new I would ask myself, is this going to take up a lot of space? Will I really use this? And is it worth the money? Buying for my new life, I hope to keep things pretty trim.
I am walking everywhere — to the bank and to the post office — I am doing this all because of my Fitbit Ultra. The Fitbit Ultra is a super tricked-out pedometer that measures your daily steps and wirelessly tracks your efforts on your computer. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone take 10,000 steps a day. I thought that as a busy Mom, who is continually running in circles, cleaning and putting away toys, I was walking way more than that. But I got my fitbit and soon realized that I was only doing around 5,000 steps a day, which is what most people do. Now that I have my fitbit, I have become obsessed with taking 10K+ steps a day. It is amazing how it just takes a little extra stroll to get to 10k. Now I make a point of parking further away from the door to the supermaket and I will walk through the front door as opposed to the closer side entrance of my condo. [read more]
From maternity clothes to baby toys, unless you have a repeat pregnancy, it’s often difficult to reuse the many things necessary to purchase when having a child. One company, Gro Furniture, is trying to reverse that, at least when it comes to baby furniture. They’ve developed two special cribs designed to be used for generations, which many uses in-between.
It’s easy to think of Milton Glaser’s “I Love New York” logo when thinking of the Big Apple, or the Hollywood sign when we think of Los Angeles, but it’s not often we can define an entire city by one particular typeface. There’s news coming out of Chattanooga, Tennessee that is intent on changing that. Brand designer D.J. Trischler and designer Jeremy Dooley are helping to redesign the identity of their city with a brand new font called Chatype.