Archive for May, 2012

Barbecues: Inspiration of the Week

With the month of May wrapping up and June creeping around the corner, the smell of summer is in the air. What better way to welcome this sunshine-filled season than with barbecues! This week, we are inspired by (and totally salivating at) all things dedicated to the grill. Need other good reasons to throw down on the grill? Well, Father’s Day and graduations are coming up, so throw a memorable BBQ for the special dads and grads in your life. If you need an invitation for your barbecue, be sure to check out one of our favorites – an invitation with a modern take of the tools of the BBQ trade.


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Play with your Furniture

If you find it hard for your kids to sit still all day, perhaps they could use a bench that turns into a seesaw. Gizmodo turned us on to this awesome new product from Dutch designer DvanDirk. We’d have to agree that we’re a little jealous this one only comes in child-sized options. Nothing like turning your furniture into a playground set with just a few simple maneuvers.

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Grow a Vertical Garden

This past weekend, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair came to New York City, showcasing the latest in great product design, with a lot of emphasis on eco-friendly home furnishings. Whether furniture made from recycled materials or furniture that is completely bio-degradable, there were several examples of innovative design. We love seeing each year more and more designers creating products with a green mindset.

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Browse Carefree with Happily

 

The other day I saw a baby in a stroller, just barely big enough to hold a bottle, playing with her very own iPad. Although a bit of a shocker, it’s not so unusual these days that kids receive tablets or smartphones long before a pen and paper. While iPads can be a distracting toy, they can also be used for educational purposes to give your child a head start. But while there’s so much on the web we wouldn’t want our kids stumbling upon, fortunately a new app makes sense of it all: Happly.

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Let the sun shine!

All Three productsThe Environmental Working Group just came out with their Sunscreen Guide for 2012 and I was happy to see that my new favorite sun screen was included with flying colors.

I live in Santa Monica where it is nice and sunny all year round, if the fog burns off.  I am very fair and have sensitive skin,  as does my daughter. We both wear sunscreen every day (I sometimes show my age and tell her that we need to put on our “sun tan lotion!”) I like to use the more “natural” stuff, so I am always on the look out for Chemical free broad spectrum sunscreen. I have consistently had a problem where the sunscreen separates.  I get kind of nervous and I wonder, it if still works. Also, my skin is so sticky when I use it. [read more]

Would you buy baby products from Jessica Alba?

Lovely starlet Jessica Alba was just honored as one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. The reason might surprise you. After reading Christopher Gavigan’s groundbreaking book Healthy Child Healthy World, Alba was deeply affected to learn about the toxicity of our everyday baby products and household items. But rather than just feel saddened by the news, she brought her frustration to the author himself, telling him that while he presented a fair problem, he failed in offering a solution. So together, they started The Honest Co., a company dedicated to providing safe and natural products for your baby.

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Bring the Farm Indoors

There’s no secret to the enormous benefits of filling your home with live plants. They clean the air, uplift your mood, and increase energy flow into your space. But what if you went a step further and put a plant in literally every free space available? What if you grew kale in your couch or parsley in your desk? One artist imagined just that scenario at a new show at the aptly named New York gallery Mixed Greens.

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The New Camping: Clear Bubble Tents

I always love the idea of camping, a romantic night in the great outdoors. But I’ve found that the reality is usually a lot less fun:  pitching a dank tent and swatting off mosquitos while trying to get a fire going. PSFK alerted us to a new form of camping, which lets you be one with nature in your very own bubble tent. Designed by the Attrap Rêves group in Marseille, France, the bubble tents were created as a way for campers to get the most out of nature, while leaving as little of an impact as possible. They’re made of completely recyclable materials, and each interior is unique.

The tents are about 13 feet in diameter and can easily be packed up without leaving a trace of waste behind. The pods come in two styles, one completely clear style that allows you to basically blend in with your surroundings. Another style is opaque at the bottom for more privacy, but with also an awesome view through the clear roof. Telescopes are also available to get up close and personal with the Milky Way. Enjoy the night sky without the bug bites. A nearby restaurants allows campers to dine in luxury, no firepit necessary.

It’s easy for many properties to use the label “eco-tourism” just because they recycle. But it takes true innovation to use design to create new experiences that allow us to vacation with minimal impact on the environment.

 

Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, the time of the year to honor the woman who gave us the most. Bamboo Wall Art makes a great Mother’s Day present. Just choose your favorite photo of you and mom and upload. Customize with a variety of sweet designs. In addition to bamboo’s wide-ranging green qualities, Paper Culture plants a tree with each order, so it’s a win win. Click here for details. But perhaps you want to go even more DIY and make something from scratch for mom. Here are some easy ideas that will be sure to put a smile on her face.

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The Ever Evolving Crib

We at Paper Culture are all about raising our children green from Day 1. Whether by choosing eco diapers or finding innovative cribs that grow with our children, we love finding products that make it easy. But what about once your child finally outgrows that crib? Our friends over at Lil Sugar have put together a collection of repurposed cribs from creative mothers and scavengers.

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