Categories: Healthy Child Healthy World

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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Give me your hand!

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]

Get a move on with the fitbit ultra!

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]

Furniture that Grows with your Baby

 

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.

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Instant popsicles are the perfect last minute holiday gift. I swear.

We are getting close to the Chanukah/Christmas finish line and I still have some outstanding presents. I try to plan ahead and buy gifts throughout the year when I see something interesting. I find it stressful to shop at the last minute. I don’t like to end up with gifts that are just ‘meh.’ But my planning is far from perfect. Sometimes, I end up a lot of Melissa and Doug cupcake decorating kits, or red moleskine notebooks, when I really need something for the whole family.
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Beware! Speculoos, the Belgium cookie butter spread, is here! And it is delicious…

As if you needed more temptation during this Holiday season, speculoos is now available at Trader Joe’s. I have some Belgium friends, who live in Portland. Whenever we visit, we eat bread smeared with speculoos, a cookie spread, for breakfast. They bring a few jars back from Belgium each time they visit. I never thought that I was in danger of making it a part of my daily life. But now speculoos is being marketed in the U.S. as a peanut-free alternative to peanut butter and sold at my local market.

According to my friends, everyone in Belgium eats speculoos cookies, which are light-brown buttery cookies with a hint of cinnamon (you may have tried one on Delta Airlines). In the morning, they dip them in their coffee or hot milk and patiently wait to scoop-up the dregs from the bottom. A few years ago a Belgian woman won a competition on an “invention” reality TV show where she made a spread of speculoos cookies. Now speculoos paste is incredibly popular in Europe and it has made its way across the Atlantic into mainstream America. I know, it sounds weird, but it is out of the world yum. Try it.

Classic book cover t-shirts for kids and grown ups

Yesterday, my daughter and her friend Gabriel were loudly debating the merits of their respective t-shirts – Hello Kitty vs. Ben 10. Hers was more beautiful and his was more powerful. Suddenly, it got me thinking, beside Princess and Transformer costumes, what else could they wear to make them be that inspired?
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Did your post-Thanksginving consuming include shopping or turkey?

Time for a little unscientific poll: How many of you braved the crowds for Black Friday? How many shopped from the comfort of your own home? Or are you waiting for Cyber Monday? And how many of you didn’t shop at all? [read more]

Art center. How to rock the paper, scissors and glue.

My daughter has just come to that wonderful phase in childhood where she can spend literally hours drawing. She is making wonderful pictures of princesses, chefs with hats, mermaids, castles and spaceships. Also, she is writing lots of random letters. It is very fun and super cute to watch.

crayolaFinally, after being asked for paper ten times a day, I got smart and I gave her a stack of colored paper, which she is going through at an alarming rate. I decided to put together a little art center for her. I somehow managed (not!) to round-up all the various markers that live in our house. And in addition to the basic can’t-live-without Crayola WASHABLE markers, her center contains the following supplies:

Tape. She uses tape to wrap items, tape things that she cuts out, and to tape her art on the wall. I can say with certainty that this tape dispenser from Lakeshore has changed the décor of our house. Who knew that making tape designs on the floor was an art activity?

 

Scissors. She likes to cut colored paper, playing cards, princess cards, play money — basically anything that is paper or her scissors will cut through. I am continually cleaning up small random scraps of paper. I found scissors like these fun kids scissors in Little Tokyo. They are a hit.

Glue sticks. When we were in Italy over the summer, I picked up some Coccoina Adhesive Glue Sticks at the suggestion of my friend. They are sticky, non-toxic, non-solvent, and acid free. And they smell like marzipan. My friend claims that they are ok to eat, so no worries when your toddler takes a bite. Yum.

 

Beeswax crayons. My Waldorf friends turned me on to these block crayons by Stockmar. They seem to glide better than the crayolas. And they are easier for little hands to hold. Since they aren’t wrapped in paper, it is one less thing to clean up.

I never knew that I would, or could posses so much great art to keep or recycle.

Fantastic magical unbreakable drinking glasses for kids and grown-ups!

Recently, I was having dinner at my friends’ house. They love to cook and I love to eat, so it works out well. They opened the Chardonnay that I had brought and poured it into these cute little glasses. Suddenly, I had one of those Proustian madeleine moments. I vividly remembered sitting at a table at a sidewalk café in Paris drinking Pernod out of those same glasses. We were discussing the brooms the street sweepers use in Paris that look like a witch should be riding on them, except for the fact that they are made out of brightly-colored plastic. Have you seen those brooms? I have never understood why they didn’t change the design to be more like the conventional brooms you get in the U.S. when they started making them out of plastic. I wonder about this every time I see them. [read more]