Do your kids have a food allergy? Chef extraordinaire Erin McKenna showed us that even the most allergy-prone child need not go without cupcakes. Her bakeries, based in New York, Los Angeles, and Disney World, Babycakes, have made it easy for anyone to indulge in gluten-free, wheat-free, or sugar-free cakes, cookies and donuts. Using healthy ingredients like coconut oil and fresh spices, the treats are a guilt-free indulgence. Her cookbook has made it easy to replicate the recipes at home. And now, an accompanying iPhone App makes it easier than ever to recreate these amazing treats. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who has no food allergies, the recipes are delicious and enjoyable whenever, and provide a healthy alternative to more sugar-laden treats.
Hot summers are the best excuse to take a trip to the pool and beach. As a new mom, I was extremely excited to take my 9-month-old for her first poolside dip. But, as I’m sure some moms would agree, I was worried about how she would fare in the water, so I perused tons of online mommy forums to find the best baby float to keep her happily splashing yet safe. I found this Swimways baby float to not only be accommodating with its shade canopy and safe with its breathable mesh, but also bold and cheery like summer colors should be. And why should babies have all the fun?! I’ve compiled a list of poolside and beachfront picks for the rest of the family while your little ones are splashing away in the pool. Dive in!
How many times have you been at a museum or gallery and wished you could interact or play with the art? Personally I’ve had to restrain myself more than a few times. In one instance, in a gallery in Japan, kids were unable to stop themselves from playing with a large crocheted installation by artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam. As a result, MacAdam listened to her audience and built her first large-scale crocheted playground just for kids in Tokyo. The result was something straight out of a fairy tale.
Image: Romulo Yanes
Mayor Bloomberg recently announced that he plans on banning super-sized sugary beverages from New York City’s restaurants and food vendors. While it’s not without controversy, we can appreciate measures intended to create a healthier city. Indeed, Bloomberg’s ban on smoking in public places and trans fats from restaurants has set the bar high for many other major cities. The good news is that banning soda doesn’t necessarily mean limiting yourself to H2O for life, although there’s nothing wrong with that. For special treats, there are plenty of homemade sodas that can be made while skipping the sugar and the chemicals. And they’re simple and fun to make, even for kids. Here’s a few recipes to try at home from Cherry-Vanilla to classic Ginger.
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.
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.
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]
When it comes to eating right, there’s a diet out there for almost every type of food preference. However, there’s one rule that almost every living-well philosophy can agree upon: stay away from processed food. The trend of bringing fresh food straight from the farm to your table has prompted many a new mother to forego traditional jars of baby food and make their own. But without the right tools and planning ahead, it’s hard to take the extra step for many a new mother with a million other things on her plate.
A new company, based in New York, Farm to Baby, takes all the stress out of the constant dilemma of what to feed our kids. Farm to Baby works with a select group of local farms, choosing only those that forego harmful herbicides and pesticides, to choose in season crops chock full of nutrients. They deliver freshly pureed food in glass jars to feed your baby throughout the week. Plans range from “Sit” at $45 a week to “Crawl” at $99 a week, depending on the volume of food your child needs. This week’s menu includes delicious mashes like purple top turnips and kabocha squash. When you’re done they pick up the jars and recycle them, meaning a zero waste menu.
Although a food delivery system seems a bit excessive and indulgent for a newborn, it’s a healthy program that any busy mom could appreciate. And starting your baby early on nutritious food can set them on a lifelong path of eating well. Expect to see this type of service opening in cities nationwide very soon.
I’m not a designer, but having been lucky enough to be surrounded by designers for most of my life, I’m able to pick up some of their best tips. Before the web, the library was the go-to place for inspiration. Scrolling through old graphic design books, old posters, postcards, anything might get a designer’s brain going. Today the task is much easier, with thousands upon thousands of image websites, whose sole mission is to inspire.
Today after doing some errands, I popped into my local Williams-Sonoma to look for a pressure cooker. My friends’ niece is staying with us from Brazil and wants to make us “typical” rice and beans. And she needs one.
They only had one pressure cooker, so I felt like I need to do a bit more research on the internet. Someone was baking some sort of cookies at the store and it smelled so good. I lingered, hoping to get a cookie. I saw the chef (can you actually be a chef at a Williams-Sonoma store???) pull them out of the oven. I must assume, that in fear of a potential lawsuit since they were hot and could possibly burn someone’s mouth or fingers, he zipped them away into a back room to cool.
I was sad. I wanted a cookie. But I didn’t want to wait or shop any longer. Then I got happy again because I saw that he had made Momofuku’s Milk Bar’s amazing corn cookies from a mix. And that I could buy that very same mix along with the blueberry and cream and compost flavored cookies. Momofuku Milk Bar is this fantastic bakery in NYC where you get crazy treats like cereal milk soft-serve and the “crack” pie, which is so yummy that it is literally is addictive. The cookies are so buttery that the wrapper is almost translucent with grease. They are also selling the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook as well, so you can make their delicacies from scratch, if you are willing to see the amount of butter and cream that goes into these. Since one of my New Year’s resolutions is not indulge in excessive sweets, I will probably be waiting until August to bake these. But it is good to know that they are available.