This charming video from Oh Joy!, one of my favorite bloggers, shows off the colorful holiday options from The Land of Nod, a stylish baby and kids brand. I just discovered this company, which is a partner of Crate and Barrel and CB2, and definitely know where I’ll be getting a lot of future gifts for my friends with little ones.
There’s lots of excitement going on around here lately. First, my friend Dana had her second baby boy a few weeks back. Then one of my oldest and dearest friends, Ayesha, gave birth to twin boys while we were in Austin. And now, my good friend Claire is up next, expecting a baby girl. So many of our friends are new parents and it’s really fun and interesting to see their lives change and how the maternal and paternal instinct just kicks in (watching Robin swaddle was impressive!)
Baby clothes and shoes are so fun to buy and while not always the most practical since they grow so fast, I can’t help myself. These are the side zip baby mocs that I gave Claire at her shower. Too cute! I can’t wait to see all of these kids grow up over the years. My god son, Hayden, is already five. Where does the time go?
Photo of stylist Monica Rose’s insanely cute daughter Alaia.
I have lived in Brentwood for almost 14 years (what?!) and our little village is having quite a moment these days, with Intermix, Scoop, Jenni Kayne and Minnie Mortimer’s Mini Shop all opening in the last month. Known for a flurry of Italian restaurants (Vincenti, Sor Tino and Pecorino are my favorites), A-list celebrity sightings, pretty Coral Trees that line San Vicente, a Farmer’s Market and major walkability, Brentwood is a pretty amazing place to call home. Here are some of my favorite spots:
Brentwood Country Mart – Breakfast at Farm Shop is incredible, I get the best paper goods at Sugar Paper and chic baby presents at Poppy. Love the gorgeous blooms at Botany, cozy blankets at Calypso St. Barth and the retro U.S. Post Office. Oh and there are pony rides and a petting zoo on Sunday mornings for kids.
Tavern – I work from home so when it comes time for business meetings I almost always use Tavern’s larder and cafe area as a second office. Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s restaurant is one of my favorite dining rooms (pictured) in town.
Susie Cakes – I can walk to Pinkberry in less than two minutes, but if I go just a bit farther I can pick up sweet treats at Susie Cakes, the retro-style bakery known for all-American home style desserts.
Drybar – In between haircuts I rely on this blow dry bar to help me out for special occasions. You can’t beat the $35 price and they can do everything from stick straight to big curls.
Lemonade – Closer to the top of Barrington Ave. you’ll find Lemonade, a gourmet cafeteria featuring 20 marketplace salads, sandwiches and eight pot roasts, not to mention the five types of refreshing lemonade.
1. The Little Alouette Down Under Boomerang Teething Rattle is finished with certified organic flax seed oil, $17.
2. Encourage motor skills in a fun way with the Prince Lionheart Wheely Mouse, $59.99.
3. Perfect for New Year’s Eve! These Metallic Mocs from Trumpette are too cute for words, $31.50.
4. My favorite children’s book, Goodnight Moon, is a timeless classic that can be read throughout the years, $10.97.
5. He’ll be one stylish tot in a pair of Vans Kids Classic Slip-On Core, $27. Especially perfect for kids with daddies who love surfing and skating.
6. Love DwellStudio for Target’s Menagerie 3pc Baby Bedding Set, $79.99. How cute are the giraffes?
7. Keep her warm (and adorable) in a San Diego Hat Company Kids Knit Button Ascot, $20.
8. Start them saving early with Tiffany & Co.’s earthenware hand-painted Elephant Bank, $115.
9. Kicokids’ Artist Kit features a canvas envelope case, colored paper notepad, six non-toxic colored pencils and a sharpener, $25.
10. Stimulate their brains with these Colorful Bowling Friends, $32.95. Babies can play with them for exercise and balancing ability.
In my twenties I was in the habit of giving my friends Ralph Lauren baby clothes and pint-size checkerboard Vans for their new bundles of joy. But as more of my friends started having kids, I realized that stylish and practical gifts were much more desirable. I recently caught up with my lovely friend Emili Vesilind, an accomplished fashion journalist (L.A. Times, W, Women’s Wear Daily), editor-in-chief of Style Section L.A. and mom to 15 month-old Liam, to learn more about what chic mamas really like.
What were some of your favorite gifts you received for Liam? The most special gifts I received were ones that were hand made. My cousin Pamela made a kimono-wrapped cardigan with vintage wooden buttons that was so adorable it was criminal. My aunt made this classic, beautiful quilt with bunnies and carrots all over it. And my friend Arianna found a circa-70s pattern for a crocheted baby gown with a matching hat that she whipped up. Crafty females are fabulous.
What gifts do you love to give expectant or new moms? I’m fresh from the trenches, so my gifts tend to be pretty pragmatic: Miracle blanket, white noise machines (the Sleep Sheep is awesome and travels well), “Happiest Baby on the Block” DVD (dads need to watch that); Soothie pacifiers; the ERGObaby carrier with the infant insert. And every baby loves the LeapFrog Learn & Groove music table. And that simple little Sophie the Giraffe teether is a big hit with most babies — and is really cute and retro-feeling.
What’s something unexpected to give a new mom? Really beautiful thank you cards already hand-addressed and stamped, so all she has to do is write the note to each person, seal and send. Ask the shower hostess to pass along the invite list for the party beforehand. I love the vintage-feeling cards at the Paper Source.