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House of Jamie


New apparel collection features fabulous black and white Breton stripe graphics.

HOJ-Collar Bib-Stone (21)Dutch children’s label House of Jamie is known for soft, clean and minimalist baby essentials and apparel designed with a classic touch. Launched in 2012, Amsterdam-based founder Barbara Gouka designed the line as her own timeless yet affordable nursery essentials for her daughter Jamie, now available for little ones aged 0-4 all over the world.

Just recently, Barbara launched a new clothing collection in addition to the current year-round line, which features the fresh and fun Breton stripes in bold black and white. Love it!

HOJ-Collar Bib-Stone (19)After the launch of the first clothing collection in 2013, we received more and more interest in new items and bigger sizes. The result? A new stylish color, a black and white Breton stripe and brand new timeless designs. By expanding the size range, the collection is now available for little ones aged 0-4. House of Jamie’s signature bow tie and linen details have also returned into this collection.”

-Barbara Gouka

HOJ-Collar Bib-Stone (9)Created with the utmost care and attention for the environment. From sleeping bags to duvet covers, changing mat covers to hooded baby towels, hooded jackets, dresses, sweaters, sleepwear and more – all merchandise is 100% fair trade, completely child labor free and handmade in Holland and Turkey.

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Mommy Masters


Voted Parenting Blog of the Year – Congratulations!

102114_CRTPost_MommyMasters_Headshot_2013_SmallEllie Hirsch, aka The Mommy Master® -an award-winning children’s singer/songwriter, parenting expert, published author, blogger and mom – just announced that MommyMasters.com has won first place in the Annual Parenting Blog of the Year Contest sponsored by Virginia-based uKnowKids.com, the software company that helps parents monitor their children online.

“I created Mommy Masters so moms (and dads) would have a parenting community where they could find unique tips, tricks and tools, Ellis says in her announcement. “It has allowed me to connect with amazing families all over the world who share a common theme. We all want to be the best parent we can be. Some days we are Mommy Masters and others, Mommy Disasters, and we are okay with that.”

-Ellie Hirsch

102114_CRTPost_MommyMasters_TMLogo-with-tagline-300pxFlorida-based Mommy Masters® is a go-to trusted source for Moms and Dads to share parenting experiences, ask questions and generally learn from other Moms and Dads how to be the best parents they can be. The blog site features fresh posts, content from “A Dad’s Perspective,” a place to buy children’s music and more.

102114_CRTPost_MommyMaters_CDCoverEllie founded Mommy Masters® in 2010 to help parents create flourishing family environments. She also mentors Mompreneurs and offers a platform for women to share their accomplishments through the Mommy Master of the Month initiative. She released her children’s CD, “Music is Magical, Children’s Songs with Ellie,” to rave reviews, receiving a Parents’ Choice Award.

Ellie is currently working on growing the Mommy Masters brand to include children’s and parenting guide books, television components and interactive activities. She is available for music performances, workshops, guest speaking, personal appearances, consultations, coaching, freelance writing, television appearances, interviews and more. Just drop her at note at  info@mommymasters.com  or call 917-225-0101 with your request.

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Children’s Book Author Wins Nobel Prize in Literature


French author Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature, “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation.”

Mr. Modiano writes in a variety of genres, including detective mysteries, short, 100-page novels and screenplays. His first novel, “La place de l’étoile,” about Jewish collaborator during WWI, was published in France in 1968.

101414_CRTPost_CatherineCertitude_CoverA Mom and Her Memories. This Nobel Prize winner also writes children’s books! Catherine Certitude, written with collaborator William Rodarmor and illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempe, was published in 2001, and tells the story of a mom and her memories.

While Catherine watches her own daughter practice dance, she reminiscences about her own childhood. Living in the tenth arrondissement of Paris, Catherine and her father Georges share the simple pleasures of daily life: sitting in the church square, walking to school, going to her ballet class every Thursday afternoon. A happy time in the City of Light.

However, the charming walk down memory lane brings up a lot of mystery:

  • Why did Catherine’s change his name to Certitude?
  • What kind of trouble with the law did his business partner Casterade rescue him from?
  • Exactly what does Georges do, and what kind of deals is he always discussing with men in worn raincoats?
  • Why did Catherine’s mother, herself a ballerina, leave Georges to return to New York?

These are just some of the mysteries Catherine remembers … and hopes to resolve as the story unfolds.

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GoldieBlox Joins the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade


Happy news for turkey day!

Award-winning toy company GoldieBlox is bringing the magic of design and engineering to life at the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® with “The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine,” a new GoldieBlox float that will make its way down the streets of New York.

“Our dream at GoldieBlox is to inspire every girl to reach her full potential, and we definitely like to dream big. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an iconic celebration and we’re thrilled to join the line-up this November with the first-ever float that is specifically designed to showcase the principles of engineering. Macy’s Parade floats are the ultimate engineering spectacle, and relatable to kids everywhere. We can’t wait!”

-GoldieBlox Founder & CEO Debbie Sterling

Designed and built by the engineers and craftspeople at Macy’s Parade Studio working closely with the GoldieBlox team, The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine will transform GoldieBlox toys into larger-than-life form, in an elaborate, creative and brightly colored machine. The float uses kid power to spin, pull and rotate giant pinwheels, parachutes, jogging wheels and more. Goldie herself is at the helm of the action, joined by Goldie’s dog Nacho, her cat Benjamin Cranklin and a host of her friends on three distinct stages.

“Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has always been about sparking the imagination through creativity, magic and fun. The new GoldieBlox float is an aspiring engineer’s dream, perfectly combining Macy’s Parade’s signature creativity and artistry, with real-world engineering practices that will inspire girls and boys to learn more about engineering and technology.”

-Amy Kule, Executive Producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

GoldieBlox hopes to spread the message that while girls may love princesses, they can build their own castles too, or their own parade floats! Determined to level the playing field for girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), GoldieBlox is on a mission to disrupt pink toy aisles everywhere and get girls building.

Gearing up for the holiday season, GoldieBlox recently doubled their product offering, adding three new sets and expanding their piece library from six to more than 40, all available at GoldieBlox.com.

GoldieBlox’s Girl-Powered Spinning Machine float débuts in the 88th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which can be seen nationwide on NBC-TV, on Thursday, November 27, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in all time zones.

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Sock It To Me


Funky, fashionable socks for the whole family.

100714_CRTPost_SockItToMe_ChatNoirPortland, OR-based Sock It to Me makes over 200 different sock designs, with something for every personality, whether you’re a man, woman or child. From punk rock to peacock,  PB&J, cats, super heroes, rainbows, lady bugs, butterflies, ninjas, unicorns, monkeys, tacos, mustaches and other things magical – retailing from $9 – $18, the socks are available at more than 2,000 stores worldwide, as well as online at  http://sockittome.com/.

100714_CRTPost_SockItToMe_01Sock It to Me has been making fun, funky sock designs since 2004, striving to make unique, quality products that provide value and top-notch “sock-ness” to sock fans everywhere.

Vote NOW! Sock It To Me’s Very Special 10th Anniversary International Design a Sock of Awesomeness Contest is underway. It’s the contest where anyone, anywhere in the world can submit a sock design for a chance to see their dream sock become a reality.

100714_CRTPost_SockItToMe_LogoThe Grand Prize Winner receives a cash prize of $5,000, their design manufactured on real socks and 15 pairs of awesome Sock It to Me socks from the current line. The second place winner receives $1,000 and 10 pairs of socks and the third place winner will get $500 and five pairs of socks.

Voting for your favorite design has already begun! VOTE NOW!

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The Day We Danced in Underpants


This picture of the book cover makes me smile. Happy October!

The Day We Danced in Underpants is the kind of book I keep on my own book shelf, along with children’s classics Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi and The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts by Shinta Cho. And here’s a good reason why: “This lesson in kindness and grace changes an embarrassing situation into an adventure,” a very astute review from Tidewater Parent.

100214_CRTPost_DayWeDanced_IllustrationTalk About Joie de Vivre! Written by California-based writer Sarah Wilson, the story is inspired by her grandmother, who taught her an early appreciation for French culture. Indeed! Sarah’s silly descriptions of a cast of characters –including “three wild aunts” – who dance their way across the French countryside to a picnic with the King of France makes for a perfect read-aloud, not to mention a dance-a-thon of your own.

And to do it all in underpants?

Award-winning illustrator Catherine Stock‘s hilarious watercolors literally paint the picture of “a wild party that finds even the stuffiest nobles getting down in their unmentionables,” as the book’s synopsis tells us.

When one of my friends posted a picture of the book on Facebook, I couldn’t resist starting out a new month by telling you about it. As he says, “Oh, I do that all the time!”