i’ve gone crate crazy

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I mean … what’s not to love? They hold wayward things AND make you look like you’ve traveled the earth – or your grandma’s attic – looking for the perfect piece to hold your newspapers, apples or, in our house, those pesky preschooler shoes that pile up at the door.

When it comes to organization, I’ve gone through phases of wire baskets, galvanized tins, flower buckets … and now, I’m loving vintage soda crates.

Pottery Barn’s PB Found Soda Crate

Since my husband works for Pepsi, I noticed these right away in our Pottery Barn store a few months ago. I love those rare finds that in addition to being cute, have some sort of personal meaning.

These crates are part of Pottery Barn’s new “found” line that includes unique products from all over the world – some actually vintage and others just made to look like they are, which – btw – is 100% fine by me!

Of course, in my house these crates would not have ice cold Coke bottles sitting on them. THE HORROR!! These crates can be purchased for $19.99 right now at PotteryBarn.com.



Three Potato Four’s Hoffman Soda Crate

Now – if you’re looking for the real deal, the Hoffman Soda Crate from one of my favorite online stores Three Potato Four, is made from thick wood, re-enforced metal edging and according to the description on the site, one of the graphics is “very worn.” I imagine by some dude named Earl or Charlie who hauled this thing around filled with gorgeous glass bottles of brightly colored soda you couldn’t open by twisting.

The Hoffman Soda Crate for $35 at ThreePotatoFour.com. But keep in mind, this ain’t Pottery Barn … there’s only one of these puppies. Who’s going to get it first?

If you live in Philly, you can visit the Three Potato four store location or subscribe to their email newsletter so you know when they’re having their next big Barn Sale. You owe it to the rest of us who don’t live there!

Have you seen other soda crates?? DO TELL!

My latest etsy addiction – fabric coffee sleeves

How can you be a responsible earthly citizen AND feed your need for cute fabric? It’s easy… fabric coffee sleeves!

I first professed my love for these over here on MightyNest a few months ago, but I just keep finding new designs that I can’t pass up, so figured I’d take you guys down with me.

Feeling Mod?
etsy seller: katiepcolvin – $4

modsleeve

Or maybe a little more girly?
etsy seller: sspillman ~ $8

fruit polka cup

You can never go wrong with a sock monkey
etsy seller: FriedOkra – $12

monkeycup

Too much cute? Can’t decide? Try reversible!
etsy seller: TheDoeAndTheMouse - $10

reversible sleeve

There are zillions to choose from on etsy.com. Just type in coffee sleeve and you’re off to the races. Have fun!

Olive & Cocoa – a fantastic combo

olivecocoa Yesterday, I opened my mail to a rare  treat…a catalog I’ve never heard of before – Olive & Cocoa.

WOW!

Olive and Cocoa  has the three Ps (presentation, product and packaging) in spades!

The collection has everything from modern Martha-worthy floral arrangements to multi-colored Aussie Licorice Box and soft and snuggly baby blankets.

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I was shocked to find gifts in all price ranges because everything, including the gift packaging, looks top notch. Cannot wait to give this one a try. Will report back.

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Ziploc who?

Ecoditty_Snack

These cute little “dittys” are 100% organic cotton reusable sandwich and snack bags from a company called EcoDitty.

I use these things all the time to carry Cheerios, trail mix, my trusty PB&J and even pacifiers. They come in many different fabrics, are eco-friendly (no more ziplocs!) AND  completely non-toxic for those  little ones with PVC allergies.

The only downside is there is no way I’m putting these adorable little bags in any lunch I give to my boys when they’re older. For starters, I’d never see my eco-dittys again. Second, there’s no way they’ll ever appreciate just how darn cute they are. And third, I’m pretty sure they’d rather starve then whip this girly thing out at the lunch table. Even if it is filled with Oreos!

BUT WAIT - that gives me a great idea! They should make these with superheroes, monster trucks, Dora or little princesses on them for the munchkins.  How great would that be? 

I’m on it. Writing them right now!  

Eco-ditty sandwich and snack bags can be found at MightyNest.com.  $8.99 - $12.99

My what a MightyNest you have!

MN_logo_72_RGB_medOk, so I don’t run the most eco-friendly and non-toxic house in town. But I will say one thing…the new site MightyNest.com makes me want to build a better nest! 

MightyNest is a  site where parents can go to read up on all those fun chemicals they keep finding in our baby products like BPA, Lead and phthalates and buy non-toxic, safe and eco-friendly (not to mention cute and fun) products right there on the same site.

No more running around to 40 different stores to find what you want…it’s all right there. Toys, baby bottles, dishware, mattresses, clothing, lunch sacks, water bottles, lotions, lip balm ….you name it!

Of course I’ll be highlighting many of them right here very soon!

Full disclosure:  I blog for MightyNest as their @ecochallenged mom BUT even if I didn’t, I would still love MightyNest…seriously.

 

Tag – You’re it!

mabelsA few weeks ago, when I spotted the cutest dog tag on some little guy’s diaper bag,  I did what any self-respecting mid-30′s woman and mother of two does when she doesn’t want to forget something - I wrote the name of the company on my hand.

Turns out Mabel’s Labels makes all sorts of labels for “the stuff kid’s lose” like clothes, shoes, backpacks and even themselves!

They also cater to the adult organizing freaks (myself included) with their packages of pre-printed labels to help control your cords, spice rack, plastic storage tubscraft stuff and even your curbside garbage cans! Now THAT is organized!  curbsides

But at the end of the day I’m still a sucker for the dog tags, with their cute fonts and personalized little motif critters. Just attached a little train tag to Jack’s new little  pre-school backpack and I’ve never been happier!

p.s. Great for gift-giving too! Just attach one to the top of your gift and throw the rest inside the package.

Gotta kiss alot of frogs…

figurine--prosperityfrogIf you’re going to spend a ton of time working at your desk, don’t you think you should spice it up a bit to make it a happier place? I DO!

Frames with family photos, colorful sticky notes, cute file folders, little ceramic frogs. Wait….what? Frogs?  Yes, frogs.

Let me be clear though – this is no ordinary frog. This is a Prosperity Frog. According to the package….

The Japanese believe that keeping a frog where you spend money will cause the money to return to you. The Chinese believe that frogs are good luck in money-making ventures and often keep them on their desks. This prosperity frog bestows good fortune and luck wherever he goes. Find a special place for him in your home or office and enjoy increased wealth and success.

Now, I’m not wealthy by any stretch but I will say that when this cute little frog landed on my desk a year or so ago, things started to click in that area a little more than in the past. Just sayin’.

I found Froggy at a pottery shop in Grand Central called Our Name is Mud. Sadly the shop is now gone (thanks to our lovely economy!) but luckily you can still get the goods online at http://ournameismud.com.  

While you’re there, check out Froggy’s friend Timeless Turtle – a symbol of good health and longevity!

At only $8 plus shipping, these are both cheap and easy ways to make someone smile. And who doesn’t need that?

A cow, a kitty and one happy mom

yuko-lau-peek-a-boo-ii-catWhen I was decorating our nursery, I needed something to brighten up the pale blue walls. The rules were simple…no balls, bats, dinosaurs, bugs, trucks, trains, tools or robots.

7 months and 3 million hours surfing the Web later, I finally found Yuko Lao and fell in love with her colorful happy canvas prints sold on art.com.

There are so many cute animals to choose from. Monkeys, pigs, giraffes…you name it. I chose the kitty and the cow — but only after some serious deliberation.

She’s also added these to the series recently! SO DARN CUTE.

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UGH. No more room left on the walls in the nursery. I wonder if Brad will let me put one up in our room…??

Mmmmm….method

Method’s delisciously evil plan to use sleek packaging and cute little names to convert me to a green cleaner has finally worked! Tried out this this new wood cleaner and am happy to say it not only cleans well but man does it smell great. Plus, the bottle is just so darn pretty…

Finally … an excuse to buy more bags!

If you must know the truth…I really didn’t start to think about ways I could go “green” until the grocery stores started selling re-usable bags. I mean, come on. Cute AND functional bags for 99 cents being sold to you at the exact moment you need them? Is there anything easier? I’m on board!!

There’s everything from The Sheryl Crow designed bag at Whole Foods to Stop ‘n Shop’s Susan G. Komen “Pink” bag. Just bought a few of those yesterday! (shhhh…dont tell my husband. He’s starting to notice we’re literally being overrun by these things….but i always forget them and have to buy more!)

OR – if you’re a big spender – hop on over to reusablebags.com for a trillion choices including this cute ultra-compact bag from Envirosax going for about 8 bucks. The choices are endless…happy shopping!