Oh, so hip
Looking for the perfect gift for a new or expecting mother? Local author Francinne Cascio Lawrence bowled us over with this collection of splendid recipes and so much more! Sprinkled with parenting tips and encouraging advice, Cooking with a Baby on Your Hip is the second title from ParentMap Press … a charming gift that reads like a cozy chat with a mom who’s been there and knows a thing or two. $12.95.
These gorgeous handmade bags take recycling to a new level! Two moms turn donated used military fatigues into ultra-chic quilted totes (with hip, girly contrast linings), then make donations to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides full college scholarships to military kids whose parents have been killed. The totes have lots of handy pockets and attention to detail. $65-$85; willowcreekbaby.com
Got kids? Then you’ve got an excuse for the dried oatmeal on your yoga pants! Show the world you’re cooler than drool with this hip little alibi T-shirt, emblazoned with “Mommy of” and your number (or “New Mommy”). Delicious long-sleeved T-shirt has a touch of spandex for perfect memory, and is long enough for low-rise jeans (finally!). Spendy, yes, but my fave new tee, hands down. $48; luckymetee.com
If you’ve ever heard my baggie tirade, you know how happy I was to come across these pretty little bags. Made by two Seattle moms who are similarly sick of plastic bags, waste and pollution, ReUsies are sturdy, nylon-lined cotton envelopes with Velcro enclosures. Pack ‘em with sandwiches, chips — whatever! — then just toss ‘em in the wash and reuse them. $6.50–$8.50.
Big Day Chains are sweet, colorful kits that let you count down to big events in style! Separate the perforated strips and assemble with non-toxic glue dots (included), then hang from a doorway. Tear off one link daily until that special event. Created by a local artist. $14.95.
Mommy play date
Here’s a crafty idea for a mom’s night in: Make your own make-up, soap or lotion! Brambleberry packs everything you and a few friends need to make dozens of luscious body-care goodies. Mix up custom eye shadows, lipsticks — even perfumes — which could become very economical homemade gifts! From $20; make-up kits around $45.
Craft-impaired mothers: Help is here! An Oregon school teacher/mom has created kids’ craft kits that contain everything you need — right down to the last piece of tape! Most Abracadabra kits don’t even require scissors, so you can take them camping, on airplanes or just keep them around for those “I’m bored” moments. These kits are all well under $10 — and are half off through May!From $2.
The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse by J. Patrick Lewis; illustrated by Serge Bloch. An utterly charming — and undeniably silly — book of poetry that takes a humorous look at some of the most unsung jobs adults can do. There’s the underwear salesman: “You wear them briefly/And in short,/I sell them chiefly/For support.” Other jobs — crossword-puzzle maker, subway driver — are sent up in similar pitch-perfect style and illustrated with colorful, witty digital collage. $16.99; Ginee Seo Books.
—Kristen Russell Dobson