Addison’s Wonderland – Children’s Bedding & Decor

kids bedding and decor

Addison’s Wonderland came to us purely through serendipity- a chance tweet we happened to see that landed us square in the middle of a world of girl’s bedding and decor that is straight out of a faerie tail.  Ruffles, ruffles, and more ruffles seems to be the mantra here…and who could ask for more?  The delicate patterns and rich textures created by the gathers and ruffles create dreamlike scenes for children and parents alike.  I know a few rooms in my house that could use a few more ruffles…

Mischka Aoki – Australian Children’s Fashion Label

We are utterly enchanted by fresh Australian label, Mischka Aoki. Their designs are light, fresh, and classic, with their mainstay being timeless gowns and party dresses. Feather light sheer tufts puff in delicate flounces while solid lines crisscross in elegant, dramatic form. Their website is tricky to navigate, but the gorgeous full frame photography gladly distracted us, and made the journey a worthwhile one.

This one is mandatory viewing for all fashion addicts, you won’t be disappointed.

Introducing- Wall Stories

While not exactly children’s fashion, Wall Stories is definitely a must see for anyone who loves adorable decor. Wall Stories was created by Caron Reeder and Maria Carluccio with the vision of creating a product that would inspire and encourage children to be creative at a young age.

Wall Stories are fabric wall stickers that your child can reposition over and over again to tell a story. With options for both boys and girls, there is sure to be something to please. If your little boy loves dinosaurs, he will love arranging a a scene with T-Rex. For girls there is a lovely garden mural. Kids can even draw on the stickers to further personalize their story.

Our favorite option was the boy and girl baby squares. There are both fabric squares with images and areas for writing and picture frame squares to add photos to. The baby squares are a very personal way to decorate a nursery. And as your child gets older, they will have a blast adding their own touch.

Made of a polyester fabric weave the images are durable, cleanable, and repositionable. The material is non toxic and Wall Stories will send you a free sample to test on your walls.

We love the current options, and can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Emily Ulmer Photography

emily ulmer photography

Meet Emily Ulmer Photography

This post is so long overdue it’s not even funny!  We did this interview last year and life, as it tends to do, interfered and thus it sat un-posted for months.  But now we are oh-so-pleased to introduce to you Emily Ulmer Photography.  We first encountered her work on another blogger’s site, where her unique take on photographing children had spawned many different opinions.  We for one found her work intriguing, as it captures a side of children not often seen: that side of them visible in between moments, in the silence during an intake of breath, when energy is in a state of stillness immediately prior to bursting forth once more.  Or in those moments where they find themselves lost in thought…take some time to browse her work here at and take in her impeccable style and thought provoking view of childhood.

Once you’ve had a chance to absorb her work, come back and read our brief interview with the artist herself.  Savor the experience, and take a peek inside her mind, incidentally 7 months in the making…

Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you got started in photography, any favorite shoots you have done, any particular photos from your latest collection?

I was born and raised in Southern Caliornia. When I was about 18, my grandfather gave me his old 35 millimeter and I began documenting my younger sister in her teenage years.  And from there I began photographing my friends, trying to capture that delicate period between adolescence and adulthood. I’ve been shooting for years but it wasn’t until very recently that I found the area I love in photography. Sometimes it takes a long time, I guess! As far as favorite shoots, it’s hard to choose, as I feel so close to all of them.  But some of my favorite recent work is the series of the two sisters, Josephine and Oona. There was an inherent maturity and soulfulness in both of them that was so inspiring to capture. And they loved having their picture taken which is not often always the case with children!

How did you get started with this current theme of photography? What was that initial inspiration that drove you to photograph children with your particular style and themes?

About a year ago I took some pictures of a friend’s four year-old son. There was something different in those photographs that felt much more pure than my portraits of adults.

It felt like an obvious gravitation as I’d always tried to capture the innocence in young adults. From there I began shooting more children in their own environments, attempting to show them in their most natural state, when they are most comfortable. I’m trying to show childhood from the perspective of the child, which is not often done.

The clothing in your photography definitely has a very vintage look to it, where do you find/how do you select it?

The clothing does play an important role in my pictures. I generally go through the children’s own wardrobes and choose pieces that are timeless and best suit the child’s personality. The simpler the outfit, the better. I’m beginning to collect vintage children’s clothing which is a lot of fun to search for.

I worked in fashion for a bit when I was younger and developed a specific aesthetic with the clothing that I use for my portraits– which does contribute a lot to the overall feel of my pictures.

Your photographs have a unique look and feel to them, is there any special equipment or techniques you employ to achieve your specific style?

Now that I’m shooting digitally mainly (as you have to take a lot of frames when you’re shooting children!), I’m very conscious of having my pictures look as though I’d shot with film.

Color has always been incredibly important to me as I printed all of my earlier work on my own. I’ve always leaned more toward ‘warmer’ colors, which is also why I only use natural light. So I spend a lot of time playing with the tone and colors as I edit my work, to achieve the look I’m going for.

Lastly there have definitely been a lot of contrasting opinions on your work. Many have felt that there weren’t enough smiling faces, or that some of the imagery had dark overtones. Do you have anything you would like to say in response?

I know, it was very surprising! I had no idea that there would be so many people that would have such strong reactions to my work— both positive and negative.  There are definitely those out there that feel that children should only be photographed laughing and smiling, etc. There’s a lot of over romanticizing in children’s portraiture. People want to think that kids are always happy and bubbly. But they also have a serious side to them, however young, which I find very beautiful.

Of course some equate the seriousness with dark overtones. But I’ve never looked at my work as dark. It’s the quiet moments that I’m trying to capture and in those moments they are typically not smiling nor jumping up and down. And I always let the overall mood of the child dictate the feel of the shoot, as I’m trying to show them for who they are.

Zio Sport – Activewear for Kids

Zio Sport - Activewear for Kids

Kids who are comfortable keep playing longer.

That is the motto of Zio Sport, a family founded kids’ sportswear company that is out to change the way you think about the clothing your kids play in.  Like so many new clothing lines we love, Zio got its start from a simple feeling of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs in children’s activewear.  In your typical chain store you’re going to find a plethora of options, all of them just shrunk down versions of the adult fit, without taking into account a kid’s unique physique and style.

To change that, Mindy Kratsas, Jane Kratsas and Ragan Melton, the founders of Zio Sport, went straight to the source: kids.  From selecting fabric, to making sure each piece fit their growing frame, kids have a say in how it all comes together.  Try finding that level of care in any other kid’s activewear line, we dare you!

Each piece is made from their exclusive cool-edge fabric technology, and each shirt features a small utility pocket for holding a cell phone, mp3 player, or other essentials.  The cool-edge fabric wicks moisture away from the skin AND blocks UV rays, keeping your little tumbler comfy and dry all day long.  Special mesh underarm patches add an additional level of air flow for maximum cooling.  Not only will your kids LOVE looking cool, AND feeling great, but because their clothes aren’t absorbing all of that sweat they’re going to look better longer, which will make your wallet happy too :)

As always, we are not content to simply tell you about another awesome new line, we’ve got to give you the chance to score some for yourself!  Stay tuned, coming up soon:  your shot at a Zio Sport gift certificate, plus a 20% discount for each and every one of our exceptionally stylish readers :)

Keep Your Hands Off My Books!

banned booksTop ten frequently challenged children’s books and reasons why

1. The Merriam Webster and the American Heritage Dictionaries-Defines oral sex ,unsuited to age group
2. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig-Portrays policemen as pigs
3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.-Author has same last name as an obscure Marxist theorist. Nobody bothered to see if they were the same person. Pssstt…their not.
4. James And The Giant Peach-Ronald Dahl-Obscenity and violence
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer-Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
6. Witches by Ronald Dahl-Sexism and devaluing the life of a child.
7. The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank-Sexually explicit and homosexual themes.
8. Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott-Offensive to feminism(character marries a much older very boring man)
9. A Light In The Attic by Shel Silverstein-Promotes disrespect, horror, and violence.
10. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle-Promotes religion,magic overtones,disobedience

*I have read myself and read to my child every one of these books.*
** Reasons stated for challenges and banning are not mine and do not reflect my own thoughts and opinions.**

When petit vogue asked me if I’d like to guest blog I was very flattered. What to talk about? Fashion, kids, home, life, books? Yea…books. :)
When I wrote this it just so happened to be National Banned Book Week so I decided to talk about books. Banning books to be exact. I’m not trying to start a free for all nor offend anyone. I just want to talk about books. Children’s books and my thoughts on censorship.

Banned books are a sore subject with me. As an avid reader and book reviewer I do tend to get a little perturbed when I am informed that someone I usually do not know and would probably never want to know has deemed it necessary to take mine and my child’s freedom of choice away by banning a book. While I can understand the need to monitor your child’s reading material-at what point are you doing your child a disservice taking all literature out of their hands that have a word or  subject that makes you uncomfortable? To often we coddle our children, wrapping them in metaphorical bubble wrap until they are 18 at which time we then rip off the protection and expect instant maturity. By narrowing your child’s experiences to match your own limited views, you restrict them. While we don’t have to subject our child to all the evil in life, it won’t go away by ignoring it either. If you cannot have faith in yourself, at least have faith in your child. As a parent myself, I do monitor what my child reads. But only my child. I would never presume to know what is best for your child and I resent the fact that you do not give me the same courtesy.

“Not every book is right for each reader, but we should have the right to think for ourselves and allow others to do the same,” said ALA President Roberta Stevens. “How can we live in a free society and develop our own opinions if our right to choose reading materials for ourselves and our families is taken away? We must remain diligent and protect our freedom to read.”

Unlike me, my child stays within her age level for reading. One way she does this is through her school library. The school has color coded dots on each book. Certain colors demote certain grades and age levels. My child is considered a blue dot. Should she want to check out something in a higher age level then I have to send approval by written note to the librarian. I like this option. It makes the choice MINE and HERS which is how it should be. She recently wanted to read Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. Her library doesn’t carry it due to 1 *GASP* parent’s complaint. I bought her the whole set and sent the first one to school for her to read. Am I thumbing my nose at the parent? Certainly not. What I am doing is asserting my right and my child’s right to read what she wants. VERY IMPORTANT POINT here.  Banning books doesn’t STOP people from reading them. It just makes them pursue other avenues in which to procure said item.

As I was saying, my child reads age appropriate (by choice) while I have always read beyond my age group.  By the time I was her age, 9, I have already read Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer. By 10 I had read Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews & Forever by Judy Blume. By 12, it was Alice’s Diary by Anonymous. The best gift I ever received from my mother was she told me to read what I wanted but to always remember she was there if I needed to talk about it. She also reminded me that unless the book was non fiction, the story I was reading was NOT real and to treat it as such. By reading these books I gained an appreciation for the classics and also gained an appreciation for those different from me. By reading Tom Sawyer I never once had the urge to become racist. A Wrinkle In Time didn’t have me questioning my religion. Nor did James And The Giant Peach suddenly pepper my speech with curse words.

Oscar Wilde said it best when in he said, “The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” So ask yourself why, and be honest, the next time you find a book offensive. The answer my surprise you.

Thank you Tori for a for today’s guest post!  Read more of Tori’s book reviews and musings on her book and fashion blog

The Nordic Invasion – Vyssan Lull

Vyssan Lull Fall 2010

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Johanna founder of Vyssan Lull online shop, who happens to be a fellow Jersey City resident. She made me feel very welcome in her showroom and I felt how enthusiastic she is about eco-friendly clothes and lifestyle.  Vyssan Lull, which is a pronunciation of Swedish Lullaby, is a metaphor for the look and feel of the Scandinavian children’s clothes wear. Vyssan Lull was the result of Johanna’s daughter Emma because Johanna did not see any really options in the U.S. for organic cotton the colors were either Brown, Green or Yellow very neutral colors.

Johanna being of Swedish and visiting her family started to buy Emma’s clothes in Sweden.  Scandinavian clothes are eco-friendly plus the colors and prints are fun and comfortable. Vyssan Lull currently offers 12 different brands and each of the items work so well together. The brands are either made of organic cotton or chemical free fabrics.  Johanna chooses to support the brands that are both ethical and hold true to the eco-friendly philosophy.  In the future, Vyssan Lull will offer more toys and various other items plus, Johanna will start a blog with tips on organic living, which would include washing tips.

Special thanks to Deanna Hernandez-Arza for this feature! Check out her blog for more goodness!

Interview with Lorraine Le Tac of Bobinette

Yes!  Another designer profile of one of our favorite boys designers this fall!  We are so excited to share with you a peek into the mind behind one of our favorite winter necessities- the Hoodini jacket.  Without further ado, may we present Lorraine Le Tac, the genius behind Bobinette!

What was your background prior to Bobinette?  Have you always worked in fashion or was it something that you grew into over time?

I worked in various web agencies in Paris and New York. I was doing project management on fashion and cosmetics websites – Christian Dior in Paris, then NineWest and Cole Haan in New York.

I have always been passionate about fashion and design!  However, I was never too much into boys fashion until I had my first boy, Spencer. I couldn’t find anything colorful and fun for him – everything was too conservative, too sport-related – nothing that would fit my stylish little man! So, I would ask my Mom to send me clothes from France. That’s how it all started!

Today, I also have a three-year old boy, Matisse. So I have twice the reason to be designing boys clothing!

How do you feel about the state of boys fashion?  How would you like to see it change?

I have seen a big change since I started Bobinette, with many great boys brands popping up in the past few years.

However I still see a lot of the same trends – sports-oriented, rock’ n ‘roll inspired outfits, or mini-versions of dads’ clothes. There isn’t a lot in between – really fun and stylish clothes especially made for little boys.

Personally, I would like to see more colors, fun patterns… We are not used to seeing our little boys wear bright colors – red, orange, lime green or even pink!

What sources of inspiration do you continually find yourself going back to, what are some new ones that have influenced your most recent collection?

I get inspired by everything around me. Lately, I have been going back to my roots in Paris. I have revisited my past travels in Europe, and I have been thinking of Italy a lot! I love Italian fashion and how Italian men dare to wear really bright colors. Italians have an absolute sense of style!

Tell us a bit about your drive and purpose, your vision for your designs.

My goal is to keep doing what I am passionate about – designing for boys in particular but for kids in general. I would like to keep bringing colors, fun prints and style to boys clothing as long as I can. But it is also a business, and with more and more stores loving (and buying!) Bobinette, I have to keep up!

What makes you tick as a designer, what direction do you find yourself returning to time and time again?

I love fabrics. I love to mix patterns and colors and add the little details – buttons, snaps or trims – that will make the garment unique. Each season, I try to re-invent, adding new styles, new prints, but I often come back to my favorite – stripes, checkers, plaids, polka dots… all my fabrics have to be made of natural fibers – linen, cotton.

What current trends are you keeping track of?  Any that you just can’t stand?

I take trends with a grain of salt. I think it is more important to develop your own style.

Right now, I am not too crazy about “jeggings” or “leggings” for adults, they definitely don’t suit everyone – people should be cautious following those trends!

I also don’t really like super-puffy-tutus-skirts for little girls – or worse babies!  Tutus belong to ballet! Personally, I don’t like anything with lots of “froufrous”. Simplicity in design is a must!

How do you feel that current trend affects your design?

I don’t follow any trend. I never had any skulls and bones, or camouflage prints, no graphic tees. I usually fell in love with fabrics and that what’s drive my designs. I love plaids and stripes, that is perhaps the only “trend” I follow…

What do you feel makes your work unique?

Tough question!

I think I am good at mixing colors, prints and patterns and that’s what makes Bobinette designs unique. I pay a lot of attention to details, like finding the right color of button, or snap. The slight detail makes the garment stand out.

What’s your favorite piece from your current line?  Any all time favorite(s)?

I love them all! But I really like the plaid shirts, they look comfy and perfect for rainy fall days… I also love the new organic baby layette – all in blue and grey hues. I have started designing a few little sisters outfits using the same fabrics as the boys’ shirts, and that’s really fun. I am hoping to expand the girls’ line in future collections.

Do you have a photo of your workspace you could share with our readers?  It’s always interesting to see where the magic happens!

Trust me, my workplace is not something I want to share right now!  We moved to Brooklyn a few months ago and my office is in complete chaos!  OK, I will share a few snapshots. When I get more settled, I will share more, I promise!

Interview with Jen of Eden’s Bouquet

As promised, our exclusive interview with Jen of Eden’s Bouquet!  Love the insights into her inspirations and process, every designer has a different story to tell- hers is one of wedding gowns, European style, and a healthy dose of country living.

Your work is all highly detailed and imaginative, talking specifically about your fabric choices- where does that inspiration come from?

I am inspired by fine fabric. I could spend days in the fabric store or trade shows, especially bridal textiles and notions. It is so easy to dream up collections when you have piles of fabric in front of you. The trick is keeping all my dreams in order.  I am also inspired by European designers. They take children’s fashion seriously and the attention to detail is amazing.

What was your background prior to starting Eden’s Bouquet?

I have no formal training in fashion design. I have some funny stories to tell involving country girl(me), major tradeshows and big time magazine editors.

Like a lot of mothers, I started out sewing for our children and never got tired of it. I then started selling one of a kind creations made from vintage wedding gowns on eBay. In 2003 I started designing exclusively for before launching my first collection in 2004.

What got you started working in children’s clothing design?

Imagination and my sewing machine. Designing is a wonderful creative outlet for my overflowing mind.

What sources of inspiration do you continually find yourself going back to, what are some new ones that have influenced your most recent collection?

Bridal magazines. I love thumbing through these for inspiration, the details and textiles are unexpected in children’s clothing and that is what I love. More recently I have been inspired by our trips to the ocean and the quaint old beach towns. There’s something about history that sparks my imagination.

Tell us a bit about your drive and purpose, your vision for your designs.

I think it would be fun to eventually open up a little brick & mortar boutique. Then, open boutiques all over the world and on the moon with women’s clothing, a maternity line and a complete home collection. Haha. Seriously, this venture has taken me farther than I had ever imagined so if this is it, I’m happy.

What makes you tick as a designer, what direction to you find yourself returning to time and time again?

I love designing Formalwear and find myself adding a touch of fancy to styles whether I plan to or not.

What current trends are you keeping track of? Any that you just can’t stand?

I love the use of lavish fabrics and romantic style that I am seeing in the fall 2010 women’s collections. I try to incorporate trendy silhouettes into my designs and many of my styles and color pallete are inspired by women’s clothing. I love when moms say they want to wear eden’s bouquet.

How do you feel that current trend affects your design?

The fabric & style trends are right up my alley and I will definitely draw inspiration from them for upcoming collections.

What do you feel makes your work unique?

I think the colors, detail and fabric in my collections make them unique. I don’t know of many children’s clothing designers that use silk the crazy way that I do.

What’s your favorite piece from your current line? Any all time favorite(s)?

The bloomers. Comfortable, simple and adorable with everything. My all time favorite collection is the Cobblestone Collection.

Eden's Bouquet

Eden’s Bouquet Hat, Shirt, and Jeans Review

Eden's Bouquet newsboy hat

Sometimes you have to toss a cheap pair of socks or pants in your cart because you’re in a rush and your kid needs them.  Usually, within a month the color has faded and sometimes the item even has a hole or two, which leaves you wondering why you even bothered.  If this is frequently a problem for you, then you NEED to visit Eden’s Bouquet.

Welcome to your new obsession!

The clothing from Eden’s Bouquet shows such attention to detail that every single piece is unique and stunning.  These items are so precious that you’ll want to make sure they last through each child, because you won’t tire of seeing them over and over.

white button down shirt and jeans by Eden's Bouquet

To our delight, we were sent the Harbor Tweed Newsboy cap, Organic cotton shirt, and the Harbor Jeans to review.  Henry just turned one, but the boy outfits mostly come in 2T and up.  Did that stop us from putting him in the jaw-droppingly beautiful clothes?  Of course not!

As you can see, the clothes may have been a little large yet, but we could put the hat on his big head now.  We swooned at the color and feel of the warm and wooly cap, and the lovely contrast it made with the delicate white shirt.

The jeans were obviously ready for whatever adventures Henry could dream up for them, providing him with plenty of deep pockets for all his treasures.  I have a feeling I’ll be finding all sorts of surprises in the dryer after the pants get a wash.

Simply put, we were very impressed with the clothes.  Not only are they lovely, they look like they can take all the things little boys throw at their clothes: leaf-jumping, crawling, wrestling, and more.

Stay tuned for our interview with Jen, the mastermind behind the clothing, as well as a giveaway!