Emerald City: Kids’ Fashion in the Color of Spring!

Spring is sprouting up everywhere! By Angela Velasquez

With Spring around the corner, there’s no better time than now to enjoy the 2013 Color of the Year: Pantone 17-5641, also known as Emerald. Lively, radiant and lush with feel-good springtime vibes, the color was chosen for its association with growth, prosperity, clarity and renewal.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains, “Green is the most abundant hue in nature—the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum.” And now, thanks to a treasure trove of rich emerald-hued children’s apparel and accessories, you’ll be seeing it a lot more in your favorite stores.

From sporty to preppy, green compliments a range of must-have spring trends. Whereas previous Colors of the Year skewed towards ultra-girly shades of pink and coral, this time both boys and girls can refresh their wardrobes with a pop of this gem of a hue.

Here are some trendy, easy-to-create looks with items that your tots may already have in their closets.


Varsity Rules

Every boy needs his lucky team t-shirt, but on days that call for something a little more tailored, collegiate-inspired layers with sporty stripes and preppy green plaids polish up an otherwise simple and easy casual look.

Captions: Old Navy cap, Tee and shorts by Gap, Andy & Evan cardigan, legwarmers by BabyLegs (Yellow & Green BL12-0147).






Palm Beach Girl

Green and pink smacks of classic Palm Beach preppy. The go-to spring trend allows little girls to indulge in their favorite things including bows, flowers, frills, and pink—while offering an easy look for moms to replicate for an adorable “Mommy and Me“ look.

Captions: J. Crew tank top, Pants and straw tote by Gymboree, BabyLegs armwarmers (Desert Rose BL12-615).





Color My World

Women’s designers have long been obsessed with color blocking.  It’s a look that is as bright and vibrant as a well-kept box of Crayola crayons and comes to life in childrenswear. Pair green with shades of blue to create a look as cool and crisp as a springtime breeze.

Boys captions: J. Crew sweater, Gap pants, socks by BabyLegs (Philip BS13-0199).

Girls captions: Cherokee sweater, J. Crew purse, legwarmers by BabyLegs (William BL13-0197)


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the writer.


About the Author:

Angela Velasquez

With 4 years of experience as a children’s stylist and magazine editor, Angela brings you an insider’s perspective on trends and seasonal looks that will make babies and toddlers shine in their holiday photos and at birthday parties!  Angela also has a way of making everyday clothes and accessories look special — she’ll show you how.

Avoiding Poisonous Houseplants

Poison control centers nationwide receive many calls yearly regarding children ingesting houseplants. And with summer ending, many people are bringing their prized plants inside. Most plants are safe and beneficial, helping to purify our stale indoor air. However, some plants contain toxins and should not be in reach of children and pets.

Angel's Trumpet

Angel's Trumpet smells heavenly but keep it away from children.

Do you know which plants are toxic? Many lists are available on-line that name toxic houseplants and tell you which parts of the plants are toxic; however, you need to familiarize yourself with what they look like. The best way to avoid toxic plants is to brush up on your plant identification. Don’t bring plants inside that are known to be toxic. Or better yet, don’t grow them. If you do have a toxic houseplant in your home, keep it out of children’s reach and label it. It is recommend that you tie a label on the plant’s branches. Include the botanical name of the plant and label it at toxic and name which parts of the plant are toxic (roots, leaves, berries, etc.) Ask others to do the same in their home (grandparents, family members, friends).

It is also important to teach your children to not consume plants and berries found outside or inside that are not edible. However, we know that children learn about the world through oral exploration. Children at this stage will stick things in their mouths and it is our job to make sure harmful items are out of their reach. For children old enough, The American Association of Poison Control Centers have tips for poison control for children. Their site also has a section of Poison Control Tips for Children with a short educational video.

Families should have the number to their local poison centers handy in case of accidental ingestion. You can find the number on the American Association of Poison Control Centers website. There is also a standard 1-800 number that will work anywhere (great for when you travel to grandma’s or if you’re on vacation). Put this number in your phone. Share this number with your babysitter, family member, anyone that watches your child while you are away.

The good news (being optimistic here) is that very large quantities of consumption of toxic plants will cause a severe reaction. Small quantities may only cause mild irritation and discomfort. Most children that are exposed to toxic plants usually consume a small amount and suffer only from mild irritation.

Do you have more tips regarding toxic houseplants? If so, please share.


*Beautiful Angel’s trumpet pic from Ewa in the Garden.

BabyLegs Fall 2012 Carnival Collection

We have some really beautiful styles for Fall 2012. Step right up for The Carnival Collection! The Carnival Collection is a collection for girls inspired by the circus! The main colors in the collection include heather gray, bright pink, lemon-lime green and black raspberry.

BabyLegs Carnival Legwarmers

The collection contains 7 pairs of legwarmers:

  • Big Top – raspberry with hot pink polka dots. It has 3 layers of ruffles at the ankle!
  • Showstopper – This is my personal favorite pair of legwarmers from the collection. It has lime green and black raspberry stars and hot pink and white polka dots.
  • Ringmaster – heather grey featuring a lime green bird in a hot pink top hat. It contains a thin ruffle on the top and on the bottom.
  • Peanuts – black raspberry warmer with a pink circus elephant. It contains ruffles on the top and bottom.
  • Balloons - A white warmer with multi-color polka dots. This is a really versatile warmer that will go with many outfits.
  • Tightrope – Multi-color stripes with lime green, hot pink, heather grey and black raspberry. This is another very versatile design!
  • Carousel – A hot pink with a show pony. The top and bottom have a baby pink and lime trim.
BabyLegs Carnival Tights
The collection contains 2 tights:
  • Acrobat – A hot pink and black raspberry star print footless tight. I love the multi-layer of ruffles!
  • Trapeze – A polka dot and stripe footed tight.
BabyLegs Carnival Socks
The collection contains 3 pairs of socks:
  • Top Hat – This set contains a heather gray sock with the lime green bird featured on the Ringmaster warmer. The top of this sock has a pink ruffle! The other pair is a multi-color stripe sock.
  • Juggle Knee High Socks – These are my favorite of the socks :) One pair is the design of the Showstopper warmer. The other sock matches the design of the Balloons warmer.
  • Applause Knee High Socks – One pair is a bright pink with black raspberry stars. The other pair is a black raspberry with pink polka dots. These will go with so many fall fashions. I can imagine them with a cute pair of little mary janes!
Our Carnival Collection will be available in September at www.babylegs.com. The Legwarmers retail for $12. Knee high socks retail for $12 and ankle socks retail for $10.  Footed tights retail for $16 and footless for $15.
What do you think? Which ones stand out to you?

DIY Cleaners for the Home

Recently, I’ve started making my own cleaners for the home. The smells of harsh chemicals were getting to my family and me. The “green” commercial cleaners work nicely and usually smell great, but they aren’t very economical. Making your own cleaners is simple and thrifty. And I don’t feel like I’ll die of asphyxiation while cleaning my house!

homemade cleaner

When it comes to making your own cleaners, you only need a few ingredients. Most things can be cleaned thoroughly with baking soda, water, or vinegar.

Baking soda and water can be used to clean tile, counter tops, stainless steel surfaces. All you do is sprinkle the baking soda on and wipe off with a moist sponge.

Tarnished silver? Use 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and scrub the silver.

Commercial stove cleaners are so strong that they run me out of the house! You can make your own oven cleaner without the suffocating fumes with baking soda. Make a thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stove. Leave it on overnight and then scrub in the morning with a damp cloth.

Baking soda can be used to deodorize carpets. As an owner of two pugs, I do this daily. I  sprinkle on baking soda on carpet. Let it set for about 30 minutes and vacuum it up.

Kosher salt and water can be used as a slightly abrasive cleaner for stubborn stains on surfaces.

Spray club soda onto showers or any place with soap scrum and wipe off. Repeat if needed. It amazes me how well this works after years of using bleach cleaners that made me feel like I was going to pass out in the bathroom.

I also clean grout with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water with a toothbrush. This works well if your grout isn’t a total mess! If you have stubborn grout stains, you’ll be using lots of elbow grease.

An acidic substance like lemon juice or vinegar can be used to remove mildew. Spray on, leave it on for a few minutes and then scrub off.

You can make a glass cleaner with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in a gallon of water. You can use old newspaper to wipe the mixture off of glass and windows.

If your garbage disposal is smelling funky, just put a lemon wedge in it. Run water and turn on the disposal.

To make kitchen and bathroom fixtures and stainless steel sinks really shine, just buff with baby oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil. You can also use this on furniture as a polish when mixed with water. Wipe on and polish your wood furniture.

I find that some people really dislike the smell of vinegar and attempt to mask the odor with essential oils. I don’t use essential oils since the odor of vinegar doesn’t bother me. I don’t really notice the smell after the vinegar dries. Plus, some essential oils need to be diluted to be skin safe. I like to keep it simple. But, I do love the smell of essential oils and some have antiseptic properties. You can find home cleaner recipes on-line that include popular essential oils with antiseptic qualities like thyme and lavender.

Do you make your on cleaning products? Why did you start making your own cleaning products? What are your tried and true favorites?


*Pic from My Own Labels. 

Happy Hanukkah!

Happy Hanukkah!Happy Hanukkah!

For our non-Jewish readers, it’s the holiday also known as the “Festival of Lights,” when we remember the re-dedication of the Temple following Judah Maccabee’s victory over Antiochus. According to the story, victorious Maccabees could only find a small jug of oil that had remained uncontaminated, and although it only contained enough oil to sustain light for one day, it miraculously lasted for eight days, by which time further oil could be obtained. This miracle is commemorated by lighting a special nine-branched candle-holder, called a menorah. One candle is lit anew during each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, until finally, on the eighth night, all the candles are lit. Children receive one gift each night, blessings are recited, games are played, and special foods are eaten. Though the celebration bears some resemblance to the celebration of Christmas and occurs during the same time of year, it is not a Jewish version of Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas- last week, I was in a large national chain store looking for Hanukkah candles. I had searched high and low, all over the store: the “Holiday” (Christmas) section, housewares, greeting cards, and toys….finally I gave up and asked an employee. He led me to a small endcap sandwiched in between the paperbacks and the giftwrap. I did find my candles, but that was about it! Aside from a small felt wall-hanging with Velcro candles and flames (it is going to be so much fun for my toddler to use!), some random menorahs, a few packages of paper napkins, and plates with dreidels on them, there wasn’t much to choose from. Seeing Hanukkah shoved aside like that, while the rest of the store was decked out in so much red and green it could have been the workshop of Mr. Claus himself, would have been almost comical if it hadn’t been so sad!

As a celebrator of both holidays, I want to encourage those who don’t know much about Hanukkah to do some research. There are lots of fun activities and great recipes to try with your kids that can help teach them about the holiday. Help your children build an understanding of people who are different than they are, and make them more culturally aware as future members of society. Latkes, anyone? In fact, make ‘em healthy: I found a recipe for apple latkes at smittenkitchen.com the other day! I’ll share it below.

Apple Latkes

Makes 12 2 to 3-inch latkes

1 pound tart, firm apples such as Granny Smiths (2 large or 3 medium)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

Butter (about 2 tablespoons)

Rich plain yogurt, sour cream or crème fraîche for serving

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place a baking sheet inside. Peel and core apples and then grate them, either on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor, on the shredding blade. Transfer to a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth sling and wring out as much juice as you can into a small bowl. Set it aside if you wish to make a dessert sauce with it later.

Transfer grated apple to a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice. In a small dish, whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder and toss with the apples, coating them evenly. Whisk eggs in this small dish until lightly beaten and stir into apple-lemon-flour mixture.

Heat a large skillet to medium with one tablespoon butter. Once it has coated the pan, drop tablespoons full of apple batter in little piles, gently pressing them a bit flatter with a spatula. Fry until they are nicely brown underneath, about 3 to 5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook until they are browned and crisp. Drain briefly on paper towels and transfer to preheated oven to keep warm. Add a pat of the remaining butter for each new batch in the pan, and repeat with remaining batter.


About the Blogger:

Hi, I’m Carlee! I teach public school in Middle-of-Nowhere, Virginia. My hubby and I have been married for four years and have a daughter who is  two years old. I also give private music lessons and enjoy the arts, animals, and children- but spending time with my beautiful family is my favorite pastime!