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site we’re psyched about: strolby lets you virtually shop brooklyn

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Don’t get me wrong. I don’t at all regret moving from NYC proper into the burbs of New Jersey. But there are some things that have become increasingly difficult to do, if only because of geography and the frustrations of public transportation systems. One of them is that it is nearly impossible to keep up with some of the groovy, ever-changing neighborhoods of the outer boroughs. I used to love strolling around the emerging shops of Boreum Hill or Williamsburg. Now going there is a journey, and getting in the car and driving upstate to the country usually wins out as a weekend activity. Enter Strolby, a new site that lets you pursue the goodies of the hippest of parts of Bklyn without crossing one river. Strolby not only lets you buy wares that range from colorful dresses to handcrafted ceramics, it also introduces you to the shop owners and creators behind the lovely goods. Its Explore Brooklyn blog keeps you up on the news from the streets and will have you have you feeling like a local in no time. Coming soon, Strolby Hudson, a way to visit our favorite upstate town that is a true stoller’s paradise!

we’re ready for a spring party with oh joy for target collection

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We don’t need to wait for warm weather to have a tropical party at house, but Oh Joy‘s new collection of celebration goodies at Target has us dreaming about flower filled bashes bathed in sunlight. With bright pops of color, festive garlands and easy-to-mix and match patterns, the decorating and entertaining goods make hosting a chic and festive gathering a breeze. On our must have list: pretty 3-d wall decals that you’ll want to leave up all the time, and this minty green domed cake stand.

valentine’s gift idea: a cup of love from catherine’s table

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If you’re one of those people who wishes you had time to make a homemade valentine for your sweetie, but life (and your schedule) have other plans, consider the Cup of Love from Catherine’s Table. Each piece is made with care by potters Noelle VanHendrick and Eric Hendrick of Zpots Studio Pottery. With a unique texture and carefully molded to feel good in your hand, these little beauties were clearly made with love.. and the handwritten font gets an A+ from us on design. Use them for hot toddies or to hold a bouquet of flowers on a breakfast tray. $32 at Catherine’s Table.

a little hawaii in february: our hula-themed birthday party

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Little darlings, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter — and our kid’s birthday landed smack in the dead middle of it. We’ve been trying to hang on to the aloha-vibe we picked up in Maui last November, but it ain’t easy when we’re iced-in. To help us all warm up a bit, we decided that this year (number 6!) Isadora would have a hula-themed birthday. I found a local hula teacher who specialized in lessons for children, and booked her as the main event. Around the house we mixed vintage Hawaiian decor with some tchotchke’s from new, inexpensive things from Oriental Trading Co. Below are photos of some highlights!

hulatopperA vintage tiki bowl mingles with some paper centerpieces from Oriental Trading Co.

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On the mantle, more vintage tikis doubling as vases, along with a straw skirt — meant for a table but it worked better here for us.

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Our safe for kiddies tropical punch included pineapple, orange, cranberry, and white grape juices with guava nectar and sparkling apple cider. Served with paper umbrellas, of course.

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A rainbow of fruit featuring a mini-marshmallow cloud in the middle. Guess which got eaten first?

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The piece de resistance: A hula girl cake! This one might need a separate post on its own, but lets say that we started with Wilton Doll Cake mold and a lot a of green food dye.

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The finished piece of beauty.