Shop the Look: Fabulous Floral Bedroom Walls...

Children's rooms are havens for young, unbridled imaginations. Chalkboard walls, storybook murals, decorative appliqués - they are all possibilities in rooms for tots. Those elements aside, I'm loving the idea of floral walls for achieving a feeling of creativity run wild. The resulting look is every bit as freeform and fun, but much more pretty and poised. Wild, overgrown, fabulous flora adorning the vertical planes of a room have the power to turn a simple white rectangle into a wonderland for a young mind. 

How do you balance cray-cray paper on the walls to achieve a sweet and sophisticated look? One word: restraint. A calming rug, floor to ceiling panels in a solid shade found from the wallpaper, bedding that balances the look, By keeping other textiles mild you can let the fun accessories for children play center stage. Silly accents, a cool chair, a funky lamp and a chic chandelier all come together to create a room that encourages childhood fantasy and daydreaming.  

Below I've put together a few of my favorite elements for a little girl's room that is sweet without being saccharine. The truth is, while this is written from the perspective of young design, these feminine pieces are perfect no matter your age (or gender, for that matter). These elements are the epitome of timeless chic. Below you'll discover my favorite Schumacher floral wallpaper as well as a few great Serena & Lily pieces. Tip: they have a sweet 20% off friends & family savings event happening all weekend. Use code LIKEFAMILY to save now through Tuesday. Hooray!

Now... on to this chic look:


Pet Luxe: Posh Fashion for Fido...

{via  Allure }

{via Allure}

Fall weather have your loyal pooch shivering on morning walks? Fret not, friends. River Island has the rosy pink cable knit sweater of your pup's dreams. I've rounded up a few cute options below perfect for keeping your fur baby warm.


Gift Guide: Five Last Minute Favorites for Kids...

Time isn't quite out for getting the kids great gifts. Neiman Marcus has a great list of goodies they can ship to you on time (for free). I'm sharing my five favorites here. Shop quickly! Free shipping won't last forever. Uee code NMQUICK to make that free rush shipping a reality.

  1. Juratoys Safari Express Train Set $65
    Boy or girl, everyone loves a train set. This lotus wood version comes complete with safari animals, safari guides, train, tracks, suspension bridge and palm trees. Arrives in a cool suitcase. Let the adventure begin.

  2. Jellycat Huge Brown Teddy Bear $95
    We LOVE the Jellycat animals for their extremely soft fur and squishy goodness. This oversized teddy bear is just what Santa would bring them if he had room on the sleigh.

  3. Reed & Barton Animal Parade Water Globe $55
    This clever little gift turns the classic snow globe on it's head with colorful animals and glittery water instead of classic snowy scenes. I love how this lends an all-year quality to this pretty keepsake.

  4. Reed & Barton Ballerina Jewelry Box $68
    The sweetness! This pretty little ivory box comes with dancing ballerina inside, a variety of compartments for her treasured items and (dare I say it?) a tassel on the outside. This is a thoughtful gift I guarantee she will remember forever.

  5. Melissa & Doug Plush Giraffe $100
    Four feet of fun is what I say. I've wanted this for myself, oops! I mean for my girls since they were babies. Instant fun for any bedroom or playroom. And... there's a lion too so he doesn't get lonely.

Loving: Monoque Lhuillier's Dreamy Collection for PBKids...

When I heard about an upcoming collaboration between bridal designer Monique Lhuillier and Pottery Barn Kids was intrigued. Would she be able to deliver those dressmaker details to the retail giant? Would the supreme quality of her celebrity-adored collections come through in the child-centric designs. And, possibly most importantly, would there be dresses?!? The answer it seems is a firm yes. 

The collection launched last week but I waited a few days to craft this post. My standards for childrens' collections is very high and the selection on the market is still quite small. There are few options out there, RH Baby & Child being my favorite amongst the retail offerings. Monique has somehow designed a beautiful collection that not only lives up to my expectations, it does so at prices we can all enjoy. 

If you've read about my nursery design before you know that I believe these spaces should not be out of step with the rest of your home. Tasteful, elegant and bright are words I would use to describe my style. Subtle colors, soft fabrics and glamorous touches are hallmarks of my design - not qualities some think of when it comes to spaces for children. On this it's clear Monique and I agree. And frankly, she's stepping firmly into RHB&C territory in the most dreamy and ethereal way. 

Let's dish on a few of my favorite pieces from the collaboration



While bold graphic rugs will always have their place, I value subtlety & soft shades in m floor coverings. Monique's rugs truly foot the bill with soothing hues of of blue and blush in soft wool. Details here >>



Not dresses, but marvelously designed tutus in soft shades of blush, seafoam and latte let your little dreamer imagine herself as queen of her own kingdom. Pro tip: I would put money on the emergence of dresses & Halloween costumes in the future. Details here >>


This thoughtful piece is gorgeous over a daybed, crib or traditional bed frame. I love the idea of a royal vibe without the full commitment of a canopy bed. Add in Lhuillier's ethereal tulle in the most delicate blush pink and you've won me over. Smashing. Details here >> 



What they've labeled an ottoman is clearly a curule, a chair design hailing from the height of ancient Rome, a perch upon which rulers proudly sat. This elegant piece will suit any room of your palace. Details here >>


It's simple. ML has done for children what Mary McDonald has done for the rest of us. Simply put, this incredible canopy bed is not just for little ones. Turn your guest bedroom into a luxurious haven with this one simple focal point. Pieces available individually as well. Details here >>

I've barely touched upon the expanse of this large introductory collection. Lamps, chandeliers, bedding, dressers, chairs and desks... there are many pieces to be seen and appreciated. All with Monique's signature feminine flourish. It's a good time to be a girl, isn't it? Visit Pottery Barn Kids for more of what I hope is just the beginning of their partnership with the divine Mrs. Lhuillier. 

Tot Fashion: Time for a Spring Wardrobe Refresh...

It happens very suddenly. Dresses are too short, leggings are worn down, shoes suddenly refuse to slip on. One day you wake up and both children have outgrown and outworn seemingly everything in their closets. Thankfully I developed a bulletproof solution a few years ago to remedy this sartorial conundrum. Hop online and order a set of pretty mix & match outfits. Wait three days... voila! They magically appear at your door.

The current collection is inspired by Italy, with patters in the spirit of Missoni, Giacomo Bella and other notable Italian creatives. The overall vibe is feminine, playful and modern. We love the pretty colors and easy mix & match possibilities. Three dresses and three sets of leggings turn into a quick capsule wardrobe full of fresh possibilities. 

The key? Wait for a huge sale. Tea Collection is offering up to 25% off right now. Use code AMORE at checkout to save. Easy if you're doubling up and shopping for two. Here's what we selected this time to cure the fashion ills my beautiful girls have been suffering from and carry us through the spring & early summer seasons...


Boutiquing: Dipping into Eco-Friendly Oeuf NYC...

{swim images via  OeufNYC  // nursery images via  babycubby  //  Shoptadpole  //  Project Nursery }

{swim images via OeufNYC // nursery images via babycubby // Shoptadpole // Project Nursery}

Sometimes a girl just needs a warm modern option, doesn't she? The word warm is key here. While sleek modernity is everywhere you look, often the austere style is created at the expense of developing an inherent human connection to the aesthetic. Thankfully there are brands out there with a softer spin on modern, 

Oeuf is one such brand that continues to get on my radar thanks to their cozy spin on modern fashion and furnishings. Whereas some brands lean too stark, Oeuf maintains a sophisticated spin on minimalist Swedish style. The family-founded business was created on the belief that one need not compromise quality or ethics for the sake of style. The result of their commitment to responsibly designed fashion and furniture is a collection of eco-friendly products that look neither retro nor futuristic.but perfectly timeless. Those streamlined silhouettes have a classic appeal that could play perfectly with any existing design style. 

Above I'm showing new pix from their upcoming swim collection as well as a few pretty nursery images. As with all intelligently designed products, Oeuf isn't locked into the baby stage. The furnishings & decor are designed to grow with your family, allowing a dresser or bookcase to flow from one room to another. And those swim pieces? Adorable! Don't miss these and other great selections from Oeuf NYC.


Tot Fashion: Dreaming & Dancing in Tutu du Monde...

{images via Tutu du Monde}

One thing I've grown to love is watching my daughters dress themselves in ridiculously pretty dresses. These are not playground dresses, mind you, but spectacular sequined and tulle creations designed with dress-up in mind. Through trial and error we've grown to love a few specific brands for their successful combination durability, comfort and gorgeousness. Dolly is one brand we absolutely love, another is Tutu du Monde (shown above). 

What is interesting is to see how children are genuinely different from birth. My oldest is just as likely to have her hands in the dirt as she is to be decked out in leopard dresses and sparkly shoes. But my youngest? A girly diva from birth. This little one has been puttin on costume jewelry since she could crawl and never met a fancy dress she didn't want to wear all day long. 

While you may be used to the style of costumes found at Target & the Disney store, let me share with you the difference with these two brands. There are no scratchy seams, no itchy tulle and no rough fabrics touching the body. Both of my children are extremely sensitive to discomfort from seams and other seemingly invisible itch-inducers found in most dresses. The care and craftsmanship of the Tutu & Dolly dresses are beyond words. Luxurious layers of tulle, hand-sewn embellishments and exceptional materials are what you will find. 

Let's talk durability. Time and time again we've fallen for those "good deals" via the discount costume dress sites online. They never fail to disappoint in terms of feel (cheap) and value. A single wear results in torn hems, ripped seams and a general feeling of disappointment. 

My girls dress up so much (it's a daily occurrence) that I don't mind focusing on the higher quality items and owning fewer of them. Since J. Crew sells a handful of this brand I can always keep my eyes open for a sale and pounce when our size/color/selection combo is available. 

If you're looking for dresses that evoke the feelings of magical fairytale moments with the sun hitting her hair, a sparkly tiara on her head and a huge smile on her face... this is your brand. 


The Art of Play: A is for Alaïa...


This one always makes me giggle. A reminder that I should lighten up and realize it's easier to cover the basics than I may often realize. After all, for children, play is work. So if you'll excuse me I'm off to let them know that C is for Chanel, D is for Dior and E is for Escada. Important concepts for girls to familiarize themselves with. I'm sure you understand. ;) 

Happy Tuesday, everyone! 


The Art of Play: Brain Stretching Fun for Young Minds...

We love good science experiments and creativity sparking activities in our house. Pinterest is great, but there are only so many times you can build a mini volcano and remain enthusiastic. We've been thrilled to see the flood of cool subscription deliveries come on the market for kids, but we've definitely chosen our brand.

Kiwi Crate was the original box of goodies we received monthly (disclosure: they sent us the first box for free a few years ago, but we gleefully paid for the rest!). Now they've expanded the concept and increased the age range. Now there's Koala Crate for the littlest tots. Tinker crate for budding wiz kids ready to take on science and engineering experiments and Doodle Crate for the more creatively inspired amongst us. Here's how the services break down:

  • Koala Crate: 3-4 year olds
  • Kiwi Crate: 4-9 year olds
  • Tinker Crate: 9-14+ year olds
  • Doodle Crate: 9-16 year olds

These are gender neutral and honestly such a good value. We also find that the range of ages they appeal to is even more broad than those displayed above. How much? Basically $19.95 per month with a bit of wiggle room for longer subscriptions (you receive a discount) and a bit more if you want to add extra supplies for a sibling. 

Here are our thoughts on the pricing. It's a STEAL. You would be hard pressed to find higher quality supplies than those provided in these crates. As a former art student, I can attest to the fine grade of the elements in the Kiwi Crates. Excellent scissors, Faber Castell pastels are just a few things we've been provided with via the monthly activities. Each "crate" comes with everything (and I do mean everything) you need to perform or create a specific activity or two. I've found that the supplies can easily accommodate an extra child or a second (or third) pass at an activity. Also, we still have many of the supplies on hand because some of them were durable goods that we've incorporated into our supply cabinets. They pack a lot into those boxes and it's always easy to expand it into a few activity sessions while still having goodies left over for future use. 

See what I mean via the video below:

If you have any interest (and really, if you've got a kid in the house you know you do) they will love this. Here's a link to save $10 off your first month of any crate product. Try it. See if you love it. We would love to hear your feedback! We've just signed up again after a year hiatus. This time we're doing Kiwi & Tinker. I'm considering having my oldest do video reviews so you guys can see the activities. Cool, right? 

Pro tip: be the coolest aunt or uncle by signing up that curious niece or nephew for one of these services. It will beat all the other gifts hands down. Grab that $10 off right here & enjoy! 

Samantha's Picks: What She Scored at Tea Collection's Massive Summer Sale...

We did it. We snagged our top choices and in preferred sizes during Tea Collection's seriously discounted summer sale. If you've ever shopped for not one but two children and needed to find clothing for both (four years apart in age) you'll know this was definitely a fist bump from the good Lord above. Right?

My oldest has quite a strong sense of personal style (not surprisingly) and has a very clear vision of how she wants to present herself. She quickly sussed out her Tea favorites and nudged me towards pieces I didn't notice. We're featuring the final selections here and giving a bit of insight into what we both love about our seriously discounted haul. 

What she loves about the brand: Pretty designs in comfortable fabrics. End of story. Samantha shares that she feels girly in her Tea dresses & leggings but can still have fun at the park. 

What I love about the brand: high quality construction, terrific fabrics, durable pieces, mix and match opportunities and perfect price points. Did I mention I can order online and it arrives quickly via free shipping? Hallelujah. 

So what did we buy? Some very cute summer outfits for both girls that are easy to mix and match. This flexibility means our outfits are multiplied because we can get creative with our pairings. Striped leggings are a mainstay for us, especially with a swingy floral print dress. We also snagged a few leggings with gold accents to liven up the mix. Seems gold is appealing to girls of all ages. 

We also invested in a perfect cream cardigan because it was significantly marked down it is always smart use of resources to add classics to the closet. Cool fall nights will arrive before you know it and pieces like this last for many years. On that note: Tea does a lovely job of slowly transitioning colors from season to season, meaning these summer coordinates will blend well with the upcoming fall collection pieces and those fall looks will ease us into the spring 2016 colorway. I've always appreciated this "build as you go" approach to children's clothing. Tea wins major points for me here. 

No coupon code is needed to shop the sale, but I suggest you make selections before your sizes vanish - never to be seen again. Also note: we just discovered Salt Water shoes and have fallen in love with these sandals for my littlest. Made from waterproof leather that gets better when it gets wet? I and my puddle jumping toddler will take them. Tea has Salt Water, and you can also also find them at Nordstrom. Happy hunting!  


A bit of backstory: I discovered Tea Collection when my oldest (now 7) was about 18 months old. At the time it was very much a boutique brand and was difficult to find. Over the years their reach and customer base has grown. Each "collection" of fabrics is inspired by a different global location with silhouettes largely remaining the same and a few special occasion dresses mixed in.

The shapes evolve slightly over the years, but we always return for their easy swingy dresses and super soft leggings. While I do focus on the looks for girls, their quality is unrivaled when it comes to durable boy's clothing. Those twill shorts and cotton shirts feel as though they are made from military-grade fabrics. If long-term use is a goal (and for families with boys, a summer feels quite long) this brand is a winner. 


Tot Fashion: Kate Mack's Playful Glamour for Little Girls...

{All photos in this post taken by & owned by yours truly, Franki Durbin}

{All photos in this post taken by & owned by yours truly, Franki Durbin}

Summer is here and now is the time for long days of endless activity. Since I'm in the company of my two minis-in-training, I can't help but see life through the lens of their young eyes. Both girls love dressing up, but a requirement for each of them is comfort. So when it's time to put on a pretty dress, good looks and thoughtful design details are important. Thankfully, we found our sartorial love match.

These pretty little frocks may be shimmery and sparkly, but Kate Mack/Biscotti knows looks shouldn't trump feeling fabulous. Those sequins you see are encased in a fluid veil of the dreamiest mesh making these glam little getups as comfy as a pair of jammies (not kidding). Whether we're headed to brunch or it's simply time for cupcakes, these two cuties can toss these on and go at a moment's notice and I know they'll be comfortable all day long. Can't ask for more than that, can you? I have yet to come across another brand that offers my girls this level of chic and still encourages movement. 

Beyond the beauty of the dresses themselves, it's the quality craftsmanship I appreciate as well as the age-appropriate designs. Big sister and little sister can often dress the same or merely have a similar look and still be fashionably on-point. This is especially nice for those siblings wishing to exert a little style independence. In terms of quality, I assure you these sequined numbers are marvelously made. My girls may look like delicate flowers but they play hard from dawn til dusk. They have the mosquito bites, skinned knees and bruises to show for it. And yet... these pretty dresses allow them to run, jump and play without restriction of movement or discomfort. That's quality. 

Now... I do believe I have some bubble makers to go catch. Enjoy your day! 



Tot Fashion: Samantha's Spring Picks....

Samantha's style picks are always a hit. We thought we'd launch into spring and summer dressing with some of her favorite selections from J. Crew. But first... what does my precocious 7-year old pine for in an outfit? I'll allow her to elaborate... 

Q: Tell us about your style...
A: I'm kind of feminine and sporty at the same time. It's important to be girly and fun when you're a little girl. 

Q: On a typical day, what do you wear? 
A: Most days I wear leggings and a tunic or dress. I like the idea of having modesty and style at the same time. 

Q: Your sister is three. Do you two dress alike? 
A: Sometimes. We have some matching outfits, but not everything is alike. We love to match but some things don't come in mine or my sister's sizes. 

Q: What are your favorite brands?
A: Tea Collection, J. Crew, Kate Mack and Lilly Pulitzer for outfits. Most of these make it easy for my sister and I to find matchers. Sperry, Sam Edelman and Pediped for shoes. But winter is great when I can wear my Timberland boots!

Q: Let's talk hair. Headband, bow or ponytail for you? 
A: I like headbands the most because they are cute. They keep my hair back from my face. It's perfect for the playground. 

Q. Fashion icons: Which Disney princess do you think would have the best closet ever? 
A. I think Jasmine would have the best closet ever. Her dad was the Sultan and she sleeps in a red velvet bed. You know her closet would be great! Her dresses are amazing and she would have lots of gold and glitter on everything. Jasmine!

Q: Why are you shopping J. Crew for spring and what are you loving?
A. I like how bright and happy their dresses are. They have lots of color and happy patterns. Color and style equal one thing: cuteness! Also, they have sizes my sister and I can both wear. 

With that... here are some of her favorite looks - all on sale presently for an extra 30% off with code TIMETOSHOP. 

Neon Floral Tank Dress // Mila Cap Toe Ballet Flats // Peony Headband


This outfit scores high points for it's on point preppy matching. The shoes really seal the deal on selling us on the fashion value of color coordination. Love that the dress could be dressed down with flip flops or make an appearance in Sunday church. Toss on navy leggings and it takes the playground by storm. Love this look!  

Embroidered Butterfly Dress // Capri Leggings // Neon Citron Headband // Silver Gladiator Sandals


This is one of those fun looks with amazing details. Samantha loves the embroidered design on the dress and those unexpected pops of neon. Capri leggings make this dress more casual and practical. Add metallic sandals and a floral headband and you're set for the day. 

Sundress in Flipped Hearts // Capri Leggings in Gold Foil // Cyrpus Sandals // Glitter Sunnies


Gold, gold, gold! This look is fun and fab all in one. This featherlight dress with gold and neon hearts in a (somehow) subtle pattern pair with these fun metallic leggings. Why stop here? Rock shimmering shoes and a fancy headband just to show the world you got this. 

The takeaway? A mix of girly details and practical styling makes it easy to dress little girls in fashion they love to wear. You can have your glitter and wear it too if you just know how to mix it up.  Stay tuned for more of Samantha's chic picks. 

Tot Fashion: Lilly Pulitzer Masters Mini Me Chic...

While we may not have snagged any of her collection for Target, we can rest assured classic Lilly Pulitzer is still available. Some of you up north may not "get it", but here in the hotter climates we love bright sundresses. Girls of all ages (even grandmothers) are proud to rock an aqua floral frock.

But do you know what's even cuter? Seeing little girls in their Lilly. Seriously, seriously cute. These cheery dresses end up being our go-to looks for summer. Now that my "baby" is technically a young girl now at three, let the fashion fun begin. These two sisters can once again rock matching looks - and if so inclined, I can join in on the flamingo bedecked fun. 

Warning: The color shy need not apply, Lilly built her eponymous business on happy colors and playful prints. Giraffes, elephants, lions, palm trees, pineapples - you name it. All in the name of festive patterns and "out there" prints that somehow read preppy, pretty and perfect. What's not to love? Get your Lilly fix here and let the sun shine on you and your mini.


Tot Decor: Celebrating the Mighty Twenty...

We've been experiencing quite a few visits from the tooth fairy in our house. She's leaving a trail of magical glitter on my daughter's nightstand and a very special pillow we've added just for this momentous occasion. This sweet little zebra-adorned accessory offers a little pouch for those middle of the night money-for-a-tooth exchanges to go down.

As a mommy who values the art of learning, I appreciate that my resident loose tooth princess now tells me casually that her lateral incisors are readying themselves to come out. Mighty Twenty offers handy a Tooth Tracker Journal that lets your toothless wonder document the journey of their visits from the tooth fairy (e.g. which tooth fell out when). It also educates them on what this process is all about - after all, losing your teeth can be a little scary at first. My daughter is learning quite a bit about oral health and dentistry for a freshly minted 7 year old, and I love that she's gaining confidence by understanding more about the process of getting her adult teeth. Add that to the fun of prepping her flashy pillow on those special nights when an incisor has come out and it's a magical memory maker we love having in our home. 

Visit Mighty Twenty to help your little ones celebrate this milestone in style!   

Tot Fashion: Our Garden Party with Kate Mack...

{All photos above property of yours truly, Franki Durbin}

It's no secret I love dressing these two little girls. A four year gap in their ages lends them a distinctly big sister / little sister dynamic. It's much easier to get a toddler dressed (and keep her clothes on) if she's inspired to look like her cooler sister. Our saving grace is a handful of brands that they both enjoy equally and that allow matching or coordinating outfits. 

While many of their "playground" clothes are from J. Crew and Tea Collection, no outfits are favored more than their Kate Mack / Biscotti pieces. These are always the most feminine, the most fabulous and the most beautiful pieces in the closet. 

If some of these pictures look familiar, they are from last year's photo shoot with my little ones frolicking in their Garden Party dresses from Kate Mack's spring/summer collection. They've worn these little pink creations countless times since then. Easter, tea parties, princess dress-up moments and just having fun - these ruffly dresses will possibly make an appearance. My favorite part? While frilly in appearance, they don't cause itching or scratching. At all. Rarely are pretty dresses comfortable, but these chic mesh-fabricated dresses wear just as effortlessly as an "everyday" look.  

We are constantly on the lookout for new pieces to add. Since Kate's seasonal colors and styles overlap, it makes it easy to coordinate one season's pieces seamlessly with the next. My oldest only stops wearing her Kate Mack (or Biscotti as it's often known) pieces once she's' outgrown them - then my littlest inherits them. It's a fabulous system. 

If she's being candid, my oldest would probably share that she loves that the outfits coordinate but aren't perfectly identical. My budding fashionista loves being just a bit different from her little sister. Who can blame her? Fashion is all about personal expression and showcasing your uniqueness. 

Since they've worn them so many times, I thought it would be fun to share the various "lives" the dresses have lived. I can say without hesitation that my daughters have made amazing memories in these little dresses. As a mom who adores her children, I can't possibly ask for more than that. I'm always thrilled when something they own brings them - and me - this much joy. 

Side note: you can find these brands at Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus (typically in-store, not online) & Nordstrom. (Insider tip: past season treasures can also occasionally be found at will want to look under Kate Mack and Biscotti brands. Kate Mack offers more bathing suits online but if you search far & wide (especially on the brand's flagship site) you'll find full outfits for little & big kid sizing. Biscotti leans more towards baby & toddler apparel.  

On durability: Don't be put off by the delicate appearance. We have been astounded at the quality and construction of every piece we've ever purchased. This entire brand gets high marks from me, a very difficult mommy to please in the fashion department. We have coats, bathing suits, tunics, leggings and dresses all from this company and my only complaint is that my local stores don't carry more of it. (Perhaps I should have realize that dream of having my own children's boutique!)

Happy weekend, everyone! 


For Tots: Imaginative Toys to Awaken the Imagination...

Consider me a fan for life now that I've paid more attention to their offerings for kids. While the assortment is limited, Anthro's concept of presents children will love is spot on. No Crayola colored madness here. No blinking lights or battery-operated nonsense. Think: hand-crafted play things that inspire creativity in kids of all ages. I want one of everything. Seriously. They've done such a marvelous job this year curating fun books, pretty plush animals and well-made toys that will spark any child's imagination. I can't wait to see their faces when they open my favorites! See them all here

For Tots: Unleash the Artist Within...

What could possibly be better than fueling a child's imagination? When it comes to art supplies, I'm a believer than you can never have too much. This all-in-one kit includes every imaginable tool one could hope for to create their masterpieces. Markers, watercolors, pencils, paints, paintbrushes, crayons and more inside a handy wooden case for easy carrying and storage. Give your petite Picasso their first lesson in design and watch them unlock the artist within. 

Big Art Set $44

For Tots: The High-Fashion Jigsaw Puzzle...

When Christian Lacroix designs a jigsaw puzzle, you acquire it. It doesn't matter if you have barefoot tots running around the house or not. You buy it. End. Of. Story. In my case, I have two lovely girls who will actually put it to good use (that is, if I decide to share it with them) for many years to come. This two-sized tabletop activity is adorned with gold and silver foil accents and the most enchanting designs you've ever seen. It is absolutely gorgeous and loaded with the intricate design details you've come to expect from the great high-fashion house. My advice: let them play and order one of the designer's equally stunning journals for yourself. When they're done using it as a puzzle, have it framed and enjoy its magical beauty for years to come. 

Christian Lacroix Glam'azonia Jigsaw Puzzle $38

For Tots: The Pink Jungle Floor Puzzle...

What is it with puzzles getting prettier and prettier? This pink 200 piece beauty is illustrated with the most enchanting jungle scene. What a sweet gift for a little one who can't get enough of those lions and tigers. Personally, it's the meandering vines and that trio of koalas that make it a winner. Well.. and all of that pink, of course!

Abracadabra Gallery Puzzle $24


Tot Travel: Bienvenidos a Miami...

Miami might not be top of mind when traveling with kids... by why shouldn't it be? Kid & Coe - the booking site for family-friendly house stays around the globe - has become my go-to travel resource of late. Ever since our apartment rental in Rome I'm completely sold on the concept of renting a home.  If you plan to be at your destination for any length of time, a home will be much more accommodating to little ones and teens than a hotel.  

Warning: this swanky Florida pad might just be too hot to handle. Jet skis, a separate villa for extra guests, modern interiors and a chef's dream of a kitchen, this Di Lido island residence sleeps up to 14. Yes, that's an infinity pool and the sleek three-story house has an elevator too. Gaze out at downtown Miami while sipping your morning OJ in that massive bath tub. I die! Hello, nighttime excitement and incredible daytime fun. 

Why is a house stay such a win for families? For one, you can really settle in for your stay. A home allows for entertaining, preparing home cooked meals (or hiring a chef), enjoying your own schedule and really customizing your schedule. And finding the right residence continues to get easier with sites like this one gaining traction. 

But back to this fabulous waterside Miami home... flying south for the winter is starting to sound like a very, very good idea. While your brood of minis might not have the same affinity for Art Deco buildings and rooftop sushi, I assure you this south Florida destination has something for everyone. Besides... you've got an infinity pool. What more could a kid ask for?

See this and other destinations at Kid & Coe. Happy traveling!