The Modern Dollhouse

May 21, 2012

Twice recently I’ve come across the Plan Toys Green Dollhouse. Probably not surprising given that I live in San Francisc0, where most residents would live in a place like this if they could: wind turbine attached to a fuse box (wooden, not functional – don’t worry – although that would be a different kind of awesome…), built-in recycling and compost containers, solar panels, a rain barrel for collecting run-off water and a “biofacade” (basically, giant roman blinds for controlling the house’s temperature. You know: for the dolls.)

Aside from its obvious eco-educational components, the “why I’d buy this” thing about this dollhouse, among the many available, is that it’s not your average bear. I’ve been uninspired shopping for standard dollhouses: same old furniture (often cutesy) with the same old open-back set-up. The Green Dollhouse has tons of moveable parts, access from the roll-open roof and sides and front, and all those environmentally supportive components are just damn cool to play with. Plus, it’s made by Plan Toys, known for sturdy wood toys, so it’s not going to collapse next Thursday.

At nearly $200, it’s not cheap, but most dollhouses aren’t. If you’re a grandparent looking to make an impression for Christmas or a birthday, are on the hunt for the right dollhouse for your toddler or just love this one enough, snap one up and get that wind turbine spinning.

Plan Toys Green Dollhouse, $178 at Amazon

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Angel Dear Jacket

April 20, 2012


Soft is the name of the baby game. They’re soft. Their toys are soft. And their clothes should definitely be soft. Enter the Angel Dear chenille hoodie jacket. I love this thing. If you can’t think of someone in your life whose baby needs one, look harder: you have to pass along this fluffiness to someone small and deserving!

A friend of ours got one as a gift and, after touching it’s ultra-softness, I ordered one for Astrid. When she outgrew that one, we got the next size up.

It’s not a rocket science jacket: it’s not waterproof or even windproof. It’s just pure, fluffy fleece that keeps most of that fluff even after repeated washings. We’re not talking flat, functional REI fleece (which we also have and like) but a little cloud to wrap up baby in the car seat, on errand runs or a chilly afternoon at the playground. I take ours with us on pretty much every outing here in San Francisco.

The hoodies come in a range of soft colors as well as stripes and sizes from 0-6 months up to 4T: an appropriate gift for pretty much any child and any occasion. And at $25, you won’t break the bank but people will think you did.

Note: the zippers aren’t the best out there and can be a tiny bit tricky to thread, but they work just fine with an extra jiggle.

Angel Dear Chenille Hoodies, $38 at Angel Dear or from $25 at Diapers.com