Budsies | Custom Plus Toys

Monica Shulman is a photographer and the author of Ciao, Chessa! – a photography and lifestyle blog. She lives in New York City with her husband, toddler daughter and infant son.

My girl is officially big – or so she tells me. The other night, on the eve of her first day of pre-K, I cuddled her tight and said “Please stay little for a short while longer. Please don’t grow up so fast.” and my wise girl looked at me and said “I have to grow up sometime, mommy, everyone does. Don’t they?” my point exactly! Please stay little a little longer!

Her interests seem to change from month to month but one thing she always reaches for every day is her box of colored pencils and markers. The girl loves to make art and we basically made every craft, collage and painting possible this summer. We used all sorts of materials and she had a great time thinking of ways to incorporate different things into our projects. Earlier this summer we decided to organize some of her work in a folder that we will put in book at the end of the year. I asked her what her favorite picture was and it was a no-brainer. Last year in nursery school her class made self-portraits for an art project and we promptly hung hers on her bedroom wall. I’ve been looking for a way to remember this time in her young life aside from making photo books (one of my favorite pastimes) and that’s when Budsies came into the picture.

budsies-custom-plush-toys

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Glam Baby Gear | Britax Affinity Stroller {& Giveaway}

Britax Affinity Sky Blue

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Beauty Buzz | First Aid Beauty

First Aid Beauty Products Review

First Aid Beauty (also known as FAB), is a skincare line free of harsh chemicals and known allergens, alcohol, fragrances, and artificial dyes. Select products also boast FDA-approved over-the-counter formulations that target specific skin issues such as eczema and acne. The brand has around since 2009, founded by industry vet Lilli Gordon when to fill the void in the prestige skincare market for super sensitive skin.

Overall I really like the line. The vintage drug store packaging is super cute and the products are hydrating and lightweight. The price tag is really hefty so I think First Aid Beauty obviously makes the most sense for those with eczema or very sensitive skin. If I had to compare the brand to one more mass market I would definitely say it’s the higher-end Simple. They have that fragrance free, paired down smell and feel to them. Here are my thoughts on individual products within the line:

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Perfume Without the Bottle | Lisa Hoffman Beauty Fragrance Bracelets

Lisa Hoffman Fine Fragrance Jewelry

A perfume’s packaging and design can woo us long before we catch a whiff of its scent.

Lisa Hoffman Beauty is taking fragrance packaging to the next level by eliminating the bottle in favor of chic, wearable jewelry that holds perfume beads inside a charm.

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Beauty Buzz | SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense

SkinCeuticals-Physical-Eye-UV-DefenseI honestly don’t use a ton of skincare products but I do spring for specialty products for the sensitive areas of my face like eyes and lips.

The skin around our eyes is the thinnest, therefore the most vulnerable to environmental factors, diet, and sleep. Not surprisingly, it’s also one of the first places women notice signs of aging. It certainly was for me. As a result, you’ll rarely catch me without sunglasses and I’m religious about applying eye cream at night. I wear under eye concealer if I want to look my best (this is my favorite) but otherwise I’ve just been use a daily moisturizer with SPF to cover my entire face. Until now.

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Glam Baby Gear | Maxi-Cosi Bohemian Blue Collection

Maxi-Cosi Bohemian Collection
The list of stroller and car seat options and fabrics is a mile long but rarely do we see a gorgeous print like Maxi-Cosi’s new special edition Bohemian Blue Collection.

Billed as “fashionable baby gear products for the free spirited,” the playful and colorful Maxi-Cosi Bohemian Blue Collection is inspired by hand-crafted items. The striped fabric is available on Maxi-Cosi’s popular Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat, Mico AP Infant Car Seat, and Kaia Stroller retailing for $225-$275.

We received a Maxi-Cosi Kaia lightweight stroller in Bohemian Blue for review and it’s definitely a scene-stealer:

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Zio Ziegler for PBteen {Review}

Last month PBteen launched an exclusive collection of bold, street-style bedding, backpacks, and wall art with contemporary artist Zio Ziegler. We got a first look at the collection and face-time with Zio himself at I.S. 289 Hudson River Middle School in Manhattan where he unveiled a custom mural for the students.

The bold graphic collection is currently available at PBteen and includes room decor from pillows to wall art and back to school favorites like lunch bags and back packs.

Zio Ziegler for PBTeen Sheets_png

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Beauty Buzz | 25 Beauty Products To Try This Summer

25 Beauty Products To Try This Summer

For my beauty junkies, here are 25 of the best beauty products summer 2014 to keep you hydrated and glowing all season long:

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Glam Baby Gear | Graco Relay Click Connect Performance Jogger

Graco Relay Click Connect Performance Jogger2

Living in Manhattan with children, you can’t go out without a stroller. Now that we primarily drive everywhere, our strollers are mostly used for more rigorous activities. I quickly learned the performance jogger is to the suburbs what the lightweight umbrella stroller is to the city.

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Gasps & Giggles at Blue Man Group New York {Giveaway}

I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember the year I first saw Blue Man Group New York. I was with my parents and brother which leads me to believe it was the mid to late nineties. All these years later, the wordless theatrical show is still going strong, a true testament to its broad appeal. I saw it again today with completely new eyes thanks to my adorable, soon-to-be five year old date.

Blue Man Group New York Review

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