30 posts categorized "Shops"

Crafty Wonderland: It's Portlandic!

December 13, 2011

Urbanmamas_crafty_pockets-cropOh, Portlandia. How you have pointed out in living ultracolor the adorable ridiculousness of Portland.

I was one of the people who (in my own parts imitative and parts mildly inventive way) Put A Bird On It before It was a slogan. I, along with my friend Larissa, was a vendor at an original early version of Crafty Wonderland, on Mother's Day years ago at the Doug Fir. Yes: I had birds on things (and, actually, birds). Now Crafty Wonderland is a full-on extravaganza, complete with thousands of customers (16,000, this year) and a convention center locale.

Walking into the convention center late on the second day of the extravaganza was eerie -- it was a souped-up, echo-ey, blinding version of the one at which I'd vended so many years earlier. Oh, yes, marginally better light. I watched the crafty, local-loving people wandering around, never looking at faces because there was so much stuff to look at instead. I watched the vendors, alternately yawning; staring hopefully at the eyes of passers-by for buy signals, ready to jump up and offer their hard-labored wares; and frantically making more.

At one booth I saw two or three people with quiet portable sewing machines, making more of whatever they were selling. At 4:30 on Sunday -- with less than two hours to go for the weekend -- it almost seemed sad. Not that I couldn't relate to the impulse.

I had forgotten my wallet (not that I had the money to spend, anyway), so I collected photographs and business cards of my favorite vendors. As I still can't afford to buy their beautiful things, I thought I'd share with you -- maybe you can buy some of this great stuff and assuage my guilt as (in some cases) I sew it myself.

Urbanmamas_crafty_biastapePolly Danger Notions. Folding scissors and fabric-covered buttons were sweet and lovely. But it was the handmade bias tape that had me falling over myself to grab a card. Such a great idea -- I've made my own bias tape before and it's a time-consuming process, hard to accept when you're already spending a bunch of time on some lovely project and just want to get on with it already.

lisa johnston-smith functional ceramics. Line-drawings of animals and insects and vegetables seems to be very much the fad this year (Portlandia, are you listening? Put a beetle on it? Put a beet on it?), and these lovely bowls and vases and mugs are supposed to be "made for everyday use." Awesome. I wish I could afford to drink out of one of those mosquito mugs every day!

Continue reading "Crafty Wonderland: It's Portlandic!" »

Merry Christmas! (The shopping version)

November 08, 2011

Urbanmamas_toy_sale
The Sunday after Halloween was the launch of the holiday shopping season; I found two "toy books" and several other circulars in the paper. I've also been getting a steady stream of holiday-themed catalogs, with a wealth of options from personalized stockings to adorable little-girl Christmas dresses to the always-popular gift for all adult women: fleece-lined slippers in reds and greens. Fancy holiday candies. A needlepoint iPad case? Just the thing!

In Friday's Oregonian was the a&e Holiday Event Guide, with photos of Christmas ships and the Pioneer Courthouse Square tree lighting and the Nutcracker and ads for the Northwest Children's Theater performance of 'Willy Wonka' and -- hilariously -- the 'Festival of the Last Minute' at Saturday Market (Dec. 17 - 24). "Procrastinators Rejoice!" says the ad copy. Procrastinators should be quaking in their boots if they're already reading about procrastination on November 4th.

I've barely finished canning tomatoes and am ready for a week -- just a week -- of not planning for anything before we start planning for Thanksgiving. I'm not ready for Christmas shopping yet, with the exception of having the great comeback to all requests for toy purchases made by my kids: "well, let's put that on your Christmas list, shall we?"

But all these ads and the beginnings of decorations in the stores has got me already stressing about Christmas shopping, even that gorgeous and fun idea from Martha Stewart Living's November issue: an Advent gift chain (for which I had better start shopping today if I'm going to make it happen). I'm not even much of a shopper, but I get bit by the bug about December 19th each year and want to go running around town with a wad of cash. (My cash wads being as they are, this is rarely much of a run.)

Urbanmamas_advent_photochain

I was shaking my head derisively at all this precocious consumerism when I remembered -- I'd already bought one Christmas gift early (some cozy wool socks for my newest little nephew). And I asked my husband last night for the go-ahead to spend some of the family dime on the Icebreaker friends and family sale next week; for me and for Christmas gifts.

So yes, I do start shopping this early, probably because of all the glossy pretty pictures delivered to my mailbox and doorstep. Insidious! How about you: when do you start shopping for the holidays? How do you feel about the ubiquity of those happy smiling moms with cozy snowflake sweaters in your mailbox or email inbox? Does it make you happy or frantic? What would you rather be doing with your mental energies (if anything) other than worrying that you're already behind on your shopping?

Seeking Consignment Stores: for Older Kid Clothing

March 29, 2011

We have some pretty decent suggestions on consignment shops throughout town, but - in my experience - most consignment stores have more robust selections for the under 5 set.  What about for older kids?  Even pre-tweens?

My daughter, now 10.5, is looking for a consignment or resale shop where she can bring in her unused items and exchange them for things she likes.  She explicitly asked me to ask the urbanMamas community for suggestions on where she might find success for the older-kid sizes.  Any tips?

The Choose Local Card: Do You Have Yours?

December 24, 2008

2491478309_4a36b0b568 Now that most of our worlds have shrunk to the distance we can schlep through the snow, the concept of local has really hit home.  Like The Oregonian's story about people madly shopping between storms, I too hoofed it over to Hawthorne yesterday to grab a few stocking stuffers and get some much-needed exercise.  I was heading straight for Muse Art + Design, a local art supply store for grown-ups and kids, because Soule Mama got me onto the Family Art Night concept

While in the store (madly grabbing art supplies before they closed and the stockings destined to be empty), I signed up for the free Choose Local card, which offers discounts to card-carrying shoppers around town.You can find locally-owned shops around town here, a mapping database that you can search by neighborhood.  Participating stores offer a discount when you present your card. 

Do you have one? If so, what do you think?  I am glad to have it and really like the idea, but time will tell where it leads me and if I remember it's in my wallet!  For the time being, I'm just grateful for my microhood.  Viva good urban planning.

[photo courtesy of TH on Flickr commons]

Parking Close-In: Too Much To Ask??

August 07, 2008

Storkparking_purple_2Tn_bbcolumbia
Like it??  So do we.  Read more on Activistas

Mama Needs a New 'Do: Stylist Recommendations

March 26, 2008

Many of us splurge on different things, but nothing like a great haircut to add some freshness and spring in our steps.  We're reviving this old thread at the request of Kathryn who's stylist is on a well-deserved maternity leave.  She emails:

I was wondering if you could post a thread and help me find a new hair stylist.  Mine is on maternity leave, and I would love to find someone who can do a cut/color (preferably on the East side) for under $100, but not a Supercuts kind of place....I know there was a thread a few years ago about hair stylist recommendations, but it may be outdated.  I would venture to guess that there are other mamas out there who would love some great recommendations. 

And for those on a budget or open to being a subject of an up and coming stylist as well a fan of Aveda, they've opened up a new Institute in the NW.  Haircuts are $13!

Our original question was posed by Melia awhile back:

Anyone have any recommendations on a decent place to get a hip haircut? I'm looking for edgy riot grrl kinda do. I went to bishops for my first try but would like to find something a little more permanent and well established.

Where to get School Supplies

August 15, 2007

Many of us are gearing up for the start of school in a few weeks.  A question came in from Jess about where families can get affordable school supplies:

I just registered my five year-old for kindergarten.  Wow!  Who knew the list of school supplies...for KINDERGARTEN would be so extensive?  It seems the school wants multiple packs of everything from sharpies to kleenex to dry erase markers to glue stix to additional money for a canvas bag students will be decorating (sans a backpack).
Now, I teach in a public school and am very PRO public school, but my wonder-hubby recently quit his job to attend nursing school full-time.  To say we do not have two pennies to rub together after mortgage is paid and food is purchased is not much of an understatement.  We want to provide the teacher with all of the (multiple packs) of items on the list.
Does anyone know the cheapest place for said school supplies?

Brace yourself: IKEA set to open July 25

July 17, 2007

It's the moment we've all been waiting for! Or not?  The IKEA Grand Opening is fast approaching.  To prepare, the Port of Portland has even issued a traffic advisory and has prepared an IKEA traffic flow plan.  IKEA has been billed as the big-box that even Portlanders love.  Today's Oregonian tells us to brace ourselves for the traffic nightmare that this grand opening will bring.

According to all accounts, the store format will be the same as all the other 30 IKEAs in the US.  Another fun thing to look forward to will be the big bright and primary playroom where the kids can play while the adults wander through the maze of staged room after staged room.  We'll all be hungry after all that bouncing and playing (the kids) or shopping and hauling DIY furniture (the mamas & the papas), that we'll soon end up in the IKEA cafeteria, where we'll have 50 cent Swedish meatballs and other Swedish delicacies in true IKEA frugal fashion.  Kids will have bright red tables and yellow chairs, they will love their kiddie food trays and utensils.  It will be fun, won't it?

So, are you making your list and checking it twice?  Will you be heading out there on July 25th or soon thereafter?Ikea

Opening July 25!  Please bring your family for a morning of fun and festivities July 25.  Entertainment begins at 6:00 am, doors will open at 9:00 am.  July 26-29 Store & Restaurant open at 10:00 am.

6:00 am?  Will that be you waiting at the door?  That's mighty, mighty early....  but in case you'd like an earlier start:

Air out your camping gear!  Customers can begin lining up at IKEA Portland at 9:00 AM on Monday morning, July 23, 2007 - in advance of our July 25 opening.  We are going to be doing something special for everyone on opening morning so you do not have to be the first, second, or third customer* in line to share the fun.

* There will be no specific prize given to just the first, second, or third customer in line.

Share the Shopping Fun

July 15, 2007

Heading to Shopping_cart_2the supermarket has never been more fun than finding those darling little pint-sized real-life-looking metal shopping carts.  My girls have loved, loved, loved them.  They feel so responsible and part of the marketing process when they get to push their own cart.

Not all supermarkets carry these treasures, and we have only stumbled upon them by chance.  Below is our list of markets where we have found the child-sized shopping carts.  Unfortunately, none of them are in our neighborhood!  So, it is a real treat when we do happen upon one of these markets:

Food Front Coop (NW) - Not only does Food Front have the little carts, but it's such a great community coop grocery.  Great selection of produce and I do love their bulk section.  Plus, it's a perfect place to grab drinks, wine, cheese, and other picnic items on our way out to a summer concert.

Whole Foods Market (NW) -  I know, I know - aka, "Whole Paycheck."  We will find ourselves at Whole Foods when we want some hot, fast food that will please each family member's palate.  Plus, they've got the carts!  Usually stored over in the corner behind customer service.

Wild Oats - Laurelhurst (NE) - Not sure why one Wild Oats would have the prized carts, while another Wild Oats location didn't.  When we were living in the NE, we'd sometimes come to the Laurelhurst Wild Oats where they had the carts, even though the Fremont Wild Oats location was more convenient (but they didn't have the carts!).

Anyone else have kids who love to push carts their own size at the supermarket?  Where'd ya find 'em?  Do share, do share!

Seeking INFANT-Friendly Establishments

July 12, 2007

Here in Portland, there are no shortage of things "kid-friendly".  Amy, however, is having the hardest time finding establishments that are more geared toward the younger set, "infant-friendly", if you will:

I am the mother of a 13 month old, Titus, and we have been on several outings- but I have had a very hard time finding "infant-friendly" establishments versus "kid-friendly" establishments.  My son is a very active 13 month old, and has been walking for some time now, and we are having a very hard time finding places and activities that are infant or toddler friendly.  We have been to PB & Ellies, but I live near the Portland Airport so we do not make it to that side of town very often.  He really enjoys the zoo, but with the weather so hot currently, we don't last long outdoors.  It could be activities with or without other infants, although that helps in maintaining his interest.  He is in daycare, so he gets great interaction with all the children/toddlers 4 days a week and is very social.  He doesn't last long in the stroller if we are not on the move, so I am looking for play spaces, restaurants, and businesses in general that cater to the very difficult 1 year old crowd.  Thank you for all of your suggestions.

Gimmee some non-toxic toys!

April 29, 2007

Where would you suggest for Kathleen?

I’m new to Portland and am looking for a place to acquire some phthalate free toys for my chewing obsessed 51/2 month old. Can you advise on a children’s store(s) that carries non-toxic toys?

Quick! Make a bed!

March 29, 2007

We have a mama in need!  Cheryl's expecting a slew of visitors and needs to accommodate them with some extra sleeping space.  Here is her plight:

We have some unexpected out-of-town guests coming to stay with us next week and we are short on accommodations. To save them from camping out on our floor, we'd like to put a sleeper sofa in our playroom, but don't want to invest in a new one, and as we need it ASAP, we don't have time to go the craigslist route. Can anyone recommend a second-hand furniture shop that has a decent selection and good quality items?  Thanks for your help (and our guest's backs thank you as well).

Mama Getaway

March 16, 2007

We shoud all be as lucky as, Anne.  She's palnning a kid-free outing and needs some referrals for Seattle-area shops.  She writes:

I'm planning my first all-by-myself get-away from my kids (4) and (2). I've been to Seattle before but this time I'm looking to do a little shopping. I'm looking for Hip Momma clothing especially, but also any other cool, out-of-the-way out-of-the-ordinary type shops. (i.e. not Pike Place Market which I love, but I'm trying to branch out.) Anyone out there with suggestions?

Crafty Mama Bazaar This Saturday!

January 25, 2007

There are a lot of Crafty Mamas in PDX and we will be showcasing a handful of them this Saturday, January 27, 11 am - 3 pm at Milagros. Featured artists include:

  • Cynthia Thompson of Zoom Baby Gear
  • Christina Bissell will feature a variety of handmade toys, bibs, burp rags, book bags and more
  • Gretchen Gawlik makes fun, hip, re-designed shirts and onesies.
  • Elizabeth Webber creates greeting cards, gift tags, stationery, bookmarkers, magnets, and other paper art using photographs and vintage images.
  • Angela Flynn helps you make a special keepsake by creating personalized ceramic hand and footprints of your little miracle.

We will also have complimentary organic coffee and tea service for the event. All the sales go directly to the Crafty Mamas, so please come out to the Crafty Mamas Bazaar this Saturday and see what these local mamas have to offer.

Infant Sun Hat in a Pinch!

January 07, 2007

With weather as dreary as it was today, it's hard to think of sunny days. Lucky for Ally, she has some sun in her near future!

I was wondering if any mamas out there can recommend a place in the Portland metro where we could find a sun hat for our infant son (he is 9mos old) We are leaving for a trip in a couple days and realized we don't have a hat for him! Help!

Bella Stella Christmas Hysteria Sale

December 05, 2006

Thanks to all the mamas who have been supporting our great Portland resale and consignment shops. We've just gotten email from Bella Stella, who tells us how responsive the urbanMamas community has been. Bella Stella lets us know:

Bella Stella is having a second wave Christmas Hysteria Sale. Dec 4th through Dec 8th, all new Melissa and Doug toys will be 20% off. That includes the big stuff too like train tables, doll houses, easels...
Plus a special for UrbanMamas only: mention Urban Mamas and get 3 pairs of BabyLegs for the price of 2.

Return to Audubon

November 26, 2006

We have a house full of people waiting for a baby to be born, which is a little stressful. So when the sun made a special guest appearance yesterday, my Pop and I took off for a hike. Not wanting to be too far from the house, we went stomping on the Wildwood Trail.

During that trek, we took a break at the Audubon Society of Portland and I spent every minute there mumbling to myself..."Why has it been a year since I brought Mila here?" Not only are there plenty of kid-friendly trails, you can view birds that have been rescued by the Society.  This menagerie includes Julio the Great Horned Owl and Finnegan the Peregrine Falcon. You will also find a natural history display and The Nature Store.

The Nature Store has plenty of educational and whimsical items for young and old alike. PLUS you can save $10 off your purchase of $30 or more if you have a CHINOOK BOOK!  To top it all off the Society has guided hikes, kid camps, and other educational activities all year round - including a performance by children’s musician David Hall on December 9 at 1:30 pm.

One of my New Year resolutions will be to get my family there more often (this joins Tryon Creek State Park  on an always expanding list), I hope to see you there:

Audubon Society of Portland
5151 NW Cornell Road, Portland OR 97210
Off-street Parking on site

*Another option is to park at Macleay Park and hike the Lower Macleay Trail to the Wildwood Trail (the junction is at the Stone House, continue straight at that point - don't go up the hill). The trail stays level as it follows Balch Creek and briefly heads uphill before reaching a parking lot. Head west 1/10 mile from the parking lot to the Audubon Center. This scenic hike is approximately 1 1/2 miles each way and is definitely kid-friendly.

Looking for Tips on Resale Shops

July 27, 2006

It seems babies outgrow baby clothes as soon as you snip off the tag.  A more practical approach is to look at consigning baby clothes.  But how?  Liz wants to know:

Can the mamas please give me some advice regarding resale shops? My DS is almost 4 months and has outgrown many of his clothes. Any advice on all of the local resale shops - are they all pretty much the same when it comes to how they work? Are some better than others for geting the most value for your stuff? I live in Southeast Ptown.

Family Room at Milagros

June 07, 2006

urbanMamas love Milagros, and this is why!  Tony recently sent us some updated information on their family room.  He writes:

We are happy to announce that The Family Room at Milagros is finally licensed and ready to go. We will be open for coffee and community on Saturday June 10th from 10 am - 2 pm. Our initial plans for regular coffeehouse days and hours are Thursday - Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm. Keeping in line with the values that define the baby and mama products we offer at Milagros, all of the coffee offered in The Family Room is certified organic and fair trade.

You may be wondering, what about all the other hours and days? We envision The Family Room as a community space - not a coffee shop or a cafe. We want to host special activities during "non-coffeehouse hours" that are of interest to mamas and families - events, classes, seminars, film screenings, meetings, even birthday parties!
We are keeping The Family Room rental rate very affordable (only $15/hour), so if you have an event seeking a fun and kid-friendly space, feel free to contact us. We would also love to hear ideas from Mamas and Papas out there on what types of classes, seminars, etc. they would find of interest. Send us an email at milagros@milagrosboutique.com with your ideas or visit our website at http://milagrosboutique.com
The Family Room is next door to Milagros at 5429 NE 30th Avenue in Portland.

Mother- / Baby- / Family-Friendly Spa & Wellness Center

June 05, 2006

urbanMamas are all about spas and salons. When Annee sent us this email about seeking help for a spa & wellness center that will be opening soon, we were delighted to pass on the word! 

Hi Mamas. We are posting to several groups at once before we advertise publicly, in hopes of finding just the right people for several part time or full time positions. We are a spa and wellness center focused on pregnant and parenting families (all ages of children) opening this summer in the 7 Corners area of SE Portland (SE Clinton and 21st.)

We are currently seeking to fill the following positions. All positions are flexible in terms of hours and days, and and can be job shared very easily. We are committed to being a family friendly/mother friendly/baby friendly employer! All employees will receive mother friendly/baby friendly training.

- Aesthetician to provide facials and other services using natural, low fume products. Must be willing to provide services to mothers while they hold and/or nurse their babies.

- Nail Technician to provide acrylic free, low fume pedicures and manicures using natural nail polish. Must be willing to provide services to mothers while they hold and/or nurse their babies.

- Childcare providers for drop in childcare for families receiving services on site. Must have experience with children and an interest in respectful communication and conflict resolution with young children (all childcare employees will receive training.)

- Receptionist/Boutique Clerk to welcome guests, answer phones and direct calls, register and schedule class attendees, and lactation, massage, and spa service clients, and assist guests with boutique purchases. Must be a great multi-tasker, with wonderful people skills and a commitment to supporting families. Retail experience a plus.

To apply for any of these positions, please visit our web site at www.zenana-spa.com, and send your resume and a letter specifying for which position you are applying and how you heard about the opening. Please feel free to re-post this to other groups, or to pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

Pharmaca: Natural Baby Shower

March 06, 2006

An invite, for all urbanMamas, from Pharmaca:

Pharmaca would like to invite all urbanMamas readers to the First Annual Natural Baby Shower.  Features activites include health screenings, gift raffles, and free samples throughout the store.  Also during the event, customers will receive a 20% discount on all purchases over $50 (Look for the coupon in Pharmaca's March Wellness Newsletter).

Pharmaca Portland
13 NW 23rd Place
Saturday, March 18th, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Fuzzi Bunz: a pdx wild-goose chase

March 05, 2006

I used Fuzzi Buzz dipes for our second daughter.  We love them through and through!  Now that our second girl is now out of diapers (yipee!), we want to keep the fuzzi bunz love going.

As one of those 'stretched to the limit' sorta mamas (yeah, whatever), I had 1 hour last Friday to find a coupla fuzzis as a gift at a colleague's baby shower.  I checked the Fuzzi website to find that there were only two Fuzzi retailers in Oregon: one in Eugene and one in Grants Pass (which is where I made one big original fuzzi order way back when).  I thought to myself, "what the????"  I could've sworn that at least one Portland kiddie shop carried the Fuzzis.  I surfed onto Mother Nature's and saw that they carried Fuzzis.  BUT, did they have any?  Alas, a call over to Mother Nature's told me there were no Fuzzis to be had.  In fact, I was told that Fuzzi Bunz hadn't fulfilled an order for months and months and that Fuzzi-luvin' parents were frantically trying to find them all throughout the Portland area!  I was surprised at the story.  The last bit of info from our conversation was that only one other retailer carried the Fuzzis in Portland, a primarily-online retailer BabyWorks.

It was 11:10 am and I was on SE Clinton and I had to find the Fuzzi Bunz (size medium, preferably in bright colors!) and get back to the office (such a fun-filled place for a baby shower!) by 11:30.  I 411-ed BabyWorks, confirmed availability of my needs, and zipped on over to a live/work space in the NW.  When I walked into BabyWorks, I was in awe at this treasure!  Organic cotton baby layettes, varied diapering systems, beautiful diaper bags.... and the oh-so important flushable Kushi diaper liners, which - until today - we've only been able to find at two Portland stores (Mother Nature's and Milagros).  I felt lucky that we had this online shop headquartered in Portland.

The women at BabyWorks were helpful and very busy.  I arrived at the baby shower at 11:34 am, with a package of a bright orange fuzzi and a bright red fuzzi, each stuffed with a Mother of Eden fleecy liner.

All of this to say: uMamas, BabyWorks is awesome!  Since they are primarily online retailers, their retail hours are limited, so check the website for details.

Retail Therapy - Where Do You Shop?

March 04, 2006

Do you have a favorite kids, non-big box, clothing store?  Shari asks:

I'd love to know where the other uMamas shop for kids' clothes. Any favorite stores? I tend to buy clothes for my kids at the Gap because it's easy, they sell both boys' and girls' clothes in one place, it's not as expensive as the high-end boutiques (though admittedly more expensive than places like Target). But I don't really love what I find there and am not terribly impressed with the quality. Where do the Urbanmamas go to find fun, funky, interesting and (hopefully) well-made clothes--both for boys and girls? Any favorite little boutiques, resale shops, clothing chains, etc.?

WOW Walking Series - Hosted by REI

February 28, 2006

So, would anyone be interested in meeting up with other urbanMamas at the WOW Walking Series, hosted by REI

Join Portland REI and Wonders of Walking for the last two walks in the series intended to get you active while discovering the beauty of Portland. Each session will begin with coffee/tea, energy bar of the week and a power clinic covering such topics as motivation, target heart rates and cold weather gear. Following the clinic, participants will head out on a 30 – 45 minute walk designed for all abilities.

There are two Saturday walks left, March 4th and March 11th.  Walks are from 9AM to 10:30AM, and cost is $7 for members/$10 for non-members.

Sounds kinda fun....  (I won't be able to make either walk, but I hope that some of you can!)  RSVP & connect with others!

Finding Preschools, Part 31 - Sensory Integration Disorder

February 01, 2006

A question from Anne, another urbanMama reader.  By chance, does anyone have any advice or recommendations?

I'd like to ask for some information about childcare:  I have twin boys, almost three, that I really want to get into preschool next fall.  One has recently been diagnosed with a sensory integration disorder, which makes it extremely difficult for him to transition/adjust to new situations.  A brief preschool experience last fall (before we knew about his SID) makes me question whether a preschool setting is the best thing for him, at least as a first time away from home.  So I'm starting to look around for childcare in a private home.  I drive by Alameda Beaumont Childcare almost daily and wonder if anyone has any experience with it, or any other suggestions in N/NE.  I have to find something - and would like to get both boys started on the journey of not being home and only in each others company all day.

Milagros Grows

One of our all-time fave kiddie shops is Milagros.  Needless to say, the place is family-friendly with its train table, nursing chair, and comfortable amenities in the back.  Owners Tony, Jennifer, and daughter Mila are always looking to chat and connect with anyone who walks through the door.  They are involved in their community and are active neighbors.  They feature visiting artists and are open late on Last Thursdays.

As a testament of a good thing getting better, Milagros is expanding!  I am so very excited about this next step in Milagros' life.  They are growing into the space next door, the former Aurora dance studio.  Upon my last visit at Milagros, Jennifer and Tony told me that they hoped to have a coffee shop next door, a larger community visiting area.  I can't wait to check it out.  We should all have an upcoming urbanMamas playdate there ...

Their grand opening is this Saturday.  Along with complimentary refreshments, free activities including the wonderful balloon art of Scott David, and art activities courtesy of SCRAP -- Milagros is also offering ridiculous celebratory deals!

  • Buy a pair of Robeez at regular price, and get a pair of WeeStep or StarChild shoes for $10!
  • Buy an exclusive "C is for Che" shirts at regular price, and get a second for only $10!
  • Buy a 'got breastmilk?' shirt at regular price, and get a second for only $10!
  • Every purchase on Saturday comes with a free 'got breastmilk?' bumper sticker.

Best of Family Friendly Portland Poll

December 20, 2005

Please help Marlynn (yes, she's Portland Family Friendly, Motherhood Mayhem, New Biz Mama blogger; Event Bliss and SchotlandPR entrepreneur) compile a "Best of Portland" for families on her OregonLive blog  where you can read her call for your advice.  She'll compile all of your comments and post the results on January 9th.  What a great idea!

Getting Groomed

December 05, 2005

Someone just asked me: "Where do you go to get the girls' hair cut?"  'Tis the season to get primped and pretty for the holiday photo shoot or pictures with Santa!  To my knowledge, there are only two kid-oriented hair spots in the metro area:


Kid's Castle Cuts
10120 SW Hall Blvd # 104
Tigard, OR 97223
(503) 244-0360


Kuts 4 Kids
4423 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, Oregon   97215
(503) 238-1568


Does anyone have experience with either of these?  Share your stories!  Philly has been to the Castle Cuts with her grandparents, and she apparently had a great time.  She came back with a neat cut, jumping up and down because she got to sit in a Barbie car (*icks).  Whatever.  It got the job done painlessly.  It probably cost more than we usually spend on a kiddie cut. 

We normally go into the Great Clips on NE Broadway.  The stylists there have always been quick and friendly enough for our little people.  It also takes a good daddy to be the booster seat.  Raph usually holds Philly in his lap and coaches her through the entire thing, tells her jokes and stories, and basically keeps her still and occupied so the stylist can focus on the work.  We usually spend about 8 bucks for a cut that takes no more than 20 minutes.  Sometimes it's worth it to just go there to get her hair de-tangled; they are so quick with the comb!

Everyone's Doing It

October 28, 2005

Sunday was a typical day living with a toddler.  Typical as in waking up before the break of dawn, translating grunts into wants and needs, and knowing when to just go with the flow.  You learn that even though you are the parent, there is no such thing as rationalizing with someone that cannot yet comprehend this  concept.  "No" only goes so far.  At this age, when the babe wants something and only wants that very thing, not a single distraction can placate his need for that certain thing.  This back and forth exchange of pointing and grunting accompanied by baby signing "please" is less than satisfactory ending with one or both parents saying "no".  Tempers flare, enough for him to bang his head on the floor, ending up with a bloody nose. 

By 9:30 am, we have already exhausted all possible activities that could happily occupy our busybody.  A bored toddler equals a endlessly, whinny toddler which tries the patience of any good parent.  In the summer, we're usually in the backyard as soon as the babe wakes.  He can easily amuse himself for hours exploring in the backyard.  With the fall and the weather not always too cooperative, this is nothing short of being a disastrous scenario. 

The phone rings.  A reprieve.  A play date at OMSI.  I have to admit that this was our very first visit, but my son gives it two thumbs up. He loved the sandbox and playing with the dump trucks.  The grocery carts proved fun pushing around.  He loved the small houses which he crawled in and out of, opening and closing the windows and doors, again and again and again.  This was the perfect activity for a restless toddler.  A successful outing for me could only mean one thing, a tired babe drifting off into a deep slumber on the short drive home. 

OMSI is indeed a popular rainy day expedition.  For all the positive aspects of OMSI being the near perfect destination for a rainy day excursion, it was especially busy and noisy.  I felt myself being overwhelmed from the buzz of activity, which could only mean that the little guy was feeling it too.  While there are lots to do, however, I suspect that our active son may grow tired of the limited activities unless they rotate out.  I'm searching for other activities to keep my little one busy this fall and winter especially when the weather doesn't cooperate. Any ideas?

Supply and Demand

We've been really supportive of our local baby store, frequenting it from it's inception. However, enough is enough. Last Friday, I stopped by to restock our dwindling supply of diaper liners (which are flushable AND biodegradable). "Sorry, we are out. Stop by on Saturday, or Tuesday." That's when I directed my husband to stop at Milagros Boutique (thanks to fellow blogger, mama and friend for the tip)! A busy Saturday morning combined with illness wiped out any chance for us to drop by this highly recommended baby store in NE this past weekend. Giving it one final shot, my husband dropped by our neighborhood baby store again, on the off chance of a delivery. Was it coincidence they were out? I can understand if it was coincidence that the store be out of stock of a few items every once in awhile, but every time we stop by? Sadly, I have to admit they’ve been unreliable. This is the fourth time I've stopped by for diaper liners and they've been out. On two occasions prior, they were out of the much loved Fuzzi Bunz diapers. Guess who will be getting our business now? After coming up empty handed, my husband trekked to NE to pick up our stash for the next few months at Milagros. I think it's time to say asta la vista to Mother Nature's and take our business to NE. We definitely will be stopping by Milagros more often. Now, that we've been assured that they will always have Kushies in stock. It only makes sense when it seems you can only buy this item at a couple of stores in town.