This is not a toy exhibit curated by Pharrell Williams

takashi murakami at Design Exchange Pharrell Williams

Well it looks like we’re going to have to head up north to catch Pharrell Williams’ curated art show “This is not a toy” at Design Exchange in Toronto.  The exhibit drops almost perfectly in sync with the latest installation of ToyFair, the annual toy extravaganza with the newest, latest & greatest. The “This is not a toy” exhibition revolves around the “conceptual toy” ( bright and cool and attractive, but often dark or edgy, with subtext and less durable for eager and less coordinated hands). Pharrell has reportedly been collecting since the late 90s when he was exposed to the whole Japanese toy scene through A Bathing Ape’s DJ Nigo, and continues to enjoy the toys as does his son, Rocket Man. The show, co-curated by Williams and John Wee Tom, features 700 pieces on display ranging from FriendsWithYou (who did some cool zipper pulls we sold at Babesta & a great art installation at the High Line a few years ago), Frank Kozik, KAWS, Misaki Kawai, super star Takashi Murakami, and more. It’s a fully democratic show, featuring toys with values ranging from $2 to $2 million (the high end was a collab between Pharrell, Takashi Murakami & Jacob the Jeweler featuring bejeweled Pepsi can, bag of Doritos dubbed “The Simple Things.”) So if you want an artful vacay over the school break this makes our shortlist of great getaways! Check out some of our favorite art stars on Pinterest.

Kids envision an underground park in NYC – “Lowline” at Mark Miller Gallery

Lowline project

We thought it  was a super cool idea–an underground park–in NYC.It’s the kind of thing a kid could really sink his or her creative juices into-imagining underground pools and mazes, lights and (gulp) animals. And a bunch of lucky middle schoolers got just that chance! Until March 9, students’ fantasy parks, with 3-d modeling, are on display at Mark Miller Gallery sponsored by the Young Designers Program. The Lowline is a proposal for an underground park underneath Delancy Street. Read more about it on Coolhunting or visit Mark Miller Gallery. via Coolhunting.

5 Fun & Quirky Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for her!

lovable things

Forget the candy & flowers (OK, don’t forget the candy, that’s a requirement, but here are some fun extras to make Valentine’s day even more special!)

1. Meow Meow tee by Brian Lichtenberg Tees-with kitties making the youtube hot list daily, this tribute to designer felines is purrfect.

2,3. Heart and Love necklaces by 100% gumdrop – sweet jewelry for a sweet little girl.

4. A for Apple red knit gloves – face it the winter isn’t ending anytime soon!

5. Romeo & Juliet board book by BabyLit – never too soon to start reading the classics!

 

 

How to choose the best double stroller for you!

We wanted to help walk 2nd time parents through some of our favorite options for double strollers! It’s not the easiest category, and we’ve never heard of a parent who looks forward to making the purchase. No matter what, double strollers are bigger, heavier and bulkier than single strollers, there’s no getting around that. They have to hold two children safely so they must be robust.  There are a few questions you can ask to help you decide which one is right for you!

First, do you prefer In-Line or Side by Side?

There are great options for either configuration, and we’ve found that most people have a distinct preference between having kids side by side or front & back. If the children are side by side, your ride will be wide. If they’re front & back, it will be long. We find many city dwellers like the front back configuration because it’s easier and less obtrusive in the city streets and down the narrow aisles of the supermarket. But there are some great side by sides as well, and all that we carry clear a standard door frame (sometimes by centimeters) so entry won’t be a problem.

The next question: are your children further apart in age or twins/close in age?

If you’re accommodating twins, you need a solution that can be configured with two bassinets or two car seats. If they’re farther apart in age, you want a solution that can accommodate at least 1 bassinet or car seat, and then have a decent sized seat for your elder child.

Another consideration: Which is more important to you, an easy fold or more comfortable seating? 

Most strollers are easy to fold once you get the hang of it, but some companies have really taken the fold as a point of distinction. For those who are taking cars and taxis a lot, with stroller in tow, one with an easy fold is great. But, if you’re primarily using the stroller around the neighborhood and have a lightweight stroller for car trips, you might choose the stroller with the plush seating.

Here are some of our top picks, depending on how you answered the above questions!

If you like inline strollers, and have twins: Baby Jogger City Select. We like the City Select because it’s very flexible. Kids can be in two car seats, two bassinets, two seats, a mix; and they can face front, back or each other. The negative: it’s a bit long and that means maneuverability is a little harder, but really it’s not too bad. It’s a lifesaver for parents of twins and our clients have loved it!

city select double

 

If you like inline strollers, and your children are mixed age: Phil & Ted Navigator Stroller. With a big seat up front and a smaller seat in back, closer to the parent, this is a great compact solution for two kids. Both bassinet & car seat options for one child. Narrow, not too long and easy to push. This one can also start as a single, and you can buy a doubles kit later.Phil and Ted navigator stroller

If you like side by side strollers, and you are on-the-go a lot in cars & taxis: City Mini Double Stroller.The fold on this strollers is amazing. It’s hands down the easiest double to fold and put in the trunk and is great for on the go. It’s a little on the wide side, as side by sides tend to be and that means you have to always have two hands behind the wheel. But this stroller is always a favorite pick by busy city parents for its ease of use.

city mini double

If you like side by side strollers and you are primarily strolling around the neighborhood & comfort is king: Bugaboo Donkey. This is the most luxe of the strollers and its combinations are endless. First of all you can buy it as a “MONO” meaning, it’s a single stroller with a nice sized shopping basket. Then later you can open it up and purchase the doubles kit to convert it into a double stroller. The kids can face forward or back, there can be 1 or 2 bassinets and 1 or 2 car seats. The flexibility and durability of this stroller (not to mention style) is great! It is a little more complicated to fold, but for city parents who are navigating their neighborhood, it’s a top pick. There’s also customization options (you can change the canopies and try out a limited edition designer canopy with an Andy Warhol or Pendleton print) and very comfy seats!

bugaboo donkey

Want to see our selection of doubles? Check them out here, but remember, stock comes in and out daily, so if you don’t see what you want just let us know & we’ll let you know when it will be back! Normally things go back in stock in a matter of a few days.

 

Fly Ride! The Yoyo stroller by Baby Zen at Babesta Cribz

The new BabyZen Yoyo stroller is the talk of the town for the travel set these days. It folds down to airline “carry-on” size, so that you can avoid the gate check! This easy lightweight stroller feels sturdy and the comfy seat is perfect for an on-the-go babe. When not in use, it features an easy carry strap, so is simple to transport. We have a sample in the store (though it officially launches later on in the spring.) We’re taking pre-orders, so if you’re smitten, we’ll give you first dibs! Here’s a quick demo video! $469.Shop BabyZen here!

My Baby Read Jane Eyre when she was 1!

cool baby board books by BabyLit

Yeah, that’s right! Babies get their culture on while learning the basics of ABCs, 123s, Colors, Shapes and more! BabyLit, a company that brings classic literature to babies with super cool board books with modern graphics, has hit the shelves at Babesta. Titles include Sherlock Holmes, Moby Dick, Wuthering Heights, Romeo & Juliet and more! Adorable!

 

 

 

Fashion tackles Football with designer helmets!

Dennis Basso haute couture football helmet

Can’t help but love these Haute Couture football helmets by designers like Donna Karan, Diane von Furstenberg and Narciso Rodriguez. This fundraiser, brainchild of the National Football League, CFDA and Bloomingdale’s challenged designers to create over-the-top fashionable helmets. The helmets (that are on view at Bloomies) will be auctioned off February 4th to benefit the NFL foundation that supports sports programs through grants and helps educate about childhood obesity, nutrition and the importance of physical activity. Wanna bid? go to Bloomingdales.com/superbowlhelmets to just do it! Then check out Babesta’s Super Bowl picks, including some Rockin Green detergent (football is a dirty game!), a Man of the House Onesie for the wee one to lay back in his bouncer & watch the game, a DIY Horse (bronco? – and I’m just saying, it’s the year of the horse!), and a  time capsule to remember the day forever!

Nicole Miller superbowl helmetScreen Shot 2014-02-01 at 5.40.10 PMDonna Karan football helmutMarchesa football helmutKenneth Cole football helmutScreen Shot 2014-02-01 at 5.41.01 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-01 at 5.42.43 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-01 at 5.40.54 PM

Blast from the past: Superbowl Shuffle!

Every year the Super Bowl comes around, I can’t help but remember back to the best Super Bowl song ever! Apparently some of the original crew (Including the punky QB known as McMahon) are in court these days over a rights dispute for the song, according to Forbes. Too bad. This vid is pretty poor quality (remember, it came out in 1985) but the throwback tune makes you want to dance. Challenging the SeaHawks or Broncos to come up with something this catchy!

Mad about Munster! Spring Summer 14 will be Awesome!

We are always crazy about the clothes by Australian brand Munster Kids and we just got word it’s on its way and should be in the shop any day now. We have quite a following for the boys’ and girls’ fashions, as Munster gets it spot on with comfort, cool and style. Our suggestion: bad weather be-gone! Pop in soon and snap up the awesome stylish kids’ hoodies, tees, jeans, swimwear and dresses that the new season brings.

Wanna shop Munster right away? Be our guest!