The Art of Collecting - For Children

Our home was always filled with art and antiques. My parents are art/antique dealers so as kids we traveled every weekend up and down the northeast from one antique show or auction to another. Every piece in our home had a story that we discussed as a family. Where was it purchased? how was it carved or painted? what did we see and feel when we looked at it? And it became a very personal experience for me. I learned what it was like to collect like my parents at a very young age. I started with dolls, then moved to old fashioned cookie cutters etc. until my taste evolved in my teens and I created a first rate collection of Bakelite radios and jewelry from the 1930's and 40's.

This is why I am so thrilled to be introducing and sharing with you our brand new, CLB Art Collection for Children. It is a project that we wanted to create for a very long time and we are so pleased with our collaboration with South Florida artist, Annie Lawrason.

Distinctive from anything else in the marketplace, this collection offers affordable, original works of art and a wonderful way to help children learn how to appreciate and collect art at a young age. Here's a sneak peak...

Because it is a true art collection, each piece is a limited edition ...uniquely thoughtful and sophisticated. The China Pandas is the first piece that was completed from our black and white collection.

Each charming, parent and child theme is inspired by the culture, animals and environmental issues around the world. The collection gave birth at the time of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and so far includes China, Africa, Antarctica and the Caribbean. With the purchase of each piece, a portion of the proceeds is donated to charity.

Based on original work of arts, every piece is beautifully reproduced in a small limited edition, by the high quality French method of giclee. Each canvas is then hand wrapped, hand signed and hand embellished with native motifs or the choice to personalize with a child’s monogram. The originals are also available.

Hand painted ceiling medallions are one of a kind designer touches that ensures sweet dreams and finishes a well decorated room. Paintings are available in three sizes, 11” x 14”, 16” x 20” wall hangings or 6" x 8" miniatures.

Non toxic acrylic and water based paints are used. Coordinating eco friendly paint colors and fabric choices are available upon request for a well designed room from start to finish.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.


Jewelry Showcase - Handcrafted & Locally Made

I LOVE jewelry...so much so it seems too difficult to select just a few collections for us to carry. If you are anything like me, something new for New Years is always a must! And with Valentine's Day around the corner...it's best to add jewelry to your wish list, you never know what you might get if you don't intervene.

So here is our first jewelry showcase, all designs are handcrafted and locally made. Each by savvy designers/entrepreneurs whom I recently connected with on social networks like Savor The Success, Ladies Who Launch and Twitter. It is so important to shop locally and support the entrepreneur. So please check out these amazing collections and share with friends. Thanks.

1. Esculon -http://esculonsays.com/ Fashionable. Naturalistic. Unique. Alexandra is inspired by her New York environment and has created an easy to wear collection that as she says “..is more than just jewelry, it’s a way of life, encouraging career-minded women to have a little fun.” Statement making Twiggy necklace $115 and Golden Dotty Earrings with colored caged pearl $35 Free Delivery.

2. Lucid New York - http://shop.lucidnewyork.com/
Trendy. Charming. Girly. Love Anna's lucky charms ...they are more stylish than ever and there's one to go with your every whim. Stay on top of the trends with city hoops and cocktail rings too. Charms $45, Girl Jumping Rope necklace $75

3. Payson Jewelry -
www.paysonjewelry.com Rich. Sophisticated. Inspiring. Payson's stack rings immediately spoke to me, from the thoughtful sentiments like love & gratitude to the well designed lettering. You can never go wrong with another stack ring, it's one of the most sophisticated and personal ways to wear jewelry. Set of three rings $215, Circle necklace $95

4. The Elegant Bead - www.theelegantbead.com Custom. Easy To Wear. Colorful. Motherhood jewelry has been around for years but since 1995 Cathy has been doing it... elegantly. With a beautiful variety of semiprecious stones, Austrian crystals and unique links, you will love personalizing this sterling silver jewelry in honor of your children and family. 15% off all Motherhood jewelry thru December 31st.


A Miami Chic Moment: Art Basel & Hope

If I wasn’t so incredibly under the weather from a trip to NYC, I would have been at Art Basel this past weekend. Art Basel is truly an event not to be missed. Miami transforms from beachy & glam to urban chic, an international “scene”; where the most marketable and the edgiest art coexist; the hippest celebrities can be spotted; the most sophisticated socialites attend …all at hundreds of different exhibitions, charity galas and restaurant openings. There are too many venues to mention, from the sprawling Miami Convention Center to the multiple galleries, Green Art Fair Miami and tented exhibitions in Wynwood (our version of Chelsea, NYC way back when)

In many ways Art Basel is indescribable, and even if you don’t love or appreciate art as much as I do, like my husband, it is nothing short of exciting; exhausting; and incredibly entertaining. There is a rush of all 5 senses to see as much art as possible and get a taste for what’s hot and new. It’s like the feeling I also get before the gates open at Disney or awaiting a BIG SALE at Bloomies.

I suppose obvious, there were many artful comments on the Recession and Obama. And yet while sales were down, and the real estate market is too…there is still an amazing energy. From what I can see and feel, Miami is still the place to be. Art Basel marks the beginning of the most incredible time of year. Right now boutiques are popping up everywhere; our famous mall is expanding; values are huge; renowned restaurants continue to open; the Winterfest Boat Show, South Beach Wine & Food Festival; antique shows and fairs fight for weekends (more on all of this later).
I never really thought I would leave New York but for 5 years now…we overlook the ocean, blue skies and palm trees…and yet we're minutes from the city's pulse...it ain’t half bad. In fact I am thinking it's a very hopeful place to be.
Looking forward to Art Basel 2009.


Top 5 Green Holiday Must Haves... Under $40

Here it is...our Top 5 City Living Baby Must Haves! We have gone through our boutique and put together our 2008 list of Best Sellers and Top Green Picks for Baby & Mom. You don't have to sacrifice being Green or Stylish this year...these gifts are all under $40.

Which is your favorite?

1. For the Newborn or Toddler:

100% Organic Plush Toys - bunny or monkey - adorable keepsakes that the little one on your list will love for years to come...ready for gifting in recycled packaging. $28

2. Gifts That Give Back:

Kayla, Maia and Anyu are hip, Earth Friendly Pixie Dolls from the Rainforest, Everglades and North Pole. Each comes with information on how you can give back. 100% Organic and ready to go with recycled packaging. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to the environment. $25 each

3. Personalized For Mom:

Celebrity Loved, Boy meets Girl Eco Tote is the perfect personalized gift for any girlfriend, bride-to-be or stylish, busy mom on the go. Personalize with your names, celebs or kids $40

4. For Hanukkah:

Wish Shalom and Peace this Hanukkah with our 100% Organic Shalom Onesie and coordinating legging. A best seller designed in New York and made in Israel. $40

5. For Good Luck in 2009:

Even with the blackberry...and Facebook, there is nothing like pen and paper to keep you organized and in touch. This Eco Weekly Planner has plenty of room for notes. Made in the USA with soy based inks and recycled paper.....$25

For more holiday gift ideas and signature custom arrangements visit us at http://www.citylivingbaby.com/


A Green and Barefoot Thanksgiving

There is one more week until Thanksgiving! What will you be serving? How will you be decorating your table? I am not the biggest Turkey lover, but I especially love Thanksgiving when we are with great family and friends…and when there are lots of yummy sides. I am thankful that this year that will be the case. And I will be cooking much of it.

I love to cook for the holidays and one of my very favorite chefs is Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I enjoy her casual, easy style and her love of local, fresh foods. I also share her Parisian and Provencal inspiration. Just over a week ago, I had the great opportunity to meet her at a book signing at Books & Books in Coral Gables.( more on this Miami Fave in an upcoming blog) While she is so personable, it was a bit disappointing that she had no time to chat or personalize her signature. Still, her new cookbook, Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics: fabulous flavors from simple ingredients is wonderful.

While reviewing her new book, I thought, what a wonderful cookbook and gift for those who would like to Greenify Thanksgiving.

Here are a few tips from Ina that are absolutely Green:

  • Focus on simplicity, quality & flavor to bring out the essence in your foods. Use the best ingredients and less equipment & kitchen gadgets.
  • Shop locally and at fresh markets.

“Each ingredient has a season, and that’s generally the time it’s most flavorful. Not only is it more likely to be grown or raised locally-and ripened on the vine-it’s also likely to be fresher and less expensive."

  • Fill your home with wonderful smells like of baked apples and pumpkin pie.
  • Entertain simply and with beautiful flower arrangements – perhaps handpicked
  • Enjoy friends and family.

    Our CLB Decorating Tips:
  • Bring in leaves or mini pumpkins/squash to use as place card holders, simply write your guests names on them.
  • Use a mix of tea towels, china or antique tea cups for a personalized table.
  • Create a centerpiece with fresh fruit or pumpkins.
  • Give a donation to those less fortunate.

Here’s my Barefoot & Green menu with a few personal touches:

  • Ina's Pomegranate Cosmos
  • My Mom's Squash Soup which we LOVE and which happens to be similar to Ina's amazing Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple soup with Curry, scallion, cashews and banana condiments (optional)
  • My sister in law's Turkey with Dried Fruit
  • My favorite Mushroom Stuffing by Jacques Pepin
  • Cranberry Sauce with Grand Marnier ( I think this is also Ina's)
  • Ina's Over Roasted Vegetables: potatoes, fennel, asparagus and string beans
  • Ina's Pumpkin Roulade and/or my sister in-law's Pumpkin Bread with Apple Butter

    Happy Thanksgiving


Giving Gifts of Thanks to Baby & Mom

The holiday season is upon us! Well, officially after Thanksgiving but we are really just a week and a half a way, so it is time to start thinking about the gifts we will be choosing. Meaningful, heartfelt gift giving for our family and friends may be more important this year than ever with the elections just over and the hard economic and environmental challenges ahead. It is actually a very inspired time to reflect and cherish those who are important to you.

Here are a few gift shopping tips for the new moms and their little ones on your list:

Treat them to one of a kind and affordable luxury items that you know they do not have.

Buy from a wish list or ecommerce/retail for easy returns.

Select Natural and sustainable materials to avoid allergies and bad reactions. Bamboo and organic cottons, if you have not tried them yet are sooo super soft. Also purchase toys that are PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and toxic free.

Take the time to find Made in the USA items. It is so important to support our local businesses. Chances are, you know where they are located; less toxins are emitted into our environment from less travel and they are sweatshop free. It’s all good.

Personalize your gift (when you know the family well) and they will cherish hand painted artwork or a book that is customized with the child’s name…for years to come.

Give Back – Companies today are proud to give back. Find a gift where a portion of the proceeds is donated back to a worthy cause or an organization that is meaningful to you. This is the greatest gift of all…and a special way to share the cause with your little one.

For our Holiday Must Haves visit us at http://www.citylivingbaby.com/ and for more tips on gift giving and How to Find Affordable, Green & Stylish Gifts for your Girlfriends, visit our Guest Blog at Girlfriendology or contact us directly.


Our 1st Blog - We are so excited

Welcome, we are truly so excited to begin our City Living Blog. I am the co-owner of City Living Baby and Manhattan Living Baby and an interior designer, wife and aunt to 6 nieces and nephews. My partner is my sister; new mom, wife and Real Estate Broker.

We are City Living Girls from New York. We love the city, the quaint little neighborhoods, beautiful parks, amazing shops and yummy foods that are unique to New York. Not too long ago my husband and I relocated to Miami and we have now made it our quest to find those things that are uniquely Miami. City Living is what helped inspire our company and this blog is for all of you out there who are City Living Girls as well. If you love City Life, (in any city); Implementing a little Green and City Chic Style... I hope you'll love this blog as well.

Please feel free to comment and let us know what you would love to read about. I am thinking of posting our Must have gift ideas; Design tips for city living; Green Tips for Greenifying your home; New York and Aventura, Miami hot spots; Favorite Finds and much more...stay tuned.