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Nesting: Kid-Friendly Design

Interior designer Lisa Hershman of Playchic Interiors reminds us that there’s more to baby-friendly design than the nursery.

Nesting: Kid-Friendly Design

It didn’t take long after learning I was pregnant to start decorating our nursery. We’d hardly shared the news before I started racking up the baby room bills -- a cat night-light here, a hedgehog clock there.... What I didn’t think about was that my little baby would grow up, and leave the confines of her chic little nursery. And when she did, she’d end up in my very adult apartment, filled with sharp edges, expensive wedding registry knick-knacks, and my heirloom husband-can’t-even-sit-on-it couch. And she’d drag her 30 million toys with her. Our good friend Seri Kertzner (pictured above), half of the über-talented Little Miss Party planners, had a similar situation. As her two baby boys got older and used more and more of her Greenwich Village apartment, Kertzner realized she needed a kid-friendly makeover -- fast. So she called in the big guns: Lisa Hershman of Playchic Interiors. “Seri is a high-energy party planner, but being a mother is her number one priority,” said Hershman. “It was time to have a grown-up space -- and apartment she could be proud of, but one that was also well-suited for her family.” Hershman, a mama herself, created a “preppy chic” look for the Kertzners, with plenty of details conducive to family living. She struck an important balance between mama and babies: cool colors, funky furniture and beautiful accents, but every piece has a purpose, and that purpose is to stay intact through her boys’ childhood. Here, Hershman walks us through the beautiful photos (by Raquel Bianca Creative) of the recent redesign and offers nesting tips for new parents-to-be. Furniture. We looked for pieces that were tough and resilient. We wanted rounded corners on everything -- we didn’t want to have to put on ugly bumpers -- and tried to spend smart to stay on our budget. For our coffee table, we found an upholstered bench with soft rounded edges and storage space underneath. The sofa was our big purchase -- it looks and feels good, but can be cleaned easily. Tip: Take home a fabric sample of your sofa-to-be and get it dirty with everything you can think of. If the stains come out, you’re ready to buy. Walls and Floors: To hide stroller scuffs, we painted half the entryway wall in gray. We also used vinyl decal stripes -- not only did we save money by not painting, but unlike flat paint, vinyl is easy to clean. We did one wall of wallpaper, which was inexpensive but made a huge impact, and we decopaged the back of a bookcase with owl-printed paper. And although the cowhide rug doesn’t look kid-friendly, it’s actually more durable than other floor coverings since it’s a natural material that can be shampooed, just like our own hair. Storage: In a small apartment space, it’s important to get pieces that can do double duty. Ottomans provide extra seating, but also have space inside for storage. The bottom shelves of a bookcase are also lined with storage bins and in the kids’ area, the shelving has yet more storage bins. Other, larger items, have extra space too: the dining table, for example, has a drawer at each place-setting. Accents: Little touches mattered. We spent money on changing out light fixtures, which could make a statement and had no impact on the children. We also changed out the knobs on closets and doors, as well as switchplates – it only takes two screws! These are easy things that make a huge difference.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

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Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

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