From the Dec. 3rd issue: The Suburban Mama LIST of faves

Like Oprah before me, I’ve made a list of My Favorite Things for the year. You may use them as a list of suggestions for Holiday Shopping. In fact, since I liked these things so much, I contacted the companies behind them and told them how I felt and guess what, some of them are offering Suburban Mama readers special discount codes!


In this day and age of mass-produced products, it is comforting to know that there are still companies who strive to make things especially for you, just for you. Want something special? Customize it.

Personalized t-shirts. I made shirts that say my son’s names for their birthdays at It’s a hit with the kids’ classmates and it’s a great way to spot them in a crowd. There are other companies that can make shirts too. If you are more crafty, you can always by a plain white tee and use iron-on paper with a computer-generated design or silkscreen something yourself.

Personalized books. Okay, so I am so psyched about the customized book I got for my 2-year old son from the mommy-owned company Custom Made for Kids ( The book is called “The First Adventures of Incredible You” and is beautifully illustrated by Jill Dryer Bartolucci, a Chicago artist and written by Sarah Riley Headrick and Sarah Foreman Rivera, two suburban mamas who met at a playgroup. Through simple yet thoughtful rhymes, YOUR child experiences many firsts like going to the zoo, the beach and a sports event. Make it extra special by using names of people and places in your child’s life. The book will work for boys and girls.

(For my older son, I think I’ll try something out from a company called Flatten Me. They personalize a storybook with your child’s photo. Haven’t placed an order yet but will definitely let you know. How this turns out.)

After attending a Viv Pickle* party earlier this year, made me realize how much fun it was to make a handbag just for you. I haven’t tried these companies, but here are some other sites I found that customize bags:,


Decorative paintings and wall art –you know those pretty ones with your child’s name that cost a fortune from Pottery Barn and the like? You should check out Park Road Studios and The Vintage Sister –both artists are suburban mamas (yay, for moms!).

I think one of the best presents anyone can give or receive is a book! This year, I am gifting myself with Deceptively Delicious, it’s that buzzed about book by Jessica Seinfeld, which “sneaks in” healthy ingredients into recipes so your kids will eat it without noticing they’re having veggies with their food.

I highly recommend the books we’ve reviewed in the past: Moms Lifesavers and the super hilarious Daddy Needs a Drink by Robert Wilder(both available on Amazon.) In fact, I’ve just ordered Robert’s second book Tales from the Teacher’s Lounge for my teacher friends.

And for the kids in your life, if you are tired of the movie-tv-marketing-tie-in books from Disney and Nickelodeon (yes, I mean you Dora and Diego and Mickey too) please check out Barefoot Books and Usborne Books. They have a fantastic selection.

Finally, if you’d rather hear your stories than read them and use your imagination to visualize, you must must check out the CDs Tell Me A Story 1 and 2(, timeless folk tales from around the world by Amy Friedman. My boys and I had the chance to listen to the author herself tell stories from the cds and were delightfully entertained. On our car ride back home, we popped in the CD and were wowed by the good-old fashioned storytelling by veteran actors.

Well, it looks like I don’t have enough room here, so I will definitely continue this list next issue. Coming up, my fave beauty products, food/cooking items and other things from the home. Perhaps by then you would’ve shared your list of favorite things with us too. **

3 Replies to “From the Dec. 3rd issue: The Suburban Mama LIST of faves”

  1. These are all great fave things. I always love giving (and getting) little baskets and bags loaded with things specifically picked out for someone. And they don’t have to be expensive things – a colendar filled with nice pastas and sauce ingredients for the budding Italian cook; a great lined notebook/journal with a nice pen for the young author; some little bits and doodads from the craft store tucked into a fishing tackle box (the compartments are great for sorting) for any young child; bath products to encourage that worn out Mom to take a few moments to herself.

    Thanks for the great blog and emails, and have a great Holiday Season.

  2. I agree, Deceptively Delicious is a great book..not only for her recipe ideas..but it’s fun to read and pretty to look at!

    Some of my favorite things to give and to recieve:

    LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Honey, It’s Christmas Holiday Gift Set – Sweetness and honey Indulge her taste for nature’s candy with this romantic gathering of everything honey, sweet and Christmas.

    World Playground CD – If your kids love music, this is the CD for you.

    Cooking the Whole Foods Way by Christina Pirello – 80 new recipes…now 100% vegan!

    Tinted Love Mentha Lip Tint Trio – These mint-infused lip balms impart a sheer hint of neutral color and glossy high-shine with a refreshing, cooling sensation.

    Hope In A Jar Therapeutic Moisturizer For Dry Sensitive Skin –

    Natural Peanut Butter Mixer – The oil in non-hydrogenated peanut butter naturally separates over time, but Grandpa Witmer’s Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Mixer stirs the oil back into the peanut butter. * Prevents an oily mess *

    Sunshine Blanket Tote – Next time you plan a picnic, don’t forget one of these Sunshine Blanket Totes. Each of these may be folded up and carried with the handle provided. Made of nylon with waterproof backing and polyester fleece.

    Kids Boiled Wool Slippers – “There’s a whole Christmas pageant happening on these seasonally themed Garnet Hill slipper boots — polar bears, angels, snowmen and sugarplum fairies.

    Cute Kids Water Bottles – A smart, stylish step up from the world of plastic sippy cups. Our alluminum Kids Bottles are durable, spill proof, and leak proof.

    oh I could go on and on…
    happy holidays mamas!

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