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Miz Mooz = Adorable Shoes

April 22nd, 2015

11098767_888953521151912_1854829043_nMy friends, my friends. I recently was shopping online for a cute pair of turquoise shoes. I was hunting everywhere, then I suddenly came upon the brand Miz Mooz and my jaw hit the floor. Needless to say those sweet “Michelle’s” are on their way to me right now.


Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 9.02.20 AM

Miz Mooz was started in a New York City basement in 2001 (I love those stories of companies starting out from humble beginnings like so many in our own community). Miz Mooz are committed to the principle that fashion and comfort can happily coexist. I’m loving the hand finished leather, the vintage styling and uniqueness of their styles. Now down to price because I know that is a huge factor for many of us, for me personally I don’t have a limitless shoe budget and the Miz Mooz I loved are not priced cheaply (They are around $130). This for me would be more of a statement shoe that I would save up for, some of their sandals however are in the $50-60$ dollar range and that makes me happy.


For a little foot pampering check out Miz Mooz on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MizMoozShoes


And Follow the fashion on their Instagram:





Sila Boutique – a rainy day winner!

September 6th, 2012

I am always looking for great places to shop online. The online “hunt” is so much fun to me, and I especially love to find unique and adorable duds and cute accessories for my kids. I recently heard about an online shop called Sila Boutique that caters to the “Posh Tot and their Hip Mom”, that sounded right up my alley (after all I’m still hip right? right? I’ll wait until you answer yes).

Sila Boutique is a beautifully laid out online shop, filled to the brim with gorgeous gift ideas. They carry everything from clothing, to decor, to Birthday gear, and even drool-worthy cell phone cases. I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to try a product from their shop here at home, and it’s the PERFECT fit for my life here on the island! If you’ve ever been to Vancouver Island you know that it’s rainy…really rainy…like, much of the year. Sila Boutique sent a Pluie Pluie raincoat in the cutest floral print for Lola to sport around town. The raincoat is a much needed accessory here in our climate, but the best part is how incredible cute it looks on my baby girl! I love it! I’m so grateful for shops like Sila Boutique that stock their virtual shelves with great quality products, this jacket is so well made. The Pluie Pluie raincoat is European styled and made of a PVC-free material that will keep your kids dry in the rain. The outer fabric is cotton with a waterproof polyurethane coating.

Sila Boutique doesn’t just stop at one cute jacket, I love that they cover all the bases and carry the matching boots and umbrella too! Now that’s catering to the posh tot. – Daria

For gift-worthy goodies at a great price be sure to check out Sila Boutique right now! Don’t forget to join their Facebook group for deals and new products. You can also Twitter with @silaboutique

Boutique Cafe {Daily Dish} Sample Disclosure: The opinions expressed above are honest, accurate, and not encouraged anyway by monetary donations. A sample free of charge was received from Celebrity Baby Trend Expert, Rachel Florio-Urso.

Bill Harley’s “High Dive” gets a high five!

February 2nd, 2012

My kids love a good story, and usually it’s their father whose sharing them, but last night we popped in Bill Harley’s High Dive and Other Things That Could Have Happened into the CD player as we headed to a school function and by dang if that CD didn’t have us all smiling. Heck, we even laughed out loud a few times!

I really shouldn’t be surprised. We loved Harley’s The Best Candy in the Whole World CD. (You can read my review of that CD here.) And I’m not a big fan of “books on tape,” but Harley has made me a believer.

We were sent a copy of Harley’s High Dive but had yet to listen to it. I wasn’t sure if my kids would sit through 12-minute and even 20+-minute stories, but they totally did. In fact, they wanted to sit in the car when we  pulled into the garage just so they could finish hearing the end of “Field Trip.”

Entertainment Weekly has called Harley “the Mark Twain of contemporary children’s music,” and I believe that to be true. His “High Dive” had us all laughing and giggling through the entire story and a certain line about a certain goat in “Field Trip” had Nathan chuckling long after Harley had moved on with his story.

Comments heard from the back seat:

“That is the awesomest!” ~ George

“No, that is super fun!” ~ Olivia

“My cheeks hurt from smiling so much!” ~ Lauren

My cheeks totally hurt—I was smiling for the 15-minute drive to and from the school event. We finished up the CD the next day and George asked to play it again from the very beginning. Sadly, we had just pulled into the garage and I’m unsure of the van’s battery life. We’ll just have to go on another family drive!

Bill Harley’s High Dive and Other Things That Could Have Happened is available starting February 14th. You can read more about it here and check out Bill Harley’s on Facebook too.

Ribbon barrettes make a stylish comeback {GIVEAWAY}

January 26th, 2012

Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “ribbon barrette.” You’re totally picturing metal barrettes with multicolored ribbon woven through them and long strands accented with beads.

You know. Kind of like this:


My Ribbon Barrette Maker

That’s my Lauren sporting a ribbon barrette she made using the new My Ribbon Barrette Maker by Choose Friendship Co., the makers of the original My Friendship Bracelet Maker.


My Ribbon Barrette Maker

The kit comes with everything you need to get started: ribbons, barrettes, beads and of course the actual ribbon barrette maker. The company sent us one of the kits so the girls could take it for a test drive.


My Ribbon Barrette Maker

After reading a few instructions, Lauren was well on her way making that green and purple barrette pictured above.


My Ribbon Barrette Maker

And then she had to make one for Livi—in pink, of course!


My Ribbon Barrette Maker

My Ribbon Barrette Maker

Lauren totally loved the My Ribbon Barrette Maker and can’t wait to make more for her friends. (I’m kind of wishing I had long hair so I could revisit the 80s for a moment.) I think what I like best is it’s one of those projects that keeps your child busy—and quiet—for a good stretch of time. I’m always a fan of kits that provide hours of educational entertainment. And I’m a fan of craft kits that store all their parts in nice, little compartments and can be put away easily. MRBM scores major points for that too!...

And now you can provide your daughter with her own fun and productive quiet time!

Choose Friendship Co. is giving away one (1) winner’s choice of either My Friendship Bracelet Maker or My Ribbon Barrette Maker!

To enter, leave a comment telling us you’re favorite thing about the 80s. Was it the acid wash jeans? The super high bangs? Do tell!

Additional entries: You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:
• “Like” My Ribbon Barrette Maker on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did.
• “Like” Boutique Cafe on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did.
• Mention this giveaway on Twitter (with @BoutiqueCafe in the tweet) and leave a comment with the URL.
• Update your Facebook status with a link to this giveaway and leave a comment telling us you did so.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: February 3rd (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

ZAGGfolio case for iPad 2

January 23rd, 2012

I am re-posting this ZAGGfolio review on the Daily Dish because this case really is that cool. Trust me! Plus, the review is good for a laugh. You can tell I wasn’t cut out to be a tech gadget vlogger! Original review posted on isthisREALLYmylife.com.

Believe you me, this is about as far from a geeky technologically savvy review of the ZAGGfolio for iPad 2 as you can get. Not only did the video file of the final—and best—take go all corrupt and shut down my computer, I had to record the review in my bedroom for two reasons:

  • It was the furthest removed from the kids who were watching Mulan on full volume in the family room. (They were also fighting about something but I chose to ignore them as usual.)

  • My bedroom had more light than the office because Nathan had Scotch taped the light switch in the “off” position. Apparently it was powering his hard drive and if we flipped it, Armageddon would ensue.

Trust me, you don’t want to mess with the light switch when it’s controlling something in his half of the office. Been there; done that; barely survived.

It’s all quite sad because this beautiful red beauty…


Zaggfolio red iPad 2 case

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...and its accompanying wireless keyboard…


ZAGGfolio wireless Bluetooth keyboard

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...should get a shout-out equal to their awesomeoness.

If I had it my way, my video review would look something like this (except those would be my hands and the fingernails would be painted in OPI’s “Yodel Me on My Cell”):


Instead of a marketing team and a professional studio, I had a 14-year-old videographer, a badly lit bedroom (but not so badly lit as the office in which I’m currently straining to see the keyboard) and not nearly enough caffeine and chocolate.

You’ll also notice I could’ve used a bit more practice sliding the ZAGG wireless Bluetooth keyboard into the ZAGGfolio case. I find it easier to leave it in the case—just slip in the iPad 2 and go—so I rarely remove it…except for the occasional video review. Madison got it right on the first try; obviously I have issues. It truly IS simple to slide it in and out of the case no matter how I make it look on the video.

Again, not enough practice (and not enough caffeine).

Also, I’m an idiot.

Speaking of my video review of the ZAGGfolio for iPad 2, here it is in all its non-scripted glory. Hopefully you can see past me and catch how cool this case really is. Because it’s really, really, REALLY cool.

Yeah, good luck with that.


Yep, I said “criminey.” I was channeling my grandfather. Sadly he knows even less than I do about sliding a wireless keyboard into the case.

And I just realized the link at the end of the review is wrong. Let’s hope those watching the video review over on YouTube are smart enough to search my site once they that “404: Page Not Found” error pops up. sigh

You can check out the ZAGGfolio for iPad 2 keyboard case and all its colorful options on ZAGG.com. You’ll also find all those super techy specs I failed to mention in my review.

At $99, which includes the wireless Bluetooth iPad 2 keyboard, it’s a steal.

Just don’t steal mine. After the night I’ve had, I will hunt you down and make you watch Mulan with my kids.

P.S. I’ve checked out “real” reviews on the ZAGGfolio and it’s received some seriously high marks including quite a few “Best of” product awards.

P.P.S. Buy one. Your iPad 2 will thank you.

P.P.P.S. Couldn’t resist including this super short gag reel. Enjoy. (I promise I won’t be doing any more video tech reviews any time soon.)

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Disclaimer: I received the ZAGGfolio in exchange for this review. All opinions, thoughts, videos and their accompanying subtitles are mine. I totally claim ownership of it all (except for the official ZAGG video, of course).

So how DO you feed a hungry giant?

December 14th, 2011

Any time someone wants me to review a children’s book, I’m all over it. We are definitely bookworms in this family and enjoy any opportunity to add a new one to the collection…especially if it’s one my kids love reading over and over again. And that’s what happened when we were sent a copy of How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant? by Caitlin Friedman (illustrated by Shaw Nielsen).


We have read this book multiple times in the few days we’ve had it. George and Livi love it and it’s easy to see why. The illustrations are fun and colorful, the writing is clever (“You’re seriously not going to believe it.”) and the addition of lift-the-flap-style fun seals the deal.

The book includes 8 fun recipes perfect for feeding a hungry giant, including the popular Pizza-Sized Cookie. We’re anxious to try the Ginormous Blueberry Muffin. (Perhaps that will be our Christmas morning treat!)

I love this Q & A with the author. If you’re still wondering if you should buy How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant, this will help you place it in your shopping cart.

Q: What was the inspiration behind the story?
A: Well…I would have to say my kids. They were six when I wrote this story…the age of the priceless questions. You know what I’m talking about…do your toes ever stop growing? Why do chickens have wings if they don’t fly? I am sure that there was some Saturday morning that Declan (Oscar in the book) asked me how much food a giant would eat.
Q: How can parents use Hungry Giant to talk to their children about the importance of charity?
A: The story is about a little boy helping to feed a lonely, hungry giant he finds sitting in his backyard. Oscar has a big heart and so does his mother…and at no point are they scared by the giant’s size. I used this story and Oscar’s instinct to help to talk to my kids about the opportunities they have in their day to help those around them. I also talked to them about thinking a little bigger…yes, you can help the boy in your class pour his milk AND you can help a boy you have never met by donating a can of food. If you are lucky enough to have what you need then you have a responsibility to help those that don’t.
Q: In what ways can families incorporate philanthropy into their {holiday} traditions?
A: Take a moment to talk to your children about the issue of hunger, take a moment to teach your children to be grateful for the food in front of them and the family around them. If you are lucky enough to have what you need then you have a responsibility to help those that don’t. You could even have your children start their own food drive. Little kids LOVE looking through cabinets and finding things to donate. If they feel a part of it and like what they are doing is making a difference they will experience the joy of helping others.

We love giving the kids books at Christmas time. In fact, each child will receive one book from us this year. How Do You Feed a Hungry Giant would make the perfect addition to your current collection of children’s books. The best part? You won’t mind reading it over and over again, which is a good thing because you’ll find yourself doing just that!

Gamewright’s GUBS & City Square Off

December 12th, 2011

We are huge fans of Gamewright games in our home. (For past reviews of Gamewright games, click here.) My favorite thing about these games is they’re fun for everyone to play. I can find Chutes & Ladders and Candyland a bit tedious, but I rarely tire of Dweebies and Take the Cake. The same goes for our latest two favorites, GUBS and City Square Off.

GUBS was definitely a game for 10 and up. It had a lot of different types of cards, and we had to refer to the guide quite a bit throughout the game. I’m not sure we’ll ever have everything memorized, but once we got the hang of it, we enjoyed the strategy and scheming. It’s definitely hard keeping those little GUBS safe!


As for City Square Off, this was by FAR our most favorite game…probably are most favorite game of Gamewright’s to date. Even George, our six-year-old, loved it! Granted, he didn’t quite of the strategic forethought as the older kids, but he totally understood how to play. Think of it as Tetris meets urban planning. We played this one constantly over Thanksgiving break. It’s definitely a must-have for the kids.

Gamewright City Square Off

Both games are award-winning (as usual for Gamewright) and both are extremely fun to play. And both need to be under your Christmas tree this year. (At least make sure City Square Off is!)—Emily

Deck your halls with A Vintage Poster {GIVEAWAY}

November 16th, 2011

And by a vintage poster I mean the darling ones from the online store by the same name.

A Vintage Poster logo

We’ve lived in our home for over three years and I still have blank walls. With this home I’ve been a bit pickier about how I decorate, choosing pieces that have meaning or make me happy. (Don’t worry…there are pictures of the kids here and there.)

When A Vintage Poster asked if I would be interested in reviewing a couple of their posters, I checked out their website before replying. I wanted to make sure their collection had something I would want in our home. Funny thing is, I found a few things. The simple designs and beautiful colors were perfect and I had a hard time narrowing down my choices…such a hard time, in fact, they were nice enough to send me two for review: Star Struck and Bookworm.

A Vintage Poster Star Struck...A Vintage Poster Bookworm

Star Struck is the perfect fit for our basement home theater and Bookworm is going to look just right next to our large black bookshelf in the office!

I was going to wait to write the review until I’d found the perfect frames but again, I am picky and it would’ve taken me way too long. With the holidays around the corner, I wanted to spread the word about A Vintage Poster because they have a poster for everyone on your list, including yourself.

Here are a couple of my other favorites:

A Vintage Poster Batik...A Vintage Poster Tinkerbell

Along with illustrated and quotable posters, A Vintage Poster offers custom designs. You can put your children’s names, family name, child’s name with birth info (birth date, weight, etc.) or whatever your heart desires (as long as it fits on the poster).

And fit it should because size isn’t problem. They offer 8×10 ($12), 11×14 ($14) and 18×24 ($28) sizes (pricing is only a titch more for custom designs). With those sizes, the variety of colors and the amount of designs, the possibilities are pretty much endless!

Just think what a great gift this would be this holiday season! You’d definitely be the favorite if you aren’t already!

*** Giveaway! A Vintage Poster is giving one winner her choice of three (3) posters in 8×10- or 11×14-inch size! ***

Here’s how to enter. You can do as many of these as you’d like. Each one is worth one entry into our giveaway; please leave a separate comment for each one you do:

•   Visit AVintagePoster.com and leave a comment telling us which poster is your favorite.
•   “Like” A Vintage Poster on Facebook and leave a comment telling us you did.
•   Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment with the URL of your tweet.

Include a valid email address for our drawing. We’ll draw the winner from the comments and contact her via email. Deadline: November 23, 2011 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

Sipping & saving with SodaStream

September 21st, 2011

We don’t drink a ton of soda but we do keep our outside fridge stocked so we always have access to some in case of emergency (e.g., last-minute BBQ, movie night). Plus, you gotta have root beer with your pizza and a carbonated, caffeinated beverage around 11pm when writing product reviews. Those are givens!

I’ve been intrigued by the SodaStream home soda system ever since I first heard my sister-in-law rave about it, but I wondered if it really was worth the investment in the system, bottles and flavorings. Yes, it’s more environmentally friendly than cans, but if that’s it’s only selling point, I’m not sold. (Sorry, it’s true.) It would have to make really good soda—and a lot of it at a reasonable price—for me to place one on my kitchen counter.

Guess what? I now totally have one on my kitchen counter and we absolutely LOVE it!


SodaStream sent us their Genesis Soda Starter Kit plus a selection of their flavorings to see if they could win us over…and win us they did. Here’s a video of us giving our SodaStream Genesis a test run. Yes, it’s about 10 minutes long but every minute is worth it because you’ll see:

  • Me trying to figure out how to put the thing together.

  • Me being a smarta** to Nathan.

  • Madison learning how NOT to shake a SodaStream liter bottle to mix the flavoring.

  • Madison and I learning just what the “buzz” sounds like when pressing the button.

  • Me trying to figure out how to open the single serving packet of root beer flavoring.

  • George equating his tasting the root beer to “living in heaven” or some such craziness.

The video had me laughing out loud when I watched it (and wondering why Nathan didn’t tell me my shirt was all tucked up in back). He’s never going to be a professional videographer at this rate!

Since our first test run, we’ve sampled quite a few flavors from the variety pack and enjoyed every one. I have yet to give the diet cola flavor a taste test, but Diet Coke is a hard habit to break. Of course the fact that SodaStream diet flavors don’t have aspartame helps. (They use Splenda.)

SodaStream offers 30 regular, diet and caffeine-free flavors. Oh, and their regular flavors contain no high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The lack of HFCS and aspartame makes me feel better about giving my kids diet soda for sure. Other benefits? No heavy cans or large 2-liter bottles to store in my fridge. (That means more room for string cheese, Slim Fast and yogurt.) This image pretty much says it all:


While we may not make the switch completely to SodaStream (I like my Diet Vanilla Coke Zero…what can I say?), we will definitely keep our Genesis home soda system cranking out carbonated beverages for family night, pizza night, movie night, had a great day at school night—whatever the special occasion!

Listener Reviews Needed on iTunes

August 1st, 2008

We’re in need of a few good listeners to write up some reviews on iTunes for Boutique Cafe podcast. If you’re a kind-hearted lover of BC podcast please scoot on over to iTunes and write up a review for us today. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Click to post a Review for Boutique Cafe on iTunes

Thank you!!

Retro Week Revisits – Ubi Change Table

June 12th, 2008

It’s Retro Week on the Daily Dish! We’re posting some of our fave past reviews to share with you. Discover (or re-discover) great products that we’re still loving and talking about years later! Welcome to Retro week.

Ubi Baby Let’s face it, changing diapers is not the most glamorous or exciting job in the world. That’s why I’m so happy to have discovered the Ubi changing table. The Ubi to me, is like the swiss army knife of change tables due to it’s many handy features!

I was sent the Deluxe Ubi Table with natural wood base and “lime coco beach” cover. This swanky model also sports the most awesome diaper dispenser right where you need it, under the baby. The diapers push down into a spring loaded system that keeps several diaper right within reach. I loved that aspect to the table, it just makes so much sense that you shouldn’t have to stretch and reach to find a diaper – it should be right at your fingertips whenever you need it. The thing I loved most about the Ubi is the fastener strips that quickly and easily hold the diaper in place. It was so simple to change diapers with the fastener strips, just pull up a diaper from the dispenser and stretch the tabs up to attach on the strip. They hold firm despite any wiggles from your little one and the diaper change is stress free. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Your Child a Dream Kid?

March 19th, 2008

Dream Kids At the Daily Dish we love products that help to inspire young minds and empower children for future success. We’re always on the hunt for clothing that looks good, wears well and makes your child feel special. We recently discovered a company called “Dream Kids” who create empowering clothing for your little super stars.

Created by a mom and child development expert Kelly Pryde, we were excited to see that Dream Kids products are “designed to celebrate and nurture each child’s unique potential for greatness”. We think that is cool and definitely something our readers want to know about! (oh and did I mention that they are a Canadian company? something near and dear to my heart)

Dream Kids I was sent a very special tee from Dream Kids to review, on the front the message was “Anything But Ordinary” and that is definitely how I feel about my son who has now confiscated it from me. Noah’s only three and not able to read yet, but the reaction that he received when he wore it was enough for him…he loves this shirt. The Dream Kids clothing line is 100% cotton, ultra soft and comfy to wear. Best of all it’s machine washable and came out great when we washed it, it fact it was even softer. I want the very best for my children and one of my greatest desires is for them to realize their incredible potential, how unique and wonderful they are. With sayings like “Here to Change the World” , “All I have to be is me” and “There’s a Little Hero in All of Us”, Dream Kids is well on their way to help kids discover themselves and dream big.

If the philosophy behind Dream Kids is something that inspires you, then you’ll definitely want to sign up for their monthly newsletter offering suggestions for putting the ideas into action, helping you grow your family in wonderful ways.

Empower your own little Dream Kid – a wonderful world awaits! – Daria

GIVEAWAY: Dream Kids is giving away one tee shirt of the winners choice! Simply leave a comment with a valid email address below and share with us the empowering tee shirt saying you love the most from Dream Kids. We’ll choose the winner from the comments and contact them via email. Deadline: March 26, 2008 (midnight). The winner will have 24 hours to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

WINNER ANNOUNCED Scarlett! Congratulations on being drawn as our winner from our Dream Kids Daily Dish review on Boutique Cafe. Dream Kids is awarding you a tee of your choice from their incredible website. All you need to do is supply them with the style and size you adore, along with your shipping information.

Thank you to everyone who entered this fantastic giveaway! The response was phenomenal, we love the message behind Dream Kids and hope you’ll support this great business.

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