Are you guys familiar with the Swedish Hinza bag? These multi-purpose plastic bags were originally designed in the 1950s by a Swedish plastics company and were wildly popular — until groceries began offering disposable plastic bags, and they fell out of favor. In 2006, the great grand-daughter of the family that had originally designed the bag decided to bring it back, and I’m so glad she did. I came across these bags at The Container Store and immediately bought two. They are chic, easy to clean, and highly versatile. I initially bought one to stow the thick glass half gallon milk bottles that we buy for mini and then return to the supermarket when empty. (There is a $2 bottle deposit on each!) They used to clutter our kitchen counter and I now love using my brightly-colored Hinza to keep them out of the way and organized. (It’s also easy to wipe clean and carry to the grocery!) I bought a second to stow mini’s bath gear — her shampoo, soap, bubbles used to line the rim of the tub, and her washcloths were stowed inconveniently in her bedroom. Now I keep everything tidy in one of these water-friendly tubs. I also think they’ll be highly handy for packing a picnic, stowing beach toys/gear, shopping at the farmer’s market (I like that these have structure to keep pints of berries upright!), toting flowers, or even just bringing treats and wine to a friend’s house at night. I’m in love. Do I need a third?! (You can also find different colors, sizes, etc. on Amazon but for a higher price.)
A couple of other organizational and home decor delights:
+These DKW storage containers. I mentioned that I recently organized all of my spices, and I bought a few of these to stow bulkier things like bay leaves and peppercorns.
+My label maker. Can we just talk for a minute about my thorough and abiding love for this contraption? (Also for some reason on sale for $25 right now — usually $60!). I bought this to help with spice organization (you guys, we have so many spices, including wildly obscure ones like tomato powder and cooking lavender and fennel pollen…!), and now I can’t stop myself. I’m OBSESSED with it. Originally I thought I might also use it to mark all of mini’s toys she brings to the playgrounds and parks (and her water bottles) because I’ve already had a number of things taken — likely by accident, as so many of us parents have the same gear. But then I found these darling labels and ordered them instead. (I also ordered a set for my godson!)
+For #extra moms (haven’t yet decided if I have the patience for this — if only I still had my old Singer sewing machine…): sew these personalized name tags into your kid’s clothing at school!
+I promise this is the last time I will talk about these (…maybe), but I bought a bunch of these to help with organizing our spices and our pantry/front closet, and they are absolutely perfect. Inexpensive, easy to clean, multi-purpose. And I may/may not have use the label maker to indicate which bin is for lightbulbs, which is for our dog’s stuff, etc. A true delight…
+I have been using these bento box tupperware for mini’s lunches out (and, occasionally, Mr. Magpie’s lunches, too). They are perfect — surprisingly sturdy (don’t warp), dishwasher-safe, and accommodating of mini’s often segmented lunches. Our new nanny takes mini out most of the day and prefers to feed her lunch al fresco, as a picnic in the park, so these ensure we can still feed her “normal food” versus resorting to only items that are easy to transport or pouches. (We stopped feeding her pouches around a year I would say, sticking only to finger food / diced-up versions of whatever we’re eating and have not looked back.) I saw another mom using these silicon liners to house grapes and raisins and other small snack-type things within her toddler’s tupperware, and I might follow suit. A fun way to make lunch special and keep everything contained.
+Separately, I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about these stainless steel bento lunchboxes. They’re trending like reusable straws are! Have you guys been hearing so much about those? I need to jump on the train and buy these.
+In France, I noticed that most of my classmates took notes on graph paper versus lined paper, and I was a quick convert. Hence — this drafter’s tablet is calling my name…
+THE CHICEST BABY GATE EVER. OMG.
+Mini has been waking up between 5-5:30 most mornings this summer. We have tried everything — later bedtimes, letting her “fuss it out” in her crib in the hopes that she will learn to just go back to sleep or to preoccupy herself with toys, a bottle earlier in the evening to avoid an over-wet diaper in the morning, cooler room, warmer room, socks, no socks. She still wakes up between 5 and 5:30. Finally, we heeded my mom’s advice: buy blackout shades. And so we did — these — and I’m obsessed with them. They bring a little bit of her original nursery in Chicago back to life. (Sob — those gorgeous wallpapered walls…) We’re only one night in, but she slept in until 6 today. I’ll take it. Worth every penny! (Also, do I need these tiebacks?!)
+I don’t know if it’s just mini’s age and activities right now or what, but I’m constantly looking for pouches/bags to contain things — like wet swimsuits, crayons, alphabet cards, her doll accessories, etc. A couple of organizational solutions: have and love this wet/dry bag (it’s always always in my diaper bag — incidentally, I think I’m going to start gifting this to all new moms to be!), these reusable snack bags (available in cute kid-friendly prints here), and these reusable bags (I currently use one for mini’s toothbrush and toothpaste, which we keep in a drawer by her high chair so we remember to brush after dinner).
P.P.S. Something small and perfect.