#eeBooAroundTown Celebrating Independent Bookstore Day at Book Culture in NYC

Posted by design on Apr 26, 2016 in eeBoo Around Town, Just for Fun, Special Event, Special Interview

eeboo around town

In honor of Independent Bookstore Day, we had a chat with Annie at Book Culture on the Upper West Side in Manhattan for our latest in the #eeBooAroundTown series!  Book Culture is a favorite of the eeBoo staff, and all locations are just a hop & a skip from the eeBoo office!

Quick intro, who are you? Tell us a little about your store.

I’m Annie, co-owner of Book Culture, an independent bookstore in New York City. I began working in my local bookstore in Connecticut when I was 16 and fell in love with bookselling.  After college I came back to the store and  eventually became the manager and buyer. I still remember the day I discovered eeBoo at a trade show and couldn’t believe how beautiful it all was (that store, Books on the Common, in Ridgefield, CT still sells eeBoo!)

Looking for a fresh challenge, I moved to New York in 2006 to join Book Culture. We now have three stores, two of which have big children’s departments. I’m still very much a kid inside and I have loved creating and running the children’s shops. I now have my own child, Benjamin, who just turned two. We’re having a great time discovering books and toys together.

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 Where is your store located? How would you describe your local community?

Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side are both fantastic neighborhoods, full of families who appreciate good books and toys.  We love all the playgrounds in Riverside Park and Central Park and the Natural History Museum is around the corner from our Columbus Avenue store. When Ben gets tired of reading books at the bookstore he insists we walk over to the library (the St. Agnes branch on Amsterdam has a lovely, old-fashioned Children’s Room).

How long has your store been open? Tells us a little about your aesthetic. What kind of goods do you sell?

Book Culture, originally called Labyrinth Books, opened in 1997 as a scholarly and academic bookstore in the Columbia University neighborhood. By 2009 the neighborhood was filled with young families, so we opened a second shop around the corner with books (and gifts and toys) for the whole family. In 2014 we opened another neighborhood store on the Upper West Side.

We encourage families to come and spend time in our shop, reading books and experimenting with toys. Our children’s rooms are full of fun nooks, places to curl up and read or daydream.

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 What were your favorite toys to play with as a child?  What was your favorite book as a child ?

I played pretend for hours on end as a child and used everything I could get my hands on in my games. I dressed up and played house or restaurant or library.  I would have loved eeBoo’s new pretend play sets.

Growing up, I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little house books and the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. Other favorites were The Borrowers, Strawberry Girl and Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books.

 Which eeBoo product is your favorite? Why?

My long-time favorite eeBoo product is the Life on Earth Matching Game. But I’m looking forward to getting to know the puzzles, games and art supplies much more intimately as Ben gets older.

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 Tell us about some nearby spots in your neighborhood

In Morningside Heights the best place to eat is Community Food & Juice.  It’s casual but upscale and has excellent, fresh food.  One of the best bagel places in town, Absolute Bagels, is just a few blocks away.

There are tons of restaurants near our store on 82nd Street. My personal favorite is Peace Food Cafe, a vegan restaurant with especially delicious baked goods.

 

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  #eeBooAroundTown showcases the many small businesses that we work with around the country!
Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the beating heart of our business.
small retailers,  want to participate in our eeBoo Around the Town series? reach out to samantha@eeboo.com

 

Meet Brandon Reese, Illustrator of Make a Pie and Time Telling Games!

Posted by design on Apr 13, 2016 in Articles we like!, Just for Fun, Special Interview

 

#craftyweekend floral vine wreath

Posted by design on Apr 1, 2016 in #craftyweekend, Diy, Just for Fun

 lillain wreath

 

What you will need:

-3 yards of brightly colored wire ribbon

-Wreath frame – you can buy one or make one from cardboard or a wire hanger!

-Clips

-Contrasting pipe cleaner colors that match your ribbon

Directions:

Wrap ribbon around wreath frame.

Leave five inches hanging, tie off, wrap frame covering base.

When frame is covered, tie off end and create bow with one tail.

Tie two tails together to secure and shape bow and tail.

Start building your floral vine.

Take 6-8 green pipe cleaners to create vine base first. Each piece gets three twisted leaves in different directions before connecting the piece to the next strand.

Once all your strands are complete, secure on your wreath starting above your bow and ending below it weaving around frame to secure. Use clips to secure ends.

Create your floral accents.

Make about two flowers for each vine section you created.

Be creative you can make any flower you want with as many petals or colors as you would like.

Create by folding over end of pipe cleaner 1/4 inch and twisting. Then create petals around, 4-6 1/2 inch loops surrounding pointed center. Make sure to leave a small tail in back of flower to secure to your vine.

Once you have completed your flowers, arrange them & secure each flower to vine by wrapping tail around vine and then wrapping around base of flower.

Once all your flowers are secured, you are ready to find a cheerful place to hang your creation!

 

Hanging out in South Brooklyn at Picnic

Posted by design on Mar 23, 2016 in eeBoo Around Town, Just for Fun, Special Interview

Red and brown

Welcome to #eeBooAroundTown, our newest initiative to showcase the many small businesses that we work with around the country through a series of fun interviews! Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the beating heart of our business. To kick off our series, we hung out with Lindsey Engler, owner of Picnic in Brooklyn!

Lindsey, tell us a little about you! Goodness… who am I? Well, first and foremost I’m a mommy of a 4 ½ year old little gal named Grey who was (and is) the inspiration for Picnic. Prior to owning Picnic I had worked in womenswear for many years doing both fashion show production and sales. After Grey was born I was wandering around our Brooklyn neighborhood while on maternity leave searching for cool, unique infant clothing. When I couldn’t find anything (shocking, as Brooklyn is the birthplace of cool) that I wanted to buy the concept of Picnic started to take shape. I ended up leaving my corporate position when my daughter was six months old, and we opened Picnic when she turned eight months old. It was a completely insane time, but sometimes a hint of insanity goes a long way! Who else am I? A doggy mommy, a wife, a native New Yorker, a BROOKLYNITE, a party thrower, an amateur baker, a traveler, a terrible singer (who sings at the top of her lungs) a reader, a foodie… and I’m also pretty funny…

What neighborhood is Picnic located in? How would you describe your local community? Our store is located in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn. We touch upon a lot of other South Brooklyn ‘hoods so we encompass families from Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and DUMBO. We have a great mix of families who have been in Brooklyn for an eternity as well as those who have just moved to enjoy the amazing lifestyle that Brooklyn has to offer. In either case we are all pretty passionate about our community and are very much a community based boutique. With the popularity of Brooklyn as a tourist destination in recent years we are getting more of an international crowd then we did when we first opened.

How long has Picnic been open and what is the inspiration behind it?  We have been open for 4 years and I am thankful for each day and each customer. The most rewarding part of owning your own business is growing within your community and in our case, growing up with all of the kids! Our slogan is “outfitting kids for everyday adventures.” When you look at the world from a child’s perspective everything becomes so fresh, fun and exciting. Picnic is about embracing that excitement and providing products that makes both children and parents smile a little brighter. For a little girl there is nothing more fantastic than wearing a dress covered in rainbows or a tutu skirt with a hint of sparkle… the same goes for our guys who love superhero capes and dinosaur tees… we like to help get their imaginations going wild! For the parents, I like to think we provide a nice range of unique, quality products that make them feel good about what they are buying for their children. We always try to address their specific needs while making sure that we add a bit of whimsy for the kids! We sell a range of products from apparel and accessories to gifts, books, crafts, plush toys and more! If it fits within our aesthetic and we think our kids will love it then it makes the cut! eeBoo is a perennial favorite!!! I’m pretty sure we’ve sold thousands of The Cupcake Game!

What were your favorite toys to play with as a child? Imagination is my thing so I’d have to say Cabbage Patch Kids! I was a child of the 80’s and as an only child I LOVED playing with dolls! (Never ask my mom how many of them I actually had… the number is embarrassing…) I also loved legos and dollhouses… maybe that’s why I married an architect?

Which eeBoo toy is your favorite? Why? Okay, I HAVE to say The Picnic Game, right? Actually I do love that one as it is a great gift, totally gender neutral and fun for kids from ages 2 – adult! We play it all the time at our house! However, the new Pretend Play sets have been life changing! They are so amazing and inspire such creativity within our kids! My daughter’s favorite is the World Traveler but they are all AMAZING! We hear there are new versions coming soon!!!

Suggest some local fare. What is your favorite dish, snack, or drink in your neighborhood? Ummm… this is Brooklyn, good food and drink are our THING! Okay, when visiting Picnic (with your child, of course)… we suggest lunching at Bar Tabac. I am a Francophile at heart and this place always does it for me. Tuna tartare for me and chicken paillard with fries (the best fries) for my gal? Oui! My husband has the moules…oh, and don’t forget a glass of Sancerre… or two. Then let’s stop at One Girl Cookies for one of their signature whoopee pies or cupcakes… then, if you need a coffee, or another fabulous sweet later in the day,stop into Café Pedlar just down Court Street… a little pick me up… and the perfect end to a great Brooklyn day…

Thank you, Lindsey for kicking off our #eeBooAroundTown blog series! We loved hearing more about Picnic & your special slice of Brooklyn!

Check out our interactive map below with Lindsey’s picks and of course, Picnic!

  #eeBooAroundTown showcases the many small businesses that we work with around the country!
Small businesses are vital to local communities, and are the beating heart of our business.
small retailers,  want to participate in our eeBoo Around the Town series? reach out to samantha@eeboo.com

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#craftyweekend Personalize your baby bundle!

Posted by design on Feb 26, 2016 in #craftyweekend, Be Crafty!, Diy, Just for Fun

Lillian at eeBoo wanted to spice up her baby gift  to a friend! Her solution? Adding personalized touches with eeBoo’s felt to her existing baby purchases!

shop eeBoo’s felt here!

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towel

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Here’s what she had, and what you can use too!

1 Baby Blanket

1 Lovey

1 Hooded Towel

1 Piece of coordinating colored felt

Scissors

Needle

Contrasting embroidery thread

 

Directions:

Cut your felt into the needed shapes:

Medium heart for blanket

Initial shape for lovey

Small heart and two triangles for towel

 

Lay out your pieces to make sure they are properly sized; trim any pieces that are too large.

 

Begin with your towel:

Sew triangles on top corner about 2 inches from corner, keep sewing on front flap only- Do not sew hood closed!

Sew small heart nose on bottom edge of hood.

You can also make additional embellishments like whiskers or eyes with your embroidery thread!

 

Next sew initial on Lovey:

 

Position letter along one corner and secure with embroidery thread.

 

Carefully sew only onto top layer so all thread is hidden inside.

 

Last personalize the baby blanket:

 

Take your medium heart shape and embroider the baby’s name or loving message.

 

Once completed, sew to corner of blanket, making sure to not go through both layers so your bottom threads stay hidden.

 

Once completed, clean up any loose threads, then fold and tie with ribbon. You now have a nice set of baby essentials with a personalized, loving touch!

 

Make a gift tag for your Valentine #craftyweekend

Posted by design on Feb 5, 2016 in #craftyweekend, Be Crafty!, Diy, Just for Fun

Feel the love!  Use as a card, tag, or ornament to show your valentine spirit!

valentines cards

 

 

What you will need:

Fancy papers iridescent and corrugated

Pipe cleaners

Pop sticks

Scissors

(shop eeBoo’s craft line here)

Marker

Hot glue gun

Directions:


Pop stick heart tag

Begin by connecting two pop sticks in a V shape & affix the connecting parts with glue.

Next cut your pop sticks in thirds and glue four connecting pieces to make heart shaped top.

Fill in center with remaining pieces until you are satisfied with heart design.

Use marker to make designs or placing wording on your heart tag.

Last, wrap a pipe cleaner around one of the edges and it is ready to top any love filled gift!

Fancy paper tag

Cut out a tag shape from your corrugated fancy paper, and use this as a guide when cutting your wavy iridescent insert.

Make a small hole at the top of your tag, and insert a fluffy pipe cleaner for the tie.

Take a thin pipe cleaner and shape it into a word- I shaped love which is simple, but you could make a name for the tag which is equally sweet! If you make a mistake, it is easy to go back and untwist.

Tip: make a twist after each letter to anchor and keep it from in winding.

Hot glue iridescent paper to corrugated, then hot glue a few points of your pipe cleaner word onto the iridescent paper.

Clean up any unfinished edges with scissors and remove any hot glue strings.

 

DIY Valentines Cards #craftyweekend

Posted by design on Jan 29, 2016 in #craftyweekend, Be Crafty!, Diy, Just for Fun

 

valentines cards

What you will need -

Your choice cardstock and envelopes

Play papers (Via shop.eeboo.com)

Scissors

Glue Stick

Directions:

For this design, you will need to cut out two cloud shapes, and several different sizes of hearts.

Use the different patterns on the play papers to mix and match. It’s raining love, get it?

Once your pieces are cut out, lay them out on your card until you are satisfied with the design.

Glue all the pieces on the card with a glue stick.

If you have any hearts left over, use them to decorate your envelope.

Make one for someone special or a ton for all your friends.

 

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Meet Holly Berry, our Pretend Play Illustrator!

Posted by design on Jan 29, 2016 in Just for Fun, Product Feature, Special Interview

holly berry

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Holiday 2015- eeBoo in the Press

Posted by design on Dec 22, 2015 in Articles we like!, Award, Just for Fun, Press Articles, Product Feature

Holiday 2015 has been a bustling season for eeBoo in the press! Good Housekeeping loved our Greenmarket Game so much, that they awarded it as a best kid-tested toy of 2015. Meanwhile, over at the Today Show, the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio named our decidedly low-tech Giant Floor Puzzle as the winner in their Best Toy 2015 series, as it scored the highest among several toys closely reviewed by children, meaning it is fun to look at and easy to play with! Our Noisy Ball continues to be a distinct choice for children under a year to play with,  as Parents Magazine included it in their roundup of American Baby’s Best Toys of 2015, and eeBoo classic, About Face has a shining moment on HLN weekend express as a best toy for children with special needs with its endless combination of objects to create expressions!

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spotted: Noisy Ball in Pregnancy & Newborn October 2015 issue

Posted by design on Oct 1, 2015 in Articles we like!, Just for Fun, Press Articles, Product Feature

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eeBoo’s Noisy Ball is spotted in this nursery feature in Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine’s October 2015 issue.

 

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