One of the many great things about attending Alt Summit was the chance meeting of a few bloggers who turned out to be women I kept in regular contact with afterward.
all images courtesy of Mari Richards
I met Mari (rhymes with “Atari”) Richards of Small for Big in a mini van that her pals and mine shared on our way to dinner on the very first night. I could tell right away that this was a lady to know, and I took a peek at her blog as soon as I got home (her business card even made an appearance in my round-up!).
So, so much to love here, it’s hard to know where to begin! Small for Big features “the best in playful design, inspiration, kids toys, DIY, decor, clothing, books and more. Plus, a little bit of Birdie, here and there.” (Birdie is Mari’s adorably precocious daughter Wren, who appears often on the blog)
Mari captures my aesthetic perfectly, featuring curated children’s toys, decor, clothing and gifts that are modern, playful, well-designed and (yay!) affordable. The gap in years between my older 2 kids and Noah has brought a wealth of great-looking children’s products to the masses, and Mari’s keen eye seems to find them all. This comes as no surprise once you learn that Mari is an experienced toy designer too!
Mari also finds the best kids’ DIY crafts around the web – cute, simple and unusual (here’s one of my faves – perfect for right now!).
Mari was nice enough to share her favorite posts with me!
I’m completely smitten with Mari’s charming book, “Birdie Learns to Fly”, inspired by Wren.
“This project is near and dear to my heart! I have always wanted to explore children’s books, but never had the gumption to just go for it. Between the Alt Summit deadline last year, and my daughter’s inspiration, it finally came together! Now, a year later, I’m just itching to make a new one. Isn’t that always the way?”
I’m so glad that Mari included her gift guides – they are some of my favorite posts of hers too. These are my “go-too” for beautifully designed, always playful and well-priced children’s games, clothing and more – for Noah as well as for great gift-giving ideas.
“When I first started my blog, I was certain it would be only about toys, with recommendations and lots of lists. Now I’ve realized that’s not really my passion: good design is my thing, with a healthy splash of DIY. But though I love ferreting out playful design finds (often they ARE toys!) I still create Gift Guides every year, and I love doing it. This page gathers them all in one place – 4 years of guides from a toy designer. I still reference them whenever I’m buying a gift.”
This DIY flower crown is almost as adorable as Wren – super easy too!
“So when I find a trend I love, but realize I can’t quite pull it off, it seems I make Birdie do it instead! Big Flowery headdresses were all over the place this past summer, and it made for a really fun DIY project. Birdie may not wear her crown very often, but I still love the photos we took!”
Even if a child is too young to write, journaling can be such a great way to capture a special occasion, trip or memory. Mari does it with style, too.
“This is my first post that featured Birdie from start to finish. I am so proud of her beautiful journal from our vacation, and I think she’s going to love looking at it when she’s grown. I’m hoping it’s a tradition we can continue for many many more family vacations. She so inspires me!”
Of course Mari would create the perfect, simply modern Advent calendar….
“This was my first big attempt at using video as part of a DIY project. I had such a wonderful time doing it too! Unfortunately it took so much time that I’ve realized I can’t keep doing videos with my DIY’s. But, the memories of this weekend and my daughter’s funny cameos will stick with me for life.”
So clearly, I’m a fan. Such a fan that I’m doing my first ever “blove” giveaway! Yes, I’m so smitten with Mari’s book, “Birdie Learns to Fly” that I want to send one of you a copy of your own.
Simply leave a comment sharing what you or your child “thinks” he can do, even if it’s not quite possible (Noah totally thinks, if only given the chance, he could operate a front loader). Be sure to include your e-mail address if it’s not already linked to your comment. The giveaway is open through Sunday, November 10th at 5 p.m. EST. The winner will be chosen at random, and announced on Monday, November 11th.
Good luck – and go say hello to Mari! Update: Megan is the lucky winner! Thanks for participating!
Wanna know what “blove” is?