Monday, March 24, 2014

Staff Post: Your Kid is One of a Kind!

If boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails and girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, where does your little one fit in?
A child’s beautiful, complex identity, doesn’t often fit entirely into either completely feminine or completely masculine and you will likely find them somewhere in the middle of the brightly coloured spectrum.
When we first began the mini mioche brand, we chose neutral colours that weren’t the “traditional” pastel palette that you see with most baby lines. We always try to stick to colours that we would wear ourselves and give our kids more options than only blue for boys and pink for girls.
Buying clothes for your children according to what you like and reflects your distinct personal style teaches our kids to think for themselves and that individual fashion can represent their unique personalities.







written by
Marbella Carlos
(mm super staffer!)





Thursday, February 27, 2014

Important Things Every Kid’s Room Should Have

What is something every superhero, scientist, chef, artist, fugitive and botanist has in common? A space where they can do what they need to do in order to be who they are. We all know how important it is to create a space that is uniquely ours, one that serves as our lair/studio/lab/kitchen/greenhouse/hideout.


While we might not all have the means to provide fully loaded exploration spaces for our little ones, that doesn’t mean that our kids can’t have a room where they are free to explore, grow, learn, create and have fun. In stores and online we have a cornucopia of items and ideas that can help you outfit your child’s room, turning it into the super-sweet lair that they deserve.


Wee Gallery black and white art cards:
Did you know that newborns can only see 12-15 inches away from their faces? Fresh baby eyeballs aren’t as advanced as ours and these cards help with their contrast development and ability to identify shapes and pictures. As they grow the cards can become a part of motor-skill development and even vocabulary growth if you name the animals as you look at them together.


Aden & Anais bamboo crib sheets and swaddles:
These are made of silky rayon from bamboo fibre muslin that is super soft, durable, antibacterial, anti-static and moisture wicking. The stylish patterns and never ending list of benefits will have your little one looking cool, being comfy and staying dry, allowing them to spend their time doing whatever it is that babies do.


Scanimation Book
Scanimation Books (Waddle and Gallop):
Reading to our kids is a simple way to bond and learn together. Teaching children that reading is fun from an early age exposes them to the endless pleasure found in books and can turn them into life-long readers. These books are special because they MOVE. This stimulation added to your storytelling will keep the small human in your arms engaged and excited for story time.


HartleyBee Wall Alphabet:
But wait! Before your kids can learn to read, they first need to master the alphabet. HartleyBee out of Ottawa created the “cloud” (a hanging art piece) as an unconventional, stylish way to help teach your children their ABCs. The lightweight artwork is easy to hang, exclusive to Mini Mioche and can be seen as a fixture in both of our store locations.


HartleyBee



BeginAgain wooden puzzles:
BeginAgain is a toy company that is inspired by the work of inventor, Benjamin Barlowe who said, "Kids already have the best job in the world, to play. It's full time work and the way they play shapes the way they grow. The toy box is the child's first tool box. Toys are meant to inspire kids to draw, build, explore, tell stories, play games, and ultimately save the day."  
At mini mioche, we love and support the idea of learning through play! These wooden puzzles are simple enough for you and your wee one to play with together while they begin to develop their motor skills.

BeginAgain Wooden Puzzles
Twilight Turtle:
Turn the little monster’s room into a space adventure every night at bedtime with this star-projecting turtle. This unassuming turtle will transform the room at a push of a button.


Floor-To-Ceiling Chalkboard Walls:
Something that we love and have at both of our stores is the floor to ceiling chalk board wall.


Why tell the kids they can’t draw on the walls? Let them! This is a simple way to contain the wild impulses of our future muralists/graffiti writers and make sure there is an ever-changing cycle of fresh art in your home.
written by
Marbella Carlos
(mm super staffer!)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Staff Post: How to Choose a Camp

Let us introduce to you another one of our staff - the wonderful Anne Potter! Anne has been with us since November 2013. Not only is she a fantastic mini mioche team member, she is also an actor and die-hard camp goer!

There are so many day camps and overnight (residential) camps out there that it seems like an impossible task to pick one. Where to even begin? There are a lot of camps out there, and even so, many fill up quickly. Best start early to get the perfect fit!

Camps of any style can start as young as 2 or 3 and range in age to teenagers and even adult "retreat" camps. There are many factors that go into how your child may experience camp, so it's important to consider as many things as you can when fitting them with the right one.



Image courtesy of Tongdang / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As a long time camp go-er and counsellor, I've figured out a pretty good list of "what to know" before you decide on a camp. I've attended many camp fairs (like a trade show, except it's a room full of awesome camps set up with lots of information and excitement at the prospect of your child attending their camp) and the experience has given me a good look into what people forget to ask when getting camp info. 

Some of the following may be residential camp specific. 


Basic:

  • Boys, Girls or Co-Ed 
    • Co-ed may mean totally integrated or that programs are run completely separated
  • Age Range 
    • Age and maturity will factor into how your child can cope with being away from home, and your child may or may not be ready for an overnight camp for a number of years. But there are a lot of 6 year olds who are ready for camp and there are lots of 12 year olds who aren't. It's totally based on each child's comfort level.
  • Sleep Over or Day camp
  • Session Length 
    • These can vary from 4 days to 2 months depending on the type of camp you're looking for. There is a camp out there that matches the number of days your child is comfortable with, so keep looking!
  • Number of kids attending at a time 
    • Some day camps may be as small as 10-20 kids, whereas some large overnight camps can have 500 at a time.
  • Staff to Kid Ratio 
    • This can factor into safety and comfort level for both you and your child.
  • Staff Safety Training
    • Most camps insist on basic first aid training for counsellors, but it's great to make sure. 
  • How do they hire their staff?
    • Many camps hire out of their own camper pool, but if not you might want to know who they hire.
  • Number of kids in a "cabin"
    • This will be important to consider if your child needs more one-on-one time.
  • Do the counsellors sleep in the same cabin as the campers?
  • Can kids have laptops and cell phones etc. 
    • How "back to basics" do you want the camp to be?
  • How do the campers communicate with parents? 
    • Phones? Mail?
  • Do you have an opportunity to visit your child at the camp and see it in session?
  • Is there a doctor or nurse on site?
Image courtesy of ImageryMagestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Program: 
  • What type of programs do they run? 
    • Do they focus on one thing such as horse-riding or art, or is there a great variety of activities like water and land based, as well as artistic activities?
    • Are there certain skills you would like your child to gain from going to camp?
  • Do you have to sign up for activities right away or can your child choose on a daily basis?
    • If your child is sure they want to work on finger-painting or water-skiing, for example, then it's great if you can guarantee their focus on those activities. If your child is new to camp and hasn't had a great deal of experience with activities being presented by the camp, it may be better for them to get the chance to try out lots of different things to find the right fit. 
  • What is the daily schedule?
    • How much physical activity/rest time is there?
    • When is bedtime?
  • Are there any requirements of campers?
    • Some camps have certain expectations that differ based on program and age group. (i.e. potty training or swimming)
  • How often are age groups integrated? 
    • This is important for growth and leadership. If your child is older it is a great time for them to step up and be responsible for younger campers. If your child is younger, it is a great time for them to see another camper being responsible and find mentors. 
  • How separate are the genders? 
    • Co-ed may mean totally integrated or partially integrated. It is up to you how comfortable you are with this. It's more-so for sleep-over camps. 
Food:
  • Is food made fresh and prepared onsite?
  • Is there a balanced diet?
  • Is food available throughout the day?
  • Can they accommodate a range of specific food needs and lifestyles? 
    • i.e. Gluten free, lactose intolerant, vegan, vegetarian, Kosher, diabetes, allergies - especially those leading to anaphylactic reactions.
Special circumstances:
  • Personal situations
    • Kids can be sensitive, so it's important for a potential counselor and camp director to know of things that might cause distress. Even if it doesn't come up, knowing that your son or daughter is sensitive to something may affect who they are paired with in groups and how different dynamic makeups work out. (i.e. recent familial divorce or death, perhaps they have a new sibling and have felt second-string since the birth, puberty, homesickness etc.)
  • Health 
    • If there are any needs or things that the counselor or camp director should be aware of health wise, it is very important for them to be aware. (i.e. injuries, fears, triggers, allergies, developmental disorders, personality disorders, bed wetting, night terrors, sleep walking etc.)
Other:
  • * Do they have a packing list to follow? 
    • Trust me, something WILL be forgotten. I went for 16 years and I still forgot my rainboots
    • Be aware if there is anything you shouldn't be sending. They may not allow cell phones or food, etc. 
  • Should you be sending your child with food?
    • Some day camps require that you send them with lunch and snacks, and some residential camps may have a no food policy. Many may follow a "no nuts" policy or other dietary requirements. It is very important that you know what to send or if to send food at all. 
  • * Do they have a tuck shop? 
    • Is it prepaid or should you send your child with money?
    • Does the tuck shop have necessities like shampoo and sunscreen or extras like clothing and candy? Some tuck shops are run like convenience stores. Find out what your camp's like so  you can send your camper prepared. It is important to discuss your expectation of their use of the tuck shop as well, so they don't come up with an enormous bill! 
  • Where is the camp located?
    • Do they have a bus pick up (this may apply to both day camp and residential!) - lots of day camps send buses to different schools, etc., to pick up kids and bring them to camp in the morning. 
    • Where and when should you be expected to drop them off and pick them up. 
      • Also, be aware of how many bags your child has, what they look like, and don't be afraid to label everything.
"Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Attending camp is a great way for kids to interact with people and make connections. It lets them get out of their comfort zones and get to know themselves in a new way. It helps them develop confidence and independence, among countless other benefits. 

Day camps are a great way to get your little guy used to the idea of being away from home for a little bit. Like school, except WAY more fun! 

Residential camp is a great break from real life for both you and your child. Let them get away for a week and learn all kinds of new skills and you can spend your week wherever you want. (Sounds pretty good right?)

If you want a start looking for camps try the Ontario Camping Association. They have quite a bit of information about accredited camps and camp fairs in your neighbourhood! All in one place. 

Don't be too worried about your little one. They'll be in good hands and they're going to have a blast. Good luck finding the perfect camp!

Can you think of any other questions you'd ask? Or do you have certain camps that you love? Let us know in the comments!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Staff Post: For the Love of Denim!

Here is the second post in our series of staff posts, from the wonderful Clare Frejd. Clare has been with us for almost a year and is a super duper mm team member. She is also a textile conservator, mother of Anders and all around crafty gal.

I'm going to take a moment to wax poetic about a pair of jeans. 


We just sized up around our house and it struck me again how awesome the mm denim is.These jeans just work!  Anders is an active little monkey of a two-year-old and as I write this I'm watching him climb on to the coffee table, squat under the dining room table and drive his little cars under the fridge (!?), all without that notorious toddler pant issue: baggy bum.  You know the situation....as the day progresses stiff toddler pants hang lower and lower until eventually he can't even lift a leg to throw over that ride-on toy. Not so with the mini mioche denim! The fabric is light and stretchy so these bad boys stay up and allow kids to move. The trim cut and the cool colours are really the icing on the cake, I mean who could resist a kid in charcoal skinnies?


Monday, January 20, 2014

Staff Post: Your Kids Are Germ Breeders


This post marks the first of our Staff Posts! We love our mini mioche team and know that they have a lot to say, so we've asked them to write for us!

Please give a warm welcome to Marbella. She has been with us since August 2013 and we absolutely adore her. This girl has a heart of gold and a ton of spunk and has been working with kids for a number of years. On that note, here is her post.

It’s that time of year again when even looking at someone who has the flu will get you sick. You know who doesn’t prioritize personal hygiene, has the immune system of a delicate butterfly and loves grabbing or trying to eat just about anything they can get their beautiful, disgusting little hands on? Our children.


In today’s blog post, we’ve decided to give you a few tips on how to keep your kids from indirectly putting their own poop back into their mouths because that’s how much we care.


Plastic Toys

How do you clean plastic toys that have little, built-in germ storage crevices, you ask? In the washing machine! Yes, we know this sounds noisy and weird but please, hear us out. To keep you from suffering through the hand cramps, eye strain and overall frustration  associated with hand scrubbing 500 pieces of lego, we present to you the wonderful, multifunctional item that will make cleaning your toys a breeze: the mesh laundry bag.


Maybe your kid has the flu and has been playing with their toys, or their friend little Eric,
who is NOT shy about his nose and butt picking has been over for a playdate. Not to worry. You
can efficiently clean your toys, even ridding them of little Eric’s filth. Just throw all of the toys into
a large mesh laundry bag and toss it into a washing machine set on hot water with some soap.
That’s right, regular soap please and thank you. If you can avoid it, don’t use the agitator. This
works for any kind of hard plastic toy, like the  Green Toys we sell at both of our stores (pictured below). Just
lay them out on some towels afterwards to dry. (DO NOT put them in the dryer.)







Stuffed Toys
There are a few things that truly sadden my heart. Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”, the price of domestic flights and the fact that not all stuffed animals can be washed in the washing machine. Yes, you heard me right. Just because something feels like it sort of, maybe resembles clothing doesn’t mean it will survive the tumultuous adventure that is your spin cycle.


The following reasons will keep your stuffie from being allowed in the washing machine:
  • They have a music box or talking feature built into them that will get destroyed if submerged in water.
  • They are old or fragile. We aren’t being ageist, we just worry that Mr. Bear’s janky seams won’t make it out in one piece.
  • They are too fancy. If the stuffie has sequins or other fine accoutrements that cannot be removed, they might need a finer cleaning solution than the laundry room; how posh.
  • They are stuffed with foam balls instead of batting a la beanie babies.



(maileg fox available in stores and online!)



So here is the super simple, step by step guide to cleaning your beloved stuffed toys:


  1. Clean the surface. Remove dust, hair and other miscellaneous crud with a lint roller, damp cloth or unused hair brush; a toothbrush comes in handy for hard to reach nastiness. You can even use the hose attachment of your vacuum if you are feeling adventurous.
  2. Spot clean. Use diluted detergent solution to treat areas that have been through more trauma than others.
  3. Place the stuff in, guess what, a mesh bag! This will keep the toy from getting snagged and give it good, overall protection during washing.
  4. Put the toy through the gentle/delicate cycle. We don’t want them getting motion sickness.
  5. Hang Dry. Putting the toy in the dryer will weaken the fabric and make it look older and more worn. To keep things looking new, use pant hangers or clothespins to hang the toy up as it dries.

(If you're ready to start disinfecting your life, you can find yourself a mesh laundry bag like the one above, here.)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Vintage Winter Window

We are thrilled with the new vintage winter window at our Queen Street West store created by Renee Elliott from Re-Creative . It is a simple take on snowy winter outdoor fun! Vintage snowshoes, birch logs and a wooden sled give off a warm cozy vibe that make you want to find a fire to curl up next to.






































Also, our Queen West store has a new face! Say hello to our brand new (and very green) awning. 



Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

mini mioche is kicking off the holiday season with a bang and this includes an awesome holiday window at our Queen Street West store! Renee Elliott has done it again with a whimsical, inventive window display featuring a vintage ladder Christmas tree, gifts to be unwrapped and little dudes wearing the coziest winter fashion!
Come by for a visit to see it for yourself. 

Happy Holidays!
xox 
mm team





Friday, October 25, 2013

Alex's Fave Fall Picks


1. mini mioche Button Down Jacket - I was excited about this style before 
even seeing how it would turn out. To me a jacket can be the entire outfit, 
or the perfect way to complete an outfit. This one is a no-brainer and I 
am hunting one down in my size.

2. Diary of a Wombat - When I first saw this book, I knew it was meant for 
mini mioche. I showed it to Alyssa and told her, "this is me, if Iwas a wombat. 
We need this." It's a story sure to make you laugh, no matter what your age.

3. Matter Company Cheek Rub - I can say from experience (wind burn from 
skiing) that this stuff is the number one necessity in your purse for your 
kids and you this winter. Chapped cheeks and hands are so painful, and 
this is magic.

4. The North Face Bunting - This company knows what a Canadian winter 
feels like, and has put their winter wear to the test.

5. Kina slippers - When you touch these slippers, they will sell themselves. 
Made ecologically in New Zealand of all-natural lambskin, these slippers 
have so much love put into them that the fact that they also stay on, keep 
feet warm and are affordable is just a bonus.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Alyssa's Fave Fall Picks


1. Sorel 1964 Pac – Sorel already makes the best and warmest winter boots around
but they went and up’d their game again with a super cool Velcro option for bigger
kids (that’s also totally unisex so you can pass them down from one kid to the next
and the next cause these boots last).

2. Lush Hoody – A perennial mini mioche fave. Available now in 6 awesome colours
in our super soft, cozy organic cotton fleece.

3. mini mioche Denim – I know I’m biased but our new mm denim is fantastic.
It is super soft, stretchy, easy to get on and off (but stays on and in place), it
looks equally good on my son and daughter and what’s even better is that they
both love to wear it.

4. Sherpaa new addition to the mm winter offering this season.  These are the
perfect boots for little ones up to about 2 years of age (i.e. the ones that might
find Sorel just a little too heavy) – they are completely water and wind proof, can
be worn with just socks or over top of little shoes and the best part?  They are
100% designed and MADE in Canada.  Love!

5. Collegien: Flag & Hearts – Truly amazing slippers from France. They stay on
and have super grippy rubber soles to avoid any slips and spills.  My little guy will
be rocking the union jack and my girl will be all over the hearts.

6. Barts: Kamikaze & Neckwarmer – Barts simply has the most amazing hats and
scarves on the market.  When I did our fall order I literally could not pick so I just
bought pretty much everything.

7. em + west Hoody – I’m not really the mom who wants matching outfits with my
kids but I have to admit there are many a day that we are all rocking the little and
big version of our signature hoody.

8.  Doc Martens – When this iconic company came out with a baby and kids line
how could I possibly resist??  If you are looking for a shower gift that will guarantee
some serious ‘OMG, those are amazing’ comments from all your friends, these
boots are it.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Queen West Store Expansion Celebration

There has been no shortage of excitement here at mini mioche this year. We opened our second location in Toronto's historic Distillery District this past April and are loving the location and the beautiful space. The day the Distillery store opened was the same day the construction crew broke ground on our Queen Street store addition (definitely never a dull moment)!  After a few months of dealing with a whole lot of dirt and dust, we unveiled our new space (which is now about twice the size)!  This past Saturday we had a fantastic celebration that included face painting, a caricaturist, cotton candy, balloons and a whole lot of ridiculously cute kiddos.

Thank you to all of the parents and little ones who came out - we had a blast and we hope you did as well! Visit our facebook page for more photos!











Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Sale Time

It’s that time of year again – summer sale time! We cannot believe how fast this summer is flying by. You may be thinking that you are all stocked up for kids clothing and gear for the rest of the season but our summer sale is perfect for outfitting your little one for next spring/summer – all at amazing prices! Just buy a size or two larger and voila – a deal of a new wardrobe (and you’ve knocked one thing off your ‘to-do’ list for next spring).

The items in our spring/summer collection are also great to carry over into fall. There are lots of styles that you can easily layer for an all-weather outfit. For example our Skater Dress looks super cute with our Dream Long Sleeve Tee layered underneath or add a pair of Snug Pants under a Colour Block Skirt and you’ve got a perfect little fall ensemble. We love finding creative ways for our clothing to live on from season to season. Whether it be through layering or hand me downs, the quality of mini mioche stands the test of time!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Canada Window

We are always gushing about our window displays at the Queen Street store and this time around is no different! Renee Elliott from Re-Creative has done it again with an awesome Canada theme. We love the creativity and thought that goes into the window especially the use of the Scrabble letters. At mini mioche we are super proud to be Canadian and we love that this window shares that with everyone!