Greetings and Salutations~
I have decided to add my own personal gift guide recommendations every week throughout December, and I have been compiling these suggestions for a while, so here we begin with two exceptional offerings- take a look!

First of all, check out Jill Lindsey’s gift guide suggestions and also her store’s activities to see amazing things to do in the next few weeks!

Saturdays Surf NYC Shop

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A lovely escape in the West Village, and also a great go-to for the men in your life. (Women love the stuff too! Don’t worry).


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This place, the NYC Stylists’ secret go-to, is your gift-buying haven. You will not leave this store in the flower district without a gift for your loved ones, and a few for yourself. It’s impossible. There are hundreds of choices ranging from crystals, trays, bowls, compasses, feathers, and mirrors to shells and seaglass. Have fun!!

Shinola Detroit

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This is an amazing store! I recommend going in person to the flagship Tribeca location, which has a bakery and coffee shop in the front as well. You will definitely find gifts here from all price points; their monogrammed journals are the sweetest gesture, and highly affordable. All things Shinola are made in the USA.


Made Lokal

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Made loKal is a curated marketplace to show the world just how beautiful, modern and accessible made-in-America products can be. Made lokal is a small team of merchants who believe in the slow living movement.  We seek to create a destination where the made lokal customer can be assured that everything found here is american made.

Mondays Ceramics

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We are Jennifer Fiore and Nina Lalli, two friends who met in a Monday night ceramics class and shared an immediate obsession with clay. Every MONDAYS product is made by hand in our Brooklyn studio, and no two are exactly identical. There might be slight “imperfections” that one would not find in machine-made ceramics. We hope you love the unique character of these details as much as we do. All MONDAYS products are lead-free and food-safe, unless noted in the description. We will always be sure to share this information with you.  Although technically microwave and dishwasher safe, we generally recommend hand-washing. We want you to be happy with your MONDAYS purchase–please do not hesitate to contact us regarding your order. We welcome questions and feedback, and we would like to help you choose the right item. If you are not satisfied, we can offer you an exchange or store credit, but thank you for understanding that refunds are only allowed for items that are damaged during shipping. If this is the case, let us know immediately so we can assist you. We ship every order with insurance and pack very carefully to keep your purchases safe in transit. Thank you for your interest in MONDAYS! MONDAYS ceramics can be found at the New York City boutiques Homecoming, The Primary Essentials, Rosanne Pugliese Shop, and Stillhouse, as well as Shop Leap in Houston, and online at BRIKA.  We are honored to have made custom plates and cups for the dining room atBlue Hill at Stone Barns, and custom platters for Great Performances. Follow our inspiration and store news over on tumblr and keep up with our works-in-progress on Instagram: @m_o_n_d_a_y_s



Little Balance Box

Little Balance Box

This is the perfect gift for moms of small babies or for moms-to-be. Not only is this little table a great piece of furniture for kids as they become toddlers, but as they enter walking months (8-12 mos.), this is an incredible addition to any home. My own ten month old son loves his, and has been walking around with it for a good month now. He also loves putting his toys on it, and banging them loudly on the surface. Developed by a Physical Therapist, Little Balance Box is a great thing! The clear top allows children to see their legs and feet, and is an exciting drum top.

Portraits That Move

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By Susannah Ludwig. Starting at $150+.

If grandma and grandpa are asking what they can give you for the holidays, here is a great thing to put on your list! Award-winning filmmaker Susannah Ludwig will make a beautiful video of your kids that you are sure to treasure forever! So much more than a photo shoot, these truly are portraits that move…and will move your heart! Find out more from our Product Review earlier this year.

Go Dream

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A new kind of experiential gift company recently opened in Williamsburg and it’s bringing the magic of live experiences to New Yorkers this holiday season. Give someone a beautifully-packaged gift card to a hidden, hard to find, memorable adventure across Brooklyn and beyond (Think a stunt driving sessionyodeling seminarglass blowing classexpedition to outer space, or Indoor Rock Climbing).

XTend Barre Brooklyn

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Xtend Barre a fantastic workout combining Pilates and dance. This Brooklyn Heights studio is beautiful and caters to moms with a Babies on Board class and babysitting services during certain sessions. Gift certificates are available.

Wildlife in NYC Tea Towels 

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By Suzanne Kiggins. $20 each

These whimsical and kooky tea towels are beautifully made by Brooklyn-based Modern Folk Artist, Suzanne Kiggins. Pigeons, squirrels, rats and raccoons have never looked this cute. These towels make great gifts for yourself, for friends, teachers, family, etc. Enjoy!

Ollie and Ozzy Ink

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Talented Graphic Designer and Artist Megan Blackadar has this site full of her wistful artwork which customers can purchase on card stock, mugs, iPhone cases, travel mugs, framed prints, and canvas prints. Ms. Blackadar has such a unique illustrative style that pieces are perfect for anyone of any age or sex, and can be integrated into any environment (nursery, living room, bedroom, etc.).  Megan Blackadar

Please message her for illustration work or questions of existing work.

She would love to hear from you!

The Prop Styling Experience


The Prop Styling Experience is a unique one-on-one mentoring class for learning the logistics and creativity behind photo styling. It was developed by veteran creative director and stylist, Robin Zachary and takes place in her Chelsea New York studio.

Robin is offering a two-hour, one-on-one workshop for readers of A Child Grows at a special price. This is an introduction focusing on prop styling and vignette creation. Here’s just some of possible topics that will be covered, depending on what you choose, because all sessions are tailored to you: brainstorming concepts and themes for photo shoots, choosing and defining color palettes, creating mood boards, sourcing props and backdrops and learning styling techniques to apply to your own still life shoots.This workshop is great for those interested in styling as a career, photographers, makers of handmade goods for an Etsy shop or ecommerce site, instagrammers and those seeking a taste of creative self expression beyond the norm.

Special holiday gift guide price is $99. Usual value is $175.

Contact Robin Zachary to set up the day and time. Mention A Child Grows. Offer is good through January 30th must used by4/30/2016. Must be 18 years and up.

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Robin Zachary is a New York City based Bridal and Tabletop Stylist, Teacher, Editor and former Creative Director of Bridal Guide Magazine where she art directed and styled hundreds of photoshoots. A self-proclaimed vintage junkie, she can’t resist pulling over to peruse a tag sale or thrift shop in any town she passes through hoping to spot her next great prop. She’s a regular attendee of Bridal Fashion Week and the New York Tabletop Market and is the Contributing Home Editor for Bridal Guide Magazine. Her clients include: Weddings by the Ritz Carlton Magazine, Modern Luxury Brides and MacKenzie-Childs. She has been a styling teacher on the faculty of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology for 8 years.

Monk Oil

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Monk Oil- incredible for those of us who are parenting in NYC and need relief!

Available in Brooklyn at Oroboro, and The Herban Alchemist

I am in love with my bottle, and I have to say it’s really helped me through a trying autumn. This is an excellent gift idea for a man or woman of any age. It’s supernatural and healing. There’s also a crystal inside every bottle, and I absolutely adore hearing it clanking around whenever I apply my oil.

About its inception and inventors:

Katie Ryan Roth and Monika Stanislawek have been best friends since they met working at a honey factory in DUMBO in 2000.

“Monk Oil came about after we went on our annual camping trip out in the Pacific Northwest.  As much as we both love living in New York City, we’d both been feeling the strain of urban life and were having reentry problems! We were working full time in Brooklyn and wanted to be present throughout the day not just physically but energetically too. As we all know, nature is life’s best healer and we came away from our camping trip feeling not just intact, but also inspired.  We wondered how to create that feeling of calm, inner stability and harmony with the outer world while still in the city.  Monk Oil came out of that need. Monk Oil was imagined with a blend of ingredients to support the body, the soul, and the spirit. We started wearing it around town and the next thing we knew exhausted Brooklyn parents and coworkers were asking “what is that amazing smell?” when we walked into a room. While wearing Monk Oil, we felt we had on a magical sheath as we navigated our days. We started selling it in small homemade batches to our friends and decided to make Monk Oil official last summer. We saw that both men and women in the city really needed some comfort and Monk Oil could help them.”

The potion contains organic essential oils of cedar, lavender and rose.  Yarrow flower essence is added to address the strain of technology and city sensory overload on the body and spirit.  There is also a rose quartz crystal, the stone of unconditional love, in every bottle.  The potion is made on full and new moons and other traditionally auspicious days.

Katie Ryan Roth is an artist and Carousel Manager, and Monika Stanislawek is a Steiner School Teacher of young children. They are both striving to keep the magic alive here in the big city, everyday.


Kiwi Crate

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Here is the awesome Snow Globe kit for the holidays from Kiwi Crate… My daughter loves hers and sleeps with it next to her bed at night.

I went to the demonstration of the Kiwi Crate snow globe making for kids with my daughter at Story in Chelsea the other night, and we had the best experience…

About this awesome concept, that comes in the mail, for kids of all ages:

Kiwi Crate develops award-winning hands-on projects and activities designed to spark your child’s curiosity and creativity. From games and science experiments to arts and crafts activities, Kiwi crate inspires kids ages 3-16+ through discovery and open-ended play. Our mission is to help equip the next generation of innovators with the tools for creative problem solving and exploration.

We want to make it easy for parents to engage their kids in creative activities that are both fun and educational.  Our core product is a monthly subscription, which delivers a crate with all the materials, inspiration and instruction around a different theme each month.

There are 4 lines in the Kiwi Crate family:

  • Koala Crate – play-based discovery for preschoolers (3-4 yrs). Themes like Reptiles, Numbers, and Space.
  • Kiwi Crate – hands-on creativity and learning for kids 5-8 yrs. Themes like Treasure Hunt & Cartography, Shadow & Light, Science of Color.
  • Doodle Crate – art and design projects for kids 9-16+. Techniques like sculpting, printmaking and watercolor.
  • Tinker Crate – STEM (science, technology, engineering & math) projects for kids 9-16+. Concepts like Hydraulics (build a hydraulic claw), Animation (build a zoetrope), Circuits (build paper circuit luminaries).

Subscriptions start at $19.95/month. But we’d be happy to provide a special discount code for your readers to take 50% off their first month with code BROOKLYN.


And, HERE is an exquisite list of Brooklyn boutiques that A Child Grows loves, listed by neighborhood, please take a peek!

Rebecca Conroy is an artist, stylist, and Editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn. She is  from New York City, and has an MFA from Columbia University in screenwriting. Rebecca often finds herself on film and photography sets making things run or look better, and is the mom of two outrageously wonderful kids.