Friday, February 29, 2008

Kind Words from Baby Fashion Gift Blog: Clothes as Unique as the Child Wearing It!

Many thanks to Baby Fashion Gift Blog for their kind words and photo collage of our line. Hand Picked Pumpkin...Clothes as Unique as the Child Wearing It!

Emme looks adorable in her Hand Picked Pumpkin shirt dress!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Inspirational Thought

If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure. It transcends all barriers. - Ed Sullivan


I don't know about you but I always feel a bit overwhelmed by all the different children's vitamin choices on the market. I want to be sure I'm giving my kids the right percentage of each element, that the supplement is natural, contains only good things and on and on.
I thought I'd share my recent find. Recommended independently by both my acupuncturist and the acupressurist my kids visit, Nordic Berries from Nordic Naturals is our new vitamin of choice.
I tried to do further research on the product to share with you but unfortunately, it looks like their website is packed full of great info on their fish oils (which I also take and am happy with) and it not so much geared towards the children's multivitamins.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A fabulous find

Last night my dad treated us to a lovely homemade dinner. He made Chicken Vesuvius Sinatra Style. I found it here on line at The New York Times website. You have to scroll down to the end of the article to find the recipe. So yummy and easy. I think this will be my contribution to this week's playgroup recipe swap!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Kind Words from Mommy Perks: Baby your baby at Hand Picked Pumpkin…

Hand Picked Pumpkin received some kind words from Mommy Perks this week:

What is Hand Picked Pumpkin? An awesome concept that allows you to customize your patterns of the items you order… you can’t get more personalized than that! I reviewed their Single Contoured Burp Cloth in the Spring Pals Print and let me tell you, it was cute! They are made in the USA, hand-sewn from 100% soft woven cloth and lined with absorbent terry. Nothing like a modern burp cloth to replace those old plain white ones. They really have a great selection of patterns to choose from. Hand Picked Pumpkin has caught the eye of Brooke Shields and Courtney Cox Arquette; I am sure they will catch your eye as well. Check them out at

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Thursday's featured recipe

Passed along by my mom-in-law and perfect for those of us in deep freeze!

Pasta con Fagioli
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a white onion
1 or 2 ribs of chopped celery
1 clove of minced garlic
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 1 1/2 cups of elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in saucepan, add chopped onion and celery, cook for several minutes on medium heat. Add garlic, stirring for a few more minutes. Add tomatoes sauce and 1/2 to 1 can of water depending on how soupy you prefer your sauce. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer for 5 min. Add beans and cook for 5 more minutes. Then mix in cooked macaroni and heat until flavors are blended. Pour into serving bowls and top with cheese. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Our Partnership with My Corner Playroom

I am very excited to announce Hand Picked Pumpkin's newest partnership with My Corner Playroom located in Lincoln Park, Illinois.

Lisa Gillis' community learning place will be hosting Hand Picked Pumpkin trunk shows the third Friday of every month during their Drop-In Open Play from 9am to 12pm.

This event is a win-win for both parent and child. Mommy gets to shop while baby gets to play!!

For those out of towners who can't meet Lisa in person be sure to check out her about us page. I find her story truely inspiring!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Living with Intention

The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else. - Anonymous

Monday, February 18, 2008

Behind the scenes

I took a few pictures of the design studio today for an upcoming editorial that I'm very excited about.

I particularly like this shot of our pattern racks. And this shot of our woven bolts.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fall/Winter 08 Photo Session

The Hand Picked Pumpkin photo session for Fall/Winter 08 took this place this morning at the Nicole Thomas Photography offices. Here's a behind the scenes photo I took of Nicole while she was shooting flats for the New Fall/Winter 08 Hand Picked Pumpkin Essentials Collection.

I found Nicole Thomas in 2004 while seaching for a photographer to take some very special family photos. I can't imagine hiring anyone else to take either my business or family photos. Nicole is a natural when it comes to capturing the nature and spirit of an individual. She has a keen eye and a creative knack, enabling her to fashion stunning images.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day at our house

Window decorations have almost become a requirement at our house these days. We are always creating new ones as the seasons and holidays change. Our current display features dangling hearts made by tracing heart shaped cookie cutters on construction paper.

Another Valentine's Day tradtion at our house includes breaking out the fondue pot for
cheese fondue

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"I learned... that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic, striving, but it comes to us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness."

-- Brenda Ueland

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sassy Water

Somehow I missed all the buzz surrounding the latest diet trend, The Flat Belly Diet. But I am happy to report that my mother-in-law emailed me the recipe for Sassy Water which we proceeded to make and drink this weekend. Dieting aside, I've gotta say the recipe is a very nice alternative to regular water and is definetly worth trying!(we left out the spearmint leaves and only let the mix sit for 2 hours before drinking)
Sassy Water
2 liters water (about 8 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber. peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium lemon thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let flavors blend overnight.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Green Business

Many thanks to Purple Asparagus for highlighting Hand Picked Pumpkin in their newsletter this week along side another great green shop Pivot. Here is the excerpt taken directly from the Purple Asparagus February 2008 newsletter:

Green Businesses
Two relatively new businesses that seemed interesting to us are Hand Picked Pumpkin and Pivot. Hand Picked Pumpkin is a clothing company for kids whose green efforts include contracting with local seamstresses, purchasing domestic materials, recycling, using non-toxic cleaning products and incorporating energy efficiencies in the design studio. It also has committed to donating a percentage of yearly profits to national charity organizations that specifically center their efforts on helping children. For adults, there's Pivot Boutique, voted recently one of Chicago's Sweetest Things in 2007, which is a clothing boutique that specializes in eco-fashion. Easy on the eyes and the environment.

The Purple Aspargus Newsletter is a great resource full of information on green issues, products and events.

Friday, February 8, 2008

About Nine Months

We are excited to announce our new partnership with About Nine Months in Lenexa, Kansas. Besides carrying an assortment of limited edition Hand Picked Pumpkin gift sets, About Nine Months now displays several styles from our custom line along with our entire assortment of fabric swatches. Starting February 10th they will be hosting monthly trunk shows in their store so customers can play a part in designing their new one's layette.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cupid's Day out

For those of you in Chicago mark your calenders for this local Valentine's event. (Sad to say but HPP had to pass on our invite to participate!)

Embrace your inner Cupid!

Cupid's Day Out is a one-day-only shopping event featuring handcrafted jewelry, bath items, handbags, lingerie and sweets. Find one-of-a-kind Valentine's gifts from exceptional Chicago designers. Plus relationship expert, Elizabeth Aloni, will be on hand to help you become your very own cupid! This event is will be held from at Flourish Studios-a new multifaceted retail space and learning gallery.

Featured designers are: Objets d'Envy, Juliet Jewelry, Lotions & Potions, Evlove Intimates, Luxe Escentuals, Das Caramelini, Sakura Urban Studio and more TBA!

For more information, contact Kirsten Goede
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Flourish Studios
3020 N. Lincoln Avenue, near Wellington

William Tell Mom

This morning after asking (then telling, then raising my voice get the picture) my eight year old remove himself from the computer, eat breakfast, get dressed and brush his teeth how can I not relate to this?!

YouTube: William Tell Mom

Friday, February 1, 2008

The playgroup recipe swap, continued

Grilled Italian Skirt Steak and Mashed Beans (from Men's Health)
2 lbs Skirt or Flank Steak
2 cans cannelloni beans
1 large red onion
3 T balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T chopped rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
juice of 1 lemon

1. In a medium pan over medium heat, cook the onion in half of the olive oil for about 10 min. until it's soft and slightly brown. Add the vinegar and cook for another 5 min.
2. Heat a pot with the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, beans, and rosemary and cook for 5 min. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the beans. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Heat a grill, grill pan or cast iron skillet over high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper and grill for 4-5 min on each side for medium rare. Slice and serve over the beans, and spoon onions on top.