Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Love the overall shorts

Look at little Timmy (Feb 08 POM) in his custom overall shorts. Precious!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Kind Words from Cool Mom Picks: Hand Picked Pumpkin: A Set in the Right Direction

Many thanks for Cool Moms Picks for this review of our new Pocket Tee & Bloomer sets.

I tend to steer clear of sets for my kiddos. Sure, they're an easy grab when you need to dress them in a snap, but other than that, they're not hugely versatile, particularly when you're trying to get the most bang for your buck.

But sometimes, I just can't resist, like these adorable tee and bloomer sets from Hand Picked Pumpkin. Designed and handmade by owner and mom Allison Case, these two-piecers are the perfect romp-around outfits for summer babies, featuring bright, uniquely patterned fabrics for both boys and girls.

And the best part is that you can use the bloomers under skirts separately, or lose them altogether on cooler days and pair the t-shirt with some jeans. Now that's the kind of set I can get my wallet out for. -Kristen

Friday, April 25, 2008


The purpose of our lives is to give birth to the best which is within us.
-Marianne Williamson

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Perfect for Spring

Simple, light and perfect for Spring, check out this recipe for Seared Salmon with Creamy Leek Sauce provided by Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jessica Alba's gift...

A few weeks ago we sent Jessica Alba a gift basket (similar to the one sent to Halle Berry that is featured below). Convinced she was having a boy I included, along with a gift certificate, our cream rodeo kids pocket tee & bloomer set. Cowboys are in now for girls right?!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

While surfing for Earth Day activities to do with the kids today I came across this site, Kaboose. It's full of craft ideas, recipes, history of the day and more. Looks like a good resource!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kind Words from Tot Trends

A big thank you to the editor of Tot Trends for featuring Hand Picked Pumpkin in her editor's blog last week. Here's what she had to say:

Create a custom look for your little one by shopping Hand Picked Pumpkin. Choose from ready made designs or create your own look by selecting from their availabel fabrics and colors. The clothing is not only stylish but comfortable too!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Babble Review: Hand Picked Pumpkin

Many thanks to Babble for this review of Hand Picked Pumpkin!

Want to fool your playgroup into thinking you have a secret life as a designer? Put your kid into a Handpicked Pumpkin ensemble – stat! The jumper shown above is of their own making, but you can also log on and create your very own outfit. How it works: Pick an item of kiddo clothing, choose the size and then customize via fabric choice (we like the retro yippee and hot dot brown). The cuteness is in the details, whether those details are hidden snaps and pockets or a mix and match hot mess.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Halle Berry's Gift Basket

Hand Picked Pumpkin teamed up with Custom Made for Kids, Four Peas, and The Chocolate Cake Club (all Chicagoland-based, mom-owned companies) and sent this beautiful gift basket to Halle Berry & Gabriel Aubry just after the birth of their daughter Nohla. We included a Hand Picked Pumpkin Carnival Bloom tee & blooomer set and gift certificate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A fun twist

This is a good time of the year to separate and re-pot your inside plants and share them with someone. Same for any outside plants that need to be divided. Have a plant exchange with some of your friends.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kind Words from Tot Snob: Bespoke Clothing

Many thanks to Tot Snob for this recent review of Hand Picked Pumpkin:

I am always on the hunt for cute baby clothes that are somewhat unique. I hate showing up somewhere, and all the little boys are wearing the same Baby Gap clothes. And don’t even get me started on the lack of boys’ clothes, compared to girls clothes! With all this in mind, I was very impressed when I saw Hand Picked Pumpkin. The adorable clothes, which have a celebrity following, are available either in ready-made outfits, or you can customize them. All of the clothes are made of comfortable, yet chic, soft knits and modern woven prints. And the boys’ clothes are just as cute as the girls! If you need a great gift, check out their beautiful blankets and burp cloths. I also like that the company is environmentally responsible, and that they donate a portion of their profits to children’s charities. Available at

Friday, April 11, 2008

Inspirational Message

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it. - Michael Gartner

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Triathlon Training Season Starts

For those of you embarking on triathlon spring training like myself visit Tri-Newbies On-Line for schedules and training tips. I am planning to follow the 18 Week Olympic Distance – Intermediate schedule. My training starts Monday, yikes…
A follow up from yesterday's post. Some foods that hit the garbage yesterday (because they contain High Fructose Corn Syrup) included our Heinz Ketchup, Hershey's chocolate syrup, Honey Maid Graham crackers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

In Defense of Food has got me reading labels

My book club gathered this past Sunday night for the discussion of our latest read, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. His website,, has a detailed summary of the book which we all found extremely eye-opening.
The second half of the book was by far my favorite. Pollan does a wonderful job explaining simple steps we can take to escape the evils of our Western diet. Since finishing the book, I feel a much more informed shopper and find myself making much healthier diet choices for myself and my family.
I am immediately attempting to eliminate High Frucose Corn Syrup from our diets.
While shopping yesterday with a whole new set of eyes I learned: Cattle from Wholefoods (at least the Wholefoods I shop at in River Forest, Illinois) is grass fed the first 2/3rds of its life and then the last 1/3 fed a vegetarian diet including grains but no antibiotics. Chickens from their store are raised the same as cattle. The butcher said the lamb and bison were 100% grass fed.
Deli guys didn't have info on Applegate turkey so I'll checked out their website and found this fun track your food to its source link. I also attempted to read as many bread ingredient labels as I could and the only one I found without some sort of sugar added was Ezekiel 4:9.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kind Words from Go City Kids

Many thanks to Go City Kids for this feature today!

Be forewarned: designing and creating your children's outfits can be a bit addictive. Blame Hand Picked Pumpkin, makers of unique and stylish baby clothes that you can customize in three easy online steps.

Start by picking a clothing item - like a onesie, romper, or top. Then choose your size, and customize with fabric colors and patterns. Fabrics are soft and functional, the construction is easy to get on and off, and the pieces wash and wear well.

Oh, and trust us, nobody else at playgroup will be wearing the same thing.

GoCityKids Tip: Not into designing your own? Choose from an array of ready-made items on the site. Unique gift sets and gift certificates are also available.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Inspirational Thought

What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything?
-Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Recipes: My favorite Guacamole by Ina Garten

I could live on Chips & Guacamole if I could only figure out how to justify it. I’ve tried many a recipe and have deemed this Guacamole recipe by the Barefoot Contessa my favorite!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Attempting to bring a bit of quiet to our dinner table

We have been blessed with two very high energy boys. At ages three and eight, getting them to both sit at dinner is a bit of a challenge these days; so we’ve introduced lighting a candle for the duration of our meal. As long as the candle is lit everyone is expected to be seated and speak in an indoor voice.
A side note tip: Trader Joes offers a nice drip-less candle or regular candles can be put in the freezer to keep them from dripping.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Our Handmade Space featured on Modish

Many thanks to Modish for highlighting Hand Picked Pumpkin this week in their feature Handmade Spaces.

Below you'll find a copy of the interview. Click on Modish to see the complete feature with photos!

Handmade Spaces: Hand Picked Pumpkin
Today I have the space of Hand Picked Pumpkin to share, where the creator, Allison, makes her line of adoooorable, custom baby clothing. Let's see where it all takes place!

What do you create in this space?
This is the Hand Picked Pumpkin design studio where we create a modern line of limited edition and custom baby clothing. This space is headquarters for many, many tasks from pre-production brainstorming to sample fittings and alterations to fabric and product storage to marketing, accounting, order fulfillment, and anything else I find myself responsible for while nurturing a growing business.

Please describe what we see in the pictures a bit:
I have bins where the smaller quantities of woven fabric are stored for easy access while cutting each custom order. You’ll also find stacks of woven bolts. You can also find my size 18m dress form used for first round fittings before I go the extra step and test fit on real tots, and some finished pieces hanging ready in the closet. There are two racks of tag board patterns as well as shelves of small pattern pieces, and a packaging table where I try and neatly store all the goodies I need access to when shipping out orders including tissues, stickers, ribbon and enclosures for wrapping gifts, promotional look books and sample swatches.

How do you feel when you enter your handmade space?
I feel extremely happy and lucky when I come to work each day. I did not always do something that I loved and so I am extremely grateful for the position I find myself in now.

Wow, this space looks mighty organized! Thanks for sharing it with us Allison!