Think Big!
May 28, 2011, 5:33 pm
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This week for “Think Big” we focused on THESE adorable blue denim jeans for boys. Created by the line Surface To Air, they are great alternative to the classic jean with their bold, fun color and red detailing.

Below, hip hop super star Usher pairs his blue jeans with a clean white sneaker and a simple graffic tee.

Jeans. Tee. Sneakers.

Acclaimed actor, Justin Chatwin sports bright blue pants with a cuff in GQ. This look is relaxed but still a bit formal. Perfect for a night where the kiddos need to dress up a bit. We love the mix of gingham with such a bright color, perfect for your dapper little darling!

Jeans. Shirt. Shoe.

Little Wayne wore bright blue denim during a performance for MTV. He paired them with a studded belt, simple white tee, and scarf. Little Wayne is great at infusing his hip hop look with a bit off rock n rock, as evident in the belt choice.

Jeans. Tee. Scarf. Belt.

Want to contribute your own “Think Big”? We would love to have you! Contact us at

Fun New Things…
May 26, 2011, 8:03 pm
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Instagram! Monkey & The Bug is on it! So, for shop updates and (the best part) adorable picks of my kids be sure to follow us at @monkeyandthebug. Let me know if you are on Instagram and I will follow back!

Babble! We are incredibly excited to have gotten a shout out on Babble! Thanks to Jordan from Oh Happy Day for the write up! You can check it out HERE.! I am so very excited to announce that we have been nominated for Best Children’s Boutique in Boston by’s A List. Could you take a moment and vote for us? Voting takes place HERE


Featured Designers and New arrivals!
May 23, 2011, 11:48 am
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Check out what’s new in our shop….

Surface to Air is a French design collective known for their innovative women and mens wear. A jack of all trades, Surface To Air also dabbles in art and film. We highly recommend checking out their BLOG which is filled with all kinds of goodies including music playlists, videos, art reviews, and product info. Lucky for all the fashionable Mamas and Papas, Surface To Air has taken on a kid’s line. Stel’s and Monkey & The Bug carry a slew of fantastic pieces for the whole family in our shop.  Filled with bright colors, silly doodles and pop art prints, the collection is a perfect hybrid of adult like sophistication and child like wonder. What we love the most about STA is that they didn’t forget about the little boy. While their girls clothing is entirely adorable (we are sure you will fall in love with each and every piece), the boys clothing is super cool as well. Check out more from Surface to Air HERE.

Coming soon to Monkey & The Bug is the line Little Warriors. Created by Maggie Fox of the L.A. shop Filth Mart, the line is Cali cool with a youthful spirit. We love the refreshing, sherbet like color palette and the southwest inspired prints. Each piece is overdyed for maximum softness potential and the lines are made for little ones on the move. Every parent knows that if something isn’t comfortable than a kid won’t wear it. We are happy to report that Little Warriors has captured the style a parent wants and the coziness children crave. Be sure to check back with us for updates about Little Warrior at Monkey & The Bug,  follow us on TWITTER, or “like” us on FACEBOOK.

P.S. Did you know right now Stel’s and Monkey & The Bug are offering free ground shipping??? Pretty exciting, no?

listen up!
May 19, 2011, 1:21 am
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My Little Rock N Roller, Gemma

I think every person has a different type of relationship to music. For some, it’s the air they breathe, for others it is just a way to pass time. Whatever their relationship to music may be, I hope that my children will appreciate and understand how we as a family have connected with certain artists or albums. I can only speak for myself here but I believe I am not the only one who has distinct memoirs of my parents playing music in our home and I am interested to see what musical memories my girls will carry with them. I really try my hardest to be sure my daughters are brought up around a diversified selection of music. I know someday they will make their own listening choices and I probably won’t agree with all of them but my hope is that I have provided them with a musical foundation that helps them to appreciate a wide variety of genres.

Lately we have been listening to Boston-based radio station, WERS a lot. WERS 88.9 is described on their website as “music for the independent mind”. It’s on pretty much everywhere we go, the car, home, our shop. Depending on the time of day you can hear anything from jazz to reggae to electronic music. It’s got great diversity and I highly recommend you checking it out. If you are outside the Boston area, no need to fret because you can live stream from their website.

Riley, My Music Aficionado

My girl’s (and myself, of course) love She & Him. They have a new album out entitled “Volume 2” and it’s fantastic. Zooey’s voice is cheerful and sweet. The album has a definite retro sound and every song catchy. It’s hard not to tap your toes and hum along.

Another favorite is Woody Guthrie. Guthrie is an infamous American folk singer and songwriter. I love “Goodnight Darling/Goodnight Arlo” a song for his son about getting ready for bedtime. The Smithsonian Folkways has produced multiple albums by Guthrie and all of them are a pleasure.

I would love to hear your recommendations for music for my little ones. What do you play for your kids and what do you remember your parents playing for you?

playtime roundup: Supereditions
May 16, 2011, 1:49 pm
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Supereditions are books to illustrate. They are lovely little stories with one things missing…pictures! Your kiddo can fill in the pages using their imagination to bring the story to life.

This picture was snapped at Playtime NYC

We discovered Supereditions at Playtime NYC and were in love with the simplicity and versatility of these coloring books. They fuel the creative mind and encourage children to focus their inspirations and fabricate them into actual images. Highly entertaining, the stories are silly and will certainly delight both children and adults.

Playtime NYC

These are great for traveling and will keep your older set entertained on the plane or a long car ride. We love them for gifts and they are a fun project for home schoolers. They are only 13 dollars each and all four of the Supereditions are available in our shop HERE or check out their website HERE.

Around Town: Boston Children’s Museum
May 12, 2011, 3:11 pm
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Gemma playing checkers (left) and working hard in the construction room (right)

A few Fridays ago, Dave was able to leave work early so we took the girls to the Boston Children’s Museum. We have been members there for almost a year now and it has been one of the best organizations we have joined. The museum is a 3 story “green” museum filled with activities for kids of all ages. BCM is located on Children’s Wharf and on a nice day you can sit outside, enjoy the view, and eat a picnic lunch.
There is a lot to see as the museum is quite large so typically, we head first to the toddler playroom which boasts a small climbing structure, large train track set, and separate arts and crafts area. On this particular Friday, we decided to explore new territory. BCM has compiled a super fun list of 100 things to do while visiting that I highly recommend you take a peek at if you are planning a trip. See the list HERE. We first visited the construction zone that has, among other things, gear toys, a jack hammer, and block tables. The girls really enjoyed climbing in and out of the front loaders. Gemma is a lover of hats, so she relished wearing the hard hat.
Riley drives the bus (left) and plays with bubbles (right)

We then went to an exhibit called “Boston Black…A City Connects”. This area is meant to highlight the diversity in Boston’s African-American community. Gemma played the steel drums, the girls watched a video of traditional African dancing, and Riley got to drive a bus. She gravitates toward any and all steering wheels.
We then visited Peep’s World (a favorite PBS show in our household; I personally think the character of Quack is hysterical). In this room, there are two large water tables, a sand box, and a darkened hallway representing the Deep Dark Woods. The girls couldn’t get enough of playing hide-and-seek with their own shadows.
My girls entering the climbing structure (left) and chasing their shadows (right)

We also took turns captaining a rocket ship, creating bubbles of all sizes in the bubble room, and cooking in the play kitchen. The last thing the girls did before our afternoon was over was climb on the lower levels of the New Balance Climb. This is a three story climbing structure made of curved, carpeted platforms that was designed by famed sculpture Tom Luckey. (you can actually watch a trailer for the documentary about him HERE and see some of the construction for The New Balance Climb…very interesting)
The Boston Children’s Museum is a gem. We are so fortunate to live so close and to be able to visit often. If you are ever in the area, Boston Children’s Museum should be on the top of your list for sights to see.
**Both my little ladies are wearing pieces from our shop. Gemma is in the Nico Nico V Neck Vest and Riley in Nico Nico’s Crazy Dots Tee. **

Mother’s Day Guest Post: Amanda from Lullabies To Terrorize
May 8, 2011, 12:16 pm
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Our final guest blogger is Amanda, mother of Jack and blogger at Lullabies to Terrorize. Here are her words…

Greetings and salutations! I was given the pleasure of guest posting here and I couldn’t be more excited. My name is Amanda and I’m a Tucson dwelling mother to a rather sumptuous three year old named Jack. I started blogging about seven years ago starting way back on Livejournal when I was an angst ridden teenager to my now current haunt on Blogger, Lullabies To Terrorize. I wanted to document my time as a young, music/fashion/movie/art loving mom with few friends and quite a lot of learning and growing to do in the foreign land I knew as motherhood. From all nighters at a show to all nighters with my boobs being offered up in vain (I guess some things really do never change); from tattoo appointments to pediatrician appointments,  I slowly, but surely, found my way. So, without further adieu, here is what motherhood means to me.

  When I became pregnant with Jack I was nineteen years old. I was scared out of my mind and confused as to where my life would go now that I had another to consider. Jack’s father (we married after our first year of parenthood) was in the midst of finishing his Masters in Biomedical Engineering and I had just bought my very first car with the money I saved up from my job as a spa attendant, ready to start my life as an independent woman (the shoes on my feet? I did indeed buy them.). Needless to say, we were unprepared. It was tough, those first few months of my swelling with child, but we pushed on through. Jack was born March 8th, 2008 to a twenty year old motherhood novice. While my heart exploded with love for my new son my mind raced with fear. How will I maintain my identity while helping somebody develop their own? Will I fail at this? Will he resent me? Why do my boobs hurt so freaking much?!

     None of these questions have been answered (except the boob one- mastitis). And that’s okay. Because what motherhood means to me is this- it’s an adventure. You may not be climbing snow-capped mountains or exploring the Amazon, but you’ll be learning and growing constantly. Perpetually answering your own questions and creating new ones in equal measure and with those worlds unfold; navigated only by your mind, your gut and your child. I’m not nearly afraid as I used to be. Once I accepted that motherhood need not be entirely defined (how exhausting it would be to try and fit everything into a clean, precise box!) it became easier to navigate. Ready or not, here I come.
If I have any advice for Jack in the future, I would tell him-
1. Be genuine. No matter if it goes against the grain, stay true to yourself. It’s the only way to be truly happy with what you accomplish.
2. Shower regularly. Nobody likes a smelly ass dude.
3. Be a gentleman. They say chivalry is “dead” but that’s just because people have gotten lazy or jaded.
4. Embrace adversity. It may not feel good at the moment, you may hate life, but in the long run it will help you discover who you are and how much you can overcome.
5. Don’t feel the need to buy into trends. Fedoras are not that cool.
6. Do not try to keep a girl out late when her dad says to have her home at a specific time. You will NOT enjoy meeting her father after that.
7. Surround yourself with good music, good food and good people. It will make you feel rich when you may only have five dollars in your pocket.
8. If you want to get a tattoo please consult me first. Please. I beg of you. If you come home with a dragon drinking a jug of Jungle Juice on the arms I worked long and hard for nine months and over twenty-four hours of labor on I WILL smack you. I will smack you hard. Homie don’t play that.
9. Please don’t put me in a retirement home. I didn’t give you my all for sugar-free Jell-O and Bingo Fridays.
10. Remember us when you have your first child and when you feel the love that squeezes everything inside your chest, remember that we too have felt it for you, have always, will always, forever.
Happy Mother’s Day to you and your’s.

Advice for Gemma and Riley
May 8, 2011, 11:58 am
Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: ,

In reflecting upon motherhood this week, I’ve come up with some advice for Gemma and Riley.

1. Intelligence will serve you further than beauty.
2. Always show sincere gratitude, no matter how small or large the gesture.
3. Don’t be a “know-it-all”. It’s a very annoying personality trait.
4. Try not to incorporate “um” or “like” into your vocabulary. The English language is vast; use it.
5. Laugh often and loudly;
6. Crying during sappy, over-acted chick-flicks is not only allowed but strongly encouraged.
7. Here is one critical piece of fashion advice: walking in uncomfortable shoes can ruin an entire outfit.
8. Don’t get addicted to Starbucks. It’s an expensive habit.
9. Floss your teeth at least once a day.
10. Know that Dad and I are, by far and away, your biggest advocates and supporters. We will always, always love you.
I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day Post: Valeria from A Little Pea Came Along
May 7, 2011, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Guest Blogger, Inspiration

Our next Mama blogger from our Mother’s Day Series is Valeria from A Little Pea Came Along. Read on to hear her very sweet advice for her two little girls.

Mother’s Day as a day to give my mom a bouquet of beautiful flowers and a card to remind her how remarkable she is makes perfect sense. Now that I am included in this holiday it is almost silly. Shouldn’t I celebrate my daughters for all they have given to me? I get to receive a gift and a sweet note from the very person who has given me the greatest gift of all? It almost seems like I am cheating.

With motherhood I unwrapped a whole new facet of my heart and soul, each layer is bright and new and I discover this daily. Every day that I get to spend with Olivia Simone contains an adventure, a challenge, some questions, and a whole lot of loving. With her, happiness is simple and endlessly sweet, being her mama is sugar and I’m eating it up. “Every breath that is in your lungs is a tiny little gift to me”.

In pregnancy I wondered how I could possibly become perfect for her. The perfect woman that she could look up to and learn from, I had to be flawless because that is what she deserves. I had to have all the answers in life, all the lessons learned. Frantic, I realized the impossibility of this task and my limitations in achieving it. Little did I know that the best lessons I could pass on were the very ones my own mother repeated to me year after year, as I was drowning in the throes of teen angst and being painfully clueless. Luckily, the words seeped into my skin and I actually began to live them.

I want my daughters to never forget:

You have to be more than just a pretty face. Your mind, your courage, and your kindness to others will make you unforgettable. Appreciate your beauty but do not be foolish enough to think that this is something that is only visible on the surface. Who you are will make people fall in love with you. The way you speak, the things you say, what you believe in. That will make you eternal, that will define you. Fill your brain with knowledge.

Your body is your temple. Respect your body, it’s what will carry you through life. It is where you will keep your experiences and the wisdom you will collect. Your legs will help you travel the world, your being will bear your children. Feed it right, exercise, embrace your flaws. Do not flaunt it in a way that only degrades you. Share your self only with someone who is as special as you are. You are so beautiful.

Do not poison your tongue with evil words. Those who gossip with you will gossip about you. Stay away from toxic people and bad situations. If you know yourself and what you stand for, it will be far easier to stay away from the pressures of people who have strayed. You can learn a lot from these experiences, but also be wise. Be good to people.

Protect your sister. Protect. Your. Sister. No one in this entire world is more yours than her, and remember that you belong to each other. Even if at times you do not like her, you must always love her unconditionally. The truth is that you were each created from the same cluster of atoms perfectly rearranged, you are one split into two. You grew in my belly and were born out of the same love. When we are gone, you will find your roots in each other. Hold on to her with both hands.

There is so much to life. Yearn for it, question it, find it. Seek your purpose, get to the core. Discover what makes our world extraordinary, care for the Earth, and listen to music daily. Find out why you are here and live it. Don’t waste the day. And when in doubt, dress up.

Song lyric quoted: The White Stripes “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground”

Mother’s Day Guest Post: Lauren From Before I Was A Mom
May 6, 2011, 9:23 pm
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Our next Guest Blogger in our Mother’s Day series is Lauren from Before I Was a Mom. Read on to hear her feelings about mothering her daughter Sierra and the lessons she hopes to teach her…

At least once a week I am awestruck by the fact that I am a mom. I’ll look down at my daughter, Sierra, and wonder how it’s possible I have been entrusted with the incredible responsibility of growing and now raising this amazing child. Sometime between nervously watching those two pink lines appear on the pregnancy test and clutching my gooey not-even-pink-yet baby to my chest, I began my role as her mama. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I became a mama and even now the experience of being a mama is constantly changing. My role as Sierra’s mama evolves as my daughter grows.

Sierra was born sure of what she wanted and demanding about how and when she wanted it. While this frustrates me at times, I hope she continues to have a clear understanding of what she wants in life and I hope she always demands what she deserves. I want her to stay true to herself, because she shouldn’t have to change for anyone. I never want her to hide how intelligent she is, how vulnerable she may be, or how deeply she cares about something or someone.

Sierra has taught me so much in the last 20 months. She has taught me difficult lessons, like how little sleep a person can function on, how much liquid a teeny baby can puke up, and how complicated a three item trip to the grocery store can be now. She has also taught me about beauty and patience by stopping to examine every single flower in a row of forty. She has taught me about the importance of human interaction and kindness by constantly waving and chatting with strangers in the coffee shop, on the bus, and at the store. Mostly Sierra has taught me about love, specifically the incredible ability of a mother to love her daughter more every day, even when her love felt overwhelmingly intense from the beginning.

I hope in return I can teach her many things in the years to come, but there is one important and complicated lesson I have been turning over in my mind lately. I want Sierra to know that she is beautiful, literally stunning, exactly the way she is, but I also want her to know that being beautiful isn’t that important. I want her to feel confident and good about her body, but I also want her to realize that her intelligence, her kindness and compassion, and her fiercely feisty spirit matter more than her mile long lashes, her deep brown eyes, or her rosebud lips. I want her to be the kind of girl who knows she is pretty but doesn’t think too much about it because she’s so busy pursuing personal interests, working on her academic subjects, and forming friendships with people who are similarly grounded.

Mostly I hope Sierra will feel more happiness than sadness, more satisfaction than disappointment, and more love than anger or jealousy.