Let's talk about what you're reading right now + my favorite recent grown-up reads

Depending on where you live it's likely your kids are either already back in school or headed back soon — possibly leaving you with a bit of free time that would usually be spent organizing the house or shepherding everyone from one evening summer event to another. I know we tried having an Offbeat Families Book Club last year to varied degrees of success, so we don't have to go that route — but I'd love to know what you guys are reading nowadays!


Send your college student to school with a Stormtrooper alarm clock because you can

Hey, hey it's the middle of the summer — which means a certain portion of our readership is getting ready to send their kiddos off to college! My first (and only) dorm room was a pretty special hive filled to the brim with rock star posters and whatever cute stuff my best friend's mom bought us (because I was flat broke), but that doesn't mean I'm not full-on enthusiastic about virtually decorating the dorm rooms of your offspring! And lest we forget: at least half of this could totally work in an adult home, or a kid's room. Or all three.


Yes Style: maternity clothing that probably won't make you gag

I can't tell you why I still cruise maternity wear even though I have no plans to grow another human being, but I do. My current favorite online shop is Yes Style. The company is based in South Korea but happily ships all over the world — orders under $150 have a flat $9.99 shipping rate, and you get free US shipping if you spend more than $150 (you can find out what shipping is to your corner of the world right here). The flat shipping rate is fortuitous, because some of the maternity wear is AMAZING and it's nice knowing what shipping will be ahead of time.


Brightly colored chevron and polka dot socks for kids

I love talking about kid's shoes with you guys, but we have yet to delve into an infinitely more fun topic: SOCKS. I've had a passion for socks for many years, and have happily extended this into my son's life — if it has a pattern and/or is brightly colored, he's wearing it on his toes. I thought a few of you might be into socks as well, and when I found Kids Socks I knew I had a good one to share!


Oompa Toys: where wooden and organic meet FUN for little and big kids alike

If you follow our shenanigans on Facebook, then you might have already seen my recent freak-out over Oompa Toys. I often get frustrated with toy websites that seem to only cater to babies (or their parents), but happily Oompa has toys for kids between birth and 9 — and we're talking some seriously cool stuff. There are tons of wooden alternatives to the plastic you might see elsewhere (look at this super cute wooden bus!), and they offer free shipping on all orders over $65.


The Path of Names: what would probably happen if Harry Potter was a girl at Jewish summer camp

I was flipping through the internet one day when I saw a tweet that likened Ari Goelman's recently published The Path of Names to a Jewish Harry Potter tale, and immediately clicked over to read the article. You guys probably know by now that I take my 14-year-long Harry Potter fandom and all references to the series very seriously, so of course (of course!) I had to check it out.


Etsy Fiending: get your R2D2 baby onesies from The Wishing Elephant

Full disclosure: I spent an inordinate amount of time looking at baby clothes on Etsy, especially for someone who doesn't have an infant and probably will never have one again. I really can't help myself, because shops like The Wishing Elephant exist and produce robot baby costumes that look remarkably similar to R2D2 and all of a sudden I find myself measuring my chihuahua/pomeranian mix puppy and wondering if I could order him an extra, extra small.