Christine Koh

Hello!

I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

Shop The Grommet's Pop-In Shop!

Though I'm not into the whole "Hey it's the holidays so let's hit the stores at 3am to score bargains!" thing, I'm definitely into supporting small businesses -- any time really, but Saturday, November 29 is Small Business Saturday. And if you're downtown, check out The Grommet's pop-in shop within Michelle Willey at 8 Union Park Street in Boston. (If you're not in striking distance of the store, you can shop the special collection online. Yay!)

Open now through December 24, The Grommet pop-in shop includes a curated collection of maker items, many sourced from New England. The Grommet is all about the storytelling behind different products; you'll see this reflected on their website and in the pop-up store, and I'm thrilled to partner with The Grommet today to share my 10 favorite picks from their special collection at Michelle Willey:

1. FOR THE (CURRENT OR ASPIRING) MINDFUL PLANNER. The more time I spend online, the more time I need offline, using real writing utensils and paper. There are lots of day planners to get your life in order, but I love that this Day Designer encourages mindfulness in setting short and long term goals (perfect for tackling goals like a boss).

2. FOR THE BELOVED CYCLIST. Boston cyclists aren't daunted by much, and neither are Boston bike thiefs (this coming from the girl whose brand new bike was stolen after one glorious ride). Gift your beloved cyclist with the Gotham theft-proof bike light, which was designed by MIT grad Slava Menn to keep cyclists safe and thwart bike light thieves.

3. FOR THE PERSON WHO LOVES TO BE PREPARED. As the person who is basically never prepared (except with my phone), I totally love this multi-tool iPhone case. The sturdy polycarbonate case protects your beloved communication device while featuring 8 TSA-compliant built-in tools: a pen, Phillips screwdriver, flat-head screwdriver, kickstand, nail file, tweezers, scissors, and a toothpick. WHAT?! It's totally the perfect gift for the aspiring MacGyver in your life.

4. FOR THE PERSON WHO LOVES TO BE PREPARED (BUT DOESN'T HAVE AN IPHONE). Don't have an iPhone? No worries. There is something awesome called the Pocket Monkey. Say it again: POCKET MONKEY! Thin enough to fit in a credit card wallet slot, this TSA-compliant 12-in-one utility tool includes a cell phone stand, bottle opener, orange peeler, screwdriver, hex wrench, ruler, letter opener, scraper, and more. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

5. FOR THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS. Now that Violet is out of the destroy and conquer phase, I've recently rediscovered the beauty of candles; they create immediate ambiance and make me feel calm. These Big Dipper beeswax candles would make for a lovely hostess gift; they're all natural, non-allergenic, soot-free, and burn cleanly for 40+ hours. In fact, these 100% beeswax candles helps clean the air; when burned, they release negative ions that can reduce allergens and pollutants. Thank you, bees.

6. FOR THE RELUCTANT TIME TELLER. When I was a kid, I really struggled to learn to tell time, but I suspect I would have been better motivated if I was staring down one of these adorable Modern Moose wall clocks. Available in a variety of designs, these clocks make a statement on their own or would make for a whimsical addition to a gallery wall.

7. FOR THE MINIMALIST PLAYROOM. Tight on storage? No worries. I love that Storytime Toys toyhouses + storybooks offer fodder for two of the best childhood activities ever: reading and imaginative play. No tools are required to assemble the foam/card stock toyhouses, and when you're done, just fold flat and stow. These toyhouse/books are offered in three versions: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Hansel and Gretel, and The Three Little Pigs.

8. FOR CRAFT + CRITTER ENTHUSIASTS. Time away from the screen is always a good thing, and how gratifying would it be to needle felt your way from a simple ball of wool to an adorable fuzzy felted friend? Wool Pets felting kits are designed for kids ages 10 and up and each kit contains the supplies to make 2-5 critters. These would make super cute little ornaments...just glue gun a ribbon on once done!

9. FOR YOUR FRIEND WHO IS SECRETLY PRACTICING FOR HIS/HER KARAOKE DEBUT. Let's face it, shows like The Voice have left many of us fantasizing about our breakout song. Or at least, what we could belt out at karaoke (AHEM). Speaker creatures are waterproof wireless Bluetooth speakers that will allow you to practice your karaoke debut song in the comfort of your shower.

10. FOR EVERYONE WHO BATHES (HOPEFULLY THAT'S EVERYONE IN YOUR HOUSE). I'm completely in love with Fiat Luxe's felted soaps. It's the perfect gift in my opinion (and my top pick in The Grommet pop-in collection): affordable, clever, and pretty while being usable and thus clutter-free. Fiat Luxe soaps are wrapped in wool felt that serves as an exfoliating washcloth. The felt shrinks along with the soap, and once the soap is gone, simply make a slit in the felt and stuff it with other soap remnants. BRILLIANT.

So many cute things, right? Head to the pop-in shop at Michelle Willey or shop online to support independent makers and their creative awesomeness!

Disclosure: This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with The Grommet. All opinions about curated picks are, of course, my own.

Image credits: The Grommet


Giveaway Goodness: The Nutcracker

Thanksgiving Week + Weekend Roundup