August 14, 2017

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A Total Solar Eclipse is Coming - Bring the Kids!

On Monday, August 21, 2017 a total solar eclipse will occur across North America along the moon's path of totality from Oregon, crossing the U.S., to Charleston, South Carolina. This rare, wondrous natural phenomenon was viewable from the U.S. last in 1979. This should be one of the moments of a lifetime.

If you have the opportunity to take the day off, grab the kids and get to the closest area within the path of totality. Please visit WWW.NASA.GOV, to find out more about the band of the U.S. where you will see the sun totally obscured by the moon. A shout out to all of our friends from the Chicago area, the path of totality will cross the southern part of Illinois with the longest duration!

Make sure you get the special glasses, which look like 3D glasses you get at the movies, to watch the eclipse and be prepared with food, water, and other supplies. They say once the moon totally eclipses the moon, the temperature may drop precipitously, so bring a jacket or sweatshirt. Be prepared for crowds and traffic, but it should be worth it.

They say that to experience a total solar eclipse is an opportunity of a lifetime and puts everything into perspective and literally, may even change your world view.

So if you can, get ready, start planning the trip and make the trek to the band of totality to see this wondrous, natural phenomenon before your very eyes!

July 27, 2017

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Beau Loves Collection Fall / Winter 2017 - Secret Eye Society

The Beau Loves Fall / Winter Collection 2017 launches here on August 7th. Stay tuned for this creative, interesting and quirky brand from the UK that transcends trendy and offers a story, creativity and depth.

Beau Loves designs along themes and this season, the collection is called the "Secret Eye Society." Inspired by the designer's son, Beau, the season "started with a magnifying glass, a detective and a key that unlocks every lock in London."  There is a "Secret Eye Society" that is "Top Secret" and quite mysterious. 

Beau Loves designs with the use of black and vibrant colors not just for the sake of black to be contrarian, and color for the sake of color, but as a backdrop to showcase design and creativity. The use of bold colors with hand-drawn designs, a touch of wit and mystery adds meaning, depth and warrants a closer look. 

For these reasons, we look to Beau Loves to provide designs that are playful, unique, creative and interesting. Designing beyond trendy, we find contemporary art and design in Beau Loves' styles that make us appreciate the artistry, the meaning behind the design and the stories that keep us smiling season after season.

Stay tuned for the Beau Loves Fall/Winter 2017 collection at Mini Ruby Contemporary Childrenswear.

 

July 07, 2017

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Anthem of the Ants - Fall/Winter 2017 Collection

This upcoming season, Anthem of the Ants has designed a delightful collection around an academic, school and education theme, to our thunderous applause.  With prints and styles including the University Plaid to the Library Collar Shirts, Anthem of the Ants promotes scholarship, academics and varsity sports this season.

Anthem of the Ants adds a sportier touch to their styles with the use of striped rib trim and cotton jersey. Pairing artistic swan prints in interesting color combinations, we love the juxtaposition of the classic with the sporty, as seen in the Ruffle Popover. As always, we love how Anthem of the Ants plays with and combines different colors, patterns and textures to create great styles for our girls. 

A few highlights this season include the Academy Dress, pictured below, featuring a swan print against olive and pink with the signature deep pockets. The Chateau Vest and Gold Leggings make a statement of high style for our young academics and the Ruffle Reception Dress is classic and sweet.

Anthem of the Ants designs easy to wear, contemporary styles for girls and the brand reflects our philosophy of nurturing the individual spirit. Anthem of the Ants pieces are made true to size, are very durable and are designed and made in California. Please see the Anthem of the Ants' Fall / Winter 2017 collection at Mini Ruby Contemporary Childrenswear.

 

June 20, 2017

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Imoga Collection - Style and Confidence for Fall / Winter 2017

Imoga delights us all this Fall / Winter 2017 with a wonderful collection of creative, contemporary style dresses, skirts, tops, leggings, outerwear and accessories for girls. Imoga designs stylish girls clothes by reinterpreting classic designs with the use of their signature soft jerseys and woven viscose fabrics. They design their own materials and prints and pair comfort with style.

The highlights this season include a lovely palette of colors including the Powder Pink and Glimmer which features tiny silver stars. The super stylish faux fur jacket, the Greta, is redesigned in a colorful zigzag pattern available in two color combinations. Girls will wear this one to showcase their style and confidence. Imoga has also designed a really cool black hearts on powder pink pattern used on a vest and coat that girls will love.

A new silhouette, the Sasha Dress, features adorable star patches on the front, has a belt and a ruffle around the bottom for a sweet touch. The Rosemary Dresses are perfect for back-to-school and are easy-to-wear and care with matching necklaces. Imoga's ever popular Alyssa leggings are available in an assortment of colors and patterns.

We are also featuring a great collection of accessories including the new Quincy mini backpack in the softest faux fur and jewelry.

We hope you enjoy the latest Imoga Collection.

March 21, 2017

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Summer Camps - An Athlete, Mathlete or All of the Above

It's that time of year when we start to think about summer camps and start to think about this summer's activities including family trips, visits with relatives, summers at the beach, traveling, etc.. We want our kids to relax and yet spend their summers productively and we consider how to schedule a summer for our kids filled with fun activities, great experiences, learning and spending time with friends and family.

There are so many great options out there including camps dedicated to a specific activity, sport, craft or discipline and also multi-faceted day camps that have everything from swimming, sports, arts and crafts, horse-back riding, games, etc. 

I recall driving by a school one day last summer when camp was in session and the kids were learning archery. Three decades later, I was thrilled to see that camps nowadays still offer archery! What a quintessential summer camp activity and it brought back so many great memories of when I was a kid. My own kids are much too small to be handling a bow and arrow at this point (reference that famous line in "A Christmas Story"), but, still, I was amazed to see that.

There are some great nature camps on farms, some sponsored by the Audubon Society, which seem like wonderful experiences for kids. A lot of camps are also week-long endeavors, so parents can piece together a summer and cover several different areas. Whether you are focused on a particular sport, art, math, computers, STEM, theater, writing, music, swimming or all of the above, each summer we have the opportunity to introduce and expose our kids to familiar and new activities, perhaps not offered during the school year, hoping to spark an interest or maybe even a lifelong passion.

January 31, 2017

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Nellystella Spring / Summer 2017

We cannot temper our enthusiasm for the upcoming collection by Nellystella for Spring / Summer 2017 and can't wait to unveil these fine dresses and styles for our customers and readership. This season, Nellystella introduces an array of colorful and beautiful fabrics inspired by fantasy and mysticism including the Psychedelic Summer and Sea Life patterns. Bestselling silhouettes return in new colors and patterns including contemporary large plaids and aquatic themes. New styles will also be introduced and yet will contain Nellystella's signature marks, such as her open-shoulder dresses.

The LOVE Collection, or special occasion dresses, are perfect for flower girls and weddings, holiday gatherings, religious ceremonies and celebrations, graduation, music recitals, and of course, for the Birthday Girl.

Nellystella has also designed an array of separates including sweet tops with adorable embellishments, shorts and skirts, that culminate in an adorable and lovely collection of spring and summer clothes for girls.

Please stay tuned as the fine craftsmanship and artistry of each piece of clothing is completed and Nellystella puts the final touches on her collection.

January 04, 2017

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Anthem of the Ants Spring / Summer 2017 Preview

Stay tuned for the newest collection of Anthem of the Ants Spring / Summer 2017 styles that will be available in the coming weeks. We just adore the new styles and colors coming this Spring. Anthem of the Ants has designed a collection along a desert sands and garden theme featuring prints including the Desert Stripe, a Sands Plaid, and a Rainbow Stripe among others.

The new Desert Garden Sundress in Desert Stripe, pictured here, is designed with a fun oversized ruffle, signature deep pockets and adorable shoulder ties. A few classic silhouettes are back with the latest colors and prints and the favored indigo chambray is also back in the form of the Baja Fringe Dress.

Anthem of the Ants is also introducing an array of dresses adorned with pom poms and tassels, just what a little girl wants. We continue to offer great shorts and tops for camp, the beach and free play.

Anthem of the Ants designs easy to wear, contemporary styles for girls and the brand reflects our philosophy of nurturing the individual spirit. Anthem of the Ants pieces are made true to size, are very durable and are designed and made in California. Please stay tuned for Anthem of the Ants' Spring / Summer 2017 collection at Mini Ruby.
November 06, 2016

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Gymnastics - An International Sport

National flags hang from the ceiling of a gymnasium in a local town signifying the international and universal appeal of the sport of gymnastics. My kids take gymnastics at this gym, and as I watch the kids tumble, jump, climb and occasionally wave at me through the glass with big, proud smiles, I'm filled with admiration and respect for the sport. Not only does gymnastics provide a form of exercise, but with every tumble, somersault and cart wheel it helps build confidence and self-esteem.

As parents, we anticipate and sometimes anxiously wait for our babies and kids to achieve their physical milestones. Don't we all generally start rolling over before 6 months, sit up and crawl shortly thereafter and start walking around 12-18 months? And as we grow, add to that progression the tumble, somersault and cart wheel. The 2010 documentary movie, Babies, highlights the fact that no matter where you are born, whether in a state-of-the-art hospital facility or in a rural clinic with just the basic resources, we all enter the world and develop in the same way. Similarly, elementary school children the world over are learning basic tumbling and gymnastics skills as the next set of physical milestones.

From somersaults to gold medal routines at the Olympics, gymnastics has universal appeal. Its approach is quite simple and doesn't require a lot of expensive gear, and yet is one of the most challenging and demanding sports. Gymnastics is a real test of not only athleticism, but hard work, dedication and mental steadfastness. 

The local gymnasium is adorned with a collection of national flags hanging from the ceiling with an array of colors, patterns and symbols of historical, religious, geographic and political significance. They are all different, and yet down on the floor on the tumbling mats, as far as gymnastics is concerned, the kids are all the same. It's no wonder why gymnastics has such universal appeal.

The kids continue to tumble, jump and swing in their sparkly, colorful leotards or ninja warrior outfits which undoubtedly give them more than a confident spring in their step. And with parents, grandparents and caregivers in the viewing galleries, the kids turn to give a little smile or wave, giving them that little boost that makes them run a little faster, try a little harder, reach a little higher.

September 08, 2016

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Nellystella Fall / Winter 2016

Nellystella delights us all with her latest collection for Fall/Winter 2016. From the beautiful designs, luxurious fabrics and expert craftsmanship, we are delighted to present a preview of Nellystella Fall/Winter 2016.

This season, Nellystella finds inspiration from the classic musical, "The Sound of Music." From the edelweiss to the draperies, Nellystella adapts her interpretation and takeaways to create Austrian-inspired fabrics and embroidery that are found in this season's collection. 

One of our favorites is the Vanessa Dress, a flare dress with cut-outs at the sleeves in a beautiful Large Blue Plaid print that shouldn't be missed. The dress is made in a luxurious cotton and is fully lined. Another favorite from the LOVE Collection, the special occasion line, is the Lulu Dress in Winter Melody, which is a 100% silk ruffle dress with tiny embroidered flowers throughout. The fine craftsmanship and beautiful color combinations create pieces that will become this season's favorites. 

Here's a preview of the collection:

Nellystella Vanessa Dress  Nellystella Lulu Dress

 

August 29, 2016

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"September, the First Day of School" by Howard Nemerov

September is upon us and households are aflutter with excitement as the first day of school approaches. We try to squeeze in a few more days at the pool or beach as summer lingers on. We take the kids out for a late dinner, go for ice cream afterwards and what's another half hour at twilight at the park or playground.

But we know that we will have to start recalibrating our minds and bodies to the early morning rush and the demands of homework, sports, music lessons, etc.. Our circadian rhythm is way off and we wonder if we should start to reset our clocks now to get the kids ready.

The kids are so excited to meet their new teachers, see their new classrooms, cubbies and desks and see friends, old and new. We welcome the routine, structure and sense of community that schools  provide and we look forward to engaging with teachers and parents again.

I recently took my kids to a bookstore to browse and as my kids were tearing it up, literally, in the kids section, I stopped to enjoy a poetry anthology I spotted by Garrison Keillor. It included this poem about how we all feel on the first day of school. One of my kids is entering first grade, so this is particularly meaningful for me.  My favorite line is "I know my hope, but do not know its form."

I share the poem with you here:

"September, the First Day of School" by Howard Nemerov

I

My child and I hold hands on the way to school,
And when I leave him at the first-grade door
He cries a little but is brave; he does
Let go. My selfish tears remind me how
I cried before that door a life ago.
I may have had a hard time letting go.

Each fall the children must endure together
What every child also endures alone:
Learning the alphabet, the integers,
Three dozen bits and pieces of a stuff
So arbitrary, so peremptory,
That worlds invisible and visible

Bow down before it, as in Joseph's dream
The sheaves bowed down and then the stars bowed down
Before the dreaming of a little boy.
That dream got him such hatred of his brothers
As cost the greater part of life to mend,
And yet great kindness came of it in the end.

II

A school is where they grind the grain of thought,
And grind the children who must mind the thought.
It may be those two grindings are but one,
As from the alphabet come Shakespeare's Plays,
As from the integers comes Euler's Law,
As from the whole, inseperably, the lives,

The shrunken lives that have not been set free
By law or by poetic phantasy.
But may they be. My child has disappeared
Behind the schoolroom door. And should I live
To see his coming forth, a life away,
I know my hope, but do not know its form

Nor hope to know it. May the fathers he finds
Among his teachers have a care of him
More than his father could. How that will look
I do not know, I do not need to know.
Even our tears belong to ritual.
But may great kindness come of it in the end.

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