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We Love Lunch Boxes

Back in the day, your lunch box was something you treasured. You eagerly picked out a new one each year…and carried it with a sense of pride. For some reason I feel like lunch boxes are much more utilitarian now. Sure, they still have cartoons and what not on them, but more and more kiddo’s on the elementary school playground have unbranded nylon totes. Even bento boxes, which can be darling, don’t have the same cache and magic of a Knight Rider lunch box, ya know? This photo sums it all up for me—and totally reminds me of my brother Karl. He worshiped Star Wars and looooved his awesome Super Friends lunch pail.

image: Benjamin_oderwald

Lunch boxes were SUPER trendy amongst collectors back in the 90s….kinda like Pez. Prices became so inflated that I wouldn’t even really look at them, knowing they would cost a pretty penny. But the other day I stumbled upon a great Snoopy lunchbox and it reminded me that I DID still love them. What kind of lunch box did you carry back in the day?

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image: Kevin Rej

TV show based lunch boxed were especially popular in my day (the 70s). That Charlie’s Angels lunch box?? I sooo wanted one. Ironically, often lunch boxes were for TV shows that your parents would never really let you watch….or for bands you never really listened to at age 8 (KISS, Charlie’s Angels, the A-Team….LAUGH IN!). But you knew of them through pop culture and you wanted to be a part of it all!

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image: Sarah Kennon

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image: stacy monakey

image: Pastor Future

I understand why they have evolved….tin lunch boxes get a little rusty, and nylon/vinyl is easier to clean. But man I miss those days. Wolfie likes his lunch box, and we got him a sweet Pokemon one, but I know he doesn’t feel that same reverence we all did when we were kids.

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image: Greg Koenig

Do you have these same memories? What was your lunch box? And how about your kiddos….what are they carrying their lunch in these days? I’m curious!

FLASHBACK // This post is one of our most popular and most pinned! We thought it would be fun to share it with you again in case you missed it the first time around!

Posted in Uncategorized.

Retro Rainbow // YELLOW

Hey friends! Did you have a great weekend? We had a super lovely one. Not to make our east coast pals jealous, but the weather in the Bay Area has been GLORIOUS! Like, sunshine-on-my-shoulders, bare legs, lemme-order-up-an-ice-coffee glorious. In honor of the beautiful sunshine, let’s take a lil lookie at some of my fave vintage items in today’s color: YELLOW.

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Oh YELLOW. It’s just a happy color, eh? I find that over the years I’ve been wearing so much more yellow. Those top shoes and my Enid Collins butterfly bag are just too much fun. That Panasonic radio is technically Greg’s (he has a pretty groovy collection of vintage electronics). It’s called a Toot-a-Loop and was designed to wrap around our wrist for easy transportation. Suh-weeeet!

You can see Jenny’s original Vintage Yellow colors here.

Posted in Retro Rainbow.

Time for a Coffee Break // Keurig Giveaway CLOSED

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Friends….have you missed me?? I’ve sure missed you! Dottie and I are have been busy as can be, but we’ve had a Modern Kiddo Summit and are getting ready to come back better than ever. But in the mean time we have a little special something for ya.

Can we talk about coffee? Ahhh. I just love it. It’s how I start my day…and it’s how I give myself a little pick me up in the afternoon.  I love a classic cuppa joe with a splash of cream. I love iced coffee. And I admit, I do love a lil flavored coffee every now and then. The only problem in our house? I’m the only coffee drinker! So rather than brew up a giant pot all for my lonesome, I tend to shell out way too much cashola at the cafe. What’s a coffee loving girl to do? Enter….Keurig!

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When the kind folks at Keurig offered to let me try one of their Keurig Special Edition brewing systems, I was extremely curious. Friends, it’s pretty amazing. It’s super easy to use and brews you a lovely cup of coffee in less than 60 seconds. Yes….60 seconds! The coffee was hot, strong and very tasty. You just pop a lil K-Cup pod into the machine and hit a button. Easy peasy! There are three settings too….small cup (perfect for vintage coffee cups!), medium cup and large (when only a big ol Orla Kiely size mug will do!).

With the Keurig you can also brew tea and hot cocoa….AND if you are super particular about your coffee, you can even get a My K-Cup which allows you to use your own schmancy coffee. Sweet! (I’m looking at you, Blue Bottle….)

Oh how I wish I had one of these when I was a new mama! It’s so crazy convenient—perfect for those early mornings (or late nights). I’m thinking this may be my new go-to gift for preggo friends or busy mamas. I’m having so much fun with it, I wanted to give one away to YOU!

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YEP! We are giving away one fabulous Keurig Special Edition brewing system (valued at $149.99).

To Enter to Win:

1.  Simply leave a lil comment below telling me what you love about coffee or your favorite kind of coffee! Be sure to leave your email so we can get in touch with you.

BONUS entries:

2. Tweet about this giveaway! Please be sure to tag @modernkiddo and use the #JustBrewIt tag!

Sample Tweet: I just entered to win a @Keurig coffee maker from @modernkiddo. Wish me luck! #JustBrewIt

Deadline to enter is April 17. We’ll announce the winner next Friday, April 18! Good luck!

We participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network, however as always all opinions stated are our own.

Posted in Giveaways.


The year was 1968 and the Summer Olympics (or the Games of the XIX Olympiad, as they were officially called!) were held in Mexico City, Mexico. The Mexican Olympics were notable for many things: they were the first Games hosted by a Latin American nation, they were the first Games to feature a woman torch-bearer lighting the Olympic flame…they were the Olympics where more world records were broken than in any other prior Olympiad and they were the Olympics where two African-American athletes took a stand for human rights by infamously raising their black-gloved fists.

But perhaps one of my favorite things about that Olympics? The innovative (and crazy excellent) graphic design system created to celebrate these Games. The bar had been set high by Tokyo in 1964, and the Mexican Olympic committee wanted to make a similar splash! Take a look at this:

Pedro Ramirez Vázquez, Chairman of the Organizing Committee and an important Mexican architect, took the lead on the design committee and eventually selected Lance Wyman as head graphic designer (USA) as well as Eduardo Terrazas (Mexico) as the lead on Urban Design.

Sketches and color explorations from inside Lance Wyman’s studio:

“As I recall there were only two mandatory requirements; that we use the official five ring Olympic symbol to identify the games, and that we use three languages—Spanish, English and French—for all written communication. The Mexico 1968 logotype, which was based on traditional forms from Mexican culture as well as being Sixties pp-art kinetic typography, set the tone for the entire graphics system. It was designed by integrating the official five ring Olympic symbol into the number “68” to create a parallel line typography that suggested imagery found in Mexican pre-Hispanic art and folk art. The logotype powerfully expressed a sense of place and culture and visually exclaimed the Games were in Mexico.”  — Lance Wyman from The Olympic Image: The first 100 Years, Compiled & Edited by Wei Yew  © 1996

I just love everything about this look. That lettering is terrific and it’s so clever—combining traditional Mexican imagery with 1960s op-art. No wonder these graphics are so legendary.

The designers also created a simple but bold and colorful icon system to help code all the various events.

“Colour and Mexico are synonymous. We used bright colour to code the sport events, the motor routes, the entry tickets, and the seating sections in the venues. We applied colour liberally to postage stamps, publication mastheads, souvenirs, and stadium plazas. Colour helped transform the 1968 Summer Olympic Games into a Mexican fiesta!” —Lance Wyman

The amazing thing was how the logo and graphic system were integrated into every visual aspect of the ’68 Games, from tickets to events, to stamps, postcards, signs, programs, even clothing!

I just love it….it’s still as fresh and modern today as it was back then, don’t you agree?

I have to say I love the Olympics and I’m SO excited for the Sochi Games coming up next month. Last time the Winter Olympics rolled around, Wolfie and I were loving watching Shawn White and the snowboarders, Apollo Ohno and the speedskaters….and of course, my childhood favorite, the figure skating competition! Which events are you looking forward to most??

Posted in Vintage Graphics.

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Flash Back // The Most Magical Candy Store

I love discovering something that just makes you go, “Oh WOW.” This is one of them! Back in 1938, Viennese chocolatier Stephen Klein started Bartons Salon De Chocolat in the New York area. They had great success creating delicious European-style chocolates and even expanded their line to produce kosher chocolates—earning a reputation in the Jewish community  for being “the” confectioner for Passover sweets. As demand increased, they opened more and more shops. In 1952, as they prepared to open their 50th store in Manhatten, they decided to give their brand a refresh. And what a colorful refresh it was!

Can you believe this place? I love it. LOVE!!!

Every colorful detail was intentional as can be—and quite unlike what was happening in architecture and design at the time. Apparently the rules for store design included missives like “the store front must look modern” “strong colors should not be used; they overwhelm the merchandise” and even “don’t call attention to the ceiling and away from the merchandise”. CLEARLY the brains behind Bartons had their own ideas!

In the August 1952 issue of Architectural Forum, architect Victor Gruen said “store design is taking itself too seriously,” and was determined to turn the candy store into a visual delight. They began by giving the traditional storefront a vibrant paint job that made it stand out on the street.

Together with graphic consultant Alvin Lustig, they set about to create a “toy shop for adults”. The plan? Clever displays, vibrant colors and whimsical Calder-esque light fixtures that were guaranteed to make customers smile and put them in the mood for some candy shopping! (It’s no coincidence that “Lustig” means jolly/lively/fun in German!)

Ahh, those lamps. No detail was spared and even the candy tins were colorful and featured fun illustrations. This spectacular one is my favorite:

So there you have it. The technicolor world of Bartons Bonbonniere! It’s amazing, isn’t it?


images: article tall candy boxes / round candy box

FLASHBACK // This post is one of our most popular and most pinned! We thought it would be fun to share it with you again in case you missed it the first time around!

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Posted in Uncategorized.