Wonderful finds recommended by Jennifer Dodds Fox
Most of my writing time is wedged between feedings, naps and playtime. With a small child constantly by my side, finding time to sit in front of a computer (and actually accomplish something) can be quite a challenge. So when I first heard of Java Mama, I became ecstatic. The brilliant concept is this: a cafe with great coffee and food, free Wi-Fi and a supervised play space for kids 6 and under. I repeat: supervised play space for kids. This changes everything! Java Mama gives children the chance to play safely while parents work, meet up with friends or just relax with a cup of coffee — which sometimes seems as impossible as achieving world peace. Java Mama also offers regular classes and activities like art, music and gymnastics for more structured play and is available to rent for birthday parties. The cafe menu boasts breakfast and lunch options with kids meals starting at $3.75, paninis at $6.95 and a lineup of sweet treats. The store will also carry gift items from local brands like Old Fort Soap Company and Cedar Creek Candles. Admission to the play space is free for kids under 1 year old and $4 for kids ages 1-6, with a half-price discount for siblings. Java Mama is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat. and stays open until 8 p.m. Fridays. Sundays are reserved for private parties. 5916 Covington Road, Suite A, 46804. (260) 206-6139 or www.javamama.com/FtWayne.
NEW COLLECTION BY THE GOOD ONES
I’ve previously written about local clothing company The Good Ones, the brainchild of One Lucky Guitar’s Matt Kelley. The newest collection, Anything Ever, is another home run for the line of inspired threads for cool dudes. The clothes are comfortable but durable and feature unique details like backside printing, sleeve art and patches that any rough and tumble rock ’n roller would appreciate. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, my two sons appear in some promotional photos and videos for the brand — but since I’m always hunting for unique and stylish clothes for my mini-men, I’ll highlight The Good Ones regardless. Check out the latest and greatest at www.thegoodones.com and while you’re there, download the original tunes, watch some videos, read the blog and print out the coloring pages for the littles in your life.
SHOP THE VISIT FORT WAYNE VISITORS CENTER
If you’ve never popped into the Visitors Center downtown, you’re missing out. The center offers lots of great information as well as Fort Wayne-centric gifts and souvenirs. The inventory includes books, note cards and postcards, T-shirts and hoodies, children’s toys, beverage tumblers and more. I particularly dig the vintage-styled embroidered key chain, the Crest T-shirt and the book, “Wolf & Dessauer — Where Fort Wayne Shopped.” The shop recently added DeBrand chocolates and Vera Bradley handbags and accessories, making it a one-stop shop for all things Fort Wayne. The center is open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri. and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 927 S. Harrison St., 46802. (260) 424-3700 or www.visitfortwayne.com.
EMILY KAI HAIR ACCESSORIES
I have crazy, wild hair that takes a village to tame. I’ve amassed a giant collection of what I lovingly call cranial accessories: hats, headbands, bows, pins, clips, turbans, giant poofs and flowers — I have it all. A friend led me to local company Emily Kai. New mom Emily Bryan was inspired by a fabric market while traveling overseas with her infant son, Kai. As she played around with the beautiful fabrics, the concept for Emily Kai was born. Her line of head scarves, wraps and twist bands are soft, handmade and produced in limited quantities to keep the looks unique. These cranial accessories are stylish, comfortable, stay in place and come beautifully packaged. I purchased mine at Symmetry and they’ve been my go-to hair tamers for the summer. You’ll find this fantastic line at Symmetry and the Pine Valley Rustic Hutch. Prices range from $39 to $60. www.emilykai.com.