What to Bring to Maplewoodstock

Maplewoodstock Must Haves

— by Deborah Engel

It’s my favorite time of year, Maplewoodstock! My husband and I moved to Maplewood – pre-kids – nine years ago and have attended every single one since. Our needs have changed over the years, but there are certain products that sure do come in handy at the two-day music festival. Here’s my curated list:

Outdoor Blanket: $36 from Biddle and Bop
The #1 must-have so you can claim your spot on the grass.




Corkcicle Cup: $24.95 from Kitchen a la Mode
Stemless, insulated wine cup with lid to keep the bugs out. Perfect to hold your rose. Keeps cold for 9 hours.



Binoculars: $24.75 from Toy Division.
Real binoculars, so your kids can see the stage, and you can sit and relax.




Sketch pad and Pencils, $24.00 from Hopscotch
An easy activity for your little artist.




Paddle Ball: $5 from Toy Division
So easy to throw into your bag and bound to keep your kid occupied for a bit.




Fair Trade Tinted Lip Balm: $6.50 from Erin’s Faces
Throw this in your pocket to hydrate your lips with a touch of color.




Unicorn Snot Sun Tan Lotion: $20 from MOD Studio
You’ll never battle your child again. And may even want to use it yourself. MOD Studio, $20.




Oasis Linear Earring: $48 from Alysian
These wear-with-everything mixed metal earrings are low key and cool for any music fest.




His and Her Flip Flops: $20 from Sadies
Makes it easy to dance barefoot in the grass.




Botanically Dyed Children’s Tank: $28 from a_db botanical color
Keep your kid cool in this botanically dyed tank.




Live Love Maplewood IG Account:
Follow this IG account from Jamie Meier / Live Love Lens Photography for the best local SOMa photos.



Teachers Gift Guide

AHH! How can school be ending already??! I’m sure your schedule of celebrations and special events is just as crazy as mine. And maybe you also wonder if you should gift your teacher, or just how to show appreciation at the end of the school year. I asked Tuscan’s Team Kindergarten what the norm was ’round these parts and here’s what they said!

About 60-75% of Kindergarten families gift their teachers at the end of the year. This includes physical presents and crafts/cards made by students.

Memorable gifts include gift cards and “a bag of my favorite things.”

“Many teachers don’t work in the summer and aren’t receiving an income, so having gift cards for incidentals is nice.”

And since I know our teachers also love to #shoplocal, here’s our General Store Gift Guide for End of Year Teacher Gifts!

Great for teachers since they cart stuff around, like extra papers and books

Botanically Dyed Tote, $20.00 from a_db botanical color

Tuck gift cards inside with some fresh flowers peaking out like in this photo! 


Apple Monogram Tote,$15.00 from Mrs. Meshugga

An easy tote to use all weekend long. And personalized for no extra charge!


Shelly Bag,$15.00 from Kimaya Kama

The perfect bag for the pool!


They said they love them! Who doesn’t? 18 Gift Cards are available including:

Perch Home

Kitchen a la Mode

Alysian Jewelry

Live Love Maplewood


Can you imagine how crazy June is if you’re a teacher AND a parent?


Massage, $117-$260 from Elleworx

No brainer.


Teacher’s Gift
, on sale for $22 from South Mountain Bees

I mean, it’s called Teacher’s Gift! A handcrafted soap, a honey scrub, and a beeswax lip balm.


Personalized Floral Note Cards, $20 from Playfully Posh Paper

Make it easy for them to write all their thank you notes!

Father’s Day Gift Guide

My kids are counting down the days to Father’s Day on June 17th. It may just be because that’s the weekend the pool hours expand to weekdays, but it’s making me anxious. Anxious because it means I need to start thinking about a present for the guy who does oh so much for our family.

As a busy working mom, it’s just hard to find time to shop! But I’m putting my procrastination to good use today with this handy General Store Father’s Day Gift Guide, filled with local SOMa goods to fit any dad:

New Photos for his office, $0.50-$20.00 from Photo Booth Studios
Photo Booth Studios in Maplewood makes it so easy to print out your digital images. Plus, if you print $10 worth of photos, you’ll get free local delivery!


Superman Hanky, $15 from from The Hanky Shoppe
To cooly wipe away the sweat during Maplewoodstock. If his kids don’t steal it first.  Custom embroidery also available for no additional fee from this local maker in Maplewood.

Olive and Sinclair’s Bourbon Nib Brittle,$15.99  from The Chocolate Path
Bourbon candy? Yes, please.


Ipanema Flip Flops from Sadies, $20 from Sadies
I mentioned it’s pool season, right? Who doesn’t need a new pair of flip flops. Plus, these from Sadies in South Orange are made 100% from recycled plastic. Two-day delivery available.

Best Spice Mix Evah, 2-pack for $20 from Isaiah House
Made by the Isaiah House Shelter, this is a versatile spice blend perfect for summertime BBQs. Plus, all proceeds benefit this local shelter.



Map of your neighborhood, $25  from Krasnermaps
Local realtor and map maker Ken Krasner has mapped out and hand drawn every (or almost every) neighborhood in SOMa. And I’m a little obsessed. (I previously bought this Medievally Incorrect one for my brother-in-law.)

Corkcicle Travel Tumbler, $29.95 from Kitchen a la Mode
Keep his hot drink hot and cold drink cold with this tumbler. While delivery is available, I’d select ‘pick up’ at check-out, so you can pop into South Orange’s Kitchen a la Mode and add an impulse buy (or 2 or 3) to your gift (or for yourself).

Golf Lesson for 2 with PGA Instructor, $110 from Greens Indoor Golf</br
Let him get some personalized practice with a pro! Or choose a Parent and Me Miniature Golf outing instead for those rainy summer days ($60, also from Greens Indoor Golf in Maplewood).

Private Cooking Lesson, $150 from Sharing Plate
If your guy loves to cook, spoil him with cooking lessons from SOMa local Monica Puri Bangia, and you’ll all get a Father’s Day treat. 

Anna’s Picks

Meet Anna Maxwell of Kids Live to Learn Consulting.

We asked Anna to provide some feedback on the toys on our site. We value Anna’s opinion because in addition to being a warm and wonderful human being, Anna has a dual Masters of Teaching in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Education, over 10 years of experience teaching kindergarten, and currently teaches at the South Mountain Nature School.

We weren’t surprised when Anna fell in love with Grace+Eve, handmade whimsical toys that spark the imagination and inspire creative play.  She tells us here about her two favorites from Grace + Eve.

-by Anna Maxwell-

Grace + Eve Play Silks

These silks are a great staple to encourage imaginative play! They are so open ended that kids can turn them into just about anything. The other thing I like about them is that they are really easy to manage. Just keep them in a shallow basket or hang them up on a hook. Especially great for small spaces – my nephew in Brooklyn is getting a set!

Grace + Eve Peg Doll Bean Cups

I’m making a conscious effort to purge the plastic and only buy play items that will last and can be used in a variety of ways for a variety of ages. I think these peg dolls and cups have great flexibility because they can be used for sorting, building, and pretending, AND they are beautiful to have on display in the house. I also really like that the peg dolls do not have faces. Children have more opportunity to experiment with a variety of emotions and feelings–a huge piece of social emotional learning.


To learn more about Anna and Kids Live to Learn Consulting, visit the Facebook page.

To shop items from Grace+Eve, visit the Grace+Eve General Store shop page.

Gifts that Give Back

Gifts that Give Back

Sadie’s (clothing and home wares for men and women) focuses on ethical, philanthropic brands, and donates 1% of all proceeds to local charities.  Shop Sadie’s.

Eminjay Designs created  this colorful set of holiday cards.  One dollar from each set goes to charities that support brain cancer research.  Shop Eminjay.

Hope in Color is the brainchild of a nurse who spent time working with women in South Africa.  She got to know these women well and set up Hope in Color to help them sell their products to the SOMa-area and beyond.  Each purchase helps raise women out of poverty.  Shop Hope in Color.

Fidget spinners!  Handcrafted by Maplewoodshop.  $3 from the sale of each fidget spinner goes toward a fund to provide woodworking programs to children in underserved schools.  Shop Maplewoodshop.

MSK Handicrafts, started by a local mom, sells clothing & eco-friendly handbags designed by artisans from India. The mission of the company is to help women in India with skill development and empower them to live a life of dignity.  Shop MSK Handicrafts.

Experience Gifts

Give the Gift of Experience!

This holiday season consider giving gifts that bring people together for fun experiences!  Check out the experiences offered by some of our members from a craft chocolate tasting to family art lessons to delicious food.

Design your own Clothes & Accessories

At Mod Studio’s design bar, kids and adults can customize clothing or accessories with patches and trim.  Gift cards are available on Mod Studio’s General Store shop site.  This makes a fantastic gift for kids of all ages!

Knitting Lessons & Parties

Plan a special time with your little knitter or friends, with either a mommy-and-child knitting lesson or a knit-and-sip party.  Browse Kari’s Kits’ General Store page to find out more.

Family Art Lessons

Jennie Traill-Schaeffer is a teaching artist who will customize a group art lesson for you and your family or friends.  Learn more.  View Jennie’s artwork, including custom ornaments and pet portraits on her General Store shop page.

A Craft Chocolate Experience

Nadine Kerstan of Artisan Nutrition will create a chocolate sanctuary for you and your friends and guide you through the nuances of each chocolate you savor.  Visit Nadine’s General Store shop page to find out more.

Family Photo Shoot

Capture the magic of your family for yourself and posterity with a gift certificate for a family photo shoot with Live Love Lens Photography’s Jamie Meier, photographer of Purple Maplewood that graces our home page.  Visit Jamie’s General Store shop page to find out more and browse her collection of stunning photography.

Enjoy a Meal Together

Plan a family-friendly, affordable meal at NJ Monthly Magazine pick Stony’s Burgers in South Orange.  Gift cards for Stony’s are available on Stony’s General Store shop page.

Holiday Cards Designed by Local Talent

Holiday Cards Designed by Local Talent

Emily from Emily Kathryn Paper designs elegant holiday cards in several styles–some for photo inserts.  As an optional upgrade, she will address your envelopes with her exquisite calligraphy.  Visit Emily’s shop page to view all of her holiday offerings.

Photographer Joy Yagid offers holiday cards with a wintery scene of Maplewood’s Memorial Park during a snowstorm.  Visit Joy’s shop page to view more of her work.

Want to wish your loved ones Peace, Love, and Latkes?  Sharon Eisenberg Cytrynbaum of Playfully Posh Paper has created these humorous holiday cards just for you.  Visit Sharon’s shop page to learn more and view her other holiday cards.

Mike Lonardo of eminjay design has a set of 4 colorful holiday cards, perfect for writing a quick personal note or slipping a picture or gift certificate inside.  Visit Mike’s shop page to view more of Mike’s work.

Looking for an innovative way to send holiday greetings?  Try a holiday video compiling footage and photos of your family.  Ricky Cortez from media star can put together a heartwarming video to bring holiday cheer and help you save money on stamps!  Visit Ricky’s shop page.

We hope you enjoyed this selection of holiday cards.  Already sent your holiday cards?  Please keep us in mind for next year.  We hope to grow and offer a wider array of local talent.