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Sqrl & Bee (+ Giveaway!!!)

When Melissa Frueh first sent me an inquiry about becoming a sponsor, Huxley was sitting right beside me at the dinner table, in his high chair. I opened the link she provided for her site and, nearly immediately, yelled out “Holy Crap!” Which, also nearly immediately, Huxley repeated, loudly. Lesson learned. Kids really do copy almost everything you do.

My enthusiastic declaration owed to my excitement over the wares on offer in Melissa’s shop, Sqrl & Bee Studio. I was especially taken by her mobiles. I mean, come on. How amazing are they?! Using natural, found, and organic materials (where available), Melissa’s wool rattles, mobiles, and other felted crafts are tested to meet CPSIA standards to be lead- and chemical-free. So, not only are they lovely to behold, they’re quite safe to literally hold, and squeeze, and otherwise love, to boot!

Melissa generously suggested a giveaway, and, given my “Holy Crap!” outburst, I heartily, readily agreed. And so, today, we’re giving away the adorable felted crown pictured above (the one shown in the last two photos). Given Huxley’s love of Where the Wild Things Are, I can only imagine how much he, and any child, would love pretending to be Max, or engaging in any kind of imaginative play while wearing it.

To be entered in the giveaway, simply leave a comment below, telling me one of your most beloved childhood toys. For me, it was all about Strawberry Shortcake and her cadre of baked good-named buddies. I wore those toys into the ground (literally, as I was simultaneously quite the tomboy!), and still get misty eyed whenever I see the Purple PieMan.

So, what about you? In your comment, please be sure of leaving a means of reaching you, should you be the winner. You can do this by either leaving a link back to your own blog or website in your reply, or by leaving an email address to reach you at in your comment. I’ll run the giveaway for one week, concluding next Wednesday, March 20th, midnight EST.

Let’s let the wild rompus begin, shall we?!

83 Responses to Sqrl & Bee (+ Giveaway!!!)

  • Anna GH says:

    My most favorite toy when I was a little girl was my doll ‘Buttercup.’ Because I was a fraternal twin my mother had given me and my brother anatomically correct dolls as small kiddos. I named mine ‘Buttercup’ and my brother named his ‘Clark.’ I still have Buttercup, my best buddy as a little girl, she’s ready and waiting to play with my future kids!

  • Annie says:

    Oh my, my son would love that crown!

    My favorite toy growing up was this weird little money called Mon ChiChi. She sucked her thumb, and had all sorts of clothes. She even went to the hospital with me to get my tubes put in my ears!

  • Kim says:

    I loved a brown stuffed dog named Drooper. He was my velveteen rabbit. I was so convinced he was real. I’ve still got him. He’s a bit worse for the wear, with plenty of bare spots & stitched together patches. That didn’t prevent him from being the animal that helped my oldest sleep through the night alone when her imagination got the best of her. She’s stitched together a couple new places that needed it. Most nights now she doesn’t request him, but every now & then it’s still Drooper to the rescue.

  • lasingh says:

    Such beautiful toys! I carried a Cabbage Patch Kid named Stu everywhere for years.

  • Abby says:

    I don’t remember having one favorite toy, but my favorite thing to do when I was young was to used my sisters and our toys as a part of our make believe world–we were explores, adventures, farmers, chef’s, acrobats and so much more. So I guess my favorite memories aren’t really with a specific toy, more the time spent playing with my sister and our neighbors.

    Lovely felted creations!


  • mandi@herbanhomestead says:

    Oh I loved Strawberry Shortcake too! My whole room was decorated with her! Probably my most loved toy was my doll Rebecca. I really wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid, but we couldn’t afford one. A woman from my church made me one. Kind of. She really didn’t look much like one, but I love her all the same!

  • Marisa says:

    That crown would look adorable on my nephew Emmett!

    I was also a fool for Strawberry Shortcake. A friend of mine and I washed her hair so often that it stood straight up (my mother still has that doll somewhere). I also was really into My Little Ponies and Herself the Elf. She had a wand that transformed into a flower when you twisted it. I LOVED that thing.

  • k a t says:

    I loved my She-Ra action figure when I was a wee one she seemed like a cool counterpoint to He-Man, a franchise but not a doll like Barbie. Though I did love the old Barbies with the dark ’60s style eyeshadow my Grandmother let us play with, my sister and I loved their angry expressions, so different from the smiley ’80s Barbies.

  • Tracey says:

    I was a huge Raggedy Ann girl,and I guess I still am…I still have her after all these years.

  • jen says:

    I have a sister just two years younger and we played with our cabbage patch dolls every day, all day long. I had a twin set, Helga and Leonard. Strange that as a child, I never changed the name from the birth certificate they came with. :)

    Sqrl & Bee’s shop is amazing! Love the crowns, the mobiles and the sweet little rattles. I’ll have to bookmark that shop for future purchases…

  • susan says:

    My Grandma and Grandpa had a huge trunk of dress up clothes and accessories on their enclosed porch. My best friend and I had a wonderful, imaginative time while making a big mess. Then we’d head for Grandma’s pantry for her homemade ginger molasses cookies.

  • Sara says:

    Ooh, I had a Strawberry Shortcake baby doll that exhaled “strawberry” scented breath when you squeezed her…I also had a Strawberry Shortcake Atari game for that matter. However, I definitely remember playing with my Barbies the most!

  • Patty says:

    My very favorite was my yellow, red, and blue Hot Wheels… How many times did I race it and intentionally crash it in my denim shorts with knee high brown boots? What sweet memories!

  • Shalo says:

    My all time favorite toy was barbie but like you I was very tom boy. My mother recently found a box of headless barbies in her attic. I use to rib the heads off and switch them for a body I liked, but broke a lot of the little plastic pieces that held her head on. Lol

  • Heather Paulding says:

    Such a troll doll lover! I had one of every type of those ugly things:)

  • Sarah M says:

    My favorite toy when I was little was…art supplies! Does that count? All I did for years and years was cut up magazines and paste them onto paper to make collages :)
    Sarah M

  • Gail Lloyd says:

    My favorite childhood toy was my bike, if that could be considered as a toy. It took me all over town, all by myself, sometimes with a friend. I felt free, and adventurous, and I took the best of care of it. It lead me on many adventures, many making up my favorite childhood memories.

  • Courtney says:

    I loved my Lite-Brite. All those colors glowing in the dark. That and my Big Wheel. I was a tomboy, so my barbies got destroyed by my brothers and I didn’t care one bit.

  • Amanda Huddleston says:

    My favorite would have to be my preemie Cabbage Patch baby, Renee Ilka. Like a previous commenter, I didn’t change her name, either! Before that I had a garage sale stuffed Mickey Mouse that I truly believed was a baby. I had a little bag that I put all his baby stuff in and took with me wherever I went :) akmh75 at gmail dot com

  • Beth says:

    My favorites were my Breyer horses, by far. Hours and hours of imaginative play with those horses.

  • Brenna says:

    My favorite toy was a Peter rabbit doll given to me when I was just a baby. He had a wind up key behind his tail and played “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.”. I loved playing with him so much I rubbed his fur off his hands and tail.
    My nursery was decorated with the beloved family of characters from Beatrix Potter’s imaginary world and I loved getting a new little friend to add to our crew for special occasions like birthdays and Christmas.

  • Denise says:

    I am ordering from their site today, my Son and wife are expecting in May and are very Green green, they will love this.

  • Jens says:

    I had a handmade stuffed giraffe that I carried everywhere with a firm grip just below his chin. His head sagged alarmingly to the side as a result of the continuous squeezing, but I loved him anyway!

  • Denise says:

    My favorite toy of all time was my Penny Bright doll. My mom is a great seamstress and I can remember coming home many times to change into my “playclothes” and finding a new outfit for her on my bed waiting. I still have her, 45 years later!

  • Megan says:

    I had a bubble lawnmower that I was pretty obsessed with. I’d “mow the lawn” all year long, reveling in my own personal bubble frenzy. I’m pretty sure I dragged that sucker inside and tried to mow the living room. My mom put the kibosh on that idea pretty quick.

  • Hannah says:

    Bridget was my MyPetMonster. My mother bought her for me before I was born and was going to name one of us Bridget and the other Hannah.

  • Linda says:

    It had to be my Kenner Give-A-Show Projector. This was in 1962, and the Give-A-Show Projector was a marvel of modernity, all red-plastic-and-sleek-lined modernity. With it I could project film-strip cartoons on the wall–like magic! (Does anyone remember filmstrips?) The only place in our house that was dark enough for daytime “movies” was our small bathroom, the only bathroom in the house. When I decided to host a Give-A-Show event, all the neighborhood kids crammed into our bathroom, where the cartoons were projected against the closed door, and where we remained for a very long time, rapt. I suspect that my parents rued that gift.

  • JamieK says:

    Chatty Cathy was my dearest friend was I was a little one!

  • Ann says:

    I loved to color in my coloring books. A box of NEW crayons were a marvelous gift. Come to think of it, I also liked those oil painting by numbers. Maybe that is why I am a quilter now?

  • Lily says:

    I was really into the plastic trolls with crazy hair. I would take them outside and play elaborate games with them. I kept them all in a large toolbox! I wonder if it’s still in my mom’s basement…

  • EcoGrrl says:

    Haha I had the Strawberry Shortcake bedspread, curtains, etc. as well! I *loved* playing Hungry Hungry Hippo and Simon, the latter which drove my family nuts :)

  • Kendra says:

    I had a Rainbow Bright doll complete with horse companion that I still love to this day. The hooves on the horse have worn through from me making it gallop across the floor. My mom stored my brother’s, sister’s, and my toys and dolls so we would have them for our own kids when we got older.
    The Sqrl & Bee crowns are just fantastic, I would have worn them for days on end as a child!

  • Jennifer Miller says:

    My most cherished toy was my Holly Baby. She is a newborn sized baby doll that I apparently threw the HUGEST temper tantrum to get. Neither of my parents were going to take her away from me in the store. I played with her for years and she had numerous visits to the doll hospital for new bodies. I still have her and am debating letting my daughter play with her. Inlove that baby doll, she’s named after my cousin who was born right before I got her.

  • Eleanor says:

    My Dukes of Hazzard race track was my absolute favorite. Best played with, of course, while wearing my Dukes of Hazzard Underoos and maybe eating a snack from my DoH lunch box. Oh, the early eighties…

  • kimberlypeck says:

    wow, what amazing items she has!!! and i love the name of her shop :) my very favorite childhood lovely was a koala bear that my dad gave me. oh, when life was so much simpler…

  • Dawn says:

    I was a tomboy, too! Any toy I had was outdoors more than in and looked like it but I could not bear to be inside. I played with my model horses the most and constructed stables and fences out of wood and twigs in the yard. I did have a dollhouse that belonged to my mother. It had been made out of a wood orange crate by a neighbor. Oddly, no dolls lived in my house, just little animals I made out of acorns and twigs. I’m curious to see what my boys will do with it as they get older. Thank you for the giveaway, Ashley!

  • Rebecca Hill says:

    When I was growing up our dad would spend the evenings in his wood shop making wooden toys for me and my brothers. I think one of my favorites was a miniature bookshelf he made out of a paint stirrer – complete with tiny heart stenciled on.

  • chandra says:

    I liked playing outside with the boys in the neighborhood best, but I did have an impressive collection of Shera Princess of Power toys.

  • Susan J says:

    Favorite toy….hmm. I was very happy to be out in my neighborhood riding my bike, but I also loved a book my mom gave me. I think its title was the McCall’s Make-It Book, and it had tons of projects that were fun for kids. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Sarah W says:

    As a play therapist, I love this question! Mine was Charmkins. I had the pocket carrier, house, necklace and many of the figurines. I so vividly remember being a little girl and acknowledging how out of control of my own world I was, so these tiny, perfume-scented toys were my way of digging into my imagination and working stuff out. I can even remember some of the conversations and adventures they had! My love of toys never stopped, and now I get to explore it all anew with my son! (

  • Julie says:

    Played wooden blocks with my sister. We usually were building houses for ponies, animals, etc, but sometimes anything else was fairgame.

  • Robin says:

    My mom tells me I was making mud pies from an early age. So favorite toy?? MUD!

  • Lisa says:

    I had a Fisher-Price “Jenny” doll that I used to sew all kinds of clothes for out of whatever scraps I could get my hands on. I’m still sewing…

  • Lauren says:

    My favorite toy, by far, was my dad’s swiss army knife. I remember distinctly the night my parents gave it to me (I was in 3rd grade, maybe?). My mom said, “you have to be careful because this is VERY sharp.” I took it up to my room, unfolded the largest knife, and sank it into the pad of my thumb. Yup, it was sharp all right! I used it for years to make all kinds of spears/bows and arrows/forts in the woods, and even slept with it! When I was a teenager I found out the tweezers were the BEST for plucking tiny eyebrow hairs. I took it to college and beyond… and then gave it to an ex boyfriend. Sigh.

  • Emily says:

    What a great giveaway! A stuffed panda, with big brown plastic toenails was my most loved snuggly. But as for toys, I’m sorry to say, a Barbie swimming pool (sized for dolls, not people :-) was my big favorite. You could put water in the pool part and there was a big round blue button you pumped to create bubbles in the water. I loved that. Now thinking maybe it was a Barbie hot tub… for Barbie and friends to hang out in… suddenly questioning how appropriate this toy is for children… if Barbie is ever appropriate?!
    Take care!

  • Trisha says:

    How fun to give away such a sweet piece of adventure, all woulnd up in a crown for imagination!

    I had a soft, felted doll who was cuddly and had real(ish) hair I could braid. She was my only doll and I loved her so! The adventures we had, playing in the chicken coop, pretending to chase cows (they never moved or ran away but I felt like the did!), falling asleep in the pea patch and wandering the woods.

  • felicia n says:

    Oh I’ve been eyeballing the gorgeous mobiles from this shop for a very long time! With a big move only about a month away, I’d love to add one of these to my boy’s new bedroom.

  • felicia n says:

    And I forgot to say that I could never, ever play favorites with my crowd of stuffed animals – that was the budding veterinarian in me. I love the dogs, the bears, the panthers, the frogs, the cats, the chickens, all equally…

  • Sarah C says:

    I loved my books. I had fun toys, but it was my books that brought me the most joy!
    My parent’s have a photo of me, at 3, passed out asleep covered and piled in books. or

  • Heidi says:

    Being quite the tom boy growing up I loved fire trucks! It will be interesting to see what my little girl (4 months young) will gravitate towards. Given my tendencies, I am thinking pink princesses. Ha. These mobiles are beautiful.

  • Marie says:

    I love the mobile! It looks so happy.

  • Courtney says:

    My favorite toy was a giant homemade patchwork turtle. I used to sit on her back and pretend I was the Sea Queen riding around her ocean. I am not sure how a landlocked Vermont girl became so obsessed with the ocean but it is still that way!

  • sarah says:

    my favorite toy was a little redheaded doll… always wanted to be a redhead :)

  • Nasly says:

    I was pretty rough with my toys so they didn’t last very long. I do remember a floor puzzle which depicted a scene with a rainbow and flowers and a little girl in the midst of it all… man that made my imagination go wild. Fond memories. naslyyadid at gmail dot com.

  • Diana says:

    My favorite toy was a beanie baby that had a string you pulled to hear her say something. For the life of me, I can’t remember what she said when you pulled the string, but I think that broke pretty quickly anyways. My sister and I both had one. Ah, the memories!

    Saku.Losier (at)

  • Melanie says:

    It’s funny that I am reading this today, because I got to watch my daughter play with one of my very own favorite childhood toys, my cabbage patch babydoll. I namedy doll Marsha Kay Mama, which is my moms name :) my other favorite was a stuffed gorilla that had holes in its nose, mouth and ears, as well as fingers and toes to stick in said holes. Too silly! Thanks for sharing this giveaway, cute stuff!!

  • Amanda says:

    Barbies. LOTS of them.

  • Yasmin says:

    Oh, I loved Strawberry Shortcake and all of her friends! I also went through phases with Rainbow Brite and She-Ra!

  • Joanie says:

    My favorite toy was a stuffed bear given to me by the cloth diaper service my mom used. I loved “Diddy Bear” to bare threads (pardon the pun). Not sure where the name came from – I suspect my NC accent had something to do wtih it. Still have him in the hope chest.

  • Patricia says:

    Jacks and jumpropes and those old fashioned strap-on skates (with the accompanying keys on a string around one’s neck). Toys played with inside and under the lilac bushes consisted of the dozen or so small dolls sewed by my grandmother, they were about 4″ tall and dressed and had yarn hair – I used them in all sorts of adventures – in bed the quilts became their mountains and they camped, in the living room lying on the floor listening to radio stories they had homes built of books and split logs from the firebox. They each had names and their adventures ranged around the world as my reading ability opened up new worlds for me. I hadn’t thought about them in years until now and I will begin to recreate them for my little granddaughter. In that way I can pass on a memory from her Great-great-great grandmother that she made with love.

  • Kristie says:

    My favorite toys were my Barbies. I loved dressing them in the clothes that my Grandma crocheted and sewed for me.

  • Susan says:

    My favorite toy was my Raggedy Andy doll. He was about the same size as me (about 30″ tall) and I took him everywhere. I dressed him up in my clothes, played tea with him, and would tell him my deepest, darkest secrets (you know, about how mom is so mean).

  • Rachel-ann castro says:

    My favorite toy growing up was my big minnie mouse stuffed animal. I still have her packed away after many moves. minnie reminds me of all the fun trips to disneyland I had with my mom, aunt and cousin. Hopefully I found out in a few weeks if I will be having a little girl to pass minnie along to.

  • Lisa says:

    I had a stuffed bugs bunny with a pull chain that made him talk. He now resides in my attic missing much of his fur and the voice box. Oh, I love her mobiles too. Thank you both for a chance to win.

  • Sarah Pinault says:

    Easily my post office set.

  • lynn says:

    my favorite was my sisters’ “baby alive” dolls. feed, water, poop, clean up-oh the fun!

  • Sue R. says:

    I fondly remember a doll named Nancy but otherwise the outdoors seemed to be one giant play area for my sister and me. (

  • Oona Nicholas says:

    I loved my Jem and the Holgrams dolls and stage!!! I use to play with those for hours.

  • Beth Covalt says:

    I honestly don’t remember a favorite toy, though I know I had many as a child. My favorite activity was playing outside with friends.

  • Sophie says:

    The doll house my dad made.

  • susan says:

    my favorite toy was easily my bike. Oh, the freedom I had then.

  • Tricia says:

    I loved Legos! Maybe due to the fact that the 2 brothers before me had so many colored treasures I had to dig in!

  • daniela says:

    my ma had a big suit case full of dress up clothes, a wonderful playground, and of course up there in the attic, there were all the undiscovered corners to hide…

  • Liz Horton says:

    That is just adorable!! Both my older kiddos have similar crowns and this one would be perfect for our newest member (2 weeks old today!)

  • Georgia Howell says:

    Hi everyone!
    So many great childhood toys remembered here.. :)
    I was particularly obsessed with my easy bake oven
    And would always get bummed out when I’d run out of mixes,
    Which would have me concocting some type of substitute from our pantry,
    I have lots of memories of off tasting & weirdly textured “treats”.
    Ahh To be Young!
    Happy Spring ~

  • N from Va says:

    It is so nice to read peoples memories of favorite toys. I agree with other posters—when I was older my bicycle was freedom and dreams and the future (I felt like I was autonomous and could pretend I was going on great adventures). It helps that this was the early 1970s in Western Pa and in a small town–when we moved to Richmond Va in ’76 I also trolled the neighborhood on my bicycle. When I was younger (wince) I was very into my Barbie (Barbie Dollhouse and other pieces). Thanks for the giveaway. Lovely mobiles! Great blog!

  • Claire D says:

    It would be my blue teddy bear, Arthur. He had wonky ears and different coloured eyes. He went with me everywhere and was hugged and cuddled by me until I turned hmmm…. No wait… Is still cuddled by me at 40! He still lives with us and is now loved by my two little girls.

  • Chelsea Wipf says:

    Books were and still are my favorite! Love the crown.

  • Lucinda says:

    My Bionic Woman Doll! Oh ya!

  • Mary Grace says:

    My favorite toy was an unwieldy, rather ugly doll named Little Heather. I adored that doll, with its hard pastiche legs and slick, nylon hair. I stoked its hair every night as I was falling asleep, and as a result, the poor thing was bald by the time I hit middle school.

  • Sara says:

    My teddy, given to me by my parents when I was born who I insisted was neither male nor female. I told it everything, slept with it every night until some time in early high school and took it everywhere (camping, overseas, on hikes smuggled in day’s backpack).