Month: October 2007

Tees That Score a B+

Instead of tees proclaiming your child to be yet another Princess or Hot Shot or (gag) Future Diva, we’ve found a much cooler alternative in the urban style statement tees from Be Positive. It’s really not as pollyanna-ish as it might sound. In fact these retro style, comfy kids tees look cool, all while being emblazoned with truly positive messages that mom Susan Swanson developed after a Humanitarian trip to Africa. Future Role Model is a favorite, along with Future Humanitarian or Be a Volunteer. There’s no guarantee that wearing these tees in pre-school will predispose your child to...

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Slings With a Story

We’ve heartily espoused the benefits of sling usage here at Cool Mom Picks, not only because we’re sling users ourselves, but because we keep happening upon gorgeous ones that we just can’t pass up. Such is the case with the slings from Green Pea Designs, except their story is as great as their fabrics. (Cherries and paisleys and toiles, oh my!) Not only do the slings include a unique padding that is softer and larger than so many others I’ve had a chance to check out, Green Pea slings are entirely handmade and marketed by work-at-home-moms. So when you’re...

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A bag to bring those Kit Kats home to mommy

I really ought to be too ashamed to admit this transgression, but for the past five years, my daughter has collected trick-or-treat candy in a plastic shopping bag. I mean, um…we’ve been environmentally conscious and reused existing materials. This year, she’s going to use a proper Halloween tote, handmade from timeless, vintage-inspired fabric by La Lune Designs. These bags are lined with black canvas to protect against the occasional smushed chocolate bar. And they’re roomy enough to hold plenty of treats, especially if your kids toss out the apples like I always did.  I mean, um…oh okay I admit...

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Safer Toys For Kids. You Know, The Unleaded Kind

For almost two years now, we’ve been pointing our readers towards cool gifts, toys and gear alternatives to the stuff you find in your local ginormous mass retailer. But now that buying handmade, indie or fair trade can actually be safer for your kids, we’re feeling even better about what we do here every day. So for your browsing, buying, and drooling pleasure, we’re happy to present The Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide, featuring some of our favorite playthings for younger kids. From teething toys (Run away from the plastic! Run away!) to blocks to cars to super...

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Like It’s a Small World Only Without The Six Hour Lines

Okay I’m about to lose all my indie cred here but as a little girl I loooooved that It’s a Small World ride at Disney. The idea of all these little girls in very cute outfits from all different countries was magical. (After all, isn’t that what makes us all different in this world? Our clothes?) I got that same warm feeling the first time I caught Kuku Nest’s new Little Friends kids bedding. Four little multiculti girls share a pillow over a percale cotton field of bright dots. It’s like Damien Hirst meets Disney. Now if you’ll excuse...

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Illustrating Childhood

I wish I could afford original Maurice Sendak or A.A. Milne prints for my kids’ rooms, but with #3 on the way, that’s not going to happen any time soon. So instead I’m turning to artist Sarah Jane of Sarah Jane Studios for more affordable but still endearing illustrated options. I love the soothing colors and simple lines of prints like Curl in the Middle of Her Forehead (above) or Danse Avec Moi (below). And the fanciful designs are all printed on beautiful paper, ready for framing. It’s the kind of timeless work that could have hung in our parents’...

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Hooray for Hoodie Season!

Did I mention I’m a freak for Fall? The cool crisp air means no fights with the winter coat just yet, but it’s definitely time to pull out those cute sweaters or hoodies and start getting your layering chops back. But not just any hoodie, mind you–I did specify the cute ones. Like the whimsical felt appliquéd ones from Jasper Hearts Wren, a two-mom run company based out of California. You won’t be sad covering up your kid’s carefully picked outfits with these hand-stitched beauties. If you’re not a hoodie junkie (is that even possible?) then check out the...

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Long Johns (Or Jaydens)

If I had the ability, I’d probably be embroidering everything from my kids’ tees to their underwear. I love the look of hand-embroidery–but I don’t have those crafty genes. So parents like me turn to the skills of Tracey Hageman of Tiny Sprouts. Her haphazard, lowercase style makes newborn clothing even cuter than it already is. You can go with a child’s name or a favorite saying of course,  but I especially love how well Tracey’s embroidery style goes with nursery rhyme lines. Especially on something like her long johns, just in time for cooler nights. Customize everything down...

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Got BOOB?

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I eagerly perused nursing shirt offerings only to find the scariest and most complicated tops I had ever seen. Good God, isn’t breastfeeding challenging enough? Well “bad” is the last word you will use to describe the nursing wear from BOOB Design, the brainchild of mom Mia Seipel. In fact, “need”  is more like it. Watching her sister breastfeed with her poor belly bare to the cold Swedish wind, Mia decided to create stylish and functional nursing wear. And she succeeded big time with super stylish tops and dresses (the new Fall...

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Procrasti-moms: The Halloween Costume of Your Dreams

I cannot be the only loser mom out there with the very best intentions as far as Halloween costumes go–only to end up sobbing in the empty costume aisle on October 30th, trying to decide if I go for the one cheesy cheerleader costume that’s left, or just try to make something out of tin foil at home. Baby Candy to my rescue. The mom-run shop known for packaging their baby tees and onesies like candy and "serving" them on little plates has come through for the procrasti-moms among us, big time. Behold the "This is My ________ Costume"...

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Don’t Drop The Soaptopia

When you’re a parent, one of the first things to go–besides your figure–is personal grooming. My feeling is that you’ve got so little time in that shower, you’d better be using products that make it enjoyable as possible. As in: Not Safeguard.  This week, I have been adoring my sixty second soaks thanks to the naturally delicious homemade soaps, scrubs and rubs from the lovely folks at LA-based Soaptopia. You sense that founder Jolie Chitwood and her peeps love soap the way most people love pets. They clearly had a great time dreaming up names for yummy, natural, herb-infused...

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A rare high-end pick from Cool Mom Picks: The Mutsy stroller

I fully admit to gawking in disbelief at my friend who had bought a $700 stroller. I mean, unless the stroller self-propels itself down the street AND gives you a foot massage when you arrive at your destination, I just didn’t see the need for it. But then I encountered Mutsy, a smart and sophisticated Dutch company that has been making strollers since 1937, and (forgive me, friend!) I’m now totally sold on the expensive stroller concept–provided it’s as fantastic as this one. Mutsy’s 4 Rider Light is basically four strollers in one — use it as a baby...

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Baby Got Bag

So you work in interior design, you’ve got all these gorgeous fabric scraps lying around – what do you do with them? Well me, I’d be like, "Hey, someone get over here and clean up all these fabric scraps!" But if you’re Daina Levine, you go and make some seriously beautiful handbags, form a company, then name it after your daughter, Jenna Claire. The workmanship of these fabric bags is impressive. While each one is cut to order and hand tailored, they don’t have those crooked label/wobbly hem indicators that handmade bags often do. The totes and diaper bags...

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A bird on the neck is worth, I don’t know…16 in the bush?

Some restaurants have that one dish you love so much that you keep coming back for it. But my favorite spots have so many tantalizing choices that each time I want something different. That’s exactly how I felt when I stumbled on Amy Bengtson’s jewelry. It’s hard to even decide what to feature here (I’ve switched the photo three times). Her pieces are at once substantial and demure as she plays between the lightness of mother of pearl hand inlays and the earthiness of sleek laser-carved woods backed by metals. I love the funkiness of her mod floral necklace,...

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We Love Us Some Ben Sherman

I’ve always adored Ben Sherman, the label that became synonymous with UK mods and rockers since the late 60s. Show me a guy in Ben Sherman on match.com and I’ll show you a guy I would have clicked on in my single days. Now? They have a kids line. Wow, is that hot. Boys from 2-8 get to sport the easy, wearable styles at prices you don’t have to be a Carnaby Street shopper to afford. Tees start at $20 but even oxford styles are relatively reasonable like the Stedman shirt at just under $40 or the cool zip-front...

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It’s Just a Fantasy (Whoa Oh Oh Oh)

Halloween is going to be here before you know it wouldn’t you know, I still don’t have costumes figured out yet. If you’re looking for a little PVC-free inspiration, one of our favorite shops, Quiet Hours Toys, has a dandy little dress-up department. You’ll find inspiration in the form of beautiful fantasy gear like wings, crowns, knight’s gear and even some sparkly velvet capes – Just add black glasses and a wizard hat and you’ve got a great Harry Potter get-up without paying any licensing fees. This is the stuff your kids will want to dress up in over...

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Even Superman Doesn’t Glow in the Dark

I haven’t yet found the perfect handmade Halloween princess get-up for my extra particular toddler. But I have found the requisite light she’ll need so that drivers can see her as she parades through the neighborhood with her large pillowcase full of candy that mommy will eventually eat while she sleeps. Check out these pretty fantastic Boing Swing Light Balls found at one of our favorite spots on the web, Sparkability. Better than some lame plastic flashlight around the neck, these handy lights have three modes – constant, slow, and strobe light fast. Just squeeze them and you’ll get...

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Sort of Like an Undershirt Only Nothing Like It

The belly-baring maternity trend has to go down as one of the single worst ideas ever. Or maybe I’m just bitter because I did not have that cute little bump worth baring. If you think I’m wrong, go enjoy your size 0 hoochie-wear (Bitter! I told you!) and leave the rest of us in peace with our Blush Topless Undershirts. You heard me: Topless undershirts. In other words, a layering piece under your tees, over your open button-flies. They are super soft and comfy, not at all girdle-like. More like a slouchy tube top. They’re also great for belly-hiding...

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Fighting Colds Without Cold Medicine

In light of the recent recall of kids cold medicines, parents everywhere are purging medicine cabinets and looking for natural alternatives – all while secretly praying for a runny nose-free Winter ahead. Like that could happen. Right in time, we’ve come across the now essential Boogie Wipes: Saline-infused wet wipes for snotty little noses, created by two moms. The saline helps break up all the mucus and the moisturizing Vitamin E keeps your kids from running away every time they see you coming at them with a tissue. Plus they don’t smell half bad. (The wipes, that is. I...

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Baby Food That’s Yummy Enough for Mummy Too

Now that my son is a full-fledged food eater, I’m on the prowl for something other than that jarred food that I swear all tastes exactly the same — gross. And while I know many savvy mamas out there choose to whip up their own meals, that’s not one of my skills. So I’m relying on my new favorite find Yummy Spoonfuls, an Atlanta based mom-owned business. They create 100% organic baby food that’s free of everything bad and full of everything good, including taste. They offer three texture levels — creamy, mushy, and chunky — all of which...

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