Month: November 2007

Killing Three Baby Books With One Stone

Was it just me or is it every pregnant mom’s shower nightmare to get fourteen cutesie baby books that haunt you from your closet, unused,  months after your baby is born. I’d rather request this fantastic three book combo by Loralin Design that we spotted at chic new online boutique Three Lovelies. You’ll get a nursing and feeding journal, a baby journal, and a gift log all in one neat box. Each one holds 128-pages for new moms to neatly record their special moments, track thank you notes sent, and keep on top of nursing sessions. Okay, so it’s...

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Because a Whole Lot of Kids Think That Christmas Celebrates the Birth of Santa

You might want to skip this pick if you left your sense of humor at the office, because this is quite possibly the holiday item that’s made us all laugh the loudest so far this year. It’s French Paper’s Pop Ink Stranger Manger note cards, which combine the four most recognizable icons of the holiday season: Jesus, Mary, Santa, and Frosty the Snowman. I’m a little sad that Rudolph wasn’t included, but then I guess they’d have to balance him out with one of the Wise Men and suddenly the design would feel cluttered. If you’re feeling extra-subversive, you...

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Haul Out the Holly

So maybe you need a little Christmas, right this very minute – or maybe you’re doing your best Bah, Humbug every time you hear another round of Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer in the supermarket. If you’re in the former camp, you’re going to love the festive handmade felt holly clips from our new fave little etsy shop, Maya Papaya. If you’re in the latter camp…well get one anyway. You need it. And if you’re just not a Christmas reveler, fear not. There’s a cute and decidedly secular snowman available too....

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Noho Ho Ho

I realize it’s highly unlikely any tween would carry around some old fashioned photo album to show off her roster of friends when they’ve got fancy little cell phones and Sidekicks.  But wait until they get a look at the Noho photo cuff from Brooklyn artist, Smoy. While the handmade vegan leather cuff is definitely the anthesis of high-tech, we’re betting they’ll still think it’s pretty darn cool. It’s part of Smoy’s new handmade Noho collection, featuring sweet edging, five cute colors to choose from, and slots for four photos. Which means the wearer can change pictures about as...

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Moms At Work

If you haven’t yet bookmarked Mommy Track’d, The working mother’s guide to managed chaos, you haaaave to do it. Besides fantastic columns from great writers and a slew of resources for working moms, I always like poking around their shop to see what’s new. Amidst the day planners and notepads and other random doodads to help keep the disorganized mom a tad less so, we found this awesome See Mom Work mousepad. Bring it to work, or even better, keep it at home so that when someone tries to disturb you while you’re reading Cool Mom Picks…er, working on...

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Stocking stuffer central

Sometimes I shop with a person in mind. And then sometimes I just browse fun shops and think, "ooh, who can I get this for?" So-fun UK shop Betty Joy falls into the latter category, especially now that there are stockings that need stuffing in my near future. Everything in this shop is entirely handmade. So you’ll find all kinds of quirky jewelry in the $10 to $25 range (attention, moms of tweens!), knit neckwarmers, nifty hand-stitched felt animals, plus cool little purses and accessories. Of course I’m partial to the leather I Heart Mum brooch. In fact, I...

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Hey Kid, Paint Your Own Toys.

With all toy recalls, everyone has been joking about making their own toys. But considering I can barely make a complete dinner, I don’t know that I can be trusted to handcraft a cool toy worthy of my picky 3-year-old. But we can most certainly paint our own toys. Like the great wooden dinos from Rosie Hippos. Made from safe solid pine, these rolling Jurassic era creatures look great as their plain old wooden selves. But add a paint brush and some color, and imagine the possibilities: A princess brontosaurus? A punk rock stegosaurus? Your kids get to decide. Plus, you’ll know exactly what...

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Mom-Approved Mistletoe

I’m all for celebrating the holidays with a bit of seasonal wear, but I haven’t quite figured out why, in order for something to be considered festive, it has to be drenched in snowmen and candy canes. Baby Legs’ stylish new seasonal collection is calling to me. Any pair will be perfect for my daughter (although I’m particularly digging Mistletoe) who insists on wearing dresses no matter how cold it is. And even my crawling son relies on them to protect his hardworking knees. Plus you can’t beat that their entire new line is organic. That’s something you’ll never ever be able...

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Next Stop, Oprah’s Book Club

I have yet to nail down the perfect way to effectively collect and display my daughter’s massive amounts of artwork. But then I found Little Author, an awesome mom and dad-run business that will take your kid’s artwork and turn it into a real live book. The process takes time, but what you get is an amazing result — a 24 page, hardcover book chock full of pictures (very cleanly scanned) of your child’s flowers and horsies and ambiguous squiggles. It includes a dedication page, an author page with your kid’s photo, plus text that you provide. The book...

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let it Snow Already

I absolutely cannot wait for the first snowfall this year. I am so looking forward to walking around the streets of New York, capturing my baby daughter’s reaction to the beautiful sparkling snowflakes for the first time. Well, that, and there’s also there’s the matter of the shoes. Okay so you got me. It’s pretty much all about the shoes.  You see, back I first learned that one of our favorite shoe purveyors, Vincent, came out with a line of prewalkers, I snapped up a pair of the fleecy, cozy red Mini Bjorns right away. (Although it was hard...

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The Little Engine That Refused to Contain Lead Paint

In light of this year’s recall of the Ubiquitous Licensed Cartoon Character Train Set Which Shall Remain Nameless, we’ve gotten an insane number of inquiries from cautious parents looking for other options. Oh, if only there were something made from wood, in the USA, still colorful, that fit existing train tracks, and maybe with a smiley face on the engine. Tall order? Nah. We found that very thing in the Little Engine That Could wooden train set at one of our very favorite online shops, Craftsbury Kids. It’s handmade of reforested birch, and the colors are bright, inviting, and...

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In the News[boy]

I am now calling my son "The kid with the largest head on this planet" — said with love, of course. The search has been on to find a hat for him that’s cute, warm, and won’t cut off all blood flow to his brain. Well thanks to Faith’s Hats at Portland-based boutique Tilly Jane my son’s huge dome will not be cold this winter. Made by hand from so-soft recycled sweaters, these hats are beyond comfy and cozy. The infant styles are even made from cashmere. Fancy! And the newsboy style, while not only super hot this season...

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The Cool Mom Picks bag of the year (with the story to back it up)

Here’s how much we love the bags from Crystalyn Kae: I emailed designer Crystalyn Kokorowski about ordering one of her gorgeous Soirée Drawstring Bags for myself, and then one for my co-editor Kristen as a holiday gift. Simultaneously, Kristen was ordering one for herself…and one for me. And rats, she beat me to it. So now I’m stuck without a gift idea for Kristen yet, but whoooo! I do have a beautiful bag to look forward to!  You will know in two seconds of clicking over why we both fell in love with the Soirée. It has such unique...

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Bring Home a Kitten for the Holidays

I am a little melancholy as I embark upon my first holiday season in close to two decades without my beloved, nasty, shedding, crazy, man-eating cat. But if the trade-off means that I can justify bringing home these Little  Dear Fatkitties from artist Aimee Ray, it might be worth it. Each one is totally handmade and one-of-a-kind, some sweet, some irreverent, some just plain bad. We spotted them at the wonderful online toy store, Bright October, which is filled with plenty of our favorite brands. We even found something new to us – the beautiful handmade wool baby balls...

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When is a Box Not a Box? When It’s a Mansion

Like all parents, I’ve learned that indeed it’s true, kids are often happier playing with the package a gift comes in than the gift itself. Of course it doesn’t stop us from giving them more than cardboard boxes. Until now. The cardboard playhouse is maybe my daughter’s single favorite plaything. The very sturdy (and easily assembled) recycled construction has doors, windows, and fun little peep holes galore, and the white walls are just waiting to be the canvas for your next rainy day painting project. What you give up in glitziness, you get back in imagination. Trust me, we...

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Baby Gifts That Give Back

If you hear the words "fair trade" thrown around but never really knew what it was, let us ‘splain: It basically means that you’re buying from people who take care of their artisans and workers by paying more than minimum wage, providing benefits, and guaranteeing good working conditions. In other words, not so much the 9 year-olds doing 80 hour weeks in sweatshops to bring you everyday low prices. We’ve seen a whole lot of fair trade gift shops but sometimes the concept is better than the actual items they sell. Not so with Fair Indigo, a shop with...

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On the Outside Chance That No, You Don’t Feel Like Feeding Your Baby in the Bathroom

Heading into the home stretch with baby #3, I’ve been starting to think about all of those upcoming feedings. Nope, not the ones that will jolt me out of bed every hour on the hour, but the ones that take place during the day. In public. With other people around. Because even now, I’m still not adept at nursing discreetly in public. So I was thrilled – in that hormonally-induced, overly effusive way that pregnant women are – to get to try out the nursing covers from Amuse Me Baby. I love everything about them, from the cheery prints...

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Coats on the Wings of Angels

I confess I’m totally guilty of tossing the kids’ coats over chairs, the stroller handle, the exersaucer (the floor) – pretty much everywhere but in the coat closet. Excellent example I’m setting, I know. Maybe I’d be more apt to hang the outerwear if I didn’t have to wrestle those teeny hangers through the sleeves every time we came home. So I am loving the Angel Wings Coat Hooks from the always browse-worthy U.K. shop, Rockett St George. The pink powder-coated steel hooks are sweet, but I love the silver too. Hang ’em high and beautify your walls and...

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I Go to Extremes

If you rummaged through my son’s drawers you’d find absolutely no sports themed wear. I’m just not a fan of overpriced licensed jerseys that help fund overpaid athletes. But I am loving Milkshaxs, a Vancouver clothing company that caters to the sports fanatics of the extreme kind. Their soft and versatile baby onesies, outfits, and shirts are screen printed with skiiers, snowboarders (shown), and even mountain bikers. Even if you’re not so much into the sports thing, you’ll be glad to know Milkshaxs takes all the typical boy themes (trains, trucks, you know…) over the edge as well. My...

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Kiss These CDs, They’re Irish

Enough with the four thousand versions of "Lullaby, and Goodnight" already. For something out of the ordinary but with the same lulling qualties, I’m loving Putumayo’s new compilation, Celtic Dreamland. The tracks fall on the opposite side of the energy spectrum from the upbeat jigs Celtic music has made famous. Instead you’ll get soothing, authentically Irish melodies that will gently carry your children off to the land of nod. Hopefully for a verrrrrrrrry long time.  Along the same lines, check out beautiful vocalist Julia Norton’s Lullaby Island, a truly sweet collection of 18 original and traditional bedtime tracks. Just...

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