Month: November 2007

Yo. My Blocks are Cooler Than Yours.

So blocks are blocks, right? They’re wooden, you build with them, you knock them down. Blocks. Yeah, well, not the Graffiti Blocks from Rockin’ Blocks. No alternababy or rock n’ roll love child’s toy collection is complete without a set. They’re handmade in Brooklyn, NYC (where else?) and coated with non-toxic glaze; you know, just in case Granny decides to police your joint and wipe them clean. Forty bucks will get you a complete set. Bring them home before some subversive graffiti terrorist decides to tag right over them. -Kristen ...

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Baby’s First Way Cool Christmas Clothes

I have never understood what people need with a "Baby’s First Christmas" onesie spelled out in red and green bling anyway. Do you think that without it, the parents will look back at photos of their five month old surrounded by gift wrap and say, "Hm, I wonder whether that was his first Christmas or not…" A delightful alternative (if I do say so myself) is the soft organic Harvest Moon Onesie from CMP fave, Chocolate Cake Club. The hand appliquéd, textured pine tree against the backdrop of a big red moon is so subtle you can get use...

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Hey, Snowflakes Really Are One-of-a-Kind

I’ve always been more of an artisan-made, crafty ornament type. I know, you’re not surprised, but shiny balls that come in the 30-pack from CVS are not really my style. I’d rather have fewer ornaments, each one special and beautiful. So when I came across the lovely porcelain snowflake ornaments from ceramicist Shoshona Snow, I knew the "add to my cart" click was imminent. With a vague mid-century feel to each of the four designs, they’re fired, painted (all non-toxic), and handcut from thin porcelain.  While they’re not super delicate, I’d still keep this one towards the top of...

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Evidently You Can Run as Fast as You Can and Catch the Gingerbread Man

Plenty of families have their own interesting Christmas traditions. At my mom’s house, it was to bake gingerbread men to hang on the Christmas ficus, then bite their limbs off while they dangled from the tree. So wasn’t I delighted to find what trendsetters we all were way back when, as I got wind of the amputee gingerbread cookie cutters at Spoon Sisters. Okay, so that’s not what they call them. They’re actually ABC cutters, as in that old chestnut, "already been chewed." In any case, it makes a hilarious hostess gift for just $10.95 when you pair it...

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Giving Thanks to the Trees, Too

Team Cool Mom Picks has always been a bit rah rah about books as gifts. Besides the obvious benefits, they’re not quickly outgrown and they’re pretty much guaranteed not to be on any recall lists any time soon. (Unless you’re one of those weirdos trying to ban Harry Potter.) On the other hand, there aren’t too many books made from recycled paper just yet. So when we heard about the very innovative effort from Eco-Libris, we were intrigued. The way it works is you figure out how many books you want to "balance out". Say, all the ones you’re...

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Better Living Through No Chemicals

After my daughter’s first bath irritated her skin from head to toe, I have been on the lookout for great baby bath products that are made from ingredients I feel I can trust. And pronounce. You know, more honey and oatmeal, less DMDM Hydantoin. Am I glad to have found the line of baby care products from Earthwise Beauty. Not only are these products are all natural, biodegradable, and organic, they are also lovingly produced, artfully crafted and beautifully packaged using earth-friendly, recyclable materials. After trying the talc-free, Very Special Baby Powder I can tell you that it fully...

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Pop[up] Art

Whoever (or maybe that’s just my mother-in-law) said you need batteries and talking toys to get kids interested in learning has obviously never seen How Many, Ron Van der Meer’s new pop-up art book that will have any kid over five enraptured. Van der Meer, a bona fide paper engineer, takes pop-up books to the next level by creating a series of interconnecting and intertwining Frank Ghery meets Willy Wonka 3-D figures. They’re not only visually stimulating but great for the noggin–each page asks different "how many" questions, but with an seemingly infinite number of stars or cubes or circles, there’s no...

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I Hear the Tooth Fairy Pays Double With These Pillows

One of CMP’s all time favorite artists, Michelle Caplan is now wowing us with her brand new tooth fairy pillows. The coolest part? They don’t look like tooth fairy pillows. (Or at least that’s cool to me.) She’s essentially taken some of her brilliant mixed media collages and repurposed them for the old tooth-hoarding sprite, including a little back pocket and everything. It’s hard to resist fab black and white retro images like a little boy on an early motorbike with his grandpa, or a Howdy Doody-era kiddo on a pony. They’re particularly great for little dudes who might...

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Possibly the Only Holiday Travel Without Delays

When I popped the Travel Time Stories CD in and a sweet woman’s voice called my daughter by name and proceeded to tell her a story, just for her, well, it was like magic. Magic spun by fairies while dancing on rainbows with shiny golden unicorns. The very nicely produced fairy tales on the three different volumes are classics: The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Three Little Pigs…pretty much your standard grade-school fare. What’s really cool however is that each track has a personalized introduction that greets the child then describes what to expect next. It’s a...

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They’ll Never Be Able to Throw These Cards Away

I’ve decided to forgo the traditional family Christmas picture holiday card extravaganza this year. And thanks to Ruva Cards, my excuse will not be total laziness (for a change), but rather, my desire to show off my daughter’s artistic talent. Designed by New York artist Michelle Snyder, these simple holiday cards feature a "peek-a-boo" front cover with a sweet message, and your child’s art on the inside. Just send a scan or original of your little artist’s masterpiece, provide a couple of lines of text for the custom-printed inside cover, and you’ll have a fantastic holiday card that no...

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Yet Another Reason to Wear Your Baby

After wandering around a conference for two straight days with my son in a sling, I realized a couple of things: 1. He’s pretty darn heavy. 2. It didn’t matter what I wore because the only thing anyone could see all weekend was my sling. Knowing your baby carrier is going to be the focus of your wardrobe for months, I strongly suggest these ones designed by mom Tonjia Coverdale of Divas n Babes Boutique. A college professor turned momtrepreneur, Tonjia’s slings are extra stylish, featuring gorgeous fabric combinations including luxe cottons and dupioni silks, plus her signature asymmetrical tail. While the ring...

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The Ultimate Bottle: According to the Company, and According to Me

Confession: I used to think nipple confusion was a myth invented by lactivists to keep kids on the boob. And then my second girl came along and, holy sleepless night, Batman, she would not take a bottle, no way no how. I asked – no, begged – friends, family, strangers on the street for any help and a few benevolent, wonderful souls me towards the Adiri Natural Nurser Ultimate Bottle. My lifesaver! This super innovative bottle looks and feels enough like a boob to get you kicked off a United Flight when you whip it out. It’s supple, soft,...

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How Many Trees Have Died for Our Mindless Bathroom Reading?

I cannot be the only mom dreading the walk up from the mailbox these days. It would be fine if it was filled with all sorts of cards and gifts and, you know, envelopes of free money. But nope. Just bills and about sixty million pounds of catalogs that I totally don’t need. Now first of all, most of my shopping is online today. Second, this is an environmental nightmare. (Hello, West Elm – love you but I don’t need three catalogs from you.) So I’ve been spending the last few days on Catalog Choice which is a one-stop...

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Gifts That Make You Wish You Had Cooler Friends

Each holiday season, I make sure to stock up on emergency hostess and holiday gifts. They’re the kinds of things you can pretty much give to anyone when you get a last minute invite, or–horror of all horrors–someone hands you a gift and you haven’t reciprocated. This year, I’m thinking about doing some one-stop emergency gift shopping at Pop Ink, whose printed products will be immediately recognizable to modern design fans. You’ll find fabulously designed boxes of luxury soaps, and more than 30 styles of awesome boxed note cards that make a bigger impression than the price tags let...

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Christmas Tea

Every time I click over to Tiny Prints for a little virtual window shopping for Holiday Cards, I’ve found myself drawn to the same kinds of designs–they’ve got a slight Asian flair, and incorporate more unusual motifs than holly, like birds and delicate flowers. Well duh. It turns out they’re all a part of the Paper by Tea Collection line of cards. Tea Collection as in Tea Collection? One of our favorite lines of children’s clothing? Who even knew that they made the leap from cotton to paper? I absolutely adore the white bordered Blossoming Season style (shown) and...

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You’ve Got Guts, Kid

I’m not sure why strangers feel the need to go up to my little girl and call her "Princess." Is she wearing a tiara? Waving a wand? Setting me up in a 60 room castle filled with jewels? If only. Perhaps she can deflect the moniker with the tee from Tough Girl Charm proclaiming More Gutsy Than Girly. The goth calligraphy is printed in pink on black–no surprise–with the teeniest crystal accents on the back. It’s almost like something Madonna would have worn back in the day. Not that I want anyone calling my daughter that either....

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7 Crazy Nights Plus 1 Semi-Responsible One

I remember as a kid getting the choice of one big awesome present for Hanukkah, or eight smaller ones. Of course, eight being more than one, the decision was a no-brainer. If your kids use the same logic, and you’re still out there scrounging around for that seventh or eight Hanukkah gift, we’ve found something pretty neat. Okay so it looks like a set of bar glasses by way of Pee Wee Herman’s interior designer, but actually it’s the Tzedakah Bank from LearningCents. There’s one slot for spending, one slot for saving, and a third for giving to charity,...

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Come on Baby, Do the Locomotion

There’s a rumor going around that boys love trains. I wouldn’t know for sure, but I will assume that every boy I’ve ever seen who needs to be pried kicking and screaming from the train set in our local toy store speaks for his brethren. If you want to indulge your little man in the world of coal carriers, engines, conductors, and most importantly, the bar car, this cotton Lissoos Locomotion tee has all of the train coolness with none of the animated characters. We tracked it down at the very fun new shop, Start a Food Fight, which...

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And The Award for Least Annoying Kids Music of 2007 Goes To…

If you have one long car ride to the in-laws planned this holiday season, or even one trip to the mall where you’re likely to get stuck in 16 hours of traffic just to get out of the parking lot, you might want to consider updating your savage kid-soothing music selection. Pronto. If you’re looking for a little guidance, we’re pleased to inform you that the results of the 2nd annual Fids & Kamily music poll are hot off the virtual presses. Voted on by a long list of kids music connoisseurs, DJs and artists, you’ll find the top...

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DaScoop on DaBib

With Baby #1, I made the mistake that some parents do with gear, putting aesthetics ahead of practicality. Let’s just say that a cream-colored cashmere cardigan on a baby is only worth it if it’s $7.99 at Daffy’s, and that a gray flannel sling in the summer is just stupid. So this time around, I’ve been sticking with more products that work as they should, and DaBib has been right there with me for the ride. The defining characteristic of the two styles, Giggles and Hugs (okay, so it’s a bit cutesie) is this very smart scrunchy collar –...

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