Month: November 2007

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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