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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