Month: December 2007

It’s a Bird. It’s a Train…

We’ve got our first ever two-child plane trip coming up and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little nervous. I figure if I can pack enough fun stuff to keep the two year-old entertained, maybe I can actually suck down a cocktail and relax. On my must-pack list: The very clever First Train Sets from high-end Swedish toy company, BRIO. The cute little penguin (or dog or cat or frog or squid) may look like your ordinary plush toy, but unzip it and out comes all these miniature penguins on wheels. So it’s like two...

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Not Late, Just Picky

If I don’t count the looooovely dress my mother-in-law bought my daughter (note the sarcasm inherent in the word loooooovely), I technically don’t yet have a Christmas dress for her. I’ve been waiting for just the right dress to call to me. Except there’s only one week left. Whoops. Fear not you selective mamas; when you see the dresses by NoKo, you’ll be very glad that you waited. These gorgeous clothes are a collaborative effort between two American moms Maureen Chianese and Jennifer Friese who met while living in Tokyo. Using traditional Japanese silhouettes as their inspiration and authentic...

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When You Just Have to Give In To the Cuteness

Maybe it was all those bad seasonal sweaters we grew up wearing in the 70s and 80s that somehow infiltrated our consciousness, but sometimes we just can’t help ourselves – we must must have a snowman-emblazoned onesie for the kid this winter. The limited edition winter wonderland onesie that we spotted at Beebee Mod lets you indulge your sentimental side with style. The hand-stitched appliqué created from beautiful Japanese fabrics definitely puts that sparkly snowman monstrosity in the mall store windows to shame. Better yet, it looks cute on kids on the 25th or beyond – no matter what...

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Lightweight Bags, Heavyweight Fashion

Lord knows I love me some leather diaper bags, but as great they look, they’re heavy. Jimeale has devised a fashionably fabulous solution in its Emily and Edward diaper bags (spotted on a few celeb mamas recently – ahemcoughislafishercough). They’re light as a feather, but don’t let that fool you. The tough nylon exterior looks like it can take a beating, while the swanky double-lined mod fabrics inside are wipeably ready for any leaky mishap.  I really love that the bags were made with moms in mind and not just paparazzi. There’s an adjustable cushioned shoulder strap, zippered compartments...

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The newest teething solution for babies: Mushrooms

Continually asked for safe teething toys by parents, we’re always quick to suggest Sophie Giraffe, Vulli’s European fave for decades. But now the company has transitioned from the animal kingdom to the vegetable garden, with a trio of totally cute mushroom teethers. Blue Chan, pink Pie and yellow Gnon (a play on the french word for mushroom, champignon)  might even be safer than their real world counterparts–they’re made from sustainable rubber, painted with food dyes, and free of phthalates. Also? No fungus. Which, come to think of it, is a mushroom first. Find the Chan Pie Gnon teethers at...

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Cute Bear ISO Good Home. Fingers Will Do.

All I can say about Cheryl A Smith is that she’s a nut. A crazy, creative, crafting nut. Why else would she personally number each and every sweet little finger puppet that she makes and sells? Especially considering that she’s now past the 2,000 mark. That’s a whole lot of felt. While Cheryl’s selling out fast for holiday orders, hit her shop now and you can still delight a child with a totally adorable pengin, a bunny rabbit, a vulnerable bear, and a not entirely menacing green dragon. Put them together and that’s one interesting finger puppet show you...

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New, and In No Need of Improvements

It’s been said that babies are a marketer’s dream – if only they could make purchases themselves. Which is why I’m quietly chuckling over the new New! onesies from new mom/pop run shop, Huddy Buddy. It’s the newness trifecta. Of course there’s inherent hilarity in packaging a baby like laundry detergent or breakfast cereal so what’s more to say? It comes in blue or pink in size 0-6 months (natch) and is nicely handscreened on good quality US-made cotton onesies. Also, a percentage of sales support the Hospital for Sick Children. That’s not a new idea, but it’s a...

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Estrogen surges: preserve the memory

So I always thought estrogen was exclusively about raging hormones, hot flashes, and that lovely monthly visitor that comes knocking at the most inopportune times. But not according to Raven Hanna, a jewelry artisan and self-proclaimed science geek. Thanks to her artistic-meets-biologist brilliance, estrogen looks pretty great as a handcrafted sterling silver necklace. Who knew? The molecular structure of estrogen preserved in silver definitely makes a way better gift than hormone suppositories. God knows we’ll all have plenty of time for those later....

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Attention: Lazy Gift Card Redeemers

Not to look a gift (card) horse in the mouth, but I when I get one I often forget to use it in time. I guess it’s people like me who account for the $8 billion in gift cards that gets wasted each year. Yikes. If you anticipate a few gift cards this holiday season, you must know about Leverage, an innovative new service that lets you register your cards for free (along with frequent traveler and reward programs) so you won’t lose track of them. It seems you can earn interest on what you’re not spending and best...

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Going Soft

After having two babies, I am a certified blanket snob. There’s just no reason to settle for a mildly soft blanket when there are so many amazing ones to pick from. Take this simple yet gorgeous velour blanket from Satsuma Designs. Now I was instantly sold on its velvety texture alone, until I realized it’s good for the earth and for your baby too, thanks to thoughtful bamboo construction. If you’re not familiar with bamboo–at least as a fabric and not a wallpaper motif in your local Chinese restaurant–it’s known for its anti-bacterial qualities. Plus it’s also odor fighting and super absorbent, which...

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A Little Separation Between Your Kid and the Dining Room Table is Never a Bad Thing

Just because my daughter can feed herself does not mean she actually gets all the food in her mouth. Hence our love affair with Bibbitybop’s Placemats. These hearty vinyl-covered placemats come in such fantastic fabric choices that you can set them out for drinking-aged company as well. But when the kids are around, they’re just perfect. Especially at such great prices – just $25 for a set of four. The placemats (and extra special unleaded bibs) are handmade by Toronto mom Alice Hiller using locally sourced materials. Not only do they wipe clean and won’t stain, but you can...

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Better You Than Me, Sister

Even having gone through two mostly uneventful pregnancies (I know, don’t hate on me), I’m happy now to be back in my regular jeans and regular shoes with not one ounce of lower back pain–and no forthcoming labor and delivery. And so, being the kind thoughtful friend that I am, I just haaaaaad to buy one of these cards for the next bud of mine who gets knocked up. Aside from hilarious sentiment, how can you pass up the bright colors and the fact that it’s printed on an antique printing press with vintage blocks and antique wood? I’m...

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Personal Cards (Even When They’re Not Personalized)

If there’s anything that made me more weepy than is customary during those first few days after having my son, it was all the kind notes of congratulations sent to me. I’d like to reciprocate, except getting out the house with two kids to find the perfect baby card every time gets tough. So my plan is to grab a set of these fantastic Good News and Baby Shoes cards from Three Wheels Design, a modern paper shop after my own heart. Mom of two Vicki Shields employs simple, elegant graphics in a pack of six different cards, any...

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I Feel Pretty. Even at 35 Weeks.

I’ve reached that point in my pregnancy where I feel like that old cliché, the beached whale. Worse – I feel like I’m insulting whales with the analogy. It’s time to treat myself to something fabulous to help me feel pretty through the home stretch. The very new label, Bao Bei Maternity, is full of fabulous – from the colors to the styles to the soft fabrics and impeccable construction. Most importantly, their clothes fit beautifully, regardless of how far along you may be. There’s a great selection of it at mom-run Mom and Baby Sport (sounds comfy, doesn’t...

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The Three Little Kittens Would Never Lose These

Even though snow isn’t exactly headed to my side of Atlanta any time soon, that doesn’t mean my kids don’t need mittens. Chilly little fingers need protection with or without the white stuff. I’m envisioning my son in a pair of these mittens* by Liz Jones Handmade. Made from repurposed felted wool sweaters and lined with fleece (no itchies here!), these mittens are warm enough to make it through an an entire NYC winter on the artist’s 6 year-old product tester. If sweet little owls aren’t your thing, check out the crossbones. Either way, they’re one or two of...

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The Best PR That Wool Could Ask For

American parents tend to have this hang-up with wool. Maybe generations of itchy grandma sweaters have made us skittish about the fabric but the truth is wool, especially for babies, can be amazing if used properly. So when we were given a first look at the new Cariboo Organic Purtec Wool Blanket, we were excited to see if it lived up to the fanfare. Oh boy, it did.  Cariboo, if you’re not familiar, is the New Zealand company that’s makes the stunning high-end sustainable wood baby furniture you drool over in Cookie magazine. I assure you their blankets do...

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Like You Needed Another Reason to Shop

As if your credit card doesn’t get enough of a workout with daily visits to Cool Mom Picks, we’ve got more great excuses to pull out the plastic – thanks to some extra fabulous and CMP exclusive sales. If your kids are in need of new boots or shoes for now or next year, stock up now at Vincent, one of our favorite shoe purveyors. Use code "CMP-35-OFF" at checkout  (not in the gift certificate area) starting today at 10am through Sunday for a whopping 35% off non-sale items, even styles that have never ever been discounted. Then treat yourself to 25% off...

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Contrary to Popular Belief, Moms Do Have a Few Brain Cells Left

After months spent in OB offices browsing parenting magazines that ran the gamut from mindless fun to downright annoying, I had no idea that there was something out there for moms that was actually (gasp) literary. While I love a good holiday cookie recipe or rainy day craft idea as much as the next gal, sometimes I do have capacity for a bit more in my head. Enter Brain, Child, a magazine that no thinking mom should be without. What? You’ve never heard of it? Good thing you came here today. Founded by two smart mamas themselves, Jennifer Niesslein...

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Über-Hoodie

With December weather fluctuating between mildly cold to oddly warm, layering pieces are a mom’s best friend. On my own wish list for my daughter: A Random Nicole hoodie, just one of many fantastic finds at mom and pop-run boutique for junior fashionistas, Popodona. Like all of Nicole Stevenson’s beautiful hand-appliquéd shirts, the hoodies (there’s one for little guys too) are definitely a step above your typical sweatshirt, entering more into the realm of wearable art. The designer makes amazing use of vintage inspired designs and even a whimsical fabric lining in the hood, making each piece one-of-a-kind. This...

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Awkward Family Dinners No More

You’re more likely to find my family all yapping over each other a mile a minute during holiday dinners than staring awkwardly at our soup bowls. But other families? Not so lucky. Here are a couple of solutions to get things rolling. Table Topics is the maker of Family Topics, a fine looking set of 135 cards printed with  conversation starters from What personality trait has gotten you into the most trouble? to Is space exploration important? I especially like their mini “to-go” sets of kids cards which is a way better alternative to the DVD on long car...

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