Month: December 2007

Killing two New Year’s resolutions with one fashionable stone

I know that the time for New Year’s resolutions which I mostly end up breaking are still a few weeks away. But some of them are going to require a little advance planning so I can be ready to hit the ground running on the 1st. First on my list, making a better commitment to eco-ing up my place. So plastic grocery bags out…tote bags in.   So I have my eye on this beautiful limited edition tote from mom/pop-run San Fran label, Bunny and Bee. I knew the shop designed über-hip original kids tees, but had no idea...

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Ooohhhh….glassy.

I’m all about necklaces these days. If I grab one piece of jewelry before I race out of the house –late, as always–it’s going to be something that draws attention towards the boobs and away from the undereye bags. Darn newborns. I’m thinking about adding one of artist Jen Land’s very pretty little glass pendants to my growing collection. Jen does all the glasswork herself, creating bright, happy color combos in her symbolic Love Blooms collection (mamas will get it right away), or fun Modern/Retro collection with graphic designs like a swanky atomic starburst dangling from a satin cord,...

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Ponytail Moms, Be Not Ashamed

As an avid ponytail wearer, I’m always left with a conundrum when it comes to winter hats. Do I just suck it up and deal with hat head? Not according to Girl32, a company founded by two women with a love of fashion and a knack for clever design. Their beanie cap with buttons up the back that allows you to pull your hear through the back just might be a mom’s new best friend. Well, a lazy mom that always sticks her hair in a ponytail like me. Make sure to check out Girl32’s equally smart scarves with...

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Giving New Definition to The Soft Shape Sorter

You don’t have to be a parent too long before you realize that kids instinctively like sticking things in other things. Without delving into the old electrical outlet chestnut, let’s just say there’s truth in the stereotypes. So I’m totally smitten with Brooklyn artist (and devoted Auntie)Maro’s clever Live-and-Learn pillows at her shop, Deseta. Each beautiful, entirely handmade pillow is actually two pillows in one – the larger square contains a contrasting square, triangle or circle which pops right out. The set of three (in four different cool color combos) makes terrific decor for a modern nursery, and then...

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From the Cradle to The Cradle ™

There are more "mom" websites and social networking sites popping up than we can shake a BPA-free baby bottle at. And who can blame them? We are collectively awesome, thus everyone wants us to grace them with our virtual presence. One of the more promising sites is The Cradle, which for starters, looks a lot better than your average parenting site. As in, fewer cheesy stock photos of moms with too-white teeth hugging "their" babies, more relevant lifestyle kind of content. While they’re just ramping up, so far we’ve caught a section on eco-friendly nurseries, expert advice like kids...

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32 Degrees Out? How Did That Happen?

I am definitely not the together mom that has the warm stroller blanket out and ready to go for the first cold-weather day. And so here it is, December, and I’m still looking for a great sleeping bag kind of a thing to work with all the different strollers that we’ve somehow managed to accumulate. The Buggy Blanket from Brooks Pond was new to me and so I checked one out. Nice! This is definitely one for the practical moms who still prefer their baby gear with a side order of chic. It’s wind/water resistant, works with all different...

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Giveaway: $250 Gift Certificate from the Silly Wagon

Boy, did you pick a great month to start subscribing to the free, and yet oh so valuable CMP monthly newsletter. (Since, you know, you were totally about to do just that.)  At the end of December, we’re going to draw one new subscriber to win a $250 gift certificate to one of our bestest most favoritest shops, The Silly Wagon. That way the holidays never quite end and you can keep buying chic kids clothes, toys (the safe kinds), gifts, and maybe some baubles for mama all the way into January. Sign up, stat. One person will love...

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Clean up those toys, young lady

If you live in a little-ish place like I do, toy space is a commodity. Of course that doesn’t stop the trucks and books and dolls and crayons from accumulating (God bless the grandparents) so we always look for furniture that serves more than one purpose. My newest wish-list item: The Big Play Table from the always wonderful Via Toy Box. Six of their signature wooden storage cubes in your choice of great modern colors and shapes support a sturdy tabletop that’s just perfect for art supplies, puzzles, or even a train set. In fact I wouldn’t get a...

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When drawing on purses is perfectly okay

I’ve decided to capitalize on my daughter’s prolific talent this year and turn her artwork into gifts for the entire family. For a very special grandmom (I’m talking super special), that means a clutch from LA-based Scribble Couture. Bag designer True Cross will work with you to create the most unique personalized gift I’m betting you can find. Just send her an original or scan of your kid’s artwork, and she’ll work with her embroidery artists to create a snazzy, real leather tote or clutch (my daughter’s kitty pictured). Scribble Couture bags are definitely on the high-priced end of the keepsake...

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Art You Can Walk On

I have been in love with Lisa Masterson’s artwork for so long I could hang it on my walls, my ceiling, lean it against my furniture, and rub it all over my body. But walking on it? Something I hadn’t considered. But Lisa considered it. Because now her great shop Avalisa is offering beautiful wool rugs in three different sizes. The soft, hand-tufted New Zealand wool comes in beautiful color combinations, with designs for your kids’ rooms and beyond.  I happen to love her four different abstracts, which, like her abstract art, would look great in a modern kids...

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Moving On From Macaroni Necklaces

My older daughter and I have finally reached the point where we can do crafts together that involve more than just dry pasta and pipe cleaners. There’s only two problems: 1) I’m lacking the creative-mom gene. 2) I’m not enthused about projects that turn into clutter. So I was really happy to try out the craft kits from mom-invented Mugwaz, which, for a change, are  actually worth keeping when the project’s done. My girl and I had a blast making matching pairs of glittering flip-flops and a skinny belt strung with hippie-chic flowers. There are even party packs, to...

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Ordering french fries isn’t actually speaking French

Bilingual educational tools are all the rage in the US these days and The Cool Mom Picks editors have certainly come across our share of DVDs, CDs, books and other tools to get kids speaking everything from Spanish to…well, not Sanskrit. Yet. One of the cooler options we’ve found is the Little Pim series of foreign languge DVDs. Their creator, Julia Pimsleur-Levine is both a documentary filmmaker and the daughter of an acclaimed language professor and it’s clear from the quality that she knows her stuff. When my daughter said, "Mommy, panda video again!" after the first watching I...

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A Very Merry Binky To You

Neither of my kids took a binky, which was frustrating until now that I see friends trying to coax their toddlers’ pacifiers out of their mouths to give to Santa or The Binky Elf. (Who knew?)  I also might have been the last to learn that binky clips are apparently the new hip baby accessory, like the handmade ones from Ericalyn Designs. This adorable handpainted wooden clip is attached to a shiny snowflake ribbon, both of which are pleasantly festive, and will secure that binky from falling into the yellow snow. Or cold dry ground if you’re in my...

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Genius Baby Clothes. Really.

We parents often have no problem sticking our kids in clothes that proclaim cutie or sweetie-pie or (gak) future model. But when it comes to proclaiming their obvious genetically-determined intellectual superiority, for some reason we stop short. No longer. The Scrabble Lounge Pants from Angelic Genius surely are genius. In that they spell out genius. Which, really, is so much cooler in every way than writing juicy on a little kid’s butt. You can even pair it with the shop’s matching Scrabble tee. Or heck, you’re the one with the brilliant baby on your hands. Why don’t you just...

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The Perfect Gift for All Your Flaky Friends

Before kids, I used to custom select the perfect little whatever for every gal on my Christmas list. After kids? So not happening. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stick them all with impersonal gift cards and call it a day either. Idea: The luxe body butters from Winks & Co. Each FAA-friendly 2.3 ounce container is filled with a fluffy, paraben-free moisturizer that’s whipped like, well, butter. Or at least shea butter, in thirty different flavors. The scents are definitely on the sweeter side of the spectrum – my flaky, scaly legs were enjoying a slathering of...

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Put Yo Baby on Yo Hip

I can’t tell you how much the pouch sling saved my life during the first five months of my son’s life– especially when I wanted to nurse in public. But carrying him in it now at ten months is a bit of a struggle. Plus, I always feel like he’s going to fall right out. But not with the PUJ Baby Go Sling, a snappy and affordable solution for hip carrying your baby. It’s not just that the fabrics are bright and fabulous, but it’s extremely easy to use and carry. Unlike typical slings, it’s way more compact. And...

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Pot Luck-y

The next time I show up at a friend’s holiday gathering with a delightful, home-baked pie…wait, let me start again. The next time I show up at a friend’s holiday gathering with a delightful pie procured from the fabulous local bakery, I will not do so with some ordinary disposable pie tin. Not when these brilliant alternatives from Brooklyn artist Lorena Barrezueta are at our disposal. Lorena takes the classic disposable stuff you’re familiar with, from pie plates to paper cups to take-out sushi containers and reimagines them as beautiful porcelain serving pieces.  They’re vibrantly colored, beautifully glazed, and...

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The perfect combination

Aside from the terribly unoriginal "two of something gift, I had absolutely no idea what to get my friends’ twin girls — until I found the handmade PB & J necklace at the charmingly named Violet Gumdrops. It’s a perfect alternative to the oddly popular broken heart best friend’s necklace if you want to knock the matching socks off of any set of twin girls (or sisters or best friends) this holiday for just $20. Peanut allergies? Try the cookies n’ milk necklaces instead. Just make sure the recipients get along. Otherwise you’ll have to ask for a custom...

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No Bells, No Whistles

When I was a kid, we didn’t have any animatronic plush animals with voice chips or virtual reality video games. We played with sticks and rocks and we liked it. Okay so maybe not so much sticks and rocks. But I do remember that Mousetrap was considered high-tech next to Clue, and that the kid with Rock ‘Em Sock Em Robots was pretty popular come 3 PM. Indeed I am enjoying this trip down playtime memory lane courtesy of Back to Basics Toys. This is your place if you want good old fashioned Nok Hockey (I never knew it...

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A Super Eco-Conscious Pick, Even for the Super-Eco Conscious

While I do my part to recycle and use cloth grocery bags, I am definitely killing a few trees (okay maybe more than a few) with my oodles of Christmas cards this year. Oh how my  eco-conscience disapproves. As an alternative, check out the wooden cards from Night Owl Paper Goods. Made using sustainably-harvested yellow birch, the dozen seasonal designs are just beautiful. You can inscribe them with a pen, pencil, or marker like any other card. But these are more likely to impress the green friends on your holiday list–and at $24 for a set of six, they...

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