Month: October 2008

It’s okay to stick that in your mouth – you know where it’s been.

Is there any better time to reintroduce the joys of tooth-brushing to your kids than Halloween? I’m going to say no. Which gives me the perfect segueway to introduce all of you to the joys of  Recycline’s Preserve toothbrush. The handle is made entirely of recycled Stonyfield Farms yogurt cups (but don’t worry, the bristles are brand new nylon). When you’re done with it in a few months, send it back postage-paid and it will be turned into a picnic table. If you love the idea, and really, who wouldn’t, Recycline also makes a dandy, colorful selection of tableware,...

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Eleven Shoes get a perfect 10

When my girls hit shoe sizes in the double digits, I was dismayed at how grown up some of the styles were.  Heels for a preschooler? Eek. Thankfully, the new line of fall shoes by Eleven, the big brother/sister line of CMP fave See Kai Run, gives my growing five year old a slightly older look while still remembering that she may want to climb a tree or turn an impromptu cartwheel. My daughter loves her new funky orange Eleanor Mary Janes with their rubbery-gripping bottom and easy-on velcro strap. I also love the sparkly silver Sofia’s, and the...

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Baking kits for your own little Betty Crocker

My daughter loves cooking with me. Loves it. And, while a mother/daughter cooking extravaganza might sound good in theory, the reality is actually quite messy. So I was intrigued by the many promises of Zebra Mix. These brownie, cupcake and cookie kits gives kids the ability to manage their own baking project in the kitchen? To own the entire process and be successful? All while caregivers step aside? Count me in. True to its word, Zebra Mix was a revelation. My 7 year-old laid out the mapped instructions and got to work. My role was limited to the dangerous...

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Bohemian Rhapsody

Baby bedding has come a long way, even since having my son just under two years ago. And what’s amazing to me is that designers, like Catherine Fitzsimmons of Rikshaw Design, formerly of Pottery Barn and Ralph Lauren, are still able to impress us with their unique take on the baby registry staple. This amazing line of bedding, bibs and accessories, features printed Indian textiles with a decided bohemian feel that’s still accessible. It’s a lovely mix of traditional meets modern, with my personal fave being the Jaipur collection (pictured) followed closely by the Lali. The designs definitely skew feminine,...

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Take note. Or better yet, give one.

This past weekend, no one was going to mistake my son for the MVP of his soccer team but he did try his best. It was the perfect occasion for one of the playing card-sized notes from Kiddo Kards: One that said Especially for you on the front and on the back, I am so proud of your hard work and effort ________.” I filled in the rest: For getting in there and helping the Ninja’s win. You rock! then snuck the card into one of his books. When he discovered it later, words could not express his excitement....

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What’s in a baby name? Everything.

Sure, I slogged through 8 Hundred Million Names For Baby (or whatever that well-thumbed paperback was called) each time I was pregnant, but did that tell me which celebs picked which baby names just last week? Or what names were on the rise in the last month? Of course not. No book could take into account the ever-changing landscape of name popularity which is why you need a website… say, a delightfully tongue-in-cheek one like Nameberry. They’ll give you name meanings (which you might want to cross-reference) and variations, of course, but what’s especially fun is checking out the...

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Safer Toys for Kids – Back by Popular Demand

We launched our very first Safer Toy Guide last October during the “Year of the Recall” (remember that?) but just because we haven’t been overwhelmed with toy recalls yet this year, doesn’t mean parents don’t want safer toys for their kids this holiday season and beyond. And so, we’re happy to present our 2008 Safer Toy Guide. We’ve scoured our favorite shops to find the coolest toys and play things, like safer teethers and rattles, to fantastic cars,dolls, ride-ons and much more, all of which are handcrafted, locally made, organic, fair trade, or simply safer alternatives for your kids–and ours! And oh...

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Modern moms like plush baby blankets too

I’ve never quite understood why the plushest baby blankets have to be made out of the most unnatural of materials (hello polyester!). Apparently, mom Tamre Sutphen and owner of Shi Shu Style didn’t get it either, and when her son had an allergic reaction to those traditional blankets, she decided to make something equally as plush only without the man-made fibers. And so, Shi Shu Baby blankets were born – handwoven with cotton and bamboo, and trimmed with a bamboo sateen, thus making them look and feel like a gorgeous keepsake blanket except without that pomp and stuffiness. They’re super soft and breathable...

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Rollout – Some enchanted wallpaper

One thing we haven’t seen a whole lot of for some reason is cool kids wallpaper. And then we discovered Rollout, a creative design studio in Canada, which is doing some truly dandy things with wallcoverings. Their artists series features some amazing patterns from artists (obviously) and designers, some of which would be very cool for a kid’s room including Sonja Schneider’s Adopt-a-Monster and Peng Creative’s enchanting Forest Paper shown here. Prices are pretty great at $10 a square foot. What rivals their existing designs in coolness however, is the custom wallpaper option–the studio will design and print something...

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Buttoned-up baby gifts

As far as I’m concerned, the greatest gifts are the ones that you’d feel far too frivolous buying for yourself, but are unexpectedly practical.  That theory goes double for new baby gifts. That’s why the Car Seat Cardigan from Pomegranate Babies is my new go-to baby gift for the extra special new babies I know. We’ve never seen anything quite like these hand-knitted infant car seat covers adorned with hand-felted embellishments like frogs and flowers.  Not only are they ridiculously cute, they’re absolutely useful. No need to wrestle the baby into a bunting (which makes buckling the car seat...

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Ancient Chinese Secret tote bag

I’ve long questioned the appeal of the cotton *coughVeraBradleycough* handbag but that all ended when I met Nankeen. Okay, so I might be slightly biased since I’m Chinese and the bags are created using a combination of cotton, indigo dyes, and a traditional and centuries-old Chinese art form. But even without the Asian connection, you’ll be blown away by the bright, hand-dyed patterns, and equally as pleased with their fair labor and eco-conscious manufacturing practices. For Winter, I’m drawn to the bold Bengal tote. It takes the structure of a leather duffel, but transforms it with the lighter weight cotton...

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Shower invitations just like you, if you were well-rested and a watercolor

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a picture of a pregnant woman on your shower invitations and thank you notes, but you don’t want something all realistic, right? Because what would your “glowing” sciatica-suffering, never-sleeping, puffy-ankled self look like as an invitation anyway? The Expecting in Style cards from the Bonnie Marcus collection are as stylish as you wanna be, underneath the stretch marks and food aversions. The Glamour Mom card seen here fit the bill for a perfectly chic thank-you on recycled card stock, plus a chunk of the cash gets donated to The Breast Council Research Foundation. Personalization...

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Big Tent helps parents hook up online. (Not hook up hook up…you know.)

I’m online all day long: On the computer in my office, on my handheld on the go. If you want me, text or email is the way to reach me, which is why I sometimes simply blink at you with incomprehension when you suggest we do things via this paper mail thing or telephone I’ve heard so much about. That’s why Big Tent is a dream come true for an online junkie like me — I can finally handle all of my PTA interfacing and charitable involvement in one, very nice looking online place. Big Tent is an absolutely...

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Dolls as cute as your kid’s artwork. There’s a good reason for that.

I admit it, I’m a sucker for just about any convert-the-kid’s-art-into-a-keepsake service. And while art2believe will take your child’s drawing and turn it into a stuffed doll, they’ll also also turn it into a pillow, if you’d rather. Or an embellished shirt. Or an ornament. Or maybe something else you have in mind. Art2believe’s Graf family (a mother-daughter team!) has been bringing little imaginations to life beautifully since 2001, painstakingly creating every piece by hand. They use cotton, fleece, buttons, beads, vinyl – whatever it takes to really capture the spirit of the original. Grab one now because–and you’ll...

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Because what good is Halloween week if you don’t get to say “ew” at least once.

So now I totally know what I’ll be handing out along with the candy on Friday. Presenting the totally disgusting–and I mean that in the best possible way–Scabs Bandages. Created by a friend of a friend, I’m so glad she turned me onto the hilarious bandages that cover minor flesh wounds with with imagery far worse than the real thing. Think flesh-eating worms, bloody eyeballs, and my daughter’s favorite, the zipper. The site is pretty perfunctory for the next few weeks, but you can still click the little paypal button and plunk down your $6.95 for a box of...

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Sleep sacks with style

With my roly-poly sleeping toddler, sleep sacks are most definitely my friend, except they either tend to be completely dull or made of materials that I would never buy as a blanket. Go figure. That is clearly not the case with the CoZi Sac, a collection of modern sleep sacks that combine bright fabrics on the outside and soft plush on the inside. While they feature shoulder snaps and bottom zipper for easy diaper changes like most sacks, we really appreciate mom/designer Sonia Larsson’s attention to eco-details – recycled tags and a resuable bag come with every sack.  In fact,...

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You’re never to young to say “Argh”

I am about the biggest binkie clip evangelist on the planet. What can I say, I’m not a fan of picking up my daughter’s dirty pacifiers off the ground every 4.2 seconds. One of the cutest ones I’ve seen is the new pirate-themed pacifier clip spotted at Kangarooboo. While sticking something with a skull and crossbones on it in your baby’s mouth may seem counter-intuitive, it’s comes from the very respected German brand, Selecta. I wouldn’t hesitate. Now all you need is a parrot to stick on your kid’s shoulder. –LizCongratulations to Deborah B, winner of the pirate-themed pacifier...

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Recycled gifts from Celery Street – Not actually the same as regifting

When I think of recycled baubles, pop top pins and earrings made of paper clips spring to mind. But in the case of  Metal Pointus jewelry from Parisian artist (and father of nine!) Bernard Bouhnik, recycled pewter, copper and silver are recast into just lovely, elegant, organic pieces that don’t look at all procured from some flea market table. The line is pretty emblematic of the kinds of eco-friendly, organic, fair trade and upcycled gifts that you’ll find at the new online shop, Celery Street. This husband and wife-run boutique (awwww) is a terrific one-stop resource for gifts this...

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The next best thing to bringing your kids to the polls – leaving them with a sitter

I’m all for taking my daughters with me to the poll on election day and introducing them to the cornerstone of our democracy. Besides, in New York, we’ve still got the old skool voting booths, and there’s no way my three-year old would miss out on any kind of button-pressing, lever-pulling opportunity,  civic-minded or not. But for parents who just can’t bring kids out with you on November 4 for whatever reason, you’re in luck. The Mama Vote promotion is an incredible collaboration between Today’s Mama, Sitter City, and the League of Women Voters, to help parents get their...

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Halloween costumes that do some good

With just a week to go, it’s time to admit that your grand plans for making your kid’s Halloween costume are simply an overambitious fantasy. Really, points for good intentions and all, but it’s time to get back to reality. Fortunately, I’ve got some excellent news. Not only does Costume Studio offer a wide array of costumes (for kids, adults, and even pets) which typically ship the very next day, they donate 100% of the profits to Invisible Children, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids in war-torn Uganda. Every single product page shows you the exact...

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