Month: October 2008

Get your harvest on

The Indigenous Harvest Dress is definitely a misleading name. It sounds like something you’d see in in a museum gift shop, but in reality, it’s a fantastic fall/winter wardrobe staple for little girls who are indigenous to pretty much any town in the US. Just stick a long-sleeve shirt and a pair of tights underneath the organic cotton dress and send her off to charm the schoolyard. We found it at Green Edge Kids along with a whole line of items from the label Indigenous Designs, which only recently started making their beautiful fair trade items for kids too....

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Painting without fear. Or formaldehyde.

When I was pregnant, I painted three pieces of furniture out in the cold because I was so freaked out about what the paint fumes could do to the bébé. But when you’re pregnant is precisely when you decide you must paint right now. Fear not, panicked mamas, there’s a solution in Devine Color paint. These designer colors were created by artist Gretchen Schauffler to be eco-friendly, sustainable, low-odor and low- or no-VOC. No formaldehyde in the vapors! And they go on “like yogurt” – only, not actually like yogurt. More like smooth, premium, no-drip paint. Nest fearlessly, my...

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A car seat cover that’s…elegant? What are the chances.

Car seat covers serve three excellent purposes: They make older seats look new, they cover the ugly fabrics, and they wash up more easily than the existing covers which don’t actually wash at all. Only problem is, some of the fabrics are so wild, they’re like HEY LOOK AT ME! I’M A CAR SEAT COVER! Hooray for mom-run Nomie Baby, which goes daring with their quilted car seat covers in that they’re (gasp!) solid . Katie Danzinger has designed these covers to be soft, waterproof, machine washable, and yep, they do make your car seat look a whole lot...

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How to build a better sock monkey

The recent proliferation of organic stuffed animals makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but the story behind these latest creations is one that really shines. Since 1992, Maggie’s Organics has been making cozy clothing that’s both environmentally and socially sustainable. As if that’s not fab enough (it is), they recently solved the problem of a surplus of not-quite-perfect socks by creating these adorable sock monkeys. They’re made in in the US in a worker-owned co-op from said “imperfect” socks (which are Maggie’s own American-made, organic cotton crews) and stuffed with polyester mill scrap. The result isn’t quite soft...

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They call it “vintage revisited,” but I call it hilarious

What do you get when you combine vintage photos with snarky captions like Why do dishes when you can do daiquiris? The delightfully cheeky line of Anne Taintor products, of course. I’d seen these in local boutiques before but for some reason, never thought about who made them. Well, now I know. Take your pick of various utilitarian items made fun: Fridge magnets, purse-sized notebooks and scratch pads, luggage tags, even, um, air fresheners. Great stocking stuffers if that’s on the brain already. And for that trusted friend in need of a special pick-me-up, you won’t want to miss...

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Hell’s Angels, eat your hearts out

With a son who is obsessed with all things that go, it’s not a surprise that his favorite shirts are covered in adorable little planes, trains, and automobiles. And now, a new addition: The ultimate motorcycle shirt from our good friends at Ooh La La Mama. While it’s decidedly not cutesy, it’s absolutely 100% worthy of any little kid’s chest. With the rebel print boldly stated on the softest tees around (no lie), this shirt will make your little Harley lover – boy or girl – giggle. Or growl. Or whatever it is that cool kids do these days. ...

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Serena & Lily supports breast cancer month with a blanket you’d totally buy anyway

When I first saw the gorgeous Harper Stroller blanket by Serena & Lily, I knew it’d be the perfect accessory for any pink-cheeked baby girl. Fluffy and soft on one side, silky smooth on the other, it almost makes me wish I had a newborn of my own to swaddle and rock. Don’t worry, dear husband, I said “almost.” While it would be beautiful any time of the year, I was especially touched to learn that Serena & Lily will donate a whopping 50% of the blanket’s proceeds in October to support breast cancer research. Don’t be fooled: this...

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Because not all baby smells are…pleasing

Yes, there’s the scent of their yummy heads and soft skin, but babies do a lot of stinky things. But using a big fake room scent machine just doesn’t seem like the healthiest choice, nor does spraying a ton of chemicals into the air. If you’re looking for a little scent relief, I highly recommend the reed diffusers from K.Hall Designs, the brain-child of Missouri couple Kelley and John Barr. Made from the purest essential oils with absolutely no additives or enhancers, you just pour the oils in the glass jar, pop in a few reeds, and your chosen...

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An eco-friendly kid’s rocking chair that hits the Spot

Back when I was shopping for nursery furniture, eco-friendly meant the crib wasn’t painted with lead-based paint. Well looky looky how much has changed in a relatively short period of time. Today, cribs with “a conscience” are becoming much more readily available from companies like Spot On Square. CMP introduced this amazing mom and pop operation back in January, and since then they’ve added several more products we’re loving including the gorgeous new Hiya Rocker. This sleek, extra-wide kiddie rocking chair features a book bin in the back to hold a stylish kid’s favorite page-turner. The MDF is finished...

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Cool big-boy bowling shirts for your little man

As my son marches out of toddlerhood, I find myself swooning over clothes that bridge the gap between baby and big boy. Take this pint-sized black and white bowler shirt by LilaFrances, just one of the adorable options at the shop. This one however is the real McCoy with incredible detailing (check out those back pleats!) and white stitching; I could see it on the playground or at the holiday dinner table. During the colder months, put a long-sleeved tee underneath, and he’s good to go. This RISD graduate and mama of her own little guy can even hand-embroider...

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Momzelle Organic Nursing Tops – Breastfeeding Made Easy

I hate hiking up my shirt to breastfeed my baby almost as much as I loathe the nursing tees with the overhanging half shirt, no matter how convenient and discreet they might be. But that all changed when I was introduced to Momzelle Organic Nursing Tops. These Canadian-made tees are super soft and comfortable, but best of all, they fit to perfection. The mid-torso opening was hidden under my bust, and thanks to the extra bit of spandex, there was absolutely no over-hanging to be found. Plus, the slightly longer length left my belly covered. No tugging to cover...

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And the tech makeover winners are…

Holy cow people, do you have some amazing stories. It was tough trying to pick just three winners of the $5000 tech makeover from Intel, but pick we did. Without further ado (because we know you’re dying to know)…the winners. Congrats to all three of the very deserving tech makeover winners. And to the rest of the entrants, we hope that next time we can pick 100 of you. –Liz and...

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Tiny Revolutionary continues to revolutionize the charity tee

The charities promoted on the stack of rarely-worn tees in my closet  are great; it’s the shirts that could use some work. So I was psyched to see that CMP fave, Tiny Revolutionary is continuing to put out great-looking t-shirts that provide some serious support to worthy organizations. Their new Giving Tee line is feel-good all around: My kids or I get a cool-looking, hand-numbered t-shirt (like No Guitar Left Behind) and Tiny Revolutionary sends a big chunk of the purchase price to the charity to help them do more good things in the world.  The latest groups to...

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Healthy treats that won’t get your house egged on Halloween.

Now that I’m a nutrition-obsessed mom, I get where those raisin people were coming from that I made fun of when I was trick or treating as a kid. They didn’t plan on being the lamest house on the block (although they were), but it sure is hard competing with all the sugar out there on Halloween. I think I can stick to my healthy ideals while still retaining cool mom status with the all-organic Yummy Earth lollipops. They taste just as good as the junky kind–really!–and the colors are vibrant, but not artificial, instead derived from organic black...

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Admit it, you’re too cool for the store-brand bags

When the time came to admit that even recycling the plastic bags from the supermarket was not enough, I did what any self-respecting tightwad would do: I bought the ugly bags they sell at the supermarket. I cannot begin to express my delight at having been saved from my dilemma by hotSACKS. The construction is reminiscent of my store bags (though larger and sturdier), but instead of advertising a store’s name they promote my good taste with a rainbow of dots and swirls. The bags contain 30% recycled content, are 100% recyclable, and an entire Ultimate Set of five...

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?l?phant clothes for kids – The accent marks let you know it’s cool

Wha-at? Kids pajamas that are cute but not cutesie? Why yes indeedy. They, along with earthy onesies, tees, and really wearable little dresses round out the collection of ?l?phant Couture, a label so new it’s still got that new e-boutique smell. Photographer-turned-NYC designer Leslie Hassler used to make her son’s clothes which were so popular, her celeb subjects (hello, Julia Roberts?) tried to buy them off his back. Since that wasn’t really an option, Leslie started a line. I really like the whimsical South American sensibility influenced by the designer’s worldwide travels. Cute toys too, especially those elephants. Leslie’s...

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It’s a (Semilla) Wrap

Considering my son spent the first eight months of his life in a sling, there’s no doubt my new daughter will be enjoying the same comforts. But now that I’m chasing after two other ones, I’m looking at options that give me a bit more mobility, like the wrap sling. The Semilla Wrap, found at CMP fave shop Hazel Wood Children features long yards of fabric that at first glance might send reluctant babywearers running for the hills. But it shouldn’t. It’s not as difficult as you might think to get it on properly, and thanks to the super...

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Muu Furniture: When a red plastic racecar bed really isn’t your style

I’m in favor of pulling out all the stops to decorate my children’s rooms beautifully. But since a little redecorating is inevitable between preschool and high school, that means choosing furniture with some built-in flexibility. Woodworker Robert Kwak’s beautiful new furniture line at Muu incorporates modern lines and sustainable materials to create furniture that’s perfectly suited to any kid’s room. But it’s the custom MuuPanel system that really makes this furniture stand out. No generic baby illustrations on these interchangeable panels; from guitarists to helicopters to Japanese blossoms, these motifs will stand the tests of time–and fickle tweens.  Even...

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Stroller liners – totally frivolous and completely necessary

Considering I’m on my third child, I’m probably not the strongest candidate for a stroller liner. But when I got my hands on the beautifully crafted ones from BooYah Baby–funny name, cute stuff–I had one of those defining “how did I ever live without this?” mom moments. These stroller liners combine a mix of stylish fabrics, lovely ribbon detail, and just enough padding to make any stroller a bit more comfy. It took me just a few seconds to pop it on and then off my stroller, great for when your child sets out to prove that his sippy...

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Design Online: Making your home more like the one you imagine and less like the one it actually is

When it comes to interior design, let’s just say that my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. I admire fabulous design, but possess neither the knack nor the bottomless pocketbook to bring it to life without some serious help. If I were in LA, I could rely on Designers Call–brainchild of Laura Fishman, owner of LA’s fancypants Storm Interiors–which travels around town in their DesignWagen providing eco-friendly, affordable design advice for your home. But since I’m not anywhere near LA, I get to try out the new Design Online service. Basically you can access design services from anywhere...

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