Month: October 2008

Put your money where your child’s chest is

If you want to make a statement, and you’re not above using your baby as a billboard (we’re not), try +E (positive energy) Awareness Apparel. These soft, 100% certified organic cotton tees and onesies are designed to deliver the social, environmental or political message that’s nearest to your heart. And your baby’s butt. Seriously. Check out the one that says “DIRTY,” for example. The single bold word is displayed on the chest, but I love the strategically-placed blurb about air pollution on the back that delivers the details. Other designs are more serious, but there’s a cause for everyone...

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Mommy cards get smarter, even as mommies don’t

I used to be really good at remembering names and faces.  A little stalkerish even. But then I had children and a good percentage of my brain cells expired from lack of sleep.  Now I’m lucky if I remember my own name, let alone the names of those three super-cool moms I met ten minutes ago at the park. So when I checked out Thumbprint Trading Cards, I fell immediately in love.  Much more than mere mommy cards, these two-inch square cards incorporate custom photos along with contact information–ideal for those of us who need a visual memory cue...

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Jamie Lee Curtis’s children’s books give me another reason to be jealous of her

Like it’s not cool enough that she’s married to Christopher Guest and has started in A Fish Called Wanda, and exemplifies the phrase “hot mama”–now Jamie Lee Curtis has an entire children’s book library to her name, and they’re all terrific. (Okay, yes so I totally have a girl crush on JLC. Guilty.) Her recent release, Big Words for Little People once again incorporates Laura Cornell’s engaging illustration style that keeps my daughter ogling all the fun little stuff on the page long after I’m ready to turn. But the content itself is really the star–a series of big...

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New for Baby gets color happy

Last weekend I had to buy baby gifts for two kids who are now toddlers, because the pressure I put on myself to buy something so useful and practical and cool and life-changing is so great that I end up procrastinating. For more than a year. Too bad I didn’t know about the awesome new colors and styles at New For Baby. Back when we first wrote about this company, we loved the baby-friendly features  on their yummy cotton layette basics like tagless necks, fold-over cuffs, and easy-to-use snaps. And now the company has expanded from basic pink, blue...

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Paper Mobiles – Design Meets Function for one very happy baby

One of the great things about having a baby now as compared to even four years ago when I had my first is the ton of choices parents have as far as nursery decor. Take the mobile, which is no longer something you just buy in a themed set along with your bedding. I’m happy to have found the lovely Butterfly mobiles from Almost Sunday. Handmade by artist Karen Yi, these lovely paper mobiles will float happily from your ceiling, keeping your little one mesmerized without the help of stuffed bears or a robotic rendition of Twinkle Twinkle. As...

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Ghost Clusters!

I’m happy to say that these adorable little Halloween goodies from New Hampshire’s L.A. Burdick’s Chocolate are definitely treats and not tricks. Each ghostly center is made up of the kind of gourmet hazelnut and dark chocolate ganache that makes my eyes roll back into my head, and the white chocolate draping provides a creamy outer layer of awesome. I love seeing all of these little chocolate ghosts in a row, but you may prefer a coffin of assorted chocolates or some individually wrapped ghosts to hand out as favors to some very (very) lucky party goers. Ideally those...

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Babywearing with utter and complete warmth–for both of you

Allow me to set the scene: It is January in New England, subzero temperatures, and I need to get out of the house with my newborn in a front carrier. I used to routinely wear my husband’s coat over the baby, which somehow managed to both be too big and too drafty, all at once. Also, I looked enormous. Yeah, those were not exactly the good old days. Back then I might’ve sold my soul for a Peekaru, a positively heroic Polartec vest-slash-front carrier. Yes, heroic. This ingenious little garment puts an end to freezing babywearers. Large enough to...

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C’mon, cooler weather! Mama needs a new pair of children’s dresses.

When I lived in the frozen north, my favorite part of warmer weather was definitely the bright colors and flounces of my daughter’s spring wardrobe. But that was before I discovered Kit + Lili and realized that all that vibrancy can be a winter staple too. These colorful, bold-print long-sleeved dresses come by way of two Brooklyn moms who’ve made a name for themselves designing the modern, adorable clothes that the trendy moms go nuts for. The always wonderful boutique Moxie Kids has a great assortment of Kit + Lili in sizes 2-8, but good luck choosing just one...

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Utterly charming cards. Really.

While I’ll happily spend hours browsing through all types of stationery, searching for just the right mix of simplicity and elegance, greeting cards almost always leave me cold.  Blame it on years of searching for some idealistic notion of preprinted sentiments that probably doesn’t even exist. So I was quite literally charmed when I got a peek at Jaimee Tassio’s charmed cards.  Simple and elegant, yes; smothered in schmaltz, not at all. In fact the only adornment is a tiny charm, suspended from a thin wire–a thoughtful touch to underscore your own thoughtful words inside....

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Shop Nest, improve women’s lives

If only there was a way to get fabulous clothing, accessories, and other merchandise while helping others in need. Oh, wait–there is. Shopping at Nest is truly the best of both worlds — the money from your purchases of various artisan goodies are given out as micro-loans to artisan women in developing countries to buy supplies. They even sell some of their resulting work right on Nest in the Global Goods category. (We love those Turkish placemats.) So just by indulging in some pretty jewelry or a cute outfit for the kids, you’re getting a chance to take part...

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Street smart

Diaper bags are getting less and less diaper bag-y by the minute, which is just the way we like ’em. The latest entrant into the Project Runway-ready bag category are the new Street Chic bags from longtime CMP fave, Boujie Baby. The two Basilia bags in faux croc or black with the croc accents have that same slouchy but structured construction I’m seeing the disposable income crowd snatching up at Barney’s. Only designer Suzanne Kopulos has built in features that matter to moms like wipeable fabrics, and interior pockets for bottles, pacifiers, keys and other assorted baby junk. I...

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Design your own monster without the scary bill

At Cool Mom Picks we definitely love all these awesome companies springing up that allow kids to create their own stuffed animals, monsters, or mutant alien hybrid creatures. But if you’re on a tight budget, you must head directly for CurlyQ Cuties. While they don’t take your kid’s original art and turn it into a monster, their interactive site lets kids pick the monster’s shape and color, and features like its kooky eyes, mouth, and belly button. Kind of Mr. Potato Head style.  In fact, my daughter had so much fun with the site, I’ve bookmarked it so she...

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Forget the $2000 stroller. Register for homemade meals instead.

About three days after I gave birth to my daughter, my friend Lisa brought over some dinner. I can still remember the exact menu:  Bulgarian Stuffed Peppers, salad and a loaf of crusty bread. In my post-birthing daze, it was the single best gift I received–those peppers rocked my world. I now try my best to return the favor and provide meals for new moms or other people in need, but it’s not always easy to coordinate. MealBaby makes it absolutely simple. It’s basically a free online food registry and calendar and it makes a terrific gift registry option...

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Because when it comes right down to it, pregnant women are HUNGRY

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was very careful about what I ate. No booze, no sushi, and hearing that soft, raw milk cheeses could be harmful, sat quietly weeping while my friends and family gorged on oozy, stinky Epoises. It was a tough nine months. Those nine months can definitely feel full of culinary deprivation. That’s why the Expecting Mother Survival Kit from iGourmet is so awesome. It is as far away from deprivation as you can possibly get. In fact, it is positively indulgent. There is salty. There is sweet. There is crunchy. There is...

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Flannel receiving blankets get a makeover

Once I discovered muslin swaddling blankets, my flannel ones all became changing pad liners. But as the cool weather approaches, there is something wonderfully comforting about wrapping your sweet baby in softness and warmth. With fall here (and a new baby too!), I’m back to flannel receiving blankets courtesy of CMP fave Resa Design. Mom and designer Resa Troyer offers these traditional swaddlers for snuggling your fall or winter baby, and it’s turned up a notch or two with wonderfully cheerful, bright fabrics. Now who said flannel couldn’t be exciting?  -Kristen In honor of Resa’s 3 year anniversary, keep...

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Plein de Vie: The remedy for what ails you, and you, and you…

There is nothing quite like the feeling of having everything you need in your purse. Tissues? Check. Crayons? Check. Emergency first aid for all aiments both real and imagined? Check. That’s why I am a huge fan of the Plein de Vie On-the-Go Remedy Stick. Made of all organic vegan ingredients and free of highly allergenic nut oils, this little guy is a jack-of-all-trades. It smoothed out the eczema patch on my arm, made my daughter’s bug bite stop itching and soothed my son’s boo-boo. The smell is a lovely mix of lavender and tea tree oil, but not...

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Now you’re cooking, kiddo

It doesn’t seem fair that kids can now have a nicer pretend kitchen than my real one. Then again, mine does run on more than just imagination. Our friends at Natural Pod has just debuted two heirloom quality wooden play kitchens that they designed themselves, and they seriously make me long to be a kid again. The gorgeous Chef’s Kitchen and Hutch (sold separately or together) includes a sliding chopping board and oven rack, fun twirly knobs, and a removable sink for easy clean-up. The Chef’s Portable Kitchen is better for smaller spaces, sporting the same great knobs/sink/play-top, minus...

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Besitos Designs: DIY multicutural kidswear

We’re always looking out for multicultural dolls, toys and gifts for kids, but so many of them sort of run out of inspiration after the whole “let’s do a multiculural doll, toy and gift” part. Besitos Designs, however nails it. The concept is the brainchild of Peruvian-born fashion industry insider turned LA mom and designer, Wendy Susan Reategui del Aguila. Basically you pick one of twenty Besitos Kids faces, and apply it to the item of your choice. There are onesies and tees with great detailing for both boys and girls, blankets, cutie bags for future fashionistas, or my...

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Halloween bags: Black, orange, and now, green

If you’re looking for something more eco than a plastic trick or treat bag this year, of course you could paint a pillow case like we like did in the good old days (my parents were green and didn’t even know it!) or reuse a shopping bag you’ve already got on hand. But we’re sort of partial to the limited edition Halloween ChicoBag, Not only does this sturdy, lightweight nylon bag look cute–it was designed by a 12 year-old in a student contest–but when your kids outgrow it, ChicoBag will recycle it for you. It’s just $4.95 at Nubius...

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They’re shakin’ in Chicago, we’re dancing over here

Thaddeus Rex’s latest CD, Shakin’ in Chicago, is for parents and kids who have moved beyond sugar-sweet versions of You Are My Sunshine. (Read: all of us). T. Rex has a unique voice and rocks the acoustic guitar in a way that reminded me of the Violent Femmes, if the Femmes had sung cheerful pop-n-rock music for kids with songs like I Still Love Cookies and Dinosaur Living Inside My Head. The songs are smart, funny, catchy and all those things I pretty much want in my children’s music. I found myself trying to sing along with the powerful...

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