Month: November 2008

Holiday cookies way better than the ones you’ll make. Trust me on that one.

There are definitely some folks on my holiday list who deserve better than the lopsided bells and gingerbread amputees that pass for holiday cookies around my kitchen. In other words, everyone but Grandma. The holiday cookies from Better Bit of Butter are exactly what you’re looking for if you want holiday cookies that make a serious impression.  Baker/artist Christine Mehling bakes these gorgeous bits of high-calorie heaven fresh to order using organic ingredients like sweet Amish butter and cage-free eggs. Then she tops them off with fondant and royal icing designs that have that a wedding favor kind of...

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Glass Bottles That Don’t Look Like Glass Bottles

Can you imagine there are actually people out there who don’t coordinate their baby’s bottle to his blanket, bib, and onesie? Heh. But seriously, if you’re a glass bottle user or just want to take the plunge from plastic, make sure to check out Smitten Baby’s cool new line of glass bottles, available at eco-friendly super shop Cooler Choices. Completely BPA free (of course), we love the fun polka dots in pink or blue. Depending on your nipple preference, you might find these to be on the soft side, so Cooler Choices made the extra effort to sell them...

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Fresh air fun

I am constantly looking for: 1) Winter clothes for kids 0-12 2) Clothes that are designed to stand up to the rigors of hard play  3) A way that kids won’t get suited up in and announce they need to use the bathroom. Item 3 may just be Murphy’s Law at work (sorry), but for items 1 and 2, check out Play Outdoors. Founders (and parents) Sarah Laufer and Justin Rae decided to raise their kids in Oregon just to maximize opportunities to get out into nature, so it makes sense that their new shop offers eco-conscious products that...

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If you don’t know Jack. . .

I love receiving a birthday card in the mail, but when it’s my time to send them out, I usually resort to a hastily typed email. Forgive me, but taking three kids anywhere near a rack of greeting cards is just asking for a headache. I have fewer excuses now that Jack Cards has appeared on my radar. Started by Boston-based friends Katherine Santer and Kim Dowds, Jack Cards is like my own personal card store. From the comfort of home, I can brows cards from designers such as CMP faves Bumble Ink and Binth without worrying that the...

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Designer stroller pads turn even that third generation MacLaren into a swanky ride

Stroller pads seem to be the new hot thing now and we totally see why. It’s a smart way to keep from investing in a whole new stroller when money is tight–says the mom who’s now on baby number three. Our latest find is the stylish Ajo Bebe stroller pad. You definitely have to be into fluffy for this one – it’s super soft and thick and a little feminine with the ruffle trim. It fits easily on most strollers and can turn it into a comfy, swanky ride, regardless of whether you’re driving a $20 umbrella stroller or...

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The Coolest Advent Calendars

I’m always the one in the drug store on December 5th shopping for an advent calendar–and wondering why the selection stinks. This year, I vowed to start earlier (albeit by just a few days) and wanted to share three options that I think are way cooler than anything I’d find in my local CVS. I love 24 Penguins Before Christmas for its quirky twist on the traditional Christmas scene. Inspired by author Jean-Luc Fromenthal’s original 365 Penguins book, it features the same turquoise-and-orange landscape which includes little doors which open to one or more adorable penguins. My kids will...

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Custom Christmas ornaments, delivered on doves’ wings

It’s not that I don’t go “awwww” just a little bit over the beautiful hand-cut  ceramic dove ornament with a customizable message from Paloma’s Nest–it’s that mentally I’m sometimes still about nine or ten and imagine all the hilarious words I could put in there. Of course it would be nice to personalize the ornaments with believe or adore or your kids’ own lovely names, but with up to twelve characters I am tempted to do familygate08 or hide me. In the end I’ll probably just get fly.  Darn sentimental side always triumphs over the internal 9-year-old....

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Ingrid & Isabel Leggings – A maternity wardrobe essential we’d swear by

If you had told me that I’d be wearing leggings almost every day during my pregnancies I would have laughed at you. Well, politely of course. But when I realized how great they felt and looked, I got over myself and gave in to the trend. So if you want the ultimate maternity leggings, snatch up a pair (or two) of Ingrid & Isabel’s belly leggings. Made from the same nylon/spandex combo as their super duper BellaBands, these leggings are somewhere between footless tights and thick cotton leggings, making them extremely versatile for any style and season. Fit them...

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Applique tees worth the double take

I know, I know, another appliqued t-shirt for kids. Or at least that’s what I was thinking until I got my hands on the adorable creations by sisters and moms Autumn Durbin and Erin Payne of Noodle and Meatball. There was something appealing about their classic hand sewn designs that made me want to see more, and I’m so glad I did. Each piece is carefully appliqued using a variety of fabrics on soft, bright cotton shirts. Of course, I’m partial to the Ready for Take-off shirt for my plane-obsessed son, but I’m loving the 25 Cents gumball machine...

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fin + roe: For parents who still get to pick out the Christmas cards

Since I’ve got a house full of kids, it’s a safe bet that my holiday cards are going to feature photos of those kids.  But I still want those cards to reflect my taste–which means no cards with ice-skating penguins or dancing candy canes. The holiday cards from fin + roe are just what I’m after.  With fresh, crisp designs and bright colors, the simplicity of these cards is what makes them so appealing to me.  I love the customization options–not just colors, but patterns too.  Plus, the customer service is out of this world, with personal design attention...

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Because a screaming baby in velvet doesn’t say “holiday cheer”

Even though my mother-in-law insisted on photos of my then 6-month old daughter in this ridiculous lace and velvet number, when it came down to holiday parties and Christmas day, we stuck her in a comfy, festive one piece. You can bet we’ll be doing the same with our 2-month old this holiday, perhaps in this super cute double breasted candy cane one-piece from Bean New York. Decidedly cheaper than most of the snazzy holiday wear out there yet not over the top with smiling Rudolphs, this outfit is made out of 100% un-stuffy cotton. Just don’t get a...

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Expressing our thanks through acts of do-gooding

Happy Thanksgiving cool moms. In the spirit of giving thanks, we thought we’d share with you each of our favorite charitable orgs, some of whom are really getting whomped by the economy this year. Not from individual donors per se (you guys are always so great!), but from the fortune 500 companies and Wall Street firms they tend to rely on. Maybe we’ll turn you onto a new charity, maybe we’ll inspire you to give some extra love to your own. Kristen: As a military wife, I’ve been fortunate to have my husband stateside. But many families are not,...

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Yes Eye Can

I am never going to be the mom who walks around Michael’s picking all the supplies for origami finger puppet ornaments or hot glue gun 3-D stuffed animal baskets or whatever the heck other moms are making with their kids these days. I am the mom who instead grabs one of the fantastic art kits for kids from Eye Can Art, spreads some newspaper on the table, and gets going. So if you want to know what to get my artistically inclined three year-old for the holidays? I’d say one of these. The printmaking kit absolutely engaged my daughter–and...

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Hanging out on the Loquat Rooftop

I’ve never thought of the Blues as particularly cheerful until I heard Brooklyn’s Randy Kaplan sing Good Morning Blues, the first song on Loquat Rooftop. Amidst the amazingly nimble-fingered guitar work, I heard him ask, Good morning blues….blues How do you do? to which a little voice shouted back, Good…hungry! It’s that happy-go-lucky feel throughout that had me wishing that Randy was sitting in our living room telling his stories directly to the kids. Songs like the hilariously odd No Nothing has a catchy chorus which makes me croon, I know nothing, you know nothing all day long. And,...

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Big brands doing cool things – Skip Hop’s new baby toys at Toys R Us

We love finding cool gifts and gear from small, up and coming designers, so we especially love when the humongo chains get smart and help turn them into big, up and coming designers. That’s why we were excited to discover mom and pop founded Skip*hop has created a brand new baby toy collection exclusively for Toys R Us. Their smart and sophisticated design sense that started with their infamous diaper bags is now translated in two lines of bright, aesthetically pleasing baby toys–our fave being the adorable Garden Floral Activity Playmat. Considering how much room these mats generally take...

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The sweetest announcements. Literally.

Out of consideration for my post-baby figure, I rarely bake any more. It’s just one of the sacrifices I make in the name of vanity. But at holiday time, my no-bake resolution goes out the window (and takes my willpower right along with it).  Send me a recipe for anything involving butter and sugar, and I’ll whip the kitchen into a frenzy. Naturally, the Holiday Recipe Cards from Ringo Baby–who we always love for their inventive cards and announcements–caught my eye. Your photo and greeting go on the front like any other holiday card but on the back, you...

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The It Sling: This Year’s It Bag.

According to all the magazines and certain recent ad campaigns of over-the-counter pain remedies, babies are the new hot accessory. Carry yours everywhere and you’re sure to be in the in crowd this year. Or so we hear. So if you’re slinging your tot along to some swanky holiday party or museum benefit, you wouldn’t think of grabbing the stained Ergo and strapping it on over the LBD, right? Instead, allow us to offer up the fur mei tai carrier from Bronwen Handcrafted. Made of black silk dupioni and faux fur which reverses to a beautiful red floral, it’s...

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Picky tweens: No longer a holiday shopping nightmare

My mom used to try and convince me that it was actually cool to have jewelry that no one else had, rather than sport the same brand name baubles as everyone else in my class. Of course, she wasn’t trying to get me to wear these adorable heart earrings from Anne Kiel. These thread-thru earrings feature sweet silver hearts hanging from a silver chain that allow your daughter to decide how she wants to wear them. And we love that they’re still completely hip without dripping in bling.  I’m pretty sure if you’ve got a young jewelry lover on...

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Pinnington Bags – A celeb fave that we can get behind

A few years ago, this handbag fanatic would have fallen over had someone told me I’d be hoarding diaper bags, but considering how amazing they’ve all gotten, you might understand my obsession. And since finding the Bohemian inspired Pinnington Bags, I’m thinking you’ll not only understand my point of view you’ll probably find yourself in my camp. Designed by Carly Liberatore and completely handmade, these bags combine function, fashion, and fabulous fabrics in an extremely artistic way. On one hand, you’ll feel like you’re carrying a work of art in head-turning patterns, but on the other, you’ll definitely be...

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Peace on earth. I mean it. Now.

I totally dare you to buy this New Year’s Card by Robyn Miller Design, customize it with your own message, sign it with a beautiful heartfelt note — and upload a photo of your crying, screaming, tantrum-throwing baby. Or maybe your kids hitting each other? I’m actually tempted myself. I think everyone would get it except my mother-in-law who would go, “Aw…why did you do that?” Find it at Groovy Paper, along with plenty of other great holiday cards, ironic and not....

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