Month: December 2008

O Christmas Tree (candle), O Christmas Tree (candle)

We’re at the moment in the holiday season when I realize I need gifts for all those other deserving people in our lives: teachers, dance instructors, party hosts, house cleaners, the personal chef (ha! kidding!). To the rescue: the clean-looking Uni Tree Candle. Made by Austrian Atelier, this little tree has a neat, sophisticated shape that sits on a small aluminum stand and will fit into anyone’s home decor. I appreciate that it is made out of renewable palm wax, uses safer colorings and doesn’t have any fragrance to compete with all the other delicious smells of the season....

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An appealing alternative to the singing reindeer doll

I know there are some of you out there still looking for one special Christmas gift for some lucky little girl–and only because I count myself among you. Well fear not, because at etsy shop Little Big Pants, artist Terra Krebbs‘ lovely Audrey doll is now available in adorable holiday styles, each one storybook ready. I am absolutely swooning over Audrey Goes Carolling in her wool felt cape with faux fur trim and a matching muff, all dressed up Madeline-style. But I also love her in her green or red New Year’s frock, and in her low key tree-trimming...

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Fairy Tree House, actual size. Or so I’m told.

I do recognize that some girls on my list are all into fairies and tutus and princess tiaras, but I am still having trouble just giving in and buying some crappy marabou slippers or Cinderella wand. So I am so excited to have discovered the brand new Fairy Tree House which is a book, a playhouse, a craft kit, and an imagination builder all at once. Open up the kit and you have access to Saviour Pirotta’s charming little fairy handbook. Then turn it on its side and you’ve got a whole little 3-d fairy world to play with,...

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Drawing a blank

Sometimes the gift of nothing is the best gift of all. I flipped when I saw these Blank Board Books at Romp, because they give kids a blank canvas in which to make their very own literary masterpieces. The square books are made of six durable boards, plus the front and back covers, which can become anything from a holiday gift for Grandma (great for bragging rights) to a beginner’s scrapbook. Kids can use stickers, photos, markers, basically whatever “medium” they’re into, so, no matter how young your prodigy is, they can create a must read that will be...

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Be kind to your fine feathered bags

I might be more excited that feather-embellished accessories are back had I ever gotten rid of mine in the first place. Shh, don’t tell the fashion police. One of the cuter bags I’ve seen so far for your New Year’s Eve LBD (you do have a sitter, right?) Is this ostrich feather stunner from NYC handbag designer Daphne Nadler’s etsy shop. It’s one of eight feather bags she has available right now–see the full collection on her website, Handbags by Daphne. The best part is that it’s so petit, it’s like flaunting the fact that you couldn’t possibly have...

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Bowling for sailors

I am not sure why my children automatically gravitate towards bowling games. Honestly, I wish it were golf–far more money in that when you go pro. But for now, I’m happy to indulge them and French toymaker Vilac makes maybe the cutest bowling set I’ve ever seen. Made only of solid hardwood and finished with non-toxic paints, each narrow skittle is painted to look like a ye olde time-y French sailor. Which, when you think about it, might be remotely better than teaching your child to hurl balls at animals like most bowling sets. But there’s also a more...

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Luxe baby towels without the luxe prices

If there’s anything I wish I had about 400 more of, it would have to be baby towels. Or at least ones that you can’t see through after a few washings. So that’s why I was happy to discover the gorgeous–and reasonably priced—Beeby towels at mom-owned boutique Cutie and Patootie. These towels are soft and thick and feature a lovely velvety fabric hood and soft fleece lining around the edges. Plus they’re just big enough to fit an infant or small toddler so you’re not dealing with a flailing little one in a gigantic towel. If you’re looking for...

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Rock Star Baby Organic Shampoo: Two, two, two trends in one

When we first started Cool Mom Picks, there was definitely a wave of rock ‘n roll themed stuff for kids. This year, it was all about organics. So it was only a matter of time before it all came together into some sort of cool, organic, rocking…something or other. Well that something or other happens to be Lulu’s Rock Star Baby Organics which makes the shampoos and conditioners that have been gracing our bathtub rim as of late. Scents like paparazzi lime and tangerine limousine sound a little silly but they’re actually far more subtle than your average “hey,...

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Save Handmade!

We’ve received an incredible outpouring of support on our recent post about the new CPSC Safety Improvement Act that is jeopardizing the livelihoods of the small businesses and artisans that we love. So what did we do? We created our own Save Handmade! resource page to let you know how you can help (it’s easy) and where you can go for more info. We’ll also try to keep you up to date on any breaking news. We also invite you to add this dandy button seen here to your own blog or website to help get the word out....

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Why I love Pete’s white shoes

Instead of coughing up fur balls and sleeping, Pete the Cat goes out for a leisurely stroll in his spanking new white shoes. I can’t even imagine trying to get shoes onto my cat, never mind how miffed she’d be if she stepped into some of the things Pete does. But, Pete is so unflappable in his latest book, I Love My White Shoes, I found myself trying to figure out how to achieve his level of zen. I knew I’d love this book pretty much from the start, mainly because James Dean’s (no relation) illustrations of Pete are...

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Return of the puffy coat

So of course we’re the idiots who leave our kids’ winter jackets on the plane just before returning to the coldest day of the season so far. Yippee! Unfortunately the terrifying selection of heinously ugly coats left at the nearest department store wasn’t working out for me. Do two year-olds really need rhinestones on their winter coats? Thank goodness I tracked down the fantastic Appaman puffy coat at a local boutique. It’s not too girlie, not too “this season,” but still nicely styled. And best of all, it is warm. And currently on my daughter instead of on the...

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Hello, I’m a cup

Okay, I’ll say it: Those wine charm thingies are tacky. I recognize that they serve a purpose, but I’m fairly certain that civilization survived for thousands of years with no real ill effects from a party guest accidentally picking up the wrong glass. However if you want a fresh way to keep the drinks sorted by drinker, the Cocktales icebreaker cups spotted at Modern Lola will do the trick. They’re not pretending to be something they’re not (i.e. classy) – they’re just plain fun, particularly if you fill out something besides your name. Hello, I’m…blotto. Hello, I’m…not wearing any...

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Something for those poor new babies who will always get the combined birthday/holiday gift the rest of their lives.

If you’re like me, your baby will be sitting up quite nicely by the time the birth announcements go out. In fact, you might think to yourself, I have to do holiday cards anyway, why not just wait? Why not, indeed? You can do it all this holiday season with magnetic combination birth announcements/holiday cards from Magnet Street Baby. The site is really fun to use, recommending other items with similar themes and sizes, and even offering up coordinated envelopes. Then just upload your favorite new-baby images into the the template that best suits your style, whether you like...

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Making Christmas cookies the new-fashioned way

Not a whole lot in this world is prettier than the holiday cookies from Brooklyn’s Gumdrop Cookie Shop, but then sometimes pretty is in the eye of the beholder. And when that beholder is the proud mom (ahem) whose three year-old daughter is enthusiastically scribbling her own lopsided cyclops snowman on a cookie, well that’s about the most beautiful thing in the world. The Van Gogh cookies set comes with a dozen yummy frosted sugar cookies along with ten vibrant edible ink markers so the artists of the family can get to work. It comes so beautifully packaged, it...

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It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling

I’m not generally a bling evangelist, but if there is a time for all things sparkly and retinal-damaging I suppose it would be the holidays. I’m happy to have come across the Swarovski pencils at Red Stamp Cards–blingy on one side, arty on the other, these fine black pencils make a nice little stocking stuffer or fun goodie to go with a note pad or a nice set of cards. After all, your gift has to at least compete with the lights on the tree, right?...

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Jones Soda makes bubbly for your bubeleh

When I saw Jones’ Soda’s new Chanukah 4-Pack, my first thought was, “what the heck does Latke flavor soda taste like?” This doesn’t mean that I was brave enough to actually take a sip, but I do admire their chutzpah. I hope that anyone who invites me to Chanukkah dinner admires my chutzpah when I show up with this tucked under my arm. If no one is up for a taste testing, at least we can play with the enclosed dreidel. Along with Latke are three flavors that would be the hit of any Chanukkah celebration: Jelly Donut, Apple...

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Big dreams of tiny Décor

Let’s pretend I’m having another baby, and as long as we’re pretending, let’s pretend I had a budget transplant! Okay? So we’re pretending, and I’m heading over to tiny Décor for a couple of the notNeutral Tetra 2 changing table/dressers, plus a few goodies from CMP faves like Mod Mom toyboxes and Avalisa wall art so my baby will have the coolest nursery anywhere. And the Hi Mr. Oak Tree pillow is so sweet and contemporary, it’ll look right at home in my imaginary nursery. All the tiny Décor textiles are handmade here in the USA with organic and...

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KEEN Shoes: Less carbon footprint, more snowy footprints

More and more, I’m starting to care about how the clothes my family wears are made and by whom. I’m no crazy dogmatic eco-ista, but there’s something to be said for corporate responsibility and giving back and supporting people who ride hybrid corn-fed unicorns to work instead of Hummers. Or whatever. Which is why I’m happy to discover the shoes from KEEN. Not being the outdoorsy type myself I was actually first introduced to the brand through my local Brooklyn hipster shoe store, Soula, which stocks them next to the Orla Kiely bags believe it or not. I especially...

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Little labels that make a big impression

I may buy great gifts, but I’m severely gift-wrap challenged; my presents usually get hidden toward the back of the pile so that you can’t see my incompetence. But, this year, these bold little labels from Turtle Papers will help my gifts look more polished and festive than what I normally put under the tree. I love their crimson-and-turquoise colors and the fact that they can be personalized with our family name so that I can stick them on gifts, cards, plates of cookies and bottles of wine.  Turtle Papers offers two message options for this season:  “Peace Love...

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Maternity wear that makes you look chic. Or as chic as it gets when you’re feeling enormous.

Very few things make me wish I were pregnant again. Until now. Rosie Pope, former dancer and model and now a new mom, recently opened a flagship maternity store in Soho where people like Naomi, Salma and Gwen all shopped. But, thanks to the Rosie Pope online boutique, you can shop there too. Even if you’re the type who deigns to use your last name. You can fill a wardrobe full of elegant clothes and accessories–no elastic allowed here–but this time of year you may want to click on over to the dressy stuff and pick out an outfit...

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