Month: February 2008

Pediped Goes Big

Pedipeds are a dream come true for those of us in need of a stylish yet baby-foot friendly alternative to leather booties for our crawlers and cruisers. But now our big kids can enjoy Pedipeds too, thanks to their brand spanking new Flex line. The styles are eye-catching and the soles are sturdier but still amazingly flexible, making them perfect for my active preschooler (and her footwear snob mama). If your kids’ feet tend to be hard to fit, the shoes come with with an additional insole that can be taken out as your kid’s feet grow, so you get more...

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“Just One More Book,” Definitely Preferable to “Just One More Cookie”

My three-year-old daughter (the little angel) has entirely too many dumb books, which is killing me softly, because why waste time on dumb books ever in your life? My problem: Only children’s boutique bookstores have the right level of selection, and libraries can be so chaotic. Proper research takes time, and I don’t have any time, except…when I’m commuting. Just One More Book is a site full of podcasts about children’s books. How smart! Why didn’t I think of that? The site is organized very well and the first podcast I listened to was number 317. I can’t believe...

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Giving Cold Shoulders the Cold Shoulder

I admit (don’t kill me, urban fashionistas) that I mourned the day the pashmina went out of style. I loved the versatility of this great piece and was glad to tuck one into my bag to keep for unexpected forays into too-cold offices or airplane cabins. Last week, when I first got my mitts on the Shoul Shoulder Wrap, I knew I had found a wonderful alternative. The Shoul (pronounced shole. Like, um, a shoul-der.) is a lightweight knit acrylic wrap that’s soft as anything, drapes beautifully, actually stays on your shoulders (really!) without tying, and doesn’t have the...

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Eau de Notbabyfood

If you’re suffering from Postpartum Fragrance Rut (PPFR) but you’re not ready to delve back into the world of $70 an ounce eau de parfums, here’s a thought: Elizabeth Morrison’s artisanal theme fragrance collection of hand-poured perfumes. I will be honest, with little roll-on style purse-friendly containers and prices high school girls could afford on allowance, I was not expecting a whole lot. But hey! They’re nice! Personally I liked the gentle floral Lotus Lake scent, but grab a sample box – just 4 bucks – and have fun picking your own fave. Then come back for the full...

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You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Wallhanging

Looking out on the morning rain, I used to feel uninspired. But then I found wooden wall art. And super cuteness transpired. What? You were going to hang paper prints on your wall? Weird. Because wood is the new, um, paper. And to celebrate the closer-to-nature format, Pop Ink’s cool, hip, organic Décor-a-Board art works (like this here Woodsy Robin) are printed directly on unfinished birch veneer of recycled wood scraps and unused parts of lumbered trees. Timbertastic!...

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Tees That Inspire Imagination

I always get happy every time another talented graphic designer decides to spawn, because it means the talent gets redirected from gig posters or shampoo packaging to cool duds for kids. Case in point: The utterly fabulous new design (and parenting) team of Julio and Anissa Dwiggins at Pickle Papaya, who are about to delight hipster parents from coast-to-coast with their imaginative but totally wearable kids tees. Nothing is exactly what it seems on first glance – bicycle streamers evolve into a flock of birds. A pair of chopsticks dangle a child’s swing like a soba noodle. And a...

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One Way to Distract Them From the Overcooked Meatloaf

So say your name is Matte Stephens. And say you’re this way-cool, modern artist. Wouldn’t it only be a matter of time before your original Mattes are matted on a mat? We’re thinking that’s an obvious yes. This new limited edition placemat collection from Modern-Twist features two of Matte Stephens’ well known designs – the monster (orange) and the owl (mustard). And the silicone is completely washable, so this may be your only chance to feel good about your kids smearing ketchup on a limited edition masterpiece. Or Mattesterpiece? Snatch yours up from one of our favorite online destinations,...

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Just don’t call them push presents

Let me start by saying that the idea of "push presents" creeps me out. Hate the name, hate the notion that we’re entitled to a Birkin Bag or $5,000 tennis bracelet because we employed our uterus. (Okay, so maybe I’ve been spending too much time on NYC message boards.) Now that said, I think that commemorating the joys of new motherhood with a little something something is absolutely awesome. Which is why I’m really taken with artist Kirstin Pinit’s Maternal Journey necklaces. The three styles of silver charms bring to life conceptual takes on motherhood, my favorite being the...

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Pillowcases That Could Keep You Up Giggling

I have so much respect for designers who really do innovative things with nursery bedding. And if it’s got a sense of humor – all the better. I mean, who says kids sheets have to be all about super heroes or butterflies? So of course I was instantly taken with the Sleepyhead Pillowcase found at the always surprising (and veddy veddy British) Twisted Twee. the embroidered outline provides a convenient guideline for sleepyheads right alongside their stuffed companions. Who are evidently never quite as sleepy. Chose from either an insomniac bunny or insomniac bear. Hey, if you can get...

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Children’s Books the Way They Used to Be. Literally.

I’m so excited to have discovered (at Toy Fair, of all places) the wonderfully named Seattle-based Laughing Elephant Books. If you’re feeling nostalgic for beautifully illustrated, printed and bound books of your youth – or more likely the ones passed down by your grandparents – then skip the local Borders and hit their website for your next literary gifts. You’ll find all kinds of books and gift items incorporating ye olde time-y artwork including my favorite, the soft-covered, sturdy die-cut children’s books which faithfully reproduce originals from the early 1900s. Don’t expect dumbed down prose or touchy-feely 21st century...

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Socks To Be You

Socks don’t tend to be something moms get excited over. In fact, aren’t they the butt of jokes about bad gifts, along with fruitcakes and Dustbusters? But then mama-run Nix Baby came along with their awesome All-Star collection of socks, and now I’m giddy about the poor, underappreciated footwear. These awesomely soft, cotton knee-high kids socks are a throwback to the White Shadow era, when the socks were worn high and so were the satin gym shorts. But don’t pair them with satin gym shorts. Please. What you can do is choose from 16 yummy color combos, from bold...

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The Drool On the Diaper Bag Will Be Your Own

While we love tracking down cool, smaller label diaper bags, there’s something extraordinary about finding one that really – no, really – no other mom on the playground will be carrying. How can we make that guarantee? Well in the case of the Nathalie Bag, there were only six made. And because it’s entirely constructed of a gorgeous vintage floral fabric, even those six bags each have differences among them. But uniqueness isn’t everything; the bags are beautifully constructed, with a wipeable lining (no PVC, yay), adjustable leather straps that go from shoulder to stroller, a matching changing pad,...

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Dropps it Like it’s Hot

I really wish someone had warned me about the crazy amount of laundry that one tiny baby requires – and the crazy amount of extra-special baby detergent that, truth be told, doesn’t work worth a damn. But now I have Dropps, a fantastic enviro-friendly detergent alternative that almost make doing laundry a pleasure. Created by an award-winning Philadelphia-based company that’s all about reducing wasted water and plastic, Dropps come in sealed, pre-measured pods that you toss right into the washer. No mess, no harsh chemicals or enzymes, no detergent bottles in the landfills. Just lots of clean clothes. if anything can make you feel better...

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And the Seasons, They Grow Round and Round

My philosophy is if you’re still looking for a desk calendar in late February, then you’re the type who needs one the most. Take this Plantable Eco Calendar found at the Olive Barn. At first glance, I was taken by the whimsical artwork, but when I realized that you could actually plant the acid-free, tree-free pages to grow flowers, I was sold instantly. Just think, instead of tossing your calendar pages or using them as scrap paper (and then tossing them), you can plant them in soil and wait for your Poppies, Snapdragons, or Bird’s Eyes to sprout. The only thing missing...

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Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Drool Catchers

No doubt that when the punk subculture began back in the mid-70s, the hope was that one day the iconography would be co-opted and mass produced on waterproof baby bibs, then sold through major retailers for $5.95 plus tax. All cynicism aside, the new Urban Chaos bibs from Bumkins are pretty darn cute, and Phthalate and PVC free to boot. Why shouldn’t mamas on a budget get cool prints to remind them of their Doc Maarten-wearing days too? Now before you get mad at me, true hipster parents, it’s not real punk. C’mon – the skulls are smiling....

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Pak Nak Fever

As a child of the 70s, I remember insisting that my mother sew my soccer patch, my daisy patch, and two souvenir patches from a family trip to Europe right on the top of my Osh Kosh overalls. Ah, my early days as a fashion trendsetter. Patches may have gone the way of the pet rock, but a modern update is here in the rubber decorative thingies (not the technical name) from the Portland mom team behind PakNak. Each soft, colorful soccer ball, flower, robot, peace sign, or cupcake is backed with strong Velcro you can stick right onto...

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Time To Work Off Those Pregnancy Kit-Kat Cravings?

Now that the baby is out and spring is on its way, I’m itching to get back on my bike and out on the trails in my neck of the wild, wild west. But breastfeeding the kiddo through three layers of activewear isn’t feasible – or is it? Turns out, it’s not only feasible, but fashionable as well. Founded by an outdoorsy Canadian mother, Mountain Blue Eyes combines real athletic activewear with nursing-friendly functionality. They’ve got tees and fleeces in lightweight, breathable fabrics with easy (and modest) nursing access. But these clothes aren’t just for athletes;  stroller-pushing moms on...

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“I’d Like to Thank Cool Mom Picks…”

Motherhood means giving up more than your waistline, I realize, as Oscar weekend is upon us and of all the nominated flicks, I’ve managed to catch only one of them. If you’re in my (sad, pathetic) boat, we have the solution for you: Get yourself a sitter tomorrow and head to a nearby AMC theater for their Best Picture Showcase, a single ticket that gets you access to screenings of all five best picture contenders. You can come and go as you please (say, you’ve already seen Atonement four times), and the popcorn is gratis. You’ll start with Michael...

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Pillows Almost Too Cute To Hurl at the Kids

We know. When it comes to kids, sometimes you just have the urge to, you know, toss something about. For such an occasion, we humbly suggest the throw pillows from the Modern Basics brand new Baby Boo collection. Designer Page Ikeda (about to be a mama herself) has made sure they’re cool. They’re cute. They bring a splash of fun to the room. And with four color and three animal options – and matching blankets and bedding – you can make it work with your space. Plus they’re completely fleecey and downy (oooh, soft!) so when you feel the...

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A Long Way From Dumbo

I’m not always enamored of animal artwork for the kid’s room because much of the time, you end up with baby-ish images longer than you have actual babies. But in the case of the elephant canvases at Modern Dose, heck, I could live with them in my own bedroom. Artist (and interior designer, and design mag junkie, and Modern Dose owner) Estela Luego personally signs each hand-stretched canvas which is ready to brighten up any wall, no framing necessary. The fun calico style prints in lime, orange or pink are possibly the long awaited cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder....

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