Month: April 2008

Your Child 2003-2008: An Artistic Retrospective

I seriously underestimated the constant flow of paper coming into our house once my daughter started kindergarten–teacher notes, newsletters, progress reports, to say nothing of her artwork. I know I have to pick and choose among the art projects to display, but how can I possibly part with that watercolor rendering of a blue-footed boobie? Founding artist and fellow mom Zoe Grave of Tada Baby has got a brilliant way to help me keep the art but minimize wall space: A personalized poster featuring my daughter’s favorite artistic creations.  The process is nearly painless. You just fire up the...

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Cool Mom Picks and The View From the Bay

Hey, Bay Area CMP readers – got anything to do at 3PM PST today? Well stick the kids in front of the computer with a DVD so you can tune in to watch co-editors Kristen and Liz live today on ABC’s The View From the Bay or watch it streaming online if you’re in any other part of the country. We’ll be the ones showing off some of our favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas, not the ones demonstrating fun and easy exercise tips to get your body beach ready. In case you were...

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Handmade Dolls for Your Little Doll

Until I got involved with CMP, I confess that I had no idea there were so many wonderful handmade dolls out there. I assumed that you either had a crafty grandma in the family, or your children were pretty much stuck with whatever was on the toy store shelves. Well hooray for all of us missing the crafty gene, because that’s not the case. And the latest handmade softies we’re adoring are the enchanting dolls from Shannon of Project Grab Bag, which we spotted online at Bella Symphony. My fave is 18" tall Posie who comes dressed in one-of-a-kind...

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Flowers for Mothers Day? Oh yeah.

I have to seriously stop clicking over to Twig, because every time I do my covet list gets a little longer. Also because I could write forty posts just about what’s for sale there and then suddenly this will be the Cool Twig Picks blog. (Which, come to think of it, isn’t so bad.) But this choker-length flower necklace of mixed metals from UK jewelry artist Laura Baxter? I just can’t resist. Especially when those metals are sterling, 18k and rose gold forming 15 little flowers nestled along a substantial chain. The limited edition piece is feminine without being...

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Gifted At Birth: You. And Yeah, Maybe the Kid.

I only wish Gifted at Birth had been around when my daughter was born. A service that delivers newborn essentials then has a premiere NYC doula on call either in person (in the city) or on the phone (everywhere else) to tell you how to use it all? H to the double-hockey-stick, yeah. It can go on from one week up to twelve weeks – but can it go on FOR LIFE? Because that would be great. The Gifted at Birth site is yummy and Flash-y, yet never jams up, which is so helpful to the sleep-deprived. But more...

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Shrinkage. The Good Kind.

I realize that pregnancy does give you some type of justification for those wiggly bits that would ordinarily drive you nuts. But the third time around, I have no patience for the extra juicy thighs or my favorite, the five part wave —  hand, hand, elbow, arm flap, arm flap. Hence my new twice-daily regimen incorporating CMP fave Mama Mio’s new Shrink to Fit cream. Apparently using it morning and night for 30 days leads to visible differences in the elasticity of your skin. Just smooth the yummy smelling lotion on any part that needs a little firming up and watch as your...

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Today’s Nursery Decor is Brought to You by the Letter J

Personalized gifts are always a huge hit at baby showers but the problem is, so many of them are kinda lame. (Sorry, fans of personalized picture frames with little dots at the end of every curliecue letter in the name. But lame.) Not so the sweet handmade letter cushions from Netherlands shop Yvestown.  While G, S, Q, U, W and X are notably absent (better luck next time, Quinlan)  you can custom design every other letter with the colorful patterns and contrasting side fabrics. Or if you’re more open, check the sample sale section for 20% off ready made...

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Dear Husband, Get In My Head.

One would think that because I run a shopping website, my husband would have no trouble finding me gifts. Every year I tell him to just click on anything in our Baubles and Bags category and he’ll be the world’s greatest husband. But every year, he ignores me and decides to go out on his own. Unfortunately for me (and him) that’s just never a good idea. Well, entrepreneur Cole Kelly had the same problem when it came to his wife Kate. So together, they started GetInHerHead.com, a free service that enables you to enter your birthday, anniversary, and...

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Earth Day Pick: Old Tees Made New

After discovering Courtney Chu’s original recycled t-shirt dresses, I am pleasantly reminded that eco-friendly kids wear doesn’t necessarily mean expensive organic onesies. Hooray for that! Her sweet, definitively cool kids dresses combine sometimes old and sometimes new adult t-shirts along with the artist’s own limited edition screenprints. The result is totally one-of-a-kind dresses that your daughter (and you) are sure to love. And since Courtney is working with existing materials, you can show your find off to your eco friends with pride. This is a site worth checking in on often; you definitely won’t want to miss when she happens to put...

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The Rorshack Mobile

I have a soft spot for felt crafts, pun only intended a little. So of course when I discovered UK etsy shop Lupin from brilliant felt crafter Laura Howard, of course I got click happy. The brooches are darling of course, but I really swooned over this abstract felt mobile made of 160 individually hand cut pieces of the fuzzy fabric. Well, they’re supposed to be abstract; but I see peacock features or mod olives or crazy pink eggs, sunny side up. Each disc is two-sided, so each strand looks consistently beautiful as it dangles and sways in the...

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The Perfect Spring Skirt

I was surprised to realize, after having written up Louise Hedley and her wonderful little girls’ skirts last year, that she in fact was the designer behind one of my own favorite Spring skirts. Who knew? Not that I’d match my daughter at all – Louise’s one-of-a-kind handcrafted Spring skirts may be light and a little twirly, but they’re definitely made for mamas. Me and my pear shape are partial to the A-line bias skirts which alternate strips of complementary fabrics into sort of a tromp l’oeuil pleat. (How’s that for pretentious fashion speak?) The other standouts are the...

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Rockabye by Rebecca Woolf: A Shining (Yet Tatooed) Beacon in a Sea of Mom-oir Sameness

When former CMP contributor Rebecca Woolf left us to pursue other writing opportunities, we were terribly disappointed but hugely anxious to see what brilliance she was brewing up. The result: The must-read Rockabye: From Wild to Child We knew it would be funny and insightful because everything this popular blogger, author, and now memorist writes simply is. What we didn’t expect was just how touching, beautifully uncomplicated, and accessible it is too. The can’t-put-it-down memoir describes the author’s journey from twenty-something LA party girl to doting mom with poignancy, style and especially humor – let’s say this is not...

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Hey, Someone Forgot to Make the Online Invitations Look Ugly

In an increasingly paperless world, online correspondence is rapidly replacing snail mail even for major events. Does evite ring a bell? But I haven’t lost my love for beautifully designed correspondence, whether offline or online, and the folks at pingg feel the same way. This www invitation service features hundreds of gorgeous – and free – designs for all kinds of events that are infinitely more sophisticated and personal than the standard templates you’re used to. Even cooler, if you’re a budding artist/ photographer/control freak yourself, you can upload your own artwork or photos to create a custom invitation....

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Breastfeeding Just Got More Beautiful

It’s taken me three children in six years to reach this point, but I’m finally comfortable nursing in public – with a nursing cover. And in my search for the ideal one, I’ve found that most of them are the same. The JOIA Mommy Cover however blows the others out of the water. I love this nursing cover. Love love love love. All thanks to a major defining feature: A retractable cord and velcro tab that fastens the cover securely around you. The tiny reel holding the cord is sewn snugly into one side of the cover, and the...

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Tea For The Twos. And Threes.

While I’m not a member of the matchy-outfit fan club, I’m definitely partial to mix and match clothes from Daily Tea, the everyday knitwear from CMP fave tea collection. Frankly with the amount of sleep I get these days, I hardly remember to put shirts on my girls, let alone shirts that match the socks that match the skirts and Tea makes it easy. The quality is superb, the cotton soft and stretchy, the colors sophisticated but still kid-like, and while everything coordinates, nothing looks like a set swiped out of the J.C. Penny catalog of 1974. You’ll find...

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Art, Charity and Shoes. Three of Our Favorite Things.

Raise your hand if you owned a white pair of Keds in Junior High and drew all over them and then your mom yelled at you but you didn’t care because they were your Keds and you could do what you want with them, so there.   Seriously, I can’t be the only one. Well now kids everywhere have an excellent reason to go all Jackson Pollack on their white shoes – only they’re not Keds, they’re Airwalks (cool!) and you get them at Payless. It’s called The Friendship Shoe and you not only can color on them, you’re...

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I See Some Cute Socks In Your Baby’s Future

In my mind, "lucky socks" means that I don’t lose one every time I do the wash. But in the case of Fortune Tootsies, I think it means your baby will have extra luck when he wears them. Each pair is emblazoned with fortune cookie wisdom for those too little to read them themselves. Like Your smile is a treasure to all who know you. And you will soon sleep through the night.  (From their toes to God’s ears.) Even better, the set comes with two pairs of white socks and one pair of red, all mix and match....

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Putting Stuffed Animals to Shame

If you are like me and think you don’t need yet another stuffed animal, then you have not met Bla Bla Kids’ newest addition to their cuddly family, The Boogaloos. Similar to all of Bla Bla Kids’ amazing pieces, the 15 various Boogaloos are handcrafted by fairly-paid Peruvian artisans and are clearly a step above the typical stuffed animal. (Which is also why favorite pieces are often out of stock.) Some are too cute for words, some are girlie, some are just hilarious, but all are really original. Their soft cotton knit exterior makes wash and wear a bit...

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Paging Doctor Mom

My kids have an uncanny sense of medical timing. Exactly two minutes after the pediatrician’s office closes, one (or both) will develop a high fever, raging earache, or troublesome cough. Two minutes after that I’ll be consulting my friend Mr. Google to determine if we need to call the answering service or can wait for a morning appointment.  So I’m thrilled to have found a reputable source of information at MommyDocs.com. Founding doctors Jamie Freishtat and Rachel Schreiber bring a practical perspective to their site — they’re both moms themselves. So they understand that frantic need to help a...

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What Mama Couldn’t Use More Zen in Her Life?

I’m fascinated by tales from other parts of the world, and being from Iowa, equally fascinated by all deer not on the grill of my car. Tenzin’s Deer by Barbara Soros is lyrically written and illustrations from Danuta Mayer keep little squirmers glued to the page. The book (which apparently has a cult-like following among some moms) is about a young boy who finds an injured musk deer and learns in his dreams how to cure the deer and then finally to let it go back to the wild. It’s also about the value of letting answers come to...

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