Month: April 2008

Gate Checking Your Car Seat Just Got a Tad Less Nasty

Why why why why why oh why did no one tell me about the Car Seat Gate Check Bag until now? Oh, it would have been so handy on those flights where we were promised the airline would block the middle seat for us…and then didn’t. And then we gate checked the car seat. And then it came out on the other side filthy and dripping wet. And then we had to put my daughter in it anyway. Good times. It folds up into a teeny little pouch, and is just under $15 at Tots On the Go, which...

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I’m This Many Years Old

With my kids’ birthdays now close enough on the horizon that I can smell the beer bill (what can I say, we have fun parties) I’ve definitely got their birthday attire on the brain. I’m partial to the cute photo-ready outfits that may or may not make it through the chocolate ice cream cake. But after the actual birthday, I know kids really love the number shirts. One of the more original ones we’ve found – the "this many" shirt for threes and fours proclaiming your child’s age in language he can understand. They come courtesy the snarky tee...

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Hey There, Georgie World

If bowling shirts for little boys ever went out of style I’d be sad. No, scratch that – I wouldn’t be sad, because I’d continue buying them for all my friends’ kids regardless. And hopefully, even then, I could continue to count on Georgie World to hook me up.  We loved the surfer dude/sk8ter boi label when we first found it last year, and now we’re happy to know they’ve opened their very own online shop shop. This way, we can always find their South Bay-inspired tops, rad patch pants, and breezy board shorts all in one convenient place....

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A play mat without the ugly

When I was expecting, I dutifully put a tummy time play mat on my registry. It came complete with lights, music and hanging rattles, and to be honest, it was slightly less than beautiful and slightly more than stimulating. If I had only known about the awesome play mats from Agent Mommy, I could have avoided the sensory overload – for both of us. The mat comes with an over-the-shoulder carrying case and boasts generous proportions, really nice construction, and a waterproof backing. I would totally take it to the park or the beach.  And with all the beautiful...

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Your Mama Wears Last Year’s Combat Boots

If I woke up Mother’s Day morning to two smiling children bearing breakfast I would be delighted. If I woke up to two smiling children bearing breakfast and roses I would be extra-delighted. But if I woke up to two smiling children wearing the super cute screenprinted My Mom Is Cooler than Your Mom tee I think I would just collapse from the joy. Provided those children were my own. Of course. Find it at Childish, along with tons of awesome gear from bona fide rock mama (and all around amazing gal) Skye Hoppus. Hope you’re reading, cool dads....

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Mommytrack’d Helps Gets Moms Back On Track

When a product is presented as the "Ultimate Family Organizer" it’s setting the bar pretty high. You nearly expect it to come with a personal assistant and three more hours in the day. But Mom’s Ultimate Family Organizer from our friends at Mommytrack’d, well that comes pretty darn close in my book. I don’t care if you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom with sixteen nannies; if you have anything to do with grocery shopping, remembering the kids’ schedules, planning birthday parties or simply finding cool stuff for yourself online (ahem) you’ll love this looseleaf binder. And I’m...

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Like Steven Sprouse for the Toddler Set

I have a wee bit of high-fashion envy, knowing very well that a size (mumblemumble) mom can’t walk into the fancy designer stores and actually expect to find something that fits. And so I do what every style-conscious woman trapped in a postpartum body does: I project it onto my kids. The Steven Sprouse-esque Tokyo Skirt at Spunky Sprout is so ridiculously pretentious that it’s awesome. On the right kid. As in not the kid of a former Spice Girl, but possibly on yours. Slip it on over a pair of colorful Con high-tops and she’ll rule the preschool....

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Classic Baby Gifts to Replace the Stuff Your Great-Grandma Never Saved

Not every mama in my life has the same taste in baby gifts that I do. Shocking, I know, but some of my friends really do prefer smocking and gingham and sweetness and light to some of the more, um, contemporary items I gravitate to. One of the really nice labels that I’ve recently discovered for classically oriented newborn gifts is pears + bears. They’re best known for their traditional girls’ and women’s dresses, the kinds that make my Southern in-laws’ hearts go pitter pat. As for me, I gravitate towards their adorable baby gift selection, and particularly the...

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Tax Day Splurge: The Summer Dress Love-Fest Continues With Room Seven

We have to be careful that Cool Mom Picks doesn’t turn into Cool Dresses For Little Girls Picks. But man, it’s hard to avoid when there are so many sweet offerings this season, particularly as this year’s hot floral print trend suits the preschool set just perfectly. If you’re not familiar with Room Seven, well it’s time to nip that in the bud. This chic kids label is helmed by Dutch designer Brechtje Olsthoorn who grew up watching her mom and dad create the Oilily empire (mmm….Oilily). So retro florals mixed with checks and prints is definitely in her...

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Tax Day Splurge: Italian Tricycles the Grown-Ups Will Covet Too

Buying the kid’s first tricycle was wrought with way more emotion than I had expected. It’s like the first time you tell your kid Go! Be free! Off on your own! Despite the fact that she’ll still need the occasional push off an uneven sidewalk square. The Triciclino trikes from Italitrike (Italian, of course) immediately struck me as the must-have three-wheeled gift of the season. The craftsmanship is amazing and those rubber wheels keep the ride smooth and comfy for little pedalers indoors and out. Plus the styling is so gorgeous, it will distract onlookers from the teary mom...

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Tax Day Splurge: Modern Kids Furniture that Should Come In Big People Sizes Too

Not all of us looking for kid-sized table and chairs are looking for our playrooms. Because, um, ain’t got no playroom. Instead what we’re hoping for is something we can put in the living room that doesn’t look like a polycarbonate plastic rainbow puked all over the place. Enter Bloom’s Otto table and chairs. The ergonomically bent "stylewood" in dark or natural stain matches nearly any modern decor. But because beauty is only plywood deep, the set is functional too, with a crafts tray that slides out from under the table top. I may be giving up precious living...

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The Next Best Thing to Annie Liebowitz Popping By the Maternity Ward

Six hundred or so digital photos later and I couldn’t find one that was just right for the announcements. (To say nothing of the pics of me for which I should have demanded professional lighting and Vaseline over the lens.) The baby: Perfect. My photography skills, not so much. Oh my God, where was Bella Baby Photography when I needed them? This is such a brilliant concept – talented freelance photographers spend a little time at the hospital with you getting those first precious hours or days captured the way they should be. The shots are artful, they’re natural,...

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So Maybe Sparkles Aren’t The Best Ever Ingredient For Baby Lotions

Being the quintessential product snob can be hard work (trust me, I know), especially when you have a wee one with dry skin and chapped lips. It’s difficult having to choose between Big Name Baby Products that are loaded with artificial ingredients and Natural Products that smell, uh, a little too natural if you catch my drift. I am happy to have found mom-run Stuff For Sprouts and their all-natural skin care products. With a tagline that boasts Nothing gross. Nothing weird, the creams and lotions are made with the best ingredients and feature fun fragrances like Blueberry Muffin...

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The Least Raggy Rag Dolls Ever

It’s been a while since we found some handmade dolls that we’re really crushing on. After all, December isn’t the only time we need great gifts for the special girls in our lives. A new find comes courtesy the etsy shop Little Big Pants, and its visionary, mom/designer Terra LaChance. Her original Audrey rag dolls are more Madeline than Raggedy Ann, dressed for outings like the library and the museum. Audrey’s pretty stylin’ for a rag doll with her body suits, removable skirts (no buttons = toddler friendly), red mary janes, and ocassionally a Euro neck scarf to hold...

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More Boo-Boos, Please

Sometimes I am scared to use boo-boo panaceas for fear that my children will think them the only thing that can heal. The last thing you want is to be caught at the playground without a "magic Band Aid" to calm your hysterical child. Even so, my daughter has fallen in love with the very cute Boo Boo Gel Packs from Tiny Tillia and so now I’m pretty much screwed. Warm them or keep them in the fridge, then apply when minor kerfuffles ensue. The healing effect may indeed be psychosomatic but hey, desperate times… Plus the cute animals...

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Paper Shouts: Not So Much Shouting. Which Is Nice.

I’m one of those few new mothers who actually enjoys writing thank you notes. Even if I thank you in person for your lovely and thoughtful gift, be assured that I will break out a box of fabulous cards to thank you in writing as well. My latest find in the custom card arena is Paper Shouts. While they carry a full line of stationery for absolutely every occasion – Quincineras, showers, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and really nice moving announcements – it’s their subtle baby and kids thank you notes that really caught my eye. With fresh colors and clean...

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Skateboards that you wear

It’s been (cough, cough) twenty years, but I still haven’t outgrown my adoration for skateboards and the guys who ride them. Teenage infatuations die hard. Unfortunately I’m too old to plaster Tony Hawk posters on my living room walls, which is why I’m so enamored of these earrings made from old skateboards found at BTC Elements. Bruised and battered decks are carved into sweeping wooden hoops – a perfectly elegant way to wax nostalgic. Certainly more elegant than jumping into a mosh pit. I only wish that Portland designer Lindsay Jo Holmes would allow buyers to select earrings based...

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Dinosaurs Are Our Friends

I’m more than happy to oblige my daughter’s new dinosaur obsession, that is if I could find a cool shirt that doesn’t display a mean, scary T-Rex. I’m prefering Hildegard, my new favorite bike-riding dinosaur from parent-run label Playground Partisans, and quite easily one you’d be more than happy to meet at your local playground. Or, um Jurassic Park. And make sure to check out the baby line with characters like Friedrich, one darn cute hedgehog. Nice change from the slew of puppies, and kitty cats that flock to baby clothes these days. But every bit as friendly. -Kristen...

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Junking Junk Mail

Recently we reviewed Catalog Choice which I continue to love (love! love!) but recently I’ve been turned onto a similar service to help cut down on junk mail: Green Dimes. Any service that guarantees to get rid of 90% of all your unwanted solicitations–not just catalogs–and plant trees on your behalf is totally worth looking into. It’s only 20 bucks for the service, and then $10 to renew each year or change your address. Seems so worth it, when you consider they not only purge your names from countless mailing lists, they keep an eye on them each month...

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So the Girls, They Like to Twirl

The notion of a dress "that twirls" used to seem kind of foo-foo to me until I thought back to my own childhood and my many hours simply spent spinning. I was like that kid in Parenthood who just spun until I fell down for fun, while other kids were doing tae kwon do or quantum physics or whatever. If my daughters inherit my twirling gene, they will probably flip for the Iris Dress by one of our fave designers, Ses Petites Mains. The red eyelet fabric is guaranteed to be easy washing and wearing, which does make the...

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