Month: April 2008

Presenting the Ultimate Mother’s Day Shopping Guide. (If We Do Say So Ourselves.)

Today is April 11. Which in most parts of the country doesn’t mean a whole lot. (Except for you, Joss Stone – happy birthday!) But around CMP it means it’s exactly one month until Mother’s Day, a perfect time to launch our second annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide. This year our guide is filled with dozens and dozens of indie-minded gift ideas to help make your own mama, wife, grandmama, sister, pregnant best friend one very happy mama. So go! Browse! Shop! It’s your time of the year, dahlink. Make the most of it. EXTRA-COOL: WIN IT! We’re giving away a $400 gift pack courtesy of our yummy sponsors tj and co keepsake photo jewelry, and Earth Mama Angel Baby organic skincare. Just post our Mother’s Day button on your blog or website and email kristen@coolmompicks.com with the url. We’ll draw one way lucky mama at random on Mother’s Day. More details on the...

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Forget Duckies, Have the Only Baby With a Sea Urchin On Her Chest

One of our fave T-shirt discoveries last year were the bold alphabet toddler tees from BioME5 featuring alligators, bears and camels that actually look like alligators, bears and camels. And not some lame cartoon rendition. Seriously, I’m a little scared of the octopus. And I think I like it. Now babies can get in on the graphic, educational wildlife action with the company’s new line of infant onesies. Not that they can read the company’s trademark upside-down type describing the animal, but they will probably appreciate the unbleached, organic cotton fabric. In their own silent way. Very much like...

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Foot Fungus: The Good Kind

We realize that baby booties are a frivolous purchase for a cute little lump who doesn’t do much more than poop and sleep (or if you’re my kids, not sleep). So that’s why you don’t buy them for your own baby. You get other people to get them for you. Moving to the top of your list–or shower gift arsenal, you generous mama–should be these mushroom booties from Funky Shapes. Completely hand stitched with no sign of glue, lumps or bumps for those tiny feet, these booties will protect toesies from all those pinches and grabs.  Plus they’re made in England....

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Too Much…Magic Bus

Brooklyn parents have surely overheard other moms in the supermarket or the corner diner saying, "Oh we signed up for Kevin…he’s the best." They’re talking about Kevin Meeker, who teaches one of the more popular Music for Aardvark classes in the hood. For those of you in the rest of the country (including Staten Island), there’s always the CDs from his kids band, Opus Ditty. Opus Ditty and the Joyride Jet Engine Bus essentially plays like a cartoon with no picture, a wacky adventure told with music. But even if the littlest ears don’t follow the joyride bus plot,...

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The Pigeon Wants 1. A Puppy, 2. To Take Over Story Hour Completely

I am such a crazy Mo Willems stalker-fan that when I heard I missed meeting him at Toy Fair this year by about 30 seconds I nearly cried. His collection of children’s books are this generation’s Dr. Seuss or Curious George. Willems’ newest release in the laugh-out-loud funny pigeon series: The Pigeon Wants a Puppy in which our perpetually unfulfilled winged hero uses his charm, humor, and trademark begging to make his latest request. The story isn’t entirely as linear or repetitive as previous books Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up...

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Heather Moore is for lovers. Of mothers.

A reader recently turned us on to Heather B. Moore Jewelry and now, well, we’re turned on. What can I say, awesome, expensive custom baubles make me hot. (Hint to the sigOth.) I think any of this talented artist’s (blown glass, painting, photography, metal work) custom charm jewelry would make a wildly special Mother’s Day gift –the kind that your kids and their kids end up with decades from now. But I’m particularly intrigued by the build-a-bracelet. Like all of her pieces, you can customize it so that the charms are inscribed with a child’s initials, birthdate, latitudinal coordinates...

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DIY Baby Announcements That You Won’t Regret Having DIY’d

Self-serve baby announcements that you create on the computer aren’t necessarily my thing. Although I appreciate the cost savings (particular for children number two through 17) I am always squidgy about the quality of those things, to say nothing of the banal design. But holy cow did Shutterfly get it right with their designer baby announcement collection. Not designer as as in Isaac Mizrahi just licensed his name while someone else does the designing, but designer as in super-cool creative minds. The kinds that CMP already loves anyway. We’re talking folks like Egg Press, Hello!Lucky, and one of our...

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Thomas Paul: From Wallpaper of the Rich and Famous to the Pencil Holders of the Cluttered and Not-So-Famous

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, there is definitely one gift you do not need and that’s a World’s Greatest Mom mouse pad. Or pencil holder. Or stationery. Not that you wouldn’t love it and cherish it with every fiber of your being, of course. But with accessory options like the new Thomas Paul desk collection at Red Stamp, I have my eye on something a little prettier. This textile designer is totally rocking the paper goods with some funky florals – everything from swell looking mailing labels to funky notecards and folders, and perhaps the nicest looking mouse...

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Jewelry for Mothers Day? Yes, please.

Mother’s Day is coming, and once again you’re thinking "Wouldn’t it be nice to have a piece of mother’s jewelry?" and in the next breath, "Too bad I sort of hate mother’s jewelry." I’ve been there. And until I received a gorgeous gold Nashelle Cherished necklace from Penelope Poet, I truly believed there was no solution for me. The picture doesn’t do the piece justice, and that’s because the hand-hammered gold bars end up with a matte, almost antique-feeling finish. From a distance it just looks like you’re just wearing a swoopy little pendant; close up you can see...

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Why Is This Finger Puppet Different From All Other Finger Puppets?

For those of you who have searched high and low to find a finger puppet in the shape of a piece of matzoh, you are in luck, for we have found that very thing in the set of plush 4 Questions Finger Puppets. The matzoh joins reversible friends Reclining Chair, Radish, and Horseradish Root (sounds a little like a PeeWee’s Playhouse episode) and can definitely make the Seder more engaging for little ones. And if you don’t know what any of that means, then maybe you should start with My Own Hagaddah – a great primer-slash-coloring book for kids...

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Let the Mommy Cards Do the Talking

Who among us hasn’t scribbled her digits on a gum wrapper at the park? I have, and ended up handing off my work business card just a few weeks ago when I met a new mom/daughter pair at the children’s museum. Do I really want my new friend to call me at the office to talk about birthday parties? Um, no. If you’d rather pick up playdates in style, check out the mommy cards from…Mommy Cards. Just choose your favorite design from nine elegant choices – I really like Swirls for Sarah and Blue Branch. There’s even room for...

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I Like Zutano in the Springtime

One of the perks of editing Cool Mom Picks is that I get to run around trade shows with a press pass acting all important (ha) while checking out the cute designer kids clothes that won’t be out for another six months. One of the frustrating things about it: The cute designer kids clothes won’t be out for another six months! Dagnabbit. One of the collections that stuck in my head last year was the new toddler Spring collection from Zutano, a lot of which looks more like high-end boutique brand clothes but without the high-end prices. I really...

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Q, R, S, Tween

Since we focus mainly on the under 6 set here at Cool Mom Picks, we realize that leaves a bunch of extremely cool mamas out. Truth is, most of the super indie and handmade items we find are for kids still needing their butts wiped. But when we come across a great pick that we think is perfect for the tweens in the world, we’re happy to spread the word. Take the handmade resin alphabet necklaces by jewelry artisan Anne Kiel. Hung daintily on a ball bearing chain and featuring a simple typewriter font, these colorful and very inexpensive charms will...

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Car Seat Covers That Even Your Kid (Who Just Peed On It) Could Put On

I’m all for car seat covers, but my measure of their usefulness has to do with whether they are actually easier to install than the car seat. Thank you, Traffic Glam, both for getting into my head and making a cover that does not require a master’s degree to use. With the quick and easy velcro mid-section, you’ll have these fantastic looking car seat covers whipped off before your kid can squeeze yet another juice box all over the place. They’re a perfect fit for Britax car seats, but work fine on a slew of other models too. I’m...

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Amy Tavern: necklaces in waiting

Just because I have to keep some of the pieces in my jewelry box away from Mr. Destructo, my 14 month-old, it doesn’t mean I can’t add to my collection with the understanding that soon he’ll outgrow his shiny thing-grabbing stage. Next on my list is this gorgeous necklace by artist Amy Tavern. Definitely the star of her Egg and Bean collection, it’s just the right combination of funky and dainty to make it work with almost any outfit. And the theme of eggs and beans..well, perfect for moms. The way I see it, a necklace like this is more than...

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Bringing Bamboo to the Bath

Moms with an eye towards organics know that sustainable bamboo is popping up everywhere for babies these days from towels to tees. In fact it’s hard to believe we hadn’t come across the naturally hypo-allergenic and anti-bacterial ingredient in bath products until now – it’s such a natural fit. The Little Lathers Gift Set from new online organic shop, BabyBam Collection, can truly make an eco-minded new mama happy. A little reusable (natch) burlap bag contains one handcrafted bar of Little Lathers castille soap, made with bamboo powder along responsibly harvested herbs, organic aloe, and lavender and sweet orange...

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Clips That Stay In. Without Corn Syrup. or KY Jelly.

I remember the time someone suggested using corn syrup to stick a bow on my then bald daughter’s head. After picking my jaw up from the ground, I vowed that I would steer clear of clips until I could find one that stayed in my daughter’s thin, soft hair without the help of kitchen staples. Well, thanks to a strategically placed piece of felt, the clips by mom Bryn Stamets of Kenzie Klips do stay in my daughter’s hair (granted she actually does have some now). Bryn handcrafts each one (love the monograms too!) out of 100% wool felt resulting in hair...

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Don’t Forget

Do you consider yourself brilliant and utterly intelligent? How about busy? And forgetful? If so, then we have found the to-do list for you. Just jot down your must-dos, don’t-forgets, and gotta-gets on this pretty little set of cards, right under the heading that says Thoughts and ponderings from the brilliant and utterly intelligent [insert name here, silly]. I love that they’re designed to hang right on a doorknob, minimizing the chance that you will arrive at the store to buy birthday party supplies without your shopping list and therefore end up buying mostly cookies. Or maybe that’s me....

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Lucky Wang = Lucky Baby

Oh how I love kimonos on little babies. Just love them. While I’m excited that my eleven month-old is waving and clapping and saying YAH YAH YAH (seriously, does that count as a word?) I am sad that she’s moving past that age where I can just stick her in a kimono onesie and call it an outfit. My faves are easily the breezy, flowy, spectacularly gorgeous cotton kimono one-pieces from Lucky Wang. It’s nearly impossible to choose among so many yummy fabrics in very wearable color combos. But don’t be deceived by the beauty – we just toss...

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Bangs Be Gone

My daughter informed me that she wants to "lose her bangs." I’m not sure if it’s because she has somehow gone from 3 to 14 overnight, or if she just wants another few Seabands to wear. These bright, adorable cotton headbands from designer/mom Susan O’Neill are great for keeping growing bangs at bay in the forthcoming Spring breezes, but still work as a fun seasonal hair accessory as well. While I thought the classic style was a bit wide on my preschooler’s head, it certainly hasn’t stopped her from wearing them. All day. Every day. You get the picture....

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