Month: May 2008

Making an Uncomfortable Time of the Month a Little More Comfortable

Of course the one month I think ahead and stash tampons and other “lady items” in my purse is the month I get pregnant. But most of the time, I’m a fly by the seat of my panty liner type woman, making me the perfect candidate for the TomKIT. No, it’s not a slightly freakish tabloid couple, but Time Of Month KIT, a handy, super eco-friendly pack to prevent any type of girlie emergency. With the tomKIT, you can flush away your landfill guilt along with these special feminine wipes, and yes, pads. There’s also organic hand sanitizer and...

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What a Hoot

There’s nothing like the smell of freshly washed baby clothes, except thanks to my kids’ sensitive skin, their clothes don’t really smell like anything at all. So I’m thinking of grabbing a few of these adorable owl sachets to toss in their drawers. Handscreened and stuffed with buckwheat and lavender, this bird is sure to brighten up the scent of any baby drawer, closet, or maybe better, your goldfish-encrusted back seat of your car. They’re just about $5 each at UK shop Betty Joy  which is awesome considering the conversion rate these days. Besides, when your other scent choices...

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Baby Book, Minus the Book Part

  I failed Baby Book 101. I started with good intentions: She rolled over! Must write this down in the baby book! Then something would distract me, and I’d forget until the next milestone occurred. Which I’d forget to record as well. I wish I had known about Plot-A-Tot back back then. These brightly illustrated wall calendars  (which also double growth charts) begin with your baby’s birth date, and include 96 stickers to mark first-year milestones without ever lifting a pencil. There’s everything from “My First Crawl” to “My First Tantrum” – as if you could forget that one...

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Organic, Fair Trade, and Cute Beyond Belief. Score.

One of the best fashion trends to hit children’s wear – no, not custom bling shirts – is the use of fair trade organic cotton. The more demand there is for it, the more companies are working hard to come up with really appealing fabrics and the designs to incorporate them. One of those companies is Scandinavian Serendipity, which we discovered at one of our favorite online hot spots, Hazel Wood Children. Their prints are all originals, which we really admire, and they keep the lines really classic and lovely. I’m digging the empire waist dress (shown) and the...

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The Cool Mom Picks™ Father’s Day Guide

Looking for a whole bunch of cool Father’s Day picks all in one place? Look no further than our Father’s Day Gift Guide, graciously sponsored by Diaper Dude. (Yay diaper dude! We love diaper dude! And have you seen the actual diaper dude? Totally hot.) Our newsletter subscribers got a sneak peak at it a few days ago – one more benefit of being a subscriber. And if you need another, how about a chance to discover your inner twelve year-old with a Nintendo Wii giveaway courtesy of Nestlé Crunch. Like the dad of the house needs help with that. Details are on the guide. Happy shopping! [tee: childish...

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It’s Official: Wear White Shoes, Iron the Linen Skirts, and Stock Up On Sunscreen

We love when two of our favorites companies join forces and do something collectively cool. So when we found out that top notch sunscreen Super Goop! teamed up with smart summer play and swim company Cabana Life, we put their Cabana Kit at the top of our summer must-have list. You’ll get a refillable trigger bottle of their organic and water-resistant 30 spf sunscreen (a really great sunscreen by the way), a handy touch up stick, and an adorable 50 + UV protection hat of your choice from Cabana Life, all packed in a handy reusable zip bag. Look...

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Keyword: Ties That Don’t Suck for Father’s Day

It’s not that we’re entirely averse to giving ties for Father’s Day, it’s just that for dads who wear ties to work, it seems a little…perfunctory. But for the hipster dad that doesn’t have to sport the cravat daily, we love the idea of getting him something a little special in the neckwear department. We’ve found just the thing at Bethany Shorb’s Cyberoptix Tie Lab, where every fanciful design is screenprinted by hand then beautifully packaged. There are skinny ties for the truly fashion forward; microfiber ties emblazoned with everything from funky Victorian gears to kitchen knives; and lightweight...

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A Children’s Book That Answers Many Questions, Except What the Title Means

Ever wonder what a butterfly is worth on the black market? According to Alastair Reid, author of A Balloon for a Blunderbuss, quite a bit. Especially if you trade it for a bigger thing and then a bigger thing and then an army. Or any island. Maybe even the world. If you’re not familiar with this book it’s because it’s just now being reprinted and released for the first time in forty years. If it’s beloved from your own childhood, it’s time to get a fresh, not-so-dogeared copy for the kids. Illustrated by infamous graphic designer turned children’s book...

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Love, Dad

Why do men not write thank you notes? I always thought it was genetic. Or poor breeding. And then I realized, wait – it’s just that all the thank you notes out there with their swoopy flowers and curly script-y typefaces are entirely emasculating. Or “candy-ass” as the awesome stationery company Pretty Bitter will have you know. That’s just why they came out with Man Notes, card sets designed to be all cool and manly, like a stick of Old Spice deodorant or a Sam Peckinpah movie. Instead of icons like lady bugs and flowers, you’ll find toy soldiers,...

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Time Keeps On Tickin’ Tickin’ Tickin’

So you think decorating your baby’s room is hard, right? Just wait until they get older and have opinions, none of which match anything you suggest. We’re betting that any cool parent and any music obsessed tween will equally go ga-ga (or whatever it is they do these days) over these vinyl wall clocks from etsy shop The Grateful Thread. Handmade using recycled vinyl and 7-inch albums, these functioning timepieces feature custom hands that actually look like a record needle. If you want to add a special twist, they’ll even design custom labels just for you or your kid – whose...

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Science geek fashionistas, your jewelry is ready

The notion of art, science, technology and fashion colliding can be a little odd–I’m thinking a line of Steven Hawking hair accessories might not be ideal. But in the case of Nervous System, it works completely. Two MIT grads find jewelry inspiration from patterns in nature, like the stainless steel full moon necklaces which mimic seaweed patterns using randomly generated dots. The coral necklaces are super cool too, as are the gold-plated radiolara pendants with a description unlike any other we’ve ever seen: “To create the radiolaria line, we used a particle system (a physics simulator which works with...

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Two Tinas Are Better Than One

I love the idea of a stunning high-end baby blanket as the perfect shower gift, except for one thing: What do you do with a blanket that’s too pretty to use? Enter Two Tinas, a small company just starting to make it big (hello Nordstrom!) with their gorgeous but still 100% baby friendly designs. Bright cotton fabrics, like their brand new “Rocket Man” (pictured) combined with a lovely plush underside are accented by the company’s signature and distinct washable felt initial. Truth be told, these blankets are still cute enough that I’m wary about letting my son actually use it. But based...

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The Lazy Hazy Dress of Summer

If you’re to catch a glimpse of Quinlan and Thalia (the CMP co-founders’ oldest daughters) at the pool or beach this summer, chances are they’ll be wearing a Made U Look dress found at CMP retail hot spot The Silly Wagon. Aside from the fact that they are completely adorable, these dresses are super soft and comfortable. In fact, my daughter has begged me on more than one occasion if she can wear it to bed. My personal fave of the new summer line is the Hopskotch Champion (pictured), but the Gumball dress comes in at a pretty close second. They definitely...

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Play Mats Fit For Trust Fund Babies

Well it’s about time that someone created the high-end, fancy pants, gorgeous version of all those ubiquitous fugly play mats. Here the honor goes to Plain Mary, creator of the Kensington Baby Play Mat. And it is indeed very fancy. Did I mention it’s fancy? This padded play mat is substantial at 56″ long, and beautifully constructed of quilted microsuede which resists spills and stains far better than cotton or poly. If the ivory color is still scaring you practical moms, there’s also a lovely camel or chocolate.  I must say I think that a baby can be perfectly...

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Lead-Free Toys, 100% Totally Guaranteed.

Last year’s scandals about lead levels in toys were really a wake-up call for many of us. Toy safety became serious business, and while you can always turn to resources like our Safer Toy Guide (and a new one coming out soon!) what’s a Mama who just wants to go shopping to do? Are the days of just browsing and buying over? Au contraire, my cautious friends. Check out No Strings Attached Toys, an online and brick-and-mortar store that really gets how important it is to us to know that safe toys are truly safe. Every single item they...

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Color By Name

Ever since my daughter was pegged as The Budding Artist, she gets about 14 boxes of crayons at every gift-giving holiday. Boy would she love to get her hands on the custom name crayons from Story Blox. For around $5, depending on the length of your kid’s name, the company will melt down recycled crayons to form one of the best and most inexpensive kid’s gifts around. You can also order a random bunch of letters or the first letter of each party attendee’s name for some pretty great goodie bag favors. Who knew those annoying broken bits of crayon...

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Give Hippos a Chance

I like the concept of animal decor for the baby nursery but circus animals? No. Noah’s ark? Not so much. Parade of cutesy farm animals? Pass. The Delicate Hippo might just be the key to my heart. This hilarious vinyl wall sticker set from Toronto-based So-deco made me giggle. It’s a fantastic way to incorporate a little humor into your nursery without subjecting your child to goofy cross-eyed elephants or swinging monkeys. If you end up with a kid who’s infatuated with hedgehogs – or farm animals –  fear not.  You can easily remove the hippo if the need...

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Boys Get the Grills in the Back

Feminism and other gender equality issues aside, I’m more than happy to relegate the grilling to the sigOth. Men just have some primal need to play with fire, and I’m more than happy to let them. My guy would totally love Grill Charms, which is a smart little thingamabobby for chefs serious about their bbq. Invented by mom (and breast cancer survivor) Leslie Haywood, Grill Charms basically look like little thumbtacks to help differentiate the meat on the grill or on the buffet table- same concept as a wine glass charm. Use the steak collection to indicate cooking temperature...

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Memorial Day: The Beginning of Outdoor Ride-On Toy Season

It’s hard to be one, or so it seems to my one-year-old niece who longs to keep up with her older brother. Try as she may, her wobbly legs are no match for her brother’s racy, zig-zaggity gait. Things have changed now that she rides the Cheeky Chic, a sturdy and smooth walker/ride-on toy for babes as young as one. With large wheels and a low seat, even those who are barely standing can get themselves on and off this stylin’ ride. And parents will love that the Cheeky Chic comes with the best three-word phrase in children’s toys:...

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Surfing Safari

Today officially marks the beginning of swimwear season. And if there’s one complaint that I have about boy’s swim suits (okay, make that one of maaaaaaany), it’s that it’s nearly impossible to find regular length shorts and swim trunks. Everything I’ve seen could be categorized as board shorts, or as I call them, boy capris. So when I saw the Blue Island Swim Trunks at Bean New York, I immediately added them to my son’s summer wish list. Not only am I smitten with the vintage style Hawaii motif, but I love that these trunks fit snugly at the...

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