Month: May 2008

Because Mother’s Day isn’t All Sunshine and Moonbeams

For new moms, it’s not as though the baby can just whip out a drawing or pick some flowers on her own for Mother’s Day. Someone has to help. And that someone is too often faced with syrupy greeting cards plastered with cartoon characters proclaiming you the vewwy bestest Mommy ever! Yuck. Alternate Greetings has significant others, kindred mom friends and sympathetic grandparents covered when picking out a card for the new moms in their life. No matter how sleep-deprived your favorite new mom is, no way is she opening this Happy First Mother’s Day card and not laughing...

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BPA-Free Beach Fun

With Memorial Day just about a month away, I can almost smell the beach – or more like all the plastic toys that get crammed into our beach bags. But thanks to the Recycled Sand Play Set from Green Toys, you don’t have to feel quite as guilty about all the plastic piling up. Granted it’s still a plastic bucket and shovel, however it’s made from 100% recycled plastic. And even better, it’s totally BPA and pthalate-free. Sure your kids won’t be slugging milk and juice out of the bucket, but it’s still nice to know that you’re eliminating...

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Biodegradable disposable diapers? It can be done.

Let’s face it, greener isn’t always easier. I think we all want to be the best eco-moms we can, but for me there was no way I was venturing into the world of cloth diapering. My guilt has just been assuaged however with a fantastic find: Nature Babycare Diapers, spotted at the wonderful online eco-boutique, Cooler Choices. After trying them out on both my baby and my toddler I can give an honest assessment. Pros: They’re breathable, compostable, and free of oil-based plastics, latex, chlorine and fragrance. Most importantly, they do what they’re supposed to do, all without having...

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SF MOMA has got jewelry down

A recent (and costly) side trip with my co-editor Kristen to the San Francisco MOMA last week found us salivating over the jewelry cases in the gift shop. Apologies to the staff for the drool marks on the glass. The collection they have is absolutely amazing, with artists represented from all over the world and pieces to suit any budget. North Carolina native Faryn Davis’s resin necklaces with preserved leaves and other fibers made us go oooooh. On the higher end we were totally digging the sterling pieces from Reiko Ishiyama, especially the pendant with its truly unique clasp....

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Hats Off to Plastisock Hats

After last weekend rednecking it up at my mom’s house with a toddler pool on the front lawn and my cute naked girls, I realized it was probably time to start thinking sun protection. The sunhats from Swedish label Plastisock are totally rocking my world. If you want a break from the twill Gilligan hats and flowery bonnets, you’ll love their bold, vibrant fabrics like the red peace and green applefield prints shown here.   For $16 each I’d probably grab a couple. But if you’re loving the vibe of the hats but not in the market for a...

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Organic Crib Bedding Just Keeps Getting More Awesome

If you heeded our love for the Q Collection’s junior line and picked up one of their gorgeous cribs, you need some worthy bedding to go with it. Heck, even if you have a different crib, there’s no reason you can’t go for some charming and earth-friendly bedding. In either case, you’re in luck because Q Collection’s organic cotton crib bedding will be your nursery’s crowning touch. I love the little parade of elephants in either blue or wheat, and it reverses to a geometric pattern for when you want a bit of a change. The overall feel is...

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What Is a Pajama Squid? No Clue, But I Think I Need One.

New Yorkers definitely think we have it made with kids boutiques, but I must say my sisters, these days I think the DC area is giving us a run for our money. The latest entrant: The Pajama Squid in Takoma Park, which just opened a very spiffy online shop for the rest of us.  Owner Tiffany King does an amazing job curating super cute baby gifts and gear, the likes of which often grace the pages of CMP. She’s got great accessories and shoes, a bit of mom gear, and the kinds of back-to-basics toys we love including some...

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When You Think Pink Chicken, Don’t Think Salmonella

People are always asking me whether I dress my girls in the clothes we feature here. Well, some of it, sure. But hey, I’m not made of money. I splurge on a few key items and mix it up with the sales rack jeans and the 2 for $10 cotton tees. One of my recent higher end finds: The Carmen dress from boho-chic kids label Pink Chicken. Oh how I love this thing. It’s sweet and flowy and adorable with little white sandals, but also looks amazing over little cropped jeans. I would totally wear it myself with a...

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A Little Bit of Do-Gooding on Mother’s Day with Global Giving

Not everyone wants another piece of jewelry for Mother’s Day. So if you’ve got a mama on your list who prefers to give than to receive, I recommend checking out Global Giving and their Mother’s Day menu of fantastic, women and family-oriented projects that need your support. I like Global Giving because it’s customized, for one thing. You can pick projects as specific as providing delivery kits for safe home births in Tibet or supplying school supplies for children in The Bronx. Or choose a gift card (bonus: it’s biodegradable) and let the recipient pick one of 500 grassroots...

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The Baby is Here. Now What Do I Do With Him?

It seemed like the great anticipation of meeting your baby was quickly dashed by the fact that he really doesn’t do anything but sleep, eat, and poop. Or, if you’re my babies, just eat and poop — apparently sleep was optional. While I was sobbing over my breast pump, I wish someone had given me a copy of The Rookie Moms Handbook. Authors, bloggers, and CMP friends Heather Gibbs Flett and Whitney Moss have taken their popular website and turned it into a fantastic gift book full of 250 activities to pass the time and get you and your...

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Notepads Perfect For Kids. And Narcissists.

My daughter takes after me in many ways – her messy hair, her penchant for arguing, and her love for getting out the stationery and writing a thank you note for a gift. I’m succeeding as a mother on one point at least. The oversized story/art notepads from custom photo stationers, Marmalade Ink are right up her alley. Personalized with her name and photo (totally cool for a six year-old), there’s not only a lined writing area, but also a big white expanse that’s made for all her little doodles in the margins. It’s the perfect stationery for the...

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The Best Mother’s Day Gift of All Time: Time Itself

Oh, the poor new dad. Not only does he have a demanding new baby at home, he’s probably got a demanding new hormonal mom around the house to contend with too. Really want to make her day next Sunday? Forget flowers and perfume – just try taking that baby off her hands for more than a minute. Toronto-based Pippalily is making it easier for the men, with slings that come in colors other than pink. The perfectly masculine camouflage print and plain black cotton slings were designed with helpful husbands in mind, and like the rest of the line,...

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Their Name In Leather

If there’s something I’ve noticed about tweens, other than their total obsession with Hannah What’s-Her-Name, is that they really like stuff with their name on it. Now put it on a hot leather cuff that’s got celebrity sightings attached and you’ve got yourself a winning gift. Designer Dillon Rogers has a press page that reads like the Golden Globe invite list. And for good reason. From the clean embossing to the unique closure, they are sure to please anyone from the picky preteen to the leather lovin’ alterna-mama. Now I think her personalized leather cuffs are fantastic for the...

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One of These Kids is Just Like the Other

Having been on the search for unique twin gifts, I admit to succumbing to the totally uncreative "two of the same thing." So before you moms of twins boo me off your screen, wait until you see my sweet redemption: the Copy and Paste twin set from Baby’s Language. Perfect for computer geek parents or just ones with a contemporary sense of humor, this adorable set is sure to be the stand out gift amongst the sea of Thing 1 and Thing 2 onesies. Besides, the shirts are definitely handy for keeping track of who’s who. Just make sure...

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Missing Marker Tops, No Longer the Bane of My Existence

Whoever invented magic markers was not a parent. While it’s bad enough that crayons end up in teeny little shards all over our floor, at least there are no caps to lose – and then find again. In the baby’s mouth. As I race towards her yelling, Choking hazard! Choking hazard! But Cap Trappers? Definitely made by a parent. A smart one named Rebecca Davidson. Her invention basically a strip of rubber that can sit flush on a table or hang from a wall or easel. On it are four cap-shaped cylinders that can hold nearly any sized pen...

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Quilts as Cool as Your Taste in Baby Clothes

I have a terrible time parting with my baby’s clothes when they’re outgrown. I end up tossing favorite ones in a bag for, um…stuffed animals? Dolls? Quiet moments alone with a bottle of Chardonnay? I don’t know. But I don’t want to get rid of them. So of course I’m loving the Baby Clothes Quilt kit from mom-run Ticche & Bea. The kit comes with everything except Martha Stewart to sit there and do it for you. You’ll get minkie squares to alternate with the squares for your own gorgeous (of course) kids clothes, plus batting, a backing, pins,...

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Bugaboos: The game, not the stroller

The thing about computer games for early-elementary kids is that there is a precarious balance to be struck between learning and fun. You want it to be educational (justification, justification) but if it’s too difficult or dry it won’t hold their attention. My kids would happily play Webkinz all day long, but have recently started turning up their noses at software games. Enter Kutoka Interactive’s Mia’s Reading Adventure: The Bugaboo Bugs. Like the other Mia Adventures, it offers high-quality animation, endearing characters, and yes, just enough educational value to keep you from feeling too guilty while your 5-9-year-old steers...

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Like answering questions? Like getting free stuff? You’ve come to the right place.

Cool Mom Picks is partnering with Munchkin to find a wee bit more about all the cool parents of the world. Stuff like what kind of toys you like, whether the sigOth is a better housekeeper than you are, what TV mom you best relate to. (Us=Peggy Bundy)  If you’d be so kind as to fill out this short questionnaire, the first 100 respondents will get a free White Hot Safety Bath Duck and TWO respondents from the entire pool will be drawn to win an Ultimate Munchkin Basket worth $100. We’d love your answers by Sunday. (And we’re...

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The Elfin Way

Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I was so happy the day I realized my baby was old enough to hold her own in a crib full of toys. Not only does it give her a way to keep herself occupied in the wee hours of the morning, but it is a handy place to store the stuffed animals. Now we’ve got to make room for one more goodie in there: The new Elf Pillows spotted at one of our favorite shops, Chittypulga. Like everything else made by Yellow Label Kids (like the knitted cupcakes! And the cookies!) the soft...

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Just Add Cake. No Really. I Mean It.

If there’s anything I like about throwing a party (other than the actual partying part) it’s the amassing of all the themed goodies. Apparently my inner Martha comes out and I end up searching high and low for the plates that match the cups that match the invitations. But with two kids and another on the way, inner Martha is on a permanent vacation and very much in need of Just Add Cake. Considering I am one who would probably never purchase a fairy princess party in a box, I have to say I was pretty impressed with this...

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