Month: June 2008

Ja, Mon

That’s it, it’s official. Organic baby gifts are officially taking over the world. Not that we take issue with that, mind you. What could be better than knowing that the bibs and blankets your little one is bequeated are free of icky chemicals and helping the earth to boot? Well, one thing: Knowing that the bibs and blankets your little one is bequeathed are super cute and look good in family photos. That’s just what you’ll get when you shop at ja*lu, a brand new mom-run label out of Spokane. Their certified organic cotton stroller blankets and swaddle blankets...

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Birth Announcements on Acid

If you spent less time picking out baby names than trying to find a birth announcement that’s unique, fabulous, quirky, and perfectly free of gingham and teddy bears, you are very much in luck. We found some of the coolest, most inventive, and occasionally insane announcements online at Inventing Matilda. Some of our faves: Blueberry, Birds of a Feather, the very funky Every Girl Loves Flowers, and for the truly avant-garde, Cool Scribbles or Little White Bird (shown here). These are the tamer ones. Poke around designer Bonnie Belle’s shop for the more outrageous styles if you’re a parent...

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From Snapshots to Art

I’d love to decorate my walls in big black and white framed photos of my kids. But until I start taking super fantastic pictures, I fear that’s not the best idea. Instead I’m turning to Fat Kat Design. Granted they’re not framed photos, but based on what I’ve seen, I’m thinking they could be better. The folks at Fat Kat Design take your regular old photo (or awesome one if you happen to be good with the camera) and add a collage background of your choosing, turning it into a stunning gicleé print stretched on high quality canvas and...

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Like Personalized Baby Gifts But Hate Most Personalized Baby Gifts?

Nothing says “welcome baby” like a personalized gift. But aside from all the economically unfeasible keepsakes out there, I’ve only found a few options that 1) I can afford and 2) won’t end up shoved in the back of a closet somewhere. So, take my advice and bookmark jig, a sweet shop that carries the most adorable personalized onesies I’ve seen in a very long time. Artist Alyssa Coberly turns unique graphics (love the seahorse or the flags, pictured) into iron-ons, transforming a plain cotton onesie into the perfect baby gift which comes beautifully wrapped in a wooden box and sealed with a ribbon and...

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If You Were Turning 232 You’d Want Someone to Make a Big Deal About it Too

I have some friends who do this insane July 4 party every year as if heads of state were showing up. The food is awesome, the drinks plentiful, and the local parade passes right by their home, guaranteeing a perfect day, humidity not withstanding. If this sounds familiar  (yeah, we mean you, you crazy Martha wannabe party-thrower) , you have to check out the fabulous July 4 party labels from Erin Condren. They’re festive without being cheesy, and a rush order will still get it to you in time to wish America a happy birthday with 100 of your...

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A Year in the Life

Here is how I recall my daughter’s first year of life, seven years later:  Birth. . . blur. . .neediness. . .blur. . .crawling everywhere. . . .blur. . .  The big memories are there, but the details have become blurry over time. It’s the photos that help me focus on the blurry parts. I stare and will myself to remember how she smelled, how her tiny hand felt on my cheek, how she grinned when that first craggy tooth peeked out.  But, after seeing these Baby Photo Albums by Wishing Fish, I definitely wish I had these when...

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A Coat Hook Made With Love

We’ve had a thing for funky coat hooks around here lately, it seems. (See also: Elephant hook, j hook, and rock star monkey hook). And now there’s another one that’s just meant to love. In fact, it’s all about love; it’s the LOVE double coat hook from one of our favorite shops across the pond, Rockett St George. It would look totally sweet in any little girl’s room, especially since it’s available only in pink. As it should be....

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Summer Travel With Kids Just Got 10% Easier

As a wife of a pilot who takes advantage of the perks and does a fair bit of traveling alone with two kids, I’m always on the lookout for travel helpers that make the experience a bit more tolerable. First tip: A bag of jellybeans. Second tip: Mom Kathy Drury’s invention, the Tray Bien – a smart in-flight organizer that hangs over the seat tray turning it into a flying diaper bag. It took me all of two seconds to get past the punny name and onto the thoughtful design. It includes two front pockets for books and games, plus...

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Pretty. Bitter. Awesome.

How can we resist falling instantly, madly in love with a card company called Pretty Bitter? We can’t. And we didn’t. Which is why you’re reading about them today. We’ve already told you about their awesome Man Notes. But the fabulously cynical Sentimental Journey cards are adept at turning Hallmark occasions on their arses. Enlarge the images to properly appreciate the hilarious wall-to-wall copy. An excerpt from the  Little Bundle of Joy card: So tell me, is it harder than expected to pretend that it’s like a million times cuter than every other baby we’ve ever seen? Because we...

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Turning All Your Kids’ Clothing Into UPF Clothing.

Since moving my fair-skinned family to Georgia last year, I’ve really had a baptism by fire(ball) when it comes to sun protection. Oh, sure, we took precautions in the sun up north, but the sun here is fiercer, hotter, and completely relentless. And is there anything worse than a little kid with a painful sunburn? So, yes, I never thought I’d be excited about a laundry additive, but SunGuard may just be the answer to this southern mama’s prayers: Add a package to a load of laundry to wash in UPF 30 sun protection that lasts for 20 more...

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Happy Camper Week on Cool Mom Picks: Camp Stationery, of Course

We couldn’t leave you mamas with sleepaway-ready kids out of Happy Camper Week on Cool Mom Picks, so we found some camp stationery we couldn’t resist. And, hopefully, neither will your kids. Which really is the point. The Camp Kits at Red Stamp may be just what your busy kiddo needs to tear away from friends for 30 long, grueling seconds in order to shoot you a Camp Grenada-style note. We especially like the Boys Camp Stationery Kit which oddly steers clear of the old baseball/soccer ball/basketball motif in favor of fun colors and xy-chromosome approved graphics. The stationery...

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Attention Parents of Hypochondriacs

When my daughter was a toddler, it wasn’t only cleaning supplies that had to go into high or locked cabinets — we also had to hide the band-aids, lest she plaster herself head to toe every time she experienced a boo-boo. Real or imagined. To this day, she still requires extensive TLC to treat every injury. So when I saw the (oopdoo)hug, I knew it had my sensitive girl’s name written all over it. The softest featherweight fleece you’ve ever touched is fashioned into a giant band-aid facsimile available in a variety of colors and prints, all 100% made...

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East Meets West

I’m pretty sure that even if I weren’t Chinese, I’d still have a penchant towards Asian-inspired kids clothing. Given the chance, I could probably dress my daughter in gorgeous lotus fabrics and mandarin collar dresses all year long. But yet again, my poor son gets left out of the cool clothes club.  Thanks to mom Tiffany Cohen at TwoBOriginal, my son can proudly sport some Asian attire of his very own. Her Peace, Love, and Happiness summer set features three simple Kanji patches on a super comfy white and red cotton short set.  I’m not sure what I love about it...

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Happy Camper Week: Built NY Munchlers

With extra protective parents and a ton of great outdoor resources right near our home, I saw my fair share of day camps growing up. So along with my swimsuit and an extra change of clothes, my mom always had to pack me a lunch. Of course, she never had anything as cool as the Built NY Munchlers. These insulated lead-free bags were designed by children’s book illustrator Stephen Savage and are sized to fit a decent sized lunch without taking up a ton of room in your kid’s backpack. If you’re not swayed by the cute animal designs,...

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Big Brands Doing Cool Things: Aurora’s Eco-Plush Animals

Mostly we’re fans of handmade plush around here, but we also understand that not everyone wants to spend $85 on a penguin hand-knit from recycled sweaters then hand-stuffed with locally harvested cotton (even if it is totally awesome and you would be seriously the best gifter ever). So we’re happy to see that now there’s an affordable choice for the masses that’s eco-friendly too, courtesy of Aurora’s Naturally Line. The critters are fashioned out of 100% soybean fiber and oh my God are they soft. Even the stuffing is green, a sustainable rainforest crop called Kapok. Best, they start...

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Dear John (Or Aiden or Chloe or Oliver) Letters

When I left home, my mother sent my own baby book along with me. She had taken great pains to record minute details for me, including our family tree and every newborn gift I received, but it was her personal commentary – the notes scrawled on scraps of paper – that really touched me. I hope to do this very thing for my new baby, inspired by the words and photographs of Bev Hawley. Her book, Held in the Arms of Love, is a collection of stunning black-and-white photos of infants and their parents, interspersed with questions to help...

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Happy Camper Week on Cool Mom Picks: The Camp Pack From Mabel’s Labels

If you’ve got a kid heading off to sleepaway camp or even day camp, you’re probably hoping that he’ll come back home again with the same stuff you sent him there with. Except maybe that peanut butter sandwich. Because that would be gross. Mabel’s Labels makes labels we love, and now they’ve got a handy camp pack of personalized labels which should pretty much help Joshua’s stuff stay Joshua’s stuff. Each set comes with shoe labels, two bag tags, and then your choice of sticky labels, iron-ones, or Tag-Mates that go right on the clothing labels, no ironing necessary....

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Secret Agent Ma’am

My daughter adores cartoon characters, as she is biologically programmed to, but I don’t necessarily like cartoon characters all over her clothes. (God love Diego for teaching my kid what an ocelot is but I don’t feel the need to reciprocate by advertising the show for him.) If you’re with me, instead grab your daughter one of the super cool baby onesies or kids tees from gohgirl and you’ve got your own characters to make up fascinating tales of adventure about. I’d start with one of the futuristic international secret agents like Zaria the artist from Nigeria or Beijing...

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Attention Pretend K-Mart Shoppers

Pity the average supermarket shopper; we have to push around banged-up, one-wheel- jiggling, sticky-handled metal shopping carts when we do our food shopping.  If our carts looked more like the toy shopping cart from Plan Toys, I may enjoy the experience a bit more and not notice that I’m paying almost $8 for a gallon of organic milk.   I love how this sturdy cart can hold everything from my kids’ play food to their favorite stuffed toys, and has a stopper in back that keeps the cart from flipping.  They can wheel their toys down the street for...

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The Sony Alpha DSLR-A 300K: Cool Mom–and Cool Dad–Approved

This review comes courtesy of an exceptionally cool dad, Nate, my own sigOth, which I insisted on since he won’t let me near the camera. Grrr. -Liz I can say without exaggeration that our apartment has been overrun by the most obnoxiously adorable everything in the world for Liz to consider for review. She recently caught my attention, however, with an e-mail from Sony about a new camera. I like cameras. I like new things. I can only imagine I’d like a new camera. Figuring it’d be the latest in the point-and-shoot category I feigned a vague interest in...

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