Month: June 2008

A dandy alternative to backpacks for kids

My three year-old has entered that phase I’m lovingly describing as Her Jerk Phase. As in, the movie The Jerk. Remember that scene where Steve Martin says “The ashtray, the paddle thing and the remote control. And these matches. That’s all I need. And this chair.” Well that’s how it is getting out of the house with my daughter these days. If you know exactly what I’m talking about, well first of all congrats on having excellent taste in movies. Next, you might consider grabbing one of the wonderful pint-sized Mini Messenger Bags from Ellie Bellie Kids. The craftsmanship...

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Happy Camper Week on Cool Mom Picks: The Don’t Bite Me Bug Patch

There is no happy camping where there are mosquitoes and ticks there to ruin the fun, and so we present to you the ingenious Don’t Bite Me Patch. It’s one of the most awesome and natural ways we’ve found to protect your kids from those small buzzing beasts of summer. Simply remove the patch and stick it to your kid’s arm or upper back and they’re protected for up to 36 hours without exposure to any chemicals or icky scents. Just plain old Vitamin B1 and Aloe Vera. For full effectiveness, you’ve got to get it on them a...

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Social Networking For a Cause

Having kids didn’t make you forget about the worthy causes you’ve championed — in fact, there’s something about becoming a parent that often activates the save-the-world gene. But with time at a premium now, how do you reconcile passion for change with a mom’s busy schedule? Check out YourCause.com, a social networking site specifically for the charity-minded. You can set up everything you need to back your favorite cause; build an informational page, start a blog, add pictures, collect donations, and connect with others doing the same. Best of all, when your kids are older like mine and they...

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Summer Lovin’

I always thought that I pretty much deserve canonization and something very pretty and shiny each time I schlep the kids and all of their associated gear to the beach for some “fun.” Honestly, once you factor in the travel, the squabbling, the sand everywhere and the various tragedies ranging from capsized ice cream cones to buckets washed out to sea, we moms deserve a new (sand-free) car afterwards. No? Well, okay… I’ll settled for this delicate sterling silver seastar necklace from Patricia Carolyn Designs instead. The mold was made from a real starfish, so the detail is terrific....

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Great Outdoors Cookies from Eleni’s Happy Camper Week on Cool Mom Picks:

We’ve been getting so many requests for camp picks now that some of those babies are growing up we thought it would be fun to set you up with some of our favorites this week. Happy camping!   I still remember my first “care package” sent to me at overnight camp and how exciting it was to not only get mail, but mail that had food in it. Instant popularity. Eleni’s bakery can help you hook up your favorite campers with the ultimate care package via their awesome Great Outdoors collection. of all-natural cookies. Whether your kid is homesick...

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Eco-Friendly Rattles in Technicolor

While I’m definitely way pickier when it comes to buying rattles for my upcoming third baby, I admit that at times, the eco-friendly choices in their various shades of brown almost make me miss the bright colors of some of our retired plastic ones. So when I saw the beautiful bright rattles at Earthentree, I thought something was wrong with my computer screen. Each piece is handmade with Hale wood by Channapatna artisans in India, and lacquered using a safe traditional technique. Got kids that have graduated from the rattle stage? You’ve got to check out the amazing selection of bigger kid toys and musical instruments....

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The JP Lizzy Tote: One More Reason to be Happy About Summer

We’re certainly fortunate to have a pool right up the street from our house, but combine daily visits with two little kids and you’ve got a whole heck of a lot of crap to lug around. Clearly, not just any old tote bag will do, which is why I was quite happy that one of our favorite little diaper bag makers, JP Lizzy, decided to introduce us to their new Leisure Tote. It’s perfect for carrying beach or pool toys, towels, diapers, and everything else you think you need but probably don’t. Other than the extremely sizeable main pouch, it’s...

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Bippity Boppity Ribbit

If it wasn’t obvious enough from the piles of crowns and high heels in our toy box, my daughter is tiara deep into a fairy tale princess obsession. Why would I be surprised when she asked me for a wand for her birthday? Being the supportive and loving mother that I am, here’s my pick: The (almost too nice for a newly crowned 4-year-old) wand by mom Melissa Fischer of Fischtale Designs. Hand sculpted using paper clay and covered with a glitter glaze, these wands will surely satisfy your little one’s vivid imagination without succumbing to Disney characters. Choose...

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Thoroughly Modern Zoo

Kids loves animals. Kids love animals on their shirts. And now Colette Kids is making killer tees that parents will love if they love a kid who loves animals on their shirts. I’m pretty sure if my toddler owned one of graphic designer Anita Lee’s cool geometric animal tees it would be the first one she asks to wear every morning. The Ling Ling shirt would be right up her alley, what with her newfound panda obsession and all. But knowing my daughter, I’d get a few options. Because last month she was big on turtles, and next month...

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Regifting Just Found Legitimacy

One of the best pieces of advice I got at my baby shower was to save the gift bags. Sure enough, I reused almost all of them–except that one that already looked reused enough. I’ll withhold names to protect the regifter. Mom Jennifer Paretta liked the idea of reusing gift bags so much that she created ones for that very purpose. The Friendship Gift Bag is basically a bag meets a coloring book meets wheresgeorge.com; you know, the site where you type in your dollar bill’s serial number and see where it’s been. Kids can color in one of...

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Mmmm…Baby Seals

Bringing the circus to our home is a little redundant, but these circus animal cookie cutters are making me consider it. They create detailed, bite-sized animals like a seal with a ball on his nose or a lion with a giant mane.  And, since I cannot do anything in the kitchen without an eager face appearing and asking, “can I do too?” I appreciate that these cookie cutters are made for little hands to operate: The molds have a spring-loaded button that pushes the design into the dough and then releases it.  The good people at Williams–Sonoma have even taken...

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C-Section Undies: Hot. For Real.

I realize that it took nine months for my body to complete its baby-making journey, so I really ought to be patient and give it nine months to recover. Especially after a c-section.  But patience has never been my strong suit and I want to wear cute undies again. Is that so much to ask? Since I’ve moved past the initial healing stage, I’m loving Czela Bellies, a great intermediary solution before you’re ready for your lacy stuff again. This cute boy-short style underwear has an ultra-soft waistband that won’t irritate those still-tender scars. Not only are Czela Bellies...

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The Colored Klean Kanteens Are Here! The Colored Klean Kanteens Are Here!

Okay, so you know we’re getting a little sucked into the world of enviro-shopping when we eagerly await a new SKU. But Klean Kanteen, a favorite safer sipper of mindful parents everywhere, has just taken the giant leap from regular old stainless into the glorious world of technicolor and we admit, we’ve been looking forward to it. Bright orange, ocean blue, and bubble gum pink disguise the fact that these aren’t fashion accessories, but really smart sports bottles. Well, they’re kind of both. Klean Kanteens are free of BPA and toxins, keep a whole lot of plastic bottles out...

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Fear Not, Little Girls

Turtle Papers is one of those shops that we’re always checking back with because every new item they make, from stationery to wall decor to kids tees, is pretty much something we’re coveting. The latest: The I’m Fearless lap tee for the littlest adventurers. I’m presuming the white lizard motif on sweatshirt gray is meant for little guys, but pair it with a pair of pink karate pants and your daughter will look both adorable and amply empowered to do what she probably already does. If you’ve ever seen my youngest daughter and a light socket or laptop cord, you’ll know just what I’m talking about....

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And Then They All Ate Whole Grains and Lived Happily Ever After

Although she’s an NPR contributor and food columnist, Betsy Block is also a typical wife and mother. Which is to say that her family of four, she realizes, is mired in unhealthy dining habits at the corner of Picky Eaters Street and Sugar Fiends Drive, and her earnest yet exasperated journey towards healthier meals that her family will deign to eat is chronicled in The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World. If you want a volume filled with healthy recipes that everyone immediately loved, this is not the book for you. If you want...

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Habla Toddlerese

The excitement of hearing my son’s first few words was quickly dashed when no one but us could actually understand what the heck he was saying. But now that he’s sporting his Translation Tee from Temporary Language, everyone knows that his strategically spoken “oohs” and “ahs” are his way of saying “monkey.” Dad Bill Shore creates these bright and bold tees to your specifications using one of the hundreds of graphic images from his gallery and turning it into an iron-in with your kid’s own quote. And if he doesn’t have the image, make a special request and he’ll...

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Rolling in the Dough

The smell brings me right back to childhood, but the first time I found my daughter with a wad of Play-Doh in her mouth, I wondered, “what the heck is in this stuff?” An all-natural alternative is the unscented eco-dough, made by a family in California My kids loved its creamy feel that didn’t get hard or crumbly over time; in fact, our tub of dough is still as soft as the day we got it. If you leave it out overnight, a little bit of olive oil added to the dough will bring it back to life. Original...

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Robeez Gets Air Conditioning

I’ll admit that I’m late to the Robeez party, but now that I’m here, I’m a devoted fan. And as far as I’m concerned, I’ve arrived just in time since their designs seem to be getting cuter by the season. This summer, I’m coveting their sandals for babies and toddlers. Along with their trademark soft sole, the baby sandals have cut-outs to keep those tootsies cool. And because not everyone wants giant fish or dragons on their kids feet, it’s nice that these come in classic colors like pink and navy along with some trendy metallics. If you prefer...

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Organic Bedding Just Keeps Getting Cuter

Of all the splurges one can make when it comes to decorating the nursery, the one I always fantasized about was fabulous organic bedding. It’s a purchase you can feel good about (good for the environment! good for baby!) plus there’s little cozier than a nice soft organic cotton. About the most adorable organic sets I’ve seen come from Argington, best known for its eco-friendly nursery furniture.  Choose from blue and brown dinosaurs for boys or pink butterflies for girls — both prints are structured such that the critters form modern-looking geometric patterns to keep it from becoming too...

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The Loch Ness Hoodie

My sister’s lament is that there aren’t enough boys’ clothes for her son that are cute without being cutesy – cutesy including things like pastel colors, puppy motifs, and embroidered sayings like, Mommy’s Lil’ Slugger. I can’t wait to show her the adorable hoodies from LuCoo Kids. Seattle mom and designer Amy Laybourn’s clever through-the-pocket design is a hand-made felt appliqué. And no pastels in sight. If you have girls in the house, LuCoo also has a funky selection of tees and some super cute plush toys coming soon from the looks of it. Plenty of cute and cool...

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