Month: June 2008

About a Girl

I love watching my daughter saunter through the house with a guitar slung around her neck. Sure, her guitar has buttons instead of strings and comes from her dad’s Guitar Hero game, but it still looks pretty badass. This explains why I am in love with this girl with guitar print from Canadian artist Annie Wilkinson of Girl vs World. It has a modern rocker chick vibe coupled with a sweetness that makes it perfect for a little girl’s room. I suspect that Wilkinson can capture this feeling so well as she herself is both a mom and a...

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Mobile Phones Just Got Even More Wireless

We have the world’s stupidest cell phone charging set-up at our home. Meaning we plug it in, set it on the floor, and act amazed as the baby gets to the wire every time. Then today I discovered the Driin mobile phone holder and it’s so smart I’m smacking my forehead and saying now why didn’t I think of that?  It dangles from the wall socket with the phone charger to anchor it, and then the shelf holds the cell phone while you wrap the unruly wire around it. Much better solution than the one we’ve been relying on....

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Heal, Dog. Seriously, Heal.

Sometimes you really dig a piece of art just because it’s cool. But sometimes you get to know the back story and suddenly it’s that much more meaningful. Such is the case of the charming Lulu the Dog paintings from Massachusetts artist, dad and visionary Scott Leaver of Heal Good Dog. Turns out the word heal is quite literal–all the portraits (cute custom ones too) are based on Scott’s dog Lulu, aka The Cancer-Fighting Dog. Scott’s a survivor and he credits his pooch for helping him get through it. Aw, the power of love. 10% of all the proceeds...

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Wanting to Put Your Baby In a Bubble Never Made More Sense

My first email to my editor after reviewing the UPPAbaby Bubble was This contraption rocks! Let me backtrack a bit here. If you crane your neck to peek at my baby in his carrier, I’ll gladly angle him to give you a better view because I’m a sucker for compliments on my progeny. But when well-meaning folks (read: nosy old ladies and runny-nosed toddlers) start poking him without permission, that’s when I wish I could put him in a bubble. Which is where the UPPAbaby Bubble comes in. Seriously – someone finally made a baby bubble, and it’s really quite fabulous. The soft mesh layer allow me to see in and my baby to see out, without unwelcome cheek-pinching or wayward toddler fingers. The rain shield is perfect for sudden unexpected showers. These layers snap and zip into and out of sight, and the whole thing collapses easily into a flat circle for storage. But the coolest part is that I can actually leave the Bubble in place all the time. Slip it over the seat and under the handle – it doesn’t affect the function of the carrier at all. Instead of batting away those uninvited hands or making some lame excuse about the baby having the sniffles, now I just announce that it’s naptime and zip the baby out of reach. Can I get a big AMEN,...

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Scooter Smackdown!

At last count, we had twelve ride-on toys in our garage so I am definitely an expert in that department. Of all these toys, I want to sing the praises of two that stand out from the crowd: The Mini Micro scooter and the oddly named Skoooch. (Yes, there are three o’s) We tried a lot of scooters until we found the Swiss designed Mini Micro (shown at top). With widely-spaced, cushiony front wheels, it’s smooth and stable whether on a paved driveway or going down a bumpy sidewalk. It is super light, so you won’t mind bringing it...

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De-Bugging the Baby Carriage

Considering I’m not living in the Amazon, or even the deep south, I never entirely understood the appeal of those mosquito nets that go over the baby carriage. And then, last week, my baby got bit by a tick. Yikes. She’s fine, but I can only imagine what it’s like for moms who are dealing with black flies and swarms of mosquitoes and who knows what else in their neck of the woods while they’re just trying to have a nice day outdoors with the fam. Especially considering newborns aren’t really the best candidate for DEET. Hedvig Bourbon, one of our favorite indie stroller accessory designers has just come out with a stylish solution in her Charlotte Bug Nets. In white or black, each one comes with sweet little butterflies or dragonflies appliquéd on – you know, the kinds of critters you don’t mind on your kids all summer long. They fit standard strollers but I especially like them for infant seats, so while you’re baby is lounging around the backyard or park, you don’t have to be swatting at bugs the whole time. There’s one other benefit: Keeping strangers from touching the baby. Which is almost worse than the ticks. –LizCongratulations to Rachel C, winner of a Charlotte bug net of her...

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The Luxury Baby Wipe. For Very Lucky Newborns.

A high-end baby wipe? It was bound to happen. The new Baby Silk cleansing towelettes from MD Moms (who we looooove) are just wonderful if you are up to shelling out $12 for a pack of 72. But here’s what you get for that cash: Natural moisturizers like organic aloe and comfrey, chamomile to sooth angry red baby bums, no and a product made right in the US of A with no alcohol or animal testing. These mom/pediatrician-created products are a luxury for sure – they’re extremely gentle so I would definitely use them all over for a newborn...

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It’s a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod Nursery

Since having kids, I’m definitely understanding the joys of multipurpose kids furniture: Dressers with changing pads on top, children’s tables with toy storage underneath, infant car seats that function as rockers. One of the latest entrants into the category is the Lojoball, which comes courtesy of those clever Brits. It wasn’t designed for kids per se, but totally could have (especially considering the design team is a mom and pop themselves). It looks like a big round beanbag, only it’s filled with air instead of beans and a zipper around one side. It makes a smart footrest or a seat for the kids to bounce around on, but unzip one side and lie it flat, and it becomes a comfy little reading nook or Noggin-watching chair that even wee tots can’t fall off while mommy’s (blogging) distracted. Click over to the UK site to see a bunch of people far cooler than us using it over cocktails. The faux leather Mustang is the best-looking of the bunch, but the orange and blue Bonbon is also pretty natty. As the Brits might say....

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The Annual Cool Mom Picks Dad Tattoo Tee Reco

Every year we fall in love with the idea of the kids surprising dad in a cool daddy tattoo tee on Father’s Day. The most hard-core, manly man, I-only-watch-Steven-Segal-movies papa will melt at the sight of his beloved progeny avowing their love for him in 100% cotton on the 15th. Or any other day of the year. This year the honors go to the hand screened daddy tattoo tee from City Threads, also available in a layette set for wee daddy’s girls. If you’ve got a daddy’s boy however, we’ve got you covered too. Flying Peas offers a fierce dad tattoo tee and onesie in basic black. Just teach that baby to thump his right hand to his heart next Sunday morning and you’ve got your gift covered right there.  –Liz Save 10% at City Threads with code CMPSave 10% at Flying Peas through 6/30 with code...

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Practically Fashionable Baby Blankets

We’ve written on occasion about our aversion to baby blankets that are too pretty to use. To say nothing of being spit up on, peed on, caught in the rain and soaked with other substances of unknown origin. All-weather blankets are a godsend, but they’re not exactly the blankets you wrap the baby in for the photo ops with the relatives. Or are they? Designer Laura Walker’s handmade in the USA Rainkie Blankie (along with her wonderfully navigable website – bless you, Laura) is definitely impressing us. The blanket makes clever use of satin, fleece or minkie on the...

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Summer gear questions? Join Cool Mom Picks on the radio

Hope you’re free from 9:00 to 9:45 EST tonight because that’s when Cool Mom Picks co-founders Kristen and Liz will be dishing about summer gear live on Kristen’s weekly parenting podcast. Get the kids to bed, grab a glass of wine (or coffee if we’re infringing on your bedtime) and join us for some great product ideas, sunscreen tips for kids, and the secret truth about swim diapers. We’ll also be  answering listeners’ questions, including those from lucky readers (and winners of Super Goop’s Super Summer Gift Set) Lisa, Sue, and Elizabeth. We’d be just giddy to hear your...

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Alexander Girard Underfoot

The modular carpet tiles from FLOR are taking the design world by storm with their new offerings by the renown mid-century textile designer, Alexander Girard. But eh, who cares about the design world when there are regular old parents out there who just need smart, cool floor covering ideas for their nurseries and playrooms. Obviously the whole La Fonda del Sol collection looks amazing – especially our fave, the Pequino. But we really love how practical they are for families; the prices are great (just $159 for the set of six tiles), you can double it for larger spaces,...

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For when baby makes three…kids.

Adding a third kid definitely means a tighter grip on the wallet, but I admit that it hasn’t stopped me from coveting a little something for my efforts. I’m thinking a little something like Anne Kiel’s Trio necklace. Handmade with sterling silver and threaded together on a simple cable chain, this piece is a really original way to celebrate the joy of three, without adding another jingly tag or charm to your existing keepsake necklace. It’s wonderful to be able to wear something sentimental that doesn’t scream “Mom!” Especially now that you have three little ones doing it way more than you thought...

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Peace of Mind: Add it the Shopping List

Lately we’re finding so many cool companies that are developing products and services to help parents of kids with allergies or medical conditions and we’re all shouting a big collective whoo! about it. One of them is the parent-invented ICE Packet. No, not that kind of ice packet. This one is basically a little doodad that hooks to your kid’s backpack or a keychain that holds a USB flash drive. On it, all your kids’ medical and emergency info that you’ve input using a very smart, very simple application. Just stick the drive into your computer (macs too) and...

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Initial here

While I can certainly understand the sentimental appeal of name jewelry, personally speaking, it’s a tough sell for me to wear a necklace with the full names of (soon-to-be) three children dangling around my neck. Leave it to artist TJ Kelley from CMP fave tj & co to create a doable alternative — the sophisticated initial necklace. Her single letter pendant hanging from a dainty ball-bearing chain is a subtle way to celebrate your mama-hood. At just $30, you could even snag one for your tween daughter as a worthy replacement for clunky dog tags or blingified letter necklaces. If...

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Cool Working Mom Picks

We’ve loved Mommy Track’d ever since we first reviewed this fantastic online resource for working moms here. And now we’re excited to be collaborating with them on their new Personal Shopper column, featuring CMP co-editor Liz as their Chief Executive Shopper. Whether you work out of the house or just bust your butt with the kids all day, we’d be honored if you scrounged up a few seconds to click over and take a look at our very first pick today. Hint: It helps keep you prettier than you already are. As...

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Clean as a European Whistle

You’ve heard about bathing your baby to relax them before bedtime, right? Not necessarily so. My older daughter screamed bloody murder at bath time until she was well past her first birthday. Not so relaxing. How I wish we’d had the Spa Baby European Style Tub back then. Now I know what you’re thinking, you predictable Americans: Bathe my baby in a bucket? Because that’s what I thought when I first saw it too. Yes, it’s a transparent plastic bucket, albeit one that’s BPA and PVC-free. Fill it to the designated line, curl your baby into a sitting position...

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Eco shopping bags get less crunchy by the minute

I am very happy to get wind of Baggu bags, the reusable shopper that comes in colors so fabulous, it’s all the evidence you need that this eco-bag thing is not a trend going away anytime soon. The swanky nylon bags were designed by a mom-daughter team and they’re a far cry from the free PBS tote bag you’ve been stashing in the car. More versatile too – they fold up small and flat, then unfold to hold up to three plastic bags’ worth of groceries or about 25 pounds. That’s a whole lot of organic heirloom tomatoes. I...

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The Perfect Child’s Cardigan (The Cardigan is Perfect; Maybe Not the Child)

Just as I realize my girls have outgrown all their Spring jackets, I got my hands on the most perfect, awesome, totally gorgeous cardigans from the new 100% organic collection of Nest Children. The entire collection (lots of it online at Arte Bebe) is exquisite – my faves are the ruffle dress and tank along with the swingy sweatshirt dress. But it’s truly the girls cardigan, in the most delicious shades of lilac or pool that we are getting a ton of use out of this season. (Psst, that’s my daughter modeling at left. And you can see that...

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J’aime Mon Papa (Translation: Daddy Rocks)

When choosing Father’s Day gifts for the daddies in my life, I strive to present them with a memorable token of affection. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or costly, but it has to be meaningful. Which automatically rules out socks. The lovely Sarah Jane Studios has just listed a new postcard – J’aime mon papa (I love my dad, for the non-francophiles) – and it’s just perfect for Father’s Day. And since (unlike Kristen and Liz) I do have a bit of the crafty gene, I’m envisioning that postcard mounted on a piece of cardstock – decorated by the kiddos, of course – and then simply framed. Way to turn an everyday art project into a sentimental and beautiful gift. Even the dads who scowl, “Aw, save your money,” each Father’s Day will be touched. –Julie For more Father’s Day gift ideas, check out our gift guide, or take a peek at our menfolk...

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