Month: August 2008

Because the World Does In Fact Revolve Around Your Kid

Custom photo confetti? At first I had a hard time imagining what anyone would want with that. Teeny tiny pictures? Wouldn’t they just look like pixelated blobs? But that was before I had a look at some actual Partydotts, oversized confetti featuring up to six of your favorite photos with up to three accent colors. The print quality is fabulous — it even passed muster with my photographer husband — and the one-inch diameter pieces would be ideal scattered across a table, tossed in with gift bags, or used in craft projects once the party’s over. I imagine plenty...

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This One’s For the Fall Babies

Hello to the onslaught of new fall babies, including my own,  thanks to those cold boring winter months and crazy holiday parties (ahem). Even though I’ve got no baby shower in sight myself, that won’t stop me from snagging one of these amazing Salvor long-sleeved onesies or at least adding it to my “strong hint list” for close friends and family.I love how they combine the comfort and convenience of a kimono onesie with bold and realistic graphics of penguins, seahorses, or my fave, the elephant. While I get the whole cutesie illustrated animal motif of other layette items,...

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Grooving on Gruv Kitty Jewelry

My latest artisan affection is aimed across the country towards LA painter Regina Allen, who’s now scavenging for all kinds of antique beads and pendants and refashioning them into very fun, very affordable jewelry at her etsy shop, GruvKitty. Her signature pieces are sweet little drop earrings made with vintage lampworked glass beads and layered with unusual accent beads. These are not “oh look, I took a beading class at the Y” earrings. Her newest endeavor incorporates mid-century plastic beads into kitchy, colorful pieces that would have made my Great Aunt Bea proud. Not surprisingly, the creativity runs in...

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Baby Sleep Consultants? Yes. Oh God, Yes Yes Yes.

The dirty little secret of parents everywhere is that their babies don’t sleep. I know because every time I confess to a mom friend that my youngest was up every two hours for bottles until 11 months, I get a similar story in return. What is with you kids anyway? Don’t you know sleep is like the greatest thing ever? Dream Team Baby has been rescuing sleep-deprived NYC-area parents of kids up to 2 with their excellent consultation services. They’ll come into your home and make sure you’ve got an environment that’s most conducive to promoting healthy sleep patterns,...

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Reform School Rules, Rules!

With my daughter all puzzle-crazy these days, I am adoring the heirloom-quality Cinderella puzzle illustrated by children’s book artist Jen Bulthuis of Fidoodle and accompanied by the classic tale reimagined by writer Shannon Gerard. The magnetic pieces come apart to convert to stick puppets or fridge decor, if your kid will allow you to take it apart once she’s gotten it together. Mine won’t. We spotted it at Reform School Rules, easily one of the most original and totally cool web shops anywhere. Categories of fun little goodies from indie artists are all grouped by school subject – Library...

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Custom Invitations That Give You an Excuse to Need Them

Some of us are party-throwers, and some of us are party-goers. I’m in the latter category; just the thought of planning a guest list has me biting off my nails. However, the custom invitations from 1st Comes Love are so wonderful that they’ve got me thinking up occasions that merit a get-together. Going beyond the traditional wedding and baby shower invitations, owner and designer (and mom) Roopal Shah has created modern but accessible stationery for a wide range of occasions – from kids party cards to birth announcements to third anniversary of her 35th birthday invitations. Her attention to...

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Time Too Get Organized

As a WAHM/SAHM with a fairly good memory, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve gone without a date book for the last four years. But now that I’m running a business and adding kid number three, my brain just can’t hack it anymore. So I’ve enlisted the assistance of the Time Too Family Tracker Weekly Dispatch, which is a very long way of saying “simple mom friendly date book.” The easy-to-use week at a glance set-up gives you just enough room for various appointments and important events. And I love that you get to fill in the date on...

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Putting Away the Toys Gets A Little Cooler, If Not Less Tedious

As a mom to toddlers I tried that whole organization thing where you put pictures on the toy bins, rather than words, so that the kids know what goes where. The only problem? I can’t draw worth a darn. My daughter was afraid of the lopsided grinning face on her dolly bin, and my son informed me that my scrawl on the car bin was a “notcar.” What to do? Well, if I could turn back the clock, maybe I could’ve gotten myself a set of these vinyl labels instead from designer Jamie Bringhurst of Etsy shop studio jk,...

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If you haven’t had your fill of Cool Mom Picks for the day…

We’ve been so busy lately doling out shopping wit and wisdom for various websites that we almost forgot to tell you all about them! *At PBS Sprout for Parents we’re offering up shopping tips for parents of preschoolers each month. This month fo back-to-school time you’ll find our picks for eco-conscious pencils and one of our favorite kids backpacks. *Our sponsor, JC Penney’s Linden Street, has started a very cool Home Style Guide featuring posts on design from an impressive array of bloggers: Maggie Mason of Mighty Goods, Jean Aw of NotCot, Nathalie Zee Drieu of Craftzine, Asha of...

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SaraBear: Not Just Any Old Basket

I’m probably the last person on earth who would consider using a diaper caddy. But try and steal my new and improved SaraBear Basket from me and you’ll have one angry pregnant chick on your hands. At first glance you might think, ooh, lined basket, big whoop. But on further inspection you’ll find a carefully designed custom fabric lining, a reinforced basket and pvc-free handle for folks who lug around a lot of wipes and diaper cream, from room to room. Plus it’s pretty. Nice gift. -KristenCongratulations to Suzanne B, winner of a SaraBear basket!...

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The Best Combination that Dado Squares Make? Kids + Imagination

“Oh my”, I thought,”these look like a bunch of colorful floppy discs. What in the world are the kids going to do with these?” Silly mommy. Don’t you see that they easily fit together and make…a rocket ship that I can fly around the house? A s-u-p-e-r long diving board? A tall skyscraper? A parking garage for a dozen little cars? Clearly, my kids can see the possibilities. They have taken to the Dado Squares like mini architects, fitting the pieces together into an array of buildings, vehicles and 3D whatnots. They don’t have to know that they are...

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Traveling Overseas with Kids: Do you dare?

The last time I checked, becoming a parent didn’t mean automatic revocation of your passport, yet many of us with younger kids are extremely reluctant to leave the country. Not only do we have to make sure we have everything the kids need, it can be hard to determine where our offspring will be welcomed with open (and possibly stroller-friendly) arms. Dust off your traveling shoes and get ready to go abroad, thanks to two parent-savvy resources we’ve found. First, visit Baby-Friendly Boltholes, the “second baby” of British travel-agent-turned-parent Sian Williams. A clean, easy-to-navigate legend helps you find out...

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Picnic Week: Built NYC’s Neoprene Six-Pack Tote

My memories of picnicking as a child include my poor dad struggling to carry a giant plastic cooler weighing approximately 100 pounds to our picnic site.  He’d heave the monstrous beast onto a picnic table and then go sit down to mop the sweat off his brow. Fun start to the day! Now that I have children, I’m determined not to become their pack mule. Instead of using a huge cooler, we pack things in smaller, easy-to-carry containers and share the load. Built NYC makes the most amazing neoprene totes in different shapes, sizes and colors to keep cool drinks insulated stylishly and...

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Time to get that Olympics theme song stuck in your head for the rest of the year

The Beijing Summer Olympics kicks off today, and I wholeheartedly cop to the fact that I’m the type who gets all caught up in the competition. I can’t wait to sit down and watch with my older daughter, then explain why mommy’s crying over pole vaulting. If you’ve got Olympic fever, skip the scary “collectors items” on ebay. Instead, check out Altru makes some super-cool kids Olympic tees from vintage designs. A great selection is at Babesta, including  Tokyo 1940 and LA 1932, both of which are oddly lacking in corporate sponsor branding and banal logos designed by committee....

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You Light Up My Night

We moms of toddlers and preschoolers know that the night light is an essential part of an effective bedtime experience. But dare to try to find one without a licensed princess or smiling race car and you’re stuck with a boring one from your local home improvement store, right? Three cheers for artist Courtney Gray’s handmade glass night lights found at at Simple Me Boutique. The sweet designs, like the fish and the bug (my personal faves), will definitely add a nice touch to your tot’s room that, if it’s anything like my daughter’s, could probably use a little...

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Picnic Week: The Diaper Dude Blanket

Life’s a picnic, or so the saying goes, until you try to take three kids on one. Just when I need them all to carry something, they all decide it is too heavy, they are too tired, and where are we stopping? The fine folks over at Diaper Dude must feel my pain because they’ve come up with a convenient and stylish picnic blanket that can be rolled up and carried by a shoulder strap, leaving my hands free for everything else. Okay, it’s really a baby blanket with a removable diaper and wipes pouch onto the outside of...

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Smart Gets Cool with Kiss My Math

I know I’m not the only woman out there who’s glad that the myth that girls aren’t good at math has been soundly debunked. No way do I want my girls to believe that what’s between their legs should determine what goes in their heads, but math concepts build on each other and you need the fundamentals down early. So it’s no wonder that I’ve got Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss on my Amazon wish list for my girls’ junior high years. Written by Danica McKellar (Winnie Cooper!) who’s gone from child star to lauded mathematician, the...

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That Water Fountain Just got about a Million Percent More Appealing

There is one definite problem with toting your eco-friendly 21st century reusable water bottle around, and that is, eventually it runs out of water. At least if you’re me and you drink like a fish all day long. Then I’m stuck toting around an empty aluminum bottle, and having to buy a bottle of water at the nearest deli. Lame. I have just been introduced to the Fit & Fresh LivPURE filtered water bottle. Yes, “Fit & Fresh” sounds like some kind of low-fat yogurt. But it’s not. It’s an ergonomic plastic bottle, BPA- and Pthalate-free, with a small...

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The Monkey Drummer

Matthew Porter is the artist behind my baby’s favorite ABC Book, so how can I not jump all over it when I hear he’s turning his talents towards adorable clothing that she can wear too? At the One Red Panda shop, a collaboration between Matthew and his wife Andrea, his quirky monkeys, a staple of the artwork in his Seattle art gallery, become pirates, drummers and scooter-riding monkey chicks. They’re then silkscreened onto sweatshop-free duds for trendy tots. The clothes are especially great for those who call their kid “Monkey.” There has to be one or two of you...

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Presenting the Cool Mom Picks Back-to-School Shopping Guide

It may be sweltering out today, but in no time your kids will be off to that first day of preschool, kindergarten and beyond, and we’re here to make things a wee bit easier on you with our second annual Back to School Shopping Guide. We’ve spent many sleepless nights scouring the web for the coolest goodies out there so you don’t have to. Whether you’re looking for a funky new backpack, a safer lunchbox choice than those vinyl PVC ones (ack!), eco school supplies, or even some extra-special lunchbox treats, we’ve got you covered. And we’ve scored you...

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