Month: September 2008

The Regional Assembly of Text – a store as cool as its name

As a bona fide word nerd, I was instantly taken with the name The Regional Assembly of Text, although I had no idea what it meant. (Sort of ironic if you think about it, huh.) As it turns out, this Vancouver-based online shop curated by design grads Brandy Fedoruk and Rebecca Ann Dolenwas is entirely devoted to all things cool, designy and text-y. This includes funky journals, artful onesies and baby tees, and goodies for around the home. I’m particularly liking the little portable chalkboards (shown)  featuring a vintage line illustration of a boy or a girl. It’s adorable...

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Chocolate bars for kids who rarely can have chocolate bars, poor kids

Food allergies suck. I am very lucky to have kids who don’t have them (knock wood), but with a fish allergy of my own, I am sympathetic to those who do. I still remember crying at camp when the kids ate fish sticks and I had to have a sandwich. I know. Fish sticks! Not exciting at all, but when you are deathly allergic to fish, they become the most delicious thing ever. So I can only imagine what it’s like for kids who can’t have milk or peanuts or wheat. That’s why allergen-free candy is such a great...

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How do you improve on a child’s bathrobe? Make it a kimono.

I am staring at the spectacular Bathtime Wrap from Beverly Hills-based Petite Miette and once again I am smacking myself on the head and thinking now why did I not think of this first? Instead of wrapping a baby up in a cumbersome bathrobe over his pajamas–a bathrobe that will become separated from its tie on the second wearing, and be impossible to crawl in–you can grab one of these lush kimono tops instead. The 100% organic cotton flannel is soft and cushy, the terry lining is thick and thirsty, and the colors are to die for with rich...

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Tattoos and leather, the perfect combination for a mom

Every now and then we happen upon a shop where we would purchase literally every item they’ve got–you know, if we had oodles of money to toss around on ourselves. And that’s the case with the jewelry at Enina J. Based in Haifa, Israel, artist and designer Janine Golbert combines media including fabric, metal, and leather to create a collection of gorgeous baubles we’re just dying to get our hands on. I’m loving the leather tattoo earrings (pictured), but I’d be just as happy with the amazing sculptured fabric and metal bangle. While shipping is extremely reasonable from Israel,...

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Cloth books without the mass production

Thanks to my son’s infatuation with cloth books, I’m able to enjoy a good portion of our daily car rides without having to ply him with 400 cheerios I end up cleaning from his carseat later. So I’ve decided to stockpile them, starting with the ridiculously cute “quiet books” from SW Designs. Mom Shelley Wallace hand creates these amazing soft fabric books, including Discover Dinos (pictured), Colors, or her Halloween counting book Witch’s Brew, all of which would make the most fantastic new baby, one year birthday, or “just because I must have them now!” gift. If you’re super crafty, Shelley...

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Thomas Claire: Taking the Pain out of Painting Pottery

Taking my kids to a paint-your-own-pottery place is not in my job description. The drive there, the eternity spent as my children pick out the “perfect” piece to paint, my toddler–oh my toddler– in that room of breakables… and then I pay a ton for the privilege to boot? No thanks.  All praise Thomas Claire which now lets you do it all right from your own home. With a few strokes of the keyboard, you order a kit (trinket boxes for us but there are mugs, birthday plates, animal figurines and plenty more) and pick your paint colors. You’ll...

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The Beehive Co-op – If Cool Mom Picks had a shop, this might be it.

The instant I set foot in the Atlanta Beehive Co-op storefront, I knew it was my kind of place. Of course, it didn’t hurt that that I was surrounded with some of our favorite past picks from JacQueline Sanchez jewelry, Blabla Kids, and Lark and Loon, to name a few. However I was also introduced to a ton of fantastic local artisans that I had never met before, courtesy of the great taste of Beehive franchise owner and mom Viviana Campbell. My newest designer crush is on Mary Sweeney of Felted Heart. Her gorgeous recycled sweater ponchos are to...

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Mo Yo Gabba Gabba!

The only one more excited than my daughter for the new season of Yo Gabba Gabba! that begins today on Nick Jr., is me. I’m definitely ready to have some new lyrics stuck in my head besides It’s time to wash your hair, it’s time to wash your hair, it’s time to wash your hair, and this is how you do it. YGG is absolutely the coolest thing going on TV today with a list of guest stars that any prime time show would covet. Coming up in season two: Jack Black (shown here), the Office’s Melora Hardin, The...

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Mobile homes

Oh what my daughter wouldn’t give to be able to pack up her beloved dollhouse and take it with her. So imagine what she did when she saw the set of Nested Country Cottages from Olie Bollen.  These two brightly colored paper board boxes open from the top, lunchbox style, so your kiddo can stack them full of random junk–er, precious keepsakes. But with cutout windows and a cute velcro sidebar, each can easily double as a dollhouse for quick trips to a friend’s or long visits to Grandma’s. I guess it’s sort of like a mobile dollhouse, huh....

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Read A Book, Set A Record

Do you really need an excuse to read a great book to your kid? Probably not, but here’s a fabulous one, anyway: On October 2nd, in association with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record program, the children’s classic favorite Corduroy will be read aloud on The Today Show. At the same time, a bunch of other folk around the world–including you?–will be reading the same book to set a new world’s record. My kids are a bit beyond Corduroy, but I’m going to dust off our copy and participate, anyway — because Jumpstart isn’t just setting a record, they’re working...

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Tees for Trees

You might assume that a company called Tees for Change isn’t promoting 35-cent garments, but some kind of social progress. And indeed you’d be right. This company, run by mom Andreea Ayers aiming to get more positive messages out in the world with their organic onesies and tees for both kids and adults. (Well, the tees are for both. The onesies are just for the kids.) Andrea is definitely living her values through her company–for every tee you buy, a tree is planted via Trees for the Future. It’s the baby collection we’re liking best on the site, featuring...

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Eco dolls, not eek-oh dolls

Ever since coming across something called an “eco doll” that was made of pvc and served up in plastic packaging, I’ve been pretty skeptical of the eco label on toys. Sometimes it fits and sometimes…well, at least the intent is good. But Sue Lappan of EcoLeeko achieves both with her colorful plush dolls and baby rattles. The outsides are all certified organic cotton corduroy and squishy soft bamboo fleece, the stuffing is natural stuff like kapok and walnut shells, and even the thread is organic. Not that your kid will understand any of this. They’ll just love that critter,...

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To me, every day is Halloween

My kids love to admire the aisles of Halloween-themed kids’ clothing almost as much as I love to admire the aisles of Halloween-themed candy. But I can’t bring myself to buy any those jack-o-lantern shirts and “happy halloween” bibs because hello, the kids can wear them twice, max. My money’s better spent on Reese’s cups and a personal trainer. But longtime CMP fave, Playdate NYC, has a great way for your little goblin to get his fill of creepy-crawlies at Halloween and well beyond.  With bats and spiders hand-appliqued in felt on thermal cotton tees, these shirts won’t look...

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Schoolwork and work work get a lift with International Arrivals

If you find manilla, vanilla, add International Arrivals to your bookmarks and check out their modern assortment of file folders, journals, photo albums, and organizational accessories that make a walk through the aisles of Staples seem like a trip back in time. I especially love the Filex folders which actually make me dread searching through my piles of c-r-a-p a little less. And the colorful CLIPIT paper clips shaped like flowers, animals or airplanes or would certainly keep any little student happy to be back to school, even as the homework starts piling up. Okay so that’s stretching it....

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BornFree pacifiers go BPA free. Which is a pretty good trait in a pacifier if you ask us.

BornFree is already the go-to source for plenty of moms looking for products safe enough to go into baby’s mouth. They’ve got glass baby bottles, bottles made of BPA-free plastic, and cups free of harmful chemicals — and yesterday they’ve just unveiled their Day and Night Pacifier Duo. These orthodontic suckers are guaranteed to be 100% free of Bisphenol-A, Phthalates and PVC. They come in pretty colors, too. Just in case, you know, the whole “safest for baby” thing isn’t enough to win you over....

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The handmade dolls you’ll want to sleep with yourself

For the most part, I don’t spontaneously exclaim awwwww and get all teary when I get a new baby toy for review, but that’s totally what happened when I peeled open the sweet little canvas bag to reveal the plush baby doll from Bumblebird. Designer Heather Renz makes soft, fleecey, huggable, loveable little creatures with the most adorable hand-embroidered faces. They’re the toys you kind of hope your baby will fall in love with so that the doll ends up in every photo. As opposed to, you know, Elmo. –LizCongratulations to Brooke E, winner of that adorable plush baby...

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Want to come to a baby shower? Because you’re totally invited

If you weren’t aware, Kristen Chase, CMP super editor, co-founder, and neverending source of energy, hilarity and abject good taste, is about to churn out baby #3. So to hide our complete panic at being without her for 24 hours (seriously Kristen, you don’t think you’re actually taking a maternity leave from Cool Mom Picks do you?) we’ve put our efforts into throwing her a little online baby shower. And we’d love to see you there. No gifts necessary, just offer up some happy reminiscence of your own new baby days–or that of a friend or relative. Post it...

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The elephant in the room that everyone actually will talk about

I always admire parents who aren’t afraid to go a little dark with their nursery decor. And by dark I don’t mean Gashlycrumb Tinies prints up on the wall, but something besides the pastel pinks and blues and yellows that the entire industry seems determined to infiltrate your house with. The Tiny Friend gocco print from Seattle-based KidsHaus adds such richness to a room, I think it’s absolutely striking, even in its small 5″ square size. The chocolate brown elepant and mouse are offset by a gold blanket made of handprinted gold paper. Great touch. In fact, I might...

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Apparently dragons are going green. Or…greener?

Last year, I was instantly smitten with the bright, super cool graphic organic shirts from mom-owned Fierce Hugs, so when I found out they added a new line from Dutch artist Dagmar Meinders, I was willing to bet money on their awesomeness. Too bad I’m not a gambler because I would be rich right now. From her Cryptia Dragon tee (pictured) with its Tim Burton vibe, to the adorable Pirate Snail, I’m loving the combination of unique kid-centric artwork on super soft organic cotton. Just goes to show that when it comes to going green, there’s definitely something for everyone. Fiery horned beasts included. D&D fans: take note. -Kristen Congratulations...

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Posies takes cleaning the house partly out of the “things that suck” column

I’ve never equated cleaning my house with achieving zen, but while using Posies Cleaning Products, I can at least take some deep calming breaths while I mutter and scrub. Posies were created by self-proclaimed clean freak and lover of aromatherapy, Timara Freeman-Young of Seattle, who mixed great smelling essential oils with all-natural cleaners that work like heck.   Grab a bottle of Happy House All-Purpose Cleaner when faced with the toilet used by your not quite potty-trained son, and get the job done without gagging. If you’ve ever held your breath while scouring you’ll appreciate Scruffy Silk toilet and...

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