Month: September 2008

Sillydot art – more dreamy than silly

The artwork from San Francisco (by way of Brazil) artist Vera Costa of Sillydot is pretty much made for Nursery Decorating 101 – ten sets of three sweet, happy designs, each of which look great mixed, matched, or anything in between. They’re also made for different budgets, since you can choose from giclee paper prints, giclee printing on stretched canvas, or even a small selection of silkscreens on linen. I like the graphic birds and trees myself but I could imagine the more message-y prints with themes like green planet or my family in a dining room -turned-classroom setting....

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Personalized, adorable, affordable. What more do you want in a baby gift?

Personalized items make spectacular baby gifts because it shows you’ve gone an extra mile beyond the burp cloth sets, beyond the registry essentials. The one catch is, the gift can’t be returned. The pressure is on! I can’t imagine a single mama who wouldn’t love getting one of the personalized pillows from So Bright Designs. The personalized letter pillows are beautifully crafted by Liz Farnsworth with really lovely fabrics, but if you don’t have an initial to go on, check out designs like a giraffe, princess castle, or magic wand with streaming ribbons. Prices are amazing too – $15...

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You’re never too little to be a bibliophile. Only to know how to spell it.

Like tons of practical moms like me, my favorite gift to give or to get is a book. And if you want to get fancy about it, check out Bookworm Baskets, where the great book is just the beginning of a fantastic gift. It starts with a fabulous read like The Giving Tree, Olivia, or baby faves like Ten Little Rubber Ducks and  includes other eco-friendly, educational items all themed around it. Even the packaging is eco-friendly. But what’s really special about the service is that your book comes with an Eco-Libris sticker to show that a tree was...

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When labeling kids is a good thing

We’ve certainly seen our fair share of personalized gifts here at Cool Mom Picks, but we’ve yet to run across a service such as the one offered by Sweetwater Street. Design savvy owner Lisa Burnett will transform one of her modern designs (or one of your very own) into an incredibly unique label that can be affixed on anything from a kid’s shirt to a pillow case. Check out the Little Logos line and you’ll find great baby tees, tote bags that make a cool party bag option, and towels which certainly make the “whose is who’s” routine at...

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Grandpa sweaters from Georgie World. Why wait til you’re an actual grandpa?

I’m not so inclined to follow the trends when it comes to clothing my son, unless that trend happens to be self-washing clothes that withstand blueberry stains. But if the trend is cute and practical, say cardigans for fall, then I’m all over it. Which is why I’m totally into the Grandpa Sweater at Georgie World. What I love most (other than the name and the fact that it totally does look like a Grandpa sweater) is that it’s actually made out of fleece, so it’s machine washable. Add the diamond trim detail and the fancy buttons and you’ve...

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Don’t know much about teratology, but Belli does

I’m conspicuously absent from photos taken after the birth of each of my babies. I know a lot of you mamas knows what I’m talking about. But it wasn’t even my complexion and weight that were making me camera-shy; it was my lady parts–my tender c-section incision and my ravaged nipples–that were making it nearly impossible for me to crack a smile. I wish I’d known about Belli’s pregnancy and motherhood skin care lines back then. Originally created by Dr. Jason Rubin for his own wife during her pregnancy, all the ingredients go through strict teratology screening process. Yeah,...

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Candles Worthy of that Special Birthday Cake

I tend to spend so much time worrying about the gory details of my kids’ parties that the birthday candles are the last thing that I think about. In fact, one year, I almost forgot them. Bad bad mommy. So, if you’ve got a kiddo with a birthday on the horizon, snag one of these awesome number candles from Modern Lola. They’re a welcome change from those plain old number candles, which I almost hate to stick in my very carefully hand baked birthday cake. You know, by my local bakery, of course. And since we wouldn’t expect you...

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Isabella Oliver – Taking the Maternity Wrap Dress to a Whole New Level

If there’s one essential in any maternity wardrobe, I’d have to go with a wrap dress. It’s generally flattering to all body shapes, regardless of which direction your belly and butt tends to spread, although if not done well, it can definitely look heavy with all those ties and extra fabric. Enter Isabella Oliver, a fantastic maternity wear company featuring some of the most amazing clothes I’ve seen. The ruffle wrap dress is so lovely that it’s almost making me wish I wasn’t at the tail end of my pregnancy. The superb fit and construction combined with beautiful rich...

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Tweed: In. Cool.

CMP fave indie handbag designer Crystalyn Kae has taken the plunge into tweed and I’m not complaining a bit. The fabric formerly known as stuffy gets a fabulous makeover with Crystalyn’s innovative shapes, judicious use of hardware, and contrasting accent fabrics. Her pleated clutch with vintage fabric kick pleats is awesome for those rare nights that you’re not toting baby bottles and a change of diapers. But if you need something more substantial the troubadour tote is both practical and totally on trend. Marc Jacobs, eat your heart out. –Liz Save 10% of purchases with code FALL through...

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The perfect kids jeans jacket. At last! At last!

I have been on the hunt for the perfect children’s jeans jacket ever since my baby outgrew the one handed down from her sister. And by outgrew I mean I continued to stuff her into it until it simply became cruel and unusual punishment. Gimos Kidswear has totally saved the day with their delicious little mao-styled jeans jacket. The styling is modern, the cotton soft and light enough to serve as a fall jacket or a winter layering piece, and the denim wash is the perfect shade of indigo. Plus? No bling, no gratuitious hardware, no big logos across...

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White Trash Mom – Trailer Not Required

If you’re having trouble keeping up with the Joneses then you’ll want to snatch up a copy of White Trash Mom, a veritable guilt-free school mom’s tome from authors Michelle Lamar and Molly Wendland. Don’t let the title scare off you urban mamas – this hilarious book (based on Michelle’s popular blog) gives all kinds of moms tips on everything from how to get out of the PTA time suck to faking it for your kid’s school bake sale, all with the underlying theme that you should only do that which you are actually capable of taking on.  If...

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Adorn your keys, you classy thing you

I haven’t had a keychain since college, when we attached our keys to ID holders and waved them around at football games. Since I’ve (hopefully) evolved since then, I’ve decided to add a little personality and style to my keys. At least until they, too, become replaced by plastic cards. I love my new key ring from Not Just Any Old Day. It’s dainty, pretty, and marks my daughter’s birthday with her birthstone on the small sterling calendar. It has an antique-y finish that lends a Victorian vibe, making it also nice as a necklace, letter opener, or money...

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Flaunting my lack of greeting card-making talent

The most thoughtful cards are ones you make yourself, I suppose, if you have any sort of artistic ability. If you want a card with a smudged scribble and some glitter on it, I could probably manage that. But when I want to send the very best, I tend to look around for handmade cards made by someone with some actual talent. Hooray for designer Shannon Barnes’ Flaunt, where little pieces of mulberry paper are ripped up and rearranged and adorned to create fabulous animals and shapes on a beautiful range of greeting cards. These are perfect for sending...

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Help Me Rhonda!

At a recent book festival in metro Atlanta, I had the pleasure of discovering Miss Rhonda’s Readers, a local company that creates phonetically-correct books for little bookworms. What’s interesting about them, other than the fact that you won’t find one licensed character anywhere on them, is that the stories are actually stories. Instead of pages of bizarre nonsense like “The rat eats ham. The bed is red,” Montessori teacher Rhonda Lucadamo’s adorable books have very basic plots. Click here and you’ll see what I mean. The illustrations are cute too and sure to keep kids engaged and reading. Regardless of whether...

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A shirt as cute as you make it

I know there’s not really a shortage of big bro/sis shirts or birthday number shirts out there, so it shouldn’t be hard to track down at least one that I love. But alas, I’m picky. So when given the option of creating my very own thanks to the folks at Simply Colors, I couldn’t refuse. Along with a plethora of cool shirts, they’ve got hoodies, polos (pictured), even dresses, all made in a soft, sturdy 100% cotton that you can customize with the text and font of your choice. For an extra few bucks, you can get Glow-in-the-Dark printing,...

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Why no, she’s not a boy. Funny you should ask.

The first day of kindergarten is tough enough, but imagine little Yoon’s horror when a bunch of kids try to get her to stand in line with the boys because of her short hair. So starts the tale of Something for School, by Hyun Young Lee, a nice break from the same old first day of school books out there. My daughter is going to kindergarten next year, and I just feel for Yoon, who cries until she devises a solution that would make Jessica Simpson proud: A headband with fake hair attached. All five year-olds should be so...

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Hazelnut Kids – Our kind of toy store

One of the best outcomes of the toy recalls of 07 is the transparency we’re now finding from so many retailers–where and how their products are made, what they’re made with, and how confident you can be when your 9 month spends the better part of her day with the monkey’s head in her mouth. Another shop to add to your list of Toy Stores That Get It is the wonderful Hazelnut Kids. This parent-run shop has an entire section on toy safety that gives very informative details about the brands they carry, like how the owner of Chelona...

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Designer dresses designed by daughters

Sadly, shopping with my daughter is already filled with bargaining (if not actual bargains), and she isn’t even a surly tween yet. So I’ve got Style for Grace to thank for a remarkably relaxed and enjoyable mother-daughter shopping experience–that took place right here at my kitchen table. The site’s creator, Aimee LaLiberte, was inspired by her daughter Grace (natch) to design unique clothing that wouldn’t be seen on every other little girl. Pick a dress style, pick from six collections of fabrics, preview your design, and place your order. I could have spent hours swapping out fabrics and admiring...

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Sleep is For the Weak book signing, Brooklyn edition

Okay all you tri-state mamas, we’re counting on you to come out to the fine borough of Brooklyn tomorrow, September 12, for a star-studded (well, in our own minds) book party for Sleep is for the Weak sponsored by the very good folks of Graco. Participating signers/ hand-shakers/glass-clinkers include editor and CMP contributor Rita Arens, CMP co-editor Liz Gumbinner, Redbook editor-in-chief Stacey Morrison, plus the extremely fine bloggers and essayists from Finslippy, Laid-off Dad and Cheek. Door prizes too! It’s all happening at the Tea Lounge in Park Slope. Stop by any time from 4-7, bring the kids, bring...

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And all the little people said “om”

While I can’t say I’m educated on Eastern principles of living, I’m all for anything that helps me continue to integrate organic practices and principles into my daily parenting ritual. Thus is the case with My Little Pakora. This mom-owned shop offers an array of adorable baby and toddler clothes and accessories, all of which are 100% organic and feature very cool South Asian inspired prints. I’m definitely a fan of the Monkey (pictured) and the Lion is equally as precious. Whether or not you’ve got a yoga baby, you’ll appreciate the effort that mom Sonia Gupta has taken...

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