Month: September 2008

Not your average birthday party decor

Today is my birthday and it’s a big one. 29. Yep. That’s right. 29. Oh how I wish I had the guts to make use of one of the bad party buntings, aka “festoons of gloom” from UK shop Twisted Twee. The banners eschew some trite happy birthday message for sayings like life aint’ no party and don’t be obliged to stay. But my favorite has to be the one reading It will end in tears which – well, I’d give 10 bucks to the first of my friends willing to put that one up at their kid’s first...

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LOVE IS organic denim. Love is also having the money to afford organic denim.

I am definitely, undoubtedly, google-ably on the record as having some issues with expensive toddler jeans. I was never quite sure why you’d shell out $110 on some mass produced, made-in-China jeans just because it had a name brand label on the back. Then I found LOVE IS organic denim and okay, so I’m sort of just a little bit eating my words. The two moms behind the company have created something really spectacular, soft, and perfect for kids, with adjustable waistbands and laser-etched tags instead of scratchy sewn-in ones. These are actually meant to be played in and...

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Halloween Already? Absolutely!

If I had any bit of sewing ability, you’d bet I’d whip up something for both my kids and forgo the annual trip to that big mouse store (ahem) to spend waaaay too much on a Halloween costume. Darn those preschoolers and their opinions about everything. Since I can’t sew, I’m going to let someone else do it for me, which is why I love the new Dandy Social Club every day dress-up line exclusively at Mahar Dry Goods. Ditch the old itchy, scratchy, one-off costumes for a simply gorgeous Wonderland Dress or the Red Riding Hood Poncho. Got...

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Keeping the peace with personalized plates. And maybe a whistle.

I can’t even believe my household has entered the phase of Nooooo that’s MY plate! I’m not sure exactly what makes my daughter think a certain piece of dishware is hers besides the fact that her sister touched it first, but I’m going to try and nip this one in the bud. Might be wishful thinking, but I figure if the personalized melamine plates from LA Plates don’t solve the problem, nothing will. I’m particularly liking the preppy stripe design in your choice of colors and typeface. Personalize it with your kids’ names or a monogram to heed off...

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How do you like them apples

When I think of December babies, my mind goes to gifts like cozy little cashmere hats and cozy flannel blankets. But when I think of fall babies, I sort of draw a blank. And then I saw the apple bib from Atlanta etsy shop plum.tree.studio and a lightbulb went off. The bib is nicely constructed with hand stitching and a white terry back, and is quite bright and cheery in person. For just $10 it’s a nice little gift to help a third trimester mama get her mind off her cankles. –Liz Congratulations to Lisa T, winner of the...

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Whooooo makes the coolest toy boxes?

I kind of wish Kiersten Hathcock of Mod Mom Furniture would stop making so many cool new pieces for kids because frankly, our we don’t have the room for all of it. Next up: Her adorable new Woodland Mod Owl Toy Box, handcrafted safely and beautifully with eco-friendly birchwood right from her studio in LA. The design is so cute with those cut-out eyes as handles that it might even invite your little hurricane to stash his Matchbox cars and Lego pieces at the end of the day without prodding. It would look great as a set with her...

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I saw the shine

I grew up wearing a pair of bright, patent leather red mary janes over white tights and darn if I don’t still carry a torch for shiny shoes for girls. You too? Well Umi Shoes has plenty in the shiny but practical department this fall for little and big girls alike. My own 16 month old will be strutting her stuff in their embroidery and button-embelished bluebell shoe in ruby, which is actually a rich cranberry color in person. Very pretty. Bigger girls can choose from the more classic Queenie in black, red or chocolate, and still bigger girls...

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A is for awesome baby gift

I have been smitten with the beautiful cut-paper illustrations from Brooklyn artist Ida Pearle since I first discovered her custom artwork in a local boutique and nabbed a print for the new baby of my BFF. Her work has since become one of my go-to gifts for great friends, but there are plenty of new babies in my life who would also be happy with something, oh…in the $12.95 range. So I am so happy to see that Ida has turned her spectacular artwork into a brand new book, Child’s Day: An Alphabet of Play. Brand new illustrations describe...

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Crafty genes by mail order

Update: This site no longer exists. RIP Kid’s Busy Box.   I thought that 4 hours of preschool every day would satiate my daughter’s immense hunger for crafts, but alas, she still comes home from school running directly for the glue and construction paper.  I am totally prepared now thanks to the Kid’s Busy Box. This is a genius invention by five smart moms (of course!) who have put together twenty (count them!) ready-to-make toddler and preschool crafts along with simply directions and every supply needed to complete them all in one big box. Got more than one kid...

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Come See Us at the Disco. Well. Sort of.

We’re huge fans of any activity that we’ll enjoy just as much as our kids, and Baby Loves Disco is clearly at the top of our list. So when mom Heather and dad Andy, the master minds behind these family friendly disco parties asked us to team up with them this Fall to offer prizing for their dance contests, we jumped at the chance. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the 30 US locations, then definitely make the trip to one of their events. You and your kids will love cutting the rug to real live...

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ilunchbox.com – helping parents suck less at lunch making

Every fall, when the new school year rolls around and I stare down at that bane of my existence, the empty lunchbox, I tell myself that this year will be different. But every year by about December, my daughter is getting virtually the same lunch every single day, and all of the joy is gone. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs. With ilunchbox.com, there might be hope. This website features are tons of recipes and ideas and though the ingredients are all nutritious, these really do seem like items that kids will eat. Polynesian Chicken Skewers, Mu Shu...

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Prismera Design takes floral jewelry into fall

The Zinnias and Dahlias are out in full force at the farmer’s market, and I’m not ready to turn away from the floral jewelry just because Labor Day is behind us. I just stumbled on the pieces from Prismera Design and they’ve got a whole lot of pieces that are striking my September fancy. Created by RISD pedigreed NY designer Laura Su, the pieces impart modern style on classic floral motifs–and even not-so-classic floral motifs, like the noctiflora collection. I’m definitely digging the bold statement of the bronze cast Hopewell necklace (shown) as well as the gilded flor collection...

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Get Your Paws Off My Books

Want to add an air of permanence to your child’s library? And want to call that stack of chewed books in the corner of her room a library? Here’s how: Bookplates.If you’re a Cool Mom Picks newsletter subscriber, you were just introduced to a whole selection of our favorite bookplates, and now we’ve got one more for you. I love, love TayloredArt bookplates. They come in packs of 8 and are self-adhesive and printed on heavy cardstock. The cameo images evoke both childhood and an era of graciousness. Very peaceful, very pretty. No matter what the book cover is looking like these...

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The Neatnik Saucer – A better option than high chair covers the size of a schoolbus

I used to love going out to eat, knowing that I had no role whatsoever in the preparation or clean-up. These days, with three kids and a diaper bag in tow, in the time it takes for a single sip of wine and a quick glimpse of the menu, six crayons and two spoons and a package of crackers have already hit the deck. The mom-daughter invented Neatnik Saucer goes a long way towards letting me enjoy my wine in peace. It fits over (often grubby) restaurant high chairs and keeps all the toys and food pretty much confined....

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They’re never too young to say thanks

As my daughter gets older and more capable of making bigger messes, we’re giving her more responsibilities. That means making her bed, clearing her plate, and yes, even writing her own thank-you notes. Granted, she can’t exactly write anything except her own name, yet, but that doesn’t mean she can’t learn how to write a simple “thanks” on her own set of cards – like the adorable mermaid (her latest obsession) from Good Gravy! Handcrafted Design. These lovely cards, created with the paper lover in mind, make a fantastic gift to tuck in with a lucky birthday girl’s–or boy’s...

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Cleatskins – Clean car, unmarked floors, happy Soccer Mom

While I’d rather you not call me a Soccer Mom, the fact remains that… well… I am, by definition, a Soccer Mom who spends a lot of Saturday mornings on the field. I also spend a lot of time vacuuming dirt and grass out of my car, and hollering, “Halt! Take your cleats off before you take one more step, Mister!” But those days are a thing of the past, thanks to my new favorite invention: Cleatskins. These dad-invented doo-dads are the answer to every soccer mom’s prayers — a flexible rubber overshoe designed to contain those filthy cleats....

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Calling All Atlanta Readers!

If we hadn’t made it blatantly clear just yet, then we’re happy to let you know (again) that the Cool Mom Picks co-founders Kristen and Liz are among the contributors to Rita Arens‘ new anthology Sleep is for the Weak, along with CMP contributor Rita and Mir Kamin and they’ll be appearing at a couple of venues (sounds fancy, right?) in the next couple of weekends. You can visit with Kristen, Mir, and Rita in Atlanta Saturday 9/6 from 4-7 at local artisan hot spot and mom-owned, The Beehive Co-op. Get your book signed and win some door prizes from CMP local...

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Emergency Bag? Check!

Hey, I’m trying to be more eco-conscious. I bring my own reusable bags to the grocery store which live in the trunk of my car so that I always have them on hand. But then there’s the inevitable stop-for-one-thing errands where I don’t actually stop for just one thing. Before I know it, I’m taking home a plastic bag. Because I didn’t have a bag with me. Well, now that I’ve got an adorable RuMe Mini tucked away in my purse, I’m good to go. Secured with its self-velcro strap it’s about the size of my phone, but unfolded,...

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When you can’t have booze, might as well gorge on chocolates

I love a baby shower, but for the life of me, I have yet to bring home a favor that I don’t immediately pass off to my oldest as a “cool prize mommy picked just for you!” However if you decide to order up some of the yummy Baby Ladybug Chocolates from John and Kira’s, you can bet I’ll be keeping them for myself. Featured in Gourmet and Food & Wine just to name a couple, we’re not the only ones to love this Philly-based mom and pop team’s creations.  Plus I love that they’ve successfully combined their love...

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Where Mother Goose meets Aphex Twin

If ever a CD was made to be played in a W Hotel guest room that requests a crib, Chill Baby, by Californian musician and producer Cordovan, is it. It’s cool as the name suggests, mixing mellow electronica with both original and familiar children’s melodies from Puff the Magic Dragon to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. What could have turned out cheesy is actually sophisticated and soothing. Check out samples on Amazon or CD Baby but we think you’ll like it enough to get the whole album. This is the perfect music to lull your future ambient music lover off...

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