Month: January 2009

Candy and Boogers, a great combo for the kids.

There are days when I just want to listen to something a bit more aggressive than the usual children’s music fare.  But, I learned a valuable lesson the day I jumped out of the minivan while the kids sat inside listening to Fatboy Slim’s F-bomb-laden In Heaven: my CD selection is not safe for kids. I’ve recently come across a couple of bands who must know my story all too well. Candy Band is made up of four Detroit moms who love to play loud, fast, punky music, but keep the lyrics safely G-rated. Just thinking of what their...

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The perfect New Year’s detox trick – lots and lots of water

After a busy time fraught with lots of be-booping electronics, rushing to and fro, and various shiny things, there’s really no substitute for a bit of Zen. While you’re decompressing, consider turning to the ingenious Buddha Board, spotted at Landbridge Toys. Theoretically you’d be buying this for your kid, but when I had a chance to play with one, I had a hard time giving up my turn. Because you’re painting with water and your images slowly fade out as they dry, it’s addictive in a delicious, slow-you-down kind of way. You paint, you sit, you paint, you sit…...

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Olivia the Pig has got nothing on Olivia the Ox

As you’re looking for an inexpensive one-size-fits-all baby gift for all those friends of yours having kids this year, consider The Year of the Ox, the fourth children’s book in the wonderful Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series by Oliver Chin. Since my husband was born in the year of the ox (1973 and also 2009, for those keeping score at home), I’m familiar with the sometimes-stubborn-yet-hardworking-and-admirable quality of little Olivia the Ox. She makes a mess of everything until she saves the village from a flood with her little purple tail. It’s a fun story, but the best...

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Health food masquerading as delicious snacks

Let’s be clear, here–I’m a from-scratch baker. I like to bake, and I like to know exactly what’s in the foods I’m feeding my kids. So when I first came across the baking mixes from Matisse & Jack’s, I thought maybe they’d be good… for people who rely on box mixes. But here’s the thing: Not only are all four varieties of baking mix all-natural and protein-packed, they really do taste like homemade. And being able to whip ’em up in about five minutes is handy when I’m too busy for a full baking session. There’s nary a trace...

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Uncle Rock brings kids music to life without the help of special effects. Imagine!

The first DVD release from CMP fave Uncle Rock, Number 1 DVD: Live from Kidtopia is a great example that kids don’t need big, commercial, overproduced videos to fall in love a band, provided that band has half an ounce of talent. And in this case, talent is abundant. This docu-style video of a live Uncle Rock show in Woodstock, NY starts strong with the bouncy, interactive Uncle Rock U and lets your kids know just the kind of concert video they’re in for. And that does not include one in which the singer mugs for the camera or...

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You’ve gotta keep them excavated

When my second born, a boy, joined our brood, I entered the  fascinating world of Things That Move. I point out the backhoes on our drive to school, and we clamor to the window on Mondays to watch the garbage truck come by our house. You should hear the squeals when we pass a working bulldozer. So if you’ve got a little boy or girl who’s all about trucks, then you’ll want to make sure to check out the cool transportation kids’ shirts from Brooklyn’s Two Blue Cars. They create detailed drawings of real live excavators (pictured), diggers, even...

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Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up

Now that my youngest is mobile– and, thanks to the open-plan design of our house, cannot easily be confined with baby gates– I’ve had to buckle down and get serious about keeping the floor clean. A few stray Cheerios can bolster his immune system, but anything more than that is too icky to contemplate. Then again, I’m not thrilled by the thought of him licking a chemical-laden floor either. What’s a mom to do? Buy the Bissell Steam Mop, that’s what. This natural cleaning solution is awesome, whether you’ve got a baby crawling around or a gaggle of teens...

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It’s a Wee Web after all

Those of us who spend a lot of time online tend to be early adopters.  Even if we don’t think we’re particularly tech savvy, our friends and neighbors give us a good reality check when they ask, “What’s a blog?”  No wonder they never read ours.  Don’t even bother mentioning Twitter. For those moms and dads who want to share kid-centric news with friends and family, but aren’t ready to leap into the blogosphere, we’d like to suggest Wee Web.  Share stories, photos, and videos with only those whom you’ve invited– no random Google searchers allowed.  The really cool...

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Yo! Crochet, Crochet

The Yo! Gabba Gabba infatuation has reached a fevered pitch in my household, as my 19 month-old can now say “DJ Lance Rock” better than she can say Grandma. Which is no slight to Grandma. In fact, Grandma was cool enough to devote the better part of the winter break trying to crochet the Yo! Gabba Gabba amigurumi doll set for my children’s enjoyment, thanks to my pleading, and the crochet kit from Crafty is Cool.  These are definitely patterns for experts – if you’re handy with the crochet hook, a soft, loveable, not-made-in-China Brobee can be yours. If...

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Let this cute daddy teach you how to cook for your cute baby

When my daughter was a baby, I made all of her baby food. I was only working part-time, and armed with an instruction book, I painstakingly filled ice cube tray after ice cube tray with pureed fruits and veggies. Once I had my son, I kind of lost steam, but I think if I had Chef Greg of Chef and Father by my side three years ago, I’d have gotten my baby food making mojo right back. It must be said that Chef Greg is really cute, which definitely adds to the appeal of these cooking videos. But, cute...

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Gorgeous 2009 calendars: Just add paper

There are three basic New Year’s resolutions the way I see it: 1. Get in shape 2. Get organized 3. Save money.  I decidedly cannot help you with the first one and have the brownie crumbs on my chest to prove it. But for the rest, allow me to point you towards design studio Little Brown Pen. Evan and Nichole Robinson’s absolutely exquisite 2009 printable calendars which fall under the category “Print and Give” – in other words, print your own calendars on heavy card stock from the digital PDF file you’re purchasing then give them out as terrific...

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It’s an honor just to be nominated

We’re so excited to find that Cool Mom Picks has been named one of the finalists in The Homies, ohdeedoh’s contest for the best children’s design blog! Wow. Particularly considering the five other nominees who really…wow. They’re all amazing. We’d be just tickled if you clicked on over and oh, checked the little circle next to Cool Mom Picks if you happen to think we’re worthy. Of course if it were up to us, we’d vote for ohdeedoh. But I guess that would be weird, huh. Vote for your favorite children’s design blog at Apartment Therapy’s ohdeedoh through January...

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A sports bra that makes working out with baby a little easier. Darnit.

Contrary to what people try to tell me, breastfeeding alone does not seem to make the pregnancy pounds melt off. Looks like gym visits are in my immediate future. However, nursing in a regular old sports bra is a royal pain in the butt, usually forcing me to cut my workout short or put it off altogether. Well looks like I’ve got absolutely no excuses for ignoring New Year’s Resolution #1 courtesy of Bao Bei Maternity’s nursing sports bra. Created from a high quality, hearty athletic fabric, this nursing bra features a crossover front that holds your boobs in,...

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Shalom. Salaam. Pax. Pace. Peace. Or for geeks, &#x262E

Whatever you think of the peace symbol–inspiring, cheesy, ubiquitous–you have to admit the history is pretty incredible. Or if you’re not sure that it’s pretty incredible, check out Peace: The Biography of a Symbol, peace activist Ken Kolsbun’s brand new tome which is deserving of a nice spot right at the center of the coffee table. The book uses words, artwork and stunning photos to tell the story of the symbol that launched a movement, defined a generation, and now looks cute on pendants, baby hats and backpacks everywhere. Give it a chance. As a wise man once said....

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Not your average flea market peace sign necklace

The way things are going in the world these days, I’m thinking that the right message for message jewelry is peace. In which case there’s the cheap silver pendant that you got on the street for $18 (and lasted a few weeks) and then there’s this beautiful gold vermeil stamped peace sign necklace from one of our favorite jewelry artisans, TJ Kelley. While shiny as all heck, I love the slight rough-hewn feeling this necklace gets from the stamping. Because if there’s one thing about a peace sign pendant, it should never be pretentious. I mean if you’re going...

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On the Wings of Hope

In my current postpartum state, I’m as close as you might get to a charity case. But multiply the joy of shrinking yourself back into those skinny jeans times 100, and you’ll get what your donation can do for the amazing Wings of Hope charity. Started in 1962 by St. Louis business executives, this charity specializes in reducing poverty with a common denominator that involves transportation (usually an actual set of wings – not just the proverbial kind) and health care. Whether it’s airlifting a child in need of multiple surgeries to various hospitals right here in the United...

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