Month: October 2009

Happy Halloween cool parents!

Happy Halloween, mamas! For those of us who like Halloween every day, we present to you a completely random assortment of cool, creepy, spider themed items we uncovered on Etsy. The hand felted wool hat from Maybel57 (above) has a little cluster of spiders gracefully dancing down the sides. They make me think of Charlotte’s Web and I assume they are all very smart and spell well. These finger puppets from WeeKnit are the cutest. You can have a different bug on each finger or ask for an entire set of spiders. Or yellow-striped caterpillars. Plus they’re washable, which...

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Chill, groceries. Chill.

I love that the eco-bag revolution has taken over to the degree that even the nasty, old supermarket in my neighborhood is trying to encourage the use of reusable grocery bags. But one thing I’ve realized is that those cute canvas totes don’t do a lot in terms of keeping the ice cream from melting in the back of your trunk. So it’s very smart that mom-run and super eco-committed Blue Avocado has come out with their messenger-style Chill insulated bag. They claim it keeps food cold cold up to three hours — or hot, if you’re grabbing rotisserie...

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Cool dollhouse suggestions? Reader Q&A

My daughter is three and is interested in a doll house for Christmas. I would love to accommodate, but I am looking for something that is sturdy and made of environmentally safe products. Any suggestions? -Dee We’re doll house freaks around these parts, Dee. Heck, my son even loves playing with them. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of awesome dollhouses out there that fit your eco-friendly specs — although the workmanship and processes mean these environmentally responsible dollhouses are going to ring in much higher than your average mass produced plastic version. We’re huge fans of Plan Toys, who are...

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Etsy and Cool Mom Picks, sitting in a tree…

It’s no secret that at Cool Mom Picks we love Etsy. Love, adore, want to marry. But what we recently found out is that Etsy loves Cool Mom Picks and as you can imagine, we couldn’t be more excited! Kristen and Liz recently spent a lovely afternoon checking out their new DUMBO Brooklyn space, getting inspired by the creativity that radiates from every corner (even accounting), and eating some damn fine sticky rice. We’ll get our own photo essay up soon, but in the meanwhile, check out the article on The Storque. You might even learn some stuff you...

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Baby carrier covers prevent Cold Baby Toe Syndrome (CBTS)

When I had babies of Bjorn age, the Popopver saved my life. Or at least my winters. This fleecy, simple, mom-invented baby carrier cover was a great way for me to grab the kid, strap her on, and race out the door in the middle of January, without worrying about frozen extremities or stroller wheels stuck in a snowbank. I still stand behind the Popover, but there’s another carrier cover that’s worth mentioning too–the Thinsulite-lined Metro baby carrier cover from Brooks Pond which is wind-resistant, water-resistant, and so popular with parents, they discontinued their other two carrier covers this...

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Makeup bags get an eco makeover

Are you already putting together holiday gift lists? Or is that just me because I’m so busy working on our annual Holiday Gift Guide that I’ve got presents on the brain? In any case, I’ve just added the great looking eco-friendly makeup bags from Aster + Sage under the category of  “Get a bunch of these for holiday gifts because I know I’ll forget someone” so I figure I’d let you all know about them too. Like all of her great handbags, RISD pedigreed artist Linda Yesline handcrafts the makeup bags from fabrics made from recycled fabrics and soda...

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Sesame Street Couture

I admit that my daughter had one licensed Sesame Street shirt she got as a gift. I cringed every time she asked to wear it, not because I don’t like Sesame Street (who doesn’t like Sesame Street?) but because this one looked like it was designed by a blind monkey who had gotten a hold of Photoshop and some muppet clip art.  In any case, I’m way more partial to the handmade Cookie Monster shirt by Morfs. Made by designer and mom Julie Barger, the handmade shirt takes a more artistic approach to the classic blue guy, with a...

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A jewelry idea that just sort of popped out

You can always tell a great jewelry artist when you want to wear pretty much everything she makes. And that’s just how I’d describe the innovative stainless steel pop-out jewelry from Houston artist Melissa Borrell. Just like those old cool plastic toys in the Cracker Jack boxes that you would snap out from the frame and assemble, these colorful pendants and earrings come still attached to the metal card they were punched out of. Pop them out (thus, the name), attach to the earring hooks or necklace chain that comes with, and bend and twist and shape your jewelry...

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Baby’s first cookbook

I confess; I made my own baby food. But just so we’re clear, I was less a domestic goddess and more a garden-variety control freak. I spent late nights cooking and chopping and freezing, and honestly, I took no joy in it whatsoever. Boring. But that’s only because my kids were babies back in the Pleistocene Era, and eebee’s Mix&Mash Adventures didn’t yet exist. Babies six months and up will enjoy the board book (and accompanying DVD) which features lots of brightly-colored photos of fellow babies, having fun with a baby-sized puppet named eebee. But they can also do...

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Surprise! It’s something cute for 66% off.

We’ve just learned that last year’s Darly Surprise grab bag was such a success for the wonderful Darlybird boutique, that this year, bargain-seekers who trust Rachel’s whimsical taste will get another shot at them. Basically for $15, you’ll get at least $45 worth of goodies. Which ones? Well, you may find yourself in possession of adorable earrings, handcrafted bobby pins, cute lip balms, a stationery set, vintage gift tags – or heck, maybe all of the above. In fact at this price, you might order a bunch of them, and sort them into your own gift bags, or break...

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Fields Organics Toy Cleaner – Better than denial

Back when my kids were teething toddlers, their friends would come over, drool on their toys and leave me with a pile of stuff covered in germs. If I had Fields Organics Toy Cleaner back then, I could’ve given those toys a quick spray-and-wipe, but instead I either had to drag them to the sink or — cough — ignore them and hope no one was too germy. Update: this product no longer is produced. Fields Organics Toy Cleaner uses organic tea tree oil along with other plant-based organic oils and spring water to clean off non-porous things like...

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For more pleasant dreams, try buckwheat.

Who ever knew that something like the perfect toddler pillow could be so instrumental in getting my daughter to sleep in her own bed? But that’s just what happened with the buckwheat toddler pillow from the lovely mom-run Honeydumplings and I’m giving credit where credit’s due. Of course, we call it the “good dreams pillow” which might have had something to do with its magical sleep-inducing properties, but I’d imagine it was also a factor of how its made: The pillow is wrapped in a mat that’s stuffed with natural buckwheat hulls to just the right size – just...

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Would you like fries with that? Why yes, yes I would.

I may smirk like a 9-year-old when I say the name but that hasn’t stopped me for devouring Peas of Mind’s new Veggie Wedgies, which are all-natural vegetable and fruit wedges cut and baked crispy to look like french fries. Healthy fries! It’s like I won the lottery. Created by the brilliant mind behind Cool Mom Picks’ much-loved Puffets, Jill Litwin keeps her Veggie Wedgies pretty simple with just dehydrated potatoes, sea salt and baking powder added to the main vegetable or fruit (plus cinnamon in the apple Wedgies which my daughter loves). There’s no fat, low sodium, and...

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Bring prosciutto to your next baby shower

Since bacon is the new black, it’s only logical that Wooster Street Meats, whose meat shirts we fell in love with last year, is now making prosciutto onesies for babies. There’s one in kids’ sizes too. Even if your babies are too young to be eating the stuff themselves, I love the idea of pairing it with the grown-up size prosciutto tee for an adorable daddy-son/daughter gift for your favorite carnivore. Especially since the shirts come in adorable deli packaging wrapped up with that red and white deli string.. Prefer sweets to meats? Check out the new canolli shirt...

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Birth month candles make for good maternity fantasies

One of the most common questions we get is from people looking for gifts to celebrate a second or third-time mom. She doesn’t necessarily need all new blankets and clutch toys, but still a little something to acknowledge the happy occasion is called for. I was just turned onto the elegant soy wax Birth Month Candles from mom-run Pour Deux, and they fit the bill rather nicely. All twelve double-wick soy candles have the nice light scent of baby powder mixed with jasmine and citrus – gently sweet and definitely feminine, but not entirely cloying either. Each one is...

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Storytelling made easy – just add imagination

My kids love “writing books,” and I love that they’re being creative, but I don’t always love the Don Music-esque cries of, No, it’s supposed to be a yak and I can’t draw it right! I’ll never get it! Can you draw it for me? (Answer: No, I cannot draw a straight line. You’re out of luck, kid.) Storybird is a great alternative to get kids writing creative stories. The first thing I love is the fact that they provide the artwork culled from artists around the world, like the colorful characters from Paul McDougall, or lovely watercolors from...

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Trick or Treat for Unicef!

Now that my oldest is four, I’ve noticed she seems to really understand the concept of charity. What’s better is that she’s excited about the idea of sharing with people who have less than we do, so I’m thrilled to be able to get her to Trick or Treat for UNICEF for the first time. I have such great memories as a kid of hearing all those pennies and that rare quarter (thanks Mrs. Coulter!) jingling around in the bright orange box – which, by the way, is now cuter than ever.  But of course the best part is...

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Make every day a good hair day

I can’t believe I’m already thinking of holiday accessories but, yup, I am. Mainly because I’ll be among those “shopping my closet” this year and looking to update old looks with affordable new accessories. On a wild Etsy tear this week, I came across this lovely headband from artist Paige Redwine of HouserWallis that is screaming my name. The rosettes lined with zippers give it a modern downtown edge, but the sophisticated colors and the teeny pearl in the middle mean I can wear it with my uptown holiday party clothes. Paige is a brand new etsy seller but...

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Gorgeous, affordable holiday gifts with one catch – have to order them now.

Is it too early to start thinking Christmas gifts yet? Well, not if you have your eye on something from one of our favorite Etsy shops, the mom and daughter-run The Brick Kiln. There’s so much here that makes for charming, affordable holiday presents, but the catch is, they’re not accepting custom orders after November 1. Such is the pitfall of popularity. My top pick is easily the sweet personalized ornaments that you can customize with the name of a child, and even specify the hair color or go with a bald baby. Lovely gift for just $15. If...

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How to make a jacket girlie without any pink

My daughter’s favorite word these days seems to be “layers.” She loves the idea of dressing herself in shirts and sweaters and jackets that she can peel off and put back on to her heart’s content, especially with the cool mornings and warmer afternoons that we’re experiencing right now. So I love items like the new girls bell-sleeve jacket from past CMP pick, Baby Eggi. The soft (soooo soft) cotton-spandex fabric makes the jacket casual enough to throw on over jeans and a tee, but the styling with the flouncy sleeves and big faux-glass buttons make it adorably girlie....

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