Month: October 2009

Consider it an app for free fries

Yeah, sometimes we want to hit our favorite restaurant and the kids can nibble off our plates or make do with — gasp! — adult food, but other times we’re faced with the realities of a tight budget and wanting to keep the peace. With Kids Eat For loaded up on your iPhone, a quick scan will show you the restaurant deals in your area for when you’ve got kids in tow. And because Kids Eat For is user-driven, you can both add your own finds and update entries that are no longer valid or whose details have changed....

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Rock the socx

With the cold weather here, my little barefoot-loving toddler is now being forced into socks and shoes. And boy is she ticked off about it. But I’d imagine the Beba Bean sweater socx will make kids like her a much happier camper.  These mom-designed hybrid legwarmer and baby bootie are easily worn on bare legs, even in the warmer months, or over your little one’s pants or leggings now. The tight cotton knit and drawstring up top make sure that they actually stay up–I was worried about that until I tried them out myself. Plus the suede bottoms give some traction for walkers. Look around...

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Affordable interior designer is now officially not an oxymoron.

I think I did okay decorating my son’s nursery nearly a decade ago, but if I’m honest with myself, it was hardly original. I wish iBabyInteriors existed back then; I would have killed to have worked with Julissa Arias, founder and creative force behind this amazing online design resource. She has designed children’s room all over the country without ever stepping foot inside the home, and you have to see her gallery of nursery design to believe how beautiful, unique and original her ideas are. You fill out a questionnaire, take measurements and pictures of the room you plan...

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Over in the Hollow – Halloween as imagined by Stephen Britt

If you’re looking for a fun Halloween gift for the kids without the added benefits of tooth decay and hyperactivity, I just learned that the wonderful illustrator Stephen Britt has just taken on his first children’s book, Over in the Hollow, by author Rebecca Dickinson. The spooky but utterly fun story is an adaptation of an old nursery rhyme I used to sing in nursery school called Over in the Meadow (Over in the meadow in a hole in the tree, lived an old mother bluebird and her little birdies three . . .) only this time, it’s about...

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What’s in your kid’s toothbrush that you don’t want to be in your kid’s toothbrush?

I don’t know why I’ve spent all this time thinking about BPA in plastics but it never once crossed my mind to look into what’s in my kids’ toothbrushes. (Of course our friend Jen at the Smart Mama was thinking about BPA in kids toothbrushes a whole year ago because, well, she’s a smart mama). But considering my 2 year-old loves to gnaw on it, chomp on it, and suck on it when she’s not actually brushing with it, I like knowing that at least the Learn to Brush Toothbrush Set from MAM is a safe bet. The set...

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Yes, it’s stroller blanket season again

It’s only mid-October and already the babies in my hood are being bundled under stroller blankets and sleep sacs and other bits of coziness to keep the chill out. After four winters doing this mom thing, I’ve learned that it makes sense to invest in the good stuff because if you’re anywhere that gets an actual winter, you will definitely get your money’s worth. My dream bundle sac for the stroller is le sac igloo from 7AM Enfant (shown). It’s not only gorgeous on the outside (love that little furry hood!) and soft on the inside, it will keep...

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A limited edition designer high chair for those with unlimited designer funds

If the Fresco Fiamma was a car it would be a Lamborghini, all sleek and red and sexy. But since it’s a limited edition baby high chair it feels weird to refer to it as sexy, so I’ll just say super-awesome-cool. Bloom Baby, purveyors of some of the most innovative, beautifully designed, contemporary baby furniture has produced only 1,100 editions of this souped-up version of the Fresco Loft seat, each individually inscribed. Sounds like a piece of art, right? Well, I have to say, it kind of is. And lest you think it relies solely on its good looks,...

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Breaking news – Baby Einstein is issuing full refunds on their DVDs

If you’ve purchased a Baby Einstein DVD any time in the last five years, you’re entitled to a full refund, due to the work of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood which thinks that mayyyybe they don’t exactly make babies into Einsteins. We’re all for videos as entertainment, or to give moms a chance to jump in the shower — provided you know that it’s just that, and not an opportunity for your baby’s IQ to leap 45 points while you sneak in a shave. For full details, see this page on Disney’s Baby Einstein Website which explains how...

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Recycled, charitable, and oh so fancy

I’m going to be perfectly honest with you; in general the notion of putting cashmere on a baby seems absurd to me. In my world, babies and “hand wash only” are two things that don’t go together. But now I humbly eat my words, having checked out Liza Taylor’s cashmere hat and bootie sets. First of all, ohmygoshsocute. Second, the materials are recycled — or upcycled, if you prefer that term. And third, this former Ralph Lauren designer may now be selling her creations at Barney’s, but she’s also donating hats to orphans through Warm Woolies. Would this be...

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clinQs – I’ll drink to that!

Yes, I know that you can use a Sharpie to scribble kids’ names on their drink cups at birthday parties. But for a more stylish option, consider the reusable drink stickers from clinQs. My favorites for kids are the colorful Happy Birthday stickers that can keep up to 25 guests from sharing germs in style. But the kids themselves would probably prefer the fun Peter’s alphabet stickers or the Mr. Potato-head style (although a little more deranged) Mr. clinQy face stickers which let them turn their cups into characters. This smart little Brooklyn company has made sure their decals...

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Want your kids to love reading? You need to love reading to them.

Evidently reading to your kids is more than just reading to your kids. And seriously pedigreed educational consultant Diane W. Frankenstein explores her concept of “conversational reading” in her excellent resource, Reading Together: Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read. The idea is simple, and probably even common sense: Instead of just droning on, make the process interactive. So this reference guide includes specific books sorted by age, along with questions to help bring each one to life. There’s also a chapter on generic conversation starters that will work for almost any book,...

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Plates to mark the end of another year and hopefully, unfinished dinners.

When I was a new mom, I swore that I would never make tableware “an issue.” I would stick with neutral plates and bowls, basic silverware, and my kids would just deal with it. Right. As it turns out, serving dinner on “your special plate” can make all the difference between that dinner being finished by your children or by the dog. And one of the sweetest plates I’ve seen is the child’s birthday plate, courtesy of past CMP pick, Aedriel Originals. It’s a cool little birthday gift for the kid who doesn’t need more toys, and guaranteed it...

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Whoo makes the cutest owl softies? (Heh, sorry)

The first day of Autumn brings to mind leaves falling and stark naked trees and owls hooting at night. Crisp evenings and cold nights and noses with frozen snot-drips. (Maybe we won’t talk about that last one.) We found this selection adorable owl softies on Etsy, perfect for a cool evening of coziness bundled up in blankets. The gentle-owl softies from Nooshka (above) are highly distinguished. They do have a button, so probably not the best pet owl for tinier guys and gals. This long-legged Hoot owl from YooWhoo has crinkly wings and fun contrasting fabrics to interest tots...

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Bugs. They’re big with kids. Even when they’re not.

I have to admit getting a little flush of pride knowing my daughters are willing to pick up earthworms and tickle those pillbugs until they roll into tight little balls. At least for now. So I was happy to see that The Bug Book and Bottle is presented in a way to be appealing to all kids who are fascinated with things creepy and crawly and not just the boy kids. The bottle itself is more like a small plastic jar with airholes cut through the top. Smart, right? Open it up for a great illustrated field guide from...

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The best car seats for children – also some of the coolest.

Now that Wize has announced the winners of their best car seats for children, we’re glad to see two of our own favorites made the list: The Britax Roundabout and the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1. Both of which we love because they’re safe, they’re easy to install, and they’re not nearly as scary looking as most of the car seats out there. The third mention goes to the Montery booster seat by Sunshine Kids which I wasn’t familiar with, but when I cross-checked with the Car Seat Blog and saw they like it too, I was like ooh, cool. If...

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Socks in Box

I’m constantly on the lookout for fun little gender-neutral baby gifts. (I mean, what is it with all these moms who “want to be surprised” anyway? Can’t everyone be as impatient as I am?) One of my favorite new finds are the adorable bamboo-blend newborn sock sets from mom-run Hank & Jojo. These bold, stripey, retro, White Shadow-era knee-high socks come four to a box and by box, I mean one of the cutest reusable lunchbox-style containers you’ve ever seen. But don’t just buy them for the box. Buy them because everyone will ooh and aah and coo over...

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Foodzie is like Etsy for food. I’m doomed.

Do you hear that sound? It’s my hips expanding. I know I’m going to rue the day I discovered Foodzie, the marketplace for hand-crafted and artisan foods. Whereas my resolve is unwavering when I pass the fun-size candy bars in the supermarket aisle (Full of chemicals! I don’t need them!), how can I resist chai tea granola pecan bars or a box of bacon candies? Why, not only are these artisan candies and snacks made from the finest ingredients, I’d be supporting small businesses. It’d practically be an altruistic act, is my point. Of course, if your sweet tooth...

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Oh! what a cool book

Browsing the Picasso Museum gift shop in Barcelona last week (I know, totally rubbing it in) I came across the most wonderful little book called Oh! by Josse Goffin. I had an idea that my two year-old wouldn’t be able to put it down and indeed, that’s just how it’s played out. Each spread has a colorful, happy, quirky illustration of one thing — say, a smiling moon — but when you open a flap it reveals the moon transforming into something totally new and wonderful and weird, like a snake holding a paddle ball racket. Each page conceptually...

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The winner of The Bump’s Best Fashion Blog is…Cool Mom Picks!

You guyyyyys… We’re so so grateful so many of those of you who rallied and voted for us as The Bump’s Best Fashion Blog for moms. But because we want you to have more to show for it than carpal tunnel, we’re turning over our prize, the $100 Pottery Barn Kids gift certificate, to one of you. It’s the least we can do. (Details below.) We have to say though, that one of the nicest things about this was being introduced to the other finalists, who will definitely keep you moms and future moms looking and feeling fabulous: Bumpwear...

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All-natural gummies that won’t get your house TP’d on Halloween

My kids still recall with disdain the house that gave out unsweetened popcorn balls and apples one year for Halloween. I understand the desire to offer something less junky, but a safer bet against toilet paper in my trees might be some of the all-natural, Vitamin C-packed gummy candies we’ve found. No, they’re not a substitute for vitamins. But a better alternative to straws filled with pure sugar? You bet. Yummy Earth is no stranger to Cool Mom Picks, and this Halloween, add their treat-sized Organic Gummy Bear Snack Packs (above) to your trick-or-treat stash. These little guys are...

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