Month: October 2009

Paper & Cake’s downloadable halloween party is a treat

One of my kids thinks that Mickey Mouse is a horror figure, so I’ve learned to keep our Halloween “unscawy.” Instead of settling for whatever I can find in the big box stores, I get to look so put together by downloading CMP fave Paper&Cake’s   downloadable Trick or Treat Halloween Party decor which gives my gathering a pulled-together look without costing more than my Halloween candy budget. [Edited to add: The specific Halloween party decor reviewed here is no longer available; however, Paper & Cake has plenty of new printable Halloween decor in their shop!]   I used to...

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Tweet your dream trip. No seriously. Like, now. Do it.

So I just got home from Barcelona. Yes, that Barcelona – the one with the chorizo and the Gaudi buildings and the people saying grathiath. Believe it or not, I won a trip there from a Tweet Your Trip contest sponsored by the travel site, Voyage.TV. Which is was so cool and unexpected considering I spend all my time giving away prizes at Cool Mom Picks, not entering to win them. As it turns out, you too are welcome to tweet your dream trip (and win!) too, so I figured it would only be fair if I tell you...

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Tea to keep the kids warm at night

The nights have become downright frosty which means I’m scrambling to see if any of the kids’ pajamas from last winter still fit them; given that they seem to grow a foot a year, it’s likely that they’ll need new threads. Some of the nicest new cold-weather sleepwear I’ve been eying for them comes from CMP fave Tea Collection. Their Suite Sleeper pajama sets are made of super-soft, brushed-on-the-inside pima cotton; with its natural fibers, the kids won’t feel like they are sweltering under petro-chemicals. And with this kind of thickness, they won’t wear out at the knees before...

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Wear your seatbelt

During my days as a funky bottle-cap belt and Chuck wearing singleton, Harveys seatbelt bags made from actual seatbelts were it. And apparently, they still are, but now for the hip baby mamas. While their exclusive Camo bag (my fave) is pretty sizable, I love how it’s not ridiculously deep. Which means it’s roomy but not to the point where you’ll feel like Mary Poppins reaching into her carpet bag when you need to find a binky. And you’ll find plenty of pockets, plus a coordinating changing pad, just in case you want to feel like you’re carrying an...

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Dwell bedding provides some sweet girly dreams

When I went on the hunt for new toddler bedding for my daughter recently, I was amazed at some of the adorable options out there these days. One that really caught my eye is the Paper Dolls duvet set from Dwell Home Furnishings. The bedding features the classic paper dolls in fresh modern colors that are sweet and girly without being frilly. I love that this set says “girl” and not “baby,” which I think she will appreciate as well. And it will easily transition with her from little girl as she grows into a (gasp!) big girl. Well,...

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The other baby shower gifts just got some competition

It’s still a little depressing to put a really ugly bib over a really cute outfit, if not as depressing as staining the really cute outfit with carrots. Problem solved: b amici’s beautiful cotton bibs are like wee accessories themselves. Made of soft cotton jersey with cool print accents, they are both subtle and funky. The fabric is just beautiful, even if you can’t entirely tell from the pictures on the site; the guitar bib pictured here is a designer Michael Miller fabric, while the rest of the line features Liberty of London prints (including a super cute car...

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The trick to finding allergen-free Halloween treats

When my son comes back with his Halloween haul I scour the bag for candy that I don’t approve of (and want to swipe for myself). For me it’s a matter of avoiding high-impact sugar infusions, but for parents of children with food allergies, finding candy with traces of peanuts or eggs can be seriously scary. Which is why Divvies‘ nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free Gourmet Chocolate Ghosts and Halloween Jelly Beans make the perfect addition to a kid’s candy stash. We’re huge fans of Divvies’ other treats already, but what we especially love about these two-packs of yummy chocolate ghosts...

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Dan Zanes outgrows the house party with The Fine Friends are Here!

My kids don’t need another reason to zone out in front of the TV which is why the energetic new DVD from Dan Zanes, great god of the kids’ indie rock movement, is okay by me. Part live show, part music video The Fine Friends Are Here! practically demands that we get up and dance along with the audience as he rocks, jumps and grooves through an hour of his favorite tunes. And it isn’t just Dan: there are some killer violin, banjo, accordion, mandolin, rap and breakdancing performances from his friends too. Shot at the Jalopy Theatre in...

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Toothbrush sanitizer and adorable – two phrases not often heard together.

You don’t even want to know where I find my kids’ toothbrushes. I’m delighted that they love them so much that they carry them all over the apartment, but still. Ew. So when I discovered the Zapi toothbrush sanitizer from VIOlight I was like, sign me up. The Zapi is like the illegitimate baby of a Weeble and one of those nail salon UV germ-zapping machines. I love the modern colors and sleek shape, while my kids love sticking their toothbrushes in there and clicking the button — hopefully more they than they love sticking their toothbrushes in the...

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What’s a Noonie? A swaddle blanket. Or, utter sweetness.

I’m pretty sure that I’m done having kids, but every once in a while I see something that makes my arms ache to be holding a newborn again. Such is my reaction to the irresistible Noonie swaddle blanket from Lala’s Pequenos. It’s made from 100% organic fabrics with a super-soft organic sherpa lining. It’s like the sweetest, coziest little nest for that tiny newborn body. I say tiny newborn, but really, at 30 inches long and 15 inches at the widest point, this swaddle blanket would have worked well for my son for the first several months of his...

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I’m a lumberjack and I’m okay

Because my own brood is rather estrogen heavy, whenever I see the cool stuff from Knuckleheads I think, hm . . .any boys I need to shop for these days? Their new plaid flannel boys’ jacket is right on trend this year what with the Nirvana-Lumberjack redux that’s hitting the shelves. And actually, girls could get away with it too. If they live in Vermont. (Kidding Vermont! Love your maple syrup.) The grandpa cardigan is pretty adorable too, if pricey, but I’d imagine you’ll get a whole lot of use out of it. Also I just caught a whole...

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Hooray for iPhone apps for children that give you five minutes to yourself

My husband is taking my two kids on a transatlantic flight all by himself, bless him. My contribution to the experience is my iPhone, fully loaded with toddler-distracting applications. Three of the iPhone apps I have lined up for her are Hippo Hooray‘s Colors, Shapes, and Letters, which are gorgeously done and quite absorbing. Simple premise: The hippo tells you what to touch (letter, color, or shape) and congratulates when you’ve chosen correctly. Aside from the beautiful graphics, the true touch of genius is in their selection of older children’s voices for the apps. I’ll tell you what, my...

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These necklaces have me spinning

My birthday is coming up soon. Okay, two months. But why wait until the last minute to start dropping hints about wanting a new piece of jewelry? And by hints I mean Honey, get me a Torus necklace this year or sleep with one eye open. First let me say that these gorgeous, spinning, stainless steel necklaces from CMP favorite Blend Creations are the perfect mix of modern, elegant, and versatile. Plus affordable — they’re all around $75. The center sphere rotates freely as you move, and I am madly in love with the Red cloisonn√© pendant (shown). However,...

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The greeting cards I wish I wrote but I’m just not funny enough. Darn it.

I always give props to greeting cards that make me laugh out loud. And I don’t mean that ironic kind of laugh out loud, like the rhyming cards your great aunt sends you that have been in her dresser drawer since 1974. So when I started browsing Uncooked Greeting Cards and couldn’t stop reading – -and laughing at — the bons mots penned by two ad world dropouts, I knew I had a new go-to greeting card site. With the holidays coming up, check out the greeting card box sets of 8 that are perfect if you like your...

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Family travel, cheaper? Priceless!

Travel is essential to keeping one’s sanity after having kids, but in this economy every little discount and special deal helps. Well if you have an American Express card, you can now reap the benefits of their new Destination Family travel program which seems pretty cool. Check out the whole brochure online, but the upshot is that if you use Destination Family travel agents to book your family trip, you’ll get discounts on hotels, cruises, rental cars, and activities. They can even help you with things like rental carseats or cribs or find you somewhere kids eat free. You’re...

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Surviving deforestation is one thing. Try surviving juice box mishaps.

I’ve always been a fan of cause-related marketing, or in human terms, charitable efforts for brands. Especially when the company really seems dedicated to the cause, and that’s what I’ve found to be the case with Timi and Leslie and their new endangered species strollers designed in a partnership with BabyPlanet. Each of the four, brand new strollers goes to raise awareness of four endangered species (to whatever degree that’s possible with a stroller), but what’s better is that a big ol’ check goes to the Wildlife Conservation Society each year, along with an additional $5 from each purchase....

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Artwork for Sid (or Nancy) the Science Kid

Attention science geeks: The nursery art of your dreams is here. Etsy printmaker Shannon Blank has turned the periodic table into alphabet prints that can be assembled to spell out your child’s name. In fact, I don’t think you even have to be a science geek to appreciate how much cooler this is than some cards with Pooh bear spelling out the letters with his body. True chemistry experts will say but hey! What about J, Q and W?  Well Shannon’s taken care of those letters too if you don’t mind a little poetic license — J is Jennerium...

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You blink and they’re grown? Yeah, pretty much

I’m having trouble deciding which I think is cooler–GrowShow‘s free and easy program to create a progressive slide show/movie of your child’s growth, or their ingenious picture frames that can be configured in nearly endless ways. The slide show capability not only automatically orders the photos based on time stamps, it uses a template where you can easily crop and center each photo so that every picture is of comparable size and angle. The result – a movie of your child growing before your very eyes that will look like you spent weeks putting it together. Even though it...

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Martha does Halloween. It’s a ghoul thing

Around our house, Halloween is right up there with Hanukkah and birthdays so of course we’re looking to see what the grande dame of decorating has in store for this spooky season. Martha Stewart’s Halloween Central is a great place to find products and ideas that are perfect for everyone from the craftiest of moms to, well, me. Here are some even I can handle: The creepy Halloween window clings, which only require windows and static electricity (and hey, I’ve got both) and the skull pumpkin transfers, perfect for fans of the no-carve pumpkin decorating options. Spend some time...

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Keds stomps out breast cancer

I’m not entirely a fan of a pink ribbon as a fashion statement, even if it is supporting a great cause. Generally I think you can just give that money directly to the cause and make your own pink or red or white ribbon to wear on your jacket. But in the case of Keds Pink Ribbon shoes, you can actually do both. Because 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 100%. So great. I love how subtle the design is — just a teeny pink ribbon at the heel and on the...

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