Month: October 2009

What your best girlfriend would say, if she was a pediatrician

To say that I was a neurotic mess with my first baby would be an understatement; every sniffle and bruise had me wondering if I’d broken her. By the second baby, I figured I was an old hand . . . except that he was convinced he could fly and often howled for seemingly no reason. If only pediatrician Dr. Lara Zibners’ If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay had been available to me back then! I probably would’ve saved myself from a lot of angst. With a background in pediatric emergency medicine, Dr. Zibners...

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Holiday cards? Already? Paper Culture says, yep.

I am so not the type to get my holiday cards picked out much before…oh, say December 26. At which point I call them New Year’s cards and figure I’ve bought myself at least another few weeks to get them addressed and sent. But for you planners (and oh how I envy you), one of our favorite online card shops, Paper Culture, has just launched their first line of holiday cards and we get to give CMP readers the first peak. I love the snowman holiday card which works for any denomination (if not any climate) and the reindeer...

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Organic baby food for the entire family. Yes, you read that correctly.

Thanks to smart people figuring out that baby food doesn’t have to taste like garbage, I no longer have to cringe every time it’s mealtime for my 11-month-old. But now, baby food is so darn tasty that my older kids can’t stop eating it either. Created by a dad for his daughter, the UK-based Ella’s Kitchen baby food is hopping the pond for its US debut. And lucky us – this 100% organic baby food is chock full of fruits and veggies in a handy resealable pack. Combos like broccoli, pears, and peas (oh my!) might seem odd, but...

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Scaredy cat

If you’re looking for a fun Halloween gift for a child that sidesteps the cavity quotient, I think this black cat push toy is just adorable. Or, as the toymaker calls it, the “Scaredy Cat – Not Scary Cat Push Toy.” Important distinction. It’s real American folk art from a real American folk artist. And it’s small, just 5″ tall, which makes the cat a great size for little hands. Maybe not those so little that they’re putting toys in their mouths, but at least it’s all painted with non-toxic paints over native New Hampshire hardwood. Not everything at...

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bTrendie – Discount shopping never looked better

I was initially introduced to the members-only sale site bTrendie as a beta tester and later as an advisory board member offering my opinions about the site itself as well as what products moms would want to buy. One of them is easily a Quinny stroller, which I fell in love with after perusing the awesome gear and goodies at the ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas last month. (And not just because that’s my daughter Quinlan’s nickname). Quinny also happens to be today’s bTrendie deal of the day. Awesome. Made by the same folks behind Maxi-Cosi, the versatility...

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Smart art makes a smart baby gift

When products claim to make your newborn baby smarter, I can’t help to be skeptical. Sure, I want the best for my kids but part of me wonders whether I really need a bunch of special educational toys and other gear to give them the upper edge. But the Smarts decals from CMP fave Wall Candy Arts are decidedly different. Their new line of wall decals are created using the black and white patterns and primary color palette that have been shown by doctors and baby experts to capture baby’s attention and promote visual growth. That’s not to say...

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Not your mama’s jeans jacket

Eek, is it October? Really? Good lord, how did that happen? I suppose it’s time to start curating the jacket closet and making sure we have some decent fall outerwear options for the girls. On the casual side — hoodie sweatshirts. On the snazzier side, I’m crushing on the cropped Ella Jacket from CMP fave Ses Petites Mains. The cord-velvet fabric makes it a great choice for brunch with the grandparents or dressier outings, and while the charcoal jacket is the most practical, I adore the showy pomegranate. The drawstring in the back is inspired and keeps it fitted...

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Custom cons! Custom cons!

What’s cooler than a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse high tops? How about a pair of canvas Chucks that your kid gets to customize from the outer pattern down to the color of the shoelaces? I know! I am swooning! The Converse website is really easy to navigate and you and your kids will have so much fun playing around with the “make it yourself” process. From gray skulls to pink polka dots, the 10-step process even allows you to print your kid’s own name up the back of each sneaker. The price is also incredibly reasonable — each...

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Rock n roll princess

As my oldest daughter starts to get more into fairies and princesses and all things pink (God help me), I’m still trying to keep her just a wee bit rock ‘n roll. So I love the looks of this handmade guitar lap tee that feels both girlie and rocking all at once. I think the multiple textures in the applique is a great touch, and my only complaint is that the shirt doesn’t come in bigger sizes. But if you’ve got a rock star in training who’s 3-18 months, you’re in luck. Earplugs not included. –LizFind the guitar lap...

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Chilewich, and your table is set

I’ve been a fan of Chilewich pretty much since designer Sandy Chilewich first launched the line of woven vinyl decor and accessories in 2000. I’ve always had to track her stuff down at small home boutiques and museum stores where the selection is generally limited. But now with the brand new launch of the Chilewich online store you can browse what’s new and cool right from home. The earthy, modern Chilewich placemats grace my own table and I love them because they not only look great, they wipe clean in a sec; although because they’re woven, you will have...

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The Mini Mini Cooper

If I had a million dollars, as that song goes, I think I would add this Mini Cooper ride-on toy to my kids’ holiday gift list. While I haven’t tried it out personally, my kids would zip around the living room in that hot little car in a minute. Come to think of it, do you think a kids’ ride-on car can support a hundred and [mumblemumble] pounds? Probably not considering it’s recommended for ages two to five. Too bad, because I’m digging the 6V electronic motor, electronic brake and accelerator with stop-gap safety features, a rechargable battery, and...

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Busy, busy, busy

What’s that line about how a woman’s work is never done? That’s probably why I’ve always hoarded notepads and sketch books and blank journals to help keep me as organized as possible. So I love this handmade busy busy busy book filled with lined to-do list sheets from Katie Blair Designs. The purple gocco print on the cover looks great, and I’d be proud to pull this out of my bag and scribble my to-do list old skool, even while everyone else is thumb-typing on their PDAs. At $10 each, you might even want to bookmark them now for...

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And then he ate the naughty children. The end.

Pat the Bunny is the essential baby gift book for about a zillion people–including me–so it’s not surprising that it’s spawned a number of parodies. Now there’s one more to add to the list: The very funny Pat the Beastie. Henrik Drescher’s outrageous “pull and poke book” is actually a cautionary tale about being nice to pets, although kids may be too busy jiggling the beastie’s eyes or pulling out his worm boogers (seriously, ew) along with Paul and Judy to get the message. This isn’t one for kids who are easily freaked out, but my two and four...

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Abe’s Market is fabulous. Naturally.

Mamas who like their products of the natural variety will be happy that there’s now one more webshop on which to find them all in one place. Abe’s Market just launched this week and as far as I can tell, all signs point to awesome. The lovely site has a modern, clean, online farmer’s market feel, with items like small-batch beauty products, gorgeous handmade baby blankets, organic olive oils and vinaigrettes, and some pretty letterpress calendars. You know, the kinds of things you just love browsing, trying out, and hoping that you’ve discovered something fabulous and new. Savvy shoppers...

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A kinder, gentler, lumberjack plaid

We described the hot plaid trend in our back to school shopping guide this year, but it wouldn’t be entirely fair if kids got all the coolness now, would it? So when I saw this handmade vintage plaid purse at Beehive Coop online, I went oooooh. As it turns out, the handbag was actually a wool skirt in a past life. (Go, upcycling!) And I love that designer Karen Meyers softens the lumberjack heritage with a dupionni rose accent at the handle. If the bag is sold out, check out the Karen Meyers etsy shop for other bits of...

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It’s Not Me, It’s You. Or wait, maybe it is me. A little.

We’re already fans of the clever, caustic writing of author and fellow parenting blogger Stephanie Wilder-Taylor, so I figured I could give her newest book, It’s Not Me, It’s You, a good skim and craft a review. As it turns out, as each short chapter came to an end, I found myself saying, “Okay…just one more.” Not surprising considering the subtitle is Subjective Recollections from a Terminally Optimistic, Chronically Sarcastic and Occasionally Inebriated WomanThe memoir is a series of short essays about Wilder-Taylor’s life in LA before children, her quest for love, and her failed attempts to start a...

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Need more justification to get a Bugaboo? Try their new partnership with (PRODUCT)RED.

It’s turning into good cause day at Cool Mom Picks, which is just okey dokey by us.  In this case, it’s Bugaboo, whose Frog stroller saved this Brooklyn mama from three years of curbs, cobblestones, and car-eating potholes, and the noble cause: The (PRODUCT)RED Global Fund to help fund AIDS programs in Africa for families and children. Through BUGABOO (PRODUCT)RED, the company is launching the snazziest special edition denim-canopied Chameleon stroller, which we got to admire (and drool over) at the ABC show last month. There are also some great new accessories and a swanky, very well-designed leather diaper...

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Drinking wine to save lives. Seriously.

It’s October (holy cow) and as most of you know, this means Breast Cancer Awareness month. And that means 600,472 products jumping on the pink ribbon bandwagon. Some are awesome. Some are not. And we do our best to try and pare them down for you. (In fact, Cool Mom Picks newsletter subscribers will get a peek at our favorite pink picks in the next couple of days. You are a subscriber, right?) We thought it would be fun to kick things off by introducing you to the very cool OneHope Wine. If you’re hosting some kind of breast...

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Portrait of the Wonder Woman as a young girl

Parents who love Baby Legs looooove Baby Legs, and they’ll be excited to see that the new fall styles are now out on the new and vastly improved website. My favorite has to be the Hero legwarmers and by hero, we all pretty much recognize the strong nod to Wonder Woman. I can’t think of a cooler easy Halloween costume for a newborn girl – the hero legwarmers plus a red onesie, maybe a little gold tiara with a red star on the front. You can tell everyone that the plane is there too. It’s just invisible. –Liz Congratulations...

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Photo charms that are utterly charming

I’ve always liked the idea of having a photo charm necklace or a locket or something else with my children’s photos in it, but I’m completely unskilled with an Exacto knife. The secret, it seems, is that you ask a professional for help: Isabelle Grace‘s line of photo charms is exactly what I’ve been looking for all these years. The basics are this: You send Isabelle Grace your photo, you choose the shape of the charm and the style and length of the chain, and they create a one-of-a-kind piece for you. But that doesn’t even begin to address...

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