Month: November 2009

The best travel friendly diaper bag? – Reader Q&A

Do you have a recommendation for a favorite diaper bag for plane travel with two young kids? -PII used to travel alone with both my kids quite often, and even do it now that I have three (eep!). Personally, I’m all for bags that are easy to clean, lightweight (so no leather), and have lots of compartments when I travel, which is not usually the case for the bags I carry every day.  I love Skip-hop diaper bags for travel, both the Duo and the Dash which is a bit wider. The canvas is easy to clean and they’ve got lots of pockets for easy access to extra...

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Shoelace chic

Tween girls are often the hardest to shop for at the holidays – everything they covet seems to be a fortune (iPod Touch, I’m talking to you) and most of the inexpensive gifts are hopelessly disposable. But I think I just found a home run with the affordable Japanese fabric shoelaces at Spoon sisters. Okay, to get technical they’re actually Japanese fabric inspired, but so what. The cool kimono patterns will make any pair of shoes stand out, at a time when girls are looking to figure out their own personal style and make their mark. And they sure...

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It’s a blanket! It’s a pillow! It’s a Balob!

My son, the one who is afraid there may be a monster under his bed, is totally willing to curl up with a Balob, Joop or even a Doot as he heads off to dreamland. Who can blame him: Muddy Cloud’s adorable cast of characters, which we’ve loved on their childrens hats and gloves and their finger puppets, are much more cuddly than monstrous. And now they’ve been transformed into a line of limited-edition Pillow Blankets in time for the cold winter. These soft, squishy, sizable pillows measure 16″ square, a great size to bring on long car rides...

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Princess Katie represents for feisty royalty everywhere

For my niece’s first Christmas, I got her a big collection of DVDs from great kindie rock artists, hoping it would help keep her away from all that awful kids’ music as she got older. But I never really think to check our favorite musicians’ websites for holiday gift ideas. And then I did. And now I’m glad. Because the Princess Katie and Racer Steve shop is pretty cool. There are holiday gift packs for fans of the band’s bouncy kids music, but what I really like are the Feisty Princess t-shirts which I know quite a few girls...

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Christmas cookie decorating, hold the artificial colors

Well, it’s officially Christmas cookie baking season. And while I now know to look out for things like peanuts and eggs, I was surprised to learn recently just how many kids have sensitivities to artificial colors and food dyes. Then I thought of India Tree, a company we discovered last year that makes utterly gorgeous decorative sugars, sprinkles, and other fancy things all using natural vegetable colors, The natural colors are all spectacular – vibrant and bold. And this year they’ve got a new item, a peppermint crunch that gets its color from beets. (And no, it doesn’t taste...

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Happy Naked Polka Day. Or, you know, Christmas.

One of the challenges to sending out holiday cards is that I either end up buying a bunch of Christmas, a bunch of Hanukkah and some horribly generic “Holiday” cards. Not only does it get expensive, but I end up with a bunch of leftovers that I stick somewhere for safe keeping only to forget them the following year. The Holiday Checklist cards from CMP fave Paper Culture are the perfect solution to my holiday card quandary. Order these chic, simple, stylish cards to wish those you love precisely what you want to wish them. Just check the phrases...

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Plates to support the hungry and the art-starved

While we’re busy here trying to support artists with our holiday picks, we love that the artists are trying to support others too. Case in point: The Ferrin Gallery Paper or Pottery not Plastic exhibition. This Berkshire-area gallery called on dozens of artists to design plates using all sorts of media (except plastic of course). But if you can’t make it up to Pittsfield, MA to catch them in person, you can buy them online at Ferren Gallery with a portion of the sales all going to provide dinners for local people in need. The paper plates are all...

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Black Friday deals – Big discounts and sales from smaller, cooler shops

If you’re smart enough to spend today online instead of in line, we’re devoting this week’s link roundup to  some of our indie favorites who are offering some great deals to help you procure coolness for less. For more deals, follow Cool Mom Picks on Twitter, or join the Cool Mom Picks Facebook fan page where we’ll be updating with deals all day as we spot them! Crystalyn Kae – Pleated clutches now $50 (regularly $75, left) from one of our favorite handbag designers.Chronicle Books – Their Friend and Family holiday sale saves you 35% off all Chronicle books...

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Adoption t-shirts that say just the right thing

With the end of November just around the corner, we had to sneak in one more adoption gift in honor of National Adoption Month – this time the incredibly sweet I was born in my mama’s heart shirt from friend to Cool Mom Picks, mom-owned Baby Brewing. While Baby Brewing is generally known for shirts printed with clever, sometimes snarky sayings for moms and kids, we were instantly smitten with this particular shirt’s lovely sentiment. And it doesn’t hurt that 100% of the purchase from this shirt is donated to help feed hungry children in Haiti. That’s 100% awesome.  -Kristen Find this adorable...

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How the Grinch Monopolized my Blu-ray Player

When I found out that How the Grinch Stole Christmas, one of my all time faaaaavorite Christmas movies was out on Blu-ray I couldn’t wait to see it in glorious high def. Especially now that we’re officially into Christmas season. As it turns out, the Blu-ray isn’t exactly the reason to get it. Not that I expected a Pixar film–I mean heck, the animation more than 40 years old–but the color transfer leaves something to be desired. Still, my kids don’t seem to care much. They adore the story and the singing and the dog with the antlers and...

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