Month: November 2009

Tees that make kids look good while doing good

Remember when we told you about Project 7 water? Remember how we told you that they donate half of their profits to charities that do the important work of feeding the hungry and protecting the environment? You do? Then you probably remember how cool we thought it was that the recycled bottles are used to make the other half of their cool 50% organic cotton t-shirts, but they weren’t available in kid sizes. Well, now they are. The hatch mark logo is a cool, not too preachy way to let everyone know that being environmentally and socially conscious is...

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Telegraph UK names the 12 Best Websites for Families and Children (and we’re on it!)

Well weren’t we just shocked when we clicked over to the Telegraph UK today to find out that their list of the 12 Best Websites for Families and Kids included Cool Mom Picks. Their feeling was that yes, we do have “cool stuff for parents and kids” and we’re so honored they feel that way. (Because we’re kind of partial to our stuff too.) It’s especially nice to be in the company of favorite US blogs like the New York Times’ Motherlode and our friends at Apartment Therapy’s Ohdeedoh, plus biggies like the Sesame Street website which we just...

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XBox 360 makes holidays more fun for everyone. Including those who need it most.

Deep down, I’m a 13 year-old boy with a thing for video games, as any of my friends who have ever seen my “drum face” when playing Rock Band will tell you. So I am totally coveting the new Microsoft Xbox 360 which I had a chance to try out at the recent launch of Beatles: Rock Band–although all too briefly. Now of course the Beatles game – well, it rocks. It’s as beautiful as everything you’ve read says it is, and the attention to detail in the recordings is spectacular. You can even get more friends or family...

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No compromise mom jewelry

It really pains me to compromise my jewelry choices because I’m a mom, but when you’re chasing after three kids under five most of the day you just can’t wear the same delicate, dangly bracelets that get caught on everything if you’re doing much more than sitting at a desk. Well thanks to the stylish line of expandable bangles at Alex & Ani, I feel like there’s a happy medium. These dainty bracelets widen to fit over your hand and then retract to just bigger than the size of your wrist. There’s a ton of metal choices – gold plated,...

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Holiday best just for boys

When it comes to holiday outfits, I tend to spend most of my shopping energy and yes, I’ll be honest, my cash on my girls. But this year, they’re going to have a run for my money thanks to the boys’ clothes in the new Fall/Winter children’s collection at babysusu.  I’m completely smitten with the simple, classic styles crafted in gorgeous fabrics and textiles, in particular the navy Liberty of London boys’ oxford shirt from the legendary UK label. The subtle navy print is a welcome change from the typical red and green treatment that most kids’ holiday clothing collections...

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Celebrate Veteran’s Day at the park

Now that my husband has just returned (yay! he’s back!) from his two month long deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, Veteran’s Day holds a lot more personal meaning. But even if you don’t have a Veteran in your family, you can still enjoy the day in remembrance thanks to an amazing offer from the National Parks. All day today they’re waiving the fees to all National Parks, so you and your family can enjoy a little bit of history for free, including the famous Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battle units, as well as my personal favorite spot,...

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A teaching clock that also teaches kids “Go away. Mommy’s sleeping.”

I’m not much for toys with vchips and dolls that talk – in fact, they kind of scare me. But I will say I’m making an exception for the Teach Me Time clock for children which blends form and a lot of function. The first thing that drew me to it at a trade show was the great design – the round, anthropomorphic shape and the “feet” at the bottom make it feel like some sort of friendly Japanese anime character that belongs in a cool modern kid’s bedroom. You can also swap the blue accent ring for yellow...

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Gonna take a sentimental journey

In only five or so years of spousal gift giving, I think I pretty much exhausted the personalized, sentimental guy gifts. So my interest was piqued when I saw the custom map cufflinks from Anne Holman. Using vintage world atlases, Anne will take your choice of locations and create gorgeous, heirloom quality sterling silver cufflinks for the lucky guy in your life. Even though you’re limited to two maps, either matching or two different locales, your options are endless – the city where you met, the city where you were married, your dream retirement spot, or even the place...

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I’ve never felt this way about felt before

Honestly, I think of felt and often I think “meh.” But I’ve just seen the light, because the light, apparently, comes in the form of felt cushion wall hangings featuring bunnies and Matryoshka dolls that would brighten up any nursery in the world. If you aren’t slain by the cuteness of the Starry Night and Walking in the Rain cushions offered by Enna Design Shop on Etsy and all the remarkable attention to detail, definitely check out her assortment of plushies, too. If none of those speak to you, consider the possibility that you have no soul. I’m not...

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Congratulations – you’re a grandparent!

When I told my parents I was expecting, I didn’t tell them I was expecting. I told them we’d done some interesting sightseeing, and did they want to see pictures? And then I gave them my ultrasound photos. If The Grandparents Handbook had been around, back then, I might’ve given them a copy of that instead. (I know; the ultrasound story sounds great, but it took my father forever to figure it out, which kind of spoiled the fun.) Not only would the book be a fun way to announce your folks’ impending status change (heh), it’s chock-full of...

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Sesame Street turns 40 which makes us feel both very old and young at heart

Yes so we rag on the ubiquitous Elmo merch here from time to time. But the truth is, our heart has always been with Sesame Street which turns forty today. Forty! Amazing considering Grover doesn’t look a day over 6. Everyone seems to be getting in on the action, including Google, which has a special Google Doodle just for the occasion. We’re also wondering if the Empire State Building will be lit up in Kermit green tonight. As for us, we thought we’d bring you just a few cool Sesame Street picks and a cool contest to boot: First...

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Forecast: Dressy yet cool

I generally prescribe to the “small boys are suitably dressed up for the holidays when wearing a cute sweater” school of thought, but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes even little boys must wear a tie to be suitably (get it?) attired. Okay, so a tie may not scream “free spirit” to your wild child, but if he’s going to wear a tie, he should get the coolest tie around — say, a kid-sized version from one of Dad’s favorite shops? When we recommended Cyberoptix Tie Lab in last year’s holiday gift guide they only made ties for the big...

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One sure way to get kids to eat broccoli

Just six months ago, my daughters planted seeds from their organic growing kits, re-potted the shoots in Grandma’s vegetable garden, and late this summer, they were eating their own little yellow teardrop tomatoes. You country folk make take an experience like this for granted, but for my city kids it was nothing short of magic. So I’m glad to learn this isn’t just a spring experience, and that there are also fall and winter growing kits for kids from the wonderful family-run Surf City Growers. (Seriously, I love this company. L-O-V-E. Love.) The seed kits have to be one...

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Reusable shopping bags with a sense of humor

I was feeling pretty good about my switch over to cloth grocery bags, until I kept leaving them at home. Well, leave it to Knock Knock to make light of this exact situation on their hilarious “Forget This Bag” reusable shopping bag. These large, sturdy grocery bags made from recycled plastic water bottles highlight the universal realities of going green: You know, you buy the bag with the best intentions, you pat yourself on the back for being so awesome, and then you proceed to forget the bag at home or in your car when you go shopping. (Or if you...

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The Mini Social and Shoe 4 Africa. The perfect combination.

Thanks to a bit of a shoe obsession, I really don’t need any excuse to buy new shoes for my kids. But when I heard that the The Mini Social, a cool members-only shopping site and past CMP fave will be offering amazing deals on some of our favorite kid’s shoes, I got myself some extra rationale for my purchases. For the entire week starting today, you can stock up on styles from See Kai Run, Livie and Luca (pictured), Robeez and more all for up to 60% off. But the kicker (ha!), is that a portion of the sales from these...

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Jewelry making kits that might just make your holidays too

This year we’re teaching the kids more about the joy of giving, so I wanted them to think of something they could make for their (mostly girl) cousins. Then along came the jewelry making kits from Bijoux in a Box and bam, problem solved. Designed by mom Nancy Whitman, the kits are sorted by age, skill level and project so you find get just what you’re looking for. And the beads themselves are nicer than you might expect from the website, from exotic wooden beads to metallics to the jewel-inspired acrylics that little girls (and the Real Housewives of...

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Maclaren umbrella stroller recall – cover that hinge!

We love Maclaren strollers (as do millions of moms) so we’re pleased to see them conducting a voluntary recall of all Maclaren umbrella strollers. Evidently a hinge at the elbow joint can pinch little fingers (or worse) if they get in the way while you’re folding the stroller, so they’re offering a free kit with a hinge cover to cover it up. If you own  a Volo (shown), Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, Techno XLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno or Easy Traveller this means you. No, you don’t have to return your beloved stroller. And you don’t...

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Martha Stewart gets into the local food movement with Dinner at Home

I am not a big fan of the “f” word. I try to not use it, and I don’t encourage others to use it, either, but I will grudgingly admit to you this once that, yes, I am a “foodie.” I really like to cook and I really like to eat and I have been known to stay up late reading cookbooks in bed. But I don’t tend to take it too seriously, unlike most of the people who actually write the hottest new cookbooks. Therefore it was with some trepidation that I cracked Martha Stewart’s latest, Martha Stewart’s...

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Cute hats with an even cuter price tag

The cold weather snap has made me look like a pretty unprepared mom, with my littlest one wearing her older sister’s way too big winter hat that I had to scrape up from deep within my closet. Too bad I didn’t have one of the adorable, handmade children’s hats from Colette Kids. Made in the USA from 100% cotton, these hats are a great gender-neutral option for keeping wee heads warm. And the contrasting brown fuzzy ears are just cute enough without turning my baby’s head into a stuffed animal. At just $8.95 a pop, even your kids only keep their...

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The Plasma Car: You need one now. I mean, your kids need one.

Recently I was introduced to the Plasma Car at a friend’s house. I had to beg my four year-old to get off…and give me a try. And once I did, she had to beg me to get off. I’m not the only one. At the ABC Kids show in Las Vegas a few months ago, CMP VIP Julie loved it so much, she bought it right there and then, excess airline baggage check fees be damned. If you have never hopped on one of these ride-on toys, you don’t know the fun you’re missing. But I’ll tell you: Basically...

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