Month: November 2009

Wood-a Shoulda

We can safely say that team Cool Mom Picks is firmly in the We Love Amy Bengtson camp, with quite a few of us owning the Seattle artist’s beautiful handmade, laser cut wooden necklaces. These are the pieces that get compliments every time you wear them, which just goes to prove your jewelry doesn’t need to come in a little turquoise box to make a statement. This season, she’s got some cool new designs out like the limited edition, industrial-chic Intersection Necklace which turns a cool original telephone pole photo into an engraved silhouette on a solid wooden pendant....

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Kicky pants – they aren’t just pants

With a couple of super skinny girls, I’m often relegated to more structured, streamlined dresses just so they don’t look like they’re wearing a parachute. But with the gorgeous long print dress for girls from Kicky Pants, my girls can enjoy prance and twirl to their heart’s content. Created by a mom and dad team, Kicky Pants offers what, at first glance, might appear like simple play outfits. But the amazingly soft stretch bamboo / cotton fabric is one of the nicest we’ve seen, and the lovely details make them way more than your average kids’ clothes. The long print dress can...

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No matter how you look, at least the mirror’s beautiful

I wish I liked eating salads, but I really, really don’t. I always seem to end up with a honking piece of spinach lodged between my teeth, cliche though that may sound, so I like to carry a compact mirror with me. That’s why Iike the new collection of ultra thin compact mirrors from ACME Studio. You might recognize their stuff if you’ve ever been in a museum gift shop – ACME collaborates with famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Deborah Jebwad and my personal favorite, Karim Rashid (shown) to make fashionable and functional items like pens, watches and...

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Shoes for big kids? Reader Q&A

I am a mama of three little ones, my oldest is five and we are running into a dilemma. There seems to be a lack of cute kids’ shoes after size 12. Please would you help? You guys always have the best recommendations! -Gabrielle I’ve actually got the opposite problem over at my house, Gabrielle, with my teeny-footed kiddos. But luckily, a few of our favorite children’s shoe purveyors offer great picks up through size 12. Ever since I was introduced to Umi shoes (pictured), it’s the only shoe I’ll buy for my son. Luckily, their girl styles are...

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This is one turkey I’d pardon

As a long-standing semi-vegetarian, I have a soft spot in my heart for the hapless turkey at this time of the year. So no one will be surprised if one of my kids shows up to Thanksgiving dinner wearing this absolutely adorable Gobble Gobble Turkey shirt for kids from Bright. This collaboration between CMP’s own Carrie Damen (hi Carrie! Surprise!) and Sara Williams is the complete antithesis to all those hideous holiday sweaters that start popping up this time of year. Printed on either a slate or chocolate brown American Apparel cotton tee, their little gobbler may not be...

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Pixorial – Ushering back the return of the Betamax

Some of my favorite memories: Seeing Paris when I was 8. My senior year dance performance. Bungee jumping off a crane over the Hudson River. And they’re all saved on video tape. As in, not DVDs. And since we’ve ditched the VCR, there’s not much chance to relive the memories or torture my friends with them when they visit. Pixorial is the kind of service you need if you’ve got an old skool media library – they’ll convert your VCR tapes to DVD – and also 8 mm or Hi8 or, yes, Betamax video cassettes – and film too...

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Save the monkeys – eat more cookies

I kinda love everything about Late July organic snacks. I love that they’re organic and free of HFCS and all that other garbage. I love that they’re charitably-minded. I love that the company is run by a mom who even sneaks pictures of her kids into all the labels. So not surprisingly, I love their new Mini Sandwich Cookies too. Yes, of course they’re delicious. I mean hello, Oreo-style white chocolate and milk chocolate cookies? What’s not to like? But on top of it, each cookie is stamped with one of seven endangered animals, and 10% of the profits...

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Trying Funny Stuff makes me want my kids music with extra Jimmies

I don’t want my kids to grow up listening to lame, easy-listening music which is why The Jimmies’ fun-rock songs have been on heavy rotation since we got Make Your Own Someday, their first CD, a couple of years ago. And now with their jam-packed kids’ DVD/CD combo, Trying Funny Stuff, complete with music videos, a laugh-out-loud “making of” documentary and live-concert footage, we are even more happily covered in Jimmies. Trying Funny Stuff kicks off with six music videos of some of our favorite songs, like the rocking Cool to be Uncool and the sweetly nostalgic Taddy. The...

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Modern Hanukkah menorahs? Thanks, Jonathan Adler

Jewish kids know all about the Hanukkah miracle but what they don’t know is how hard it can be to celebrate it in cool, modern style. Well I have to tell you, when I saw Jonathan Adler’s collection of modern menorahs and Hanukkah gifts I proclaimed that a huge miracle as well. The Relief Hanukkah Menorah is simple, sculptural, and not quite cheap at $98, but not a huge investment either. I also love the porcelain Mod Dot dreidel and Enamel dreidel which make for great hostess gifts if you’ve got Hanukkah party invitations starting to trickle in. So...

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Adventures in Babysitting – now free from Care.com

When it comes to finding childcare, I’m one of the lucky ones with built-in babysitters (as in, my parents) living a few blocks away. There’s a downside or two to having my parents around the corner, trust me, but when it comes to finding someone to watch my kids I’ve got it pretty good.  But what if my parents are traveling (as they’ve had the nerve to do a lot lately)? Or busy? Or just not in the mood to hang out with their grandchildren the moment I want them to?  That’s when I’d be turning to a service...

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The anti-cameo cameo necklace

I was just poking around Etsy (I do that a lot) and I came across a link to the KnitKnit shop from Brooklyn artist Nguyen Le. And there I spotted this incredible cameo necklace and just fell in love. Or rather, it looks like a cameo, but it’s actually all needle felted by hand. Except for the chain part, of course, which is brass. How great is that! So great that I ran right over here to share it with you. Although if I admit it, I was reluctant. Because it’s the kind of thing I’d want to get...

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Small space baby gifts? Reader Q&A

My sister lives in Brooklyn and had a baby girl in June. I know that her living space is very limited and I am having trouble finding cool gifts to give to the baby. I was wondering if I could get suggestions on things that would be cool as well as functional in their limited space. -Melissa Knowing how it can be challenging to manage baby stuff in a tight space, it’s nice that you’ve got that on your mind when buying a gift, Melissa. I asked our Editor-in-Chief Liz, our resident Brooklyn-ite and expert on small living spaces and...

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Bowling night

Ever since we got a Nintendo Wii, my kids have been hooked on bowling. Okay, try completely obsessed. But I figured instead of having them beg to play the virtual version every day, they could do the real thing right at home with the retro pin bowling set from Little Sapling Toys. Forget those plastic bowling toys that get beaten up after a few swift tosses – this set of ten pins and two balls is hand carved from maple and finished with local beeswax and jojoba oil, ensuring that splinters cannot be used as an excuse for gutter balls. We...

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Mother necklaces that pay homage to mother earth too

When my son handed me a gorgeous handmade bird necklace for my 29th birthday this year (heh), I had no idea what cool people were behind it. But now that I’ve gotten to know more about Asheville’s Elijah and Rhonda Wyman of Figs & Ginger, I can’t shut up about this nature-loving company. It makes my little green heart happy to know that their jewelry is made from at least 50% recycled or reclaimed silver or gold, since even lame jewelry deserves a chance to come back as something great. Elijah and Rhonda minimize their footprint by using recycled...

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Falling for Fall Leaves – CMP does etsy

It’s getting Autumnal all up in here! Fall is my favorite time of year because I love to wear jeans, sweaters and boots. I love chocolaty browns and ochre yellows and dark pumpkin colors. The latter two don’t look very good on me, but I don’t care. It’s fall, Y’all!  And in its honor, some of our favorite fall-like picks from Etsy this week. Just look at gorgeous bird giclee print above, by Mai Autumn. It’s printed professionally and would look amazing in a living room, bedroom, or nursery. Here’s a lovely Maple leaf wooden teether for the teethers...

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Herman Miller tops [pant pant pant]

Let’s say you’ve got a mid-century modern design freak on your holiday shopping list – you know, the kind of person who has everything already, and what he or she doesn’t have, you probably can’t afford. Now let’s just say you were to have $199 even to spend on this person. Well then, you really have no choice but to score yourself a set of the new limited edition Herman Miller tops. Designed by NYC’s KleinReid and inspired by Ray and Charles Eames, these stunning solid walnut tops are better filed under art + decor than toys for the...

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Presenting the world’s smallest baby sling

When I had my second baby, one thing that helped my daughter (then just barely two) was to be able to mimic the things I was doing so she could feel like she was “helping.” I still have awesome pictures of her little dolls in diapers that came up over their heads. They looked like Pampers with limbs. If I had seen these adorable doll slings from our Canadian friends at Natural Pod, I would have been all over them. They’re natural, they’re cotton, they fit the 12″ handmade dolls at the shop or really, any dolls around that...

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A new iPhone app that will make your kids beg for a long check out line at the supermarket

It seems like App-mania is sweeping the nation and our neighbors to the north are responsible for a fantastic new one called NFB Film, as in National Film Board of Canada. Best of all, it’s free. The NFB App is packed with channels of easy to download, Canadian-made short movies and documentaries including an amazing channel of kids’ cartoons. They’re mostly only a few minutes long, and honestly how long is a 6-year-old’s attention span? You can even pre-load and store a bunch of material to distract your kids for a less rushed meal, to make a long wait...

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Sure, Mix-A-Lot

My no-time-to-think breakfast of choice is a crunchy bowl of granola, but the good stuff has so many calories that all I can think about is how much time I’ll have to do on the elliptical to work it off. But with Mix My Granola‘s Pringles-shaped tube of their crunchy, sweet and low-fat granola, I am rocked by how great a mere 127 calories and 2 grams of total fat can taste. Guess who skipped her workout that day? As the name implies, Mix My Granola lets you develop your own personal blend of granola, a bit like MojaMix...

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Best two year-old gift ever? We’ve got you covered.

Want an awesome holiday gift for a two-year old? Something he’ll love and cherish and want to play with every free second? And it’s also got to be totally affordable? Here’s the idea of the century – and don’t laugh. Children’s scissors. Seriously. I got my daughter a pair of regular old CVS brand safety scissors when she turned two and it was far more popular than anything under the tree that cost ten times its price. But of course the four styles at Spoon Sisters are way cuter than those. Pair a pair with My First Book of...

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