Month: December 2009

Drink This – The perfect gift for wine lovers, wannabe wine lovers, or people who just want to punch pretentious wine lovers

I’ve let my own wine knowledge atrophy since falling in love with someone who makes a point to say that actually, he prefers Northern Rhone wines. (Seriously.) So I was excited when I first got wind of Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s new tome, Drink This: Wine Made Simple which is all about getting the me’s of the world informed and excited about wine – and better able to discuss it all without sounding like some poseur jerkwad. I learned more by page xiii of the intro then I ever did reading (and pretending I understood) Wine Spectator. That’s because Dara...

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Why send an e card? Because it’s easier. Um…we mean, eco-er.

The answer to my not enough time during the holidays to breathe let alone send cards prayers has arrived in my inbox just in time for Christmas: Paperless Post. Two words that will forever ring more beautifully than the Christmas bells themselves. I mean it.  We’ve written about Paperless Post before; it’s a smart site that gives your online invitations a lot more oomph than other online invitations. But now they’ve launched a new line of holiday greeting cards, too. Sanity-saving holiday greeting cards.  For a minimal cost (the first 25 virtual stamps are free, and the next 100...

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Decoylab Clock – Expensive taste at a frugal price

Being a fairly frugal decorator, the nurseries in our home have always been a little bleak. My excuse – it’s tough to find cool, modern pieces that won’t break the budget. But that doesn’t mean I’m not envious of all my friends’ super swanky baby’s rooms. So when I saw these cool paper clocks from Decoylab, I realized that it’s possible to stick with my indie sensibility and keep a few bucks in my wallet. Featuring original art printed on archival paper and mounted on a sturdy cardboard for stability, they’re a fantastic, budget-friendly way to add a special touch to any room. I’m completely smitten...

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Placemats that put the eating back into family dinner

Regardless of what type of activities we bring with us to the table when we eat out, we still only ever get about 10 minutes of peaceful eating time. And that’s on a good night. If you feel my pain, you’ll want to invest in a few pairs of the Hello Hanna get-set placemats. These adorable paper stock mats feature a silhouette of an actual place setting and a place for kids to write their name, along with a different pop-up character (like my fave, the robot – pictured) plus a set of stickers that your kiddos can use...

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Cool robot toys that won’t give me a (bleeping) headache

I’d like to make this holiday the Year Of Fewer Batteries, which could be a bitter pill to swallow for my little robot-aholic who hopes to add a few droids, bots or even a ridiculous robotic hamster to his collection. He’s in luck, though, because I’ve rounded up loads of great no-battery robot gifts that should make everyone happy. A cuddly, quiet robot may sound like an oxymoron, but to my son, his Pinch robot from Bunk Bots (above) is a devoted pal who wards off all that’s scary in the night. The playful Robot Backpack and Lunchbox from...

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Please pass the gelt

Gold coin chocolates are certainly a Hanukkah necessity, although I love how this tradition can be made even better with Divine Chocolate’s gold-wrapped fair-trade coins. Made from cocoa coming from a farmer-owned cooperative of growers in Ghana, Divine Chocolate’s Milk Chocolate Coins are a delicious way to help others while celebrating the season. With natural ingredients like fair trade sugar, cocoa butter and cream, they blow the wrappers off those artificial-tasting gold coins my kids get at birthday parties. They come bundled in a little pouch with both small and large coins, so if your kids are like mine...

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The fancier way to say Happy Birthday Braden

We’ve seen quite a few “party in a box” type services. A few are good, but most of them seem like you’re paying for someone else to go down to Target and grab a bunch of matching paper plates and streamers. I feel like if you’re going to shell out for the help, you might as well picks someone with awesome taste, who can track down some really special items that you might not have the time to do yourself. That’s pretty much why I love having discovered Tin Parade vintage party goods. This LA-based mom-and-mom run service is...

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Web coolness – Eco-friendly Christmas trees, travel tips with the kids + more

Some cool stuff around the web we’ve liked reading this week, and maybe you will too.Fab Mums: Christmas tree-hugging? Find modern, Eco-friendly alternatives to Christmas trees and we don’t mean fake pines. Stroller Traffic: Tips for entertaining the kids in the backseat on those long holiday car rides. (Been there!) Whipup: Ideas for 30 of the best handmade Advent calendars – but hurry! Martha Stewart: Our friend Design Mom offers up some great holiday gift ideas   My Mom Shops: Smart tips for saving money online, including some we’d never considered. Definitely worth a...

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Real men write nice notes

This year for the holidays, instead of getting your guy a remote control bottle opener or electronic book mark, I say go off the grid and surprise him with this elegant, yet undeniably masculine set of ManCards stationery for men, by Michael Magrin. This $15 set of blank cards comes in an assortment of colors and patterns from abstracts to a lot of stuff featuring lion statues. But the coolest thing may be the sleek, embossed metal package the note cards come in which makes an ideal storage container for cuff links, business cards or even the spare change...

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Showing the juice box who’s boss

We use juice boxes pretty sparingly around these parts but their convenience at times trumps the sticky hands and wet shirts that come when my kids squeeze the box before it hits their mouth. Or, let’s face it, the entire time they’re drinking. But now that I found No Squeeze, drinking on the go has become inordinately neater. Just insert a juice box, milk box, or even one of those juice pouches into the cup shaped holder. Then fit the top over it and your kids can sip to their hearts’ content without having to squeeze. And if you’re...

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Shop for Anissa

We were dismayed when we learned that our friend, fellow blogger, and all around cool mom of three, Anissa Mayhew, suffered a severe stroke a few weeks ago which has left her hospitalized–but increasingly responsive every day. Known for her lively tweets and honest blogging, particularly about her struggles parenting a daughter with leukemia, we want to do what we can to help, especially for someone who does so much for our own community. Thanks to Shop for Anissa Day, we can do what we do best! On December 10th, her friends and colleagues are hosting a shopping day,...

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You can never thank a teacher enough (really)

Looking for a gift that’s Just Right for your child’s teacher? A wee gift that says “We appreciate everything you do!” without getting too personal? Lovely monogrammed notecards are always a good bet – you know, to write thank you notes for the 47 mugs the other parents are giving this year. The simple flat cards from Toodles Noodles are perfect for teachers (and babysitters, too). They’re not too fancy, not too fussy, and certainly not cutesie like a lot of “teacher cards” tend to be. Personalize them with script or block letters, and choose a single initial or...

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Because there’s never fresh ground organic cloves on the table when you need them.

I think I just knocked a couple of gifts of my list with the Mobile Foodie Survival Kit spotted at Uncommon Goods. This purse-sized tin of organic herbs, spices and condiments will help the finicky eaters of the world better endure the indignity of rest stop fast food and and other culinary circles of hell. (What? No wasabi powder, Mickey D?) There’s even a photographic key of all the spices along with their names – not that you can’t tell your curry from your cayenne. I only wish it came with an emergency little packet of real maple syrup,...

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Air Protect – Car seat safety from every angle

There’s nothing like watching an actual safety demonstration to convince you of a car seat’s actual safety, and that was just the case with the new Air Protect car seat from Safety 1st after I saw it in action at the ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas. The seat itself is reversible and supports kids up to 50 pounds. It’s equipped with all sorts of handy features, like the easy to use one-click latch attachment system and seatbelt adjuster, plus the genius lower back pad. But what makes this car seat so innovative is the fact that the air-filled Air Protect shields on either side...

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Cool Mom Picks loves Psychobaby – Holiday shopping edition

For years we’ve been professing our love for Psychobaby, mostly because they make our job of finding edgier baby gifts ridiculously easy. And since they’re always updating their inventory with new, fabulous items, we decided to update our own category of Cool Mom Picks – Psychobaby picks at the shop with some of our favorite holiday gifts for all the cool babies and kids in your family. My personal fave has to be the Schylling metal firetruck speedster, for which my son would completely flip. I’m also eyeing the Green Toys cookware and dining set for my daughter. Seriously,...

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When you care enough to send the letterpress

While you might manage your holiday-based communications via e-cards and virtual greetings, you probably, like me, have a secret print fetish. Thick, creamy paper stock, imprinted with subtle, artsy inks — in a world of texting, a simple “I miss you” note written on an eco-friendly, “lightly textured soft white 100% cotton paper” is downright swoon-worthy. Let me introduce you to Copper Willow Paper Studios. Owned and operated by two working moms, the company is an eco-friendly letterpress with the most delicious holiday greeting cards and note paper, all pressed by hand on an antique letterpress.  (Although the website...

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Christmas music to help you supress your Grinch; Express your Elf

Whereas Alvin and the Chipmunks blaring on the radio this week was a far too jarring transition for me into Holiday Music Overplay Season, popping in the new Uncle Rock CD, Express Your Elf, was much more what the doctor ordered. Or at least the two kids in the back seat. This album of fun Christmas covers includes Robert Burke Warren’s original takes on Most Wonderful Time of the Year and You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch— seriously, Boris Karloff has competition with that baritone. There’s also a La Bamba-Feliz Navidad mashup that’s so seamless, I kind of wonder...

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Just say Yo

I think holiday ornaments always make a cool little gift, especially when you (or the kids) have made them yourself. And the YoYo ornament kit at Mahar Dry Goods, is hooking you up this year with the happiest, most colorful decorations around. YoYo is actually the quilter’s term for those little fabric circles which are turned into rosettes, and in fact artist Jenny Krauss has garnered more than a few fans (including CMP) with her popular YoYo dolls for babies. But here she takes some of these pretty pre-cut fabric pieces, packages them in a sweet fabric bag together...

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Nice holiday cards for those who don’t mind being a little bit naughty

Every year I think, Yes, this is the year I am going to get my act together and do holiday cards. But maybe the problem hasn’t been my utter lack of motivation, maybe the problem is that I just didn’t know about Bumble Ink’s cheeky (or downright irreverent) greeting cards until now. Now these are winter and holiday cards that I can totally see myself sending. I guarantee you the Gingerbread Man Card featuring the little guy eating his own limbs will totally stand out from the pile of traditional Christmas cards most people receive. And if you’re not...

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7 holiday hair clips to keep girls festive from head to toe. (But don’t wear them on your toes.)

We’re big fans of handmade hair clips, which make fun stocking stuffers and an inexpensive way to get in the holiday spirit. Whether you’re looking to coordinate with your daughter’s holiday best or just make a simple pair of jeans and red shirt look more festive, we’ve found a few holiday hair accessories that are sure to do the trick. Hold the big zany corker bows. 1. These retro holiday ponytail holders add vintage style to any outfit with sweet, subtle gold accents in the fabric. ($6 at CuckooBoo) 2. The Rudolph the red-nosed hair barrette from Giddy Giddy...

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