Month: February 2009

Chic. Funky. Droolproof. What more could a mama ask for in a handbag?

It’s surprising to imagine that a designer twice nominated for Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award would make something that’s a) accessible and still fashion forward b) affordable. But yep, that’s just what you’ll find in Brooklyn designer Sarah Morgan’s eenamaria handbag collection. Don’t let the (skinny) models on the website scare you away– these sleek patent leather bags, totes, and even pencil cases will be adorable with whatever you’ve got hiding in your closet for spring with their mod, Mondrian-esque, Partridge Family Bus styling. The prices? Hold your breath – all under $70. These handbags might even make...

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Take a walk on the mild side

By my third child, I learned that once the walking starts, the trouble really begins. But unless I kept him in a playpen (like our mothers did with us, right?), I knew my kid would eventually start toddling around, using a chair as a makeshift walker. The Wooden Baby Walker from the always wonderful Plan Toys is a much better option. Sturdier than its plastic counterparts, this walker also has an adjustable handle. So it doesn’t matter how tall your toddler-to-be might be– when he’s ready, this walker is too.  Plus, it’s filled with colored and natural wooden blocks,...

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Raven and Lily – Cards for a cause

While I love to send a card and a little something to our friends and family on special occasions, that “little something” can definitely add up. So if you’re looking for a way to send just a holiday or birthday card and not look like el cheapo, you’ll want to visit Raven and Lily. Their gorgeous blank greeting cards are more like one-of-a-kind pieces of art, with each handmade card created using repurposed fabrics and recycled paper cut offs (basically the stuff that usually gets tossed) by a volunteer design team in LA. But really, the best part is...

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Bag the plastic habit

I realize that there are about 400 different kinds of reusable grocery bags out there these days. But that just means you have 400 more opportunities to stop using disposable plastic or paper bags, right? Well, let me present you with option 401– Bag the Habit. At first glance, it might look like a few other cloth shopping totes that you might have seen with stylish prints and nice solids, but this reusable bag, made with recycled polyester, also features padded handles, which I found to be super helpful. It also completely folds up into a mini snap pouch....

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There’s a fine line between flower girl dresses and pageant dresses

Recently a reader and friend asked us about finding a flower girl dress for a little girl, hold the poofy, froofy, pageant-y thing. We referred her to favorite labels like Ses Petites Mains, Tea Collection, and the selection at Bean NY. And now there’s another option – hipster boutique label Alice + Olivia has just launched Alice + Olivia Kids. Now that designer Stacey Bendet has her own little rugrat (congrats on little Eloise, Stacey!) she totally went to town creating slightly edgy but adorably wearable frocks for girls. This ballerina pink tank dress would look smashing on any...

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A little Rat Pack for your rug rat

Some people think having a sense of environmental awareness and a sense of humor are mutually exclusive. This awesome kids’ Mensch t-shirt featuring Sammy Davis Jr. proves them wrong. In fact the folks at Curly Monkey take irreverent and eco-friendly to a whole new level: All of their baby and kids’ clothing is made with 100% certified organic cotton, and each t-shirt is hand silk-screened with non-toxic water-based ink, which makes them crazy soft. Now of course, being a Jewish New Yorker, I assume everyone knows what mensch means. Just in case, it translates to good person, and Sammy...

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Attention: Major covet alert

Do I need a big shiny gold necklace dangling over the collarbones these days to help me stave off the winter blahs? Yes indeedy. But considering the price of gold these days I think I’m going to lean more towards the necklaces handmade out of leather from the designer duo, Handle and Spout. These stunning pieces are just the thing to spruce up the wardrobe when you’re sick of your winter wear but noooooot quite ready to dive into the spring stuff. Big gold leather links wrap around your neck and snap close, for shine without the credit card...

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Everybody farts

We made a trip to the emergency room recently with the wee one (everything is fine).  She was scared, we were scared, and only maudlin humor would do. Fortunately, we had along Fiona Bayrock’s Bubble Homes and Fish Farts, an entire nonfiction children’s book about bubbles and their extreme usefulness to marine creatures.  Illustrated by the talented Carolyn Conahan, this highly educational book finally explained to me how sea otters stay warm (bubbles) and how herrings talk (farting bubbles!). Are farts funny? Totally. Are farts funny to kids? Without a doubt. Did our extreme fit of giggles let all...

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Celebrating Green Planet Parties’ greening of the party scene

I’ve planned eighteen birthday parties so far for my three young children and each time, my eco-friendly heart feels a little sick to see the amount of trash left behind after the last guest leaves. The two moms from British Columbia who started Green Planet Parties felt the same way and decided to come up with an option for those of us who love to throw fun, festive birthday parties but also want to stay true to our environmental leanings. Green Planet Parties carries just about everything I need to turn my home into party central, from pretty personalized...

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Yes, We Like Waffles

After listening to the 24 bite-sized songs on Parry Gripp’s Do You Like Waffles?, I’m pretty certain he could come up with a rockin’ song about any food product out there. In fact, this album was born after Parry tried his hand at commercial writing for some sort of dip-able waffle product. But, don’t fear: although the lyrics will have you singing about donuts, hot dogs and even bran flakes, the music is a mix of fast, fun and head-bopping rock and pop with a sprinkling of punk, techno and even country twang. Writing quirky punk-rock songs is something...

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Psst…I know a mom…

At Cool Mom Picks, we love to cheer on our fellow moms, spreading the word about cool stuff created by parents we know and the ones we wish we knew. Whitney Hill, founder of iknowamom.com, has brought together hundreds of those moms she knows in an ever-growing index of business owners and artists. And you know? The list is terrific from what we’ve seen so far. You’ll find tons of CMP faves like Blue Poppy jewelry, Resa Design, and Posh Peacock, just to name a few, along with photographers, artists, and graphic design services. So it’s a great resource...

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I shall hug him, and squeeze him, and call him George

The stuffed animals I painstakingly selected for my babies as to be “loveys” were never the ones they ended up dragging everywhere. When it comes to that special attachment, kids don’t care if it’s pretty or where it came from–they care that it’s soft and easy to hold. And you care that it’s safe. That’s why everyone wins with Foundlings, the new 100% cotton organic stuffed animals that are simple, huggable, and lovable. You know I’m a fool for elephants (like the one pictured here), but if you prefer a dog or a bear or even a turtle, they...

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Ooooh, mossy

Just because I can’t grow a darn thing to save my life, doesn’t mean I don’t have an avid appreciation for nature. Hence my infatuation with Adorn Jewelry‘s new line of “Living Jewelry.” Seattle-based artisan Amy Mueller combines fake moss and a hearty sterling silver adjustable base to create her Gather ring. It’s the perfect gift for the gardener in your life, or for that funky someone who just loves having a piece of statement jewelry that no one else at the party is bound to have. It makes way more of a statement then a bunch of silk...

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Books for boys, beyond baseball

When I go to teacher conferences, the thing I hear the most about my son– always said with great reverence– is, Wow, he sure likes to read! I come from an entire family of readers, so this doesn’t seem odd to me… but it is odd, because boys trail girls in literacy, and often it takes extra effort to get them into a book when there are video games to be played. One mother decided to take matters into her own hands, and that’s when Book Club 4 Boys was born. Not only does her blog make recommendations on...

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The mood necklace

I’m intrigued by the idea of versatile, interchangeable jewelry; however, I have to admit that interchangeable rings, necklaces and bracelets of the sort I usually see at the jewelry store rarely strike me as something I’d actually wear. But when I saw Mini Mosaic, I completely changed my mind. Created by jewelry designer and stay-at-home-mom Alisa Wetzel, this interchangeable necklace features a simple, dainty sterling silver pendant that holds a variety of square tiles. Pick from modern patterns, vintage designs, or even replicas of real artwork. Just pull the silver chain up, slide the tile out, and replace it...

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Welcome to the jungle

Thankfully, I have undergone a baby mobile intervention since having our first child, and am happy to report that we are free of all fuzzy, robotic sounding mobiles in our home, mostly due to the amazing choices out there today. Like this beautiful Petit Collage baby mobile . Laser cut from eco-friendly bamboo, this adorable mobile features four retro inspired animals that will entertain your baby sans the drive-you-batty music. Plus it adds a nice artistic touch to your nursery without the use of any more colors than you’re probably already trying to wrangle....

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Crackity SNAPPITY POPPITY Pop!

I’m a woman without singing ability. Also, my sense of rhythm is limited to 4/4 time. But when my daughter developed an interest in scat after hearing about it on a kids’ television show, it was time for some musical research. No need for my kid to be stunted by anything other than genes, after all. When Louis Armstrong Taught Me Scat, a children’s book written by former elementary school teacher Muriel Harris Weinstein and illustrated by three-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award R. Gregory Christie, is a tribute to rhythm and the great man himself. Momma...

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Ouchies: Turning owies into art

They say hell hath no fury like a child denied a Band-Aid, but that’s only because they’ve not seen one of my kids offered the wrong Band-Aid (which is even worse). Heaven forbid I have nothing left but butterflies when my son has an invisible scrape. Thanks to Ouchies, I’m ready for anything: With a box of Own-Ages adhesive bandages on hand, there’s no more complaining. The injured party can choose a color bandage and grab the included markers to customize it perfectly. And if you want to make the tween in your life feel cool, pick up a...

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The year of the owl

If you haven’t noticed, 2009 appears to be the year of the owl– at least when it comes to baby accessories. I suppose that it’s sort of fitting, seeing as how owls are awake all night long, not unlike some babies I know. Sigh. At least this lovely soft owl music box by Mimishop has extremely good intentions. Handmade from a combo of fabric and felt, this cute stuffed toy houses an old-fashioned music box. Just pull the chord and your babe will be lulled to sleep to a good couple of minutes of the Brahms lullaby. And if...

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Party animals

I guess I have birthday gifts on the brain this week after finding those cute crowns. Today’s pick: The Raplapas party animals. Each adorable stuffed pig, elephant, bird or rabbit is soft (ooh, cotton velvet), cuddly and topped off with a party hat, making it an awesome birthday gift for a kid in your life. They’re all handmade in Montreal by mom and costume designer Erica Perrot which might account for their dramatic personalities; I hear you should never feed the rabbit Jager after midnight. –Liz Find the Raplapas party animals and other great kids’ toys at Mahar Dry...

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