Month: March 2009

You show ’em, girls

Through most of elementary school, my mother dressed me in dresses. When I complained that I couldn’t hang upside down on the playground for fear of showing my underwear, she was unsympathetic. That was before Francie Pants, of course. These soft, comfortable “privacy shorts” are perfect for concealing underwear, freeing girls to climb trees and turn cartwheels, even in dresses.  The prints are snazzy and even a little edgy–I especially like the fun plaid and the Paris prints. Come to think of it, there’s a punky London print too. Which, if you remember the old rhyme, is awesome. -Julie...

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Escape To Witch Mountain, old school style

“Mom! They aren’t wearing seat belts!” It’s funny what my kids and I noticed while we watched the re-released classic Escape To Witch Mountain on DVD. Kids sitting in the front seat without a seat belt, a “car phone” that has a cord into the dashboard, and even the passing complaint about how expensive gas is—when it costs $10 to fill the tank of a camper. Hey, it was the  70’s. Ah, but despite some of these generational differences, the original  story (which, as we all know, always trounces a remake) of two lovable orphans is just as gripping...

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Big brands doing cool things – Munchkin introduces glass bottles

Thankfully, BPA free plastic baby bottles are now easy to find, but if you’ve decided to go the extra careful route and use glass bottles for your baby, you might find the search a little trickier. Well now you can hop over to your local Target or click over to Amazon and snag a few Munchkin glass baby bottles. Available in both 4 oz and 8 oz sizes, they are not only completely BPA free, but at $3.99 each, they’re reasonably priced too. The bottles are smartly designed with a molded side for easy gripping, and the vented nipples...

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It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood

It sort of pains me that my kids will probably not grow up to the zipping of the sweater and the tossing of the shoes that made Mr. Rogers so endearing. But thanks to reruns, CD compilations, and toys, like these awesome wooden blocks from Holgate Toys, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood can live on. This set of 26 smooth natural blocks features the likes of King Friday, Trolley, and my favorite whiner, Lady Elaine, all painted with non-toxic paints. And even if your kids aren’t familiar with the beloved show characters, the images allow them to pretend and build –...

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Cute girls’ clothes that play tough

My preschooler is currently on a dress kick and I cannot tell you how many times I have to argue with her about wearing dresses to the playground. It’s not that she can’t move around in a skirted bottom, but since she tends to be a little rough and tumble, her regular cotton dresses often get stretched to the limit. Well, oh how excited she was when I showed her the bright Kuki Kids dresses found at Raspberry Kids. Made from a hearty cotton canvas fabric and fully lined with a lightweight muslin, these pinafore-style dresses can go from...

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Every rose has its anodized thorn

When my daughter was born, my favorite necklace was this big fat stone pendant. Exactly the kind of thing that you don’t wear with a newborn whose lack of neck control makes her head wobble and fall against your chest a hundred times a day. With neck control now achieved, it’s now time for a new favorite and the top contender is this Rose Bud Pendant from Polli. Inspired by bushwalks in Tasmania, the pendant is light and delicate with a little bit of quirk, and wearable with just about anything. Which is good for me since matching things...

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Iron on patches just went from hobo to hip

Maybe my children have exceptionally pointy knees (entirely possible), but I’m forever pulling holey jeans out of the laundry and setting them aside for mending. But then I remember that 1) I have no time, 2) I don’t sew. Oops. Thank goodness for the adorable iron-on patches from rikrak, little birdies which come in so many hip vintage patterns, they even pass muster with my tween. Not feeling the birds? No problem– you can also choose from letters, numbers and shapes. You don’t have to wait for a hole; just have fun spiffing up the kids’ clothes. They’ll think...

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The Micralite Toro: Try it, love it, maybe win it.

I may be done having babies, but that doesn’t mean I am done coveting the cool gear the new ones get, like the Micralite Toro Stroller. As the name implies, this fairly new little technological marvel is super-light, weighing in at just 19 pounds, but can still take on the tough urban terrain. The Micralite Toro stroller has a full recline so wee babes can use it too, and, the one-handed folding mechanism is much appreciated since trying to juggle a baby while folding a difficult stroller can seriously wreck my mood. It can even stand up by itself...

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Spring is in the air. Or over my shoulder.

With Spring only a few days away, and the weather down South already getting warmer, I’m more than ready to pack away the winter coats and trade in my dark brown and black bags for a lighter replacement — say the awesome spring handbag from Denmark’s stylish modern Rosenberg label found at Nonchalant Mom. The bright green and off-white geometric pattern is a great way to brighten things up, even if your weather isn’t yet cooperating. And this roomy bag is the perfect size for your regular stash of diapers and wipes — but even better when you actually...

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Big Brands Doing Cool Things: Haagen-Dazs five

It is nearly impossible these days to grab a simple ice cream cone that doesn’t contain a whole lab’s worth of multi-syllabic ingredients. So when I got wind of Haagen-Dazs five, just in time for the beginning of Ice Cream Season ’09, I was absolutely ecstatic. Five as in, only five natural ingredients: Skim milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar and the individual flavor. Proof that if you start with high-quality ingredients in your food, you don’t have to muck it up with garbage. Go HD! I’m still a fan of basic flavors (oh man, Haagen-Dazs does the best vanilla)...

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Francophiles rejoice, for Nicholas is here. And he speaks English too.

Every kid needs a Nicholas in his life. That is, the endearing French storybook by René Gosciny (of Asterix and Obelix fame) with charming illustrations by the beloved New Yorker cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé. The series was an instant hit from its first publication back in 1959, and after a few decades of mega-popularity around the world, it’s finally been translated into English (thanks Phaidon!) and bound in a beautiful, cloth-covered volume that chronicles 19 of Nicholas’s misadventures. Early grade-schoolers will love getting to know the precocious Nicolas, his croissant-eating best friend Alec, the soccer-playing tomboy crush Louise, and the...

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I scream, you scream

It may be a while before the babies I know can slurp down a triple scoop, but that wouldn’t stop me from parading them around town in this adorable Ice Cream Cheerleading Stunt onesie. Designed by Ava-Marie Guerrero and available at the always wonderful Threadless, I appreciate that this soft 100% cotton top comes in the mess-concealing color of asphalt. The facial expressions on the stacked scoops is bound to get a smile out of everyone. Well, everyone except for those select few who remember being in the same position as the poor, sweating bottom scoop. –Christina Find the...

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Cool art everyone can afford. That is, if you can afford free.

Cool Mom Picks internet crush (we would totally braid each other’s hair at summer camp) Indie Fixx has done it again with indie coolness for the masses; this time, founder Jen Wallace has set her sights on affordable art for all. In fact, affordable isn’t quite right. More like free. Feed Your Soul is a new art project, where artists like k*smith, Samantha Hahn and Stephanie Fizer contribute art for free distribution each month. Download your favorite, print it out on nice paper as a card or a framable piece, and when the recession’s over (hey, it has to...

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Rick Springfield comes out with a lullaby album, and thousands of moms fall in love with him all over again

My love affair with Rick started when I was just young girl and I heard Jessie’s Girl come blasting on the radio. Twenty something years later, it’s still my favorite song of all time. (And there is a video of me singing it at a karaoke bar somewhere in New York City to prove it.) Imagine how thrilled I was to learn that Rick Springfield had a new album coming out — and it was one that I could share with my daughter. My Precious Little One is a collection of lullabies he wrote for his own two boys....

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Anything but utilitarian

The name is something of a misnomer, because everything at designer Susan Fisher’s utility:home is a bright, shiny reminder that even the ordinary can look extraordinary. Their greeting cards are fabulous, of course — the patterns pop, and even the brightly-colored envelopes feel festive — but their fanciful prints also come on little boxes of “mod mints” (pictured), matchboxes, and party coasters. Not only did one of those fab boxes get an “oooh” out of the child digging in my purse for candy, she commented (rightly so) that the mints’ taste is reminiscent of ones fancy restaurants offer at...

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Frenchy Baby Organics – Hold me back from the cuteness

It’s tough finding organic play clothes with a bit of a modern twist. But the folks at Frenchy Baby Organics do just that with their ridiculously cute 100% organic children’s basics. While the website could use a little work, in person the clothes are absolutely beautiful. The children’s tunic tops (pictured) are perfect for spring and summer over a pair of leggings or the coordinating pants. And as your kiddo grows, she can still wear it over a long sleeved t-shirt and pair of jeans. I’m also eying interchangeable outfit sets which give you six organic cotton pieces for...

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Rick rack is back

Even with the adjustable waistband pants, my skinny-minnie still needs some help to prevent the little plumber’s bottom, and Holly Stewart of Jane Edward makes belts that do just that. I admit that the sight of rick rack reminds me of the little pinafore dresses of my youth – in a not so great way- but Holly’s ribbon belts changed my mind. The small or large rick rack adorns an adjustable ribbon ring belt, and makes the perfect functional accessory for any little girl in your life. And if you’re coveting them in your size, you’re in luck. Her...

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Mighty B: My kind of hero

I don’t watch a heck of a lot of kid TV, but I’ve been making an exception for the new DVD release of We Got the Bee which features a bunch of episodes from Nickelodeon’s series, The Mighty B! Haven’t seen it yet? Let’s just say the heroine of this show, Bessie Higgenbottom, is my kind of girl: Loud, lovable, over-eager and hilariously over-the-top, all voiced with the perfect lisp by the ever-awesome Amy Poehler. Unlike my two Girl Scouts who gather badges and sell cookies with a sort of que sera sera attitude, in her own “HoneyBee troop”...

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Oh my oh my oh dinosaurs

Kids love dinosaurs and are fascinated with the idea of monstrous animals that roamed the earth and ate each other for breakfast. It’s only natural that they start asking more questions than sometimes we know how to answer– how the dinosaurs got here, what came before them, and how it all fits together. And until now, there just weren’t many science toys that explored evolution on a kid’s level. Founded by research scientist and mom Dr. Kate Miller, the site Charlie’s Playhouse is a wealth of information, toys and games that introduce children to evolution, natural selection, and the...

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Shower the people you love with love – and baby gifts

After many weeks in the making, we’re so excited to launch the Cool Mom Picks Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide! You’ll find a full 100 of our editors’ favorite baby gifts to give in 2009, from the cutest organic onesies to affordable personalized baby blankets, to must-have gadgets and gear. There’s even a few goodies for the poor neglected new dads of the world. Also? Discount codes (of course!), all of them good for the entire year. So click over mamas and get shopping, bookmarking, and oohing and ahhing. Because if there’s one thing we can universally agree is pretty nice about pregnancy — it’s the...

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