Month: March 2009

The Baby Grands really are grand, baby

I’d like to thank Donny, Marc and Ben of Atlanta’s The Baby Grands for helping to bring my heart rate down after another “we’re late!”, mad-dash to the car with the kids. Hearing their cool, Jack Johnson-esque musical style paired with smart, amusing lyrics on their self-titled debut kids’ CD was just what we needed to find our happy place again. Overall, I’d described their style as laid-back with a beat. From songs like Wet Nosed Friend with its playful reggae feel, to Diggin’ a Hole to China, notable for its REM-like vocals, The Baby Grands CD is chock-full...

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Went to a garden party

With the world kind of in flux these days, I’m definitely finding myself gravitating towards soft, simple, children’s clothing that harkens back to a simpler time– whether or not that simpler time is more legend than fact. In any case, a few clicks around Baby Bean Vintage Daywear and my heart is finding what it needs. Designer and mom Christine Visneau (also the talent behind Small Magazine, one of our favorite online reads) has an eye for spotting just lovely vintage fabrics, then blends them with modern organic cottons, beautiful trims and accessories. The result is strikingly simple clothing...

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He who has the most toys had better put them all away before bed

We always say we have the best readers in the world (it’s true!) and it’s especially the case they point us towards wonderful brands like Rice. This Danish housewares company is run by a mom-and-pop team who’s amassed a dandy selection of fair trade housewares, accessories and children’s items— but think less international flea market and more Cookie magazine. You’ll find a great selection at UK webstore Nettle Green where we found everything from tumblers for the bathroom to these beautiful raffia toy baskets for kids that look like a sweet pink house or a cool European garage. Psst…US...

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Bugaboo and Paul Frank get together and make something free. Yes, free.

When you’ve got two uber-hip kids’ brands, it’s not surprising that eventually they’ll meet, fall in love, and elope to Vegas after which they’ll make beautiful co-branded children’s products together. (Well, maybe not the Vegas part.) And thus describes the collaboration between stroller-after-my-own-heart, Bugaboo, and Paul Frank, who makes the “monkey shirt” my youngest daughter screams for pretty much every day. Yes, they recently came out with a line of crazy cute products: Stroller blankets, canopies and footmuffs just for the Bugaboo Chameleon. Adorable and I want them and that’s all there is to say about that. But what’s...

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A taxi that is meant to rattle

The thought of an infant gumming on a New York City taxi sounds pretty unsanitary until you see the adorable, soft crocheted baby rattle toy found at Estella NYC. Handmade by Peruvian artisans, this small taxicab is the perfect size for little hands to grab and gnaw. And, the bright colors and soft yarn will really capture their attention. I think this soft rattle would be a perfect gift for an urban baby, or even those babies who just wish they lived somewhere it costs $16 to go four blocks in a snowstorm. -ChristinaCatch your own taxi baby rattle...

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Want to make a birthday book more special? Add a bookplate.

I think personalized bookplates are just the coolest gift for kids. Grab a set of the beautiful modern bookplates from designer Avis Wampler and pair it with your favorite children’s title, for a birthday present that won’t end up in the landfills before next year. I love the bird bookplates specifically for kids, but any of the gorgeous, simple designs will elevate a favorite hardcover into something even more special. The lucky recipient will be so proud seeing her own name in the front of her very own book. But more so, it avoids bedtime tug-of-wars with siblings over...

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Aden and Anais do sleep sacks for spring

Since I can no longer swaddle my youngest, I’m stuck in that weird place of needing to keep her warm, but not wanting to use a loose blanket just yet. And most of the infant sleep sacks that we’ve found here tend to be meant for cooler weather, which doesn’t work well here in Atlanta where it’s already starting to feel like summer. But thanks to CMP super fave Aden and Anais, I’ve got the perfect option. Their brand new baby sleeping bag makes for a great in-between baby cover and helps you avoid having a baby rolling around...

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Got girls? Hoo boy do you need Cathy Heller

Hearing an eight-year-old belt out a song about romantic love, or a six-year-old mournfully sing about the end of high school is a bit unsettling. Fortunately, I have found Cathy Heller, whose debut CD, Say Hello to the Sun, gives my kids the type of melodic, dance-around-the-room pop music they find irresistible, with parent-approved lyrics for kids too young to even think about dating. It’s Up to Me kicks off the CD with upbeat pop that reminds me of the peppy positivity of Katrina and the Waves’ Walking on Sunshine mixed with a Go-Gos beat. Supergirl is a great...

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Get on your bikes and ride

One of my first purchases after moving from an urban high-rise apartment to a house in the ‘burbs was a bike. Sure, there were plenty of places to ride in the city, but with only two closets and about a million toys, I simply didn’t have the space to store a bicycle too. Ah, the sacrifices we moms make for our kids. If I’d known about SwissBike, I could have had a bike without taking up valuable toy storage space. With technology that originally began as a military research project, SwissBike grew into a line of performance folding bicycles....

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The baby gift that makes the ovaries hurt. Thanks a lot, Marie Chantal.

I am done with having babies. For real. But I have to admit, when I come across something as utterly delicious as this velour angel wing snapsuit from luxury kids label Marie-Chantal, it does give me pause. But no. NO. I’m standing firm here. All I need is a good friend who I can justify buying this insanely adorable one-piece for. Not only is it beyond lovely in white, blue or pale pink, and soft as a baby lamb wrapped in cashmere swaddled in cotton balls, the angel wings baby coverall comes spectacularly presented in a beautiful little keepsake...

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Complete home makeover: Yours

Once you start a family, your home is in a continual state of flux– I need a nursery. I need to turn the nursery into a kid’s room. Oh shoot, I need to make it a nursery again. And ack, why didn’t anyone tell me that the toys would somehow breed overnight while we sleep and take over the living room? Yourchitect.com is a happy, happy beacon of goodness and as you redecorate, remodel, renovate or simply dream of doing any of the above. Use the decidedly non-pretentious site to find design inspiration, manage your design projects, or do...

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Neil Gaiman turns his attention towards children again and with that we rejoice

If you’re a fan of graphic-novel superstar Neil Gaiman, then you’ll be doubly excited that he’s teamed up with mixed-media god Dave McKeen in the children’s book, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. But even if you’ve never heard either of those names, you (and of course the kids) will love this story of a sarcastic brother/sister duo who tromp all over town to find their father. Honestly, I can’t decide which part of this book is better: the story or the illustrations. McKean’s whimsical drawings and vibrant photography render this book worthy of front-facing shelf...

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Eye-Fi with my little eye

With three kids, there’s always a photo op that I am dying to capture but even while I’m never without my digital camera, I’m lousy at remembering to upload all those pictures. Next thing you know it’s July and I’m sending out holiday pics. Eye-Fi is exactly what I need. It is–get this–a wireless SD memory card. Wireless. Hello, genius! It replaces the memory card currently in your camera, and after you configure the Eye-Fi Manager on your computer (don’t worry, it’s a breeze), you pop in the card, take a picture and watch it magically appear on your...

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Cool Mom Picks takes over Cookie Magazine’s Daily Find. Mutiny! Mutiny!

Okay so it’s not like we stormed the editorial offices of one of our favorite parents’ magazines with sabres and demanded editorial control of Cookie Magazine‘s website for a week. But…close. So this week, you’ll find us over at Cookie Magazine’s Daily Find, offering up our top picks for items we can’t live without. Or rather, items we could live without but really wouldn’t want to if given our druthers. Best of all, Cookie is going to be giving away each of the very cool mama must-haves to readers — check back each day for details. And then stay...

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Anka from Svan: Affordable high chairs that don’t scrimp on style

We’ve always loved modern high chairs but they tend to be on the squint-your-eyes- as-you-hand-your-credit-card-over side of things. Even so, the cheap plastic versions aren’t a very appealing alternative when you consider the damage to the planet– and your home decor. (Sorry, but it’s true. Some of those things are heinous!) So Svan, makers of the beloved Svan high chair, did the smart thing and came out with a more affordable modern high chair in the Anka. Made from sustainable wood with kid-safe finishes and complete with a pba and phtalate-free washable tray, the Anka comes in at a...

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Hugs make the world go round

Call me a total dork, but I get all teary and melty every time my three year-old hugs one of her friends goodbye. There’s is something beyond adorable about two little girls squeezing each other tight– and anyone who disagrees has a heart of coal and dryer lint. So of course I fell in love with the pair of Lost and Found prints from UK artist Mandy Sutcliffe, the second of which features two reunited friends hugging in a forest. Perfect for a kids’ room, these mounted giclee prints are available at her shop Belle and Boo along with...

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Kids Envirosax: Both progressive and, actually, very retro

I love Envirosax‘s new bags for kids for so many reasons: They help the next generation get excited about an alternative to paper or plastic. They’re small enough to stow in a kids backpack. They’re super affordable, and the cute, quirky illustrated designs really do make them as hip as something ten times the price. But most of all? They let children help with the groceries, thus returning children to their historic role as free household labor. I’m okay with that. –LizFind a great selection of Envirosax for kids 40% off now at Mason and...

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Natural. Beauty.

Don’t you love 20-something models advertising anti-aging creams? And yet, I fall for it every time. I have the drawer full of cosmetic jars to prove it. Admittedly I’m a sucker for hope in a bottle so when I had the chance to review the Ma Mi Skin Care line, formulated specifically to address the havoc motherhood can wreak on skin, I jumped at it. I took the sample kit with me on my recent trip to San Diego and I will now commence gushing. The Ma Mi Skin Care Line products are made of natural ingredients like soy...

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A St Patrick’s Day book for kids that’s entirely free of green sparkles

This St. Patrick’s Day, instead of wearing the green plastic crap my quarter-Irish mother insists on sending us in the mail every year, we’re celebrating by hauling out the wonderful children’s book, Fiona’s Luck. The story by Teresa Bateman with illustrations by Kelly Murphy, centers on Fiona, who tricked the leprechauns of Ireland by pretending to be luckier than she really was– an excellent lesson in my fake-it-till-you-make-it themed world. I imagine we’ll be reading this book again and again well after the green beer and bagels are a distant memory.– Rita Find Fiona’s Luck in time for St....

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Stroller hooks that work: A thing of pure beauty.

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones – for every ten pitches we get for products you didn’t know you needed and really, still don’t, we get one for something like the Mighty Buggy Hook, which totally improves your stroller (and kind of your life). From inventor/mom King-Yee Man who created the stroller cupholder that we loved last year, the Mighty Buggy Hook is equally as thoughtful. This clever little stroller accessory uses velcro to adapt to pretty much any stroller handle in a variety of configurations and a pair of them really are strong enough to hold...

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