Month: May 2009

Because every baby should have organic feet

There’s no shortage of adorable, swoon-worthy items on Etsy, but Amy Joyner’s She Knits shop is clearly trying to kill me with handmade cuteness. Her 100% organic cotton/wool blend “chocolate dipped” baby booties do indeed look good enough to eat, and they’re so soft, to boot. (To boot! Get it?) The pink or blue fibers’ natural variegated appearance coupled with the brown toe and sole make these booties a quiet yet gorgeous statement for babies up to 12 months. Everyone knows the feet are the most delicious part of the baby. This just confirms it. -Mir Congratulations to Kelly...

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Riveting. Or is it ribbiting?

I’ve read a few reviews that liken  Ben Rudnick & Friends’ new CD, A Frog Named Sam, to a kid-friendly Grateful Dead or Phish album which I guess could be a real plus for a lot of people. For me, though, who spent one blurry weekend at a Phish show and then moved on, I feel the need to assure you that this CD does not have a single 25-minute instrumental jam. Instead, you’ll hear some amazing guitar, banjo and other strings paired with smooth harmonies from this group of Boston-area musicians. Set squarely in the “American Roots” style, I hear a lot of folksy, bluegrassy sounds...

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Yes, there is a baby detergent that actually gets the clothes clean.

I realize there’s something wonderful about the scent of clean fresh laundry — except around our house, that means someone’s used the wrong detergent. With a bunch of kids with sensitive skin, we’re always on the lookout for gentle, baby-safe laundry detergent that’s free of as many chemicals as possible. So I was excited to hear that Dropps, a past favorite pick of ours, has come out with a baby version of their handy pod detergent system. This completely dye-free and enzyme-free formula is super tough on the baby laundry (unlike that big named baby detergent brand – ahem)...

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London Calling

I’m on a British kick for absolutely no reason these days, which is why I’ve had the British flag t-shirt from Childish Clothing bookmarked for ages. I love the distressed look and how the word RAD is spelled out in Scrabble tiles. This weekend when I clicked over to check it out again – on sale. Half off. Awesome. Presumably this shirt is crazy soft, like all the kids’ clothes from Childish that I’ve seen, and in a nice cool weather weight thermal it will serve your child well on cool spring and summer nights right into fall. Or...

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Read only the best, seriously.

I bet you’ve wondered how we find the great children’s books we review here at Cool Mom Picks. Well, we will share one hot tip: Bookmark sites like the brand new One Potato. This children’s book site is like literary nirvana for book-loving parents. Jay Bushara, a Columbia-educated SAHD features up to ten forgotten or stand-out kids’ books a week, and I find they are always worth reading.  It’s a great way to bring back truly worthy kids’ books and avoid a sea of badly rhymed grocery store endcaps. (My daughter loves those, too.) And of course, you can...

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What to do if you forgot to get a Mother’s Day gift

1) Make a donation in her name to a an organization like Global Giving which will send an e-mail confirmation right away. 2) Send this aweeeesome custom Mother’s Day video courtesy of Moms Rising. Seriously, you totally have to do this whether or not you forgot a gift. And it’s free. 3) Print out your favorite photos of the kids and paste them into a greeting card. Kodak Gallery lets you pick up your pics same-day at your local CVS or Target. Have the kids color in the rest. 4) Overpay for roses. Believe it or not, 1-800-FLOWERS offers...

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What do I think of Bunny Clogs? More! More! More!

I think that one of my roles as a parent is to expose my kids to music that doesn’t suck, so when I see one of them reaching to put on Bunny Clogs’ CD, More! More! More!, I breathe a little sigh of relief that they are choosing something so unique, funky and lyrically amazing. In fact this kids’ CD is so super cool, I could hear a couple of the songs playing late night in the clubs I used to frequent back in the day. Minneapolis-based Adam Levy is no stranger to the music scene himself; his main...

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animoto: Video editing a non-techy mother could love

Not to brag, but for a non-geeky girl I know my way around a computer.  I’m not even afraid to dive into code. But where it comes to video editing, I’m a complete dolt. So when I created my very own free (free!) 30-second video at animoto, I was astonished at the results. Just upload photos, add a few text slides, choose music (or upload your own, but be mindful of copyright laws), and let animoto take care of the rest. And by rest, I mean wow, this is some professional looking video in just seconds. Then  email it...

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From the landfills to your playroom

If only there was a way to make children’s furniture stylish enough for your taste, but durable enough that you can drag it outside for birthday parties and spring playdates. If only there was a way to make that furniture from recycled milk jugs and detergent bottles, so you could justify the fact that it costs more than your average kids’ table and chair set at Target. Oh, wait — there is. notNeutral teamed up with Loll DESIGNS to do all of the above, and the result is the fabulous looking BBO2 line of kids’ tables and chairs. It’s...

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Cookie’s Word of Mom Awards: Vote for your faves (and maybe us?)

Just as Mother’s Day rolls around, we got some nice news — we’re a possible contender in Cookie Magazine’s Word of Mom Readers’ Choice Awards, a really cool annual survey of mom favorites. We would be mighty honored if you would take a few minutes to click over and nominate Cool Mom Picks in the “online” category under Best Mom Blog. The top five in each category end up in some final contesty something or other and well, that would just make us happy. But even if you have some other favorite mom blog (not that that’s even possible),...

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Sales, Whoo! May flowers edition

Check back with us every Friday for the best deals and discounts of the week and don’t miss our weekly CMP for Less email by becoming a Cool Mom Picks subscriber. Plus, if you sign up, you’ll be eligible to win an amazing prize package every month! CMP fave Kice Kice (shown) is having a one-week only humongo sale starting tomorrow May 9 with past season children’s and baby clothes 50-60% off and current styles 20% off. Chittypulga is offering 10-50% off all their hip kids’ clothing from brands like Tea, RedFish Kids and Zutano including summer! And save...

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Recycled art

“Recycled art” sounds like something my kids create with egg cartons and paper towel rolls, but in the case of Dolan Geiman’s Panel Paintings, it means something much cooler. Using recycled wood panels, non-toxic, water-based textile inks and even recycled paint from Chicago’s paint exchange program, he creates interesting paintings of everyday items like the truck shown here or daisies, motorcycles and guitars. A Southerner now based out of Chicago, Geiman isn’t someone who just jumped on the “eco” bandwagon; working out of a renovated warehouse, he has long worked with found art and recycled materials while donating unused...

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Vintage baby clothing from the last depression to help cheer up this one?

I wasn’t sure what to think of Belle Heir’s fine vintage children’s clothing when I first visited their website, but the more I browsed through, the more fascinated I became by the clothing made when my parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents were young. I think I clicked on every single vintage outfit on the site simply to see the handiwork and unbelievable condition of clothes 50-120 years old. I totally fell in love with this 1930’s cotton romper (shown) and the cotton embroidered dress from 1900. These clothes are not exactly for everyday wear. But for an occasion like...

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Looking for last minute Mother’s Day gifts? (And don’t do that “who me” thing. We know you are.)

The fact is, we’re all busy and busy doesn’t always bode well for the good gift intentions that we always have. But if you’re shopping for last minute Mother’s Day gifts for that favorite mother, grandmother, or best friend mother in your life, our go-to gift is always a great book. Here are a few faves from other blogging and writing moms–so basically you’ll make two moms happy with every purchase. Sometimes more. Because I Love Her: 34 Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond by Nicki Richesin – This new series of essays about mothers and their girls includes...

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Pillow sets that go together like, well, peanut butter & jelly

Sometimes when you walk into a friend’s house it looks like a furniture catalogue came to life. Not that there’s anything wrong with the couch to match the pillows to match the curtains, it’s just that I like design that says something about the owner’s personality. These new peanut butter and jelly pillows from Diffraction Fiber are definitely for those with a sense of humor – or at least a chic playroom.They’re made of super snuggly eco-felt, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. (Although honestly it’s great for the environment but not so great if you have a...

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Putting the ice cubes back into eco bottles

I absolutely adore our reusable stainless steel water bottles — I love knowing nothing weird is leeching into what we drink, and I love how they look — but I really, really miss being able to put ice in my water bottle without a mallet. Not the worst of all problems in the world, but still. Enter EcoUsable water bottles; they’re stainless, they’re pretty, and perhaps best of all they have a new, wider opening to accommodate my old friend the ice cube. Do you hear the angels singing? I do. They’re saying, “Yay, cold water!” -Mir Find wide-necked EcoUsable...

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Feeleez – Nothing more than feeleez

As a former therapist educator, I spent many a class period educating students about how there are no bad emotions. But as a parent of a preschooler, that concept, along with feelings in general, are a bit more difficult to explain — as any parent who’s ever uttered the words DO NOT HIT YOUR SISTER will agree. Thanks to Feeleez, a feelings game that features 25 matching pairs of adorable illustrations, my daughter is on her way to learning about emotions and how to express them in a way that doesn’t involve finding herself in time out. Set the...

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Recession chic tip: Shop Australian

One of our secret tips that we now share with tens of thousands of you all is that if you’re looking for great discounts, check out the Australian labels that we feature here time to time. Because their seasons are backwards (although they could say the same thing about us), their spring/summer clothes go on sale just in time for our own warm-weather shopping sprees. One of the Aussie shops to bookmark is Baobab, helmed by designer and “mum” Belinda Blooman. She’s got a knack for making beautiful cotton play clothes from 0-6 with more flair than your average...

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Personalized labels that leave no questions as to whose sippy cup that is

Since my daughter started preschool this year, I have learned that I should always have a permanent marker handy for labeling everything she brings with her, a process that leaves something to be desired, especially when you factor in that my handwriting skills peaked at age ten. Baby Label it Yours! has come to my rescue with cute personalized vinyl labels that are dishwasher-safe and more fun than your average label. Each custom set comes with names and initials in your font and color of choice, plus larger labels in themes like zoo animals, trucks and beach motifs. My...

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Organic baby essentials make great gifts, naturally.

When my son was born there weren’t really tons of organic or eco-friendly baby products like there are today. Honestly I thought I was being environmentally responsible by making sure there was no lead paint on his crib. Who knew a scant 9 years later eco-friendly materials would almost be the price of entry into the baby product category. The beautiful all-natural organic nursery collection from Amenity Home is the newest gift stop on our radar. Their baby collection features super-soft, durable towels, blankets and washcloths woven from undyed organic cotton. You can get them packaged in nifty little...

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