Month: June 2009

The dress that makes me want a third baby. (This time a girl.)

I have two boys, and while I adore them, I’ve always felt like I missed out a little when it comes to shopping, because boys really get the short end of the stick for play clothes. I’m especially feeling that way now that I’ve seen the beautiful dresses from kid a collective. Each little smock dress is hand-made of all-natural materials; the colors are bright and fun and the patterns are a perfect mix of retro cool and kid-appropriate. The fabrics are all prewashed to minimize shrinking and fading. And the construction and attention to detail is amazing; honestly,...

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Let’s go to the clip

Just when I think I’ve seen every hair clip known to man (or diva-in-training), I discover the adorable children’s barrettes from artist Hayley Hackler of Flying Frog Apparel.  She takes fabric scraps and buttons, layers them, and refashions them into teeny little handmade hair accessories of beauty. The colors are refreshingly subtle for girls’ barrettes (seriously crafters – easy on the neon fuschia tulle) and the size is just right. Because each one is one of a kind, a pair never matches exactly, which I really think is cool. Also good when you have to replace one after your...

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Like a craft fair without the parking hassles

I just discovered the wonderful Poppytalk Handmade, and I am wondering where it’s been all my life. This online craft fair comes from the minds behind the wonderful Canadian design blog Poppytalk and each month there’s a new theme (right now it’s summer fun) that lends itself to a well-curated and vast showcase of etsy artists, crafters and indie designers. You’ll find artwork, photography, housewares, clothing and accessories, paper goods and a smattering of cool kid stuff. Hey, kind of like here! In fact we were happy to see some CMP faves represented like art from Tutti Studio,  Kiki...

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The joy of bins

With three kids running circles around me, I’ve made some concessions when it comes to cleaning up. And one of them is that I’m not going to be doing all of it. My philosophy has always been that if my kids can make a mess, then they can most certainly help pick it up afterwards. One way to make that happen more easily are bins – particularly cute ones, like the elephant storage bin from 3 Sprouts. We’re already huge fans of 3 Sprouts baby products (their adorable bath towels made our Ultimate Baby Shower Gift Guide) and these...

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Eco-Fingerpaints inspire a hair less dread than ordinary fingerpaints

When the kids ask to fingerpaint, I conjure up visions of them covered in gelatinous, who-knows-what goo which doesn’t make me too eager to indulge them in their favorite medium. But, when they come calling with puppy-dog eyes and promises to clean up after themselves, I at least can feel better about the paints they use when I pull out Eco-Kids’ Eco-Fingerpaint Tube. Using only natural plant, fruit and vegetable-based ingredients, the paints arrive in powder form in five tightly sealed containers which, like the company’s cool Eco-Dough, are totally compostable. I like that the powder format allows me...

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Tiny little circles of awesome

I’m the sort of person who is into the idea of personalized jewelry a lot more than the reality — the reality usually being a little more twee and a lot more expensive than I like. But at SimaG Jewelry on Etsy, metalsmith Sima Gilady creates a wide array of simple yet beautiful customizable pieces that I can get behind. My favorite is the Circle of Joy necklace, pictured here. It’s just 1″ across, leaving me wondering how she manages the perfect stamped lettering. The result is my favorite sort of subtle effect; from a distance, it looks like...

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Good karma’s in the bag

Say that you need a giant-sized tote bag for the beach next weekend — or if you’re a family of geeks like mine, your library books — and you’re just not the preppy major-label canvas tote type. And say that you not only want something earth-friendly and a little funky, you’d really like it if it came from a company that’s employing and empowering women and dedicated to paying it forward. Say all of those things, and you have mi k babe and their four fabulous bag options. Whether you choose hemp, Recyclon or organic cotton, you’re getting a...

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A baby wrap so pretty you might steal it for yourself

My younger son has always been a big blanket kid; even now, at six, he sleeps with at least one baby blanket every night. I love this, both because a kid with a blanket melts my heart and because we got some great blankies when he was a baby, and we’re still dragging them out today. The Shinwa Organics line of baby wraps is perhaps one of the best baby gifts ever (no exaggeration). These luxurious Australian hand-printed bamboo swaddle blankets are soft and sturdy, framed with a thin trim of raw silk, and the patterns are adorable without...

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You’ll be wonton Handstand Kids’ Chinese Cookbook (Heh)

Fried chicken fingers and pink boneless spareribs are not real Chinese food, I tell the kids whenever we order take-out, and now I have the latest Handstand Kids’ Chinese Cookbook to back me up. The latest from Handstand Kids’ Italian Cookbook creator Yvette Garfield includes sturdy, colorful pages filled with recipes by professional chef Shanti Jade Greenspan, along with tidbits about the Chinese culture and cuisine, and the cutesy cartoon Handstand Kids who explain things in kid-language. All the tools and ingredients are laid out up front, which gave me a chance to buy things like spring roll wrappers...

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Corsage 2.0

The sentiment of a flower on your wrist is really quite lovely, but there’s little I dislike more than an actual wrist corsage. That’s why I love this sterling interpretation – the beautiful Stargazer Bracelet from Lealand Eve Boutique. The skinny cuff adorns any size wrist with a stargazer lily. You could pair it well with a daytime look (maybe not for the playground but certainly when you’re out and about) and it’s bold enough to go with your LBD. Or get one for your cool grandma for her birthday. I bet she’ll appreciate the corsage idea. -KristenThis silver...

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Go play outside!

While I wholeheartedly support the idea of grandparents getting outside to play with the grandkids, don’t let the fact that this downloadable Go Play Outside guide is being offered through Grandparents.com dissuade you from checking it out yourself, mamas. It’s packed with 97 different suggestions for outdoor fun for just about anyone. And it’s totally free. As are plenty of the suggestions. Of course if you can con, er, convince a grandparent to hang out with the kids in the great outdoors and log their hours on the site, Grandparents.com and KaBOOM! will donate up to $10,000 towards building...

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Brag book lite

My husband is a photographer, and the good news is that we have countless professional-quality photographs of the kids. The bad news is that almost all of them exist only on my husband’s computer. Ahem. Because just as the shoemaker’s children go barefoot, the photographer’s wife tires of reminding him to please, just order some prints already. Now I can take matters into my own hands–or pocket, or purse–with these adorable ZoomAlbums; each kit comes with everything I need to make three 3″ square photo books, and the best part is that I just drop the family pictures into...

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East meets west meets collarbone

We’ve been eagerly following artist Amy Tavern’s jewelry of the month project and we like the June piece so much, we wanted to share it even as June is coming to a close. (Huh? How’d that happen?) This limited edition “east meets west” necklace is a collaboration with ceramicist Masaaki Shinko who Amy met through a flick’r group for arists – a true 2009 social media story. The result is just lovely – delicate yet substantial, earthy and modern. It would be so cool with a scoopneck black top, and some gladiator sandals down below. But if you like...

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Mamapedia – Like Yahoo Answers just for moms

I’ll confess that I don’t really have the time or the patience for most community bulletin boards and the drama that sometimes seems to come with them. But the concept has always appealed to me — a quick way to pose a question to the masses and get feedback. If only there was a way to take that model and streamline it.  Ah, wait! There is! Meet Mamapedia. The site not only allows you to ask your question and gather responses from other moms, it allows users to rate answers as useful or not — ostensibly to get rid...

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One teeny reason to get excited for summer camp

Camp season is nearly upon us, at least for some lucky mamas. The first place we tend to think to see what’s new in the exciting world of labels is CMP reader fave Mabel’s Labels. Their newest offerings are the Teeny Tags, colorful mini 1.2″ ID tags personalized with up to 60 characters. You could do your kid’s name, phone number, address, or just initials and one of fifty cute icon – my daughter has a guitar on hers. (Had to nix the princess crown. I know, I’m a horrible mom.) These ID tags are really smart for labeling...

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Sugar mama

Summer’s here, and I’m getting ready to bare some skin. Along with sit ups, a quickie pedicure and hedge clippers (you know what I mean), I’ve added The Spoiled Mama Orange and Chamomile Sugar Scrub to my bag of tricks. In those fleeting moments I get to myself in the shower, I’ve been sloughing off the dead skin and leaving a light fresh citrus scent in exchange, all in less time than it takes for my kids to realize I’ve locked myself in the bathroom. Based on the few I’ve tried, I could pick out a bunch of all...

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It’s a pull toy! It’s a bookmobile!

When my son was younger, he’d shuffle around the house balancing a stack of his favorite books in his overloaded arms. I was thrilled to have raised a mini bibliophile, but after seeing countless board books tumbling onto his little toes, we both could have used P’Kolino’s cool looking Book Buggee. The Book Buggee is unlike any pull toy you’ve ever seen. As a mom, I love how easily and neatly a toddler can slide a few books into the finger-like spokes along with a favorite animal or sippy cup up front. Plus I appreciate that the light-colored wheels...

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Keepsake jewelry in unexpected places

I’m a complete sucker for keepsake jewelry, but not enough to sacrifice my style. These days, there are plenty of keepsake necklace options, but not so many keepsake bracelets in a style that I would actually wear around my wrist. But when I found the “M” Memory Bangle at Lush Design Studio, I knew I had a winner. Handcrafted from sterling silver, each smooth, thin bangle features two personalized handstamped sections, each dainty and completely unassuming. Add your child’s name and birth date to the bracelet, or be creative and do something personal to you.  If you’ve got more...

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Now I know my C B As

I am definitely digging the logic behind the “reflective learning” alphabet tees at Milalu – that by screen printing the alphabet in reverse, a kid can get to know the ABCs every time he looks in the mirror. But I also like the notion that the other parents will think you have a lock on some sort of newfangled genius-enabling parenting methods. Which maybe you do. After all, the label was created by an early educator-graphic designer team. They also offer the design as a onesie. Because heck, if a kid hasn’t mastered at least up to M by...

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Stop. Hammer time.

I don’t consider myself to be particularly girlie, but when I was forced to install the safety gate at the top of our staircase, I realized that my screwdriver and wrench skills were not on the level with say, my straightening iron skills. I hope it doesn’t offend the feminists among us that I am really liking the idea behind TomBoy Tools. They’re not so much girlie tools, as really smart ones with sizing and ergonomic details that are suited to women. You’ll find everything from hand tools, to gardening tools, even emergency auto supplies – all no, they’re...

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