Month: June 2009

Board shorts for girls? Like, totally.

From hour-long swim lessons to screaming leaps over our backyard sprinkler, my daughters will spend much of the summer in their bathing suits. That’s why we’re turning to the swimwear from Girls4Sport which boasts a line of swimsuits made for active, run-don’t-walk toddlers, girls and women. I’m loving the cool surfer-style board shorts for girls, which is such a cool look on older kids with a halter swim top. But there are plenty of traditional styles to choose from too, all made of soft, quick-dry fabrics which stay comfy when the girls hang out in them all afternoon. And...

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The plastic pail that’s all pail, no plastic

When I find myself packing our bags for a beach side vacation, I always look for ways to cut back on the number of space-hogging things we’re taking. With the SandSac they can bring their sand pail and shovel without taking up too much precious luggage space. No kidding. This collapsible square cotton canvas beach pail can squish down to fit into our bags, then open up for collecting sea shells, rocks and even the occasional sea creature–temporarily of course. Or fill it with sand using the renewable bamboo shovel and flip it over to make sandcastles. And, since...

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You always burp the ones you love

You know how you have your everyday jeans and your “fancy” jeans? (Or is that just us suburban moms.) Well these personalized burp cloths from Blume are like those, perfect for when you want your baby to spit up on something a little more stylish. A set of three super soft and absorbent cotton cloths are embellished with an embroidered 50’s gas station inspired patch. The thing I love the most is that you can personalize the tags on the bibs, or any of the custom baby gifts on the site, up to ten characters. You could do three...

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Making shots less shot-like

I think I can safely state that most parents would like to spare their children as much trauma as possible, which is why I was intrigued by the concept of the Buzzy. This FDA-approved plastic bee uses mechanical vibrations to “confuse” nerve endings, distracting kids from the pain of a shot, finger prick or even an IV insertion. Developed by pediatric emergency physician (and mom of three) Amy Baxter, Buzzy’s effectiveness for kids age 4+ seems to be supported by a bunch of scientific evidence along with scads of personal anecdotes. In fact, this may be so revolutionary, she’s...

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Nursery decor, Asian style

As someone with Asian heritage, I was immediately drawn to the lovely Asian nursery art by artist and mom Grace Hester. The prints feature original animal artwork, along with the English word and then simplified Chinese translation. What’s particularly nice is that if you’re looking for a different theme, Grace can create something custom for you other languages too so you can display a hummingbird, picaflor, or kolibri over the changing table. Of course I’m biased, but I’d go with the Kanji writing which really adds a beautiful touch. (Sorry Germans). Aside from being an affordable focal point in...

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Sexy while pregnant? Abso-freaking-lutely.

These was no way in heck I could wear regular underwear when I was pregnant. Between my growing belly and bum, and my desire to have absolutely nothing grabbing or pulling on me, I had to give in and purchase the special maternity underpants, which let’s face it, are about as sexy as wearing a wind sock. Wait, they sort of are like wearing a wind sock. Well, too bad for me but very lucky for you current mamas-to-be that the super stylish Isabella Oliver just came out with an amazing line of maternity lingerie. We’ve already espoused the...

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Hooked on robots

I’ve got a little secret weapon that helps ensure my kids do not leave their clothes and coats lying around: Hooks. Of course, the key is to find ones that actually make some sort of design statement, so you can freely place them around your home without looking like you’ve completely given up. And that’s why I love this Robot Coat Hook. Made from laser cut sheet metal, this robot would look awfully cute in a play area or kid’s room. And if your foyer looks like it’s been taken over by small children like mine, you could even...

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Recession chic tip – Shop factory stores and outlets

I realize that shopping at the outlet mall isn’t exactly a new concept, except lately, we’re finding that even small, indie brands are opening up their own online “factory stores” as an offshoot to their main boutique. So, if you’re holding a little tighter to your wallet, you might still be able to score some of the cool kids clothes you previously sent on a wish list to Grandma. One of the factory stores to bookmark is Happy Green Bee, a purveyor of fun, bright organic clothes for babies and kids that we’ve previously featured here at Cool Mom...

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It’s a cold, hard world out there. I mean, Happy Graduation!

So you reeeally should be acknowledging your friend’s high school or college kid’s graduation, but you want something just a wee bit beyond a card although not quite in gift territory. I’ve been there. Which is why I love this spectacular handcrafted paper medallion of Wisdom and Experience from Beverly Hills stationer Jonathan Wright. It’s all hand-folded and hand-stamped and hand-made into something gorgeous, with a to/from dealio on the back for you to pen heartfelt words of congratulations. Plus there’s a stick pin in back, just perfect for displaying it on a corkboard in that two-bedroom basement apartment...

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The coolest baby video, probably ever

Well it’s about time someone reinvented the proverbial wheel of sensory stimulation baby videos, and in this case that someone is award-winning graphic designer and dad Rolyn Barthelman, creator of the ingenious Wee See collection of DVDs. Let’s just say I popped it in — by myself — and immediately started smiling. The two 30-minute videos are made up of imaginative, high contrast animations of basic black and white shapes, accompanied by terrific scoring by Tim Deluaghter of The Polyphonic Spree. It’s all very MOMA store, if you know what I mean. Or as they call it, “part art...

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SPF VIP

With a few sunscreens for kids in the ol’ sunscreen basket these days (yes, I finally got organized enough to put all the bottles in a single place – whoo! Super Mom!), I have found myself reaching for the children’s sunscreen from Noodle & Boo more often than the others. Oh sure, it could be in part because I feel swanky every time I pull the pretty packaging out of my diaper bag. But don’t think so. The pediatrician-tested SPF 30 formula goes on smoothly and evenly, and my kids don’t end up leaving oil slicks in their wake....

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Have your cupcake and eat it too

Whenever I bake with the brood, I am reminded that juggling three kids, a recipe and a big container of flour can end up being not a whole lot of fun. But when I had the chance to try out Zebra Mix’s Decorate & Dazzle All Natural Cupcake Kit for kids, I gathered us all into the kitchen to give it a go. The cupcake and frosting mix are mostly organic (good enough) and it comes with all-natural decorating sugars, flag toppers and colorful cupcake liners. There’s also a vivid safari “baking map” to spread out that keeps the...

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Gentlemen, start your Roku

If you still haven’t found the perfect Father’s Day gift (hello? Have you even been to our Father’s Day gift guide yet?)  we still have a few ideas up our sleeves that you can get in time to serve up with bagels in bed on June 21. If you’ve got a movie junkie in the house, take a look at the Roku Digital Video Player, sometimes known as the Netflix Video Player. I love this because I’ve got the kind of SigOth who thinks that dropping an envelope in the mail is hard work. Basically for a very affordable...

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Baby blankets with a softer side

I know, it’s summer and you’re not thinking warm, fuzzy blanket, but really, for those pregnant friends due in fall or winter or those of us with the air conditioning pumping all night, the handmade blankets from Big Fat Hen are a pretty great pick to have on your radar. These blankets combine bright, fun fabrics with a super soft underside, for a thick, plush blanket with a stylish twist. There are even a good number of choices for harder-to-shop-for boys from the tried and true transportation motif to cool prints and geometrics. All without getting too theme-y, which...

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Paperless Post – Online invitations too beautiful to be online invitations

I’m a huge fan of the electronic invitation, because I’m an online kinda gal. But I have to admit that sometimes there’s simply no substitute for nice stationery if you want to be proper about it. So it’s about time someone created a service that combines both. Paperless Post is literally the best of both worlds. You can manage your event online, track who’s viewed your invite, amass RSVPs, even sell tickets online. But the custom designs you create are so gorgeous, you’d send them on paper if only you had the time. And the money. And knew where...

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Girls’ bikinis that aren’t too itsy bitsy or teeny weeny

It took me a while to get past my weirdness about little girls in bikinis, until I realized that it’s actually way easier for diaper changes. But I still prefer bandeau style tops or halters, so I was glad to see that Mama Om has added a few to their collection of designer girls’ swimsuits this season. I really like the subtly ruffled Blooming Berry girls bikini (also in a beautiful blue) for sizes 2T-6, which has beautiful floral embroidery across the chest that seems more age-appropriate than say, two cherries? It’s nicely constructed, and I also like that...

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A great gift for the Dad who doesn’t have to ask “What’s NPR?”

When I saw that NPR had put out a collection of radio stories called NPR Driveway Moments for Dads, I wanted to kiss the radio in gratitude for helping me in my quest for a perfect Father’s Day gift. Not only is my husband an enormous NPR fan, he also has a commute that requires him to spend chunks of time alone in his car (something I envy a great deal some mornings). I’m confident that this 2-CD set will be sure to hit all the main emotional jugulars, from laugh-out-loud stories to dab-at-your-eyes tales of fatherhood. Although the...

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Organizing your “to do” list just got easier, although getting it done is still just as annoying

I am a list junkie, only the problem is that I tend to jot stuff down one place and lose it or write everything on one endless list so it looks like I need to buy bananas, milk and my pap smear results. Not good. That’s why I love the Shop Call Do Pads from Whomi. A spiral-bound notebook holds separate pads, each in a different color, so that you can put your shopping list one place and the phone calls you need to make on another. It’s a much saner (and less potentially embarrassing) way of staying on...

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Cool Mom Picks + Twitter + You. A nice combo.

Observant Cool Mom Picks readers may have noticed we just added a snazzy little “retweet” button to the bottom of each post to make it easier to share your favorite posts on Twitter. So fun! If you’re not following us on Twitter, what are you waiting for? Find us there as @CoolMomPicks. (makes sense, right?) We’ll alert you to breaking sales, cool local events, or our favorite posts of the day. Say hi any time! We’ll even follow you back. PS If you don’t know what Twitter is, please return to your regularly scheduled browsing. Carry...

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Sales whoo! Junebug edition

We’ve got the best deals and discounts of the week. Designer organic boutique Nimli has 40-70% off Cri de Coeur (gorgeous shoes for you, mamas), plus some amazing clearance deals (like up to 75% off!) on all their stylish winter clothes and accessories. Snag dad a Herman Miller at Modernseed for 15% off for Father’s Day through June 20. Speaking of Father’s Day, you did catch our Father’s Day Gift Guide, right? Lots of great gifts that do not include a golf putter or a Home Depot gift card. Red Wagon Presents is offering up to 50% off several...

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