Month: July 2009

Last Chance to Win One Kings Lane Shopping Spree!

If you’ve been waiting for just the right moment to become a Cool Mom Picks subscriber, now is the perfect time! Aside from getting the coolest of our monthly picks, exclusive features, celeb trends, discounts and special offers from our awesome sponsors right in your inbox, if you sign up by end of day today, you’ll be qualified for a chance to win one of five $200 shopping sprees at One Kings Lane, featuring amazing member-only sample sales on designer home decor. Just check our upcoming August email for all the details on how to win. And don’t worry....

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I can’t believe it’s not shea butter

Let me start off with the disclaimer: Shea butter scares me. I have tried out any number of shea butter moisturizers for review because I hear of its miraculous benefits, and yet one leaves me feeling slimier and smellier than the next. So when I hear about a product with _____ butter in it, I’m a little hesitant. Well yay for Hellomellow and its founder, massage therapist Tracy Feldstein, for giving me a delicious alternative with 100% natural skin care products that make use of avocado and mango butter instead. They make a body butter (paraben-free!) that’s just the...

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Oh, the places we’ve never been. And the prints to match.

In my want-to-but-can’t traveling state, I can easily identify with Jennifer Hill’s Places I Have Never Been collection where she takes a city she’s never been and develops a pattern for it, using the pattern in fun prints, calendars, and cards. Now thoughts of starting her own family have prompted her to take her modern patterns and use them to create charming animal alphabet prints perfect to inspire that young crib traveler. She has worked with some old favorites like the Elephant (shown) but also veered off the beaten path with animals like the Moth, Snail, Nightingale, and Quoll....

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Don’t burn, baby burn

The best part of the summer, for me, are the days spend hanging out at our local pool, but worst part is getting my son to put on sunscreen. No, strike that, usually I can pin him down long enough to slather him with the first coating; it’s arguing over how long the sunscreen lasts and when it’s time to reapply that’s brutal. Even with just 6 weeks of summer left, I am thrilled to have found the genius UVSunSense wristbands that show both of us exactly when his SPF 55 has worn off. I put the bracelet on...

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The original eco friendly lunch box gets an update with Laptop Lunches 2.0

Can I mention that I’m sort of freaking out about this whole packing a lunch in an actual lunch box thing, which is completely silly because it’s just a lunch for goodness sake. So, I’m relying on my daughter’s new Laptop Lunch box and bag to get me through this mini-crisis. It might sound crazy, but if you haven’t seen the Laptop Lunch bento box systems over the past couple of years, then you’re in for a real treat. They’ve upgraded their earlier version to feature three BPA-free, watertight containers with lids, a deeper bag, and completely metal silverware....

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All You Gluten, Milk, Egg and Nut-Allergic Cookie Lovers: I have the Cookies for you

You’re lucky she isn’t allergic to gluten. . .that allergy sucks, the guy at Whole Foods said, as I looked for milk-free treats for my oldest. And, I have to agree that in the world of food allergies, short of the real life-threatening ones, I feel worst for the gluten-allergic kids who have to endure sawdust-textured treats. But, I believe the playing field has been leveled now that I’ve taste-tested all of the incredible goodies from Cookies. . . For Me? which are not only gluten-free, but egg-free, milk-free and nut-free too. The company has one of those awesome...

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Been Caught Squealing

Back in the day, sweaty dancing to live music, singing loudly and staying up too late was a given during my annual pilgrimage to the Lollapalooza music festival. I’ve had to tone things down a bit now that my hearing is shot, my bedtime is before 10 and the kids are old enough to understand the lyrics to my music. But, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the new Kidzapalooza CD captures a lot of Lolla’s spirit and fun, minus the beer and tattooed guy who eats light bulbs. As with the live Kidzapalooza show, Mr. Lollapalooza, Perry...

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The budget-friendly Oeuf collection. Yep, you read that correctly.

The brilliant folks at Oeuf have listened to the pleas of cash-strapped moms like me and created a new kids’ furniture collection that is chock full of the design and eco-friendliness of their other collections– but at about half the price. The new Oeuf Robin Collection includes a crib that converts to a toddler bed and a changing table/dresser, both of which are made of 100% sustainable wood and painted with water-based paints. The new collection keeps with the commitment to modern design, green materials and high function that Oeuf has focused on since starting the company in 2002....

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RunPee – So pregnant women will never miss the good parts again

I’m pretty sure my pregnant bladder had a mind of its own, ensuring that I would have to run to the bathroom at all the most inopportune times. You know, like immediately after you pass a rest stop on the highway, just when you fall asleep, and right at the good part in the movie. But with the RunPee (hilarious, right?) iPhone App, you just enter any movie currently in theaters that you’re watching, and you’ll get a subtle vibration when it’s a good time time to go, well, run and pee. Or, if you’re not pregnant, get a...

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Toy and product recalls – Yep, they’re still out there.

While 2009 hasn’t quite turned out to be the Year of the Recall the same way it was in 2007, we still like the the idea of an easy way to check for safety recalls of children’s toys and other products.  In fact, the Babysitter Balance from Baby Bjorn (shown), a bouncy seat we fell in love wtih late last year, has just today issued a voluntary safety recall because some small metal pieces have been found in some padding and could potentially cause scratches. There have been no injuries reported  but as a testament to the company’s commitment...

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These ain’t your mama’s nursery rhyme illustrations

There’s a place for tradition, and there’s a place for innovation, and there is a place for both side by side. Sub-Studio design’s new nursery rhyme prints are a perfect combination of age-old nursery rhymes from past generations and a bold mid-century illustration style that takes them forward through the next. My favorite has to be the Wise Old Owl (shown). This modern-styled art print wouldn’t be relegated to the nursery in my house; in fact, it’s a message that I would appreciate being reminded of on a daily basis:     A wise old owl lived in an oak....

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The waste-free lunch kit with something for everyone

The day I realized how many plastic baggies I was using in my kids’ lunches each week was the day I began trying every sort of reusable container and wrap out there. Nowadays the kids take a cobbled-together assortment of reusables in their lunch bags, but the Kids Konserve kit appeals to me for three reasons. First, it’s everything you could possibly need for a single gone-green lunch, with a combination of reusable lunch sack, reusable sandwich bag, stainless steel bottle, cloth napkin, and safe food storage, all perfectly coordinated. There’s “fun” butterfly and caterpillar designs for the little...

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In the pink

There aren’t too many pink posters I’d hang in my daughters’ post-feminist non-pink bedroom, but artist and graphic designer Robin Rosenthal’s counting bird poster would easily make the cut. When we first found her original counting birds poster two years ago, we fell instantly in love with the sweet chick motif and elegant modern typography, so I’m pleased she’s re-released it in an elegant pink and red color scheme inspired by one of my kids’ favorite books, The Snowy Day. By the way, before she was making our children’ rooms look gorgeous, Robin was making Martha Stewart’s magazines look...

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Learning disguised as catchy pop songs, cool characters, and charming illustrations.

We don’t own a lot of kids’ DVDs in my house, primarily since it’s so hard to know if we will get our money’s worth or they will be watched twice before my daughter gets bored and just wants to throw the disk around. But one completely worthwhile standby has been our Readeez DVD. (Edited to add: Now also available for immediate download to watch right on your computer or tablet) Readeez are short vignettes with original songs, nursery rhymes, poems, and more, all designed to let the words sink in. As a musician and dad himself, creator Michael...

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Favorite baby carrier? Reader Q&A

I emailed a few months ago asking what your favorite baby carrier was and your reply was The Rockin Baby Sling, which I ordered and love.  I am now looking for an Ergo/Beco type carrier. Do you prefer one over the other or is there another brand you love? -Heather You’re talking to a baby carrier addict here, Heather. But if I had to pick my favorite Ergo type carrier, I’d go with the BabyHawk mei tai carrier (shown). Don’t let the long straps intimidate you. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be wearing this one all...

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Let them wheat-free eat cake

Since giving up wheat, there are a few foods I no longer miss, and others I dream about regularly. One of the items I’ve fantasize about binging on is chocolate chip cookies. I’d just not found a suitable replacement without the gluten. So I was excited to try the new Kids Central Kitchen 360 Chocolate Chip Flip bar cookie mix. Would it fill that Tollhouse-shaped hole in my heart? The answer is… yes and no. This is not the mix to buy if you want a cookie. But! This is absolutely the mix to buy if you miss cake....

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Diaper bags that look like nothing of the sort. Which seems to be the point these days.

It’s hard to believe a few short years ago, a diaper bag looked like (gasp) a diaper bag. Today, diaper bags are allowed to look like clutches, like hobo bags, like totes – pretty much anything besides something actually designed to help you manage the intestinal functions of your infant. Well Timi and Leslie claim to have started that trend, and whether it’s true or not, their convertible designer diaper bags certainly do fit the bill. The Mod and Parisien (shown) styles are probably my favorites, with sleek modern (and thankfully lightweight) designs that skip the fussiness of decorative...

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Why settle for a mere octopus, when you can make a Socktopus

I just do not have that kind of creativity it would entail to look at a traditional sock monkey and think, Hmm, I bet I could improve on that. But that’s what CMP fave Clarity Miller did when she turned one into a Socktopus. It’s virtually the same, only with 8 more arms for your kid to hit her sister with. If you are the crafty type however, the new Socktopus kits come with the sock, stuffing, needle and thread, buttons for eyes, and all the super clear directions you need to make your own. It’s a fantastic under-$20...

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Snug as a pea in a pod. Or at least in a baby sleep sack.

While I can’t say that sleep sacks miraculously kept my kids from waking up, they at least kept me from needlessly running to their cribs to cover them up or untangle them from their web of blankets. It’s a great practical gift for new moms, but it seems as though most baby sleep sacks are styled with the idea that kids are wearing them in the dark. That is clearly not the case with the gorgeous Mandarin Fun baby sleep sack from Violet’s Peapod. Fashioned in their unique signature pea pod shape to give baby’s feet plenty of room...

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World’s best pillow fight pillows (sound effects included)

For years, I dreamt about a playroom — a place (that wasn’t my living room) where my boys could make a mess with their superhero toys and have pillow fights and stand on the furniture without making me insane. Now that we have a playroom, I’m constantly on the lookout for accent pieces that are both kid-friendly and super stylish. In other words, stuff that can take a beating and still look great. diffractionFIBER’s onomatopoeia throw pillows are the perfect accent for kid spaces. Crafted of Eco-Felt (“100% recycled Plastic bottles!”), the pillows are a nice size for tossing...

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