Month: July 2009

You know those professional baby photos you had taken? Might want to actually hang them some time.

I’m on a bit of a framing kick lately; instead of buying new artwork we’re trying to make use of the photos and odd bits of ephemera we have around to liven up some of the blank walls. So when I discovered the gorgeous handmade frames from O’Brien & Schridde Designs, I developed a raging case of frame envy. If there is such a thing. (Dr. Freud?) These are basically the frames you require when you finally get around to hanging those expensive baby photos or family portraits you had done, and yet they’re not actually expensive for handmade...

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A fashion fix fit for flats

I have jeans for flats and jeans for heels, but every now and then, a denim emergency does occur. Like, the flat-length jeans are dirty and I need to get the kids from school right now and I’m sure as heck not putting on heels for the carpool lane. Bristols 6 brings a little envelope of awesome to the solution: Their Hem Tape comes in sheets of pre-cut, double-sided sticky strips you can just lift, stick, and like magic, your too-long jeans are suddenly “hemmed” in a flash–no needles or iron required. It’s not a permanent solution (don’t put...

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Off to BlogHer

Today, we’re off to Chicago for the annual BlogHer conference, and by we, we mean Kristen, Liz, and darn near all of our contributors. (Julie and Carrie and Betsy will be sorely missed.)  If you’re headed there yourself, please make sure you say hi. Surely it will be a whirlwind of panels and parties and women clamoring to meet Tim Gunn, but we’ll be somewhere in there too. Check the pic on our about page and you’ll know who to look for. We can’t wait to see...

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Come on over to my pad

The cult favorite Patemm pad was one of the first products we ever featured on Cool Mom Picks, back when we all had one kid a piece and were astonishingly better rested. Since then, we’ve added to our own broods while Pattem has extended their line of super smart round changing pads to include organic, and now laminated versions. Once you get your hands on a Patemm pad diaper changing mat, you may never go back to the regular old ones. The round shape gives you a bit more coverage for those roly poly babies, and they offer a...

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It’s a mod mod mod mod alphabet

Just when I thought nothing else could be done with the alphabet, I discover the swanky alphabet prints from Paperfingers and my mind is instantly changed. Each print features a letter and corresponding word along with a fantastic graphic representation, making for a sophisticated approach to the plain old alphabet. Take a look at J is for Jazz (pictured) or Z is for Zeppelin (the dirigible, not the band) and think of all cool nursery or children’s room themes these pieces could inspire. What I love most about these prints is that you could actually get away with these...

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Even pilots need to wash their hands

Just when I thought I could get away with absolutely nothing plane related in at least one room in my house, I happen upon the new acrobatic airplane hand towels exclusively at Mahar Drygoods. Granted, I don’t necessarily need to buy them, but they’re actually a great alternative to kid bathroom decor that typically involves licensed characters, garish colors, or worse, a combination of the two. Handmade by Kathy Steig, these whimsical airplane towels make the perfect bathroom addition, whether you’ve got a pilot and a couple of mini pilot-wannabes in the house like us, or just some kids...

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Tooth fairy pillows get a sweet update

Since turning five and seeing all her similarly aged friends losing teeth, my daughter has become obsessed with the tooth fairy. And while I love all the fantastic tooth fairy pillows we’ve found here at Cool Mom Picks, I don’t think I can bring myself to add another stuffed item to her already crowded bed. So that’s why I’m snatching up an adorable personalized tooth fairy dish from CMP fave The Brick Kiln. Just send them your daughter’s name, along with hair color and dress color choice, and this creative duo will fire up a dish just for your...

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Wholesome cookie goodness from…Pillsbury? – Big brands doing cool things

We are supremely loving this trend in which major food manufacturers are paring down the ingredient lists, taking out the high fructose corn syrup and transfats and artificial flavors and getting back to actually feeding us…food. Next up, Pillsbury (yes, Pillsbury) who’s just come out with a kinder, gentler refrigerated cookie dough under the Pillsbury simply… name. The ingredients in the peanut butter cookies: Brown sugar, wheat flower (bleached), vegetable shortening, peanut butter, water, sugar, eggs, baking powder, salt, skim milk, vanilla extract. The chocolate chip cookies follow suit, and that’s presumably a big improvement over the original cookie...

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Silhouette portraits more 2009 than 1909

 My refrigerator is a time capsule of my son’s life to date, covered with school pictures that show how much he’s changed over the years. Especially the awkward ones. Unfortunately, each one is pretty much a glorified mug shot, only with a soft-focus forest in the background. I would love to fill out the collection with the custom silhouette portraits from STELLA+HODGE, which lend a great modern twist to a traditional technique. Devon Adrian, a super talented graphic artist, transforms your digital pix into timeless works of art on heavy archival paper, and even designs the colorful, patterned backgrounds...

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Sienna Gallery’s Stimulus Jewelry Project – the gods of shiny things are smiling down on us big time

My favorite jewelry shop anywhere in the entire universe, hands down, is this beautiful little boutique in Lenox, Mass called Sienna Gallery. Owner Sienna Patti has put together one of the most respected, most exquisitely curated collection of one-of-a-kind artisan pieces in the country–with the prices to match. So I was absolutely ecstatic when I discovered that she’s just created a Stimulus Jewelry Project to help knock a few zeros off some of her offerings for those of us whose tastes often exceed our budgets. Essentially Sienna has called for artists she represents to create pieces all in the...

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Personalized children’s books you could hang on the walls

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing most kids love more than seeing their name or likeness in anything, hence the slew of personalized books that cram my daughter’s bookshelves. Her most recent birthday gift was a personalized book found at MJM Books, a cool company founded by three brothers. (Matt, Jeff, and Mike – get it?)  What’s special about these custom books is that they incorporate real artwork by real artists – no clip art or photoshopping at all. The cute stories all made to order and printed on recycled paper, seamlessly infuse your kiddo’s name and likeness; all you...

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Tastier than a Chia Pet

Remember Chia Pets? I remember blowing my allowance on one of those back in the day. Alas, they seem to have gone the way of Sea Monkeys and X-Ray glasses; momentarily entertaining, but ultimately kind of disappointing. Well it turns out that chia seeds are actually something called Salvia, and a very special variety of Salvia is now trademarked as Salba. Why do you care? You care because Salba is a veritable superfood–8x more Omega-3s than salmon, 6x more calcium than milk, 6x more iron than green beans, more fiber than flax (and yes I’m obsessed). Salba’s nutritional profile...

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Organic baby food that’s so good you may want to get some for yourself

Recently Liz and I attended the Fancy Food Show in New York where we found Tasty Baby, a line of frozen organic baby foods that may just cause me to exceed my superlatives usage quotient for the day. How do I know that this baby food tastes amazing? Because I inhaled a cup of Bangos (banana + mangos) while standing at the booth and then brazenly asked for another one — despite the fact I have no babies. This mom-run, eco-friendly, and very charitable company offers products for every stage of development, all of which are gluten-free, unsweetened, and...

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The timeless summer dress of 2009

The first thing I thought when I saw the little audrey in the city dress was that I really really want one in my size. This black and white micro-polkadot dress is classic and cute in all the right ways. Blue Sky Rocket has a new selection of gorgeous handmade mod dresses and skirts that are the perfect antidote to the excessive use of pink and purple found in most girl’s clothing. Check out the adorable noir sundress and cherry reversible wrap skirt, both of which would be welcome additions to my daughter’s pants-filled wardrobe. Especially appealing is that...

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Toy storage, cubed

We recently finished our basement, and having a spiffy designated playroom for the kids has done amazing things for my sanity. Now it’s time to find storage for all the toys we so eagerly transferred there. In my search for the perfect playroom storage solution, I happened upon dad Dennis King’s fantastic looking wooden storage cubes. Made by hand from reclaimed wood and finished with natural materials, these smooth-edged rustic squares will look great in pretty much any space. You can stack the storage cubes on top of each other like shelves or even flip them over and use...

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Bugs on a wall

When it comes to kid’s room decor, I never considered bugs and small crawly critters as a theme, mostly because aside from a few cute ladybugs, I’ve yet to see too many designers do something wall worthy with beetles, grasshoppers, or frogs. That is until I found the awesome origami bug wall decals from Byrdie Kids Graphics. This set of 8 small critters would be a fantastic addition to any baby nursery or kid’s room. Just choose your color and you’ll get the application kit, which includes instructions and a test decal (very smart!). If only all bugs were...

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This build-your-own solar kit isn’t rocket science

We’re a crazy homeschooling family, minus the denim jumpers and 65 children (Kidding! Kidding!)  and I’m always on the lookout for ways to teach the kids things without boring them to tears with text books and lectures. The 6 in 1 Educational Solar Kit is now a part of my educational bag of tricks — a fun, kid-friendly way to demonstrate how solar power works. It took me just a few minutes for this mechanically-challenged mama to put together a little solar-powered windmill which, thankfully, was no harder to assemble than some of my son’s Lego contraptions. Even better...

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Dish soap that turns your kitchen sink into an aromatherapy spa. (Except for that whole doing the dishes part.)

I have heard nothing but raves about Mrs. Meyer’s household cleaners and I have no idea why it took me so long to try them out myself. Because, now that I have, just you go ahead and count me in among the ravers. Washing dishes is literally my most despised of all chores, and the fact that the lavender dish soap made me kind of almost sort of look forward to it, is the biggest compliment I can give it. Aside from being (mostly) natural, biodegradable and phosphate-free, it is literally the best-smelling household cleaning product I have ever...

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Top rainy day activities for kids (or when the temp hits 110 in the shade)

When the thunderclouds roll in, digging up rainy day kids’ activities to keep the brood entertained indoors isn’t so easy. Especially when all they can think about are beaches, bikes and bothering each other. So we thought it was high time to revisit some of Cool Mom Picks’ favorite past ideas for cool indoor fun. A craft a day keeps the remote control away Crafts are of course the first thing we think of for rainy days or brutal heatwaves. I absolutely love the all-inclusive, adorable and affordable craft kits from the Little Experiences, like the Rocket kit (shown)...

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Light switch plates – the most neglected part of your child’s room decor

My friend tells me she’s looking for some robot-themed stuff for her baby boy’s room and I start poking around Etsy for her. Next thing you know, I’m drooling over these robot light switch plates from Robot Candy. One is cooler than the next, from the classic 50s robot to the kitschy Japanese telephone robot to the storybook quality of the Italian Nando Robot. (At least I think it’s Italian. Is it?) Each one is handmade by the Portland based shop out of a recycled light switch plate and vintage art. And if robots aren’t your thing for some...

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