Month: August 2009

The low-commitment baby book

I think that mothers fall into two camps: Those who filled out their baby books and those who didn’t. Now Rag & Bone Bindery (who I love love loooove) has a fantastic solution for the latter camp who wants to be in the former camp, with their handmade 12 Wishes for Baby Book. Each small, beautifully bound book has a slot to paste a photo, followed twelve simple writing prompts like You can always count on me because… and When they write your life story it will begin like this… all ending with the lovely My wish for you…...

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Go ahead, kids, draw on the art

Even though I realize that the amazing Charley Harper Coloring Book is intended for younger audiences, it’s so sophisticated that I can’t help but want to save a couple of pages for me. American illustrator Charley Harper’s “minimal realism” style, which I gushed about after seeing his ABC book, makes for a wonderful coloring book. The pictures are detailed but not fussy, which means my older kids and littlest scribbler can all enjoy deciding what colors to make his happy dog, little bird or delicate ladybug. And, as someone whose refrigerator is absolutely covered in my kids’ works of...

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It’s hip to be rectangular

With all the building toys in my three-kid household, I find it amusing that their new favorite is a box of same-sized, non-painted, rectangular pieces of wood from CitiBlocs. You can almost hear all the other blocks protesting, “But I’m colorful!”, “I snap together!”, “I come in 65 different shapes!”. No matter. CitiBlocs wooden block sets may be plain and simple, but to paraphrase Dr. Seuss, oh the things they can do. CitiBlocs are made from New Zealand’s renewable and affordable Radiata Pine and we have turned our pile of blocks into a truck, a train and my interpretation...

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Trifle brings all the prettiest things together in one place (I wish that place were my house, though)

When my boys were babies, I spent a lot of time looking for cool, original things for them — clothes and bedding and accent pieces for their rooms. But in a strip mall world, that meant a lot of shopping, and no mama has time for that. I wish Trifle had been around then. Trifle, an new online boutique headquartered in New Zealand, offers a carefully curated collection of beautiful craft and design for mothers and babies from around the world, all gathered together in one virtual stop. Each item is hand-picked, plenty are hand-crafted or eco-friendly, and they...

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The hottest preschool backpacks for back to school

Still looking for the perfect backpack for your preschooler? You’re in luck. Because recently, CMP editor Liz Gumbinner taped a segment for BetterTV on some of the cutest backpacks for younger kids headed to preschool and kindergarten. Our picks, and all of them PVC free of couuuuuurse: 1. The new Zoo Packs from Skip Hop (featured: Monkey, Bunny) 2. The neoprene backpacks from Dabbawalla (featured: Doggie, Penguin) 3. The new Planet Color by Todd Parr backpacks from 4 Peas, with matching lunch tote. (featured: Love Pink) Click over and watch the segment on BetterTV here. You’ll also find some...

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Ja, Little Mon

On a recent drive to the beach, my kids and I glumly watched the black clouds rolling in as we all collectively whined, “Rain again?” Fortunately the CD I chose to turn on at that moment was Asheba’s totally fun calypso and world beat release, In The Kid Zone. The mood in our car changed as soon as we heard the sound of the steel drums and the artist’s joyful, smooth voice. And while I’ve never been to the Caribbean, native Trinadadian Asheba sure made me feel like I was headed that way with the authentic sound of songs...

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Sometimes things just Klick

Small space furniture is just getting smarter and smarter and I’m so glad to see that one of our fave U.S. kids’ furniture makers, P’kolino, is getting in on it with their Klick table and chair set for kids. Kids up to about 7 can sit on the cushioned birch plywood seat to sketch out their very important architectural blueprints or pen their first novels, and when they’re done, just slide the chair right into the table, Tetris-style and stash the cube away in the corner. It comes in three snazzy modern color combos, and I particularly like that...

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Back to Etsy for Back to School

We love looking for fun, off-the-beaten-path back to school items so much, we’re not just doing it for our own readers, we’re doing it this week for our friends at Indie Fixx who asked us to drum up some of our favorite back to school picks all from Etsy. Click over and let us know what you think of the bag tags, pencil cases, smocks, and teacher cookies we tracked down all from artists and crafters, many (if not all) moms themselves. And psst…good Etsy tip: If the item you love is sold out, click the shop name and...

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Mr. Tolkien? Your toddler shoes are ready.

The new fall kids’ shoes from CMP fave Livie and Luca are starting to slowly appear on the website and I am absolutely loving the new mushroom-adorned Woodland Boot which is a fun, Hobbit-esque update to the London Boots we were digging last year. These are not your typical kids’ shoes for sure. First of all, they’re all handmade. The leather uppers are beyond soft, the flexible soles make them fabulous for playground conquering (or magic stream crossing?), and the velcro close makes your life inordinately easier. Plus Livie and Luca’s shoes hold up so well, that I’ve had...

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Photos like they used to be – blurry, too blue, and very very cool

I am a Photoshop spaz, so I love finding programs that let me do cool things with my photos with little to no mental anguish. It’s not just a great tool as a blogger, it’s cool when I’m uploading them into e-invitations or videos or keepsake photo books. The new Rollip site can give your snaps any number of neato old school Polaroid effects, as you can see here in with a pic of my daughter that I uploaded. The service is less slick than Polardroid, but it’s free and there’s nothing to download. At some point Rollip will...

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