Month: August 2009

Swapping it forward with Swap Mamas

I used to do the consignment thing with my kids’ outgrown clothes, but I’ve just not found a store in our new locale that has enough stuff I want to buy to make it worth my while to sell there. And I admit that dropping bags anonymously at Goodwill can be hard when they contain something my kids really loved. Swap Mamas is the social media answer to a consignment shop – a way to send your gently used items to a new home, and find the items you need yourself all while connecting with like-minded parents. It’s like...

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Not just candy buttons – big, honkin’ goliath-sized candy buttons.

Remember the Candy Buttons of your youth? You know, the ones with absolutely no flavor (save for sugar) that you peeled off the paper strip, trying your best to increase the ratio of candy-to-paper that in fact made it into your mouth? Well now a company has done them one better with Mega Candy Buttons, which are indeed mega, and actually have some yummy fruit flavor to them. Best of all, they don’t stick to the paper. Technology! Stock up now for Halloween, or be like my friend Sara who’s decided to turn candy buttons into her crazy pregnancy...

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Bootie-licious

If there’s anything that can give my retired uterus a few pangs, it’s a pair of adorable hand knit baby booties, like the new ones from CMP fave Tiny Sprouts. Known for their sweetly embroidered personalized baby blankets and baby clothes, they’ve added these teeny tiny baby shoes to their shop, all of which are hand dyed in vibrant shads of pink, blue or green, and made from super soft cotton. The smaller foot openings and criss-cross straps ensure that these booties actually stay on your baby’s feet — what a miracle! And considering how much time I spent...

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Somewhere between melamine and the wedding china

When my kid were old enough to stop smacking their cereal bowls with their hands to flip them, I was excited to trade up from the melamine dish set we had. Besides, I was getting kind of tired of the same bright orange every day. I think what I had envisioned was something like the beautiful ceramic dish set for kids from notNeutral. The coordinated bowl, plate and cup in the modern transport set is just adorable, and kids will love that little airplane surprise on the bottom if they finish all their mac n cheese. (Or is that...

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Cartoons for the thinking mama

When I was in high school, an artist friend of mine and I wrote a graphic novel during biology class featuring the adventures of our teacher’s prominent nose, thus beginning my love affair with random and edgy hilarity. If you adore the absurd, you are going to love Nicole Chaison’s graphic memoir, The Passion of the Hausfrau: Motherhood, Iluminated which is one part memoir, one part modern illuminated manuscript, and all parts brilliant. The narrative from cartoonist, writer and mom-of-two Chaison is funny enough, but the cartoons that illustrate every page take it to another level. From Chaison’s adventures...

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Breaking News – SIGG Bottles contain BPA after all. Sigh.

It’s disheartening to support a brand like SIGG for making safer, BPA-free drinking bottles for kids and adults when it turns out that nope, that wasn’t the situation at all. Or as the old saying goes, “we was played.” News broke this week that SIGG, the aluminum bottles we’ve often lauded as a safer, Bisphenol A-free alternative to plastic cups and bottles–and that my own kids drink out of every day–have linings that contain small amounts of the proven endocrine disrupting chemical. This is the case with all SIGG bottles made before August 2008, and plenty still being sold....

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Recessionista tip – 2009 summer clothes will look just as cute on your kids in 2010

Oh how I love the ability to stock up on next year’s summer clothes for my kids at insane discounts. Like a 70% off kind of discount. Especially when they’re as beautiful as the lovely selection of girls’ clothes from London children’s boutique, ilovegorgeous. The 3 year-old Notting Hill shop makes little halter dresses in sunny yellow, soft pink or an earthy brown that are just my speed, especially at  ?16 or about $26 US, slashed down from ?52 (!!). But all of their twirly, feminine girls’ dresses are worth a look right now. They’re romantic and simple, embellished...

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Don’t need no stinking hammer

If you are like me and have a ton of photos that need to go on the wall, but you lack the motivation to frame and hang them, Stickr has got something to make the process a whole lot easier. We’ve recommended their more sophisticated reusable vinyl frames in the past (no hammer, nails or level needed), and now they’ve got a new train photo frame that’s especially perfect for the little one’s room, where breakable glass and sharp-edged frames that can get knocked off the walls are dubious ideas at best. The train set comes with room for...

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The lazy mom’s smoothie

My kids are fruit-eating machines, which is great except for when we get the urge to make a smoothie and have only a sad spotted banana left on the counter. Short of planting my own orchard, I’m happy to have discovered the new all-natural Chiquita Smoothies which are in fact all-natural–Something you rarely expect in the frozen foods section these days. Chiquita Smoothies use all fruit and fruit juices with no added sugars or artificial anything. And because they’re made without dairy or gluten, my food-allergic child is thrilled to be able to enjoy the same frozen strawberry-banana or...

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Putting the hip in hippie

So Woodstock and I both celebrated our 40th birthdays this year, the one big difference is that mine isn’t being commemorated with ridiculously cool apparel, like this Woodstock kids tee made by Rowdy Sprout. While the summer may be galloping towards the finish line the layered look, with the white thermal sleeves (I know, it’s hard to see in the photo) is perfect for Fall. My son loves the Hippie theme, but can’t quite bring himself to wear a t-shirt with flowers and hearts on it so instead he bugged me mercilessly for the Rolling Stones tee instead. Now,...

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Pencil cases for the bookish

I was clicking around etsy this past weekend and discovered this adorable handmade girls’ pencil case that I love for so many reasons. The illustration is beyond precious of course, but the I Heart Books slogan is really the kicker. It comes courtesy of Vancouver’s Kukubee, and I might just need one for myself too. Enough with the “My kid can beat up your honor student” bumper stickers. I want my daughters to be proud of being smart and working hard. Also? Of having cute school accessories. –LizFind handmade pencil cases and more from the Kukubee etsy shop.And for...

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Shampoo made just for pregnant women because when you’re pregnant, yes, the world does revolve around you.

I suppose if you’re pregnant and avidly avoiding microwaves and runny cheeses and car exhaust, it makes sense to avoid things like parabens and phthalates too. Which is why I was intrigued by a very caring company called Nine Naturals which has created a nice little line of natural hair care products made just for moms-to-be. The light, clean, minty Oh, Baby! shampoo and conditioner have ingredient lists that read like a trip to the natural foods market: Olive oil, salt, wheat protein, corn sugar, aloe vera and so on. It sure does inspire a whole lot of confidence,...

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Toys R Us launches guide for differently abled kids: Big Brands Doing Cool Things

While we try to support our local mom and pops as much as possible, I’m delighted to hear that the behemoth that is Toys R Us has just put out their 15th annual guide to toys for differently-abled kids to help support the special needs community. I love that all the toys are categorized not by ability or age, but by ten skill sets in part determined with the help of the nonprofit National Lekotek Center. That way you can decide what’s best for your own kid, whether it’s fine motor skills, language skills, social skills or self-esteem. The...

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DIY Shutterfly photo learning book winners – Behold the creativity

We’re so happy to announce the twelve winners of the Shutterfly learning photobook contest. Each was drawn at random and yet, all so clever. Suddenly we want to go make like a hundred Shutterfly DIY photobooks ourselves. Thanks so much to our sponsor Shutterfly and to Federated Media for so generously offering free photobooks for all the winners. We can’t wait to see the results! GRAND PRIZE: (Because wow, we love this) Suzanne Bastien‘s Grandma’s Molasses Cookies Recipe Book(read all about it after the jump) I would love to do a DIY book that gives the kids my grandmother’s...

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Jungle love

If your kids are like my kids, then it doesn’t matter what the toys were intended for, they all still end up in their mouths. Hence my appreciation for the new sets of pretending and teething toys from Little Alouette. Hand carved from maple wood with love by Ohio-based mom and dad team Amy and Joe Sharp, these adorable play sets feature a set of five animals (well, four and a tree if you’re being technical) that older kids can use for creative playing while their younger siblings use them for chomping. And don’t worry about splinters; the toys are super smooth and finished...

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Cooking for kids just got 150 recipes easier

Recently, my Michael Pollan-obsessed sigOth and I have had some conversations about stepping up our meal preparation game for the kids. So I’m pleased to have discovered two new cookbooks that seem primed to help us find some options that lie somewhere between spaghetti with butter sauce and hiding vegetables in the cupcakes. The Toddler Cafe: Fast, Easy and Fun Ways to Please Even the Pickiest Eaters is a wonderfully helpful resource from chef, mom, and Food Network stylist Jennifer Carden. 50 truly creative family-friendly recipes for all times of day range from the imaginative (PB&J French Toast) to...

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Who wants to come see the Rockettes with me next week? No, seriously.

One of the fun things about what we do here is getting the occasional invitation to an event so cool, we have to pinch ourselves. Next week, I’m heading to Radio City Music Hall with my kids and some other bloggers for a behind the scenes look at one of my favorite NYC landmarks. The afternoon includes a meet and greet and photo ops with the Radio City Rockettes and Santa (hellooooo, holiday cards!) to help promote the annual Christmas Spectacular, plus cupcake decorating courtesy of Magnolia Bakery, and then a chance to join in the public Christmas in...

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Packing school lunches gets more fun. And more eco-friendly.

I pack school lunches for my kids every day. I don’t mind actually making the lunches; it’s the packaging that gets me, all those little plastic bags bound for the trash, stored in a garish character tie-in lunchbox. That part is depressing. CMP has brought you plenty of alternatives lately and now here’s one more: Citizenpip’s Soup to Nuts Kit brings cool design and eco-friendly storage together — for lunch. Each stylish, insulated lunch box holds a thermos, water bottle, four airtight reusable food containers that can be opened by little hands, a fork and spoon, and five washable,...

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Love me tender

After inheriting yet another useless stuffed animal courtesy of my in-laws, I have officially put the kibosh on any and all such toys. With one exception, of course. The King. If you’re an Elvis lover, his spirit and likeness can now live on in your own home with the hilarious Elvis Beastly doll from UK’s The Grateful Thread who we already love for their guitar softies and recycled record clocks. Made from soft polar fleece, this handsome devil will put all those other poor, neglected plush dolls to shame with his deep voice and swoon-worthy dance moves – none...

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Happy birthday, hot stuff

Eh, I’m over the ironic birthday cards with the cartoon characters telling you how saggy your boobs are or how you’ll burn down the neighborhood with all those candles. Sure they were cute when I was 22 but maybe they hit a little close to home now? With my own birthday around the corner, I want something like the adorable Lookin’ Good Mirror birthday card by Hello Lucky. Because if it’s the thought that counts, then that’s the thought to count. I’d stock up on them and hand them out with abandon to everyone I know – especially because...

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