Month: August 2009

1000 Markets – You will be bummed they only stopped at 1000.

There are a lot of me-too etsy type online marketplaces cropping up these days, though most of them fall a little (or a lot) flat on execution. But 1000 Markets? So awesome I don’t even know where to begin. 1000 Markets is beautiful, it’s navigable, and it’s mercifully well-organized. You can browse and search for individual artist’s shops, look at dozens of product categories, or browse through online markets which group products by categories like food (warning: you will drool), by locations like Chicago, or by style, like modern simplicity which is right up my alley, and very well...

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Funky lunch – that’s a good thing

I do not have six million free hours in my day but if I did, I just might consider turning my kids’ sandwich into a giraffe. Or a caterpillar. Or Sponge Bob. Just because I could. And if I were to do that kind of a thing, I would have to hit the website Funky Lunch, which has the most remarkable gallery of sandwiches cum children’s art that you’ve ever seen. There are no instructions, but a book from the creators is forthcoming. Although if you look closely, you can kind of figure the simple ones out. I’d bet...

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The gift the kids will love to ruin

With the kids heading back to school, the birthday party circuit will be starting up again. If your kid is old enough to read, you may understand my temptation to give other kids books rather than more toys. The problem is that while their parents might love you for it, not every kid is delighted to receive a book. Except that every kid will be delighted to receive this book: Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal. It’s a masterpiece manual of embracing creativity and bucking the ordinary, and entirely made to be destroyed. Really! So yes, by all means, write...

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Photo learning books that seem like they’re made just for your kids. Because, well, they are.

We’ve been huge fans over the years of Shutterfly‘s photobooks which make affordable gifts guaranteed to bring the tears (in a good way). And now they’re getting the word out about the ability to turn the photobooks into make-your-own photo learning books for the kids, which is totally cool when you think about it. I think anything that gets kids excited about books is just super, and it’s hard to go wrong when the book is entirely customized just for them around their own individual learning stage. Top that, Borders! It would be great to photograph elements of the...

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Back to school dresses that go way beyond dresses

Yes, I know that the dresses from Pink Chicken are not the least expensive in all the land, but I’ll tell you why I love them beyond nearly anything else in my girls’ wardrobe: They’re well made, the styles are adorable and I can toss them in the wash along with the cheap stuff. But beyond that, I get so much use out of them because after they’re too small to wear as dresses, the flowy, flouncy shape continues to look fantastic over leggings or jeans as a tunic. My two-and-a-bit year-old is still wearing a 12-month size dress...

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Our house is a very very very fine house

My husband has a bit of an obsession with graphic representations of homes, making no effort to hide his loud praise for them when he sees them on our friends’ walls. I wasn’t entirely in his camp until discovering the handmade little city hoops from Little Pink House which completely blew me away. Stay-at-home mom and former college professor Melissa Crowe uses a photograph to create a mini replica of your home using a combination of felt and embroidery, creating a result unlike anything I’ve seen. She’ll even add special personalized details, like birds, dogs, even that bushy-tailed squirrel who won’t leave your...

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The Mad Men diaper clutch

Smaller diaper bags and diaper clutches tend to be sporty, so if you prefer something more stylish and on trend, you’re often left to fend for yourself with a small purse stuffed with baby stuff, praying that the bottle doesn’t leak onto your not-quite-waterproof lining. Well, small chic bag lovers, let me introduce you to the beautiful new Petunia Pickle Bottom Cameo Clutch from their “Cake” line, which looks like it was stolen right off the Mad Men prop table. (You did watch the season premiere last night, right?) I’m always hearing a lot of chatter about the PPB...

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Hope in a bottle. Seriously.

Every year, without fail, I make the same New Year’s Resolution: To drink more water. And every year I fail miserably. However Project 7 water may provide me with just the motivation I need to succeed. Project 7 is a small Texas company created by Tyler and Taylor Merrick, with a big idea–to donate half of their profits (you read that correctly) to 7 charities that benefit 7 areas of need in our world. Like feeding the hungry, protecting the environment and searching for world peace. Lofty goals for a simple bottle of water, huh? In fact you even...

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Stokke enables eating, playing, and learning all in the same spot. Though you may want to keep the eating and playing separate.

Stokke’s Tripp Trapp high chair is a classic that’s been around for 37 years–in fact, my daughter recently sat in the one that I had used as a kid. How’s that for longevity? The basic principle behind it remains as popular with parents today as it was in the 70’s–it brings kids right up to the table. But that’s not new. What is new is Stokke’s Eat Play Learn Table Top, a tray that suctions to the table to give you the easy clean-up of plastic while keeping your kids entertained at the table. The tray covers a large area and has...

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Soft books for babies go green

Since I’ve become a parent, my delight with Peter Rabbit has been replaced with a desire to give him a time out for eating Farmer Brown’s veggies and disobeying his mama. He’s figuring out how to win we me over again though, by going green with his new eco-friendly Naturally Better line of books, baby foods, toiletries and toys. I am particularly taken by the new Peter Rabbit Organic Cloth Book which is called, appropriately, Snuggle. All of the cloth on this squishable book is made from organic-sourced cotton (the filling is non-organic), so I’d be okay seeing it...

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Shake, rattle and bark

I make no apologies about dissuading people from giving stuffed animals as baby gifts because the damn things just seem to spawn and multiply overnight. But I could easily make an exception when it comes to the gorgeous plush baby rattles that are a result of an awesome collaboration between artist P$YNNER and the mom-owners of Chi Chi Amor. Each animal and doll rattle is handcrafted from soft felt and a recycled Huipil, a traditional Guatemalan shirt, making it a completely one-of-a-kind piece. And the rattle inside turns it from simply a baby-sized lovey into an actual toy. These...

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Threadless + Childhood = BFFs

I have a giant soft spot in my heart for Threadless, already–my kids and I all wear the community-centered shop’s artist designed shirts–but now there’s one more reason to love them. Threadless Kids has recently teamed up with Babycenter to create the Threadless Loves Childhood design contest. Just create a tee inspired by the “fascinating journey of childhood” and it could win you a cool $2,500 in cash and prizes. And best of all? The winning design will be printed on both child- and adult-sized shirts, so the whole family can snag the latest and greatest design when it’s...

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B Designs’ gorgeous letterpress birth announcements for twins just look expensive

I had three kids in under four years, but it’s the parents who have twins who earn my respect for living with double the chaos. Maybe that’s why I love B Designs’ minimalist letterpress twins birth announcement which conveys the joy over the new arrivals without any of the frenzy. We think you’ll appreciate how affordable the cards are — it’s not as cheap as doing your birth announcements yourself on your computer, but it’s surprisingly well-priced for custom letterpress which is nice when you’re buying double the outfits and double the diapers. It’s ridiculously easy to create these...

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Three cheers for custom pennants!

I used to love the show Happy Days–remember Arnold’s and all the sports pennants hanging all over the walls? (You do remember Happy Days, right? I can’t be that old.) I guess that’s why I loved these personalized felt pennants from Kristine Kaye which made me feel so nostalgic. How cool would it be to have a pennant made with your kid’s name in his favorite colors and maybe throw in a number (like his age) to boot? Every one of the letters is hand cut which makes them more special than something machine printed. Or, you can just...

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Backpacks and lunch boxes and monograms oh my.

So okay, we’ve been fawning over Dante Beatrix way too much lately. First it was their fabulous eco-backpacks made out of 100% recycled bottles which now come in little kid sizes. Then it was their adorable wheelie bags for kids. Next up it was their super cute BPA and PVC-free lunchboxes that we featured on our Back to School Shopping Guide. But wait – there’s more! Just in time for the school season to start, they’ve got two new items of note – first, their new robot backpacks and robot lunchboxes available exclusively at Giggle. They come in pink...

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What’s the baby going to look like?

So you’re pregnant, and every blurry black-and-white ultrasound photo of baby is up on the fridge, and you spend many a quiet moment imagining what your baby might look like. Will she have your eyes? His chin? That funny little dimple you get in the corner of your mouth? If you just can’t wait until baby arrives to get a load of that adorable little face, check out the latest bit of fun from the folks at Aha! Baby: Their Sneak-A-Peek picture maker allows you to upload photos of Mom and Dad and combine them to “make” a picture...

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Back to school discount codes? Yep, we’ve got them.

Back to school shopping is rarely cheap (we know, we know) which is why we’ve made an effort to secure you mamas exclusive discounts on our back to school shopping guide. For starters: Our premier sponsor, Moxie Kids is offering $10 off orders of their fabulous kids’ clothes over $50, plus free shipping with code CPM10. (choose in-store pick up to receive free shipping) Our other premier sponsor, EMTanner Designs is giving you 20% off their personalized lunchboxes and other cool kids’ gear with code COOLMOM. Plus you’ll find codes up to 50% off (no kidding!) from more than...

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Invisibelt goes girly

We totally dug the Invisibelt when it first came out (seriously – half of our writers bought one and they all rave about it) because it lies flat and gets rid of that lumpy bumpy crazy stuff that goes on under your untucked shirt. And now, behold! For there is a an Invisibelt Girl Collection made just for our daughters. There’s a chic pink or purple solid belt, or find cute patterns like peace signs and the ubiquitous and trendy skulls sporting hair bows. You basically adjust them the way you do goggles then snap the ends together (no...

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When is a stuffed animal not just a stuffed animal?

The only thing more impressive to us than an adorable handmade stuffed animal is one with an awesome do-gooding backstory. Like the one behind Kathy Chereck’s “critters” at the shop Ashley Petite. When Kathy Chereck lost her grandson, Nicholas, to a rare medical condition, she began creating elephants and piggies and the fuzzy bunny shown here, with all the proceeds (all!) going directly to Angela’s House II which assists parents by giving them a place that can support and help care for medically frail children. Fuzzy Bunny has long hair so it’s probably best for kids who are past...

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Through the drinking glass

With my oldest daughter’s recent transition from sippy cups to regular cups, I’m having to scrounge around for our collection of BPA-free IKEA plastic cups that tend to end up in our bath tub as play toys instead of filled with milk on our dinner table. So that’s why I’m digging the new silicone sleeved glass tumblers from Silikids. We already love all their smart silicone-based products for kids, so it’s not a surprise that we’re equally enthralled with their new glassware. The tumblers are the perfect size for little kid hands, and the sleeves not only protect the glasses but help in...

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