Month: August 2009

Prepacked hospital bags? Reader Q&A

Can you recommend a service that offers hospital bags with wonderful goodies for a new mom? I loved the goodies inside the one I received last year and now my daughter uses the bag as her ‘overnight’ bag for all our trips. -Christina We’ve searched high and low for prepacked hospital gift bags that are full of useful–and tasteful–goodies for moms. And so far, our favorite has been the maternity bags from Babytime Bags. The very cute tote contains everything from flip flops (SO essential) to a handy nightstand clock, as well as stuff for baby from brands we...

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Cool Mom Picks on The Early Show – Set your alarms, mamas!

Even though most of us have little alarm clocks that tend to get us up waaaaay earlier than we’d like, you might want to set a real one tomorrow so you can catch Cool Mom Picks co-founder and editor-in-chief Liz Gumbinner on CBS’s The Early Show. At around 8:30am EST tomorrow (August 7), she’ll be talking about some of the coolest customized gifts, including the personalized books from Custom Made for Kids. And if 8:30 is cutting into your beauty sleep or work time, don’t worry. That’s what Tivos are for. Go Liz! -Kristen & the CMP...

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The Cool Mom Picks Back to School Shopping Guide! It’s here!

We know there are still a few beach days in your future, but consider this your gentle reminder that the first day of preschool, kindergarten or beyond is just around the bend. But, don’t worry, we’ve got your back and have put together our third annual Back to School Shopping Guide to help make life a little easier for parents of the littlest school kids. We’ve been ignoring the laundry for days to make sure we found only the coolest gear for back-to-school season, whether it’s eco-friendly school supplies, or clothing, shoes and backpacks that will set your little...

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At last, a solution for Flattened Boob Syndrome. (What, you don’t know about Flattened Boob Syndrome?)

Take one peek in my closet and you’ll know that I’m an equal opportunity bag lover. I fully embrace everything from schmancy patent laaaazeather purses to simple cotton totes. Lately, I’ve been on a sporty bag kick, mostly because I can wear them across my body leaving my hands completely free to chase after my three kids, but when you’re pregnant or nursing and the boobs are sore (mm-hmm, you know what I mean) that’s not always the best choice The Go GaGa urbran sherpa strap isn’t specifically made for nursing mamas, but it’s totally been helping me stay...

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Just the right shade of … skin

My daughter recently drew a picture of herself and one of her school friends. She made herself pink and her friend brown. Neither color was exactly … right. And as a budding artist, she was bothered by the limitations of her crayons. Just as her hair isn’t really “red” and her skin isn’t really “pink,” her friend’s skin wasn’t exactly “brown” or “black.” Nothing quite worked. But now! No kid (or adult) will have to settle for pink, brown, yellow, red, or black. We can all draw our own color — the skin shades we really are. This set...

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Eco-friendly lunches are in the bag

I don’t even want to think about how many plastic sandwich bags I go through a month. Every day my son takes at least two or three in his lunch bag, and I’ve felt it’s either use a disposable sandwich bag or buy the much more expensive pre-packaged bags of snacks. But Graze 100% organic cotton reusable sandwich and snack bags seem to be a pretty cool alternative. Heather Jacobs and Leslie Sarracino are the brilliant moms behind these eco-friendly reusable, resealable cloth sacks. Each certified organic reusable bag features a charming silk-screened print (all water-based inks) of a...

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A little squeez’ll do ya

I have to admit that the drinkable foods sort of freak me out. Applesauce with no spoon? Oh, the horror. But wouldn’t you know it, my kids can suck down the GoGo Squeez resealable applesauce in one huge gulp. Even I find myself getting over my issues and snatching up the yummy GoGo Squeez packets made by Materne, a French Company who’s been perfecting the art of applesauce since the 19th Century (no lie). And believe me, you can tell. The packs are plain fruit goodness — a combination of apples with strawberries or bananas — and absolutely no additives, preservatives,...

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Our favorite dolls get ink

We love Melissa Conroy’s Wooberry dolls. The originals are not only designed from her child’s sketches, they’re also handmade. And beyond adorable. In a move that touches my writerly heart, the dolls have gone meta and returned to their paper-based roots in pOppy’s pants, Conroy’s first (and hopefully not only) book. Featuring pOppy and pEnelope, two of Conroy’s signature dolls, this picture book combines photography and drawings and had my daughter and me wondering just how much sewing did Melissa have to do to get this book created? I especially love the postcript by the author’s father, Pat, which...

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An all-natural sunscreen – bug repellent mashup

Our New England summer started off as one big, wet petri dish for mosquitoes, meaning the buggers are now swarming even in the middle of the day. And there’s no sign of it letting up until fall. I have no intention of mixing DEET into my kids sunscreen, so I’m grateful that California Baby has an all-natural SPF 30+ Sunscreen Citronella Bug Blend to protect our family’s lily-white skin from both dangerous rays and flying biters. The thick PABA-and-chemical free lotion with SPF 30 is great for us non-tanners, and my skin can attest to its effectiveness after a...

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The diaper bag for fall (with emphasis on THE)

All this back to school shopping for my daughter has gotten in the mood for fall. And for me, that means pulling out my favorite boots and looking for a brand new diaper bag. We’re already huge fans of the Baby Kaed bags from mom Lavinia Lobo, and now her new Noimoy diaper bag, with the fashionable quilted faux leather, is the perfect fall bag for moms like me who like the roominess and pockets of a diaper bag, but don’t need to haul their entire nursery with them. In fact, it’s a great for moms of toddlers who...

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Our Top Nursing Picks for World Breastfeeding Week – Let’s hear it for the boobs!

It’s not like we needed any sort of excuse to tell you about all the amazing breastfeeding products out there, but since it’s World Breastfeeding Week, we figured we’d celebrate by picking our all time favorites. Go Boobs! Nursing bras and tanks – Lifting them up where they belong Since the “girls” need all the support they can get while you’re breastfeeding, check out our very favorite stylish nursing bras from Bella Materna, which actually lift and contain. And while they might not give you well-endowed mamas the greatest support, we’ve found that nursing tanks, like the Medela Nursing...

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Recession shopping tip: Last season it was new, this season it’s a sale

If you’ve been known to lust after designer backpacks and dream of sending your kid back to school in impeccable style, but can’t quite bring yourself to face the designer price tag, I have some great news. Now’s a great time to buy those gorgeous designs you drooled over a couple of seasons ago, at a price you might be able to stomach. Behold: Right now you can choose from an adorable array of Room Seven backpacks–sure, not this season’s, but who cares?–at a savings of up to 40% (or more) at Popodona. I won’t tell anyone you didn’t...

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The reinvention of the lunchbox

Who knew, back when we were kids that there would be a lunchbox alternative besides those little metal numbers with the latch, the wobbly handle, and, if you were me, an illustration of the Partridge Family on the front. The contemporary new Oots Lunchbox is a really interesting take on the old sandwich carriers of yore – basically it’s a BPA/Phthalate-free plastic box with a contrasting colored top, held together by a wide swath of elastic over the top, plus a fabric carrying handle. You can pretty much stuff it to the gills with five enclosed plastic storage containers...

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GoPicnic – The real happy meals

With my daughter entering kindergarten in the fall, I must now add “pack a lunch” to my list of duties–something that is clearly not my fort?. So at least I know that in a pinch, I’ve got the GoPicnic kids Mighty Munch meals to turn to. These convenient prepacked meals are a smart, healthy alternative to the more mainstream (i.e. nitrate-laden) complete kids’ box lunches out there, featuring  natural foods and snacks – no refrigeration necessary – plus utensils. Even a temporary tattoo. Because what meal is not complete without tattoos? We’re personal fans of the Aqua Lunch (pictured),...

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The back to school sneakers for climbing a tree or cutting a rug

While all of the trend forecasting is pointing to the 80s for fall, I’m loving the 80s-meets-50s footwear mashup of the new Keds saddle shoe sneaker, right in time for back to school shopping. It’s that rare hybrid that’s got all the comfort and support you want in a sneaker, but can still look adorable with a twirly skirt or little belted dress. The only drawback is that my own dainty-footed preschoolers can’t fit in them since they start at a 8.5. But on the good side – they go up to a 6. So I’m wondering if I...

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Dahling, who are you wearing? Oh you? Fabulous!

My days of drawing rock band logos on my knees are long gone, but life would have been a lot easier if the non-toxic  Tee Juice fabric markers were around back then. My son and his friends tried them out during the world’s best playdate, and I found the thick roll-tip markers were especially good for little hands. The vibrant colors are great on everything from white tees to canvas sneakers, tote bags or nylon laundry sacks–good news for parents of scouts and sleep-away campers. The paint flows easily without being too gooey or too dry; just make sure...

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Purple Trail makes anybody a professional party planner

I want to be a good hostess, really I do. But my idea of throwing a party involves opening a few bottles of wine and putting steaks on the grill. I’m a little shaky where it comes to the details that elevate a party from fun to fabulous. Purple Trail is exactly what entertaining-impaired hostesses like me need. It’s not just another online invitation service–though the design options are endless and gorgeous and totally ad-free.  What makes Purple Trail so appealing to me are the unique party ideas like diaper poker (I guess if you have to play a...

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Chic maternity wear all in one place. And that one place is not a mall, thank you.

Maternity wear has come a long way in the nine years since I had my first baby, but for most of us, the local maternity shopping options are limited, and trolling the Internet for deals takes time away from napping — an important part of staying radiant while you’re pregnant. Here’s a nap-friendly solution: Check out DesignerMaternity.com which does all the legwork for you. The site gathers all of our favorite chic maternity brands like Isabella Oliver and Chiara Kruza (shown here) as well as maternity pieces from lines better known for their non-pregnant clothes (Rock and Republic, Citizens...

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