Month: September 2009

Cool Mom Picks and Vogue Bambini – Magnifico!

Pageants? Not really our thing. But fashion shows – ooh la la! So we we’re excited to be a sponsor of Vogue Bambini’s kids’ fashion show at the ENK Children’s Club trade show in NYC this coming weekend, along with fellow sponsors Weleda and the New York Botanical Garden. Designers from Agatha Ruiz de la Prada to Zutano (with Diesel, Kissy Kissy, and more in between) will be showing their coolest spring fashions around the theme of garden style. We’re hoping to see some cool organic threads in the mix. If you’re going to be at the show Sunday?...

Read More

Cool felt play food – CMP does etsy

When I was young, I loved playing house. Tea parties and market shopping were two of my favorite things. I had no idea I was practicing chores I would have to do the rest of my life. Aaaaanyway, felt food is always such a fantastic children’s toy, and the handmade play food sets we’ve featured here are just adorable. So realistic and beautifully made. The pancakes (above) made by BugNikDesigns look good enough to eat. She makes versions with strawberries or blueberries or two sunny side up eggs you can plop right on top. I love this felt play...

Read More

Dust the cobwebs off your Halloween decor. Or wait…don’t.

I’ve got a friend who goes all out for Halloween starting in mid-September. Her six year-old son has already drawn countless zombies and skeletons for their front entry, and she’s now planning what sort of cupcakes she should decorate this year — Evil robots? Crazed vampires? Bloody eyeballs? (Boy, it’s different having boys, isn’t it?) So when I saw this cool handmade cobweb plate from Minnesota potter Meghan Elizabeth I thought it would be so fabulous under her expertly decorated cupcakes. However if all you can muster is a box of store bought cookies with candy corns squashed in...

Read More

To improve your ice cream, just add Garbage

I recently treated my kids to a scoop at the local gourmet ice cream shop and was shocked to find that to add a topping (i.e. four M-n-Ms) was about half the price of the ice cream itself. Holy moly. New recession tip: Staying in for ice cream and doing our own fun toppings. And just in time, I was introduced to Gourmet Garbage: Think your inner child’s (or actual child’s) dream ice cream or cupcake topper, packaged in a reusable container. There’s mini chocolate chips. Mini white chocolate chips. HeathBar crumbles. Peanut buttery something or other. Plus little...

Read More

Saving moms and babies. Because too many of them need saving.

I recently learned that one woman dies every minute from childbirth on this planet. One every minute. And that just about knocked me out of my seat. Because most of it is avoidable. There were all kinds of stats and figures and info about maternal mortality that I learned recently at a dinner to support the Mothers Day Every Day campaign, put on by CARE and the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood. But the one that was most encouraging is learning that there is an entire force of influential women around the world committed to doing what they...

Read More

“Status symbols for the uber geek.” That’s our kind of status symbol.

I shrieked with joy last night when friend of CMP and Jimmies lead singer Ashley Albert turned us onto her new collaborative project with Phoebe Jonas, Survival of the Hippest. And by hippest we mean techiest, geekiest, and 2.0-iest, of course. The shop is going to offer something new and cool every few months, starting with these personalized nameplate ID necklaces, keychains, bracelets and pins in the Social St@tus collection. They’re made from your choice of sterling silver or blingalicious 14k, and can be personalized with any Twitter ID or hashtag of your choice. Am I speaking Greek? #sorry....

Read More

Get out the lipstick, mamas

My makeup lives permanently in my makeup bag, which seems to live permanently on my bathroom counter. Having a pretty bag for my lip gloss is important to me, since I’m looking at it all the time. So when I saw chic Aussie designer (and carbon neutral company!) Apple and Bee‘s bowling bag, I fell instantly in love. The bowling bag is technically a makeup bag, and a great one at that, made of beautiful organic cotton canvas in simple, crisp prints, with real leather handles. It stands up on its own and opens wide enough to let you...

Read More

Baby’s first crayons

A box of crayons and a coloring book are a staple toddler gift around these parts, but now with the sweet Crayon Rompers from The Baby Bunch, even their newborn siblings can get in on the budding artistry. This set of three bright, soft, beefy onesies is neatly packed in an adorable crayon-like box, making it the perfect new baby gift for boys or girls. And a welcome change when you find yourself drowning in a sea of pastels. Grab one for a new baby along with some art supplies for the older sibling and you’ve got yourself a...

Read More

Pat the reclaimed wool bunny

Okay, reclaimed wool bunny with your little fair aisle ears, you are super cute. You and your little frog friend, and that’s all I have to say about that. I wish you weren’t quite so expensive, but (sigh) I do understand that you’re fairly big and very soft and completely hand-crafted in Toronto by the mom and pop team of Cate & Levi. And I do understand that you’re totally one of a kind, more like art than some mere doll. And I understand that you make a perfect gift for fancy grandmas, or super cool aunties with lots...

Read More

Eco-friendly baby proofing – Reader Q&A

Q: So its time to baby proof, and we need stair gates, a play yard, soft surfaces and all the rest – have you found any eco and/or attractive choices for this? – Alysia R Well, Alysia, we thought we’d turn this one over to friend of Cool Mom Picks and guru of all things baby and eco, Melissa Moog, founder of the Itsabelly Baby Concierge Service and author of Going Green with Baby. Melissa: This is a great question and we know safety is on top of mind for parents who want to protect their little ones from...

Read More

Frye gives sneakers the boot

Together in NYC this week, Kristen and I browsed a few boutiques and noticed that Frye Boots are making a crazy comeback. I still remember my first pair back in the early 80s, and how sad I was when I outgrew them. And could no longer wear them with prairie skirts and a Ralph Lauren sweater. Ahem. The Frye Women’s Boots make a great investment for moms (and yes, they’re an investment) because they’re comfy, they’ll only get better with age, and they help you rock the jeans way better than any pair of sneakers. Seriously, stop relying on...

Read More

Peter Himmelman’s trampoline has room for many

It’s not easy to get into the mind of a kid — just watch me trying to pry “how was your day” from my eight-year-old—but LA singer-songwriter and father of four Peter Himmelman seems to have this knack on his new kids’ music CD, My Trampoline. Whether he’s singing about a child’s unabashed love for a pet tortoise or extolling the virtues of lying under a tree, his ability to wrap smart lyrics around pop-rock beats gives my kids and me something to both listen to, and think about, on our drives around town. Peter’s voice reminds me of...

Read More

Keeping her pants up while getting down

My daughter’s going through a growth spurt, and any jeans without those little adjustable waist button-and-elastic dojobbies tend to sag to her rear’s danger zone without an actual belt. I’ve spent the past several weeks plying her with all the pleather monstrosities that came with her jeans. “But Mommy!” she cries. “I hate belts!” Well. She used to. Then I showed her the rock themed children’s leather belts and belt buckles that Cutie and Patootie sent my way that, like, totally rocked her world. The belt buckles are Joan Jett big, and see that record over there? It actually...

Read More

The Official Much-Needed Children’s Brand Pronunciation Guide

Team Cool Mom Picks spent last week walking around the huge ABC Kids trade show in Las Vegas, finding incredible new products to share with you – and realizing that yeah, we pretty much have been mispronouncing every juvenile products brand name known to man. Since we figure we can’t be entirely alone here (or so we hope!) we thought we’d offer up a pronunciation guide on some of our favorite, and often mispronounced brand names. Print it out, keep it in your diaper bag, and feel like a smartypants the next time you’re able to say, “Um, actually?...

Read More

The Britax Blink will keep strolling and strolling…

The first thing each of my kids were strapped into was a Britax car seat. I liked Britax’s quality and reputation, and now that both kids have outgrown the seat, it still looks like new (except for a bit of cracker smudge on the straps). So it makes sense that the Britax’s foray into seats with wheels, or the Britax Blink stroller, won me over. When a review sample arrived, my first thought was that at 16 pounds it’s a little heavier than my mostly-plastic (fairly high-end) compact stroller. And it is. But as soon as I started pushing...

Read More

Noesis – Perfect for the know-it-alls of the world

When people ask for my two cents about something it’s like catnip. I love giving my opinion on things. Well, whatever is considered a step above catnip, for opinion-givers like myself, Noesis is it. The business was started by mom of three Lynn Casey, and the idea is simple: Sign up and then you may be asked to sample a product, go to a movie screening, or even host an event in your home, after which you take an online survey about it. Your opinion can play an important role in improving a product you use, or helping big...

Read More

Artwork you’ll love inside and out

What happens when you cross an artist and a doctor? Radiology Art, it seems. Artist Satre Stuelke took his fascination with everyday objects, and his fascination with radiology, and created one of the most avant-garde, unique, and downright awesome collection of art prints I’ve ever seen — and seen through. I think Stuelke’s prints, featuring CT Scans of tons of ordinary things like toys, food, and electronics, would be amazing wall art for any kid’s room. A lot of the images come out in super saturated Warhol-esque colors, like the cream-filled cupcakes, but others, like the wind-up  Bugatti race...

Read More

LEGO moderne

I always thought that LEGOs were cute for making walls and towers, maybe the occasional weird angular horses or something. I honestly had no idea that now you could make, oh, say…the Guggenheim Museum. Right in time for the NY landmark’s 50th anniversary. The reviews on the LEGO site are really funny – “flet3her” complains of the Seattle Space Needle LEGO set that “the banquet hall at the bottom is barely represented” but for those of you not looking for a perfect replica, but just a cool gift for an older kid, or some seriously great design-geek objects for...

Read More

Help us pick Minted’s next cool baby shower invitation. (Please! We really need the help!)

It’s starting to feel like contest judging week at Cool Mom Picks. Which is fantastic, considering how much we like giving things away to deserving people. But this time, we need your help. And you can win stuff too. One of our favorite sponsors, Minted (and a card shop we totally adore – so thanks for the sponsor love, guys!) is hosting a “Joyful Celebration” design contest for indie designers to create modern, cheerful, baby shower and baptism invitations. The winners get cash, the top ten will be sold on Minted, and we even get to pick a Cool...

Read More

You say it’s your Birth Day

When I was pregnant for the first time, I developed an unhealthy affinity for those birth documentaries that had previously repelled me.  Something about growing a baby myself made me want to click over and immerse myself in the gory details. A new book from pediatrician Mark Sloan, Birth Day, would have been a far better alternative. Dr. Sloan is a fantastic storyteller, weaving historical information, medical studies, and his own professional experience into a truly fascinating look at childbirth over the centuries. I really like how the level of technical detail and writing style are accessible to just...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest