Month: September 2009

Season of the rabbit

There are some mass produced stuffed animals, like Ugly Dolls, that I really love, but there is something extra special about buying a handmade toy, like Oliver Rabbit from Rachelod on Esty. Rachel O’Donnell designed these soft, cotton stuffed rabbits to have loads of personality, even without any facial features. I love their long ears and legs which are perfect for little hands to grip, but my favorite thing is the charming fabrics they’re made from. Because they’re handmade, if you have some other color or pattern, in mind Rachel is willing to customize to suit your taste. Each...

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Blabla launches baby dolls, and there’s nothing bla about them

While most toy companies start basic and work outward from there, I think it’s really interesting that CMP fave (and pretty much every kids boutique’s fave), Blabla Kids, has evolved from their quirky and sometimes irreverent line of fair trade hand-knit dolls to classic baby dolls. These dolls still retain Blabla dolls’ distinctive signature traits like super soft bodies, yarn hair, and sweet stitched on smiles. And I especially love the diversity of dolls including a couple of boy dolls and two dolls with brown skin. But what’s really fun is that the company is now making 100% cotton...

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A toddler shoe wardrobe on a budget? Reader Q&A

My daughter needs five pairs of shoes and my husband will take away the credit card if I spend $200+ a season on shoes for a 2 year old. If you know of any cute, wide shoes that are reasonable in price, please let me know! -Maisey Even for a mom like me with an awful shoe fetish, that’s a lot of shoes for a two-year-old. You might want to consider investing in fewer pairs of shoes, but ones that offer versatile styling, ample support, sturdy and flexible soles, and uppers that won’t wear out. You don’t need a...

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Classic food storage containers, hold the classic BPA

A handful of readers have written to us asking for BPA-free food storage options, and I think it’s so great that there’s such heightened awareness of safety issues surrounding some plastics that manufacturers are responding. Case in point: The new BPA-free food storage containers from Pyrex. I’ve always had a thing for US-made Pyrex ever since my culinarily-obsessed dad lectured me about its virtues back in college, and I’m glad to see they’re keeping what works, and evolving what doesn’t. When you look at the lines, the shapes of these oven-safe glass storage containers are actually really clean and...

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Not all toy storage is created equal

You know you’re a mom when you go from being a bag whore to a bin whore. But considering how awesome bins are getting these days, like the new cotton canvas storage bins from JJ Cole, I suppose it’s not a completely terrible transition. These storage bins are a little swankier than your big store versions, with their brightly striped lining and metal handles, but they’re priced so you’re not spending your entire decorating budget on a couple of glorified buckets that will be stashing your diaper wipes and toys. And they really do look like they belong in...

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Attention Frugalistas – we may have $1000 with your name on it.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s become increasingly cool to be savvy about money these days. We love the iPhone apps that point out deals, the online swap sites, and even the shopping blogs that offer up discount codes as often as possible (ahem). So we’re really honored that we were asked to be among the judges of the Savvy Supermarket Cents contest in the next couple of weeks. Simply upload a You Tube video at YouTube.com/SavvyCents describing how you manage to be savvy with money you spend at the grocery or drug store — and that doesn’t have to...

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Not quite Crayolas, they’re Crazyoleez

I’m always on the lookout for goodie bag favors that aren’t mini plastic Slinkies from the dollar store. And last week I discovered the adorable Crazyoleez crayons and I thought, now there’s a winner. Two passionate moms essentially melt all sorts of crayon colors into molds shaped like letters, footballs, butterflies, letters of the alphabet – you name it – creating a whole new crazy kind of crayon. Crazyoleez, get it? They’re not actually recycled which helps them guarantee they’re within appropriate lead limits. They’re particularly great when you’re dealing with a big space and kids can see how...

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Expressing Motherhood – The good, the bad, and the OMG I can’t believe she just said that.

Mom’s Night Out is an all too rare occasion. (Who’s with us?) So Cool Mom Picks co-founders Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase are excited to be part of three good excuses to get out in NYC this week, when we perform along with a group of super talented writers as part of the off-off Broadway play, Expressing Motherhood. Created by short film director Lindsay Kavet, and writer/producer Jessica Cribbs during their kids’ naptimes, this series of performances features a group of moms simply telling their (sometimes inspirational, often hilarious) stories of motherhood under the bright lights. After hugely successful...

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Bumbo Potty Seat

Potties aren’t exactly the kind of item that gets me all excited, but I when I saw the new Bumbo Potty Seat at the recent ABC Kids trade show I actually did a double take, then backtracked to check it out. I loved our Bumbo baby seat when the girls were little, and so it makes sense to have an item to help kids transition easily from the seat to the um, seat. As one of the Bumbo guys told me, it’s easy for him to tell his son “Go sit on your Bumbo!” when it’s potty time, and...

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An eco-friendly Halloween, with an emphasis on “friendly”

It didn’t take me too long to learn that younger kids are pretty much scared out of their wits by a lot of the costumes and decorations that are par for the course on Halloween. Forget bloody eyeballs or Scream masks —  even the giant inflatable Shrek at my neighbor’s front door did not go over well with my three year-old last year. So I love the nice little selection of eco-friendly Halloween decorations at Green Planet Parties which let you get your festive on, all without traumatizing your children in the process. The reusable cloth orange and black...

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