Month: September 2009

Lunch totes so cool you’ll keep them for your very own

There are all sorts of good reasons to pack a lunch instead of grabbing one on the go. The downside, of course, is the packaging; paper bags are wasteful but most reusable lunch bags are, well, ugly. Or designed for third graders. Or both. Spring Los Angeles has the solution: their chic cotton canvas lunch totes are perfect for moms and kids. Each tote has inner pockets for organization, is fully insulated and the lining wipes clean easily. The wide, square bottom will accommodate a sturdy plastic container — so you can have more than just a sandwich for...

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Toddler bedding that’s looks absolutely nothing like toddler bedding. (That’s a good thing.)

I hesitate to admit that my daughter’s current toddler bedding collection includes a queen sheet wrapped twice around the mattress and a handmade quilt with shudder-worthy pink flowers. Needless to say, not my style. That’s why I was so drawn to Olli and Lime’s line of modern toddler bedding and their cool geometric sensibility. I particularly love the Egg comforter and pillowcase set (shown) and how its mod geometric design is perfect for boy or girl, since I have one of each — I figure I’ve got a greater chance of spending $100 on a comforter and pillowcase if...

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The cutest handmade baby booties – CMP does etsy

I can’t wait to show you what I’ve found for this week’s Etsy roundup. Baby shoes! Ok, you might not be as excited as I am, but when all your kids are big and sweaty and teens that smell like Axe, I’ll ask you again and then you’ll squee. This felt pair of shoes from La La! Shoes looks so comfortable and fun. Put little stars under their feet! Plus, the bright colors will catch your baby’s attention. These little brown and cream baby boots from Wooly Baby? They’re made from recycled lambswool sweaters and are no doubt able...

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The writing’s on the wall, literally

Telling your child to grab a marker and go scribble on the walls is right up there with asking them to run with scissors. Unless you’re talking about Idea Paint, which basically turns any surface into a dry erase board. It’s easy to apply; just prime a surface with the primer in the Idea Paint Kit and paint. The materials are free of lead, asbestos and formaldehyde, but I would keep the kids away from it until it’s fully dry. When it does, grab a bunch of colorful dry erase markers and your kids are ready for a life-size...

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Dapper is the word for fall

The television show Mad Men isn’t just influencing adult styles for Fall. We’ve seen some pretty awesome retro-inspired kid’s clothes and shoes this back to school season, like the adorable Elliott shoes from See Kai Run. Even though these super sharp kicks are definitely on the dressier side, they still pair well with jeans or khakis. And since my son has wider feet, it’s nice to find trendy kids’ shoes that actually fit him comfortably, other than the three pairs of sneakers that are in our current rotation. Like every other pair of See Kai Run shoes we own,...

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Great first birthday gifts? Reader Q&A

I am trying to find a gift for my one year old niece and I can’t figure anything out. I don’t want to do clothes and plastic toys. I’d like something commemorative – but what? -Grace If your niece’s grandparents are like my kids’ grandparents, chances are the clothes and plastic toys will be well covered! Instead, we’d say consider a personalized or customized gift if you’re looking for a true keepsake. If you’re looking for a commemorative sort of gift, we love the idea of personalized art like the personalized name prints from Ida Pearle (shown). Liz actually...

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We’re off to see the wizard. Yes, that one.

One of my favorite aspects of parenting has to be watching my favorite classic movies with my kids for the first time just like I did with my parents. Except we saw them on the big screen back then. And no, I’m not talking about a gihugic plasma. But for one night at select movie theaters across the country, you can actually catch The Wizard of Oz in HD to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Just the thought of hearing Over the Rainbow in surround sound gives me the chills, but after the main feature there will also be never...

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On the wings of angels

If you watch Project Runway (and if you don’t, you’re dead to me) then you know that shoulders are the new black. All the fall fashions seem to be drawing attention to shoulders in some way, and now baby clothes are in on the bandwagon too. Here, it’s the ruffled sleeved organic tees from Shirin Kids, courtesy NYC artist Shirin Roubeni. (Do not even click over if you’re on a tight budget. Seriously, you’ve been warned.) These shirts are remarkable in person – like couture tees, if there is such a thing. They’re beefy and soft with gorgeous hand...

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Tagging The Not-Its!

I remember when the bands coming out of Seattle’s indie music scene set the bar for what was cool, so it shouldn’t surprise me that the most rockin’ new kids’ band, The Not-Its!, call that region home. Their debut CD, We Are The Not-Its!, makes me want to pull over to the side of the playground, open the hatchback and turn the volume up as high as it’ll go, to share their music with the masses of kids. Yes, it’s that good. What hooked me is hearing kids’ music with real indie-band backing but minus the preachy “wash your...

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The no-think, no-clean, yes-delicious toddler snack.

I may be little late on the drinkable/pureed/food in a pouch thing, but I think I am like most moms in that I’m left scratching my head and staring at the pantry when trying to think of what to give my toddler as a healthy, delicious snack. And frankly, I’m usually looking for something that means that I don’t have to chop, spread, or clean a bowl afterward. Which is why I am happy to have found Plum Organics Mish Mash organic fruit puree snacks. They have no added sugar, colors, or flavors, and are super yummy. The strawberry...

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Happy Grandparents Day!

Hooray for grandparents! They’re our lifelines, our pinch hitters, our source of inspiration, and the needed yin to our “no, you can’t have another cookie” yang. So in honor of Grandparents Day today, we thought we’d showcase some of our favorite affordable grandparents gifts; every one of these comes in under $20. (Not that they wouldn’t be happy with a simple phone call from the grandkids, of course.) You Can Call Me Hoppa! is a terrific book to help you figure out the perfect grandparent name for the baby. Also a cool way to announce a pregnancy – if...

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Cool adoption announcements? Reader Q&A

Do you know of a company that does awesome adoption announcements – hold the bunnies? -Tanis Congrats on your adoption, Tanis! We know how hard it can be to find cool announcements, let alone ones that don’t rely on birth dates and times in the design. But thankfully, many companies are stepping it up with modern announcements that are suitable for adoptive parents too. We’re big fans of Minted cards, so I’m not surprised that they’ve got some lovely adoption announcements. My fave is the sleek Worth the Wait adoption announcement which is printed on eco-friendly premium 100% recycled...

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Faster than a speeding bagel…

Personally I believe that Seth Rogan is the Woody Allen of our generation. So when he sported this Superjew Tee in the movie Funny People my immediate thought was Love it! Not, Hm, why don’t they make those for kids? But, sometimes Hollywood knows what we want before we do. Case in point, the 100% cotton Superjew Tee which is now at the top of my must-have list in time for the High Holidays. Especially because a percentage of the proceeds goes towards charitable organizations. Oh, and be sure to order up a size as the shirts tend to...

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Pirate underwear and other best things ever

My kids wear the same clothes over and over; they just grab whatever is at the top of the laundry pile and put it on and go. I used to try to encourage them to rotate what they wore but then I realized that the trick was to buy super cool, really well-made pieces that I wouldn’t mind seeing over and over and would hold up through all that wearing. Where do you find those super cool, really well-made kids clothes? The brand new Magpie Lovely. This bright, cheerful site is chock full of beautiful pieces for moms and...

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Won’t you be my neighbor? Heck, yeah!

I firmly believe that anyone who does not love Mr. Rogers has no soul. So when I got word that PBS Kids is hooking up the next generation with my own generation’s favorite TV icon, I was so happy, I took off my shoes and put on some sneakers in solidarity. The new Mr. Rogers website is just delightful. While the nav is very 2.0, it retains the spirit of the original series just beautifully. In other words, no rapping King Friday here. What you will find are interactive games for young kids, favorite songs, and even the series’...

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Teacher gifts: Better than buying the teacher a pony

Every year I tell my children’s teachers thank you, and every year it feels inadequate. Often when I write notes to go with various teacher gifts, I write, You totally deserve a pony, but I thought this would make less of a mess. Thank goodness I now have a second offering from veteran teacher Phillip Done in Close Encounters of the Third-Grade Kind. (We suggested his first book, 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny back in the spring). In Close Encounters, Done continues sharing the best, the worst, the ridiculous, and the touching from his perspective as a...

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Clean up takes on a whole new meaning with Cleanup Soap

The first thing that struck me when I saw Cleanup Soap was how cool the shape was – graphic, and symmetrical and…wait a minute. Is that a…land mine? Indeed, these naturally scented, paraben-free soaps were created by Parsons design student Hideaki Matsui both to raise awareness of land mine clean up, and to support it directly, since 25% of the purchase price (or what’s probably 50% of the profits) go right towards landmine removal and survivor assistance in Cambodia.  While this isn’t the charitable effort that gets the most press or seems the sexiest, I know first-hand what it’s...

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Making mother smile – peace picks for 9/11

Smiling Planet is one of those little companies that just makes you happy. Or at least it made me happy when I discovered their melamine-free plastic plates earlier this year.  And I thought they’d be a nice shop to kick off today’s array of peace-themed picks in remembrance of 9/11. Recently this wonderful, environmentally-committed mom and pop team have taken the charming Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry-esque illustrations from the Smiling Planet book (and plates and placemats) and turned them into adorable, American-made 100% organic cotton tees for kids and adults. I love the not preachy at all the world is...

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Toddler nap mats? Reader Q&A

Cool Moms, do you know of any great day care nap mats for toddlers? -SuzanneThis is actually the first year my daughter needed a nap mat for school, so thanks to your question, Suzanne, I was able to find a bunch that work for us as well. The kid’s eco nap mats from SewnNatural are handmade from organic cotton and a cool eco-friendly fabric that combines hemp and recycled plastic bottles and look super comfy. They fold up for easy transport, and can be personalized with your kiddo’s name embroidered on the side. You’ll also find a bunch at Chocolate...

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Crust haters of the world, your day has come!

Before I had kids, I vowed that I would force them to eat the crusts on their sandwiches.. And then I had children who hated crusts. Now I’m eating their crusts and my words. With the Lunch Punch, you kill two birds with one stone — cutting off the crusts while making a sandwich in a cute shape your kids will eat. These sandwich cutters are actually taller than cookie cutters so they cut through both pieces of bread without flattening your sandwich. And since they’re shaped like puzzle pieces or animals, think about how cool you’ll look when...

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