Month: September 2009

Disneynature EARTH is out of this world

My kids expected another silly cartoon as we settled in to watch Disneynature: EARTH on DVD, but their quiet focus told me that, even without talking zebras, the night’s selection had been a hit. We had skipped EARTH when it first appeared in the movie theaters back in April because we already own the 5-DVD collection of BBC’s Planet Earth, whose remarkable footage was shot at the same time. I assumed that my kids would be bored. But it turns out that Disney does a great job of editing the footage down to a manageable 90 minutes, and weaving...

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80 Acres of Yum

As I was walking through the beauty product aisles at the NY Gift show recently, amidst all the thickly perfumed lotions and soaps that smelled like an ice cream shop explosion, boy was I happy to have stumbled into the McEvoy Ranch booth. And to have gotten the chance to try out their absolutely delicious hand lotion. As it turns out, 80 Acres Hand and Body Lotion is made from organic, extra-virgin olive oil that’s cultivated and harvested right at the Northern California organic olive ranch started by grandmother Nan McEvoy nearly twenty years ago. (Read the McEvoy Ranch...

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Baby’s first squid

Hard as I try, my kids are not the most adventurous eaters on the planet. But when it comes to teething, my daughter will put almost anything in her mouth. Funny how that works. So I am totally cracking up at the squid teething toy made exclusively for mom-run boutique and CMP fave The Pajama Squid by Little Sapling. This wooden teether with a natural non-toxic finish seems like a great gift for the offspring of sushi lovers, fishermen, and fans of Peter Benchley’s The Beast. Although strangely, it is not actually wearing pajamas. We’ve featured Little Sapling teethers and rattles in...

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Great handmade baby shower decorations – CMP does etsy

Provided you hold the embarrassing games, we love baby showers. Yay for momentous occasions! If you want to make the event as pretty as can be, we’ve collected a few unexpected decor ideas all from the indie artists and crafters on Etsy. On a budget? You can download an entire set of printable decorations including matching invites, place cards, banners and party hats from Paper & Cake for just $8. I love this French Circus Party design. Decorating is half the fun of any party and these festive Zinnia paper pom-poms from PomLove come in so many vibrant colors....

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EcoTools – Prettying up the planet one makeup brush at a time

There are eco options for pretty much everything these days, including some that never crossed my mind at all. Like, say, cosmetic tools? Turns out those blush brushes and eyebrow groomers aren’t always so nice to mama earth. Or so says EcoTools. They make their brushes using a synthetic takon bristle and while I always have heard that sable is “best,” I honestly don’t notice any significant difference after spending a few weeks trying out the tapered foundation brush. Maybe professional makeup artists do, but I don’t. I will say the eye shadow brush isn’t ideal for piling on...

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9/11 – a very good day for doing very good

We love opportunities to get our kids involved in community service, so we’re so delighted to hear that 9/11 is now officially a National Day of Service and Remembrance. It’s also better than making it a National Day of Watching 24 Hour News Channels and Being Depressed. It’s really a beautiful concept. And if you need some ideas on what kinds of services to perform, take a look at 911DayofService.org. The organization was created as a spot for people to share their service plans, donate to support the organization, or find a project in the works to join in....

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Kids’ tees that feel as good to buy as to wear

A new mom-designed organic kids clothing line called Gardin has just launched and I’m doing a little happy dance. Because while there are no shortage of appliqued kids tees and rhinestone kids tees and kids tees that say something ironic and obscene in another language, it sure is hard finding high quality, basic shirts that your kids can wear day in and day out. The quality of Gardin’s kids’ shirts is just terrific – the 100% organic cotton kids’ henley is thick and soft with just enough stretch, and I love finding a great kids’ polo shirt without a...

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Coloring is serious business

Of course every parent thinks every scribble their child does is a collectible masterpiece, but in the case of the Coloring Can Be Funny coloring book, I think it’s kinda true. Talented, ?ber-hip artist, S. Britt, turned a bunch of his whimsical doodles into pages and pages of story starters that kids can build on, plus creative “how to” ideas like creating a magnetic puppet theater with some cardboard, a paperclip and a magnet. How very MacGyver. These coloring books are limited editions, signed, numbered and Britt even throws in a sticker and some postcards. Oh, and they’re only...

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The birds are flying south. Save for one.

I have an annual tradition of putting away the delicate beaded summer necklaces and jangly summer bangles and swapping them out for jewelry that reflects the cooler weather coming in. It’s bittersweet to be sure, but made a little easier when I realize there are items like this adorable wooden bird brooch waiting for my charcoal cardigan and chocolate brown jacket. Handcrafted by Australian artist Beci Orpin, the creative mind behind the Princess Tina label, I love the owl brooch for fall but it’s the bird brooch that’s calling my name. You’ll find them online at the awesome shop...

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Moja Rising

When I first heard of the MojaMix Custom-Mixed Cereal, I thought you’d have to be a pretty picky eater to need that. And then I remembered that I custom-order three different kinds of coffee beans to hand mix at home for my perfect roast. Who am I to judge? In fact, I know plenty of people who would love MojaMix, like someone with a food allergy, or the person who loves granola but only if it has X, Y, Z in it (but not Q). It isn’t about grabbing a premade cereal, it is a three-step process: Pick your...

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Fabric scraps never had it so good

Designer Cath Young says her label Chunky Chooky is dedicated to “cool things for small people,” but I’d argue you don’t have to be particularly small to relish her adorable softies–creatures, rattles, and so-called wabbits fashioned from vintage and cast-off fabric scraps. Each one is cuter than the last, and they’re all surprisingly affordable for hand-made, one-of-a-kind creations. If all of that (and the floppy carrots each of her wabbits carry–those slay me) isn’t enough to win you over, consider this: In addition to making these guys from recycled and organic materials, Young is also active with Kiva.org to...

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School uniform help? – Reader Q&A

My daughters attend a school that requires uniforms: Khaki pants and navy blue shirts.  They can wear any solid navy top — no logos or words, and no polos.  Any creative suggestions for some cute tunics, or tees, cardigans? -Shannon I admit I’m a little jealous, Shannon, since my daughter is stuck with a pretty strict uniform for school. Finding a few options other than the typical polo is a nice way to let your kid’s express their style within the confines of the school uniform policy. A lot of navy can be found in so-called “unisex” sections, so our first...

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Celebrate National Bacon Day with…lollipops?

Bacon is the new black, it would seem, and everywhere I look (least of all our own fridge) there is someone proudly proclaiming his or her love for the stuff. So I wasn’t entirely surprised to have found a number of bacon-oriented gourmet items at the Fancy Foods Show this year, and at the top of my list were the Man Bait Maple Bacon Lollipops from CMP fave Das Foods. Before you say ew, just remember how much kids love dipping their bacon in maple syrup with their pancakes. The combo totally works in that salty-sweet, chocolate-pretzel sort of...

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Hello Earthlust, helloooooo beautiful stainless steel bottles

Since the recent revelation that SIGG bottle liners contain BPA, we’ve been on the look out for more alternatives made of stainless steel and not aluminum, which requires a liner in the first place. There’s the Safe Sporter which we’ve featured on site, and several options in our Back to School Shopping Guide. But we hadn’t found anything with designs as beautiful as some of the SIGG offerings until we found the awesome stainless steel bottles from Earthlust. Created by an earth conscious San Francisco mom, the bottles are made from food grade stainless steel with a carabiner for...

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Chalk it up to the animals

I’d argue there’s little more useful than a chalkboard, especially the two beautiful new chalkboard stickers at Zoe b Organic in the shape of either the endangered Isabelle butterfly or a koala bear. They’re made from potato starch, which results in a 100% biodegradable chalkboard, believe it or not. And because they’re stickers, they’re ideal for small spaces–no jutting out from the wall. You might say they’ve got a lovely little actual footprint to go with that little carbon footprint. These erasable stickers work with regular chalk (which yes, you’ll have to clean up as the chalk dust accumulates),...

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Because sometimes you’ve just gotta go

When I think back to my pregnancies, my first thought isn’t of the miracle of life or even the swollen feet and the heartburn. No, when I remember those days, my mind immediately goes to one place: The bathroom. With each child, I remember nine months of constant urination. (You’re welcome.) I even remember outings I skipped because I worried about easy access to facilities when I would (inevitably) need them. Well, that was years ago, and thanks to the miracle of technology, your pregnancy–or toddler potty training–can now be easier than mine… at least in the bladder department....

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Easy, green, and now chic

So maybe the first time we told you about the Flip & Tumble reusable shopping bags that you can just fold up into a teeny little ball and toss in your purse, you liked it…but you just weren’t wowed by the solid prints. Well now Flip & Tumble’s new line of 24-7 reusable bags are the same, super lightweight, useful bags as before, but now in your choice of five unique designs. Each bold, graphic bag is designed by indie artists from Northern Californian all the way to Hungary. While the solid ones are still terrific, I always feel...

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Cool Mom Picks Loves Psychobaby – Back to School Edition

We just had so much fun picking our favorite summer clothes and accessories at Psychobaby last month that we decided to switch things up just in time for back to school shopping.  Which is now. Cue the “holy crap it’s September already?” shrieks. If you’re looking for kids clothes, shoes,and more that are a bit different than your run-of-the-mill, everyone in 3rd grade has the same darn thing thing, then head to Psychobaby and take a look at our personal favorites. I’m coveting the Appaman punker cord skirt (pictured) for both my girls, which would be adorable with funky tights or even over a pair of...

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Shinzi Katoh bento boxes get me more excited to pack my kids’ lunches. And that’s saying something.

I know every week lately, one of us shows up here saying OMG I found the cutest lunchbox EVER, but I think I may have just topped them all with the Shinzi Katoh Japanese bento boxes for kids. Spotted at the adorable e-boutique My Sweet Muffin, each bento box features absolutely charming designs from the popular Japanese artist, featuring birds, bunnies, or his interpretation of characters like Pinnochio or “Princess Mermaid.” Guaranteed, they will make you happy. The small, snack-size single box with two small compartments side by side is a snap for even my preschooler to open and...

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Cool Mom Picks + The Soft Landing bring you The BIGG Bottle Swap (a.k.a. Don’t get mad at SIGG…get discounts)

Like so many of you, we were super bummed to discover last week that SIGG bottles are not BPA-free. But after a few minutes of being bummed, we had this idea:  What if, instead of everyone just tossing out their bottles, we ask one of our favorite sites to create some sort of bottle trade-in program so that folks like us (and you of course) can recycle your old SIGG bottles and get a product you feel better about in exchange? And so, the BIGG Bottle Swap was born, thanks to our amazing partner, The Soft Landing. As part...

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