Month: January 2010

Guess it was the way the Flaming Lips segued into that Ella Fitzgerald live bootleg track

Not every relationship is sappy and sentimental and traditional. If I were to get my sigOth some kind of flowery Hallmark card for Valentine’s Day and a bottle of cologne I think he’d wonder who’d replaced me with the fembot. But the custom cross stitch and embroidery from the You Heart Us etsy shop that blends modern pop culture references with classic needlepoint techniques? There’s so much awesome there, I don’t know where to start. You gave me the best mix tape I have is a kinder, gentler, less obvious way of saying I’m glad we fell in love...

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Music for kids with two mommies, two daddies, or even one of each.

When I first discovered the show last year, I didn’t think I could be any more impressed with Dottie’s Magic Pockets as cool kid entertainment. But they’ve gone and done it again with their newly-released CD, The Super Secret Seashell Cave, which is chock-full of kid-friendly tunes won’t make you want to stab a fork through your eardrum. Once again, the songs are served with a heaping helping of “families come in all shapes and sizes” but it never veers into over-earnestness or sap. It’s hard to find anything but amusement in lyrics like “Who’s in your family, a...

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Web Coolness – Helping Haiti, soothing the soul, and honoring Dr. King

Here are some of the things around the web we’ve liked reading this past week. We hope you will too. What Is Left -Please visit the post Six Ways to Help in Haiti, which we also included this week in our own post on excellent organizations helping out in Haiti Boston Mamas – A Chinese Chicken Soup recipe that could help get us all through this winter or at minimum, a week that demands some comfort food. Parenthacks – Great ideas from readers for organizing hand-me-downs if you’ve got nesting on the calendar. Inspired by a post on Ohdeedoh...

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Sweet dreams are a good gift for moms, too

My parents can’t help it – they see something cute for the kids and they buy it. I suppose that’s The Prerogative Of The Grandparent. My only hope is that their version of cute is my version of cute (and that it doesn’t happen to be loaded up with cadmium). Well recently my kids’ Grammy scored with a stop at the boutique of fabulous local kids’ playspace Appleseeds, and the procurement of two deliciously soft cuddle pillows from Angel Dear. These half-moon shaped pillows are actually cuddly friends like bunnies and puppies and sleeping elephants, and are apparently stuffed...

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Baby Banz Swim Goggles: Essential eye protection goes underwater

If you’re a longtime Cool Mom Picks reader, then you already know Baby Banz as the quintessential purveyor of eye protection for little ones in the sun–plus we were excited when they started making Baby Banz sun protection beachwear. But now, right in time for winter swim lessons, we’re happy to learn they’ve branched out into swim goggles. And right when it’s nearly impossible to find goggles in the store. They’ve got the 100% UV protection we’d expect from Baby Banz plus they’re anti-fog, but it’s more than that. Unlike adult goggles in miniature for kids, these ones are actually...

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Time for Lunch to slow down and get real

Next month Congress is going to be revisiting school meal program guidelines, and the more parents and kids they hear from before they do so, the greater the chance that our schools will have real food (what a concept) to offer our children. That includes my own district, which has such frightening food options I don’t let my kids buy school lunches. Slow Food USA, an org we all completely adore, is behind the Time for Lunch Campaign, and you can get involved–write your Congresspeople, sign the online petition, or help organize an action like an eat-in. (Now there’s...

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A Valentine’s Day card design contest presented by Cool Mom Picks & Etsy

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it seemed appropriate to team up with one of our first and favorite loves, Etsy, for a super cool Valentine’s Day color-your-own card design contest. We’re looking for fun, original cards that kids themselves can color and hand out to their friends and family. We’ll pick nine winning cards from all the entries and whip them into a downloadable and printable PDF that will be sold in Etsy’s own shop. Best of all, 100% of the proceeds from the sales of these awesome cards (and we know, they will be awesome) will...

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Organic baby clothes that will make you, and your baby, feel incredibly comfortable

There are lots of reasons to buy organic. From cucumbers to clothes, I  believe that the less processing and chemicals involved in my day to day life, the better. And, just as important as what things are made from is also how they’re made. Which is one of the reasons why I fell madly in love with Tiny Ducky organic baby clothes. The beautiful, soft and simple collection is made from 100% certified organic cotton, with azo-free dyes, plus they’re all manufactured in a factory in India under fair trade conditions. The collection, available for preemies to 2T, comes...

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Survey says: You can have a Wiser Pregnancy

You show me the woman who didn’t spend her pregnancy polling her friends as to their symptoms and decisions at similar points of gestation, and I’ll show you a bridge I have for sale (cheap). But while having girlfriends and relatives to talk to is great, but sometimes you want a broader perspective. Now that broader sampling is right at your fingertips: Wiser Pregnancy aggregates responses to common pregnancy experiences and makes it easy to search by trimester, symptom, procedure–whatever you may be facing. Each issue shows you the total responses, how many people answered, and allows you to...

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Ultra comfort especially for the uncomfortable

If you have a kid who just puts clothes on like it’s no big deal, you’re a lot luckier than you probably realize. For those of us with a child with sensory issues, clothing is one of a million battles we fight every day. For most kids with tactile sensitivities, tags are a problem; they can be removed, fortunately. But for many kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism, ADHD, and other medical issues that can cause tactile sensitivity, even the seaming inside a shirt can cause issues, and sometimes it can be hard to figure out what clothing will...

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Update on cadmium in children’s jewelry: CSPC says, throw it ALL out

Just a few days ago, we told you about an Associated Press investigation of children’s jewelry and metal toys manufactured in China that revealed high levels of the toxic metal cadmium in several mass produced kids’ products. In response, both Claire’s and Walmart have removed certain children’s jewelry from their shelves. Phew! And now the Consumer Product Safety Commission is now recommending that parents take all cheap metal jewelry of Chinese origin away from children, regardless of the brand or where you purchased it. That’s right. ALL of it. We’ll keep you updated on this situation as we learn...

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Affordable dressy cruise wear? Reader Q&A

Q: My family is going on a cruise next month, and I am wondering if you have any suggestions for dressy clothes for the formal nights. I have three daughters, ages 10, 7, and 5, and I am looking for outfits that are classic and stylish…but won’t break the bank. -Heather We’re jealous Heather! Sounds like a great time is ahead. Now the good news (besides the fact that you’re going on a cruise) is that this time of the year you can find lots of last year’s summer dresses at deep discounts. The hard part is that sizes...

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Move over Snuggie.

The stories are true. It gets darn cold up here in Canada in the winter. The kind of cold that makes your kids stand inside, shivering as they look out the front door, let alone open it and walk out. So, if we ever want to go anywhere at all then we have to do whatever we can to keep warm. Enter the Nuddle Baby. Soft as anything, this stroller blanket, a kid’s version of the original Nuddle, is the perfect way to add a little warmth to a chilly winter walk. It’s not one of those giant sleeping...

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March On, Dr. King

I want my kids to know that Martin Luther King Day represents more than a three-day weekend. But instead of watching more grown-up documentaries that can be a bit scary for little eyes, I’m thrilled to have a copy of Scholastic’s new DVD, March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World. . .And More Stories About African American History. (Update: And now, you can purchase the 20-minute video for just $1.99 through iTunes and play through your device.) March On!. . .features four award-winning children’s books on DVD, each narrated with music and sound effects over illustrations from the...

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Here Be Monsters – And Birds And Robots And Squids – For Your Little Monster

You’d think that with all those businesses out there designing hip/cool/adorable/clever tees for kids, a mother would be able to find at least one sweet monster design that was exactly to her taste. I mean, robots are everywhere. So are space aliens and bug-like creatures and Che Guevara. And those are great and all, but I’ve really been wanting some monsters for my little monster. Because I love monsters, and, also, because he is a monster. In toddler form, but still. So I was really excited when I came across Luv My Lolly, an online kidswear shop that has...

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Got donations? Here’s how to help Haiti

We know that moms are, by definition, givers. But after something like Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, it can be hard to know how to best help. If you’re wanting to donate to relief efforts but unsure of where your money will do the most good, we have some suggestions: Chris Sacca shares six excellent charity suggestions, including ways you can donate via texting to both the Red Cross and Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti. There are plenty of other suggestions in the comments on his post, too. MercyCorps is sending an emergency response team in to assist those in...

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Scribble me an I Love You

If I had to contribute one bit of mom wisdom to the new parents of the world, it would be to always have a stack of kid-friendly cards at the ready. My favorites have been the ones with space for your own children to scribble a drawing or scratch out their names, and make it personal. Even when the gift is not. (What! Sometimes I run out of ideas after the 15th classmate birthday party in a row.) So I was thrilled to learn that a friend with a family-run letterpress studio developed the brilliance that is letterpress Scribble...

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Bootie-ful

I remember feeling pretty annoyed with everyone telling me how difficult it was to have a winter baby – more blankets, big coats, being stuck in the house all day. The list goes on. But what they all failed to mention was the adorableness of winter baby wear, like these ridiculously cute baby booties from Funky Shapes. Handsewn in the UK using gold and chocolate felt and Japanese fabric, these limited edition baby shoes will keep those tiny tootsies warm and cozy, and the careful seam-free construction ensures that they’re actually comfortable, not just cute to look at. Take...

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Baby’s first necklace

I have to admit that I’m the last person to ever purchase baby jewelry. But there’s something lovely about giving a little girl a keepsake piece that she might actually wear later on, especially seeing as my five year-old refuses to leave the house without a necklace on these days. Well, the lovely little babies necklace from Amy Tavern definitely fits the bill. The simple sterling silver chain and adorable circular silver charm from her popular Egg and Bean collection are dainty enough for a child, but also pretty sophisticated. And at $20, you can start her out right...

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Saddle up for old-fashioned fun

Is it possible to have a kids’ show nowadays that doesn’t involve robots, high technology, or characters that make you want to throw a shoe at the television before your eardrums rupture? Sometimes! John Bankhead–a father seeking entertainment “like we used to have”–is the brilliant mind behind Johnny Saddles the Singin’ Cowboy, the new educational web-based show teaching kids fundamentals through song, dance, and even a good-natured lizard. Honestly, there are so many ways this could’ve veered off into the overly-cloying ditch, but it never does. It’s just plain upbeat, prairie-themed fun. The characters are likable, the music is...

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