Month: January 2010

Custom home design from Jonathan Adler? Welll, sort of.

Far too much of my time this weekend was devoured as I messed around with the wonderful Design Your Own tool on Jonathan Adler. According to the description, it lets you “unleash your inner Adler” and go crazy with colors to create the modern totes, throw pillows or handloomed wool rug of your dreams. Do I have an inner Adler? Maybe not. But I do know that everything I created ended up wanting to buy because the color choices are all so lovely and go together perfectly. Set aside a little time and go play. -LizDesign Your Own  custom...

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Cool Mom Picks loves Parents Magazine!

We were already huge fans of Parents Magazine (who isn’t?), but now we have even more reason to love them–for including Cool Mom Picks on their list of Parents Power Moms. Wow. We’re sooooo flattered to be a part of this fantastic list (if we do say so ourselves) of of mom bloggers and other digital so-and-sos that includes some our own faves, like Gabrielle Blair from Designmom, Techmama Beth Blecherman, AlphaMom.com‘s Isabel Kallman, and a slew of other awesome ladies that make us even more proud to do what we do here. So check us out in the...

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Breaking News: Toy Manufacturers Replace Toxic Lead with Toxic Cadmium

In 2007, a rash of recalls of mass-produced children’s toys, clothes, and jewelry, many containing lead, most of which had been cheaply manufactured in China, inspired us to create our first-ever Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide. Since then, we’ve been pleased to note, United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (the CPSC) has increased its scrutiny of both imported and domestically manufactured children’s products, focusing on reducing the threat of lead in particular. Hooray for small (or really big) victories! However, the government’s initial response to the Year of the Really Scary Recalls — the Consumer Product Safety Improvement...

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Finger puppets of the rich and musically gifted

We’re all singing Yellow Submarine in our sleep around here, thanks to Santa slipping Beatles Rock Band under the tree a few weeks ago. And really, there’s nothing much cuter than a three year-old belting “Paperback wriiiiiiiter” at the top of his lungs, unless he were to do it with a set of Beatles finger puppets. The smart folks behind Brazil-based Pintassilgo Prints have hand created finger sized versions of John, George, Ringo, and whatshisname the cute one, dressed in their Sgt. Pepper best, along with the other George, their producer, for the Beatles-obsessed fan in your life. If...

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Oh goodie!

Some of my kids’ favorite tees come from San Francisco’s Bunny and Bee. When we first discovered them a few years back, I fell in love with their modern but not obnoxiously hip t-shirt designs for boys and girls, from motorcycle-riding robots to retro-chic unicorns. While this mom and pop label has ditched the shopping cart on the website to focus on wholesale orders, they are selling an amazing t-shirt goodie bag right now via email. Basically you specify boy or girl, and a size from 6m through 6T, and for just $20 (hello!) you’ll get four random kids’...

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Big brands doing cool things – Disney pays it forward

I’m dusting off my tiara and heading to the Big Mouse’s House this year for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Whoo! But the prerequisite for my family tagging along is that we all have to participate in their new Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program in order for us (well, the adults, in our case) to earn our tickets. This is a super simple and worthwhile volunteer program, even beyond the free pass. Just pre-register up to eight family members over age 6, then search for a local charity on their site, pick a date and time...

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Around the world in 10 flashcards

I wouldn’t say I’m the mom who wanted my babies to come out of the womb speaking four languages and then send them to a tri-lingual preschool to learn a few more. But I do think it’s cool to see more and more children’s items available with multilingual options in our increasingly multicultural society. Take the new Eco Number Wall Cards found at Hazel Wood Children. This set of lovely flashcards printed on recycled card stock makes beautiful nursery decor as wall art, or a great educational toy. The cards teach children count to ten with the help of...

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KidSteals. No it’s not about stealing a kid.

Moms of babies that have grown up to be not quite babies anymore will be delighted to know that BabySteals, the popular daily sale site for baby gear, has introduced KidSteals. It’s sort of like one of those members only sales sites – only without the membership thing – where you can log on every morning at 9 MST and catch the daily steal, from DC Skateboarding Shoes (shown) to Patagonia Swimsuits. Of course the early bird catches the worm here, or at least the organic play clothes at 60% off, so set your alarms if you want first...

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An app that makes living in NYC even cooler, if that’s possible

Ironically, in a city that seems to have more of everything, any NYC parent or visiting tourist will tell your horror stories of being unable to find a changing table or a way to get from the uptown subway platform to the crosstown one without dragging a sleeping toddler down a flight of crowded stairs. Well, you guessed it, there’s an app for that. iKidNY is an incredibly comprehensive, interactive database of not just where to find baby-ready bathrooms and subways with elevators, but, by using Google Maps, it can help you locate indoor and outdoor activities, nearby playgrounds...

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Winter bump style

Oh I know how it is. You’ve got a May due date (or so), and while you swore you wouldn’t buy one more maternity piece, you hit January and your current wardrobe is causing actual mental anguish, you’re sick of the cold, you’re sick of feeling enormous, and ooh, lookie here..sales!  (Or maybe that was just me a couple years ago?) Fortunately this is a great time to get one or two more special pieces to power you through winter and early spring, ego intact. One of our favorite maternity designers, Isabella Oliver, is now doing up to 50%...

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Write appointments inside the lines, and then color outside of them

Like a field covered in a fresh blanket of snow or the top of a just-opened jar of peanut butter, there is something so exciting to me about having a fresh beginning. So I am giddy every January when I get to crack out a new calendar, all unmarked and clean, just waiting to be filled with the stuff that fills my life. You can imagine if an ordinary calendar inspires such glee how I feel about the new 2010 large wall calendar from Daisy Janie that gives tons of room to organize your family’s schedule, but also helps...

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L-Bow Mittens mind the gap

If I’m going to go through the trouble of suiting up three kids to play in the snow, they had better stay out there for longer than it took me to get them dressed. But an armful of snow lodged in the wrist is a total bummer, so back before my oldest could make a decent snowball, I bought her a pair of L-Bow Mittens to help keep her arms dry, her fingers warm, and all my effort worthwhile. Flash forward almost nine years, and those same L-Bow Mittens are now being sported by my youngest son. L-Bow Mittens...

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Adorable t-shirts – this time, it’s personal

There is no shortage of adorable graphic kids’ t-shirts out there (you’ve probably seen one or two here), but what I really love about Hopscotch Tees collection of customized tees is that they don’t just put your child’s name on the front; they also incorporate other information like the year your kid was born or hometown, to let your kid know that the shirt was really made just for them. The graphics range from cute girlie designs to robots and pirates that are cute for girls of all ages, but probably best for younger boys. In fact, the snug-fitting,...

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Web Coolness – New Year’s resolutions, getting organized, staying warm, and feeling arty

Here are some of the thing we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you’ll like them too. Mommytracked – New Year’s Resolutions from Stefanie Wilder-Taylor that we can definitely get behind. Parent Hacks – Amazing ideas for creating single-serving snacks so kids can help themselves and you can save money Jeri’s Organizing and Decluttering – 10 great purse organizers for that handbag or diaper bag. You know you need it. BlogHer Beauty Hacks – Susan Wagner offers tips on keeping warm and stylish all at once (including the Silver Hunter Wellies seen here at our suggestion)....

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Our prediction for 2010 – More green!

We were honored when one of our favorite blogs, Inhabitots, asked us to offer up some of our green parenting predictions for 2010, along with bloggers we respect like Ecorazzi, Green & Clean Mom, and Jennifer of The Smart Mama. Click over for some really interesting eco-predictions, from consumer rejection of greenwashing, to the proliferation of the locavore movement, and see if your own predictions line up with any of ours. If you don’t know what any of that means, then stick with us, mama. We’ll help guide you through it.  –Liz+Kristen Got some of your own thoughts? Weigh...

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Susie’s Supper Club – I hope they’ll have me as a member

When I had a friend on major bedrest with her second child this past year, it turns out the gift of food (and our company) was the greatest help to her of all. So I simply love the services that are cropping up like Susie’s Supper Club, which delivers spectacular home-cooked, family-friendly meals to lucky New Yorkers. After working as a private chef for a family with three kids for four years, owner Susie Cover figured eh, what’s a few hundred more kids each day.  I’ve tried a bunch of her crowd-pleasing dishes and let me say – wow....

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Tooth fairy kits for the super organized tooth fairy

Ever since my oldest daughter turned five, she’s been obsessed with losing teeth. And considering many of her kindergarten classmates have already lost two or three, I suppose she has a good reason to think about it. And that means I do too, hence my interest in this hilarious tooth fairy kit from Jillybean Green. Now this is not your average tooth fairy pillow; instead, this kit includes three actual certificates that allows the tooth fairy (ahem) to keep track of everything from which teeth were lost on an actual dental chart, method of extraction, and my favorite part,...

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I love my calendar girls

I’m having the best time looking at all the beautiful new 2010 calendars that are out on Etsy. Earlier this week it was the Sure as Blue calendars  and today it’s the imaginative one from artist Stephanie Fizer. Her Kokeshi Darling 2010 calendar features 12 drawings based on traditional Japanese folk art dolls called Kokeshi and I’m just captivated. The prints on thick, textured stock are so evocative, I could lose myself in any one of them. Prop the pages up on your desk, or string a ribbon through them and hang it in a little girl’s room. Or...

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The handbag that makes the world a better place

I love handbags. I mean, really, I love handbags — they’re the perfect accessory, because they’re beautiful and practical. Your stuff has to go somewhere, after all. And right now, I am extra super in love with the Tabitha bag from HelpingHandbags, because it’s pretty and useful — and because this bag will make the world a better place. When you buy a Tabitha bag, HelpingHandbags donates 100% of the net profits to help abandoned and institutionalized children in Bulgaria. The money provides one child with 60 hours of time with a “Baba,” or grandmother, through the Give a...

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Score one more for Scandinavia

I go a little nutty for Scandinavian design, so when I learned about the brand new online design store Vyssanlull which isn’t just Scandinavian but focuses on organic, eco-friendly, and ethically-made baby clothes, I knew clicking over could be very, very dangerous. And by dangerous, I mean where were you when my girls were babies! I think the surprising, bold-patterned onesies and baby basics from Green Cotton, Duns, Sture & Lisa and Sygryn will be a nice change up from all the pastels that show up in every layette. Especially with such beefy cottons that are made to last...

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