Month: January 2010

Pick a pair of Pampers

A diaper caddy isn’t exactly the most essential piece in your nursery, but when you think about it, it’s pretty important. You use it several times a day, for three or four years–not even my crib got that much use. So when I saw a Toronto designer and mom had actually gone and reimagined the diaper caddy as something beautiful and decorative, I shouted a big amen. Handmade out of wool felt then topstitched with sweet embroidery and appliqued, the WOOLi caddy from the Babies Breath Etsy shop looks structured enough to sit right on a changing table, but...

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Giving high heels the boot

Oh please tell me I’m not the only woman on the planet (or at least the island of Manhattan) who just can’t do the spiky stiletto heel thing. I know they’re trendy and fabulous and make your legs look great and all – but uh, no. So I’m always delighted to find some fashion-forward footwear that can take me from the office to child-wrangling all in the same day, like the selection of boots at Shop Modern Vintage. I’m coveting any number of the funky reasonably-heeled European boots made of leathers so soft and yummy, no one will even...

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One more from the yes there are cool clothes for boys department

My boys wear uniforms to school, so they like their play clothes to be fun and funky. I like them to be clothes they can actually play in. Boy Peralta, Inc has cool stuff that we can both live with — and love. You’ll find brands like Appaman and Knuckleheads, as well as their own original pieces. I love that these designs — like the Knuckleheads Eagle tee pictured here — are kid-appropriate without being cutesy (no fire truck appliques here).  I also love that Boy Peralta isn’t just tees — they have great pants and cool accessories, too,...

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It’s okay to let your kids play with your iPhone if they’re learning something, right?

I’m one of those moms. You know, the kind who’s doing my best not to let the kids watch television or play computer games and, as a result, doesn’t get a second of time to herself if her children are awake. But at the same time, I really don’t want to be one of those moms. (Nor do I want my kids to be those kids.) So I try to be flexible once in a while and that includes slipping my kids my iPhone when the going gets tough. WordCub Letters and Sounds has been helping me out in...

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Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex gives new meaning to excellent bedside reading

Most of you don’t know, but my partner at Cool Mom Picks, Kristen Chase (a.k.a. the hardest working mom in blogdom), has all sorts of alter egos. When she’s not finding fabulosity for you here, wrangling three kids, and writing articles all over the place, she’s the author of the popular and hilarious Mominatrix column for The Imperfect Parent. And now, she’s the author of the brand spankin’ new Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex: A No-Surrender Advice Book for Naughty Moms. Pun intended. This is a truly terrific advice book for every mom and mom-to-be, and I’m only biased to...

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Winter whites

There may be nothing more perfect on a baby girl than a simple little white hat. No pompons, no animal ears, no purple organza flowers bigger than the baby’s own head. I found a serious contender, a hand-knit baby hat from Natural Star, at one of our favorite new boutiques, Australia’s Trifle Shoppe. The soft cotton bamboo fabric looks absolutely cozy, and the crocheted flower adornment isn’t too fussy, too frilly, or too overwhelming. Sizing starts at 0-6 months to get newborns through the cold months, but goes right up to a 5+. Because who says only babies deserve...

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Child-safe makeup or play makeup? Reader Q&A

My 4 year old daughter is very into dressing up–including the make-up. Do you know if there are safer kids’ make-up products out there? Maybe I’m paranoid, but I worry about the $5 variety available at the toy store–do I need to worry about it irritating her eyes, or bothering her skin? -Kristen In a word, “yes”. Kristen, you are smart to worry about play makeup since it can be loaded with particles and ingredients that are anything but kid-friendly to little lungs, eyes and skin. After my kids received a big cheap kit of “play makeup” made of...

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Oh, the joy you can get from one handmade mobile

We flipped over the graphic cut-paper mobiles from Frazier + Wing when we first discovered them at the Bubble show earlier this year and we’re so excited to see some of the new offerings, now at more affordable prices. The basic mobile is like a big joyous pompom, bursting with surprising colors (or neutrals, should you prefer) and delighting you with different die-cut shapes. They’re all hand-sewn by Portland artist Heather Frazier, then weighted in a way that they hang perfectly while still blowing gently if they catch a breeze. Or for something really different, check out the collection...

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Denim – it’s baa-aaack

Not that denim ever went too far away from the kids’ clothing department, but now that it’s on trend for grownups too, new styles are popping up that suddenly feel as fashionable as functionable. Popular children’s label Baby Star has done a nice job with their new line of organic denim for kids. The Lucy Skirt in particular will get a lot of use, considering the soft, lightweight denim can take you through the cold months right into spring when you swap out the ribbed tights and boots for bloomers and tees. It’s got little stars topstitched onto the...

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Starting the new year off with a little desk beautification

Ooh, what a nifty little 2010 desk calendar we found on sale from the Sure As Blue Etsy shop. Each beautifully designed little page is actually a postcard that sits on an open jewel case.  Or if you’ve got a bulletin board or magnetic board above your desk, grab the calendar refills for just $7.99 and pin them up. They’d also look great strung all together with clothespins on a piece of string. Oh who am I kidding. If you haven’t even gotten your ’10 calendars yet, you’re probably not rife with free time for stringing up calendar pages....

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Paper or plastic? No thanks.

If one of your resolutions is to get a little greener this year, it’s a good time to find the reusable shopping bags that work for you. Nubius Organics has pretty much every cool brand out there, from the very pretty totes from Green to Grow which are perfect for Farmer’s Market shopping, to affordable nylon staples from Envirosax and structured shopper totes from Blue Q (shown)- all at nice sale prices right now. If you happen to like the campy thing, be sure to check out the new retro-chic Pepsi Envirosax designs, which are actually made from recycled...

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Houzz call

From Christmas through January, I seem to go into serious nesting mode. All I want to do is organize my home and fix those shelves and dream about paint colors and alphabetize the kids’ books and…and…and… So I’ve had a grand old time flipping through the virtual pages of Houzz, a photo-sharing website all about homes and interiors. While a lot of it isn’t my style (or the home owners are working with, oh, say 400 million feet more space than I have here in Brooklyn) there’s definitely inspiration to be found. Search the photos labeled kids and you’ll...

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Now THAT’S a Disney Princess

If you’re looking to make the most of your final hours together with the kids before school starts up again, hit the local theater and see the excellent The Princess and the Frog, stat. Even this cynical, princess-wary mama fell in love with the hip story, the engaging characters, the fantastic jazz, big band, and cajun-infused soundtrack, and a whole lot of references to beignets. And most of all, the clear, powerful message that wishing on stars only gets you so far–hard work takes you the rest of the way. (Thank you for that Disney; you just made my...

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Happy 2010!

We’re sure taking the day off today and we hope you are too. (Get it? That’s mom humor! Moms don’t get the day off!) We are so so very grateful for your support this year, for your support of smaller businesses, and for your choice to devote even an iota of your precious, limited time with Cool Mom Picks. We have so much to be thankful for right now and each one of you are so much a part of that. Thank you thank you thank you. Wishing you all the peace, joy and success you deserve in 2010....

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