Month: November 2010

The Beauty of Different – both different and beautiful

As a longtime reader of Karen Walrond’s blog Chookooloonks, I expected her first book, The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit, to be gorgeous. I’m familiar enough with her pictures to expect the photography to be stunning; I’m familiar enough with her probing writing style to know that her narrative would touch me. I knew these things, because I know Karen. What I didn’t know was how substantial this book would be, and I mean that in every sense of the word. The physical book itself is coffee-table-worthy in its heft and glossiness, and the stories captured within...

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Jonathan Adler makes happy chic baby gifts – and makes us happy too

I remember when I first heard out about Jonathan Adler Junior. I pretty much foamed at the mouth in anticipation of his pint-sized happy chic design. I knew almost every item would fall into the category of “lust” and not “must,” but if you’re looking for a baby gift for a design-savvy friend, every item will impress. Just imagine opening up a baby gift and instead of the usual Boppy cover or layette, it’s a needlepoint pillow with your baby’s initial. Or a kissing giraffe pillow? Or how about the fabulous elephant clock? Or adorable dachsund bookends in pink...

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Web coolness – affordable Christmas stockings, holiday photo ideas, and ornaments for charity

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Some of our favorite artful Christmas stockings are now way more affordable. But still beautiful. Score! We stumbled on this old shutter sisters post with wonderful ideas for holiday card photo ideas with the kids. No matching snowman sweaters! Have you been following the comments on our Cool Mom Picks/ Etsy color-your-own ornament contest? So many amazing entries coming in! Click over to some of the entries and “like” your favorites. On care2, the 10 healthiest breakfast cereals (Surprisingly none of them...

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Cool art for a great cause. Besides the cause of your blank walls.

We have a lot of art on our walls these days. Most are originals. In watercolors. With titles like, “Barney with a glass of orange juice.” Of course art by professionals is more than welcome, too, and so my husband and I are always on the lookout for artsy pieces that have something to say. With Working Proof, we sort of hit the jackpot.  The art goes beyond just saying something: it actually does something, too. It benefits charity. Every Tuesday at 1:30 PM, The Working Proof puts up a limited-edition new print by an artist, created just for...

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The tip-top Dippy Dop space hopper

Whether your kid likes bouncing, aliens, or just anything that looks like Muno off Yo Gabba Gabba, you’ve got to check this toy out. [don’t miss a great offer after the jump!] The new Dippy Dop Space Hopper will keep your entire family entertained, if yours is anything like mine. The package is adorable, the hopper blows up super quickly and very easily, and then your kids are fighting over who gets to bounce first. My four-year old rides ours correctly, holding on to the alien antennae and bouncing laps around the downstairs, while my two-year old calls it...

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I got your Situation right here, baby

I am horrified to admit that I have, upon occasion, watched Jersey Shore. I mean uh, I was just flipping through the channels on the way to a very educational nature show and accidentally stumbled upon it. Once. For four seconds. It’s clear that this is the guilty pleasure show of the year. Although some feel less guilt about it than others. For them, may I suggest the talking Jersey Shore bobbleheads? DJ Pauly D is probably the most realistic, followed by Mike “The Situation” who says things like I check out the mirror and like… woooh, today’s gonna...

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Online indie shopping just got more rockin’ with Storenvy

Sure, certain social media sites may be trying to take over the world and will soon probably track your bathing habits. But boy, we love social networking. And boy, we love supporting little guys (or gals), the Indie retailers rockin’ their own trail. So we are so excited to find this fabulous new site that’s like Etsy meets Facebook. And best of all, it’s completely free. [don’t miss a great offer after the jump] Presenting Storenvy, a super cool new site with over 2000 stores that let you shop for pretty much anything indie-made and receive personal service. The...

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Here a dot, there a dot…

I am fond of the polka dot. As a little girl, I had a white dress with red polka dots and it was my absolute favorite. Now, as a mom, I tend to restrict my dottiness to dressing my daughters and for their nursery. One of the many fabulous attributes is it mixes well with everything else in a nursery. They’re playful, modern and just sweet enough. So, when a CMP fave, Winter Water Factory, designed a new organic collection of sheets exclusively for Land of Nod featuring polka-dots, I have to admit, I felt a little giddy. [don’t...

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The grinch gets greener

Watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is a holiday tradition around here and I can only imagine how well this greener version of the grouchy Grinch himself would go over peeking out of my kid’s stocking. Now I realize that technically speaking, Dr. Seuss’s beloved holiday character is already green. But when you turn him into a soft, organic plush doll by CMP fave miYim, one of the first companies to make organic stuffed creatures for kids, then he’s completely green, through and through. His fur is made from completely natural, unbleached cotton and colored using low impact dyes...

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5 fabulous Advent Calendars that countdown to Christmas in style

I may refuse to listen to the Christmas music that has been blaring on certain radio stations since Halloween, but make no mistake: The countdown to Christmas is a big deal in this household. And what better way to countdown to the big day than with a great advent calendar that you can pull out year after year on December 1st?  I’ve rounded up a bunch of fabulous advent calendars at all price points for those of you who want to be ready when the calendar flips over to the next month. I have a soft spot in my heart...

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Hot trend alert – say it with Braille

The older I get and the more kids I add, the more I find myself in need of inspiring, visible reminders – to believe, love, and yes, laugh, to get me through my busy, often challenging days. But I’m hard pressed to wear a piece of jewelry that conveys those words so literally. (Let’s face it, a necklace that reads Believe! Love! Laugh! might be a little cheesy.) However, the new trend of braille jewelry is the perfect marriage of inspiration and subtlety for message jewelry. I recently ordered a piece from the Franklin collection at Jess LC, a...

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Cute fall jumpers? Well, Lottie Da.

Do you ever fall in love with an picture on Etsy before you even know what the item is? Beautiful styling and luscious photo-editing once lured me to click on a $75 photograph of a bagel. That’s right– a picture of a bagel. This time, with Lottie Da Baby? Totally in love with the photo as well as the reality. [don’t miss a super great giveaway after the jump!] The Autumn Fox Jumper by Lottie Da brings together the best parts of fall– the orange of the trees, the blue of the crisp skies, and the little girl running...

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Gingerbread? That’s for sissies. Try Ninjabread.

I couldn’t help it. I had to eat the cookies. I don’t know how many times I’ve said that. But with these new Ninjabread Man cookie cutters, it’ll finally be true. You don’t want to make the ninjas mad, do you? Those guys come out of nowhere! If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the guy who’s always linking articles from The Onion on his Facebook page, or for the hostess who never takes herself too seriously, this is it. Forget boring old gingerbread men, with their floppy white icing smiles and gumdrop buttons. Ninjabread men won’t just...

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A paper Holiday Ornament design contest presented by Cool Mom Picks + Etsy

As you all know, we love Etsy. Big huge puffy heart love. And we just had such an amazing time collaborating with them on our Color-Your-Own Valentine’s Day Card contest that raised over $2000 for charity that we decided get together again in time for the holidays. And so, we’re pleased to announce our Color Your Own paper holiday ornament design contest. We’re looking for festive, seasonal paper ornaments that kids can cut, color, and hand out to their school mates, hang on their tree, or giveaway to friends and family. We’ll pick eight winning ornaments from all the...

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The make-your-own chocolate bar I made especially for you. And you. And you.

I spend a lot of time thinking about what gifts to buy each person on my Christmas list. Some gifts may say, I know you love nice things, or You have a great sense of humor, and even Maybe next year you’ll do a wish list so you don’t get another one of these.  But I’ve now found the perfect one-size-fits-all gift with just enough personalization to make it special to each one receiving it. In fact I think this gift says, I like you enough to buy you chocolate. Is there anything better? This isn’t any old chocolate: Chocri’s...

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Kids placemats are almost too cute to cover with food

We’ve been eating out waaaay too much lately because of a kitchen renovation, and though my kids have finally grown sick of chicken fingers, they are also sick of those restaurant-supplied paper activity mats that hold their attention for about five minutes while we wait for our food.  Rather than another word search for the words “Fries” and “Soda,” I’ve found some awesome placemats to keep them coloring patiently and making something they may actually want to bring home after the meal is done. {don’t miss the giveaway after the jump!} The recycled paper Letterpress Kids Placemats from the...

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Wrap it up to go

I love the hustle of the holiday season: cooking, shopping and giving are three of my favorite things. What I really don’t like is finding the right wrapping paper for my latest treasures – and it can get ugly when I have multiple smaller gifts, for teachers and neighbors. We’re talking last-minute wrapping in the form of torn tissue paper held together with stickers, which doesn’t look so hot, especially if those gifts are–shall we say–somewhat modest. Sometimes a gal really needs something to help with the upsell.  Check out the personalized items from momma Bridgett Edwards at Perideau...

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A turkey to make everyone wish they were seated at the kids’ table

As my milk-allergic daughter will tell you, the Thanksgiving table can hold one big heaping of “no” for kids with food allergies. No, you can’t have that. Or that. Or that. And nowhere is this more apparent than when desserts are brought out. So while we always have enough for her to eat at the table, this year, we’ll also have a special treat on hand that is a definite “yes” for kids with food allergies. Leave it to Divvies, a CMP favorite for many years, to do something special for Thanksgiving with their new limited-edition Chocolate Turkey. Like...

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Photo cards and gifts for the design snobs

Is there a single mom who isn’t stressed out by holiday cards? Like I don’t already have enough to do, let alone trying to find one picture where everyone in the family looks halfway decent and then praying that the photo cards we order will be halfway decent. Well, this year, we have the chance to order our holiday cards from a brand new site that may very well make the most beautiful holiday cards in everyone’s mailbox. I was lucky enough to sample the offerings from Pinhole Press, and love my holiday cards so much, I am counting...

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Custom ornaments that are about as cool as it gets

My daughter has signed on to the idea of Christmas early. Not “early” like prodigy-early; I mean early like she discovered a teensy faux Christmas tree in our garage this summer and has been diligently decorating it for the past three months with last year’s kid-safe ornaments, pieces of colored paper, and–my favorite–her baby brother’s socks. So I am kid-on-Christmas-Eve excited about this awesome new find that gives new meaning to the term “family tree.” The handmade custom ornaments at Sklep are so fabulous, we’ve got them in our holiday gift guide this year. (You have been there, right?)...

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