Month: November 2010

Affordable baby shower gifts get even cuter with Skip*Hop

I remember my first baby’s activity gym. It lit up, it sang, it was really annoying. (And you know who else thought it was annoying? My cat. She peed all over it.) But, I used that activity gym constantly–after washing it thoroughly, of course. So my advice to new moms is buy one that you won’t mind looking at (and listening to) all day, every day. If you’re a new mom, or soon to be one, lucky you! Skip*Hop’s newest infant toy collection, Treetop Friends, has a great looking activity mat that I would be happy to look at...

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I (Lovebirds-Ostrich-Vicuna-Elephant) this print

Sure, Z is Zebra. But A is Aardvark, and N is Narwhal. And that’s how you win my heart– with unusual animals and hand-drawn art. This charming and retro-esque alphabet of animal silhouettes by Etsy artist besty perfectly straddles the line between beautiful and kitschy with appeal for kids and stylish moms alike. I can see it in an ornate wood frame tarted up with a coat of sky blue enamel in a nursery. Or in my downstairs hallway, surrounded by clay birds. Compiled of other original drawings available in the store, this delightful alphabet print comes to you...

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Rockin’ Blocks

Whenever I go shopping for baby toys, I am dismayed at how many toy developers design their blocks in sherbet-y pastels  even though babies prefer the colors high contrast and vivid for the first few months. (I am also wondering who decided babies love jungle themes) And then I saw these! maternalNEST’s Modern Heirloom Soft Blocks are all about visual stimulation, with a bright, modern, contrasty prints and sharp black text. They also make noises – each handmade polyfill block contains either a jingly bell or some fabulous crinkly cellophane (a house favorite, for both kids and puppies) to further...

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5 new mom must-haves

The more kids I add to my brood, the more aware I am of what I absolutely do not need as a mom. But more so, I’m now completely convinced of what I can’t live without. This is the kind of thing I wish someone had shared with me waaaay back when I spent too many hours creating a baby registry full of useless crap – like that darn $50 baby positioner. And don’t expect the store registry lists to be honest with you about not needing a moses basket and a bassinet and a co-sleeper. With that in...

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The tribe has spoken, and they are very, very pleased this Hanukkah.

There’s a conversation that goes on in almost every Jewish household around the holidays, where kids wonder where all the cool Hannukah decorations are? Who gets more gifts? And, how is a spinning top not lame? I’m going to answer those questions in the order in which they were received, with the help of an awesome website called Modern Tribe, which gives every Jewish family the gift of cool. While we may not want to festoon our homes with sparkly lights and shiny balls, it is nice to make your home look special. That’s where these lovely hanging decorations...

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Come on let’s play

My kindergartener started taking soccer lessons this year, forcing me into the kids sports apparel section of our local humongo chain store for the first time. Little did I know how hard it would be to suit her up; I’d have to force feed her Twinkies for a year to keep the size S shorts from falling around her ankles. I’m happy to see that Zio Sport understands that little athletes-in-the-making start young. [don’t miss a great offer after the jump] This newish mom (and grandmother!) owned Austin-based company makes youth athletic shorts and other apparel that start as...

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Martha Stewart wants your input on what’s cool. Seriously.

It’s like Miss America for crafters, and you’re a judge. But there’s no Miss Congeniality. This one’s all about looks, and you only get one vote. Actually, it’s the competition for Martha Stewart’s annual Holiday Craft Fair at her company headquarter in NYC. Vendor spots are highly competitive and you can vote for your faves. Of course, we’re always excited to see handmade, gorgeous crafts in the limelight, but we’re especially proud to know that two of CMP’s favorite mom-run businesses are among the finalists. There’s perpetual craft crush Little Alouette, who makes gorgeous wood toys and teethers in...

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Red21Boys.com – The motherlode of cool boys clothes

A neighbor and I were just discussing the challenge of purchasing boy’s clothes these days and we both agreed that you really do get what you pay for. And since I’m not too keen on purchasing two sets of clothes every season–sometimes more–I’m on a constant mission to find stylish clothes for my son that will actually survive what he dishes out.[don’t miss an exclusive offer after the jump] Enter the Wes & Willy line from Red 21Boys.com, a cool clothes company that’s renewed my belief that cool boys clothes not only exist, but are easy to find. At...

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Rag dolls from simpler, battery-free times

I’m kind of in love with anything vintage, especially when it comes to toys. We always joke that generations of children somehow made it through life without dolls that walked, talked, or did the cha-cha, and ours can too, darn it. And get off my lawn, you kids. If you’re also shaking your arthritic fist at the lack of wholesome, adorable, battery-free dolls for kids out there, you have to check these sweet–and very affordable–rag dolls I just found. The two Best Pals Rag Dolls are exact replicas of the dolls made by grandmas Kathy and Janet Lennon’s own...

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I’m dreaming of a big city holiday

I’m dreaming of a picture perfect holiday season, like a vintage postcard, with over-sized snowflakes and smiling kids singing songs at my door. I’m also dreaming of taking the perfect holiday photo of my two girls and they’ll both smile at the same time and sit still long enough… right. We all have our idealized images of the perfect holiday season and mine happens to look a lot like these charming holiday cards designed by Lab Partners. [don’t miss an awesome giveaway after the jump!]  The Twice as Nice Greetings  aren’t just beautiful holiday cards–with a winter wonderland image...

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Wooster Street Meats goes Pescetarian

I may be the biggest fan of the tees from Wooster St Meats on the planet, perhaps because I’ve got a sigOth who’s the biggest fan of meat on the planet. I’ve now gotten him a couple for various holiday gifts, and after seeing their latest offering, he’s about to get his third. This year, the guys have introduced a baccala shirt, to celebrate the joys of salt cod. Basque, Italian, and Portugese food fans will totally get it. I’m talking to you, David Leites. The shop also has shirts to let your man proclaim his love for proscuitto,...

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Winter wonderland photo cards, even in warmer climes

At the first sign of snow, every parent in our neighborhood bundles up their little dumplings and runs outside with three or four cameras– because it’s Georgia, and we go crazy over a little snow. But when we get back inside, the photos are ruined by slushy bits and gray clouds and smudgy fingers and babies crying because 1/4 inch of snow doesn’t really make concrete soft. Not exactly holiday card material. The best solution I’ve seen? Having professional artists take the most amazing photo you’ve got and transplant your little darling onto this adorable holiday card. CMP favorite...

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The Family Dinner – So much more than just a cookbook

There are some women out there who seem to overachieve the pants off of the rest of us. Environmentalist, author, producer and mother of two Laurie David is one of those ladies. Her latest project is The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect With Your Kids, One Meal at a Time, a cookbook/memoir/inspirational ode to the importance of family mealtime. David has packed the book full of easy tips on everything from how to set the table for take-out Chinese food, ways to get the kids to taste everything on the table, dinner table conversation starters, and of course,...

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Good things come in small packages containing frames

It may sound less than surprising, but I still think that a framed photo of the kids makes one of the single best grandparent gifts ever. At least if the photo is fantastic. And the frame is gorgeous. So I’m so happy to hear that Obrien & Schridde, whose spectacular handmade frames we discovered a while back, is now making a series that’s even more affordable. [don’t miss an awesome giveaway below!] The professional photographers behind the company have turned their attentions towards new petite frames. 11″ in diameter, they’re not really all that petite, and in fact impression...

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B. Toys, now with extra holiday spirit

While plastic toys tend to fall a bit lower on my own personal shopping list, I wouldn’t complain one bit if the brand spankin’ never seen before holiday themed toys from B. Toys just happened to fall out of Santa’s sack (or Grandma’s purse) and under our tree. Especially with today’s news about the toys. We’ve already sung the praises of the cool, funky goodies from B. Toys and for good reason. We dig their gift-ready eco-minded packaging, their use of lead-free and pthalate-free plastic, and that they give charitable donation to educational charity Free the Children for each...

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This week on Cool Mom Tech

Haven’t stopped by Cool Mom Tech this week? Here are a few posts definitely worth a peek. A kitchen radio from one of our favorite designers is piquing our geek – definitely not your grandma’s AM tuner. The new Kinect for XBox 360 motion-sensor game system is out this week! Read a moms’ take on whether it should make your holiday list this year. Check out this line of green vacuums that don’t just clean up our floors, they clean up our oceans. An affordable desktop organizer for tweens and big kids, that might even keep them at their...

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An advent calendar for your artistic holiday spirit

As December nears, my house is ready to to become a big, kid-friendly fun house of colored blinky lights and tinsel. With three kids, I know what to expect and have given in to All Things Christmas.  Except I’ve just seen the most beautifully refined and sophisticated Advent Calendar for the holidays that would make the perfect little wintry oasis from all the red, green and “blink” going on at this time of year. No Santa or sleighs, no reindeer or glued-on glitter, yet Uusi’s Advent Calendar looks just right for winter with its screen-printed chalet scene. The use...

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Jewelry that really makes a statement

Remember when slogan t-shirts were all the rage? (Yes, I still have my “Frankie Say Relax!” shirt from college.) Well here’s a new way for me to express myself through accessories, maybe even a little bit more cleverly than I could do on my own. Melanie Favreau’s conceptual creations are handmade sterling silver wearable art. Look around the shop and find rings, pendants and necklaces all pressed with sayings like Nosce Teipsum “Know Yourself” or a diamond shaped This is fake, I am not — perfect for us confident women who don’t take ourselves too seriously. Not to mention...

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HappyBaby = HappyMama

Kids like snacks. Like, really, really like them. Understatement of the year, right? I truly believe that if I just had a constant supply of snack-type foods on hand, my children would eat all day. And I have a sneaking –or is it snacking?– suspicion that they aren’t the only ones. So it’s no surprise, then, that they were thrilled to help me test some HappyBaby organic snacks recently. And their thoughts? Let’s just say their mouths were always too full to speak. I’m going to go out on a limb here and interpret their silence as approval for...

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Petit Tresor for Target: cuteness and philanthropy go hand in hand

I just went through my little girl’s infant clothes to give to my sister-in-law and wham… seeing those tiny bodysuits brought me back to those early days. I could still smell that baby smell and see her chubby little arms and legs in the teeny clothes. Of course, I had to keep a few things. Every mom deserves to dress her newborn in clothes that make her smile. And because of a fabulous new retailer-charity relationship, now everyone can dress their babies in good quality layette. Jessica Seinfeld’s Baby Buggy has teamed up with Target to create several limited...

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