Month: February 2010

Cool Mom Picks readers have a heart

Valentine’s Day has come and gone and now, a week later, we just want to say thank you thank you thank you for your absolutely overwhelming support for our artist-created color-your-own Valentine’s Day cards we put together with Etsy. The numbers are in and more than 400 of you helped us raise more than $1700 for The Children’s Heart Foundation. All $3.99 at a time. We couldn’t be more pleased! If you loved the work of the twelve generous artists who contributed their talent to the cause (and really…who wouldn’t?) feel free to visit their shops and support them...

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The grass is always cleaner

I must confess that there have been a few times over the last five years as a mother that I have reluctantly resigned myself to a really ugly product because its function was just that important to my daily sanity. But thank goodness we rarely have to do that anymore. The latest product makeover is the bottle dryer, now done magnificently by Boon. Their brand new grass bottle drying rack, which looks amazingly like wheat grass, works quite well at drying bottles and other small baby accessories that either get lost in the regular drain board, or worse, get...

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Wallpaper is back, baby

When I hear the word wallpaper, it conjures up really bad images of this odd looking flower pattern that completely covered my bathroom wall growing up. It a nutshell – it scares me. But thanks to advances in technology and design, wallpaper is again becoming a pretty cool way to decorate a baby or kid’s room. Take the super swanky boy-centric designs from UK-based Paper Boy Wallpaper, whose dinosaur wallpaper line called Dya-thank-esaurus (pictured) is tempting me into redoing my little dino-obsessed son’s room. I love the realistic silhouettes combined with the whimsical placement of the boy figure throughout....

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Mondo murals for your mini Matisse

My daughter is a normal three-year-old: obsessed with being big, doing grown-up things, and wearing leotards for 90% of her life. Okay, so maybe the leotard thing isn’t normal, but it’s no wonder she gets bored with the same old princess coloring books and tired box of broken crayons. She wants to do big things. Real things. That’s why I’m so excited about Art Projects for Kids, a free website with daily art projects for all ages that are different (crayons, shmayons), fun, and above all, real. Most projects include a short lesson on a famous artist and then...

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A natural way to keep the lice away. (Ew. I know.)

I first discovered Fairy Tales Hair Care when our one awesome local kids hair cutter – the one who didn’t cut my girls’ bangs on a 45-degree angle with what I imagine to be a rusty butter knife – insisted that it was the greatest stuff on earth. Since then, we’ve been fans of their natural, organic-packed products like the  Leave-On Conditioner which takes care of my youngest daughter’s recurring dreadlock (grrr) and the non-sticky Curly-Q Natural Hair Gel which my girls simply call “Goop.” So I was intrigued to learn about Fairy Tales’ Rosemary Repel shampoo and conditioner...

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Like the milk man of the super hip. But peas.

If you live in Los Angeles, you’ve got some mad cash, and you want someone else to deliver organic, healthy, super-fresh baby food to your doorstep… well, I’m a little jealous, actually. And Baby’s Belly is here to serve you. The brainchild of two Hollywood actors and parents, Baby’s Belly offers twice-weekly delivery of healthy, fresh meals for babies from 6 months through toddlers. And we’re talking really fresh–the peas are actually green, and the fish needs to be spooned into your kiddo within twenty-four hours. The Belly Big Kids selections read like the menu at a gourmet restaurant,...

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Brooklyn in da Playhouse

I’m not sure when exactly my humble borough of Brooklyn, New York became cool, but there seems to be evidence of it, from the occasional celebrity sightings in my local diner, to people saying, “oh you live in Brooklyn? Cool.” So while a line of Brooklyn baby tees might have once been a display of local pride, I think visitors might appreciate them too. Bklyn Yard makes some of the most fabulous, most original printed baby tees and onesies I’ve seen in a while, all printed on insanely soft, designer-style “destroyed” peruvian cotton, giving it that rough-around-the-edges look that...

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Turn your kid’s object of affection into an object d’art

My son had a stuffed elephant named Tussle that went with him everywhere. In fact, he never knew it, but there were actually two Tussles in constant rotation, just in case one went missing. Tussle has long since moved to the “big happy farm where stuffed animals roam free,” but I wish I had known about Jennifer Maher’s Custom Toy Portraits so we could have preserved Tussle’s memory forever. Just send Jennifer a few high quality photos of your child’s favorite stuffed animal or toy along with a couple sentences about what makes it special to your son or...

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Boots that don’t make you say Ugh

The chic streets of Manhattan on foul weather days belong to Hunter Boots this year. These all-weather, all-natural rubber wellies in colors from pine green to flashy silver are keeping the annoyingly toned calves of stylish New Yorkers warm and dry everywhere I look. But what I didn’t realize is that they come in children’s sizes too. Children’s Hunter Boots are just like the grown-up versions: Strong, sturdy, and built on an orthopedic last so kids won’t clomp around in them the way they do with less fitted galoshes. They’ll get you through winter and right into spring…and if...

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Baa Baa Black Sheep, have you any reclaimed wool for upcycled art projects?

One of the stand-outs to me at this year’s overwhelming Toy Fair show weren’t actually toys at all, but the lovely handmade wall art from CMP fave Cate and Levi. Like their original, one-of-a-kind stuffed animals, the critters are pieced together beautifully from reclaimed wool. Even nicer is that these fuzzy fabric friends can be hung over a crib without glass, and if the baby hoists herself up on the rails and grabs at a picture? So much the better. The sheep looks plenty friendly and I’d imagine even the crocodile won’t bite. I was also happy to see...

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Smitten with mittens

I know what you’re thinking– Why is the Georgia girl recommending mittens? Because I’m the biggest sissy about cold, that’s why. But I’m proud to say that we have three whole inches of snow right now, and I sent my kids straight outside to investigate the mysterious, white substance. It’s thirty-one degrees out there, people!  And that’s where mimiTENS comes in.These cute and clever mittens are made in Canada from eco-friendly water-repellent nylon, Thinsulate, and bamboo fleece, and they go all the way up over the elbow.  That means they stay on, no strings attached, even if  your kid’s...

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Organic crib bedding to grow with

Here’s what I’ve learned: Your daughter may be all Thomas, Thomas! now but in no time at all, that train love will become Abby Cadabby, which becomes Uniqua which becomes I only like things that are purple and turquoise but mostly purple. Which is why I can’t say I love character bedding for kids. But I do like the Canadian-made Wee Organics crib bedding. The solid color-blocked organic cotton interlock bedding sets are quite affordable at $159 for a crib sheet, skirt and blanket, especially considering how nicely they’ll transition when you turn that convertible crib into a toddler...

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Headbands are the new baseball caps. Thank God.

I’ve been following the headband trend, waiting for something that I could possibly get away with, you know, as I glamorously work from home and chase three kids around. Sorry if I just can’t do the whole feather and lace thing these days. But a couple of weeks ago after searching through Etsy, I ended up at CMP fave Lou and Lee and fell instantly in love with their new headbands. Now after a bit of research, I have learned that I cannot get away with the soft style headbands, gorgeous as they are (for little girls too!). However...

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We need to move it, move it.

Michelle Obama may be known for her sculpted arms, but her commitment to health and exercise goes a lot deeper. Last week, the First Lady introduced a new initiative, Let’s Move!, which is supported by the newly created Partnership for a Healthier America. Their ultimate (and ambitious) goal? Eradicating childhood obesity in one generation. One third of American children are currently obese or overweight, and we spend $150 billion dollars a year on concerns related to obesity. For the first time in history, American children may not even live as long as their parents, and that’s scary enough to...

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We don’t have to get pregnant to wear Liz Lange. Or some of us don’t.

And as a Canadian mama, it was with much excitement that I used to take trips south of the border and bring home some lovely Liz Lange maternity clothes. Well now I’m going to have to get myself an American address since it looks like there are some brand new Liz Lange designs I’ll want to wear. And no, Mom, I’m not pregnant–it’s just that she’s about to release her first-ever non-maternity collection on HSN.com. Launching on February 19, the Completely Me by Liz Lange collection has got me reminiscing about the good old days. (Wow, did I just...

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Oh, The Pictures You’ll Take!

My daughter loves Dr. Seuss. She also loves the camera on my iPhone. Put these together and you have a four year old in Seussian snap happy heaven, and a mother who can’t check her e-mail or play Words With Friends when her kid is around. The Dr. Seuss Camera, Cat In The Hat Edition employs the same structure as the previous Grinch incarnation that was released before the holidays and, yes, was entirely addictive and ensured that all of our virtual Christmas cards were Grinch-themed. It’s so simple that a four year old can mash up your iPhone...

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Organic baby clothes that do that old ovary-awakening thing. Darnit.

For some time now I’ve had my eye on the beautiful organic baby clothes from L.A.’s PAIGELAUREN baby. These suuuuper soft, really lovely designs are just the kind of thing that make the perfect gift for your picky mama friend who likes her baby clothes simple, classic, and tailored. In other words, no ironic tees that say Boob Man. The locally-made, certified organic cotton basics are all pretty darn covetable, from footie pajamas called Crawlers to the yummy kimono gown that’s ready made for sleeping baby photo ops. But what I really like are their baby bodysuits which range...

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Want Your Enfant To Passez La Baguette? There’s An App For That

I have this fantasy of one day living in Paris, in some old, sunwashed apartment on one of the old arrondissements. Trouble is, although I read French – a hangover from graduate studies – I don’t speak much of it, and what little of it I do speak is sloppily Canadian. If I’m going to live there, I’m going to need a translator, which is why I enrolled my daughter in French immersion kindergarten. It’s also why I downloaded the Little Pim language learning application for my iPhone. My daughter loves playing games on my phone, especially word-based games,...

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Where Preppy meets Crunchy

Biff? Yes, Buffy? Look at these darling shoes, wouldn’t they be super for Skip? Okay, that’s probably not a conversation that will go on in your house, but it’s hard to suppress your inner prep when you see the madras uppers of the new Morgan and Milo Plaid sneakers spotted at Moxie Kids. They’re relatively easy to slide on (the eyelets are for show) and a super-cute way to dip a toe (heh) into the plaid trend that’s still here this spring. (And, if you like your preppy with a healthy helping of irony like I do, pair it...

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A headband that’s even sweeter than it looks

I’m eagerly awaiting the day that we can trade our winter hats for springy headbands, but one look outside my Brooklyn window and uh, yeah. Not gonna happen so soon. But when it does, I’ll be prepared with the new Ellie headband from CMP fave Bella Tunno. The design was created to help support a little girl named Ellie Potvin, who’s all of eight and battling Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood cancer with a tough prognosis. Because I’ve got a relative dealing with a young daughter in and out of the hospital to treat some pretty awful stuff, this one...

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