Month: February 2010

Have a Heart for Haiti – hurry over for some retail philanthropy

It’s getting to where so many generous companies are donating to Haiti, it’s becoming harder to keep track of them all. And that’s a good thing. So I was so happy to see that one of our favorite bloggers and great friend of CMP, Christine Koh of Boston Mamas, has helped organize the Have a Heart for Haiti effort, in which Boston mom-run businesses have committed to donating a percentage of profits directly to UNICEF, earmarked for Haiti. The one catch? Today, February 15, is the last day. So hit the site and see if there’s anything you’ve been...

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Pure. Good. Purgood.

Sometimes I have a major case of the Holden Caulfields when I’m looking for bath products worthy of my children.  They say “all-natural”, and I cry, Phony! Fake! Liar! and snarl at the petrolatum and mineral oil hiding behind the organic aloe vera. But not Purgood Organics, because their products are pure, good, and actually contain organic ingredients. My favorite thing about this dynamic duo is that they don’t contain sulfates, parabens, or Pthalates. I’m an ingredients hawk, and I won’t put harsh surfactants or questionable chemicals on my own skin, much less the thinner, softer, more porous skin...

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This DVD knows how to hail to the chief

President’s Day has typically marked nothing more than a vacation day to my kids. But this year, I feel pretty good that they have actually learned something about their government after watching the smart but entertaining So, You Want to be President?. . .and More Stories to Celebrate American History DVD. Featuring four children’s books that have been narrated and animated for the DVD, So, You Want to be President? starts with the title story narrated by the cool voice of Stockard Channing. (Not actually a first lady, but played one on TV.) I loved learning a little more about...

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It’s the Year of the Tiger (it’s the cream of the fight…)

I may not have an ounce of Chinese in my heritage, but I still love baby gifts that reflects the Chinese zodiac. With the Chinese New Year starting The Year of the Tiger today, I’ve put together some of my favorite tiger-themed baby gifts. And a fun giveaway too! Tigers on clothing abound, but I prefer them to be more cartoon-cute than Ed-Hardy wild, which is why I have a soft spot for Colette Kids’ Organic Cotton onesie. It’s also available as a tee-shirt for bigger kids. We at CMP have long been fans of Oliver Chin’s Chinese New...

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A (free) singing Valentine from Laurie Berkner

Laurie Berkner, the melodic singing songstress that I most recently loved when I reviewed Rocketship Run, is back to raise awareness for a worthy organization called the Pajama Program by giving us a sort of singing Valentine. Her love note comes in the form of a free downloadable song called Open Your Heart which was actually written to help raise awareness for the Pajama Program’s campaign by the same name. With her guitar, crystal-clear voice, and touching lyrics, Open Your Heart is a reminder to us parents that our little I do it myself offspring need us more than...

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Free Valentine’s Printables – for when I’ll have to say I love you in a song

If Valentine’s Day is coming closer and closer (and it is), and you still have no idea what to give your beloved, don’t fret. Instead take a look at what Ayako Akazawa, a senior designer at Chronicle Books, has put together for those of us with a soft spot for the mix tape. These Valentine’s Day CD labels are for your own special mix of songs. Using one of the styles in Chronicle’s Candy Orchard Packaging Kit, these Valentine’s Day labels are covered in little trees with wood you be mine printed on the side. There are also matching...

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Bedtiming – Making sense out of sleep training

After a few weeks of a ridiculous lack of sleep, I decided it was time to do something about it. And do something I did–with much success–thanks to Bedtiming: The Parent’s Guide to Getting Your child to Sleep at Just the Right Age, an awesome sleep book written by Canadian psychologists and parents Isabela Granic and Mark Lewis. Instead of offering up yet another sleep training method, this husband and wife team provides an honest analysis of the most popular theories already out there, and more importantly, explains how they may or may not work based on your child’s...

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Well, hello kitty

It turns out our Valentine’s Day card contest did more than help us put together one cool card, it also introduced us to some really exciting new artists. One of them is Montreal’s Stay Home, which makes all kinds of happy little felt things from custom dolls to plush ornaments. But what I really love is the handstitched mew mew brooch which reminds me of a cross between Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and my daughter in last year’s Halloween costume. It’s made of felt and stuffed to perfect puffiness, for just $9 it’s just waiting for...

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Great First Communion dresses that are sweet, not mini Bride? – Reader Q&A

Please help me find a First Communion dress that is a) not a bazillion dollars and b) not made out of that super scratchy cheap lace? The dress needs to be mostly white and dressy, but not too mini-bride! -Cathy We totally get what you mean about avoiding the “mini bride” look, Cathy—some of the styles out there are way more fancy than my wedding dress!  Here are some ideas we’ve pulled for you. Hopefully this will help you find something you (and your daughter) will love.   We reviewed Soft Clothing a little while ago, and while their...

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Celebrity maternity clothes, on a real mom budget – Chiarakruza comes to Target

We’re always on the lookout for cool maternity wear, and we’ve got a good feeling about this: Celebrity favorite Chiarakruza is bringing their maternity line to Target! Starting February 15, you can get the look of a Hollywood mom-to-be — for a lot less. All while you’re picking up diapers and dinner. Excellent. The Chiarakruza for Target line consists of pieces that are fun and functional — tunics and jeans and flowy dresses — in prints and colors that will pep up even the most cankle-laden mama-to-be. We haven’t gotten to see the line first-hand, but the pictures are...

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Oh Canada

In honor of our friends up in Vancouver, we thought we’d celebrate the 2010 Winter Olympics opening by helping the littlest among us to get into the spirit – with the fantastic leather maple leaf bib from Mally Bibs. It’s a great way to commemorate a baby born during the festivities, or just to root on your favorite Canucks. (And yes, there’s a stars and stripes bib too, although it reminds me of the Puerto Rican flag most of all.) These nearly indestructible, Triple-A, Cool Mom Picks approved leather bibs, are a fantastic value considering they wipe clean in...

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Web Coolness – Valentine’s cupcakes, creative philanthropy, and romantic frugality

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you do too. A red velvet cupcake recipe roundup (shown) from The Kitchn – ooh la la. A guest post on Shankman.com from Everlasting Matrimony: 50 ways to be cheap on Valentine’s Day without Looking Cheap. Rookie Moms teaches us how to make a conversation heart Hilarious advice from Amy Storch on AlphaMom about surviving air travel with young children. Cool piece from the New York Times on The Secret Society of Creative Philanthropy — how would you pay it forward with $100? Also from...

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Goodbye Quiet Hours Toys, hello 40% discount

It breaks our heart when our favorite shops go out of business, for whatever reason, as with Quiet Hours Toys which is shutting its doors this spring. We’ve featured them so often over the years, always a fan of this mom-run shop’s exquisite taste in children’s toys, and commitment to supporting natural, handcrafted, and fair trade playthings of beauty. But the silver lining to the closing is amazing discounts on everything in the shop right now – if it’s in stock it’s 40% off. You’ll find kids’ dress up clothes like hand-embroidered crowns and stunning tutus, wooden blocks, teethers...

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The hot new baby gifts of 2010, courtesy of Hoppop

We saw a whole lot of baby gear (a lot) at the ginormous ABC Kids Show in Las Vegas last summer, but very little stays with us all these months later. One exception however, is the cheerful European Hoppop Baby gear, which Kristen, Julie and I all made a beeline for, and ever since, we’ve been waiting–impatiently–for its US release. Well hallelujah–it’s here!–and we get to be the first to tell you about it. This collection of registry-ready baby and kids gear is just beautifully designed, but equally as practical. The anchor product is a very innovative diaper bag...

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Hello Baby Hawk, my new love.

I’m so sorry, old buckle carrier, but we’re breaking up. I met someone new. My new love is the Oh Snap! by BabyHawk, and I’m trying to find out if it’s legal to marry your baby carrier.  I’m a monogamous sort of girl, and even though I have two bags of slings for the local babywearing meeting I lead, I always reach for my favorite buckle carrier. And now that’s the Oh Snap! How do I love it? Let me count the ways. First of all, the Oh Snap! carrier is gorgeous, made with high-quality materials and triple stitching....

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Born with a silver shoe

Just because the holidays are behind us doesn’t mean it’s time to put away the sparkle. Especially when it’s as subtle as the lovely silver mary jane baby shoes from Chickpea Kids. I fell in love with these butter-soft lambskin shoes when I first caught them at a trade show a few years back, but because they’re all handmade, they’re not in wide distribution. Thankfully, one of the great local Brooklyn kids’ shops, Acorn Toy Shop, has them on their site, along with a gold version. And if you want to up the ante (and double the price), you...

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The real tooth fairy – keep away from open mouse traps

Only recently did I learn that the origins of the tooth fairy may come from a French fairy tale called The Good Little Mouse (La Bonne Petite Souris ) in which a fairy mouse convinces a mean prince to be nice so that his teeth will turn beautiful and white. Yes, it’s a little weird. But aren’t they all? The whole thing is explained on the hang tag of the sweet new tooth fairy pillow, just out now from one of my favorite indie baby gift companies, Petite Miette. L.A. mom/designer Sarah Odenkirk has designed the pillow out of...

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Vogue Bambini gets me excited for spring

This past fall I got a look at some of the new spring kids fashions on the runway, courtesy of our friends at Vogue Bambini.The theme was Garden Style, so there were plenty of flower baskets, clogs, and fun florals – just the thing to get you excited for spring if you’re in snowpocalypse mode these days. Now that the spring clothes are juuuuust starting to make their way into shops, it seemed like a good time to point out some of my favorite looks from the show. I met designer Bonnie Young last year and her couture kids...

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All Around Ralph’s World without leaving the living room

With so much “together” time indoors these cold winter months, my kids’ music has become my music. So I had better like what they have on heavy rotation these days. With their current favorite CD du jour, the new All Around Ralph’s World, I think I’ll retain my sanity just fine, thankyouverymuch. All Around Ralph’s World is the latest in a whole slew of CD’s from CMP fave and Chicagoian Ralph Covert and while the CD doesn’t entirely capture the energy of one of his live shows, I still can happily listen to the pop-rock tunes over and over...

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Women helping women with supima cotton

Are you heart-ed out yet? No? Good. Because we just discovered the charity-minded Michael Stars Joyful Heart tees, created in part by Mariska Hargitay and pimped out by fab friends like Jennifer Aniston, Hilary Swank, Debra Messing, Courteney Cox, and others who spell their names totally differently than you think they do until you look it up on IMDB. The tees were created to support the Joyful Heart Foundation (founded by Hargitay) which does good by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. For every shirt that you buy, Michael Stars will donate one of their very...

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