Month: February 2010

Get into the Valentine’s Day spirit from the top down

Okay, so I couldn’t resist featuring just one Valentine’s Day themey, adorable heart barrette. Especially after I was kind of wishing I had one at my daughter’s preschool Valentine’s party this past weekend. (Not for me – for her.) The heartfelt clip from Natty Bratty‘s brand new Etsy shop fits the bill, with three layers of felt hearts–and a little repair work that your sweet girl will hopefully never experience. The neat part is that you can order it with a hair clip backing or as a pin, in case you want to wear it yourself this week. Oh,...

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Kindiefest 2010! Get out your child-safe Zippos.

I’m so excited to be speaking on a panel this spring at the third annual Kindiefest, the conference for all that’s cool in family music (or as we affectionately call it, kindie rock). In other words, the kinds of CD reviews you see on these here pages each week, thanks in part to our indie music-savvy associate editor Christina. While the conference itself is definitely for those in the industry (and hooray for a keynote from Dan Zanes!) on Sunday May 2 there will be a phenomenal concert that’s open to all. Or at least all of you in...

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But, MY Teen Tells Me Everything. (Uh-huh.)

Why are we talking about teens? Because every single one of your tiny bundles of joy are going to grow up to be one, and you might as well know what you’re getting into. Trust me, you’re going to want to know this stuff. In 35 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You, So I Will, Ellen Pober Rittberg gives us some tactics to use with our teens. Some of them seem pretty common sense, like Rule 10, Use your approval and disappointment, which I think parents generally do without thinking about it. Your child does something you don’t like?...

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Valentines for kids with very big hearts

This is the week, mamas. The week that your kids are going to have to bring in Valentine’s cards for every single kid in the class, the teacher, the assistant teacher, the art teacher, the dance instructor, the janitor, and probably the neighborhood dog. But we’ve got you covered with our  affordable Cool Mom Picks printable, color-your-own Valentine’s Cards at the Etsy Store. For just $3.99 you’ll get 12 downloadable cards from each of 12 phenomenal artists, that you can print as many time as you’d like. Just print them on some nice paper and let your kids add...

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There’s way more to Japanese pop art than Hello Kitty

When I was in Japan a few years ago, I tried desperately to pack my suitcase full with as much adorableness as possible. But lucky for me (and you), I don’t have to endure the super long plane ride to stock up on imported Japanese goodies thanks to new find Japanistic. Take the Shinzi Katoh cotton tote bags, which feature the illustrator’s signature whimsical artwork that we’ve already completely fallen in love with (Remember these bento lunch boxes?) And I’m thinking that we might have to forgo the candy hearts for my oldest next week and stuff one of those totes with the adorable Elph +...

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Girls will be girls at Tollipop

I love little prints of little girls (as anyone familiar with our art archives probably can garner). So when I saw an entire of gallery them from Kirsten at Tollipop I immediately started bookmarking. Kristen is a real artist, writer, and creative visionary who sells original watercolors and prints of sweet little girls – and one boy. Goes by the name of Edwin Fink. Actually what I think is cool about them is that they’re are not too sweet at all. In fact, I see a wee bit of Edward Gorey in her children, which is in part what...

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Is your faux leather handbag carrying high levels of lead?

I’ve coveted Shiraleah’s handbags after spotting them on CMP favorite Darlybird, and I recently scooped up a forest-green pleather style which has gone with me everywhere. Until this morning. That’s when my mother told me she’d heard that hundreds of non-leather handbags were found to have excessive levels of lead in them. Yes, lead, which doctors warn has the worst effects on children, pregnant women and women of childbearing age. [Update: Darlybird – who we continue to love and respect – originally stocked Shiraleah bags because of the very strong eco clams made by the company, and is as...

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The football widow’s reward

Congratulate me. As of today, I’ve officially survived another full football season of Sundays home alone with the kids, never knowing whether my sigOth would come home from the bar happy or Stay away from me, they lost again. (He’s a Redskins fan, so I’ll let you guess which it is.) I’d say I deserve a little something for my patience, understanding, and ability to fall so easily into stereotypical gender roles. You too? Well what perfect timing. Because the new spring handbags are just starting to creep into Barneys. While what I’d really like is the Prada Saffiano...

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Kid safe utensils for future foodies

Of all the things to gawk at, at the sprawling Atlantis Resort last weekend, there was one thing that seemed to catch the eye of every editor there–the bright, kid-friendly cooking utensils in the Kids Club. Sadly when I found info on the nested mixing bowls that looked so fabulous on the shelves, they turned out to be a whopping $49.99 for a set that gets dismal Amazon ratings. But I was happy to discover the Fiesta Heads silicone whisk, spatula and pastry brush which the kids had a blast playing with before the cooking even started, thanks to...

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DriveSafe.ly keeps your hands on the wheel, where they belong

I know that there is no text or email worthy of taking my eyes off the road while driving, especially now that I’m carrying precious cargo in the back seat. But, the urge is strong, oh so strong, to see what message has just popped up, and I’m such a good driver, there’s hardly any traffic, I’ll just grab my phone and take a quick peak, only for a second. . .  Not cool, right? And now, totally unnecessary with the new free app called DriveSafe.ly on the scene. DriveSafe.ly reads your phone’s texts and emails out loud and you don’t...

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Child labor – yet another benefit of parenthood

I have to appreciate any shop with the cajones to put out something called the Child Labour Collection; but then again, I’d expect nothing less from our irreverent friends across the pond at Twisted Twee. I’m laughing at the silkscreen tea towel featuring a rewards chart that suggests washing the cups and saucers are worth 10 minutes of TV, and the cutlery earns one extra bedtime story. But what I really like are the towels that say Princesses Dry it Best and This is a Job for Dryer Man! Grab one of each, give your kids their “special towel,”...

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Sleep, my little valentine. Sleep.

There’s no shortage of Valentine’s Day attire for little girls (like the Kideko heart pajamas we found this week) , but when it comes to boys, it’s pretty slim pickings. And I get it. Dressing a boy in a rose-colored heart shirt is a tough sell, even if there is a Spiderman on it too. But the adorable Love Pirate sleep sack from CMP fave Baby Burrito is the perfect festive nod to Valentine’s Day for both baby boys and girls without smothering your little one in pink. Made from organic cotton and bamboo, and featuring a simple heart and cross bones, this...

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Web Coolness – Valentine’s Day tips and Super Bowl Treats

Here are some of the things we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you’ll like them too. A fabulous list from Parenthacks on all their past Valentines-themed parent tips like creating heart-shaped window decorations, shown here. Interesting article on Slashfood about Why We Give Candy on Valentine’s Day in the first place. (Not like it matters, heh.) Lil’ Sugar suggests 15 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids. If you happen to be in Boston (or within driving distance), check out this awesome pre-Valentine’s Day mom’s night out next week with CMP co-founder Kristen. iVillage has...

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Jewelry with plenty of “ooo” but without all the 0s at the end of the pricetag

Even after ten years of marriage, I still get a rush when I see a little square box in front of me on Valentine’s Day—just as long as what’s inside doesn’t put us into debt.  New York’s Emily Elizabeth Kolins started making her own jewelry for people like me–and probably a lot of you–who love jewelry but can’t afford to have a bunch of zeroes tacked onto the price tag. Emily Elizabeth Jewelry (which has nothing to do with a big red dog, thank goodness) is filled with pretty, modern, mostly goldplate brass jewelry which is so reasonably priced, you...

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Paper Culture is giving it all to Haiti for Valentine’s Day

I’m not in the habit of sending out custom photo Valentine’s cards—heck, I can barely get my Christmas cards out in time—but CMP favorite Paper Culture has given me good reason to reconsider. Not only do their lovely modern cards give me another chance to show off my kids’ adorable mugs, but 100% of profits from this year’s Valentine’s Day cardss are being donated to Haiti Relief. Yes, 100%.As the big-hearted designers at Paper Culture describe it, they’re particularly empathetic to those in Haiti, considering their¬†location in earthquake-threatened San Francisco. And, while custom photo cards for Valentine’s Day may...

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Foodzie knows the way to my heart

Even though I’ve put on ten pounds just looking at all the Valentine’s Day treats that hand-crafted and artisan food marketplace Foodzie has to offer, I’m going to be an extra-good girl this week in the hopes that Cupid leaves me something delicious. I can’t even look at those big red hearts that have been sitting on the store shelves since New Year’s Day knowing that I could instead receive fresh-made treats like the Tahitian Vanilla & Dark Chocolate Caramels from Burbank’s Have it Sweet, or the gorgeous 1OVE Raspberry Dark Chocolate Truffles from Rochester’s aptly named Hedonist (shown)....

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Spin city

I’m quite the taskmistress with my jewelry. I want it personalized, I want it handmade of quality materials, and I need it to do something fancy, like train white mice for the circus or sing opera. But spinning around is good, too. Naturally, j’adore this Spinning Circle Necklace by my good friend, the talented Alice Istanbul of Istanbul Designs. You provide up to twenty characters, and Alice etches them onto sterling silver with her customized font.  And then it’s spin city, baby, as the custom engraved pendant dangles from a really lovely sterling chain. Unlike the stamping you see...

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Greek yogurt that’s made for kids, but will most likely be devoured by parents

I’m a huge fan of Greek yogurt, and apparently I’m not alone. It has a creamier texture and the perfect hint of tang, and it also happens to have a ton of calcium and protein making it a staple in my fridge for a healthy meal on the go. And who’s on the go more than kids? Must be why Chobani (an awesome line of yummy Greek yogurts) is coming out with Chobani Champions, made especially for kids. And it’s made with hormone-free, low fat milk with no artificial flavors, and packed with probiotics, just like the grown up...

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Olivia – the book becomes a show becomes a book

We’re huge Olivia fans ’round these parts – the book is a well-worn favorite at bedtime, and the Olivia TV series is a special treat. So I was so happy to see a new book hit the shelves recently starring our favorite difficult swine – Olivia Acts Out. This story is actually based on the teleplay from the series, but it doesn’t matter a bit. It’s a cute story about Olivia trying to make the most of her lame part in the school play, reminding us that there are no small parts in theater, only small pigs. With more...

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Sexy nursing bras for Valentine’s Day — or any day

Since the first time I breastfed back in 2004, nursing bras have come a verrrrry long way from the boring hefty brassiere I was stuck with. Now you even can snazz things up with a little satin and lace. Perennial nursing bra fave Bravado! Designs has added a sexier bra to their mix of well-designed bras and tanks with the Sublime, a lacy but subtle new choice (love the wine color!). It’s definitely on the daintier side and the lace detail over the decolletage might end up showing more than you normally would if you’re uh, well endowed. That’s...

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