Month: March 2010

Plum Organics baby food – Not just plums, but definitely just organics.

I will admit it: I was not one to puree my own baby food. Ever. It always seemed like a fabulous idea and I envied those moms who did, but as a working mom it was just more effort than I had the energy for. Fortunately, there are great organic brands out there like Plum Organics, that are definitely the next best thing to growing your own pumpkins and mangoes and setting up the food mill. The new JUST line is pretty much what it says – little eco-friendly pouches of nothing but 100% pureed fruits, or fruits and...

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TV, now without all that annoying TV.

Remember when there were 13 channels on the television and the youngest kid in the family was the designated remote control? Kids today will never know that pain. With 600 channels, Tivo, Hulu, and Google, there’s always something on. But sometimes it’s impossible to find what you’re looking for,especially when you need Yo Gabba Gabba at that crucial moment when dinner is burning and tiny minds need distraction. Luckily, we now have Clicker, which is basically a Google for online media. Clicker catalogs more than 600,000 episodes from over 10,000 shows, 20,000 movies, and 80,000 music videos all on...

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It’s a high chair. It’s a low chair. It’s a HiLo chair.

When you discover a kids shop through the Wallpaper* Magazine Facebook Fan Page, it’s a pretty good bet they’re going to have taste up the wazoo. So when I clicked over to ella+elliot, yep. That’s just what I found. This beautiful Toronto store carries pretty much every brand we covet, and their crib selection alone will make modernists get as drooly as their babies. But I was really excited to discover this new-to-me HiLo high chair by Canada’s Age Design, which comes in all sorts of fabulous colors and rings in at about half the price of other popular...

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No wire hangers!

Sometimes it’s the extra touches added to a baby gift that can make difference between a simple Thank you so much and an effusive Oh my goodness I absolutely love it! Take the sweet vintage-inspired wooden hangers at Zia + Tia. Sure, they make a lovely present all on their own, but include them with a baby layette or special outfit and you’ve got a really memorable baby gift–particularly since hangers aren’t generally the first thing new moms think about buying but can always really use. Let’s face it, wooden hangers just have way more closet appeal than the plastic ones you...

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Stella McCartney is back for Gap Kids and Baby

Considering how much we drooled over the new Stella McCartney for Gap kids and baby collection, we were awaiting her new spring line with much anticipation. Well, it launched today and once again, we’re smitten. The line itself sings of nostalgia from when many of us mamas were kids, which is particularly strong in the girl’s collection. The gorgeous vintage-inspired fabrics all have little modern twists, and remind me of blouses and dresses I used to wear. Like the sweet crochet dress. Or the ruffle tops. And even though Gap Kids is generally a hoochie-free zone anyway, it’s still...

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Just Let Me Lie Down – The working mom’s ABCs of BTDT

Kristin van Ogtrop is the editor of Real Simple, which means that her life as a working mom is full of high-power glamour and nary a regret. Right. Okay, I’ll confess I was worried that might be true, but it turns out that Kristin is someone with whom I’d share a margarita any day, and her upcoming Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom is a hilarious must-read for any mom who’s ever struggled to balance home and career. Just Let Me Lie Down takes us through the entire alphabet of the trials and...

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14 x 24 inches of Patriotism

With a family of two girls and one boy, decorating a playroom with a gender neutral theme is a bit more complicated than it sounds. But thanks to the new limited edition travel poster series from design studio The Heads of State, I’m no longer at a loss for inspiration. These screen printed serigraph posters would make the perfect wall accent for a cool playroom, kid’s room, or the rest of your living space, whether it’s to celebrate the birth cities of your brood (like mine who were all born in different places) or to plant that travel bug in your kiddos...

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Totseat – the washable, squashable high chair

Sure, dining involves more crayons than caviar for my family these days. But it seems like every restaurant’s high chairs are missing straps, are wobbly, are sized for a preschool linebacker, and/or spackled with nasty goo. Besides, my boy can wriggle out of every one of them faster than a greased octopus. The Totseat is therefore my new best friend, and will probably be yours too. This cleverly made portable high chair fits any chair from Eames to Ikea, and safely wrangles wigglers from about eight months to 2 1/2.  It’s so easy to use: Slip the sturdy cotton...

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How one coloring book can make hundreds of kids happy

My nephew was hospitalized at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia when he was around two and I am forever grateful to the amazing staff who helped cure him — and to all of the special facilities that help children. I guess that’s why I am so blown away by RxArt. This non-profit organization pairs up with some incredibly famous contemporary artists like William Wegman, Frank Stella and Sol LeWitt in an effort to transform sterile hospitals and outpatient centers into places popping with creativity and color.  There’s even a CAT scan machine designed by one of my favorite artists,...

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Video thrilled the Readeo star

I love books. Love them. And I love reading to my kids. But let’s say they are going to spend the weekend at their grandparents’ place. Or my husband and I decide a romantic getaway is in order (hey, it could happen). Then what would my separation-anxiety-ridden children do for stories? (Okay, I realize Grandma and the babysitter aren’t illiterate and bedtime stories might not be top of mind on a romantic vacation, but work with me, here.) Turns out, I can still read to my kids with the newly launched Readeo, a web-based library of children’s picture books...

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Clothes made for women. And not the perfect ones.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I went a little crazy with the maternity clothes. And although my husband raised a skeptical eyebrow and tut-tutted about me buying items that I would — he insisted — never wear again after pregnancy, I proved him wrong. For better or for worse. The problem is, so many of those maternity clothes that have such an accommodating cut aren’t the most fashionable of wardrobe items and really should be put on ebay or handed down to pregnant friends as soon as possible. Which is why I love Canadian fashion designer...

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Watch out Polly Pockets. You’ve got handmade competition.

If you’ve got a five-year-old daughter (or thereabouts) then you know the story well. Someone (*coughGrandmomcough*) buys her Polly Pockets and you end up spending most of your time searching for the ridiculously small shoes in your vacuum filter. So, I’m always on the look out for similar alternatives, like these adorable hand crocheted mini dolls from Sweet Dolls. Even though they’re a bit bigger than their plastic counterparts, I’m pretty sure in this case, size doesn’t really matter. They’re fun, fashionable (hello, pink hair!), and best of all, I’m guessing they’d be easier for little hands to dress...

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I holla for Soapwalla!

Writing for Cool Mom Picks is pretty much my dream job, and I get to review some truly amazing stuff. I can shout at the top of my lungs about how much I like a product, but the real test is this: Did I go back and buy more? When it comes to Soapwalla Kitchen, the answer is a resounding “Yes, and I’m tracking my shipment hourly.” Soapwalla is a one-woman, hands-on, super pure line of indulgent bath products by Brooklyn girl Rachel Winard. Her objective? To make the highest quality all-natural bath products available. You can’t really argue...

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Raising creative kids – here’s a hint: You’re not starting from scratch.

When my kids were young, the challenge for me wasn’t trying to get them to be more creative. They had access to all my art supplies and were constantly creating all kinds of art creations. My issue was where to store and display, say, a four foot high, blue sculpture made of paper towel and toilet paper tubes all held together with studiously applied tiny pieces of masking tape. Author Whitney Ferre, the founder of the Creative Fitness Center (you might know it from HGTV) takes on this kind of challenge and more in the very good book for...

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Meep meep meeeep (That’s robospeak for cool kids art)

All girls do not love ballerinas and all boys do not love cars. Totally get that. Even so, I do get that the vast majority of moms are looking for less traditionally feminine themes for their sons, and that the bunnies and lambs that look cute in a baby’s room aren’t so great in about two years. That’s why I love something like these robot prints by French graphics artist Slati — which, by the way, are super cool for any kid, boy or girl. Made in a limited run of 300 each, you can buy one of the...

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Now this is my kind of egg decorating

After stumbling upon the Design Your Own eggheads felt book from Beeper BeBe, I’m on the verge of nixing the whole Easter basket thing and going with Easter presents instead. because really, when you add up the price (and let’s face it, the play life) of all the trinkets I stuff in the baskets, something like this is going to last me way beyond Easter Sunday. These felt activity books are a great way to keep little hands busy while you’ve got the ham in the oven or heck, any other time you need your kids to occupy themselves —...

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Allergen-free Easter candy? Reader Q&A

Any ideas where I can find allergen-free Easter candy? Nearly everything I see is processed in a plant with peanuts so I’m looking for egg-free and peanut-free goodies. -Mary As the mom of a daughter allergic to milk, I share your concern since so much of the stuff on store shelves isn’t safe for her either. So in the interest of helping all of us moms with kids allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, wheat, and whatever-else-there-is, here are some sites that have products just for us. -Christina Our go-to site for allergy-free Easter candy (and, really,...

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Web Coolness – Easter treats, affordable maternity wear and National Craft Month

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. On Mighty Goods you’ll find a round up of Easter Basket treats for adults. Looove those Knipschildt Chocolate Robin’s Eggs from Dean + Deluca (shown). Yum. MomFinds tracks down five $15 maternity dresses for spring. Creative Humans Magazine (from our very own contributor Leah Peterson) has a lovely giveaway in honor of National Craft Month. We love National Craft month! The Museum of Modern Art discusses acquiring the @ symbol. Remember when we wondered what that thing would be used for anyway?...

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Let’s hear it for birthdays and the American Cancer Society!

We are always exceedingly grateful to all of our sponsors at Cool Mom Picks, big and small, because they are the ones who allow us to do what we do here. But there’s one in particular that we want to give an extra-special shout-out to, because we so love everything they’re about. The American Cancer Society is continuing their excellent More Birthdays campaign, in celebration of many cancer survivors who get to keep blowing out those candles every year–including a dear friend who just celebrated her five year “anniversary” yesterday. (Whoo Jurene!) The campaign is optimistic, it’s uplifting, and...

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Personalized baby gifts that will make you dance. Or jig.

We instantly fell in love with artist Alyssa Coberly’s adorable personalized onesies a few years back, and it seems like her work, sort of like babies, just keeps getting cuter and cuter – which is why we included her exclusive gift set in our new Baby Shower Gift Guide.  So if for some ridiculous reason you haven’t clicked over to our guide yet, we figured we’d show you what you’re missing. The set of three completely custom onesies make the perfect gift for any expectant mama or new baby, but keep in mind that because they go up to 12-18 months, you’re looking at an...

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