Month: April 2010

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution – Sign us up for the front lines

Well, call me a sucker for a cute dad with a British accent who knows his way around a chef’s knife, but Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has singlehandedly changed my Friday nights. And much much more. Oliver is best known for his previous TV series, The Naked Chef, where his energetic presentation and simple approach to cooking won over legions of home cooks. But now he’s parlayed his passion for food into a desire to change in the way people eat in America. If you haven’t yet caught the reality show, it chronicles the chef’s adventures in Huntington, West...

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The nursing bag that’s like little magic elves are carrying your sippy cups

I have a very valuable piece of information that I will share with you. It’s the Number One Thing that you should consider when buying a diaper bag, and it comes from a mother that has had at least quadruple the number of diaper bags as I have had kids.  Your number one consideration should be: How much does the bag weigh before I load it up with wipes, bottles, sippy cups, snacks, toy cars and princess cell phones? Because I promise you, no matter how much you like the look of a bag, if you feel like you...

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Practicing safe electronics

My beloved new MacBook is now as much a part of my kitchen table as the napkin stand but, in such a high-traffic spot, my laptop is in constant danger of a small person dribbling a juice box over the keys. Instead of constantly playing defense, I now use protection with iSkin.    Despite its brand name — second only to the iPad in its unfortunate mental imagery — iSkin makes a smart ProTouch Keyboard Protector that should make computer-loving moms jump for joy. This thin silicone covering lays across a laptop’s keys, with raised key for easier typing and...

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Taking a look at The Big Picture with Uncle Rock

More predictable kids’ music CD’s throw in a few songs about cuddly toys, naptime and making friends. Kindie-rock darling Uncle Rock croons instead about his friend Bigfoot, staying up the night the lights went out, and a big garbage barge on his new CD, The Big Picture. If you’ve been reading Cool Mom Picks for a while, you know that we go w-a-y back to 2006 in our praise for Uncle Rock’s brand of good ol’ rock-n-roll with deep earthy bass lines, jangly acoustic guitar and a voice that can go all Elvis-y or Buddy Holly on a moments notice....

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A penny saved is a piece of the planet saved

One of the things about all those pennies laying around at the bottom of drawers or under the couch is that they are, well, laying around doing nothing. Rather than leave those coins to clog up the vacuum cleaner, why not use your extra pennies as a way to get your kids involved in some very cool conservation projects? Pennies for the Planet has organized a way to do just that. Get your kids collecting all that spare change and funnel the money into conservation projects like protecting the shorebirds along California’s coast, the coastal marshes in Louisiana, and...

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Cool Mom Picks loves ebay’s World of Good

When World of Good by eBay invited us to pick our favorite fair trade Mother’s Day gifts, we replied with a resounding “yes!” What better way to celebrate moms than with products that support people and communities in need. So we scoured the thousands amazing items and picked six favorites that we’d love to get ourselves on Mother’s Day — like the gorgeous rose garden ceramic vase that’s handcrafted by mothers in Vietnam and might just be the perfect way to deliver those Mother’s Day flowers. Or take my favorite item, the batik cotton scarf (pictured) that — for only $30 I...

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Little feet love Cienta

God I love me some Zappos. While I was on there, trying to figure out how not to blow our entire monthly budget on new shoes for my fast-growing kids, I came across a brand called Cienta that was new to me. The nearly 20-year old, eco-conscious Spanish children’s shoe label makes one of my favorite styles of shoes for girls — a summery slip-on canvas sneaker with a mary-jane style strap and a thick, flexible sole. It’s a style that does double duty as a sturdy playground shoe and a casual girls’ dress shoe that looks adorable with skirts...

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On April 16, shove those tax papers where the sun won’t shine

No matter how I fare in the annual rite of Tax Reporting, on April 16 I cannot wait to get rid of all the papers and receipts and do-dads I’ve had to hold on to for a year. A bonfire would be nice, but I’m not that rebellious, so instead I’ll just be a little naughty with Knock Knock’s cheeky File Folders. With three folders in each set, I should be able to ram all my tax detritus where the sun won’t shine and file piles of paper away in minutes. Organizing paperwork never felt so satisfying. Depending on...

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Web Coolness – spring activities for babies, rock n roll camp for girls, crafts for moms

Here are some of the stories we’ve enjoyed reading on the web this week. We hope you will too. Beautiful roundup of vintage Alice in Wonderland illustrations through the years from Junior Society. Make and Takes presents a handmade paper corsage tutorial in time for Mother’s Day. (shown) The Rookie Moms share this smart — and free  — spring activity idea with babies Fabulous story on Portland’s Rock n Roll Camp for Girls at Parentdish Time Out New York has a great feature on kids’ birthday party games and activities for the DIYers, or those who just want to...

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Free Starbucks Coffee today! It’s not too late. (Or too early.)

I’m definitely a fan of free stuff, especially when it’s free Starbucks coffee on Tax Day, which will help take that sting of sending out that check today just a teeny bit. This little goodie for us java addicts is actually part of Starbucks’ very cool green project called “The Big Picture” in which they are encouraging folks to ditch the paper cups and bring their own reusable mugs. Don’t think losing your one little paper cup will make a difference? The collective effort is already saving 24 trees a day, and counting. (Last we checked there were more than a...

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Random acts of gardening

When I get old and have nothing to lose, I plan to become a world-famous graffiti artist. My goals? To beautify the world and subvert The Man. Until then, I can satisfy my lust for guerrilla aesthetic do-gooding with seed bombs by visualingual on Etsy. We’re not talking “KABOOM!” bombs. We’re talking plump balls of soil stuffed full of seeds. Even for a black-thumbed ninny like me, it’s easy: Order one of three different mixes based on your area of the country. Wait impatiently for the mailman. Open the adorable, hand-silkscreened muslin bag. Throw one of the five seed...

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Embracing the turquoise trend one arm at a time

I’m giving into the turquoise trend this spring, albeit gently–you won’t find me dripping in Santa Fe turquoise stones or Grandma’s shocking aqua Palm Beach duds. But when I saw these resin bangles on the front page of etsy I thought ooh, that’s right up my alley. Made by a Melbourne artist (and far cheaper than Alexis Bittar’s resin jewelry so you can afford the Australia shipping), I love the slightly imperfect organic shapes and how all three colors work smartly together. That dark teal bangle keeps the other two from looking too Mary Sunshine, and will look smart...

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From the changing table to your dining room table (not as gross as it sounds)

It’s hard to believe I had my son a decade ago. Back then, no matter what your personal style was, you were pretty much limited to duckies, boats or flowers when it came to baby bedding. But now companies like Olli and Lime are turning out chic and modern textile alternatives to satisfy even the biggest style snob. In fact their fabrics are so stylish and “un-babyish” that they’re now also available for your kitchen. So far they’ve expanded the George and Charlie nursery collections into cool kitchen linens like napkins, tea towels, table runners and even an apron...

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Raising the reusable tote bar a little higher

With the reusable tote bag phenomenon in full swing, there are a lot of options out there, from the $.99 bags at the grocery store — that fall apart after a few weeks’ use by the way — to reusable bags that are organic, well made, and um, a whole lot better looking. Which brings us to Olive & Myrtle’s Recycled Cotton Tote Bags. If you are going to rock a reusable tote for eco- and human-friendliness, these are the ones. They are made with organic cotton, printed with water-based ink, and are Fair Wage and Fair Labor certified. ...

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2010 love makes the world go ’round.

Look at the 2010 love logo carefully and you’ll see how cool it is. And the thinking of the company behind the clever design is equally simple but striking: Make the world better in 2010. Do it through love. Which is what makes the 2010 love onesie a sweet keepsake for every baby born in this very special year. Made of 100% organic cotton and available through the Design Sisters Etsy shop, it’s a great baby shower gift to celebrate the joy and love babies bring to the world. In fact, 2010 love shirts are available for men, women,...

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The 2010 Cool Mom Picks Mother’s Day Gift Guide is here!

If you haven’t guessed it from some of our recent posts, it’s almost time for one of our favorite holidays – Mother’s Day! Which means it’s also time for our annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide. Not that every day shouldn’t be Mother’s Day, but…you know. This one comes with presents. (Sweet!) If you’re shopping for a mother, a grandma, or maybe putting a wish list together for yourself, we hope you’ll love our picks. We’ve been busy tracking down more than 50 fabulous Mother’s Day gift ideas in every price range from plenty of indie boutiques and smaller companies,...

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A second reason it’s nice when your kids outgrow their Care Bears DVD

My kids are outgrowing more than their clothes: We now have dozens of DVDs that are considered too “babyish” for my precocious offspring. Instead of just leaving them in an ever-growing pile in my basement, I’m sending my stack to Kidflicks.org who forwards gently used DVDs to children’s hospitals and pediatric wards. Kidflicks was started about eight years ago by two smart sisters, Marni and Berni Barta who donated their own video castoffs to a local pediatric ward, and were told that kids who enter the hospital request movies more than anything else to help pass the time. Now,...

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For when a scribble is a heck of a lot more than just a scribble

If you’re anything like I am, you’ve probably got a lot of your kids’ precious artwork boxed up and you’re saving it for, well, who knows what. (Actually, if you’re really like me, then your kids’ glitter-encrusted volcano drawings and purple squiggle “princesses” are scattered about your house in random piles just waiting for a more organized person to move in and do something with it, but that’s another story.) Now that I’ve found the new offerings at Me Art, I know exactly how to preserve the precious memories of my kids’ blossoming artistic abilities – by having the...

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Add some spice to life with Rice

Rice dk is a cool Danish company specializing in utterly chic and socially-conscious homewares. I like to think of them as the cooler, slightly under-the-radar version of Ikea. Like the hip older cousin I had growing up who wore a motorcycle jacket with a kilt. Although they’re known for their utterly adorable melamine tableware, such as this gorgeous melamine chicken tray, everything they make — including a few fun things for kids — is 100% droolworthy. I mean, where else can you find a soft electric guitar for burgeoning Danish rocker children plunked down next to a sassy birdhouse...

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Shopping, Sex, and Free Babysitting at Psychobaby. Do I have your attention yet?

We love checking out what’s new and hot at one of our fave boutiques, Psychobaby, and this spring is no exception. They’ve packed their virtual shelves full of warm weather duds that will make your little hipster stand out at the playgroup. Now here’s the coolest part: If you happen to live in Chicago, you can peruse it all in person at their storefront where they’ll be hosting me,  Cool Mom Picks co-founder Kristen Chase, when I do a fantastic mom’s night out in-store event on April 22 from 7-9pm. There will be food, drinks, and hello, shopping, plus you can pick up...

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