Month: May 2010

Practical parenting. Period.

Do you suppose our parents agonized so much over what kind of parents they were as we do, today? Probably not. And yet, I hate to cast aspersions on folks genuinely seeking guidance on the right way to raise little people into fabulous adults. It’s what we all want, right? It’s also why we all thought “good job!” was the magic phrase… right up until studies informed us that “good job!” was, in fact, ruining our kids. Whoops. Never fear; Ellen Galinsky’s Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs is where data meets common...

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Save Handmade – CPSIA Update

We’ve been following the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and its negative effect on the handmade products and small businesses we love, ever since the very beginning. And so, we wanted to pass along some updates, so that you can help us save handmade – and protect the interests of hundreds of thousands of craftspeople, parents and shoppers like us, who will suffer if this misguided act passes. After all, if only the big made-in-China toy companies can afford to comply with the CPSIA, those are the only toys that will be available for your kids to play...

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Summer means lollipops and monsters

As the air grows warmer, a slow smile spreads over my face. I’m not thinking about beach vacations or barbecues though. No, the thought balloon over my head says, Soon my kids will wear sandals, and I won’t have to hunt and wash and match all these godforsakenly irritating itty bitty socks. The new spring 2010 collection at Stride Rite will make those sun-starved piggies look and feel fabulous. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the newest kids’ shoes by Robeez (yes, they’re owned by Stride Rite now), especially the Lollipop Monsters that had a gaggle of teen...

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Fishy fishy on the wall

So, aside from the cluster of dirt smears from his heels, my kid’s bedroom wall is a little lackluster. And why, by the way, does he feel the need to kick his dirty little feet against the wall every night while he sleeps, anyway? I’m loving the look of the neat paintable wall décor from the Bay Area mom-and-pop team at Wallter. These stick-on pieces aren’t decals; they’re tactile, geometric, pre-primed wood, and they’re ready to be painted in whatever color-scheme your little heart (or your little kid) desires. And they adhere easily with a peel-on backing and stay...

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Get a green nursery no matter what color you paint it

Back when my son was born, saying that you wanted a green crib meant you were literally looking for a crib that was painted green. I’m really thrilled now that more and more companies are offering eco-friendly options that are stylish too, like the new IoLine crib from Kalon Studios. The IoLine crib is made with all-natural, non-toxic bamboo with sort of a mod-meets-mission vibe. Open, geometric patterns on all sides give you a great view of your baby, and him a great view of the world around him. The collection also includes a changing trunk with great storage,...

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Oh Sweden, stop making me want to go there.

I spent my entire morning browsing the modern Swedish design shop for kids, barnvanligt, and not even the beautiful spring day was been able to tear me away. While the organic cotton robot pillows (below) sucked me in, I think what I need most in the world right now are the ABC paper cups Genius! They’re like beverage holder, party decor, and preschool-appropriate entertainment all at once. Each box evidently comes with 30 vibrant cups made of recycled paper, including all the letters and two hearts–although that math doesn’t quite add up. Who knows, maybe there were two more...

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D is for Duuuuuude

There’s some sort of unspoken rule that a baby can’t be born until someone has purchased the little dude or dudette an ABC book. But let’s say you know some hipster, emo, goth, inked, or punk parents. Calming pastels and fuzzy bunnies are going to totally clash with that Clash onesie and those tiny checkerboard Vans. Allow me to introduce the Alternative ABCs by Dave Parmley, Eric Ruffing, and graphics by 13th Floor Designs. This totally sick board book is ready made for rock star parents and their cool little future guitarists and skateboarders. B for Bear? No way....

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Princess Katie & Racer Steve could’ve named their new CD, Super-Gigantic-Amazingly Cool

There are days when I feel like a constant killjoy to my kids, but just as our day is flushing down the proverbial toilet, I try to remember one thing that can usually turn things around: Fun music that knocks our socks off. Our latest mood-changer is the ever-peppy, totally entertaining offering from Princess Katie & Racer Steve, Tiny Cool. We at CMP have been fans of Princess Katie & Racer Steve’s first CD and then the second CD, and Tiny Cool gives us more to love from this ready-for-their-own-cartoon, husband-and-wife pair Steve Borne and Katie O’Sullian. Part dance party, part...

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Do you have a quotable kid? (Of course you do!)

Certainly you have a whole list somewhere of all the funny things your kid has said. My youngest daughter named her stuffed horse Puke Bok, and the oldest has been known to say things like I’m not licking the gingerbread house..I’m just kissing it. If your own kid’s sayings are funny even to people who aren’t reading your blog or your baby book, consider sending it to Kico Kids for their second annual Quotable Kids t-shirt contest. One of our favorite boutique children’s brands, they’re compiling their favorites and putting each one on a limited-edition tee by Japanese illustrator...

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When you care enough to send the very most completely awesome

Imagine a land where the world’s hippest Indie designers line up at your door to throw sketches at you for… whatever. Your daughter’s birthday party, your best friend’s shower, your “I Finally Lost the Baby Weight” champagne brunch. Okay, now imagine you don’t have to stand there in your pajamas and awkwardly offer them coffee as you sort through the portfolios. You just browse a website. This land is called pingg. For those of you already familiar with the free e-cards of pingg, you might agree that it’s the super cool lovechild of Hallmark and Etsy– with a dash...

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Wardrobe by Jim Henson

I’m not sure how I didn’t know about the Jim Henson store, but I didn’t. And I love Jim Henson, because really, who doesn’t? The guy was in an Apple Think Different ad, for pete’s sake, along with Picasso and Lucille Ball. While parents of a certain age will be more enamored of Fraggle Rock merch than others, what I think are cool are the Jim Hensons designs, featuring multi-colored monsters on iPod cases and tees, including the adorable Feed Me baby onesie. I only wish the site navigation was a little better, which is a shame; if Jim...

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The princess and the peas. And carrots. Probably ice cream too.

I have accepted the whole princess thing that has definitely turned into a Princess Thing around here as of late. But I’m still having trouble embracing…you know. The princesses. The ones with the skinny waistlines and luxurious hair and faces on licensed merchandise from electric toothbrushes to diaper wipes. So when I got a look at the new French Bull Princess dishware for kids, I literally gasped. Oh joy! These colorful melamine plates, shallow cereal bowls and cups are adorable, multicultural, and lead to just as much healthy fantasizing as the big brand products. They also lead to as...

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Flite of the Bumbleride

I opened the gate, and we smoothly rolled passed the oglers, the whisperers, and the merely curious. I wished I had remembered my sunglasses, because everyone was staring. Finally, one woman stepped forward from a small group and asked me, “What is that?” “Oh, it’s the 2010 Bumbleride Flite,” I said. “It’s not available yet. Just giving it a test run.” And then I had to give the other playground moms a complete tour. The Flite is Bumbleride’s answer to the “luxury umbrella stroller.” Weighing in at a sleek 13 pounds and folding up into a tidy little package,...

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Web coolness – graduation craft ideas, Jillian Michaels, and daddies who change diapers

Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Marie from Make and Takes shares great ways to celebrate a kid’s graduation party. (shown) Alpha Mom has an exclusive interview with Jillian Michaels about her controversial statements about pregnancy and adoption. Nice eye candy at the Etsy Storque blog with their round up of Etsy artists from Japan. A tip at Parentdish on how to make a shot hurt less for a baby A dad blogger wants to boycott Pampers over their dad-unfriendly package shot. At Blogher, Melissa Ford informs us...

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Alphabeasties, not just for the next generation of Type Nerds

I run with a tough crowd of Type Nerds, the kind who can spend an hour discussing the joys of Helvetica, the horrors of Comic Sans, and play an iPhone game called “Cheese or Font” (yes, this really is a game).  But even for those of us who can’t tell a serif from a sans serif, you’ve gotta check out the Alphabeasties and Other Amazing Types alphabet book. It’s like no alphabet book I’ve ever seen and with three kids, that’s saying something.  Created by two Minnesota graphic designers, Sharon Werner and Sarah Forss, Alphabeasties features animals made from type,...

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Hip art for cool dudes (and the moms that love them)

I know, I know. When you get down to it, most boys are just drawn to things with wheels and pointy teeth. In a world devoid of gender-specific toys, they would still manage to nibble a piece of cheese into the shape of a gun. But what about moms who want something other than Tow Mater and Buzz Lightyear on those baby blue walls? cabin + cub definitely delivers on hip designs for boys, now without all those ubiquitous automobiles or cartoon characters with a limited shelf life. I can see the retro-cool, hand-inked collages in simple frames, hanging...

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Maclaren – Now making scents

Ah baby smell. The intoxicating fragrance of that soft hair, the delicate sweetness of their freshly washed onesie, and the putrid, offensive nasal assault of a fully-loaded diaper. Thank heavens for the new Beginning by Maclaren line of aromatherapy candles which rids your nursery of those less desirable odors and fills it will a sense (and scents) of calm. Each of the five scents are designed with a purpose, whether to inspire you, rejuvenate your or just calm you (and the baby!) down. They’re made from 100% natural soy and palm wax and other vegan ingredients. The candles are...

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Bugaboo + iPhone = Conspicuous consumerism at its most practical

When I found out Bugaboo had come out with an iPhone holder accessory my first thought was to roll my eyes. What, we can’t stand the idea of being out of reach of our precious phones for the time it takes to fish it out of our jacket pockets in the park? But then I realized, wait, phones aren’t just phones anymore – they’re our MP3 players, our cameras, our maps, our breastfeeding trackers, and even our public bathroom with a changing table finders. So yeah, maybe an iPhone holder for that Chameleon handle is a fine idea after...

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Exercise baby’s memory, crave fudge ripple

I scream, you scream, we all scream for… well, okay, I lied. I didn’t scream over these adorable soft ice cream-festooned beanbags, but I did squeal just a little bit. The Baby Gardner brings us Lisa Bacigalupi’s exclusive hand-stitched take on the traditional memory match game: 16 beanbags, 8 different pairs of matching cones, 1 muslin bag to store it all in, 100% chance of delight. This one is pretty to look at, soft and interesting for little fingers, and guaranteed to last longer than a flimsy deck of cards. This isn’t the item to grab when you need...

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Dinosaurs aren’t just for boys

I’m all for putting my 5-year-old daughter in so-called “boy” dinosaur shirts, though her obsession with pink and all things girlie stomps my efforts. But now I shall strike back and win with the DinoGirl shirt from Jusami. This adorable, slim-cut shirt features a monstrous pink T-Rex being ridden by a pretty little princess with a wand in a completely ironic and awesome way, which totally makes me laugh. Whether you’ve got a dino-obsessed girl or not, this shirt is a definite winner. And just in case you’ve got a dinosaur loving kid of the male persuasion too, they’ve...

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