Month: May 2010

Martha Stewart Crafts says it with flowers

While the gorgeous spring weather is here and I want my kids out out out of the house, I still need to keep our craft supply drawers stocked for those stormy days. My kids have been going nuts lately for the Martha Stewart craft punches, and especially the new flower patch designs. They make the most beautiful little floral border around the edges of their construction paper projects–or you know, right in the middle if you’re my kids. Of course full-grown crafters will love them too, for making your own baby shower cards, spring party invitations, or scrapbooking pages....

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A free MP3 for you, because Straight No Chaser loves their mamas too.

We’ve been unabashed fans of the talented and adorable A Cappella group, Straight No Chaser, ever since their unbelievable rendition of 12 Days of Christmas made the YouTube rounds a few years back. (You know, the one with Toto’s Africa mixed in?) So when they offered us a first peek at their lovely new rendition of All Through the Night, created just for the moms of the world, and then the chance share the free MP3 with all of you, we were like, let’s have at it, boys! For your listening pleasure, our little gift to you, cool moms:...

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Diehard Bjornies, rejoice

No matter how you feel about babywearing, one thing is certain: The BabyBjorn is a very popular carrier. From the shelves of Babies R Us to the celebrity pages of US Weekly, Bjorns are instantly recognizable even to folks who think a mei tai is an alcoholic drink with a small umbrella in it. Many families are understandably distraught when their baby sizes out of the Bjorn, a time that can come way too early if Junior is a chunk. You’ll be happy to know that BabyBjorn now has a solution in the BabyBjorn Comfort Carrier, a buckle carrier...

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An unbirthday worthy of your own Alice (or Jillian or Chloe)

The story of Alice in Wonderland involves a tea party, funny little cakes, a menagerie of characters and lots of adventure. In other words, all the ingredients for a kid-friendly birthday party, as my daughter has recently discovered for herself. When she inevitably decides she MUST have an Alice in Wonderland party, I’m going straight to Paper & Cake. Paper & Cake has already rescued me once from store-bought monotony with their adorable pirate party printables, and now the team of Abigail and Kira have created all the cute decorations I need to throw a cool “unbirthday” for my very...

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Little Red Writing Hood

There’s a fine line between too cute and too dark, a special gray area where only the hippest fear to tread. Artist Emily Martin of TheBlackApple is there, jitterbugging in her tiny red slippers. There’s something for everyone in this fabulous hodgepodge of creative legerdemain. Original paintings and affordable prints. Paper dolls and notecards. This adorable set of notebooks featuring Little Red and her Wolfboy. And the hedgehog bookplates are too kawaii to quit. From strange and gothy girls to pirates, the Loch Ness monster, and dancing bears, the artwork has appeal for a wide range of ages from...

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Trend alert – Kimonos are hot this spring

The kimono may have been around since the 8th century, but we are seeing its influence this season in everything from clothing to accessories to chocolate (hello!). The vibrant colors and gorgeous patterns are so fitting for these months following the drab of winter.  Check out how some of our favorite shops and designers have taken their inspiration from kimonos, giving it a modern twist. -Christina NoKo’s Japanese-inspired dresses (photo above) echo the kimono and obi sash with bright contrasting colors and traditional patterns on soft cotton. I love that the style is ready to play, while the look is dressy...

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U play, U learn, U smile.

I have a true story to tell you–a tale of DOG, and DOG, and DOGGIE, MAMA, DOGGIE. At least, that’s how it began. My 17-month-old son says only four words, but I can tell that he understands a lot more. Now, thanks to the U Play Mat by Play This Way, I am 100% certain that the child is a genius. The U Play Mat is a brilliant feat of engineering by Dr. Jen, mother of two sets of twins. (I know–I’m amazed she can hear herself think at all, too.) Watching her son with a speech therapist, she...

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When your baby cares enough to send the very best

My husband has Mother’s Day pretty easy these days since my kids are now old enough to make me a card all by themselves. But giving a card from a little baby– aside from the little foot print signature that most parents are not brave enough to attempt–is a little tough. Alternate Greetings has a way better option, with their new, hilarious Mother’s Day cards from the baby. A few babbles and a couple drools (in the copy of course), and you’ve got the perfect way to celebrate mom from your baby. Just remember that along with an adorable...

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Cashmere out, yak hair in

I love all the flower-embellished accessories right now, even if it’s so ubiquitous that Gap and J Crew are all over it. But so are our favorite indie labels. Take a look at this sweet hand-knit rose clutch from CMP’s beloved site, Shokay. It’s soft and unstructured, made of 75% yak hair which is pretty much Himalayan cashmere. The rest is a bamboo fiber. It not only looks beautiful, it does beautiful things, like providing a sustainable income to the Tibetan herders and artisans that Shokay sources from. Sounds like a great backstory for a great Mother’s Day gift....

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Mix, match, stack, stun

I have a thing for rings, so when I first saw these recycled sterling silver stacking rivet rings from the very talented Julie Booras of Heart and Stone Jewelry I was immediately drawn to them for all of the obvious reasons. But I realized that — while getting your rings personalized with your kids’ names is very nice and all — part of what I really liked about them was the ability to wear one, two, or three as the mood struck. And so getting them with my kids’ names was not going to fit the bill. (Imagine that...

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Mother’s Day photo books – So many choices, even with so little time

One of the nicest things anyone can do for me on Mother’s Day is to devise gift made especially for me. And while there is no denying the sweetness of macaroni art, I will admittedly spend a lot more time pouring over a custom photo book. Whether you fill it with photos of the family, or assemble all of the kids’ favorite recipes into a family cookbook, or have the kids make a “Why We Love Mommy” book, this is definitely one gift where the thought behind it counts. And don’t worry that custom is really code for a...

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Breakfast in bed, minus the crumbs

In theory, I love getting breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day, but nothing sends my nerves into overdrive like seeing a toddler wobble into my carpeted bedroom with a tray full of orange juice, sticky syrup and things with crumbs. Instead, I think I’ll leave the carrying of messy stuff in the hands of my capable Significant Other, but love that the littlest ones can still get in the act with Plan Toys’ Breakfast Menu play set.  The adorable tray of food comes complete with eggs, bacon, and even salt-and-pepper shakers. And if your toddler bellies up to “eat”...

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The fairest of the wall

Mirror, mirror on the wall…move over. We need the wall space, because there’s a new princess in town. And something tells me she’s not going to be running away from a wicked witch any time soon, because she looks pretty self-reliant, despite her noodle arms. I love, love, love the Princess and the Pea fabric wall sticker collection from UK company Chocovenyl, which is headed up by a mom/interior designer and a kingdom of hip, modern artists from around the world. The six gorgeous wall decals in this set are reposition-able with a matte, slight fabric texture and total...

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Sugar Free Allstars do, in fact, rock awesome

I know some purists who think kids’ music education should focus only on the “classics,” and, thanks to Rock Band and Guitar Hero, we’ve got that down. But, you don’t need to hear my 7 year-old warbling Barracuda to know that there is something great about real rockin’ music with clever lyrics written just for kids. Enter, the new, kid-friendly Sugar Free Allstars’ release Funky Fresh and Sugar Free which has me thinking of tossing my piano out the door and finding me a Hammond B3 Organ like the one on these tracks. There is just no funkier-sounding instrument out there (besides maybe...

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Car games. Remember those?

Long ago when my parents would drag us on a 10 hour family road trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina, my brother and I would occupy ourselves with all sorts of fun travel-friendly activities, none of which included a DVD player. Imagine that! While I definitely pack our player whenever we attempt a long road trip, I’m all for finding alternative ways of in-car entertainment other than the shiny bright screen. Take this adorable handmade car bingo game from pi’lo. The owner, a Toronto-based artist, originally created this game for a magazine shoot and is now actually making it...

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Rock-n-roll birthday party wear? Reader Q&A

Can you think of a good source for cute rocker-girl clothes for toddler girls? I’m doing this whole rock n’ roll birthday party for a 3rd bday and want to get her a fun outfit. -Tara I have a few favorites that immediately come to mind when I think “rockin’ toddler”. For instance,  Psychobaby, a shop we love so much we’ve created a whole category of Cool Mom Picks on their web shop, has loads of cool options. Check out Rowdy Sprout’s AC/DC dress (shown above) or the Micro Me Denim Tomboy Skirt. With lots of cool options for...

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