Month: June 2010

The Dread Crew – What’s a summer reading list without pirates?

After falling in love with Canadian mom Kate Inglis’ writing at her personal blog Sweet Salty, it was no surprise to me that she’d write a book. But what I didn’t expect was that it would be the fantastically scrumptious morsel of kid fiction, The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods, now finally available in the USA. [see the giveaway after the jump!] The story begins with the pirates of the Dread Crew lost in the Maritime woods, with self-proclaimed pirate tracker, Eric Stewart, hot on their tail. We then follow his wonderful adventures, all of which are illustrated...

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Yes, carrots. YES!

I’m not in the habit of talking to vegetables unless I’m pregnant and singing a love song to my tempura zucchini. Still, I find myself saying yes to Yes to Baby Carrots several times a day lately. Maybe you’ve seen the orange-splashed Yes to Carrots brand at your local drugstore or SuperTarget and wondered what the big deal was. The deal is this: Organic veggie extracts, 100% natural ingredients, and a complete absence of parabens, petroleum, and SLS. All now with a line made just for babies. Are you shouting YES, CARROTS yet? Because I totally am. My favorite...

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Awkward Family Photos proves we are all total goofballs

Having lived through the hippie styles of the 70’s, the new-wave neon of the 80’s, and the regrettable grunge fashions of the 90’s, I have enough embarrassing family family photos to fill a book. A very cringe-worthy, hilarious book. Which is just the idea behind the Awkward Family Photos website that has had us laughing since it launched last year. And now the Awkward Family Photos book gathers their favorite snaps as well as some new ones into one neat paperback that has me doing that snort-laugh thing. Awkward Family Photos is page-turning hilarity: From the strange poses (just...

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Ready-to-bake cookies that taste like cookies, not chemicals

To say I’m not a baker would be like saying childbirth is somewhat uncomfortable. But I also happen to be a major baked goods addict, which means lot and lots (and lots and lots) of store-bought cookies and cakes make their way into my house. So needless to say when the opportunity to review Ice Box Bakery’s ready-to-bake cookie dough became available I practically dislocated my shoulder from raising my hand so quickly. Ice Box Bakery cookie dough is as close as I’m ever going to get to making cookies from scratch. Given that the all the ingredients are...

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web coolness – Father’s Day ideas, gulf do-gooding and good news for imperfect moms

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. You don’t want to miss this post on Shutter Sisters about amazing things you can do to help the Gulf. Need last minute craft ideas for Father’s Day from the kids? Babble has some suggestions. Or if you’ve got a metrosexual in the family, Real Beauty has some ideas for grooming gifts for dads. If you want to give a new dad a laugh on Sunday, point him to this hilarious post from Pregnant Chicken: Survival tips for new dads. (Thanks to...

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Silly Bandz, now coming to a chest near you

I was hoping–praying–that the Silly Bandz craze would stay far far away from my daughter’s preschool. When it hit, it hit hard, like a giant neon apocalyptic storm of wiggly plastic and shrieking children. I can completely see why some schools are banning the bracelets; who can focus on eating lunch or practicing our letters when there is a pink kangaroo to be traded for an orange guitar! So Lisa and Ken Gold, the mom and dad team behind LikeWear had a brilliant idea: The as yet unbanned Silly Bandz t-shirts. Okay so they’re actually called “Silly Rubber Bands...

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The book for him that’s really for you

I’m not a dad, I’m not expecting, and I usually find pregnancy humor about as funny as postpartum hemorrhoids. But I’m happy to admit that Dad’s Pregnant, Too! by advice columnist and author Harlan Cohen was a pleasant surprise. Why? He tells men things that pregnant women are too hormonally and physically exhausted to communicate, such as Don’t touch the pregnant boobs unless specifically invited and Never follow “I’m tired” with “Me too,” unless you want to be an AA–his term for Accidental A$$hole, something the new dad will definitely learn a lot about. The book’s focus is on...

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PDFs for DIY PB+J

This is one of those times when I find myself wishing I owned a sewing machine. And that I had a single crafty bone in my body. Check it out: Gulf Coast Cottage, a wonderful shop filled with soft toys, has an entire category filled with nothing but PDF patterns for felt toys you can make yourself. Many of the patterns are food–like the PB&J lunch set or the toaster set shown here (ah, so kids can play with the toaster!), but there’s also a doctor’s kit, tools, a child’s tea set, and even a retro robot plushie. If...

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Lilith Fair is back!

I’m sad to admit that it’s been a very loooong time since I’ve been to a music concert, but I still have vivid memories of the amazing Lilith Fair, the awesome all-female touring music festival back in the late 90s. Well, it’s back, mamas, and if you missed Lilith Fair the first time around then I strongly suggest you snag a sitter now, grab some girlfriends, and make a night of it. The brainchild of superstar (and mom) Sarah McLachlan and friends, this phenomenal gathering of women artists features some of the hottest musicians bridging across all musical genres...

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Recess Monkey’s new CD is really, really out of this world (insert groan here)

I know it’s not just my kids who turn every box into a spaceship or seem to have their heads in the clouds. And I’m certain that they won’t be the only ones for whom Recess Monkey’s new kids’ music CD The Final Funktier is like rocket fuel for their dancing shoes and their imagination. Kicking off with a boppy-yet-silly rocket-launch countdown that leads into a groovy Moon Boots, the three Seattle teachers that make up Recess Monkey have put together one of our must-have kids’ CD’s each year much like their last CD, Field Trip, a Cool Mom Picks...

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Natural baby wipes take care of babies and their home planet

You’ve got some organic spaghetti on your face, honey. Let me get that for you. (Licks thumb, scrubs face off shrieking, flailing baby.) There, isn’t that better? Well, a little. I mean, the tomato sauce has been replaced by a red rash, and my baby is covered in spit. But at least it’s better than drenching his tender face in diaper wipe “juice” riddled with propylene glycol, right? Wrong, thanks to Elements Naturals 100% Compostable baby wipes. These natural baby wipes are now even more fantastic than they were when last we lauded their benefits. And a lot better...

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Attention cookie lovers: My heart belongs to Elsylee

I’m in heaven. Floating above the clouds, birds tweeting around me, angels singing sweet melodies heaven, all because I’ve discovered the sweet caloric glory of Elsylee cookies. Let’s just say these handmade-to-order artisanal cookies from a Manhattan patisserie make those “Milan” and “Bordeaux” cookies (which are pretty darn good) seem like Eurotrash wannabes. Inspired by her European grandmothers, master baker Elsylee has absolutely blown me away with these all-natural, bite-sized treats that I forced myself to sample this week. (I know, get out your tiny violins.) The Sevilla snowball style cookies are to die for — I could seriously...

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Baby sunscreen lotion grows up a little bit

I had a May baby and a July baby and as such, I still remember those panicky early days of taking the baby out into the (gasp) sun. I don’t think I could have had enough muslin swaddling blankets and floppy brimmed sunhats to put me at ease. So I love that there are so many choices of gentle baby sunscreen lotion now with more natural ingredients and lighter scents, like the new SPF 30+ Mineral Sunscreen from Little Twig. The formula is now “extra mild,” which I can only imagine is a step up from the ordinary “mild”...

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Having a ball

With my daughter’s birthday coming up, I’ve got party decor on the brain. (Expect more on these pages in the coming weeks!)  So when I saw these awesome beach ball decorations made out of waxed Japanese washi paper I went oooohh…You just blow them up like a balloon, but unlike balloons you can actually reuse them again. I love this for a summer party of any kind. Just don’t let the kids try and toss them around the pool, okay? -Liz Find wonderful Asian-inspired party supplies and paper goods at Ginko Papers. [via...

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Mini Social is keeping boys all stylish and wallets half full

We love the online flash sale site, The Mini Social, because finding cool boys clothes, especially at up to 60% off, is always a challenge. But this week is extra-special since through June 18 it’s Boys Week, and a portion of all the sales will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. You’ll find hot kids’ clothing brands like CMP faves Little Ruler, Wonderboy and Baby Susu. You can also see what celeb guest editors have to say about keeping their boys stylin’–and it might make you feel good to know that even clothing designers and actresses still have...

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Boys love playing daddy, too.

I have nothing against boys embracing pink, but when I went to buy a little boy doll for my nephew to love while his mama was caring for a newborn, I found that 99% of the baby dolls in the big toy store were of the female persuasion. France’s Corolle, the maker of beautifully made, safely constructed, age-appropriate baby dolls, seems to understand what I ran up against and has added some boy dolls to their collection, right in time for Father’s Day. My favorite is their new Tidoo Poppy boy doll in a bright red sleeper that looks...

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Children’s backpacks aren’t just for back to school

We’re huge fans of the Dante Beatrix backpacks for almost too many reasons to mention–the eco-friendly materials, the perfect toddler sizing, the adorable designs. How’s that for a start? Now the company is simply named Beatrix NY. And to celebrate their name change, they’ve added two new creatures to their already cute backpack family which both start shipping tomorrow. Meet Lucas the whale and Baxter the dinosaur (shown), the kid-friendly, mom-approved little-kit sized children’s backpacks. They’re here just in time for summer day camp, day trips to the beach (or maybe Grandma’s house–whoo!), or even long car or plane...

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Calling dibs on affordable bibs

After getting two kids through the messy eating phase and currently dealing with one who’s in the thick of it, I might just be a bib expert. And I have to say that the bibs from JJ Cole are some of my all-time favorites. It doesn’t hurt that they’ve added two very adorable patterns for girls (pictured) and boys, but what I like is that the laminated canvas — which is PVC-free and pthalate-free by the way — is super easy to clean. Add the catch-most pocket that’s just the right size, along with neck snaps that stay closed...

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Going Down, Down, Down to help the Gulf

Though I haven’t seen the Gulf of Mexico since I was a teen, I’ll never forget the color and warmth of the turquoise-blue water that lured me in until I was wrinkled and waterlogged. It’s those waters and the creatures most affected by them that The Gulf Restoration Network has been working to protect and preserve for years, though they certainly have never needed our support like they do now. Which is why I love that I can support efforts to restore the Gulf by purchasing the lovely print Down, Down, Down which also reminds me of those see-to-forever...

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LOL with Mabel’s Labels

No matter what season it is, I can always find a reason to use our Mabel’s Labels, and with everything from summer camps and lessons, to pool playdates and picnics these days, I’m always putting those handy labels on something. Now if you’ve got a camper, then you don’t want to send them out the door without Mabel’s Labels’ handy camp pack, which includes their sticky labels, bag and shoe tags, as well as their iron ons – basically everything you need for camp, school, daycare or if you’re at my house, just marking who’s is who’s amongst the...

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