Month: July 2010

Fairy tale houses–they’re not just for fairy tales anymore

When I first saw pictures of the amazing, whimsical and unbelievably detailed fairy tale houses and furniture by Mike and Debbie Schramer I simply marveled. This brilliant husband and wife team use real flowers, branches, roots, and moss, to create these breathtaking fairy furniture masterpieces. You have to click over to appreciate the detail. But they’re not just meant to be looked at, they’re meant to be enjoyed. Why buy pink plastic doll furniture when you can have a hand crafted tea party set? Add little forest people and animals and your child’s imagination is sure to run rampant....

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Desktop bookshelves – Hold the tools and the glue

The piles of books and catalogs on our desks around here have gotten completely out of control, and with another official reader in our house, I only foresee more clutter in our future. So that’s why I’m digging these desktop bookshelves from Ecolok. These simple handmade shelves are exactly what I need to keep things in order. They require no tools or glue, thank goodness, and because they’re unfinished, you can even turn them into a cool little project and have your kiddos paint or decorate them. Use them for books on a child’s first desk, or the ridiculous...

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Help save the Gulf via your jewelry box

When I think of the volunteers up to their knees in muck in the Gulf, washing oil off birds and dragging turtles to safety, my faith in humanity is renewed for the umpteenth time. But for many of us moms, globetrotting for good is a nearly impossible task. There is a way you can help, though, and it involves wearing really this really pretty necklace. 100% of the profits (yes, 100%) from the recycled sterling silver Save Our Shores Iconic Pelican Necklace by Real Jewels will go to Save Our Gulf, an initiative by Waterkeeper Alliance. Waterkeepers are committed...

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Subscribing to Cool Mom Picks is like winning the lottery! (Says us.)

We wish we could give every single one of our subscribers a million dollars. Tax-free. That’s just how much we love you. Until that day, we can make at least one of you happy with a super awesome giveaway worth $1200. (Really!) [Super fabulous giveaway after the jump!] Of course every Cool Mom Picks subscriber gets access to exclusive features, hot celeb trends, and cool picks delivered right to your inbox, plus our dedicated emails that score you discounts and deals to boutiques and brands that are pretty hard to beat. But this month, one of you will win...

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Baby gifts with your own personal touch

Picking out a baby gift for my brand new niece, Isabella, was incredibly easy when I discovered makaboo–or difficult depending how you look at it. [don’t miss a great offer, and giveaway after the jump!] Easy, because the shop has a great selection of gifts, at every price point, all of which can be personalized. But hard, because eek! There’s so much to choose from. Look around and you’ll find everything on a new mama’s registry from blankets and burp cloths, to baby clothes and even a lovely moses basket by 3 Marthas with personalized liners. I really love...

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Web coolness – growth charts, stick horses, and interior design to die for.

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Have you visited the new Momformation blogs at Babycenter yet? This week, we cover one of the coolest growth charts for kids. Promise. While her baby Mila sleeps, Adele Enersen captures her in the most incredible photos. Check it out at Mila’s Daydreams (seen at left). Fun tutorial for DIY stick horses at Babyccino that little cowboys and cowgirls will love riding. At EcoChildsplay,  iPhone apps for eating healthy, all approved by Healthy Child Heathy World. We’re thinking of Care Bears differently...

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Cool Mom Picks loves Babycenter!

We were so happy to hear that Babycenter was planning to relaunch their popular blog Momformation with truly awesome bloggers. So you can imagine we were even happier that they invited us to be contributors! Visit us every Thursday each week for, you guessed it, cool picks you won’t see here. We’re especially flattered to be amidst some of our own favorite trendsetters and fabulous writers, like Marie LeBaron from crafty blog Make and Takes, Allison Czarnecki who pens style blog Petit Elefant, and the lovely, lifesaving mamas Heather Flett and Whitney Moss, also known as The Rookie Moms....

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Behold the mysterious STEPONBOX

Talk about truth in advertising: The STEPONBOX is a storage box that also functions as a stool. That you can step on. And a ton more. Available in four Jetsons-esque color combinations, the STEPONBOX is crafted of Polypropylene and Thermoplastic Elastomeric, which in non-sciency terms, means it’s free of PVC, phthalates and heavy metals, and also that it’s possibly from Superman’s home planet. It can withstand up to 100 kilos of pressure, so almost your entire family can stand on it… or try to. And it has so many uses. Stand on it. Sit on it. Store toys in...

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Dear diary

Childhood diaries are always depicted as the tool of brooding, angry, angst-filled goth girls; more Heathers than Clueless. Personally, my own first journal was filled with a lot lighter fare. And a whole lot of bad rhyming poetry and original song lyrics. That’s why I was totally charmed by this My Life Rocks journal by Mudpuppy. Adrian Johnson’s graphics are adorable, the message is cheery,and the colorful lock still tells the world “keep out.” I figure, might as well make the most of those years before your daughter or your favorite niece would prefer a My Life Sucks journal....

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Collage on the quick at Photovisi

It was a mystery. Suddenly, they were popping up all over Facebook. And now I know where everyone created those adorable collages of their kids. The website is called Photovisi, but I think of it as “Photocollages for Dummies”– definitely including myself in the category. It’s so easy, my grandmother could do it. And you don’t have to download any software or commit to a name-brand photo site–two of my pet peeves–because the photos come straight from your computer. You simply select from over 20 templates, choose to add photos from your computer or from a webcam, and add...

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It’s not junk if you display it with love

When I look around my house I find strange groupings of stuff everywhere. A bin of outgrown Crocs. A shoebox packed with old family pictures. Some coffee table books that never quite made it to the coffee table. Little did I know that these were all just charming, whimsical and revealing design elements in the making. Something I learned from the book Living With What You Love, by Monica Rich Kosann. It is a gorgeous interior design book filled with inspirational and attainable ideas on how dust off family heirlooms and show them in a whole new light. My...

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Maternity shirts that keep on going, and going

I’m loathe to buy any new maternity clothes in the middle of my 3rd trimester, but it’s also the point in my pregnancy where all my favorite items start to get a little tight – except for my one all-time favorite piece, my trusty BumpStyle maternity shirt. I’ve raved about these amazing maternity shirts before, and I’m so pleased to see they’ve added a few new styles. A top pick: The lovely kimono sleeve maternity tunics that are perfect for Fall, and for covering my jiggly pregnancy arms. If you’re not familiar with BumpStyle t-shirts, they’re probably the most...

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Read, write, learn, wipe, repeat.

I was absolutely blown away when my four year-old, in a single day, suddenly mastered lowercase letters. No thanks to me, of course. This time, all the credit goes to the new Brain Quest write and erase alphabet book. Filled with 40 pages of coated, wipe on/wipe off pages and complete with one of those dry erase pens (which argh, just make sure your kids keep it away from the couch), it’s such a clever new format from the folks who make some of the best workbooks in the world. The whole thing is the perfect size to tuck...

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Cute catches from the celebrity safari

We’ve just discovered a high-end line of ultra-luxe baby towels and accessories beloved by Brangelina, TomKat, and loads of other celebrity couples with two names that get put together to form one name in the press, which is completely annoying. Little Giraffe is not an African safari, but at least you don’t have to deal with giant mosquitoes and predators in its pursuit. Unless you count paparazzi as predators. Based in Los Angeles, their baby towels and accessories are definitely of the more foofoo animal print variety, but we love the adorable and deliciously soft Luxe Hooded Towel, which...

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New kids accessories from Appaman – Hot (or cold) for Fall

After all these years of crushing hard on the cool kid’s clothes from Appaman, it’s high time that they added an accessories line. And just in time for back to school time. I’m really digging their hats, like the pilot hat in a cool striped fabric and faux fur lining. The girl’s Igloo hat looks great too, and isn’t drenched in pink – a nice alternative to many of the girl’s caps out there. You’ll also find a small but stylish array of kids’ gloves, mittens, and scarves, all of which are a cute way to top off Appaman’s...

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Rock around the clock, or at least until bedtime

It has been a long time since I’ve willingly rocked around the clock, but I still love me some good ol’ rock-n-roll during the daylight hours. Thanks to Putumayo Kids, I now have some of our favorite kiddie rockers assembled in one place to help us shake, rattle and roll with songs that are perfect for the half pints. (check out the hilarious contest after the jump!)   Putumayo Kids Presents Rock & Roll Playground features some of our favorite songs from big names in kids’ music like Dan Zanes, Brady Rymer and Charity and the JAMband.  You may recognize...

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I dream of Orca

Cute little fishies for your baby’s room? So done. Instead, try this very hip, non-cutesy, and eco-conscious mobile that looks as sweet and restful hanging over a crib as it does dangling over a jacuzzi tub. Trust me, I know, because I stole it and hung it over mine. (My boy’s room is Godzilla and cars, so it’s not that I’m selfish; I’m practical.) [see the giveaway after the jump!] The little whale mobile by The Modern Baby Co. is laser-cut from birch and comes to you with minimal packaging and about an IKEA-level of assembly required. That means...

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I’m Stokke-ed about this new Stokke Xplory Stroller

So, let’s say you have a thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket (humor me) and you need to get a new stroller. Are you going to want the same stroller that everyone else will be parking outside your Mommy and Me class? Or are you going to go for the one that will stand out in the pack? Me? I’d be choosing a fancy-schmancy new Stokke Xplory. Yes, after five years, Stokke has just released a brand new model. And it’s cool. Very cool. Though you may think you don’t know the Stokke stroller, I’m¬†willing to bet...

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Super funky, ultra cool, kitchy fabulous pillows

No, Noogie, Moosey and Alfalfa are not part of a lovable gang of 1950’s ne’er-do-wells. They’re a few names from the line of totally hip silhouette pillows by Aunt Bucky, now available at CMP favorite Happy Chickadee. And all they need now is the goofy mutt with one black eye to round out the collection. [don’t miss a great offer after the jump] Each pillow is 16 square inches of delightful retro kitsch mixed with au courant 100% cotton fabrics in colors that are sure to find a perfect home in your kid’s room or playroom. The wool silhouette...

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Baptism gift ideas? Reader Q&A

You guys are so great at finding great gift ideas, and so I come to you with this: I have my fourth niece/nephew to buy a gift for . . . Hoping you have some good ones up your sleeves! -Christina W. Congratulations again! I hope these ideas help you find something something new and different to give to your little niece or nephew.  The Stork Store’s vintage signs (shown above) have a lovely nostalgic vibe and would look so nice in a baby’s nursery. I love that not only can the name be personalized, but the wording on the...

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