Month: August 2010

Aden + Anais go organic

Even though I haven’t had a baby around here in just under two years, I still use my aden + anais muslin swaddling blankets. But with a new little one arriving soon, I might just have to splurge and add more of their amazing swaddlers to my collection – this time from their new organic line. The same fantastic muslin that you (and I) have fallen in love with is now available as an organic baby swaddler, which means the cotton is grown free of pesticides and other chemicals. And while I still love the brighter patterns, like the...

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The perfect back to school bag–for mom

I love the back-to-school rush–the shopping and planning and anticipation. But because I both have boys and send my kids to a school with uniforms, I always wind up feeling a little short changed in the back-to-school shopping arena. For me, fall meant new shoes and a new bag, always. In fact, I still typically treat myself to a new bag when school starts, just because. This year, I’m totally coveting the Eva Satchel from Ellington, in Italian leather. I have professed my love before for Ellington’s bags; they are beautifully made and well designed and will withstand even...

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One less thing for me to nag my kids about. I like that.

Those of you with little ones probably cannot imagine the day when your tween despairingly announces that her glasses make her look like “a total dork,” but I’m here to tell you that it happens. And suddenly your kid is big enough to wear contact lenses, and yes, she promises to take good care of them and wash them properly and be mature and careful and… what? How long has she been wearing that pair? Um… a while? LensAlert just banished the last of the Lens Wars from my household, because while I don’t think it’s that hard to...

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Little kid backpacks without the bells and whistles

I’ve learned that as my kids get older, they will have plenty of time to use their decked out backpacks with the 400 pockets and zippers. And I’ll have lots of chances to clean them out. But for my little preschooler, I’m digging the new simple canvas backpacks from Blabla Kids. We’re already smitten with their handknit backpacks, so it’s nice to have a sturdier canvas option that’s just as cute, but with a little more room for folders, snacks, and a sippy cup too. They even work for older kids, like my 6-year-old, who need a little bag...

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Party like it’s 1959

I think I’ve discovered party favor central. And much to my delight, it’s not in a mall or a half-abandoned shopping center, which is where those party favor stores seem to be in New York. In fact, this little party supply shop is not even in New York. It’s in Wisconsin. But you can reach it through Etsy. Hey Yoyo definitely has a nostalgia/vintage-y vibe going, so if you’ve got your heart set on Thomas the Train plates and Big Bird cups for your kid’s birthday party, this ain’t it. However if you’re looking for a mid-century inspired 3-D...

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The Cool Mom Picks guide to a cooler Orlando vacation: Part 3 – New stuff! New stuff!

This is the third post in a three-part series on Orlando vacation tips from Cool Mom Picks. We know that for some parents, an Orlando trip is something you do once in a lifetime. But for some, it’s something you do once in a while. Or maybe even once a year. (Unless you actually live in Orlando, in which case we’d imagine you’re there quite a bit, huh.) Of course every trip can be a different trip because there’s just so much darn stuff to do there. But there are a lot of new, cool things to do that...

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Because no one ever compliments you on that cute Ziploc.

My job as a parent has always been playing defense, which is why I’m the one who slathers the family in SPF 50, sorts the recycling, and saves fifty cents on black beans with a coupon. My favorite strategy these days is reusing bags, and my favorite reusable bags as of now are these EcoStuffers from Sedilu Green on Etsy. The reusable snack bags are made with one layer of adorable 100% cotton and an inside layer of antimicrobial, waterproof, phthlate-free and BPA-free FDA food-safe nylon. They close securely with Velcro and are super easy to clean — you...

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Birthday gifts for 5 year old boy? – Reader Q&A

Danielle asked us on Twitter for the best birthday gift ideas for a 5 year old boy, since her son is about to hit the big number five. She says he likes “things that go” but already has 400 cars. He also likes art projects and writing notes.     We have some great ideas for you, Danielle! I have an almost-six year old son, so I am excited to answer your question about good gift ideas for your little guy. It sounds like he has more than enough vehicles already, so I’ll try to stick to gifts that don’t involve little tiny wheels. Related: Coolest gifts for...

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Fred’s XYZ Blocks FTW!

CMP loves to turn ABC into ROFL, and we are totally digging on these XYZ Blocks by Fred & Friends. They stack, tumble, and teach letters just as well as more traditional blocks, but they’re beautiful, unusual, and entertaining, too. E is for Earthworm, Q is for Quicksand, U is for Uvula, A is for Afro, and L is for Lawn Mower. All things being EQUAL, I’m going with Fred. The gorgeous, retro-style illustrations are by artist Christian Northeast, and the sixteen beautifully crafted wooden blocks come packaged in a handy wood box with a recyclable clear plastic top....

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Bob Dylan, children’s author

I admit, I feel just a little bit cool when my little girls walk into a store or a friend’s house, hear the radio, and immediately say, Hey! It’s Bob Dylan! So when I learned that one of his old tunes had been made into a brand new children’s book, I of course couldn’t wait to see it.  Man Gave Names to All the Animals does not disappoint, whether you’re a Dylan fan, or just like gorgeous illustrated books that children can loose themselves in. The simple, rhyming lyrics about cows and pigs and bulls that the singer penned...

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These will make your lunch

Packing kid lunches is one of my least favorite things; rummaging for useable plastic food containers and matching them to lids that have migrated between several shelves (yes, plural. In my house, it’s an Issue) is a misery. And I’m about to start rinsing out baggies and taping closed scraps of wax paper. And hating it. That’s why I am completely tickled to have my hot little mitts on the latest in laptop lunch kits from Obentec. The new kits have a few changes: the insulated carrying case is smaller and does not include a bottle, but the zippy, foldable pocket is designed to...

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Turns out Keith Haring’s art can teach kids about more than just art

I can’t tell you how much I admire teachers. My son has had some good ones and some great ones and what separates the two are that great teachers don’t just instruct, they inspire. Haring Kids, a website based on the amazing artwork of Keith Haring, contains a database of more than 160 creative lesson plans that both parents and teachers can use to teach everything from shapes to social studies.  Lesson plans are arranged by subject, age-range, and even required materials with extensive descriptions of how a particular school presented the program. One of my favorite hands-on activities...

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From nature to your ever-changing skin, with love

Pregnancy. Nursing. Postpartum. Pregnant again. Getting my first crow’s foot. Freaking out. My skin’s undergone more changes in the last five years than the cast of Saturday Night Live. I wanted a skincare product that was natural and safe, so I hopped on Google and tried slathering my face with honey, yogurt, banana, and avocado. Yuck. I gave up. Hence my enthusiasm for Marie Veronique Organics. This line of skin care products, available only extra fresh and online, is hand-made in California of intelligent ingredients in 100% recyclable packaging. And from what I can tell, it’s safe and beneficial...

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Web Coolness – Cool gifts, recycled crafts, and a potluck idea that has us giggling

Here’s some stuff we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Maybe you will too. This week on Babycenter, we share one of the coolest shower gift ideas ever. Literally. AlphaMom introduces us to fantastic craft projects for kids that recycle what’s in your kids’ lunchboxes. We love this idea at Serious Eats for throwing a Lunch Lady Potluck. Especially with Thomas Keller’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. Thanks in part to all of your help, one dad blogger’s Cure Juvenile Myostitis proposal for Pepsi’s Refresh Everything grant is now in second place! That’s like, insane. You can vote directly...

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Happy Women’s Equality Day!

It’s official: Today, President Obama officially proclaimed August 26 Women’s Equality Day, 90 years after we were given the right to vote. While we’ve currently got three women on the Supreme Court, 17 in the Senate, and a whole bunch running fantastic businesses–like this very website–we’ve still got a ways to go. We’re thinking that paid family leave (for men too) would be high on our agenda, along with earnings of more than 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. So let’s keep fighting the good fight. At the same time, let’s celebrate how far we’ve come. And...

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Bow knows

The simple bow is clearly the new design icon of 2010. (Wait, is it even possible that owls have gone by the wayside?) I’m seeing it on accessories, on stationery, even kids clothes. A British stylist I worked with recently was obsessed with bows, so I wasn’t too surprised to see them turn up in a shop that calls itself “American…with a touch of a British accent.” I love the tromp l’oeuil stitching on this sweet ribbon tee for girls spotted at Amoretti Designs, an adorable label founded by Rebekah Merkle, Idaho mom of five turned stone cottage-owning British...

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First baby shoes by First Nations women

Sure, we’ve all had elasticized slippers for our babies, but when was the last time your baby went out in hand-made, hand-beaded leather stay-on moccasins made by First Nations women in Canada? Not recently, I’m willing to bet. These little moccasins from Quemeez moccasins are designed by Sunshine Tenasco, a mom of three, who along with her staff on the Kitigan Zibi Indian Reserve in Quebec makes every slipper by hand. And (now here is where my heart melts a little more) for a tiny extra fee you can even have the moccasins customized with your child’s initials. The...

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Planting the seeds of greatness (and also tomatoes)

Right now, I’m looking at the wilted, brown leaves of my dying container garden and ruing the white-hot Atlanta sun. I’m pretty sure we spent $30 on supplies that produced four very small tomatoes and one hideous cucumber. But the joy on my kid’s face as we sprouted, planted, and nurtured our little garden on the back porch? Priceless. [don’t miss learning about a cool giveaway after the jump] Knowing what it can mean to our children to take an active part in gardening ups my appreciation of the Seed Savers Exchange, which is the largest non-governmental seed bank...

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Home decor for a steel

At the NY Gift Show last week, there were so many fabulous things I couldn’t wait to run back and tell you all about. (These blisters? All for you, dahlings.) One of the very first booths I stumbled into featured the simply wonderful home and garden decor from These Creatures and I’ve been virtually decorating my kids’ room with them ever since. This bicoastal brother-sister shop (Andrew Fink is a Seattle metal worker, Amy is a Brooklyn graphic artist) makes such lovely items out of powder coated steel, I kind of want all of them. From the bright, modern...

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Notebooks that help trees, kids, monkeys, pandas, and probably teachers

It’s hard not to want to incorporate EcoJot products into your back to school shopping, which is why they nearly always end up in our back to school shopping guides. Their notebooks are 100% recycled, the designs are adorable, and they donate money to various causes and to kids in need around the world. In fact, if they were named for a St. EcoJot, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Now, the Canadian company have a whole new line that I think kids will really flip for. EcoJot‘s brand spanking new Jane Goodall Institute notebooks were specifically created to...

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