Month: September 2010

Adorable families, custom made to look just like yours

The list of things my 3-year-old daughter doesn’t love is a lot shorter than the list of things she does. But if there’s one thing she digs more than anything else right now, it’s dolls. Specifically, dolls to whom she can assign the personalities of her family members. (We’ve lost count how many times her stuffed pig has been directed to act like Daddy.) So these Star House Custom Wooden Families–which are specially made to look just like us!–are about as perfect as the world can get. Like Star House’s Wooden Easter Egg Set, these wooden figures are exquisitely handmade. But each...

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Breaking News: Fisher-Price recalls 10 million toys

Check your tricycles, high chairs, play mats, and more, mamas – Fisher-Price has just this morning issued a recall of nearly 10 million toys and baby gear for all sorts of safety issues. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission website, the recall  includes: – 3 brands of Fisher-Price high chairs -Fisher-Price trikes and Tough Trikes -Infant toys including Baby Playzone Crawl & Cruise Playground, Baby Playzone Crawl & Slide Arcade, Baby Gymtastics Play Wall, Ocean Wonders Kick & Crawl Aquarium This is in addition to yesterday’s recall of Little People Wheelies Stand n Play Rampway and three toys...

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The baby soft book pretty enough for mom’s dresser

Plastic. Polyester. Licensed characters. Slobbered-on ribbon. The sound of a toilet flushing with one press of a button, that becomes four million presses of a button–those soft baby books that pile up after the baby shower have always been strictly utilitarian. Until now. Our friends at Wee Gallery have knocked another shower gift out of the baby ballpark with their new accordian-style soft book, that looks more like a piece of art than a learning toy. Hand-made in India of beautiful, touchable silk and hand-loomed cotton, the soft book features six sassy Wee Gallery animals drawn in an artsy...

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Cloth toilet paper? I dare you.

Okay, I’m going to lay all my cards on the table here. When Liz asked me if I wanted to review Eco Potty Wipes from Cushytoosh, I thought she meant an environmentally friendly version of those mass-produced pop-up flushable wipes for toddlers. [Ed note: So did I! -Liz] But then I realized that we were talking about cloth wipes. For women. And I did a double take. So, I’m really into clean, healthy, eco and all that jive. And I love cloth anything. But wiping? For adults? Um… didn’t really sound like my cup of tea. But, eager beaver...

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7 lifesaving tips for flying with toddlers – Reader Q&A

I have a trip coming up in December, flying for the first time with toddlers. . . what will I need and what can I use? My kids are not the type to sit! I’m almost afraid to have them on a airplane! Any thing you can share would be great! -Amanda, mom to a 2 & 3 year old We’re all big proponents of traveling with kids here, as early as possible. But we realize that flying with kids, especially really young ones who haven’t quite mastered things like an “indoor voice” can be anxiety-provoking. I hope the...

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Rockin’ deals on Rockin’ Baby Slings

I more than happily paid full price for my Rockin’ Baby Sling, and considering I wore it almost every day for six months with two out of my three kids, it was well worth it. But they’re currently selling all their stock for an exciting relaunch early next year, which means you can score amazing deals on one for yourself. There’s a reason why these were both Liz and my all time favorite sling, in particular their rockin’ baby pouch, which features gorgeous fabrics and a super smart zipper system that makes it adjustable without having to deal with a sometimes...

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Do these jeans make my butt look big? That would be a no.

I have reluctantly embraced leggings over the past few years to the point where I now own five pairs–all black. (What? They’re all different!) So when I got wind of the jeggings craze I did think ooohh…wardrobe diversity. Even so, when I went to a fashion event at the Blogher conference recently, and had the opportunity to be fitted for a pair of Miraclebody Jeans, I was skeptical. I don’t just stick my butt out for anyone, let alone celeb stylist Robert Verdi who was doing the honors. Besides, they promise to take 10 pounds off and uh…yeah. Right....

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More incentive to get the kids to play outside – How does 75 bucks sound?

I love this time of year. Now that it’s not grossly hot, I feel inspired to do fun activities with my kids outdoors. But in a few months when the temperature dips? Yup, it’s a long winter and there are only so many times you can walk around Target to get out of the house. I just found out about Active Kids Club, which encourages parents to start and join outdoor playgroups, and I felt a rush of inspiration imagining myself going for hikes with my kids, sledding, or exploring the nearby nature center. [don’t miss a great offer...

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Subscribing: It’s like an inbox full of awesome

If you’re reading this, you are fabulous, and we love you, and we want to bring further awesomeness to your inbox a couple of times a month, plus chances to win fantastic prizes. All you have to do is subscribe to Cool Mom Picks before Thursday (hurry!) and here are 5 reasons why that’s a good thing. 1. Our subscribers are just a wee bit more special than other subscribers. It’s true. 2. In addition to our fab monthly newsletter, CMP subscribers have the chance to enter to win a delicious prize pack designed to make family dinner time...

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For the kid who eats like a bird

I realize that school is now in full swing, but if you have yet to find the perfect lunch box, or if your house is the mysterious Bermuda Triangle of lunch bags like mine, you can’t have too many reusable lunch bags. Particularly if they’re like these super cute canvas lunch bags from Romp. The bright, adorable designs on the canvas lunch bags for kids, like the birds (pictured), take me back to the days of the good old brown paper bag. Except with canvas and not paper. And they’re not brown. And you don’t have to scribble your kid’s name on it...

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The fall wardrobe staple for every mom. Yes, you too.

Considering I’m due with baby #4 in a couple of weeks, I’m not inclined to buy any new clothes. Nor do I even want to think about pulling out my fall wardrobe, which is sure to not fit me at least until next fall. Nine months on, nine months off, right? However my awesome sweater coat is one piece that I know will fit me now, in a few weeks, and in a few months. Meaning I may love it most of all. Now while I don’t own this particular sweater coat by Perfectly Imperfect that I spotted at...

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Betcha can’t find one million giraffes!

It all began with a bet: somewhere in Norway, Ola bet Jorgen that he could collect one million hand-drawn giraffes in one year. And you know what? He did. The proof is at OneMillionGiraffes.com. And now you can buy a 32-page hardcover book, aptly called OMG! One Million Giraffes featuring the giraffe images from all over the world, in a mosaic form reminiscent of an artsy Where’s Waldo? But with giraffes. Each unique giraffe had to be created by hand– not computer–and was submitted by everyday people, simply to see if one man’s wacky but interesting dream could come...

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Halloween costume swaps – Frugal or just plain smart?

My younger kids wear a lot of their siblings’ hand-me-downs but, at Halloween, they draw the line. They want their own special costume and so I take a deep breath and buy new Halloween costumes every year. Oh sure, their old costumes get passed on to friends or charity, but I’m still left starting over from scratch. This year, I’ve found a way to get them “newish” costumes, find homes for their old ones, and feel a little greener without spending a lot of green–with a good old fashion costume swap. Green Halloween has partnered with Kiwi Magazine to help promote National Costume Swap...

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Little Lion Studio: Your nursery will never be the same

Wall decals are an easy way of giving a room a whole new look. And coming from those of us who have pretty much seen all the decals out there, we can safely say that the wall decals at the brand new Etsy shop, LittleLion Studio are a cut above. Think: unexpected, whimsical, truly artful, and your neighbor is not going to have them. Giraffe Backyard is more a mural than a decal, turning your nursery into a magical land of giraffes and foliage, with cut out leaves that show off your wall color. Click over and look closely...

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A shout-out to the liger of the babywearing world

Fun fact: when you combine a male lion and a tigress, you get a liger. It’s weird, it’s cute, it likes to swim, some people believe it has magical powers. It’s also the biggest cat alive, often growing to the size of both parents combined. That’s the kind of power packed by the half-buckle carrier, a mix of mei tai and soft structured carrier. (Yes, I’m the resident baby carrier geek.) And if you’re looking for a liger of your own, I suggest Baby So Smart. Baby So Smart. is a woman-run company offering hand-made baby carriers from lush,...

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Be good in honor of National Family Day.

My kids are already super kind, generous little people, but that doesn’t mean a little more conscious kindness isn’t in order. That’s where the folks at  Boom Boom! come in. Their line of pay-it-forward cards (which we’ve already fallen in love with) now include two new approaches to kindness, and right in time for National Family Day. Which is today. If you didn’t know. (We didn’t.) The Boom Boom! Family Edition encourages you to work at kindness within the expectations of being a family, and I sure enjoyed when one of the kids pulled the “do a family chore without...

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Transforming the typical robot toy

Though I have a six-year-old son, I have somehow avoided those plastic transforming toys that are supposed to go from a car or a truck to a robot, though I can never get them to look like either one. But avoid a block of wood that transforms into a smiling robot that looks like he’s about to bust a move? No way: This one is just too cool. Created by amazing designer David Weeks, the Cubebot Wooden Robot Toy is a twist on the very-neat Japanese wood craft known as Kumiki. And unlike the typical battery-hogging, noise-producing, plasticky robot toy, the Cubebot is crafted of...

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I’m dreaming of a blue peacock

There’s really no right way to decorate a baby nursery, but a great tip I swear by is starting with a fabulous piece of art or set of prints as an inspiration–as opposed to something like crib bedding, which babies outgrow super fast. (Or in my house, never actually use.) You can definitely get some longevity out of your room with artwork like these cheery, unique prints from collage artist and past CMP pick Linda Solovic. They’re rather affordable as far as artwork goes, and the infusion of various color palates make it a cinch to find (or make) matching baby essentials. Plus, you’re...

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A Bedtime for Bear. And, hopefully, your kiddo.

I am crazy about multitasking, and that includes at kid bedtime; when we read a book together, my child and I reconnect, plus I get to lie down, plus I get to work a little Mom Psychology 101. All that is made a little more golden when we have in our reading roster a book that lets us discuss something about which one of my children is worried, by pretending we’re discussing what someone else is worried about.   Bonnie Becker’s A Bedtime For Bear fits the bill; poor Bear is slightly stuffy; needs everything just so in order to sleep, only his sleepover...

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The Taj Mahal of kids’ playhouses

I’m not gonna beat around the bush: Modern Playhouse makes a seriously cool modern playhouse. We’re talking the Taj Mahal of fourteen-square-foot living, folks. No more faded plastic hot dog stands or cardboard that crumples when your unruly toddler learns to stage dive. It’s really a very very very fine house. With a very very very steep price tag. Both the Wedge House and the Circle House are made in San Francisco and FSC certified, which means non-toxic, non-formaldehyde, naturally pigmented, and eco-friendly wood. The smart design is easy for two sober people to assemble and has been rigorously...

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