Month: September 2010

Classic children’s books that help you listen with your eyes

Love it or hate it ( and we know the book is a bit polarizing with our readers!), there’s a reason Goodnight Moon has been around since the late 1940’s and is still a favorite today; there is something calming and beautiful about the repetitive, rhythmic prose that kids totally connect with. In a genius move, Scholastic Storybook Treasures has put out this classic on video, along with several others, but with a twist; they not only show the words on the screen, along with the original classic artwork, but there is an ASL presenter in front of the...

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Indie lullabies? That would be a yes.

Going back a few years, I held fast to the belief that if I was going to be stuck out of my bed in the middle of the night rocking an infant, I deserved to play a little night music that would be awesome and make us both (oh please, oh please) fall asleep. So when a bunch of indie musicians got together to make a compilation lullaby CD, I took notice on behalf of those you who will soon find yourself rocking, rocking, rocking the night away. The result is Sing Me To Sleep – Indie Lullabies which brings together...

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Special gift to say goodbye to nanny?- Reader Q&A

Our nanny is about to leave us to pursue full time pilates instruction. She’s been awesome and I’d like to get her something to commemorate her time with our toddler. Any thoughts? Thanks much! Grace We’re sorry to hear your nanny is leaving and think it is wonderful you want to give her something special to remember her time with your family. Here are a few ideas we’ve put together that are a unique way for her to remember her time with all of you. –Christina Little Pink House’s Custom Felt Portraits are amazing, and can turn a cute...

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Piperlime goes pregnant

I admit that I’m a sucker for a fancy pair of jeans, mostly because I’ve found over the years that they just wear and fit better. And after almost four kids on an already hard to fit body, those things are really hard to find at budget prices. So I guess it’s no surprise that I’m a fan of designer maternity jeans, now available at Piperlime. With designer labels like Citizens of Humanity and James Jeans, you can stock up on hot maternity denim along with the plethora of other goodies Piperlime offers – like shoes, bags, and more...

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The game of cute eats

Sure, as a seasoned mama, you know that even the cutest plate won’t keep the applesauce out of baby’s hair and the peas out of her nose, but hope springs eternal. And really, what makes a better baby gift than adorable tot-sized tableware? French Bull‘s latest offerings include this gameboard feeding tray, complete with wee adorable spoon nestled in its slot on the side. Maybe your toddler will eagerly eat along the “path” to score a win, or maybe she’ll just look really adorable while she feeds her dinner to the dog. Either way, I think it’s a pretty...

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She’s got le-e-egs.

Fun prints on tights are in this fall, as we’ve been told by oh, pretty much every fashion guru anywhere. (No, we don’t have a direct line to every fashion guru everywhere but we read a lot!) I love the idea of pairing more neutral color palates with funkier prints; it’s such a fabulous way to upgrade last year’s skirts and dresses without spending a ton. Especially if you grab the right designs. [don’t miss lots of coolness, plus a great offer after the jump!] The 80s redux thing continues with the plaid tights spotted at ModCloth (above). I...

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Web Coolness – A diy teacher gift, 25 mom must-haves, and will.i.am rocking ses.a.me street.

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. A sweet idea for your child’s new teacher: Apple bouquets, from Make and Takes. We love seeing the decor on the set of the show Parenthood, courtesy of Ohdeedoh. On Babycenter, Kristen shares the cutest new baby bath toy. Love Sherri Reed’s post on The Stir about hosting a dirty house dinner party. (Now that’s one we can aspire to!) Our friends at Mommy Poppins suggest three great books for contrarian loving kids. No, Eloise is not on there. Compelling post on...

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Puzzles with multiple soutions

My kids are all puzzle fans, as evidenced by the thousands of cardboard and wooden pieces strewn about my floor at any given time of the day. But we’ve yet to see anything like the new multiple solution shape puzzles from one of our fave kid’s gear and furniture designers P’Kolino. These adorable wooden puzzles feature simple, bright pieces that can be used to complete the puzzle in a variety of different ways. So, instead of your kiddos mastering the puzzle on a few tries and then moving on to something else, they can spend minutes–hey, maybe even hours–creating...

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Back to school clothes for under $20 that look like you spent a whole lot more.

As of today, I officially have two children in school. (Sniff!) So we did some serious back to school shopping a few days ago and learned there was much awesomeness to be had at Old Navy. It’s a lucky coincidence that this week the shop is one of Cool Mom Picks’ beloved sponsors (thank you, thank you!), and I get to share my weekend discoveries with you. I’ve always loved Old Navy for kids basics and denim, as I’ve written here before. It makes sense not to spend a ton on things like jeans that are so quickly outgrown,...

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Put a cork in it: The cool OXO Uplift Tea Kettle

Trying to agree on a tea kettle with the sigOth last weekend in a Maine gourmet shop was nearly as difficult as trying to agree on a baby name. The kitchen is more or less his domain (the culinary school degree grants him as much), so he tends to get his way with things like professional pots and pans, and way too many fancy knives. Well wasn’t I thrilled when we agreed on the splurgey anniversary edition OXO Uplift Tea Kettle (Amazon affiliate link), with the stainless body and cork handles. I adore cork for its look, sustainability, and because it’s naturally heat resistant...

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Boys like play castles too, ya know.

In a house full of girls, my son is used to playing with pink ponies and pretty castles. Really, I’m all for it. But it is nice to find pretend play toys that are a little more gender neutral too. The eco-friendly castle tower from Imagination Box Co is a little different than your regular old princess palace in that it’s basically a turret with two stories. There’s a drawbridge and windows, and best of all, plenty of space for your kids to color or paint – which are actually included with the castle itself. Construction is remarkably easy...

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Huge news: Bugaboo Donkey is here! A.K.A. Bugaboo finally makes a double stroller.

I’ve only been waiting for this stroller for six years. Well, I guess only three, really, since that’s when my second child came into the picture. And that’s when I started wondering why Bugaboo didn’t have a double stroller. Not an issue anymore. Today, in a top-secret, password-encrypted website for the press, Bugaboo revealed their latest design, the Bugaboo Donkey. And yes, my stroller-loving friends, it’s a double. But it’s even better than that. This innovative stroller–which we’re going to have to wait for until Spring 2011–actually goes from a single stroller to aside-by-side double and back again. In...

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Paper Dolls: There’s an app for that

When it comes to iPhone apps and kids, I’m a big believer that simple is better. Too many bells and whistles usually means too many “Mom, come fix this!” calls from the other room. (And it’s usually far more dire sounding and less polite than that.) Well, pair my love of simplicity with my love of all things cute-as-a-button, and you’ll see why I’m oohing and ahhing over Paper Town Friends, a new app that my kids and I are absolutely nuts about.  This sweet game is kind of like a book of paper dolls on your iPhone. Every...

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It’s never too early to think about fall accessories

Even though it’s still in the 80s here in the deep south, I’ve heard rumors that the weather is already starting to change in other parts of the country. Lucky you! But whether you’re still in shorts like me or you’re pulling out your fall trenches, it’s never a bad time to look at cute accessories. Boy am I loving this handmade pink bubble scarf at By Clarice. As someone who tends to wear simple coats and jackets, a cheerfully colored scarf like this one is the perfect way to keep warm and snazz up what my husband calls...

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Switching On The Moon

Though I was long ago (like, on day one) over the nightly battle that was part of our bedtime routine, I never, ever tired of the snuggly part, where we wrapped up and read as much as possible before admitting it was time for lights out. And I’m never tired, either, of solid, sweet children’s books that allow me to read in a soft, calm, sleep-inducing voice. Switching On the Moon is a poetry anthology gathered by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, with sweetly fuzzy illustrations by G. Brian Karas. It includes some sixty poems, but don’t expect nursery...

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Preppy is back! Three (very respectful, understated) cheers.

Preppy is back, mamas, if you haven’t noticed. My once and future idol, Lisa Birnbach of Preppy Handbook fame, is out promoting her follow-up book True Prep; loafers are everywhere; and Kanye West is influencing a whole new generation to choose blazers and suspenders over boxers and butt cracks. In other words, it’s Katherine Hepburn’s world again, and we’re just living in it. So I was thrilled to learn that the new LL Bean Signature shop is our newest sponsor (thanks for the support, guys!), because I looooove what they’re doing in their women’s line, thanks to creative director...

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Organic plush toys that are ripe for the picking

My kids really love their stuffed animals, but not knowing what the heck most of these piles of fur are made of, I kind of wish they’d love them a little less. And after seeing a new organic line of plush toys that is not only safe for all ages, but totally environmentally friendly, I wish I could replace my kids’ piles of stuffed toys with these adorable critters. San Francisco’s Apple Park makes organic plush toys that look like the kind of creatures my kids would adore, but are made with a lot more care for the environment. And for the kids who...

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Boys get grubbie, in a good way

The concept of cool boys clothes shifts as kids get older. At first cool is defined by his mom, but mark my words, at some point — for me it was around 7 — your son will start to have very definite ideas on what constitutes cool and what is horrifyingly babyish. Grubbie Style, started by a style-conscious mom, pairs wickedly cool graphics with super soft t-shirts. And the best part is that your kid can mix and match designs with shirts to create a one-of-a-kind, certifiably, ultra cool tee. Customization is a snap, and graphics are very basic...

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Fall is coming: Is your camera ready?

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Big Picture Scrapbooking no longer exists. Lazing in the pumpkin patch. Biting into a just-picked apple. Jumping in a leaf pile. I have all of those iconic family pictures of fall sitting in photo albums already. So what’s next? This year, to give me a little inspiration (and mindfullness before I click the shutter) I’ll be signing up for Picture Fall, the 31-day online photography workshop for both pros and photo newbies alike. Like its predecessor Picture Summer, Picture Fall is led by Shutter Sisters’ founder, pro photographer and cool mama Tracey Clark and hosted on the Big Picture...

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Modern telegrams -(STOP)- For real -(STOP)-

It’s unlikely that you need to let anyone know that the stagecoach is likely to be late or that there’s trouble at the train depot, but why should that stop you from adding a vintage twist to that special message? If you go to Telegram Stop, for under $6 you can send an official-looking old-time-y telegram anywhere in the world. How great is that? If you don’t mind straying from the retro theme, you can even include pictures. Send a single message (Congratulations on your new baby -(STOP)-) or use their handy bulk interface to send duplicates to multiple...

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