Month: September 2010

Under my umbrella

I’m officially giving up on cheap kids’ umbrellas. We’ve gone through far too many in far too short a time, so I’m kind of done with that. At 3 and 5, my girls really are old enough to remember to bring their umbrellas home–and if that seems like a lot to hope for, well you don’t know how much they love umbrellas. It would be like me going somewhere without my iPhone. Hatley does some really nice things with kids rain gear including child-safe kids umbrellas, in designs that won’t be outgrown so fast. I think my girls would...

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Guilt free snack packing

I know, I know – we keep featuring reusable snack bags! What can I say, there are so many to choose from these days. Our job is just to pare down the cool ones for you, and we’ve got a couple more options for you, whatever your own personal lunch packing needs. The completely lead-free, PVC-free, and pthalate free ReSnackIt bags are my own first foray into the world of reusable snack bags and I’m pleased to say that I’m a complete convert. Even better, so are my kids. What differentiates these reusable bags from others we’ve featured, besides...

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Have you virtually hugged a grandparent today?

You may not have realized that today is Grandparents Day. And while yes, it’s a so-called Hallmark holiday, totally fabricated to maximize card-purchasing potential, I think it’s awesome. Maybe you can make sure to call your own grandparents if you’re still lucky to have them — or to get the kids on the phone with theirs. Of course, if you want to take it one stop further, we have one easy idea you can do right this very second. It’s hard to believe I only discovered Animoto about a year ago, because I feel like I use it so...

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LEGO Man! To the coloring rescue!

When I saw these LEGO Man crayons. I fell in love. I’m not sure what to do with them exactly, but that’s never stopped me from loving an item (or some men) before. I’m thinking party favors, a new big brother/sister gift for a toddler, stocking stuffers for a family of five. They do come five to a pack after all. Shipping is a flat rate $4.95 at Palmer Cash so make sure you buy enough to make it worth your while. You could always throw in a few of the super cool Star Wars crayons or  Batman crayons...

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Nesting with beautiful throw pillows

We all should know by now that birds are the new black. Or maybe the old black? It’s hard to say. But I’d imagine that looking back on this decade, we’ll equate bird motifs with the french poodles from the 50’s and happy faces from the 70’s. I find something quite lovely about the silkscreened bird pillows from the popular California Etsy shop, Joom. There’s pretty much a color and style for everyone, whether you’re a fan of hummingbirds, hoot owls, or the graphic dove seen here, with a trail of petals streaming behind it. Toss one on an...

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Just a little peace

I have a definite affinity for owls, telling people that I wish to someday be old and wise. But there are times like today, or on days when my son is in his fifth time out, when the dove, the quintessential symbol of peace and love, seems more appropriate. This sterling silver dove necklace by Massachusetts artist Emily Rosenfeld fits my sensibilities perfectly in its simple modern shape. Only an inch wide, I can wear it with anything, and I love that the charm is double sided so there is no “wrong side” But mostly, I love making others think a little bit about the symbolism of...

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Peace, baby

We’ve seen our fair share of kid’s message t-shirts here at Cool Mom Picks, and some of our consistent faves are created by mom-owned and Atlanta-based Tiny Revolutionary, since long before they were discovered by celeb moms like Sheryl Crow and Christina Aguilera. Their lovely Peace tee for kids is absolutely no exception. It’s inspiring to see beautiful artwork combined with simple, important messages, which is just what this shirt offers. Especially in a sea of Mommy’s little heartbreaker shirts. I love the rainbow of paper cranes and doves floating up across the shirt which is printed using non-toxic,...

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Just like the white winged dove

When you search for nursery decor online, you tend to get a lot of the same old same old. But when you search for decor and leave the kids out of it, sometimes you end up with something unique and beautiful and unexpected. I think these peace love bird wall decals would be simply lovely over a crib or filling some space above a changing table. You can get the decals in any of two dozen different colors, but I think the white is quite sweet. Especially if you’ve got a fabulous paint job underneath for contrast. Unlike barnyard...

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When you care enough to lick a stamp.

My birthday is coming up tomorrow (happy birthday me!) which means I have cards on the brain. If not in the mailbox. As much as I love ecards and send them with abandon, there’s still something nice about getting something in the mail that’s not a bill, a bill, or a bill. Or a political solictiation. Feel the same way? I’m kind of in love with the hand letterpress cards from Minneapolis’s Zeichen Press. That is, when I’m not feeling jealous that I didn’t come up with them. A writer feeling jealous of a greeting card writer? That’s saying...

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I got schooled by Mrs. Meyer, and now I clean like the dickens.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wasn’t a very good housekeeper. Then she flew to Minnesota–which is cooler than she could have imagined–and met a fairy grandmother who taught her that cleanliness is next to just-plain-goodness, because it can actually be pleasant to clean the house if you’re using products that smell awesome and work, too. Did I mention that this is a true story? First of all, there’s a real Mrs. Meyer–that’s her, in the photo, teaching me how to clean a burned-out pot when I took a trip to their headquarters recently. Her name...

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Web Coolness – A rainbow cake, a free museum day, and thinking Halloween already

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. If you’re one of those smart, prepared moms (darn you!), check out Parents Magazine’s huge category for Halloween costume ideas. Seriously, they have tons. On our Babycenter column this week, Kristen shares some new loveys for baby that you’ll love too. At Boston Mamas, a wonderful tutorial on making a rainbow cake your kids will die for. We always look forward to the weekly design roundups at Bloesem. Fabulous pencil-inspired art and design in time for back-to-school at Junior Society. The only...

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9/11: A day to remember, through service

I have struggled with how to explain September 11th to my children ever since they were old enough to understand that something big and terrible happened that day nine years ago. I still struggle, but now that this has also become a National Day of Service, I like the idea that my family can honor the day by doing something good for a charity in need. Last year, we learned of 911DayofService.org, a website that was created to give people a place to share their service projects with others, or to find an organization in the community that can...

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Ruffles, ruffles, everywhere and lots of girls to wear them

Of the kids’ clothing lines that I anxiously await the new season’s collections, Ses Petites Mains is definitely high on the list. And let’s just say that designer Beth Miles’ combination of ruffles and plaid, with some adorable denim on the side makes me very happy to have two girls and another on the way. I admit that it’s hard for me to choose my favorites from her new fall collection of girls clothing, but at the top of my list has to be the maeve skirt (pictured above) that’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’m a sucker for...

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Twin sets for babies of type geeks

I have quite a few friends who are mothers of twins, so I’ve always got my eye out for cute twin tees that aren’t the same old same old. And yes, they do exist. [don’t miss a nice offer after the jump!] Case in point: The wonderful Twin Baby onesies from the mom and pop team behind the new shop, Snug Attack by twelvezeroseven. The hand screened designs are a clever typographical play, with the A or B highlighted in the phrase TWIN BABY to reveal whether it’s Twin A whose just eaten a mouthful of sandbox sand, or...

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We like WeWe (and so does Hollywood)

Some kids put on a Superman cape when they want to run super fast. But my kid puts on her “Cheetah Dress,” which is actually the Jasmine Shell Puff Sleeve dress from WeWe Clothing. And she has good taste, according to celebs like Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jessica Alba, who also love the label. (Not that I needed the affirmation.) If you’re looking for something different to shift your kids’ (or your own) wardrobe from summer into fall, look no further. WeWe means “little ones” in the Yoruba language from Nigeria. The owner and design force behind WeWe,...

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Mamas & Papas is good news for mamas and papas everywhere.

The last thing that the world may be waiting for is another stroller brand. And yet Mamas & Papas is not new to the world–just to the US. As of, oh, about right now. And I actually was waiting for it. For real. After nearly 20 years, Britain’s number one baby brand is ready to make its mark on the states and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. Mamas & Papas is still family-run and having had the pleasure of meeting that very family, I was charmed by their commitment to safety, style and meeting the real needs...

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The wit, wisdom, and expensive stationery of Simon Doonan

Dempsey & Carroll makes the kind of fancypants stationery that you drool over in high end department stores — that is, if you’re the type who drools over fancypants stationery at all. Yes, I am that type. It’s the kind of stuff you want on hand should you ever need to send a handwritten note card to Martha Stewart or Michelle Obama for some reason, what with the heavy-duty 3-ply cards, wedding-quality engraving, and gorgeously lined envelopes. But that doesn’t mean the designs are stuffy; on the contrary, they’ve collaborated with lots of interesting artists and designers. And they...

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The joy of skinny jeans. On kids.

This post also appears on the Gap 1969 Stream, along with tons of photos, articles, inspiration, and tips about denim. When skinny jeans first hit the world of kids’ fashion, a lot of parents were thinking, huh? Me included. Back in the olden days, I remember thinking of them as “painted-on denim” and they required a friend (and a super flat tummy) if you wanted to have any hope of actually zipping them and buttoning them closed. But I’ve come to learn that skinny jeans are simply fabulous on little kids for all sorts of reasons. Not the least...

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Shopafrolic has us frolicking! And shopping. Not necessarily in that order.

Most of us know designer Liz Lange for her fabulous maternity clothes, to which I’m eternally grateful for saving me from trapeze shirts. Four times. You may also know about her new Completely Me line of non-maternity clothes, at least if you’re an avid Cool Mom Picks reader. But what you might not know is that Liz, along with her sister and graphic designer Jane Wagman, are dishing out invaluable shopping tips totally free of charge. Each day, at their new site, Shopafrolic, the style mavens apply their fantastic taste to selecting various accessories, beauty products, and clothes and...

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The power of restaurant placemats now at your dinner table

I’ve long thought about how to channel the power of the restaurant paper placemats in my own home so that we can all enjoy a pleasant meal. In other words, one in which the kids are occupied while I’m busy cutting their food into a billion pieces. Well the folks at Modern Twist have done just that with their super awesome kidz placemats. You won’t find the C-list cartoon characters, mazes, and word jumbles of the restaurants’ paper mats; on the contrary, you’ll find amazing original artwork from some of the coolest indie artists, all silkscreened onto food-grade silicone...

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