Month: September 2010

Cool Jewish New Year’s cards! Who knew?

Trust me when I tell you that finding cool High Holidays card is not easy. Which would explain why every year I receive duplicates, sometimes triplicates, of the same cards. I’m sure you fellow MOT’s know of which I speak. Thank you, Hi There Press, for coming out with a collection of beautifully designed cards that I’d imagine will even make non-Jews wish they could send them. The Jewish New Year’s cards range from classic to cute and trendy to traditional. The customization process is super quick. Select your style, stick in a oh-so-fabulous picture of your family, change...

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In support of the hardest laboring folks of all.

Happy Labor Day, mamas! On this day, we really wanted to give a big hooray to the hardest laboring folks of all: Moms. (No pun intended.) Of course Labor Day really is about, well, labor. Or unions, to be more specific. And while there’s no such union for parents, we thought we’d give a mention to an organization that comes pretty darn close. If you’re not familiar with Moms Rising, get thee to the website! Then celebrate the fact that there are brilliant women (and men) over there working hard to mobilize moms and advocate for good stuff that...

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Bark if you love animals (and then buy a t-shirt)

My kids love animals. Like the kind of love that renders our cat somewhat helpless when they come at him with hugs and kisses on an hourly basis.  If it were up to them, our house would be a veritable Noah’s Ark, but since I’m just not open-minded enough to welcome a pig, puppy, hedgehog, snake, hamster, fish and goodness knows what else into the house (and, really, we all know who would be taking care of this animal menagerie), I’ve got an alternative. I know they’ll love the t-shirts from I Rescue Rover instead. Okay, so a t-shirt...

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Decorating for the hard to commit crowd

By the time my husband and I agree on a paint color, I’m pretty sure we’ll be ready to move out of this house. So instead of waiting until we find the perfect shade of green for our bedroom, I’m taking the bull by the horns and investing in a few wall decals – like the cool ones from Single Stone Studios. Now while I’m a huge fan of removable vinyl wall decals for my kids’ rooms, I’ve yet to try them in the other rooms in the house, but these swanky designs, like the funky circles (pictured) seem...

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If an amazing storybook married a computer this would be their love child

I know a lot of parents aren’t into letting their kids play on the computer when they’re younger, but I have to confess I believe using computers is an incredibly effective way to teach children everything from colors to calculus. For better, or worse, our kids live in a electronics culture, and if you choose wisely your kids can really benefit from the range of products out there.  Made In Me was founded by a Dad to both educate and to help his children think creatively. I recently downloaded the free software and was blown away by what I...

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Take your coffee habit on the go

I definitely enjoy my one plus cup of coffee every morning, but with our new busy schedule, that usually means I’m enjoying it on the go, which means I have a perfectly good reason to purchase one of these simply fabulous ceramic travel mugs from Yevgenia. I’m not one to go gaga over ceramics, but these gorgeous handpainted cups are hard to pass by. I’m coveting the baby’s breath mug (pictured), but look at the adorable buds and marigolds! Whether you’re constantly filling up your plain old mug at the office or buying stock in cardboard ones at the...

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Lili Kiks – Activewear for your stylish little athlete

My oldest daughter is now six, which means that holy cow I can’t believe I have a six-year-old!, and also, she’s in need of actual active wear thanks to a slew of afterschool activities that require something a little more sweat-friendly than her usual twirly dress attire, like the awesome clothes from Lili Kiks. Reminiscent in style to some designer brand women’s activewear, Lili Kiks are a fabulous addition to any girl’s wardrobe, whether she lives on the soccer field or tennis court, or if she just needs some comfortable, sturdy play clothes that are built to last. And...

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The League of Extraordinary Nannies

I promise Sean Connery isn’t involved in this elite nanny placement service we just discovered. So that’s one point in its favor, right? There are a few more too, especially if you’re looking for extensively screened, college educated nannies who have a list of qualifications a league long. The Nanny League is pretty incredible in fact, in terms of screening and tracking down fantastic candidates. We’re talking CPR training, good swimmers, non-smokers, confidentiality agreements, and signing a no-cell-while-driving guarantee, not to mention background checks, drug tests, and reference reviews. There is no placement fee, but The Nanny League is...

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Web Coolness – Princess satire, great parenting advice, and some awesome design inspiration

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Find lots of design inspiration with the new Closet & Casa series at Oh Joy! Thanks Babyccino for reminding us about What do you say, dear? A wonderful old book on manners illustrated by Maurice Sendak. We love this Donors Choose proposal for a K-2 teacher looking to get technology in a classroom of children with disabilities. Can you vote it up or donate? [via mochamomma] We’re giggling at the satirical Advice for Young Girls from Cartoon Princesses series of videos and...

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Framed! Framed, I tell you!

I still remember that excitement of putting together a little soft photo album for my babies. They’d gnaw at the pages and we’d convince ourselves that we were somehow imbuing them with essential social cues to put them on the path to heightened emotional intelligence.Gnaw gnaw gnaw. A lot of the baby-ready frames and photo albums we see these days are plasticky or kind of junky. So I was happy to discover the sweet eco-spun felt animal frames from our friends at 3 Sprouts. Featuring the same charming owl, frog, or pink elephant that appears on their toy storage...

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Out of milk? Write it in fur.

What’s cooler than a write-and-erase message board? Well, a lot of things. But for something that’s cooler and just as useful, check out the most outrageous message board we’ve ever seen. This Dedo message board from Portuguese artist Goncalo Campo happens to be made of faux fur and uh, wow. Just drag your finger against the grain of the fur and there’s your message. I kind of love the idea that there’s no chalk dust to clean up underneath it, no stray marker lines that end up on the wall next to it, and provided my kids can keep...

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Cotton nightgowns: The holy grail of children’s sleepwear

For as long as my oldest daughter has refused to wear pajamas, I’ve been on a search for a cotton nightgown. And if you’ve got a little one like mine, then you know that they are pretty much impossible to find. So I was thrilled to discover that the cotton nightgowns I found while browsing at Mini Boden are exactly what I’ve been looking for since, oh, 2006. These long-sleeved nighties are sweet and simple, featuring an empire waist and absolutely no licensed characters anywhere. I’m sure my daughter would pick the pink hearts, but I’m secretly willing her...

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Coloring meets funhouse mirror magic

I’m not going to lie to you: When I opened the Morph-O-Scopes Kit box my daughter received for her birthday one year, I was unimpressed. Some crayons. A shiny cup. And a bunch of coloring pages with a hole in the center, the images all stretched out and weird looking. Honestly I expected to find it all discarded on the floor within 10 minutes. Color me surprised (with or without a shiny cup!) when this optical illusion activity and art kit kept both children happily occupied for days. You put the paper over the reflective cup in the center,...

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Green with eco envy

The new shop Green Eyed Monster isn’t about jealousy; it’s about sustainability. But that’s not to say if you go shopping there that you won’t find something that will make people wildly jealous. [don’t miss an exclusive offer after the jump!] All the designers at this mom-run shop support earth-friendly values through their work, and if you dig around, you may find some treasures. I like the simple little earrings from Lemonade Handmade, and stationery like the bird cage cards from design studio Bark (at right). A whole line of resusable sandwich bags, a hot item on CMP this...

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Bright and beautiful kids’ art, hold the usual characters

As so many of you know by now, in Cool Mom Picks land, Etsy is always the place to look for the nursery decor that won’t make you say, “That looks just like that print I saw at the store….” And on Etsy, we’re loving Hsin Ping Pan’s shop of lively and unique illustrations, each done via a mix of digital and hand-painting. No standard fairy tale characters here, but plenty of wildest imaginings sprung to life — like the tea party pictured to the left, or friendly dinosaur/SUV hybrids. I don’t know about you, but I feel more...

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Books for kids who love Twilight (and the moms that love them… and Twilight)

I’m going to go ahead and admit it right here: I’m in my early thirties, and I love books written for teens. I know I’m not alone because the YA genre, or Young Adult, is awesomely popular right now. So I’m thrilled to have found a website to help parents find the best new books  for teens, or for yourself, if you’re like me. Novel Novice is a website dedicated to showcasing Young Adult literature, encouraging reading, and promoting education. They have book reviews, news, author interviews, contests, spotlights on classics, and other features designed to get teens excited...

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