Month: January 2011

The best cupcakes are wrapped in cooties

I can’t stop giggling over these printable cupcake wrappers available from the Spaceships and Laser Beams Etsy shop. The description says it’s so hard to find anything for Valentine’s Day that appeals to little boys… and sure, I can see the elementary set loving the germy depiction of love, absolutely. But honestly? Forget the kids. If you have coworkers or a beloved who works in science/medicine, I think the adults will get a huge kick out of these hearts-turned-bacteria cupcake wrappers. A few bucks gets you a downloadable PDF so you can print your own. Or just use them...

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Personalized blankets for baby, and the child she’ll become (sniff).

I first discovered the fleece personalized baby blankets from mom-run Admiral Road a few years back, and really liked their bold, child-friendly designs right away. Having owned one for several years now, it sure has held up over time; it’s gone from a stroller blanket for my babies, to a toddler blanket when they outgrew the crib, and now it’s in its third career as a doll blanket that moonlights as a superhero cape. And it still looks great. [don’t miss a special offer after the jump] Looking to see what’s new at the shop since back in the...

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12 delicious design blogs to read, stat

If you were following the Cool Mom Picks Twitter stream this past week, you might have caught some of the wit and wisdom we were reaping from the Altitude Design Summit, an amazingly inspirational weekend with more than 300 bloggers and small biz owners in the worlds of design, photography, crafting, printing, party planning and more. While I could pretty much gush all day long about the incredible women (and a few men) that I met, instead, I thought I’d point you to a few new favorite websites and blogs that you’ll want to add to your feed reader,...

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Welcome to the big time, Little Alouette.

We just love it when one of our favorite little mom-run brands makes it big. Not only because that means that quality construction and design reap the rewards they deserve, but because even more people will get to discover a great new star. It’s the same way I felt when my high school best friend showed up on a commercial for The Chapelle Show. That’s why we’re so excited that CMP perpetual crush, Little Alouette, is now available from Seventy Seven. Maybe you’re familiar with Little Seventy Seven— the online portal for American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie which hawks...

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Laser cut my love

Ready for a beautiful new twist on custom vanity jewelry? We’ve got it. And it involves lasers. The new laser-cut silhouette pendants and cuffs by Le Papier Studio are everything that we love: elegant, interesting, goes-with-anything-y, and environmentally sound. Each custom piece is made of recycled sterling silver laser-sliced to your specifications with one or two silhouettes. And here’s the cool part: You can choose from their gallery of designs or send in a photograph and have artist Vana Chupp create your own unique silhouette for only $20 more. It can take 3 – 4 weeks to produce each...

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Just Shorn – Beautiful rugs from farmers, not factories

I have never been a fan of wall-to-wall carpeting. Maybe it’s a factor of living in New York, where hardwood flooring is the standard, but I find a great area rug not only looks sharp, it’s practical when you’ve got kids. It’s easy to clean, and when you decide to throw a three year-old finger painting party, at least you can roll it up temporarily. So this week, I was so happy to have been introduced to Just Shorn, a fabulous New Zealand company that produces the most beautiful, sustainable wool rugs with a pretty amazing backstory. The wool...

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Putting the art in heart, times a million.

See that gorgeous iPhone case over there? It’s printed from original art and signed by the artist. Impressed yet? You will be. The artist’s name is Anwar, and he’s from Kuwait. He’s also a child cancer patient. All of the lovely goods from The Children’s Art Project are based on the artwork of child cancer patients through an inspiring program at the the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. But as you can see on their website, they usually strike through the word Cancer and focus on the Children and the Art. Working with trained artists as part...

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Shakespeare tees for babies. i.e. Why quote Elmo when you can quote Beatrice

Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I was an actor. Funny enough, I still do plenty of acting today as a Mom. (Help me clean up, kids. It’s so much fun!) Since the theater is still very much still part of my life, I was charmed by these onesies and t-shirts all featuring quotes from Shakespeare. Designed by a former actor, Peaseblossoms brings child-appropriate quotes to life (nothing from Macbeth, promise) with whimsical, original drawings hand silkscreened on 100% jersey knit cotton baby onesies or toddler tees. My favorite: Then there was a star danced and under that...

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The Makerie – Like summer camp for crafty moms

A long time ago before there were many children under my feet, I was actually pretty crafty. Yes, I even used to knit! But sadly, I’m hard pressed to find the time these days. That’s why I’m so jealous of all you moms who might be able to attend The Makerie this spring. [don’t miss a sweet giveaway after the jump. Hurry-ends Sunday!] This creative retreat, held in beautiful Boulder, Colorado from April 7-10, 2011, is a weekend full of crafty goodness with some of most talented artisans in the country. Attendees will enjoy all sorts of amazing workshops...

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Glamourmom – Now up to 70% off

I spend almost all of my breastfeeding hours in Glamour Mom nursing tanks and I have the credit card bills to show it. But with their new private sales member club you can now score between 30-70% off these awesome breastfeeding tops. If you’re not familiar with Glamourmom tanks, they are a comfortable, cotton stretch tank tops with a supportive nursing bra that’s smartly fit inside. It’s pure nursing wear genius, really. But unlike many of then nursing tanks out there, they come in a variety of styles – tanks that work under another shirt with more bra-like straps...

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The best breast pump you’ve never heard of

I’ve always been a pretty casual user breast pump user, since I work from home and rarely leave the baby (sigh). However this year, we decided to leave my littlest one with my mom for a few days so I could spend some quality time with my other three kiddos on a short jaunt. And that means my casual pumping was not going to cut it. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a new breast pump that bills itself as a green breast pump, which helps to keep the 2 million pumps purchased each year out of...

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Swim trunks for even skinny boys

I fell in love with the sturdy, stylish boys clothes from Red 21 Boys last fall, so when I heard they had launched a cruise wear line, it was perfect timing for our annual winter vacation, that this year, just so happens to be a cruise. The challenge for purchasing swim wear for my son has always been that most of the styles are made fairly long and wide, which does not fare well on my slender kiddo. Or for those little boys who always seem to be getting told by their parents to pull their trunks up at...

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Tie one on

I am generally a coffee drinker, mostly out of habit, but lately I’ve made the switch over to tea and I’m not sure I’ll go back. I enjoy the ritual: brewing the water, selecting the tea of your choice, burning your fingers as you try to fish the tea bag out of the scalding hot mug. Well maybe not that part. Here’s another thought, buy one of these Tie Tea Cups and anchor your tea bag around the tiny “cleat” before pouring the water into the cup. The tea steeps while the string and label stay securely attached. I’m...

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Web coolness – Design inspiration, Valentine’s gifts, and mom blog hilarity

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Liz and Julie are having the best time at the Altitude Design Summit this week in Salt Lake City, meeting all of our design blog crushes! Follow the #altsummit hashtag today and get the scoop on some of the news and cool happenings Liz will report on next week. (Photo at left: The view from our window. Sweet!) An awesome custom Valentine’s Day gift idea from Kristen, at Momformation. One of our favorite children’s performers, Frances England makes some creative resolutions for...

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One day at a time

Remember how nice it was when you were a kid and got kudos for oh, say, trying your string beans? Making your bed? Brushing your teeth? While we still hopefully commend our own kids for those things (that is, when they do them!), I am simply in love with this blackboard that gives us mamas a little virtual pat on the back every day too. The custom-painted mini-goals chalkboard is such a cool bit of decor to display in a kitchen to inspire and entertain the whole brood. Whatever you write in the space, you’re rewarded with a good day...

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Keeping the kitchen art gallery alive

In this era of the stainless steel fridge, there is one problem befuddling even the smartest of parents: where do we hang the kids’ art? Well, fret no more fellow kid-art aficionados, because Petit Collage has a brilliant solution that will change your life–or at least your kitchen–forever. Gallery Corners are little fabric adhesives reproduced from lovely vintage wallpaper patterns, and they’re designed to affix art, photos and even shopping lists to whatever flat, non-porous surface you need to stick them to. They’re removable, they come in triangles and circles, they’re waterproof (hey, if you’re one of those moms...

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DIY shirts that’ll tickle kids’ octopi fancies

My 3-year-old is currently in the full throes of wanting to be an artiste. Paints, crayons, felt, tissue paper, googly eyes, she wants to do it all — especially if she can wear a beret at the same time.  And now there’s a new shop offering DIY shirt designs for your own little masterpiece maker that kids will go nuts for. Tickly Octopus (the name alone will get a giggle out of even the most surly of kiddos) offers up organic cotton tees that come with a baggie of handmade felt animal and letter appliques and adornments like grassy...

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Kids water bottles get cuter by the second

We’ve been such fans of Beatrix NY over the years (you might know them as Dante Beatrix), because everything they make is pretty much awesome. Their motley little menagerie of creatures range from robots to bunnies to not-particularly-scary dinosaurs, and are now gracing quality backpacks, lunch boxes, and even wheelie suitcases for kids. Now they’ve got one more line to add to the mix: Yippee! It’s adorable water bottles. The new stainless steel kids’ water bottles will be shipping March 1, but if you can’t wait (like me) you can order them now from their site. All are BPA...

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Tell it like it is

While there’s no shortage of typographic decals that can spell out messages or phrases on your wall, I’m a little wary when it comes to that stuff. It can be really fabulous if you’ve got a great eye, or it can go horribly, horribly wrong. Still, I like the idea of messages as art when it’s done well. The recycled wooden signs from William Dohman on Etsy are making me smile. Each one is cut from salvaged plywood then beautifully cut and rustically painted in a color of your choice. I could see the apple-red eat sign in a...

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Children’s brand pronunciation guide, part 2

Last year, we introduced a baby brand pronunciation guide for all those baby brands that you might not know how to say. Or really, those brands you only think you know how to say. Let’s just say Robeez? It doesn’t rhyme with Brobee’s. A few readers have written in asking for a follow-up, or pinged us with their own tongue-twisting brand name conundrums. So without further ado, we present the second Cool Mom Picks Baby Gear Brand Pronunciation Guide Britax – BRIGH-taxRhymes with high tax. No pun intended. Chicco – KEE-kohNot like “Chico” and the Man, which is how...

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