Month: October 2011

The no glass, no plastic, drive your carrots to school plate

Forget the plastic–we’ve found a shiny little metal school bus that’s ready to rock the five food groups– and keep them separated, too. The Din Din Smart Stainless Steel Bus Platter is non-toxic, lead-free, and it’s heavy-duty, too; we haven’t had a single dent or a dot of rust in several weeks of constant use. Although putting it in the microwave would result in electrifying, Back to the Future-ish escapades, it works just fine in the dishwasher. And my kids love it so much that I kind of wish I had gotten two at once (which you can actually...

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Speed dating for babysitters. Now online.

A good babysitter is hard to find. I’ve been way picky about who gets the, er, privilege of watching our active preschooler and toddler. This has kind of backfired–the only guaranteed babysitters we now have are grandparents. And, since the kids officially destroyed my in-law’s house last week (don’t worry, the grandparents loved it), I’d still love to give them a break with a qualified pinch-hitter. So, question: where do crazy-busy mamas start to find this magical babysitter? Answer: MommyMixer. The site began as a way to facilitate parent and potential caregiver meet-and-greets in more than 50 cities around the country–you know, speed-dating...

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A new take on the classic monogram charm

We have loved the beautiful keepsake jewelry of JULIAN & Co. since way back when they went by the name Little Jules. Since then, we have been consistently impressed with Tania Condon’s vision and unique designs that interpret “mother’s jewelry” in the best possible way. Her latest piece of jewelry harkens back–waaaaay back–for a style that is timeless, unique and bound to make a mama’s heart beat a little faster. {keep reading for a chance to win!} The Monogram Insignia charm is crafted in the USA of sterling silver to look like a wax seal, those official closures that...

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Kiwi Crate: Surprise! Supplies!!!

If you’ve seen our posts about Birchbox for beauty junkies, Foodzie tasting box for gourmands, and most recently, the Umba box for all kinds of mamas, you’ll recognize that monthly subscriptions are all the rage. And now, there’s one meant just for our kids, that you’re going to love as much as they do. Welcome to the world, Kiwi Crate! Kiwi Crate, just launched this week, is a wonderful new subscription service for kids, created by parents. Each month, you’ll receive at least two inspired activities and materials designed to get them to create and explore. Just in time for winter....

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The twin bone’s connected to the cute bone

Let’s face it: If Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter had twins, they would look just like this, and Johnny Depp would give them a set of onesies like this at their Beetlejuice-themed baby shower. The Skeleton Love Kids organic shirt from Mimosa is based on an illustration by Holly Cruise and offers twice the charm of shirts featuring a single skeleton–and that’s a guarantee. Two happy little skeletons share a flaming heart while frolicking under a banner of hearts carried by two flying crows. In short, it’s perfectly spooktacular and adorkably hip, just in time for Halloween. But...

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A bouncy chair that does nothing except bounce. Shocking!

As much as my 5 month old would love for me to hold him 24/7, it’s just not humanly possible. For the times I need to put him down, I think there’s nothing better than a well-designed bouncy chair to keep baby upright while giving him a good view of the action. And that’s it. In other words, no bells, no whistles, no motion-activated animal sounds, no batteries–shockingly old school, right? [don’t miss a fabulous giveaway after the jump!] I’m thrilled to have found the chic and simple Vida Bouncer from Maclaren, which does nothing more than bounce. It’s...

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5 picks you might have missed at Cool Mom Tech

One of the things we love about tech is how very pretty the gadget can be– and how you can’t always judge a tech solution by its cover. In case you missed them, here are some of our favorite picks from the last week. 1. Is it time to buy or upgrade that pretty gadget? Let this handy website help you decide. 2. Wish there was a less expensive, less-breakable tablet for kids? Oh, well, now there is. 3. It’s not often you find a beautifully made wooden solution to a high-tech problem, but this one’s handy. 4. Ring-ring-ring! Surprise! Ludacris is calling to say...

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Two new mascaras to get excited about. (Yes, we get excited about mascara.)

If there’s one thing I can’t leave the house without, it’s mascara. When you’re a busy mom, it’s a quick way to feel “done” without having to spend an hour in front of a mirror in the morning. And I recently discovered two new mascaras, in two different price ranges. that have won precious real estate in my makeup bag. My biggest annoyance when it comes to mascara is the excess goop that inevitably always ends up on the wand. LashControl Mascara has smartly rethought the tube by allowing you to scrape the wand clean and regulate just how much...

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Furniture even a kid can build

I love family projects that are truly intended for the whole family. You know, instead the kind where on parent works (and gets frustrated), the other parent helps (and offers constructive advice), and the kids sit waiting impatiently. Sprout, a US based modern furniture company now offers families the opportunity to do just, that with a crafty new line of convertible kids furniture. The concept is simple–great accent or playroom pieces made from recycled wood that your child can actually help put together with (ta-da!) not a single tool. Watch their video tutorials and you’ll see,  it’s almost like putting...

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The FDA bans BPA (sort of)

As a glass-is-half-full kind of person, I am thrilled to read that the FDA has (finally) agreed to ban the use of BPA in all baby bottles and spill-proof cups. OK, sure, Europe, Canada and China, along with a handful of U.S. states, have already made this move. And I know that the words BPA-free have already been on just about every baby bottle and sippy cup label for the past couple of years. But I’ll give the FDA credit for issuing the ban, even if it seems to be coming a little late and really doesn’t go far...

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The coolest guitar ever is playing a solo in your lemonade

Whether you’re into classic Zeppelin or that annoyingly peppy pop song about a party under the Hollywood sign, you can’t play it without a guitar. And you definitely shouldn’t party without these extra tiny, extra awesome guitars, just in time for entertaining season. These adorable Cool Jazz Ice Stirrers give new meaning to ready to rock. Just pour water into the guitar-shaped molds, insert the neck, and freeze. You end up with guitar-shaped ice, and a neck that behaves as a stirrer. It goes beyond ice–you can make rockin’ guitar popsicles with fruit juice for the kids, too. I...

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From Cradle to College

I love that furniture designers have stopped looking at cribs as a utilitarian object, and started embracing their artistic nature. GroFurniture is a stunning new eco-friendly furniture line, all made in the USA by real furniture artisans. It was started by a husband and wife who created these cribs for their own children. And now make them for everyone. Each crib is made to order and from what I can see, the assembly is easy. Of course, this all comes at a price. But fortunately, it’s meant to grow with your baby; you can purchase the bundle set which...

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You recycle, you upcycle…and now you can Hipcycle

There is nothing that gets my inner MacGyver going more than upcycling. The creativity it takes to see something useful in a random everyday object–love it, not to mention the fact it can be an earth-friendlier way to shop. It totally explains my current bag of choice: it’s woven out of seatbelts and utterly indestructible, no matter how many leaking sippy cups are in it. It’s also the best conversation starter practically ever.  So this brand-new upcycling site has got 100% of my attention. The just-launched Hipcycle has some of the coolest upcycled gear I’ve seen in a long time–all...

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Are you t-shirt obsessed and time-starved? Join the club.

Spending time shopping for myself is basically a joke with two kids under the age of three, but it’s certainly nice to receive a little fashion treat every month in the mail. And that’s just why I joined StyleMint, the newish online, members-only club for T-shirts from fashion arbiters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I never thought I was the type to subscribe to a monthly retail club, but StyleMint has definitely changed my mind. It’s pretty straightforward–you answer some questions about your personal style and which kinds of brands you prefer (i.e. if you need retail therapy, do you...

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Web Coolness – Photo ideas, iPhone add-ons, and Halloween treats

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Have a lot of photos or kids’ art work to display? Check out these cool ways to show them off. Do girls only care about cupcakes, ponies and looking cute? A sobering look at the disparity in t-shirt messages marketed to our girls and boys. Are you getting a shiny new iPhone 4S? Here are Kristen’s recommendations on what you should get next. Get ready for Halloween with some adorably creative Cake Pops. Just save a few for us, ok? We love...

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Boots! Boots! B-O-O-T-S!

“Made in China” isn’t necessarily a selling point these days. Unless you’re the founder of Kazowe Shoes. And you’ve designed and manufactured those adorable kids shoes and boots specifically so your own children, adopted from China, can retain some ties to their homeland. [don’t miss an exclusive discount code after the jump!] In addition to having a backstory that a mom like me wants to support, the funky, stylish shoes from Kazowe, all adapted for Western tastes from Eastern styles, are the kinds your kids will fall for hard. The Kazowe Fall Rider Boots are the star of the...

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NYC area parents: Come see us at the New Parents Expo this weekend!

If you’re a NYC mom or mom-to-be, you’ll want to clear your calendar one day this weekend for the New Parents Expo at Pier 92, hosted by our friends at New York Family Magazine. You’ll find more than 100 exhibitors featuring the best brands and services for pregnant and new moms, babies and toddlers. Plus a stroller test track and tune up, a play area for your kiddos, and tons of awesome prizes. As in, you could walk out with a $1500 nursery from giggle, a free spa weekend getaway, a professional photography session, and a ton more. Plus...

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Supercute superhero dolls

Sometimes it feels like we’re in the middle of a plastic doll takeover. Those little dudes are everywhere (pretty sure most of them are in my living room) I am more convinced than ever that the last thing the world needs is another plastic guy. These handmade superheroes just might save the day. Hand-knit with the softest cotton yarn by a mom who’s been there, these little superhero dolls by Dents de Loup are totally adventure-ready. There’s nothing artificial about them, and they remind me of Teeny Little Super Guy from “Sesame Street”–a retro superdude with lots of heart and ’70s-sass. The...

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Does your pre-schooler habla perro y gato?

Garfield and Odie, Ren and Stimpy, Sylvester and Hector–cartoon teams of cats and dogs have been used to teach kids a wide variety of lessons for decades. (Sometimes just how to beat each other up.) But now, the creative minds at HBO family are bringing us two new characters in a series of bilingual specials I know pre-schoolers will love.  In El Perro y El Gato, an energetic chihuahua and a perpetually hungry, very laid-back kitty are best friends who weave through a series of comical situations all the while teaching phrases in English and Spanish to your little ones. It’s bright and silly, and does...

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Breaking news: BOB stroller recall

The CPSC action du jour is a BOB stroller recall affecting nearly 500,000 single and double strollers sold in the US and Canada. Evidently the backing behind the company logo on the stroller canopy can detach, and babies, particularly those in infant seats, can reach it and put it in their mouths. While of course choking hazards can be quite serious, fortunately no children have been hurt. If you own a BOB stroller (a very good one, in our estimation), the solution, according to the CPSC is simply to remove the embroidery backing patch from the canopy (visit www.bobnotices.com...

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