Month: November 2011

Alastair Moock bring American folk music to friends of all sizes

Like singer Laura Veirs, Massachusetts musician Alastair Moock has had a long and successful career playing American folk music for grown ups. And similarly, both musicians started making kids’ music after the birth of their children, but in a way that keeps true to their folksy musical roots. But while Laura Veirs’ voice is of the more ethereal, take-your-breath-away variety, Alastair Moock’s is more gritty and down to earth, with lyrics full of winks and knee slaps. Which makes his new album great fun. {keep reading to find out how you can win a copy!} Within a minute, Alastair’s...

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Neighborhood Toy Store Day – go forth and buy toys!

Before the 24-hour carols, the jammed parking lots, and those news stories about people fighting over the latest Elmo toy, there is Neighborhood Toy Store Day today, November 12. This is one that hits near and dear to our indie-loving hearts, as a great opportunity to support your local independent retailers while getting a head start on holiday shopping. Whether you live near such CMP toy shop favorites as Giggle (save 20% with code FF11) Magic Beans (10% off all toys all weekend, even online), Psychobaby, Acorn Toy Shop, Cheeky Monkey, Area Kids, Mini Jake or have your own...

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Blocks with substance

Here at CMP, we’re total blockheads. We’ve brought you classic blocks, magnetic blocks, and amusingly subversive blocks. But this is the first time we’re taking it old school, all the way back to the periodic table. Yes, friends, you’re not just building towers.  These are the very building blocks of matter. Whether you’ve got a chemistry teacher friend with a Bunsen burner in the oven or your cousin the chemical engineer has a new miniature assistant, these Periodic Table Building Blocks are the perfect shower or holiday gift. As Sherlock would say, it’s elementary. And as Beaker would say, MEEP!...

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Why you should look for The Man in the Moon

When I was little, I used to stare at the moon looking for a tiny dot moving around, going about his business. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that the “man in the moon” was a shadowy face on a full-moon’s facade—I liked my idea a lot better. Apparently, so does author/illustrator William Joyce who has created such a gorgeously illustrated, fanciful story about the man in the moon legend that it has become an instant classic in my household. The first in a planned fifteen-book-series called The Guardians of Childhood, The Man in the Moon reads...

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Web Coolness – Jellybean magic, brighter kids’ rooms, and resources for military families

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. We are totally charmed by a stop-motion music video made with almost 300,000 jelly beans! So honored to be among the Top 9 Sites to Find Cool Kids Gear by My Life Scoop. Which 90210 alum stopped by Cool Mom Tech this week? Love these ten ways to transform a boring dresser into a focal point in your kids’ room. Kristen raves about some of the new yummy flavors from Ella’s Kitchen. . .for your baby, of course. Just in time for...

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Holiday cards that are truly a work of art

Every year after I spend half the day trying to get myself ready, and then wrangling my four kids and my husband for our annual holiday card family photo extravaganza, I vow to do something different the next year. I have found it! With one of a kind cards featuring original artwork of your very own family. I’m completely smitten with the beautiful one-of-a-kind holiday cards from Dear Ida. This is the brainchild of four friends, including mom, artist, and children’s book illustrator Lisa Mundorff, whose annual hand drawn Christmas cards were so famous among her friends and family that...

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Beep boop balloon!

Robots can be so hard, so inhuman. Until you give one a balloon and slap it on a onesie. Boom! Adorkable! We love the Balloon Bot shirts and onesies currently on sale at All Good Living Kids. Not only because they’re cute as a reset button, but also because they’re made of 100% organic cotton using ethical labor practices and eco-conscious screen printing. Neither people, trees, nor robots were harmed in production. Since they’re on sale, you might have to check which colors and sizes are available, but we’re still seeing onesies from 3 months to 18 months and...

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The perfect baby doll for your own growing baby.

Please tell me I am not the only one with such nostalgia for some of our baby clothes, that I’ve saved them. The little peasant dress from Mexico, the smocked dress from a great-grandmother, the onesie with the swallow tattoos on the chest just like daddy has–I’m a sap for it all. So when I learned that Corolle came out with a doll sized to wear actual baby clothes, I thought, genius! What’s cool about the new Bebe Amour, is that she’s the same size as your average 3 month old baby–20″ tall–which means she’s a great way to...

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And a hug around the neck

When I came across this gorgeous lilac crochet scarf on Etsy, I just about clicked “add to cart” right on the spot. Good thing I didn’t because then I would have missed all the other beautiful colors. Brooklyn’s VitalTemptation is a name that pretty much says it all. I adore their handmade crochet scarf in vibrant colors like the purple, red, or emerald, but over a heather gray wool coat, that black one is pretty fabulous too. Perfect for this time of year when scarves tie an outfit together more than they keep the snow out of our v-necks....

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Being Elmo

I still remember the first time I saw Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo, on a TV show–and I couldn’t believe my ears. Who knew a big guy like Kevin was the voice of the lovable–and, yes, sometimes annoying–little red guy on Sesame Street. Now with the release of a heralded new documentary about this odd couple, it’s fascinating to learn more about one of the most famous and intriguing pairs in puppeteering. A true follow-your-dreams-no-matter-what story, I get choked up just watching the trailer for Being Elmo — A Puppeteer’s Journey which won awards at the Sundance Film...

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5 cool modern piggy banks

We’re so thrilled to be teaming up with our sponsor Harris Bank who’s asked us to offer up cool picks to help teach money management early. Back when I was a kid, a piggy bank was no more than a basic way to teach money savings to those old enough to dump a few pennies in the slot. These days, you might have noticed that piggy banks have come a long way in both design and style. With the holidays coming up, we rounded up 5 of our favorite modern piggy banks, which not only do the job they’re...

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Sew up some quiet time with vintage lacing cards

When my kids were younger, they adored lacing cards, though I can’t say any of them had illustrations quite so adorable as the Lacing Cards from House 8810. What I do remember is how quietly and intently they would sew their cards, and how pleased they were with the final results. Unlike heavier wooden lace-up cards, this set of six cards is made of thick cardboard so it is lightweight enough to take it with you wherever you go. And with two needles and six cards in this set, a pair of kids can keep busy without having to...

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Stowe – One more reason to LoVermont

At a time when every American town is starting to look like every other American town, with the same clothing stores, coffee shops (ahem) and fast food chains, it’s nice to know there’s one that’s still alive with a fierce independent spirit, small town charm, and all the hospitality a family could want. It’s been years since I had been up to the lovely town of Stowe, Vermont and on a recent weekend, fall foliage in glorious bloom, I fell in love with it all over again. Stowe feels like the last indie town in New England, with tons...

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Roller Girl

With the 70s coming back hard everywhere from music to fashion (hello, Ella Moss) to Broadway revivals, I am not surprised at all to see the most fabulous pair of old school roller skates, front and center at Fred Flare. The colorblock roller skates by Keith Skates are so hot, they’re already flying off the virtual shelves in preorder mode. You have to love the fashioned fabulousness of the white bootie style roller skate–no inline wheels, no splashy athletic shoe logo, no thermoformed X-rib pattern. Just awesome colored wheels, long white laces, and a heaping dose of irony that...

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U is for Underground – That’s our kind of ABC Book

M isn’t for mustache. I checked. But if you dig retro-modern design and a book that feels like buttah, you’re going to want this one for your kid’s bookshelf… or your own coffee table. Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet is a swoon-worthy collection of paintings so hip that they look like you dug them out of a lime green vintage suitcase on Portobello Road. The artist often uses old book covers, postcards, and vintage ephemera to add to the charm, so the images have a worn texture and delicious warmth that you don’t usually see in ABC books. I love the...

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Friends of Maddie gets musical

When Mike and Heather Spohr lost their daughter Maddie two and a half years ago, they refused to let the light this beautiful little girl brought to the world be extinguished–they started Friends of Maddie to support families coping with having a baby in the NICU, like they’d been through, themselves. This week, Maddie would have turned four. She’s now been gone longer than she was alive. No one would blame the Spohrs if this week brought nothing but grief and a desire to hide from the world, but once again, they’re channeling their pain into a greater good...

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Minted makes the holiday cards that make us swoon

We fell in love with Minted back when we first got wind of their holiday cards, all created by indie designers, many of whom happen to be talented stay-at-home moms. The customization process is a snap and the quality has never failed to make us say, “oohh…” So when they asked if we’d pick a few of our favorites and share them with you this year, we were like, where do we start? Here, a brief holiday mini guide to help you find the card you had in mind anyway. For families with a sense of humorHow can you...

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5 tech picks you won’t want to miss this week

Back away from the leftover Three Musketeers and distract yourself with these fabulous Cool Mom Tech picks instead. Here are 5 of our favorite of the past week, in case you missed them. 1. The original angry bird– Mo Willems’ Pigeon– now has an amazing and lovable app to help give kids the tools and motivation to write and illustrate their own stories. 2. Need 10 excuses to grab a new iPhone 4S? Honey, we’re here for you. 3. This cute little app for kids doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. After all, it has a dancing...

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The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation – still fighting

I still remember so vividly the courageous story of Elizabeth Glaser, her children, and their own public fight with AIDS 20 years ago. She was the first person to reach out to Congress, in fact, on behalf of children afflicted with the disease. So I’m thrilled to learn that her work continues all these years later through her wonderful foundation. And it’s a great one to know about, especially now as the year rolls to a close. Yesterday, I had the joy of attending an amazing, celebrity-studded family benefit for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, called the Kids4Kids...

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The end. The very end.

Poking around the CB2 website this week, I kinda fell in love with this bookend. Because, we’ll, it’s an end. Called The End. The End bookend is such a cool little hostess gift or just a sunny pick me up for your own bookshelf. I don’t know how heavy it is, but it seems like it could do the job. I suppose it could also have been called The Beginning. But that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. –Liz Find The End bookend online from...

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