Month: April 2011

Pillow Pets – The cool, cotton, fair trade kind

I’m fortunate to have a daughter who takes violin right next to the Blabla Kids storefront in Atlanta, so every week, I poke my head in to say hello to their lovely staff and design team, and take a peek at what’s new. And just wait until you see the cuteness that’s now available on their website. Their new Hold Me Tight pillows instantly made me think of Pillow Pets, except they’re cooler, softer, and made by fair trade Peruvian artisans like all of the Blabla Kids goodies we’ve featured here on Cool Mom Picks. I love the whimsical...

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Dress-up clothes? Reader Q + A

My daughter is turning three soon, and I want to put together a dress up box for her. Any ideas for a great Etsy costume shop? She wants an astronaut costume but I need it to be something she can get on and off herself. Any other ideas? -Alison Hi Alison, We love your question! Of course, you can start by dumping your own accessories in there–scarves, gloves, handbags, belts are all great for creative play. But if you want some specific costume accessories, here are some great ideas to fill up your daughter’s dress-up box: The masks at...

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The kinder, gentler (and recyclable!) robot toy

My son, like so many kids, has a thing for robots, but the first few realistic robot toys he received were greeted with suspicion and trepidation: Why are those eyes blinking? and—ack!—will it talk at night when I’m in bed?!? So, both he and I were so pleased to find a new kit that will produce a cool-looking robot that runs on imagination, not batteries. The aptly named Calabot was created by the smart people at Calafant whose build-your-own cardboard structures have entertained my kids for years. Like their palace, farm, and even walk-in castle, the Calabot comes completely...

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Web Coolness – beautiful bellies, lovely eggs, trashy party and real-life Barbie

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web the week. We hope you will too.  This trash-themed birthday party is anything but rubbish. So clever! (via lil magoolie) A real-life Barbie doll is scary in many ways. Shakespeare meets Facebook? You’ve got to check this out. Ohdeedoh has tips on creating beautiful natural Easter egg dyes. (photo via Big Sis Lil Sis) Here’s what we’re saying about Parents Magazine for the iPad at Cool Mom Tech. (nutshell: It’s great!) Show off your belly and maybe win big in the Belli Beautiful Contest. Check out the 10 items we’re drooling over...

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Baby shower invitations get even cooler.

Unless I’ve got a friend who isn’t telling me something, I have no need for baby shower invitations any time soon. I’m not hosting one–that I know of. But when the time comes, I’m so excited to use one of the new baby shower invitations from Tiny Prints. They’ve really stepped up their collection (which was, truthfully, in need of a little stepping up) with gorgeous, witty, modern designs. My personal favorite is the Cutest Dare invitation (pictured). So retro and fun. I also love the idea of a gender-revealing shower. Never heard of that before. And though I...

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A baby rattle keepsake in shining…wood

When you think of a baby rattle as a keepsake gift, silver is probably the first material that pops to mind. But I’ve just found a wooden one that’s so gorgeous, it’s giving silver a run for its money. The Timbur Baby Rattle combines traditional woodworking skills with computer design to create a stunning piece of design. The flowing lines of the all-natural wood come to life with a high-polished surface, and the natural shell beads inside turn it from mere clutch toy to baby-pleasing rattle. And the natural oils and wax used in the finishing means no need...

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House cleaning – now fierce.

I’d have to say that cleaning the kitchen has always been one of my least fashionable moments. I’m usually in an old t-shirt, with a scowl on my face and schvitz on my brow. But a new designer sponge (that’s right, designer sponge!) may actually make the whole cleaning experience a little more glamorous. O-Cel-O just introduced two new no-scratch sponges designed by Project Runway winner Christian Siriano.Yep, Christian Siriano sponges.  These designer cleaning utensils brings new meaning to the term “sponge-worthy.” As in, is that spill on the kitchen floor really sponge-worthy? Or can I just use a...

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The single coolest Haggadah for kids, ever

Of all the Jewish holidays, I’d imagine Passover is the one many kids love best. If you’re my kids, then it’s like having crackers and grape juice for dinner. Dream holiday! I always love finding fun ways to get them involved, and have recently found a Haggadah made just for kids that does that very thing. The My Haggadah Made it Myself is a brilliant little self-published book from Francine Hermelin Levite, and if a publisher is smart, they’ll snap it up stat. It’s an interactive journey through the story of Passover, with stickers, imaginative writing and drawing prompts,...

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New bunk beds from Oeuf take room-sharing to stylish new heights

Living in a big city has tons of benefits, but ample living space is not one of them. Which is why bunk beds are the urban dweller’s most functional answer to shared bedrooms. It will certainly be the answer for my sons’ room when the time comes. Sure, there are many bunk beds on the market, but you’ll be hard pressed to find some as cool and functional as the new double sleepers from design groupie fave Oeuf. The Perch Bunk Bed from Oeuf is the Brooklyn-based design company’s next foray into the juvenile furniture market after their popular...

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Quick, easy ways to volunteer while the kids are young

This is National Volunteer Week, a time to think about all those ways you can use your spare time to help others through good deeds and hard work–unless you are like me, and that first sentence makes you spit out apologies about not having any time or money to do anything significant.   I get it. It’s really hard to regularly commit to any single organization when the kids are young and we’ve all got so much going on in our lives. But keep reading because there are simple, affordable ways you can help make a big difference, even...

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