Month: September 2011

Audio books for toddler? Reader Q&A

My daughter is turning 3 next month and is starting to outgrow her naps! I am trying to enforce quiet time on the days she won’t nap, and someone gave me the idea of letting her listen to audio books as her quiet time activity. I was hoping you had some ideas or could point me in the right direction of somewhere to start. Many thanks in advance for your help! -Rebecca   I agree that audio books are a great way to get her to hold still for a little bit and relax, and we’ve pulled together a...

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In silhouette

As I’ve learned, finding the perfect holiday gift for nieces and nephews can be tough, particularly when I’m trying to avoid picking out some random thing from the giant toy store chain. This year, I’m thinking about something personalized and special that they will love for years to come–and my sister-in-law will adore right now. Each of the canvas silhouette pillows from CMP favorite Le Papier Studio is handcrafted; you choose the fabric and one of 25 silhouettes, or send a photo and have the artists create a custom silhouette. Instant keepsake. I love that these aren’t pillows that...

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Web Coolness – fun with chalk, Angry Bird pumpkins, and new life for LEGO sets

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Check out this neat way to use sidewalk chalk to make your kids’ photos unique. (photo: babychaser) Love Kristen’s pick for cool Halloween shirts for kids that will look especially spooky in the dark. Angry Bird pumpkins! Just don’t throw them. Be a rebel and vow to read one of these banned stories during Banned Books Week. (Oh no! Not Harry Potter!) Cracking up over this review of Pixar’s new abstract photo journal. NYC new mamas: Sign up today to attend the...

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Baby name. You’ve got the cutest little baby name.

I’ve always been a big fan of custom baby gifts. After all, what parent doesn’t want to see that oh-so-perfect name they’ve spent days or months (or years, ahem) agonizing over ,emblazoned on something special? The delightful custom posters from alfabetika are a wonderful option for stealing the show at any meet-the-baby shower or first birthday party, and so different from anything we’ve seen. Darling little anthropomorphic letters created by graphic designer Anne-Lise Borgen Borgen Rizzo spell out each wonderful name just as sweetly as can be–only with a little humor built into the funny alphabet creatures that keeps...

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Monster tees for your monster dude

Lots of mamas to boys have a common complaint: not enough awesome boy clothing in the world. But you know what? Around here, we see more and more evidence that boy clothes are starting to rock. Like these, for example, from a most unexpected place. The boy clothing from Hanna Andersson is just too rad. I mean, look at these Go Monsters thermal tees: soft, washed cotton with graphics of monsters that are neither cutesy nor scary. The perfect blend of innocent mischief and mayhem, blended into a super-comfy shirt. And I would be lying if I said I...

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The baby travel crib that raises the bar for all other travel cribs

I finally get the baby travel crib thing. My first baby had a play yard which was great for storing all kinds of new baby gifts, diapers, blankets–you get the idea. We didn’t bring it out at all with my second child, giving it away soon after she was born. Then came number three. And that’s when I realized what I had been missing. The Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light is the easiest-to-put-together piece of baby gear I have ever seen. Ever. It is the answer to my oh-my-goodness-I-need-to-put-this-baby-down-somewhere-safe-for-five-minutes so-he-won’t-eat-electrical-cords-while-I-cut-carrot-sticks-for-my-big-kids woes. Let me put it to you this way: when I pulled it...

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Subscribe to Cool Mom Picks and get the celebrity baby treatment

If you’re not a Cool Mom Picks subscriber yet, oh boy is this the perfect time to join the ranks of thousands of cool moms. Not only will you get the scoop on the hippest clothes, coolest gadgets, and most amazing resources for families, but you’ll find phenomenal subscribers-only deals and discounts that you won’t see on our site. Plus? You’ll get to enter our exclusive giveaways, like this month’s, which hails from Jewels and Pinstripes. And ooh, is it a good one. This amazing celebrity gift bag company is bringing one of our lucky subscribers the very same...

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Now I lay them down to sleep

My organic-eating, organic-dressing, organic-playing kids sleep on regular old foam pillows. There, I said it: they spend half of their lives with cuddling up with chemical-filled foam. Not one of the greatest horrors of childhood, of course, but still, I’m so glad to have found an organic pillow alternative When I learned the great pillows by Madii & Dyl online–an awesome Australian kids’ line that’s now available in the US–I was quite excited. They’re sized perfectly for little heads and necks (there’s a toddler size and a child size) and made from 100% organic latex, so they’re naturally hypoallergenic...

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We’ve waited five years for this: New music from Dan Zanes and Friends

My kids and I know that our lives are made even more awesome because of all the friends who join us on our adventures, something I couldn’t help but think about while listening to Dan Zanes and Friends latest release. One that happens to be heavy on the “and Friends”. It’s as if his musical buddies heard he was releasing another CD—his first in five years!—and lined up at the studio door to join in the fun. And unlike my friends who I wouldn’t trust in a karaoke duet, the all-star crew on this CD can all carry one...

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4 Kids or More helps larger families find good company

I remember the time I told a friend that I was pregnant with my third child in less than four years. She shook her head and said sagely, You’re about to be outnumbered. Good luck with that. While there are definitely times my husband and I could use another pair of hands to wrangle our trio, I know plenty of people who manage much bigger families than ours, often with a huge sense of humor to get them through the more chaotic moments. For all you maxi-families who are juggling four, five, six (or more!) kids, there is now...

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Ooh la la! Quelle playhouse!

Qu’est-ce que c’est? Why it’s only the sweetest cardboard play structure I’ve ever laid eyes on. Okay, I’ve only laid eyes on it online, but still. I think my children need this thing, stat. The French Café from Little Play Spaces takes the fun and convenience of a typical cardboard play space and adds to it all kinds of wonderful interactive features that kids will love. Including my favorite, a real chalkboard for writing the daily specials. Gâteau, anyone? I love that it’s designed by a mom of an 8-year-old, who finally created a great play space for older...

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Dishes for kids that are safer than plastic – they only look like plastic

It’s hard trying to sort through all the plastic safety issues these days when it comes to feeding our kids. Between BPA, pthalates, melamine fears and microwave warnings, sometimes I just want to throw up my hands in frustration; does everything have to come with a warning these days? Well, not everything. In fact, I’m so thrilled that we get to be the first to announce the launch of a brand new, totally safe set of kids dishes, all made from a really surprising material. [don’t miss an exclusive discount after the jump!] The fantastic anti-plastic dishes for kids...

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Support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with one easy act of kindness

I’m only one person with one meager budget and very limited time. How can I do something important and meaningful this October to show my support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when I can’t donate a gazillion dollars and don’t have the hours to donate to a bigger cause? The first thing I’ve found is as quick and simple as sending a note. Yes, it really is that easy. KIND Healthy Snacks, those people behind the KIND bars we love so much, have created a movement called Do the KIND thing that sounds so awesome, I signed up...

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Stamp of approval

Need a gift for the superstar girl who has everything? She could be 8. Or heck, 38. Either way, I think she’ll like this adorable necklace which it turns out, is a lot more than a necklace. The Super Star Stamp Necklace is an adorable, eco-conscious masterpiece from artist Sarah Neuburger of a CMP favorite shop, The Small Object. Each wood necklace is hand-painted and hand-dressed, then strung on a 28″ hemp cord that can be shortened for half-pints. But what’s really neat, is you’ll find a hand-drawn star stamp on the bottom, and each necklace comes with a...

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Always Saturday – music for your permanent weekend

Always Saturday makes me happy. While this is technically a “kids” band, the beats are appropriate for big people, too. I’m thinking of their CD as a dance party waiting to happen, and I just want to be a part. After all, any band that evokes the feel of a fun and lazy Saturday has my vote. What’s really cool about Always Saturday is that not only do they rock, but they also have heart. The first song on their new album, Love is Plural, just blows me away; it’s called  A Guy Named Bob, and it’s the greatest...

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Masquerade, pretty faces on parade

In spring, a young man’s thoughts lightly turn to love. In fall, everyone’s thoughts turn to a really kickass Halloween costume. Right? If you’re looking for something really special this year, that will last past midnight on the 31st, the lovely leather masks from Etsy shop Sundries and Plunder are entirely handmade… and entirely gorgeous. Each creation is made just for you; hand-cut and tooled from one piece of leather and hand-painted on both sides with acrylic paints.Then it’s sealed for added protection before arriving with a lovely ribbon for tying or hanging on the wall.  What do I...

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Indian Prints

Indian patterns are totally (and beautifully) on-trend right now– we wrote about Ikats and other beautiful prints a few months ago, and our allegiance has yet to waver. Especially since we saw these lovely designs. Hammocks & High Tea‘s new “Dreamweaver” collection is as gorgeous and global as can be. It’s a whole line of accessories made up entirely of handcrafted and eco-friendly fabrics, printed with water-based, solvent-free inks: tea towels, napkins, pillows, totes, and scarves. I’m especially taken with the dopp kits. All the prints are produced to evoke the beautiful texture of traditional ikat weaving, and depending...

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Mommy Poppins expands. Boston and LA moms, rejoice!

When I first discovered Mommy Poppins I remember thinking, oh finally–a non-pretentious guide to all the best things to do around New York and the NYC area. There is rarely a week in which I fail to check the site to find free activities, special events, and great news about goings-on around town that my kids will love. Now? They’re in LA and Boston too. Whoo! Mommy Poppins LA and Mommy Poppins Boston offer the same great, searchable nav. You can check activities by age, neighborhood, type of activity or date. Or just keep an eye on the handy...

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The fountain of youth for your hands

They say your hands show your age. In which case I’m in trouble. The last time I tried to pamper my hands was when a relative gave me a Mary Kay Manicure Set as a gift that had been —gulp— used. There were fingernail gouges in the cream and a… let’s say, a uh…hair in the scrub. TMI? In any case, since having kids, it was definitely time to give it another go. If you’ve seen the effects of post-diaper change hand washing, or frequent Play-Doh scraping on your hands, you’ll love the Healthy Hand Regimen from our friends...

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Animal themed nursery prints with a French accent

As I have mentioned here before, I have a real sweet spot for nursery art prints. While my daughter’s room may be the size of your suburban walk in closet, I will always keep an eye out for another something special to squeeze onto her tiny walls. Especially when it’s accompanied by a cause as nice as this one. Once again temptation presents itself with the discovery of the smart animal series from Tiny Us. We have already declared our love for Virgine Dreyer’s noble charity project and her mission to raise funds for Presence, a special institute for handicapped...

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