Month: March 2012

Your Baby in Pictures

I was fortunate to have an amazing photographer friend when my first baby was born–otherwise I’m pretty sure all I’d have of her was a bunch of blurry photos. Let’s face it, little ones are tough to photograph. Too bad I didn’t have this amazing book from photog guru Me Ra Koh. This new-to-me book Your Baby in Pictures: The New Parents’ Guide to Photographing Your Baby’s First Year offers up step-by-step instructions, ideas, and inspiration for photographing your baby’s first year. In a word: Brilliant. Aside from the gorgeous photos, you’ll appreciate Me Ra Koh’s simple, smart advice...

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A natural alternative to green food coloring on St. Patrick’s Day

I’m not Irish, but I like a good celebration and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. I’m happy to wear green. I might even paint my nails green. Green is pretty! But unnaturally green food? That does not make this mama feel festive. I think that kale chips and pesto are a perfect way to celebrate March 17th, but my kids have a different opinion. They would much rather taste a rainbow (literally) or snack on leprechaun pudding, which leaves me with two choices: I can be a St. Paddy’s troll or I can get in the spirit.Given the...

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A handmade soft book for your baby that will make you happy

Have you ever given an infant or toddler a paper book only to have returned to you in one mushy mess? Thanks to Wee Gallery’s organic soft book, we found a beautiful solution last year. And now there are 3 modern, colorful new soft book styles they just released. Each book is completely handmade (down to the hand-loomed cotton fabric), GOTS certified, and comes in a simple, yet striking 2 color combination with either garden, jungle or black and white animals inside.                                                                     How adorable is the Garden Soft Book?                ...

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Reading high up on a cloud

I am such a huge fan of decorating kids spaces with clouds. They are whimsical, delicate and playful.  Clouds seem more popular now than ever, but they have such a timeless feel to them. When I first saw this cloud wall shelf, I quickly imagined the perfect spot for it, right by my daughters bed. What a great solution to display books, small toys and even art. Made by Etsy’s Kate Greenway of Shop Littles, it comes with all the hardware you need to mount it, and you can even order it in blue or gray. But I think...

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First Communion dresses? Reader Q&A

My daughter makes her First Communion in May, and I am in search of the perfect dress: Unique, inexpensive and not heavy (we live in Florida!). I also don’t want to spend a fortune on a dress that she will realistically only wear once. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. -Heather We think your daughter will find something she loves—and you love too—among these affordable options from some of our favorite clothing companies for kids. –Christina Mini Boden’s Broiderie Dress (at top) is age-appropriate and simple, but not plain. Love that it is versatile enough to be worn with bright...

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5 tips to help teach kids about money

One of the important challenges we face as parents ourselves is how to teach our kids about money. And not just the difference between a dime and a nickel–yes, the nickel is bigger but it’s not worth more. Boy, that’s a hard one with our kids! We’ve learned is that every parent has different values when it comes to money and kids, so of course you have to do what’s best for your own family. That’s why we’re so happy to once again be teaming up with BMO Harris Bank, which is committed to helping families make good financial...

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A seriously cool backpack for kids

I take backpack shopping very seriously. My kids are hard on their stuff, so by the time spring rolls around, we may need to upgrade what seemed so new and fresh in the fall. I need something durable but slightly more kid friendly than an industrial strength backpack. I’ve loved MadPax spiky backpacks since I discovered them here last year, but I’m happy to see that they now have new options that aren’t quite so, well…spiky. The MadPax bubbles backpack feels like something out of a space expedition. The colors are bright and attention grabbing, which helps to distinguish...

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A safer diaper wipe? Yep.

It always scares me when I see a laundry list of unpronounceable ingredients on my baby’s personal care packages. Especially when said product is a diaper wipe, meant to touch the delicate nether regions of my little one. Thankfully, there’s a new wipe in town that contains only two ingredients–water and fruit extract. WaterWipes from the Irish brand DermaH2O, have just launched in the U.S. and they very well might be the purest wipes around. Made with 99.9% water and .1% grapefruit seed extract, these are wipes you can feel confident about. I am seriously turned off by any...

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A camera to carry your camera

Finding a unique yet stylish camera case can be sometimes daunting.  When I first invested in a good camera, I felt pressure to use the case that so generously came with the camera, but I hated it.  I’m never a fan of lugging around the typical black bag. Happy Sew Lucky has created the perfect solution for us. The Retrotastic camera camera bag pattern creates this iconic design inspired by the Diana camera sold in the 60’s.  And because it is a pattern, you are saving dollars and creating a fantastic product with your own hands. One fat quarter...

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

With the new season, comes new tech gadgets, games, and guides on Cool Mom Tech. In case you missed them, here are some of our favorite picks from the past week. 1. We’ve got the scoop on the new iPad release, such as the fact that it’s not actually called the iPad 3. Do you want it as much as we do? 2. The only thing nearly as exciting as the new iPad is this new Star Wars Xbox 360 Kinect game. Is the Force with you? 3. Spring means lots of tweeting and new nests–both outside and on...

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The new Petunia Pickle Bottom layette is here. Just in time for spring!

Our youngest will be in preschool this fall, and I don’t miss the diapering–but I will admit to a moment (or two) of weakness when I saw the brand new spring layette for babies 0-9 months by mom-favorite brand Petunia Picklebottom. First amazing bags, then Ergo baby carriers, then iPhone covers–and now clothing. Makes sense to me. Why shouldn’t the company with some of the most beautiful textiles start making some of the most adorable spring outfits ever? Here, some of my favorites: [get a glimpse at the gorgeous new designs after the jump!] I love the fact that...

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A progressive coloring book for progressive kids

When the airport gift shop coloring book choices “for girls” range from princesses to uh, princesses (and maybe the occasional princess) I’m reminded of how easily 21st century gender stereotypes are reinforced pretty much everywhere we look. Well hooray for a coloring book that goes in the entirely opposite direction. Or more like, runs in the opposite direction, wearing sneakers and a dress, Atalanta style. The title alone, Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With Another Spoon, should give you a pretty good clue that this is not your ordinary coloring book. It’s all about challenging traditional gender sterotypes. Pages...

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A drumstick fit for a baby. (Hear that, theme park fans?)

When Liz got back from her Disney World trip, she laughed about the ubiquitous turkey leg that seemed to be everywhere. Which is probably why I can’t get over the sheer awesomeness of this handmade rattle. Yes, it’s a rattle in the shape of a turkey leg. The handmade plush drumstick rattle not only looks like the real thing — it’s wrapped to look like you just picked it up at the local butcher. Bring this gift to your next baby shower and you will be singly responsible for the funniest baby pictures ever. -Eva Drumstick Rattle is available at...

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4 ways to get your daily dose of cool

Never miss a day of Cool Mom Picks! Here’s how: 1. Like us on Facebook 2. Follow us on Twitter 3. Subscribe to our RSS feed 4. Follow us on Pinterest *Bonus! Become an email subscriber. It’s not daily, but feel free to read our newsletter every day, if it makes you...

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Getting creative with kids clothes. And chalk.

We have reached the maximum level of licensed- character and logo tees in our household. Granted, the number is not all that high–our kids are lots of things, but “miniature billboards” doesn’t exactly top the list–but still. We are at capacity. So how excited was I to find a T-shirt that they could truly make their own? We first discovered the Chalkboard Tee by Class Attire a few years back, and were instantly smitten. Now, the company has debuted even more chalkboard tee styles to choose from. The 100% cotton, made-in-the-U.S. tee comes in 18 adorable designs–I love the frame,...

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Five adorable Easter basket ideas for last-minute ordering

I am a terrible procrastinator when it comes to Easter basket ideas, always shopping for my kids’ gifts a few days before the holiday and wishing I had planned ahead for once. But, this year, I’ve found a few special picks that you’ll need to buy now if you want to have them in those baskets by Easter morning. Related: 19 truly special Easter basket ideas that don’t include candy To start, you’ll want to make sure you have a basket, and I love Good Wishes Quilts natural cotton baskets that are just the right size for a few small...

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Ernie? Is that you?

If you’re a Sesame Street fan, like the entire world happens to be, it’s kind of hard to resist a modern, deconstructed graphic interpretation of Ernie and Bert for your kids’ walls.           Artist Tom Pastrano reinvents everyone’s favorite Sesame Street roomates as modern Ernie and Bert posters. The 18×24 limited edition screenprints are yours for just $30. Which means they’re perfect paired together, same as they’ve been for four decades years on the show. What? They’re just friends. –Liz Find “The Streets” posters online from Symbol Society and hurry! When they’re gone they’re gone. [h/t andamos armados,...

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Putting your toddler on the map (er, the map on your toddler)

When I lived in New York City, pre-kids, I always imagined that I’d someday stroll the streets with my theoretical future babies. We’d meet other mini-Manhattanites in Riverside Park, hit Mister Softee for a cone, head downtown to the South Street Seaport Museum, and life would all be so very grand.  But I ended up moving out of the city–way out of the city–a few years before the kids actually materialized. But you know what? Even though my kids aren’t in New York, that doesn’t mean that New York can’t be on them. Or Portland or Paris or Miami...

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How to lick a kid’s cold

We can put a man on a moon, but we can’t beat that obnoxious collection of shifty viruses. So how cool that there’s now an all-natural cough drop for kids, in convenient lollipop form. When we received a bag of LILAPOPS, an all natural cough drop for kids, both of my children instantly began coughing and staggering around in the hopes that I would let them have a taste. I didn’t fall for it. But when the flu struck last week, I’m so glad we were prepared. My sick preschooler now thinks LILAPOPS are the best medicine ever. The...

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Pop culture junkies, your finger puppets await

So I’m a sucker for everything handmade with a nerd-chic pop culture reference built in. It’s like three of my favorite things all in one glorious, slightly weird package. And the handmade finger puppets from Abbey Christine fit the bill perfectly.  I mean, where else can an NPR fan find an Ira Glass finger puppet? Or most of Wes Anderson’s characters from Max Fischer to Steve Zissou? They’re all free hand cut from recycled felt, giving them that perfectly imperfect handmade look. Keep them in mind as a great inexpensive little gift for your coolest indie friend. I was...

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