Month: April 2012

Burp cloths with a secondary purpose

Two important things for new mamas to know: not everything useful has to look utilitarian, and there will be many, many uses for burp cloths. I can justify buying gorgeous ones–despite their intended use–considering how much time they’ll spend on my shoulders, across my lap, or clutched in Baby’s hand. With the photographic evidence to prove it. Well here’s one more reason to justify the expense: when it supports an amazing organization. Ella Sophia & Co., a new shop launched by new mama Erika Hodge, offers colorful, extremely absorbent burp cloths made in Nepal by a Nepalese fair trade organization....

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Fashion and beauty fans – have we got the new site for you.

We may be beauty and fashion fanatics to some degree, but chasing after kids and working full-time means that we have less time than we like to spend on taking care of ourselves. Why do you think we’re such fans of online shopping? The one drawback: experimenting with new trends. So how fun that I had a chance try out the new site StyleUnited which happens to be our newest sponsor. (Yay!) And probably my newest addiction. Let’s just say StyleUnited is not at all what I thought it would be–some hard-sell catalog of products from one manufacturer. What...

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Baby feet, you’ve got the cutest little baby feet…

For some reason, every pregnant friend in my life is having a boy these days. So I’m even more attuned to the limited choice there is in terms of motifs on their clothing. While we’ve worked pretty hard to track down cool boys’ clothes that go beyond appliques of bears or crossed hockey sticks or clip art dump trucks, I’m so happy to find one more shop that gets it. At Tilly Whistle, you’ll find adorably handmade shoes for baby girls (I love these felted baby mary janes) but boys are not left here for a change. There’s a...

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Growing edibles just got easy. Like black-thumb-proof easy.

Grow-it-yourself is the new do-it-yourself. Unfortunately, I tend have the touch of death for plants. But you know what? I didn’t let looking awful in denim overalls stop me from wearing them throughout the 90’s, so I haven’t let being plant kryptonite stop me from growing my own juicy tomatoes and fresh herbs.  I’ve got a black-thumb-proof plan for growing edibles this season so that I can cook with homegrown herbs and produce. And, you know, hang with the GIY cool kids–also known as the hungry boy and his hungry brother. Determined to grow, too? Here’s what to do...

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Latino cool for the little ones

As a Hispanic mother, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find children’s products that celebrate our culture without being cheesy. Sure, it’s easy enough to find products for Spanish learners in the US, but there’s more to growing up Hispanic than the ability to roll your Rs and I want my children to appreciate that as early as possible.  I love the t-shirts at Dos Borreguitas because they strike the perfect balance between all-American hipness and Latin tradition. The designs take advantage of the playfulness of the Spanish language and twist traditional sayings into clever designs. My favorite...

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Petite Box – Also known as, how to make a new mom smile

UPDATE: This service has now shut down. We highly recommend Citrus Lane for a similar service with products we love. -Eds There are actually lots of ways to make new and pregnant moms smile, most of them involving food, cleaning, and babysitting. But if you’re far away, here’s a great way to make her feel great: This wonderful new monthly gift box service catering just to new and pregnant moms. Monthly delivery services are hot now, and Petite Box is taking on the new mom market with lovingly curated boxes of eco-friendly and useful gifts. The boxes feel truly posh...

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Stylish boys’ wedding clothes – Reader Q&A

Any suggestions where I can find stylish outfits online for my 3 year and 1 year old boys to wear to an outdoor summer wedding? – question via Twitter Your sharp-dressed toddlers will look amazing in one of Appaman’s Fine Tailoring suits or separates. I love their cool modern cut that help prevent little guys from looking “swallowed up” in an oversized suit. For your young kids, I think this seersucker shorts and jacket suit is too adorable. With tons of fabrics to choose from, the funky handmade boys’ neckties from The Belle and the Beau (also shown at...

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You don’t have to love fairies to love this tooth fairy pillow

When a child loses the first tooth, it’s one of the greatest “becoming a big kid” moments we parents get to witness. I love how special that very first one is. So when things get wiggly, it’s fun to get prepared with something like a cool tooth fairy pillow. Sparkle Power has created these adorable Tooth Fairy pillows that will add to the tooth celebration. This pillow measures 6 x 6 inches with a small blue pocket on the front, which is the perfect size for holding a lost tooth and the money that the tooth fairy wishes to...

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The baby shower gift that’s definitely not for the baby

This year, I thought one of the more inspired picks in our Baby Shower Gift guide was the Keurig coffee maker. I figure for those moms who thrive on caffeine (or will, once they start to accept their new sleep patterns, or lack thereof), it beats a sixteenth receiving blanket. But even if you’re not a new mom–or a mom at all for that matter–there are a lot of reasons to consider one. We’ve been using the Keurig Platinum Brewing System at home for the last month, and truly, it couldn’t be easier. Plus, it’s already paid for itself,...

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Maternity couture with a due date

I had this dress when I was pregnant that made me feel like a goddess. I wore it to two weddings, several parties, and a couple of dates. And then I had the babies and passed it on to another mama like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Maternity Dress. “This is going to make you look and feel amazing,” I said, and then a tear slipped out. Since maternity clothes cost so much– especially high fashion dresses– wouldn’t it be better if you could just rent what you need and then ship it back? Yeah, we think so, too....

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Elegant, exotic blankets for baby? How bazaar!

We love the new elegance in nurseries, and we especially love when beautiful design goes hand in hand with comfort and eco-consciousness. And we really, really love when peacocks are involved. [don’t miss a truly great giveaway after the jump!] Baby Bazaar is a breath of fresh air in nursery textiles, and not only because the artisan-made quilts and blankets are handmade of 100% cotton with azo-free dyes. The refreshingly vibrant quilts have an Indian flair that perfectly marries adult sensibility with cozy softness. Let me put it this way: if this peacock quilt were queen-sized, my editors would...

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Reinventing the bento box

As the old saying goes: Once you go Bento you never go back. Okay, that’s not it at all. But it’s exactly how I feel every morning that I pack my kids’ lunches. After discovering the perfect reusable, food-safe containers, those plastic baggies and reused Chinese takeout containers just don’t seem to do the job. Canadian company Steeltainer, has a really terrific take on the classic Bento box. Each side of the lid has a simple snap up/snap down clasp to really keep the thing sealed. And yet it’s so easy, my four year-old doesn’t have trouble at all;...

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So uh, we understand that sometimes new moms have questions?

How much allowance is too much? When can kids start playing video games? Will it kill them to eat dessert first? All important parenting questions, but the first few months (and really, for the first few years) you won’t care about much more than the basics. What I needed — and most new parents need, too — is some easy advice that can be read with both eyes at half mast. New mama Erin Bried, author of the advice-ful How To Sew A Button, went looking to seasoned moms for some solid, time-tested tips on soothing, feeding and general...

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Free bunny ears you’ll love to see in your Easter photos

On this Easter Sunday, may your own bunnies stay clean of melted chocolate and grass stains. . .at least until you can get a few great shots of them in their Easter finest. And while we’re sure your children will look adorable as is, we’ve found a couple of printables that will just up the “awwww” factor today. The free printable bunny and lamb ears from Ellinee Design House are the perfect topper for Easter; and they’ll probably stay on a toddler’s head a lot longer than a bonnet. With just a pair of scissors, a dot of glue...

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BabyLit board books – Lovely little lessons with Alice and Jane

Good news, bibliophiles! Your toddlers can now enjoy Alice in Wonderland and Jane Eyre, and not just as teething toys. Thanks to gorgeous illustrations and clever literary touches, you might enjoy this collection of amazing board books at bedtime even more than they do. The BabyLit board books by Jennifer Adams are so fantastic that I want to keep them all for myself. Whether you’re learning colors with Alice in Wonderland or counting with Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, or Romeo & Juliet (as seen in our Baby Shower Gift Guide), the books work on a lot of levels...

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The stroller pad as cozy as a mattress

There have been many times when I’ve wanted nothing more for my baby to just chill and take a snooze in the buggy when all he does is fuss. But now that I’ve discovered this new stroller pad that is so comfortable, I’m tempted to sit on it myself. The new NuComfort Memory Foam Stroller Pads from Tivoli Couture are lined with high density memory foam to give your little peanut a luxurious ride. It self-adjusts to your child’s body and helps with shock absorption–a huge plus when navigating bumpy city blocks and rough terrain in my neighborhood. But...

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2 great new products to take on baby’s dry skin. (And maybe yours? We won’t tell.)

Whether you’re battling windy weather or baby skin conditions like eczema, we’ve got two great, all-natural lotions for keeping skin supple and decidedly un-lizard-like. Both of them contain the healing properties of calendula, and both of them rock. Zoe Organics first hopped on our radar with their phenomenal bath teas for baby–and mamas like me. When I mentioned that my son’s hands were peeling horribly from eczema, Zoe’s founder and CEO, Heather, sent over their Extreme Cream over right away. It was an instant hit with us both. He stopped crying, and I found that my hands looked much...

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Mom entrepreneurs: your bible has arrived.

One of the things that I love best about Cool Mom Picks is its suppport of entrepreneurs, and mom entrepreneurs especially. (Also the fact that they don’t call them “mompreneurs” but that’s subjective.) So of course I’m excited to introduce you all to Jill Salzman, who is definitely onto something with her website and now, her book just for those of you with creative juices flowing that want to take it to the next level. In Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, Salzman is speaking from a great deal of experience. She’s the brains and energy behind...

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Little Red Riding Hoodie

I am an absolute sucker for handmade dolls and dress up clothes. It really makes dramatic play a personal and organic experience for kids. So I tend to shy away from synthetic fibers and licensed characters when I can, in favor of something made with a little more love. So no surprise, I am in love with this handmade Red Riding Hood costume from Savage Seeds, a super cool Etsy store. You pick a hoodie color (classic red being one of the choices), choose a size from 12m-5T, and a handmade animal to go along with the fun. I’m...

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Web Coolness – Sweet carrot treats, The Kristen Chase Show, and getting kids to eat your cooking

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. A sweet Easter treat that looks so easy to make, even us craft-phobics can make a bunch for our little bunnies. Have you seen the first episode of The Kristen Chase Show? It’s smart, funny, and filled with great advice, especially if you have a less-than-perfect mother-in-law. We are so moved by this mama’s words about raising children with special needs and her wish for a little more compassion for parents like her. Before you do any spring cleaning, you...

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