Author: Delilah S. Dawson

Fred’s XYZ Blocks FTW!

CMP loves to turn ABC into ROFL, and we are totally digging on these XYZ Blocks by Fred & Friends. They stack, tumble, and teach letters just as well as more traditional blocks, but they’re beautiful, unusual, and entertaining, too. E is for Earthworm, Q is for Quicksand, U is for Uvula, A is for Afro, and L is for Lawn Mower. All things being EQUAL, I’m going with Fred. The gorgeous, retro-style illustrations are by artist Christian Northeast, and the sixteen beautifully crafted wooden blocks come packaged in a handy wood box with a recyclable clear plastic top....

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From nature to your ever-changing skin, with love

Pregnancy. Nursing. Postpartum. Pregnant again. Getting my first crow’s foot. Freaking out. My skin’s undergone more changes in the last five years than the cast of Saturday Night Live. I wanted a skincare product that was natural and safe, so I hopped on Google and tried slathering my face with honey, yogurt, banana, and avocado. Yuck. I gave up. Hence my enthusiasm for Marie Veronique Organics. This line of skin care products, available only extra fresh and online, is hand-made in California of intelligent ingredients in 100% recyclable packaging. And from what I can tell, it’s safe and beneficial...

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Planting the seeds of greatness (and also tomatoes)

Right now, I’m looking at the wilted, brown leaves of my dying container garden and ruing the white-hot Atlanta sun. I’m pretty sure we spent $30 on supplies that produced four very small tomatoes and one hideous cucumber. But the joy on my kid’s face as we sprouted, planted, and nurtured our little garden on the back porch? Priceless. [don’t miss learning about a cool giveaway after the jump] Knowing what it can mean to our children to take an active part in gardening ups my appreciation of the Seed Savers Exchange, which is the largest non-governmental seed bank...

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The Britax B-READY – My mid-toddler crisis stroller, in candy-apple red

After a pinched nerve sidelined my beloved babywearing, I was stuck in mid-toddler crisis. But the stroller that saved me can save more than just moms of chunky two-year-olds. It can help moms slinging around newborns in buckets, moms with bad backs, and anyone who likes their strollers like their sports cars– smooth, flexible, and flashy. The Britax B-READY is a full-size modular stroller that will take you all the way from your first grocery trip with a new baby to a balky four-year-old who suddenly gets tired at the mall. It’s ultra-adaptable, with 14 possible configurations and can...

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Stuffed animals that help real animals

Thanks to a certain animated show, my daughter now ties her stuffed animals to chairs and then attempts to save them using only teamwork and a pom-pom hat. It’s not my cup of tea, but I do like the idea of encouraging kids to help animals, which is why I like Oomfy. This new business turns that cartoon altruism into real world good. Every time you purchase a stuffed animal and its companion book from Oomfy, a portion of the proceeds goes to support the rescue, rehabilitation, and eventual release of displaced and orphaned baby wild animals. The stuffed...

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An Awesome Book. ‘Nuff said.

Let me give you 3 reasons why An Awesome Book by artist Dallas Clayton is indeed an awesome book: 1. For every book sold, The Awesome World Foundation will donate one book to schools, hospitals, camps, and shelters. 2. The artwork and story are original and compelling, and include rocket-powered pink unicorns. 3. Justin Timberlake likes it. I think this review has just written itself, but for the sake of awesomeness, I’ll go on. Clayton’s motives for penning the book are written in his bio on the website in poem form. To paraphrase, he likes to make beautiful things,...

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This schoolhouse rocks

Today I was so desperate for a new project to pull the tiny whiners off my knees that I gave them a huge cardboard box and some Sharpies. They ended up just stomping on the bubble wrap inside, much to my headache’s eternal sadness. But if you plan ahead a little, you can avoid my amateur mistake by using the real deal. When your kids aren’t actually in school yet, I’m thinking this honest to goodness cardboard schoolhouse is the next best thing. It’s extra-sturdy, extra-cute, and pre-printed with environmentally friendly features. Solar panels, a recycling center, and even...

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I can’t wait to be on the road again

Sometimes, full-sized baby skincare products can be intimidating for me. Like that enormous tube of diaper cream, or the half-gallon jug of powder that I can all too easily imagine scattered over my floor. I like my products like I like my kids: short and cute. At least until I get to know them better. That’s one reason I’m loving the Road Pack by Mayron’s Goods. But it’s not the only reason. [don’t miss our giveaway after the jump!] The Road Pack brings together five must-have baby products in an adorable, waterproof travel bag. So it’s cute. And handy....

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Dan Zanes rides the XM waves to your radio

Family-friendly Grammy-nominated musician extraordinaire Dan Zanes apparently had a secret desire to be a disc jockey. Which is a coincidence, because I had a secret desire to hear awesome radio music that wasn’t pure dreck (mainstream kid music) or me fake-sneezing during naughty words (my music). So we both get our wish. Rocketship Beach Radio with Dan Zanes will feature music from the Sirius XM archives, as well as hits from Dan’s own collection and his albums, including the recent 76 Trombones album based on a catalog of Broadway favorites. Add in Dan’s spectacular storytelling and lighthearted chatting, and...

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Baby Loves Disco, now with extra added boogie

Why did the handkerchief dance? Because you put a little boogie in it. (Heh). And why does my kid dance? Because she’s a ballerina/ninja/cheerleader/doctor/dinosaur-tamer. And that is why Baby Loves Disco keeps on rockin’ with some super cool news for families all over the country. This fall, our friends at Baby Loves Disco will be back with more awesome family-friendly dance parties across the nation. We’ve already told you about their groundbreaking Lemonade Tour, which is raising money as we speak to help find a cure for childhood cancer. But we want to remind you of BLD’s ongoing, original...

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Easy, comfy, Euro-cool

I spent a lot of time in airports last month, and one thing became as clear as an airplane-sized glass of Sprite: Europeans are just uniquely cool. I think they must be born with it. The scarves, the sunglasses, the bags — and definitely the shoes. [don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!] I saw lots of sandals like these handmade menorquinas from 3 Soles, and since I started wearing them myself, I’ve gotten loads of compliments. I love my Nubuck Avarcas in Alzina Green, which I was delighted to try out for the purpose of this review,...

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Kids’ tees with teeth. Fierce.

After she watches Lion King, my kid spends most of the day running around in her pink underoos and roaring. She’s being Simba, of course. But it’s not really a costume she can wear out in public when she’s feeling fierce. These t-shirts by Kit and Lili, on the other hand, are the perfect Fall staple for monster-minded boys and girls who feel like unleashing their inner animals. After a summer of terrorizing the backyard, it’s awfully hard to be cooped up under fluorescent lights in school, using one’s quiet voice and taking turns. But if you can say,...

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May the Force be with you, and don’t forget your homework

As your little Padawan goes back to school, you’ve got a long list of supplies: Lightsaber, translator droid, nerf sandwich, and a schoolbus that can make the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. Oh, I’m sorry, did you just figure out that I’m the resident CMP Star Wars geek? But you don’t have to be a Jedi to know that Star Wars can make the school year fun and is showing up in all sorts of surprising places. I’m convinced kids will jump higher than the ears on a gundark with the fantastic Star Wars sneakers from Stride...

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Little blog of big party dreams

My daughter’s fourth birthday is coming up, and I spend a good bit of time daydreaming of mastering fondant, hand calligraphing creamy envelopes, and crafting a birthday banner in lovely watercolor washes over newspaper. Ha freakin’ ha. Instead, we’re booked for the local germ-encrusted bounce house, where pizza is the only option and invitations come pre-printed with stock photos. Her idea. And so my inner Martha Stewart dies a little more. But if I could make my own party vision into a website, I’ve found exactly what it would look like. The site scissors.paper.cake is a collaboration by paper...

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A castle of one’s own

Almost every day, we drive by a castle. No, really– it’s in a field near our house, and the moat is a swimming pool, and the iron fence is guarded by concrete dwarves painted in garish colors. I can’t make stuff like that up. “Mommy, can we be friends with them and go play in their castle?” my daughter asks me every time we drive by. But, sadly, we never run into the people who own the castle at preschool or ballet, so that playdate-of-dreams never happens. So I’m thinking that for her 4th birthday this August, my girl...

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The 2010 Cool Mom Picks Back-To-School Guide is here!

It’s 104 degrees outside, and you know what that means: back to school and our annual Back to School Shopping Guide! We know– it doesn’t make much sense. But we also know that the next few ultra-sunny weeks will require new clothes, shoes, backpacks, and lunch gear. And let’s not forget indulgences for us moms, whether the moms in question are missing the carefree days of summer or mourning that first bus ride to Kindergarten. Sniff sniff. [Awesome giveaway after the jump!] This year’s Back to School Shopping Guide has everything you’d expect, from hip indie items to big...

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On my Target shopping list: Milk. Apples. Awesome art from Poketo.

Cool Mom Picks favorite Poketo has a very simple philosophy: Make real art available to everyday people. Which is good, because I’m at my local SuperTarget pretty much every day, and that’s where their latest collection will land on August 10. From water bottles to umbrellas to totes, this 52-piece limited edition collection brings together 21 international artists and a whole lot of pretty. The art covers all the high points of design for the season, including birds, birches, abstracts, and… um… monsters? I especially love the ethereal art on the Oksana bag shown above, which was previously available...

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Ferd gives boys a license to chill

Here comes Jimmy Bond. He rolls up on a black Big Wheel and requests his favorite drink: chocolate milk; shaken, not stirred. Aunts line up to pinch his cheeks. And I imagine him wearing this effortlessly cool striped shirt and tie combo from Ferd. And maybe some tiny little sunglasses. Fancy clothes for girls are easy to find, whether you’re looking online, at Target, or at your local exclusive boutique. But so often, the special event clothes for boys involve polyester vests stitched to rolled up trousers, which can be cute but isn’t very versatile. Ferd offers sharp but...

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Help save the Gulf via your jewelry box

When I think of the volunteers up to their knees in muck in the Gulf, washing oil off birds and dragging turtles to safety, my faith in humanity is renewed for the umpteenth time. But for many of us moms, globetrotting for good is a nearly impossible task. There is a way you can help, though, and it involves wearing really this really pretty necklace. 100% of the profits (yes, 100%) from the recycled sterling silver Save Our Shores Iconic Pelican Necklace by Real Jewels will go to Save Our Gulf, an initiative by Waterkeeper Alliance. Waterkeepers are committed...

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Behold the mysterious STEPONBOX

Talk about truth in advertising: The STEPONBOX is a storage box that also functions as a stool. That you can step on. And a ton more. Available in four Jetsons-esque color combinations, the STEPONBOX is crafted of Polypropylene and Thermoplastic Elastomeric, which in non-sciency terms, means it’s free of PVC, phthalates and heavy metals, and also that it’s possibly from Superman’s home planet. It can withstand up to 100 kilos of pressure, so almost your entire family can stand on it… or try to. And it has so many uses. Stand on it. Sit on it. Store toys in...

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