Tag: Japanese

Big UNIQLO sale alert: 10 awesome kids’ clothing pieces under $20.

I am never one to pass up a UNIQLO sale, especially since they’ve become my personal go-to for pants and sweaters. Seriously, I wear them pretty much every single day in some combination. But their kids clothes are fabulous too. If you’re not yet familiar with UNIQLO, it’s a Japanese-based company that makes what I’d describe as affordable modern and urban clothing for the entire family. Like H+M only more basics and solid colors, lots of gender neutral styles, and an excellent selection of clothes for kids. That includes non-hoochie clothes for girls. Hooray. So of course I spent way too long on the site, searching...

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Can stock pots be sexy? We say yes. Ohhhh, yes.

I’m pretty sure it’s a sign of adulthood when you start drooling over kitchen gadgets. So, hi, I guess I’m a grownup now. Because this pot is kind of turning me on.   I can’t help but fawn over the Japanese white enamel cookware at Cool Mom Picks fav Poketo. The gorgeous white enamel stock pot designed by Tokyo-based designer Makoto Koizumi is so perfect for fall and winter cooking, with my chili, soup, and stew recipes just waiting on my Pinterest boards. Plus enamel is great for even heat distribution, and I love the non-stick properties. Just know...

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Awesome kids’ room organization solutions with a Japanese flair

I can totally justify buying new things to decorate my kids’ rooms if they’re useful. And we’re all huge fans of bins for storage. That’s why I’m completely falling over these adorable Japanese storage solutions from an awesome online shop. I might even clean up while my kids are at school, just for fun. (yikes) Remember the cute unicorn and gorilla storage bins we mentioned a couple weeks ago? Well, now My Sweet Muffin (possibly my new favorite online shop) has brought us some sweet and functional designs from Japan that will make your heart–and kids’ rooms–happy. Their Small Collapsible...

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Pretty bowls make great hostess gifts. Especially when they’re on sale.

With Halloween an entire day behind us, our thoughts at Cool Mom Picks already turn to the best holiday gifts. (We can’t help it!) So when I saw these beautiful little Japanese bowls on sale, I thought, ooh…hostess gift. The modernist Japanese bowls at West Elm are now just six bucks each. I love the contrasting patterns on the inside and outside, although the grey floral with the turquoise rim is especially elegant and simple. I could imagine wrapping up four of them with a nice package of steel-cut oatmeal and some maple syrup. I’m only bummed that the mugs...

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Board shorts for boys go Japanese pop

I’m a sucker for Harajuku-inspired goodness. The colors are so fun, the designs are loud and perfect for kids who are confident and love standing out. Which is all of them in my house. And now there’s a new line of awesome clothes that do all of the above. [we’ve got an exclusive discount after the jump!] Mom-run business, Little Z Kids is a previous pick of ours, and they hit a home run with the new Japanese Pop line. You’ll find monsters (cute ones), and candy, and superheroes, just as you might expect from a Japanese Pop line. You...

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Well Helloooo, Kitty

I have a thing for Hello Kitty (as you may well know) and I also have a thing for Vans. [see more awesome kicks after the jump!] The collection of Hello Kitty Vans Sneakers for kids is adorable, as you’d expect, but I think what I like more is that they’re available in women’s sizes too–provided you’re amply ironic enough to pull them off. (Hint: not with mom jeans.) I’m not sure that I fit that description, so I’ll just be happy watching my girls skip down the street wearing these classic low-top lace-ups. It makes me very happy...

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It’s a small world in The Secret World of Arrietty

Want to know why we’re in love with The Secret World of Arrietty? Family Movie Night in our house usually means the kids pick an animated-to-the-gills cartoon that tries to make itself relevant to “all ages” with lots of double-entendre, fast-paced action scenes, and mildly suggestive sexual tension. (I’m looking at you Puss in Boots.) So how refreshing to find a G-rated movie that has our all-ages audience riveted without a single car chase, animal hip-hop number, or over-their-heads joke. Having never read The Borrowers, I came to The Secret World of Arrietty with little knowledge of the story...

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Two adorable Kokeshi dolls that are made to be read

As much as my kids and I love Japanese Kokeshi dolls, I can’t bring myself to let another collection into the house, what with all the stuffed animals and favorite rocks already displayed around my girls’ room.  But, I’ve found a way to combine Kokeshi cute with another collection I can totally get behind: Books! And, trust me, these adorable stories are just as sweet as a shelf full of dolls. Chronicle Books’ two new stories, Yumi and Aoki, follow the “day in the life” of two Kokeshi–little Japanese wooden dolls. What I love about the titles is that...

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A bento box you will fight your child for

My kids and I are suckers for cool lunch boxes and bento boxes.  We are constantly stealing each others–they take my “sophisticated” boxes and sometimes I borrow Hello Kitty. And now here’s another amazing bento box that anyone of any age will love. When I first saw the Takenaka Bento Box, I was floored! The design is sleek and sophisticated enough for me to take to work, while the multiple color choices keep them fun for the kiddos.  Each box comes with a removable divider, making it a breeze to keep the carrot sticks away from the apple slices....

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Starting solids with sushi

While I wouldn’t recommend handing a baby a spicy tuna roll to keep him entertained in the stroller, I might if it’s made out of cardboard. The brand new sushi touch-and-feel stroller cards are beyond adorable (more so than the box would make you think), and comes on a soft stretchy clip-on ring for the stroller bar. Beyond cuteness, they’ve actually got some developmental benefits for babies. From crinkly seaweed to smooth shrimp, and squishy salmon, each one features a tactile little piece like in baby’s favorite touch-and-feel board books. I even love that the sticky rice (on what...

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The Perfect Puff

Boys need accessories. It really takes their outfits to another level. The trick is one or two key pieces that emphasize fun, comfort, and flavor. That’s why I am just loving Little Z Kids green puff vest. If you don’t know Little Z Kids, it’s a great company to support. It’s completely family owned and priced just right. The styles are all so different and worldly, with lots of Japanese influence. It’s like Harajuku meets hipster. As for their Puffer Vest, it’s the perfect piece for layering this winter, and I know all three of my boys will fight over it....

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If the shoes fit…

Having three kids means I also have a lot of shoes sitting by my front door. Aside from the fact that the messy pile is probably bad enough to give the president of the neighborhood association a minor heart attack, I’m also pretty tired of tripping on them every time I walk past. Which might explain why I am in love with the look of the adorable Japanese shoe racks over at My Sweet Muffin. In love. They aren’t just ridiculously cute. They’re also brilliant. Four pairs of shoes where I’d otherwise fit one. Perfect. I think I need...

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Egg-cellent lunchbox idea

In light of our recent peanut butter alternatives post, I’ve been really thinking about other ways to get protein into my kids at lunchtime, whether it’s school mandated or not. They’re hot-and-cold on hard-boiled eggs, but I’m wondering if this fun little doodad I just spotted might give them a nudge in the right direction. You just pop a freshly hard-boiled egg into the Japanese Egg Shaper, let it cool in cold water for ten minutes, and suddenly you’ve turned a boring old egg into a cute fish, car, heart or star. And as any parents know, if it’s...

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Hello, cute back to school clothes! (Also, Hello Kitty)

Every year, I promise my kids one special back to school outfit, and now that it’s officially September (eek!) I guess it’s that time again. Generally I’m a big believer in $8 jeans, but one splurge always seems reasonable, especially when they love it love it love it. Fortunately, we’ve scored you an exclusive discount on some of the special new fall kidswear at one of my favorite online boutiques. Arte Bebe always showcases all that’s hip and stylish for babies and young kids, and this fall is no different. I’m loving the new line of Misha Lulu Hello...

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Hello Kitty. In yo face!

When Hello Kitty launched Hello Kitty Beauty a while back, I was thrilled. Sure, I’m a Hello Kitty fan, but I was mainly excited because the collection offered perfect gifting ideas for all the teens in my life, like my makeup-obsessed niece. But now with Hello Kitty’s fall makeup collection, Graffiti, I’m thinking I need to snap up a few pieces for myself, believe it or not. The Hello Kitty Beauty Graffiti collection, sold exclusively at Sephora, gives the world’s most famous cat some major street cred. The line includes an eyeshadow and blush palette, roller-girl perfume and a...

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Hello Kitty BabyLegs. Prepare to squee in Japanese.

If you don’t yet know how awesome BabyLegs are, we’re happy to remind you every few months or so. They not only respect the accessibility of the onesie and keep little legs warm in heavily air conditioned places, but diaper changes are a breeze. Now we’ve got one more reason to love them: The all new Hello Kitty collection. The Hello Kitty BabyLegs are not only cute and sweet, but practical, too. Any of the seven styles will funky up any outfit, but without interfering with the business at hand. You know, the free wheeling crawling kind. Plus she...

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How to help Japan–and make dinner–with a beautiful new cookbook

I feel fortunate to have three kids who absolutely love sushi and will attack a plate of it as if it is a pile of french fries. But beyond that, I haven’t cooked much Japanese food at home–I am pretty sure they’d love the noodles, the crispy panko-crusted meats and, of course, the chance to eat with two sticks. But that may change, now that there is a gorgeous new cookbook which makes traditional Japanese cooking accessible for families to create in their own homes. And your purchase can also help Japanese families recover from the recent natural disasters. PEKO...

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Thinking of you, Japan.

“Thinking of you” is most definitely what our hearts and minds are saying about our friends in Japan, so why not our shirts? Or our kids’ shirts, for that matter.  The Japan Appeal T-shirt by Caramel Baby + Child of London is just brilliant. What I love most about this design is how it reminds people that even though the devastation in Japan might not be front-page news anymore, it is still a massive crisis that needs our attention; and it says all of that in the sweetest and most gentle way. I also appreciate that it gives to...

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10 beautiful items to help support Japan

It’s been just over a week since the earth shook just off the coast of Japan, and the devastation and loss has rocked us all. However I’ve been heartened to see how families and companies are so quickly finding ways to help raise money for the people of Japan, from the family organizing a community yard sale in our neighborhood, to the fantastic Chronicle Books which held a bake sale out of their San Francisco storefront. Some of our favorite small business owners and artisans are doing what they can too, by donating as much as 100% of their...

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What’s new is what’s old

What is it about vintage prints that I am so drawn to? Maybe it’s that the quirky quality, mixed with a nostalgic feel just make happy when I see them. Now there’s an online shop that taps directly into that feeling an an extensive collection of vintage and retro-inspired imported Japanese fabrics. [don’t miss a great offer after the jump] Girl Charlee was actually a child’s clothing boutique we adored, and mourned when it closed, but now owner Heather Peterson has reopened its doors just for you crafters and stitchers out there. I say “you,” as, sadly, I am...

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