Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm This Many

Olivia will turn one in six weeks, and we're already well underway planning her birthday bash. The color theme will be orange and pink - tres chic and so right now. Her birthday banner of handmade felt flags is tucked away for the big day, and invitations are ordered and ready to print. We've got the menu almost ironed out and cake designed. All that's left is what to wear. 

Resadesign custom makes onsies and T-shirts with all sorts of kitch applications including numbers for birthdays. Custom orders are as easy as 1, 2, 3. Pick your color, style & size, and lowercase letter or shape. I'm loving the Clay fabric color in the number One shape for Miss O. The orange will totally complement her party palette.

Why stop there? I need Citrus in Bird,  Temple in Star, and Opal in O. Then I'd have to hide the credit card receipt! Prices at Readesign are quite reasonable for a custom order; tees start at $13 and come in sizes newborn to 4T. Need a unique shower gift? Try the newborn gown with the baby's initial on it for $20. 

I want Olivia's party to be perfect. But even if it rains or the dog eats the cake (both scenarios totally plausible), at least my kid will look adorable. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Crazy for Crazy Daisy

Toys that will keep Olivia's little hands busy enough for me to unload the dishwasher are all I ask. If the toy is cute, well, that's icing on the cake. We've found a lot of great toys that suit both criteria, but Crazy Daisy has to be one of my favs.

Invented by a cool midwest mom from Grand Rapids, MI, Crazy Daisy toys feature brightly colored fabric (customized by order) on one side, minky fabric on the back, and lots of brightly colored gross grain ribbon tags around the edges. Plus, there is a rattle nestled neatly inside the premium cotton fiberfill. 

Crazy Daisies can be bought on The Little Things Etsy shop for $6. Other fab goodies are up for grabs in her store like Japanese-fabric blocks and balls. I want them all! And adorable bibs and burp cloth sets make perfect baby shower gifts. They're so amazing, in fact, they kind of make me long for the spit-up days just so I would have an excuse to buy one... Okay, maybe not. But almost.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Remember when having chubby thighs was cute?

Who doesn't love to pinch and tickle a roly-poly baby's legs? In fact, there's a product on the market called BabyLegs that is an accentuating accessory for those mini trunks of goodness. 

Started by a stay-at-home mom, Nicole Donnelly, BabyLegs is enjoying international success. Nicole began selling BabyLegs out of her daughter, Sara's, diaper bag. Don't you just love moms who have an idea and run with it?

BabyLegs solve so many problems for moms of pre-walkers on the go. They prevent unwanted rug burn on crawling tot's knees. They make diaper changing a snap acting as an excellent sub for tights. And they keep legs warm in cool air conditioned spaces when it's too hot for pants but too cool to go without - easy on and off.

We are huge fans of BabyLegs, and Nicole hooked us up with the latest colors and styles to try. We adore the bright stripped pattern called Popcicle. The multiple colors make it versatile to match most outfits. Olivia sported them on a recent trip to the Newport Aquarium (see pic). 

And let me tell you their SuperSoft collection is unbelievable. They feel like "butta" and come in fab patterns like Lollipop for girls and Flame for boys with 'tude. All styles start at $8. SuperSoft start at $16.

Congrags Elyn T., winner of the new BabyLegs called Phinney!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

On the Day You Were Born

On the Day You Were Born by Debra Fraiser is a sure-fire tearjerker. A masochist for reading it to Olivia at least once a week, I bawl every time. The illustrations are unbelievably imaginative and the story is so poignantly written it takes me back to that crazy day my water broke unexpectedly.

Fraiser is a powerhouse of talent; she does both the writing and illustrating. On the Day You Were Born has won numerous accolades including Parent's Choice Gold Award and is said to be a modern-day classic.

Available to order here, On the Day You Were Born makes a great shower or birthday gift. Fraiser's Web site gives the super cute idea of taking the book to the hospital as a gift for the parents of a newborn so the baby's footprints can be placed in the book and the doctors, nurses, and visitors can sign it. How (sniff, sniff) cool is that?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Survival of the Sweetest

Darwinists believe in survival of the fittest. Well, I am a firm follower of survival of the sweetest smelling. When my daughter started daycare, I was determined she be the best smelling baby so teachers would want to snuggle and love on her all day long. Let's keep it real; sour-smelling kids just aren't cool.

The best product on the market I've found is from Everyday Minerals. Their Lavender Everyday Everywhere keeps Olivia smelling pretty as a flower all day long. And a just $4 a pop (you can hardly do better buying the off-brand at the grocery store!), I can afford to slather it on. Her cheeks tend to be dry, and this product does the trick to make her complexion as smooth as a baby's - well - bottom.

My own skin care routine involves Everyday Minerals. I swear by their All-Natural Powder Foundations and their soft bronzer gives my pale Midwest skin the kick it needs.

Everyday Mineral has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee policy. If you're not as happy and I am with their products, return them within 60 days for a full refund. So, go ahead. Click the link and start shopping. You have nothing to lose!

Congrats Sharon S., winner of a custom kit from Everyday Minerals. 

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Here Comes the Sun (do-do-do-do)

We are so ready for summer. Midwest springs are always a tease because there are days like today when it's sunny and almost balmy, and then two days from now it will be cool and rainy. My family can't wait for the lazy hazy days of summer. We're ready to go with our pool pass, sun screen, and bathing suites. 

Stinky Pants, a cool Chicago boutique, carries a fantastic line of children's bathing suits in hard-to-find brands so you can be sure your tot won't be donning the same trunks as his pool buddies. A bit on the pricey side, their suits start at $30. But if your family is like mine going swimming three or four times a week, you'll get a ton of wear out of them making it worth the investment in something high quality to last the entire season. 

In addition to swim wear, Stinky Pants carries stylish lines of clothes, shoes, accessories, and toys. The shop owners, a trend-setting husband and wife team, take pride in finding unique products. There's so much goodness in their store it's hard to decide what to order. I'm coveting the Floral Bloomer Set for Olivia, and if money were no object I would take one of every thing in the whole shop! For boys, I recommend the Knucklehead Bowling Shirt - How stinkin' cute is that!

Have your suit and swim in it too. Cool Midwest Mom readers can receive 15% off their order by using the promotional code "midwestmom" - all lower case, no quotations. The discount is good on regular and sale priced items. What are you waiting for? Get shopping!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bows 2 Cute to Pass Up

I am a girly-girl, and, whether she likes it or not, I'm raising my daughter, Olivia, to be one too. It seems to come naturally to her. Just this morning, she got her pudgy hands on one of my makeup brushes and thought it was the best thing ever. She waved it around in the air like it was her magic wand. What a princess she is. 

And princesses must have hair accessories, even if their lacking - ahem - hair. Bows 2 Cute has a solution for barely-there-hair problems. Their no-slip barrettes really do work. Olivia has fine, thin, short locks and Bows 2 Cute stay put. Started by a cool midwest mom out of Wilmington, Ohio, her bows are customized by each order and are offered in so many variety of sizes, shapes, and colors it's difficult to choose, but at the low prices you can afford to indulge in a bunch.

Shopping with Bows 2 Cute is a pleasure. Questions are answered in a timely manner, shipping is prompt, and the bows come wrapped in pink tissue paper closed with a sticker. Love that!

My favorite Bows 2 Cute style is the new spring fling flower. Right on trend, the bows come in three posh color combos, and at $4.50 a pop why not order all three! 

Congrats Sherri H., winner of a Bows 2 Cute spring fling flower no-slip bow in blue.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cute Kids Clothes on a Budget

I am in love. With Naartjie. No, I haven't taken a South African lover, although somedays that is a tempting thought. Naartjie is a super-cute children's clothing line that has recently made it state side and is available with domestic shipping to anyone with a computer and credit card. Naartjie is for the mom on a budget who doesn't want her kids dressing in the same big-chain mall store outfits as the other kids in day care. 

What I love most about Naartjie is their price point. In their summer collection, shorts and coordinating tops start at $10, and right now their dresses are 25% off (through 4/23). They have a great "on sale now" page with in-season deals for the taking and great products to stock up for next season. Moms watching their wallet will appreciate that.

Naartjie offers both boys and girls clothes in sizes ranging from 0 to 10. Matching accessories complete the ensembles. A helpful size chart assist shoppers who are looking for the right size for their child.

Full of fresh colors, funky cuts, and downright cuteness, Naartjie is going to be your next favorite place to shop too.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Welcome to the Cool Midwest Mom Blog

Hi. Welcome.
I am a mom from southwest Ohio. Since the birth of my 10-month-old daughter, Olivia, I have been on the look out for how to be a cool mom from the midwest. 
Using the Internet (thank God for overnight shipping), I have figured out how to have everything a Midtown Manhattan mom has - except the outrageous cost of living! 
This blog is my journey toward coolness. You're the beneficiary of my hard work and research! All you have to do is point, click and read my secrets for being the coolest mom in the neighborhood. What to buy, what to do, who to read, and how tos. 

My first recommendation is Cool Mom Picks (thanks ladies of CMP for inspiring my blog name). Their site is truly always my first stop of my morning Internet browsing. Their daily updates of coolness keep me and Olivia big-city trendy in the comfort of our Ohio life. They almost always strike a promotional discount deal with the product they profile and have daily contests to win prizes from their loot. 
The ladies of CMP are super friendly and quick to respond to my questions. On their recommendation, I found the BEST sleep sack for Olivia who is a very long baby. Totally worth the $60, Kohlr Baby has the most adorable products to keep your baby cute and safe in her crib. Hint: Check out the clearance page. Today they have a fab animal print sack on sale for $24. Steal! 
Okay, ladies. Start shopping. If you haven't already clicked to CMP, do it now. And get your wallets ready.