If you look over there to the left of what you're reading right now, you'll see a Cool Mom Picks button. Usually, I'm not a big fan of other moms telling me what kinds of things I should be buying. I like to make up my own mind, and I've found that my obstinate streak seems to make me want to do the exact opposite of what other people tell me to do.
But I also hate everything generic. I hate that so many kids are wearing the exact same outfit from the Gap. I hate that most people register for their baby shower at Babies R' Us. I hate that it's so damn hard to find and support the really cool local businesses or the moms working out of their homes to produce products that really mean something to them.
That's why I love Cool Mom Picks (well, that and the fact that I've discovered that Liz who writes the Mom-101 blog that I'm absolutely in love with is one of the website's co-creators, along with Kristen from Motherhood Uncensored). Liz and Kristen are two moms who "track down cool stuff," and have a self-described "soft spot for non-mainstream products and services, particularly those from indie or emerging designers and mom/women run companies."
What's not to love about that?
Okay, it's not a place to find local St. Louis products and mom-run businesses, but Cool Mom Picks features products from all corners of the country and the web. The website is updated several times a day with their latest discoveries and information on where to purchase them, and also has a database of tons of categories for you to browse through. A lot of their picks are things that they find on Etsy, where the products are handmade and nothing is mass-produced.
Cool Mom Picks also publishes a Safer Toy Guide, in an effort to help parents choose safe, handcrafted alternatives to the plastic, chemically-ridden toys that are so readily available in the aisles of most toy stores. And they offer a Baby Shower Guide -- no more generic baby gifts, hooray -- and annually updated Mother's Day and Father's Day Guides.
In fact, the 2010 Father's Day Guide has just been released (hint, hint - Father's Day is on June 20th this year).
And if you're looking for something with a little more, um, sizzle for Dad, you can also check out the racier Mominatrix version that Kristen has put together. If you're helping your kid's pick out gifts, you probably want to avoid that particular one, though.
Unless of course you feel comfortable sharing your plans to "tickle his pickle" with your offspring . . .
Personally, I'm thinking I'll go with the Cool Mom Pick's suggestion of James Bond's 1964 Aston Martin as a gift for my husband. They estimate it will only cost about $5 million.
He's a pretty good dad. I think he's worth it.
See, they promote handmade toys and mom-run businesses and they have a sense of humor.
Seriously, they're worth checking out!