Month: November 2010

Fingerless gloves find new fans in the smartphone age

Yes, I pretty much love everything from Shokay. Their gorgeous, hand-knit, fair trade items have made it into our baby shower gift guide, our 2010 holiday gift guide–and now, even our Cool Mom Tech gift guide. No, they’re not making high-tech electric blankets now; just some awesome fingerless gloves that can solve a lot of problems for a lot of touch-screen phone users. [don’t miss an exclusive discount after the jump!] Shokay really outdoes themselves again with these luscious, thick Oliver Twist fingerless gloves. They’re incredibly soft, as you might expect from 100% yak down. Oh wait — don’t...

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Home sweet doll home

I have this fantasy every Christmas of convincing my extended family to go together on one big gift for my children. You know, instead of everyone doing their own thing and my kids ending up with a playroom full of blinky-light, noise-making, play-with-once-then-ignore toys. (And trust me, I know that karma will kick me in the butt when I’m a grandmother and wanting to choose my own gifts for my precious littles. Oh, I know.) But do you want to know what I’m working on for this year? Only the most glorious wooden dollhouse in the entire world. It’s...

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Holiday photo cards with flair? Reader Q&A

Can you suggest some more holiday photo card sites? I’m a little bored with the same ole, same ole every year. Or, what about a site for creating your own cards with flair? -Ginger I am fairly certain that Holiday Rule #1 states that you must send out photo cards once you have children. A lot of people must agree since I get a loads of holiday photo cards each year. But after getting, and sending, the same basic photo card year after year, I too yearn to see something a little more design-y and inspired, like these options we’ve...

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A kinder, gentler lip balm

Angry winter weather is coming – yes, even on the left coast, where a cold, dry wind comes off the ocean and ages my skin (and forces me to eat leftover pumpkin pies for breakfast. A la mode). This winter, though, I am more prepared – I have Chapstuff. This yummy-scented, non-greasy mega lip balm is made with shea butter, orange oil and vitamin E, and appears concocted to smooth even the angriest chapped lips/wind-burned cheeks and dry heels. It comes in a stick big enough to glide on my hoofy-heels, but is still small enough to tuck into my...

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Know what we’re thankful for? Our subscribers.

Yes, we’re thankful for turkey, and pie, and those little buttery rolls, too. But mostly you. That’s why we mamas work so hard to bring you the coolest finds, the best deals, and the most marvelous giveaways. If that sounds pretty good, we hope you’ll become a CMP subscriber. Besides the exclusive discounts and cool features you don’t find on site, you always have a chance to win a subscribers-only giveaway. This month brings a double whammy of excitement: A chance to win goodies from CMP faves Crystalyn Kae handbags and Olive and Myrtle toys, worth over $300. You...

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The 10 coolest finger puppets, one for every finger

I’m such a huge fan of finger puppets for kids, which inspire all kinds of creativity and good thinking. I’m thinking about tracking down a finger puppet theater this holiday, so we can have a more formal stage for all that tiny entertainment. If you don’t have access to the guy on the street in SoHo who sells adorable knit ones cheap from Peru, here are some of the incredible finger puppets I’ve come across online. Some of them even for kids!  –Liz An arty and eco-friendly option that I just discovered: the fabulous Finger Dolls by Loopy Dolls...

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Cyber Monday Deal Alert – Handmade gifts at 40% off

As much as I’d love to make my own holiday gifts, I’ve come to the realization that with four kids I just don’t have the time. And quite frankly, even with all the time in the world, I’d never be able to make anything quite as amazing as the gorgeously upcycled goodies from Seven Smooches. [Don’t miss the amazing Cyber Monday offer after the jump!] Even with seven kids between them, creative moms Jennifer and Stacy use their sewing machine, recycled sweaters, and their wonderful imagination to create unique, whimsical kids clothes, accessories, and gifts unlike anything I’ve seen...

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Coming to your mailbox: Joy, Peace, and Cheer.

I cringed on that day back in October when holiday cards replaced an aisle of Halloween costumes. It’s not that I dislike the holiday season or have a soft spot for grown men dressed as plates of spaghetti. It’s just that the cards were all somber and religious, and, well… not my style. But even a bah-humbuggle like me can get on board for non-denominational photo cards that use positive words and my own beautiful photographs to spread happiness. We’ve long been big fans of Paper Culture, thanks to their hip designs, lovely cardstock, and chic rounded corners. But...

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Custom Christmas stockings that have no match

When my kids were young, I found a trio of very cute stockings in a small local store that I thought were totally unique and special for our family. And then my mother saw them and said, Oooo, I saw those at the card store!  So much for originality. Want something hanging from you chimney with care that you can be sure is unique to your own family? Then check out these custom stockings which go way beyond monograms, and be assured that the only way you’ll see two alike is if you have identical twins. What makes the aptly...

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Calling all you mama inventors

Are you one of those people who is always coming up with good ideas for products? In our support for you mama entrepreneurs and all the genius we seem from you in our inboxes every day, we thought we’d tip you off to a chance to audition for season for the PBS show, Everyday Edisons. They’re looking for people with ideas for kids toys, kids gear, and products for the home, kitchen and bath.  Got any? Go to Edison Nation and submit your idea and maybe you’ll be one of the ten inventors chosen for the show–meaning you’ll actually...

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Color me happy

Okay, what do you get when you cross a container junkie and an ex-Art Director? Someone who is madly in love these Pantone tin storage boxes, that’s what. In other words, me. These boxes are ample in size so they’re great for storing everything from art supplies (naturally), to the masterpieces that come home from school, or even a big batch of cookies for your kid’s art teacher. In fact, even if you left them empty (which would be a waste) you could collect several of them and display them to show everyone your artsy side. Get them in...

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I now have a tree filed with beautiful one-of-a-kind ornaments from years of craft fairs and museum shops, and travels to cities everywhere. But if I can’t get around the world, I’m glad their ornaments can now get to me, via Etsy. This stunning porcelain snowflake ornament comes by way of Barcelona, thanks to the shop NiuTaller. If you want to make the international shipping worthwhile (although at $5 for the first item it’s very reasonable), don’t miss the other goodies at the shop made of porcelain. For your next holiday party, adorn your collar with this tasteful snowflake...

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Cool headband alert!

I’ve always had a thing for headbands. It probably dates back to the first grade when I fell in love with a ribbon and bead headband a cool older girl made for me. Now CMP (and mom) fave Giddy Giddy is taking me back to my grade school days with their ultra-adorable new collection of handmade corduroy headbands. Giddy Giddy, which is a riff on the Japanese-Hawaiian term for cowlick, is a goldmine for cute hair things. The crafty founder started the company with the goal of creating pretty clips, barrettes and hairbands to disguise her daughter’s unruly mess...

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It’s Small Business Saturday – Have you hugged your mom + pop today?

Well hello! And happy Small Business Saturday –quite possibly our new favorite shopping day. (It certainly sounds better than Black Friday, right? So dark! So ominous!) Today is an amazing opportunity to devote some of that holiday budget to the local merchants you know and love–online or off. For some of our own writers’ favorite mom and pops in their hoods, from Boston and New York to Albuquerque and Santa Cruz, check our own Small Business Saturday recommendations and you’ll even get some awesome holiday ideas. Or heck, search this site. 99% of what we do is support the...

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Cirque du Soleil – now performing in your living room between the tricycle and the house plant

My kids once had a gymnastics teacher who was training to be a Cirque du Soleil acrobat. He would take a ribbon that was hanging from the ceiling and spin himself up it as if gravity had no effect on him. It was freakishly amazing, a description I’ve heard about all Cirque du Soleil shows, though I’ve never had the chance to see one myself just yet. Now though, we can all get a chance to see their spectacular performances — on that sleek rectangular box you’ve got across from your couch. Beginning tonight and running through December, PBS will air...

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When the gift tag is as cool as the gift

A gift card can sometimes feel kind of impersonal, no matter how many zeroes are on it. (Not necessarily unwelcome, by the way–dear friends and family: bring on those zeroes!) That’s one reason we’re always looking for special cards and gift tags, which can help make any purchase seem that much more thoughtful. The handmade holiday gift tags from Twinkle Brands are so redonkulously awesome. They up the “aww” factor to any gift almost immediately. Each is handmade from the softest wool felt and topped with an adorable decoration such as a reindeer, gumball machine, cupcake, or initial. You can slip your gift card of...

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The Cool Mom Tech Holiday Gift Guide is here!

If we couldn’t solve all your holiday shopping conundrums with our Cool Mom Picks holiday gift guide (gasp!), then we’ve got over 75 more fabulous gift options just for you in our brand spankin’ new Cool Mom Tech holiday gift guide! We’re here for you, mamas! We’ve got great gift suggestions for the big and little tech lovers and geeks in your life at every single price range. Even a slew of creative picks for under $15. And those folks who you might not think would dig a tech gift? We’re pretty sure we’ve got something for them too....

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Star power

‘Tis the season for lots of neighborhood parties and gatherings, and you know what that means–lots of hostess gifts. I have a closet dedicated to “cutesy gifts gone bad,” like dozens of fancy soaps. (I’m a pump dispenser girl.) Personally I think a hostess gift is to show appreciation for someone’s effort, so I like gifts that are thoughtful, unexpected and won’t break the bank. And we found a fab one. Check out these paper Origami Star Ornaments from rigmarole. The stars are 4” and come with wire eyelets so they’re ready for hanging. Don’t expect snowmen or reindeer...

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The long lost potholder loom of my misspent youth!

With all the awesome Black Friday sales online today, I’ve had the best morning avoiding the crowds at the stores. I’ve been cuddling up with my girls, watching the Mahna Mahna video for the zillionth time on you tube, and jumping online to grab a deal or two. When I got word that CMP fave Oliebollen was offering 25% off everything in stock today only, I clicked right over and oh man, am I glad I did. I was so excited to find the potholder loom of my own youth! I grabbed two right away. I can only hope...

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HABA’s little lambs, with their organic fleece as white as snow

When buying a gift for those sweet toddlers in my life, I tend to steer clear of “white” anything. Let’s face it, they aren’t the cleanest creatures on the planet. But HABA is one step ahead of me with their new line of snow-white lambs that don’t mind a little water to keep them clean. Which is especially important when you see where these lambs are going. {check out the giveaway after the jump!}   Among my favorites in HABA’s new Pure Nature Cotti line is the Soft Pulling Toy for toddlers. With its short, kid-safe leash, this little...

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