Month: November 2010

Accessories make the world go round. (Says us.)

Now that I’m expecting baby number two, accessories are the only fashion items I will allow myself to indulge in. I mean, who knows what form my figure will take after I pop out this little dude? To that end, I will certainly be hitting up Style Tryst, a new online shop devoted to both up-and-coming and well-known accessories designers. [BLACK FRIDAY ALERT: Don’t miss an exclusive offer after the jump!] With price points ranging from $10 all the way up to $5,000, there’s literally something for everyone at Style Tryst. (Don’t you love that name?) I’ve been on...

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25 super cool Black Friday shopping deals from sites we love. Aka Stay in your pjs tomorrow, mamas!

I’d like to think I’m fairly adventurous, but get up before 2AM to join the crowds running out on Friday to get a flat screen? That’s one adventure I think I’ll miss. So instead, we’ve gathered the best deals, discounts, and free shipping offers that start this weekend, from some of our favorite shops. Your first stop of course should be the Cool Mom Picks holiday gift guide, with discount codes towards toys from shops like Wild Dill,  Franklin Goose, Creative Toy Shop and Jade’s Toy Box (shown here), decor from O’Brien Schridde, jewelry from Lisa Leonard and Darlybird, and up to 20%...

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Happy Thanksgiving, cool parents of the world!

We must say, Thanksgiving is easily one of our favorite holidays. (Especially if we’re not the ones making the turkey, ha.) We hope that today you’re surrounded with lots of family, lots of joy, and lots of really fantastic pecan pie. Then, make sure to come back tomorrow where we’ll start tipping you off to all the good sales, all the great deals, all the cool gifts, and all the best of the holiday season. All our best from the whole Cool Mom Picks team. May your family be happy and healthy and may someone else do the dishes...

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Last minute Thanksgiving recipes? Don’t panic!

That growing anxiety I feel is because Thanksgiving is right around the corner, like a really long race I have to run and if I down, I’ll never catch up again. Luckily, there are some food-tastic sites and bloggers who are a great help to you in your final hours of prep (and borderline panic). For quick tips, last minute recipe ideas and even an impressive no-hassle dessert to bring to the inlaws, we’ve rounded up just a few of our faves around the web this week. Sometimes we need some serious Food 101 help. For how-tos, or tips...

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Giving the gift of reading. Really, really good reading.

It’s awfully daunting, standing in the hustle and bustle of a huge bookstore during the holidays and trying to find one book among millions for the bibliophile or budding reader in your life. Luckily, there’s a fabulous new service to help you choose  just the right book–not surprisingly, it’s called Just the Right Book. This amazing service is the brainchild of the fine folks at Connecticut’s award-winning R.J. Julia Bookstores. You select the age of your lucky recipient, then answer some basic questions, even if all you know is that your niece loves Twilight or your toddler nephew loves trains....

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Making a holiday table look like a holiday table

I know that starting tomorrow I will admire my family members’ beautifully adorned holiday tables and think I should really do more with mine. And then I will start virtually shopping online for gorgeous linens and flatware and other pretty things. And then maybe this year, I’ll actually hit purchase instead of just imagining it all magically coming together in my dining room somehow. The new tabletop items from Chilewich are right up my alley. The pressed dahlia placemats in gunmetal grey or gold can make a table sophisticated, not flashy, something tough with metallics.The lace openwork is so...

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These kids’ clothes will spice up my life too

So you’ve got a little girl who likes pink? Shockingly, I have one, as well. She loves purple, too, of course. And I admit freely that there are times I wish she’d wear any other color. But if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em –on your own terms, of course. Which is why I love the newest offerings from Masala Baby NYC. Pinks, purples, and then some. Truly, I’m going gaga over some of the gorgeous Indian-inspired offerings in their most recent collections. And what I love the most about the line is that it’s not your typical kids’...

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Books to bring the Festival of Lights to life

Every Hanukkah, in addition to the loooong lists of requested items (i.e. toys)  we always make sure to include several books as gifts. And guess what–long after my son is bored with the video game he received, he’s still reading and re-reading the books. For the younger set, I really like these Hanukkah activity books by Emily Sper, who we discovered last year for our 2009 holiday gift guide. But now her books have been republished by Scholastic, and they look even more lovely. Toddlers will love Hanukkah: A Counting Book, which is a simple board book, featuring brightly...

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Designing ornaments for kids. And charity. And Etsy. And because it’s awesome.

If you’re an artist, a wannabe artist, or even an artist-in-training, we sure hope you’ll enter our Color Your Own paper holiday ornament design contest that we’re putting on with the fine folks at Etsy. All it takes is your design for a festive, seasonal paper ornament that kids can cut, color, and hang on their tree. And tomorrow is the deadline! You can find all the details here. (And peek at some of the awesome entries already!) What’s in it for you? The winning designs will be sold in Etsy’s own shop to raise money for Housing Works,...

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Small Business Saturday: That’s our kind of Saturday!

This post and the first ever Small Business Saturday, November 27, is sponsored by American Express. You can “like” the Small Business Saturday Facebook Page to help generate a $1 donation to Girls Inc., and help spread the word about supporting the kinds of small businesses that Cool Mom Picks know and love. If there is any day that screams Cool Mom Picks, it’s one totally designed to support the small local businesses, boutiques, and hard working mom-and-pops in your neighborhood. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the idea is to support the little guys (and gals!) near...

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The maternity top that’s saving me from a thousand tiny breakdowns daily

I have discovered maternity top nirvana. Nirvana, I tell you. And I’m pretty sure I will not be taking this thing off until I have my baby. Finally, I’m spared the thousand daily tug-downs of a too-small top. Finally, the underside of my belly doesn’t have to get chilly when I’m out for an autumn walk. Finally, a top that actually fits in those last, gigantic –or maybe that’s just me?– weeks of pregnancy. My near-deliriously happy state is all thanks to a Bashful Bump maternity bodysuit. I know, I know. A bodysuit? How can that be comfortable? But...

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The best kids music of 2010, if we do say so ourselves

What’s your beat? asked someone recently when I told them I write for Cool Mom Picks. Confused momentarily by the lingo, I recovered and replied, kids music. And, what a great beat it is, especially in 2010, when the music put out by kids’ musicians was so amazingly eclectic and fun, tender and danceable. I somehow managed to narrow my favorite CDs of the year down to ten votes for the annual Fids and Kamily Music Poll. Nearly thirty industry movers and shakers—journalists, producers, bloggers and radio show hosts—participated, and our collective favorites made the official list of the Top 10 Kids CD’s...

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Eco-friendly kids’ clothes meet funky pop art

If you’re a mama (which you probably are) who dresses her children in clothes (which you probably do), and you read Cool Mom Picks (which you do!) you know there is a plethora of cute kids’ clothing from which to choose. There are days my preschooler dresses way better than I do. But there’s nothing I’ve seen quite like Kids Ink, which works with actual artists making clothes inspired by pop art and cultures from around the world. I love the David Bowie Sequin Shift Dress, which is sparkly and cutely rock-n-roll, but still kid-comfortable–it’s a soft, stretchy fabric,...

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Bringing Madeline to life at the Carlyle

I hardly know a mom who doesn’t have a soft spot for the Madeline books of her childhood. Me included. It just seemed so romantic to live in Paris and walk to school every day wearing a yellow hat that looked like a boat. Well save yourself the airfare to Europe–Madeline actually lives on in New York, through the gorgeous original murals of illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans in a small art deco bar in the Carlyle Hotel. For ages Bemelmans Bar has been a place you could visit with the kids, maybe grab an overpriced Shirley Temple from bartender Tommy...

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Gorgeous printables: some free, some just free for Cool Mom Picks readers

I made a huge withdrawal from the Crafty Mom Bank on Halloween, when I decided to make a Big Bird costume for my daughter by hand. Turns out even a mini bird requires a lot of faux feathers. So I’ve been ever-so-slightly grinchlike when mustering up creative thoughts for the oncoming holiday season. But there will be no mama-made invitations or banners to any family fete for the foreseeable future, because I found Anders Ruff. These gorgeous custom graphic printables are just waiting for you to customize them and print them from home. Now that’s a DIY project I...

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Chewbeads – Mom jewelry for your main accessory

I had not yet felt a great need for mom jewelry. For me, wearing my child’s name around my neck felt redundant because frankly, she is hanging around my neck.(After 15 months of breastfeeding and a total failure to ever accept a bottle, my husband has deemed her my “appendage.”) But here is some mom jewelry me (and my appendage) can really go for. Because it’s meant for babies too. Created by Lisa Greenwald, a former fashion-babe turned mom, Chewbeads is a line of non-toxic jewelry inspired by Lisa’s teething son. Sure, we’ve seen teething jewelry before- but this...

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Mod mobiles made just for you… I mean, your baby

We went crazy for the hand-sewn, graphic cut-paper mobiles by Frazier+Wing earlier this year, and it’s not hard to see why. Now Heather Frazier, the artist behind the art, has just upped the ante on the crazy-for-it-o-meter with a very cool new collaboration. Frazier+Wing has teamed up with Dwell Studio–the same design company behind the charmingly modern baby layette goodies at Target–to make awe-inspiring mobiles and garlands in Dwell’s own signature patterns: pretty birds, trains and cars, big round dots, and fluttery flowers. Strung on strong, clear thread and made with die-cut cardstock, the colorful mobiles hang from a...

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Ubisoft Just Dance 2 – they could call it Just Embarrass Yourself 2. And we’d still love it.

I have waited three months for the Ubisoft Just Dance 2 for Wii to come out. Three months! Because that’s how long it’s been since the Cool Mom Picks team monopolized the display model at the Blogher conference, challenged our friends at Mamapop to a dance-off, and embarrassed ourselves for all the internet to see. Think: YouTube evidence.* [don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!] Now you too can experience the joy that is Just Dance 2. And trust me, you will want to. This music and rhythm video game depicts dancers on screen–amazing ones–boogying down to tunes...

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The Maclaren Denim Quest stroller – James Dean would be proud

My favorite new jeans have wheels on them. I’m talking about the new Maclaren Denim Quest stroller. As part of their Objects of Design series, the denim stroller is meant to be the coolest thing on wheels at the playground, but it’s definitely not all style and no substance. Aside from its dashing good looks, there really are reasons for you stroller junkies to take a closer look. The durable denim fabric has stitching to make it look like a real pair of jeans, though the canopy’s weather resistant coating makes it more protective than one. And unlike some...

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Yes, I would like to look 6 years younger. Thank you.

True story. Every summer, my skin goes wonky and I end up looking like a pizza-faced tween. But this year, I nipped it in the bud with the added bonus of looking six years younger by my very unscientific calculations. All that, thanks to the winning combination of tomatoes and blueberries. On my face. A while back, I raved about how Yes to Baby Carrots can make your life as a mom easier. Now I want you to listen to me rave about how their new lines, Yes to Tomatoes and Yes to Blueberries, can make your life as...

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