Month: August 2010

Little blog of big party dreams

My daughter’s fourth birthday is coming up, and I spend a good bit of time daydreaming of mastering fondant, hand calligraphing creamy envelopes, and crafting a birthday banner in lovely watercolor washes over newspaper. Ha freakin’ ha. Instead, we’re booked for the local germ-encrusted bounce house, where pizza is the only option and invitations come pre-printed with stock photos. Her idea. And so my inner Martha Stewart dies a little more. But if I could make my own party vision into a website, I’ve found exactly what it would look like. The site scissors.paper.cake is a collaboration by paper...

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Cool Mom Picks loves the Today Show!

If you missed Cool Mom Picks editor Liz Gumbinner on the Today Show this morning, fear not: We’ve got the clip right here. Catch Liz chatting with Meredith Viera (who was wearing seriously killer shoes!) and sharing some of our favorite back to school picks from our 2010 Back to School Shopping Guide. And if you’re new to CMP from the Today Show, welcome! We’re so happy to have you here. Feel free to subscribe to our free newsletter for cool picks, exclusive discounts and giveaways you won’t find on our site. But not spam. We hate spam. We spit on you,...

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Wallpaper gets unbelievably cool. No really. Why are you laughing?

In the ’70’s my mom went absolutely berserk with wallpaper. It was everywhere; the walls, the ceilings, even the inside of our kitchen cabinets. Then, for a long time, wallpaper was considered very dated. Well guess what, baby, it’s back with a vengeance! And it’s cool. I swear.  The Mini Moderns wallpaper collection features vintage meets modern graphics that are a completely hip and simple way to turn your kid’s room into a space with atmosphere. The collection features really lovely color combinations like Battery Square (shown) that’s powder blue and light gray. The graphics are dynamic without being...

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One thing that gets smaller on a mom – her technology

I love small things. I do. Crazy about little things. So when HP offered up the new HP Mini 210 and the utterly adorable HP V5040u Camcorder to review, we leaped at the chance to see if they were as fabulous as they looked. The answer: Yes! The purse-sized HP Mini 210 is drool-worthy in colors including Preppy Pink and Pacific Blue.  This is the perfect PC for moms on the go like me, small enough that you can pop it into an average sized purse or even your diaper bag. (Just keep away from leaky sippy cups!)  It...

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At last, photo tips just for those of us who take a million photos a year. In other words, moms.

One of my favorite gifts from my baby shower was the lovely DSLR camera I received. Having spent years taking out-of-focus pictures of my cats, I’d hoped having a high quality digital camera would prevent me from taking the same out-of-focus pictures of my kid. Well, it turns out it’s not just the camera that’s the problem. I wish I’d known about the site The Photographic Life: Photo Tips for Moms back then. This beautiful site offers everything you could possibly wish for as an aspiring family photographer. There are pages of tips about photography gear, video tutorials, and...

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Catch Cool Mom Picks on NBC’s Today Show Thursday!

We’re so excited that Cool Mom Picks editor Liz Gumbinner will be joining The Today Show tomorrow to talk about some of the cool back to school picks in our Back to School Shopping Guide. The best part might be that Liz gets to share the green room with one of our favorite bloggers, Ree Drummond, a.k.a. the Pioneer Woman, who will be cooking up something fabulous in another segment. Yay for Today Show and their support of cool bloggers! So set your alarms (or your DVRs) and send us some virtual love. Or heck, show up live with...

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The Okee Dokee Brothers take us along for the ride

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of super-fun kids’ musicians The Okee Dokee Brothers: I gave their debut CD Kids with Beards a gushing review, and it’s still one of my kids’ most-played CDs two years later.  And now they have a brand new kids’ music CD, and they even put me on it! [don’t miss a giveaway after the jump!] Take It Outside features a baker’s dozen of stick-in-your head (in a good way) songs. As with Kids with Beards, I hear loads of banjo and fiddle, playful harmonies that blend together perfectly, and plenty of...

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A castle of one’s own

Almost every day, we drive by a castle. No, really– it’s in a field near our house, and the moat is a swimming pool, and the iron fence is guarded by concrete dwarves painted in garish colors. I can’t make stuff like that up. “Mommy, can we be friends with them and go play in their castle?” my daughter asks me every time we drive by. But, sadly, we never run into the people who own the castle at preschool or ballet, so that playdate-of-dreams never happens. So I’m thinking that for her 4th birthday this August, my girl...

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The 2010 Cool Mom Picks Back-To-School Guide is here!

It’s 104 degrees outside, and you know what that means: back to school and our annual Back to School Shopping Guide! We know– it doesn’t make much sense. But we also know that the next few ultra-sunny weeks will require new clothes, shoes, backpacks, and lunch gear. And let’s not forget indulgences for us moms, whether the moms in question are missing the carefree days of summer or mourning that first bus ride to Kindergarten. Sniff sniff. [Awesome giveaway after the jump!] This year’s Back to School Shopping Guide has everything you’d expect, from hip indie items to big...

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Little Packrats – Now for your big, er, packrats

We’ve long adored the cute, unique little kid backpacks from Little Packrats (now PVC-free, by the way!), but now that some of our little kids are turning into big kids, we’re glad that they’ve added some new bags just for them. The new bigger bags fit all the bigger school supplies, like binders, textbooks, and folders, all with their signature style. The two designs, Hunter the Dog (pictured) and Chloe the Cat, are a little scaled back from the company’s quirky little kid backpacks, and are made from water resistant pthalate-free nylon right here in the USA. Whichever you...

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Our top 5 nursing picks for World Breastfeeding Week

I’ve breastfed my kids for a combined 53 months, and as you might imagine, I’ve collected my fair share of nursing gear. So in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I’m sharing my personal top 5 nursing picks. Hooray boobs! [Awesome giveaway after the jump!] Breast Pumps I’ve happily used an Ameda pump (pictured left) for all three (and soon to be four) of my children, and it’s definitely a work horse. But I had the opportunity to try out the Medela Hands Free pump last year and I have to say, I now understand why moms swoon over it,...

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TOMS Wedges – Now for Fall

It seems like just yesterday I was proclaiming my love for the new TOMS wedges for summer. And I pretty much was, actually, but now that fall is around the corner, wouldn’t you know TOMS launched a new line just in time for me to make the switch. These shoes are as fun and comfortable as a pair of your favorite canvas sneaks except they’ve got an awesome wedge heel and an adorable peep toe. The new line of TOMS wedges features the exact same design that I love, except in rich, gorgeous colors, like the cranberry (pictured) and...

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Chat with us about Back to School at The Motherhood

It seems as though the back to school season starts earlier and earlier each year, with many kids already heading back today! With that in mind, we’re so excited to launch our annual Back to School Shopping Guide first thing tomorrow, and to celebrate, we’re hosting a live back to school chat over at The Motherhood. [Cool giveaway opp after the jump!] Not only will you get first dibs on our awesome guide (if we do say so ourselves) as well as a chance to win a great prize pack valued at $150 from Emily Press, Cattiwampus, Tiny Revolutionary,...

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A blast from your past, now available in wall size

I remember vividly the first time I played Atari. The angels sang in a joyous chorus (in my head) as I spent the next two hours rotating a dial to move a single white line up and down the screen as a square ball bounced back and forth. Pong. Even now the word conjures up happy memories.  As it happens I’m in the process of converting a playroom that used to be strewn with toy cars and wooden blocks into a space fit for my tween. So I turned to Blik, one of our favorite wall decal companies, who...

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On my Target shopping list: Milk. Apples. Awesome art from Poketo.

Cool Mom Picks favorite Poketo has a very simple philosophy: Make real art available to everyday people. Which is good, because I’m at my local SuperTarget pretty much every day, and that’s where their latest collection will land on August 10. From water bottles to umbrellas to totes, this 52-piece limited edition collection brings together 21 international artists and a whole lot of pretty. The art covers all the high points of design for the season, including birds, birches, abstracts, and… um… monsters? I especially love the ethereal art on the Oksana bag shown above, which was previously available...

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The Paranoid Parents Guide – Perfect beach reading for those of us afraid of shark attacks

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a paranoid parent. But after reading The Paranoid Parents Guide, by clever Denver mom Christie Barnes, I realized how much time I waste worrying. And more importantly, worrying about the wrong things. Does this sound like it might be you too? Christie interviewed moms throughout the country and heard time and time again the same top ten fears parents had for their children, and they don’t always sync up with the realities of what you should be worrying about. Turns out, for example, that more children are injured by shopping carts than...

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Ferd gives boys a license to chill

Here comes Jimmy Bond. He rolls up on a black Big Wheel and requests his favorite drink: chocolate milk; shaken, not stirred. Aunts line up to pinch his cheeks. And I imagine him wearing this effortlessly cool striped shirt and tie combo from Ferd. And maybe some tiny little sunglasses. Fancy clothes for girls are easy to find, whether you’re looking online, at Target, or at your local exclusive boutique. But so often, the special event clothes for boys involve polyester vests stitched to rolled up trousers, which can be cute but isn’t very versatile. Ferd offers sharp but...

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Hospital gowns get a (much needed) upgrade

I know none of us cared what we looked like during the moments our babies were born. The health of baby and mama were the most important things in the universe, and there was very little room for vanity. But when I think back to all the hours (many many hours) before and after that newborn snuggle came, I know I would have liked to feel a little bit less like a linebacker and a little more feminine. I would have loved to be wearing this Pretty Pushers delivery gown. It would have eliminated the inevitable cringe at that...

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