Month: November 2011

The Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide is here!

We’re kicking November to the curb and happily welcoming December with our highly anticipated, super spectacular 2011 Holiday Gift Guide! Whoo! For the 6th straight year, we’ve scoured the web for the best gifts ever–150 this year at every price point for everyone on your list — from babies to brothers-in-law, girlie girls and budding architects, the mother-in-law that’s impossible to shop for, yes even you. Because mamas need cool gifts too! [Don’t miss the amazingly huge giveaway after the jump!] As always, we’ve featured loads of indie artisans, small boutiques, and family-run businesses, so you’re in good hands....

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4 modern nativity sets, not one of which lights up

Though my religious affiliation can best be summed up with a long puzzled silence, there are certain things from my youth that I carry with me to this day, like praying when the plane jets down the runway, and setting up the nativity scene before Christmas. Our nativity set is a bit battered though, so I’ve been on the lookout for something a bit more contemporary to add to our decor this holiday season. Here, a few beautiful (and sometimes pretty funky) sets that may fit into your holiday as well. –Christina As a long time fan of the...

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Up where the air is clear

My kids fell in love with Anamalz right away. Not so much because they were made out of eco-friendly, organic wood and textiles by a super cool Australian company. But because of all the reasons kids like toys–they’re cute. And they’re awesome. They’re bendy and they stay upright. And they inspire imagination. Want a sheep to roar like a lion? Want a dinosaur to sing all the words to Twinkle Twinkle? Done. Try doing that with some AAA-battery devouring toy. So now I’m happy to find that there’s a whole new playhouse made just for our Anamalz. Not that...

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Deck the halls (or kids’ bedrooms) with Babybot and Blik

Along with decking the halls, we hope to finally redo the walls in my son’s bedroom, but given that it has taken years for us to get around to this project, there will be no painted murals of his favorite cartoon characters. Instead, I’m digging the idea of decorating with removable wall clings that can come off when he’s older. {keep reading for a chance to win a set!} Blik, one of our go-to sources for wall clings, has just teamed up with one of our favorite baby product retailers, Babybot, for a set of wall graphics that is...

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Hey, that’s got my name on it!

Looking for a gift this holiday season that won’t take up any more space in the playroom? How about some practical and functional items for your little ones to call all their own?    Artist Mayi Carles has a full line of pieces that you can order personalized with your little one’s name AND likeness. Knowing how my daughter loves anything with her name on it and I am fairly certain she would flip if there was picture of her branding something hers as well. With 34 unbelievably adorable characters you are likely to find one to match your...

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Personalized initial necklaces made with real thread. Not fake gold.

I have an arsenal of go-to occasion gifts and one of my favs for the ladies in my life is the classic initial necklace. Perfect for a new mama or a friend’s birthday it always leaves my girls feeling extra special. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the discovery of these sweet embroidered initial necklaces from Boston jewelry designer Danielle Spurge. In her Etsy shop, the Merriweather Council you can customize your own darling pendant from the background fabric and thread colors to the style of the lettering. It is just a perfect and adorable little gift appropriate for all ages being...

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6 special ways to celebrate grandma and grandpa birthdays

We’re honored to be working with our sponsor the American Cancer Society, who’s doing such good work in ensuring that all of us continue to have many more birthdays. My mom hit the big 60 birthday milestone last year (don’t kill me for writing that, mom!) and while I did something pretty huge for her 50th, I feel a little guilty that with work schedules and new babies I wasn’t able to give her a proper celebration. After losing my dad to cancer way too early, I’ve been more cognizant than ever of making each and every birthday more...

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Sweaters like Grandma would make. Because a grandma did.

I feel like, every fall, I end up on on a mission to find handmade sweaters and other goodies that have that little extra bit of TLC knitted in. You know, like someone made them just for my kids Robbie Carmack of RCforkids is pretty much that someone. Her sweaters are the picture of vintage sweetness: just check out this kitten cardigan (can you stand how cute that cat button nestled in a fabric flower is?) and this crochet poncho in mohair yarn. What’s especially cool is that Carmack (whose granddaughter models the clothes on her site!) makes her gorgeous pieces from...

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Tegu blocks go mobile. i.e. They like to move it, move it.

When we find something as smart and cool as the magnetic blocks by Tegu, we keep an eye out for whatever they come up with next, because we know it’s going to knock our socks off. This time, they’re knocking our blocks off by adding— drumroll– wheels! [don’t miss a chance to win your own set after the jump!] We, like pretty much every parent out there, fell for the fun, eco-friendly, magnetic blocks the first time we saw them. But now that they’ve added the new Tegu Mobility line, building takes on a whole new dimension. You can...

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Eight Crazy Nights. (Not to be confused with Crazy Eights.)

Let’s face it people, good Hanukkah items are hard to come by. Fortunately Emily Sper, creator of those clever Hanukkah activity books is back and I’m especially pleased to find a fresh pick from her for 5772. Emily’ new collection of Hanukkah card games will be a fun way to educate the kids about the details behind the Hanukkah story outside of Sunday school. The set comes with 3 decks of beautifully illustrated playing cards themed around the holiday and intended for classic games like Rumy, Go Fish and Crazy 8s. Also included in the card designs are language...

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Truly adorable kids clothes from Tea Collection’s newest arrivals

Of all the Cyber Monday deals today, we might be the most excited about Tea Collection. A frequent CMP sponsor and a label our own kids wear a lot of, they’re not only offering 25% off their already reduced sale collection today, but for every purchase you make on their site today, one Tea item will be donated to the Global Fund for Children. Now you know why we love them so much. Here, just a few of my own favorite picks from the new 2011/12 collection that can keep your kids looking fabulous–and most importantly, feeling beautiful on...

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Cyber Monday Deals – the ultimate list for the fashionably frugal.

First of all, a big welcome to The Today Show viewers! If you caught our Editor-in-Chief Liz Gumbinner today talking about Cyber Monday fashion deals–and you like the idea of doing your holiday shopping from work or from home while you catch up on Bravo (or uh, Nova)–then you’ve come to the right place. Here, just a few of our favorite online deals today from shops big and small. Don’t forget to factor in the savings from mall parking and overpriced food court egg rolls. JACADI PARIS   40% off nearly everything in the US web shop*Our picks:  Girls’...

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Green with envy

Just one dangerous flip through Etsy.com and I’ve got tons of things added to my favorites list just itching to be bought–which is the case with the amazing leather bags from Adeleshop. And they happen to be on sale through the end of the weekend. I swear the gorgeous leather clip satchel is calling my name, handmade with plenty of room for all your essentials, even your laptop. It also comes with a handy clip on strap to turn it into a versatile cross body style that will give any mass produced designer bag a run for its money....

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A Method to your holiday madness

Method definitely had me in mind, when they developed soaps and cleaning products that not only look good out in the open, but they smell nice enough that you don’t mind washing everyone else’s dishes. (Ahem.) This year they’ve got a holiday collection that’s so delicious, I can help but hum We Need a Little Christmas while I’m scrubbing pans. This year’s Method holiday collection includes scents like pine, cinnamon (mmmm) and candy cane, making both your dishes, and your children’s hands smell good enough to eat. While I could live without the little ornament motif on some of...

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10 spectacular advent calendars worthy of Christmas

We may still have Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator, but December 1st is just around the corner. To my kids, this can only mean one thing: Time to get out the advent calendar so that they can start the countdown to Christmas. And just in time, we have tracked down ten (!!) gorgeous new advent calendars that might make your holidays a little more merry and bright. –Christina Love the different typography on each of the different DIY sacks from Oh Happy Day, all made with iron-on transfers affixed to little cotton muslin bags. Hang to the wall with...

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Web Coolness – Holiday ideas & deals, top tunes, and drawing on walls

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Love how these pretty potted Christmas trees look, and that they can go into the backyard after the holidays. Kristen and Liz have many things to be thankful for this year, and one of them has a six pack. Kick off your holiday shopping with some great weekend deals in tech, as well as some amazing discounts on toys, clothing, accessories and even cookies! Crazy or cool? Would you let your kids color on their walls? (via ohdeedoh) Did you catch this...

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One gift for them, one for me. One for them, one for me…

While you’re oh so busy shopping for everyone on your list (and man, doesn’t that list seem to get bigger every year?) I say, don’t forget to pick up a little something something for yourself. Something that you can show off at every store you hit, every party you visit, every potluck you wish you could get out of. Like say, this gorgeous little gold ring from Viv and Ingrid? I always love browsing the Viv and Ingrid site and this gold metallic spiral ring definitely caught my eye. Teeny little gold beads are wrapped thee times by hand...

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Shop local, for Small Business Saturday is back. Hooray!

Last year we were overjoyed to learn that Small Business Saturday is now “a thing.” Not that it hasn’t been a thing around Cool Mom Picks for the last five years or so. And not just on Saturdays either. Even so, it’s a great excuse to get out today–or heck, stay home–and support some of the amazing local merchants in your neighborhood who could surely use a boost this holiday season. The Small Business Saturday Facebook Page has a nice little app for finding small businesses in your area. But we’ve got another way…asking our own contributors! Here, just...

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This advent calendar will stick around for years to come

Fewer things throw my kids into a tizzy of Christmastime anticipation as an advent calendar with its counting down of days. But the calendar grandma gets them with the waxy chocolate behind each door isn’t much to look at and barely makes it to the 25th. I think I’ve found the calendar worthy of such an important daily ritual that is both beautiful to look at and will make it through several annual countdowns. And while it doesn’t have chocolate, it does have something else my kids adore: stickers. The Yuletide Harvest Advent Calendar from Uusi walks that fine...

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Keep your elves busy with these Color-in Gift Tags

My kids really want to be helper elves when it comes to wrapping the gifts, but after a roll of tape and a yard of paper, I’ve learned to enlist their help in other ways. So instead of handing them the safety scissors and gift wrap, I’m going to hand them a box of crayons and let them get to work doing something they already love to do. The new Color-In-Sticker Gift Tags from CMP favorite and letterpress masters 9SpotMonk are the perfect keep-the-kids-busy project for the holidays because I can really use them on our Christmas gifts. Plus,...

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