Month: November 2011

The best Black Friday deals and discounts from our favorite small businesses

Whether you are reading this in the wee hours of the morning or at a more civilized hour of the day, we want to make your kickoff to the holiday shopping season as fruitful as possible with some great Black Friday deals that have come our way. If you’re looking for the gihugic Black Friday deals on tech goodies and big purchases, you can find it all at our sister site Cool Mom Tech. As for right here, we’ve put together a great roster of discount codes just for some of our favorite smaller businesses. Happy indie shopping, mamas!...

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A little techy help with Thanksgiving weekend

If you haven’t visited Cool Mom Tech this week, grab a minute while the turkey is happily roasting. You’ll find a whole lot of posts that we think can help make your weekend even better, from the kitchen to the weekend holiday shopping, to the long ride back home on Sunday. –3 videos that help kids understand Thanksgiving including Schoolhouse Rock! –Apps to give you a little Thanksgiving help in the kitchen. Not that you need it. Ahem. –6 apps to help you survive your holiday road trips. (Not just for kids!) –The best tried+ tested apps to help...

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Happy Thanksgiving, Cool Parents

Just a quick note to wish you all a beautiful Thanksgiving, however you’re spending it. We hope you’re surrounded by all the people you love, reminded of all the many, many things we have to be thankful for. As for us, we can say with all sincerity that we’re grateful for you. –Liz, Kristen, +Team Cool Mom Picks [card via...

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A new way to frame those fabulous family photos

I am always looking for fun ways to hang up pictures of the brood. Once I can convince my husband to help me arrange the pictures on the walls, they are pretty much up for good. We are big fans of Paper Culture around here, and they have come up with a perfect solution to my problem….printing beautiful rich photos on bamboo! It’s like my photographer and my ecologist got married and this is their delightfully sweet offspring. I’ve got to tell you, the bamboo really catches your eye. It’s textured and beautiful and frames the kiddos so nicely. It...

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What thanks and giving is all about.

It’s the perfect spirit of the holidays come to life: Give a little, get a little, and well, a collectible holiday keepsake doesn’t hurt either. I just discovered the Heart 2011 Designer Ornament Collection from HSN, a partnership with a ton of celebrities and the ever so spectacular St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Browse a wide selection of ornaments including designs by some favorite celebrities. Big names featured in this year’s selection include Nate Berkus, Mariah Carey, Liz Lange and Martha Stewart. The foodie in me personally loves the selections from Emeril Lagasse and my personal inner goddess, Padma Lakshmi–that’s her design...

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Sidepon–Discount codes that save you a lot of money. And all that valuable time.

We tell our readers time and again, do nooooot make an online purchase without first searching for discount codes. Especially at the big online retailers. There’s nothing more frustrating than hitting that “purchase” button to find out you could have gotten it for less. We were just introduced to SidePon.com who happens to be our newest, coolest CMP sponsor. And they just may have one of the smartest systems ever for finding and using discount codes. Once you find the retailer you want–everyone from Saks to the Sundance catalog, even Frederick’s of Hollywood (rowr!)–you’ll see all their existing codes...

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Nifty holiday gifties at a spectacular price

It’s not even Black Friday yet, but of course the deals are already starting to roll in. And this particular pick is so special that we have to tell you about every time it comes available. After all, there’s nothing we love more than a great deal– unless it’s a great deal on seriously cute stuff. The Darlybird Goody Bags are back at CMP favorite Darlybird. For just $16 + shipping, you get at least $45 worth of eclectic indie finds hand-chosen by Rachel. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, vintage ephemera, hair bows, cupcake liners, stationery, journals–you never know exactly what’s...

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Children’s art that lives forever

I’m one of those mothers that’s a professional organizer’s nightmare. I can hardly bear to part with a single one of my girls’ drawings, whether it’s a 3-D art class project, or a scribble on a napkin. So I always love ways to turn kids’ creations into more formal keepsake pieces, helping to validate my love of all that delicious early artwork. Chooch Magooz is a shop providing those very services, and from what I can tell, what she does with personalized childrens artwork is just gorgeous. Scan your child’s work into a jpg file and she’ll recreate it...

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The best kids holiday shoes to last beyond the holidays

We have a thing for Zappos. A big, hard, mad love kind of a thing. So we were thrilled when, as our newest sponsor, they asked us to choose a few of our favorite holiday shoes for boys and girls. That’s uh, kind of like our dream job. As moms, even when we’re shopping for holiday shoes, we’re always looking for styles that last beyond the holidays, both in terms of construction and style–so don’t expect to see any snowmen motifs or snowflake appliques here. And nothing that lights up. Promise. GIRLS Patent Mary JanesWe swear by Primiji Mary...

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Handmade Charlotte for Anthropologie – hold onto your platinum cards

Is Anthropologie suddenly going the way of Jacadi, with upscale children’s clothes made by small designers? It certainly seems that way. In October they brought in Kico Kids, and now Handmade Charlotte is following suit. This splendid Handmade Charlotte for Anthropologie collection is everything I could ask for in a fancy little girls’ clothing collection–except cheap. And I mean, it’s really not cheap. The dresses and skirts start at $128 and go up from there. But boy, they’re beautiful. Whimsical and fanciful and twirly and magical with simply stunning details. If you’re the type who splurges on one beautiful...

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Thanksgiving printables and craft ideas that are a lot easier than cooking a turkey

I consider myself fortunate that I do not have to cook Thanksgiving dinner—as does most of my extended family, as they will tell you. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t help all you hosts out with some great (and inexpensive) Thanksgiving craft ideas, to can help you dress up that Thanksgiving table with more than another side dish. –Christina Happy Thought’s colorful 3D turkeys would look so cheerful on each place setting. They come as a PDF, but you don’t have to tell anyone how easy they are to print and assemble.  From the cute coloring placemats for the...

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BeginAgain toys – Simpler toys Santa’s elves would approve of

When the toy store ads appear in our Sunday newspaper, I’m mostly uninspired by all the blinky, noisy, plasticky stuff touted as The Next Big Thing. Would these really be the toys that Santa’s elves carefully assemble in the North Pole? But now, just in time for the holidays, a brand new toy maker has come riding into town, aptly called BeginAgain. And if you are looking for toys, games and activity kits that harken back to a simpler time when people actually said “harken” (heh), you must check out this line of imaginative and eco-friendly toys. {keep reading...

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The paper book that’s as interactive as a digital one

With all the cool apps and e-books on my iPad, I sometimes worry that my kids will have a hard time appreciating real books. But then I find ones that remind me that children’s books can be just as engaging, if not more, than the ones with all the technological bells and whistles. Just wait until your kids get their hands on Razzle Dazzle Ruby, the beautiful new book by Masha D’yans that comes to life with pop-ups, pull-outs, and all sorts of actions that can give ibooks a run for their money. The story features an adventurous, imaginative...

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The coolest modern menorahs

The countdown is on–you’ve now got one month until Haunukkah! Do you know where your menorah is? While I love the idea of using a menorah at Hanukkah that’s passed down through the generations, I think there’s also something great about finding one that suits your modern decor. That’s not as easy as a task as it sounds. Here, I’ve found 5 beautiful, funky, and sometimes a little avant garde menorahs for a modern MOT. It’s not surprising that Jonathan Adler brings his trademark sense of humor and design to a collection of Menorahs that includes the Peacock Menorah...

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Bento goes mainstream

My kids are grazers; they’d sooner eat a whole bunch of little things than one giant sandwich. Bento systems have always been a smart option for us, as you can imagine. Now there’s a smart new one courtesy of Skip*Hop, the little mom-run company that seems intent on conquering the baby gear world, one awesome product at a time. The new Skip Hop Bento mealtime kit is a boon for those munchers among us. Six colorful square containers (all BPA and phthalate free) are the perfect size for a quarter sandwich, a scoop of pasta, or a handful of dried fruit...

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Fids and Kamily and the top kids albums of 2011

As much as I love listening to the awesome music that comes my way as part of being CMP’s primary kids’ music reviewer, I find picking my favorites to be one of the harder tasks I have to do. It’s like deciding if I like salted caramel better than mocha fudge better than crunchy toffee: You want me to choose? But choose I’ve done for the 2011 Fids and Kamily Awards along with other journalists, producers, bloggers and radio show hosts. The results are in! Many congratulations to Recess Monkey for their most-awesome FLYING! which captures the top spot...

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National Adoption Day gives us reason for thanks

While most of us will give thanks on Thursday for Thanksgiving, there will also be many families giving thanks today, for National Adoption Day which falls almost midway through November’s National Adoption Month. In honor of this special time for so many, we have rounded up some of our favorite adoption-related picks. Lisa Leonard’s Chosen necklace is a lovely piece of jewelry to commemorate an adoption, and I really like that you can add charms for other family members or to include important dates. Want a tee for your little one to sport that tells the world just how...

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Toasty warm, and cute as a double-breasted button

Ever since Zara started selling online this fall, I’ve been stalking their site for European styled clothing for my kids at great prices. But recently, I popped into one of their NYC stores just to make sure the clothes were as awesome as they look online. The truth is, as with some of the lower-priced kids lines, it can be a little hit or miss–some of the tees for example, have necklines so tight that they’re useless. Still, about 90% of what I saw there was a hit. And we found a fall jacket for my daughter that’s so...

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Best dollhouse for holiday gift – Reader Q&A

I was wondering if you could recommend a classic dollhouse for my two daughters’ Christmas gift? Would love any suggestions you have. Thank you!! -Amy Ooh, dollhouses! One of our favorite things to look for, now that there are so many to choose from. If you’re into modern, Plan Toys makes several lovely eco-friendly dollhouses. Our editor Liz’s girls adore their modern Plan Toys Chalet Dollhouse (above). It is made up of two units that can be repositioned so that your two girls can play simultaneously without getting in each other’s way, and the furniture sets are fairly sturdy...

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Boys like cute shoes too. Even if they don’t call them cute shoes.

Every time I go shoe shopping for my son I feel like I’m swimming in a sea of flashing sneakers. Then I remember to check one of my favorite kids’ shoes purveyors Livie and Luca and voila, I find cool shoes that won’t double as a night light. The Ten Browns are a fabulous loafer and sport shoe combination, which makes it super versatile for your active boys who need something they can run around in at the playground but still wear for school or even more special occasions. And the soft leather and padded soles work well for...

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