Month: November 2011

Web Coolness – Thanksgiving placecards, holiday inspiration and best books of 2011

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. Easy-to-make, fall pumpkin placecards will look so perfect at the Thanksgiving table this week. For more inspiration, check out the Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Pinterest board put together by their editors. Do your kids have a colorful room? Check out the Small Kids, Big Color Contest. Big congratulations to our editor and publisher Liz whose personal blog, Mom 101, was named Parents Magazine’s Best All Around Mom Blog by their editors. Hilarious! A baby recreating iconic scenes from movies. Don’t miss our Five...

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I’m just trying to do my jig-saw puzzle…

If you’re looking for a cool little holiday gift for a cool old school friend, I’m thinking this old school jigsaw puzzle might fit the bill. As in, 33 1/2 RPM old school. The Vinyl Collection Puzzle by Bob’s Your Uncle is so cool for the right person; 550 pieces come together to form a photo of a huge shelf full of LPs. Just a few of the bands I can make out from the spines include Sonic Youth, 10,000 Maniacs, The Clash, and the Pyschedelic Furs. Wait… I think that was my record collection. Hm. –Liz Find the...

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Beautiful ornaments with a past life.

Garfield has never been called elegant, nor is Snoopy considered stylish. And yet, in the right hands, the Sunday comics are being transformed into stunning holiday ornaments. The Sea Urchin Recycled Newspaper Ornament from kissadesign on Etsy is a fun new twist on traditional Polish folk art. In fact, the artist’s family has been hand-creating such decorations for over fifty years. This is serious crafting–each ornament includes eighty meticulously hand-formed points for a delicate and celestial look. Hang them from a tree, dangle them from a chandelier at a party, or even use them for a year-round splash of...

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5 ideas for birthday parties that give back

We are honored to once again be working with our sponsor, the American Cancer Society, on their More Birthdays campaign since if we could make one really big wish, it’d that cancer never steals someone from us again. But wishes alone will not cure cancer, so we think one wonderful way to help fight for more birthdays is to find ways to give back with our family’s own birthday parties. Here, five ideas we’re really digging. 1. Ask for donations instead of giftsIf your kids are already swimming in toys, let party-goers know that in lieu of gifts, you...

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‘Ere-be-dragons on your wall

Wallpaper is cool again, and it’s not all girly flowers and damask. If you’ve got a knight in shining armor (and Converse chucks), you won’t want to miss this quirky but elegant wallpaper made just for junior jousters. The ‘Ere-Be-Dragons wallpaper from Paper Boy is a beautiful merger of imagination and style. The founder, a mother of two boys, wanted to create classic and iconic yet edgy designs just for boys, but with lasting appeal for the whole family. And this wallpaper totally fits the bill, because these dragons perfectly fly the edge between whimsical and scary. Whether the boy...

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Children’s thank you cards that will grow on you

Thank you cards can be a chore or an adventure. A joy, even. We vote for joy. The delightful Thank You Card Set from the wonderful shop Draw Me a Lion is the perfect way to make handwriting–and gratefulness–blossom. Two each of the three designs features a flower child that’s more hip than hippie, hearkening back to the retro designs of the 70s and reminding me of one of my all-time favorite kids’ books, The Phantom Tollbooth. The cards are handmade and shipped from Canada, so it may take a little longer than you’re used to. But it’ll be...

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The handmade custom eco stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

I start every holiday season with the craftiest of intentions. Forget visions of sugarplums. In my head, visions of all the gifts and decorations I’m going to make are dancing up a storm. But every November, it hits me. I’m mere weeks away from Christmas and I haven’t even begun. Which is when I find myself turning to Etsy for a little help. And that’s where I found the gorgeous and affordable custom eco-felt stockings by longtime CMP favorite, rikrak studios. Handmade in Canada from ecospun felt -which is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles- these stockings are...

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Congrats to our Publisher Liz Gumbinner, the Parents Magazine Editors’ Pick for Best All Around Mom Blog

A looong time ago when I had this idea for Cool Mom Picks, I reached out to a few of my blogging friends for help, one of whom was my co-Publisher and Editor in Chief Liz Gumbinner, who I only knew then as the blogger Mom 101. Taken by her amazing ability to string words together and create, well, magic that was both funny and heartfelt, I knew I needed her on my team. Lucky for me, she asked if I wanted a partner, and we’ve been working together ever since. So, when I heard today that her blog...

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My first tools. Ideally not followed by my first stitches.

My boys love woodworking. It certainly helps having a super handy husband and grandpa to keep them busy and tinkering away in the garage. But I have to admit, seeing them wielding heavy tools does frighten me some. A while back, I searched high and low for kid-sized tools. We found an entire section of mock tools at the toy store, but nothing that would actually get a project done. (Why would anyone pretend to drill? they wanted to know.) Thankfully, Red Toolbox has answered their call. They make legitimate, quality tools for small hands including a screwdriver, hammer,...

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Luchador Love

Nacho Libre happens to be one of my all time favorite movies. Something about Jack Black in “stretchy pants,” as he calls it, just puts me in a good mood. Well these posters bring out the giddiness in both me and the kids. Rebecca Paragine is my kind of artist–whimsical and full of energy. Her newest pieces are based on luchador wrestling culture from Mexico, and I can’t help but chuckle. I want to hang them all up because I really can’t pick a favorite print. The vibrant colors, the funny faces, and the silly names all make me...

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