Month: December 2011

5 perfect holiday dresses. For you.

We’ve already established our love for Zappos, which is quite clear if you take a peek at our closets. So when they asked us to some of our favorite dresses for the holidays, we knew the only problem we’d have would be culling our list down to just five. With holiday parties, family gatherings, and New Year’s Eve right around the corner, your regular rotation of skirts, tops, or the dress you wore last year just isn’t going to cut it. This is your year, mamas! So we picked five droolworthy dresses at our sponsor Zappos that will make...

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Buy one baby blanket and get two. The second, for a child who really needs it.

If you’re considering a baby blanket as a gift for the upcoming holidays, or simply for a new baby in your life, I can’t think of a more beautiful gesture than one of these Me Two You baby blankets. Because for every one you buy, one is also donated to a child who can really need it. Made with supersoft, luxuriously minky fabric and trimmed with satin piping, Me Two You’s Plush Blanket is the very definition of what a snuggly blanket should be. And it’s just the slightest bit smaller than a crib mattress–the perfect not-too-big-not-too-little size for little...

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The Cool Mom Tech Holiday Gift Guide – Hooray!

Over 120 holiday gifts in our own Holiday Gift Guide for the entire family just weren’t enough for us, mamas, so that’s why we added 100 more ideas over at our Cool Mom Tech holiday gift guide. Isn’t the bow pretty? We scoured the web for the coolest geeky gifts for everyone on your list — the cool nieces and funky nephews, the manly man and fashionista traveler, the kids, grandparents, yes even you! You’ll find all sorts of technified and tech-inspired goodies at every price range. Even a whole list under $16. And just because we love our readers,...

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A big-kid bike for the toddler who’s done with the tricycle

As a 4-year-old, my daughter is at the age where her eyes grow wide at the sight of a kid riding a bicycle. Tricycles are so last year–get the girl a two-wheeler, stat! And what could be a more appropriate first bike than a FirstBIKE Balance Bike? For little kids, FirstBIKEs have all the appeal of a big-kid bicycle: sleek lines, cool colors, and–most importantly–two wheels. All that’s missing? Pedals and training wheels.  But that’s a good thing, because FirstBIKE is made to teach toddlers (as young as two!) and young preschoolers how to ride and turn on two wheels....

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Bananagrams go Hebrew. We’re kvelling!

While bananas are not normally something you find associated with Hanukkah, this year we have good reason for you to reconsider- Bananagrams have gone Hebrew. This awesome modern word game already exists in English and in Spanish so we’re excited to see Hebrew Bananagrams  in time for the holidays. I mainly love Bananagrams because it’s a game I can beat my mother (the queen of Scrabble) at. But besides that, it is a great game for the family, which after all is a big part of what the holidays are all about. Plus, it travels in a banana bag,...

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Your girl’s first big-girl necklace

My daughter spends a lot of time going through my jewelry box. She has very distinct plans for where she’ll wear each bauble: the grocery store, school, her next playdate. But she’s four and a half. So my jewelry is a little not-so-practical. But in five to ten years(ish?)–once she’s past the point of wanting to feed shiny things to the goldfish–I’d like to give her a meaningful necklace of her very own. And I think I’ve found the perfect candidate. [don’t miss an exclusive discount after the jump] We’ve loved the handcrafted jewelry from Heart and Stone Jewelry for...

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Handmade Holidays: Ten DIY gifts that don’t look like you cheaped out

If you’re the type who likes to fill your holiday gifts with handmade love, we’ve got a whole bunch of beautiful ideas for you. My grandmother was a crocheter who made such hilariously bad gifts (sorry, Grandma!), they were the highlight of our holidays. Thankfully, Grandma was a great sport who laughed the loudest. But after looking at these 10 beautiful and interesting handmade gifts, I think maybe I could follow in her footsteps (in a good way) and create something of my own to give. Crafty moms? This one’s for you. –Christina 1. RETRO MAGNETIC PAPER DOLLSMy girls...

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The kids holiday collection from Jacadi. Try and keep your drool marks off the cashmere blends.

We’ve adored the gorgeous baby and kids luxury brand Jacadi since we first discovered them at our own baby showers (thanks to some very generous friends!). The name conjures up what you might imagine from any top-of-the-line French clothing designer: beautiful construction, classic lines, and fabrics that feel as gorgeous as they look. It just so happens that this one delivers all that for some very lucky kids. Let’s be honest, if there’s a time for a little extra splurge on your kiddos, it’s the holidays. After all, we’ve got those Santa visit photo ops, holiday photo cards, holiday...

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Organizational simplicity + brilliance

I have a confession to make. I have a hard time finding my stuff, and I am always losing something. It’s usually my cell phone (do you even know HOW many times I end up calling it just to locate it?), my keys (darn buggers are always missing), and my purse. Flip and Tumble understands my troubles and is helping me out in a huge way. The clever hooknook serves as the perfect place for my purse, but the coolest part is that it is essentially one big pocket that’s mounted on the wall. My phone, my keys, and all of the other small...

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5 picks you might have missed at Cool Mom Tech

Surprise, surprise, we’re in holiday mode over at Cool Mom Tech. In case you missed them, here are some holiday picks you’ll want to check out stat, with plenty more to come all month long. 1. Shopping for that special shutterbug? Here are 4 cool camera necklaces she’d love to have around her neck, all of which are waaaay cheaper than a DSLR.  2. Since it’s not 1989, there’s no Game Boy in that box. But there just might be one *on* it, if you get these radical gift tags. 3. Thinking about a great, helpful tech gift for...

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A step up from Hanukkah gelt and candy canes

Not to be dissing those chalk gold-wrapped coins with an actual chocolate content of about .03%, but if you’re going to treat your dreidel winners with sweets this Hanukkah, we’ve got a better idea. The Hanukkah chocolate disks from CMP fave Rogue Confections are just beautiful. There are two collections but I happen to love all these pretty menorahs. For 18 bucks you’ll get 6 gorgeous chocolate disks–your choice of dark, black or white–that make a fitting place setting treat at the table, or just a reward for the kids at the end of the party. These are not...

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Flummox and Friends: Because quirky can be funny

There are a lot of days when having a kid with social challenges isn’t particularly funny; when his feelings get hurt, when making friends is difficult, when he despairs of ever “getting it right” when it comes to following society’s rules… that’s not particularly giggle-worthy. But the truth is that any “social skills program” that isn’t entertaining is just a great big downer and something to be tuned out. So maybe you heard my squeals of glee, just now, at discovering the Flummox and Friends website and associated Kickstarter site. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism just put up...

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A totally non-ironic, non-cynical, totally happy tee

In a field of ironic, cynical tees for kids (homework sucks, anyone?) I was kind of glad to stumble across this one. Reading simply Today Is the Best Day Ever in big bold type of the FRANKIE SAYS RELAX variety, I could totally see an older kid wearing this for a birthday tee, a graduation ceremony or, come to think of it… in a totally ironic “today sucks” kind of manner. Depends on your kid I guess. The good part is that it comes in big kid sizes. So you can get one for yourself. Who knows, maybe if...

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The ins and outs of South Walton Beach – bring sunscreen, not your passport

Growing up on the East Coast, our family beach vacations were always limited to the Jersey Shore (no, not that one), where the beaches were crowded and the water was pretty cold, even in the dead of summer. It wasn’t until I was living in the Deep South and met my husband, who had spent some time in the Pensacola, that I’d really heard anything about the Gulf Coast beaches. The soft sand! The gorgeous water! Recently, the folks at Visit South Walton invited me and family down to enjoy a few days of sun and sand check out...

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Lucky Kid is back! Lucky kids.

Remember your pre-baby years when you would gazing longingly at the adorable baby and toddler clothes in your favorite stores just dreaming of the day when you would be part of the world with a valid reason to buy them? That was exactly how I felt for years when shopping at the Lucky Brand stores. Lucky’s urban boho youth designs were exactly what I pictured my future child rocking one day. So wouldn’t you know ,as soon as I finally decided to woman up and have a baby, Lucky went and pulled the pint sized line right out from...

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Three words: portable ping pong

I have this one person on my list that I can’t stand holiday shopping for. Why? Because she already has everything. Really. If it’s something she likes, she buys it before anyone else has the chance. It’s the worst.  But, for the first time ever, I may have found something that she doesn’t have. And her kids will love it, too.  This Pongo Portable Ping Pong set found at Mxyplyzyk is the best. Its paddles with retractable handles and handy drawstring pouch mean you can tote it with you and set up anywhere. And it’s got a weighted net,...

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A new holiday tradition, and it involves cake!

I love teaching my children about different cultures and how to appreciate the beauty of family traditions. This lesson is most important around the holidays. There is a Christmas tree on every corner, sometimes with a Hanukkah menorah making its presence known. Kwanzaa is being taught in many school children nationwide. But it’s the lesser known holidays that seem to get lost in the shuffle. One perfect example is a Greek tradition on New Year’s Day that I honestly never heard of. Thankfully, The Lucky Cake to the rescue! The illustrations are so fun. They remind me of the...

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Web Coolness – Holiday cheer (and free printables!), instilling thankfulness, and toys for special kids

We’re here to spread some holiday cheer with cool links from around the web. The DIY candy lights from Oh Happy Day are so sweetly festive, we’d love to see them around our homes. Have you seen our Holiday Gift Guide? It’s full of great gift ideas for everyone on your list, and maybe even a thing or two for you! Also, Kristen lists her favorite gift ideas for tech accessories in this Momformation post. The world’s largest LEGO Christmas tree is truly impressive. We’re just glad we didn’t have to build it. Twenty years of musings from a...

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Slipper socks with oh-la-la

I hate the feeling of cold feet — yuck! — but my kids must not mind because they kick off their slippers at the slightest provocation, freezing floors be damned. Kids! They just don’t appreciate cozy toes. Or baths. Or naps. (Silly children.) Thankfully, my in-laws keep us stocked with slipper socks. They are considered basic kid’s gear in Europe, and they’re genius because once they’re on they’re so comfy and hard to take off that the kids keep them on. And now there’s one more brand I’m so excited to discover. I love the quirky cute slipper socks...

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Animoto – The holiday cards guaranteed to make grandparents cry.

Life with four kids means there are a lot of last minute “oops” happening around my place when it comes to gifts and cards. This is also why I’ve been a fan of Animoto since we first featured them on Cool Mom Picks a few years ago. Their super easy-to-use video slideshow maker has saved my butt more than once, with remarkable professional looking video “cards” that have replaced gifts on more than one occasion–with raves from my lucky recipients. Well, we’re delighted that they’re our newest Cool Mom Picks sponsor (we love it when our sponsors are the stuff we love anyway) and just in time for the holidays, they’ve got an awesome free service that we’re excited about. Yes, free. You can see what I made with it right here. [Don’t miss a very cool free gift for all of our readers after the jump!] Basically you just grab the photos you’ve taken all year long, whip them up into a video, and shoot them into your family members’ inboxes like digital holiday cards. Super easy. Truly the best part about Animoto is that you don’t need to be tech savvy at all to do what I did here. It’s even simple to add text boxes and pick music from their own selection or something you’v’e already got on your computer.  You’ll get 30 second videos for...

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