Month: April 2011

For the perfect travel toy for kids, just add water.

If you could see the ground-in crayon and magic marker stains all over the back seats of our minivan, you’d understand why I’m so fond of a cool portable drawing tablet that uses nothing more than water, and generates no mess at all. As with so many of the toys we love from b.toys, it’s the well-thought design that makes the H2-Whoa! board (great name) a toy my kids are taking along everywhere they go. The shape sits nicely on their lap so they can draw, write messages or just scribble across the fabric-covered facade with nothing more than water. Reminiscent...

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10 beautiful things at Supermarket that we’re coveting hard

We were so honored to be this week’s guest curators at Supermarket, one of our favorite online resources for anything and everything in great design. Click over for 10 items that we’re drooling over all from indie designers–from pretty jewelry for you, to baby gifts, to a little somethin’ something’ just for you iPad fans. Maybe you’ll recognize a few items from artists you love, maybe you’ll find something totally new (and wow) to you like we did. Happy shopping! -Kristen +...

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Easter basket gifts without the Easter basket sugar

Ever since my daughter declared Easter was her favorite holiday, I’ve paid a little extra attention to the gifts I put in her Easter basket. After all, I’m sure the Easter Bunny thinks she’s pretty great. While Easter is still a few weeks away, I’ve pulled together some of the coolest Easter basket gifts I’ve seen recently for those of you who already have the jelly beans and chocolate bunnies covered. Clothes like the organic Bunny Onesie from Collette kids (above left) or the organic bunny onesie from AnnieWear (above right) are so cute, they don’t need to hide...

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Handmade pillows to make you smile.

With a new couch on the way (yippee!) I’m preparing to say goodbye to the saggy, dog-scented, claw-worn monstrosity. It’s easy. Trust me. One of the fun things: Shopping for new throw pillows. I’m thinking with a red TV and entertainment console and the charcoal couch, a few pop-y touches of yellow will be perfect. So when I saw these handmade pillows, well, I smiled. The smile pillow from honeypiedesigns totally makes me do just that. Other designs feature words like love, relax, or home, but I really am thinking smile + yellow is the perfect combo. There’s also...

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution returns – Set your DVR!

It only took one episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution to suck me in for the entire season, and it wasn’t just his cute face and adorable accent. The chef-crusader’s passion for making real changes in the eating habits of our kids is compelling. And this season, he’s heading to a big city to rally the support of the community. If you’re not familiar with Jamie Oliver, this dad and chef is enthusiastic about making healthy foods accessible to everyone, especially our kids, which is especially timely given the alarming childhood obesity rate in this country. In the first...

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ReCrib – Discount baby gear from brands that simply don’t discount

I’ve often said to new mom friends that if I had to do it over, I’d have spent less on the crib. Not that I didn’t adore our crib for the four years that we used it; but there has to be a better way than shelling out a fortune, even for those of us who have high-end tastes. Now, fortunately, there is an amazing option: a fabulous new website that’s like Craig’s List for high end baby gear. ReCrib is a place you can buy and sell only gently used, high end nursery furniture and toys. The site...

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Turn kiddo castoffs into gorgeous keepsake art

I’m in a period of mega-emotion when it comes to the idea that my almost 4-year-old and about-to-be-1-year-old are past the wee little onesies. Every weekend, I sit down with a pile of old clothes from the garage–which is rapidly turning into a baby clothing repository (who needs space for the cars, anyway?)–and attempt to weed them out. It’s slow-going. I just wish I could frame those sweet pink cardigans and teensy duck-covered pants and keep them forever, you know? Fortunately, it can be done–and in the sweetest, prettiest, most contemporary way ever. The Great Remember is a Brooklyn-based company...

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You’re no bunny til some bunny loves you

I just got wind of an adorable new shop featuring anything and everything animal-themed for kids. Well, not everything animal. This is just the cute stuff. In other words, no magenta and gold metallic toddler cheetah leggings As Seen on the Real Housewives! Promise. [don’t miss a really great giveaway and special discount below!] AnnieWear, named for a rescued puppy, has a great selection of gifts and gear for kids and babies. And just in time for Easter, some cute bunny items to help round out those baskets. Like this organic bunny rabbit onesie from Loralin. A bunny hooded...

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I’m a real fan of the meal plan

A year ago, I never would have thought I’d be excited about weekly meal planning. I was far too cool and spontaneous to be one of those people who actually planned what dinner we would be eating a day in advance. Please. What a silly mama I was! A year of meal-planning later, I have come to my senses. So I was excited to have a look at e-mealz recently and check out a couple of their family-friendly meal plans. With a variety of specialty plans available (think gluten-free, low fat, vegetarian) based on sales prices at the grocery...

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Let puppies take over your kids’ underwear

Some girls like hair accessories, others like tutus. Mine? Are obsessed with underwear. OH THE DRAMA we have each morning over which pair to wear. If your kids, like mine, go gaga over character underwear, but you’d rather keep the TV characters away from one part of their wardrobe, LikeWear has some cute options. The puppy underwear for girls and kitten underwear for girls are just that–cotton briefs screenprinted with images of cute, ready-for-YouTube animals from cutesie photographer Rachael Hale. No Dora, no Tinkerbell, no Elmo. Yes, I’m gagging a wee bit from the saccharine sweetness of it all....

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Vincent Shoes, now on sale for the very last time.

My daughter has worn Vincent Shoes all four years of her life. In fact, Cool Mom Picks was instrumental in launching Vincent Shoes back in the very beginning, so plenty of our kids are familiar with the adorable Swedish styling and rugged construction–and the many compliments we get on our kids’ kicks. So, we are all terribly sad to hear that Vincent shoes is closing their virtual doors this spring. Of course, with every store closing there is an awesome sale, which makes it bittersweet. [don’t miss a huge huge special discount after the jump] Look around now and...

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A world without fish? Say it isn’t so.

Just in time for Earth Day on April 22, a new book weaves together all the intricate threads –biology, climate, culture, economics, evolution, food, history, and politic — that combined, makes up the rich tapestry of our world. And it does so gorgeously. With fish. Written by Mark Kurlansky, a former commercial fisherman New York Times best-selling author, and all around cool guy, World Without Fish is a captivating (fish) tale. It explains for both adults and kids how the fish we most commonly eat may very well be gone in another 50 years, unless there is a profound shift our eating –...

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Easy lies the head that wears a birthday crown

A few years ago I got really ambitious and made birthday crowns for my two children. Flash forward a bit and I’ve now got a third child and still only two birthday crowns. Any guesses where this is going? Yeah. I’m kind of thinking these pretty, personalized felt crowns over at Chloe in Style would be a perfect stand-in for that last crown. Pretty, 100% wool felt crowns feature hand-stiching and personalization options that include either an initial or an age. I prefer the ones with initials to the ones with ages, simply because they can be used for...

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The best best best hand lotion

I like to think I’m something of a hand lotion connoisseur. With the constant post-diaper hand washing, I’m glopping on the stuff at an alarming rate. I’ve tried pretty much every brand on the market and have always walked away wringing my (dry) hands in frustration. Some are too greasy, not hydrating enough or just plain smell bad. Then I met eos everyday hand lotion and was immediately smitten. The cool, modern looking orb holds some of the best lotion I’ve every gotten my thirsty paws on, and I’ve tried a lot. [don’t miss a cool giveaway after the...

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It’s a wrap!

Ever since I can remember, my family has used cloth instead of paper, to wrap gifts. My mom was ahead of her time, I tell you, because now it’s all the rage. And for good reason, really. Or should I say good reasons? Cloth is beautiful. And it’s reusable. The fabric gift wrap from Chewing the Cud (okay, not a big fan of the name) take the whole reusable gift wrap up a notch with organic cotton and gorgeous soy-based ink prints. And each one is printed with a simple message for the recipient. I’m quite taken with the...

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Beauty tips for moms from Allure beauty director Amy Keller Laird

If there’s someone who knows about beauty products for moms, it’s Amy Keller Laird. As the beauty director of beauty and style bible Allure, she gets her hands on practically every product on the market (I know! We’re jealous too!) and helps decide which ones receive Allure‘s prestigious Best of Beauty award. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to her about her mommy must-haves, since Amy’s a mom to a 21-month-old son herself. Here’s all the scoop on which products she thinks are not to be missed. [don’t miss a ton of great products and ideas...

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If you’re tackling tough issues at home, The Gift really is a gift

It’s a given in most of my kids’ story books: Other than the demise of a wicked witch or two, the main characters are going to live until the end of the story. But, I just discovered a timeless, beautiful tale about life–and, yes, its end–that flips the category on its head. If you have a thing for great picture books, you are going to want to have this for your collection. {keep reading for your chance to win one of two copies we are giving away!} The Gift by Carol Ann Duffy may not be the kind of...

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A toddler bed fit for a king. Or a very lucky toddler.

When we bought our first crib, we listened to everyone who told us to make sure to get one that converts to a toddler bed. But then we had another kid who needed that crib, so we still ended up getting a toddler bed anyway. Truth be told, our kid never liked the thing and just ended up sleeping in a twin bed with rails.  With our third, however, we didn’t have enough room for that solution and a toddler bed probably would saved us a lot of heartache and sleepless nights. [don’t miss a sweet giveaway after the...

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Web Coolness – pretty eggs, new Seuss, tiny Muppets and a blue bear

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web the week. We hope you will too. Did you see our Editor Liz on The CBS Early Show? Fun Easter egg dyeing instructions on Not Martha (via DesignMom, shown)  A series of “lost” Dr Seuss stories will be published later this year! It’s your last day to enter to win a free family trip to San Antonio from Cool Mom Picks. We’re loving this fun, colorful kids video for Blue Bear by Lucky Diaz. Get ready to replay it a few times. Love how folding paper cranes can help the...

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Brownies free of dairy, eggs, nuts, but not taste

For my entire life, dairy and I have had a love/hate relationship. Currently we’re in hate mode. Well, at least my stomach is. And the same goes for a couple of my kids. But I’m also a bit of a sweets addict, which makes binges a little challenging. Fortunately, that’s all changed since I found my new favorite go-to dessert. I just happened to pick up a box of Cherrybrook Kitchen fudge brownie mix from my local grocery store on whim and boy am I glad I did — though my post-partum diet plan may feel differently. Just add...

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