Month: May 2011

A pacifier case to keep you feeling groovy

Here’s one for you combination germaphobes-70s nostalgia buffs: A vented neoprene pacifier case that will keep two binkies close at hand, and deliver twice the smiles of the leading pacifier case. The Keep on Suckin’ pacifier case might be my favorite of all the styles from our friends at Wry Baby. And a smart, simple design means you just  clip it to your diaper bag or right to your stroller. It’s definitely better than “If this stroller is a-knocking…” Yeah. You know the rest. –Liz Find 10 clever styles of pacifier cases online at Wry Baby For more awesome...

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Spend-and-save piggy banks? Reader Q&A

My daughter is 4, and we would love to get her a piggy bank that has the spend, share, save theory, but we can’t find any that fit that bill. We’d also be willing to just get a regular piggy bank, but then we would like one that is a little cooler than your average ceramic pig. -Melissa Ooh, good question! We think it’s great to start teaching kids the value of saving and sharing early. One of our favorite options for this type of saving/spending bank, Learning Cents, is unfortunately no longer available, but we did find some...

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One word: Caramels.

With a lactose-intolerant family member, I’m always on the lookout for sweet treats that aren’t made with cow’s milk. Whether you’re dairy-free like she is, you’re a vegan, or you just like yummy things, I just found a brand of handmade caramels made with coconut milk, that fits the bill perfectly. [don’t miss a super cool offer after the jump!] Discovered through a recent Foodzie tasting box (I’m addicted to my monthly box!) the handmade caramels from JJ’s Sweets are quite nice. The coconut milk infuses them with vaguely tropical flavor, and the sweet-salty balance was perfect. The chocolate-cover...

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7 two-piece bathing suits that don’t make little girls look like teenage girls

I’ll say it: the bathing suit choices for little girls are abhorrent these days–teeny string bikinis, plunging v-necks, high cut briefs, ruching at the “cleavage” presumably to create more of it. It’s making me crazy. To say nothing of a certain retailer (ahem Abercrombie) that recently introduced–then backpedaled on–padded bras for 8 year-olds. Still, I do like two-pieces for girls. They’re cute and make changes easy, especially when you’re in the diaper phase.  So I’ve spent a little time tracking down a few picks for summer that will let your little girl look like your little girl for a...

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Special jewelry for special kids

The end of the school year is almost here, at least for those of us in the deep south. Although my daughter is homeschooled, I love the idea of giving her a little gift to celebrate her upcoming violin recital, dance performance, and first grade graduation. And oh my do I think I found the perfect little bauble. Look how adorable these beautiful handmade necklaces are, designed and handcrafted by our friends at Bloesem. Inspired by the bright neon elastic cotton threads they discovered in Kuala Lampur, each necklace features an original Swarovski crytal and a sterling silver closure....

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A guide to responding to those really bad emails from family. (You know the ones.)

We’re happy to be working with our sponsor Yahoo! Mail, who’s helping encourage families to stay connected via email. Which, as we know, is a good thing! While email (and email etiquette) seems to have been around for a million years or so, oddly, we all still have those well-meaning folks in our lives who insist on filling our inboxes with chain letters, photoshopped pics passed off as real ones, and dated news about the Y2K virus. (Oh noes!) While even the best of us might be tempted to get a little snarky with our responses from time to...

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One sterling silver bead says it all

I’ve been a long time fan of the personalized jewelry from Julian & Co, the brainchild of mom Tania Condon, but I have to admit that the versatility of the recent addition to her beautiful line has me smitten. [don’t miss a jewelry giveaway after the jump!] The new custom silver bead allows you to add anything you’d like on each of the four sides, which, as a mom of four kiddos, means I only have to wear one pretty bead rather than a jumble of jingly tags. But even if you’re not a mom of many, you’ll get...

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Thinking of you, Japan.

“Thinking of you” is most definitely what our hearts and minds are saying about our friends in Japan, so why not our shirts? Or our kids’ shirts, for that matter.  The Japan Appeal T-shirt by Caramel Baby + Child of London is just brilliant. What I love most about this design is how it reminds people that even though the devastation in Japan might not be front-page news anymore, it is still a massive crisis that needs our attention; and it says all of that in the sweetest and most gentle way. I also appreciate that it gives to...

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Cute kids’ underwear, hold the licensed characters

As those of us past our post-potty training days (hooray!) can attest, cute underwear is a brilliant incentive for kids to ditch the diapers. But a quick look around your local “we sell six-packs of kids’ underwear” store, and it’s clear that the briefs are either plain white, or thin and flimsy, festooned with images of cartoon characters. [don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!] I am beyond happy to have found Underdoodles, a mom-run shop offering adorable 3-packs of organic cotton kids’ underwear that not only steer clear of TV characters, they steer clear of stereotypical imagery....

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The perfect pint-sized party clothes

We have a bunch of special occasions coming up–Father’s Day, our favorite sitter’s graduation, the grandparents’ anniversary. My eyes have been open to some especially special occasion clothes for the kids. You know–something fancy. Without sauce on it. CMP highlighted the fabulous Kico Kids a while ago, and their new spring/summer line proves to be the perfect place to find special-occasion kiddie couture. They have twirly princess dresses, fabulous bolero jackets, and even a two-in-one flower girl dress (it converts into a cotton shift!), which manage to be sweet, fashion-forward, and timeless, all at the same time. Plus: comfortable, made with kid-friendly...

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Poems for new parents that even the sleep-deprived can enjoy.

I say we all need more poetry in our lives, but poetry so often seems to be one of those tricky things, like an exotic fruit. You enjoy it when you come across it, but it’s not part of your regular consumption, especially when you are a harried mom. Which is a shame, because that’s possibly when we need it most. I’ve just discovered a lovingly put-together, eclectic collection of poems that any literary parent will want to take a look at. Morning Song focuses on celebrating new life. In fact, Poems For New Parents is the subtitle, but really, the poems, songs and...

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A beautiful excuse to get those photos off the computer

I’m always on the lookout for ways to actually use the 15,640 baby and kid photos stored on my laptop. And after Mother’s Day last week, you probably added a few more. I mean, I make sure to email them on to the respective grandparents and so on, but it would be a dream to do something a bit… well, cooler with them. CMP was thrilled to discover Pinhole Press late last year–and we weren’t the only ones. To be honest, the gorgeous personalized photo cards, books, framed prints and notepads were so popular during the holiday season that the new...

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How Boys + Books = BFFs

 Pam Allyn knows books, and she knows boys; she also knows, as a literacy expert, that for a variety of reasons, our boys are more vulnerable to being left behind academically and succumbing to undesirable behaviors if they’re not proficient readers. That’s why she started Books for Boys a decade ago, a literacy mentoring program for at-risk youth in NYC’s foster care system. Allyn believes that engaging boys in reading can quite literally change their lives. And that goes for all of our boys–hence her new book designed to assist parents and teachers with all reluctant Y-chromosome readers from...

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Wouldn’t it be great if all the Monopoly money were real?

I am completely geeking out on the idea that you can buy Monopoly money refills. Seriously, why did no one ever tell me before that this was possible? For one, the extra $16,550 in Monopoly money means we can play major high stakes knowing the bank won’t run out. Secondly, it means you can revive your old game with the missing money. Thirdly, it means you can cheat. Not that I’d cheat. Or cry when my dad and brother gang up on me and bankrupts me in the first hour and refuse to let me back in the game...

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Quite possibly the most comfortable pants ever

There have been many times during my pregnancy that I’ve been tempted to leave the house naked. Not to flaunt my maternal form, but rather because wearing clothing during pregnancy can be so darn uncomfortable. Sure maternity jeans are forgiving, but until I stepped into B.D.A. Pants from Belly Bandit, I didn’t realize just how comfortable a pair of pants could be. Made from insanely soft bamboo, B.D.A. pants (which stands for Before, During and After) are literally the next best thing to going naked. Better actually, since they cover my half-shaven legs. The slim fold-over drawstring waist allows...

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From the folks who brought you the Nook Mattress, a baby playmat that’s spot-on

My baby has reached the flip-over-at-every-opportunity stage. Which means two seconds after we place him on his back on his playmat, he’s rolled off the mat and is face down on the bare floor. And then two seconds after that I’m freaking out that he’s going to face-plant on the hardwood. Not a pretty picture. Particularly not while I’m sitting on the toilet. This is why I kind of think I’d love the new LilyPad Playmat from Nook. Not only is it made from the same soft, eco-friendly and baby-safe material as the Nook mattresses (a CMP fave), but...

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Shel Silverstein, the next generation

Hi. My name is Delilah, and my preschooler is a poetry addict. From Shel Silverstein to Robert Frost, she’s as likely to drop a tome in my lap as to beg to watch Tangled for the fiftieth time this week. So when I tell you that she loves this book, I mean she sleeps with it under her pillow. It’s called His Shoes Were Far Too Tight, and it’s a loving collaboration between celebrated children’s author Daniel Pinkwater, best-selling poet/artist Calef Brown, and the poetry of a much-missed, roly poly fellow named Edward Lear who believed that a little nonsense...

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Web coolness: free paper dolls, free entertainment, free apps for moms

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web the week. We hope you will too. See which free iphone app designer Liz Lange calls a “game changer” for frugal shoppers. Kristen wants to know do moms really need smartphones? Don’t miss the comments for an interesting discussion. Faces in Places is such a fun website: Do you see the faces? (via ohdeedoh) Just try not to smile throughout this adorable kids music video for Mister Rabbit by CMP favorites Caspar Babypants and Charlie Hope. Retro paper-doll fabulousness with these original Betsy McCall printables (shown). (via li’l magoolie) The Laurie Berkner...

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3 dresses under $17 you’ll be seeing my girls in this season

This past weekend, I hoofed it to Old Navy to get my girls’ spring/summer wardrobe up to date. While I’m devastated to learn that once you hit size 6, the dresses get a little…racier than I’d like (seriously, a six year-old does not need ruching at the chest to make anything look bigger) I’m happy to see that the little girl collection is still terrific. So we went a little sundress happy. I thought I’d share the 3 cute dresses we found, all under $17. Whoo! 1. The floral tiered sundress (above) is sweet and just a little swingy...

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A Quinny for Jenny (and you, and Beth, and Ann)

We started Cool Mom Picks because we just had to share all of our amazing finds with someone besides each other. It’s all about sharing– deals, discounts, splurges, handy helpers, giveaways, and so much more. Our subscribers have an extra chance every month to win a super-huge, extra-awesome giveaway that can only be found in our newsletter. But now there’s a new way to share the goodness. See that Invite button at the top of the page? You can use that to invite more Cool Moms into the fold. And just because you invite them doesn’t mean they’re required...

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