Month: June 2011

Father’s Day Gifts – For the manly man

We won’t get the 2 1/2 Men song stuck in your head (okay, so we just did) but we have to admit we have a soft spot for the manly men dads in our lives. Here are a few Father’s Day gift ideas for the men in your life who just wouldn’t be satisfied with a pair of cufflinks or a bottle of cologne. The best part: They’re all things you can live with too, mamas. No WWF posters here. Skip the sterling and instead frame a photo of kids in this rough, reclaimed wooden frame (at top). Think of...

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Medic alert bracelets that keep you safe and stylish

I’m fortunate that I do not have any medical conditions that require me to wear a medic alert bracelet, but if I did, you can bet I’d slap it on my wrist permanently, regardless of what it looked like. But these days, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your style for your safety, with this cool pick from one of our fave jewelry designers. These gorgeous, custom medic alert bracelets are the perfect marriage of safety and style, made using artist Paula Lapkin’s signature leather and bead work that we discovered last year.  Choose from gold or silver tags...

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Paper dolls so pretty you might play with them yourself

I’m a sucker for beautiful vintage-y paper dolls; they’re the perfect antidote to the plugged-in life my kids are living. And beautiful vintage-style paper dolls that help kids with disabilities? Sold. TinyUs is a creative charity set up to raise funds for Présence, a school for children with developmental disabilities in the south of France. The entire price of each card or paper doll purchased at their web site goes directly to Présence. Even better: the pieces have no set prices — you choose your donation. The site offers paper doll cards, traditional paper doll sets, and party invitations,...

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A flower girl dress she can wear again? Reader Q+A

My four year-old daughter is going to be a flower girl in my sister-in-law’s wedding. It’s somewhat informal and they told us to buy whatever we want. I don’t mind spending some money, but I would love to find something that’s not so poofy and over the top that she can wear it again. Just something light and pretty and summery. Any ideas? If you want to get more use out of a flower girl dress, I’d suggest not searching for “flower girl dress” or you’ll end up with lots of tulle crinolines and bows the size of your...

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Fathers-in-law deserve love (and humor) on Father’s Day too.

It’s no news that Cool Mom Picks loves cards from Kiki Parry’s Alternate Greetings. Her slightly inappropriate and hysterical quips are perfect for those moments when you want your message to be just a little different. This Father’s Day card is perfect for the non-fathers in your life who have been influential and supportive and who, um, hopefully have a sense of humor. Maybe a father-in-law ? It reads: You’ve been like a father to me. / Except you never knocked up my mom. Did you? Now this is awkward. Just don’t give it to your grandfather. That would...

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Swedish design as tough as it is pretty

We’re just a few days into summer vacation and  it’s already mud season. Not the kind of mud that’s made by Mother Nature. This stuff is kid-made, by way of a wading pool, a trusty hose, and a patch of mud-ready dirt. It’s given me the perfect excuse to look for a great new rug for the entryway–you know, something eye-catching and color-poppy, but still sturdy enough to withstand wet kid feet. And I believe I’ve found it. I absolutely love the bold, colorful zig-zags and geometrics on these floor runners and rugs from Brita Sweden—so mod.But what’s super cool...

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Ice cream season, Martha Stewart style

There has been a perceptible increase of ice cream consumption in our home over the last week. In fact, once the weather gets warm, I don’t think a day goes by without my kids asking for ice cream. (Yeah, it’s for the kids.) The folks from Martha Stewart were kind enough to send me this little set of ice cream bowls recently as a way of saying Happy Summer, and we’ve been giving them quite the workout. They really are very pretty, and the small size keeps portions in check. While the accompanying spoons are a little small for...

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It’s a toddler’s world after all

I’ve read enough expert-y books about how to deal with toddlers to know that the only way to really remain sane through those challenging years is to laugh it off.  And that’s exactly what this new hilarious book had me doing. The World According to Toddlers is the new release from CMP fave duo Shannon Payette Seip and Adrienne Hedger, whose funny books If These Boobs Could Talk and Momnesia had us shooting lukewarm coffee out of our noses. This one however,  is the funniest one of the trio, because what better comedic material is there than toddlers, right?...

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Keep your baby in the dark. Literally.

I’ve got to be honest, the Snooze Shade is the kind of product I dream of being able to use more. Because, well, my babies don’t generally start sleeping in the first place. But for anyone with a baby who actually does sleep, the Snooze Shade could be a lifesaver. It comes in two sizes –to fit an infant car seat or a stroller– and is made from black, breathable UPF50+ fabric. Anytime baby is ready for shut-eye you can just pop it on and create a dark, comfy environment for baby, even on the sunniest of days. Yes,...

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Enhancing the bromance

Only in New York. It might be a cliche, but it’s true. Especially when it’s the one city offering a new online service that provides the men in your life with a menu of options to send their homies thoughtful thank you gifts of beer, beef jerky or a Top Gun DVD. So why are we telling you? Because we know that women are the ones who have to say, “uh honey…did you ever thank your cousin Al for that thing he did for us?” The website at Thanks, Bro has a very simple multiple choice order form where...

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Bobbi Brown helps you Dress for Success

A scarf is a simple way to change the look of even the most casual shorts-and-tee mom outfit — and if your scarf is also making the world a better place, then you’re really dressing for change. Makeup maven Bobbi Brown — an expert at making women look good — has teamed up with Echo to support Dress for Success with this super pretty, super-wearable ikat scarf. For every scarf sold, $20 ( nearly half the purchase price) goes to Dress for Success Worldwide, a great organization that helps economically disadvantaged women get back in the job market with...

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Gilt Taste is a Virtual Feast

If you have yet to visit, there’s a deliciously gorgeous, high-end new site for the foodies mamas among us: Gilt Taste. It’s like everything that’s great about Gilt plus everything that was great about Gourmet. Gilt Taste in fact is helmed by former Gourmet editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl. So not surprisingly, you’ll find tips on cooking and introductions to new foods, dishes and ideas written by the in-the-knows of the foodie world, like Gourmet‘s Barry Estabrook and Orangette‘s Molly Wizenberg. The free membership site includes an online market, giving you direct access to artisan products often only available to elite urban foodies...

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Web coolness – Father’s Day ideas, flowery crafts and fudgy treats

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web the week. We hope you will too. Father’s Day is coming on the 19th! Don’t miss our ongoing series of great Father’s Day gifts. Kristen has some great tips for enjoying Universal Orlando with kids (as well as a chance to win free tickets for your family on Cool Mom Tech. Hurry, it ends today.) We’re loving the new look of Design Sponge and Oh Happy Day. Click over and tell them as much! Planning a baby shower? We adore the pretty ideas in this Spring Baby Shower Soiree....

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Father’s Day Gifts – Custom gifts for the dad who likes things his way

The great thing about planning your Father’s Day gifts ahead, is that you have a lot more options. Like some really incredible custom gifts. In our world, customization doesn’t mean a mug with DAD on it. If you want something really cool, just the way you (or the dads in your life) like it, we’ve tracked down a few neat options that you still have time to order in time for Father’s Day. The custom dress shirts from Blank Label (at top) start around $60 and the styling is lovely. You get a say not just in the length, fit, and...

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Looking for the Old Navy Gay Pride t-shirts? We found them!

We know that many of you, like us, have been trying to track down the very cool Old Navy gay pride t-shirts. At this point, they won’t be available online, but rather in 26 select stores across the country. (Our fingers are crossed that more will follow.) Curious to see if your local store is on the list? We’ve got all the retailers right here. Here’s a tip: Go to your local Old Navy store, ask them to call a store that is carrying it and pay shipping to have it shipped to you like you would with an...

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Toy Box Toy Box Toy Box

If ever there was a “We knew her when,” it has to be one of our favorite mom designers, Kiersten Hathcock of Mod Mom Furniture. We featured (and purchased) her gorgeous mid century toy box waaaaay back in 2007 and since then, not only has she been featured on Shark Tank and the Nate Berkus Show, she’s recently added to her array of toy box designs for kids. We’re thrilled that Kiersten recently welcomed the Maude toy box to her family of handmade storage chests. It’s similar to her well-loved Owyn toy box, only Maude has a large storage...

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Father’s Day Gifts – For the first-time new dad

You never forget your first Father’s Day. Which is why we wanted to launch our Father’s Day Gifts series with gift ideas for that guy who’s one part sentimental, one part exhausted, and all parts awesome–the first time new dad. A big gesture doesn’t have cost a fortune–or anything at all. The We Love You Daddy printable garland (at top) from Happyshop Printshop is absolutely free. We’re a little picky about Daddy and Me Tee Sets, but the ones from UK’s Twisted Twee are just fabulous, whether you’re spending the day at the pub together or not. (£32 from Twisted Twee) Silhouettes can be...

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Ponytail holders that even the Queen Mother would approve of

This might be the first summer where my oldest daughter has hair long enough to actually put up, and with the heat already sweltering, she rarely ever wears it down. So, on my hunt for cute ponytail holders– hold the mammoth bows and corker ribbons please–look what I discovered! Handmade using pretty linen cotton fabric Japanese fabric, these adorable hair ties are a whimsical ode to jolly old England. The double decker bus, the castle guards, even Big Ben are a welcome, subtle change to the sea of pink and purple ponytail holders I seem to be drowning in...

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Choose you. First.

Recently, I was honored to attend a celeb-packed preview party for an amazing new initiative from the American Cancer Society. But it wasn’t the glitterati that left the strongest impression (as gorgeous as Hilary Swank and Kelly Rutherford are in person)–it was some of the women I had the privilege of speaking with. They embodied everything women can be: strong, powerful, determined, and beautiful from the inside out. Also, their lives had all been touched by cancer in profound ways. One woman confided that because of chemo treatments, the party was her first night out in six months. Let’s...

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