Month: July 2011

Modern tea towels that make me want to take up dishwashing

I have a thing for tea towels, but most of the ones I see fall squarely into the Country Living school of design. What, cityfolk don’t dry their dishes too? So I was happy to be introduced to San Francisco studio Studiopatro, which makes lovely linens in more contemporary motifs. At Studiopatro, I love the collection of handpainted, modern tea towels. Wrap one around a bottle of wine, a cookbook, or a selection of artisanal cheeses and you’ve got a fantastic hostess gift for the upcoming summer weekends. Check out the city category, and what at first seems like...

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Kitchen tools for your little sous chef

My kids are more than eager to help in the kitchen, but there’s only so much they can do with a big dull butter knife and a spoon as long as their arm. Fortunately, since discovering these cool kid-size kitchen utensils, our nightly dinner service has gotten much more efficient and kid friendly. Foodies everywhere are probably already familiar with Kuhn Rikon–heck, even I’d heard of them–but it was only recently that I discovered their Kinderkitchen line which applies smart Swiss design to kid friendly cooking tools. Unlike a few others that I’ve seen which are adorable but not...

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The cow says moo. That you know of.

Recently, my daughter asked why a friend’s two year-old brother couldn’t “act like a cow” without saying moo. I explained that animal sounds are the first way that children start to understand how to define animals. And that’s why every baby’s first library isn’t complete without at least 17 books on animal sounds. (She bought it, but she still asserted he was cheating at charades.) Well now there’s an all new book about animal sounds worth adding to the bookshelf, written by a very cool mom herself. In her past life, Angela DiTerlizzi was a makeup artist responsible for...

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A keepsake baby blanket you’ll actually use

I love the idea of buying a keepsake blanket for a baby, but in my experience, they’re usually more beautiful than they are useful. However that’s not the case when it comes to these mom-designed blankets that are as gorgeous as they are functional. The Spunge Design blankets are made from 100% organic cotton knit, which gives them the perfect amount of stretch to make them an ideal swaddle blanket. But once your baby has outgrown that stage, they’re a great size for toddlers. I love the whimsical designs, particularly the tree motif, which features three-dimensional leaves to entertain...

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Angry Birds are back. Only this time, in person.

When my kids first discovered Angry Birds, I admit that it didn’t take me long to join the legions of lovers. There is something about the smug little faces and the clueless looking swine that gets me every time. But there is this little problem called “too much screen time” (no matter how fun the game) and the fact that the game is one player only. Enter, Angry Birds, the board game. We all knew that it was only a matter of time before someone grabbed the license, and turns out it’s Mattel, who delivers in a big way...

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Cool Mom Picks wishes you a Happy Birthday. Yes, you.

Considering my oldest daughter just turned seven (7!) last week, I’ve spent the better half of the last few days singing Happy Birthday. So it seemed only fitting that I’d have barely any voice left when I filmed myself doing the same for you, on behalf of our sponsor The American Cancer Society. Of course kids don’t really care about how your voice sounds or even if it’s in tune – it’s the celebration of yet another birthday that counts. And that’s exactly what the ACS is celebrating with their new Create More Birthdays Contest. You certainly don’t need...

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EWG and Cool Mom Picks agree: These 3 sunscreens rock

Does anyone else feel like buying sunscreen takes a PhD and two hours internet research? I do. And then I’m too tired to swim. That’s why we’re happy to share some family-tested sunscreens that we’ve thoroughly tested– and we checked the EWG Skin Deep list, too, where top sunscreens are rated with the lowest numbers. (But take some of it with a grain of salt – not every ingredient that is of concern to them, like fragrance, is of concern to everyone.) Sunny times are here again! Our family of four rotated through three different product lines this summer,...

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3 ways to get your daily dose of cool

Never miss a day of Cool Mom Picks! Here’s how: 1. Follow us on Twitter 2. Like us on Facebook 3. Subscribe to our RSS feed *Bonus! Become an email subscriber. It’s not daily, but feel free to read our newsletter every day if it makes you...

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Pretty, pretty porcelain

I always love those artist and free thinking types who commit to something like wearing a different dress every day for a year, or cooking a different vegetable every day. And now there’s one more–UK mom and artist Lisa Stevens who’s creating a different beautiful porcelain dish every day for a year as a way to experiment with new techniques. In her day job, Lisa is a model maker with Aardman Animation (of Wallace and Gromit fame) so it’s no surprise that she has a wonderful eye. Her 356 project on Etsy and on Flickr features her collection of...

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Teaching kids to read just gets more and more fun.

When my kids were younger, I used to leave the Closed Captioning up on the television so they could get familiar with the words coming out of the mouths of their favorite cartoon characters. Taking this idea one step further and more effectively, in my opinion, are the Readeez series of DVD’s and downloads that we’ve featured both here and on Cool Mom Tech. Now, there’s a new one out that’s totally worth a look for parents whose kids are just learning to read. {keep reading for a great giveaway and a special discount on anything in the Readeez...

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Quiet travel toys – Reader Q&A

Do you have any suggestions for fun, quiet and small toys for a looooong flight/travel day for a 2yo and a 4yo, both boys? Would love to hear your suggestions! Thanks!  -Brave mama, Melissa.  Crayons and blank paper, activity books, and coloring books are always mainstays for travel. I’m also a big fan of “grab bags” where you put a bunch of cool little goodies in a bag and “surprise” the kids with something new every few hours (or minutes if it’s that kind of day). Some other ideas:  If you’re a bit crafty, check out this PDF for...

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And the Cat’s in the Apron and the silver spoon…

We’re always sad to see a small shop we love, like Cat in an Apron, close its doors. But there’s a silver lining. At least if you’d like to get 50% off their remaining inventory of beautifully tailored clothing, gifts and accessories. Cat in an Apron specializes in pretty hats, cute onesies, fancy burp cloths, cozy swaddle blankets, sweet hair accessories, and more. Or at least, this week. As the inventory dwindles, they’ve mentioned even further discounts, so keep an eye on the Cat in an Apron blog if you want to score some great deals. We’ll miss you,...

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Cool Mom Picks voted #1 shopping site on Babble.com. Whoo!

We were beyond thrilled to discover that Cool Mom Picks has been chosen as Babble.com’s #1 shopping site! Thank you, Babble! To be honored alongside 50 cool sites that we admire and love ourselves, like Inhabitat, Stroller Traffic, and Shopafrolic (just to name a few) is amazing and quite frankly, overwhelming. And a hearty congrats to our sister site Cool Mom Tech, which nabbed the #1 shopping site for best tech and gadgets as well as #4 overall. Go CMT! We’re so thankful for you, our amazing, supportive readers. And to new visitors, welcome. We hope you enjoy our...

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Why should kids get all the great clothes?

So many times I wish that my favorite kids designers were designer for us adults too. And now–hello! Thank you, kit +lili! I’m loving their line for adults, including beautiful dresses, flowy peasant tops in bold modern patterns, and cheery reversible tote bags that are like buying two bags in one. They’re all made with the same beautiful original fabrics that make their kids clothes so distinctive, and they really do work perfectly as grownup-wear. Right now, so many of the designs are now on sale at Nonchalant Mom that if you need to round out your spring/summer wardrobe,...

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From the makers of the cutest swaddlers come the cutest baby bibs

Like so many moms, I’m obsessed with those feather-soft muslin swaddle blankets from the beloved aden + anais line. I use the beautifully printed blankies for everything from hiding my nursing newborn to protecting him from the sun and, oh yeah, swaddling him. Now their new collection of bibs has me pumped for feeding time. The new aden + anais snap bibs are made with the same 100% cotton muslin in three super-absorbent layers, as their uber-popular swaddle blankets. Which makes perfect sense, since one of the other uses I have found for the blankets is as a napkin...

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Mamas of little ones: Let’s Go Play with Charlie Hope

As soon as I heard Charlie Hope’s first CD, and then her lovely collection of lullabies, I was struck by how absolutely clear, real and pretty her voice is–especially in contrast with all the robotic autotune vocals this mama of a pop-music loving tween has to endure. Lucky for those of you with little ones, one of our favorite kindie voices has made even more lovely music that you’ll want to bring into your collection. {keep reading for free song download link!} Packing over twenty songs, stories and rhymes into her new release Let’s Go Play!, this would be my...

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Web coolness – lemonade stands, fun birthday plans and fulfilling Harry Potter demands

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too.  Make your kids’ lemonade stand the best on the block with these free printables. (via Living Locurto) Do you care about the new Google+? Kristen has five reasons parents should. Love this roundup of great birthday party ideas from Modern Parents Messy Kids.  A really unexpected way to find new summer reading. One of our favorite bloggers, SueBob Davis, has just completed an amazingly inspirational series of 50 charity posts in honor of her 50th birthday. So worth a click (or 50). Fun new website...

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In praise of the mustache

The hipsters have spoken! From Williamsburg to Silverlake, the official motif of the 2011 hipster movement is… the mustache. Specifically, the curly handlebar moustache. If I’m not seeing it on the faces of the kinds of guys who have traded up from trucker hats and Pabst Blue Ribbon, (and, you know, ye olde time-y circus folk) I’m seeing it the most adorable art and design. Here are 6 fabulous places to find mustaches. Not including 1980s-era Burt Reynold posters. –Liz Mustache pillows at Freaky Fleece (makers of the cute floppy disc throw pillows we love at Cool Mom Tech)...

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Jeffrey Sebelia serves up rockin threads for our little dudes

Dressing our little dudes up is no easy task. While it may be fairly easy to go preppy and sport the oxford shirt and khaki pants route, sometimes social events beckon for more rock and roll than country club. A new kids label from a Project Runway favorite has answered our call.  La Miniatura is the label of Jeffrey Sebelia, the designer with the rock band and the awesome neck tattoo who won Bravo’s Project Runway Season Three. Jeffrey’s also unforgettable for his style and wit, and now, his line of rad threads for boys, all throwbacks to the...

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The most helpful site for NYC mamas in search of… well, everything

I didn’t have kids yet when I lived in New York, but if I did–or should we ever happen to move back (could happen!)–I’d need some help getting it all together. A toddler bed to fit in a Manhattan apartment? Recommendations for a fabulous nanny? A gently-used city stroller for two? These are things for which you could turn to anonymous classified sites, but would you really want to when there’s a safer, more trustworthy alternative? Blueleo is a site filled with classifieds specifically for parents in the NYC vicinity, including Westchester, New Jersey, Long Island, and Fairfield. In...

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