Month: November 2012

Affordable designer goodies right from home? And a happy holiday to you too, eBay!

Holiday shopping is here. Even with Black Friday approaching, I still feel not ready.  Could it be the hour-long lines and giant crowds that give me this sense of panic?  Ummm, yes. Well, friends, even eBay has stepped up with an amazing online shopping destination for the holidays…and I think you’ll love it.                                     I’m so excited to tell you that eBay has collaborated with seven of my favorite designers, including Billy Reid, Tibi, and Jonathan Adler, to create the limited edition eBay Holiday Collective. You will find gifts spanning men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry, travel and electronics...

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Custom books for kids from Chronicle Books. We like it when they get personal.

Search our archives and past gift guides for the publisher Chronicle Books, and it’s pretty obvious we’ve been big fans of many of their printed products, from the helpful Chore Board chore chart, to the sweetest tooth fairy keepsake book, and loads of other titles in between. Now, just in time for the holidays, they have added personalization to some of their titles, which makes them an even more special book to gift or receive. {Keep reading for a big limited time discount AND a chance to win a free personalized book!} Of the new books in Chronicle’s personalized section, my...

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Bonjour, organic baby playmat. Au revoir, fussy baby.

Sure, babies are cute and all. Still, sometimes a mama has to set her wee one down in a safe place so she can do something really exotic–like wash her face, or maybe flush a toilet. Quelle horreur! When they can’t crawl yet (oh, the luxury), those baby playmats sure do come in handy. Bonus points if they happen to be chic, fair-trade, organic cotton playmats designed in France. Created by a pair of French sisters who were looking for a comfortable, safe, modern design option for one of their own babies, this delightful, interactive Organic Baby Playmat from Deuz is bright...

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Finally! Crayons for every skin tone

Recently we found a wonderful pin on Pinterest that our followers loved too–an editorial photo of a dozen shades of crayons all labeled flesh. Awesome!  We’ve been actively trying to track down the creator of the photo (any help is welcome). And it’s not just a pic: we’re delighted to see that you can indeed buy fleshtone crayons from Crayola now. Gone are the days of one-skin-fits-all, icky peachy-orange. Now, it’s not like they’re perfect–I have yet to see a snow-white person who wasn’t made up for kabuki theater, and I have yet to see a shiny licorice-black person,...

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The most gorgeous holiday cards this year are to die-cut for.

[Don’t miss a huge $250 Minted holiday card giveaway below PLUS an exclusive discount code for our readers!] There are those of us moms who swear we’ll get our holiday cards together in plenty of time this year, not have to race for a subpar photo, and not have to call them “New Year’s Cards”–and then…well, people who aren’t me. This year I’m vowing to start now. As in now. And the new collection from Minted gives me a good reason to actually do it. I’m so happy that this wonderful company is back as a sponsor, especially because...

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Mmmmmmmarshmallows!

I have this inkling that gourmet marshmallows just may be the new macaron (which was the new whoopie pie which was the new cupcake). And when you see the flavors like the ones from Wondermade, you are going to agree with me completely. Wondermade Marshmallows are no child’s play. Made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup,the flavors include a sophisticated Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Maple Bacon (zomg), or Guinness, which couples the dark beer with cane sugar, crushed pretzels and pure vanilla extract. If you like your gelatin-based dessert treats a little more sobering, there’s Honey Pear, Pumpkin Pie,...

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Snuggly faux-fur fashion for your fave baby girl

I remember once dressing my daughter like a mini-fashionista–just for a trip to the grocery store. Yeah, I was that mom. But hey, you have far better excuses for a fabulous baby girl outfit right now, like say 6 weeks worth of holiday visits coming up? So join me in drooling over this furry set by CMP fave Funky Shapes on Etsy (I mean, have you seen their baby booties)? Seriously, if this baby fur boots and vest set had been available when my daughter was a baby, I would have pounced on them. A few things to note: the...

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5 tech picks you won’t want to miss this week

It’s beginning to look a lot like Black Friday, and we have the lead on great gifts for the techie in your life–not to mention some easy ways to keep track of wishlists. Here are a few of our favorite picks from the last week, just in case you missed them. 1. You won’t believe what this high-tech baby gadget can do! Hint: helping you get more sleep is just the beginning. 2. Want to enjoy your music without the help of batteries, electricity, or wires? No problem! Looking for something more high-tech? We’ve got that, too. 3. We just love...

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A natural wooden puzzle that let kids play with fire…and water, earth and air.

This is the time of year that my kids become obsessed with games, puzzles and any activity that can keep their attention without them having to be outside in our freezing cold weather. Usually for Christmas I stock up on a little new inventory of things like natural wooden puzzles so that we’re not running out of options. And now this set from long-time favorite toy shop, Natural Pod, is on my must-have list. This children’s natural wooden puzzle introduces your children to the wonders of the four elements. Earth, fire, water and air are represented by a cave, flames,...

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Look, honey, it’s snowing Stormtroopers.

They say every snowflake is unique, but snowflakes featuring Star Wars Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers may just take the cake. If you’re into Star Wars, you won’t want to miss this collection of 19 DIY snowflakes featuring your favorite characters. After all, it’s beginning to look a lot like Hoth! Matters of Grey is a geek collective specializing in social media and nerd-excellent DIY, and they’ve improved on last year’s collection of snowflakes with even more free Star Wars templates. Whether you’re into spaceships like Boba Fett’s Slave 1 and the Millenium Falcon, or you want a room glittering...

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Biscoff truffles? Avert your eyes, dieters.

A few years back we admitted our collective devotion to Biscoff cookies–you know, those ones you get on the airplanes?–and it turns out we were not alone. Since then we’ve discovered the joy of Biscoff cookie spread, and now we’re drooling because it turns out you can do more with it than eat it right out of the jar with a spoon. I mean uh, spread it on toast.  One of the great thing about this Biscoff Truffle recipe from In Katrina’s Kitchen (besides the fact that we could probably eat 42 in one sitting) is that it only...

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Hanukkah crafts for kids: one more thing off your plate with Kiwi Crate

Hanukkah comes early this year, kicking of the Festival of Lights on December 8th (or the 25th of Kislev if you want to be technical about it). Which means for some gifts, you need to start getting ready now already (eek!). For parents that means planning, shopping and wrapping ahead of all the regular holiday madness.  There is an additional challenge though. With an early calendar date it can be hard to get the kids as excited when their holiday doesn’t line up with that of all of their friends. Well, the oh-so-reliable CMP favorite Kiwi Crate has a plan...

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This just in: The top kids’ CD’s of 2012 as announced by Fids and Kamily

Just in time for holiday shopping, Fids and Kamily has released their Top 15 Kids CD’s of 2012 this morning. Which means that you now have a bunch of great gift ideas for every kid on your list that you won’t mind listening to either. You’re welcome. This list isn’t created by any one person, but by combining the votes from journalists, bloggers, publicists, radio show hosts. . .and yours truly. So it truly is the top collective picks of a whole big group of us who listen to an awful lot of kids’ music. Who won? Well, the...

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DIY Thanksgiving Placemats for kids: almost a shame to cover them with food

I am not the craftiest of the bunch at Cool Mom Picks, so when I see something that looks like, “Hey, we could do that!” I’m all over it. And this kids’ Thanksgiving table craft that you can do super easily fits the bill perfectly. From our friends at NYC’s Moomah, the wonderful family art space turned online “do it together” magazine, this idea is so wonderful: 1. Print out this cornucopia printable 2. Print out these collage shapes (or find your own from printables on the web, magazines, or old greeting cards) 3. Print out the “I am thankful...

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Breaking news: Peapod travel crib recall

Just yesterday, the CPSC and KidCo Inc. recalled all 220,000 of their Peapod travel cribs that have been sold since 2005. We were so sad to hear that the recall was due to a possible infant death (though the cause is unknown), and others being trapped and distressed–however these occurred in some cases due to users placing the mattress on the floor of the tent and not in the pocket as the directions specify. KidCo Inc. is offering a kit so parents who own a Peapod travel beds and Peapod Plus travel beds can fix them, making the cribs safe...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us (it’s fun!) and find pins like these, some of our favorites of the week. 1. How to turn your photos into a board book for the kiddos. Awesome affordable holiday gift! 2. We can’t stop laughing at all these mustache toys and items to show your Movember support. 3. A must-have for every single kid who loves LEGOs. (Isn’t that all of them?) 4. Gorgeous holiday play clothes for boys and girls at a sweet discount. 5.  Ad-free kids programming online!...

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Birchbox Home arrives, whoa! A new reason to stay in on Friday nights

We’ve already have described how much we love Birchbox from the day they launched since, well, who doesn’t love a hot pink box filled with amazing high-end cosmetics samples delivered to their door each month? So it will be no surprise to hear that we’re ridiculously excited about two brand new Birchbox developments. Just in time for the holiday season, Birchbox has announced the launch of Birchbox Home, their brand new pop-up shop. And I won’t lie to you, I’m already drooling. With everything from pretty Ikat nesting bowls and gourmet vanilla bean sugar to the super-cool Jonathan Adler...

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Wooden sweets for your sweets? Sweet!

My kids absolutely love to play store. They’ll gather up whatever small toys they want to sell, set them out, and then yell at me until I agree to buy something. (They need to work on their customer service a little.) I imagine my favorite shopkeepers would happily extend their offerings to sweets if they saw the adorable wooden candy store sets from a brand-new Etsy shop I found. Snugglebug University at Etsy is pure sweetness. The Wood Snow Cone sets (below) are amazing, but I love the two Deluxe Wooden Candy Store sets best. They’re packed with little whoopee pies, candy peach rings, money,...

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Web Coolness: napping DJ baby, Thanksgiving treats, and understanding autism

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. A while back, she was photographing her daughter napping in fanciful scenes. Now, Adele Enersen is doodling around her sleeping son who becomes a rocking DJ, runway model, or cellist in his dreams. If you’ll be the one hosting Thanksgiving dinner check out this amazing list of Thanksgiving resources from our own Stacie. If someone else is cooking you Thanksgiving dinner (lucky!), grab one of these free printable wine labels and gift tags from Sarah Hearts and bring something delicious for...

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Brand-new inspiration for your LEGO lovers

Chances are, if there is a new LEGO anything, my kiddos have heard about it. But buying a new LEGO set every time they want one (read: always) can get expensive. So how do you inspire your kids to keep building with the pieces that they already own? Fortunately, that’s where an excellent new book comes in, with novel step-by-step ideas–and big-time inspiration–for the kids’ old LEGO stash. Nice. Meet The LEGO Adventure Book, a brick-by-brick guide to building cars, castles and more–with pieces you already own. I’m a visual learner, and written directions usually intimidate me. But this guide...

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