Month: December 2012

Cinnamon candies! Pear + clove candies! Bergamot candies! Papabubble…you’re killing me

While there’s no shortage of ideas for food gifts around the holidays (we even have six of them you can make yourself, in our Holiday Gift Guide), here’s one more I absolutely adore. But no, you can’t make them yourself. And that’s okay. If you’re not familiar with the spectacular handmade candies from Papabubble, they’re like nothing you’ve ever seen–or tasted–before. All handmade,rolled, stretched, cut and packaged right in their NYC shop, when these gorgeous creations are packaged in little bags or 20g jars they make the most perfect gifts for friends and family you’re dropping in on all winter...

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Eco play food for kids that happens to smell delicious. Not in a pretend way.

In my part of the country, it is definitely more hot-cocoa time than ice-cream weather. But not according to my kids who know that any day is perfect for ice cream. Which is why this sweet-smelling six-pack of cones would be a welcome addition to their playtime, no matter what the temperature is. Created by Colorado’s eco-friendly BeginAgain, this Scented Scoops ice cream toy for kids consists of six ice cream cones with removable scoops that can be carried around using a special beechwood tray. Coffee, tea, or ice cream? But there is some very new technology at use here...

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Party-perfect earrings with a big purpose

Metallic feather-look earrings crafted from leather? Yes, please. The style is super cool and party-perfect. Even better, these earrings look ridiculously expensive, but only cost 24 bucks. But wait, there’s something more amazing about them. Raven + Lily is a longtime favorite of ours, for their beautiful items and their goal to empower women through design In keeping with that, these earrings are each handcrafted by marginalized women in India, using locally sourced leather. The proceeds go straight back to these women, in the form of literacy programs for them, their children, and their community.This holiday season, I can’t...

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Maternity lingerie ideas to help you make the holidays a little uh…more festive.

Why maternity lingerie? Well between the well-meaning but okay-enough-already belly touches of visiting relatives and feeling like your burgeoning bump is making you look a bit too much like Santa himself, holidays can be rough on a mama-to-be.  So we’re for anything that makes you feel a little more woman and a little less incubator. We’ve tracked down some of the softest, sexiest new holiday maternity lingerie collections around–pieces that’ll make you feel comfy, sexy, and festive all at once. Without looking like a Christmas tree ornament. -Lexi We’ve always dug the super soft maternity loungewear from Belabumbum and...

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Sweet and safe: an allergy-free gingerbread house kit

Food-allergy suffers and vegan families, fret no more at Christmas! You, too, can experience the joy (and balancing act!) of gathering around the table to assemble a candy-covered gingerbread house. This year, an allergy-free bakery in Orange County, California, will save you the extensive labor and time of whipping up your own allergy-free, vegan gingerbread and icing. They’ll send you the pieces, and you and kiddo get to assemble the sweet abode, safely and simply. How cool is that? Sensitive Sweets Bakery is a dedicated gluten-free, nut-free bakery in Fountain Valley, California. Lucky for everyone not local to Sensitive Sweets, the...

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The Sbyke: the best gift your tween or teen will get, period.

The siren song of electronics has a huge pull on my tweens this holiday, so if I’m going to ask Santa to bring them something that doesn’t begin with an “i” it’d better be something pretty cool. I found something pretty cool. No…really cool. The Sbyke is the rad offspring of a scooter and a BMX bike with a whole bunch of skateboard attitude thrown in for fun. I love that ever since my kids got their hands on one, they’ve been running outside–in the cold–to ride on it. For them, it’s been a pretty natural transition from a...

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Elizabeth Mitchell’s latest kindie CD takes on Bowie, Hendrix and your kid’s playlist

Smithsonian Folkways artist Elizabeth Mitchell has one of those crystal clear, beautiful voices that can take any song and turn it into the musical equivalent of spun gold. And while she has already released the much-loved, Grammy-nominated collection of Woody Guthrie covers earlier this year, she has more songs to give us. In fact, her latest release mixes traditional American folk with original tunes and covers from everyone from David Bowie to Van Morrison to Jimi Hendrix. Yes, really. Besides her gorgeous voice, what unifies all of her songs on Blue Clouds are the lyrics that reflect qualities I...

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Modern Nativity scenes you won’t mind the children touching

When you consider that most nativity sets include a couple of sheep, some people, an angel, and a stable, is it any wonder that most kids can’t wait to get their hands on them? But after my three were finished playing with the set I had growing up, I understood why my mom had kept it on the high shelf, away from our hands. Most Nativity sets are definitely for looking, not touching. But not these three sets I tracked down which would make great gifts for new parents, or for young children on Christmas. They are all made...

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

Unless you’re willing to pay for overnight shipping, the clock is counting down for Santa’s little tech helpers. Here are several of our favorite picks from the last week, many of which would make fantastic presents. Hint, hint! 1. With one brilliant little change, a boring holiday gift suddenly becomes pure genius for the fashionable laptop addict in your life. 2. We were so charmed by this hot celebrity dad that we could barely ask him to share his favorite photography app. Now we know why his photos are so fabulous! 3. If our own children’s reaction to this...

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Sometimes a little pampering is in order: the natural indulgence of Tata Harper Skincare

Luxe alert: I was introduced to the 100% natural, nontoxic Tata Harper Skincare at Canyon Ranch this summer. It was a moment of seriously posh pampering in my otherwise ordinary life, and an incredibly soothing experience. Luckily, it’s a splurge you can enjoy at home–well, minus the aesthetician. So if you know someone who could use some pampering and serious self-care after a long year (including you!), you might just want to give Santa the heads-up. Honestly, I’m hooked on this line, and here’s why. For starters, Tata Harper Skincare is created using 100% natural ingredients that I can...

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Holiday gift tags that make a difference in the lives of hungry kids

One goal that my husband and I have set for our family this holiday season is to give back as much as we possibly can. I think we’re all feeling it a bit this year. That’s why I love products like these holiday gift tags, which look great and do great things, with all of the proceeds going straight to those who are in need. These holiday gift tag created by No Kid Hungry, are the perfect gift tags or Christmas notes for loved ones. You can choose between two attractive styles. And every purchase gives back–exponentially. Purchase just...

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A Paris-pretty tea set guaranteed to be loved. Even if the macarons are pretend.

What little girl doesn’t love tea parties? Well, I sure did. Some of my fondest childhood memories are making my grandfather sit down for nice cup of my make-believe tea. He was always the best sport about it, which meant the world to me. So I have a sweet spot for sure for this special little tea set. The Moulin Roty Parisian Tea Party Set from My Sweet Muffin is seriously adorable. Each set is decorated with the cutest Parisian illustrations and comes in a matching cardboard box with a handle. Made from durable metal and a perfect size...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us and find fun pins like this daily. 1. A cool handbag that gives back in an amazing way.  Surely there’s someone on your list who will love this. 2. Move over eggnog! This yummy holiday cocktail recipe is giving you serious competition. 3. Need a last-minute gift for your kids, nieces, or nephews that they’ll adore? Found it. 4.We wouldn’t complain if we found this gorgeous necklace under the tree this year. 5. Want a head start on your New Year’s fitness resolutions? This gadget will be a huge...

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Reusable squeeze pouches for snacking on the go

Feeding your baby solids is an exciting but somewhat stressful time–especially when you are on the go. As you know, most babies can’t really figure out the whole spoon-to-mouth thing when they first start eating, and it can get pretty darn messy. So I dig fruit and veggie pouches for their convenience, and now I especially love these reusable pouches that are easy on the environment, too. Squooshi makes very cute reusable squeeze-fruit pouches which are easy to fill and adorable to boot. Each one has a resealable bottom, which makes prepping the pouches a cinch. The cool thing...

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The best online responses to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy

As we do our best to get back to some sense of normalcy today here on Cool Mom Picks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, we wanted to share some of the lovely online responses and tributes to the families of Newtown, Connecticut that we’ve read around the web. We hope they touch you as much as they did us, and help you cope and carry on as best you can after something like this. A round-up of reactions about Sandy Hook from various parents on Twitter, including our Editor Liz. A wonderful essay about how we as...

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Delightful dinosaur board books for budding paleontologists

Perfect prezzie alert: At some point (usually during the Late Toddler/Early Preschool Era), most kids go through a fascination with the creatures of the Mesozoic Era, otherwise known as dinosaurs. If you have a toddler who adores all things Large, Scaly, and Extinct, you’ve got to check out this set of board books that bring dinosaurs back to teach kiddos a thing or two. These four bright and colorful board books feature a wide range of rainbow-hued dinosaurs covering everything from the alphabet to numbers. Sure, their colors may not be historically accurate, but it makes for great visuals...

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How to talk to your kids about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting

Like probably all of you, we are completely overwhelmed with sadness about the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings that happened this morning in Newtown, Connecticut. Along with our thoughts that are with the families affected by this tragedy, and we’ll be honest, our desire to run and scoop up our own children from school, we’re struggling with how we even begin to explain something like this to them. Thankfully, Katherine Stone, mom and founder of Post Partum Progress shared helpful information with us that we wanted you to know about, including the APA.org’s resource helping your children manage distress...

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One of the most important presents you could ever give: clean water

As wonderful as it is to unwrap gifts during the holidays, it’s even more wonderful to give gifts that can’t be wrapped in the first place. Especially this one–because it will also be appreciated for a lifetime. Cool Mom Picks has always loved the mission of charity:water: to bring clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. And its holiday campaign is one I can totally get behind: the organization is suggesting we “give up the gifts” and instead help fund 100 new wells in Ethiopia. Just $10,000 fully funds a shallow borehole well in northern Ethiopia–a region...

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Your baby’s toasty in that stroller. Shouldn’t you be toasty, too?

I am definitely not one for gimmicky baby and new mom products that you really don’t need. That’s probably why you don’t see a lot of stroller accessories on here, or stuff like the dreaded wipes warmer. (Sorry to those of you who love them.) But in this case, I kind of fell hard for a dandy stroller accessory that I wish I had had when my kiddos were babies. The WarmMuffs from one of our favorite little baby brands, 7 A.M. Enfant, are pretty genius if you live anywhere the temperature likes to drop below 32F. These ultra luxe, fuzzy,...

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Web Coolness: holiday tech gifts, an easy Christmas craft, and a must-read post for every mother

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too! Have you seen our Cool Mom Tech holiday tech gift guide? So many awesome goodies for everyone in your family, plus wow, fabulous $500 giveaway! Let your kids make a Christmas tree with Washi tape as shown over at Modern Parents Messy Kids. Liz shares her top 5 things to do with the kids this holiday on the Bing blog–and some of them might be surprising. How many of them does your family do? We love this Hurricane Sandy Holiday Toy...

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