Month: March 2012

You like designer handbags. We like giving away designer handbags. Perfect combination!

As handbag-crazy mamas, we’re pretty excited about this week’s monthly subscriber-only giveaway: Three Cool Mom Picks subscribers will each win a chic new bag from Ellington Handbag’s brand new Spring 2012 collection. You’ll win a Joni Hobo, a Mia Folding Tote, or an Annie Carryall in your choice of color. To be eligible, just click here and subscribe to Cool Mom Picks today (you might even find an exclusive discount code for Eilington on the subscriber page, hint.) All the details about how to enter will be in your inbox before you know it, along with other stuff you’ll...

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Kosher for Passover candy, beyond macaroons

While we’ve had a whole lot of ideas for Easter treats lately, it’s not always as easy to find great Passover treats in the Parve aisle. If you’re over the macaroons and those fruit slice candies that taste nothing like fruit, here’s a way tastier option that your kids will totally get a kick out of. The chocolate marshmallow frogs from Zelda’s Sweet Shoppe look absolutely adorable. While I haven’t tried them myself, they get all sorts of rave reviews, including a nomination for best new product at Kosherfest. But you don’t have to be kosher to like them–they’re a hit with the...

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It’s Earth Hour Day. Are you in?

If you’re participating in the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour tonight at 8:30 PM, in which people around the world will turn out their lights as a show of environmental commitment, you’re in good company. Hundreds of millions of people in about 135 countries are right there with you and it’s even being watched from the International Space Station.  Here are just a few things you can do for an hour tonight with the lights out:      -Play a board game     -Read a book with a flashlight     -Sit outside and watch the stars     -Eat by candlelight     -Check out the Earth Hour twitter feed and see photos of Earth from space–if it’s not cheating to be on your computer.     -Write an actual letter. You know, on stationery. With a pen.     -Reenact the final episode of Downton Abbey with finger puppets     -Make a list with your kids about ways to commit to taking care of the planet      -Make another baby. Ha. -Liz + KristenLearn More about Earth Hour by visiting their website and finding out ways to get involved. Also, check out this photo of Aukland, NZ‘s SkyCity Tower going dark, the first city on the planet to reach Earth...

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A vacation resort kids club that’s actually educational? Oh yeah.

I have a recurring fantasy these days: it involves the beach, gentle waves, a good book, a nap… and something amazing for the kids to do while all of the above takes place. So I’m about two seconds away from booking this vacation. [don’t miss a huge offer after the jump!] We’ve been fans of the gourmet inclusive Azul Hotels by Karisma in Cancun for a long time (check out Kristen’s experience there with her familyl). And now the hotels are even more family-focused with a very cool Mini Mayans program.  While most kids clubs offer the standard pool/crafts/snacks, the new interactive classes for...

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The next big fashion designer: your kid

The greatest thing about kid’s fashion is not only can kids get away with being whimsical but they can make statements that adults can’t necessarily make.  My daughter has a tutu skirt that she pairs with neon-green-polka-dotted leggings.  Enough said? If your kid wants to DIY in the clothing department, here’s a really wonderful new option. My Milk and Hunny designed a t-shirt for Petite Parade’s Vogue Kids Fashion Week in a collaboration with the non-profit organization Free Arts NYC, which offers educational arts and mentoring program to underserved kids. Grab this cute tee, and your own kids can...

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Keeping it clean

Sippy cup: check. Snacks: check. Wipes: darn tootin’. This is my leaving the house with a toddler checklist, and they come even before my own sunglasses and lip gloss. If wipes are still one of your must-haves when you head out, then, this nifty new carrying case for them can’t hurt. This adorable and bright wipes case by Funktion is both handy and cute. This bag comes from Mommassentials, a new line of mom and baby goods designed to fit a not so frilly family lifestyle. As a woman drowning in princess accoutrements, I am thankful.  We road tested...

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Web Coolness – Outrageous Peeps dioramas, April Fools tricks, and kid-friendly Passover recipes

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Totally impressed by the creativity in this year’s Peeps Diorama Contest by The Washington Post. See Peep-filled recreations of the Royal Wedding, The Republican Debates, Downton Abbey, and the winner, Occupy Wall Street by Cory E Wright [photo: Deb Lindsay] Also, see our own Christina’s children’s Peeps dioramas–we think they’re just as creative! What an eggscellent April Fool’s prank by Oh Happy Day! You can totally pull this off. It’s time for the 2012 Handmade Olympics by Rikrak Studio. Head on over to...

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Wooden toys they way they used to make them. And still do!

Just before Christmas, I was at a craft show and bought the sweetest set of wooden play money (yes, wooden bills!) for my kids. Then, I promptly lost the business card for the creators. As luck would have it, last week a Facebook friend of mine posted a link to their Etsy shop and I have been lost in a sea of beautiful wooden items ever since. The people at The Woodlot really do work magic with their designs. I am smitten with their gorgeous wooden jewelry, their adorable wooden toys, and their lovely wooden alphabet sets. Seriously, this shop...

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An easy way to get your car seat from the car to the airplane

Going on vacation is top on my list of things I love to do. At the bottom of that list has to be schlepping things–like car seats–from my house to the airport. I just discovered a contraption that makes that schlepping at least a little bit easier. The new Roll ‘n Go Car Seat Transporter from Brica takes the grunt work out of getting your front-facing car seat (or convertible car seat) through the airport and to the airplane. The Transporter is basically a lightweight hand truck that allows you to easily attach your car seat and push it wherever...

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The most eco-friendly, “aw”-worthy organic nursery bedding probably ever

You know, it’s ironic. I’m on the precipice of moving my baby into his first big-boy bed (sniffle), meaning big boy sheets, and it’s only now that I’ve found all the most adorable organic nursery bedding for the perfect nursery. Smiling Planet is a CMP favorite–we’ve long been impressed with the small company’s devotion to teaching children about the environment via its truly special and truly eco-friendly housewares. Smiling Planet’s new bedding line is no exception. The Smiling Planet Casa Collection made with 100% organic cotton, so it’s super-soft, and the whimsical designs on every item — from the...

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Pura Kiki bottles let you ditch plastic sippy cups for stainless steel

I admit that I was pretty skeptical of the stainless steel baby bottle trend, and never could actually make the leap. But now that my baby is of sippy cup age, I am pretty intrigued by the idea of stainless steel sippy cups. The Pura Kiki stainless steel toddler bottle has become a fixture in the hands of my 17-month old, pretty much converting me from the slew of plastic sippy cups that are stuffed in my kitchen drawers. They just wear so well compared to the plastic that looks beaten up pretty quickly, and I love how easy they are to wash....

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Five vegetable chips that make healthy eating easy

Got the winter squash blahs? Now that big mama nature has sprung spring on us, we get to look forward to a wider variety of fresh vegetables at the market. My favorite way to celebrate the bounty of Spring is to make homemade veggie chips. And I’m not just talking about ubiquitous kale chips. You can turn nearly any veggie into a chip with nothing more than a knife, some olive oil and an oven. (Salt helps, too.) Check out these five easy vegetable chip recipes and watch even your veggie refusnik gobble up the natural goodness of spring. These Cinnamon...

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The big bangle theory

As much as I love chunky rings and big bangles and cuffs, this season I’m finding myself drawn to daintier pieces, like these gorgeous, handcrafted ones at Alice Roche Jewelry. The triangle water bangles are light and airy, though still sturdily made from sterling silver, with the cool shape and ox silver adding the perfect little twist and uniqueness that I’m personally drawn to. I also love how Alice is committed to using reclaimed materials as well as those manufactured here in the United States. It can offer a nice balance if you’re still into big chunky ring or...

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Making your own Easter bunny

I am not a crochet master (or even a crochet apprentice), but if I were, I would totally be buying the PDF so I could make an adorable amigurumi bunny like this one. So for all you crafty mamas, check out the amigurumi bunny crochet pattern from Etsy’s LuvlyGurumi. You pay $6 for the pattern and support a small artist, then the rest is up to you. I can’t think of a sweeter Easter gift than something made from the heart. And that includes red jellybeans. –Liz Download the amigurumi bunny crochet pattern from LuvlyGurumi – plus monkeys, birds,...

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Introducing our Associate Editor and now published author, Delilah S. Dawson

We’re so thankful to have such amazing, talented mom writers here at Cool Mom Picks, so it’s no surprise to us that our own Associate Editor Delilah Dawson has her first book coming out today. Whoo! Wicked as They Come is the first in a three-part part-paranormal/part-steampunk series. We’re not even sure how to explain this other than there are corsets, laced-up boots, and vampires. What’s not to like about that? The book is dark, steamy, and pretty far from a baby carrier review. (Though we love your baby carrier reviews, Delilah!). What can we say? Our writers wear...

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Family vacations off the beaten path – Dahlonega, Georgia

Even though we’ve lived in Atlanta for almost five years, we’ve yet to explore all this area has to offer. And really, the idea of a quick weekend trip without a long car drive is really attractive when funds are low and you’re chasing after a bunch of kids, which is exactly what I discovered when I visited Dahlonega, a small town about 70-ish miles north of Atlanta as a guest of their Chamber of Commerce. With my two older kids in tow, we enjoyed the outdoorsy small town that’s known as the starting point for the Appalachian Trail....

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Our favorite baby basics for spring from Zutano

We’ve been huge fans of Zutano‘s durable, mix-and-match baby clothes going way back to when our own firstborns were living them–and we have the pictures to prove it. The spring line is so adorable that we even featured one of the outfits on Martha Stewart’s Baby Shower show last month. So when Zutano asked if we’d pick out some of our favorites from their new collection to share, we were like…where do we start? If you’re putting together a layette for your new baby, or you’re stocking up on shower gifts for the season, here are just few fabulous...

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And we’re off…

Spring just makes me want to get out. Also redecorate. Which is hard to do if I’m always out. But now there’s this lovely bit of art that kind of bridges both needs for me. This “Off to See the World” embroidery hoop art from the UK’s Three Red Apples just makes me happy. I love the vintage Citroën applique which is free hand embroidered, and the vintage fabrics in cheery colors bring it all together. Or maybe the airstream is part of your own travel fantasy? At least it’s easier to get a few car seats in there....

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5 online resources to help get parents smarter about money

When it comes to teaching our kids about money, we’ve learned that the most effective–and easiest–trick is teach by example. In other words, the better example we can set for them, the more prepared they’ll be to tackle their own budgets and spending as they get older. And while your kids may not be ready for the “this is how a credit card works” talk, even toddlers can start to understand the value of a dollar. Or a quarter. (Boy it’s tough to explain that a piece of green paper is worth more than a shiny coin!) So we...

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Easter sweets? Well, kind of…

Along with a big chocolate rabbit, the Easter bunny always leaves a bunch of sugary jelly beans for my kids in their basket. And though I don’t always love his artificially-colored-and-flavored choices, I let it slide for this one special day. But, this year, one of our favorite all-natural candy companies has come out with jelly beans that make this mama happy and will have my sweet kids puckering up in delight all day long. YumEarth’s new Sour Beans look like innocent little jelly beans until you stick one in your mouth and realize, whoa! sour! In fact, I...

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