Month: April 2012

Announcing the very best Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Ours!

This may be our favorite time of year chez Cool Mom Picks–the time we track down the coolest Mother’s Day gifts for all those deserving moms in your life. In other words, time for our seventh annual (wow) Mother’s Day Gift Guide! It’s always such a labor of love for us (ha), and this year we’ve carefully curated more than 50 gift recommendations in every price range, for all kinds of moms. From the practical brand new mom to the sentimental Grandma; gifts for stepmothers, crafty DIY gifts from the kids, major splurges, gifts that give back, and so...

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Our own personal necklaces from Elva Fields. Now all we need are those Oscar nominations…

We imagine that it’s every jewelry-loving woman’s dream to have a special piece custom designed just for her by an amazing designer. So when we were approached by designer Emily Maynard of Elva Fields for just that, we jumped at the chance. As part of her monthly “Leading Ladies” series, we’re so honored join a long list of incredible design bloggers (how much do we love Joy Cho of Oh Joy!?) with own signature Elva Fields necklaces. We thought it would be fun to show you the cool process that goes into creating a one-of-a-kind piece from start to...

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Want to meet Anna Quindlen? Well guess what…

One of my literary heroes has always been Anna Quindlen. She’s not only an amazing columnist, Pulitzer Prize winning  journalist, hard working mom, and now incredible author, she’s an all-around very cool, very inspiring woman. Next Tuesday in NYC, I’ll be hosting a reading and signing for her new book, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake which is a warm, humorous take on motherhood, marriage, girlfriends, our bodies–ya know. All the stuff we’re talking about anyway. Only she’ll say it better. Which is why you’ll want to buy it, then have it signed. If you’re in the NYC area,...

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A Calder mobile? No, more like a Mahler.

I still remember what it was like picking out the perfect mobile for my children’s nurseries. I wanted something modern and chic but that still felt whimsical and child-like. I also wanted something unique and original that every other nursery on my street did not have. Marco Mahler, a sculptor specializing in modern art mobiles and hanging kinetic art commissions, has created 32 airy mobile creations that seem like they are floating in space.  Some are colorful and bold while others are more simple and elegant. Marco uses a variety of materials including acrylic glass, foam and metal.  ...

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Coffee talk: 6 amazing iced coffee drinks

With temperatures reaching 80 degrees in New York City in April, it’s officially time to make the switch from hot coffee to iced. I’ve got to be honest, though, in the legendary words of Coffee Talk” host Linda Richman, bidding farewell to my warm morning cup of joe makes me a little verklempt. (Talk amongst yourselves.) Thankfully, I’ve found 6 delicious iced coffee recipes will help us make a yummy transition to spring. Thai Iced Coffee (at top): Sound fancy? Please. Our good friend Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen makes it no big whoop to make. Her exotic recipe calls for...

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Jewelry for typography geeks. Or just people who like cool jewelry.

At the International Gift Show this year, I was so happy to come across the very cool jewelry from MEANING, a design collective that creates art, jewelry and other objects all based on typography. And that doesn’t mean they stamp a scripty letter B on a charm and call it a day. At the MEANING store, you’ll find rings that at first just seem like really cool, graphic, geometric shapes. But upon closer look, they’re all dingbats–those little swirls and symbols which, in 3-D make absolutely cool baubles. The polymide rings are all laser cut and hand dyed like...

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Mother’s Day gifts that give back. Thanks, 31 Bits.

One of our favorite kinds of Mother’s Day gifts to recommend are those that give back, because we hardly know a mother among us who isn’t committed to making the entire world a better place for our babies. Now there’s a new one, offering beautiful affordable jewelry, with a cause that’s just as attractive. 31 Bits is creating very wearable, handmade jewelry with the help of 108 women in Uganda. The company not only helps provide them with an income source, but also with vocational training, educational opportunities, English lessons, and AIDS and healthcare education. Founder Kallie Dovel seems...

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Personalized journals at prices as irresistible as the designs

We’ve been fans of Minted going way back to when we first discovered their gorgeous stationery and support of the indie designers who create them. We can’t tell you the number of notes we get from readers (okay, a lot) thanking us for introducing them to Minted. So we’re excited to be partnering with them again to showcase their amazing new custom journals and notebooks. Also, we’re offering a gihugic giveaway. Consider it our early Mother’s Day gift to you. [After the jump, don’t miss our favorite new designs, plus details about our $500 giveaway!] If you’re looking for...

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Organize your books from A to Zombie

Run, don’t walk, to get your hands on this sharp set of bookends. From Boneshaker to World War Z, you’ve finally got a place to keep your favorite books about how to survive the coming zombiepocalypse.  Not into zombies? That’s okay, too. This awesome Etsy shop offers cool bookends for book lovers of all stripes. Handmade and designed from solid steel by Knob Creek Metal Arts, these Zombie Bookends in hammered black cut steel would even be helpful in case of zombie attack. I mean, can you imagine facing the undead with those adorable balloon dog bookends we covered?...

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Treat.com: the best of ecards meets the best of real cards

Though I love the convenience of sending e-cards to those near and dear, there is still something special about getting an honest-to-goodness “real” card in the mailbox, especially on holidays like Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, I’m never, ever going to be that person who remembers to get to the card store on time, so I sheepishly type a meaningful happy whatever into my Facebook browser and hope that counts. For those of you like me, who want the convenience of an ecard with the specialness of a paper card, I think you’ll totally dig this new e-card site from the...

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The cutest baby beanies ever. Or maybe the second cutest…

As a mom, I remember my babies living in the classic white onesie, which is an easy piece to pair with pops of color. So I always appreciate finding beanies for babies that have lots of personality and vibrancy. These brand new handmade earflap baby beanies from get your craft on! SHOP are adorable! Just about as adorable as the mom tattoo baby beanie we love so much, that’s featured right up top in our baby shower gift guide this year.                                 The hats come in a variety of colors and sizes, with a great pop art sensibility, and...

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My Mother’s Day dream gift. Honey, are you reading this?

I fully admit to being something of a bag addict. I have a closet full of every style, shape and designer you can imagine. But that doesn’t mean I ever stop looking and purchasing yet another one. For Mother’s Day, there’s a bag from Longchamp that has my name written all over it—literally. The custom Longchamp bags from one of our favorite French accessory labels are practical, chic and totally personalized for your tastes. I’m having a hard time deciding which style I want to order, or um have my husband order for me. On one hand, there’s the...

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Personalized stamps that prettify anything. And everything.

Ever since my penpal days (I had 31 of them! At the same time!), I’ve loved personalized stamps. I was a preteen, so they were of the unicorn-and-rainbow variety–oh, and penguins. I had way too many penguin stamps. My tastes–and time–have obviously changed a little in the last 20 years, which is why I’m over the moon about these elegant new custom stamps. CMP favorite stationer Red Stamp has teamed up with Paper & Ink to create a line or gorgeous,  personalized self-inking stamps. They’re available in 24 different designs, from clean and contemporary to bold and beautiful. It’s really nice...

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From piggy banks to paychecks, one chapter at a time.

I’d prefer one dozen versions of the “where do babies come from” talk with my kids before I’d sign up for even one “and this is how money works” discussions. I can cheerfully rattle off twenty-seven slang terms for body parts, but ask me how something amortizes and I break out in hives. Piggy Banks to Paychecks: Helping Kids Understand the Value of a Dollar, written by accountant and financial consultant Angie Mohr, explains it all to help me explain it to my kids.      Each chapter focuses on an aspect of financial savvy, from learning how to explain earning,...

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The new Dyson Canister Vacuum – Watch the dust bunnies cower in terror

I had never given much thought about the old canister vacuum I used for years and years: It was a fair little vacuum with a dust-belching bag that I never remembered to replace, and a “retracting cord” feature had stopped retracting years before. But once my mother bought me a Dyson upright, like so many Dyson fans, I was converted immediately and never looked back. Can Dyson tempt me back to a canister with their latest offering? And, if you are still living in the dusty world of vacuum bags, is this the vacuum that will get you bagless? The...

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A four thousand-foot high classroom

Trish Herr takes homeschooling to an entirely new level. Instead of white boards, we are talking white peaks. Her children carry backpacks with more than just pens and pencils–think emergency supplies, whistles, and trail mix. In this very unique memoir, Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure, Trish details the challenges of signing on to an extraordinary adventure with her young daughter. Parents walk a fine balance these days. Between Helicopter Parents, Tiger Moms and Free Range Kids, it’s hard to know where you stand. The good news is that you don’t have to subscribe to any one parenting manual....

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Get ready to rock your socks off at Kindiefest 2012

For the past few years, I’ve traveled to Brooklyn, grabbed my editor Liz, and headed to the most fun conference filled with some of the best and smartest people making and promoting kids’ music. We do it for love of the genre. And to find great new family-friendly music for you all, so that you have much more to choose from than yet another rendition of You Are My Sunshine sung by an off-key puppet.  But this is much more than an insider’s only event, and on Sunday, April 29, doors will swing widely open at Littlefield in Brooklyn...

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The perfect book for a new big sister (lucky thing)

We get a lot of requests for books for kids about to welcome a new sibling into the family. Some of the better known titles are pretty sappy, which isn’t such a bad thing, but I never really liked the stories about how perfect it is to have a baby around. I’d imagine that if your kid is older than about two, they see right through that. Instead, take a look at the new Chloe, Instead, written and illustrated by Micah Player. It’s a vibrantly colorful, gorgeously illustrated story; not surprising considering his past as a designer at Paul...

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Web Coolness – Caine’s Arcade, Anti-Mommy Wars, the coolest Disney movie posters

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Can cardboard boxes make a dream come true? If you’ve seen this beautiful Caine’s Arcade video, you know they can. Do yourself a favor and make 10 minutes to watch it. On the second installment of The Kristen Chase Show, Kristen takes on The Anti-Mommy Wars. Good stuff here. Speaking of which, Liz is writing about putting an end to the mommy wars and we’re all for that. Getting something back from Uncle Sam? (lucky you!) We’ve got some splurge...

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