Month: May 2012

Well Helloooo, Kitty

I have a thing for Hello Kitty (as you may well know) and I also have a thing for Vans. [see more awesome kicks after the jump!] The collection of Hello Kitty Vans Sneakers for kids is adorable, as you’d expect, but I think what I like more is that they’re available in women’s sizes too–provided you’re amply ironic enough to pull them off. (Hint: not with mom jeans.) I’m not sure that I fit that description, so I’ll just be happy watching my girls skip down the street wearing these classic low-top lace-ups. It makes me very happy...

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No one’s as cool as our subscribers. Except maybe their kids.

This month, subscribing to Cool Mom Picks is especially cool. Because when our next newsletter goes out, you’ll have a chance to win a really awesome subscriber only giveaway. This month, five– yes, five— Cool Mom Picks subscribers will each win a $50 gift certificate to CMP favorite Appaman. We love their runway ready but built-to-last clothes for kids. And all you have to do for your chance to win is join the ranks of other cool parents who subscribe to Cool Mom Picks, then keep an eye out for our June newsletter, coming your way Monday. Cool?...

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Cool Mom Fit – Train Like a Mother + expert tips just for cool moms

We’re always amazed at how many of you are able to make time for running and working out all while chasing after your kids. So with our own Julie Marsh completing her first marathon (go Julie!) and aiming to finish a slew of triathlons this year, and our Editor Kristen setting her sights on completing the Philadelphia Marathon this fall (go Kristen!), we thought it would be the perfect time to kick off our Cool Mom Fit series. Each week, we’ll introduce you to some of the coolest fitness goodies and gear (like those awesome New Balance shoes that Kristen...

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It’s a small world in The Secret World of Arrietty

Want to know why we’re in love with The Secret World of Arrietty? Family Movie Night in our house usually means the kids pick an animated-to-the-gills cartoon that tries to make itself relevant to “all ages” with lots of double-entendre, fast-paced action scenes, and mildly suggestive sexual tension. (I’m looking at you Puss in Boots.) So how refreshing to find a G-rated movie that has our all-ages audience riveted without a single car chase, animal hip-hop number, or over-their-heads joke. Having never read The Borrowers, I came to The Secret World of Arrietty with little knowledge of the story...

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Baby sun protection? Reader Q&A

I just had my fifth baby a couple weeks ago and need some ideas for baby sun protection. Could you tell me some of your favorite products for making it easier and safer to be out in the sun with a very young infant? -Kim Congratulations on the birth of your baby! Number five no less. The cool thing is, there are a lot of great new products out there for you, even since your first was born. Here are a few picks to help keep your babe safer in the sun. –Christina I got to try out the GoCrib...

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Funny Father’s Day cards that actually are

Finding a funny Father’s Day card that has nothing to do with golf, grilling, tools, beer, or leaving the toilet seat up is not an easy task, as I’ve discovered. And yet–voila. I’ve tracked down 7 funny Father’s Day cards that I would actually send. (No offense, Hoops and Yoyo.) I love this Star Wars Father’s Day Card that reminds him some dads are better than others. In other words, Dear dad: Thanks for not trying leading the evil Imperial forces against the galaxy ($4 at Wit and Whistle) What’s bigger than a Vente? A Padre evidently. This custom...

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5 cool personalized key chains for Father’s Day

Every time I see my father-in-law, he tells me how much he loves his Father’s Day gift from a few years back, a personalized key chain I had made for him from the kids. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s his favorite gift of all time. If you’re looking for an affordable personalized gift for that special dad in your life, here are 5 cool key chains that will make the perfect Father’s Day gift.    This simple “We Love Dad” keychain  (pictured above left) from Cool Mom Picks fave Lisa Leonard is such a lovely gift from all the kids,...

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5 great white wine cocktail recipes (and one great way to do good while making them)

Now that it’s unofficially summer, I’m in a white wine mindset, which also means delicious white wine cocktails. Fortunately I’ve got quite a few to share with you. But first, I want to share one of my favorite white wines–with a great story to boot. After a decade of making wine (and far longer drinking it), winemaker Christian Stark set out to make an affordable, great-tasting wine that also makes a difference in the world. Lucky for us, he succeeded with Stark Thirst. This Sonoma Chardonnay is a fresh, dry white wine fermented in steel tanks, which is a...

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Are LEGO Friends good for girls? Let’s talk about it.

I’ll be frank, quite a few of us groaned along with many of you when LEGO Friends was announced; that series of pastel-colored, “girl-friendly” kits which seemed heavy on the pink and purple, with themes like Butterfly Beauty Shop. (Gah.) At Toy Fair earlier this year, Christina and I got a good look at the entire line. And since then, we’ve each spent the last few months with our girls playing with the kits, deciding whether we could truly recommend them or not. Here are the issues we were concerned about, and where we both panned out. Concern 1:...

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UV swimwear lets girls play it safe, and adorable, in the sun.

Hooray, it’s unofficially summer this week! That mean fun days at the beach, and for parents, the grand hunt for UV swimwear and the perfect sunblock to keep our kids safe. My daughter is not the yellow polka dot bikini kind of gal anyway; she’ll be digging in the sand until high tide, which is why we’re glad to find a brand that provides some needed coverage. [don’t miss an exclusive discount after the jump!] I am very excited to have found another adorable collection of sun-safe UV swimwear for toddlers and girls, from smart company Girls4Sport.   These...

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Gifts for new dads – Father’s Day Gift Guide

This roundup of awesome gifts for new dads is the second in our Father’s Day Gift Guide series brought to you by the wonderful folks at Dove Men+Care. The perfect b+w of Daddy and the new baby in a great frame is always a classic First Father’s Day gift. We happen to love this upcycled tin ceiling picture frame in your choice of red or blue. ($45 at Uncommon Goods)   We love this clever My Dad Rocks baby tee or onesie that continues “…and feeds and changes.” Pick from five different styles, and 13 colors, dress the baby...

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DIY teacher gifts from the class? Reader Q+A

Help! We are trying to come up with an end of year DIY teacher gift from the whole classroom for our kindergarten teacher. Something every kid can participate in but won’t require too much work from the parents. I know Cool Mom Picks will have great ideas. Thank you so much! -Margaret B We totally understand. As easy as it is to just donate some money towards a gift card, there are some teachers who are so special to us that we really want to do something that truly comes from the heart of each and every kid. For those...

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Dan Zanes in a most unexpected place: your own kitchen

Dan Zanes is happiness squared. His music puts me in a great mood each and every time I give it a spin–even without the kids, when I’m alone in the minivan. So I’m excited to see his new project that didn’t come out of a sound studio, but a ceramics studio. [after the jump, learn more about a special Dan Zanes event for families this week!] The new new Dan Zanes pairing with one of my fave shops, Fishs Eddy, the quintessential funky New York restaurant-quality tableware shop, makes so much sense. One look at the quirky tubas, cellos,...

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A Father’s Day gift from the kid. Of the kid.

We’ve recently shared 10 of our favorite personalized Father’s Day gifts, and now there’s one more we’re in love with. Now let me first tell you, normally, I get a little panicked about Father’s Day gift-giving, while consoling myself with the knowledge that, worse comes to worst, my husband always sincerely appreciates a card from the kids. But with this discovery, I’m totally calm–because he’s getting personalized cards of the kids. [don’t miss an exclusive, limited time discount after the jump!] Cool Mom Picks loved the unique holiday cards from Dear Ida, and now we’re completely smitten with their new...

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Kindie music’s Walden: The Okee Dokee Brothers take on the Mississippi

When I wrote about the first Okee Dokee Brothers CD back in ’08, I called them “equal parts hillbilly, seven-year-old boy and your favorite teacher”…heavy on the 7 year old boy. Now on their third release, it’s as if the two jokers with the goofy sense of humor have grown up a bit as they recount their month spent on the Mississippi with some mighty fine music and plenty of good times. Here’s one you’ll definitely want before you head out this summer. Kicking off with the title song, Can You Canoe? is one long love letter to the great...

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The perfect pre-K gift for your new graduate (sniffle)

I didn’t expect to have tears streaming down my face at the very idea that my baby girl would soon graduate from pre-K, but here I am–and here they are. How did she get so big? But despite the unexpected sniffles and “but she was just born two days ago!” feelings, I’m every inch the proud mama–especially because she’s so proud. So I was happy to find the perfect pre-K gift for my new little graduate. Meet the Crayola Doodlebag at Two Blue Peas. The cool bag is filled with chalk, an eraser, crayons, a pad of paper, and a...

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The yellow bag of happiness

I am a “winter,” which some of you might remember from those days we classified our skin tones by season and were told never ever to wear whatever was probably our favorite color at the time. But to this date, I know that I just don’t look good in yellow, which is popping up everywhere this season. So if there’s any way for me to wear it, it’s going to be a slim patent belt, maybe a pair of shoes, and most definitely an unapologetically bright handbag. Here are some of the yellow handbags I think would look great...

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The coolest luggage tags, just in time for travel season

It’s Memorial Day, which means the start of summer travel season, hooray! If upgrading your entire set of luggage isn’t in the budget at this particular moment, you can at least swankify it all with a super cool new luggage tag. Here are just a few I’ve found that might get us even more excited, that moment we see our bags make it out onto that airport conveyer belt. If you’d rather not put your name on the outside of your bag, how about a simple This Bag Is Mine stamped onto leather, and sold at Owen & Fred....

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

From photo magic to outlet genius, here are a few of our favorite discoveries on Cool Mom Tech from the last week, just in case you missed them.  1. Here’s a cool use for an old phone (remember those?) that would be a great Father’s Day gift. Besides, you’ll have fun stumping your kids. 2. A round-up of our favorite apps for kids, from each of our contributors, to help keep kids happy, educated and entertained on long car trips this summer. 3. We love this brilliant ebook app for kids, especially if your kid’s class uses Scholastic Book...

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Cool patriotic kids’ shirts beyond the red, white, and blue

With a husband in the Air Force Reserves, you can bet that Memorial Day means more to us than the unofficial start of summer and a long lazy weekend. And while in years past I deck the kids out in red, white, and blue, this year I’ve got the coolest t-shirts that pay a little homage to exactly what my husband does when he goes off to work. [don’t miss a sweet giveaway after the jump!] The new military kids’ t-shirts from Cool Mom Picks favorite and dad-run business Shirts That Go are so cool that my husband brought them into work to...

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