Month: June 2012

Birthday gifts for 5-year-old girl? Reader Q&A

I need a birthday gift idea for my soon-to-be 5-year-old daughter. She has tons of Barbies, tons of clothes – she is a girly girl and loves all things to do with painting nails, wearing girly stuff. I feel like we have way too many toys and clothes. What else is new and fun for a 5-year-old girl? -Laurinda I have two basic categories for kids who already have a lot of toys: consumable/craft gifts and games that inspire imagination, and then toys get them outside and active–and can hopefully be stored in the garage! Oh, make that three...

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

Here are some of our favorite tech picks from the last week on Cool Mom Tech, just in case you missed them. 1. This lovely linen bag is almost too pretty to be taking such good care of your laptop. Almost. 2. Ever wonder how to make collages with your Instagram photos? We have the answer, and it costs less than a dollar. 3. We’ve found the most gorgeous iPhone cases with a very cool twist. 4. This upgraded app is heaven for music lovers. Or Just Like Heaven, maybe? 5. You’ve never seen a hula hoop like this...

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Shoes of Prey – Shoegasm, defined

Four words: design your own shoes. No, really. Choose the shape, the toe, the leather, the cloth, the bow. Everything. Just don’t blame us if you get addicted. Shoes of Prey is possibly the most magical shopping site I’ve visited in a while– because I design the shoes. For example, how cute would this be with a little black dress? And, yes, my taste is a little eccentric. But I absolutely love that luscious plum hair with the pop of kimono fabric on red rosettes. As for our Editor Liz, she designed the tan/black pumps at the very top....

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The cutest beach robes for your little beach bums

Now that our neighborhood pool is open, my kids and I practically live there, Which that means I’m willing to spend more on good quality towels and swimsuits–a lesson I learned after going through far too many per kid last summer. So when I discovered these gorgeous pool robes from down under, I knew I had struck summertime gold. You have to trust an Australian company to know their beach towels, which is exactly why the locally made Terry Rich Australia kids’ beach robes are so darn awesome. Between the stylish design and the soft, hearty fabric, which actually dries you...

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Animal art prints that don’t feel babyish – no pastels, no hair bows.

One of my favorite pieces to the puzzle of decorating a child’s space is art. It not only brings in personality and color, but great art can also can be used to stimulate your child’s imagination.  That is why I love these illustrations that perfectly balance artfulness and playfulness. Gingiber animal prints tell a story without being aggressive in their message–or their color-schemes. With all sorts of cute animals to choose from, several together on a wall would make a fantastic statement.                                                                Gingiber also carries adorable cushions, wall decals, paper goods and chalkboards.  If you decorate in themes, try...

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A clever alternative to the round kids art table

When my kids have their friends over, they end up taking rule over my entire house. Every room becomes their room and every chair becomes their chair. Not that I mind but I can see why decorating experts recommend having a designated area for the kids, with their own designated kid-friendly table and chairs. This stylish children’s table and bench set from Jennifer Delonge is child-sized and perfect for your little ones to have dominion over. It will look good in any modern home, in any room that has the space for it. It comes in 5 different beautiful...

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Toys that make beautiful music

Once kids are past the age of banging on an overturned pot and wooden spoon,they can now move onto something more melodious than a simple percussion instrument. And while their fingers may not yet be big enough to tickle the ivories, they can make some beautiful music with this new and very cool toy from one of our favorite little toy companies,  B. Toys. The Symphony in B. Orchestra puts a mini orchestra into the hands of your little musician, and it is one of those toys that is so neat, I find myself playing with it all the...

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More bathing suits for little girls that are big on style, not skin

I’m so happy to know that our recent post on appropriate swimsuits for little girls was so well-received! Also glad to know it’s not just us that’s thinking our girls can still be girls for a good while longer–there’s plenty of time later for those teeny bikinis (gulp). So here’s another adorable option for you, which I fell in love with when I saw it on my niece this past weekend. Thanks to my sister-in-law, I’m so happy to have discovered this boy short tankini for girls at Garnet-Hill. I could not stop shrieking about how cute her 5...

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Wondering how to get your baby to sleep? Dr. Harvey Karp has a few things to say about that.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled with a baby and sleep. Okay, so 99% of you. (The rest of you…don’t rub it in.) Then, just when we think we have mastered techniques to help our babies sleep longer and more peacefully, new issues arise. In fact, it’s hard to get a handle on what to do as our infants turn into toddlers and beyond. Most baby sleep books are just that, for babies. Thankfully, Dr. Harvey Karp, a big Cool Mom Picks favorite, and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the...

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How to get your kid ready for kindergarten. And it’s fun.

Though I know some eager young children who are excited to begin their kindergarten adventure, not one of them wants to be doing flashcard drills and workbooks on a summer’s day. Which is why I love the adorable and smart monthly subscription box o’ treats from CMP favorite Education.com that disguises learning as play, and insures that you have something on hand the second I’m bored escapes their lips. {unfortunately, Wonderbox is no longer in production} Education.com’s Wonder Box* joins the growing category of monthly gift subscriptions for kids, though the treats found inside this box are all designed to help build...

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Web Coolness – Amazing mocktail recipes, the baby products you can live without, and internet love for a bullied grandma

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Two yummy mocktail recipes for summer, from our own Stacie Billis. (We’ve got you covered in this heatwave, pregnant mamas!) Rootbeer float popsicles? Save one for us! Is Sesame Street coming to the big screen? Great decorating ideas at Apartment Therapy for your next summer party without spending a fortune or tons of hours of prep time. Design fans will be blown away by these ceramic dishes. So cool. Loving this gorgeous boy’s nursery which blends modern with vintage. What baby products...

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(Seed) Body Oils: It’s like PAM, but for your skin. (That’s a good thing, trust us.)

If you haven’t discovered the joys of body oil, let me tell you why it’s the bomb.  1. It’s all-natural with no fillers. 2. It has tons of uses. 3. It comes in spray form! And now I may have found a new favorite, should you be interested in taking the body oil plunge (so to speak). I’m a little in love with (seed) products, and their 100% natural Body Oil is no exception. When you look at the list of ingredients, every single thing on there is an actual oil, chock-full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Oils like...

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Minimalist posters from our favorite children’s stories

Love fairy tales and classic family movies but not interested in the commercial studio posters for your kids’ rooms? We’ve found just the answer. These gorgeously atmospheric and evocative posters from artist Christian Jackson are a beautiful way to decorate with the fairy tales you love and the sophisticated colors you might prefer. Each image perfectly condenses an entire story, like Mary Poppins above, into one iconic design that really opens up imagination options for kids of all ages. Your daughter loves Rapunzel, but good gravy, that’s a lot of lavender and pink. Instead of decals and licensed characters,...

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Indian Summer

With summer here, we are seeing a lot of bright colors, fun patterns and soft textures in baby and children’s clothes. Perfect–because even kids dressed like little fashion models want to be comfortable. One awesome shop that has stylish options for your children is Masala Baby. They’ve grown a lot since Cool Mom Picks first found them a few years ago! Their current line caters to ages 3 months to 10 years which is great for those hard-to-shop-for tweens. And now they’ve expanded to dresses, tunics, skirts, and hoodies, and while they’re stronger for girls, they have more wearable...

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4 awesome kids’ books about food, with recipes that make them even better

Pairing food and wine is an art. Pairing food and music is a new trend. Pairing food with a good food book: It’s one of the best ways to get kids excited about eating–even foods that they’re not normally excited about eating. In honor of the bounty of summer, I’ve gathered a collection of books about farm-fresh fruits and veggies for my kids. Check out four of my favorite picks and, if you really want to rev up your little one’s appetite, pair your summer reading with a fresh and easy recipe. Suggested pairings included, of course! -Stacie Blueberries...

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Vintage paper dolls that feel right at home on your couch

When I was a young girl, my favorite pastime was playing with paper dolls. I loved dressing them up and creating stories with each of them. I think it’s great that they have made such a comeback into toys and decor because my own daughter loves them as much as I did. These vintage paper doll pillows hail from one of Cool Mom Picks’ favorite little shops, Baby Gardner, and are the perfect accent for accessorizing a little girls bedroom or play space.  Betty and Sally originate from an authentic 1940s paper doll set and are now dressed up in...

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A bag that will weather the storm

When shopping for the perfect bag, I always look for something that is unique, pretty and durable. While unique and pretty are important qualities, durability goes a long way with me. As a mom, I don’t have time to shop constantly, so when I make that purchase I want it to last a long time. Sea Bags is a home-grown Maine based business that makes bags, totes, baby bags and now memory books out of recycled sail-cloth. Their adorable baby bags are decorated with boats, stars or anchors. They have six interior pockets and one outside pocket making them...

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Finally, the comfiest, most easy to clean, most stylish booster seat. (Can you tell we’re excited?)

If there is a stage called “Booster Seat Battles,” none of the parenting books have mentioned it–but that’s exactly what my family is currently dealing with. The 2-year-old has refused to sit in a booster, preferring instead to reach up over his head with his spoon and try to dribble his cereal down to his mouth. And the 5-year-old suddenly must have a booster seat to sit in–or at least be offered one–or we’re in for all kinds of dinnertime drama. So let’s just say Luv Chicken is helping us out tremendously right now. Besides being awesome to say...

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What’s the best sippy cup? We may have just found it.

The sippy cup. Ah, how I wish we were past this stage of life. For now I accept my fate that is the avalanche of cups and lids falling on my head every time I open the cabinet. My disdain however only makes me more appreciative of those times I find a sippy cup that is easy to manage and stands up to the elements- and by elements I mean aggressive toddler. We love pretty much everything that inventive company Zo-li does, which is why they’re a mainstay in our Baby Shower Gift Guide, and this new entry is...

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New baby girl clothes from Oh Joy and Winter Water Factory–we’re in love!

If you’re a design blog fan, you are surely familiar with the fabulous Joy Deangdeelert Cho of Oh Joy. This graphic designer, mega blogger, and food enthusiast has done it all from designing her own wallpaper to co-writing a book. And now she can cross children’s clothing designer off the list, thanks to a collaboration with one of Cool Mom Picks’ favorite indie labels. Joy has teamed up with Winter Water Factory and if you take a look at the new Oh Joy collection you will find adorable rompers and baby dresses from 3-24 months.  Each style features Joy’s...

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