Month: August 2012

Teaching the kids a little dice

If you’re a Yahtzee fan, but your kids aren’t quite old enough to keep track of it all–or you just have trouble keeping track of those darn pads–you’ll probably love this awesome new dice game, Tenzi. Plus, it’s from a cool little company and I always love supporting the small gamemakers when they come up with something this fun. [don’t miss a fun giveaway after the jump] Don’t be betrayed by the simplicity of Tenzi–my kids and I ended up playing for a good hour. Essentially there are four sets each of 10 colored dice. The basic game requires...

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Chopsticks get a cool fix for little fingers

Going out for Chinese food was a regular event during my childhood, and we kids always loved it. Chinese restaurants are the great crowd-pleasers of the culinary world, kid-friendly environments where veggies are magically hidden in almost every dish.  However one frustration I clearly recall from our excursions was not sharing my parents’ masterful skills using chopsticks. For little fingers, it’s awfully hard to get a good grip with two skinny sticks, let alone scoop up a pile of slippery lo mein. Luckily, we’ve found an answer to help simplify things. These Safari Stix chopsticks holders from the family-centric cooking shop Cook in...

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Traveling to France with the accessories, but not the plane ticket. Le sigh.

I’ve had Paris on the brain lately. Leave it to Petunia Picklebottom to come out with new French-inspired prints on pretty new accessories and make me even more wistful. In fact, you don’t even have to be a mom to carry these. The Strolling in St Germain fabric rounds out the gorgeous city print collection to make an even dozen. I love it on the new boxy diaper backpack from Petunia. It’s so beautifully classic and sophisticated. The crimson-and-navy coated cotton fabric coupled with hand-embroidered accents make it a piece reminiscent of some $400 scarf you might find on Rue St Honoré. It’s...

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If Wonder Woman opened an Etsy store

Judging by the awesomely geeky baby goods in this chic boutique, I would wager that Wonder Woman’s sewing machine isn’t as invisible as her jet. Whether you need to burp, wipe, snuggle, or celebrate your little Loki, this is the source of some super baby gear for fans of comic books, video games, and, of course, Star Wars. The Spry Sprout shop on Etsy bills itself as “a unique geek kid boutique”, and that just about covers it. Baltimore mom Miranda makes each piece by hand using some of the coolest geeky fabrics we’ve ever seen.  Star Wars, Avengers,...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Here are five of our favorite pins this week. Super cute metallic moccasins from Umi. (Darn, no adult sizes.) The Marc Jacobs bag we’re drooling over. Personalized baby announcements that look like tour posters. Free printable lunch cards just in time for back to school. LEGO-inspired bunk beds–pretty...

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Sparkle on: these rings rock however you roll

I admit it. Finding unique accessories that stand out from what I see on the wrists and fingers of the other women in my neighborhood gives me a little caffeine shot of joy. I love it when someone asks, “Where did you get that?”  Sometimes I want to keep my fun finds all to myself. But here’s a shop I’ll share with you, because these rings just plain rock. (Not to mention they are handcrafted from rock–how nifty is that?) Rablabs creates lovely, shimmery, hand-crafted rings from solid pieces of natural agate druze. They’re just the right balance of...

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Wumbers is gr8 for beginner readers

I still remember how much hard work it was for my kids to learn to read, with all the painfully slow sounding-out of words one-by-one. It sometimes seems that kids are so busy trying to figure out what the letters say that they can’t even concentrate on the story. Want to spice up their learning-to-read time and make things a lot more fun? Check out this latest book from Amy Krouse Rosenthal that is part book, part game, and totally clever. Wumbers, by the author of our favorite Duck! Rabbit!, among others, uses words cre8ed by numbers, making it a brain-teaser...

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Web Coolness: LEGO Japan, family vacation tips, and a can’t-miss Pinterest board

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. We’re stunned by this futuristic-looking model of Japan, made by 5,000 children with almost two million LEGO bricks. Liz shares 5 tips for keeping kids and parents happy on vacation–at the same time, even! Check out her contribution on the Chevy Culture blog.  Why I Hated Meredith’s First Grade Teacher: A lovely must-read for parents and teachers. Our obsession with Fab.com runs deep, so we are especially thrilled to see our very own Editor Liz on their Back to School Pop-Up Shop. We’re so inspired by...

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Get ready for back to school with Cool Mom Tech

These days, there’s just no way we could head back to school without a little (okay, a lot of) help from technology. That’s why we’ve put together our second annual Cool Mom Tech Back to School Guide, which launched this week. You’ll find tons of stylish, practical things to help keep you organized all school year long, plus awesome gadgets and gear for your little and big kids. First up, the 5 coolest laptop backpacks for big kids that you might want to snatch up for yourself. And don’t miss our helpful round-up of the best back to school apps...

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Celebrating Woody Guthrie with 2 perfect CDs

This would have been folk-music legend Woody Guthrie’s centennial year. And so we celebrate the truly amazing legacy he left behind. Within the 3,000 song lyrics (wow!) that he wrote, there lies a powerful children’s music catalog that speaks directly to the energy and creativity of those ever-expanding minds. There’s a whole lot more to Woody Guthrie than This Land Is Your Land, is what we’re saying. Here, two important new albums that offer families a new twist on some familiar tunes. We know that you will dig these CDs as much as we do. First up is the...

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Characters with character: alphabet prints for superhero fans

In this fontastic alphabet, J stands for James…James Bond? I’m in. Especially since I is for Iron Man. I just love the way Helvetica is used to depict some of my favorite superheroes and famous characters, and wow, how great would they be in a cool kid’s room? Helvetica, My Hero is a typography project by French design student Rene Mambembe. Each letter of the alphabet is depicted as a famous character from comics or film using what’s essentially the most simplistic and well-known of fonts: Helvetica. And yet each character has such…character. As they’re superheroes or movie villains, a disproportionate...

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Lunch bag and sandwich bag value packs make back to school eco-friendly and affordable

I’ve always liked BuiltNY’s lunch totes, so much so that I own a few of them myself. I can assure you they’ve all stood the test of time. And the test of peanut butter. Now they’re offering new kid’s lunchboxes and brand new reusable sandwich bags that are so cute, we featured them last week on the TODAY Show, and in our back to school shopping guide. I think it might have also made me their new biggest fan. Their adorable Big Apple Buddies are some of the cutest and well-priced lunch bags I’ve seen, with insulation, sturdy construction, a wipe-clean...

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Designer diaper bags for fall: fashionable + affordable

As we start heading towards fall, I’ve got new diaper bags on the brain. (Why should back to school shopping time be just for the kids?) It’s been a while since I took a look to see what diaper bag label JP Lizzy has been up to, and it’s a good thing I had a mind to do just that this week. Ages ago we liked their diaper totes, but they don’t quite feel like something I’d wear today. And wow, turns out JP Lizzy has come a long way with their 2012 styles. The new diaper bag satchels...

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13 healthier versions of kids’ favorite lunchbox snacks

Healthy lunchbox snacks seem to be one of the frequent requests from our readers. I’m generally a from-scratch girl, but life–and lunch packing–with two little ones can get hectic. Despite my dedication to all foods homemade, I rely on a pantry stocked with healthier packaged snacks for when we’re in need. These may not be as wholesome as homemade, but they are among the best of the bunch in their category. And easy, too.    If you’re going to hit the supermarket for kiddo’s favorite snacks, these healthier picks are the way to go. – Stacie The Best Veggie...

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Natural relief from things that make kids go OUCH

My kids entered a phase around 4 when bug bite creams and sting-stoppers terrified them. I’m sure it had a little something to do with the one we “promised them” wouldn’t hurt but turned out to be made with alcohol. (It wasn’t totally our fault; we were traveling abroad and couldn’t read the ingredients.) CMP favorite Mayron’s Goods has a terrific new product however, that takes all the hurt away. This time, Melanie Mayron (along with her adorable chemist dad) has taken a break from directing to put out OUCH Stuff, aptly named because it’s the stuff you put on those cuts...

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Oh my oh my oh dinosaur

If there’s one awesome baby gift for any kid at all anywhere, it’s a bunch of books to start his library. Which means if there’s one more awesome baby gift, it’s going to be a sturdy bookend that does more than just sit there and look pretty on the shelf. Or in this case, look fierce. The weighted faux leather animal bookends at Serena + Lily come in all sorts of fun animals, but I think the dinosaur bookend is my favorite. At his height he’d be perfect for holding up all those palm-sized board books the new mom...

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Affordable bangles for fall that you can start wearing now

August is a bit of a weird jewelry-buying time. I want things that will feel all light and happy with my sleeveless dresses, but I’ve also got an eye towards fall. Which his why these affordable skinny bangles are the perfect thing to take me from one season to the next. The Adele Skinny Bangles by Voz Clothing and Art are stained walnut, which means they’re not as summer-like as say, embroidery or light beading; but they’re hand-painted with colors that can suit any season. I happen to love this combo of black, peach and gold, but the Karen O set (named for the...

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Augie to Zebra: a fab alphabet book from a favorite duo

It makes perfect sense that Caspar Babypants, the kindie music favorite whose song titles include My Flea Has Dogs and Stompy the Bear, would create an alphabet book with prose way beyond A is for Apple. But what really makes this picture book a must-have for any beginning reader in your life is the unusual creative collaboration of the author and the popular artist he convinced to create the gorgeous illustrations in Augie to Zebra. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that hard to convince the excellent Kate Endle to illustrate the book, considering she and Chris Ballew (aka Caspar Babypants) are a husband-wife...

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The Busy Mom’s Cookbook – isn’t that all of us?

Antonia Lofaso was absolutely captivating on Top Chef. I loved watching her seamlessly perfect results every single episode, and I appreciated her passion for being both a full time chef and full time mother. And now she’s offering wisdom to parents who want haute, mostly Italian-inspired cuisine in minutes, sans microwave, with her new cookbook. The 100 recipes in The Busy Mom’s Cookbook appease both your own sophisticated palate and your carb-loading, goldfish-loving toddler’s. Madras curry chicken, anyone? The recipes are really easy to follow, and I like that the total cooking time and serving size is found at...

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This book belongs to…

With school starting soon–or for some it’s already started–books are being bought and soon, books will be lost. There’s nothing like a “this book belongs to…” label to make sure that the rightful owner remains the rightful owner. Especially when that rightful owner is your own child. You can find the cutest (and I mean cutest) personalized book labels at TinyMe.com, the same website with those great Olympics printables we loved.  With more than 50 different styles and lots of colors to choose from for each style, the possibilities are endless. And fun.                                This vintage style, also seen...

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