Month: September 2012

5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest like we are? Here are some of our favorite pins this week. Gorgeous handmade children’s napmats. We want them in our size! A super cute look on girls this fall that our readers are loving. A first look at the pretty new colors of the new iPod touch. Homemade cinnamon sugar pretzels recipe. Yum. Amazing use of wallpaper. We’re inspired! Follow us on Pinterest? It would make us...

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A Rosh Hashanah craft for kids that’s very sweet indeed

With Rosh Hashanah starting Sunday night, this is a perfect weekend to work on some New Year inspired crafts with your kids. In other words, if you’ve forgotten to send cards? No worries! Nothing inspires as much forgiveness as something handmade just from the kids. This Rosh Hashanah craft for kids by Brenda Ponnay at Alpha Mom is as sweet as apples dipped in honey, the symbol of the Jewish New Year. It’s not hard to make these honeybee cards either if you follow the instructions on the site and have a few basic tools on hand, like paint, Sharpies,...

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One apple worth picking this fall

When I was pregnant with my first child, my neighbor gave me a cassette tape full of traditional kids’ songs, and I thought, This is what I’ll have to listen to when I have a baby? Interesting. And then I sobbed. Maybe a little. This could be one reason why I get so excited when I hear bands like The Harmonica Pocket, who create the kind of unique music I want my children to surround themselves with as they get started in this world. And their new CD is one you’ll want to pick. {keep reading for your chance to win a copy!}...

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Web Coolness: insane duct-tape art, kids music gets cooler, and the scoop on iPhone 5

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Check out what artist Aakash Nihalani can do with colorful tape. So fun! (via Design Milk) One NYC mama offers poignant reflection on a terrible day in What I Want My Daughters to Know about 9/11. Is Every Single Subject Taught in High School a Mistake? Interesting take on education. (via Going Public) Don’t miss the new Sirius XM Kids Place show, The World Playground with Putumayo, which debuts this Sunday, September 16. It is sure to features many of...

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The animal blocks that might lead to Tetris greatness

First, the bad news: when you get all these block animals lined up just right, there will be no fireworks over the Kremlin. The good news: they’re seriously cute and probably won’t obsess you like Tetris. Oh, and your kid can play with them, too. We’re always big fans of My Sweet Muffin, and their new Eco-Wooden Animal Blocks are no exception. In addition to their stunningly adorable design, you can also rest easy knowing that they’re completely child-safe for mouthing and banging. Each block is handmade of different woods, finished only with linseed oil. The set comes with...

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Sweet savings on Tea Collection and their stunning new clothes for kids

With the air already getting cooler, it’s time to pack up our our kids’ tank tops, shorts, and summer dresses and replace them with new warmer clothes. Fortunately, we have some awesome ideas in that department, as you might have guessed. Like so many moms, we’ve been long time fans of the beautiful, modern pieces from Tea Collection that hold up through many seasons and siblings–as we all know first-hand. So we’re always happy when this mom-run company returns as a sponsor (yay!) so that we get the chance to share our own personal picks from their brand-new Nordic-inspired...

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Can you help your favorite crafter or small business owner win $10,000?

Recently we introduced you to the wonderful Martha Stewart American Made Awards which is offering crafters and other small business owners a chance to win $10,000 to support their dreams. Well, we are just thrilled to find out that some of our very own readers and featured shops are among the finalists in the Audience Choice Awards! Ashley McCally of Lilly and Gus makes beautiful plush products made from upcycled fabrics from denim to wool. We’re so glad to hear she found out about the contest from Cool Mom Picks! Becky App of eCreamery has created a great business selling...

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How do you put together a great kids’ birthday party without a design degree and 600 hours of free time?

I confess: I have a love-hate relationship with planning birthday parties for my kids. While picking a theme can be fun, I also find it a little exhausting to sift through website after website looking for cool activities for a superhero party or the perfect decorations for a tween girl’s sleepover bash. So I’m celebrating my latest find: an online shop with soup-to-nuts party plans that will help anyone create a snazzy (but wallet-friendly) kid party sure to impress. One Charming Party offers nine different party themes, ranging from a baking party for older kids to a superhero party or...

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5 energy-boosting drink recipes, all coffee alternatives

I’d completely forgotten how much energy–and energy-boosting drinks–it takes to keep our school year routine running smoothly. Summer wiped away the evidence of our hectic September-May life, but, just like having a newborn again, back-to-school reality hit hard and fast. I need energy. Stat. Coffee is my morning pick-me-up, but despite the many amazing coffee drinks the world has to offer, I’m determined to keep my intake to one (or maybe two) cups per day. When that’s not enough, I plan on turning to these healthy, energy-boosting caffeine drink alternatives. And (hey, wake up!) I think you should check them...

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Getting stylish to help support Baby Buggy

Even if you’re nowhere near New York’s Fashion Week, let alone teetering in a pair of too-high stilettos over New York’s cobblestones this week (always good for a few giggles), you can help support one of my favorite organizations, Baby Buggy, the same way the glitterati did last week–with a gorgeous limited edition bracelet from a top designer  Last week, at a special Fashion Week fundraising event at the Carolina Herrera store (swanky!) the Carolina Herrera CH line unveiled this bracelet made exclusively to support Baby Buggy and their mission to help the neediest families. The bracelet is a...

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Custom embroidery on just about any kids’ gifts you can imagine

We all know that personalized items make a baby’s or kid’s gift ten times more special. While many of the big catalog stores offer custom embroidery, they’ll usually only personalize their own brand’s items–which is kind of limiting. So I’m so happy to find a shop that features some of our own favorite small brands, and allows you to personalize their items with a name. For ages we’ve loved companies like 3 Sprouts, Apple Park and Myself Belts. And now the site Makaboo features them as part of a smart selection of items, from loveys and baby gifts, to back-to-school gear, decor, and clothing. The...

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Gorgeous quilts that look great beyond the nursery

One of my most favorite items is a quilt made by my great-grandmother, handed down to me by my grandmother. There is something so special and meaningful about a handmade quilt, although quilting for most people seems like a talent reserved for other people. I feel like every nursery should have a pretty quilt on hand. Barbara Perrino of BPerrino Quilts creates modern baby quilts at a price worth celebrating. All of her lovely quilts and quilted pillow covers are designed, cut and pieced one at a time. You can use these quilts as extra bedding or to just...

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Reach for the stars: galactic growth charts track rocketing kiddos

When I was a kid, instead of a growth chart, my parents measured us old-school style on the doorframe between the kitchen and the dining room. Quaint they were, but old-school doorway measurements had their drawbacks. Before my folks eventually painted over our milestones, they transferred the data to a wooden stick, but who knows where that ended up in the Land of the Lost Basement.  This is one of the reasons I love the new trend of growth charts that you can hang up anywhere. A perfect example: this space-themed children’s growth chart at Milk Moon Kids is a total winner. First, it’s...

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Remembering 9/11 with charities and causes that make a difference

For many of us, this is a sobering and painful day, one that we will always remember. Whether we lived through the darkness in NYC and DC 11 years ago, or we watched the terrible events unfold from our homes and offices far away, 9/11 will never be far from our memories. Today, to remember, we’ve highlighted a number of extraordinary opportunities for all of us to honor and care for those most affected by the tragedy. Let’s reunite, remember, and above all, make a positive difference today. 911DayofService.org is a website that was created to give people a place...

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Good Food on a Tight Budget, EWG’s new shopping guide

The Cool Moms (me especially) always check EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database before reviewing a product to make sure the ingredients meet a persnickety mom’s health and safety needs. Now we’re excited to announce that EWG is going further than Skin Deep–straight into our bellies and grocery carts. If avoiding pesticides and supporting healthy farming practices are important to you, you won’t want to miss this great new resource. Good Food on a Tight Budget is a free and easy resource for planning healthful, cost-effective meals for your family while avoiding nasty pesticides and artificial ingredients. The Environmental Working...

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Our favorite fall baby clothes from Zutano

Don’t miss an exclusive discount just for Cool Mom Picks readers, below! We can’t help but get nostalgic seeing the wonderful new fall baby fashions for Zutano, since all of our older kids, now too big too fit them, wore so many of their amazing designs which were then passed to their lucky siblings. We’re so thrilled to welcome them back as a sponsor (whoo!), though picking our favorites from their new line is making us a little jealous of all of you with wee ones to dress. Whether you’re putting together a layette for your own baby or...

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The Sh*tty Mom book: you don’t even have to be sh*tty to love it

I admit, I’m a little over the “Yay, let’s celebrate moms who suck!” thing that seems to have grown in popularity over the last few years. However, the hilarious new book Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us may be one of the very excellent exceptions. Because…well, first of all, it’s extremely funny. And extremely well-written. Also, because if you read between the lines, it’s not quite a celebration of terrible parenting, despite the title. But I’ll get to that. From the very first section, entitled Your Children Want to Ruin You, (let alone the title of...

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The biggest sale ever at one of our favorite shops ever

One of the awesome things about this job is getting to discover so many wonderful small businesses run by the most amazing people. One of the hard parts: hearing that they’re closing shop to move onto new ventures. This is the case with one of our longtime favorite kids’ boutiques, Arte Bebe. But on the upside, they’re offering a huge (huge!) discount just for our readers while they clear out stock. Right now, score 30% off already discounted prices on any fashion, toys, gifts and accessories on the site. Considering a lot of it is already 10-50% off, that’s...

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

From pretty clever to pretty washable to just plain pretty, here are a few of our favorite tech picks from the last week, in case you missed them. 1. Want to know about the big tech news this week? We’ve got the details on the upcoming iPhone 5 launch here. 2. Which would you rather have: the prettiest vintage charging station ever or the most delicious iPhone case? Eh, you can always get both. 3.  Go ahead and stick this brilliant gadget in the sink. It may be the “I wish I had thought of that” gadget of the...

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Sachets that smell like fall

While we love tracking down hostess gifts for all those summer weekend invitations, it probably doesn’t end with Labor Day. Especially with the holidays (eep!) coming up. So I love this fabulous, affordable gift that feels a little more fall than summer. The balsam and silk sachets from Sewn Natural are the perfect little gift. I especially love the Night Sky design shown here with the pretty silver star sewn on, but there are fabrics for any style. They’re filled with balsam fir tips, which smell amazing (and less feminine than lavender) and they last a super long time;...

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