Month: January 2013

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

With both of our Cool Mom Tech editors at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas this past week, we’ve gotten some exciting sneak peeks at the coolest gadgets for 2013. Check out our favorite picks from the last week if you want to be in the know! 1. Talk to the hand. No, really. Just like James Bond. 2. Thinking of ditching your landline? This new hot gadget might make you change your mind. 3. Why was nail art one of the most popular booths at CES? You won’t believe what the next trend in manicures could be. 4....

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Barrel of Monkeys for a new generation

Monkeys are fun, no doubt about it. I will even go out on a limb (see what I just did?) and say that watching monkeys leap from branch to branch is one of my favorite stops at the zoo. Which is why the kid inside me–along with my actual kids–loves this wonderful children’s monkey toy. This Balancing Monkeys kids’ toy from Cool Mom Picks favorite, Plan Toys, is like an updated and ridiculously fun Barrel of Monkeys except without all that plastic. In fact everything at Plan Toys is made from sustainable rubberwood with non-toxic dyes, and they were...

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Throw an awesome birthday party for kids without a lick of planning

I’m all about at-home birthday parties for kids. Which is not to say that they don’t stress me out, because they totally stress me out. But the idea is so appealing and old-fashioned, isn’t it? You know, if someone else would do all the planning and purchasing of said old-fashioned, appealing idea. Well, that’s where this marvelous new service steps in. Parties By Alex is a lovely, homegrown business from mom Alexandra McGee and dad Tony Gentile, who were inspired to start the biz after planning a party for their son quickly became a major (and expensive!) hassle. McGee and Gentile...

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New year, cool new storage bins! (Man, we love bins.)

As I continue to knock through my New Year’s resolutions, I decided it was high time to replace the scraggly looking bins sitting on my kitchen counter. You know, the ones full of mail, and chargers, and poker chips from 2004 (Oh, just me?). In addition to the stylish home storage solutions we recently rounded up, I found one more great option, in these lovely, affordable finds from Etsy. Made by Fitzcraft,  I can think of a billion uses for their felt storage bin (above), like replacing that awful letter bin sitting on my counter. It’s such a prettier option,...

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Better than a sled. Better than a plastic saucer. It’s a Zipfy.

It only takes about 3/4″ of snow to get my kids begging to go to the sledding hill in town. They used to bang a big plastic sled up and down the hills, arguing over whose turn it is to lug the awkward thing back to the top, but this winter they have something new, super portable, and very cool to get them to the bottom. Zipfy Freestyle Mini Luge is a lightweight plastic sled like nothing else we’ve owned before. Instead of the typical saucer shape, Zipfy has a handle right in the middle which gives kids some...

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You know that book you keep meaning to read? You might now.

The idea of a bucket list of sorts is wonderful, although the name itself has always been a little morbid. Still, I’ve been really like the idea of making lists for myself that don’t include things like “lose weight.” And now there’s a new website made exclusively to help you find the things you want to do, and cross off the ones you have. As the name might tell you. Done | Not Done is such a fun idea, and very nicely executed. It’s essentially like social bucket-list-making. You sign up for a free account, connect through Facebook or Twitter, and...

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Kiss your feet? Don’t mind if I do.

The only thing cuter than adorable baby feet is adorable baby feet wearing sweet little baby booties. And if you’re planning some Valentine’s Day photo ops, we’ve got the shoes for you. These lovely little Valentines Baby Booties from Good Wishes Quilts on Etsy are cozy and fleecy and ideal for keeping sweet baby feet cozy warm if they’re smaller than 6 months. Each pair is hand-made in red felt and hand-embroidered with a Valentine-appropriate X and 0, but you can also buy them with hearts or snowflakes.  Once your baby’s outgrown them and moved on to big kid...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us for cool finds like these every day. 1. Really interesting children’s room inspiration. Love the pillows. 2. Cool Valentine’s Card Printables for kids that even rough and tumble boys will dig. 3. The phone that’s making us want a landline again. 4. An easy way to make your desk look pretty. (You know, besides cleaning it up.) 5. One tech device our readers are going nuts for. And we don’t blame...

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Is Rent the Runway worth it?

With a business trip covering the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on the horizon and nary a sparkle or fun party dress in my wardrobe, I figured I’d use the cool coupon I received in my monthly BirchBox subscription and give Rent the Runway a test ride. I’ve heard a few awesome success stories about this website that allows you to rent designer dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories for a fraction of the purchase price, and I figured Las Vegas nightlife would be the perfect test. So I ordered two dresses to be delivered to my hotel room...

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What’s the difference between a macaron and a macaroon? Where do we start!

Macarons are all the rage these days, and certainly not to be confused with those big coconut things that one eats at Passover and generally stay in your stomach until oh, June. The difference is, macarons are melt-in-your-mouth delicious French almond cookie sandwiches in gorgeous colors and exotic flavors. Now that we’ve settled that, if you’re ready to try macarons (not macaroons) we’ve got the perfect way to do it, with a smaller size and a smaller price. For ages I’ve been a crazy groupie of Richart, some of the best chocolate on the planet, all packaged with gift-ready...

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Web Coolness: Maurice Sendak in pictures, Valentine’s Day, and our LEGO love grows stronger

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too!  A poignant interview with Maurice Sendak before his passing gets even more lovely when illustrated. You may want to have the tissues nearby. It’s that time again! Check out our Valentine’s Pinterest board for tons of great ideas. Excited to hear that CMP favorite Baby Loves Disco will be kicking off 2013 with dance parties in five cities. Get out your dancing shoes!  The Year I Was a Stay-At-Home Dad – good read. Is fitness a goal for 2013? We love Kristen’s top...

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Stylish storage solutions for an organized home

Let’s talk storage solutions, shall we? Or rather, my lack thereof. Bills and random paperwork end up mishmashed into the Play-Doh tub (which, of course, contains no actual Play-Doh). There’s not one item of winter clothing in the winter clothing box, but for some reason there are six spoons in the bathroom drawer. My only real consolation? A lot of you are living exactly the same way. Luckily, these storage options offer those of us dreaming of a more organized home the chance to sort out our stuff in the most stylish, prettiest way possible–meaning that this just might...

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The best portable travel crib? journeyBee is an excellent new contender

Back when my now-tween was a babe, the one piece of equipment I dreaded using above almost anything else was her “portable” playpen. It weighed a ton, pinched my fingers every time I tried to assemble it, and just looked like a big ugly netted cage taking over whatever room in which it was placed. So I am a wee bit jealous, and a whole lot excited, for you new parents who can spend the year traveling a lot lighter with this travel crib that is ready to pop up wherever you go. {Keep reading for your chance to...

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A letterpress recipe for success

The holidays might be over, but we’re willing to bet you know a hostess, bride, or prize-winning baker who deserves the world’s loveliest letterpress recipe cards. This starter set even comes in a handmade wooden box. Delicious, right? The Letterpress Recipe Box from 1canoe2 on Etsy is the sort of gift that delights now and for years to come, thanks to thick, recycled French card stock and deep, hand-drawn letterpress designs. Each set comes with seven hand-cut dividers and forty-two recipe cards in six different colors, packaged in an unfinished oak box handmade by the artist’s father. Love that....

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Vered makes music for babies that you can love too. In other words, not too babyish.

I have no doubt of the power of music to soothe the savage beast–or the overtired 6 month old child. If you too are looking for something lovely, lyrical, and fun-to-hear to play for your little one, here’s a wonderful CD by a kindie artist and music therapist who writes songs that are designed to help you bond with your baby. Especially useful on those days when they’ve had you up since before dawn. Singer, songwriter, and mama, Vered Benhorin, has created Good Morning My Love, a CD of 18 gentle songs specifically for those first two years of...

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5 little things you can do to make better food choices with your family

We’re excited to be sharing our favorite tips on behalf of our super awesome sponsor UNREAL Candy. Plus? We’re excited to give away a $500 gift card to one of you, with a chance to win a $10,000 shopping spree. Seriously. With the new year here we know we’re not the only ones thinking about how make better food choices–not just for us, but for our kids. Of course we know that we’re not going do a 180 overnight with our eating habits (boy, we love our Sunday pancakes), but there are some pretty simple changes that can really add...

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Colorful coasters with serious design savvy

Bold. Graphic. Modern. Who’d have guessed the humble coaster could be so fun–and protect furniture so gorgeously? Bonus: They’re sturdy enough for your kids, too. The gorgeous coasters from ArtisEverything on Etsy are sturdy enough to survive three generations of sweating sweet tea glasses. Shop owner Iris designs each set, then impregnates the wood with a special printing process that isn’t glued and can’t be peeled off. The bright, shiny finish will last and protect your furniture for years to come. And even if your kids use them as adorable little frisbees, they’ll take a licking and keep on…um…coasting....

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Decorating with winter whites

When the tree is down, the tinsel away, and everything glitzy and shiny and blinky put safely back in the closet, I always have this need to surround myself with the serenity of white in my home.  I collect white mid-century ceramic vases in various shapes–along with a few modern ones– and l would love to add any one of these from Frances Palmer Pottery to the collection. You kind of can’t go wrong with a white vase–just look at how artfully they display everything from Sweet Pea to Ranunculus to those gorgeous striped Parrot Tulips. And really, they...

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The puzzles that give other puzzles puzzle envy (is there such a thing?)

One of my favorite pastimes with my kids has always been puzzles. I love the combination of relaxing and challenging. My son usually only lasts a quarter of the way through, but my daughter patiently works until the very last piece is placed. (I try to quit but she just won’t let me.) So I am thrilled to find these gorgeous, handmade wooden puzzles that I think so many parents will love. The wooden magnetic geography puzzles by Steven Mattern Design are cool to look at and so educational–what a great way to make geography more interactive than a...

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Letting your kid draw on the furniture

Every once in a while, my toddler and I will be walking through our house when he stops, points, and says his sister’s name. Why? Because she has so kindly written it or drawn a picture in that very spot. On the wall. Or the door. Or the kitchen cupboard. It seems it’s time for her artistic self to spread her wings and, you know, draw on some paper, or something. Which is where CMP favorite, P’kolino, comes in. The line has a few new products that have caught my eye, most specifically, the gorgeous Chalkboard Bookshelf (above) and the Tabletop...

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