Month: October 2013

8 healthier Halloween candies for trick-or-treaters (no, not carrot sticks)

Though I always complain about the full-to-bursting sacks of candy my kids bring home on Halloween night, they just wouldn’t be as excited by carrot sticks and apple slices. With that in mind, I try to buy treats from companies who take great care to make yummy things with better ingredients and no artificial dyes or fake flavors.  Fortunately, a lot of these higher-quality treats can be found on the shelves of your local stores, like Whole Foods and Target, making it even easier to stock up in this week before the big day. But hurry–we all know the...

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Turning kids’ artwork into stuffed animals. As cuddly or scary as you (or they) want.

I’m always looking for cool ways to preserve my kids’ artwork. Sure, we’ve got plenty of it taped up in the kitchen, plus boxes of the really great stuff stored in the hall closet. But now my kids are going to be able to sleep with their favorite drawings at night as they transform into stuffed animals. I’m not sure who’s more excited, me or them. We’ve found services like this before, with companies like Art2Believe and My Pretty Monsters and now there’s one more (because there can’t be too many): Budsies. Budsies is pretty sensational. The company started because one big...

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Web Coolness: Halloween links galore, a must-see ad campaign, and the worst Pinterest inspirational quote

Here’s what we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. Fun Halloween lunch ideas to surprise your kids with. Zombie vs Baby. A helpful comparison in honor of Halloween. Especially if your kids don’t have food allergies, read these important tips for keeping kids with peanut and tree nut allergies safe on Halloween. Found the motherlode of Halloween tips for parents at Parenthacks. Cute apple recipes and crafts for kids.   Today’s the last day to save 30% off the scarves at fashionABLE. Every woman in your life will love one–we can attest to that. Another sale: Use code “happyfall”...

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The gift that keeps on giving. And bleating.

As it turns out, the hottest gift this holiday season might actually be a goat. And her name is Stella. Don’t worry–she’s not coming to live with you. But she can do a world of good for a family in need. We’re already excited about FashionABLE’s third birthday–and the 30% off sale on their gorgeous scarves–because we love initiatives that help families break out of extreme poverty. In fact, one of our favorite scarves was even designed with the help of ONE.org. And now that Heifer International is partnering with ONE as well, we’re happy to get the word out too....

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15 beautiful baby gift ideas from Jacadi for fall and winter babies

featured partner Every time the new Jacadi baby seasonal collections come out, we swoon. Especially this season when there’s so much cuddly adorableness for babies to keep them snug and warm, including Jacadi’s brand new home and nursery collection. Those are some lucky babies! Here, 15 of our very favorites little luxuries for baby boys and girls (from one of our very favorite sponsors), should you have a shower coming up, a special new niece or nephew to shop for, or a Grandma who likes to spoil her grandbaby but could use a little nudge towards the stuff you...

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Unwanted dark spots? 2 great color correctors without the scary ingredients

My beauty dream would be to never have to wear foundation again. I would loooove to have perfectly even-toned skin, without a brown or red spot in sight. Sadly, that ship has sailed. I usually wear foundation and concealer to cover up unpleasant reminders of sun damage and past breakouts, and now I’ve found two great (and safe!) color corrector products in two different price ranges.   While there’s nothing quite like a visit to the derm for a laser treatment to fix uneven pigmentation issues (I’m a fan of Laser Genesis), these 2 over-the-counter fixes that actually do...

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Surprise your kids with 6 spooktacular Halloween lunch box ideas

I love beautiful bento lunch boxes, but some of them make you feel like you need an MFA in order to make your kid’s lunch. Especially holiday-themed lunch boxes! For Halloween I decided to come up with a few easy, festive lunch ideas. I found tons of excellently adorable inspiration from around the web. I’ve rounded up 6 of my favorite ideas to help you make a spooktacular bento lunch box, no artistic talent required. I recently shared my Halloween lunch box ideas with the the lovely HGTV star Genevieve Gorder. As a designer, Genevieve likes things to look...

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Zombie prints with just the right amount of bite

Sure, Halloween is coming up, but around here we’re zombie fans all year long. So it’s no wonder these bold, fun prints caught our attention. All those times we’ve watched our kids perch on the diving board and refuse to jump in? Maybe they weren’t worried about swimming safely to the ladder. Maybe they were picturing zombies lurking at the bottom of the pool.   And when we spend the day making a snowman, only to wake up the next morning and find it gone, maybe it hasn’t melted after all. Maybe snowmen are actually zombie popsicles. Or maybe...

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The FashionABLE birthday sale: You get the gifts, and so do women halfway around the world.

Three years ago, a small company was founded that would forever change the lives of so many women and mothers in Ethiopia. You may already know how much we love FashionABLE, their beautiful handmade scarves and leather goods, and everything they’re doing to bring women out of poverty to create better lives for themselves. Now it’s time to celebrate their third birthday in style, with a super awesome sale this week only. Starting today, FashionABLE will be celebrating three years with a sale on every beautiful item in their shop including their new fall collection. Every writer from Cool Mom Picks got one...

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A geeky gift shop for science gifts we can’t resist

If science truly is a jar of secrets behind the magic of our universe, this adorable shop is like a jar factory. Or, just a great way to buy handmade, beautiful objects that celebrate the wonders of science. If you’ve ever watched a murmuration of swallows or played with iron filings and a magnet, then you know how beautiful and magical science can be. Newton and the Apple is a stylish little store on Etsy that brings out the relatable, gorgeous side of science through images, jewelry, coasters, and more. It’s a shop filled with geek gifts, but you...

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5 tips for making Halloween safer for kids with peanut and tree nut allergies

With some of our own kids at Cool Mom Picks grappling with peanut and tree nut allergies that range from mild to life-threatening, we really have a heightened awareness of making Halloween fun and safe for all kids. If you don’t have children with allergies yourself, but want to make sure classroom friends and neighborhood kids are in good hands with you on Halloween, here are some helpful tips. (Note: This post has been updated for 2015.) Related: Allergy free Halloween treat recipes and great tips for keeping things safe   1. Read the labels: Even for things you’re not expecting...

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We like our keychains with a sense of humor

Keychains aren’t exactly at the top of my gift list, but when I saw these, I couldn’t help but snatch a bunch up for my stash. I love the simplicity of the humor on Keytags, which are made here in the USA. Each word, with more added daily, is usually available in a slew of fun color combos. And they’re not just for keys. You can pop them on your dog’s collar, your luggage–the possibilities are endless. Here are a few of my safe-for-work favorites And yes, some are naughty, so look around behind you before you click. Find...

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22 of the most amazing DIY kids Halloween costumes that definitely warrant extra treats

We’re divided on kids’ Halloween costumes around Cool Mom Picks. Some of us spend a good few months planning, sewing, and executing the most wonderful costumes, while the rest of us are happy just finding some Halloween costume shortcuts and knowing our kids will look adorable either way.  If you’re still looking for inspiration, or just want to ogle the effort and creativity (and uh, free time) of other parents, here are 22 amazing, outrageous, and inspired kids Halloween costumes that make us smile every time. –Liz Little Old Lady (Costume Works, above) Chief Brody from Jaws costume  (via Think Geek)...

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Just announced: Fids and Kamily’s Top Kids & Family CDs for 2013!

It’s never easy to go through all of the great family music picks we have covered over the past twelve months and rank our top ten favorites for the annual Fids and Kamily Awards. But it’s also so great to get together virtually with all the other journalists, bloggers, publicists, and radio show hosts to pull together the top picks of the year. This year’s winner? It’s a name you’ll probably recognize, as he and his band have been making great family music for more than 16 years: It’s one of our all-time favorites (and four-time Fids and Kamily...

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Move over, Fancy Nancy. The Fairy Birds are here.

My daughter is at that sweet age where she’s still fascinated by all things “fancy,” which equals “grown-up” to her six-year-old mind. She loves a great fairy tale, but she’s getting a little tired of the damsels in distress. So I’m sooo excited that this week I found a brand new book that has totally captured her attention–and we get to give you a first look at it here.  Fairy Birds by twin sisters Heather Fujikawa and Heidi Andrews tells the story of how girls grow up to become fairy godmothers–a novel idea if I’ve ever heard one. The...

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

Here are 5 of our most popular tech picks from this week, just in case you missed them.   1. Here’s how to make sure your personal profile doesn’t show up on a Google ad. 2. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, you’ve got to see these amazing accessories. Talk about a fantastic holiday gift idea. 3. Have you heard of SnapHack? It’s the reason why we warned parents about SnapChat. 4. This awesome Halloween coloring app offers offline fun for kids too. 5. If your kids love funny YouTube videos as much as ours do, you’ll...

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Take on candy season with these 5 great electric toothbrushes for kids

The way we check our smoke detector batteries twice every year with the time change, I like the idea of replacing my children’s toothbrush at Halloween, or at least checking to see if it’s time. The ADA recommends you change brushes every 3-4 months, but I admit I often forget to think about it unless the bristles are worn down to mush. With candy season upon us, here are 5 electric toothbrushes that can help make brushing more fun for kids.   We’re lucky that our dentist gives us a Firefly Light-Up Toothbrush every visit. My girls could spend hours (seriously)...

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Great music for tween girls: somewhere between The Wiggles and Katy Perry

Now that my oldest is hitting that early tween phase (eek) she’s becoming more interested in the lyrics to Call Me Maybe than I’d like. I don’t blame her entirely, but I need some great tween music for her to love that I can feel good about too, And I don’t mean YouTube sensation Friday.    We’ve loved kindie albums like The Jimmies’ Practically Ridiculous for a long time for hitting this sweet spot for our growing girls, but we’re thrilled to see our friend Jeff at Out With the Kids go even further, with a roundup of 9 bands that tweens will...

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Tired of sheets draped across your dining room table? 3 beautiful indoor play tents that will save the day.

My kids have always loved having a cozy, private nook to call their own. While a sheet draped over the dining room table can do the trick, I would prefer something that doesn’t interfere with every meal. Instead, check out some cool-looking play tents that are the perfect size for quiet reading, giggling with a friend, or just hiding out and daydreaming. The Sunshine Club’s A-Frame tent (above) is the perfect size for moving all over the place since it is so easy to set up. I love how it looks as an outdoor reading nook, but now that the...

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6 pumpkin-inspired sweets you can serve up without lifting a finger

Last week we talked apple treats, and this week it’s pumpkin time. You’re picking pumpkins this year, right? If only from the grocery store? Now all you have to do is seed, peel, and cube your pumpkin. Then roast and puree the pumpkin flesh and we’re almost ready to start. You have homemade pie crust ready, right? Heh. You were getting worried there, admit it. We’d never put you through all that. These six pumpkin-inspired sweets do not call for hours in the kitchen. In fact, they don’t even require a recipe. Hold on to your gourds, cool moms: you...

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