Month: December 2013

Out with the Old Maid. In with the Bold Maid!

We love shattering negative stereotypes, and that means the beloved card game Old Maid is in vital need of a reboot. Enter Bold Maid, a beautifully designed, mod-style card game in which whoever ends up with the Bold Maid … wins! Artist and illustrator Jane Burns has politically corrected the traditional card game Old Maid with hip artwork and a fantastic twist. Instead of ending the game when the loser holds only the lonely Old Maid, the game ends when the winner is left with the Bold Maid card. A strong woman who isn’t afraid of standing alone? Genius!...

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A comparison of our 11 favorite custom photo book services, for one of our all-time favorite gifts.

This is that time of year when I start thinking about putting together a photo book with all my pictures from the year, but I usually get hung up on wanting one that will actually last until my kids are adults, so they can enjoy them for years to come. There are so many options out there, I know! So to help you wade through them all, we’ve put together this round-up of 11 terrific options, and what makes each one so special.   Blurb Photo Books The photo books at Blurb are super popular and for great reason—the quality is...

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Nina in Vorm: Modern meets vintage gifts at this cool Etsy shop.

I love the warmth and comfort that vintage pieces can express. They bring to mind a slower pace and remind me to focus on the moment and quit rushing so much. I need that sometimes. But there’s a really fine line between that  charming and out-of-touch, right? Polyester crocheted afghan? No. Modern screen printing on vintage china? Yes. Meet Nina van de Goor, a graphic designer based in the Netherlands who does some amazing work. She’s the perfect mix of whimsy and modern, and I’ve fallen in love with her whole shop, Ninainvorm. Nina designs some amazing poster prints, which...

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7 holiday party appetizers that kids will completely love, too.

We grownups know that the best part of holiday parties are holiday party appetizers. This year, I’m letting the kids in on our fun with seven appetizers that they’ll love, too. These kid-friendly apps are grown-up enough for the adults, but with high kid appeal. Putting these babies out is a surefire way to spoil the kids’ appetite for dinner but, hey, it beats having them fill up on tortilla chips all night. My favorite appetizers of all time are crostini because of how highly adaptable they are. You just toast thin slices of bread that have been brushed...

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10 ways for families to join in on #GivingTuesday. Lots of them free.

After the total madness of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday (phew) one of the things we love best is #GivingTuesday. The point being that after taking advantage of so many great shopping deals for yourself and your loved ones over the past week, it’s a good time to think about putting aside a little something for others in need, locally and abroad. We can’t tell you where or how or how much to give, but here are ten ideas to get you thinking: 1. Support an Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign and help an entrepreneur. 2. Give...

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Holiday gift shopping made easy with The Prowl. And a big giveaway to make it even easier.

We’re the first to admit that holiday gift shopping online can be a little overwhelming. Yes, even us. So many shops, so many items, and really, no one perfect way to keep track of who wants what and who bought what. But that’s why we love what we do here at Cool Mom Picks. Because we get to help you with all that. It’s also why we’re digging what our new sponsor The Prowl is doing too for shoppers. -Don’t miss an amazing $500 American Express gift card giveaway below!- Once you join (it’s free!), you can peruse a ton...

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Stocking stuffer alert: Rx Art coloring books support kids most in need of art.

A coloring book can make a fantastic holiday gift for kids: It doesn’t require batteries, it’s portable for the trip home, and you can start using it right away. Now here’s a new one that’s fantastic for another reason besides the fact that it’s just so darn cool. We’ve written about Little Collector before, a great shop whose artwork from major artists supports the nonprofit Rx Art which gets amazing pieces into hospitals and facilities whose patients can use a little inspiration. Their new Rx Art Coloring Book Vol IV was designed by Matt Murphy Design and underwritten by Warby Parker (yay,...

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Why YBIKE’s ride-on toys make a great holiday gift for kids of all ages. We can even help you choose.

Whether your toddler is ready for their first balance bike or you have a mini speedster on your holiday list, a ride-on toy makes an awesome “big gift” for either Hanukkah or Christmas.  As the inadvertent ride-on-toy expert at Cool Mom Picks (what with three growing kids and a garage full of things that go zoom), I’m really liking the wide variety of ride-ons from YBIKE whose fleet includes a new “grow-with-me” toy, a super-fun scooter, and a zippy go-cart for kids who are ready to zoom. Hopefully I can help you navigate the selection, because they’re all pretty...

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A personalized Night Before Christmas book makes for a very special storytime

Reading The Night Before Christmas is a holiday staple in our house, though this new personalized Night Before Christmas book for kids that stars one special child throughout the pages is sure to be the new Christmas favorite for years to come. Best of all? Though the little personalized touches are found on almost every page, it only takes a few minutes to get this special gift all wrapped up before Santa’s sleigh takes flight.     One of Chronicle Books’ personalized gifts which we’ve written about before, Night Before Christmas is a vividly illustrated and fun-to-read twist on Clement Moore’s classic. Personalize...

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This cute and crafty DIY calendar kit has us in stitches. Literally.

I’ve always been pretty crafty. Problem is, I’ve also always been kind of unmotivated to gather up all the materials required for said craftiness. So I’ll get these great ideas for homemade holiday gifts and then never follow through. Until now! I’ve found an adorable embroidery DIY calendar kit from Heather Lins Home that will leave me with no excuses but to cross-stitch my heart out as soon I get my hands on it. The 2014 Year in Stitches Calendar Kit comes with everything you need to stitch your way through the months of the year. All twelve months...

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5 tech picks you don’t want to miss

Haven’t stopped by Cool Mom Tech this week? We kind of like all the posts there, but here are 5 of our very favorites.   1. Fabulous gift idea: Photobooks of your kids’ own artwork, and the app that makes it easy. 2. The most gorgeous Advent calendar app we’ve seen. 3. Must-have road trip apps to help with everything from bathroom stops to keeping the kids entertained. 4. If you’ve ever missed a call from your cell phone, you’ll want to check out these two smart gadgets. 5. The kickstarter project that could end up yielding the hottest...

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Coffee mavens, rejoice! This groundbreaking coffee maker will revolutionize your favorite drink.

I still remember when I got my first espresso machine for Christmas in high school. That’s right, I was hooked on lattes before I could drive, and I was the first person I knew with the magic of a frothing wand at my fingertips. If you’re that kind of coffee hipster, you’re going to love this Kickstarter project. Anyone can currently grind and brew their own coffee, but if you get in on the ground floor, you’ll be the first person who roasts their own beans, too. The Bonaverde roast-grind-brew coffee machine might not be the final name, but...

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These custom family plates are holiday-perfect

Little Peach Print Co. is an Etsy shop by artist Sally Leach based out of Northamptonshire, UK, and her prints and decorative plates have all the charm you’d expect from a shop in the English countryside, but with a great eye for modern trends. Each custom design on the personalized plates is hand illustrated and adhered to the plate on a decal, then sealed with acrylic varnish. They’ll arrive on your doorstep in a sturdy cardboard box wrapped with yellow and white bakers twine and a gift tag, so if you’re ordering these as a gift, you can be...

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