Month: April 2013

A personalized gift for Mother’s Day from the whole family. Even the ones with the funny names.

Personalized gifts are an interesting challenge in our home. My long-suffering children have the unusual kind of first names that turn heads in the grocery store when I’m hollering for one of them to climb down from the produce bins. Which means we aren’t exactly overrun with items bearing their names. Still I love their names. Dearly. I helped choose them, after all. So I can only imagine how sentimental a gift like the personalized throw pillow from RedEnvelope would make me. Imagine: a simple cotton throw pillow emblazoned with all the reasons they love me and, as an...

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It’s a chair! It’s a dollhouse! It’s genius!

Welcome to our home full of teeny kids’ chairs that are good for one thing. Or two if you count tripping over them. But these cool handmade chairs from CMP-fave Paloma’s Nest are good for three, or more. Just when I thought we were done with kids’ furniture, I spy the amazing Children’s Chair from Paloma’s Nest that actually doubles as a doll house. Or “colonial house” to be specific. Unless you prefer the Victorian House chair. So genius, right? They can sit and then play underneath, or play while someone else is sitting, or… you get the idea....

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Homemade with Love: Simple scratch recipes so full of love that you might just find yourself making homemade ricotta. Seriously.

Some of you may already know Jennifer Perillo, the food writer and recipe developer behind the wildly popular food blog In Jennie’s Kitchen. If you don’t, allow me to introduce you to one of the most talented and expressive bloggers–and now cookbook authors–this side of of your wifi.  There’s a sometimes heartbreaking, often hysterical, and always endearing emotional honesty with which Jennie shares herself online. Her food comes to us straight from the heart, and now we can get even more of Jennie’s delicious cooking and heartfelt stories in a wonderful new cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking...

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Poppin: Desk organization that actually gets you psyched to organize

If you’ve got spring cleaning your desk or home office on the brain, I’m so happy to have this fabulous new website that’s all about desk organization with colors and styles that will just make you happy. Poppin feels like the IKEA of office supplies with a little DWR and Muji thrown in. You can shop by item or by color–should you need an entire aqua desk set. Or hey, just shop by item. You’ll have fun discovering modern tape dispensers, rulers in 18 different colors, colorful pushpins (just $5 for 100!) scissors, notebooks, file folders, and pretty much...

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Birdhouse trailers = Home tweet home!

One of the cardinal rules around my house: birdwatching is better than television. My little chickadees love to sprinkle seed on the back porch and see who comes a-peckin’, especially when that family of wrens returns every year to nest in our grill. But if you can sparrow some change (ha), this fancy birdhouse might be the perfect home tweet home for your feathered friends. And unlike us, you can still use your grill. These adorable birdhouse trailers from birdhouse20 on Etsy are an unusual combination of fine craftsmanship, quirky style, and sneaky backyard biology lesson. Each one is...

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The best, toughest natural cleaner we’ve found, hands-down

What’s all-natural, odorless, has a bajillion uses, and can even clean up that two-year old cat barf that’s ossified under the couch? Answer: the last cleaner you’ll ever buy, Mamas. Really, it’s that good. We’ve covered oodles of the best natural cleaning supplies to keep all those icky chemicals away from your family, but Branch Basics is truly extraordinary. Made of all-natural ingredients including minerals and enzymes from seed-bearing plants, Branch Basics arrives in a concentrate that you can customize to your cleaning needs. Just add water to the handy spray bottle, which is clearly marked with dilution levels...

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April showers bring 7 of the cutest kids’ rain boots

Playing in the rain isn’t as much fun with wet feet, so along with a styling raincoat, grab your kids some keep-dry boots for their fast-growing feet. Then, when they go to walk through the biggest puddle on the block, you can relax and let them go. –Christina Bogs for Kids’ rain boots have pull-on handles built into the boot to make it easier for kids to get up on their own. My favorite, the Daisy style, comes in a bunch of color combinations and adds a bit of pretty “May flowers” to the April rain. (toddler/youth sizes, $50 at Zappos) Ahoy!...

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Peace.

Today, we celebrate these 6 artists who find inspiration from peace. Thank you. Peace on Earth card box set, Rifle Paper Co Dove ornaments, Cookie Dough Creations   Mod Dove Brooch, Anthaus   Dove pillow, Joom   Dove illustration art print, Orange Optimist   Peace, Love, Bird wall decals, Great Walls of...

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How to talk to kids about the Boston Marathon tragedy: A list of great resources

As a runner who lives just south of Boston, and whose husband spent his lunch break photographing sites at the beloved Boston Marathon that ends mere blocks from his office, yesterday’s tragic events all hit way too close to home. Like so many people, wherever you may live, I spent yesterday afternoon fighting back tears, checking my Twitter feed, sneaking glimpses of the news when the kids were outside playing, and feeling sick over what had happened. Then, I turned to the internet for help. Mr. Rogers Since it was impossible for me to come up with something meaningful...

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15 funny Mother’s Day Cards for mamas with sass

Last year we tracked down 10 of the funniest Mother’s Day cards, because you know what? Not all of us have mothers (or are mothers) who want sappy prefab poems served up with breakfast in bed. Some of us are happy to know we’re raising a kid with a sense of humor. I had the best time tracking down even more of the funniest Mother’s Day cards. Apologies in advance to some of you. Related: 19 funny Mother’s Day cards for moms not worried about peeing when they laugh. Above: The Lady Parts Mother’s Day Card. Some of us might be...

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Will they stop teaching cursive? Not in our house.

With all the talk about getting rid of cursive handwriting in schools, this writer is a little panicky. Fortunately my kids are showing the inclination anyway. Which is in part why I’m loving these awesome personalized placemats to help them do that very thing. We fell in love with the awesome kids’ personalized placemats from Sarah + Abraham a while back–my kids still love sitting down at the chair where they see a likeness of their faces staring back at them. Plus? The placemats show no real sign of wear and tear, even after everyday use for more than...

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BonLook: seriously stylish sunglasses for kids

As someone who hates going out without sunglasses on, I’m sure I’m not the only one whose kids have inherited my sensitive eyes. I’m also sure I’m not the only parent to have had that experience where we broke down and bought the cheapie (though not really so cheap) emergency kids’ sunglasses at a vacation spot or at an airport, and oops…broken after 4 wearings. Enter BonLook, which is doing a fabulous job with kids’ and baby sunglasses, and nary a Daffy Duck to be found. BonLook is a store for trendy prescription eyewear for adults, but they’ve just...

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

Here are five of our favorite picks from this week that you might have missed. 1. You’ll want to bookmark these smart tips for monitoring your kids’ screen time. 2. A brilliant way to keep track of your luggage, or your gadgets, or anything else you might lose. 3. Personalize your smart phone charger (or just make sure no one takes it) with this easy DIY project. 4. One of the coolest gifts for a techie we’ve seen. Other than a shopping spree at the Apple store. 5. We bet your kids (and you) will love this amazing new...

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A book your kids will love when you can’t be there

I’ll never forget driving away to give birth to baby number two while my firstborn screamed from her grandmother’s arms in the doorway. Yeah, trying to leave the kids for a business trip, a hospital stay, or any other reason, can be a gut-wrenching experience for us parents. Along with little “love notes” left under pillows and frequent phone calls, I’ve found a sweet new picture book that helps young children cope with a parent who is away. And it may make it a little easier on us parents too. [Keep reading for your chance to win two copies—one...

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Vines for your ears

There’s a reason why we keep coming back to raven+ lily. Between their gorgeous baubles and the wonderful cause they support, you just can’t go wrong. And that’s still the case with these new earrings for spring. We’ve featured their affordable leather earrings before, but now the shop has added a few cool new designs to the mix, in particular the Zia Gold Vine earrings, which are made with locally sourced leather by marginalized women in North India. And we love that proceeds from this collection help fund literacy programs for women and children in this community. All the more...

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Bike and Roll: Explore Washington DC with the family on wheels

Our family trip to Washington, DC was filled with amazing historical stories, visits to interesting museums…and lots and lots of walking. But we did find a better, zippier way to to see all the major monuments. Take it from our tired feet: this is a fabulous way to sightsee if your kids are old enough to ride a bike. Washington D.C.’s Bike and Roll offers bike rentals (as well as jogging stroller rentals) for folks visiting the nation’s capital. But their guided bike tours are definitely worth checking out if you want to cover a lot of ground, especially with...

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Bumbleride Indie: Is it too dated to call it the Cadillac of strollers?

They say that it’s hard to improve upon perfection, but the newest Bumbleride Indie stroller has found a way to buck that concept. We have always loved this line of super sturdy and stylish wheels, and with the newest features, there’s even more to get excited about. The Indie actually shouldn’t just be called a stroller. It’s more like a stroller system that lets you stroll, jog, run, and most importantly, keep your precious cargo in the comfiest of settings. I was immediately attracted to its overall look. Sporty and sleek at the same time, especially this new aquamarine...

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How to learn origami? The ultimate resource

My daughter came home the other day asking to learn origami. Sadly, all I could remember from my youth was how to make a butterfly. And then I realized after about six tries that…um, I didn’t remember that either. After much searching, I’m so happy to have found Origami Club, or at least that’s what I think it’s called. If it looks intimidating, just skip right to the page called Easy Origami, and find a truly terrific resource for rainy-day craft projects with the kids. You’ll find tons of origami projects sorted by shape, style (like food, Christmas, or...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us and find cool picks like this daily. 1. A creative app our younger kids can’t get enough of. Load up the iPad! 2 Gorgeous spring jewelry at a great price. 3. Really fun, original kids party theme that your friends probably haven’t done yet. 4.Grapefruit Sake Mojito recipe? Yes, please. 5. Bangles with a message we can get behind. We’ll take two. Bonus: Are you following our Cool Mom Picks board on Martha Stewart Living? We’re guest pinning through...

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The best part of April showers: fluffy clouds

Poor April always gets a bad rap with it’s reputation for showers, but I actually love the cloud motif, which seems to be pretty popular these days. Who said clouds have to be gray and gloomy? Saving for a rainy day takes on a whole new meaning with this lovely handmade ceramic cloud bank. ($35 EUR)   This pretty personalized cloud rains love, a perfect addition to any baby’s nursery. ($25)   I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the rain than with a hot cup of coffee or tea, perhaps in this sweet cloud mug from...

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