Month: August 2013

Black and white for babies. (You were expecting pink and blue perhaps?)

With black and white back as a hot trend this fall, my eye went right to these super cute handmade baby onesies and accessories on a very cool Etsy shop that’s new to us. At Mabelretro, you’ll find all kinds of fun, vintage-inspired baby clothes, from 40’s-era diaper covers to baby spat booties and dribble bibs that look like old sailor collars. Every single item is handmade by Andrea in Vancouver and it’s hard to pick a favorite. But I’m definitely digging the fun collared onesies, especially in bold black and white patterns that we know are best for an...

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Zoobean: Personal book recommendations for your one-of-a-kind kid

Finding just the right books for your child can be, well, challenging–especially if your kid is as finicky about what she reads as what she eats: No peas, broccoli, or dumb princess books, thank you. So I love this cool, custom service made to create your kid’s dream reading list. {EDITED TO ADD: Zoobean is currently not taking on any new subscribers.} Hooray for Zoobean. Created by a mom-and-dad duo who were struggling to find kids’ books with biracial main characters for their son and daughter, this book-curating subscription service does the searching for you. Also perfect for those...

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The Orla Kiely baby bag: designer on the outside, diapers on the inside

Since I love everything Orla Kiely, I’m so glad to see this London designer out with a cool new diaper bag for moms who don’t want to trade their sense of style for their sense of practicality. The Orla Kiely Baby Bag is so great looking for fall. I love that while it looks all fancy, it’s made from a coated canvas that wipes clean, has tons of pockets, and the nylon interior is made for those spills we moms wish we didn’t have to deal with but always do. There’s even a coordinated changing pad–which might be the only way...

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You know who wins with fair trade soccer balls? Everybody.

We’re big fans of supporting fair trade at Cool Mom Picks, and it’s always fun to find new artisans whose creations we adore. Personally, I love buying fair trade items because responsible purchases make me feel even better about shopping, which is already one of my favorite feel-good experiences. But our latest fair trade find is one I never anticipated: fair trade soccer balls. We first discovered Senda Athletics when they were called Fair Trade Sports, and wow have they grown since then. It was started by a lifelong soccer player who, like me, hadn’t realized the conditions under which many...

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Ergobaby X-tra: The baby carrier we love now with a little extra awesome.

My first son turned me into a hard-core babywearer when he made it mighty clear that he hated riding in strollers or car seats. We’d travel everywhere with nothing but our Ergobaby carrier and a diaper or two. Magic! So my ears perked up when I heard that Ergobaby’s got a new carrier…with even more appeal. Although the size of the Ergobaby carrier was never an issue for my husband or me, we definitely had friends and family who could have used a few extra inches on the straps. And that’s precisely what the folks at Ergobaby were hearing...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us (we’re fun!) and catch great finds like this daily. 1. Ooh…awesome fall shoes at a great price. 2. Hilarious iPhone case. We all need one. 3. Wonderful kids craft project to help ease the anxiety of little ones going to school. 4. Super smart school lunch idea. And it’s easy (for a change).  5. One of the best apps to keep kids...

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A new baby gift set that gets around

We love the whole premise of Lately Lily, who teaches kids the joy of travel and worldliness–a little like our generation’s Eloise, but without the bad attitude. And now kids can start joining her on journeys from birth, with these cute new gift sets for baby boys and girls.    Poking around Land of Nod, I happened to catch these brand new Lately Lily baby gift sets featuring the trademark vintage picture book style that I fell in love with last year. The designs are all printed on three baby onesies and packaged in a reusable suitcase gift box which will...

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Bella and Harry: Books to take children around the world in 35 pages

My kids are increasingly fascinated by travel and different cities around the world, but alas, I’ve yet to find that spare million in my old jacket pocket that will allow us to travel the globe every year. Still, this new book series for kids is a really wonderful way to get kids excited about the culture, history, landmarks and foods of the great cities of the world.  The Adventures of Bella and Harry are a series of 10 books by Lisa Manzione in which our heroes, two cute chihuahuas, hit one city at a time. They books read less like...

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Web Coolness: Simpler school scheduling, banishing first-day jitters, and getting to know the teacher

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you do too. Make easing back into the school routine a little more organized with Kiwi Crate’s printable weekly schedule. Love this post in support of summer slide, instead of summer school.  Go check out Liz’s walk down memory lane–complete with awesome photos–and leave a comment to give a child a Shot @ Life. What adorable kids’ music video does Giuliana Rancic love? (We love it too!) 10 Ways to Minimize Back-to-School Anxiety is such a timely read. Have you seen our Back-to-School Tech Guide? Loads of great apps, gear,...

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Is there anything cuter than a dad reading to his kids?

What’s cuter than a dad reading to his kids? It’s a dad reading to his kids while wearing an adorable shirt featuring this distinctive artwork by the ever awesome Edward Gorey. Edward Gorey is known for his delightfully creepy drawings and his love of cats and books, and this cotton Real Men Read shirt is a great way to outfit your favorite bibliophile animal-lover. And since Gorey loved animals? Every purchase supports his favorite charities, which benefit cats, bats, and all things furry. Tt’s available in mens’ sizes, but also for kids in sizes 10-12, too. Pretty cute for back...

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Best lunch containers for kids (and other goodies that make lunch boxes more fun): Back to School Guide 2013

There’s no shortage of cool lunch containers, bento boxes, water bottles and other fun accessories to help make your kid’s lunch a little more appealing than our own brown-bag days of yore. Here, we’ve pared them down to a few of the very coolest for our 2013 back to school shopping guide. Bonus: So many of them are reusable and eco-friendly, saving you plenty of money in the not-so long run. We like that. Ninja Reusable Napkins A warning to those who might try to steal your kid’s sandwich. ($10, Funkins) Space Robot Lunch Containers Love these adorable, practical...

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Our lips are sealed…and safe from the sun.

I’m a sunscreen addict. I won’t leave the house unless I’m slathered with the sunscreen. (And you wouldn’t be mistaken if you saw two kids leave my house in the mornings looking like they were dipped in white paint.) But finding moisturizing lip stuff with good SPF? Not so easy. So I’m a little happy dance about this new one from Sun Bum.   The SPF Lip Balms from Sun Bum are just the ticket, packed with moisturizing ingredients like aloe and vitamin E, but with the added benefit of serious sun protection. I’ve always been a little wary of chemical sunscreens on my skin,...

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9 simple school lunch ideas that have nothing to do with making (yet another) sandwich

At some point this school year–sooner than you think–both you and your child will grow weary of the humble school lunch sandwich. It’s a known quantity, which is comforting some days, but not every day, right? So here are 9 easy school lunch recipes–most of which require zero planning, the rest of which can be made ahead and stored in the freezer–that will inspire you to throw caution to the wind and ditch that sandwich bread. –Stacie Threading yummy ingredients onto skewers is maybe my favorite way to change up school lunch, especially when the results are as cute...

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Zippy nighttime diaper changes? We’re in.

As excited as I am about the impending arrival of Baby #3, one thing I am not particularly looking forward to is the sleep deprivation that arrives on the scene with a newborn. I recall with vague familiarity the middle of the night feedings and changings–and realizing in the morning that all the snaps on the baby’s PJs are mismatched. That will no longer be an issue with this adorable onesie.   The ZIPaboo is a revelation for all those weary-eyed parents fumbling with diapers and fiddling with snaps in the middle of the night. With a single zipper...

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Making the first day of preschool a little easier. On the kids, if not you.

As kids go back to school, some are ready to jump right in, make friends, and get busy with the water table, while others need a little more help separating from mom and dad. So I love this craft that could make that first day of preschool, daycare or kindergarten a bit easier for a lot of kids. At Moomah, you’ll find an easy tutorial for a DIY family necklace which incorporates photos of loved ones so your kiddo will know you’re always “with her.” Even when you’re not with her. With any luck it will make the transition a little...

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The Day the Crayons Quit: A very cool creativity manifesto

I have a child who once angrily crumpled up any coloring page if it didn’t turn out “perfect.” Grass had to be the perfect green, sky had to be the perfect blue, and don’t even get me started on the perfect cherry red needed for superhero capes. So maybe that’s why now–a few years later–she is crazy about a book featuring crayons which plead with the reader to reconsider boring old color roles and rules. Let’s hear it for creativity. And talking crayons. The Day the Crayons Quit is a delightfully funny book about a box of crayons who...

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Going back to school with Gap, and a nice shiny Gap gift card from us to you.

We like back to school shopping for kids, obviously. And we like giving things away. So we’re super excited that our sponsor Gap is hosting an amazing event in more than a dozen of their stores–and letting us give one of our readers a $200 to spend with them. Whoo! [Enter to win a $200 gift card from Gap by leaving a comment after the jump] As part of the Gap Back to Cool Event, you buy one pair of Gap Kids 1969 Premium Jeans, and get a second pair at 50% off. Smart, because as we parents know,...

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The only thing cooler than Hoth is this Star Wars book shelf

You can’t buy your kid a life-sized AT-AT or landspeeder. But you can give them the coolest Star Wars-themed book shelf we’ve ever seen. This AT-AT Imperial Bookcase from WhittledinWood on Etsy is a masterpiece of engineering. Handmade of birch plywood, it’s made to order in Vidor, Texas and arrives raw and unpainted.  The cool thing is that the company can make a bookcase out of almost anything your heart desires–the website currently shows this AT-AT, a Millennium Falcon, an unbelievable tree, and the Incredible Hulk. The prices aren’t as insane as they could be for bespoke geek furniture,...

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Birchbox limited edition box for teens: A great value for the budding cosmetics junkie

While I am still the one mom who thinks my daughter should wash off her play nailpolish before heading off to elementary school, I understand that the teen years are different. Instead of ducking perfume-sprayers in the department store for hours while trolling for product samples for her, CMP fave Birchbox has come out with a fun box just for teens, and the young-at-heart. And nails. And face.  And wow, is it a value. The limited edition Head of the Class Birchbox for Teens is a fun new offering just in time for back to school, or really, any time that...

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Comfy seating for your growing reader

We’re always happy when one of our favorite companies surprises us with a cool new design. P’kolino has done just that with a perfect new perch for your favorite little reader. Leave it to one of our favorite brands to win us over again with their new Reader Children’s Chair. We know that the junior version, The Little Reader Chair, is wildly popular with the toddler crowd. But now kids 4 and up can get in on the cozy action with the “grown-up” version (should 4 be grown-up), in bold, graphic new styles and patterns. I’m partial to the cool...

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