Month: January 2014

5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us and find cool pins like these every day.   1. An awesome free printable coloring page for kids. 2. Gorgeous idea for framing your favorite Instagram photos. 3. Every woman in the world would want to get this sweet Valentine’s card on Etsy. 4. Will someone please buy us these hot designer shoes? 5. Nachos! (Well, it is Super Bowl weekend.)...

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Valentine gifts for babies: 10 ideas for our littlest loves.

Yeah, they’re too young for chocolate hearts. But if you’re the sentimental type like me, Valentine gifts for babies aren’t entirely out of the question. Here are some ridiculously cute ideas. Bonus: You won’t mind having these items around for a long time after February has come and gone.   1. Baby hat with tattooed heart Since it’ll be a while before he can scrawl an “I Love You” card of his own, let him wear his heart on his sleeve — or head — this Valentine’s Day with this super-cute, crocheted winter hat with a tattoo-style MOM on the...

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Happy Year of the Horse: How to celebrate Chinese New Year at home

Growing up as an Asian American kid, the Chinese New Year was a pretty big deal with my family. I admit that I’ve let that tradition go a bit as I’ve gotten older, but it’s so fun for kids to discover how to celebrate Chinese New Year at home, whether you’re of Asian heritage or not. Here is a ton of inspiration for ringing in the Year of the Horse with your own kids. GIFTS If someone you know is welcoming a Year of the Horse baby this year, Tree by Kerri Lee’s Chinese Zodiac Birth Year Boxes (pictured above) have...

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Breaking news: Britax stroller recall

If you’re the owner of a B-Agile Double, BOB Motion, or Britax B-Agile stroller (which we’ve featured here on Cool Mom Picks) purchased between May 2011 and June 2013, there has been a recall due to issues with the folding mechanism specifically when pressing the release button while pulling on the release strap. To avoid possible injuries to big (and small fingers), you should stop using the recalled strollers immediately and contact Britax to receive a free repair kit. Stay safe, mamas. For more information about the Britax stroller recall, check the CPSC...

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Web Coolness: Trapeze kids, Pentatonix on Sesame Street (yay!), and snowflake photos that will leave you speechless

Happy Friday! Each week we share some of our favorite links from around the web. We hope you like them too.   Must pre-order: We can’t wait to browse Playful by Merrilee Liddiard. Don’t you love the page shown at top? Must follow: The Design Brooklyn tumblr is packed full of Brooklyn coolness. Must watch: Our kids are obsessed with this cool band that uses no instruments. Check out this video featuring Pentatonix as the musical guest on Sesame Street next Friday. Must buy: Awesome alternative to Valentine’s Day jewelry for a digital sweetheart. Must See: incredible photos of snowflakes by Alexey Kljatov. Wow. Must read: What...

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Little Red Writing book: A picture book that inspires kids to write, not just read

Our favorite picture books inspire our kids to come up with stories of their own, though I’m especially excited about the Little Red Writing book, which also teaches them the how to construct the story so that it’s entertaining and fun. Because while I have always loved my kids’ stories, they definitely get better when they aren’t one big run-on sentence. (Sorry kids.) Written by Joan Holub and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, the book packs several grammar lessons into a story borrowed heavily from Little Red Riding Hood, as you might have guessed. Little Red is a pencil who is assigned a writing...

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8 creative Valentine’s Day jewelry ideas for modern day gals. As in, no diamond tennis bracelets.

I realize that it might be a little cliche to give (or get) Valentine’s Day jewelry, though those of us jewelry lovers simply don’t care.  And when you see the baubles I tracked down, you’ll see why. No blingy expensive pieces or Victorian inspired swirls and flourishes; just modern, cool jewelry you can wear all year long–without scorching your retinas or bankrupting your sweetheart. It’s no secret that I’m completely obsessed with spiked jewelry this year, so of course I’m digging this black pavè and spiked heart necklace at top. ($55 at Shanalogic) I love this concept: A handmade card that comes with its...

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Downs Designs: Extra special clothes for extra special kids

My friend Natalie has a huge smile, bright red hair, and Down syndrome. That means her thigh bones and upper arm bones are a little shorter than the average girl her age, and most pants and shirt sleeves she tries on in a normal retail store are too long. As a result, she often ends up looking a little disheveled, which she hates. She loves to look cute. So I’m pretty sure she’s going to love Downs Designs, a clothing line designed especially for people with bodies like Natalie’s. This fantastic company was started by a sweet grandmother wanting...

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7 to-die-for Super Bowl dip recipes for the win. Even if your team loses.

It’s wrong how much I love Super Bowl food, from nachos to pulled pork sandwiches, wings to Corona cupcakes. (Yes, Corona cupcakes.) But Super Bowl dip recipes have to take it as my favorite game-time snacks.  There’s nothing like a bold, creamy dip served with salty, crunchy chips to get the party started. Which is why I’ve rounded up these 7 insanely over-the-top, can’t-stop-eating them Super Bowl dip recipes that you’ve probably never tried before. That’s right, mamas: it’s time to ditch the French onion soup mix and sour cream, and go for the touchdown.   If you’re looking...

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Stumped about the perfect Valentine’s gift for a man who’s hard to shop for?

If you want to branch out from the same-old Valentine’s gift for the stylish man in your life, these gorgeous, romantic, handmade Valentine’s Day Cufflinks from Digby & Iona will make all the other dudes green with envy. (Or you know, roll their eyes. Depends on the dudes. Hopefully yours has cool, artistic friends who can appreciate such coolness.) Each pair of cufflinks is handmade in Brooklyn of oxidized sterling silver and carved with the initials you indicate. If you loved Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree as a paean to selfless love, you’ll be glad to know it was...

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Happy National Puzzle Day! 8 irresistible puzzles for toddlers that make fabulous little gifts

Just in case you didn’t know, it’s National Puzzle Day. And we like puzzles! So I’ve put together 8 of the most creative jigsaws, blocks, stackers, wooden, handmade, felt and letter puzzles for toddlers that are perfect for kids just starting to get that pattern recognition and small motor skill thing down. And they all have the added benefit of looking great on a shelf. Just don’t lose those pieces!     This sweet and chunky 9-block animal puzzle encourages kids to build 6 different animals — and maybe create a few hybrids of their own. (Hape, $14.99)   Is this...

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Ceramic dishes that make it a mod mod mod mod world.

Gray skies, dirty snow, and drippy slush of winter? I reject you. Give me color and shine! Especially if it arrives in the form of these vibrant, mod, ceramic dishes by Ceramica Botanica. Handcrafted in Texas by Susan Rodriguez, each ceramic work of art is hand built of clay and decorated with stencils and slips before firing to a food-safe shine. The artist calls the collection Modern Retro. We call it deliciously bright. Imagine the black and white bowl filled with apples and oranges.   We kind of want everything at this shop. And there’s a lot, so that’s saying...

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How to make a baby gift set even more special

We’re so excited to present some of our favorite ideas for how to make a baby gift set. Because one of our favorite things to do is help our readers find great baby gift ideas. If you know the parents have a theme or style in mind, whether it’s vintage florals, race cars, Nantucket prep, or a single color or pattern, start with one anchor piece. Then, search for a few additional gifts that can tie it all together. Think nursery art, stationery, stuffed animals, accessories–even tag sale finds can make the gift surprising and unique. Our partner Nordstrom...

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The world’s cutest portable changing pad. Who knew there was such a thing?

When my oldest was a baby, my “portable changing pad” was a burp cloth spread out on a bathroom counter. Nothing wrong with that, but looking back I would have prefered one of aden + anais’s portable diaper changing pads back then. We’ve been big fans of aden + anais for ages (they just keep making so many great things!) and this changing pad is no disappointment. It comes in eight of their modern, cool designs — I love “up, up and away” and “liam the brave” — and they’re made from a pre-washed cotton muslin. And they are so soft. The pads are...

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A great new destination for cool boys’ clothes.

If you’re like me, you get pretty sick of the same-old-same-old patterns and themes when it comes to boys’ clothes. That’s why I was thrilled to discover the cool boys’ clothes at Geo Fox Apparel. Made in Los Angeles, Geo Fox is the brainchild of parents Justin and Sarah Fox (hence the name) who prefer something a little edgier for their own two sons, went out and made it. Not a new story, but I’ve found it’s always one of the best when it comes to inspiration. Nothing like two really motivated parents running on a lack of sleep- at...

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Trend alert: 6 fabulous open-toed booties just in time for spring

I’ve been a fan of booties, or short ankle boots, ever since I can remember. (Just take one quick look at my closet.) But they were limited to closed-toe weather months until I discovered the joys of open-toed booties. Now, they are my go-to shoe style for nearly everything. I even own two of the same style in different colors, I love them that much, and hooray for those of you in the same camp, because right now open-toed booties are everywhere! They can actually help make a shorter skirt or dress seem a little more um, age-appropriate, for those...

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Forget the Grammys. The 2014 Newbery Award and Caldecott Award winners are here.

If you liked our round-up of the best kids books of 2013, you’ll appreciate this year’s crop of books named best of 2013 by the American Library Association, and awarded a 2014 Newbery Award, Caldecott Award, Coretta Scott King Book Award and Michael L. Printz Book Award. Even when I was six and our local library was in an abandoned mall, I remember the bumpy, weighty feeling of a Caldecott Medal under my fingertip and how it symbolized a book I knew I could trust. Here, four more your children will feel that way about today. 2014 Caldecott Award Winner...

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7 beyond adorable baby photo ideas for Valentine’s Day

Since you can’t give the gift of sleep for Valentine’s Day, we love the next best thing: An adorable photo of your sweet baby. We’ve scoured the web and rounded-up some of the most creative baby photo ideas ideas for Valentine’s Day, whether it’s for a card to send the relatives, or just a cute photo for the nursery wall. Best part, they’re all super easy; while the professionals provide wonderful inspiration, you can recreate plenty of these yourself. This post is part of our monthly series with our Baby Shower Gift Guide sponsor babyGap, with tips to help you celebrate motherhood...

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A custom baby shower favor that won’t end up in the back of a drawer somewhere

If you’re on the hunt for a squee-worthy custom baby shower favor that people will actually use and love, look no further. We’ve found all-natural, handmade soaps with customizable wrappers and delicious scents that will look posh on display at the shower — and feel even more posh at home in the shower. Purple Mache on Etsy is a woman-run shop specializing in handcrafted bath goods made from high-quality, luxurious oils and local plants. Every soap I’ve tried is lovely, moisturizing, and bubbly. But what’s really cool about Purple Mache soaps is that you can buy them in bulk...

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5 of our favorite tech picks this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular Cool Mom Tech picks from this past week.   1. Some of the coolest custom jewelry we’ve seen because of how they’re made. Valentine’s Day gift for geeks perhaps? 2. Our new favorite calendar app. See why we love it so much. 3. Got school fundraisers coming up? You need to see this cool gadget which can help. 4. You won’t believe what this brilliant case does to your smart phone. Trust us, it’s a parent’s dream. 5. This is our latest camera app obsession: Wait until you see...

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