Month: January 2014

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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