Month: February 2014

We would never lie about how adorable these pushpins are

These might be the coolest pushpins we’ve ever seen–no lie. And they’re handcrafted with the same care Gepetto used bringing Pinocchio to life. The good news is that instead of running around, causing mischief with a cricket and smoking cigars, these Real Boy Pins just look cute on your cork board, holding up your notes. Each pack of two Real Boy Pins from the Duncan Shotton Design Studio are cast in Cornwall, UK then sent to Tokyo, where they’re cleaned up with X-acto knives and painted by hand with exquisite details. Then they’re packaged with hand-cut cork and individually...

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7 sophisticated margarita recipes for National Margarita Day. Which could be any day. Just saying.

Today is National Margarita Day which, in our minds, gives us an excuse to whip up a delicious margarita recipe and binge watch Netflix. Or uh, have a big party. Yeah, that’s what we mean. In addition to the 10 margarita recipes we featured last , here are 7 more lip-smacking tequila-based options to add to your cocktail repertoire for those with more sophisticated palates. In other words–nothing neon blue, and no glow-in-the-dark swizzle sticks.   I tend to be a classic On-the-Rocks-With-Salt girl, but when I’m feeling like something fruitier, I can never resist a Mango Margarita (at top).  This recipe by...

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The Darby Smart Mystery Box – An offer to DIY for

Last year we introduced you to Darby Smart, a super clever service that finds the best DIY craft projects on Pinterest and blogs, and puts them together in easy kits with the help of the original creators, so you have everything you need to make them yourself. No need to run out for a hot glue gun or fancy hole punch or anything. -Don’t miss an amazing offer just for our readers, below- Now, they’re back as our partner again, with a March DIY mystery box at a seriously amazing price just for Cool Mom Picks readers. So…thanks, Darby Smart!...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us and find fun finds (and lately, great conversation) on our boards every day.   1. The iPhone charger our readers are going nuts for. We don’t blame them. 2. Wow, did this beautiful family photo inspire a whole lot of discussion! 3.  It’s worth taking up Rainbow Loom just to make this awesome design. 4. Fantastic new app for preschoolers to help with numbers and counting. 5. A gorgeous designer handbag to get us thinking...

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Honoring Black History Month with inspiring quotes from Maya Angelou

The history of Black Americans is filled with stories of inspiration and strength, so in honor of Black History Month, I was so happy to find artwork inspired by one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou. Each piece features quotes that have been turned into artwork and speak of that resilience, hope, and courage. I also love how universal they are in their messaging, and how her beautiful words speak to all kinds of people. Wise words for us all. Etsy’s Finding Sunshine Rae creates typographical prints on photo paper (at top) which feature a mix of lettering and colors to spell out...

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A bespoke, totally un-awkward gift for the teen girl who has everything

When I was a teen, there was no such thing as an iTunes gift card. No, we had to walk both ways to Turtles and work our fingers to the bone making mix tapes. It’s just as hard today to find a gift for a teen girl that says “I understand you and am not tragically unhip.” But we think this personalized coin purse is just right. And you can pop a gift card in there too. Handmade in NYC, each coin purse is crafted of natural linen and lined with quilting fabric with a name or word embroidered on the...

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Baby trend alert: Gray and white as a chic, gender neutral baby palette

More and more, we’re seeing a move away from yellow for “surprise” babies, and toward beautiful heather grays and rich charcoals. Paired with white, it’s a little less severe than black and can be and incredibly stylish on either a boy or a girl. Plus, you can pair this gender neutral palette with accessories of any color, should you want a pale pink blanket, for example, to tip off admirers that that bald little baby head does, in fact, belong to a girl. On behalf of our partner Nordstrom, and their Little Me collection of very affordable baby basics,...

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Web Coolness: The start of fashion trends, smashing gender toy stereotypes, and the cutest DIY birthday invitation ever.

It’s Friday, time for us to round up some of our favorite things online this week. We liked reading them and we hope you will too.   Ever wondered how fashion trends start? Must watch: Kelly Corrigan’s Ode to Motherhood has brought us to tears. Must read: After finding some smart girl toys that aren’t about princesses at Toy Fair this week, our editor Liz gets feisty on her own blog about gender toy stereotypes. Must see: Speaking of transcending stereotypes, amazing photos of the real biker women of Marrakesh Gasping at:  Portrayals of women in the Victorian era. Whoa. On Cool Mom Tech: How to borrow...

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Sochi comes to life for kids with gold, silver, and bronze Maxi Micro Kickboard scooter

Though it’s clear that the Olympic athletes we’ve been watching at the Sochi Winter Games all want gold, all three of Micro Kickboard’s new medal-hued scooters would be winners with my kids, regardless of what color they choose. All dressed up for the podium in gold, silver, or bronze, the much-loved Maxi Micro Kickboard scooter is one of my kids all-time favorite scooter designs, with such a smooth ride and easy lean-to-turn maneuverability. Made for kids ages 5-11 (or up to 120 pounds for you svelte and daring parents), grab the easier-to-use T-bar or try the straight Pilot Stick...

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GlamGlow Mud: Like an expensive spa treatment, without the whole going to a spa part.

My mom started taking me to get facials when I was in middle school. Every month or so, we’d go to the spa at the gym where we had a membership, I think in an effort to avoid having to take me to a dermatologist. It worked, and I got hooked on that feeling of really, really clean, polished skin. But now that I’m a mom, it’s hard to find time to get away for that monthly facial. Plus, I spend all my facial money on coffee and preschool tuition. So I’m super excited that I’ve found GlamGlow Mud...

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Chomp Stix chopsticks for kids. Don’t be surprised if your children take a sudden interest in sushi.

It’s been a while since we found a cool pair of kids’ chopsticks to feature around here, so I’m excited to have discovered Chomp Stix. Especially considering I have children who ask to eat our local sushi restaurant–despite eating like two things on the menu–simply to use the “kid chopsticks” the owner makes them with a rubber band and chopstick wrapper. The Chomp Stix does it one better, with three brightly colored, adorable designs, each durable and dishwasher safe. Look closely and you realize they take the shape of a shark with lots of teeth (for the youngest kids...

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Smart toys for girls that defy the pink aisle. In other words, no princesses, ballerinas or “fashionistas,” whatever career that is.

This week at Toy Fair, I must say a progressive mama like me had a much harder time than expected scoping out smart toys for girls that defy the pink aisle. In other words, the girl dolls and figures were wearing something beyond princess garb or sparkly pink lace tulle. To be clear, I have no problem at all with ballerinas or fashion design kits or or traditional little baby dolls swathed in pink gingham–we feature plenty of them here But I have always wanted my daughters (and all the boys out there too!) to have choices. And if...

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Goldbely: Your favorite regional eats from around the country delivered to your door. No plane tickets required.

Ever dreamt about dropping everything to eat your way across the USA, or is that just me? For my fellow food explorers, we’ve got just the site for you. Goldbely  is a new online marketplace that makes the most legendary regional foods available to anyone across the United States. Yum. It may not be the same as leaving the kids (you know, just for a few days) and dining out every meal, but it hits the spot when you’re craving a real-deal Philly cheese steak or, in my case, a slice of Candy Bar Pie (below) from my beloved...

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Spring trend alert: 7 ombre dip dye clothes for kids’ wardrobes

I’ve had my eye on a few hot kids’ trends for spring, but the one that caught my eye immediately was ombre dip dye clothes. Maybe it’s because my kids’ clothes are already sort of that way anyway thanks to a bunch of juice spills. (Ha.) I love the way the gradated color saturation transforms a simple piece into something so stylish, and one that won’t look out of style so fast with tie dye always popular for kids. Plus, it just screams warm weather to me, which I think we could all use a dose of right now. Here,...

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The best train table for kids with plenty of storage? Reader Q & A

There are so many train tables out there! Can you help let me know what’s the best choices? Storage is an important factor for me.   Looking more like a low coffee table than a cartoon-colored train table, I love Pottery Barn Kids’ Caroline Activity Table for one really smart design feature: The table actually “grows up” with your kids. With two sets of legs, you can just replace the shorter ones when your toddler gets taller and turn the train table into a crafting table that is high enough to fit kid-sized chairs underneath. For storage, the two wooden bins...

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13 advanced Rainbow Loom patterns for the truly obsessed: How to make them, and where to buy them.

I bought a Rainbow Loom kit for my daughter on a whim and never even thought about looking into advanced Rainbow Loom patterns that she might do. In fact, I figured she’d get bored with it after making a few basic single-chain bracelet patterns for herself and her friends, and of course, a few dozen of them for me. But she got hooked on our editor Liz’s collection of  awesome Rainbow Loom bracelet patterns, and she can’t put the thing down now. (Which means we’re sometimes picking bands out of our dinners, but hey, she loves it.) If you’re like...

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PlayableART: Just as it sounds

At the NY Toy Fair this week, one of the finds I’m most excited about so far is a toy that I can’t say is entirely for kids. The gorgeously German-designed collection from playableART is designed to help get minds going and help you find your inner artist, whether you’re a four-year-old planted in front of a magnetic easel or refrigerator door, or a 40-something looking for a little moment of zen at your desk.   I am especially taken with the all new Magnet Relief art which allows you to explore design, shape, space and color with magnetic wooden...

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Instacart: Grocery shopping right from your couch with a very awesome twist.

Taking four kids to the grocery store is like a full-on workout. But really, taking even one cranky toddler shopping can be no easy task. Especially in this weather. So when Instacart offered Cool Mom Picks an exclusive first look to try out their brand new Philly service, which happens to launch today in addition to Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area, you can bet I jumped at the chance. Grocery delivery from Whole Foods (as well as Costco and coming soon, a few smaller groceries) within two hours of your order? Yes please. That’s...

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Trend alert: 7 modern ways to wear pearls

When I caught that pearls are in this season as a hot jewelry trend, I much wrote them off at first because I’m really not a pearls kind of a gal. But I am a bit of a trend watcher after all, and I discovered, after a bit of searching, that these are not your grandmother’s strands. There are tons of modern ways to wear pearl jewelry from simple to a little edgy. Here, some of my favorite, pearliest jewelry picks, to keep you on trend this season, all of which I think will be wardrobe classics long after...

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President’s Day Activity: Try building the White House

In honor of  Presidents Day, and this day off from school (let’s be honest), I like the idea of devoting a little time to building a replica of the White House with LEGO bricks. The  White House Lego Set  from their Architecture Series will let your kids create a mini version of the place where Lincoln and so many subsequent US leaders slept, legislated, and did things I probably don’t want to know about. We could finish it in a lot less time than it would take for us to drive down to our nation’s Capitol, plus, once built, it looks...

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