Month: February 2014

The red balloon

I adore simple graphic art for kids’ rooms that isn’t necessarily too babyish–I’ve witnessed firsthand how fast children’s tastes can change. And the graphical Big Red Balloon Print spotted at Brika is a great find. Designed by Becky Hui Chan of Honey & Bloom, she makes the kind of simple graphic designs in strong colors that look great anywhere from a nursery to a playroom to an adult’s bedroom. And yet she has a sense of playfulness that instantly has her pegged as a cool mom. Suddenly, I want to go watch The Red Balloon on Netflix. Hm, wonder why....

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5 of our favorite tech picks you don’t want to miss this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular posts from Cool Mom Tech this past week.   1.Viewmasters are back, sort of, and cooler than ever. 2.These funny, sweet, and all-around gorgeous romantic ecards aren’t just for Valentine’s Day–save for anniversaries, or just to steam up date night. 3. Like we needed another reason to shop at IKEA. This one helps a good cause. 4. Polaroids are back thanks to this awesome photo app. 5.  How to get totally free cell phone service. No catch, and a great money-saving...

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The Odd One Out: A welcome twist on the classic find-it book

Thanks to a recommendation from our friends at Zoobean, I recently discovered a new book my kids are obsessing over. The Odd One Out: A Spotting Book by Britta Teckentrup puts a modern twist on the classic kids find-it book. You know, those books where they’re supposed to look for something tiny in a big, busy page of cartoons? We’re big fans of artists who don’t dumb down their art (or their vocabulary, for that matter) for kids, which is why what could be an otherwise annoying read is actually a lovely experience for parents as well as children....

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Personalized wooden hangers: Just girlie enough

Sure, we like pink and girly decorations for our daughters’ room–unless they’re too much like visual cotton candy. That’s why I love these personalized wooden hangers from the Etsy shop RedHandGang; sweet, but not saccharine and dare I say adorable. There, I said it. Because it’s true. With their clean, cheerful lines and hand-painted charm, these would make a lovely gift for that girl who’s a little bit girlie and a whole lot chic. You’re not going to hang a winter coat on them, but for some kid costume jewelry, belts, or other accessories, they’d look great right on...

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Stuffed animals that give back: So wonderful, you won’t mind one more in the house.

I have always had a weakness for stuffed animals and I was thrilled to be able to buy them without judgement again when my daughter was born. When I came across Bunnies By The Bay I was sold instantly on their fabulous little stuffed animals that give back. Not only do they look like the high end ones you might see in FAO Schwartz, but when I found out that they also help orphans around the world? I want to give them all a hug. And a home. The Red Thread collection of stuffed animals donates 10% of their proceeds...

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All things being equal, I’d rather be in Paris.

Yeah, I know the WC Fields line was about Philadelphia but with all due respect to my partner Kristen and other cool Philly mamas, I’d rather hit the Champs Elysee these days. That’s why these vintage style Paris wall clocks need a place in my home immediately. Even if they’re set to Eastern Standard Time. Spotted at Design Atelier Article, the same shop that featured the most fabulous bookends we found last year, I’m not surprised that these birchwood clocks are inspired in design. Plus, you can pick up to 12 colors, whether you have your mind on an authentic...

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One Bowl Baking Cookbook: Homemade baked goods from scratch, only easy as using a box.

Valentine’s Day may be behind us, but I have a sweet treat for you, cool moms. My new favorite cookbook, One Bowl Baking: Simple, From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts, is a revelation too good not to share. It wasn’t written for moms or with families in mind, but the ease with which this book makes it possible to whip up anything from brownies to birthday cake makes it an essential book for every family kitchen. I mean, Banana Bourbon Cake with Whipped Cream (above) in one bowl. C’mon people! (Don’t worry: the recipe’s below.) One Bowl Baking was...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us for cool pins and great finds like this every day.   1. Words we need to remember more often. 2. A designer tote we all have our eyes on. 3. Love this retro iPhone case. 4. We need these DIY lip balm instructions these days. 5. This one is for every parent who has ever sat in an auditorium behind another parent taking pictures with an iPad. Ha. Also, are you following Cool Mom Tech on Pinterest for the latest in gadgets, gear, apps for kids, photography help and general fun? Entrepreneur Magazine just named it one of the top...

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Wooden love blocks you have to love, any way you look at them.

It’s not hard to find signs of love all around us today, like these gorgeously designed wooden blocks that spell out love in 12 different languages. And when you take a closer look at how artful these blocks are, you’ll understand why I think they’d be equally at home as a piece of room decor as they would be a plaything for the kids. House Industries makes such incredible stuff we included several designs in our roundup of the best modern alphabet blocks for kids. Similarly, their Love Heart Blocks are so intricately designed, they are truly unique from every...

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Storq: Stylish maternity basics just got way easier to find, wear, and match.

My maternity basics during my two pregnancies pretty much consisted of black leggings (one pair I washed every other day), tees long enough to cover my belly and a couple of dresses with stretch. Everything else–blazers, button downs, hoodies–had been pulled from my existing wardrobe and layered on top–buttons open, of course. Operating under the same premise, that you can totally get by stylishly during those nine months with some very basic maternity clothes, is a chic new maternity collection called Storq. We’ve found a crop of new maternity collections targeting cool moms-to-be lately, but what makes Storq different...

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Web Coolness: Last-minute Valentine’s treats, hot marriage tips, and the first rule of Valentine’s day for all men

Every Friday we share some of our favorite links from around the web with you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Happy reading!   If you’re still scrambling for last-minute Valentine’s Day treats, we have you covered. We’re loving this sweetly unsentimental love song by the Walkmen’s Walter Martin today. Want to keep your long-term relationship hot? Check out Esther Perel’s TED talk. A lot of love for an exceptional teacher. A must-read. Valentine’s tips from 800 of America’s oldest and wisest couples.   Valentine’s candy rules to live by from some very smart men at Guy Code. What...

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The Oscars best picture nominees reimagined with Legos

While I thought the Lego movie was a great film (with its own terrific movie poster art), what might be even cooler is seeing every Oscar nominee for best picture recreated with Legos. Of course since that would take years–and I haven’t the slightest idea what Minifigs they could possibly find to represent the women in Wolf of Wall Street–the next best thing: making all the film’s movie posters made out of Legos.     You can find them all Yahoo Movies which it seems worked together with Sony Pictures to design them. And they are awesome. Of course Leonardo...

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Gender neutral crib bedding ideas? Reader Q + A

Hi Cool Mom Picks! I’m looking for some cute gender neutral crib bedding ideas for my surprise baby who will be here soon. I like modern design and bold patterns but I’m open to other ideas. Can you help? Thanks, Julie   First of all, congrats Julie! And yes we can definitely help in the gender neutral crib bedding department. Here are just a few ideas I love right now–modern, playful, and 100% pastel-free in a variety of color ranges that work for any kid at all.  Hope one is just right for you and your style. 1.YELLOW CRIB...

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The ultimate guide to snow day activities, part two: 20 more indoor ideas to keep you sane

As the east coast gets hit with yet another snow storm, and parents everywhere slowly lose their minds looking for snow day activities, you can start with our ideas for 12 fun things to do during a snow day from games to crafts to an impromptu dance party. For even more inspiration,  here are 20 ideas for activities that can get you through a long day indoors. Of course, this is the time you start hoping you have enough colored ink in that printer. Related: 20 awesome kitchen products to do with kids when you’re stuck indoors 1. Make a toy...

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Your bookshelf needs this ninja. Unless the ninja’s already there…

Ninjas are very stealthy and there could very well already be one on your child’s bookshelf, hiding between The House on Pooh Corner and Goodnight, Moon. As for the the ninja in the board book Hello Ninja, don’t worry. He’s helpful and well-mannered and only chops watermelons. When I first opened up Hello Ninja, the author’s name kept ringing a bell. That’s because ND Wilson also wrote the 100 Cupboards series for middle graders, which I loved. That same optimism and sweetness can be found in Hello Ninja, which brings the universal appeal of ninjas to the level of board...

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Downton Abbey Valentines: What an Earl Wants

Last year we swooned over the printable Hunger Games Valentines and while the Peeta/Gale competition still rages on, this year it’s all about Downton Abbey Valentines for us. The references are clearly from Season 4–I would have loved to see a Lady Rose I Go Wild For You, a bandleader Jack Ross Let’s Break New Territory, or a Daisy Mason I’m Not That Innocent. But overall they are a charmingly adult way to spread some love around your Masterpiece Theater-addicted office or playgroup. All said and done, it’s nice to see a little pop culture that’s heavier on the culture...

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8 ridiculously easy, last-minute Valentine’s Day treats. Because procrastinators need love, too.

At first I thought that Valentine’s Day on Friday was a good thing. What a fun way to kick off the weekend. But now I’m wondering when exactly I’m supposed to make treats for my kids? I guess I should have thought of that last weekend but, really, a whole week ahead of time? If, like me, you’re going to need to make quick Valentine’s Day magic with hours to spare, these super easy, last-minute Valentine’s Day treat recipes are for you.   The 4-ingredient Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts (above) from Sweetapolita are so pretty! And with that ingredient...

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Remembering Shirley Temple: Her best 3 films to watch with your kids.

We were so, so sad to hear that Shirley Temple Black passed away Monday night. She was one of our (and probably your) most very favorite child stars ever—those dimples! Those curls! Not to mention the respected diplomatic path she took as an adult. If your children are asking Shirley who? allow us to offer you three of Shirley Temple’s best  films that they definitely have to watch. Get that Netflix log-in or that Amazon account ready. Quickly, before all the prices triple.   Bright Eyes This is the movie Shirley Temple first became famous for, and most of us...

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Super cool last minute Valentine’s gift ideas you can still get delivered in time. Because IOUs aren’t sexy.

Let’s not call us procrastinators. Let’s just say…we’re busy. Because we are. So we get it.  if you’re still looking for a last  minute Valentine’s Day gift for a special someone, here are a few ideas that go a little further than a hastily scribbled, wrinkled card that was the second to last one left on the shelf. Candygram from Sugarfina I am in love with this Beverly Hills confectionary which isn’t as big on the fancy gourmet truffles as they are on kitchy, playful ways of repackaging childhood favorites as in a Sweetheart Bento Box, a Pucker Up...

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7 sophisticated, printable Valentine’s cards for adults–or very precocious teens.

If you’ve run out of time to order some of the fantastic Valentine’s cards we’ve already featured on Cool Mom Picks, don’t stress. We’ve got your back with some printable valentines for adults. Unlike these cute 14 printable classroom Valentines for kids, this selection is a little more quirky, sophisticated and beautiful–perfect for yourself or a more sophisticated teen. Even a few for the single mamas out there. The sweet Hello Darling Valentine’s cards (above) look like anything you’d see in a fancy card boutique, but are actually free printables from Love vs. Design.   These classically simple Love Notes cards are...

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