Month: February 2014

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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