Month: March 2014

A natural, foaming hand soap with all the watermelon scent, none of the pits.

I’ve been an avowed Mrs. Meyers fan ever since they let me run around in their laboratory, mixing up eco-conscious cleaning products and dabbing the basil fragrance behind my ears. My kids are fans now, too, as there’s nothing they love as much as their own foaming hand soap–especially when it smells like watermelon. The new Foaming Hand Soap from Mrs. Meyers contains the same 98% naturally-derived ingredients as the brand’s regular hand soaps, but are improved a thousand-fold in my kids’ eyes by the addition of exciting foam! And bubbles! They also love the new kid-friendly watermelon and apple...

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Salt and pepper shakers that let you invite Kate Spade to your dinner table

I have always had a thing for salt and pepper shakers, with phases ranging from kitschy mid-century to delicate 20’s-era, to modern and handmade. I’m not sure I actually need another set, but I sure have my eyes on these Kate Spade salt and pepper shakers which are utterly charming as you’d expect. I love that hand-drawn sketch over the simply white porcelain. Charming without getting into kitsch-land. Because I’ve already been there, and I have the poodle shakers to prove it. Besides, it’s kind of nice to be able to tell which is with without having to squint down at...

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Gorjana jewelry: Affordable, adorable, and ready for spring

I was so excited to be introduced to the affordable, very wearable Gorjana jewelry by a friend whose necklace I couldn’t stop ogling. Of course the one she wore is no longer online (d’oh) but so much in the shop caught my eye, like this superstar necklace, for one. I love the asymmetry of the two star charms on the gold-plated or sterling chain, and it’s such a sweet delicate piece to consider as our clothes start getting a little lighter too. There’s tons of affordable jewelry to browse in the shop, most of it designed with on-trend layering in mind. It’s...

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Handmade wall art that’s so very very pretty.

I recently discovered the Australian shop Castle and Things and fell in love with their handmade wall art. The graphics and text-oriented artwork is so up my alley. Inspirational quote posters have been a trend lately, and personally, I love it. But these pieces I just found take the art form to the next level. Look around the shop and find handmade wall art of vintage French linen, flax Belgian linen, wool, velvet and even moleskin. They are gorgeous. And with a spendy price tag to match. As in, really spendy. This is definitely artwork for collectors looking for...

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5 copycat shamrock shake recipes for St. Patrick’s Day. Or today, if you’re feeling lucky.

It’s the time of year that many in certain frozen dessert circles call Shamrock Shake season. March and St. Patrick’s Day mean the end of a year-long wait for devotees of the green shake. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan. Not because I don’t like sweet, minty shakes (I do!), but because I find a “shake” at a fast food joint containing 54 ingredients a little suspicious and a lot unappetizing. If you are looking for some DIY alternatives , these 5 copycat shamrock shake recipes are for you. The healthy Shamrock Shake (above) from An Edible Mosaic is a totally delicious...

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Honor International Women’s Day by sharing one simple story from ONE that makes a difference. Easy.

We celebrate the hard work and contributions of women every day here at Cool Mom Picks. For this year’s International Women’s Day today, we are standing with ONE to applaud the essential work of one group of women in Africa: farmers. You may not think of farmers being women, but throughout countries like Rwanda and Kenya, they make up to 80% of the agricultural workforce in some communities. Whoa.  It’s important to spread the word about their hard work to feed their communities, since investors and outside support usually go to farms owned by men. We’ve been a fan of many...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us! Then check out cool finds like these every week from our site and beyond.    1. A Dr. Seuss iPhone case we must have now. 2. Easiest way ever to get your kids to eat their lunch. 3. This looks too cool to be an inspirational quote. 4. If you have kids, here’s a new roadtrip essential for the back seat. 5. Liz caved and bought these fabulous designer shoes but doesn’t want anyone else to have them. Just so you...

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DIY Room Kits that you can DWYK (Do With Your Kids).

If your kids are anything like mine (and good luck with that), they want to change the theme of their room weekly. My son has gone from “make it all green” to “make it all Minecraft” to “MOTORCYCLES!” this week alone. It’s times like these that we are grateful for smart designers and their clever creations, like the brand-new and super-cool DIY Room Kits from one of our favorite shops, Children Inspire Design.   Each themed kit includes an 11×14 print, four 8x10s, a set of wall cards and two DIY projects for decorative garlands and mobiles. With charming choices...

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Natural laundry detergent from Better Life that’s so amazing, we forgive the punny name.

Even though we are way past the baby stage at our house, we still do a lot of laundry. I cringe at what I’m doing to the environment (and possibly our clothes) when I forgo natural laundry detergent, let alone tossing in another load of chlorine-soaked swim towels. Better Life is one of those brands whose natural cleaning products we just can’t recommend enough, and thanks to their new Spin Credible laundry detergent, I’m feeling a lot better about doing the laundry. It’s got none of the yucky ingredients like sulfates or petroleum, and all of the good ones...

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Web Coolness: Saving money on baby gear, RIE parenting (huh?), and the end of celebrity baby photos

It’s Friday which means we feature our favorite links from around the web this week. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.   Check out these outrageous dream home add-ons like this indoor kids’ treehouse. Whoa. Britax has pledged not to use unauthorized photos of celebrity children. Will other brands follow suit? Words of wisdom about tech from Humans of New York. Remember that sometimes actual people make the products we love.   Must-read for home-cooks: A fascinating theory on cooking by ratio, not recipe.  Celeb parenting trend watch: RIE parenting. What do you think? [via design mom] Tip: How to save money on expensive...

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…then comes aden + anais and Zutano swaddle blankets for babies. Obviously in the baby carriage

I’ve been a devotee of swaddle blankets for babies from day one, and five months in with Baby #3, we are still using our aden + anais muslin swaddle blanket for every daytime and nighttime snooze. And now that aden + anais has partnered with Zutano, another favorite baby brand of ours, I want to use these new, beautiful designs forever. You can still swaddle a three-year-old, right? The Zutano “Just for aden” by aden + anais collection is a colorful departure from the neutral and calming tones that we’re accustomed to from the aden line. Zutano’s bright colors and whimsical patterns like owls...

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Pantone Orchid: The hot spring 2014 color is all over kids’ fashion.

Since Pantone released their it colors for spring 2014, the stunning shade I’ve been most taken with is Pantone Orchid. This bold, not-quite-lavender purple is great for boys and girls, which is why we’re seeing it all over the spring collections for kids’ clothes right now. In order to avoid overhearing another toddler commenting that your child’s color choices are “sooo last year” (don’t you hate when that happens?) here are some of our favorite kids’ looks that come in Radiant Orchid. Or similar shades. Because really, you don’t have to walk around with a Pantone Swatch in your pocket when you shop for...

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6 non-toxic shampoos for babies and kids we can’t live without, in every price range.

When my first son was just a baby, the chemicals that I learned were in most baby shampoos and bath soaps scared me, honestly. Even when I looked through the non-toxic shampoos for babies at our grocery, I wasn’t sure which ones I could trust. New moms have so much to worry about already–I wasn’t expecting bath time to be stressful, too. Fortunately there are now so many great non-toxic shampoo options for kids and babies, and they’re getting even more readily available and more affordable so that more parents have access to them. These are six of my...

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8 easy donut recipes so absurdly delectable, you’ll be baking every week. (Time to make the you-know-what.)

I tend to avoid the easy donut recipes I come across, because it’s no secret to my friends that I’m a donut fiend. I’m afraid if I start baking, I’ll end up on an all-donut diet! But then I discovered baked donuts. Normally a stickler for the yeasted variety, I tried home-baked reluctantly, and they are so easy, I am now dangerously in love. When you take a look at these 8 ridiculously delicious, easy donut recipes, you may be hooked, too. Sorry I’m not sorry. First, you’ll need to invest in a donut pan . Don’t worry: this isn’t a...

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Some of the best superhero party ideas on a budget

Whether you’ve got boys or girls, there are so many great superhero party ideas out there, especially considering it’s one of those party themes that remains popular every year. The great news is, you don’t need to spend a fortune to throw an awesome party for your kids. And that’s where our newest sponsor Sew Plain Jane comes in. Several years ago, we first discovered their amazingly affordable handmade superhero capes for kids a birthday party  ourselves, and couldn’t believe how adorable–and reasonably priced–they were. The capes, masks and accessories are even handmade in the USA by work-at-home-moms, which we love.   So if...

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Quirky cool note cards to send just for fun. Because mustaches are awesome.

How fantastic are these mustachioed cards from Doo Daa Studios? Each of the cool note cards features a face with a quirky personality and an interactive, reshapeable mustache, which our kids will love to play with. Looking to bring back the fun of sending cards in the mail for no reason whatsoever? These should help that along.   The mustache cards are blank inside, so you can add a little fun and your personalized message to any occasion, and they’re made from recycled paper right in NYC.  They’re a bit pricey compared to ordinary greeting cards as you might suspect, but stationery this special–and the recipient’s...

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Trymbl: Free beauty samples from a smart new online boutique

I am totally a fan of free beauty samples–isn’t everyone? After all, my days are filled with more soccer games and ballet practices than they are with leisurely shopping excursions where I can try out the latest, greatest beauty products, making it hard to know what’s right for me. So now I’m cheering for Trymbl, an online beauty retailer launching today, that allows you to try sample sizes of makeup, skin care and hair care products, even maternity, and baby care products, all completely free. Yes, it’s free. As in no cost for the sample or shipping. (And yes, our...

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Cool, colorful carry-on luggage – should you be able to tear yourself away from black.

I was never a colorful carry-on luggage gal; I’ve spent most of my life fairly satisfied with black, until recently when I was forced to check a bag–then watched at the carousel as about six people picked up my bag and put it back down before it got to me. Eep. Clearly a cool luggage tag or tying a ribbon around the handle won’t always cut it, so here are a few great options for chic, colorful carry-on luggage that gives you plenty of inspiration to pack light.     I discovered the Hideo Wakamatsuta Jellybean Carry-On several years...

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Stylish, fun wooden doctor’s kits for your own little medic

Based on the number of awesome-looking, well-made wooden doctor’s kits we saw at Toy Fair, we expect that a lot of kids will have fun taking care of all their new patients. Here’s a recap of some of the nicest doctor’s kits for kids that we saw, all of which should be available soon. Crafted in beautiful shades of hardwood,the Soopsori Wooden Doctor’s Kit (at top) includes the cutest stethoscope I’ve ever seen. And even if toddlers try to “eat” the wooden pills which, thankfully, are affixed to a larger wooden base, the natural linseed oil finish is non-toxic.  ...

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Look up “adorbs” in the dictionary, find these cool onesies for babies

If you don’t know what totes adorbs means, the Earth Cadets shop will show it to you (Or, a teen who you wish would talk like someone from Earth) with a selection of wildly cool onesies for babies.  From organic cotton one-pieces and adult tees to pillows and recycled totes, everything in the shop is screen printed in Chicago by hand and is, yes, utterly adorable. Especially the baby selection. We’re digging all of their designs, from chevrons and arrows to catchy phrases and boom boxes. The baby gift-ready onesies come in a variety of colors, each available in sizes...

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