Month: May 2014

The new G-Bike balance bike: For kids who can’t wait for their own wheels

We love balance bikes here at Cool Mom Picks because they do such a great job of teaching young kids how to get around safely on two wheels. I was sold on them after learning the hard way how challenging it is to wean a fearful child off of training wheels (oy, my back) and now I’m particularly smitten with the new line of G-Bike balance bikes made by my kids’ favorite scooter maker, Micro Kickboard.   Micro Kickboard’s brightly colored, toddler-friendly G-Bike balance bike is created for kids as young as two who are eager to hit the open road–or more realistically, the driveway and sidewalk.  I dig the look...

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This watercolor artist made sophisticated superhero art. Our hero!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a really lovely watercolor of your favorite superhero, and it’s ready to frame! As much as we love covering cool artwork for kids, we’re excited to have found a collection of sophisticated superhero art that you would expect to find in your favorite local gallery. We’ve brought you artsy movie posters and Star Wars art, and now we’re excited to see some of our favorite characters brought to life in atmospheric watercolors by Clementine, a French mom of two living in Australia. Her Blule website gallery includes everything from cats to fairy tale shoes, but what we really...

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Sweet Loren’s: Frozen natural cookie dough as delicious as the so-not-natural at all stuff.

Hold onto your baking sheets, cookie lovers.  Sweet Loren’s all-natural cookie dough for ready-to-bake cookies has arrived and will make eating your favorite sweet treats way easier and with less guilt. Packed with 100% whole grains, natural sweeteners, and [edited to clarify] fewer processed and refined ingredients than similar products from other brands, these cookie doughs wait ready in your freezer and bake up in minutes whenever you–uh, I mean the kids–are craving a treat. Sweet Loren’s award-winning cookie dough was created by Loren Brill, a long time sweets lover and cancer survivor who committed to clean eating after her recovery. She...

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Frazier and Wing mobiles: You don’t have to be a baby to smile up at them

I’ve been singing the praises of the gorgeous handmade mobiles from Portland’s Frazier and Wing for a while now, and as much as I love the artistry Heather brings to her paper mobiles and reusable handmade paper garlands, I’m so excited to see her getting into new materials. She’s just introduced the striking new Auden mobile made from German felt circles and  natural maple. It’s a gorgeous piece of original art that can transition from a baby’s room to pretty much anywhere in the house. If you love wood, then you may like the Sandro mobile in a dark walnut that looks...

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5 cool Birkenstock alternatives. Yes, they’re back.

If you feel the way I feel about Birkenstocks, then you’ll be very happy to see I’ve got some stylish Birkenstock alternatives for you. Oh don’t get me wrong, I wore them proudly 15 years ago, but these days, I’m not so sure I can pull them off as well. Even though I know I’m seeing them on the feet of all my cooler-than-me friends. I guess they’re the kind of thing that are either you…or they’re not. So since Birks are super comfortable and very on trend, so I decided to round up  5 cool sandals that let you ride the trend without...

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Web Coolness: Maya Angelou, #YesAllWomen, and tough questions for parents to ask themselves.

Here’s what we’ve been reading around the Web this week. Hope you like them too.   Fantastic (and free!) DIY DIY printable paper bags for Father’s Day picnics. Impressive: The college graduate of the year. A sweet moment from  the surprise Sandra Bullock commencement speech in NOLA. Important male perspective on the #YesAllWomen hashtag trending this week. Our small tribute to the passing of Maya Angelou.   Another goodbye to iconic designer Massimo Vignelli. [via LisaCongdon] Reinvent your Friday nights with this date night in series on Bleubird. Is the importance of children’s table manners becoming overstated? Can you be honest about your parenting? Bacon-wrapped balsamic dates and truffled mac n...

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12 terrific printable gift card holders for teachers that make that end-of-year gift more special.

I tend to give gift cards to my kids’ teachers at the end of the school year because it’s quick and easy, but I also like knowing that the recipient can use it to treat herself long after the kids have run off to summer. So I’ve searched high and low for the best printable gift card holders for teachers, to help make the gift look as heartfelt as the sentiment behind it. Even though lots of schools encourage it as an end of year teacher gift, handing over a gift card in an envelope can still feel a little too impersonal, considering how much educators, coaches and...

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18 seriously funny Father’s Day cards. Because a dad who laughs is a dad to celebrate.

While you’re busy looking for the perfect Father’s Day gifts, you can’t forget the perfect funny card, right? If you’re like me (and your dad like my dad) then you’ll appreciate these 18 funny Father’s Day cards that I tracked down on Etsy this year. We promise they’re all SFW–unless maybe your work is in a monastery–and somehow, we managed once again to avoid tired references to lazy dads, power tools, remote controls, golf, and mowing the lawn. Hey cardmakers: Take a cue from these artist and get with the 21st century. If It Wasn’t For You…Father’s Day Card ($4.50, Hello Small World) A...

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MOUTH introduces a new online liquor store for indie wine and spirits. Cheers to that.

By now it’s no surprise that we’re huge fans of MOUTH, a rocking online indie food marketplace where you can get anything from an edible gold chocolate Jesus to a gourmet food subscription filled with artisanal goodies like pickles or cookies. And now—praise that gold chocolate Jesus—they’ve launched an online liquor store just for indie spirits, wine and gifts for the imbibing set. We can’t decide if we love MOUTH more because they find the most delicious small-batch food products, or for their dedication to supporting indie food makers in growing their businesses. In true form, the curators at MOUTH are on the cutting edge of the indie spirits...

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The ONE FashionABLE scarf: A cool accessory for a cause, but hurry!

As if I didn’t love FashionABLE enough, they’ve just collaborated with ONE.org to launch their limited edition ONE FashionABLE summer scarf and wow, is it gorgeous. Even better, the profits now help two great charitable organizations. I’m hard-pressed to find an occasion where I don’t have a FashionABLE scarf around my neck or in my tote–and Liz would say the same. Not just because they’re beautiful, like this summer scarf in a luscious Mediterranean blue cotton that demands sunny days, but because they double so well as a wrap, a sizeable blanket for my kids on the go, even an emergency diaper changing table cover....

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The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund design contest winners now available at J. Crew. And they are wonderful.

Each year we love to see what comes out of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition, which highlights the work of upcoming designers.  J. Crew has partnered with the winners for the past four years to bring their names and work to those of us who are more likely to step through the doors of a J. Crew than to attend New York’s Fashion Week. (Not because we wouldn’t love to, mind you.) This year’s theme was Indigo. The results are stunning—and now you can shop the J. Crew CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winning designs. Yay! Check out the gorgeous designs from winners Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell...

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7 delicious skinny cocktails for your summer drinking pleasure

I’m not one for dieting, but sweet summer cocktails can be surprisingly high in sugar and calories. It’s hard to resist the idea of skinny cocktails that are just as delicious as the original versions, only with a fraction of the calories–especially since it means I can have two for the price (so to speak) of one. Here are just a few that look like they might make my personal cocktail list for the summer when we’re entertaining, or just enjoying a little grownup time after the kids are in bed.   The Skinny Honey Bee Martini (above) from Family Fresh Cooking...

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7 cool snack containers for kids that beat plastic bags

We’ve got a gaggle of snackers in our homes, so cool snack containers for kids are an absolute must. They’re a far more eco-friendly choice over plastic bags, which as we all know by now not only saves waste but plenty of money over the long run. Plus, we’ve found that packing our own snacks before we head out actually forces us to make healthier choices for the kids when we’re on the go. Let’s admit it–rest stops and c-stores can be filled with some less ideal temptations when you’re already starving. We’ve rounded-up seven of our own favorite reusable snack containers that are...

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Our favorite Maya Angelou quotes, in honor of one of the best human being in the history of the world

I can’t tell you how sad we all are about the death of Maya Angelou today at 86. Starting with the must-read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings back when I was a kid, I was instantly captivated by her amazing command of the language, and how profoundly she could find truth and convey meaning even using the most accessible prose.  The older I grew, the more important her essays and poems became to me. In fact, there are so many quotes we have all commonly heard, that you may not even know they originated with Dr. Angelou. If you feel like surrounding yourself with a little more of her remarkable...

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Cool bathing suits for boys, hold the chafing. (Yes, we said chafing.)

Trying to find cool bathing suits for boys that are actually comfortable is no easy task. My son lasts a few hours at most before he starts to get a little “itchy,” particularly at the beach. Let’s just say that sand is not a bottom’s friend. That’s why I’m loving the bathing suits for boys from Coastal Dog which have compression shorts built right in–and an amazing charitable mission too.   Imagined and designed by mom Stephanie Magee and made in the USA, Coastal Dog’s bathing suits feature a comfy inner compression short (i.e. no mesh underwear thingy) coupled with a light,...

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Kollar me bad.

I’m evidently going through an artisanal chocolate phase–though considering it’s been a decade or so, not sure if that’s actually a phase or a way of life. Either way, I love visiting small towns or scouring the web for outstanding local chocolatiers like Laughing Moon in Stowe, Vermont, Chicago’s addictive Ugly Truffles, or my most recent obsession, Fort Meyers’ Norman Love chocolates. Now, I’ve got another to add to the list: Napa Valley’s Kollar Chocolates. While my thighs are saying “no, bad…” my mouth is saying, “yes please. 18 more, just like that one.” These gourmet truffles from chef Chris Kollar may come...

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Is the innovative Taga Bike Stroller worth the price tag? Here’s the real scoop.

Last month the, Taga Bike began selling in the US after six years in Europe, and I’ve been fascinated by this innovation in biking for parents, and the whole bakfiet trend that’s slowly making its way to our shores.  I totally see the appeal of a bike-stroller hybrid like the Taga; there is a cute outdoor shopping center about a mile from my house, and I’ve frequently thought how nice it would be to ride my bike down there, shop a bit, grab some groceries, and head back home with my four-year-old, who isn’t big enough to ride his own bike that far himself. And...

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Cool daddy and me shirts for Father’s Day that actually are.

We’re not always fans of the matchy-matchy daddy and me shirts, but if there’s one time that we think it’s pretty fun, it’s Father’s Day. Especially if you’ve got a new kid that just made Daddy a Daddy. So even slight cynics like us love the decidedly non-cutesie selection of clever daddy and me shirts from long-time favorite  shop, Twisted Twee. More quirky than sugary sweet, what I really like is that the two shirt designs are related, but don’t quite match. I’d love to see that lightbulb moment as people see the pair together and figure out how the t-shirts relate to each other, like the...

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Trend Alert: 11 fabulous summer handbags in chic neutrals.

This summer we’re going nude–with our handbags, at least. So many great designers are creating sophisticated looks in chic neutrals, and we’re in love. This also means that I don’t have to switch handbags to match my clothes every day, but let’s be honest; when I’m trying to get three kids out the door I’m more likely to leave home with a bag that doesn’t match what I’m wearing at all. That’s about to end, because I’m determined to get at least one of these ten neutral handbags for summertime for myself. So many great choices, where to start? CMP is an rstyle affiliate/ some of these...

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An easy Memorial Day craft for kids to help celebrate the real reason for the holiday

We definitely want our kids to know that Memorial Day isn’t just about burgers, swimming, and a day off from school, but rather, the military service from people who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom. We thought this easy Memorial Day craft for kids is the perfect way to show them. These DIY patriotic rocks from our friends at Kiwi Crate present a nice opportunity to take a break from the heat and chat with your kids about what Memorial Day is really all about. And even better, no need to make a run to the art supply store–all you need are some rocks from the backyard and...

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