Month: May 2014

The Baby Tree: May we never ever talk about storks again.

I admit, the folk tales and stork mythology stories that seek to answer “where do babies come from?” don’t appeal to me a bit. I want my kids to understand the actual facts in age appropriate ways and the right book can be perfect for that very thing. Especially if you’re feeling awkward about it yourself. So was thrilled to find just what I have been looking for–and probably a lot of you too–in the absolutely charming, wonderful, relatable The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall whose title belies the informative lesson about reproduction for young kids. A child  about to have a baby sibling sets out to...

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The silver lining over the crib

One of the most fun things about opening the Cool Mom Picks shop last week at great.ly is the ability to introduce new artists to all of you. One of our favorite finds: the lovely handmade cloud mobiles from Jahje Ives who was one of the very first makers we knew we wanted to feature. I was never a big fan of mobiles with music–especially now that it’s so easy to pump in your own favorite (and decidedly less repetitive) sleepytime music via MP3. These mobiles, on the other hand, do everything I want a mobile to do, floating and twisting and enchanting...

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

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular cool tech picks from Cool Mom Tech this past week. Enjoy!   1. We found the perfect gift for the camera lover in your life. 2. The latest news on Snapchat and what parents should know about it. Eep. 3. What do you get when Kickstarter and the MoMA Design Store come together?Lots of awesome. 4. Wait until you see this cool accessory’s secret technological superpower. 5. We’re amazed by this free app that’s perfect for parents–especially ones with baby book...

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A cute DIY to keep your kids from losing their glasses

We’ve officially entered sunglass season–although with my girls, every day is sunglass day. And hat day. And hula skirt day, for that matter. And this means I’ve officially started saying “and don’t leave them at school!” every time they walk out the door with said glasses. (I’m admittedly less concerned when they walk out of the house in hula skirts over their jeans.)  So I totally smiled when I saw this tutorial for  DIY glasses chain necklace at Handmade Charlotte that’s perfect for kids.   Click over for all the directions. It’s not too hard at all. I bet you could...

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Science t-shirts that help kids tell the pedipalp from the chelicarae

My kids never just want to know what something is. They also need to know where it’s from, what it does, what it eats, and why it makes that weird noise. If your kids want all the answers too, check out these adorably informative science t-shirts for kids from Elemental Ts. Each image is a labeled anatomical diagram just like you find in science textbooks. (Wait, do kids still use actual textbooks anymore?)   Hand-printed in Brooklyn by two clearly cool Brooklyn moms, we love the bright colors and hand-illustrated images of animals and robots which are totally great for boys or girls. From frogs to...

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Home hair color that’s as good as any salon? We may have found it with Madison Reed.

Until last week, I thought shelling out upwards of $250 for highlights and a root-covering tint was totally legit. At least in my neck of the NYC metropolitan area. Then I discovered Madison Reed, a new home hair color company, and even this DIY hair color skeptic just might be a new convert. I dabbled in hair color from the box when I was a teenager living in the Midwest, but as soon as I moved to New York and worked in the beauty business, I admit getting hooked on the prestige of going to a celebrity colorist. But like so...

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Vintage lockets on Etsy that hold more than secret photos, they hold a secret message.

Clearly we’re having a thing for hidden message keepsake jewelry this week, because first we found the awesome necklaces from Beth Macri, and now I’m crushing on this secret message locket spotted on Etsy. Dearest Mine finds vintage 1960s ball lockets, refurbishes them, and includes a blank of accordion-style paper. Write your own personalized message, or if your handwriting is like mine, Lori can do it for you. You can also include two photos if you wish, this being a locket and all.   I can see this as a beautiful, sentimental grad gift: Write Oh, the places you’ll go (or something less…familiar) and...

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What do I need to make homemade baby food? Our favorite tools and appliances.

It’s no surprise that more and more readers write to us to ask what they need to make homemade baby food. More parents than ever are making baby food from scratch, with a report out this week that baby food sales are down by 10%. Hey, no judgements–however you feed your baby is great by us. But since I’m  fan of home cooking myself, I’m happy to help those families committing to homemade baby food by recommending some of my favorite tools and appliances. It does take work, so it’s great knowing that these tools can all help make steaming, mashing, and storing...

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Our favorite Pinterest pins of the week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us! Then find cool picks like these every day.    1.  A clever gift for kids at a really great price. 2. Terrific  app to help eliminate the baby book guilt. 3. We can think of a few dads who would be thrilled with this as a Father’s Day gift. 4.  A new twist on a custom locket that we’re all flipping for. 5.  You’d better believe we’ll all be wearing one of these this summer, for more reasons than one. Speaking of Father’s Day, be sure to follow our board on the coolest Father’s Day...

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Cool Mom Picks opens an indie shop and we couldn’t be more thrilled

Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our site. We are so pleased to announce the launch of the Cool Mom Picks Boutique at the wonderful new website Great.ly. This makes us so happy, you can’t imagine; if we could have designed a retail experience ourselves, this would be it–filled with wonderful handmade and indie items from some of the most talented makers around the world, all curated by top tastemakers into boutiques. And we’re honored to be among them! Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer...

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Web Coolness: Team Jill Ambramson, the world’s best and worst countries for moms, and funniest baby trend ever.

Here are our favorite must-reads, must-sees, and must-clicks from around the web this week. We hope you enjoy them too.   We are all on team Jill Abramson. 25 reasons to leave your kids alone with Dad. Our favorite: craft projects. (image: @TheDaddyComplex on Instagram) Mothers who say they hate motherhood: Great conversation sparked by our editor Liz. What parents need to know now about SnapChat’s new texting service. The world’s best and worst countries for moms. Yikes, where’s USA?     Funniest baby trend ever? Eyebrows on babies. [h/t lifetime moms] Must-watch:  The LIzzie Velasquez documentary trailer on Kickstarter. No idea what the criteria were, but here’s Working...

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Chipotle’s Cultivating Thought author series. Because burritos go better with bon mots

While we try to cook most of our meals at home–with the help of all of the awesome recipes curated on Cool Mom Picks by our resident foodie, Stacie Billis–sometimes dining out is a necessity. You get it. And now Chipotle’s new Cultivating Thought author series is a very cool effort that just put the chain at the top of my list for our next pit stop. Author Jonathan Safran Foer apparently came up with the idea to print writing selections on cups and bags after stopping for a bite at Chipotle one day, then finding himself with nothing to read. He pitched the Chipotle CEO, who loved the...

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This custom hidden message necklace has two letters and a lot of love

Mother’s Day is over, but we’d be proud to wear this Two Letter Hidden Message Necklace from Beth Macri on any day of the year. Plus, any day is a good day to give a sweet gift to a new parent, a grandparent, a friend in need of a boost, or, um, the eternally patient mom who ended up with a drugstore card and an IOU last Sunday. Ordering is easy. Just select a chain and any two letters or symbols you’d like, each in silver, gold vermeil, or rose gold vermeil.  The pendants looks like a simple geometric design as they dangle, but...

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Art and science merge beautifully for kids with Chemistry Crayon Labels

When I was a kid, we called the deep purple crayon plain ol’ Violet. Then it was Purple Mountains’ Majesty. Now it can be Titanium (III) Ti3+(aq). Because these Chemistry Crayon Labels turn that 64-count box of childhood’s favorite art medium into a fun lesson about the chemicals that make up every color. Whether you want a simple 8-pack or are as anxious as a baking soda volcano to splurge on the jumbo 120-pack, the Chemistry Crayon Labels from QueInteresante on Etsy come color-coded to match each crayon. Simply peel the labels off and stick them on your crayons, and hopefully...

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If you can’t run away to the circus, run away to camp with the circus in your lunch bag.

As I start to evaluate my kids’ lunchboxes and decide which will actually hold up through summer camp, and which require a loving send-off, I come across these wonderful new lunch bags for kids and coordinating accessories from our friends at ISAK. There’s a wonderful, quirky collection filled with Scandinavian style and color that includes a lunch bag, bento boxes, a plastic water bottle and a vacuum-packed flask for hot and cold drink.  And if circus isn’t your theme, I also love the playful purple set with their signature happy girls across the lids.         They’re adorably colorful...

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Awesome ideas for Frozen movie party recipes—because kids just can’t let it go.

If your kids are anything like mine—or every other kid I know—they are way into Frozen. Still. Until they let it go (cheap shot?), I say we embrace it. For me, this means whipping up Frozen-inspired recipes that are perfect for a movie-viewing party, a Frozen themed birthday, or a surprise movie night dessert. Because if you’re going to watch it for the 67th time–this week–here might as well be something delicious in it for you all. The entire snow theme is a great help as far as Frozen  movie party recipe ideas, and I love the tasteful Vanilla Snowflake Cupcakes...

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Picnic-perfect plastic tableware for toddlers

It’s picnic weather down South, and we’re spending most nights out on the back porch, sipping on some tea and eating dinner with the neighbors. It’s idyllic, until the kids start playing frisbee with their plates. I’m not big on plastic dinnerware inside, but when we’re dining al fresco you never know what can happen, so I stick with the non-breakable–and preferably non-toxic–variety of kids’ cups dishes tableware. If you’re looking for an option beyond melamine but with the same durability and convenience, our family’s new favorites are the cool kids’ dishes in Lollaland’s mealtime set. Made in the USA in...

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The DIY teeny tiny letter writing kit that’s filled with great big awesomeness

Letter writing isn’t a hobby I would have imagined my almost-seven-year-old daughter would become obsessed with, especially with our love for Rainbow Loom still strong. The Tiny Mail Activity Kit from Leafcutter Designs has caught on fast, though, and turned her and her friends into letter-writing maniacs. Five years ago, we discovered the company that has offered the clever World’s Smallest Post to send tiny cards, letters and packages through US mail on behalf of …oh, say, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. Now they’ve launched a DIY letter-writing kit, and we’re hooked.   When my daughter first opened one up,...

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A perfect gift for baby-wearing dads, and their, um, sensitive areas

We’ve talked about baby carriers of all different kinds on Cool Mom Picks, but never before have we featured a product like the Kiccup, a baby carrier accessory that, shall I say, keeps all those cool baby-wearing dads’ parts protected from those dangling and kicking baby feet. My babies never really took to carriers, but in the few times I have worn them, I never considered the ergonomic challenges that dads have to face every time they wear a baby. But when you think about what’s in the baby’s kicking vicinity? A product like this starts to make a lot...

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Kardashian Kids baby clothes: Sweeter than you might expect. And more affordable.

You may have heard that he Kardashian sisters—yes, as in Kim, Kourtney and Khloé (don’t forget that accent mark)—have jumped into the celebs-designing-baby-clothes world with Kardashian Kids, a collection just baby girls. And you know what? There’s a surprising lack of glitz here and a whole lot of adorable. We waited to get a look at the line in person and give it a whirl ourselves before we could recommend it, and I must say the quality is quite nice, especially considering everything is under $30. The collection’s color palette is great for spring and even early summer, with plenty...

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