Month: May 2014

What to pack for kids: From spoons to scooters, 9 surprising items that make family travel easier and more fun

It’s officially the season for travel (whoo!) and whether you’re planing it, driving, or taking the subway uptown for a picnic in the park, we’re all for getting out with the kids. A top question from our readers is always “but what do I pack!!??” (Number of exclamation points not exaggerated.) Well, you’ve come to the right place because we’re huge advocates of traveling with kids, and we do it ourselves, a lot. Even Kristen, and she has four of them! So while yes, you need clothes and snacks and crayons, on behalf of our awesome new partner Micro...

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A fragrance for Father’s Day, for Dude No. 1 in your life

I may have attacked my husband the first time I dabbed some Dude No. 1 from MCMC Fragrances on his neck. It’s that good. And when I dabbed their Hunter eau de parfum on my neck, I was attacked in return. The best Father’s Day gifts, in my opinion, involve that kind of selfless dedication. Oh, wait. I mean selfish. I first discovered MCMC Fragrances as a sample in a Bergamot box. When I realized that two of my favorite fragrance samples this year were from MCMC, I had to contact them for more information on Father’s Day fragrances. Turns out they recently...

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Cool custom family dolls, because everyone needs a mini-me. Or a mini-us.

We have a thing for personalized dolls at Cool Mom Picks, but I am legitimately swooning over these sophisticated (but still adorable) custom family dolls, handmade by Liliana Tijeras of Citizens Collectible on Etsy. They may be made in Spain, but the couple with the square glasses could have stepped right off of the sidewalks of Brooklyn or Los Feliz. They may even be two dads–hard to tell. Liliana perfectly captures personality in felt and canvas, customizing every doll’s hair color, facial hair, skin tone, and any of more than a dozen hair styles. You can also choose from a slew of fabrics for their outfits, and even...

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What to do about picky eaters: 4 parenting books to help you call a truce on mealtime battles

Wondering what to do about picky eaters and how to feed them can be one of the most exhausting parenting challenges. We’re responsible for feeding our kids at least three times every day (or so we’d hope), and three daily battles is three too many. When you’re ready to stop the madness, these 4 parenting books can be amazingly helpful, and hopefully one is right for you. My hope is that they help you get your child to eat what’s on the table–or at least end the power struggles when he won’t.  All are available through our affiliate Amazon, or local indie booksellers...

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Our favorite DIY teacher gifts from the class that make a big impression.

We love teachers so much which is why we’re always excited to track down great ideas for teacher gifts from the class. After all, they give to our kids all day long without complaining (to us, anyway) about the runny noses they wipe, or the fifth round of lice to hit the school this year. With the school year wrapping up as we speak, if you haven’t started thinking about gifts from the class for your teacher yet we’ve got some great ideas, both new and from years past. One thing we’ve learned from talking to dozens of teachers over the...

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Awesome action figures for girls that are actually for girls.

I have always said that I’m not anti-princess, just pro-choice. When it comes to my daughters’ toys, I’ve always wanted them to have a variety, which is why we don’t limit ourselves to “girls’ aisles”  in toy stores. And now IAmElemental comes along and gives us actual action figures for girls–a phenomenal option to inspire creative play right alongside their action movie-themed Legos  and rag dolls and American Girl Dolls and everything else in the toy chest. Still in the midst of a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, this mom-run company is reinventing the female action figure, with a series made for actual girls to play with–instead of adult collectors to ogle. You...

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5 great photo book ideas for Father’s Day gifts

Father’s Day is coming up, and I’m excited that it’s time to celebrate the amazing dads and grandpas in my kids’ lives. One of our favorite gifts is photo books, which is such a simple way to create an affordable, truly special keepsake that’s loaded with sentiment. So I’ve put together 5 great photo book ideas for Father’s Day gifts, all using the affordable mini photo books from our sponsor Pinhole Press. -Don’t miss an exclusive discount code just for our readers below – We’ve all been fans of Pinhole Press for ages, for their spectacular design options and truly impressive end results. This is...

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The coolest new Ralph Lauren Kids clothes for fall according to actual kids

Browsing through photos of last night’s 2014 Ralph Lauren Kids fall preview with my girls (which we were sad to miss this year since the 2013 Ralph Lauren fall show was so great), they had some pretty strong opinions on which things they loved for themselves. Let’s just say, anything with boots? Yes! Fair isle? No. Color, yes! All brown…no way. Don’t even ask about boys in bow ties. So, if you’re looking for some fun, fancy girls’ looks for fall, and want the very opinionated opinion of two grade-school girls, allow us to help provide you with some inspiration for color, patterns layering and...

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A musical walk Through the Woods with Grammy winners The Okee Dokee Brothers

Grammy-award winners and all around super guys The Okee Dokee Brothers follow up their stellar Mississippi River-themed album, Can You Canoe?, with Through the Woods, all about their adventures hiking a chunk of the Appalachian Mountain trail. This is another collection of songs that should rightfully become a family classic for the joy, fun, and great music it’ll bring into your home and on your family’s travels.   Childhood friends Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander pack Through the Woods with a variety of “mountain music”, including American folk, bluegrass, blues, and a bunch of cool-sounding instruments. Songs like the gently rambling title tune that invites you to join them...

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10 of the best essential summer wine accessories to keep your vino fresh, cool and portable.

I love a good glass of wine any time of the year, but especially during the summer months. There’s something about sipping a good rosé on a picnic or starting dinner with an effervescent, chilled dry Lambrusco that brings out the wine lover in me. The weather makes wine feel casual and my favorite summer wine accessories make drinking it easy. Hope they help you too.   In the summer I nearly exclusively drink from my GoVino glasses, which we count among our picnic essentials here at Cool Mom Picks. These attractive cups made specifically for wine are made from a BPA-free...

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