Month: June 2014

Arne Clausen: Looking pretty awesome for 126, right?

As I approach 35, I realize that I need to face the facts: I am a full-on grown-up. But as I look around our house, I realize that some of our decor and family habits don’t reflect this fact. Knowing that I want to be the family with the pitcher of milk–not the carton–on the breakfast table, I set out on a quest to find just the right piece; the one that said responsible, together, and happy. I think I found it at the Brooklyn-based LEIF webshop. My ideal sugar and creamer set is fresh, clean, cheery and oh-so-mature–much like everything in this gorgeous shop. This beautiful...

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aden + anais + (RED): The brand new baby gifts that give gifts to babies around the world who need it most.

When it comes to charities helping moms and babies, I’m crazy supportive of (RED), a division of The ONE Campaign. Actually, we all are around here. Over the years, they’ve raised millions to bring life-saving anti-retroviral drugs to HIV+ moms and their babies in still-developing regions. It’s amazing work, really, and they keep adding fantastic brand partners from tech companies like Apple and Mophie to Bugaboo. But their newest collaboration might be one of our favorites—burp clothes and swaddle blankets they’ve developed with the wonderful folks at aden + anais. Ooh, we’re seriously excited about these. The aden + anais (PRODUCT)RED swaddles, dream blankets,...

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Stick-lets help build forts. And imaginations. We happen to like both.

My kids love to build clubhouses and can turn anything into a fort—our playground, the shady spot under the deck, you name it. So with summer here, I was pretty excited discover Stick-lets, a new toy that lets them do that very thing. Stick-lets are thick pieces of silicone with holes cut out, so you can slide them over the end of two sticks and build a structure with them. They call them “silicone lashings” but that sounds like something out of Game of Thrones, to us. They stretch pretty well (although it takes some strength to pull the heavy-duty silicone),...

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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. You will not believe what this ring can do. Other than look great on your hand, of course. 2. Download these 7 fun math apps for summer review stat. 3. Use LEGO minifigs to organize your computer cords. Genius! 4. 6 helpful tips for getting the best Instagram photos of your kids. 5. One of the most gorgeous, mind-blowingly cool apps we’ve seen in a long...

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Tree + Me

We missed the boat on a big fancy modern swing set for my kids–maybe because we live in the city and don’t have a yard? Yeah, that could have a little to do with it. But their Grandma and Papa put up a handmade swing for them which made me realize that once again, the basics can make kids perfectly happy. Especially when it’s one that will last–maybe until the next generation? That’s why I got all “awwwww” when I saw the gorgeously handcrafted old fashioned wooden tree swing from Minnesota’s The Original Tree Swing on Etsy. Pricy? Yeah. But built (from...

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10 camping recipes so good you may never go back to an oven again.

It probably comes as no surprise that my favorite part of camping is campfire cooking. There’s something satisfyingly primal about giving up my stove and cooking over an open fire in the great outdoors. And with the right camping recipes—like these 10 for every meal of the day—the results are incredibly tasty. Impressive, even. Too bad I can’t say the same about giving up my hairdryer.   A CAMPING BREAKFAST IDEA THAT’S NOT PANCAKES Pancakes breakfasts are easy enough to whip up while camping if you have a large griddle. However if you don’t, flipping flapjacks to order in a small cast...

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3 homemade skin care recipes good enough to eat (though we wouldn’t recommend it.)

After recently trying a new skin care serum and mask made from kale, I began to wonder just how hard it would be to whip up some skin care recipes homemade in my own kitchen. I’m a natural beauty junkie, so half of my products already contain fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and it wouldn’t be such a stretch to try to make my own. After a little experimenting, I learned that making exfoliating, moisturizing and cleansing products in  my kitchen isn’t really such a big deal. The only drawback is that there is some clean-up involved. But hey, I’m a mom....

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Feeling foxy

Okay, so maybe sloths are the new hedgehogs, which are the new foxes–but foxes are still the new owls and that counts for something. Also, we like foxes. So of course we’re totally smitten with these cute Say Fox Purses. It is such a ridiculously cute gift for your favorite tween or ironic tween, or just for the young at heart.   The leather purses are handmade in Minnesota and the price is just amazing. I also think it’s absolutely perfect how well the shape is suited to a fox. Although with the narwhal coming up fast and furiously as a contender...

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Edible Schoolyard NYC gets busy in Harlem

I get so excited about school programs that are innovative and exciting for kids, and one of my favorites is the seed-to-table education offered by Alice Walter’s esteemed Edible Schoolyard program. In New York’s East Harlem neighborhood, where Edible Schoolyard NYC operates, less than 2% of grocery stores have fresh leafy greens available. It’s hard to condemn kids for not eating healthier when they don’t actually have those options available to them. So SYNYC is doing something about it  by creating schoolyard gardens, and this week they’ve launched an Edible Schoolyard NYC Crowdrise campaign to raise $50,000 to benefit several schools’ gardens. This could really change the...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest finds of the week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us! Then find cool pins like these every day.   1. Some of the best Instagram photos of kids and what we can learn from them. 2. Words every tween and teen daughter should read. 3. Healthy, yummy homemade popsicle recipe. Yes please! 4. Gorgeous kids’ room decor inspiration 5. Shoes to live in this summer....

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Baby Pibu skin care for babies: Perfect for those of us who don’t have a pediatric dermatologist on speed dial.

Moms have long lamented the fact that newborns don’t come home from the hospital with instruction manuals. But Baby Pibu skin care for babies, founded by dermatologist mom Dr. Amy Kim, actually does come with instruction cards. Okay, so they only help with how to care for your infant’s skin, and not what the heck that cry means and how it’s different from those six other cries…but still. The baby skin care market is flooded with products that claim to be safe for sensitive skin, but personally I feel pretty good knowing an actual dermatologist was behind the formulation. Also the fact that Baby Pibu leaves out...

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9 awesomely impressive appetizer ideas for summer parties that can make a whole meal

With summer here it’s definitely party season: Dinner parties in the backyard, Fourth of July celebrations, graduation gatherings – we love all of them. But when it’s too hot to put out a whole roast, we’ve curated  some fantastic appetizer ideas and hors d’oeuvres for summer parties from around the web. No plain chips and dips here, no ma’am. These recipes are all creative, impressive, and substantial enough that when you offer plenty, they can become the entire meal. (Think protein!) But then, having plenty of food on hand isn’t just about being  good host or hostess. Related: 7 party appetizers for adults that should please...

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Web Coolness: The coolest Bento box lunch for kids, when Internet comments blow up, and lots to laugh about

Here’s our favorite links we’ve been reading around the Web this week. Hope you like them too.   Make your kids’ day with these awesome Transformers bento box lunches. Have you seen this dads’ funny Frozen parody video yet? If so, watch it again. Worth it. Kittens vs Babies. (We can always count on How to Be a Dad to make us laugh.) One kid’s hilarious memory of this past school year. Must read: the comment apocalypse on this cake tutorial. Oh, Internets.  [h/t @schmutzie, @suebob] New in our indie shop: Downton Abbey Floor Plan art. Too awesome. Don’t make the same kids’ summer camp mistake that our...

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6 perfect pairs of sunglasses for kids

Summer officially started last weekend, and we’re continuing the kick-off in style by celebrating National Sunglasses Day. Yes, that’s a real thing. And while honestly, there isn’t a kid who doesn’t look adorable in any pair of sunglasses at all, we put together some of the very coolest ones based on warranty, style and function.  After all, it’s about eye protection; not just looking cute in Mom’s Intstagram photos.   Best Value Babiators original sunglasses for kids come in 11 trendy colors and have full UVA and UVB protection. They’re an amazing buy at $20, in part because of their fantastic lost-and-found guarantee to replace...

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Go ahead, make my room

We’ve been having so much fun discovering new artists to be able to sell at the Cool Mom Picks indie shop, and one of our recent finds is Cheeky Monkey Home. Her handmade pillows are the kinds that just require one to make a whole room. And they’re made with such exquisite detail, they’re the kind of thing you’d expect to find in ABC Carpet or other pricy home decor boutiques. Only you won’t. You’ll find them at our boutique, because Massachusetts artist Holly Johnson actually made these designs exclusive to great.ly. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We...

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12 little surprises under $20 that can make big memories for families

For years, we’ve been preaching that it’s often the little things that make the biggest impact, especially when it comes to those fun treats and creative ideas that help make summer magical for families. Just ask our own kids how much they love it when we set up a spa in the bathroom, or make a Tuesday movie night, just because. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. We’re super excited to be partnering with our sponsor Cracker Jack, the original master of little surprises, on their brand new initiative, The Surprise Inside Project, which kicks off today in New...

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7 outrageous Homeaway rentals that you won’t believe are real

When you think outrageous family vacations you probably think they’re just for the Pitt-Jolie clan. French villa? Private island? Butlers? Yes please. But now with our newest partner Homeaway and their “Million Ways to Stay” Contest, you could travel like the rich and famous too. And even bring the kids. Here, we’ve tracked down 7 totally insane Homeaway rental properties that we think families will go nuts for. And you could stay at any of them if you win Homeaway’s contest – check out all the details below.  And uh, we’ve used Homeaway ourselves to book our own family vacations, but we assure...

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BeautyCamp NYC: Why it could be huge.

When a friend of mine emailed to tell me about her new endeavor, BeautyCamp NYC, I have to admit I was like…what? Why would a girl spend an entire week in the summer at a beauty camp learning about makeup tips, when she could be playing or swimming or learning coding or pretty much anything else? But then I looked closer. And you know? It’s grown on me. Here’s why. BeautyCamp would probably be more accurate if it were called ConfidenceCamp  or OhMyGodDon’tDoThatToYourEyebrowsEverAgain Camp (as our own Kristen once said when her daughter got a hold of some tweezers), but those names just...

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Yoobi: Cool school supplies that give back to classrooms in need

We are always so happy to find companies that give back, especially when they make something that we would totally want to buy anyway. That’s why we are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Yoobi, a wonderful new school supply company that makes the kinds of very cool school supplies kids look forward to picking out–all while giving back to the schools most in need around the country. That’s something we care about deeply. Here are just a few of the items we love, should you be thinking school supplies now. (Do it! Beat the August rush!) You can...

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Cool unicorn clothes for girls who are obsessed with uh….unicorns

I remember keeping a certain unicorn tee in heavy rotation when I was about nine, so girls’ obsession for unicorns is hardly new. If you know what I’m talking about, I’ve tracked down some cool unicorn clothes for girls out there to satisfy any girl who dreams of flying off into the night with one. Or wait–is that a pegasus? I’m  loving the handmade-to-order unicorn hoodie hoodie from a cool little Etsy boutique (pictured above). It may not make it into the everyday rotation, but with unicorn horn, mane and tail attached to a super-soft micro-fleece hoodie, our girls would race for it when they need something to throw over a sundress...

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