Author: Georgette Gilmore

Hello, Dolly! Here are 6 of the coolest and most diverse dolls for holiday gifts this season.

As a mom to two beautiful biracial girls, I know just how difficult it can be to find diverse dolls for them to play with. When my firstborn was a baby, it was downright impossible. Today, there are so many dolls for girls and boys that capture the beauty of different skin colors, hair textures, and facial features. You just need to know where to look to find your child the perfect companion who looks “just like them.” Here are my picks for the coolest, most diverse dolls for this gift-giving season. If one of these dolls isn’t on your child’s wish list yet, it...

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6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+

When it comes to holiday gifts for teachers, as a former teacher myself I know first-hand that there is no way to really thank the fantastic teachers of the world enough for all that they do. All day long. Every day. But there are still meaningful holiday gifts for teachers that I think start to do the trick. And, take it from me, a gift with meaning doesn’t have to mean it’s pricey. Truthfully, even when I received a generous gift card to my favorite book store, I usually used it to purchase more books for the classroom. But really it was the handmade...

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A brilliant way to figure out how to be the change you want to see in the world.

In order to stay positive in life, I always try to find the good in a bad situation. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. But I honestly believe that actually doing something about the issues that concern me, give me hope, even if busy parents like me struggle with that. That’s why I love the Personal Impact Canvas created by top-level digital strategist and social impact advocate, Caleb Gardner. (Oh, and he’s also a very cool dad and great friend to CMP.) The Canvas is essential a printable self-reflection tool and organizer all in one. Just download the form and take some time to fill it out....

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Prime: The photography book of women who make us want to be better women.

Looking for a cool holiday gift this season? Well, we do have 350 cool gift ideas in this year’s holiday gift guide, including a whole category of empowering gifts for girls who are going to grow up to run the world. And now here’s one for those same empowered, amazing, inspiring girls, once they’re already grown up. Prime: Reflections on Time and Beauty is a photo collection of extraordinary women by famed portrait photographer Peter Freed. While there are plenty of photo books of celebs and notable women on the shelves, what’s special about these 130 stunning black-and-white photos of women is that they’re all unretouched,...

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5 wonderful ways to give back as a family all year long

It’s #GivingTuesday, a day we look forward to every year because we’re happy to share some of our favorite ways to give back. And while we love a dedicated day that nudges people to do good, we also love to help you find ways to give back as a family on this day — and any day of the year. While making donations to charities you support gives fulfillment to you, and a lifeline to the recipients, giving your time as a family can offer that, plus some really good bonding time. There’s something special that happens when you serve someone a meal, play some music...

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TogetherList makes it easy to do good in the world on #GivingTuesday

We celebrate #GivingTuesday each year right after Thanksgiving, and with good reason — it’s the perfect way to focus on giving back to our communities, especially at a time that we’re all so mindful about gratitude and thankful for what we have. Plus (cough) we taking advantage of the many great shopping deals this time of year too. There are a lot of worthy causes out there to support on #GivingTuesday — and throughout the year — plenty of which we regularity feature here on Cool Mom Picks. But sometimes it can be difficult to find every one of the great charities and groups trying...

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Personalize a Stokke Tripp Trapp chair — a very special holiday gift for a very lucky child.

If you’re looking for a truly special holiday gift for a friend, family member, or for your own little bundle of joy, we think that the Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair, now available with free personalized engraving, is a fabulous option. We’re big fans of the Tripp Trapp at Cool Mom Picks. It’s a classic (seriously, it’s been around since the ’70s), it’s nice to look at (Scandinavian style is just the coolest), and it transitions from one stage to the next — year after year — your child’s once-beloved highchair becoming their homework desk chair. So we love that this chair can now have a truly...

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This new book for girls has us shouting, WOW!

WOWsdom! The Girl’s Guide to the Positive and the Possible is a new interactive book I found recently on Kickstarter that has one very important mission: to help raise our female leaders of tomorrow. And they’ve set out to do just that by sharing the intimate and life-changing experiences of other women and girls so that those who may not have a mentor in their lives can still find ways to connect, learn, and grow into smart, empowered women. Truly wow-worthy, in my opinion. Related: Epic tees for epic teens and tweens, designed by epic teens and tweens. Epic. WOWsdom! is the work of Generation WOW, an organization...

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14 festive and fun advent calendars to count down to Christmas.

I, like Buddy from Elf, loooove Christmas. Christmas is my favorite. So once November gets here, I start planning my holiday decorations, meals, and festivities. And one of my favorite ways to kick-off the season is with advent calendars. For my family, nothing creates more excitement than counting down the days until the Big Day. Getting a treat each day makes it even sweeter. Every year, Cool Mom Picks searches high and low for all kinds of advent calendar options for our homes so that our families — and yours! — can count down to Christmas in fun, festive style. From...

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Art With Edge coloring books for tweens and teens makes coloring in the lines cool again.

Move over grown ups, there’s a new coloring demographic in town. And, we’re not talking about kiddie books filled with hearts and teddy bears. Art With Edge — Crayola’s latest line of seven cool coloring books and two coloring kits — are filled with zombies, sugar skulls, graffiti, bold and fearless sayings, and quirky cartoons just begging to be filled in with color by the tweens and teens in your life. (They also have two superhero books, Justice League and Batman, which may be a great option for some kids, but to me, they didn’t seem to fit in with Crayola’s new and edgy line for our bigger kids.) My girls, ages 12...

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A lovely way for kids to send a letter of thanks to our troops on Veterans Day (or any other day).

Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. And while every day is a good day to honor our brave veterans and give thanks to soldiers and vets for their service, it’s always good to have a national holiday to inspire us. So many of us here come from military families, and as the stepdaughter of a veteran myself, I know just how much a message of thanks and gratitude can mean. My own girls call their Pop-Pop every year on Veterans Day to thank him and they write him letters of gratitude, like this one my youngest wrote last year, shown below. (You have to love...

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10 graphic novels loaded with girl power. Let’s hear it for more Roar!

Graphic novels are so popular in children’s literature these days and it’s easy to see why. The long misunderstood genre (“comic books” no more) is finally receiving recognition as engaging literature that combines visual and compelling storylines to appeal to kids who may not be ordinarily inclined to choose a book over a screen. But one common misconception about graphic novels is that they appeal mostly to boys. In fact, my own daughters, and lots of other girls I know, love graphic novels too — especially the titles that feature smart, engaging, strong, and courageous female characters. And if anything has become apparent over the past year, it’s that...

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The Barefoot Book of Children is the perfect bedtime story during this election week.

With all the negative discourse going in the world right now (particularly right now), I’ve been on the lookout for positive things that make me and my children feel better. I try to take some time each day to find the good in the world: reading about random acts of kindness, watching videos of parents giving pep talks to their kids, and reading books that teach empathy with my girls. So I was really excited when just recently I received a copy of The Barefoot Book of Children to review. If, like me, you’re already a fan of Barefoot Books, then...

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A family album tribute to David Bowie that gets everyone up and dancing

If the impromptu dance party my girls and I broke into at the dinner table last weekend is any indication, Spare The Rock Record’s soon to be released album Let All The Children Boogie: A Tribute To David Bowie is going to be a huge hit with families. Whether you’ve been a long time David Bowie fan or you re-discovered his greatness when the world lost the amazing talent last January, Bowie’s music and message speaks to children and adults alike. Even the youngest of tots can’t keep from grooving to great music, something we talked about with Lisa Loeb in a recent Spawned podcast....

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month products: 10 fabulous gifts that donate 50% or more to great causes.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, as you may have realized from all the logos and web pages turned pink right now. While we are all obviously “aware” by now (and some of us have even suggested changing the name to something more active than awareness), it’s still a good reminder to get educated, get yourself checked, and do what you can to support research and prevention, especially with statistics showing that 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Unfortunately, not everything with a pink ribbon on it truly supports research for a...

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Just Like Me: A book subscription box created for children of color who want to see themselves in the books they read, too.

I did the research, and in 2013, out of 3,200 children’s books published, only 93 featured African American characters. Sadly, that’s even more than I had expected. And the numbers aren’t much better for other races and ethnicities. Thankfully, campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #1000blackgirlbooks have brought some awareness and change to the publishing industry, which I’m definitely cheering — I know that moms of all kinds would love to fill their kids’ bookshelves with more diverse stories about more diverse characters. But as the mother of two biracial girls, this is really personal for me. That’s why I’m thrilled to find the new Just Like Me! Book Box, a monthly...

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Safe sleep for babies: 5 reliable sources on SIDS and more, so you can sleep better too.

In honor of SIDS Awareness Month, we’re sharing five of our go-to, reliable resources on safe sleep for babies. After all, sleep is easily the topic that consumes our minds as new parents more than any other — Are they getting enough sleep? Do I really need a schedule? Is my crib okay? Is my mattress okay? Are bumpers actually unsafe? Can they sleep with me? What happens if the baby rolls over onto her stomach?  We get it. It’s stressful! So we really hope these resources help new parents get the info and the reassurances we all need, so we can hopefully rest just...

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9 great TV shows for tweens that you might not have considered

Ah, the tween years. That in-between stage when your kid is so not your baby anymore, but not yet your teenager. They start to think the sweet, educational shows they used to love are “for babies,” but you’re not ready to let them watch shows with teens who are often depicted as bratty or rude to their parents (cough), or are deep in the world of dating. Boy, do I miss the Sesame Street years… The good news is there really are cool TV shows for tweens that you might not know about. Since we already covered these favorite family-friendly TV shows for kids, I polled our editors and came up...

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7 tips to help kids walk to school safely. Because October 5 shouldn’t be the only Walk to School Day!

Back in my school day, my mom let me walk alone to school, my friends’ homes, and the pizzeria by the time I was 10 years old. (Uphill, both ways, and barefoot, no less.) Fast forward to me as a parent and I admit my own kids — now ages 12 and 9 — have never walked anywhere on their own. One reason is that their school is much too far from home. The other reason is what’s a common cultural fear these days of letting our kids out into the world by themselves. Even though research shows that kids are actually safer today than ever. With the 20th...

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Pico Kid jewelry line for girls and boys inspires mini makers

Cool jewelry for both girls and boys that inspires the makers of tomorrow? Found it. Pico Kid, a line of jewelry for girls and boys (or the young at heart), is the latest collection by Pico Design. We’ve featured Andrea Panico’s architectural inspired jewelry collection before when we included it as a Cool Mom Picks Pick of The Year for being one of the Coolest jewelry & accessory brands in 2015. Pico’s latest launch solidifies its spot as a cool brand. Full disclosure: Andrea is my friend and neighbor (Shout out to Montclair!), but it was my love for her jewelry that started our friendship and the rest is history. Andrea was inspired to create...

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