Author: Julie

Cool kids’ tees that help support the endangered animals we love, and make kids feel more empowered too.

We’ve all been saddened by the story of Cecil the Lion this week, and we know a lot of you feel the same way. It’s an especially hard thing to explain to kids who may have heard the news too, since children always have such an an innate fondness for animals. But one thing you can do is to help them feel more empowered, by finding ways to support endangered animals. We’ve talked about many charities in the past that support wildlife around the world. And so many of them sell some really cool tees that support some great animal related causes. Take a...

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Passing notes, old school style

I’ve been known to blow it up with rapid-fire text messages, but I still adore handwritten letters sent by snail mail. I’m also a child of the 80’s who passed notes folded just like the ones pictured on these old school text note cards from laLa Grace on BRIKA. Kids, these are what text messages looked like in the olden days. Note proper spelling and apostrophe placement. Since they’re blank inside, I could use these notes for just about any reason, but I think it would be clever to write a note to my child’s teacher on one of these cards, since back in the day...

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Wearing your baby with even more style, thanks to 4 cool baby carriers.

One of the main reasons I always loved babywearing — besides having both hands free, which is the clear winner — is that cool baby carriers can be a stylish way for new moms to accessorize, especially when we’re not always feeling so fabulous in our regular clothes.  So we went looking for some cool baby carriers to help dress up the new mamas out there, and we’re loving four fun, stylish options we found. They’re great for those of you with newborns or a shower on your calendar. Related: The best baby slings and carriers in honor of National...

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Cool summer camps for kids that go way beyond swimming and archery

With spring break in the rearview mirror, our kids are already looking forward to heading off to camp. So we thought it would be fun to explore the coolest summer camps out there. We were blown away by what we found — from camps with long histories and cool new programs, to camps with activities that we had no idea you could even do at camp! It’s sure come a long way since we were kids and your choices were pretty much limited to art, music, or sports. Now we just wish we were young again, so we could...

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The Breakfast Club is coming back to theaters! Brains, athletes, basket cases, and princesses all welcome.

We’re fist-pumping, Bender style, over the rerelease of John Hughes’ arguably best movie ever (sorry, Home Alone), The Breakfast Club.  Say it with us: Could you describe the ruckus, sir? In honor of the 30th anniversary of the film that made every girl question whether she was a Claire or an Allison–although we all tried the lipstick trick, admit it–The Breakfast Club is showing in select theaters across the US on March 26 and 31. And despite being oh, just a little bit older than when it first came out (it was my own first R-rated movie) I am so going to be...

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11 essential cleaning tips before your holiday party. Whether you’re a neat freak or a “hide everything in the closet” kind of person.

It’s that time of year when pretty much everyone is entertaining. And yeah, we all know how to run the vacuum and wield a toilet brush (or hire someone else to do it, if you’re lucky), but as the resident Cool Mom Picks neat freak, I’ve got a few pre-holiday party cleaning tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years to help you get the place in even better shape. Don’t worry — they’re simple, and they’ll actually make your job easier. [Editor’s note: We like that because uh, not all of us around here are neat freaks...

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Beautiful personalized jewelry ideas that you can still get in time for Christmas

We love personalized jewelry which makes such a special gift, but buying personalized jewelry–or personalized anything, really–also means planning ahead, especially at the holidays. And hey, sometimes we parents aren’t able to look further ahead than what we’ve planned for tonight’s dinner. So I did some planning for you and put together some wonderful personalized jewelry options with all the last order dates for holiday shipping. Of course there are some rush shipping opportunities for a little extra too. Hey, we’re all about making you (and someone very lucky in your life) look good.   Stacking rings are so popular these days, and these cool ones...

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Venice Beach-worthy skateboards for your little shredder

On a recent trip to Venice Beach, I wandered through skate shops and hung out at the skatepark. What can I say — I’m still a skatebetty at heart, even at my age. But unlike the old days when bumper stickers proclaimed Skateboarding is not a crime!, skateboarding has gone mainstream, which makes a skateboard a pretty rad holiday gift for just about any kid. Here are two cool models I got a chance to check out, and why I think each one could be a cool gift this year. First there’s Sunset Skateboards, which was started by two California skaters who’d been...

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#GivingTuesday: 7 amazing organizations to help you give back as a family all year long.

We love how #GivingTuesday has become such a widespread tradition across the US in just two years, and we’ve been thrilled to share some of our favorite ways to give back–on this day and any day. We love promoting our favorite charities and causes, and gifts that give back, but this year, in honor of #GivingTuesday, we’re highlighting family volunteer opportunities. I can’t think of a better way to balance out the post-Thanksgiving retail focus, and maybe even to start a new tradition for your kids, than to get out there and give back to others. In fact, it’s become a really wonderful aspect of...

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giftabls mini gift boxes: When a regular greeting card isn’t quite enough.

The gift-giving season is nearly upon us, which means it’s time to think about recognizing all of those people who deserve a little something. For something that’s just a step up from a card, but not quite , I love the ready-packaged giftabls gift kits which include little tokens like a selection of teas, chocolates, fortune cookies, and even some New Year’s ready-confetti. Choose from several thoughtfully curated small presents, type in your gift message, and the company does the rest. Even down to a hand-written note inside the box.     If you want to put together your own little goodies or find a creative way...

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Super nerdy blocks for super scientists

There aren’t many wooden toys for toddlers that I can imagine an older kid would love too, but these super nerdy ABC blocks from Uncommon Goods are a major exception. They’re made from locally sourced wood and printed with non-toxic inks, featuring letters, illustrations, and scientific vocabulary words. They’re safe for toddlers to gnaw on, sturdy enough for preschool architects, and offer such cool reading material that middle schoolers might use them as a study reference for science class. Or hey, maybe your kindergartner will wow her teacher with talk of buckyballs and the water cycle. It’s never too...

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Creative no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that go beyond Sharpies and glitter glue.

Pumpkin decorating might be my kids’ favorite part of Halloween–second only to gorging on candy, of course. So I’ve been on the lookout for new and different ways to dress up our pumpkins this year, and in addition to last year’s round up of awesome no-carve Halloween pumpkin decorating ideas, I found a bunch of new, very fun,  no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that I really love. Hope you can put them to good use!   These painted mini pumpkins at Studio DIY (above) look so much like frosted donuts that you may need to remind the kids not to take a bite. They...

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Meet fall headfirst with the coolest hoodies for boys

If your boys are anything like my own, falling temperatures aren’t going to keep them inside, so it’s officially time to make sure they have some cool new hoodies to keep them warm on brisk days. We’re pretty sure none of the other kids, boy or girl, will have one of these comfy, stylish hoodies, but if they do, commend them for their great taste. We raved about the boys’ tees from Warrior Poet last spring, and we’re loving their Lion’s Tooth hoodie (at top) for the fall. The houndstooth pattern is on trend, and that lion is fierce. This J Crew...

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DIY brings all the birds to the yard

It hasn’t yet snowed here in Colorado, but it’s only a matter of time before the flurries fly and the birds are scrambling for food. Because I love to craft pretty things that are also useful, I’ve been looking for DIY bird feeders. I’m so excited about all of these ideas that I can hardly wait to get started. Don’t tell, but I might even make a few of them without my kids. These cookie cutter bird feeders (above) from eighteen25 use gelatin to make the birdseed stick together. Then kids can press it into cookie cutters to make fun...

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DIY with the Makr app: Getting crafty in an app-happy world

We love finding gorgeous designs from indie artists, but sometimes what you really need is a way to make your very own custom design–preferably without hiring an artist or earning a degree in graphic design. The new Makr app for iOS helps you do exactly that, and it’s fast, easy, and a lot of fun, even if you’re not artistically inclined. Interestingly, the same free Makr app is different whether you’re using iPad or iPhone, including how it looks and what you can do with it. I’ll cover both here, but keep that quirk in mind when you download it. (Because...

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A onesie almost as fierce as the baby wearing it.

Lately we’ve seen a lot of quotes misattributed to Shakespeare, but this great one from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the real deal: Though she be but little she is fierce. And we love it on these onesies and tees from mod & mini on BRIKA.   This is such a cool new baby gift; no matter what size she is, we’re betting she’s got a fierce set of lungs. Or get it for a toddler who’s got a spirited personality. (So pretty much all of them, right?) My only teensy gripe? I wish the sizes went up to...

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Duvet covers from Society6: What all the cool beds will be wearing this year.

We’ve loved the cool indie designs at Society6 on everything from art prints to gadget cases for a long time. So we were pretty stoked to discover that those gorgeous designs are now king-sized. As duvet covers, that is. And yes, queen too. They have hundreds of fun designs, so we’re still narrowing down our choices. It’s not easy.     \       The covers are super soft, machine washable, and include a hidden zipper that doesn’t mar the design. My one disappointment is that they are only offered in queen and king sizes, and I don’t know many kids who sleep in beds that big–unless they’ve...

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Chocolate LEGOs! Suddenly everything is awesome, after all.

Our house contains roughly six million LEGOs, from teeny tiny pieces that can’t be seen until they are rattling inside the vacuum, to giant blocks the size of bricks. And yet, I’m coveting more bricks. At least when they’re chocolate LEGOs created by Japanese artist Akihiro Mizuuchi. Aren’t they amazing? (And probably less painful to step on too. If a little messier.)   Not only are they edible, they’re functional. The design of the molds is so precise that Mizuuchi even built little characters out of his chocolate LEGOs, which feature a tiny LEGO on each circular connector — just like the real plastic version. Mizuuchi’s...

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Great Sand Dunes National Park: The National Park family vacation idea you might not have considered.

With all the United States National Parks for us to explore and enjoy with our families, there are probably certain ones that pop to mind first: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, Sequoia, the Grand Canyon. But if you haven’t heard of Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, we opted to go there for our own family vacation this summer and I can’t recommend it enough. And yes, I’m biased as a Colorado resident, but I couldn’t wait to tell you about it. If you think that strolling on soft, warm sand and hiking a ten thousand foot mountain pass can’t be done in the same...

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Pharmaca delivers an eco-conscious, calming shopping experience. That’s a good prescription.

We’ve covered tons of smart skin care and beauty products, along with natural and organic products for babies and kids over the years. As in…tons. And so I’m really excited to discover so many of our favorites at Pharmaca, a natural, integrative pharmacy specializing in eco-conscious brands like the ones we already love and trust. Pharmaca’s headquarters are in Boulder near me, and they have over two dozen brick-and-mortar locations from Washington State to New Mexico. (Sorry east coasters, but that’s what online shopping is for.) I explored their newest location in Colorado, and I had the best time pointing out all of the awesome products on their shelves that we’ve featured on...

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