Author: Julie

Cool bicycle seat covers from May28th protect your ride in style

As much as I love my sleek, fast road bike, I can’t help coveting a cute beach cruiser (especially now that summer is unofficially here) — preferably one with a basket and one of these cool bicycle seat covers from the fun shop May 28th who already makes the watches we love so much. Whether you choose the bold geometric designs, fun florals, or hip city maps (like London, Paris, or Brooklyn, oh my), this is such a cool way to snazz up your bike and protect the seat too.     You bike aficionados will be glad to know that the seat covers...

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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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Beyond Baby by Meagan Francis. Your BFF for the next stages of parenthood.

We’re longtime fans of Meagan Francis of The Happiest Home here at Cool Mom Picks. Beyond Baby, her latest guide and accompanying workbook, makes another wonderful resource for parents, offering productive and calming exercises to help them make the transition from all-consuming babyhood to the next ages and stages in parenting. The lessons in Beyond Baby are geared toward small, easily digested challenges, spread out over 40 weeks and organized into five sections. Each week tackles a scenario–from the state of your home to the state of your mind–and gives you a challenge to complete. Some are fairly straightforward, like...

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Orange Is the New Black lockets, now coming to a neck near you.

I’m a huge fan of the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black, and I’m also partial to gorgeous jewelry that supports a great cause. So I was pretty excited to discover this lovely limited edition Orange is the New Black locket from KIRAKIRA, co-designed by Suz Somersall and actress Alysia Reiner to benefit the Women’s Prison Association. Reiner plays the assistant warden on OITNB (see, I use the acronym like the cool kids on Twitter), which, as you probably know by now provides a seriously raw look at women in prison and their often unexpected backstories. One...

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Rag and Bone personalized baby books are for all loving families. Because so are babies.

In a way, we’re less surprised that someone has come out with the first ever personalized baby books for same sex couples–and more surprised that it took this long. That said, we’re thrilled, since we love finding baby books and baby memory books that are just perfect for the families who choose them. And no one does that better in the first place than Rag & Bone Bindery. The traditional, entirely handmade baby book from Rag & Bone now has an option which allows you to add Two Moms or Two Dads pages right into their beautifully simple baby books.  While beautifully illustrated prompts like...

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The best pregnancy calendar week by week, now in your inbox

One of the greatest resources on AlphaMom — a wonderful site full of great resources, published by friend of CMP Isabel Kallman — has to be the Zero to Forty pregnancy calendar, for wonderful week by week support and humor. It was originally written by Amy Storch of the blog Amalah while she was pregnant with her second son. Not only is it informative (though Amy is not a doctor, and she does not play one on TV), it’s also hilarious. Just try not to pee yourself, mamas. Now you can sign up for pregnancy calendar weekly newsletters delivered based on your due...

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Natural laundry detergent from Better Life that’s so amazing, we forgive the punny name.

Even though we are way past the baby stage at our house, we still do a lot of laundry. I cringe at what I’m doing to the environment (and possibly our clothes) when I forgo natural laundry detergent, let alone tossing in another load of chlorine-soaked swim towels. Better Life is one of those brands whose natural cleaning products we just can’t recommend enough, and thanks to their new Spin Credible laundry detergent, I’m feeling a lot better about doing the laundry. It’s got none of the yucky ingredients like sulfates or petroleum, and all of the good ones...

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Irreverent (and irresistible) Valentine’s Day cards for you non-mushy types.

Count me in the camp of Valentine’s Day cynics. It’s not that I object to the sentiment and the sugar, but I don’t need to set aside a special day to cover my family in kisses and stuff my face with chocolate — both are everyday occurrences around here. Still, I might be persuaded to send one of these awesomely irreverent Valentines from CMP-fave Wit & Whistle.   (Oh, don’t even tell me that doesn’t strike a chord.) If your sensibilities are on the delicate side — or hey, if they’re even more vulgar — grab the Valentine Decoder...

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Ever tried to resell something with a monogram? Well, now you can.

Growing up in the age of The Official Preppy Handbook, I coveted Izod shirts and monogrammed sweaters. While my mother agreed to the Izods, she argued that a monogrammed sweater was a waste, since we knew no one else with the initials JRW and couldn’t hand it down. As a mother myself now, I can concede that she had a point. But if Match My Monogram (and, uh, the internet) had been around back then, I might have scored someone else’s outgrown JRW-emblazoned sweater. This smart site helps gently used monogrammed items find matching initials in new homes. Just...

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Presenting the world’s loudest alphabet

I have a little boy who never stops making noise. Like, ever. I know, I know, being noisy is a common affliction among little kids. It’s their thing. And though it can drive me crazy when I haven’t yet had a full cup of coffee, I think my little guy’s noises are actually pretty darned adorable. Naturally, I was charmed by Tom Gauld’s Noisy Alphabet print, featuring all sorts of creatures and the nonsensical noises they make. Instead of A with the ubiquitous red apple, there’s a one-eyed monster bellowing AARG. P features a spring-loaded cube, bouncing along to the...

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Sweet and simple: Apropos Roasters gifts and stocking stuffers

If you’re like me, there’s a bunch of people to whom you’d like to give a little something for the holidays, but they aren’t quite up to the level of say, a cashmere sweater. I usually whip up some handmade holiday food gifts in the kitchen, but to save time this year I might let Apropos Roasters do some of the work for me instead. I love their selection of individually packaged coffee, tea, and hot chocolate gifts, wrapped in plain brown paper and adorned with cheery stamped images and messages. So great for holiday gift giving to co-workers, carpool,...

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You can haz kittens and cupcakes on National Cat Day

I miss many things about working in New York, but today I have a totally unexpected and thoroughly awesome reason to miss my old office. Or one in Seattle and San Francisco too. Because today it would have been filled with kittens and cupcakes. Private driver service Uber has teamed up with meme site Cheezburger today on National Cat Day to deliver kittens and cupcakes in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. $20 will get you fifteen minutes of kitten snuggles, plus cupcakes from Ace of Cakes, yum. Local shelters will provide the kittens (to borrow), and Uber will...

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Zombie prints with just the right amount of bite

Sure, Halloween is coming up, but around here we’re zombie fans all year long. So it’s no wonder these bold, fun prints caught our attention. All those times we’ve watched our kids perch on the diving board and refuse to jump in? Maybe they weren’t worried about swimming safely to the ladder. Maybe they were picturing zombies lurking at the bottom of the pool.   And when we spend the day making a snowman, only to wake up the next morning and find it gone, maybe it hasn’t melted after all. Maybe snowmen are actually zombie popsicles. Or maybe...

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Wooden watches that make you want to wear one again.

One of my favorite trends in accessories is the use of wood in unexpected ways. We’ve featured tons of cool wooden bracelets, necklaces, and earrings, and I’ve probably bought one of each. I find wood just so warm and versatile, it’s durable, and it shows detail beautifully. I’m equally enamored with the wooden watches from Silvano. Talk about unexpected. I’d never considered buying a wooden watch before, and now I can’t get these off my mind. Made from sandalwood, maple, and bamboo in beautiful natural colors, these analog and digital watches for both men and women are gorgeous accessories...

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Grammar police: Your mugs are here.

We all have our pet peeves, and one of mine happens to be spelling and grammar. Even a text message with they’re/there/their used incorrectly is enough to make me cringe. (To say nothing of all the pitches we receive daily that assure us “mom’s will love this!”) That’s why this set of mugs would be perfect for starting every grammatically-correct day. I love how the Grammar Grumbles mugs from The Literary Gift Company illustrate the proper use of two/to/too and clarify that no one will actually die if they don’t get what they’re yearning for. (It’s a figure of...

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Colorado flooding: 4 ways you can help

Our family moved to Colorado in 2005, and as cheesy as it may sound, I fell in love with the natural beauty of this state. We’ve camped in Glenwood Springs, hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park, and zip-lined at YMCA of the Rockies. I ran my first half marathon in Estes Park, and I’ve been doing triathlons in Boulder since 2009. I never dreamed of doing such things when I lived in New York; Colorado has transformed me. Now Colorado has been transformed by rain and flooding. The pictures and videos document the unbelievable destruction, and the statistics are...

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Calling all runners! Team Baby Buggy needs you for NYC Marathon 2013

We’ve been huge supporters of the amazing charity Baby Buggy since we discovered them in 2011, and we’re always ready to help spread the word about the wonderful services they provide. They’ve got a huge challenge ahead of them this fall, and we’d be thrilled if any of our runners, er, readers would like to join their NYC Marathon team. The Baby Buggy 2013 ING NYC Marathon team, that is. They’ve got a few more spots to fill between now and September 15. (The race isn’t until November 4. Plenty of time to train!) Entries in this race are...

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You know who wins with fair trade soccer balls? Everybody.

We’re big fans of supporting fair trade at Cool Mom Picks, and it’s always fun to find new artisans whose creations we adore. Personally, I love buying fair trade items because responsible purchases make me feel even better about shopping, which is already one of my favorite feel-good experiences. But our latest fair trade find is one I never anticipated: fair trade soccer balls. We first discovered Senda Athletics when they were called Fair Trade Sports, and wow have they grown since then. It was started by a lifelong soccer player who, like me, hadn’t realized the conditions under which many...

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Instant heirloom toy boxes, now on sale

We love it when reeeeeally wonderful things go on sale…especially when we’ve been eyeing them for months. Naturally, we want to share the joy with our readers, and this fantastic opportunity is one we’d hate for you to miss. The gorgeous Owyn Toy Box and Maude Toy Box (pictured above) from Mod Mom Furniture are two of our favorite kids’ furniture pieces ever. The design is beautiful, and the craftsmanship makes these toy boxes instant heirlooms. The finish is water-based, the shipping is free, and they arrive fully assembled. Amazing. Plus, Mod Mom Furniture donates 5% of the retail...

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The only thing better than a cupcake? A cupcake tucked into this gift box.

It’s still a little toasty outside for me to consider baking, but I’m busy lining up recipes for when the temperature takes a dive. And because I usually bake more than my family can eat, I’m also collecting creative ideas for sharing my wares with friends and neighbors. One of the top finds on my list: The printable retro oven cupcake boxes from Claudine Hellmuth’s Etsy shop. Just download the PDF files, gather the materials on her list, print and assemble. Plus, there’s a link to a super detailed how-to video. You can even omit the cupcake tray and...

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