Author: Kristen Chase

Cool bathing suits for boys, hold the chafing. (Yes, we said chafing.)

Trying to find cool bathing suits for boys that are actually comfortable is no easy task. My son lasts a few hours at most before he starts to get a little “itchy,” particularly at the beach. Let’s just say that sand is not a bottom’s friend. That’s why I’m loving the bathing suits for boys from Coastal Dog which have compression shorts built right in–and an amazing charitable mission too.   Imagined and designed by mom Stephanie Magee and made in the USA, Coastal Dog’s bathing suits feature a comfy inner compression short (i.e. no mesh underwear thingy) coupled with a light,...

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Gorgeous graduation gifts that give back, which might just be the very best kind.

Raven + lily has been one of my favorite go-to gift sources ever since we first featured them a long time ago here on Cool Mom Picks and discovered their wonderful selection of gifts that give back. So it’s not surprise they’ve got a lovely selection of graduation gift ideas right now, plus a cool promotion if you shop this weekend. The shop’s mission is to support marginalized women around the world by employing them in a safe work environment and providing them a sustainable income and health care as a means to break the cycle of poverty. All of their beautiful eco-friendly...

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Congrats to the winners of the Iris Awards honoring the best of the parent blogs.

Last month when we heard we were nominated for the first annual Iris Awards for Outstanding Blogs in the Best Sponsored Content Campaign category, we were thrilled to be recognized for our Baby Shower Gift Guide and Celebration of Motherhood Firsts series with babyGap. (A seriously fantastic partner in every way.) Cliché though it may sound, we were sincerely honored just to be nominated, especially considering the amazing work of our friends and fellow bloggers who were listed among us. When our names were actually called as winners at the ceremony this past weekend at the Mom 2.0 Summit in Atlanta, we were completely and...

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Cool cloth napkins bring ombre to your kitchen

I weaned my family off of paper napkins awhile ago, and we’ve never gone back. This is mostly thanks to my ever-growing supply of cool cloth napkins, like these ombre napkins at Nine Space. I love that the ombre trend is hitting kitchen accessories, and these napkins are the perfect way to introduce it into your home. They’re a fun pop of color for your dinner table, outdoor BBQ or picnic basket, and a nice change from the often simple, subdued napkins I’ve seen and own. And considering how much time you spend at the table–or if you’re me, in...

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Presenting our 2014 Mother’s Day Gift Guide with more than 100 gift ideas for every mom on your list. Whoo!

We’re thrilled to launch our 8th annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide. Eight! We can’t believe it either. This year, we’ve rounded-up over 100 of the coolest Mother’s Day gifts for every mom in your life. New moms, seasoned moms, homemade DIY gifts for moms from the kids, gifts for grandmothers and stepmothers and not-your-mothers but maybe could be. Hopefully there’s something for anyone you want to shower with love (and presents). You’ll find no shortage of awesome gift ideas to fit every single budget, whether you’re looking to splurge have a strict budget. Even free.  And we’re so happy to be...

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10 colorful bags for spring. Hold onto your credit cards, mamas.

With warmer temperatures finally here, I can toss my beloved black bag to the back of my closet and brighten up my wardrobe with bolder, more colorful bags for spring. So pull out those flip flops and take a peek at my ten personal favorite bags in every price range. Good luck picking just one. Or, you know…don’t.   I’ve been filled with accessory envy ever since I saw our Editor Liz sporting this Rebecca Minkoff mab tote in black . However this bright aqua is so perfect for spring and summer. It fits a laptop, too, in case...

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Unique personalized jewelry for moms: Say I love you in Morse code.

I’ve seen my fair share of personalized jewelry for moms, and I tend to lean towards more unique pieces that don’t have me wearing my kids’ engraved names, birth dates, and shoe sizes around my neck. (Well, maybe one, but not all three together.) That’s why think these Morse code name necklaces is a spectacular addition to my Mother’s Day wish list. It turns out that Morse code translates exquisitely into jewelry. Just choose your color and length of silk cord, plus a name, and artist Rebecca Coagan Sharlatt will turn it into a beautiful necklace of gold-filled dots and dashes....

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Felted wool bowls full of love. Or better, jewelry for Mother’s Day.

I bought a few felted wool bowls a long time ago and while they seemed a bit of a frivolous purchase at the time, they turned out to be really useful. They sat on my dresser to catch all my rings, dainty bracelets, and tiny necklaces just perfectly–that is, until my mom liked them enough to take them home with her. So upon discovering these custom felted bowls at The Felterie on Etsy, I decided was a sign for me to add some new ones back into my home decor mix, especially considering how much I use them.  ...

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Sweet Chocolate Jesus Saves Your Easter

Lent is over, Easter is here, and while the kids are swimming in jelly beans and Peeps, we think it’s only fair that the adults get a little indulgence of their own. And that’s where the Chocolate Jesus comes in. This is no ordinary chocolate Jesus (should you be accustomed to the ordinary ones). Handcrafted at Bond Street Chocolates in NYC from solid chocolate and covered in gold foil, he’s primed to steal the thunder back from the Easter Bunny in all his delicious, chocolate-y glory. Plus, one would hope he’d be more forgiving of his own calories. You...

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Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments that moms think are awesome too

When cool dad and author Mike Adamick’s new Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments (phew!) arrived at our door, my oldest daughter screamed with delight and I haven’t seen the book since. Whether you’re looking to get your kids more excited about science or are just looking for some weekend rainy-day activities, this is the book for you. And your screaming kids. Similar to Adamick’s first book Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects which helps bring more dads into the crafting fray with their kids, this sequel is chock full of fun activities for parents (of any sex) and kids, though this time...

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Jonathan Adler TOMS = Be still my shoe loving heart

It’s no secret that I love TOMS shoes and I love Jonathan Adler. Now there are Jonathan Adler TOMS and you guys, it’s like a match made in style heaven. Cue silent shrieking. Of course, my favorite multi-geometric sandals (which happen to be vegan, by the way) are almost sold out. However, the navy TOMS sandals run a close second. I’ve been sporting a pair of TOMS sunglasses for ages now and while I personally haven’t dove into TOMS’ classic shoe styles, these new ones featuring Jonathan Adler’s signature bold patterns and bright colors (chevrons are not going anywhere, it seems) are pretty darn...

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Does the Jillian Michaels One Week Shred work? For real?

When I saw Jillian Michaels had added to her suite of cool fitness DVDs with the Jillian Michaels One Week Shred, I pre-ordered it immediately. I’ve been a long time fan of hers since I lost 12 lbs doing the 30 Day Shred and I’ve tried every single one of her workouts with great success. But then, I always wonder if any new fitness DVD will really work. If you’re wondering whether One Week Shred is worth the money–and the pain–I did it for the full seven days and I can help you, first-hand. The whole concept behind pretty...

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5 ridiculous baby products that seem like April Fool’s Day jokes…but aren’t

Every now and then we see ridiculous baby products that make us wonder if they’re real or…if they’re April Fool’s Day jokes left over from years past. Turns out, these five crazy baby products are not jokes at all. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t make us laugh. Or gasp. Or encourage some parents somewhere to think, “hey, I need that!”  We’ll chalk it up to pregnancy brain. We’ve all been there. You get a free pass.   1. The Baby Mop. Hey, your baby’s rolling around on the floor anyway, might as well put him to good use....

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15 funny art quote prints that we’d actually hang on our walls

I’m not one to hang inspirational quotes on my wall, but if they make me laugh out loud, I’m all for it. We’ve seen so many funny quote art prints cropping up lately that wanted to share some of our all-time favorites.  From the vaguely inspirational to the irreverent (maybe not in the kids’ rooms) I hope they make you giggle (or guffaw) just when you need it most. Chocolate Doesn’t Ask Silly Questions print ($9 at ExLibrisJournals on Etsy, above) Masquerading as a Normal Person ($5 at PrintablePixels on Etsy) *get a limited one-time discount code on your first...

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KIND Healthy Grains Bars: Think healthy snacks you hide from the kids

I’m generally not stingy with my healthy snacks–or any snacks, for that matter–but since I discovered the new KIND Healthy Grains Bars, I love them so much that I hide them very strategically from my children. Yes, they’re just that good. I am a long time KIND bar fan. I usually have at least one or two in my bag at all times, and that will continue with the Healthy Grains Bars. These, however, are more like a granola bar. They are non-GMO and gluten-free, like the original bars, which is a huge plus for folks with allergies, or...

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Make your own drinking cups for kids with SipSnap lids

My kids do really well drinking out of actual cups, but sippies and cups with straws are a fixture for my little ones who still tend to spill a little. Or, on bad days, more than they actually get in their mouths. That’s why I’m really digging the clever new SipSnap lids by Double Double. This Kickstarter campaign (get in now!) is introducing SipSnap silicone lids stretch to fit over the top of any kind of cup, turning it into a kids’ drinking cup instantly. I’ve actually tried to do something similar by pairing random lids with cups I have around,...

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Spring trend alert: Cool floral accessories for women that have nothing to do with Laura Ingalls.

I’ve had my eye on this floral trend for awhile now, but it took seeing the gorgeous Rebecca Minkoff floral trim cross body bag below to finally convince me that I could pull it off–with the caveat that I need to be focusing on cool floral accessories. No flower pants or gauzy floral skirts for me. And now that it’s finally spring (YAY SPRING) it’s time to make my move. If you love the floral look but want a modern, on-trend way to wear them, take a peek at these cool floral accessories for spring that you can wear all...

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Unique cookie cutters alert: Gingerbread action men!

I went nuts over the Ninjabread men cookie cutters when we featured them awhile back because heaven knows we love unique cookie cutters. So it’s no surprise that I’ll soon be adding these gingerbread action man cookie cutters to my collection as well, especially since they’re customizable. Yes, really. I’m preparing for my kids to flip when they see these cool cookie cutters that can actually be changed up into three different poses by moving their arms and legs around. I can imagine the fun they’ll have creating whatever sort of action figure they’re in the mood to eat–rock...

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Family travel tips: How to use Airbnb for your vacation

After checking hotel prices for a recent trip to Los Angeles (yikes), I decided to finally figure out how to use Airbnb for a vacation, after hearing so much about this booming community marketplace for accommodations all over the world. I’m usually a VRBO and Homeaway user for family travel, but after several friends recommended airbnb, I figured it would be worth a try. And I’m thrilled to say that it definitely was worth it. Says my wallet. If you’re planning your family summer vacation or a little getaway with your girlfriends or partner, here’s the inside scoop on some Airbnb booking tips, and...

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Geek out with these earth science drinking glasses

I’ve somehow collected way too many pint glasses over the years that aren’t necessarily my taste, especially since I’ve been out of college for awhile. I’m pretty sure I’m due for a glassware upgrade, which is why I’ve got my eye on these unique earth science drinking glasses at the shop we always find cool stuff, Uncommon Goods. I’m not sure what I love more; that this set of four drinking glasses was made here in the USA, or that they’re completely science-geeked out with the four sections of the universe–ocean, earth, atmosphere, and space.   And in case you’re not super...

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