Author: Kristen Chase

Pretty leather summer totes, now made in the U.S.A.

It’s no secret that I’ve got an obsession with bags, so when I saw these leather summer totes from CMP fave Ellington (so pretty!) the only question in my mind was which color to get.   I really love that Ellington took their popular classic totes and went back to figure out how they could be made in the U.S.A., which is really something extra special these days. And the colors are amazing. I’m immediately drawn to the turquoise, but the bright red is definitely an eyecatcher. Take a peek at the other more subtle color swatches if you prefer your shades a little more neutral....

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Cool leggings for babies that help kids in need. (Not just kids in need of leggings.)

When I first laid my eyes on the cool leggings for babies and kids at LA mom and pop-owned Chaboukie, I dug the fun patterns and soft fabrics. But the fact that they’re made by hand here in the USA and help kids in need, well, yeah, it turned into a full-blown crush. Chaboukie is the brainchild of LA parents Leah Piehl and Greg Bertens who wanted cool, well-made leggings with a little more style. So they created their own brand, featuring funky, light fabrics that are super comfy and soft, sized from baby to a 4T toddler (though they seem...

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Karlie Kloss and Warby Parker sunglasses = Cool shades for a cause

Over the years, I’ve gotten a little more playful with my shades — actually purchasing more than just my one go-to “please children don’t break them” pair per summer.  So when I saw the new Karlie Kloss and Warby Parker sunglasses collaboration that supports an awesome cause, well, heck yeah I’m in.     If you wear glasses then you know Warby Parker, so how fun that they teamed up with Karlie Kloss to create three cool sunglasses styles. I’m partial to the Marple cat-eye style myself,  but the Julia aviators (at top) are a classic that seem to look great...

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How to get the best shave at home: 8 tips from a master barber who knows

With Father’s Day coming up, we know a lot of you are considering fancying up the shaving collection of the  menfolk in your lives. So we’re thrilled to be teaming up with our newest sponsor, Dollar Shave Club, who if you don’t know, is one super cool company. Just look at their website. Go. Do it. We can wait. Essentially Dollar Shave Club delivers the best razors and coolest grooming supplies right to your doorstep every month, all for just a few bucks. (Thus, the name, get it?) These aren’t just any products, by the way; how could we not be smitten with a razor nicknamed The...

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The Maker Dad book: A Father’s Day gift for the DIY dad in your life

I love the idea of a father’s day gift that’s actually an experience rather than, you know, another tie (not that there aren’t some cool ties out there), and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects, a new book from Boing Boing co-founder Mark Frauenfelder. A big DIY-er himself, Mark scoured books for cool projects that he could create with his daughters, but couldn’t find just the right fit. (Maybe he hasn’t seen our Pinterest boards?) So he complied his own ideas in Maker Dad,...

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5 cool Birkenstock alternatives. Yes, they’re back.

If you feel the way I feel about Birkenstocks, then you’ll be very happy to see I’ve got some stylish Birkenstock alternatives for you. Oh don’t get me wrong, I wore them proudly 15 years ago, but these days, I’m not so sure I can pull them off as well. Even though I know I’m seeing them on the feet of all my cooler-than-me friends. I guess they’re the kind of thing that are either you…or they’re not. So since Birks are super comfortable and very on trend, so I decided to round up  5 cool sandals that let you ride the trend without...

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The ONE FashionABLE scarf: A cool accessory for a cause, but hurry!

As if I didn’t love FashionABLE enough, they’ve just collaborated with ONE.org to launch their limited edition ONE FashionABLE summer scarf and wow, is it gorgeous. Even better, the profits now help two great charitable organizations. I’m hard-pressed to find an occasion where I don’t have a FashionABLE scarf around my neck or in my tote–and Liz would say the same. Not just because they’re beautiful, like this summer scarf in a luscious Mediterranean blue cotton that demands sunny days, but because they double so well as a wrap, a sizeable blanket for my kids on the go, even an emergency diaper changing table cover....

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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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