Author: Kristen Chase

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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Tights for girls get funky

Even as cold as it still is in my neck of the woods, my three girls are insistent on wearing skirts and dresses, which means leggings and tights are a must. I’ve definitely seen my fair share of cool tights for girls, but since discovering Funky Legs, I’m smitten. And so are my kids.   Thanks to the internet, you can still get UK-based Funky Legs if you live in the States like me, and trust me, they’re worth it. I really love the bold colors and prints that are a bit more unique and playful than the ubiquitous...

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What does the fox say? Let me tell you the time.

I was lucky enough to receive a Tree by Kerri Lee baby gift from my co-publisher Liz when I had my fourth daughter and it’s one of my favorite pieces. Her work has appeared many times in our baby shower gift guide, and while I’m in love with everything of hers that we’ve featured, these new animal clocks are my brand new favorite.   The adorable wooden fox clock (above) is the newest addition to her clock collection, and I find it irresistible, although those of you hot on the hedgehog trend the hedgehog clock is a close second. Both...

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The new Coach bags: The coolest of colorblock for spring

Ooh, how the new Coach bags are tempting me this spring. I’ve loved the whole colorblock trend even before it was hot, which means I’ve got lots of pieces I can pull right out of my closet and wear in a snap. But these stylish handbags are giving me a little something new to freshen up my wardrobe. I’m a little obsessed with stripes, but you don’t have to be to fall immediately in love with the Coach Borough bag. It’s one of the coolest and most chic of the new Coach bags, let alone any of the black and white bags I’ve...

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11 smart, simple play date tips to keep things fun for your baby.

We remember when play dates were just called “hey, let’s invite Jennifer over.” But now play dates are an actual Thing, and the very first one with your baby can provoke a little anxiety. Though it doesn’t have to; it’s a fun excuse to get out of the house as a new parent and catch up with old friends or meet new ones. Or, if you’re the entertaining sort, you can host it yourself. Either way, we’ve got a few of our favorite play date tips for making your baby’s first social outing a successful one, though we can’t guarantee...

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Spring trend alert: 7 ombre dip dye clothes for kids’ wardrobes

I’ve had my eye on a few hot kids’ trends for spring, but the one that caught my eye immediately was ombre dip dye clothes. Maybe it’s because my kids’ clothes are already sort of that way anyway thanks to a bunch of juice spills. (Ha.) I love the way the gradated color saturation transforms a simple piece into something so stylish, and one that won’t look out of style so fast with tie dye always popular for kids. Plus, it just screams warm weather to me, which I think we could all use a dose of right now. Here,...

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Instacart: Grocery shopping right from your couch with a very awesome twist.

Taking four kids to the grocery store is like a full-on workout. But really, taking even one cranky toddler shopping can be no easy task. Especially in this weather. So when Instacart offered Cool Mom Picks an exclusive first look to try out their brand new Philly service, which happens to launch today in addition to Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area, you can bet I jumped at the chance. Grocery delivery from Whole Foods (as well as Costco and coming soon, a few smaller groceries) within two hours of your order? Yes please. That’s...

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Trend alert: 7 modern ways to wear pearls

When I caught that pearls are in this season as a hot jewelry trend, I much wrote them off at first because I’m really not a pearls kind of a gal. But I am a bit of a trend watcher after all, and I discovered, after a bit of searching, that these are not your grandmother’s strands. There are tons of modern ways to wear pearl jewelry from simple to a little edgy. Here, some of my favorite, pearliest jewelry picks, to keep you on trend this season, all of which I think will be wardrobe classics long after...

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A super sweet DIY Valentine’s Day gift for tea lovers

I’m a huge fan of handmade gifts, but rarely have the time or the patience to actually make anything myself. But when I saw these DIY polaroid photo tea bags on Photojojo (love them), I knew I had hit the jackpot for DIY Valentine’s Day gifts for the grandparents and teachers in our life. With some card stock, double-sided tape, and a bunch of your favorite photos (off Instagram perhaps?), you can whip up some adorable photo tea bags for Valentine’s Day, or really any gift-giving holiday. It’s completely frivolous and ridiculous–and yet, totally adorable. You know if you...

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A lovely keepsake Valentine’s Day necklace for moms (and it’s affordable too, hint, hint)

I’m a sucker for personalized jewelry, especially on Valentine’s Day, but not so stoked about the expensive pricetags. But when I found these affordable heart necklaces at My Tiny Star Shining, I felt like Oprah. “You get a necklace! And you get a necklace!” which is pretty much not a joke, considering they start at just $34. Nice! So lovely for a new mom, especially with her own initial added for bonus points, or hey, any mom. Yes, that was a hint. You can order the keepsake personalized heart necklace at My Tiny Star Shining, but do it soon, so you’ll...

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How to drop baby weight realistically? 8 tips and tricks from a mom who’s been there.

So many new moms want to know how to drop baby weight and having gone through it myself–four times–you could say I have a few tips to offer. I felt extremely fortunate that I had a fairly easy time dropping my baby weight after my first and second kids. But then I had my third and I found myself down only 10 of the 50 pounds I had gained three months after giving birth. Fourth trimester indeed. Add in the prospect of having to wear a strapless bridesmaids dress to a wedding and I was nervous–but more determined to...

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Happy Year of the Horse: How to celebrate Chinese New Year at home

Growing up as an Asian American kid, the Chinese New Year was a pretty big deal with my family. I admit that I’ve let that tradition go a bit as I’ve gotten older, but it’s so fun for kids to discover how to celebrate Chinese New Year at home, whether you’re of Asian heritage or not. Here is a ton of inspiration for ringing in the Year of the Horse with your own kids. GIFTS If someone you know is welcoming a Year of the Horse baby this year, Tree by Kerri Lee’s Chinese Zodiac Birth Year Boxes (pictured above) have...

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Breaking news: Britax stroller recall

If you’re the owner of a B-Agile Double, BOB Motion, or Britax B-Agile stroller (which we’ve featured here on Cool Mom Picks) purchased between May 2011 and June 2013, there has been a recall due to issues with the folding mechanism specifically when pressing the release button while pulling on the release strap. To avoid possible injuries to big (and small fingers), you should stop using the recalled strollers immediately and contact Britax to receive a free repair kit. Stay safe, mamas. For more information about the Britax stroller recall, check the CPSC...

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8 creative Valentine’s Day jewelry ideas for modern day gals. As in, no diamond tennis bracelets.

I realize that it might be a little cliche to give (or get) Valentine’s Day jewelry, though those of us jewelry lovers simply don’t care.  And when you see the baubles I tracked down, you’ll see why. No blingy expensive pieces or Victorian inspired swirls and flourishes; just modern, cool jewelry you can wear all year long–without scorching your retinas or bankrupting your sweetheart. It’s no secret that I’m completely obsessed with spiked jewelry this year, so of course I’m digging this black pavè and spiked heart necklace at top. ($55 at Shanalogic) I love this concept: A handmade card that comes with its...

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A great new destination for cool boys’ clothes.

If you’re like me, you get pretty sick of the same-old-same-old patterns and themes when it comes to boys’ clothes. That’s why I was thrilled to discover the cool boys’ clothes at Geo Fox Apparel. Made in Los Angeles, Geo Fox is the brainchild of parents Justin and Sarah Fox (hence the name) who prefer something a little edgier for their own two sons, went out and made it. Not a new story, but I’ve found it’s always one of the best when it comes to inspiration. Nothing like two really motivated parents running on a lack of sleep- at...

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Trend alert: 6 fabulous open-toed booties just in time for spring

I’ve been a fan of booties, or short ankle boots, ever since I can remember. (Just take one quick look at my closet.) But they were limited to closed-toe weather months until I discovered the joys of open-toed booties. Now, they are my go-to shoe style for nearly everything. I even own two of the same style in different colors, I love them that much, and hooray for those of you in the same camp, because right now open-toed booties are everywhere! They can actually help make a shorter skirt or dress seem a little more um, age-appropriate, for those...

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How to make diaper changes easier? Just Zipit.

I’m continually amazed at the advances in baby gear since I had my youngest three years ago. And this Zipit playsuit for babies are a perfect example of the genius I totally missed out on. Not only do I love the bold colors, I’m digging how the ankle to chest zipper makes it a cinch to change a diaper. If you’re like I was, with a very active baby and early walker, you know how annoying even simple snaps can be. Don’t even start on buttons. Just a quick zip with this playsuit though, and you’re done. Even better, there’s a...

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