Author: Kristen

A special gift for a special anniversary, in honor of May is Gold Month

To commemorate the Cool Mom Picks 10th anniversary (!!) I wanted to share a special gift with Liz, something that would visibly remind us of this exciting milestone. It didn’t take too long to land on the idea of jewelry, considering we’re both accessories junkies — as our readers no doubt know by now — but it couldn’t be just any jewelry. I finally committed to a truly beautiful custom karat gold necklace from Julian & Co, one of our favorite indie, mom-run businesses. So I’m thrilled to share the journey behind my design collaboration with designer Tania Condon of Julian & Co and the gorgeous final result both Liz...

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Sh*tty Mom For All Seasons is a parenting guide full of what we all need: Laughs. Lots of them.

If you loved the best-selling Sh*tty Mom book as much as we did when it came out four years ago, you will be as excited as we were to get our hands on its much-anticipated sequel, out just this week. If you couldn’t guess it from the title alone, Sh*tty Mom For All Seasons is a parenting guide like no other. And that’s a very, very, very good thing. Let’s just say it feels like a parenting book from some renowned mom guru kidnapped by the writing staff of SNL and plied with lots of merlot. This follow-up title by authors and NBC TODAY Show producers Alicia...

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Vans shoes, even customizable for your budding fashion designer

I just so happened to be in a Vans store without children last weekend (dreamy, right?) and whoa, just when I thought some of my favorite shoes couldn’t get any cooler, they did. If you’re like me and are shopping for spring and summer shoes for your kids, take a peek at what I found. So, while the Late Night line isn’t super new, it’s definitely new to me. I snatched up the Donut slip-ons for my daughter, who’s completely, 100% obsessed with them. But I have to say the Pizza slip-ons cracked me up. Related: Fayvel shoes let...

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Sponsored Message: Never miss a game, season finale or live TV event with Slingbox

This is a sponsored message from Slingbox. Whether you travel for work or just need a diversion while you’re waiting for your kids at soccer practice, Slingbox lets you watch and control all the cable TV channels you already pay for when you’re on the go — on your tablet, phone, PC, or Mac. All with absolutely no monthly fees. – Don’t miss a special offer below! –  Getting set up with Slingbox is easy. Just connect it to your set-top box in seconds via WiFi or Ethernet cable, and the service will “sling” all of your cable channels right to your...

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The Gift of Failure: 3 tips from Jessica Lahey to help you raise more self-reliant kids

With the prevalence of helicopter parenting these days, it’s no surprise we’re seeing kids becoming much more dependent than independent — and let’s face it, we’re seeing more really tired parents. But it can be challenging for parents who are used to doing so much for our kids to take a step (or a bunch of steps) back and allow our kids some autonomy. So how thrilled were we to welcome Jessica Lahey, columnist, educator, and author of The Gift of Failure to our Spawned with Kristen and Liz this week to discuss ways we might be inadvertently stifling our kids’ creativity and...

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Pouch goals. Is that a thing? Because it should be.

With everything you can find at Society6 — smart phone cases, laptop bags, even leggings — they’ve now added carry-all pouches and let’s just say I’ve spent waaaaaaay too long flipping through all the fabulous choices. These canvas pouches with wraparound artwork come in three different sizes, with the smaller ones a good choices for pencils or make-up, and the bigger sizes able to double as a clutch. And well, the choices are endless. Almost literally. Here are some of my favorites (whew, it was hard to choose). Related: Society6 leggings – Be still my stylish geeky heart weapons of mass...

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The Clek Mat-thingy. Because kids + cars = gross.

As a suburban mom of four, I live in my car. And as much as I try to tell my kids that this time we will not be eating in the car (don’t laugh too hard), I can never stick to that rule because, well, we’re all in it so much. That’s why the Clek Mat-thingy is so smart. Also, the name makes me chuckle every time I say it. Related: Tokidoki and Clek collaborate for some out-of-this-world car seats  Not only does the non-slip, waterproof Mat-thingy protect your seats against spills and messes, it keeps them safe from compression damage courtesy...

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Babyation: A smart, stylish breast pump. Nope, pigs aren’t flying.

My breast pump definitely got the job done, but it was certainly not stylish. Or smart. Try awkward and uncomfortable. But the husband and wife team behind Babyation are aiming to change that. Their new breast pump might be exactly what nursing moms have been hoping for. Babyation is the brain child of Jared Miller and Samantha Rudolph, born after they realized breast pumps really hadn’t changed much since the 1850s. Talk about scary! So, they set out to make a pump that’s super quiet, very discreet (as in, no boobage on display), and smart — it interfaces with an app that gives moms...

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Happy Year of the Monkey, baby. You’re intelligent, creative, and darnit, people like you!

Today starts the Lunar New Year, and lots of little Year of the Monkey babies are soon to be born. If not already. I’ve always loved Tree by Kerri Lee‘s beautiful wooden birth year blocks, which a make sweet gift for a special little someone. Handcrafted by artist Kerri Lee and featured in her sister’s Etsy shop, you can order these in three colors, all of which feature characteristics of a Year of the Monkey baby. I think they make such lovely, affordable keepsakes, whether the lucky recipient is super into the Chinese zodiac, or just appreciates the thoughtfulness of a...

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New and cool: Personalized Moleskines. Notebooks, journals, you name it. (Get it?)

I never leave home without my Moleskine notebook, as I’ve recently shared — or really, I should say “notebooks” considering how many I have for lists, ideas, and… more lists. Now I’m so excited that you can finally order personalized Moleskine notebooks online, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Or really any day in my book. (I can’t stop the puns!) Related: Illustrated handmade Moleskine journals. Ooh. If you love this as much as I do, hit the site, then choose from a huge selection of personalizable notebooks and journals — there are tons! Next click Personalize  under Add to Shopping Cart. You...

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