Author: Lexi Petronis

A play mat that teaches your baby how to speak emoji. (Insert winking face here.)

When my kids were babies and tummy-time touring their way throughout the house, it was a given that their play mat migrated to each room with them. And while I have fond memories of our jungle themed mat and odd interactive thingies (who doesn’t love a squeaking, googly eyed hippo, honestly?), I’m at least 98 percent sure my now-tech-loving littles would have preferred the Emoji Baby Play Mat. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Fun emoji gifts: For kids or kids at heart Exclusive to Land of Nod, this hand-quilted mat is just soft and squishy enough to be both comfy and sturdy as your baby strengthens her...

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The most beautiful baby sleep sacks: almost as nice as beautiful baby sleep

Until I had a baby, I didn’t understand the purpose of a sleep sack. But as a new mama, oh, my eyes were opened. I sought out the perfect cozy nighttime sack that would ensure my little girl had a safe, warm, sleep-filled night…so I would too. And I sure wish that this sleep sack had been around back then. Don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!   We’ve long adored Bella Bundles for its gorgeous, oh-so-smart line of snap-under-the-chin towels. Now they’ve added the sweetest sleep bundles to the mix. Swoon. Made in luxuriously soft, 100-percent cotton, each bundle is lined...

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Stylish storage solutions for an organized home

Let’s talk storage solutions, shall we? Or rather, my lack thereof. Bills and random paperwork end up mishmashed into the Play-Doh tub (which, of course, contains no actual Play-Doh). There’s not one item of winter clothing in the winter clothing box, but for some reason there are six spoons in the bathroom drawer. My only real consolation? A lot of you are living exactly the same way. Luckily, these storage options offer those of us dreaming of a more organized home the chance to sort out our stuff in the most stylish, prettiest way possible–meaning that this just might...

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Heifer International gifts: Buy the cow. And the goat, and the flock of chicks.

We love end-of-year charitable donations (or any time of year) to deserving organizations, and we’ve always been fans of Heifer International. Especially now that they’ve made it even easier to help a family take care of itself through your donation–and it happens to make a fabulous Christmas gift too. Heifer International is an amazing nonprofit that for years has been working to end world hunger by giving milk cows, goats, and flocks of chicks to impoverished communities–all to help the communities help themselves. And this year, they’ve added their own Christmas Wish List that makes it really easy to find...

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Maternity lingerie ideas to help you make the holidays a little uh…more festive.

Why maternity lingerie? Well between the well-meaning but okay-enough-already belly touches of visiting relatives and feeling like your burgeoning bump is making you look a bit too much like Santa himself, holidays can be rough on a mama-to-be.  So we’re for anything that makes you feel a little more woman and a little less incubator. We’ve tracked down some of the softest, sexiest new holiday maternity lingerie collections around–pieces that’ll make you feel comfy, sexy, and festive all at once. Without looking like a Christmas tree ornament. -Lexi We’ve always dug the super soft maternity loungewear from Belabumbum and...

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One of the most important presents you could ever give: clean water

As wonderful as it is to unwrap gifts during the holidays, it’s even more wonderful to give gifts that can’t be wrapped in the first place. Especially this one–because it will also be appreciated for a lifetime. Cool Mom Picks has always loved the mission of charity:water: to bring clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. And its holiday campaign is one I can totally get behind: the organization is suggesting we “give up the gifts” and instead help fund 100 new wells in Ethiopia. Just $10,000 fully funds a shallow borehole well in northern Ethiopia–a region...

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8 of the coolest personalized gifts that there’s still time to get for Christmas!

Whether you’re down to the last present on your list or still only just getting started (ahem), you don’t have to panic. There’s still time to order super-cool gifts that are–get this!–personalized, so no one will ever know that you didn’t buy them weeks ago. Here are some of our favorites. –Lexi We like this affordable little peronalized rockstar coin pouch from Psychobaby so much, we included it in the CMP holiday gift guide. And you have until 12/17 to order (via 2nd day shipping).  Personalized pocket mirrors from Olliegraphic sport your kid’s name–and you can choose the hair...

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The perfect gift for the kid whose power is super-coloring

If you–like me–have a little one who has become so devoted to all things “super” that you have to call breakfast “super-Cheerios” and explain that bedtime is the only way to recharge super-batteries, then I guarantee this is a truly super present. These personalized superhero crayons at Cio Prints are the perfect way to a) indulge your kiddo’s penchant for all things super and b) do so without any licensed characters to speak of.  What I really love about the crayons–besides the fact that you can get both super boy and super girl versions–is that they’re personalized in lots...

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The coolest red holiday dresses for the coolest girls

‘Tis the season for cute red dresses for girls! We found the most festive and fun of the bunch, so you know they’ll be perfect for everything from the annual family holiday photo to Christmas dinner at the grandparents’. Hey, a kid in a dress is still a kid–and she’ll be able to make all the merry she wants in these beauties. -Lexi This adorable Jason Wu dress ($59.99, above) was the standout of his Neiman Marcus for Target collection–love the collar detail. And if Wu doesn’t fall into your pricepoint but Target does, this Harajuku Mini dress is a...

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A wonderful way to help cancer patients that has nothing to do with pink ribbons.

When my mom had cancer, one of the things that truly lifted her spirits (and ours) was when friends would drop off home-cooked meals. Beyond the comfort in knowing that people cared, the meals themselves were warm, delicious, and time-saving. Lifesaving, really. And that’s why I’m so happy to share this wonderful that we found, which makes a fabulous gift for friends and family battling cancer–both for the holidays and year-round. {Keep reading for a discount on this amazing service, especially for CMP readers and their families and friends!} Meals to Heal really couldn’t be simpler: patients (or their...

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12 gorgeous holiday jewelry picks for less than $50

As mamas, sometimes the only sparkle we get to wear with any real regularity is what sticks to our shirts from our kids’ glitter-and-glue projects. And while we obviously love our kiddos’ creations, it’s nice to have some purposefully placed glitter every once in a while…like the holidays! We love these beautiful baubles–holiday jewelry that’s sparkly, fun, and all costs less than $50. -Lexi [DON’T MISS AN AWESOME JEWELRY GIVEAWAY (WORTH MORE THAN $50!) AFTER THE JUMP] Proof that holiday jewelry need not reference the snowman pin your great-aunt Maude wears to Christmas dinner every year: this It Girl Collar...

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8 of the coolest (and easiest) holiday crafts for kids

If you score not-so-high on the Official Scale of Craftiness (which, I swear, should be a real thing), fear not. You and your kids will have a blast making these eight super-easy, super-cute holiday crafts we’ve rounded up just for you.   This Christmas tree craft by LooLeDo is so very cool and colorful–and, best of all, it’s made entirely with things you have lying around the house anyway, like paper clips, a paper towel tube, tape, construction paper, a paper plate.   The prettiest solution in the kajillion holiday catalogs clogging up your mailbox? Gorgeous DIY paper snowflakes...

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A Santa-approved personalized book: The Mouse Who Saved Christmas

Ready or not, mamas, the holiday season is on us. Here’s a good way to get a jump on Christmas morning: an adorably customized book with your kid as a main character–and a major part of the plotline. ‘Twas the Mouse who Saved Christmas  is a sweet and welcome entry into the your-kid’s-name-here category of gifts. Occasionally, personalized kids’ books seem to have pretty random placements of your child’s name in the text. But the creators of this book incorporate your child’s name in a thoughtful and unique way, making your little one a truly central character in the...

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Launch a successful home business with a little help from Mom, Inc.

As a mama, I have big dreams: making cute-yet-healthy snacks, being a role model, kissing boo-boos like a champ. As an employee, I have the same dreams (except maybe the boo-boos part). I want to do it all…but I’m not always sure where to start. You know how it goes. This new book might help us accomplish our lofty goals–well, at least a few of them. Mom, Inc., by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Cat Seto, is full of smart, accessible advice for busy mamas seeking to launch home businesses. And believe me, these women know their stuff: Ilasco is an...

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Can you tell me how to get…a really cool Sesame Street shirt? (Yup.)

CMP has long adored Kiwi Industries for its super soft, US-made organic kids’ clothing–and we’ve always been partial adorable line of Sesame Street characters. So how excited are we to learn they’ve now given Elmo–and our kids!–some new friends to play with? {Keep reading for an exclusive discount for our readers!} Kiwi Industries‘ interpretations of the Sesame Street characters are awesome: they’re vibrant, artsy-abstract yet totally recognizable. Here’s proof: my addicted-to-Cookie-Monster two-year-old went nuts when I showed him the new Cookie Monster sweater (pictured). And then he asked for an actual cookie…but that’s beside the point. Like before, there’s still a lovable...

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PAIGELAUREN Baby’s terrific new collection is now for toddlers, too

We fell in love with the lovely baby clothes from PAIGELAUREN Baby years ago–oh, that tailoring! Those stripes! Those polka dots! And now, our mama-fashionista hearts are swelling once again as they get into clothing for the actual walking and talking set. Everything we adored about PAIGELAUREN’s teensy baby-sized outfits is now available in their new collection of toddler clothes including 2T and 4T sizes. And there’s a lot to adore: every piece is made with impossibly soft modal supima cotton, in classic mix-and-match designs that are way too adorable to be called basic. The color palette for everything is earth-inspired,...

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Party perfection: raise the roof AND raise money for your fave nonprofits

Planning a kids’ party isn’t for the faint of heart, even though the end results (adorable cake-face photos! happy wee ones!) are always worth it.  Let’s face it: life is crazybusy. So I can totally see why more and more parents are turning to online party-planning services to lighten the load. But we’ve found one with a little extra do-gooding awesomeness to sweeten the deal. A few years back we discovered ECHOage, a site which helps you can organize a fete for your kiddo that directly benefits more than 120 nonprofits. They’ve evolved since then, with adorable invitations, and even...

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Esperos Backpacks – Buy a bag and help send a kid to school

During this back-to-school season, it can be kind of easy to forget that there are some kids in the world who don’t go to school at all. But you can help–all with the purchase of a super-cool bookbag or backpack from an amazing company. After a trip to rural Central America, ESPEROS founder Oliver Shuttlesworth was struck by how few children were able to attend school because their parents just couldn’t afford the $20 a year tuition. The philosophy behind ESPEROS was born: buy a bag, help send a kid to school. The process is blessedly simple: ESPEROS subtracts...

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Stylish clothes for kids, no shopping required

We’re happy to introduce you to our new sponsor, Wittlebee. We think you’ll like them! The hard thing about buying nice kids’ clothes is facing the inevitable: the clothes will be outgrown. Quickly. What that means is yet another trip to the store, spending more time scouring the web for sales, and dropping even more cash to basically redo your kids’ wardrobe. Again. That’s why WittleBee is genius: it’s a subscription clothing club where stylish kids’ clothes come to you. All you do is sign up for the service, have a phone chat with a stylist about your clothing preferences, and...

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It’s map time

My 5-year-old showed almost zero percent interest in maps until we went on vacation to a beach town. Suddenly, it was very important that she be the holder of the map at all times. It was ultimately a good thing, even if said map ended up covered in melted chocolate ice cream and ripped in random places. Her newfound awareness about the world around her made me appreciate the genius behind Soft Cities even more. Soft Cities are exactly what they sound like: maps of your favorite places printed onto soft blankets and napkins (“mapkins”!). You simply write in the...

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