Author: Lexi Petronis

Shirts for books

I believe in the essential power of reading–my kids have the stuffed bookcases to prove it. But not every kid does. So I love the idea of this website that lets you buy an amazingly cute, supersoft, combed-cotton T-shirt to get more books in the hands of little ones who don’t have access to them. Did I mention amazingly cute? [don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!] I can’t get over this StoryTee from the website, OffOurChests. I mean, “Not Photoshopped”–how perfect a statement for our naturally adorable kids in this digitally-enhanced age. The best part: for every StoryTee you...

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New Year’s Resolution Help: Take a family vacation!

All week long we’re offering our tips and ideas to help you tackle your (and our) New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re a staunch believer in resolutions or not, we hope our cool picks will help motivate you as we hope they do for us! Like so many families out there, we made a resolution to go on a fabulous family trip. Uh, last year. The problem with family vacations is that they can be stressful and expensive to plan–never mind really getting on a plane or in a car and going somewhere. Once you’ve got the money saved, luckily, there are...

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Great gifts for your kids that benefit their school, too

I admit it: I’m a fan of pretty much every one of those daily-deals sites. Hand me an exclusive membership to sweet deals on designer merch and I get a little thrill.  And this new site totally supersizes that thrill in the coolest way possible, because every purchase I make goes to my daughter’s own school. Treehouse Tykes is a private-member site that features awesome brands of kids’ clothing, toys, books, and furniture–up to 70% off. But here’s the key difference between it and other sales sites: 10% of your purchase goes to the school, or charitable organization of your...

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Personalized stamps for the holidays? There’s still time!

Okay, Cool Mom Picks is a safe space where I feel like I can admit this freely: I’m starting to panic a little. The gift-purchasing isn’t going as planned. I keep seeing all these amazingly fabulous personalized gifts–that I should have purchased two weeks ago. Here’s one shop that can still help you out. Rock Paper Scissors offers a huge variety of personalized items. A lot of the designs are a little…cute. But if you poke around, there’s such a huge selection you may find something you love. One thing we could all use this season– the personalized self-inking...

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When you’re a cool kid, the sun shines on you 24 hours a day

Kid (and baby) sunglasses are usually one of those things that are terribly cute in theory but not always so great in practice. They’re often slippy, stomped, and broken within, like, minutes. So these new sunglasses for kids are worth their weight in sunscreen. If you’re looking for a cool little gift before some family travel to warmer climes this season, definitely check out the new Scream sunglasses by Eyes Cream Shades. They’re everything you want kids’ sunglasses to be: they stay on (without that wraparound head strap thing that so many kid glasses have), their lenses are polycarbonate...

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Simple wooden toys that your kids will simply adore

I never mean to, but I occasionally have a weird mind slip and underestimate the power of simplicity. When a package arrived in the mail from Gween, bearing six pieces of pretty, shiny wood meant to put together into a windmill shape, I wasn’t sure my kids would like it. But you know what? They loved it. But the experts at Gween knew that they would. The cool windmill (officially named “Gusto”) is one of five models of stackable toys that can be put together in different ways–which works on kids’ motor skills, piques their problem-solving interests, and (if...

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Some of the very best baby pajamas, now in some of the very best prints

Now that Hanna Andersson has a whole new line of their wonderful, parent-approved pajamas, in new prints from one of our favorite designers, it’s like that magic that happens when two things we love come together. You know, like when when the fresh-baked cupcakes are right next to the wine at the supermarket. Kind of. [don’t miss a REALLY great giveaway for 10 CMP readers plus a terrific discount after the jump] We are so excited that the beautiful, sophisticated Serena & Lily prints that we’ve always loved in children’s bedding and other textiles are now a part of a...

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Beautiful holiday photo cards that are easy to make. So you might actually send them.

Last year we discovered the beautiful new holiday card company, Pinhole Press. And this year, the company has a whole new lineup of cards–so I’m glad to have discovered them myself. Let’s just say making holiday cards stresses me out so much, I usually put them off for a long time. Like until February. But this year, I just may have cards out to family and friends in time for the holidays. And I don’t mean Groundhog Day. [don’t miss an exclusive discount just for cmp readers!] The process is incredibly simple. You choose from one of the stunning...

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Life is like a box of handmade snowflake ornaments

Because I live in the desert, snowflakes are as rare as… well, snowflakes in the desert. We dream of white Christmases but they don’t often happen. So snowflakes are my holiday totem, and I absolutely love how they’ve come together in this affordable, handmade set of wooden ornaments. The absolutely gorgeous mini snowflake ornaments collection from Timber Green Woods are the closest I’ll get to the real thing–and I’m perfectly content with that. Made with sustainable wood harvested from the company’s family farm, each unique design is laser-cut and finished with nontoxic oil. Then they’re all popped into an...

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Buy one baby blanket and get two. The second, for a child who really needs it.

If you’re considering a baby blanket as a gift for the upcoming holidays, or simply for a new baby in your life, I can’t think of a more beautiful gesture than one of these Me Two You baby blankets. Because for every one you buy, one is also donated to a child who can really need it. Made with supersoft, luxuriously minky fabric and trimmed with satin piping, Me Two You’s Plush Blanket is the very definition of what a snuggly blanket should be. And it’s just the slightest bit smaller than a crib mattress–the perfect not-too-big-not-too-little size for little...

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A big-kid bike for the toddler who’s done with the tricycle

As a 4-year-old, my daughter is at the age where her eyes grow wide at the sight of a kid riding a bicycle. Tricycles are so last year–get the girl a two-wheeler, stat! And what could be a more appropriate first bike than a FirstBIKE Balance Bike? For little kids, FirstBIKEs have all the appeal of a big-kid bicycle: sleek lines, cool colors, and–most importantly–two wheels. All that’s missing? Pedals and training wheels.  But that’s a good thing, because FirstBIKE is made to teach toddlers (as young as two!) and young preschoolers how to ride and turn on two wheels....

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Your girl’s first big-girl necklace

My daughter spends a lot of time going through my jewelry box. She has very distinct plans for where she’ll wear each bauble: the grocery store, school, her next playdate. But she’s four and a half. So my jewelry is a little not-so-practical. But in five to ten years(ish?)–once she’s past the point of wanting to feed shiny things to the goldfish–I’d like to give her a meaningful necklace of her very own. And I think I’ve found the perfect candidate. [don’t miss an exclusive discount after the jump] We’ve loved the handcrafted jewelry from Heart and Stone Jewelry for...

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Three words: portable ping pong

I have this one person on my list that I can’t stand holiday shopping for. Why? Because she already has everything. Really. If it’s something she likes, she buys it before anyone else has the chance. It’s the worst.  But, for the first time ever, I may have found something that she doesn’t have. And her kids will love it, too.  This Pongo Portable Ping Pong set found at Mxyplyzyk is the best. Its paddles with retractable handles and handy drawstring pouch mean you can tote it with you and set up anywhere. And it’s got a weighted net,...

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Sweaters like Grandma would make. Because a grandma did.

I feel like, every fall, I end up on on a mission to find handmade sweaters and other goodies that have that little extra bit of TLC knitted in. You know, like someone made them just for my kids Robbie Carmack of RCforkids is pretty much that someone. Her sweaters are the picture of vintage sweetness: just check out this kitten cardigan (can you stand how cute that cat button nestled in a fabric flower is?) and this crochet poncho in mohair yarn. What’s especially cool is that Carmack (whose granddaughter models the clothes on her site!) makes her gorgeous pieces from...

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Wrapping paper your kids will actually notice

When it comes to unwrapping gifts, people usually fall into two camps. Either they take their time, delicately lifting the tape and neatly folding up the paper; or they rip through the paper like a present-seeking claw machine. This personalized wrapping paper just might put kids in the former category, for the very first time. [don’t miss an exclusive discount after the jump!] Not only is the all new personalized wrapping paper from Frecklebox adorably designed, it also features your kids’ names right on it–something they are absolutely sure to notice. Just type in the message you want and your custom...

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Adorable growth charts from Creative Thursday, for adorably growing children

Growth charts are one of those things that I don’t think about until I realize that my kids look like they’ve added inches to their legs overnight. Get me a cute growth chart, stat! And when you’re in need (or in want), this chart is a gorgeous option. Created on artist’s canvas, the growth charts by Marisa at Creative Thursday are seriously cute works of art. My favorite is We All Fly Together at top right. Love those adorable painted characters! But all three have grommets in each corner and comes with decorative tacks and ribbons for hanging. You can even get yours hand monogrammed...

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Gorgeous holiday tags that also help feed hungry kids

I’m often of the “do it quickly” school when it comes to holiday presents–I sometimes forgo the little touches (like tags!) in favor of just getting the gifts wrapped. (And yes, we’re thinking holidays already. Forgive us!) These beautiful gift tags, however, are inspiring me to be a more mindful wrapper–especially since each one helps feed a child in need. Share Our Strength, a nonprofit devoted to ending childhood hunger in America by 2015, has come out with the loveliest gift tags. These No Kid Hungry cards are printed on Crane’s Lettra Pearl White paper (that’s quality stuff, mamas)...

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Speed dating for babysitters. Now online.

A good babysitter is hard to find. I’ve been way picky about who gets the, er, privilege of watching our active preschooler and toddler. This has kind of backfired–the only guaranteed babysitters we now have are grandparents. And, since the kids officially destroyed my in-law’s house last week (don’t worry, the grandparents loved it), I’d still love to give them a break with a qualified pinch-hitter. So, question: where do crazy-busy mamas start to find this magical babysitter? Answer: MommyMixer. The site began as a way to facilitate parent and potential caregiver meet-and-greets in more than 50 cities around the country–you know, speed-dating...

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You recycle, you upcycle…and now you can Hipcycle

There is nothing that gets my inner MacGyver going more than upcycling. The creativity it takes to see something useful in a random everyday object–love it, not to mention the fact it can be an earth-friendlier way to shop. It totally explains my current bag of choice: it’s woven out of seatbelts and utterly indestructible, no matter how many leaking sippy cups are in it. It’s also the best conversation starter practically ever.  So this brand-new upcycling site has got 100% of my attention. The just-launched Hipcycle has some of the coolest upcycled gear I’ve seen in a long time–all...

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Supercute superhero dolls

Sometimes it feels like we’re in the middle of a plastic doll takeover. Those little dudes are everywhere (pretty sure most of them are in my living room) I am more convinced than ever that the last thing the world needs is another plastic guy. These handmade superheroes just might save the day. Hand-knit with the softest cotton yarn by a mom who’s been there, these little superhero dolls by Dents de Loup are totally adventure-ready. There’s nothing artificial about them, and they remind me of Teeny Little Super Guy from “Sesame Street”–a retro superdude with lots of heart and ’70s-sass. The...

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