Author: Liz Gumbinner

Gorjana jewelry: Affordable, adorable, and ready for spring

I was so excited to be introduced to the affordable, very wearable Gorjana jewelry by a friend whose necklace I couldn’t stop ogling. Of course the one she wore is no longer online (d’oh) but so much in the shop caught my eye, like this superstar necklace, for one. I love the asymmetry of the two star charms on the gold-plated or sterling chain, and it’s such a sweet delicate piece to consider as our clothes start getting a little lighter too. There’s tons of affordable jewelry to browse in the shop, most of it designed with on-trend layering in mind. It’s...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us! Then check out cool finds like these every week from our site and beyond.    1. A Dr. Seuss iPhone case we must have now. 2. Easiest way ever to get your kids to eat their lunch. 3. This looks too cool to be an inspirational quote. 4. If you have kids, here’s a new roadtrip essential for the back seat. 5. Liz caved and bought these fabulous designer shoes but doesn’t want anyone else to have them. Just so you...

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Cool, colorful carry-on luggage – should you be able to tear yourself away from black.

I was never a colorful carry-on luggage gal; I’ve spent most of my life fairly satisfied with black, until recently when I was forced to check a bag–then watched at the carousel as about six people picked up my bag and put it back down before it got to me. Eep. Clearly a cool luggage tag or tying a ribbon around the handle won’t always cut it, so here are a few great options for chic, colorful carry-on luggage that gives you plenty of inspiration to pack light.     I discovered the Hideo Wakamatsuta Jellybean Carry-On several years...

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Steal this look: The Lupita Nyong’o headband at the Oscars

We try not to play favorites (too much) but we admit to cheering loudly the second Lupita Nyong’o hit the Oscars red carpet in that stunning sky blue Prada dress accessorized with a fabulous gold and diamond headband–right through her well-deserved Oscar win and her perfect acceptance speech. What a fabulous new It Girl we have in Hollywood now. While the increasingly famous “Lupita Headband” was actually designed for her by Fred Leighton, I’d venture to guess it’s a weeeeee bit out of our price range. I’ve put together a few more affordable options if you like the look of...

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Everything is awesome with the new Lego Movie sets

Oh you knew I’d go there with the headline, didn’t you? What can I say, just as I said in my Lego Movie review, the song has been stuck in my head for life. Another thing you probably knew: the Lego Movie sets were not long to follow the huge success of the film.  You’re just that smart, aren’t you. We gave you a sneak peek of the Lego Movie Minifigures on Instagram, live from Toy Fair last week, and now you can find them all as part of more than a dozen Lego Movie sets which are so...

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The new SJP shoes by Sarah Jessica Parker have arrived at Nordstrom! But which ones are worth the designer prices?

Today, Nordstrom launched their exclusive, and much-awaited new line of SJP shoes designed by Sarah Jessica Parker. And as someone who’s seen her a couple of times in person (from afar), they are very her. Lots of high heeled, strappy sandals in hot designer styles plus a few fun flats and some pretty handbags–all with the designer prices to match. It’s hard not to think of Carrie Bradshaw realizing she had no money for a mortgage, but an entire closet full of $400 shoes. I don’t love everything in the collection; but with 64 items to choose from in all...

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The popular Cloud B night light embraces the octopus and the fox. No narwhals just yet.

I may in fact be the very last parent to come around on the Twilight Turtle from Cloud B, and its myriad night light variations. But after seeing a few children absolutely go from panicked to peaceful at night with this thing by their bedside, I’m converted. Even more so now that I’ve gotten to check out some of Cloud B’s new offerings at Toy Fair 2014, starting with a plush adaptation of the Twinkles to Go Octo (above) called the Cloud B Octo Softeez Nightlight. CMP is an rstyle affiliate   I love this soon-to-be-released night light which is far more compact...

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Ann and Nan are Anagrams – The perfect book for your future word nerds.

If your kids love wordplay as much as mine do, then Ann and Nan are Anagrams: A Mixed-Up Word Dilemma is going to be their new favorite book. With more than 101 anagrams hidden throughout the narrative and wonderful illustrations, it’s part kids’ storybook, part brain-teaser, part Where’s Waldo for the future word nerds and grammar geeks of the world. I say that in the most loving way possible, by the way. The story centers around Robert (Or Bert) in a world gone seriously crazy. A poster in a street scene may be advertising Mister Timers or Charming Marching school. The movies playing...

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The chic new bags from Brit-Stitch. When you’ve outgrown the need to carry your entire life in your bag.

As many things as I miss about having little ones, I love that I can now leave the house with little more than my phone, wallet, keys, and maybe an emergency lollipop for the kids. This means I can also revert back to my smaller handbags more frequently than date nights. And the new bags from Brit-Stitch are a gorgeous new option for spring. Taking a very strong cue from the original Cambridge Satchel, and the myriad traditional British satchel bags that are so popular now, Brit-Stitch adds something new to the purse party with a selection of make-your-own...

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7 sophisticated margarita recipes for National Margarita Day. Which could be any day. Just saying.

Today is National Margarita Day which, in our minds, gives us an excuse to whip up a delicious margarita recipe and binge watch Netflix. Or uh, have a big party. Yeah, that’s what we mean. In addition to the 10 margarita recipes we featured last , here are 7 more lip-smacking tequila-based options to add to your cocktail repertoire for those with more sophisticated palates. In other words–nothing neon blue, and no glow-in-the-dark swizzle sticks.   I tend to be a classic On-the-Rocks-With-Salt girl, but when I’m feeling like something fruitier, I can never resist a Mango Margarita (at top).  This recipe by...

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Chomp Stix chopsticks for kids. Don’t be surprised if your children take a sudden interest in sushi.

It’s been a while since we found a cool pair of kids’ chopsticks to feature around here, so I’m excited to have discovered Chomp Stix. Especially considering I have children who ask to eat our local sushi restaurant–despite eating like two things on the menu–simply to use the “kid chopsticks” the owner makes them with a rubber band and chopstick wrapper. The Chomp Stix does it one better, with three brightly colored, adorable designs, each durable and dishwasher safe. Look closely and you realize they take the shape of a shark with lots of teeth (for the youngest kids...

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Smart toys for girls that defy the pink aisle. In other words, no princesses, ballerinas or “fashionistas,” whatever career that is.

This week at Toy Fair, I must say a progressive mama like me had a much harder time than expected scoping out smart toys for girls that defy the pink aisle. In other words, the girl dolls and figures were wearing something beyond princess garb or sparkly pink lace tulle. To be clear, I have no problem at all with ballerinas or fashion design kits or or traditional little baby dolls swathed in pink gingham–we feature plenty of them here But I have always wanted my daughters (and all the boys out there too!) to have choices. And if...

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PlayableART: Just as it sounds

At the NY Toy Fair this week, one of the finds I’m most excited about so far is a toy that I can’t say is entirely for kids. The gorgeously German-designed collection from playableART is designed to help get minds going and help you find your inner artist, whether you’re a four-year-old planted in front of a magnetic easel or refrigerator door, or a 40-something looking for a little moment of zen at your desk.   I am especially taken with the all new Magnet Relief art which allows you to explore design, shape, space and color with magnetic wooden...

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The red balloon

I adore simple graphic art for kids’ rooms that isn’t necessarily too babyish–I’ve witnessed firsthand how fast children’s tastes can change. And the graphical Big Red Balloon Print spotted at Brika is a great find. Designed by Becky Hui Chan of Honey & Bloom, she makes the kind of simple graphic designs in strong colors that look great anywhere from a nursery to a playroom to an adult’s bedroom. And yet she has a sense of playfulness that instantly has her pegged as a cool mom. Suddenly, I want to go watch The Red Balloon on Netflix. Hm, wonder why....

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All things being equal, I’d rather be in Paris.

Yeah, I know the WC Fields line was about Philadelphia but with all due respect to my partner Kristen and other cool Philly mamas, I’d rather hit the Champs Elysee these days. That’s why these vintage style Paris wall clocks need a place in my home immediately. Even if they’re set to Eastern Standard Time. Spotted at Design Atelier Article, the same shop that featured the most fabulous bookends we found last year, I’m not surprised that these birchwood clocks are inspired in design. Plus, you can pick up to 12 colors, whether you have your mind on an authentic...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us for cool pins and great finds like this every day.   1. Words we need to remember more often. 2. A designer tote we all have our eyes on. 3. Love this retro iPhone case. 4. We need these DIY lip balm instructions these days. 5. This one is for every parent who has ever sat in an auditorium behind another parent taking pictures with an iPad. Ha. Also, are you following Cool Mom Tech on Pinterest for the latest in gadgets, gear, apps for kids, photography help and general fun? Entrepreneur Magazine just named it one of the top...

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The Oscars best picture nominees reimagined with Legos

While I thought the Lego movie was a great film (with its own terrific movie poster art), what might be even cooler is seeing every Oscar nominee for best picture recreated with Legos. Of course since that would take years–and I haven’t the slightest idea what Minifigs they could possibly find to represent the women in Wolf of Wall Street–the next best thing: making all the film’s movie posters made out of Legos.     You can find them all Yahoo Movies which it seems worked together with Sony Pictures to design them. And they are awesome. Of course Leonardo...

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Gender neutral crib bedding ideas? Reader Q + A

Hi Cool Mom Picks! I’m looking for some cute gender neutral crib bedding ideas for my surprise baby who will be here soon. I like modern design and bold patterns but I’m open to other ideas. Can you help? Thanks, Julie   First of all, congrats Julie! And yes we can definitely help in the gender neutral crib bedding department. Here are just a few ideas I love right now–modern, playful, and 100% pastel-free in a variety of color ranges that work for any kid at all.  Hope one is just right for you and your style. 1.YELLOW CRIB...

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The ultimate guide to snow day activities, part two: 20 more indoor ideas to keep you sane

As the east coast gets hit with yet another snow storm, and parents everywhere slowly lose their minds looking for snow day activities, you can start with our ideas for 12 fun things to do during a snow day from games to crafts to an impromptu dance party. For even more inspiration,  here are 20 ideas for activities that can get you through a long day indoors. Of course, this is the time you start hoping you have enough colored ink in that printer. Related: 20 awesome kitchen products to do with kids when you’re stuck indoors 1. Make a toy...

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Downton Abbey Valentines: What an Earl Wants

Last year we swooned over the printable Hunger Games Valentines and while the Peeta/Gale competition still rages on, this year it’s all about Downton Abbey Valentines for us. The references are clearly from Season 4–I would have loved to see a Lady Rose I Go Wild For You, a bandleader Jack Ross Let’s Break New Territory, or a Daisy Mason I’m Not That Innocent. But overall they are a charmingly adult way to spread some love around your Masterpiece Theater-addicted office or playgroup. All said and done, it’s nice to see a little pop culture that’s heavier on the culture...

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