Author: Liz Gumbinner

How to dye Easter eggs naturally: Step by step instructions and inspiration

As much as we’re fans of finding creative ways to decorate Easter eggs without dye, we have a few die-hard dyers (or dye-hards?) in my family. Specifically my stepfather, who pretty much refuses to add a single sticker, wrapper or otherwise unnatural Easter egg decoration to his pristine, colored eggs. So for him–and all of you–we’ve got a great step-by-step DIY for how to dye Easter eggs naturally, using colors from actual food, courtesy of Chris McLaughlin, the author of A Garden to Dye For now on preorder. By the way, these colors are also perfect for play dough or watercolor paints....

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Hit the motherlode of custom gifts for mom at Hatch

We spend a lot of time curating the best of the best custom gifts for mom–or dad or grads or pretty much anyone. What can we say, we love customizing gifts which can turn a perfectly lovely present into a more special keepsake. Now with Mother’s Day around the corner, there’s another site you’ll want to bookmark for that very thing: Hatch. Exclusively focused on handmade custom gifts and personalized goods from small makers and crafters, there are 800 artists on site right now including a few we’ve featured before like Merriweather Council whose wonderful custom initial pendants are shown...

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Custom jewelry from kids’ artwork: The Mother’s Day gift that makes everyone cry.

One of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts–or Father’s Day gifts or holiday gifts, for that matter–is taking my kids’ artwork and having it turned into something custom and special, whether it’s jewelry or a key chain. I’ve now ordered custom jewelry from kids’ artwork from Metalmorphis quite a few times, and can’t say enough wonderful things about Kim’s work. Send her a good scan of a drawing, signature, or doodle (she will send it back if it’s not high enough quality, trust me!) and she’ll turn it into a silver pendant, a dog tag style necklace, a custom key...

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Steve’s Ice Cream delivers. In more ways than one.

As a college student in Boston, I remember the lines around the block for Steve’s Ice Cream, the originator of Heath Bar Crunch and the first place I had ever heard of mix-ins which now…well, what gourmet ice cream brand doesn’t offer them? So when I heard Steve’s Ice Cream is back and now making outrageous flavors in small batches from Brooklyn–all available for delivery no less, with plenty gluten and nut-free, and even dairy-free–I sacrificed myself for you, dear readers, and deigned to give them a try. Just looking at the Steve’s Signature Ice Cream Collection you know you’re in...

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Pretty desk organization: Make it your tax day resolution for next year.

This is the day, my friends. Tax Day. Which is more than simply the day that you cringe as you drop that massive check into the mailbox or break open the bubbly to celebrate a refund. At least for me, it’s always the day I vow to get my receipts and accounting more organized for the year ahead. And…it rarely happens. Just being honest here. But hey, this year could be different. See Jane Work, a longtime favorite spot of ars for all things organization, has some great storage products and solutions for catching those wayward receipts, insurance forms,...

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An anti-aging cream from Lumene skin care that gives us one more reason to look forward to bedtime.

It was suuuuper fun sitting down with an aesthetician last week when she asked what kind of beauty products I was interested in, and I had to pause and mutter, “Uh….anti-aging cream I guess.” Though considering anti-aging beauty products are being marketed to women in their early 20’s these days, I suppose I’m in great company. If you’re with us (One of us! One of us!) then I have just the thing for you. Finnish beauty company Lumene skin care makes an ExCELLent Future Dual Boost Age-Defying and Repairing Night Cream that hardly rolls off your tongue. But what it lacks...

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An awesome gift for mom from the kids: A book they draw themselves

My favorite Mother’s Day gifts from my children are the ones they make themselves. Not that I’d say no to jewelry, but if you’re looking for a terrific gift for mom from the kids, I think I’ve found the perfect, affordable, sentimental keepsake. The Amazing Mom DIY picture book is a fabulous gift idea from the kids. There’s a simple story told across each of the 14 pages, with plenty of blank space so that kids can bring it to life with their own drawings. Wonderful! While overall there are some really lovely thoughts in the book (“When my...

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Healthy easter treats for the kids, should they need a little something in their bellies besides jelly beans

Provided you’re not giving up cute sandwiches for Lent, we are so taken with the round up of healthy Easter treats for kids on the Red Stamp blog, including these totally adorable Chicken and Egg Cookie Cutter Sandwiches. While I’m not the mom who could ever pin my kids’ lunches on Pinterest (Hey! Look at this boring sandwich and a side of carrot sticks!) With a few extra minutes I could totally whip this up. Even if my kids would ask me to hold the mayo. And the spinach. And the avocado. And one of them would balk at...

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Personalized silhouette gifts that make a mom get out the tissues

As modern as my tastes tend to be, I have a thing for personalized silhouette gifts for Mother’s Day, especially when they can be customized with your own family members’ profiles. For years, we’ve included the indie shop Le Papier Studio on the site and in countless gift guides, because they’re constantly updating their selection with so many cool (and surprisingly affordable) silhouette gifts that are both modern and timeless. And just in time for Mother’s Day (it’s coming!) their jewelry category is bursting with wonderful gift ideas. I’m a big fan of the new Personalized Silhouette Charm Necklace made out...

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New Baggu leather bags feel like a breath of fresh spring air

Well, Baggu has certainly come a long way since we first discovered their durable, stylish reusable nylon totes back in (eep) 2008. The collection has grown to include so many gorgeous styles and colors, and now Baggu leather bags are fast becoming a staple of the collection. In addition to the original Leather Baggu, they’ve introduced accessories ranging from an $18 leather coin purse to a small leather clutch in fun spring colors (shown at top). Affordable Mother’s Day gift perhaps? The 8″ leather pouch would be a great staple in my existing tote, to stash my earbuds, phone charger,...

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If mama can’t go to Acapulco, bring the Acapulco to mama

I got a brief taste of spring this past week and that’s only made me hungry for more outdoor time. (Oh, how I envy my LA friends who apologize profusely when the temperature dips to 64.) One look at these Acapulco Multi-Colored Lounge Chairs at CB2 and I knew I had to have them. The retro-modern shape of classic Acapulco chairs is so fabulous to begin with, but the handwoven color block cords are what really pulled me in. And the price is not bad, considering I’ve seen similar for twice as much. Now I just need a big...

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Custom jewelry for mom: Shop now for Mother’s Day gifts to remember

While I’m happy with flowers or a hand-scribbled card, custom jewelry for mom has always been a great go-to gift on Mother’s Day. One of our favorite jewelry shops, Charm & Chain, has some great modern custom jewelry options, but there’s one catch: You have to order now. As in, this second. Mother’s Day is only a month away! Here are a few of my picks for cool personalized jewelry for  Mother’s Day at the shop that she’ll never want to take off. Custom Acrylic Script Bracelet I love this pretty modern take on a classic charm bracelet, updated...

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The prettiest girls’ Easter dresses that your daughters will never want to take off. (For better or for worse.)

One of my favorite things to do each year on Cool Mom Picks is look for the prettiest, sweetest, coolest girls’ Easter dresses in every price. Whether or not you celebrate Easter. To me, spring is just such a long-awaited respite, that getting my daughters one special, lightweight dress that they can wear all spring and summer has become our own annual tradition. I tend to be less into pounds of crinoline, smocking, humongous floral embellishments or scrunchy taffeta; my style leans more towards simple, elegant shapes and fabrics that are dressy, but not quite cotillion-level. Plus if my...

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Oh Joy for Land of Nod: A new line of baby gifts and decor bursting with fun.

When we heard that one of our favorite design bloggers, Joy Cho, was launching the Oh Joy for Land of Nod baby collection, we seriously couldn’t wait to get a look at it. All of her design collaborations have been terrific and we figured this one would be both terrific–and affordable. And so it is. Well, not like thrift shop affordable, but definitely in the realm of baby gifts that people outside the 90210 can afford. Starting today, you’ll find cute, colorful, playful baby gifts with modern touches from artwork to bedding and decor. Even three fun patterns of an elephant...

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Salma Hayek Nuance Makeup Remover gets us over our fear of celebrity cosmetics

I’m not usually one for celebrity cosmetics or perfumes. I always wonder how much they actually have to do with the development, beyond licensing their names. And I’d definitely be a little sheepish if I knew a houseguest was poking through my medicine cabinet and saw some pop star’s name on my foundation or something. So you can imagine why a sample of Salma Hayek Nuance Dual Phase Makeup Remover received in a goodie bag from who-knows-where sat unopened in my bathroom for months. Well, what a mistake that was. I can never quite find a makeup remover I...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Are you obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Make sure you’re following us to catch all our daily picks plus the coolest tech finds from around the web.    1. Now those are some cool free printables for kids. 2. A classic kids game reinterpreted beautifully in wood. 3. A sloth phone case that we totally need. 4. The modern dollhouse that all our kids are pining for. 5. We want this gorgeous designer tote bag so badly. Look at that...

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Rain rain go…oh okay. You can stay.

After a winter that pummeled us with snow I’m actually looking forward to a few spring showers.  So not surprisingly, this little happy kawaii cloud tee for kids is making me happy too. There’s not a huge selection at Canadian indie label Whistle + Flute, but what there is, is adorable. You can also get the tee as a baby onesie, raglan, or sweatshirt and yes, they come in adult sizes too.   Or hey, if happy clouds aren’t your thing, check out the kawaii ice cream cone tees. Because ice cream follows April showers, too. Visit  Whistle + Flute for...

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Trend alert: The coolest girls’ floral clothes. And one for boys, too.

One of my favorite trends for kids this spring, besides the whole dip-dye ombre look, is floral clothes. Normally I think of them as a little twee, but what I’m seeing is bold, fun without frills, and nothing like what Laura Ingalls wore back in the day. Here are a ton of great girls’ floral clothes and even a little something just for fashion-forward boys who are digging the look too. Cool Mom Picks is an rstyle affiliate Girls’ floral printed dress ($42.90 pictured above at Zara Kids) How great is this pattern which starts and stops at the bottom...

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The Pigeon Needs a Bath: Yay for the newest book from Mo Willems!

I am an unapologetic Mo Willems groupie, in part because I don’t think the author/illustrator has ever had a miss. Now, the .500 streak continues with his newest in the popular Pigeon Series, The Pigeon Needs a Bath. All just in time for our favorite wry, difficult, endearingly persistent urban bird’s tenth anniversary. He’s up to his same shenanigans, devising  tons of reasons why a bath would be a very bad idea, as you can imagine. (I took one last month! All these flies buzzing around me are purely coincidental!) Some of them may even sound familiar to parents. Which...

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The Simpsons LEGO minifigs are here! The Simpsons LEGO minifigs are here!

Well, here’s your first look. (Second if you count our photo on Pinterest from Toy Fair.) Itchy! Scratchy! Millhouse! Nelson! Krusty! Apu! Burns! Plus? Actual Simpsons family members. Is there anything else more to say? Yeah, probably not. Find the collection of 16 Simpsons LEGO minifigures all over the place starting in May. It will go nicely with that sweet, spendy Simpsons LEGO house....

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