Author: Mir

Make every outfit itch-free for sensitive kids

Listen, there are some fabulous clothing companies out there who are making cute kids’ clothes with sensory sensitivities in mind (oh, Soft Clothing, how we love thee). But sometimes your kiddo has to wear something specific, like a school uniform. Or he has a t-shirt he loves because it has that great picture on it, but the tag is itchy, so you cut the tag off for him, but then he complains that where the tag used to be is itchy, and you go through this over and over because he wants to wear it but it “feels funny.”...

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Flummox and Friends: Because quirky can be funny

There are a lot of days when having a kid with social challenges isn’t particularly funny; when his feelings get hurt, when making friends is difficult, when he despairs of ever “getting it right” when it comes to following society’s rules… that’s not particularly giggle-worthy. But the truth is that any “social skills program” that isn’t entertaining is just a great big downer and something to be tuned out. So maybe you heard my squeals of glee, just now, at discovering the Flummox and Friends website and associated Kickstarter site. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism just put up...

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Friends of Maddie gets musical

When Mike and Heather Spohr lost their daughter Maddie two and a half years ago, they refused to let the light this beautiful little girl brought to the world be extinguished–they started Friends of Maddie to support families coping with having a baby in the NICU, like they’d been through, themselves. This week, Maddie would have turned four. She’s now been gone longer than she was alive. No one would blame the Spohrs if this week brought nothing but grief and a desire to hide from the world, but once again, they’re channeling their pain into a greater good...

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School fundraising ideas, hold the agony

There’s little I hate more than fundraising time at school. It’s not that I don’t want the school to have money, it’s just that there’s only so many stinky candles and rolls of wrapping paper and overpriced magazine subscriptions a person needs, y’know? Plus, I can’t be the only one who’s just not terribly comfortable with my kids being drafted into sales force servitude. But I’m totally digging this fabulous new school fundraising idea from Portrait Press. Two Brooklyn parents–daunted by the amount of money their schools always needed (but couldn’t seem to raise)–realized that if they sold an...

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The economics of a better marriage

I’ll just say it: I’m not a self-help book kind of person. Spousonomics arrived in the mail and languished on my desk for months; because, really, a book about using economics to master love and marriage? Ooooookay. But then one day I started reading it, and I couldn’t put it down. Authors Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson not only use economic theory in Spousonomics to explain why a 50/50 split in housework won’t work for most couples, they manage to make the explanation interesting. And it’s funny–like, laugh-out-loud funny–even as it explains that, hey, this is all about finding ways...

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Kickstart paper creativity, beautifully

Usually when I see a Kickstarter project, I think, “Huh. That’s kind of neat.” And then I see something shiny and move on with my day. But check this out: ReadyMade magazine’s founder, Grace Hawthorne, has created what just may be the perfect make-something-gorgeous-with-your-own-hands craft, and you can be one of the first to own it when you help fund her fantastic project. Make a donation to Paper Punk via Kickstarter, and you’re able to purchase her first three available kits. And trust me, you’ll want it. Watch the video on the site to get all the lowdown, but...

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Tender tot knees get stylish protection

Look; I really can’t get behind putting a pair of kneepads on a toddler. Aside from the hassle (and how dumb it looks) I’m of the “we all crawled on our bare knees and survived” camp of parenting. But when mom Kathryn Ames was faced with her hemophiliac crawling son’s bruised knees, she decided to come up with a solution that would be stylish enough for everyone. Thus Bruz Wear padded-knee pants were born. They offer protection for a crawling baby or rough-and-tumble little kid, plus support and advocacy for the hemophilia community with every purchase. No need for...

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Want brownies, kid? Make them yourself.

Back when we first told you about the all-natural, nothing-yucky baking mixes from Kids Central Kitchen, we were already impressed. But they’ve gone and raised the bar. Or the snack bar?[don’t miss a sweet discount after the jump] Not that we were complaining before, but they’ve gone ahead and improved the mixes so they taste even better. Mixes for goodies like pancakes, energy bars and chocolate brownies are still made of whole grains, and never any HFCS or anything else you’d rather keep out of your kitchen (and your kids). My kids are old enough to bake these all...

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Where to shop for tweens? Here!

Any mom to a girl between the ages of 7 and 14 knows the dreaded Pit Of Despair when it comes to dressing them–it seems like most choices at that age fall into either the “too cutesy” or “way too mature” camp. So what’s a mama to a discerning tween or early teen fashionista to do? One new option: Shop online at Sol Tween. This online boutique caters to sizes 8-14, with the same carefully curated selection of designer pieces you normally find from boutique brands that only come in smaller sizes. There’s nothing too cutesy, absolutely nothing skanky,...

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How Boys + Books = BFFs

 Pam Allyn knows books, and she knows boys; she also knows, as a literacy expert, that for a variety of reasons, our boys are more vulnerable to being left behind academically and succumbing to undesirable behaviors if they’re not proficient readers. That’s why she started Books for Boys a decade ago, a literacy mentoring program for at-risk youth in NYC’s foster care system. Allyn believes that engaging boys in reading can quite literally change their lives. And that goes for all of our boys–hence her new book designed to assist parents and teachers with all reluctant Y-chromosome readers from...

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Chirply – Chirp if you love community design

As much as I love Threadless, I only need so many t-shirts, y’know? But it was only a matter of time before someone would realize that the model of letting the community submit artwork and then vote submissions up for production would catch on for other products, too. Like these greeting cards at Chirply Both the way the submissions and voting process work, and the wacky designs seem to take a page from my beloved crowdsourced t-shirt website, only here I can buy as many cards as I want. Because hey, there’s always a reason to send someone a card,...

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Now, kids can get paid to do good

You might remember when we told you about YesKidzCan!, the folks who are helping your kids figure out ways they can start changing the world for the better right now. We love their mission and their Act of Kindness kits, but now they’re taking it even further. Check it out: They’ve just launched the Social Kidpreneurz Awards, and it’s all about helping kids give back to society in creative ways that work for them. Applications are open now and run through June 1, 2011; fifty recipients will win $100 of seed money apiece to fund their “business-like activity that...

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Metal lunch boxes like the olden days, only way cooler

Remember back when lunch boxes were actually metal? I had a Holly Hobby one I adored (no cracks about my age, please!), though if I’d had the option of having my name on the box I probably would’ve happily chucked Holly for that. Name Your Design is covering eco-friendly, lead-free tin lunch boxes in cute designs featuring your child’s name. But that’s not the only reason they’re cool. They’re taking the retro metal lunch box one step further with a chalkboard surface inside the lid. Write a sappy note, draw a little picture, or remind kids to turn in...

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Buy me some peanuts and BabyLegs

It can be mighty windy up in the stands, but even if you’re staying home to watch the game on the TV, every tot-sized baseball fan needs a pair of baseball-themed leg warmers, right? Just in time for the start of baseball season, I am loving these Homerun BabyLegs. It’s the perfect way to keep legs warm (while still making diaper changes or pottying a snap) and display love for America’s Pasttime, without resorting to logo-mania. Like all BabyLegs, they’re great for all sizes from babies to little kids, and they can be worn on the arms or legs....

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The Giving Effect – Spring cleaning meets targeted giving

Every year at about this time, I start digging out my kids’ closets, then the other closets, and before I know it, I’m on a veritable sort-and-chuck rampage. When the dust settles, I usually have an entire carload of garbage bags ready to go to charity. Usually I drop off at the big national charity that’s got a donation dumpster right down the road. But. I don’t ever do cash charity donations to “whatever’s closest,” so why am I doing that with my stuff? Probably because–until now–I didn’t know about The Giving Effect. Just  input your zip code on...

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Handy hooks, hold the hammer

Kids seem to require an inordinate amount of Stuff Corralling, and I’m okay with that; but I’m not okay with putting holes in the walls every time I want the kids to stop putting everything they own on the floor because “I don’t have anywhere else to put it.” Up until now, every so-called “non-marking” hook I’d found either 1) left a mark or 2) fell off the wall the first time you actually hung something on it. These Jelly Bean Bath Hooks from Slip-X are different. Maybe it’s because they’re nice and big, but their suction cups grab on...

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Field notes from a journey of unexpected grace

Kyran Pittman’s subtitle for her memoir Planting Dandelions is “Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life.” I hope she’ll forgive me for repurposing it here to tell you why this is the mothering memoir you would be foolish to skip because you think they’re all the same. If you read Kyran’s blog, Notes To Self, or if you’ve caught her work in Good Housekeeping, you already know that she excels at weaving words into imagery and painting every detail of a scene until you feel like you’re standing right there with her, or maybe right inside her head. Even having...

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Meal planning just hooked up with your local grocery store

There’s plenty of websites where you can go check out this week’s grocery sales, if you’re into that sort of thing. (Not judging, just, um, snore.) And we’ve reviewed plenty of websites and apps to help you do your weekly meal planning, too. But this is the first we’ve seen of a glorious melding of the two. At Food on the Table, you enter some basic information like your family’s food preferences, plus your preferred grocery stores, and then not only can you then pick from amongst suggested recipes, it’ll highlight items on sale this week with approximate savings...

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Threadless and Baggu are a tote bag perfect match

Does this rainbow umbrella design look familiar? It probably does–it’s just one of the designs you’ll find over at Threadless, which recently teamed up with Cool Mom Picks favorite Baggu to produce a whole series of recycled cotton canvas totes (Baggu’s “duck bag”) in a variety of cool options. I’ve always loved that Baggu put a sturdy shoulder strap on these bags–much as I love a conventional tote, sometimes after a visit to the library some extra support is welcome–and now I can even pick one of my favorite artist renderings to make it even cooler. It looks like...

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Fine & Raw ruins me for regular chocolate

I thought I knew good chocolate. I rather pride myself on favoring the high cacao content and richer taste of the more expensive brands. But I had never even heard of raw chocolate when one of my readers was kind enough to ask if she could send me a “little something” she thought I would enjoy. Raw chocolate? Wouldn’t that be… a cacao pod? Well, yes and no. According to Fine & Raw, the difference between their methods and conventional chocolate-making is that their end product is much closer to the source than most–they use low temperatures which preserve...

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