Author: Mir

LEGO storage that kids won’t forget to use

LEGO is, in my mind, the quintessential building toy of childhood. I played with it when I was little; both of my kids–their ages in double digits–still love to build with it. The problem, of course, is that no matter what LEGO storage solutions I come up with, there seems to always be a stray brick or ten on the floor, waiting to skewer my foot. While this BOX4BLOX LEGO organizer hasn’t solved all of my LEGO woes, it’s gone a long way towards keeping the mess contained, and I’ll tell you why: It’s the only storage system that...

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The best cupcakes are wrapped in cooties

I can’t stop giggling over these printable cupcake wrappers available from the Spaceships and Laser Beams Etsy shop. The description says it’s so hard to find anything for Valentine’s Day that appeals to little boys… and sure, I can see the elementary set loving the germy depiction of love, absolutely. But honestly? Forget the kids. If you have coworkers or a beloved who works in science/medicine, I think the adults will get a huge kick out of these hearts-turned-bacteria cupcake wrappers. A few bucks gets you a downloadable PDF so you can print your own. Or just use them...

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24 Shades of pint-sized fabulous

Having both a boychild and a girlchild, I can assure you that–despite both being wonderful and having their respective proclivities and attributes–dressing girls is just more fun. I’m sorry, but it is. Especially when there are these gorgeous appliqued A-line dresses available from 24 Shades of Green on Etsy. Creator Catherine Byrne brings ten years of New York City Garment District experience to bear on her designs, combining simple, modern lines with just enough color and texture to keep things fun. What little girl wouldn’t love the stripes and whiskers of the kitties on this jersey cat dress (shown),...

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Look yoga-fit, with or without yoga

Let me be absolutely clear, here: While I don’t necessarily agree that yoga pants can only be worn for yoga, I do believe that they’re closer to sweatpants than to jeans. That is to say, I don’t condone the wearing of yoga pants on date night, mamas. There’s a time and a place. That said, yoga pants are awesome for exercising and lounging around wrapping gifts, and if you think that your options are to be comfortable or to look good, I’m about to change your mind. Meet your new favorite exercise gear. They’re yoga pants. Rather, they’re ultra-comfy...

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The Beauty of Different – both different and beautiful

As a longtime reader of Karen Walrond’s blog Chookooloonks, I expected her first book, The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit, to be gorgeous. I’m familiar enough with her pictures to expect the photography to be stunning; I’m familiar enough with her probing writing style to know that her narrative would touch me. I knew these things, because I know Karen. What I didn’t know was how substantial this book would be, and I mean that in every sense of the word. The physical book itself is coffee-table-worthy in its heft and glossiness, and the stories captured within...

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Gluten-free gourmet cookie mix for those of us who’d given up on cookies

I’ve been gluten-free for coming up on a couple of years, now, and while I’ve learned to bake a few essentials, I’ve mostly given up on cookies. Because gluten-free cookies–by and large–suck. And I love to bake, but I’m certainly not going to spend hundreds of dollars on specialty flours and xantham gum and stuff. So when my package of Purely Elizabeth cookie mix arrived, promising gluten-free, vegan, organic goodness… I was already imagining exactly how “delicious” that would be (hint: not very). Sure, the ingredient list is impressive (including my new favorite superfood, chia seeds), but… gluten-free cookies...

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Saving the world, one cup of delicious gourmet coffee at a time

We’ve all heard the standard wisdom that if we each gave up one daily luxury–say, your morning latte–you could put that money towards charity and really make a difference. And I happily gave up my frou-frou coffeeshop runs for brewing at home to save money, but you can pry the coffee cup out of my cold, dead hands, thanks. Now there’s a way to both buy your beans and have your charity, too. Enter the One Cup Project. Let’s start with the coffee itself: It’s a wide variety of blends from Seattle’s award-winning micro-roaster Silver Cup Coffee, and good...

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Now Envirosax is just kidding around

I can’t tell you for sure what longtime CMP favorite Envirosax was thinking with the creation of their new Kid Series reusable bags, but I can tell you what I thought when I saw them: this is going to make demanding help with the groceries even easier! No more bickering about who takes what bag; I can simply tell my daughter to grab the paper dolls bag and direct my son to the rocket bag shown here. Awesome. And I’m sure these eco-friendly reusable bags can do double duty as overnight bags for sleepovers or sub in for a paper...

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The final goodbye to plastic bags

I switched over to reusable grocery bags at the supermarket a long time before I managed to break the plastic produce bag habit, I confess. Because back then, the only “produce” options seemed to be bulky cotton bags that added weight (and therefore cost). But with Flip & Tumble’s new mesh produce bag set, you’re equally good to go at the farmer’s market or the grocery store. They fold down to next to nothing when not in use, and they’re machine washable, too.  While you’re there, check out their new 24-7 Minis, too. How adorable are those? Perfect for kids...

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Eat better, live healthier: ChopChop

I’m not going to bore you with facts and figures about childhood obesity in America, because we’ve all heard it before. What I will tell you is that there is little my kids enjoy more than receiving their own mail, and in particular, magazines addressed to them. The intersection of these two issues–on the one hand, a real problem when it comes to kids and food, and on the other, kids loving their own mags–is where the new quarterly magazine ChopChop comes into play. Research shows that one of the best ways to broaden kids’ palates and get them...

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Fun first aid, always on hand

Woe betide the mother who doesn’t have a Band-Aid in her purse when the need arises. And the thing is, I’ve gotten the hint over the years, and sure, there’s usually a bandage or two smashed down in the bottom of my bag somewhere. But do I have antibiotic ointment? Anti-sting treatment? Moist towelettes? Gauze? Ummmm… well, I do now. [don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!] Sure, I could probably assemble a purse-sized first aid kit all by myself if I was more on top of things, but I’m not, so I went over to me4kidz and...

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Gaggle of Chicks – If you can get over the name, there’s savings to be had

I am not going to mince words here, so let me just say it: I hate that this site is named “Gaggle of Chicks.” Truly. I am not a chick, I am not part of a gaggle, and since when are great deals only for moms? C’mon. So, yes, if you need to take a minute to get past the name, please take it (with my blessing) and then read on. But what Gaggle of Chicks gets wrong on the name, they get absolutely right on the concept.  This is a site for NYC moms to hop on the...

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The game of cute eats

Sure, as a seasoned mama, you know that even the cutest plate won’t keep the applesauce out of baby’s hair and the peas out of her nose, but hope springs eternal. And really, what makes a better baby gift than adorable tot-sized tableware? French Bull‘s latest offerings include this gameboard feeding tray, complete with wee adorable spoon nestled in its slot on the side. Maybe your toddler will eagerly eat along the “path” to score a win, or maybe she’ll just look really adorable while she feeds her dinner to the dog. Either way, I think it’s a pretty...

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Modern telegrams -(STOP)- For real -(STOP)-

It’s unlikely that you need to let anyone know that the stagecoach is likely to be late or that there’s trouble at the train depot, but why should that stop you from adding a vintage twist to that special message? If you go to Telegram Stop, for under $6 you can send an official-looking old-time-y telegram anywhere in the world. How great is that? If you don’t mind straying from the retro theme, you can even include pictures. Send a single message (Congratulations on your new baby -(STOP)-) or use their handy bulk interface to send duplicates to multiple...

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Coloring meets funhouse mirror magic

I’m not going to lie to you: When I opened the Morph-O-Scopes Kit box my daughter received for her birthday one year, I was unimpressed. Some crayons. A shiny cup. And a bunch of coloring pages with a hole in the center, the images all stretched out and weird looking. Honestly I expected to find it all discarded on the floor within 10 minutes. Color me surprised (with or without a shiny cup!) when this optical illusion activity and art kit kept both children happily occupied for days. You put the paper over the reflective cup in the center,...

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Bright and beautiful kids’ art, hold the usual characters

As so many of you know by now, in Cool Mom Picks land, Etsy is always the place to look for the nursery decor that won’t make you say, “That looks just like that print I saw at the store….” And on Etsy, we’re loving Hsin Ping Pan’s shop of lively and unique illustrations, each done via a mix of digital and hand-painting. No standard fairy tale characters here, but plenty of wildest imaginings sprung to life — like the tea party pictured to the left, or friendly dinosaur/SUV hybrids. I don’t know about you, but I feel more...

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One less thing for me to nag my kids about. I like that.

Those of you with little ones probably cannot imagine the day when your tween despairingly announces that her glasses make her look like “a total dork,” but I’m here to tell you that it happens. And suddenly your kid is big enough to wear contact lenses, and yes, she promises to take good care of them and wash them properly and be mature and careful and… what? How long has she been wearing that pair? Um… a while? LensAlert just banished the last of the Lens Wars from my household, because while I don’t think it’s that hard to...

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Because a good night’s sleep makes everything better

I don’t know about your family, but around here, there is no faster path to a terrible day than not everyone getting adequate shut-eye the night before. And if just one of us is cranky, everyone ends up cranky. Bad news. Of course, a great night’s sleep is a complicated thing; you have to have the right prep before bed, the right stuff in bed, and–for so many kids–the right bedtime story. The Goodnight Book for Moms and Little Ones is a little cornucopia of Everything Optimal For Bedtime. For kids, yes, there’s an array of suitable bedtime stories...

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Style, comfort, and karma.

What do you dress your baby in when you want something that’s good for the planet, totally comfortable, and also totally cute? We’ve found quite a few of them over the years and I’m so happy to add Urban Munchkin to the list. [don’t miss the giveaway after the jump!] All of their buttery-soft tops and pants for your little one are made of Fair Trade, organic cotton. They’re flat-seamed and totally comfy for baby–and how cute are these simple mandala tops with words like “love” and “grow?” The dyes are low-impact, and even the packaging is recycled. I...

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Free money management help just got more helpful. If not more free.

You may already know that Mint.com is a fantastic one-stop destination for money management on the Net; it’s as close to a bookkeeping genie as most of us mere mortals are going to get. I love that you can sync up your bank accounts, credit cards, stock portfolio, and more, and Mint.com will manage it all in one place. Their latest feature, however, is raising the bar for financial wizardry for those of us who can use a little wizard-like intervention. The brand-new Goals section is very smart. It allows you to not just manage what already exists in...

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