Author: Mir

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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