Author: Mir

Safe and yummy treats, now homemade

We first raved about Divvies Bakery almost four years ago, when we discovered that nut-free, dairy-free, and egg-free didn’t have to mean yummy-free. There’s nothing not to love about vegan, kosher, most-common-allergen-free bakery treats that actually taste the way treats ought to taste. And now you can make the Divvies magic happen right in your own kitchen, with the release of their cookbook. The Divvies Bakery Cookbook is your home guide to food allergy-friendly versions of sweets, from the cupcakes kids love to more adult pies and cobblers. There’s slushie recipes too and even a dairy-free chocolate pudding. Every...

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Trading Cradles – It’s like Twitter and Craigslist had a really well-behaved baby

Honestly, the number of hoops you have to jump through to sell on eBay these days is crazy (who has the patience?), and I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels like Craigslist is overrun with scammers, cheapskates and crazy people. So what’s a mama with limited time and some quality pre-owned baby gear to do? If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, check out Trading Cradles, which is specifically for busy parents who want to sell or find gear for their tots. Perhaps the very best part: There’s a 250-character limit on descriptions, so...

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Cool kid travel guides they’ll actually read

When we moved to Georgia, I tried to pad the transition with various books about what a great place it was and the interesting things that have happened here. My efforts were met with a resounding “meh” from my children. Hmph. Of course, the brand new Cool Stuff Every Kid Should Know city guides from Arcadia Kids weren’t around, back then, otherwise I could have gotten them the Atlanta book and totally won them over.   Even though we live here, now, both kids pronounced this little book “totally cool,” and why not? It’s chock-full of not just landmarks...

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How to parent smarter, with a little help from an expert

Betsy Brown Braun’s You’re Not the Boss of Me promises to brat-proof your 4- to 12-year old, and so my natural aversion to parenting manuals was overcome by curiosity as to whether such a thing was actually possible. I quickly fell deeply, shamelessly in love with Braun’s no-nonsense, straightforward approach to parenting productively. “Don’t bother with ‘good job,'” she says. “What does that even mean, anyway?” A simple change to our automatic inclination to offer praise — mention how responsible your child was for making that particular choice, for example — and now you’re fostering good choices rather than...

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The pros and cons of 6 top online coupon sites

As most of us frugal online shoppers know by now, you don’t buy something without first checking to see if there’s a coupon code and a way to get it cheaper. It’s why we work really hard to secure exclusive codes for our readers here. Well, you should also know that when I’m not here at Cool Mom Picks, I’m busy finding the best deals and coupon codes to share over on my frugal-minded site, Want Not. It’s really the only site you need for coupons and deals if I do say so. In fact, it’s the only one...

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A girls’ guide to middle school mojo

We’re heading into our second year of middle school, here, and it’s been… interesting. It’s definitely a whole different ballgame than elementary school, particularly for girls, who tend to morph into social piranhas pretty early. Is your little darling feeling some trepidation about this new phase? No sweat! The creators of Girls’ Life magazine teamed up with Scholastic, and their Ultimate Guide to Surviving Middle School hits just the right notes in making junior high sound like a brave new adventure. It’s positive and energetic without veering into chirpy, and discusses everything from making new friends, to keeping your...

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3D movies now (duh) more for kids

You’d think it would stand to reason that companies would understand that most of the movie-goers to animated 3D movies are, you know, kids. And yet, until last month, any cinema showing a RealD 3D movie offered just one (ginormous) size of 3D glasses for your viewing pleasure. But now it’s kind of cool that you can hit the movies and leave the cries of Mommy, they’re too big, they keep falling! behind; RealD now offers kid-sized specs for the little ones. They come in the same sanitary single-pair wrapping as their adult-sized counterparts, but are sized to be...

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Light up the night

It’s hard to imagine right now — as the kids run around outside in pure daylight until well past 8:00 — that the days are getting shorter, again. And before we know it, we’ll be back to those early mornings of heading out to school when it’s still dark out. Alas. Fortunately, thanks to these cool reflectors from Firefly, you can easily make sure your kiddo is plenty visible and feed their need for cool. There’s tons of different options, each reflector handily masquerading as a bit of standard kid-bling to hang on a backpack or jacket zipper pull....

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Like an audio scrapbook of awesomeness

Ever been the person in charge of a group gift, and discovered that special circle of purgatory that involves trying to contact large numbers of people and keep track of who’s done what and who still needs to contribute? Yeah. Not fun. And then there’s the icing on the cake, which is deciding whose names to put on the finished product even if not everyone participated. Well, SpeakSake offers a unique and very personal way to make a gift for one from many say, for a retiring teacher, Grandma’s 90th birthday, or a great germ-free way for everyone to...

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Like putting baby in a bubble, but prettier. And less crazy.

Who amongst us hasn’t wanted to put our precious newborn in a germ-free, weather-protected, cocoon of safety at some point? That’s not just me, right? But the problem with any sort of covering for an infant seat is that it’s generally either 1) incomplete or 2) ugly. But aha! Meet Berry Goods Baby, inventors and purveyors of boutique-quality over-the-handle infant carrier covers. Not only are the fabrics pretty, the cover protects baby from mosquitoes, rain, and sticky-fingered strangers at the supermarket for those of you freaked out about such things. Fold back one flap to access the handle, fold...

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