Author: Shari

The Petit Collage book of crafts: Perfect for DIYers, or those who always wanted to be.

It’s entirely possible that we are Petit Collage groupies, considering how many times we’ve gushed over their beautifully designed toys, books, and kids’ room decor. And now with Petit Collage 25 Easy Craft + Decor Projects For A Playful Home, we have even more cause to celebrate, because the marvelous artist Lorena Siminovich has written her first book of crafts and decor, with all 25 projects taken straight from her bestselling collection. Released today, this is a lovely little book that makes for such good eye-candy, you might just want to turn the pages and never attempt a single project. That said,...

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Adorable spring clothing for kids, because it’s almost warm. Really. It is.

Time to peel your child out of the seventeen layers of winter clothing and think about short-sleeved dresses, rompers and sunhats. No, seriously. All you have to do is look at that gorgeous kurta top in the Rikshaw Design line of spring clothing for kids to know why this small label one of our major faves.   With their hand block-printed florals and animals on the softest Indian cotton voile, these cap sleeve dresses, bubble rompers, and burp & bib sets just (gently) scream warmer temperatures and comfy lounging for babies and toddlers. Oh, and did we mention the perfect sunhat? If only we could get a...

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Sure, I let my toddler drink soda! Just kidding.

Oh, those shiny, shiny cans of soda pop that your children look at so longingly. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could have the shiny outside without the sugar inside? Well, thanks to the clever design of these Cozy Cans reusable drink cups for kid from the awesome folks at Beatrix NY, your kids can have all of the beverage flash and panache with none of the high-fructose corn syrup.   These environmentally-friendly, lead and BPA-free, bright and sassy, vacuum-insulated cans with “brand names” like Dino-licious and Bubbly Bug are made to keep liquids hot or cold. The stainless steel construction feels very sturdy and...

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DIY Room Kits that you can DWYK (Do With Your Kids).

If your kids are anything like mine (and good luck with that), they want to change the theme of their room weekly. My son has gone from “make it all green” to “make it all Minecraft” to “MOTORCYCLES!” this week alone. It’s times like these that we are grateful for smart designers and their clever creations, like the brand-new and super-cool DIY Room Kits from one of our favorite shops, Children Inspire Design.   Each themed kit includes an 11×14 print, four 8x10s, a set of wall cards and two DIY projects for decorative garlands and mobiles. With charming choices...

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A tea towel that talks back.

We love functional. We also love whimsical. So when the two come together? Boom. The hard-working tea towel gets a charm makeover in designer Christina Weber’s Studiopatro shop–and with a quote by indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, no less.   With 100% linen, a splash of color, and some fun and thoughtful words, these tea towels from Weber’s studio at Martha Stewart American Made get the job done while injecting a little beauty and whimsy into your day. Who knows? You may want one to dry your dishes, and another to hang on your wall for inspiration. Get the Devour tea towel for $24...

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Personalized wooden hangers: Just girlie enough

Sure, we like pink and girly decorations for our daughters’ room–unless they’re too much like visual cotton candy. That’s why I love these personalized wooden hangers from the Etsy shop RedHandGang; sweet, but not saccharine and dare I say adorable. There, I said it. Because it’s true. With their clean, cheerful lines and hand-painted charm, these would make a lovely gift for that girl who’s a little bit girlie and a whole lot chic. You’re not going to hang a winter coat on them, but for some kid costume jewelry, belts, or other accessories, they’d look great right on...

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Happy National Puzzle Day! 8 irresistible puzzles for toddlers that make fabulous little gifts

Just in case you didn’t know, it’s National Puzzle Day. And we like puzzles! So I’ve put together 8 of the most creative jigsaws, blocks, stackers, wooden, handmade, felt and letter puzzles for toddlers that are perfect for kids just starting to get that pattern recognition and small motor skill thing down. And they all have the added benefit of looking great on a shelf. Just don’t lose those pieces!     This sweet and chunky 9-block animal puzzle encourages kids to build 6 different animals — and maybe create a few hybrids of their own. (Hape, $14.99)   Is this...

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Comfy seating for your growing reader

We’re always happy when one of our favorite companies surprises us with a cool new design. P’kolino has done just that with a perfect new perch for your favorite little reader. Leave it to one of our favorite brands to win us over again with their new Reader Children’s Chair. We know that the junior version, The Little Reader Chair, is wildly popular with the toddler crowd. But now kids 4 and up can get in on the cozy action with the “grown-up” version (should 4 be grown-up), in bold, graphic new styles and patterns. I’m partial to the cool...

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Every mother’s path is different. Or is it?

As the Big Day approaches (and that’s Mother’s Day with a capital M), our thoughts turn to mothering: our own mothering, how we were mothered, and “holy mutha, did you see how expensive greeting cards are now?!” Of course, the internet and parenting bloggers give testament to just how important this job/calling/biological necessity is, and a new series of essays provides a sweet, multi-layered and often funny read for all you cool literary moms out there. Curated by Meagan Francis, blogger and author of The Happiest Mom, the series of essays entitled My Path to Motherhood showcase personal stories...

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Read much and dream big with Isabella: Star Of The Story

I was a crazy obsessive reader as a child (still am), and I can still remember the absolute thrill of opening a new book and entering the new world of a story. So it was pure joy to relive that feeling with my daughter as we opened a new world together: the world of Jennifer Fosberry’s Isabella. Those familiar with the award-winning Isabella series know that our girl Izzy explores the idea of herself as famous women in history (My Name Is Not Isabella) and travels the world without leaving her neighborhood (Isabella: Girl On The Go), but my favorite...

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Party on and on with this reusable birthday banner

Does anyone get as grumpy as I do about spending money on birthday party decorations that you use once before they become landfill?  Well thanks to this new, affordable reusable banner from CMP favorite Butch and Harold, I’m feeling much happier. We’ve seen a lot of cool eco-friendly party banners, but none like Butch & Harold’s adorable Birthday Stickr banner, which is actually a set of wall decals with sticker letters that spell out “Happy Birthday!” To use it, just stick this birthday sign to your wall and move it with ease. And when the party’s over, you pull...

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Awesome street clothes. Sesame Street, to be exact.

Seeing as my Christmas card this year was a photograph of me with an 8-foot Cookie Monster (yeah, my kids are in there, too, somewhere), I make no secret of my undying affection for the gang on the street called Sesame. So I’m loving an adorable T-shirt from perennial CMP favorite Threadless, and if you’re a Sesame Street lover, I think you will too.     This cream-colored 100% cotton Sesame Street tee from artist Glen Brogan via the Threadless Sesame Street T-Shirt Design Challenge which we covered has a cool retro feel and a lively spirit as fun as the...

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See yourself in LEGO

Ah, LEGOs, you who are so much fun to play with and so painful to step on in bare feet, it appears that you have reinvented yourself again. You already teach math, you’re a cell phone,  you appear in Escher art, you’re even a dreidel, and now you can create a custom LEGO mosaic portrait? Seriously little bricks, you are just too versatile. If you’ve ever wanted to see yourself in LEGOs (or a loved one, favorite celebrity or a LEGO-friendly landscape) then Brixels is for you. With Brixels, you can create your own Pixel artworks out of LEGO...

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Throw an awesome birthday party for kids without a lick of planning

I’m all about at-home birthday parties for kids. Which is not to say that they don’t stress me out, because they totally stress me out. But the idea is so appealing and old-fashioned, isn’t it? You know, if someone else would do all the planning and purchasing of said old-fashioned, appealing idea. Well, that’s where this marvelous new service steps in. Parties By Alex is a lovely, homegrown business from mom Alexandra McGee and dad Tony Gentile, who were inspired to start the biz after planning a party for their son quickly became a major (and expensive!) hassle. McGee and Gentile...

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Fast Fruit for grownups on the GoGo. (Yes, squeeze packs for grownups!)

I can’t be the only parent who’s swiped my kids’ squeezable fruit pouches. I love fruit so much, I could be a fruitarian with very little prompting. And now there’s a fruit pouch for us grown folks, with some decidedly grown-up flavors. Score! CMP favorite GoGo squeeZ has launched Fast Fruit, each with a full serving of 100% fruit in Apple-Peach-Passion Fruit, Apple-Mango-Pineapple-Banana, and Apple-Cranberry-Raspberry (I’m drooling just writing those flavors). Each pack has a built-in straw (veddy adult, of course) and yes, the packages can be recycled. It’s also a great option for slightly older kids, because the portion size...

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Take on picky eaters this season with The Picky Palate cookbook

I love cookbooks. I’ve never once turned out a dish that looks anything like sumptuous food photos, but a gal can dream, can’t she? Especially around the holidays–oh, to be that hostess. Since I despise ingredient lists longer than Homer’s Odyssey, I’m really pumped to have found a new cookbook with yummy photography, minimal recipe ingredient lists, and delicious results. There may just be hope for me–and my holiday table–yet. The popular food blogger Jenny Flake has turned out her first cookbook, The Picky Palate, based on her wildly popular blog of the same name. Jenny’s genius ability to create really fun,...

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Because retro rocks: vintage concert tees for hip kids

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m probably the least cool parent there is when it comes to music. I did have a brief David Bowie-loving phase, but other than that hip hiccup, my tastes tend more towards maudlin musical theater and 1970s story songs. Which is why I was delighted to find these uber-hip-retro-rock tees for kids–my children won’t suffer the music dork label I’ve carried my entire life. The 60s concert t-shirts from Wolfgang’s Vault carry an amazing pedigree. In the heyday of the rock concert, Bill Graham commissioned incredible works of promotional art, and lucky for us, he preserved quite...

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Alphabet awesome: cookie cutters as easy as A-B-C

My son has been obsessed with the alphabet since he was two years old–so much so, that he was the alphabet for Halloween two years in a row (ask me how I pulled off those costumes). And his nickname? Letter Boy. I kid you not.  So you can imagine how excited I was to find these alphabetastic cookie cutters. Because what’s better for an alphabet-obsessed kid than the ABCs masquerading as COOKIES? LETTERPressed cookie cutters, from the always fun company The Spoon Sisters, come with all 26 letters, an ampersand and exclamation point, packed into a reusable storage tray–all this for a friendly $21....

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Etsy Gift Cards! Whoo! We’re officially thinking holidays now.

In Italian, “Etsi, finalmente!” translates rather perfectly into, “Oh, yes, finally!” Which was pretty much my exact sentiment upon hearing that the famously uber-cool online marketplace Etsy is now offering gift cards, just in time for the holidays. [don’t miss a great limited time offer after the jump!] Rejoice fellow Etsy fans, the site now offers a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Etsy gift card that can be emailed to a friend or printed out the old-fashioned way. I know I have a very soft spot in my heart for Etsy, having purchased a one-of-a-kind painting from an artist in Israel last year...

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Celebrate International Day of the Girl with Cool (Girl) Picks

October 11 is an exciting day at Cool Mom Picks, because what’s more amazing than girls? Initiated by the United Nations, today is the very first International Day of the Girl Child, a day highlighting the challenges and injustices that girls all over the globe continue to battle. So today, along with sharing our favorite girl-related charities, we celebrate the amazing young women of the world by sharing our favorite “strong girl” picks.  Artist Amanda Visell’s gorgeous strong girls prints (above) remind us: sometimes the knight in shining armor a girl needs most is herself.  Want your smart little...

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