Author: Stephanie Slate

The GB Evoq Travel System: Making us rethink the need to own multiple strollers

It sometimes seems like there’s a new stroller on the market every week. Great for new parents looking for lots of choices, not so great when you have to make a decision about which one to get. For some families, though, there’s an easy way to pare down the options: Cost. Strollers can be so expensive these days, it can feel like you’ve got to make a choice between getting one and affording to clothe your new baby for the first five years of its life. (If in doubt, go with clothes.) Affordability is the very reason I love the GB line of strollers...

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Our favorite handmade toy boxes: Now personalized, on sale, and supporting a really special cause

June is going to be a busy month in the studio of one of our favorite modern kids’ furniture makers, Kiersten Hathcock of Mod Mom Furniture. The Shark Tank winner, cool mom, and handmade toy box builder extraordinaire — along with her dad (love that!) — are going back to basics, and building some really beautiful custom toy boxes in the garage by hand, just like she used to back in 2007 when she founded the company. And when we first shared her toy chests with you.  If you need to get your playroom or a kid’s room more organized, this is a perfect opportunity. While all her...

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Personalized Starbucks coffee cups: Now the barista has no choice but to get your name right.

Believe it or not, the clock is already ticking for custom teacher gifts. School is ending within weeks for some kids (gah!) and, for better or for worse, we parents will soon realize just how deserving those teachers are of a really awesome gift. Luckily, we’ve found a simple, affordable one that’s way better than a Starbucks card and sure to be a hit with any teacher who comes into class each day with a coffee in hand. Personalized Starbucks coffee cups from maevelymade on Etsy are so much fun but what we’re particularly impressed with, is that they were conceived of and designed by...

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A fantastic kid safe drinking glass that resists breaking and better, fighting.

It’s “please drink more water, kids” season around here. But you know that feeling at the end of the day when there are little stacks of drinking glasses filling the dishwasher or sink because each of your kids was thirsty and used a new glass about eleven times that day and you can hardly bear to have to clean or put away every single one? Well the Kupp’ Kid Safe Drinking Glasses are about to solve my mess problems with the loveliest little drinking glasses ever. Designed by a smart mom of three, the 6-ounce glass features a grippy, BPA-free silicone sleeve to keep...

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6 Tooth fairy gifts for kids getting ready to lose teeth faster than that little winged collector can keep up.

You know that time your kid turns 6 (or 5 or 7) and suddenly they start losing a whole slew of teeth in what feels like five minutes? That’s what’s going on in my house right now, as my daughter yanks out tooth after tooth. Seriously, this kid is proactive in the tooth removal department. So it’s only logical that I’ve been having some fun looking online for cool tooth fairy gifts for kids losing teeth. Not that she’ll get one for every tooth; I think the tooth fairy’s bounty for incisors and bicuspids cover that. But I love the delightful...

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Could the new toddler bedding from Aden + Anais keep your kid in bed longer? Hey, we’ll try anything.

I have a four-year-old. And in spite of putting him to sleep in his own bed each night, I wake up to his sweet little face beside me in my bed almost every single morning. I’m okay with that, but I am ready for whatever magical solution may keep him in his own bed once in a while so I’m willing to see if the new Aden + Anais toddler bedding bed in a bag does the trick. This is the same, soft Aden + Anais muslin so many babies these days are being swaddled in (my son, included), but it’s brilliantly designed so that the flat...

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Little Bellwoods toys: The smaller the creatures, the bigger the awww…

My kids have a penchant for falling in love with tiny things. I can’t blame them; I’m the very same way. The smaller and cuter a toy happens to be, the more we all adore it. So how could we resist the heart-meltingly adorable creations over at the Little Bellwoods Etsy shop? Short answer: We can’t. Every little stuffed animal is cuter than the next. Skunks, foxes, and, well, the cutest toy birds I have ever seen in my entire life. And every little one is made by hand –and obviously with love, too– by a Canadian mom. (Toronto, represent!) I’ll...

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The Girl’s Guide to DIY Fashion: Sew (ahem) much fun

By the time I learned how to sew, I was already a mama of two and trying to fit what little sewing ability I had acquired into what little time I had to spare. Needless to say, my output wasn’t exactly abundant. If only I’d learned how to sew as a child I would have already been a whiz by the time my kids were born. And they might have ended up with more than just a pair of pyjama pants, or two. A brand new book, The Girl’s Guide to DIY Fashion, is about to make sewists (they don’t call themselves sewers...

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Olive Us are excited about the new 1st Film Festival

Have you heard? Our favorite filmmaking family of 8 just announced a film festival for children and we couldn’t be more excited! Our love of Gabrielle Blair and her beautiful family runs deep. From her amazing new Design Mom book to her delightful short film series, Olive Us, featuring all of her gorgeous six (yes, six!) children, she inspires all of our children to get up and “move or make or do,” so we’re quite obviously big fans. And now the Blair family is launching another fabulous creative endeavour called 1st Film Festival, a celebration of films made by,...

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You know it’s natural nail polish when there’s spinach in it

I’m known to friends as slightly (ahem) neurotic when it comes to using eco and natural products for everything from face creams to house cleaners, so a line of natural nail polishes called Play Love Laugh from Hugo Naturals for my kids? A no-brainer. They get a freshly-painted thumbs up from all of us. The polish is free from the five main chemical offenders in nail polish, but also all kinds of others including FD&C dyes. And because it’s made from all non-toxic ingredients that include fruits and veggies — yup, even spinach — it’s actually a great choice for kids who suck on...

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The Book of Life is one fascinating website. Or is it a book.

So, there’s this really interesting website called The Book of Life. And I’m trying to figure out how to describe it, but I keep coming up empty. Is it an encyclopedic resource? An online self-help book? A place to turn for philosophical discourse? It’s kind of all of that and more and it’s unlike any website I’ve ever seen. Brought to you by London’s The School of Life, they’re calling it a book, which it mostly is and a little bit isn’t, because that’s how we’re to use it; by navigating chapters written by multiple contributing authors. The chapters focus on what...

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Mitera maternity and nursing dresses: If you’ve got the dough, they’ve got the perfect LBDs.

Okay, I’m going to get one important thing out of the way first: The maternity and nursing clothing line I’m about to tell you about is a splurge. Like, a really big splurge. But if your best friend has the nerve to get married when you’re still nursing your baby; or say you’re pregnant and have a super-important work event for which you need a super-amazing dress that says I’m still in the game, oh colleague who’s eyeing my job; or even if you just want to gaze at the pictures of these amazing dresses and imagine yourself wearing them, then Mitera maternity and...

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The Burley Solstice reinvents the jogging stroller with some amazing features.

If you’re part of the baby biker set (and I don’t mean leather jackets and chaps), you probably already know Burley. They’ve been making great bike trailers and accessories for over 35 years. I’m excited about the new Burley Solstice, however, which is a stand-alone stroller and whole new world for Burley. And they’ve definitely risen to the challenge. The Burley Solstice jogging stroller (a great price right now at our affiliate Amazon) is billed as a “premium jogging stroller” and as soon as it comes out of the box, it’s easy to see why. As expected, it’s rugged with a metal...

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A Place to Live is a picture book that charms, engages, and hopefully lulls to sleep.

Sometimes the simplest books are a parent’s best friend at bedtime. Few words, pretty pictures, calming premise. These are the elements that come together perfectly in Case Jernigan’s A Place to Live, a lovely book for a new reader–or a parent desperate to put a toddler to sleep. Either way, the results are magical. A Place to Live hails from Home Grown Books, an outstanding small press in NYC, should you be the kind of parent always looking for something special for the bookshelf. All their books are developed in collaborations between outstanding artists and educators, and produced locally or with the help of fair trade global collectives. But...

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A fun tissue holder to get kids smiling through the phlegm.

Kids will always have runny noses. Always. So I’m all for adding a little fun to the dreaded Parental Nose Wipe with this adorable Whale Tissue Holder we spotted at Etsy shop ShopSparklyPony. We think that kids’ tissue holders can be a little corny at times,  but this little whale is a charming work of art. Lovingly hand crafted and–get this– “individually tested for proper tissue-release,” each whale is stamped, dated, signed and numbered so you know your Moby Dick is an original. Because you know that’s just the kind of thing that kids care about when they’re home with a miserable cold....

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Rental maternity clothes: the genius way to look good at holiday parties

Having three babies in the winter means I spent three Decembers struggling with whether or not I should invest in a maternity winter coat I would only wear for a month or two. Same with holiday party dresses. It was such a shame to buy clothing I knew would get such limited use. If only I’d had Borrow For Your Bump rental maternity clothes,  I’m pretty sure I would have been their best customer. Borrow for your Bump is like Rent the Runway for the pregnant set–genius for all the mamas who want to look amazing while pregnant without investing too heavily...

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Adorable personalized wooden ornaments for kids who wants to see their own names on the tree. That’s, all of them.

Every Christmas, one of my kids’ favorite things to do is reminisce about each ornament as we hang it on the tree. Sure, it takes us a long time to get the whole thing decorated, but we love trying to remember the story behind each one, and some of the most special are those personalized ornaments we own, customized with names, dates, or pictures right on them. So when I saw the simple and lovely personalized wooden ornaments (they’re bamboo!) from the family-run Graphic Spaces Wood featured in our gift guide in our list of cool personalized gifts for kids, I knew my family needed one. Or...

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Well Lottie da, the newest Lottie doll is a boy

We’re big fans of the Lottie doll line here at Cool Mom Picks. She looks like a real kid, has cool adventures, and encourages girls to be themselves, whether they dream of being pirates, soccer pros, or lighthouse keepers. So you can imagine our excitement when we learned about her new pal Finn, the first boy doll in the line. Lottie boy doll Finn is all set to join Branksea Festival Lottie dressed in a Kite Festival outfit, or dress him up in a Gone Fishing outfit for next year’s Shark Week. What’s refreshing to me as a mom is that Finn comes with no guns,...

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Mo Willems wall decals are here! (A.K.A. Don’t let the pigeon get his hands on the dry erase markers.)

Beloved children’s author and illustrator, Mo Willems, has been providing my kids and me with bedtime guffaws (seriously, it’s way beyond just a little tittering) since, well, since forever. So I can only imagine the kind of silliness that would ensue if we got one of the five new sets of  Mo Willems wall decals he’s created for Blik. Everyone’s favorite dejected pigeon is ready to up the bedtime ante with these hilarious wall decals that smartly include a few blank dry-erase speech bubbles so that kids (and parents, don’t forget the parents) can create wall-sized Pigeon stories of their own....

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Cloth diaper covers too cute to cover up.

Baby bums are cute, but cloth-diapered baby bums? Well, they’re really something else. So when I learned about the lovely new handmade-to-order cloth diaper covers by Carissa Halbmaier in the Cool Mom Picks Indie Shop, I got just a little bit excited thinking about all the babies I’ll be able to buy them for. (Update: They’re now available at the Barrel and a Heap Etsy shop.) These bright, bold geometric prints are nothing like the plain primary-colored cloth diaper covers from my diapering days. And looks aside, these covers are also conveniently designed to grow with baby, plus lined with PUL fabric...

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