Author: Stephanie Slate

An adorable doll carrier for future babywearers

I’m a veteran babywearer, so it’s no surprise that the first thing my daughter thinks about when she wants to take her dolls for a walk is putting them into a carrier. We’ve always had cute little doll pouches for her babies, but with whyknotmom’s Reversible Doll Carrier, she finally has one that looks like the Ergo her little brother used to pretty much live in, and she couldn’t be more excited. These adorable customizable doll carriers come in a variety of colorful fabrics with black on the reverse to better simulate mom’s or dad’s carrier. With adjustable waist and shoulder straps, they’ll...

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The best new all-terrain strollers: We see you rollin’.

Having been the resident stroller expert around here for years, believe it or not, I still get excited when I hear about cool new jogging strollers. It’s great to know that stroller manufacturers are increasingly thinking about us who want to push our kids around more places than a shiny mall floor. And now there are three new all-terrain stroller models on the way that are so cool, you new parents in the market for one are going to have a tough time choosing a favorite.   ORBIT BABY O2 STROLLER I loved my Orbit stroller with my own children; it was so versatile and easy...

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Shake it up baby.

In my early days of parenting, finding beautiful handmade baby gifts was something you really had to work on. But now, they’re popping up everywhere. And as we try to pare it down to just our favorites we’re happy to discover Cheengoo who just might make the cutest crocheted baby rattles in the world. Besides cute, the handmade rattles are totally eco-friendly, crocheted from 100% pesticide-free bamboo yarn that makes them super-soft, naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic. That may sound like marketing speak until you think about how much your newborn is going to have these against his sensitive skin–or in that sensitive mouth. (Fact.) Plus they’re made by...

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DIYers: Get inspired with these very cool handmade rubber stamps

Ever since a Cool Mom Picks editor forwarded me a link to the Creatiate Etsy shop devoted solely to cool handmade rubber stamps, I’ve been imagining the inky possibilities. These stamps are gorgeous–like I wish I could spend a week stamping an entire wall in my house to make the world’s prettiest wallpaper gorgeous. And while that might be going a bit overboard, embellishing stationery, kids’ party invitations and loot bags, and making just about any flat surface lovelier isn’t, right? There are so many designs–see what sparks your own imagination.     The shop owner can also customize a stamp for...

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ToGoKins: Little cloth napkins with a big impact

My kids’ backpacks are filled to bursting every morning as they leave for school, with books, lunch, snacks, and whatever else they can find to cram in there, it seems. Adding something else to that haul might seem ludicrous, but I love the environmental aspect of sending them off with cloth napkins like ToGoKins. Those of you who are crafty might be able to make them yourself,  but for me, it would be June before I pull out my sewing machine and actually do it. So this little Etsy shop is a great resource. Their adorable little cloth napkins are just that. Little. (And...

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The insulated water bottle that makes my heart S’well

When I asked my friend at the park about her water bottle and she told me it was, and I quote, the best water bottle in the world, obviously I had to know more. She introduced me to S’well, a line of insulated water bottles that keep drinks cold without leaking or getting any condensation on the side. And it turns out I may be the last to know about them, since they were featured in our back to school guide this year as one of the coolest lunchbox accessories. The first thing you’ll notice is that S’well bottles are absolutely...

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Best affordable jogging stroller? Reader Q + A

Hi Cool Mom Picks. Any recommendations on the best affordable jogging stroller that’s ideally lightweight, compact and versatile? -Pamela J.   Hi Pamela, Though I will admit right off the bat that I am not a jogger, I have reviewed my share of jogging strollers and I have a few recommendations for the best ones that ought to give you a good start when looking. There’s one catch, though: Affordable and jogging stroller usually aren’t two phrases seen together. The best jogging strollers are definitely the priciest options, but they’re also the ones that last, which means you should have no trouble finding gently...

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GB Ellum stroller review: Lightweight, compact and affordable, it’s a parent’s dream

Ever get the feeling that a new stroller will cost about as much as baby’s future college education? Stroller trends over the years have certainly made it seem that way. Which is why I love finding awesome strollers at prices that won’t prevent our little geniuses from actually being able to go to college, and the brand new GB Ellum stroller is one of them. We’re talking, the $200 range. And that’s pretty darn good these days. It’s a simple stroller, perfect for city strolling — so no off-roading with this one — and designed specifically for “fashion forward parents.” Heh....

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Sweet Blackberry: Bringing African-American history alive with a little starpower

There are moments in stories I heard as a child — lots of them in fact — that have stayed with me my entire life. Charlotte’s spider babies, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s wonderful cures, Peter Rabbit losing his jacket in what, at that time in my life, felt like a very scary chase. They stay with me because they are wonderful stories, well-written and -kudos to my parents- well read. These moments are just what I thought of when I first discovered Sweet Blackberry. A new non-profit organization, Sweet Blackberry is creating a similar story memory legacy for children with narrated...

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Aden + Anais plus J. Crew muslin blankets: A match made in baby layette heaven

Muslin blankets are among my most beloved baby items. They’re so perfect for swaddling, shading and about a thousand other baby-friendly things, too–as all of us have been preaching for years. When my kids were babies my favorite muslin blanket in the world was the soft, generously cut one from CMP fave Aden + Anais. Though I don’t have anyone to swaddle these days, I’m still excited about the newest prints from their partnership with another CMP fave whose ramped up their cool partnerships lately, J. Crew. Designed by the retailer’s creative director (and cameo actor on Girls this season) Jenna Lyons, this new and exclusive set...

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Bottle Bright: the water bottle cleaner that does the work you’d rather not.

We’ve all found that one dirty, stinky water bottle lost at the bottom of a kid’s backpack after a week of non-use, right? (At least I hope I’m not the only one.) Well, I’ve found Bottle Bright, an incredible solution from an incredible company that can take any water bottle from ew, I don’t even want to open the lid status to brilliantly clean with pretty much no effort on my part. In fact,  once I tried it I knew it would be downright cruel of me not to share it. If you’re not yet familiar with the joys of Bottle Bright, it’s an eco-friendly, chlorine-free (Yay, no bleach!),...

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The ultimate cute self closing pacifiers for germaphobe parents

None of my kids had any interest in baby pacifiers, which was not for lack of trying on my part, let me tell you. If they had, I know that my germaphobic tendencies mean that I would have carried around lots of extra clean binkies and pacifier wipes, and  tried to heed the urging of my Cool Mom compadres to never invest in a useless pacifier sterilizer. But here’s something up my alley without a big investment: the Keep-it-Kleen baby pacifiers from RaZbaby. We first discovered these self closing pacifiers years ago, and since then they’ve added a ton of new adorable designs–I totally love how retro the...

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Pretty food photographs spice up the kitchen. Literally.

I don’t have much space on my kitchen walls these days (I blame it on that folder that comes home on the last day of school filled with more art than my kids could have possibly created in only one year). But if I did, I know exactly what would be going up there. Food photographs! No, not the Instagrammed, look at my meal type of food photographs. I mean lovely (and hopefully even inspiring) food photographs. The kind that feature parsley and dill and cinnamon, oh my. Right now, there are a few charming kitchen art images available at the Temporary...

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A gorgeous baby grooming kit that makes you dread nail clipping duty a little less

When I was the parent of a tiny baby, it sometimes felt like I worked in a salon with all the hair brushing, scalp exfoliating, nail clipping and face washing going on. If only I’d had something as beautiful as the new Rhoost Baby Grooming Kit to make it, well, a more beautiful experience. We’ve all seen (and used) the cheap baby grooming kits. They do the job. But they certainly wouldn’t be top of my list of great new baby gifts. Luckily for new moms and dads, the small company we love that has been helping parents with eco-friendly baby proofing for the last several years is now branching into...

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Teaching kids bathroom manners through art

When I was growing up, my grandmother had a lovely little poster on her bathroom wall reminding us of all kinds of old fashioned bathroom manners. My favorite was the reminder not to “keep the bath an hour or more when other folks are wanting one” because, well, I always thought that seemed like a pretty long bath. All those years reading that poster, though, and I’m now surprised (and admittedly a little disappointed) that my current bathroom wall is completely bare. But, that’s about to change now that I’ve discovered these sweet bathroom manners prints from Etsy shop, Niko + Lily. They are...

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11 totally cool Sugru ideas

So, if someone told you there was a product that might totally change your life in the coolest of ways, you’d be interested, right? Me too. And when I noticed a friend raving about Sugru on her Facebook page, I had to learn more. So, in the name of research, I decided to find out what Sugru was all about. And I’ve slowly been sticking it to everything I can imagine ever since. With astounding results. Sugru is a self-setting rubber product. What does that mean, exactly? It’s a squishy, plasticine-like substance that bonds to almost anything and cures...

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Sole Hope: Throw a shoe party, save lives

There are a lot of things we can take for granted living in the US, like the fact that our children are probably not going to lose their limbs to bug bites. But now that I’ve found this incredible organization called Sole Hope that helps prevent that very thing in Africa, I’m not only enlightened, I’m inspired to help. Essentially there are these bugs in Africa called jiggers. Ever heard of them? I hadn’t. They are little sand fleas that burrow into bare skin, lay eggs, and can lead to huge problems like tetanus, gangrene, and even paralysis and amputation which...

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Massaging teethers for babies: Preferable to letting them chew on the cat’s tail.

My kids were mouthers. You know, the kind who learned to crawl, then proceeded to put every single thing into their mouths for the next, oh, three years. So I can pretty much guarantee that CMP fave, innobaby, would have had a place of honor in my great bag of teethers I carried everywhere, if these new baby teethers had been around back then. Their new line of fruit-themed Teethin’ Smart ez grip Massaging Teethers is totally adorable, even if the name is as much a mouthful as the teethers themselves. And with new colors for some of their...

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We know what the fox says. And we know his preferred ride: the special-edition stroller from Mamas & Papas

I know it doesn’t technically appear in the Chinese Zodiac, but I really do think that 2013 was the Year of the Fox. That cute bushy tail. The little pointy nose. And, of course, the song that my kids won’t stop singing. So I think Mamas & Papas have really hit the nail on the head with their new, limited-edition, Donna Wilson designed Urbo2 stroller and accessories. The adorable red foxes adorn the stroller with the same patter available on all kinds of accessories, including a carrycot, a lovely stroller blanket, and a foot muff. There’s even a sweet...

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Eco-friendly strollers (and accessories!) that don’t skimp on style

I’ve tried to be a pretty eco-savvy mom. But with three kids and all the gear that goes along with a posse that size? Yeah. Many times I’ve struggled to wrap my brain around how we could have wound up with so much stuff … and where it might end up years down the road. When my kids were teeny babies, there just weren’t many green”options to choose from. But today things are different, in the best way. And CMP fave Bumbleride is making it easier for parents to make choices that are healthier for our kids and better for the...

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