Author: Stephanie S.

Active for Life: because a fit family is a fun family

I have active kids. No amount of running, skipping, biking, swimming, gymnastics, dancing or soccer ever seems to tire them out. But each year the cooler months make it a challenge for all of us to stay as active as we’d like. Organized sports are one thing. Convincing myself that I’d rather be standing in the middle of a freezing cold playground instead of wrapped in a cozy wool blanket on my couch with a steaming tea in my hands? Yeah, that’s a tough one. But I came across a site full of inspiration to keep the whole family...

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Avast, me hearties! It’s a pirate rattle! And it’s cute!

Arrr! What could be cuter than a tiny pirate rattle? Why, a tiny baby holding on to a tiny pirate rattle, of course. September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day. But just because you’re too little to talk, doesn’t mean you can’t participate. For every baby who ever dreamed of being a boatswain and swabbing the decks, this adorable tiny pirate rattle is a perfect introduction to life on the high seas. From the scruffy beard to the embroidered belt buckle, this freebooter might just be the cutest pirate I’ve ever seen. And, shiver me timbers, there’s even...

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A bike helmet so cool, we can’t keep it under our hat… or can we?

Reading the recent Cool Mom Picks post about awesome family-friendly bicycles had me dreamily clicking through images of families on bikes and imagining myself pedaling my kids through our neighborhood. Only, with the most awesome bike helmet ever made. And that’s exactly when I first saw it: the bike helmet of my dreams. Now, I have always been a helmet-wearer. Hair-, image- and outfit-be-damned. But I know there are people out there who have more fashionable priorities. And I get it.  (Kind of.) Helmets are ugly. They’re bulky. And they don’t match cute outfits. Until now. These amazing helmets...

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Which stroller to buy? How about the one that makes you happy to push every day

One of the questions we’re most often asked: which stroller to buy? We often recommend travel systems, which let you couple a great stroller with that baby seat you’re going to need. But a great travel system is one thing; great travel system in colors that make your heart race is another thing altogether. I was excited to learn that Britax is releasing some new fabrics this season to take their B-SAFE infant car seat and B-AGILE stroller from the red and black offerings to a fun Kiwi and sophisticated Sandstone –that’s bright green and tan to those of...

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Bugaboo goes neon – cue the opening to Karma Chameleon. Or Cameleon?

Back after the sad demise of neon in the 80s, I really thought I would never thought I would see neon again. Boy George, was I wrong. And now even Bugaboo is getting into the neon action, and it puts the boom boom into my heart. Personally, I think the new NEON POP collection is absolutely gorgeous. A beautiful navy fabric and Bugaboo’s first-ever navy chassis on the Cameleon are complemented by striking hits of fluorescent red on the wheels, zippers, buckles and more. The best part is that even if your love affair with neon was as short-lived as...

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Buy jewelry, save the world. Seems fair.

I’ve got a thing for artisan jewelry. So you can only imagine that I fell pretty hard for the beautiful selection from Joan Hornig Jewelry. But it gets better, when you find out that Joan is not just an artistic talent, but a very clever philanthropist with a very clever idea. With sales of every piece in her boutique, from the beautiful and relatively affordable Knock on Wood ring (below) to the stationery selection, to an 18k gold bracelet in the $18,000 range (at top), Joan Hornig donates 100% of the profits on each piece to the charity of...

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Ideacious – for people with big ideas. Or people who love people who have big ideas.

My mom is one of those people who is always coming up with one great invention after the next. But she never really moves beyond the idea phase. We know a lot of our readers are brilliant inventors and entrepreneurs too, which is why I was so excited to share Ideacious, a fascinating new site–still in beta–that provides idea-makers with the assistance they need to get products designed, created and sold. Ideacious boasts an extensive network to help you patent your ideas, design them, build them and more, ultimately even offering a way to pre-sell designs on the site....

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Shower the strollers you love with love

You’re probably going to think I’m crazy, but one of my favorite baby shower gifts in the Cool Mom Picks Baby Shower Gift Guide this year is a stroller cleaning kit. I know. Weird, right? But, hear me out. Not only does the BUGGYLOVE Organic Stroller Cleaning Kit contain everything you’ll ever need to clean and maintain baby’s ride, the products are all made of natural and organic materials. Even the squeak-eliminating Wheel Love is made from citrus and other plant oils. None of that smelly, aerosol stuff you might otherwise have to use. How cool is that? I’ve...

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Wooden toys they way they used to make them. And still do!

Just before Christmas, I was at a craft show and bought the sweetest set of wooden play money (yes, wooden bills!) for my kids. Then, I promptly lost the business card for the creators. As luck would have it, last week a Facebook friend of mine posted a link to their Etsy shop and I have been lost in a sea of beautiful wooden items ever since. The people at The Woodlot really do work magic with their designs. I am smitten with their gorgeous wooden jewelry, their adorable wooden toys, and their lovely wooden alphabet sets. Seriously, this shop...

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Homemade baby food just got about as easy as it gets

Homemade baby food is one of those things that a lot of parents consider–but the thought can be daunting. Regardless, there comes a time in every baby’s life when it’s clear that it’s time to introduce solids and you’ll have to make the decision. Maybe they’re reaching for everything you eat. Maybe they’ve just cut four teeth all at once. (In which case, our sympathies!) Or maybe you’re simply ready for that classic food-smeared-smile photo to post on Facebook. Whatever the case may be, we’ve got an amazing new baby food system that’s perfect for you. Sage Spoonfuls is...

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The stroller bag for baby hipsters

Not every baby wants to jet about town covered in a glorified sleeping bag. Some may feel the need to be a little more stylish than that. For those baby hipsters, we’ve got just the solution for chilly days. Behold the Smally Hoodmuff. I love this thing. Not only is it certifiably adorable–I mean come on, it looks like a comfy hoodie sweatshirt–it’s also ridiculously easy to use. We’ve had no trouble attaching it to our stroller seat and zipping baby in. And though it’s obviously not intended for frigid  winter days, I like it as an extra layer...

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The best baby carrier for a new parent (who’s new to baby carriers)

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked by pregnant friends is what is the best baby carrier to get. Okay, so not everyone is going to want a hundred million carriers (as I have apparently needed over the years, ahem), but it’s still tricky for me to pick just one. My favorite answer for mamas looking to carry newborns, though, is a stretchy, comfy wrap that’s easy to use, like the Baby K’Tan carrier. Especially now that they’ve got a great new carrier available. Designed to have all the flexibility and comfort of a typical stretchy wrap, it’s...

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Bookmarks. For people who still read real books.

I still have fond memories of certain bookmarks I had when I was young. I remember loving to return to a book, not just because I was eager to get back into the story I was reading, but also because I couldn’t wait to peek at the special bookmark holding my place. I think it might have taken me a little longer to make it to the reading stage if I’d had the beautiful illustrated bookmarks from Felix Doolittle. Designed to present a “story within a story” if you will, these gorgeous bookmark sets will take any reader on...

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Your kids will be speaking three languages before you can say one, dos, trois

How often do you find yourself struggling to come up with a special holiday gift for the trilingual baby in your life? Heh. Well, look no further than the two new books from Little Pim, makers of the wonderful foreign language learning videos. And if baby isn’t trilingual yet, she will be soon. These sweet little books teach both Spanish and French in a fun, lift-the-flap-and-pull-the-tab kind of way. There are two in the series so far: Feelings and Colors. All three of my kids enjoy reading them, though I think they’re most suited to my preschooler as the...

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If the shoes fit…

Having three kids means I also have a lot of shoes sitting by my front door. Aside from the fact that the messy pile is probably bad enough to give the president of the neighborhood association a minor heart attack, I’m also pretty tired of tripping on them every time I walk past. Which might explain why I am in love with the look of the adorable Japanese shoe racks over at My Sweet Muffin. In love. They aren’t just ridiculously cute. They’re also brilliant. Four pairs of shoes where I’d otherwise fit one. Perfect. I think I need...

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Kawaii Five-0

If you’re a go-getter sewing type who hasn’t quite go-gotten around to making all of your Christmas presents yet, you need to check out two adorable sewing books by Choly Knight. Sew Kawaii! and Sew Your Own Pet Pillows will have you practically delirious from all the cuteness. Seriously. I can hardly type this post because I’m overwhelmed by the all-out adorableness of the jellyfish purse in Sew Kawaii! I haven’t tried any of the projects, but most look doable by a novice like me – only a few are marked as intermediate level. So I love the approachability...

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You oughta be on note pads

Grandparents can be tricky to shop for at holiday time. “Don’t get me a thing,” they’ll tell you, but truth be told, they’d rather weep for weeks over the thoughtful gift that shows up anyway. We’ve only got a few days left to get the delightful custom photo note pads from Penny Paper Co., but I can pretty much guarantee they’ll be a huge hit under the in-law’s tree this year. Just choose your most adorable picture of baby, send it off to the designer, and in 7-10 days (plus delivery time), you’ll have a perfectly sweet present to...

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The handmade custom eco stockings were hung by the chimney with care…

I start every holiday season with the craftiest of intentions. Forget visions of sugarplums. In my head, visions of all the gifts and decorations I’m going to make are dancing up a storm. But every November, it hits me. I’m mere weeks away from Christmas and I haven’t even begun. Which is when I find myself turning to Etsy for a little help. And that’s where I found the gorgeous and affordable custom eco-felt stockings by longtime CMP favorite, rikrak studios. Handmade in Canada from ecospun felt -which is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles- these stockings are...

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The no-fuss diaper bag that we’re fussing over

When it comes to diaper bags, fancier isn’t always better. Sometimes I just need something simple and classic to get the job done. A they-thought-of-everything kind of bag, like the new Ah Goo Baby Grab & Go Bag, looks like it will fit the bill nicely. First of all, it’s not going to cost a full paycheck. In this era of designer diaper bags, that’s saying something. Second, it’s totally mom–and dad–friendly. No “Honey, I’m not wearing that Kate Spade over my shoulder” arguments from your partner. And third, it’s got some pretty cool features. I like the crumb...

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Yoga for Kids – more plausible than you might think

The thing about kids –and I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume it’s not just my own who are like this– is that they don’t always have the patience to hold yoga postures or meditate. But they certainly like stories. And excitement. And good old-fashioned silliness. Not exactly three things I think of when I think of yoga, but that’s exactly what I love about this new yoga DVD for kids. Ahmed Fahmy, a certified children’s yoga instructor, is a gentle presence who isn’t afraid of being silly. On the StorylandYoga DVD, he teaches yoga...

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