Author: Stephanie Mayers

Baby pants made just for all-star crawlers

It was so exciting to watch my daughter learn to crawl–until she bypassed the area rug and face-planted onto the hardwood floor. We used to joke that she needed knee pads, so I’m excited to find Go Little One Go anti-slip crawling pants for babies, just in time for baby number two. The super cute gripping stars cover the knees of these one-size-fits-all bottoms, giving baby some traction and control on slippery surfaces. They’re made from super soft and breathable bamboo fabric–which I really love for its extra coziness–and are designed to stretch and move with baby as she takes off. Plus? So cool looking!  ...

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The new Aden and Anais teething toy: Prepare to make room on your registry.

It seems the masters of all things cozy for baby have done it again; our friends at Aden + Anais, have added yet another baby registry must-have to their collection with new Aden + Anais teething toys and ooh are they cute. Made of maple wood, which is awesome for calming those poor swollen gums, and fitted with a cotton muslin mini-blanket for extra comfort, this teething toy-lovey hybrid is genius. And here I confess that my five-year-old still sleeps with her original Aden + Anais muslin swaddler, so I know firsthand the calming power of these magic blankies.   The designs are sweet and cheerful, in shapes like elephants, stars, posies...

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The BabyBjorn bouncer gets a modern makeover with polka dots

I’m determined to keep the baby clutter to the necessary minimum for this second round of parenting, and not a wipe warmer more. (Actually, not a wipe warmer at all.) We misplaced a few of our essential items, though, including the trusty baby bouncer so what great timing to discover the new BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft from the BabyBjorn Dots by Karin (as in, the company’s art director Karin Hoxster) collection that’s exclusively at Kohls. I was raised in a house designed almost entirely in black and white, so this very cool modern polka dot collection caught my eye right away. It’s exactly what I have been looking for —...

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New monogrammed baby shoes from Robeez. This time it’s personal.

They say it’s all in a name and the name here is your own kid’s. Well, that plus Robeez. As long time fans of the baby shoe brand that rose from start-up to Stride-Rite, it’s no surprise that we are all ogling over their perfectly adorable new monogrammed Robeez soft sole baby shoes. It was early on with my first child that I discovered and fell hard for Robeez.  First because they were the only shoes that would fit over her rather plump tootsies (got to love that elastic ankle). And second, for the huge array of fun styles. I find this...

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Nuna MIXX stroller: a swanky, sturdy recliner on wheels

As we get ready to welcome our newest bundle I have been catching up on all the hip and inventive baby gear that has surfaced in the past 5 years. Of course, the stroller is one of the most essential pieces, so I have been taking my time on this one. The brand new Nuna MIXX stroller is a strong contender from my recent test drives. The Nuna MIXX stroller is solid for my new task of keeping up with a baby and a kindergartner.  I love the sleek, modern look, but my favorite part of this Dutch-inspired design is the seating flexibility. The...

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Be the last stroller standing, no matter how many gifts are weighing you down.

Maybe you’ve been there, too–out holiday shopping or enjoying a lovely family day when your kid hops out of the stroller and down it goes. Thanks, overstuffed stroller bag! There is a chance that tipped strollers could be a thing of the past with SureShop, a new stroller bag designed to keep your baby’s vehicle upright no matter the cargo. This reusable shopping bag connects to the back and sides of your stroller with a simple clip. It redistributes weight up to ten pounds on each side of the stroller, keeping it standing. I really like the handle pocket that holds the bag straps in place on an umbrella...

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Wait wait, don’t tell me: Awesome gifts from NPR

Working in the independent music world, I have a high esteem for non-commercial radio and of course the mother of it all, NPR. Supporting public radio is so important to me, as they rely heavily on listener funding to stay afloat. So if you find yourself still looking for that clever gift for the in-tune intellectual on your list, I’ve got some ideas for awesome NPR gifts from their incredibly smart and hip shop. You know, should you already have an Ira Glass finger puppet.   We love reusable grocery bags and naturally a bag is a great place to proclaim your love for public...

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Stunning holiday jewelry gift ideas for under $75? We have tons.

Some women obsessively collect shoes or handbags, but for me it’s jewelry. It always fits (of course), and makes me feel polished no matter how raggedy the rest of me may be. I love giving jewelry as gifts, too, as it just seems to make everyone feel special. Luckily for you we made it easy to find some gorgeous steals in the Cool Mom Picks Indie Shop with a category solely dedicated to killer jewelry gifts all under $75. From statement cocktails rings and gemstones to initial pendants, here are some of my personal favorites from our collection, all made by so many independent artists we really love...

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Skip the pricey maternity coat with this smart coat extender. (Not that you’re not hot all the time anyway.)

I’m closing in on seven months pregnant and the chill in the air is leaving me with the dilemma: Do I buy a winter maternity coat when all I want is to make my own super cozy coat work for the few months I will really need it? I love all of the maternity wear we feature here, but instead of buying something totally new, I think I’ve found a smart alternative with Make My Belly Fit, makers of a smart coat extender for pregnant women. Created by a dad in Montreal who thought there had to be a better alternative than giving up his own winter coat to...

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Digital art you can eat. Sweet.

NYC local cupcake shop Baked By Melissa has had us wrapped around their finger since they rolled into town with their delicious bite-sized cupcakes and clever ideas–remember the cupcake gumball machine and the Betsy Johnson cupcake? We even have their insanely good cookie dough cupcakes in our 2014 holiday gift guide, as an awesome BFF gift. Their latest creation is just as innovative as all of those: the Baked By Melissa online cupcake creator, ready for wannabe dessert artists to flex their design skill. You can choose from 16 flavors and turn a blank digital canvas into your own virtual artwork made up of anywhere from 100 to...

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Mitscoots: Stylish socks on a mission

When I first moved to New York City I quickly realized that good shoes and socks are a must in this town of walking, walking, walking.  Since then I have become something of a sock connoisseur. Seriously. I need socks that are stylish, comfortable and, of course, warm. Our newest find, Mitscoots socks give me all that, and then they give more. US-made Mitscoots socks (who does that anymore?) were conceived from the founders’ time volunteering with the homeless in Austin. They created a company that’s more than the buy one/donate one model we love–they added the idea of employment to the equation. Which means they...

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Winter hats on!

Finding a winter coat for the baby always seems easy, but it can be a challenge to find a hat that is logo, character and cheesy design-free. We came across these delightful, updated-retro styles from Little Sun Hat that I think will do the trick to keep mini noggins warm this winter. The plaid winter hats will have your little ones looking like they just stepped out of a 1950s catalog in the best way possible. Designer Kara Meloy drew inspiration for her new winter collection from her childhood in the Cascade Mountains, focusing on plaids and tweeds, with charmingly classic cuts. The collection is available in three...

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Gorgeous modern home accessories that give you an excuse to redecorate

In a galaxy far far away before I was foremost a wife and mother, I managed a gallery of handmade artisan crafts and I adored it.  I still miss being surrounded by beautiful handcrafted pieces every day, but sometimes I come across an artist who takes me right back. Right now it’s the stunning handmade plywood home accessories at the Ciseal shop on Etsy. If you’re thinking it’s time to stash the summery linen pillows and throws back in the closet and get serious for fall, this might be the justification you’re looking for. Ciseal features hand crafted bent plywood furniture and home accessories created in Nicole Hodsdon’s Detroit studio. The wavy tablet stands,...

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Baby carrier covers that make instant Halloween costumes

Halloween means lots of clever costume ideas circulating for babies, but chances are that no baby under a year–or her costume, for that matter–is going to last long for trick or treating. However the hilarious new animal-themed baby carrier covers from CuddleRoo struck us as a hilarious option for an instant, no-work costume. Because let’s face it, if your infant is still young enough to be carried, most likely you’re not full of costume-making energy these days. Cuddleroo animal baby carrier covers slip right over pretty much any rear-facing soft structured baby carrier–they’re compatible with brands like Ergo, Infantino, and smaller brands like Boba and Tula. With choices like a giraffe, unicorn, lion, dragon...

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9 fun free printable Halloween coloring pages to help keep little fingers out of the candy stash

I’ve been looking around the web for some great free printable Halloween coloring pages (did I mention free?) to help keep the kiddos occupied while the adults polish off that first bag of peanut butter cups. If your kids are anything like ours, your cobwebs are up, the pumpkins are plentiful and the Halloween costume selection has been completed for weeks–which means the kids are getting restless! These should give you a little extra help getting though the next few weeks until the upcoming day of epic sugar overload. Check out these spooky spirited selections for your witches, vampires, and let’s face it,...

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Orla Kiely blooms at Target. Otherwise known as designer handbags for less. Whoo!

I have toted diapers, work stuff and even my computer in Orla Kiely bags and have become an avid fan, so I was shocked to find out I was not the first of her cult followers to learn that the popular designer had partnered with Target for an affordable cosmetic bag collection. Orla Kiely Etc. has two new exclusive collections at Target in cheery poppy and bright garden themes. The hole in my make up bag that sends my lipgloss straight to the bottom of my purse makes this especially exciting news, for me at least. The pieces are lovely, at a price point that make it possible to collect them all. My first...

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Super cute color block baby booties, for days you reluctantly cover those toes at all

Oh Zutano, I have missed you. We have been sized out of your cute baby goodness for a while now, but I’ll have a brand new baby soon and it looks like my timing couldn’t be any better. First in my shopping cart for baby’s winter wardrobe are the adorable color block baby booties with the same fleecy comfort that parents have sworn by for years. My baby is going to be all over these perfect Double Cozy Color Block Baby Booties  for lounging around the house or for running errands.  Uh, that’s me running the errands. The baby will be along for the ride...

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Cooking with color

For someone who prides herself in putting out multiple home-cooked meals a week, my cooking utensils are really old and in dire need of replacing. After spending some time poking around the Canadian Etsy shop Storiebrooke, everything about these bamboo cooking utensils has me saying it’s time to fix that. [Update: You can now find Storiebrooke at Gouniq instead of Etsy] The 4 piece bamboo cooking collection–with slotted and solid cooking spoons and slotted and solid spatulas–would instantly brighten my stale decor. I just love the vibrant and modern color-dipped wood options here. If the sea urchin palette isn’t your thing, maybe hot air balloon...

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T-shirts from J Crew that help support two of our favorite educational charities

I don’t need a reason to cozy up with the new J Crew catalog or website, multiple times a day, so give me that plus an awesome cause and you have my complete attention. Their new fall kids collection includes two t-shirts that support partnerships with education-based non-profits. Each is also miraculously mutually agreed by parent and child in our house as “cool.” I’m sold. The DonorsChoose.org t-shirt from the CrewCuts collection totally appeals the to 80’s kid in me who loved those black and white composition notebooks. The graphic, designed by Hugo Guiness, reads “P.S. We <3 you.” and promotes the Donors Choose mission of helping teachers help students. If you’ve...

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Stockholm Syndrome

My parents’ kitchen is entirely black and white, so whenever I see a standout piece, I have to pick it up for my mom. I’m hoping that my recent finds in the Stockholm kitchen accessories collection from Rosanna Inc. will have me in the running for daughter of the year. I love these Scandinavian-inspired designs which feature funky ’60s throwback geometric patterns that fit right in in 2014. I’m in organizational mode for back to school and beyond, so I have my eye on the porcelain canister collection with bamboo lids–I’m actually considering moving the flour and sugar to a more permanent home on my kitchen counter. And this coffee fiend also finds the mug set featuring all four patterns mighty attractive. There...

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