Category: Living

The Night Sky’s custom star maps: The sweet, sentimental gift that’s modern, never sappy.

I’m a mom, you know, which means I pretty much can’t help but feel sentimental about the special milestones in my family’s life — my kids’ birthdays, preschool graduation, our daughter’s adoption day. The thing is: I love finding ways to memorialize these moments, but sappy just isn’t my thing. So when I recently discovered The Night Sky custom star maps, I knew this was the perfect way for me to commemorate an important event without getting cheesy about it. In fact, it’s so subtle most people won’t even realize it’s a secret sentimental nod to a special moment...

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Mommyhood wine bottle labels: Here’s to surviving your first playdate from hell.

For all those wine-lovers out there (ahem, like me), we’re entitled to toast our momentous new mom wins. With some celebratory vino and a high-five, right? That’s where these hilarious Mommy’s First Motherhood Milestones Wine Bottle Covers come in. That first time your babe sleeps through the night? The first time you survive a massive public tantrum that gets you kicked out of a restaurant? The first time you manage to host a playdate without burning down your house? There’s a wine bottle cover for that. Consider them like a reusable scrapbook for the second most precious commodity in your life....

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The bed rail cover that makes you hate bed rails a lot less.

Oh, bedtime. Why do you have to be so difficult for so many parents? From infant swaddlers to resources for big kid sleep anxiety, parents with kids of all ages will always crave solutions to make bedtime safer and easier. While my baby is still a few years away from making his way into his own bed, I know I’m going to jump all over these clever Cosie Covers bed rail covers when we hit the toddler bed with bed rail milestone. So smart! Related: Baby registry essentials that help kids (and parents!) get more sleep Designed by mom Cori Sinclair, the...

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A book club that supports Black women authors sets its sights on a festival you should know about.

From Brooklyn to beyond! The Well-Read Black Girl Book Club (WRBG), which has been bringing together women of color to celebrate and raise awareness of Black literature, will be hosting its first-ever The Well-Read Black Girl Writers’ Conference & Festival this fall and we couldn’t be more excited! Since its launch in 2015, WRBG has rapidly grown its Brooklyn chapter, as well as its nearly 20,000 online community members nationally, to meet monthly to discuss celebrated works from literature greats, such as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, as well as contemporary authors like my personal favorite Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and our amazing friend and former CMP contributor...

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15 of the funniest Father’s Day cards that will have him laughing til he cries

Father’s Day is coming up, which means we’ve been busy searching for the coolest, most unique and fun gifts for dads. And one of our favorite roundups we do every year is finding the funniest Father’s Day cards, because we’re suckers for a good laugh. If the dads in your life love a good laugh too, then we’re sure you’ll find the perfect card for him here. At top: Push That Stroller Father’s Day card | Just a Wink CMP is a rstyle affiliate Related: Super rad Father’s Day T-shirts? Check. Sarcastic Father’s Day Card (Tense and Urgent) Because, when you have a teenager, the sarcasm is...

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You don’t know these 10 favorite household hacks of ours? Prepare for life to change!

As a busy parent, I rely heavily on household hacks. In fact, I would say just about everything I do around the house involves some sort of easy hack or trick or clever time-saver. But some tricks work better than others, and some you wouldn’t believe it until you see it (or try it), which is why I searched around the web and set out to put together this list of some our very favorite easy household hacks that every parent should know. From organizing all those keys to de-stinking shoes, you’ll find you can pull them off with things you probably already have at home,...

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The one small spring cleaning task that makes a big difference

Spring cleaning can be a beast. Just the thought of getting everything tidier and cleaner — whatever shape your home is in now — can be so overwhelming, it can be hard to know where to start. So we reached out to household cleaning expert Dana K. White for some help. (She gets us! Hallelujah!) We asked Dana: If there is just one thing you absolutely must do when it comes to spring cleaning, what is it? Dana’s answer: Look up! If you do nothing else at all this spring, be sure to look up and knock dust down to the ground. This one...

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10 inspirational art prints for grads that will encourage them to work hard, be kind, and follow their dreams.

I’m a real sucker for a feel good, motivational quote, so I love the idea of giving an inspirational art print as a gift to a recent grad. They can hang it on a wall or prop it up on a desk, and it’ll be a daily reminder to go out there and go get ’em! These 10 inspirational art prints for grads are the ones I feel will most encourage hard work, kindness, and a belief in themselves to follow their dreams. Cue the Pomp and Circumstance… At top: Work Hard and be Nice to People Print by Stars and Type...

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A clever idea to get kids in the kitchen on their own, no nagging (or even talking!) required.

My boys have been cooking alongside me ever since they were little. But now that they’re older and I’d love for them make their own breakfast, prep their own snacks, and put together their own lunches from time to time, I’m finding it harder to get them into the kitchen on their own. One issue might be that I call the kitchen my kitchen. That can’t help. Another issue may be all my yapping (that’s code for nagging). I want them to be autonomous, but it’s impossible not to chime in on everything from their snack choices to the kitchen rules, which they...

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One Star Wars gift we want the whole world to buy. May the Fourth be with you!

We are clearly not unbiased when it comes to everything Star Wars, but when there’s a totally perfect Star Wars gift to celebrate May the Fourth and it happens to support one of our own team, we’re all over it. And you should be too. Can’t wait for The Last Jedi? You’re in luck!   Uh. So I’ve been keeping secrets from you… #Phasma A post shared by Delilah S. Dawson (@delilahsdawson) on Apr 14, 2017 at 2:39pm PDT Our own longtime contributor Delilah S. Dawson, also a popular author, girl power graphic novelist, hilarious Instagrammer and bona fide Star Wars junkie is...

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A teacher appreciation gift your kids will appreciate later. We hope.

If you’re looking for the perfect teacher appreciation gift, well, admittedly it may not be a mug. I’m well aware that most teachers probably have their share of them, though I’d like to think that’s because you can only own so many “World’s Greatest Teacher” mugs. On the other hand, I would totally make an exception for this grammar nerd mug. How perfect for the teacher who’s always correcting, “Yes, of course you can go to the bathroom, unless you’re having a medical issue. Are you wondering if you may go to the bathroom?” Related: We asked actual teachers for their favorite (and least favorite) teacher...

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One of our favorite teacher gifts is back: the 2017 Children’s Book Week poster and gifts!

One of my very favorite teacher gifts is here! The 2017 Children’s Book Week poster, and all the fun accompanying gifts. Each year, this is one of my go-to gifts for the special teachers or librarians who have fostered a love of reading in my kids. And I couldn’t be more excited that one of my very favorite illustrators, Christian Robinson (whose work you may know from Last Stop on Market Street or Josephine or Gaston), designed this year’s poster. Yay! I love knowing that my purchase of these gifts each year helps support Every Child a Reader, the non-profit who organizes Children’s Book Week (which is May 1–7...

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4 of our new favorite green cleaning products that actually work

I tend to get headaches when I use strong chemical cleaning products, especially when I’m cleaning a small space, like my bathroom, which is why I really do favor green cleaning products under one condition: they have to work. And since it’s time for some spring cleaning around my house (actually, let’s be honest, it’s way past time for that) I’m excited to have had the chance to test out a ton of green cleaning products lately, and put together my favorites. Besides keeping the chemicals out of our home and our air, it’s nice to be able to give the...

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5 genius nursery organization tips, for new parents who could use a Starbucks right about now

Having a new baby is completely life-changing in the best possible way…and, in some harder-to-embrace ways too. (Looking at you, complete lack of sleep.) If you’re anything like me, a house that’s in chaos will make you feel even more stressed than those post-pregnancy hormones will, so getting organized will make a big impact on your mood. To help, I’ve rounded up some genius nursery organization tips that will let you focus more on your baby and less on finding your baby’s stuff. CMP is an rstyle affiliate At top: laundry folding tips | Two Twenty One Related: Eliminate clutter in your nursery...

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If toilets could talk: 9 funny things every parent wishes our homes could say to our kids.

We’re happy to be working with our sponsor Brother to bring you this post If we had a nickel for every time we told our kids to put away their shoes or pick up their toys, well, we’d be writing this from our yacht in the south of France while Jeeves served us lunch. Sorry to disappoint you but none of us are writing this from our yacht in the south of France. Yet.  But, what if our actual furniture, appliances, and garbage bins could talk? Or at least, leave notes for our kids, to give us a little break from the...

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How one teacher appreciation bouquet is helping keep a lot of kids safe. | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from Teleflora   With Teacher Appreciation Week coming up May 8–12, and the end of the school year in sight, here’s one gift to help show thanks for your children’s teachers, while also supporting an important charity that’s keeping more school kids safe. Check out the bright Be Happy Bouquet with Roses from Teleflora. It’s a lovely way to express your gratitude to the teachers who are making a huge difference in your children’s lives. But even more, when you purchase this particular bouquet during Teacher Appreciation Week, Teleflora will donate 10% of sales to GLSEN, a wonderful educational organization that focuses on ensuring safe, LGBTQ-inclusive K–12 schools. With...

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Testing household hacks: How to clean the 5 biggest kid messes, from Sharpie on the wall to Play-Doh in the rug

There are some facts about the world that are simply not up for debate. Like: Humans breathe air, cats sleep exclusively on favorite black sweaters, and parents will always be searching for how to clean the big messes our kids make. So I took a look at 5 of the most common kid-made cleaning problems that I deal with myself all the time, and I white-knuckled it to put all those quick-fix cleaning promises and household hacks to the test. My goal: To show you what really works, and what isn’t worth your time when it comes to cleaning kid messes. Chocolate ice cream stain...

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9 genius art prints that reimagine Disney princesses as woke AF

On the outside chance you have been hiding out in a yurt without access to technology for all of 2017, you know there’s been a massive revival of women protests this year and it’s pretty incredible to witness. Women and girls from all walks of life have been woke to activism — including now, it seems our very favorite Disney princesses. Well, at least in the mind of one artist. Inspired by the Women’s March on Washington, comic illustrator and artist Amanda Allen Niday reimagined what Disney princesses would say as women’s rights activists in these amazing Protest Disney Princesses prints. Related: Tons of empowering gift ideas for...

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One quick laundry tip that will save you loads (ha!) of time

With six people living in my house, there are days when I feel like all I do is laundry. And that the baskets of dirty clothes just keep piling up. (Stop the insanity!) But there is one quick laundry tip has changed my life in a good way: My family quit using laundry baskets. Instead of tossing their dirty clothes in the baskets in their room, then spending a day lugging them up and down the stairs, sorting, and washing them, my kids now put their clothes straight in the washing machine when they change after their showers each night. After a...

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6 surprising things you should never throw away, because they make great toy storage solutions

I’m convinced my kids’ toys are spontaneously spawning in the playroom at night while we sleep. Surely I’m not the only parent who can’t figure out where all my kids’ toys have come from. As a result, I’m constantly in need of new storage options. My playroom is lined wall-to-wall with cabinets and storage bins to keep stuff organized, but over the years, I’ve found there are a few surprising household items that I never throw away, because they make great toy storage solutions. Here’s to free stuff that makes your life simpler and more organized. Because, we’re all for that. And...

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6 celeb-worthy, creative birth announcement ideas for twins + multiples. We’ve got you covered, Beyoncé!

First Beyoncé and Jay Z, now the Clooneys and Madonna? In case you haven’t heard, twins are seriously hot right now. So I’ve rounded up some super creative birth announcement ideas for twins with a little extra oomph — for those of you lucky enough to be in on the doubles game. I had so much fun finding these adorable birth announcement photo ideas for twins and multiples making their red carpet debut, but hey…if you’re expecting just one baby this year (like me!), we’ve got you covered too. CMP is an rstyle affiliate At top: custom birth announcements by Todd Borka Related: 15 creative birth announcement ideas way...

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We can’t wait to read our way through this 100 essential novels scratch-off poster from Pop Chart Lab.

Looking for a good book to read this winter? This classic novels scratch-off poster chart at Pop Chart Lab has your next 100 book recommendations for you, with the most satisfying check-off list ever. This framed art poster has 100 classic novels — books like Pride and Prejudice, Fahrenheit 451, Gone with the Wind, and Animal Farm — with covers partially covered in scratch-off gold. As you make your way through the list, you scratch off each one to reveal the whole cover. Feeling satisfyingly smug yet? Related: 7 books to help you feel fabulous right now (because shame is so 2016) Now, this is Pop Chart...

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5 creative ways to organize your kids’ books in less than a weekend

When my kids were little, their book collections were small and manageable. But as they grew, so did the mounds of books. It wasn’t long before their libraries turned into massive piles that made it challenging to find the one book they needed right-this-very-second. Sound familiar? But there are so many creative solutions for getting your kids’ books off the floor. I love these 5 easy DIY kids’ books organization ideas because they can easily be pulled off in less than a weekend — like, say, when you’re snowed in? Related: Storage solutions for kids’ artwork (goodbye, clutter!) 1. Repurpose kitchenware. A little sandpaper and white spray paint is all The Sweetest...

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10 cool non-candy Valentine’s Day classroom treats kids will love. And uh, parents will thank you! | Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Here at Cool Mom Picks, we’re huge fans of non-candy Valentine’s Day treats for the classroom. Not that there’s anything wrong with a little bag of conversation hearts or a cute chocolate kiss with your cards, but not every class allows candy Valentines — and not every parent welcomes them. So I tracked down some really cool and easy non-candy Valentine’s Day classroom treats for kids of all age to help you out. Because while there are no chocolate hearts here, with ideas this fun and creative, I’m pretty sure your kids will still skip home from school, excited about their V-day haul. CMP is an...

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12 seriously funny Valentine’s Day cards for couples who need a good laugh

Each year, we love digging up a collection of seriously funny Valentine’s Day cards. Because hey, not all couples are rom-com watchers and lovey-dovey card givers. If that sounds like you, check out these funny Valentine’s Day cards I think are hysterically honest, maybe a bit racy, and of course, a perfect way for couples with a great sense of humor to show their love. Or at least, for couples in love to show their sense of humor. Because funny is sexy in my book.   Related: 16 creative, inexpensive Valentine’s Day gifts for him, all under $35 CMP is a rstyle affiliate Show your sweetheart...

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18 non-lovey dovey printable Valentine’s Day classroom cards for boys (and girls!)

It can be a little tough finding printable Valentine’s Day cards for boys. Now that my son is 6, in just a year he’s gone from happily handing out heart cards to insisting on anything with a lightsaber, a zombie, or ideally, a lightsaber-wielding zombie. In other words: No embarrassing love stuff. I know there are a lot of other boys (and girls!) who second that emotion. So I searched the web for fun printable Valentine’s Day cards for kids who are over the sweet stuff, and not quite comfortable with those “you stole my heart, Valentine” messages. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 19...

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3 cool ways to display travel photos that inspire you to take another trip soon

My husband and I recently spent two life-changing weeks in Seoul, South Korea, which means I have a zillion gorgeous photographs to show off to family and friends. On that 16-hour flight home, I spent some time scanning Pinterest and geeked out over these cool, creative ways to display travel photos. I can’t wait to get started on these projects. Once the jet lag passes. Related: The coolest travel journals for kids to help them remember every awesome moment As long as you have a steady hand with scissors, this travel photos map at Cut Craft Create (also shown at top) shouldn’t be too hard....

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8 awesome inspirational prints for little boys who could use some empowerment too.

As a mom-to-be, I’ve been looking for some inspirational prints for boys that I can hang on the nursery walls. After all, I’ve already started my campaign to create a compassionate son, starting with the essential feminist onesie, which was the first item I added to my baby registry. So as I look for artwork, I’ve been thinking beyond the typical superheroes, rockets, and robots (all of which I love!) that you tend to see “for boys” and seeing out inspirational prints for boys that will be a reminder to my whole family to work hard to raise a son who is smart, caring, and respectful. So...

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Cute photo Valentines that make up for the fact you forgot to send holiday cards.

In the 10 years my husband, kids, and I have been a family, I’ve managed to send out holiday cards exactly three times. These are not good odds. Like, if I were a team in the Super Bowl, bookies would strongly advise against betting that I would even remember to show up. Luckily, for all the parents, like me, whose packed schedules and busy brains preclude us from sending out holiday cards, there’s still a chance to make up for it in a big way: Valentine’s Day photo cards! And, with super-cute options like these that your friends and family are sure to love, maybe it’s okay to...

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How children can write letters to the president: An American tradition

Children writing to our president and the First Family has always been a wonderful and important tradition. And with the inauguration of a new White House resident today, this is a great time to get kids thinking about their own hopes, their concerns, the issues that are on their minds, and letting them write to the president about them. In our weekly link roundup post this week, we linked to an NPR article about the number of letters from children that President Obama will continue to answer, even after today. Some favorite letters I’ve seen: The girl who wanted advice about getting a nose...

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