Category: Around the House

Chairish: Shop the country’s coolest vintage shops, all from your couch

I love going to my local flea market or browsing the rows of antique stores downtown to score some cool vintage finds for my house. There’s just something special about furniture that has history. Or, just having furniture that doesn’t come in a flat-packed box, to be honest. But honestly, how often do any of us get to spend our weekends at swap meets after having kids? Well now you can find very cool vintage finds at Chairish, an online marketplace where you can shop all kinds of vintage furniture, decor, and even jewelry and accessories from individual sellers and boutiques across the country. It’s been around...

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Primates of Park Avenue: A fascinating summer beach read, even if that beach isn’t in the Hamptons

Before it even hit the shelves, there was a swell of hype around Primates of Park Avenue, by Wednesday Martin. Specifically, whether this outrageous glimpse into the inner lives of über-wealthy moms on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is accurate at all. So I grabbed a copy at Amazon — and the irony of the $10 discount off the hardcover price for those of us middle-class gawkers looking to press our noses against the glass was not lost on me. I’ll get back to the accuracy point in a bit, but overall, I found the book equal parts intriguing and shocking. And I couldn’t put it down....

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Ever wished you could build a life-sized LEGO world? Meet EverBlock.

If you have a kid (or kid at heart) who’s wild for LEGO, you have to check out EverBlock. As in, right now. Because if you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to be a Minifig in one of those cool creations, this is pretty much your chance. EveryBlock offers a series of modular, giant bricks that you can turn into all kinds of cool furniture. Think coffee table bases, room dividers, kids’ desks, you name it. The site is packed with ideas, some more sophisticated than you might think.     Essentially you’ve got a full sized...

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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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Wonderful custom artwork for babies, kids, and kids at heart.

I still think that a great piece of personalized art can be one of the best baby shower gifts, provided you know the parents’ taste. And uh, the kid’s name. Of course. But I think this new discovery should fit the bill for lots of families and lots of styles. The new Jr. Alexander collection from Alexander & Co adds even more fantastic vintage advertising inspired custom wall art for kids and it’s hard to pick a favorite. Artist Alexander Doll has created options that are lovely for babies and young kids, and some that are even cool for older kids — or hey, dads....

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Rough Day? Have we got the wine glass for you.

Some days are just…yeah. That. You know what I mean. And maybe a glass of wine will help, or maybe even an empty one –at least if they’re these fantastic Rough Day Wine Glasses. Come on, you know you want to laugh. They’re like the perfect post-breakup BFF gift or the stemware to pull out when the kids are off to the grandparents and you’ve got a girls’ night in. (And yes, I speak from occasional experience in that department.) It seems to be about the size of a typical Cab/Bordeaux glass, so don’t worry if once in a while you actually go ahead and fill...

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Minecraft skin, actual size! (But not actual skin. That would be weird.)

If you read Cool Mom Tech, you may be aware of my daughters’ obsession with Minecraft. We even created Minecraft games we can play when the screens are off. So I can only imagine how thrilled they’d be to decorate their room with the custom Minecraft skin wall art from Etsy’s Lemur apps. Related: The best Minecraft birthday party ideas for kids   Of course kids love to own anything that looks like them, but in this 8-bit world, it’s about anything that looks like the custom skin of their character that they’ve so carefully chosen. This company has gone so far...

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The classic world map gets an arty twist

If you have a thing for maps and globes and geography in general, then you might love this as much as I do: a paintsplatter world map spotted at The Fancy. It would be so beautiful over a desk or in a kitchen, but I imagine my kids would love it in their room as well. It’s actually a repositionable sticker in three different sizes, starting at just $19 for a 15″ x 10″.  Not only are the colors vibrant and inviting, but there’s something about seeing the land masses of this planet depicted without borders that represents the interconnectivity of our world beautifully....

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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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How to clean up after those plums in the ice box that were so sweet and delicious.

William Carlos Williams has always been one of my favorite poets, and to this day, his imagery of plums in the icebox remains strong and beautiful thanks to my mom introducing me to This is Just To Say when I was young. So when I saw this William Carlos Williams tea towel featuring his beautiful words, perfectly screenprinted in a typewriter font the way he meant them to be, I thought, yep. Perfect. Denver Etsy shop Urban Bird and Co offers other fun natural cotton tea towels and sets of cloth napkins that make wonderful hostess gifts now that summer is around hte corner. But it’s that...

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A Kate Spade picnic blanket that comes complete with its own grass. Ants not included.

It’s finally the perfect weather for picnics, hooray! Eating al fresco of course isn’t complete without a picnic blanket, but this Kate Spade picnic blanket actually includes the grass too. Just in case that’s a little hard to find for you city dwellers. Related: 9 al fresco recipes for summer picnic perfection Okay, so it’s not real grass, but it looks pretty darn close, doesn’t it? The big difference is that it’s not itchy (sorry, grass) and it wipes clean, a helpful feature if you’re picnicking with children. Or heck, even adults, who might be a little clumsy with their wine sippy cup....

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From Apricity to Zephyr: Posters that teach vocabulary, one SAT word at a time

I admit I was pretty proud of my fourth-grader when she helped me finish the New York Time’s Monday crossword, but then she was employing words like llama and Naples. Then I saw British designer Mark Watson’s graphic dictionary poster series that he created for his own nine-year old and I thought, whoa. Maybe we could be working towards the Saturday puzzle after all? Related: 13 Words to add to your child’s bookshelf thanks to Lemony Snicket According to Slate, the graphic artist behind Modern Giant first created a minimalist depiction of the word contrarian after, well, his daughter was acting like one one. The...

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Adorable new photo memory cards for the last day of school, and other big moments

With another school year coming to an end, it’s a great time to capture a photo of your grinning student on their last day of school. To make sure you remember the moment years from now, I love the new Picture Me Proud photo memory cards from the smart folks at Sticky Bellies. They’ll make sure the memory of their last day of kindergarten, first, second, or even fifth grade stays clear, as well as many other moments of importance in their young lives. Related: The best teacher gift ideas according to people who know: actual teachers. A set of Picture Me Proud photo memory cards...

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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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We’re Pregnant by Todd Parr: A funny, free ebook for new moms that gives back to kids in need

If you’ve parented toddlers, you’re probably familiar with Todd Parr’s children’s books, and his distinctively child-like illustrations. Well, my interest was piqued when I found out about his free new ebook that happens to be for parents this time. Add the fact that they’re donating $1 to Project Night Night for every download up to $10,000: I’m sold. We’re Pregnant by Todd Parr is perfect for first-time parents who are experiencing all those ups and downs. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about an illustrated picture book written for me, but the story is actually very sweet. With a reassuring tone, Parr reminds us that, yes, it’s...

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Exclusive first look at the modern Stokke Home furniture that grows with your kids

My 7-year-old daughter cannot wait for a little sister to join our family . . . and her bedroom, which I have to admit, it’s been tricky trying to find furniture that will mix a big kid look with the needs of an infant, but not any more. We’re excited to give you guys the first exclusive look at Stokke Home, a new line of modular furniture from Stokke that features beautiful minimalist pieces that will grow with your child. Stokke has always wowed us with their design — their oval-shaped crib is iconic — but these new pieces are...

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The coolest indie Mother’s Day gifts, now with totally free worldwide shipping

There’s only just under two weeks left until Mother’s Day, so if you’re shopping online for Mother’s Day gifts, especially gifts from small makers and independent artists (arguably our favorites) that might even be made to order, you had better get cracking! Fear not, we’ve got a ton of lovely ideas right in our Mother’s Day boutique from our Cool Mom Picks indie shop. What’s even better, the entire shop is now offering free worldwide shipping on every single purchase. Hooray! We love how this makes it a little easier to get your hands on some of the coolest picks from indie...

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For those planning some hipster 19th century throwback industrial chic decor touches for the kid’s room

Sometimes we just see one cool little bit of kid’s room or nursery decor that’s so clever, we can’t help but share. In this case, it’s the hand-crocheted vintage lightbulbs by Australia’s La Dee Dah Kids. I’m partial to the yellow one myself, which adds that kind of Williamsburg hipster, Edison lightbulb-peppered industrial design style to a child’s room. And you know, that’s a style you might not have considered when you were first picking out cribs.   Just choose from white or the yellow I really love, tether it to a hook from the wall you’re good to go. It’s even washable, should there be...

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Tooth fairy pillows that double as awesome kids’ room decor

A giraffe grazing near a hut. A whale swimming past an iceberg. At first glance, these nature-inspired designs just look like fun decorative pillows for a kid’s bedroom. And if that’s all these Mighty Twenty pillows were, I’d still want one for my children’s rooms. But look closer and you’ll see a tiny tooth pocket on front of each pillow that’s in some way connected with the animal. Flip it over and you’ll find a larger pocket in a contrasting pattern stuffed with a tooth tracker journal. Surprise! They’re super clever tooth fairy pillows. Related: Tooth fairy pillows too cute to resist Mighty...

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The perfect art teacher gifts, at least if your teachers are Mondrian fans

The last few weeks of school are always such a busy rush of parties, performances, and big homework assignments that I’m always trying to come up with clever teacher gifts at the last minute. (I’m not alone, am I?) I don’t want to forget to thank the “extras” teachers and coaches, and this that’s not going to happen. In fact, I just found these very cool Mondrian-inspired sticky notes that makes the perfect art teacher gift. So practical and yet, so fun. Related: Our favorite DIY teacher gifts from the class that make a big impression I discovered these in Europe last year and have been...

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Don’t throw out those cups!

As my NYC neighborhood catches spring fever big time this weekend, I’m suddenly digging all the picnic supplies out of hiding. One thing I could use but don’t have: reusable plastic cups. Since my kids have started using real glasses, I guess we just don’t have any. But I will, after grabbing a couple four-packs of these reusable plastic party cups from One Hundred 80 Degrees. They look so much like the disposable plastic ones from Solo, it’s almost disconcerting when you lift it up and feel the weight of melamine. But they’re such a smart alternative to disposable cups...

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Cool city map posters that beat hanging atlas pages on the wall

One of the biggest (and best) trends we’ve noticed over the last few years are the fun homages to your home state or favorite city. So these modern city map posters by Sarah Lund that we’re now carrying in our own Cool Mom Picks Indie Shop are a perfectly subtle way to go graphic without overwhelming your walls. With a springtime color palate–don’t you love these tomato reds and melon-y oranges and sage greens?–I could see them working anywhere in a house, from your kitchen to a home office or even a modern baby’s nursery. If you call either Chicago, NYC, San Francisco or Seattle home, they’re perfect. But...

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She had me at Hashbrown: No Filter

Kimmy Schmidt fans (Me! Me!) will rejoice at the discovery of embroidery hoop art featuring my own favorite quote of 2015 thus far: Hashbrown: No Filter. Hey, can’t beat an Instagram inside joke making a hot new Netflix series. Oh, and if you haven’t seen The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? You need to do that. Right after you check out this Etsy shop. Thread Honey features the kind of embroidery hoop art that go right up to the line of irreverence — and perhaps crosses it for some of you. As for me, I’m giggling at one more than the next. But it’s not...

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Go Minted! It’s your birthday! And a special discount to celebrate.

We’ve all been huge fans and supporters of Minted long before they were a Cool Mom Picks sponsor, so it seems hard to believe that they are turning seven! It’s no surprise their ever-growing collection of stationery, invitations, and gifts designed by indie artists around the world are so popular with parents, including us. They really are some of the most beautifully designed options that we see anywhere. So in honor of the big Minted birthday celebration (aw, seven is such a fun year), they’re offering a special store-wide discount on everything. We’ve gone through and picked some of our own personal favorites 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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The Design Mom book: How to live with kids and still love your home. Wow, I need this.

When I first learned that long-time friend, mom of (how many now?) six amazing kids, and blogger extraordinaire Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom was coming out with a book, my first thought was, finally! I imagined it would be as beautifully produced, thoughtful, and inspirational as every single post she’s ever written. Let’s just say my imagination has not failed me, because the brand new Design Mom: How to Live With Kids: A Room by Room Guide is a keeper, whether you’re a fan of her blog or just want to make your space a little — or a lot — more...

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Owls and mushrooms and hedgehogs, oh my!

If you’re looking to bring some happy new artwork to your child’s nursery, or think it would make an awesome baby gift for some other lucky child, I’ve discovered a wonderfully affordable option that I absolutely love, in Woodland Friends. This colorful book is filled with twenty beautifully sweet pull-out prints, all created by five talented illustrators and designers from the US and UK. In other words, twenty gifts under $20. Not bad, right? From the simple muted tones of Dawn Bishop’s work to the Michelle Romo’s bright, vibrant colors, I like that there is so much variety in these heavy cardstock prints. And, yet, since all...

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2 fabulous new natural laundry products that actually work

With a houseful of kids with sensitive skin, I stick to my free and clear laundry detergents and skip the boosters, fabric softeners, and stain sticks just to be safe. But after discovering these two new natural laundry products, I’ve enjoyed clothes and towels that are softer, smell much nicer, and have fewer, if any, stains. Hooray! So I couldn’t wait to share them, should you also want some cool natural laundry detergents. From the folks at B&N Laundry, I’m loving the felted goat milk stain stick (above). Yes, I know that sounds totally bizarre, but wow, it really works well! This family-run company discovered that goat milk...

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Bezar, the new members-only shopping site is here. Design fans, hold onto your wallets.

We recently alerted you to the upcoming launch of Bezar, a new members-only marketplace from Bradford Shelhamer, one of the original founders of Fab. We knew we’d be able to expect the same phenomenal design sense, curation and discovery that we’ve come to know and love from him, and checking out the Bezar site launch today, it does not disappoint. Because this is a member’s only site, use our invitation link for immediate access right now to some wonderful designers who will be gone in a few days, along with some cool pop-up shops that will last a bit longer. You’ll notice there’s definitely...

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