Category: Around the House

Sustainable food storage: 3 eco-friendly plastic wrap alternatives

November marks the beginning of the holiday cooking season and if there’s one thing that will get you through—whether you’re responsible for holiday meals or just trying to get dinner on the table between holiday shopping, travel, and gatherings—it’s planning ahead. Prepping food ahead of time means storing food which, for a lot of us, means plastic wrap. Lots and lots of it. These 3 plastic wrap alternatives make it possible to ditch the plastic clingy stuff for safe, sustainable food storage.   I recently purchased a set of linen dish covers  similar to these from The Green Home...

Read More

Custom family portraits: 10 cool, modern options for a truly special holiday gift

As someone without an artistic bone in my body, I’ve always admired those illustrators and artists creating modern custom family portraits and other personalized illustrations. Every year I seem bookmark a ton of them thinking I’ll order one of my girls–then never take the plunge. It’s such a cool, special gift for a grandparent, a newlywed couple, for a new parent, or a far-away relative. The only challenge: You have to get it together early enough to commission yours in time for the holidays. And yep. There’s my problem. Every year. So this year (cue angels singing) I’m here in...

Read More

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,...

Read More

Making your holiday card list: 21 people to be sure not to forget

As much as we’d like to say we always remember to send holiday cards to everyone we know and love, well, that’s a bit of a stretch. Mostly because we’re all swamped with holiday shopping and to-do lists and teacher gifts, and and and… so, we get it. Besides, who actually has every friend’s actual home address in a physical address book anymore? So, yes, sometimes people fall through the cracks. (Sorry!) But we’re trying to do better. Because if you’re like us, the holidays can be the one time of the year you have the chance to touch base with people in your life...

Read More

Light switch stickers that jazz up your kids’ rooms with the flip of a switch

The kids in my life want to redecorate their rooms. A lot. Most notably, the teenaged niece who painted her walls purple, her ceiling lime green, and the trim in her room black–nice surprise for her parents! If you want to give your own kids ways to make their own rooms personal without calling for new carpeting when they’re done, check out Mustard’s Mood Lighting light switch stickers which are so cool. And check out the fun glow-in-the-dark Monster Mood Lighting light switch stickers, just in time for Halloween.   Each pack includes 12 sheets of removable–key word!–vinyl stickers with boy, girl,...

Read More

Congrats to the Martha Stewart American Made winners. So much goodness!

From the woman who tells us everything that’s “a good thing,” there are now ten more good things for us all to discover via the Martha Stewart American Made 2014 winners. Here’s just a few we’re amazingly impressed with. Kalon Studios: Michaele Simmering and Johann Pauwen’s gorgeous modern furniture is all designed in LA and US-made. From a gorgeous handmade crib we recently featured in our black and white nursery roundup,  to a modern play tent and plenty of modern craft furniture for adults, we’re coveting all of it.   Heather Lins is a Madison mom making very cool DIY embroidery kits that make terrific gifts for...

Read More

Dapple natural baby cleaning products: No surface left unclean

Having a baby has been a joy, a wonder, a delight–all that warm and fuzzy stuff. But I have a confession to make: It has also made me a germaphobe. I’ve never been a neat freak, but lately, I’ve morphed into a little bit of an obsessive Purell-carrying, baby wipe-wielder. I’m not sure how I feel about that (control issues, who me?) but Dapple‘s fantastic line of natural baby cleaning products is my current enabler. Much like their tried and true favorites, including the fragrance-free pacifier wipes we already love, I’m so happy to see that the mom-run Dapple is out with new...

Read More

Lucy Darling: If you have a baby, we dare you not to be obsessed

I’m in love–with closet dividers. I know, it’s weird, but I am. I don’t derive much pleasure from organizing, but these Lucy Darling closet dividers actually make me want to organize my baby’s closet. They’re so, well, darling. Available in multiple designs, each as adorable as the next, Lucy Darling’s closet dividers are thick, luxe and come in sets of eight from newborn through 2T.  Perfect for baby boys or girls and certainly cute enough for a cool little baby shower gift. However my one piece of advice before you buy is to make sure there is enough clearance between the closet rod and...

Read More

You’ve got to know when to fold ’em. And by that, we mean awesome origami art prints.

Origami will always be cool, but some of us will never progress past making hats. Now you can display crisp, fancy origami creatures proudly, whether you actually possess intricate paper folding skill or not, thanks to these modern-style origami art prints. Our pals at Noodlehug–surely you remember the I Like Big Cups and I Cannot Lie print?–now have a quintet of prints featuring origami animals combined with typography and shadows that would look lovely in a nursery or office. They currently have a bear, a fox, an owl, a crane, and a jolly green dragon, each archival printed in a variety of sizes. And,...

Read More

More than 40 ideas for the coolest black and white nursery

What’s black and white and chic all over? Your baby’s future nursery, of course! If you’re looking for something other than the traditional blues, pinks and yellows, we’ve got you covered. I’m a huge fan of this gender-neutral nursery trend because it’s modern and sleek, but easily softened up with the comfy pillows, textured rugs, cozy blankets and other ideas we’ve rounded up for you. If you’re into not-too-cutesy gender-neutral nursery offerings, the new line from the British design duo at Olli + Lime has pretty much everything you might need for a very coordinated black and white nursery. From crib bedding to pillows, blankets...

Read More

What’s better than cookies? Cookies that look just the way you want them.

I just cooked to say I Love You. And Superstar, and Happy Birthday, and pretty much any message up to 17 letters that can be stamped into a cookie. Thanks to this genius customizable Cookie Stamper, you can customize any message with letters, numbers, hearts, stars–even plenty of exclamation points!!!   Each kit comes with a wooden stamper, a silicone base that resists heat, and an entire sunny alphabet of non-stick letters, numbers, icons, and punctuation. Whether you’re making cookies for a new mom, planning racy treats for your anniversary, looking for creative DIY teacher gifts for the holidays, or just want a...

Read More

OXO Tot introduces two on-the-go toddler seats with very different purposes

I heart OXO Tot. From their perfectly designed wipes dispenser to their handy freezer storage containers and snack containers, they’ve singlehandedly made diaper changes and storing baby food much breezier for this mama. So it only makes sense that they are launching two new items in those very categories to make life on-the-go with your toddler a little easier, too. First up, the new candy-colored OXO Tot Nest Booster Seats. No matter how you feel about your high chair, a booster seat is a must-have for mealtimes at restaurants or at Grandma’s. I’m just now moving into the booster seat phase myself so...

Read More

The fun 3D shelf that’s coming right at you

No matter how cool technology gets, there’s something to be said for a good old-fashioned 3D movie in which a shark tries to bite off your head. If I remember correctly, my first 3D movie was JAWS, which actually explains a lot. For my kids, it was Brave. And they were hooked, too. If your family loves a movie experience that includes paper glasses, this cool 3D shelf from our pals at Jellio would look fantastic on your game room wall or even in a cool kids’ room. It’s made of acrylic and features shelves mimicking the bright red...

Read More

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...

Read More

10 funny mugs to help you celebrate National Coffee Day in style

Every day is National Coffee Day for some of us, which means that every day is also Wow, I Need Something to Put All This Coffee In Day. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite funny coffee mugs that might make you smile when there’s basically no reason to smile. By which we mean, before dawn. When you’re waiting on the school bus. Yawn. Whether you’re a slave to single origins in the Chemex (like me!), you’ve mastered bulletproof buttered coffee, or you’re down with the cold brews, you’re sure to find something here that says what you need to say to...

Read More

Cool hostess gifts: Handmade tea towels you’ll want to keep for yourself

You know what’s awesome? When a favorite artisan or etsy shop of mine decides to brand out a little beyond their regular spate of offerings. That’s exactly what happened with Foxy and Winston, whom I loved for their cool letterpress and now for their kitchen textiles, which is fancy for cotton tea towels, napkins, and tablecloths. (Sorry, we’ve been on a Fancy Nancy kick around my place lately). Whether your own kitchen needs a little refreshing or you’ve got another lucky someone in mind, these handmade tea towels are some of the prettiest I’ve seen, with bright colors and fun patterns (and organic cotton,...

Read More

Plant Stamps: Seeded stickers that do more than ruin your car windows (says this mom)

Stickers can be the bane of a parent’s existence, especially when they’re plastered to the car windows or gumming up the vacuum cleaner. Ask me how I know. But a mom-and-pop company from Massachusetts caught our attention among the Martha Stewart American Made finalists for turning boring old stickers into a craft project for kids, a nifty wedding gift, a way to make the world a prettier place, and a great business employing people with disabilities. Sweet… basil! Plant Stamps are made in the USA and come in a variety of styles to suit any occasion from a wedding to a baby...

Read More

Where do animals go when they’re dressed and ready? Onto a clock, of course.

I’m inclined to call this find the world’s coolest animal clocks. But then, I’m not sure if that refers to the coolest clocks featuring animals, or clocks featuring the coolest animals. Eh, hardly matters. Both perfectly describe the brand new zoo portrait clocks from our friends at Blik, featuring Barcelona photographer/filmmaker Yago Partel’s hilarious portraits of our furry and feathered friends like you’ve never seen them. Well, unless you’ve seen Partel’s photo series already.   If you look closely, there’s more to each photographic concept than just random animals looking serious in people’s clothing. The koala in a Hawaiian shirt probably looks like an...

Read More

I like big bins and I cannot lie.

We’ve featured no shortage of kid-friendly storage bins here on Cool Mom Picks, but now that my kids are getting older (sniffle), I’m in the market for a little organizational help that’s a little more my taste, like these stylish storage bins from MUNI shop on Etsy. I can always use a few more bins in my life, especially now that school has started, and these handmade linen baskets are perfect. I particularly love the leather handles, which make them sturdier than some others I’ve seen. And the designs are sweet and modern.   Charging cables, office supplies, well,...

Read More

P’kolino’s Little Modern Collection: modern kids’ furniture for modern kids

Changing your child’s room from an infant’s nursery to a kid’s functional bedroom doesn’t have to be a long (and expensive) project for modern style-and-design conscious parents. In fact, Cool Mom Picks’ favorite P’kolino’s new Little Modern Collection has enough kids’ furniture pieces to help you outfit an entire room easier than it takes to get a squirmy toddler into footsie pajamas at bedtime. P’kolino’s Little Modern toddler bed is such a nice-looking piece of furniture with clean lines and a neutral color palette that goes with everything. I also appreciate nice touches like built-in handrails to keep kids tucked in safely and the hidden storage...

Read More

Funny coffee mugs for caffeine junkies. You know who you are.

Considering how much our Facebook fans loved this hilarious coffee drinkers t-shirt, we couldn’t help but share this hilarious coffee mug we found at AvenueBlue on Etsy. I’m sorry for what I said before I had my coffee.  Now if that’s not the truth, then we’re not sure what is. Of course, if you’re not a coffee drinker (or bulletproof buttered coffee drinker, what?), then you’ll love these other mugs, all of which are available in 3 custom sizes, depending on how much tea, coffee, or um adult substances, you drink. Think teacher gifts, friend gifts, or just because you need a...

Read More

Wow, now that’s a bookshelf.

When are utilitarian storage units for kids the most stunning pieces of furniture in the whole room? When they are these gorgeously original Amsterdam Cabinets from This is Dutch. Modeled after Amsterdam’s iconic canal houses, these 78″ tall cabinets would be the centerpiece of any cool bedroom or playroom. They come in 11 different colors and three different gable designs on top so that you could theoretically have an entire cityscape filled with books. Dutch books maybe?. Of course I say theoretically because at almost $1,300 a pop, this is definitely not affordable design for most of our budgets, but we can dream, can’t...

Read More

7 of our favorite Made in the USA gifts just in time for Labor Day

If you’ve read our site for any length of time, then you know that American-made products are our heart and soul; celebrating them (and the indie makers behind them) is actually one of the reasons we started Cool Mom Picks in the first place. It’s why we love having our own Cool Mom Picks indie shop at Great.ly, which allows us to support local, indie artisans in another way. So, in honor of Labor Day, we rounded up some of our favorite American-made goodies featured in our indie shop. Whether you’re looking for a special treat for yourself, someone close to you, or just want to get...

Read More

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...

Read More

11 cool wall hooks to help kids keep their stuff off the ground already.

With back-to-school comes backpacks and baseball caps and sweater and jackets and scarves and WHY DOESN’T ANYONE PICK UP THEIR THINGS FROM THE FLOOR???  (Yes, I just used multiple question marks. On purpose.) If that sounds familiar, I think you’ll appreciate these 12 cool wall hooks for kids I found that can’t wait to hold up their many things. P’kolino’s free standing clothes tree (shown at top) has loads of “branches” that are at just-the-right height for young kids to hang their things on themselves. I love that you can chose from lime, orange, white, or natural to best fit their room’s...

Read More

The perfect end of summer gift: Memories of summer

If you have had a fantastic summer weekend host, a memorable visit with relatives, or some other cause to send a little thank you gift to commemorate the experience, consider the new Summertime book by Joanne Dugan a terrific option. Edited by the same author/photographer who brought us favorite books like ABC NYC and 123 NYC for kids, along with countless images in magazines that you’d recognize, Joanne has put together the work of 46 terrific photographers. I cannot stop flipping through the clean, evocative images which, even in their diversity, are so well-curated that they hang together like a gallery show about summer. And as a parent,...

Read More

Method takes on the air with style

I admit I never used to be much of an air freshener person. For years, nice candles did the job. But with kids and pets and did I mention kids? Yeah. I’m a convert. That said, I am super sensitive to scents, and I don’t want to spray my home with chemicals trying to simulate the smell of a pina colada or a pumpkin pie.  However if I buy fancy boutique stuff, it kills me to catch the kids playing with it. Which they do. I figure our friends at Method Home know that too, because they’ve just expanded their line to include...

Read More

What’s black and white and cool all over? Plenty, at Target

  This post is sponsored by Target. Hi, unabashed Target addicts reporting here. And once again we’re so happy to welcome them back as a sponsor because, well, Target. Also because they’re doing something very cool for shoppers that we’ve taken advantage of ourselves: They’re letting you order things online, then pick up them up the very same day in-store. In other words, you get to hold a hot item or see for sure that it’s in stock before you head out–and then, you don’t even have to pay shipping charges or wait a few days to get your...

Read More

Put your junk in this cute recycled bag. Now it’s not junk!

Whether your kid needs a school supply pouch like no other, or you want to keep your own makeup organized while traveling, check out this Junk Drawer Pouch, a cute recycled storage bag. It harkens back to the days when every kitchen had a junk drawer that, like Mary Poppins’s bag or Doctor Who’s Tardis, was bigger on the inside. Our pals at Perpetual Kid are always serving up fun ways to do normal things (they’re all over our back to school guide, you may have noticed) and I’m sure you can come up with a ton of uses for this pouch...

Read More

Duvet covers from Society6: What all the cool beds will be wearing this year.

We’ve loved the cool indie designs at Society6 on everything from art prints to gadget cases for a long time. So we were pretty stoked to discover that those gorgeous designs are now king-sized. As duvet covers, that is. And yes, queen too. They have hundreds of fun designs, so we’re still narrowing down our choices. It’s not easy.     \       The covers are super soft, machine washable, and include a hidden zipper that doesn’t mar the design. My one disappointment is that they are only offered in queen and king sizes, and I don’t know many kids who sleep in beds that big–unless they’ve...

Read More

Follow us on Instagram!

Subscribe

Pin It on Pinterest