Category: Around the House

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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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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The Baby Collection from The Laundress: Heavenly-Scented Laundry? Yes, Please.

When you’re a new parent, chances are you’re doing a lot of laundry–like, never-ending loads. So it might as well smell fabulous, right? Well, you laundry snobs (like me) are in luck because the laundry mavens over at The Laundress have launched a fresh new look for The Laundress Baby Collection, their eco-friendly line of allergen-free detergent, fabric care, and home cleaning products that is safe for baby and will make those ho-hum chores a little more luxurious. And did I mention allergen-free? Big deal when you’ve got babies. It was my first time test-driving this admittedly luxe cleaning line and I have...

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Cheery, color coordinated desk accessories in colors to make you happy.

As soon as both of my kids got on the school bus for the first time, I couldn’t wait to get back to work in the delicious silence of an empty house. Reclaiming my home office is my first step in getting back in the zone, which means I have a little shopping to do. Forget gray staplers and black trays; it’s 2014, when Pantone rules and boring drools which is why we’ve loved Poppin since they launched last year. Poppin offers color coordinated office supplies and desk accessories in now 16 (!) vibrant colors from lime (which we love so...

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Cool journals from ecojot that get inspirational but not sappy. Just how we like it.

I used to be a journal junkie, until time and obligations got in the way of collecting my deep thoughts and poetry on paper. So I can see why our Cool Mom Tech team is going nuts for the new ecojot Connect journals which let you turn your grocery lists and inspiring doodles digital with a companion app. But if you still think old fashioned journals and notebooks are just fine, thanks so much, I’m loving this new collection of recycled paper journals from ecojot. We have been fans of ecojot’s quality Earth- and people-friendly notebooks for years, which help donate...

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Modern fairy tale art for girls who want to write their own endings.

If you check out the Cool Mom Picks indie shop at great.ly, you’ll find a whole category of cool kids’ room decor, and now we have a new artist we’re adding to the fold that I think is just wonderful. Rosy Designs is run by a Vancouver artist, creating what feels like modern fairy tale art in the style of modern children’s book illustrations. Her Sleeping Beauty print is made all that much more sweet with the addition of a unicorn (because, unicorns). It would only be more 2014 if it were Twilight Sparkle, but I give the unicorn points for longevity. However my favorite...

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Define Bottles: Fruit-infused water bottles because, yum.

My son would drink juice all day long if I’d let him. I obviously don’t, because wow, there’s a lot of sugar in juice, but I know he wants something tastier than water all day long. So this week we’ve been trying out the Define fruit-infused water bottles for a healthy, portable alternative to juice that has more flavor than water, but none of the additives from the flavored waters on the shelf. The Define bottle was invented by a now 15-year-old boy named Carter–how cool is that? He wanted to combat diabetes and childhood obesity by figuring out an alternative to sugary drinks. The final result...

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Get the write stuff with cool pencils for a back to school ego boost

Of course we are all guilty in today’s society of overpraising our children; everyone gets a trophy right? Yeah, not in my world. However, there is nothing wrong with a little extra parental encouragement. So, as I am starting to assemble the back to school shopping goodies, I came across these cool pencils that double as a clever “you can do it!” back to school goodie, and just could not resist. This update on the classic No.2 pencil reads Not No. 2…. Always No. 1, and is just straight up smile inducing. These cool pencils are a perfect addition to the pencil...

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15 creative birth announcement photo ideas way more interesting than sleeping babies

We are so blown-away by some of the creative birth announcement photo ideas we’ve seen on Pinterest and beyond lately. Is it a new trend or just something that’s now in the hands of more regular photographers than the pros? Either way…impressive! Here, 15 of the most creative birth announcement photo ideas we’ve seen, we think most people could pull off with varying degrees of skill. None require much more than minimal props and a little bit of help from parents and siblings; or sometimes you just need a little forethought and  planning throughout the pregnancy.That’s it. In other words, no tulle-wrapped baby...

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Perfect, perfectly cool hostess gifts from Elizabeth Benotti

I find it’s always a good idea to have a few nice hostess gifts stashed away in the hall closet in case of  last-minute dinner party invitations or weekend plans. I do this with kids’ birthday presents too, and it makes life so much easier. We’ve covered lots of cool hostess gifts, and now I’m adding to the list these pretty handmade ceramics by Elizabeth Benotti at Etsy, which are so original and fun, a little funky, and simple. I think so many of my friends would love them.   Elizabeth Benotti’s graphic style is fresh and modern, and I love that they’re not too precious or twee.Even...

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Bottle Bright: the water bottle cleaner that does the work you’d rather not.

We’ve all found that one dirty, stinky water bottle lost at the bottom of a kid’s backpack after a week of non-use, right? (At least I hope I’m not the only one.) Well, I’ve found Bottle Bright, an incredible solution from an incredible company that can take any water bottle from ew, I don’t even want to open the lid status to brilliantly clean with pretty much no effort on my part. In fact,  once I tried it I knew it would be downright cruel of me not to share it. If you’re not yet familiar with the joys of Bottle Bright, it’s an eco-friendly, chlorine-free (Yay, no bleach!),...

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Pretty food photographs spice up the kitchen. Literally.

I don’t have much space on my kitchen walls these days (I blame it on that folder that comes home on the last day of school filled with more art than my kids could have possibly created in only one year). But if I did, I know exactly what would be going up there. Food photographs! No, not the Instagrammed, look at my meal type of food photographs. I mean lovely (and hopefully even inspiring) food photographs. The kind that feature parsley and dill and cinnamon, oh my. Right now, there are a few charming kitchen art images available at the Temporary...

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Gorgeous personalized nursery art prints, exclusively at the Cool Mom Picks indie boutique

We announced our new Cool Mom Picks Indie shop at Great.ly a few weeks ago, and I have to admit that I’m staying up way too late most nights looking through all of our stylish, useful, pretty, and some just plain fun items. The shop is getting better every day, especially now that we have partnered with some talented artists to offer exclusive items. Ooooh fancy, right? To kick off this exciting new shop feature: Personalized nursery art by artist Amy Lowry from Field Trip. Isn’t it gorgeous?   So we might be a little biased (or okay, a lot), but we think these would make such a special baby shower gift for...

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The Big Book of Symptoms: How to figure out whether to panic about your kid’s rash, or go back to bed.

3 a.m. was scariest when I couldn’t tell if my child’s diarrhea or ear ache were serious or just things to wait and see about. And one of the hardest parts of being a new mom was calling the pediatrician and ending up feeling like I’d overreacted to a minor concern But we can rest a little easier now, because the new release, The Big Book of Symptoms outlines all the different kinds of issues kids can have and the right action to take, whether it’s a home remedy or the emergency room. You know how you can look up a symptom online and the results are...

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Thought of the day: On pursuing dreams

Sometimes a quote just speaks to you, and these decidedly non-cheesy, very cool inspirational quotes (geez, that phrase really is getting a bad name) come courtesy of illustrator and hand-letterer Noel Shively. I’m trying to figure out just what project we could hire him for, since his sensibility is so fresh and optimistic but still with the slightest edge that keeps it from being flowery or trite. Maybe it’s the project of “I’d like to frame one of these and hang it somewhere.” That would work.     You can find just a few of of his designs for sale...

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Presenting the most adorable night light ever.

I’ve learned that when kids are afraid of the dark, a nightlight can be their best friend. And have you ever seen a friendlier, cuter lamp than this Little Cloud Lamp? This adorable night light might be just what I need to get my scared-of-the-dark, light sleeper daughter to quit waking me up at 2 AM. Every. Single. Night.   The Little Cloud Lamp was designed by an art duo out of NYC called FriendsWithUs, who have worked with Pharrell, and I think this piece has the same infectious happy vibe as his hit song. Even though it’s adorable and perfect for kids, it...

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Custom nursery art that has us on cloud nine

We’re anticipating a new baby girl in our family soon (!!) and I’m having so much fun procrastinating from real life–er, balancing my bank account–by searching the Internet for pretty custom nursery art for her room. This sweet bamboo cloud from Hudson & Daughter is one of my new favorites at the Cool Mom Picks Indie Shop at great.ly. It’s modern and sleek but still gives me those baby warm fuzzies. This piece is made to order with your baby’s initials and birth year, hand-stamped on eco-friendly bamboo in non-toxic ink. (Not that you’ll let your baby chew on it. But still. Environment.). Plus, it’s made right...

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A tooth fairy pillow where any incisor would be happy to take up temporary residence.

When you have a kid losing a tooth, whether it’s the first or the fifteenth, you know how special it can be. Maybe that’s why I’ve always had a thing for tooth fairy pillows, and the lovely, affordable handmade ones from AppleWhite on Etsy just made me get excited for my youngest to start turning her beliefs into dollar bills. (Yes, our tooth fairy offers a dollar. Just one. I know she can probably get kicked out of Brooklyn for that, but tough.) The pillows are shaped like the sweetest cottages, homes, and even teepees, should you have a child who prefers something...

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Could this bowl get your kids to finish their vegetables?

I’m a sucker for cool serving dishes, and right now I’m loving these handmade ceramic bowls from Marina Marinski at her Etsy shop, Marinksi Handmades. Marina’s engraved illustrations are whimsical and seriously cool. Don’t they kind of have a Secret of the Kells, art house animated film look?  Which means even though they’re illustrated, they’re not too cute for me to set out when my own friends come over. Although mostly, with those faces hidden in the bottom of the bowl, I’m thinking they’ll encourage my kids to eat all of the carrot sticks in there just to uncover them.   Each ceramic bowl is made to order,...

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I pity the fool who doesn’t like this Mr. T teapot set

When you think tea, you think Mr. T, right? Smooth, powerful, totally in control of a rainy afternoon next to the sleeping cat, B.A. Baracus pities the fool who doesn’t enjoy a nice cuppa. This Mr. Tea Tea Set for One from Squackdoodle on Etsy is an upcycled teapot and tea cup printed with an image of Mr. T and, well, the words “Mr. Tea.” Just as straightforward and cool as Mr. T himself. Considering the three pretty colors, maybe B.A. should change his name from Bad Attitude to Blissful Afternoon.   After checking the feedback, it looks like the image...

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Arne Clausen: Looking pretty awesome for 126, right?

As I approach 35, I realize that I need to face the facts: I am a full-on grown-up. But as I look around our house, I realize that some of our decor and family habits don’t reflect this fact. Knowing that I want to be the family with the pitcher of milk–not the carton–on the breakfast table, I set out on a quest to find just the right piece; the one that said responsible, together, and happy. I think I found it at the Brooklyn-based LEIF webshop. My ideal sugar and creamer set is fresh, clean, cheery and oh-so-mature–much like everything in this gorgeous shop. This beautiful...

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Go ahead, make my room

We’ve been having so much fun discovering new artists to be able to sell at the Cool Mom Picks indie shop, and one of our recent finds is Cheeky Monkey Home. Her handmade pillows are the kinds that just require one to make a whole room. And they’re made with such exquisite detail, they’re the kind of thing you’d expect to find in ABC Carpet or other pricy home decor boutiques. Only you won’t. You’ll find them at our boutique, because Massachusetts artist Holly Johnson actually made these designs exclusive to great.ly. First I fell in love with the Butterflies in Paris pillow which is...

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Go ahead, break my day.

I’m currently trying to stage a ban on plastic (probably not ideal for our health) and paper (definitely not ideal for the environment) cups from our household. So when I saw the newest launch from Lifefactory — durable drinking glasses protected in the same silicone wrap as their Lifefactory water bottles and glass baby bottle  — I did a little happy dance.   We’ve been dining al fresco every night since the weather turned warmer and I’m not a big fan of breakable stuff on our deck since most of us are always barefoot. I can feel totally safe though with these awesome glasses. They come in a smaller 11...

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The coolest custom invitations for all kinds of summer parties. Even better, they’re on sale.

Over the summer months, we love any excuse to host a party–July 4th, birthday parties, backyard barbecues. And the more we do it, the better we get at finding the right places to find the right stuff to make it easy. So we’re so excited to welcome back one of our very favorite sponsors, Minted, which also happens to be one of our very favorite sources for beautiful custom invitations. And right now, this is a great time to visit. Oh, did we mention the sale? The Minted Baby & Kids Summer Event Sale right now gets you 15% off all baby announcements, kids’  personalized stationery,...

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World’s cutest wallpaper and wall decals for kids’ rooms? Entirely possible.

For a while we’ve been fans of the creative wall decals and wallpaper from Pop & Lolli made just for kids’ rooms –and so have our readers. So much so, they’re always getting requests for more designs, more styles, more colors. So weren’t we thrilled to get a first look at their new collaboration on new wallpaper designs (and decals too) with one of our favorite illustrators, Sarah Jane of Sarah Jane Studios who’s one of our Etsy mainstays. There is so much cuteness for both boys and girls, it’s hard to focus on one. Behold…     Also, how great is this custom...

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