Category: Helpful Services

9 fantastic photo books under $30 for sweet but affordable gifts. Ready to sort through your camera roll?

This is the time of year when I know it’s time to start thinking about putting together my yearly photo books but I dread looking at my iPhoto files– because 4,589 photos is a lot to wade through. But I’ve found some photo book services that help you to build great-looking photo books easily, quickly, and affordably. Some even do it for you. And the best part: They’re all under $30. I buy photo books as gifts so I can document our family’s year together (and because admittedly I’m terrible at scrapbooking), but also because they’re perfect for so many people: Aunts...

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Thanksgiving pies that deliver, deliciously

We recently shared our essential tips for how to make a homemade pie, but have a feeling that some of you may skip out on the baking this Thanksgiving. No judgments here if you’d rather place an order and have your Thanksgiving pies delivered. In fact, we’ll help you find the best mail order pies around. Bon Appetit is one of our most trusted sources for foodstuff and they recently did the hard work of tasting 75 mail order pies from around the country. Hard job, right? (I don’t feel bad for them either.) They’ve narrowed it down to...

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What’s my 20? Well, a little different from Tina Fey’s.

For the last year, I’ve been partnering with American Express, in part because I love Amex (member since forever) and partly because when I see those awesome Tina Fey commercials, I’m now sure we’re really just two degrees from being best friends. If you’ve seen those ads too, in which she hilarious shares some of the ordinary things she buys on her Amex EveryDay Credit Card, then you might know that when you hit 20 purchases in a month, you could earn double Membership Reward Points on the card. And boy do I like my points. So I thought I’d share my non-famous mom version of my 20. These are the 20 things...

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An awesome new meal planning website that personalizes your meal plans. It’s like doing it yourself, without having to do it yourself.

How many times have you heard “Just meal plan!” when you groan about the never-ending responsibility of feeding your family night after night?  But time constraints, logistics, or the fact that organizing ahead isn’t everyone’s strong suit mean meal planning just doesn’t work for all of us. Now, thanks to new awesome meal planning website gatheredtable, someone else can do it for you. Don’t miss a big update below   Does any of these statistics resonate with you? You’re not alone, which is why so many meal planning sites and apps have popped up lately. I’ve looked into many of them and haven’t found one that I...

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Decorist makes stylish, affordable, online interior design available to everyone.

Repurposing our old furniture and accessories into our new house just doesn’t always work. That rug that was perfect in my old bedroom just doesn’t cut it in the new one, it turns out. And while I love interior design sites like nousDecor, sometimes I need  serious professional help. So the timing was perfect for me to discover Decorist, an online interior design service for any project in your house. I’d normally try to fix that rug situation on my own, because interior design services can be pricey. So I’m the perfect candidate for Decorist’s lower cost interior design consulting–also a great...

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The best pregnancy calendar week by week, now in your inbox

One of the greatest resources on AlphaMom — a wonderful site full of great resources, published by friend of CMP Isabel Kallman — has to be the Zero to Forty pregnancy calendar, for wonderful week by week support and humor. It was originally written by Amy Storch of the blog Amalah while she was pregnant with her second son. Not only is it informative (though Amy is not a doctor, and she does not play one on TV), it’s also hilarious. Just try not to pee yourself, mamas. Now you can sign up for pregnancy calendar weekly newsletters delivered based on your due...

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Instacart: Grocery shopping right from your couch with a very awesome twist.

Taking four kids to the grocery store is like a full-on workout. But really, taking even one cranky toddler shopping can be no easy task. Especially in this weather. So when Instacart offered Cool Mom Picks an exclusive first look to try out their brand new Philly service, which happens to launch today in addition to Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area, you can bet I jumped at the chance. Grocery delivery from Whole Foods (as well as Costco and coming soon, a few smaller groceries) within two hours of your order? Yes please. That’s...

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Need a last-minute Halloween costume idea? Rent the Runway to the rescue.

Need a Halloween costume and don’t want to get stuck with the last Sexy Teletubby costume at the store? The good news is that with a little DIY cleverness, you might find the answer in your own closet. Or, we have an extra easy idea courtesy of a partnership between Rent the Runway and Etsy.  But you have to act fast! In addition to getting designer dresses at a fraction of the cost, Rent the Runway just launched amazing, curated costume ideas using their available dresses– genius. Each costume includes a dress you can rent, and then you can check...

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More to love: Rent the Runway adds plus sizes

You could say a few of us here have become quite the evangelists for Rent the Runway. After seeing Kristen strut her stuff on a Las Vegas business trip in two gorgeous designer dresses, I tried it myself for an event this past spring, and fell in love with the clothes, the service, the style–everything. So I’m glad even more women will get to reap the benefits with the addition of their brand new plus size line.   Rent the Runway Plus is so awesome for women sizes 14-22 who feel more Badgley-Mischka than Lane Bryant. In fact, they happen...

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Zoobean: Personal book recommendations for your one-of-a-kind kid

Finding just the right books for your child can be, well, challenging–especially if your kid is as finicky about what she reads as what she eats: No peas, broccoli, or dumb princess books, thank you. So I love this cool, custom service made to create your kid’s dream reading list. {EDITED TO ADD: Zoobean is currently not taking on any new subscribers.} Hooray for Zoobean. Created by a mom-and-dad duo who were struggling to find kids’ books with biracial main characters for their son and daughter, this book-curating subscription service does the searching for you. Also perfect for those...

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