Category: Helpful Services

Sensory and developmental toys for kids on every level of the autism spectrum

I’m on a mission to find a birthday present for one of the smartest, sweetest, most wonderful little guys I know. That’s never an easy task. But Creative Kidstuff has made the process much simpler with a special new section on its website. Why? Because the awesome kid I’m shopping for has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Creative Kidstuff, in partnership with St. David’s Center, has identified the best of its educational toys for different skill and developmental categories and put them into one easy-to-shop category of toys for children with special needs. For example, if you’re looking for fun toys to...

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Custom scarves from Hayden-Harnett – Baby wearing in a whole different kind of way

In the search for custom photo Mother’s Day gifts, there’s a fine line between creepy and cool. (Hint: you do not want to wear your baby as a hat.) But bespoke scarves from one of our favorite hip accessory designers? We think that’s cool. The custom photo scarves from Hayden-Harnett, a Cool Mom Picks favorite, can be a very creative way to celebrate a child or grandchild. The Brooklyn designers will transform a photo (even one right from your smart phone) into a beautiful scarf in either sandwashed silk or sheer silk chiffon. If you’re not the photo-on-a-scarf type,...

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Making your own bouquets look like those pricy ones. You can do it!

Artfully arranged flowers are one of life’s most fleeting luxuries. Since I’m not an heiress, I pick up flowers at Trader Joe’s or the grocery store when I do my weekly shopping — the flowers are inexpensive, and a flower’s a flower right? The only problem is that when I get home with a bunch of flowers I have no idea what to do with them. So I plop them in a vase (as artfully as possible of course) and wonder why they never look as nice as professionally arranged flowers. Now they do. When I learned about the Flower...

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thredUP’s new Concierge service – the easiest way to resell your kids outgrown clothes

It is a sad moment when I put a barely worn outfit on one of my kids and realize they’ve outgrown it before they’ve even had a chance to spill something on it. But now the smart people at online clothes-swapping site thredUP have come out with a new service that’s perfect for parents who love buying their kids cute clothes, but hate when they’re outgrown. Let’s just say it’s not so bad knowing your kids outgrow their clothes when you can get paid for them.  {keep reading for a chance to access this service before it goes live...

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LegalZeal – Great help for small business owners.

We know a ton of our readers are small business owners, just like we are. And we know first hand how confusing all the legalese can be when you’re getting established. I’ve badgered accountant friends for info and lawyer friends have helped me distinguish an LLC from an INC from a DBA. Or at least enough to know which one to use. There’s that one big online site out there for legal help, but we’ve found out that “help” may come with a lot of (big) hidden costs. So I’m glad to see a new site made especially for...

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TaskRabbit – a.k.a. your very own personal assistant

Sometimes I feel like my days are filled with nothing but a bunch of things I have to get done. Thankfully, there’s a new website that hooks people like me up with someone willing to help with everything and anything, from grocery shopping to cooking dinner.  The new website TaskRabbit is a more dignified-than-CraigsList-way to hire someone to do something you don’t want to do. You post the task you need done on their message board with an amount you’re willing to pay. Then wait for offers to come in from their background-checked “task rabbits.” Next, you hire whoever...

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5 cool modern piggy banks

We’re so thrilled to be teaming up with our sponsor Harris Bank who’s asked us to offer up cool picks to help teach money management early. Back when I was a kid, a piggy bank was no more than a basic way to teach money savings to those old enough to dump a few pennies in the slot. These days, you might have noticed that piggy banks have come a long way in both design and style. With the holidays coming up, we rounded up 5 of our favorite modern piggy banks, which not only do the job they’re...

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5 amazing daycare options that aren’t what they used to be.

It’s kind of amazing how far daycare has come. Whether you’re reclaiming date night or just need a few minutes to work (or read) in peace, specialized work/play centers are popping up all over the country to supervise your kids when you can’t. Some places focus on exercise and excitement, while others focus on education and parental comfort. Bonus: most of them include coffee. Here are a few we’ve found that look like a lot of fun for the kids… and you. Portland, OR: WeVillage Urban Playcare A nighttime daycare: Brilliant! This licensed childcare facility is open late to...

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The best food on Fresh Direct for the time-starved NYC parent

Like so many New York area parents, I’ve been an avid user of Fresh Direct for years now. For me, shopping for groceries online is the best way to avoid the stress and mess of supermarket shopping with a curious toddler who wants to stick his fingers into packages of raw chicken and take bites out of everything in the produce section. So I did not need convincing that it’s a seriously great way to stock my kitchen. What I did need convincing about, was that the prepared meals didn’t taste like hospital food. Fresh Direct sent me a...

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The most helpful site for NYC mamas in search of… well, everything

I didn’t have kids yet when I lived in New York, but if I did–or should we ever happen to move back (could happen!)–I’d need some help getting it all together. A toddler bed to fit in a Manhattan apartment? Recommendations for a fabulous nanny? A gently-used city stroller for two? These are things for which you could turn to anonymous classified sites, but would you really want to when there’s a safer, more trustworthy alternative? Blueleo is a site filled with classifieds specifically for parents in the NYC vicinity, including Westchester, New Jersey, Long Island, and Fairfield. In...

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