Category: Cool Websites

BRIKA is more than another flash sale site. It’s less–in a good way.

While overall, I admit I’m growing a little weary of all the membership-only shopping sites (and the subsequent eight million “OUR SALE IS STARTING!” alerts in my inbox each day), there is a new one I’m excited about. I love its focus on artistry, creativity and the kind of talented designers that we always get excited about when we discover them on Etsy. The new site BRIKA seems to me a bit like a cross between Fab, Uncovet and Joyus. It’s a rather minimalist site–all about beautiful items from artists and small brands you get to learn a little...

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Get inspired to pursue your life list at Go Mighty

My boring ol’ to-do list may grow hourly, though it’s way more fun to think about my “want to do” (often more morbidly called a bucket list) which is filled with all those things that sound like fun, an adventure, or just something I know would make my heart sing. And now there’s an amazing place online where I can share these thoughts, no matter how crazy or trivial, and maybe even find others who might be able to give me the nudge to check them off my list. Go Mighty is a new community website that offers a...

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Etsy Gift Cards! Whoo! We’re officially thinking holidays now.

In Italian, “Etsi, finalmente!” translates rather perfectly into, “Oh, yes, finally!” Which was pretty much my exact sentiment upon hearing that the famously uber-cool online marketplace Etsy is now offering gift cards, just in time for the holidays. [don’t miss a great limited time offer after the jump!] Rejoice fellow Etsy fans, the site now offers a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Etsy gift card that can be emailed to a friend or printed out the old-fashioned way. I know I have a very soft spot in my heart for Etsy, having purchased a one-of-a-kind painting from an artist in Israel last year...

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Welcome to The Studio: a brilliant resource for budding artists, scientists, chefs and their parents

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Kiwi Crate here at CMP. We love the concept: a subscription service for kids that sends out monthly boxes filled with superfun, educational activities. But now, we can also benefit from the creative minds behind the wonderful Kiwi Crate kits without spending a dime.  The Studio is a brand new online directory that’s packed with more than 500 projects, recipes and activity ideas to keep your family’s creative juices flowing. I’m already obsessing over all the Halloween ideas. My kids would go batty (heh) for the 3D Yarn Spider Web.  But The Studio’s...

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Know an inspiring mom? Something tells us you do.

I’m of the mindset that nearly every mom I know inspires me in some way. Even so, there are some that simply live in a way that is inspirational to many. That’s why I’m so excited that our friends at mom-run Tea Collection have created the Inspiring Mom Awards–and equally excited that I get to be a judge, and give out a veddy veddy nice prize indeed. [Click over and see what you could win…just for nominating someone!] The Tea Collection Inspiring Mom Awards is intended to honor mothers in three categories: Entrepreneur, Making a Difference, and Globe Trotter....

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Politics for kids: the Democracy Project gets kids involved in the election, no mudslinging allowed

With all the attack ads on TV, the l-o-n-g debates, and the lack of cartoon characters, it’s no wonder that my kids aren’t exactly enthralled with politics and the upcoming presidential election. But there’s now a cool, non-partisan website that allows kids to learn a little more about the process and the candidates (and even lets them try being Commander in Chief). Plus there’s plenty of kid-friendly cartoon drawings to hold their attention much longer than the next :30 plea for your vote. PBS Kids’ The Democracy Project is an adorable and navigable site to help young kids learn...

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Things to do in Manhattan that aren’t your typical things to do in Manhattan

Even as a lifelong New Yorker (more or less), I love that there’s always something new to do in Manhattan. Not just because there are new shops and museums and restaurants popping up all the time; but because there are so many old ones that you simply never noticed before. It’s probably why when visitors to Manhattan ask me, “what should I do when I’m here?” It’s hard to offer a quick answer besides Central Park and walking the Brooklyn Bridge. That’s why I’m excite about a super clever new website that helps turn you onto the Manhattan you...

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Good Food on a Tight Budget, EWG’s new shopping guide

The Cool Moms (me especially) always check EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database before reviewing a product to make sure the ingredients meet a persnickety mom’s health and safety needs. Now we’re excited to announce that EWG is going further than Skin Deep–straight into our bellies and grocery carts. If avoiding pesticides and supporting healthy farming practices are important to you, you won’t want to miss this great new resource. Good Food on a Tight Budget is a free and easy resource for planning healthful, cost-effective meals for your family while avoiding nasty pesticides and artificial ingredients. The Environmental Working...

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Decorating takes (wicker) balls, but owning the book about it is easy

I love paging through home-furnishings catalogs and feeling that combination of envy and absolute astonishment. Have you ever looked through a spread and thought: “who the heck lives like that?” Of course you have. Well get ready to laugh. The new book, Catalog Living at its Most Absurd: Decorating Takes (Wicker) Balls, is every bit as hilarious as it sounds. You may already be a fan of comedienne Molly Erdman and her blog, Catalog Living. It follows the life of Gary and Elaine and their ridiculous furnishings in a mockumentary style that is such an addictive read, entry after...

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ThredUp reinvents itself and now buying discount designer kids clothes–or selling them–is a joy

You know how it goes: your kids wear their clothes for a ridiculously short period of time. Sure, there’s always hand-me-downs, or consignment and Craigslist, if you’re motivated enough to try to make some money. But those routes require time and energy that many of us are sorely lacking at this time of year. So we’re happy to discover that thredUP has newly relaunched, as a very easy, very good-looking online consignment shop. Related: Buy and sell designer clothes for the whole family, right from your smart phone Related: Chairish: Shop the country’s coolest vintage shops, all from your couch ThredUP features...

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One more fun reason to visit the Fab Back to School pop-up shop right now

It’s abundantly evident to readers of this site that I’m in love with Fab.com. That love only heightened when they launched weekly kids sales. And now–a back-to-school pop-up shop with lots of fun goodies for preschoolers, teens and even college kids. Plus a few great organizational helpers for parents. (You’ll need to register if you’re not a member yet, but it’s free.) Click over and you might even recognize a certain someone’s photo smiling back at you. (Hi!) But besides, that you’ll find great deals on cool water bottles, Wildkin bags (like the snakeprint lunchbag in our own Back...

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Guest Pinner alert! Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte

We’ve been so obsessed with Pinterest lately, we thought we’d try something fun this month and welcome a guest pinner: the amazing Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte. We’ve been huge fans of her design blog for ages now, in fact, we featured her own adorable creations as well as her kids clothing line for Anthropologie on our site. Well, as you might know, her own Pinterest boards are notorious (are you following her?). So we couldn’t be more thrilled to make her an honorary CMPer for the month and have her share her awesome eye with you.   To keep...

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Hooray for July and the Magic Beans 31 Days of Giveaways!

The realization that it’s already July is being made much easier knowing that it’s also the start of Magic Beans’ 31 Days of Giveaways. If you’re not familiar with this wonderful mom + pop owned shop, this is the perfect opportunity to make its acquaintance, and perhaps score yourself some amazing goodies (coughBugabooDonkeycough), many of which we’ve featured here on Cool Mom Picks.  {See how you could win $12,000 worth of prizes after the jump!} As part of their 5th anniversary celebration back in 2009, Boston-based and family run Magic Beans hosted an outrageous 31 Days of Giveaways. Lucky...

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Everyday Food video series with Sarah Carey – Watch, learn, eat

It’s no secret that my Cool Mom Picks cohorts and I are fans of the smart folks at Martha Stewart. (And it’s not just because they’re fans of Cool Mom Picks, too!) So you can imagine how excited we were to learn that they’ve launched a free cooking video newsletter with  Everyday Food editor-in-chief Sarah Carey. I signed up immediately and couldn’t be happier. Sarah’s cooking video newsletter is my new go-to–or I should say come-to-me!–cooking inspiration, since it comes to my inbox every day. The video recipes are classic Everyday Food dishes: laid back, fresh, and truly family-friendly....

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Thank you Design Public, we’ll take that discount!

When looking for decor and something lovely for my home, one of my first stops is Design Public.  If you love modern, contemporary design, this is the site for you to find a wide variety of home accessories, furniture, art and much more.  Well lucky for us, Design Public has an outlet. It turns out that if you hit the Design Public Outlet online at their web shop, you can save anywhere from 40-80% off regularly priced items.  They list new inventory daily which includes open box items still in new condition. At the time of posting, you’ll find lots...

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Olive Us gets kids excited to move and make and do.

We imagine that anyone who’s ever read Design Mom has instantly fallen in love with Gabrielle Blair, her adorable brood, and her positive approach to beautifying life. So we’re thrilled to be able to announce Gabby’s exciting new video project that we think you’ll like. And so will your kids. Olive Us is an exquisitely produced short video series that reminds me of the little films in Sesame Street. In the first episode, we catch the absurdly cute Blair kids (dressed in Polarn O Pyret and Hunter Boots, observant readers might notice) taking care of the garden behind their...

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4 great design blogs for new moms – from new moms.

It’s exciting for us when our favorite design bloggers become new moms (or aunts!) themselves. Because that means more cool products, design, clothing and gorgeous inspiration for parents everywhere. Here, 4 phenomenal design blogs that are starting to feature more mobiles and fewer handcut steel coffee tables with sharp edges. (Ha.) DESIGN FOR MINIKIND One of our favorite design bloggers and all around adorable gals, Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind, has announced Design for Minikind. As well as the pending birth of her first baby. Expect gorgeous products, clean beautiful photography, and inspiration from around the globe you...

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5 online resources to help get parents smarter about money

When it comes to teaching our kids about money, we’ve learned that the most effective–and easiest–trick is teach by example. In other words, the better example we can set for them, the more prepared they’ll be to tackle their own budgets and spending as they get older. And while your kids may not be ready for the “this is how a credit card works” talk, even toddlers can start to understand the value of a dollar. Or a quarter. (Boy it’s tough to explain that a piece of green paper is worth more than a shiny coin!) So we...

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Presenting Stitch Labs – Small business owners and aspiring professional crafters, this one’s for you.

Many a mom has dreamed of running her own craft business– me included. My Etsy shop never got big enough to merit any sort of organizational system, but if it had, I suspect I would be totally lost, much like Lucy was in that candy factory. Inventory, shipping, and labels, oh my! When your product rocks, it gets complicated fast. Consider us thrilled by this new online business management tool just for crafters and creators, developed by one of our own favorite successful crafters. And it offers a free trial, too. Stitch Labs is the latest venture by our pal...

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Treehouse Tykes – A new flash sale site that stands out from the rest

Another members-only flash sale site, you ask? Well, yes. But this one’s got an awesome charity aspect to it, plus the kinds of kids’ brands for up to 70% off, that we’d happily buy at full price. The new flash sale site, Treehouse Tykes, not only tempts are wallets by offering CMP favorites like Manny & Simon and 7 A.M. Enfant, but has a very cool way to shop while doing major good: 10% of net proceeds will go to the school or charity of your choosing. Another way Treehouse Tykes is different is their “10-10-10” program. Every time...

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Fab.com knows parents want cool stuff too

Our love for fab.com is nearing on obsessive (and we all have the credit card bills to prove it). And as if we needed one more reason to love them, today is the launch of their brand new dedicated shop just for kids stuff. Visit the all new http://fab.com/shops and you’ll find a different, well-curated specialty boutique each weekday–with Wednesdays being Kids Day. It starts at 7pm ET (quick, get the kids fed!) or 4pm PT which means you west coasters better download the new fab.com iphone app if that normally cuts into carpool time. The kids shop starts...

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How to get started on Pinterest – The perfect 101 guide

Pinterest, pinterest, pinterest! That’s all it seems my on and offline friends are talking about these days–and for good reason. This virtual corkboard that allows you to “pin” and share your online inspiration can help make life easier, craftier, and from what we can see, much more delicious. But as much as I love Pinterest, the site at first look a little overwhelming for newbies (like, “oh no–one more thing to learn?”) but the truth is, it’s super easy. So I’ve put together five tips to help you get started. Happy Pinning! 1. Get an account Pinterest is still...

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Lately Lily – World travelers R Us

I don’t have many strong beliefs but one thing I feel very passionately about is travel. We have just this one world provided to us and I believe it is our responsibility as global citizens to get to know it a bit beyond our own backyards. I fully plan on showing my daughter as much of the world as I am able and encouraging her to go out and explore on her own…. but she’s 2. So for now, we’ll start the global education at home with this amazing site.  I was so thrilled with the discovery of the...

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New Year’s Resolution Help: Managing your money

The next in our series of New Year’s resolution help: Better financial management for the new year. (What? Not just us, right?) Here, just a few of our favorite simple tips and resources to help you get off to a good start in 2012. –Liz Get your head in the game For a great overview on all things financial, the Daily Worth website and email newsletter offers just that, especially for women and by women. The tips are practical, and you don’t need an economics degree to understand it; but even if you do have an economics degree, you won’t find dumbed down...

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Sidepon–Discount codes that save you a lot of money. And all that valuable time.

We tell our readers time and again, do nooooot make an online purchase without first searching for discount codes. Especially at the big online retailers. There’s nothing more frustrating than hitting that “purchase” button to find out you could have gotten it for less. We were just introduced to SidePon.com who happens to be our newest, coolest CMP sponsor. And they just may have one of the smartest systems ever for finding and using discount codes. Once you find the retailer you want–everyone from Saks to the Sundance catalog, even Frederick’s of Hollywood (rowr!)–you’ll see all their existing codes...

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Friends of Maddie gets musical

When Mike and Heather Spohr lost their daughter Maddie two and a half years ago, they refused to let the light this beautiful little girl brought to the world be extinguished–they started Friends of Maddie to support families coping with having a baby in the NICU, like they’d been through, themselves. This week, Maddie would have turned four. She’s now been gone longer than she was alive. No one would blame the Spohrs if this week brought nothing but grief and a desire to hide from the world, but once again, they’re channeling their pain into a greater good...

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5 ways to save money holiday shopping

We’re so thrilled to be teaming up with our sponsor Harris Bank who’s asked us to offer up some of our smartest money-saving tips just in time for the holiday shopping season. As self-proclaimed shopaholics, the holiday shopping season might just be our favorite time of year. But before we plunk down our hard-earned cash, we want to be sure we’re getting the best deal possible. There’s just nothing like scoring a discount, especially when it doesn’t take too much extra work to get it. To help you save a little cash this holiday, we’ve rounded up five of...

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Speed dating for babysitters. Now online.

A good babysitter is hard to find. I’ve been way picky about who gets the, er, privilege of watching our active preschooler and toddler. This has kind of backfired–the only guaranteed babysitters we now have are grandparents. And, since the kids officially destroyed my in-law’s house last week (don’t worry, the grandparents loved it), I’d still love to give them a break with a qualified pinch-hitter. So, question: where do crazy-busy mamas start to find this magical babysitter? Answer: MommyMixer. The site began as a way to facilitate parent and potential caregiver meet-and-greets in more than 50 cities around the country–you know, speed-dating...

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You recycle, you upcycle…and now you can Hipcycle

There is nothing that gets my inner MacGyver going more than upcycling. The creativity it takes to see something useful in a random everyday object–love it, not to mention the fact it can be an earth-friendlier way to shop. It totally explains my current bag of choice: it’s woven out of seatbelts and utterly indestructible, no matter how many leaking sippy cups are in it. It’s also the best conversation starter practically ever.  So this brand-new upcycling site has got 100% of my attention. The just-launched Hipcycle has some of the coolest upcycled gear I’ve seen in a long time–all...

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Are you t-shirt obsessed and time-starved? Join the club.

Spending time shopping for myself is basically a joke with two kids under the age of three, but it’s certainly nice to receive a little fashion treat every month in the mail. And that’s just why I joined StyleMint, the newish online, members-only club for T-shirts from fashion arbiters Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I never thought I was the type to subscribe to a monthly retail club, but StyleMint has definitely changed my mind. It’s pretty straightforward–you answer some questions about your personal style and which kinds of brands you prefer (i.e. if you need retail therapy, do you...

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