Category: Cool Websites

Betcha can’t find one million giraffes!

It all began with a bet: somewhere in Norway, Ola bet Jorgen that he could collect one million hand-drawn giraffes in one year. And you know what? He did. The proof is at OneMillionGiraffes.com. And now you can buy a 32-page hardcover book, aptly called OMG! One Million Giraffes featuring the giraffe images from all over the world, in a mosaic form reminiscent of an artsy Where’s Waldo? But with giraffes. Each unique giraffe had to be created by hand– not computer–and was submitted by everyday people, simply to see if one man’s wacky but interesting dream could come...

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Big news! We proudly introduce the launch of Cool Mom Tech

Well after months of work, we can finally let you know the big news that’s been keeping us all busy lately: The official launch of Cool Mom Tech! Whoo! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a so-called techie to feel at home over there. You’re online right now mama, and that’s all the techie you need to be. Check in daily and you’ll find the coolest picks to keep us stylish, keep us organized, save us money, and keep our kids smart, safe, and entertained. Not necessarily in that order. To see the kinds of things we love,...

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Fall is coming: Is your camera ready?

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Big Picture Scrapbooking no longer exists. Lazing in the pumpkin patch. Biting into a just-picked apple. Jumping in a leaf pile. I have all of those iconic family pictures of fall sitting in photo albums already. So what’s next? This year, to give me a little inspiration (and mindfullness before I click the shutter) I’ll be signing up for Picture Fall, the 31-day online photography workshop for both pros and photo newbies alike. Like its predecessor Picture Summer, Picture Fall is led by Shutter Sisters’ founder, pro photographer and cool mama Tracey Clark and hosted on the Big Picture...

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Have you virtually hugged a grandparent today?

You may not have realized that today is Grandparents Day. And while yes, it’s a so-called Hallmark holiday, totally fabricated to maximize card-purchasing potential, I think it’s awesome. Maybe you can make sure to call your own grandparents if you’re still lucky to have them — or to get the kids on the phone with theirs. Of course, if you want to take it one stop further, we have one easy idea you can do right this very second. It’s hard to believe I only discovered Animoto about a year ago, because I feel like I use it so...

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Books for kids who love Twilight (and the moms that love them… and Twilight)

I’m going to go ahead and admit it right here: I’m in my early thirties, and I love books written for teens. I know I’m not alone because the YA genre, or Young Adult, is awesomely popular right now. So I’m thrilled to have found a website to help parents find the best new books  for teens, or for yourself, if you’re like me. Novel Novice is a website dedicated to showcasing Young Adult literature, encouraging reading, and promoting education. They have book reviews, news, author interviews, contests, spotlights on classics, and other features designed to get teens excited...

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Turns out Keith Haring’s art can teach kids about more than just art

I can’t tell you how much I admire teachers. My son has had some good ones and some great ones and what separates the two are that great teachers don’t just instruct, they inspire. Haring Kids, a website based on the amazing artwork of Keith Haring, contains a database of more than 160 creative lesson plans that both parents and teachers can use to teach everything from shapes to social studies.  Lesson plans are arranged by subject, age-range, and even required materials with extensive descriptions of how a particular school presented the program. One of my favorite hands-on activities...

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Planting the seeds of greatness (and also tomatoes)

Right now, I’m looking at the wilted, brown leaves of my dying container garden and ruing the white-hot Atlanta sun. I’m pretty sure we spent $30 on supplies that produced four very small tomatoes and one hideous cucumber. But the joy on my kid’s face as we sprouted, planted, and nurtured our little garden on the back porch? Priceless. [don’t miss learning about a cool giveaway after the jump] Knowing what it can mean to our children to take an active part in gardening ups my appreciation of the Seed Savers Exchange, which is the largest non-governmental seed bank...

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A match made in baby nursery decor heaven. (Is there such a thing?)

If I could, I’d spend all day shopping for home decor. But with a gaggle of kids, that whole bull in a china shop analogy springs to mind. Thankfully, I an lean on the membership sales sites like One Kings Lane and their crazy mad discounted prices. And this week they’ve got a super cool sale just for the design snob parents of the world. This weekend’s doozy of a Toastmaster Tag Sale features uber cool kid’s furniture designer and rock star wife Jennifer Delonge. Head there for access to some of her fave handpicked one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, plus–bonus–you’ll...

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Free money management help just got more helpful. If not more free.

You may already know that Mint.com is a fantastic one-stop destination for money management on the Net; it’s as close to a bookkeeping genie as most of us mere mortals are going to get. I love that you can sync up your bank accounts, credit cards, stock portfolio, and more, and Mint.com will manage it all in one place. Their latest feature, however, is raising the bar for financial wizardry for those of us who can use a little wizard-like intervention. The brand-new Goals section is very smart. It allows you to not just manage what already exists in...

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At last, photo tips just for those of us who take a million photos a year. In other words, moms.

One of my favorite gifts from my baby shower was the lovely DSLR camera I received. Having spent years taking out-of-focus pictures of my cats, I’d hoped having a high quality digital camera would prevent me from taking the same out-of-focus pictures of my kid. Well, it turns out it’s not just the camera that’s the problem. I wish I’d known about the site The Photographic Life: Photo Tips for Moms back then. This beautiful site offers everything you could possibly wish for as an aspiring family photographer. There are pages of tips about photography gear, video tutorials, and...

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The 2010 Cool Mom Picks Back-To-School Guide is here!

It’s 104 degrees outside, and you know what that means: back to school and our annual Back to School Shopping Guide! We know– it doesn’t make much sense. But we also know that the next few ultra-sunny weeks will require new clothes, shoes, backpacks, and lunch gear. And let’s not forget indulgences for us moms, whether the moms in question are missing the carefree days of summer or mourning that first bus ride to Kindergarten. Sniff sniff. [Awesome giveaway after the jump!] This year’s Back to School Shopping Guide has everything you’d expect, from hip indie items to big...

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Protecting yourself from sun protection

Keep your eyes on the EWG website for the latest Environmental Working Group sunscreen recommendations! The headlines are everywhere: Not only is the sun hurting you, but your sunscreen is now a partner in crime. Whether you fear nanoparticles, retinoids, or hormone disruptors, it’s easy to spend twenty minutes in the sunscreen aisle drooling in frustration. But you don’t have to fear your children’s sunscreen any longer, thanks to this dandy list: The Environmental Working Group’s 2010 Sunscreen Guide. As CMP always says, checking with EWG is a good idea when you’re searching for a new product, because their...

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Like having your own Rachel Zoe for your kids, but cheaper

If you’ve ever run from one side of the mall to the other trying to match a dress from the department store and shoes from a boutique with just the right cardigan, then you are going to totally love this discovery. I think it’s the online equivalent of sitting down with a frappe while Rachel Zoe does the dirty work for you. Tada! Shop is a brilliant concept. Founders and moms Hadley and Holly bring together hundreds of popular name brands and hip, on-the-rise boutique finds for an easy-to-navigate browsing experience. You can¬†search by category, brand, sale, or newest...

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Mini Social is keeping boys all stylish and wallets half full

We love the online flash sale site, The Mini Social, because finding cool boys clothes, especially at up to 60% off, is always a challenge. But this week is extra-special since through June 18 it’s Boys Week, and a portion of all the sales will benefit the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. You’ll find hot kids’ clothing brands like CMP faves Little Ruler, Wonderboy and Baby Susu. You can also see what celeb guest editors have to say about keeping their boys stylin’–and it might make you feel good to know that even clothing designers and actresses still have...

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Don’t spend another summer blowing those perfect snapshots

I got a snazzy new camera for Mother’s Day and hoped it would instantly turn me into a photographer that makes grown men cry. Instead, I’m still taking loads of uninspired, far-away photos of my kids doing various inexplicable things. What I need is a little direction and inspiration to turn my ho-hum photos into things of beauty, and Tracey Clark, pro photographer, good friend to CMP and the founder of Shutter Sisters, is stepping in to help me. And you. And anyone who cares to sign up for her 30-day online photography and scrapbooking workshop, Picture Summer. Hosted...

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Power to the people (which is you) with Kickstarter

It’s easy to feel hopeless in today’s world, like one person can’t make a difference in the face of earthquakes and oil spills and families without health insurance. That’s why we’re so excited about Kickstarter, a website connecting do-gooders with vetted, legitimate creative projects and ambitious endeavors. Not only can you make a difference, you get a ringside seat to watch the dreams you help fund come to fruition. At Kickstarter, you can search for projects you want to help support by topic, whether they’re trying to make the world better through the arts, culture, food, the environment, and...

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Family travel, four-star, and discount all in the same breath.

When my husband and I talk about taking a trip, it always goes along the same script:“How about here?” “Too expensive.”“How about here?” “No good with kids.”“How about here?” “Are you kidding??”“Fine, let’s just go camping.” And don’t get me wrong, I like camping, but I’d be okay with a luxury getaway once in a while. Which is why, I suppose, I’ve recently become addicted to Hotwire’s Travel Ticker. The prices appeal to my penny-pinching side, and the wealth of available information appeals to my mom side. Why, perusing the Family Travel section yields all sorts of possibilities I...

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Ecards of the rich and famous

Ecard sites are no longer what they used to be, even a few years ago. I can’t even imagine why anyone besides your grandma would still send those digital cards made of stock photography rosebuds and garish wedding type. Well now here’s another one to add to your bookmarks: ecard website to the stars, Cocodot. While the service isn’t free — a very basic annual membership starts at $29 — it’s definitely a savvy choice for those of you chronic entertainers, birthday-rememberers, and general well-wishers who want to make an excellent impression without the use of actual stamps. The...

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When you care enough to send the very most completely awesome

Imagine a land where the world’s hippest Indie designers line up at your door to throw sketches at you for… whatever. Your daughter’s birthday party, your best friend’s shower, your “I Finally Lost the Baby Weight” champagne brunch. Okay, now imagine you don’t have to stand there in your pajamas and awkwardly offer them coffee as you sort through the portfolios. You just browse a website. This land is called pingg. For those of you already familiar with the free e-cards of pingg, you might agree that it’s the super cool lovechild of Hallmark and Etsy– with a dash...

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Let Cool Mom Picks and Ideeli shower you with roses for Mother’s Day

We are all staunch devotees of the members-only luxury sale site, Ideeli, which has perhaps the most consistent array of high-end designer clothing and accessories at fabulous prices, along with giveaways that even we find ourselves entering. So we are thrilled and honored to have curated our own Cool Mom Picks – Ideeli giveaway just for Mother’s Day. And we want one of you to win! While there’s nothing wrong with roses for moms, we took it a step further with a $500 rose pampering package that will please everyone from a first-time mama-to-be, to your family’s esteemed matriarch....

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Reduce, reuse, recycle your kids’ clothes easily with thredUP

Back when my kids were outgrowing their outfits every three months, it pained me to have to restock their wardrobe continually. It wasn’t just the cost, it was the time it took to select each item. That’s why I’m intrigued by the new easier-swap site thredUP kids. In just a few minutes, you can pick out a box of gently-worn clothing that will fit your child, pay a few bucks to have the box shipped to you, and voila: Right-sized outfits that my kids can outgrow again.  Then, in about the time of a typical nap, you put outgrown...

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The 2010 Cool Mom Picks Mother’s Day Gift Guide is here!

If you haven’t guessed it from some of our recent posts, it’s almost time for one of our favorite holidays – Mother’s Day! Which means it’s also time for our annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide. Not that every day shouldn’t be Mother’s Day, but…you know. This one comes with presents. (Sweet!) If you’re shopping for a mother, a grandma, or maybe putting a wish list together for yourself, we hope you’ll love our picks. We’ve been busy tracking down more than 50 fabulous Mother’s Day gift ideas in every price range from plenty of indie boutiques and smaller companies,...

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Let your baby pay it forward, right from birth

Sure, it’s awesome to be gifted all kinds of needed gear and cute outfits when you’re having a baby. We’re the first to tell you that! But maybe you’re doing well enough to afford all of that stuff on your own. Or maybe this is your second (or third or fourth) baby. Or maybe you just hold children-focused charities near and dear to your heart. If that’s the case, head on over to The Baby Effect to print out little enclosure cards explaining that you believe that every birth represents a chance to make a better world for the...

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Video thrilled the Readeo star

I love books. Love them. And I love reading to my kids. But let’s say they are going to spend the weekend at their grandparents’ place. Or my husband and I decide a romantic getaway is in order (hey, it could happen). Then what would my separation-anxiety-ridden children do for stories? (Okay, I realize Grandma and the babysitter aren’t illiterate and bedtime stories might not be top of mind on a romantic vacation, but work with me, here.) Turns out, I can still read to my kids with the newly launched Readeo, a web-based library of children’s picture books...

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Charity starts at home, on the computer, in the KidzStore

YesKidzCan! is about co-founders Lisa Novick and Julie Chapman’s dream of making it easier for even busy families to participate in giving back to their communities. Which is great. So when I had the opportunity to chat with them last week, I told them right up front that while gratuitous Z’s usually turn me right off, in their case, I’ll make an exception. In the KidzStore you’ll find a variety of “Act of Kindness” kits for a mere $8 apiece (they’re even cheaper if you buy more), that contain whatever you need to bring charity to life in a...

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Now Alice is right on your iPhone

We were so smitten with the cheeky online shopping helper Alice when it first debuted, we’re now thrilled to find that we can take Alice everywhere, via their brand new iPhone App. It’s all the same things we love about the original–shopping reminders, 50 daily deals, an easy way to keep track of household purchases, and free shipping. Only now it’s on your iPhone. So if the urge strikes you to order up more TP while you’re sitting in the carpool line, you don’t have to resist.  -Mir Visit our affiliate Alice on the web and get a $10...

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Survey says: You can have a Wiser Pregnancy

You show me the woman who didn’t spend her pregnancy polling her friends as to their symptoms and decisions at similar points of gestation, and I’ll show you a bridge I have for sale (cheap). But while having girlfriends and relatives to talk to is great, but sometimes you want a broader perspective. Now that broader sampling is right at your fingertips: Wiser Pregnancy aggregates responses to common pregnancy experiences and makes it easy to search by trimester, symptom, procedure–whatever you may be facing. Each issue shows you the total responses, how many people answered, and allows you to...

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Saddle up for old-fashioned fun

Is it possible to have a kids’ show nowadays that doesn’t involve robots, high technology, or characters that make you want to throw a shoe at the television before your eardrums rupture? Sometimes! John Bankhead–a father seeking entertainment “like we used to have”–is the brilliant mind behind Johnny Saddles the Singin’ Cowboy, the new educational web-based show teaching kids fundamentals through song, dance, and even a good-natured lizard. Honestly, there are so many ways this could’ve veered off into the overly-cloying ditch, but it never does. It’s just plain upbeat, prairie-themed fun. The characters are likable, the music is...

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Cool Mom Picks loves Parents Magazine!

We were already huge fans of Parents Magazine (who isn’t?), but now we have even more reason to love them–for including Cool Mom Picks on their list of Parents Power Moms. Wow. We’re sooooo flattered to be a part of this fantastic list (if we do say so ourselves) of of mom bloggers and other digital so-and-sos that includes some our own faves, like Gabrielle Blair from Designmom, Techmama Beth Blecherman, AlphaMom.com‘s Isabel Kallman, and a slew of other awesome ladies that make us even more proud to do what we do here. So check us out in the...

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KidSteals. No it’s not about stealing a kid.

Moms of babies that have grown up to be not quite babies anymore will be delighted to know that BabySteals, the popular daily sale site for baby gear, has introduced KidSteals. It’s sort of like one of those members only sales sites – only without the membership thing – where you can log on every morning at 9 MST and catch the daily steal, from DC Skateboarding Shoes (shown) to Patagonia Swimsuits. Of course the early bird catches the worm here, or at least the organic play clothes at 60% off, so set your alarms if you want first...

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