Tag: African

This soap can save lives.

When we’re browsing the seemingly endless soap aisle at the grocery store, it’s easy to forget that the basics for good hygiene can still present a big challenge in many parts of the world. A bar of soap can literally save lives, preventing a child from dying from pneumonia or saving a mother and child during birth and delivery. Enter Health 2 Humanity, or H2H, which sells vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO, hypo-allergenic soap that’s all made in California, and uses the proceeds to change lives in three African countries. I tried all four scents, and they’re lovely. The Lemon is my favorite — a bright and cheerful citrus that...

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FashionABLE rocks fall with big style that gives back to women in a big way

While I may still be desperately combing the summer sales racks for swimsuits that fit my girls, I’ve also got an eye toward fall fashion, and I am so happy that CMP beloved maker, fashionABLE, has extended their line of wearable scarves into more fall-weight materials and added some cool new accessories, too. And not only do they help you look fantastic, you’ll feel fantastic knowing the women you’ve helped with your purchase. Here are some of my own favorites from the new collection. CMP is an rstyle affiliate The checked Assefa scarf comes in two beautifully muted palettes, while...

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The quote that does more than inspire: It saves lives.

Sharing, liking, or commenting on this post donates one life-saving vaccine to a child around the world. Please read on for the full story.   One of the most wonderful things about social media is that it gives every single one of us a voice. One of the challenges however, is that sometimes it’s easy to stop at so-called awareness; we may discuss topics and causes we’re passionate about but that doesn’t always translate into tangible action. I get it. We’re all busy, and we’re all guilty of this from time to time. That’s why I’ve been so thrilled to be...

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On Charleston: It’s never too late to talk about things that are important.

Each Friday we share some of our favorite reads from around the web. However this week, we would not be listening to our hearts if we didn’t address the outrageous act of terror and hate that took place in Charleston nine days ago at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Since that time, there has been so much to read, to process, to watch, to learn, and to understand. So we are sharing some of the links that we’ve been bookmarking ourselves over the past week, and that have moved us, educated us, made us think the most. Some are from women we know personally and love and...

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The Peace Exchange: Fair trade accessories from an organization that just gives you more faith in humanity.

I admit that like a lot of you, that it can get really hard, day after day, learning about yet another violent incident around the world; another area facing political unrest, turmoil, and terrible conditions, especially for women and children. But as I recently heard Nicholas Kristoff describe at a ONE Girls + Women’s summit, every time he visits these countries he returns feeling less discouraged, not more so. Because there’s always one person, one group he encounters, doing absolutely remarkable things to help the lives of other people. Maybe that’s why I’m always looking for these kinds or organizations to support; it’s a necessary reminder...

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To the Market: Fashionable gifts and accessories that reinvent women’s lives.

Recently I was honored to attend the ONE.org Girls & Women Initiative’s AYA Summit, in which my eyes were opened to so many remarkable ways that people devote their lives to women and girls around the world who are disproportionately affected by poverty. One of the women I was amazingly impressed with is Jane Mosbacher Morris, who cut her teeth in the counterterrorism department of the State Department (whoa), then turned her life towards humanitarian action with a focus on woman’s issues, and in particular, anti-human trafficking. She also happens to have great style and a sharp mind for business. So you can see how this is all coming together. This week I’m so...

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3 hot accessories from fashionABLE, only one place to get them

We know our readers are huge fans of the handmade scarves from fashionABLE, because of course you all have fabulous taste and big hearts. (Two of our favorite traits.) Last year the company did a very smart thing, working with our friends at ONE.org along with Gabby Blair of Design Mom and the talented Alt Summit attendees to crowdsource a new design. The winner: The Genet scarf by Janette Crawford which was such a huge hit they sold out in a flash. Even Christie Turlington and Minka Kelly were spotted wearing one.  As for me, I live in mine. Best travel scarf ever....

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PS, I Made This: Easy DIY tutorials for makers with a heart

When I was a kid, my mom put me in sewing camp for a week one summer. My style has since progressed from the neon purple and pink poufy overalls I made then, but I still craft — and I still need some inspiration from time to time. For a fashion-forward take on all things DIY, I’ve been turning to the easy tutorials on PS, I Made This a website filled with easy DIY tutorials which all pack a lot of style in just a few simple steps. Erica Domesek is the creative talent behind this site, which is full of stylish, attention-getting projects, like...

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Leather wrap bracelets with a big heart to help little hearts

I’ve been deeply committed to supporting FashionABLE since visiting them in Ethiopia on a humanitarian trip with ONE nearly two years ago. These guys get it right, producing gorgeous handmade scarves and accessories that are not only incredibly wearable, but they get the women of Addis Ababa off the streets, train them in a viable career, and help with education and medical expenses so the artists can support themselves and their families with dignity. Today they’ve introduced some lovely, affordable leather wrap bracelets that are not only on trend with all the gorgeous wrap bracelets we’re stacking up our wrists right now, they do so much...

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Born Free Africa: Designer Mother’s Day shopping for a very important cause.

As you can tell, we’re gearing up for Mother’s Day around here (our gift guide will be up soon, promise!) and just in time, we got wind of this exclusive collaboration between Shopbop and the fashion elite to support a brilliant cause.  Born Free has a very specific mission to end mother-to-child HIV transmission at birth, something that is entirely achievable. To help make that happen, 22 major designers including Diane Von Furstenberg, Prada, Stella McCartney, Tori Burch, Rachel Roy, Marni and more, have parntered with ShopBop and Vogue, and created exclusive designs with 100% of the profits going right to...

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Trend alert: Safari prints for kids and how to wear them so they’re actually cool.

Safari prints are going to be a big trend this spring, but that doesn’t mean dressing your kid like a wannabe Real Housewife. (I’ll stop there. I’ve said too much already. ) There are some really adorable prints and patterns on kids’ clothes that are stylish, and even subtle–provided you don’t pair a leopard print with a zebra print with snakeskin shoes. But you knew that, right? Here, just a few of my favorite safari inspired clothes for girls and boys. No cutesie cartoon lions or toucans, promise. Leopard print sneakers (above, $17.95 at H + M) Starting from the...

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Heart for Heart Dolls: Because African Girl Dolls, Mexican Girl Dolls and Laotian Girl Dolls are just as fun as the American ones.

While I have finally come around to accept my daughter’s affinity for American Girl Dolls, suddenly Saige and Marie-Grace have serious competition with Rahel, the Ethiopian doll from the Heart for Heart Girls dolls collection. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Heart for Heart Girls, which are each based on 10 real ten-year-old girls from Afghanistan, Belarus, Laos, India, Ethiopia, and beyond.  I really like that each one one gives your child a chance to learn more about her story and her area of the world, while a dollar from each purchase is donated to a nonprofit that...

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Honor International Women’s Day by sharing one simple story from ONE that makes a difference. Easy.

We celebrate the hard work and contributions of women every day here at Cool Mom Picks. For this year’s International Women’s Day today, we are standing with ONE to applaud the essential work of one group of women in Africa: farmers. You may not think of farmers being women, but throughout countries like Rwanda and Kenya, they make up to 80% of the agricultural workforce in some communities. Whoa.  It’s important to spread the word about their hard work to feed their communities, since investors and outside support usually go to farms owned by men. We’ve been a fan of many...

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Honoring Black History Month with inspiring quotes from Maya Angelou

The history of Black Americans is filled with stories of inspiration and strength, so in honor of Black History Month, I was so happy to find artwork inspired by one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou. Each piece features quotes that have been turned into artwork and speak of that resilience, hope, and courage. I also love how universal they are in their messaging, and how her beautiful words speak to all kinds of people. Wise words for us all. Etsy’s Finding Sunshine Rae creates typographical prints on photo paper (at top) which feature a mix of lettering and colors to spell out...

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Forget the Grammys. The 2014 Newbery Award and Caldecott Award winners are here.

If you liked our round-up of the best kids books of 2013, you’ll appreciate this year’s crop of books named best of 2013 by the American Library Association, and awarded a 2014 Newbery Award, Caldecott Award, Coretta Scott King Book Award and Michael L. Printz Book Award. Even when I was six and our local library was in an abandoned mall, I remember the bumpy, weighty feeling of a Caldecott Medal under my fingertip and how it symbolized a book I knew I could trust. Here, four more your children will feel that way about today. 2014 Caldecott Award Winner...

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Ways to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the kids

From books that celebrate his life’s story, to activities you can do with the kids on this Day of Service, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, or any day of the year.    Volunteer opportunities If your local newspaper or websites don’t list any special events, check out All For Good’s searchable database for Martin Luther King Day events in your area. In the Boston area, I was able to find events where people of all ages will make fleece scarves for homeless people, serve at...

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Sole Hope: Throw a shoe party, save lives

There are a lot of things we can take for granted living in the US, like the fact that our children are probably not going to lose their limbs to bug bites. But now that I’ve found this incredible organization called Sole Hope that helps prevent that very thing in Africa, I’m not only enlightened, I’m inspired to help. Essentially there are these bugs in Africa called jiggers. Ever heard of them? I hadn’t. They are little sand fleas that burrow into bare skin, lay eggs, and can lead to huge problems like tetanus, gangrene, and even paralysis and amputation which...

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The best books for kids 2013: A round-up of the best 2013 round-ups of the best books for kids.

We wanted to find the best books for kids in 2013, but over 1350 books are published every week! It’s easy to miss a story your kids would love. So we’ve rounded up 15 of the best round-ups on the internet from all kinds of writers, editors and bloggers, of this year’s best books especially for children. May you find the perfect kids’ books to gift wrap under the tree.   1. 13 Best Children’s, Illustrated, and Picture Books  via Brain Pickings The Mighty LaLouche by Matthew Olshan and Sophie Blackall You know this list from the wonderful site Brain Pickings...

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Gifts that give back: These ornaments could change the world. For real.

Some of our favorite ornaments this year are more than just pretty baubles for your tree. They just might cure breast cancer, save an endangered species, or transform the life of women living in extreme poverty. Pretty impressive. The shiny green and red heart ornament (above) was designed by Mariska Hargitay and supports Child Mind, a non-profit focused on transforming mental heath care for kids everywhere. Love that. ($40) This adorable little bigfoot yeti comes from Ten Thousand Villages, an online retailer sourced completely by disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries worldwide. This particular guy was crafted in the foothills...

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The gift that keeps on giving. And bleating.

As it turns out, the hottest gift this holiday season might actually be a goat. And her name is Stella. Don’t worry–she’s not coming to live with you. But she can do a world of good for a family in need. We’re already excited about FashionABLE’s third birthday–and the 30% off sale on their gorgeous scarves–because we love initiatives that help families break out of extreme poverty. In fact, one of our favorite scarves was even designed with the help of ONE.org. And now that Heifer International is partnering with ONE as well, we’re happy to get the word out too....

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