Once again, we’re happy to have compiled the best lists of all the best children’s books of the year, curated by the top publishers, reviewers, organizations, and bloggers we respect. And boy, was it a fantastic year for children’s literature and storybooks. You’ll surely find lots of great new discoveries from the New York Times to the American Library Association, from NPR to well-curated blogs like Brainpickings and Brightly and…well, us! So start with our own list of the best children’s books of 2016, then check out some other perspectives. We bet a few of your kids’ favorites will be on here, and you’ll surely find some new ones you’ll be excited to add to...Read More
The 2016 best board games of the year from Spiel des Jahres. Family game night just got a whole lot cooler!
During the summer I usually let my kids stay up late, but we ditch the screens and play board games together instead. So, each year I keep my eye on the Spiel des Jahres award-winning board games to find the best new board games that are guaranteed to be interesting for the whole family. Sorry, Chutes and Ladders. This German-based award that literally means “game of the year” is basically the Pulitzer prize of board games. They consider games from all over the world, and we’re never disappointed with their choices. So, we wanted to share the winners that were announced today, because it just so happens we have loved...Read More
I don’t want to let holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day slip by with my kids thinking it’s just an extra day off of school. So if you’re like me and are looking for some ways to honor the spirit of MLK while you’re home today, we highly recommend you check out last week’s winners and honorees of the 2016 Coretta Scott King book awards which we briefly mentioned in our roundup of all the best book lists and award-winners of the past year. This is a list of winners we share each year because it’s important for us to seek out diverse stories from diverse authors, that aren’t always...Read More
The other night my ten-year-old son was looking for something to read at bedtime. I handed him my review copy of Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, not sure what to expect. When I checked on him an hour later, he was just a few pages away from the end of this 250-page graphic novel. And the next night, he snagged it to read a second time. That’s saying something. So, when I saw that the book became a Newbery honor recipient this week — the award for great writing, not illustration — I knew I had to take a look too. Related: The ultimate list of the best kids’ books...Read More
Yesterday’s big awards news had nothing to do with Bradley Cooper or the Oscars (which I can’t wait for either). The American Library Association announced the 2015 Caldecott and Newbery medal winners for young adult literature, and we were really excited to see some of the best books for kids that we’ve recommended here before rise to the top as winners. If you’re looking for your next favorite book, whether it’s a picture book for your young kids or a novel for your teens (or yourself), this is a great place to start. And if your favorite online shop is sold out,...Read More
Thousands of books are published for children each year, and it seems like there are thousands of “best of” lists published too. If you’re shopping for kids books for Christmas like we are, you’ll want to check these lists out for some great book ideas you might not have heard of yet. We’ve put together the collections here with links to all the 2014 Best Books for Kids awards, and highlighting some of our own faves. We’re definitely celebrating the huge number of women writers who won prizes, the focus on diversity, the growing trend of non-princessy science-loving heroines, rabbits–lots of rabbits–and, of course,...Read More
We are thrilled that Martha Stewart is again shining a spotlight on those gifted American makers who brings us so many gorgeous items to decorate our homes, dress our babies, and beautify our lives through the 2014 American Made awards. And now it’s time for you to vote for the Audience Choice Winner from over 1,000 finalists. That $10,000 prize could go a long way towards helping one of your favorite American companies succeed. Though you can vote up to six times in a 24 hour period from now until October 13th, good luck narrowing your votes down to only six companies....Read More
I just love a good awards show. The Grammys, Golden Globes, and the Tonys are great, but for me, the Oscars is the ultimate–Hollywood at its finest. If you enjoy celebrating the Academy Awards at home as much as I do, these easy DIY ideas will amp up your Oscar-watching party, and maybe even inspire us to switch up from the jeans and yoga pants on a Sunday night. (No need for professional makeup.) For updated 2015 Oscars printables and ideas, visit this post. First impressions are crucial for any award-winning event. This gorgeous Oscars invitation from Paperless Post...Read More
Recently we told you about the Inspiring Mom Awards, sponsored by Tea Collection, and now I’m so thrilled to let you know that after much (much!) deliberation it’s been narrowed down from 100 nominees to 9 finalists in 3 categories. And your vote can help 3 of them win $1000 toward charities of their choice–something we know a lot of mamas are thinking about these days. Just read their brief stories–you’ll be inspired, trust me. Congrats to the finalists of the Mompreneur category, which I judged with Giggle’s Ali Wing: Jackie Majerus of Connecticut, Amy Sue Nathan of Illinois, and...Read More
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....Read More
I remember sitting down at my very first PTA meeting, excited for my daughter to enter kindergarten at a wonderful public school, until I heard these words: It looks like we’ll have to cancel the dance program this year. I felt the tears well up in my eyes. As a former dancer myself, knowing there was a full-time dance instructor on staff, as well as a visiting program with a notable professional dance company, was one of the key reasons I was excited about the school. With enough fundraising we knew we could bring them back. But it wasn’t...Read More
Anyone who caught the Emmys last night probably oohed and ahhed over Modern Family’s adorable Aubrey Anderson-Emmons. In case you’re wondering where she got that awesome little purple dress, it’s none other than Tea Collection, believe it or not. And we’ve got a first-hand look at how it came together (zomg, the picture of Aubrey with her dad is killing us) and…an exclusive chance to win one of your own. [don’t miss a chance to win your own dress after the jump!] Knowing my own girls, I can only imagine that it’s every 5 year-old’s dream to have a...Read More
Recently we introduced you to the wonderful Martha Stewart American Made Awards which is offering crafters and other small business owners a chance to win $10,000 to support their dreams. Well, we are just thrilled to find out that some of our very own readers and featured shops are among the finalists in the Audience Choice Awards! Ashley McCally of Lilly and Gus makes beautiful plush products made from upcycled fabrics from denim to wool. We’re so glad to hear she found out about the contest from Cool Mom Picks! Becky App of eCreamery has created a great business selling...Read More
How lovely to discover that Cool Mom Picks was voted the #10 best pregnancy blog on Babble.com. Let’s just say we’re blushing! We’re thrilled to be included in Babble’s Top 50 Pregnancy Mom Blogs list with some of our own faves, like Ohdeedoh, Postpartum Progress, and DaddyTypes, even though we’re pretty sure Greg is not a mom. (Though he’s definitely one cool dad). And before you think we’re paying off Babble.com with homemade cookies, just wait for their next list – “Super Ninja Baking Mom Blogs.” We’re pretty sure you won’t see us anywhere on that one. Thanks so much,...Read More
You might remember when we told you about YesKidzCan!, the folks who are helping your kids figure out ways they can start changing the world for the better right now. We love their mission and their Act of Kindness kits, but now they’re taking it even further. Check it out: They’ve just launched the Social Kidpreneurz Awards, and it’s all about helping kids give back to society in creative ways that work for them. Applications are open now and run through June 1, 2011; fifty recipients will win $100 of seed money apiece to fund their “business-like activity that...Read More
We were nothing short of thrilled to find out that we’ve won a Cribsie Award for the most trustworthy product reviews for parents. Thank you Cribsies! Considering more than 135,000 total votes were cast, and our formidable competition included Daily Candy, AOL’s Parent Dish, Babble, and Lil’ Sugar–some of our favorite sites too–we really are blown away. Head over to the website and see the winners in more than 60 categories, including lots of brands you might be familiar with from these pages. (You Cribsie voters have good taste!) Thank you so much to those of you who voted...Read More
We’ve been long time supporters of handmade here at Cool Mom Picks. In fact, it’s our original reason for being. And so when Kristal from Rik Rak Studio (love her stuff!) asked Liz and me to judge her amazing Handmade Olympics, we said “Absolutely!” without a moment of hesitation. Whether you’re a popular Etsian or a crafter by hobby, entering in each of the seven categories is super easy. (No triple salchows required!) Just comment on the event page at the Rik Rak blog with the name of the item, the creator, and a link to the image or...Read More
It’s like Miss America for crafters, and you’re a judge. But there’s no Miss Congeniality. This one’s all about looks, and you only get one vote. Actually, it’s the competition for Martha Stewart’s annual Holiday Craft Fair at her company headquarter in NYC. Vendor spots are highly competitive and you can vote for your faves. Of course, we’re always excited to see handmade, gorgeous crafts in the limelight, but we’re especially proud to know that two of CMP’s favorite mom-run businesses are among the finalists. There’s perpetual craft crush Little Alouette, who makes gorgeous wood toys and teethers in...Read More
Well what a nice surprise to discover that the November 2010 issue of InStyle includes Cool Mom Picks in their big Best of the Web feature! We are so beyond thrilled that one of our all-time favorite magazines mentions us us as one of four favorite blogs in the kids category. (Psst…page 256. The one with the adorable Rachel McAdams cover.) It’s a great honor considering we’re in the company of sites Planet Awesome Kid, Mamaista, and EcoChildsPlay. Plus we loved seeing the inclusion of CMP favorites like Rikshaw Design, Polarn O Pyret, Little Lunalu, TadaShop and more. As...Read More
Well, what an honor to wake up to find Cool Mom Picks on Babble’s List of the 50 best design blogs for moms. We are in such amazing company we can hardly stand it. Click over for 49 other blogs we know you’ll adore too, including some of our own favorites. Thanks Babble and thanks Elina! –Liz, Kristen + Team Mom Picks Do you have a favorite design blog for moms? Or heck, dads, aunts, or design junkies with no kids at all? (We don’t discriminate.) We’d love to hear it. We’re always looking for kindred spirits to recognize...Read More
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