Tag: books for parents

An honest review of Marie Kondo’s newest book, Spark Joy: Does it light a fire or lack a certain spark?

It was with immense excitement that I ordered Marie Kondo’s newest book, Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. After all, it’s been a year since I wrote about her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and put it to the test in my own home. Turns out, my post on whether her Konmari method of decluttering will work specifically for parents ended up being one of the most popular posts of 2015 on Cool Mom Picks. I guess “tidying” is a hot topic among us parents. Go figure. As for Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy, while the...

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The Gift of Failure: 3 tips from Jessica Lahey to help you raise more self-reliant kids

With the prevalence of helicopter parenting these days, it’s no surprise we’re seeing kids becoming much more dependent than independent — and let’s face it, we’re seeing more really tired parents. But it can be challenging for parents who are used to doing so much for our kids to take a step (or a bunch of steps) back and allow our kids some autonomy. So how thrilled were we to welcome Jessica Lahey, columnist, educator, and author of The Gift of Failure to our Spawned with Kristen and Liz this week to discuss ways we might be inadvertently stifling our kids’ creativity and...

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One of David Bowie’s greatest hits, reissued

There’s no question that David Bowie had a huge impact on the world of music, which is partly why we can’t stop talking about him. So today we are so happy to discover that the iconic 1987 David Bowie READ poster has been reissued by the American Library Association. As part of an entire series of ALA celebrity posters started in the 80’s, David Bowie, an avid reader, was one of the first celebrities to agree to pose for the campaign. He looks pretty spry for 40 in his letterman jacket, doesn’t he? A far cry from his look in Labryinth. At 22″ x 34″,...

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Decluttering tips from 5 top organization experts: Which is best for you? | Spawned Episode 29

I fully admit that home organization is the bane of my existence. If you’re a hard-core reader of this site or a listener of the Spawned podcast then you know that while Kristen is an avid purger, I’m what I like to think of, fondly, as a Nostalgic Hoarder. It’s like not you’re going to find me one day, buried under 25-year old newspaper clippings, old coffee cans and pounds of cat hair. But I do have trouble getting rid of my kids’ early doodles (they’re so sweet!); birthday cards from every relative ever (maybe my kids will want...

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Web coolness: Bingewatching faves are back, life-changing books, Powerball winner true stories

Here are some of the things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too.   One of our top must-bingewatch series, Downton Abbey, is back, yay! (It should hold us over until the return of Game of Thrones on April 6.) 11 ways to be the fun parent. Interesting idea: Spending more money on play. The 10 happiest countries in the world with some very big surprises. Reading more in the new year? 16 books coming out in 2016 the critics are excited for. 28 authors on the books that changed their lives. Zora Neale Hurston would have turned 125...

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Sponsored message: GiftLit curated book-a-month subscriptions let you give the gift of reading this holiday

This is a sponsored message from GiftLit. You really can’t go wrong when you give books over the holidays, but a special way to make your gift keep on giving all year long is a personalized subscription to GiftLit. GiftLit offers more than 100 different collections in their book-a-month subscriptions — from board books that encourage a love of reading in toddlers, to teen and adult book collections on topics as specific as fantasy and magic, American History, or just the best new releases of the month. And now there’s a special offer for Cool Mom Picks readers, just in time for a perfect Hanukkah or Christmas gift. – Don’t...

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Book cover tees that promote smarts over sass

RJ Palacio’s Wonder is one of those rare books that simply stays with you for a long time. At least for me and for my daughters, who often bring up this phenomenal YA novel in the course of everyday conversation, and refer back to it  when we have those hard talks about injustice or social dynamics or the politics of friendship. So when I saw our friends at Litographs had added a new Wonder tee to their collection of graphic tees all designed from the words of novels, I knew I had a new favorite. Big news all around for Litographs t-shirt...

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Born to be Awkward: More laughing out loud from the people who brought you Awkward Family Photos

Every family has those terribly awkward and humiliating baby pictures capturing those off-moments you can’t escape. Lucky for you, yours likely aren’t included in a new book to be shared with the masses from the folks who brought us Awkward Family Photos. They’ve  done it again, this time letting the kids take the fall in the hilarious new paperback, Born to Be Awkward: Celebrating Those Imperfect Moments of Babyhood. Seeing as how babies have pretty much no motor skills and little self-control, there are plenty of fails to be giggled at, just like on your own camera roll: funny faces, spit ups, diaper blow outs, as well as a fine...

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Web coolness: Back to school humor, ending women bullying, and the return of Ren + Stimpy

Here are the links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you do too.   25 thoughts parents have on the first day of school. We can relate! 5 tips for school drop-offs. (#4 has us laughing out loud.) Should you pay kids for chores? One of our favorite Spawned podcast discussions yet. Helping kids balance school and fun. The new Apple products parents are going to want. Interested in checking out: New book on ending women’s bullying. Poet Mary Oliver on how differences bring couples closer together. Rugrats and Doug and Ren + Stimpy? Together? Yes!...

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Someone Special Books: Personalized books for kids with special needs of all kinds. Like making friends.

We love personalized books for kids, which always make special gifts for the kid who has everything. Also, what child doesn’t need more books in his or her library? But now we’ve discovered a publisher creating personalized books made just for kids with special needs and conditions, from Down Syndrome to Autism to food allergies and ADHD. This is simply a fantastic find for so many families and classrooms. The customizable books from authors Heather McCartney and Kate Ryan of Someone Special Books allow you to choose the appropriate title, then insert details like your child’s name, birthday, friends, or favorite activities, which are all incorporated into the rhyming text. But...

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We’ve got 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults. Pass those markers over, kids.

It’s so easy to find yourself on-the-go all the time as a parent, but having downtime is important. In fact, I think it’s vital to being a good mom or dad. Of course, a few hours alone to get a manicure or go for a walk is so nice, but I like to find ways to unwind with my kids too. That’s why I’ve been absolutely thrilled to see adult coloring books blow up, and I’m fascinated by research I’ve seen lately saying that coloring happens to be a really effective way for adults to relax. So if you need a break from crosswords or Netflix or...

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Need an answer to I’m bored? How about 250 of them.

It may surprise readers of Cool Mom Tech, but I am pretty much a no-screens-in-the-car kind of a parent. Back when my youngest was still a toddler and four consecutive episodes of Dora meant a needed stretch of quiet. But now, unless it’s an extra extra long car ride, we have a pretty good roster of car games that do the trick. Until I run out. Which is why I’m thrilled to have a copy of Amanda Morin’s new On-the-Go Fun for Kids: More than 250 activities to keep little ones busy and happy anytime, anywhere.  250, mamas. That’s a lot of ideas....

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Primates of Park Avenue: A fascinating summer beach read, even if that beach isn’t in the Hamptons

Before it even hit the shelves, there was a swell of hype around Primates of Park Avenue, by Wednesday Martin. Specifically, whether this outrageous glimpse into the inner lives of über-wealthy moms on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is accurate at all. So I grabbed a copy at Amazon — and the irony of the $10 discount off the hardcover price for those of us middle-class gawkers looking to press our noses against the glass was not lost on me. I’ll get back to the accuracy point in a bit, but overall, I found the book equal parts intriguing and shocking. And I couldn’t put it down....

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13 great ideas for last minute Father’s Day gifts | Father’s Day Gift Guide 2015

Well we’ve officially hit that time we start talking last minute Father’s Day gifts. Fear not, we have plenty of ideas for you! From ones you make yourself, to those you can still get shipped, to some you can actually get at an actual store near you. (Hey, stores! Remember those?) We’re so pleased to welcome back Dove Men+Care as our awesome sponsor for the last post in our Father’s Day Gift Guide series. We love supporting them, because they’ve consistently supported great dads in such meaningful authentic ways. Especially this time of year. In fact, they’re even giving away tens of...

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11 beautiful pop-up books to bring reading to life in 3D, no technology required

Now that my kids are finally all old enough to know better than to rip out the cut-art from a pop-up book as I flip the pages for them, I’ve been looking around to find some new pop-up books to read to them. And wow, there are some really, really beautiful pop-up books for kids that have been published in the last year, along with some classics I still adore. These are books that I’m enjoying as much as the kids are, even as they give my children a glimpse into another world, teach them a wider appreciation for art, or are just super fun. One will...

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We’re Pregnant by Todd Parr: A funny, free ebook for new moms that gives back to kids in need

If you’ve parented toddlers, you’re probably familiar with Todd Parr’s children’s books, and his distinctively child-like illustrations. Well, my interest was piqued when I found out about his free new ebook that happens to be for parents this time. Add the fact that they’re donating $1 to Project Night Night for every download up to $10,000: I’m sold. We’re Pregnant by Todd Parr is perfect for first-time parents who are experiencing all those ups and downs. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about an illustrated picture book written for me, but the story is actually very sweet. With a reassuring tone, Parr reminds us that, yes, it’s...

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Web coolness: The Full House rap, why Sandra Bullock and Robert Downey Jr win the week, Mother’s Day gifts, and more.

Here are the things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too.   Have you checked out our 2015 Mother’s Day gift guide? Go! Custom wine labels for new moms, ha. Check out our Instagram every Thursday for #ThrowbackPicks – you might not believe this week’s pick was ever a “small” struggling little business. We’re supporting March for Maddie tomorrow, Heather and Mike Spohr’s March of Dimes Walk in honor of their beautiful daughter they lost 7 years ago. How to deal with over-opinionated mom friends. Know a few of those? One more reason to love Robert Downey Jr. Why yes,...

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RAD American Women A-Z: Required reading for our girls. And definitely our boys.

As you probably know, a good alphabet book is one of those must-haves in any child’s library. Over the years my kids have loved learning about design in Maira Kalman’s Ah Ha to Zig Zag, getting a real feel for their letters in Franceschelli and Peskimo’s Alphablock, and playing with the wild alliteration in Augie to Zebra by husband-wife duo Caspar Babypants and Kate Endle. But the new alphabet book, RAD American Women A – Z, written by Kate Schatz and accompanied by edgy, minimalist illustrations by Miriam Klein Stahl is one I’m excited to read with my ten-year-old. And just when you’d start to think he’s too old for alphabet books. The list of women...

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Thinking: Parent | 15 things you should stop putting off and do right now.

One of my most prized possessions is a photo of me holding my daughter, flanked by both my mother and grandmother, Momsie. Four generations of strong, first-born women together for a brief time on this earth. As we come up on what would have been her  97th birthday, I often think how fortunate I am that Momsie got to know my girls before she passed five years ago. I’m especially grateful that my older daughter still has a few nice if simple memories of her: A swimming pool with a frog in it. Hide-and-seek behind her gauzy Florida curtains. An impromptu karaoke party. Her special...

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The Book of Life is one fascinating website. Or is it a book.

So, there’s this really interesting website called The Book of Life. And I’m trying to figure out how to describe it, but I keep coming up empty. Is it an encyclopedic resource? An online self-help book? A place to turn for philosophical discourse? It’s kind of all of that and more and it’s unlike any website I’ve ever seen. Brought to you by London’s The School of Life, they’re calling it a book, which it mostly is and a little bit isn’t, because that’s how we’re to use it; by navigating chapters written by multiple contributing authors. The chapters focus on what...

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