Tag: eco friendly

Lille Huset: The diy dollhouse kits we wish we had as kids.

We adored Lille Huset’s eco-friendly, laminated, recycled paperboard DIY dollhouses the moment we discovered them at Toy Fair  earlier this year. Founder Alyson Beaton’s mission is so wonderful: to encourage kids to build and customize their homes, not just play with preexisting ones. Besides, they’re beautiful. So we are thrilled that we are now carrying the US-made Lille Huset kits at the Cool Mom Picks indie shop, along with other wonderful handmade and indie items from makers around the world. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our site. Lille Huset’s houses come flat-packed so that you...

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5 fun new beach toys for kids that beat regular shovels and pails

Tis the season for playing in the sand (yay for summer!) so we’ve rounded up some of the most fun and coolest-looking new beach toys for kids. If you’ve got a seaside trip planned,we hope these help you amp up the standard buckets and shovels. Because it’s good to keep them busy when they aren’t dodging waves or asking if they can bury you up to your neck in the sand.   SAND MOLDS FROM EDUCO Why build a regular ol’ sand castle when you could create the seaside Taj Mahal or Parthenon? I love Educo’s sand molds that come in famous shapes including the Great Wall...

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Celebrating America every day with our favorite made in the USA clothing brands for kids

While of course there are beautiful clothes made all over the world these days (we’re not one to say no to Italian leather), in honor of our nation’s birthday, we wanted to highlight just a few of the small labels and indie designers that continue to make their clothes right here in the US. Sometimes that means it’s more expensive. But there’s something to be said for paying a living wage to someone here at home, who’s often fighting really hard to keep prices down as they grow and continue to manufacture locally. As luck would have it, some of...

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aden + anais + (RED): The brand new baby gifts that give gifts to babies around the world who need it most.

When it comes to charities helping moms and babies, I’m crazy supportive of (RED), a division of The ONE Campaign. Actually, we all are around here. Over the years, they’ve raised millions to bring life-saving anti-retroviral drugs to HIV+ moms and their babies in still-developing regions. It’s amazing work, really, and they keep adding fantastic brand partners from tech companies like Apple and Mophie to Bugaboo. But their newest collaboration might be one of our favorites—burp clothes and swaddle blankets they’ve developed with the wonderful folks at aden + anais. Ooh, we’re seriously excited about these. The aden + anais (PRODUCT)RED swaddles, dream blankets,...

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Stick-lets help build forts. And imaginations. We happen to like both.

My kids love to build clubhouses and can turn anything into a fort—our playground, the shady spot under the deck, you name it. So with summer here, I was pretty excited discover Stick-lets, a new toy that lets them do that very thing. Stick-lets are thick pieces of silicone with holes cut out, so you can slide them over the end of two sticks and build a structure with them. They call them “silicone lashings” but that sounds like something out of Game of Thrones, to us. They stretch pretty well (although it takes some strength to pull the heavy-duty silicone),...

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Tree + Me

We missed the boat on a big fancy modern swing set for my kids–maybe because we live in the city and don’t have a yard? Yeah, that could have a little to do with it. But their Grandma and Papa put up a handmade swing for them which made me realize that once again, the basics can make kids perfectly happy. Especially when it’s one that will last–maybe until the next generation? That’s why I got all “awwwww” when I saw the gorgeously handcrafted old fashioned wooden tree swing from Minnesota’s The Original Tree Swing on Etsy. Pricy? Yeah. But built (from...

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Go ahead, break my day.

I’m currently trying to stage a ban on plastic (probably not ideal for our health) and paper (definitely not ideal for the environment) cups from our household. So when I saw the newest launch from Lifefactory — durable drinking glasses protected in the same silicone wrap as their Lifefactory water bottles and glass baby bottle  — I did a little happy dance.   We’ve been dining al fresco every night since the weather turned warmer and I’m not a big fan of breakable stuff on our deck since most of us are always barefoot. I can feel totally safe though with these awesome glasses. They come in a smaller 11...

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World’s cutest wallpaper and wall decals for kids’ rooms? Entirely possible.

For a while we’ve been fans of the creative wall decals and wallpaper from Pop & Lolli made just for kids’ rooms –and so have our readers. So much so, they’re always getting requests for more designs, more styles, more colors. So weren’t we thrilled to get a first look at their new collaboration on new wallpaper designs (and decals too) with one of our favorite illustrators, Sarah Jane of Sarah Jane Studios who’s one of our Etsy mainstays. There is so much cuteness for both boys and girls, it’s hard to focus on one. Behold…     Also, how great is this custom...

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Welcome baby! Cool summer birth announcements for the hottest months.

New parents, we know you couldn’t be more proud. You’ve waited months–years, maybe–for your new baby to be here and you are so ready to share him or her (or him and her) with the world. We get it. So, in honor of the sunniest months, we’ve scoured our favorite sites to find cool summer birth announcements worthy of your big news. You can catch up on sleep now instead of clicking through the thousands of designs out there with snowflakes or Easter eggs on them. Consider it our gift to you.   At top: Nothing says summer like surfer style. Check out this...

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The Munchkin LATCH bottle may be the closest to breastfeeding yet

When my first baby was just a few weeks old, I injured my back which meant medicine for me and bottles for my baby. I was a basketcase, and he was totally confused because he was used to nursing. Of course there are all kinds of reasons that new moms bottle feed, and I really believe that having the most breast-like bottle for your baby can be ideal, especially if you’re weaning or experiencing unexpected incidents like I did. The newest bottle to mimic breastfeeding is the LATCH bottle from Munchkin.I’d say that while it doesn’t look like a boob, in some...

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Recycled book journals are utterly cool, even if they’re older than Grandpa

I love when vintage books are given new life, and I found that very thing in these gorgeous handmade recycled book journals from Renovated Books on Etsy. They’re made by carefully pulling apart old and rare books and recombining them with 70 pages of fresh, smooth paper to create an utterly unique journal with a mysterious past. Each book is beautifully hand-bound with Irish linen thread to lay flat, and 28 pages of the original book are thoughtfully placed throughout like mile markers. The spine even becomes a bookmark. Isn’t that clever? I love the dashing, Clark Gable look of the more manly volumes for...

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Being eco-friendly just got more stylish with these 5 very cool reusable swim diapers

Summertime means pool time for my family, and while I’m so so glad we’re finally all out of diapers this summer, I’m a little bit jealous that we missed the boat on so many adorable reusable swim diapers that are now out there. Not that jealous, mind you, because I’d much rather spend my extra cash this summer on popsicles, not diapers.(And heaven knows I’m delighted to be out of the diaper phase all together.)  But if you’re in the market for cute, eco-friendly, and cost-effective alternatives to those disposable swim diapers, check out these favorites of ours that look more like bloomers...

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11 totally cool Sugru ideas

So, if someone told you there was a product that might totally change your life in the coolest of ways, you’d be interested, right? Me too. And when I noticed a friend raving about Sugru on her Facebook page, I had to learn more. So, in the name of research, I decided to find out what Sugru was all about. And I’ve slowly been sticking it to everything I can imagine ever since. With astounding results. Sugru is a self-setting rubber product. What does that mean, exactly? It’s a squishy, plasticine-like substance that bonds to almost anything and cures...

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Pharmaca delivers an eco-conscious, calming shopping experience. That’s a good prescription.

We’ve covered tons of smart skin care and beauty products, along with natural and organic products for babies and kids over the years. As in…tons. And so I’m really excited to discover so many of our favorites at Pharmaca, a natural, integrative pharmacy specializing in eco-conscious brands like the ones we already love and trust. Pharmaca’s headquarters are in Boulder near me, and they have over two dozen brick-and-mortar locations from Washington State to New Mexico. (Sorry east coasters, but that’s what online shopping is for.) I explored their newest location in Colorado, and I had the best time pointing out all of the awesome products on their shelves that we’ve featured on...

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Is the innovative Taga Bike Stroller worth the price tag? Here’s the real scoop.

Last month the, Taga Bike began selling in the US after six years in Europe, and I’ve been fascinated by this innovation in biking for parents, and the whole bakfiet trend that’s slowly making its way to our shores.  I totally see the appeal of a bike-stroller hybrid like the Taga; there is a cute outdoor shopping center about a mile from my house, and I’ve frequently thought how nice it would be to ride my bike down there, shop a bit, grab some groceries, and head back home with my four-year-old, who isn’t big enough to ride his own bike that far himself. And...

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Cool cloth napkins bring ombre to your kitchen

I weaned my family off of paper napkins awhile ago, and we’ve never gone back. This is mostly thanks to my ever-growing supply of cool cloth napkins, like these ombre napkins at Nine Space. I love that the ombre trend is hitting kitchen accessories, and these napkins are the perfect way to introduce it into your home. They’re a fun pop of color for your dinner table, outdoor BBQ or picnic basket, and a nice change from the often simple, subdued napkins I’ve seen and own. And considering how much time you spend at the table–or if you’re me, in...

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One Simple Change: a book of healthy living tips that actually work.

I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions, but every spring you’ll find me looking to clean up in more ways than one. There’s something about the budding plants, fresh green veggies, and warming weather that inspires me to recommit to healthier living. And still riding the momentum of Earth Day this week, I’m turning to One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life, a new book of healthy living tips by naturopath Winnie Abramson, for inspiration. I’ve followed Winnie for years through her blog Healthy Green Kitchen where she shares fabulously healthy recipes, as well as...

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Earth Day pick: Green Toys to help keep our oceans clean

I often talk to the kids about why it’s so important to keep our neighborhood and parks clean by recycling or picking up trash we find on the sidewalk. And this Earth Day, I love that Cool Mom Picks favorite Green Toys is reminding us how important it is to take care of our oceans and waterways too. Green Toys’ Safe Seas Sets, created in conjunction with the non-profit organization Sustainable Surf, pairs a fun biplane toy or submarine toy with the paperback All the Way to the Ocean which will get kids thinking about how little actions–like tossing a gum wrapper...

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Earth Day pick: Your PlanetBox lunch box gets even cooler with the help of Jack Johnson

PlanetBox eco-friendly stainless steel lunch boxes are a favorite for my kids and me. Now, through an Earth Day partnership with kid-friendly folk musician Jack Johnson, they’re making school environmental education better too, and I love that so much. PlanetBox’s bento-like boxes are pricy, so let me start there and explain why I’ve found they’re totally worth the investment. They are free of lead, phthalates, BPAs, and any other new, bad chemicals we don’t know about yet–and they’re designed to last forever. Hopefully not “landfill forever” but forever as in, we’ve had ours for years and they still pop out...

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Tasty cocktail recipes from organic liquor are a perfect way to toast Earth Day.

They say that to take care of anyone else, you first need to take care of yourself. This year I’ll prepare to show our planet Earth Day love by first showing myself some love with one (maybe two?) of these eco-cocktails made with organic liquor. Hey, we’ve gone organic with everything else, why not with our spirits, too? If you do imbibe, these happen to be delicious as well as a little better for the planet. For you pregnant ladies or non-drinkers, just stick with some of our favorite mocktail recipes. Serve in locally made glassware, wash with limited water...

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