It’s not like I was thinking of you when I laughed my head off at this I survived another meeting that could have been an email coffee mug. I mean, even if we do conduct business together, and we do have conference calls that seem to go on for hours, and we have sat through briefings that take longer to discuss than the brief took to write in the first place…no, I actually enjoy those things. And those calls where you wait for 14 different people even though a dozen of them never even say a word? Those are my very favorite. Of course I’m talking about other meetings with someone...Read More
The weather outside may finally have us shaking in our boots, but I’m feeling kind of warm inside just looking at the cutest handmade winter fleece hats for babies and toddlers from Mrs PTB on Etsy. They’ll almost make you want to leave the warmth of your house just to hear the ooohs and ahhhs of the passersby when they see your child all bundled up. Made of soft fleece by Philadelphia crafter Angelique Buckley, there’s nothing scratchy to bother sensitive kids who normally rip a hat off in five seconds flat. And the under-the-chin snap closure–which can be replaced by velcro on request–helps...Read More
Total Star Wars score! I just discovered these awesome printable Star Wars Force Awakens coloring pages from Etsy’s DJ Penscript and I know my kids will be clamoring to get their markers on them, stat. This is no rudimentary clip art; New Mexico illustrator Devyn Brewer has created some darn cool illustrations that incorporates zentangle patterns into coloring pages that I can imagine a few adults will be downloading too. You’ll find Rey on her Speeder (whoo!) plus BB-8 and R2D2, the iconic Millennium Falcon, and everyone’s favorite Dark Lord. There’s an x-wing fighter too, but it doesn’t offer nearly as much coloring potential...Read More
It’s amazing how many printable 2016 calendars there are online now — although admittedly they’re not all style. Now that I’ve finally investing in some good thick paper and become like a printable maniac, I spent a ton of time looking for the printable calendars that I would be happy to have on any of my own walls — clean, modern, pretty. Some are free, some cost a few dollars (but support small indie designers), some actually have space for scheduling, while some are just a date-at-a-glance style that’s perfect over a desk or on a refrigerator door. Hope you...Read More
As we parents start counting down the days to the December break, some of us are also realizing that whoa! It’s time to figure out teacher gifts, stat. I still really love our post about the best teacher gift ideas according to actual teachers and if you haven’t checked it out, you really should. There was definitely some debate on Facebook about the results (some of you feel really passionate about cash gifts!) but whatever you give, the message that came through loud and clear to me from all the educators we spoke with, is that it really, truly is the thought that counts. So...Read More
My kids were in a museum gift shop with friends this summer and of everything in the store, all four spent the entire time fighting over (I mean, taking turns with) what’s best defined as a handmade voice or music recording gadget from a cool little Brooklyn company called Brand New Noise. And while you might have seen something like their nifty sound boxes, nothing tops the original, which is why we’re happy to include them in our series on original makers, thinkers, and artists. These recording toys are like the best of tech toys meets the best of low-tech toys,...Read More
I’m on the lookout for some cute small gifts to give out to some of the people I love, or even for my girls to give to their own BFFs. And then I came across the collection of awesome eco-friendly, recycled brown kraft paper journals from Journaling Jane on Etsy and I was like, yup. That’s what I need. I love the artist’s mission to get people back to handwriting — as you can tell from journals with sayings like Write Your Thoughts Here and Not on Facebook — and she has hundreds of ways to do that. You can...Read More
Now that it’s officially December, I will soon unpack and set up my childhood nativity set, even if our holidays are largely secular nowadays. However after three kids who turned my nativity into a sort of dollhouse toy each year, it’s time for me to consider something new. Which is why I have been looking around the web for a beautiful and unique nativity set for families that won’t be easily destroyed, should the kids get a little handsy with the Wise Men. In other words, no $800 porcelain figurines painted with 14k gold leaf. So I came up with seven nativity sets I really...Read More
14 of our favorite small shops and online children’s boutiques to help you #shopsmall for the holidays.
Since the first November it launched several years ago, even long before we teamed up with partner American Express who is now sponsoring and championing the campaign, we’ve been staunch advocates for Small Business Saturday. And we’re still thrilled to mark on our calendars each year. In fact, supporting small businesses is the whole reason we started Cool Mom Picks in the first place. So this is very dear to our hearts. While it would be impossible to share every small business we adore (i.e. visit our archives in every single category since the beginning of our site),with the help of our editors, we’ve somehow managed to narrowed...Read More
Last year, our post on amazing illustrators making modern custom family portraits was such a hit, we took another look this year. And wow, so many options! From sweet to stylized, these are the kinds of personalized holiday gifts that make a huge impact, and often for far less money than you’d expect. The one caveat: you want to get a jump on ordering now if you’re interested, which is why we’ve done our best to specify order deadlines for Christmas — but be sure to contact the artists directly just to be extra extra extra sure that they can make your...Read More
Pop culture peg dolls, for fans of The Penguin, Harry Potter, pirates, princesses, or Percy Jackson.
Though there are sure to be many awesome high-tech toys out there this holiday season, our latest obsession is the adorably low-tech wooden peg dolls by Wooly Llama on Etsy. I mean, what could be better than hearing your kids playing their own imaginary game of Star Wars while making their best beep-beep-boop noises for the wee little R2D2 peg? Or doing their own version of Harry Potter complete with a rolly-polly Hagrid? Beyond those two huge franchises, Wooly Llama has even more incredibly cute wooden peg dolls, with sets paying homage to the casts of Lord of the Rings, and Percy Jackson so you can pick one that appeals...Read More
Sponsored message: Find unique, handcrafted items for less at Etsy on Sale — and possibly win them, free!
This is a sponsored message from Etsy on Sale. What’s better than finding that perfect gift for someone special over the holidays? How about finding it on sale, all without the need to search for a parking space or stand in long lines of holiday shoppers. The huge new searchable marketplace of Etsy sellers, Etsy on Sale is now letting shoppers do just that. – Don’t miss a big giveaway just for CMP readers, below! – Whether it’s one-of-a-kind jewelry, handcrafted leather goods, tech accessories, ceramics, room decor, or gifts for kids, Etsy on Sale makes it easy to find the sale items,...Read More
Custom Star Wars family portraits: The ultimate holiday gift from a galaxy far, far away. Or you know, Etsy.
Since Star Wars is back this year in full force (ha, get it?) we bet a whole lot of you will be thrilled to see your families done up as your favorite characters in these custom Star Wars family portraits. (Update: The shop is sadly no longer operating. For a similar option, be sure to check out the custom Star Wars family portrait from Henry James Paper Goods, another fave Etsy shop!) Illustrator and designer Thomas Brush of the Modern Brush has a really charming, modern style that I’d say makes the result more playful and fun than intensely realistic. In other...Read More
I’ve seen all these DIY tutorials around the web lately for handmade knot pillows and if you have as well, these images may look familiar. Only after a whole lot of searching and secret sourcing, turns out the original photos are not from loads of brilliant crafters who all remarkably had the exact same idea (and photography styling), but from a wonderful little shop called Umemi from Icelandic product designer Ragnheidur Osp Sigurdardottir. Thus begins a new series we’re launching called The Originals, in which we attempt to track down the original makers who have invented products so wonderful, they quickly become copied and passed off...Read More
Everything you need to know about Handmade at Amazon: Is it the Etsy competitor everyone says it is?
We started Cool Mom Picks shortly after Etsy launched, and we’ve been big fans ever since, discovering and happily sharing some of the coolest indie artisans and their handmade goods here on our site for nearly ten years now. So as huge supporters of the handmade movement and indie artist in general, it’s probably no surprise that our interest was piqued when Handmade at Amazon launched last week. So, we took a closer look to understand what it’s all about, and whether we think it’s something you’ll want to have on your radar, as a consumer, and for those...Read More
Today is the last day of International Babywearing Week, so we thought we’d put together some of our favorite new stylish baby carriers carriers for you all. But it’s not like we need a pseudo-holiday to remind us what a lifesaver a baby carrier can be, whatever the reason you use it — attachment, convenience, going hands-free, carefully concealing that postpartum gut. (Ha.) Plus you can get more of that delicious new baby smell, on demand. Personally, I love using a carrier for naps on-the-go and having a hands-free option while I get meals ready, and even as a way to go the bathroom without having to having...Read More
Since birth announcements no longer really need to “announce” anything — Facebook seems to be taking care of that these days, right? — we love when we find something really fun and unique to commemorate your baby’s appearance into the world. Which is why we’re pretty sure that anyone who receives one of these custom birth announcements from artist Todd Borka, will be absolutely thrilled. You might recognize his work from the custom portrait pendants that were a favorite of ours this past holiday. And now he’s putting those great illustration skills to work in a whole new way. Send him a simple, uncluttered digital photo of your baby, along with...Read More
Buying a new cosmetics case isn’t a bad annual tradition, at least if yours gets as beat up as mine do, with spills and smudges and that glittery who-knows-what embedded in there. It’s more affordable than buying a whole new handbag, and a great way to stay organized if you tend to carry bigger bags and totes all day like we New Yawkahs do. If you’re in the market, I am loving these handmade metallic leather cosmetics cases from Etsy’s Gift Shop Brooklyn. Artist Annie Olean Bukhman claims they can work on their own as small clutches when you’re running quickly out the...Read More
I was never a musical crib mobile kind of parent. And now that there are so many options for piping in lovely music into a child’s room — as in, lovelier music than that tinny awfulness in most crib mobiles — I love the idea of just a simple, pretty crib mobile that you can hang above a crib or changing table to dazzle a baby and lull her to sleep the old fashioned way. I just discovered an Etsy artist called Wonderfeltland who is doing the cutest things with handmade felt baby mobiles. Check out the selection from...Read More
A new baby may be small, but they all have some magical ability to fill an entire home with all of their things. So we’re always looking for those gifts and gear essentials that both baby and you will love looking at, like baby play gyms. I love all three of these wooden play gyms that I found from makers on Etsy; they’re all such beautiful alternatives to those big plastic contraptions that can be eyesores in the middle of your living room. But while these are all simple and modern in terms of shape and design, there’s still plenty of accessories and other options to keep...Read More