Tag: scrapbooking

An updated comparison of our 13 favorite custom photo book services, for one of our all-time favorite gifts

Since one of our very favorite Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and teacher gifts are custom photo books, we thought it was about time to take a fresh look at our favorite custom photo book companies. There are now so many out there, it can be hard to choose one service over another. That’s where we come in! We’ve researched and tried dozens of them, and we’ve narrowed down 13 of our absolute favorites, with a few details on what makes each one special. So, if you’ve got a few thousand photos sitting on your laptop like we do, it might be time to...

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7 of the coolest affordable photo gifts for Mother’s Day, all under $50

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, you may be like us, thinking hm, I have 8 bazillion amazing photos on my computer and my smart phone — maybe I can finally do something with them? Like say turning them into some really cool but affordable photo gifts for Mom or Grandma. That’s where Pinhole Press comes in, a family-run photo gift company we’ve loved and supported for many years now. Which is why we’re so happy to welcome back them back as a sponsor. They’ve got no shortage of wonderfully spectacular but still affordable keepsake photo gift ideas for Mother’s Day, all...

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5 gorgeous photo gifts for Mother’s Day that are worthy of the photos

We’ve always said that some of our favorite Mother’s Day gifts are personalized, and well, you can’t get more personalized than photos of your own kids and family. Of course, not all photo gifts are created equal. (Sorry, badly printed photo mugs.) That’s where Artifact Uprising comes in, a wonderful small company that we — and our readers! — have truly loved even before they became our newest sponsor. And we are so thrilled to continue to support them. These are folks who are driven by the belief that everyone has a story to tell, and we couldn’t agree...

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Rag and Bone personalized baby books are for all loving families. Because so are babies.

In a way, we’re less surprised that someone has come out with the first ever personalized baby books for same sex couples–and more surprised that it took this long. That said, we’re thrilled, since we love finding baby books and baby memory books that are just perfect for the families who choose them. And no one does that better in the first place than Rag & Bone Bindery. The traditional, entirely handmade baby book from Rag & Bone now has an option which allows you to add Two Moms or Two Dads pages right into their beautifully simple baby books.  While beautifully illustrated prompts like...

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A comparison of our 11 favorite custom photo book services, for one of our all-time favorite gifts.

This is that time of year when I start thinking about putting together a photo book with all my pictures from the year, but I usually get hung up on wanting one that will actually last until my kids are adults, so they can enjoy them for years to come. There are so many options out there, I know! So to help you wade through them all, we’ve put together this round-up of 11 terrific options, and what makes each one so special. UPDATE: Please see An updated comparison of our 13 favorite custom photo book services Blurb Photo...

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Creative ways to capture baby’s first words: a celebration of motherhood firsts

This post is part of our monthly series with our Baby Shower Gift Guide sponsor, babyGap, celebrating motherhood firsts. And there are lots! No milestone may be more exciting than hearing a baby's first word. Whether it's "ba" for ball, "da" for dog, or a perfectly articulated cronut (it could happen) it's a thrill to see kids starting with the basics and building from there. Which is why we love finding wonderful resources for capturing and documenting them.  1. Write it down You think you'll remember your baby's first word forever but those of us parents with more than one can assure you that's not always...

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Forget the baby book: 6 creative ways to document baby’s first year in photos.

Baby books and photo albums are great, though we love how so many people are getting super creative in documenting their baby’s first year using photography. Still, “super creative” doesn’t have to mean “super hard” as you can tell from these inventive and adorable photo shoot ideas that are easy enough to manage every 30 days or so. Chalkboard Baby Stats J Davis Squared’s monthly baby photo, at top, takes the place of a lengthy baby book entry by putting all the necessary (and just plain cute) “stats” onto a chalkboard behind baby. (via Honest on Pinterest) Months on a...

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The best July 4 memories from top parent bloggers–and a great app to help you share your own.

Our kids are easily the most photographed generation ever. While we have to settle for maybe a few old snapshots to help recall our summer holidays–like the ones our favorite parent bloggers are sharing below– our children will have so many photos to jar those memories of fireworks and sand castles. Especially with the help of the photo and memory sharing app from our partner, Origami. Seriously, this app is awesome. Particularly if you have relatives not yet on the smartphone bandwagon or you’re all on totally different operating systems. [Don’t miss an amazing giveaway for 20 readers below!]...

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Summer vacation memories from top parent bloggers and a great way to share your own. Safely.

With school out and summer almost officially here, say hello to 4000 new smartphone photos and videos of our kids being adorable at Kindergarten graduation, on the beach, watching fireworks, and running through the sprinkler on the lawn. [Don’t miss an amazing giveaway for 20 readers below!] Of course, we love sharing our photos with friends and family–don’t we all? But we’re also aware of the increasing privacy issues on certain uh, large social media sites. So we’re thrilled to be partnering with Origami, a really brilliant new website and iPhone/Android app that’s just perfect (and perfectly safe) for...

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Web Coolness: DIY cardboard toys, the best family memory books, and remembering to play

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too! DIY and upcycle fans will love these 15 toys you can make out of a cardboard box like Estefi Machado‘s adorable washing machine. When we are gone, will our stories go with us? Liz explores why it’s important for us to record our family stories for those who follow us. And, if you are so inspired, don’t miss her favorite memory books for busy parents. This Pinterest for Parents parody from Kristen is cracking us up. Some of the most imaginative...

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The baby keepsake for parents short on time. So, like, all of us?

Quick, how old was your baby when he started rolling over? What were her favorite foods? When did he first laugh? If you’re anything like me (seriously, I’ve been known to forget their birthdays and mix up their middle names on occasion), it’s nice to have a little help in the remembering department. Which is why I am such a big fan of everything from Strange Birdy Studios, a cool design shop just for parents that we recently discovered. Infographic meets baby book meets family heirloom in the new Milestones Poster, with over 40 spaces to fill in. Parents...

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Get ready for back to school with Cool Mom Tech

These days, there’s just no way we could head back to school without a little (okay, a lot of) help from technology. That’s why we’ve put together our second annual Cool Mom Tech Back to School Guide, which launched this week. You’ll find tons of stylish, practical things to help keep you organized all school year long, plus awesome gadgets and gear for your little and big kids. First up, the 5 coolest laptop backpacks for big kids that you might want to snatch up for yourself. And don’t miss our helpful round-up of the best back to school apps...

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Because every kid’s a winner when you’re the mother

A few years ago we fell in love with the MomAgenda School Year Journals, so much so that I raved about them everywhere, from my own kids’ classes to the TODAY show (where I also confessed my inability to maintain even a baby book). So I thought it was so clever to discover that this year they’ve come up with a new version, just for you parents of athletes and athletes-to-be.   The Sports Years Memory Journal has 14 folders for storing those rosters, certificates and other mementos, from a pre-k soccer club, through Varsity anything. On each one,...

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A DIY Father’s Day gift, no crafty genes required

As much as I love to give my husband a handmade DIY Father’s Day gift from the kids, I’m not the craftiest person in the world. They make their own cards and we call it a day. But after discovering this awesome DIY gift idea, I think I might have the kids forgo the cards and help them make this instead.  This awesome photo book design project from Design Aglow is so simple even I can do it. Really. Using their Interactive Guest Book feature, designer Ashley Campbell created a unique photo book that I’m pretty sure any dad will love....

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Preserving kids’ artwork has never been so pretty (or organized)

You should see my car–or actually, you shouldn’t. It’s filled to the brim with my daughter’s preschool artwork, which gets hastily shoved onto the passenger seat during the always-harried pickup time. It’s a mountain of artwork, really, but I believe I’ve found the perfect way to conquer it–without transferring the mountain to an already-overflowing-with-art house. Plum Print will take your kids’ paintings, doodles, and construction paper creations and turn it all into an absolutely gorgeous coffee table book from children’s artwork. The company professionally digitizes as few as 20 pieces of art–or as many as 220–and arranges them onto high-quality...

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A new spin on photo books

Scrapbooks as gifts are super sweet, even if they are a ton of work. It’s the kind of present that really makes the receiver feel special. That is why I’m really interested in a new company that’s putting a cool spin on a familiar concept. Sure, you can make photo books on lots of different websites. You can even add text to personalize it. But at Twig Tale they have created a series of books complete with text and layout that gives you a great storyboard to work with–smart for those stretched for time (and maybe creativity). Is your...

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Animoto – The holiday cards guaranteed to make grandparents cry.

Life with four kids means there are a lot of last minute “oops” happening around my place when it comes to gifts and cards. This is also why I’ve been a fan of Animoto since we first featured them on Cool Mom Picks a few years ago. Their super easy-to-use video slideshow maker has saved my butt more than once, with remarkable professional looking video “cards” that have replaced gifts on more than one occasion–with raves from my lucky recipients. Well, we’re delighted that they’re our newest Cool Mom Picks sponsor (we love it when our sponsors are the stuff we love anyway) and just in time for the holidays, they’ve got an awesome free service that we’re excited about. Yes, free. You can see what I made with it right here. [Don’t miss a very cool free gift for all of our readers after the jump!] Basically you just grab the photos you’ve taken all year long, whip them up into a video, and shoot them into your family members’ inboxes like digital holiday cards. Super easy. Truly the best part about Animoto is that you don’t need to be tech savvy at all to do what I did here. It’s even simple to add text boxes and pick music from their own selection or something you’v’e already got on your computer.  You’ll get 30 second videos for...

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An online baby book that lets you plant sweet memories

So this adorable thing happened the other day with my preschooler and baby. It was really adorable. It happened and I said to myself, “Self, remember this so you can write it down after they’re in bed.”  ….Yeah. If I could only remember what that adorable moment was. But I think I’ve found a way that might help me record these memories before they’re forever lost to the baby-post-bedtime fog. Moment Garden is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a virtual garden where you “plant” milestones and baby memories. At first, I wasn’t totally sure about the idea–I mean,...

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You can heart punch all over my page, any day.

We’re perpetual fans of Martha Stewart’s craft supplies and if you’re a DIY-er, it’s a good investment for Valentine’s Cards and crafts this month. Their new heart punch aptly called Heart Punch All Over the Page lets you achieve the impossible–an absolutely perfect heart shape anywhere on the page. Even in the center. For someone like me (an imperfect crafter with ridiculously high standards), this heart punch is a coveted tool. For someone like my daughter (a three-year-old who expects me to create perfection), this is a headache saver. We’ll be using it to decorate her class valentines, to create...

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The baby book that almost writes itself

My first daughter’s baby book is a masterpiece of elaborate details, funny stories and photos. But my second child’s baby book? Almost empty.  Every time I open it, I’m overwhelmed by all those blank pages and I’m struck with such intense guilt that I invent an excuse that I’m too busy (or maybe I am) and put it down. I know I’m not alone here. My Own Little Story (love the name!) is exactly what I need. This website was designed to make recording all the details and memories easy and fast. Seriously, you can create a baby book...

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