cool mom picks collections
Curated picks from the Cool Mom Picks editors
Curated picks from the Cool Mom Picks editors
Memorial Day is right around the corner to usher in the unofficial start of summer! Here are some picks for your outdoor celebration.
With a husband in the Air Force Reserves, you can bet that Memorial Day means more to us than the unofficial start of summer and a long lazy weekend. And while in years past I deck the kids out in red, white, and blue, this year I've got the coolest t-shirts that pay a little homage to exactly what my husband does when he goes off to work.
After I hit our local Memorial Day parade, I plan to do a whole lot of nothing but eat, drink and spend a few moments thanking those brave men and women who gave everything so I could live in this wackily lovable country. But before I enjoy some food and drink with the family, I plan to spend a few moments with my printer grabbing a few summer decorations for our picnic table.
I don't care if Toronto hasn't quite gotten the spring memo yet-- I'm already dreaming about park visits and picnic lunches. And when I spotted this adorable insulated picnic lunch bag at ModCloth, I fell in love.
Here in Atlanta the weather has been nice since the beginning of March, which means my kids have already exhausted two boxes of sidewalk chalk. When I spied this book of outdoor activities for kids at the Mom 2.0 Summit last week, I knew I had to pick it up.
I'm always kind of envious of those other more-prepared-than-I-am moms. You know the ones: They have an extra sippy cup when one falls on the ground, they carry Band-Aids everywhere, and they're never without an extra snack or two.
Memorial Day is here which means goodbye wool, hello breezy, beautiful linen. Even when it comes to your kids' playthings.
My memories of picnicking as a child include my poor dad struggling to carry a giant plastic cooler weighing approximately 100 pounds to our picnic site. He'd heave the monstrous beast onto a picnic table and then go sit down to mop the sweat off his brow. Fun start to the day!
Life's a picnic, or so the saying goes, until you try to take three kids on one. Just when I need them all to carry something, they all decide it is too heavy, they are too tired, and where are we stopping?
I'm tired of unpacking a picnic lunch and finding that the sandwiches have been squished or the plastic containers have spilled their contents all over the inside of the cooler. Next time, I am putting things in the colorful, streamlined bento lunch box from LA's Plastica boutique.
While in the great outdoors, someone once said, Take Only Memories, Leave Only Footprints, which is really a polite way of saying, Don't You Dare Throw That Cup On The Ground, Bucko. If only everyone heeded this, my picnics in the park would not be marred by the errant soda can or piece of litter. So we suggest you do your part the next time you decide to dine al fresco by packing beautiful cloth napkins and colorful plates, cups and cutlery that's meant to come back home with you.
Every time I meander through the West Village, I have to make a detour up Perry Street to see what's new at Hable Construction. They just seem to get the combo of modern textiles with practical design every single time. So it's no surprise that their picnic tote is the one the CMP editors are coveting the most this year.
If you're as ready for pool and beach season as we are, then you'll love our favorite swimwear picks for kids and moms.
If I fall on my sword for one thing every year, it's that retailers need to provide us with more appropriately modest two-piece swimsuits for our daughters.
Here's a cool New Zealand brand that knows a little something about cool swimwear for boys and girls that has nothing to do with premature sex appeal and everything to do with actual swimming. (Weird, right?)
Despite the current snowpocalypse conditions on the East Coast, groundhogs across the country insist that warm weather is just around the corner. So we've decided to think positive and dream of sunny days ahead.
So of course as soon as we're stocked up on swimsuits for my girls for the summer, we start seeing the very same ones on sale.
Now that our neighborhood pool is open, my kids and I practically live there, Which that means I'm willing to spend more on good quality towels and swimsuits--a lesson I learned after going through far too many per kid last summer.
I'm so happy to know that our recent post on appropriate swimsuits for little girls was so well-received! Here's another adorable option for you, which I fell in love with when I saw it on my niece this past weekend.
I'm a sucker for Harajuku-inspired goodness. The colors are so fun, the designs are loud and perfect for kids who are confident and love standing out.
Last summer, I shopped around for bikinis and two-piece swimsuits for little girls that didn't make them look like teens before their time. Our readers responded so positively, I thought I'd take a browse around this year and see what looks promising.
Hooray, it's unofficially summer this week! That mean fun days at the beach, and for parents, the grand hunt for UV swimwear and the perfect sunblock to keep our kids safe.
So I'm clicking around the Hanna Andersson webshop, just seeing what's what for spring, because I love how durable their clothes are, especially if you've got multiple kids and are familiar with the phrase "hand-me-down." But hey! As it turns out...big sale!
I'd love to find some boys' board shorts that don't look like gangster-wear. Can you help? -reader question via Twitter
I'll say it: The bathing suit choices for little girls are abhorrent these days--teeny string bikinis, plunging v-necks, high cut briefs, ruching at the "cleavage" presumably to create more of it. It's making me crazy.
I fell in love with the sturdy, stylish boys clothes from Red 21 Boys last fall, so when I heard they had launched a cruise wear line, it was perfect timing.
With summer officially underway, I am busy getting my beach bag stocked so I can run off to the pool at a moment's notice. Along with towels, my unfashionable floppy hat and tons of sunscreen, I'm going to be including the new UV Board Shorts from Baby Banz for my son.
If you're a longtime Cool Mom Picks reader, then you already know Baby Banz as the quintessential purveyor of eye protection for little ones in the sun--plus we were excited when they started making beachwear. But now, right in time for winter swim lessons, we're happy to learn they've branched out into swim goggles.
From hour-long swim lessons to screaming leaps over our backyard sprinkler, my daughters will spend much of the summer in their bathing suits. That's why we're turning to the bathing suits from Girls4Sport which are made for active, run-don't-walk toddlers, girls and women.
It took me a while to get past my weirdness about little girls in bikinis, until I realized that it's actually way easier for diaper changes. But I still prefer bandeau style tops or halters, so I was glad to see that Mama Om has added a few to their collection of designer girls swimsuits this season.
I may have mentioned once or forty times that our family spends a lot of time in the pool. Which means that we buy bathing suits as part of the new baby layette. Problem is, it's not that easy to find cool swimwear sized for surfer dudes under a year old.
Waaaay back before I had kids, I could get away with wearing any old cute little swimsuit found at my local boutique. But now the thin layer of spandex accompanied by teeny tiny straps just doesn't cut it anymore, so I often turn to a couple of our secret swimwear sources each Summer.
I love that my older two kids are such enthusiastic swimmers. They're literally in the pool all year long, but that also gives them ample opportunity to complain about how their goggle straps pull their hair.
II'll do whatever it takes to help my kids avoid the pain of a sunburn--and avoid me having to listen to them whine about it--but even so, sometimes I forget to reapply sunscreen or miss a spot. My bad.
I just checked out one of the designer hooded towels from Tess & Tallulah, and once again I'm smacking myself upside the head and wondering where they were when my babies were cold and wet and drying off with some scratchy, sub-par, threadbare version.
We're year-round pool goers in this family, and the water-worshipping indoctrination starts early. Out of the womb and into the pool, I say. That is, once I've gotten you out of your diaper, out of your clothes, into your swim diaper, and into your suit. Sigh.
Swimsuit shopping has never been one of my favorite outings - not even in the days before I had to reconcile my hot mama ideals with my postpartum realities. The suits that look great on a hanger generally become total fashion don'ts on me
It's bathing suit season and I'm not ready. Not for me (although really, I'm not ready) but for my three year old daughter who, if this year's crop of kids suits are any indication, is supposed to be wearing a string bikini, a flirty tankini that says "hula honey" across the chest, or something with cherries on the nipples.
After last weekend rednecking it up at my mom's house with a toddler pool on the front lawn and my cute naked girls, I realized it was probably time to start thinking sun protection.
There's nothing more painful for me than trying to find a bathing suit that fits my new post-childbearing body along with my style sense. But I recently discovered Poppi Swim and Sport, and now I'm actually excited about getting into the pool this year. And no, I never thought I'd say that.
It's Memorial Day - as in the official start of swim season. I know, I know, it's just too hard to choose between trombone for toddlers and, pre-k/ickboxing. But whether you're the type to go overboard on kids' activities or not, I hope you're fitting swim lessons in there somewhere.
If you're like me, childbirth left you with a sorry excuse for a tummy and a profound fear of garments ending in the suffix -ini.
Have a dad in your life that you'd like to surprise with something awesome this Father's Day? Look no further! (except to check out our Father's Day Gift Guide for even more ideas!)
It was inevitable that with the proliferation of monthly boxes for moms, that someone would come along with a version for dads. And we're pleased to see it has nothing to do with "reminding" dads that they are incapable of cooking or changing diapers; but rather, it's about dads who like to play with their kids.
Father's Day is only one week away so no wonder we've been fielding so many questions from our readers about last minute gifts for Father's Day!
If a special dad you know would like a little tie wardrobe upgrade, here's the perfect tie for him. Because it not only looks great, it supports an awesome cause too.
At least once a day (sometimes more), my husband is searching for his keys and wallet. And don't even get me started about the piles of change all over my house.
When I think of Father's Day, two things immediately come to mind: ties and cards. Both of which can be awesome, and not trite--provided you know what to look for.
Finding a funny father's day card that has nothing to do with golf, grilling, tools, beer, or leaving the toilet seat up is not an easy task, as I've discovered. And yet--voila.
Every time I see my father-in-law, he tells me how much he loves his Father's Day gift from a few years back, a personalized key chain I had made for him from the kids. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's his favorite gift of all time
Now let me first tell you, normally, I get a little panicked about Father's Day gift-giving, while consoling myself with the knowledge that, worse comes to worst, my husband always sincerely appreciates a card from the kids. But with this discovery, I'm totally calm--because he's getting personalized cards of the kids
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.
Obviously, we've got Father's Day on the brain lately. Which means we're also thinking about fathers of all kinds. Evidently, Marc Jacobs is in the same place. So we're standing up and applauding this beautiful t-shirt he's created to support an amazing cause.
While you can expect a lot more ideas for dads in our upcoming Father's Day Gift Guide series, we couldn't wait to share this awesome one for the food loving father in your life. After all, isn't that all of them?
With Father's day this coming Sunday, we've pulled together some of our favorite last-minute gifts that you can have ready before the big day.
Ask my kids what songs make them think of their dad, and they'll rattle off a bunch of Rock Band tunes--which gives you a hint as to one of their favorite pastimes. Chances are your kids too can name some songs that make them think "dad", and for this Father's Day, I love this inexpensive and personalized gift that puts all those tunes in one place.
It's no news that Cool Mom Picks loves cards from Kiki Parry's Alternate Greetings. Her slightly inappropriate and hysterical quips are perfect for those moments when you want your message to be just a little different.
When we discovered the movie Being Dad last August, Mir gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. She loved this look at 40 normal, often funny new dads (no "touchy-feely over-earnestness") and a few experts confessing the real scoop on newborns
I'm not exactly a procrastinator, I just tell myself I can always do something tomorrow. As in, I'll go out and get that great Father's Day card tomorrow.
My husband's favorite childhood memory may involve cracking open his brand new Atari game system and having a marathon Pong session, so it's no surprise that he grew up to be a tad tech-obsessed.
Stumped for Father's Day? Maybe it's because I'm married to a photographer (though I don't think so), but I'm thinking that if Dear Dad from Chronicle Books doesn't bring a little tear to his eye, he might not actually be human.
Yes it's kind of a cliche that all dads like barbecuing and therefore all need grill accessories for Father's Day. But at least in my family, all the dads do like barbecuing and need grill accessories for Father's Day, so there.
I'm in love with a set of drink coasters if such a thing is even possible. But when I spotted these handmade director coasters on etsy's Storque blog this morning, my heart started racing, my palms got all sweaty, and I think, my friends, that that is love.
While big kids may be busy at camp in the coming weeks stitching up a leather wallet for Father's Day (and I'm sure it's lovely), I think we can all safely agree that stainless steel is sleeker and tougher.
I, like every other cinemaphile out there, was crushed to learn that Dennis Hopper died this weekend. I think I first noticed him--like, really noticed him--when he played the father in Rumbleish but it was Blue Velvet that sold me forever.
Oh stop it you cynics. Most dads--especially the new ones--would be thrilled to spend Father's Day flouting their dadness. So we've tracked down a few of the more clever daddy and me t-shirt sets.
Not every guy is a jewelry guy but I am in admiration of those funky types who are. Meaning, those men who can pull off the hipster dog tag or chunky ID bracelet thing; not those with the Wookie chest hair and the gold Mr. T chains.
The ghosts of bad desk tschokes of Father's Days past still haunt me: Paper weights, coffee mugs, mini voodoo dolls. Sorry Dad! Sometimes you're hard to shop for.
If you're anything like I am, you've probably got a lot of your kids' precious artwork boxed up and you're saving it for, well, who knows what.
Need a couple of last-minute Father's Day ideas to make tomorrow just a wee bit more special? We've got a few ideas that won't cost you 8 zillion dollars in overnight shipping - or even a trip to the store.
When I saw that NPR had put out a collection of radio stories called NPR Driveway Moments for Dads, I wanted to kiss the radio in gratitude for helping me in my quest for a perfect Father's Day gift.
While every dad loves the homemade cards and pictures, we always adore services that help turn your child's doodles into something even more special - maybe even something he can carry with him every day?
Every year I struggle with what to get my husband for Father's Day. You'd think that after seven years of parenting together I'd know what would make his day, but the only surefire hit I've found so far is a 12-pack of craft beer. That is, until I checked out the Adventure Box from experience gift purveyor Giftybox.
We're a book family for sure - if I'm ever short on a gift idea, a book is always a home run provided it's suited to the recipient. With Father's Day fast approaching (T minus 6 and counting mamas, get on it!) one of the options on my radar...
I love the idea of snatching up a Molskine for Father's Day. The little pocket journals famous for having been used by the likes of Picasso and Hemmingway are just perfect for dads and granddads with a lot on their minds - whether they're writers, comedians, architects or just really really anal grocery shoppers.
Every year we fall in love with the idea of the kids surprising dad in a cool daddy tattoo tee on Father's Day. T
It's not that we're entirely averse to giving ties for Father's Day, it's just that for dads who wear ties to work, it seems a little...perfunctory. But for the hipster dad that doesn't have to sport the cravat daily, we love the idea of getting him something a little special in the neckwear department.
Feminism and other gender equality issues aside, I'm more than happy to relegate the grilling to the sigOth. Men just have some primal need to play with fire, and I'm more than happy to let them. What my man also likes however are kitchen gadgets. Put the two together and you've got Grill Charms.
Mother's Day is hardly behind before we scramble for Father's Day gift ideas and I'm loving the idea of personalized wines from the aptly named PersonalWines.com.
We all know that dads dread bad Father's Day ties and golf shirts just as much as we dread carnations and generic store-brand chocolates. But sometimes, thanks to lack of time and/or brain cells, we grab what we can, sign our kid's name to it and call it a day. (Or is that just me?)
With all the great frank and funny mom books out there, it's about time someone came up with an equally entertaining daddy alternative. So we were tickled when we found out that Robert Wilder, well-known writer, columnist, and dad of two, had done just that.
Father’s Day is upon us, and why punish Dad with another bottle of Brut (by Faberge) when you can blow his mind with the Sonos digital music system
Get outside this spring with some great new wheels. . .
If you are looking for a balance bike for your eager-to-ride toddler or preschooler, get ready to weigh your options.
As a 4-year-old, my daughter is at the age where her eyes grow wide at the sight of a kid riding a bicycle. Tricycles are so last year--get the girl a two-wheeler, stat!
My oldest daughter, now 7, learned how to ride a bike in a matter of minutes thanks to a few months spent on a balance bike beforehand.
Our garage is filled with bikes, trikes, scooters and even one Skoooch, but I'm a big believer in "you can never have too many outdoor toys." So, I'm always on the lookout for cool new ride-on, kid-powered things that can hold their attention for at least as long as the latest Wii game.
A reader asks: I am totally overwhelmed by bike options for my 3.5-year-old son. He outgrew his tricycle in minutes and now I'm wondering what to get next ... balance bike or a regular bike with training wheels?
Some of our favorite diaper bags that don't scream "diaper bag!"
Even though I'm only in my second trimester, I'm all about planning, so naturally, I've already bookmarked some of my most coveted diaper bags (thanks to Cool Mom Picks).
The more kids I added to my brood, the more I actually wanted (and needed) a smaller diaper bag.
As someone with a certified handbag addiction, you can bet that I've always been pretty picky about the diaper bags I carry, insisting that I should be able to use it long after my baby was out of diapers.
I've been noticing something in the land of designer bags these days. It's flashy. And shiny. And very, very cool. The metallic trend is popping up in handbags everywhere, but that doesn't mean that mamas can't be part of it, too with one of these 5 beautiful diaper bags.
Diaper bags are kind of like minivans. They are super practical, but don't exactly scream funky fresh. But this new Tokidoki and Ju Ju Be diaper bag collaboration is like taking your Honda Odyssey and making it a low rider.
As we start heading towards fall, I've got new diaper bags on the brain. (Why should back to school shopping time be just for the kids?) It's been a while since I took a look to see what diaper bag label JP Lizzy has been up to.
Considering how much we love all the products from 7am enfant, I'm not surprised at all that I'm in love with their new luxury diaper bag. I've seen many a stylish diaper bag that looks fantastic but doesn't exactly hold up to the test of kids and their 400 Cheerios and sippy cups.
When I first got a look at the newest designer diaper bag design from CMP fave Mia Bossi, I thought there was just no possible way that it was a diaper bag. But like their other bags we've been drooling over for years now, it is -- and oh my, it's gorgeous
We're always fans of Petunia Pickle Bottom bags, thanks to smart design, elegant patterns, and a rugged refusal to succumb to ruination.
Sippy cup: check. Snacks: check. Wipes: darn tootin'.
I'm particularly envious right now of the Jonathan Adler Skip Hop line that launched yesterday. Which is funny, because I do not miss the days of hauling a diaper bag around with me.
When it comes to diaper bags, fancier isn't always better. Sometimes I just need something simple and classic to get the job done.
Chic and diaper bag are not two words you see in the same sentence very often, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and declare the new offering from Timi & Leslie just that--chic!
I have nothing against backpack diaper bags. In fact, with four kids in tow, I completely understand their usefulness. I just haven't yet found one that fits my style.
Having a baby right at the change of season is very dangerous for my wallet because it's far too easy to rationalize a new diaper bag purchase.
Some days, I tend to be a bit of an over-packer. What if the kids get really thirsty and they finish their water bottles? Better pack an extra. What if they have a run-in with a mud puddle? Better pack clean outfits for each of them.
I've owned my fair share of diaper bags, and I've definitely got a sweet spot in my heart for the huge, honkin', very pricey bags that might just fit all your personal belongings and your baby. But by the same token, it's just not feasible for me to lug something like that around, especially with three kids and another on the way.
Both Liz and I espoused the greatness of Crystalyn Kae's Soiree bag - so much so that it was our pick for Cool Mom Picks Bag of the Year in 2008
I was just thinking it's been a while since I saw any fun new diaper bags to get excited over, and then CMP fave Hedvig Bourbon goes and reads my mind and creates well, some fun new diaper bags to get excited over.
Along with breakfast in bed, some sweet (and savory) treats that will make this Mother's Day extra yummy.
Diamonds are forever, flowers are for this week, and heavenly spiced cookies are for the best ten minutes of Mothers Day.
Macarons are all the rage these days, not to be confused with those big coconut things that one eats at Passover. Macarons are melt-in-your-mouth delicious French almond cookie sandwiches in gorgeous colors and exotic flavors.
I love candy. But being a bit of a candy connoisseur, I'm very particular about my sugar. Personally, I like a combination of sweet and sour, with just the right amount of gummy.
I have to admit, I used to just settle for a cup of coffee from just about anywhere, and then quickly douse it in milk and sweetener. Then I had a proper cup of joe.
While there's no shortage of ideas for food gifts around the holidays (we even have six of them you can make yourself) in our Holiday Gift Guide, here's one more I absolutely adore. But no, you can't make them yourself. And that's okay.
Need a quick hostess gift that doesn't require wrapping? We think a gourmet box for foodies is always in good taste.
I have this inkling that gourmet marshmallows just may be thew new macaron (which was the new whoopie pie which was the new cupcake).
If you've never tried authentic dulce de leche--an addictive sauce made by slowly cooking milk with sugar--you're in for a serious treat.
While monthly subscription boxes are all the rage now, from beauty products to craft kits, I have to say I still have a thing for the gourmet boxes. So I'm thrilled to introduce the wonderful new service, Love With Food, which not only serves up some tasty monthly goodness at a truly fantastic price, it also does plenty of good for others.
Food gifts for Mother's Day can be absolutely amazing, especially when they're handmade with love. Add a heartfelt note, and a scribbly piece of art, and you've got a gift that'll make at least this mama even more excited than a pair of Jimmy Choos.
Mothers Day brunch is one of my favorite traditions. However ever since having kids, Mother's Day poses a conundrum. I want it to be my day, which means not doing anything for anybody, but I also want to treat my own mama, and that requires some effort.
"Creativity takes courage." You know who said that? The wrapper around the piece of caramel I just ate. (And, yeah, Henri Matisse.)
Our household has yet to meet our summer's quota of ice cream consumption (hint: it's a lot). Happily, eCreamery, makers of that awesome custom ice cream we love, is supporting our earnest attempt to wear out our home ice cream maker this summer.
If you have yet to visit, there's a deliciously gorgeous, high-end new site for the foodies mamas among us: Gilt Taste. It's like everything that's great about Gilt plus everything that was great about Gourmet
What mom doesn't love getting cards on the most important holiday of the year? Of course I'm talking about May 8th, (that's Mother's Day honey, in case you forgot).
For over 2000 years at least, civilizations rose and fell, wars were won and lost-- all for tea. And now, it's a just another rack of brightly colored, shrink-wrapped boxes at the supermarket. Damn Fine Tea is trying to bring tea back where it belongs-- in the realm of obsession.
I thought I knew good chocolate. I rather pride myself on favoring the high cacao content and richer taste of the more expensive brands. But I had never even heard of raw chocolate
I spend a lot of time thinking about what gifts to buy each person on my Christmas list. But I've now found the perfect one-size-fits-all gift with just enough personalization to make it special to each one receiving it.
It's soooo haaaaard to open my inbox and find an email inviting me to sample a new artisanal chocolate bar. Really, it's right up there with letters from Nigerian Princes.
I'm in heaven. Floating above the clouds, birds tweeting around me, angels singing sweet melodies heaven, all because I've discovered the sweet caloric glory of Elsylee cookies.
Every year it becomes a challenge as to how to make my daughter's artistic talent into an awesome gift. This holiday season's winner is the design your own chocolates from Rogue Confections
I think I just knocked a couple of gifts of my list with the Mobile Foodie Survival Kit spotted at Uncommon Goods. This purse-sized tin of organic herbs, spices and condiments
The only thing actually ugly about Ugly Truffles is the way they have forced me to behave since they arrived at my door;
No matter how early I start my Christmas shopping, I'm always left with a couple of gifts to buy at the last minute. This year, instead of braving the crowds at the malls (shudder), I'm going to let CMP fave John & Kira chocolates save the day.
The perfect card for that super-special mother.
Yes, we're getting down to the wire on Mother's Day cards and crafts. You've got just two more days--unless you're sending goodies out overnight, in which case get on it stat!
With Mother's Day just a few days away, it's time to focus on the little handmade touches that make the day so special and heartfelt.
Not all of us have mothers (or are mothers) who want sappy prefab poems served up with breakfast in bed. Some of us are happy to know we're raising a kid with a sense of humor.
Thank goodness for Mother's Day printables! With the big day right around the corner, if you haven't ordered a thing yet, stop and take a deep breath because we've got you covered.
Not every mom is a flowery, sappy Mothers Day card mom. There are a few of us who can appreciate something with just a little more sass, a little more sense of humor.
Though I love the convenience of sending ecards to those near and dear, there is still something special about getting an honest-to-goodness "real" card in the mailbox, on holidays like Mother's Day.
What mom doesn't love getting cards on the most important holiday of the year? Of course I'm talking about May 8th, (that's Mother's Day honey, in case you forgot).
Now that I'm a mom myself, I realize that Mother's Day is not just about getting breakfast in bed. I want to do something to honor my mom for all her hard work and I want her to feel appreciated. One of these cards would be a good start.
Despite our incredible devotion to tracking down the most awesome mother's day gifts around here, we recognize that not every family is gift-y. Sometimes it's indeed the thought that counts, and that a beautiful card inscribed with a heartfelt sentiment goes a long way.
My mom has always had a thing for vintage cards, particularly Valentine's. My dining room growing up was filled with shadow boxes holding beautiful, textural Victorian cards and I remember just losing myself in them for hours.