Beyond "Oh The Places You'll Go": 8 inspirational books for grads that become keepsakes

Whether you’re feeling wildly sentimental about your babies embarking on the kindergarten journey or your grown-too-sooners headed off to college, we know the feeling all too well.

The very best end of year teacher gifts...according to actual teachers.

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So much coolness. Where to start…

When You’re Too Sleep-Deprived to Cut Through the BS

As a new mom, it’s hard to know where to turn for good advice. There are several websites offering free newsletters, which at their best clutter up your in-box unopened. At their worst, they make you feel like if you don’t buy a particular developmental toy from their online store right now now NOW, your child will grow up to rob banks and torture small animals.

Let’s Hear it For Less Laundry!

We all know that any eating, drooling, or art-making extravaganza on the part of your toddler is never pretty. But while you may successfully protect your child’s cute top with a smock, the pants are never so lucky.

Out of Africa

One of the greatest gifts my daughter received for her recent birthday was a pair of hand-batiked t-shirts–especially once I discovered the story behind the label. My ever socially-conscious (and gift giver extraordinaire) best friend tracked them down through Global Mamas, a non-profit helping small women-led businesses in Africa.

Where the Real Stars Hang

If you’re a frequent reader of Cool Mom Picks, then you know we believe that being a cool mom transcends what kind of diaper bag you carry. For the past three years I’ve balanced my love of stuff with my work for the Starlight Starbright Foundation, a non-profit organization for seriously ill children and their families.

Nursing, the Rock ‘n Roll Way

The nursing pillow: The number one item on every baby registry. The nursing pillow: The number one ugliest textile in my home. Finally, FINALLY someone has come up with a solution.

Who You Callin’ Cupcake?

Cupcakes are one of the easiest treats to make, which is why they’re a mainstay at school bake sales. "But how can I make my cupcakes stand out from the bunch?" you ask, like the good 1950s housewife that you truly want to be.

A Recipe for the Perfect Gift

I love that my crafty friends are willing to share their cute knit bootie pattern with me, however the illegible scribble on a piece of notebook paper just doesn’t do their creations justice.

Little Miss Can’t-Be-Matched

You’ve surely heard the wisdom that if you buy socks for newborns and toddlers in a single color, such as white like I did, then you’ll never be without a matched pair. But just as you’re thinking you’ve outsmarted the dryer elves, along comes a bigger challenge – a two year-old with strong opinions on clothing, and white is definitely not all right.

On My To-Do List: 1) Find a Better To-Do List

Are you a member of the scrap paper/atm receipt/used envelope scribblers club? The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. And considering my husband has a penchant for throwing away anypiece of paperthat is not attached to a spiral binding, I’m in desperate need of some list therapy.

Look Ma, No Sparkles!

My older daughter, Mimi, is a princess-kittens-glittery flowers kind of girl. I can’t convince her to don any clothing that doesn’t scream I AM A GIRLY GIRL, most often in some shade of pink. Rosie, however, is more tomboy than princess, which makes shopping for both of them at once a little challenging.

Take Me To Your Bathroom Sink

I’ve met kids who will eat raw oysters and kids who clear their plates without being told. But I have yet to meet a kid who likes to wash his hands. Maybe if the bathroom were a more child-friendly place, the odds would tilt in the favor of personal hygiene?

SHOOOOOOOOOOE!

Every year the World Cup brings in a new spate of obsessive soccer fans, and this year my own baby’s daddy was among the casualties–er, ranks.

Dads-To-Be, Rejoice

If your partner is anything like mine, his definition of hell is eight consecutive weeks of Lamaze class. Modus Five has come up with such a simple solution, it makes you wonder why no one has done it sooner.

Booking Agents

Hurricane Katrina’s wrath was devastating for sure, but it also did damage in ways we don’t always think about. Consider the public libraries, for example. Seeing as how water and paper aren’t a very good combination, several libraries lost entire book collections–every single book–and desperately need to restack those stacks.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Fork

Maybe you’re a champ with the chopsticks now, but do you remember how hard it was to get the hang of it? I bet you stabbed your Moo Shu Pork at least once (or worse) before the nice server made you a set of tong-sticks so you could eat more than three bites an hour.

Whose Books Are These Anyway?

I’m happy to lend out my daughter’s 1,278 books, however, I can’t be bothered penning our name and phone number in every single one. But without some type of identifying mark, I have a feeling I’ll never see them again.

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