After my third son turned one, I received a magazine solicitation in the mail for a magazine for moms called Cookie Magazine. I had never heard of it before (which isn’t shocking, seeing as I was in a “mommy bubble” of raising three boys), but right away the brochure caught my interest. Instead of the typical suburban-looking moms with mini vans and bake sales, these moms were hip, urban, and seemed like women I’d want to be friends with. I immediately signed up, and from the very first issue, I was in love.
I had tossed any parent-type magazines away after my first son was a toddler; never-ending redundant articles about potty training, discipline, and everything I was doing wrong as a mother bored me. These publications seemed to forget that I was still a woman and wife with dreams and goals beyond motherhood. But reading Cookie was different; this magazine recognized that my life could not revolve around fashion and the latest trends of everything because I was a mom, but yet in subtle ways encouraged me not to stop trying. There were spotlights on environmentally-friendly foods and products, fashion trends appropriate for preschool pick-up, streamlined and modern products, and even a semi-monthly column focusing on sex (sort of like Cosmo for mommies). I had finally found my fantasy mommy friend-someone who encouraged my development as a whole person and recognized that having kids didn’t mean I wanted to romp around in mom-jeans and carry a pastel diaper bag.
But just as my love affair was really picking up and getting good, the bomb dropped: Condé Nast, Cookie’s parent company was cancelling the magazine due to lower-than-desirable numbers. I was in mourning. I glanced over the magazine racks at the store and thought, They don’t get me; I’ll be SHE doesn’t have kids; Like I have time to visit those hot-spots-I have kids, you know. And for awhile I re-read my back copies, rediscovering products and recipes I had come to know and love. Yet eventually, I knew I had to accept what had happened and move forward. But where would I go?
I started on a quest to find similar information that I could read and enjoy-information that would feed who I am and be compatible with my life. And while I haven’t found one place that gives me everything that Cookie did, I have found some magazines and websites for moms and women that have some great features. Below is a list of publications to consider if, like me, you need something more than Goodnight Moon to read at night.
LMNOP stands for “Laugh, Make, Nurture, Organise, Play.” It’s a quarterly internet magazine, available for download in a PDF format which is sent to subscribers via e-mail. You can also get their weekly newsletter, which highlights certain features found in the current issue, as well as other topics of interest. The magazine has a broad focus with an urban, European flair, focusing on topics like fashion (for moms and kids), décor, travel, quality toys and products, and more. If reading something quarterly is not enough for you, the website also features a blog, links to current trends, and a marketplace section with a listing of shops that carry trendy items. While I do miss that I can’t carry this publication around with me and feel the pages, the information has been the closest to what Cookie carried that I’ve found.
Ohdeedoh is the children’s offshoot blog from the popular Apartment Therapy. Its focus of “home, design, children” melds popular design with a parenting lifestyle. Expect to see pictures of inspiring rooms from nurseries to living spaces, suggestions for quality, kid-friendly books and toys, recipes, party ideas, and more. Since its parent blog has a decidedly urban slant, so does this blog, mirroring a lot of what Cookie Magazine had to offer on a regular basis. And if you’re craving some more adult features as well, simply click over to their other blog topics: Home Design, Technology, Green, and Cooking. Overall, scrolling through this blog is like taking a stroll through a children’s boutique in Brooklyn-you’ll certainly be inspired and encounter products and ideas you’ll love.
Mo Willems’ Doodles
Beloved children’s author Mo Willems has a fun blog called “Doodles” in which he promotes his work and also includes fun links to other media. This former writer for Sesame Street has produced dozens of best-sellers for the preschool and elementary set with memorable characters like Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, and Elephant and Piggy. If your kids love these books, then this blog is a fun place to keep up with this author and be inspired by his fun and full life.
Real Simple Magazine
If you’re looking for a quality magazine that you can find in your mailbox each month, consider Real Simple. While this magazine is not exclusively for mothers, its organizing tips, decorating ideas, and features are inspiring and easy to incorporate into your kid-full lifestyle. Most notable are the recipes found in each issue; many are simple to prepare and appealing to kids and adults alike, drawing on fresh and seasonal ingredients prepared in a timely fashion. I have actually made my own cookbook by cutting out recipes from this magazine over the years and organizing them into clear sleeves tucked into a binder. If you miss Cookie’s recipes and organizational tips, than Real Simple is a good Cookie Magazine replacement.
One of the fun features of Cookie that’s missing in a lot of magazines for moms is up-to-date fashion advice. Many parenting publications assume a more suburban-mall, 3-seasons-ago fashion vibe, but plenty of moms want to look just as fashionable and trendy as they did before kids. InStyle is a magazine that melds both the fantasy and reality of fashion, showcasing runway styles as well as attainable and affordable looks. Features on celebrities, makeup tips, and accessories round out the offerings each month, and overall this magazine is a fun read. There are tips included for women of all ages, so expect to be inspired by its pages. InStyle is a good Cookie Magazine replacement for those who want to look great but still need to pay for preschool tuition as well as the latest pair of boots.
Cookie Magazine’s Website
Even though you can no longer purchase a Cookie Magazine, its website is still accessible, though regrettably no longer current. While you can’t get the latest news and trends here anymore, you can access archived tips and articles. Some features, like fashion, are rapidly becoming out-of-date, but tips on travel, home ideas, recipes, and more are still just as useful as the day they were posted. My hope is that one day this website will be up-and-running again, even if the magazine never again hits my mailbox, but for now, being able to access favorite features of the past will have to do.