Month: December 2009

Swapping + Handmade = Happy Holiday Barter

I’ve already shared my love for SwapMamas here, the great location for moms to meet up and swap their gently used items. But for the holidays, they’re adding a dash of Etsy and going positively medieval: You can check out the Handmade Mamas group there to swap around your handmade skills and deck the halls with barter. So maybe you knit, but you really want some pretty hair ribbons; or you make earrings but desperately want some cute bibs.Whatever you’re still seeking, chances are there’s a fellow crafty mama out there willing to work out a trade. Happy holidays...

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Memorable Christmas gift for Daddy-to-be? Reader Q&A

My husband and I are having our first born, a girl, next year. I want to get him something Daddy related for Christmas this year that is sentimental but not cheesy. . . Any ideas? -E Congratulations! We love this question and there are so many great ways to celebrate your almost-parents status this Christmas. A Christmas keepsake will remind you of this special holiday together, and we love Paloma’s Nest custom holiday ornaments (shown above) for their simple elegance. For the custom text, we adore “3 is the magic number” which is reminiscent of one of our all-time-favorite...

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Holiday ornaments that aren’t just for the tree

Every year I try to find a creative way to decorate my holiday gift packages with something other than the typical curly ribbon and shiny bow. This year, I’m going with small ornaments, and I love this cute felt Reindeer ornament from Lowell & Son. These made-to-order felt ornaments are a lovely and eco-friendly way to add a personal touch to your gifts – just choose a different design for each person and you can lose the gift tags and the big foofy ribbon bunches once and for all. And really, at just under $10, these hand sewn ornaments...

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A Christmas gift for babies too young to beg to eat the chocolate santa before breakfast

I still remain firmly in the camp that believes that My First Christmas onesies are a total waste of your hard-earned cash. And I’m not being a Scrooge, I swear – I just prefer to get a little more longevity out of my kids’ clothing than uh, one day. But for just under $10, the lollipop romper from the Baby Bunch does make a pretty thoughtful little holiday gift with enough festivity to carry you through the day. It’s all packaged like a giant sucker, but inside it’s a sweet little red and white striped cotton onesie for a...

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Just ducky

The ordinary rubber duck received a needed makeover a few years back, when BUD luxury rubber ducks started invading bathtubs. Funky and fun, they didn’t just look cool, these Australian born duckies ditched the phthalates long before anyone knew what that even meant. Grab a few for kids’ stocking stuffers, or even that grownup friend who would appreciate the irony.   –LizFind a good selection of BUD luxury rubber ducks...

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Let it snow organic chocolate and peanut butter

I haven’t yet tasted the Organic Dark Chocolate Snowmen from Sjaak’s, but I’m really hoping they are as good as I hear they are because they look like such a fun last minute holiday gift. Especially for a vegan on your list. But I’d imagine any kid, or kid at heart, would be happy to tear into these snowman-shaped treats filled with a peanut butter crunch. Hold me! The chocolates, which can be found at Kate’s Caring Gifts (a shop we just adore) are all fair trade, which supports family farms and do-gooding in general. In fact the adorable...

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The bag my younger, cooler self would carry

Back when I was younger and presumably cooler, I’d mentally check off the things I’d need for a night out with friends: ID, money, lipstick, keys. Now that I’m a mom to three kids, this load seems laughably spartan. But for those young enough and presumably cool enough to carry a clutch, the Zip-It Bags from one of Cool Mom Picks’ longtime favorite brands, My Perennial, make a perfect gift. For those who can’t go anywhere without an SUV-sized tote, these bags are a great place to store a few necessary items within easy reach inside a larger purse....

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Scrapbook masterpieces, no skills required

Look, we’ve discussed my SIS (Scrapbook Impairment Syndrome) in the past. I’m okay with it. There are tools available for me to do pretty things with my pictures in other ways. But if I want a genuine photos-affixed-to-beautiful-backgrounds, scrapbook binder full of hand-designed pages, now I can get it. Pixtorie lets you upload your photos and then choose from various layouts from designers like Oh Joy! to assemble the perfect “simplebook,” the smaller, more affordable version of their designer scrapbooks. Right now colors and fonts on the various pages are fixed, but I’m told greater flexibility is coming down...

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A trip around the world this Christmas for $19.99? Sign me up.

I don’t do much overseas traveling. Okay, none, really. And I can’t even blame my kids, since I barely did it before they were born, either. A passionate desire for a reduced carbon footprint or sheer laziness? I’ll let you decide.   But, I have to admit, my kids might like to venture out of the country once in a while. So, while I intend to remain close to home this holiday season, the least I can do is expose them to the rest of the world from the comfort of our story corner.  Barefoot Books now offers a lovely...

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The kids’ pajamas to wake up to Christmas morning – and every morning after that.

I know friends who have a holiday tradition of giving the kids a new pair of pajamas every Christmas Eve. It makes for fantastic photo ops on Christmas morning — but then I visit in the spring and those poor kids are still walking around in candy cane stripes with elves on the chest. For alternative, I am looooving the Kung Fu style Pajamas from mom-run Douglas & Cocoa. These soft, slouchy, sophisticated Asian-inspired pajama sets come in patterns like a forest plaid or a red and green flower print that look festive for the holidays without feeling theme-y....

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