Month: December 2010

Online shoppers – prepare to save a ton of money

If you work on Firefox–as about half of you do, judging from our site stats–you probably know that there are all sorts of interesting add-ons you can add to the browser to make things faster, easier, and more functional for you. I’ve been poking around looking at apps for our sister site, Cool Mom Tech, and came across a really nifty one that’s already saved me a ton of money as I shop online. The PriceBlink add-on for Firefox essentially price compares the baby doll or shearling boots or garden hose you’re looking at on a major retailer site,...

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Little riding hoods, not so red

Since my kids are rarely get super dressed up, save a few special events over the holidays, I’m always looking for a more versatile option for my girls than a formal coat. And with the new riding hoods at House of Lux, I think I may have done just that. These lovely handmade capelets, some hooded, some not, are the perfect cross between a dressy coat and a more casual poncho. The lady (pictured) is made with a beautiful tweed outer layer and shiny satin lining. But I’d have a hard time choosing between that one or the beautiful...

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Custom jewelry as personal as a diary

I’m not sure about you, but I’m always the one having to carefully count the number of characters I have left for inscriptions and then cut out half of my sweet message because it’s just too long. Well, that’s not the case when it comes to these really incredible silver keepsake pendants from Tina Roeder. She’ll take your own sentiment, poem, or love letter, like the one pictured, and hand etch it onto this gorgeous sterling silver diary pendant. The artistic nature of the handwriting itself makes wearing your message quite personal; you’ll know exactly what it says but...

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Changeable shirts for kids with changeable minds

My daughter refused to wear anything but Hello Kitty garb for 63 days straight. True story. Then, just as we were all very (very!) Hello Kitty-ed out, she decided that she would never wear the same shirt twice. She hasn’t stuck to that plan (thank goodness), but definite opinions about her clothing are her M.O. Like most kids, the girl loves versatility. Future fashion editor? The world’s next scientist specializing in chaos theory? A normal kid? Whatever the case, I am beyond thrilled to find the brand new SwitchittZ shirts by Thread Adventures. These tees are made to change as often...

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Now in your inbox: Real live Santa.

I hear in some places, you have to book the best mall Santa in October to get a word in with the jolly guy, and he still might get your kid’s name wrong leading to a public freak-out. (It’s happened to us all!) But now, thanks to the wonders of technology, your inbox is the best place to catch the ear of Jolly Old St. Nick. Register at Portable North Pole, and you can send a message from Santa Claus to a toddler, older child, or even an adult. After navigating an extensive online questionnaire that even mentions siblings,...

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What present will make Grandma the absolute happiest?

One year, I got my mom an electronic photo album for her holiday gift. Well, that was a flop. She told me she really wanted a regular photo book of her grandkids, just like I gave her the year before. But, I like to complicate things! So, the next year, I gave her a photo mug, then a photo calendar and a photo t-shirt. (No, I’m kidding, I’ve never made photo t-shirts.Yikes!) With all the photo centric gifts out there, the good old photo book is still her favorite and mine because it preserves the photos nicely and I...

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Perfectly Plated

There is only one real rule this holiday season if you are bringing a hostess gift to a dinner party or a weekend get-away: the gift has to be something your harried hostess would actually enjoy. Okay, there is the secret second rule, which is that you can only regift an item to her if said item is in pristine condition and utterly removed from anyone in her family or social circle by no fewer than four degrees. Instead of having to map out a flowchart of who knows whom and where the salad bowl was before you got it, why not just buy her a fabulous little something...

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Delicious Butters and Beans

I like to give crafted baby items made of fabric that are as soft and as safe as possible. And if they look fabulous? Even better. A brand new organic baby line is in town (virtually), and the fabrics are sophisticated enough for grown ups, too.  [don’t miss a limited time offer after the jump] butters&beans, a line created and crafted in a momma-centric home business in Minnesota, offers eye-catching, hand-stitched, organic cotton and bamboo bibs and burp cloths, baby blankets, and more. The quality is really special, the fabric is super soft for tender baby skin, and the...

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Mermaids by artists, not animation conglomerates

I know that this year I’m going to end up with a bunch of kids I’ve forgotten about on my holiday list, so I try to amass a repertoire of fun, not too expensive gifts to keep on standby. If they don’t get given out this month, there’s always birthday parties all year long. While we have a whole bunch of gifts under $15 in our holiday gift guide, I just found one more that I’m in love with. The Mermaids Magnetic Dress Up Dolls from Mudpuppy is such a cool gift for girls. It would make a great...

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It’s in the bag.

We’re now formally in the “handing-someone-a-bottle-of wine” season, and while most of us can simply stick a bow on it and pass it on, there are times when that bottle needs a little more oomph than a plain brown paper bag or a crinkled sheet of tissue paper. The Wine OH (get it?) is a substantial, reusable gift bag, part of the Love Reusable Bags line and it’s very cute.  They offer a number of options: Bag the wine for your brother-in-law in the businessy Cosmic Stripes, or tuck some sparkling (nonalcoholic) cider in a cheery plaid bag you bring...

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A face so cute you could eat off it

I don’t usually go the disposable paper plate route, except when it comes to kids parties. But here are some paper plates so adorable they might be worth making an exception. Why? Well, they’re personalized. With a photo of my smiling sweeties and a festive holiday scene, I am in love with these Holiday Personalized Plates from Hallmark–so much so, I might like them too much to even use them! Choose from nineteen winter and holiday designs, pick your layout and, if you want, you can add text. Plates ship quickly; in only two business days after ordering and...

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Dandy address labels for holiday cards with style

If I’ve learned one thing after years of sending holiday cards, it’s buy the darn address labels. Not that the free ones you get from various charities can’t be lovely at times. But if you ever have the choice between hand addressing envelopes and sticking a label on them? I think the choice is clear. I was just browsing over at Minted and found these super smart skinny labels. [don’t miss a nice discount after the jump] The labels basically wrap around the side of the envelope, putting your return address on the front and a message of your...

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Send cookies to the troops without turning on your oven

Just around this time last year, my husband was returning home from his deployment in Afghanistan and he mentioned how he and his fellow troops really did appreciate the goodies and treats folks sent their way. With that in mind, I couldn’t help but pass along this great initiative from Kenmore (yes, that Kenmore) who’s thanking our troops through cookies–hopefully with your help too. Through their Baking for the Troops program, Kenmore is hoping to donate 250,000 cookies to troops who won’t be able to spend the holidays with their family. And if they can reach their goal, they’ll...

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I’m dreaming of a papery Christmas

I do the vast majority of my communicating via email but I still love sending and receiving handwritten notes, opening a really cool party invitation or getting an almost-too-nice-to-write-on notepad for my desk. (Don’t worry, I’ll write on it.) In fact, give me a handcrafted journal or a quirky print to hang on my wall, and I’ll consider you a soul sister. Maybe that’s why I can find so many things I’d love to scoop up from this great online shop with really cool, interesting paper items made by designers from all over the globe that I won’t often see in the big card or gift...

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Your kid wants a puppy for Christmas? Get The Puppy Sister instead.

Those of us who grew up on author S.E. Hinton’s books like The Outsiders, Tex, and Rumble Fish, might be interested to know that she’s got a new book out for the next generation. Actually, a graphic novel. And if you have a middle grade reader who’s reluctant to start books without pictures, this one’s for you. Plenty of kids want a puppy for Christmas–mine included. But in The Puppy Sister, Nick would much rather have a real sister to play with. Luckily, his new puppy hears his wish on Christmas day, and the strangest–and sweetest– sibling relationship ever...

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Web Coolness – holiday gifts, holiday gift wrapping, holiday decorating. What else!

Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. If you’re in NYC this Saturday, come to the Etsy labs in DUMBO for a kids holiday craft party to benefit Housing Works. Kids will even get to color their own ornaments, designed by the winning artists from our contest! On Momformation, Kristen shares 7 cool iPhone cases, some even handmade. Awesome stocking stuffer alert! Our own editor Christina shares her top 10 tech toys for toddlers on My Life Scoop. A new Christmas video from Dan Zanes with an acoustic rendition...

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A Universal Orlando Vacation for younger kids? Totally.

Here’s a fun secret: For many years, Universal Orlando resort used to be an ad-world client of mine, which means I’ve been there more times than I can count. Not bad to get to ride the Hulk Coaster and suck down a Red Stripe at Bob Marley’s bar in between meetings. (In that order, necessarily.) That said, I’ve never been there as a parent, unless you count toting a baby around in a Bjorn. And boy that’s a different experience. I was never sure whether you could do a Universal vacation in Orlando with kids too young to care...

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Cool personalized gifts that can still make it to you by Christmas

Oh sure, I try to be all nonchalant at this time of year: Christmas cards? I’ll get to them! Wrapping? I have weeks! But, don’t let my cool exterior fool you. I am quaking as the clock ticks down to Christmas. But before I tackle my never-ending Christmas list, let me remind you of some very important dates.  Keep reading to find out when a few of our favorite personalized items from both our Holiday Gift Guide and Cool Mom Picks’ archives need to be ordered to make it under the tree by the 25th. And then get shopping! –Christina...

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Gifts for girls who want a break from pink and purple

We call my oldest daughter a mini version of her beloved aunt, my sister. And it’s no surprise that my sister’s “mini me” would love her style as well, like her penchant for soft scarves thrown around her neck as soon as the temperature dips. But my oldest’s warm fluffy knit scarves are much too outdoorsy to wear indoors or to pass as a fashion scarf. And most of the “fashionable” scarves I’ve seen for girls are covered in too much scratchy glitter or fringe to feel comfortable on my oldest’s super-sensitive skin. Shirin NYC, a favorite of ours for their unique handscreened...

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Join the circus like you wanted to

There are a gazillion ABC books out there–plenty of which we feature here. While I believe that as long as you’re reading to your child ,you’re already doing great, once in a while a book comes along that really stands out from the others. [don’t miss a nice giveaway after the jump] ABC is for Circus, which was just released a few weeks ago, is one of those books: A chunky little board book, perfect for little hands, filled with brilliantly designed, brightly colored circus images that will make teaching your kid the alphabet a little bit more interesting....

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