Month: December 2011

A cool (not freaky) way to show your kids that Santa is real

We’re all about the magic of Santa Claus at our house but we’ve definitely dropped the ball when it comes to visiting him at the mall or even getting a letter from him sent to the kids. But I’m about to be completely redeemed when I show them this personal video message to my kids from Santa Claus himself. And even better, it didn’t cost me a dime. Portable North Pole was such a huge hit with my kids last year I’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest it again this year. To make your own personalized message from...

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Web Coolness – Santa for all, LEGO for girls, and treats for the sweet

We’re here to spread some holiday cheer with cool links from around the web.    Yum! Creature Comforts‘ roundup of 16 (!) great food gifts will have your mouth watering. An elf’s lament: Occupy the North Pole is a fun read for 99% of us. Kristen asks, “Does Santa wrap your gifts?” and gets an earful.  We’re so pleased to hear that funding for public broadcasting has been approved for the next fiscal year. Trying to let kids be kids in this age of overparenting. Kids’ music powerhouse Laurie Berkner picks out her favorite kindie albums of 2011 and...

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Last chance to enter our 5 Days of Giveaways!

All week long we’ve been giving away all sorts of awesome goodies as a thanks to our wonderful subscribers, and tomorrow is our very last one. And it’s good one. Promise. If you’re already a subscriber, then just watch your inbox tomorrow morning like you have been all week long. But if you’ve been holding out, now’s a great chance to become a Cool Mom Picks subscriber. Sure, you’ll get access to a fabulous giveaway tomorrow, but you’ll also get our free monthly newsletter, discounts and deals you won’t find anywhere else, and plenty more goodies that we promise...

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You’re a good app, Charlie Brown

Every year I realize I’ve missed 99% of my favorite children’s holiday shows (sorry Charlie Brown!) because I’m preoccupied with the 1000 other things I have to do before Christmas morning.  Thankfully, one of my all time favorite Christmas shows is now also an iPhone and iPad app that is available any ol’ time. Like…right now! A Charlie Brown Christmas app takes the beloved story from 1965 and uses 2011 technology to add a layer of interactive fun to the story. I love, love, love that the original story is here so that my kids and I can page...

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New Year’s cards are a very nice way to kick off the year.

I’m thrilled that New Year’s cards have taken off — after all, why should December mailboxes have all the fun? Plus, have I mentioned how much I love getting photo cards in the mail? (Yes, it looks like I have.) Also, let’s be honest, New Year’s cards are a brilliant solution for those of us who never got around to sending out holiday cards but would still like to. After all, you’ve still got a good month to send them out. Plus they’re now as clever and well designed as traditional holiday cards — sometimes, even more so. Here...

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An adorable illustration of your kid drawn just for you

Just when I thought I’d run out of original gift ideas, I came across an illustrator who will draw a ridiculously cute picture of your kid along with his or her favorite possession. There’s literally no kid’s room that these illustrations wouldn’t look good in. The talented illustrator behind Unless Someone Like You does custom kids’ art prints that feature a cherubic likeness of your child along with their name. What you do is send her details like your child’s name, hair color and item they love. She uses “archival pigment print” which in layman’s terms means it’s acid-free,...

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7 am enfant mittens

Yes, so I ‘m having a winter gloves thing this week. That’s what happens when the weather drops to freezing in the Northeast and my kids, who normally hate bundling up, start complaining about cold fingers. If you’ve got littler ones, and are tired of lost mitten syndrome–either because they don’t stay on well, or because, well, kid lose mittens–7 A.M. Enfant has some wonderful solutions. Mostly known for their fashionable Arctic weight stroller bags for babies, this French company also makes some wonderful accessories. The classic mittens have an elasticized wrist to keep snow and wind out (and baby...

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The most beautiful free printable gift tags to top off your holiday wrapping

You could cover my house with all the leftover wrapping paper I have accumulated throughout the years. But, for some reason, my gift tags have a way of disappearing right when I need them most. Fortunately, I’ve uncovered a ton of cool printable gift tags that you can print right from home. –Christina How About Orange has rounded up a whole bunch of free printable tags that range from whimsical to sophisticated. My favorites are Sass & Peril’s clean, modern tags (shown above) which also include a Happy Hanukkah tag. Fifth and Hazel’s printable Chevron tags are super easy...

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12 festive holiday gift wrap ideas

If you’re like us, Christmas Eve day is going to be spent in a big gift wrap frenzy. As much as I love those brown paper packages tied up with string, I really love when the gifts I’m giving look as festive as the holidays themselves. Here, 12 of my favorite ideas for wrapping gifts that will make your packages stand out from the stacks covered in store-bought paper. They’ll almost be too nice to open, though my anxious kids will beg to differ. –Christina   This clever yarn-wrapped gift for kids comes with a little present on the...

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Best babysitter gift at the last minute? Reader Q&A

I totally am stumped on what to give our favorite sitter in addition to some cash. Any last minute ideas? She’s really wonderful and we want her to know how much we value her but I don’t want to spend a lot because we’re already giving her money too. Thanks! -Alyssa While cash (generally a week to two week’s pay for a full time nanny or sitter) will be a most-appreciated gift, we like the idea of pairing it with a little something personal for those important caregivers in our children’s lives. If your child is old enough to...

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