Month: December 2012

What the Mayans got right: hot chocolate

Well, we here are beyond happy to know that the world is still around today, Mayan calendar apocalypse warnings notwithstanding. It would be so wrong for it all to end before we get a chance to dig into Season 3 of Downton Abbey.  So we were thinking, if you’ve got a friend with a sense of humor–or you just need a delicious last-minute holiday gift–we think a homemade hot chocolate in honor of the Mayans who originated the drink in the first place might be just the thing. This Mayan hot chocolate recipe from Hello Giggles is my kind...

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Web Coolness: Snowflakes for Sandy Hook, DIY Christmas villages, and gift wrap inspiration

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too! We have been heartbroken all week over last week’s tragedy. Here are links to some of the best online responses to Sandy Hook that put into words a bit of the deep sadness we feel, even as we try to maintain a sense of normalcy for our children. In addition, What Six Looks Like is an achingly beautiful reminder of just how young and full of life this age is. Such a pretty DIY Christmas village can be made out...

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O, joy! The sweetest aromatherapy of the season

Several years ago, we introduced you to a new line of wonderful aromatherapy-based skin care products from hellomellow. All this time later, I still really like their body butter–and the room spray, which I’ve used more than once in my girls’ room to “ensure good dreams.” So I’m happy to check back with the company and find out they’ve expanded the line with some lovely new scents and some fabulous gift sets–just in time for the holidays. The Joy scent sounds perfect for the coming months–a blend of juniper berry and sage (yum) which comes in everything from a little lip...

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Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

I just got wind of the most beautiful idea – a group putting together a mountain of handmade snowflakes from children everywhere, to help decorate the new halls of the brand new school where the Sandy Hook elementary students will be returning after the holidays. The information is on the National Parent-Teacher Association Facebook page, but the gist is simple: Send handmade snowflakes to: Connecticut PTA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT06514 Now obviously not every parent has talked to their children about the recent tragedy, nor should you. I think you could still get your...

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Hey, good-looking! 10 attractive gift cards you’ll be glad to give

We admit it, we’re not the biggest fans of gift cards as holiday gifts. It can seem somewhat last minute and impersonal. Then again, there are some great gift cards out there, and if it’s for the right store or service, a gift card may be exactly what your loved one is hoping for. Fortunately, there are so many pretty gift card designs available from many of our favorite places. We rounded up some of the most attractive ones, so that you can find the right way to help someone splurge (and help you feel better about going the...

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Heifer International gifts: Buy the cow. And the goat, and the flock of chicks.

We love end-of-year charitable donations (or any time of year) to deserving organizations, and we’ve always been fans of Heifer International. Especially now that they’ve made it even easier to help a family take care of itself through your donation–and it happens to make a fabulous Christmas gift too. Heifer International is an amazing nonprofit that for years has been working to end world hunger by giving milk cows, goats, and flocks of chicks to impoverished communities–all to help the communities help themselves. And this year, they’ve added their own Christmas Wish List that makes it really easy to find...

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10 easy, edible holiday gifts that kids can help make

Shipping time is running out and shopping time is ticking down, but there’s still plenty of time to whip up an edible gift handmade with love. These holiday treats are easy enough to make with the kids’ help–and so much easier than dragging them through crowded stores! And they’re totally delicious to boot. Like hot-fudge-rocky-road-sugary-maple-bacon delicious. No scary fruitcake here, promise. –Stacie If you and your kid feel like baking, take a break from cookies to give these pretty Peppermint Cream Squares (above) a try, thanks to our friends at The Kitchn. I can’t get over how festive they look. Edible...

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DIY Star Wars LEGO ornaments: perfect for your Hothmas tree

This is no mere ornament. It’s a LEGO ornament. A LEGO Star Wars ornament that you can DIY. And it’s going to look great hanging on your tree, along with a LEGO Millenium Falcon and TIE Fighter. Besides, isn’t pew pew pew more fun than ho ho ho? These three sweet Star Wars build-it-yourself LEGO ornaments are the brainchild of author, artist, and photographer Chris McVeigh, who has thoughtfully provided step-by-step instructions on buying the right bricks and putting them all together. He also offers tutorials on sleighs, gingerbread houses, and a perfectly roasted LEGO turkey, but you know...

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You don’t need a blue Easy-Bake Oven to get boys to bake

Although Easy-Bake ovens are now coming out with “boy-friendly” versions (what, girls don’t like blue?), there have always been lots of options for boys to cook–really cook–with the help of great products and cookbooks for kids. Handstand Kids is a longtime favorite company of ours. We love that they have an inclusive baking book that doesn’t have smiling girls holding pink cupcakes on the cover. In fact, any budding bakers in the family will want to get their fingers all over this book. The new Handstand Kids Baking Around the World cookbook is perfect for any kid at all...

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Coffee gifts? Don’t mind if I do. Give, I mean.

I admit it. I used to settle for a cup of coffee from just about anywhere, then quickly douse it with milk and sweetener. Then I had a proper cup of joe, which was like the pigeon describing a hot dog to the duck in Mo Willem’s beloved The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog: “They are a taste sensation. Each morsel is a joy!” Thanks to this new monthly coffee subscription service that’s all about coffee, that joy is now yours to give to others. Purchase a gift subscription to Tonx [edited to add, Tonx is now Blue Bottle Coffee]–I...

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