Month: December 2012

A first Christmas gift for baby that you’ll want to snuggle as much as she does

One of my favorite categories on our Holiday Gift Guide this year is first Christmas gifts for babies that are all handmade. Recently we shared an entire selection of great first holiday gifts for baby (lots of handmade goodness there too!) but I also happen to adore this blanket that’s featured on our guide this year. Especially once I realized who made it. Turns out the stunning craftsmanship and design comes from none other than Seven Smooches, makers of gorgeous handmade accessories and clothing all from upcycled fabrics. I discovered them about three years ago when they launched and I love to...

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9 DIY handmade Christmas ornaments that you really can make

DIY handmade ornaments make some of the most lovely Christmas gifts. Our own Christmas tree is filled with handmade holiday ornaments, some from flea markets and craft shops on our travels, and some DIY ornaments from crafty friends. (Save for those few Redskins ornaments that I can’t get the SigOth to part with, sigh.) Here, a few DIY ornament tutorials for you crafty folks who want to rock more of a handmade, cozy style on your tree–or add a thoughtful “I made this just for you” appeal to your gifts this year. Or hey, make a few to tie...

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FashionABLE scarves get more fashionable, if that was possible

I feel a personal commitment to the amazing company fashionABLE, since having visited their operation in Ethiopia and meeting so many of the women who actually made the scarves. It’s even one of my very favorite picks this year in our Holiday Gift Guide, under the category of chic gifts that give back. Now, there’s two more styles that I’m extremely excited about, in part because they support an organization I love; and in part because I (along with some other amazing bloggers) helped make them. Really!   When we visited at fashionABLE, as part of our Ethiopian trip...

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Christmas stockings go handmade, and not a sequinned snowman to be found

More and more people are craving a handmade holiday season, from stockings to gifts. I understand the feeling of wanting to be surrounded by one-of-a-kind pieces that are unique and beautiful. When I was a young child, my aunt made my whole family handmade Christmas stockings with individual designs on each. I remember feeling so special when I saw my stocking. I want to do the same for my kids. One problem with that. I don’t sew. Well, yay for me! These handmade holiday stockings on Etsy are the perfect solution. These beautiful blue and green handmade Christmas stockings...

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10 of the best subscription box gifts that bring the awesome to someone’s doorstep

Big boxes are good. Little blue boxes are sometimes better. But gift boxes that arrive in the mail every month are maybe the best way to remind the folks you love that they’re always on your mind. Whether you have a favorite foodie, a beloved bibliophile, a luxe loved one, or a caffeine fiend on your list, we’ve compiled a sweet array of monthly subscription gifts for adults that will make that special someone (or someones) squeal with joy. For the sophisticated foodie: NewYorkMouth With six different monthly subscriptions from chocolate to jerky to pickles and a variety of...

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Spruce up your holiday CD collection with the new releases from some of kindie’s favorites

As much as I love the holidays, hearing Christmas music in stores and on the car radio since Halloween has squashed my desire for another spin of Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. Luckily, like a surprise from Santa’s elves, three of kindie’s biggest and best names have released collections of holiday tunes that have rekindled my Christmas spirit. –Christina With a peppy, kid-pop sound, A Laurie Berkner Christmas is full of Christmas cheer, jingly bells, and songs of which you’ll know at least the first verse. Play this during your kids’ school party, while decorating the tree,...

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5 tech picks you won’t want to miss this week

Forget the sugarplums. We’ve got iPhones dancing in our heads. Here are a few of our favorite picks from the last week, just in case you missed them. 1. Customize this with your sweetest baby photos, and Santa will have to give you an iPhone 5 to go with it. Right? 2. You know the most painful part of holiday shopping, the part we all dread? Well, here’s a clever app to make it easier. 3. Every baby deserves to chew on this fancy new iPhone 5. 4. You (and your kids!) can star in the most popular video ever...

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Fast Fruit for grownups on the GoGo. (Yes, squeeze packs for grownups!)

I can’t be the only parent who’s swiped my kids’ squeezable fruit pouches. I love fruit so much, I could be a fruitarian with very little prompting. And now there’s a fruit pouch for us grown folks, with some decidedly grown-up flavors. Score! CMP favorite GoGo squeeZ has launched Fast Fruit, each with a full serving of 100% fruit in Apple-Peach-Passion Fruit, Apple-Mango-Pineapple-Banana, and Apple-Cranberry-Raspberry (I’m drooling just writing those flavors). Each pack has a built-in straw (veddy adult, of course) and yes, the packages can be recycled. It’s also a great option for slightly older kids, because the portion size...

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A wonderful new lullaby CD for moms tired of Brahms…or just plain tired

Stocking-stuffer alert for the sleep-deprived: I’m used to listening to Justin Roberts‘ songs with the kids in the car, with the volume turned up more than halfway. In my opinion, he is one of the best at sing-along choruses, clever wordplay, and high-energy kid-pop. Turns out he’s also pretty darned good at taking the tempo down–way down–and putting us all to sleep.  {Keep reading for a way to win a copy of this CD!} In his 10-song CD Lullaby, Justin Roberts soothes kiddos (and weary parents) to sleep with some peaceful sheep-counting imagery, gentle love songs, and short storytelling. And while...

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Geek up the tree with ninjas, vampires, superheroes, and Jedi

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: three sneaky ninjas. Also: ten caped crusaders, nine Star Wars figures, two vampires, and a well-muscled werewolf in a fir tree. The husband and wife team of Itty Bitty Wood Shoppe on Etsy is best known for highly detailed wooden wedding cake toppers, but for the holidays, they’re turning their brushes and Sculpy to holiday ornaments fit to pique any geek. The ninjas stand two inches tall and come in a pack of three, ready to hang on the tree for an extra Silent Night. Because you...

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Planes, trains, and automobiles: 3 of the coolest eco-friendly toys this holiday

If you are shopping for a vehicle-obsessed child who can’t wait to get more Things That Go, you’re in luck. This holiday, some of our favorite small companies are offering such cool, eco-friendly toys that fly, choo-choo, and zip–with a little kid-power of course. –Christina CMP favorite Green Toys takes used milk jugs to make the recycled plastic for their toys, like these new, colorful airplanes. With their spinning propellers and sturdy construction, this is one toy that could go from indoors to out, and maybe even spend some time in the bath. In fact, if you ever find the...

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Is an American Express Platinum Card really worth it? Here’s the scoop.

I am a frequent business traveler, an entertainment junkie (jazz hands!) and a big fan of not cooking on special occasions when a great restaurant can do it for me. That’s why I’ve been an American Express Platinum holder for a long time. I know, I know, it sounds totally fancy. But for me, it’s always paid for itself; I have heard the Platinum Card referred to as a “benefits card” and not a charge card, which seems pretty apt. And since becoming a parent, I’ve realized there are a ton of benefits just for families–like an upcoming special...

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Christmas cards go photobooth fabulous

How many of us are currently stressing out about our Christmas cards? Do we take pictures of the family? Do we keep it simple with card stock designs? Colorful? Plain? Traditional? Modern? Ahhh! Too many decisions! Well, let me give you some excellent advice concerning your annual cards. Pinhole Press, whom we already adore for their gorgeous holiday photo cards, has created this super fun option for all of us. I’m a fan! The Modern Triptych Photobooth card is a fun and playful way to show off your family’s personality. Create a modern gallery of your three most favorite images. Then...

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FEED the world: let them know it’s Christmas time

In honor of World AIDS Day today, there’s a lot you can do. It can be as simple as signing a petition to keep funding for AIDS treatment and prevention going to save the lives of moms and babies. It can be talking to your kids about AIDS and how far we’ve come with treatment and research. And it can be making a generous contribution through the simple act of shopping. The Project (RED) shop offers a lot of great products that help support AIDS research and treatment to various degrees. But what I particularly love is this FEED (RED) Love 30...

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