Month: November 2013

How do I organize Rainbow Loom bands?

If your kids are like mine, they are completely obsessed with making Rainbow Loom bracelets, which means your house is covered in those teeny, tiny rubber bands. Well search no longer! Here, lot of ways to organize Rainbow Loom bands and hopefully keep them on their wrists and off your floor. You could use plastic jars or mason jars to store rainbow loom bands, if you’re anal and want to separate everything by color. Though you’ll want to make sure they’re fairly easy for your kids to open, unless you want to always be on call during bracelet making time....

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This Mixtape Stamp Activity Kit is even cooler than the mixtapes of our youth

My kids complain because we never use wrapping paper at Christmas. We’ve been using the same reusable fabric for all our gifts since they were born, but I think I’ve found a little something from CMP Fave Yellow Owl Workshop that might make me reconsider. The Mixtape Stamp Activity Kit is begging for presents to be wrapped in brown craft paper. Wrap ’em up, skip the ribbons, and decorate them with one of these awesome natural rubber stamps and the included blue ink pad. Adorable. Plus it’s just so darn cute to imagine filling in the “to” and “from”...

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How to cook your first Thanksgiving turkey: the no-panic step-by-step tutorial

Whether it’s your first time making a Thanksgiving turkey or your fifth, I’ve found that there’s always room for a little (or a lot!) of help. So, this year, I’ve put together a step-by-step Thankgiving turkey tutorial. Hope it helps. Pick a recipe My first bit of advice is to find an appealing recipe from a reliable source that you can really make (I suggest the Thanksgiving cookbook by Sam Sifton or  just grab his Herb Roasted Turkey recipe, above, from Bon Appetit). Be honest with yourselves, mamas: Thanksgiving is not the time to take on a challenge, especially when a simple...

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How do you explain Thanksgiving to kids? 3 great videos to help

I know I’m not the only parent who wonders how do you explain Thanksgiving to kids, beyond, “well, we eat turkey and stuffing and Uncle Fred always drinks too much of his special juice.” (That’s hyperbolic by the way; I don’t have an Uncle Fred. That you know of.) So here are two of my favorite resources that have really helped me explain the historical significance of Thanksgiving in a fun, engaging way, even if I still need to fill in a few blanks.   First of all, Schoolhouse Rock is still a go-to educational source for me, all...

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14 creative gift wrap ideas to make your nice list feel super special this holiday season

The simplest handmade gift can feel like it’s worth a million bucks if you’ve taken the time to wrap it with love. So we’ve pulled together some stunningly creative gift wrap ideas from the best of the Web to help you make your loved ones feel extra special this Christmas.And they don’t have to be hard! My grandmother was my style icon. She believed that, although what’s on the inside matters more, what’s on the outside still matters quite a bit. In other words, she taught us not to be lazy with details. I think that’s especially true when it...

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Mailing a lump of coal is expensive. Send Santa’s Black Letter to your naughty list instead.

With just a little over a month until Christmas, it’s a great time to send a letter from Santa. In this case, not so much a typical “you’ve been good this year” note, but a cheeky warning message to someone who’s landed on your naughty list. And we’ve found just the folks to do it. Santa’s Black Letter is a customizable missive that arrives with all the pomp of a Hogwarts Howler, minus the shrieking. You select from three letters, choose your font, and add custom messages in the body. If you have something more specific to say, you...

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Web coolness: Thanksgiving help galore, free holiday printables, and cookies to crave

You won’t want to miss this special Thanksgiving edition of web coolness! Every Friday, we comb the web to find some great links worth reading. Here are some of the cool things we found around the internet this week. We hope you like them, too! Love this free holiday gift tag printable from Sea Urchin Studio. What a nice treat. We have Thanksgiving help galore! Try: Thanksgivukkah recipes you don’t have to be Jewish to love 6 of the cutest Thanksgiving treats for the kids Make-ahead Thanksgiving side dishes to make cooking easier Thanksgiving take-out boxes for the morning...

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The best lip balms for those cold weather chapped lips (darn them).

Chapped and cracked lips are no fun. First of all, ouch. Secondly? They make your lip gloss and lipstick look terrible. Third of all, they’re no fun to kiss. So in the hopes of a smooth-lipped winter, I’ve been slathering on some great lip balms. I found promising pout savers, and the good news is, one of them is already in your pantry. Ilia Balmy Nights Lip Exfoliator  This is a potent little stick of lip-sloughing goodness. It’s loaded with teeny granules of organic volcanic stone powder (sounds fancy, I know), shea butter, and sunflower seed oil. It only takes...

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Game of (very small) Thrones

Winter is coming, but it’s going to be much shorter than usual. Or at least the characters will, and not just the Imp. We’re seriously freaking out over these amazing custom Lego Minifigs inspired by Game of Thrones. MiniBIGS on Etsy draws and custom pad-prints minifigures the same way LEGO does, which means that the details won’t fade or rub off, even during sword fights. This “Throne of Bricks” five-pack includes The Imp, Underfoot, Warden of the North, The Bastard, and Mother of Dragons. Which translates to Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, Ned Stark, Jon Snow, and Daenerys Targaryen. And...

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7 tips for making baby’s first holiday a special one: A celebration of motherhood firsts

This post is part of our monthly series with our Baby Shower Gift Guide sponsor, babyGap, celebrating motherhood firsts. And there are lots! We can’t really think of a bigger deal than baby’s first holiday, which ranks right up there with, well, the birth. But trust us, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the gifts and family and merrymaking only to find yourself–or more likely, your wee one–kind of exhausted. Possibly cranky. There’s no crankiness allowed at the holidays, mamas! So here, we’ve put together some of our tips for you to help make your baby’s very first...

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Baby’s First Hanukkah Gift Ideas. Just the good ones.

Yes, there’s always that “Baby’s First Hanukkah” bib that you’ll use for 8 nights, max. But we dug to help find gift ideas for your baby’s first Hanukkah that are just a wee bit cooler than some of the others. Hebrew letter blocks  ($34, Uncommon Goods) Uncle Goose makes some of our favorite blocks, including a great foreign language selection. The Hebrew ones are perfect for baby — and could give her a leg up on identifying the Gimel on the dreidel quickly.     Little Pim English/Hebrew DVD Set ($59.99, or $34.99 for Digital Download, Little Pim) The very...

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8 delicious holiday cocktails to toast the holiday season

We’ve been talking a lot about holiday food, from make-ahead Thanksgiving dishes to once in a lifetime Thanksgivukkah recipes. Now it’s time to raise our glasses — filled with holiday cocktails, of course! Simple to make and elegant to hold, these eight holiday drinks make any  gathering more festive, whether a cocktail party with friends or small family gathering around the fire (or, you know, the coffee table). And did I mention that they are delicious? Each is brimming with holiday flavor and cheer, even the one without booze. -Stacie  I love the festive combination of flavors in the Cranberry...

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Our free holiday shopping survival guide notebook template from Springpad helps keep you sane.

featured partner If you’re like us, then you’re already swimming in holiday to-do lists. With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah running right into December, we’re feeling a little behind. Or actually a lot. And so, we look for holiday shopping tips and lists to help us out. But as much as we love pre-made lists, they’re definitely not one-type fits all, which means we use them for a few days and then often end up ditching them. You too? That’s why we’re so excited to tell you about our new collaboration with Springpad, who we’ve loved even before they became one...

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Welcome to the new Cool Mom Picks. We are so happy you’re here!

In 2006, when we started this site, we were just…having fun. Our aim to support entrepreneurs and the cool things that women were making and sharing online was serious, but the way we originally built our site was kind of hilarious. It’s not our fault entirely that for a category name, we referred to kids’ clothes as kidduds  (it sounded funny to us at the time) or that we have post urls in our archives like coolmompicks.com/please_hold_this_post_for_something_good_liz. We were making it all up as we went along; but really, we never could have imagined that we’d have more than...

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Dasher, Rudolph and this guy: an adorable personalized reindeer ornament for the tree

You know Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, and the rest, but now there’s a reindeer lovelier than all of them. (I know I haven’t technically seen any of them, but surely it’s tough to look good after a day spent traveling around the world.) CMP fave Paloma’s Nest has a custom Christmas ornament so simple and beautiful, I think even Rudolph might soon have competition for most famous reindeer of all. Their Personalized Reindeer Ornament would be such a lovely addition to a family Christmas tree this year. Cut from a piece of wood and bedecked in a crisp, cotton ribbon that...

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Holiday ornaments without red or green or glitter. It’s possible!

If you’re like me and tend to lean towards more subtle holiday decorating (hold the beglittered talking Santa, please), you’ll love these gorgeous ornaments I found while scouring Etsy. I just can’t pick a favorite among the laser cut wood holiday ornaments at Havok Designs that are all designed and created right here in the USA. Whether you’re searching for a lovely custom hostess gift like the initial Christmas ornaments (pictured above) or want to stock up for your own tree decorating (love that poor gingerbread man!), you’ll find no shortage of fun options that even a red and green...

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What’s black and white and pink all over?

The Of a Kind website is fast becoming one of my go-to sites for finding great indie design. And as a Brooklyn mama myself, I always save a special little corner of my heart for other Brooklyn artisans. Even if this one comes by way of Wisconsin. And just in time for the cold weather to come back too. All Knitwear is a nifty local (to me) maker of handmade hats helmed by Annie Larson now with exclusive editions at Of A Kind, and I absolutely love her sensibility–fashionable with a wink. While the graphic black and white patterns will look...

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Two super new superhero books for your little caped crusaders

Look! It’s not a bird or a plane, but two super new books for our young superheroes-in-training. Because not even the most energetic superheroes can spend all their time leaping tall (LEGO) buildings or running faster than a speeding (Nerf) bullet. For those quieter moments when your little caped crusaders want to exercise their creative muscles, or just need a little snack before returning to Gotham, here are two activity books to add to their crime-fighting collection. The Super Book for Super Heroes is jam-packed with drawing and coloring pages for kids with active imaginations and possibly a future in...

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Celebrating Movember when you’re too young to grow a ‘stache

I look forward to Movember every year because my Viking husband looks deliciously scruffy while supporting men’s health awareness with a beard. But if you’ve got a mustache-loving kid in your life who can’t even sprout a few chin hairs, here are some adorable ways to get more ‘stache in your November. Ah, so many mustache choices. The handmade shirts (above) by Pirates and Cupcakes on Etsy come in a variety of Movember-y favorites: The Villain, The Cowboy, The Ringmaster, and soon, The Santa. Just pick your mustache poison and tell the shop owner the color shirt and size you want,...

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Pretty paper ornaments for your Christmas tree. Or non-denominational shrubbery.

Okay, I have a serious weakness for paper anything. But when it comes to gorgeous paper ornaments for the holidays? I positively swoon. So I was delighted to see the latest offerings from longtime CMP fave Frazier and Wing. I’ve been smitten with Frazier and Wing since we featured their gorgeous, handmade paper garlands a while back. And now my love grows deeper. Their beautiful line of holiday paper ornaments are such a unique, modern way to decorate your tree, whether you’re a red and green traditionalist, or like to change things up with a host of other bright or subtle color...

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