Month: November 2013

6 cute Thanksgiving treats for kids

Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is for feasting. Dinner may be the main attraction, but this holiday is about grazing on deliciousness all day long. The food doesn’t have to be fussy or labor-intensive either–save the hard work for your turkey dinner. And in the case of Thanksgiving day treats they just need to be delicious and ideally, kind of cute. Here are six adorable Thanksgiving Day treats to have around turkey day. Some make a great afternoon snack, while others make fun kid desserts. No matter when you serve them, these delicious munchies will keep little tummies happy until...

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Gorgeous custom photo decals for your walls that happen to be eco-friendly too

I love having a really nice camera built into my phone. I get to capture so many memories of my kids’ childhood that my mom didn’t because we only had twelve exposures on that roll of Polaroid film, so they had better be good ones! The only problem is that I now have thousands of photos on my computer, and not enough room on my walls to hang them all. What’s a mom to do? Paper Culture is saving the day (or at least the decor) with their new eco-friendly wall clings. This company has been a favorite of...

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I want to smooch this all-natural DIY lip balm kit

I love DIY and I love anything lip-related: stick, gloss, or balm. That’s why I’m all grins over this all-natural, make-your-own lip balm kit that also helps provide valuable job skills to women in the Washington, DC area. (Did I mention I love that too?) These lips of mine are a No Yucky Chemicals Zone, and that includes fake strawberry flavoring. Luckily, this adorable box is deliciously full of good ingredients and a big heart. The DIY lip balm kit from Mary Kearns on Uncommon Goods includes everything you need to make five pots of organic, ethically sourced lip balm...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week: Holiday ideas galore

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us for cool finds like this every day…and loads of holiday help and inspiration starting now. (Psst, don’t be stressed. Pin now, save ’til you’re ready. Easy!) 1. Found a fun Christmas garland that’s an alternative to the tinsel versions. 2. Great little handmade Hanukkah gift on Etsy. 3. A Secret Santa Party invitation. So clever–and very James Bond. 4. All-natural food colors and sugars for cookie decorating. Finally. 5. Gorgeous, dressy holiday shoes for those of you not inclined to wear heels. You are in style, flats-lovers! BONUS: Check out our new kids’...

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How to make Butterbeer. Or just buy it yourself at Starbucks.

One of the great questions, since the first Harry Potter book (or at least the launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando), is how to make Butterbeer. And now we have the Butterbeer recipe. The Starbucks Secret Menu blog offers this suggestion for ordering an off-the-menu Butterbeer at Starbucks without even needing Floo Powder or a trip to Hogsmeade. -A Creme Frapuccino base with whole milk. Sorry dieters. -3 pumps of caramel syrup -3 pumps of toffee nut syrup -Top with caramel drizzle Note: there is no beer in Butterbeer. Fear not parents. Now clearly this is...

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The low-commitment, high-style, affordable toy chest

Relax, mamas: A toy chest doesn’t have to be built like a tank with solid wood and hand-hammered hinges and passed down for generations. Good news when you’re already experiencing sticker shock about that entire new nursery of yours. If you’re looking for an affordable toy chest that’s a big step up from a laundry basket and looks adorable, we’ve got you covered. Our pals at 3 Sprouts have done it again with a new toy chest marrying their trademark quirky style and smart organization. They’re a little more like bins with lids, since they’re made of fabric reinforced with cardboard, but that...

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Neighborhood Toy Store Day: Shop local on Saturday and get more than great toys

Featured Partner We all hope you’ll get out tomorrow (yes, tomorrow! Saturday Nov 9.) to support Neighborhood Toy Store Day, and find something on your holiday list right from your local businesses. Especially considering how much money that helps put right back into your own community. Plus we always love the personal help from shopkeepers who get to know our kids as they grow. If there was ever a shopping day of the year that grabbed our hearts it’s this one. On behalf of our wonderful sponsor ASTRA, the association for all the American specialty toy retailers, as in past...

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Web Coolness: Boys who love Rainbow Loom, a spooky cool baby announcement, Pinterest price drops, and more

Every Friday, we comb the web to find some great links worth reading. Here are a few links we’ve liked this week. We hope you like them too.   This just might be the coolest baby announcement idea we’ve ever seen. No postage, either. (via Mom-101) We’re pretty excited to be Etsy Page tastemakers. Follow our recommendations including some great gifts for holidays. Looks like our Editor Kristen’s son is one of many boys interested in Rainbow Loom. Awesome! Get a peek at the new Ralph Lauren Winter Olympics uniforms, this time all smartly produced in the USA. Love these eco-friendly...

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Time to start saying cheers! Often. As much as possible.

Hostess gift season is upon us big time, and this has always been one of my favorite kinds of gifts to track down. Just look at our Hostess Gifts Pinterest board which is already filling up with fun new ideas; something about making sure you put the same effort into being a guest, as we all know it takes to be a great host. At Anthropologie, I spotted these simple linen Cheers cocktail napkins and I think it’s the most perfect gift for so many people on your list, whether it’s cocktails with a friend or a weekend with your mother-in-law. While they’re...

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Loving you since MMIX: Cool custom mom jewelry

We’re always looking for mom jewelry that doesn’t quite feel so mom-like, and this sweet little  necklace fits the bill nicely. If you want to commemorate a special date, from a wedding anniversary to the birth of your first child, the custom Roman numeral necklace from Make Pie Not War (ha) may be just what you’re looking for. Because it’s customized, it’s got a vaguely rough-hewn look I really like, plus artist Alana Little can make the bar longer, should you be commemorating a birth in ‘VIII instead of in ‘I. There are other options too, including standard lettering, Braille, and even...

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Holiday shopping made easy with Etsy pages from tastemakers

As you might already know, we’re huge Etsy fans around here. Huge! So how thrilling to be invited as one of their new Etsy Page tastemakers along with some of our very own favorite design and lifestyle bloggers. Click over to the Cool Mom Picks Etsy page and find some of our favorite Etsy picks for kids’ gifts, host and hostess gifts, and even goodies just for your own holiday list. (Hold us, our handmade jewelry and accessories list has us drooling.) And of course we’ve got a Kids Gift Guide just in time for holiday shopping. While you’re there, check out pages...

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4 all-natural sauces that cut weeknight cooking time in half

With Thanksgiving and Hanukkah (A.K.A. Thanksgivukkah) just three weeks away, the food conversation will soon turn to brisket and turkey, Santa cookies and pie. While I’m looking forward to holiday food as much as the next cool mom, I’m also wondering how I’ll make it through the hectic holiday season–cooking, shopping, baking, parties–while keeping up with my daily responsibilities. Can’t I just stop making dinner for a couple of months? No, I can’t. And you probably can’t either. (Sorry!) But we can make weeknight dinners easier than ever with these four cooking sauces. Add any one of these to...

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The new Hayden-Harnett clutches and wallets: Awesome holiday gift on sale, check.

My obsession with indie designer bag and accessory label Hayden-Harnett is getting–well, a little obsessive. And these new clutches are an amazing gift for the stylish women on your list, especially at a sale price this week only. Through Sunday, save 25% on the new wallets, including this fabulous leather Bardot Pouch with python print. I’m having trouble choosing between the solid practical black (always my inclination), a poppy fun green, or the more daring multi colored python print. Considering the price is already good at $58 but drops down to $44 with the discount, maybe I don’t have to choose...

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The coolest temporary tattoos are now the coolest greeting cards

I have been in love with the indie artist-designed Tattly tattoos since we first featured them two years ago. There’s hardly a Cool Mom Picks writer who isn’t. And while they add so many fun designs so frequently (there’s a unicorn now!) that this would become the Tattly blog if we covered every single one, now there is some cool new news worth shouting about.   The new Tattly greeting cards just launched yesterday and I am thrilled. Right in time for the holidays, there are five gorgeously letterpressed designs, each featuring a card-appropriate typographic tattoo design, like Today’s the Day, Awesome, or...

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The Thanksgiving holiday cookie contest: great activity idea for kids!

This year, we’re going to have quite a few kids at the Thanksgiving table and so my oldest daughter came up with what I think is a great idea: A Thanksgiving holiday cookie contest. 1. Get Cookie Cuttters My daughter and her sister were debating whether the motif should be leaves or turkeys, so fortunately I found this Fall Copper Cookie Cutter set at Williams-Sonoma that lets us have both. And a pumpkin too. There are always cheaper ones (like this maple leaf cookie cutter from Cookiecutter.com–just $1.25 each! Steal!) but I’m a sucker for handcrafted copper cookie cutters designed to last, and...

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Clothes for a 9-year old girl? Here are 7 ideas…straight from a 9-year old girl.

I’ve been smitten with Wunway since I discovered their lovely, non-hoochie clothes (it’s true) for girls earlier this year. It’s no surprise I’m loving their new collection of girls clothes, but since my 9-year old picks out her own outfits these days, I thought I’d let her browse the website and share her own 7 favorites and why she loves them. I promise, I didn’t edit her one bit. Bellanie tutu skirt (above): The length of this skirt is so unique and not like other skirts of its kind.   Etoiles top: 100% cotton means it’s very soft (What? That’s...

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The American Made Shop: Holiday shopping right from home in more ways than one

Our hearts and souls have always been with entrepreneurs, crafters and small labels that well, put their hearts and souls into everything they make. While Etsy is a mainstay for us, we’ve always loved finding new resources for discovery. And now there’s one more, thanks to the Martha Stewart American Made collection.   Visit the American Made eBay shop and find just over 200 carefully curated items ranging from handmade kids’ clothing and jewelry, to gorgeous housewares and hostess gifts, baked-to-order edible gifts, and plenty more. Even DIY kits so you can American-make your own lovely gifts. In fact, if you’re getting a head start on your holiday shopping...

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Creative ways to capture baby’s first words: 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! No milestone may be more exciting than hearing a baby's first word. Whether it's "ba" for ball, "da" for dog, or a perfectly articulated cronut (it could happen) it's a thrill to see kids starting with the basics and building from there. Which is why we love finding wonderful resources for capturing and documenting them.  1. Write it down You think you'll remember your baby's first word forever but those of us parents with more than one can assure you that's not always...

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Marry Mr. Darcy? Nah, eat him instead.

Oddly enough, I’m not talking about literary Halloween zombies; I’m talking about cookies. Specifically, those made with this adorable set of Jane Austen cookie cutters. Because honestly, I’ve always wanted to take a bite out of Darcy.  We have yet another reason to celebrate 3-D printers, thanks to these cool cookie cutters printed to order from Netherlands Etsy shop Printmeneer, featuring silhouettes of Mr. Darcy and Jane Austen herself.  Use them to cut cookie dough, fondant, clay, or soft cheese. How cute would these be, iced? Or hanging as ornaments from the tree? After all, it is a truth universally...

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

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular picks from this week.   1. This amazing gadget will help keep your sports-playing kids’ heads a whole lot safer. Wow. 2. One of the coolest ways to turn your favorite photos into a fabulous geeky gift. 3. The ultimate party invitations for iPhone lovers. 4. You need to get this free, educational math app for kids on your iPad stat. 5. We still can’t believe what this tiny gadget does to your plain old smartphone charging dock....

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