Month: December 2013

Joyfolie: Fancy shoes for little girls ready for New Year’s Eve and beyond

My girls have vowed to stay up late enough to see the ball drop this New Year’s Eve, but their plans are bigger than that. Evidently they have also planned to dress up, wear fancy shoes, and I think I heard murmuring about tiaras (and knowing my youngest, a Griffindor robe to top it all off). Fortunately we’ve got another few years until they ask for champagne, but I do know where to get the fancy shoes. Joyfolie is a mom-run shop that made the leap from a small Etsy shop and now makes quite the selection of dress...

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The cutest printable photo props to put the Merry in your Christmas

We love how grownups and kids alike will totally let their silly side show when you leave out some easy-to-DIY printable photo props. We’ve seen this trend at many birthday parties and even outlined how to make your own photo booth for your next shindig. And now we’ve changed up the props for Christmas, with a roundup that we’ve made sure are all printable and either free, or very affordable PDFs for download. Tet ready to smile so wide it hurts when Uncle David or cousin Lucas starts mugging for the camera. Oh Happy Day’s illustrated free holiday printable photo...

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Mitten stockings: creative stocking idea in a pinch

Every so often, we end up with an unexpected visitor on Christmas who would of course need his or her own stocking. Once it was a friend’s child, once it was our dog who we forgot to hang a stocking for–who knew my kids would be so adamant about that one. So I think this mitten stocking idea at Martha Stewart is super clever. No, you don’t have to scramble for knitting supplies right now; even a leftover pair or an inexpensive pair at a local discount store could do the trick, unless you want the mittens themselves to...

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Last minute holiday gifts, ideas and help on Pinterest. We’re here for you you. (Strokes head lovingly.)

Each week we feature our favorite pins on Pinterest, but today we’d be remiss if we didn’t point you towards just a few of our our own Cool Mom Picks Pinterest boards, which we’ve been packing with last minute holiday gifts and ideas for you from fashion to decor to those gifts you realize you need at the 11th hour. Follow us–it’s fun, and we love checking your boards too!   Holiday Fabulosity on Pinterest  (above) – a great big board of everything festive and everything cool (In partnership with Minted through December)   Printables + DIY on Pinterest – So many...

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7 eggnog recipes for everyone (even people who think they don’t like eggnog)

Sure, there are lots of reasons why you might not like eggnog. It’s made with raw egg (which makes it hard to share with the kids), can be overly sweet, and tends to be heaaaavy. But I’ve got 7 reasons to love it, even if you think you don’t. As an eggnog fan, I’m out to prove that there’s a nog for everyone. So for every eggnog complaint, I’ve found a delicious eggnog recipe solution. These recipes are, uh, the cream of the crop. So whip out the blender and get ready to cheers with nog this December 25th,...

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Wrap it up with the coolest free printable gift tags and gift wrap

Running low on gift tags and holiday wrapping paper right when you really need them? Want to avoid a shopping center parking lot at all costs this close to Christmas? Yeah, us too. No worries:  Download some of these gorgeous printable gift tags or holiday gift wrap designs and print them right from your home printer. We’ve tracked down only the very nicest ones for you–and huge thanks to all the wonderful designers who provide such a kind service to all of us over the holidays.    Hand-illustrated free printpable Christmas labels and tags by Emily McDowell Oversized tags with a...

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Important tips for keeping your baby cozy and warm through her first winter. Other than moving to Hawaii.

This post is part of our monthly series with our Baby Shower Gift Guide sponsor, babyGap, celebrating motherhood firsts. And there are lots!   Unless you live in super warm climes, we know that heading outside with your baby during the winter months can be a bit challenging. Like you don’t already have enough baby gear as it is, now you’ve got to add hats and boots and blankets (oh my!) to the mix. But it doesn’t need to be overwhelming, especially when you know what you’ll actually need — and what you don’t. Take it from us, we’ve lived...

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Our favorite gift subscriptions for kids, from toddlers to teens

There’s still time to give a special child a special gift that keeps giving each month with one of these awesome subscription boxes. We’ve recently rounded up our picks for the 10 best subscription gifts for adults, but kiddos get their own choices too! With hours of activities packed into each box, they are perfect for rainy — or snowy — days. And coming in 3-month, 6-month, or even annual subscriptions, gift subscriptions for kids extend the excitement of Christmas longer than the lights will stay up on my house, which is saying something. Who says Christmas comes but once a...

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Web Coolness: free holiday printables, postpartum selfie madness, and cookies galore.

Must make: Free printable holiday envelopes ready to assemble. Too cute! Must read: The little joys of holidays with the kids. We love this list. Must watch: Adorable video of a little girl signing a holiday concert. Must eat: The perfect winter salad recipe on Food 52 if you’re OD’ing on holiday treats. Today is the last day to nominate your favorite kids and family brands for a Cribsie award. (We’re excited to be among the judges!) We are super impressed with this Winter reindeer craft made from fallen branches or boughs. Grab the drill. A father-daughter photo series to make you count your proverbial...

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Hunger Games chocolates by Vosges: I volunteer as tribute!

Are you hungry, Hunger Games fans? Don’t be prim–just dig right into this gorgeous box of gourmet truffles from Vosges,  inspired by the Capitol of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games world. Opulence, trinkets, and accoutrements wait within. But no screaming jabberjays. We checked. Of course the Capitol is meant to represent all that is shallow, selfish, and dangerously narcissistic in our culture, but it’s just so darned pretty, just like the Capitol Truffle Collection from the new collection of Vosges Hunger Games Chocolates. If you live in District 1 and have the wealth (because wow, it’s pricey), you’re sure to get your Effie on...

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18 little holiday joys with your kids–mostly free. As most little joys are.

As much as we love shopping and big surprises and our seasonal visit to the Nutcracker at BAM and shopping some more, I’m well aware that some of the greatest treats of the season are the little things. So I hope you’ll like this list that I put together as a contributor to the Amex Tumblr: 18 Little Holiday Joys with Your Kids. I thought about the small joys that shouldn’t be overlooked in the craziness of the season, like sharing favorite holiday movies together, knowing every lyric to Partridge in a Pear Tree, or watching a child suspend disbelief...

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10 of our favorite subscription gift boxes. Because it’s never too late to give gifts in the future.

Last year, we brought you 10 of the best subscription gift boxes we could find. And this year, we’re adding on to the list because there are so many new exciting entries. (Geez, remember when it was just Birchbox? Although we do still love them.) So put down that boring last-minute gift card and instead give a card promising indulgent goodies into the new year, even after all that Christmas glitter has worn off. For the classy dame who’s not afraid to take beauty risks: Bergamot This is hands-down my favorite subscription box ever. Each month, three carefully curated artisan...

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Printable Nutcracker paper dolls bring the magic to a coffee table near you.

Forget overpriced seating and an emergency potty break right before the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy. Thanks to these gorgeous printable Nutcracker paper dolls from CMP favorite Sarah Jane, now you can enjoy the magic of one of our favorite holiday traditions any time, any place, and with the most beautiful or ridiculous dances your kids can devise. The Nutcracker Paper Dolls and Puppet Theater includes PDF printables of the stage proscenium and 13 Nutcracker characters. Just print them out on heavy card stock, cut and assemble. Then, crank the Nutcracker soundtrack from Spotify (The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra recording...

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Great experience gifts for kids, because memories make for awesome presents.

When we’re asked for ideas for a great gift for the kid who has everything–or even those who don’t–the first thing that comes to mind for me are experience gifts . They don’t have to be expensive at all, or they can be super splurgey. An experience gift can be an activity you do with the kids, or something they do on their own. So broaden your mind if you’re still stumped for gifts–we’ve got some fun idea starters, along with some thoughts on how to package an experience gift so your kids have more to open under the...

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One toy in, one toy out: Used toy donations to help kids in need this holiday season

Especially with so many services that help facilitate toy donations, there is nothing more sad to me than seeing a perfectly good plastic toy sitting by the curb on garbage day. And yet, if you’re like me, you’re not quite sure who to call about the sand table gathering wet leaves in the back yard or the pile of electronic guitars and singing cars your kids accumulate over the years that you might be clearing out, especially with the new gifts coming in for Christmas. Now there’s a way to pass your formerly loved plastic toys on to children...

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6 chic, affordable accessories for New Year’s Eve. Plus, a way you could score them for free.

Featured Partner With all the holiday shopping I’m doing for everyone else, it’s been hard not to snatch up a few things for myself too. But then I remembered my New Year’s Eve plans, and oh look! Another excuse! Still, I may want a glitzy sequin bag for New Year’s but hey, I’m a mom. As much as we like splurges around here from time to time, I’m not about to spend $300 on a fancy clutch that I know I won’t use too often. I presume you’re the same way? Which is why I always like sharing smart ways...

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How to make Game of Thrones snowflakes. Because winter is coming.

We do not snow? Think again. Those Star Wars snowflakes from last year were out of this world, but now that we’ve discovered Game of Thrones snowflakes., we realize that we knew nothing, Jon Snow. Thanks to these free patterns, anyone can create beautiful snowflakes to celebrate their favorite — and least favorite — Game of Thrones family crests. (The Lannisters clearly belong in the pile with the yellow snowflakes.) Interactive designer and storyteller Krystal Higgins is our moon and stars for creating these 8 free printable JPEGs.  Houses include Baratheon, Greyjoy, Stark, Targaryen, Lannister, Martell, Tully, and Arryn. And...

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Gorgeous modern holiday table settings for some festive inspiration. And uh, hold the Waterford.

When I’ve spent hours working on the perfect Christmas meal, a great holiday table setting is important to me. Serving it on plastic Santa Claus plates with paper napkins is not really my thing, since I want to show my friends and family how much love went into the meal. Still, I want it to be simple enough that kids feel welcome, and I’m not ignoring my family all day to make the table look like something out of a too-perfect magazine spread. I’ve been inspired by these beautiful holiday table settings and the creative details, and I hope...

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15 of the funniest christmas cards. Zero fruitcake jokes.

As much as I love loving, sweet, from-the-heart holiday greetings, there are those family members of mine I can always count on to send the funniest Christmas cards. Here, 15 cards that made me laugh out loud. No guarantees we have the same sense of humor — but I do promise you no fart jokes, fruitcake references, or allusions to Christmas balls of any sort.   Above: Christmastopher Walken Christmas Card ($4.25, Seas and Peas) (Just who you want coming down your chimney in the middle of the night.) I’ve Been Watching You Christmas Card ($5, Finch and Hare) Hot Cocoa Christmas...

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The building blocks of our nation. Way more fun than that sounds.

I remember one of the first times I was interviewed by a media outlet, and they surprised me with an off-topic question: What’s the best safe toy for a child? I paused, then stammered, “Uh…blocks.” Not my finest moment. But the truth is, I do love giving blocks to kids. They’re perfect for toddlers, they grow with their imaginations as they hit kindergarten, and now even my young grade-schoolers can spend hours creating fantasy lands, stories, and made-up games with them. I’ve been a long-time fan of Uncle Goose Blocks, which not only have some incredibly creative and educational...

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