Author: Kate

The best experience gifts for kids who want to do it all.

Research shows that the happiest families are those who spend their money on experiences instead of on things. I totally get it. Looking back at my childhood, I can remember only a handful of toys my parents gave me over the years — a Strawberry Shortcake lip gloss, still being a favorite. But every out-of-the-ordinary trip we took together is etched in my memory, whether it was a week at the beach or a night out to see the circus. So, this year, consider investing in an experience gift for your kids in addition to the books and toys they’ll be getting...

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My holiday gift wishlist: 5 great gifts on sale so I won’t feel guilty asking fo them

This year, I’m sticking to a pretty strict budget with my own Christmas shopping, because we’re heading to South Korea very soon to finalize our adoption. (Best Christmas gift ever!) (Eds: WE AGREE!)  And, as you can probably guess, flights to South Korea aren’t cheap. Even so, my kids and my husband are needling me about what I want for Christmas, and how can I deny them the pleasure of buying me a gift? So, I’ve picked out a few items from our holiday gift guides that I really wouldn’t feel that guilty asking for, considering they’re not just amazing gifts, but they’re all on...

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17 of the best subscription gifts for kids: From babies to teens, we’ve found something for everyone.

It feels like the holidays are going to be here in a minute, and I’m not ready! If you’re like me and are still scrambling for a few great gifts that will make your kids think you’re pretty awesome, then you might want to look into one of the cool subscription gifts for kids we’ve been scouting out. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen so many companies with such good ideas for subscription boxes that range from developmental toys for babies to science kits for our bigger kids. And we know from experience that our kids are thrilled to receive actual, real packages...

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This year’s best new books for Christmas, to help your kids get even more excited for the big day.

My family has a tradition of reading Christmas books at bedtime every night during Advent. Some years, I wrap each holiday book in our collection, so they’ll be surprised which book we’re reading each night. Other years, we take turns choosing a favorite. But every year, I like to add new books to our collection. And this year is no exception. I was excited to find some new, beautifully illustrated traditional stories as well as some clever books that are quick, funny reads (perfect for those nights when we’ve been out to a holiday party way past bedtime). I’ll be adding a couple of...

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An exquisite gift for book-loving kids from award-winning authors | Sponsored message

This is a sponsored message from Candlewick Press Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers and fine artist Sam Winston have teamed up to create a gorgeous children’s book that’s a tribute to the power of a great story — and just in time for holiday gifting. The 2016 New York Times #1 bestseller, A Child of Books, is an imaginative adventure through the world of storytelling. The two young main characters discover the magic found in books, as they explore forests of fairy tales, sneak past monsters in haunted castles, and climb mountains of make-believe — all presented to the reader with a genius visual...

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13 sparkly holiday dresses for girls: Bring on the dazzle!

If your family’s holiday schedule is anything like mine, and you have daughters, you know why I’m looking for sparkly holiday dresses for girls right now. I have a calendar full of holiday parties, recitals, school concerts, and a gazillion other special events coming up, all excuses for my daughter to get fancy. But with a budget that doesn’t allow for a whole wardrobe of holiday dresses, I’ve been searching for a fun, sparkly dress that she can wear more than once, from holiday parties to New Year’s Eve with lots of playdates and family visits in between. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 2016 Holiday...

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Cool, modern Christmas tree skirts that go with your own home decor, not Grandma’s.

We’re pulling out the Christmas decorations and dusting off the ornaments around here, and I’m realizing that one easy way to spruce up my holiday decor is with a fresh, new tree skirt. But have you ever searched for a modern Christmas tree skirt? They’re nearly impossible to come by. So I’m delighted to discover the wonderful modern Christmas tree skirts new at Minted this year. The designs are so crisp and clean, they add just the right amount of color and fun to your holiday decor. (And don’t miss out on a discount code they’re offering, right now!) Related: 14 festive and fun advent calendars to count...

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The best group card games to play with the whole family: Game night, bring it.

Now that Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, it’s really starting to feel like Christmas to me. And as much as I love the shopping and the hot cocoa and the decorations, my favorite part is the parties. Instead of sending the kids to the playroom to watch a movie while the adults hang out this year, I’ve found some really fun group card games that the whole family can enjoy together. From competitive strategy games for the geeks in all of us, to light party games that are more about having fun than winning, these are our favorites. Of course,...

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The papercraft book that makes Christmas crafting so, so easy.

Houses up and down our street are starting to turn on their holiday lights, and it’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in our neighborhood. My craft-loving kids would like for us to DIY everything holiday around here — cotton-ball snowmen, reindeer food, glitter wreaths…you name it. So when I discovered Papermade’s new book Paper Holiday, I knew I’d hit the holiday craft jackpot. The book includes 20 Christmas ornaments you can make in about 10 minutes each — just punch-out, fold up, and hang on the tree. No scissors, glue, or tape required. It even includes paper hooks. The ornaments are definitely Christmas specific,...

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We found 5 fab waterproof boots that also keep you warm this winter

Weather experts from Europe to the US are warning us to brace ourselves for the coldest winter in years…again. So, when life gives you snow, I say go shopping for a great pair of snow boots! When it comes to a good snow boot, I want something that will keep my feet warm and dry when I’m trudging through snow and slush, or just tip-toeing through those massive puddles that accumulate at street corners after a storm.  But I want them to feel comfortable and look at least as cool as I can in sturdy winter boots. Not too much to ask, right? So I’ve...

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