Author: PJ Feinstein

11 really fun Thanksgiving printables, from activity books and coloring pages for the kids, to table decor that makes you smile.

Even though Thanksgiving is a pretty low-key holiday for a lot of us — more about food, friends and family and football than anything too fancy — I love how kids tend to get excited about celebrating every holiday. And about decorating everything and anything for any reason at all. That’s why I’m grateful for these 11 fun Thanksgiving printables, including coloring pages and craft projects, to keep the kids entertained (and out of the kitchen) over the coming week. We also found some festive decorations for the table and walls so you can focus on more important things like the turkey, vegetables, cranberry sauce, and deciding...

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9 super easy DIY Halloween treat bags for kids that beat carrying a boring pillow case

The house is decorated, there’s candy in the pantry for trick-or-treaters, and your children’s Halloween costumes have been planned for a month. Think you’re set for October 31? Well, have you considered what your kids will use for Halloween treat bags? Plastic pumpkin-shaped pumpkins and spare pillowcases from the linen closet are fine, but if you’re putting in all that effort to make creative costumes for your kids, I think it’s kind of nice to make their bags just as special. Also, good way keep the kids busy when the pre-Halloween excitement hits a fevered pitch. I’m not suggesting you splurge on some designer...

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9 really creative but still easy last-minute Halloween costumes for kids. Hey, we’re busy too.

I like to think of Halloween as an equal opportunity holiday; you don’t actually need to be a crafting maven to come up with the best costume. Even procrastinators can throw together last-minute Halloween costumes using (mostly) everyday items around your house, and the results can be equally funny, clever, or scary as any other. All it takes is a good idea, and as I discovered while putting together this collection of 9 last-minute costumes for kids, there’s no shortage of fun and original ideas out there to inspire you this Halloween. Of course there’s always a ghost under a white sheet. But I like these...

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12 adorable winter jackets to keep your kids warm and dry: Reader Q & A

Hey, Cool Mom Picks: Any good recommendations for a waterproof winter jacket for my preschooler? I’m starting to realize it’s probably going to get cold on the East Coast fast! Thanks! – Leah, via the Cool Mom Picks Facebook page   Hi Leah! I totally feel your pain. I have been searching for the most-awesome winter jacket for my son and engaged in the online equivalent of window shopping for several hours. Some days, my job is really hard. To help me narrow down my options, I considered three things: Style, warmth, and quality. I love coats that look awesome, but they also have to keep kids warm enough to...

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9 easy Halloween crafts for preschoolers with just the right amount of spookiness

It’s that time of year that we’re all digging up all sorts of easy Halloween craft ideas for kids to share with you. And yet I’ve said it before (and I’m sure I’ll say it again): I’m not a very crafty mom. I hardly ever have the urge to DIY, and my hobbies have nothing to do with paint, scissors or glue. My son, on the other hand, loves to do art projects, which challenges me to come up with crafts that are manageable for the both of us So I’ve been busy bookmarking Halloween crafts easy and fun enough for preschoolers, to keep us busy through October...

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Easy hair tutorials: Update your basic ponytail with these braids, buns, and twists

Sitting in a Brooklyn hair salon at the start of the summer, I agreed to let my stylist chop my long hair into a trendy lob on one condition: I still needed to be able to pull it back into a ponytail. Because with two kids under the age of four, I don’t get to wash and style my hair every day. Or even every three days. I also hate having my hair in my face when I’m cooking, bathing my boys, or building blanket forts. If you also rely on hair elastics to get you through the day, maybe it’s time to upgrade...

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Documentaries to watch with kids about other kids: 6 entertaining and thought-provoking films we love

Here’s an idea: The next time your kids ask (politely, of course) to watch their favorite movie — as in, the animated feature or superhero flick they’ve seen a million times — why not suggest a documentary instead? Now before you roll your eyes like my husband, who insists that “documentaries aren’t movies” I’m not talking about some monotonous British voice narrating educational nature scenes like when I was a kid. So far this year, I’ve been captivated by documentaries on everything from Kurt Cobain, to Scientology, to mountain climbing, that have hit theaters nationwide. And now, thank to streaming services like Amazon, Netflix,...

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10 cool printable chore charts to motivate kids of all ages to clean up. Even your toddlers.

Have your kids been slacking on their daily chores lately? Or really, have you been slacking on enforcing them? First, give yourself a break; summer just unofficially ended. Second, I’ve got help for you: download one of these cool printable chore charts for kids. They will help. I find this time of year is perfect to introduce (or reintroduce, as the case may be) daily chores and tasks, as kids are in adjustment mode. The new school year means new routines — at home, at school, and on the field.  And yes, even toddlers and preschoolers can be tasked with daily...

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9 beautifully designed inspirational quote art prints for when you need a pep talk. From yourself.

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I know inspiration quote art prints aren’t everybody’s jam. Kristen, for example, prefers funny inspirational quotes for her walls. Her picks are hysterical, but I admit that when I’m in the middle of a total fail day, I often need more than just a laugh. I need words that motivate, inspire, or encourage me to get through whatever’s getting me down. What can I say, sometimes just seeing a quote that strikes the right chord can have an impact on me. Luckily, motivational posters have come a long way since the days of...

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How to decorate plain sneakers: 9 DIY crazy cool sneaker makeovers for your white canvas kicks

Labor Day is around the corner, which means this is your last week to wear those white canvas sneakers until next Memorial Day if you’re a traditionalist. Personally, I’m not, so I’ll be sporting my white Converse low-tops until my toes crave the warmth of wooly socks and boots. But if you’re bored after a summer of kicking it in plain white sneakers, then by all means it’s time for a change. Related: 13 outrageously cool sneakers for kids not satisfied with the same old same old. Instead of a trip to your local shoe store, maybe popping over to the closest...

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First day of school photos: 9 ideas for easy printables and props to make posing a little more fun.

My family was in the middle of moving halfway across the country last year when my son’s preschool started, so I missed the opportunity to take those official first day of school photos every parent loves. I’d like to think I snapped a picture of him wearing his backpack when he finally joined the class a few weeks late, but with all the chaos surrounding our move, I actually may have forgotten. So I vowed to be more prepared this year, and have actually spent some time researching first day of school photo ideas and fun props and printables in time for the beginning of...

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7 cool playroom ideas for kids that let you reclaim your living room

I’ve definitely been looking for cool playroom ideas lately for my own son. Because between the art supplies in the kitchen, the Play-Doh in the dining room, and the pretend workbench and kitchen in the basement, my preschooler is quickly laying claim to our entire new house. I know you can’t really contain a kid to just one room, but I feel like what he really needs is a dedicated playroom or playspace where most of his toys can live, because, let’s be honest, I want my living room back. And my dining room table. And my kitchen floor. To get the design...

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6 ways to entertain kids in restaurants without (gasp) pulling out a screen.

The very first thing my son does when we sit down to eat at a restaurant (well, after ordering both ice water and milk) is ask for my iPhone. I’ll admit that I’m often tempted to hand it over because it’s such an easy way to keep him entertained while we’re waiting for our food in restaurants. I mean, I always have it on me, and he can play any number of kids’ apps, watch a movie, or find kid-friendly clips on YouTube. But, he’s four. I know doesn’t need all that extra screen time. (Do any of us, really?) Plus,...

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An all-natural skin care line that’s seriously awesome. Even if the name is silly.

I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first of a company with a nonsensical name like Meow Meow Tweet natural skin care products, but I’ve been quickly won over by their hand-crafted products. The small-batch skin care company makes everything in Brooklyn using only organic ingredients, like raw plant oils and cold-pressed essential oils, and all of their products are preservative-free, vegan, and certified cruelty-free. And the packaging! I’m a sucker for lotions and potions in glass bottles. Besides being better for the environment than plastic, they just look so fancy on my bathroom counter — if out of reach of the kiddos, of...

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A tropical trend: pineapple clothes for kids are fashion’s fruit du jour

If my preschooler had his druthers, all of his shirts would be emblazoned with construction vehicles or superheroes. Luckily, he doesn’t have 100% control over his wardrobe, which means I can introduce fun prints and patterns. And this season, I’m all about pineapples. Yes, the tropical fruit is trending in kids’ fashion, giving everything from socks to dresses to denim shorts a relaxed beachy vibe. Since summer break is still weeks away, what kid couldn’t use a little vacation inspiration right now? Here are a few fun pieces that I’m really liking for kids. CMP is an rstyle affiliate   The...

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Tooth fairy pillows that double as awesome kids’ room decor

A giraffe grazing near a hut. A whale swimming past an iceberg. At first glance, these nature-inspired designs just look like fun decorative pillows for a kid’s bedroom. And if that’s all these Mighty Twenty pillows were, I’d still want one for my children’s rooms. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our site. But look closer and you’ll see a tiny tooth pocket on front of each pillow that’s in some way connected with the animal. Flip it over and you’ll find a larger pocket in a contrasting...

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3 cool tote bags for Mother’s Day gifts that help support other moms right back.

One of the bonuses of becoming a mom is being celebrated by my family. And by being celebrated, I mean receiving Mother’s Day gifts, of course. I love everything my husband and sons pick out for me, whether it’s something I’ve always wanted but felt guilty buying for myself or an upgrade of something I use all the time. However, I love it even more when it’s a gift that also supports a great cause, like tote bags from two companies we love. Related: The leather tote bag that feels divine, and so will you If you’re not familiar with fashionABLE (what?...

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7 fun, fashionable, rain boots for kids all under $50. Watch out, puddles.

What is it about kids and rain boots? Given the choice, my preschooler would wear his bright red firefighter boots every day of the week — rain or shine. Whether he’s puddle jumping, playing with his classmates, or trudging through the supermarket, you can tell how proud he feels with them on. If a pair of rubber boots is all it takes to give his self-esteem a quick boost, I’m happy to supplement his shoe wardrobe with some cool rain boots. However, my son’s at the age where his feet might grow three sizes in his sleep, so I don’t want to spend...

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Chic women’s rain boots for spring: Staying stylish, not soggy

Go ahead, spring. Rain on my parade. There are so many chic women’s rain boots available nowadays that I’d be happy to slosh around in puddles from now until… well, maybe just May. Stylish rain boots may elevate my wet-weather ensemble, but my hair will still be a frizzy mess. Although if my shoes make a big enough statement — and any of the ten rain boots below certainly would — maybe nobody will be looking at my hair. Plenty of these are investment rain boots, but unless you’re living in the Pacific Northwest and wearing them 200+ days a...

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DreamWorks’ Home movie review: That time an alien and a girl took a worldwide roadtrip

Before slipping on my pair of 3-D glasses at a recent press screening of the new Home movie, I realized it had been a while since I’d seen an animated feature in a theater. I’m sure that will change drastically as my three-year-old son gets a bit older and can get through more than a 30-minute chunk of Cars from our sofa. So I had two questions in mind as Home‘s opening sequence began: Will I enjoy this PG-rated film as a grown up? And is this something my son would like? The short answer to both questions is yes, but with the caveat that...

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