Category: Holiday Picks

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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9 of the most wonderful Advent calendars to get you ready for the Christmas countdown with a smile

Even procrastinators like me should start thinking about our annual Advent calendar since, with Thanksgiving falling on the 28th, we’ll still be eating turkey when December begins. Fortunately, there are loads of cool-looking Advent calendars you can order, print, or DIY now. December 1st will be here before you know it. –Christina 1. Colorful modern papers from libelu become a modern advent calendar made of cool-looking triangular packages in which to hide little treats for the kids. ($40.07, ships from Germany) 2. Such adorable laser-cut cherry wood ornaments decorate cotton drawstring bags on Peppersprout’s Woodland Ornament Advent Calendar. A definite splurge, but...

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Holiday card guide: 6 beautiful, foil-pressed options for every style

Don’t miss a big exclusive discount below! For as much time as we spend capturing the perfect holiday photo, you can bet we’re pretty picky when it comes to our holiday cards. That’s why we love our sponsor Minted (since long before they were a sponsor, that’s how cool they are) and how easy they make choosing the perfect card that’s sure to wow the lucky recipient. This year, they’ve launched an exclusive line of foil pressed cards (like the one above by Lehan Vinker) that add a beautiful touch of festive shine to their already gorgeous offerings, all customizable with your...

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15 of the best Hanukkah gifts for kids in every price range

This year, zomg THANKSGIVUKKAH. I can’t believe I have to get ready for Thanksgiving and Hanukkah all at once, and I’m sure I’m not alone. So we’re kicking off the season with our mini guide of some of the best Hanukkah gifts for kids. While of course all the toys and games and gifts we feature on Cool Mom Picks make perfect Hanukkah gifts for any kid, these 15 are the special ones we’ve tracked down just for Hanukkah revelers. And only the cool stuff, promise. Hey, you can giftwrap while the pumpkin pie bakes. –Liz Engraved wooden dreidel ($3.50,...

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Don’t wake the sleeping reindeer

Feel free to skip all the snowman Christmas sheets and red and green duvet covers because I have found the best Christmas pillowcase ever. Oh the fun I plan on having with the reindeer antlers pillowcase. Talk about awesome photo opps. (Original holiday card idea, anyone?). They’re screen printed by hand and shipped from the UK, so order now and you’ll have it in time for loads of holiday entertainment. At the expense of your adorable sleeping children. -Kristen You can purchase the reindeer antlers pillowcase at Erinnies on...

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Zazzle: Custom gifts for the holidays that go way beyond mugs and calendars. Way.

Featured Partner If you’re looking for a way to put a personal touch on your Christmas or Hanukkah celebrations this winter, we were surprised to learn that our latest sponsor, Zazzle (yay, Zazzle!), has really upped their game this year. In a big way. There’s a huge new selection of everything related to holiday cards–from stationery to return labels and even custom postage stamps–plus amazing custom gift ideas. We were really surprised ourselves to see what the site has become, and think it will be a great, affordable resource for our readers this year. We discovered they have millions (literally) of...

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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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Getting your Hanukkah cards together early this year with a little help and a big discount

featured partner This year, with the first night of Hanukkah creeping up on us super early–November 27 to be exact–those of us who celebrate have to be extra organized to get Hanukkah and Thanksgiving ready all at the same time. Eek! [don’t miss a big limited time special offer below!] This is a great time to be locking down those Hanukkah cards, and we’re so happy that Expressionery has some simple, smart options that you can completely customize yourself in moments. You’ll find some simple, tasteful options including photo cards, invitations (love that Hanukkah Lights folded card, above) and...

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Donating leftover Halloween candy, and other ways to get it out of the house.

This is a favorite post of ours, republished. Hope it helps! Every Halloween, one of the biggest questions we get from readers is what to do with the leftover Halloween Candy. Should you for some bizarre reason not want to eat every single bit of sugar your kids brought into the house this week, here are some of our favorite ideas from past posts: What to do with extra Halloween candy – ideas include donating to troops and selling back to a dentist. 6 places to donate extra Halloween candy – from shelters to churches to local toy stores that will donate it for...

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5 last-minute DIY trick-or-treat bags you can whip up at home, stat!

Every year, without fail, I discover that we are missing at least one of my three kids’ trick-or-treat bags. I’m not sure where they go, but I think there is some sort of black magic involved. But this year, I’m not going to sweat it since I’ve found a bunch of cool ways to turn regular, boring old bags into something fit for going door to door tonight. And they look better than that pillow case yanked off a bed. –Christina Turn any black bag, paper or cloth, into this Mummified Loot Bag (above) with some first-aid tape taken from...

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The ultimate last-minute Halloween idea guide for parents: costumes, treats, pumpkins, printables and more.

We have featured so many helpful posts lately on Halloween treats, tricks, costumes and beyond, we wanted to put them all in one place. After all, we can’t be the only ones who still have plenty to do–or uh, haven’t gotten started?–when it comes to Halloween. Good luck out there! Last-Minute Halloween Costume Help 5 zero-effort Halloween costumes for babies Easy geeky Halloween costumes Halloween costume ideas for moms and new babies Handmade Halloween costumes for kids who don’t really want to wear costumes Easy DIY baby Halloween costumes that just require onesies DIY cardboard Halloween costumes The perfect...

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8 healthier Halloween candies for trick-or-treaters (no, not carrot sticks)

Though I always complain about the full-to-bursting sacks of candy my kids bring home on Halloween night, they just wouldn’t be as excited by carrot sticks and apple slices. With that in mind, I try to buy treats from companies who take great care to make yummy things with better ingredients and no artificial dyes or fake flavors.  Fortunately, a lot of these higher-quality treats can be found on the shelves of your local stores, like Whole Foods and Target, making it even easier to stock up in this week before the big day. But hurry–we all know the...

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22 of the most amazing DIY kids Halloween costumes that definitely warrant extra treats

We’re divided on kids’ Halloween costumes around Cool Mom Picks. Some of us spend a good few months planning, sewing, and executing the most wonderful costumes, while the rest of us are happy just finding some Halloween costume shortcuts and knowing our kids will look adorable either way.  If you’re still looking for inspiration, or just want to ogle the effort and creativity (and uh, free time) of other parents, here are 22 amazing, outrageous, and inspired kids Halloween costumes that make us smile every time. –Liz Little Old Lady (Costume Works, above) Chief Brody from Jaws costume  (via Think Geek)...

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Non-candy Halloween treat ideas that are still pretty sweet

Though candy and Halloween go hand-in-hand, there are plenty of non-sweet treats my kids would still love to find in their bags at the end of the night. And for kids with severe food allergies, I think it’s always a good idea to have a few food-free treats set aside to hand out too. Check out the ideas we’ve scared up for you that we can fairly promise won’t be seen as a “trick” to those who ring your doorbell. With their friendly, cartoony candy corn and ghost, Tattly’s temporary Halloween Boo Crew tattoos are perfect for all ages...

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Rebecca Minkoff makes the leap from gorgeous bags to gorgeous holiday cards.

Okay, so I admit I’m not quite ready to think holiday cards just yet. (And to all you uber moms who already have them done–I bow to you.) But our inbox is starting to be flooded with gorgeous new holiday cards for 2013, including a brand-new collection from one of our favorite accessory designers, Rebecca Minkoff. [Don’t miss a special limited time discount after the jump!] The collection of six Rebecca Minkoff holiday cards for Tiny Prints are as chic and well-designed as you’d expect. Even the backs of the flat cards have cool patterns, making them that much more special....

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3 cool Halloween treat ideas for classrooms or Halloween parties.

I know I know, kids get so much candy on Halloween that sometimes it’s fun to find treats and goodie bag ideas that don’t involve candy at all. Sometimes, yes, and sometimes now. Instead of handing out plain ol’ bags of candy, here are a few treat ideas for your classroom Halloween party that I really love, complete with the printables to pull them off.  At the Anders Ruff shop, you’ll find a Halloween printable for pretty much any need at all, including this very awesome DIY S’mores Bag topper. Just insert a mini chocolate bar, graham crackers and a marshmallow...

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The best (and easiest) Fourth of July party ideas and printables

I love me some red, white, and blue around Independence Day, but I’d rather not break too much of a sweat prepping for our Fourth of July festivities. It’s hot enough as it is! So here’s a few perfectly easy, perfectly patriotic ideas for your July 4th celebration. Then all you have to do is kick back with a cool drink…and leave the fireworks to the pros. –Christina This free printable Patriotic Subway Art (above) would look great leaning on the picnic table, or even just in the entryway of my house. Or follow The 36th Avenue’s links to find out...

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16 of the funniest Father’s Day cards. Hold the tired remote control jokes.

Looking for the perfect (and perfectly funny) Father’s Day card, it’s hard to find ones that aren’t all about tools, beer, golf, remote controls and yardwork. Stereotypes abound in 2013, whoo! Instead, here are ones that made us chuckle. There’s a lot of sex references here. And yeah, we couldn’t resist one good fart joke. You’ve been warned. –Liz   Pulling Out ($4, The Defiant Peanut)If he has a good sense of humor…well, only you know for sure. Bucket Card (Seas and Peas, $3.75)Truer words have not been spoken.   Thanks for Teaching Me (Pink Orchid Press, $5)Because some...

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This Father’s Day, let the kids show their love on their chests

Everyday dads are heros, from giving superman flights in the hallways to chasing away the monsters in the closet. So this Father’s Day, why not let Dad know how their biggest fans really feel with these awesome Father’s Day tees.   The adorable Daddy Is My Super Hero shirts from Alison Scott’s Etsy shop Once Upon A Story will make any Daddy’s heart swell with love. Bold comic book colors combined with the hand cut and stitched designs give this shirt a really sweet homespun quality. Available in toddler and youth sizes, this made to order shirt is a great standout that beats...

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What to do with Easter Peeps (besides eat them all)

Every year at this time, I get lured into buying way-too-many packages of those brightly colored Easter Peeps. And though I have no problem consuming sugar, even I can only eat a few of them before I get the jitters.  So, I’ve pulled together some adorable—and easy—Easter crafts that use Peeps for some sweet decorations this month.   This centerpiece idea from La Jolla Mom (above) just screams “Easter” and is so simple to create. I love how the yellow Peeps bunnies look with sunny chrysanthemums, though you could chose to do multi-colored bunnies around an assortment of flowers too.  ...

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13 of the absolute cutest Easter gifts for kids

Hold the jellybeans! Well okay, don’t hold the jellybeans–maybe just supplement them with some of these adorable Easter gift ideas for kids. It’s coming early this year and so we scoured some of our favorite indie shops and artists for ideas for your little ones that might make them forget all about the candy aisle.      Maileg Ballerina Rabbit Dolls ($48.60+ at My Sweet Muffin) This is the kind of Easter gift my girls would flip for. No doubt they’d be dragged to ballet class each week too. Bunny Ears T-Shirt ($19.50, threadless) Get it? Rabbit ears? Psst…comes...

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The most fabulous New Year’s Cards on Etsy: long live the procrastinators!

By my calculations, we still have another two weeks or so to get our New Year’s cards out. Now not only does sending New Year’s cards buy us a little more time (and often some nifty sale prices), it avoids that question of what your diverse roster of friends and family might be celebrating. From custom photo cards to fancy letterpress and DIY printables, here are some standout New Year’s cards from talented artists on Etsy–cards that I’d love to open a week or so into January, when Christmas cards suddenly seem kind of old. –Liz Custom New Year’s...

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Add some mad, merry scientists to your Christmas tree

My kids are finally at the age where I can outsource most of the tree decorating duties to them and still be pretty darn pleased with the results. It’s true: I haven’t tweaked a single strand of lights or rearranged the glass balls. But I just discovered that my tree is missing something: these super cool scientist ornaments. Brooklyn-based Eavesmade creates laser cut wood ornaments featuring scientists whose specialties range from astronomy and ecology to chemistry and engineering. I was thrilled to see old school greats like Galileo, Copernicus, and Tesla on the list, along with accomplished female scientists...

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DIY Star Wars LEGO ornaments: perfect for your Hothmas tree

This is no mere ornament. It’s a LEGO ornament. A LEGO Star Wars ornament that you can DIY. And it’s going to look great hanging on your tree, along with a LEGO Millenium Falcon and TIE Fighter. Besides, isn’t pew pew pew more fun than ho ho ho? These three sweet Star Wars build-it-yourself LEGO ornaments are the brainchild of author, artist, and photographer Chris McVeigh, who has thoughtfully provided step-by-step instructions on buying the right bricks and putting them all together. He also offers tutorials on sleighs, gingerbread houses, and a perfectly roasted LEGO turkey, but you know...

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8 of the coolest personalized gifts that there’s still time to get for Christmas!

Whether you’re down to the last present on your list or still only just getting started (ahem), you don’t have to panic. There’s still time to order super-cool gifts that are–get this!–personalized, so no one will ever know that you didn’t buy them weeks ago. Here are some of our favorites. –Lexi We like this affordable little peronalized rockstar coin pouch from Psychobaby so much, we included it in the CMP holiday gift guide. And you have until 12/17 to order (via 2nd day shipping).  Personalized pocket mirrors from Olliegraphic sport your kid’s name–and you can choose the hair...

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Way cool modern Christmas cards. For real.

It’s that time of the year: choosing the annual Christmas card. If you are late in the game, like me, you may be skipping the photo cards. However if you’re also like me, you want something unique, simple and festively awesome. I am a big fan of finding special cards on Etsy–and what do you know? I found a wonderful shop for all of us. Jersey’s Freshest has the best variety of modern, minimalist cards that will surely impress your friends and family. Each card is hand cut out of heavy card stock. All cards include envelopes and are packaged...

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This ornament from A Christmas Story is better than shooting your eye out

Sorry, kid. You can’t have a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas, but we hear your Aunt Clara sent you something extra special and handmade to hang on the tree. You guys love A Christmas Story as much as we do, right? This A Christmas Story ornament from made by gwen on Etsy is entirely made by hand and lovingly titled The Pink Nightmare. Ralphie’s a little short at only 5.5″ tall, but all his details are hand-painted and embroidered, including tiny bunny faces on each foot and a fuzzy tail on back.  Oh, and as it’s an ornament,...

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12 of the funniest holiday cards for Christmas and beyond

Hooray for the funniest holiday cards! Now, while of course we love those beautiful, sweet, sentimental holiday photo cards just like any other parents, we gotta say, sometimes we’re kind of thanking the universe for that one friend who isn’t afraid to send the card that makes you laugh. You know–the one with the subliminal drawing in Santa’s beard, or the fart joke involving reindeer. Here, we’ve rounded up just a few of the funnier (but still fairly SFW/small children) Christmas and holiday cards online–and not one “ho” joke in the bunch. Trust us, that wasn’t easy. –Liz +...

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The perfect holiday gifts for your mother-in-law: 16 smart ideas

Whether you love your mother-in-law or you wonder where the heck your husband came from, I’ve always found MILs to be the toughest to shop for when it comes to the perfect holiday gift. So instead of leaving it up to my husband (which would probably mean a really scary reindeer sweater), I’ve rounded up a bunch of cool mother-in-law gifts that are sure to make even the most challenging other-mother happy. FOR THE MOTHER-IN-LAW WHO’S A WONDERFUL GRANDMOTHER If you always catch her showing off photos of her gorgeous grandchildren to random strangers, then I’m pretty sure these...

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