Category: Holiday Picks

The Easter Bunny probably hates storing baskets, too

You know what I’ve always wondered about Easter baskets? Where people store them every other day of the year. Because if there’s one thing that’s not exactly storage-friendly, it’s a big, round basket with a gigantic handle on top. This is why I adore the beautiful new Easter Egg Hunt Bag tutorial over at The Purl Bee. I just love the idea of doing a little rainbow rickrack one. Or maybe taking my chances and letting my kids pick some of their favorite colors for the embellishments.  Either way, Easter bags are a perfect solution to my storage woes....

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Gorgeous Easter egg decorating ideas. A.K.A. face on your egg

When it comes to Easter egg decorating, as with  a lot of crafting, I’ve been known to bite off more than I can chew. Which is maybe why I’m so keen to try my hand at this awesome silhouette Easter egg dying tutorial which looks as beautiful as it does easy. The tutorial from Le Papier Studio looks downright simple–easy instructions, few supplies needed and adaptable for all ages (I imagine little ones might be okay with using basic shapes, rather than silhouettes). Sounds absolutely perfect for an afternoon activity at my house or something fun to do on...

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Hail to the finger puppet

We’d never recommend you give our forefathers the finger (especially on President’s Day!), but in the case of these adorable knit finger puppets from Wee Knits, we’ll make an exception. Their Patriotic collection of finger puppets includes George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, along with Uncle Sam and a bald eagle to round things out. Use them for a mini history lesson, or to reenact the Washington/cherry tree story and to teach them about Honest Abe. Maybe they’ll then be more apt to tell the truth the next time you ask if they really washed their hands before dinner. -Christina Find wonderful handmade finger...

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Children’s thank you notes with an extra personal touch

My children are fortunate to have extremely generous family members who love to spoil them with lots of Christmas gifts. And since my 6-year-old can now write well enough to ask them for specific presents, my feeling is she can do her own thank you notes this year too. I’ve tracked down two adorable card options for kids that are perfect for the job. The personalized kid silhouette stationery from Lotus and November are so unique, I really just love them. And they’re excellent not just for holiday thank yous, but for other occasions throughout the year. You just need to submit a...

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Hot deals on cool holiday shows in the Big Apple

Maybe you’re visiting relatives in New York and need an excuse to get out of the teeny tiny apartment. Or maybe you already live there and need to spice up your family holidays. Either way, we’ve got the scoop on some hot deals that just came in on the NYC shows you and your kids might want to see. Wintuk by Cirque du Soleil, now in its final season:  Save 50% off on tickets with coupon code 50VN, expiring 12/31. Buy tickets here. The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall: Get two tickets for the Christmas Spectacular here for...

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One of the best baby gifts in the world just got more affordable.

My quest for all things cool for babies started when a friend told me about Trumpette socks. She said all the hip Mommies in her Brooklyn Mommy’s group had them. Images of moms dressed in effortlessly chic clothes with Converse sneakers came mind. Babies flashed brightly colored feet and smiles. I wasn’t too far off. And now, those very socks just got affordable and accessible to even those outside the Park Slope environs. Target now sells Trumpettetoo with the same cute style as the original Trumpette, but easier on the wallet. The collection includes socks, tights and shoes in...

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The coolest family movies for Christmas day.

In my family our Christmas day tradition always involved a nice big breakfast, lots of coffee, lots of gifts, and then afterward, we’d bundle up and brave the crowds at a midtown movie theater for one of the big releases. (Yes, crowds–clearly we’re not the only one with this tradition in Manhattan!) Since having kids who are only just now old enough to make it through a movie in a theater, our tradition has been put on temporary hiatus. So we thought we’d bring it back gently this year, by watching a favorite movie right in the cozy, crowd-free...

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Starbucks and Jonathan Adler fight AIDS with Frappuccinos

I was in Starbucks this week–okay, a few times this week. (What? It’s Peppermint Mocha, season.) And I was thinking about how much the people in my life like getting Starbucks gift cards over the holidays. Glancing at the display, I was so excited to see the swanky looking Jonathan Adler gift cards, it took me a minute to realize the awesome charitable component to them. The (STARBUCKS)RED Gift card not only looks good, it does good –it does good. Every time you use the card, 5 cents will be donated to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS...

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Last minute holiday card help from Cocodot that helps people in need too.

This year, I planned on getting my holiday cards out with plenty of time and all of a sudden it’s Christmas week. Good thing there’s a service that lets me send out cards–really, professionally designed holiday cards–digitally. Not only is it a lot cheaper, but it’s also a lot faster and I don’t have to buy stamps. I don’t even want to walk past the post office during the holidays. And best yet, it supports some of the best charities out there. Cocodot designs some attractive digital cards to begin with, and to make the idea even sweeter, they’ve...

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On the thirteenth day of Christmas: PEACE.

Partridges, French hens, the splattered eggs of a dozen overactive geese. Forget ’em. If you want to say “I love you” with birds, go for the artistic, lasting beauty of paper lovebirds, another gift that gives back. Whether you’d like a whole flock in mobile form or individual ornaments in sets of three, you’re sure to win anyone over with the pretty PEACE birds available at Hazel Wood Children that perpetuate the ideals of hope, opportunity, and freedom Not only are these PEACE birds  gorgeous, but each one is handmade of recycled materials by PEACE, a grassroots cooperative of...

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Wrapping paper so cute it should come with a frame.

Don’t worry, little narwhals and belugas. My kids’ sticky mitts will never touch you, much less rip you to shreds to get to the booty beneath. No, my sweet blubbery friends, you are far too precious for that. Yes, I’m talking to wrapping paper. It’s that cute. I’ll be the first to admit that I was impressed with the wrapping paper selection at the grocery store this year, as creepy Santas were overrun by sophisticated damask and Etsy-esque owls. But none of them can hold a candle to the beautiful Arctic Animals Holiday Gift Wrap Set from The Nimbus...

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Prank Pack – The gift wrap that gives back. In laughter.

Around my place, we’ve got a house full of practical gift giving jokers. I see the old “huge box for a teeny tiny gift” trick almost every year and humor my husband each time he does it. Well this year, pay back is going to be a you know what when I stuff his Christmas present in a Prank Pack. Just imagine the box that the best most ridiculous white elephant gift comes in and that’s what Prank Pack is. Think about the look on your mother-in-law’s face when she believes you got her a Snuggie-esque Family Blankeez (ha!)....

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Our favorite dressy dresses for Christmas

I still need a dressy dress for my 3.5 year old daughter for Christmas eve, so I started diving through our archives looking for ideas. Of course there’s always the mall stores that we all know and love (or accept somewhat begrudgingly at times). But if you’re looking for something a little more special, here are a few of my fav-or-ite shops. Tea Collection has a little black Bucharest Floral Dress (above) that I’ve had my eye on all season, and it just went on sale 40% off. Score! You’ll find lots of trendy boutique brands all in one...

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Free letters from Santa that are more about giving than receiving

People always say that nothing is for free, but here is something that really is: A customized letter to your child from Santa that you help create. And it will do more for other kids than your own. At Letter from Santa, add personal details like your child’s name, best friend, good deeds, and home town, and your little guy or gal will be sure it’s the real thing. Just fill out a few answers, download the PDF to your computer and print it out. A personalized letter with a cheerful Santa face will put a big smile on...

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What present will make Grandma the absolute happiest?

One year, I got my mom an electronic photo album for her holiday gift. Well, that was a flop. She told me she really wanted a regular photo book of her grandkids, just like I gave her the year before. But, I like to complicate things! So, the next year, I gave her a photo mug, then a photo calendar and a photo t-shirt. (No, I’m kidding, I’ve never made photo t-shirts.Yikes!) With all the photo centric gifts out there, the good old photo book is still her favorite and mine because it preserves the photos nicely and I...

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Dandy address labels for holiday cards with style

If I’ve learned one thing after years of sending holiday cards, it’s buy the darn address labels. Not that the free ones you get from various charities can’t be lovely at times. But if you ever have the choice between hand addressing envelopes and sticking a label on them? I think the choice is clear. I was just browsing over at Minted and found these super smart skinny labels. [don’t miss a nice discount after the jump] The labels basically wrap around the side of the envelope, putting your return address on the front and a message of your...

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I’m dreaming of a papery Christmas

I do the vast majority of my communicating via email but I still love sending and receiving handwritten notes, opening a really cool party invitation or getting an almost-too-nice-to-write-on notepad for my desk. (Don’t worry, I’ll write on it.) In fact, give me a handcrafted journal or a quirky print to hang on my wall, and I’ll consider you a soul sister. Maybe that’s why I can find so many things I’d love to scoop up from this great online shop with really cool, interesting paper items made by designers from all over the globe that I won’t often see in the big card or gift...

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Cool personalized gifts that can still make it to you by Christmas

Oh sure, I try to be all nonchalant at this time of year: Christmas cards? I’ll get to them! Wrapping? I have weeks! But, don’t let my cool exterior fool you. I am quaking as the clock ticks down to Christmas. But before I tackle my never-ending Christmas list, let me remind you of some very important dates.  Keep reading to find out when a few of our favorite personalized items from both our Holiday Gift Guide and Cool Mom Picks’ archives need to be ordered to make it under the tree by the 25th. And then get shopping! –Christina...

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Customized champagne has holidays written all over it

A lot of us are probably more used to popping bottles of milk and apple juice than champagne these days. But the holidays call for sparkle–and I’m talking fancy shoes, party dresses, and champagne, not Elmer’s glue and glitter (as much as I am totally in love with preschool art projects). So I am taken with the customized champagne from one of the great producers of the world. Via MyMoet.com, you can personalize a bottle of Moët & Chandon Impérial with a name, symbol, or message in gold or silver Swarovski crystals. You know–extra sparkle for your sparkler. Fancy! The...

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This holiday season, feel like a crafting genius

I love crafty people. I wish I were one of them, but, alas, I’m not even that great at wrapping gifts. They end up looking like my three-year-old took the reins. But, this year, my friends and family will think I’ve developed some serious crafting skills when they receive my holiday gifts with hand-stitched gift tags. This is how easy it is: thread a needle (I can do that!),  follow the holes (like follow-the-dot) and viola! You’ll look like a crafting genius and your gifts will look extra special. The Stitchable Gift Tags set includes two heart and one...

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10 holiday gifts that give back

The only thing better than connecting our readers with fabulous finds is knowing that those purchases do real good in the world. So we thought we’d take a look-see around Cool Mom Picks for some of our favorite picks that put your money to great use helping others– and make amazing gifts, too. -Delilah 1. Tiny Revolutionary – This Atlanta-based, mom-run company offers gorgeous eco-conscious apparel (shown at left) with messages of peace, love, and world betterment, and they give to several organizations that support these goals. 2. Zoe Organics – They won us over with their soothing bath...

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Jingle Bells for Jennic

One of the coolest things about working with so many small business owners is that we really get to know their personal stories of talent, innovation, and dedication. We’re always amazed by their strength and perseverance. Small business ownership is not for wimps, yo. We discovered KangarooBoo during the holidays three years ago, and we’ve been smitten ever since. Not only does owner and mom Jennic Law carry a fabulous assortment of our favorite children’s toys and gear, but she has a most incredible personal story of overcoming cancer and giving back a portion of every sale to children’s...

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Chat with us about holiday gifts, live!

Need a break to gab with the girls and giggle about gifting? Want to win a gift certificate to one of our favorite online shops? Then pull up a squishy chair, grab a chai latte, and settle in for a cyberchat with the Cool Mom Picks gang at TheMotherhood. On Thursday, December 2 at 1:00pm EST–that’s tomorrow–we’ll be talking holiday gift ideas for the whole family and everybody else you. Stumped on ideas for that tricky teacher? The picky sister-in-law? The great-great-grandmother? Seriously…ask us anything. We’re here to help. Oh, and our friends at TreeHugger will be there too....

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Coming to your mailbox: Joy, Peace, and Cheer.

I cringed on that day back in October when holiday cards replaced an aisle of Halloween costumes. It’s not that I dislike the holiday season or have a soft spot for grown men dressed as plates of spaghetti. It’s just that the cards were all somber and religious, and, well… not my style. But even a bah-humbuggle like me can get on board for non-denominational photo cards that use positive words and my own beautiful photographs to spread happiness. We’ve long been big fans of Paper Culture, thanks to their hip designs, lovely cardstock, and chic rounded corners. But...

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Custom Christmas stockings that have no match

When my kids were young, I found a trio of very cute stockings in a small local store that I thought were totally unique and special for our family. And then my mother saw them and said, Oooo, I saw those at the card store!  So much for originality. Want something hanging from you chimney with care that you can be sure is unique to your own family? Then check out these custom stockings which go way beyond monograms, and be assured that the only way you’ll see two alike is if you have identical twins. What makes the aptly...

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I now have a tree filed with beautiful one-of-a-kind ornaments from years of craft fairs and museum shops, and travels to cities everywhere. But if I can’t get around the world, I’m glad their ornaments can now get to me, via Etsy. This stunning porcelain snowflake ornament comes by way of Barcelona, thanks to the shop NiuTaller. If you want to make the international shipping worthwhile (although at $5 for the first item it’s very reasonable), don’t miss the other goodies at the shop made of porcelain. For your next holiday party, adorn your collar with this tasteful snowflake...

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When the gift tag is as cool as the gift

A gift card can sometimes feel kind of impersonal, no matter how many zeroes are on it. (Not necessarily unwelcome, by the way–dear friends and family: bring on those zeroes!) That’s one reason we’re always looking for special cards and gift tags, which can help make any purchase seem that much more thoughtful. The handmade holiday gift tags from Twinkle Brands are so redonkulously awesome. They up the “aww” factor to any gift almost immediately. Each is handmade from the softest wool felt and topped with an adorable decoration such as a reindeer, gumball machine, cupcake, or initial. You can slip your gift card of...

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The Cool Mom Tech Holiday Gift Guide is here!

If we couldn’t solve all your holiday shopping conundrums with our Cool Mom Picks holiday gift guide (gasp!), then we’ve got over 75 more fabulous gift options just for you in our brand spankin’ new Cool Mom Tech holiday gift guide! We’re here for you, mamas! We’ve got great gift suggestions for the big and little tech lovers and geeks in your life at every single price range. Even a slew of creative picks for under $15. And those folks who you might not think would dig a tech gift? We’re pretty sure we’ve got something for them too....

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Star power

‘Tis the season for lots of neighborhood parties and gatherings, and you know what that means–lots of hostess gifts. I have a closet dedicated to “cutesy gifts gone bad,” like dozens of fancy soaps. (I’m a pump dispenser girl.) Personally I think a hostess gift is to show appreciation for someone’s effort, so I like gifts that are thoughtful, unexpected and won’t break the bank. And we found a fab one. Check out these paper Origami Star Ornaments from rigmarole. The stars are 4” and come with wire eyelets so they’re ready for hanging. Don’t expect snowmen or reindeer...

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Books to bring the Festival of Lights to life

Every Hanukkah, in addition to the loooong lists of requested items (i.e. toys)  we always make sure to include several books as gifts. And guess what–long after my son is bored with the video game he received, he’s still reading and re-reading the books. For the younger set, I really like these Hanukkah activity books by Emily Sper, who we discovered last year for our 2009 holiday gift guide. But now her books have been republished by Scholastic, and they look even more lovely. Toddlers will love Hanukkah: A Counting Book, which is a simple board book, featuring brightly...

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