Now that we’re in the thick of graduation season, it’s time to give our high school and college grads plenty of well-earned congratulations. That’s why we sought out the most fun and creative ways to give cash gifts to grads. Because, reality check: We’ve learned through trial and error that the most appreciated gift for this age group is definitely cash. Hey, no shame in that. It really is the perfect gift to help a recent grad get started in their new lives. For us, though, it feels a little impersonal to hand over an envelope stuffed with bills. So we’re here to help make that gift of graduation cash...Read More
Category: Party Time!
Finding out whether your baby is a girl or a boy is one of life’s greatest surprises — and one of the longest waits, which can be problematic for those of us who need to know things now. (Um, not like we know anyone like that.) To make the most of the surprise, gender reveal parties have been upping the ante, getting bigger, messier, and more creative by the ultrasound. So we peeked around the web to share with you some of our very favorite ideas. (Ed Note: Yes, we know that technically they should be called “sex reveal parties.” Only the...Read More
If you’ve got a kid who’s into mysteries, detectives, and solving puzzles, you’re in for a real treat. We pulled together the most awesome list of Escape Room party ideas — from cool invitations and mind-boggling activities to rewarding treats. As you probably already know, actual Escape Rooms are popping up all over the country as popular party venues for older kids and adults. But if you’re not wanting to be locked in a room to crack codes and solve logic puzzles in order to be crowned victorious at the end of it all, you can easily find ways to pull off an Escape Room party right...Read More
They’re sparkly, mysterious, and gorgeous… is it any wonder then that kids (and, um, the rest of us too) find unicorns so entrancing? It’s why I searched the web to find the most magical unicorn birthday party ideas out there, which was so much fun because you can get as fantastical and creative as you want. Really, the sky’s the limit for glittery, rainbow-color food, favors, and party decor. When it comes to unicorn birthday parties, you can dream big, and get really imaginative. Unicorns are mythological creatures after all. Or are they? CMP is an rstyle affiliate At top: Unicorn party...Read More
Feats of strength, superhuman powers, outrageous costumes…our superheroes (and beloved supervillains) have it good. Which is why it was so much fun to pull together this list of amazing superhero party themes for girls we know our girls will love. Of course, we know our boys will love these party ideas too, just as our girls love Batman, Spidey, and Captain America. But, here, we’re giving some extra super-props to some super-fierce females who are capturing the hearts of our girls right now. We searched the web to find the most wow ideas out there. From Wonderwoman and Batgirl to Harley Quinn and ooooh...Read More
Cool Beauty and the Beast birthday party ideas: 40+ of the most inspired treats, activities, decor and more.
With the much hyped Beauty and the Beast movie coming out today, we have the feeling more than a few kids will be raring for a Beauty and the Beast themed birthday party this year. And have we got ideas! We scoured the web for the very coolest, most fun, most enchanting inspiration for invites, decor, games and activities, and a whole lot of treats, all sure to capture the imaginations of revelers of any age. Are you ready? Go on… be our guest. (Ha, sorry. Couldn’t resist.) -Caroline + Liz CMP is an rstyle affiliate Top image: Beast cake tutorial from Zoe’s...Read More
Kids with winter birthdays may not have the same options that their summer friends have — playgrounds, parks, picnics, pools, and other outside fun is, er, out. And that’s exactly why we love these creative winter birthday party themes, and all the smart, fun ideas bloggers and party planners have come up with. Filled with cool details and awesome-yet-totally-doable touches, each winter-centric celebration brings the outdoors inside — and proves that the coldest season can offer up the coolest parties around town. Top: Penguin Jell-o treats | Giggles Galore CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide: Best gifts for kids of all ages!...Read More
Hear ye, hear ye! How does a parent of a Hamilton-obsessed kid score major points without spending your child’s college fund on Broadway tickets? By throwing a Hamilton-themed birthday party, that’s how. While I would love to give my daughter tickets to see the show (because it’s on my wish list too), throwing her a fantastic Hamilton party for kids is more within my budget. Plus? So cool! So I scoured the web for the best Hamilton party ideas including invitations, decor, food, favors, and activities. Besides a sing-along of the entire soundtrack. Which is a given. Top: Schuyler Sister cakes via @Cap10Hamilton on Pinterest CMP is an rstyle affiliate...Read More
Whether you’ve seen every film nominated for an Academy Award this year or you’re still trying to figure out what this La La Land is that everyone’s so gaga about, having friends over for an Oscars party is always a winning idea. An excuse to obsess over all the glitz, glamour, and gossip — with champagne? Count us in! And with all the food, decorations, and party games taken care of, you can contemplate the things that truly matter: Will Kate McKinnon present in character (and if so, who)? Exactly how many actors will be sporting bushy beards (and why is that so trendy right now)? Will Viola Davis’ two-decade film...Read More
Ideas for an awesome LEGO Batman Movie party theme, with inspiration from the Hollywood premiere party
Thanks to our awesome partner Warner Bros. Pictures, I had the opportunity to jet out to LA this past weekend (wow, did I need that) for the launch party and red carpet — okay, black and yellow carpet — premiere of The LEGO Batman Movie. If you’ve got a kid who’s obsessed — and trust me, after your kids see it, they will be — I gathered some fantastic ideas for throwing a creative, memorable LEGO Batman themed party. And by gathered, I mean I have shamelessly stolen them from the studio’s brilliant party planners. But you know, I adapted them....Read More
Whether you’re watching the Super Bowl this weekend for the game, for the commercials, or just for an excuse to get together with friends, Cool Mom Eats and Cool Mom Picks have got you covered with lots of great ideas for last minute, easy Super Bowl recipes. We’ve even got you covered for mocktail recipes. Because designated drivers? You’re all of our MVPs on game day. Above: From DIY Nacho bar ideas via What’s Gaby Cooking. So much great help there! 200+ last minute Super Bowl recipes, drinks, and party-planning help! 5 Instant Pot recipes that make Super Bowl food easy. 5...Read More
15 Glitzy and glam 2017 New Year’s party printables, recipes + DIY decorations to help you kick 2016 out the door
While every year we put together our favorite New Year’s printables for those of you partying like it’s…well, the beginning of a new year, this New Year’s Eve feels a little different for a lot of us. Maybe you’re saying goodbye to a really tough 2016; maybe you’re throwing a glam, glitzy shindig as a brief respite before the reality of what may be a tough 2017 sets in. Or hey, maybe you’ve got a lot to celebrate in your own life. As I stare at my own personal fire hazard (A.K.A. the Christmas tree) and dread taking down the lights and ornaments...Read More
8 ideas for hosting an awesome Gilmore Girls watch party that even Lorelai and Rory would want to come to.
You may have heard Gilmore Girls fans across the globe collectively freaking out over the revival event coming to Netflix Thanksgiving weekend — Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. We will, of course, be watching while Rory continues to figure out her life and career, Lorelai struggles to understand her relationship with Luke, and both of them eat way more junk food than anyone ever should. Of course, these four episodes will be so much better if you watch with friends, so we’ve collected some fun and easy ideas to help you throw an epic Gilmore Girls watch party. These are low on the DIY component,...Read More
The last time I hosted an election night viewing party with friends was back in 2000 when our friends resignedly left around midnight, with no winner decided. (It’s a good thing or they might have been camped out on our living room floor for a week.) I haven’t held one since, but since this year’s election night could be an historic moment for our country — and the end to an incredibly stressful election cycle — I’d like to share it in the comfort of some like-minded friends. I’m sure I’m not alone here. So I took a look at some digital election night party invitations...Read More
Celebrate Everything by Darcy Miller: The party planning guidebook so inspiring it will make you celebrate…oh heck. Tuesdays.
The holidays are fast approaching, which means it’s party season! I’m thinking all about Halloween this week, but before you know it we’ll be planning New Year’s parties. Not to mention the, oh… 1,285 family birthdays that my family seems to celebrate in November and December alone. I could use a little fresh inspiration to make each of these parties really special, and I’m finding lots of it in the wonderful new party idea book, Celebrate Everything, by Martha Stewart Weddings editor and party planner extraordinaire, Darcy Miller. Whether you’re looking for something as simple as a fun cocktail recipe, a jolt of inspiration for a central...Read More
I’m barely getting to the store before all the good candy is gone, so I’m definitely not looking for over-the-top complicated crafts and activities that are going to impress my friends at our annual Halloween party. And when I’m charged with bringing the games for the classroom party, too, I want easy and fun. So, I’ve been searching for simple games my kids can play with their friends at school and before we head out for trick-or-treating. These Halloween games for kids are easy to pull off — most are printable — and are actually a lot of fun. You can choose to give...Read More
This week on Spawned, we are laughing so hard (truly, like, mascara-running laughing) discussing the craziest sexy costumes we’ve seen. Plus, more Halloween fun. Click right here to hear Kristen ranking these best of the worst ideas for “sexy” Halloween costumes from 1-10. (Seriously, who came up with a sexy Freddy Krueger?) Or, catch to Spawned with Kristen + Liz on iTunes through your podcast app and even binge on past episodes you might have missed. Thanks for listening! The best of the worst “sexy” Halloween costumes Sexy Pac-Man Costume Sexy Crayola Crayon Costume Sexy Big Bird Costume Sexy Chinese Take-Out Container Costume Sexy Freddy Krueger Costume Sexy Cowardly Lion Costume Sexy...Read More
16 seriously creative no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas for all of the fun, none of the pumpkin guts!
Welcome to the no-stress portion of our Halloween coverage, as we track down some of the coolest, most creative no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that are perfect for kids. After all, for me, Halloween’s swarming bats, cackling witches, and stumbling zombies provide plenty of that fun, healthy spook factor without having to add in children wielding sharp objects at pumpkin carving parties. We’re big fans of low-stress pumpkin decorating parties that are safe and fun for the whole family — and if you are going to carve, there does happen to be some really good kid-friendly carving tools you can use. But if not?...Read More
There is never a bad time to throw a pirate themed party and look for cool pirate party ideas. Of course there’s always Halloween — and then today’s Talk Like a Pirate Day. (One of our favorites!) But it’s a cool birthday party theme all on its own, and it doesn’t even have to be all Pirates of the Carribbean themed either. So thanks to printable decor and activities, crafty DIY shortcuts, movies on demand, and clever but easy cupcake decorating ideas, it’s possible to pull together a cool pirate themed party (or pARRRty) for your kids and all their best mateys in just...Read More
5 fun and easy last-minute birthday party ideas your kids will love. (Not that we think you forgot or anything.)
I’ve never actually forgotten to send the invites out to one of my kids’ birthdays, but I’ve definitely waited until the very last minute to plan their parties. The thing is: if your child’s birthday happens to land during one of the crazy-busy times of the year (ahem, back-to-school) then their big day can sneak up on you. Before you know it, you have a party to plan in less than a week. And it needs to be as awesome as your kid is. Well, I can assure you from experience, you don’t need to transform your home into a magical fairy land or...Read More
I’ve already let my secret out: I’m not one for elaborate birthday parties. In fact, we keep birthday parties simple and on a budget around our house. That said, I love to celebrate the birthday kid and make them feel really special on their big day. We do easy things — like decorating their chair at the table or looking through their baby book together — that, over the years, have become really special traditions. So I’ve been asking people to let me in on their favorite birthday traditions, so we could share some ideas with our readers too. New parents, you might want to...Read More
My kids believe they are the World’s Greatest Fans of Dylan’s Candy Bar. Which is hilarious, considering that every single one of the zillions of kids who visit their shops each year also believe that they are the World’s Greatest Fans of Dylan’s Candy Bar. So when they joined on as our newest sponsor (yay!), and asked us to take a look at their new selection of personalized candy favors and gifts at the Dylan’s Candy Bar online Design Shoppe (double yay!), you have no idea how quickly I raised my hand. (Sorry, CMP comrades — early bird gets the chocolate.) -Special Offer:...Read More
We love a good birthday party around here. In fact, we’ve loved sharing our ideas for Minecraft, Star Wars, Minion, Finding Dory, and even storybook birthday parties for your kids. But some of the ideas we’ve seen on Pinterest (or our friends’ Facebook feeds) have us thinking a kid’s birthday party these days can easily cost $500, if not more. Oof! So, I set out to see whether it’s doable to throw a fun, memorable birthday party for our kids without the hefty price tag. Birthdays on a budget — like, 1/10th of the price. Turns out, it’s possible! For less than $50, we’ve thrown some...Read More
With the Summer Games set to begin on August 5, we are getting ourselves ready to do some Olympic-sized television viewing as we cheer on the amazing athletes from around the world. So if you’re celebrating what is sure to be a spectacular opening ceremonies this weekend, we’ve put together some awesome ideas for throwing your own backyard Olympic games, with Olympic themed activities for all ages. Here are our favorite ideas! Don’t worry…no pole vaulting. (Top: Olympic javelin toss backyard game idea via Hoosier Homemade) Related: Throwing an Olympics Party? Some of the coolest printables, snacks, and party ideas. Bring all of your athletes together with the free printable...Read More
Even though Finding Dory has only been out for a few weeks, she already has a ton of fans who are likely going to want her be the star of their birthday party (well, after the birthday child of course). So we’ve gone fishing for some of our favorite Finding Dory-inspired birthday party ideas from invitations, decor, food, and party favors. And we’ve even put them all in this one spot so you won’t forget anything, unlike you-know-who. Related: 10 cool summer party ideas for kids, and lots of inspiration to help you pull them off (Top image: The...Read More
Happy 4th of July everyone! Oh America, you look pretty great for 240. Here’s our advice for making the most out of the holiday: (Top image: popsicle stick American Flag craft via A Pumpkin and a Princess) 1. Be safe out there. 2. Fire up the grill. 3. Make the best BBQ sauce ever. 4. Eat all the foods. 5. Make one of these 30 red white and blue recipes. 6. Distract the kids with a fun fireworks app while you eat all the foods. Chocolate dipped red white and blue ice cream cones | Cool Mom Eats 7. Get the kids in cool American flag clothes that...Read More
Looking for some inspiration for your child’s next birthday party that goes beyond animated movies? You may not have to look any farther than one of the well-worn storybooks your child lovingly keeps by their bedside. In fact, we love the idea of a storybook themed birthday party so much! Not only do classic picture books provide tons of ideas and inspiration, but they have the added benefit creating themes that parents can be really excited to bring to life. (With all due respect to Dora and friends.) To help you get started thinking about some fantastic party ideas that will make your child’s celebration memorable, we’ve...Read More
More than 40 cool Star Wars The Force Awakens birthday party ideas: invitations, decor, treats, and activities. Now THAT’S how the force works!
Since the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, kids all over planet Earth and Jakku are begging for a Star Wars Force Awakens birthday party that incorporates Rey, Finn, BB-8, and yeah, Kylo Ren along with our favorite pals from the original franchise. So, in addition to the 40 awesome Star Wars party ideas we featured last year — which is among our most popular posts with you all, for good reason — we’ve pulled together another 40+ ideas for this next generation of Star Wars fans who can’t even imagine what Star Wars looks like without Rey! Go ahead, mix...Read More
This post has been updated for 2017 Even if the only movies you’ve seen this year are the animated kind (no judgment, parents!), it’s always fun to have an excuse to get together with friends and ogle all the Hollywood glamour over a glass of bubbly. If nothing else, then to see just how Jimmy Kimmel takes on this year’s Academy controversy. We have high expectations. For those of you so out of it you’re like, “the Oscars are coming up?” we’re here to help. The 89th Academy Awards show is airing this Sunday, February 26 and to make watching the Oscars even more fun, we’ve pulled together some...Read More
The Ultimate Star Wars Guide: Dozens of geeky gifts, party ideas, DIY projects, recipes, and random Force-inspired insanity.
Okay, so the world is obsessed with Star Wars right now in light of the premier of The Force Awakens. And hey, we count ourselves among you all. Now we can’t exactly say we’ve covered Star Wars “since before it was cool” because 1.) no such thing and 2.) we were not blogging in 1978. But we have put together an awesome Star Wars guide, filled with so many fun finds from over the years — gifts, guides, party ideas, recipes (Chewbacca donuts!) and just random awesome stuff. It’s so fun seeing them all here in one place. Or, you can always...Read More