Category: Party Time!

Goody bag gift ideas for kids: ready-made crafty party packs

I haven’t thrown that many birthday parties for my kids and it’s like I’m already out of goody bag gift ideas. It might be easier if you have a theme in mind–wands and a spell book for a Harry Potter Party, a toy boat for a sailboat themed party–but how about when you just want the kids to have something that they’ll enjoy. And uh, that their parents won’t think of as, “oh good. More junk around the house.” Well now there’s just the thing–crafty, eco-friendly, totally fun, and they’re affordable too. CMP favorite Kiwi Crate has recently launched...

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Ideas for a child’s birthday party? How about some all in one place

Looking for ideas for a child’s birthday party can be both fun– and stressful. When my kids were younger, I confess, I went a little overboard with over-the-top parties causing me to collapse with exhaustion. As I learned, it can be a lot simpler. And just as fun. Here’s one shop that helps you with both. Dollyrockets, a shop based out of New Zealand (but which offers USD pricing), is designed for busy parents who need a simple plan for the perfect party. Their collections allow you to create your own stylish party that looks different than every other...

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Girls’ birthday party ideas – Little Red Riding Hood or Alice in Wonderland

Girls’ birthday party ideas can still be girlie, even if you want to avoid the same old princess theme. Which is why I instantly fell in love with the downloadable, customizable party kits at Creative Little Stars, based around classic storybook themes. And they’re super affordable too. Any party planner worth her salt will tell you that setting the mood is 50% of the party. (Planning for fun is the other half of course!) And any mom planning a kid’s birthday will tell you that paying a fortune for them is not ideal. Through Creative Little Stars, for less...

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Custom birthday books for kids that are beyond adorable

I love the look on kids’ faces when they open a book and see their names in the pages of the story. So in celebration of the biggest day of all—their birthday!—here are a couple beautifully illustrated books that will make the birthday boy or girl feel even more special. In Paper Hat Press’ Whose Birthday Is It? all the toys come together to throw a party for your favorite birthday child. Illustrated by the amazing Micah Player, who we’ve loved as the cover artist for Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band and as author/illustrator of Chloe Instead, this...

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Hot Chili Pops are sugar and spice and all things nice

Even on Cinco de Mayo, Hot-chili lollipops sound like one of those joke candies I never want anywhere near my mouth, like those worm-in-the-lollipop “treats” sold in every gift store in Texas. But these all-natural, sweet-and-spicy treats from Yummy Earth are no joke. Yummy Earth’s Organic Hot Chili Pops really surprised me with their delicious and sneakily spicy taste. On first lick, both the Chili Lime Lambada and Chili Mango Mambo flavors taste like sweet, fresh lime or mango. But then…whammo. That chili really packs a punch. As someone who hasn’t craved a lollipop since I was about ten years old,...

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5 free Easter printables you can have ready for Sunday. Each one gorgeous.

My box of Easter decorations may sit unopened in the basement this year, but I can still make my home festive beyond the colored Easter eggs, with printables. Here I’ve gathered up a bunch of free Easter printables to get me in the mood for the bunny’s arrival.   Little Miffy fans will bounce all over the house when they see you’ve made Minieco’s printable rabbit garland. And if you aren’t sure you’re handy enough with a craft knife to get those eyes and little mouth just so, no worries. I think a string of rabbit heads would look...

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Food themed birthday parties for kids. AKA No dessert until you finish your milk and cookies.

If you need a break from superheroes and princesses, I’ve got a fabulous kids birthday party idea, and it’s so easy: Food themed birthday parties. Move over tea parties, we’ve got three new themes worth checking out. Milk & Cookies FestThis inspiration board by Kara’s Party Ideas is the place to start if you want to celebrate your cookie monster with a milk and cookies-themed birthday party. You’ll also find fab party ideas on Tea and Lime, including a custom color palette. And I love this vintage take on a milk and cookies theme, complete with printables by custom designers (and...

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5 perfect holiday dresses. For you.

We’ve already established our love for Zappos, which is quite clear if you take a peek at our closets. So when they asked us to some of our favorite dresses for the holidays, we knew the only problem we’d have would be culling our list down to just five. With holiday parties, family gatherings, and New Year’s Eve right around the corner, your regular rotation of skirts, tops, or the dress you wore last year just isn’t going to cut it. This is your year, mamas! So we picked five droolworthy dresses at our sponsor Zappos that will make...

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6 special ways to celebrate grandma and grandpa birthdays

We’re honored to be working with our sponsor the American Cancer Society, who’s doing such good work in ensuring that all of us continue to have many more birthdays. My mom hit the big 60 birthday milestone last year (don’t kill me for writing that, mom!) and while I did something pretty huge for her 50th, I feel a little guilty that with work schedules and new babies I wasn’t able to give her a proper celebration. After losing my dad to cancer way too early, I’ve been more cognizant than ever of making each and every birthday more...

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5 ideas for birthday parties that give back

We are honored to once again be working with our sponsor, the American Cancer Society, on their More Birthdays campaign since if we could make one really big wish, it’d that cancer never steals someone from us again. But wishes alone will not cure cancer, so we think one wonderful way to help fight for more birthdays is to find ways to give back with our family’s own birthday parties. Here, five ideas we’re really digging. 1. Ask for donations instead of giftsIf your kids are already swimming in toys, let party-goers know that in lieu of gifts, you...

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Wrapping paper your kids will actually notice

When it comes to unwrapping gifts, people usually fall into two camps. Either they take their time, delicately lifting the tape and neatly folding up the paper; or they rip through the paper like a present-seeking claw machine. This personalized wrapping paper just might put kids in the former category, for the very first time. [don’t miss an exclusive discount after the jump!] Not only is the all new personalized wrapping paper from Frecklebox adorably designed, it also features your kids’ names right on it–something they are absolutely sure to notice. Just type in the message you want and your custom...

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Happy birthday, rock star

Birthday cards are kind of a big deal around our house; not just the ones we get, but the ones we give. My kids adore going through the big box o’ loose cards I have, picking out the very perfect one for their friends, and putting as much time into it as they did wandering the toy store aisle for the perfect gift. And now there’s another option that I liked the second I saw them.[don’t miss a giveaway after the jump!] The new boxed cards from Inspired by It are made by a husband-wife team in Rhode Island...

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Masquerade, pretty faces on parade

In spring, a young man’s thoughts lightly turn to love. In fall, everyone’s thoughts turn to a really kickass Halloween costume. Right? If you’re looking for something really special this year, that will last past midnight on the 31st, the lovely leather masks from Etsy shop Sundries and Plunder are entirely handmade… and entirely gorgeous. Each creation is made just for you; hand-cut and tooled from one piece of leather and hand-painted on both sides with acrylic paints.Then it’s sealed for added protection before arriving with a lovely ribbon for tying or hanging on the wall.  What do I...

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Take me to your cupcake

While the fancy cupcake trend has now hit just about every town in America, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good cupcake or even one that your kids will consider cool. Whether you’re going store-bought or baking at home, I think you’ll love this low-effort solution for hip, delicious, outside of the box party cakes guaranteed to have everyone doing the happy dance. Hello Hanna, the super groovy online kids party shop, now has a series of fun and edible icing cupcake toppers cleverly called Ticings. While they feature a variety of designs like princesses,...

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Thank-you cards that your kids will love to write

My mom was amazing with personal notes–she always produced the loveliest card, written just-so, perfectly on-time, for every occasion.  Her mastery of the art form skipped a generation. But the good news is that means my kids have a fair shot at note-writing expertise–and these adorable new educational cards can only help. Letter Learning is a line of educational greeting cards for kids, invented by teacher and mama Ellen Richard. There’s a card for every occasion–from birthdays to party invites to “just because,” with cute illustrations and pre-made words that kids trace out so that they’re “writing” while learning to write...

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Yippee kai yo kai cupcake

Whether you’ve got a tiny horse fanatic, a country themed shindig, or just some really unruly cake pops that need to be rounded up like little dogeys, we’ve found the perfect cupcake wrappers for you. Bonus: Hello, ponies! I’ve got a case of the blahs regarding the store-bought party decor available right now. And I love horses. No wonder I totally dig these printable horse cupcake wrappers from Spaceships and Laser Beams on Etsy– you know, the folks who brought us those adorable bacteria cupcake wrappers on Valentine’s Day? When you buy the wrappers. you’ll receive an Adobe PDF...

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Tattly tattoos give you hipster cred without the needles

There are still a few things about me that give me a teeny bit of remaining indie cred (I’ve visited the Etsy offices! I own the first They Might Be Giants album on cassette!) but tattoos are definitely not one of them. I know, I know–they’ve considered kicking me out of Brooklyn for it. Well it turns out that one fellow Brooklyn parent who still has indie cred up the whazoo, blogger Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swiss Miss, has gone and fixed that for me. She hasn’t opened up a tattoo shop in DUMBO–but maybe the next best thing....

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Planning the perfect Harry Potter Party

When my newly minted 7-year old daughter asked me to throw her a Harry Potter birthday party with only two weeks to plan, I said “absolutely!” And then ran straight to my computer to try to figure out how the heck to pull this off for about eight little girls ranging in age from four to seven. Well thanks to the Internet, a little creativity on my own part (pat pat), and perhaps a bit of magic, the party went off without a hitch. If you’re planning a party to celebrate the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part...

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10 year old birthday party ideas – Reader Q&A

I need ideas for my daughter’s 10th birthday..something original and wow. She’s a girly girl, loves to sing, very creative, honor student, responsible and loving. Over the years, we’ve done the bead parties, craft parties, clowns, art parties and dance parties. Now what! -Dania Hi Dania, I have a 10 year old daughter who loves at-home birthday parties, so I have some ideas that I think she’ll like, that won’t cost you a million dollars or make you install a carousel in your backyard. -Christina Luau A Luau theme is perfect for summer when the weather feels tropical already. If your guests...

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Patriotic printables for your summer picnic

After I run a 5k with my girls (their first!) and hit our local Memorial Day parade, I plan to do a whole lot of nothing but eat, drink and spend a few moments thanking those brave men and women who gave everything so I could live in this wackily lovable country. But before I enjoy some food and drink with the family, I plan to spend a few moments with my printer grabbing a few decorations for our picnic table. Look at the sweet designs I found! With thanks to Amy at Living Locurto who pulled together a...

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Surprise! It’s goodies!

Know what once arrived on my doorstep bearing a vintage gold cuff, a flower hair clip, 3 pairs of earrings, a journal, 2 dozen animal-print cupcake liners, and a baggie of carrot-riding-baby cake toppers? It was a Bag O’Goodies from CMP crush Darlybird, and I only paid $16 for the lot. Now you can get one, too. Once again, for just $16, you get a cavalcade of treats totaling at least $45. Each Bag O’Goodies includes a selection of limited edition, one-of-a-kind, and generally super cute stuff ranging from jewelry to vintage ephemera to baking goods and stationery. You...

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Dress-up clothes? Reader Q + A

My daughter is turning three soon, and I want to put together a dress up box for her. Any ideas for a great Etsy costume shop? She wants an astronaut costume but I need it to be something she can get on and off herself. Any other ideas? -Alison Hi Alison, We love your question! Of course, you can start by dumping your own accessories in there–scarves, gloves, handbags, belts are all great for creative play. But if you want some specific costume accessories, here are some great ideas to fill up your daughter’s dress-up box: The masks at...

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Easy lies the head that wears a birthday crown

A few years ago I got really ambitious and made birthday crowns for my two children. Flash forward a bit and I’ve now got a third child and still only two birthday crowns. Any guesses where this is going? Yeah. I’m kind of thinking these pretty, personalized felt crowns over at Chloe in Style would be a perfect stand-in for that last crown. Pretty, 100% wool felt crowns feature hand-stiching and personalization options that include either an initial or an age. I prefer the ones with initials to the ones with ages, simply because they can be used for...

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It’s a wrap!

Ever since I can remember, my family has used cloth instead of paper, to wrap gifts. My mom was ahead of her time, I tell you, because now it’s all the rage. And for good reason, really. Or should I say good reasons? Cloth is beautiful. And it’s reusable. The fabric gift wrap from Chewing the Cud (okay, not a big fan of the name) take the whole reusable gift wrap up a notch with organic cotton and gorgeous soy-based ink prints. And each one is printed with a simple message for the recipient. I’m quite taken with the...

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Cupcakes just for grownups

I have come to love looking forward to my Foodzie tasting box at the beginning of each month, and all the little nibbles and gourmet noshes contained therein. A few weeks back, I opened my box to such an amazing treat: Mini cupcakes in very adult flavors. I had heard of Kyotofu cupcakes, because they get a lot of buzz around NYC, but I had never bitten into one of these moist little gourmet cakes until just now. Subtle, delicate flavors like Matcha Green Tea and Miso Chocolate are a welcome change from that traditional cupcake flavor: Lots and...

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Good wishes to you

Every shower needs a centerpiece, and this one beats the strained peas out of a diaper cake, or one of those Cake-Wreck-y pregnant belly confections that are a little too reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver in Alien. It’s the lovely Wishing Tree by Hello Hanna, and it truly is a gift that keeps on giving. Fashioned of heavyweight recycled paper, the Wishing Tree comes with 20 moveable sticky flowers and 40 wishing ribbons in an adorable stand-up display. Place the flowers where you want them and let guests write their wishes on the pretty little ribbons, then hang them from...

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Wrap your gift in artwork.

These days, I’m lucky if I remember to get gifts in time at all these days, let alone have the wrapping paper on hand to wrap them up. But with an unbelievable number of birthday parties and special events crammed in my calendar, I’m determined to be prepared. And I’ve probably got the best excuse ever to do it: the gorgeous, artist-designed gift wrap found, of all places, on MoreBirthdays.com. [edited to add: This campaign is now over, but you can support the American Cancer Society’s excellent work through their website, cancer.org.] Imagine, you can celebrate all the special...

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Celebrity style loot bags, without the celebrity-only prices

I love throwing birthday parties for my kids. Love it. But I’m a bit of an over-achiever when it comes to loot bags, generally insisting that there should be something handmade -or at least really, really cool- inside. And that means I spend precious hours (that I don’t really have available) making something or hunting for it. Not this year. Thank goodness my kids decided to hold off on winter birthday parties in favor of spring because I just discovered the best loot bag item around. CMP fave, Mabel’s Labels has a great new Loot Bag Combo that’s going...

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A kids’ party that gives books back. (Plus: cookies!)

Despite light-up toys, dolls that talk, and, um, iPads, at the end of the day, nothing holds a candle — or backlit touchpad screen — to a good kids’ book. It’s a lesson my 3.5 year-old daughter has already learned, and I’m sure your kids are totally on board with that message, too. So imagine the joy of this: a big party featuring storytime, glasses of milk and plates of cookies, and — coolest of all — helping get good books into the hands of kids who don’t have any. Milk + Bookies is a neat charitable organization that facilitates...

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Temporary tattoos get artsy

Great art is beautiful, interesting, well-crafted, and has staying power. Surprise! That also describes these cool new temporary tattoos by one of CMP’s favorite designers. Our old pals at Wee Gallery have found a fantastic new way to pepper the world with their adorable, stylish art. It’s on your kid, thanks to these sweet new temporary tattoos. What used to be just a fun little extra included with purchases from the shop is now available in four-packs of three designs, each drawn in the whimsical style that makes Wee Gallery so unique. We gave the sweet faux ink a...

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