Tag: charity + causes

Cool craft kits for kids that give back

If you’ve got big kids like mine who love to DIY, then you need to snatch up one of these KidKnits craft kits for kids that help give back to people in need. Founded by 9-year old (yes, 9!) and avid knitter Ellie, KidKnits is a non-profit organization that helps families in Chile and Rwanda through the sale of hat craft kits. Each kit features everything you’ll need to make your own hat, including your color choice of hand-dyed yarn from the artisans in both countries the charity supports, as well as a round loom, hook, needle, and instructions, all...

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The best teacher gift ideas from people who know: actual teachers.

We are always on the lookout for the best teacher gift ideas every year, and it may in fact be one of the top gift questions we get from readers every year about this time. (Then again in May.) And hey, I get it; if there are any people on my holiday shopping list that I’m most grateful for, it’s my kids’ teachers. They’re with my kids all day every day, and go above and beyond the job description, from purchasing supplies for the classroom from their own wallets to sending personal emails and notes home to let me know how my kids are doing....

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Web Coolness: Outrageous gingerbread houses, the best tech toys for kids, and links to help you talk to your kids about race.

Here are the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too.   Outrageous gingerbread houses way nicer than ours (This one: Kapowka on Instagram) The best tech toys and gifts for kids of all ages. Have you entered our holiday gift guide giveaway yet? You’ll want to. A woman in STEM shirt presents an alternative to, uh, That Other Shirt 8 creative hot chocolate recipes for any taste. Can we call it comfort food? More hot chocolate variations via SheKnows.   Hanukkah is coming 12/16! Here are 8 fun Hanukkah gift ideas for...

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Hot bags for a cause from Angela and Roi

I have no specific name brand requirements for the bags that I carry. As long as it’s stylish, functional and well-made, I’m happy. And even happier if it happens to give back to great causes, which is exactly what happens when you buy an Angela & Roi bag. Every single one of these simple yet stylish bags gives back to a charity, with the brand creatively connecting each one’s color to a specific charitable foundation that will receive $5 with your purchase. So a green bag helps support the Anxiety and Depression Society of America. The yellow bags give back to the American Childhood Cancer Association. Red goes towards the fight against HIV and AIDS.  There are 11 colors in all, each dedicated to a particular health-minded charity. What’s so wonderful is that these beautifully-crafted, vegan leather bags are the kinds you’d drool over at your big department store or small neighborhood boutique. Each one has a small embedded stamp or engraved ribbon logo on the outside–though both  are extremely subtle because I’m sensitive to that–and each comes with a special paper tag explaining the charity that’s being supported by your purchase. I know that $5 isn’t a huge amount when you’re talking about a $70 or $100 bag, but it’s a wonderful gesture. And hey, to make this a really special gift, perhaps you pick one for someone already dedicated to that particular charity and include an additional donation in her name. That’s...

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Venice Beach-worthy skateboards for your little shredder

On a recent trip to Venice Beach, I wandered through skate shops and hung out at the skatepark. What can I say — I’m still a skatebetty at heart, even at my age. But unlike the old days when bumper stickers proclaimed Skateboarding is not a crime!, skateboarding has gone mainstream, which makes a skateboard a pretty rad holiday gift for just about any kid. Here are two cool models I got a chance to check out, and why I think each one could be a cool gift this year. First there’s Sunset Skateboards, which was started by two California skaters who’d been...

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Dream big and help others keep on dreaming too

The spirit of giving is alive all over social media today thanks to #GivingTuesday, including in our Instagram feed where we found these lovelies at baby Jives co. Today only, you can score these exclusive downloadable prints and support a wonderful cause while doing it. When you purchase a Dream Big or People Will Never Forget PDF for $10 each, half of that (yes $5) will be donated to two charities, St. Jude Medical Research and Feeding America, two causes we personally love and who can certainly use your support. Just print and hang, or add a frame to turn them into a gift....

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#GivingTuesday: 7 amazing organizations to help you give back as a family all year long.

We love how #GivingTuesday has become such a widespread tradition across the US in just two years, and we’ve been thrilled to share some of our favorite ways to give back–on this day and any day. We love promoting our favorite charities and causes, and gifts that give back, but this year, in honor of #GivingTuesday, we’re highlighting family volunteer opportunities. I can’t think of a better way to balance out the post-Thanksgiving retail focus, and maybe even to start a new tradition for your kids, than to get out there and give back to others. In fact, it’s become a really wonderful aspect of...

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Celebrity moms help swaddle babies in love for World AIDS Day.

If you didn’t get a chance to snag one of the aden + anais and (RED) swaddle blankets that support The Global Fund earlier this year, you’re still in luck. You can treat a baby you love–while you help other babies–with this brand new limited edition 3-pack of aden + anais PRODUCT (RED) organic cotton muslin swaddle blankets designed by some amazing celebrity moms, and just released in honor of today’s World AIDS Day. I love the bold, vibrant designs on these swaddlers all created by celeb designers. And what a job they’ve done–check out Rachel Zoe’s paisley print, Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers pattern, and my favorite–Jessica Alba’s...

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Web coolness: Amazing Thanksgiving recipes, Anna and Elsa have a new career, and celebrities doing an awesome thing.

Here are our favorite links from around the web this week. Hope you like them too. The Thanksgiving countdown begins! Check out the most amazing recipes for mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, fall salads, and perfect pies. 6 cute Thanksgiving treats for the kids. New York’s top food writers debate pie crusts. A sneak peek of the new Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade floats. 7 easy holiday place setting ideas. Common Sense Media’s Best and worst pop culture moments of 2014.   New to our indie shop: I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry print. We need this. Often. New study: Mothers may be...

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Trend alert: Snow Leopards. They’re everywhere.

This time last year, our kids were all about foxes, probably because The Song That Will Not Be Mentioned was playing on repeat in our homes. While woodland animals are still a favorite with my kids, I’m noticing one animal obsession rising above the rest—snow leopards. My kids see them as cuddly cats with cool fur, so I don’t blame them for ooh-ing at some of the fun snow leopard fashion we’re seeing around our local boutiques.     You’ll find the Schneelepoard Graphic Tee from Tea Collection in their boys department, but that’s not going to stop our girls from pairing it with black leggings and...

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To the Market: Fashionable gifts and accessories that reinvent women’s lives.

Recently I was honored to attend the ONE.org Girls & Women Initiative’s AYA Summit, in which my eyes were opened to so many remarkable ways that people devote their lives to women and girls around the world who are disproportionately affected by poverty. One of the women I was amazingly impressed with is Jane Mosbacher Morris, who cut her teeth in the counterterrorism department of the State Department (whoa), then turned her life towards humanitarian action with a focus on woman’s issues, and in particular, anti-human trafficking. She also happens to have great style and a sharp mind for business. So you can see how this is all coming together. This week I’m so...

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Mitscoots: Stylish socks on a mission

When I first moved to New York City I quickly realized that good shoes and socks are a must in this town of walking, walking, walking.  Since then I have become something of a sock connoisseur. Seriously. I need socks that are stylish, comfortable and, of course, warm. Our newest find, Mitscoots socks give me all that, and then they give more. US-made Mitscoots socks (who does that anymore?) were conceived from the founders’ time volunteering with the homeless in Austin. They created a company that’s more than the buy one/donate one model we love–they added the idea of employment to the equation. Which means they...

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Pretty paper plates and cups that feed America’s hungry families

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only mom who races to my kids’ school party volunteer signups to be sure I can claim “plates and forks.” Honestly, the holidays are busy enough without having to bake eight dozen cookies. (And bless you parents who do sign up for cookie duty!) Whether it’s for the classroom or my own parties and holiday entertaining, I still prefer something more festive than boring white paper plates, so I was excited to discover the new line of modern paper plates and other dinnerware items from Cheeky Home. Cheeky launched just last week with these bright, cheerful designs exclusively at Target. But in case the...

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It’s a tote bag. It’s a backpack. It’s at the top of our Christmas wish lists.

Some days, when I leave the house in the morning I may not be back until after dinner, so I need to carry it all: Laptop, kids’ practice uniforms, snacks and toys to keep the kid waiting at said practice happy—you know how it is, right? The Ashton bag by the altruistic State Bags (who we discovered last year) is now available at our Cool Mom Picks indie shop and we’re so happy about it. This one is definitely on my wish list as a stylish, versatile tote bag for my busy schedule. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation....

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Congrats to the Martha Stewart American Made winners. So much goodness!

From the woman who tells us everything that’s “a good thing,” there are now ten more good things for us all to discover via the Martha Stewart American Made 2014 winners. Here’s just a few we’re amazingly impressed with. Kalon Studios: Michaele Simmering and Johann Pauwen’s gorgeous modern furniture is all designed in LA and US-made. From a gorgeous handmade crib we recently featured in our black and white nursery roundup,  to a modern play tent and plenty of modern craft furniture for adults, we’re coveting all of it.   Heather Lins is a Madison mom making very cool DIY embroidery kits that make terrific gifts for...

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Web Coolness: Cheering for Amy Poehler, hilarious Halloween costumes, and kids who eat WHAT for breakfast?

Here are our favorite links from around the Internet this week. Hope you like them too.   Step away from the breakfast cereal and check out this amazing photo essay: What kids around the world eat for breakfast. (At top, Tokyo) Smart reasons to start using FaceTime Audio now. As big ONE supporters, we’re so thrilled to see Amy Poehler is guest curating ONE Girls + Women this month. If you’re a mom who hates cooking dinner, you will print out this article and cover it with kisses. Great tips for making the most of your parent-teacher conferences. Compelling observations from one blogger’s trip to India. What makes women...

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5 simple tips to get kids involved in ending poverty

Getting my kids involved with helping others has always been an extremely important part of parenting for me, and I’ve done my best to include them in my own charitable passions when I can. But after attending the recent Global Citizen Festival on behalf of our sponsor (and event partner) Citi, I’ve been thinking more deeply about global poverty, an epidemic affecting a staggering 1.2 billion people, and how I can get my own kids involved.     Admittedly, poverty is not an easy topic to broach with kids, but it’s an extremely important one. Start when they’re young and it’s not only...

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3 hot accessories from fashionABLE, only one place to get them

We know our readers are huge fans of the handmade scarves from fashionABLE, because of course you all have fabulous taste and big hearts. (Two of our favorite traits.) Last year the company did a very smart thing, working with our friends at ONE.org along with Gabby Blair of Design Mom and the talented Alt Summit attendees to crowdsource a new design. The winner: The Genet scarf by Janette Crawford which was such a huge hit they sold out in a flash. Even Christie Turlington and Minka Kelly were spotted wearing one.  As for me, I live in mine. Best travel scarf ever....

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T-shirts from J Crew that help support two of our favorite educational charities

I don’t need a reason to cozy up with the new J Crew catalog or website, multiple times a day, so give me that plus an awesome cause and you have my complete attention. Their new fall kids collection includes two t-shirts that support partnerships with education-based non-profits. Each is also miraculously mutually agreed by parent and child in our house as “cool.” I’m sold. The DonorsChoose.org t-shirt from the CrewCuts collection totally appeals the to 80’s kid in me who loved those black and white composition notebooks. The graphic, designed by Hugo Guiness, reads “P.S. We <3 you.” and promotes the Donors Choose mission of helping teachers help students. If you’ve...

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Web Coolness: An amazing shopping deal, the coolest kids’ tees of the year, and John Malkovich doing what?

Here’s what we’ve been reading around the Web this week. Hope you like them too. Have you shopped our favorite indie fashion + accessories lately? Do it now while global shipping is free! How parent entrepreneurs are revolutionizing school lunches. There are a lot of amazing women out there. A lot. Interesting take on why the Ice Bucket Challenge was so successful. In honor of Banned Books Week – How many subversive books do your kids own? Fantastic post. The coolest STEM tees for kids. Because kids who love STEM are cool anyway. Our friends at MOUTH.com add Food & Wine selects....

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