I’m pretty sure my Christmas list one year included a puppy, a kitten, a bunny, and The Black Stallion. I was deeply disappointed not to find any boxes with air holes under the tree, but you can get at least 3 out of 4 with these adorable stocking stuffers/post-Christmas consolation prizes. Added bonus: clean kids. That’s a great gift. The Surprise Animal Soaps by Sunbasilgarden on Etsy are all-natural, handmade, and cute as a button. With scents including banana, strawberry, bubble gum, cotton candy, and creamsicle, part of the fun will be watching the kids hover over the sink,...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
I was fretting to my sister that I didn’t know what to get her kids, my sweet little niece and nephew, who seemingly have everything. Her response: Don’t you review kids’ music for Cool Mom Picks? Just get them some cool new tunes! Funny how the most obvious choice can be right under your nose. So for all of those who are wondering what the heck to get those kids who have almost everything–or you’re just looking for some cool stocking stuffers that don’t end up in a landfill by Christmas 2011–here is a handful of really...Read More
If you’re sick of the frantic rush of live holiday shopping but still want to take up some real estate under the tree, you need to go check out the cool stuff at Discovery Kids, the exclusive toy section of The Discovery Channel Store. It’s filled with items meant to spark imagination and sneakily teach about the wonders of the natural world. Via Discovery Kids, a big hit around our house is Rainbow in my Room, a machine that–not surprisingly–creates rainbows that arc across the room. My daughter was starting to enter the “I’m scared of the dark” phase,...Read More
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...Read More
Still looking for a few last minute gifts for the family? Clearly we’re crazy, mad, marry-us-in-Vegas in love with Etsy and all the wonderful artists and crafters we’ve discovered there. That’s why today, on Etsy’s The Storque blog, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite handmade holiday gifts on Etsy. Click over for lovely ideas that we’ve hand-selected for babies, kids, moms, dads, and even the cool grandparents of the world. You know how we love those cool grandparents. –Liz + Kristen What are the handmade gifts you’ve procured this year? We’d love to hear about...Read More
I hear in some places, you have to book the best mall Santa in October to get a word in with the jolly guy, and he still might get your kid’s name wrong leading to a public freak-out. (It’s happened to us all!) But now, thanks to the wonders of technology, your inbox is the best place to catch the ear of Jolly Old St. Nick. Register at Portable North Pole, and you can send a message from Santa Claus to a toddler, older child, or even an adult. After navigating an extensive online questionnaire that even mentions siblings,...Read More
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...Read More
We’re now formally in the “handing-someone-a-bottle-of wine” season, and while most of us can simply stick a bow on it and pass it on, there are times when that bottle needs a little more oomph than a plain brown paper bag or a crinkled sheet of tissue paper. The Wine OH (get it?) is a substantial, reusable gift bag, part of the Love Reusable Bags line and it’s very cute. They offer a number of options: Bag the wine for your brother-in-law in the businessy Cosmic Stripes, or tuck some sparkling (nonalcoholic) cider in a cheery plaid bag you bring...Read More
I know that this year I’m going to end up with a bunch of kids I’ve forgotten about on my holiday list, so I try to amass a repertoire of fun, not too expensive gifts to keep on standby. If they don’t get given out this month, there’s always birthday parties all year long. While we have a whole bunch of gifts under $15 in our holiday gift guide, I just found one more that I’m in love with. The Mermaids Magnetic Dress Up Dolls from Mudpuppy is such a cool gift for girls. It would make a great...Read More
I don’t usually go the disposable paper plate route, except when it comes to kids parties. But here are some paper plates so adorable they might be worth making an exception. Why? Well, they’re personalized. With a photo of my smiling sweeties and a festive holiday scene, I am in love with these Holiday Personalized Plates from Hallmark–so much so, I might like them too much to even use them! Choose from nineteen winter and holiday designs, pick your layout and, if you want, you can add text. Plates ship quickly; in only two business days after ordering and...Read More
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...Read More
Here are some things we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you will too. If you’re in NYC this Saturday, come to the Etsy labs in DUMBO for a kids holiday craft party to benefit Housing Works. Kids will even get to color their own ornaments, designed by the winning artists from our contest! On Momformation, Kristen shares 7 cool iPhone cases, some even handmade. Awesome stocking stuffer alert! Our own editor Christina shares her top 10 tech toys for toddlers on My Life Scoop. A new Christmas video from Dan Zanes with an acoustic rendition...Read More
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...Read More
Something strange happens to me every December. I don’t usually have much patience for craft projects, but every holiday season, something comes over me and I feel the need to do something with glitter. Well, here’s a holiday gift for all of us crafting mavens and want-to-be crafting mavens (that would be me at the moment). Get 50% off all Martha Stewart craft items at Michael’s until December 24. Martha Stewart’s glitter is a glitter lover’s dream. It’s fine and elegant and fabulous and each color shines like shimmering gems. But beware–it does tend to get everywhere, so this...Read More
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...Read More
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...Read More
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, neither, or both, there’s no better gift for kids than the gift of reading. If you don’t need a fourth copy of the Velveteen Rabbit to make you cry on your toddler’s footy pajamas, try one of these awesomely cool holiday books which get my whole-hearted thumbs up. – Delilah 1. A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates If your family is as wacky as mine, you want more YARR than the calm and old-fashioned versions of the classic holiday poem can provide. This book’s got laughs, clever rhymes, and adorable illustrations for...Read More
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