I have a couple of kids with on-and-off sleep issues, so I’ve been paying attention to the swell of discussion about the benefits of weighted blankets for children. These blankets, which are generally filled with anywhere from 5–10 lbs. of weighted beads, are said to help increase both serotonin (which improves your mood) and melatonin (which makes you sleepy). Basically, your kids feel like they’re being held, which of course makes them happy. And sleepy. Yay! We recently received a sample weighted blanket from The Magic Blanket for my kids to try out, and after using it for a week or so their bedtime routines were much less...Read More
The coolest summer activity books for kids. Because, this summer, there will be no such thing as “I’m so booooored!”
As much as we’re looking forward to summer and all of the many kids’ activities that come with it, we have to say that it’s those long days of no activities that can be most stressful. That’s why we made this list of awesome summer activity books for kids — with these on hand, your kids will have approximately zero reasons to be bored. At top: Go Photo! by Alice Proujansky CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Made-for-summer crafts that will keep your kids creatively and happily occupied. Fill-Me-In by author/illustrator Moose Allain was on our list of best activity books for summer last year, and you can...Read More
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
With the massive popularity of fidget spinners, it was only a matter of time before we found a DIY project for making your own. Fortunately this one doesn’t require an engineering degree or even a 3-D printer: Just some basic LEGO pieces. The very clever Sarah at Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls (F.K.A. Frugal Fun for Boys and my girls in particular thank her for the name change!) has put together a terrific tutorial on how to build your own LEGO fidget spinner. Click over and find detailed photos, step-by-step directions, and even links to purchasing the right round tiles and...Read More
An updated comparison of our 13 favorite custom photo book services, for one of our all-time favorite gifts
Since one of our very favorite Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and teacher gifts are custom photo books, we thought it was about time to take a fresh look at our favorite custom photo book companies. There are now so many out there, it can be hard to choose one service over another. That’s where we come in! We’ve researched and tried dozens of them, and we’ve narrowed down 13 of our absolute favorites, with a few details on what makes each one special. So, if you’ve got a few thousand photos sitting on your laptop like we do, it might be time to...Read More
Every year, we love finding the coolest Mother’s Day gift ideas for our readers who are prepared super early. But, as moms ourselves, we know that it’s important to share tons of great last-minute Mother’s Day gift ideas too, since life comes in two speeds: busy and busier. So if you haven’t gotten around to finding that perfect present for all the mothers in your life yet, don’t worry! We culled 24 ways you can still pull off a fabulous surprise for her with thoughtful last-minute Mother’s Day gift ideas that don’t feel last-minute at all. For even more ideas, be sure to also check out our 2017 Mother’s Day Gift...Read More
My most favorite Mother’s Day cards are the ones my kids make themselves. Because, how can I resist an adorable handprint poster or toddler-style drawing of Mommy & Me? Heart is melting over here. So, I’ve checked out some of our favorite craft bloggers and DIY sites to find some creative ideas for handmade Mother’s Day cards from the kids. Maybe I’ll just leave the screen open to these so my kids will see them and get inspired to make some sweet Mother’s Day cards of their own. Hint, hint. At top: A fun, DIY, free printable Mother’s Day cootie catcher at Homan at Home...Read More
Web coolness: Mother’s Day gifts that are the bomb, Princess Charlotte’s birthday photos, a Kickstarter we’re excited about + more
Here are some things we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. Happy Cinco de Mayo! Check out this video with the easiest recipes ever for your fiesta (plus a genius tip to keep guac from turning brown). So many Mother’s Day ideas, with only a week left! Don’t miss: –Fabulous gift ideas from a new mom for other new moms on their first Mother’s Day –Fierce feminist Mother’s Day gifts for empowered moms –13 fantastic Mother’s Day gifts all under $20 that don’t feel cheap at all –9 gorgeous homemade food gifts for Mother’s Day. Yum....Read More
Teachers deserve it all, and boy would we love to give the most wonderful teacher appreciation gifts to all of them. But when you multiply your number of kids by the many teachers your kids have — classroom teachers, teaching aides, music and art teachers, coaches, tutors — well, you’ve learned enough math to tally it up. According to teachers we’ve spoken to over the years, gift cards tend to be one of the most popular teacher appreciation gifts. But we know that can feel impersonal, especially when you’re saying “thank you” to the people who do so much for our families. So I did some homework and found these 6...Read More
Today marks an important date on the Google cals of Star Wars fans everywhere. Yep, it’s May the 4th, which means social media feeds packed with posts about #StarWarsDay and coworkers dressed as Jabba the Hutt (we hope so, anyway). But we think there’s another cool way to mark this important date, especially if you’ve got a little Padawan at home: making glow-in-the-dark Star Wars slime. Related: Natural slime recipes, totally safe and Borax free Little Bins for Little Hands is a veritable go-to DIY slime source — seriously, if it’s slippery, slimy, and utterly cool, you can find a recipe for it here — and Sarah’s...Read More
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
12 truly cool handmade Mother’s Day gifts from kids that become heart-melting keepsakes | Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017
There’s nothing quite like a handmade Mother’s Day gift from the kids to melt a mom’s (or grandma’s or stepmom’s) heart. But take it from this mom of four kids, while all Mother’s Day gifts are perfect (really), I’ve tracked down a dozen very cool ideas that are truly special. Let’s just say, I’d love to wake up to any of these on Mother’s Day morning, and save them as keepsakes forever. Not that there’s anything wrong with a macaroni necklace, but we think these handmade Mother’s Day gifts step things up just a bit. At top: Hand-shaped clay ring dish | Mama Papa...Read More
Every Mother’s Day, we want to go all-out to celebrate the women in our lives who have done so much for us. But, as moms ourselves, we don’t always have the time to plan big brunches or create one-of-a-kind gifts for all the special moms, mothers-in-law, and grandmothers we love. That’s why we adore these unique, free Mother’s Day printables — they instantly make events more festive and presents even more special (and some of them are even standalone gifts!). When it comes to Mother’s Day gestures, every mom will agree that it’s the thought that counts…but it’s especially nice when the thoughts are as lovely as...Read More
Yes there are like so many holidays and official months, it can be hard to keep track. But one that makes a lot of sense to set a calendar alert for is National Car Care Month, which happens to be right now. You know how we all remember to change the batteries in our smoke alarms at the same time we change the clocks twice a year? Well, April is the perfect month each year to make sure your car is in safe running order before the summer travel season begins. That’s why we’re really glad to have a chance to talk...Read More
The ultimate guide to last-minute Easter ideas: egg decorating, recipes, crafts, printables, and more!
Easter is just a hop away, but if you still haven’t made a crack in your Easter list yet…don’t worry! There are still a few days left until the Easter bunny visits, which is why we put together this ultimate list of last-minute Easter ideas for you including egg decorating ideas, Easter recipes (hint: BACON!), Easter crafts, Easter printables for kids, and so much more. Let’s just say when it comes to having a special Easter with your family and friends, all your eggs are in this basket. At top: Sticker Art Easter Printables | Hello, Wonderful CMP is an rstyle affiliate Awesome Easter Egg Decorating Ideas Decorating Easter...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
Like we’re not going to have enough fun at our seder this year with our new Hamilton Haggadah, now I find this: An awesome set of free printable Passover 10 plague finger puppets found at Tori Avey’s blog. Oh, like you already have a Cute Cartoony Person Infected with Lice finger puppet lying around? I don’t think so. Related: An edible Passover craft our kids are flipping for! The truth is, as morbid as the plagues are when you really start to break them down (especially that tenth one, yeesh) the seriously adorable drawings from artist Brenda Ponnay (A.K.A. Secret Agent Josephine)...Read More
My kids are huge fans of the fun pop culture Easter eggs we’ve featured at Cool Mom Picks and the cool ice cream cone eggs over at Cool Mom Eats. Plus, these galaxy eggs are geeking them out too. But I have to say, I love pretty floral Easter eggs in springtime. So I went searching through the sites of some of my favorite bloggers and found 9 gorgeous tutorials for the prettiest floral Easter egg decorating ideas. If you want to really impress your brunch guests this year, in the prettiest way possible, try one of these. At top: DIY tissue paper eggs | Say Yes Related: Fun (and...Read More
I am especially egg-cited about these egg-ceptionally (ha!) fun and easy Easter crafts made entirely with household objects. No schlepping to the store, no waiting in line, no expensive price tags…just good old-fashioned crafting with what we have laying around at home. Because when it comes to crafting, my kids and I share the same belief: The fewer trips to the craft supply store, the better. At top: Cork bunnies for Easter |instructions at Willowday Related: Irresistible Easter bunny crafts you’ll like making as much as your kids do Cupcake Liner Bunnies These sweet Easter bunnies by I Heart Crafty Things prove that only good...Read More
These fun food-themed Easter egg decorating ideas may not trick my kids into thinking they’re actually eating pineapple or a hamburger, but I still think they’re a cool way to switch up our normal egg-dyeing routine. If you want to try your hand at something a little unexpected this year, and if you love food as much as we do, check out these fabulous ideas below. Although we’ve rounded up amazing pop culture Easter eggs, a fun tie-dye tutorial, and even the coolest DIY galaxy Easter eggs, these food-themes ones might be my favorite yet. Because, food. (Psst… A lot of the...Read More
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