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
I’m not going to lie, this past year, and especially what’s going on in this country right now has been really hard on me. Really hard, and really stressful. And while I’m the queen of self-care and would love any of the self-care gift ideas in our Cool Mom Picks Holiday Gift Guide, I’m finding I’d also be okay with something a bit stronger to take the edge off. Responsibly, of course. (Hey, I’m still a parent.) So, I’ve combed through our holiday gift guides and put together my picks for 5 cocktail gifts I really want to find in...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
In honor of our 21st episode birthday (because that’s totally a thing, right?), we’re talking about booze! Just wait until you hear what Kristen mixes vodka with. And, let’s just say we get into a little vent session about Pinterest Syndrome. Do you suffer from it? We’re sharing what we love and what makes us downright crazy. You can listen via SoundCloud right now (why wait?), or just subscribe to Spawned on iTunes and listen in the Podcast app that comes totally free with your iOS device. Card via Beckamade Links from SPAWNED Episode 21 – For delicious cocktails, like...Read More
My favorite part of any holiday is the food, and Mother’s Day is no exception. What I want most this year is to sit around the table with family eating and laughing. One of my new favorite ways to make everybody happy, including me, the cook, is to set up one of these easy food bars. Because I don’t want to be rushing around the kitchen, stressing about cooking, and missing all the good conversation. And I really, really don’t want my kids to whine about the food either. Setting up a food bar is easy, even at the last minute,...Read More
There was a time when Cinco de Mayo meant tequila, nachos, and, well, more tequila. But, now that we have kids, we’ve dialed back the drinking and dialed up the family-friendly fun so that we can all enjoy a Mexican fiesta on the fifth of May. If you feel like getting in on the action, check out these easy Cinco de Mayo party ideas—over 24 finds from decorations to activities, songs to recipes—to help make your day fun for all ages. Comida (Food) First and foremost, in my house, Cinco de Mayo means Mexican food. If it does in...Read More
Even though I love wine, I find the experience of selecting wine a little overwhelming. I never remember what I love most, can’t seem to buy the same bottle twice (unless, of course, it’s a wine I didn’t enjoy), and always feel like I’m relying on others to figure out what to buy. Glassful, a new monthly subscription box service (or call it a newfangled wine-of-the-month club) from the caring oenophiles at at Glassful HQ in New York City, is meant for people like me. They assess your taste in wine and delivers three bottles that have been curated just for you every month,...Read More
Tips and tricks for throwing the best Oscar party, serving the best food and drinks, and making off with the Oscars pool.
Sunday night is Oscar Night! Or as so many of us think of it, Oscar party night. So I’ve scoured the web for some easy Oscars party tips and printables, because it’s the perfect excuse to get together with friends, dish on the dresses, talk through the technical categories, and tweet your favorite snarky comments. And of course, set up your Netflix and Amazon lists for the next few months. Because like so many parents, I’ve only seen a couple of the movies nominated. Except the animated category, of course. We’ve seen all those. Twice.. Related Post: Where to to see all...Read More
Last summer, Keurig Green Mountain released the latest version of their K-Cup brewer, the Keurig 2.0, with a new feature that only allows brewing of authorized K-Cup pods. Convenience coffee drinkers across the nation were understandably up in arms, but they can rest now (or be more alert?) thanks to the Freedom Clip for Keurig 2.0 from Rogers Family Company. This small plastic device essentially overrides the lockout technology and allows the new Keurig machine owners to brew coffee of their choice from most non-approved K-Cup type pods. Oh yeah, and it’s free. How’s that for sticking it to a monopoly? Of course this isn’t all about benevolence;...Read More
I admit it: I’m the cliche food person for whom the Super Bowl is all about food. I love anything with guacamole, nachos of all kinds, and even get excited about trying t make healthy game day recipes for our crew. But for me, the buck stops at beer. Or at least it used to; ever since I realized that even my wine snob husband opts for a cold bottle of brew on game day, I’ve been trying to keep an open mind, and these creative beer cocktail recipes are helping me. It’s just what it sounds like: Beer and liquor mixed into one...Read More
A peek into our food archive shows that we’re big into smoothies. But no matter how many awesome smoothie recipes we track down for you, nothing will compare to having a constantly updated collection in your back pocket from the smoothie master herself, Tess Masters of The Blender Girl. Her new The Blender Girl Smoothies app is making that one delicious reality. My kids and I are smoothie junkies. I love creating them, finding new recipes for them and we all love drinking them, so this app was meant for me. That said, I’m picky about apps, and don’t stick with them if the nav is frustrating and if...Read More
Smoothies can be a tasty way to take in—or feed your kids—a hefty dose of fruits and veggies. They can also be packed with sugar. The natural sugar that comes from whole fruit is definitely preferable to added sugar from juice, sweetened nut and seed butters, sweetened milks, flavored yogurts (which tend to have loads of refined sugars), honey, and other sweeteners that are called for in many smoothie recipes. So here are my 5 tips for how to make a smoothie that tastes great without tons of added sugar. 1. Swap in coconut water for juice. Coconut water contains...Read More
Knowing how to make mulled wine is at the top of my holiday season skills list, along with pie making, gift wrapping, and secret keeping. (I score 2 out of 4. Can you guess my failures?!) Mulled wine is one of my favorite winter drinks. Like a warm version of sangria, it is packed with citrus and boosted with holiday spices. Make a big batch of this mulled wine recipe and keep it warm all day to keep the wine-drinkers in your family happy. To make this mulled wine, you’ll need: 4 750ml bottles of red wine (see...Read More
Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be a blockbuster affair. In fact, some of the best holiday gatherings are small, impromptu get togethers and relaxed gatherings with easy cocktail party foods, festive snacks and, of course, seasonal drinks. During the holidays especially, I stock my pantry with these snack foods so that I can invite people over whenever the whim strikes. With these goodies on hand, I know my guests will be well fed—without any hard work. Lesley Stowe Crisps Crackers are a must at any gathering, and I’m not talking about everyday butter crackers. Don’t get me wrong, those...Read More
I’d like to think that calories don’t count over the holidays. In fact, that IS what I think while indulging in classic holiday treats like decadent hot chocolate and gingerbread desserts. Cocktails, though, are a place where I can skimp on calories without missing out on taste, too—these 7 skinny holiday drinks are proof. And, hey, the fewer calories I use on cocktails, the more I’ll happily enjoy Christmas cookies. This seasonal Apple Spiced Martini created by Chef Marcus Samuelsson and found in Redbook is packed with warm holiday spice. The simple syrup used to sweetened this drink is made...Read More
9 of the best creative hot chocolate recipes for snowy days. Because calories don’t count over the holidays, right?
Hot chocolate goes with all winter activities at my house, whether we’re picking out a Christmas tree or going out to see the lights. Making homemade hot chocolate is so easy that I kind of feel guilty using the powered mix from the grocery. Even though there are some very very good ones. Besides, we’re making memories, mamas! So trying out some of these super creative hot chocolate recipes for ourselves is part of the fun. First off, you must try the thick, spicy concoction that is the Aztec Hot Chocolate recipe (above) from A Beautiful Mess. It’s dark and a little bit bitter and...Read More
The best Thanksgiving wines for $20 or less, plus tips for picking your own holiday wine (no snobbery included).
You’ve planned and prepped for your Thanksgiving meal and then suddenly you remember: wine! (Or is that just me?) I generally drink wines I like, no matter what’s on the table–I’m easy that way. The Thanksgiving challenge is that there’s so much on the table, with so many bold, rich flavors, it’s hard to figure out how to pair wines with Thanksgiving dinner. However putting a little bit of thought into your Thanksgiving wines can help keep you from serving ones that clash with the many flavors of the day. Nothing too fancy, though; all of my Thanksgiving wine picks are $20...Read More
The long season of “eat, drink, and be merry” is almost upon us, so it’s time for you pregnant, breastfeeding, or abstaining-from-alcohol mamas to consider what you’ll be sipping from now until the ball drops on another year. Fortunately, there’s Momosas: Fun Alcohol-Free Drinks For Expecting Moms , a brand-new recipe book that is filled with over 130 interesting recipes for mocktails, blender drinks, and other concoctions. They’re so yummy, you won’t miss the alcohol at all. Especially the next morning. Despite the title and the cutesy drink names like Stork Choice, Rubber Ducky, and The Pacifier, Momosas is a smart, nicely designed book chock-full of gorgeous...Read More
While all the Starbucks gift cards over the years have been pretty cool, I’m person number 65,474 who saw the brand new, limited edition sterling silver Starbucks gift card and immediately knew someone on my list would be needing one. Which is easily why you can’t even get one online anymore. But if you do pop into your favorite Starbucks, or hey, even the Starbucks across the street from your favorite Starbucks (that one was for the Christopher Guest fans) you can grab one in person. And yes, it’s real, jewelry-quality 925 sterling silver and comes in that gorgeous pouch. It’s a $200 card with $50...Read More
One of the best things about the northeast this time of year is the abundance of crisp, ripe apples–and the fresh, natural apple juice we can grab at the farmer’s market. My kids are becoming such connoisseurs, they actually know the difference between a Fuji and a Macintosh, are so-so on Red Delicious, and beg for Honeycrisp at the store–at which point I have to explain that they cost twice as much as the others. So I was really psyched to get to try ‘Tude Natural Apple Juice and put my kids and their know-it-all apple attitudes to the test. Oh and I...Read More