Tag: gifts for teens + tweens

Great First Communion dresses that are sweet, not mini Bride? – Reader Q&A

Please help me find a First Communion dress that is a) not a bazillion dollars and b) not made out of that super scratchy cheap lace? The dress needs to be mostly white and dressy, but not too mini-bride! -Cathy We totally get what you mean about avoiding the “mini bride” look, Cathy—some of the styles out there are way more fancy than my wedding dress!  Here are some ideas we’ve pulled for you. Hopefully this will help you find something you (and your daughter) will love.   We reviewed Soft Clothing a little while ago, and while their...

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A gift bag that truly has H.E.A.R.T.

Somewhere in between bargain hunting and gift wrapping I make sure that I stop to think about how blessed I am in so many ways. After all, isn’t that what this season is supposed to be about? Fashionology, a fun, interactive, design-your-own-clothes website agrees, and has come up come up with a smart (and stylish) way to help women and children who have been victims of abuse, sexual assault or domestic violence. Fashionology teamed up with H.E.A.R.T (Helping Ease Abuse-Related Trama) and put together a $40 gift bag that is sure to brighten the spirit of the young girls...

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Want an incredible collection of Modern Art? Go Fish

I learned long ago that the best way for my son to learn about “boring” things was to find creative ways to teach him. Although I personally am fascinated by Modern Art, he could probably not be able to withstand an extended visit to the MoMA. Which made the Go Fish for Modern Art card game the perfect way to introduce him to the subject. It’s played just like the traditional game of Go Fish, but each card features beautiful contemporary art from the likes of Andy Warhol, Paul Klee and Marc Chagall. Younger kids can just match colors...

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The perfect little gift for the tween who has everything. (And don’t they all?)

Got a tween girl on your list this year? I don’t, I confess. But if I did, I totally know what I’d get her. (See, isn’t that always the way? Now if only I could trade this great tween gift idea with someone who knows the perfect thing for a 62-year-old man, my holiday shopping would be taken care of.) My own gift-giving woes aside, these little Ladybug Earbuds at The Conran Shop are so cute I could eat them. They’re compatible with any 3.5 mm headphone socket so her iPod touch, MP3, computer and whatever else she can...

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Get your freak on

I’ve seen my neighbor’s tween struggling with a full school backpack, so I may have to play Santa and pass a Freak-O-Bag her way for those days when a few extra books threaten to topple her onto her back. Now, even my mom knows how smart it is to keep a portable reusable bag folded up and clipped to her pocketbook, but trust me, these are no grandma shopping bags. Instead, the Freak-O-Bag normally looks like a little creature dangling from wherever it is clipped. But, when needed, the “pets” transform into a generous 16″x16″ reusable tote. The original...

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The Whiplash Scooter according to Brodie – 4.5 stars out of 5

When the makers of the popular Wave skateboard asked me to send their much buzzed-about new Whiplash Scooter for a test drive, I was like uh…not on your life. But I have a 12 year-old nephew named Brodie who I knew could give me the scoop since that’s who should be riding these crazy things in the first place, and not 40-something moms with strong self-preservation instincts. His eloquent sixth-grade verdict? “It’s very fun!” And this from a kid who tried the Wave skateboard once but could barely get on it. After hearing him rave about it, it’s not...

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Shoelace chic

Tween girls are often the hardest to shop for at the holidays – everything they covet seems to be a fortune (iPod Touch, I’m talking to you) and most of the inexpensive gifts are hopelessly disposable. But I think I just found a home run with the affordable Japanese fabric shoelaces at Spoon sisters. Okay, to get technical they’re actually Japanese fabric inspired, but so what. The cool kimono patterns will make any pair of shoes stand out, at a time when girls are looking to figure out their own personal style and make their mark. And they sure...

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Not your ordinary colored pencils

I still remember being about seven and getting my first set of “serious colored pencils” from my mom. I recall the pride of knowing I’d outgrown the kid stuff, and that I had been deemed worthy enough to own art supplies that came in a fancy tin with French words on it. So I was flooded with great memories when I saw the Artemis Plant Colored Pencils at the Wooden Wagon. These German-made pencils come in a lovely wooden box, and derive their soft color palette from plants like buckthorn, indigo and madder root. It’s not a toddler gift...

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Make your own holiday ornaments – so awesome

If you’re looking to knock off a half-dozen of teacher gifts or cousin gifts or classmate gifts in one fell swoop, I love the idea of the holiday ornament kit from CMP fave, Thomas Claire. This wonderful mom-run company will hook you up with a dozen unfinished ceramic ornaments, the paints, brushes and everything else your kids need to make their own sunglass-wearing snowmen and purple Christmas trees. Then you send your custom-painted ornaments back, and the company will glaze and fire them for you and return them finished. It even comes with six cute little plastic gift bags...

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Cool Gifts for the Holidays? Look no further than our Holiday Gift Guide!

Steer clear of the fruitcake and stinky pine candles, mamas! If it’s cool holiday gifts you’re looking for, then we’ve got you covered with our brand spankin’ new 2009 Holiday Gift Guide. We’ve scoured the web to help you solve every holiday gift giving dilemma and keep your butts out of the mall with over 100 (Yes that’s right! 100!) of the coolest holiday gift ideas in every price range – whether you’re shopping for that vehicle-obsessed toddler, the perfect grandparents, or your Twilight obsessed niece. Niece – riiiiiiight. And aside from the recession-friendly prices, like a whole bunch of super cool Hanukkah...

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Jewelry making kits that might just make your holidays too

This year we’re teaching the kids more about the joy of giving, so I wanted them to think of something they could make for their (mostly girl) cousins. Then along came the jewelry making kits from Bijoux in a Box and bam, problem solved. Designed by mom Nancy Whitman, the kits are sorted by age, skill level and project so you find get just what you’re looking for. And the beads themselves are nicer than you might expect from the website, from exotic wooden beads to metallics to the jewel-inspired acrylics that little girls (and the Real Housewives of...

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Pay it forward, the game.

Is there anything better than random acts of kindness? Well, maybe intentional acts of kindness. And if anyone is going to start a worldwide kindness revolution, my money is on the women behind Boom Boom! Cards. Essentially each of the 26 cards in this nice little kit provides a suggestion for an act of kindness, like buying a stranger a coffee, giving five genuine compliments, or picking up litter on the ground. My favorite though, is writing to a mentor or teacher to thank them for the contributions they’ve made to your life. After you do the deed, pass...

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Avast ye scurvy neckwear!

Right in time for Halloween, I stumbled upon this most adorable skull and crossbones scarf at Admiral Road, made out of the same soft, cozy fleece as their personalized fleece blankets. I can imagine that even the most difficult, scarf-eschewing kids wouldn’t mind wrapping their necks in this little guy and heading out for a day of apple picking or pillaging small seaside villages. It’s loooong – like 60″ long, so it’s probably best for bigger kids. Or maybe you? At just 12 bucks, get one for both of you. (Just don’t wear them at the same time.) While...

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Dwell bedding provides some sweet girly dreams

When I went on the hunt for new toddler bedding for my daughter recently, I was amazed at some of the adorable options out there these days. One that really caught my eye is the Paper Dolls duvet set from Dwell Home Furnishings. The bedding features the classic paper dolls in fresh modern colors that are sweet and girly without being frilly. I love that this set says “girl” and not “baby,” which I think she will appreciate as well. And it will easily transition with her from little girl as she grows into a (gasp!) big girl. Well,...

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Custom cons! Custom cons!

What’s cooler than a pair of Chuck Taylor Converse high tops? How about a pair of canvas Chucks that your kid gets to customize from the outer pattern down to the color of the shoelaces? I know! I am swooning! The Converse website is really easy to navigate and you and your kids will have so much fun playing around with the “make it yourself” process. From gray skulls to pink polka dots, the 10-step process even allows you to print your kid’s own name up the back of each sneaker. The price is also incredibly reasonable — each...

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LEGO moderne

I always thought that LEGOs were cute for making walls and towers, maybe the occasional weird angular horses or something. I honestly had no idea that now you could make, oh, say…the Guggenheim Museum. Right in time for the NY landmark’s 50th anniversary. The reviews on the LEGO site are really funny – “flet3her” complains of the Seattle Space Needle LEGO set that “the banquet hall at the bottom is barely represented” but for those of you not looking for a perfect replica, but just a cool gift for an older kid, or some seriously great design-geek objects for...

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Faster than a speeding bagel…

Personally I believe that Seth Rogan is the Woody Allen of our generation. So when he sported this Superjew Tee in the movie Funny People my immediate thought was Love it! Not, Hm, why don’t they make those for kids? But, sometimes Hollywood knows what we want before we do. Case in point, the 100% cotton Superjew Tee which is now at the top of my must-have list in time for the High Holidays. Especially because a percentage of the proceeds goes towards charitable organizations. Oh, and be sure to order up a size as the shirts tend to...

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Brains = Cool

With my daughter starting kindergarten, I’ve been thinking a lot about kids thinking lately. And more specifically: how to make thinking cool to my kid. Part of the problem? Pop culture surrounds kids with celebrations of the body, not the mind. That’s why I love the new Thinkers Collection of kids’ tees at Peek … Aren’t You Curious? The innovative t-shirt designs turn ideas from Newton, Einstein, Descartes and Copernicus into teams to cheer on. But they’re not ordinary shirts–these fabulously constructed 2-in-1 thermal tees combine adult-clothing detailing and quality with kid-approved softness — lessons taken from co-founder Amy...

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Three cheers for custom pennants!

I used to love the show Happy Days–remember Arnold’s and all the sports pennants hanging all over the walls? (You do remember Happy Days, right? I can’t be that old.) I guess that’s why I loved these personalized felt pennants from Kristine Kaye which made me feel so nostalgic. How cool would it be to have a pennant made with your kid’s name in his favorite colors and maybe throw in a number (like his age) to boot? Every one of the letters is hand cut which makes them more special than something machine printed. Or, you can just...

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Why settle for a mere octopus, when you can make a Socktopus

I just do not have that kind of creativity it would entail to look at a traditional sock monkey and think, Hmm, I bet I could improve on that. But that’s what CMP fave Clarity Miller did when she turned one into a Socktopus. It’s virtually the same, only with 8 more arms for your kid to hit her sister with. If you are the crafty type however, the new Socktopus kits come with the sock, stuffing, needle and thread, buttons for eyes, and all the super clear directions you need to make your own. It’s a fantastic under-$20...

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