The thermostat may not reflect it where I live just yet, but tomorrow is officially the first day of fall. And though I likely won’t touch a sweater until November, I’m still finding ways to make it feel like autumn with scented candles, apple picking, and leaf peeping. And, of course, crafting. Nothing evokes cozy autumnal feelings like sitting down with my nieces and a basket of freshly gathered pinecones, paints, and pipe cleaners, and letting our imaginations run wild. I like crafting with pinecones because they tend to be a little easier to handle than acorns, which require some dexterity to paint or glue,...Read More
As a child, I long believed that dreamcatchers capture your nightmares in their web to keep sleep sweet and worry-free. As an adult, they still have a nostalgic pull on me. Plus, they’re really gorgeous. I recently found some truly fantastic DIY dreamcatcher tutorials, and came to realize whether you’re looking for new kids bedroom decor or a way to entertain the kids on a rainy summer day, DIY dreamcatchers will work magic. (I also learned that dream catchers are a type of hair extension, which I don’t recommend kids try as a DIY project). Fun and easy, and with such a cool,...Read More
Of course your love don’t cost a thing and the handmade cards and heartfelt DIY gifts always go straight to the heart. But if you’re looking for a Father’s Day gift under $25 that makes a big splash with a smaller budget, we’ve found some seriously cool ideas for the next installment of our 2016 Father’s Day Gift Guide. Just think of it as us doing all the work searching so you don’t have to. We hope you love them as much as we do! More Father’s Day Gift Guide Posts: *13 awesome Father’s Day gifts for dads who...Read More
‘Tis the season for graduations, whether you’ve got a new college graduate in the family, a niece or nephew graduating from high school, or like me, a sixth grader moving up to middle school. Sniff. While so many of us are looking for just the right special, personalized gift, I am always happy to share ideas that don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. (Because, hey college will do that for you. Heh.) I was really happy to find some thoughtful, affordable graduation gift ideas for anyone on your list — grade school through college — when I browsed through the selection from our newest sponsor, HeidiJHale...Read More
While there are tons of amazing, store-bought Mother’s Day cards these days, I love when my kids take the time to create a handmade Mother’s Day card for me. It gives them an opportunity to be creative, and feel that pride that comes with having made something special by themselves. It’s a money saver too. But beyond that, you can pretty much guarantee that any handmade cards created just for Mom or Grandma will be the kinds of special keepsakes you save even after the flowers and the chocolates are long gone. top image: I Heart Crafty Things I hope you enjoy some of these neat handmade...Read More
I happen to have a mother who’d be more happy with a political biography or a “smash the patriarchy” print for Mother’s Day, than a salt scrub. (Not that she’d turn down a nice salt scrub.) It got me thinking, that I’m sure she’s not alone! So for those of you looking for a cool Mother’s Day gift that’s a little more empowering, a little more forward-thinking, a little more radical than most traditional options, here are a few gifts for progressive moms that I’m totally loving. Just be sure to check ship dates if you’re trying to get them...Read More
10 DIY teacher gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week to remind them how much they’re helping our children grow
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and we definitely want to recognize all the VITs (Very Important Teachers) who help nurture our kids’ love of learning. So, along with a handwritten note of our gratitude, we like the idea of giving a DIY teacher gift that grows. While of course there are tons of cool teacher gift ideas that we’ve recommended here, there’s something special about a hand-potted plant that can be kept on a windowsill in the classroom or brought home to plant outside. So we’ve got 10 neat ideas that are definitely worth a peek. It’s a sweet gesture that can serve as...Read More
I love that it’s become par for the course these days to raise our girls with the knowledge that they can do whatever they want and be whomever they aspire to be — astronaut, organic farmer, singer, plumber, President. And we’re all hoping they use their undeniable powers for good, which, if you think about it, is kind of the essence of a superhero. So, in honor of National Superhero Day (yes, that’s a real thing!), we’ve rounded up some of our favorite superhero gifts for girls who can do, well, anything. (Top image: superhero capes from Lovelane) From dolls and capes to books and artwork, I think these are some wonderful gifts that...Read More
Certain words are especially delightful to parents of babies and young children: Mama. Dada. Go take a nap honey, I’ll clean up. Are you with me? Once you’ve had kids, few things are as precious and elusive as sleep. Oh, sweet sweet sleep. That’s why I love the idea of these personalized sleep masks from The Sleepy Cottage on Etsy for an affordable, very thoughtful Mother’s Day gift. Our editor Liz has ordered a bunch herself over the holidays, and she swears by the craftsmanship and great service from Texas maker Sabrina Evans. Related: The coolest custom mother’s day gifts | 2016 Mothers Day Gift Guide There are...Read More
My kids call my mom Mimi. And my husband’s mom is Grama. They also have a Nana, and their cousins have a Honey. They have friends with a Lolly and a Marnie. But we almost never find gifts for our grandmothers with their actual grandmother names on them — not surprising, right? That’s why I’m loving these beautiful handmade, personalized ornaments from Magic Moon Pottery. With their special grandmother name hand-stamped on it, they’ll know it was made with love just for them. Related: The coolest Mother’s Day gifts for grandmas | 2016 Mothers Day Gift Guide I’m planning to treat the grandmas in our life...Read More
I’ve just discovered the cutest new handbag, The Kinsley Kat, and it’s likely to be pouncing to the top of a few of our accessory wish lists for spring. Designer Sylvia Soo created this adorable clutch for her young niece, but its understated styling (and not so understated price) makes it a lot more versatile than your average tween/teen animal accessory. I can picture it as a clutch that complements a little black dress for a full-grown woman with more whimsical style, but it could also look great worn with the optional strap and jeans if you’re going for a more everyday look. I also love...Read More
Despite living in the land of spring seersucker and smocking — also known as The South — my boys aren’t exactly preppy. And getting them to wear a bow tie on Easter seemed like an impossibility, until I found RougeBox. This little gem of an Etsy shop has amazing pop culture bow ties my boys and I can’t help but love. Owner Joanne Kim creates these handmade ties in Los Angeles, and that big-city cool comes through in every piece. Whether your boy is more a fan of Thor, Star Wars, Wimpy Kid, or Dr. Seuss, I can’t imagine you won’t find one...Read More
Ready for Easter? We weren’t either until we started searching the web for ideas, and got excited when we found so many totally adorable bunny gifts for Easter out there! And there’s no chocolate, Peeps, or jelly beans in this bunch — not that there’s anything wrong with those. We just thought it would be fun to find some cool, non-candy gifts for Easter baskets, for babies all the way up to our not-too-old-for-Easter-gift tweens and teens. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Shaped like those iconic Peeps candies we can’t stop eating despite ourselves, these Easter bunny crayons from Custom Crayons by...Read More
This time of year I start to get a little stuck. The excitement of Valentine’s Day is gone, light is still limited, the weather is frigid. It’s like I just want to imagine myself someplace — anyplace — else. So I started browsing Etsy for globes and found some outrageously wonderful options from California artist Wendy Gold that at least get my mind traveling, if not my body. The custom globes at her shop ImagineNations Vintage Globe Art are more than just an artist with a nice hand taking a Sharpie to a scavenged globe; this is true art with the prices to...Read More
While I’m not big on fake flowers (sorry fake flower fans!) I am big on real flowers, especially when they’re used in a way as gorgeous as the modern, made-to-order resin floral jewelry spotted at Modern Flower Child on Etsy. Each piece from this Oregon artist is entirely one-of-a-kind, as Sarah incorporates real flowers, grasses, and bits of foliage into resin to beautiful effect. It’s funny but from that description alone, I wouldn’t think I would like them. Then I take a look at the result and actually I think they’re quite stunning. That birch bark bangle is just awesome. Or if you’re crushing...Read More
Whether you’re a fan of Valentine’s Day or not, what can we say — we’ll always take the chance to put a little more love out there. Or you know, just to get a Huey Lewis earworm in our readers heads for the rest of the day. Whether you’re celebrating with the kids, your beloved, or a big box of chocolates and a date with Netflix, we wish you all the the love in the world today. Happy Valentine’s Day! xo Kristen + Liz and team Cool Mom Picks Power of Love crossstitch: Not So Modern...Read More
Today starts the Lunar New Year, and lots of little Year of the Monkey babies are soon to be born. If not already. I’ve always loved Tree by Kerri Lee‘s beautiful wooden birth year blocks, which a make sweet gift for a special little someone. Handcrafted by artist Kerri Lee and featured in her sister’s Etsy shop, you can order these in three colors, all of which feature characteristics of a Year of the Monkey baby. I think they make such lovely, affordable keepsakes, whether the lucky recipient is super into the Chinese zodiac, or just appreciates the thoughtfulness of a...Read More
We always have the best time looking for cool Valentine’s Day gift ideas for our kids, whether they’re toddlers, tweens or teens. Hey, it’s not like they’re expecting spendy chocolate truffles or diamond jewelry! Of course not every family exchanges Valentine’s gifts — and we still think cards are always terrific — but for those who do, we love all of these cool Valentine’s gifts for kids. Think of them as sweet ways for kids to give a little love to a sibling or best friend, or for parents or grandparents to shower a child with love, with something besides those chalky...Read More
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, cold weather, and rebellion streaks, I spotted this adorable girls mohawk snowboard hat on Etsy, beautifully handmade at the Washington State shop, Tory Makes. It can be sized for punk rock babies through preschoolers, teens and even adults, though it’s my hat-addicted 8-year-old who really wants one. (Seriously, she’s like Jay of Jay and Silent Bob fame with the hat…always the hat!) Related: 16 of the sweetest first Valentine’s gifts for babies. There are some other colors and styles that might be more appropriate for little dudes or pink-averse girls, in shades of gray, turquoise,...Read More
The weather outside may finally have us shaking in our boots, but I’m feeling kind of warm inside just looking at the cutest handmade winter fleece hats for babies and toddlers from Mrs PTB on Etsy. They’ll almost make you want to leave the warmth of your house just to hear the ooohs and ahhhs of the passersby when they see your child all bundled up. Made of soft fleece by Philadelphia crafter Angelique Buckley, there’s nothing scratchy to bother sensitive kids who normally rip a hat off in five seconds flat. And the under-the-chin snap closure–which can be replaced by velcro on request–helps...Read More
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