Those of us Hanukkah revelers have always had slimmer pickings when it comes to great modern music. But now Adam Sandler and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings have some great new company thanks to the Maccabeats, who are just out with Hasmonean: A Hamilton Hanukkah. If you have been loving Hamildolph as much as we all have, I think you’ll also dig this version of Lin Manuel Miranda’s opus, which happens to be a good history lesson too. Especially for those of you not quite as familiar with the backstory behind the Festival of Lights. Related: 8 of the most amazing printable Hanukkah coloring pages, one for each crazy night Oh and the...Read More
Web coolness: The great big holiday edition featuring hilarious videos, articles, last minute gift help + more
Here are some of the links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Chewbacca singing Silent Night. That is all. Check out the funniest Christmas tweets, videos, stories and humor on the web. Who else needs these right now? Need ideas for last-minute holiday gifts? Got you covered, big time. Also, 28 cool ideas for tech stocking stuffers that we’d take any time of year. Fun twists on traditional Hanukkah recipes. Marzipan, Dark Chocolate + Orange Rugelach? ZOMG. Already onto gift wrapping? Check out the cutest printable gift tags, mostly free! (Liz went with...Read More
It should be obvious by now that here at Cool Mom Picks, we love presents. (We have 350 of them in this year’s holiday gift guide, which we think you should check out, if you haven’t already.) But even more, we love when our gifts give back in big ways. And what better way to get in the spirit of giving this holiday season than with toys for kids who need it most? So, here, I’ve rounded up some of the best ways for families to donate toys to children this month. Add them to your list, and get your own...Read More
Those of you who are also fans of Cool Mom Eats (and hey, thank you!) know that I’m all about coming up with smart solutions to help busy parents with home cooked meals that still feed our families quickly and easily. Especially this time of year, when presumably most of us would rather spend our time hanging with the family, not stuck in the kitchen. Well, depending on the family of course. (Heh.) So we’re here to help with some smart kitchen shortcuts and easy holiday recipes that keep meals simple, speedy, healthy, and above all, totally delicious — thanks in part to our...Read More
Gold coins are a must for Hanukkah, but you don’t have to settle for the waxy ones at the store that make your teeth itch. Check out these six amazing kinds of gourmet gelt and revel in quality ingredients, fair trade cocoa, and posh packaging. There’s even one just for grown-ups. Really. It says so on the packaging. But, we think you can share. A little. Tis the season after all. Related: Modern Hanukkah gifts for kids that make 8 days of giving easier | Cool Mom Picks holiday gift guide 2016 Gelt Pail ($32, Freds at Barneys New York)...Read More
We’ve recently become Cheryl’s Cookies converts around here, after having received a generous gift basket delivery of their buttercream cookies. (Now that’s a friend.) And now…they’re our newest sponsor! Which makes us very happy. If, very hungry, because we’ve spent an inordinate number of hours browsing their site this past week. It’s amazing how many incredible, affordable treats they offer that make thoughtful and convenient holiday gifts. (ZOMG, cookie cards!) From their famous buttercream frosted cookies in the cutest shapes and designs, to make-your-own kits for kids, holiday tins and giant towers…well, just saying, be careful browsing on an empty stomach....Read More
While I think using an heirloom Hanukkah menorah that has been passed down from previous generations is a lovely idea, it’s also nice to have a menorah just for kids, to help get them as excited about lighting the candles as they are about eight days of gifts. And there are so many fabulous, kid-friendly menorahs out there this year, we could barely narrow it down. From cute menorahs for younger kids, to edgier options that will appeal to tweens and teens, take a look at these 12 cool options that Liz and I found, and see if one makes it...Read More
It’s time for me to start thinking about sending out our Christmas cards again. Yikes! I haven’t even scheduled a family photo session and I still need to update my address book. School and work and sports — not to mention the major distraction of the election — has left me way behind schedule. But the thing is, this year more than ever, I’m wanting to send out the good vibes of love, warmth, and peace to my friends and family. Because we need it, right? These beautiful modern, uplifting holiday cards we found at some of our favorite shops go beyond the traditional Merry Christmas...Read More
Do you know how hard it is to find good free Hanukkah coloring pages for kids? Like, really hard. Who knew that tracking 8 of them down would be another Hanukkah miracle! I searched a long time to find what I think are some of the best Hanukkah coloring pages on the web, wanting them to be artful, nicely illustrated, not uploaded to virus-laden sites (oy) , and that don’t require you to watch 16 ads before having the ability to download. Tall order, but, I’ve found 8 great free options. Or, one for each night. (Above: Adult Hanukkah Mandala by Emerlye Arts) Best of all, some of...Read More
Awesome holiday cards from Minted: You pick them, they address them. Actually, they may pay for them, too.
If thinking about your holiday card photos already is stressing you out, take a deep breath. Because we’re about to make it easier for you in a whole lot of ways. First off, our amazing sponsor Minted (yay, Minted!) is back with a brand new indie designer-created holiday card collection for 2015 and we’re sharing some favorite holiday cards from Minted to help you pare down your choices from the zillions of gorgeous designs. Trust us, it was tough. If you’re familiar with them, you know that we’ve all been huge fans of their cards for years, because they not only support small designers from around the...Read More
8 of the best jelly donut recipes for Hanukkah. Or for anybody, anytime. Because donuts are non-denominational.
If you’re not Jewish, get ready to wish that you were: Jelly donuts are a traditional Hanukkah food. As in, you must eat them to celebrate the holiday or you get kicked out of the tribe. Okay, you don’t really have to eat them, but you can and should, and these delicious jelly donut recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers and editors are proof. By the way: no judgments if you make one of these jelly donut treats and don’t celebrate Hanukkah. If anything brings us together as one, it’s donuts. These Blackberry Jam and Custard Donuts (above &...Read More
14 of the most beautiful free printable holiday gift tags and paper to make gifts look great for less.
Every year, we are so indebted to the amazing graphic designers and bloggers who give us the gift of free printable holiday gift tags and wrapping paper. It’s like they keep getting better every year. While you can always return to our archives, that feature so many fantastic holiday printables of all kinds, we love searching for new ones too. So stock up on your printer ink and some nice quality paper or printable labels, and you’ll have all the gift tags you could possibly need this Christmas and Hanukkah. Give your gifts modern, sophisticated style with a huge selection of printable Black and...Read More
There may be more talk of picky eaters than foodie kids, but some kids really dig food. I know for sure that these seemingly rare creatures exist because I happen to be mother to one. My older son loves eating, looking at food magazines, and is fearless in the kitchen. If you’ve got one like him on your hands too, and are like, eh, he has enough toys…then check out these fun ideas for holiday food gifts for kids. And come to think of it, take a look at these holiday food gifts even if you have a picky eater. Sometimes giving...Read More
15 of the most gorgeous printable holiday crafts for kids and families. Better get those printers warmed up!
Each year, I love rounding up the best printable holiday crafts that so many amazing designers, artists, and all-around crafty people develop so that people like me can create beautiful things with our kids. In fact, they make it so easy for me to print out not only holiday paper crafts, but also beautiful gift tags and vibrant wrapping paper, I never have to make a night-before-Christmas run for those things anymore. (If only I could print tape.) So I’ve put together 15 of my favorite printable holiday crafts to do with the kids this season. And with three kids, you...Read More
Web Coolness: Outrageous gingerbread houses, the best tech toys for kids, and links to help you talk to your kids about race.
Here are the links we’ve been reading around the web this week. We hope you like them too. Outrageous gingerbread houses way nicer than ours (This one: Kapowka on Instagram) The best tech toys and gifts for kids of all ages. Have you entered our holiday gift guide giveaway yet? You’ll want to. A woman in STEM shirt presents an alternative to, uh, That Other Shirt 8 creative hot chocolate recipes for any taste. Can we call it comfort food? More hot chocolate variations via SheKnows. Hanukkah is coming 12/16! Here are 8 fun Hanukkah gift ideas for...Read More
Compared to last year (holy Thanksgivukkah!), it may seem like we have tons of time to prep for Hanukkah, but I have a feeling that the time will fly. Quickly. Before we know it, we’ll be on the hook for eight crazy nights of festivities and, probably Hanukkah gifts for your kids, too. Of course, all of the toys and gifts in this year’s Cool Mom Picks gift guide make great options, especially our ideas for Baby’s First Hanukkah if you have a new baby or toddler. But for older kids, I’ve tracked down these great Hanukkah gifts for kids...Read More
With 8 days of gift giving, Hanukkah is a time for creativity: Something they need, something they want, and so on and so forth until you get to something they can eat. These edible gifts for Hanukkah are a perfect addition to the holiday mix and also make great hostess and family gifts. There’s a tasty little treat in here for everyone, from big to small, silly to gourmet. Edible gifts for Hanukkah for kids Ugly Hanukkah Sweater Cookie Why should Christmas get all the ugly sweater fun? These adorable Ugly Hanukkah Sweater cookies are hysterical and, made...Read More
The gift-giving season is nearly upon us, which means it’s time to think about recognizing all of those people who deserve a little something. For something that’s just a step up from a card, but not quite , I love the ready-packaged giftabls gift kits which include little tokens like a selection of teas, chocolates, fortune cookies, and even some New Year’s ready-confetti. Choose from several thoughtfully curated small presents, type in your gift message, and the company does the rest. Even down to a hand-written note inside the box. If you want to put together your own little goodies or find a creative way...Read More
Those of you who don’t celebrate may not know that before Christmas became the blockbuster that it is today, Chanukkah was a pretty quiet affair. And as hard as Chanukkah tries to keep up (at least in my house where we celebrate both holidays), it’s always a few steps behind Christmas. Until now. The Festival of Lights Chanukkah gift set from Vosges gourmet chocolates is swanky—and delicious—enough to make Chanukkah the winter holiday. At least that’s how eight days of chocolate makes me feel. Like everything that Vosages does, this gift set is beautifully designed. The lucite menorah, which I had the chance...Read More
We can’t believe it, but it’s time to start thinking about holiday cards–if you haven’t already. (And if you’re already done, we bow down to you.) We have to admit we’re a little excited though. Don’t you love checking your mailbox in December and seeing stacks of cards (i.e. not bills) inside? If you want your holiday cards to stand out from the rest, we’ve put together some creative ideas for you on behalf of our newest sponsor, Pear Tree Greetings. We’re so happy to discover how beautiful and surprising affordable their custom cards are. Check out these ten ideas, and we hope...Read More