Tag: holiday gift ideas

Diverse, interracial dollhouse families: Reader Q&A

After featuring Georgette’s post on 6 toymakers making diverse interracial dolls for kids, Facebook fan Melissa asked us if we know of any interracial dollhouse families. I love this question. So many of us want to bring more diversity into all our kids’ doll collections, whether you have children whose heritage is Asian, African or Latino and they want dolls that reflect themselves back to them; or you have Caucasian children, like my daughter, who has racial and ethnic diversity among her closest friends and family members, and loves surrounding herselves with dolls that reflect her world. That said, most dollhouse families you find...

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3 artsy, whimsical craft kits for kids with big imaginations

For the little girls in my life, ages 6–9 has been a craftaholic phase. One that’s moving away from cardboard and pipe cleaners and more toward DIY craft kits for kids that result in beautiful finished products they can keep themselves or give to others — like to their favorite aunt on Christmas (hint). And since crafting can be a fun bonding time for us, I’ve been looking for artsy DIY kits for kids that don’t require too much painstaking detail work and that are totally self-contained, so we can eliminate any frenzied last-minute trips to the art supply store. Three cheers...

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16 seriously amazing beauty stocking stuffers, beyond nail polish and hand cream.

If you’ve got a stylish woman in your life, I’ve got some really fantastic ideas for you for beauty stocking stuffers. My checklist: They have to be practical, useful, affordable (well, relatively) and yet still totally fun to receive. Maybe things she would love but would never get for herself? In other words, sorry store-brand dental floss. You may be practical, but you’re not making the list. So here are 16 of my own favorite beauty stocking stuffers that include practical tools and special little beauty indulgences, most of which are fixtures in my own handbag and medicine cabinet. They’re guaranteed to...

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My favorite holiday gifts: 5 cool cocktail gifts I want in my stocking.

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...

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17 of the best subscription gifts for kids: From babies to teens, we’ve found something for everyone.

It feels like the holidays are going to be here in a minute, and I’m not ready! If you’re like me and are still scrambling for a few great gifts that will make your kids think you’re pretty awesome, then you might want to look into one of the cool subscription gifts for kids we’ve been scouting out. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen so many companies with such good ideas for subscription boxes that range from developmental toys for babies to science kits for our bigger kids. And we know from experience that our kids are thrilled to receive actual, real packages...

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10 fabulous holiday gifts under $25 for the whole family

Whether you’re finishing up your holiday shopping or just getting started (hey, no judgment here!) we always love finding cool gifts that are easy to get a hold of and won’t break the budget. Even better when they’re all at the same shop, so you can just zip around one store, or click around a single website and check off everyone on your list. This holiday season, we’re so happy to welcome back our sponsor JCPenney, especially because they’ve got everyone in your family covered with tons of fantastic brands and big sales on so many fabulous gifts, from chic fashion finds to toys for the kids to...

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This ancestry kit is a great gift for the grandparents who have everything.

Put that boring pair of slippers back on the shelf. We’ve found the perfect gift for the grandparents who already have everything. It’s cool, it’s educational, and it involves spit and bragging rights. The Geno 2.0 DNA analysis kit from National Geographic and Helix is so, so easy to use, making it perfect for anyone’s grandparents to enjoy. Gramps, Nonna, Mimi, or whomever you choose gives a swipe of saliva and mails it in. And in just a few weeks, they will receive an email with the results. You’ll get to see a breakdown of their regional ancestry dating back oh, 200,000 years or so,...

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This year’s best new books for Christmas, to help your kids get even more excited for the big day.

My family has a tradition of reading Christmas books at bedtime every night during Advent. Some years, I wrap each holiday book in our collection, so they’ll be surprised which book we’re reading each night. Other years, we take turns choosing a favorite. But every year, I like to add new books to our collection. And this year is no exception. I was excited to find some new, beautifully illustrated traditional stories as well as some clever books that are quick, funny reads (perfect for those nights when we’ve been out to a holiday party way past bedtime). I’ll be adding a couple of...

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6 DIY holiday gifts for teachers from the kids that will get an A+

When it comes to holiday gifts for teachers, as a former teacher myself I know first-hand that there is no way to really thank the fantastic teachers of the world enough for all that they do. All day long. Every day. But there are still meaningful holiday gifts for teachers that I think start to do the trick. And, take it from me, a gift with meaning doesn’t have to mean it’s pricey. Truthfully, even when I received a generous gift card to my favorite book store, I usually used it to purchase more books for the classroom. But really it was the handmade...

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An amazing one-day sale on movies that supports an amazing cause too.

Right in time for last-minute holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, I’ve discovered the Entertainment AIDS Alliance, which is offering popular DVDs and Blu-Ray discs at 30–90% off retail, all to provide services through 155 of the best organizations helping those afflicted with HIV and AIDS. The one catch: You’ve got to order right now! Related: 35 fab gifts that give back to 35 fab charities — from Broadway Cares to St. Jude’s to Every Mother Counts We’re talking really good film options, from the entire Downton Abbey series to new releases like Secret Life of Pets, Zootopia, X-Men Apocalypse, the 2016 Jungle Book, Batman v...

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5 of our favorite drugstore lip balms that work as well as the pricey stuff

December brings holiday cheer, festive fun, and hella chapped lips. And considering the nearest Ulta is 38 miles from my house, I don’t always have the most posh options for lip care here in the mountains. So I’ve put together some terrific drugstore lip balms out there I love that are affordable and actually work really well too. Plus, for all us last-minute shoppers, these lip balms make the perfect little stocking stuffers. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 6 Sephora Collection products you need in your makeup bag, stat   Burt’s Bees Lip Balm in Ginger Spice ($3–5) If you’re a firm believer that Pumpkin...

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Web Coolness: Princess Leia gingerbread, the Hamilton Rudolph mashup, gift ideas for the hardest people on your list and more

Here are some things we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too!   Princess Leia Gingerbread Cookies! Total win from the always brilliant Just Jenn (and one of our favorite geeky Twitter follows) for the Star Wars blog. Gifts that give back: The HSTRY Black Santa Ugly Christmas Sweater designed by Nas is donating proceeds to prison reform. (And it’s definitely cooler than the Royal Family’s Christmas sweaters. Eek!) Be sure to check out the brand new 2016 Cool Mom Tech holiday gift guide, and a chance to win your own iPad Air! Terrific ideas for 15 cool...

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We got WHAT for Christmas? The answers to all your holiday questions | Spawned episode 61

With so many holiday dilemmas and conundrums, we decided to ask you, our awesome readers and listeners, what holiday questions you’d love to hear us answer on the air. And wow, you delivered! On this extra special, extended version of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we tackle your funny, challenging, and serious holiday questions, offering our tips, tricks, and advice. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we did answering. You can listen right here, right now, or head over to iTunes and subscribe to Spawned (it’s free, and easy), so you never miss an episode. If you have an...

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Chic winter accessories that look great, and give back in a big way too.

Everyone has that person on their list who’s impossible to buy for because they already have it all. And while I try to opt for more meaningful gifts in these situations — like donations to a cause they’d appreciate — a printed receipt shoved in an envelope always feels a bit anti-climactic in the midst of the ribbon-snapping, wrapper-flinging reverie. But since working at Cool Mom Picks, I’ve discovered that there’s a whole world of amazing tangible gifts that also give back. Which is why I love these chic winter accessories by Echo and their Share the Warmth initiative. For every scarf, hat, or pair of gloves...

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Bring on the holiday cheer with 4 great gifts for new moms that support amazing causes too.

If you’ve already checked out our awesomely extensive holiday gift guide this year, which of course we hope you have, you know we’ve handpicked the very best gifts for pretty much everyone on your nice list — from your hard to please mother-in-law to that coworker you want to impress without spending more than $15. And, of course, we couldn’t forget about gifts for new moms. So here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite gifts for new moms that support amazing causes too. Because we all know new motherhood is one gigantic step toward remembering to put others before ourselves,...

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Custom superhero action figures for kids with imagination

With Marvel and DC pretty much taking over entertainment for the past decade or so, plenty of kids are clamoring for superhero action figures for the holidays. But what I think is even cooler than Chris Evans in miniature (not that I’d complain if I had the full-size version, ahem) is a new company that lets you customize your own superhero action figure, right down to the sex, skin tone, name, and superpowers. Started by a husband-wife team, Hero Me Lab is a small company I discovered when they reached out to send me an action figure to check out and…wow. Color me super impressed. (Get...

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Cool, modern Christmas tree skirts that go with your own home decor, not Grandma’s.

We’re pulling out the Christmas decorations and dusting off the ornaments around here, and I’m realizing that one easy way to spruce up my holiday decor is with a fresh, new tree skirt. But have you ever searched for a modern Christmas tree skirt? They’re nearly impossible to come by. So I’m delighted to discover the wonderful modern Christmas tree skirts new at Minted this year. The designs are so crisp and clean, they add just the right amount of color and fun to your holiday decor. (And don’t miss out on a discount code they’re offering, right now!) Related: 14 festive and fun advent calendars to count...

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The great holiday cookie gift guide: Something for every sweet tooth on your list.

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....

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6 unexpected nativity sets your kids can actually play with

Let’s face it: Some nativity sets are just begging to be played with. Their tiny animal figurines and family of little dolls is simply irresistible to little hands. And as anyone who’s ever tried to convince a preschooler that these are not actually toys knows, not touching the pieces is an uphill (and, often, losing) battle. I can’t even count the number of shepherds and cows my sisters and I lost or shattered as kids. And let’s not even get into all the places we hid the baby Jesus (cough, hamster cage). So maybe this year, instead of breaking out (heh) your ceramic Jesus, Mary, and...

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Bitsbox: The fantastic STEM gift idea that taught my 4 kids to code their own apps.

It’s no secret that parents love finding tech gifts for kids that we can justify as being both fun and educational, but the true test isn’t whether we think they’re cool — but rather, whether our own kids play with them. Over and over again. That’s why we we’re so thrilled to have partnered with our newest sponsor Bitsbox. (And you dedicated Spawned podcast listeners already know just how thrilled!) This clever subscription box gift masterfully and clearly teaches kids how to code their own apps that actually work on smartphones and tablets. Like my 9-year-old son’s Burping Obama app. (Not coming to an app store near you,...

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