Tag: holidays

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...

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giftabls mini gift boxes: When a regular greeting card isn’t quite enough.

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...

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Wonderful vintage Christmas ornaments and decor on Etsy: And a very merry, mid-century Christmas to you too.

I think bringing vintage Christmas ornaments and other goodies into your celebration can bring so much personality to your holiday table setting and the rest of your decor. I really love mid-century items, so anything past the late ’60s gets a little modern kitsch for me–not that there aren’t a few goodies. So I’ve combed Etsy and put together some spectacular vintage Christmas ornaments and other finds I hope you’ll love as much as I do. Hey, sometimes one perfect, perfectly cool ornament makes the perfect little gift and it hasn’t cost you much at all.   Mid-century Christmas tree ornament...

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How to cook a turkey: 5 easy Thanksgiving turkey recipes

We’ve been gearing up for Thanksgiving all week with amazing mashed potato recipes, the easiest cranberry sauce recipes, killer stuffing recipes, tips for how to make homemade pie, and a guide to best mail order pies in the country (a tasty, timesaving approach to Thanksgiving dessert). Now it’s time to talk turkey. Foodies the nation over will be debating the merits of brining, whether to spatchcock (yes, I said that), if frying is worthwhile, and otherwise discussing ad nauseum how to cook a turkey. The rest of us just need a good, easy Thanksgiving turkey recipe, and one of...

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Adorable personalized wooden ornaments for kids who wants to see their own names on the tree. That’s, all of them.

Every Christmas, one of my kids’ favorite things to do is reminisce about each ornament as we hang it on the tree. Sure, it takes us a long time to get the whole thing decorated, but we love trying to remember the story behind each one, and some of the most special are those personalized ornaments we own, customized with names, dates, or pictures right on them. So when I saw the simple and lovely personalized wooden ornaments (they’re bamboo!) from the family-run Graphic Spaces Wood featured in our gift guide in our list of cool personalized gifts for kids, I knew my family needed one. Or...

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Best ever Thanksgiving stuffing recipes: The essential Thanksgiving table

Stuffing is one of those Thanksgiving dishes that I’m always changing. One year cornbread, the next sourdough. Sometimes sausage, other times bacon. Every once in a while I make it in the bird, though mostly it’s done in a separate pot. I’m not yet sure how I’m going to approach stuffing this year, but I know that one of these 8 amazing Thanksgiving stuffing recipes is going to be on my table–and you might be thrilled to have them on yours, too. I’m guessing there’s something here for everyone, no matter how you like your stuffing. Even if you call it dressing....

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3 great Thanksgiving books for kids to be thankful for.

We love Thanksgiving, but we’ll admit it can get the short end of the stick, sandwiched between the Halloween sugar-fest and the merry-and-bright excitement of the holidays. While one of the nice things about Thanksgiving is that it’s about family, not gifts, we still love the idea of putting a few great Thanksgiving books for kids into our storytime rotation. Or hey, set them at the kids’ table, at least long enough to keep them entertained until homemade pie is served.   Combining the traditionally told story of Thanksgiving with the adorably cool Pete the Cat character is a great way to get...

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Web coolness: Amazing Thanksgiving recipes, Anna and Elsa have a new career, and celebrities doing an awesome thing.

Here are our favorite links from around the web this week. Hope you like them too. The Thanksgiving countdown begins! Check out the most amazing recipes for mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, fall salads, and perfect pies. 6 cute Thanksgiving treats for the kids. New York’s top food writers debate pie crusts. A sneak peek of the new Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade floats. 7 easy holiday place setting ideas. Common Sense Media’s Best and worst pop culture moments of 2014.   New to our indie shop: I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry print. We need this. Often. New study: Mothers may be...

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8 seriously amazing mashed potato recipes for Thanksgiving. Or heck, Christmas, Mother’s Day and our birthdays.

I can never eat too many hot, yummy, heaping forkfuls of mashed potatoes. We’re the kind of family that has both homemade stuffing (often more than one kind) and potatoes on the Thanksgiving table. If you’re not running away from me in a carb-phobic panic right now, then we can be friends. Also, I hope you’ll enjoy these awesome mashed potato recipes for Thanksgiving–and way beyond. Oh, and because my totally insane youngest daughter refuses to eat mashed potatoes (I told you–insane) I am forced to take on the hard task of eating her portion myself. So I have double the reason to want...

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Modern holiday table setting tips: A huge array of ideas to keep it easy, affordable, and fun!

Let me first be totally upfront: The idea of setting a holiday table kind of terrifies me. I am not someone who can just effortlessly whip up an Elsa’s castle centerpiece made of handmade gingerbread, or pick up a calligraphy pen and go to town on place cards. I don’t even own fancy china or “holiday” dinnerware because we tend to have holiday dinners elsewhere. I quietly envy the spectacular holiday table settings and place card ideas on Pinterest, and repin them, but in my head I’m thinking, yeah, right. In other words, I’m not living the glorious home decor blogger dream. I’m...

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7 cranberry sauce recipes for every taste: The essential Thanksgiving table

As a professional home cook and recipe developer, I’m always game to change things up, even at a holiday meal. But, if you ask me, certain holiday dishes, like cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving are essential. You can play with them, but don’t think of skipping them. Making cranberry sauce is easy to do—you can even use your slow cooker—and you may be surprised at how inventive you can get, if you want. Check out these 7 cranberry sauce recipes and prepare to be inspired.   Jaimie at My Baking Addiction keeps it simple with her version of Homemade Cranberry Sauce. This recipes...

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Thanksgiving pies that deliver, deliciously

We recently shared our essential tips for how to make a homemade pie, but have a feeling that some of you may skip out on the baking this Thanksgiving. No judgments here if you’d rather place an order and have your Thanksgiving pies delivered. In fact, we’ll help you find the best mail order pies around. Bon Appetit is one of our most trusted sources for foodstuff and they recently did the hard work of tasting 75 mail order pies from around the country. Hard job, right? (I don’t feel bad for them either.) They’ve narrowed it down to...

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Web coolness – The ultimate list of holiday gift ideas, Thanksgiving help, and the toy NOT to get your kids.

Here are our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too.   Our 2014 holiday gift guide is here filled with more than 200 gift ideas for everyone on your list, plenty of discount codes, and a huge giveaway. We hope it helps! (Find those personalized Christmas plates for kids right here.) The most beautiful Advent calendars to help you start the countdown. Still focused on Thanksgiving? Bookmark these 4 Thanksgiving cooking hotlines that can help. Start loading up the tablet for road trips, starting with this excellent, brand new Toca Boca app. New to the Cool Mom Picks Indie...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins of the week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us for fun finds like these every day, from our site and beyond.   1. Every mom needs this coffee mug at some point. Mornings are a good start. 2. A gorgeously affordable necklace perfect for holiday festivities. 3. Easy fall crafts for kids to keep them busy on Thanksgiving. 4. A cool geeky baby gift. 5.  A hot designer bag for under $100 – we’re amazed too....

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8 tips for how to make homemade pie perfectly. Or, you know, nearly perfectly.

We might as well call the holiday season “pie season” if you ask me. That’s honestly what it is—or at least what it should be. Who’s with me? Even if you’re not (and we’ll settle this later), Thanksgiving and the winter holidays create the perfect excuse to bake up a pie or seven which, despite what the saying suggests, is pretty easy to do. Especially if you follow these 8 easy tips for how to make homemade pie like the not-quite-pros but really enthusiastic home cooks that we are..   1. Start with a great recipe. It’s simple: A great...

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Momosas brings all cheers without the alcohol

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...

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The sterling silver Starbucks gift card: A grande gesture.

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...

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Join us for a Twitter Social to help you get ready for your baby’s first holiday

A baby’s first holiday has to be one of the best parts of parenting. It might even make up for all those sleepless nights and dirty diaper changes. Maybe. But we also know the holidays can be overwhelming on their own, and adding baby into the mix, especially the first time, can make it all border on stressful. Which it shouldn’t be. But don’t worry. We can help! (Hey, that’s what we’re here for.) In fact, we’re excited to be teaming up with Babies R Us for a fun, probably funny (if you know us) Twitter social this Tuesday to talk everything baby’s first...

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3 awesome new food gifts for men, when the way to their hearts takes the traditional route

I’m all about food gifts for men. Maybe because I love the men in my life, and the men in my life happen to love food. If you’re with me, then I’ve got three fantastic resources for you if you’re all about seriously cool food gifts that have nothing to do with cheese logs or lollipop towers. Mantry First, there’s Mantry. I discovered them last year and loved them so much, my own dad got a subscription from me for Christmas. Their one-, three-, and six-month subscription food boxes are still an extraordinary gift idea for any guy who’s down with the likes of gourmet salsa,...

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A Chanukkah gift set from Vosges that takes the holiday cake or, er, chocolate.

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...

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