Featured Partner With all the holiday shopping I’m doing for everyone else, it’s been hard not to snatch up a few things for myself too. But then I remembered my New Year’s Eve plans, and oh look! Another excuse! Still, I may want a glitzy sequin bag for New Year’s but hey, I’m a mom. As much as we like splurges around here from time to time, I’m not about to spend $300 on a fancy clutch that I know I won’t use too often. I presume you’re the same way? Which is why I always like sharing smart ways...Read More
We do not snow? Think again. Those Star Wars snowflakes from last year were out of this world, but now that we’ve discovered Game of Thrones snowflakes., we realize that we knew nothing, Jon Snow. Thanks to these free patterns, anyone can create beautiful snowflakes to celebrate their favorite — and least favorite — Game of Thrones family crests. (The Lannisters clearly belong in the pile with the yellow snowflakes.) Interactive designer and storyteller Krystal Higgins is our moon and stars for creating these 8 free printable JPEGs. Houses include Baratheon, Greyjoy, Stark, Targaryen, Lannister, Martell, Tully, and Arryn. And...Read More
When I’ve spent hours working on the perfect Christmas meal, a great holiday table setting is important to me. Serving it on plastic Santa Claus plates with paper napkins is not really my thing, since I want to show my friends and family how much love went into the meal. Still, I want it to be simple enough that kids feel welcome, and I’m not ignoring my family all day to make the table look like something out of a too-perfect magazine spread. I’ve been inspired by these beautiful holiday table settings and the creative details, and I hope...Read More
As much as I love loving, sweet, from-the-heart holiday greetings, there are those family members of mine I can always count on to send the funniest Christmas cards. Here, 15 cards that made me laugh out loud. No guarantees we have the same sense of humor — but I do promise you no fart jokes, fruitcake references, or allusions to Christmas balls of any sort. Above: Christmastopher Walken Christmas Card ($4.25, Seas and Peas) (Just who you want coming down your chimney in the middle of the night.) I’ve Been Watching You Christmas Card ($5, Finch and Hare) Hot Cocoa Christmas...Read More
I remember one of the first times I was interviewed by a media outlet, and they surprised me with an off-topic question: What’s the best safe toy for a child? I paused, then stammered, “Uh…blocks.” Not my finest moment. But the truth is, I do love giving blocks to kids. They’re perfect for toddlers, they grow with their imaginations as they hit kindergarten, and now even my young grade-schoolers can spend hours creating fantasy lands, stories, and made-up games with them. I’ve been a long-time fan of Uncle Goose Blocks, which not only have some incredibly creative and educational...Read More
If you’re still looking for that one gift under the tree that will make kids scream “OH EM GEE!” (or is that just our kids these days?) this Doctor Who TARDIS Play Tent might do the trick. While it’s not a classic kids’ tent shaped like a teepee, we’re pretty sure it will still inspire tons of imaginative play. Even cooler? Open it up to reveal the 11th Doctor’s control room. Your kids may never leave. Find the Doctor Who TARDIS Play Tent online at Think...Read More
What are the best gifts for an 8-year-old boy? I’m looking for a big gift, in the $50-$100 range. —CMP reader, via Twitter Oh, you mean the kind of gift that makes a child pause while unwrapping, shout out with glee, and rush over to give you a big hug? Well, small gifts can do that too, but on the splurgier side, here are some of our favorites according to our own sons — and by the way, according to our daughters, all these cool kids’ gifts would be great for girls, too. Just note we stayed away...Read More
Here are 5 five of our favorite posts on Cool Mom Tech this week, just in case you missed them. 1. If you have not yet seen this hilarious parody video, it’s so worth the couple of minutes. Promise. 2. Check out our review of the top 3 e-book subscription services so you can start the new year reading more. 3. The coolest Minecraft gifts for kids, besides more time to play Minecraft. 4. Great jewelry for Instagram lovers. Such a super-fun, affordable holiday gift. 5. Countdown to Santa’s arrival with this awesome, free Santa Tracker site. Your kids...Read More
4 of the best of the latest kids’ music album releases: Recess Monkey, Charlie Hope, Mister G, and Lucky Diaz
If Santa is bringing a new MP3 player or you’d love to wrap up a few new cool kids’ music CDs to give your little listeners, here are four cool new releases, by some of our very-favorite kindie artists: Recess Monkey, Charlie Hope, Mister G, and Latin Grammy-award winner Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band. If you’re tired of winter already, Recess Monkey’s latest Desert Island Disc will feel like a breath of fresh, warm, summer air. Kicking off with the ukulele notes in Coconut Radio, Desert Island Disc gently blows through 14 songs that are, as...Read More
Modern city gal though I think myself, I have a total weakness for traditional Christmas cookie swaps. There’s something so cool about seeing the Christmas cookies from around the world that come from sometimes generations-old recipes from a melting pot of friends. Should you need a new idea beyond gingerbread men and sugar cookies this year–not that we can ever get enough of those–take some inspiration from these 10 amazing Christmas cookies from a variety of global traditions. Related: 5 deliciously easy cookie swap recipes, no hard work required. DUTCH SPECULAAS SPICE COOKIES The Dutch spice trade is...Read More
Have a budding Martha Stewart on your holiday shopping list? Go ahead and check them off — these sweet little craft kits from Purl Soho (the folks behind The Purl Bee) are just perfect. Knitting, embroidery, and other craft projects are all packed in perfect kits ready for holiday gifting. You’ll find coasters and tea towels, even iPhone covers you can make yourself. I happen to dig the coin purses, embroidery kits and DIY barrette kits, which make excellent stocking stuffers. And oh my goodness, the tiny felt animals (look at the penguin!) are also pretty freaking adorable too. The felted dove craft kit is...Read More
It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas: natural, affordable holiday edition soaps that make cleaning less of a chore
One of the little things I do over the holidays is swap out the grapefruit dish soap or lavender hand pump for something a little more festive. It’s a simple way to make everything feel more holiday-ish the second we walk in the door. It used to be that only the fancy, high-end boutique brands carried incredible fragrances, but now I love that so many favorite natural brands are making them readily available. Here, just a few favorites you can find online or as close as your local market. Method Holiday Collection Method has always done a great...Read More
If you’re anything like me, you’ve waited all year for a taste — or two or three — of gingerbread. Warm and spicy, the combination of molasses and holiday spice makes any sweet even sweeter. These seven gingerbread recipes, from cookies to waffles to whoopie pies, are proof. What better way to start a gingerbread round than with a classic gingerbread cake. But you know me: We can’t go classic without a little twist. This Gingerbread Cake with Butter Rum Toffee Sauce (above) from Boulder Locavore fits the bill perfectly. A traditional cake served with an untraditional, but oh-so-right sauce....Read More
I love my peppermint mocha latte as much as the next girl, so it’s a shame they’re gone so fast that all I’m left with is a whipped cream mustache and fond memories. But when you combine the delicious scent of peppermint and cocoa with luscious body products backed by organic and fair trade production, you’ve got a heavenly match that lasts longer than five mouth-burning minutes of bliss. Moksa Organics is a company based on love for nature, activism, and peace, so you know this Mistletoe Holiday Bath Set is as kind to the world as it is...Read More
If you’re like me, there’s a bunch of people to whom you’d like to give a little something for the holidays, but they aren’t quite up to the level of say, a cashmere sweater. I usually whip up some handmade holiday food gifts in the kitchen, but to save time this year I might let Apropos Roasters do some of the work for me instead. I love their selection of individually packaged coffee, tea, and hot chocolate gifts, wrapped in plain brown paper and adorned with cheery stamped images and messages. So great for holiday gift giving to co-workers, carpool,...Read More
Web coolness: Outrageous photos with Santa, a must-follow Pinterest board, and holiday gift ideas galore
Every week we scour the web for our favorite stories. Here are the ones we’ve liked reading, and we hope you do too. Here’s a new twist on an old tradition: Visit PADI to find out where to take underwater photos with Santa. At least toddlers can’t wet his pants leg? Must-read: The What is Family? blog series on Brain, Child. Must-watch: Brene Brown on The Power of Empathy. We love her. Must-watch for a big laugh: Lord of the Crumbs. Must-listen: A nice, chill Christmas playlist. Have you visited our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide yet? More than...Read More
I had a lovely Christmas wreath once. But then the cat got to it. You can only clean up so much pine barf before your door goes naked. And that’s why I love this fabulous and unexpected take on the traditional door-hanging: it’s natural, but not too natural. Our pals at Cardboard Safari have taken their laser-cut recycled cardboard creations to the land of the holidays and emerged with a variety of holiday wreaths and tabletop Christmas trees. Each one comes in white or natural brown cardboard and can be easily assembled at home. The white ones can be...Read More
I’m a sucker for cute packaging. Pair that with an even cuter baby outfit and you’ve got one adorable gift idea for any baby in your life who’s too young for chocolate Santas just yet. Jammies Prêt-à-Porter is an all-in-one gift for a stylish baby, coming in its own recycled, BPA-free plastic jam jar that can later be re-used for coins, crayons, and I suppose jam. But packaging aside, the real sweetness is in the contents inside the jar. Each adorable outfit is beautifully made in the U.S., and super soft and cozy for newborn or baby up to...Read More
Bella’s: The biscotti that makes other biscotti want to give up and just be some other cookie entirely.
I have never been a huge biscotti fan. It’s often dry, a bit devoid of flavor, and to be honest, tastes stale to me. And then I found biscotti from Bella’s Home-Baked Goods and behold, for the Italian dessert angels did shine upon us all. Any good biscotti maker can be judged by the classic almond biscotti and this one is exquisite — light, crunchy but not break-your-teeth crunchy, just the right amount of sweetness, and plenty of fresh almond flavor; any foodie would approve. I’m sure the result has to do with the natural, high-quality ingredients they use in...Read More
It’s no fun being that kid with food allergies who gets a chocolate Santa in your stocking, only to find your mom taking it away because there are no ingredients written on the foil. But it’s probably worse being that mom. So we’re happy to see more delicious Christmas treats each year, made with those very kids in mind. Allergen-free Gingerbread House From the conscientious and talented folks at Sensitive Sweets Bakery, there’s no gluten (tapioca flour does the trick), dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts or tree nuts. The gingerbread house kit $29 and for an extra $10,...Read More
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