Tag: party ideas

Fight boredom with the huge, and hugely fun, coloring poster from Pirasta

I’ve been fighting boredom this summer with a bunch of magic markers and one really huge (like, seriously huge) and cleverly illustrated coloring poster for kids from a new company called Pirasta. And the beauty of these posters is that there’s room for everyone to get in on the action. The recycled-content paper is sturdy enough to let it take over the dining room table for a while, spread it out at a birthday party, or hang it on the wall. And at a whopping 63″ x 36″there is plenty of room for multiple people to color together. We’ve even rolled up...

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10 fantastic, fun block party ideas to make it the hit of the summer.

We are so excited for summer, if you haven’t been able to tell from our posts lately. Swimming all day. Staying up late to play outside way past bedtime. Kids sleeping in late. (Ha, we wish.) It’s a laid-back schedule that’s so perfect for getting together with neighbors and catching up on all we miss during the busy school year. So if you’re thinking about planning a block party, or already have one on the schedule, we’ve got you covered with some awesome block party ideas to guarantee an amazing event. And we’re so excited to be working with a perfect sponsor for summer...

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9 messy projects for tweens and teens that let you be The Fun Parent

We may look at our tweens and teens and think, How did they get so big so fast? But you only have to scratch the surface to find a playful kid hiding in there, and ready to come out. So, it wasn’t hard to come up with a whole bunch of messy projects for our older kids, like we’ve done for our preschoolers and grade-school-age kids. In fact, some of these ideas would be a blast for any age, whether or not your kids are in the double-digit age bracket yet. [top image: My Happy Thoughts] Related: 12 messy projects for Kids. Trust...

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7 of the coolest printable birthday crowns for the true ruler of the household

We’ve got a lot of summer birthdays for the kids in my family, so party planning is definitely top of mind for me these days. But I realized, as I’ve looked around the web, that while there are lots of gorgeous handmade birthday crowns on Etsy or instructions for making your own out of felt if you’re super crafty, it’s really hard to find printable paper birthday crowns that are fun, modern and well-designed. In other words, Crafting Lite™. So, I kept looking. And behold! some great options, from free to just a little bit extra. But totally worth it. Related:...

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10 fantastic summer party themes for kids, and loads of inspiration to bring them to life.

Oh, the joys of the summer birthday party when the nice weather means celebrating with friends out-of-doors. And whether this means gathering everyone into your backyard, meeting at the local park, or even taking over a quiet piece of sandy beach, we’ve put together ten awesomely creative, but totally doable, summer party themes for our kids’ summer birthdays. Because doable? As in, without a $10,000 a day party planner? That kind of detail is important to us.   And we’re so happy to be working with the most perfect sponsor for a summer party theme feature: Carvel and ILoveIceCreamCakes.com. Because hello, ice cream cakes! Visit...

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13 fun summery crafts for kids that can keep the boredom away.

Oh, summer. The kids wait and wait and wait for it, and then, how many minutes in are they complaining about how hot it is? Or how you won’t take them to the pool (for the second time that day)? Or that they’re simply bored? So I’ve tracked down a whole bunch of really cool summer crafts for kids from around the web that you can bookmark, and stash away for those very moments. Some take a little planning and a few supplies, while others are as simple as printables. Which means print out a whole bunch now for...

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Free summer printables that make you want to get crafty. Or eat ice cream.

I am so digging these adorable free summer printables that I just spotted at Oh Happy Day, courtesy of talented designer Amy Moss. I love the idea of printing a whole bunch on card stock and stockpiling gift tags for summer birthday parties — which will also save us a ton of money and hassle buying those teeny ones that are like $2.50 at the local toy store. But I bet you crafty mamas can think of all kinds of fun things to do with the two page PDF of ice cream cones, popsicles, and watermelons. Click over and you’ll...

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Oh Happy Day party store: everything you need for the perfect party. Except the cake.

One of my favorite go-to blogs for design inspiration, whether it’s a fun kids’ bedroom, an unexpected party theme, or a cool DIY project is Oh Happy Day. Jordan’s impeccable taste and fun use of color just makes me, well, happy. And now that I’m hitting birthday party season in my family — we’ve got four in the next couple months, eep! — I’ll be shopping at her brand new Oh Happy Day party store online. It’s chock full of beautifully curated party supplies from around the world. You can find everything you need for your party here, well, except the cake. (Though we wouldn’t...

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12 fantastically messy projects for kids that let you be That Fun Parent

They may be growing up oh-so-fast, but our elementary-school aged kids are more than happy to get as messy as their toddler selves used to, especially when it’s all in good fun. Our tip: Every so often, it’s okay to get messy. So throw on the play clothes, hold your breath, and get ready for them to get head-to-toe covered in paint, mud, or whatever ooey, gooey substance you have on hand. If all this talk about messy play makes you feel a little squeamish, then remember that the nice weather of spring and summer make the perfect time to take that mess outside....

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Throw a family-friendly fiesta with these quick and easy Cinco de Mayo party ideas

There was a time when Cinco de Mayo meant tequila, nachos, and, well, more tequila. But, now that we have kids, we’ve dialed back the drinking and dialed up the family-friendly fun so that we can all enjoy a Mexican fiesta on the fifth of May. If you feel like getting in on the action, check out these easy Cinco de Mayo party ideas—over 24 finds from decorations to activities, songs to recipes—to help make your day fun for all ages. Comida (Food) First and foremost, in my house, Cinco de Mayo means Mexican food. If it does in...

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18 easy cake decorating ideas that make a store-bought cake something super special.

We want our kids’ birthday cakes to be perfect. I mean, you only turn 5 (or 7 or 9 or 13) once, right? But it can be daunting trying to copy so much of the beautiful stuff online created by trained pastry chefs. See also: Cakewrecks. So on behalf of our birthday gift guide sponsor, the cool cakes in your grocery store bakery and freezer case, we tracked down some of the most creative cake decorating ideas that we could actually do ourselves. Hey, we’re busy! We’re all for saving time by buying an affordable but yummy store-bought cake then adding...

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Tips and tricks for throwing the best Oscar party, serving the best food and drinks, and making off with the Oscars pool.

Sunday night is Oscar Night! Or as so many of us think of it, Oscar party night. So I’ve scoured the web for some easy Oscars party tips and printables, because it’s the perfect excuse to get together with friends, dish on the dresses, talk through the technical categories, and tweet your favorite snarky comments. And of course, set up your Netflix and Amazon lists for the next few months. Because like so many parents, I’ve only seen a couple of the movies nominated. Except the animated category, of course. We’ve seen all those. Twice.. Related Post: Where to to see all...

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7 outrageously creative, A-list popcorn recipes that are Oscars night approved

Whether you’ll be watching the Oscars with friends, snuggled up with family, or all by yourself, these 6 creative popcorn recipes are the perfect Oscars viewing snack. Or anything viewing snack, really. Move over fake butter topping, more fabulous dresses…uh, I mean, dressings, are in town. Surely these should help you answer the great question of the night, what are you eating?  With these on your coffee table, we don’t expect any popcorn malfunctions whatsoever.   Like a flawlessly fitted Calvin Klein on Jennifer Aniston, sometimes you’ve got to start with the basics. This easy homemade microwave popcorn recipe that we found on...

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10 of the most outrageous gender reveal party ideas. Cool or just…whoa.

It seems the days of simply announcing whether your baby is a boy or girl seem to be long gone. The latest trend in baby showers that shows no signs of waning is the gender reveal party — personalized, meticulously planned, sometimes messy events with executions that can be so time-consuming, we can only imagine that these ideas are conceived by parents who know they will never, ever have this much free time available to them ever again. On one hand, we have to say we’re wildly impressed with the creativity. On the other hand, you kind of have to ask yourself honestly whether there are actually more than...

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5 beer cocktail recipes that are a step up from a bunch of bottles in a bucket of ice

I admit it: I’m the cliche food person for whom the Super Bowl is all about food. I love anything with guacamole, nachos of all kinds, and even get excited about trying t make healthy game day recipes for our crew. But for me, the buck stops at beer. Or at least it used to; ever since I realized that even my wine snob husband opts for a cold bottle of brew on game day, I’ve been trying to keep an open mind, and these creative beer cocktail recipes are helping me. It’s just what it sounds like: Beer and liquor mixed into one...

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The top Cool Mom Picks posts of 2014

As we say goodbye to 2014 and remember to start typing 2015 on all our correspondence, we wanted to take one last look back at our posts. Specifically, the top posts written in 2014 that caught the attention and imagination of our readers–aside from our our very popular 2014 holiday gift guide and Mother’s Day gift guide. Some of these are surprising, some, not so much. Let’s just say you guys sure like to make things, you sure like to eat, and you sure like to party. Three traits we like in our friends!   10. 8 easy donut recipes so...

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How to make a fancy cheese plate with not-so-fancy supermarket ingredients

If you ask me, the most important aspect of throwing any cocktail or dinner party host to know is how to make a cheese plate. And not just any cheese plate, but knowing how to put one together that looks fancy, even when it’s made with affordable supermarket ingredients. Because we don’t all happen to have Murray’s Cheese Shop in our hoods (mmm…)  I’ve put together this simple primer on how to make an elegant, people-pleasing cheese platter without the help of a top cheesemonger and definitely without spending a ton of money.   1. Start with a variety of cheeses. As in, a...

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Our favorite cocktail party foods to have on hand for easy entertaining.

Holiday entertaining doesn’t have to be a blockbuster affair. In fact, some of the best holiday gatherings are small, impromptu get togethers and relaxed gatherings with easy cocktail party foods, festive snacks and, of course, seasonal drinks. During the holidays especially, I stock my pantry with these snack foods so that I can invite people over whenever the whim strikes. With these goodies on hand, I know my guests will be well fed—without any hard work.   Lesley Stowe Crisps Crackers are a must at any gathering, and I’m not talking about everyday butter crackers. Don’t get me wrong, those...

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11 essential cleaning tips before your holiday party. Whether you’re a neat freak or a “hide everything in the closet” kind of person.

It’s that time of year when pretty much everyone is entertaining. And yeah, we all know how to run the vacuum and wield a toilet brush (or hire someone else to do it, if you’re lucky), but as the resident Cool Mom Picks neat freak, I’ve got a few pre-holiday party cleaning tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over the years to help you get the place in even better shape. Don’t worry — they’re simple, and they’ll actually make your job easier. [Editor’s note: We like that because uh, not all of us around here are neat freaks...

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Digital art you can eat. Sweet.

NYC local cupcake shop Baked By Melissa has had us wrapped around their finger since they rolled into town with their delicious bite-sized cupcakes and clever ideas–remember the cupcake gumball machine and the Betsy Johnson cupcake? We even have their insanely good cookie dough cupcakes in our 2014 holiday gift guide, as an awesome BFF gift. Their latest creation is just as innovative as all of those: the Baked By Melissa online cupcake creator, ready for wannabe dessert artists to flex their design skill. You can choose from 16 flavors and turn a blank digital canvas into your own virtual artwork made up of anywhere from 100 to...

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