We here on the CMP team have a lot of collective parenting experience under our belts — or, uh, stretchy waist bands — and one thing that we all agree on is that starting solids is one of the most exciting and overwhelming developmental stages. There’s just so much info (that always seems to be changing) and pressure (mostly self imposed). Not to mention the mess (or is that just my issue?). But how cool to help shape baby’s eating habits and get them off on the right foot? Very cool, as long as you have a little practical...Read More
When it comes to treats and candy for our kids, we’ve always take a pretty common sense “everything in moderation” approach around here. Hey, we love candy! What’s a trip to the movie theater, a birthday party, or a special occasion lunchbox treat without some sweet stuff? We’re also fans of the 80/20 rule that a lot of families practice — eat well 80% of the time, and you can enjoy treats without guilt the other 20%. But even when it comes to candy, we still want to make the best choices we can for our families. And ourselves....Read More
My kids are wiped when they get home from school. They always seem to need a snack to recharge and a bit of time to zone out before gearing up for the rest of their day, whether it be for basketball practice, homework, or just running around for some free play time. But because they are school-aged, that zone out time quickly turns into screen time. And you know what screen time for them means for me, right? (Hint: It involves screen time.) Suddenly, I found that in those first moments after school, we were all snacking and staring...Read More
Yummy and totally easy Valentine’s Day treats for the classroom that there’s still time to make. Because procrastinators give love too!
‘Tis the weekend to make those classroom valentines if you haven’t already (ahem, like me and my boys). But no worries: Sometimes being a procrastinator works in your favor. For example, edible gifts shouldn’t be made more than a couple of days ahead of time, and since homemade goodies are our favorite way to show the love, we’re actually right on schedule. Phew. If you’re with me — because you’re a procrastinator, prefer giving Valentine’s Day food gifts, or both — you’re in luck. Over on Cool Mom Eats we have tons of easy Valentine’s Day treats for the classroom that...Read More
I have a confession: I’m a recovering cereal addict. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and have on occasion—and, would eat it at every snack time if I could. As would my kids. In fact, cereal is one my of our secret ingredients when making a few of my favorite go-to homemade snacks for the kids. So easy, since we tend to have some of them around the house anyway. (I mean, have you seen our original homemade baked bereal milk donut video tutorial? Win!) However like so many other parents, I’m not down with a steady diet of foods containing artificial...Read More
More than 40 cool Star Wars The Force Awakens birthday party ideas: invitations, decor, treats, and activities. Now THAT’S how the force works!
Since the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, kids all over planet Earth and Jakku are begging for a Star Wars Force Awakens birthday party that incorporates Rey, Finn, BB-8, and yeah, Kylo Ren along with our favorite pals from the original franchise. So, in addition to the 40 awesome Star Wars party ideas we featured last year — which is among our most popular posts with you all, for good reason — we’ve pulled together another 40+ ideas for this next generation of Star Wars fans who can’t even imagine what Star Wars looks like without Rey! Go ahead, mix...Read More
This post has been updated for 2017 Even if the only movies you’ve seen this year are the animated kind (no judgment, parents!), it’s always fun to have an excuse to get together with friends and ogle all the Hollywood glamour over a glass of bubbly. If nothing else, then to see just how Jimmy Kimmel takes on this year’s Academy controversy. We have high expectations. For those of you so out of it you’re like, “the Oscars are coming up?” we’re here to help. The 89th Academy Awards show is airing this Sunday, February 26 and to make watching the Oscars even more fun, we’ve pulled together some...Read More
Need some last-minute help planning a deliciously sweet Valentine’s Day menu? We’ve put together all our favorite easy Valentine’s Day recipes that we’ve been sharing on Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Eats — from breakfast to dessert — in one place. This way, you can scan them quickly to save more time for, well, whatever you want. Plus you’ll find some terrific DIY tricks here that turn store-bought treats into something special for the big day. Because, hey, we’re all about easy on Valentine’s Day. And that’s not a double entendre. Okay, it is. Top photos: Heart-Shaped Pretzels by My Name is Snickerdoodle; Valentine’s Day Brownies by Pink...Read More
If you’re looking for Super Bowl recipes for your game day party, from big hearty food to fun appetizers and even cocktails and mocktails should you need a break from beer, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favorite past posts, roundups, and recipe discoveries, for a total of more than 200 Super Bowl recipe ideas. Surely there’s one or or two here for you? (top image: Creamy enchilada potato skins| Cool Mom Eats) SUPER BOWL RECIPES: THE ESSENTIAL BASICS (DIY Nacho bar ideas: What’s Gaby Cooking) 7 mouthwatering nachos recipes for game day parties The ultimate potato skin recipe 9...Read More
The coolest lunch box accessories, water bottles, and other goodies to make school lunch more fun | Back to school guide 2015
When it comes to our back to school guide, we always love tracking down those cool lunch box accessories, water bottles, bentos, and other fun goodies that help make opening that same old lunch box every day a little more special. Some of our picks are little affordable treats, some are slightly more expensive products that we adore and stand by. The way we see it, we’d rather buy one great water bottle that lasts a lot of years, than a cheap new one every year. But hey, there’s so many cool things to choose from these days! From fun ice...Read More
We’re coming out of a long (long) winter and before we start talking about fresh spring recipes with asparagus and peas, leeks and carrots, I want to take a moment to talk about chocolate. So I’ve rounded up 8 of the most outrageously delicious and sinfully decadent brownie recipes, for no other reason than we deserve it for making it through another winter. So, yeah, we’re making brownies just because. Making brownies is dead easy. Requiring nothing more than two bowls and spoon, no treat gives you more bang for your baking buck, and they are the perfect treat to bring to winter’s farewell...Read More
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...Read More
A peek into our food archive shows that we’re big into smoothies. But no matter how many awesome smoothie recipes we track down for you, nothing will compare to having a constantly updated collection in your back pocket from the smoothie master herself, Tess Masters of The Blender Girl. Her new The Blender Girl Smoothies app is making that one delicious reality. My kids and I are smoothie junkies. I love creating them, finding new recipes for them and we all love drinking them, so this app was meant for me. That said, I’m picky about apps, and don’t stick with them if the nav is frustrating and if...Read More
Smoothies can be a tasty way to take in—or feed your kids—a hefty dose of fruits and veggies. They can also be packed with sugar. The natural sugar that comes from whole fruit is definitely preferable to added sugar from juice, sweetened nut and seed butters, sweetened milks, flavored yogurts (which tend to have loads of refined sugars), honey, and other sweeteners that are called for in many smoothie recipes. So here are my 5 tips for how to make a smoothie that tastes great without tons of added sugar. 1. Swap in coconut water for juice. Coconut water contains...Read More
Family road trip tips: Tons of sanity-savers, tricks, and essential products to keep the back seat under control and save your vacation.
A lot of us are heading out for family vacations this month, and while a lot of parents consider a long car road trip with the kids the seventh circle of hell, I like to think of it as…a character building experience. But as tired as I get of hearing, “How much longer?” I’m sure it’s less fun for my kids, who are squished together in the back seat on a seemingly endless journey. When we took a 16-hour road trip (each way) with a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old, I had plenty of time to discover what works and what doesn’t. And after talking...Read More
With Halloween behind us, it’s time to collect our gourds and go home. If you haven’t already carved yours, now is the perfect time to gather your pumpkins and put them to (actual) good use by roasting those pumpkin seeds for a nutritious snack. Here is our favorite tutorial on how to roast pumpkin seeds, plus 6 awesome roasted pumpkin seed recipes with a flavor for every taste. Oh She Glows is my favorite stop for natural snacks and, as expected, Angela came through with this great tutorial on how to roast pumpkin seeds. Each step comes with...Read More
Let me start by saying that I have to make four school lunches every night of the week, so if there’s anything to make the whole lunch packing process easier–and of course, healthier–I am willing to try it. That is how I ended up with a new BFF (best food friend) Organic Slammers. We’re already big squeezy fans in my house, as we call them, and GoGo SqueeZ applesauce and squeezable yogurt tubes are regular fixtures in my kids’ lunchboxes. So it wasn’t a huge stretch for us to try Organic Slammers. They combine a lot of our favorites only with more nutrients, because they include fruit and...Read More
When celebrating Halloween with little ones, there’s a fine line between fun creepy and scary creepy. Lucky for me—a firm believer that the creepier the better—my kids are finally old enough to handle scary Halloween. I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting the safe creepy Halloween thing, though, and my favorite theme is mad scientist. If you’re looking for a rated-G entree into Halloween spookiness, these mad scientist party recipes will set the perfect hair-raising mood. You know, in a ha-ha way. These monster guts (above and top) from Sugar and Cloth are a perfect safe-creepy specimen. They are also...Read More
If you’re having a big Halloween party this year, it’s always so much fun, but it can be crazy trying to get all that appropriately fun, spooky food pulled together in time. So I’m happy to share some of my favorite semi-homemade Halloween snacks that you can take from the grocery bag to the table in just a few minutes. Hey, it’s not cheating! I like to think of it as a big step up from bowls of pretzels and M&Ms…even if you’re not making some outrageous Frankenstein cake from scratch. Related: The ultimate last-minute Halloween idea guide: Costumes, treats, recipes, printables, crafts, decor, pumpkins...Read More
Last year I threw an awesome Halloween party for my kids. (Really! There’s video, complete with Halloween dinner recipes, to prove it.) It was a blast, but now my kids want to do it again. I’m game—anything to show off my rockin’ Cleopatra costume—but it has to be easy. So I’ve found these super fun, easy Halloween party recipes that are just right to keep your Halloween festive without too much hard work. Because Queen Cleopatra doesn’t do hard work, thank you very much. Three cheers for Halloween Candy Bark (above) from Just a Taste. Candy on candy: It’s the only way to go on...Read More
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