It's been a whirlwind of a year, but we're now counting down the days until we kick off the holidays! If you've got a little one on your list but don't know where to begin, don't fret! We've got you covered with age-specific gift ideas from birth through 9 years old, including toys from the biggest manufacturers and independent toy makers that we just love. Click through for the perfect picks for the kiddos in your life!
If you're looking for last-minute decorating ideas this season, consider the search over. Turning to a few of our favorite tastemakers, we found several adaptable ideas to make your home complete. Whether you opt for Elsie Larson's bright DIY or keep it simple like Hanna Seabrook with a festive candle or two, these 12 ideas are bound to lend a festive touch!
The peppermint mocha's a Winter favorite that's guaranteed to bring minty, chocolate joy to any occasion. But instead of dropping $4 every time you're in the mood for one, why not learn to make it yourself? It's easy enough to do — no fancy machine or equipment required. Watch the video to learn how, then get the recipe.
This holiday season, teach your children the importance of charity by giving them an extraspecial gift that gives back. Uncovering everything from a hand-crocheted baby rattle to a herd of sheep in a needy community, we've found 11 ways to do good with your children's gifts this year. Something fun for them to unwrap that goes a step further by helping those in need? Sounds like a formula for success to us!
For a gift that doesn't scream "last minute" but only takes minutes, consider turning to your photo library. Easy to make — usually with just a few clicks — and plenty personal, photo gifts may just outdo Santa come Christmas Day. From custom Rubik's Cubes (yes, we're excited too!) to photo-filled iPad cases, we found plenty of ideas for anyone on your list. And since it's only November, once this to-do is checked off, you can carry on with more important things, like getting started on those new gaming consoles.
If you have yet to throw a tree-trimming party (hey, there's nothing wrong with a procrastinator!) or want a celebrity-inspired holiday party menu, then turn to Jennifer Aniston. She revealed details about her annual tree-trimming party in a recent interview, and my, does the menu sound perfectly girl-next-door-esque. "There's usually three different kinds of chili at the tree-trimming party," Jennifer explained. "There's a vegetarian chili, a turkey chili, and a good ol' beef chili. I can't honestly say I make that, but I do make some Rice Krispies treats and hot chocolate. My best hostess tip is to have good food and really good music! We usually put on the Charlie Brown Christmas album. That's my favorite. And then we'll go to Bing Crosby and stuff like that — old school — Frank Sinatra." Jen can provide the ideas, and we can offer the recipes! Be sure to set up a triple-pot slow cooker for the chilies and an elaborate topping bar!
Crisp, white-covered landscapes, begging for a child to burst onto the scene — freshly fallen snow is the perfect backdrop for a Winter photo session with your kids. But how to capture your children and the light and fluffy snow accurately? We turned to Minneapolis/St. Paul-based photographer Amy Lucy Lockheart, founder of Amy Lucy Photography and a Clickin Moms mentor who teaches the "First Steps with a DSLR" class, to get some pointers for photographing this season.
She shared, "We take hundreds or even thousands of pictures of our kids outside during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. When it gets to be Winter, our kids go out to play, but our cameras tend to stay inside. It’s time to change that! Bring your camera when you go play in the snow. You may just get some of your favorite photos of your kids!"
Read on for Amy's 10 best tips for photographing kids throughout the Winter months.
Finding the perfect gift during the holidays is a victory in and of itself. But add in the word "affordable" and you've got a win-win. That's why we've searched the net for budget-friendly finds that everyone from mom to co-worker will love. And the best part is they all ring in at less than $10. That's right — $10! At that price, might as well grab some for yourself too.
Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin is known for sharing her latest gourmet expeditions, from spicy fried chicken in Sonoma County, CA, to caviar tasting menus in Singapore, with her readers. So it's only to be expected that she's amassed quite the arsenal of great gift ideas for everyone, from girlfriends to gourmet snackers.
Red Kite Caramels
Luca Jackson Napkins
"Hand-printed in San Francisco by Julia Busenitz, these one-of-a-kind linens from Luca Jackson ($40) are sold at The Mill, a must-go stop for incredible coffee and toast. The napkins come in both neutral and vivid colors with fabulous contrasting stitched edges."
For more of Dana Cowin's unique gift ideas, keep reading.
Are visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head? For many of us, it wouldn't be the holidays without a visit to a local production of The Nutcracker. George Balanchine's ballet masterpiece is as much a part of the holiday season as the smell of pine and the sound of wrapping paper falling to the floor.
For Darcy Miller, editorial director for Martha Stewart Weddings and a mother of three young daughters, the New York City Ballet's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition. Darcy remembers seeing the ballet as a little girl and loves taking her daughters each year. They've watched the video and listened to the soundtrack hundreds of times. The ballet inspired Darcy to create a Winter wonderland party filled with ballerinas, snowflakes, nutcrackers, and angels to usher in the season. Keep reading for a look at this dreamy party.