CheckedTwice Featured on Cool Mom Tech!

Cool Mom Tech is a fantastic blog for moms who want to stay on top of all the latest gadgets, apps, and technologies designed with moms and families in mind. Here’s how they describe the blog:


Cool Mom Tech is the intersection of tech and style, of parenting, practicality and fabulosity, brought to you by the same moms behind the influential shopping and design site, Cool Mom Picks. Plus a few more who really know their tech stuff. 

We’re not techies who parent, we’re moms who use tech in our everyday lives. Same as you. Same as millions of mothers who are online every day. 

We’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter. We’re sharing photos, managing money, finding design inspiration, texting our kids. As parents, we want items that keep us organized, keep us stylish, keep our kids safe, keep life fun. We want services and apps that make us think, how did we ever live without that? And we want to know what other moms think is cool–not some 22 year-old guy.” 

With a description like that, you can see why we were thrilled to have been included in a post on their site last week! They even said we may be smarter than all the other gift lists and registry sites – well thanks! A few more excerpts from their writeup:

“The automatic image upload is great so that generous friends and family can actually visualize that specific set of headphones you want in the very color you want them.”

“This could be the year that Grandma asks what the kids want and you are actually ready with answers.”

To read the full post, click here.  And to follow up on the Etsy issue they found and mentioned, we’ve fixed it – you’re good to go! Happy Gifting on Etsy and beyond!

Coordinating Gift Giving: How CheckedTwice Compares to Other Solutions

Gift registries are not a new concept and most people are familiar with how they work – especially in the context of a wedding or baby shower. Lately, gift registries have expanded onto the web and beyond their traditional shower occasions to be used for all types of gifting. How do the different options compare?

While your typical registry is an individual’s list of items that they want or need and is shared with many people, CheckedTwice is different. We focus on being a gifting solution for families – which means that the wishlists are shared interchangeably between members of the group. Instead of a one-sided exchange, the wishing and giving go both ways. Less about a list of needs, CheckedTwice wishlists function as a quick way to more efficiently shop for others and easily determine a gift that is guaranteed to be a hit. We’ve got the best family gift registry site on the web and here are a few ways in which we are different from other common gift organization solutions.

When it comes to coordinating gift giving, options include Amazon wishlists, group emails, other registry sites, or simple pen and paper lists.  These options all allow sharing a wishlist with a group – but not all will allow the open exchange of the other party’s (or the rest of the family’s) wishlist back to the sender. For example, there is no reciprocity with an Amazon wishlist – if Steve shares his wishlist with Jane, that is great, but he can’t see Jane’s list unless she sends it to him. And their grandparents, aunts, and uncles all lack access until Steve shares it with them directly. With CheckedTwice, everyone can see what everyone else wants from one place.

A common reservation to using a registry is that it will take surprises out of an occasion. If a person creates a wishlist – they can expect to receive gifts that they have selected and some will even show them what has been purchased. But with CheckedTwice, we offer the ability to add surprise gifts to the wishlists of others – so the rest of the family will see them and be aware but the recipient will not be able to see them. This can lead to some really fun collaborative surprises – read a post about that by clicking here. Even when gifts are claimed by other family members, the recipient will not be the wiser.

In addition to surprise gifts, we offer children’s accounts that can be managed by their parents. This means even the very youngest family members can have wishlists as determined by their parents that will match their age, development, and interests. This makes it much easier for extended family to choose appropriate gifts for those that they don’t get to see very often. It also keeps parents from coordinating between different sides of the family on who will buy what.

One other unique benefit to using CheckedTwice is that unclaimed gifts will stay with the user’s wishlists as an occasion passes. If Steve doesn’t get a new bike helmet for Christmas, the helmet stays on his wishlist beyond December so when his birthday rolls around at the beginning of February, he doesn’t have to repopulate his list with items that fell off after Christmas and his family will know what to get him.

These features, coupled with the standard benefits of using registries like avoiding duplicate gifts and easily choosing gifts your recipient is sure to love help make CheckedTwice the best family gift registry site for Christmas. Be your family’s holiday hero and get started today!

Save Time Using a Family Gift Registry

And have more time to enjoy the holidays!

Christmas should be the most wonderful time of the year – and parts of it are. But increasingly the joys of the holiday season are being overshadowed by stress, aggravation, and fatigue. As people strive to create perfect events for their families and friends they are often overwhelmed with the amount of effort associated with the logistics and planning of it all. One of the most frustrating aspects of Christmas can be buying gifts – not knowing what to buy for multiple people leads to hours of wasted time spent browsing – hoping that the perfect gift will appear and identify itself. 1381868302_xmas_sticker-06

Wouldn’t it be great if you could see exactly what each member of your family wanted for Christmas? And for their birthday? And for any other gift-giving occasion throughout the year? Well, you can! The solution is to use a family gift registry like CheckedTwice and you will save time and effort buying gifts – leaving more time for the more important parts of Christmas like spending time with family and friends.

And on the other side of the coin – that feeling when you open a gift and it’s… meh. Or worse – a bad gift. It is awkward, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be better if there were a way to casually mention a few things that you are interested in to demonstrate your tastes and interests to relatives and friends? CheckedTwice helps with that, too.

And gift-givers, did you know that people are more appreciative of gifts that come from a wishlist? It’s true! Because… science. Really! Read “Give them what they want: The benefits of explicitness in gift exchange,” an article published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

When gift givers are able to see exactly what recipients want they save time thinking of a gift and sourcing it. Many gifts on CheckedTwice wishlists will link directly to an online retailer where they can be purchased. No more browsing, no more crowded malls, and forget about getting trampled over on Black Friday. Stress free holiday shopping – what could be better? And for gift recipients, even though they added items to their wishlists, they are unable to see what has been purchased – so surprises remain. And with the capability of adding surprise gifts to the wishlists of others, there is still always the possibility of an unexpected, awesome gift.

Less gift selection risk, less effort, less time lost shopping – leaves more time and energy for holiday fun!

Use Columbus Day to Get Ahead!

14thIt’s Columbus Day. For those of you who have the day off, today is a perfect time to get ahead of all of the occasions that fall and winter will bring. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas all looming on the horizon –  this is a great time of year to have an extra day to get organized and get ahead of the holidays.
For Halloween
– Stock up on candy
– Find a great bowl to use to hand it out
– Brainstorm costumes, pick up any supplies you will need
– Pick up some pumpkins and mums to quickly fall-ify your front porch
For Thanksgiving
– Make a preliminary meal plan / figure out who you’ll need to bring what and let them know
– Browse your cookbooks and the web for any recipes you need – at this point you even have time to test them out first
– Do an inventory of table settings and serve-wear – order anything you’re missing now
For Christmas
– Sign up for CheckedTwice and invite your family
– Begin populating wishlists with gifts they’ll love
– Find a photo to use for your Christmas card (or schedule a photographer to take one)
– Order gift wrapping supplies so they’re on-hand when you need them
Many of these to-do’s can be accomplished online – so settle in with a pumpkin-y coffee and get to work (even if you’re at work)! You’ll thank yourself later as you approach Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in the next few weeks and months.

Using CheckedTwice for Charitable Giving at Christmas

We all know someone who is hard to buy for. Giving the gift of a charitable donation around the holidays is a great way to say that you care without selecting a gift just for the sake of giving a gift. But what if you are that person who has everything? And you’ve got your whole family constantly asking you what you want? Enter: using CheckedTwice for charitable giving at Christmas!

The same way that you add tangible gift ideas to your wishlist, you can also add suggestions of a charitable donation to the organization of your choice. This is a great way to inspire your family to donate to a cause that you support as part of their holiday gift-giving efforts and it will make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. Here’s an example:

giving at christmas example

Michael is a big supporter of the Houston Food Bank. This Christmas, in addition to some of his other gift ideas, he goes to the food bank’s website and shares a link and their logo onto his wishlist. When his kids get around to their holiday shopping, they can see that he has suggested a donation to the food bank, they can click on the logo and be taken to the organization’s website, and make a donation on the web. Then for Christmas morning, maybe they can share in a nice card the details of the donation.

Here’s another way to do it and this is a little bit of a CheckedTwice hack. If you want to encourage donations of physical items, such as pet food for an animal shelter, you can create a dependent account for the organization (the same way as you would set up an account for a child). Once you’ve done that, you can populate the organization’s wishlist with items that you think or know they need. Make sure to leave some information about where items should be shipped or dropped off so that your family members know where to send the goods. Here’s what an SPCA wishlist might look like:

charitable giving at Christmas example 2

Are you involved with a local organization that is collecting items for a needy family? Create a shared wishlist for your family (a dependent account) to view that outlines the needs – “gift for 5 year old girl,” “toiletries,” “gift for 10 year old boy,” and your family can claim and buy items for the needy family or group and send them directly.

Adding an element of charitable giving is a wonderful way to keep the holiday spirit alive and we’re happy to be able to provide a way to help make it happen more easily. Sign up to use CheckedTwice this Christmas at

How to Add Custom, Vague, or Offline Gifts to Your CheckedTwice Wishlist

There are three ways to add a gift to a CheckedTwice wishlist:

  1. Search Amazon for an item from within CheckedTwice
  2. Copy and paste a URL from anywhere on the web
  3. Create your own gift with a description

We wanted to tell you a little more about the third option – to create your own gift.

What if you want to add an item to your wishlist from a local merchant up the street that doesn’t have a website? Or you want a new red ski hat… but you don’t care where it comes from? Or maybe you have a son who is extremely interested in ANYTHING related to Thomas the Tank Engine and therefore anything related to Thomas is a perfect gift. In these scenarios, creating your own gift is the option for you! All you need to do is make sure you provide an adequate description that will let family members know just what you’re looking for and it will display on your wishlist along with all of the other gift ideas.

To add your own gift, first click on “Add Gift” and then click on the tab within the Add Gift screen that says “Type it in” and start by giving your gift a name.

add a gift









Next, give your gift a good description. Once you’ve written something, reread it from the perspective of someone having no idea what you are talking about and see if they will be able to interpret it correctly. If not, revise it to make sure that they’ll know what you want. custom gift preview

Over to the right, you’ll be able to see a preview of what your custom gift will look like when it is displayed on your wishlist. When you’re happy with the name and description of your new gift, click the red “Add this gift” button and voila! Your new gift will be on your wishlist (or the wishlist of the person you’ve created the gift for).

This is a great way to add offline gifts, somewhat intangible gifts, or to give parameters to a flexible gift idea. Do you have any other ways to use the custom gift option? Share it with us in the comments!


Smarter Spending This Christmas Using CheckedTwice

Read a few articles or blog posts on saving money around Christmas and you’ll start to see a few familiar themes- two major ones being setting a budget and having a list (and of course sticking to them both). This is great advice but is often easier said than done. But by bringing a gift registry into the mix, like CheckedTwice, making a great list and staying within your budget is much more easily attainable. CheckedTwice allows you to see your whole family’s wishlists in one place, making gift giving a breeze!



When you are setting your budget, think about all of the people you will be buying gifts for and what your total pool of money available is. Think of your immediate family and closest friends – and don’t forget people that you and your family rely on through the year such as your children’s teachers, your mail carrier, your housekeeper or nanny. Divide that total amount of money up between the people to get an idea of how much to spend on each person and don’t underestimate the value of handmade or DIY gifts. For your family and friends that are using CheckedTwice, it will be easy to look at their wishlists and select gifts that fall within your allocated budget for them. If you don’t see anything that you are excited about getting them in your price range, take a look at the overall feel of their wishlist or the items that have already been claimed for them and see if you can think of anything that coordinates or enhances a gift they want or are already getting. You can add these items to their wishlist as surprises and claim them yourself.

Making a List

While you’re browsing wishlists for gifts, claim the items you would like to buy (to prevent duplicate gifts) and add them to your shopping list within CheckedTwice. It is much easier to stick to a list when you can click within it to make a purchase! Make your online purchases early to avoid any shipping deadlines and think about what items you’ll be sending out-of-state (so include a gift message and gift wrap) versus those you will have shipped to your home for you to wrap and distribute yourself. For any offline gifts, copy them onto a physical list along with any pertinent details like size or color to bring with you to the store. Organize your offline shopping list by store and plan a route to make the most of your shopping excursion. And don’t stray from the list! Sticking to the list means sticking to your budget and your January finances will thank you if you do.

Budgets and lists are surefire ways to make the most of your holiday dollar and using a registry like CheckedTwice will help with both. What other tips do you have for smarter spending this Christmas? Share them with us in the comments!