Month: March 2013

Our simple spring cleaning checklist for busy parents

When spring hits around my house, that means time to clean and kick the clutter, which isn’t such an easy task when you’ve got four kids running around. As much as I’d love to scrub the baseboards and wash all the windows, that’s probably not going to happen. But I can tackle my basic spring cleaning checklist I’m sharing here, that will still give us a fresh organizational start to the new season. 1. Organize those toys: Go through toys and books, or better yet, have older children go through themselves and sort them out into keep, donate/sell, and...

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9 ways kids can decorate Easter Eggs without dyeing them

Decorating Easter eggs is a tradition in our household, but after doing it the same way for over ten years, we’re thinking of changing things up. Instead of dropping white eggs into colored dye, I’ve rounded up a bunch of non-dye Easter egg decorating ideas that look fun (and pretty easy) to do with the kids. So grab your hardboiled eggs, your wooden crafting eggs, or even your vegan-friendly ceramic eggs from EggNots and get cracking. I mean, crafting. –Christina Grab a few rolls of colorful tape, and that’s all you’ll need to recreate Washi Tape Easter Eggs from...

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Cool kids’ belts crafted from fire hoses (plus proceeds help firefighters)

When I first discovered the cool gifts at Gallo en Fuego, I was definitely intrigued. And not just because there were hot firefighters all over their website. HOT. As it turns out, Gallo en Fuego offers more than just eye candy. Their kids’ belts are made from decommissioned fire hoses, most of which are from New York. They are just plain awesome: bright, sturdy, and perfect for any little kid, boy or girl, especially if he (or she) is a firefighter fan. Each belt (the belts come in adult sizes too, by the way) is made in Gallo en Fuego’s custom...

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Minimalist Parenting: The must-read parenting book of the year.

When we first heard that Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks and Christine Koh of Boston Mamas, two of the women I love and respect most in the world, were putting their clever heads together to write a parenting book, well there was no doubt in my mind that it would be awesome. As it turns out, it’s more than awesome–Minimalist Parenting is easily the new must-read parenting book of the year. And hopefully, every year. Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less is the right book at the right time: an antidote to the pervasive uber...

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5 tech picks you won’t want to miss this week

In case you missed them, here are five of our favorite picks from this past week from Cool Mom Tech. 1. A smart, affordable gadget that makes using your iPhone as a camera much easier. And safer. 2. Here’s a helpful beginners’ guide to Minecraft for parents. Don’t let your kids play without reading this first! 3. The sky’s the limit with these amazing electronics kits for kids. 4. One of our must-have apps for parents just got even better. 5. Great news for Android users who want to drop a few pounds or just want a healthier...

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What do do with the kids’ wet bathing suits? Take a lesson from pro surfers.

You know what really irks me? When my boys have their swimming lessons, and then I’m left with several wet trunks and towels when the lesson ends and no wetbag to tote them home. I usually shove the drippy mess into a backpack, but then everything around it gets wet. Not the biggest problem on the planet (yes, I know I can use baggies and plastic grocery bags) but still, I’m thrilled to find a swanky wetbag that doesn’t look “mom” at all.  And it’s a far cry from Ziplocs. Who better to come up with a solution to...

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Bueno! The sassiest sandals for spring come from Spain

Shoe shopping with my oldest daughter, now 8, has become quite a struggle. Not only are her feet hard to fit, they’re also tiny for her age. That means the cooler older-girl styles often don’t come in her size. But that all changed when I found these gorgeous sandals. Since they arrived in our house, my daughter has not taken off her Avarcas Pons sandals, a brand I’d seen around but never actually tried. Who knew they’re handmade in Spain using soft leather and recycled tires (cool, right?).   The classic colors are the perfect casual spring and summer...

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Ippinka: the shopping site for the minimalist crowd

I know these days it feels like there’s a new shopping site born every minute. But there’s one I’ve just discovered that’s fast becoming an obsession for me, because the products are so sharp, stylish and imaginative. The site is Ippinka, and they sell only products that adhere to their four principles of good design: functional, well-made, minimalist, and environmentally- and socially conscious.  Love when someone else does all the research for me. Now one huge caveat (and pet peeve) is that you have to register to be able to see the products–though I think I got around that when...

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Stock up on soap from method and save cute animals. We like!

As the happy owner to a sweet black lab who was once abandoned on the streets–and as a former animal rescue volunteer–I have a soft spot for any initiative that helps unwanted animals live a happier and healthier life.  This weekend, you can help those furry friends too by buying items you already need for your home. It’s so easy, that even those of you who normally sneeze when you come to my house can get in on the action. From now through Sunday, March 24, buy any of the method cleaners from Soap.com, and they will donate 15%...

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Delightful decor for your Easter Sunday party

Let’s talk party decor! Though I don’t plan to decorate every inch of my house, I do like to have a few festive things on hand for Easter Sunday. With that, here are some of my latest favorite ideas for that big Easter party–plenty of them free downloads. –Christina   Paper Coterie’s free printable Easter Banner can be printed on plain white cardstock, cut out, and hung wherever you want an Easter message. With so many colors, it’ll go with just about any color scheme…or will add a pop of color if you’re one of those brave minimalist homes...

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5 of our favorite Pinterest pins this week

Obsessed with Pinterest as we are? Follow us for great finds like this every day. 1. Ooh, loving this gorgeous and affordable accessory to snazz up the spring wardrobe. 2.How to mix and match prints to style your brood like the cool kids that they are. 3. Preschoolers, have we got the super fun, educational, and free app for you! 4. If you can’t grab this fabulous personalized baby gift in time for Easter, how about any baby shower this year? 5. Not sure who likes this fun new children’s book more–us or...

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A Passover craft idea that you can eat when you’re done. How’s that for easy clean-up?

It’s just a few days until Passover, and this awesomely clever craft idea offers one fun way to get the kids excited. Besides promising them matzoh sandwiches in their lunch for a week.   We love this Passover Matzoh House found at Epicurious. A take on the non-denominational and universally beloved gingerbread house, it’s not all that hard, and Kosher as you want to be. You pretty much just need 5 sheets of matzoh (I’d say more because I tend to break them), peanut butter if that’s cool by your family, and those Kosher for Passover candies that kids have grown...

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Sorbet for spring, please

It’s becoming clear that sorbet colors have replaced pastels as the new, soft shades of baby clothing this spring. (And hello? It’s spring! Yay!)  While it may be tough for the untrained eye to see the difference between “pastel pink” and “persimmon,” eh, all we know is that this new line from a favorite baby label is pretty darn cute. PAIGELAUREN Baby has been making luxurious 100% organic cotton baby layette basics that we’ve loved since their launch. They evolved into candy colored baby clothes, and now they’re delighting us with a yummy, sorbet collection. (Or sherbet? Your choice. We...

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Web Coolness: art on a plate, awesome Easter and Passover ideas, and calling a truce to the “Mommy Wars”

Here are some of our favorite links from around the web this week. We hope you like them too! Check out artist “RED” Hong Yi’s Instagram project, where she will create a mini work of art on a plate every day this month. Wow. If you’ll be celebrating Passover, love this post and comments with Tips for a Successful Family Seder. Our editor Liz takes issue with the media’s constant talk about the “Mommy Wars”, and what we should be talking about instead. Do you agree? We’re thrilled to see one of our own editors–and lots of women we...

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Personalized picture frames with extra pop (and pow and kaboom)

Whether you need an awesome sibling gift, something bright for the grandparents, or just the perfect picture frame to go with that superhero bedroom, we think this one brings a lot of POW-BANG-ZOOM for the buck. We love Psychobaby because it’s a small, hip, mom-run business that doesn’t dabble so much in cutesy stuff. And their personalized picture frames rock the house just like we’d expect. This sturdy, wooden Pop Art Picture Frame has got a bit of a glossy shine to the front, plus an easel back for easy propping up on shelves or window ledges.P ersonalize it...

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Albert Einstein for kids. Smart kids. Of course.

If you think a book about Albert Einstein for kids will be dry, think again. The new picture book On a Beam of Light: The Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne is an absolutely delightful introduction to a super cool guy. In a way, the narrative feels like any children’s storybook, with simple prose, a few manageable lines per page, and gorgeous illustrations by Vladimir Radunsky. But what will captivate kids right away is that it starts at the beginning–when Albert is a little kid who refused to talk until he was about three. His parents worried how different...

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Oppan Euro Style: bold, bright kids’ accessories with real zing

Pink and baby blue? Bunnies and choo-choos? Not today. We’ve got a hankering for cozy, slouchy hats, slippers, and newborn mittens with vibrant, European style that we’ve just found.   The owner of Rattle Tat goes straight to Sweden for the sort of bright, iconic fabrics it’s hard to find over here in the States. Clouds, stars, buses, monkeys, mushrooms and more, work for both genders in a stretchy mix of 100% cotton and Lycra. Each piece is designed and handmade by a Swede living in England, which means prices are in pounds and shipping is a bit high....

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8 spectacularly gorgeous Easter cakes you can bake at home (honest!)

After the excitement of hunting for eggs and the Easter bunny die down, it’s time for Easter dinner. And then, finally, my favorite part of the day: dessert. As in, Easter cakes. There’s just something so sweet about ending the holiday festivities with a pretty Easter cake, bright with springtime flavors (and maybe, if you’re lucky, studded with Easter treats). The only bad thing about Easter cakes–and there really is only one bad thing–is that they can be overly fussy and hard to make. But not these. We’ve found 8 beautifully simple Easter cake recipes that keep it easy...

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A Passover gift to keep kids from bogarting the matzoh

Passover is creeping up on us before we know it (quick! Buy matzoh before it’s all gone from the supermarket!) and while it’s not really the giftiest of holidays, I’m loving this sweet handmade toy set that can get little ones through a seder with minimal fussing.   The Passover peg dolls are lovely little handmade wooden dolls that represent Moses, Pharoah, and those ever-lovin’ 10 plagues in an appropriately un-gruesome way to help bring the story to life. There are also 3 random “Israelites” (dying to turn one into Leo G Carrol as Dathan), plus a clever tent...

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Baby’s first BMW, courtesy of Maclaren

I’m a huge fan of Maclaren strollers. In fact, out of all the strollers I’ve tried and tested over the years, the Maclaren Denim Quest is one of the only ones that has stood the test of time and tantrums. Their latest Object of Design launch (which is the same series that birthed the denim model) has me overjoyed–you might even call it the BMW of strollers. The new limited-edition BMW Buggy from Maclaren, a meeting of the minds between the stroller giant and the luxury car company, is a specimen of great engineering. It’s sporty, cool and definitely a...

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