Author: caroline

21 ways your family can volunteer for your own community. Small scale, big impact!

If your news feed has been dragging you down lately, take heart. Volunteerism is a great way to put that energy to positive use, and spring is the perfect time for you and your family to discover ways to volunteer for your own local community, Leslie Knope style. To help, I’ve put together tons of easy do-gooding activities that are high on fun and family bonding, big on impact, but low on long-term commitment. Fortunately, you don’t have to repurpose your living room to shelter stray cats or hand-craft a community swing set to make a difference (although if you’re up for it,...

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Launch Ladies: The new children’s book all about the trailblazing women of space exploration.

We’re all about women in STEM here at CMP, so I was stoked to discover Launch Ladies, a new children’s board book celebrating the inspiring women who’ve pioneered in the field of space exploration but may not be household names like their male counterparts. Yet. But, as we learned in Hidden Figures, they totally should be. Related: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: The best bedtime book you’ll ever read. The Launch Ladies project on Kickstarter aims to give these engineers, computer scientists and astronauts the recognition they deserve for their contributions in the field of space. Which happens to include launching rockets and masterminding the...

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Cool Beauty and the Beast birthday party ideas: 40+ of the most inspired treats, activities, decor and more.

With the much hyped Beauty and the Beast movie coming out today, we have the feeling more than a few kids will be raring for a Beauty and the Beast themed birthday party this year. And have we got ideas! We scoured the web for the very coolest, most fun, most enchanting inspiration for invites, decor, games and activities, and a whole lot of treats, all sure to capture the imaginations of revelers of any age. Are you ready? Go on… be our guest. (Ha, sorry. Couldn’t resist.) -Caroline + Liz CMP is an rstyle affiliate Top image: Beast cake tutorial from Zoe’s...

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7 celeb-worthy, creative birth announcement ideas for twins + multiples. We’ve got you covered, Beyoncé!

First Beyoncé and Jay Z, now the Clooneys and Madonna? In case you haven’t heard, twins are seriously hot right now. So I’ve rounded up some super creative birth announcement ideas for twins with a little extra oomph — for those of you lucky enough to be in on the doubles game. I had so much fun finding these adorable birth announcement photo ideas for twins and multiples making their red carpet debut, but hey…if you’re expecting just one baby this year (like me!), we’ve got you covered too. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 15 creative birth announcement ideas way more interesting than just sleeping...

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4 fabulous DIY Mardi Gras masks for kids to save you a trip to New Orleans

Your kids may not be ready to attend the parades in NOLA just yet, but they can get into the spirit with fabulous, feathery, jeweled-up DIY Mardi Gras masks for kids. So for those of us who’ll be eating our King Cake at home, it’s a good time to start procuring beads and baubles at the craft store ahead of next week’s Fat Tuesday festivities. These four easy DIY masks for kids — many of which you can print for free, yay! — are fun for the whole family and will help you usher in Mardi Gras in style. Even...

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Grocery shopping with a baby? You’ve got to see this cool shopping cart hammock.

The logistics of shopping with a baby in tow can be challenging, to say the least. But this clever creation from Binxy Baby changes everything. I can hear parents everywhere rejoicing. Related: From the OMG files: The portable changing table that hangs from the bathroom stall door. Roll it up, and you can easily toss this shopping cart hammock in a diaper bag or tote. We haven’t tested this ourselves, but from the instructions online, it looks super easy to install onto a shopping cart and to secure your child into the hammock. What I think is so smart is that by using the safety strap,...

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14 sweet and modern Valentine’s Day gifts for babies | Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2017

For new parents, Valentine’s Day gifts for babies who will never remember the day, is of course just one more way to justify buying something adorable. So this year, we pulled together 14 sweet but modern Valentine’s Day gifts for babies that are so fabulous we hope you’ll cherish them even after the holiday is over. Some might be keepers for years. (And, hey, if you’re looking for Valentine’s Day gifts for kids who are a little older we have that covered too.) CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: More cute Valentine’s gifts for babies. Because babies!  Freshly Picked Sweetheart Moccasins How sweet are...

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9 easy, Valentine’s Day heart crafts for kids we totally love

Valentine’s Day is already upon us and we’ve found some of the sweetest Valentine’s Day crafts for kids from some of our favorite bloggers, DIY-ers, and clever makers. Whether you want to embrace the mess with your preschoolers, or you’re looking for a cool craft to do with bigger kids — or, hey, you just need to use up your empty toilet paper rolls — we’ve got a craft for that. Related: More easy Valentine’s Day crafts for kids from supplies you already have For this Valentine Shaving Cream Heart Art at Hello, Wonderful, kids get to dip their paper into a tray of...

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You’ve got to see this cool DIY dragon craft for Chinese New Year. So fun!

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to celebrate Chinese New Year with the kids this weekend, we have just the thing for you! This DIY craft from our friends at Alpha Mom imitates the fabulous street parade dragons we all know and love from Chinese New Year celebrations around the globe. I love the festive red and gold sparkles of this craft, and the slinky, slithery motion the dragon makes when assembled. Related: Easy dumpling recipes for Chinese New Year that kids can help make.  Click over for the easy-to-follow instructions; I love their BTDT tips to make it...

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8 awesome inspirational prints for little boys who could use some empowerment too.

As a mom-to-be, I’ve been looking for some inspirational prints for boys that I can hang on the nursery walls. After all, I’ve already started my campaign to create a compassionate son, starting with the essential feminist onesie, which was the first item I added to my baby registry. So as I look for artwork, I’ve been thinking beyond the typical superheroes, rockets, and robots (all of which I love!) that you tend to see “for boys” and seeing out inspirational prints for boys that will be a reminder to my whole family to work hard to raise a son who is smart, caring, and respectful. So...

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Protect yourself from the elements with this rad Star Wars lightsaber umbrella.

Members of the Rebel Alliance, big and small, rejoice! We’ve found the perfect weapon to protect you from the damp forests of Endor, the withering sun of Tatooine, or, you know, some light drizzle on your commute to school. We are so excited about these Star Wars lightsaber umbrellas — an essential accessory, if you ask me, for any Star Wars fanatic needing some rad rebel gear to hold them over until The Last Jedi opens nationwide (just 324 more days, yay!). Related: 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us. You’ll look like a real...

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A brilliant new maker box that combines digital and real-world play for kids. And wow, the possibilities.

To my nieces, screen time is like water. Without it, I think they’d go all limp and cockeyed. So I love discovering apps for them that encourage both tech literacy and imaginative play. The two come together together beautifully thanks to the brand new Get Qurious Maker Box, which we think parents will be really happy to discover. Related: The coolest birthday gifts for 4 year olds | The Ultimate Birthday Gift Guide You may have heard about its super successful Kickstarter campaign last year, and now that the box is finally out, I think that Get Qurious is going to be a fantastic gift...

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Finally: an affordable convertible high chair that looks like it should cost way more.

New parents know — or soon learn — how ideal it is to find baby gear that grows with your baby, especially when you’re on a budget. Which is why we’re thrilled to discover the beautifully made, modern new Tuo Convertible High Chair from our friends at Skip*Hop. Honestly, we all tend to be fairly skeptical at this point about new baby gear that promises great looks and functionality all at a low price, but having had the chance to try a review unit for myself, well…score! Related: 3 more highchairs we love that grow with your kid If you’re not even considering the array of $1,500 (really) high chairs out...

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5 wildly cool STEM bath toys to inspire future scientists. (Even if they can’t spell scientist yet.)

If your kids are getting older and casting off rubber duckies for something a bit more stimulating when it comes to bath toys, we’ve tracked down some very cool science-based bath toys with an educational spin that might do the trick. Even though little plastic cups keep kids entertained (and certainly have educational value all on its own), these 5 fun STEM bath toys go a little further to teach the youngest kids fundamentals of water science while cutting no corners on fun or imagination. Consider giving one to your budding hydro-engineer or future architect, or wrapping it up as a smart, educational toy for your...

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New helmet designs so cute your kid might actually want to wear theirs.

We’ve been longtime fans of Nutcase bike helmets, since they offer some of the cutest designs and trustworthy safety features for our kids. So I’m very excited about the brand new launch of their newest designs for their Little Nutty line. My favorite? The Tin Robot design (shown above), which reminds me of the friendly droids from Star Wars. But I also like the Bluebirds & Bees, which encircles your child’s head in a wreath of flowers, birds, and adorableness. Oh, and the Ahoy! helmet with a pirate map on one side? Sold. Related: Turn signal gloves, inflatable helmets, and other cool bike...

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18 pretty, printable 2017 calendars, lots free! Because free is a good way to start a new year.

If you’re looking to plan ahead for 2017 and impose some organization on the post-holiday chaos, we’ve scoured the web for beautiful printable 2017 calendars and put together 17 of our very favorites. There are tons of cool designs available online, whether you want a clean, structural design or illustrations pretty enough to blend in with your wall art. Plus, plenty of these options are free, so you can switch motifs mid-year if the calendar you liked in January isn’t jiving with your mood in July. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: One-word New Year’s resolutions: The trick to making one you can finally...

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Target’s new Modern by Dwell line is chic and affordable home good perfection.

I’ve always relied on Target for super affordable, stylish basics like tees, sweaters, swimwear. And it helps that they partner with designers I really love, but can’t necessary afford, to bring great fashion to me and others among the wallet-conscious masses. So when I heard about Targets new collaboration, partnering with Dwell Magazine, I was so excited. I’ve been a fan of the chic and modern home design aesthetic for a while — clean lines, Scandinavian influences, Frank Lloyd Wright — but it’s always seemed unattainable for my budget. Until now. Target’s new Modern by Dwell line arrives today, and with it comes cool architectural furniture...

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7 inspirational 2017 planners to help you own the new year like a boss.

If you’re anything like me, the end of 2016 may have hoping that 2017 will somehow offer something better than where we feel we are now. However that’s something that happens by planning and doing — not just hoping. Which is why finding inspirational 2017 planners may have even more meaning right now than it has in years past for lots of us. There’s nothing quite like opening the pristine white pages of a new day planner to make me feel like this year is going to be totally different and better than ever before. You know, the year I finish that novel,...

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13 of the cutest printable coloring pages for Christmas, to keep kids away from those presents just a little longer.

I know that the days before Christmas can seem unusually long, especially when kids are out of school and the presents are taunting them (my nieces’ word, not mine). So if you’ve got a household of over-excited kids, we’ve got just the thing to help you keep them occupied and away from those presents under the tree. All you need is a printer and some freshly sharpened colored pencils. Or crayons, or markers too. From your basic coloring pages, to wall art, cards, foldable villages, and even placements, these coloring pages — most of them for free! — are just the...

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The ultimate list of awesome last-minute holiday gift ideas. We’ve got you covered, procrastinators!

Every year, I convince myself that this is the year I won’t be scrambling to find great last-minute holiday gifts; that this is the year I “shop all year” for great stuff for my friends and family and stash it away. But..nope. How is it Christmas week already? Oof. Fret not, fellow procrastinators! You don’t necessarily have to shell out for express-expedited-Santa’s-reindeer-special-overnight-shipping. I mean you can, but instead we’ve got some brilliant last-minute holiday gift ideas and tips so you can get those presents under the tree or by the menorah in record time. (And don’t forget, lucky Hanukkah revelers, if you’re...

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