Author: Christina Refford

Your kids will fall in love with these mini dolls on a big mission

You may remember Cuddle and Kind’s beautiful hand-knit dolls, which we featured last fall. We gushed over how cute the line is, and even more impressive, their amazing mission to feed hungry kids with ten meals donated to major hunger-fighting charities with the purchase of every doll. And, wow, did our readers ever respond: This remarkable company has already donated over 200,000 meals to kids in need in just over half a year. Now, Cuddle and Kind’s Little Collection — a new line of the same sweet dolls, but mini versions of their originals — is matching the mission. For every Cuddle and Kind doll purchased, whether it’s their original 20″ or their new 13″ doll,...

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A reusable tablecloth our kids can draw on? Yes, please.

With family picnics and outdoor parties on the horizon, I’m loving Jaq Jaq Bird’s Chalk Board Table Runner that gives kids — and adults, if we’re being honest — a creative canvas on which to doodle while they (cough) patiently wait for their food. It’s a much better way to keep kids occupied and in their seats than playing with their utensils. At 6-feet long, this portable table runner offers ample space for an entire group of kids to draw side-by-side. Or, hang it on a wall for some space-saving art opportunities. I even love that this table runner can be used to deliver...

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We found the most adorable baby rain ponchos to get rid of the rainy day blues.

We’re fond of baby rain ponchos as easy, pull-on-and-off alternatives to the traditional raincoats with all those snaps and buttons. You too? Well then your rainy day blues are about to get a little brighter since we discovered these bright and totally charming baby rain ponchos from Seattle-based small biz, Satsuma Designs. We’ve been fans of this company for a long time now, since featuring their gorgeous bamboo blankets wayyyy back in the dark ages 2007. But we think their USA-made rain ponchos for babies take cuteness to a whole other level. With six different designs and an easy-to-wear style, you’ll be out strolling in the...

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May the Fourth be with you as you fly one of these cool Star Wars kites!

You don’t need to live in a galaxy far, far away to grab one of these cool inner-space worthy Star Wars kites from Think Geek on May the Fourth or any other day. And you won’t even need the force to get one of these babies into the air — just a decent breeze and an open field. Made of nylon sail material, they’ll be durable to withstand just about anything except for enemy fire and power lines, so keep them free from both. Related: More than 40 cool Star Wars The Force Awakens birthday party ideas! Word at the cantina...

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10 DIY teacher gifts for Teacher Appreciation Week to remind them how much they’re helping our children grow

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and we definitely want to recognize all the VITs (Very Important Teachers) who help nurture our kids’ love of learning. So, along with a handwritten note of our gratitude, we like the idea of giving a DIY teacher gift that grows. While of course there are tons of cool teacher gift ideas that we’ve recommended here, there’s something special about a hand-potted plant that can be kept on a windowsill in the classroom or brought home to plant outside. So we’ve got 10 neat ideas that are definitely worth a peek. It’s a sweet gesture that can serve as...

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The new Cocoon multi-stage high chair keeps up with your growing child.

I had three kids in four years and learned very quickly how fast kids outgrow their gear. That’s why I love companies like Oribel, smart engineers who are creating modern, multi-stage products that are meant to last throughout several developmental stages. We’ve praised their designs before, like when they came out with their PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center that goes from an activity center to a play table so our kids can get many years use out of it. Still a favorite. And now, Oribel is introducing the Cocoon Complete High Chair, designed for kids as young as 6 months of age all the way up to 3 years. As they grow, the Cocoon grows...

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What are words for?

One of the coolest gift ideas I’ve ever seen for bibliophiles — besides another book, of course — is Litographs’ literary tees that beautifully transpose the text of your favorite novel and print it, in its entirety, across a cotton tee (trust us, it looks even prettier than it sounds). And now, through a very successful Kickstarter, Litographs is coming out with the ability to customize your text with (almost) anything you choose on one of their comfy tees or an infinity scarf. Litographs can reprint any text in the public domain, including song lyrics, famous speeches, plays, historical works, and even the list of endangered words for...

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3 great new albums for your next family road trip

There are few sounds as jarring and mind-numbing as super bored kids whining, Are we there yet? (I mean, could we be little more cliché, kids?) So, with spring break here for lots of families and summer vacations and other road trip opportunities on the way, I’ve rounded up a few new album releases by some of our kindie music favorites to help make the miles a lot more enjoyable. Whether you’re embarking on a long weekend adventure or a cross-country road trip, we think you’ll have fun with some of these sing-a-longs. Related: Family road trip tips: Tons of sanity-savers, tricks, and essential products to keep...

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6 of the most beautiful lockets for Mother’s Day: Good luck picking a favorite.

With just two weeks until Mother’s Day, I need to get serious about finding the perfect gift for my own mom. And I’d better start dropping hints like crazy if I’m hoping for something extra-special like one of these beautiful and timeless lockets that I can wear close to my heart. We found 6 of the prettiest lockets — so sweet and heartfelt, it might be hard to choose a favorite. But pay attention to lead times for ordering and delivery. If you think you may be cutting things too close, message the jeweler directly to see if they can get your gift here in time. After all, we don’t...

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3 brand new nature-themed activity books will keep kids busy…without screens.

Though it’s certainly easy to hand our kids a screen when we want to keep them busy at the doctor’s office, on a long road trip, or when work needs to get done (and I am as guilty as anyone), I’ve found there is one alternative to handhelds that keep my kids focused, occupied, and truly content: A great sticker book. So I’m thrilled to have discovered the new My Nature Sticker Activity Books series by Olivia Cosneau. Related: Stickers for boys. Or girls. Cool how that works. In the Age of Dinosaurs is ideal for a dino-loving child who is eager to learn all about the peaceful Stegaosaurus and funny...

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5 ridiculously cute little girls’ shoes for spring and summer

Though I haven’t been able to pack away the winter boots just yet (and really, spring, where are you?), I’m pretty sure the warm weather will be here soon. To help us all get ready for no-socks season, I’ve rounded up five of the most ridiculously cute spring and summer shoes for our little girls. Order now and you’ll have the perfect pair of jellies or sandals for your daughter for when the weather finally takes a turn for the better. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Known primarily for their warm and fluffy sheepskin boots, Emu Australia has also designed the cutest little Rabbit...

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7 of the absolute coolest new ride-on toys for kids. Let’s get cruisin’!

With a hint of spring in the air, it’s time to take stock of the cool ride-on toys out there so that our kids can stop hibernating with their handhelds and enjoy the great outdoors instead by pedaling, gliding and zooming around our sidewalks and driveways. And if your kids shot up a few inches this winter, you may have a good excuse to consider some new wheels. Here are some of the latest and greatest new ride-on toys that have zoomed into our view that we are certain will make our most adventurous young riders very, very happy. Related: Best gifts...

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Maternity clothes you’ll want to wear even if you’re not pregnant.

Ever had that feeling of irritable jealousy when you caught your pregnant friend still rocking cute cotton dresses and jeans without expandable waists? Yep, me too. In a blink of an eye I was in clothes that made me look like I was due any moment. . . and let’s not even discuss how long I wore those saggy maternity clothes after my baby was born. I could have used some pieces from the new-to-the-US Mayarya: More than Maternity line, which has so many gorgeous outfits that are designed to work with a woman’s changing body, whether she’s expecting, nursing, or not expecting at all. Created by Japan’s Reika...

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The souvenir box that keeps you organized. No more parenting memory fails.

Though I’ve saved that first tooth, first snip of hair, and various other “firsts” from the early years with my three kids, the memories are scattered in various books, boxes, and envelopes tucked away in drawers and closets for, you know, safekeeping. In other words, ask me to tell you what my son’s first real sentence was, and uh, I know I wrote it down somewhere. Really, I did. So that may be the reason I’m so smitten by Moulin Roty’s Les Papoum Souvenir Box, which insures that all those “firsts” and special memories stay collected in one pretty place, besides...

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Make your dreariest mornings a whole lot brighter with these 5 mugs. (Coffee helps too.)

We could all use a little nudge to get moving some mornings, especially after a horrible night sleep with a teething infant or a sick child. And what’s way more helpful than a friend chanting “it takes a village,” or your partner reminding you “it’s just a phase,” are these get-up-and-go coffee mugs we found on Etsy. With these motivational mugs, you can get the affirmation you need that everything is going to be all right — and, really, it will be all right — and go seize the day, even on just 2 hours of sleep. (Coffee helps too.) Related: 9 beautifully...

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Making chemistry more fun with My First Science Textbooks

Anyone of us parents who can still recite the Preamble to the Constitution thanks to the animated shorts of Schoolhouse Rock knows how much kids can learn (and retain) when information is presented in the right way, a.k.a, learning without realizing you’re learning. So, we are so intrigued by a series of beginner chemistry books that hope to make the behaviors of protons, neutrons, and atoms as absorbable as, say, the superpowers of Spiderman. My First Science Textbooks by Genius Games founder John Coveyou is currently blowing up Kickstarter by reaching over 10 times its goal. Clearly, there are a lot of us parents who want...

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One of the trendiest clothing brands for kids just got super affordable. Parents rejoice!

We have loved Pink Chicken‘s beautifully made, non-fussy dresses and tunics for so many years. I remember Liz once showing off one of her favorite dresses that had been passed from child to child and was still going strong many years later. (Editor’s Note: It’s a size 4 and my 8 year old still wears it as a tunic! -L) It definitely made that splurge a whole lot easier to justify. But now, there’s no need to find justification in splurging on their stylish dresses. Boho-chic Happy by Pink Chicken is a new line of more affordable girls and women’s clothes exclusively online at Target. Same bright colors, fun graphics, and...

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Have bike, will travel: The super cool Durban bikes

Anyone who has seen my garage knows that we do not lack for bicycles. But, I always wished for a bike small enough to just toss into the trunk of my car alongside the kids’ scooters for weekend rides in the park or on the boardwalk. Which is why I was extremely excited to try out the Metro Special Edition foldable bike from Durban (yeah, the one seen on Ellen), a snazzy looking set of wheels that folds down to a portable size. What could be cooler? Made primarily for urbanites who may not have room to store a big bike in their apartments,...

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The prettiest floral rain coats for spring that our girls will think are really cool

Everything’s coming up roses… and daisies and poppies and all the other flowers of springtime. And, lucky for our girls, we’re seeing these fashionable florals all over the most stylish rain coats of the season. Enjoy a burst of color on even the dreariest of days. Related: Modern floral Easter dresses for girls: 8 picks our girls love as much as we do From soft, lightweight jackets our girls can put on whenever a drizzle looks imminent, to hardcore performance coats that will keep them dry in a downpour, we found eight stylish options in all sizes to cover our toddlers and our tweens. Rain, rain go away? Maybe not, with...

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We heart the new personalized emoji labels from Mabel’s Labels

We all have hearts in our eyes over Mabel’s Labels’ latest design: personalized Emoji name labels for our kids’ water bottles, backpacks, toys, and — of course — favorite texting device. With three designs to choose from, parents can pick the emoji that best represents their child. No, none of them are scowling — that’s just a phase. Honest. And, thankfully, the poop icon isn’t represented in this group. Related: Fun emoji gifts: For kids or kids at heart I love that each set comes with 45 bright and durable labels, so we can add them to (and re-add them to) tons of stuff that our kids have a habit...

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