Author: Delilah S. Dawson

9 places we definitely did not expect to find pumpkin spice. But we’re glad we did. Because we’re laughing.

Full disclosure: I’m down with pumpkin spice. Lattes, candles, cookies, soap, cake, more cake. I love the smell, I usually enjoy the taste, and I am most definitely not judging you if you do too. When it comes to Pumpkin Spice Oreos and Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, I’m ready to start sampling. That being said, pumpkin spice has definitely reached a new level of weird, considering the range of crazy pumpkin spice products out there these days. As of right now, a search for “pumpkin spice” yields over 20 pages on Amazon and 151 pages on Etsy alone. Oh my gourd! Here are just a...

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How to get rid of spiders, mice, and moths — without burning down the house.

Is there anything worse than finding mouse droppings in your house? Oh, right. There is: Finding a palm-sized wolf spider in your kid’s bed. Ask me how I know. Luckily, I’ve found a company that makes all-natural pest repellent, which means you don’t have to burn your house down and move to a different country thanks to some unwelcome creature finding its way into your home. It’s called Stay Away, and it really works. Stay Away makes several different products, each crafted of all-natural, botanical, kid- and pet-safe ingredients. Whether your latest enemies are rodents, spiders, moths, ants, or beetles...

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Putting the BOO in Halloween boots for kids.

Some kids are just not down with full-body Halloween costumes. If you’ve ever tried to wrestle a screaming baby into that adorable plush monkey onesie and ended up covered in bodily fluids, you know just what I mean. Luckily, these adorable Halloween boots for kids help put a little BOO into your day without masks, sticky zippers, or strangers leaning terrifyingly close to ask, “Who’s a cute little doggy?” Bonus: They’re well made and will look fantastic all season long. The Little Creatures line from Emu includes shoes, boots, and booties made of premium suede and Australian Merino wool, which means they...

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Adorable silicone teethers that look just like donuts and other treats. Sweet!

Every good baby deserves donuts and ice cream and Oreos… at least in the form of adorable silicone teethers. Not only are they so delicious, you just want to gobble them up (the teethers, not the babies), they’re also super safe and carefully constructed. That’s one less thing to worry about. Oh, and the donuts contain no trans fats. Heh. Related: Teething toys so beautiful, they’re like your baby’s first accessory.     The teethers, which we found at Spearmint Love, are made of 100% food grade silicone and can be chilled for added relief while teething. The ones that come with...

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Tons of easy pirate party ideas, because every day should be Talk Like a Pirate Day.

There is never a bad time to throw a pirate themed party and look for cool pirate party ideas. Of course there’s always Halloween — and then today’s Talk Like a Pirate Day. (One of our favorites!) But it’s a cool birthday party theme all on its own, and it doesn’t even have to be all Pirates of the Carribbean themed either.  So thanks to printable decor and activities, crafty DIY shortcuts,  movies on demand, and clever but easy cupcake decorating ideas,  it’s possible to pull together a cool pirate themed party (or pARRRty) for your kids and all their best mateys in just...

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16 terrifically creepy YA novels for kids (and adults!) who dig dark themes. Boo!

As we turn the corner into All Things Pumpkin Spice, let us not forget that being up all night with a scary book can be truly delicious. These YA reads for teens (and adults!) who dig dark themes range from silly vampires to magical devils to absolute terror — and they all happen to be written by women. Several of them carry my personal Seal of Scareproval, and the rest were recommended by other YA authors and editors I trust, being a fantasy author myself, so you know we know our stuff. Hope one of these 16 novels is just...

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We’re fawning over these 9 adorable woodland creature bags for tweens.

Guiding a tween through fashion choices can get pretty squirrely. They want to seem grown up, but they also adore cuteness. It’s a bear of a problem for even the most chipper of moms. That’s why we’ve rounded up a staggering selection of adorable woodland creature bags for tweens that we found on Etsy — all of which straddle the line between Little Kid and No, You Can’t Wear Lipstick Yet. A little bird told me your kid’ll love them. Heh. At top: Deer Clutch | GableMade Related: Cool backpack and lunchbox sets that are perfect for tweens and teens....

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Go vintage with embroidered handmade jewelry. Because, dainty can be darling.

Jewelry with embroidery and lace? I know, I know. Very dainty. Very breakable. But still. So pretty! I’ve gone through all the stages of mom jewelry — from chewable beads to no (pullable!) stud earrings. Now that my kids are old enough to avoid snatching my favorite pearls, I’m into more delicate looks and longer chains, but I like something unique, something with an edge. These pretty handmade pendants and earrings deliver, big time. And you can even have something custom-made from your wedding dress or other lace-y keepsake. Related: Affordable keepsake jewelry for moms and grandmoms. This new Quaintrelle...

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The hottest new designer for kids is… your kid. Eat your heart out, Stella McCartney!

Whether your little artist is more of a Versace or a Van Gogh, they can become the hottest new designer… and wear a creation of their very own. Picture This is an awesome new mom-run business that will print your kid’s drawing directly onto a dress, whether for themselves, or in miniature for a favorite doll. Just download and print the dress template, let your child go crazy decorating it, email them a pic, and order a dress made from your very own kid’s artwork. Right now they offer a simple A-line t-shirt dress in sizes 2 to 18 that should look good on pretty much any...

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Swanky baby gear that looks like adult coloring books? Color us excited.

The only thing we love more than super safe, comfortable car seats and strollers is when our essential baby gear has swanky styling too. The new City Motif Collection of baby gear from Maxi-Cosi combines serious safety features with a playful black-and-white city skyline design that manages to look both very European and, well, like you could whip out some markers and color right on it. (But, don’t!) The City Motif line includes three different products to take your kids from teeny to toddling. To start off, there’s the Mico Max 30 infant seat, known for being the most lightweight seat...

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The (totally evil) family tabletop game for wicked word nerds and master strategists.

If your family is divided by the word nerds who love Scrabble and the strategists who love Monopoly, then we’ve found the family tabletop game for you. It’s called Word Domination, it’s on Kickstarter now, and it’s already winning gaming awards. Bonus: You get to be a super villain, minus the hidden volcano lair. Related: The 2016 board games of the year For $30, you can be the first family on the block to collect (and steal!) priceless artifacts and use fiendish weapons from your super-mega-evil arsenal in your plot for world — and word — domination. To play, you...

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It’s a perfume. It’s a bug spray. It’s my new best friend.

A delicious-smelling perfume that’s also a bug spray? That actually works? Shut the front door. It’s true. As a mosquito magnet and a fan of artisan fragrances, I’ve found my new best friend. It’s called Aromaflage, and I would wear it even if it didn’t protect me from mosquitoes. That’s how good it smells. Aromaflage currently comes in three different formulas: Original, Wild, and Sleep. I tried Original and Wild, and they are both lovely. Original hinges on vanilla and orange for a light, fun, tropical fragrance with a little grounding woodiness to keep it from being candylike or...

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Skateboarding to school just got a lot easier. And cooler.

When we lived in a big city, my kids loved to watch teens skateboarding to school. There was this effortless coolness to gliding along, flipping the board, tossing it over a shoulder, and hopping on a bus. If you think your kids might be a great age for rolling up the sidewalk by your side but don’t want to carry those skateboards home yourself, here’s a great way to combine skateboards with school supplies. Bonus: No more back-to-school backpack shopping. Related: 15 simple, possibly unexpected ways parents can connect with their tween or teen Penny Skateboards is known for well-made...

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The ultimate girls in STEM book of kick-butt Women in Science

True fact: This book is so cool that I had to go steal it back from my fifth grade daughter to review it. It’s called Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, and it’s geared toward celebrating the contributions women have made to science and the hurdles they’ve faced doing it. Whoo. These ladies were doing STEM before it was STEM. From Hypatia in ancient Egypt to Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian mathematician who was the first-ever woman to win the Fields Medal in 2014, this book perfectly balances well-researched facts with gorgeous, whimsical illustrations making it a...

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13 cool art projects for those summer seashells

If you’re feeling a bit #clambitious about that bucket of shells you and your kids collected on your beach vacation, we’ve got good news for you. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite art projects for those summer seashells, good for kids of all ages, ranging from quick and easy breezy to more difficult all-day crafting. No clamshell bras, promise. Related: 9 fun, easy crafts using shells to remind the kids of your summer vacation At top: seashell garden | alisaburke 1. DIY Seashell Seahorse This one looks more complicated than it is, really—and the end result will look great in...

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A YA book subscription for the teen (or bookaholic mom) who’s read everything.

When you’ve got a precocious reader in the house, it can be hard to find books they haven’t yet discovered and devoured. I know this because I am that reader and I spawned that reader. Luckily, we found a subscription service — you know we love subscription services!– that will send you the newest, most carefully vetted books for teens, kids who read on the teen level, and adults who love the fast pace and swoony tummy-flutters that YA books can provide. It’s called Uppercase Box, and it’s a YA book subscription service for readers 13 and up that...

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The Crocodile Dundee of Australian skincare is luxe, all-natural, and super effective.

Remember when Crocodile Dundee said, “That’s not a knife; THIS is a knife?” Yeah. That’s how I feel about cheap face wash right now, because this new jojoba oil skin care line straight out of Australia is giving me major results. Every day is a g’day when I’m slathering myself in products by The Jojoba Company, and that’s not nearly as hokey as it sounds. My current regimen includes washing with the Purifying Citrus Foaming Cleanser, moisturizing with the CoQ10 Antioxidant Serum, and doing weekly masks with the Skin Refining and Brightening Face Mask. Although all the ingredients are...

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Subscription boxes made for moms as picky as we are.

Oh, boy, do we love gift subscription boxes for moms around here. Whether for self-pampering, kid activities, or great gifts for new moms, we’re all about adding the (well curated!) element of surprise to an otherwise dreary mailbox without having to do the hours of curation ourselves. Now Ecocentric Mom is another great option to add to the list, especially if you’re super picky about what you put on and in your body. Because they are indeed super, super picky. Ecocentric Mom (not to be confused with Egocentric Mom which would be a totally different kind of gift box) offers three different subscriptions:...

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You’ve got to know when to fold ’em. And by that, we mean awesome origami art prints.

Origami will always be cool, but some of us will never progress past making hats. Now you can display crisp, fancy origami creatures proudly, whether you actually possess intricate paper folding skill or not, thanks to these modern-style origami art prints. Our pals at Noodlehug–surely you remember the I Like Big Cups and I Cannot Lie print?–now have a quintet of prints featuring origami animals combined with typography and shadows that would look lovely in a nursery or office. They currently have a bear, a fox, an owl, a crane, and a jolly green dragon, each archival printed in a variety of sizes. And,...

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Train the next adorable generation of baristas to spell your name right

Okay, so maybe my eight-year-old daughter already knows how to use a coffee maker. And maybe she has her own hand-painted Goblet of Fire mug, in which she begs for a sip of the steaming hot ambrosia of morning. But still, what if I’d gotten her started even earlier with cappuccino? That’s why this adorable wooden Babyccino Machine from Djeco at Little Citizens Boutique is so brilliant. Forget the wooden birthday cakes and felt donuts and give my future barista a cappuccino maker toy as pretty as it is fun that comes with real working parts, just like a Nescafe machine....

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