Author: Kate Etue

8 tips and tricks you can start now to help your kids avoid the summer slide. Because, it’s coming.

Summer break will be here in just a minute, but there are some things you can start planning now to help make sure your kids don’t hit the summer slide on their reading and math skills over the break. Research shows that most kids lose about two months’ of learning over the summer — and have for the last 100 years or so. But by putting some simple (and, yes, even fun!) activities in place for the summer, you can help your kids retain what they’ve learned this year. We’ve polled everyone from teachers to administrators to BTDT parents to find...

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The quick-fix, natural bug bite remedy that really works. Really!

With the weather getting warming and my kids spending the afternoons playing outside, we’re starting to see a lot more bug bites on their tender, sensitive skin. Mean ones. The kind that turn bright red, itch like crazy, and keep them up at night. Ugh! But, I’ve found an incredibly easy, quick-fix, natural bug bite remedy that I’m itching (ha!) to share. Because, it really works! And you most likely already have everything you need to make it right in your pantry at home. Related: Your essential guide to the best, safe tick repellents for kids this spring. Because, eek. All you need...

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Damn you, Facebook ads: We tried the FLEX disposable tampon alternative, and here’s how it worked for us. In full detail (sorry).

I’m coming up on my 25thish anniversary of my first visit from Aunt Flo. And over that those 2.5 decades, I’ve had the same exact routine every month: tampons and pads. I wasn’t necessarily looking to spice things up in that department, but when I saw the ads on Facebook for a free trial box of FLEX disposable tampon alternatives, I figured, why not give them a try? And then share every sordid detail with the entire Internet. So, here’s how my tampon-free week went, so you can see if making the switch is right for you. FLEX: What is it? (No, really.) Okay, so...

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This Is How We Do It: The fabulous new book that teaches kids empathy while celebrating diversity.

One of the best ways our kids can learn empathy and celebrate diversity is to see the myriad of ways different people live their lives all around the world. Which is why I am loving the brand-new children’s book, This Is How We Do It, by Matt Lamothe. My kids get to see that their way of life isn’t the only way. And that’s a really important lesson. For us all. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy. Related: The One Globe Kids app takes your children around the...

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A fun summer fashion trend anyone can pull off. Seriously, we’re obsessed.

We’ve been keeping our eyes on hot shoe trends lately (it’s hard work, but someone has to do it) and we’ve noticed a new look coming out of the Mediterranean that we’re completely obsessed with: tassel, lace-up, blinged-out boho sandals. These shoes are so fun, and the best part? They’re a hot summer fashion trend anyone can pull off. If you’re looking for a way to add some big personality to your summer style, check out these five boho sandals we’ve picked as our favorites. For each shop, click through and look around at all their styles. They’re all handmade, so each pair is...

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Should your kids be watching 13 Reasons Why? 15 must-read articles to help you figure it out.

Okay, parents. Let’s talk 13 Reasons Why and whether your kids should be watching it. Because, no doubt, your kids are doing just that. And now that it’s been picked up for a second season on Netflix, the question about whether your kids should watch it won’t be going away anytime soon. Now personally, I haven’t watched the series yet myself because after checking with the Common Sense Media review (which has a suggested age of 16+) and talking with my own trusted parenting friends, I’ve decided my 11-year-old is too young. Also, we’re getting word about entire schools sending out warning letters to parents,...

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An updated comparison of our 13 favorite custom photo book services, for one of our all-time favorite gifts

Since one of our very favorite Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and teacher gifts are custom photo books, we thought it was about time to take a fresh look at our favorite custom photo book companies. There are now so many out there, it can be hard to choose one service over another. That’s where we come in! We’ve researched and tried dozens of them, and we’ve narrowed down 13 of our absolute favorites, with a few details on what makes each one special. So, if you’ve got a few thousand photos sitting on your laptop like we do, it might be time to...

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Emojis, sly cats, and other cool kids’ leggings you won’t see everywhere on the playground

Hold on to your credit cards, mamas. Because we found some seriously cool kids’ leggings at The Trendy Tot Etsy shop. From magic 8 balls to emoji faces, these knee patches will add a ton of interest and personality to your kids’ wardrobe this spring. Let’s just say, we’re all in. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Totally tubular 80’s clothes for rad babies, like, yours, you know? Related: 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too. Sure, they’re priced a bit more than we’d ordinarily spend on a single pair of leggings....

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10 adorable handmade Mother’s Day cards from the kids that will totally melt Mom’s heart

My most favorite Mother’s Day cards are the ones my kids make themselves. Because, how can I resist an adorable handprint poster or toddler-style drawing of Mommy & Me? Heart is melting over here. So, I’ve checked out some of our favorite craft bloggers and DIY sites to find some creative ideas for handmade Mother’s Day cards from the kids. Maybe I’ll just leave the screen open to these so my kids will see them and get inspired to make some sweet Mother’s Day cards of their own. Hint, hint. At top: A fun, DIY, free printable Mother’s Day cootie catcher at Homan at Home...

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75+ of the best Mother’s Day brunch recipes you can prep the day before, cook at the last minute, or make with the kids

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and so I’ve been searching for some really great brunch recipes. Good news is, between Cool Mom Picks and Cool Mom Eats, we’ve already found more recipes than we could ever cook in a lifetime, so we rounded them up in one place just for you. Whether you’re looking for a recipe you can prep ahead of time, a sweet treat for a thoughtful and delicious food gift, or even a mocktail (or cocktail) to make the day a bit more festive, we’ve got 75+ Mother’s Day brunch recipes the whole family will enjoy — all right here. At top:...

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3 tips for keeping a gratitude journal with kids that’ll make them happier, healthier, and more thankful too

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz lately about how transformative gratitude can be for your psyche. Studies are cropping up everywhere showing that being intentional about thankful has huge health benefits, from better sleep to less anxiety to rewiring your brain for positivity. And it even works with kids. So, last month, I decided to start a gratitude journal with my daughter. After just a few days, I noticed a big improvement in my daughter’s attitude. In fact, one night she told me, very simply, “I’m so glad we’re doing this. It makes me happy.” And no, I hadn’t pitched her on...

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12 truly cool handmade Mother’s Day gifts from kids that become heart-melting keepsakes | Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017

There’s nothing quite like a handmade Mother’s Day gift from the kids to melt a mom’s (or grandma’s or stepmom’s) heart. But take it from this mom of four kids, while all Mother’s Day gifts are perfect (really), I’ve tracked down a dozen very cool ideas that are truly special. Let’s just say, I’d love to wake up to any of these on Mother’s Day morning, and save them as keepsakes forever. Not that there’s anything wrong with a macaroni necklace, but we think these handmade Mother’s Day gifts step things up just a bit. At top: Hand-shaped clay ring dish | Mama Papa...

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7 of the coolest, most covetable fidget spinners. Because OMG, kids are obsessed.

Cool fidget spinners and fidget cubes are absolutely taking over the world these days. In fact we’ve compared notes here on team Cool Mom Picks and yep, kids across the country are collectively losing their ever-loving minds over these fidget spinners. Stores are sold out and kids are spinning obsessively. All. day. long. For some kids who have trouble staying still or need to redirect all that physical energy to help them stay focused, the original KCHKUI fidget cubes can be truly fantastic. A few of the moms here have seen some great results with our own kids, and some of...

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Life saver! 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too.

It’s swimsuit shopping season again, which is increasingly becoming a challenge for those of us with tween daughters. And, I get it: Mine doesn’t want to show up to the pool in the same swimsuit as our 5-year-old neighbor. And yet, I don’t want her dabbling in those skin-baring swimsuits and teeny bikinis that she’s seeing the “cool” older kids wearing. So we all did a whole lot of searching for those of you in the same boat, finding some truly cool swimsuits for tweens and teens that are stylish, modest, and let’s be honest…appropriate. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The most adorably modern, modest, mix-and-match...

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One of our favorite teacher gifts is back: the 2017 Children’s Book Week poster and gifts!

One of my very favorite teacher gifts is here! The 2017 Children’s Book Week poster, and all the fun accompanying gifts. Each year, this is one of my go-to gifts for the special teachers or librarians who have fostered a love of reading in my kids. And I couldn’t be more excited that one of my very favorite illustrators, Christian Robinson (whose work you may know from Last Stop on Market Street or Josephine or Gaston), designed this year’s poster. Yay! I love knowing that my purchase of these gifts each year helps support Every Child a Reader, the non-profit who organizes Children’s Book Week (which is May 1–7...

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We found 13 amazing Mother’s Day gifts under $20 that don’t feel cheap at all | Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Our love for our moms may know no bounds, but our budgets? Well, they have bounds! We get it. Which is why this year, we really wanted to dedicate part of our Mother’s Day Gift Guide to some of the amazing Mother’s Day gifts under $20 that we’ve been spotting in our efforts to put together lots of awesome gift ideas for moms and grandmas. The best part is, she’ll never know. Because all 13 of these Mother’s Day gift ideas are meaningful, sweet, and heartfelt at any price. In fact we’d be happy to receive any one of these gifts from our own...

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Organic kids and baby clothing: 7 labels we love in every price range

The spring cleaning bug has hit, and I’m getting ready to tackle my kids’ closets. It’s a big job. And today of all days, being that it’s Earth Day, I’m inspired to think greener when it comes to my kids’ clothes. While I’m not a fan of harsh chemicals used in the manufacturing process right up against my kids’ sensitive skin all day (especially the younger ones), I know that replacing entire closets with only organic children’s clothing is insanely expensive. So we’re not going to do that. But if you do want to indulge in a few special items,...

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4 of our new favorite green cleaning products that actually work

I tend to get headaches when I use strong chemical cleaning products, especially when I’m cleaning a small space, like my bathroom, which is why I really do favor green cleaning products under one condition: they have to work. And since it’s time for some spring cleaning around my house (actually, let’s be honest, it’s way past time for that) I’m excited to have had the chance to test out a ton of green cleaning products lately, and put together my favorites. Besides keeping the chemicals out of our home and our air, it’s nice to be able to give the...

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5 genius nursery organization tips, for new parents who could use a Starbucks right about now

Having a new baby is completely life-changing in the best possible way…and, in some harder-to-embrace ways too. (Looking at you, complete lack of sleep.) If you’re anything like me, a house that’s in chaos will make you feel even more stressed than those post-pregnancy hormones will, so getting organized will make a big impact on your mood. To help, I’ve rounded up some genius nursery organization tips that will let you focus more on your baby and less on finding your baby’s stuff. CMP is an rstyle affiliate At top: laundry folding tips | Two Twenty One Related: Eliminate clutter in your nursery...

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The limited-edition Bugaboo Niark1 stroller: Parenting gear with serious street cred.

My youngest is just about to age out of her stroller, which is a shame because the brand new Bugaboo Niark1 stroller limited-edition accessories is crazy cool. In this collaboration, Bugaboo gave French graphic artist Sébastien Féraut (a.k.a. Niark1) free reign to create a new canopy design using his iconic monster images. And the result is whoa! Who knew a stroller could give us such serious street cred? Related: The best strollers to buy right now: What to look for, what to avoid, and which brands we’d buy again. You can scroll the Bugaboo website to see which canopies fit which stroller...

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