Author: Kate Etue

One quick laundry tip that will save you loads (ha!) of time

With six people living in my house, there are days when I feel like all I do is laundry. And that the baskets of dirty clothes just keep piling up. (Stop the insanity!) But there is one quick laundry tip has changed my life in a good way: My family quit using laundry baskets. Instead of tossing their dirty clothes in the baskets in their room, then spending a day lugging them up and down the stairs, sorting, and washing them, my kids now put their clothes straight in the washing machine when they change after their showers each night. After a...

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Are you paying your babysitter enough? 9 surprising stats about childcare.

One of the questions parents are always asking each other is, “how much should I be spending on my babysitter or nanny?” The answer is so tough. The last thing I want to do is underpay someone with the important job of taking care of my kids, but I know that rates depends on the experience of the sitter, whether it’s a part-time high school student or an experience, trained full-time nanny, and of course, where we live. Related: 21 inspired ideas when you’ve only got a two-hour date night So I talked to the folks at UrbanSitter who recently conducted a national...

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6 surprising things you should never throw away, because they make great toy storage solutions

I’m convinced my kids’ toys are spontaneously spawning in the playroom at night while we sleep. Surely I’m not the only parent who can’t figure out where all my kids’ toys have come from. As a result, I’m constantly in need of new storage options. My playroom is lined wall-to-wall with cabinets and storage bins to keep stuff organized, but over the years, I’ve found there are a few surprising household items that I never throw away, because they make great toy storage solutions. Here’s to free stuff that makes your life simpler and more organized. Because, we’re all for that. And...

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10 of the best, thoughtful gifts for newly adoptive parents and their kids

As a newly adoptive parent, I’ve received a lot of generous adoption gifts from friends and family that celebrate our daughter’s culture and heritage, and speak volumes about the fact that she came into our family in a way very different from our other three children. Of course, like any new parent, an adoptive parent would welcome home cooked meals, gift cards, boxes of diapers. But if you’re looking to give a more meaningful or sentimental gift, I’ve pulled together 10 of the best adoption gifts that I would love to have received myself. Each one of these is sure to get a very...

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Three cool LEGO add-on sets that make your builds even cooler

I’m not so sure my kids could ever get bored of the LEGO sets that are currently blanketing the floor of our playroom, but just in case, I found three cool LEGO add-on sets that will make their builds even more exciting. These sets are for kids who are able to follow the directions of a basic LEGO build themselves. In other words, your 5-year-old who’s a major LEGO fangirl would probably love these too, but will need help putting them together. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: 16 essential skills kids learn from LEGO, and fantastic resources to help get them going...

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11 cool, modern ABC books for kids that parents will love too

I adore almost all children’s books, and thank goodness for that since I am a mom of four kids. But there’s one genre — the ABC book — that makes my eyes glaze over. Hey, you can only read “A is for apple” so many times. Over the years, however, I’ve found some really cool and modern takes on the typical ABC books for kids that (gasp) even I sometimes choose when it’s my turn to pick a book to read to my kids. If your child is learning their letters — or even if they’re already reading chapter books — these ABC books will...

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Sesame Street honors Black History Month with some of their favorite show clips. Ours, too.

If you’ve been looking for a good way to celebrate diversity with your very youngest kids during Black History Month (and well, every single month), a great place to start is Sesame Street. Because, of course! Our favorite kids’ show has been celebrating diversity from episode number one, and this month their YouTube channel is highlighting a great selection of clips in honor of Black History Month that your kids will love. From from old school clips with Maya Angelou to Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs, these are just some of the clips from the Sesame Street YouTube playlist celebrating Black History Month, with some of our...

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We can’t wait to read our way through this 100 essential novels scratch-off poster from Pop Chart Lab.

Looking for a good book to read this winter? This classic novels scratch-off poster chart at Pop Chart Lab has your next 100 book recommendations for you, with the most satisfying check-off list ever. This framed art poster has 100 classic novels — books like Pride and Prejudice, Fahrenheit 451, Gone with the Wind, and Animal Farm — with covers partially covered in scratch-off gold. As you make your way through the list, you scratch off each one to reveal the whole cover. Feeling satisfyingly smug yet? Related: 7 books to help you feel fabulous right now (because shame is so 2016) Now, this is Pop Chart...

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Where to see all the 2016 Oscar best-picture nominees (especially for parents who have only seen Moana).

Do you know how many of the 2016 Oscars best picture nominees I’ve seen this year? Zero. Not a single one. Because, kids. But, I have one last chance to see them all before the big awards ceremony. And at a discount too. See, sometimes it pays to procrastinate. Top: Hidden Figures | 20th Century Fox Related: 12 easy Oscars party ideas to make watching the awards even more fun This month, AMC theaters Best Pictures Showcase will show every best-picture nominee over the course of two days — four movies on February 18 and five on the 25th — for way less...

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The hip, historical t-shirts for kids we’re obsessed with right now

Like the rest of the country, I’ve been a little Hamilton-obsessed lately. So when I found these hip, historical t-shirts for kids at Wee Rascals that have that same hip, historical bent as the musical that’s on everyone’s mind these days, I knew I had to share. And with President’s Day coming up next week, I have the perfect excuse to order these for my own kids. Related: A patriotic T-shirt that reminds us of what makes America wonderful.   Related: The ultimate girls in STEM book of kick-butt Women in Science This indie shop was started by two moms who wanted to...

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11 DIY Valentine’s gifts kids can make themselves (we promise!) | Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2017

Some of my all-time favorite gifts from my kids are the ones they’ve made for me. But, I have to be realistic with my expectations. I don’t have a craft supply closet that can rival Michael’s. Or a craft supply closet at all, for that matter. So I spent a few hours searching Pinterest and Craftgawker to find the coolest DIY Valentine’s gifts kids can make themselves without a whole lot of hassle and extensive (or expensive) crafting materials. These are all sweet keepsakes any teacher, grandparent, babysitter, coach, or sibling would love. And, hey, maybe your kids will even make one for you...

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We cannot wait to get our hands on this newly discovered fairy tale by Mark Twain.

Well, this isn’t something we get to share everyday: A new, never-before-published Mark Twain story will be released this fall. (Can you hear us cheering from here?) The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine is a fairy tale that Twain left unfinished, but Philip Stead and Erin Stead, the brilliant Caldecott-winning duo behind A Sick Day for Amos McGee and Lenny and Lucy, have stepped in to finish the story and illustrate it beautifully. We couldn’t be more excited. Related: 9 lovely children’s books about the immigrant experience to help encourage more kindness and empathy Related: This new book for girls has us shouting, WOW! Twain...

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A Greyhound, a Groundhog: A fun tongue-twisting book to read with your kids on Groundhog Day

My kids love checking in with the news to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow every year on Groundhog Day (SPOILER ALERT: there will be six more weeks of winter this year), and so the new book A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Chris Appelhans is one we just had to check out. It’s fun for Groundhog Day, but any other day of the year too, because even though it features a groundhog, it’s most definitely not about Groundhog Day. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: The best lists of the best children’s books of 2016, all in...

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3 cool ways to display travel photos that inspire you to take another trip soon

My husband and I recently spent two life-changing weeks in Seoul, South Korea, which means I have a zillion gorgeous photographs to show off to family and friends. On that 16-hour flight home, I spent some time scanning Pinterest and geeked out over these cool, creative ways to display travel photos. I can’t wait to get started on these projects. Once the jet lag passes. Related: The coolest travel journals for kids to help them remember every awesome moment As long as you have a steady hand with scissors, this travel photos map at Cut Craft Create (also shown at top) shouldn’t be too hard....

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Spicing things up this Valentine’s Day with…a box.

Sometimes it can be hard to think outside the box when it comes to date nights for me and my husband. Actually, as busy working parents of four kids, it can be hard to even think outside the house when it comes to date nights. Netflix and wine, anyone? So, when Datebox sent me a sample of their subscription boxes to try out, I was curious to see the fresh, new ideas it claimed would help amp up our couple time together. (Ha! Couple time! What’s that, says the mom of four?) Related: Condoms for Valentine’s Day that give in (ahem) more than...

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From the OMG files: The portable changing table that hangs from the bathroom stall door.

Until there’s a changing table in every restroom — male and female — one company has come up with an innovative solution in a portable baby changing table. And it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. The Baby Change-n-Go was designed by two moms with toddler twins, with the hopes of saving parents a whole lot of grief when the only option is to change your baby on the bathroom floor (ew) or in your lap. It’s small enough to fit in your diaper bag until you need it. Then you just unfold it, and basically slip over the top of any public restroom stall door. Fold it down, and you’ve got...

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5 wonderful MLK Day crafts to help inspire important conversations with kids

My kids, like so many, have this Monday off of school to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and I always find that craft activities are a good way to engage kids around any important day. So I’ve tracked together some really fun craft ideas for MLK Day that my kids can create to help us celebrate diversity and inclusivity — and hopefully get some important conversations rolling around any household. And if for some reason your school isn’t off for the day, these could be great classroom activities as well, along with a watching of King’s famous I Have a Dream speech (linked...

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Unicorns, lions, and Yoda? Adorable animal winter hats for babies

If you’re a parent of a new baby, you’ll soon find that many experienced moms and grandmothers on the street will stop and tell you: You have to put a hat on your baby during cold winter weather! Some will even suggest you dress your babies this way in spring and fall, and on cooler summer nights too. And this season, I am loving the animal-themed winter hats for babies that’ll make them look stylish and keep them warm all winter. Or, anytime, really. From unicorns horns to long bunny ears, here are some adorable animal winter hats for babies you won’t want to...

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The game-changing winter fleece pullover for kids. Who knew there was such a thing?

Trying to get your toddler to quit squirming long enough for you to wriggle on a pair of mittens is basically a parenting rite of passage. One much easier said than done. Which is why I’m so impressed with the lightweight kids’ fleece pullover with mittens attached I tried out from the new-ish parent-run business EtS Apparel. Because these waterproof mittens zip on at the wrists, getting them on is as easy as putting on a shirt. Okay, so it’s still somewhat of a challenge. But I’ll take an innovation that makes it even a little easier for me. Related: 6 fantastic pairs of kids’ winter boots on sale right now. Hurry! I’ve actually...

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Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Cleansing System review: Is it really worth the price? An honest look.

As the new year loomed over me, I got an early start on my resolution to rid myself of dry, dead skin, and take better care of my face. I tested out quite a few skincare devices over the course of one month that had been sent to me for review consideration — from ultrasonic infusers to battery-powered cleansing brushes — to see if they would make a difference. At the end of the month, only one product actually made the cut: Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Cleansing System. If you’re not familiar with this bestselling product, I wanted to review it to see...

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