Author: Kate

Super easy last-minute Halloween costumes for kids that you can make in 10 minutes or less.

When my kids were small I somehow had the time to make their costumes by hand — things like princess dresses, a lion, and one amazing Nacho Libre costume. However, last year I literally pulled together a costume for my oldest in about 5 minutes before our friends came over to trick-or-treat with us. And his Halloween was just as awesome as ever. So, whether you’re the DIY master who’s gotten too busy this month to make something from scratch, or you have a kid who can’t make up his mind about his costume and now you need something stat,...

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Celebrate Everything by Darcy Miller: The party planning guidebook so inspiring it will make you celebrate…oh heck. Tuesdays.

The holidays are fast approaching, which means it’s party season! I’m thinking all about Halloween this week, but before you know it we’ll be planning New Year’s parties. Not to mention the, oh… 1,285 family birthdays that my family seems to celebrate in November and December alone. I could use a little fresh inspiration to make each of these parties really special, and I’m finding lots of it in the wonderful new party idea book, Celebrate Everything, by Martha Stewart Weddings editor and party planner extraordinaire, Darcy Miller. Whether you’re looking for something as simple as a fun cocktail recipe, a jolt of inspiration for a central...

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The handmade, organic Frida Kahlo doll: Art history degree not required.

The first-ever gift I gave my daughter was a beautiful handmade doll I found on Etsy, and ever since then I’ve had a thing for gifting my kids one-of-a-kind dolls. Of course, she has her fair share (and then some) of American Girl everything, but when I find a keepsake like the handmade, organic Frida Kahlo dolls made by Mexican artists Maroma + Arte, I feel compelled add to her growing collection. She certainly doesn’t need another doll, but I really want her to have this one. And a little lesson in art history and female empowerment to go along with it won’t...

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9 easy Halloween games for kids that will make your party the best on the block

I’m barely getting to the store before all the good candy is gone, so I’m definitely not looking for over-the-top complicated crafts and activities that are going to impress my friends at our annual Halloween party. And when I’m charged with bringing the games for the classroom party, too, I want easy and fun. So, I’ve been searching for simple games my kids can play with their friends at school and before we head out for trick-or-treating. These Halloween games for kids are easy to pull off — most are printable — and are actually a lot of fun. You can choose to give...

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Our 6 favorite baby carriers and slings, in honor of International Babywearing Month

October is my favorite month, because: hot cider, changing leaves, and sweater weather. And let’s go ahead and add International Babywearing Month to that list of loves too. As a new mom, I had plenty of unwelcome advice from strangers to not “spoil” my babies by holding them too much (which, if you were wondering, is not a real thing), but I just let that roll right off my back. Keeping them close to me was a huge comfort to us both, and sometimes, even now, I miss those months of snuggling all day long. So, in honor of babywearers everywhere, we...

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Doodle leggings: Just another reason why it’s awesome to be a kid.

I like to stock my daughter’s wardrobe with lots of leggings when the weather gets cooler. She can wear them under anything from dresses to long sweaters, and they’re definitely way more comfy than jeans. So, I spent a couple hours clicking through some of favorite shops to see what’s trending this fall, and I couldn’t help but be drawn to (ha) the doodle leggings that are everywhere, indie shops to big box stores alike. From unicorns to mushrooms to word play, these doodle leggings for kids are clearly revealing everything that captures their very vivid imaginations. And, really, they’re just so fun. CMP is an rstyle...

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12 awesome kids’ Halloween costumes made with pajamas. Comfy, easy and cool.

For years, I’ve had tons of fun using plain pajama sets — like the ones you can find at Primary or Hanna Andersson — as the base for my kids’ Halloween costumes. With some head-to-toe monochromatic pajamas, all I’ve had to do is add some detail — a DIY that’s easy enough for me to pull off even with a busy schedule. I’ve cut strips of white duct tape to turn a basic black pajama set into a skeleton, and I’ve glued green triangles down the back of a red pair of pajamas to make a dragon. What I love most about kids’ Halloween costumes made with pajamas...

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Fringed handbags: How to get this stylish fall trend in any budget, from $15 to…way, way more.

For the last few years, we’ve been loving the Navajo-inspired designs in everything from jewelry to home decor, and so it’s no surprise we are big fans of the fringe trend for fall that we’re seeing on gorgeous handbags from top designers to way more affordable ones on Amazon. And we love that it works for any budget. Depending on your personal style and budget, you can make a big, bold statement with all-over fringe on a designer handbag or go for a more simple look by adding a fringed tassel to your favorite bag. Even if you’re like me and a bit hesitant to buy a...

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The Belly Art Project by Sara Blakely: A fun gift for new moms that also happens to help moms in need.

Sara Blakely has been fantastically successful helping us hide our post-baby bellies with her magical Spanx products, but now she’s asking women to show off their bellies all in the name of charity. Her new book, The Belly Art Project, is a fun gift that gives back to new moms who need our help the most. Plus it gives back a sense of humor to our pregnant friends who just might need a few laughs to get through those grueling last few weeks of pregnancy. I remember; it’s rough. Related: Sex after pregnancy: 5 tips from Rosie Pope to help you get back in the saddle again In the book,...

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Dragon Gloves: The edgy new trend we’re loving for Halloween.

From the new kids’ movie Pete’s Dragon to Game of Thrones, dragons are getting a good rep these days. Our kids are even talking about being dragons or dragon trainers for Halloween, so when we saw that these dark, edgy dragon gloves at The Scale Maiden were trending on Etsy, we knew we had to share them. Because chances are, someone in your house is obsessed with dragons too. Related: Putting the BOO in Halloween boots for kids. Of course, it’s not just dragons we love supporting, but small businesses too, so I was really excited to find these in an Etsy shop. Each pair is hand-knit in...

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15 amazing strong girl costume ideas for Halloween that go beyond the expected.

I have no problems with princesses and more traditional Halloween costumes for my daughter, but I admit I do have a bit of a bias toward strong girl Halloween costumes. So when my daughter told me she wants to dress up as a Greek goddess this year, I definitely felt a twinge of pride. Not only because she loves the classics, but because she recognizes that women can be strong and powerful, something I am more than happy to help her celebrate this Halloween — or any other day of the year. And hey, maybe next year she’ll be a kitty cat. And that will...

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Dan Yaccarino’s Happyland board books help our kids understand worry, gratitude and sharing. You know, the easy stuff.

If you’ve ever had this tune stuck in your head, “We’ve got the whole wide world in our yard to explore…”, you can thank Dan Yaccarino. He designed Pablo, Uniqua and the rest of the Backyardigans crew, and he’s also the creator of the adorable show Oswald. Best of all, he’s been a huge help to our kids in developing their imaginations and learning how to work well with others. With his new Happyland board books series, he’s aiming to teach children about social-emotional aspects of growing up — and, in our opinion, he nails it. We can only hope there are more books to...

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15 not-so-scary Halloween crafts and treats for kids who want the fun without the nightmares.

Not everyone has kids that want scary Halloween decorations around the house. Like mine, for example. Hosting a trick-or-treat party is one of my kids’ favorite traditions of the year, and they totally love Halloween, but they’d prefer we do more non-scary Halloween crafts to get them excited for the day. They’re too young to be into the whole fright-night thing, and so are their friends, so we keep things fun and light with pumpkins, silly monsters, funny skeletons, and the occasional friendly ghost. Adding some not-scary Halloween crafts for kids to your evening like these 15 we’ve found — as an...

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Got a kid who loves cars, planes, boats and art? They need the new book Project Kid: Crafts that Go.

Two years ago, when I learned about Parents magazine lifestyle editor Amanda Kingloff’s cool, modern crafts book Project Kid, I flipped. For joy. These were crafts my kids could easily make, and I’d actually want to keep. (Sorry, glitter macaroni necklace. You’re hitting the trash.) So when I found out her new book, Project Kid: Crafts that Go, is focused completely on crafts for kids who love planes, cars, trains, and boats, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Of course, it’s every bit as awesome as her first book. I love her ingenious hacks for household items — like turning an old cardboard box into...

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We found them! 15 seriously awesome preschool birthday party gifts under $15

When you’ve got a little one, you probably know that means you have a whooooole lot of preschooler birthday party gifts to look for over the course of the year. One gift for each party for each kid in your child’s preschool class? Yeouch. That’s a whole lot of gifts. And it definitely adds up. While every family has a different birthday party gift budget, it can be tough finding ones that cost in the $15 range or less. So we did the work for you! We all put our heads together around here and came up with a great list of...

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The most stylish tummy time blanket we’ve seen in…uh, ever?

After 11 years of parenting, I’m a pretty big believer in not buying baby gear that doesn’t grow with your child. That means floor mats dedicated exclusively to, say, tummy time isn’t at the top of my priority list. (As cute as they may be.) Instead, I’d throw down any clean blanket — or bath towel, if I’m being honest — and call it a day. But then I found the new Bliss round blanket from Little Giraffe, which is so perfect for playtime and, yes, tummy time. I think the cool, modern design is pretty enough that parents will want to use it long after their baby has...

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3 cool no-lace gadgets that make school mornings easier

My youngest child is still learning to tie his shoes. He can get it right about 50% of the time — just enough to be absolutely confident he can do it himself with no help from me thankyouverymuch. As you can imagine, this makes it hard to get out the door on time on school mornings. And his older brother’s teacher isn’t accepting his “my brother can’t tie his shoes” excuse for his tardiness. So, I caved and bought some of those no-tie shoelaces I’ve been seeing advertised all over Facebook — and, honestly, I love them. I’m thrilled to have found...

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How to plan an awesome long weekend with the kids in Asheville, NC

My favorite fall break destination with the kids is unquestionably Asheville, North Carolina. Even though it isn’t a kid-centric destination per se (no Mickey Mouse for miles), there’s still so many fun, family-friendly activities we can enjoy in the city and surrounding area. Plus, getting a chance to see the leaves change in the Appalachian Mountain region? Stunning. Asheville is kind of like a smaller, quainter little sister to Portland, Oregon. You’ll see hikers coming off the Appalachian Trail, art galleries on every corner, and even a few drum circles. I just love its slower pace and refreshing outlook, plus the cool, crisp mountain air is such a welcome...

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Turn signal gloves, inflatable helmets and other cool bike safety gear for the whole family

This summer my family hit a new milestone on our bikes: my youngest learned to ride without training wheels, and my oldest is now big enough to be trusted to ride his bike a couple blocks to his friend’s house on his own. (Although I still sit next to the phone until that “got there” text comes through. Exhale.) But now that my kids are growing more independent on their bikes, I’m thinking of some gear — beyond the mandatory helmet — that can help them stay safe on the roads during the day and night. From innovative lighting...

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How L.A. families in need can get free infant car seats this week: Spread the word

We’re all huge fans of The Good+ Foundation, which was started 15 years ago by Jessica Seinfeld — and you may know it by its original name, Baby Buggy. (In fact, our Editor-in-Chief Liz is so committed, she’s a member of the Friends of Good+ Foundation board of ambassadors.) In less than two decades the organization has worked to provide more than 20 million essential baby supplies to low-income families. And now, I’m so happy to learn that in time for this week’s National Child Passenger Safety Week, they’ve teamed up with another brand we love, Britax, to provide families in need with free car seats, along with tips for buckling up safely. Because...

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