Author: Kristen Chase

Vans shoes, even customizable for your budding fashion designer

I just so happened to be in a Vans store without children last weekend (dreamy, right?) and whoa, just when I thought some of my favorite shoes couldn’t get any cooler, they did. If you’re like me and are shopping for spring and summer shoes for your kids, take a peek at what I found. So, while the Late Night line isn’t super new, it’s definitely new to me. I snatched up the Donut slip-ons for my daughter, who’s completely, 100% obsessed with them. But I have to say the Pizza slip-ons cracked me up. Related: Fayvel shoes let...

Read More

Sponsored Message: Never miss a game, season finale or live TV event with Slingbox

This is a sponsored message from Slingbox. Whether you travel for work or just need a diversion while you’re waiting for your kids at soccer practice, Slingbox lets you watch and control all the cable TV channels you already pay for when you’re on the go — on your tablet, phone, PC, or Mac. All with absolutely no monthly fees. – Don’t miss a special offer below! –  Getting set up with Slingbox is easy. Just connect it to your set-top box in seconds via WiFi or Ethernet cable, and the service will “sling” all of your cable channels right to your...

Read More

The Gift of Failure: 3 tips from Jessica Lahey to help you raise more self-reliant kids

With the prevalence of helicopter parenting these days, it’s no surprise we’re seeing kids becoming much more dependent than independent — and let’s face it, we’re seeing more really tired parents. But it can be challenging for parents who are used to doing so much for our kids to take a step (or a bunch of steps) back and allow our kids some autonomy. So how thrilled were we to welcome Jessica Lahey, columnist, educator, and author of The Gift of Failure to our Spawned with Kristen and Liz this week to discuss ways we might be inadvertently stifling our kids’ creativity and...

Read More

Pouch goals. Is that a thing? Because it should be.

With everything you can find at Society6 — smart phone cases, laptop bags, even leggings — they’ve now added carry-all pouches and let’s just say I’ve spent waaaaaaay too long flipping through all the fabulous choices. These canvas pouches with wraparound artwork come in three different sizes, with the smaller ones a good choices for pencils or make-up, and the bigger sizes able to double as a clutch. And well, the choices are endless. Almost literally. Here are some of my favorites (whew, it was hard to choose). Related: Society6 leggings – Be still my stylish geeky heart weapons of mass...

Read More

The Clek Mat-thingy. Because kids + cars = gross.

As a suburban mom of four, I live in my car. And as much as I try to tell my kids that this time we will not be eating in the car (don’t laugh too hard), I can never stick to that rule because, well, we’re all in it so much. That’s why the Clek Mat-thingy is so smart. Also, the name makes me chuckle every time I say it. Related: Tokidoki and Clek collaborate for some out-of-this-world car seats  Not only does the non-slip, waterproof Mat-thingy protect your seats against spills and messes, it keeps them safe from compression damage courtesy...

Read More

Babyation: A smart, stylish breast pump. Nope, pigs aren’t flying.

My breast pump definitely got the job done, but it was certainly not stylish. Or smart. Try awkward and uncomfortable. But the husband and wife team behind Babyation are aiming to change that. Their new breast pump might be exactly what nursing moms have been hoping for. Babyation is the brain child of Jared Miller and Samantha Rudolph, born after they realized breast pumps really hadn’t changed much since the 1850s. Talk about scary! So, they set out to make a pump that’s super quiet, very discreet (as in, no boobage on display), and smart — it interfaces with an app that gives moms...

Read More

Happy Year of the Monkey, baby. You’re intelligent, creative, and darnit, people like you!

Today starts the Lunar New Year, and lots of little Year of the Monkey babies are soon to be born. If not already. I’ve always loved Tree by Kerri Lee‘s beautiful wooden birth year blocks, which a make sweet gift for a special little someone. Handcrafted by artist Kerri Lee and featured in her sister’s Etsy shop, you can order these in three colors, all of which feature characteristics of a Year of the Monkey baby. I think they make such lovely, affordable keepsakes, whether the lucky recipient is super into the Chinese zodiac, or just appreciates the thoughtfulness of a...

Read More

New and cool: Personalized Moleskines. Notebooks, journals, you name it. (Get it?)

I never leave home without my Moleskine notebook, as I’ve recently shared — or really, I should say “notebooks” considering how many I have for lists, ideas, and… more lists. Now I’m so excited that you can finally order personalized Moleskine notebooks online, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Or really any day in my book. (I can’t stop the puns!) Related: Illustrated handmade Moleskine journals. Ooh. If you love this as much as I do, hit the site, then choose from a huge selection of personalizable notebooks and journals — there are tons! Next click Personalize  under Add to Shopping Cart. You...

Read More

7 little indulgences under $10 that make big changes to your mood.

I’m a huge fan of grabbing little indulgences or surprises for my kids here and there to help make them feel better after a bad day or, you know, just make them feel special. But when it comes to me, I have gotten pretty good at rationalizing myself right out of treating myself, even though I know that these little things are not necessarily treats but rather small ways I can help brighten my own mood. And they definitely have a trickle down effect into my work, my kids, and yes, my own mental health. No surprise then that I welcomed the final...

Read More

Friendships after kids: Smart tips and resources for making new mom (and dad) friends | Spawned Episode 30

Making new friends as adults is hard enough as it is, but it can be especially challenging when you have kids. And it’s not just making new friends, but also maintaining those old ones too. I  know first-hand that when you’ve already gone all those life changes that come with a new baby, it would be so nice if there was at least one thing that stayed the same. Sigh. When our Spawned podcast listener Shari emailed asking us to discuss the topic friendships after kids (thanks Shari!), we jumped at the chance, because both of us have, in some way, experienced difficulties in that department....

Read More

8 great cars for big families that fit 3 car seats safely in the second row

I still remember car shopping when I was pregnant with my third child, trying to figure out which cars for big families would be right for me. As in, I didn’t want a minivan, and I wanted my car to safely fit three car seats, for my three kids under four. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea where to start, and it turned out to be something that dealers really didn’t know too much about either. Not fun. If only I could have thought to check out our newest partner, Cars.com, which is a tremendous help for families who are car shopping. It actually features a wealth of...

Read More

Stand up straight! 5 simple ways to improve your posture

I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m tall or because I sit hunched over a computer all day long, but I have terrible posture. This isn’t necessarily a new discovery, but what is new to me is how much bad posture can actually affect your stress levels — something I learned as part of our sponsor Aetna’s Month of Mindfulness #Mindful30 challenge. Yikes! Like it’s not bad enough that I realize I look bad slouching in pictures, now it’s contributing to stress? So for my 3rd challenge, they asked me to focus on “perfecting my posture,” and boy, did I need...

Read More

The Volume Mascara by Kevyn Aucoin: You’ll never buy another mascara ever again.

I discovered The Volume Mascara by Kevyn Aucoin last year when Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere raved about it, and after using it for this long (hey, it takes me awhile!), I feel comfortable saying that it is by far the best mascara I have ever owned. If you’re looking for the perfect mascara, then I have the one for you. Cool Mom Picks is a reward style affiliate.     As someone who wears contacts and needs a smudge-proof mascara that’s not waterproof, I’ve only really ever found a couple that work well, and even then, I could...

Read More

Meditation for parents: 5 easy ways to make it work for you

If you’re following along with me this month, you know I’m trying to make some positive changes in my life related to stress, something I’ve been struggling with both emotionally and physically for quite a while now. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been participating in Aetna’s Month of Mindfulness challenge, and wow, it’s definitely giving me the extra push I’ve been needing to reflect on what’s really going on in my life and what I can do to fix it. Hopefully I’m not alone in this and you’ve decided to join me. My first challenge was  5 tips and...

Read More

Becoming more mindful: 5 things you can do right now.

Last week, I wrote pretty candidly about the stress in my life and how it’s been affecting me both emotionally and physically, so it’s probably no surprise that one of my New Year’s resolutions (yes, I really do make them!) is to do something about stress in 2016. It’s one thing to know you have stress and to be able to identify your symptoms, but it’s another thing to really make necessary changes to your lifestyle. So I’m grateful for our partner Aetna’s A Month of Mindfulness 30-day challenge, which is giving me the push that I need to reflect on what’s been going on in my...

Read More

Stress and Parenting: A Confession

Hi, I’m Kristen and I’m stressed out. Why is it hard to admit that? As if I’m somehow not as competent or together as I’m supposed to be, whatever that means. Yes, I’m a single mom with four kids and my own business, so you might say, well duh, but I think it’s something we all face, whatever our work, living, or parenting situations. And it’s all okay — you don’t have to feel guilty about your own parent-related stress, even if you think someone else “has it harder” or is going through something more intense. It’s a relative thing...

Read More

Dozens of last-minute gift ideas for Christmas, hold the $49 overnight shipping charges

Are you still looking for a few awesome last-minute gift ideas for Christmas? We know you’re out there, and we’re here to help. So if you’re like us, and you’re still finishing up your Christmas shopping, do not panic. Heck, do not panic if you’re just getting started. Well, okay, you might want to hustle a bit. But panic? Nope, not yet. Check out lots of our favorite last-minute holiday gift ideas  in every price range, all of which you can still purchase or make yourself before Christmas morning for pretty much anyone still on your list. And hey, silver lining: what we love about last-minute gifts...

Read More

Sesame Street + Tattly = Best stocking stuffer ever. For the kids, too.

I have a longstanding love affair with Sesame Street, so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that our friends at Tattly recently teamed up with the Sesame Workshop to create a Sesame Street character set of temporary tattoos. Yes, I understand that they’re for kids, and don’t get me wrong, I know a few kids who will be finding these in their stockings this year. But I’m digging them for myself, too, which is why I’m excited they’ve got a Sesame Street Nostalgia set for us old people. I can’t be the only one who secretly wanted a Grover tattoo. Or…...

Read More

10 last-minute essentials to help you survive the Christmas holiday

As busy parent with Christmas right around the corner (ten days as of today, to be exact), I am thankful for places that make it easy to get all the last-minute stuff that I forgot to get but really, really need, in one handy place, like our sponsor CVS. Who you may know we’re kind of obsessed with around here. (Those ExtraCare Rewards receipts cannot be long enough for us.) Last month I shared my list of last-minute Thanksgiving essentials and now that I’ve blinked, and it’s time to get ready for Christmas, wow, they’ve got the place stocked with lots of stuff you need...

Read More

Squishable food stuffed animals: Cute enough to eat

I made a quick stop at my local toy shop the other week to grab holiday gifts for Liz’s kids, and the second I saw the squishable food stuffed animals I was pretty sure I had found winners. Well, after listening to the shrieks and squeals when they pulled them out of the bag, I went back to grab some for my kids too. So, it’s not just that these squishable food stuffed animals are ridiculously adorable. They’re super soft and squishy (yes, they live up to their name), and as someone who is generally a little loathe to stuffed animals...

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest