Author: Kristen

Why I stopped making my daughter clean her room | Thinking : Parent

I am a neat person. Well, as neat as a mom of four kids can be. I wasn’t always considered neat. In fact, my college roommate might read this and laugh hysterically because there was a point in time that you couldn’t even see my bed because of the piles of crap. And the sink full of dishes? Record breaking. [Top image: Eye Just Shoot on Etsy] But now there are no piles of crap. Mostly. The dishes are done before I go to bed. (Yay kids, A.K.A. free labor.) And the amount of wiping, and sweeping I do is nearly worthy of...

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4 reasons to consider an ecotourism vacation for your family. (Besides being awesome.)

The idea of combining education and conservation with a family vacation is super appealing to parents, which is why ecotourism is such a fascinating concept for me — and maybe for you. If you’re not familiar with ecotourism, it’s aimed at providing travelers with environmental awareness by offering experiences that also support conservation. But in my own research, so many ecotourism vacation options involve heavy travel, often internationally, which can definitely be costly for families — especially for my family of five. That’s why I was so thrilled to learn about Jekyll Island, a small spot off the coast of Georgia,...

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: 5 cool fall and winter staples we love

I love a Nordstrom sale, and their Anniversary Sale is no exception, because you can get great discounts on brand new items. So, if you’ve got a little cash stashed, here are 5 of my favorites, all fabulous fall and winter staples, if I do say so myself, that I’m coveting. Cool Mom Picks is a reward style affiliate.  Related: Cool shorts alternatives – Yes mamas, you can wear culottes Spanx faux leather leggings I’m a huge fan of these faux leather leggings, because they’re super flattering and pretty comfortable, at least for Spanx anyway. I wear them all winter long,...

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10 cool nighttime activities for kids that let you be the fun parent

With the kids out of school and the days so much longer, I’ve been trying to make summer extra fun for them, which means extending bedtimes way past their normal time and heading out for nighttime adventures. Seriously, there are so many fun things to do with kids when it’s dark (even though admittedly, I find them sleeping soundly in their beds very fun. Ha). As a glasses wearer, this has all been made so much easier for me thanks to our newest sponsor, ZEISS DriveSafe, which can actually give you better vision at night. I’m not sure if it’s my age (cough 40 cough) or...

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11 family-friendly television shows that everyone can agree on. Seriously.

We’ve been moving away from solo gadget time in my house and exchanging it for family screen time, within reason, of course. That means we all gather around the television and watch something that we all enjoy. Really. With kids ages 5 to 12, you might think that it’s hard to find a television show that we can agree on, but that’s absolutely not the case. Here are 10 family-friendly television shows that are perfect for families to enjoy together, from little kids to tweens and teens, and most importantly, the grown-ups too. Related: Documentaries to watch with kids about other kids:...

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Cool shorts alternatives: Yes, mamas, you can wear culottes

I admit, that while I totally rocked culottes the first time they came around, I was a little hesitant to try them again. But I have to say, that I really do love them, especially with all the short shorts every where I turn. If you’re looking for cool shorts alternatives, I definitely recommend checking out culottes. Now, I’m not a huge fan of the denim culottes, but rather, the fun flowy kind that make you do a “is that a skirt?” double-take. I know a lot of women think they can’t wear them, but if you can find the right...

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The handiest travel bag for parents? Found it.

I’m not even sure when I got the Baggu tote pack, but over the years (yes, it’s been that long), it has been a huge travel lifesaver for me, time and time again. And even better, it’s currently on super sale. This bag is an upgraded drawstring backpack, carrying just enough essentials for you or your kids, whether you’re on a plane, a hike, a camp, you name it, but in my opinion, much more comfortably (and stylishly). They’ve since added tote handles to the newer version of the bag, which means you can carry it on your back or as a...

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Alpine Pluggies make flying with kids a whole lot less painful

I was cruising the eye and ear care aisle at CVS last week on vacation, waiting for my daughter’s ear infection prescription to be filled (womp, womp) and trying to find something that might help her ears for the plane ride home. On a whim, I grabbed a few packs of Alpine Pluggies for her (and for me, actually), and wow, I have to say that they made a huge difference for the plane ride home. Related: The cutest travel pillow for kids when they’re too big to fall asleep in your lap These special earplugs, available in sizes...

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The coolest pool floats, from hot lips to flying rainbow unicorns

When I saw the FUNBOY pool floats my pool envy grew three sizes, because, a flamingo? Flaming lips? A rainbow unicorn? I need to have these in my life right now. And not just because they’re freaking cool. They actually give back in an amazing way too. These fancy floats, or “luxury floats” as they’re called (what?), turn out to be celeb favorites, if you tend to purchase your summer toys based on such things. Still, we can see why. They’re all perfect for Insta photo opps, from a golden swan to a giant flamingo, to a hashtag — which we suggest not...

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Hot fashion trend: Fringe bikini tops hide your not-so-favorite trouble spots

Confession: I don’t love my stomach. And while I really want to feel super confident sporting a bikini, I just never have been able to get there. That was until I discovered the fringe trend, which is a very cool way to still wear a bikini but keep my not-so favorite, post-4-kids part under wraps. If you’re like me and don’t necessarily want a tankini or one-piece bathing suit, but still want to camouflage your stomach a bit, then check out these five fun fringe bikinis that will do just that. CMP is an rstyle affiliate 1. Luli Fama underwire fringe bikini...

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