Author: Kristen Chase

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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…...

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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...

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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...

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Santa baby. Literally.

There’s really not much you can do to make a baby cuter at the holidays, because the tree, the lights, the adorable little red sweater and well, it’s a party full of screaming ovaries. But add in the Santafier pacifier, and you might people spontaneously combusting from cuteness. From the folks who made the hilarious Mustachifier, we introduce you to the Santafier, a binky with a white mustache for your little Santa baby. Or hey, Mrs. Claus baby, pre-laser hair removal. Heh.   If you’re feeling extra festive, grab the full Santafier set, which includes the little Santa beanie cap and socks to help you complete...

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Fun emoji gifts: For kids or kids at heart.

Based on what you’d see in pretty much every text message on my phone right now, it’s clear that emojis aren’t just for kids. Yes, I might have even used one in an email the other day. I know I’m not alone in the grown-up emoji-lover camp, which is why I had a blast rounding up all these fun emoji gifts. Sure, kids would love them, well, most of them that is, but I’ve got a few of them on my wish list too. Here, a bunch of emoji gifts in every price range — yes even DIY — that would make fabulous...

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11 last-minute essentials at CVS that help you survive Thanksgiving weekend

As a busy parent, I greatly appreciate the idea of a one-stop shop for, well…everything. But as a busy parent during the holidays, I really appreciate it. This is why we’ve all been huge CVS fans around here, and we’re so happy they’re our newest sponsor. And yes, we’re all also fans of the gihugic money-saving cashback receipts. Laugh if you will; that’s free money right there! So before my trip north for Thanksgiving this year, I made a quick stop with my girls to pick up a bunch of pre-Thanksgiving essentials that you might want to have on hand too, from the big brand stuff,...

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5 smart, simple, pediatrician-recommended winter skin care tips for babies and kids.

With cold weather pretty much here for lots of us, and on the way for the rest of us (wah!), this is the time of year we start getting more reader questions about baby and kids’ skincare. I know it’s hard to weed through all the info; I’m sure you’ve read all sorts of things about what to do, what not to do, which of those lotions and potions in your medicine cabinet to use, and how to differentiate a minor skin issue from something that might require more attention If you’re like me, by the time you figure out what you’re...

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Winter is coming. Which just means Sorel boot season for some of us, and not a new season of Game of Thrones. (Sorry.)

You Game of Thrones fans are all “Winter is coming!” and when this non-fan (yes, I know) hears it, all it means to me is “Time to buy boots!” And yes, we’ve featured a slew of cool ankle boots already, but if you’re in the market for a new winter boot, then you’ll want to take a peek at the ones I’ve noticed some of our staff sharing with each other through email and Facebook. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: Our pick for the best snow boots worth the investment So, it all started when Lisa, our Director of Sponsorhips, sent...

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Unicorn horn headbands for Halloween or everyday. Because being a magical, mythological creature never goes out of style.

When these adorable unicorn horn headbands landed in my inbox over the weekend, I immediately forwarded it to Liz and said “Cool, right?!” which is why you’re seeing them right now. If you’ve got an indecisive little one in your house, or hey, want a little quick and easy Halloween something for yourself, hurry up and order one of these. The handmade unicorn horns from BrooklynOwl.com are actually something my kids would wear all year long because really, winter, spring, summer, or fall, they’re all-season creatures. Ha.   Related: 9 really creative, last-minute Halloween costumes for kids you can DIY They...

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Showing your thanks: 5 simple tips for making military care packages more personal

When my kids’ father was deployed for a few months to Afghanistan, I put together several military care packages filled with fairly typical items. Don’t get me wrong, they were definitely very appreciated by his unit! But it wasn’t until he returned home that I got the inside scoop on what soldiers really want in a military care package. Because this is so personal for me, and for several of our writers with military families, I’m really happy to have the opportunity to share some tips and tricks for how to make a military care package more personal, whether it’s for a family member,...

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Everything you need to know about Handmade at Amazon: Is it the Etsy competitor everyone says it is?

We started Cool Mom Picks shortly after Etsy launched, and we’ve been big fans ever since, discovering and happily sharing some of the coolest indie artisans and their handmade goods here on our site for nearly ten years now. So as huge supporters of the handmade movement and indie artist in general, it’s probably no surprise that our interest was piqued when Handmade at Amazon launched last week. So, we took a closer look to understand what it’s all about, and whether we think it’s something you’ll want to have on your radar, as a consumer, and for those...

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Cool handmade Halloween costumes for kids that can be worn long after Halloween. Like everyday if you’re our kids.

We’ve been huge fans of designer Courtney Chu of Courtney Courtney since she launched her fabulous dresses maaaaany years ago, but these handmade Halloween costumes for kids might just take the cake.   Courtney brilliantly upcycles t-shirts into dresses our own girls have loved and worn for a very long time. They’re stylish, comfortable, and wow, do they last. And now just in time for Halloween, she’s got these fantastic Halloween-inspired dresses, along with ideas on how to make them actual costumes. So smart! It’s hard to pick a favorite but I’m partial to Animal from The Muppets, which ironically is exactly what...

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Fayvel shoes let kids play their own shoe designer

It’s probably no surprise that when a pair of Fayvel shoes for kids arrived at my house, my brood went nuts. There may have been some fighting, actually. Designer Erin Slater was inspired by her own nostalgia for sticker collecting to create shoes that allow today’s kids to do just that, only on their feet. The final concept is brilliant: Shoes with velcro on the sides that allows kids to customize their pair with special patches known as Frieze tags. Think Jibbitz on Crocs, but way cooler. Way way cooler.  At least to me, anyway. As it turns out, it’s not just a gimmick. The sneakers are comfortable,...

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CoverGirl Star Wars MakeUp: We love you. (And yes, we know you know.)

I heard rumors about the CoverGirl Star Wars MakeUp line a couple of months ago, and now, it’s a reality. Yep, coming this Fall, you’ll be able to snatch up the CoverGirl Star Wars: The Force Awakens inspired line at your local drugstore. Sweet! I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect in terms of the color palettes. R2D2 gold? Darth Vader black? Padmé Amidala red that you only wear on half your lips?  But I have to say they look pretty fun, including lipsticks, nail polish, and mascara with very clever packaging. In fact, I might just have to snatch up one...

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RXActive resistance activewear: Could these pants mean less time at the gym and more calories burned?

The summer crunch has been tough on my workout routine, which basically means there has been no workout routine. Sigh. But with fall around the corner and my kids back in school, I’ve got my eye on the gym, though I still don’t want to spend half my morning there. That’s why I was pretty intrigued to try out the RXActive resistance activewear, which are supposed to help you burn up to 14% more calories during your workouts. Not kidding. These magical pants, as I’m calling them, are actually the brainchild of a team of New York University medical...

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Simple tips for getting kids to brush their teeth more independently. You know, beyond begging.

With four kids running around my house, that’s a whole lot of teeth to keep up with, and as much as I’d like to say my kids are always excited and enthusiastic about brushing their teeth on their own for those seemingly endless two minutes that’s recommended by our dentist, it’s just not true. Don’t even get me started about flossing. We’re thrilled to welcome our newest sponsor Reassurance Dental, which offers a dental discount plan that covers your entire family. It’s not dental insurance, but rather, a really affordable alternative; in fact, even if you have dental insurance, it can also act as a...

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