Author: Kristen Chase

6 of the best YouTube hair tutorials for girls that you can actually do. Even if you’re not Ken Paves.

With three girls in my house, I’ve got an awful lot of hair to brush and style, and with the holidays almost here, I’ve been wanting to change up from the usual hairband. It’s true you’ll find no shortage of YouTube hair tutorials, but after watching hundreds of videos (not even kidding you), I found that most of them were really hard to follow, were way too complicated and advanced, or didn’t offer up styles that were great for little girls. No sexy loose curls for my 10-year old, thank you very much. Plus, I don’t have the time or budget to...

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10 cool custom photo gifts for the holidays

If your kids are like mine, it’s no small feat to actually get one fabulous, shareable photo of them. So when I have a perfect one, I love looking at ways to incorporate it into great custom photo gifts for people on my list I know will appreciate it (hello, grandparents). This year, I’m really digging the growing collection of excellent custom photo gifts from Minted. We are so so happy to have them back as a sponsor (we love you, Minted!) because long before they were, we were fans of Minted holiday cards, which are not only printed beautifully, but help to support so many amazingly talented indie designers...

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6 reasons why Micro Kickboard could be the best first scooter for your kids

Like many of you parents, I wanted to purchase the best first scooter for my little kids when they were old enough, but was overwhelmed by all the choices in the stores. But after reading a review of the Micro Kickboard Mini Micro scooter by our associate editor Christina ages ago, I purchased them for my own kids back in 2010. They even still have the pink and orange scooters I bought after they had outgrown the trikes and toddler bikes that kept them limited to our driveway. The second they hopped on these scooters, I was amazed at how quickly they could ride....

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10 funny reusable grocery bags: Because even eco-crusaders have a sense of humor

It used to be that you couldn’t find funny reusable grocery bags. Back when we started seeing them blow up for the first time, if anything at all was printed on them, it was usually some chest-beating statement about how super eco-friendly you are–pretty obvious considering you’re carrying a reusable grocery bag. Also, is a message on a bag really going to shame people into changing their habits? Eh, probably not. Well, now we’re seeing more and more reusable grocery bag that are less preachy, and more downright funny. Here, 10 of the funniest ones I’ve found that will give you (and your fellow shoppers) a giggle while you...

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10 hot designer accessories under $100 that make awesome holiday gifts. (We can’t believe we found them either.)

It used to be that the idea of designer accessories under $100 was an oxymoron, but these days it’s increasingly not the case. Personally, I’m polyamorous–when it comes to my accessories that is–because if it looks fabulous, I don’t really care what name is on it. But that doesn’t mean I’ll turn my nose down at a great piece from big name designer, especially when it doesn’t break the bank. Here, I’ve scoured the web and found ten really hot designer accessories all under $100 that will make perfect holiday gifts for designer-name lovers or equal-opportunity accessorizers like me.     Kate...

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10 fabulous handbags under $100. So you can buy two! Or shoes. And a necklace. And…

As much as I love designer bags, when I can find handbags under $100, especially when they’re hot and trendy, you might need to hide my credit card from me. It’s true, I have an obsession with bags, but thankfully, these won’t break my budget, or yours. Here are 10 fantastic bags that I’d love to have on my shoulder for fall and winter, all under $100.   Chartres Messenger Bag by Christian LaCroix ($99 at Nordstrom) If you’re looking to go bold for fall and winter, I’m digging the emerald of this Chartres Messenger Bag. It’s definitely on the smaller side, which...

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3 cool holiday outfits that your kids can wear long after the holidays are over

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is putting together the perfect holiday outfit for my kids–all four of them. In the past, that has led to me purchasing all sorts of shoes and accessories, on top of the fabulous holiday dress for my girls, and new sweater for my son. You can imagine the bill. So over the years, I’ve learned that you invest in one beautiful, splurge-y dress or a fantastic skirt or pants that’s super special for the holidays, and then you pair it with more budget-friendly items. Including  ones you’ve already got in your closet. It’s a great trick for making a...

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Dagne Dover: Hot designer bags from a designer you probably haven’t heard of. Yet.

I’ve got a very particular formula for selecting hot designer bags, which includes style, function, and versatility. Because as much as I love those super tiny crossbody bags with spikes, if I’m dropping a pretty penny on it, I need to be able to use it all the time. That  is why I’m very pleased to introduce you to Dagne Dover. The label was created by three women with extensive fashion and business backgrounds who were tired of having to carry around two bags for all of their stuff (here here!)–and clearly these ladies know what they are doing. The bags are classic in appearance and color,...

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12 cool STEM gifts for girls. (And hey, for boys too.)

With a STEM-loving daughter (and STEAM as it’s now being called by some, because yay Arts too!), you can bet I’m always on the hunt for cool STEM gifts for girls. And, while we’ve come a long way in the last few years, I still find that great ones can be tough to find. Just take a look at the racks at clothing stores and toy shops. Eep. I know I’m not the only one who sees awesome science or computer tees filed under “boys” and thinks, hey-0 my daughter would love that! So on behalf of our sponsor GoldieBlox, who launched three...

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Cool personalized jewelry gifts for the holidays, now 20% off. Yes, please.

If I put it out into the universe that I really like personalized jewelry gifts, do you think people will get the hint? If not for me, then for everyone else–perhaps the special people on your own holiday lists, especially when it’s all 20% off for a limited time. I’ve loved everything I’ve ordered from Charm and Chain, and my guess is these personalized pieces would be no exception. Here are a few of my favorites that I think would make amazing gifts for every single budget. If you’ve got a zodiac lover in your life, this custom zodiac necklace...

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Barre3 review: My new fitness obsession. And why it’s perfect for busy moms.

I’ve tried all sorts of workout routines, everything from running 5k races and a pricey gym membership to fitness classes and Jillian Michaels’ DVDs, but lately I’ve found myself in a rut. Too busy. Too bored. And well, with the holiday season upon us, I need something to help me deal with the stress. And the cookies. Barre3 was created by workout guru Sadie Lincoln based on a workout she invented for her client Madonna (yes, that one), and first launched in Portland. It now has studios popping up all over the country, so when one opened in my ‘hood, I figured it was...

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Trend alert: The best ways to wear plaid, hold the kilts.

So maybe you’re wondering the best ways to wear plaid because you’re seeing it everywhere and you’re a little tempted but it is kind of preppy and you’re just not sure since the last time it was hot you were in college and..hey! Get out of my head!  Yes, yes, plaid is everywhere these days. But it can be a little tricky to pull off without a professional stylist (or a yacht club membership), so I did a little searching to find some of the coolest plaid pieces that I think will make awesome additions to any fall and winter...

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Kale just got a whole lot cooler. Or at least funnier.

I realize that kale does not need any more positive publicity these days, but now it’s not only super healthy and delicious (mostly, anyway) but it’s funny too, thanks to this reusable grocery tote bag at West Elm. Especially perfect for those of us currently suffering Halloween candy hangovers. I’m a total sucker for a little word play so when I saw the Oh Kale Yeah! market tote bag I let out a hearty chuckle, and my guess is anyone who sees you carrying it at your local food co-op will too. Made from 100% cotton canvas, it’s perfect for carrying your...

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Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Stick: Time saving beauty product alert

Trying to get four kids out the door in the morning means I need a super quick, super easy makeup routine (hello, time saving beauty products) which is why the Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks I picked up during a rare solo trip to Sephora a few weeks ago are my new favorites. And in blue, even! I usually just pop on a bit of my blush as eyeshadow for my weekday look–if I can even call it “my look”–but now that I have these sticks, my eyes have way more pop in the same amount of time. As in, none. The...

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Organic Slammers are a slam dunk. Yeah, I went there. (Sorry.)

Let me start by saying that I have to make four school lunches every night of the week, so if there’s anything to make the whole lunch packing process easier–and of course, healthier–I am willing to try it. That is how I ended up with a new BFF (best food friend) Organic Slammers. We’re already big squeezy fans in my house, as we call them, and GoGo SqueeZ applesauce and squeezable yogurt tubes are regular fixtures in my kids’ lunchboxes. So it wasn’t a huge stretch for us to try Organic Slammers. They combine a lot of our favorites only with more nutrients, because they include fruit and...

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Smart t-shirts for boys that girls can wear too.

I loved every single one of the smart t-shirts for girls from Peek, so pretty cool that they’ve created a line of smart t-shirts for boys too, in particular, this one featuring the words of one of the most amazing men on the planet. The Mandela quote t-shirt is made for boys of all sizes (toddler through tweens!), although yes, they’ll work for girls too. Truth be told, as a mom of a boy, it’s always awesome to find clothes just for him that are smart and inspiring, especially in the sea of sports logos and monster trucks. After hearing all of your own requests...

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Making your holiday card list: 21 people to be sure not to forget

As much as we’d like to say we always remember to send holiday cards to everyone we know and love, well, that’s a bit of a stretch. Mostly because we’re all swamped with holiday shopping and to-do lists and teacher gifts, and and and… so, we get it. Besides, who actually has every friend’s actual home address in a physical address book anymore? So, yes, sometimes people fall through the cracks. (Sorry!) But we’re trying to do better. Because if you’re like us, the holidays can be the one time of the year you have the chance to touch base with people in your life...

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Healthy Hoohoo: Natural feminine care products so awesome we’re trying hard not to make fun of the name

Yes,  I’m introducing you to natural feminine care products here, but hey, we’re all women (well, about 98% of us) and you can probably relate to my own minor recurring issue: During my last well visit, my nurse practitioner gently reminded me to ditch the gym clothes immediately after my workout and use feminine wipes if I wasn’t able to shower right away. And so, in an example of perfect timing, I got my hands on something called (wait for it…) Healthy Hoohoo wipes. I know. I know. Granted, I giggle every time I look at the package because well, the name and all, and...

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Hot trend alert: Cool camouflage clothing and accessories for non-hunting enthusiasts

I have to admit that I’ve loved wearing cool camouflage clothing and accessories even before they were all over the runways. Now it’s everywhere you look. If you shy away from camouflage because it seems a bit outdoorsy for your taste, you’re not alone. Just ask our Editor Liz, who feels similarly–even though she has an amazing shiny, silk-looking camo t-shirt I’ve always coveted. But I’m here to show you that camouflage can absolutely be stylish with the right pieces. Just not as a complete outfit–A.K.A. a uniform. Here, eight of my favorite pieces that I think look fabulous and can be worn even after...

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The new Spanx faux leather leggings, A.K.A. our newest fashion obsession

I popped over to my local lingerie shop to stock up on some new Hanky Panky thongs for fall (What, TMI? We’re all friends here!) and I spotted the new Spanx faux leather leggings on the owner. Instantly I was all What are those fabulous things you are wearing?  because they looked amazing on her. Turns out, they looked amazing on me too (if I do say so myself) and well, I’m in love. I’m probably the last person on earth to learn that Spanx makes leggings, but that’s probably because I’m not really a Spanx wearer, unlike every other woman I know. However...

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