Author: Liz Gumbinner

If you’re going to believe in unicorns, pick this one.

There’s a lot of chatter going around that things just haven’t been right with the world since Prince and David Bowie left it. I’m kind of in agreement. So I’m all for bringing them back in any way possible — like this totally rad “Carry Me Home” Bowie and Prince enamel tribute pin by designer Ice Cream Color for the shop Laser Kitten. I’d say it deserves a home on as many lapels, handbags, and cool-teen/tween backpacks as possible. Related: A site to support indie artists, not the retailers ripping them off Two of my very favorite artists of all time, together,...

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In memory of the 11 year old who died at summer camp from meningitis this week

“Were your kids vaccinated for meningitis?” my father asked as I picked up the phone tonight. He’s always asking me questions like this after seeing something or other in the news or on Facebook. He’s a good Grandpa that way. “Sure,” I said with some relief. “Our doctor strongly recommended it before camp. Turns out a lot of sleepaway camps require it if you go more than a few days. So both of my girls got them done. Why do you ask?” “Your stepmother is paying a condolence call to a friend,” he said. It was not at all what...

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Made in America shirts with the ultimate made in America story.

While it isn’t realistic that every article of clothing we all own is made in America, I’m always thrilled to share ones that are. And I just discovered a company called Bridge & Boro that’s getting ready to design and manufacture gorgeous some new premium US-made denim shirts for men and women. I love the shirts — and I love the backstory just as much. Carmelo Bari, an immigrant pattern maker and tailor from Italy, perfected his craft over fifty years then passed his skills onto his son Fabio who just launched this campaign on Indiegogo to help them get up and...

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Oh, please please tell us they’ll come out with one for adults.

Since unicorns show no sign of going away — nor would we want them to — I couldn’t wait to share the most adorable baby gift ever: The soft, cuddly new unicorn hooded bath towel from Pottery Barn Kids. I saw it at a recent press event for all the new goodies coming out in time for holidays and uh, yeah. No way I was waiting until the holidays. Related: The coolest unicorn gifts for kids or kids at heart It would be such a jaw-dropper of a baby shower gift, or fabulous for your favorite toddler, especially when...

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Cards Against Humanity for Her: The most absorbent pack…ever!

What do we girls do after we’ve fixed our men their martinis, fetched them their slippers, and they retire with the paper to catch up on those boring old things like economics and geopolitical conflict ? Why, we play Cards Against Humanity…for Her. Of course. The geniuses behind the play-after-the-kids-are-in-bed game have just won my heart — again — with this new deck made just for women. And what makes it just for women? It’s pink, of course! So what’s different about it? It’s pink, silly! Nothing else? God! No! What’s wrong with you? Are you getting your period? Related:...

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Plus, you get to hum the Jaws theme while you push it.

Yes, it’s a few weeks until Shark Week, a much-awaited tradition around these parts, but I couldn’t wait to share this awesome shark stroller that one of our eagle-eyed staffers spotted around Brooklyn this week. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the baby boutique, check out the MacLaren Shark Stroller, which is one fierce bit of baby gear. It’s got all the fun of a design by British neo-pop artist Philip Colbert — modern art fans might recognize his fried egg BMW — plus the features you’d expect from a Maclaren stroller, including a shark teeth...

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The best Amazon Prime Day deals that don’t look like leftovers from your grandmother’s yard sale

It’s Prime Day! Which means those of us savvy shoppers are kind of glued to our screens today, checking in just to see if there are any amazing deals on stuff we would be buying anyway. That being the operative phrase. Related: prime benefits Whether it’s kitchen goods, art supplies for the kids, electronics, or holiday gifts (hey, nothing like making a dent in that big holiday list in July!) you can really score today. After all, I happened to be adding some leotards for my daughter in my Amazon cart last night when all of a sudden I...

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Raising curious kids: Expert tips from Brains On host Molly Bloom | Spawned ep 80

This week, we are talking about the importance of curious kids — how to raise them, how to keep them that way. And there’s no better person to join us for this chat and answer our questions than Molly Bloom of Brains On, the popular science podcast from Minnesota Public Radio for kids and parents. She’s offering some great tips like how to answer kids’ tough questions, why kids today may be more curious than in years past, and why it’s so important for parents to let our kids know that no, we don’t always have all the answers....

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Paint it forward: How to turn rocks into random acts of kindness

Kids like rocks. Kids like painting. Kids like giving gifts. So it’s pretty brilliant for Creativity for Kids/Faber-Castell to come out with the brand new Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit which brings all three together. Admittedly on first glance I was like, okay, someone found a way to sell you rocks and paint. But then, I am a big fan of random acts of kindness. So the company sent over a press sample, and right away I could tell it was way more special. Not only does it come with everything you need including the brushes, but there are...

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The 90s are calling. They want you to wear these handbags.

Holy 90s redux! The Rugrats, one of my favorite all-time cartoons is back in the form of fabulous handbags, t-shirts, backpacks, hats and pet accessories. But wait! It’s not just Rugrats! It’s more like an entire 1993 Nicktoons marathon collided with Boxlunch and the result is awesome. Surely there’s something in the upcoming collection for any man, woman, or canine pining for Saturday mornings with Ren & Stimpy (my very favorite of all), Fairly Oddparents, Hey Arnold, Aaahh!! Real Monsters, and Spongebob‘s more arcane characters. But me? I’m all about the bags. Related: Cool Wonder Woman gifts that boys and men will...

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Great fireworks photo tips to help make those shots Instagram-worthy

If you’re heading out to catch some fireworks on July 4, or any time this summer, check out Cool Mom Tech where we’ve got 10 photo tips for shooting fireworks, to keep you from coming home with a bunch of blurry blips in your camera roll. Whether you’re shooting with a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or your trusty iPhone, find some smart pro advice as well as links to plenty of helpful fireworks photography posts on our favorite photo and tech blogs. And hey, if you shoot and share something amazing in the sky, tag us on Instagram @coolmompicks! That is,...

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What does being American mean to you? We love these artists’ answers.

In honor of the Fourth of July (happy 241, America!)  I’m grateful to our friends at Tattly Tattoos who put together this lovely photographic series, in which they asked all different makers, creators, and entrepreneurs to describe what it means to them to be American. While yes, it’s a promotion for Tattly tattoos, it’s just so interesting to read so many different answers to the question. The artists touch on topics from opportunity, to diversity, compassion, pride in your heritage, hard work, and the continued quest for equality. Related: The patriotic t-shirt that reminds us what makes America wonderful Robert Moy of...

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The best white t-shirts for women, from a white t-shirt junkie. (Psst…lots on sale if you hurry!)

One of the most frequent questions I’ve gotten from Spawned listeners is: what is the best white t-shirt for women? Well, hey! I’m the perfect, super opinionated person to answer that question because white t-shirts are a staple for me year round; over skirts, over shorts, under blazers or cardigans, with an open denim oxford tied at the waist over top…there is pretty much no style that doesn’t require at least a few perfect white t-shirts in your bureau. So if you want a few options, here are my picks, with a little more about why I like each...

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Tea Collection summer clothes go on sale, parents rejoice!

Several times a year, I stalk my inbox for notifications about the seasonal Tea Collection sales. And now, right in time for summer (and my kids’ outgrowing everything, sigh), here it is again! With nice prices on their Australian-inspired summer collection, and more. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Click over for 40-70% off all kinds of styles for boys, girls and babies, with more items being added all the time. And use the discount code BIG40 for an extra 40% off sale prices! But hurry because the sizes are limited, of course. Related: 6 of the snappiest water shoes...

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Fun July 4th party must-haves because hey, you only turn 241 once.

Do you like July 4th parties? I like July 4th parties. I mean, what’s not to like? Sparklers, hot dogs, watermelon, friends — and I don’t have to wrap any gifts! If you’re planning on hosting a shindig — or just bringing something to a July 4th potluck — I’ve found these fun July 4th party supplies to help amp up the festivity quotient. Besides wearing top-to-bottom red, white and blue. And why not? It’s the one day a year you can do it without looking like a campaign convention delegate.   Printable July 4th Party Paper Stars –...

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How to wear stars this summer. Stripes, optional.

If you’ve ever bought that awesome American flag t-shirt for July 4th only to feel like it’s kind of passé on July 5th, I just found the perfect fashion solution in these totally fab new star-adorned Lily flip-flops from TKEES spotted at ShopBop. They come in three different colors, black, blush, and post-Memorial Day white, and they even make the star sandals in kids’ sizes. I love them! Like, mad love. (Though those aren’t my own legs shown here; I haven’t bought them yet, and my pedicure is not nearly as fresh.) Related: Hot trend alert: Rose sneakers are this...

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Who was John Newbery? This children’s book makes finding out so fun.

We’ve shared so many children’s books over the years that bring history’s most wonderful real-life heroes to life for kids. From specific heroes like Frederick Douglas (whom a few adults need to read more about too, ahem) and Josephine Baker; to pioneers of space and sports and science;  our favorite artists, activists and revolutionaries; and of course dozens of rebel women. (Hey! We have some pretty awesome children’s book recommendations over the years!) But one thing I haven’t seen is a children’s book about the father of children’s books, John Newbery. Until now. From the very first page, kids just know that Michelle Markel’s Balderdash!: John...

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The hipster baby carrier of the year, courtesy of Keith Haring

The upcoming Keith Haring special edition Ergobaby carriers are being promoted as a celebration of parenting and art. Which they are. But if you know about the vision of this now iconic pop artist, wearing these new carriers says so much more. Keith Haring’s rainbow palette and social activist themes have come to represent the importance of community and equality, especially for the LGBT community, ever since his graffiti started appeared around New York City subways in the 1970’s. So imagine a lot of parents will be thrilled to wear those values comfortably on their chests, thanks to two different styles of...

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The new Ken dolls are here, some with big muscles in case you’re thinking of mocking their man buns.

In light of last year’s big launch of the curvy Barbie dolls in three curvalicious body types, Mattel is following suit with a whole new series of next gen Ken dolls, A.K.A. “The Fashionistas.” Let’s just say, they’ve come a long, long way from the pale, scrawny original Ken doll of the early 60’s, let alone the vapid Valley Dude looking Ken doll of my youth who always appeared ready to burst into Jessie’s Girl at the drop of a hat. The 15 new Ken dolls come in 3 different body shapes (all of which look good in slim-fit...

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The sports bra solution for girls who don’t quite need a sports bra.

It’s hard to believe that when we started this site, I was thinking about binkies for my daughter, and now it’s like I blinked — and I’m thinking about bras. Gah! While I wholly admit that the affordable Target made-up-brand-name bras are pretty great, especially for the price, nothing even come close to the Yellowberry bras I bought on Kristen’s recommendation, in terms of quality, durability, and comfort. (Plus, those colors are so cute!) Related: 8 super cool swimsuits for picky tweens and teens that their mothers will approve of too. While developing tweens and teens don’t have the uh, bounce factor...

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