Author: Liz Gumbinner

The best and worst states to have a baby in 2017 | Thinking: Parent

With a lot of concern around changing health care policy, tax increases impacting the middle class, benefit cuts to struggling families, and the fact that Americans already pay the highest birthing costs in the world, I was intrigued to check out WalletHub’s just-released 2017 study of the best and worst states to have a baby. The results are pretty fascinating. And yeah, troubling. Related: The best and worst states for working moms: A whole lot of surprises Click over to see the top states — Go Vermont, Minnesota, and New Hampshire! — and then…the worst states.  Oh man, Mississippi, do better,...

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Leland Ave Studios: Quilts to make you question your crafting skills

As someone with a mom who’s an incredible quilter, I’ve always valued the intricacies of thecraft of quilting. And then I discovered Kim Smith of Leland Ave Studios, a former attorney turned mom-of-three, who definitely takes it to the next level. Her Lincoln quilt is absolutely mind-blowingly exquisite. Especially after reading about how it came about. She was inspired to create a quilt that was more art than craft and found inspiration in Indonesian artist Wedha Abdul Rashid’s pop art portraits and the WPAP style of brightly-colored vector art. After discovering the iconic Abraham Lincoln portrait as interpreted by artist Ihsan Ekaputra,...

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26 of the coolest unicorn school supplies that bring magic to the day | Back to School Guide 2017

It would hardly be 2017 — or heck, the 21st century as a whole — without a look at the coolest unicorn school supplies as part of our annual back to school shopping guide. Because if there’s one theme our kids show no sign of getting tired of, it’s got to be unicorns. And we can hardly blame them.  Hope there’s something here to make September a little more magical and a little more sparkly. If only we had saved our own Lisa Frank unicorn supplies from our own childhoods! CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate Related: 23...

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Forget history. Here’s HERstory, and it’s going to change your kid’s world.

Coming across the Modern HERstory book fundraising effort from Equality for HER founder Blair Imani’s Twitter feed this week, I was immediately like YES YES YES! Related: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is back, more inspiring than ever This doesn’t look to be your typical women’s history book for children. And that’s a good thing. When I was a kid, it was so evident that any women in our history books were either the wives of famous men (no offense, Martha Washington), or so unworthy of exploration, that the authors would squish them all together into a single chapter called “The...

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23 of the coolest space-themed school supplies | Back-to-school shopping guide 2017

Looking at all the space-themed school supplies and cool gear we’re this year, we were thinking…wow, we could do a whole post on this! So, that’s just what we did. In fact for this year’s annual back-to-school shopping guide we decided to devote each post to a different hot trend that our kids our loving. That way, you can put together a collection of the coolest backpacks, lunch bags, clothing and gear for your kids not just by size or function, but to suit your kid’s own style, tastes and interests. With that, check out all these awesome back-to-school items...

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US means all of us

I was so happy to come across the beautiful US means all of us message, which started as a grassroots campaign from Selman Design to help attack ignorance and fear, especially about the Muslim-American community, while promoting equality and respect for all Americans. The message was so well-received (it originally accompanied a NY Times editorial board op-ed) they turned this simple statement of tolerance and love into a fantastic graphic t-shirt with 100% of the proceeds support the essential work of the ACLU. Beautiful message for a really important cause? I’m all in. Relate: A fierce new shop supporting equality, inclusivity,...

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The perfect LBD…for your toddler

Kate just turned me onto the very cool online boutique Will and Ivey, and poking around their sale section, I instantly fell in love with this super chic toddler swing dress. On sale, no less! It’s everything I always loved about dresses for my girls when they were little (besides the sale part): Lightweight, swingy and soft, made of  silky bamboo-cotton blend with just a bit of stretch. Perfect for summer and transitioning into the cooler weather too; just add leggings and a little sweater. Of course as a New Yawka I love the black, but it’s also available in a...

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I found the best bath bombs in a kind of random way.

My girls are totally infatuated with bath bombs, ever since my middle schooler joined a Harry Potter Potions after-school science club (so cool, right?) and made her own handmade bath bomb. So when I started combing our neighborhood looking for one for a gift, well turns out they’re sold out everywhere in Brooklyn. Which means bath bombs are officially A Thing. So I poked around on Amazon to find some for my younger daughter’s birthday and went with the highly rated bath bombs by Lifearound2angels. Handmade bath and beauty products can be a crapshoot and I’m picky, but I...

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Behold! The magical color-changing rainbow unicorn mug that we need now.

One look at the short video of the color-changing rainbow unicorn mug in action and you will want it too. You may even scream, I WANT IT! like I did when Kristen sent me the link. Just pour in hot water and — magic — the mane slowly becomes a rainbow, while the unicorn’s eyes go blue. (Okay, so it’s not magic, it’s thermal reactivity, but really. When you think about it, isn’t science pretty much magic?) Related: The coolest rainbow unicorn gifts for kids and kids at heart The one catch: You have to order it from French...

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Hamiltones crayons: We don’t know how to say no to this!

My daughter has been completely obsessed with Hamilton because she is a normal 2017 kid. And as an artist, she’s just as obsessed with these Hamiltones Hamilton crayons by Thespian Swag. Enough that she’s been forwarding me pictures of them for days. Now that I’ve finally clicked through…well, I get it! The dozen colors are so clever, including Alexander Hamil-tan and Burr’ple along with a green Your Daddy’s Got Money. But I admit I’m giving my own standing O to whomever came up with Maroon Where it Happens. Related: The best Hamilton party ideas: Decor, invitations, treats, and more. I’m hoping there...

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Say Zoop! is the perfect follow-up to Press Here

Fans of the interactive children’s books from Hervé Tulle,  Press Here and Mix it Up, now have another wonderfully charming, engaging book to add to their kids’ bookshelves in Say Zoop! Once again, children are asked to perform a series of tasks related to the graphic, primary color dots on the pages, starting with putting a finger on a blue date and saying OH! From there, it gets more zany and fun, as kids OH! and AH! their way through the pages in all kinds of ways until finally, ZOOP! — those primary colors combine to create a page full of dots...

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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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