Author: Liz Gumbinner

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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Think you’re ready to become a theater parent? Ask yourself these 11 questions first.

This post is written in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures When our partner, THE HOUSE (Will Ferrell! Amy Poehler! Can you wait until June 30?) asked me if I had any stories to share about the lengths we parents sometimes go to help support our kids dreams, just like the parents do in the new movie — well, yes. Yes I do. Because my daughter’s dream is to be an actress. And oh man, am I in trouble. Thalia performing “Trailer Trash” from Cowgirls with perfect pitch, which she definitely did not inherit from me | At top: Sage and...

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The Wonder Woman bracelet we all need right now

With all of us completely obsessed with Wonder Woman these days — and can you blame us? — I am so glad that our brand partnership director Lisa spotted this awesome Wonder Woman bracelet by Alex and Ani. Because it may have just risen to the top of my birthday wish list. The price is pretty sweet — under $50. And while you can buy them in either a gold or silver finish, c’mon. Is there really any choice besides gold? Perfect for your favorite super mom, super grad, or newly minted Wonder Woman fangirl. Related: Cool Wonder Woman gifts...

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7 myths about lice that every parent should know. (And, apologies.)

Our household been through the dreaded lice (shudder) more times than I’d like to admit. The only good thing that’s come out of it — besides a wildly clean house — is enough knowledge about what works, what doesn’t, and which “guaranteed to eliminate lice” myth is not worth my time. So even while I’m itching just thinking about this, I’m happy to share a few essentials tips I’ve learned about lice, on behalf of our sponsor Licefreee, which has been a parent’s lifesaver for years. Let me assure you, there is a whole lot of time and money savings involved in getting...

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10 truly cool personalized gifts for dad you can still order in time | Father’s Day Gifts 2017

We’ve shared so many cool personalized Father’s Day gifts over the years, as well as personalized gifts for everyone on your holiday or shopping list — but the catch is, you often have to shop early. So I’m so happy to share these fantastic personalized gifts for dad for the last-minute shopper. Even if uh, nearly two weeks to go until Father’s Day isn’t at all last-minute for some of us. Of course, if you’re really down to the wire, contact the maker or retailer to confirm your drop-dead shipping deadline, or prepare to create a really creative IOU card. CMP...

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Pom poms: They’re not just for cheerleaders.

I’ve been kind of tickled looking at the colorful new boho pom pom sandals that have blowing up my feeds lately, but I’m not entirely sure I can pull them off. Then I saw this amazing woven trapeze pom pom bag from Ted Baker and I thought, oooh…now that I could do. It reminds me of some of the vintage woven raffia handbags I collected back in the days I used to scavenge flea markets and tag sales for such things, only a little more practical, with that smart fabric lining and zippered pocket. Ted Baker’s BARLIEE bag is is casual enough for beachy weekends, playful...

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6 simple tips for making a baby book when you’re a busy new parent. You can do it!

One of the biggest mom guilt woes (or badges if you’re a proud Type B Mom) is the lack of a completed baby book. We hear it from so many readers over the years, and I get it! Even the best-laid plans can go south once there’s a real, live baby with needs — and an inability to sleep for more than 3 seconds at a time, in my case. Let alone when you have a second child. So we’re happy to welcome back our sponsor Artifact Uprising, which is just out with their new heirloom-quality Story of You baby book and...

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Speaking up is hard to do: The N-word, the culture of complicity, and why we have to say, that’s not okay.

This weekend, Senator Ben Sasse issued a response to address the (rightful) outrage around his Friday night appearance with Bill Maher. He stated that he should have spoken up when Maher unacceptably used the N-word. He tweeted that “just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.” (Whether or not he looked to be cringing is up for debate, but I’ll take his word for it that he was cringing on the inside.) Only a few weeks before, Billy Bush finally broke his silence about the infamous Access Hollywood tape on which the president bragged about sexually assaulting women. Bush told The Hollywood Reporter,  “if a moment like that rose...

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Cool Wonder Woman gifts that boys and men will love too.

Wonder Woman — let alone an exclusive all-female screening of the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman movie — does not frighten the boys and men in my life, and for that I am grateful. I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to look up to a badass superhero who’s a natural born athlete, fighter, and can bench press 15,000 pounds? And that was before she earned the bracelets. Not to mention that iconic magic lasso which so many of us coveted as kids. Related: 13 amazing superhero gifts for girls who can (and will) do anything So while we’ve featured tons of cool Wonder...

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A printable fidget spinner game gives new life to this year’s breakout toy

If your kids remain obsessed with their fidget spinners, like mine are, here’s a new way to put them to use that won’t drive you crazy: play with them together. And not at the dinner table, either. Thanks to artist mom Amanda Farnum and her clever kids, they’ve created a printable fidget spinner game available in her Etsy shop for download. Essentially up to 5 players try to move across a grid by using your fidget spinner to complete tricks, like challenging another player to a spin-off, or spinning it on one finger while raising it over your head. Just be sure that...

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America’s top misspelled words by state. Can Mississippi spell Mississippi?

Being a data nerd (as Spawned podcast listeners well know), every so often I find myself down the rabbit hole of Google Trends, a super interesting — if somewhat frightening — look at just what the world is searching for day to day. And with this being National Spelling Bee week (whoo!) Google provided this dandy — if somewhat frightening — list ofAmerica’s top misspelled words by state. Did I mention I’m also a word nerd? Now at first glance I think okay, I get Georgia’s top search; it’s hard to know if it’s grey or gray. (Answer: both are acceptable, though gray is...

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You won’t believe that an 11 year old wrote this Memorial Day poem

When a dear friend of mine published this poem for Memorial Day, I gasped when I realized it was written by her 11-year-old son (and nephew of our own associate editor Christina) who I’ve known since he was a baby. Lucas has always been a sweet, remarkable kid — and yes, I’m biased — but I think you’ll agree his writing is extraordinary, so I’m thrilled I have permission to republish it here. This poem would be an exquisite tribute to our fallen troops from any poet of any age, but the fact that Lucas wrote this in a competition for his sixth grade ELA teachers…well, wow....

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5 top-rated military family support charities on Charity Navigator: A list to bookmark on Memorial Day

Quite a few of us here come from military families, or have enlistees and veterans in our own lives, which is why we have always been strong supporters of charities for veterans, enlistees and their families. So in honor of Memorial Day, and America’s brave fallen soldiers and their amazing families, took at look at Charity Navigator’s list of top military family support charities to find a few top-rated charities worth sharing.Turns out they have their list of top- rated military charities broken into wounded troops services,military social services, as well as military family support, which is where I found the ones here. There are so many terrific...

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11 practical Father’s Day gifts that still feel cool and gifty | Father’s Day Gift Guide 2017

We’ve joked about how getting a mom an oil change gift card is probably not the best way to say, “thank you for raising me, you’re the best!” And the same goes for Father’s Day gifts, even if he is a practical sort of guy.  So next up in our 2017 Father’s Day Gift Guide, we’ve tracked down some truly fantastic but still practical Father’s Day gifts that are just as thoughtful as something more extravagant — if not more so. Because if you find the right one, it says that you really know him. And that’s always the best kind of Father’s...

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16 gifts for the cool dad | Father’s Day Gift Guide 2017

It’s not that lawnmowers, fishing, and ties can’t be cool, it’s just that if you want a gift for a cool dad in your life for Father’s Day, you’ve got to get creative. Because he probably is too. So we’re kicking off our annual Father’s Day Gift Guide with 16 gifts for the cool dad that get the cool mom seal of approval. CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate       Vegan tattoo cream ($16 by Whiskey, Ink and Lace, at Makers Market) Because duh, if you have a tattoo, your tattoo cream should like, totally be...

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After Manchester: Essential safety tips to discuss with your kids about crowds and separation

The second I saw those big pink balloons in early images flooding media from the Manchester Arena last night, without knowing a single other thing about the story, I thought, Oh my God…whatever happened, there are children there. It was a rough night for me, as I’m sure it was for all of you, and for parents around the world. It’s hard enough for us to process our own feelings as parents and as caring human beings when we hear about a terrorist attack, especially one that’s impacted so many children and families — let alone knowing we’re also going...

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Gwendolyn Brooks’s new children’s book offers a joyous lesson in empathy

Once in awhile, a children’s book comes along that’s equal parts timely and and classic, and that’s just how I’d describe the We are Shining, penned by the late poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Gwendolyn Brooks. It’s filled with exquisite but accessible words of hope, excitement and self-affirmation that even young children can understand and appreciate. And a message they could probably use these days, if they have a sense of some of the more troubling issues in the news lately. Related: What did Frederick Douglass really do? This book helps them (and a few adults) find out. What’s really special to me is how...

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The cast of Hamilton gets bigger and cuddlier

Of our entire 2016 holiday gift guide, by far one of the most popular gift ideas were the genius handmade Hamilton dolls by Christina of Etsy’s Bobeena Shop. What can we say, you all have good taste in artists — and game-changing Broadway musicals. Now she’s out with a few brand new characters to help round out the most adorable founding fathers (and mothers) around: John Laurens and Hercules Mulligan. Add them to favorites like the Schuyler sisters and Alexander Hamilton himself and you’ll have the most enviable pop culture doll collection on the planet right now. Related: The best Hamilton party theme ideas: Decor, invitations, treats, and...

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