Author: Liz Gumbinner

The one scene in Hidden Figures that every parent should be talking about | Thinking: Parent

Hi, nice to meet you. I’m one of the many parents who tries desperately to squeeze in a few last-minute Oscar nominated movie screenings just before the actual ceremony each year so I have at least a moderate shot at the family Oscar pool. You too? At the very top of my list was Hidden Figures, which I waited to see until my own girls could join me. Yay for February break! And while there are so many moments that will stay with me for a long time, there’s one scene in particular that doesn’t seem to get a lot of analysis, but to me, perfectly embodied why the story of...

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Happy Valentine’s Day for the real world, parents!

Whatever your Valentine’s Day looks like tonight (Netflix and pass out seems pretty great to a lot of us TBH), we hope it’s a good one! So Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you in love, in like, or just crushing on a special someone. And an extra congrats to those of you who managed to get those 28 little classroom Valentine’s cards out on time for the kids. Will they ever appreciate our sacrifices? Eh, we do it for love.  – Liz, Kristen + the Cool Mom Team   And if you plan on doing something a little more before...

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Livelihood: Ashley Biden’s brilliant hoodies for good initiative

Just this week, the launch of Livelihood has brought together four of my favorite things: Fashion, indie women-run businesses, products made in the US, and purchases that do good for people in need. Founded by Delaware social worker and former Veep offspring Ashley Biden (you might have recognized the name) with support from friend and actress Aubrey Plaza, this new line of comfy, stylish hoodies for men, women, and kids does so much. They were designed to help create US jobs — all the products are designed and manufactured right here — all while providing funding to underserved communities via donations. They limit their beneficiaries to two zip codes...

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Ideas for an awesome LEGO Batman Movie party theme, with inspiration from the Hollywood premiere party

Thanks to our awesome partner Warner Bros. Pictures, I had the opportunity to jet out to LA this past weekend (wow, did I need that) for the launch party and red carpet — okay, black and yellow carpet — premiere of The LEGO Batman Movie. If you’ve got a kid who’s obsessed — and trust me, after your kids see it, they will be — I gathered some fantastic ideas for throwing a creative, memorable LEGO Batman themed party. And by gathered, I mean I have shamelessly stolen them from the studio’s brilliant party planners. But you know, I adapted them....

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TONS of free printable coloring pages from top libraries + museums…but hurry!

My printer is no stranger to the many free printable coloring pages it churns out for my kids, and if you know what I’m talking about, then joy of joys! You can currently get access to dozens and dozens of free printable coloring pages from top libraries, museums and cultural institutions, allowing kids to color in real artwork and vintage illustration to make them all their own. The one catch: This global coloring fest ends Friday, February 10 so hurry! Related: 21 of the coolest coloring books for adults The effort is called #ColorOurCollections and while lots of options probably fall more into adult coloring page territory, I’ve...

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Our favorite new words just added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, from Seussian to humblebrag.

Yesterday, Merriam-Webster announced they had added more than 1000 new words to the dictionary, and wow, word nerds like me could lose ourselves in here for ages. Actually, I kind of did. According to the editors the terms come from everything from tech to science and medicine, pop culture, sports, slang, foreign languages, and more. But what’s as fascinating to me as the words themselves, is just how long it took some of them to make it into print. Humblebrag is like a baby down there! Take a look at a few of my favorites, then be sure to click over...

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5 fabulous new pairs of spring shoes I want at Nordstrom right now

I’ve always been a fan of Nordstrom. The company pays their employees well, they offer a lot of flexibility to part-time or telecommuting workers (like parents),  they’ve lead the way with strong anti-discrimination policies, and they always make the Fortune list of the top 100 companies to work for. Plus, best customer service. (Especially you bra fitters in the White Plains store. Yeah, you!) And if you’re online…free shipping! So I thought it was a good day to do a little online window shopping and check out some of the hot new spring shoes I’d love from Nordstrom right now. A little...

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Super Bowl recipe help? Got you covered with hundreds of last-minute ideas

Whether you’re watching the Super Bowl this weekend for the game, for the commercials, or just for an excuse to get together with friends, Cool Mom Eats and Cool Mom Picks have got you covered with lots of great ideas for last minute, easy Super Bowl recipes. We’ve even got you covered for mocktail recipes. Because designated drivers? You’re all of our MVPs on game day. Above: From DIY Nacho bar ideas via What’s Gaby Cooking. So much great help there!   200+ last minute Super Bowl recipes, drinks, and party-planning help! 5 Instant Pot recipes that make Super Bowl food easy. 5...

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What did Frederick Douglass do? This wonderful book helps kids find out.

This week, I am under the impression, for some reason, that lots of folks are searching for information on Frederick Douglass: Who was Frederick Douglass? What did he do that was so important? How did he earn a place in the new Smithsonian African-American history museum? If you’re a parent or educator, this is a good opportunity to rush to your local library, Amazon, or your local bookstore. Then check out the brand new biography picture book, Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History, by the late Walter Dean Myers. Related: 10 outstanding Black History Month books for kids of all...

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15 amazing Langston Hughes quotes to help start important discussions with your kids

Today marks not only the beginning of Black History Month, but the birthday of the beloved, brilliant, prescient poet Langston Hughes, who would have been 114 today. As with all essential writers throughout history, his words live on long past his death in 1967. In fact, so many Langston Hughes quotes, thoughts and lines from his poetry are as relevant today as they ever were. One of the things I like to do with my kids from time to time, is read them a quote then discuss it. It’s actually amazing how kids even as young as four or five can have some basic...

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2 fantastic tees we’d wear even if they didn’t support the ACLU. But they do.

Our friend Christine Koh, she of the wonderful gold personalized unicorn tee (featured as one of our favorite cool birthday gifts for tweens and tweens) is at it again. Her shop, which features beautifully designed advocacy tees each supporting an excellent cause, now has two new designs with 20% of the proceeds going to one of our favorite orgs, the ACLU Nationwide. Check out the shop for the fierce Rise Up tee and the gold stamped Equality tee, both of which I love so much…well, considering the cause, the designs themselves, and the opportunity to support an indie maker mom with my purchase,...

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How The National Park Service is letting families visit free!

I’m all about supporting our nation’s National Park Service in any way we can, especially because of the myriad ways they support us right back. So I’m thrilled to share the brilliant initiative to get even more kids to our National Parks and Monuments around the country: Every Kid in a Park. Created by President Obama to get more children excited about science, nature, and understanding the beauty and history of our nation, the program will grant your family totally free access (yes, free!) to all Federal lands and waters. Plus, you’ll get a massive discount on Amtrak tickets for kids if you’re training it there....

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How children can write letters to the president: An American tradition

Children writing to our president and the First Family has always been a wonderful and important tradition. And with the inauguration of a new White House resident today, this is a great time to get kids thinking about their own hopes, their concerns, the issues that are on their minds, and letting them write to the president about them. In our weekly link roundup post this week, we linked to an NPR article about the number of letters from children that President Obama will continue to answer, even after today. Some favorite letters I’ve seen: The girl who wanted advice about getting a nose...

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When That Girl becomes That Woman: Meeting Marlo Thomas

Last week, I was fortunate to attend a reception hosted by Marlo Thomas (!) and spend some time talking about life, womanhood, Free to Be You and Me, education, kids, femininity, being sexy at any age, and of course, her chic new throwback clothing line, That Woman by Marlo Thomas. Which I’ll get to in a minute. But first, ZOMG Marlo Thomas. Please know this is a woman who has inspired me my entire life. And yes, she’s just as charming and uplifting and funny and smart as you’d hope. She’s also reaffirmed my commitment this year to surround myself with as many...

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How a rag doll is helping to spread random acts of kindness around the world.

This past holiday season, my 9-year-old asked for a boy doll. “But not a boy baby doll,” she said, “because they’re exactly the same as the girl baby dolls when you take the clothes off. They are just girl dolls! Only in blue clothes! Though sometimes they don’t have eyelashes. And anyway, I have so many girl dolls and it’s just not fair that there aren’t boys too.” Can you tell she’s my kid? We did find a rag-style boy doll for her who she absolutely adores; but I admit I wish we had found The Doll Kind a month ago,...

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The first reusable tampon applicator: Would you? Could you?

Our Facebook fans pretty much went nuts discussing (okay, debating) our thorough, honest review of THINX Period Underwear this past year, and now the woman-run period innovation company is back with the upcoming launch RETA, the first reusable tampon applicator. Yep. Reusable. Tampon applicator. And hey, why not? Related: The Dot Girl First Period Kit: a lifesaver for moms of tween girls Whether it grosses you out or seems like one more smart step toward ending menstruation squeamishness while helping you save money and be kinder to the earth, it is a pretty fascinating concept. Especially considering the medical grade silicone will likely be way more comfy than...

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An excellent list of MLK books, videos and resources to help kids understand the reason for the holiday.

Over the years, we’ve put together so many fantastic ways to help honor the important, impactful work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., especially to help families be able to discuss how we might all carry on his legacy. We hope you’ll check out these books, videos, websites, craft ideas and activities, with the hope that more of our kids are inspired do their own part to create a world filled with peace, equality and justice for all.   4 Fantastic Books for Kids about Martin Luther King to Help Educate While You Celebrate Here’s his entire I Have a Dream...

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The best kids music of 2016 | Editors Picks of the Year

It wouldn’t be our Editors Picks of the Year if we didn’t give a shoutout to our favorite kids music of the year. And if you’re thinking, huh? Cool kids’ music? then clearly you haven’t spent a lot of time here! For years now, there have been amazing kindie artists  — lots of whom you might have known as adult artists first, like Lisa Loeb or TMBG’s Danny Weinkauf — putting out family friendly music that even parents can get down to. And for that, we are grateful. So if you’re in need of some kids music that doesn’t make you...

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Wishing you a happy Hamilton Hanukkah! From Cool Mom Picks and the Maccabeats

Those of us Hanukkah revelers have always had slimmer pickings when it comes to great modern music. But now Adam Sandler and Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings have some great new company thanks to the Maccabeats, who are just out with Hasmonean: A Hamilton Hanukkah. If you have been loving Hamildolph as much as we all have, I think you’ll also dig this version of Lin Manuel Miranda’s opus, which happens to be a good history lesson too. Especially for those of you not quite as familiar with the backstory behind the Festival of Lights. Related: 8 of the most amazing printable Hanukkah coloring pages, one for each crazy night Oh and the...

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5 of the hottest Star Wars toys your kids totally want. Trust us.

With the perfectly timed December launch of Rogue One, of course Star Wars toys for kids are all the rage. Again. If you’re looking for an awesome gift for your little padawan — even if he or she isn’t quite so little — here are 5 of the hottest Star Wars toys right now that we wouldn’t mind getting in our own Tauntaun fur-lined stockings. But hurry, with all the urgency of a quadjumper pilot using hyperspeed! Because if you order all these Star Wars toys now, you can still get them in time for Christmas or Hanukkah delivery — most with...

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