Author: Liz Gumbinner

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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Diverse, interracial dollhouse families: Reader Q&A

After featuring Georgette’s post on 6 toymakers making diverse interracial dolls for kids, Facebook fan Melissa asked us if we know of any interracial dollhouse families. I love this question. So many of us want to bring more diversity into all our kids’ doll collections, whether you have children whose heritage is Asian, African or Latino and they want dolls that reflect themselves back to them; or you have Caucasian children, like my daughter, who has racial and ethnic diversity among her closest friends and family members, and loves surrounding herselves with dolls that reflect her world. That said, most dollhouse families you find...

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16 seriously amazing beauty stocking stuffers, beyond nail polish and hand cream.

If you’ve got a stylish woman in your life, I’ve got some really fantastic ideas for you for beauty stocking stuffers. My checklist: They have to be practical, useful, affordable (well, relatively) and yet still totally fun to receive. Maybe things she would love but would never get for herself? In other words, sorry store-brand dental floss. You may be practical, but you’re not making the list. So here are 16 of my own favorite beauty stocking stuffers that include practical tools and special little beauty indulgences, most of which are fixtures in my own handbag and medicine cabinet. They’re guaranteed to...

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An amazing one-day sale on movies that supports an amazing cause too.

Right in time for last-minute holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, I’ve discovered the Entertainment AIDS Alliance, which is offering popular DVDs and Blu-Ray discs at 30–90% off retail, all to provide services through 155 of the best organizations helping those afflicted with HIV and AIDS. The one catch: You’ve got to order right now! Related: 35 fab gifts that give back to 35 fab charities — from Broadway Cares to St. Jude’s to Every Mother Counts We’re talking really good film options, from the entire Downton Abbey series to new releases like Secret Life of Pets, Zootopia, X-Men Apocalypse, the 2016 Jungle Book, Batman v...

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Rockets of Awesome: The clothing subscription box for kids that is, well, awesome.

I admit I am very skeptical of subscription boxes of clothing like Stitchfix (we published a terrific, brutally honest she said/she said post on it that’s worth a read) since I have very particular tastes and I tend to know what shapes I can wear and what I can’t. So, no surprise, my kids also have very particular tastes and I have had yet to try one of the new trends in boxes of clothing for kids — until Rockets of Awesome, which was founded by former Cricket’s Circle CEO and mom, Rachel Blumenthal. Mamas? I am a total convert. They sent me a credit...

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Custom superhero action figures for kids with imagination

With Marvel and DC pretty much taking over entertainment for the past decade or so, plenty of kids are clamoring for superhero action figures for the holidays. But what I think is even cooler than Chris Evans in miniature (not that I’d complain if I had the full-size version, ahem) is a new company that lets you customize your own superhero action figure, right down to the sex, skin tone, name, and superpowers. Started by a husband-wife team, Hero Me Lab is a small company I discovered when they reached out to send me an action figure to check out and…wow. Color me super impressed. (Get...

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The great holiday cookie gift guide: Something for every sweet tooth on your list.

We’ve recently become Cheryl’s Cookies converts around here, after having received a generous gift basket delivery of their buttercream cookies. (Now that’s a friend.) And now…they’re our newest sponsor! Which makes us very happy. If, very hungry, because we’ve spent an inordinate number of hours browsing their site this past week. It’s amazing how many incredible, affordable treats they offer that make thoughtful and convenient holiday gifts. (ZOMG, cookie cards!) From their famous buttercream frosted cookies in the cutest shapes and designs, to make-your-own kits for kids, holiday tins and giant towers…well, just saying, be careful browsing on an empty stomach....

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Not Parent Approved: Like Cards Against Humanity…for kids.

With the massive popularity of Cards Against Humanity, it was only a matter of time before someone created a G-rated (ok, G-rated-ish) adaptation that pays homage to its irreverent mastery. Enter Not Parent Approved, a truly hilarious, very clever family card game that should be the breakout hit of the upcoming holiday season. Related: 8 of our favorite family games for 6 or more players Think of Not Parent Approved as a cross between the old Match Game (aw, we miss you Charles Nelson Reilly), Apples to Apples and CAH, in which all the players try to pick the most apt red card...

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Web coolness: A healing Leonard Cohen playlist, the cutest Harry Potter baby, and a fun way to countdown to Gilmore Girls

Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too You can’t not smile at this Harry Potter baby photo shoot. (via Kayla Layla Photography; also see her work on her Instagram feed!) Random acts of kindness as a Starbucks customer buys coffee for military personnel. A good mantra for today and every day. Thoughts on mending fences effectively after the election. How to talk to kids if they’re feeling scared about world events. Our picks for must-read graphic novels featuring cool, creative, strong heroines. The excellent We Need Diverse Books is hosting a fundraiser and Gayle Forman...

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Onward.

Kristen and I have never run this as a partisan or a political site, but that’s not to say that our values aren’t pretty clearly reflected on these pages. Our long-time readers know we are, and have always been, about inclusivity. Positivity. Diversity. Honoring our differences and seeking out what unites us. Providing support for all kinds of loving families, and seeking out more opportunities for all kinds of kids. None of that changed today. We’re still here. You’re still here, the hundreds of thousands of you who share these ideals. We started this site ten years ago in part to lift up those who need lifting up, whether...

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Election Day! Everything you need to know, and everything you need to know that you didn’t know you need to know.

You might have heard, but there’s this election coming up in the US on Tuesday, November 8 and it’s kind of a big deal. Here are just a few links we’ve been reading to help you, enlighten you, stress you out, or de-stress you completely.   Above: Vote street art via StreetArt SF Visit Vote.org to confirm your registration, polling place, and everything else. Iwillvote.com is a fast way to look up your polling place. And it goes without saying that NO, YOU CANNOT VOTE VIA TEXT. It’s a suppression tactic being disseminated by trolls to try and disenfranchise...

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