Category: Tips + Tricks

A complaint and compliment box: How this simple change could make your family life so much happier

I recently finished reading How to Win as a Step-Family (great book for blended families, by the way), and one of the suggestions they made to help family morale was a complaint and compliment box where everyone can air their grievances and share encouraging words in a safe way. And so, I decided to give it a whirl with our new family of six, though you certainly do not need to be a blended family to try it out. In fact, I totally suggest you do, no matter your family size or structure. CMP is an rstyle affiliate Related: A simple way to...

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Dr. Harvey Karp answers parents’ biggest sleep questions. Yes! | Spawned ep 68

On this week’s episode of the Spawned podcast, we are excited to welcome Dr. Harvey Karp, of Happiest Baby on the Block fame, though he virtually needs no introduction. We’re so excited he joined us to answer some of parents most difficult questions about sleep, whether they’ve got newborns or, uh…tweens. We appreciate his common sense, non-judgmental approach to sleep, not to mention some of the tips that saved our own lives when we were new parents. (If you know his genius 5 S’s, you know just what we mean.)   Listen now! And don’t forget to subscribe to Spawned with Kristen...

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We’ve got 24 cheap and easy ideas for date night at home. Because shockingly, parents can’t always get out.

We’re all about trying to find enjoyable, cheap and easy ideas for date night at home, especially for those of us with kids who’d like a little extra help rekindling that proverbial spark when we’re stuck sans sitter. Even if it’s just a few hours off from actually being parental, it can make a big difference. But of course, when you’re a busy parent, Valentine’s Day (especially on a Tuesday night) won’t generally involve Dom Perignon, dry-aged steak, and the penthouse suite of the Mandarin-Oriental, am I right? So check out these ideas instead that you can actually pull off without a whole lot...

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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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This supermarket shopping tip could save you a lot of money

We’ve featured lots of supermarket shopping tips here because who doesn’t love to say a little money? But here’s a tip for one our favorite grocery stores that you might not know about, and it just so happens to be at one of our favorite grocery stores, Trader Joe’s. Now, you might be thinking it’s their generous return policy, which yes, is so, so awesome, but nope, that’s not it! This little-known trick would will actually save you time and money, before you even leave the store. And if you don’t shop at Trader Joe’s, keep your eye out on...

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Retail is for suckers! Save money shopping online with these expert tips and resources | Spawned Ep 60

After ten years of browsing retailers for a living, putting together shopping guides of all kinds (like Holiday Gift Guides, ahem) and getting to know the ins and outs of online shopping, we thought it would be helpful to devote an entire episode of Spawned to all of our favorite smart money-saving tips and tricks, apps and websites that we’ve discovered work best for us. You’ll hear lots of expert tips we’ve shared over the years with national newspapers, magazines, and on programs like The TODAY Show — plus brand new ones that you may never have considered. Listen right now (this very second!) through the link...

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10 simple ways to find more time in a busy day. No magic required.

We would probably all love an extra hour in the day. Or two. Or six. Especially with the busy holiday season upon us right now. But since we’re not magicians and we don’t own a time machine (yet), the only way we’ll be able to find extra time is if we take a good look at how we’re spending the 24 hours we already have. And no, losing more sleep is not a reasonable option. That’s why I’m so pleased to present our newest sponsor Allstate and their new, free QuickTrip app, which is designed to maximize your time by organizing your to-do...

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The last-minute Thanksgiving help: Everything you need including recipe help, drinks, decor, printables + crafts for the kids. No go forth and be thankful!

If you’re like me and Thanksgiving totally snuck up on you this year (seriously, today?), fear not! The CMP team has been hard at work for weeks now, sharing the most helpful resources and great advice to help you master the big day. From the most foolproof turkey roasting tutorials (and who to call when…uh, if they go wrong), pie recipes to live for, and the most fun printables to keep kids busy and entertained, we’ve got it all right here. And hey, if you’re desperate for just some Thanksgiving relative survival tips (for humans, not turkeys), we’ve got you covered with that in the...

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Beyond thank you and please: 7 manners all kids should learn for holiday entertaining (and that we’re not all teaching)

Please and thank you — important stuff, right? I’ve always believe that courteous kids grow into nice adults and we all need more nice in the world these day. But that’s not where etiquette begins and ends. So with the holidays here, and lots of entertaining and mingling coming up on our calendars, we’ve started talking in our home about some of the manners that we want our kids to know, so they can be fantastic guests and hosts. I’m sharing them here with the hope that maybe our ideas will help some of you too. Top: Please and Thank You poster at TanyaGDesign on Etsy I know...

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10 fun ideas for holiday traditions you can start with your family right now

One of our most favorite parts of the holidays (no, not presents, though we like those too) are the family traditions we celebrate year after year. There’s just something so special about looking forward to our annual holiday rituals, whether they started spontaneously one year and just kept going, or they’ve been passed down through the generations. If you’re like us, one of the best ever holiday traditions for families is to snuggle up and watch your favorite seasonal movies and television shows, which is something our newest sponsor Amazon Studios knows a whole lot about. Their two newest holiday specials, If You Give...

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