Category: Tips + Tricks

What is the safest sunscreen for kids and babies? EWG has 20 of them.

Each year we eagerly await the Environmental Working Group’s list of the safest sunscreens for kids (and grownups too) and we’re so glad to see the 2013 list is ready, just in time for the unofficial start of summer. Click over to the list of the safest sunscreens and you’ll find not only more than 180 beach and sport sunscreens–the ones we’re most interested in for our own kids–but SPF moisturizers, lip balms and makeup that all meet their criteria. We’ve culled it down to their top picks all scoring a “1” that are made especially for babies and...

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A celebration of motherhood firsts: 7 smart tips for the first picnic with kids

This post is part of a monthly series with our Baby Shower Gift Guide sponsor, babyGap, on our tips for celebrating motherhood firsts. And there are lots! The official start of summer is just around the corner and that means time for playgrounds, parks, and that very first picnic, one of our very favorite rites of passage for new babies. (We’ve been through quite a few of those, so we know.) But before you pack up your entire kitchen in the trunk of the car and cram your basket full of goodies you might not need–or eat– here are...

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A celebration of motherhood firsts: Tips for taking those first baby photos

This post is part of a monthly series with our Baby Shower Gift Guide sponsor, babyGap celebrating motherhood firsts. And there are lots! These days, it’s not like you need a professional portrait photographer to make sure you’ve got those newborn baby photos covered. With 8 million relatives (more or less) visiting in hospital, we’ll guess that one or two of them just might have brought a camera along. But when you’re ready for something a little less blurry, a little more stylized and maybe your own hair is a little more brushed, here are some tips that professional...

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Top tips and picks for travel with kids to help you all arrive safe and sane

One of our readers’ most common questions: what are your best tips for surviving travel with kids? We’re here to oblige! So we’ve rounded up our tried-and-true favorite picks for keeping junior travelers in great spirits. From day trip to 12-hour road trip to the ever-popular “What were we thinking?” international flights, these are the items we’ve found will keep everybody sane and happy this season. {Keep reading for some of the best-ever tips for travel with kids!} We’re thrilled to be partnering with Brita to bring you this post. Their new Brita Bottle for Kids is a huge...

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The ultimate resources for cooking a foolproof Thanksgiving meal

Please, for the love of turkey, do not do a web search for “Thanksgiving recipes,” “Thanksgiving help,” or “Save me,” in your effort to seek out Thanksgiving meal guidance. Sifting through the long list of search results will only confuse you more. Just for you, I’ve hunted and gathered the best resources the web, your tablet and phone have to offer. I’m serving them up to you, here, in one perfectly bookmarkable post, because I am good like that.Save this, and save Thanksgiving dinner. Trust me! Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Planning [Photo: One Hungry Mama] The first step is planning...

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Six reasons to drink less bottled water

My family and I have been longtime Brita fans. That filtered pitcher of tap water is a mainstay in our fridge. But that’s pretty tough to keep up on the go, especially when I’m trying to remember to fill four sippy cups for four little kids I’m struggling to get out the door. That’s why I’m really happy that we’re working with Brita, makers of an awesome new Brita filtered water bottle for kids. This gives me the chance to tell you six of the reasons we’ve moved away from bottled water in recent years. Starting with money… 1....

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10 tips for camping with children for the first time

We just returned from our third tent-camping excursion, and while I wouldn’t call us back-country experts, I’ve learned a lot since that first trip when I was still nursing a toddler while trying to keep the other two from falling into the campfire. I think early fall is such a lovely time for an inaugural camping experience: fewer crowds, not too hot around the fire, and cool sleeping nights. So, if you are thinking of taking the plunge, here are my top 10 tips for a successful family camping trip. 1. Your first time? Go local The first time...

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Birthday gifts for 5-year-old girl? Reader Q&A

I need a birthday gift idea for my soon-to-be 5-year-old daughter. She has tons of Barbies, tons of clothes – she is a girly girl and loves all things to do with painting nails, wearing girly stuff. I feel like we have way too many toys and clothes. What else is new and fun for a 5-year-old girl? -Laurinda I have two basic categories for kids who already have a lot of toys: consumable/craft gifts and games that inspire imagination, and then toys get them outside and active–and can hopefully be stored in the garage! Oh, make that three...

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Comfy mom shoes that don’t look like mom shoes? Answers from a stylist.

Q: I need some new ideas for cool comfy mom shoes so I’m not in my gym sneakers every day this summer but still can run around all day. Help! -Erin L There are so many great options for busy moms these days. Your instinct is right: keep your gym sneakers in the gym and try one of these 15 cool options instead. Espadrilles This old classic feels so right now. The rubber sole is a must in their homeland of Spain where cobblestones abound. At J Crew you’ll find the affordable Soludos Espadrilles flats in red and white...

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Are LEGO Friends good for girls? Let’s talk about it.

I’ll be frank, quite a few of us groaned along with many of you when LEGO Friends was announced; that series of pastel-colored, “girl-friendly” kits which seemed heavy on the pink and purple, with themes like Butterfly Beauty Shop. (Gah.) At Toy Fair earlier this year, Christina and I got a good look at the entire line. And since then, we’ve each spent the last few months with our girls playing with the kits, deciding whether we could truly recommend them or not. Here are the issues we were concerned about, and where we both panned out. Concern 1:...

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5 tips to help teach kids about money

One of the important challenges we face as parents ourselves is how to teach our kids about money. And not just the difference between a dime and a nickel–yes, the nickel is bigger but it’s not worth more. Boy, that’s a hard one with our kids! We’ve learned is that every parent has different values when it comes to money and kids, so of course you have to do what’s best for your own family. That’s why we’re so happy to once again be teaming up with BMO Harris Bank, which is committed to helping families make good financial...

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Undeck the halls: Tips for taking down the Christmas decorations. Sniff.

No one likes taking down those holiday decorations, but mamas? Trust us, you don’t want to be “that one house” with the lights still up on Valentine’s Day. That’s why we’ve got 5 great ideas on how to store your winter holiday decorations and make next year’s light untangling a breeze.   1. Simple, smart storage for Christmas Lights Tangled light cords are never fun. Fortunately, they will be a thing of the past with this ridiculously brilliant, simple way to store Christmas lights courtesy of decorating (and undecorating!) doyenne Martha Stewart. Bonus: you don’t have to buy anything....

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Still feeling the DIY spirit? Some of our favorite last minute holiday crafts and printables.

Here, just some of the great resources, websites, recipes and roundups we’ve found for the holiday season. You’ve still got a whole day of wrapping left! –The most beautiful printable gift tags –12 festive gift wrap ideas –6 easy holiday treats, no culinary degree required. –10 DIY holiday gifts for those crafty folks among us. –Print at home gifts to save you from overnight shipping charges –6 free printable gift tags [image via eat drink...

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Dozens of ways to turn hurricane time into fun time with kids

If you’re stuck in Irene’s path this weekend, most of all, we hope you’re safe! After that, here are a few of our favorite ways to spend your electricity-free time hunkered down in close quarters with the family. Got game? Apps and online games are no match in a storm for a good, old fashioned board game. Dust off the Monopoly, Scrabble, or if you’re lucky enough to have one, the 3D Angry Birds game. Getting crafty If your craft closet is stocked (or you can make it to a Michael’s), you’re in good shape–especially if you take a...

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Holiday photo cards with flair? Reader Q&A

Can you suggest some more holiday photo card sites? I’m a little bored with the same ole, same ole every year. Or, what about a site for creating your own cards with flair? -Ginger I am fairly certain that Holiday Rule #1 states that you must send out photo cards once you have children. A lot of people must agree since I get a loads of holiday photo cards each year. But after getting, and sending, the same basic photo card year after year, I too yearn to see something a little more design-y and inspired, like these options we’ve...

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Chef Sam Talbot’s tips on cooking without sugar

When Kristen and I had the opportunity to sit down with Sam Talbot, our Top Chef crush for the last few years, it was hard not to say yes. (Frankly, it was hard not to get all sweaty and nervous for days beforehand.) It was a bit intimidating; not because he’s adorable and charming and the executive chef of the new Mondrian Soho in NY, and rumored to be dating models up the whazoo–but because he’s such a passionate, talented chef. And frankly, we’re both better at eating fabulous food than cooking it ourselves. As a former personal chef...

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7 lifesaving tips for flying with toddlers – Reader Q&A

I have a trip coming up in December, flying for the first time with toddlers. . . what will I need and what can I use? My kids are not the type to sit! I’m almost afraid to have them on a airplane! Any thing you can share would be great! -Amanda, mom to a 2 & 3 year old We’re all big proponents of traveling with kids here, as early as possible. But we realize that flying with kids, especially really young ones who haven’t quite mastered things like an “indoor voice” can be anxiety-provoking. I hope the...

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Retirement gift for teacher? Reader Q&A

I need to find a retirement gift for my daughter’s first grade teacher. I saw your teacher gift suggestions post and thought they were great, and wondered if you had any ideas for a retirement gift.  -Amy For a retiring teacher who you love, I think a more sentimental gift is in order, like the short-but-sweet Seize the Day words or even a simple Thank You etched into a Tiny Bowl from Paloma’s Nest (shown above); while we know most teachers are averse to tchotchkes, this bowl is so lovely, and a perfect motto for your teacher’s days ahead....

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Gift for a pregnant friend on bedrest? Reader Q&A

My friend is currently 26 weeks pregnant with her second daughter. Unfortunately, like her first pregnancy, she has been checked into the hospital for bed rest and will stay until the end of her pregnancy. Although she has books and crafts, the boredom and depression is starting to set in. I would like to send her a thoughtful gift to help her through this difficult time. Do you have some wonderful ideas?  -Dawn You are so awesome to help your friend through the next few months of waiting, Dawn. We hope some of our ideas will help her pass...

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Affordable dressy cruise wear? Reader Q&A

Q: My family is going on a cruise next month, and I am wondering if you have any suggestions for dressy clothes for the formal nights. I have three daughters, ages 10, 7, and 5, and I am looking for outfits that are classic and stylish…but won’t break the bank. -Heather We’re jealous Heather! Sounds like a great time is ahead. Now the good news (besides the fact that you’re going on a cruise) is that this time of the year you can find lots of last year’s summer dresses at deep discounts. The hard part is that sizes...

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Small space baby gifts? Reader Q&A

My sister lives in Brooklyn and had a baby girl in June. I know that her living space is very limited and I am having trouble finding cool gifts to give to the baby. I was wondering if I could get suggestions on things that would be cool as well as functional in their limited space. -Melissa Knowing how it can be challenging to manage baby stuff in a tight space, it’s nice that you’ve got that on your mind when buying a gift, Melissa. I asked our Editor-in-Chief Liz, our resident Brooklyn-ite and expert on small living spaces and...

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Great adoption gift? Reader Q&A

My husband and I are pursuing domestic adoption and hope to be matched with a birth mother soon. We know that it is traditional to give the birth mother a gift after the baby is born, but we have no idea what to get for a very brave woman that we will barely know, but owe so very much to. -Natasha How exciting, Natasha. Like you said, I imagine it’s hard to narrow down all that gratitude into a single gift of some kind, but we’re thinking that a personalized piece of jewelry would be a good choice. I’m...

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Great first birthday gifts? Reader Q&A

I am trying to find a gift for my one year old niece and I can’t figure anything out. I don’t want to do clothes and plastic toys. I’d like something commemorative – but what? -Grace If your niece’s grandparents are like my kids’ grandparents, chances are the clothes and plastic toys will be well covered! Instead, we’d say consider a personalized or customized gift if you’re looking for a true keepsake. If you’re looking for a commemorative sort of gift, we love the idea of personalized art like the personalized name prints from Ida Pearle (shown). Liz actually...

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Cool adoption announcements? Reader Q&A

Do you know of a company that does awesome adoption announcements – hold the bunnies? -Tanis Congrats on your adoption, Tanis! We know how hard it can be to find cool announcements, let alone ones that don’t rely on birth dates and times in the design. But thankfully, many companies are stepping it up with modern announcements that are suitable for adoptive parents too. We’re big fans of Minted cards, so I’m not surprised that they’ve got some lovely adoption announcements. My fave is the sleek Worth the Wait adoption announcement which is printed on eco-friendly premium 100% recycled...

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School uniform help? – Reader Q&A

My daughters attend a school that requires uniforms: Khaki pants and navy blue shirts.  They can wear any solid navy top — no logos or words, and no polos.  Any creative suggestions for some cute tunics, or tees, cardigans? -Shannon I admit I’m a little jealous, Shannon, since my daughter is stuck with a pretty strict uniform for school. Finding a few options other than the typical polo is a nice way to let your kid’s express their style within the confines of the school uniform policy. A lot of navy can be found in so-called “unisex” sections, so our first...

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Favorite baby carrier? Reader Q&A

I emailed a few months ago asking what your favorite baby carrier was and your reply was The Rockin Baby Sling, which I ordered and love.  I am now looking for an Ergo/Beco type carrier. Do you prefer one over the other or is there another brand you love? -Heather You’re talking to a baby carrier addict here, Heather. But if I had to pick my favorite Ergo type carrier, I’d go with the BabyHawk mei tai carrier (shown). Don’t let the long straps intimidate you. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be wearing this one all...

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Creative playroom design inspiration? Reader Q&A

Wondering if you could point me toward a cool, creative book about playroom design or a website/book that showcases creative kid spaces in general? Can’t find anything beyond the usual pink teddy bears… -Courtney You’re a mom after our own hearts, Courtney – We recently featured an amazing book about children’s design and decor called Play All Day that’s just phenomenal. You’ll find architecture and design inspiration galore. As far as websites go, we’re huge fans of Ohdeedoh.com, the children’s decor and design blog from Apartment Therapy. In fact, just the other day they had a great post up...

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