Tag: reader Q & A

Environmentally friendly school fundraiser? Reader Q&A

I’m trying to find a good elementary school fundraiser for my daughter’s school to change things up a bit in the coming school year. I’d love to do one that doesn’t involve that ubiquitous cookie dough or wrapping paper….and would be thrilled to find one that is green or at least environmentally friendly. -Dina Having bought my weight in both gaudy wrapping paper and 75-ingredient cookie dough all in the name of fundraising, I am all for spreading the word on more interesting alternatives. Here are some of my favorite ideas that not only do some good, they’re products...

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Eco-friendly play gym? Reader Q&A

I am in the market for a cool, eco-friendly baby play gym for my 5-month-old boy. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I am willing to spend around $100. Thanks much.   -Jennifer C. Finding what we would call a cool play gym takes a little searching—most of them are loud, battery-hogging plastic monstrosities—but we think you and your babe will like some of these options which are all close to, or well under, your budget. First, we like this simple, eco-friendly play gym from Cariboo which blends in nicely with any decor. It’s shown here in...

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Great First Communion dresses that are sweet, not mini Bride? – Reader Q&A

Please help me find a First Communion dress that is a) not a bazillion dollars and b) not made out of that super scratchy cheap lace? The dress needs to be mostly white and dressy, but not too mini-bride! -Cathy We totally get what you mean about avoiding the “mini bride” look, Cathy—some of the styles out there are way more fancy than my wedding dress!  Here are some ideas we’ve pulled for you. Hopefully this will help you find something you (and your daughter) will love.   We reviewed Soft Clothing a little while ago, and while their...

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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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Child-safe makeup or play makeup? Reader Q&A

My 4 year old daughter is very into dressing up–including the make-up. Do you know if there are safer kids’ make-up products out there? Maybe I’m paranoid, but I worry about the $5 variety available at the toy store–do I need to worry about it irritating her eyes, or bothering her skin? -Kristen In a word, “yes”. Kristen, you are smart to worry about play makeup since it can be loaded with particles and ingredients that are anything but kid-friendly to little lungs, eyes and skin. After my kids received a big cheap kit of “play makeup” made of...

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Cool Advent Calendar Ideas? Reader Q&A

I have a pretty wooden advent calendar/box with little doors that my boys use to count down the days until Christmas but I always have trouble finding cute items to put inside. Any ideas? -Kristin The advent calendar is the first thing my kids race to on December mornings, so while candy is an obvious filler, it isn’t something I want them ingesting at 7AM. But if I try to find a toy for 24 days multiplied by 3 kids, I need a loan just to afford the month. So a few years ago I made my first trip...

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Nativity set for children? Reader Q&A

My mom would like to get my 14 month old daughter a wooden nativity set for Christmas–something she can actually play with but something sturdy, cute, and made to last. – Cara It’s funny you should ask this Cara, because I was just looking for one for my own kids. And fortunately for us, I found a few options that might work. I actually ended up purchasing the Playmobil nativity set. Of course it’s not wooden, but Playmobil has a great reputation, and at $19.99, the price was right. Plus, it’s nice to find a set that my kids can put...

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Shoes for big kids? Reader Q&A

I am a mama of three little ones, my oldest is five and we are running into a dilemma. There seems to be a lack of cute kids’ shoes after size 12. Please would you help? You guys always have the best recommendations! -Gabrielle I’ve actually got the opposite problem over at my house, Gabrielle, with my teeny-footed kiddos. But luckily, a few of our favorite children’s shoe purveyors offer great picks up through size 12. Ever since I was introduced to Umi shoes (pictured), it’s the only shoe I’ll buy for my son. Luckily, their girl styles are...

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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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A toddler shoe wardrobe on a budget? Reader Q&A

My daughter needs five pairs of shoes and my husband will take away the credit card if I spend $200+ a season on shoes for a 2 year old. If you know of any cute, wide shoes that are reasonable in price, please let me know! -Maisey Even for a mom like me with an awful shoe fetish, that’s a lot of shoes for a two-year-old. You might want to consider investing in fewer pairs of shoes, but ones that offer versatile styling, ample support, sturdy and flexible soles, and uppers that won’t wear out. You don’t need a...

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Toddler nap mats? Reader Q&A

Cool Moms, do you know of any great day care nap mats for toddlers? -SuzanneThis is actually the first year my daughter needed a nap mat for school, so thanks to your question, Suzanne, I was able to find a bunch that work for us as well. The kid’s eco nap mats from SewnNatural are handmade from organic cotton and a cool eco-friendly fabric that combines hemp and recycled plastic bottles and look super comfy. They fold up for easy transport, and can be personalized with your kiddo’s name embroidered on the side. You’ll also find a bunch at Chocolate...

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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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