When my kids’ father was deployed for a few months to Afghanistan, I put together several military care packages filled with fairly typical items. Don’t get me wrong, they were definitely very appreciated by his unit! But it wasn’t until he returned home that I got the inside scoop on what soldiers really want in a military care package. Because this is so personal for me, and for several of our writers with military families, I’m really happy to have the opportunity to share some tips and tricks for how to make a military care package more personal, whether it’s for a family member,...Read More
If it’s not clear, we all love parties around here. But planning and hosting them? Well, that can be a challenge, especially if you’re a busy parent. But fear not! We’ve put together a ton of ideas to help make parties even easier. In other words, we want you to enjoy the party too; not just be the hired hands toiling in the kitchen or pouring drinks the whole time. Whether you’re up for a backyard potluck, a Halloween party for the kids, birthdays of all kinds, and of course, holiday entertaining which is just around the corner, you’ve already got the excuses to throw...Read More
How to throw an Emoji party: The ultimate roundup of seriously awesome snacks, invitations, activities + other ideas.
It’s unmistakable, emoji are everywhere! So of course my kids are begging for an emoji party. They are like the new My Little Pony. The new Cabbage Patch Kids. The new Pet Rocks. (Ha.) I am waiting for Time Magazine to give their 2015 Person of the Year cover to the little winking face with the tongue sticking out, and call it The Year of the Emoji. (It could happen.) With that in mind, and to help stave off the begging from my kids, I’ve scoured the web for tons of the coolest ideas for how to throw an emoji party that kids...Read More
On our newest episode of SPAWNED with Kristen and Liz, we’re chatting about Liz’s some-number high school reunion (her stories are hilarious) and we discuss a few surprising benefits of turning 40. Then, we tackle the tough topic of picky eaters, sharing ten of the extremely confusing and sometimes contradictory rules from experts about dealing with it — along with some of our own techniques which may or may not be working all that well. Ah, parenting! Take a listen here: Or go right to Spawned on iTunes or listen via the Podcast app that comes totally free with your iOS device. Links from SPAWNED Episode 7...Read More
Here are some of our favorite reads from around the web this week. Hope you like them too. An amazing, kick-ass female athlete won Wimbledon and Kristen wonders why even the big media outlets are body shaming her. (Grrrrr…) Team Serena! Great summer reading ideas from female authors from the NY Time’s KJ Del Antonio. We have Brené Brown’s Rising Strong on our lists too. This week on Spawned: Do kids belong in nail salons? Is working from an office totally outdated? You might not believe who thinks so. Interesting perspective on Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman from Errin Whack of NPR’s Codeswitch that’s...Read More
The Minions are coming! The Minions are coming! Today’s premiere of the aptly titled Minions movie is bound to turn even more kids into fans of those yellow goofballs, meaning you may find yourself planning a Minion-themed birthday party for your own little critter before the year is out. While we’ve seen some truly impressive–and impressively time-consuming–Minion birthday party ideas all over the web, we’ve rounded up a bunch of easier, yet still totally adorable and affordable ways to incorporate them into a birthday party without losing your mind. Kampai! (That’s Minion for “Cheers!”) -Christina + Liz Minion Birthday Party Invitations Just send The Indigo...Read More
Happy 4th of July everyone! Wow, there’s so much to celebrate right now. Our advice for the day: Be safe out there. Fire up the grill. Make the best BBQ sauce ever. Eat all the foods. Distract the kids with a fun fireworks app while you eat all the foods. 4th of July Blueberry Pie | CosmoCookie Wear stars and stripes. Don’t forget to bring your lawn chair to the parade. Wave back to the firefighters a little more than everyone else. Make your own sparklers. Make your own last minute crafts with these free printables. Do fun...Read More
We are so excited for summer, if you haven’t been able to tell from our posts lately. Swimming all day. Staying up late to play outside way past bedtime. Kids sleeping in late. (Ha, we wish.) It’s a laid-back schedule that’s so perfect for getting together with neighbors and catching up on all we miss during the busy school year. So if you’re thinking about planning a block party, or already have one on the schedule, we’ve got you covered with some awesome block party ideas to guarantee an amazing event. And we’re so excited to be working with a perfect sponsor for summer...Read More
Well we’ve officially hit that time we start talking last minute Father’s Day gifts. Fear not, we have plenty of ideas for you! From ones you make yourself, to those you can still get shipped, to some you can actually get at an actual store near you. (Hey, stores! Remember those?) We’re so pleased to welcome back Dove Men+Care as our awesome sponsor for the last post in our Father’s Day Gift Guide series. We love supporting them, because they’ve consistently supported great dads in such meaningful authentic ways. Especially this time of year. In fact, they’re even giving away tens of...Read More
20 fantastic ideas for DIY Father’s Day gifts, cards, and printables from the kids: Father’s Day Gift Guide 2015
For those of us with young kids, we know that one of the best parts about Father’s Day is letting the kids participate in making DIY Father’s Day gifts for their dads and grandpas. And because we don’t expect them to be hand-stitching an eyeglass case, forging their own iron tools in 112 easy steps, or drawing his name in perfect calligraphy (can you tell we’ve looked through Pinterest?), we’ve put together tons of ideas for realistic DIY gifts for Father’s Day from the kids. Related: Don’t miss our updated 2017 guide to fantastic DIY Father’s Day gifts kids can make...Read More
Oh, the joys of the summer birthday party when the nice weather means celebrating with friends out-of-doors. And whether this means gathering everyone into your backyard, meeting at the local park, or even taking over a quiet piece of sandy beach, we’ve put together ten awesomely creative, but totally doable, summer party themes for our kids’ summer birthdays. Because doable? As in, without a $10,000 a day party planner? That kind of detail is important to us. And we’re so happy to be working with the most perfect sponsor for a summer party theme feature: Carvel and ILoveIceCreamCakes.com. Because hello, ice cream cakes! Visit...Read More
Today, as we run on fumes, excitement, and lots of extra-dark roast espresso, we are so happy to introduce the launch of Cool Mom Eats, our all new food channel. You have all been so responsive when it comes to our growing roster of food posts over the past months and years, we thought it was long overdue to give it its own due, as a totally non-judgy, fun, helpful food site. And we’re so lucky it’s in the capable, sometimes Nutella-covered hands of our fantastic Managing Food Editor, Stacie Billis. (Shown up there with her unofficial associate editor, Isaac.) She’s going to be your sherpa through...Read More
My favorite part of any holiday is the food, and Mother’s Day is no exception. What I want most this year is to sit around the table with family eating and laughing. One of my new favorite ways to make everybody happy, including me, the cook, is to set up one of these easy food bars. Because I don’t want to be rushing around the kitchen, stressing about cooking, and missing all the good conversation. And I really, really don’t want my kids to whine about the food either. Setting up a food bar is easy, even at the last minute,...Read More
There was a time when Cinco de Mayo meant tequila, nachos, and, well, more tequila. But, now that we have kids, we’ve dialed back the drinking and dialed up the family-friendly fun so that we can all enjoy a Mexican fiesta on the fifth of May. If you feel like getting in on the action, check out these easy Cinco de Mayo party ideas—over 24 finds from decorations to activities, songs to recipes—to help make your day fun for all ages. Comida (Food) First and foremost, in my house, Cinco de Mayo means Mexican food. If it does in...Read More
It’s May (eep!) and the school year is almost over. Even though my kids’ teachers deserve my thanks every day, I especially want to make them feel loved on Teacher Appreciation Day which is May 5, by the way. I always say that the best gifts are the ones you wouldn’t buy for yourself, and the same is true for these yummy edible gifts for Teacher Appreciation Day. They’re kind of a splurge, but that’s what our teachers deserve. And hey, they make lovely end-of-year teacher gifts too. Just don’t forget a thoughtful note from the kids, which is what educators tend to appreciate most of all. Related: The...Read More
As soon as spring hits, I immediately try to switch food gears by ditching all that stick-to-your-ribs winter fare in favor of super light meals instead. It’s a good impulse, but sudden changes like these rarely last more than a week for me. Know what I mean? After that, I find myself feeling hungry for more. So I’ve looked for some great skinny comfort food recipes that will help me lighten up my menu for spring and summer, while satisfying my cravings for the hearty foods I’ve been feasting the last few months. They’re the perfect way to ease into new,...Read More
7 family-friendly asparagus recipes. For families who aren’t typically big on asparagus, but want to be.
There aren’t many vegetables that I don’t like, but asparagus is among my least favorite. When my kids bellyache about the green stalks (and, yes, how their pee will smell afterwards), I get it. I pretend like I enjoy asparagus more than I do but, really, I serve it on principle, and to save us from yet another night of string beans and broccoli. This spring, though, I’m on a mission to turn our attitudes about asparagus around. April is peak season and the perfect time to ditch the steamer for these super tasty, kid-friendly asparagus recipes. Or hey,...Read More
Reducing meat is one of the hardest shifts I’ve ever made in my family’s eating. Even though I’d been a vegetarian through college, I had no idea at the time how to go meatless healthfully. (My youthful diet of pizza, pasta, and more pizza wouldn’t quite cut it for my family.) After some practice, though, I figured out how to make meals like these eight high-protein, vegetarian recipes that taste delicious and provide my kids with exactly what they need to stay healthy and energetic. You know, so that they can grow up and subsist on pizza, pasta, and more pizza when...Read More
As a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings, the egg plays an important role in both Easter and Passover celebrations. This means that no matter which spring holiday you’re celebrating this week, you’re likely to be eating lots of eggs. You might even have a bunch left over—or unloaded on you by your hosts—which will have you eating eggs well beyond your holiday meal. If that’s the case, fear not: we’ve got you covered, and I’m not talking egg salad sandwiches 15 ways. Instead, these five truly awesome recipes that use hard boiled eggs will help you finish your...Read More
The ultimate roundup of last-minute Easter ideas: Crafts, printables, egg dyeing help, and lots and lots of treats.
If you’re looking out for some last minute Easter ideas, we are here for you! You’ve still got a couple of days to whip up some fun treats, set up the kids with cute crafts, print out some coloring pages, or just figure out whether the Easter eggs will be submerged in dye the classic way, or subjected to wads of yarn, sequins, or printable crowns and mustaches. Whatever your plans for Easter, we just hope you all have fun doing it together. And be sure not to miss our last-minute Easter idea guide, newly updated for 2017 with even...Read More