Tag: tips and tricks

A BTDT mom’s guide to surviving sleepaway camp (you, not the kids!) | Spawned episode 79

Today on Spawned, guest host Stacie Billis joins Liz for a great chat that should put all you first-time sleepaway camp parents — or future sleepaway camp parents — at ease. Well, mostly. Tune in for tips like when to know your kid is ready for camp, how to decide if camp is right for you, a few sleepaway camp packing tips to help make things easier, what to do if your child has food allergies, care package ideas the whole bunk will love — and even tips for getting kids to write those letters they should be writing...

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Should you really avoid SPF over 50? We’ve got facts, and we’ve got answers.

Growing up as a fair-skinned, redheaded kid, I’m no stranger to the intricacies of SPF labels. Or sunburns. Like lots of us, I always believed that the higher the SPF, the better the sun protection I’d get, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, the EWG warns against sunscreens with very high SPF over 50, and that goes for kids and adults. In fact, they say flat out to avoid SPF over 50. But, why? Related: 2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable? First off, what is SPF? SPF, or Sun...

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8 important tips to help families store medicines safely from the kids | Sponsored Message

This is a sponsored message from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation While medicines help families feel better and stay well, it’s important to keep those bottles safe from curious kids. Wherever you may be. Every year, about 60,000 young kids are brought to emergency rooms because they got into medicines that had been left within their reach. With June being National Safety Month, and travel at its highest, Up and Away and Out of Sight is offering these 8 tips to help parents safely store medicines whether you’re on the go, or in your own home.  ...

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6 simple tips for making a baby book when you’re a busy new parent. You can do it!

One of the biggest mom guilt woes (or badges if you’re a proud Type B Mom) is the lack of a completed baby book. We hear it from so many readers over the years, and I get it! Even the best-laid plans can go south once there’s a real, live baby with needs — and an inability to sleep for more than 3 seconds at a time, in my case. Let alone when you have a second child. So we’re happy to welcome back our sponsor Artifact Uprising, which is just out with their new heirloom-quality Story of You baby book and...

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2017 EWG best safe sunscreens for kids and babies: Which is the most affordable?

Every year, I take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s report on the best safe sunscreens for kids and babies. This list measures popular brands against the EWG’s standards, including everything from worrisome ingredients to false marketing claims. Not every top-ranked tube of lotion is the same value for the dollar, though, so I’ve broken down all 19 of their best safe sunscreens for kids by price per ounce. Because I’ll bet there are other parents like me, who want safe products for their kids but don’t feel the need to spend more money than necessary. Top photo: © Kate Etue for Cool Mom Picks...

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After Manchester: Essential safety tips to discuss with your kids about crowds and separation

The second I saw those big pink balloons in early images flooding media from the Manchester Arena last night, without knowing a single other thing about the story, I thought, Oh my God…whatever happened, there are children there. It was a rough night for me, as I’m sure it was for all of you, and for parents around the world. It’s hard enough for us to process our own feelings as parents and as caring human beings when we hear about a terrorist attack, especially one that’s impacted so many children and families — let alone knowing we’re also going...

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You don’t know these 10 favorite household hacks of ours? Prepare for life to change!

As a busy parent, I rely heavily on household hacks. In fact, I would say just about everything I do around the house involves some sort of easy hack or trick or clever time-saver. But some tricks work better than others, and some you wouldn’t believe it until you see it (or try it), which is why I searched around the web and set out to put together this list of some our very favorite easy household hacks that every parent should know. From organizing all those keys to de-stinking shoes, you’ll find you can pull them off with things you probably already have at home,...

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How to get started with yoga when you feel like the last person to try it: 6 easy tips to help

If you’ve never tried yoga, I get it. I was there once too. From the outside, it either looks like a torturous exercise regimen for slender, flexible folks in really expensive stretch pants…or, a hippie-dippy religion that will demand veganism and colon cleansing. While the roots of yoga are tied in with a certain spirituality and mindfulness, just know that these are things you can embrace — or hey, reject! — on your own terms. Maybe yoga will be nothing more than having a good stretch a couple of times a week. Or, maybe you’re just looking for a solid hour of me-time when you can...

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The danger of fidget spinners: Miniature death traps! Or…not.

THE DANGER OF FIDGET SPINNERS is appearing all over our newsfeeds and splashing across subject lines flooding our inboxes. Hm, why are we not shocked? It was inevitable that the number of articles about the fidget spinner craze (hey, our kids are fans too), would be followed by an equal number of fidget spinner backlash articles. It started with all the reasons the toys could be distracting in classrooms (wait, a toy can be distracting?) and now we’ve moved onto full-on imminent danger. In case you’re starting to panic about the danger of fidget spinners,  I’ve put together what I think are some common sense suggestions as to how...

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8 tips and tricks you can start now to help your kids avoid the summer slide. Because, it’s coming.

Summer break will be here in just a minute, but there are some things you can start planning now to help make sure your kids don’t hit the summer slide on their reading and math skills over the break. Research shows that most kids lose about two months’ of learning over the summer — and have for the last 100 years or so. But by putting some simple (and, yes, even fun!) activities in place for the summer, you can help your kids retain what they’ve learned this year. We’ve polled everyone from teachers to administrators to BTDT parents to find...

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The quick-fix, natural bug bite remedy that really works. Really!

With the weather getting warming and my kids spending the afternoons playing outside, we’re starting to see a lot more bug bites on their tender, sensitive skin. Mean ones. The kind that turn bright red, itch like crazy, and keep them up at night. Ugh! But, I’ve found an incredibly easy, quick-fix, natural bug bite remedy that I’m itching (ha!) to share. Because, it really works! And you most likely already have everything you need to make it right in your pantry at home. Related: Your essential guide to the best, safe tick repellents for kids this spring. Because, eek. All you need...

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8 surprising rules about flying with children that every parent should know

If you’ve watched the news recently, you’ve probably heard a disconcerting story or two about air travel passengers — which can be all the more troubling when the story involves parents flying with young children who were subject to rules that no one knew, or worse, subject to rules made up on the spot. As a new mom, I poked around to get myself informed (and avoid becoming the subject of a viral YouTube clip, eek!), and found some really surprising rules about flying with children. I certainly didn’t know all of these, so I’m posting them here because you might not...

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Damn you, Facebook ads: We tried the FLEX disposable tampon alternative, and here’s how it worked for us. In full detail (sorry).

I’m coming up on my 25thish anniversary of my first visit from Aunt Flo. And over that those 2.5 decades, I’ve had the same exact routine every month: tampons and pads. I wasn’t necessarily looking to spice things up in that department, but when I saw the ads on Facebook for a free trial box of FLEX disposable tampon alternatives, I figured, why not give them a try? And then share every sordid detail with the entire Internet. So, here’s how my tampon-free week went, so you can see if making the switch is right for you. FLEX: What is it? (No, really.) Okay, so...

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The one small spring cleaning task that makes a big difference

Spring cleaning can be a beast. Just the thought of getting everything tidier and cleaner — whatever shape your home is in now — can be so overwhelming, it can be hard to know where to start. So we reached out to household cleaning expert Dana K. White for some help. (She gets us! Hallelujah!) We asked Dana: If there is just one thing you absolutely must do when it comes to spring cleaning, what is it? Dana’s answer: Look up! If you do nothing else at all this spring, be sure to look up and knock dust down to the ground. This one...

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Should your kids be watching 13 Reasons Why? 15 must-read articles to help you figure it out.

Okay, parents. Let’s talk 13 Reasons Why and whether your kids should be watching it. Because, no doubt, your kids are doing just that. And now that it’s been picked up for a second season on Netflix, the question about whether your kids should watch it won’t be going away anytime soon. Now personally, I haven’t watched the series yet myself because after checking with the Common Sense Media review (which has a suggested age of 16+) and talking with my own trusted parenting friends, I’ve decided my 11-year-old is too young. Also, we’re getting word about entire schools sending out warning letters to parents,...

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Work after baby: Lauren Smith Brody’s tips for surviving with sanity and style | Spawned ep 75

How do you get back to work after having a baby without losing your mind? How in the world can you start looking — and feeling — human again when you feel anything but? How do you carve out me-time when it seems least likely? And the big one: Is it possible to ever get rid of mommy guilt when you’re a working mom? We’ve got answers! This week while Kristen was traveling (sniff) I was so fortunate to sit down for a fun, honest, and incredibly helpful chat on this week’s episode of Spawned with Lauren Smith Brody, former Glamour magazine...

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8 tips to compliment your kids in ways that are meaningful and empowering

As parents, we’re our kids’ biggest fans, right? That’s why a lot of us tend to compliment them. A lot. Whether it’s the first time they learn to ride a bike, the masterpiece they created in art class, a stellar report card, or even that time they remembered to clean up their toys without being told, we want to praise them like we should, as the song goes. But it turns out, those positive words and our best intentions can have some unintended consequences. And I know, that seems like such a backward way of thinking. Related: Should every kid get a trophy?...

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A clever idea to get kids in the kitchen on their own, no nagging (or even talking!) required.

My boys have been cooking alongside me ever since they were little. But now that they’re older and I’d love for them make their own breakfast, prep their own snacks, and put together their own lunches from time to time, I’m finding it harder to get them into the kitchen on their own. One issue might be that I call the kitchen my kitchen. That can’t help. Another issue may be all my yapping (that’s code for nagging). I want them to be autonomous, but it’s impossible not to chime in on everything from their snack choices to the kitchen rules, which they...

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7 important things to do before a career change or starting a business

As someone who left a full-time advertising career behind to become a writer, website publisher, and public speaker — all while raising tiny children, all while being the sole earner in my household  — I totally get how scary it is to change courses. It is! It’s scary! But, there are times that opportunities fall in your lap, passions make themselves known, and big dreams call so loudly, you just can’t ignore them. So, I’ve put together some of my own favorite real world tips for a few important things to do when you’re embarking on a career change or starting...

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Is my child gifted? Helpful advice and online resources from an educational expert.

I still remember when my son’s then first-grade teacher asked if they could test him for the gifted program in our school district. I looked at her and asked, “Are you sure?” I just thought my sweet, curious boy asked a lot of questions. Like, a whooooole lot. But gifted? Even after he was identified as qualifying for our program, navigating next steps was extremely challenging. I had to understand my rights with the GIEP (Gifted Individualized Education Plan); find him educational support outside of school; and then figure out how it would impact his siblings and whether they should be tested too....

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