Tag: tips and tricks

One quick laundry tip that will save you loads (ha!) of time

With six people living in my house, there are days when I feel like all I do is laundry. And that the baskets of dirty clothes just keep piling up. (Stop the insanity!) But there is one quick laundry tip has changed my life in a good way: My family quit using laundry baskets. Instead of tossing their dirty clothes in the baskets in their room, then spending a day lugging them up and down the stairs, sorting, and washing them, my kids now put their clothes straight in the washing machine when they change after their showers each night. After a...

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3 simple ways to find more one-on-one time with your kids, no babysitter required.

As a single mom of four kids, you can probably imagine how tough it is to give my kids individual time, at least without hiring a babysitter and spending even more money on dinner or a movie. Turns out, you don’t have to spend money — or even need a second adult in the house — to give your kids the one-on-one time they love and need, where they’re getting your absolute, undivided attention. In addition to Stacie’s terrific post on how she turned after-school snack time with her kids into meaningful together time, check out my own 3 simple ways I’ve learned to...

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Are you paying your babysitter enough? 9 surprising stats about childcare.

One of the questions parents are always asking each other is, “how much should I be spending on my babysitter or nanny?” The answer is so tough. The last thing I want to do is underpay someone with the important job of taking care of my kids, but I know that rates depends on the experience of the sitter, whether it’s a part-time high school student or an experience, trained full-time nanny, and of course, where we live. Related: 21 inspired ideas when you’ve only got a two-hour date night So I talked to the folks at UrbanSitter who recently conducted a national...

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Striking or not, here are 11 ways to honor International Women’s Day to make an impact long after March 8

This March 8 is International Women’s Day, and for many, it’s also become A Day Without A Woman, which is described as an action “for equity, justice, and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.” Plenty of women will wearing red as an easy way to recognize your fellow sisters on the street. Some will be attending peaceful, local Day Without A Woman gatherings Others will be blacking out social media, or refusing to shop. But a lot of the focus has been on the women choosing to strike, by taking the day off...

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6 surprising things you should never throw away, because they make great toy storage solutions

I’m convinced my kids’ toys are spontaneously spawning in the playroom at night while we sleep. Surely I’m not the only parent who can’t figure out where all my kids’ toys have come from. As a result, I’m constantly in need of new storage options. My playroom is lined wall-to-wall with cabinets and storage bins to keep stuff organized, but over the years, I’ve found there are a few surprising household items that I never throw away, because they make great toy storage solutions. Here’s to free stuff that makes your life simpler and more organized. Because, we’re all for that. And...

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Beyond Tarot cards: Even skeptics find guidance and clarity with these 4 methods of divination.

I confess that when I’m struggling with an issue or looking for guidance, wisdom or just calm, I have always been a fan of various oracles and methods of divination. And I don’t mean the fortune teller at a street fair years ago, who looked at my palm and told me I would have nine children. I know, this topic may sound a little nutty to some of you. But take it from a science-loving skeptic: when life feels overwhelming, these are the tools that have helped me focus, find clarity, stay mindful and often feel more empowered and in control of my...

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An unexpected way to turn snack time into together time — even with older kids.

My kids are wiped when they get home from school. They always seem to need a snack to recharge and a bit of time to zone out before gearing up for the rest of their day, whether it be for basketball practice, homework, or just running around for some free play time. But because they are school-aged, that zone out time quickly turns into screen time. And you know what screen time for them means for me, right? (Hint: It involves screen time.) Suddenly, I found that in those first moments after school, we were all snacking and staring...

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6 celeb-worthy, creative birth announcement ideas for twins + multiples. We’ve got you covered, Beyoncé!

First Beyoncé and Jay Z, now the Clooneys and Madonna? In case you haven’t heard, twins are seriously hot right now. So I’ve rounded up some super creative birth announcement ideas for twins with a little extra oomph — for those of you lucky enough to be in on the doubles game. I had so much fun finding these adorable birth announcement photo ideas for twins and multiples making their red carpet debut, but hey…if you’re expecting just one baby this year (like me!), we’ve got you covered too. CMP is an rstyle affiliate At top: custom birth announcements by Todd Borka Related: 15 creative birth announcement ideas way...

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How to get kids to eat better, even picky eaters. | Spawned Episode 68

If you have kids, then you know all the challenges that come with trying to feed them, especially those picky eaters. Well, on this week’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz, we’ve got our amazing Cool Mom Eats editor and cookbook author Stacie Billis, who combines her years of food writing and a background in child development to offer smart, common-sense tips, tricks, and advice for parents. (Psst: It’s why you should be reading Cool Mom Eats and subscribing to the newsletter). Seriously, this is an episode you don’t want to miss, parents! You can listen right now, right...

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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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A simple skincare regimen for busy moms, and 5 things I learned after sticking to it for 10 days

I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only mom who barely has enough energy to wash her face at night and slap some moisturizer on, since I’m so darn tired I just want to brush my teeth and hit the sack. Yes, the 30 seconds it would take me always seems like 30 seconds too long. Let alone the time I can spend in the mornings. Yeah, nope. So as you can imagine, the idea of sticking to an actual skincare regimen twice a day for 10 days — like, not just washing but using actual serums and ointments — seems pretty unlikely to me. But when our...

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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 to talk to your kids about money, with author and financial expert Beth Kobliner | Spawned Episode 66

If you’ve been wondering how much you should be giving your kids for an allowance, or when you should open them up a bank account, you will get both those questions answered and a whole lot more on this episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz. Our special guest Beth Kobliner, a New York Times bestselling author, financial expert, and mom-of-3, tackles all the kids and money questions we could squeeze into our 40-minute show. She’s out with a new book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius, and wow, it’s awesome! She even tells us what we’re doing right and...

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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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5 wonderful MLK Day crafts to help inspire important conversations with kids

My kids, like so many, have this Monday off of school to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and I always find that craft activities are a good way to engage kids around any important day. So I’ve tracked together some really fun craft ideas for MLK Day that my kids can create to help us celebrate diversity and inclusivity — and hopefully get some important conversations rolling around any household. And if for some reason your school isn’t off for the day, these could be great classroom activities as well, along with a watching of King’s famous I Have a Dream speech (linked...

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Tips for tackling the most common New Year’s resolutions | Spawned Episode 63

If you’re like us and you love to make New Year’s resolutions but can never seem to actually keep them, well, this is the Spawned podcast for you. On this episode, we’re taking a closer look at the most common New Year’s resolutions, and sharing our own advice, plus tips and tricks from the experts, on how to actually tackle them. Whether you want to finally drop that baby weight or want to get a grip on your finances, you’ll want to listen to this episode. Plus, don’t miss Kristen’s big news! What a wonderful way to start off...

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Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Cleansing System review: Is it really worth the price? An honest look.

As the new year loomed over me, I got an early start on my resolution to rid myself of dry, dead skin, and take better care of my face. I tested out quite a few skincare devices over the course of one month that had been sent to me for review consideration — from ultrasonic infusers to battery-powered cleansing brushes — to see if they would make a difference. At the end of the month, only one product actually made the cut: Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Cleansing System. If you’re not familiar with this bestselling product, I wanted to review it to see...

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Transitioning to winter skincare: The only 3 tips you’ll need.

Right now, tons of clients are asking me for the best winter skincare tips, because even if you love the change of seasons, it’s likely that your skin does not. Even those of my clients with generally amazing skin will comment that their skin acts out this time of year, as the weather suddenly gets frigid. So don’t feel alone if you, too, are feeling and seeing the impact of cooler weather, lower humidity, indoor heating, cold wind on your face and would love to figure out how to best deal with it. For good winter skincare, I always remind my clients to give their faces a little extra TLC and follow...

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