Tag: websites for parents

Web Coolness: Last-minute help for Father’s Day, the ultimate bacon recipe, and our vote for Father of the Year

This has been some week. A lot of ups, a lot of very down downs, and a whole lot to read. Here are some of the links that we’ve been reading this week and we hope you like them too.   Still scrambling to celebrate your favorite dad in your life? We can help. Start with this insane (but easy) Oven-Baked Maple Glazed Bacon recipe from Cool Mom Eats (above). We’re all in. Then check out these 11 creative last-minute gifts for dads, and 24 ideas for DIY Father’s Day gifts and printables. There’s still time! Working dads don’t feel...

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The best resources to help you talk to your children about tragedy, like the Orlando shooting.

This is an update of a previously published post   It’s been somber mood around here over the past 24 hours, as our hearts go out to the loved ones of the 100+ innocent people tragically murdered or wounded at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on Sunday morning. My own 10-year-old daughter Thalia drew the broken rainbow heart image above in response, which I think captures so much of what we’re all feeling about this despicable and senseless act. (I shared my story of how it came about with Cosmopolitan, and you can read more about it there.) There are far too...

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Getting real with Jenna + Bodhi Elfman about parenting and relationships after kids | Spawned Episode 41

Well this is a good one, Spawned podcast fans! In our newest episode of Spawned with Kristen + Liz, we’re getting real about relationships and parenting with two very special guests, Jenna and Bodhi Elfman. (Yes, that Jenna and Bodhi Elfman.) Beyond being famous for all sorts of stuff, they’re parents of two very cute boys, and they have a podcast of their own called Kicking and Screaming, a funny, authentic, super unvarnished look at their 21-year marriage. You can even watch the companion video to the podcast each week. So we thought we’d get their perspective on all sorts of burning parenting and relationship topics. and wow, it...

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The 2016 National Spelling Bee winners. And tips for getting your kids excited about spelling.

The 2016 National Scripps Spelling Bee finals ended last night and just wow. For the third year running, two amazing kids tied as winners: 13 year old Jairam Pathwar of Upstate NY, and Austin Texas’ Nihar Janga who is only 11. Wow. To clinch the number-one slot from among 285 contestants, Jairam and Nihar persevered through words like juamave, Biniou and zindiq, finally closing the deal with winning words gesellschaft (Nihar) and Feldenkrais (Jairam). All I can think of is that Rosenkrantz and Feldenkrais are Dead, but I know that’s not right. (Turns out it’s a method of education, like Waldorf or Montessori — two words I actually can...

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Budget family travel tips: 5 smart do’s and don’ts to save you a ton on your next family vacation

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday with a big trip, but whoa, family vacations are certainly not cheap! Especially when you’re traveling with kids — or in my case, four of them. Even though I’d been saving for a while, I was determined to keep my spending down as much as I could. After scoring a great deal on plane tickets (hooray for off-season vacations), I did some research to figure out how I could stick within my vacation budget while still having a great time. And, it worked! So I’ve put together 5 simple do’s...

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Put a poem in your pocket: A fun way to celebrate National Poetry Month

By this point in the school year, my kids know not to expect the sorts of lunchbox love notes they got from me daily in September. But there are a few days on the calendar that inspire me to scribble something special to surprise them: Valentine’s Day (of course), St. Patrick’s Day (a must in our Irish-American household), and Poem in Your Pocket Day. Poem in Your Pocket Day (today!) is my favorite part of National Poetry Month each April. The idea is that everyone should carry a poem in their pocket to read in quiet moments or share with friends. Because, who...

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Parent Hacks is the book that will literally change parents’ lives. Here’s why.

We’ve been friends and fans of Asha Dornfest, and her brilliant website Parent Hacks, for a full decade, since we both got started at the very same time. In fact, if you click that link, you’ll see we first touted the brilliance of her site back in April of 2006 (wow!) referring to it as the antidote to the disappointing Dr. Expert parenting book that everyone raved about. Over that time, Parent Hacks grown to be such a helpful resource for millions of parents that, at long last, Asha has compiled the best of the best of 10 years of parent-generated tips in a new must-have parenting book. Parent Hacks: 134...

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Happy birthday Jane Goodall! 5 fun, easy ways to introduce her to your kids

Is there one kid in the world who isn’t fascinated by animals? (Answer: no.) So today, Jane Goodall’s birthday, is a perfect opportunity to cozy around your tablet or computer together and dig into her life just a bit. Especially if you think her legacy is limited to her work with Chimpanzees. Here are five places to start.   1.  Read a quick bio of her on the wonderful The Reconstructionists site, an homage to amazing women through history. Their Jane Goodall page includes a fantastic illustration and Goodall quote from Lisa Congdon, that would happen to make a nifty screensaver for...

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Earmuffs! Or, how to talk to your kids about politics during an ugly election season

I’ve always aimed to raise my kids to be politically aware and engaged, and to help them understand how valuable their voting rights are and how important it is to become an informed voter. Ever since they were toddlers, I’ve taken them into the election booth with me, even letting my now 10-year-old step behind the curtains and pull an historic lever for me in ’08. (Yes, New York State still has levers. Don’t ask.) So I’ve looked forward to the presidential election year in which they’d be old enough to really really get it. In my mind, that would be the time...

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Turning kids into readers: 3 simple tips from LeVar Burton to help your kids get excited about books

As avid readers ourselves, it’s probably no surprise we try to get our kids excited about reading every chance we get. But, some kids are harder than others (funny how that works), and finding creative ways to motivate less eager readers can be tough. And that’s where LeVar Burton comes in. Yes  that LeVar Burton! He happens to be our very special guest on this week’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz. (Is it so wrong if we insert toddler-decibel squealing here?) We’re beyond thrilled that he took time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about how he got...

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10 super simple tips for modeling healthier behavior for your kids.

We admit it, we’re not always the perfect models of healthy behavior. And we know our kids take in eeeeverything. But old habits die hard, whether it’s making a few questionable food choices in front of our kids (ahem), or driving two blocks to the store when we totally could have walked. (Come on, suburban parents, admit it — who’s done it?) That’s why we’re happy to team up with the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. It’s providing health and wellness solutions to schools across America, and working to increase school breakfast awareness and participation, so that more kids can start their day with the fuel they need to...

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Sponsored Message: The Upromise MasterCard helps you save money for college when you shop

This is a sponsored message from Upromise by Sallie Mae   Saving money for college just got a whole lot easier thanks to the Upromise MasterCard, which can help you earn up to 10% cash back just by shopping the way you already do. With 5% back when you shop through Upromise.com and an additional 5% when you use the Upromise MasterCard, you can either pocket that total 10% cash back, invest it in an eligible 529 college savings plan, pay down an eligible student loan, or transfer it into a Upromise GoalSaver account. And with special promotions for cardmembers throughout the year, you...

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Friendships after kids: Smart tips and resources for making new mom (and dad) friends | Spawned Episode 30

Making new friends as adults is hard enough as it is, but it can be especially challenging when you have kids. And it’s not just making new friends, but also maintaining those old ones too. I  know first-hand that when you’ve already gone all those life changes that come with a new baby, it would be so nice if there was at least one thing that stayed the same. Sigh. When our Spawned podcast listener Shari emailed asking us to discuss the topic friendships after kids (thanks Shari!), we jumped at the chance, because both of us have, in some way, experienced difficulties in that department....

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8 great cars for big families that fit 3 car seats safely in the second row

I still remember car shopping when I was pregnant with my third child, trying to figure out which cars for big families would be right for me. As in, I didn’t want a minivan, and I wanted my car to safely fit three car seats, for my three kids under four. To be honest, I had absolutely no idea where to start, and it turned out to be something that dealers really didn’t know too much about either. Not fun. If only I could have thought to check out our newest partner, Cars.com, which is a tremendous help for families who are car shopping. It actually features a wealth of...

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Stand up straight! 5 simple ways to improve your posture

I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m tall or because I sit hunched over a computer all day long, but I have terrible posture. This isn’t necessarily a new discovery, but what is new to me is how much bad posture can actually affect your stress levels — something I learned as part of our sponsor Aetna’s Month of Mindfulness #Mindful30 challenge. Yikes! Like it’s not bad enough that I realize I look bad slouching in pictures, now it’s contributing to stress? So for my 3rd challenge, they asked me to focus on “perfecting my posture,” and boy, did I need...

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Decluttering tips from 5 top organization experts: Which is best for you? | Spawned Episode 29

I fully admit that home organization is the bane of my existence. If you’re a hard-core reader of this site or a listener of the Spawned podcast then you know that while Kristen is an avid purger, I’m what I like to think of, fondly, as a Nostalgic Hoarder. It’s like not you’re going to find me one day, buried under 25-year old newspaper clippings, old coffee cans and pounds of cat hair. But I do have trouble getting rid of my kids’ early doodles (they’re so sweet!); birthday cards from every relative ever (maybe my kids will want...

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Meditation for parents: 5 easy ways to make it work for you

If you’re following along with me this month, you know I’m trying to make some positive changes in my life related to stress, something I’ve been struggling with both emotionally and physically for quite a while now. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been participating in Aetna’s Month of Mindfulness challenge, and wow, it’s definitely giving me the extra push I’ve been needing to reflect on what’s really going on in my life and what I can do to fix it. Hopefully I’m not alone in this and you’ve decided to join me. My first challenge was  5 tips and...

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11 fun things to learn to do that will make you coolest parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent ever.

As your kids get older, you realize you don’t have to ply them with gifts or offer extra ice cream at dessert just to be The Cool Parent. (And despite what you may have learned from Amy Poehler in Mean Girls, you don’t have to serve them cocktails with umbrellas, either.) Sometimes it’s just the little things you do, or those tricks you pull out of your hat on a rainy day that give you one more parenting win, just when you really need it. So while yes, parents prioritize those important skills like CPR and knowing how to cut the...

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Becoming more mindful: 5 things you can do right now.

Last week, I wrote pretty candidly about the stress in my life and how it’s been affecting me both emotionally and physically, so it’s probably no surprise that one of my New Year’s resolutions (yes, I really do make them!) is to do something about stress in 2016. It’s one thing to know you have stress and to be able to identify your symptoms, but it’s another thing to really make necessary changes to your lifestyle. So I’m grateful for our partner Aetna’s A Month of Mindfulness 30-day challenge, which is giving me the push that I need to reflect on what’s been going on in my...

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Stress and Parenting: A Confession

Hi, I’m Kristen and I’m stressed out. Why is it hard to admit that? As if I’m somehow not as competent or together as I’m supposed to be, whatever that means. Yes, I’m a single mom with four kids and my own business, so you might say, well duh, but I think it’s something we all face, whatever our work, living, or parenting situations. And it’s all okay — you don’t have to feel guilty about your own parent-related stress, even if you think someone else “has it harder” or is going through something more intense. It’s a relative thing...

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