Tag: websites for parents

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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10 last-minute essentials to help you survive the Christmas holiday

As busy parent with Christmas right around the corner (ten days as of today, to be exact), I am thankful for places that make it easy to get all the last-minute stuff that I forgot to get but really, really need, in one handy place, like our sponsor CVS. Who you may know we’re kind of obsessed with around here. (Those ExtraCare Rewards receipts cannot be long enough for us.) Last month I shared my list of last-minute Thanksgiving essentials and now that I’ve blinked, and it’s time to get ready for Christmas, wow, they’ve got the place stocked with lots of stuff you need...

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Unnecessary gun violence: Don’t lose hope. Here’s how.

Kristen and I each went to bed distraught last night, and woke up no less unsettled after yesterday’s news about two mass shootings in San Bernardino and Savannah —  the 354th and 355th in the US in 2015 alone. We alternate between outrage and grief, wondering just kind of world we are raising our children in right now. Especially when 10,000 US children a year are injured or killed as a result of guns. As far as we’re concerned, even one is one too many. While this is not a site where we tend to discuss politics, we have never shied away from sharing the causes and...

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Sponsored Message: Buy and sell designer clothes for the whole family, right from your smart phone

This is a sponsored message for Totspot. Whether you’re looking to add to your own wardrobe on a budget, shop for your kids, or just clean out your closets to make some extra cash for the holidays, Totspot lets you do all of that with just a couple of clicks on your smartphone. Don’t miss the special offer below!  Download the free Totspot app for iOS or Android, then shop for gently used items for everyone in your family. Choose from popular kids’ designers like Boden, CrewCuts, and Tea Collection, plus brands grown-ups love including Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and Kate Spade. With Totspot, you...

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Join us for a Twitter Social to help you get into the holiday shopping spirit

With the holidays right around the corner and our 2015 Cool Mom Picks Gift Guide almost here (tomorrow!), we’re excited to be teaming up with our gift guide sponsor Sudo for a fun Twitter Social to chat about online holiday shopping, one of our all-time favorite pastimes.   Join us on Thursday, November 19, 9pm ET sharp to chat with our editors Liz and Kristen, a few of our lovely Cool Mom Picks editors and contributors, plus the folks from Sudo and our friends at Mom It Forward, all in real time. We couldn’t think of a better way to the celebrate the...

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A ton of empowering Halloween costume ideas for women and girls. In other words, no sexy cop, sexy nurse, or sexy serial killer.

I knew the whole sexy Halloween costumes for women thing had jumped the shark (the sexy shark?) when I saw a sexy Freddy Krueger costume in our local costume shop. Not even kidding; we talked about it on a recent episode of Spawned. So if you — or your girls — are  still trying to figure out a costume to wear on Halloween that doesn’t require a bustier, you may be as thrilled as I was to discover Take Back Halloween, a site to inspire women with costumes that honors their heroines or heritage. a very clever site with the subhead, for...

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Showing your thanks: 5 simple tips for making military care packages more personal

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,...

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Tips for building an emergency fund, and why it’s so important for parents.

We’ve been really pleased to get so much great feedback from you all when we post about financial matters, from budget tips to college savings.  As parents, it’s one of our (many, many) jobs to be as financially prepared as possible– not just for all the awesome exciting stuff, but sometimes, for the not-so-great stuff too. Hey, adulting is hard! Which is why every financial expert will tell you to be sure you have an emergency fund, and we couldn’t agree more. So we’re thrilled to be working with Upromise by Sallie Mae and the new Upromise GoalSaver account, a completely no-fee, no minimum balance savings...

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Everything you need to know about Handmade at Amazon: Is it the Etsy competitor everyone says it is?

We started Cool Mom Picks shortly after Etsy launched, and we’ve been big fans ever since, discovering and happily sharing some of the coolest indie artisans and their handmade goods here on our site for nearly ten years now. So as huge supporters of the handmade movement and indie artist in general, it’s probably no surprise that our interest was piqued when Handmade at Amazon launched last week. So, we took a closer look to understand what it’s all about, and whether we think it’s something you’ll want to have on your radar, as a consumer, and for those...

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9 smart tips for starting a budget. And even better, sticking to it.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know! How many times have we heard those words coming out of our parents’ mouths, and now these days, coming out of own mouths when talking to our kids about spending? Funny how that happens, right? But the lesson behind the old saying is an important one: Be careful how you spend your money; there’s a limited supply. And it’s why creating a budget — and sticking to — is so important. We’ve partnered with You Need a Budget (clever name, right?), which is a cool little mom-and-pop company we like because they were started by two smart parents,...

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Really helpful expert college tuition savings tips for parents, and why you need to start immediately.

Saving for your kid’s college education might seem super far off, as you sit awake in the middle of the night bouncing a tiny baby back to sleep or checking over that first-grade math homework. But actually, it’s never too soon to start thinking about it. Yes, we all hear “it goes fast” and yes, that can get annoying. But it’s true; before you know it, they’ll be applying to schools and you’ll be gawking at the college tuition prices. (Trust us, we’ve got about 8 years to go with our oldest girls and like…whoa!) That’s why we’re happy to be partnering with T. Rowe...

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12 fun, easy fall nature crafts for preschoolers: Let the season begin!

Our kids are all officially back to school this week — whoo! — but that also means that some of us now have bored preschoolers at home part of the time, missing their big siblings. They don’t want to miss out on the excitement their big brothers and sisters are experiencing, and our terrific sponsor KinderCare is here to help. We are so happy to discover tons of cool activities and craft tutorials on their Adventure Ahead website, which is inspiring us to help our preschoolers get creative with what nature has to offer us this season. Our readers know we’re all about messy imperfection when...

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Join us for a Twitter Social to help you get into the back to school groove

Back-to-school season is in full swing, some of us just starting this week and others already a month in. But however long your kids have been in school this year, you know how hard it can be to adjust to the new schedule — homework, activities, volunteering — the list goes on. So we’re excited to be teaming up with Staples for a fun Twitter Social to talk about getting into the back-to-school groove and we hope you’ll be there too! Join us on Thursday, September 10, 9pm ET sharp to chat with our editors Liz and Kristen, a few of...

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Simple tips for moving with kids: How to make it easier, from a mom who’s done it. A lot. Alone.

Over the last three years, I’ve moved alone with my four kids twice — once long distance, once pretty much right around the corner — and hey, I survived. And so did my kids. All of us with our sanity intact. Well, mostly. Of course, there were plenty of challenges, but there were a few simple tricks I picked up along the way to make the whole process a lot easier. It’s too bad that at the time, I didn’t know about our newest sponsor CableMover, a free, customizable online resource that can help save you time, money, and some of the hassles that tend...

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Getting your kids to practice their handwriting: 16 fun tips, tricks and ideas

Call us the handwriting brigade. Seriously. From day one, even with the advent of technology and the slow decline of handwriting instruction (let alone cursive, gah!) in schools, we’ve always made it our mission to encourage kids not to lose the art of handwriting. And if it’s not asking too much, we’d like it to be as legible as possible, considering we all know at least one relative, co-worker, friend or yes, doctor,  whose handwriting is like some secret code requiring a decipher key. After a season of writing actual letters to our kids at sleepaway camp — and receiving them — it really...

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Our favorite cool tech picks this week

Here are 5 of our favorite tech picks this week from Cool Mom Tech. Look what you might have missed!   1. Is it wrong that we’re excited about this instant camera? 2. A simple guide to finally cutting the cable cord. We share four of your best options. 3. A fun app for those of you with kids who love things that go. 4. Well, here’s one way to finally get your photos organized. Let an app do it for you! 5. Need help figuring out what your kids can watch and when? You need this amazing website...

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Sponsored Message: Sittercity Date Night Now guarantees an available sitter for your next date night. (Or maybe your first date night?)

This is a sponsored message on behalf of Date Night Now by Sittercity You find yourself with a few free hours on a Thursday night, and the urge to actually get out and do something besides binge watch a TV series. But as parents know, finding a sitter, especially last minute, is way harder than getting a table at your favorite local restaurant, or tickets for an actual  grown-up movie you’ve been dying to see in an actual theater. So much for date night. But all that’s about to change thanks to Date Night Now by Sittercity. Sittercity has helped thousands and thousands of...

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Spawned Episode 9: You Are Not a Crappy Parent

This week on SPAWNED, we talk about sending our oldest daughters off to sleepaway camp, the good, the bad, and the hilarious. And wow, we’ve gotten so many amazing emails from our listeners thanking us for giving you new-ish parents hope that it does get better — so we thought we’d share our own newborn stories and advice for surviving these years. Hope our walk down postpartum, leaky boobed, sleep-deprived memory lane can help you! And as always, we close the show with our cool picks of the week, which includes a funny discussion about adult popsicles. Hmmmmm. Take a listen right now to SPAWNED...

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Havenly: An affordable online home design service perfect for procastinators, busy people, and stressed-out new parents

Hooray! You have a baby on the way and pretty soon your nesting instinct is going to kick into hyperdrive. If you’re like me, you excitedly clear out the spare room eager to start decorating for the new bundle and then…you hit a wall. Between lack of time and feeling stressed out by all the options out there (not to mention nightmares about Pinterest fails), I get it. Which is why I’m so happy to share my new online interior design service find, Havenly. Just for the rest of you who may be in redecorating mode. Havenly is all about helping busy — or simply overwhelmed — people decorate...

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