We keep saying that we often get our best parenting podcast topic ideas from our readers, and a lot of you have asked for support navigating step-parenting. And that’s just what we’re talking about, in this dynamic, wonderful chat with Certified Parenting Coach and educator, Naja Hall.

She’s the founder of the largest blended family community for millennials, Blended and Black, and she founded VIPStepmom.com, a community for — you guessed it — stepmoms, like herself.

Pretty amazing journey coming from someone who swore she’d never date a man with kids!

On this episode, we chat about the biggest issues she hears from blended families, her frank (and often hilarious) tips for how to handle some of the challenges of welcoming new kids into your life, navigating tricky divorces, and ways to become a valued step-parent — or to make sure your own kids feel valued by a new adult in their lives. Even if it’s not someone in your own home.

And honestly, some of her tips are terrific for traditional not-so-blended families too.

Listen right now, here or through your favorite podcast app — but also, take a few seconds and make sure you’re a subscriber so that you never miss an episode. If you have a few moments and can leave us a review, that would be amazing! (We’re so thrilled with some of our latest reviews so thank you!)

Tips on step-parenting from Parenting Coach Naja Hall, founder of Black & Blended and VIP Stepmom | Spawned Parenting Podcast

Advice for being a great step-parent with Coach Naja Hall | spawned parenting podcast

You can also catch Naja on her own popular podcast, I Know I’m Crazy with Naja Hall and check out her Amazon best-selling Girl, Bye! book series.


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Giftster. Because the holidays are coming

Gifster is the easy two-way wish list maker that helps ensure everyone in your family or group gets just what they want (sponsor)

Giftster is the original two-way family gift registry that takes the stress and anxiety out of gift-giving. And yes, gift-giving season is fast upon us! This site is an easy, smart way to give and receive gifts by sharing wish lists among your family, friends, or any  group (Secret Santa!) at all. So it’s especially perfect for those kids who always seem to have a running list of things they want.

You can use Giftster from any device, and it helps ensure you get gifts right, by letting you buy just what someone wants. No duplicate purchases, no returns, no hassle. The gifts purchased are even kept secret from the list maker, so the surprise stays intact. And that’s often the fun part.

Eliminate Gift Anxiety by signing up for your free wish lister at Giftster.com/spawned thorough this link


ParentEducate.com provides the expert parenting advice that helps you become your own expert

New parent tip: Get excellent parenting advice from the short, fun, expert-led online courses from our partner Parent Educate

We’re happy to welcome back ParentEducate.com as our sponsor, because they are a terrific source for parenting advice. More than good advice — expert advice you can trust. In fact, they are fast becoming the go-to resource for expecting parents, and parents of babies, toddlers and preschoolers, because ParentEducate.com offers a huge library of 80+ research-based online parenting courses, developed by ChildCare Education Institute, the #1 accredited trainer of preschool and kindergarten educators.

This means you can learn from short courses created by parenting pros, all packed with the same info and techniques used by leading early childhood educators around the country. They’re even fun. And did we mention short? Just 20-30 minutes each.

Head over to ParentEducate.com and start a free week trial, then save 20% off a subscription with code CMP21.

Entangled Publishing: Because we all need a hot romance novel right about now

Mama's Boy by Avery Flynn, comes out September 27, 2021 | Sponsored by Entangled Publishing

Don’t miss our very special Spawned Extra vignettes at the end of our episodes, brought to you by Entangled Publishing. This week, Kristen chats with prolific author Avery Flynn, who also happens to be a mom of 3, and parent to a gaggle of fur babies. Her newest book, Mama’s Boy, comes out on September 27, which you can grab at Amazon.com. We chat about everything from dog hair to kissing (hubba hubba). It’s been a blast chatting with these wonderful authors! Stay tuned for our next Spawned Extra, next week!

Our Cool Picks of the Week

Clearly we all have beauty on the brain this week…

Aloisia Beauty's duo of cleansers are so amazing, they're hard to keep in stock

Naja: She’s a big fan of wigs to change up her look easily — and especially headband wigs like the ones you can find on Amazon.

Liz: This NOURISH oil cleanser and REFRESH Jade Purifying Cleanser duo from Aloisia Beauty is so good, it actually has her using two face cleaners each time. They’re so popular they may be sold out as a set, but you can buy the cleansers individually too.

Kristen: The Sukin Detoxifying Clay Facial Masque is just $11.99 at Target — an impulse purchase that turned her into a huge fan!


Cool Mom Picks is a reward style affiliate
Top image Markus Spiske via Unsplash