The Best Thing I’ve Learned About Budgeting for Costco
The last year of lockdowns (and beyond-the-norm grocery shopping that’s come with them) has taught me a few things about my shopping habits and my family’s food preferences. After discovering the supreme value of a second refrigerator and my kids’ deep abiding love of ramen, I’ve also come to terms with my love-hate relationship with Costco.Once an “event” to distract the kids on a rainy day, it’s now become a necessary, grin-and-bear-it activity.
Jul 31, 2021
Before and After: This Memphis-inspired Nursery Is A Surprising Mix of Whimsy and Color
When Jessica and her husband moved into their home they knew that they would need to do some serious updating. They took off the Beetlejuice wallpaper in their guest room and when it came time to turn it into a nursery they decided to go full fun. A little bit of Memphis, a sprinkling of Facts of Life, a dash of FAO Schwartz and you have a super cute, very unique nursery.
Jul 31, 2021
Aldi Just Leaked Dozens of New Groceries Coming out in August — These Are the 18 We’re Most Excited About
Serious question: How is it nearly August already? We hate how quickly the days seem to be flying by. But. But! We love when it’s time for a new batch of Aldi Finds. See, our sources always share the upcoming list toward the end of the month and it’s always so much fun to see what will be hitting store shelves. Next month there’s going to be lots of breakfast items, dinner shortcuts, bold snacks, and more.
Jul 30, 2021
Why I Make My Children’s Favorite Meal When They Are Being Awful
The other day, I got phone calls from two out of three of my children’s schools. I’ve already violated their privacy enough, so I won’t divulge the content of those phone calls, other than to say no one had broken the law, but no one had won a prize, either. I was annoyed. More than annoyed, mad. Those phone calls made it hard for me to get back to work. Why, then, did I text them to ask what they wanted for supper? And why did I make exactly what they wanted?
Jul 31, 2021
Before and After: This Family’s Dated 90s Kitchen Gets A Majorly Fresh Upgrade
Out with the green laminate countertops, in with a bright, modern look.
Jul 31, 2021
Before and After: This Dreamy Kid’s Bedroom Redo Is Packed with Clever DIYs
No matter your age, you deserve a bedroom that’s stylish, comfy, and perfect for relaxing — and that goes for kids, too. Need help figuring out where to start? Take inspiration from this glorious kid’s bedroom redo from Jennifer Harrup (Jennifer Laura Living).When Jennifer and her family moved into their new home, this room started out pink with a white chandelier.
Jul 30, 2021
This “Magic Basket” Solves Two Small But Common Family Life Problems
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! I have a clutter-busting, kid-resetting secret weapon. It’s called the Magic Basket and it lives in our game closet. Family life is messy. Figuratively, but also literally. Having so many people inhabiting one space means that things get left out all over the house.
Jul 30, 2021
7 Kids’ Rooms Whose Walls Solve At Least Two Problems at Once
Kids rooms are always so much fun, perhaps because parents use their children’s spaces to fulfill inner fantasies. But, parents are still parents after all, and can’t entirely forget they also have to keep their kids both busy, and on an even keel. So, when you see great decor ideas that aren’t just creative, but also fun and functional, jump on them. Here are seven favorites that don’t just look good.
Jul 30, 2021
The Single Best Thing to Buy at Costco This Summer If You Have Kids
While it’s my duty as Kitchn’s Unofficial Costco Critic to peruse the wide warehouse aisles in search of the best deals, hottest new products, and just-for-fun bulk buys, it’s also my pleasure. On a recent visit, I spotted the single best product I’ve seen all year for parents — and I can’t keep it to myself any longer. The best thing parents can buy right now at Costco is The Ice Cream Party Box.Find it in stores: The Ice Cream Party Box, $17.
Jul 23, 2021
I’m a Mom of 6 and This One Little Grocery Swap Saved Me $500 in a Single Month
I didn’t grow up shopping at Aldi, the wildly popular grocery store that is known for great deals and fun products. In fact, it’s only in the last five years that the budget grocer has opened locations in Southern California where I live. While I used to shop a lot at Costco, I eventually started making the switch over to Aldi in 2016. It took me a few trips to get my bearings and learn the Aldi ways (yes, you’ll get your quarter back), but I’m a firm believer in it now.
Jul 29, 2021
Ask Maxwell: Great Ideas for Back-to-School Rituals?
My son is starting school this year — hurrah! He’s a little nervous, so I’m hopeful you have some suggestions on fun back-to-school rituals to get him excited again?AndreaDear Andrea,Nervousness around big changes like this is totally natural and it also means that your son has a healthy regard for what is about to happen.
Jul 28, 2021
We Grilled Hot Dogs 6 Different Ways and the Winner Blew Us Away
A classic American summer wouldn’t be complete without long nights spent in the backyard chasing fireflies, making s’mores, sipping cooling drinks, and, yes, enjoying hot dogs fresh off the grill. When you’ve had a good grilled hot dog — juicy on the inside with a little char on the outside — you’ve experienced true savory bliss. But when you’ve had a not-so-good one — burnt, burst, shriveled, dried out, or undercooked — the letdown is huge.
Jul 28, 2021
12 Functional & Organized Family Entryways, and the Tips That Make It Work
How busy households set up their entryways!
Jul 28, 2021
The Designer-Approved Swing Chair That Lured My Bookworm Child Outside
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! Last summer, when my daughter learned to read, I wrestled with a laughable yet persistent worry: If left to her own devices, would my then 6-year-old ever venture outside again, comfortable as she was paging through one book after another?
Jul 27, 2021
7 Frozen Groceries from Costco I’m Buying on Repeat Right Now (They’re All Just $10 or Less)
If there’s one section of Costco I never, ever skip, it’s the frozen food aisle. I can easily fill up my cart in that aisle alone. (The organic fruits! The vegetables! The breakfast foods! The treats!) In fact, I’m such an avid Costco freezer-aisle shopper, I’ve even purchased a separate chest freezer so that I have lots of extra storage at home.What have I been stocking up on lately? I’m glad you asked!
Jul 27, 2021
Whipped Lemonade Is the Perfect End-of-Summer Family Treat
Last summer we were taken by the phenomenon that was whipped coffee. Millions of people had to give it a try, including myself. This summer, whipped lemonade has popped up all over TikTok, so naturally I was intrigued. After trying out the latest whipped drink, I propose we trade in the coffee beans for lemons for a concoction that makes for the perfect creamy-sweet-tart-chilled libation.
Jul 26, 2021
This Breakfast Is So Easy, My Young Kids Can Make It Themselves
Nutritious, simple for kids to make, and endlessly versatile — who knew such a breakfast was possible?
Jul 26, 2021
We Make $30K and Have Twins. Here’s What We Spend on Groceries.
Name: ConstanceLocation: Winchester, MAAge: 38Number of people in household: 2 adults and two 5-year-oldsOccupation: Project AssistantHousehold income: $30,000 Grocery budget: $200 for two weeksGrocery stores of choice: Costco, Stop and Shop, and the farmers marketStop and Shop is just down the road from our house so it’s the most convenient location for us to buy groceries from.
Jul 25, 2021
A Week of Healthy, Low-Effort Dinners for Expecting Parents
I’m kicking things off with a week of easy, mostly healthy dinners for my family of two (two and a half?), as we gear up for the arrival of our first baby in a few months. While my eating style — veggie-heavy, wholesome, and comforting food — hasn’t changed much since becoming pregnant (save for my frequent tater tot cravings), I do have less energy at the end of the day now and am much more inclined to seek out low-stress, low-effort quick and easy dinners.
Jul 25, 2021
A Tinker Box That Guarantees Hours of Play — with Almost Zero Prep Time
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! Summer is in full swing, and it’s too hot to think straight, let alone come up with creative activities for the kids. Allow me to introduce you to the easiest, most open-ended and sustainable activity in my toy closet: The Tinker Box.
Jul 25, 2021
8 Bunk Bed Shelf Options That Won’t Clutter Up Your Bedroom
As spectacular as bunk beds may be, they leave little room for organization. Unlike a regular bed setup, it’s tough to pull a nightstand up to a top bunk, which leads to books, pillows, and maybe even alarm clocks strewn about your sheets or lying out on the floor. This shouldn’t put a damper on your (or your kids) dreams of building this kind of space-saving structure though. Luckily, there are quite a few ways you can keep a bedroom tidy even with a double-decker bed.
Jul 24, 2021
12 Cribs That Designer Parents Swear By
For many Cubby readers, there’s a good chance you’ve already bought your first crib, but for those who are on the cusp of parenthood or who are in the market for a new baby bed, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about buying a crib today.A crib is a critical decision in your baby’s nursery because it is the anchor piece of furniture in the room, says Emma Beryl, an interior designer based in New York and New Orleans.
Jul 24, 2021
Why I’ll Always Choose Hotels Over Vacation Homes
When I had kids, I was told my longstanding relationship with hotels was over. So long, lavender-scented cold towels! Bye-bye, crisp sheets! See ya, infinity pool! Arrivederci, lobby bar of my dreams! It was nice knowing you. Based on the advice of many parents I know, vacation homes seemed to be the only option in the 2.0 version of my life. “When you have a family, it’s just easier with a kitchen, you’ll see,” they told me.
Jul 23, 2021
10 Best Water Bottles to Keep Kids Hydrated This Summer
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! I have a weird quirk that I’m not embarrassed to admit: I love water. When I drink it, I gulp  —  and it’s quickly followed by an audible “ahhhh.
Jul 23, 2021
How a $200 Costco Trip Feeds This Nutritionist and Her Family of 3 for a Month
Costco trips make my registered dietitian heart skip a beat (in a good way). While I am sometimes tempted by a two-pound container of chocolate-covered raisins or a monster-sized wheel of cheese, I typically stick to a few go-to staples that feed my family of three for quite some time. Stacked with nutritious and cost-effective options, this tried-and-true grocery list helps me create nourishing meals in a simple way.
Jul 23, 2021
Ask Maxwell: Advice on Alternatives to Screen Time?
I’ve been finding that I use television as a rescue tool too often for my 5-year-old daughter. Do you have any easy alternatives to cure boredom and/or exhaustion that don’t involve screens?Jo AnnaDear Jo Anna,This is probably the TOUGHEST problem vexing us parents in this day and age.
Jul 21, 2021
This Family’s Beach Bungalow Is a Real-Life Rainbow Dream with Tons of DIY Solutions
Name: Ashley Wilson; Preston; 6-year-old son, Don; and two dogs, Derek and LucyLocation: Hollywood, FloridaSize: 890-square-feetWe’re in the midst of a beautiful, blazing summer, and no home screams summer more joyfully than Ashley Wilson’s two-bedroom Pink Palm Hideaway on the Florida coast.
Jul 21, 2021
20+ Cool New LEGO Sets That Keep Kids Occupied for Hours
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! My earliest memories of getting presents all revolve around LEGOs. I still remember my very first sets: a tow truck, a family car, and a little road repair cart. Those initial gifts turned into a lifelong love of the plastic building bricks.
Jul 20, 2021
9 Design Rules for Timeless (Yet Special!) Kids’ Rooms, According to Julia Marcum
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! If I could have anyone as my phone-a-friend for advice about decorating my kid’s room, Julia Marcum, of Chris Loves Julia would be high on the list.
Jul 13, 2021
When to Break the Rules About Healthy Eating, According to 10 Moms
Here’s how “mom life” is supposed to work: You get home from long days of (fill in the blank: work, school, play, travel, life), open the fridge, and find an abundance of fruits and vegetables for a perfect nutritious meal. (You’re doing such a good job of planning ahead these days!) The kids play quietly while things come together in about 30 minutes, and someone else takes over the dishes while you have a few minutes to relax before the bedtime routine begins.
Jul 20, 2021
The 5 Best Dinners That Let Picky Eaters Choose Their Own Adventure
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! When it comes to mealtimes, everyone in my family has a different idea of success. For my 3-year-old, Hazel, it’s whatever is the fastest route to dessert. For my 9-year-old, Lily, it’s carbs on carbs and plenty of ketchup.
Jul 19, 2021
My Daughter Called This New Independent Learning Toy Her “Favorite Gift Ever!”
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! Every time I saw an ad for the Yoto Player peppering my social media feed, I was totally fascinated. Bright, colorful, completely kid-controlled — what’s not to love?
Jul 18, 2021
Why I Won’t Call My Kid “Picky” (Even Though She Sometimes Is)
Lately, it seems like every parent I know, both in real life and online, says that they have a picky eater. And while I totally get the sentiment — my 3-year-old certainly doesn’t always eat everything I put onto her plate — I won’t call her picky. Here’s why. The word “picky” has become a catchall for every type of eater — from the tot who didn’t eat his broccoli that one time to the child with severe sensory issues.
Jul 18, 2021
A Costco Playhouse Gets a Charming Scandi Makeover
Name: The Three Amigos (3 year old, and twin 5 year olds) Location: Vancouver, Canada After Melissa snatched up a pretty cute playhouse from Costco, she started dreaming up an adorable upgrade. Life got in the way, as it so often does, so it took awhile for the playhouse to get an upgrade. Combine one weekend, a super creative mom, white paint and elbow grease and you get the kind of playhouse that childhood dreams are made of.
Jul 17, 2021
The Kid Trend You’re Seeing EVERYWHERE Is Popular for a Reason
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! Four years ago, when I was covering home design for a parenting magazine, I noticed a do-it-yourself trend of parents building simple, house-shaped bed frames for their kids. They were so cute that we included them in the magazine along with instructions for how you might make your own.
Jul 16, 2021
10 Design Objects That Can Also Double as Gifts for Kids
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! My wife and I live with our three young daughters in a 700-square-foot railroad style apartment in New York City. We enjoy the simplicity of living in a small space and creatively thinking about how to make the most of it.
Jul 16, 2021
You’re Doing It Right: Feeding Your Kids
I have been thinking for a long time about all the voices that tell us we’re Doing It Wrong in the kitchen. We wanted to bring you a column about the ways that you’ve actually been doing it right all along. My friend Cheryl Sternman Rule is bringing us this occasional dose of reassurance. — Faith More fruits, more vegetables, less processed food. Homemade, wholesome, whole family around the table.
Jul 16, 2021
Ask Maxwell: How Do I Best Settle Parenting Disputes with My Partner?
My husband and I have really different parenting styles: he tends to be really rules-oriented, while I take a less disciplined approach. Do you have any tips on meeting in the middle?BethDear Beth,First of all, I think it’s great that you have different parenting styles and that is a real strength in terms of allowing your kids to experience and understand two different perspectives and approaches to problems that they will one day solve for themselves.
Jul 14, 2021
The Life-Changing Packing Hack We Use When Spending the Night with Relatives
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. It sounds strange to say, given the events of the past year and a half, but we have been traveling a lot. We don’t go anywhere exotic or posh; we just drive two hours west to the same place over and over again.
Jul 13, 2021
10 Dress-Up Costumes to Keep Kids Busy for Hours at a Time
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! As adults, we only really get one day a year to dress up and play “make believe” without feeling totally out of place, right? The occasion is called Halloween, and it’s still months away … sigh.
Jul 12, 2021
A Week of Toddler-Friendly Dinners the Whole Family Will Love
I still remember the sweet sense of victory I felt when I cooked one dinner that my whole family — including my toddler — adored and gobbled up. I’m still new to this, but have learned that feeding toddlers is tricky business that requires patience, understanding, creativity, and persistence. These days I put my meal-planning efforts into building a roster of easy dinners that my whole family enjoys.
Jul 11, 2021
My Secret to the Best Weekends for Kids AND Adults
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! Over the years, my Saturdays developed a dependable rhythm. After being awakened by the crow of our youngest family member, we threw on jackets over our PJs and wandered down the street to our favorite coffee shop and then, the neighborhood farmers market.
Jul 10, 2021
10 Make-Ahead Family Meals for Busy Summers
Welcome to summer, where the sunshine keeps everyone outside until the last minute, it’s too hot to turn on the stove at dinner time, and everybody wants a quick meal so they can get back to playing. None of these things makes feeding a family easy in the hottest months, so it’s helpful to have some make-ahead meal ideas stashed away so you can cook dinner before the kids go to bed the night before, or maybe even over the weekend before work gets in the way.
Jul 10, 2021
Before and After: A Dreamy Nursery That Doesn’t Scream “Baby”
Some rooms have a million flaws that need remedying; the problem with this nursery-to-be was there was no real there there. After months of sanding, painting, ripping out, and replacing by a very pregnant lady and her crew, this room was lovingly decorated for its tiny new occupant. The word for this nursery, created by Bridget Matkovich of The DIY Playbook, is dreamy.
Jul 10, 2021
Here’s How to Eat Well on Vacation Without Breaking the Bank
Hitting the road with kids in tow? You are in for an adventure! After 20 years of motherhood, I know that vacationing with children is not without its challenges, but I’m equally convinced that it’s worth the effort. We’ve found that getting outside our comfort zone provides us with huge bonding moments.
Jul 9, 2021
The 10 Best Playrooms Designers Have Ever Created
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! When I was a kid, I can’t remember having any friends who had their own playroom. Kids in my suburb typically played in their rooms (or outside!); if you were lucky, your parents might have ceded you the basement as a rec room.
Jul 8, 2021
Ask Maxwell: What Are Your Tips on Allowance for Kids?
How do we incorporate allowances — and what, if any, alignment should the money have with their chores or other responsibilities? JennyDear Jenny,I have really struggled over this one too, particularly when I’m tired on a Sunday, my daughter hasn’t been the best kid in the world that day, and she says, “You haven’t given me my allowance yet!
Jul 7, 2021
The Biggest Lessons These 5 Families Learned When They Moved Abroad
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids. Join us over on Instagram for more! Living outside the United States changed me and my family life in both mundane and profound ways. Like many Americans abroad, we adopted local and regional foods, festivals, and language in our new home of Singapore.
Jul 7, 2021