Author Archive

Gum You’ll Actually Want Your Kid to Chew

Friday, August 1st, 2014

The back of the wrappers show where your money is going.

I distinctly remember the first time I got detention: I was behaving perfectly in 8th grade health class when the teacher asked: “What’s in your mouth?” Busted. I had forgotten that I was chewing some “illegal” post-lunch gum and ended up having to pay the price of a 30-minute after school time out. But I suspect if I’d been chewing Project 7 gum back then, I would’ve had a stronger case in my defense: “I’m doing it for a good cause!”

Founded by father of three Tyler Merrick, Project 7 is a company dedicated to making “products for good.” Each flavor of their chewing gum is dedicated to its own charitable mission — and with choices like Birthday Cake and Coconut Lime, doing good can taste good too! (Plus, it’s sugar-free, calorie- free, and contains the good-for-teeth ingredient, xylitol.) Check out the delicious  options:

  • Fresh & Breezy — planting trees
  • Mint Julep — cleanwater
  • Peppermint Vanilla — fighting hunger in the U.S.
  • Front Porch Lemonade — education
  • Birthday Cake — antibullying
  • Coconut Lime (2014 Gum of the Year!) — helping with homelessness

Available in resealable packets for just over a dollar, Project 7 gum makes it possible for almost anyone to make a difference. You can find the gum in grocery stores and coffee shops, and the mints are now available on every American Airlines flight! Bonus: The graphics on the back of each packet make it super easy for moms to start a conversation with their kids about the importance of giving back.

[Note: Gum is a choking hazard for children under age 4. Use caution.]

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MotherMag Editor Shares Travel and Fashion Trends

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 editor Katie Hintz-Zambrano editor Katie Hintz-Zambrano with her inspiration, Diego.

San Francisco-based fashion journalist Katie Hintz-Zambrano always wanted to start her own website, but was stumped brainstorming a unique angle that would stand out in a sea of other fashion sites. Then she had her son Diego, and it clicked: “I had the idea for a parenting site that was style-leaning.”

Hintz-Zambrano says she noticed other fashion bloggers starting to have children too, and realized she had to stake her claim before somebody else did. “There’s no way after having a kid you’re going to want to write about how to style leather pants five ways,” she says. “Everyone was going to start having kids and that coverage was going to shift, and I wanted to be the person to do that.”

Hintz-Zambrano joined forces with Nashville-based blogger and mother of four James Kicinski-McCoy, and was born. The lifestyle blog — which covers style, beauty, travel, and of course, motherhood — has only been live for six weeks but already has thousands of followers on Instagram. (Which makes sense: Kicinski-McCoy and Hintz-Zambrano were both finalists for Parents’ 2014 Social Media Awards in the Instagram category!). I had a chat with in-the-know mom Hintz-Zambrano about what’s on trend and on her radar.

P: I love MotherMag’s ‘Mother Hoods’ travel section! What is a great travel destination this summer?

HZ: For a fashion-leaning parent: Sayulita, Mexico. It can be a really fun trip where the parents get pleasure out of it, but so do the kids. It’s not that touristy yet, and it’s not far from San Francisco, so this could be popular with West-Coasters.

P: What are some summer must-haves for moms right now?

HZ: There’s something cool about fruit prints. A shirt with oranges or lemons is summery and fresh. That’s a trend that isn’t too huge, but it’s bubbling up.

Also for moms, we’re super lucky that flat shoes are in, like Birkenstocks. A clean, white, slip-on Van is great to invest in from summer to fall, and it’s on trend to have minimal, comfy shoes. They’re having such a moment now, and they’re so comfortable and breathable and you can run after your kids and not fall over.

Jumpsuits are super cool, and they always look unexpected even though they’re trendy. We’ve been calling them adult onesies on the site! They’re so easy, you don’t have to think about what to pair them with. You can wear them to the office, the park, anywhere, and it’s still appropriate.

P: What do you think will be the coolest back-to-school trends for elementary schoolers this year?

HZ: Harem pants for boys, that European silhouette. A year ago, I would have said, ‘No way that’s coming back,” but I see that happening. Maybe in a more conservative market, ethnic print pants. For girls, touches of neons and pom poms. Dress things up a little bit! And I don’t think you can go wrong with a beautiful striped shirt. They’re available at every price point, and they always look great on kids. Also a bold statement sneaker, for both boys and girls, with wild colors and prints will be an enduring trend.


Image: Courtesy of

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The Funniest Mom We Know

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

How Not to Calm a Child on a PlaneIf you’re looking for a parenting book to teach you the best, scientifically-proven methods for raising a smart, healthy, self-sufficient human being, Johanna Stein’s new book is probably not for you. But if you’re looking for a down-to-earth voice that lets you know you’re not alone in a world of tough questions and embarrassing moments, How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane (And Other Lessons in Parenting from a Highly Questionable Source) might become your new best friend.

In Stein’s book debut, her self-deprecating humor will make you laugh out loud and inspire you to take the heart-stopping, forehead-slapping, blush-inducing moments of parenting a little more lightly. A television writer, comedian, and Parents contributor, she brings her blunt honesty to the forefront of her relatable parental anecdotes, like watching her own birth video and connecting with a pregnant stranger (who ended up not being pregnant).

In one memorable scene (excerpted in full here), Stein and her husband are abruptly snapped out of sexy time and into damage control mode when their four-year-old walks in on the action — on more than one occasion:

“I heard a slow click, looked up, and saw my kid standing in the doorway. This time she was holding an armful of dolls and giggling in a high creepy voice that, in movies, usually signals the arrival of the Antichrist.

It was even more shocking the second time around. It was as though she had developed some sort of pervy sixth sense that, combined with her 4-year-old fighting weight (which meant she was not quite heavy enough to make the floors creak), allowed her to simply materialize like the sex-murdering specter that she was.

One week later, we installed a lock on the door. It seemed a perfect solution — and it was, in that it kept her out of eyeball’s reach. But it also prompted her to sit outside our door and wail — and FYI, it is darn near impossible to achieve any sense of ‘closure’ when someone is pounding her tiny fists on your bedroom door and yelling, ‘No bounce! No bounce!’”

How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane is packed with brutally honest stories that will comfort any parents who sometimes feel inadequate (i.e. all parents) and will have even non-parents cracking up. And the fun isn’t just for moms: Stein recorded a book trailer called “Dad, You’re My Hero” just in time for Father’s Day.

As she writes in the book, “Parenthood is a minefield of unpredictability: sometimes the mines are made of tears; sometimes they’re made of undigested food.” While Stein may not be able to offer concrete, expert-approved solutions for either of those scenarios, her voice is an ally for parents who just might learn to laugh at themselves too.

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Campaign Shares Stories of Daughter Empowerment

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Chelsea and Bill Clinton

Chelsea Clinton recorded a video for the campaign.

With Father’s Day coming up this Sunday, dads and daughters are reflecting on the relationships they have with each other, and now they have a unique opportunity to share their stories with the world.

Fathers Empowering Daughters is a new campaign by the G(irls)20 Summit that aims to spread the word of girls’ empowerment with videos and social media. Fathers can talk about how they empower their daughters, and daughters can discuss how their dads empower them – sometimes in the same video. Bonus: For every social media interaction involving the campaign, Carlson Rezidor will donate $10 to the education of G(irls)20 delegates.

In one campaign video, Chelsea Clinton speaks about former president Bill Clinton, noting she was empowered by his focus on service, his commitment to family time, and his support of her decisions.

“I am grateful to my father most of all for always being ready with a hug, with a word a advice, but ultimately for the example that he set for me as Marc and I think about starting our own family,” she said.

Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala, offered his thoughts to parents in a video.

“I empower my daughter through education. If you empower your daughter, you will be stronger,” he said. “It is just like a light in complete darkness.”

Participants also include Richard and Holly Branson and Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but you don’t have to be a big name to participate. Submissions are welcome on Twitter, Facebook, and

Did your dad empower you? Is your husband empowering your daughters? Share your stories in the comments!

Image: Chelsea and Bill Clinton via ShutterShock 

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