Parents Goody Giveaway: Win $500 Toward a Neighborhood Party from Nextdoor

INextdoor Treat Map on the iPhonen case you haven’t been counting down, there are officially 10 days until Halloween. Halloween was one of my favorite holidays as a child because I loved dressing up and the mild weather in California (usually) made for a nice night. However, my friends and I usually didn’t do the typical door-to-door trick-or-treating. We found we had better luck going to the stores at the mall instead, and our parents took us out to dinner afterwards, which was probably the highlight of the whole night. After all, it was kind of strange to be asking for candy at Banana Republic.

Even though our ‘hood wasn’t up to par, some, if not most, blocks are definitely worth taking a walk around for sweets. And Nextdoor is making the traditional trick-or-treating experience easier than ever with its new digital Treat Map, which we think is so cool that we featured it in our October issue. Here’s how it works: If your neighborhood is participating this year, your family will be able to see which neighbors are planning on giving out candy and map out your path accordingly. The screenshot on the right shows what it looks like on an iPhone. You can also send a private message to your block to organize other fun festivities such a a costume contest or a haunted house crawl. It’s networking just for your neighbors. I like how it fosters a sense of community and encourages people to stick around for Halloween instead of, say, venturing to the mall.

To celebrate this amazing feature, Nextdoor is giving away a $500 gift card towards a neighborhood party. To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day October 27. View the official rules here. Be sure to check back on October 28 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck and happy trick-or-treating to everyone!

Plus: Decorate your home with this cute Halloween spider craft.

Halloween Kid Craft Spider
Halloween Kid Craft Spider
Halloween Kid Craft Spider

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Josh Duhamel Talks Fatherhood and Giving Back

For Josh Duhamel, it all comes back to being a parent. Whether it’s getting involved with Unilever’s child hunger campaign, Project Sunlight, or raising his son Axl with wife, Fergie being a dad has affected his perspective. Here at Parents.com we recently had the chance to chat with him about everything he has going on these days.

“It’s really about making a brighter future for children,” he shared about his work with Unilever. “And that never meant more than it does now to me because you just see things differently as a parent.”

But between that and his new movie and TV roles, you might be wondering how he has time for it all – don’t worry, we are too!

“Pretty much everything revolves around scheduling time to be with the fam,” he said.

To get the full scoop on some of his new projects and what he thinks of raising a toddler, watch the whole interview here:

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The Five Most Popular Halloween Looks For Kids This Season

For every obscure Halloween costume that you spot, there will be dozens of witches and pumpkins—and this year, Elsas—ringing your doorbell. We asked Chasing Fireflies for the most popular costume trends this season, and here are their top five:

1. Frozen Can’t let go (ha!) of the popular movie? Dress your little Elsa, Anna, or Olaf in one of these costumes! Oh, and here’s more Elsa. And more Elsa. And, not kidding, even adult Elsa.
2. Ninjas and warriors, for girls and boys Both genders will get a kick out of these elaborate getups–whether they’re scary, glittery, silky, or studded.
3. Glamour and movie stars She’ll be ready for a walk down the red carpet when she dons a glam dress. Her toughest decision will be choosing between silver and pink!
4. Food Trick-or-treat! These candy-themed fairy and princess looks are certainly appropriate for the occasion. And this all reminds us of our own Parents candy rapper costumes!
5. Baby animals These pig and chick costumes are too cute. Plus, check out our ideas for homemade costumes!

Get in the spirit! Your child will enjoy this paper pumpkin craft:

Halloween Kid Craft Paper Pumpkins
Halloween Kid Craft Paper Pumpkins
Halloween Kid Craft Paper Pumpkins

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Hey, Bargain Hunters! Three Websites To Thrill You

As fun as it is to shop till you drop, being a mom means that other endeavors often take priority (someone has to buy all those groceries!). While online shopping is super simple, it can still be just as expensive as heading to the mall (we’ve all thought, “I’ll just add one more item to my cart to reach the free shipping mark,” haven’t we?) However, several sites make shopping for clothing and gifts easy and inexpensive…what could be better?!

Poshmark This is one of the many buy-and-sell sites that allows individuals to list items from their own closet and shop others’ wardrobes. It’s easy to search by brand, size, style, price, you name it–whether you’re looking for an outfit for an upcoming baby shower or bridal brunch or just need some new day-to-day wear, it’s likely you’ll find what you need on the site! I’ve purchased items from brands including Ann Taylor LOFT, J.Crew, and Francesca’s Collections at much cheaper than retail price–and you can always try to bargain with a seller to further reduce a listing. Bonus: Poshmark offers kids clothes, too.

Etsy You’re probably familiar with the site in some form, but the next time you’re shopping for a great teacher gift or holiday accessory, look no further! Etsy offers tons of customizable options (perfect for that monogram-obsessed friend), and it’s also a great place to purchase affordable, clever art prints without scrolling from one website to another. You know that gallery wall has been calling your name for months!

Goodwill Did you know the famous secondhand store has a website? Of course, the shopping experience will be a little different than your normal on-site treasure-hunting expeditions, but you can still purchase items across a variety of categories. Bonus: no need to lug everything home as you would in person! This is a great site to check out if you’re searching for a vintage product or home good.

Shopping for a wee one? We have tips for buying baby clothes on a budget?

How to Buy Baby Clothes on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Clothes on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Clothes on a Budget

 

 

 

 

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Real Glam Moms: The Small Things

Kate Bryan

Here’s the newest installment of a brand new series from the Parents beauty department about mommy bloggers. Each installment will feature what beauty means to real moms no matter what their beauty routine is like—and how they take time to themselves after having children. 

For simple how-tos on all the cute hairstyles you see on Pinterest, Kate Bryan, of The Small Things, is your girl. And for chic mommy tips, Kate’s  still your girl. She’s mom to David, 10 months old, and she’s 5 months with her second. Today she chats with us about switching up her lipstick shades and her favorite nail polish.

What is your beauty routine like? 

I like taking time to do my hair and makeup in the morning, but I always stick to my usual, streamlined routine. I shower, throw my hair in a towel to encourage it to dry as I do my makeup, then blow dry, throw a few loose curls in it with a 1 1/4 barrel curling iron, and finish with some hairspray.

How has your beauty routine changed since you had David? 

My beauty routine hasn’t changed too dramatically. I wear more neutral shades of lipstick instead of bold colors since my days are more casual. I find myself going a day between washing my hair every once in awhile on days where I’m just cleaning up the house or running errands.

What is the importance of taking time to do yourself? 

Personally, I feel more awake and ready to take on the day when I start it with a shower. Even if it’s just a quick five-minute shower, it helps me feel like I’m intentionally getting ready for the day instead of lounging around in sweats.

My beauty advice for moms is…  to not give up entirely on your beauty routine! Even if it’s a swipe of mascara, taking the time to put a little bit of effort into yourself will always pay off. Also, find a long-wear nail polish that doesn’t chip. Polishing your nails becomes much more sacred after having kids, and nothing is more frustrating than taking the time to do so only to end up with a chip the next day!

Habit nail polish

THE SMALL THINGS’ FIVE FAVES

1. Shu Uemura eyelash curler: No lash curler comes close to how well this one works.

2. Bite Beauty BB for Lips in Flush is the perfect “your lips but better” shade.

3. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer: Say goodbye to dark circles with this product. It covers better than any concealer I’ve used.

4. Tarte Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers add bulk to even the wimpiest lashes.

5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light is the perfect highlighter and even light eyeshadow shade for any skin color.

6. Habit Cosmetics nail polish in Sunset Boulevard: I love the grey blue shade for any season.

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Shop Away! These Companies are Donating Proceeds to Address Childhood Cancer

It always feels better to shop when you know you’re giving back. Right now, a variety of companies are donating proceeds to benefit kids with cancer. Check out a few of our picks below—you’ll feel great donating to a good cause and getting a jump start on your holiday to-dos!

As you may know from years past, St. Jude has an expansive gift shop full of products that give back: 100 percent of proceeds from your purchase will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital! Their tote bag was an American Baby pick, but we’re also partial to the cozy sweatshirt and container of hot chocolate mix. There’s something for everyone on your list. And, if you’re shopping for a star-struck family member, check out the St. Jude celebrity collection.

Have a teething baby? We love Chewbeads, and half the proceeds from this creamsicle-colored Perry Necklace goes to Cookies for Kids with Cancer. Check out the Cookies website for more of their retail partners plus information about events they hold nationwide.

Donating to a charity in a loved one’s name is a great way to express gratitude while benefiting an individual in need. Maybe Grandma has all the jewelry she could ever want, but we bet she’d love to provide a special necklace to a mother who lost her child to cancer. By donating $40 to the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation, a mother will anonymously receive a locket complete with a photo of her child and E.E. Cummings’ poem, “I carry your heart with me.” In return, donors will receive a special letter, information about the recipient, and a gift from the PRET*TY store, which was founded by Cindy Campbell, who lost her own son, Ty, to childhood cancer.

Have a turtle lover in your house? Cloud b is creating Super Max the Turtle for 2015, inspired by 7-year-old Max Wilford, a young cancer patient. Max was calmed by the Twilight Turtle while he was healing. The product comes with a special book telling the story of Max the Turtle, who turns into a superhero, in order to help kids feel at ease before bed. A portion of proceeds from the $23 turtle will go to the MaxLove Project.

Watch one family’s experience with childhood cancer:

One Family's Experience with Childhood Cancer
One Family's Experience with Childhood Cancer
One Family's Experience with Childhood Cancer

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win a Box of Hasbro Games!

It may be mid-October, but your kids have probably started a list for Santa already. While you may be thinking about a new pair of shoes to add to your list, your little one is thinking about toys, toys and more toys! We’re thinking about toys too, have you seen our Parents 2014 Best Toys list?!


Hasbro has a variety of games that make perfect “family gifts,” ones that everyone can share. And unlike Santa, Hasbro doesn’t have a naughty or nice list. Hasbro is giving ONE (1) lucky winner a chance to receive his or her own box full of Hasbro Toys; including My Monopoly (one of our Best Toys winners!), Scrabble Electronic Scoring, Taboo Buzz’d, Trivial Pursuit Hints, Catchphrase Decades, Simon Swipe, Disney Frozen: Pop Up Magic Game, and a Transformers Battle Masters Grimlock figure–a prize worth $143.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day on October 20. Be sure to check back on October 21 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. We’ve also posted all of the Official Rules. Goody luck!

Watch a behind-the-scenes clip of our toy-testers playing with our 2014 winners!

 

We Pick the Best Toys of 2014
We Pick the Best Toys of 2014
We Pick the Best Toys of 2014

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Happy Halloween! Editors Share Their Favorite Costumes

Halloween is around the corner, which means it’s time to think about costumes. When I was growing up, I mainly went the homemade route: I dressed as a firefighter several years in a row by donning my raincoat and boots and carrying a piece of the backyard hose! When I was in elementary school, my mom created a crayon-box costume using two inflatable crayons I’d won at a fair. She cut holes in a cardboard box and wrote the number 3 on the front (to include me and the two inflatable crayons). It was a hit in the school parade, and my younger sister wore it herself years later!

Here are some costumes from years past that the editors at Parents and American Baby loved; maybe you’ll be inspired!

Dog “Last year, I gave a dog costume to my 1-year-old granddaughter to wear. She loved it and even posed for a picture pretending to eat from a dog bowl!” –Lisa Marum, Copy Chief

’50s Girl ”Growing up with an older sister and dancing at a young age, my mom rarely had to buy me a costume. When I was in third grade, my sister and I created a ’50′s costume with a poodle skirt. My sister bought plain white tennis shoes and used a black sharpie to make them look like saddle shoes.” –Shelby Toompas, Lifestyle Assistant

Jasmine “I was obsessed with Disney, so there were a few years in a row where I went as different princesses. Lots of other girls were going as Disney characters too, but my mom made the outfits unique by sewing them at home instead of buying a pre-made dress at the store. My absolute favorite was Jasmine. My mom created an elaborate costume, and of course, I already owned all of the accessories to complete the look. But the real star was my sister—my mom had run out of time to make her a fancy costume like mine, so she quickly threw together a blanket and supplies lying around the house to make her Abu, Aladdin’s monkey.” –Chrisanne Grise, Editorial Assistant

And more Jasmine: ”I dressed up as Jasmine from ages 3 to 5. It was a store-bought costume—long black wig and all—that had a fake skin-colored “belly” so that I wouldn’t have to wear a real crop-top! She was definitely my favorite of the Disney Princesses since I felt she had the most sass. (And I secretly always wanted a pet tiger.)” –Brooke Bunce, Lifestyle Assistant 

Rainbow Fish “My favorite Halloween costume of all time was actually from college. I went as classic children’s book character, Rainbow Fish, and wore a sparkly dress topped with removable scales. I simply unpinned the safety pinned scales from my costume and shared them with everyone at the party. It was a big hit!” –Alexandra Johnson, Assistant Photo Editor

Cinderella ”At the risk of sounding cliché, my favorite costume was Cinderella. I wore the costume almost every day for a year—even to see the Stanley Cup! My mom had to take it off while I was sleeping in order to wash it, so it wasn’t as if wearing it on Halloween was anything special!” –Gaby Levy, Photo Assistant

Martian ”My mother made a martian costume for me one year, complete with green grease paint on my face. The teacher and my classmates were supposed to guess who was wearing the costume—and they weren’t able to!” –Lisa Marum, Copy Chief

Rambo “I remember loving the Rambo trailer, but I was much to young to see it. To this day, I still don’t know what the movie was about. I don’t know if I had the whole costume, or maybe just the headband? But I’m pretty sure I wore it for most of the fall that year. How great is my unibrow, cheeks, and floral stretch pants?” –Michele Martuscello, Associate Photo Editor 

Dark Helmet When I was in seventh grade, I wanted to be “Dark Helmet” from Spaceballs. My mother pulled it off perfectly. For the helmet, she took a balloon and fashioned a paper-mache helmet. Then, she spray-painted it black and put on a layer of clear coat for extra shine. To fit it on my head, she took an old helmet lining and hot-glued it into the interior of the helmet. The other bits of the costume were custom-made–the tie was made out of oaktag, the cape was an old wizard cape, and the rest were simple clothes. It was a ridiculous costume. But wow, did it impress everyone—adults included!” –John O’Sullivan, Senior Production Manager

Jem ”My favorite childhood Halloween costume was the year I dressed up as Jem from the Saturday morning cartoon. Even though I was only 5 years old, I was obsessed with becoming a rocker one day. I specifically remember picking out the star-shaped clip-on earring I wore to complete the costume—Jem used her star earring to change into her fabulous rocker version of herself!” –Kristen O’Hara, Photo Editor

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