Carter Oosterhouse on Building Active Communities and Living Green

Parents caught up with HGTV’s reigning expert on eco-friendly living, Carter Oosterhouse. He now plays host to four TV programs including Red Hot & Green all about eco-friendly design. Having discovered carpentry at the age of 12, Oosterhouse is now an expert, which is why he teamed up with Scott Naturals to launch their new tube-free toilet paper. He shares with us his tips to go green (easily!) in your home and the inspiration behind his youth charity Carter’s Kids.

P: What motivated you to start carpentry so young?

CO: My dad was a farmer and was constantly saying “You gotta work. You can’t just sit around the house and watch TV.” So that prompted all of us kids to always be busy. Something that was easy—a summertime job where you could have fun—was building. I liked doing it. I felt like I was getting outside and being active.

Seeing kids now being so stagnant, I started a non-profit [Carter’s Kids] where we build playgrounds and that’s because you see so many kids who don’t get out. You have to provide something that’s a reason for them to get out. Plus, I’m a big kid at heart.

P: What kind of impact have you seen from these Carter’s Kids playgrounds?

CO: We build one playground a month all over the U.S. in random cities, low-income neighborhoods, schools that really need it. It’s amazing to see how kids will respond when they have something attractive to play on. It’s like you put Disney World in their backyard. You have to remember back when you were a little kid and your world is your little town. When that’s just your world and you put something big and shiny it changes the whole dynamic. This playground becomes the community center point, which makes an even bigger impact. You’re not just changing the lives of those kids who are playing on it, but also the lives of the people who live there.

P: Do all Carter’s Kids playscapes include the same basic elements or are they each unique? 

CO: We usually work with whomever we’re building it for and say “What do you guys need? Are you by the water? Do you like boats? Are you in Iowa with cornfields?” They’re all different, but all awesome. Each playground takes a lot of prep. To build it only takes two days. I love doing it. If you do build one playground for the kids you get that rush that keeps bringing you back.

Find more ways for your kids to get outside and moving with Parents’ Activity Finder. 

P: You started on Trading Spaces, and now you have these other shows including Red Hot & Green. How did you get started in the green space?

CO: My parents were big nutritionists. So I thought, Well how else does that translate into other things? And that is: the earth. How could we build without taking away so much? Slowly but surely I got in the TV shows and I thought, I wanna do a show that has to do with eco-living and eco-repurposing and remodeling. Today when people see how they can be more efficient and cut down monthly bills, it makes more economical sense to be green within your home.

P: What are some ways that the average American family can be eco-friendly in their home?

CO: There are so many. It’s cool to buy secondhand stuff and repurpose it and give it another life. Whether that’s furniture or clothes. Around the house, lighting is huge and using CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulbs. Composting. Recycling is one. When [my wife and I] got married, we actually only had one bag of trash because we were able to compost and recycle. Also, VOC-free paint, and using organic cleaning products. That’s good for you and your plumbing in your house. Oh! And aerators on your faucets. Living eco-friendly is sort of like preventative medicine. This is a better way to provide for your home because in the long run you’re going to pay less, your home will last longer, your bills aren’t going to be as large.

Eco-Friendly Bottles
Eco-Friendly Bottles
Eco-Friendly Bottles

Top photograph: In honor of the launch, Oosterhouse and I posed in front of this 30 foot replica of the Empire State Building made of 14,000 rolls—the amount New York City throws away in only 15 minutes. Annually Americans toss 17 billion rolls, which is enough to fill the Empire State Building twice.

 

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Project Night Night: Give a Stuffed Animal or Blanket to a Child in Need

Project Night Night Care PackageEvery parent knows the soothing comfort that a security blankie or stuffed animal can offer a child at bedtime. But many children around the country don’t have that simple luxury.

Each year, 1.5 million children go to sleep at night without a home, and the nonprofit, Project Night Night, is trying to make those long nights feel a little more secure by providing care packages made up of a blanket, children’s book and stuffed animal for children in need.

“Project Night Night strives to give children something they can call their own, something that can give them that little bit of comfort, and confidence, to deal with what’s in front of them,” the organization states.

To help, the organization lets you give back in several ways.

  1. Donate items: you can mail-in or, if you live near a drop-off location, you can give new blankets and new (or like-new) children’s books and stuffed animals.
  2. Donate money: You can make a tax deductible donation online.
  3. Or, for $25 you can provide a fully prepared “Night Night Package” that will be distributed to one homeless child.
  4. To learn more about how you can contribute, visit projectnightnight.org.

How to Establish a Bedtime Routine
How to Establish a Bedtime Routine
How to Establish a Bedtime Routine

Photo of care package courtesy of Project Night Night.

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Star Moms Participate in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By Jenny Schaferice bucket challenge

Celebrity Baby Scoop is joining in on the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.

In the trending campaign, people are asking 2-3 of their friends to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads. If your friends do not accept the challenge within 24 hours, they must donate $100 to an ALS association of choice.

In the last few weeks, the #IceBucketChallenge has literally soaked some celebrities, including Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon and Martha Stewart. Not to mention, some of our favorite celebrity parents such as Gwen Stefani, Nicole Richie, Jessica Alba and Gavin Rossdale. Check out Gwen and Gavin’s video here, and then see their 8-year-old son Kingston also take on the challenge.

Pop superstar Jennifer Lopez also took the challenge, and got some help from her 6-year-old twins Max and Emme. The Jenny From the Block singer, 45, shared the video via Instagram.

And we loved Ben Affleck’s funny Ice Bucket Challenge via Facebook, where he got playful with his wife, fellow actress Jennifer Garner, and their daughters Violet, 8, and Seraphina, 5, erupted in contagious giggles when he threw her into their backyard pool.

Often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Celebrity Baby Scoop’s senior editor, Jenny Schafer, lost her father to ALS and created her own video to challenge a few Hollywood moms: Hollywood insider GG Benitez, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks, Real Housewives of O.C. star Tamra Judge, and Broadway dancer, singer and actress Courtney Lopez.

First to accept the challenge was GG Benitez. See her fun video here (andhere) and check out the online buzz from her clients who took the challenge: Mabel’s LabelsPOSH Mommy and Freebies2Deals and The Orange Rhino.

Next up for the challenge was Courtney Lopez. Check out this priceless Instagram video, showing her support for the cause — with some help from her adorable 3 1/2-year-old daughter Gia.

“I was nominated by @herscoop and @celebritybabyscoop for the #icebucketchallenge #alsicebucketchallenge!,” Courtney says, then nominates actress Eva Longoria.

“And I nominate @evalongoria and @kearrangiovanni ! #doit,” she continues.

Courtney’s husband, Extra host Mario Lopez, couldn’t help but show his support. The Saved by the Bell alum, 40, went on to tweeting about their video.

Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find outdoor games at Shop Parents.

What's Your Parenting Style?
What's Your Parenting Style?
What's Your Parenting Style?

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CelebrityBabyScoop.com is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on CelebrityBabyScoop.com.

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Parents Goodyblog Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win BIC® School Supplies

It’s time to hit the books! That’s right, school is in session! Whether your kid is starting preschool or middle school, showing up prepared is always in style.

To kick off the new school year and save you some cash, BIC®  is giving three (3) lucky winners a chance to receive his or her own BIC® backpack filled with fifteen BIC® school supplies–each prize has a total value of $50.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day on August 25. Be sure to check back on August 26 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 the Official Rules. Goody luck!

Still shopping for a lunchbox? Here are our tips!

How to Choose a Lunchbox
How to Choose a Lunchbox
How to Choose a Lunchbox

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Best Deals for the Week Across the Web

By Susan Yoo-Lee, Editor of Savings.com

If your child wears a uniform to school, you know that doesn’t necessarily mean you save any money on back-to-school clothing. Between the skirts and scooters, blouses, polo’s, jumpers and pants, there’s plenty to prepare for when it comes to back-to-school, even if your child will be rocking a uniform. Use this week’s deals to score discounts on all the uniform staples from places like JCPenney, Justice & Brothers, Sears and more. Now your kid will look good going back to school, and you won’t go broke in the process.

  1. JCPenney. 40% off boys uniforms (Follow the link for savings). Expires 9/06/2014.
  2. Sears. Save $10 off orders $75 on Dockers school uniform styles for kids, plus free shipping (Coupon code: DOCKERS9). Expires9/20/2014.
  3. French Toast. 15% off sitewide (Coupon code: SAVINGS). Expires 9/30/2014.
  4. Justice & Brothers. 15% off all orders (Coupon code:15). Expires 10/4/2014.
  5. Staples. $5 off orders $25 or more on school uniforms (Coupon code: 92469). Limited time offer.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Wanted: Beauty Product Testers

Calling all beauty-loving moms on the go! We need your help.

For an upcoming issue, Parents is looking for moms to test out new “speedy” beauty products. If you’re interested, send an e-mail to parentsbeautydept@gmail.com by August 22, 2014 that includes the following information:

1. Name

2. Age of your child(ren)

3. E-mail address

4. Mailing address

5. Favorite type of beauty product

Important Notes

Sorry, but you are not eligible if you:

  • Are currently pregnant or are planning to become pregnant
  • Live outside the U.S.
  • Receive mail at a P.O. Box

We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

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Give Back: Shop Save the Children Products at T.J. Maxx

You’re always looking for an excuse to make a T.J. Maxx run–the store is chock-full of on-trend clothing, funky home items, cute stationery, and more. Now, it’s possible to shop and give back when you purchase one of the Save the Children products available in every T.J.’s location throughout the country. Save the Children has worked since the 1930s to care for, protect, and provide education for children in the United States and around the world. 

T.J. Maxx has maintained a partnership with the organization for three decades and is currently selling special Save the Children blankets ($17) and reusable shopping bags (99 cents each) featuring kid-friendly designs. The blankets make great birthday or holiday gifts (it’s never too early to start gathering for friends and relatives), and 25 percent of profits benefit Save the Children. The tote bags are just 99 cents each, with all profits going to Save the Children. They’re ideal for toting to the supermarket and are also great for stashing laundry and dry cleaning.

Short on space? You can still assist the organization by donating any amount of money at checkout. Odds are you’re making some back-to-school shopping trips in the coming weeks, so stop by the store to donate! Products will be sold through the end of the month.

Back to School: Save on School Clothes
Back to School: Save on School Clothes
Back to School: Save on School Clothes

Photo courtesy of T.J. Maxx

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Celebrity Moms Share Back To School Tips

By Jenny Schafer

It’s time to start thinking about the back to school season.

While this time of year can cause stress and anxiety, Celebrity Baby Scoop reached out to some savvy celebrity moms – and rounded up top favorite brands – to help beat the back to school chaos.

Jennie Garth

Mystery Girls star Jennie Garth and her ex-husband, Twilight star Peter Facinelli, are parents to three daughters: Luca, 17, Lola, 12, and Fiona, 8. The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum, 42, shares her favorite back to school quote, from none other than Dr. Seuss.

“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”

The mom-of-three went on to share her favorite aspect of the back to school season. “[I love] all the excitement that brews over new classes, new teachers, new clothes and a new year of experiences,” Jennie tells Celebrity Baby Scoop.

Some of her favorite back to school products? “I love Mabel’s Labels because it makes everything so easy to keep track of — especially when you have 3 girls,” Jennie says. “I also love the Planet Box lunch boxes — they keep everything fresh without hurting the environment.”

Rosie Pope

Pregnant in Heels star Rosie Pope and her husband Daron are parents to four kids: sons J.R., nearly 6, Wells, 3, and daughters Vivienne, 2, and Bridget, 5 months. The mother-of-four, 34, advises moms to start their day earlier than everyone else.

“The more time you give yourself the less stressed you’ll be,” Rosie shares with Celebrity Baby Scoop.

“I found myself constantly nagging the kids to get dressed, eat breakfast, run to the car, run, run, run,” she admits. “[Then I asked myself] why make the morning so stressful when adding an element of time can make each morning so much more fun. Waking up earlier also means earlier to bed and that gives you a little personal time too.”

As for the back to school season excitement, Rosie says she’s a “total nerd.”

“I’m a total nerd at heart and so I love, love preparing for back to school with stationary buying adventures and picking out this years’ back packs,” she admits. “The more excitement around school, the more your child will want to go and that’s a beautiful thing.

Melissa Joan Hart

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch alum Melissa Joan Hart and her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson, are parents to three sons: Mason, 8, Brady, 6, and Tucker, nearly 2.

The mom-of-three, 38, talks about the “bittersweet” aspect of the back to school season.

“It’s always bittersweet when the fall arrives and it’s time to get the kiddies back to school,” MJH tells Celebrity Baby Scoop. “It marks the end of summer and signifies that your little ones are growing up too quickly.”

That said, the Melissa & Joey actress is sure to count her blessings at the same time.

“But, usually for busy mommies, it can be a blessing to have your days to yourself again — at least for a little while,” she says. “But it also means busy mornings trying to get your picky eaters to hurry and finish their sausage and eggs so they don’t miss the bus or the bell. And it also means the crazy over-scheduled sports routines begin again — not to mention homework.”

The actress goes on to share some of her favorite back to school products that help her smooth-out the transition.

“Some things that help me get my kids back to school ready are Mabel’s Labels because I can make sure all those coats, backpacks, lunch boxes and hats don’t go missing,” says the busy mom-of-three. “It’s always nice for the kids when you send them off with a new first day of school outfit, and of course a new pair of sneakers by Stride Rite that will help them get the most out of walking those hallways and navigating recess times. And Net Nanny is a great tool to help parents feel like they are protecting their kids when they are online attempting to do their homework.”

Courtney Lopez

Extra host Mario Lopez and his wife, Broadway dancer Courtney Lopez, are parents to daughter Gia, nearly 4, and son Dominic, 11 months. The mom-of-two, 32, opens up about the back to school season.

“The back to school brings an excitement to our household,” Courtney tells Celebrity Baby Scoop. “We love school!”

Courtney goes on to share some of her favorite back to school products.

“It’s always fun to order Gia’s new Mabel’s Labels to help keep her stuff out of the lost and found, her stylish, yet dependable Stride Rite shoes, and now we have discovered Net Nanny to keep her safe when she uses the internet for any cute little assignments,” she shares. “I just finished reading a book from Melea Johnson (“Create Your Own Money Saving Adventure” fromwww.freebies2Deals.com) on how to save for all of our back to school goodies, too.”

Natalie Morales

Today Show co-anchor Natalie Morales and husband Joseph Rhodes are parents to two sons: Josh, 10, and Luke, 6. The NBC News star talks about about her love of the back to school season.

“Back to school has always been my favorite time of year,” Natalie tells Celebrity Baby Scoop. “Now that I have kids, even more so! It’s about new beginnings, new possibilities and of course back to school shopping.”

The mom-of-two, 42, shares her best tips for getting ready for the season.

“A few weeks before school starts, I always look through my kids clothes and make sure they have everything they need,” she shares. “I have them try on stuff that they may have outgrown and figure out what I need to replace. And I love getting new school supplies. I still remember every year I always loved getting my new Trapper Keeper. With two young boys who lose everything, I also make a point of labeling everything and I love Mabel’s Labels.”

Brooke Anderson

Entertainment Tonight correspondent Brooke Anderson and her husband Jim Walker are parents to daughters Kate, 5, and Lily George, 8 months. The mom-of-two, 36, talks about her love for school and getting her girls ready for class.

“School is the first step in making your dreams a reality,” Brooke shares with Celebrity Baby Scoop.

She adds: “My mom was a teacher so I saw firsthand how hard she worked to ensure her students learned as much as possible while also having fun. It’s important to not only nurture learning and reading in our children, but to thank the teachers who dedicate so much to helping kids grow and achieve.”

And it’s a bittersweet school season for her elder daughter who is entering “big girl school.”

“I love the fresh start and new beginning that comes with every back to school season,” Brooke says. “A new backpack, pencil set, and first day outfit add to the excitement too. I have to say, I’m a little emotional about it this year as my daughter graduated preschool and is starting kindergarten — real school! Where did my little baby go? Although I’m anxious, luckily she is thrilled and cannot wait to begin ‘big girl’ school. So no need to worry! Right?!”

Brooke goes on to share some of her best tips – and products – for the back to school season.

“When I say I label everything withMabel’s Labels, I label everything – backpack, lunch bag, clothes, shoes,” she admits. “It gives me peace of mind that her belongings will always make their way back to her even if she misplaces them (as 5-year olds tend to do). And bonus, the labels are super cute and fun. My daughter loves to pick out her own clothes and shoes and I’m sure the first day outfit will be a big deal [laughs]. She will probably choose her fave Hello Kitty Stride Rite kicks to give her a little luck as she navigates kindergarten.”

Nina Garcia

Project Runway host Nina Garcia and husband David Conrod are parents to two sons: Lucas, 7, and Alexander, nearly 4.

“I love to see my kids energized by the back to school excitement,” the mom-of-two, 49, tells Celebrity Baby Scoop. “They can’t wait to see their friends, meet their new teachers, and get back to their routine.”

As for getting her sons prepared for class, Nina enjoys every moment.

“We really enjoy planning for back to school and buying their uniforms for school and sports,” Nina shares. “We order most of our back to school clothes from Lands Ends, LL Bean, Patagonia and Brooks Bros. We use Mabel’s Labels to organize it all.”

She adds: “I remember the excitement that I felt when going back to school. I enjoy seeing the excitement now in my kids and I do my very best to make it a family planning event.”

Molly Mesnick

Bachelor couple Jason and Molly Mesnick are proud parents to 1-year-old daughter Riley.

“When I was a kid, buying all of my new school supplies was the best part of getting ready to go back to school,” Molly tells Celebrity Baby Scoop. “I still love doing that with Ty today,” she says of her 9-year-old stepson.

Some of her favorite back to school products?  “I love Mabel’s Labels, the reality star, 29, says. “[They are] perfect for the kids’ lunch boxes, gym shoes, and school supplies. I also love to stock up on Stride Rite shoes. The kids wear through them so quickly, so we’ll get them a few pairs for every occasion and activity.”

Garcelle Beauvais

NYPD Blue star Garcelle Beauvais is proud mom to three sons: Oliver, 23, and twins Jax and Jaid, nearly 7.

With her second children’s book titled, I Am Living In Two Homes, coming out August 19 on Amazon, the actress-singer, 47, shares her favorite mommy motto.

“I always say, ‘Be the BEST you can be,’ to my boys,” Garcelle shares with Celebrity Baby Scoop.

As for her favorite aspects of getting back to school, the mom-of-three admits she gets wrapped up in the excitement of the season.

“I love the shopping, of course,” she laughs. “Target is our go-to store. I also love the excitement of getting to see which teacher we get and which friends are in the boys class.”

And she shares her favorite back to school products. “[I love getting new] backpacks, Stride Rite sneakers, cool water bottles, all labeled with Mabel’s Labels.”

Chandie and Joey Lawrence

“Here we go again” is Chandie and Joey Lawrence‘s favorite back to school quote. The couple are parents to daughters Charleston, 8, and Liberty, 4.

As for their favorite aspect of the back to school season, Chandie says it’s “the excitement from our girls.” She adds: “Getting new lunch boxes, backpacks and clothes. And, them seeing their friends again! We get excited seeing all the new things they are learning and remembering.”

The couple went on to list their favorite back to school products.

“[We love] Mabel’s Labels – gotta label things, right?” they laugh. “[We also use] Thirty-One gifts lunch totes and utility totes for dance and sports; Funkins cloth napkins (perfect little place mats for the not so clean lunch room tables); Sistema food containers (they are totally amazing); Nalgene water bottles; and of course the LL Bean backpack (they are indestructible). As well, Lunch Box Love have these little love notes with fun trivia which a staple for the lunch bags — the perfect reminder that they are being thought of during the day.”

Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find kids’ lunch boxes at Shop Parents.

Back to School: Advice for Every Grade
Back to School: Advice for Every Grade
Back to School: Advice for Every Grade

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CelebrityBabyScoop.com is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on CelebrityBabyScoop.com.

 

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