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School Lunch Packing Made Easy

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

This is a post from Chrissy Taylor of The Taylor House provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

School lunch packing and planning can quickly turn into a dreaded time in the morning. Moms’, like me, quickly run out of new and fun ideas for the kids shortly after the first week back to school. It takes some real Mommy Brilliance to make it through the entire year packing those brown paper sacks every day.

I have a new method you can try that incorporates a little planning ahead of time, delicious food and the kids getting hands-on and packing their own lunch.

Del Monte Lunch Box

The kids are the ones eating so shouldn’t they be the ones packing them too? Even starting out in kindergarten, with a little assistance they are able to jump in on the fun.

Del Monte String Cheese

If we leave the kids completely in control of this task, we all know they’ll end up with cookies, chips and maybe an apple for lunch, if we’re lucky. Right? We put together a handy little sheet that you can print out, stick on the fridge and it will help the little ones know what they can and should pack to eat.

Pack Your Lunch checklist

Giving the kids options from different food groups makes them feel in control of packing and deciding what to eat but they know they have to pick what’s on the list.

They must have a protein, fruit, veggie, snack and a water but they can decide if they want an apple or a fun and delicious Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezer. Then all I have to do is peek in the bag to make sure they didn’t grab five instead of one.

Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers offer the goodness of 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables. They have a fruit-forward taste so kids love them! No high fructose corn syrup. No artificial flavors. Excellent source of Vitamin C. Gluten free. Great for on-the-go.

Of course my kids are more likely to go for the Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers or Plastic Fruit Cups when they have the option, they’re just more a fun and yummy option that they love!

Be sure to check out the Del Monte Facebook Contest that’s happening!

This little lunch packing method works really well and takes away a lot of the work for Mom. Are you ready for back to school?

 

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Tags: | Categories: Food

5 Snacks to Keep Your Kids Going Strong During the School Day

Monday, August 11th, 2014

This is a post from Rebecca Mansfield of Your Modern Family provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

It’s almost time to start packing lunches again! It’s almost time to start packing snacks again, too!

Let me tell you that I stressed as much about snacks as I did about lunches. We had to send in a bag of snacks every week for our kids to eat. I wanted to send healthy snacks, because I knew that eating two oreos every day was not going to be good for anyone (his teacher, his Mama, or his dentist! haha!)

I had to get creative!

Today I am going to share 5 creative snack and lunch ideas for your kids:

1- Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers. This was a no-brainer!

Del Monte Fruit Burst

I think that I have these with me all day. I keep them in my purse, my diaper bag, at home, at my mom’s house… you name it- I’m sure I can find one there!

I used to send these for snacks all of the time!
I sent them to the church nursery with our one year old.
I sent them to preschool with our 3 and 5 year olds (in their lunch boxes).
I sent them for snack time with our 7 year old. They were a hit!

(I may have been known to have a few as my own little snack… shh…)

Del Monte Fruit Burst StrawberryP.S. – These are the perfect snack to keep your toddler busy while you are grocery shopping!

2- Plastic Fruit Cups – again: easy, healthy solution.

Del Monte Pineapple Coconut

I can send them in their lunch boxes and I also keep them for the kids to have as an after-school snack. There is a huge variety, so the kids like them.

3- Popcorn

Popcorn

It is easy to pack in a little baggie. I can add flavors to it (sprinkle a little flavoring on it to change it up a bit. You can try garlic powder, or cinnamon & sugar, or even my favorite… Parmesan cheese.)

4- Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

These are a really great muffin to have on hand with 10.3 grams of protein. I just keep them in a air-tight storage container and they are gone in a day. I often have to double and even triple recipes in our house if I want things to last for more than a day or two.

5- For a little treat, I add in these HEALTHY Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite cookie recipe! We make them once every week. I have actually started doubling the recipe because our family eats them so quickly! These Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies only have 80 calories per cookie and this cookie is much healthier than most. We love it!

Making cookies together is just a way that our family bonds in the kitchen, taking turns, learning math and science in our real-life baking experiments. The kids love to open their lunch boxes or snack bags to see homemade cookies waiting for them.

For more snack ideas, check out http://www.squeezeorspoon.com


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Tags: | Categories: Food

Time Saver: Grab ‘n’ Go Snack Bags

Monday, August 11th, 2014

This is a post from Heidi Kundin of Happiness Is Homemade provided by our sponsor Del Monte. This content was commissioned by our brand partner.  Such content is not written by, and does not necessarily reflect the views of parents.com.

Grab N Go Snack Bags

Days that are filled with soccer practice, tutoring, baseball games, music lessons and impromptu park play dates keep families constantly on the go. My husband and I try to enforce a “no eating in the car” rule, but there are days when snack time and travel time inevitably merge. After too many incidences of last minute scrambling to gather snacks for my kids left me feeling frazzled, I had a moment of mommy brilliance that led me to create these handy Grab ‘n’ Go Bags. Now my kids always have a snack, water bottle, and other essentials ready to go!

How to Make a Grab N Go Snack Bag

What to Include:

  • Healthy snacks – nuts, pretzels, dry cereal, Del Monte Fruit Cups or Fruit Burst squeezers, etc.
  • Water bottle
  • Tissues
  • Cloth napkin
  • Anything else your child frequently needs – sunscreen, sunglasses, book, etc.

We use our bags a few times a week, so I don’t worry about our snack foods spoiling, but if you won’t use them as frequently, be sure to select healthy snacks that have a longer shelf life. I love to include Del Monte Fruit Burst squeezers in our Grab ‘n’ Go Bags because each one packs an entire 1 ½ servings of fruits and vegetables with no high fructose corn syrup, gluten or artificial flavors. The flavor profile is fruit-forward, so my kids don’t even realize that they’ve eaten vegetables, and they are an excellent source of vitamin C.

Snacking on-the-go is a whole lot easier now that we have these Grab ‘n’ Go Bags! As an added bonus, the bag can also hold all of your child’s empty wrappers trash until you get back home, so there’s no reason for you to find garbage in the backseat!

Right now Del Monte is hosting a photo contest on their Facebook page, so jump on over and share which is your favorite – Del Monte Fruit Cups or Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers (Squeeze or Spoon?) - for your chance to win!

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Tags: | Categories: Food, Home

Alison Sweeney: It’s Important To Be a Good Role Model For My Kids

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney recently spoke with Celebrity Baby Scoop about her newest novel, getting a good night’s sleep, fitness routine, and summertime with her two children, Ben and Megan.

CBS: Health and fitness is on everyone’s mind these days. What tips have you learned for maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle from your time on The Biggest Loser?

AS: “The main thing I’ve adopted is the importance of making it an overall healthy lifestyle as my way of life. It’s not about a diet or a short term goal, it is making the right choices each and every day. There are of course times to cheat and have some treats but those are the days that I try to get in an extra hard workout or plan one for the next day to still feel good about all of my choices.”

CBS: What does your personal health regime look like? What keeps your motivated? Do you feel pressure to be a good role model to your kids?

AS: “Being a good role model to my kids is the most important thing in the world to me. I find that showing them my healthy lifestyle of eating right and enjoying workouts sets a great example for them, and gets them excited for their fitness. I try to work out every day and to eat healthy foods, and to always get a good night’s rest.”

CBS: As a mom, you want your kids to lead a healthy lifestyle, how do you insure your kids eat right, exercise and get enough sleep?

AS: “My kids don’t know anything different. They love their vegetables and don’t really know fast food. They love getting me ingredients from our garden and they help me get dinner together in a way that has them invested in the meal too. So it’s that much easier to get them to enjoy eating foods that they helped prepare. We hike, play tag and do other fun activities together. Plus they know what time bedtime is to ensure a good rest.”

CBS: What did Benjamin and Megan do over the summer? Do they have any favorite summer activities? Any special family traditions to celebrate the end of summer?

AS: “We have such fun as a family during the summer. We’re constantly being active outside, taking vacations when we can and just enjoying time together. The kids have been in camp a bit but it’s more about our quality time together.”

CBS: Do the kids like school? What are their favorite subjects?

AS: “My kids do like school and they love to learn things. Ben is really into science and Megan loves theater and performing (wonder where she gets that!).”

CBS: Tell us a little about your decision to leave Days and take on a directing role at GH. What prompted it? How hard was it to part with your character of 21 years?

AS: “After 7 years of hosting The Biggest Loser AND being Sami on Days, I realized that I needed to make a change to have more time with my family and to pursue other career ambitions that don’t require the same time commitments. I continue to love hosting The Biggest Loser (which returns on September 11 to NBC) and directing is a passion as well. I’m hoping to direct again at Days soon and loved being at GH to direct there as well. Plus, I continue to love writing and am currently working on my third novel.”

CBS: Congratulations on your new novel! What inspired you to write ‘Scared Scriptless’? Tell us a little about Maddy, is she based on anyone in particular?

AS: “Maddy is a compilation of several people in my life, starting with me! Many of the characters in this book are based on friends I work with and some characters you recognize from my first novel, The Star Attraction. I love the challenge of great storytelling and I love writing the stories that come to me, especially since I’ve spent my whole career telling the stories of other writers’ as an actress. I love to read and my goal is to have these books be ones others love to read for a break from their hectic lives.”

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

Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting

More celebrity & parenting news:

Katherine Heigl: “I Was Raised To Believe That Family Comes First”

Catelynn Lowell & Tyler Baltierra Expecting Baby No. 2

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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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Best Deals for the Week Across the Web

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

By Susan Yoo-Lee, Editor of Savings.com

The average family spends a lot of money on food (and perhaps even more so in the summer with all those barbeques, trips out to eat while on vacation and stops at the ice cream shop). This week our deals will help you save a bit of that cash for some more fun things during this time of year. With discounts on items from Carvel, Longhorn, Black Angus and more, load up while the getting’s cheap so you can spend more time enjoying the warm sunshine and less time worrying about what’s for dinner.

  1. CarvelBuy 1 get 1 free sundaes every Wednesday in the summer (Print coupon to redeem). Expires 9/30/2014.
  2. Mimis CafeBuy any breakfast or dinner entree and 2 drinks, get 1 free (Print coupon to redeem). Expires 8/17/2014.
  3. Longhorn Steakhouse. Buy 1 get 1 50% off lunch combinations (Print coupon to redeem). Expires 8/8/2014.
  4. Starbucks. Get a Grande cold drink for just $2 with your morning coffee recipe (just bring your morning recipe back after 2pm to get your choice of grande cold beverage for just $2). Expires 8/17/2014.
  5. Black Angus. Get any lunch entree for $8.50 with beverage purchase (Print coupon to redeem). Expires 8/18/2014.
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14 Celebrity Moms Breastfeeding in Public

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Considering their lack of anonymity with paparazzi lurking at every street corner, we salute celebrity moms who breastfeed their babies while out and about!

Although it’s still considered taboo in some circles, there’s no shame in nursing your baby in public — or on the cover of a magazine for that matter! And we’re so glad that celebrity moms such as Gwen Stefani, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kourtney Kardashian are on board.

Take a look through our pictures and read about 10 celebrity moms who have breastfed in public.

Kourtney Kardashian

Reality star Kourtney Kardashian was seen breastfeeding her daughter Penelope in Miami, Florida.

After taking a dip in the pool with her kids, Kourtney was later seen breastfeeding her then 12-month-old baby girl.

Kourtney has been outspoken about her love for breastfeeding. When her sister, Kim Kardashian, was pregnant, Kim recalled a conversation she had with Kourtney about the possibility of wet nursing.

“She said to me, ‘One sister should babysit all the kids, so I can go out or vice-versa, and whichever sister is babysitting should just breastfeed all the kids that are there,’” Kim shared.

While Kim was “disgusted” by the idea, she went on to ask Kourtney, “Does that not freak you out?”

Kourtney responded with, “No, it doesn’t,” adding, ”That’s what they did back in the day.”

Gwen Stefani

No doubt about it, Gwen Stefani loves being a mama.

The Just a Girl singer, 44, recently shared an image via Instagram, breastfeeding her 5-month-old son Apollo during their family vacation. “#Switzerland,” the mom-of-three captioned the precious pic.

The rockstar mama Gwen Stefani was also seen sharing a tender moment with her then 3-month-old son Zuma on a park bench in Los Angeles. A few months later, the mom-of-two talked about how Zuma self-weaned during No Doubt’s reunion tour.

“I didn’t want him to [quit],” Gwen said. “It felt like a total rejection. It was really hormonal, and trying to stop in the middle of tour was insane.”

Natalia Vodianova

Joining in on the trend, Russian model Natalia Vodianova shared the first photo of her son Maxim, who was born in early May, via Instagram. In the shot, the naked model mom is seen breastfeeding her newborn.

Pink:

Pink has been open about her attachment parenting philosophy. Tweeting her response to this year’s controversial TIME magazine cover on extended breastfeeding, she wrote:

“I felt that the article in TIME on attachment parenting was unfortunately a tad extreme. I support attachment parenting 100%… And have a very happy and healthy little girl to show for it. It’s time we support what’s healthy (breast feeding) instead of judge it.”

Alicia Silverstone

Eco-friendly mama Alicia Silverstone was seen nursing her son Bear Blu, then 10 months, in March 2012. While wearing her son in a baby carrier, the actress was also breastfeeding her boy.

Since welcoming her firstborn child with husband Christopher Jarecki, Alicia has written about nourishing her son on her blog The Kind Life. The Clueless star admitted breastfeeding can be painful at first, but the outcome can result in “insane feelings of ecstasy.”

It can be [painful], but just at first,” Alicia wrote. “What I’ve been told is it’s important to have the bonding latch right away. Everyone I know who had pain in the beginning says how amazing it was after the first two weeks – that the insane feelings of ecstasy while baby nurses are the best ever, and that it’s so worth the baracuda jaws for two weeks. Also, I have seen and heard so much about how the baby, when first put on the chest immediately after birth, will crawl up to your nipple after a while and open its mouth like a little bird looking for the nipple. How cute and precious is that?”

Jaime King

After struggling with infertility and numerous miscarriages, actress Jaime King proudly shared a photo breastfeeding her son James.

“Breastfeeding should not be taboo- and bottle feeding should not be judged- it’s ALL fun for the whole family,”she captioned the Instagram shot.

Maggie Gyllenhaal

When her daughter Ramona was 7-months-old, Maggie Gyllenhaal was caught by the paparazzi breastfeeding in a New York City park. At the time, the internet was abuzz with controversy over the intimate shots. Some said the paparazzi were too intrusive, while others felt that Maggie didn’t seem fazed at all – regardless of who saw her – as she breastfed her baby in public.

The Academy Award-nominated actress has commented about the pressures of breastfeeding and raising a newborn.

“I’m not a leave-them-in-their-crib-to-cry kind of girl. Fundamentally, I didn’t find that worked. Everyone’s got their own thing, you know? You can’t tell another person when it’s right to stop breastfeeding, or how to put your kid to sleep. Every child is different.”

Julie Bowen

Modern Family star Julie Bowen made an appearance on Lopez Tonight in 2010, where she shared a picture and talked to George Lopez about nursing her then 1-year-old twin boys, John and Gus.

“It’s like two little liposuction machines on you,” she said. “They suck the fat out of you. They call it the ‘double football hold.’ You hold one here, and here [gesturing to her breasts], like two footballs… They’re doing God’s work right there, helping me return to my birth weight.”

Julie later commented on her feelings about the pressures of breastfeeding.

“I’m a big live and let live-r,” Julie said. “Seriously [do it], if it works for you, if it’s easy. If it wasn’t easy, I wouldn’t have done it. Some people can’t do it physically…so don’t do it.”

Miranda Kerr

Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr and her estranged husband Orlando Bloom welcomed their first child in January 2011. The model mom tweeted a gorgeous photo of her and baby Flynn, then 3 months. “Another day in the office,” the new mom wrote, sharing a photo of herself in full hair and make-up at a photo shoot breastfeeding her adorable babe.

Having returned to work just a couple of months after giving birth, Miranda said her quick post-baby weight loss is thanks in part to breastfeeding.

“I think if you really eating the right foods, putting the nutrition into your body and doing yoga and breastfeeding; those things have helped me get back into shape. I remember I was on the elliptical machine when I was pregnant with Flynn.”

The Australian beauty added,

“I intend to breastfeed for as long as I can,” she said. “My breast milk will give our little Flynn the nutrition he needs for his continued healthy development and to all mums out there I am sure you will make the right choice for you and your baby.”

Just hours after giving birth to Flynn, Miranda shared a precious picture breastfeeding her newborn. In response to the photo, she said,

“The photo was one of the first photos Orlando took. We both loved it and we wanted to share it. The pleasant surprise was that it also had the added benefit of promoting breastfeeding which to me is the most natural thing in the world and I love it.”

Angelina Jolie

W magazine’s November 2008 issue celebrated art — namely Brad Pitt’s photographs of his gorgeous family. His black-and-white shot of Angelina Jolie feeding one of their then 3-month-old twins [Knox or Vivienne] with the baby’s tiny fingers graced the cover of W. The serene, natural and relaxed shot only reaffirmed Angelina’s breathtaking beauty.

Angie opened up about breastfeeding during a very emotional time of her life.

“I had lost my mum, I’d had a baby and I’d been breastfeeding and I was in a very emotional place as a woman. I knew instinctually and talked to Brad about it, that if I could find something that would get me physical again it would be like therapy, because everything was making me cry.”

Salma Hayek

On a goodwill trip to Sierra Leone in 2009, Salma Hayek famously breastfed a week-old infant whose mother was too malnourished to produce milk herself. The actress recalled the wet nurse experience.

“The baby was perfectly healthy, but the mother didn’t have milk. He was very hungry. I was weaning Valentina [then 2-years-old], but I still had a lot of milk that I was pumping, so I breast-fed the baby,” she says, her voice dropping. “You should have seen his eyes. When he felt the nourishment, he immediately stopped crying.”

Salma says she was hoping to raise awareness that Sierra Leone has the highest infant mortality rate in the world. She went on to say, “I actually think my baby would be very proud to share her milk. And when she grows up I’m going to make sure she continues to be a generous, caring person.”

Years later, Salma continues to answer questions about acting as a wet nurse.

If you have milk, you have milk, and if they’re hungry, they’re hungry,” she said. “I think it’s a beautiful thing, because motherhood is a very strong place for women to connect and understand each other.”

Keely Shaye Smith

James Bond star Pierce Brosnan and his wife, former journalist Keely Shaye Smith, famously graced the December 1997 issue of REDBOOK with their then 11-month-old son Dylan. Then a fairy revolutionary cover, editor in chief Kate White explained that the magazine produced two covers – one being “more traditional” – for the first time in its history because they didn’t want “to force the image on anyone.”

Meanwhile, some convenience-store-chain owners said that if customers complained, they reserved the right to move the cover behind the counter along with risqué men’s magazines like Playboy and Penthouse.

Lucy Lawless

Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless shared an intimate shot with her then 3-month-old son Judah to promote World Breastfeeding Week in 2002, which featured her quote, “Breastfeeding — My best role ever.”

Mayim Bialik

Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik, who also holds a PhD in neuroscience, shared an image breastfeeding her 3-year-old son Fred on a New York City subway last year. The attachment parenting advocate wrote a thoughtful piece to accompany the intimate shot.

I have written about my now 3-year-old son Fred, and his nursing rhythms before,” Mayim wrote. “To recap: Fred nursed for a solid 12 months with no supplements, no solid foods, and not even a sip of water. He got the hang of eating solids around 18 months, but continued to nurse all day (with bottles of pumped breastmilk when I was at work), and on demand all night. A typical night involved no less than four wake-ups and sometimes six (every 2 hours on the clock for 12 hours of bed time was not unusual). This went on for almost 3 years.”

What do you think about breastfeeding in public?

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

Breastfeeding in Public
Breastfeeding in Public
Breastfeeding in Public

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Doutzen Kroes Welcomes Baby No. 2: Myllena Mae

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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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Quiet House Throws Mom Into Panic

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Our writer Sarah Schmelling offers a funny perspective in her Parents magazine column, ”Just Kidding! 

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – A local mom nearly lost her senses here Tuesday when she realized her house had been quiet for 20 minutes, despite the fact there were three children under the age of 7 inside.

“I noticed that I’d actually been able to finish a cup of tea, which is unheard of in my house,” said Amy Hansen, 32. “I immediately had to see what on earth was happening.”

Hansen noted that she heard no hysterics, no one yelling, “Guys! Watch this!” followed by a mysterious thud, no furniture straining under the weight of jumping humans, no singing, no one yelling at someone else to stop singing, no slamming doors, no one on the edge between giggling and crying, no “ninja attacks,” no crashing, and no shattering.

When Hansen found all of her kids in the living room, two of them looking at books and one drawing in a notebook, she was still suspicious. “I had to ask them if they were in fact my children and not some kind of robot clones that had just wandered in,” she said.

Luckily, her 5-year-old daughter soon broke a pencil, blamed it on her brother, and then knocked a container of Legos off the table. “Phew! I felt so much better,” said Hansen. “For a while there, that was crazy.”

Mom Confessions: If I Could Spend a Day Without My Kids I Would¿
Mom Confessions: If I Could Spend a Day Without My Kids I Would¿
Mom Confessions: If I Could Spend a Day Without My Kids I Would¿

Image: Two children with books via Shutterstock

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Best Deals for the Week Across the Web

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

By Susan Yoo-Lee, Editor of Savings.com

If you thought last week’s post full of Back-to-School deals was the bee’s knees, we’ve got an awesome encore for you this week, as well. Check out the coupon codes below to stock up on whatever might have been left off last week’s list, from Carter’s and Kohls to Sierra Trading Post, Tilly’s and more … you shouldn’t need to pay full price for anything for your kids when it comes to their back-to-school gear!

  1. Justice & Brothers$25 off your purchase over $50 (Coupon code: 38413084). Expires 7/31/2014.
  2. Carter’s40% off all orders (No code needed). Expires 8/5/2014.
  3. Kohls$10 off orders $30 or more (Coupon code: URSPECIAL). Expires 8/2/2014.
  4. Tilly’s20% off one item (Coupon code: DEALPRO2014). Expires 9/7/2014.
  5. Sierra Trading Post25% off your purchase over $125 (Coupon code: STP14). Expires 12/31/2014.
This post contains affiliate links.
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