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The Five Most Popular Halloween Looks For Kids This Season

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

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

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

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

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

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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Happy Halloween! Editors Share Their Favorite Costumes

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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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Have a Fashionable Kiddo? Shop the Mini Style Hacker’s Zulily Event!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Whether you’re a fan of the Mini Style Hacker or are just learning about the charismatic 4-year-old fashionisto (whose real name is Ryker Wixom), you’ll be thrilled to learn about his partnership with Zulily, an online deal site offering products for the whole family.

The curated event will take place next Thursday, October 16, and will feature trends such as “Color, Color, and More Color,” “Slim Fits,” (yes, even kiddos can don blazers and moto jackets!), “Rocker Cool” (graphic tees, distressed boots, and the like), and more. The event runs online for 72 hours, but inventory is limited, so start shopping right when it opens at 6 am PST to have your pick of the selections! Just as the Mini Style Hacker is known for recreating fashion-forward looks on a budget, the items offered on zulily will also be affordable (just think: this is a great opportunity to stock up on holiday gear for your young ones!).

Need some inspiration before the sale? Check out some of his best looks (fans of Zac Efron, Ryan Gosling, and others stylish dudes will be impressed at what the preschooler pulled off!). Happy shopping!

Still building that back-to-school wardrobe? These tips will help you save cash!

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

Photo courtesy of Mini Style Hacker and zulily

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Workout Tips For New Moms

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Whether you were a workout fanatic or an exercise newbie before becoming a mom, we’re guessing you want to take care of that post-baby bod in some way, shape, or form. Here to help: Simone de la Rue, a celebrity trainer and fitness instructor in Los Angeles, and author of Body By Simone. Celeb moms like Naomi Watts swear by her method.

In her book, which is filled with meal plans, nutrition tips, and exercise moves, de la Rue addresses both the pregnant and postpartum mom, stressing the importance of consulting a physician prior to working out. New mamas looking to lose a few pounds, take note: de la Rue says women who underwent C-sections should be careful when performing abdominal work (ask your doc when it’s safe to start, and take it easy on those crunches!). And don’t hold yourself to ridiculously high standards.”Sometimes, you simply don’t have the time or energy to work out,” de la Rue writes. “This is totally fine!”

The key is to slowly get back into the groove. De la Rue recommends new moms try out her Level I: Corps de Ballet workouts. “Stick to the low-impact moves for a month or two to allow your body to regain some strength,” she writes. “After that, ease back into the regular routines.” As de la Rue reminds new and expectant moms, cardio, “contrary to what you might think, gives you a boost of energy.”

Anyone who’s tried a Body By Simone workout knows you’re going to break a sweat! A soothing shower with a cleanser like Olay Ultra Moisture Bar ($5.99 for 6) will feel great afterward.

In New York City or Los Angeles? Sign up for a Body By Simone class! Elsewhere? You can still squeeze in a workout from the comfort of your home. This one even incorporates Baby!

Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt
Exercise With Baby: Quads, Hamstrings and Butt

Image courtesy of Body By Simone. 

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Fall Activities To Do With Your Baby

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Your fall bucket list (we’ve seen ‘em floating around Pinterest) likely includes a trip to the pumpkin patch, costume shopping, and trick-or-treating (or at least passing out candy with Baby!). However, there are several less obvious to-dos that can be just as fun! Consult our list, then start checking off those boxes. Happy Autumn!

Master the football breastfeeding position Odds are, you plan on catching at least a game or two this season. When you aren’t yelling, “Touchdown!” try out this breastfeeding technique–no tackling necessary.

Cook a seasonal meal for Baby Squash doesn’t just add decorative flair to your kitchen counter, it can also make for a yummy puree! Whip up our recipe and treat your little one to a fall delicacy. Pumpkin puree is also an option!

Browse autumn baby names Whether you’re expecting or just want to imagine your little one’s life as an Octavia or a Juniper, check out these fall-themed monikers.

Think Thanksgiving It’s never too early to start planning your menu! These holiday recipes for Baby’s first celebration incorporate your favorite foods.

Capture her handprint Follow the instructions for this Baby-Handprint napkin, then add a seasonal touch by turning it into a classic turkey!

Football position tips and tricks

How to Do the Football Breastfeeding Position
How to Do the Football Breastfeeding Position
How to Do the Football Breastfeeding Position

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Dress Up Time! Halloween Costumes for the Pregnant Set

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Whether you want to flaunt your bump this Halloween or would prefer to hold onto your exciting secret a little bit longer, these ideas will see you through the costume party season.

Put that bump on display:

That go-to Disney Princess costume can wait! You finally have a bump to show off and are eager to incorporate it into your Halloween getup. Take a look at these options. Still undecided? Check out these other pregnant Halloween costumes

No matter how old you get, Halloween is always about the candy. Dressing up as a gumball machine is not only sweet, it allows you to make the most of that belly! Picture an adult-sized version of this costume from Pinterest. Clever and functional!

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Love the outdoors? Dress up as Mother Earth by wearing a mix of greens and blues, and then pin a printout of the globe to your bump. Get it?! It’s also a great budget-friendly idea.

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Britney fan? Go “Baby One More Time” on your friends by dressing up in a Spears-inspired school girl outfit that’s pretty punny. Make sure to flaunt that belly! This is perfect for moms undergoing their second or third pregnancy.

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Put that bump away:

Maybe you haven’t spilled the beans yet, or maybe you just want to go through one day of your life without someone asking you when you’re due (hey, Halloween is all about pretending to be someone else!). These costumes are for you.

You’re tired all the time and baggy clothes have never felt so good. So why not incorporate this getup into a costume? Save yourself from hours of primping and don a “bed head” look. All you need is a pair of cute pajama pants, a robe (an oversized option will help conceal a growing belly), and some bunny slippers. Twist some plastic curlers in your hair, and you’re good to go. If you’re feeling extra spirited, swap out your purse for a pillow case.

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Go Risky Business this Halloween. Borrow an oversized white oxford shirt from your guy, slip on a pair of sunglasses (and maybe some spandex if the button down isn’t quite long enough to wear in public!) and channel your inner Tom Cruise all while concealing that bump.

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You can’t go wrong with a classic pumpkin costume! Channel your five-year-old self and cover your bod, as seen below. Hard to tell what’s underneath! If you do decide to make the big reveal, these pumpkin-painted pregnancy bellies are pretty clever!

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Trick or treat? Try making this witch-themed cupcake!

Halloween Treat: House on Witch Cupcake
Halloween Treat: House on Witch Cupcake
Halloween Treat: House on Witch Cupcake

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