Archive for the ‘ Time for Fun ’ Category

Tiffany Beveridge’s Cutie Quinoa Will Make You Laugh

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

She’s sassy, savvy, and LOL-worthy. If you haven’t heard of Quinoa (no, not the food this time!), you’re missing out. Tiffany Beveridge turned her viral Pinterest board, “My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter”, starring a little girl with the same name as the trendy grain, into a clever book for fans to enjoy.

Quinoa is spirited and a hipster, but it would be a major faux paux to refer to herself as one, according to “The Rules of Being a Hipster” that appear at the beginning of Beveridge’s book. More specifically, as Beveridge writes, Quinoa is “the fearless and fashion-forward little girl who dresses to the ninety-nines, attends elaborately themed playdates with her cohort of posh friends” and “sets more trends in an hour that the number of times you check your email in Twitter feed.” Quinoa lives and breathes fashion, and even knows how to undergo a “textile cleanse” (wearing all white for a week) when necessary. If you’ve never found yourself jealous of a fictional character, you (or your child) will be now.

Of course, the book is also parody of our obsession with the latest must-have foods, styles, and technologies. Case in point: Quinoa’s friends are named Hashtag and Chevron, and a list of Quinoa-approved monikers includes gems such as Chia, Sephora, and Peplum. Likewise: The key to choosing worthwhile extracurricular activities, Quinoa says, is to follow three simple criteria: 1. Can it be posted on Pinterest? 2. Can it be posted in Instagram? 3. Can it be posted on YouTube?

Just as Bevridge’s Pinterest board is full of witty captions next to perfectly styled images, the book contains similar musings. A picture of two children sitting on a staircase is accompanied with the caption, “While playing brownstone, Quinoa and Bodoni got into an argument over who got to be the liberal arts professor and who got to be the work-from-home dad.” An image of an energetic young child dressed in camo, flannel, and some bling reads, “Quinoa’s friend Ellipses has the moves like Jagger, the smarts like Zuckerberg, and the curfew of a 12-year-old.” Laughing yet?

While some of the cultural references may go over children’s heads, the book is a fun read for teens, young adults, and parents who will appreciate Beveridge’s insight and humor.

Are you raising a little fashionista? These looks will inspire her as back-to-school time approaches:

Back to School: Fashion for Girls
Back to School: Fashion for Girls
Back to School: Fashion for Girls

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“Kiddie Arts” Updates Childhood Doodles

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

If you’re anything like me, throwing away early scribbles (your child’s or your own) is heart-breaking and difficult. But what would happen if you recreated some of those crayon-etched masterpieces years later? One Dutch artist, Telmo Pieper, did just that.

Pieper, of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, utilized digital painting and a touch of whimsy to revive drawings he created at the age of four. The proportions of his remastered works are spot-on to his youthful creations—just look at the tail on that whale, or the perilous tilt of that ship! My personal favorite? The slightly off-kilter bear with a sheepish grin.

To see more of Pieper’s stunning designs from “Kiddie Arts,” check out his portfolio. For a slightly different (but still just as cool) project, hop over to Dave DeVries’ website, The Monster Engine, where children’s artwork is turned into fantastical realistic paintings.

How ecstatic would your kid be if his or her artwork got a digital makeover? Let us know!

 

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Summer Ice Cream Round Up: Bars, Cones, & Sandwiches

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Summer is here, and temperatures just keep rising and rising. Along with the heat, the urge for a refreshingly cold treat also tends to increase on a daily basis. Thankfully, July is National Ice Cream Month. In honor of the celebration, here at Parents we’ve taste tested a variety of flavors and brands to bring you our absolute favorites! (Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.) Be sure to check back every week during the month of July for even more yumminess.

Click here to read the picks for our favorite dairy-free and ice-cream on a stick options.

Skinny Cow Ganache Cones

Skinny Cow Ganache Cones

You’ve probably heard or have had Skinny Cow ice cream before (and if you haven’t, you should!), and their two new flavored cones don’t disappoint. Bonus: At only 160 calories each, these delicious treats are worth every bite.

Flavors: Chocolate Mint Ganache and Chocolate Mousse Ganache

Sold: Nationwide

“Super yummy, and definitely didn’t taste fake or light.” – Sabrina Hall, tablet designer

 

blue bunny mini swirl ice cream

Blue Bunny Mini Cones

Sometimes, ice cream cones are just too much for little stomachs. The makers at Blue Bunny have offered a yummy solution. This pint-sized cones are only about four inches tall, the perfect snack size.

Flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla, Birthday Party, and Peanut Butter

Sold: Nationwide

I ate the caramel cone, and it was so tasty!” – Madeleine Burry, associate managing editor

Klondike Kandy Bars

Klondike Kandy Bars

For those that love to put their candy bars in the freezer (or for anybody with a sweet tooth), than this ice cream is for you! Klondike has combined the crunchy scrumptiousness of candy bars with the smooth sweetness of ice cream to create the ultimate Kandy bar.

Flavors: Caramel & Peanuts, Fudge Krunch, and Cookies & Cream

Sold: Nationwide

I’m pretty sure I devoured my Caramel and Peanuts Klondike bar in under one minute. It hit the taste trifecta for me: sweet-salty, creamy, and crunchy.” – Sherry Huang, senior editor

 

homemade ice cream sandwiches

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwich

If you prefer to keep your ice cream homemade, try one of these six delicious ice cream recipes that are anything but boring!

I is for ice cream! Click here to download this fun coloring sheet.

How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations

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Where to Find an Anna or Elsa Dress

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

When we heard that Frozen princess dresses have been selling out in Disney World each day, it got us wondering…are they really so hard to find? The most gorgeous, premium Anna and Elsa dresses are now on Chasing-Fireflies.com, the site behind the Wishcraft catalog. However, they’re not shipping yet and they won’t be cheap. The Elsa dress shown is $130; the Anna is $124 and when we looked, neither would be available until the end of August in smaller sizes. The size-10 Anna coronation dress looks to be backordered through the end of October!

Less-expensive BuyCostumes.com has pared-down Elsa and Anna frocks, backordered until just after Labor Day. Their Elsa is $38, and Anna is $40.

On to the Disney Store, and…they don’t have the dresses yet either, but nice ones are coming. We saw the two shown below, Anna’s with the cape and Elsa’s with cool ombre sleeves, at their fall preview. AND they are going to have an Olaf costume! No word on exactly when they’ll all hit shelves, but they’ll be about $50 each.

In the meantime, there are $30 dresses for both sister characters at Toys “R” Us and at other mass merchants. Fair warning, the user reviews are brutal. (As in, “The tulle sleeves are like sandpaper.”) But desperate times may call for desperate measures, scratchy sleeves and all. Or try and teach your little princess the virtue of patience!

Heading to the Magic Kingdom? Your kids may be more interested in meeting the celebrities characters than the rides! Watch our video.

Disney's Magic Kingdom: Beyond the Rides
Disney's Magic Kingdom: Beyond the Rides
Disney's Magic Kingdom: Beyond the Rides

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Summer Ice Cream Round Up: Dairy-Free Favorites

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Summer is here, and temperatures just keep rising and rising. Along with the heat, the urge for a refreshingly cold treat also tends to increase on a daily basis. Thankfully, July is National Ice Cream Month. In honor of the celebration, here at Parents we’ve taste tested a variety of flavors and brands to bring you our absolute favorites! (Hey, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.) Be sure to check back every week during the month of July for even more yumminess.

Most of us have two assumptions about ice cream: First, it’s delicious. Second, it’s a dairy product. And while that’s true, there are many scrumptious dairy-free options that can fulfill an ice cream craving without the allergy worries. (P.S. These are delicious even if you don’t have a milk allergy!) Here are our favorites:

TCBY Silk Vanilla

TCBY Silk

The brand you loved as a child is now available for your little munchkins to enjoy. TCBY has partnered with Silk Soy Milk to create a delicious dairy-free frozen yogurt option available in all its locations. Since Silk is available as a soft-serve, customers can still customize and add their favorite toppings.

Flavors: Coconut, Chocolate, and Vanilla

Sold: TCBY Stores Nationwide

“Mmmmm, I tried the coconut and loved it! Not too sweet or too rich. Definitely a keeper.” – Allison Berry, editorial assistant

 

Alchemy Creamery Dairy-Free Ice Cream

 

Alchemy Creamery

New Yorkers have enjoyed Alchemy Creamery’s unique dairy-free goodies for years. Recently, the team behind the brand launched nationwide-shipping so every one can experience their unique mix of flavors.

Flavors: Green Tea & Coconut, Chocolate Chai, Salted Peanut Butter, Almond Marzipan, and Strawberries & Cream

Sold: Smorgesburg and Fairway Markets in New York City, shipped nationwide via their website

“I loved the almond marzipan. It tasted just like crushed almonds. It was creamy and tasted naturally sweet, not overly sweetened.” – Ruthie Fierberg, editorial assistant to the Editor in Chief

 

Sorbabes

 

Sorbabes Gourmet Sorbet

Sorbabes prides itself on combining farm-fresh ingredients, filtered water, and peak-season fruits to create a delicious mix of exciting summer flavors.

Flavors: Pistachio with Sea Salted Caramel, Peanut with Banana and Chocolate Fudge, Juicy Orange Passionfruit with Lychees, Lemon with Candied Zest, and Raspberry with Dark Chocolate.

Sold: Primarily on the East Coast but constantly expanding

“Passionfruit with lynchee was refreshing, light, and tangy. Both flavors were present and I liked that the tart balanced the sweetness.” – Mia Song, senior designer

Click here for dairy-free desserts you can make at home!

Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope
Food Allergies: Helping Your Child Cope

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Boom! Here’s How to Protect Your Hearing This Fourth of July

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The Fourth of July is only two days away, which means firework displays are right around the corner–maybe you’ve even witnessed a show already!

As fun as fireworks are to watch, listening to those big booms can cause some serious hearing damage. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association notes that instantaneous loud noise–not just damage over time–can harm one’s ears.

To protect yourself, ASHA recommends that you stand at least 500 feet away from fireworks (and do the same when in the presence of firecrackers and speaker systems), pop in a pair of ear plugs (ear muffs will protect kids under 8 years old), and simply know your limits by avoiding noises that are too loud, too close, or too long.

If you will be setting off your own fireworks this season, take a moment to review these fireworks safety tips! Happy Fourth!

Keep your family safe with these guidelines for your home.

The “fireworks” below are completely silent! Follow the instructions to make your own:

Pipe Cleaner Fireworks
Pipe Cleaner Fireworks
Pipe Cleaner Fireworks

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win a Herschel Backpack Full of Ice Cream Coupons

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!” Once you start singing the tune you can’t stop…and you automatically want your favorite treat! Whether you stay inside and scoop yourself a bowl, or go out with friends and family to your local ice cream spot, eating ice cream will always remain a popular pastime in the summer months. Plus, July is National Ice Cream Month, so what are you waiting for? Grab your spoons and dig in!

Unilever is giving ONE lucky winner this cute red Herschel backpack full of five Unilever Ice Cream Brand coupons, including Breyers (a great choice if you’re making our ice cream sandwich recipes), Fruttare Fruit Bars, Klondike, Popsicle and MAGNUM Ice Cream (a personal favorite at our office), an approximate $110 value. Score!

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day on Monday, July 7. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on July 8 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!

Have some fun and throw an ice cream themed party with decorations and all!

Congrats to our winner, Kelsey Mehrens! Please check your “other” message folder on Facebook to claim your prize!

How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations
How To Make Paper Ice Cream Cone Decorations

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Jennie Garth: “It’s always family before friends, and the girls respect that….Family first.”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Set your DVRs, ladies, because tonight is a 90210 reunion! Well, kind of. Jennie Garth and her longtime gal pal Tori Spelling are teaming up again in the new ABC Family series Mystery Girls, premiering tonight. Parents caught up with Jennie a few weeks ago and then met her at a special Mamarazzi screening event, hosted by The MOMS of SiriusXM fame. The actress and mother of three daughters, Luca, 17, Lola, 12, and Fiona, 8, opened up to us about raising her girls to be confident women, recovering from divorce, working her latest volunteer project, and filming her hilarious new sitcom.

P: Your girls are growing up so quickly. Is it tougher to be a parent to toddlers and preschoolers or tweens and teens?

JG: Oh my god I would have to say younger is tougher because they cannot articulate what they’re thinking or what they want or need so well. The language barrier is definitely a problem.

P: What traits of yours do you see in each of your daughters?

JG: All of my best ones [laugh]. I can definitely see qualities from myself as well as qualities of their dad. Good and bad from both of us. Luca today was listening to the same exact music that I was listening to at her age, which was The Cure. She didn’t listen to it today because of me, she listened to it totally on her own. So we have similar musical taste. She’s also beautiful. She has very similar body, dance, movement style. My middle one, Lola, is very organized and very much an organized thinker, a list-maker and she likes to have tasks and complete them—that’s how my brain works. My little Fiona, she’s very competitive. So when we play board games she likes to win, and she’s very quick-witted and those are definitely both qualities of mine. You definitely see yourself in them for good and for bad sometimes.

P: Is there a childlike thing that you get excited to relive through Fiona, since she’s your youngest?

JG: All of it. Easter egg coloring, and you know, she loves to play board games. Coloring. Coloring book coloring. I love just sitting and coloring. She loves any kind of game. Puzzles. We do all that. And reading with her. We still snuggle in bed together, where the other girls do their own thing at bedtime, you know. The book-reading at that time is one of my favorite times of the day.

P: Having three girls is no easy task, and you’re a single mom. Do you have any best piece of advice for women dealing with the same situation and transition?

JG: I have so much encouragement and wisdom to pass along to people. When I first was on my own, everything was so challenging. Everything was stressful. Everything was more than I could handle and I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to get through it on my own. I felt like I was swimming upstream all the time. And at some point it just changed. And all of a sudden, mornings are pleasant again. The morning rush isn’t stressful. It isn’t like “I can’t do this,” it’s like “Yeah, we got this guys.” Me and my girls will handle it and it will all be great. It rounded a corner for me and I think that that happens when it happens for everyone and nobody can force that, and it’s really hard to believe when you’re in it. Hold on to that faith and knowledge that it will get better.

From a kid’s perspective, it’s an ongoing condition. My kids are never going to not be sad that their parents aren’t together. And me acknowledging that and holding that really gently and tenderly is the best thing that I can do. I can’t change the situation unfortunately, but I can hold the fact that their feelings about it are always gonna be right there at the surface no matter how old they are.

P: It sounds like you are all so close. With such a busy career it can be tough to keep that “family unit” feeling going. Are there any routines to carve out family time?

JG: We do dinner every night together. It’s tough because my teenager’s got a full schedule. But it’s always family before friends and the girls respect that and they take that seriously, which is cool. I just keep it really tight. Family first.

Spice up your family dinner night:

How to Season
How to Season
How to Season

P: You’re involved in a new campaign that starts July 24 “Get an A+ in Eye Care” to help other families. Tell me about your work with this cause.

JG: Well with the three girls, two of them are now in glasses. I wear glasses. Eye care is something that’s a part of our family. I see when we provide vision care for the kids that don’t have access to it what a difference it makes in their lives. It’s pretty profound. I love being a part of it and this campaign is a very simple one. For every “like” on the Eye Solutions Facebook page Alcon is donating a dollar and that money goes directly to free exams and eyeglasses to children in need. I’ve been there and I’ve helped kids get fitted for their very first glasses.

P: Is activism and volunteerism something you hope to cultivate in your girls?

JG: Absolutely. It’s something that’s been instilled in me since I was a little girl. It’s something I’m just naturally handing down to my girls. It’s not something I really thought about. You pay it forward, that’s just what you do in this lifetime.

P: Mystery Girls with your longtime friend and co-star Tori Spelling premieres tonight. Tell me about the show and how you help your girls create solid healthy friendships like the one you have with Tori.

JG: Tori’s and my friendship is a pretty unique situation because we were on [90210] for ten years together. Not a lot of people get to experience what we did. So we have this crazy bond together and we are so blessed by that and able to carry that into our next job together. This is very a special love for each other. For my girls it’s just about teaching them their self-worth, first and foremost. Teaching them to love themselves and respect themselves and to gravitate toward other people who do the same and also to give them that same respect.

P: How did being a mom affect your decision to go back into the studio full time with Mystery Girls? 

JG: For me it was location. It’s very close to my kids’ school and our house, where we shoot it. The hours of the day that we work, sitcom hours, are much less than any other show you can shoot, and we work three weeks on, one week off. So I can have a solid week with my kids. And also, our kids come to the set and it’s so close to their school that they just come right after school. If this was a show that shot in West Los Angeles or something, it would be a totally different decision to look at. When you have kids, for me, they come first and my job comes second. So I have to look at all those factors, location and traffic and drive time all that stuff.

P: Your character, Charlie, is a bit concerned about being perceived as a cool mom by her daughter. How concerned are you with being a cool mom?

JG: I try to be not cool. I’m the mom with the tattoos. My kids admire the fact that I am kind of edgy personally, and they actually try to keep me in line. But I try to be not cool because I don’t want to be their friend. I want to be their mother.

P: Your book Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde puts it right out there: don’t stereotype me. How do you help your girls be confident young women and defy stereotypes?

JG: I think just in my actions and them seeing me function, you know. I’m so independent and capable that they have no other way of seeing a woman. I set an example not by choice but because that’s how I have to live. It’s so easy to stereotype women. Even my 16-year-old daughter is cast in plays as the “pretty girl,” the cheerleader, and she does it beautifully and she does it with depth and a certain depth I wouldn’t think they were expecting, but I’m already cognizant of what’s happening with her. It’s something that we’ll be facing and working on and discussing I’m sure for the rest of all of their lives.

Mystery Girls premieres Wednesday, June 25 8:30/7:30c on ABC Family. Check your local listings.

Photograph: Courtesy of Jennie Garth

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