Archive for the ‘ Holidays ’ Category

Give Your Kids Great Hair for Photos

Monday, December 15th, 2014

*guest written by Cozy Friedman, founder of the new SoCozy Professional Hair Care Collection for Children and Cozy’s Cuts for Kids. The New York City salons are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. 

These hairstyling do’s and don’ts to give your little one the best shot at the cutest school photo ever, and are equally good for holiday photos.

DO shampoo your kid’s hair the night before and use a leave-in conditioner (like the SoCozy Cinch Detangler + Leave-In Conditioner) to enhance curls, smooth hair, and add body and shine. If hair is dry, flat, or full of static in the morning, spray it with a bit of water and a little more leave-in conditioner.

DON’T get a haircut the day before picture day. Ideally, schedule your appointment one to two weeks before. Hair will look more natural and any uneven areas can be corrected in time.

DO try to capture your kid’s everyday look, so that when you look back in thirty years, it’s a true representation. Nothing too fancy!

DON’T forget that school-picture day is a regular school day and not a private studio session. Keep your kid’s hairstyle simple and you’re more likely to end up with a photo everybody likes. For girls, that means no bows or hair clips.

DO use a light styling cream, such as the SoCozy Behave Styling Cream, or alcohol-free styling gel in the morning to hold a neat, smooth style that doesn’t look stiff or slick. But keep in mind the rule for styling products is the same for school glue: A little dab will do ya!

Are you a little too compulsive with your own photo-taking? Watch this video before the holidays!

Must-Knows On Tech and Child Development: Take Fewer Photos!
Must-Knows On Tech and Child Development: Take Fewer Photos!
Must-Knows On Tech and Child Development: Take Fewer Photos!

Add a Comment

Baby Deals and Steals–Your Cyber Monday Hit List!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

** By Dana Baardsen

It’s nearly impossible to join the holiday discount madness with a little one glued to your hip—or swaddled to your side. Even though you may not be able to charge through the crowds in-store this season, don’t you dare settle for full price! We’ve got your aching back, mommy, and here’s our gift to you: 2014’s best Cyber Monday baby deals and steals, all ready to go live on December 1, 2014!

Keep Baby warm. Explore 7 A.M. Enfant, find something warm and snuggly for your little one, and check out with 30% off of your entire purchase. This one really suits your on-the-go family! Code: CYBERMONDAY30

 Carrying your baby never looked so good. With multiple wearing positions for mommy and daddy, these beautiful Baby K’tan carriers are a must. Enjoy at 20% off. Code: BFCM20

Grab some mommy-and-baby body balm. This mild, soothing lotion is safe to use on your baby’s delicate skin, and effective enough for yours. Get 25% off of the Loving Care Body Balm by Le Couvent Des Minimes from Ulta!

Who doesn’t need anything from Skip HopSpend up to $50 and get 20% off, up to $80 and get 25% off, and if you spend more than $75 you get 30% off. Any purchase over $50 (hello, diaper bag!) is shipped with a free gift!

Say no more to sore knees! Protect your baby’s skin with Crawlings, so the time spent on the ground isn’t as taxing. You’ll get free shipping with one pair, 20% off with 2-3 pairs, and 40% off with four pairs!

MommyMeds app is a lifesaver. This database, which is an extension of research from the InfantRisk Center at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, contains information on over 20,000 prescribed, over-the-counter, and herbal medicines. Moms can look up symptoms and medications to find out what’s safe and what isn’t. By the time Tuesday rolls around, this source of information will no longer be free-for-download on iOS, so get it free now!

Calling all mini trendsetters! The mini collection at Appaman binds European trends with Brooklyn vibes. Will you have the most stylish baby in 2015? Receive 40% off of the entire store, and free shipping on orders over $100.

The only thing softer than Baby is mommy. Check out Earth Mama Angel Baby, a line featuring certified organic shampoos, soaps, balms and lotions galore! Snag 50% off of your entire order, with free shipping for orders over $25.

Cotton never felt so good! Spruce up your baby’s romper wardrobe, and peruse through Skyla Luna’s eco-friendly sleepwear collection.  This green baby deal involves 20% off of long-wearing jammies made from organic cotton.

As baby grows, so does the highchair. The innovative Tripp Trapp Chair by Stokke, just made parents’ lives a whole lot easier—and a little sleeker, too. The chair is designed to seat your baby right up to your dining table, so your newest family member doesn’t miss out on a single thing. This staple highchair will be discounted from $249 to $199 with free shipping on Cyber Monday.

These shoes were made for growing babies! The American Podiatric Medical Association has placed their stamp of approval on these UMI Baby shoes designed for healthy foot growth. Some of these too-cute-to-boot styles will be featured at 60% off.

How to Buy Baby Toys on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Toys on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Toys on a Budget

Add a Comment

‘Modern’ Mom Julie Bowen’s Favorite Holiday Traditions

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Julie Bowen at the Baby2Baby Nutcracker Party, Presented By Tiny PrintsYou probably know her best as Claire Dunphy, the lovable matriarch to Luke, Alex, and Haley (and sometimes Phil!) on Modern Family. But off-screen Julie Bowen has her hands full, too. She’s a mom to three kids, 7-year-old Oliver and 5-year-old twins John and Gus. So around the holiday season, things can definitely get a little hectic. Parents caught up with the Emmy-winning actress to talk about the awesome charity collab she’s working on with Baby2Baby and Tiny Prints holiday cards—as well as Santa and some of her favorite holiday memories and traditions.

Parents: Baby2Baby and Tiny Prints have collaborated to create holiday cards that let people give back. Why did you get involved with Baby2Baby, and what about its mission was most important to you?

Julie Bowen: I got involved with Baby2Baby right after the birth of my first son. There was a writers’ strike going on, and I had a lot of time to focus on my new baby (thrilling!) and the astounding amount of baby gear accumulating in our house (horrifying!). When I discovered there was an organization that wanted to redistribute this seemingly endless trove, it was a no-brainer! I jumped at the chance to help out.

Parents: The card collection is so festive! Which is your favorite one?

JB: I am really loving the gold foil stripes (both vertical and diagonal!) on the Tiny Prints collection [pictured below]. I think they are super-chic and still festive. This year, I think we’re going with the old school “Happy Holidays” one. It’s got the rustic vibe and feels low-key.
Baby2Baby and Tiny Prints Holiday Cards CharityBaby2Baby and Tiny Prints Holiday Cards Charity

Parents: Do you always send out cards around the holidays? And if so, are you a “family portrait session” kind of family, or a “family-selfie” kind of family?

JB: We do always send out cards. I have a full—and embarrassing—collection of my own family’s Christmas cards from my childhood. Let’s just say my hair went through a “stringy” stage…

As for my own kids, I try to make the photo casual or funny. I love a beautiful family shot, but honestly, we are lucky to get them all in one picture! I like the card options with different windows; Sometimes you have to use a few pics to get the whole family!

Parents: What are some of your family’s favorite holiday traditions?

JB: My family growing up was old-school. We read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve and left sugar cookies and carrots for Santa and the reindeer. I still have the same knitted Christmas stocking that I had as a kid! I’m in the process right now of making my boys’ their own stockings, but my knitting skills are rusty.

Parents: Your boys are getting a little bit older now, Oliver is 7, and John and Gus are 5. Have you had to answer any tough questions about Santa yet?

JB: Part of being a kid is believing in the impossible, so I try to strike a balance between practicality and magic. I don’t want to rob my boys of “Santa excitement,” but I also don’t want to shove it down their throats. Oliver recently said, “Mom, there’s no way one guy can get all those presents everywhere on one night.” I just agreed with him and said, “Yeah. That’s always struck me as fishy, too, but it seems to work out every year. There’s definitely SOMETHING going on, but I’ve never figured it out…” The boys are determined to sleep by the fireplace this year and get a video of Santa. Thank god my husband has a great sense of humor and will definitely “help” them get the footage they want.

Parents: Do you have any holiday traditions with the Modern Family cast?

JB: We give the crew a gift every year, and that is usually our big focus. They work longer and harder for far fewer rewards than the cast receives, so we really sweat the gift decision and its execution. As for the cast, I tried to institute a “Secret Santa” wherein each cast member only bought a gift for one other cast member, but it would never work. Nolan and his mom make amazing ornaments for everyone every year no matter what. Nobody wants to miss out on that!

Parents: Between all of the typical holiday chaos—sending out holiday cards, getting presents, spending time with family—holidays can get stressful! How do you keep it all together?

JB: I have no idea! I have started telling myself over and over that Christmas morning is messy and chaotic, and that’s part of the fun for the kids. I need to live with the boxes and the wrapping paper everywhere for a while and just stay focused on happy kids on a sugar high…

Add a Comment

Teach Kids About Veterans

Friday, November 7th, 2014

By Brooke Schuldt

When the Penguins of Madagascar tell you to do something, you do it!

At least that is what your kids probably think.

First Lady Michelle Obama knows how influential those four show-stealing penguins are, and that is why she enlists their help with a top-secret mission in the video Operation Got Your 6. In the video, the penguins let everyone know how veterans better our communities. They also explain the military lingo Got Your Six, which means standing behind someone.

The campaign works to inform civilians about the importance of our service members, both those who have served and those who currently serve.

The video also promotes the “Take a Vet to School” program, which allows schools to welcome veterans into the classroom to share their stories with students.

Operation Got Your 6 is a cute, quirky way to teach your kids about the significance of our veterans and is a great way to observe Veterans Day. Click on the penguins to watch the video.

Add a Comment

Safe and Warm on Halloween

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Halloween is shaping up to be a chilly one in much of the country! Here are some tips for keeping your costumed kids warm and safe as they go trick-or-treating.
Layer them up. The year’s most popular costumes, Elsa and Anna of Frozen, lend themselves to this. The girls are from Norway, after all! Put some leggings under a dress and add gloves. If your daughter balks at wearing her regular winter mittens, stores like Party City have Frozen gloves that work perfectly.
   Boys can benefit from long underwear (or, in a pinch, long pajamas) under their costumes. Ninjas are a popular boy outfit this year and have the added bonus of a warm headwrap; you might be able to convince him, too, that real ninjas wear gloves (to avoid leaving fingerprints!).
Insist on sensible footwear. There is a risk of blisters or twisted ankles if kids are crossing lawns, racing down sidewalks, and climbing steps in heels, boots, or other impractical shoes. But no one looks at their feet! It’s the neck up that people notice when they open their door to hand out treats. Be sure kids are in sneakers or other comfy footwear.
Pin things up. Be sure that Elsa’s gown isn’t going to trip her; same with your ninja’s belt. Make sure your child can move around without worrying about headgear, too. If your child is wearing a pirate or witch’s hat, considering pinning it on.

Be the bodyguard. As the parent, it’s your job to wield a flashlight and keep your child visible. Checking to be sure the way is clear, and forbid kids from crossing the street without you (even if they’re handing out fullsize candy bars over there!).

Watch as we detail more Halloween safety tips with Al Roker on The Weather Channel!

Add a Comment

Recipe: Easy Halloween Spider Cookies

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Smart Cookie: Transform Store-Bought Cookies Into Amazing TreatsI confess that while I love to cook and bake I’m not the craftiest of moms. But somehow when Halloween rolls around I’m inspired to create spooky creatures out of cookies, marshmallows, candy, and chocolate. I still want it to be easy, though, since my crafting skills (and patience) leave a lot to be desired.

I suspect Christi Farr Johnstone had moms like me in mind when she wrote her new book Smart Cookie: Transform Store-Bought Cookies Into Amazing Treats. All of her goodies look amazing, but seem completely doable thanks to the fact that we’re starting with store-bought components. And, while I’m a bake-from-scratch kind of girl most of the year, on holidays I can get into the store-bought fun of it all especially when the result will be something that delights my daughter.

Smart Cookie Christi Farr Johnstone
Christi kindly shared the recipe for one of Smart Cookie’s signature Halloween goodies. With only four ingredients and an active time of mere minutes these are my kind of treat.


 

 

Along Came a Spider

Ingredients

Black licorice laces (about 16 feet long)
12 chocolate sandwich cookies
1 cup white candy coating
24 candy eyeballs

Directions

  1. Smart Cookie Christi Farr JohnstoneCut the licorice into 48 strips, each approximately 4 inches in length.
  2. Gently twist open the chocolate sandwich cookies.
  3. Place four licorice strips onto the side of the sandwich cookie with the filling, and press gently into the filling.
  4. Prepare the candy coating according to package directions. Working one cookie at a time, spoon approximately 1 to 2 teaspoons of the candy coating on top of the licorice strips and cookie filling. Place the top back on the sandwich cookie.
  5. With a spoon, place a small amount of candy coating on top of the sandwich cookies where the spider eyes will be placed. Immediately place two candy eyeballs onto the candy coating. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Allow to dry for at least 2 hours.

Makes 12 cookies

Reprinted with permission from Smart Cookie © 2014 Christi Farr Johnstone, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group

Get more recipes for fun Halloween treats.

Mini Monster Cupcakes
Mini Monster Cupcakes
Mini Monster Cupcakes

Add a Comment

Our Favorite Halloween Treats

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Roll up your little ones’ sleeves because we’ve rounded up some of our favorite make-at-home treats that are spooky and scrumptious.

Brand Castle Crispy Rice Pumpkin Kit 

Brand Castle Crispy Rice Pumpkin Kit Brand Castle Crispy Rice Pumpkin Kit

Make your pumpkin and eat it too! It only took us 35 minutes from set up to clean up to create six individual treats, and kids will love decorating their pumpkins with the green and black icing provided in the kit.

Available for purchase in-store only at Walmart and select Christmas Tree Shops.

 

 

Crypt Keeper Crescents

Crypt Keeper Crescents

This delicious recipe is no longer under wraps. All you need is Nutella, bananas and Pillsbury Crescent dough to make this sweet twist on pigs in a blanket.

Get the recipe via Our Best Bites.

Photo courtesy of Pillsbury.com.

 

 

 

Harry & David Caramel Apple Kit

Harry & David Halloween Caramel Apple KitA splurge item at $34.95, this is a DIY-kit that’s just as much fun to look at as it is to make. Locked inside magical-looking spellbook box are fresh, in-season apples from the Pacific Northwest, ready-to-melt caramels and also cashews and mini chocolate candies that your little ones can use to make their treat one of a kind.

Order your kit online here.

 

 

Chex Mix Recipes: Deviled Chex Mix and Iced Pumpkin Chex Mix

Halloween Produce Roundup - Deviled Chex Party MixHalloween Produce Roundup - Iced Pumpkin Chex Mix RecipeOne is sweet and the other is salty. Offer kids the Deviled mix – just in case they get tired of devouring all of that sugary candy. And satisfy sweet teeth even more with the Iced Pumpkin, which includes real pumpkin to get an authentic flavor.

Get the Deviled recipe here and the Iced Pumpkin one here, via Chex.com.

 

Haunted Cookie Cups

Haunted Cookie Cups

When you use Nestlé’s premade cookie dough this treat is a snap to make – just bake and decorate. Warning: These little ghosts may just fly off your countertops!  

Try out this recipe below:

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16.5 oz.) Nestlé Toll House Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough
  • 1 container (8 oz.) frozen light whipped topping
  • 1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag
  • 48 (about 1 teaspoon) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels
  • 24 (about 1 tablespoon) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 24 mini-muffin cups. Place one square of cookie dough into each cup.
  2. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. With tip of butter knife, remove cookie cups from muffin pan. Arrange on serving platter.
  3. Fill plastic bag with whipped topping; seal. Cut ½-inch from corner of bag. Squeeze bag lightly to pipe whipped topping on top of cookie cup to form ghost shape. Position two mini morsels as eyes and one regular size morsel as a mouth on each ghost. Serve immediately or store refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

Make Ahead Tip: Cookie bases can be made ahead and stored covered at room temperature.

(Recipe courtesy of Nestlé’s VeryBestBaking.com)

Can’t get enough? Try out some of our Wicked Good Halloween Treats here. 

Daddy Longlegs Cupcake
Daddy Longlegs Cupcake
Daddy Longlegs Cupcake

Add a Comment

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

Add a Comment