Archive for the ‘ Your Life ’ Category

Carter Oosterhouse on Building Active Communities and Living Green

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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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Wanted: Beauty Product Testers

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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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Shop Wendy Bellissimo’s New Maternity Line!

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Pregnant women, rejoice! Wendy Bellissimo does more than curate amazing nurseries–she’s also bringing her flair for design to Destination Maternity, with a clothing and accessories line that just launched this week.

Wendy’s California-inspired, affordable pieces will be on sale at Destination Maternity and Motherhood Maternity stores, and online. Fall always feels more fun when flannel shirts, loose sweaters, and tribal prints are involved, and Wendy’s collection offers just those options!

Check out these looks:

Flannel doesn’t have to feel masculine. The lace back of this $44 top adds a sweet, unexpected touch. 

Finally, a top that focuses on exposing your arms, not your tummy! The funky print of this $38 V-neck makes it great for day or night. 

Wondering what to wear to your baby shower? This $48 maxi dress is a great pick.

Which pieces are your faves? If you’re just beginning to build your maternity wardrobe, make sure you stock up on these must-haves:

5 Maternity Must-Haves
5 Maternity Must-Haves
5 Maternity Must-Haves

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The American Express Guide to a “Summer Well Spent”

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Do you find yourself dishing out money left and right all summer? According to the American Express Spending and Savings Tracker, summer looks to be as expensive as the holiday season (if not more!). From pool membership to family vacation and summer camp for the kiddos, your wallet is getting pulled every which way. If fact, Amex estimates parents are spending $958 per child on fun summer activities in 2014–up from $856 last year and $601 in 2012. Overall, American parents will shell out $70 billion or more for summer activities.   

“Throughout the year, we’ve seen higher spending in a number of areas, like travel, shopping and entertainment – so it’s no surprise that parents are planning to spend more to keep their kids active.  This is good news for seasonal retailers, as well as camps, theme parks and other entertainment venues,” according to David Rabkin, Senior Vice President of Consumer Lending Products at American Express.

Eventually your kids will grow old enough to actually earn money in the summer. Nearly a third of teens are currently skipping the beach to start babysitting (24 percent), work in the fast food service (24 percent), working in a grocery store (20 percent), in retail (11 percent), or landscaping (16 percent). However, 54 percent of those teens will decide to spend their earnings rather than save, unless they are saving for a vehicle (27 percent) and/or college tuition (25 percent).

Meanwhile, with the help of Amex, some of our helpful tips to keep track of your pennies include:

  • Planning vacations and summer getaways ahead of time. By doing so, you may find deals along the way. Also, it’s okay to tell the kids up front what your limits are for souvenirs, meals, and more. Never to early to make them realize that money doesn’t grow on trees!
  • Make an effort to teach your kids fun and cheap (or free) ways to enjoy the summer heat in your hometown. Lemonade stand anyone?
  • Although school is out, chores still remain a popular way to let your child earn money. Nearly 98 percent of parents report assigning summer chores to their kids, such as cleaning a room, taking out trash, caring for a pet, or helping with the dishes, and 83 percent of parents reward the kids with an allowance. Then maybe they can reach into their own wallet the next time they want to go see a movie or chase the ice-cream truck!
  • Also, ask your kids early on what they’re interested in doing during the last weeks of summer. Sports clubs, pool memberships and camps are always popular, but limit yourself to what he or she is really excited about. It takes money to participate in a lot of summer activities, but with tips and tricks from American Express, make it a summer well spent!

Want to add some DIY fun this summer? Get your kids together and make unique t-shirts they can wear all summer long.

Surf's Up Shirt
Surf's Up Shirt
Surf's Up Shirt

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Got a Great Kid-Product Idea? Tell Huggies!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

What if that awesome invention you thought of while dozing off after a midnight feeding could lead to some big bucks? 

Thanks to the Huggies MomInspired Grant Program, parents who’ve dreamed up products designed to help fellow moms and dads have the opportunity to win some cash–$15,000, to be exact!

Eight parent entrepreneurs who have either developed a product or an ingenious idea will receive these grants. The 5th annual competition is already underway, but applicants may enter through September 30, 2014.

Here are the rules!

  • Who: Anyone with an original, innovative and viable new product idea to help make life easier for parents; must be 21 or older and reside in the United States
  • How: Log onto www.HuggiesMomInspired.com and submit application, including the idea and business plan
  • When: June 17, 2014 through September 30, 2014
  • Why: For the chance to receive $15,000 and advice to help start or grow your business idea

Struggling to potty train your kiddo? Check out Huggies’ “Potty Dance” tactic!

Potty Dance Party
Potty Dance Party
Potty Dance Party

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OPI Brings Back Popular Nail Polish

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

 

Have you been missing this minty shade? Well, you’re in luck.  “Damone Roberts 1968” is doing another limited engagement.

OPI first collaborated with eyebrow expert Damone Roberts in 2009. Roberts, who has sculpted the arches of some of our favorite celeb moms (Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow), used the color of the walls in his Beverly Hills and New York City salons as inspiration to create this perfect-for-summer polish.

You can purchase the highly coveted hue here for $20.

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Wanted: Beauty Product Testers!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

For an upcoming issue, Parents is looking for moms to test out new facial skin care products. If you’re interested, send an e-mail to parentsbeautydept@gmail.com by June 24, 2014 that includes the following information:

1. Name

2. Age of your child(ren)

3. E-mail address

4. Mailing address

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!

 

Image: Woman Splashing Face With Water Above Bathroom Sink via Shuttershock

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Urban Outfitters Brings Cute Korean Beauty Stateside

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Don’t mistake these adorable fruits and veggies for a child’s play cooking set! A look inside reveals the latest skin care offerings from the store for all things quirky and cool.

 Last week, Urban Outfitters debuted its Beauty Shop at the new three-story Herald Square location in New York City—the largest one in the world. Korean brands like Tony Moly (maker of these darling delights), along with Clio, Mizon, and The Face Shop, fill up most of the shelves.

 Can’t make it to The Big Apple? You can purchase the products online and in select stores.

 Our Faves:

 

Peachy keen: This hand cream smells just like the fuzzy fruit! ($8)

Cherry picked: Packed with SPF 15, this lip balm is the perfect addition to your beach bag. ($8)

Apple a day: Keep wrinkles away with this peeling cream that reveals softer skin. ($16)

 

More summer beauty finds:

Beauty Products That Help You Beat the Heat

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