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Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
Thank you, dear readers, for following Goodyblog these past few years! All of our new content—the celeb interviews, the giveaways—will be moving to our other blogs. Please follow along with the ones that are geared to your own children’s ages. If you’re pregnant and looking for baby-gear giveaways and fun scoops on pregnant celebs, see Everything Pregnancy. If you’ve got a little one at home, don’t miss All About Babies. And keep watching for the launch of our new blog for big kids, Everything Kids, which will feature toys, movie news, and more. Finally, you can always read a fresh take on today’s parenting hot topics at The Parents Perspective. We love serving up fun; now we’ll just be spreading it out! Goody Bye!
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Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
You may have a watchful elf camping out somewhere in your home, but even if you don’t, you’re probably familiar with The Elf on the Shelf®. Parents across America have been busy welcoming this character into their homes—and into their children’s hearts.
Chanda Bell, a former reading and English teacher, created the The Elf on the Shelf® concept with her mother in their small hometown of Marietta, Georgia. The mom and daughter duo had no idea it would become a country-wide sensation, but it’s now their mission to make it a Christmas tradition that helps the holiday spirit thrive.
The magic began when Chanda was just a little girl. Her mother would tuck her in at night with a sweet story about a little elf who would watch over her and report back to Santa. After her mother kissed her goodnight, Chanda remembers confiding in the elf and sharing her Christmas wish-list. “He was like a magical family friend,” Bell says.
Now, the character has exceeded anything she’s ever imagined. One of her favorite ways to stir up The Elf on the Shelf® spirit is by reading the book to a group of children—or by marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next to their inflatable elf (the tallest float in the bunch!). For Chanda, it’s a dream come true to listen to children on the sidelines chant, “Elf on the Shelf,” and hear the names they’ve given their elves at home.
Bell confesses that her main goal for The Elf on the Shelf® was initially just to create family moments. Toys and stuffed animals don’t hold the same meaning for everyone in the family, according to Bell, so she created something everyone could participate in. From mom and dad moving the elf around to the kids racing to find it first, it’s safe to say she’s accomplished that goal.
In addition to creating family moments, Bell hopes to liven up the Christmas spirit in kids across the country. That’s why she created the storybook, Elf Pets®: A Reindeer Tradition. Elf Pets encourages children to snuggle with their special reindeer friend at night in the hopes that stirring up enough Christmas spirit will help Santa’s sleigh lift off into the night. Bell says, “Elf Pets is unique because it teaches kids to actually look beyond themselves for the purpose of helping Santa on Christmas Eve!”
Whether or not there’s an elf on your shelf this Christmas, Chanda encourages all parents to remember the importance of tradition and holiday spirit—not just for their children, but for the entire family.
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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 email@example.com by August 22, 2014 that includes the following information:
2. Age of your child(ren)
3. E-mail address
4. Mailing address
5. Favorite type of beauty product
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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Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Star of Cooking Channel’s Kelsey’s Essentials, Kelsey Nixon dishes on the challenges of feeding her toddler, breaking into TV, and her new cookbook Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything.
You started your own cooking television show in college. What inspired that?
I grew up in a family where food seemed to be at the center of every get-together or celebration. In fact, when I left for college, I missed my mom’s home-cooked meals fiercely, and it forced me to step into my dorm room kitchen and start cooking on my own. I was a broadcast journalism major who wasn’t that interested in a news career, but I loved food and television. A lucky break with an internship at Martha Stewart Living working on the Everyday Food cooking show solidified things – I was going to find a way to work in food television! I returned to my university and approached a professor about supporting a college cooking show, and to my surprise, he thought it was a great idea. With his support we produced nearly 100 episodes of my cooking show before I graduated.
What’s the best (and worst) part of having your own series on Cooking Channel?
The best part is that my job is to essentially be myself! I get to talk about and teach the things that I feel so passionately about, and that is truly a gift. The biggest challenge is not knowing if the show will be renewed each season. When you put everything you’ve got into a show that represents you, you want so badly for it to succeed!
This is your first book. Why did you decide to call it Kitchen Confidence?
I felt that the title carried a strong, simple message that many home cooks are looking for. The book is full of recipes that are basic, yet not boring, and when made will hopefully spark a bit of that kitchen confidence that will slowly grow with every culinary success you have.
Sometimes cooking at home can seem expensive. What are some ways parents can save money feeding their families?
Carving out the time to sit down and plan your family’s meals for the week is no easy task, but it can be beneficial in so many different ways, especially when it comes to sticking to a grocery budget and having a plan to use up the ingredients that you buy so that nothing goes to waste. I’m also a big fan of shopping the ads at your local markets and stores. Some stores will even ad match, which is a great way to save as much as possible on your weekly grocery bill.
How has your cooking life changed since your son Oliver was born nearly two years ago?
Well, to be honest, I cook a little less! But, I feel like I cook with more intent now — intent to feed and nourish a growing family. I rely heavily on making three to four meals a week and really utilizing the leftovers. Not only does it save me time in the kitchen, but it also relieves me of the mental stress of deciding what to make for dinner every single night.
How did you move your son to solids?
I followed the guidance of our pediatrician when it came to a timeline for transitioning to solids, but when it came to what foods to introduce, I took a few more liberties. I always followed the guidelines of only introducing one new food at a time to check for any allergies, but I also made an effort to season his first food purees with a few mild spices like cinnamon, ginger, and garlic. We went through a big puree stage, which worked for us. But for a future child I’m really interested in the concept of baby-led weaning and may give that a try. I have a few friends that are moms who swear by it!
What are his favorite finger foods?
My Oliver loves edamame, string cheese, and black beans. Ironically the only thing I have trouble feeding him is fruit! I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he comes around.
Do you make special “toddler food” for your son?
I’ve made a big effort to offer our son a version of what we’re eating each night at dinner to try and avoid the habit of making multiple meals. Some nights are easier than others and I probably spend way too much time wondering if he got enough to eat, but I feel strongly that offering him a variety of options will pay off in the long run. Realistically I’ve also got a couple of go-to toddler meals on hand to use for easy lunches and nights when mom and dad order in.
Why do you tell people they shouldn’t worry about making mistakes when they’re cooking?
So many cooking mistakes can be corrected. If something tastes a little bland or you added too much of one thing or another, there’s a good chance that simply seasoning the dish with salt and pepper can correct the problem. To have the gusto to make these adjustments, you need to trust your gut. Once you start cooking this way, cooking becomes more enjoyable and freeing.
What are five things always found in your refrigerator?
Eggs, good cheese, fresh herbs, unsalted butter, and chicken thighs (in the freezer).
What are your three favorite recipes from the book?
Lemon Scented Chicken Thighs, Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Maple Pecans, and Essential Yellow Birthday Cake.
The recipes all sound so appealing. What do you look for when developing a recipe?
I look for unique ingredient pairings and constantly turn to seasonal ingredients for inspiration throughout the calendar year. It’s important to me that the food sounds and looks just as appealing as it is to eat. I’m a firm believer that we eat with our eyes first, so it’s critical that the recipes I develop look every bit as good as they taste.
What do you hope cooks take away from this book?
Ultimately, I hope this book will inspire home cooks to cook more often and find joy in the kitchen. I hope that each reader finds a few recipes that are a perfect fit for their families and that they will continue to refer to the book over the coming years for classic recipes that they know will always work. Everyone needs a great recipe for things like Lasagna, Roasted Vegetables, and Birthday Cake – you’ll find just that in my book.
Interview has been edited and condensed.
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celebrity chef, celebrity interview, cooking channel, Food, GoodyBlog, kelsey nixon, kitchen confidence | Categories:
celebrities, Food, GoodyBlog, Must Read, Time for Fun
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Thinking of buying flowers or chocolates for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? Roses and bonbons are classics for good reason, but consider a more savory idea. Something you know your spouse really wants.
Yes, I’m talking about bacon.
Back in September I was the most popular girl in the office (and on my Facebook feed) after I received a bacon bouquet from Smithfield. At first glance it looked just like a bunch of long-stemmed roses. But after a closer look—and sniff—the flowers turned out to be little bundles of porky goodness.
Smithfield has kindly shared bouquet-making instructions with us. If you’re feeling crafty, this is one Valentine’s Day gift I suspect most husbands (and, heck, most wives) will swoon for.
Valenswine’s Day Bacon Bouquet
Makes 12 Roses
1 Package of Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
12 Rose Stems
1 Mini Muffin Pan
1 Drill with bit (1/8” suggested)
1 Broiler Pan
1 Glass Vase
STEP 1: Prepare your pan
Drill holes into the bottom of the mini muffin pan. These holes will allow the bacon drippings to drain while the bacon cooks. Place mini muffin pan on top of broiler pan.
STEP 2: Prepare your bacon rose buds
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Open pack of Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon and tightly roll the individual rose buds, one slice at a time.
Place all bacon rose buds into the mini muffin pan. Slightly push the bacon rose buds down for added support.
Place bacon rose buds, muffin pan, and broiler pan in the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Check on the bacon rose buds occasionally.
STEP 3: Prepare your rose stems
While waiting for your bacon rose buds to cook, pull all roses off their stems.
Typical components of a faux flower include a rose stem, green leaves, a green cap, and petals. Discard all flower petals, and with only green components remaining, reassemble.
STEP 4: Assemble your bacon roses
When bacon rose buds are fully cooked, remove from oven and place on paper towel to cool.
Pick your best looking rose buds and carefully slide them onto the protruding stems.
Arrange roses in a glass vase to your liking.
STEP 5: Present & enjoy!
Share the deliciousness with someone you love.
Not in the mood for bacon? Find recipes for more traditional, no-pork-added treats.
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Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
Not long after Huggies Brazil introduced the world to the TweetPee, another device is garnering attention in the wet-diapers-detection industry.
Engineer Eric Schuh, based in Michigan, developed a USB-looking keychain that lights up if a diaper is wet. The user just places the sensor up to the diaper and a light turns on if it senses wet fabric. Yep, it’s that simple.
According to the demonstration video, the device works through a fully-clothed child, as well. Say goodbye to these days of undressing your bundled-up child or waking up your sleeping baby.
Schuh placed the model up for auction on Kickstarter on Jan. 21 asking for $500 to get the project off the ground. To date, more than $5,500 has already been pledge and bidding is still open through Feb. 20. An individual device is going for $12 and expected delivery is between February and March. Schuh did note one setback though: he hasn’t been able to experiment on all forms of diaper-clothing combos.
As dirty diaper detection technology becomes available, is this something you’d invest in? Tell us in the comment section below.
Keep up with all the latest tips and tricks during different stages of your child’s life with our As They Grow newsletter.
Image: Baby crawling and playing with pile of diaper via Shuttertock
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Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
Multi-platinum recording artist and TV personality Nick Lachey is gearing up for the fourth season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, which premieres December 9th at 9:00pm ET/PT. The crooner and father-of-one, to son Camden, 1, is also currently enjoying a “great response” to his latest album, A Father’s Lullaby.
Nick opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about what it is like to host The Sing-Off, why A Father’s Lullaby “was a really appropriate project” for his fan-base, and how it is a “very sweet, tender, and personal moment” when he puts Camden down to sleep. He also reveals that he is working on another album!
CBS: Are you excited about the new season of The Sing-Off? How has the show changed or evolved in your opinion?
NL: “I am very excited about it! I am ecstatic that it’s coming back. We’ve already taped all of the episodes, so I can say 100% honestly that it is a great season with a great line-up and fantastic groups. It’s such a fun show, especially around the holidays. It is an awesome show to be a part of, because I am such big fan of a cappella music myself and I know there are so many others out there who love a cappella music. It’s a really energizing show. It’s a great atmosphere, as you’re around so many people who love what they do and love singing.
In regard to how the show has evolved, I think the talent of the groups has gotten better each and every season. I think that it is, in part, attributed to the success of the show; other a cappella groups out there are seeing the show and the success of groups like Pentatonix, who are touring Europe right now and have gone on to do big things. When the show is done well, I think it becomes easier for producers to find great talent out there. I think the evolution of the talent is the biggest thing. Also, we have our first-ever country group in the show this next season, so I think the style of a cappella has evolved a little as well, which is exciting. It’s gotten bigger and better every season, and season four is no exception.”
CBS: Are you good at predicting who will be successful and who will not? What are some of the indicators?
NL: “I am pretty hit or miss. [laughs] In the second season, I picked a group that was eliminated in the first episode. I was not good in that season, but I did pick Pentatonix in season three and I also successfully picked the season four winners as well. I can’t say who they are right now, but I guess I am two for three. [laughs]
The indicators are groups that have a great sound and chemistry right out of the gate. Really, the point of the show is to help these groups evolve. It is hard to tell sometimes, because a group that you think doesn’t have great chemistry could really discover that chemistry as they go through the process of the show. It’s kind of tough to tell, but you can get a feel of the groups that have an unmistakable chemistry and blend. When you find that and hone into it, it’s tough to beat. I always look to the groups who seem like they have multiple voices singing as one voice. If you can hear that and find that, then that is really what a cappella is all about.”
CBS: How has your lullaby album, A Father’s Lullaby, been received? What has the feedback been?
NL: “A Father’s Lullaby has been really well received, most importantly by Camden himself. I made the CD as a tribute to him and it’s been a special project that him and I share together. He liked it, which is the most important thing. It’s also been really well received by my fans who grew up with me and are now at the age where they’re starting to have families of their own. It seemed like a really appropriate project for my fan base and I’ve gotten great feedback. For example, people are tweeting pictures of their babies sleeping to the album, which is always fun to see. There has been a great response from the fans.”
CBS: It’s a great holiday gift for new dads! Please share with all the dads (and moms shopping for dad) out there how this will help them bond with their little bundle of joy.
NL: “I found out last year that for any new parent, one of the most important parts of the day is when your baby is sleeping. [laughs] Aside from being able to get stuff done and get some peace of mind, sleep is such an important part of the baby’s development early on. So the album is my contribution to helping babies fall asleep. Lullabies have been around for forever and have always been a special part of bonding with your baby as they fall asleep. On my album, there are classic lullabies that people will recognize, which have been sung for generations and generations. There are also new, original lullabies that I wrote for Camden. The CD features a mixture of both, but all in the lullaby-arena. The songs are designed to help babies go to sleep, so that parents can have a little break.”
CBS: When we last spoke, you mentioned that you sing to Camden. Do you still sing to him? Does he sing with you now?
NL: “Every day! I literally just put him down for a nap about an hour ago. I sing ‘Sleepy Eyes’ to him every day before he naps and before he sleeps at night. That is one of the songs I wrote for him on the album, and it has become our ‘go-to-bed’ song. When he hears me start singing that one, he knows it’s time to shut it down. That is our special little moment together.
In regard to how he responds to my singing, he likes to kiss me in the middle of it. It is as sweet as can be, but I can’t help but to laugh. [laughs] He will reach out and give me a kiss. He used to just grab my face when I’d sing to him. He doesn’t sing with me yet, but one day we will do a little duet. It’s a very sweet, tender, and personal moment when you’re with your baby and putting him down. I get a kick out of it every time, and it is a very special moment that I look forward to for sure.”
CBS: Has fatherhood changed you? Have you learned anything about yourself?
NL: “Fatherhood has changed me in every way; for every decision and situation I encounter in my life, I now have to consider and I want to consider my child. Your child really becomes the most important thing in your world and in your life. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Every time I am away I am dying to get home. It’s the one thing that motivates and drives everything else in your life. It’s amazing to watch your child learn, as something new happens every day and your child evolves and changes. It’s hard to put into words how much fatherhood really affects everything.
I’ve learned a great amount of patience. I think you do have a lot of patience. For example, my kid can be trying something and he has his own process. As adults, we sometimes expect our children to go with our flow, but it doesn’t always work that way. You have to have patience with everything. You also find yourself having a lot of fun doing stuff that would normally drive you nuts. When it’s your child, you have fun with it and it’s an experience. You cherish every second of it. Camden has given me great perspective and patience, and he certainly taught me another dimension of love that I’ve never experienced before. I’ve learned quite a bit.”
CBS: Any plans for baby number 2?
NL: “We definitely want another baby, at least one more child. There is no immediate plan for it, as it’s kind of one of those things that can pop up at any time. All I can say is that we definitely do want more kids. We love being parents and want a family of more than one child. We will see where that goes, but right now we are just enjoying Camden and everything that comes along with him. I don’t want to rob him of any of our attention by bringing another one in too quick.”
CBS: How do you and Vanessa find time for each other amongst busy careers and diaper changes?
NL: “I think you just have to plan it. It’s one of those things where if you are not careful, your whole life can be consumed by having a child. There is something important about remembering what got you there, remembering your relationship and focusing on it. We make it a point to have at least one night a week to go out to dinner, to a movie, or to a concert to bring it back to our relationship. It’s important to have good babysitters around who can help relieve you when you need a little break.”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
NL: “Right now, I am just getting ready for The Sing-Off and the lullaby album. I am also working on another album called The Soundtrack To My Life, which is comprised of songs that are based on movies that I grew up with. They are soundtrack songs that were benchmarks in my life. I am in the middle of finishing that up. Next year, who knows? I am not sure if 98 Degrees will do another run next summer, and maybe I will do solo music or host a TV show. One of the great things about my career is that it evolves and there are a lot of different aspects to it. I am not really sure where the journey is going to take me.”
Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrity is expecting in 2013, or find great nursery decor at Shop Parents.
More Celebrity Parenting News:
Kristian Alfonso: “Family Is Always In The Forefront”
Galen Gering: Fatherhood Made Me Less Selfish
Amy Adams Reveals “Quiet” Christmas Plans
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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Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Just because Black Friday’s behind us doesn’t mean there aren’t still amazing deals to be found. Check out the awesome savings opportunities we scrounged up from places like Macy’s, Kohl’s, Build-A-Bear Workshop and more!
1. Macy’s. Friends & Family: Save 10%-25% off Most Departments Site Wide (Coupon code: FRIEND) Expires 12/08/2013.
2. Justice & Brothers. 50% off All Orders (No code needed) Expires 12/06/2013.
3. Kohl’s. Cyber Week- 20% off Everything + Free Shipping (Coupon Code: CYBERSAVE) Expires 12/04/2013 (TODAY!).
4. Build-A-Bear Workshop. Save $5 on Orders $10 or More (Coupon Code: 2000279) Expires 12/24/2013.
5. Citrus Lane. 50% off Your First Box on Monthly Subscription + Free Shipping (Coupon code: TAKEHALF) Limited time offer.
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