Archive for the ‘ GoodyBlog ’ Category

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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Real Glam Moms: The Small Things

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Kate Bryan

Here’s the newest installment of a brand new series from the Parents beauty department about mommy bloggers. Each installment will feature what beauty means to real moms no matter what their beauty routine is like—and how they take time to themselves after having children. 

For simple how-tos on all the cute hairstyles you see on Pinterest, Kate Bryan, of The Small Things, is your girl. And for chic mommy tips, Kate’s  still your girl. She’s mom to David, 10 months old, and she’s 5 months with her second. Today she chats with us about switching up her lipstick shades and her favorite nail polish.

What is your beauty routine like? 

I like taking time to do my hair and makeup in the morning, but I always stick to my usual, streamlined routine. I shower, throw my hair in a towel to encourage it to dry as I do my makeup, then blow dry, throw a few loose curls in it with a 1 1/4 barrel curling iron, and finish with some hairspray.

How has your beauty routine changed since you had David? 

My beauty routine hasn’t changed too dramatically. I wear more neutral shades of lipstick instead of bold colors since my days are more casual. I find myself going a day between washing my hair every once in awhile on days where I’m just cleaning up the house or running errands.

What is the importance of taking time to do yourself? 

Personally, I feel more awake and ready to take on the day when I start it with a shower. Even if it’s just a quick five-minute shower, it helps me feel like I’m intentionally getting ready for the day instead of lounging around in sweats.

My beauty advice for moms is…  to not give up entirely on your beauty routine! Even if it’s a swipe of mascara, taking the time to put a little bit of effort into yourself will always pay off. Also, find a long-wear nail polish that doesn’t chip. Polishing your nails becomes much more sacred after having kids, and nothing is more frustrating than taking the time to do so only to end up with a chip the next day!

Habit nail polish

THE SMALL THINGS’ FIVE FAVES

1. Shu Uemura eyelash curler: No lash curler comes close to how well this one works.

2. Bite Beauty BB for Lips in Flush is the perfect “your lips but better” shade.

3. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer: Say goodbye to dark circles with this product. It covers better than any concealer I’ve used.

4. Tarte Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers add bulk to even the wimpiest lashes.

5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light is the perfect highlighter and even light eyeshadow shade for any skin color.

6. Habit Cosmetics nail polish in Sunset Boulevard: I love the grey blue shade for any season.

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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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Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win a Box of Hasbro Games!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

It may be mid-October, but your kids have probably started a list for Santa already. While you may be thinking about a new pair of shoes to add to your list, your little one is thinking about toys, toys and more toys! We’re thinking about toys too, have you seen our Parents 2014 Best Toys list?!


Hasbro has a variety of games that make perfect “family gifts,” ones that everyone can share. And unlike Santa, Hasbro doesn’t have a naughty or nice list. Hasbro is giving ONE (1) lucky winner a chance to receive his or her own box full of Hasbro Toys; including My Monopoly (one of our Best Toys winners!), Scrabble Electronic Scoring, Taboo Buzz’d, Trivial Pursuit Hints, Catchphrase Decades, Simon Swipe, Disney Frozen: Pop Up Magic Game, and a Transformers Battle Masters Grimlock figure–a prize worth $143.

To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day on October 20. Be sure to check back on October 21 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. We’ve also posted all of the Official Rules. Goody luck!

Watch a behind-the-scenes clip of our toy-testers playing with our 2014 winners!

 

We Pick the Best Toys of 2014
We Pick the Best Toys of 2014
We Pick the Best Toys of 2014

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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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High to Low Orlando: Staying From $55 to $479 a Night

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

We split our recent Orlando vacation between bargain and pricey options. Here’s a breakdown of what we got (and didn’t get) at each price point.

Whippoorwill KOA from $55

The kids and I stayed here because it’s close to the airport and we needed to pick my husband up from a flight. But also, we love a KOA (short for Kampground of America), and this one has a pool, playground, pretty lake, and friendly geese. 

What’s to love A KOA cabin has a ship-like compactness. Though tiny, it fits a fullsize bed, bunk bed, desk and chair, television, and A/C. There are deluxe cabins with bathrooms, but we’re cheap and fine with sharing campground bathrooms. Whippoorwill is primarily a base for RVs, so we seemed to be the only customers in the bathrooms anyway. This particular KOA offers clean linens so we didn’t need to bring our own. We had a pizza delivered to our cabin for dinner and drove three miles to a Panera for breakfast. Our short stay felt like a taste of “real Florida” as opposed to “tourist Florida.”

But of course You have to enjoy camping to stay at a campground. Whippoorwill KOA is very close to the airport but not particularly close to the theme parks; the Orlando/Kissimmee KOA is a little closer to that action. Though you’ll spend far less on lodging here, you won’t get any park perks such as early admission and you’ll need to drive everywhere, plus pay for parking, tolls, and gas.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal Orlando from $134

This is Universal Orlando’s first moderate resort. Our family of four stayed in a Tower Suite which runs closer to $200 a night since there’s a sitting area plus a kitchenette. My mom stayed in a poolside room for about $150 a night; standard rooms lose the view but are bargains starting at $134.

What’s to love Universal went all-out with the retro theme of this hotel, and the kitsch is cute. My kids loved the pools and sand areas. A free bus pulls up to sweep guests over to Universal’s parks pretty much constantly, especially in the morning hours. And because you’re on Universal property, you can get into the parks an hour early most days.

But of course A stay at Cabana Bay does not get you the Universal Express Pass, useful for cutting wait time at rides. Guests at the pricier Loews Portofino Bay and Hard Rock Hotel do get Express Passes, worth up to $60 a person, so if you’ll be riding a lot during high season, paying more for one of those hotels may make sense. We, however, were only interested in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Express Passes are fairly useless there: Most Potter rides don’t accept them. If, like us, you’re going to Universal Orlando for Potter mania, Cabana Bay Beach is a fantastic option.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge from $289

There’s no other resort like this one in the country, where you are immersed in another culture and also in a wildlife park. We stayed in a villa in the Kidani Village, where rooms are spacious. By this point it was me and my kids, my mom, plus my brother and sister-in-law and baby niece. Our two-bedroom, three-bath with a full kitchen plus laundry (and a living room that became a third bedroom at bedtime) runs for $767 a night, more affordable (about $256 per family) than three separate rooms.

What’s to love Staying on Disney property means Extra Magic Hours, free transportation to and from the airport, free bus service all through the resort, and Magic Bands. We were not low-maintenence, between my newly hip-replaced mom’s scooter and my niece’s stroller, and a ground-floor room at Kidani turned out to be ideal. We pre-ordered breakfast groceries through gardengrocer.com and ate morning meals in our pajamas. Every room has a balcony for animal-watching, and tracking the creatures was a highlight of the trip for every one of us. The pools and restaurants are among our favorites too!
But of course This is one of Disney’s Deluxe Resort Hotels and hanging out with the giraffes isn’t cheap. But though it’s deluxe-priced, you can’t walk to any of the parks like you can from the deluxe Contemporary or Yacht Club Resort. (Then again, Animal Kingdom is the only hotel with a nightly drum circle!) If you want a Disney hotel but need to really slash lodging to more like $100 a night, check out Disney Value Resort Hotels. The grounds are not as lush, but you still get all the park perks.
This resort invited us in during their opening month and we couldn’t say no. It was back to me, my husband, and our two kids, and we’ve never stayed together somewhere this luxe.
What’s to love Uh…everything. I woke up from my deepest sleep in years in one of their comfy beds and was inspired to hit the fitness room and walk around the lake while my kids actually slept in. It would be easy to spend an entire day among the pools, lazy river, and water slides, where staff rush to supply you with ice water, sunscreen, and frozen fruit (all free!), or pretty much anything else you want (mostly for a price). There’s an on-site Disney concierge to help with park logistics, a tropical paradise of a kids’ center, and a spa. And you can see the Magic Kingdom’s fireworks from here.
But of course You don’t stay at a Four Seasons unless you can spend. There’s no parking lot, only a valet (and valet charge). Our dinner, with a bottle of wine, went over $200. And that $479 price is not really for a family; using the Web site to try and book a room for four people, rates seem more uniformly about $700 a night. You’re living in a beautiful dream here, but it is Top. Of. The. Line.

This video nails all the reasons to go beyond the rides.

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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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win a Dresser and a Kardashian Kids Outfit from Babies R Us!

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

If you enjoy dressing your little fashionista in the latest trends, you’re probably familiar with the Kardashian Kids line at Babies “R” Us, designed by sisters Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe. Not only are the pieces stylish and kid-appropriate, but their comfortable threads aren’t expensive (every piece is under $50), making them a win in our book.

Since the Kardashian Kids collection continues to grow, and your daughter’s wardrobe may as well, Babies “R” Us is giving away a chic $350 dresser from Delta to hold your child’s clothes, along with a $102 complete Kardashian Kids outfit!

ONE (1) lucky winner will receive a Babies “R” Us Delta Chalet 6-drawer dresser and an outfit from the Kardashian Kids line including a mod print dress, jacket with faux-fur collar, ivory tights, and a black metallic head wrap. Approximate retail value of the entire prize is $452.96. To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day October 15. More Qs about our giveaway? Read our official rules. Be sure to check back on October 16 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!

Congrats to our winner, Robin Quaintance. Please check your “other” message folder on Facebook to claim your prize!

Want tips on how to organize your kid’s closet? We’ve got a video!

 

Home Organization: Kid's Clothing Storage
Home Organization: Kid's Clothing Storage
Home Organization: Kid's Clothing Storage

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