harpercollinschildrens

harpercollinschildrens:

Did you read the Paddington books growing up? Chances are you, you did! Maybe you watched the television show or had a Paddington stuffed bear as well. That’s because Paddington Bear has been around for over 50 years and is a classic children’s book character.

This week, we are celebrating the…

Gearing Up for Winter Weather and Indoor Play

The season of hours upon hours indoors is sneaking up on us. Prepare yourself, and your family, for all that inside time with a few purchases ahead of time and maybe save yourself some sanity. This is a small list of things we’ve seen around the web this week that had us almost wishing for cold weather (but not quite).

  • Junior Wonder Golf Set, $70, Magic Cabin
    For your dreams of warmer days and spring weather games
  • Tumbling Mat, $113 new, Amazon
    For getting out some energy, safely
  • Crazy Forts Flex, $60, Building Blocks Toys
    For adding structure to a fort that doesn’t include all your tables and chairs.
  • Box of Winter Activities, $18, Etsy
    For when you’ve run out of ideas 
  • Kardboard Kingdom, $80, Land of Nod
    For a little play space. Between coloring, decorating and building this castle, they should be busy for at LEAST a few days… right?
  • Custom memory game, $20, Pinhole Press
    For stretching those brain muscles.

—Alaina Buzas, Contributor

How to Rock the GRAPHIC TEE Trend Without Mortifying Your Teenagers.

Graphic tees, and tanks, and sweaters are just about everywhere this fall. From Forever 21 to high end boutiques and luxury brands,  it appears that slapping clever phrases and personal mantras across our “girls” is where it’s at.  It took me approximately 4 1/2 minutes to jump onto this playful fashion band wagon and now I’ve been collecting wordy shirts for weeks.

I wear them to the grocery store, alone as I write, to walk the dog, and all dressed up for fun nights out with my man.

They’re a conversation starter, an unexpected nod to something you love, or just a fun way to express how you might be feeling on a particular day. Or how you wish you were feeling on a particular day.

Yep, I’m “obsessed”. 

Hope this vid. gives you a bit of inspiration to rock some words with the rest of the kids. And me.

Life is way too short and serious not to have a little fun with the way you look.

Cheers, people.

*And a special round of applause to Truman Sinclair for the lovely blown-out belly button ya’ll witnessed.  All 9.5 pounds of him in the belly will do that fo’shizzle.

*Favorite high- waisted denims of the moment by LOVE Premium Denim.

Disclaimer: No one paid me for this here vlog post.  I think of it as my civil duty. 

5 Great Free Alternatives to CrossFit For Kids

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Photo by Bruce Stockwell/Flickr

Helping your kids develop healthy habits, like a balanced diet and regular exercise, is an important part of parenting. Sending them to the gym to do reps probably isn’t.

Unless you’ve been hiding from the world this past year, you’ve probably noticed CrossFit fever sweep the nation. I personally know a handful of people who have joined in on this intense workout trend. But these people are my peers, not preschoolers. 

It’s no secret there is an issue with childhood obesity in this country, and it is a serious problem we need to eliminate. CrossFit could potentially be a good idea for some kids, and they might even find it to be really fun. 

With all of that said, we’d like to suggest five great FREE alternatives to the very pricy training that is CrossFit for kids:

  1. (Outdoors) Map out a route with your kids for a family bike ride. The family bike ride is such an easy go-to and can be changed up pretty easily. Try letting your kids take turns mapping out a route, or leading the pack. To get your whole family into a longer bike ride and exercising more, try creating round-trip destination routes instead of a few loops around your own neighborhood.

  2. (Outdoors) Pick up a few tennis racquets from your local thrift store and head to a park with tennis courts. Tennis is great for both strength and cardio. When I was younger, we’d make challenges and prizes for volleying the ball back and forth. If my brother and I could hit a certain number of returns, my mom would let us rent a movie or pick-up froyo on the walk home.

  3. (Indoors or Outdoors) Try doing yoga with your kids. Yoga has the potential to teach kids great lessons about their bodies and a healthy state of mind. Such a big part of yoga is balance, which can lead to some pretty fun “how long can you do this super weird pose?” competitions. Or try playing Mirror with yoga poses, making up your own poses as you go along.  Another idea is to make yoga less “ohm” and more fun by letting kids pick the background music.

  4. (Indoors or Outdoors) For younger kids, just playing pretend can get them moving quite a bit. Try starting with a trip to the zoo to get kids inspired, and walking! Later that week, ask them to mimic the animals they met. Get their whole body moving with frog leaps, elephant steps or monkey play.  

  5. (Outdoors) Midwest winters can seem to last forever. But you can still get in a little exercise even though there’s snow on the ground. Have a snowball fight or play tag to get in some family cardio. Moving around in the snow already adds some natural resistance, and you can reward everyone with a family movie and hot chocolate night. It’s all about balance after all! And guess what…you’ll be getting your heart rate up and burning calories right along with your kids.  Plus it’s FUN.

Additional resources:

The Let’s Move! Campaign

Sport & Fitness on PBS

Girls on the Run

*  I am of course not a doctor, or a parenting expert, but Meredith and I agree that we think there are plenty of alternatives to paying a lot of money for such an intense program. We encourage you to research CrossFit Kids on your own to make the best decision for your family. You can learn more about CrossFit Kids on their website. We also recommend this article from the New York Times about the practice.

Alaina Buzas, Contributor

There are some really surprising holidays on our calendars, but one I had never heard of was Socktober, or October as National Sock Month. Clearly, this is a really great excuse to buy some ridiculously awesome socks to keep our toes cozy as the weather grows cooler. 
Here are ten pairs we rounded up from around the web to keep you on your feet and playing even in the cool of Fall. 
"You’re Not the Boss of Me," Sitty Sassy (ModCloth, $9.99)
White/Gray 3-Pack, (Target, $9)
French Flower Socks (More & Co., $26)
Sequin Crew Socks (Anthropologie, $20)
Front Embellished Ankle Socks (ASOS, $19.04)
Color-Block Liner-Sock 3-Packs (Old Navy, $6)
Five Color Sock (Happy Socks, $12)
2 Pack Snakes and Roses Crew (Betsey Johnson, $20)
Flower Trouser Socks (J.Crew, $10.50)
Flowering Lark Socks (Smartwool, $19.95)
Socktober was actually started by the Smartwool company and SoulPancake to help make a difference for the homeless. Socktober encouraged people to start sock drives and support their local homeless shelters. Pretty cool!
—Graphic and post by Alaina Buzas, Contributor

There are some really surprising holidays on our calendars, but one I had never heard of was Socktober, or October as National Sock Month. Clearly, this is a really great excuse to buy some ridiculously awesome socks to keep our toes cozy as the weather grows cooler. 

Here are ten pairs we rounded up from around the web to keep you on your feet and playing even in the cool of Fall. 

  1. "You’re Not the Boss of Me," Sitty Sassy (ModCloth, $9.99)
  2. White/Gray 3-Pack, (Target, $9)
  3. French Flower Socks (More & Co., $26)
  4. Sequin Crew Socks (Anthropologie, $20)
  5. Front Embellished Ankle Socks (ASOS, $19.04)
  6. Color-Block Liner-Sock 3-Packs (Old Navy, $6)
  7. Five Color Sock (Happy Socks, $12)
  8. 2 Pack Snakes and Roses Crew (Betsey Johnson, $20)
  9. Flower Trouser Socks (J.Crew, $10.50)
  10. Flowering Lark Socks (Smartwool, $19.95)

Socktober was actually started by the Smartwool company and SoulPancake to help make a difference for the homeless. Socktober encouraged people to start sock drives and support their local homeless shelters. Pretty cool!

—Graphic and post by Alaina Buzas, Contributor

This Autumn’s Most Popular Trend in Lids…The Floppy Fall Hat.  This week on “What I’ll Be Wearing Wednesday”!

Happy FALL, Ya’ll!

It’s always fun to take a little fashion risk now and again, and this might be it for me this season. I have always LOVED a stylish lid, but this one is definitely a wee stretch for me.  But I love it.  So I’m wearing it.

Like I said, I found this one at Old Navy, but a quick google search will reveal about a million other places to find them.  Now off to walk the dog in my new hat.

Life is short and unpredictable… play hard.