Category Archives: parents

Baby Names, 2010 Parenting Trends & STOKKE

Parents.com just released the top baby names in 2009. Aidan was the top boys’ name and Isabella was the top girl’s name. Click here to find the top baby names of 2009 for both boys and girls. And if you’re interested to see what singer Jennifer Hudson named her little boy, click here to find out.

I love Parents.com parenting trends for 2010. The first one I am completely in agreement with. Parents want to lose the pastel baby furniture and buy furniture that will grow with their child instead of having limited use.

STOKKE* has a wide range of very sophisticated nursery furniture in basic colors that also convert to furniture that your child can use as she gets older.

Printable Pumpkin Carving Stencils

iStock_000003004800XSmallIf you’re like me you do everything at the last minute. Have I bought a pumpkin, yet? No. Does that give me angst? A little. How do I plan on carving my pumpkin? With stencils!!

Even though I haven’t bought a pumpkin yet I have done my due diligence to find stencils to make a gorgeous jack-o-lantern whenever I do buy one. I have until Saturday, right?

witchIf you’re looking for printable pumpkin carving stencils like I was earlier today look no further than Better Homes and Gardens. They have a great page dedicated to 38 wonderful stencils that will delight your children from a flying witch to a haunted mansion.

You’re welcome :)

Speak Now For Kids Raises Awareness About Health Reform

snfkDid you know eight percent of all children in America do not have health insurance? That’s about 11 million children nationwide. That’s too many.

Spearheaded by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H.), leading children’s organizations are gearing up to launch a grassroots mobilization campaign asking Congress and the Obama Administration to make health care reform work for children.

mpp0152223-1What: National Speak Now for Kids in Health Reform Campaign
The campaign utilizes interactive Web technology to allow advocates to register online as champions for children’s health, express their priorities for children in health reform and upload testimonials about experiences with children’s health care. Gathered data will be broken out by Congressional district and rolled up nationally to display advocates’ opinions in a user friendly dash board.

Who: The National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H.)
National campaign partners include the American Academy of Pediatrics,
Children’s Defense Fund, Children’s Health Fund, First Focus and March of Dimes.

When: May 6 through the month of May

Where: www.SpeakNowForKids.org

Chicago Museum Recreates Harry Potter

WARNER BROS. CONSUMER PRODUCTS HARRY POTTER EXHIBITION
I’m not a huge lover of Harry Potter films, although my daughters certainly are. I do, however, remember in the Chamber of Secrets the unforgettable scene when the second year students learned all about the mandrakes by their teacher Pomona Sprout. Now for those who live in Chicago, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is featuring a Harry Potter exhibit through September 27, 2009. 

With over 200 authentic artifacts  the exhibit is a live look at the Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as portrayed in the Harry Potter film series. 

To learn more visit www.msichicago.org.

Pampers Mommy and Daddy Blogger Event 2.0 — Final Recap

pampersarchiveIt’s been a week since I attended the Pampers Mommy and Daddy Blogger Event 2.0. For me, I absolutely love getting a behind-the-scenes look at companies to form a clear understanding about the philosophy behind the products they make, how their products best help me as a mom, and how they, as a company, impact the world.

I was really impressed by how Pampers develops products that help make parents’ lives easier with quality, well-made diapers that cause less leakage and wipes that are safe for your baby. Did you know that Pampers wipes are so safe that you can eat them? Pampers doesn’t recommend it, but if your child puts them in his mouth, he’ll be okay.

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During the event we were treated to a visit to the Procter and Gamble archives (first picture above) where we were able to learn a brief  history of the company and see packaging and branding for tons of the P&G products through the years. You wouldn’t believe how much smaller diaper packages have become. You used to have to buy huge boxes of Pampers, now smaller packaging for the same amount of diapers is more efficient for parents, shipping, and for the environment.

I met some really exceptional people during the event.

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Jodi Allen, Vice President of North American Baby Care, understands the digital space and how important bloggers and social media are to the Pampers brand. I always respect execs who understand the future of communication and embrace it as opposed to those who are scared to death of it and shun it hoping it will go away. Kudos to Jodi Allen for understanding the power of social media!

One of the first people I had the chance to talk to was Kelly Anchrum, External Relations Global Baby Care Director.

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She and her team talked to us about Pampers and sustainability. One of the best anecdotes about sustainability she mentioned was that when she worked for Procter and Gamble in Sweden (one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the world), the vast majority of Swedish parents use disposable diapers. That was pretty powerful for me.

Continue reading Pampers Mommy and Daddy Blogger Event 2.0 — Final Recap

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book

hc1By now we’ve all read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and if you haven’t you really should! It is indeed one of the best children’s books of all time. It’s allure? Eric Carle used nature and simplicity to create pure literary magic. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is akin to The Cat in the Hat; it’s obligatory reading for every child.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Eric Carle’s  The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Philomel; Hardcover/Pop-up Book; On Sale March 2009; $29.99; 14 pages; Ages 3 up/PreS up) Penguin has refashioned the story into a pop-up book and it is in a word: gorgeous! The story, which is already phenomenal, pops off the page in wondrous 3-D at every turn. Even though my daughters are older (10 and 8) they were delighted by the creativity and the intricacies of the pop-up technology.

While the book is intended for children ages 3 and older I would recommend that you don’t put this masterpiece in the hands of a 3-year-old or even a 5-year-old. The pop-up version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar is so well made it can serve as a wonderful collector’s item. You can save it for your grandchildren and even then they will adore it and be riveted by the gorgeous design of this book. Or, it can become a bedtime story for special occasions. However you decide to use it, it is well worth buying and sharing with your little ones.

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Essence’s February Issue + Mahogany Butterfly

feb09If you aren’t a subscriber to Essence magazine, the February issue is one to pick up on the newsstand. 

You’ll like their beauty picks, Fab in a Flash, and Cheap & Chic sections. The Essence editors did a fabulous job picking products that will make us look beautiful, but won’t make us break the bank!

The cover story featuring Tyler Perry (pg. 113) is also a nice read. Even though I didn’t learn anything new about Perry, it’s always beneficial to feed off his success and analyze how his mind works. I love that he hasn’t forgotten where he came from and is forever grateful for the blessings that have been bestowed upon him. He always has a lot of wisdom to impart upon his fans and I soak it up whenever I read something from him. 

There is also an uplifting piece called Turn Your Life Around (pg 135). It gives an abundance of advice and anecdotes about ways to make life-altering transitions for the betterment of your life. 

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On another note, I am now a contributing editor to Mahogany Butterfly’s Beloved section which is all about motherhood. Be sure to visit. I will cross-post links to a lot of the articles here so you won’t miss a thing 

Jennifer James, Editor

Save on Earth’s Best Organic Baby Food

earthsbest1When my girls were babies I fed them as organically as I could. After all, it is very expensive to buy organic products. And now that the economy is out of whack, organic products from produce to soap cost a lot. 

Earth’s Best, the first and only full line of organic baby food, has recognized how costly it is for parents to feed their babies organically all of the time, so they have made it a little easier to buy their full line of products.

The “Celebrate the Firsts” promotion is a receipt redemption program. You can save money on Earth Best’s organic baby products including eb2formula, jar foods, juices, cereal, teething biscuits and pastina by sending in receipts for the Earth’s Best products they purchase.

Here are the rewards:

  • $5 in coupons and bib for receipts totaling $25.
  • $10 in coupons plus travel size Jason Organic baby body care for $50 worth of receipts.
  • $15 in coupons plus Fisher Price Tubtime Friends for $100 worth of receipts.

There is also a sweepstakes element which offers you a chance to win infant and toddler toys from Fisher Price and free Earth’s Best food gift packs.

Click here to learn more about Earth’s Best savings  program. 

Do you feed your baby organic baby food? Do you make it a priority to eat organically all of the time?

Adventures By Disney: European Alps – Alpine Magic


In the first of eight posts about Adventures by Disney, I will take a look at Disney’s European Alps – Alpine Magic destination trip for families. Adventures by Disney is expanding its list of itineraries by eight new destinations in 2009.

According to Disney you can experience the Alps like never before with private tour guides and cable car visits to the popular peaks of Northern Italy and Switzerland. The only thing more breathtaking than the view will be the amazing zip line ride through Forest Fun Park.

Adventure Highlights include:

  • Exclusive Junior Adventurers gelato tasting and pony rides
  • Lesson in pasta making, taught by professional chefs in Como, Italy
  • Sample wines with the local sommelier, while Junior Adventurers feast on grape juice and gourmet cookies
  • Relax during a scenic train ride with views of Matterhorn Mountain
  • Descent from the town of Andermatt on a 12 mile downhill bike ride
  • ..and much more

Visit Adventures by Disney to find out more information and to book your trip.