The Cutest Valentine’s EVER!

Eleni's Color Me DIY Valentines

Eleni’s fabulous bakery in Chelsea Market sells “Color Me!” cookie kits via its online store and sent Sebastian a Color Me! Hearts set to create Valentine’s for his classmates this year.

The kit comes with 18 hand-iced sugar cookies (nut-free), 5 edible ink markers, 18 cellophane bags, and 18 white ribbons, in a pretty reusable tin.

If enthusiasm counts, Sebastian scores the highest marks. His designs aren’t very appetizing at this age (I’m not being harsh, trust me) so he decorated a few cookies and I wrote simple wishes on the rest. I think the kits are ideal for ages 7+ if you plan to gift the cookies, otherwise, they’re a blast for any age. They taste great too!

I’m so impressed by the creative, personalized, and edible aspect (plus nut-free, which is a must in most schools these days). A definite Glamamom favorite!

Eleni's Color Me Hearts Cookies

 

My Virtual Fashion Show from Crayola

Crayola's My Virtual Fashion Show

With New York Fashion Week upon us, it’s only fitting that Crayola introduce its newest creative kit, My Virtual Fashion Show, a style portfolio and app that allows young fashion lovers to create clothing designs, try them on virtual models, and watch them walk the runway.

Remember Fashion Plates? My Virtual Fashion Show is like that but on a whole other level! The kit comes with a 20-page sketchbook and portfolio, as well as 12 Crayola colored pencils to create fashion designs, and a code to download the Crayola Fashion app for iPod Touch, iOS or Android devices where the outfits can be put on virtual models to walk the runway. The models themselves can be customized from hairstyle to skin tone with accessory add-ons like shoes and handbags.

Vera Sweeney, Audrey McClelland, and the Crayola team hosted a party at Dylan’s Candy Bar yesterday evening to check it out and not surprisingly everyone had a blast from petite fashionistas to moms to the tough guys that tagged along (especially the boys, matter of fact!).

The fashions can be decorated with glitter, pom poms, coins, whatever. Photographing them into the app is a little tricky and may require adult assistance but everything else is straight forward and super cute. Here are two of Sebastian’s creations walking the runway in Paris (you can produce show in three different cities!):

My Virtual Fashion Show

My Virtual Fashion Show is recommended for ages 6 and up and retails for $20, which is right in the birthday gift sweet spot. I definitely recommend it, especially as a snow day activity! Get it here.

{I was not compensated for this post. Sebastian and Lucas received goody bags for attending the event.}

Saying Thank You with a Personal Touch {Guest Post}

6 Tips For Getting Kids to Write Thank You Notes

I’m all about thank you notes (on fabulous stationary of course) and thrilled to have Jenny Franklin from Party Pail guest posting today with her best tips for making thank you cards a fun process for kids and letting them express their thanks in a way that has meaning to them:

Guess what? January is National Thank You Month. With the wintry weather and the holidays just behind us, this is the perfect time to get the kids involved in a fun project that will also teach them the importance of thanking others. I remember back when I was a child and how I dreaded having to write thank you notes after my birthday or Christmas.

Even though it taught me to show appreciation, I cringed at having to sit down and write out my thanks to friends and relatives. Maybe I was overly dramatic, but time seemed to slow down. I felt like I was chained to the desk until I filled in each card with a small note and signed my name. Only after my mother inspected and approved each one was I allowed to get up and try to make up for the lost time to my youth. Yeah, it was a pretty harrowing experience.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be the same dreaded experience for children today. The important thing is to get the kids to look at it as a fun project. So having them use their natural creativity is an important part of the process of making cards as well as learning a valuable life lesson.

Don’t feel that your children have to follow some formal standards. Let them express their thanks in a way that has meaning to them. Here are 6 tips for getting kids to write thank you notes and make the process enjoyable for both you and the kids.

  • Keep your expectations appropriate to their age. As they grow older you can raise the bar for what you expect of them.
  • Have your children get in the habit of sending out cards while they are still young. Their enthusiasm at a young age and consistency will carry over as they get older.
  • Keep a box of materials at the ready. Include some items, such as certain stamps or glitter, that you only let your child use when making cards. If you have to run errands to gather the supplies then both you and your kid’s enthusiasm will deflate.
  • As your children get older and more adept at using a computer, let them use a graphics program to create their own cards. It will still stretch their creative muscles and have a personal touch.
  • Send the thank you through the mail. Have your children get use to using snail mail. In spite of what many say, it will be around for a while. This may be the only exposure they get to the postal service as children. Besides, most of us think it’s a treat to get a personal message through the mail.
  • Above all, keep track of who gave each gift. In the frenzy of opening gifts who gave what can become confusing.

As for what to create, I’m going to leave that up to your and your child. A simple search on Pinterest or Google will give you far more ideas than I could ever hope to provide you with. Just remember, you’re not only teaching a lesson but having fun doing it.

Jenny Franklin loves stirring up creative ideas while writing about party ideas and other things for Party Pail.

Glam Baby Gear | 4moms NEW rockaRoo Infant Seat {Review & Giveaway}

mamaRoo

That’s my Lukey print mixing with the 4moms mamaRoo at about 8 weeks old. Like most infants, he loved to be bounced, swayed, and rocked. Like most moms, I used the limited time he was secure and content in his infant seat to accomplish as much as I could.

A good infant seat and/or rocker should keep your little one safe, secure, and soothed, be lightweight so you can move it around your home, and aesthetically pleasing to look at since it’s taking up precious real estate! 4moms, the company behind trusted baby gear like the mamaRoo infant seat and Origami stroller, has launched the newest product in its line up, the rockaRoo infant seat, and it easily meets all of those requirements and more. I’m among the lucky few to experience it first, up close and personal:

4moms rockaRoo

4moms rockaRoo

4moms rockaRoo infant seat2

4moms rockaRoo control panel2

It only takes four simple steps to fully assemble the rockaRoo and it’s ready to go. A hybrid of the infant seat and rocker, the rockaRoo rocks backs and forth like a horse, safely maximizing the sensation of movement for the baby, specifically towards the head, where they feel it most.

I vividly remember rocking my older son Sebastian to sleep in his infant car seat because the back and forth motion put him right to sleep like nothing else could. The swing just didn’t do it for him. At the time, there was absolutely nothing on the market that rocked back and forth on its own so the rockaRoo is a very welcome addition! It has a dial with five speeds, removable toy balls that hang over head for visual stimulation, and an MP3 plug-in to add music. It’s surprisingly lightweight and compact considering how substantial and sturdy it is and it has a very small footprint.

I’m a huge fan of rockaRoo’s contemporary design too. As you can see, it fits quite nicely into Lucas’ room. In addition to the bolder multi-plush design featured here, rockaRoo also comes in classic gray and silver plush.

I just love watching baby gear evolve to meet the needs of its little users and companies like 4moms that take note of what parents need and want.

Enter to #win @4moms NEW rockaRoo from @Glamamom

WIN IT! I’m thrilled to offer one Glamamom reader a multi-plush 4moms rockaRoo (a $179 value).

TO ENTER: Please use the Rafflecopter entry form below, which will prompt you to leave a comment on this post and provide extra entries for following Glamamom on various social media platforms:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4moms is also having DAILY giveaways on their Facebook page during the month of January. New Year, New Gear!

{I was not compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Merry Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

Holiday Gift Ideas for Teachers

Our Countdown to Christmas activity for Sebastian has been a huge hit. Every morning he wakes up to a new surprise holiday activity written on his Post-it Note Holder + Picture Frame and a corresponding photo in the 3×3 frame. It keeps us organized and keeps the anticipation of holiday activities going strong.

Tomorrow’s activity is “Take Gifts to My Teachers.” Sebastian adores his preschool teachers and I want him to be able to give them a small personal gift.

Teachers Holiday Gift Ideas

I have the Post-it Ruby Pop-up in my office and it’s a glam little desk accessory I think anyone would love to stay organized stylishly. It’s weighted for easy, convenient one-handed dispensing and is a great holiday gift idea for teachers.

Teachers Gift Ideas

Post-it Karate Pop-up Note Dispenser is another cute idea for teachers and coaches and includes a place for a pen too. You could even pair these dispensers with extra Post-it Notes in different colors, a gel pen, or highlighters, all available from the Post-it Brand. It would also be fun to give the Post-it Ruby Pop-up Note Dispenser along with a ruby-hued nail polish or piece of ruby costume jewelry for a chic little gift.

Post it Pop up Dispenser

For more holiday gift ideas for teachers and creative inspiration, keep up with Post-it Brand on post-it.comTwitter (@postitproducts)Pinterest (@postitproducts), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/postit).

{This series is sponsored by the Post-it Brand but all opinions expressed herein are my own.}

KidCuteTure {Review}

Kidcuteture

Whether we’re playing at home, hanging out at the playground, or going to a birthday party, it’s always the right occasion for a dress. My daughter loves them and lately, this adorable gray dress from KidCuteTure is a new favorite.

KidCuteTure designs use custom-made Peruvian cotton and this exceptional quality elevates this darling dress from a simple design to something much more substantial. The fabric is really luxurious for a simple cotton dress but the price point is very reasonable for children’s clothing.

We have a lot of beautiful gems hanging in the closet that are not suitable for every day but so many of our every day dresses have pilled after washing or the colors have faded. This sweet, gray Bianca Dress is so versatile. We’ve dressed it up with fun tights and Mary Janes and on this day she wore it to the playground with leggings and sparkly sneakers. The quality of the fabric is thick and so soft to the touch and I love the whimsical details of their designs like the ruffles and fun hemlines.

Kidcuteture Bianca Dress

To learn more about KidCuteTure please check out their Lookbook on their website http://www.kidcutetureshop.com.

Monica Shulman is a photographer and author of Ciao, Chessa! – a photography and lifestyle blog. She lives in New York City with her husband, toddler daughter, and infant son.

{I was not compensated for this post. I received a dress for review but all opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Countdown to Christmas Activity

Sebastian-Mayer-Holiday

As a parent, the holidays are pure magic. Experiencing the joy and wonderment of surprises and gift-gifting through the eyes of your child is like no other feeling in the world. I loved Christmas as a child but those memories don’t even compare to those that I am creating with my own family.

While many of our holiday traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, we’re also creating new ones of our very own. We’ve hung the Advent calendar with love and Balthazar our Elf on the Shelf is back in town, but this year, thanks to an idea from my friends at the Post-it Brand, we created a Countdown to Christmas activity especially for my 4-year old, Sebastian.

Utilizing the Post-it Note Holder + Picture Frame, we assign a new activity to conquer each day leading up to Christmas. It sits on Sebastian’s desk right next to his Radio City Rockette so that each morning when he wakes up, he has a little surprise waiting for him and can be actively involved in our holiday preparations.

We’re also using the photo portion of the the Post-it Note Holder + Picture Frame to remind him of holiday activities from years’ past which he likely doesn’t remember at this age.

Some of the daily activities on tap include: Visit Macy’s SantalandTrim the Christmas TreeWrite Letters to SantaSend Out Holiday Cards, and Take Gifts to My Teachers:

Boys Room

Post it Photo Frame

Post it Note Holder Photo Frame

The Post-it Brand Countdown to Christmas activity is a practical, fun, and easy way to get the little ones involved in holiday preparations and keep track of your to-do list at the same time.

What are some of the holiday traditions you’ve created with your family?

Keep up with Post-it Brand on www.post-it.comTwitter (@postitproducts)Pinterest (@postitproducts), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/postit), and check back next week to see how Post-it Note Dispensers make a great gift for teachers.

UPDATE: I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the room decor. The Erector Lamp, Parker ShadeCameron Desk, and Airplane Pulls are from Pottery Barn Kids. The desk chair and numbered baskets are from Ikea. The carpet is Couristan. I’ll talk to Sebastian and see if he wants to share more of this room ;) Thanks for your interest.

{This series is sponsored by Post-it Brand but all opinions expressed herein are my own.} 

The Great Holiday Giveaway

With Thanksgiving upon us, the holiday countdown is on!

To help make the season even more merry and bright (and give you a little gift inspiration), I’m teaming up with my stylish friends at Baby ShopaholicBonBon Rose GirlsMarino BambinosThe Chirping MomsThe Little Style File, and Thirty Something Fashion for the Great Holiday Giveaway — $900 worth of fabulous prizes for one lucky lady!

The Great Holiday Giveaway

$100 Land Of Nod Gift Card // Charm It! Necklace & 5 Charms ($40 value) // Ruffled Jacket from Olivia & Owen ($129 value) // Nerium Day & Night Serum Set ($165 value) // Mother & Daughter Dress Set from ETSI // 2 Blue Nile Infinity Bracelets one to keep & one to give ($90 value) // Rakani Rose Gold Watch ($200 value) // Little Girls Accessory Set from Love My Alannah ($100 value) 

WANT IT? Please use the Rafflecopter entry form below for your chances to win. The giveaway will run from November 25th until December 1st. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsored by:
Great Holiday Giveaway Sponsors

Graco Little Lounger | #Graco15ForMe Event

Baby registries just got a little bit shorter!

That’s right expectant mamas. Graco just released the hardest working product in its lineup of safe and trusted baby gear, the Graco Little Lounger™, a soothing and stylish 2-in-1 rocking seat + vibrating lounger, for infants up to 30 pounds:

Graco Astoria Little Lounger

Need a secure to place to settle your little love while you shower? Check email? Make yourself lunch? The Graco Little Lounger™ has you covered. Its seat has a 3-point harness and multiple recline positions to find the sweet spot for your baby’s comfort. In rocking seat mode, the Little Lounger can rock back and forth gently to soothe baby. Simply flip down the Rock Locks™ and the seat becomes a stationary vibrating lounger with a 2-speed vibration. You know I love a product that pulls double-duty!

I wish the Little Lounger existed when my boys were infants. We had such great success with Graco SnugRide and Snap-N-Go, the Pack ‘n Play, and Sweatpeace Infant Soothing Swing. Similarly, the Little Lounger is easy to assemble and very intuitive to use.

With the push of a button, the Little Lounger folds in half for quick storage or travel. And at $79.99, it tops the list of newest mom must-haves and makes a great holiday gift for all the expectant mamas on your list.

Graco Little Lounger Event

So convinced moms would love the Little Lounger, I co-hosted a launch party at my new home last week to show off the “Astoria” a model exclusively available at BuyBuy Baby. I know it may sound a little crazy considering we just moved in but I really wanted to meet some local bloggers and work with Graco, whom I’ve always trusted to keep my babies safe and happy. The theme, and hashtag for the event, was #Graco15ForMe. The Little Lounger will hopefully give moms some time for themselves and we had local private chef Antoinette Gillespie on hand to dazzle us with some quick and healthy meals achievable in what little time moms have.

Chef Antoinette’s cooking demonstration included recipes for Arugula & Pear Salad, Black Bean Soup, Baked Maple Pecan Salmon, Szechwan Chicken and Bok Choy, and Banana Flambe. It was even better than it looks and sounds! If you’re interested in the recipes for these dishes, please email me. Chef Antoinette graciously shared the details. It was the perfect fit to learn the right ingredients and methods for whipping up some quick and healthy go-to recipes while baby is relaxing securely nearby.

Graco15ForMe

Sparkling Cider and Cranberries

Antoinette Gillespie

Arugula Pear Salad

Black Bean Soup

Baked Maple Pecan Salmon

Szechwan Chicken Bok Choy

Bananas Flambe

Everyone then went home with their own Little Lounger to check it out in more detail. Hopefully you’ll be seeing the great feedback elsewhere as well. Thanks to Graco and RM Media for giving me the opportunity to participate in this fabulous launch!

For more info on Graco’s Little Lounger, visit Graco on Facebook or Twitter and follow the hashtag #Graco15ForMe.

{My participation in the event was sponsored but all opinions expressed herein are my own.}