Category Archives: Family

INFOGRAPHIC: What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is May 8, which means it is only a matter of time before you’re scrambling to find that last-minute gift or seeking a good enough card in an entirely picked-over greeting card aisle.

We have been celebrating Mother’s Day for over 102 years, since it became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. In all that time, we as a society have concluded that the very best gifts for the most influential women in our lives on their special day are greeting cards and flowers. This year, DealsPlus.com, an online community of bargain hunters, did some digging of their own to help us all make better Mother’s Day gift-giving decisions. Their resource concluded with some interesting stats about how people are planning to shop for their Mother’s Day gifts, how much they will typically spend, and most importantly, what moms really want.

The following Mother’s Day infographic is DealPlus.com’s step-by-step resource to going beyond greeting cards and flowers and really impressing the most important women in your life on Mother’s Day.

DealsPlus Mothers Day 2016 infographic

Dressing Baby in Style

The majority of baby clothes you see hanging from miniaturized racks are overwhelmingly pastel and oh so cutesy; they probably have animals printed on them or animated characters you’re already sick of seeing. But believe it or not, there are other options out there and luckily they’re becoming a little more popular. If you want your little darling to look adorable without resorting to designs that make you cringe, try dressing baby in any of these smart styles.

Deep Colors

It’s easy to find baby clothes in pastel color palettes, but deep, vibrant colors are starting to catch on. More department stores are offering clothes in shades of black, navy blue, and jewel tones, making it easy for you to dress your little one in hues you’re going to love.

A Sense of Humor

geek onesie
TheWishingElephant/Etsy

Tee shirts emblazoned with clever sayings have always been on trend, so why not get your little bundle of joy in on the act? You’ll appreciate the humorous quips, and they are guaranteed conversation starters. Honor your favorite movie, super hero, or their general lack of hair. These are the best form of casual wear and they’re perfect for a day out at the park or just relaxing at home.

Early Sports Lover

Sports aren’t just for the boys! Now, say it three times and get your child in on the fun of rooting for the home team. You can find your favorite sports team in outfits for infants, like Yankees baby clothes. Whether you’re dressing baby in an adorable sleeper for grandma’s house or a matching set that’s perfect for the big game, you can find the perfect outfit for your little sports fan.

Ready for Nice Occasions

You never know when you might need a nice outfit. While you don’t need to have a tuxedo in the closet for your three-month old, you can still pick up a little outfit with cute collar and cuffs that will dress them up a bit for a special occasion. For the girls, there are literally countless prints and styles of beautiful dresses for church, a celebration for an older sibling, or their first trip to a nice restaurant.

It is possible for your child to look sharp in their clothes, and you can be proud to show off the great gear you’ve found thanks to some impeccable fashion sense. Have fun with your child’s wardrobe and be sure to take plenty of pictures. While some clothing designs may still make you cringe, it’s easier than ever before to find colors and designs that you’ll love.

Planning a Winter Baby Shower

Spring is a welcomed awakening after a sometimes daunting and seemingly endless state of hibernation, so it makes sense that spring is also prime baby shower season. But for expectant moms who will welcome a new bundle of joy during the winter months, planning a festive party can come with its own unique set of challenges and accommodations.

For moms-to-be whose due dates are more synonymous with snow and cold than the warm rebirth of spring, here is a quick guide and simple ideas that will help you make the most of a winter baby shower — no matter how cold it is outside.

Set a Budget

Before planning anything, it is wise to first set a budget, and then to decide who will ultimately be responsible for the bill. The baby shower could be the host’s gift to the parents-to-be, or funds can be pooled among close friends and family members.

When setting the budget, take into account:

  • Location fees if you are renting a hall or the back room of a restaurant
  • Invitations and thank you cards
  • Decorations
  • Craft supplies if you will be making any custom decor, as well as supplies you will need for games
  • Food costs — don’t forget the cake if you will be ordering it from a bakery
  • Disposable tableware
  • Party favors and goody bags

Decide on a Location

Many spring and summer baby showers are held outdoors, with smaller gatherings taking place in someone’s backyard, or a park to accommodate a larger number of guests. But the great outdoors is no place for a winter baby shower, limiting the number of available and appropriate locations for your event.

If there will be 15 guests or less, the host’s, expectant parent’s, or a family member’s home should provide enough room for everyone to fit and maneuver around comfortably in a relaxed environment. For a larger crowd, as we mentioned above, you can rent a hall, space at the honoree’s favorite restaurant, or even a board or business room at a local hotel. You should be able to rent a space at any location that usually hosts events, so don’t be afraid to look around and price check according to your budget.

Choose a Theme or Color Scheme

The traditional hatching chicks of spring might not be the best fit for a winter baby shower, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a lovely and fun party atmosphere. Keeping in mind the tastes of the expectant mother, the shower theme can be traditional, modern, or a mixture of both.

To evoke the spirit of the season, try incorporating traditional pastels with brown or gray to mimic the natural winter color palette. For a more sophisticated look, try a blue color palette with silver accents, or even an all-white color scheme with glitter accents that will remind guests of fresh falling snow.

Plan the Menu

The first step to planning the perfect baby shower menu is to ask the honoree what food(s) she is craving most these days and make those dishes the focal point of your menu. Round out the edible offerings with a selection of finger foods. You may also consider making it a potluck affair so that you won’t be taking on the entire menu by yourself. This will also ensure that any picky eaters in attendance won’t feel like “that person” who brings their own food to a party, and everyone who brings a dish is guaranteed to like at least one thing on the table.

To make things easier on yourself for the dishes you will be making yourself, try to choose dishes that can be made ahead of time and frozen, or can at least be made a day or two in advance. If you will be ordering a specialty cake or cupcakes from a bakery, place your order one month in advance of the event.

Prepare Games and Gifts

If the parents-to-be haven’t found out the gender of their baby, or just aren’t telling, unisex baby shower gifts like a diaper cake, wipes, bottles, onesies, and security blankets will always be used. To accommodate the gifts, decorate a table with linens and decor items that match your shower’s theme and place it as close to the party entrance as possible. This will save the honoree or host from the hassle of having gifts thrust at them whenever a guest arrives and having to walk each gift over to the gift table themselves.

Designate someone to help the honoree with recording the gifts they receive and who it came from. This will help tremendously when it comes time to write thank you cards with sincerity and thoughtfulness for the people who helped share in the excitement of welcoming the new baby into the world.

For a fun winter baby shower activity, buy plain white cotton baby hats and onesies and provide a variety of safe materials to decorate them. Guests will enjoy creating cute items for the new baby, and mom can show them off once baby arrives.

Every new mother needs a little advice, encouragement, or just a good laugh to get them through. Provide guests with pieces of paper or pre-cut stationary that matches your shower theme, like snowflakes, mittens, or baby booties, and have guests write down their most valuable pieces of motherly advice. Place all of the pieces of paper into a vase or jar and put it in the nursery so that the new mama can read through them when she needs to.

You can also give traditional games like “Don’t Say Baby” a wintery twist by having guests wear a snowflake pin and if someone says “baby,” they have to give their snowflake pin to the person who caught them. The party-goer with the most snowflake pins at the end of the shower will win a festive prize or favor.

It’s Your Friends That Count in ‘LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life’ — Blu-ray Giveaway #Girlz4Life [Closed]

The materials featured in this post and giveaway were provided by Warner Bros. Home Video. This post may contain affiliate links. No incentive was provided for this publication and opinions are our own. Woman Tribune is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

There are few things as important in life as your friends. No matter how old you are, your friends are there to share in life’s happy moments, support you when you make mistakes, and be your rock when the going gets tough. The new movie LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life is all about friendship, trusting yourself, and standing up for what’s right no matter what the cost. All set to an awesome soundtrack young girls will love.

Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia, and Andrea as they learn about friendship, fame, and pop star fun in Heartlake City. The girls’ friendships are tested when mega pop star Livi comes to Heartlake City. When our friends’ hit song “Girlz” is stolen by Livi’s manager, it’s time for a cunning plan. As the girls try to tell Livi the truth about her latest hit single, they all learn that fame isn’t everything and it’s friendship that’s the most precious thing in the world.

LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life brings the LEGO construction-based toy to (animated) life and invites girls into the world of Heartlake City to inspire them to use their imaginations to build and role play their own stories with fun-loving, relateable characters.

LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life releases on Digital HD January 19 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD February 2. Own it here.

LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life

Grab your microphone and click the play button in the app below to watch the special sing-a-long music video for the original song “Girlz” from the movie by L2M, the next girl-pop power sensation. You can also learn more about the girl group and listen to their song “High Tops.”

Young girls can unlock their inner pop star with the Girlz 4 Life activity pack: selfie props, making the band DIY pop star instruments, friendship card, and more.

‘LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life’ Blu-ray Giveaway

Join Olivia, Stephanie, Emma, Mia, and Andrea as they learn that fame isn’t important and it’s your friends that count!

One lucky reader will win LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life on Blu-ray. This giveaway is open to US entrants ages 18+ and ends February 4, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

LEGO Friends: Girlz 4 Life Blu-ray

INFOGRAPHIC: A Look at Children Raised in the LGBT Community

The way we think about the typical American family has changed considerably over recent years. There are more older first-time parents now, as more people are choosing to wait until later in life to start a family due to career goals or financial strain, or a combination of both. There are also more blended families and stepparents who are playing an active role in the raising of children. But it was the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage earlier this year that not only legitimized countless families across the country, but also opened new pathways for LGBT people and couples so that more families can be formed.

There are some people who believe — and dedicate ample time, energy, and resources in attempts to convince other people to believe — that children raised in the LGBT community are somehow at a disadvantage compared to their peers raised by heterosexual parents. However, there is now ample evidence proving those allegations to be wholly inaccurate.

The infographic below busts some of the most common myths about children raised in the LGBT community.

Equal in Every Way
Presented By Growing Generations

It’s true that children of LGBT parents face unique challenges throughout their lives, but those challenges are not forced upon them by their parents. Furthermore, there are many factors that can make someone a less-than-ideal parent, but their sexual orientation or gender identity is not one of them.

3 Simple Tools That Make it Easy to Plan the Perfect Baby Shower

Planning a baby shower can be a nightmare if you don’t know where to begin. From invitations to location, food, and activities, there are countless things that need to be done to get ready. Luckily, there are a number of websites and apps that have made planning events like these much easier.

Here are three simple tools that you can use to plan the perfect baby shower for the mom-to-be in your life:

1. Find a Date That Works for Everyone

Choosing a date for an event can be a hassle. Because everyone has different schedules that have a tendency to change on a dime, it can be difficult and downright frustrating to find a date and time when everyone is available.

Instead of spending your time and energy making dozens of phone calls or sending out text messages, try simplifying the situation by using an online scheduling tool. Websites like Doodle are helpful in finding a date and time that will work for everyone on your guest list. With this method, simply log in to your account and choose a number of available dates and times that your guests can choose from. Then, enter the email addresses of everyone that you would like to invite so that they can enter their availability and you can find the perfect time that works for most everyone you invite without the hassle of having to call everyone up one by one.

2. Send Electronic Invitations

Physical invitations are always a nice touch, but they can be expensive and time consuming. Instead of sending snail mail invitations, you can opt for an online service such as Evite, which allows you to create a professional looking electronic invitation. There are free designs available, or you can pay a bit more for premium designs that allow for a bit more customization. Using this platform, you can also have guests RSVP through the e-card, making your guest list organized and easy to access.

3. Create an Online Registry

To ensure that the guest of honor receives the perfect gifts at her baby shower, make sure that she has an online gift registry that everyone can access. The best way to do this is by consolidating registries on a website such as MyRegistry.com. Here, the mother-to-be can sync her preexisting registries from most major retailers and can new items instantly through a button added to their browser. Share the link on your electronic invitation to ensure that everyone has easy access.

When You’re at the End of Your Rope with Your Troubled Teen

teen boy

You feel like a bomb has gone off in your home and it is impossible to pick up the pieces. Your teenager is out of control, going out at all hours, running with a crowd that spells ‘trouble.’ You have found evidence of drinking and drug use and when you confront them, they react with violence. The police have already been to your home a few times due to domestic disputes. You don’t want to lay a hand on your child, but you feel threatened. Something has got to give. You fear for your teen’s life if something doesn’t change, but you don’t know what to do.

Find Out Where Your Teen is Going

If your teenager has a cellphone, you can track where they are at all times with a little help from the phone company. Otherwise, pay attention. Watch your teen closely, and when possible, follow them from a distance or hire someone who can. It may seem extreme, but you need to know exactly what is going on before you can come up with solutions. Get proof of what your teen is doing in order to form a plan of action.

Allow the Authorities to Handle the Situation

If your child is picked up by police for getting in trouble, don’t bail them out. Let them stay at the police station and wait it out for the night. It’s tough love, but it could make a world of difference. They need to realize that there are serious consequences for their actions. You might see them turn around if they realize that their life is heading in the wrong direction and you’re not there to bail them out of the trouble they get into.

Try Boot Camp for Teenagers

Drastic times call for drastic measures. Turn to a facility like the Wood Creek Academy, a therapeutic boarding school and teen wilderness program for young men. Consider a boot camp program that is intense and places your child in a supportive, yet restrictive environment. Remove access from all sources of temptation and negative influences. Your troubled teen needs to take charge of their life and recognize the fact that they are headed for a dead end. With the assistance of professionals, your teen will band together with other young people who are also struggling. You need to act swiftly before it is too late in order to set your teenager on the right path again.

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter Simplifies Cleanup in This Multiple Cat Household #ad — Giveaway [Closed]

This post was written as part of a sponsored campaign in participation with One2One Network. All opinions (and cat anecdotes) are my own.

Me and my fiance are the proud pet parents (yes, I’m one of those people) to five delightfully quirky cats. Having a five-cat household was not something we planned or set out to do. Rather, our feline family came together in the same way great authors have described going bankrupt, the throws of depression, and falling in love — slowly, and then all at once.

Devin
Devin

We adopted our oldest cat, Devin, 9 years ago, just months after my fiance and I moved in together. She was nearing adulthood, her chances of finding a loving forever home slim, and she was mine from the moment I first saw her sitting in a cage by herself and she stuck her paw out at me as I walked by.

Devin can be cantankerous. She has always been the kind of cat that doesn’t want to be bothered unless she comes to you first, and she can go from being tolerant of your attention to lashing out with just a twitch of her tail. But there’s more to her than that, and we saw the true depth of her loving and compassionate nature when we agreed to take in a male kitten a friend of a friend had and could no longer take care of four years later.

Vincent
Vincent

We call Devin and Vincent the OG’s of our cat clan. Devin was our first, having been with us throughout the majority of our entire relationship, but we had fully intended on Vincent being the last. While I have always been an animal lover (me and animals have always gotten along easier and better than me and other people) and would gladly take on an animal sanctuary if I had the space and money for it, we agreed that two cats were enough for us, especially because at the time we were apartment living.

Sylvia
Sylvia

Then in the winter of 2012 we bought and moved into our own home. By the summer of 2013, we agreed to take in a kitten a friend of my aunt’s was trying to find a home for. A petite little girl who was the runt of her litter, Sylvia is truly unique. She is a polydactyl, meaning she has a harmless congenital physical abnormality that gives her more than the usual number of toes. She has eight toes on one of her front paws, seven on the other, and five on both of her back paws. She had me at polydactyl.

Sid and Nancy
Sid and Nancy

Just five months after Sylvia came into our lives, in the fall of 2013, we rescued two kittens who were born under the shed in our backyard. I named them Sid and Nancy, yes after the bass player of the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious, and his tumultuous lover.

I think Sid and Nancy had always been meant to be ours. They were born in our backyard, they took over our entire outside property as their own, and they began sleeping on our back porch every night. They always knew they were already home, they were just waiting for us to realize it.

Slowly, and then all that once. That is how we became a five-cat household.

Cat's Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter

While cats bring a tremendous amount of love, joy, and hilarious antics into the lives of their owners, they can also be downright stinky. Yes, I am talking about the litter box.

We have three litter boxes around the house and as you might imagine, controlling litter box odor is no easy task. We have tried multiple different litters from various different brands, and while we have used the same litter for the past couple years, my main complaint has always been that it is so heavy, and doesn’t seem to last as long as I think it should.

For a five-cat household, we go through 40 pounds of cat litter about every two months. Have you ever carried a 40 pound box, or pushed a cart weighing in at over 40 pounds from one side of a warehouse store to the other? Frankly speaking, it sucks.

A couple of weeks ago, Cat’s Pride sent Devin, Vincent, Sylvia, Sid, and Nancy a box full of goodies.

The box arrived on Valentine’s Day, which I thought was appropriate, and included the cutest little white branded coat that exactly none of my cats were amused in being dressed in (but we sure had fun trying!), a new remote-controlled mouse toy, and 12 pounds of the new Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter.

Cat's Pride box

Cat's Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter is 50% lighter, making it much easier to carry from one end of a warehouse store to the next, and 99.9% dust free. This is a big deal, as the cloud that can develop over a litter box during and after you’ve filled it with new litter can be seriously irritating to the eyes and nose. Not having to combat dust has been a welcomed relief!

Cat's Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter closeup

Formulated for multiple cat households, the Multi-Cat Scoop variety of this litter has really simplified the cat cleanup I do on a daily basis. The lightweight litter contains no fillers and forms into rock hard clumps that are easy to scoop. It is premium scented (though unscented varieties are available) with a pleasant fragrance that isn’t overpowering. It simply neutralizes litter box odor while filling the area with a fresh scent that doesn’t make it obvious that you’re trying to cover up any unwanted smells from three litter boxes.

The motto of Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter is “Light Done Right!” and after using it these past couple weeks, I couldn’t agree more.

New Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter is available in scented and non-scented varieties. Head on over to Cat’s Pride to check them out.

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter Giveaway

Cat's Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter

We have partnered with Cat’s Pride and One2One Network to give one lucky cat lady (or gentleman) a 12lb container of new Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Litter.

This giveaway is open to US entrants ages 18+ and will end March 10 at 11:59pm ET.

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Cat Litter

All the Cute: Tiny Hamsters in a Tiny Apartment

Meet Enoki and Bunapi, two Winter White Dwarf hamsters who are living the high life in their very own miniature apartment.

If you think you aren’t a hamster person then let us assure you, you are wrong. You just haven’t seen hamsters relax with a snack in front of the TV, take a dip in a sand-filled bathtub, and nap in their very own sleeping quarters.

hamster in apartment

And if you think tiny hamsters hanging out in a tiny apartment wasn’t cute enough, watch as little Enoki is tucked into a pink and white bed fit for mini royalty, complete with a matching polka dot blanket to keep them warm.

While these videos are undeniably adorable, let us quell some natural questions that arise with videos such as these.

The creator of these “Happy Hammy” videos, Jaieden Ace Shen, has clarified in the comments of both videos that their hamsters absolutely do not live in this “apartment” full-time. Enoki and Bunapi have a natural hamster habitat with proper food, water, bedding, tunnels, exercise toys, and lots of space. They are under no stress when placed in their apartment setting, as is easily seen with how comfortable and well-adjusted they are roaming around and utilizing the amenities.

Teaching Your Kids to Give: Establishing the Mentality of Lifelong Giving

youth volunteers
directrelief/Flickr

While raising kids has never been easy, it can be one of the most rewarding things that some people do — especially when children grow up to be productive, contributing members to society, and that includes knowing how to give back and enrich the communities in which they live.

When should children start participating in the giving process? As early as possible. Even if they are still toddlers, observing charitable acts that happen regularly and eventually understanding them will leave a big impression. Learning how to give and developing that skill set is a lifelong journey.

Giving is more than a task, it’s a mindset. A way of life, a way of looking at the world and asking, how can I help? How can I make connections between needs and time and resources? How can I bring awareness to specific needs and evoke action?

  1. Ask Your Kids How They Would Like to Help.

    If giving to a cause is new to your household, involve your kids as early as possible; tell them that your family has the chance to give back. Then, engage them in a conversation about the types of causes they may feel strongly about and ways they think they can help.This could involve helping families, working to save open spaces, caring for nature or a community garden, helping to save an endangered species, or helping those in need.

    Once you’ve identified key topics that your family is interested in (make a list, as this helps visualize everything) start researching specific local organizations (add them to the list).

    • Food kitchens
    • Pet shelters and animal rescues
    • Nature conservation efforts
    • Fundraising for various activities for low-income kids, like camp
    • Zoos, museums, and aquariums
    • Schools and local libraries (these days, even they need as much help as they can get)
    • Visitation of patients in hospitals
    • Visitation of the elderly in nursing homes
  2. Make a Game Plan

    Get creative about how your family can help the organization(s) you choose. Bake sales are traditional, but there are other ways to help. Talk it through with your family, map it out, and post the results somewhere in the home that is highly visible.

    Gamify it to some degree with tasks that turn into goals that turn into accomplishments, that result in stickers.

  3. Quick Tasks and Ideas That Can Make a Big Difference

    Clear the clutter. Every 6 to 12 months, have a household closet cleaning day (that includes the toy chest, and maybe even the garage). Get everyone in the family to help.

    Make a donate box. Put it out where your kids can add to it. Donate often, even if it’s small.

    Make detours to giving. When shopping, make a trip down the canned food aisle. Ask your kids to pick a can of food to put in your donate box at home.

    Find ways to raise money for donations. Hold a yard sale and give all or a portion of your sales to a selected charity. Do the same with a bake sale, an art sale, etc. Involve your kids at all stages.

    Associate getting with giving. For birthdays and holidays, aside from their other gifts, give your kids a hand-written gift “certificate of giving” with a specified amount of money that they can gift to their favorite charity. Take your child to the charity to donate that money in-person if you can. For non-location organizations, write a check and have your child include a letter.

    Volunteer time in your local community. From public gardens that need weeding, to historic buildings that need painting, or food banks that need help, find something age-appropriate that can engage your family.

  4. Growing the Mindset

    Tell stories. There are lots of real-life stories about kids or groups of kids who have found creative ways to give back. Encourage empathy. Share appropriate stories of struggle. Ask kids what they would do in a certain situation, and how they would want people to help them.

    Walk them through the cycle. If your kids are young, say, “We’re going to give this can of food/winter coat/gift to ______.” (Then explain the results.) “It will give them something to eat/keep them warm this winter/help them __________.”

    Explain why you are doing it and what you’re looking for. “We don’t need to store all this stuff when someone else could really use it.” Or, “I bet there is a kid out there who would really enjoy playing with that toy. I know you used to love it, but how about if you pass it along to someone else so they can enjoy it as much as you have?” Keep the focus on the people in need and your child’s ability to share an experience through an item. Establishing an impermanent relationships to “things” can help kids better understand the importance of relationships over acquiring goods.

    Develop a language of giving in your household. Find creative opportunities to incorporate it into regular conversation. Nothing is permanent. We are stewards of the planet, and the things we think we own. Everything is in change, and it is our duty to help those in need when we have abundance. If ever there is a time when we are without, we hope that others will think of us and help us.

Teaching children about the struggles of others not only develops a lifelong giving mindset, it also helps children understand how their words and actions impact those around them — a lesson that bears repeating.

This article has been republished with permission and provided to Woman Tribune by the authors. Read more about them below.

Jennifer L. Jacobson is the founder of Jacobson Communication and an advocate for organizations looking to make a positive difference in the world. She currently serves on the board of several influential nonprofits and organizations focused on conservation, education, and community. For more, visit www.jacobsoncommunication.com

Gretchen Barry is the Director of marketing and Communications for NonProfitEasy; the all-in-one data management software, created by nonprofits for nonprofits. From CRM and database management, to events, donor engagement, fundraising, and more, NonProfitEasy offers a one-stop, affordable, integrated software solution that is changing the status quo for the greater good. For more, visit www.nonprofiteasy.com