Monthly Archives: July 2010
Some days it is hard to get dinner on the table, but eating out with a family won’t work with your monthly budget either. Did you know that many restaurants have special “kids eat free” days? That’s right – there may be some dinner relief in sight at an affordable price!
Specials vary from restaurant to restaurant and are subject to change at any time, but we are listing some of the “kids eat free” deals we have found. (It’s best to call beforehand to make sure the restaurant honors these specials.)
Applebee’s - Mondays, get one free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Captain D’s -Thursdays, get two free kid’s meals with any adult entree purchase, dine in only.
Chevys – Tuesdays, get one free kid’s meal with one adult entrée, dine-in only.
Denny’s - Up to two kids 10 and younger eat free with each adult purchase of $2.50 or more, from 4pm to 10pm on select nights.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit -Sundays, one child eats free with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Lone Star Steak House -Tuesdays, up to two kids eat free with the purchase of one adult entrée.
Luby’s – Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée, typically on a weekday evening after 4:30pm.
Marie Callender’s -Tuesdays and Saturdays you get one free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Perkins – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 10pm, get one free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.
Steak ‘n Shake – Saturdays and Sundays, get one free kid’s meal with the purchase of an adult entrée of $9 or more. Dine-in only.
We also like website My Kids Eat Free to find local deals.
Our Kolcraft Cuddle ‘n Care rocking bassinet is a loved item because it gives baby a secure, cozy sleeping environment with a comforting electronic mobile that goes from bassinet to crib! We love that this product has an extended life through the mobile and we are even more excited about the new gender-neutral fashion.
Some other features that we love:
* Mesh side windows allow increased air flow
* Easily converts to a rocking bassinet
* Mobile has soothing vibrations with variable speed control andeight classical songs and four ambient sounds with volume control
* Soft-glow light
* Extra large storage basket
We would love to hear from you about what must-have features you want in a bassinet. Please leave your thoughts in our comment section.
It may seem like yesterday you were waking up every few hours for feeding or soothing your new baby, but a year has gone by and it’s time to celebrate your child’s first birthday! There are all sorts of ways you can celebrate your child’s first birthday from themed parties to special traditions including the popular “smash cake.” One first birthday party that caught our attention was thrown by a co-worker (you may remember Hyon from our interview back in May.) We loved that she had so many traditions from her Korean heritage at her daughter’s first birthday party.
One tradition is to lay out certain objects for the child to grab. This is supposed to represent their future path in life. You can see from the photo that Oliv grabbed a stethoscope. Looks like Mommy and Daddy better start saving for medical school!
You will also notice Oliv is in the traditional Korean dress Han-Bok. Besides adding to Oliv’s insane cuteness factor, Hyon has found a wonderful way to teach her children about their heritage through the symbols they have incorporated into family celebrations.
There are many ways you can bring your family traditions and heritage into your celebrations. You can even start new traditions that your children can pass on to their children!
What ways do you share your family heritage with your children? Have you incorporated any of these traditions into first birthday celebrations?
Did you ever feel like you can never quite get it together when it comes to the “b” word? We know the feeling and know that as a mom you are juggling A LOT so we thought for today’s Tip Tuesday, we could take a “mommy time out” to just reflect on the whole work/life balance. We are excited to have Sara Aldworth as our guest blogger.
Every mom is a working mom. Whether a full time, stay-at-home or a “9 to 5″ career mom, every mom struggles with the work/life balance. I’m a mom to 2 little girls, ages 5 and 2, and with our next baby due in November, I’ve spent a fair amount of time lately pondering this work/life balance and wondering what tweaks I will need to make this autumn!
Life seemed “easy” when my husband and I had our first daughter. Financially, it made most sense for him to be a full time stay at home parent, while I continued on in my career as a marketing professional for a boutique agency. And while I did have a meltdown moment as my maternity leave came to a close, I felt confident that my husband and I could make the transition fairly painless. I headed off to work, breast pump in hand, and plastered photos of our daughter all over my workspace. I also arranged for my husband to bring our daughter downtown to my office for a weekly family lunch date. Despite the daily time spent apart, each evening reunion with my baby girl was a joyful one and I worked hard to foster our connectedness through breastfeeding, keeping her close to me at night and wearing her in a baby carrier during the weekends when I had my entire days to spend with her.
Fast forward to baby #2! Things were getting a bit more challenging. Our oldest daughter was now 2, and true to her age, frequently testing boundaries. Having an infant on one hand and a high spirited toddler on the other kept both my husband and I on our toes. For the first time, I started to genuinely struggle with the feeling that I didn’t have enough hours in the day. As I had done with our first child, I diligently pumped breast milk while at work, further wallpapered my office with baby pictures and kept my infant daughter close to my side at night and during weekends. But when I was at home- what to do? My toddler was so anxious for me to reconnect with her, but my infant needed bonding time too. And my husband? Let’s just say our own bonding was at an all time low.
So how did we rebound from this? It wasn’t easy. I’m still not sure we’ve got it right, and I’ve definitely come to an understanding that being a parent is about both quality AND quantity time. We worked hard to involve our toddler in the bonding process with her little sister. Even a job as simple as putting a dirty diaper in the trash pail made her feel like a superstar helper. Giving our toddler her own baby doll and letting her model parenting behavior helped too. My trooper of a husband began trucking both kids downtown for monthly family lunches which became a highlight not only for me, but for my coworkers as well. And though the infamous “mom guilt” did plague me from time to time, I made sure to leave work at the office, so I could devote my full attention to our children when I was physically present with them. I also learned that during this particular season of parenting, I needed to learn how to say “no” when extra curricular commitments looked as if they would take too much time away from the family. Perhaps more importantly, I learned when to say “yes” – my husband and I started making, and enforcing, our own time. Enlisting the help of Grandma one evening a week, he and I went on dates, intent on keeping our own relationship fresh and alive.
Our third child is due near Thanksgiving. I know with his arrival will come many of the same challenges and emotions we’ve faced with our first children, plus a few more. I will continue to work full time while my husband continues on his path of stay-at-home dad. Our oldest daughter will be starting full time kindergarten, throwing a new layer of complexity on the family schedule. Can life and work be balanced? I think it probably can. But it has taken me a conscientious effort to do so and the recognition that family life, by its very nature, is fluid! Once I think I’ve got it down, I can be sure it will change again.
I’d like to hear from other moms – how do you manage the work/life balance? (Knowing that work and life means different things to different moms!)
Sara is a mom to two girls and a boy on the way. She has been working full time as a professional marketer since 1999. When not working or spending time with her family, she’s a voracious reader, enjoys a round of golf with her own parents and volunteers at her church.
Toys, household items, mommy pamper items, gift cards – you name it and most likely Leslie will have had it as a giveaway on her blog. Live Love Laugh with Leslie is a treasure seeker’s heaven. We met Leslie through Blogmania and wanted to give you a snapshot of her blog.
What inspired you to start a blog?
My sister-in-law inspired me to start a blog. She told me about the whole bloggy world. It sounded so interesting, that I decided to create a blog. My blog name came from my husband.
What was one of your favorite giveaways?
I love the Fairytale Brownies giveaway. Food giveaways are so tasty!
You are part of Blogmania. Tell us about your product for Blogmania.
I have 2 great ones & am working on others! I have Kolcraft Jeep Liberty Renegade Walker and a $50 Gift Certificate to any of CSN 200+ Stores! More products to come!
What have you learned from working with moms through your blog & how has that inspired your own life?
I have learned about great products and fun giveaways. I have found out I have a lot in common with the other mommy bloggers. They are great people, good helpers and their friendship is awesome! They are there for you through many of life’s ups and downs. They have made me a better blogger and inspired me to have fun doing what I love.
Now for a quick glance into Leslie’s life.
What is always in your fridge? Drinks, drinks, and more drinks. Since living in Florida is so hot, I like to keep cold liquids in my fridge. But no alcohol here. Just mainly water and fruit juices.
What is your guilty pleasure? Ice Cream. I am a ice cream lover fanatic!
What is your favorite time of day? Nap Time! lol
What’s one thing on your list of dreams that you still need to accomplish? Earning a degree.
If someone was going to write a book of your life, what would the title be? Save the Drama for Your Mama
Head over to Live, Love, Laugh with Leslie & get ready to win some great giveaways!
Rainbows can be magical for children and adults and they are also a great opportunity to teach your child his colors! Our fruit-filled fun Friday activity will bring rainbows right to your kitchen! (This activity received 5 stars from Kolcraft. Our office loves it when we try out our recipes on them! )
What you will need:
- Fruit representing each color
- Sponge Cake (bundt shape)
- Cool Whip (or make your own whip cream!)
- Spatula to spread Cool Whip
- Knife to cut fruit (to be used by adult only)
- Optional – crayons or markers and blank piece of paper
Some fruit suggestions:
RED: Red raspberries, cherries, strawberries, red apples slices
ORANGE: Mandarin orange slices, cantalope, peach slices
YELLOW: Bananas, pineapple
GREEN: Kiwi, Green Grapes, Green apples, Honeydew Melon
VIOLET: Purple Grapes, plums
We didn’t use indigo because the color is so close to purple, it is hard for a toddler to distinguish
Talk to your toddler about rainbows. Tell her about the different rainbow legends such as the leprechauns and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Have your child draw a rainbow. Explain the different colors of the rainbow and ask your toddler if they know any fruit that is that color. You can have the fruit out in case they need a little visual reminder.
Very simply explain the color order of the rainbow. Have your child hand you the fruit that matches that color. Cut up the bigger fruit into small slices and have your toddler help you “frost” the cake with Cool Whip. Arrange the fruit on cake in rows or columns.
Start with the inner or outer ring or place one of each fruit at one end of the cake. This will help you plan if you need to adjust size of fruit. It will also serve as a guide for your child for what color fruit to place where.
You will have to stand a few of the fruit up to fit all the colors. We found this was easiest to do with the slices of fruit like apple or orange slices.
What ways have you taught your toddler his colors?
There is a mania spreading across mommy blogs called Blogmania! What is Blogmania? It’s a two-day giveaway extravaganza where you visit different blogs to win prizes from baby necessities to mommy necessities! Some blogs will have scavenger hunts to find product giveaways, some will have reviews, some will have contests. Each blog will have it’s own unique way of approaching Blogmania, but one constant is that at every blog you will find great giveaways!
Blogmania will take place September 15 & 16 across hundreds of blogs. Join Kolcraft in being part of the mania!
You may have heard about the BlogHer conference – a place where women bloggers have the chance to learn, share, connect and have fun. This conference is the epicenter of meeting the “who’s who” of the blog world. It was started in 2005 with the mission “to create opportunities for women who blog to gain exposure, education, community and economic empowerment.”
Since its inception, BlogHer site and conferences have grown at a rapid pace
We want to facilitate and curate a community that empowers our members and creates value for all. This mission is the driving force behind a community that now reaches more than 20 million people each month via BlogHer conferences and events, the BlogHer.Com news service and the BlogHer Publishing Network of more than 2,500 blogs. - BlogHer Website
If you are going to BlogHer10, please leave a comment. Kolcraft would love to meet you in person! We will be giving BlogHer attendees a “sneak peek” to our new review program and one lucky attendee will receive a golden ticket which will give her priority to review a product of her choice.
Look out NYC – here we come!
Do meal times become an exercise of frustration as you try to get your child to eat her veggies and not be such a picky eater? You want your child to have healthy eating habits so he can grow and develop, but sometimes it seems impossible to get him to like anything that comes from a garden! My mom shutters when she remembers what a picky eater I was. She tried everything from sending me to my room if I didn’t eat, to not letting me play outside after dinner, to having me just sit there until I ate everything off my plate. (That never quite worked because I knew eventually she would have to let me go to bed. ) One day mom had the brilliant idea of letting my sister and I take turns picking out the vegetable for dinner.
I was in heaven. I knew that almost every other day, I had a choice. I finally had control over what ended up on my little Peter Rabbit plate! I was so proud of my veggie choice that I made sure to eat all my vegetables so as to prove I picked the most delicious vegetable. I was sure my whole family looked forward to my wonderful vegetable choices. I began to be interested in my sister’s vegetable choices as well and soon the vegetable wars in our house ended.
If you have a picky eater who doesn’t like to eat veggies, have her pick out the vegetable for dinner. Take it a step further and if you can, bring her to the grocery store with you and let her pick the veggies out of the produce aisle. She will feel involved in the process and most likely will be more willing to eat her veggies, because she was able to contribute and choose.
Do you have a picky eater who doesn’t like vegetables? What advice do you have to get children to eat their veggies?
Sugar and spice and everything nice – that’s what little girls are made of! We think part of that “nice” is the fun ways you can dress your daughter from her head to her little toes and nothing makes a little girl cuter than a colorful bow, bright flower or stylish hat!
Recently I was at children’s birthday party and the birthday girl had the most darling bow in her hair. When I commented on it, her mom said that it was from Madi Mo’s Bows. I took my Kolcraft curiosity to the web and found the website full of all kinds of bows! There are bows, headbands and hats that range from team spirit bows to flower hats and headbands to customized bows! At Kolcraft, we fell in love with these creative bows and had to share them with our Kolcraft fans. (YES! there is a giveaway!)
Maureen, we love your chic fashion for little girls. Madi Mo’s Bows was born from a challenging time in your parenting journey. Can you tell us about the start of Madi Mo’s Bows?
In 2006, our daughter Madi was born with a hemangioma on her nose. In order to control the growth, we had to go through multiple drug treatments that left her housebound with a low immune system. I started making hair bows for her to help pass the time. By the time we were able to get out again, I had so many people commenting on her bows that I thought, why not design some for others? So I took a break from my job as a labor and delivery RN to spend more time with my young children and expand Madi Mo’s Bows!
Where do you find inspiration for the colors and styles of your bows, hats & headbands?
Literally everywhere! I think little girls are so fresh and fun and I like to show that in my work. I design hair accessories around my taste and what I would dress my daughter in. Where do most of my ideas really come from though? My customers – believe it not. I really enjoy doing custom orders. It opens my eyes to color and pattern combinations I would never had thought of! Customer input is invaluable to my work!
What has the creative process of Madi Mo’s Bows taught you about being a mom?
Balance and persistence! Being a Mom who works out of her bow studio (aka- basement), I’ve learned some days are harder to balance it all than others. I try to appreciate the small every day things with my children, but also savor the time I can “escape” to the bow studio and let my creative juices flow!
Any advice for moms who want to start a business?
Do it! Start small, with friends and family and grow from there. Develop a web site if possible. The internet is amazing! The ability to connect with so many people via a website or social networking site brings the world to your doorstep. Do something you love, but remember your priorities of being a mom first and keeping balance within the household.
Now for a quick glance into Maureen’s life.
What is the one thing you look forward to everyday? Seeing the kids when they first wake up and just being a Mommy.
What’s your guilty pleasure? To be honest? I love strolling through the aisles of TJ MAXX and Marshalls. You never know what kind of treasures you’ll stumble upon there!
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? Well, I’d say if money was no object- a trip to the day spa would be top on my list! I did see the local nail salon just installed kids pedicure stations- oh no!! This could be dangerous! Haha!
What is your favorite activity with kids? I love going places that allow them just to be kids! This summer we’ve taken quite a few trips to the Morton Arboretum in Chicago and just explored Mother Nature! In the winter, we go to the local children’s museum– they love it there!
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would the title be? Busy Days with Babies and Bows!
Madi Mo’s Bows GIVEAWAY!
We know you will love these bows so we are giving you a chance to win some! We will be giving away two Madi Mo’s Bows prizes; one customized bow made just for the winner and the Madi Mo’s Bows sampler pictured here.
It’s easy to enter!
Visit Madi Mo’s Bows and leave a comment about your favorite bow on Baby Matters Blog. This is mandatory to be entered in the contest.
- For 2 extra entries, “like” Madi Mo’s Bows on Facebook. Leave a comment on baby Matters blog that you did so.
- Follow Kolcraft on Twitter for 1 extra entry. Leave a comment on Baby Matters Blog that you did so.
- Follow Kolcraft on Facebook for another extra entry. Leave a comment on Baby Matters Blog that you did so.
Contest closes at midnight CST on Thursday, July 22.