Monthly Archives: January 2011
You may remember when we interviewed Janet at he beginning of January. She was a first-time mom waiting to deliver her bundle of love on Valentine’s Day. Well, her little guy decided to make his debut early on January 30th. Janet & John are happy to welcome little Michael Alexander Cz or little Mac as they are calling him.
We love happy endings so had to share their good news with our fans who met Janet through the interview. Congrats to our new Kolcraft parents!
A couple of weeks ago we hosted along with Jennifer from Double Duty Mommy, a Jeep Fit Mom Twitter Party. We had so much fun making new friends while we talked about working out, healthy eating, how to stick to fitness routines, etc. While we prepared for the Jeep Fit Mom Twitter party we grew to know and love Jennifer. We had to share our new friend with you too!
Jennifer, as a young mom, you already have two beautiful girls, keep a blog, taught yourself web design and run a small web design business. How do you do it all and keep your sanity?
Well actually, I don’t think I’m sane anymore at this point. I have my bad days and good days just like anyone else. I suppose it’s a curse and a blessing but right now my business is slow so that gives me much more time in other places.
We are sure you have had your ups and downs as you struggle to keep everything going. With all these challenges, what has been your greatest joy of motherhood?
Of course watching my kids learn something new, but also if I get through a day without a meltdown then that is also one of my greatest joys.
You have a creative streak in you that you use toward your web designs. Where do you receive your inspiration & how do you foster ideas?
My inspiration comes from the weather and the seasons. Also, I love to scrapbook so if I do a page in my book I can then try to put that into my blog somehow.
What advice to you have for new moms who would like to start their own business?
Start slow and don’t overwhelm yourself could be my best advice. It’s a real challenge for me to hold back and not do everything at once, but I know my life will become way too stressful if I try to do too much when it comes to my business.
Now for a quick glance into Jennifer’s life.
What’s the one thing that never gets checked off your “to do” list? Sleep!! My daughter went through a time when she slept through the night, but now she wakes up a couple times a night again. I want sleep!
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? Although I just said I need my sleep I would probably clean and do every piece of laundry in the house. It’s so hard to really clean the house like I want on a daily basis while trying to care for two kids. So if I had the day to myself I’d want to make everything perfect just like I want it.
What is your favorite time of day? I love my kids, but having a couple hours to myself starting at 8pm is amazing.
What’s your favorite “no-fuss” meal that you fall back on when things are really hectic? Taco Salad. It takes about 10 minutes to cook and it’s a family favorite. Beef, Taco mix, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, Frito chips, olives (optional) & sour cream (optional). Cook the beef like you’re making regular taco meat. Chop up the lettuce and tomatoes and combine in a large bowl, add cheese, Fritos and olives. Add beef once it’s fully cooked and combine all the ingredients. Top with sour cream! DONE! The Fritos take the place of hard taco shells so you still get that yummy crunch.
What is your guilty pleasure? Playing Call Of Duty: Black Ops with my hubby. I’m not a video game person at all, but lately I’ve been playing this new shooter game and I must say, it gets very addicting.
If someone was going to write a book on your life, what would you title it? Whirl Wind. I’ve had some crazy ups and downs in my life. I’m so happy that I can say that I am 100% enjoying my life right now.
Super Bowl is a great time for families and kids to bond. We have a few easy recipes and games so that the kids can be part of the Super Bowl fun!
Super Bowl Hot Potato Use a brown balloon to represent a football. Gather kids in a circle. Start playing music while the kids try to keep the “ball” off of the ground with gentle taps.
Football Hide and Seek
Hide small football erasers, stickers, pencils and coloring books around the party area and then send the kids to search for them…It’s just like an Easter egg hunt!
Use a football cookie cutter to make sugar cookie cut outs. Then provide frosting and sprinkles for decorating. You can use Popsicle sticks will make frosting the cookies easier for the kids.
Here are some delicious recipes:
Healthier BBQ Chicken Tenders
Makes about 24
- 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat
- Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray
Combine barbecue sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken tenders in half lengthwise, then add all the tenders to the large bowl with the remaining sauce; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on the prepared baking sheet. Generously coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray
Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.
Ranch Dip and Crunchy Veggies
- 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk,
- 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups vegetables, such as baby carrots, sliced red bell peppers, snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower florets, cucumber spears, grape tomatoes
Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, dill, lemon juice, mustard, honey, garlic powder and salt in a bowl until combined. Serve the dip with vegetables of your choice.
What activities does your family enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday?
Kolcraft knows how important it is to care for our earth and make it the best place for our children to live so we are constantly finding big and small ways to go green. Two ways that we have been able to give back to our earth are:
- Through our paper recycling and shredding program we saved 26 trees in 2010.
- Through our recycling pen program at Garvey’s we are able to reduce landfill waste and help raise money for autistic children.
We love that each employee and our company culture supports giving our children a better future.
We all have been to a child’s birthday party when the child opens a birthday present and exclaims, “I don’t like this.” We simultaneously cringe and breathe a sign of relief knowing the parents are mortified, but at least it isn’t our child – at least not yet. With some simple prep before the birthday party, you can avoid these situations while teaching your child basic manners.
The “why” – Explain to your child that everyone is coming to the party to celebrate her birthday because they love her. Tell her how special that is and that you want everyone to realize how much she appreciates that.
Not on the list – Your child most likely will receive gifts he didn’t ask for. Let him know that people pick out gifts because they think he will like them even if he didn’t ask for it. Explain that a simple “This looks fun!” is an appropriate response and will make the gift giver feel special. He might be surprised because it might turn out to be his favorite gift.
Double Take – Your child opens up the newest American Doll and realizes she already has it. Prep her to say a generous, “Thank you!” and let her know you can always exchange it later.
Gloating – Your son received the new video game he has been wanting since it hit the shelves. He teases the other kids that now he has it and they don’t. Remind him before the party how important sharing is and that a good sport (and grateful person) doesn’t hold a gift over the other guests’ heads.
With little prep you can remind your child about good manners of gratitude and avoid some embarrassing moments that would make you and Ms. Manners blush!
We really believe in giving your child a head start to learning and imagination through books. Books can also be a wonderful way to teach your child life lessons through story. We love the Joy Berry books to help teach your child a variety of lessons on:
- Eating healthy meals
- Feeling Afraid
- Being Rude
- And much more
Many of these books come with down-loadable music, printables, parenting tips and read alongs. If you are having a problem teaching your child a lesson or want to prevent certain issues from even starting, check out the Joy Books website. You never know what worlds and lessons a story can open for your child.
What books have you used to teach your child life lessons?
This month in honor of starting a new year, we have been taking a look at new moms. Today we get to meet a new Grandma. Kim isn’t new to parenting or grandparenting, but last week she welcomed a new grandbaby to her family. We love Kim’s fresh take on being a Grandma that is peppered with wisdom of the ages.
How would you say parenting your grandchildren is different than parenting your children?
I think I have learned what doesn’t work in parenting. I hope I have learned from my mistakes. Also, the parents set the rules and I follow through when necessary. I believe children need only one set of parents. Of course, I am more relaxed as a grandparent.
What life lessons have your grandchildren taught you?
To see things through a child’s eye: have fun, laugh, enjoy the simple things. Time goes by to quickly.
What is your favorite part of being a Grandma and what is the most challenging?
There are a lot of favorite things. I love the smiles, kisses, and hugs. I love when they climb up on your lap and want to be held. I love when they get excited over the simple things. A few challenging things: watching two babies at the same time (and they are not twins!). We also have a 3-year old autistic grandson who is so sweet and so busy.
You have welcomed 10 grandchildren into the family. Do you still get excited over the new life coming into your family even though you have been through this so many times?
When I first read the question I asked myself “do I still get excited when each one comes”? Then the next day the tenth grandchild came into the world and I found myself crying. So, yes I do still get just as excited when the new one comes.
You ran a daycare for 29 years. It seems like you have always had a big heart for children. How do you keep going after all these years of childcare?
My mind thinks I am young but my body knows better. The children help me to feel young with all of their energy. My Husband and I like to do things with the grandchildren as much as we can.
What advice do you have for parents and grandparents who want their children to be more involved with the grandparents?
Parents, let grandparents make memories with their grandchildren. Grandparents, find opportunities to make memories with your grandchildren. Some of our best memories are just going to the park. We play and I even get on the swings. Of course we take lots of pictures. I am grateful that our children and their spouses want us involved in our grandchildren’s lives.
Now for a quick glance into Kim’s life.
What’s the one thing that never gets checked off your “to do” list? Get organized.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? Go to Disneyland. I know I should say “get organized” but that is no fun.
What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate and spoiling grandchildren.
What’s your favorite “no-fuss” meal that you fall back on when things are really hectic? Honestly, I do not cook much, except for the family dinner on Sunday, because it is just my husband and I, and he works most nights. But in the past it was spaghetti. My children are not that fond of spaghetti anymore.
If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be? Never a Dull Moment!
For those of us battling below zero temperatures, it can be difficult to find indoor activities for our children. Even if warm beach days are rare in Winter, you can bring the beach indoors with this fun activity for your kids.
What you need:
- Deep blue construction paper, felt or material (even a sheet will do)
- Light blue construction paper, felt or material (again a sheet will do)
- Tan material, sheet or blanket
- Yellow construction paper, felt or material
- Beach Towels
- Non-toxic glue or safety pins
- Beach umbrellas (optional)
- Various colors of green & blue tissue paper
- Beach/Hawaiian music, sounds of waves crashing or anything else that reminds you of summer
- Summer snacks
- Summertime reading books. If you don’t have any at home, take a trip to the library.
What to do:
- You and your kids can create your own indoor beach by hanging up the light blue material or construction paper on a wall for the sky.
- Make a sun out of the yellow construction paper and hang in the “sky”.
- Put the tan blanket or sheet on the ground as sand.
- Next to the “sand” put down fish and waves that you cut out of the tissue paper.
- Turn on the music & start your beach party.
- You can read to your kids, lay out on the beach towels, snack on summertime foods, etc.
- Have your kids wear their favorite summer outfit and sunglasses. If it’s too cold in the house to do that, you can have them put a bright colored summer t-shirt over their winter shirt.
We love this Pink lemonade pie recipe for your beach party sent to us from @StepanieCHicks on Twitter:
All of us parents want a secure and clean place for our baby to sleep, but how knowledgeable are we about our baby’s crib mattress? It can be confusing to know exactly what is in your baby’s crib mattress and that is why Kolcraft always lists our certifications on our crib mattresses. Today we wanted to take a closer look with you at our CERTIPUR-US® certified Soybean Foam.
We utilize high-density soybean foam that has been tested for indoor air quality, durability and content including, but not limited to the following:
- Indoor emissions and air quality
- Mercury, lead and other heavy metals
- Methylene chloride
What is soybean foam?
Soybean-based foam is more of an Earth-friendly foam than conventional foams. By using a percentage of natural soybean oils to create the foam, less petroleum and crude oils are needed.
What are the benefits of using soybean-enhanced foam in a crib mattress?
1. Environmentally friendly: Soybean-enhanced foam has a smaller carbon footprint because soybeans are a natural and renewable resource that farmers can grow year round. Instead of drilling for oils or shipping petroleum from overseas, locally grown soybean oils can be used. There is a decrease in energy consumed to make the product and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
2. Economical: The soybeans used in the foam are grown in the USA, supporting the American farmer, and depending less on foreign oils to create durable foams. Soybeans are the USA’s second largest exported crop, second only to corn. Technology such as this help increase demand, planting, and incentives for farmers to grow soybeans.
3. Durable: Soybean-based foams are high-density and firm to support sleeping infants. Soybean-based foams offer:
- Reduced sagging
- Improved durability and lifespan
- Comfortable sleeping environment
What are people saying about soybean-enhanced foam? Soybean foam has won prestigious innovation awards from environmental groups, including the EPA and engineering groups, including the Society of Plastics Engineers and the Alliance for the Polyurethane Industry. azfdgadf
Kolcraft is proud to be the #1 crib mattress manufacturer in the USA. With a crib mattress manufactured by Kolcraft, you can be sure your baby is getting the best sleep possible.