Disclosure: This post was sponsored by NBTY through their partnership with Circle of Moms by POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by Circle of Moms by POPSUGAR to write a post about NatureSmart Vitamins, all opinions are my own.
As a mom, one of the most important jobs I have is to encourage my children to develop good health habits, from eating their fruits & vegetables to getting plenty exercise, & keeping their brains stimulated.
This summer has been even busier than we imagined. On Monday-Friday, we wake up around 7:00 am. The kids dress themselves while I set out a quick breakfast. They usually eat a whole grain waffle or breakfast bar, a hard boiled egg, and a banana or a bowl of strawberries (which is always a hit!) Then, I quickly pack their lunches which include some of their favorite processed foods, fruit (which they never eat at camp!) & some yogurt.
After a 3:30 pickup from camp we often have activities & sports to attend. By the time we get home from swim lessons, karate, the library, etc the kids are exhausted. Some days they are so tired they can barely eat a full dinner. I often wonder if they’ve consumed enough nutrient-rich foods.
Healthy eating plays an important role in optimal health, but did you know that less than one half of children consume the USDA recommended number of servings in any given food pyramid group, and almost 80% do not eat the recommended number of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.
Enter NatureSmart Gummy Vitamins. NatureSmart Vitamins can help “fill in” some of these nutritional gaps. The best thing about NatureSmart Vitamins is that even your pickiest eater will love them, they taste delicious! Plus your children will love Gummy Vitamins in Marvel Shapes and Gummy Vitamins in Disney Shapes.
Supplementing their diets with NatureSmart Vitamins gives me the peace of mind that they are getting essential vitamins and minerals for healthy growth and development!*
Disney Elements ©Disney,
Disney/Pixar Elements ©Disney/Pixar
Manufactured by NatureSmart, LLC
©MARVEL Manufactured by Rexall Sundown, Inc.
London-inspired nursery decor is super trendy at the moment. Do you have a favorite london inspired accessory? Here are a few items to get you started on your Little Prince’s nursery!
1. Pottery Barn Winback Rocker (www.potterybarnkids.com) is as plush rocker with mom’s needs in mind.
2. Softline Home Fashions (www.softlinehome.com),the leading importer and distributor of high-quality home textiles, offers adorable Union Jack accent pillows.
3. Restoration Hardware (www.rhbabyandchild.com) London landmark & vintage-washed percale nursery bedding collection is perfect for little royalty.
4. Maileg (www.maileg.com) Castle Rattle keeps baby entertained in proper London style!
5. Oopsy Daisy(www.oopsydaisy.com) personaizable “Cheerio!” print is perfect for your little Prince’s nursery.
6. Silver Cross (www.silvercrossus.com) Chatsworth Poppy Doll Pram is handmade in Yorkshire, England with hand-painted detailing makes a perfect statement piece.
Summer is on it’s way out, gosh it seemed to fly by! Believe it or not we go back to school in Scottsdale on August 6th.
Back to School season is one of my favorites. This time of year makes me feel a bit nostalgic… anticipating the first day, finding your classroom, seeing friends after summer, and of course Back to School shopping!
With the help of GapKids Harper and I have put together some fresh & stylish looks for the fall season. What I love is that GapKids makes super versatile pieces that you can mix n’ match to create several outfits.
Do you like these looks as much as we do? Do you have a favorite? We’ve kept Harper’s fall looks carefree, casual, and definitely comfortable. Gap has done an amazing job with the fall collection that just let’s kids be kids.
Some of my favorites/must have pieces for girls include the 1969 boy fit jeans. They are so amazing that we purchased both the canvas color and the medium wash shade. Gap’s boy fit jeans have a slightly baggy fit and a rolled cuff that looks so fabulous on girls! I also LOVE the Convertible plaid hi-lo shirt and the Junior nylon backpack in Olive Moss.
Want to get the looks? Find the links below:
1. Knit mesh hi-lo tank
2. Cat Ears Headband
3. Plaid Scarf
4. Junior nylon backpack in olive moss
5. Ballet Flats
6. Convertible plaid hi-lo shirt
7. Junk Food™ Snoopy graphic tee
8. 1969 Denim Shorties
9. 1969 boy fit jeans, Canvas
10. 1969 patch boy fit jeans, medium wash
Need more ideas? Check out this fun video by GapKids:
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GapKids through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about GapKids, all opinions are my own.
I’ll be revisiting a few posts the next few weeks as I soak in the last 2 weeks with the kids before school starts…
Over the weekend I had a little dinner for 3 of my girlfriends…ALL expecting BOYS! I decided to have the dinner baby shower style. We had such a fabulous evening…
Have you heard about Sony Pictures new movie, Sex Tape? It’s a Revealing Comedy from the Director of Bad Teacher. Sex Tape stars Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz and is coming to theaters on July 18th.
The movie looks hysterical! After 10 years together and two kids later, Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) have found that their sex life has become nonexistent. In an attempt to try and put some spice back in their relationship they decide to make a sex tape. The private video of them trying out every position in The Joy of Sex in one marathon three-hour session suddenly is no longer private. The recording leaks and the couple goes on a hilarious adventure to get the tape back out of the Cloud network.
Can you relate at all? Remember the butterflies in your stomach when you first met your hubby? All you could think about was when you were you going to see him again. That feeling tends to fade after you have been with someone for a while, you get comfortable, have children and everyday life gets the best of you.
What do you do to reignite the romance with your hubby/significant other? Have your attempts ever gone all wrong?
I remember one Valentine’s Day where I went all out with candles, bubble bath, flowers, and even music. My husband came home from work and sat down to watch television for a minute. It had been a long, exhausting week and when I went to invite him into the bedroom/bathroom I found him fast asleep! Total fail.
And then there was this Autocorrect:
I think we can all relate to this movie. At one time or another the romance has just died. So, go check out the trailer above (if you haven’t already) and make a date with your significant other to go see Sex Tape!
To see more content about Sex Tape the movie, get the custom magazine here
P.S. Go to Facebook: TheSexTapeMovie to tell us your stories of romance gone wrong.
“Disclosure: This post was sponsored by SONY through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about SONY, all opinions are my own.”
On Friday evening Ryan Cruz Saldana tragically lost his life. He was the beloved son of Jacqui & Dan: @babyboybakery & @danno12. Ryan was only 3.5 years old and was so dear to so many, including our Instagram community. Please send your thoughts, prayers, & memories to the family & friends of Ryan. Use hashtag: #REDBALLOONSFORRYAN
There are numerous ways you can help the family including a fundraising effort that is currently going on: gofundme.com/8xx8ao
Also consider purchasing marked items from the following shops. Proceeds will go to the family:
If I have forgotten anyone, please leave in comments so I can add.
We are back to school this week after almost a 1 week off! Luckily over the Thanksgiving break we were able to rest up and get rid of the colds and coughs! Even in Arizona we have a “sick season” and this year the kids have had the worst colds!
So, what do you do to prevent your kids from getting the dreaded winter cold? I make big bowls of fresh cut up fruits & veggies that they can nibble on while playing games and puzzles. My kids will never finish fruits & veggies during meals, but when I serve them up while at play Harper & Rex seem to gobble up carrot sticks, grapes, mango… all that good stuff!
Another recommendation…LOTS of fruit smoothies. If your children are not good fruit eaters, just stick it all in a blender. It is much easier and faster to consume a lot of fruit when you can drink it! I add a bit of greek yogurt, almond butter, and ice to my smoothies – so delicious!
Other tricks for keeping them healthy… we keep a consistent bedtime routine: 6:30 – 7:00 jammies, brushing teeth, and story time. They are tucked into their beds between 7:00 – 7:30. We also get LOTS of exercise. Arizona weather allows us to go to the park and play all winter long. We’ve also recently started Tuesday swimming lessons. And I hope to start basketball and baseball in the next few months.
On top of eating healthy, lots of sleep, and regular exercise, I supplement their diet with a L’il Critters™ gummy vitamin each morning. (Harper and Rex call them L’il Critters™ candies!) Yum Yum! If you are looking to supplement your children’s diets I highly recommend L’il Critters™:
L’il Critters™ are the #1 child gummy vitamin. We are the better tasting gummy vitamin that is preferred by Kids and trusted by Moms. “We Make Nutrition Taste Good.”
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Church & Dwight via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Church & Dwight.
Until you have a baby, you really don’t realize just how much your body goes through. And as many stories as you may hear and as much as your friends may tell you, everyone is different and everyone’s experience varies. Thankfully, my experience was way less scary than I had imagined and although I can say I feel like I had a relatively easy experience, the maintenance you have to go through after labor was something I really had no clue about. From squirt bottles (given to me at the hospital) to belly wraps, there were quite a few items I’d never heard anyone mention. Below are some of the items that helped with the (vaginal) recovery process and helped ease the beginning stages of nursing, both of which occur simultaneously.
I think these would also make a thoughtful care package for any girlfriends.
1. soothies - stick these in the freezer first and they’ll provide a cooling relief for sore and cracked nipples.
2. maxi pads – feels like your period comes into full effect, so you’ll need these for at least a week after labor.
3. tucks – apply one pad onto your maxi and it helps relieve discomfort.
4. motrin – for cramps, especially when your first begin to nurse.
5. lanolin – ouch. Again, for sore and cracked nipples. I applied this after every breastfeed.
6. nursing cover – baby feeds every 2-3 hours and with the amount of guests you’ll have visiting, this covers you up if you’re modest. I sure am. I have this exact one but I also found this one that is super stylish.
7. nursing pads – I went through these like crazy in the beginning. I was leaking a lot and these help absorb leakage and keep your bras from getting dirty extra fast. These are washable but I used the disposable kind.
8. nursing bras and 9 – you’ll need a few. Comfort is key. I much prefer the kind with no underwire. You’ll also need a few. I thought I could get by on a couple. I had to send my husband out to purchase more.
10. nipple shields – I had cracked nipples and it hurt when it was time to pull back the bra for nursing so I tucked these into my bra to keep from that skin to bra contact.
11. belly bandit – I live in this! I still wear it. I want to feel that support and feel like my stomach and hips are shrinking back into place. If there is one thing you purchase off this list, this is my number one recommendation.
It’s so much to deal with all at once, and now that I went through childbirth and feel like I’m 90% back to myself again, I truly feel like a champ. And to anyone who is on their way to motherhood, best of luck and hope this little round up helps you.
decor . styling . consulting
1. Talk Turkey Plate by Jane Jenni
2. Turkey Pinata
3. Thanksgiving Jingo
4. Pilgrim Glass Clings Decorations
5. Melissa & Doug The Box Girls Thanksgiving Box of Questions
6. Turkey Gobbler Hat
7. Toddler Turkey Thanksgiving Costume
8. Gobble Gobble Mad Libs
9. Thanksgiving Coloring Placemat
10. Thanksgiving Face Painting Kit
11. Turkey Napkins
12. Gobble Up Thanksgiving Youth T-Shirt
13. Turkey Placecard Holders
Happy Early Thanksgiving! I hope you all get some rest while filling your bellies with lots of TURKEY over the 4 day weekend. Thanksgiving is my favorite FOOD holiday. There is nothing better than Thanksgiving leftovers and I love myself a cold turkey sandwich with mayo the day after the big feast!
I know a lot of you are entertaining family/big parties for the holiday. I’ve seen some AMAZING tablescapes on Instagram this week. Our Thanksgiving will be super simple. Just the 4 of us with a large TURKEY front and center. If I were to entertain, I’d use the cute Turkey Place Card Holders pictured above. & I’d probably dress the kids as Pilgrims or Turkeys. Hopefully next year we’ll have family in town and our celebration will be LARGE!
On another note, have you started your Black Friday shopping yet? A lot of stores have already started their sales and I am almost done shopping already. I got a head start this week since I’ll be working Black Friday and Saturday at the Phoenix Flea Market. Hope to see you there!
If you do plan on shopping this Black Friday be sure to head over to Rakuten.com for some FAB deals. I spotted a LOT of good deals on electronics including APPLE iPads with free shipping!
Enjoy the holiday, happy shopping and see ya’ll next week, Shari
Now through Black Friday get 20% off ALL blanket styles by SpearmintLOVE™. Sale includes both full & baby sized cross blankets, our FOREST blanket, & our delicious APPLES! Free US shipping on all orders. International customers please contact for a shipping quote.
visit: spearmintLOVE.com & use code TAKE20 at checkout
**All US orders will ship the week before Christmas – your blanket will arrive in time to cuddle up with on Christmas morning. Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, & Merry Christmas! ENJOY!
I’m selling a few things that Rex & Harper have outgrown this year. Hop over to Instagram: @spearmintbaby to take a look. Just leave your paypal address in the comment on the item you would like. If you are NOT on Instagram (you should be!)… you can still purchase items. Just send me an email: email@example.com with the item/s you’d like and I will invoice via paypal. thanks!
* all items will be shipped USPS first class with tracking number
Do your kids lose things? I feel like there is always something that we are looking for…
Harper & Rex use these stainless steel water bottles at recess time. They are amazing but pricey ($14.00 from Target) and we’ve lost 3 of them! So many of the kids at school have the same ones & it is impossible to keep track of which bottle belongs to which child. I tried writing Harper & Rex’s names on the bottom with permanent marker, but turns out it is not so permanent!
So, enter Anywhere Labels from safetytat.com. BEST.DECISION.EVER! These labels are dishwasher, washing machine and microwave safe. You can get them in any color/pattern. We ordered a set with both Harper & Rex’s first and last names + our phone number on them (just in case.)
Another added bonus… you can also use these labels on toys, clothing and coat tags, school supplies, bags and totes, containers, water bottles, electronics, sports gear, and more! Not sure why I waited so long to try them.
I started working on Harper & Rex’s bedroom redo on Monday. (I am a month & a half late on this project but more motivated than ever to get it going!) So far we’ve torn out the carpet/pads and started painting. The carpet removal was supposed to be a quick job but I had no idea that it would take so long to get the carpet grippers out of the concrete. They were nailed into the concrete and I literally had to pry them out with a screw driver and hammer. IT WAS TOUGH to say the least. It seems that there are always surprises when you decide to DIY it!
Anyway, you can keep up with the bedroom redo updates on INSTAGRAM: spearmintbaby
Hey guys, so sorry for the lack of blogging this week. I am busy getting ready for the ABC Kids Expo next week in Vegas! I’ll be there all week getting the scoop on all kinds of new & interesting baby products. If you want to follow along, I’ll be sure to post updates on both INSTAGRAM: @spearmintbaby & Facebook.
Have a great week! Shari
I was mesmerized by this video, the way this sweet newborn enjoys her bath time. I wish I had taken the time to bathe my children in a similar manner….
Sonia Rochel is a French nurse who’s been working with newborns for 35 years. The bathing style Sonia developed, which she calls the Thalasso baby bath or baby spa, mimics the warmth and security of the womb, making the baby feel relaxed and at home.
Sonia gives 5 tips for bathing your newborn:
1. Don’t bathe a hungry baby. They can’t relax if they’re hungry.
2. Let your hands and heart express themselves.
3. Take your time. Ten to 15 minutes is good.
4. Water getting in your baby’s ears and eyes? It’s OK!
5. Enjoy the experience as much as your baby does.
Hey guys, I just wanted to announce a new role I recently took on. I’ve joined Rakuten.com’s (formerly Buy.com) new shoppable Magazine, Essential. I will be the Brand Ambassador/Section Leader for the Family/Home Organization section. At Essential you will find diverse content from across the spectrum…home & leisure, DIY, fashion, food, travel, tech and more! Be sure to visit me over there and check out all of the interesting things going on!
It’s time to party again fellow Pinterest lovers! The ladies behind BonBon Rose Girls and The Little Style File have partnered with some fabulous guest pinners: According to Nina, The Simple Moms, The Wise Baby & US (we are so excited to be pinning with these ladies!!!) We promise to bring you a pinning good time filled with awesome prizes from Stokke! Please join us for our #ColorfulFall pin party on Wednesday, September 25th, at 9 PM EST!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Participating in a Pinterest Party is super easy and lots of fun!
To join: Create your own #ColorfulFall Board on Pinterest and pin during the party using the #ColorfulFall tag. Please repin at least 10 pins from our #ColorfulFall Board. To be eligible for prizes: You must FOLLOW our sponsor, Stokke, on Pinterest and come back and give us the link to your #ColorfullFall Pinterest Board using the Rafflecopter widget below ONCE THE PARTY STARTS!
Please get ready for the party by following the hosts Bon Bon Rose Girls and The Little Style File, sponsor Stokke and guest pinners According to Nina, Spearmint Baby, The Simple Moms and The Wise Baby…Also, we’ll be tweeting during the party too, so please feel free to tweet along with us using the hashtag #ColorfulFall!
If you need to sign up for Pinterest, CLICK HERE. Winners will be randomly selected after the of the party party is over, by 11 PM EST, and notified by email as well as announced on Facebook and Twitter by the following day. Prizes are non-transferable. If you have questions about participating in a Pinterest party, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We can’t wait to get pinning!
Excited yet? Me too! Here are just a few of the fun things I’ll be pinning for the #ColorfulFall Board:
Sorella Origins Red Moccasins
Unfold Pendant, Blue
Fig Throw Pillow
Eco Cross Baby Blanket
Red Norsu Elephant Money Box
Mid-Century Crib in Espresso
Baby Degen Indigo Grid Raglan Sweater
Baby Degen Monster Sweatpant
IKEA PS SVINGA
Lucky Boy Sunday: Balthazar
Red Star Sheet Set
Stop over at spearmintLOVE.com this weekend to shop the Funky Legs sale. ALL Funky Legs apparel is on sale through Sunday. Just enter the code funkylegs20 at checkout!
& if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter…
You’ll be the first to hear about new products, limited edition stuff, & SALES!
The Baby Alpaca Print just made it’s debut at the The Animal Print Shop & he is oh so cute!
Photographer Sharon Montrose released two prints of the super-soft and cuddly Baby Alpaca this week along with this FABULOUS-LY beautiful nursery. If you are not familiar with the The Animal Print Shop Nursery Project, it is a collaboration between Sharon and a few of her interior designer pals, with the aim of creating inspiring nursery spaces. Enjoy!
Eames Rocker: Vintage find. Similar from Modernica
Walnut Credenza/Changer: OneFortyThree
Animal Art: The Animal Print Shop
Rug: Vintage find. Similar from Red Thread Souk
Beaded Pendant Light: CAMP
Elephant Chair: DWR
Mobile: Vintage find. Similar on Etsy
Kilim Pillow: Sukan
Lion Stuffed Animal: Jellycat
Ottoman: Vintage Franco Albini
Toy Basket: Baskets of Africa
Production: The Animal Print Shop
Designer: Morgan Satterfield
Room photographed by: Laure Joliet
This is so out of the box for me. I typically steer so far from anything western feeling and especially cowboys, but I couldn’t help myself with Frederic Remington. His idealized American Western themes, so full of action and adventure, would be so fabulous in a little boys room!
My goal was to create a room perfect for a growing young boy that had a sense of the American West adventure with a little modern twist. By mixing geometric elements such as the bedding, pillows, and mobile with the action packed artwork and the organic cowhide rug, the western feel is able to be subtly accomplished. The world map helps to add to the sense of adventure while the bright colors and simple patterns add a sense of youthfulness.
What do you think? Something you could see in your favorite little boy’s bedroom?
Hey ladies! I wanted to share a great program starting this fall by Tea Collection. It is called Tea’s School Days & the mission is to expand charitable efforts and give back to schools in a bigger way.
This will be the fourth semester that Tea Collection is running this program and they are hoping to make it bigger and better than ever this fall! It truly is the easiest fundraiser ever.
HOW DOES IT WORK?: Schools apply – Parents & friends shop from October 21st – 27th – Orders are tallied and at the end of it all Tea donates 15% of your sales back to your school. Pretty easy, right?
And, even though it’s official title is School Days, it’s not limited to schools. Any non-profit organization registered as a 501(c)(3) program can apply!
You can learn more here. Deadline for applications is September 13th, 2013.
Having a baby on board in your vehicle definitely gets you thinking a lot more about not only how you’re driving, but also how safe your vehicle is. When starting your family, you’ll likely want to feel confident that your automobile choice is one that protects your children as much as possible. To find out how safe your car is, you can easily check safety ratings of cars. This will tell you how safe your car is overall and when compared with other vehicles. It is very important that your car has a high safety rating, especially when you’re carrying your children around with you.
Options for Purchasing Your New Car
Although it may seem nice to purchase a car with cash, most people aren’t able to. The most common way to purchase a vehicle is by getting a car loan, which can help you get your family into a safer vehicle that better meets your needs. IMB offers car loans to parents looking to upgrade their vehicle to a safer choice for their family. Talk to a representative today to find out how you can purchase the best vehicle for your family by obtaining a car loan.
The Importance of a High Safety Rating
Automobile safety ratings are incredibly important when it comes to families with children. Making sure you have a car with a high safety rating should help to ease your mind when bringing your children in your car with you, as you can be assured that you and your family are as safe as can be when driving.
The Best Cars for Parents
When determining what the best cars for parents are, it is important to consider the ANCAP safety rating, the amount of cargo room, the style of interior design, and especially the value for your money. Here are some of the best cars for parents:
Honda CRV 2WD VTI (5 Speed Auto) – This family vehicle offers the highest ANCAP safety rating of 5 stars, an economical 2.0L engine, and a bonus reversing camera, for added safety when driving. In addition, its interior is large enough to comfortably fit 5 people, making it perfect for taking your kids with you on the go, and you can get your family in one for as little as $29,990. The Honda CRV 2WD VTI is the quiet baby. The baby that is easy going and doesn’t seem to make much of a fuss.
Subaru Forester 2.0i (Manual) – The Subaru Forester 2.0i is an incredible vehicle that keeps its traction even in the most demanding situations you may come across. It has incredible safety features, including 3 child seat anchor points and 7 airbags. It also achieved a 5 star ANCAP safety rating and is small enough in size for ease of city driving yet has a roomy interior for taking your family with you on the go. You can purchase the Subaru Forester 2.0i for as low as $34,291. This is the baby that is constantly exploring – climbing the highest furniture (or mountain) and venturing way out in the backyard (or outback). This baby certainly doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty!
Volkswagen Touareg 150TDI (8 Speed Automatic) – This model features a powerful 3.0L V6 turbo diesel engine and 4 motion permanent all-wheel drive. In addition, this high quality, German designed car offers a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, along with 9 airbags standard, along with active safety systems including EBD and ESP. You can buy a Volkswagen Touareg 150TDI for as little as $62,990. This is a baby that is both powerful and stylish and certainly isn’t afraid to show it! This baby undoubtedly exudes confidence, class, and charisma.
Benefits of Having a Safe Vehicle for Your Family
You can have peace of mind. Knowing you have a safe vehicle for your family can help to take away some of the stress of driving around with children in high traffic areas.
You know you’re protecting your children. Choosing a car with the highest safety ratings means you are doing the best you can to protect your children’s safety.
You’re doing your best. Having a safe car can help you know you are doing your best to help your children, as the benefits of added safety features found in cars that meet the highest safety ratings can make a huge difference when compared with cars without them.
As I designed each of my children’s rooms, one of the things that I wanted to be sure to include was something they would be able to grow up with. I wanted something that if they wanted to they could take and put in their own homes one day. One of my favorite things to use is artwork, classic pieces of fine art to be more specific. Artwork that you wouldn’t typically see in a child’s room.
So, I thought I would share one of my favorite inspiration boards inspired by a fun, adorable piece of artwork. I’m super excited about it actually!!
I chose Young Girl Reading painted by Jean-Honore Fragonard because of the feeling of youth, innocence, and a little whimsy. My goal was to create a young, feminine, bohemian space that was full of texture, pattern, and bright colors.
I didn’t want to steer away from the pink because of the bits of pink found in the painting, but I didn’t want pink to be the dominant color either. The light fixture and dream catcher help to add visual texture to the walls, perfect to stimulate a young infant. The rug and graphic print help to add a sense of modernity and trendiness to the space.
To finish the room, I would love to see all white with the painting framed in a thick ornate gold frame. Oh it would be so fabulous!! Rich, bright, colorful, youthful yet classic with a wonderful bohemian vibe… my favorite!!
What do you think? Would you use it for a little girl?
Have any artwork you would love to see an inspiration board created for? Let me know!! I’m LOVE suggestions!!
Do you ever think “my baby is going to grow up to be a star?” Some kids just gravitate naturally to singing and performing. My mother wrote in my baby book that when I was three years old, she asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said I wanted to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. (Eventually, I did.)
However, if you’re serious about helping your kid follow dreams of stardom, you need to act early. Even if you want to skip the stage-mother business and let your son or daughter have a normal childhood, you still need to give your kids the best performing education possible to prepare them for the challenges of high school, college and professional auditions.
I used to teach university acting classes, and one of the most heartbreaking parts of every semester was seeing the first-year students who were just starting to realize that some of their classmates had been taking music and dance lessons since they were children, and that by waiting until college, they were already years behind their peers.
Here’s what you need to know:
Start kids with singing lessons as soon as possible. Kindergarten age is fine. Learning how to sing properly requires lessons in diction, tone and breath control, and waiting too long means kids pick up bad habits. If you are anywhere in the NYC metro area, go ahead and book weekly or bi-weekly voice lessons in New York; if not, choose the best voice teacher in your nearest large city.
(Why does it have to be a large city? A few reasons: first, because the teacher is likely to be a professional performing musician herself, and thus up-to-date on the best techniques; and second, because your teacher will be able to expose your child to more opportunities than might be available in a small town. Many music teachers understand that there’s a huge difference between “good enough” lessons and “professional” lessons. Good enough lessons still teach your child all of the mental, physical and social benefits of music; professional lessons prepare your child to perform.)
There is no reason to send toddlers to dance lessons. Take them to a toddler movement class for the social aspect, or just put on the radio and have a dance party in the kitchen. Wait until age 7 or 8 to seriously consider dance class; by then, you’ll know if your child is seriously interested in the physical rigor of professional dance lessons.
As with voice lessons, look for dance classes that teach professional, applicable skills, rather than classes that advertise dance “exploration.” There are plenty of professional dance classes on the East Coast, in Los Angeles and in major cities like Chicago. Look for dance classes that train students in good habits and technique, and that have a track record of placing students in good universities. Never attend a school that lets kids go en pointe before age 12.
Although you might be tempted to put your child in weekly acting classes as well as voice and dance classes, that’s actually a bit overkill. Yes, a few weeks at acting camp is often a welcome respite for both children and parents, but consider that your child will have plenty of acting opportunities simply by attending a school that regularly stages plays.
As a university educator, I start all of my acting students on the same page regardless of whether they’ve spent years doing high school plays or whether this is their first time reading a script. Every student has to learn to deconstruct a play, to understand a character, and to apply theories and techniques created by Stanislavski, Donnellan, and others – skills that aren’t taught in elementary-school level acting classes.
So, in this case, just let your child perform in school plays and community theater. The difference here is that, unlike a dance “exploration,” a fully-produced play is always, by definition, a professional experience.
If your child is one of those children who is determined to perform – and trust me, if you have one of those kids, you know – these are the steps you need to take to give your child the best chance at a professional career in the arts.
** Spearmintbaby.com sometimes features guest posts when relative to the site.
Guess what? After 4 years of blogging and working with sooo many amazing children’s brands, we’ve decided to go for it! Soon you will be able to shop with us. Stop by our brand new e-commerce store, SpearmintLOVE.com, this September. You will find some of our FAVORITE baby & mama brands… seriously, all of the GOOD STUFF!
Hi Mamas! Have you heard about Target’s “Kids Got Style” campaign? They want you to show off your kid’s unique style on Instagram for a chance to receive a personalized “Stylagram”. The Stylagram, created by Target, will be a cute, handcrafted postcard of the Instagram photo submitted plus tailor-made outfit inspiration specific to the child’s fashion sense.
I just posted harper’s #kidsgotstyle pic last night (@thespearmintblogs). She picked out the leggings (from Target) & boots (Kamiks from Tea Collection), & I picked out the sweater (American Apparel) + hair accessory (Kate Spade).
I can’t wait to see your kids showing off their unique style! Be sure to include the #KidsGotStyle hashtag in your Instagram photo.
Today was our last day of summer. Well, for them it was… I may sneak over to the pool by myself every once in awhile while they are at school! Tomorrow is the first day of elementary school for Harper & Rexford. Crazy how early school starts here in Arizona. We had orientation this afternoon and got to meet our teachers and classmates. It looks like a fab group! I tried to soak in the day with some quality play time today.
Tomorrow, after school drop off I hope to catch up with all of those things I’ve gotten so behind on over the summer. Emails, Facebook updates, blogging in general… + a new project we are working on that should launch just after labor day. Stay tuned for updates on SpearmintLOVE.com!!
This week I’ve been busy prepping my kids for back to school. School begins on early here…August 7th, hard to believe that is next week!
Both Harper & Rexford will be attending elementary school this year. In AZ there are lots of preschool/pre-K programs taught at the elementary schools. Harper is 4 and will be attending the Pre-K program and Rex is 3 and will be in the class right below her.
So, in addition to organizing their wardrobes & school supplies, I’ve also been trying to get them on an earlier and regular sleep schedule this week. School will be from 8:30-3:00 Mon-Fri so I know they are going to be exhausted. I don’t know about your kids, but when my kids are exhausted they start getting runny noses and coughs. Our bedtime routine as of this week begins between 6:00-6:30. After putting on jammies, brushing teeth, & story time we have them tucked in their beds by 7:00 PM. I am hoping this new sleep schedule plus regular exercise (we get lots now that we are renting on an acre lot!) will help to keep them healthy and well rested this school year.
In addition to sleep & exercise, I try to keep their diets interesting & healthy. We love eating lots of fruits & veggies and often have a difficult time fitting them in the fridge after a trip to the supermarket. (The photo above was taken after a trip to the market!)
Rex told me the other day that his favorite food is mango. Do you eat mango? We eat lots of it! My dad swears by mango… growing up he would tell people that his 3 girls were NEVER sick because he & mom fed us so much mango! Not sure if that was true, but I do love seeing my kids gooble up mango! In addition to mango, Rex & Harper eat citrus fruits all winter & LOTS of fruit smoothies. If your children are not good fruit eaters, just stick it all in a blender. It is much easier and faster to consume a lot of fruit when you can drink it! I add a bit of greek yogurt, almond butter, and ice to my smoothies – so delicious!
And finally to help keep them healthy Harper & Rex take a L’il Critters™ gummy vitamin each morning. (They actually think that they are eating little candies!) If you haven’t tried children’s vitamins, be sure to check out L’il Critters™:
L’il Critters™ are the #1 child gummy vitamin. We are the better tasting gummy vitamin that is preferred by Kids and trusted by Moms. “We Make Nutrition Taste Good.”
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Church & Dwight via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Church & Dwight.
One of those things that I think totally makes a nursery is the mobile. Every nursery typically has one… they’re so visually stimulating and perfect for little ones to look at and entertain themselves with. And there are basically a gazillion different kinds out there, how is a momma supposed to chose just one?? Do you go store bought or handmade? Or maybe you want to try your hand at making your own? Either way, mobiles are a definite must for the nursery, don’t you think?
I have a serious love for mobiles. I’ve spent hours and hours looking at all the different kinds out there. I’ve even tried my hand at making a few, like this one that I just finished and am still trying to decide where to hang. If I were out looking to buy a mobile though these days… these would probably be on the top of my list…
I have a thing for different, unique, handmade mobiles that are going to make a statement. We already talked about how important the mobile is to the baby, but what about to the design of the room? When you are designing your nursery you have a chance to really make a statement and create an excellent statement piece with the mobile. It is one of the first things you see when you walk into the room and it hangs low from the ceiling so is often right at eye level. Since it is one of the most dominate pieces in the nursery, don’t you think we should give it that extra “umph” to really bring in some specialness to your sweet baby’s room?
What do you think? How do you feel about mobiles? Which one would you choose?
Buy baby accessories from TradeTang
Summer is well and truly here so it’s time to pack your bags and get away with the family! If you’re planning a family road trip, you’re probably trying to find ways to keep the kids happy in the back whilst you concentrate on the road.
In this guide, Izzy from Pass Smart shares a few creative ideas which the little ones can work on during the journey, meaning they’ll be entertained and you don’t have to worry about them asking “are we nearly there yet!?” every five minutes.
Why not make the most of the sun and get the kids to make some fun summer bugs? They could try their hand at making some bumble bees and ladybugs using pipe cleaners, small pom poms and felt. They can accessorise their bee or ladybug with googly eyes and felt spots before attaching them to a pipe cleaner.
They can be used as pen toppers, drink toppers (using straws instead of pipe cleaners), or just simply summery decorations for the car!
• Red and yellow small pom poms
• Pipe cleaners and straws
• Googly eyes
Tissue Paper wind surfer
They’re colourful, great fun to play with and easy to make. The kids will love making their tissue paper wind suffers, and the materials you need won’t cost much at all.
Simply rip up strips of different colored tissue paper, tying or taping them around a long wooden or plastic stick. The kids can use all of their favourite summery colors, or can even go patriotic with red, white and blue!
Once they’re made, and you get a chance to get out of the car and stretch your legs, they’ll be able to run around in the sun with their colourful creations. Once they’re tired of all of the running about, you’ll be able to rip the tissue paper off and recycle them for your next colorful creation!
• Different colored tissue paper sheets
• A stick or pole. Don’t use wood which is likely to splinter
You can use your recycled tissue paper for these. Use a pom pom for the centre of the flower and stick the multi-colored tissue paper around the outside as petals.
They might even want to create their own little fan to keep the sun at bay, by using cardboard as a base to stick your tissue paper on to. Glue it all down, and you’ve got yourself a very simple-to-make homemade fan!
• Cardboard cut into circles
• Tissue paper
• Pom poms
No summer road trip is complete without some in-car accessories and decorations. The perfect way to accessorize your ride is with some awesome window shades. We all know the dangers of overheated cars at this time of year, so window shades are ideal if you want to keep the summer heat off of the kids.
You can buy these in stores and online, but why do that when the kids can make and design them themselves? Buy some dark translucent fabric, some fabric glue and some fun accessories to decorate them with.
You might want to create the shade yourself before you leave for your car trip, leaving the kids to do the decorating whilst you’re on the move. To do this, you’ll need a long piece of wire which you can fit to the shape of the window, and the dark fabric to wrap around the wire. Glue it all in place with some superglue, and the canvas will be ready for the kids to get creative on.
• Bendy wire
• Dark translucent fabric
• Superglue/fabric glue
• Decorations – sequins, fabric pens, feathers, felt, pom poms (anything you can find!)
• Suction cups to attach it to the window
The great thing about doing crafts during a long car trip is that the kids can make something personal. Encourage them to make something which will remind them of the trip or which they can have as a souvenir or a gift. Who said you need DVD players and iPads to keep the kids happy!?
The PassSmart team wish you a very safe and fun-filled trip!
Fall fashion is my fave! What about you?
The colors, the layers, the adorable details.
Here are some of my faves from the web right now…
Have you heard of Sonnet James? Well… I think you should. A new fashion start-up featuring play dresses for playful moms. They are the perfect dresses created to allow a mom to look classy and fabulous (my own personal mantra) while at the same time being able to be present and engaged with her children. They’re designed to work for moms, stylish, durable, and comfortable. They’re the perfect addition to an active mom’s wardrobe.
Whitney, the amazing mind behind Sonnet James, believes strongly in being a playful involved mother who is always ready for a fun adventure. She launched a Kickstarter this week to help get her fabulous line out there. Be one of the first to get your hands on one of these gorgeous dresses by backing Sonnet James! Promise you won’t be sorry… I’m not! I’m super excited actually! I can’t wait to get my hands on the stella dress… or maybe the remi? Gosh I can’t decide!!
PS… for more super fun mama style news or basically anything… be sure to come and visit me over on Just Dawnelle! I’d love to have you!!
Are you preparing anything special for the 4th? I’m dying to try a cake like this by Krissy’s Creations. Wouldn’t it be fun to cut open at your 4th of July party?
Other than that we’ll hopefully catch some fireworks in our new neighborhood. It is HOT this week- kind of feels like walking inside of an oven. The good news is that it is so dry that you hardly break a sweat. If you haven’t already, come join me (& my family) on INSTAGRAM: @thespearmintblogs
P.S. be sure to stop by Buymodernbaby.com today. I am sharing some of my favorite RED, WHITE, & BLUE picks for the nursery!
HURRY Vitacost has select BE Boxes back in stock today! They will probably sell out soon.
I got my Be “Pretty” Box from Vitacost & Be “All” Box and can definitely say it was well worth the $13.99 (even less if you took part in the $10 off $30)! The one MyChelle Dermaceuticals Pumpkin Peel Facial from the Be Pretty box alone sells for $21.95! The New Chapter Wholemega® Flex — 60 Softgels sells for $21.57 & the New Chapter Organics® Perfect Calm™ Mulitvitamin — 72 Tablets sells for $25.17 that were in my Be All Box!
You can order two of the boxes and then a small filler to get up to the $30 to save $10.
Vitacost is offering up Be Boxes for ONLY $13.99 + FREE Shipping. They are filled with lots of fun items. Plus you can combine this deal with the $10 off $30 offer when you create a new account. So you can get $30 of items including the $13.99 box, for ONLY $20 + FREE Shipping on everything! This really is a great deal especially if you like natural/organic products. Plus, don’t forget to add 2 FREE samples to your order!
YAY! Gevalia is at it again! You can now get 4 Bags/Boxes of Gevalia Coffee or K-Cups, 2 Coffee Mugs, and a Stainless Thermal Coffee Carafe for ONLY $14.99 + FREE shipping (this offer is valid through June 29th).
By signing up for this offer you will be in their direct delivery service, but it is so easy to cancel. You just have to call them at 1-800-438-2542 or login to your account online and cancel that way.
I have been wanting to try Stork Stack for awhile. It is a bit pricey at $28, which is why the $10 off comes in handy, making it $18. But they only deliver HIGH QUALITY, FULL SIZE healthy and natural baby products & toys! Use code C1E9F11B to save $10 off your first box! The Products are customized to your child’s age (3rd trimester to 3rd year).
**This is a monthly subscription, but you can cancel your monthly subscription at any time. Your credit card is charged on the anniversary of your purchase date or on the 15th of the month, whichever comes first, and so cancellations received after noon Central time on that date will be processed the following month.
Have you heard of Fancy.com? They have been coming out with HIGH VALUE coupon codes lately ($25 off $25 and a $20 off $20) so be sure to sign up, so you can grab their next offer! You can grab items for FREE, & just pay the $4.95 for shipping. Fancy.com offers deals on clothing, toys, gadgets, home goods and more.
When it comes to getting all the right gear for your littlest one… there are so many options for just about anything you might need. And when it comes to blankets… there are about a million and a half different ones out there. But you want to find THE ONE right?
You know, the one blanket that just speaks to you. The one that has something a little special to it because you know its going to be part of your little one’s life for the next few years. If your lucky too, it will be one of those things that your little one just can’t live with out. You’ll be running frantically through the house each night looking for it so your tired toddler will go to sleep. So why not make that blanket something super special and fun right? These are some of my favorite, new, unique blankets, each one with something super fun and exciting about it!
1 // Muny
Block printed light weight cotton… I love how lightweight, soft, and warm these blankets are! Plus aren’t those colors and patterns just so… bohemian and ethnic!
2 // Vintage Kandy
Handmade out of vintage sheets and fabrics… how fabulous right? The mix of florals and colors. Definitely something unique you won’t find a duplicate of! Something totally special for your little ones!
3 // Iviebaby
A trendy triangle quilt in amazing colors for less than half the price?! Sign me up my friends!! This is a steal! I think I totally need one… for myself! Does this come in a king size maybe?
4 // Rikshaw Designs
Block printed by hand… and elephants! I have a thing for elephants these days. Plus this blanket comes in like six different colors! How super cute!! and it is that lightweight cotton again…
5 // Haptic Lab
I need this one… preferably with Philly on it but hey, there are plenty of other cities that would work too! But really, how unique and totally super amazing are these?? They come in three different color ways and are a serious piece I don’t think anyone would EVER regret!
6 // Milk and Soda
Oh those little cats… I’m not a big cat person but I can not get over those adorable little faces. I am loving the colors too!! How unique are they??
Be sure to stop by and say hi over on my personal blog, Just Dawnelle. I’d love to have you!! Don’t forget to introduce yourself so we can be friends!!
Today I wanted to share this beautiful video about Skype keeping families together. The video is about Denis, who left his war torn country in the middle of the night. He carried nothing with him, not even a family photo. He arrived in the United States with only $5 in his pocket. Denis now lives in Pennsylvania. He desperately misses his family, especially his son. They all still live in Uganda. See how regardless of the many miles, mountains, and seas between them, Denis is able to stay in touch with his family. The video shows how they are able to stand shoulder to shoulder for a once-in-a-lifetime family portrait!
Last month my own family moved across the country (from NJ to AZ). Though not as far as Denis is from his family, we too are thankful for being able to stay in touch and see our loved ones at any time. Using Skype and the internet we can chat with loved ones at any time: Grandma, Grandpa, Tia Gaguy (Aunt Keli), Tia Jodi, + many of our close friends. Seeing their faces live on the screen really makes such a difference!
Do you live far from loved ones? How do you stay close to them?
FTC DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT: Spearmint Baby aims to provide unbiased editorials. However, I wish to disclose that from time to time I may receive free products or other compensation from companies for blogger reviews.
I haven’t had to purchase a new car seat in a while and now both of my boys (ages 22 months and 5 years) are in dire need of an upgrade! Buying car seats has really stressed me out since obviously my children’s lives are in their care! The one piece of advice that I keep coming across in my research is that using your car seat correctly is more important that buying a certain brand! So I will be sure to read my car seat manuals front to back. I am leaning towards these two Britax models for my boys. Do you guys have any great car seat advice? Which car seats do you love? Or hate? I’d love to hear what you think!
Stop by and learn more about my family on my personal blog!
Happy Father’s Day weekend! Any special plans? Other than the obvious…sleeping, reading, cooking, & eating, we are taking our first family camping trip on Saturday night. There is nothing my husband would rather do than drive off into nowhere and set the tent up! So, I am off to get marshmallow & matches. Have a fabulous weekend!
(follow me on instagram @thespearmintblogs to see bits of our camping trip!)
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