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Here's a craft your kids will love to make, and one you'll love to receive this Mother's Day.
May 8th, 2012 | 12:40 AM
Bonjour! I’m Bay Area mom, writer, planner, and Plum District Consultant Shari Wargo Stamps here to show you a heart-felt craft to give the mom in your life. Mother’s Day isn’t always about the sparkly necklace or expensive brunch out- it’s about showing mom that she is loved and appreciated. Every family is different, so this post has a do it yourself (DIY) craft that uses items you already have (or can borrow), and suggestions for ways to make the craft specific to your family.
Even though they may die after a couple of days, there’s something special about receiving flowers from the ones you love. The Blooming Love DIY allows mom to get flowers she’s never seen before, and your child to enjoy making a simple gift for mom. Toddlers and big kids will love being able to choose which flowers to pick and what to write or create on them. This DIY idea is ideal for ages 3-16, and can be customized to fit these different ages. Fun Fact: I first created a Blooming Love gift in high school to ask a boy to prom. I’ve also used a variation of this to remember a family member who passed away (it’s a versatile DIY).
- Ball point pen
- Stickers, glitter or stamps (for younger kiddos)
- Bottle, vase, or teacup (this is where you can make it your own)
- Ribbon (optional)
1. To start your project, choose a flower. This is an opportunity to talk to younger children about the different types of flowers and what the colors mean. If you don’t have flowers at your home, take the opportunity to go to a park or meadow with your child. When you cut your flower, be sure to leave some stem in case you choose to place your flower in a bottle or vase. Try to get any bugs out of the flower, and cut down any thorns before your child works with it.
2. Once you have your flower ready, you can decorate it for mom. Gently hold the flower in your hand and write or draw on the most visible center petals. You can tear away any petals that interrupt your pattern/message, or that maybe don’t look as great as the others if there are enough petals to work with. Alternatively, babies and toddlers can put fingerprints on the petals for a unique look, or toddlers can place heart-shaped stickers on the petals.
3. (Optional) Take your flower outside to sprinkle on a glitter which compliments the color of the flower. If you decide to use glitter, use it sparingly and remove the excess before bringing the flower back into the house.
4. Decide how you would like to present your gift to mom. There are so many ways to customize the Blooming Love gift to the special mom in your life by how you present it, but here are three options to give you some ideas. One option is to keep the stem and place it in a bottle (maybe reuse one from a drink mom loves) or vase with some water and a few extra petals (with or without writing on them). Another option would be to place your flower(s) in a bottle with some flower petals (without water) and strips of paper from different members of the family that each have a message about what they love about mom. For my last example, cut the stem of your flower so that it can sit in a teacup (or bowl) with or without water.
Find great offers to help plan Mother's Day. Spas, Sweet Treats, Family Fun and more!
May 6th, 2012 | 12:06 PM
Just in case you missed it the email from Bethenny Friday – here is her note to you! Be sure to tune in Monday for great offers all week that are just for MOM!
Want to know how she balances motherhood, a career, and marriage? Or maybe you just want to know what her favorite Skinnygirl cocktail is ... ask away!
May 3rd, 2012 | 7:18 PM
Being a mom is a tough job and we love our kids, but sometimes things just get crazy
May 3rd, 2012 | 8:20 AM
Leave it to the little ones to stump us with the most unusual occurrences.
Here’s one story from Grabriela, a Plum District Consultant who lives in Connecticut:
Last Sunday afternoon my 5-year-old, Charlotte, lost her first tooth. She is almost six and has been watching her friends lose teeth all year, waiting eagerly for her turn. That evening, we were getting the girls ready for bed when we suddenly heard screaming, crying and huge commotion. My husband and I ran to where the girls were to see what the problem was. We found both of our girls in a panic and managed to figure out that Charlotte had taken her loose tooth and shoved it up her nose! When we tried to assure Charlotte that there was no reason to be scared. She explained to us that she was not scared, she just needed to know if the tooth fairy would still come!
We looked in her nostril and saw nothing. My husband – who happens to be a doctor – looked up her nostril with an otoscope and then looked at me, bewildered, and said, “I can’t see anything.” I then asked, “So what do we do?” After 6 years of specialty training at some of New York’s top medical centers, and seeing “everything”, he said, “I have no idea. I have never seen anything like this!” Leave it to a 5-year-old to completely stump a seasoned medical professional.
The rest of night involved a number of phone calls consulting other medical professionals. On Monday morning we visited an ENT doctor, who also looked completely dismayed. She looked up Charlotte’s nose with an otoscope and saw nothing. After further exploration, which involved a fiber optic camera and a lot of squirming, it was determined that she must have swallowed it! The ENT doctor made Charlotte agree to never put anything else up her nose, they shook on it and we were on our way.
In the end, Charlotte was no worse for the wear, even when I told her that I would not be retrieving her lost tooth when it finally reappears. In case you are wondering, the tooth fairy did come. She left money and a note stating her disappointment and asking that Charlotte not shove any more teeth in her nose. Lastly, it has occurred to me that this is karma for all of the crazy (and often disgusting) things I did to my parents. What’s a mom to do?
Shape it, shape it, shape that healthy butt - just in time for bathing suit season. Baby, you got back.
May 2nd, 2012 | 2:01 AM
By Heather Dawson
Heather is a District Consultant and Group Exercise Instructor in Fishers, Indiana. She’s a busy mom to four kids and enjoys teaching cardio kickboxing and body sculpting classes at the local gym.
Want to get a better booty, but don’t have time for anything but a super quick workout? You can do these exercises quickly while your little once naps, or even during the commercial breaks of the latest Real Housewives! Check out these expert tips for a quick bootylicious fix (with a little help from PD staffer/”model”, Sara).
- Stand with one leg forward and one leg back.
- Bend knees and lower down into a lunge. Try to get both legs to a 90 degree angle. Be sure your front knee doesn’t come past your toes – it should be centered right above your ankle.
- Concentrate the weight in your heel and push back up to your starting position.
- Repeat until you’ve done 15-20 reps on each side. To add difficulty, you can hold weights and rest them up on your shoulders.
- SInk into a sumo squat position.
- With your legs bent at 90 degrees, push your knees to the back of the room about 1 inch and then return to start.
- Aim for 25-30 slow pulses.
- To really challenge yourself, do another round of this exercise while in a sumo squat on your toes!
Sumo Penguin Walk
- Begin in a sumo squat position where your toes are angled to the corners of the room, knees are bent at a 90 degree angle, and chest is lifted. Don’t sit back into this squat – go straight down.
- Staying in a low squat with feel pointed out, walk forward for 8 and then walk back to your starting position.
- Repeat this 6-8 times.
Side Band Walk
- This exercise requires a circular resistance band to put around your ankles.
- Start with feet hip width apart and a slight bend in the knees.
- Hold your core tight and step out to the side with your right foot, and then bring your left foot back to the starting position. Continue moving right until you’ve taken 10 large steps.
- Repeat moving left.
- Aim for 2-3 sets moving right and left.
- Lie on your back, with your knees bent.
- Raise your hips in the air to create a bridge.
- Keeping your hips raised, slowly lift and lower your hip aiming for 25-30 pulses.
- To finish, hold your hips in the air and alternate lifting your hips by squeezing your glute muscles one at a time. Aim for 12-15 pulses on each side.
Follow these tips and you’re just ten minutes away from a better behind. (Right, Sara?)
Sometimes you need to buy yourself a little time and keep the kids occupied - we love this idea
April 25th, 2012 | 12:27 AM
Heather lives in Fishers, Indiana and is a busy mom to four kids ages eight down to 18 months. She’s an avid USC Trojans fan, loves teaching cardio kickboxing at her local gym, and relishes time with her family! Now let’s get crafting!
If you’re like us, you’ve been counting down the days until this year’s summer vacation. The only thing we’re not excited about is the heavy packing – especially for activities the kids can do while you’re sitting on a long airplane ride, waiting for the best restaurant in town, or even winding down at the hotel. Luckily Heather, one of our Plum District mommas has some great crafts on the go! Check out this one.
Ink Dot Pictures
Supplies Needed: Stamp Pad, Pencils with erasers, White paper
(I keep my supplies in a zipped pencil pouch to keep everything contained. Also, I usually carry a clipboard in my “go bag” to provide a workspace when we’re out and about)
- Draw a light outline for your picture in pencil. Have fun with this – it can be shapes, letters, or even an abstract drawing!
- Press the pencil eraser into the stamp pad, and then stamp the ink dot on your picture. Continue doing this – following the outline you drew – until the outline is covered!
- I color code my pencils, and have a purple pencil to use in the purple ink, a pink pencil to use in the pink ink, and a blue pencil to use in the blue ink. This helps minimize the colors getting mixed together!
My Kindergarden daughter, Sadie, is six years old and loves this activity – it’s a great way for her to practice patterns and get creative with her outline sketch.
We all know the earth feeds our families, but we can feed the earth too. Read today's post to learn how!
April 22nd, 2012 | 10:35 AM
We chatted with two Plum District Moms to see how they incorporated composting in their homes.
Ginger, of Los Angeles, says ever since installing the compost bin and utilizing a “food scraps” container (a small metal bin right near the sink), she’s amazed at how much less trash she’s producing and how good it feels to re-cycle. Her family’s daily routine includes a trip to the backyard with their food-scrap-filled canister to “feed” the compost bin.
Liz, of Denver, recommends a simple black trash can ($12) with the bottom cut out and air holes punched in the sides. You can also Google the word “composting” to see if your city offers free containers. The Department of Sanitation in your town just may surprise you!
Here’s what to put in your new compost bin (it’s an easy equation):
Half green, half brown, a little water, a little air flow, and heat.
- Green is your vegetable and green plant scraps, or your nitrogen: carrot peels, apple cores, lettuce scraps, pepper cores, orange peels, potato skins, celery tops, grass clippings.
- Brown is your dead plant matter, or carbon: last fall’s leaves, deadheads and old twigs from your bushes, grass clippings that you let dry in the sun for a day or two.
The key is getting the mix right. Water the bin until the mix is moist like a sponge. Then make sure there are some air holes, put the lid on and let it heat up! If you have the mix right (the 50/50 split) it shouldn’t smell at all. If it does start to smell like ammonia, you’ve got too much green stuff. Add some brown.
(Note! Here’s what you should not put in the bin: No meat, no fats. No steak bones, or cheese rinds, or leftover bacon, or last night’s salad with blue cheese dressing).
Now that you’ve collected your bin, you can keep it right in your garden. The sun heats it up, and the good compost-making worms and bugs will crawl right in. When it’s time to harvest, just lift up the trash can, and that handy hole in the bottom lets the rich brown compost fall out! You can distribute the compost through your soil to increase its richness and feed our earth!
Composting is a great daily activity for you and the kids. It teaches the whole gang to be conscious of the earth and reinforces how even the littlest effort makes the biggest difference.
Liz Easterly writes StapletonMoms.com in Denver, where she keeps a little backyard garden and a $12 trash can compost bin that her two boys help care for. Ginger lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles, CA and loves working for Plum District. Since starting composting a year ago, she feels a little better about doing her small part to leave a healthier planet behind for the next generation.
Sustainable fashion designers to watch in 2012!
April 18th, 2012 | 2:28 PM
“Earth-friendly fashion” isn’t just about hemp pants and organic cotton T-shirts. In fact, you can make a big impact on your wardrobe while minimizing your carbon footprint – and still be the chicest chick in town. Sustainable practices like recycling, composting, and energy conservation have become easier to implement in the average American household, and sustainability can be fashion-forward, too. Apparel and accessory designers have caught “green fever”, and some of the hottest fashion trends of 2012 exhibit conscientious design.
The clothing of Indigenous is a beautiful blend of form and eco-friendly function. It’s made with fair-trade materials that are hand knit or hand woven by artisan workers in South America. Materials include organic cotton, natural fibers like Merino wool, and dyes that are free of harmful chemicals. From flowing drape dresses to intricately detailed pullovers and coats, the clothing from Indigenous is naturally chic!
Ever stare into the cluttered backseat of your car or the void of crumpled paper that is your giant Mom purse and just sigh, defeated by your accidental collection of stray receipts, candy wrappers, and to-do lists? Ecoist has majorly upgraded that trash into treasure, with their line of adorably quirky jewelry and handbags that are made from recycled materials like food packages, newspapers, and soda tabs. Their soda tab jewelry looks like modern chain mail, perfect for Moms who love a little cosmopolitan polish. Colorful candy wrapper clutches add a rainbow burst to any outfit!
Designer Jeff Garner is blending old-world aesthetic and modern sensibilities with his line, Prophetik. Inspired by the fiercely feminine gowns of the Civil War era, Garner creates flirty dresses with sleek lines and billowing accents, contradictory details that just…work. Even better? All materials and processes are eco-friendly, from the organic dyes to the fleece made from recycled bottles. Celebs are scrambling to get their hands on one of Garner’s gowns, and it’s no wonder – slip one over your head and you’ll truly feel like a natural woman.
Easy and delicious for the whole family
April 13th, 2012 | 12:18 AM
Here’s a GREAT Mom dish brought to you by Las Vegas District Consultant, Maria Oakes! It’s quick, easy, tasty and healthy – all things we moms look for in every meal we make!
Pick any Taverna, Cafe, or restaurant anywhere in all of Greece and you will find a “Horiatiki” salad on every menu. The Greek-style salad is a staple in Maria’s home. It can be served as a side dish when you’re missing that healthy extra- oomph or even as a meal in itself! Prep time is just about 5 minutes….literally as long as takes to cut the vegetables and drizzle the Olive Oil.
- Tomatoes (as close to home grown as you can, is the best)
- English Cucumbers preferably (but other Cucumbers work just as well)
- Red Onions give the most flavor (but white or even green are great in a pinch too)
- Green peppers (or get crazy and throw in yellow, orange or red too)
- Kalamata olives (or whatever olive you might fancy)
- Feta Cheese – the favorite is FRENCH Feta (shhh, don’t tell the family)- mainly because it’s creamier and doesn’t have the bite that some of the others have!
- Freshly baked bread- French Loaf, Baguette or Italian Round all work great!
- Simply chop your veggies up to bite size pieces
- Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil (yes, always Extra Virgin – you can find some that are very tasty AND inexpensive)
- Season with salt, pepper and Oregano to taste
Reduce, reuse, recycle your way to greener living
April 12th, 2012 | 12:01 AM
I don’t just tell my kids to “reduce, reuse and recycle,” I get them involved so they understand how to do it. Reducing the amount of trash that we all create, reusing items as much as possible, and filling the recycling bins with anything and everything recyclable are important steps to living greener. There are many ways for your family to help protect the environment from unnecessary waste — here are three easy tips that have been successful for us.
Carrying a lunchbox is a great way for kids to reduce and reuse.
I cringe when I think of all the brown paper lunch bags that I threw away from elementary through high school. Not only do my kids take lunchboxes each day, their sandwiches, fruit, crunchies and drinks are packaged in reusable containers. The goal is to create as little garbage as possible. Much of the time they have no trash after lunch — with the exception of their napkins (if they even use them).
Keeping reusable grocery bags in your car will force you to remember them.
At this point we own about 20. Whenever I go on a big grocery trip, I unpack everything and put them right back in my car. Most of them are in my car and a few are in my husband’s. This way we have them available whenever we run into the market. It’s become so normal for us that my kids will remind me if we start to walk into the store without them.
Recycling is one of the most important green living lessons to teach your kids.
We are fortunate to have recycling picked up from our neighborhood every other week. My kids know what goes in the recycling bins (we have three) and what goes in the trash. They will even correct me if they see something in the garbage that doesn’t belong there. One of my son’s responsibilities, at age 5, is to transfer the kitchen recycling out to the big bins in the garage. When we are out and have to drink from disposable bottles or cans, we will take them home if can’t find a place to recycle them in public.
Shannon Vetter is a mother from Frederick, Maryland. She has two daughters ages 10 and 7, and one 5-year-old son.