Get ready to step up your sandwich skills with bento box lunches. These picturesque meal settings are a snazzy way to dress up leftovers, effective (and plastic bag free) way to pack lunch, and a smart way to encourage your children to eat healthier meals by making nutritious foods look more appealing (Jessica Seinfeld would be so proud). If you are as busy as most moms, you probably don't have time to bento everyday, but invest in $4 worth of bento tools and you'll be ready to add a small mural meal touch to your child's lunch on special days. Browse through these decadent boxes for inspiration.
When a friend passed on Louann Brizendine's The Male Brain ($17) I almost added it to my already sky-high tower of books, but her recommendation was so passionate, I cracked it open during my commute. And I couldn't stop reading. The follow up to Brizendine's bestselling The Female Brain, the XY edition looks at the lifespan of a man's brain — from conception to old age — and how hormones influence growth, behavior, and the stages of life. While many of the book's insights felt like common sense reminders from college courses and pregnancy preparedness guides, I learned (or re-learned) a few fascinating tidbits that have already helped me better understand the men in my life. I highly suggest you pick up a copy, but in the interim, here are a few titillating teasers.
There's nothing terrible about two! At least not on toddler's second birthday. Your budding eater may not smash his face in his second birthday cake the way he did on his first birthday, but chances are he'll still get that sticky icing everywhere. Regardless of the mess, 730 days on this planet calls for a decadent slice of sugary goodness. If you're planning a second birthday party or just want some mouth-watering inspiration for future festivities, check out these copycat-worthy cakes and trends.
What's the best way to celebrate baby's first 365 days, or 8,766 moments on earth? Why a giant birthday cake, of course! Whether your one year old has tried the sweet stuff before or tastes the confection for the first time on her first birthday, you can expect whatever you serve will be enjoyed and rubbed all over the place. In fact, mini smash cakes, which are made to be smeared and drooled all over a baby face for the sake of a giggle and cheeky photo, have become quite trendy. If you're planning a first-year fete or just want some mouth-watering inspiration for future festivities, savor these copycat-worthy cakes and trends.
Some days nothing says I love you — or I like you a lot — like a hot cup of coffee or tea. Particularly when that sweet caffeine fix is served in a custom doodled mug. As we prepare for the season of dads and kindergarten grads consider brewing up a simple arts and crafts project aimed at making a favorite teacher — or father's every morning. Younger children may need you to play art director, but if your child is old enough to wield a Sharpie without tattooing himself, he can do this project on his own. Here's a guide to making a goofy personalized mug gift for less than $3!
While it's critical not to overindulge your children, rewarding them for a job well done is perfectly healthy. Instead of using bonus ice cream or TV as motivators, consider stocking up on a few inexpensive treats that can be treasured and kept as proof of their success and efforts. Here are some of our favorite creative reward ideas.
In honor of Mother's Day, we asked readers to share how they revealed their baby news to their own mother or mother figure. The stories were charming, inventive, and aww-inducing. If you're looking to dish up a big announcement this weekend — or just need a reason to smile — here's some sweet inspiration:
- I found out on New Year's day (1-1-11) and since I'm a nerd for number sequences I sent my parents a picture frame on 1-11-11 that said "Grandkids" and included a photo of the digital tests and another of them dancing in the aisle on my wedding day. My dad texted me when he got it because he was too choked up to speak! — Graze With Me
- I made my parents a video of photos from a recent vacation and revealed the surprise at the end. They had to watch it again to really get it. So fun! — KWM
- My due date with my first tot was right around my mom's birthday. I called them and asked them what they had planned for my mom's big day, to which they responded nothing (it was 7 months away). I asked them if they wanted to become grandparents that day and was met with total silence and then tears! — Rebecca M Gruber
Some say you become a mother the moment you see that positive symbol on the pregnancy stick. Others say it's the instant you hold your newborn or clean a messy diaper for the first time. The second in time you experience the joy and magnitude of motherhood is different for every woman. We've asked celebrity mamas to answer our four little questions about motherhood and the rebuttal to our "you know you're a mother when...?" question is ever cheeky, endearing, sweet, and comical. In honor of Mother's Day learn when Kelly Ripa, Soleil Moon Frye, Molly Shannon, Rebecca Romijn, Jenna Elfman, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling felt their "I'm a mom!" moment. Spoiler alert: four out of seven mamas reference bodily fluids.
Single in the city and a mom? Match.com has released its list of the Top 10 Cities For Dating Single Moms and it looks like Yonkers, NY, is the luckiest city to look for love. The list used Match.com's data to find the top cities where women with children have had more success meeting someone online. The dating site's top 10 cities for 2010 were:
What's in a baby name? Everything. Naming baby is the first big decision a parent makes for their child and there are endless elements to consider. Once you have finally settled on the right signature, you want to sing it from the rooftops and coo it over the cradle. If you can't be with baby every second of the day keep her name close to your heart with a trendy trinket necklace that spells out your favorite letters of the alphabet.
Decadent dessert decorations are sure to make a big impression, especially when mounted on a scrumptious swirl of frosting. If you opt to make your own treats for a kiddie soiree to keep party costs down and add a personal touch to the affair, wow your guests by icing your little cakes with edible cupcake and cookie cover embellishments. These designs by Etsy seller Cookie Covers, range in cost from $11 to $12 for a dozen, so you can fake fantastic fondant skills for less than a dollar a pop.
Teaching your child to love — and feel loved — is one of the sweetest duties you'll ever have as a parent. If you're looking to sneak a heartfelt message to your school-going tot, take inspiration from these subtle, creative and unobtrusive ways to show your motherly love. He may still accuse you of having cooties, but you'll get the satisfaction of proving you think he's the greatest thing on earth.
Finding a practical and budget-friendly baby shower gift requires a little preplanning. Next time you need a token for a newborn, take inspiration from our cost-conscious gifts for under $20 and, if your budget is a smidgen higher, this mix of mommy must haves will keep baby clean and warm. Shop the sensible but sweet selection above, clockwise from left: Puj Baby Tub ($40), Elegant Baby's Baby Care Kit ($26), Bucket Full o' Burpies ($34) and The Woombie ($26).
Author Shana Noyes offers a weighty, but lighthearted parenting guide with her new book Get to Know Your Kid ($17). We talked to Shana, a mother of two, recently and she shared her three must ask questions to help parents learn more about their children and chronicle their growth. Shana recommends probing your children for answers when they wiggle off your questions with short rebuttals and encouraging chatter and conversation daily. This includes asking the simple "What was the best part of your day today?" question — daily. Here's why.
Need to pick up a treat? Shop the sensible but sweet selection above clockwise from left: Safety 1st Digital Pacifier Thermometer ($13), Dip Dye Socks ($10), Skip Hop Splash Bottle Brush ($8), Swaddle Designs Burp Cloth Set ($18), California Baby Shampoo and Body Wash ($18).
Babies might be the best thing in life to celebrate! When that celebration comes in the form of a shower, it's even better. Planning a party that honors the soon-to-be mama while reflecting her personality and comfort level can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Any celebration is celebration enough. If the mom of the day isn't a traditional baby shower kind of gal, consider adding modern elements to her fete by stealing inspiration from these mod shower elements.
Twenty-first century moms are faced with a new Hamletian dilemma: to blog or not to blog? As soon as that pregnancy stick shows a positive mark, parents start planning, taking notes, and trying to capture memories of the exciting milestones. Many have traded in the baby books of yesteryear for websites and blogs dedicated to their pregnancy, childbirth, and baby or family photos. If you haven't already created a blog to share your lil one with the world, check out my suggestions for starting a family site.
Decide: Is Blogging Family Friendly?
Things to Consider Before You Click Publish
What to Share, What to Keep Private
Blog Like Us With OnSugar!
How to Attract Readers and Share Your Stories
Let Baby Advertise For You