Showing posts with label #socialfabric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #socialfabric. Show all posts

5.13.2013

Odwalla and The Hunger in the Summer Project #Odwalla4Kids

Too many kids (and families) are hungry in America.
When school is out for the summer, many children
lose access to their free or reduced lunches and will be hungry.
There is something we all can do about it.
I am thrilled to write this sponsored post as part of
Please read it and see what you can do to help.

Odwalla Champions for Kids Simple Service Project

"When school lets out for the summer, millions of children lose access to the school breakfasts, lunches and after school snacks they receive during the regular school year. Only 1 out of 6 children who receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year continue to receive meals during the summer months. Low-income families with children face even more challenges during the summer when they stretch their food budget to provide additional meals for their children."
quoted from Odwalla Hunger in the Summer
 
I have always realized that hunger is a real problem in America. As I had my own kids and they started school, I saw children in their classes struggling with these issues. It is heartbreaking and hard to not want to help in any way you can.

Last year my husband lost his job and has not worked since.
Luckily we are still able to provide food and shelter and safety for our children,
but it did make me stop and really think about how close so many people
are to being in a situation where they are struggling to provide for their families.
While my own children have not had to face this issue head on,
I know their are many children that go to the same school
who have and who continue to have real needs.

(This is an important issue, please READ MORE to see how you can help)

3.01.2013

Spring Dress Shopping with My Girl!

It must be genetics. I have always loved to shop.
I have always loved fashion. I have always had my own style.
And so does my daughter!
 At 5 she has strong opinions about what she will wear,
how she does her hair, and even creates new looks
by mixing and matching her shoes and socks, etc.
I LOVE IT! She LOVES IT!
 And besides she is adorable, so how can she go wrong?
Cookie's Kids
Cherry Stix Breillat Dress, Fuchsia/Purple
 Spring is right around the corner...
and that means Easter and parties and good old fashioned Spring time fun...
and of course my girl needs some new dresses.
I decided to shop online at Cookie's Kids and let Jules select the dresses she liked
(with motherly advice, persuasion, and the ultimate veto power, if necessary).
As I mentioned, she has strong opinions about what she wears...
and this shopping trip was no exception.

 Our Easter celebration is fairly casual.
We just have a low-key brunch and egg hunt with friends.
 I like to have the kids look nice, and Jules especially likes to have a pretty new dress...or dresses! With the prices on at Cookie's Kids, we were able to purchase a few things, including some cute (sparkly) ballet flats!
Cookie's Kids
Dream Girl Hearts and Stripes Dress, Lime/Black/White
Shopping online, especially when trying to keep a kiddo focused is great.
There is no hunting for sizes or colors - our choices are right there!
And there were so many choices, including Disney and Hello Kitty!

 As soon as the Cookie's Kids website came up on the screen, all I heard was: 
"I like that!" 
"Oh that's is pretty!"
"Can I get that?"
We did look at the Party Dresses, but ultimately ended up shopping from the Casual Dress and Sundress categories, as those styles better fit our celebration style. You can read all about our #CookiesKids Shopping Trip on Google+



Cookie's Kids
Sugah and Honey Petal Pretty Dress
 Cookie's Kids has everything so nicely categorized.
It was easy to make our way through all of the choices from Girls Dresses to Boys Suits. While, yes, we were shopping for my daughter but I did pop over to take a look at the Boy's Suits for me son. He is extremely hard to shop for (for so many reasons) and I thought I would take the opportunity to see what was available just in case he needs some "fancier attire" for an upcoming event. My son's style is also very conservative, so I find my self shopping School Uniforms for supplement his wardrobe - there is a great selection of basic collared shirts and pants! We do not have to wear uniforms at our school, but after seeing this selection and the prices, I will passing along this information to some of my friends!
School Uniforms

As we shopped, we used the Alva sizing system to determine what size Jules would need. She is very tall for her age and shopping online always presents a sizing issue, but with this easy system, I plugged in some of her info and we had the size we needed! We selected three dresses and they all fit perfectly. The Petal Pretty dress was maybe a wee bit short, but this girl loves her leggings...under everything...so it works!
Cookie's Kids has a great history and is an American success story!
1972, a young man named Cookie and his brother Marvin went into business together. They rented a 1600 square foot store in Jamaica, Queens, fixed it up, bought inventory and Summer and Fall, and opened a day after Thanksgiving with a full stock of holiday toys. The toys were a success and they put the extra money toward buying children's clothing for the next season. When that did well, they bought more clothing. The business was on it's way.

By the late 1990's there were six superstores throughout the NYC area, and though they previously had different names, by that time they were all named Cookie's Kids. Also in the late '90s came an important addition to Cookie's Kids' inventory: school uniforms. It was the steady success in uniform sales that paved the way for founding CookiesKids.com in 2007, which originally sold uniforms and soon after the entire Cookie's Kids Inventory. 

Cookie's Kids now has 7 stores in the NYC area: Bronx, Brooklyn, and Jamaica...and you can shop Cookie's Kids online as well!

I was really impressed with the selection of clothing and the prices.
My daughter LOVES her new dresses! 
She has already decided the Hearts and Stripes Dress is for St. Patrick's Day
 

The Petal Pretty Dress is for Easter
Cookie's Kids

And the Breillat Dress is her favorite -
I may not be able to get it off her.
It is for everything!
Cookie's Kids

Be sure to visit Cookie's Kids and follow along on
facebook and twitter for updates and specials!

Now...I need to do some more shopping!
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This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre
 
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and CookiesKids.com #CBias #SocialFabric
 

2.06.2013

Beach Picnic for Two: A Little Rustic, A Little Glam, A Little Romantic

Creating beautiful table decor and planning parties is one of my passions.
I thrive on designing all the little and big details, but especially the personal details.
A great table and a great meal at the right location,
at the right time creates magic and memories,
and can really help a couple connect and reconnect.

It is the "Season of Love," but everyday can be a special occasion.
 There are different ways to create a seductive table and bring a little romance into your daily routine. You do not need to plan a whole production - what is most important is that you do what feels right for you - what fits into your life, your budget, and marries well with your personality.
For some that may be a rooftop picnic with champagne and strawberries,
for others a five-course meal on an intricately set table,
and still for others hot dog and a soda at a ball park.
There is no wrong answer when it comes to creating couple time, just create the time.

10.28.2012

A Magical Disney Princess Halloween Tea Party

I L-O-V-E to plan parties and weddings.
Seriously, just about any reason, any occasion will do!
I love the magic and happiness that can be created
through some well thought out plans, a few perfect decorations...
and of course great guests!


I recenty had the pleasure (and it was a pleasure!) to shop for and plan a Disney Princess Halloween Tea Party for my daughter and her friends. On Wednesday we celebrated a magical tea party with some real life princesses.


For weeks my daughter has been excited about this party, watching Cinderella, and playing with the Royal Ball Augmented Reality 2.0. She has embraced all things princess and loves dressing up like her favorite princess and attending the royal ball using this app. You can download the app for your princess by searching "Disney Princess Royal Ball" in the iTunes App Store or Google Play store. You can also read more about the app and my path to purchase on Google+

It was so fun to watch the girls arrive in their "Princess Best"  and ready to enjoy the entire princess experience. We even had a "tween" Princess join us!


A few of my plans veered from the original idea due to time constraints and, most importantly...I have learned one thing...when young children are happy doing one thing...let them keep doing that one thing! So we skipped the craft and let their imaginations take over instead.

  The girls were so enchanted  playing with all of the Princess dolls we pulled out. Belle, Jasmine, Merida, Rapunzel, Jasmine, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and few Cinderellas joined the real life girls to celebrate.


I just had to decorate and create an environment perfect for a lovely group of princesses.
From the ceiling I hung miniature tissue paper "flowers" and groups of various ribbons hanging down (I just paired 3-4 different ribbons in coordinating colors)


I set the table with a simple white cloth and then used Disney Princess Fabric as overlay. I did not hem the fabric (so I can reuse it!), I just ironed a "hem" all around the length of it (2 yards).
I pulled out my glass plates (like a glass slipper...get it?),
flatware and plain white cloth napkins.
This party also gave me a great excuse to buy some of those cute mason jar lids!


Each girl had a miniature white pumpkin on her plate with her name tattooed onto it.
The perfect princess place card if you ask me! (tutorial here).


For the centerpiece, I pulled out a cake stand and placed a pink Cinderella pumpkin on it...LOVE...I wanted one of these pumpkins so badly and this was the perfect reason to buy one. I placed lengths of ivy (cut from the garden) around the base of the cake stand and added a couple of miniature blooming plants, with the pots wrapped in ribbon.


The table looked perfect and the girls sitting in their princess dresses and looking absolutely adorable were the cutest thing EVER!




A few of the girls, I mean Princesses. I tried to get a good shot of each girl...a few f the photos were too blurry...so sad!

Once the girls had all arrived we sat at the Princess Table to have our tea party.

Jules helped plan the menu too.
Turkey croissant sandwiches
PB&J sandwiches
Fresh pineapple
Mini carrots
Apple slices and caramel
Berry punch with raspberries 

Check out the tea cup tutorial!!

Then, we enjoyed chocolate mouse in Edible Tea Cups,
topped with whipped cream and pearl "sprinkles.
AND
(We were so lucky)...One of the girls fathers is a master pastry chef
and brought us pastries too! Such a sweet treat!

I just had to make some Princess Pretzel Wands too!

Once the girls ate, I turned on the Cinderella Blu-Ray and the girls were eagerly anticipating the viewing of this classic movie. The girls played with the princess dolls and enjoyed the movie and then, the clock struck 5 and the princess went back to being young school children! But they left with a special princess cup full of princess goodies I found on my shopping trip!



Be sure to experience the magic and wonder of #DisneyPrincessWMT
Disney on Twitter
Cinderella Facebook
Disney Princess on Facebook 

On of course on the Royal Ball Augmented Reality 2.0 app

You can also join in on the princess fun by joining a
Disney Princess Party on Pinterest (now through 10/31)


Who is your Disney favorite princess?

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This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre 

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Disney Consumer Products, Inc. #CBias #SocialFabric

10.19.2012

Planning a Disney Princess Halloween Party #DisneyPrincessWMT

I remember growing up and going to Disneyland.
There were only 3 princess at that time:
Cinderella (my favorite), Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty.
Now my daughter has a host of new princesses to love, adore, and be enchanted by.

Last year, our Halloween was all about Rapunzel.
Jules was just in love with her (and still is).
I would say this is when our princess magic began in this house.

For Thanksgiving we headed to Disneyland and attended the Princess Lunch at Ariel's Grotto. I am one cynical lady, but my heart melted seeing the excitement
and wonder in all of the girls faces at this lunch.
Disney knows how to make some magic for sure.
This year, my daughter and I are creating some magic at our home.
We have the extreme pleasure of hosting a Disney Princess Halloween Party for some of her friends. Jules has been so excited about this party from the moment we found out we would be hosting.

She really got in the spirit of all things princess by playing with the Royal Ball Augmented Reality app 2.0 (you can get this app too by searching "Disney Princess Royal Ball" in the iTunes App Store or Google Play store).

The whole family got in on the action with this app...
we eventually ended up with it downloaded on all three of our phones.
Of course Jules loved that.
 She was able to visit the Princess Boutique,
where she got to dress up like a princess.
and head to the Royal Ball in a carriage. 

Then we all went shopping at Walmart.
While shopping, we used the Royal Ball app, to unlock more activities and outfits. 
I do not think my kids have ever  had so much fun shopping.
It was like a treasure hunt to find the items they needed to scan.

We purchased party supplies, a princess costume,
and the recently released "from the vault" copy of Cinderella on Blu-Ray.
You can see all the goodies we found at Walmart by visiting my Google+ album and checking out my path to purchase.

Since this is Jules's party, I asked her for input on what she would like to see.
In no particular order, here were her requests:

"A fancy dessert. Just like the one we had at the Princess lunch!"
A Cinderella costume and high heels (glass slippers).
A Tea Party.
Dolls and treats for all of her friends.
Pink and sparkles.
Crowns.


PLANNING THE PRINCESS TEA PARTY
With Jules's requests in mind,  ultimately we decided to host a Disney Princess Halloween Tea Party, full of magical princess colors and sweet princess-like details.
Each girl has been invited to wear her favorite princess costume...
or select one when she arrives. 

When I host a party for my kids I try to keep it enchanting (or magical) but not go overboard. Now the overboard part is relative, I was a wedding planner after all! I like simple, inexpensive decorations that have drama, like tissue lanterns with ribbons hanging from the ceiling - inexpensive and easy to pull off but really take the party to another level visually...and my kids appreciate it.

I also like to use real plates, utensils, and tea cups, along with cloth napkins. I did purchase some Princess plates at the request of Jules for this party though.
 
I also try to stick to food with quality and high likability factors.
I keep the menu pared down, but with enough variety that the kids will like what is being offered.

I try to do one thing that is really special.
For our tea party, we are making edible tea cups.
(which are inspired by this pin)
I just love these (we have been practicing!)

Originally I wanted to make each place setting reflect a different princess...
but all of the girls wanted the same princess,
so I choose to use a Disney fabric that highlights all of the princesses
to make napkins and accessories, as well as to incorporate all
of the princess dress colors using different ribbons.
 
Of course there will be one craft...royal banners with the girls names.
And each girl will receive a crown to wear.
Shouldn't we all have a crown?

Jules is so excited...she has started a countdown calendar, and has proclaimed
"This is better than Christmas!"
I guess I have to agree - how much more fun can a 5 year old have
than shopping for princess costumes
and fantastical toys and surprises for her friends.

Be sure to experience the magic and wonder of #DisneyPrincessWMT
Disney on Twitter
Cinderella Facebook
Disney Princess on Facebook 

You can also join in on the princess fun by joining a
Disney Princess Party on Pinterest (now through 10/31)
or joining us for a Disney Princess Twitter Party (10/25/12 from 1-2EST).

Be sure to stop back by next week to see the party in all of its enchanted glory (I am so excited...I love planning parties!).
But for now....tell me...

Who is your favorite princess?

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This post is written and created at 504 Main by Holly Lefevre 

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Disney Consumer Products, Inc. #CBias #SocialFabric

7.28.2012

Classic Mandarin Orange Salad from DOLE #tropicalfruit

As a mom, I am always looking for ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into meals and snacks for my kids (and heck for me and my hubby too!). DOLE Pineapple - in all forms, crushed, chunks, and slices - is actually a pantry staple in our house. We add it to pizzas, broccoli slaw salads, desserts - you name it! 


Beyond pineapple, my kids LOVE the DOLE Mandarin Oranges...
Like as in they could eat an entire can each...every day.
I was super exited when I was presented with the opportunity
to try out this yummy recipe from DOLE.

The Classic Mandarin Orange Salad combines so many of my favorite flavors...
I knew this would be a hit, with the star of the show being the Mandarin Oranges (that is how I am going to get my kiddos to try it..lure them in with the Mandarin Oranges!)




First I headed out to pick up some Mandarin Oranges at Safeway. I was very fortunate that I got to shop alone (in the summer! Thank yo Molly for hanging out with my kiddos!). I headed to the larger Safeway in my area. I always like to see what is being offered over their. I went looking for the Canned Fruit aisle right away. 

I got super lucky...it was Buy One Get one Free if you had the club card!
I am stocking up on Mandarin Oranges and Pineapple...
and trying the #TropicalFruit for the first time!
Later in the week, I invited Molly (my super helpful friend!)
over and we all had Classic Mandarin Orange Salad for lunch.
I really liked this salad.
It is fresh and tangy, and full of good for you ingredients.
I eat salads a lot and I like to mix a lot of different ingredients together, so I was pleasantly surprised with salty, savory, and sweet combination of flavors.


DOLE Classic Mandarin Orange Salad

INGREDIENTS
1 Package DOLE Spinach or other DOLE salad variety
1 Can )11 or 15 ox.) DOLE Mandarin Oranges
1/2 Sliced Ripe Olives
1/2 cup chopped DOLE red onion
1/2 cup light balsamic vinaigrette
1/4 crumbled feta cheese



MAKE IT!
This recipe is pretty simple and packs a big punch!
And takes on a few minutes to prepare!

Combine spinach, onions, mandarin oranges, and olive sin a large serving bowl.

Toss with the balsamic vinaigrette and top with the crumbled feta cheese.

Now ENJOY! 

I liked the flavors of this salad a lot and  also had a few ideas for experimenting with it...perhaps a crunch of some toasted sunflower seeds or crunchy Chinese noodles.

Be sure to check out more great recipes from DOLE!
Keep up to date on the latest news, deals, and recipes by following


So, what do you think?
Do you like fruit in your salads...if you have not tried it you should!
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I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Dole #CBias #SocialFabric