26 February 2007

In Case You Missed It

Sunday morning I had the wonderful (although I must admit, nerve-wracking) opportunity to chat with the co-hosts of the radio show Your Child’s Health: Dr. Sue Hubbard, a Dallas-based pediatrician, and Dina Conte Schulz, a news and entertainment wiz (the three of us are pictured at left). Among dispensing several family-friendly tips I also dished about all the details relating to the DallasChild Camp and Summer Adventure Fair taking place this Saturday at the Shops at Willow Bend in Plano from 10am-3pm.

If you were still sawing logs, prepping for a family-style Oscar party, attending a worship service or noshing on brunch and happened to miss the camp-filled shout you can catch it online. Beginning tomorrow, the show’s audio archive will be posted on the 103.7 Lite FM Web site.

But whether you check out the show, or just take my word for it that I said “umm” way too many times, make sure you get the kiddos set for summer by swinging by the camp fair on Saturday, we’ll be looking for you!


23 February 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?

We may still be deep in the heart of winter, but it's already time to start thinking summer, as in camp. Want to know how to find a great program for your child? Or what the latest trend in camp culture is? Tune in this Sunday morning from 7:30-8:30 (February 25) to 103.7 Lite Fm: Your Child's Health. In the 8 o' clock hour I'll be making my radio debut and dishing on all the camp details every mom and dad needs to know before signing on the dotted line.

"Talk" to you soon!

21 February 2007

Tummy Time

Last spring we reported on plagiocephaly, a flattening of a baby’s head, which, if left untreated, can have lasting repercussions, including developmental delays, vision impairment and misalignment of facial features. The condition affects about 20 percent of tots born each year and impacts even more babies after spending too much time on their backs. While early treatment and intervention for those born with plagiocephaly is paramount (think the tiny helmets you see on little ones which help to guide proper head growth), keeping it from occurring is of equal importance.

Next Tuesday (Feb 27), Star Cranial Center of Excellence in Dallas will be hosting a Tummy Time workshop, which will teach parents different activities to do with their baby that will help prevent plagiocephaly and benefit his/her physical development, as well as provide ample cuddle time opportunities. The workshop will be led by certified orthotist and registered occupational therapist, Dulcey Lima, who is published and speaks internationally on plagiocephaly and tummy-time techniques. She is the Clinical Education Manager for Orthomerica, the world's largest manufacturer of cranial remolding headbands.

The workshop will be held from 7-8:30pm at the Chase Building, 6300 Harry Hines Blvd., 6th floor, Dallas and is available free of charge to the first 20 adults and their babies up to 6 months old. If you’re interested, pre-register by calling 214/350-8848 or by e-mailing emartinez@starcranialcenter.com.


20 February 2007

Food For Thought

A prominent North Texas help agency received some good news this week. The Crystal Charity Ball has named the North Texas Food Bank one of the beneficiaries of its 2007 fundraising campaign. Crystal Charity has raised money for Dallas county children’s charities since the 1950s, and this year’s efforts ($645,000 promised) will help the Food Bank fund its Food 4 Kids program, a.k.a. the backpack program.

The program provides kids from 60 Dallas-area schools with a pack filled with kid-friendly, nutritious snacks every Friday afternoon. The thought of going hungry over a weekend is horrifying, but real, and the food bank expects the gift to help expand its program from 300 children to 1,500.

Crystal Charity's track record ($72 million raised since its inception) leaves no doubt that they'll reach their 2007 goal. And hey, even if you can't purchase a table at the ball in December, you can still check out both organizations' websites for ways you can contribute or get involved.


16 February 2007

Clothes Encounters

In the January issues of DallasChild and FortWorthChild, I wrote about my quest to revamp my image with a wardrobe makeover (Closet Confidential). I couldn’t have imagined the response. Not only have I received tons of inquiries from friends and strangers wanting to know how it’s going; Nancy Klompus (the stylist I chose) has also had her phone ringing off the hook with moms who are desperate for clothes encounters of their own kind.

Well, I can tell you so far it has been a blast and a wise investment. First and foremost, it was an exercise in subtraction, not addition. I donated more than 10 bags of clothing — items that, as Nancy says, we needed to “let go.” My favorite pieces could finally breathe — everything was now smashing, not smashed, and I could actually see what I had. Nancy then gave new life to several “orphans” in my closet by rounding out my self-described “funky chic” look with some fantastic basic and signature – build-a-wardrobe-around-them —pieces (using a budget I gave her) ... think great layering tops, pants, wrap dress (simlar to the one pictured), statement earrings, hose, boots, clogs – oh, and a killer Billy Reid rockstar-mama leather skirt. Best of all, everything we bought was on sale!

When I wake up in the morning, dressing is fun again; and, even if I don’t wear a “Nancy” outfit (she styles head-to-toe looks from your closet and photographs them for reference in a handy album), I use the techniques she taught me to create a pulled-together look that suits my lifestyle.

Now you can learn her trade secrets too. Because we discovered that our readers are clamoring for fashion makeover tips, we are launching a new monthly column in the magazine, starting with the March issue, entitled “Chic or Eek” (named after the original blog on this topic). In it Nancy will answer a burning fashion question she is hearing consistently from her mommy clients (or one that you send in). She’ll tell us what not to wear, and, most importantly, what is going to make us look fabulous and thin, keeping wardrobe malfunctions to a minimum.

If you have a question for Nancy, shoot us an email now. --shelley

15 February 2007

The Grand (f.i.g.) Finale

If you don’t know what the f.i.g. is (no, not the fruit), you need to add it to your style lexicon asap. The f.i.g. (aka Fashion Industry Gallery) is having their fabulous finale sample sale (of all sizes) this weekend. For two days only, stores such as L.Bartlett, Forty Five Ten, and Linus Lounge, are setting up shop at the f.i.g. and giving discounts of 75%. Normally, the f.i.g. is open to “the industry” only, but this weekend, they open the doors to the fashion conscious consumers at large. Just one piece of advice…get their early because the good goods go in a flash!

f.i.g. Finale Sample Sale Need-to-Know Info:
• When: Fri Feb 16 12p – 7p
Sat Feb 17 10a – 4p
• Admission: $12
• Cash ONLY
• Where:
1807 Ross Ave, Dallas 75201
214/748-4FIG (4344)
• Go to the f.i.g. website to purchase VIP tickets and for more info

See you there!


13 February 2007

Walk It Out

When my roommate convinced me to go walking with her last weekend, I thought it would be a walk in the park. Four miles later, the novelty had worn off. I guess we were taking it easy (an impressive 16-minute mile), but it felt like a marathon. OK, four miles of strolling, gossiping and making fun of a guy on a unicycle is not as grueling as some people’s daily regimens, and I completely understand that.

The Wheat Foods Council and See Mommy Run know that moms (“The Everyday Athletes”) spend a lot more time than that on their feet. That’s why they’re sponsoring a nationwide run/walk this spring in hopes of setting a world record.

Registration begins March 1 on www.wheatfoods.org when the site becomes active. Participants will be given pedometer after registering to track their steps leading up to the event on May 19, at which point you can enter your total number of steps to determine whether a record has been set. And, See Mommy Run makes it easy to find a running/walking buddy. Just log on and register, and you’ll find dozens of local groups who would love to have you join them.

Not a bad reason to buy some shiny, new running shoes, I say!


Art Appreciation 101

Art has a power over some people that cannot be replicated. Its effect so strong that it can bring out every human emotion in a person – fear, sadness, anguish, happiness, laughter, etc. There are numerous reports written on the positive mental learning effects art has on children. In my “artistic” experience, creativity, personal expression and appreciation for the discipline are three of the most lasting gifts instilled by simply learning about and creating art. Not everyone can do art, but anyone can appreciate it.

Last night, the Dallas Museum of Art hosted a cocktail reception and panel discussion with three of the families that made the DMA’s newest exhibit happen: the Hoffmans, the Rachofskys and the Roses. The enormously generous gift of their personal collections to the museum is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States – a decision they haven’t looked back on. These art aficionados divulged to their audience their desire to share their love of art through the donations to the museum. None major artists themselves, the three families developed such a great love and appreciation for the discipline, that they intend to share it with as many people as possible – a great gift to the City of Dallas, and art-admirers around the world.

On that note, look for my upcoming March KidStyle, appropriately set in the art theme. I too am an art-lover, and cannot stress how important it is for children to develop a love of art, even if its only appreciation and not creation. It not only fosters mind development, but also shows them culture, creativity and imagination among many many other benefits.

(Pictured is my most favorite work from the exibit – or one very similar – Untitled, 1977, by Willem de Kooning)


09 February 2007

Just Call Me Grams …

I have commissioned a dear friend of mine to paint a 3-piece canvas mural to hang above “Peanut’s” crib and in it I am going to include the names of all of the soon-to-be grandparents (and since my husband and I are both children of divorce, there are several monikers to be added). Here’s the tricky part, no one knows what they want to be called. My mom chose, after much consideration, to be dubbed “Mimi.” My dad is following in his dad’s footsteps as “Grandad” and his wife is going to be “Noni,” but everyone else is at a loss (that leaves four unnamed g’parents). =)

Being new to the parenting arena, I’m curious how other families have tackled this subject. Do parents typically choose, as my dad did, to go by what their parents did? Do you Google “names for grandparents” in hope of inspiration? Do you go unnamed until the little one begins muttering first words and go with the one that sticks? As I have several in-laws scratching their heads over this one, I’d love to receive any advice you may have.

“We will never know the love of our parents for us till we have become parents.” — Henry Ward Beecher


08 February 2007

Cross Your Heart

February is well underway, but even though it’s a short month, there’s still more to it than hearts and flowers (just don’t tell the adorable couple in Lauren’s picture 3 blogs down!)

Because it’s National Heart Month, Stonebriar Centre is turning its attention to matters of the heart as well with The Heart Truth—a month-long campaign against women’s heart disease.

All month long, Stonebriar invites you to stop by customer service to pick up a free red dress pin (the national symbol for women’s heart disease awareness, thanks to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute) as a reminder to keep your heart healthy and spread the word. Also, swing by on a Saturday and collect a goodie bag (pictured), containing a pin, health info and other treats.

While we’re on the subject, don’t forget Medical City’s Ask A Specialist event this Saturday at White Rock Lake (see my earlier blog for info).


07 February 2007

A MOMentous Month

Roses are red, violets are blue … yadda, yadda. We all know February is about the love stuff, but in this month’s issue (on stands now) we also pay tribute to the one thing that makes most women’s heart skip a beat (no, not chocolate): Motherhood.

We delve into the finicky world of playground politics and discuss whether age has any bearing on which moms we befriend. Then, in a stunning portrait (that can’t be missed), the beauty of birth is captured in a heartwarming black-and-white photo essay.

Want more mommy moments? We profile KERA’s host of Think, Krys Boyd, in The Mom Next Door, who shares with us what it’s like raising two young children following the unexpected passing of her husband. Local mom Kim Creel gives us a behind-the-scenes look at life with 3-year-old twins and an infant in her Mommy Diary and in the Take Note section I finally announce the sex of “peanut!”

Pick up a copy of the magazine, grab your heart-shaped box of chocolates and curl up in your favorite corner of the couch to celebrate life's sweetest thing.

much love~

06 February 2007

A Political Passion for PTA

The week of February 19 has officially been designated as PTA Advocacy week, which means all of you moms and dads need to strike while the iron’s hot to get your voices heard. So whom should you speak to? Try federal lawmakers who work in area state and district offices, your local school board, county commissioners and other local officials who have your child’s best interests at heart.

The National PTA also offers the following suggestions to get the advocacy ball rolling:
  • Provide contact information to your members for your elected officials at all levels. Encourage members to contact one official during this designated week.
  • Schedule a meeting with your U.S. Congressman or Senator to discuss the National PTA priorities.
  • Invite one of your elected officials to be the guest speaker at your PTA meeting.

For more useful tools, visit http://www.pta.org/advocacy/.

For inspiration, consider these famous quotes:
  • "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt, 26th U.S. President
  • "The great aim of education is not knowledge but action." - Herbert Spencer, English philosopher

05 February 2007

Box it up...

To many busy parents, Valentine’s Day is just another day. There’s no time for a special reservation for you and your husband at your favorite restaurant. In fact, you’re lucky if you even have dinner between basketball practices and ballet classes. You’re more inclined to celebrate by going to sleep as soon as the extra-curricular activities end, than a decadent and romantic night on the town.

Every couple (no matter how busy) still needs a little romance, even if it’s dessert in a box…and I mean that in the classiest of ways. Tart, my favorite bakery in Dallas, offers Valentines “Desserts in a Box,” and let me tell you, they won’t disappoint if they’re anything like the rest of their dessert repertoire. In fact, I discovered these treats-for-two last Friday as I was picking up literally the best carrot cake I’ve ever had (and I’m usually not a fan of carrot cake). All the components of a fabulous and delightful dessert are included – all you have to do is take it out of the box (a must for ambiance), arrange on a plate, and share with your Valentine.

Even if it’s midnight before the two of you are alone in a quiet house, there’s nothing better than sharing sweets (like sinfully "Sweet Raviloi") with your sweetheart on the day made for lovers (of desserts that is!). The orders are pouring in, so get yours in on the double!

5219 W. Lovers Lane, Dallas


02 February 2007

Big Breaking News

Today, Texas becomes the first state to require the newly available cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, for school girls.

Details are not available yet, but Governor Perry is expected to make a statement this afternoon about the new legislation and when it will take effect.

The deal supposedly came about thanks to the Governor's relationship with a Merck (Gardasil's maker) lobbyist who is his former chief-of-staff.

This legislation will affect so many girls, and it's heartening to see Texas leading the way.

Just keeping you posted...have a great weekend.