30 May 2008

Father's Day Finds

Since we’re always trying to be of service to you, it’s about time we provided you with some ideas for Father’s Day. Some dads are thrilled with gadgets of all kids, but, I think most are notoriously challenging to shop for. (“Just a card would be great; save your money!”)

Dallas’ Current Energy store may not sound like the place for off-beat dad gifts, but it may have exactly what you didn’t know you were looking for.

He’s got a soft side—you know that—but for a grooming gift, pick up the Man Can, containing organic spa products. Nothing too fancy, just soap, a cool back brush and hand cream. And, since he’ll need a can opener, or maybe a screwdriver, to open it, it really is one manly can of cosmetics.

I also like the Solio hybrid charger, which lets you charge all of your small electronics at once using solar power. It’s the only charger he’ll need, and he’ll probably get a kick out of using the solar power, since, you know, he does not own the electric company.

For more ideas on how to celebrate the dads in your life this month, be sure to pick up our June issue, where you'll find more gift ideas, large and small, and plenty of activities to have fun together.


28 May 2008

A Move in the Right Direction

Have you converted to re-usable grocery bags yet? No? If what’s holding you back is a convenience and/or style issue, I have good news. You’ll want to order a few new bags from Envirosax for yourself and the family. You can bypass all of the generic, grocery store brand-stamped eco bags on sale at the in the checkout lines, and you’ll be living the brand’s mission: A move in the right direction.

What makes these bags desirable? Let me count the ways. They’re inexpensive, durable and adorable, and they also wholeheartedly embrace their maker’s environmental message. From the organic materials, to the fair trade and fair wage standards of their China factory, this is one company that practices what it preaches.

Based in Australia (where toting green-colored sacks to the store is far and away the norm), Envirosax are now available in the U.S. You can also meander around their site to find easy tips for saving water and living a more sustainable life.

Greengrocer bags for mom and dad come in chic colors, and the new kids line features characters silly enough for your little shoppers to get excited about (pictured is “Baa, Maa & Paa”). Get the kids in the habit of using bags like these for toting library books, pool essentials and more, and you’ll all be making a move in the right direction.


21 May 2008

Moms, Martinis & Makeovers

Feel like getting a little bit pampered tomorrow evening? Leave the kids with dad, and bring your mom or your cosmetics-wearing daughter to Martinis & Makeovers, a fundraising event for the Collin County Ballet Theatre hosted by Neiman Marcus Willow Bend, Thursday, May 22.

Lancome's national makeup artist Tarek will be on hand to provide complete makeovers and demonstrations. And, the man knows a thing or two about make up. He has styled celebrities, models and music divas for their most important appearances.

Tickets are $30 per pair, or a $20 donation for individuals (meet up with friends!). While you're waiting for Tarek's expert advice, Neimans promises to keep the pink martinis and pink lemonade flowing.

Call Amy McMillin at 972/740-7123 for tickets, and check out our online calendar of events for more information.


19 May 2008

Oh, the Places They'll Go

Some travel experiences are just too good to keep to yourself. After all, who doesn’t have thousands of digital photos to prove it?

And the, then are those travel experiences that you haven’t had yet—the trip of your dreams, your top places to see in your lifetime or that upcoming summer excursion.

Well, your kids might have some travel memories (or fantasies) of their own. Challenge them to tell their story this summer, and, PS, there are prizes involved.

All summer long, kids can write about their travel adventures (real or imaginary) for the Youngest Travel Writer Contest. Sponsored by Smart Poodle Publishing (owned by a former travel writer), the goal of this contest is to keep kids’ minds sharp over the summer, as well as to inspire more great journeys.

To help your little voyagers get started, try asking questions like “What did you see or do that made this adventure unique?” or “What happened that was different or exciting?” Or, stage a family slide show of all those digital snaps and relive some of your favorite trips.

Email submissions to smartpoodle@comcast.net by Sep 1. Winners in three age categories will have their narratives posted on Smart Poodle Publishing’s Web site and win a prize package.

So, you can give your kids permission to let their minds wander this summer, just a little.


15 May 2008

Tea Time for Grannies

Calling all grandmothers, grannies, nanas...and their daughters and daughters-on-law: You're invited to a special event at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas next month. We don't have to tell you how important (and fun) grandmothers can be in the lives of young grandchildren (and the mothers raising them).

But science is looking at this relationship even closer to find out how grandmothers can best provide support to young families based on the years of mothering skills that they've aquired. (Hey, when there's so much love and advice on the line, not to mention the high-intensity of caring for a new baby, it's a good thing someone is studying this!)

So, if you have young children and a mother or mother-in-law in town, make a reservation to attend Presby's Grandmothers' Teas June 1 and 29. The events are free; you're only asked to take two anonymous surveys for research purposes. Then, meet and greet other moms and their moms, swap stories and discuss grandmothers' many roles in the family.

Call or email Jane Grassley, RN, to reserve your spot, 972/890-1515.


14 May 2008

Peeky Boo No More

Searching for a stylish nursing cover-up? (And not one of those blankies that will fly off your shoulder at the slightest hint of a breeze.) Look no further — two Frisco moms have come up with a solution: the Peeky Boo Baby Private Nursing Cover.

The Peeky Boo Baby nursing cover has a weighted corner that sits across a nursing mother's shoulder, insuring the security and privacy of the moment. The practical design doesn't fall short on style, either — the nursing cover comes in lots of adorable color and pattern combinations. And, moms can order matching bibs and burp cloths.

Check out the Peeky Boo Baby Web site to find a retail location near you.


13 May 2008

What If...

Who doesn’t love the clever, artistic logos that pop up on Google on various holidays? Well, did you know they are the work of artist and Google Webmaster Dennis Hwang? Hwang has been doodling these logos to mark certain occasions since 2000, and recently he got some help from some very artistic kids.

The Doodle 4 Google competition gives kids the chance to design a logo using the theme “What if…” This year, kids in all grades submitted variations on that theme for the chance to have their rendering displayed on the world’s biggest search engine May 22. The submission part of the contest is over, but the voting has just begun. Click to check out some of the phenomenal works that were submitted and vote for your favorites.

You can browse by age level, from the adorable K-3rd grade group to the seriously talented high school category. (In fact, a high schooler from the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts has made it to the voting round!)

Click through the submissions for an amusing mid-afternoon treat, and perhaps keep this idea under your hat for an art project for your own kids this summer.


08 May 2008

It's Your Day - Take a Break!

Mother's Day is an occasion to show appreciation to your mom or accept gracious (and humorously innocent) acts of kindness from your kiddos. The all-natural baby food maker Beech-Nut recently surveyed a group of new moms to see what their first Mother's Day means to them (and how their baby's firsts have affected their lives). Here are some of the endearing responses:
  • For 83 percent of new moms, Mother’s Day reminds them of how happy they are to be a mom, while 62 percent appreciate their own mother more after becoming a new mom.
  • When asked what they desire most on their first Mother’s Day, sharing a fun day with baby ranked highest (30 percent), although, many moms (28 percent) said they wouldn’t mind a little pampering with spa treatments.
  • Not surprisingly, nearly all new moms (93 percent) warmed to baby’s first smile as the most popular, unexpected joy of being a new mom.
Have a happy Mother's Day!


And the award goes to ...

Just another reason to call DallasChild an award-winner (besides being named the best parenting magazine):

The feature story “Diagnosing Joey: Unraveling the Mysteries of Pediatric Bipolar Disorder” by Jenny Davis (published in the Sept. 2007 issue of DallasChild) took the top honor at the Mental Health America 2008 Media Awards competition for Local and/or Regional Magazines.

Congratulations, Jenny!

To read Jenny's most recent article (on the heartbreaking condition of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia) pick up a May edition of DallasChild (or check it out online!).


07 May 2008

Law & Order

Here's a hot tip I just learned about. The Dallas Bar Association hosts its LegalLine twice this month to answer Metroplex residents' legal questions. Wednesday, May 14 and 21, Dallas attorneys will be standing by to take your calls and answer questions in this free community service.

Your calls are anonymous, so whether you have a large legal issue at hand, or just a brief question that could use some clarification, you can get trustworthy answers over the phone the second and third Wednesdays of each month. How is that for peace of mind?

Call the lawyers: 214/220-7476


05 May 2008

Double Vision?

If you’re a mother of multiples, we don’t have to tell you how busy life can get. And, although every family has its own strategies and procedures for managing day-to-day life, more help is on the way this fall from a local mom who has learned to succeed at parenting with her hands full.

Tonia Tomlin is a Plano mother of twin girls who will be releasing her book Chaos 2 Calm: The Moms of Multiples’ Guide to an Organized Family in September. What makes Tomlin’s book interesting is that it shares practical tips for things like baby-proofing (times two!) childcare challenges, traveling, organizing and other obstacles that seem insurmountable with two babies in tow.

The book isn’t on Amazon.com yet, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, moms of multiples can make use of our exhaustive resource list to find support and social groups.


Be a Preppy "Yogini" Mommy

I found some exciting news in my inbox this morning… J.Crew now offers clothes for all those downward dog moves (and more). So exciting, especially since I’ve been on a quest for cute yoga clothes in colors and styles that I actually like. Perfect for hinting to your kids and/or husband for Mother’s Day!



01 May 2008

A Mother's Day Treat

Moms and moms-to-be: celebrate yourself at La Bella Belly Maternity’s Mocktails and Massages party in honor of Mother’s Day, 10am-12pm May 10 at the Village on the Green store.

Registered guests will munch on a light brunch and sip mommy-friendly mocktails while listening to several presentations on children's products and nutrition.

Several lucky moms will receive mini-massages by the prenatal massage experts at La Bella Belly Maternity, using the deluxe pampering Mama Mio products.

Every attendee will take home a goodie bag full of Mother's Day gifts and will be entered to win a Bugaboo Chameleon stroller (valued at $1,000).

Treat yourself! Register (for $20) by calling 972/385-4022 or clicking here. Visit La Bella Belly Maternity's Web site for more information (or to get in some online shopping!).


Hot Lips

Quick, moms…how many lipsticks, lip-glosses or lip balms do you have in your handbag or diaper bag right now? I just read an article that prompted me to check my own product arsenal. It seems some dermatologists are cautioning that shiny lip-glosses may be inviting skin cancer.

Yes, the dermatologists in this article (from Dallas, no less!) say shiny glosses actually allow the sun’s UV rays a window to penetrate the delicate skin on our lips.

Scary? Yes. That’s why I pulled out my stash to see if any of my products provided any kind of protection (for the price of a good lip gloss, I really thought they should). Anti-oxidants? Got ‘em. But out of the four lip products I’m currently toting around, only one offers UV protection: YSL’s rouge pur lipstick, with SPF 8.

So, I’m going to be especially careful this summer about what goes on my lips. And, I think I’ll be adding a new product to my cache—a Chapstick Classic with SPF…to wear under my glosses, of course.