31 July 2009

Think Your Kid's "Got the Look"?

Don't miss DallasChild's annual Model Search at NorthPark Center! Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 10th from 10 - 3. This is your child's chance to strut their stuff on our catwalk in front of professional model scouts from the Kim Dawson Agency and strike a pose for a professional photographer! Online registration is now available on our website. Good luck and we hope to see you there!

Get Dotty!

Fun wall decorations can spruce up the atmosphere of any nursery, but now you can improve the room’s d├ęcor while enhancing your newborn’s eyesight development.

Wallcandy Smarts pattern kit’s black and white geometric designs are created to appeal to babies. According to the Web site, images similar to the ones in the kit have been scientifically proven to grab a child’s attention and promote visual growth.

The Smarts kit includes over 50 moveable and reusable decals that can be mixed and matched. Start off with a simple, black and white pattern, and add more color and detail as your little one grows.

Stimulate your baby’s motor skills and add some fun to her wall. Get the Smarts kit for $24.99 online.

—Mari Park

Today in NORTH TEXAS: July 31

Get ready for a fun family evening out at the final Summer Nights from 7-9pm today at the Gazebo in downtown Grapevine. Tonight's event will have an "aloha" theme, so wear your best Hawaiian shirt! You'll enjoy an Elvis impersonator contest, live music by the Rumble Kings and more. Free.

Today in FORT WORTH: July 31

Grab a blanket and lawn chairs and head over to Movie Night at dusk tonight at Arlington's Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. Tonight's film is the family-friendly Inkheart starring Brendan Fraser. You'll see a storybook world come to life with cool special effects! Free.

Today in DALLAS: July 31

Creative girls ages 8 and older will channel their inner artist at Julie's Paper Butterfly Craft from 4-6pm today at the American Girl Boutique and Bistro at Dallas' Galleria. They'll decorate paper butterflies just like American Girl Julie might have made in the 1970s. Groovy! Free.

30 July 2009

Functional Fashion

Does your budding fashionista quickly grow out of clothes, or insist on buying “big girl clothes” that are a tad too large? Is it difficult to find a cute, non-bulky belt to help her pants and skirts stay up?

Try the Invisibelt, a smooth, undetectable belt that lets fitted shirts and sweaters sit flat. How does it work? The belt comes with a flat clasp, eliminating any trace of buckle bulge. Plus, the adjustable strap allows for your daughter to grow into it, not out of it.

Your little diva can rock a shiny Purple Haze Invisibelt, or keep up with the latest fads and sport a Bow n’ Bones Invisibelt.

Moms, don’t feel left out. They come in four different colors for you, too! The clear belt will go with any outfit and remain hidden, or spruce up your slacks and fitted sweater with the shiny noir color.

All belts are available for purchase online and cost $16 each for girls’ belts, and $17-$19.95 for the adult belt.

–Mari Park

Dress Your Bean

Are you looking to freshen up your tot's fall wardrobe? For those in search of unique, handmade (yet so very stylish) digs, check out Little Bean.

Tucked away in East Dallas' Junius Heights neighborhood, the boutique offers a SoHo feel with its exposed-brick walls and antique-glass windows. Inside, shoppers may select from racks of clothing made by independent designers as well as items created by the store's owner, Christine Visneau. Visneau's line "Baby Bean," offers vintage, one-of-a-kind clothing for girls age 6 months to 6 years.

If you don't find something that suits your little fashionista's personality, visitors can request custom made outfits to be made on site (where Visneau keeps a sewing machine) from a variety of modern textiles.


Today in NORTH TEXAS: July 30

Enjoy magic and history at Texas Treasures at 2 and 3:15pm today at the Flower Mound Public Library. The show, aimed at children ages 4 and older, will feature amazing tricks performed by magician Todd McKinney. Tickets are required and are now available at the Youth Services Desk. Free.

Today in FORT WORTH: July 30

Don't let the rainy day get you down! Celebrate summer with the Legends of Surf Music concert at 8pm today at Fort Worth's Bass Performance Hall. Former Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks and Jan and Dean's Dean Torrence will perform their fun, classic tunes. Tickets start at $25.

Today in DALLAS: July 30

Don't miss the final Thursday Nights Free from 5-10pm today at Dallas' Nasher Sculpture Center. You can check out the gallery's beautiful artwork, live entertainment, sketching in the garden and more — and it's all free!

29 July 2009

Twist Together for Less in Dallas!

Amidst all the activities, errands and daily stresses in life, yoga can help mom find a calm in the storm. Now Park Cities Yoga wants to introduce these benefits to your kids too! Choose from Family Yoga, Kinderyoga and Taming the Dragon (a special class dedicated to coordination and agility training specifically for boys). Enjoy quality time with your family while learning practical and healthy ways to relax and get fit!

Exclusive discount for blog readers...mention "Dallas Child Magazine" to receive $10 off any Kinderyoga, Family Yoga or Taming the Dragon class!

Visit them at their new location on the southwest corner of Preston and Royal.

5934 Royal Lane
Suite 252
Dallas, TX 75230
Phone: 214.350.2269

Twist Together for Less in North Texas!

Amidst all the activities, errands and daily stresses in life, yoga can help mom find a calm in the storm. Now Inner Beauty Yoga wants to introduce these benefits to your kids too! Instructor Adri Kyser specializes in private and semi-private Mommy & Me classes, as well as Pilates, Pre Natal and Post Natal classes. Keeping the goals of you and your kiddo top priority, Adri creates a nurturing and playful environment promoting fun, relaxation and peace.

Exclusive discount for blog readers...mention "North Texas Child" to receive $10 off any private or semi-private class!

Adri Kyser

It's always exciting and refreshing to find moms in different parts of the country with an eye for style and an outlet to express it. So keeping in the Seaside vain (at least as far as my posts go this week), here's a mom 16 hours southeast of Dallas who's style and simplicity struck our fancy. Simply Seleta by Seleta Hayes Howard, a self-professed style seeker (and mom), keeps a blog for cool seaside finds in the home and fashion realms as well as posts about squirrels, her love for Boston and...you'll just have to read it to find out more! If she were a Dallasite mom, we'd be hot on her trail to interview her as a MomNextDoor!

- Lauren

Twist Together for Less in Fort Worth!

Amidst all the activities, errands and daily stresses in life, yoga can help mom find a calm in the storm. Now Hobbstudios Yoga & Nia wants to introduce these benefits to your kids too! Instructor Katy Hobbs shares her passion for yoga's impact on health, strength, communication skills and overall well-being with you and your kiddos in her Mommy & Me classes. Enjoy quality time with your kids while learning practical and healthy ways to relax and get fit!

Exclusive discount for blog readers...mention "Fort Worth Child" to receive $10 off any group class!

Hobbstudios Yoga & Nia
2306 Western Avenue
Fort Worth, Tx 76017


“Serving Justice and Serving Lunch!”

Graphic novels are a guilty pleasure for me. I may not be a kid anymore, but I’ll admit that I’m a big fan of Captain Underpants and his zany adventures. If your kids are like me, and enjoy these reads, grab a copy of the Lunch Lady series. Written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, known for his picture books like Punk Farm, the similar comic book format is sure to be a hit.

The series centers around the Breakfast Bunch, Hector, Terrence, and Dee. The curious trio does some snooping around and realizes that their school lunch lady secretly has a double life fighting crime. Follow the gang as they battle cyborgs and save the world from dominating librarians.

Fun graphics and humorous gadgets including a spatu-copter and a spork phone will keep your kids in stitches. The smart, funny plots are sure to appeal to parents too.

Books one (Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute) and two (Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians) are available for sale, and the third book is projected for December of this year. Find them for $5.99 at your local Barnes & Noble.

–Mari Park

Today in NORTH TEXAS: July 29

It may be rainy outside, but you can still have fun with Family Movie Night at 7 tonight at the Flower Mound Public Library. Children ages 7 and older (and their parents, of course!) will watch Dancer, Texas, Pop. 81, a sweet movie about small towns and big dreams.

Today in FORT WORTH: July 29

Hear stories with an artistic flair at Storytime at the Carter: Express Yourself at 10:30am today at Fort Worth's Amon Carter Museum. Kids will learn how professional artists express themselves and will hear the books My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks and And to Name but a Few: Red, Yellow, Green and Blue. Free.

Stylish and Sweet!

The oh-so-delicious cupcakes, cookies and cake balls have been reason enough for us to frequent Tart Pastry Boutique. Add one more reason to the list!

Local jewelry designer, Kori Green, is showcasing her current line of one-of-a-kind styles at Tart. With new designs coming in all the time, make sure to stop by soon!

What's even better? Shop today through Friday to receive a free 4 pack of cake balls from Tart with the purchase of any single piece of jewelry! Like I said ... stylish and sweet.
Available at the Dallas location.

5219 W. Lovers Lane #B
Dallas, Texas 75209


Today in DALLAS: July 29

Today's the day: The circus is coming to town! Catch the opening night of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Present Over the Top at 7:30pm today at Dallas' American Airlines Center. The show features aerialists, elephants, clowns and more. Tickets start at $7.

28 July 2009

Check out the Needleman Nest

Within the pages of August's DallasChild edition, readers enjoy a peek into the home of Meredith Needleman, a Highland Park mom of three. Enjoy this selection of photos to help gain design inspiration for your own family friendly abode! Read the full article here.

Above: (Left to right) Mom Meredith, Eloise, Lake and Lucy Ray cool off by the backyard pool with pup Mason.
Below: Slipcovered seating and a synthetic sisal rug keep the family's living room kid-friendly and stylish.

Above: Needleman displays her wedding communion bench and shoes collected during her husband's frequent travels abroad.
Below: The Needleman trio share laughs and a watermelon snack in the kitchen.

Again, read the full article here!


August Has Arrived!

Heads up, readers! Our August issues are out on stands! It has been a busy month of deadlines for us here at LP — but well worth the three new editions of DallasChild, NorthTexasChild and FortWorthChild magazines.

In the Back-to-School Issue, we bring you a grade-by-grade guide to your child's upcoming school year. With this guide, you can compare and contrast your child's learning progress against Texas' standards. (Oh, the delight of learning that your little academic is ahead of the game!) This chart will take the guessing out of the age-old question, "What did you learn today?" Be sure to check out the exclusive extended version of this story, which includes tips for identifying if your child's struggling in school, on our Web sites (Dallas, North Texas, Fort Worth).

This month's editions also feature profiles of two moms making a name for themselves in the DFW area: Nicole Small, CEO of the Dallas Museum of Nature & Science (shown with daughters Julia and Sadie at right), and Trish Biddle, a nationally acclaimed artist/painter. Learn how these mamas make it happen — whether it's planning a new children's museum in Dallas or painting the next graphics for the 2010 Westminster Dog Show!

In addition to these highlights, August's magazines harbor a harrowing tale about one family's struggle to find affordable health insurance for their three kids. We examine the politics behind Texas' Children's Health Insurance Program — do changes need to be made to address the challeges of today's middle-class families? You decide. After all, you're paying for it.

Please send us feedback on the new issue — we value your thoughts and opinions! Let us know what you think! E-mail editorial@dallaschild.com or post your comments on the blog.

Follow us on Facebook (search: Dallas Child Magazine, Fort Worth Child Magazine, North Texas Child Magazine) or on Twitter (DallasChild1, FortWorthChild1, NTXChildMag)

Step Up!

Stepstools are an essential for any toddler. If you’re looking for one to attract the attention of your little one, check out these fun stepstools by TotsOnly.

Benjamin Mace, creator of the TotsOnly shop, hand makes each individual wooden stool. The step is six inches off the floor and comes in a variety of fun shapes, including kittens and a dump truck, sure to please boys and girls alike. My personal favorite is the elephant version pictured here.

The stepstool costs $59.95 and can be shipped anywhere, even internationally. Visit TotsOnly’s online shop for the stools and other wooden goodies.

–Mari Park

You so Ugly!

We love our Ugly Dolls, and are super excited that they have a book now featuring the so-ugly-they're-cute dolls in ABC You Later. Little ones will adore the vibrant colors and illustrations, while the adults will appreciate the quippy humor. It's definitely a win-win situation!

For more info, click here.

- Lauren

Count Birds (Instead of Sheep!)

In the first entry of the blog-exclusive column, "Products We're Pining For," I introduce an item that recently caught my eye: designer Robin Rosenthal's Counting Birds poster.

The poster — available only on the artist's Web site for $48 — will help any young student learn his or her numerals in style. Or, of course, it will add a flash of color to boring bedroom walls!

With two choices in color schemes (pink-red-grey and green-turquoise-brown), the numbers one through 10 are visually represented with adorable birds. Artist and graphic designer Rosenthal (who once designed magazine pages for Martha Stewart) pulls together cheeky-humor and stylish typography in a fashion that both mom and daughter will love!


Today in NORTH TEXAS: July 28

Get your groove on at the Summer Concert Series from 6-9pm today at The Shops at Highland Village. Tonight's band is Canta Rhythm and Brass, which plays pop, big band and rock music with a Latin flair. Free.

Today in FORT WORTH: July 28

Little photo buffs will click with Masterworks of American Photography: Moments in Time from 10am-5pm today at Fort Worth's Amon Carter Museum. The exhibit examines the history of photography and includes cool photos that show the passing of time. Free.

Today in DALLAS: July 28

See beautiful artwork on the Premier Interactive Family Tour from 2-3pm today at the Dallas Museum of Art. The tour, part of the museum's Summer Spotlight series, will be led by a member of the education staff who will give kids insight into the museum's art. $10 adults; $7 seniors; children younger than 12 free.

27 July 2009

Who Wants to be a Rock Star?

Do you have budding talent on your hands? Does he or she want a bit of fame? Bring your musically inclined kids to the first-ever casting call for the Sears Arrive Air Band, from 10am-1pm Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Sears Court in Mesquite’s Town East Mall.

Actress/singer Selena Gomez (of Wizards of Waverly Place fame), who won't be on location, is teaming up with Sears to help create the band. The live casting will be nationwide, and judges will choose one lucky person to be the fifth band member.

To participate, contestants must be between the ages of eight and 16 and perform their favorite version of the “Don’t Go Back, Arrive” song (song available for download online). Entry is free, and everyone who takes part will receive a free tee shirt.

The winner will appear with the Sears Arrive Air Band on the red carpet at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City.

For more information on the competition, visit the Web site or follow the Sears Arrive Air Band at Twitter.com/arrivelounge.

—Mari Park

Twist Together for Less in Dallas!

Amidst all the activities, errands and daily stresses in life, yoga can help mom find a calm in the storm. Now Park Cities Yoga wants to introduce these benefits to your kids too! Choose from Family Yoga, Kinderyoga and Taming the Dragon (a special class dedicated to coordination and agility training specifically for boys). Enjoy quality time with your family while learning practical and healthy ways to relax and get fit!

Exclusive discount for blog readers...mention "Dallas Child Magazine" to receive $10 off any Kinderyoga, Family Yoga or Taming the Dragon class!

Visit them at their new location on the southwest corner of Preston and Royal.

5934 Royal Lane
Suite 252
Dallas, TX 75230
Phone: 214.350.2269


If your home is filled with little (or not-so-little) soccer fans, you probably watched the last match of the World Football Challenge last night. Several of us on the Lauren Publications staff were fortunate enough to attend the game (Chelsea vs. Club America) at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

My husband and I parked at the Sheraton Hotel, which is about a quarter-mile walk from the stadium. Even from that distance the dome loomed in our view. All the details of the facility were impressive – as a designer, I appreciated the smart halftone (dot) pattern on the parking-lot signage, the simple water feature in front of the stadium, and the sleek light fixtures on every level of the facility. Even the restrooms (which are equipped for parents with small children as well as visitors with special needs) were fastidiously clean – the housekeeping staff was a constant presence throughout the game.

From our seats, which were in the upper deck, we still had a decent view of the field. In addition, the details of the game were displayed in crystal-clear HD on the $40-million video board suspended 90 feet above the center of the playing surface. It was great to see larger-than-life replays of important plays (especially the two goals scored by Chelsea near the end of the second half). One other favorite feature: The retractable roof (which was closed throughout the game) came in handy during the downpour that lasted through the second half.

Upcoming events at the Cowboys Stadium include Paul McCartney on Aug 19, OU vs. BYU on Sept 5, A&M vs. Arkansas on Oct 3, the U2 360 Tour on October 12, and Baylor vs. Texas Tech on Nov 28. The Cowboys’ first at-home preseason game will be Aug 21 against Tennessee. For more information about the stadium, tickets, and upcoming events visit here.

—Mary Dunn

Meet the Staff: Jenny

Jenny Vitucci is enjoying her new role managing public relations at Lauren Publications. She joined the company in January of 2008 and worked as an account executive in the sales department. When Jenny isn't working on giveaways, promotions, events and public relations, she enjoys music, Sooner football, shopping for vintage furniture and attempting to play golf with her husband. She married Carmen in September of 2007 and they are excited for the arrival of their own Dallas child in May of 2010.

Today in NORTH TEXAS: July 27

Don't miss a puppet performance of Pecos Bill at 7pm today at the Lewisville Public Library. Professional puppeteer Sandy Shrout will present this story full of Texas pioneer fun aimed at children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Today in FORT WORTH: July 27

It's rainy! Why not check out the Harkins Theatres Summer Movie Fun at 9:45am today at the Harkins Southlake Theatre. You'll see a family-friendly film with other little movie fans. Individual tickets are $2.

Today in DALLAS: July 27

Spend a rainy day learning about American history at the exhibit Lee and Grant from 9am-5pm today at Dallas' Old Red Museum. The exhibit explores the lives of Civil War generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

24 July 2009

Meet the Staff: Mary Dunn

Mary Dunn has been busy with magazine layout, illustrations and design in general as the junior designer at Lauren Publications since October 2008. She made the move to Big D (from Denton) in July 2009 when she married her longtime beau Christian. She enjoys reading, indoor rock
climbing and art of all kinds.

How Sweet It Is!

Oh, Ben & Jerry. You really know how to brighten our day … and this snippet of news is sure to bring a smile to your face as well! Two new Ben & Jerry stores have just opened in McKinney and Highland Village.

But it gets even better: In celebration of the new openings, all the locations (Plano, McKinney and Highland Village) are offering Buy One Get One Free Sundaes on Mondays. The “We Wish it Were Monday…” promotion will run until the end of August.

If a sundae sounds too sweet for you, try one of the new flavors, including Chocolate Macadamia, Key Lime Pie and Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road.

Visit the new locations in Eldorado Plaza off Hwy. 75 and Eldorado Parkway in McKinney and in the Shops at Highland Village.

—Mari Park

Meet the Staff: Mari Park

Mari Park serves as editorial intern at DallasChild. In her spare time, she likes to read blogs, surf the Web for the latest odd news, attempt to keep up with the latest movies and try new restaurants. Her newest obsessions are Sonic's apple juice slush and Etsy.com.

Today in NORTH TEXAS: July 24

Grab your swimsuit and head to Splish Splash Storytime at 10am today at Denton's Water Works Park. Preschoolers will enjoy stories and puppets by the pool before hopping in for a bit of splashing. Attendees must leave before 10:45am or pay regular admission. Free.

Today in FORT WORTH: July 24

Remember when the skating rink was the place to be (you were about 12 years old and had your own skates with little pom-poms)? Bring back the good old days - and have fun with your kids! - at the Friday Night Skate from 7-11pm today at Arlington's Odom Recreation Center. The event is aimed at children ages 5-13; children younger than 8 must be supervised by an adult. $4 with facility card; $5 without; skate rental is $3.

Today in DALLAS: July 24

Bring our your inner naturalist at the Kids Observation Station from 2-4pm today and Saturday at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney. The program aims to build an enthusiasm for the natural world in children ages 16 and younger. $8 adults; $5 seniors and children age 3-12; free for children younger than 3.

23 July 2009

Fan Us on Facebook and You Could Win Circus Tickets!

We've got tickets to the circus and want to give them to YOU! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is coming to Dallas July 29 - Aug. 9 and Fort Worth Aug. 12 - 16. For more info on how to win the tickets, fan us on Facebook! If you live in Tarrant County visit us on our Fort Worth Child Magazine page. If you live in Denton County visit us on our North Texas Child Magazine page. Good luck and we look forward to seeing you on Facebook!

We All Scream for Ice Cream

I am a total sucker for nifty contraptions. You know those people who are suckered into buying things from infomercials? That’s me. So imagine my sheer delight when I stumbled upon this online: a Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker!

Get homemade ice cream the easy way. All you need is 20 minutes, ice, rock salt, and ice cream mix. No electricity, no long wait. Pretty neat, huh?

It’s easy too. Simply fill one end with ice and rock salt, and the other end with the ice cream mixture. After tightening the lids, have a ball! Roll it, pass it around, shake it. Any motion will do. No doubt this will tickle your kids, who won’t complain about the waiting time. Do this for 20 minutes, and voila! A pint of homemade ice cream.

And the best part is, you can do this anywhere. Do it at home, take it to the park or bring it to your next barbeque.

The Play & Freeze Ice Cream Maker comes in seven bright colors, so it’s easy to find one to your liking. $20-$25; available online, or find it at your local Wal-Mart, Target or Bed Bath & Beyond stores.

—Mari Park

Bubbling for Bubble Tea

I reluctantly tried something new last night: Boba tea — a drink I had heard of but had never been adventurous enough to actually try. The thought of a tea filled with tapioca balls just never really appealed to me for some reason.

Walking into Boba Latte in Richardson felt like walking into a small coffee shop — and they did offer the typical coffee-shop fare. But, in addition to the mochas and macchiatos, the menu listed flavors of pearls (huh?) and extra jellies (like the shoe?).

I quickly learned that boba tea (also called “bubble tea” or “pearl tea”) can take several forms, but is generally a flavored black or green tea with tapioca balls (called bobas or pearls) filling the bottom of the cup. The pearls are sucked through an oversized straw along with the drink. At Boba Latte one may also order coffee, smoothies, slushes, fusion teas (flavored green tea) or milk tea (a black or green tea flavored with creamer). And, patrons may opt to add jellies to favored drinks – jellies are small squares (similar to a gummy bear) that come in flavors like coconut and mango.

I was surprisingly impressed by the boba tea, and my husband loved his mocha frappe with coffee-flavored jellies. Kids will love mixing and matching fruity flavors — what's not to like about gummy-bear like sweets at the bottom of a drink!

Try it for yourself and let us know what you (and your kids) think!

Boba Latte: 112 S. Greenville Ave., Richardson. 972/480-8889. No Web site is currently available.

—Mary Dunn

Today in NORTH TEXAS: July 23

Jam out with Strike, Scrape and Shake at 2 and 3:15pm today at the Flower Mound Public Library. Percussionist Mark Shelton will entertain children ages 4 and older with a show that definitely has a beat! Tickets are required and will be available at the Youth Services Desk. Free.