December 21, 2011

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Tips

As you know, Christmas is this Sunday! While many people don’t consider 3-4 days as “last minute,” I know I get a little stressed if I don’t get my shopping done before the week before Christmas. There’s just so much to do the week before Christmas excluding more shopping. However, does this mean that I haven’t ever got behind and had to shop for my Christmas gifts a few days before Christmas? No, believe me, I’ve been there!



If you are running behind this year and still have some more gifts to buy before Sunday, then you may find some of the last minute Christmas shopping tips helpful.
1.    Take a Vacation Day – If you have some extra vacation days lined up, then consider asking your boss to take one off (perhaps, this Friday) so you can get your last minute shopping done. Most employers don’t mind if the employee has time available to take off.

2.    Make a List – There have been times when I only had a few things left to buy for Christmas and thought I could remember who I was shopping for, but once I got in the store, I forgot and ended up buying more gifts than I needed. Learn from my mistake and make a list of all the Christmas gifts you have and who they go to. Then, make a “Gifts Left to Buy” list to take with you when you hit the stores.

3.    Go Early or Late – There’s no question about it, the stores will get busier with each day leading up to Christmas. However, most of the crowds don’t get to the store until noon (lunch break) and in the afternoon (after 3:00 p.m.). Therefore, if you get up early in the morning and shop before noon, you’ll find the stores are easier to navigate through. This is also true for late at night.

4.    It’s Not Too Late for Online Shopping – It’s currently not too late for ordering a few last minute Christmas gifts online. However, you will have to pay for it. In order to get your gifts here in time for Christmas, you’ll have to pay for 1 or 2-day shipping, which will cost more.

While no one enjoys getting out and battling the crowds for last minute Christmas shopping, sometimes it’s necessary. And, sometimes it pays to wait ‘til the last minute. For instance, most stores hold sales the day or two before Christmas – especially clothing stores. Therefore, if you’ve got to get a Christmas dress for your little girl to wear to church on Sunday, then heading to a department store on Christmas Eve may be a great thing to do!

December 18, 2011

Christmas Break and the Kids

For many around the country, today is a significant day for parents. Why? It’s the last day of school until January, marking the beginning of our children’s Christmas Break. Why is this a significant event? It’s a day that many parents dread because they have no idea what they are going to do to keep their kiddos busy for two entire weeks. (Some schools are even out for three this year!) If you are one of these parents, don’t freak out. We’ve got some fun ideas for activities you can do with your kids over Christmas Break.

1.    Have a Gingerbread House Making Contest – If you have grade-school age children and older, then hosting a gingerbread house making contest is a great way to keep them occupied for the day. Of course, you can’t go buy a kit at the grocery store and expect the kids to be entertained for hours. No, they’ve got to make them by scratch in order for this to be an all-day activity.

If you’ve never made a gingerbread house from scratch before, you can do a search in Google and find the instructions, recipes and patterns you need. If you and your children have made gingerbread houses from scratch before, then you will probably be able to leave them alone (checking on them periodically is recommended) once they get the pieces in the oven. Baking and building gingerbread houses is not only a lot of fun, but it gives kids something constructive to do with their time over Christmas Break.

2.    Have a Fashion Show – If you are the parent of one or more young girls, then helping them put on a small fashion show is a great way for them to spend an afternoon. This is especially fun for a group of girls to do. Additionally, it’s a great way for your girls to get some extra usage out of all those formal dresses they have in their closets!



3.    Volunteer – One of the best ways to get your kids in the Christmas spirit while keeping them busy during their Christmas Break is to get them involved in volunteer work. Perhaps you are close to a local food bank that serves meals to the homeless during the day or there’s a nearby nursing home that will allow your kids to come in and sing for 30 minutes? Those are just a couple of examples of places your children can volunteer their time for a good cause, there are many more. Just look in the phone book for more ideas.

4.    Get Out and Have Fun – Many parents prefer to keep their kids at home for the majority of Christmas Break, but this can just lead to bored and restless children. So, why not consider going out for at least an hour each day (or every other day) over break with your kids? A few things you can do include: going ice skating, watch a movie, go bowling, take the dogs on a walk, get hot chocolate or a mocha at a nearby coffee shop, etc. Just getting the kids out of the house for an hour will help burn off some of the extra energy they have.

December 15, 2011

Quick Fixes for Common Fashion Problems

We have all worn a piece of clothing before that has had some sort of clothing malfunction during the time we’ve been wearing it. For the most part, these malfunctions are small inconveniences that make us feel uncomfortable and make the piece of clothing not pleasurable to wear. Often times, these seemingly complex issues can be fixed rather quickly, when you know what to do. Below are quick fixes for some of the most common fashion problems.

1.    Gapping of Dress Shirts – There are a few ways to fix this problem, it just depends on what you have available to fix it with when it occurs. If you are out and about and notice your blouse gapping, you can easily fix it with a safety pin and no one will notice. However, if you don’t have a safety pin available, you can temporarily fix it with an earring by using the earring and its back like a safety pin. Once you get home, you can permanently fix the problem by attaching a small piece of Velcro on the inside of the shirt in the problem area.

2.    Zipper Problems – The two most common types of problems regarding zippers are when, 1) the zipper won’t glide easily, and 2) when the zipper loses traction and doesn’t stay up. The good news is that there is a solution for each of these issues.

Zipper Doesn’t Glide Easily: To fix this problem, simply take two strips of masking tape and put one piece on each side of the zipper to protect the material. Then, get some WD-40 and spray on the zipper itself. You’ll find that the non-gliding zipper will move easily now.

Zipper Loses Traction and Falls: Okay, so to fix this issue, you will line both sides of the zipper with masking tape, just like for the above zipper problem. Then you will spray the zipper with hairspray that contains lacquer. This will give the zipper the resistance it needs to stay up while you’re wearing it.

3.    Belts – Oh, the joy of belts. Not only do they serve a purpose for holding our pants up, but they also make great accessories too! More than likely, you’ve purchased a belt before that quickly became one of your favorites, but for some reason or another it became too tight and uncomfortable to wear. You can fix this problem by taking a knife or other sharp and pointy object and puncturing a hole at the end of the belt so it will fit looser. On the flip side, if you have a belt that is too loose, poke a hole in at the opposite end of the belt to make it tighter.

Newsletter Dec 15, 2011 - Join Our Photo Contest to Win a Prize

Dear Valued Customers,

Here we are, only 10 days shy of Christmas Day, can you believe it?! This year has really flown by for those of us here at Kids Formal. I’m sure you’ve noticed how quickly its went by also…especially if you were involved in a wedding or other big event at some point during the year. In celebration of Christmas and the fast-approaching New Year, we are holding a contest for all of our customers to participate in.

Okay, so are you ready to hear about our contest? First, we’ll start with the good stuff – what you’ll win! The first place winner of our contest will win a $50 gift certificate that’s good for anything we have in stock. There will also be two runner-up gift certificates valued at $20 each given away as well. Alright, now for the details:

The contest started at the beginning of the week, but is open until December 31st. To enter, all you need to do is post a picture of your child(ren) wearing our clothing on the wall of our Facebook fan page.  Of course, you will have to “like” our page, if you haven’t already in order to enter. The only rules you have to remember for the contest are 1) the child(ren) must be wearing clothing purchased from Kids Formal, and 2) you must be the parent of the child whose picture you’re entering. The winners will be announced on Monday, January 2nd.

Don’t forget that you have until December 31st to get your pictures entered, giving you no excuse not to enter your little ones in their holiday attire this year!

As the year is coming to an end, things are beginning to slow down just a little at Kids Formal. While we love our busy season, we welcome slower months, like December, because it gives us the time we need to get out and find new styles of formal wear for your children to wear next year. However, if you have visited our website recently, you know that we have tons of fine children’s clothing available to choose from. Right now, we are offering an online promotion for a limited time. At the time of checkout, enter coupon code “10plus” and you’ll receive 10% off your entire order PLUS free shipping!

We hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season together that is filled with lots of fun, laughter and joy! As always, if you need any formal wear for the little ones in your family, please come to Kids Formal. We are here to help you with any questions you may have, so feel free to contact us at any time. 

Finally, don’t forget to enter our holiday photo contest going on through our Facebook fan page! You just might be one of our winners!

Sincerely,

Your Friends at Kids Formal

December 12, 2011

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

If you have been subscribed to our blog for long, then you know that Kids Formal does more than just provide customers with fine children’s clothing. We like to give advice in all areas surrounding kids’ formal wear too. As you can imagine, many of our customers are brides-to-be who are preparing for their big day. If you are also a bride-to-be, you may find yourself worrying over every little detail of the wedding on the night before/day of the wedding. While some things are very important and should be worried about, below are a few small issues that generally work themselves out and shouldn’t be stressed out over:

1. Tardiness to the Rehearsal: It is not uncommon for at least one member of the bridal party and/or family to be fashionably late to the rehearsal. Do not stress over this. If one of your groomsmen or bridesmaids is not at the rehearsal on time, then have someone fill in for them and continue on with the rehearsal. Once the tardy person arrives he/she will be filled in on what they missed and (s)he will have the role down perfect by the time the wedding arrives.
 
2. Dresses and Hair: Yes, you want your bridesmaids to look good for your wedding but there is most likely going to be some type of issue arise surrounding a dress or hair style for at least one of your bridesmaids. Again, don’t worry about this. Your bridesmaids want to look great for your wedding to and will do what needs to be done in order to get the dress or unruly strand of hair fixed before it’s time to walk down the aisle.
 
3. Wedding Favors: Okay, it’s understandable that you want your wedding to be perfect, especially the reception. However, if you made your own wedding favors, you may find yourself fussing over how they look on the tables. Don’t do this. Your guests will love the presentation of the tables, including the wedding favors. But, more importantly, their focus isn’t going to be focused on the table or the favors…it will be focused on the happy couple!

December 11, 2011

Tips for Teaching Young Girls Modesty

If you are the parent of a young girl, then you are probably dreading the day she is old enough to date. After all, you were once a teenager and know the types of things that can (will) go through kids’ minds when they reach this age. While you can’t prevent your daughter from growing up and dating, you can help her value modesty which will help her make better decisions when she starts the dating process. Below are a few tips for teaching your little girl about modesty.

1.    Focus on Your Daughter. More than likely you know parents with daughters who get caught up in the “thrill” of shopping. You might even find it astonishing that girls as young as 2 or 3 have opinions regarding the clothes (and accessories) that they wear. While your little one will develop opinions of her own, part of teaching modesty is teaching your daughter that clothes do not make a person. To do this, focus on your daughter (her interests, achievements, etc.) more than you do the clothes she wears.

2.    Dress Modestly Yourself. The most influential woman in a young girl’s life is her mother. Your daughter will learn a number of things from you such as how to treat others, how to cook and clean and how to dress. If you dress provocatively on a regular basis then your daughter will think this is how she needs to dress, regardless of her age. However, if you dress modestly, then your daughter will lean towards more modest clothes as she grows.

3.    Set the Rules. Finally, remember that you are the parent and at the end of the day, your children need to respect your opinions and values. If your daughter comes down the stairs wearing something you feel is inappropriate, you have the right to make her go change. If your daughter is still a toddler, that’s okay…set your “clothing” rules early to ensure your little one grows up conscious about which styles are modest and which ones aren’t.

December 6, 2011

December 6 Newsletter - Fruity Peppermint Bark and Tasty Reindeer Treats Recipes

Dear Valued Customer,

Can you believe that Christmas is only a little over two weeks away? Where in the world has the year gone? Well, this is the time of year when we should be spending as much time with the friends and family members that we cherish the most. Whether it’s getting together with your church group to go caroling, going ice-skating with friends, taking the family out to look at Christmas lights or another fun holiday activity, this is one of the easiest times of the year to make memories with your family and friends. At Kids Formal, we want to help you do that, so in today’s newsletter you will two yummy holiday recipes that you and your kids can make together!


Fruity Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

12 oz. pkg. Nestle Premier White Morsels
½ t. Peppermint Extract
8 Strawberry Starburst Candy Canes

Directions:

1.    Place candy canes in a plastic bag, let air out and seal. Crush candy canes into small, fine pieces and set aside.
2.    Place white morsels in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave (medium) for 1 minute and stir. If needed, microwave for an additional 10-20 seconds and stir. Stir until smooth. You may need to microwave a little longer, depending on your microwave.
3.    Add peppermint extract to the melted morsels and stir well.
4.    With wax paper, line a baking sheet. Then, spread the melted mixture out on the wax paper. Spread until the mixture reaches your desired thickness.
5.    Sprinkle with crushed strawberry candy canes, pressing lightly. Refrigerate until hard and then break into pieces and place in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Tasty Reindeer Treats

Ingredients:

1 Box Strawberry Cake Mix
1 Tub Strawberries and Cream Frosting
1 pkg. Chocolate Almond Bark
Black Frosting Pen
Pretzels (Regular…not the straight sticks)

Directions:

1.    Bake the cake mix in the manner it says on the back of the box in a 9x13 pan and let cool.
2.    Crumble the cake in a large bowl and mix ½ to ¾ of the tub of frosting with the cake mix, until the cake/frosting mixture is a play-doh consistency. (Do not put in too much icing!)
3.    Using your hands, make small cones with the cake/frosting mixture. Make sure the entire cone is somewhat thick, with the top being the thickest and the bottom being pointed and a little thinner. Set aside on wax paper.
4.    Take the pretzels and break them into evenly sized pieces to make antlers. Stick two antlers in the top side of each formed cone (this will be the top of the reindeer head).
5.    Leave the antlered cones alone for a few hours to give them time to dry/set up.
6.    Melt almond bark in a medium microwave safe bowl in the microwave.
7.    One by one, dip the cones into the melted chocolate up to the antlers and place back on the wax paper.
8.    Let the chocolate cones dry.
9.    With your black frosting pen, draw eyes just below the antlers and a black dot on the bottom (pointed tip) of the cone for a nose. You’ll be left with dozens of tasty reindeer waiting to be eaten!

****If you don’t want to make the reindeer, you can simply roll the cake/frosting mixture into balls and have chocolate covered strawberry balls…very tasty also!****

With holiday parties coming up for work, home and school, you and your kids will surely be able to find a reason to make the recipes above together. We hope you have a wonderful time making memories with your family this month!

Sincerely,

Your Friends at Kids Formal