April 24, 2012

Keeping Up with the Jones

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Gotta keep up with the Jones’.” Whether we openly admit it or not, keeping up with our family, friends and neighbors is something a lot of us try to do from time to time. You know, when your friend posts a picture of the brand new washer and dryer set she just got, it makes you feel a little envious and may lead you to start thinking, “hmm…my washer and dryer are both getting old…wonder if I should just go ahead and get a new set too?”

One of the areas where a lot of people really try to keep up with the people they know is in the clothes they wear. This is especially true for children attending school day after day. There are certain brands and looks that are favored among people today, putting more pressure on us (and our kids) to keep up our wardrobes.

While it’s certainly not bad to set goals and treat ourselves with new things, it can be bad to allow this to consume our every thought. In the overall scheme of things, keeping up with the Jones’ is not important. What’s most important is that our children feel loved, are provided for and the relationships we have with our kids (and other family members). Below, in no particular order, are a few examples of the negative things that can happen when we focus on keeping up with the Jones’ in respect to the things we have.

1.    Financial Stress – It takes money to buy things, especially the “nice” things are friends, family and co-workers are constantly buying. The sad thing is that many people can’t afford to pay for these things outright, so they charge them. You can only charge so much before you get in over your head. Therefore, if you find something you want, save up for it – then enjoy the feeling of satisfaction when you’re able to pay for it in cash! (If you know something expensive is coming up – for example, prom and you know you’ll be needing to buy a prom dress for your daughter, start saving up for it several months in advance so you’ll have the money available when it’s time to buy the perfect dress!)

2.    Bad Relationships – When we focus on the wrong things, like the material things we “need,” it can eventually put a strain on the most important relationships in our lives. There are a lot of parents who have lost that special connection with their kids because they’re so driven to go out and make as much money as they can to buy stuff, that they lose touch with their kids. Their kids begin to turn their focus to the stuff they have and the stuff they must have to feel important, instead of getting to know their parents again. Therefore, try not to let this happen to you and your family. Maintain a healthy balance of focus between the relationship you have with your kids and the “stuff’ you just have to have.

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April 19, 2012

Tips for Healthy Meal Planning for Busy Families

As you already know, summer is right on our heels as the school year only has about five weeks left for most of us. While many feel that summer is the time for rest and relaxation, it’s anything but that for parents with kids involved in multiple activities. Throw family reunions, weddings and other special occasions in the mix and you’ve got a very busy 12 weeks!

This can make planning healthy meals next to impossible as most of us find ourselves going through the drive through at least 3-4 times a week in the summer…or eating food at the concession stand! Even if you aren’t spending all your time rushing kids from one activity to another, it can be difficult to plan healthy meals as you prepare for vacation, attend a wedding or visit a relative who just had a baby. Below are a few tips to help you with healthy meal planning no matter how busy you find yourself this summer!

1.    Make Multiple Meals at Once. It’s not that crazy to find yourself with only one or two “free” days during a week in the summer. Take advantage of these “free” days by making multiple meals at one time. You can make one meal for that day and then one or two more similar recipes (keep some of the main ingredients the same for simplicity) to freeze and just pull them out later to reheat before serving.

2.    Keep Fruit Salad on Hand. Who doesn’t like fruit salad? One of the best things about fruit salad is that it’s easy to make and incredibly healthy for you. An additional benefit of fruit salad is that after it’s been served with a meal, it can be used for as a meal by itself the next morning at breakfast. Simply put the left overs in a blender and make a smoothie out of it as you’re heading out the door…this also makes for a great afternoon snack.

3.    Stock Power Snacks. Keeping power snacks on hand is something everyone needs to do, but especially those with young children. Young children need to snack between meals, but the snacks need to be healthy. So, keep fresh fruits and veggies on hand as well as other power snacks like nuts, seeds, trail mix, etc. These snacks are easy to pack on trips. So, the next time your helping your little girl in her flower girl dress at a friend’s wedding and she gets hungry, all you’ve got to do is pull out your Ziploc bag of homemade trail mix to save the day!

April 18, 2012

Fun Activities for Little Girls

For those of you with little girls and boys, you know how different the two can be. Everything from the way they talk to the way they dress to the activities they enjoy varies. Boys are generally more active than little girls just because they enjoy exploring new territories, playing sports and thrill seeking. Little girls on the other hand are a (usually) a little more reserved and like to play it safe. A quality that is great, but it can make it harder to get them involved in different activities. So, today’s blog post is one that will hopefully help you find an activity that your little girl might enjoy trying out.

Ballet/Dance – Just because little girls don’t find climbing trees and paintballing fun and exciting doesn’t mean they don’t like to get out and move…they just prefer it to be more “ladylike.” This is one of the reasons ballet and dance classes have become so popular for little girls. And, the classes range from toddlers on up! The only thing you should be aware of with these activities is that there may be numerous outfits required, which can add up. You’ll also want some accessories to match the outfits such as ribbons, bows and other hair pieces.

Horseback Riding – If you live close to a stable, then your little girl may enjoy signing up for horseback riding lessons. Most children love horses and learning how to ride. Plus, your little one will learn a lot and can also move up to competitive riding if desired. As with most activities, there are some costs involved with this too. So, be sure you do your homework before signing your little one up.

Cheer/Tumbling – Finally, a lot of girls love to take tumbling and cheer classes. They love challenging themselves and competing with their peers. Additionally, they are still able to get “dressed up” and wear sparkles when participating in these activities…something all girls love! These activities teach girls how to interact with others in a friendly, yet competitive manner, discipline and what it means to be on a team, which are all important life lessons that will benefit your child throughout her life.

April 15, 2012

Kids Formal April 15, 2012 Newsletter



Dear Valued Customer,

We truly hope you are having a wonderful April so far. Can you believe that in just a couple of weeks May will be here with all of the beautiful colors of spring? If you have not replenished your children’s closets with the spring formalwear they outgrew last year, this is the perfect time to do it. Right now, we are offering an additional 10% off + Free Shipping on all orders from our website. All you have to do is enter coupon codeextra10” at checkout!

If you have been receiving our newsletters for a while then you know that our newsletters are a little different than most companies because we don’t always focus on kids’ formalwear. Sometimes, we like to give you updates and advice regarding various parenting topics that we think you might be interested in. This week is one of those weeks.

I recently read an article stating that wireless devices for children can cause a lot of damage in the long run due to the radiation put off by these wireless devices. The devices in question include cell phones, iPads, iPods, etc. If you’ve ever taken the time to read the fine print that comes with these devices, you’ll find a warning about the possible health risks associated with them. The issue is that these health risks were written under the assumption that an average man weight 220 pounds is who will be using the devices.
Obviously, women and children of all ages use these devices. When it comes to children, their skulls are thinner, which allows their brains to absorb more radiation from these devices than adults do. Over time, this can cause a variety of health problems for children, young adults and adults who have been using the devices for years.

So, what exactly is a parent supposed to do? We all know that the world we live in one where technology is used every day…and, this isn’t likely going to change. Below are a few suggestions for how we can help keep our children safer in regards to these devices.

1.    Wait A Little Longer. It can be very tempting to purchase a cell phone or other wireless device for our children when they are in grade school because most of their friends will already have these devices. However, knowing what we know now, it’s going to be more beneficial if we can wait until our kids are older and really need a mobile device (say, Jr. High when they are attending more extracurricular events). Not to mention, it will help our pocketbooks too!

2.    Restrict Use. It’s not just kids in grade school who are wanting wireless devices, children as young as toddlers are learning how to play games on the iPad and iPhone. With all of the educational apps and interactive games available, it’s very easy to let the kids play these devices when we need some “quiet time” – in other words, they make good babysitters. There’s no denying the fact that there will be times when you’ll need something to keep your child quiet and our wireless devices are a good solution. However, considering the health risks, make sure you restrict the use of these devices to only those “necessary” times.

3.    Turn Wireless Devices Off at Home. Why not go ahead and make a new rule at home…Turn All Wireless Devices Off at Home. There’s no arguing that this rule will be hard for everyone to follow at home as most of us use our wireless devices all day and night long. However, this rule will train your kids to look for other things to keep them entertained and you’ll find that you’re able to spend more quality time with your family when you aren’t distracted with these devices.

Hopefully you have found this newsletter informative and have opened your mind to limiting the use of wireless devices for your children. If you are interested in reading the actual article that inspired this newsletter, you can find it here:
http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/headline_health/buying_wireless_kids_gadg/2011/11/23/419107.html.  The article is full of additional information and suggestions for how to keep your children healthier in regards to wireless devices.

Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely,

Your Friends at KidsFormal.com

April 11, 2012

Spring Activity Ideas for Families

Spring is right around the corner as we’re already right in the middle of March. It’s hard to believe that just two months ago we were all celebrating New Year’s Day with our friends and family. Spring brings so much excitement as the grass begins to turn green, trees begin to bud and outdoor activities begin to pick up. What are some of your favorite spring activities to do with your children?
My son is only four, but we’ve already found several things to do during the spring with him that has become sort of a tradition. Of course, now that he’s a little older, there are even more things we can do with him…such as soccer. He just started soccer the other night and his first game is today! It’s really cute watching all the other 4-year olds out there, and he loves it too. While soccer is new to our family, the following spring activities are not. Hopefully, you’ll find something on the list below that you and your family will be able to do in the upcoming weeks!

1.    Family Pictures – Now that I have a child of my own, I look forward to spring family pictures! Before children, I didn’t see much of a point in it as the candid pictures I took around the house seemed to be ample enough. However, with a little one, my husband and I enjoy taking pictures every spring because we get to compare them to the previous year and see how much our son has changed. Plus, it’s fun to get dressed up in a pretty dress and have my hair done. I also enjoy picking out a new little boys’ suit for my son too!

2.    Visiting the Zoo – Another favorite springtime activity we enjoy doing with our son is taking him to the zoo. We’ve found that the crowds aren’t quite as bad during the spring as they are during the summer, providing we go on a weekday and avoid Spring Break, which makes the experience that much more fun for our little guy. Not to mention, the weather is cooler out and the animals are a little more active…plus, we can stay for the majority of the day without succumbing to the summer heat!

3.    Evening Walks – Once the spring weather is here, my husband and I love taking our son out on evening walks. It’s a fun family activity that we’ve always enjoyed. When he was little, we would push him in the stroller, but now he has his own bicycle (w/training wheels) and can pedal himself down the street. It’s a great opportunity for us all to bond…we even take the dog along!
On the above list are just a few of my family’s favorite spring activities. What’s some of yours? If you haven’t ever taken the time to enjoy the spring weather with your family, I hope you do so this year!

April 4, 2012

Kids Formal Newsletter - April 1, 2012

Dear Valued Customer,

It’s already the first of April! Where has the year gone? Now that spring is officially here, it’s time to show you some of the new styles that we’ve added to our inventory. We understand that you are busy and don’t always think about checking our website to keep up with the new arrivals, which is why we try to send out a newsletter every quarter that keeps you updated with the new styles we do receive. This just helps save you time and gives you an idea of what we’ve got and whether it’s anything your little ones need right now.


The above dress is a darling dress that will work for both spring and summer events including weddings! The dress is satin with horizontal pleats on the bodice and straps with detachable bows. Also worth noting is that the bodice features sparkling beaded detail. It’s available in white, ivory and pink.


While this dress appears to be simple, it’s still fun with a touch of class to it. The dress is smooth satin and available in navy blue and red. It features a stunning sequined “belt” around the waist with a large satin bow at the hip. It’s a very classy, spring/summer dress perfect for many events!

 

If you’re looking for a dress that will make your little one shine this spring or summer, this is the dress! It features a sleeveless bodice covered with lots of ribbon embellishments that give a floral look. The skirt is made of tulle, giving the dress even more detail as the two materials present a complimentary contrast. The dress is available in turquoise, ivory and pink.


If you have boys, then you may feel like you don’t have anything to worry about this spring/summer season as they’re easy to dress. However, more than likely, your little guy will need a couple of new dress shirts added to his wardrobe. At Kids Formal, we have these dress shirts available with matching ties! They come in an assortment of colors and only cost $29.95!

The clothing shown above in this newsletter represents a small percentage of what is available at KidsFormal.com. If you haven’t visited us in a while, please head on over and check out what’s new. Be sure to check out our boys and girls accessories pages. If you find a boys accessory that you like, receive 10% off the item(s) by entering coupon code “10offba” and if you find a girls’ accessory, enter “10offga” for 10% off her accessories!

Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,

Your Friends and Kids Formal