Blog Posts by LilSugar

  • Michelle Obama on Family Dinners and Her "Inquisitive" Girls

    Source: Michelle Obama on Family Dinners and Her "Inquisitive" Girls

    We are thrilled to share the next answer in our series with First Lady Michelle Obama. Since we're in back-to-school mode, this week we're focusing on education and women's health. Here's the first lady in her own words about her daughters: Circle of Moms reader

    Crystal Dawn asks, "How have you encouraged your girls to think for themselves, be true to themselves, and stand up for what they believe in?"


    "Our girls are pretty inquisitive, and Barack and I try to encourage that and reinforce what they're learning in school when we're together.

    For example, people are often surprised to hear this, but we have dinner together just about every night at 6:30 as a family. Barack often goes back to work right afterwards, but as long as he's not traveling, he'll come upstairs from the office, and I'll put down what I'm doing, and we'll spend that time together as a family. We usually talk about what's going on in school and

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  • Shutterbug: 11 Tips for Photographing Siblings

    LilSugarSource: Shutterbug: 11 Tips For Photographing Siblings

    Ever see a friend's photo of siblings hugging each other lovingly and think to yourself, "My kids never break from tearing each other's hair out long enough to smile for a picture." Yeah, me too. And that's where the answer to beautiful sibling photography resides. You don't need a picture of both tots smiling in order to convey the loving relationship between siblings. Rather, you need the right atmosphere to make their true personalities shine. Photographer and mom Jennifer Little, founder of Sugar Photography in Fort Collins, CO, recently shared some of her favorite pictures of brothers and sisters with us, and through those images, we've gleaned 11 tips to help fellow parents get better pictures of their kids together (without having to Photoshop a smiling face over a crying one).

    • Capture Your Tots' Natural Interactions: Do your children sit quietly next to each other, smiling and hugging? Probably not, so why would they
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  • 3-Time Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh was Pregnant at the Olympics

    Source: 3-Time Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh Was Pregnant at the Olympics

    If you thought you saw more than the glimmer of Olympic gold in Kerri Walsh's eyes this Summer, it turns out you were right! Though her body certainly did nothing to indicate that something was stirring - thanks to those skimpy beach volleyball uniforms, little is left to fans' imaginations - the four-time Olympian just announced that not only is she pregnant, but she was five weeks along when she took home her third gold medal!

    Appearing on the Today show this morning, Walsh and her husband, Casey Jennings, who are already parents to Joey, 3, and Sundance, 2, announced the news. They also shared that she was feeling unusually moody in London, and her volleyball partner, Misty May-Treanor, suggested that she may be pregnant.

    I thought it could have been the stress of the Games, and travel kind of throws your schedule off, but I knew. At some point, you're late and then you start feeling something. And I

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  • Nested Bean Weighted Swaddle: Kid-Friendly or Are You Kidding?

    Source: Nested Bean Weighted Swaddle: Kid-Friendly or Are You Kidding?

    Swaddling can be a lifesaver for new (and desperate-for-sleep) moms, but mastering the art of the swaddle can be difficult. Is it snug enough? Should arms be in or out? And is it possible for a swaddle to last longer than five minutes without unraveling? Manasi Gangan, the founder of Nested Bean, thinks she's found the answer in the Zen Swaddle, which she designed as an answer to her son's inability to fall asleep and stay asleep on his own. Designed to mimic the human touch, the swaddle has lightly weighted parts that apply gentle pressure to make your baby feel as secure and comfortable as he does when you're holding him. And Nested Bean says Zen Swaddle-d babies sleep up to two hours more a night!

    Like all swaddles, the Zen is made for babies up to 4 to 5 months old (and up to 14 pounds), who are still battling that annoying Moro or startling reflex, which can cause them to awake easily in response to the

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  • Get Crafty! Mini-Pumpkin Halloween Wall Hanging

    Source: Get Crafty! Mini-Pumpkin Halloween Wall Hanging

    Create a really special Halloween decoration with the help of mini pumpkins and some black paint. This craft is seriously simple, making it perfect for kids of all ages. Along with creating something really festive for the season, your lil one will learn more about pumpkins by taking a closer look at their insides. This craft requires a bit of help from adults, making it a fun way to spend an afternoon getting crafty with your lil one.



    What You'll Need:

    • Mini pumpkin
    • Sharp knife
    • 8 by 10 sheet of orange construction paper
    • Paper towel
    • Black tempera paint
    • Paintbrush
    • Scissors
    • 8 by 10 sheet of black construction paper or mat board
    • Glue
    • Hole punch
    • Raffia
    • Letter stamps and black stamp pad (optional)


    More from LilSugar: A Glittery, Glam Halloween Bash You Can Re-Create


    Directions:
    • Select a mini pumpkin for the project and help your tot get started by cutting the pumpkin in half
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  • Ages and Stages: Easy Ways to Encourage Hand-Eye Coordination

    LilSugarLilSugarSource: Ages and Stages: Easy Ways to Encourage Hand-Eye Coordination

    Honing your lil one's hand-eye coordination is easier than you think. Many of the things we take for granted are challenging tasks for budding babes. Buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, and figuring out how to tie a shoe are all examples of how hand-eye coordination work. Honing the skill of getting your hands to work with what your eyes are seeing gets your lil one on track with developing fine motor skills and exploring the fun of big gross motor movements. You'll be surprised at how fun and easy it is to find ways to encourage your tot's hand-eye coordination.

    • Magnetic Travel Boards: Clicking magnetic pieces together to create a pattern or unique design is a fun way to pass the time on a long car ride and a great way to hone hand-eye coordination. Pick a set that fits with your child's interest such as this basic magnetic shape travel set ($25) or a travel magnetic lap desk ($26) that comes with paper,
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  • Tips and Tricks for Halloween Face Painting Success

    LilSugarLilSugarSource: Tips and Tricks For Halloween Face Painting Success

    Along with wearing adorable Halloween costumes, this is the time of year for fun face paint. From cute kitties to scary monsters, doing your tot's face paint is easier than you think - with the right design, the face paint itself could be all the costume your tot needs. With a bit of patience and planning, you can pull off any of these amazing looks. Click through for tips, ideas, and must-have products for successful face painting this Halloween.

    • Face Painting Klutz Kit : Here's a great face paint kit ($25) that comes with a book full of fun and easy ideas. And it's the perfect size for taking to your lil one's school for quick touch-ups before class parties.
    • Stay Clear of the Eyes: Lil ones aren't used to having lots of stuff on their faces - especially around the eye area. For a cute animal look, start by creating a circle of color around the perimeter of your tot's face and blending toward the hairline. Use
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  • Sh*tty Mom Parenting Guide: Ga Ga or Gag?

    Source: Sh*tty Mom Parenting Guide: Ga Ga or Gag?

    Touted as "the most inappropriate parenting book I've ever read" by Jessica Seinfeld and "hilariously entertaining; a must-read survivor's guide" by Christy Turlington Burns, brand-new book Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide For the Rest of Us is getting loads of attention for its irreverent attitude toward motherhood. Written by four moms who have day jobs at Conan and the Today show, multiple books, and at least seven Emmy awards on their collective résumés - and six kids between them - the book is a tongue-in-cheek take on the craziness that is parenting.

    Each chapter (examples include "How to Sleep Until 9 a.m. Every Weekend," "How to Leave Your Baby in the Car While You Run Into a Store For a Few Minutes," and "When Seeing an Infant Triggers a Mental Illness That Makes You Want to Have Another Baby") introduces a common parenting scenario and then provides advice on how to get through it easily and efficiently. Add in a Sh*tty Mom

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  • Kidoodles: Textural Sand Painting Creation

    Source: Kidoodles: Textural Sand Painting Creation

    Turn a glue bottle into a drawing tool with this fun and exciting sand painting craft. This is a great activity for lil ones who are just learning how to use glue and need a bit of help with the concept of staying within the lines. You can use basic play sand for this project or pick up colored sand at your local craft store for a really cool creation. Between squeezing the glue and focusing on pinching and sprinkling the sand, this art activity is perfect for honing fine motor skills and boosting hand-eye coordination in kids


    What You'll Need:

    • Black construction paper
    • Pencil
    • Glue
    • Sand
    • Mat board
    • Hole punch
    • Length of ribbon

    Directions:

    • Help your lil one decide on a design for creating the sand painting. You can go with something as basic as a few shapes for younger tots or a detailed design created by older kids. Once your child is happy with the drawing, replicate it on the black sheet of
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  • Food-Free Favors for Birthday Parties

    LilSugarLilSugarSource: Food-Free Favors For Birthday Parties

    It's your lil one's birthday and school doesn't allow treats. What to do? We received an email from a mom stuck in this exact situation, searching for creative, food-free ideas for making her son's big day a hit in the classroom - without busting the budget. After searching our favorite sites, we've found fun toys and gadgets perfect for tots of all ages. To cut down on costs, simply purchase them in bulk and package them up in cute goodie bags. Even if your celebration allows cakes and candies, these fun playthings are great additions to any party.

    • Assorted Plastic Stamps (50 for $32): Here's a collection of silly stamps that make great school party gifts. With symbols like hearts, rainbows, funny faces, and butterflies, there's a stamp for everyone in this collection.
    • Glow-in-the-Dark Bouncing Balls (48 for $29): Kids will have hours of fun bouncing these glow-in-the-dark rubber balls. After being exposed to a light source, kids
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