Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How People Show Their Support During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Each year the month of October is dedicated to creating awareness and raising funds for breast cancer. There are traditions, activities, and events all over the world to promote awareness as well as celebrate the victories of breast cancer survivors. In the fall of 1983, the Race for the Cure was born. In Dallas, Texas over 800 people showed up to participate. Since then, the number of participants has reached 1.3 million and is held all over the world, including over 100 cities in the United States. 

Today, as many countries as Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with activities such as Germany's Komen Frankfurt Race for the Cure, the Netherlands Walk for Women, and the United Kingdom's Race for my Wife and Race for Life. 

In the United States, there are countless "Walks For the Cure", some reaching up to lengths of 30 miles. In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out ribbons to those who participated in their race for breast cancer survivors. Evelyn Lauder, the Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estee Lauder Companies, liked this idea so much that she established the pink ribbon as the official symbol of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which she founded in 1993.

Since then, pink has become the color of breast cancer awareness and prevention during the month of October. Many theme parties, also known as "pink parties", are thrown during October and on "pink days" employees across the United States will wear pink clothing or accessories to work. 

The National Football League also joins in the fight against breast cancer and the celebration of breast cancer survivors by incorporating pink into their advertisements, websites, and graphics. Players also like to show their support by adding the color pink to their apparel, such as gloves and cleats. Even comic strips go pink during the month of October. In 2010, over 50 comic strip artists used the symbol of the pink ribbon with the words "Cartoonists Care" written inside. 

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People everywhere are standing up against breast cancer and celebrating those who have overcome the disease which will affect 12.4% of American women in her lifetime. There are so many ways to get involved, ranging from walks to simply wearing pink. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Coolest Costumes Made By Mom (Part Three of Three)

With Halloween just around the corner, busy moms are scrambling to put together the perfect costumes that their kids will love. But this year, instead of making that last-minute trip to the costume shop to pick a costume out of the small selection that will be left, try making an even better costume from scratch! In part one and two we described six costumes  that even the least arsty moms can throw together within only a matter of days-or hours- and here are three more ideas to make your child's costume fun and unique this halloween! 

7. Golfer
This next costume is easy to put together- and unbearably cute! Plus you can use the clothes on other occasions. 
What you need:
A white button up, an argyle sweater vest, tan khakis, a cap, matching argyle socks, and a small golf club
How to make it:
For this costume all you have to do is dress your little guy in his white button down, argyle sweater vest, khaki pants rolled up, with the argyle socks. Add his cap and miniature golf club and you've got yourself a perfect golfer costume!

8. Pirate 
There are plenty of variations of this costume that you can find at a local costume shop but its also just as easy to make yourself! 
What you need:
a black long sleeve shirt, an old white long sleeve shirt, old black pants, a bandana, and a plastic sword. 
How to make it:
Simply cut the sleeves of the white shirt, followed by the ends of an old pair of black pants- fraying them at the ends, then put the white shirt on over the black shirt and tie a bandana around their head. With the plastic sword and any accessories you want to throw on, this costume can be trick-or-treat ready within a matter of hours!

9. Fairy 
This costume takes a little longer than the others to put together- but it is so cute it is worth it! It is the ultimate costume for the ultimate girly girl and is sure to be a memorable one!
What you need:
A green leotard, pink tights, a green and brown leotard, fake flowers of various sizes and
colors, a brown headband, a glue gun, and super glue
How to make it:
To put together the skirt; take your tutu and glue gun, grabbing flowers of various sizes and glue them around the waist band of the tutu in a belt-like fashion. Then make the headpiece by gluing the rest of the flowers to the brown plastic headband. To put the final costume together, first put the pink tights on, followed by the green leotard and tutu- adding the headpiece as the finishing touch! After only a few hours you'll have the cutest fairy around! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Coolest Costumes Made By Mom (Part Two of Three)

With Halloween right around the corner, it is crunch time to be getting some costumes ready for the kids' big night! But if you still haven't managed to squeeze in a trip to the store, there is no need to stress out because we have found a list of fun and creative costumes that even the least artsy mom can put together. It's easy enough to head to a local costume shop and pick out a premade costume, but if you're feeling like trying something new this year and getting crafty, it's not too late!

The first three costumes on the list were the classic robot costume, the increasingly popular zombie costume, and the effortlessly adorable Crayola crayon costume. The list continues with three more easy-to-make and fun-to-wear costumes that are sure to put a smile on your child's face this holiday!

4. Pippi Longstocking 
This is the perfect costume for any girly girls out there trying to do something fun and unique. I still remember in first grade when a girl in my class came to school in a Pippi Longstocking costume that her mother had put together for her, so obviously it made a lasting impression! 
What you need:
Mismatched knee socks, a long scarf, a red long sleeve, a blue dress, a wire hanger, ribbons, bobby pins, brown eyeliner and a stuffed monkey
How to make it:
Just put on the red sweater with the dress over the top and the knee high socks-easy enough! The hardest part is the hair, but even that isn't too tough; just open up the wire hanger and bend it in a head-band like fashion, keeping it in place with bobby pins. Then carefully braid her hair around the wire and hairspray in place, tying the ribbons around the ends to add some cuteness! To add the finishing touches, take the brown eyeliner pencil and draw in some cute freckles. 

5. Little Bo Peep
Another one just for the girls! This costume is so adorable it is sure to grab everyone's attention and only requires a few pieces, so it's really easy and simple to put together even at the last minute.
What you need:
A pink dress, a petticoat, a cane, a pink bonnet, and white tape. 
How to make it:
First put on the petticoat to make the dress pouffy, followed by the pink dress, and the bonnet. Then add some white dress shoes and finish with the cane. If you don't know where to find a cane, just use a giant plastic candy cane (which can be found at craft stores or the Christmas Tree Shop) and make it white by wrapping it with white duct or electrical tape. 

6. Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Hat
This is one of the more creative of the costume ideas that I stumbled upon and think that it would without a doubt be a big hit for trick-or-treating! So if you have two kids who like the idea of a themed group costume, this is the perfect costume for them.
What you need:
For Curious George: a solid brown hooded sweatshirt, solid brown sweat pants, light brown construction paper, scissors, and tape or glue. 
For the Man With the Yellow Hat: A yellow button up, yellow pants, a yellow tie, a black sharpie, and a pointed yellow hat. 
How to make it:
For your little Curious George, dress him or her up in the brown sweat pants and sweatshirt, wearing the hood up. Then cut ears using the construction paper and glue or tape them to the hood. For the man with the yellow hat, dress him or her in the yellow pants, button up, and tie. Use the black sharpie to draw polka dots on the tie and add the yellow hat to complete the look!  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Coolest Halloween Costumes Made by Mom (Part One of Three)

It's easy enough to head to the local costume shop and pick out some pre-made costumes but sometimes it's fun to really get into the spirit of Halloween and make a costume from scratch. So for any moms feeling crafty this year here are some ideas of costumes that you and your kids can do together, only requiring a little effort and a lot of fun!

1. Robot Costume
This classic costume is always sure to be a hit and is almost always better when it's homemade. After you've gathered your materials, just set aside an afternoon when you're feeling extra artsy and get started!
What you need:
Cardboard box, foil, glue, duct tape, silver paint, grey clothes (sweat pants, turtleneck, shoes), dryer venting and various electrical items 
How to make it:
Simply cut head and arm holes in the cardboard box, paint it silver and attach dryer venting to the arm holes. Then make it look more official by duct taping the various electrical items to the front of the box. Complete the look with the grey clothes and you've got yourself an awesome looking robot!

2. Zombie Costume
Vampires, werewolves and zombies have been growing in popularity over the last few years and since the arrival of the insanely popular TV show, "The Walking Dead", zombies have become trendier than ever. 
What you need:
 For this costume, all the materials you need are some old clothes that you don't mind ripping holes in and some scary looking make up and hair gel, that's easy enough!
How to make it: 
Just get the clothes looking dirty by purposefully getting some stains on them, wrinkling them, and cutting them up in various places. Then take your zombie make up kit (which can be found at any costume shop) and paint some scary looking make up on their face and get their hair looking like a mess with some hair gel. 

3. Crayola Crayon Costume
This costume has been popular for ages, because of how easy and adorable it is! All it takes is a few hours and some planning ahead. 
What you need: 
pants and a long sleeve shirt in the color crayon your child wants to be, black fabric paint, a paintbrush, and a big t-shirt or pillow case in the same color. Also get some construction paper and tape to make a hat to represent the crayon's tip.
How to make it: 
This costume seriously could not get any easier or cuter! All you have to do is take your pillow case or oversized t-shirt and paint the Crayola design that's on every crayon with your black fabric paint. Dress them in their same-colored clothes, put the t shirt on over (arm holes will have to be added if a pillow case was used) and add the little hat to complete the look! 

Keep a look out for the next round of awesome costumes you can make for your child this Halloween in The Coolest Costumes Made by Mom (Part Two of Three)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why Moms Actually Love Halloween

Now that October has arrived, the holiday season is right around the corner and the holiday that's on everyone's mind is Halloween

Of course the holiday season is a wonderful time of year, with all the spirit and happiness, but often times it can bring stress and anxiety, especially for Mom. All the pressure of the visitors, the endless shopping, cooking, and cleaning! 

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And as for Halloween, one might imagine dragging your feet from house to house with a group of kids or sitting on the front porch handing out candy as a boring and dreaded task- but when surveyed Moms actually had something else to say. They claim to actually love Halloween and find it to be one of the more exciting holidays- and here is why!

1. No Pressure of a big dinner
Halloween is one of the few holidays that doesn't demand some kind of big meal, which moms can really appreciate. They love that on this night they can just whip something quick together for the kids, like pizza or grilled cheese, and then out the door they go!

2. It's fun to decorate
Some people people love going over the top with spooky decorations and some prefer not to decorate at all. But moms say that they love getting into the spirit of things and letting their artsy side run wild. Whether its store bought or homemade, Halloween is the biggest holiday for decorations, after Christmas, and this makes it one of the more fun days of the season. 

3. It's awesome to see the kids in costume
Hands down the best part of Halloween? Seeing all the little kids dressed up in their adorable costumes with those big smiles on their faces. Moms say they enjoy even the process of buying or making the costumes for kids. If you are feeling crafty, it is easy and enjoyable to put together a unique and creative costume that everyone will love. Even if you aren't really into all that, that's okay too! It is easy enough, and still a good time, to take the kids out shopping for some ready-made costumes!

4. It creates Fall family traditions
During the whole month of October leading up to Halloween, there are endless fun activities for families to participate in. With everything from pumpkin picking to haunted hay rides, the Fall is a great time for some serious family fun!

5. It's fun for all ages
Everyone from little kids to college students to adults can get into this holiday! There are classroom parties, house parties, work parties, and more where all kinds of people can get together and feel young again by dressing up in a silly costume and bobbing for apples. 

6. And most of all, the leftover candy
Confession, I have never liked Snickers- my mom on the other hand, loves them. When I was younger all the way through high school, my brothers and I would save our Snickers or whatever else we didn't want and my mom would be there to "take them off our hands". Moms say the best part about Halloween is taking one night to indulge in their kids' leftover candies. Don't forget that moms love candy just as much as kids do! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Building Your Mom-Tourage: How to Make Mom Friends (Part Two)

In Building Your Mom-Tourage part one, we talked about all the reasons why having mom friends are important, but how does one necessarily go about getting said friends in the first place? Sometimes it can be hard for moms, especially brand new ones, to find a group of other moms to surround themselves with. These are the women you click with, laugh with, and share some of your hardest moments with- finding people like that can be a lot more difficult than you might think and that can often lead to moms feeling lonely or isolated. 

Child psychologist Joanna Jacobs compares the process of acquiring mom friends as back to being an adolescent in high school but says "No matter how awkward you feel, just remember every new mom is in the same situation, and all moms, no matter what stage of motherhood they are in, crave friendship." 

So i've researched and gathered five different strategies for helping moms go out of their comfort zone, break the ice, and cultivate those crucial friendships.

1. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there
As awkward and nerve wracking as it may feel, this is a situation where you just have to cram all of your shyness away and step out of your comfort zone. Don't wait for other mothers to approach you first, it is important to learn to be okay with making the first move. Break the ice with a compliment, to her or her child, and see if the conversation flows. If it is a person that you have a connection with, after those first few awkward moments the conversation should start to become easier and less forced. 

2. Exchange contact information
If you made good small talk and felt some positive energy, don't just walk away from it without any of their information! Now a days with Twitter, cell phones, email, and Facebook there are so many different ways to get a hold of people. You never know where really great friendships can come from so exchange information, before you leave, even if it's just an email or home phone number. Besides, there is never harm in just asking!

3. Schedule a play date with your kids
Kids are some of the best ice breakers out there, especially between moms. So if you are noticing that your kids are getting along, plan a play date! That way while your kids are having a good time and making new friends, you are too. Ease some of the anxiety you might feel about this first get together by doing something simple and casual, like a walk through the park with your strollers or a lunch date at your house. Being in an environment where you feel most comfortable will help you to relax and feel confident while putting yourself out there. 

4. Plan a follow up grown-ups play date
After you have had a few successful play dates with your new mom friend and her kids, plan the next one without the kids. Take some time out to grab dinner, go out for some drinks, or get coffee to just unwind and have some girls-night-style fun. Even if its in the middle of the afternoon while the kids are napping, give her a call and invite her over for coffee and some lunch. Making plans with new people is really refreshing and adds excitement when your days start feeling repetitive. 

5. Get out of the house!
Sometimes the hardest part is simply getting out of the house and going somewhere. Moms of newborns who spend a lot of time sleeping are especially affected by this. But regardless, it is important to make and effort and motivate yourself to get outside as much as possible because spending too much time alone or in the house can lead to some of the feelings of loneliness and depression that some moms experience. Even if it is just putting the baby in a stroller and taking a walk through the neighborhood or the local park, it can be very uplifting and put you in a great mood. Plus you never know who you will meet along the way! 

If you haven't already, don't forget to check out Building Your Mom-Tourage Part One: Why It Is Important to Have Mom Friends!

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

ONCEkids Goes Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It is that time of the year again, yes fall, pumpkins, apple cider, halloween-but also the arrival of October means it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So once again, the team and I at ONCEkids are going pink for the month of October to spread knowledge on the prevention of breast cancer as well as celebrate the inspirational women who have beat this terrible disease.

In the United States, breast cancer death rates are higher than those of any other cancer other than lung cancer. Approximately one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. I'm not trying to upset or scare you by sharing these statistics, but rather to educate and motivate you so you can take the necessary steps towards protecting yourself. 

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The most important and effective way to reduce your risk of developing invasive breast cancer is to talk to your doctor! And make sure that you are participating in annual breast exams and mammograms, which have been proven to increase the odds for catching it early and surviving. Only 51% of women reported having yearly mammograms- this needs to become 100% of women! 

For students, athletes, companies, and people across the nation who are showing their support, this month is all about joining communities together against breast cancer and acknowledging the strong and powerful women who overcame the disease even in the worst of circumstances. So we encourage everyone, not just this month but every month, to join in the fight!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How Mommy Bloggers Are Taking Over Social Media

The domination of men within the world of all things technology is slowly declining as more and more women are integrating technology, specifically social media, into their daily routines- at home and within the workplace. Today the number of women using social media in their day to day lives has reached 75%, versus 63% of men. 

Women of all ages and careers are a growing influence within social media, but one group in particular is beginning to stand out- a group affectionately dubbed "Mommy Bloggers". This term, one we are VERY fond of here at ONCEkids, describes female parents who use social media to reach out to other mothers, ranging from stay-at-home moms to moms balancing work and kids. This demographic has become extremely large as well as influential, and it only continues to grow each day. As of today, there are approximately 3.9 million of these Mommy Bloggers in North America, a number that can only be expected to get larger over time!

Giving everything from parenting and marriage advice to revealing funny or inspirational stories about their own triumphs and challenges, these mothers are here to offer unconditional support and say "Hey, you're not alone in this- we get it!"

 Anyone who has ever had a child knows that being a parent is a never ending job and, though rewarding, can be very challenging and even sometimes isolating. So being able to go online and read about other women who have had the exact same things happen to them and have faced similar dilemmas can be very comforting. 

Many of the blog sites are interactive, so women can not only read about other mothers, but get a chance to chat with them too! Mommy bloggers have given confidence and a voice to mothers everywhere, reminding them that we are all in this together. 

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter