Color Confidence – Accent With Orange

This time of year, orange is everywhere.  We see it outside in the swirling leaves and in the pumpkins on our doorstep.  When we bring orange inside, it offers a beautiful punch of color in any room.  Bright orange accents add energy, while lighter shades of orange can add contrast but still keep things calm.

SPIN THE COLOR WHEEL:  TIPS FOR USING ORANGE IN YOUR HOME

1. As an accent, orange will not stand out as much when used with colors that are adjacent to it on the color wheel (red and yellow).  Orange works with these colors to warm up and energize a room.


by Park City Architects & Building Designers Jaffa Group Design Build

2. When orange is used with complementary colors (those that are opposite to it on the color wheel), it packs more visual punch.

Bright orange, paired with bright green, adds vitality, energy and a sense of fun to this kids’ play space.

In the rooms below, your eye goes immediately to the orange accents.  Orange used in lighter and more muted tones adds contrast and interest to these nurseries, but still keeps things calm and restful for their tiny residents.

Like The Look – Pretty In Pink Nursery

We like the look of this sweet nursery for a baby girl, spotted on Houzz.com (which just happens to be one of our favorite sources for design inspiration).  Like the leaning ladder bookcase?  We do, too.  We bet you’ll also like this 5-Tier Ladder Bookcase, recently added to our extensive collection of organizational products for kids and families.  You’ll get a similar look to what you see in the designer room at a price you’ll like.


5-Tier Ladder Bookcase

We love the pink and raspberry pouf ottomans in the designer room, but why not get something similar that does double-duty as a storage piece?  The storage bean bag chairs below come in a multitude of colors and unzip to hold stuffed animals, blankets and other soft items inside.  Not only are they a great spot to prop up your feet, they’re also a cute and comfortable bean bag chair for your child to enjoy as she grows.  These storage bean bags come in durable micro-suede or cotton fabric and can be personalized.  Check ’em out!  We think you’ll like them as much as we do!

Storage Bean Bag Chairs

We like the look of the pretty butterfly prints over the crib.  Here are some we found that have a similar style:

IMAX Butterfly Collection Wall Art, Set of 3

If you’re looking for something more whimsical, you might like the trio below:

We hope you have fun creating sweet dreams for your baby girl!

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  We may receive commissions (at no cost to you) for purchases made through these links.

Meet mompreneurs cathy & mindy, creators of the baby strap

We’re pleased to promote the Baby Strap System at Vintage Parents.  Here are the highlights of this innovative product:

  • It’s lab-tested for safety and small parts.
  • It’s made from eco-friendly materials.
  • It includes natural wooden rings that can be used as teethers.
  • It features special knots that little fingers can’t undo.
  • It adjusts to fit all size bottles and sippy cups.
  • It attaches just about anywhere (high chairs, strollers, car seats, shopping carts, cribs, play yards, bath tubs – even car windows!)

Read below to get the inside scoop from Cathy on the need that led to the creation of the Baby Strap, how the straps are made and the emphasis placed on product safety.

Q & A with Baby Strap Co-creator, Cathy Lendvey.

Vintage Parrents: How did you come up with the idea for the Baby Strap?


Cathy Lendvey:
My granddaughter was born at 26 weeks (three months early) and weighed only two lbs., five oz.  She was in the NICU for three months.  When she finally came home, she was on oxygen and heart and oxygen monitors for another three months. We were advised by her pediatrician not to take her out during the first three months she was at home.  Once we were able to take her out, we had to be very careful with her.  I started looking at straps available for holding her items, which were always dropping to the ground.  At that time, there weren’t many available so I decided to create one.  Then my daughter Mindy and I decided to make them and sell them, assuming other people might have the same need.

VP:  How many designs did you have to go through before arriving at the final Baby Strap product?

CL: We probably went through about 12 different designs, eliminating items that would not be lead- and phthalate-free (such as metal rings and clasps) and any small parts that could come loose in small-parts testing.  We also discovered that we couldn’t use elastic (it didn’t hold up on our testing for full bottles) or Velcro (my granddaughter learned to undo that early on).

VP:  What are the eco-friendly materials used in the Baby Strap?

CL:  The materials in The Baby Strap are polypropylene webbing and parachord (both are textiles and do not contain any BPA, lead or phthalates), Kamsnaps and Adams suction cups (both tested by their manufacturer to be BPA-, phthalate- and lead-free) and wooden rings that are not exposed to any chemicals.

In addition to being eco-friendly, we also wanted all the materials used in the Baby Strap to be sourced in the USA.  Finding wooden rings manufactured in the USA was the hardest part.  We initially worked with a company in Vermont, but looked for another source when they started importing their rings from China.  We ended up finding a company in Texas called Woodworks that now supplies our wooden rings. Their rings are all-natural; they’re just cut, sanded and kiln-dried.  We rub them with a combination of natural bees wax and pure coconut oil, so they make great teething rings.

VP:  How is the Baby Strap manufactured?

CL:  Each strap is made by hand.  It takes about 45 minutes from start to finish to make a complete strap.

VP: Describe the testing you did to ensure the Baby Strap system meets CPSIA safety requirements.

CL:  I started researching the requirements for selling products for children. The CPSIA defines the term “children’s product” as “a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger”.  It generally requires that children’s products “be tested for compliance by a CPSC-accepted accredited laboratory (unless subject to an exception), have a written Children’s Product Certificate that provides evidence of the product’s compliance; and have permanent tracking information affixed to the product and its packaging where practicable.”

Our straps were third-party tested five times before we arrived at a design that would pass all safety requirements. The testing we had done was for small parts, which consisted of not only making sure all parts were big enough to pass but also to make sure that any small parts could not be dislodged during use.  We did not have to test for lead or phthalates because we sourced all products that were either textiles (which do not need testing) or were from suppliers that have had their products tested for these chemical elements.

VP: What sets your Baby Strap System apart from similar products?

CL: The Baby Strap is unique because it is actually a series of straps that can be used together or separately.  This makes it convenient for moms to leave one strap on the high chair and take one with them for use in the car or on a stroller or shopping cart.  The Baby Strap features a suction cup base which allows it to be used on a car window, plane window, bathtub wall, restaurant table, etc.



Additionally, I worked with an ombudsman at the CPSIA in the development of the Baby Strap and I learned from him about an important safety issue regarding the length of the strap, which should not exceed 12” to prevent choking or strangulation.  That’s why our straps have break points every 12”; most of the similar straps on the market do not.

7 Life Hacks Mums Can’t Live Without

Being a mum is not an easy job, whether it’s the sleepless nights, encouraging your kids to eat new & healthy foods or the bottomless pockets of cash you need. Follow these top 7 mum hacks to make life a little cheaper and a lot more fun.

1. ALWAYS CARRY BABY WIPES
Even if your kids are no longer babies and don’t need wipes, they will always come in handy. Always have a small pack of wipes in your bag to solve any quick issues such as wiping messy faces, giving hands a quick clean and cooling overheated kids down.

2. FREEZE YOGHURTS AND SOFT POUCH DRINKS
For your kid’s lunch at school during the summer time, it is a great idea to freeze yoghurts and soft pouch drinks. By the time lunch comes they would have defrosted and be nice and cool to drink.

3. CUT UP FOOD WITH A PIZZA CUTTER
If you need to cut food up into smaller sized pieces, you could always use a pizza cutter rather than a knife.

4. MAKE-UP WIPES WILL CLEAN ANYTHING
Don’t underestimate the power of your makeup wipes they can become very useful to get rid of everyday stains such as toothpaste, grass stains or face paint. They’re also great for cleaning shoes if you don’t have time to polish them.

5. COVER PLUG SOCKETS WITH PLASTERS
If you need to childproof your sockets, trying putting a plaster over them. This way you can protect your children’s fingers from going into the sockets.

6. USE OUTDOOR PADDLING POOL AS INDOOR BALL PIT
Make use of your summer paddling pool all year, you can bring it into the house during winter time and use it as a fun ball pit, or a play area filled with their toys.

7. ADD A STICKY HOOK TO THE BACK OF YOUR HIGH CHAIR TO STORE BIBS
You can never find a bib when you need one, so attach a sticky hook to the back of your high chair and hang them on there.

5 Ways To Teach Your Baby To Talk

Before your baby can start to understand you and talk to you there are ways in which you can benefit from talking to him/her.

1 LEARN TO LILT
A lilt is talking in a sing-song voice which will capture your baby’s attention, especially if you’re alone, so he’s not distracted by other people, toys or noises. Your baby listening to you speak is so important just by getting them to pick up the way you sound and interpret the language you are speaking.

2 ELONGATE YOUR VOWELS
You might be already doing this, but speaking clearly and elongating your pronunciations, vowels and words makes it a lot easier for your child to pick up on the word your mouthing. You can stretch the vowels in your words for example, “shoooooes” “baaaby” or “Daaady”.

3 ILLUSTRATE THEIR WORLD

Look at what your baby is looking or pointing at, guess what he/she might be thinking about and then speak those thoughts out loud. Such as ‘Ooh, what a noisy car!’ or ‘Look at the dog’. ‘You’re showing that you are interested in what they are thinking about and are communicating with them, as well as encouraging them to speak.

4 FOLLOW your baby’s GAZE
When your baby is around eight months old they will start to follow where you are looking so you can talk to them about something you are looking at. For example, ‘It’s a ball, isn’t it? Can you see the ball?’ ‘If you and your baby are looking at each other, they will be more likely to be paying attention and try to communicate with you.

5 TAKE TURNS
When you have said something to your child wait and see if he/she made a reaction to what you have been saying such as a smile, a laugh or even just seems to be concentrating with you, this way you are showing your baby that you are communicating with him/her and are developing a relationship together.

Different Ways To Make Bath time Fun!

While some children love bath time and don’t ever want to get out, others don’t really enjoy it as much and need a bit of effort to get them into the bath. Here are a few basic tricks that might help make bath time fun for your child.

TRY ROLE-PLAY
If your child enjoys playing with toys you can always get one that they can use during bath time and is water friendly. Use the toy to distract him/her from the fact that they are having a bath, for example, wash the toy’s hair and get them to do it too, they will enjoy cleaning their toy just like you are cleaning them.

INTRODUCE TUPPERWARE
Find containers that are different shapes and sizes your toddler will love filling them up and trying to pour the bathwater between them to create a fun little game.

PLAY THE FLOATING GAME

For older children starting from 3-4 years of age you can ask them whether a toy is floating or sinking. This can be a great way to get their mind going while having a bath.

GET ARTY
You can always buy bath paints and crayons which can be fun for the kids. If you want something less messy, you can try playing catch in the bath with a small ball, which you throw it back and forth with your child.

BUY A NEW BATH PRODUCT
If your toddler is getting fed up with bath time, think about letting him choose some new bubble bath, kids love lots of bubbles to play with so put in some extra soap during bath time.

LET HIM HAVE A WATER SNACK
If none of the above work and you are finding it really difficult to get your child in the bath try giving them a favorite snack during bath time.

Sweet Ideas For School Valentines Day Parties

With Valentines Day just around the corner, its time to think about upcoming celebrations at school.  If you’re in charge of planning a classroom party, finding fresh ideas for crafts, games and treats can be a challenge.  Birthday in a Box, a great online source for party decorations and supplies, offers a helpful guide for planning a Valentines Day School Party.

It has ideas for invitations, decorations, food, party favors, games and activities.  We especially like the Valentines Mouse craft made from construction-paper hearts (above) and Stop in the Name of Love, a valentine version of the Hot Potato game.  (FYI: You could also use a Valentines stuffed animal or any heart-shaped object for this game instead of the cut-out heart as described in the guide.  If you play this game at your party, leave us a comment to let us know what you used for your hot potato.)

If youre in a DIY mood, take a look at these free Valentines Day Printables from the Tinyme blog:

 


Featuring Tinymes adorable graphics, these printables let you create cards and fun embellishments for Valentine gifts and treat bags.  (Consider using them to make a sweet Valentines gift for your childs teacher!)

Help your kids find the perfect valentines to pass out to classmates this year.  Oriental Trading Company has a wide variety of valentine cards with goodies attached.  We’ve included just a few fun examples below:


Heart Valentine with Bendable Pencil


Valentine Sticker Sheet Cards


Dino-Mite Eraser Valentine Cards

We hope these ideas inspire you and the kiddos!  Happy Valentines Day!

Things to Think About Before Booking A Holiday With A Baby

Before you start dreaming about sandy white beaches and the crystal clear waters, don’t forget that you will need to do some extra planning for your baby or toddler, that way you can be sure to relax on your holiday.

The main issues to consider are: Has your baby been given all the appropriate vaccinations before going on this holiday? Is his/her passport ready? If your baby is very young you might want to double check with the airlines for all the information you need. If you are going to be traveling through airport security, make sure any liquids are safely packed in hand luggage.

Another question to ask is if you will be able to easily wash clothes while you are on holiday? If not, it would be a good idea to buy disposable bibs, swimming nappies and also disposable changing mats that you can then throw away. This can definitely make your trip a lot easier. Don’t forget to pack armbands so that your baby can enjoy some swimming time as well.


Sun protection and keeping the baby hydrated is one of the most important things to take care of, use sun creams that have a high SPF factor and don’t be afraid to use them generously. Also keep a bottle of water/milk always handy for your baby to drink from constantly. When booking your holiday look for places that are suitable for your baby, places that are baby-friendly can facilitate to your needs such as providing you with a cot for your baby to sleep in or daycare services. Many places could also have a list of highly qualified babysitters who can play and look after your little one, while you can take a break and relax.

If you will be going on a plane, it would be best to try not to let your baby sleep before the flight so that he/she will most likely sleep during the flight, and during take-off and landing.

Starting school tips for parents

Starting school can be different depending on the age. We have provided you with some helpful tips to help your child at each stage.

Pre-school (2-4 Years)

This is one of the first times your child starts to attend school and needs to start adapting to a daily school routine. Children at this level worry about certain issues such as when are their parents coming back? Where are they? What if they don’t want to stay? Under these circumstances you need to let ease your child into becoming comfortable with the new school and get used to dealing with new people. Plan to stay with your child at school for the first few days, to help them with the new changes their going through. If your child is still finding it difficult to stay without you try to get them interested in something they would like doing such as playing with blocks or toys. The school teacher can also be of great assistance as she/he is there for your child and has experience in knowing how to make your child feel comfortable and welcome.

Kindergarten (4-6 Years)

This stage should be much easier for your child as they are used to going to school every day and not having you with them. The only part of kindergarten children need to adapt to is the longer hours of school and being introduced to new children. Your child will most likely get comfortable to the change after about a week or so, and once it becomes part of their daily routine.

First and Second Grade (6-8 Years)


At this stage your child should be used to the school and the daily routine. They might have some problems with separation such as missing their friends from last year or their old teacher. Some children may also have trouble letting go of the last days of kindergarten and starting a more structured routine. If your child is moving to a new school at this stage you will want to ease them into it just as you would have before, but do it in a more suitable way for their age.

Third through Sixth Grade (8-12 Years)

At this age your child will be very familiar with the school and are usually happy to return. Their biggest problems will be liking the new teacher, studying or homework. Your child might need your help with homework, especially in the beginning of the year, so it would be very helpful if you have an idea of what they are studying and go through their homework together regularly. Parents also need to be prepared that as their child grows up they may not want to share every little detail about school the way they used to before because they start to feel more grown up, and are able to handle certain situations by themselves. It can be hard for the parent at first but they have to understand that they might need to give their child some space and privacy

Expert tips for the royal family on coping with 2 under 2!

With the second royal baby on its way for Prince William and his wife Kate, parenting experts share their most valuable tips for the Royal couple and if you are about to become a family of four.

1. Keep the introductions short and sweet:
Jo Tantum, baby sleep expert and author of Baby Secrets, says: “I would advise the parents to keep introductions to the new born short and simple. Still give lots of attention to the older sibling and guide them to be kind and gentle with the new baby. Start to entertain them with other things later, otherwise you might find yourself starting to get angry if he/she tries to poke the new baby’s eyes and face if they start to get curious which is normal”.

2. Create one to one time with the older sibling:
Jo Tantum says: “One of the important points is to not forget about your eldest and still make an effort to have one-to-one time, be fully committed and engaged with the older sibling. So, when the new baby is sleeping, dedicate play time to your elder child; that way they won’t feel the need to start seeking attention which can provoke the child to start screaming and crying.”

3. Feeding Routine:

Zainab Jagot Ahmed, expert and author of Easy Indian SuperMeals for Babies, Toddlers and the Family says: “Start getting organized! Cooking meals in advance and putting them in the freezer before the baby is due will help with taking of the pressure of dealing with meals in the first few weeks with your new born. Try to keep your elder child’s eating habits even though there have been major changes in the family process, so trying to keep the same schedule and routine will be easier for him/her.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help:
Sarah Beeson MBE, baby expert and author of The New Arrival and Happy Baby, Happy Family, says: “Having two babies at two different ages is very tiring. It’s most likely going to be triple the work so you have to be prepared. Your physical and mental health will most likely be strained so it’s time to be realistic about the support you’re going to need; this will not just benefit your children but your own needs as well. Asking for extra help either from your friends, family or hiring a nanny can take the pressure off and make life a lot easier.”