Sep
05

Beauty expert offers skinny on kids’ haircut trends

Posted by Lorain County Moms

By Niesha Lofing, McClatchy Newspapers

Thinking of taking your child to the salon for a back-to-school haircut but need help figuring out what’s cool this season?

Look no further.

Pam Knight, executive director of education at Frederico Beauty Institute in North Natomas, Calif., dished on children’s haircut trends.

Turns out the “faux hawk” is the all the rage with the elementary school set this year.

“Basically, it’s like a traditional boy’s haircut on the sides and back but the top is left a little longer,” she said.

A little gel in the top layer lends a Mohawk-type appearance, while pushing the top layer over to the side yields a more traditional appearance.

“It’s kind of a versatile cut,” she said.

Young girls are heading more toward simple trims and bangs, while middle and high school age girls are leaning to layers and swoop bangs to modernize their looks.

High schoolers also are increasingly going for the disconnect look, which involves shorter and longer pieces included in the hair sculpture, Knight said.

Knight also offered tips on how to stretch the family budget when it comes to hair care.

The institute, like many beauty schools, is offering a money-saving deal this back-to-school season: $5 haircuts this month for children up to 12 years old. What’s more, children under 5 years old can get a haircut for the same price as their age. The services are performed by students supervised by certified instructors. Haircuts are by appointment, but walk-in services also are available. Search online to find a school near you.

For moms who get their hair colored, stretching the length of time between sessions can save serious cash. Getting your hair colored every six weeks at $150 a session can amount to $1,350 a year. Go every eight weeks and the total drops to $1,050 a year, saving you $300. That can buy 15 packs of diapers!

“The best thing they can do is buy the color shampoos to enhance the color they have on their hair,” she said. “It will kind of buy you more time.”

Another option is demi-permanent hair color.

“It colors, but it gradually fades out and doesn’t give you that definite (grow-out) line,” Knight said.

A drawback, however, is that it is a deposit-only color and won’t highlight hair, she said.

Sep
03

Beauty expert offers skinny on kids’ haircut trends

Posted by Lorain County Moms

Thinking of taking your child to the salon for a back-to-school haircut but need help figuring out what’s cool this season?

Look no further.

Pam Knight, executive director of education at Frederico Beauty Institute in North Natomas, Calif., dished on children’s haircut trends.

Turns out the “faux hawk” is the all the rage with the elementary school set this year.

“Basically, it’s like a traditional boy’s haircut on the sides and back but the top is left a little longer,” she said.

A little gel in the top layer lends a Mohawk-type appearance, while pushing the top layer over to the side yields a more traditional appearance.

“It’s kind of a versatile cut,” she said.

Young girls are heading more toward simple trims and bangs, while middle and high school age girls are leaning to layers and swoop bangs to modernize their looks.

High schoolers also are increasingly going for the disconnect look, which involves shorter and longer pieces included in the hair sculpture, Knight said.

Knight also offered tips on how to stretch the family budget when it comes to hair care.

The institute, like many beauty schools, is offering a money-saving deal this back-to-school season: $5 haircuts this month for children up to 12 years old. What’s more, children under 5 years old can get a haircut for the same price as their age. The services are performed by students supervised by certified instructors. Haircuts are by appointment, but walk-in services also are available. Search online to find a school near you.

For moms who get their hair colored, stretching the length of time between sessions can save serious cash. Getting your hair colored every six weeks at $150 a session can amount to $1,350 a year. Go every eight weeks and the total drops to $1,050 a year, saving you $300. That can buy 15 packs of diapers!

“The best thing they can do is buy the color shampoos to enhance the color they have on their hair,” she said. “It will kind of buy you more time.”

Another option is demi-permanent hair color.

“It colors, but it gradually fades out and doesn’t give you that definite (grow-out) line,” Knight said.

A drawback, however, is that it is a deposit-only color and won’t highlight hair, she said.

—By Niesha Lofing, McClatchy Newspapers

Aug
29

Back to school for kids…and Mom

Posted by Alicia Castelli

An extra set of school supplies needed to be bought this year – something that briefly sent my kids into a bit of a frenzy.
I recently decided to go back to school and I casually mentioned this to my 9-year-old son.
His shoulders fell, his face crumpled and his body sagged.
“How long will you be away?” he asked.
Whoops! I quickly reassured him I would still be living at home and working.
I was watching the Blue’s Clue’s episode where Steve goes off to college and the actor replacing him is introduced as Steve’s brother, Joe.
The show carefully and happily describes what it means to go to college.
The next day my 3-year-old daughter overheard a phone call between myself and a friend whom I was telling about my return-to-college plans.
Later that night, she burst into tears because she thought I was moving away to college like Steve did.
While I usually find it amusing how songs on the radio and subject matter on TV often parallels a person’s life – this was not funny.
I quickly reassured her (for several days) that I wasn’t moving away and, hoping to head off teary confrontation number three, explained to my 6-year-old that I was going back to school but would live at home.
I could tell the kids weren’t entirely convinced. Everything they’d heard about college indicated the person left home.
So on the day we bought school supplies for the boys, I decided we’d go to Lorain County Community College to buy my school supplies so the kids could see for themselves where Mommy was going to be studying.
That seemed to do it. They understood a 15-minute car drive and they asked me a lot of questions about college and they all wanted to look at my books.
So while all’s well that ends well, the whole experience was a reminder that kids process infor-mation differently from adults and often reach incorrect conclusions based on a conversations we’re absolutely certain they aren’t paying any attention to.

Aug
24

A little organization goes a long way on school mornings

Posted by Lorain County Moms

By Nicole Paitsel, (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press

Jonah Davidson got a little practice going to school last year.

The now 5-year-old attended a half-day pre-kindergarten class three times a week. This year, though, he’s heading to school with the big boys. And mom, Joanna, has made sure he’s ready.

The Newport News family organized Jonah’s room so that his school necessities are easily accessible for both use and cleanup. His school uniforms for Summit Christian Academy in Newport News are kept in a special drawer under his bed, and his craft supplies for homework are stacked neatly in a filing cabinet.

With baby sister Jewel taking up most of mom’s time in the morning, Jonah’s new skills have helped him gain independence during his morning routine.

“Before, he would go to clean up his room, and he wouldn’t even know where to start,” Joanna says. “Now, he knows where most things are, and he’s even using the skills I’ve taught him with his room to help me in other parts of the house.”

Joanna organized her son’s room so well, that when organization guru Mary Frances Ballard came over to arrange the family’s other living areas, Ballard didn’t touch Jonah’s room.

Ballard is the owner of the Williamsburg-based company Orderly Places, and she also has written a book about organizing your home. Here’s what she has to say about getting your kids ready for the school year:

Start with categories

Starting an organization project can be overwhelming, especially in a child’s room.

To get started, bring in several baskets and a trash bag. Begin sorting the items that are in the living space of the bedroom. Categorize items by the ones you want to keep, trash, or donate. You also can have a “not sure” category.

Once you get a clear space, start categorizing the items in your closets and drawers. The idea here, Ballard says, is to purge as much as possible.

“If the kids are old enough, have them take part in the process, so they have some ownership over their room,” she says.

Her book, “Orderly Places,” calls for specific limits on everything except love and affection. For example, a child should pick her Top 10 stuffed animals and donate the rest.

If you’re going to store items for future siblings, be sure to mark boxes with the type of items enclosed, appropriate sex, age and season (if you’re storing clothes).

Arrange zones

The easiest way to teach your children organization skills is to set up “zones” within their bedroom. Most bedrooms will have a sleeping zone, a dressing zone, a play zone and a study/project zone. All of the items that correspond to those activities should be housed in the correct zone.

In Jonah’s room, his desk sits next to the filing cabinet that holds all of his supplies. A plastic organizer sits on top of the cabinet with blank paper. His play chalkboard is also in this study zone, along with the supplies for the chalkboard.

For small children, clothing and toys should always be placed within reach. Add a lower rod to the closet, if necessary.

Make it easy

The basic rule for organizing a child’s room is to make items easier to put away than they are to get out, Ballard says.

The best way to do this is to use color coordinated baskets and bins. Books, for example, can be collected in a basket instead of placed on a bookshelf. This way, the child has to dig to find his favorite book, but he can toss the book back into the basket for cleanup.

Toys are the same way. In Jonah’s room, pirates, trains and Legos have their own colorful bins. This way, his mom can specifically ask him to cleanup his pirate toys, and he knows how to do that.

His school uniforms have their own drawer, and they are also organized by color. After some practice, Jonah can pick out which uniform his mother chooses (red shirt, blue pants, for example) on his own.

“It’s so nice now because I can send him to go do things on his own, instead of having to dig everything out myself,” Joanna says.

Aug
09

Start school routine well before the first day

Posted by Lorain County Moms

By Lisa Cianci, OrlandoSentinel.com/momsatwork

Ah, the sweet — and temporary — bliss of summer; so soon it ends. In only a month or so, the back-to-school routine cranks up in full force.

Bummer.

Laura Olson, VP of education for child-care chain Kiddie Academy, has some tips for getting ready. And you’re not going to like this: We should all really be preparing NOW.

“Parents need to begin transitioning children into the back-to-school routine early enough so they have time to adjust — mentally and physically,” Olson says.

So much for the lazy days of summer!

  • Get children excited: Get your children ready for school by making back-to-school shopping a family affair. During a shopping trip for new school supplies, let children cross off items from their lists as they fill the cart. This will keep them involved and excited during the process.
  • Play school: Gather books, paper, pencils, and crayons and play school with your children. Let them be the teachers and you be the student. As you play, ask your children how they feel about starting school. This is a great time to talk about anxieties or concerns they may have as they start a new school year.
  • Establish a school year schedule: A few weeks before school begins, set — and stick to — a realistic bedtime to allow children to get the recommended ten to 12 hours of sleep each night.
  • Practice the morning routine with children: Before the first day of school, figure out how long it will take for everyone to get out of the house on time. If your children will be walking to school, practice the route showing them where to stop and if necessary, how to cross the street. If your children are bus riders, show them where to catch the bus and review the bus rules.
  • Back-to-school activities: Find out about back-to-school activities or events, such as meet and greet with teachers. This is a great opportunity to get your children familiar with their school surroundings and comfortable with their new teachers.
  • Get your own routine in check: Make sure you know what you need to keep the busy morning schedule running smoothly. To make more time in the morning, consider handling the following at night: setting the coffee maker, preparing lunches and reviewing homework. And, practice your new routine before the stress of the school year really hits.
Aug
08

Back-to-school happenings at Midway Mall

Posted by Lorain County Moms

Midway Mall will be hosting a back-to-school block party from Saturday, Aug. 8, through Sunday, Aug. 16.

The mall will be bringing in the new school year with everything you need for back to school — hot fashions at cool prices, along with music and even free concert tickets! All are welcome to come and join the festivities; here are just a few of the events that will be taking place at Midway Mall.

Read more

Aug
06

Parents spending less this year on back-to-school

Posted by Lorain County Moms

By Doris Hajewski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

When it was time to think about back-to-school needs for 13-year-old Noah, Mary Connolly-Leubner knew where to look.

“I shopped at home first,” the Wauwatosa Wisc., mom said.

Connolly-Leubner checked her stash of pens and folders — all bought at previous sales — then headed to Walgreens to cherry-pick the bargains in this week’s flier.

She’s not alone in her penny-pinching ways, or in choosing a drugstore for back-to-school supplies. Almost no one will pay full price for notebooks and jeans this year, according to a survey from America’s Research Group in Charleston, S.C.

Recession-weary parents say they’ll spend less this year for their kids’ return to the classroom. Estimates range from a decline of 7.7 percent, forecast by the National Retail Federation, to as much as 12 percent, according to America’s Research Group.

Retailers know that, and they’re battling harder than ever to lure families to their stores.

“It’s going to be a game of chicken,” said Bill Michaels, Midwest leader for Deloitte Consulting’s consumer products practice. “Consumers are looking for that 50 percent off sign, while retailers are saying ‘We’ve got to protect this margin.’ ”

The retail game of chicken is typically a subject for discussion during the holiday season. But this year, with tighter, recession-based inventories, it’s a factor for back-to-school, too, Michaels said.

“I predict the winners will be the ones who discount early,” he said.

Walgreens a hot spot

Noemi Morales of Wauwatosa, Wisc., was shopping last week at Walgreens for two of her children: Ramon in K-5 at Blessed Savior Catholic School; and Abryanna, 3, in a preschool program.

“They have the best deals,” said Morales, who was getting everything on Ramon’s list on this day. “If you watch it enough, you can tell there’s one good deal, which is now.”

Nationwide, parents plan to spend an average of $548 to send their children back to school. In the Midwest, the average is higher, $602. Total spending, including back-to-college purchases, as well as those for schoolchildren, is projected by the retail federation at $47.5 billion this year. Midwesterners overwhelmingly favor discount stores for their back-to-school shopping, with nearly 80 percent saying they’ll shop them.

Wal-Mart tops the shopping destination list for parents who responded to the America’s Research Group survey. Nearly 23 percent of families said they’d go to Wal-Mart for back-to-school shopping, up from 15 percent last year.

But the biggest gainer this year will be the drugstore segment, according to the National Retail Federation. As chains such as Walgreen and CVS have emphasized back-to-school specials on school supplies in the weeks before school starts, more parents are taking notice and adding a stop at the drugstore. This year, 21.5 percent of families will do that, up from 18 percent who shopped for school at a drugstore last year.

Clothing budgets cut

Clothing is the place where most families are looking for savings this year, according to a survey from Deloitte. Just more than 80 percent of parents said they plan to cut the clothing budgets for their kids. About half of the families who responded to a survey from America’s Research Group said they hoped to get their children into some of the same clothes they wore last year.

Eric Beder, an analyst with Brean Murray, Carret & Co. in New York, said the decline in spending on apparel is the worst in five years, and the outlook is particularly grim for teen specialty stores. Aeropostale, with high fashion and low prices is the winner this season among teen mall stores, Beder said in a note to investors.

This week, Aeropostale was luring shoppers at Mayfair with signs offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal on jeans and graphic print T-shirts. At Pac-Sun, there was an extra 30 percent off on sale merchandise.

Shopko, a Green Bay-based discount chain, backed off from its early back-to-school launch last year and kicked off its promotions July 23 with 20-cent Crayola crayons and 70-page notebooks for 10 cents.

“We didn’t want to get in front of mom too soon,” said Jill Solteau, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. Shopko is touting its stores as one-stop shops for back-to-school, Solteau said.

Aubrey Waldron, a 16-year-old junior at Slinger High School, was at Mayfair on Tuesday with her mom, sister and aunt on a back-to-school mission.

“I never look for a specific thing,” Aubrey said. “I look around first.” She favors Forever 21, where she likes the clothes and the sale prices. Aubrey’s mom, Melissa, endorses that behavior.

“We’re definitely spending less,” Melissa Waldron said. “The budget is smaller. We’re not buying as many accessories.”

Despite the widespread consumer devotion to bargain-hunting, a new survey from Deloitte found some rays of hope for the economy. This year, for example, only 64 percent of consumers said they would spend less on school purchases, compared with 71 percent who said that last year. And 14 percent of survey respondents said they believe the economy is starting to recover, up from just 2 percent who felt that way in 2008.

Another good sign: Natalie Waldron, age 12, managed to persuade mom to buy her a package of pink hair at Hot Topic, despite the cutback on the accessories budget.

Where people plan to shop

  • 80 percent — Discount stores
  • 23 percent — Wal-Mart, up from 15 percent last year
  • 21.5 percent — Drugstores, up from 18 percent last year
Jul
10

Ready or not, it’s back-to-school time in stores

Posted by Lorain County Moms

By Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore, getbuttonedup.com

Didn’t school just let out? Like it or not, retailers get ready for “back to school” starting in early July, and they don’t save many deals for later.

The early back-to-school shopper gets the worm. Get your supplies before the end of the month and you won’t just save a bundle, you’ll save your sanity by avoiding the last-minute crush. Be sure to check out office superstores, as they have great things for getting your kids and yourself buttoned up for the new school year.

Some thoughts to get you started

  1. Set a back-to-school budget: Don’t even think of setting foot in a store to do your back-to-school shopping without a budget. It’s too easy to deviate from your list of musts and overspend without it. Once you have decided on the dollar amount you have to spend, allocate the dollars appropriately by category: paper supplies, electronic supplies like calculators and computers, clothing and sports equipment.
  2. Organizational tools are a good investment: The major difference between students with good grades and poor grades comes down to organization. Get your students on the right track early. Look for items that will help them learn how to track homework assignments, manage larger projects and keep subject material neat and together.
  3. Break it down: Attempting to cram all your back-to-school shopping into one day is likely to leave you, and your kids, frazzled and testy. The rush could also make you less likely to get the best deals. Grab your calendar and map out four different shopping trips, with one focus area per trip, such as school supplies. Set a 30-minute appointment with yourself before you walk out the door to go shopping, and go online and search for appropriate coupons and deals.
  4. Set up a homework station: Kids often need tools like glue, staples, markers and crayons to complete homework assignments. But buying a separate set of supplies for each child can get expensive, especially considering they’ll probably never use them all up. Rather, set up one central homework station, and keep basic supplies there so that your children can easily access the materials they need, when they need them. While they’re at their cheapest, load up on the basics, like notebooks, that will need to be replenished throughout the year.
  5. Take an inventory first: It may seem obvious, but this simple task frequently is forgotten in the back-to-school rush. Take a home inventory before you go shopping. You may find those “lost” rulers, protractors, an extra box of pens, etc. There’s no need to buy new versions of perfectly good items you already have.
  6. Get creative: Buddy up with a friend for bulk goods. Split the cost of a membership at a club store like Costco or Sam’s. Hit the stores together and buy items like notebooks and crayons in bulk, which you can divide up between you. Even if you have three kids, you probably won’t need a whole bulk pack of 20 notebooks. Going basic with supplies can be fun for kids, too. They can personalize the cheap plain notebooks you buy in bulk over the summer break with fun magazine clippings, photos and stickers.
  7. Be store-savvy: For essentials like socks, underwear and P.E. gear, it’s generally much cheaper to shop only at discount retail stores like Target, Marshalls, T.J. Maxx and outlet stores. But be wary. Be sure to browse prices at full-price retail stores to be sure you’re actually getting a deal. Outlets and “discount” stores will sometimes throw in full-priced retail merchandise into the mix.
  8. Reuse: New isn’t necessarily better. You can often find items, particularly electronics like graphing calculators, in good shape on Craigslist and eBay. Simply looking for gently used items can save you anywhere from $20 to $60. In addition to Craigslist and eBay, consider these sites for additional secondhand deals:
    • Swapthing.com: http://www.swapthing.com
    • OnceWornNotForLong.com: http://www.oncewornnotforlong.com
    • WornButNotForgotten.com: http://www.wornbutnotforgotten.com
    • GentlyLovedClothing.com: http://www.gentlylovedclothing.com
  9. Look for inexpensive physicals: Find out if any local urgent-care centers are offering “free physical” days. If they are, you can get your kids prepared for their sports teams without any money coming out of pocket.
  10. Rethink school lunches: Rethink lunches before you even start packing them. Pay attention at the grocery store to how much it costs to pack your usual lunches for your kids. You may find it’s cheaper for them to buy hot lunch at school or that packing carrots is much cheaper than packing Cheez-its. If they want something “junkie,” set up a rule that they are more than welcome to use their own allowance for treats at school.

The writers are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized. Send ideas and questions to yourlife@getbuttonedup.com.

Sep
08

Pack your child’s back safely

Posted by besttech

McClatchy-Tribune

Back to school means back to backpacks. Check out these backpack tips from Dr. Sheeraz A. Qureshi, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

— Check the number of straps. Backpacks with two straps distribute the weight of the bag more evenly, placing less stress on the shoulders.

— It is also preferred that a backpack have a strap that goes around the child’s waist to balance the backpack’s weight between the shoulders and hips.

— Backpacks with wheels place almost no stress on the back and are preferable to standard backpacks. However, some schools do not permit this type of rolling bag so check before buying one of these.

— Wearing a heavy backpack can affect the way you walk. For children, wearing the backpack lower on the back seems to improve walking mechanics and may reduce pain.

Sep
03

Ease your family back into school-time routines

Posted by besttech

McClatchy-Tribune

With school back in session, it’s time to get things back on schedule in the evenings. Try these tips from parenting consultant Bonnie Harris, author of the forthcoming book “Confident Parents, Remarkable Kids: 8 Principles for Raising Kids You’ll Love to Live With”:

— First and foremost, include even very young children in the decision process. Find out what works for them as well as letting them know what works for you.

— Design your individual body clocks, including your own. Talk about or draw each of your “clocks” (when they like to wake up and go to sleep; when their alarms need to go off and how they like or dislike that, etc.). Discuss how different or alike each of your body clocks are.

— Make a bedtime routine chart, including times. Ask what their favorite bedtime routines are, and if they would like to change anything this year. Write everything down using pictures for pre-readers.

— Consider your child’s agendas — what they might be thinking, going through, anticipating. Even if you don’t know, guess. See bedtimes and school mornings from behind her eyes. Be considerate of what she might be dealing with — from her slow temperament to any possible school concerns, to sugary foods that might need earlier digesting.

— Create morning routine charts as well.

— If mornings are typically stressful, call a meeting sometime after school and before bedtime. Acknowledge how difficult mornings are for all of you and that you know they don’t like your nagging as much as you don’t like running late and getting angry.

— Ask each child what would make the morning routine easier. Each child may have a different idea. If they don’t know, make a couple of suggestions to get it going.

———

(c) 2008, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.