Little Girls Fashion – Tips For Developing Her Own Style

Little Girls Fashion – Help Develop Her Own Style

“I dressed myself today.” Every child wants to say it and helping your child develop her individual style will eventually get them to that prideful moment. But there is a fine line between helping your child develop her own style and simply replicating yours. That being said, if your daughter takes after you and has similar taste as many do, let it flourish! Here are a few tips to begin to form a personal style.

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My Mom, Saturday Shopper in the 1950's

My Mom, Saturday Shopper in the 1950′s

When you are shopping for new clothes, include your daughter in the activity. Invite her with you or sit together if you are browsing online. Ask your child to pick out things she may like to see you wear or pick out several items and ask her opinion of them. Be sure to express that saying she does not like an item is okay, as well as thanking her for a positive reaction to a garment. The activity of making a selection and offering an opinion helps form a basis and routine of making choices for herself. From my own childhood, I remember and cherish the Saturdays my mother took me shopping, many times to the dismay of the sales staff. My mom had a great sense of style, but not for herself. She frequently relied on me to tell her if a dress looked good on her. I vividly remember a particular sales woman that always said, “ooooooh, you have your daughter with you again, how lovely,” and winced as she brought in many cocktail dress options that she was certain I was going to reject! We most always left the boutique with a dress all three of us liked, and I developed a true sense of style and confidence in making decisions, not just in dresses.

It Is All About Color

Most little girls have a passion for a particular color, and it is often not pink.

Whatever your favorite little one’s color is, embrace it. For my niece it was purple.
No other color for two years, just purple. Well, sometimes lavender. I had no idea the amount of children’s apparel that was manufactured in purple for toddlers. She was happy in purple, and that is the focus, happy. Clothes are a statement, and color is often the first indication of individual style.

Anything Goes

Yes, really. Absolutely anything goes with anything, especially when you are very young. If your daughter pulls out green dotted leggings, a purple floral dress, and orange sneakers, let her wear the outfit. The goal is to encourage choices and individuality. The only time to suggest a change in choice of clothing is if the desired item is not appropriate for the weather or the place she is going. Leggings and a T shirt do not go to weddings. Be careful not to offend your daughter or young friend. Simply comment on how much you like the outfit and suggest she keep it out for when she gets back home. Then ask her to show you what her favorite dress is in her closet and maybe that should be the one that would be perfect for today.

- CK & ESK

Little Girls Birthday Party Planning Tips

 

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There is something magical about birthdays before you hit double digits (and, for some of us, even after). But there are so many aspects to throwing a party for a little one (or even throwing a party in general) that it may be overwhelming. There are invite lists and invitations, theme ideas, party favors, decorations, and activities. And even after all of that, the party is rarely on the birthday boy or girl’s special day, so how do you make their birthday just as memorable as the party? The following is a general guide to approaching birthday party planning with the least amount of stress and the maximum amount of fun. These steps apply to parties in general, so minimize your stress levels next time you have to throw a holiday party, baby shower, or other big event, too.

MAKE A LIST

Party planning is detail-oriented. Writing a list can make those details seem manageable and will help you keep track of what you’ve covered and what you have left to do. However, shy away from making multiple lists. While it may seem helpful to have all of your subcategories listed out, the length of the list you end up with at the end will not provide you any extra comfort. Just keep it simple.

PRIORITIZE YOUR LIST

You don’t need to do this while you are brainstorming your original “to-do” list, once you have a general idea of what needs to be done, review your list and decide which steps come first. Generally it is best to decide on a date and a theme before proceeding on to other details. Once you have a theme or a preference for the style of party, a date, and the place, the next step will be the invitation and guest list. Then the details of the event. This party “flow chart” cascades you from one decision to the next and before you know it, the party is planned.

Here is a suggested birthday party planning list:

  1. set party date and theme
  2. decide and reserve location 
  3. guest list and invitations
  4. party details, favors,cake, etc.
  5. photographer, reserve and/or designate a friend or relative to capture the moments
  6. mail invitations 2-3 weeks prior for kids birthday parties

LOOK FOR INSPIRATION

Turn to others for support! You don’t need to be a celebration whiz to throw an amazing party. Use magazines or search engines (especially sites like Pinterest, whose photo-based system makes idea hunting very easy) to look for inspiration. Using search words like “child’s birthday party” or “holiday party” will provide you with bloggers, websites, and photos clamoring to share their own tried and tested ideas.

 DON’T ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS OF YOUR BIRTHDAY CELEBRANT 

This applies less if you are throwing a party for yourself, but if you are creating one for a little one or a friend, try not to ask them for their opinion on too many things, especially smaller details. This is especially important for kids, too many choices may become overwhelming. Let them help you pick a theme (give them two or three to choose from) and help with the guest list (again, give them something to work from), then you do the rest.

DELEGATE AND ENJOY

Be certain that you as a party planner and host are able to enoy the event. Delegate tasks such as introducing people to each other, serving food, assisting little ones to restrooms, writing on cards what gift that a person gives for thank you note purposes, collecting opened gift wrap, taking photos, and participating in games or activities. Most aunts, uncles, or friends are usually happy to lend a hand, remember to ask.

ESK-Birthday-Bash-photo

-esk & cmk

Back to School Girls Clothes – Tips For Summer Sale Shopping

Buying clothes for children can be costly. Last year’s clothes and shoes almost never fit, which means that with each new season brings another shopping trip. But then again, the arrival of fall merchandise also generates a host of end of the summer sales. As stores phase out their summer stock transitioning to heavier materials and newer styles, you have the opportunity to build the base of a wardrobe at a highly reduced price.

Eliane et Lena Girls Banfou Cardigan @llbdshop.com

Eliane et Lena Girls Banfou Cardigan @llbdshop.com

Look for Layers

Grab a cardigan, whether the weather. Whether the air conditioning is too cold or the seasons are changing, a cardigan sweater may be the essential item to take with at the start of the day. Most of us are in air cooled or heated buildings for the majority of the day, which includes schools, and a cardigan style sweater is easy on and easy off. Layered with tanks, short sleeved shirts, or light long-sleeved tops, a cardigan sweater adds warmth and style. When shopping summer sales, look for reduced priced tees and summer sweaters. For those who love the comfort of cotton this is the best time of the year to find great prices on cotton sweaters and layering tees.

 

KC Parker Girls Tunic & Leggings @llbdshop.com

KC Parker Girls Tunic & Leggings @llbdshop.com

Legging Love

Skirts and tunics may be a challenge for active little ones and for the upcoming changing of seasons. Generally they are made from lighter fabrics and tend to expose more skin to the cold. Adding leggings or tights may be the answer for fashion and comfort come fall. Tights and leggings complete a look and may be a fashion statement to any outfit as they are available in loads of colors and patterns. May I say cotton again? Yes, this is the best time of year to find the ever comfortable and transitional fabric, cotton, in leggings and tights at clearance prices.

 

Fore N Birdie Girls Polo Shirt @llbdshop.com

Fore N Birdie Girls Polo Shirt @llbdshop.com

Color Choice

Summer is fun, bright, and exciting. This is the perfect time to shop the sale racks for colorful tees, tops, or vibrant color trend jeans to use as the accent piece for back to school and fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sneak a Sneaker

Little feet grow so fast. The adorable pink sneakers that were purchased last May and that just cannot be squished on the feet nor left behind on the first day of school are now on sale! Really, buy them or similar again, the prices are reduced and there is no such thing as too many of a good or favorite thing, as long as it fits.

See Kai Run Adalyn Sneakers @llbdshop.com

See Kai Run Adalyn Sneakers @llbdshop.com

 -ESK & CMK

4 Summer Recipes the Whole Family will Love

You don’t need to be a master chef or baker to make these summer recipes! Here are four great and healthy summer recipes that everyone will enjoy.

photo & recipe credit: marthastewart.com

photo & recipe dredit: marthastewart.com

 

1. Appetizer: Grilled Tomato Bruschetta

Healthy and flavorful appetizer to munch on while the real food is still on the grill or in the oven. All you need is some olive oil, a few tomatoes, some spices, and your favorite bread. Find the full recipe at: http://www.marthastewart.com/315421/grilled-tomato-bruschetta?czone=food/best-grilling-recipes/grilling-recipes

 

photo & recipe credit: bakehouse.squarespace.com

photo & recipe credit: bakehouse.squarespace.com

 

 

2. The Vegetable: Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

A tastey vegetable snack or sidedish for zucchini lovers and others. Now, I’m not a huge zucchini fan, but this is a recipe I can get behind. They are slyly healthful and taste like fried food (but they’re baked!). You need zucchini, parmesan, breadcrumbs, olive oil, kosher salt, and ground pepper. For the full instructions to this delicious recipe, visit: http://bakehouse.squarespace.com/home/2011/7/20/zucchini-parmesan-crisps.html

 

photo and recipe adapted from: Christine's Kitchen Chronicles

photo and recipe adapted from: Christine’s Kitchen Chronicles – christineskitchenchronicles.blogspot.com

3. Main Dish: Tomato Basil Chicken and Balsamic Orzo

A refreshing chicken dish for an outdoor dinner. Its packed with flavor but nothing “out there” that the picky eaters in the family won’t enjoy. This recipe makes 8 to 10 side dish servings or 3-4 meal servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups dried orzo pasta
  • About 1 ¼ pounds firm ripe tomatoes, at room temperature- these can be Roma, Cherry, or Beefsteak tomatoes, as you prefer. Note: quantities of tomato vary slightly depending on type used.
  • ¾ cups chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (and a splash extra for the chicken)
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • About ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and Pepper

 

  1. Pour water in a pan and bring to boil. Add orzo and cook until barely tender, about 8 to 10 minutes
  2. While waiting for pasta, rinse and core tomatoes. Chop them and place them in a large bowl with the chopped basil, olive oil, and vinegar, mixing together.
  3.  Wash and chop chicken in to bite-size pieces. Pour olive oil in to a pan with a pinch of the minced garlic and let it start to fry. Sauté chicken in a pan with olive oil and garlic. When completely cooked, remove from heat and let cool for 3-4 minutes, then add to the bowl of tomatoes.
  4. Drain pasta well, rinse, and add to the bowl. Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold.

 

4. Dessert: Homemade Fruit Popsicles

This recipe is so easy. All you need to do is pour your preferred juice flavor (I like a combination pomegranate and lemonade) and cut fruit of your choice into popsicle molds (easily found at Target or cooking stores). Then put the molds in the freezer and wait until solid before enjoying!

-ESK

Flip Flop Fumbles- When to Wear (or not to wear) Summer’s Most Casual Shoe

photo credit: findkeyswithease.com

photo credit: findkeyswithease.com

Flip-flops are a wonder shoe. They slide on easily, they are simple, and they keep your feet cool. Some varieties even float in water. At the end of the summer, I examine my flip-flop tan and hope to be proud of the “Y” shaped lines on my feet. But flip-flops are not right for every occasion, even though it is sometimes tempting.

I follow two general guidelines when deciding when to wear flip-flops. If I am going outside to do activities with friends or family, especially if that activity involves water and beaches, flip-flops are definitely the shoe of choice. They are casual, fun, and water doesn’t destroy them.

Flip-flops even eliminate the age-old sand-in-my-shoes problem. I don’t need to worry about trying to wash off my feet and sliding my socks back on before accidentally stepping on the sand and having to start over.

But there’s a flip side, (no pun intended). If you’re going out to dinner and the restaurant employs a wait-staff, flip-flops are a little too casual. The world is moving in a more casual direction, so in ten or twenty years, that guideline may change. Until then, though, I’d suggest choosing a nicer sandal or a closed toe shoe.

Sending kids to school in flip-flops is a trickier story and I leave that up to personal preference and school dress codes. They’re casual, but for younger kids especially, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional whimsical shoe choice and do consider the activity of the girl, sometimes a sneaker may be the choice for the day.

Flip-flops may be a fashion statement on their own. Brightly colored or decorated flip-flops can definitely be their own accessory, just keep in mind the statement and the day of the feet that are flopping.

-ESK

 

Kids Outdoor Activity – Build Your Own Fairy Castle

I always wanted to believe there were faeries in my backyard. I read stories, which claimed dust was old faerie spirits (so don’t clean it or you’ll hurt them! That made my parents really happy…) and I made a small hotel for any would-be visiting faeries out of an old shoebox. Alas, no faeries ever seemed to be traveling through my neck of the woods.

It’s quite possible that my lack of success was my location (I put the shoebox in my closet). I suggest trying to find a quiet place at the base of a tree or the side of a rock (small hallows work especially nicely). Sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, pinecones, and nuts are all examples of materials you can use, but the beauty of these houses is that different locations (forest versus beach) make each house look completely different. Building a faerie house with your daughter is a great “together” activity and leaves a beautiful art project.

 Here are several examples, courtesy of fairyhouses.com:

 

 

 

 For more tips, visit http://www.fairyhouses.com/about-fairy-houses/how-to-build/

-ESK

Summer Camp Packing Essentials For Little Girls

Whether she’s going camping in the woods or staying in a cabin, there are some items every girl should bring with her to camp. As an experienced camper myself, I know it is hard not to pack everything you own but, the most important thing to keep in mind is preparing her for safe fun in all kinds of weather. Without packing an entire department store, here are some of the essentials for every camp-bound girl.

Sunglasses

While counselors and camp adults are good about making sure all the campers put on sunscreen, it does eventually wear and wash off. One of the best ways to make sure your little girl is protected from the sun is to send her with sunglass and a sun hat. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are damaging to eyes as well as to skin (Mayo clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uv-protection/AN00832), and high quality sunglasses can protect eyes from these damaging rays. Look for protection details on the product labels and go for glasses that offer protection from 99%-100% of both UVA and UVB rays.

photo credit:  ESK

photo credit: ESK

Sun Hat

A sun hat is just as cute as it is useful. A good hat helps to keep the body cool and to protect high-exposure areas by blocking some UVA/UVB rays. When selecting a sun hat, choose one with a full brim so that it provides protection to both the face and neck, areas which are exposed to more direct sunlight than most other parts of the body. Even with these protections, as always, remind her to apply sunscreen!

 

Long Sleeves/Pants

If you’ve ever been camping, and likely if you haven’t, you know that nature has no shortage of bugs and insects. One of the best ways to protect her from bug bites (other than bug repellant) is to send her with pants and long-sleeved shirts. These clothes are too hot for most days, but at night when the cooler temperature draws most insects out, the extra coverage will provide arm and leg protection.

photo credit: honeydearest.blogspot.com

photo credit: honeydearest.blogspot.com

Water Bottle

It isn’t a piece of clothing, but a water bottle is an important camping accessory. Nothing makes camping less fun than feeling ill from dehydration. Most camps have food halls where the campers can get water or use a water fountain. Encourage your camper  to fill her bottle and drink water often to stay hydrated and healthy!

-ESK

Special Occasion Dressing For Little Girls – What, Where, And When?

esk-photo-Which-dress-photo

Trying to match the right dress to an occasion can be difficult for adults, and it’s not a whole lot easier for little girls’ dresses. So how do you know which dresses are appropriate for which occasion?  Here are a couple things to look for and consider when searching for a dress that may help point you in the right direction.

SEASON’S GREETINGS

Weather really matters when picking out a dress for another reason than just the temperature. Certain fabrics are linked with each season, making a dress more visually appropriate for the occasion. Wool, including cashmere, knit, and boiled varieties, as well as corduroy, are distinctly winter fabrics. Heavier and layered silks are also a worn well in winter, while lighter silk and organza (a thin synthetic fabric made from silk) can be worn in spring and summer. Linen and lightweight cotton are good summer fabrics as well.

COLOR CODING

Color and season are very closely linked. Generally, darker colors are reserved for fall and winter and lighter colors are for spring and summer.

Fall and winter dresses tend to lean towards dark green, auburn, burgundy, dark purple, and, of course, black. Spring and summer clothes come in varieties of pastels, white, and ivory. However, black is also acceptable during the warmer months (one of the reasons we love little little black dresses so much!). The event also has a lot to do with the color. For events where ceremony and reception are separated by a span of hours or for events that last several days, wear the more formal, darker attire to the ceremony and save the more colorful dress for the celebration. For weddings specifically, tradition dictates that only the bride wears white, but for little girls, this rule is generally overlooked.

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED

The invitation may give a lot of information about what to wear, but the rule is an easy one. The fancier the invitation, the more formal the clothing selection should be. Some invitations actually specify what to wear, but, if no guide is given, look at the timing of the event. Day events are generally less formal than evening ones. Also

consider the venue, the place of the event may indicate in itself the formality of the event,  for example a church wedding verses an outdoor wedding ceremony.

STARRING ROLE

Though every little girl likes to look her best there is a time to let the understudy shine. Anything goes if it is your event be it birthday parties, weddings, anniversary parties, or a piano recital. From tiaras to tutus it is your or your family’s day.  However, if you are the guest it is gracious to pause and consider what their little star may be wearing and perhaps tone back a bit as not to outshine their little one.

-ESK & CMK

Fourth of July Kids Recipes and Craft Activities

Rice Krispy Treat Sparklers

These treats make a fun decoration as well as being delicious and easy to eat. You can either cut star shapes out of store-bought Rice Krispy bars or make your own (suggested) with this recipe from 5minutesformom.com.

esk-Rice Krispy Treat Sparkers

photo credit: 5minutesformom.com, Rice Krispy Treat Sparklers

 

American Flag Lanterns

This is a great way to decorate outdoor tables, especially after dark. Just take white paper lunch bags, paint the top 2/3 blue and the bottom 1/3 with vertical red stripes. Punch holes around the bag, fill the bottom with a half inch to an inch of sand (to keep the bags standing in place), and place a cheap battery-operated light inside.

photo credit: auntpeaches.com

photo credit: auntpeaches.com

 

Toilet Paper Rockets

No fireworks near you? These not only make great decorations, but they are confetti filled as well. This is a great art project for the kids and provides lots of fun when its time to let the confetti fly. For full instructions see alphamom.com.

esk-4th-Toilet Paper Rockets

photo and project credit: alphamom.com

-ESK

 

Girls 4th of July Fashion

With the Fourth of July holiday coming up, many people are starting to plan their celebrations and barbeques.  But with menus and logistics to plan, who has time to figure out what to wear? Here are some ideas for a holiday-friendly outfit for the little-little one.

LALaundry Lexi Dress

 

The Navy Lexie Dress from LAUNDRY by Shelli Segal is made from a combination of cotton and nylon and is machine washable, so you don’t need to worry about her getting a little messy. The navy blue fabric and white collar fit the holiday theme but the classic design makes this dress wearable for every-day summer fun as well.

The Red Grosgrain Ribbon Headband by Bows Arts adds a red accent to the blue and white dress and will keep her hair tidily in place.

Finish the outfit with the Striped Skimmer shoes from Joyfolie.

Joyfolie Girls Striped Skimmers llbdshop.com

Joyfolie Girls Striped Skimmers llbdshop.com

 

 

For more choices, looks, and ideas, visit www.llbdshop.com

-ESK