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January 11, 2022

New Year’s Goal: How to Practice Self-Care for Better Mental Health

Happy New Year! It’s a time of big resolutions and new beginnings. It's also the perfect opportunity to get better at taking care of our mental health. Let's talk about three ways to start on the right foot this year by prioritizing your mental health!

No. 1: Put Boundaries in Place
Boundaries help protect you from feeling taken advantage of or disrespected. Establishing limitations protects your mental health by giving you a sense of control over your life. Therefore, learning to say “no” is a valuable life skill. It helps you maintain self-worth by empowering you to make choices that align with your values. When we say “yes” to every request, we're more likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. By saying “no” mindfully with conviction and respect, you make time for the things that matter without overwhelming guilt and negativity.

When creating emotional boundaries, use your personal values as a guide. Recognize that these limits vary and can be flexible, depending on the situation and the people involved. Set aside social expectations and listen to yourself. Conserve your emotional energy to prevent resentment.

No. 2: Increase Self-Awareness
Increasing self-awareness means being more conscious of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. When you're more self-aware, you can catch early signs of stress or anxiety and address them before they become more significant problems.

One way to be more self-aware is to keep a journal. This can help you track your moods, symptoms and triggers. It can also be a place to reflect on your daily life. Journaling helps keep you in perspective as it boosts your self-identity and fosters self-growth.

No. 3: See a Counselor or Therapist
As you become more self-aware, you start to recognize issues that reduce your quality of life. It may be a problem that interferes with your life each day or something that causes so much shame or embarrassment that you make it a point to avoid others. These issues may have made you develop unhealthy habits or make life changes that have negatively impacted your personal and professional relationships.

Therapy can help with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, life transitions, family dynamics, parenting support and more. Spending time with a professional allows you to explore your feelings and unresolved experiences without judgment. Together, you can identify the obstacles, insecurities, and harmful habits keeping you from achieving optimal mental health. 

No matter what steps you choose to take this year regarding your mental health, know that you're not alone. Millions of people struggle with the same issues, and support is available. At Communicare, we offer various services for adults and children who are having issues related to mental health or emotional concerns.

By Communicare

January 10, 2022

Making bath time a learning experience with Dabble & Dollop

This New Year, when making resolutions with your kids, consider making bath time a learning experience with Dabble & Dollop, the only mixable children’s bath brand. Just think STEM  activity in the tub! No messes or clean up required. Perfect for your dabbling scientist or next master chef or for a bath-adverse child.

“Though the mixing process may seem simple, to a child it is pure magic! They love to ‘innovate’ and create new textures and scents,” believes brand Founder & CEO Stephanie Leshney. “We love to inspire creativity and a love of science.”

It's a Shampoo! It's a Body Wash! It's a Bubble Bath! Dabble & Dollop's 3-in-1 Mixables feature fresh, authentic scents designed to be mixed, kids can customize their own sudsy creations each and every night. Choose from any of its 7 amazing aromas and textures. Use alone or get Creatively Clean and mix them up to create over 125 unique bathing combinations!

“We allow children a safe opportunity to mix scents and textures together to create their own unique concoctions. For example, children can take a dabble (pump) of Strawberry and a dollop (pump) of Vanilla and make a strawberry shortcake bath. Or, a dabble of Tangerine and a Dabble of Lemon for a Citrus Body Wash,” Stephanie explains. “With seven scents and our Cherry on Top Conditioner, there are over 125 unique opportunities for children to customize – the creation of the bubble bath, the bodywash and the shampoo.”

Dabble & Dollops’ Original Bubble Box, a great starter set for kids, features Strawberry, Tangerine and Vanilla, and comes with a new recipe booklet, and a silicone bowl to inspire the mixing. The booklet features nearly a dozen recipes and also has space for kids to create and note their own creations. The brand’s Rainbow of Bubbles, featuring all seven 3-in-1 scents, is the ultimate bath experience for kids. 

“The real magic happens when children create their own recipes whether in our custom bowl or in the palms of their hands,” Stephanie adds.

Dabble & Dollops 3-in-1 mixables were its first product and the line is made with sustainable USA-sourced plant-based ingredients, vegan, Certified Tear-Free, dermatologist-tested ultra-mild, and Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free.  All of the brand’s products are vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free. Additionally, Dabble & Dollop’s bath bombs are all natural, gluten-free, artificial dye-free and made in California.

“Our 3-in-1 products feature our SmartScent™ technology. These scents are an optimized blend of natural oils and nature-identical formulated to the strictest EU-standards for purity.,” Stephanie describes. “Our scents were tested to be highly stable and non-irritating (HRIPT testing), and were formulated according to the European Union’s directive and free of known allergens.”

 

November 15, 2021

ChiccoDuo

Chicco has launched the first hybrid bottle made available for parents that combines the wellness benefits of pure glass and the convenience of plastic (free of BPA, BPS, PVC and Phthalates). The ChiccoDUO has an inner layer of pure glass with the outer layer plastic to keep it super lightweight and breakproof! In a nutshell, the outside plastic keeps the bottle from getting damaged if it is dropped, but the inside glass ensures your baby’s food stays non-toxic. This game changer bottle has an intuitive latch nipple so there is less air ingestion for babies and helps with colic. 

November 1, 2021

Give the Gift of a New Alt-Golf Sport This Year

Golf is hotter than ever in these times of social distancing.  Skip the Polo shirt this year and go for the FlingStick - available with custom head designs (camo, Stars and Stripes, and more) and different sizes! The new alt-golf sport that will definitely create some buzz in your next foursome: FlingGolf

·         2021 Shark Tank feature

·         One FlingStick is all you need to shape shots from tee to green

·         FlingGolf gets everyone out on the course: newbies and veteran golfers, partners, kids

·         Easy to learn - 20/30 min and you’re ready to go!

·         Played on golf courses across the country and around the globe

·         15% off for the holidays using code HOLIDAY15

Check it out: How did New Swarm’s FlingStick become the Gift of the Year?



October 26, 2021

Anthem Wagon Stroller

NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH: Gladly Family:

New Toddler Gear Company made by parents for parents just launched this month  Their brand new Anthem Wagon Stroller can be compared to a “more affordable” Veer (all accessories come standard with the price)

Anthem™ All-Terrain Wagon Stroller is truly a blend of form and function. Don't be fooled by its stylish good looks: this cruiser is also an all-terrain workhorse with rugged wheels and a sturdy frame. Plus, "extras" like two XL canopies, parent cup holder and interior mattress come standard!

You'll love these features:

  • Easy to maneuver - either push or pull
  • Accepts an infant car seat with the adapter, sold separately
  • Easy to fold; standing fold or flat for storage
  • Large double canopies with breathable mesh inserts
  • Sun, Wind, Rain Protection: XL, water-resistant canopies that zip close
  • All-terrain tires and a sturdy suspension system
  • One-touch, easy to use brake
  • Roomy interior that comfortably holds two children up to 50 lbs. Each
  • Stow away mattress included to use with seats folded down
  • 3-point safety harness for each seat
  • Parent cup holder and storage area
  • Double snack tray and child cup holders included
  • Interior storage with four mesh pockets
  • Welded aluminum frame
September 24, 2021

Baby Safety from Tags to Textiles

By Meredith McCue, Marketing Soft Goods Manager

A car seat is one of the first (and most important) items a parent will buy for their child. According to new Chicco research* commissioned ahead of Baby Safety Month, parents spend more time researching car seats than any other baby gear item. The survey also found that 42% of children spend four or more hours in their car seats in a typical week. With so much time spent in one spot, it’s critical that a child’s seat is both safe and comfortable.

So, where should parents start when choosing a car seat? Look for fundamentals like ease of install, child fit, and child comfort – all three play a critical role in child safety. Parents should consider the latest fabric innovations as well. Chicco continues to innovate with a focus on providing parents with performance fabrics that meet their different needs, without compromising safety or comfort.

Car Seat Fabric Innovations

For parents searching for the ultimate in comfort for their child’s car seat, Chicco launched a new solution called Adapt, featuring an innovative combination of patented 37.5® Technology** and breathable mesh. Getting your child to want to sit in their car seat and remain comfortable can be a challenge but Adapt utilizes humidity-regulating fabric that’s permanently embedded with natural volcanic mineral particles to regulate your child’s microclimate by drawing away moisture to maintain a comfortable temperature. Adapt helps parents keep their cool with car seat struggles by keeping kids comfortable!

For families seeking greener solutions, the new ClearTex® line from Chicco is outfitted with fabric that complies with federal car seat flammability standards without the need for added chemical treatments. This was achieved by developing an innovative construction of polyester fibers to produce fabrics that are inherently fire-resistant. Even the seat’s tags and warning labels contain no flame retardant chemicals! Parents can rest assured that ClearTex® car seats contribute to healthier air quality around baby from head to toe, as guaranteed by the GREENGUARD Gold certification that accompanies all Chicco ClearTex® seats.

The Adapt fabric is available on parent-loved Chicco car seats, including the Fit4 Adapt, a convertible model that grows with child from birth to big kid, and the KidFit Adapt Plus, a booster offering customized comfort for every ride. In the ClearTex® line, you’ll find the top-rated KeyFit 35 ClearTex®, an extended-use infant car seat with safety features that make it easy to install and use correctly every time. Additionally, the NextFit Max ClearTex® offers extended legroom and effortlessly transitions between rear-facing to forward-facing modes of use to support children up to 65lbs. Whether you opt for an infant car seat, convertible or booster, your child will be in a seat that is engineered for comfort, safety, and peace of mind.

Everyday Tips for Car Seat Safety

Once you’ve found the perfect seat, the next step is to make sure you’re using it correctly. Whether you’re a car seat pro or preparing for your first little one, Chicco Child Passenger Safety Technician, Josh Dilts adds the below tips:

  • An easy at-home test to make sure your car seat is installed securely: When it comes to car seat installation, 55% of parents do not know or are not sure what the ‘inch test’ is. To perform it, grab the car seat or base at the belt path and pull it forward and from side to side. If the seat moves more than one inch in any direction, you should reinstall and test again.

  • Winter coat protocol: 40% of parents say it is recommended for a child to wear a winter coat in a car seat with a five-point harness or that they are unsure. Best practice is to remove baby’s bulky coat before car rides, as it can leave baby vulnerable in a crash when the down or poly fill compresses – resulting in a too-loose harness.

For parents looking for additional car seat safety information, www.ChiccoUSA.com offers a variety of resources from how to choose a car seat, car seat comparisons and step-by-step installation videos.

 

*Results based on Chicco survey of 1,004 U.S. parents in August 2021 

**Learn more at www.thirtysevenfive.com

About the Writer

Meredith McCue is the Marketing Soft Goods Manager at Chicco, pairing her passion for child safety with cutting-edge fabric innovations.  Meredith helps ensure car seat fabrics are functional, comfortable, and fashionable all while meeting necessary testing requirements. As a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, Meredith enjoys introducing new parents to Chicco and educating them on the products that would best fit their individual lifestyle.

September 14, 2021

KicksBySammy

KicksBySammy just launched a new, personalized back-to-school collection with striking & fun hand-drawn prints.

The collection, which will make a splash all year round, includes backpacks ($120), laptop sleeves ($55), lunch totes ($42), journals ($42), spiral notebooks ($38), and pouches ($42), in premium materials. For example, the lunch totes are unlike other lunchboxes as they boast comfortable, easy-to-carry, and machine washable neoprene along with a zipper. The backpacks contain a water bottle holder and 4 compartments for convenient carrying and organizing.

Each product can be customized with any name, initials, word, or phrase, for a unique must-have that's less likely to get lost. KicksBySammy.com is also having a site-wide sale through September 2021 for 15% off with code BTS15.

September 1, 2021

HEALTHY KIDS RUNNING SERIES NOW OFFERING FIVE-WEEK, IN-PERSON FALL RACE SERIES ACROSS THE U.S. TO HELP CHILDREN MAINTAIN AN ACTIVE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Healthy Kids Running Series, a national inclusive and fun youth running experience, inspiring kids (ages 2-14) to believe in themselves and lead an active healthy lifestyle, is conducting a safe, five-week in-person fall running Series featuring once-a-week racing at more than 200 locations across the United States. Registration is now open at HealthyKidsRunningSeries.org. The organization is also looking for community coordinators who would like to host a Series in their neighborhood.

“Our races are always kid focused with the ultimate goal of teaching children how to be active and healthy while creating meaningful relationships within our community,” said Jeff Long, founder, Healthy Kids Running Series.

Healthy Kids Running Series is a five-week program with once-a-week races with age-appropriate race distances. Kids compete each week in their designated age or grade level division. Every participant will receive a T-Shirt and Medal. Registration starts at $35 for the five-week Series and is open now at HealthyKidsRunningSeries.org.  Healthy Kids Running Series programming is supported by Stride Rite. 

“We are closely following the guidelines as suggested by the CDC and implementing many new measures to ensure we protect our runners and their families,” said Long. “We are offering our runners and their families a safe experience while teaching kids effort, perseverance, persistence, sportsmanship, independence and grit.”

Healthy Kids Running Series is also offering a virtual alternative, the Virtual World Race, a five-week Series for families not yet ready to gather with other families in their neighborhood with all of the same benefits and features as the in-person Series. Details are available at HealthyKidsRunningSeries.org.

Healthy Kids Running Series impacts more than 60,000 youth runners in 300+ communities across the United States. Healthy Kids Running Series engages communities and families by providing an inclusive youth running experience, inspiring kids to believe in themselves and lead active healthy lifestyles. Learn more at www.HealthyKidsRunningSeries.org.

August 25, 2021

A new survey (from Chevy) uncovered how the pandemic affected parents' driving skills and the new realities that teen drivers face on the road. 

As families prepare for their return to in-person school after a year of virtual learning, 68 percent of parents indicate being back on the road every day is a concern when thinking about their children going back to school.

With the back-to-school season in full swing, Chevrolet worked with The Harris Poll to survey more than 1,000 parents of school-aged children to discover how the pandemic affected their driving skills and the new realities that teen drivers face.

The pandemic impacted how often people were on the road, with 56 percent of parents saying they drove less during the pandemic. Over time, basic driving skills can be forgotten, which may lead to careless driving. According to the survey:

  • 61 percent of parents agree that with fewer people on the road last year, they were able to drive more carefree.
  • Now, over three-quarters of parents surveyed report that they drive more defensively with more people on the road. 

Teen drivers were impacted by a different complication during the pandemic. Nearly half of parents with a driving-aged child say their child experienced a delay in becoming a licensed driver during the pandemic. And, as more teen drivers prepare to be on the road this school year, the survey shows most teens and new drivers will be in the vehicle without adult supervision. The survey also showed:

  • 61 percent of parents are concerned about their teen on the road because of lost practice time due to the pandemic.
  • 78 percent of parents worry when their child is on the road because other drivers seem more unsafe than before the pandemic.
  • 73 percent of parents report to notice more aggravated drivers on the road than before the pandemic.

“With so much on our minds as we prepare for this school year, it’s easy for both parents and teens to forget basic driving skills and road safety,” said Tricia Morrow, Chevrolet safety engineer. “Safety is at the forefront of what we do at Chevrolet, and the safety features available in many of our Chevrolet products, including the Traverse, help bring families peace of mind as drivers – both experienced and new – hit the road.”

The 2022 Chevrolet Traverse features multiple active safety and driver assistance features, supporting driver safety. The survey found that 79 percent of parents agree that in-vehicle technology helps give them peace of mind.

Active safety, driver assistance and other features on the 2022 Traverse include:

  • Chevy Safety Assist1, standard on all trims includes Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert and IntelliBeam automatic high beam control.
  • Teen Driver, a technology that, when active, helps parents coach their new drivers – even when the teens are alone in the vehicle. It allows parents to set a speed alert, a volume limit and more. And, with the industry’s first and only in-vehicle report card, it’s easy to track a teen’s driving performance.
  • Buckle To Drive, a safety technology that, when active, can prevent the driver from shifting the vehicle out of park if the driver's seat belt is not buckled for up to 20 seconds. This feature is designed to help remind all drivers to buckle up before driving.
  • Stay connected to teen drivers with new Wireless Apple CarPlay2 and Android Auto3 phone projection capability. Additionally, when activated, OnStar Automatic Crash Response4 can connect drivers to an Emergency-Certified Advisor5 who can contact help even if they can’t ask for it.

For more information click here

SURVEY METHODOLOGY
This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll July 28 – Aug. 4, 2021, on behalf of Chevrolet, among 1,204 adults who are 18 years+ of age and who have a child age 3 to 18 years old that will attend school outside of the home this coming school year. Data were weighted to be representative of the ages 18+ U.S. general population.

 

August 13, 2021

NEW MARTHA STEWART KITCHEN HELPER™ BY GUIDECRAFT® MAKES IT EASIER AND SAFER FOR FAMILIES TO ENJOY TOGETHERNESS IN THE KITCHEN

Fall is here. It is officially time for cooler temps, apple picking and yes, soon enough, all things pumpkin and spice. For those cozy weekends at home, it’s the perfect opportunity to get the entire family involved in meal prepping, baking a pie or even some freshly baked cookies. Guidecraft® is making it easy for toddlers to join in on the family fun with a brand-new collection of Martha Stewart Kitchen Helpers™. The uniquely foldable step stools provide a safe, sturdy, and adjustable platform for toddlers to help mom and dad in the kitchen without worrying about falling or not being able to reach the countertop (although parents should always supervise their children whenever they are in the kitchen). The stools are perfect for giving toddlers a sense of independence they crave, while providing parents the reassurance they will be safe. They can be used for all kinds of activities including decorating holiday cookies, making pizza, pancakes, washing dishes, and even craft projects. 

Guidecraft, celebrating over 50 years of developing innovative educational environments in classrooms and at home has teamed up with Martha Stewart and Marquee Brands to launch a line of Martha Stewart Kitchen Helpers following the success of the collaborative Martha Stewart™ Living and Learning Kids’ Furniture Collection. The Kitchen Helper™ by Guidecraft is the original safety step stool for toddlers and has been a category leader since its inception in 2008. It has led the way with innovative safety features like clip-on safety nets (Keepers) to prevent falls, non-slip mats, an adjustable platform, and convenient foldability.

The Martha Stewart Kitchen Helper features a new design inspired by fine, custom kitchen cabinetry and comes in four trending color choices: creamy white, charcoal, taupe, and mint green. Details, such as the inset acrylic windows, two mesh Keepers, a non-slip mat, and a secure, adjustable platform for growing children, all support the mission of providing the safest way to elevate young children to countertop height promoting their feeling of independence as well as family togetherness. A comprehensive line of crafting furniture and art accessories for children and families, the Martha Stewart Crafting Kids’ Collection, as well as additional products, such as play tents and bedroom furniture, will be introduced in 2022. 

“This new launch combines the strength of the Martha Stewart brand in home, crafting and cooking with the focus on family and togetherness of our flagship product, the Kitchen Helper. In addition to bringing increased recognition to the product and the category, the success of the collaboration ultimately translates to helping children gain more agency in terms of learning, social emotional development, and connectedness,” states President of Guidecraft, Gary Bilezikian.

About Guidecraft

Guidecraft’s mission is to create objects of lasting importance that enrich the lives of children. For over 50 years, Guidecraft has designed holistic classroom and home-based environments and learning platforms for children of all ages. Guidecraft’s natural, open-ended toys unleash a child’s imagination through free, unstructured play. The home furniture lines focus on engaging children in artistic, literary, and dramatic play activities, while the preschool furniture collections straddle the needs of both teachers and parents to provide authentic, nature-inspired, and sensory choices in some uniquely beautiful ways.

 

For more information or to purchase the Martha Stewart Kitchen Helper, visit https://guidecraft.com/kitchen-helper-furniture/. The collection is also available at Wayfair.com and Amazon. MSRP starts at $199.95

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