Category : Kids

What is National 529 Day?
Moving forward, one step at a time

Last week, my youngest child “graduated” from preschool. Clad in one of my husband’s white button-down shirts and a cardboard graduation hat, he stood with his class, sang songs and broke into the world’s broadest grin when he saw his great-grandma in the audience to see him. With the other proud parents, I choked back tears and took too many photos and shaky iPhone videos that don’t really live up to the emotion I felt that day.

Preschool graduation will be high school graduation in no time

It seems silly, I know, getting emotional over five year olds who are only beginning their educational journey. Still, I look at him and remember strapping him into an Ergo and praying he’d nap during excursions, five months old instead of five years. Time speeds by, and soon he’ll be wearing a mortarboard symbolizing the end of high school instead of one introducing him to kindergarten. As close as across the street, our neighbors are readying lawns for graduation parties and thinking about shopping for dorm-room essentials.

Saving for college with 529 plans

ScholarShare encourages parents to plan ahead for college

ScholarShare knows how quickly the years pass by, and how overwhelming college tuition bills can be. ScholarShare, California’s 529 College Savings Plan, wants parents to start thinking of the financial aspect of college before their children are in high school — or even middle school. Starting to save for college while you’re still rocking your little one to sleep will help alleviate financial stress when tuition payments are due.

Some facts about ScholarShare
  • ScholarShare offers 19 investment portfolios, giving account holders more options, depending on their savings goals and risk tolerance.
  • Since its inception in 1999, the number of ScholarShare accounts has grown to more than 260,000 with over $6.3 billion in total plan assets.
  • In 2014, ScholarShare helped California families meet their higher education needs, with nearly $300 million withdrawn by families to pay for qualified higher education expenses.
  • Any U.S. citizen, or resident alien with a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, can open a new account, for as little as $25.
  • Through ScholarShare’s “Give a Gift” option, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends can open a new account as a gift or make a gift contribution to an existing one.

What is National 529 Day?

Use a 529 college savings plan for a variety of US educational institutions

Though ScholarShare is California’s 529 plan, the money in ScholarShare accounts can be used for any eligible educational institution, including public and private colleges and universities, graduate and post-graduate schools, community colleges and even certain proprietary and vocational schools, all across the United States. In fact, residents from any state can invest in a 529 plan in any state, though contributing to your in-state plan can offer tax benefits not available to out-of-state contributors.

National 529 Day reminds you to plan for the future

College savings plans from all states are joining together to celebrate National 529 Day this week. On May 29, ScholarShare and other 529 plans hope to raise awareness about the benefits of starting a 529 plan for your child. Saving for college doesn’t have to be a sweat-inducing event — every little bit helps your kids get ahead of the tuition game, and the flexibility of the 529 plans can help parents feel confident they’re investing their money in a way that combines tax benefits with multiple options for post-high school education.

In fact, in honor of National 529 Day, ScholarShare’s “You Start It, We Match It” promotion will match a $50 contribution to a new ScholarShare account — now’s the time to sign up if you haven’t already done so! Check out the details here.

What factors do you consider when saving for future college tuition?

This is a sponsored post on behalf of ScholarShare, but all opinions are my own.

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Jeep strollers are no more! If you are not brand-new to the world of strollers, you’d likely heard of the Jeep brand of budget-friendly strollers from joggers to lightweight, umbrella strollers.

I have an especially fond connection with Jeep strollers because I used a Liberty All-Terrain with my son — continual use for an entire four years! I adored that stroller, even though it was a bit heavy and bulky, and had so many fun times using it.

And now, it is time to say goodbye to Jeep. Kolcraft, who has been the parent company of the line, is now branding the same products under a different name. For example, my favorite Jeep Liberty is now the Kolcraft All-Terrain Adventure:

Jeep Liberty Stroller is now the Kolcraft Adventure

I contacted Kolcraft, inquiring about how these strollers are different from the original Jeep products, and they reported that the steering has been improved, materials have been generally upgraded and extras like the iBaby MP3 speakers, which were found on some models, have been removed. The toy steering wheel is no more on this stroller as well. (How my son loved that steering wheel!)

Here’s another comparison with a wildly popular Jeep stroller, the lightweight Cherokee:

Jeep Cherokee Stroller now the Kolcraft Cloud Plus

The Kolcraft version is called the Cloud Plus and it is already selling as well as the former Cherokee. This version has a better sun canopy, as all of the Kolcraft versions do, but minus the side cargo bags. None of the new versions have side bags.

Jeep Wrangler Twin Stroller is now the Kolcraft Cloud Twin

Here’s the Kolcraft version on the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport, a top economy pick for double umbrella strollers. Look at how much better the sun canopy is and it has the exact same roll-away seat padding to reveal breathable mesh sling-style seats. The single umbrella stroller, called the Cloud, is also available.

Near-identical versions of the Jeep Adventurer Jogger and Jeep Overland Fixed-Wheel Jogger are also available as the Kolcraft Sprint X and the Kolcraft Sprint Pro for the fixed wheel.

One thing this is different across the board is that the prices are now a little higher. With a different branding strategy and upgraded canopies and materials, the perceived value is not the same as when these were Jeep products.

Overall, I’m happy that the actual product is still around, even though it is under a different brand and considering not much has really changed. If anything, I like that these strollers are even better!

Have you used Jeep strollers before?
What do you think of this big change going over to Kolcraft? 
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Your kids love riding their bikes, but wearing a helmet? Not so much. These cool helmets for kids will make putting on a helmet the part of their ride that they’re most excited about! Bike helmets have come a long way since the good old fashioned Styrofoam numbers that we had as kids. Now, they’re safer than ever, with technology that keeps their little noggins protected, and they’re cooler than ever, too. They make a few of these styles in adult sizes… don’t be afraid to order one for yourself, Mom!

6 Cool helmets for kids

Cool Bike Helmets for Kids

Top row:

Raskullz Dinosaur Helmet (Amazon, $18)
These are obviously some of the coolest of cool helmets for kids. With spikes, dinosaur faces, and even horns, if your kiddo is a dinosaur-lover, he will rush to put one of these helmets on.

Bern Nina Helmet (Bern Unlimited, $45)
A helmet that will take you from the pavement to the slopes and back again, the Bern Nina has two different liners — one that will keep them cool in summer and one that is fleeced knit to keep them warm in winter.

Segment Jr. Skater Paul Frank Helmet (Bell Helmets, $45)
For the kids who are hitting the ground on boards, instead of bikes, this skater-style bike helmet with the super-cool Paul Frank logo will keep a helmet on his head even when his buddies have ditched theirs.

Bottom row:

Raskullz Unicorn Helmet (Amazon, $19)
Another cool helmet from Raskullz, girls who pretend that their bike is anything but a bike will keep their imagination fueled with this unicorn bike helmet. It’s available in three different colors on Amazon to make sure she has the unicorn of her dreams.

Triple Eight Wipeout Dry Erase Bike Helmet (REI, $25)
We can only imagine what your kids will write on their bike helmets. Directions to Grandma’s? Their friends’ signatures? Your phone number, just to be safe?

Nutcase Watermelon Helmet (Nutcase Helmets, $60)
Making some of the most unique, coolest helmets for babies, kids and adults, Nutcase’s Watermelon Helmet will keep her melon safe and sound. But, beyond looking cool, these helmets are also extremely protective for little heads and designed to be easy to wear.

Are you strict about your kids wearing helmets?
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We’re always big fans of Skip Hop and their functional, yet cute, diaper bags, but we’re having a hard time holding back our excitement about their most recently released collection of diaper bags that offer options for every mom and every adventure.

New Skip Hop diaper bags to check out

Skip Hop 2-in-1 Duet Tote Bag

Skip Hop Duet 2-in-1 Diaper Tote ($130)

This bag is the epitome of Skip Hop — a super functional diaper bag to will hold all of your kiddo must-haves that gets tucked easily inside a super stylish tote bag that you can use when you’re kid-free. It’s the best of both worlds, really. Available in black and taupe.

Skip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag

Skip Hop Forma Backpack Diaper Bag ($70)

There’s a reason why backpack diapers bags are so popular and the new Forma from Skip Hop truly makes carrying a diaper bag hands free. Not only is is much cuter than your average backpack, but they’ve utilized every single square-inch of this bag, so you can pack it full of everything you’ll need for a day out with Baby. Available in black and peacock.

Skip Hop Studio Select Diaper Bag

Skip Hop Studio Select Diaper Bag ($90)

The newest addition to the Skip Hop family, this diaper bag is going to be the one that you’ll still be using for years after your kids are out of diapers! It’s extra-large for carrying all of your own must-haves and whatever your kids need, without being stuffed full. And, it is a great choice for moms who travel often, too! Available in black and pewter.

Skip Hop Grab and Go Stroller Saddlebag

Skip Hop Grab and Go Stroller Saddlebag ($25)

You need to carry a few diaper or feeding essentials, but you don’t want to haul a diaper bag around. The solution? The new Skip Hop Grab and Go Stroller Saddlebag! Attach it easily to your stroller and keep your hands free for pushing, shopping or playing. It even has a cold pouch so that you can bring bottles along or swing by the store for a few groceries on the way home from the park! Available in black.

See what our Savvy Sassy Scouts had to say

We got the new Skip Hop diaper bags into the stylish hands of our Savvy Sassy Product Scouts to give them a real-life test run! Stay tuned throughout the week to see what they have to say…

Skip Hop Forma Backpack on OLeary Love

Amy Gene from O’Leary Love: Skip Hop Forma Diaper Bag

Skip Hop Forma Backpack on The Average Jess

Jessica from The Average Jess: Review: Skip Hop Forma Backpack

Skip Hop Duet Tote on Simply Girly

Krystal from Simply Girly Blog:What’s in my mom summer bag

Skip Hop Review from 22 Crowns

Lana from 22 Crowns: Styled: Skip Hop 2-in-1 Diaper Tote

Skip Hop giveaway: 4 Diaper bags to win

Skip Hop Diaper Bag Giveaway

Enter to win one of the newest diaper bags from Skip Hop.
Four winners total: Duet Diaper Tote in taupe, Duet Diaper Tote in black, Forma Backpack in black and Forma Backpack in peacock.
U.S. residents only, please. Must be 18-years-old or older to enter and win.
Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.
Giveaway ends Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
All entries will be verified before winners are announced.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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The countdown to summer is officially on! We’re just over a month away until the first day of summer is here, but, in most parts of the country, it’s already warm enough to bust out the summer sandals for girls. With bright colors on-trend and pretty styles that are also functional making their place, there is a lot to choose from if your daughter needs a fresh pair for summer.

6 Summer sandals for girls

Countdown to Summer- 6 Best Sandals for Girls


1. Birkenstock Rio Essential Sandals, Nordstrom, $30
Not only are these cool because Birks are in right now, but they are also water-friendly, making them a hot choice for summer.

2. Blue Gladiator Sandals, FabKids, $17 (Editor’s Pick!)
We love the ombre look of these sandals, a popular trend for girls and tweens alike. The back-zip makes them super easy to put on, too.

3. Girls’ Cherokee Fern Crochet Thong Sandals, Target, $18
For something a little more subtle, theses gladiator sandals for girls have a lace detailing, which is very popular this year.

4. Flex Rosalie Sandals, Pediped, $39 (on sale!)
Little ones who need more support will be able to run and play all summer long in these sandals. Grab a pair of these for all of your summer weddings, too!

5. Embellished Leather Thong Sandals, Garnet Hill, $44
Looking for sandals that are easy for her to slip on and off, but aren’t a flip-flop? These are perfect! And, they come in a few floral designs, so she’s sure to find a pair she loves.

6. Silver Tassel Sandals, H&M, $18
Tassels are in, for moms and for girls and at under $20, you won’t care if she’s over the trend by the end of the summer!

What style of sandals do your girls love for summer?
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Spring Style from Appaman

Spring is here, which means it’s finally time to switch out the bulky winter clothing, once and for all, and add in some fresh, new pieces for warmer weather. If you’re looking to update your child’s wardrobe — or you just need to buy some new pieces because he won’t stop growing — Appaman has some great, versatile options. We are loving their mix of whimsical prints with go-to basics your kids will wear again and again.

Spring style favorites from Appaman for girls

Spring Favorites for Girls from Appaman

Reversible Windbreaker, $62
Cat Eye Sunglasses, $18
Chelsea Cardigan, $62
Tennis Dress, $49
Pineapple Romper, $53
Downtown Pants, $40
Wavy Tank, $40

Spring style favorites from Appaman for boys

Spring style favorites from Appaman for boys

Mercer Fedora, $33
Windbreaker, $62
Lobster Tee, $36
Stanton Shorts, $38
Warren Shirt, $51
Reversible Shorts, $40
Curved Slub Henley, $38
Board Shorts, $42
Pilot Sunglasses, $18

Don’t forget a spring coat

Don’t forget the outerwear! Between spring showers and the lingering cool temperatures, a light jacket is a must for your child’s spring wardrobe. We are absolutely loving Appaman’s windbreakers. Not only are they a great design, they’re lightweight and have a zip-out hood.

Appaman Windbreaker for Spring

What are you looking to update in your child’s spring wardrobe?

This post was contributed by Lindsey McPherson who is part of the Savvy Sassy Moms Product Scouts program. You can find more from Lindsey on her blog, The Nashville Mom.

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Avery and Austin Playdate Subscription Box

My kids’ calendars are busier than mine. Between events at their school, extra-curricular activities, sports and playdates, there is rarely any downtime around our house.

Because we are always on the go, we don’t always have enough time for the fun stuff like doing crafts, playing games, or just letting them be kids. When we found ourselves with a rare free afternoon last week, I pulled out the Avery & Austin subscription box and we had the perfect playdate! It was a lovely afternoon filled with nothing but painting, planting, and playtime outside.

Avery and Austin: The Perfect Playdate

The gals at Avery & Austin have thought long and hard about what goes into planning the perfect playdate and they package it up and deliver it, right to your door! Each box is filled with two crafts, two snacks, and even a special treat for moms. It doesn’t get better than that!

Our April box included Go-Go squeeZ applesauce, complete planting supplies to grow organic baby carrots, and painting supplies to decorate garden rocks. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the clay mask and lip balm for me was just the icing on top. Let’s face it, while crafting with kids can be fun, every mom needs a little pampering after painting and playing in the dirt!

Avery and Austin Playdate Subscription Box

I had originally planned to have my oldest (who is almost 8-years-old) complete the activities in the playdate box with her friend, but when the little ones saw all of the goodies it held, they were too excited for me to say no! That’s one thing I loved about it though… the projects were easy enough for my pre-schooler, but detailed enough for my older girls to enjoy them, too.

Avery and Austin Playdates

Avery and Austin Subscription Box

To order your own playdate box, visit the Avery & Austin website. You can purchase one box or sign up for a monthly subscription, which will save you a bit of money. Each month, the crafts and activities are different, so with summer right around the corner, I can’t think of a better time to subscribe. Every mother is sure to hear the dreaded “I’m bored” at some point over the summer, so this could be like your very own secret weapon when you hear those words! 

For Savvy Sassy Moms readers, they are offering a special $15 off discount code to get you started creating the perfect playdate. Just enter SAVVYSASSYMOMS15OFF when you check out. (Code expires July 30, 2015)

Whether you are a mom that wants to have some designated quality-time with your kids or one that wants a way to easily entertain your child with a friend, the Avery & Austin box is sure to provide the perfect playdate!

Avery and Austin: The Perfect Playdate for KidsTo learn more, be sure to follow Avery & Austin on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Want to read more about Avery & Austin? Check out this post from The Nashville Mom!

This post was contributed by The Magnolia Mamas who are part of the Savvy Sassy Mom Product Scouts program.

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Mommy & Me Rain Gear Guide
April showers bring May flowers! We all love that fun little saying, but what most of us don’t love is dealing with all the rain showers to get to those lovely spring flowers.

Being stuck out in the rain with kids in-tow can sometimes be a mess, and oftentimes we give up style for convenience at the first sight of ominous clouds. We’ve all done it. We put on our old trusty reliable yoga pants, our favorite t-shirt or pullover, and throw our just-showered wet hair into a bun because well, it’s just going to get wet anyway.

Gloomy weather doesn’t mean you have to lose your sense of style! From fun trenches to colorful, yet classic, wellies, there are multiple rain gear options to help you to combat those rainy day blahs and still look chic as possible.

We found some of the cutest and brightest rain gear for you and your little ones in our rain gear guide for Spring 2015. This rain gear is sure to make a splash, in a totally dry way of course, and turn even the gloomiest days around.

1. Wippette Blue Ducks Rain Coat, $22 {on sale}
2. Havaianas Yellow & Aqua Rain Boots, $40
3. The Northface Hot Pink Trench, $149
4. Hunter Boots Green Patent Rain Tote, $325
5. Chooka Jungle Green Rain Skimmer, $55
6. Hatley Yellow Submarine Rain Coat, $52
7. Hunter Boots Aqua Rain Boots, $50

The cutest umbrellas for kids

You can’t forget the ultimate rainy day accessory… the umbrella! These adorable and bright options will make any rainy day fun.

8. Pink Anchor Umbrella, $10
9. Yellow Trimmed Bubble Umbrella, $19
10. RainTec Aqua Polka Dot Umbrella, $17

From sprinkles to downpours, what colorful rain gear will you choose to brighten your rainy days?

This post was contributed by The Magnolia Mamas who are part of the Savvy Sassy Mom Product Scouts program.

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If you don’t already have it on your calendar, Wednesday, April 22, is Earth Day.

While there are usually plenty of local, kid-friendly events to attend to honor Earth Day, the day also serves a good opportunity to talk with your kids about how we can do things on a daily basis to nurture the world around us.

Here are 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day with kids, every day.


Recycling pick-up day is a big deal at our house. As soon as my girls hear the beep of the recycling truck backing down our driveway, they beeline to the window to watch the show. This is a great time to talk about where all of those cans, bottles, and flattened cardboard will go after it gets loaded on the truck.

Celebrating Earth Day every day with kids


Type Earth Day into Pinterest and you’ll find a wide variety of earth-themed crafts, coloring pages, and activities to do with your kids. Choose a craft that uses items from around your home and you’ll be honoring the earth in more than one way. I especially love this simple art project using upcycled egg cartons.

Buy organic, locally-sourced foods

Organic farming practices are better for the earth, period. Choose organic over conventional produce, especially when buying these fruits and vegetables.  Shop your local farmers market instead of your grocery store, and buy as much produce in season as possible. Get to know the people who grow your food — introduce your kids to the individuals manning the farmers market booths.

Become a locavore

Shop local, for more than food. Before shopping online or heading to a big box store, visit locally-owned shops. From toy stores to book sellers to boutiques, choosing local businesses helps your town, your neighbors, your economy… your earth.

Bring your bags

My hometown has a ban on plastic bags, and charges a fee if you don’t bring your own. Honestly, at first it was a pain to remember to bring my own bags. But now, even if it weren’t for this mandate, I’d still participate. It’s become a habit, and my 4-year-old loves to carry one the empty bags as a purse as we shop. Reusable bags help keep plastic out of our landfills. Plus, they hold a lot more stuff than the typical plastic grocery bag.

Plant a tree

Whether it is every year on Earth Day, Arbor Day, or some other annual occasion, visit a local nursery with your kids to choose a tree to plant.  Then, get those shovels out and start digging.

Clean up, clean up, everybody let’s clean up

We teach our kids to pick up their toys, tidy up their rooms, and take care of the things they love. The same thing goes for the earth.  If we are on a walk and see litter, we pick it up and thrown it in the trash.  If we are at the beach for a picnic lunch, we leave nothing behind.  If we are on a hike with our dog, we clean up after him.  Everybody does their share, even if it wasn’t a mess that we created.

Grow a garden

You don’t need a lot of space to grown your own vegetables and flowers.  Bigger kids can help plant seeds; little kids can help water.  Plus, what’s better than the thrill of proudly plucking a big bunch of carrots out of the ground?

How to celebrate Earth Day with kids

Read The Lorax (and watch the movie)

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.
There are lots of great kids books honoring the earth, but the Dr. Seuss classic is my favorite, by far.  Start your Earth Day by reading The Lorax, and finish it with a popcorn-and-pajama movie night.

Go outside

Whether it’s an adventure in your own backyard, a simple walk around your neighborhood, or a day hike at a local state park, explore the outdoors, every day. Cherish the beauty and wonder of the world around you, rain or shine.  That means splashing in puddles.  That means crouching down low to examine the tiniest of ants.  That means running through wide open fields of dandelions. Take time to experience the earth through the eyes of your kids, with your kids.

How to celebrate Earth Day with kids

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.  — Wendell Berry

Happy Earth Day, everyone.

This post was contributed by Jessica Spencer who is part of the Savvy Sassy Mom Product Scouts program. You can find more from Jessica on her blog, The Average Jess.

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When we moved in to our home, I marveled at the size of the closets, the garage, the attic storage area. At the time, I thought: how can we ever begin to fill this much space?

Four years and two kids later, we are bursting at the seams.

So, I’m always on the look out for items that can serve a multifunctional purpose, especially when it comes to kids stuff.

The Kids Garden Table by KidKraft ($150), available exclusively at One Step Ahead, does just that.

Here are three ways we’ve been using this awesome, kid-sized version of a classic wooden picnic table:
Art Station

My girls love to draw, color, and paint. This table makes a great little art station. There’s plenty of space for both kids to work, and it has a nice, flat surface. The best part? The top easily lifts up to store all of the art supplies inside. It is light enough for my 4-year-old to lift on her own, giving her independent access to all of her crafty things. But, there’s a little chain to hook and secure the top too, should I want to block a certain 1-year-old who likes to experiment with markers on walls from reaching in to snatch a pen. 

KidKraft Garden Table art station

KidKraft garden table art station

One Step Ahead Kids Garden Table


One inexpensive 50-lb bag of playground sand was enough to turn the inside of this table into a mini-beach. I put the table outside and the girls each took a bench, with plenty of room to build sand castles and find buried treasures. I love that this sandbox is off the ground, can be easily covered to keep out critters and leaves, and is light enough to move around the backyard (into and out of the sunshine, depending on the day).

Kids Garden Table Sandbox
One Step Ahead Kids Garden Table
KidKraft garden table sandbox
Picnic spot

When it’s time to take a break from the sandbox, add back the top and you’ve got yourself a little person lunch spot, al fresco. We have had some rare sunny spring days here in the Pacific Northwest, but I’m thinking it’d also be fun to take this table back indoors for a little living room picnic, when the rain returns.

Kids Garden Table from One Step Ahead

A great little table for those great little people in your life, and for moms looking for something that will work for both indoor and outdoor fun.

Side note: My heart skipped a beat when I saw the box that this arrived in (I have an aversion to assembling furniture). But, I was delighted to see extremely detailed instructions, with all parts and pieces were clearly labeled. It took me less than an hour to put together on my own. Easy to assemble and multifunctional?  That’s a big win.

The Kids Garden Table by KidKraft is available exclusively from OneStepAhead.

This post was contributed by Jessica Spencer who is part of the Savvy Sassy Mom Product Scouts program. You can find more from Jessica on her blog, The Average Jess.

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