Category : Kids

As we edge closer and closer to cold temperatures, a fight arises in my house. Often, before school, I will notice my daughters scamper past me, without saying goodbye other than yelling across the hall. After school, I realize this is because both of my girls have forgone a jacket.

Aritzia Parkas 2016

Photo by She Inspires Me Photography

Now, while I don’t think there is anything more chic than staying warm in the winter, my daughters could not be more embarrassed to wear a jacket to school. Throughout my day, I am constantly worrying whether my girls are wearing their jackets outdoors, and if they are, if those jackets are even zipped up. As the resident veteran mom at Savvy Sassy Moms, I now know that my girls are never without their jackets if they are able to shop for, select, and love their jackets.

As avid Aritzia shoppers, it was no surprise that my girls have chosen Aritzia winter coats, time and time again. My oldest, now 19, still wears the parka she bought from Aritzia in 2010. Not only are these coats timeless and warm, they are most definitely cool by my girls’ standards, as well as my own. They love shopping at Aritzia and I do too (but don’t tell my girls that).

This year, my 17-year-old daughter and her friends took their jackets out on the road. I am grateful to note that the girls are warm, comfortable and fashionable. These coats will stand the test of time and continue to be worn throughout the fall and winter months.

Photo by She Inspires Me Photography

Photo by She Inspires Me Photography

The sales team always asks my girls about what they are looking for and selects merchandise that is geared towards their specifications. Aritzia’s team is stylish and extremely dedicated to the individuality and style of the client and well versed in their products.

Here, Mia and her friends are ready for any outdoor adventure they choose to take on, bundled in their Aritzia coats. These jackets will allow them to explore all throughout the day, until the sun comes down. Aritzia has always been a staple in our home, and while kids continue to grow and mature, Aritzia has grown with them, outfitting them in essential basic pieces from middle school to adulthood with pieces that moms can wear, too.


Aritzia Winter 2016

Photo by She Inspires Me Photography

Aritzia parkas, available online and in stores

From left to right:

Golden by TNA Oslo Parka in Ice White, $395
Community Autonomy Parka in Dark Shadow + Total Eclipse $325


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Where will your children be wearing their parkas?
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We have all noticed that it  has been getting darker earlier, which means that the seasons are changing and the days are getting shorter. This weekend, we will be changing the clocks back an hour for daylight savings time… and, we will all be losing a precious hour of sleep. If your kids are young, you are likely dreading this change because we all know that even the smallest change can throw off your child’s entire sleep routine. A change in their sleep routine likely means a change in yours, and that is never good (unless by some miracle they are sleeping in). We have some tips and tricks to get you through the time change this fall.

Daylight Savings Time Tips and Tricks
Tip #1: Start early

Give yourself and your child time to adjust to the change. Instead of pretending that the time change won’t affect your little ones sleep, start preparing by putting your child to bed 15-minutes earlier each night for a couple of nights before the time change. If your child goes to sleep at 7:30, start by putting them to bed at 7:15 and then 7:00 and so on. If your child needs two nights per 15-minute change, then ease into it over the course of a week. If your child is still napping, don’t forget to change the timing of the naps while you transition, as well!

Tip #2: Routines are key

If you don’t know by now, I am all about a bedtime routine. While you start to transition make sure to keep your bed time routine consistent. We all slip a little on the bedtime routine from time to time, but this not the weekend to do it! Start with a warm bath, read a book, have a snuggle and then off to sleep.

Tip #3: Don’t forget the mornings

You might be so focused on getting your child to bed at night, that you may not have given thought to the morning! Try and keep your mornings consistent as well. Encourage you child to stay and play in their room, or leave your little ones in the crib for a bit if they wake up early. If you use a clock that communicates to your child that it is the night time or the morning, don’t forget to the change the time on the clock.

Tip #4: Take care of you!

We have a way of ignoring the clock and telling ourselves that it’s still the old time! Instead of deluding yourself, pay attention to the clock and go to bed at a reasonable time. You never know when the little ones will start calling for you, so you better be well rested!

Tip #5: No plan is perfect

Remember: We are all human! This means that no matter how much you plan, no one likes change, not even moms. Be patient, take a deep breathe and remember, that in a week or two, you won’t even remember that you turned the clocks back. Expect an extra temper tantrum here or there or some other unwanted behaviors and try not to misdirect any blame. The only one to blame here is Mother Nature!

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This post is sponsored by Ergo for BabyCenter.

There is nothing sweeter than having a baby. Once your newborn has arrived, you tell yourself that you are never going to put her down and you take in every breath of your new baby, loving her scent and having her so close to you. But as they days and weeks go on, you begin to think about what you’re missing… your arms! They used to be able to do so much and with a new baby, you need them back more than ever to do all the laundry, make meals and everything in between!

A few short weeks after my son was born, I knew that it was time to investigate carriers. At the beginning, I just wanted to write some thank you cards while he slept on me. I didn’t want to lose having him so close to me all the time because I knew that I would blink and he wouldn’t be a baby anymore. Finding a carrier that didn’t leave me recovering with back pain for days after wearing it was a challenge… until I tried on an Ergo carrier.

I quickly fell in love with the Ergo360 and have never turned back. I am not the kind of person who likes to stay home — I am always on the go and having two kids has made me even busier. What started as a sweet boy who wanted to be held all the time, turned into a sweet busy boy who wanted to be in the middle of the action (just like his mom) and be on my hip all the time. Now he has a sister who is exactly the same! We love to travel and my separation anxiety is worse than the kids, so I like to bring them with me! Here are some of my favorite places to wear my Ergo.


In the air

A screaming baby on a plane is no fun for anyone. Some babies hate the airplane, while others love it. Both of my kids loved being in the Ergo on the plane. I always try to book my travel around nap times because, let’s be honest, the more time you knock out on the plane by sleeping, the better!  Before I get on the plane, I put my daughter in the carrier in the front-inward carry and before I know it she is out like a light, making the boarding process easy. The support of the carrier ensures that my back is supported and that she is support as well so that we are both as comfortable as can be. Not to mention, there are times when I have traveled alone with one or both kids. Travelling alone, with a stroller, luggage, diaper bag, toys, car seat — you get the picture — is no easy feat! Less is more, and I need my hands, so the Ergo is a must.

Of course, the Ergo is not approved for use during take-off and landing, so make sure you are getting your sleepy little ones out of their carriers during those times to be as safe as possible when you travel.


On the land

From Florida to Arizona to Boston or to Mexico, wherever my travels take me, my daughter is right there with me getting the best view around! Instead of pushing her in the stroller, both she and I like it when she is worn in the front-outward carry to take it all in. One of my favorite places to wear her is on a beach in the hot sand. Walking with her with the sun on my face and the smell of the ocean is a feeling to cherish forever!


On the water

I look forward to summer trips to the cottage country every year. Parking the car and travelling by boat gives you that feeling of being detached from the rest of the world for a bit! While I love the wind blowing my hair all over the place, I always make sure Addison is comfortable and snug in the carrier at we board the boat. I put the hood up to keep her head in place and protect her from sun and blowing wind.



Wherever life takes us, my carrier is just a reach away. Whether it be to the mall, apple picking in the fall, walks through the ravine in the winter or to an amusement park in the summer, one of my kids are bound to be in the carrier! As they get bigger, I wear them in the hip carry just as I would without the carrier.

Where do you baby wear?

This post is sponsored by Ergo in partnership with BabyCenter. All opinions are my own.

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If you give a mouse a brownie (1)

As educators, we are always keeping up to date with the best books for our kids. There is nothing we love more than a trip to the bookstore to see the newest picture books on the shelves, then bringing them home to read to our children.

Oldies, but goodies

There are some books that we read to our kids that are just as good as when we heard them when we were children! I remember listening to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie over and over again. The story always sparked my imagination and encouraged it to run wild. Reading this book to my own children, years later, does the same thing and I love watching my kids guess what Mouse will want next! While Jonah is only 4-years-old, we have read the book countless times because when we finish reading the book, he always asks me to read it again. My kids are huge fans of the series and are no stranger to all of the characters: Dog, Moose, Pig and Cat.

When we put our teacher hats, this book brings forth classroom activities that stimulate language, mathematic skills and sensory-motor activities. I have used this book to bring families into the classroom as part of my school outreach program. Parents and children always see to get something out of this series and, of course, the children want to hear the stories again and again.

New release

We were thrilled to hear about the release of the newest addition to the series, If You Give a Mouse a BrownieMouse is back in this delicious new story in the #1 New York Times bestselling “If You Give” series, which has sold over 14 million copies, from author and illustrator duo Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. This book is also the first one to feature Mouse in 14 years, which we couldn’t be more excited about! With its rhythmic text and circular tale, If You Give a Mouse a Brownie is perfect for beginning readers and story time for both my children. As we read the book over and over again, they are able to use the beautiful pictures to help them predict what will happen next.If you give a mouse a brownie

Books aren’t just for bedtime

Reading books is one of the best ways to interact with your children, but when you can take it to the next level of interaction, your kids really love a book. When the word “brownie” is in the title, you can just guess what’s coming next! After reading the newest addition to the series, we were in the kitchen in no time, mixing up our own batch of delicious brownies! Books bring families together and the list of benefits of reading to your children goes on and on.

If you haven’t read any of the books in the “If You Give” series, you are missing out! If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a must, and as of October 18th, you can purchase If You Give a Mouse a Brownie to add to your collection.

We love the series so much that we will be giving away a copy of both books on the Savvy Sassy Moms Instagram account, along with a $50 Visa card for you and a friend to help build your library! Thanks to Harper Collins for sending us a copy of the books and providing the prize pack for the winners. Enter now by clicking on the image below.

If You Give a Mouse a Brownie Instagram Giveaway

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Everyone at this time of year is in back-to-school mode, including us doctors. While the house might be quieter during the day, I can tell you that both my office and emergency rooms across the country reflect what has come to be known as the “Week 38 Phenomenon.”

Asthma Flare Ups

Research has shown that hospitals see a sudden spike in emergency room visits for both children and adults who suffer from asthma in mid-September and the beginning of October, just where we are right now in the calendar, sees this flurry in flares. Why? There are a number of reasons why. Among them, viral respiratory infections begin to rise and kids in close contact at school spread these viral infections from one to another… then kids bring the infections home to their adults. In addition, there are also allergens in the air and children are exposed to children who may bring allergens on their clothing from home, such as cat allergen, dog allergen and the like.

Asthma  affects millions of kids and many do not have control of their asthma.  It is the number one emergency room visit for kids. About 25 percent of all children’s asthma hospitalizations are known to occur in the five week period after kids go back to school. Often over the summer, kids can become complacent about taking their asthma medication. Couple that with close crowding, virus transmission and allergens to create what many have called the perfect storm for an asthma flare.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a two-component disease. Many of the symptoms of cough, wheezing and shortness of breath are caused by narrowing or constriction of the bronchial breathing tubes that happens when the muscles around the airways becomes tight. Then, the airway lining can become swollen and inflamed leading to mucous production. This too narrows the airway.

Asthma triggers include air pollution pollen, certain foods, spray-on deodorants, perfumes, dust, exercise, tobacco, smoke, mold and pets.

Some of the signs that asthma is flaring includes the need of more reliever medication, a cough, nausea or light headedness, and difficulty in sleeping. The 30-second asthma test can identify whether or not you might be having a flare. This is a test developed by GSK that has been validated.

I think my child is having an asthma flare-up

Treatment of asthma is designed to reduce the inflammation on an ongoing basis with the use of inhaled steroid medication. This preventive medication is critical to ongoing control of asthma. Dilators can be long acting or short acting. There are many medications on the market to control asthma.

As a parent, it is important to make sure your child is taking their medication regularly. Often when a child feels better, they stop taking the medication. Your child’s teacher should be informed about management of asthma for your child including the use of rescue medication should they have a flare. Make sure you talk to your child about the importance of hand washing. Education for all is important.

Dr. Marla Shapiro is a family doctor and a specialist in preventive medicine and community health. Don’t miss her tips on how to prevent your kids from getting the common skin condition, molluscum contagiosum.

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Moving, in general, can be the best/worst experience. There’s the packing and the purging and the tape… so much tape. But, on the other side, you also get a new house and new spaces to decorate, which is worth the rest of it. I think I could be considered a chronic mover. In my eight years of marriage, we’ve moved eight times. And I won’t go into how many times I moved growing up. So basically, moving and me are besties.

Recently, my family moved into a new house. This move was a bit different because I had two kids that were old enough to know what was going on. Even having moved so many times, this move felt like a completely new experience as I navigated packing, purging, physically moving our stuff and settling down with two child “assistants.” I made some mistakes and I had some sweet victories. Here’s my best advice for moving with kids.

6 Tips for Moving with Kids

1. Make a “priority box” and put the wine glasses in it

This is my no. 1 tip to anyone moving. Take a box and write Open First on it. Then, throw anything in there that you have to have within 24 hours of moving. Now you know where all those important odds and ends are. Mine had some paperwork, my computer charger, extra sippy cups, dark chocolate M&Ms and wine glasses in it. Oh, and don’t forget the corkscrew. That’s an amateur mistake.

2. Buy more boxes than you think you’ll need

I went back to the box store four times during this move. Kids have a lot of stuff. They hide it away in the deep dark crevices of the closet and you don’t realize how much there is until you start packing it. Toys are big and oddly shaped so they take up a lot of room in boxes. And don’t get me started on my shoe collection. I actually mislabeled some of the boxes so my husband wouldn’t realize how many there were. Which brings me to my next tip…

3. Pack while your husband isn’t home

If you’re like me, you may actually own way more stuff than your husband does. He doesn’t need to know that you have a collection of 17 cake stands or that you enjoy hoarding party supplies in the spare bedroom closet. Pack that stuff when he isn’t home. What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him… or you.

4. Hire movers

I know what you’re thinking, “That’s just extra expense.” Just wrap it into the cost of having children. They don’t really need to go to college anyway. If you have kids, you’re officially too old to ask your friends to help you move in exchange for pizza and beer. Do you want to help people move? Probably not. Don’t do that to your friends. Also, it’s really hard to juggle watching and entertaining the kids while carrying a king size bed up the stairs.

6 tips for moving with kids

5. Don’t let the kids in on your craziness

This is actually a serious one. Moving can bring on stress and anxiety. If your kids pick up on it, they may feel sad or nervous about the change. I wanted my kids to be excited about the new house instead of sad about leaving the old one. We let them pick out new bedding for their rooms and talk about what colors to paint the walls. My son, who is a little older, loved feeling like a part of the process.

6. If at all possible, find something for the kids to do on move day

Kids watching all of their belongings being broken down and moved is a little tough on them. My daughter cried every time she saw a piece of furniture or box leave the house. She’s only 2-years-old and she didn’t understand that they were literally just moving it into a different house. She basically thought someone was stealing all of our stuff. It was miserable. If at all possible, have the kids go somewhere else during the actual move — school, grandma’s, a friend’s. Even if they don’t get emotional, you’re going to have enough to deal with on move day.

At the end of the day, everyone will survive the move. There may be some tears shed and a few broken dishes, but as long as everyone gets to come home to the same house that night, I’ll call it a victory.

Have you had the joy of moving with kids? Was it stressful or was it a breeze?

This post was contributed by Lindsey McPherson, owner of The Nashville Mom. You can find more from Lindsey on Instagram.

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ABC Kids 2016

Follow us for the ABC Kids Expo 2016

It’s that time of year again!

The Savvy Sassy Moms team is at the ABC Kids Expo 2016 and we’ll be live on social media all week to bring you the hottest trends, new releases and coolest products in the world of baby gear and products for kids.

Make sure you’re following along on Instagram, where we’ll be hosting flash giveaways, live from the expo floor, as well as on Facebook, where we’ll be hosting live coverage straight from the booths of some of your favorite brands.

And, don’t forget to check back on November 1st when we’ll be featuring some of our favorites in a fun ABC Kids Expo 2016 giveaway!

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As you get back into the swing of things and the excitement of the new school year begins to calm, the requests for extra-curricular activities begin to roll in. How do you know how much is too much, when signing up for extra-curricular activities? How can you tell where their talents lay?

Over Scheduling Your Kids

Let your children take the lead

If your children are asking for specific programs, let them lead the way. Don’t push them into your favorites… you should probably wait for them to signal their own readiness to try something new. I always thought that my daughter would be a terrific ballerina, but when she got to the dance studio, decked out in her adorable ballet outfit, she always sat on the sides — she really didn’t want to be there, nor did she feel comfortable.

If you see that your child is talented in a specific area, hone in on it. And if you see your child kicking and screaming at even the mention of going to a certain program, it is probably best to veer away. With that said, sometimes it’s the program that isn’t the best fit, not the activity. Last year, I took my son to skating and each week was a fight. He is so determined to play hockey, so I had to give skating lessons another try. This year, we tried a different skating school and he is a different kid! He looks forward to going every week and we can already see the improvement in his skills. Every program and teacher is different, so look at all of the variable before throwing in the towel.

After school doesn’t mean academic-free

If you see your child struggling in a certain subject at school, like math, it is probably best to include that as an extracurricular. Although it may be a war every week to get them to go, it will probably be worthwhile in the end. It’s also nice to sign them up for something they like alongside an extracurricular they don’t exactly enjoy, in order to balance things out.

Signs Your Child is Ready for Extra-Curricular Activities
Narrow it down

Give choices to your children. They won’t be able to do every program out there — with so many leagues, lessons and activities to choose from the choices are endless and trying too many activities might lead to failure. If your child is in kindergarten, you will be the one making most of the choices. Choose based on your child’s interest, listen to what they are saying they want to participate in as well as what you feel they will be good at and find a happy medium! Many programs have a trail class — take advantage of them to see if it’s the right fit for your child. If your child is older, they may feel overwhelmed with the conversations going on at school and all of the exciting options, which may make it hard for them to choose what to participate in without over-doing it. With that said, many programs are seasonal, so sign up for a session this fall and try something new in the winter!

Remember, it is also important to have quality time with your children. Children of today can often be seen talking about their busy itineraries and full schedules after school. Play still plays an important role in your child’s ability to foster relationships and understand how the world works around them. Some children need to be in a variety of programs to foster their needs and talents, but remember every child is different! Programs can instill skills that your child will have for life and may hone in on in their life later on.

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When I think back to Halloween when I was a kid, the first memory that comes to mind is pumpkin carving with my dad. We knew Halloween was close when my dad would spread a big garbage bag on the counter and invite us to get elbow deep in pumpkin seeds. It was the one night of the year where it was OK to make the kitchen messy (even though my mom trained us to keep it all on the garbage bag) and have some slimy, gooey fun! Together with my siblings, we decided what shape we wanted the eyes, nose and mouth to be and gave my dad specific direction on where to cut. As the years have gone on, and I now have children of my own, the tradition lives on.

Choosing the pumpkin

Halloween Tips for Parents

Picking the pumpkin is half the fun. In my own little family, we have extended the tradition by going to the pumpkin patch every October to pick the perfect pumpkins. When picking your pumpkin, look at all sides to see if one area of the pumpkin is just right for carving. Try to plan out what you will carve ahead of time so you know whether to pick a taller or wider pumpkin. In our house, we get a pumpkin for each child so that they can each choose what will be carved on their own pumpkins.

The art of carving a pumpkin

As you walk or drive through your neighborhood, don’t be discouraged about the detailed jack o’lanterns that you think you are not creative enough to make. I’m here to tell you that carving a pumpkin involves much less skill than you think! The most important part of the pumpkin carving process is the tools. Do yourself a favor and don’t even attempt to carve a pumpkin without a double-sided serrated knife. You’ve probably seen them sold in a set around this time of year. It will make it all so much easier! Here’s what you need to know:

How to carve a pumpkin with kids

  1. Once you have picked your pumpkin, cut off the crown of the pumpkin.
  2. With a big spoon, or a pumpkin scooper, remove all of the goodies inside. Note: Save the pumpkin seed and bake them later for a yummy snack!
  3. Once your pumpkin is clean, draw on the outside of your pumpkin with a dark colored marker so you know exactly where (and where not!) to cut. For your pumpkin faces and Halloween themed designs click for free printable stencils. Pumpkins don’t have to have to be Halloween themed, after all, doesn’t a pumpkin scream ‘Happy Halloween’ all on its own? Head over to Pumpkin Pile for pumpkin carving stencils of everything you can think of from Elmo to Superman and everything in between!
  4. Once you are done, put a candle inside and you are ready for your neighbors to come a knockin’!

Pumpkin carving with stencils

Wanna ditch the knife all together? Try painting on your pumpkin. You can paint silly faces on them, turn them into a character or just simply put a pretty design on them like chevron or polka dots. Spruce up your pumpkin with a Halloween decorating kit or become resourceful and borrow some of Mr. Potato Heads parts! Tattoos aren’t just for people… try some pumpkin tattoos for a quick and easy pumpkin transformation.

Last year, I carved Superman and a Ninja Turtle for our pumpkins and the year before Mickey and Minnie welcome our little trick or treaters! Follow us on Instagram and Snapchat to see what my children request this year.

What are you carving this Halloween?
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Have you ever had “that feeling?” The one that just doesn’t sit very well when you see your child struggling to learn something new. You try to listen to the comments of others, “Don’t worry, it’s a boy thing!” “Remember, he is a December baby,” “I’m sure he will grow out of it,” but you know both in your head and in your heart, that something just isn’t right.  Trust your instincts! You are probably beginning to realize that your child learns differently.

Learning Disabilities: Trust Your Instincts, Parents

If you believe that your child is struggling, it is important to consult with your family doctor or pediatrician to rule out other medical issues that may be related to hearing or vision. Research shows that the early years (ages 3-6) set the base for competence and coping skills that will affect learning, behavior and health throughout one’s life (McCain, Mustard and Shanker 2007).  This then suggests that early intervention is critical in order for children to receive the necessary services and supports they need for growth and development.

What is a learning disability?

A learning disability is neurological dysfunction, which interferes with the brain’s capacity to process information in the conventional manner and may co-exist with other conditions, including attention, behavioral and emotional disorders, sensory impairments or other medical conditions. Learning disabilities can take many forms, vary in severity and intensity that can affect how a person interprets, remembers, understands and expresses information. A learning disability is not a problem with intelligence or motivation; their brains are simply wired differently. Learning disabilities may affect academic performance (e.g., spelling, reading, listening, focusing, remembering and writing), social functioning, life skills (e.g., planning, organizing, predicting), and physical interaction with the world (e.g., balance, coordination, movement).

We know that learning is a lifelong process and children with LD can learn if given have the right skills and environments to support them.  Some of these include ensuring your child receives:

  • Consistent discipline
  • Regular patterns
  • Positive praise and encouragement
  • A safe environment in which to practice social skills
  • An opportunity for role play to prepare for new activities
  • Supportive academic environments that accommodate and builds on your child’s areas of strengths and needs.

Most importantly, trust your instincts when it comes to your children. If you suspect that there is something to be worried about, consult your family doctor or pediatrician to explore the next steps to take. You’ll be so glad you did — for your own sake and the sake of your child.

This post was contributed by Janet Arnold. You can find more from Janet at Finding Solutions.

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