What’s Cool in Back to School

Send the kids back-to-school in style with backpacks, school supplies & desk accessories, teacher gifts & more.

Here are a few of Lillian Vernon’s top selling back to school goodies. (Make sure you check our Lillian Vernon Coupons Page before you buy for a coupon code that will grant you free shipping on $40 or more.)

Textured Dino Stencils
Textured Dino Stencils
Price: $12.99
The Jurassic period is brought back to life with a #2 pencil, three non-roll-crayons and four awesome dinosaur stencil/rubbing plates. Comes with easy directions to create dramatic scenes when the dinosaurs roamed and you can bring your own imagination along! Includes eraser. Ages 5+.

Personalized Pencil Case - Fairies
Personalized Pencil Case – Fairies
Price: $7.98
These 8 12″ x 3″ nylon rectangular cases have embroidered appliques, wipe-clean lining, and personalized name. Ages 4+. Made in USA. Specify name up to 12 characters.

Dr. Kong Blue Green Backpack
Dr. Kong Blue Green Backpack
Price: $59.98
You can help protect your child’s back and spine with this ergonomically designed backpack found only at Lillian Vernon. This pain-preventing backpack totes the heaviest amount of books and eliminates pressure on the lower back and spine. The Secret:
* Bio-Gel padded and honeycomb shock absorption lined straps that reduce impact on muscles.
* Waist belt that transfers weight from your child’s back to the pelvis
* Generously plumped pads reduce impact on either side of your child’s spine
* This wise investment features double-zip main and middle sections with inner pockets and elastic security strap, zip front pocket, schedule pocket, 2 elastic-top mesh side pockets, rubberized carry handle, and hanging loop. Sturdy 80% nylon/ 20% polyester construction stands up to rugged everyday use; wipe clean. 5 1/2″ x 11 3/4″ x 18 1/8″ L

Surf Monkey Notebook & Matching Pencil Set
Surf Monkey Notebook & Matching Pencil Set
Price: $9.98
Set includes everything you need to takegreat notes three 8 14″ x 10 12″ single-subject spiral notebooks, and12 coordinating #2 hardwood pencils! Notebooks have 70 sheets ofstandard-rule paper and a customized name. Made in the USA. Specify up to 20 characters.

(Make sure you check our Lillian Vernon Coupons Page for a coupon code that will grant you free shipping on $40 or more.)



Things We Love – “Read to Feed” from Heifer International


Heifer International, the global hunger and poverty charity, has a fun and fulfilling way for teachers to enliven their class’s reading efforts this school year. Read to Feed is a powerful reading incentive program that also fosters in children a passion for helping others.

In Read to Feed, children (individually or as a group) get sponsors for each book they read during their challenge period. At the end of the program, the group pools its funds and decides which animals to donate through Heifer International, to help other families move from hunger to self-reliance.

The Read to Feed program can be customized for any classroom, and the resources in the Read to Feed kit make the program easy for class leaders.

Heifer International’s animal gifts are fun, but they’re also powerful instruments in the struggle against hunger. Animals provide nutrition for malnourished families, and their excess products (eggs, milk, wool, etc.) can be sold for money to pay for school, medicine and other expenses. When they reproduce, their offspring will be passed on to another needy family. With the gift of an animal, any student can be part of the solution to hunger and poverty.

Just like adults, kids discover new enthusiasm for their efforts when they know they’re making a difference to others. Raising the money for an animal gift is an accomplishment children can be proud of. Many classes that participate in Read to Feed report that children get more excited about reading when they are working toward the goal of a Heifer International animal.

To learn more or to order the Read to Feed kit, email volunteer@heifer.org or call 877-275-READ (7323). The Read to Feed materials can also be downloaded at www.readtofeed.org.

About Heifer International:
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. Since 1944, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in 40 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant. For more information, visit
www.heifer.org or call 1-800-696-1918.

Things We Love – 3 Neat Things for Busy Youngsters

Here are a few fun product finds for busy, busy kids…

Tube Toys
Tube Toys
These imagination-driven, push-along toys take green vehicles to a smaller level. The smartly designed car, fire truck, tractor and train engine are made from recyclable and earth-friendly materials. Their convertible packaging transforms into the toy itself, reducing waste to a single piece of recyclable paper. Little road warriors will have fun assembling their new wheels and applying the included stickers, and can play with them as-is or add their own decorative flair.
Available online from Uncommon Goods (Uncommon Goods discounts, deals, and specials are here.)

Kidco Go-Pod Portable Activity Seat
Kidco Go-Pod Portable Activity Seat
The GoPod is an ultra lightweight portable activity seat developed as an alternative to bulky stationary activity centers. Its one-of-a-kind ‘mobility design’ makes it a must have for in-home or travel needs. As living spaces are getting smaller and lives are busier the GoPod sets the standards for both worlds perfectly. Simply fold and go! Type: Activity Centers Age: Infant Gender: Unisex Color: Sorbet Color Mapping: Green
Available from Newegg.com. 

Schoenhut Musician Bundle (Piano, Drums, Guitar)
Schoenhut Musician Bundle (Piano, Drums, Guitar)
This 3 piece bundle by Schoenhut features an Acoustic 6-String Guitar, 5-Piece Drum Set, and 25-Key Traditional Spinet Piano. This is a bundle your little musician is sure to love!
Available online from BabyAge.com. Get BabyAge coupons here.


Free Online Yoga Classes for Moms

Let’s face it – we all have busy days, and sometimes fitness falls by the wayside. This is even truer for moms, who often take care of everyone in the family, often at the expense of fitness and “me time.” But this doesn’t need to be the case!

CafeMom Studios is excited to offer the new series, “CafeMom Yoga Studio,” providing yoga workouts designed just for moms! With just 20 minutes a day, moms can bring some fitness AND much needed relaxation into their lives.

Certified yoga instructor and mom of two, Jennifer Pettit, has constructed three 20-minute yoga workouts. The workouts are designed to help moms build strength, flexibility and balance and offer modifications on postures for beginners. These videos make working out at home simple and relaxing.

· Strength –This video is designed to strengthen the power of your body and your mind, helping moms feel empowered by their own strength:

· Balance – Practice this exercise every day to feel grounded, focused and strong:

· Flexibility – This workout is designed to open the gateway of the shoulder and hips, areas of our bodies that as mothers tend to get especially tight:

You can view and subscribe to “CafeMom Yoga Studio” by visiting http://www.youtube.com/user/CafeMomStudios/.

Free Subscription to American Baby Magazine

Free Subscription to American Baby Magazine

Get your free subscription to American Baby Magazine when you click through this link.

(While supplies last)

Things We Love – GLOSSYBOX

Do you love getting new beauty freebies and goodies to try? Then you’ll love GLOSSYBOX.

Available in 18 countries, GLOSSYBOX is the largest beauty subscription service in the world. Once you register, you simply answer a series of questions in order to create your unique beauty profile. Based on this information, you’ll receive a carefully created box each month, featuring beauty products and samples that are chosen to fit your needs precisely.

The beauty samples are packaged in luxurious gift boxes, so you’ll always love seeing your monthly package and digging in to find at least five products. And you’ll get the chance to provide feedback, if you wish, by rating the products. This will help the folks at GLOSSYBOX better tailor your next package.

GLOSSYBOX also offers a loyalty program called GLOSSYDots. You’ll get 20 dots for each product review. Once a member has accumulated 1,000 dots, you’ll receive a complimentary box.

GLOSSYBOX is a great gift idea for yourself – or for anyone who loves to play around with new cosmetics and other beauty products.

Learn more >

This post contains affiliate links.

Gourmet Baby & Toddler Recipes

Mexi Veggie Chile Stew

Tiniest Gourmet – Recipes for Babies and Toddlers
A guest post from Cheryl Tallman, www.FreshBaby.com

Mexi-Veggie Chile Stew

This terrific vegetable stew is made with popular Mexican vegetables and a hint of green chiles. Green chiles are the perfect “first” chile pepper to introduce. They have a gentle, mild flavor. While you can puree this recipe to a smooth texture, it’s perfect as a stage 3 food with a slightly chunky texture.

2 medium zucchini, diced

1/2 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)

1 ear corn, kernels cut off cob (or 3/4 cup frozen corn)

1 Tbsp. canned green chiles

1/4 cup water

Place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and turn heat down to medium. Cook for 15 minutes.

Pour the vegetable stew into a blender or food processor and pulse to chunky texture. Spoon the Mexi-Veggie Chile Stew into So Easy Storage Trays, Cover and Freeze.

When ready to serve, defrost and warm up the cubes. This stew is a delicious vegetable dish. You can also add cooked brown rice or fork-mashed black beans to it before serving.

Toddler Treat: Empanadas

Street food is popular throughout the cities of Mexico. Food vendors sell tacos, tamales and empanadas. Empanadas are small pastries stuffed with sweet or savory fillings. In Mexico, sweet fillings in empanadas are the most popular. We cut our empanadas pastry into 4 ½-inch circles to make a smaller empanada that is perfect for tiny hands to enjoy.

Banana & Chocolate Filling:

1 banana, diced

1/4 cup chocolate chips

Juice of 1/4 lemon

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Powdered sugar

Combine banana, chocolate chips, lemon juice and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside

Cheese & Olive Filling:

2 ounces Colby-jack cheese, diced

1 Tbsp. small green olives stuffed with pimentos, sliced

1 Tsp. cilantro, chopped

Combine cheese, olives and cilantro in a small bowl. Set aside.



Empanada filling (recipes above)

1 sheet of puff pastry

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out puff pastry into a thin layer on a lightly floured surface. Using a 4-5 inch circle cookie cutter, cut pastry into 8 rounds.

Place about 1 Tablespoon of empanada mixture in the middle of one of the pastry rounds. Brush the edges with water and fold in half. Press edges with a fork to seal the edges. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the pastry rounds and filling.

Bake the empanadas for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Dust the Banana and Chocolate Empanadas with powdered sugar when slightly cooled.

About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food and the new book So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years. Visit Cheryl online at www.FreshBaby.com for more delicious tips.

Learn more about Cheryl’s work:

So Easy Baby Food Kit: Make It Natural, Make It Fresh.
So Easy Baby Food Kit: Make It Natural, Make It Fresh.
Price: $23.85
An award-winning, all-inclusive solution for making baby food in less than 30 minutes per week. The month-by-month Cookbooks uses fresh ingredients with no additives. Kit includes a cookbook, freezer trays, how-to video, and nutrition card, and pays for itself in just three weeks compared to jarred baby food.

So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week
So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week
Price: $8.95
Baby Food Cookbook including recipes and instruction for making stage 1, 2, and 3 baby foods. This book also includes the basics of introducing solid foods and developing healthy eating habits. Available in English and Spanish.

So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips & Simple Receipes for the Toddler Years
So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips & Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years
Price: $8.95
When it comes to eating, toddlers can be tough to please. So Easy Toddler Food is the perfect resource for parents looking for survival tips and 35 simple recipes that will win over even the pickiest toddler. Available in English and Spanish.

Things We Love – Bloom Fresco Highchair

bloom fresco High Chair - Lunar Silver
Bloom fresco High Chair

Bloom’s European design team created the fresco bloom high chair to provide families with a feeding and resting chair for baby that reflects today’s concepts of living and dining space.

More than just cool, the Fresco Chair from bloom is an infant recliner, highchair and toddler seat, all rolled into one.

The seat reclines fully, making it a cozy and secure sleeping pod for little ones over three months. It makes the perfect highchair, whether with a tray or for up-to-the-table feeding, with an ingenious 360-degree swivel for easy accessibility.

Then, as your child gets older, remove the tray and center bar and it becomes a stylish, just-my-size toddler chair.

One great chair – three different functions!

All Bloom Products Are:
Heavy metal-free
AZO dye free

Available online from BabyEarth.com, in a variety of gorgeous colors.