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Brand Spotlight: Headbands of Hope

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Today we are talking with Jess Ekstro, who in 2012 launched Headbands of Hope, an inspirational company crafting handmade headbands and buffs. For every headband sold, Headbands of Hope will donate $1 to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research. Jess shares with us the inspiration behind her exceptional company with a mission we can all get behind. Shop her headbands now on zulily.

How did you come to found Headbands of Hope? What was the inspiration behind the idea?

When I was in college, I did an internship at a wish-granting organization for kids with cancer. I saw girls loved to wear headbands instead of wigs after losing their hair to chemotherapy. I searched for organizations to bring them headbands and couldn’t find any. Therefore, Headbands of Hope was born!

What has been the most rewarding part of starting Headbands of Hope?

Seeing the expressions on girls’ faces when they look in the mirror with their new headband. I can’t even put that feeling into words.

One girl in particular didn’t want to go to her first day of kindergarten because she was afraid the other kids would think she was a boy because she didn’t have any hair. Her mom told me that when she got her headband in the hospital, she immediately took out her backpack and started to plan her outfit for school to match her new headband.

It’s stories like these that really show the power of a simple accessory.

What’s next for Headbands of Hope?

Hopefully, we won’t be around in the next 5-10 years because there will be a cure for cancer. But until then, we’re always trying to keep our styles fresh! We’ll be venturing into more beaded and intricate collections along with winter styles. Our presence in stores across the US and Canada has also been picking up in the past year and we hope to continue that.

Why did you decide to partner with zulily?

zulily not only loved our headbands, they loved our cause. We really appreciate how passionate they are about helping the kids we benefit. They have an amazing platform to wonderful people around the world and we’re happy we can be a part of that!

From Macaroni Kid: Indoor Activities

It’s getting a bit chiller outside and as the temperature cools, you’re finding yourself with a lot of indoor time with the kids. If you’re at a loss for things to do to keep them busy and entertained, check out some of these great ideas from the great moms [minds] at Macaroni Kid, your resource for events, activities and more in your area. And be sure to shop their indoor activity picks on zulily today.

Inquisitive Iceberg

"What is that?" one kid will ask. "Is that jello?" another will question. "Spend some time to observe it today," you will tell them.

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Materials:

Steps:

  1. pour water and food coloring mixture into plastic container about a half an inch deep
  2. add your small items
  3. freeze until the liquid is solid
  4. add more small toys and another layer of colored water
  5. freeze and continue layering and freezing until your container is full or about 4-5 inches deep
  6. remove from freezer, place in the middle of a Pyrex dish or water/ sand table and allow children to observe the ice block

Use the magnifying glass to observe objects in the ice. Fill the dropper with warm water or use a beaker with warm water to help the iceberg melt. As the items in the iceberg become loose, use the tweezers to retrieve.

Pirate Ship Craft

Aargh matey! Get ready to make a front-of-the-fridge worthy pirate ship!

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The supplies for this project are probably right in your house. Here’s what you need:

Materials:

  • Two different shades of blue construction paper – one to create your project on that will look like the sky, and one to make a nice ocean wave
  • Brown construction paper – boat
  • Craft sticks – about 3 per boat for masts
  • Marshmallows – sliced lengthwise, for sails – some extras for eating!
  • Round cereal – to make portholes
  • Gears Under the Sea Set by Learning Resources

Steps:

  1. Use one blue sheet of construction paper for the background of your project. Make a simple 1-2 inch ocean/wave from your other color of blue, and glue to bottom of paper.
  2. Cut out a simple boat shape from the brown paper, and glue it onto the wave.
  3. Have your kiddie glue craft stick masts on the boat.
  4. Next, they can place the pre-cut marshmallows with the sticky inner side down as sails. No glue needed, because they will stick by themselves.
  5. Glue cereal portholes on the boat, wherever looks good. Don’t forget to eat a few marshmallows and some cereal along the way. Now you’re done and ready to set sail!
  6. Last use the Gears Under the Sea Set to complete your ocean scene and you’re ready to act out your pirate adventure

Play Store

With items from the toy room and pantry, you’ll have fully stocked shelves and a little one eager to play checkout with Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register Set from Learning Resources.

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Materials:

Steps:

  1. Gather items and set them up on a low shelf or table
  2. Use the tags or stickers to label each item
  3. Choose a cashier and a shopper
  4. Happy Shopping

Make it educational:

For younger kids, identify the difference between coins and bills and talk about amounts of each. For older kids, teach them to make change or add together several items.

Sort items by color, category, shape or price on the shelf or table.

Make Your Own Snowflakes

Using the Mix and Measure Primary Science Set, create your very own snowflakes!

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Materials:

  • 3 cups of hot water
  • 9 tablespoons of Borax (a laundry booster)
  • a glass or a jar
  • string or pipe cleaners (solid, sparkly!, use your imagination!)

Steps:

  1. Tie your string into the shape of a snowflake or take a pipe cleaner and cut it into thirds (leaving one end slightly longer so it can be hung inside the glass)
  2. Twist the 3 pieces together in the center and spread out the arms to look like a snow flake.
  3. Mix the borax in the hot water to dissolve.  It will be cloudy at first but will become clearer. Make sure to dissolve completely.  If needed, reheat in microwave and stir. (The ratio of Borax to water is 3 tablespoons per cup….you can adjust your amounts for as deep as your vessel is and how many snowflakes you want to make.)
  4. Tie one end to a string and tie to a pencil or loop long end of pipe cleaner over a pencil.
  5. Lower your snowflake into the mixture.
  6. Let snowflake sit for several hours or overnight without touching it.  You should begin to see crystals forming in a few hours!  You can see them beginning to form in the jar!

Nursery Picks with Project Nursery

Today we’ve partnered with one of our favorite resources for all things children’s design, project nursery, to bring you great deals on brands featured in the project nursery vendor guide. Only the best brands make it in to the vendor guide, which includes those brands, products and services that are both reviewed and welcomed into project nursery’s own home.

If you need some inspiration for your nursery or child’s room, or just love beautiful design as much as we do, the project nursery gallery, which features beautiful projects from readers, is a must visit. We love these fabulous rooms featuring the brands in our project nursery event.

Aqua and Gray Chevron Nursery featuring Carousel Designs

Orange, Gray and Turquoise Wanderlust Nursery featuring Oliver B

C is for Color featuring Carousel Designs

Walk in the Park Nursery featuring Lolli Living and Living 63

 French Vintage Nursery Fit for a Princess featuring Munrie

Little Milk’s Nursery featuring Nook

zulily and Mini Style Hacker Event: Haute Hacks for Fall and Winter

zulily is excited to share a special event with Instagram’s latest sensation, Mini Style Hacker

As the Mini Style Hacker, four-year-old Ryker Wixom and his mom Collete Wixom have gained a rapid online following from around the world by recreating the high-fashion looks of GQ and celebs ranging from Pharell to Ryan Reynolds – all on a family-friendly budget. 

Sharing a love of “styled child” looks for less, we’ve partnered with Mini Style Hacker to bring Haute Hacks for Fall and Winter – the hot trends for kids as the weather grows cold, all at great prices.

Here’s the trends and looks you’ll see from Collette herself:

 

I am obsessed with this button down covered in tiny skulls!  I put it with a simple chino and five panel hat to make it more casual. This would be an easy one to transition from casual to dressy by simply switching out the hat for a belt and tucking in the shirt. Two looks for the price of one!

 I am so happy that floral button downs will continue to be in style throughout the fall and winter. I paired this one with a gray velvet blazer and maroon chinos to create a polished and fun look.  

We love this denim sweatshirt combo! You get the comfort of a sweatshirt but still look like you put in the effort to make it stylish. 

Who said you have to wear a boring jacket to stay warm?  Try a blazer instead! You get warmth and style all rolled into one adorable package. Roll the sleeves of a blazer layered over a graphic tee for classroom friendly look.

This shirt is super soft and looks amazing with almost any pair of pants. I love that it mixes the tribal trend with the contrast pocket trend.

Shop the Mini Style Hacker hacks on zulily.com today and look for more great pics of Ryker’s adventures on the zulily Facebook page and Twitter account.

Guest Post: HowDoesShe? Does Halloween Treats

Guest Post courtesy of HowDoesShe.com

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Hello, I am Mummy…

Yummy Mummy!

You know we are all about oreo cookie suckers around here. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to make some spooky treats.  I started thinking, if we can make oreos into something cute, what other cookies could we transform? They are the perfect holiday themed treat!

How about Nutter Butters?  ’OOOoooOOOooo’!

I couldn’t stop there!!  I had so much fun on the cookie aisle at the grocery store.  I was determined to find more cookie shapes to transform.  Who would have thought Mother’s Sandwich cookies would make such fabulous tombstones?

I just loved how these crazy mummies turned out.  They are my favorite.  They make me smile. :)  I love their big eyes peeking through.

Oh the kids are going to love these!!!  They are so fun to make, more fun to give, and the most fun to eat.

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Follow the basic Oreo Cookie Sucker instructions to start.

Mummies

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You’ll need: Oreo cookies, Sucker SticksWhite Candy Melts, and BIG googily candy eyes (amazing price).

Instructions: Dip cookie sucker into white melted candy coating, immediately stick on candy eyes, let dry.  Use a piping bag (or plastic bag with the end cut off) to drizzle white lines over the eyes. Easy.  -I used a ‘ribbon piping’ tip at the end of my piping bag to get the wider ribbon like lines.  If you prefer the thicker lines (instead of thin stringy lines) try using a ribbon piping tip.

Ghosts

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You’ll Need: Nutter butter cookies, Sucker SticksWhite Candy MeltsSMALL googily candy eyes, and a Black edible writing pen.

Instructions: Cut off very bottom of Nutter Butter with a knife, dip cookie sucker into white melted coating, immediately stick on candy eyes, let dry.  Make crazy ghost faces with black edible marker.

Tombstones

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You’ll need: Mother’s Cream filled cookies, Sucker SticksWhite Candy MeltsBlack Liquid Candy Color (don’t use food coloring, it will ruin your melted chocolate), and Green Candy Melts.

Instructions: Make ‘RIP’ by using a piping bag with white melted candy coating.  Write RIP on wax paper and let harden (I stuck mine in the freezer for a few minutes).  Make grey candy coating by melting white candy coating, and adding Black candy color. Dip cookie sucker into grey coating, immediately add ‘RIP’. Let dry. Using a piping bag (or plastic bag with end cut off) make grass on the bottom of the tombstone . Use a fork to get the ‘grass effect’.

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Wouldn’t these be so fun to serve at a Halloween party?  Maybe even in a Halloween cookie sucker holder?! Oh, I LOVE this time of year!

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Faux Fur Fashion Picks

One of our most favorite trends this season is faux fur. Whether you like a little or a lot, faux fur adds instant fashion appeal to your outfit. Check our some of our favorite ways to wear faux fur.

Just a touch of faux fur to complement a puffer, shearling or suede coat.

Tan Faux Suede Cape and Ivory Faux Fur Collar Puffer Coat from Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs (zulily.com)

Faux fur vests- trendy meets comfort.

Brown & Cream Faux Raccoon Tunic Vest from Safari by Imposter (zulily.com)

Faux fur is all over accessories.

Brown Faux Fur-Trim Convertible Clutch from Pink Cosmo. (zulily.com)

And of course, the boots!

Brown Leo Fleece-Lined Boot and Black Nut Boot (zulily.com)

Don’t forget the kiddos. It’s faux fur for the whole family!

Crystal Fox Faux Fur Hooded Poncho from Lilly Patricia and Safari Shearling Jacket from Hawke & Co. (zulily.com)

The Best of Mickey and Minnie

It’s Disney week on zulily, featuring a new Disney sale each day, and in an ode to the mice who started it all, we’ve put together some of our favorite Mickey and Minnie products and DIYs.

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Mickey costume on zulily.com.

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Mickey and Minnie cupcakes from Disney Family :http://zuli.ly/1t38kQX

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The perfect DIY Minnie Mouse bow from Bombshell Bling: http://zuli.ly/1t38oQC

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Minnie costume on zulily.com

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DIY Mickey & Minnie inspired shoes from The Family of Love: http://zuli.ly/1v2QoWy

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DIY Minnie towel from Crazy Little Projects: http://zuli.ly/1xpPTUu

 

zulily’s New iPad App Makes Shopping On the Go Even Easier

The zulily team has some exciting news today: our brand-new iPad app has hit the Apple App Store! Shopping zulily on the go is easier than ever before. The app been re-designed from the ground up with YOU in mind. Our developers and designers spent months getting customer input on functionality, design and usefulness and incorporated your feedback into the new app. Get it now https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zulily/id454607051 for a daily dose of shopping entertainment wherever you and your iPad go.

Highlights of zulily’s app update include:

Enhanced User Experience: The clean design, intuitive navigation and new vertical orientation mean you can shop with ease from anywhere.   

The product pages have been redesigned to make it easier for you to view the products, share them with your friends, pick your sizes and easily add them to your basket. 

The Save Drawer: Our favorite new feature is the “save drawer,” which allows you to filter events more easily. Scroll through the day’s events, bookmark the ones you want to view later (by dragging them into the drawer) and then shop all your favorite events at once.

Alerts for Upcoming Sales: Don’t ever miss out on a deal. The new iPad app allows you to preview the next day’s events and tap on your favorites to get reminders when the events launch.

 

How to Inspire a Young Techie

These days, computer science is more than just a niche. It’s driving job growth and allowing for innovation in every part of our lives. People who understand programming have so many opportunities to put their ideas into action. The best part is anyone can learn! And it’s fun.

Have your kids tried coding? Whether it’ll be their first time or they’re a little further along the path to becoming a tech star, we know a couple of ways that even elementary-aged kids can become real programmers … and these ways make it a blast by using popular favorites like Minecraft™ and Angry Birds™.

Apps:

There are several apps designed to make coding as fun as a game. Kodable is designed for kids five and up and teaches them the basics of programming in any language in a fun game. Now you don’t have to feel guilty about handing the phone over to your kidos.

Online Classes:

Today on zulily, we’re offering three online courses from Youth Digital, each for $149.99 (a 40% savings).

Perfect for ages 8 - 14, these classes are exciting, highly interactive learning experiences. Your budding engineer can learn how to code their own Minecraft™ Mod in Java, design a 3-D video game or create a 3-D animated movie.

Hour of Code:

Kids (and grownups!) can dip their toes into the programming pond by trying Code.org’s Hour of Code. Hour of Code is a campaign that promotes computer science in schools. It’s free and simple to join the more than 43,000,000 people who have already tried it. Just visit Code.org and you’re on the way.

Now, get your kids coding! After all, their generation will develop the future.