256 posts tagged zulily
The search for ideal children’s products started when I was pregnant with my first daughter. During that pregnancy, I read the book Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home by my co-founder Christopher Gavigan and learned about toxic chemicals in everyday products like baby shampoo, diapers, home furnishings and household cleaners. Of course, I was shocked and upset. So, I spent hours researching products and trying to shop around the problem—even shopping in Europe, Canada, and Australia. I’d pay more money for the products in beige packaging only to get home and find out the natural diapers I just bought still had ingredients in them I was trying to avoid. And the few products that were safer never seemed to work as well as I needed. It was beyond frustrating.
As a mom, I knew I had the responsibility to give the best to my daughters. I also knew I wasn’t the only mom that felt this way. Busy parents have enough to worry about; they don’t need to be consumed with the thought of toxins in everyday basics, and they don’t have the time (or a chemistry degree!) to research every single ingredient. Modern moms want and need products that can tackle the dirty jobs, while still looking beautiful when displayed on the counter—all from one trusted source.
That’s why I put my head together with Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee, and Sean Kane. We all shared the same concerns about creating safe and healthy homes for our children and knew there needed to be a brand that actually cared about people and the planet above profits. So, we created The Honest Company to redefine the family brand. All of our products from diapers to shampoo to laundry detergent are unquestionably safe, natural, and non-toxic so you can put your mind at ease when you use an Honest product at home.
The Honest Company and I are excited to partner with zulily and give children a better, safer start by delivering the best family essentials to your doorstep.
Have fun shopping!
We don’t drive often because we live in a city, but when we do take road trips— to the “big” grocery store, upstate for the weekend, over to Grandma’s house—I would love for it to be a good experience for 17-month-old June.
So far, that’s not happening. We’ve had her seat facing backwards, as recommended, since her first drive. Lately, though, she’s bored and restricted just facing the car seat and a mirror—she wants more action. Because she’s now at the weight where we can face her forward, we did that last weekend for a two- hour drive to see friends.
At first, June loved it! She watched everything go by, asking her favorite question (“What’s that?!”) with glee and wonder. Then she fell asleep for an hour. Bliss. But the last half hour of the drive was… well, bad. She woke up, looked around for five minutes, and proceeded to vomit four times in 60 seconds.
We found a rest stop, used approximately 100 paper towels to clean her up and get her changed, and then kept the windows down and a bag at the ready while finishing our drive.
So… carsickness and the facing-forward change. Has anyone else dealt with this one? Any tips or tricks to offer?
We have very generous relatives, and since June is the first grandchild on both sides, our 17-month-old did quite well this Christmas. The phrase “made out like a bandit” comes to mind.
While that is awesome in lots of ways, it’s also… overwhelming. Living in a small city apartment means we have to constantly be on top of toys and games and all the little things that come with June’s very existence. So the grocery cart and the little car that she loves? They really need to wait until summer when we can use them in our shared backyard.
I had this grand idea of having a “one in, one out” rule when it came to toys, but now that I’m faced with the reality of it, I’m overwhelmed. Do I toss the little bear she clung to when she was just weeks old? Save the wooden puzzle that I really like but she’s never quite shown interest in?
I’d love to hear how other parents make the cut.
All ideas welcome—we are living in a sea of stuffed animals and singing toddler toys. (Fun, but crowded.)
How do you know when (and where) to donate or pass along your child’s belongings?
One issue I regularly have is that I have to wait for my husband to get home before I can head out. By the time he gets home, I’m meeting friends for dinner at 8pm or later… and that’s just too close to my bedtime for my liking!
So recently I met a college student who lives nearby and babysits for some of our neighbors. She’s lovely, very sweet and seems good with kids.
But Miss June is not having it.
My 17-month-old cries, screams and holds so tightly to my legs that the babysitter and I both have to work to pry her off. It’s very hard to leave and I find myself worrying about her until my husband gets home and texts me that all is well.
I know that she’s likely in a big ‘separation anxiety’ phase, and maybe it’s just a matter of getting her used to the new babysitter (she has a regular daytime sitter whom she takes to easily). I guess I’d just like some reassurance that it’s okay to leave her now and then with a babysitter. And that this phase will pass.
Is it? Will it? Any tips for making the transition easier?
Seriously…pumpkin pie inside of a cupcake. Sunday 12/16, zulily will host the Creative Cupcakes Collection with up to 50% off everything needed to transform your kitchen into a bakery brimming with the most delightful and darling cupcakes around. This party-perfect collection includes recipe book Bake It in a Cupcake by blogger extraordinaire Megan Seling of www.bakeitinacake.com.
Megan’s given us a sneak peek of one of her most requested recipes: Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes (we told you)! Check out the recipe below and go to zulily.com on Sunday to get Bake It in a Cupcake. Happy baking!
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes from Megan Seling:
This has been, hands down, the most popular Bake It in a Cupcake creation to date. That’s not very surprising when you consider that pumpkin pie is the second most popular pie in America. To save time, you can make the miniature pies up to 2 days in advance — just store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the cupcakes. The pies can also be prepared quickly with premade pie crust—as I’ve said, there’s no shame in taking shortcuts. Though they sound like the perfect Thanksgiving dessert (and they are), I’ve done plenty of research and am happy to confirm that they taste just as good at any time of year.
Makes 24 cupcakes
1 (16-ounce) batch pie crust dough (your favorite recipe or store-bought, enough to make 2 one crust pies)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling, made as directed on the can
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1⅓ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
1 cup cinnamon chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup granulated sugar, for garnish
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, for garnish
1. To make the mini pumpkin pies, preheat the oven to 425°F and lightly grease a 24-cup miniature muffin tin. Use a rolling pin to roll out the pie crust dough on a lightly floured smooth surface until the dough is about ⅛ inch thick. Then use a 2½-inch circular cookie cutter to cut out 24 small disks. Ball up the scraps of dough and wrap in plastic wrap for later use.
2. Press the dough circles into each cup in the prepared tin and fill three-quarters full with the prepared pumpkin pie filling. Keep in mind the pumpkin pie filling will expand a bit while baking. Bake the pies for about 7 minutes. With the pies still in the oven, turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the crust have browned and the pumpkin pie filling no longer jiggles when you gently shake the tin. Allow the pies to cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling while you mix the cupcake batter.
3. To make the cupcakes, line 2 standard muffin tins with 24 paper liners. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer on medium speed to combine the butter and cream cheese for about 90 seconds, until smooth. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in each egg completely before adding the next. With the mixer on medium speed, add the vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Finally, add the flour, ½ cup at a time, alternately with the milk, ⅓ cup at a time, mixing until each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. Continue to mix the batter on medium-high speed for 30 seconds, until smooth and creamy.
4. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of batter into each cup in the prepared tins. Place a cooled pumpkin pie into the center of the batter and press it gently. You don’t want the pie to touch the bottom of the tin. Cover the pies with another heaping tablespoon of batter so the top and sides of the mini pie are completely covered and the cup is about three-quarters full. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges and tops of the cupcakes have turned golden brown and the cake springs back when you gently press your finger into the top of it. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for at least 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the frosting, melt the cream and cinnamon chips together in a microwave in a small microwave-safe bowl for about 45 seconds on high. Stir the mixture until all the chips have melted and place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the frosting. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds, until smooth. Whip in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture is fluffy. Finally, with the mixer on low, drizzle in the cinnamon chip mixture. (Make sure it has cooled a bit—if it’s too hot, it will melt the frosting.) Spread or swirl a generous helping of the frosting onto the cupcakes using a spatula or pastry bag.
6. Put the leftover pie crust scraps to good use by making cinnamon-sugar decorations. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Use a rolling pin to roll out the reserved ball of dough onto a lightly floured smooth surface until it’s about Å⁄8 inch thick, then cut out quarter-sized circles with a small cookie cutter or frosting tip. Place them on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with a little bit of the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and bake for about 10 minutes at 350°F, until they’re golden brown. Once they’re cool, put one on top of each of the cupcakes and serve.
Can’t find cinnamon baking chips at your local market? You can make a delicious alternative by tossing 1 cup white chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Then follow the frosting recipe as directed.
I have a very serious question: How the heck do you get winter gear to stay on a 16-month-old?
Maintaining possession of June’s mittens and hat when we go for a stroll is tougher than keeping track of Barbie’s tiny shoe sets. She flings them off, dropping them on the sidewalk while gleefully shouting “All done!” when clearly we are still walking and it is (very cold outside.
So far I have managed not to lose any pieces, but she’s often without hat or gloves outside, and she definitely gets cold. Even the snap-on hats don’t work. They make her crazy and she eventually gets them off after some tugging.
I’ve thought about disciplining her and forcing her to wear gloves and hat, though that involves near constant attention and struggling from me as we walk. Should just let her be cold and figure out that these items are there to keep her comfortable?
Any advice or magic solutions?
I’ve read a lot about how kids under two years old shouldn’t have “screen time,” which I guess means TVs and iPads, etc.
June is almost a year and a half, and she gravitates toward our devices. The phones and the iPad are pretty much game consoles for her, and she loves to watch videos of various performers singing “Old MacDonald.”
The truth is, I feel slightly guilty when she tunes into of a quick video, but I also get tired of singing “E-I-E-I-O” after the 40th time each day.
Still, I’m thinking about introducing one short show a few times a week. I could definitely use a distraction for her sometimes, if only to have a chance to unload the dishwasher without June trying to climb inside it!
Surely “Sesame Street” does no harm, right? What I wonder is: Does this “no screens before age two” wisdom hold for you other parents, or do you let a few TV/video moments sneak in here and there?
Baby June has been a good eater since she started solids, mostly chomping away happily at whatever we put on her tray. Berries, pasta, eggs with spinach… even Chicken Tikka Masala has gone down with ease.
Suddenly she’s refusing lots of dishes, seemingly at random. One day at lunch she’ll try a bite of macaroni and then thrown the rest of the bowl on the floor. The next night at dinner, she’ll ignore everything but her water and maybe a piece of banana.
I’m not sure if it’s her taste buds developing or stubbornness or what… but it’s vexing. I try to keep my calm Mom-face on while I worry and (honestly) get annoyed on the inside.
Our doctor has told us not to offer her a buffet of choices, but try to stick to what we’ve given her and move along to the next snacktime or mealtime if she refuses to eat. I’ve mostly done that, but it’s hard not to offer her options when she’s fussy.
Any other parents have a way to handle this that they can share?
I have a confession: I don’t want to cut Baby June’s hair! While many of her friends are still bald, she has a lovely head of wavy brown hair that I just adore. Last weekend, she met her little cousin Clara for the first time, and Clara was obsessed with June’s curls, pulling at them every chance she got!
The thing is, her locks are always falling in her face and they often look more out- of-control than cute. Brushing is tough—and I’ve even seen the start of a baby dreadlock (I combed it out quickly!).
I’ve tried various types of barrettes and headbands, and they all end up as very interesting toys that go in her hands, her mouth… anywhere but on her head. Does anyone have any advice on something to try to tame her mane without losing those sweet curls that hang at the bottom?
If not, I think it’s time for the scissors.
When my first baby was a boy, my husband breathed a sigh of relief – not because he didn’t want a girl, but because he was under the (somewhat mistaken) assumption that I would spend less money buying clothes for a baby boy than I would for a baby girl.
I swear I’m not a completely shallow person, but I love me some shopping. I can’t help it. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink… much. But shopping is cathartic for me. I try to window shop, or the Internet equivalent, most of the time. I try to be practical. But I admit it: I do love shopping. Since having kids, I love shopping for my kids. My poor, frugal husband has had to accept this fact.
As we proceeded to have baby boy number two and then baby boy number three, he believed he was largely in the clear. As much as I did and still do enjoy shopping for my boys, I was forced to pare down my shopping habit and embrace the concept of hand-me- downs. I mean, I’m not completely ridiculous. Ahem.
But then it happened: our last baby, born in April 2012, was a girl. Lucy.
My husband’s saving grace is that this baby is my fourth and not my first. I am now at a point in my life when I appreciate less STUFF – less laundry, less clothing, fewer toys. I have six mouths to feed now. We are staring down four college tuitions. I’m ready to be pickier about my shopping habit. I still enjoy shopping just as much, but now I am ready to find things I love and can afford.
[My girl Lucy photographed here by Tracy Hougham Photography. Find more here: tracyhougham.com]
I was familiar with zulily before I had Lucy. I bought a few gifts – I love the personalized plates, for instance – and I had bought the boys several super cute T shirts that stood out from the pack of usual boy clothes fare (stripes, stripes, and a side of stripes). But after Lucy was born, zulily became my playground.
For years, I had pressed my nose against the store windows, both virtual and real, staring longingly at the dresses, the tights, the bows, the little ruffled bottoms and the bloomers and the tulle skirts that only belonged to the girl side of the aisle. I dreamed about tiny ballerinas, fairy gardens, and mary janes. I memorized the names of the girl brands I loved – Baby Nay, Baby Lulu, Jelly the Pug, Trumpette, Mud Pie, Kissy Kissy.
The past six months, I have been a kid in a candy store. I have the sweetest baby girl, and I have had so much fun snuggling her and learning who she is. But I cannot deny that I have also had a ball dressing her. Thanks to zulily, I can afford to buy her some of the special things I used to covet: Hair bows. Smocked bishop dresses. Ruffled floral rompers. Lucy now has quite an impressive closet, stocked in a variety of sizes and colors and styles. I adore every single piece.
I still love baby boy clothes, and I find dressing my boys both a challenge and an adventure. I still hunt for the perfect witty T shirt, sweet corduroys, and fun hoodies for them. But now I have the baby girl I had started to believe I would never have… and the tiny hair bows and the ruffled bloomers never get boring. Neither does the precious baby they adorn.
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