Olive + Splash
It's that time of year again! The sun is out and if your child has a birthday coming up, the best and easiest way to do it is outside. Even if it's not for a birthday, keep reading because there's some great tips for any summer backyard party.
Most parents stress for parties coming up with a handful of kids but not to worry, we have 10 simple ideas for an awesome summer backyard party!
- Make a Water Balloon Piñata: Instead of hanging a paper-mâché container full of candy from a tree or overhead trellis, try making a water balloon piñata instead. Simply fill some over sized water balloons with water and hang them from string at varying heights. Have kids use a plastic baseball bat or stick to swat at the balloons to try and break them. Fill more balloons than you hang so you can replace the broken ones as needed.
- Set up a Giant Bubble Station: This simple-to-assemble activity is so much fun for kids. Fill a kiddie pool with a homemade bubble solution and use a hula hoop as the bubble wand. Head here for more information and inspiration.
- Play Backyard Jenga: Kids (and adults) of all ages LOVE this game. Set it up on a low table (we use an inexpensive side table from IKEA) and have friends take turns playing throughout the party.
- Watch a Movie Outside: There’s something magical about watching a movie on a big screen set up in the backyard. So, this summer we want to bring our love for the outdoor movie to our own backyards by throwing a movie-viewing party for our kids and their friends. You can read more about how to execute this type of celebration here. If you’re stumped about what to watch, check out our list of the 12 best family movies ever. For snacks, we wholeheartedly suggest setting up a movie night popcorn bar for everyone to enjoy.
- Send the Kids on a Scavenger Hunt: In my experience, kids really love a scavenger hunt. As a parent, I also think they’re an excellent way to keep little ones occupied for an indefinite amount of time. Inexpensive to execute, they can also easily be customized based on the ages of the kids at your party. For little kids, try using pictures to illustrate what they need to find; for bigger kids, words will suffice. Also, don’t forget to have prizes (or birthday cake!) available at the end of the hunt as a reward for their hard work.
- Create a Simple Photo Booth: Photo booths are still popular with kids and here’s an inspired idea for how to make an easy one: hang a large over sized picture frame (you can probably find good ones at a thrift store) from a tree branch. Set out a basket of props and encourage them to be as silly as possible. Older kids can take turns taking the photos themselves if you’re comfortable letting them use your camera.
- Donut Eating on a String: When it comes to cheap and cheerful party games and treats, almost nothing can top the classic donut eating on a string game. Trust me, the kids will love it and it can work for any kind of party! To put it together, all you’ll need are three items: donut (one per participant), rope, and ribbon. Tie a length of rope between two trees and ask the kids to line up underneath it. Tie pieces of ribbon to the donuts and then to the rope, hanging them slightly above the kids’ mouth level. Let the children know that on the count of three they are to begin eating their donut without using their hands AND without letting it fall off the ribbon. The first to finish is the winner, and the prize is the eaten donut.
- Water, Water, Water: There’s a reason the ice bucket challenge was so successful: there’s something so thrilling about being soaked, or soaking someone else, with cold water. From water balloon fights to super soaker battles to water gun tag (the person who is “it” used a water gun to tag the players and once you are hit you are “it”) there is no limit to the amount of fun that can be had with water.
- Toppling Tug of War: Using milk crates and rope set up a simple toppling tug of war station as part of your party games activities. Players should stand a least six feet apart and the rope should have plenty of slack so those competing can have lots of cord to work with.
- Turn to the Country Fair: I find a lot of inspiration at the country fairs we visit in the summer months, and I use a lot of the games/activities we spot there in my birthday parties and family celebrations. From sack races to relay races to egg on a spoon races, there is no shortage of simple fun you’re sure to see at these types of events.
All of these great ideas can be turned up a notch with a theme as well! For example, use the water balloon pinata and scavenger hunt for a Moana-inspired party that children of all ages will love. Thanks to savymom.com for these great ideas and inspo for our next outdoor party!
Summer is fast approaching and it is that time of year when we need to take extra caution to protect our skin from harmful UV rays and toxic overload from chemically filled sunscreens. The sun can sometimes hide behind loose clouds or disguise in a cool breeze, but do not be fooled, it's still there. Here are some healthy tips and tricks for safe sun protection this summer.
Some sunscreens contain so many chemicals you would never think to ingest them, so why would you smother your largest organ in them, its pretty much the same thing.
Almost everything you apply to your skin seeps into the bloodstream and depending on its toxic make-up, it can harm us with free radicals and wreak havoc on our bodies.
Important things to know about sunscreen:
1. Most traditional sunscreen products contain cancer-causing chemicals
2. Majority of the population is vitamin D deficient, sunscreen actually blocks vitamin D production
3. Be aware most "chemical free" sunscreens are loaded with chemicals
You can boost your internal sun resistance by what you eat. Foods that are high in anti-oxidants and carotenoids will naturally protect your skin from sun exposure.
Here's a list of some super foods to live by:
Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene. Beta-carotene helps protect the skin against the free radical damage and reduce sunburn intensity. Drink fresh carrot juice daily to get maximum benefits.
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. Research has found that a long-term diet of vitamin C, together with vitamin E, can reduce the potential for sunburn. Citrus fruits contain limonene, which has been known to lower risk of skin cancer. Citrus fruits also contain antioxidants, which work to protect your cells from free-radical damage that could potentially lead to skin cancer
Green tea is full of catechins, which prevent disease and protect against sunburn inflammation and long-term UV radiation damage.The most abundant type of catechin in green tea is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and this is the one that provides sun protection
Watermelon is a great source of water packed with vitamins A and C and electrolyte potassium. The powerful antioxidant lycopene is found in watermelon and reddish-colored fruits,which tends to act as a natural sunscreen. Lycopene allows your skin to act as a natural filter, admitting enough sunlight through for your body to produce vitamin D
These are just some of the super foods that play a role in sun resistance, here are some more foods to protect against the sun. If you haven't had enough edible sunscreen in your diet, make sure to protect your skin with UV protectant clothing. Olive + Splash is a Canadian made, eco-friendly clothing company that has made a whole selection of children's bamboo clothing, which are a stylish and easy fix to protect your little ones skin from harmful UV rays.
Think twice about the products you lather yourself and little ones in, it might not be as safe as you are lead to believe. Sunscreen comes in all forms and we are loving the natural ones.
Next time you're at the grocery store or out for a bite, ask yourself have you eaten your sunscreen?
We are loving this article written by Amy Morin published on verywell.com
Sometimes parents wonder if they should really give their kids chores. After all, isn't it the parents responsibility to manage the household? And don't kids need an opportunity to 'just be kids?'
Of course, today's kids have really busy schedules too. Many of them rush around from one activity to the next with little time to clean the house or mow the lawn.
Despite those concerns, however, giving your child chores may be one of the most important things you'll ever do.
Kids who do chores learn responsibility and gain important life skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Benefits Kids Gain from Doing Chores
Kids feel competent when they do their chores. Whether they're making their bed or they're sweeping the floor, helping out around the house gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Doing chores also helps kids feel like they're part of the team. Pitching in and helping family members is good for them and it encourages them to be good citizens.
Research from a well-known 75-year Harvard study examined what psychosocial variables and biological processes from earlier in life predict health and well-being later in life. Researchers found that children who were given chores became more independent adults.
Chores for Preschoolers
Preschool children can be given simple chores that involve picking up after themselves. Chores should include picking up their toys each day.
They can also begin to learn how to pick up their room and put their dishes away after a meal. These sorts of chores teach them that they need to be responsible for their own messes.
Young children can respond well to a sticker chart to help remind them to do their chores. Since preschoolers usually can’t read, a chart with pictures of each chore can be a reminder to them.
Then once they’ve completed each chore, they can earn a sticker. A sticker can be enough of an incentive for young children while older children will need more of a reward to motivate them.
Chores for School Age Children
When children begin attending school, their responsibility with chores should increase as well. School age children should continue with chores that relate to picking up after themselves. For example, teach children to put their shoes and backpacks away when they get home from school.
As chores become more complex, teach them in a step-by-step manner how to do each task. For example, if a child is expected to put his own clothes away, teach him where to put the clothes and discuss your expectations. Praise them for their efforts and encourage them to keep practicing. Don’t expect perfection.
Chores for Tweens
There's no need to reward a tween for every task he completes. Picking up after himself and cleaning his room, for example, are part of pitching in and helping the family.
But, paying your tween an allowance for doing extra chores can be a good way to start teaching your child financial responsibility. If you don't want to pay your tween real money, create a token economy system.
Chores for Teenagers
Teenagers need chores that will prepare them for the real world. Assign chores such as meal preparation, cleaning the bathroom, mowing the lawn, or doing the laundry. These life skills will be important after high school so your teen can live independently.
Giving your teen an allowance can motivate him to do chores. It can also serve as a way to teach your teen about how to manage money.
Make an allowance system similar to the way your teen will earn money at a job. Provide payment one time per week.
Don't give out any loans and don't hand out money if your teen hasn't earned it.
Harvard Medical News: Sparing chores spoils children and their future selves, study says.
Michigan State University Extension: Benefits of Kids Doing Chores.
Image from yummymummy.ca
Are you stumped on how to break the news to your little believer that Santa isn't real, without ruining the spirit of Christmas?
Children spot multiple Santa's over the holiday season, and that can lead to some curiosities and questions, "Who is Santa? Is he real?" I don't believe parents want to lie to their little ones or ruin the magic of Christmas.
If your kids have figured out the truth about Santa or you are considering telling your children this holiday season, Sharon Silver, contributing writer on popsugar.com suggests writing a letter kindly explaining what your role is and who Santa really is.
Here is an example she published on popsugar.com
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: "Are you Santa?"
I know you've wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I've had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.
The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the Christmas magic stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won't make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can't see or touch.
It's a big job, and it's an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents, and in your family. You'll also need to believe in things you can't measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he's filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no, I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I'm on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Makes: 8 servings
Serving Size: 3 skewers with 1 tablespoon dipping sauce
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 126, Carbs 4g, Fiber 0g, Protein 12, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 1g
for the chicken:
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 large)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
for the peanut sauce:
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon chopped scallion greens
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- For the chicken: Cut the chicken into 1/4-inch strips across the grain. Lay the strips on a cutting board and gently flatten by pounding with your fist; they will be a variety of shapes and sizes. If some slices are very long (more than three bites), you may need to cut them in two. Place the chicken in a bowl with the oil and soy sauce and turn the chicken in the sauce to coat. Let the chicken marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, or refrigerate overnight.
- For the peanut sauce: Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, scallions, garlic powder and red pepper flakes in a bowl and whisk together.
- Preheat a flat griddle over medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade, pat dry and thread onto skewers; discard the marinade. Place the chicken on the hot griddle so that the skewers are positioned away from the direct heat and cook the chicken until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve the skewers with peanut sauce for dipping.
Peanut sauce will keep for up to a week in a refrigerated airtight container. But remember to take the sauce out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to let it come to room temperature: know how stubborn peanut butter can be.
From Allison Fishman's You Can Trust a Skinny Cook
There are many personal and environmental benefits to wearing bamboo clothing, Olive + Splash has designed a whole bamboo children's clothing line that gives back to the David Suzuki Foundation, which is only more reason everyone should be wearing this powerhouse material and support the movement.
The benefits of bamboo outweigh any other material out there, it features built-in temperature controls, which keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer, it's chemical-free processing does wonders for the human body and environment we live in, the hypoallergenic fibers are allergy friendly and make a great clothing choice for anyone with sensitivities or require calming sensory clothing, the UV resistant material is a blessing in disguise when it comes to the sun's harmful UV rays, the antibacterial bio-agent 'bamboo kun'; a natural anti-fungal fiber found within bamboo reduces bacteria that thrives on clothing and skin, in addition to its highly moisture absorbent properties it is also biodegradable allowing the textiles to return to the earth in an organic and Eco-friendly way.
The reason we love this material so much goes deeper than its cashmere soft surface. Bamboo fibers itself are naturally round and smooth without any chemical treatment as opposed to some textile fibers that naturally have sharp edges and spurs that irritate the skin and can only be softened with the harshest of chemicals. The scary part about these highly toxic chemicals resting on your skin is they will be absorbed into the blood stream in less than 26 seconds and will be filtered into the your major organs, which can lead to hormone disruption, disorders and even some cancers. When we wash these toxic clothes the chemicals seep into the water and back into the Eco-system which will then be turned into our drinking water, soil for our food and breathing air. Therefore the less chemically processed material is a win for both our bodies and environment.
The best part is, the more washes the material has, the softer the garment becomes making it a pleasure to buy and wear on a continuous basis. Olive + Splash has designed a Canadian made, Eco-friendly garment to protect your precious little ones from the inside out that will last numerous washes, wears and generations to come.
There are so many times that I have wished that some of these #trendytot designs we feature would come in the big people variety and my wish has come true. ‘Cause looky-looky, as I slip a caramel in me mouth as I savour Olive + Splash and their Fall designs that includes the all new “Match Your Mini” collection. That’s right, totes caramel worthy.
This luxurious unisex collection uses only the highest quality eco-friendly materials. Each piece is designed to last for many washes, wears and generations to come. Every collection’s colour scheme is carefully chosen to represent a gender neutral wardrobe, making hand-me-downs easy and enjoyable.
Their clothing and materials are ethically sourced and handmade by people they trust and environments they support. They offer a variety of designs and styles that will complement all your mini adventurers. Their exclusive selection of cashmere soft, eco-friendly bamboo apparel is proudly made in Canada.
Now we have been blown away by bamboo before. We love it as much as the dear panda because bamboo is a powerhouse when protecting the planets resources, it has built in temperature controls to keep you warm in the cold and cooler in the heat. It’s a breathable material that does not contain harmful chemicals and is hypoallergenic with a similar feel to silk. It’s proven to have a 99.98% antibacterial rate keeping your material odourless and just as important, it is UV resistant.
Their bamboo line is great for children who require sensory calming clothes, because it lends a super soft texture to the skin, with easily removable soft tags and each design has minimal seams. Each bamboo product is stamped eco-friendly!
Why do we love Olive + Splash even more? Well besides the name? Come on. Isn’t it a tickle? Yea it is! This company is proud to support the David Suzuki Foundation who work to conserve our environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada. With every Olive + Splash special edition piece, you too are supporting the “giving back” and slow fashion movement.
Have you heard of a cool and fashionable ethical kids clothing brand called Olive + Splash? Well, if not, this is your chance! Read my exclusive interview with the CEO and Founder: Melanie L. Wong and visit www.oliveandsplash.com to check out all their beautiful collection pieces that your little ones will want to wear and rock everyday.
"It’s important to provide environmentally friendly products because our world needs environmentally friendly products and conscious sourcing more than any other time in human history." - Melanie L. Wong
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I am the owner of Olive + Splash children’s clothing, which I have been working on for the past year and a half and launched December 1st, 2016. I am passionate about fashion and the environment, which helped shape the company’s culture including the bamboo textiles we use to the foundation we proudly support, The David Suzuki Foundation.
When I am not working on Olive + Splash, which is very seldom, I work on Babes in Business; a women’s networking group I co-founded in the Niagara region with Beth Loewen, Betty Loo Photobooth. We are a group of young female entrepreneurs who are looking to empower and connect with like-minded individuals with a focus on growing our businesses. This summer we will be granting a female university student with a bursary to go forth with her business idea, which is really exciting for us!
What gave you the inspiration to start a children clothing line?
I have an adorable little nephew whom I shop for quite a bit. It was difficult to find clothes with an urban style, so I started researching textiles and patterns, I took some sewing classes and workshops and one thing led to another and it turned into Olive + Splash. It was definitely my nephew who inspired me and continues to everyday.
Why the name Olive + Splash?
I get asked this often. ‘Olive’ describes the natural component and ‘Splash’ is a fun action word that describes the style. It worked.
The clothing and materials sold by Olive + Splash are ethically sourced & handmade in Canada. As a Canadian, how important was that?
We have a great line of bamboo clothes that are made in Canada, it is important to work with Canadians for so many reasons, but specifically we are keeping our money in our economy, it reduces our carbon footprint with less transportation costs and when you purchase local you’re helping out a family business. Those were enough reasons for me to make our bamboo clothes at home.
The collection pieces are made with Eco-friendly bamboo fabrics, why did you specifically choose to work with bamboo?
Bamboo has so many personal and environmental benefits and the texture itself is comparable to cashmere, it is so soft. Bamboo has built-in temperature controls, keeping you warm in the cooler weather and cooler in the warmer weather. It is hypoallergenic, it’s a natural UV protectant, it’s breathable, antibacterial, and biodegradable and contains no harmful chemicals. Those are some of the reasons we love using bamboo in our clothes.
How important it is to provide environmental friendly products to your customers?
It’s important to provide environmentally friendly products because our world needs environmentally friendly products and conscious sourcing more than any other time in human history. Our company works to be a leader in this challenge and brings only quality clothing to its consumers. Together, we truly can make this world a better place.
Were you always interested in sustainability?
Always, I grew up in a family that has always been environmentally conscious and our parents educated us on the benefits of being green at a young age, when you teach them young it really sticks.
How involved are you in the day to day operations at Olive + Splash?
Very involved, I run the daily operations from Monday to Sunday, it never stops but I am very passionate about what I do and for that reason I never want it to stop.
What's been a specific challenge since you've started your business? How did you overcome it?
Well there have definitely been more than one. I found daily accounting to be a little bit of a challenge, but thankfully I have Babes in Business to reach out to and I was able to sort my issues immediately with someone else that had a similar issue. It’s important to have a network of people to reach out to and work with in similar businesses.
What would you say, is the most rewarding part of your entrepreneurial journey so far?
Do I have to pick just one? It is super rewarding to see the pictures posted of my happy customers. I get photos and kind emails all the time telling me how much they love the product, it really melts my heart and every day I work on my dream. It is completely worth it for that feedback alone and we have also been invited to walk in the 2017 Vancouver Kids Fashion week, which is very humbling.
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