Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

Summer is a colorful season. From rainbows appearing after mid-afternoon showers to gardens in bloom, we’ve been noticing summer’s true colors, and they’ve inspired us to collect a bouquet of bright ideas for adding more color to your everyday life. Make your kitchen cheerier and your bedroom cozier with a touch of color, or get creative with the hues you wear. All of our items this week feature bright, cheerful tones in surprising places. We think they’ll brighten your day as much as they have ours!
Stainless steel bowls are wonderfully practical for the kitchen, but they don’t usually contribute much in the way of color. This colorful stainless steel bowl set brings fresh color into your kitchen with five handy sizes. Each bowl has its own color, but we love them all, from the robin’s-egg blue on the smallest bowl to the vibrant cherry red on the largest in the set. The soft satin-finish plastic exteriors are dishwasher-safe and provide extra grip when mixing by hand, making these bowls practical and pretty. We love the avocado-green bowl for salads and the big one for popcorn on movie night.

Every bedroom needs a touch of color, and this irresistibly soft lighted pillow gives you all the color you could want at once! Cool LED lighting inside the pillow’s soft, white acrylic filling create a light show of pastel hues that look like tie-dyed fabric but change constantly. It’s like a kaleidoscope you can squeeze! The pillow makes a beautiful and unusual accent and also acts as a nightlight for kids who find soft lighting reassuring as they drift to sleep. You can also get the matching throw to turn on the colorful charm in any room of your home. It’s just the thing for snuggling up with a good book on a rainy day.

Who says you have to stick to a single hair color? The makers of these colorful Hair Chox temporary hair color sticks certainly don’t think you have to stick with the color that nature gave you. With bright red, purple, pink, blue and green, you can add streaks of color to any shade and wash it out when you want a change. Dampen the chalk-like sticks with water, rub them on a strand of hair, and enjoy the head-turning colors you wear. Unlike permanent dyes, these tones cover the surface of the hair instead of penetrating, so they wash away cleanly. Add color in streaks, frost the tips of your current style or frame your face with a few hits of pink or purple. The easy-to-hold handles make painting on color easy. Even Dame Helen Mirren thinks pink hair is hot, and she’s a style icon; don’t be afraid to go bold.

This week, celebrate color with us with these bright ideas or with some of your own. Maybe it’s time to plant a garden, repaint a room or hang a few colorful paintings on your walls. Scientists say color even affects moods, so chase the blues with some pink, purple or red and embrace some new hues today!

The Benefits of Arts and Crafts for Children’s Education

kids-arts-craftsWhen it comes to teaching children, whether it is at home or within a school, art is an important part of the education system. Most parents will know of the obvious benefits from English, math and other more academic classes; however arts and crafts are overlooked. It is seen as something that is just a bit of fun, but in fact it actually benefits children in many ways.

First of all arts and crafts are two separate things and both bring different skills to a child. Art is carrying out something like a painting or drawing, where as crafts are more structured and there is a goal to complete something in a certain way, such as making a purse or bird house.

First of all art is a way for children to express themselves, sometimes before they can even talk! It can really help them to understand their feelings. Using bright colors and getting messy with paints, pens, glitter and more items is a really fun and engaging activity for young ones to take part in. Enjoyment is a huge part of learning, obviously if you like something you will spend more time doing it, and so for children who like to get creative it will bring them great joy and they will want to do it well. If you have a child and have watched them carry out a painting, you will notice the look of concentration on their face, which is fantastic and should help improve their ability to focus.

When it comes to crafts these are more structured and the help of parents or teachers is usually required, some types of crafts are better for children who are slightly older too. Art helps with developing feeling whereas crafts help with the more practical and thinking skills. Children can get hands on helping to put together a hand puppet, weaving, doing cross stitch and more. It will help them to think ahead to the next step and also they will feel so proud once they have completed their little project.

From the above there are many beneficial skills that children will pick up, and the best part is they probably wont realize they are doing so because the activities are so enjoyable! It is also helpful to develop communication skills, so they will ask for help if they need it and also as a great bonding exercise between parents and children. Make sure to include arts and craft activities at home and you can get a great range of products to help carry them out from Early Years Resources.

Zoe Robinson is an enthusiastic writer in the subject matter of children’s learning. The websites recommended by Zoe Robinson have been thoroughly researched and come highly acclaimed from direct experience. Take a look at a range of arts and crafts supplies from Early Years Resources today.

5 Summertime Activities

Summertime-funIt’s finally here—summer! It may not be “officially” summer, but Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off and we made it. It’s time for warm weather, pool time and if you are lucky enough, beach time. With the kids out (or almost out) of school, check out these great summertime activities to keep them busy during these long summer days.

Dance Party
Whether it is a rainy day or just plain too hot, orchestrate a dance party for you and the little ones. has compiled a great playlist to get you started. Nothing says summertime fun like a little dancing.

A favorite past time for many, kickball is a great way for kids on your street to meet and play together. All you need is a good kickball and something to mark the bases. This could be some trees, a few old towels, or just about anything else. Kickball is so popular even adults like to play.

Water Time Fun
Depending on where you live, it could get very warm and humid this summer. Nothing feels better in the hot summer sun than cool refreshing water. Check out our Water Fun category to find some great toys that won’t cost a fortune.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite
On those windy days, take some time and teach your kid(s) to fly a kite. It’s a simple and cheap activity, but the time spent bonding with your child is priceless. For more frugal activities, check out the Frugal Dad—he’s got a great list.

Camp in the Backyard
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on gas, camping grounds and food to get the full camping experience. Set up a tent in your backyard, grab a lantern and have your own family adventure. You can cook s’mores, have fire-time stories and never leave the comfort of your own home.

Craft Corner
Set up a table inside or out and let your kids’ imagination run wild. They can have fun with water colors, finger paint and much more. Crafts also let your child work their brain during those long summer months. Learning and having fun? Can’t get much better than that.

Dress Up Day
Pick a random day and tell your loved ones it’s time to get dressed up. They can dress up as their favorite movie character, super hero or you could pick a theme. MoneyTalkNews suggest, “Create memories with themed days. For example, pirates, ninjas, princesses and aliens are always popular kid themes. To keep the cost down, use what you already have around the house to make your costumes.”

Do you have some fun summertime activities we didn’t cover? Share your favorite activities in the comments below.

6 Essentials for an Amazing Family Portrait

Family-PhotoDoing a family photo shoot can add quite a lot of stress to your life. Especially if your children are little! Trying to get a toddler to sit still and look where you want him to is about as possible as finding a unicorn in your backyard. Not to mention getting them to the studio with their hair still combed and clothes still clean is a superhuman feat! Here are some tips for making the family photos something you will love to share – without pulling your hair out first. Remember, kids will be kids. A comfortable kid is a happy kid. If you have your child in some starchy piece of clothing they aren’t allowed to move in, all the photos will be a fight. You will have grumpy looks, tears, and at the very best, a fake smile. Dress them in something nice, but casual and comfortable. Let them play. Some of the best photos will be when your child is not aware a photo is being taken, and you will have genuine smiles and emotions. Don’t force them into a pose. Give them a couple guidelines, and then let them be themselves. Just remember to be patient, be flexible, and have fun. If you have multiple children, let them interact and play off each other. What could be a cuter picture than siblings playing together? Much better than sitting stiffly and awkwardly. Relax. The more stressed your family is, the worse the picture is going to be. A photo shoot will never go how you expect it to, so just go with the flow. If you are at the park and your son picks up a stick to play with, let him play with it! Just think of it as a prop. It will show his personality, keep him happy, and add character to the photo. We are all our own worst critics, but don’t worry about how you look in a photo. The more you worry about it, the harder it will be to look good. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true! Relax, be yourself, laugh, and be happy. Your photo will turn out with you looking natural and great. Be Yourself. What is your family’s personality? Do you like to dress up as superheroes, or would you rather pose with favorite sports equipment? If your family loves board games and not sports, don’t have them pose with baseball bats! Sitting around a board game in the grass outside can make just as fun of a shot as sports equipment can. At the same time, if your family is big into sports, having them pose with books just will not work. Find your family’s personality and work with it. Keep things simple. The more complex your photo shoot is, the more frustrating it will become. Have only a couple props as opposed to 20, a couple changes of clothes rather than 10 each, and only one or two locations rather than 9. Too many things will just make the photo shoot long and arduous, and too many props in a photo makes it look messy and detracts from the people. Clothes It is good to coordinate clothes to get a sense of unity, but your clothes should not be identical; that just detracts from your beautiful faces! An overlapping color scheme works, as well as different shades of one color. Avoid extreme colors or patterns, as well as all having the same style. A Polo shirt might look good on Uncle Joe, but not on cousin Sally, even if they are different colors. Keep a certain color scheme, but let everyone chose their own style. That will help you match as well as show individuality in your photo. Location Your location is just as important as your clothing or props. The location should be interesting, but not messy with lots of distractions. You are the star after all, not the background; it should not detract from you! Pick a background that matches your clothing and mood; a wedding shot in a parking lot full of trash would not be the best pick. Pick a photographer that knows the area as well. You would not want a Cincinnati wedding photographer to photograph a ski trip in Colorado. A local photographer will know the best places to shoot, the weather tendencies of the area, and may even have a couple out of the way locations up his sleeve that an out of town photographer would not know. So there you have the 6 commandments of family photo shoots! Follow these and your pictures will be the amazing works of art you will want to show off and pass down through the generations. Happy photo taking! Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose pride and joy is her family. In addition to spending time with her husband and daughters, she loves being outdoors, playing sports, and sharing her experiences with others.

Our Most Popular Kids Pins on Pinterest

If you haven’t jumped on the Pinterest craze, the time is now. Pinterest is a wealth of ideas, tips and everything in between. We are on Pinterest  go check it out—you’ll be glad you did. One of our most popular boards is our Kids! board. We’ve compiled our top five pins for you to check out below.


Kids can have fun chalking where they do their walking with a Sidewalk Designer kit and 50-Ct. Chalk set. From the backyard patio to the sidewalk and driveway out front, these tools will bring out their creative side. The Magic Art™ Spiral Sidewalk Design Kit allows a child to design giant sidewalk creations.


Kids won’t be dreading bath time when they know they get to play with this Tub Time Water Park Playset. They won’t ever get bored with all the options included. The 3-pc. waterway features a swing, a water wheel, a water scoop, a floating penguin, a floating hippo and 3 barricades to change water flow.


Engaging stories share lifelong lessons for young readers in this Make Manners Fun 8-Book Set. Each features cute animal characters to draw kids into the instructive tales.


Plush Turtle Ball Pit is a soft pal and a play place for babies and toddlers. The cozy and friendly Turtle Activity Bag and the Set of 25 Play Balls combine to entertain babies all afternoon. Sit them inside the pit, or zip the turtle up to discover other activities on the outside of its shell.


Kids can have fun chalking where they do their walking with a Sidewalk Designer kit and 50-Ct. Chalk set. From the backyard patio to the sidewalk and driveway out front, these tools will bring out their creative side. The Magic Art™ Spiral Sidewalk Design Kit allows a child to design giant sidewalk creations.

Buyers’ Picks – Items we love: Easy Change Artwork Frames

Our buyer’s pick this week is from our Home Décor buyer, Lia. Lia’s pick are these Easy Change Artwork Frames.  These frames are an easy way to display your children’s artwork. Keeps the room looking tidy by simply placing the latest piece of art in the easy to open frames.  Here is what Lia had to say:

I think this is a great way to display your children’s’ work of art with a finishing touch. The compartment behind the frame helps keep all the artwork organized and in one place. Change the artwork quickly and easily as your child creates more. Be sure to display several frames for each child ensuring that everyone’s artwork is evenly displayed.

I bought several for my sister who has 2 kids and they took great pride in having their artwork framed. My sister now can hang their artwork in the family room without the room looking disheveled.


Brown Bagging It

Across the country students are heading back to school.  With summer coming to a close, parents and students are preparing to adjust to a whole new routine and schedule.  Between planning for soccer practice and flute lessons, parents/students need to also get into the routine of packing lunches.  Here are some ideas for parents who pack lunches for their little ones.  By simply cutting sandwiches differently or arranging fruits in a cute way, toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy a little love from home in their cafeteria at school.  These concepts and recipes are from

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Back to School

The title of this post says is all, it’s getting to be that time of year when kids prepare to go back to school. The good news for Mom/Dad & Grandma/Grandpa is there is still plenty of time to shop for all the great items your kids will need this fall. Today I’m highlighting some  must-have Back to School items that will help make the transition from summer days to school days easy…or at least a lot less painful!

(1) Every parent knows the hardest part of changing from easy going summer to busy fall is organizing the new activities and schedules of the family. This dry erase board makes it simple for the whole family to always know where everyone is. Just scroll down dentist appointments, soccer practice and birthday parties for proactive planning.

(2) Make your new school year resolution for healthy balanced meals each day. These lunch cubes make lunch packing super easy. There is a compartment for a sandwich and a separate compartment for fruits and veggies. The best part is no more wasted plastic baggies; these lunch cubes are dishwasher safe!

(3) Some kids may not exactly look forward to going back to school. However brand new cool school supplies undoubtedly help the transition. That’s why I’m also highlighting these adorable light-up notebooks. Why not make taking notes fun? Each notebook has a cute theme (sweet or peace) and includes a spiral-bound 160-page lined notepad.

Summer Fun Guide

As summer goes into full swing, we are excited to share some of our best tips for the season!

Make Your Own Ice Cream

Kids of all ages will love making homemade ice cream on a hot summer day. This simple maker only requires a few ingredients and is lots of fun. The best part of this Mugz Ice Cream Maker is that kids can get a real sense of accomplishment and pride in creating their afternoon treat.

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Quick and Easy Decorating Idea for Kids’ Room

Love the look of a customized kids’ room but don’t have the skill or time?  Check out these great Kids’ Room Wall Decals that will instantly transform any boring room.

These decal sets contain over 20 decals and are available in Transportation or Jungle varieties.  They can be applied to any smooth surface and best of all, can be removed without damaging the item.  These colorful decals will pop on both plain walls (perfect for renters) and also complement a variety of brightly painted walls.