Eat Right: Stay Cool with Healthy Summer Treats

When the summer heat is on, New Jammies kids need to stay hydrated and cool. Moms and dads agree that as summer heats up, it helps if those cool treats are light and healthy, too.

Water is the first priority for hydrating kids. According to an article in Parenting magazine on keeping kids hydrated, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children drink six glasses of water on an average day.

“During activity, however, your child can lose up to a half-liter of fluid per hour,” says the article. “The AAP suggests about 5 ounces (or two kid-size gulps) of water or a sports drink every 20 minutes for an 88-pound child.”

Popsicle Dreams Forever
One way kids love to stay hydrated and cool in the summer is with popsicles. Many brands on the market that most of us would still recognize from our childhoods are often produced using sugary flavored water, colorful dyes, and preservatives.

Today, we’re lucky in that we can find low-sugar organic juices and hydrating ingredients, such as coconut water and fresh fruit-infused water, to help us get creative with ingredients while controlling what our kids consume. There are so many options for making your own ice pops using BPA-free molds and easy, healthy recipes. Why not treat the kids and save money with a healthier  homemade option? Yes, please!

The Coconut Mama food blogger, an Oregon mom named Tiffany, offers this recipe for Coconut Water Ice Pops that yields 6. She’s a self-described “true believer in the health benefits of coconut,” using coconut products in most cooking.

“These unconventional ice pops are healthy, super easy to make and can be very versatile,” reads the recipe description. “Coconut water is extremely healthy and restores electrolytes. You can use any mix of frozen or fresh fruit to make them. We used mango, pineapple and blueberry on this batch.”

Ingredients

Fresh or frozen fruit
Coconut water

Instructions

1. Fill popsicle molds (or cups if using) 3/4 way full of fruit of choice.
2. Pour coconut water into molds and fill the rest of the way.
3. Place molds in freezer. Allow popsicles to freeze completely before serving, about 5-8 hours.
4. Once your popsicles are ready to serve, run the bottom of the popsicle molds under warm water to help release them from the molds.

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Freezing ice pops this summer is made easy with the Lekue 4 Unit Stackable Ice Lollipop Mold, which can be ordered online on Amazon. According to the product description, making homemade popsicles in these stackable molds helps save room in the freezer, and they have an easy-to-fill design that comes with a lid to protect from unwanted flavors and smells in the freezer.

Included in the price are easy recipes that feature lactose and gluten-free options. “You can have healthier and more natural ice pops with no preservatives or dyes,” says Lekue. “Each mold comes with one stick and is dishwasher-friendly and BPA-free.”

Juice Up

We love this recipe for All-natural, Sugar-free Soda from The View from Great Island blogger Sue Moran, not only because it’s “refreshing, fun, and fizzy,” according to the foodie site Super Healthy Kids. But it also skips the artificial flavors, colors, high-fructose corn syrup, and chemicals found in many sodas, says superhealthykids.com.  “All you need is fresh fruit, and carbonated water.”

Ingredients

1 pound fresh ripe strawberries
Carbonated water

Instructions

1. Wash and trim the strawberries.

2. Place them in a food processor and pulse until they are rough chopped, then scrape down the sides of the machine. Purée until completely smooth. Let the machine run for a minute or longer to insure a nice smooth purée.

3. Push the mixture through a mesh strainer, using the back of a large spoon to make sure as much of it gets through as possible. Most all of it should go through, leaving just the small seeds behind. You should have approximately a cup and a half of purée.

4. To make soda, use 2 tablespoons of the purée for each 8 ounces of carbonated water. Mix and then serve immediately. You can adjust the amount of purée for a lighter or stronger flavor.

5. The fruit purée will keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for a week.

6. If you like you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to perk up the flavor of any fruit soda, and conversely, if you find your soda is too tart, add a touch of honey.

Other fresh fruit-flavor ideas Moran suggests for this super-easy recipe include:

• Grape (choose the dark or red varieties for best flavor)
• Blueberry (be sure to strain this one)
• Guava
• Papaya
• Mango
• Peach
• Pineapple
• Kiwi
• Orange (try blood orange, if you can find them)
• Red or pink grapefruit

Enjoy these refreshing ideas all summer long, and year, if you decide to freeze the purée. Or add spring water to the mix, instead of carbonated, and freeze for a delicious ice pop.

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New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Play Right: “Up & Active” Toy Trends Perfect for Summer

New Jammies Trains Collection

Early this year, the Toy Industry Association announced its top trends at the New York Toy Fair, and New Jammies was happy to see popularity of the “Up & Active” theme.

“With more room for innovation and a greater willingness to take risks, toymakers are pulling out all the stops to create highly ground-breaking products, reinvent play patterns, and refresh classic brands with cutting-edge technologies and exciting new licenses,” says Adrienne Appell, a trend expert at TIA. “Best of all, these toys build children’s developmental skills through collaborative, hands-on, and imaginative play.”

Collectible toys were also among the hot forecasted trends, which help children develop lifelong skills, including social skills (when negotiating and trading with friends), organization skills (as they maintain their collections), and perseverance (not giving up on the “hunt”), according to the Toy Industry Association.

The “Up & Active” category features toys to encourage kids to get up and move – both indoors and outdoors.

“The latest active toys not only motivate kids to burn off excess energy, they are also engaging for the whole family and are more seamlessly integrated into other types of play,” says the Toy Industry Association. “This trend includes tech toys that weave in active components, classic outdoor ride-ons, traditional games that incorporate physical activity, and digital toys that foster face-to-face play.”

The Toy Industry Association notes that toys which encourage kids to move are a part of a larger health-and-wellness trend that spans multiple industries.

“We see consumers making healthy lifestyle choices, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, athleisure, wearable devices, and natural-looking beauty options, so I believe the outdoor and sports toys trend will continue into the near future as well,” says Juli Lennett, NPD’s senior vice president and U.S. toys industry analyst.

Toy companies are launching toys and games designed to motivate kids to move – both indoors and outdoors – particularly as they respond to the demands of millennial parents seeking more engaging toys for their kids, such as offering educational or more active play, says the Association.

“Toys that encourage kids to get up and move are on both kids’ and parents’ wish lists,” says Adrienne Appell, TIA trend expert. “It’s not just classic outdoor toys that are popular; we are seeing toy companies innovate with tech toys that weave in active components, educational toys that incorporate physical activity, new exciting ride-ons, and traditional games that require kids to move around in order to play.”

One toy that help kids enjoy the Great Outdoors is the Regatta Swing. The nautical -themed swing is developed exclusively for Magic Cabin, which specializes in open-ended, nature-inspired toys and crafts to nurture children’s innate sense of wonder and curiosity. The swing, for ages 3–6 and older, holds up to 200 pounds and features an innovative design to sits two sailors on two heavy-duty mesh seats. The mesh bottom means water won’t get trapped inside while not in use. The simple concept of the bowline knot creates a secure hanging apparatus of adjustable height that’s easy to use.

New Jammies’ Pirates collection of PJs, which can double as comfy play wear to stay cool in the summer, would be a fun addition to this imagination-building play. Sailboat n’Waves would also be cute to rock in the Regatta Swing.

Antsy Pants’ line of Build and Play kits are designed to let kids’ imaginations run wild and get kids and families creating, imagining and building together. With each product purchased, sold exclusively at Target, Antsy Pants helps support KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all kids get a childhood filled with the balanced and active play they need to thrive.

“Antsy Pants will make a donation to KaBOOM! for each product purchased, and is projected to give more than $150,000 in the first year to build playgrounds for kids across America,” says the product’s website.

The Antsy Pants Build and Play Obstacle Course  gets the whole family moving with toss rings, jump hurdles and a race to the finish for fun-and-friendly competition. The easy-to-build Obstacle Course Kit comes with an agility ring course, start and finish flags, adjustable height hurdles, and weave pole course. No tools necessary!

New Jammies’ Star Spangled collection would be a patriotic, America-themed way to celebrate the Fourth of July while running through the Obstacle Course this summer.

USA! USA! USA!

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New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Sleep Tight: From Daytime Jams to Sleep Jammies

One of the most versatile ways for kids to wear New Jammies in the warmer months is to don them during the day in the park, poolside or at neighborhood BBQs. Then mix and match at nighttime for a cool, comfortable sleep.

“New Jammies’ signature 100% organic cotton fabric is breathable and keeps kids cool in the summer heat and warm at night,” says New Jammies CEO and founder Nicole Ludlow.

“The fun part is to mix and match the short sets, pants and long-sleeved shirts for several different color and print combinations on vacation or out and about having a good time, day into night.”

A cute look for girls in the summer is to add brightly colored tutus and comfy sandals to our Lobsters collection. Or incorporate pastel tutus into an outfit with our pretty Ballerina Slippers or Mermaid Bubbles prints.

The Lobsters and Whales collections come with 100% organic cotton summer roll hats, too. The fun summertime New Jammies headwear designs provide a coordinated look at the beach or in town, especially with our Classic Stripes and nautical-themed collections, to help protect babies’ sensitive skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Boys are typically fairly easy to dress, especially in the summer, so our shorts sets with bold stripes and colorful prints really come in handy when packing for the day, weekend, or a week of well-derserved vacation.

“So many of our collections offer options for mixing and matching, and for going from day to night, if the boys manage to stay clear of mud!” says Nicole, who has two young boys of her own.

The organic Classic Stripe in blue and white is a great option for bold and colorful day-to-night wear for boys or girls, and the Pirate Skull Stripes and Sailboats n’Waves pajamas and short sets are perfect to switch up from afternoon into evening. Especially for hanging around the water at the lake or ocean, and for summer vacations involving pirate ships, sunset cruises or floating on the river.

In celebration of summer, New Jammies has a few of these versatile outdoor and sleep time looks in our sale section of our online store.

Enjoy great sale prices on our Sharks PJ Shorts Set and Ottoman Flowers PJ Shorts Set, as well as the Pirate Skull Stripes and Sly Fox PJ Shorts Set, for a wonderful summer playing in the sun and sleeping under the stars.

Here’s to a summer to remember!

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New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Fun Food Truck Recipes

New Jammies Stars and Stripes

New Jammies Star Spangled PJs

A perk of the nice spring and summer weather is the re-emergence of food trucks into our worlds. New Jammies loves the idea of mobile food providers who utilize local, farm-to-table ingredients in their recipes. We’ve found a few food truck-savvy recipes you can make at home, perfect for the week days or the weekends.

Spaghetti Squash is the Secret

The Healthy Food Truck is an Indianapolis-based business offering a brick-and-mortar cafe and mobile locations throughout the week. The company started out as a personal desire to get people fit and eat quality, healthy food.

“With our personal training clients and family as inspiration on our menu items, rose a great opportunity to serve paleo, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan food options that everyone enjoys,” says the Healthy Food Truck, on its website. “This is a veteran/woman-owned small business and we take great pride in offering the freshest, local, organic pressed juices, and foods while maintaining a close relationship with our customers.”

Healthy Food Truck says its recipe for Low-Carb Spaghetti and Meatballs will help families learn to love nature’s healthy noodles: spaghetti squash.

“If you haven’t yet tried spaghetti squash then you’re in for a real treat. A pile of tender spaghetti squash strands piled high with protein and veggie meatballs makes the perfect fitness meal,” says the site.

Low-Carb Spaghetti and Meatballs

Serves 12

Ingredients

2 pounds lean, organic, grass-fed ground beef
1 pound lean, sweet turkey sausage
4 celery stalks, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 omega-3, eggs
1/2 cup almond meal
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of salt and pepper
Optional: handful of olives

Sauce

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
splash of white wine
2 cups fresh basil, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
dash of salt and pepper

Noodles

1 spaghetti squash

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Wash spaghetti squash and poke all over with a knife.

3. Place directly on the middle oven rack and bake for 1 hour.

4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. Once cooled, slice in half and remove the seeds. Scoop the spaghetti squash strands out with a large spoon, set aside in a bowl.

6. Throw all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix with your hands. Form into large, golf ball sized meatballs.

7. Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well.

8. Cook with Crockpot: Place the meatballs in your slow cooker. Cover with the sauce and cook on low for 6-8 hours. OR Cook with stovetop: Place meatballs in a large pot. Cover with sauce and cook, covered, over low heat for 2-3 hours.

9. Place a scoop of spaghetti squash noodles on each plate, top with meatballs and some sauce and then throw on a few olives.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 266 calories, 12g fat, 426mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 26g protein

Tacos

Veggies in These Tacos

Serves 4

“The First Mess” cookbook author and foodie blogger Laura Wright grew up working in restaurants and growing up with agriculture. So farm-to-table-inspired cuisine is right up her alley. Her recipe for Roasted Spring Vegetable + Quinoa Tacos with Dill-y Guacamole, which features rice, lentils, beans or any other grain you prefer, fits the mold of healthy food truck offerings for a fresh, healthy option for spring and summer.

Roasted Spring Vegetable Quinoa Tacos

Ingredients

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

For roasted veggies:

1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch lengths

1 bulb of fennel, cored + cut into 2 inch lengths

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt + pepper

For the guac:

1 ripe avocado, peeled + pitted

juice of 1 lime

1 green onion, sliced

3 sprigs of dill, leaves chopped

For assembly:

3-4 radishes, thinly sliced

12 small corn tortillas, warmed

hot sauce to serve

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Place the rinsed quinoa, a pinch of salt and 1 1/2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer until all of the liquid is gone, about 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place the asparagus and fennel pieces on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables to coat and slide the tray into the oven. Roast until the vegetables are just soft, about 12-13 minutes.

4. While vegetables are roasting, mash the avocado in a small bowl with the lime juice, sliced green onion and some salt and pepper. Once you have a chunky puree, check it for seasoning. Adjust accordingly and mash in the chopped dill. Set aside.

5. Start assembling tacos: lay a warm tortilla down and top it with 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa. Top the quinoa with a small handful of the roasted vegetables and a tablespoon or two of the guacamole. Finish with a few radish slices and hot sauce if you like. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

 

Sippin’ on Summertime

In its “Aloha, Portland” episode of “Eat St.,” the Cooking Channel featured a refreshing drink recipe, courtesy of Scratch. This watermelon lemonade mixes heat with sweet, a perfect drink for Mom and Dad to relax on the back porch while the kids enjoy their 100% juice boxes. Give it a try at your next BBQ.

Watermelon lemonadeWatermelon Jalapeno Lemonade

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined and chopped
1/2 seedless watermelon, chopped
16 fresh mint leaves, optional
Ice
Lemon slices, for serving

Directions

1. In batches, combine 12 cups water, the lemon juice, sugar, jalapeno, watermelon and mint, if using, in a blender. Blend to a puree.

2. Allow the puree to steep for 10 minutes before straining it through a fine mesh sieve. Chill well.

3. Serve chilled, with ice and a lemon slice floating at the top.

Click here to watch it being made.

 

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Eat Right: Healthy Summer Snacks for Families On the Go

StripesSummer sure is great for relaxing, but it can also be a busy time when New Jammies families are on the go.

Whether it’s to and from ball games and the pool or traveling for family vacations and reunions, helping kids eat right is made easy with tips on packing snacks with a healthy punch.

New Jammies founder Nicole Ludlow opts for healthy snacks on the go including dried fruit, nuts, pretzels, banana, and bringing along a soft-pack cooler for cut-up fruit, veggies and cheese.

“Veggies are an easy route for snacks, especially when chopped into child bite-sized portions,” Nicole says. “We love carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, jicama, and red, yellow and green bell peppers for fresh, mobile snacks.”

Jicama is a fun, nutritional vegetable, native to central and South America, that kids enjoy because it has a crisp sweetness that stays cool in the summer. The root veggie has been used for thousands of years as a medicinally beneficial dietary element, according to organicfacts.net.

“Some of the health benefits of jicama include its ability to help you manage your weight, optimize your digestion, boost your immune system, prevent various types of cancer,” says the Organic Facts website, which provides unbiased info on nutrition and benefits of food and home remedies. “It also increases energy levels, helps manage diabetes, builds strong bones, increase circulation, lowers blood pressure, and boosts brain function.”

Fresh fruit is also a favorite with New Jammies kids. From watermelon and blueberries to strawberries and mango, fruit goes with summer like sun and a day at the beach. Fruit is extremely versatile — it can be eaten alone or diced up and mixed in with yogurt. Apples, oranges, pears, and peaches make for quick snacks to take on the go.

And dried fruits including cranberries, apricots, and bananas are nutritious non-perishable items to pack for longer trips or vacations. Dried fruit can be packed in individual travel snack bags or added to homemade granola and protein-heavy nut mixes that include peanuts, pistachios, pecans, almonds, and cashews.

GranolaTry this easy sugar-free granola recipe that can be packed for snacking from superhealthykids.com:

Ingredients:
2 cup oats, dry
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F
2. In large bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon and salt.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into dry oat mixture. Stir gently until dry mixture is coated.
4. Turn oat and egg white mixture onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner)
5. Bake in pre-heated oven for 60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes.
6. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

Also easily portable are wheat crackers topped with peanut butter, hummus, cheese cubes and pepperoni slices, and dry snacks including pretzels, apple and sweet potato chips, goldfish and graham crackers, and low-sugar fig newtons. This recipe from the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission for homemade baked sweet potato chips is easy to prepare, and can be great for snacking or family get-togethers. They can be made with or without the red pepper for spice, if needed, for kids:

Courtesy sweetpotato.org

Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

Ingredients:
4 large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and dried
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Peanut oil for frying
1 recipe Vidalia Onion Dip (recipe follows)

Instructions:
1. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly slice sweet potatoes.
2. In a small bowl, combine salt and red pepper. Set aside.
3. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, pour oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium-high heat to 350°. Plunge chips, 10 to 12 at a time, into oil. Fry until light golden brown, 3 to 6 minutes.
4. Remove, and drain on paper towels or paper bags until completely cooled. Sprinkle with salt mixture.
5. Serve immediately with Vidalia Onion Dip, if desired.

Serving Size: 12 servings

Vidalia Onion Dip

Ingredients:
1 Vidalia onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Garnish: chopped fresh thyme

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Place onion slices on prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, coat onion with olive oil.
3. Bake until slightly charred, approximately 12 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool, and roughly chop.
4. In the work bowl of a food processor, combine onion, sour cream, ricotta, tarragon, salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and hot sauce. Pulse until smooth.
5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Garnish with thyme, if desired. Serve with Spicy Sweet Potato Chips, if desired.

Serving Size: approximately 3 cups

Happy, healthy snacking from New Jammies!

Sleep Tight: Make Summer Fun with Backyard Camping

CampingIn his treasured book “Our National Parks,” naturalist and environmental philosopher John Muir wrote, “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” As nature lovers ourselves, we at New Jammies can relate.

There’s something magical about sleeping under the stars that provides a sense of peace, and brings us closer to nature. One way for kids to learn first-hand about the Great Outdoors is to plan a fun overnight or weekend camping excursion in the convenience of your own backyard. Because of the easy access to the amenities of home, backyard camping is ideal for all ages, from babies to grandparents — and even great-grandparents.

The National Park Service (NPS) provides information on backyard camping to introduce children to Mother Nature and teach them to appreciate all she has to offer. Or even to test a new sleeping bag, tent or other camping gear.

“Consider camping in your backyard,” says the NPS. “You don’t have to be in a ‘real’ campground to learn the art of camping and to make memories.”

Celebrating 100 years on Aug. 25, the National Park Service lists these benefits of backyard camping:

1. The house is right there. The familiar setting and security of the backdoor lit at night is the perfect testing ground to introduce sleeping under the stars, especially to kids. If the weather is bad outside, the kids are too afraid of the dark, or you need to dash to the bathroom, your house is right there.

2. Memories in the making. Some of the very first memories of camping as a child begin with pitching a tent a few yards from the house. Make it a fun family event. Invite relatives or friends to share in the experience.

3. The testing ground. Do you need to master the art of making the perfect s’more, or learn how to prepare meals outdoors? Use your backyard to get a feel for what it’s like to sleep on the ground, to prepare a meal outdoors, or to test your gear.

StripesParenting Magazine suggests planning ahead with fun games, easy snacks, and at-home activities for a chill staycation with the kids.

“Enter the backyard campout: low on stress, high on thrills, chock-full of the fun stuff that camping’s all about (including plenty of dirt), all within shouting distance of clean bathrooms and a stocked fridge,” says parenting.com, in its “14 Ideas for Camping Out In Your Backyard.”

In the article, parenting.com puts a fun spin on a beloved campfire treat with these easy S’mores on a Stick:

“Warm up your favorite chocolate sauce and pour into a shallow bowl or plate; put crushed graham crackers on another plate. Roast marshmallows, dip in the chocolate and then the crackers.”

For old-fashioned, after-dark backyard camping games, play Ghost in the Graveyard, which Parenting mag describes as “tag with a spooky twist.” Here are the simple rules:

1. Designate one ghost to hide in the backyard while everyone else waits on base (like the back porch) and counts: “One o’clock, two o’clock …”

2. When you get to 12 o’clock, shout “Midnight! I hope I don’t see a ghost tonight!”

3. Then go hunting in the backyard for the ghost. Whoever spots the ghost first cries “Ghost in the graveyard!”

4. Everyone then scrambles back to base while the ghost tags runners. If you get tagged, you, too, join the ‘ghost’ gang and the game begins again.

5. Keep playing until everyone’s been caught by the ghosts and the graveyard is full.


Gear Up with New Jammies for Backyard Camping Fun

If your kids are up for an overnight outdoor adventure in the backyard — or even taking it to the next level in a park that permits camping — New Jammies has some colorful, 100% organic cotton pajamas perfect for summer nights sleeping in nature. Check out these popular outdoorsy collections:

• Our Star Spangled PJs are a fun way to celebrate America in patriotic red, white and blue, all summer long. Choose from our stars and flags prints and striped patterns for a colorful shout out to the good ol’ U.S.A.

Gone Fishin' New Jammies• Featuring a whimsical angler theme, Gone Fishin’ New Jammies will have kids dreaming of sun-filled days by the lake catching fish to cook over the campfire.

Bug's Life New Jammies• Cute and cozy Bug’s Life footies, short sets, and PJs showcase insects that flit and flutter while lighting up the night, perfect for camping under the stars.

Play Right: Summer Traveling with Kids

New Jammies Stars and StripesAt New Jammies, we can’t wait for summer vacation, when the kids break from school and finally have the fun in the sun they’ve been waiting for. There are many historical places to visit as teaching moments for the kids. There’s also plenty of family-friendly outdoor destinations perfect for heading to the beach, camping, hiking, biking, sightseeing, and more.

New Jammies owner and founder Nicole Ludlow recently road tripped with her family cross-country and has summer travel tips that can help families prepare.

“Make sure to pack ample sun protection — hats, sunblock, back-up lightweight long-sleeve top, and sunglasses. And spare shoes. More walking/running than usual in sandals can give blisters, so maybe bring extra pair sneakers, socks,” she says. “Keep cool with water mister sprays and bring a small cooler with cold water and electrolytes packets for kids.”

When traveling with kids, Nicole reminds parents to be prepared for situations beyond their control.

“You never know how long things might really take. Sitting at the airport or in traffic, long lines for events, weather problems, etc.” she says. “It’s good to always have healthy snacks on the go — dried fruit, nuts, pretzels and bananas. In a cooler, pack cut-up fruit, veggies, and cheese.”

Nicole also suggests packing items that keep with kids’ normal routines while away from home.

Bunny New Jammies“Bring their favorite blanket, animal, books, small toys, and a potty if potty training so you can use on the go on a road trip,” she says.

To help parents be ready for a trip to remember, the Family Travel Association offers “5 Tips for Family Adventure Travel,” including a webinar. Watch it here.

“Family travel is a unique opportunity for bonding,” says the nonprofit organization, whose mission is to inspire families to travel. “Together you will be creating a brand new set of shared experiences and memories that can enrich your family for years to come.”

The Association suggests starting planning early to reduce stress and create more joy for the trip by getting an 8-10 month head start on plans.

“Many of us are master procrastinators, but leaving planning — especially for international travel— to the last minute can add unnecessary stress to what should be a fully enjoyable experience. Besides simply allowing yourself ample time to make decisions and sort details without stress, studies show that beginning the planning process early builds a sense of anticipation and can create more enjoyment surrounding the trip.”

The Family Travel Association also advises to know your family needs and designate a point person responsible for interacting directly with travel agent or tour operator.

“If possible, get the family together to sit down and discuss each person’s wants, needs, and expectations. Perhaps the kids are old enough for dinner alone and were looking forward to having that time to themselves, but Grandma was expecting a family dinner each night. Considering each person’s individual needs and personality will help you plan a trip that will be enjoyable for everyone,” the group says.

Other pointers when planning a family trip, says the the Family Travel Association, is to know traveling is possible with kids of any age — and that it doesn’t have to break the bank.

“Take the time to think through all the potential costs of the trip, so you’re not surprised later with forgotten costs: are meals included in your trip cost? Is tipping expected at your destination, and to whom? A group travel family adventure is based on a per-person cost, so make sure you are multiplying those numbers by the number of family members traveling. Thinking through these details can make a big difference for staying within your budget.”

Sunflowers_New JammiesManaging the details, aka keeping all your ducks in a row, is a big part of making a family vacation fun. Organization experts The Container Store offer the “Top 10 Organized Travel Tips” to help make family vacations stress-free.

The store suggests planning ahead and allowing plenty of time, researching conditions and requirements, and making a checklist of items absolutely needed. Also, communicate by informing friends, family and trusted neighbors of plans to travel and how long, says the store.

Other helpful suggestions include protecting your home during vacation, having pets boarded or cared for by a friend, watering houseplants well, setting timers on interior and exterior lights and thermostats at reasonable temperatures for summer, and hiding valuables other than in your jewelry box or an underwear drawer.

Also, “don’t take the kitchen sink” when traveling.

“When planning for your weekend, keep in mind that many hotels offer a variety of amenities that you won’t need to bring from home. For example, many facilities feature hairdryers in each room; therefore you can leave yours at home and reduce the bulk in your suitcase. The same is true for items like robes and beach towels so, save space for something you know you will need,” says The Container Store.

For a road trip, be sure to have a pre-vacation car inspection, check tires and fluids, and inspect windshield wipers, hoses and belts for wear. Include an emergency auto kit with jumper cables, basic hand tools, flares, a first aid kit and a flashlight.

When it comes to medical emergencies, be prepared for the unexpected.

“But you don’t need to bring along the entire medicine cabinet to remedy the situation. Prepare a small first aid kit with only the basics and a travel-sized sewing kit. You’ll be glad you have them when you need them,” the store says.

Happy traveling!

Eat Right: Healthy Summer Eats Perfect for Picnics

With fresh produce in abundance and plenty of sunshine to help gardens grow, summer is the perfect time for New Jammies kids to eat healthy. Picnics are an ideal way to share a meal outside while enjoying summer activities and bond with family and friends.

At New Jammies, we especially love anything organic and farm-to-table, in this case farm-to-picnic blanket, to keep our kids as healthy as they can be. These healthy summer picnic ideas make eating fun and nutritional for kids of all ages:

imageUpdated Waldorf Salad
Recipe courtesy health.com
Photo: Amy Kalyn Sims

Using low-fat mayo keeps this salad creamy but under 10 grams of fat. Plus the lemon juice adds a tangy taste and keeps the apples from browning. At 153 calories, this is a traditional salad made healthy with

Ingredients
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 small (Gala or Fuji) apples, cubed
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery (about 1 stalk)
8 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
Preparation

Directions
1. Combine mayonnaise and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add apples, grapes, and cranberries; mix well.
2. Add the walnuts and celery, and mix well. Serve it on a bed of 2 lettuce leaves. The salad can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before serving.

Vegan Strawberry-Banana ‘Dillas
Recipe courtesy onegreenplanet.org

This is a delicious, healthy snack to satisfy any sugar cravings with the natural sweetness of fruit. Bananas have a low glycemic index, meaning that the body absorbs the sugar gradually, eliminating spikes in blood sugar. Strawberries are very high in Vitamin C, extremely important for a good immune system. Cinnamon boosts the metabolism by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties after meals.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 whole wheat tortilla (use corn for GF)
2 tablespoons crunchy, salted almond butter
½ banana, chopped
2 – 3 strawberries, chopped
dash of cinnamon

Directions
1. Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place tortilla in skillet and rotate so that it gets coated in the oil.
2. Spread out almond butter over one half of the tortilla. Top the almond butter with the banana and strawberries.
3. Sprinkle fruit with cinnamon.
4. Fold the plain side of the tortilla over the covered side. Flip.
5. Remove from pan when golden brown and slightly crunchy. Cut up in four pie-shaped pieces and enjoy.

imageLemony Orzo-Veggie Salad with Chicken
Recipe courtesy Ivy Manning, Cooling Light on myrecipes.com
Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

This colorful orzo and chicken main dish salad is packed with an assortment of chopped fresh vegetables and tossed with a tangy lemon dressing. It’s a great use for leftover or rotisserie chicken.

Ingredients
3/4 cup uncooked orzo
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast $
1/2 cup diced English cucumber
1/2 cup prechopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Directions
1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain and place in a large bowl.
2. While orzo cooks, combine lemon rind and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper), stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture over orzo; toss to coat.
3. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients (through dill); toss gently to combine.
4. Sprinkle with cheese.
Blueberry Lemonade
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay and foodnetwork.com

This refreshing, fruit-filled drink can be modified with a sugar substitute or honey, if preferred, to cut down on calories.

Ingredients
3 cups blueberries
3/4 cups sugar
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups cold water
Ice cubes

Directions
Place the blueberries and sugar in a blender and puree.
Place the lemon juice and water in a pitcher and strain the pureed blueberries through a medium mesh sieve into the pitcher.
Stir well and pour over ice.

Sleep Tight: Father’s Day Gift-giving Ideas to Give Dad a Break

Harry Connick, Jr. has been quoted as saying, “My Dad is my hero.” Father’s Day is the perfect time to honor that special hero in your New Jammies kids’ lives by helping Dad relax and enjoy summer. These gift-giving ideas take the stress out of shopping to make Dad’s Day a breeze.

Grill Master
At New Jammies, we love the Slow Cooking Movement and the process of smoking foods. Who doesn’t enjoy a leisurely long day for Dad to prepare a meal for his family while he sips on sweet tea or a cold ginger beer?

It’s no secret many dads take barbecuing to an extremely personal level each summer, finding zen in the practice of smoking meats and slow-roasting vegetables to perfection. For the griller in your father, head to your local Target store, or shop online at target.com, for The Charcoal Companion Stuffed Burger Recipe Book, “the ultimate, one-of-a-kind collection of the most delicious and unique stuffed burger recipe.” Accompanying this Father’s Day-friendly book is the inventive Stuff-A-Burger Press that creates stuffed burgers with tender and tasty toppings on the inside. If ordered online and shipped fast, the book and press combo can come gift-wrapped and you’ll receive 20% off (sale price $13.59, reg $16.99).

This Turkey Burger Stuffed with Zucchini and Mushrooms recipe from sparkrecipes.com keeps Dad healthy by providing two servings of vegetables per thick, juicy patty. Ground turkey breast is leaner than beef, and the diced veggies in the meat help keep it moist. Use the grill in the recipe for the summer months.

The Gardner & the GrillHelp Dad up his expert griller game with some great grilled veggie centers and sides using the The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill guide. The book, available on amazon.com, is described as the complete grilling companion for gardeners, seasonal eaters and “flexitarians” everywhere, and anyone enamored of the powers of the grill—not just during the summer months, but all year long.

To add some extra flavor to Dad’s grilled veggies and burgers, or any dish, try Fire & Flavor’s all-natural, sweet and smoky Apple Wood Smoking Chips for gas or charcoal grills. They’re made in the good ol’ USA and perfect for beef, chicken, seafood and pork.

A Toast to Dad
Help Dad take a load off and unwind after grilling up dinner with a custom cocktail made with care. The Black Cherry Bourbon Soda from farmgirlgourmet.com, found on Pinterest, features a summery fruit treat and premium bourbon. Black cherries are used to infuse bourbon for the ultimate cherry soda. Cherry Bourbon can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Black CherriesIngredients
1 cup bourbon, such as Eagle Rare or Maker’s Mark
3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
2 cups whole fresh black cherries, stems left on and pitted
16 ounces (2 cups) soda water

Instructions
Add the bourbon and brown sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Pack cherries into a small jar and pour the hot liquid over; press gently on the cherries to make sure they are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 week or up to 1 month.
To prepare sodas: Fill four 12-ounce rocks glasses with ice, add 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cherry-infused bourbon to each glass and top with about 4 ounces soda water each. Garnish with 2 or 3 whole cherries soaked in bourbon (the longer they soak, the stronger they taste and can be enjoyed separately). Serve immediately.

Superman Two-piece Sleep SetSuper Dad
Rest comes easy for the super dad when he’s kicking back in PJs. Ideal for a fun Father’s Day gift idea, the Superman Two-piece Sleep Set in gray, available at Kohl’s stores and online at kohls.com helps dad be the man of steel while being a hero around the house. The set, on sale for $20 when originally $50, includes a short-sleeved crewneck tee and drawstring elastic waistband, button-fly lounge pants for extra comfort.

Yoga for MenLet’s Get Physical
Dad can test his strength and stamina at home and learn how yoga can improve his sleep, breathing and overall health with the Yoga for Men DVD, designed specifically for men by men, available on amazon.com. The 50-minute Yoga for Men routine can help Dad build strength and tone, achieve a great total body workout and help in the recovery from a sports related injury. Created and presented by Jake Panasevish, a certified vinyasa yoga teacher with more than 400 hours of training, Yoga for Men is based on his personal experiences overcoming sports related injuries and the overall goal of achieving excellent physical condition.

Bose Bluetooth SpeakerMusic Man
For music-loving fathers who love to listen to tunes on the go, amazon.com offers the Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker. Its sleek, ultra-compact design fits in the palm of Dad’s hand. He will enjoy full, natural sound for music, videos or games. Best of all, the speaker connects wirelessly to a smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth device. Its advanced audio performance delivers a full-range listening experience and is Bose’s most compact, portable speaker. It features a rechargeable battery to play up to 7 hours for optional music listening while on a trip, working out or relaxing around the house. Shop online at amazon.com to receive 10% off (list price: $199, with deal: $179) and fast, free shipping delivered by Dad’s Day.

Play Right: Fun Summer Vacation Hotspots for Kids

imageFilled with sunshine and fun, there’s nothing like summer vacation to build lasting memories for New Jammies kids and their families. Kids can take a break from homework and parents can relax with some well-deserved vacation time with these ideas for memory-making summer vacations.

• If budget is a factor in your summer vacation planning, look no further than the Travel Channel’s Cheap Summer Vacations list to plan a budget-friendly get-away. Topping the list is Family Camp at Medomak Camp in Rockland, Maine. At this all-inclusive vacation destination, parents get in on the fun of summer camp, as the flat tuition fee covers activities and all meals in a gourmet mess hall, including a lobster feast. “Morning activities for the kids include archery or arts and crafts while adults practice yoga, get a massage or even join the kids for some craft time. In the afternoon, everyone heads to the lake for swimming, kayaking, sculling or sailing,” says the Travel Channel. “Come nightfall, the whole family can set off on a scavenger hunt or play softball or ultimate Frisbee. Bring your own musical instrument for the evening campfire. Just leave your hair dryer at home — the accommodations are comfy, but rustic, and there’s no need for primping anyway.”

image

Mesa Verde National Park

• Family camping can be a way for families to enjoy all that nature has to offer and take in the freedoms of the open road and wilderness. The useful website camping.com is dedicated to providing camping and RVing tips, trips and information, and has several RV camping trip planners available no matter what part of the USA the family will visit. For fans of the Old West, the Four Corners Road Trip is one regional route that allows families to see four states — Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah — and breathtaking views and landscapes perfect for hiking and exploring. “This region is filled with parks, fascinating history and stunning geological features,” says the site. “RV enthusiasts can travel northwest from the beautiful Mesa Verde National Park into Utah and Arches National Park. Along this journey travelers will learn about the history and geology of the region.” Enjoy sleeping under the stars, s’mores by the campfire, and an educational look at life in the desert from our country’s ancestors’ point of view.

image• The West Coast of the U.S. not only provide scenic camping opportunities, but the beautiful coastal region is also great for a baseball park-themed vacation to celebrate America’s favorite game. At ballparksofbaseball.com, parents can plan vacations around nationwide summer baseball schedules, breaking the games down by region with the helpful MLB Road Trip Guide. The Left Coast Tour takes family vacationers to five ballparks from Seattle to San Diego over eight days. Take in the old-fashioned culture of eating ballpark hot dogs and peanuts and singing along to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” See the sites of the San Francisco Bay, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle cityscapes at the end of June while rooting on the boys of summer.

• If beachside is where the family prefers a little R&R for the week, Florida is the sunny state to visit in the summertime. On the state’s Gulf side, Captiva and Sanibel Island is a great kid-friendly location to collect sand buckets full of seashells by the seashore. Make sure to visit the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge for an educational experience for the kids. Another kid-friendly location in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, home to Fort De Soto Park which was voted Best Family Beach in the Country by Parents Magazine. Amenities include a sandbar that makes a natural kiddie pool for new swimmers, calm surf, lifeguards, an historic fort, camping, fishing, recreation, canoe and nature trails and a dog park. Check out visitflorida.com to plan a sunny vacation perfect for the entire family.

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imageBugs ‘n Butterflies!

Summer is here and kids can enjoy the magic of Mother Nature by learning about bugs and butterflies when they play outside or head to camp. Keep your kiddos comfy in our 100% organic cotton pajamas on warm summer days and nights. It’s a bug’s life in these fun prints! We love playing outdoors, so much so we wrote this blog about it. Read all about it here!

Through June 8, take 15% off our Bug’s Life and Butterfly Magic collections. Use code: BNB2015