Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Ideas For Tweens

A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from Ms.Twixt and family! We pulled together a quick list of fun Thanksgiving traditions for tweens:

Keep them occupied: We loved this idea from One Charming Party of pumpkin pie favor boxes: a takeout container is set at each place setting and the top cover is customized with an image of a pumpkin pie. We'd update this for tweens by stuffing them with mini quiz books, Smencils, Japanese erasers, Model Magic, mini nail polishes, gimp and lanyard rings, origami papers, a deck of cards, and lip glosses.

Be crafty and grateful at the same time: Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for what one has. A fantastic idea is to create a gratitude paper chain. Simply set out jars full of strips of colorful paper along with pens and a stapler. Each kid writes as many things that she is thankful for on one strip and then staples the strip to form a loop. Especially with adults and extended family getting in on the action, the entire paper chain will assembled in no time.

Get out and play! A friend is gathering all of the neighborhood kids together to enjoy a mid-morning game of football with cider and doughnuts to follow. We will certainly be grateful for the chance to get out of the kitchen to hang out with friends and neighbors.

Make a fun pop quiz! Make a family trivia book: print out the template (or make your own quick accordian-style booklet out of cardstock) from Martha Stewart, send the tweens around to interview guests, and then have a ball figuring out which family member worked as a movie extra, speaks fluent Pig Latin, has traveled to all seven continents, etc.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Girl Scouts Tell Presidential Candidates to Support Girls as Next Generation of Leaders

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) today announces the finalists for "Dear Mr. President Girl Scouts Speak Out" PSA Contest in which girls of all ages were invited to make public service announcements to tell the presidential candidates about the importance of supporting girls and the next generation of leaders.
 The videos, slide shows and other material submitted by girls across the country drew more than 10,000 votes and dealt with issues ranging from business to bullying.  "Dear Mr. President" is part of "Girl Scouts Speak Out" series in which GSUSA asks girls to submit PSAs on an important national or global topic. Submissions were posted on the GSUSA website in May and voted on through October 15. The winner of each "Girl Scouts Speak Out" has her submission made into a professional PSA.  To view the submissions by the finalists, go to
The top themes that emerged from the materials the girls submitted included the need for more role models, equality in pay, bullying and the negative images in the media.

The finalists are:

Hareem, 14, Girl Scouts of the Nation's Capital: "Girl Scouts of the USA, Celebrating 100 Years of Girls' Leadership." As the top vote-getter with 3,465 votes, Hareem focuses on the nation's need for leadership.  She reminds the presidential candidates that girls have great things to offer, but are opting out of leadership positions, and expresses an emphatic call to action to support girls now.

Northern Jersey Girls Teen Group, Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey: "Girls are now the future!" Dear Madame President – this group of Northern Jersey girls envision that we already have a female president.  They address their video, a series of girls writing to 'Dear Madame President,' imagining a woman president who wants to support girls to become leaders.  The girls state that a girl is capable of fulfilling leadership expectations.  

Troop 6655, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles: "Do A Good Turn Daily Girls hold the president to the standard of the Girl Scout Law.  They want a president who is honest, has honor and courage to be more responsible for water and air pollution, create more jobs, stop budget cuts to education, and ensure equal pay.

Girl Scouts Colonial Coast College Group, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast: "Dear Mr. President, the children of America need your help to stop bullying." This video by a large group of teen Girl Scouts asks the President to stop bullying, saying that as a country we are becoming intolerant of those different from us which results in bullying. The girls make suggestions as to how the president can help, such as having schools take on anti-bullying pledges.  

Amanda, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois "What do YOU see?" Amanda takes a humanitarian approach, asking the Presidential candidates to see each individual not as composite of labels or stereotypes, but as a whole person. She creates imagery around stereotypes, and poses the question: What do YOU see?

The winner of the contest will be announced Nov. 1.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nominate Your Tween for "New Moon Girls' 25 Beautiful Girls Issue"

NMG's 25 Beautiful Girls is coming back to New Moon Girls magazine this spring, and we’re inviting you to nominate the beautiful girls you know!

NMG's 25 Beautiful Girls is coming back to New Moon Girls magazine this spring, and we’re inviting you to nominate the beautiful girls you know now!

We're celebrating the beautiful girls and women all around us because of who they are on the inside, not what we see on the outside. Just fill out the Beautiful Girls Nomination form, and share it with your friends and family so they can nominate Beautiful Girls they know, too!

Anyone can nominate and be nominated, even if they’re not NMG members.

We’re publishing 25 Beautiful Girls who are nominated in our May/June 2013 issue. And everyone who is nominated will be featured on starting in May!

Who are the Beautiful Girls you know? You can nominate as many girls as you want by November 17, 2012!

Remember, this isn’t a beauty contest! Show her what you think is amazing and unique about her because of who she is and what she does - not how she looks!

Learn about Beautiful Girls that were nominated in past years, such as McKenna, 11, Arizona for being the funniest girl ever, or Olivia’s mom, Angela, for going above and beyond to make her feel comfortable and happy.

Watch for our May/June 2013 issue to see if the girls you nominate get to appear in the magazine as one of the 25 Beautiful Girls!

Contact Us
New Moon Girl Media
P.O. Box 161287
Duluth, MN 55816 USA 

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Resources For Raising Resilient Girls

Last night we attended a lecture on how to "Raise Resilient Girls" at our daughters' school. The evening's discussion covered topics ranging from how to handle peer pressure, drugs and alcohol use, academic stress, and friendship dynamics. Our school's librarian circulated a list of books that she recommends on the subject, and we thought other families might find this useful as well.

Resilience: a Selected Bibliography

Ginsburg, Kenneth R., M.D. Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your child Roots and Wings. American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.
Families, schools, and communities can prepare children and teens from 18 months to 18 years to thrive through both good and challenging times. By building on seven crucial “Cs” — competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control — children
can excel in life and bounce back from challenges. Dr. Ginsburg engagingly describes how to raise authentically successful children who will be happy, hardworking, compassionate, creative, and innovative. He reminds us that our goal is to think in the present and prepare for the future, to remember that our real goal is to raise children to be successful 35-year-olds. It’s about more than immediate smiles or even good grades; it’s about raising kids to be emotionally and socially intelligent, to be able to recover from disappointment and forge ahead throughout their lives. The stable connection between caring adults and children is the key to the security that allows children to creatively master challenges and reach their highest potential. This book offers concrete strategies to solidify those vital family connections. Resilience is also about confronting the overwhelming stress children face today. It’s an invaluable guide that offers coping strategies for facing the stresses of academic performance, high achievement standards, media messages, peer pressure, and family tension. The suggested solutions offered are aimed at building a repertoire of positive coping strategies. Students who have these healthy strategies in place may be less likely to turn to those quick, easy, but dangerous fixes that adults fear. The book also includes a guide for teens to create their own customized positive coping strategies.

Levine, Madeline, Ph.D. Teach Your Children Well Parenting for Authentic Success. Harper Collins, 2012.
Psychologist and author, Levine (The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids, 2006, etc.) draws on 30 years of counseling experience and current research to debunk contemporary thoughts on
raising children. Beginning in preschool, parents and teachers push their students to obtain good grades and high SAT scores and participate in numerous extracurricular activities, with the end goal of attending a prestigious college. While these are still worthwhile endeavors, Levine offers readers hands-on solutions to "optimize conditions so that a far greater number of children can actually be successful without the accompanying high levels of distress that have become so prevalent." Through the use of scenarios from her own experience of raising three sons, as well as instances from her clinical practice, Levine provides examples of common situations encountered while raising children and suggests new solutions to handle these situations. The author's approach includes unconditional love, empathy, stimulating challenges, a safe environment that encourages curiosity, and discipline when necessary. A rethinking of the term "success" that provides new insight on how to raise today's youth.

Mogel, Wendy, Ph.D. The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers. Scribner, 2010.
Social-clinical psychologist Mogel concentrates on the hidden blessings of raising teenagers in this engaging follow-up to The Blessing of a Skinned Knee. Intermingling wisdom and guidelines from Judaism and adolescent psychology, Mogel compares the teen years to the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. As kids wander in the "desert" of adolescence, she advises parents to offer counsel and guidance, demonstrate empathy without entanglement, and resist the urge to intervene or rescue. In chapters peppered with true-to-life examples and humor, Mogel examines the blessings of a B minus, staying up late, hangovers, breaking the rules, and a variety of other teen topics, urging parents not just to look on the bright side, but to help kids benefit from the learning opportunities inherent in difficult situations. Some of her advice may be challenging for readers to follow: for instance, she recommends that parents refrain from broaching the subject of college until grade 11. She also encourages parents to let teens learn from their own mistakes and to respect their yetzer hara (aggressive impulse), while seeking balance with a sense of teshuvah (repentance). Mogel's compassion and authenticity rings true with parents of all faiths facing the tumultuous teen years.

Brooks, Robert Ph.D. and Goldstein, Sam, Ph.D. The Power of Resilience Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life. McGraw-Hill, 2004.
In their latest book, psychologists Brooks and Goldstein (the authors of Raising Resilient Children) describe how adults can develop a "resilient mindset." According to the authors, while the word "resilient" is usually associated with people overcoming great adversity, daily stress often requires resilience. Using many examples from their clinical practice, Brooks and Goldstein outline how this mindset is best achieved. The first step is "rewriting negative scripts," or changing behavior that one repeats over and over despite its negative outcome, such as a manager yelling at his employees for being uncreative. Other strategies include developing empathy; communicating effectively; accepting oneself and others; and developing self-
discipline. An appendix offers worksheets addressing the concepts covered in each of the chapters. Throughout, the authors emphasize taking responsibility for one's actions and their impact on others, as well as setting realistic short- and long-term goals. Their examples, such as the demanding manager and the couple who nag their teenage son, are familiar figures in whom readers may be able to see themselves or people they know.

Jones, Jami L. Bouncing Back Dealing with the Stuff Life Throws at You. Franklin Watts, 2007.
The image of a bouncing ball is used effectively throughout this book to discuss the concept of resiliency in the context of adjusting to life's problems. Each chapter begins with a short vignette of a teen facing a stressful situation and ends by reminding readers of the story and hypothesizing solutions. There are many positives here: the advice given is psychologically sound, the writing is clear and easy to read, the pages are visually appealing, and photos show teens of both genders and various racial backgrounds. The idea of becoming resilient and thus resisting and coping with stress is well explained. Solutions are incorporated into simplistic acronyms such as "ICAN," standing for Identifying problems, Coming up with solutions, Analyzing them, and Now, picking one and going for it. Filled with little self-help quizzes and responses, this book might be just the one to place in a teenager’s bedroom or in the backseat of a car with hopes that a child will pick it up and quietly read and learn.

Bronson, Po and Merryman, Ashley. NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children. Twelve, 2009.
The central premise of this book by Bronson and Merryman, a Washington Post journalist, is that many of modern society's most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiring because key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked. Two errant assumptions are responsible for current distorted child-rearing habits, dysfunctional school programs and wrongheaded social policies. First, things work in children the same way they work in adults and, secondly, positive traits necessarily oppose and ward off negative behavior. These myths, and others, are addressed in 10 provocative chapters that cover such issues as the inverse power of praise (effort counts more than results); why insufficient sleep adversely affects children’s capacity to learn; why white parents don't talk about race; why children lie; that evaluation methods for giftedness and accompanying programs don't work; why siblings really fight (to get closer). Grownups who trust in old-fashioned common-sense child-rearing, the definitely un-PC variety, with no negotiation or parent-child equality will have less patience for this book than those who fear they lack innate parenting instincts. The authors provide thorough research, citing numerous case studies, experts' findings and examinations of successful progressive programs at work in schools

Schipani, Denise. Mean Moms Rule: Why Doing the Hard Stuff Now Creates Good Kids Later. Sourcebooks, 2012.
Freelance writer and mother of two, Schipani asserts that parents who coddle their children, try to be their friend, or take a child-centric or helicopter approach to parenting are not doing their children any favors. To counteract the trend toward warm and fuzzy parenting, she presents 10 Mean Mom Manifestos in separate chapters (e.g., Hang On to Yourself. You May Need that Person Later, Don’t Follow the Parenting Pack, and Take (or Take Back) Control). Schipani urges moms to take charge and teach life skills so that kids will grow up to be confidant, capable adults. Mean, by the author as definition, entails bucking the prevailing parenting trend, liberally using the No word, and taking the long view of parenting by placing more emphasis on future outcomes than jumping to meet children’s demands all day long. Schipani has a solid track record of writing on parenting topics and no shortage of opinions. Self-described as relentlessly practical she is also funny, witty, and loaded with suggestions for keeping children in their place (e.g., stash the grown-up ice cream in the back of the freezer and eat it after they go to bed). While some readers will find the author’s mean-mom shtick a bit jarring, others will welcome the message that when mean moms rule, children benefit.

Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Houghton Mifflin, 2012.
New York Times Magazine editor Tough argues that non-cognitive skills (persistence, self- control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence) are the most critical to success in school and life. Building on reporting for his magazine, the author interviewed economists, psychologists and neuroscientists, examined their recent research and talked to students, teachers and principals to produce this fascinating overview of a new approach with "the potential to change how we raise our children, how we run our schools, and how we construct our social safety net." At a time when policymakers favor the belief that disadvantaged kids have insufficient cognitive training, Tough finds that a new generation of researchers are questioning that cognitive hypothesis. Foremost among them is Nobel laureate and University of Chicago economist James Heckman, who since 2008 has been convening economists and psychologists to discuss significant questions: Which skills and traits lead to success? How do they develop in childhood? What interventions might help children do better? Tough summarizes key research, such as the Adverse Childhood Experience Study, which revealed a stunning correlation between traumatic childhood events and negative adult outcomes. Others have shown that the effects of childhood stress can be buffered by close, nurturing relationships. Families, Heckman says, "are the main drivers of children's success in school." This book includes many examples of failing disadvantaged students who turned things around by acquiring character skills that substituted for the social safety net enjoyed by affluent students. Well-written and bursting with ideas, this work is essential reading for anyone who cares about childhood in America.

Recommended Websites
Ginsburg, Kenneth, M.D. M.S. Ed. “Fostering Resilience Preparing Children and Teens to THRIVE through both Good and Challenging Times.”
Dr. Ginsburg’s website furnishes useful excerpts and excellent tips from his book, A Parents’ Guide to Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Your Child Roots and Wings.

Resilience Guide for Parents & Teachers.
Free from the American Psychological Association, this online guide gives step-by step helpful advice and tips about how to build resilience in children and teenagers to assist them in adapting to trauma, tragedy, threats and significant sources of stress.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Come Join Us In Georgetown For Fashion's Night Out

We are having an amazing time here shopping and dancing our way around Georgetown! Come down before 11 to take part in the fun! Make sure to stop by the photo shoots and take a ride on the free bike rickshaws. See you there!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Must See Video For Tweens at Back to School: Rachel Crow's "Mean Girls"

We were watching the Arthur Ashe Kids Day concert at the US Open this weekend, and a new performer named Rachel Crow sang her new single, "Mean Girls". Both this mom and tweens were captivated by the song, so we went online to find the video - and that was even better.

We love how this young girl (she's 14 years old!) captured both the loneliness of being bullied and the courage it takes to move beyond it. This is must-see viewing for all tweens and their parents this Back to School season.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

New Report Finds That Parents Approve of Social Media Use By Kids

Given all the writing on social media for kids (including ours), we found the following interesting: a new report released today by Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, finds that 83% of parents think the benefits of their kids’ social media use, including sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, balance or outweigh perceived risks. The report is titled "Healthy Perspectives: Parents, Kids and Social Media" and also finds that 72% of parents agree that their child’s participation in social networking is good preparation for future work success in a world increasingly dependent on technology.

Here are some other interesting tidbits from the report:
  • 68% of parents believe a child should be 13 or older to join Facebook
  • 64% of parents with children ages 12 or younger indicate they are concerned about sexting or inappropriate sexual behavior as a result of social media, while fewer than half (49%) of parents of children between the ages of 13 and 19 are concerned about the issue.
  • 72% of parents said it would help prepare them for life in a digital world. 
  • 59% said it would help them learn through collaboration and exchange of ideas. 
  • 57% said it would encourage them to be more curious, aware and open-minded.
  • 55% said they think it is an effective teaching tool.
  • A somewhat smaller number, 46%, said they believe it fosters individual identity and social skills.
The full report can be found here.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Tween's Review of Willa Skincare

A new line of skincare just launched this summer called Willa Skincare. What makes this line unique is that it's created by a tween girl (Willa) in collaboration with her mom out of a desire for natural skincare that is priced and designed for tweens. SPF is a HUGE focus of the line given a family history with skin cancer, and the formulations are all natural. The pieces in the line are modern, not cute-sy, and affordable on a tween allowance budget - making it a standout in our minds.

Maya reviewed the line this summer - here are her thoughts:

I really like the Willa facial wash because it was both light and cleansing. I like the fact that it is in a foam because it felt gentler than a scrub or toner. However, I did think because of its gentleness it was necessary to be paired with a strong scrub to be an effective skin care system. I think this product works fantastically as an after workout/ mid-day facial rinse.

I liked both the color and taste of the Willa lip gloss. I thought the color was perfect for summertime- very upbeat and bright. Plus, it would look great at the beach! I thought that the consistency was a bit sticky to use in the summer time with all the humid weather, but it'll be great for Fall.

And don't miss Willa's Pinterest page - TONS of fun!
Willa Skincare is available at Target at prices ranging from $1.75 for the cucumber facial mask to $11.50 for the foaming facial wash.
Photo credit: Maya for MsTwixt

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Fabulous Models for Tween Girls: U.S. Women Win More Gold Medals at Olympics

Our family has been glued to the t.v. as we watched the Olympics this summer.. Our tweens have been enraptured by the spectacle of diverse sports and by seeing so many women's sporting events televised. HUGE thanks go to especially to Missy, Katie (a hometown heroine for us DC denizens!), Gabby, Ali, Jordan, Rebecca, Serena, Venus, and Allison - to name but a few - for inspiring our tween daughters like never before. We were further heartened to learn today that the U.S. Women earned 29 gold medals, besting by an even dozen the number won by the U.S. Men (at 17 - not too shabby either). We have Title IX to thank in part to this accomplishment, and boy, does it show. Congrats ladies!

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

J.K. Rowling On Body Image

Our eldest came across this via Instagram - we love this:

“Fat’ is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her.

I mean, is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I’m not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain…

I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn’t seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? ‘You’ve lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!’

‘Well,’ I said, slightly nonplussed, ‘the last time you saw me I’d just had a baby.’

What I felt like saying was, ‘I’ve produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren’t either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?’ But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!

I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.”

- J.K. Rowling

Saturday, July 21, 2012

American Girl "McKenna" Movie Screening at American Girl Place Washington, DC

We brought our youngest tween out to American Girl Place at Tysons Corner for the new "McKenna" American Girl movie tonight. We decided to make an evening of it with dinner first at the American Girl Bistro and then the movie.

Dinner at the DC American Girl Bistro was very much consistent with our prior expeditions to American Girl in New York and Boston. The setting was fanciful and very PINK with doll-size settings everywhere. Our tween was particularly taken with the giant pink flower chandelier hanging over our table.

The fixed price menu offered a lot of choices, even for vegetarians, and we both loved our sides and entrees. Pink lemonade was the beverage of choice for the tween, while mom had a choice of wines. The starters were pleasantly starter-size (we opted for chicken noodle soup and the pretzel bites)and left room for the main course (penne pasta with a garlic sauce and roast salmon). Dessert was, of course, chocolate mousse in adorable green glass flower pots. We went through the entire box of "table talk" questions over dinner - which was perfect for a bit of mother-daughter bonding.

We had time for a quick photo-op with the McKenna movie cut-out and then picked up our hot pink wristbands.

The movie screening was held at the Tyson's Corner Marriott. We're local residents, but for families visiting the DC area, the Tyson's Marriott offers a special American Girl package.
The hotel converted a ballroom into a movie screening room complete with a colorful and well-stocked candy buffet, bags of popcorn, and an expanse of space that dozens of tween girls immediately sprawled out on. "McKenna" was projected onto a huge screen, and the atmosphere was very much like a giant slumber party.

Even though the movie was shown on television last week, the ballroom was full of girls attentively watching the screen. Some came in American Girl outfits, a few had brought blankets to sit on, and they all applauded when the lights came on.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Chamber of Secrets Has Been Opened

Are you the heir of Slytherin? Pottermore recently opened the second book (CoS) up for students of the Slytherin house only! We have two girls in Slytherin house here who are very pleased about this new development. But, if you are in another house, don't worry the book will open soon for the whole school to enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Camp Gear for Tweens

'Tis the season to gear up for camp. Whether your tween is headed to sleepaway camp or on a summer getaway, here are our picks to keep her in fun fearless fashion all summer long:

Neon is a big trend this year (Exhibit A: tweens at One Direction concerts), and we think these neon duffle bags in neon yellow and neon pink are not only right on trend but also practical (because they help her to find her bag in the crowd). $97 from Deux Lux
She can never have enough towels for the beach or pool, so we found these adorable seahorse towels (bonus: they're on sale!). $20 on sale from Lands End

For those camp color wars, face paint that's easy to apply allow her to deck herself and her cabin-mates out in team colors. At the shop we stocked Sport Face because it was super easy to apply and was no-fuss (think ChapStick as face paint - no brushes needed). $3.50 for two from

One of our tweens is on a swim team, so we go through a lot of swimsuits. Our favorite brand has a funny name: Dolfin Uglies. These suits are so NOT ugly - they have the most fun prints we've seen! We especially love that they stand-up to a lot of wear and have terrific, sporty-cuts. The best deals for Dolfins seem to be online at; prices range from $20-38

We loathe the lugging of multiple bottles on every outing, so we look for products that do double-duty. Avon's Skin So Soft makes an SPF30 sunscreen combined with a bug repellent that works perfectly for our tweens. It's on sale now, 2 for $15.00 at
'Speaking of sun protection, here's another fun product mash-up: UV sensitive craft beads. We're sending our tweens to camp this year with packets of color-changing UV energy beads that she can craft into friendship bracelets, hair barrettes, bag tags, and more. Packets of 500 beads are $17 from Steve Spangler Science

Sadly our tweens' mom (yours truly) is not talented in the hair style department, so we always look admiringly at the cute hair styles done by Mindy at CuteGirlsHairstyles. Her Fourth of July glow-in-the-dark bun looks easy enough that even we could manage it, and the fun Glowby sticks are perfect for tucking into camp care packages. Glowby's are $5/apiece and come in 8 colors

Make it easy for her to send letters home or keep in touch with friends the old-fashioned way: by writing letters. Especially for those no-electronics camps, fun stationary is a must. We love these fun, no-fuss send and seal stationary packs from Iscream. $6.80 for a packet of 40 cards - just add stamps and she's good to go!

What are your tween's summer camp essentials? Please share your tips!

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

GSCNC Rocking the Mall

How the girls and I are cooling down during an amazing event on the mall! Girl Scouts are here from all over the US! Amazing right? Let us know if your here with us! We have some SWAPs to trade!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Final Exam Study Tips for Middle School

Final exams are this week in our household, and the tweens have been busy studying for the past week. We asked the girls to share some of their study tips - we hope you find them useful!
  • Put your exam dates on the family calendar. That way, your brothers know to not bug you and your parents remember to make you a good breakfast the morning of.
  • Make digital flashcards. We found a fun app called Flashcard for the iPhone. It works great and made studying more fun - it was especially helpful for study groups.
  • Turn studying for history into a craft project: make a paper timeline. This helped me to understand how long a king's reign or a Chinese dynasty really was.
  • Take over your space - my sister turned her closet mirrors into a giant study guide for her Mandarin test by using colorful dry-erase markers on the mirrors. It looks really cool!
  • Study outside! My mom didn't want us to miss pool-time during our Memorial Day vacation, so she put our study guide sheets in clear plastic sheet protectors - it worked!
We hope you like these study tips - we used them both for mid-terms and for finals. Last year was the first time we had finals, so our mom made us a Finals Care Package that was filled with all kinds of really fun things.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

One Direction in Concert: Our Review

UPDATE: 5/25/12: First Tween Malia Obama is also a One Direction fan and attend the show last night in Virginia.
As tweens put it, "Every generation has a boy band. 1D is ours." Another group of five lads from across the Pond lit up the stage at the Patriot Center last night and were met with record-setting decibels (122, which exceeds Verizon Center records as well) by their sold-out crowd of tween fans. The noise was so deafening that one couldn't hear the band until a few minutes into their first song.
One Direction has proved to be a break-out hit, and they put on a show that delighted their Washington-area fans last night. They performed hits from their "Up All Night" album (although many tweens reading this column will state that every song is hit on that record) and did several cover songs as well. Their cover of Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" was a particular standout amongst the crowd and was notable both for their adept tweaks on the arrangement and their fidelity to the soul of the lyrics.
"Our boys", as they are referred to, kept the stage-set simple with a focus on their trademark, clean-cut ensembles and a band of four other people. They limited their footwork to traditional a-capella style moves, and their fans ate it up. The five-some (Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson) evenly shared center stage and acknowledged and thanked all corners of the venue. Fans threw all manner of gifts on the stage, including a baby doll, ping pong balls, a red Nationals baseball cap (which Niall promptly donned), and an Indian flag (which Niall draped over his shoulders - perhaps confusing it initially with the Irish flag, which has the some colors?).
During the concert, One Direction answered questions sent via Twitter from the crowd. Perhaps most entertaining amongst their responses was Mr. Payne's impersonation of Louis Armstrong using lyrics from "What a Wonderful World".
A new female recording star, Camryn, opened for One Direction, and she had arguably a tough spot to fill, what with a stadium full of tween girls screaming for One Direction. She did an admirable job of pumping up the crowd with songs from her own repertoire including "Set the Night on Fire" and a rousing cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger". As an aside, the music that played before One Direction took stage that got the most spirited response from the crowd were songs from "Grease". The entire Patriots Center it seemed sang "Summer Lovin'" and "Greased Lightening" en masse.
Tweens documented the entire show with in their usual way with smartphone videos, photos, Tweets, Tumblr posts, and Facebook updates posted throughout the evening - almost certainly a Facebook query this morning will turn up several boot-leg videos from the concert. Many in the audience came wearing fan tee-shirts they had customized at home with puffy paint, fringe, and glitter, and day-glo colors were de rigeur.
More information on One Directon's Up All Night Tour can be found here.

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