Tips for Parents in Perfecting a Back to School Routine

Tips for Parents in Perfecting a Back to School Routine

It’s been a few weeks for most of us with the new Back to School routine. If you’re like most parents, it can be a struggle.

Let’s just say from getting the kids to bed on time so you don’t have cranky kids, to making sure they are off to school with a great breakfast to start their day, we all struggle, both moms and dads to make this transition a success. Summer has ended and that is enough to make us all feel depressed, add the stresses of getting back on a schedule for a successful school year for all.

Below are some tips for you that may help you make everyone a rock star this school year.

  1. Don’t over book yourself the first few weeks. Clear your calendar as much as possible to make sure you are giving the family time to adjust. You being available will help smooth the process. Don’t over commit with work, including business trips, if you can.
  2. 10592739_10204269377715702_3866481617673741460_nPrepare school lunches (even if that’s getting the money prepared for them to buy) the night before.  That includes getting your grocery shopping done after work or on the weekends. Involve the kids. As you can see the boys and I love grocery shopping for our weekly meals. We’ve all been there, slinging bread around the morning of to get the lunches prepared. Don’t add this extra stress to yourself. Waking up knowing the lunch is in the fridge ready to roll out the door in the morning will make you sleep better and one less thing to worry about in the morning.
  3. Praise everyone for waking up when those alarm clocks go off. Show the family you appreciate their promptness; even reward the kids, for getting up when those alarms go off in the morning.
  4. In the beginning, give yourself extra time. Set the clocks a bit earlier until you have it down pat. Allowing an additional 15 minutes for any hiccups or mishaps will take off some pressure for both you and your children.
  5. Have your meals scheduled. This includes both breakfast and dinner. Having a few nights a week planned out where dinner is ready to go and breakfast isn’t a challenge will take away the stress along with knowing your children are getting their dietary needs met. Parents hate the feeling knowing their kids went off to school with an empty belly or not the right foods to help them get through their day. Make it healthy and build in those foods that will assist in getting them through the long day and new schedule.
  6. Have a plan for after school.  Don’t expect them to know what you want from them after school. Be clear with your expectations of the entire family. Who’s on first? Chores to letting the dog out, make it clear who is responsible for doing what when they return to the home. If homework is the first priority before dinner or if you do it after dinner, be clear with those expectations.
  7. Review books and schoolwork. Parents should review what your children are bringing home, from books to homework and additional school related papers. Have a bin that your children are responsible for managing, placing items in and being sure you’re seeing them. Nothing like searching in a stuffed backpack for papers. Give them some of the responsibility to help out.
  8. Ask for help. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed at times, stay calm and ask for help from the family. It doesn’t have to be all on you. Have them help make the lunch one day a week. Give yourself a break once and a while and order take-out. It’s ok to do it and don’t over-react when things don’t go as planned. That’s what parenting is all about.

I hope these tips help, and when in doubt, send your kids off feeling great every single morning!

Celebrity moms embracing nursing

Celebs are just like us when it comes to their babies, they too are nursing. There has been a recent upsurge lately with celebrity moms being very vocal about their stance on supporting breastfeeding.

We’ve compile a pretty awesome list of celeb moms that are and were proud to breastfeed their little ones.

Jennifer Garner – One of the most down to earth moms in Hollywood, her three children Violet, Seraphina and Samuel were all nursed. “All I ever heard was everyone bitch about [nursing]—nobody ever said,

‘You are not going to believe how emotional this is.’ It’s like, I’ll say I’m going to stop, and then I’m in there, feeding her.”

Tori Spelling was vocal about her “supply” while nursing. Discussing very openly about her lack of “abundance of milk” while nursing son Liam.

Angelina Jolie was on the cover of W Magazine nursing her twins Knox and Vivienne. She spoke about how she tried to nurse both at the same time, and how difficult that really was and eventually just had to have them take turns.

Mary Louise Parker was very happy to show off her nursing body at many red carpet events. Even making statements thanking her son William’s nursing for her curves.

Naomi Watts jokingly discussed fatigue not just on having a newborn but also nursing. Jokingly calling it “lactose lobotomy”

Catherine Zeta-Jones nursed both of her children, Dylan and Carys and discussed how supporter undergarments were a necessity for many of her red carpet events while nursing.

Harlow and Sparrow, Nicole Ritchie’s babies were both nursed but Nicole has made statements where her own diet had to make some adjustments due to some sensitivity to Harlow’s digestive system.

“you really have to cut everything out when you’re breastfeeding.”

 Kourtney Kardashian came out being vocal about her not being able to nurse in public because of the paparazzi. She eventually didn’t care and had an “oh well” attitude if someone got an eye shot of something. “My attitude is, if someone sees a little somethin’ somethin’, don’t look if you don’t like it.”

Isla Fisher was open to media outlets about nursing her daughter well into her second year.  Even making jokes about Olive going away to university she would stop then.

Salma Hayek, probably one of the most talked about nursing experience; nursing a malnourished baby in Sierra Leone while on a UNICEF trip. Salma admitting numerous times that she was addicted to nursing seeing all the good that nursing does for her child she felt it was very important. “When I see how much good it is doing her, I can’t stop.”

Gwyneth Paltrow, aka the Milk Machine, as she called herself, didn’t take dieting so seriously as she does when not nursing. She felt she had to let up a little bit to be sure she could produce while nursing.

Gwen Stefani was hurt when her son Zuma self-weaned while she was on tour. She said it impacted her hormonally and felt rejected but understood that she couldn’t jump around on a stage and then nurse and do it all over again. “I think it gives you superhuman powers.”

Some quotes from celebrity moms:


“The first time we went out to a restaurant… I had a Hooter Hider on and this guy walks by and was like, ‘Ughhh.’ He was just disgusted. I was like, ‘You didn’t get enough hugs when you were little.’”


“Breastfeeding has been one of the best experiences of my life. I love it! I can’t stop! I think I’m going to breastfeed him until he goes to college! I’m hooked!”

Selma Blair

“The only time he cries is if he’s hungry. We all have nipples. I don’t care who I offend; my baby wants to eat. If I can’t get a cover over me quick enough, so be it.”


“I lost most of my weight from breastfeeding and I encourage women to do it; it’s just so good for the baby and good for yourself.”

Jenna Fischer

“I thought, you read all of the stuff in magazines like, ‘Oh, I breastfed my baby and I am so skinny now’ [but] I am breast-feeding my baby and I am not getting any skinnier!”

What do you think about these celebrity babies?

2014 has already been a baby booming year for many celebrities and the baby news of expecting celebrity parents continues to be on the frontlines of gossip columns. Here are just some of the recent celebrity babies that made the news.

Drew Barrymore and her husband Will Kopelman had their baby Olive two years ago and already added to their family with their new baby girl this summer named Frankie. Their family is growing and Drew looks more beautiful than ever being a mom.

Kelly Clarkson, who just recently was married last year, wanted to get started with her and new hubby’s family. She took to Social Media (twitter) to share her great news of expecting back in November 2013. This American Idol alum and her husband Brandon Blackstock welcomed baby River on June 12th and recently was inspired to create a paint splattered onesie for her online merchandise she already sells. Who knows what’s next for this power house songstress and possibly more celebrity babies in her future.

It was no Scandal to find out and follow Kerry Washington as she was pregnant during the ABC hit show and then recently delivered a baby girl in May. Olivia Pope doesn’t seem like the mothering type, but we know Kerry will be a hit with her little girl Isabelle. The celebrity news outlets are already praising Kerry and her post baby body. She’s getting ready to shoot the next season of Scandal. Producers can let up on the creative ways they went about hiding her baby bump during last seasons’ episodes.

Celebrity BabiesProbably one of the more shocking celebrity babies of 2013/2014 so far has to be Gwen Stefani. As one of the most stylish moms of Hollywood and her newly slotted judge on The Voice surprised us last year announcing her 3rd pregnancy and then delivering little boy Apollo on February 28, 2014. Apollo makes three for Gavin and Gwen, Kingston 7 and Zuma 5. We look forward to seeing Gwen on the next season of the Voice and rumors have it that Gavin will be making an appearance at some point with coaching some of the finalist.

The list could go on and on, just to name some more celebs that delivered babies so far in 2014:
Kendra Wilkinson from Playboy Playmate, Jenni (JWoww) Farley of Jersey Shore cast, Jimmy Kimmel’s wife, Kenan Thompson of Saturday Night Live, Jenna Fischer of The Office and let’s wrap up the news with Lil’ Kim who delivered baby girl Royal Reign. We had to end it on that note with the celebrity babies of 2014, so far.

How to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom & tips on how to reduce you stress

How to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom

How to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom —throw a baby in the mix and they can quickly turn into a chaotic event that you hope ends quickly. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the long holiday season full of festive parties and family get-togethers, but this time doesn’t have to be stressful just because you have a baby. Even if you’re planning to host a party of your own this holiday season, making it all work flawlessly—even with a baby to attend to—is totally possible, and quite fun if you plan ahead and expect the unexpected at all times. The following tips on how to dress (you and your baby), and how to cope with the stresses of hosting your Thanksgiving soiree will help you get through, and enjoy, the holiday festivities.

Dress for Success

Since you’re going to be the host (and life) of the party, you should be as comfortable as possible while still looking great. Rather than throw a formal dinner, opt for a casual party instead so you can dress the part and your guests will be comfortable, too. Here are a few clothing ideas that look and feel great!

  • Autumn colors – Bring the beautiful fall colors to your wardrobe by choosing an outfit that incorporates brick red, maroon, shades of brown, dark orange or golden yellow. Draw inspiration from this fall color palette to really get you in the spirit.
  • Leggings and Jeggings – While your tight-fitting jeans look great, they probably aren’t practical for this holiday. With all the good food you’ll be serving, they will be uncomfortable in no time. Opt instead for a pair of leggings (which are perfect for this time of year) or a pair of jeggings (they’re hot right now). Paired with a tunic top, the stretchy material will allow for overindulgence and still look fabulous.
  • Wrap sweaters – utilize a wrap sweater over the top. These are great because they always look great and double as outerwear if necessary. Should you get too warm, simply remove it.

Dressing Baby

Most moms look forward to the holidays simply because it’s fun dressing the little ones up in pretty dresses and cute little dress pants and shirts. While babies look so cute in these types of outfits, they may not be the most comfortable attire, and worrying about stains can be nerve-wracking. Rather than going this route, choose comfortable, easy-to-manage baby clothes inspired by the holidays.

  • Autumn colors – Take advantage of the season’s color palette and dress baby in shades inspired by nature—rich maize, orange, garnet, browns and other warm tones.
  • Fabrics – Choose fabrics that offer warmth and comfort such as velvet or corduroy as these materials convey a holiday-type feel.
  • Garments – Layers are a good idea for baby because you can remove some if he gets too warm or when it’s feeding time to avoid stains. Onsies work great for layering because they keep your baby warm and come in many designs suitable for the holiday season.
  • Shoes – Shoes are optional because it’s your casual party, but if you forgo them, be sure to have a pair of coordinating socks on those cute little feet.
  • Accessories – Accessories such as hair bows can be added to “dress up” your child’s look a little bit, but ultimately, aren’t necessary.

Dealing with the Stress

It can be a big job hosting a Thanksgiving Day party, no doubt, but with the following 11 tips, the festivities should go off without a hitch.

  1. Make Lists – To keep things organized so you don’t forget anything, make a list (or lists) of things you need to buy, things you need to do, and who’s coming. Mark things off as you complete them. By doing so, you’ll get everything done and feel accomplished without stressing over what you may or may not have forgotten.
  2. Delegate – As you make your lists, decide what you have to do and what others in the household can comfortably manage—this includes helping with the baby. By giving over some of the work that needs to be done, you take some of the stress off yourself.
  3. Cook Ahead – Do as much ahead of time as possible. When the little one is taking a nap, do what you can to get ready for the party so you’re not trying to deal with a fussy baby and put a party together at the same time.
  4. Take Shortcuts – Don’t think you have to prepare everything from scratch. Take advantage of pre-made or boxed items when you can. More than likely, your guests will never know the difference.
  5. Stock up on Snacks – Hungry guests aren’t happy guests, but if you keep an array of snacks on hand to tide them over until mealtime, everyone’s happy. Shop ahead of time and take advantage of sales on cookies and crackers. The same goes for drinks.
  6. Decorate Smart – Decorate your house for the Thanksgiving holiday with simple decorations like pumpkins and fall inspired table settings. There’s no need to go all out—just strategically place a few fall decorations here and there, but out of baby’s reach if he’s at that age.
  7. Tidy is Good Enough – Your guests aren’t coming to your party to see an immaculate house. They’re coming to see you. Don’t spend days on end cleaning from top to bottom. If you have a messy room, simply shut the door. Too much clutter? Gather it up and place it behind closed doors.
  8. Make it a Buffet – Don’t feel the need to put on a formal dinner for your guests, especially if there are a lot of them. Simply make the meal buffet-style and let them serve and seat themselves.
  9. Background Music – They say music calms the soul, so play some festive holiday music in the background to help guests get into the spirit. You’ll be surprised at what a little holiday music can do for your mood.
  10. Don’t Stress about Tradition – If you try to live up to another family member’s longstanding holiday traditions, you may become overwhelmed. Your grandmother had her traditions, but this is your party. Start your own traditions and keep fond memories of hers.
  11. Look for the Signs – Just as you can get overwhelmed during the holidays, your baby can too. Upsets in a child’s routine can send him spiraling into a meltdown quickly. Watch for signs of fussiness and irritability in your little one and have a plan in place for dealing with it. Make sure there’s a quiet room in a different part of the house where he can go when he gets tired or the festivities become too much. Appoint other family members to help out in caring for the baby during the party so you can enjoy it, too.

So, did this help ” how to survive Thanksgiving as a new mom”?   I certainly hope so!  And Happy Holidays!



Harper Grace Baby Finalist in the 2013 SheKnows Parenting Awards for Baby Bedding!

Harper Grace Baby is a Finalist in the 2013 SheKnows Parenting Awards

Vote for Harper Grace Baby’s Pixie Baby Crib Bedding in the 2013 SheKnows Parenting Awards




We were nominated in the 2013 SheKnows Parenting awards for our Pixie Baby in Blue #babybedding set!  Please vote for us….

PRLog (Press Release) - Sep. 29, 2013 - MACUNGIE, Pa. – Harper Grace Baby, nominated as a finalist in the 2013 SheKnows Parenting Awards for their sweet Pixie Baby Bedding in Aqua, beat out hundreds of other submissions. Parents everywhere are encouraged to visit the voting website to make their voices heard for their favorites in fourteen baby-related categories. Harper Grace Baby can be found in the Bedding category and is one of four entries.

Voting takes place from Monday, September 23, 2013 through Sunday, October 6, 2013, and voters may vote for one product in each category once per day. The products with the highest number of votes in each category will win.

Positive Customer Impact

In business since 2010 and passionate about all things baby, Harper Grace Baby prides itself on providing an elegant baby boutique where parents can shop for the trendiest baby fashions, gifts and nursery décor. Patty Gatter, owner of Harper Grace Baby and mother of two, believes that creating a special and beautiful space for a child is one of the most exciting times in any parents’ life. With this belief, and a desire to help other parents create the perfect nursery, Patty shares her creativity and passion through Harper Grace Baby.


To view the Pixie Baby Bedding in Aqua, parents can visit the Harper Grace Baby website at…. Parents can vote for the Pixie Baby Bedding in Aqua at….

Founded in 2010, Harper Grace Baby is a leading online retailer in baby bedding and nursery decor. The company offers a wide range of products for babies from clothing to furniture, bedding and more.


For more information on voting for Harper Grace Baby in the SheKnows Parenting Awards: &


Welcome To The Jungle Prince George!

In an interview with CNN slated to air September 15th, Prince William reveals the nursery décor for the new Prince of Cambridge, George. Deciding to bring his love of Africa to his new son’s nursery decor, the royal couple is going with a jungle theme of sorts. In the one-hour special, William says, “I’ll have toy elephants and rhinos around the room. We’ll cover it in, you know, lots of bushes and things like that. We’ll make him grow up GG625-1as if he’s in the bush,” he adds.


Feeling a strong connection to Africa after having traveled there many times as a child with his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and again several times in adulthood, Prince William even proposed to Kate Middleton during a trip to Kenya. Bringing something so special into his first child’s room was important. The 31-year old new father hopes little George will someday get to experience Africa the way he and his brother, Prince Harry, did on their trips with their parents. Until then, his room in the bush will have to do.


You can create a jungle theme in your baby’s nursery, too. Baby bedding and nursery safarifullset1-1décor in a zebra stripe pattern adds just a touch of the wild side to your baby’s room. Our Safari series baby bedding is ideal for both boys’ and girls’ nurseries and with curtains, pillows and blankets to match, you can create your own little safari oasis right in your own home. Your little prince or princess will love sleeping in the wild.


Watch the full one-hour special with Prince William, called “Prince William’s Passion: New Father, New Hope” on September 15, 2013 on CNN and CNN International at 10 p.m. ET.

XOXOXOXO, Patty, Owner

Baby Crib Fact and Safety Tips

When it’s time to add the baby crib to the nursery, it’s important you know and understand the safety laws in place to protect your child. You may be inclined to think bad things couldn’t possibly happen to you or your baby, but years of research have gone into the current baby crib laws after countless deaths and injuries to children whose parents thought bad things couldn’t happen to them, either. The following list contains the most important safety facts and tips to keep in mind when you head out to find the perfect baby bed to complement your nursery décor.

Old versus New13043-1

It may make sense to use an old crib to save money or continue a tradition within the family. However, doing so can pose some serious safety concerns for your new baby. The old crib may have loose or missing parts, have slats too far apart, or have peeling or chipping paint. Older cribs probably do not meet current safety laws, so it’s best to spend the money on a new one so you’re sure to have the safest place possible for baby to sleep. Having that peace of mind when you lay him or her down at night is worth every penny.

Teething Rails

Teething babies chew on just about everything and their crib is no exception. Cribs have plastic teething rails on the tops of the sides to protect the crib and prevent baby from swallowing chipped paint while chewing. Check the teething rails often for cracks and sharp edges and wash them periodically to prevent germs and bacteria from building up.


Before there were strict guidelines in place for baby cribs, the space between the slats were several inches apart, which allowed a baby to wiggle through and fall out, or worse, become stuck. This resulted in many injuries and death. Now, new cribs have slats no more than 2-3/8 inches apart so baby cannot fit through. Check periodically that the slats are stable and tight.

GG80417Toys and Décor

Even the newest, safest crib can pose a safety hazard if toys and decorations are placed too close. Mobiles should be hung high enough that a standing baby cannot pull it down and wall décor should be hung out of reach. Pay attention as your baby grows and move things further out of reach as needed.

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Infants under 12 months of age should sleep in a crib or cradle with a fitted sheet only. Bumpers, thick blankets and pillows pose a serious suffocation hazard as infants are unable to move themselves if their face becomes covered. To keep your infant warm, dress him or her in blanket sleepers and footed pajamas rather than using a blanket. After 12 months of age, you can begin using blankets and bumpers.

Thanks for reading!

xoxoxoxoxo Patty, Owner

Choosing Colors For The Nursery

Choosing Colors for the Nursery

Choosing nursery décor for your upcoming bundle of joy is always a fun task. Picking out wall colors, baby bedding, and wall décor to create the perfect ambiance for baby is something you’ve probably given a great deal of thought to. You and your baby will be spending a lot of time in the nursery, so you want it to promote a comforting and relaxing atmosphere. One of the easiest ways to convey comfort and relaxation is with color. Many psychologists believe colors directly affect mood, so decorating the nursery with certain colors can help soothe baby, creating the perfect atmosphere for relaxation and sleep.

What Colors Should You Pick?  SAFARIINGRAYCLOSEUP2

The mood you wish to promote in the nursery will determine the colors you should use. If you’re into Feng Shui, white is a great color to invoke peace, creativity and serenity. It’s also the perfect color because it allows you to be creative with other colors in the crib bedding and accessories in the room.

Blue – Blue colors promote a positive energy. The lighter and softer the shade, the more dsc_4057small1peaceful the energy, while bold blues are very energizing. Blue is a wonderful color, but you may want to stay away from bright, bold blues in your baby boy bedding because it might deter relaxation and sleep.

Green – Green is the color of nature and one of the most relaxing colors in the spectrum. Soft, light shades promote healthy, restful sleep and can help calm a fussy baby.

Pink – The traditional color for girls, pink in soft shades or used as an accent color can be very soothing and serene. Stay away from bright pinks or an all pink décor because it can be too distracting.

Violet – Violet works in much the same way as pink. In soft, light shades, it promotes calm and serenity. Avoid bold purples in your baby girl bedding as it may be too distracting for a restful sleep.

White Pique Baby BeddingYellow – Yellow has always been a popular non-gender color. However, it may not be the perfect color for nursery décor because it can be over-stimulating and distracting. If you include yellow in the room, stick to lighter, softer shades and use it sparingly.

Brown – Brown has become popular over the last few years in the nursery. It works well with other earth tones but should be only be used as an accent color. Too much brown can squash creativity and make a room look drab.


Trends in Baby Bedding

Hi All!

It’s been awhile I know – but now that we are back on the band wagon – found this great post of Trends in Baby Bedding from one of our manufacturers that we thought would be an interesting read.

Long Story Short – Bold Prints and Big Prints are VERY popular.  Tangerine Baby Bedding is perfect for both baby boy and baby girl.

Baby Bedding | Orange Crush

We are having fun with Chevron. Our Chevron Baby Bedding will give your nursery a modern, clean look.  Now available in Charcoal, Fuchsia or Tangerine.  Crisp white & gray, hot pink or orange lends a fresh feel to your new baby’s room.  Chevron Baby Bedding is available as a 4 Piece Set (includes crib bumper, crib sheet, crib skirt and blanket), 3 Piece Set (includes crib bumper, crib sheet and crib skirt), 2 Piece Set (includes Crib Sheet and Crib Skirt), or each piece can be purchased separately.  Other coordinating accessories include Throw Pillow, Curtain Panels, Changing Pad Cover & Fabric by the Yard.    Choose optional monogramming for your baby bedding, which is available in a variety of fonts & colors.  Please allow 1-3 weeks extra production time if monogramming your bumper.





Decorating Tips For The Nursery | Baby Bedding

Decorating your new baby’s nursery is such an exciting experience. You and your new bundle will be spending a great deal of time in the nursery, so you want it to be welcoming and fun. There are a few things to keep in mind when decorating the nursery so it is a calming, restful place to relax and sleep. Here are a few tips to help you in choosing the right nursery décor for your home.

Colors Babies See

When babies are born, the only colors they can see are black, white, and gray. As their sight develops, the first color they recognize is red. However, this doesn’t mean you should decorate your child’s room in all red. Red can be an overwhelming color for your little one when that is the only color he sees. Instead, choose softer colors like blues, greens, and pinks because these colors are the next to follow suit as your baby’s sight develops.  These are good thoughts to keep in mind when choosing the baby bedding too.

Instill an Early Love of Reading

To fill a large wall in the nursery and instill a love of reading from an early age, frame pages from your favorite children’s books and place them over the crib. These pictures are fun and interactive as your baby grows and learns to read. Pages from a Dr. Seuss book make great framed artwork because they are colorful and the characters are fun.

A Room that Grows with your Child

Redecorating as your baby grows may not be something you want to do. To make the nursery décor grow with your child, choose patterns and colors that work when your child is a baby and beyond. A great way to do this is by painting the walls a solid color and adding wallpaper borders or a large graphic in a generic design. These details add a lot of style in a quick and easy way, so you don’t have to redecorate so soon.

Controlled Lighting

Your baby’s nursery will be used for many things: sleeping, relaxing, playing, etc. Controlling the lighting by installing a dimmer switch will allow you to create different moods for different reasons. When it’s time to relax and unwind, low lighting can help your child calm down and fall asleep. No nursery décor is complete without some sort of soft, gentle lighting to help lull your little one into dreamland.

These are just a few suggestions to help you with decorating your new baby’s nursery. Be sure to check out our complete line of nursery décor including name plaques, wall décor, window treatments, and more at