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    Tips on Caring for your Castles' Clothing

    Caring for Castles & Crowns Clothing

    Here at Castles & Crowns we take great pride in our high-quality children’s clothing. Each item is made with care from the finest of materials. Many of our customers pass down favorite outfits to other children in their families. That being said, we know that kids can be tough on clothes and we have some care tips that will help your Castles & Crowns outfits last as long as possible.

    • The first time you wash any outfit, especially red or dark pinks, we recommend using a shout color catcher to prevent any bleeding.
    • Please treat all swimsuits before wearing them. They are not recommended for use in chlorine pools.
    • Our fabrics are not preshrunk so slight shrinkage is expected. We recommend that you use the cold water setting when washing.
    • Before washing turn all outfits inside out. Alines & Longalls with top straps should be unbuttoned at the strap to prevent strain on the button. On our dresses, remove bows at shoulder if possible.
    • If your washing machine has a “soil level” “spin speed” or similar setting, set these as low as possible to protect your garments from stretching. The delicate setting is always a good choice
    • Dryers slowly ruin fabrics, the lint in your lint trap is proof of this. In order to make our clothing the best quality hand-me-downs as possible for the next child or generation, we recommend air drying only. If you must use the dryer, use the lowest possible setting. Once dry, follow up with a cool iron as needed. Please note that a hot iron can scorch the fabrics!
    • Run a lint shaver over knit fabrics to make them look like new again. 

    *Castles & Crowns specializes in smocked, appliquéd and monogrammable childrens’ clothing in all sizes. We are recognized for our classic styles, unique fabrics, quality construction, fast service and affordable pricing. We are a Gulf Coast based children’s clothing company.

    Summer Family Photo Tips

    Summer is here, school is out and family vacations are in the works. Kids grow up so fast so it’s important to capture as many memorable moments as possible. Here are some tips on how to take the best family photos this summer! 

    1. Use windows or doorways to frame your family.
    2. Let your hands accentuate the story.
    3. Create sunrise or sunset silhouettes – The trick is to have an unobstructed horizon behind you so you see clear definition of your bodies’ movements and shapes.
    4. Consider black and white to add a timeless feel to the photo’s story – When you see a lot of contrasting tones, consider shooting in black and white to enhance the sense of timelessness.
    5. Be mid-step when taking a walking shot – If you want a family photo of everyone walking, there is a trick to it—make sure you’re in mid-step when the camera clicks. If both feet are planted, it will look like you are standing still.
    6. Ignore the camera – We often see the spirit of a family much clearer when they aren’t looking at the camera, but rather just enjoying each other’s company.
    7. Incorporate the background – Rule of thumb for how much background should be in your photo: If the background enhances your story, take the wider-framed shot.
    8. Know when to get in tight –  If the background doesn’t add to your story, either step closer to your subject(s) or zoom in with your lens.
    9. Show profiles – When you want a family travel photo of everyone with their backs to the camera, make sure you and your spouse or you and the kids look at each other so the picture captures your profiles.
    10. MOST IMPORTANTLY – dress cute and comfortable. Kids take better photos when they feel comfortable in what they are wearing. So get out their favorite Castles & Crowns outfits and start snapping pics of memories to last a lifetime!

    *Castles & Crowns specializes in smocked, appliquéd and monogrammable children’s clothing in all sizes. We are recognized for our classic styles, unique fabrics, quality construction, fast service and affordable pricing. We are the top Gulf Coast based children’s clothing company and we look forward to outfitting your children in our adorable clothes!

    Back to School Tips

    As we prepare to release our fall line, we have been busy getting our kids ready to head back-to-school. Like us, we’re sure your little ones have either just started back to school or about to have their first day back. We know what a hectic time of year it is so we have compiled a list of back-to-school tips for pre-schoolers. Take a look at these helpful tidbits and don’t forget to stock up on our clearance sale and stay-tuned for our new fall styles! We can’t wait to help you get your kids outfitted for a successful school year!

    Back-to-School Tips for Preschoolers

    1. Ask the preschool teacher for a class list. Maybe you could organize a class playdate before and just after school starts so the kids can get to know each other in a relaxed, less formal setting. It’s a great way for parents to get to know one another as well.
    2. If that isn’t possible, see if you can arrange a one-on-one playdate with a friend or two that you know will be in the class. Not sure if you know anyone at your child’s school yet? Community parent groups on Facebook are a great way to figure out which kids will be attending which schools.
    3. While preschool generally isn’t a place where a huge focus is placed on academics, you can review some basics with your child—their first and last name, their teacher’s name, the room number of their classroom, the name of their school, their bus route letter or number if they have one, etc.
    4. Play school! Take turns with your little one being the teacher and the student. Practice skills like sitting still, raising their hand when asking a question, asking to go to the bathroom, or answering a question, eating a snack (let your preschooler work on opening up everything that they need), and moving from activity to activity, such as going outside to play and working on a craft.
    5. Brainstorm food ideas. If you’ll have to provide a lunch or snack for your child at preschool, talk to your child about what types of things they’ll like to eat. Better to have a plan in hand ahead of time, rather than have to scramble at the last minute when school starts.
    6. If you think separation anxiety might be an issue, give your child something of yours to keep in his or her backpack, such as a special keychain or photograph. In addition, have your child give you something special of theirs to hold on to while they are at school. This way your child will know that you are always thinking of them while they are away.
    7. Go back-to-school shopping. Buy a special first-day-of-school outfit and backpack. Let your child have a say in what you are purchasing. Check with the school to see if they require anything, such as a nap mat, reusable water bottle or lunchbox. Even if your child doesn’t need supplies for the preschool classroom, if you are able, consider taking advantage of deep back-to-school sales that retailers usually offer and keep some supplies at home for your child to color, draw, and have fun with.
    8. Become a labeler. Spend some time together carefully writing your child’s first and last name on all of your new purchases. Include jackets and sweatshirts too.
    9. Sit down and come up with a plan of action in case of emergency. Who will your emergency contacts be? What will happen if you can’t get your child from school? It’s better to be prepared ahead of time, so in case an emergency does arise, you aren’t fretting over the details. And while you never want to make your child nervous, you can let them know that it is possible that sometimes Grandma (or whoever) will pick them up if you cannot.
    10. Prepare your child for the transitions that occur in the preschool classroom (play time to circle time, music time to lunch time) by starting to give warnings when the time you are spending doing whatever you are doing is about to end. For example, “Sweetie, in five minutes we will need to leave the playground so we can go to the store.” “Honey, ten minutes from now we are going to start to get ready for bed.”
    11. If your child is newly potty trained, make sure they are comfortable with how going to the bathroom will work at their school. Will they need to raise their hand and ask? Can they just go without telling anyone? Is there a lock on the door? These are questions to find out from your child’s teacher.
    12. See if your library offers a story time where your preschooler can practice listening to someone other than you read out loud. This is also good practice for sitting in a circle with other children and learning how to sit quietly and follow directions. Libraries also often offer workshops and classes were parents sit another part of the library while the kids work on an activity with the teacher. This is a great way to practice being separated for short periods of time.
    13. Think about tasks that you regularly do for your preschooler, such as picking out clothes, helping them get dressed, or setting and cleaning up the snack. Let your preschooler start to take on some of these responsibilities themselves. Maybe the tasks won’t exactly mimic what they do in school, but you are encouraging independence, which is important.
    14. Talk to your preschooler about your own preschool experiences. Pull out old pictures and papers and have fun walking down memory lane together.
    15. Understand that your child starting school will be a transition for you too! If all of your children will be occupied during the day, schedule some activities for yourself to keep you busy, from taking an exercise class, to meeting up with friends for a late breakfast.
    16. Read books about starting school. Books are a great way to help kids anticipate what will happen once school starts. Talk to your librarian about appropriate titles to read with your little one. Some popular titles include:
    • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
    • Will I Have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen
    • David Goes to School by David Shannon
    • First Day of School by Anne Rockwell
    • It’s Time for Preschool by Esme Raj Codell

    *Castles & Crowns specializes in smocked, appliquéd and monogrammable children’s clothing in all sizes. We are recognized for our classic styles, unique fabrics, quality construction, fast service and affordable pricing. We are the top Gulf Coast based children’s clothing company and we look forward to outfitting your children in our adorable clothes! Don’t forget to check out our biggest online sale happening right now!

    Keeping Your Kids Cool in the Heat of Summer

    The dog days of summer are upon us and making sure the kids stay cool and don’t get overheated is something we feel is important to discuss. We know that being outdoors in the summer is fun AND that the kids will want to be outside no matter We also know that it’s not just the heat that affects kids, it’s the humidity too.

     

    The chart below shows how heat index works. It’s the combination of heat and humidity.

    heatindx

     

    Credit :: National Weather Service

    Keeping Your Kids Safe in the Hot Weather

    Tools for keeping your kids safe in the heat are hydration, rest, shade, air conditioning (or fans) and good sense.

    • Child’s age – During yellow chart conditions:
      • Children under age 4 should drink 8 ounces of fluid about 45 minutes before they go outdoors. Don’t let them stay outdoors for longer than an hour at a time and make sure that after 30 minutes, they take a 10-minute break in the shade and drink at least 4 ounces of fluids.
      • Children 5 to 10 years old can play up to two hours at a time, but they also need to take breaks every 30 minutes. Before and during play, they should drink 8–16 ounces of fluids.
      • For children older than 10, fluid consumption should increase to 12–24 ounces.
    • Heat index – As the index reaches the upper orange and the lower red area, children need to take breaks more frequently: every 20–30 minutes, with a longer break every 60 minutes or so. Also, they should increase their fluid intake by about 25–35%.
    • Child’s self-assessment – Children are terrible at assessing their own state of hydration or fatigue. Do not wait for your child to say they are thirsty. Do not wait for your child to say they are tired. Stick to the rest and hydration schedule – over their protests, if necessary.
    • Heat conditioning – We get better at handling heat as our bodies get more practice. This means that your year-round little soccer player may tolerate the summer’s heat better than your mostly bookish child who goes outside to chase bugs. Overheating tends to be quite common in early summer because our bodies are not yet conditioned to the heat.
    • Time limits – You will find that your child tires a bit faster while playing outdoors. If they get very tired, or develop muscle cramps, get them into the shade and give them sips of cold fluids. Once fully recovered, they may return to play.
    • Pack smart – Carry a small cooler in the car with you all summer. You’re always within 5 minutes of buying ice and water.
    • Apply and reapply sunscreen – You’ve heard about the importance of using sunscreen, but did you know that a child with sunburn has even lower heat tolerance? This is another reason to keep sunscreen with you and to reapply as directed by instructions on the bottle.

    *Castles & Crowns specializes in smocked, appliquéd and monogrammable children’s clothing in all sizes. We are recognized for our classic styles, unique fabrics, quality construction, fast service and affordable pricing. We are the top Gulf Coast based children’s clothing company and we look forward to outfitting your children in our adorable clothes!

    Family Vacation Packing Tips

    Being seasoned travelers, we learned through trial and error on how to efficiently get ready for a family vacation! Packing isn’t fun, but if a vacation is on the calendar, it’s a necessity. It is normal to  procrastinate, but don’t do it. Last-minute packers are over packers, especially when packing for a family. Read on for our tried-and-true tips for making the task as easy as possible and  to reduce the risk on forgetting any essentials.

    START EARLY

    A week before the trip, stage an out-of-the-way area for pre-packing. As you think of things you’ll need, like sunscreen, ski pants, or energy bars, you can toss them in a box or a space-saving packing cube. Plan to spend 15 minutes a day on a portion of this task. First, do clothes. Make sure to check the 10-day weather forecast for your destination so you can pack accordingly. Lay the clothes out by category on the dining room table: pajamas, tops, bottoms, dresses, hats, and shoes, and double-check to avoid duplication. For moms and kids, bring dresses, shorts/pants and tops that can be worn in different ways by adding an accessory or a different jacket. Don’t bring a different pair of shoes for each outfit. But do pack all elements of each outfit together!

    MICRO PACKING

    Next, do grooming items. These should always be packed within a sealed ziplock to prevent leakage. Never pack full-sized shampoos or lotions; they hog precious storage space. Either buy travel sizes or pour what you need into travel bottles. Create a travel pharmacy: a zippered pouch with products that deal with any and all medical maladies. Include medicines, and a kit stocked with products to fight germs, alleviate ear pressure, fight sudden onset of a cold, cover cuts, and address allergies, mystery rashes, and stomach aches.

    MUNCHIE TIME

    Snacks are essential when traveling with children, and you don’t want to wait until they get hungry and cranky. Stock up on easy-to-transport items, like granola bars, instant oatmeal, re-sealable dried fruit and nuts, squeezable applesauce, carrots and hard-boiled eggs. Tuck a few special treats, like lollipops, candy and cookies, into your bag. Bribery material never hurts.

    ENTERTAINMENT

    Bring toys, gadgets and fun activities to engage the kids through the hours of travel. It helps to have a “surprise happy” on hand, whether it be a new coloring book, a travel game or a new puzzle app for their gadgets!. When delays happen you want to be armed with whatever it takes to keep the kids occupied!

    IT’S GO TIME

    The day before the trip, go back and review what you have ready to go. Are there too many pairs of shoes? Are you covered with toiletries, snacks and entertainment? Chances are, you can slim down the clothing, and if you missed anything, there’s time to pick it up before you leave.

    Now you can pack up garments in your packing cube—one for each family member—which compresses clothing and keeps everything organized. When you arrive at your destination, simply transfer them from suitcase to a drawer and go off to enjoy the trip.

    All of our Castles & Crowns children’s clothes are light, durable and adventure ready. Get your kids vacation ready by shopping our collections today! Click HERE to take the first step!

    *Castles & Crowns specializes in smocked, appliquéd and monogrammable children’s clothing in all sizes. We are recognized for our classic styles, unique fabrics, quality construction, fast service and affordable pricing. We are the top Gulf Coast based children’s clothing company and we look forward to outfitting your children in our adorable clothes!