#TBT Social Media Case Study: 77kids Do Good Day

Do Good Day Activity

Photo credit: Stacy, Stacy Uncorked

Hard to believe it’s been five years since The Motherhood created and led Do Good Day, a nationwide retail launch for the 77kids clothing line, and a new, big idea at the time. Imagine the incredible momentum and magic of 77 of the country’s top online influencers leading their communities to do helpful, kind, neighborly acts in celebration of the 77kids launch. The program makes us proud and we wanted to share it with you as a social media case study for #TBT!

It was the summer of 2010, on a limited budget, and with seven launches planned across the country, the company asked us to build buzz about 77kids nationwide in a fun, memorable way, keeping the importance of local communities front and center. To do that, we hired 77 mom bloggers – seven people in 11 different markets, clustered around the seven launch locations where 77kids would be opening. These moms were challenged to find ways to do good in their community in the name of 77kids.

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Each group of influencers received a 77kids Do Good Day kit filled with items including 77kids-branded thank you cards and collateral, Silly Bandz and dollar bills, all meant to be distributed to unsuspecting locals to brighten their day. We also encouraged participants to find a location that would help them and their kids do good and share the 77kids message of helping local communities.

The influencers, and their families and friends, came up with a wide range of ideas for executing Do Good Day and shared on social platforms through the entire process. From creating thank-you cards for soldiers serving overseas as part of Operation Gratitude, to cooking lunch for families staying at the local Ronald McDonald House, to giving flowers to people passing on the sidewalk, these do-gooders in cities across the country helped others feel good about themselves – and the 77kids brand.

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The program drew the attention of local media, Do Good Day signs appeared on the Today Show set, and the participating moms blogged and cross-posted their content on their social media platforms. By the time the campaign ended, Do Good Day had garnered more than 110 blog posts, 3,000 tweets and more than 10 million overall impressions for the 77kids brand. In the years since we’ve been surprised at conferences on a few occassions when Do Good Day is highlighted by speakers as a social media marketing innovation case study!

5 Tips for Packing School Lunches

Pile of Apples

For many parents, the back-to-school season means the return of packing school lunches for their children. This mid-day meal offers an opportunity to develop healthy habits and to make sure your children are getting the nutrients they need to fuel them all day long, but knowing how to balance healthy choices with what your kids will actually eat can be a battle. The Motherhood recently sat down with the Giant Eagle Registered Dietitian Team to get the scoop on packing school lunches that are kid-friendly and kid-healthy.

1. Pick 5 to Pack the Perfect Lunch

Are you worried that you’re not packing enough or that you’re packing the wrong items? For a simple visual representation of an ideal lunch, visit the USDA’s choosemyplate.gov. The MyPlate illustration shows the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. A child’s lunch box should include lean protein, fruits, vegetables, grains (preferably whole grains) and dairy. Don’t forget that a serving of low-fat milk counts as serving of dairy as part of a balanced lunch.

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Image courtesy of choosemyplate.org.

2. Fall Back on the Familiar

While you may want to introduce your child to a variety of new and different foods, the team of Giant Eagle Registered Dietitians recommends not experimenting during lunch. They suggest packing foods from those five groups that you know your child likes so lunch doesn’t wind up in the garbage can.

Rather, save the exploration for dinnertime. When kids are hungry, they’re more likely to taste a new food, so try serving the unfamiliar dish first. It takes at least 10 tastes to know if you really like a food, so don’t give up if a dish isn’t a hit the first time around.

3. Ask Picky Eaters to Help Pack

Get children involved in the process. Kids of all ages can help you make a shopping list that contains healthy foods they like. You can work together to create a checklist for each of the five food groups and let kids mark the ones they’d like to have in their lunch each week. Most kids will enjoy deciding what to include in their lunch box, and it’s a great opportunity for parents to guide them in planning a balanced meal.

You can also try a different preparation. While your child may not love carrots, sometimes roasting the carrots or pairing them with a dip or seasoning will make kids change their tune. We think these Carrot Meets Ranch Bolthouse Farms Kids Veggie Snackers can liven up any lunchbox and have kids crunching their way to a healthier day.

KIDS_VS_BAG_RANCH_HIRES4. Be Chill

Packing school lunches the night before is one of moms’ favorite morning time-savers, but the team of Giant Eagle Registered Dietitians urges us to leave an insulated lunch box open in the refrigerator and not zip it closed. Just as these lunch boxes are insulated to keep cold in, they could also keep necessary cold air out, which could leave the contents susceptible to food-borne illness.

Another easy way to pack with food safety in mind is to put an ice pack in a sealed bag in your child’s lunch box. You could even freeze a mini bottle of water or a portable snack like the Bolthouse Farms Kids™ Fruit Tubes to keep everything chilled until lunchtime.

5. Remember that Practice Makes Perfect 

Particularly for younger children, eating lunch at school may be a new and intimidating event. It’s a good idea to do a “dry run” in the week or two leading up to the start of school. Pack your child’s lunch as you plan to do during the year, and let him or her make sure they can open the packaging, help them learn to pace themselves for the time they have allotted and see if the quantities satisfy them. Make sure they know that they don’t have to eat it all—they can save the non-perishable items for after school if they’re full.

These tips on packing school lunches are brought to you in partnership with Bolthouse Farms Kids™. All opinions are our own. 

Featured image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons user Michael Stern

HelloFresh Helps Spice Things Up in the Kitchen

HelloFresh Dinner

The Motherhood recently had the opportunity to work with HelloFresh, a meal delivery service that brings chef- and nutritionist-designed recipes and fresh, pre-measured ingredients to your doorstep each week.

We asked five stellar influencers to put the service to the test and create summertime meals that minimize time in the kitchen (each meal takes about 30 minutes to make) and maximize time spent socializing. Read on for highlights from their experiences.

Want to give HelloFresh a try? Enter promo code 40MTH at checkout or click on this link to get 40 percent off of your first delivery (new customers only; promotion ends 9/30/2015). Happy cooking!

Ashley, Surf and Sunshine: “I can’t think of anything better than a juicy pan-seared steak with a Spanish-inspired potato salad. The salad consists of crispy potatoes, briny olives, and crisp green beans. P.S. This was my family’s *favorite* dish. Luckily, HelloFresh sends their recipes on sturdy card stock so I can keep them to make again later.”

Ashley-SNSAshley with Surf and Sunshine recommends pairing the Seared Steak and Crispy Potato Salad with Tomatoes, Green Beans, and Shallot Pan-Sauce meal with a medium red like Merlot or a medium-weight Australian Shiraz.

Kristin, Our Ordinary Life: “The one thing my husband enjoys is spending time in the kitchen. His cooking skills have gotten much better and he’s quite the chef. That’s why we find ourselves spending time making and preparing meals together. We recently had the chance to try out HelloFresh, a unique meal service that sends you everything you need to make three delicious meals right at home. Right away I liked that the HelloFresh meals were packed full of flavor and quite unique. Many of the dishes are ones I wouldn’t try myself so it was nice to get to explore new flavors.”

Kristin-OOLKristin with Our Ordinary Life tried the Garlic Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa Verde and Spiced Honey-Butter Corn, and called the corn the “highlight” of the meal. 

Mariah, The Simple Parent: “As you know, when it comes to the kitchen, I love cooking and entertaining. But, I need it to be easy. So I have to admit that when I first opened up my HelloFresh recipes and got out all of the ingredients, I was a bit overwhelmed. I wasn’t sure I had the kitchen skills to make the amazing food that was promised in the recipe book. But, HelloFresh took me through each step and I’m pretty sure my family thought that I had gotten food from a restaurant! Nope, just Chef Mom! I had to admit that I was pretty proud.”

Mariah-TSPThe Simple Parent’s Mariah whipped up Coconut & Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia with Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro-Lime Forbidden Rice.

Maureen, Wisconsin Mommy: “One of the things I love best about the HelloFresh meals is that they are all made from whole ingredients. There is no ‘adding the mix’ or anything like that. Any sauces or extras (like the awesome tomatillo and avocado salsa I made) are made from the ingredients in the box. The ingredients are all fresher than what you would even find in your local grocery store – must be because HelloFresh supports local businesses whenever possible.”

Maureen-WM Maureen with Wisconsin Mommy shares her Instagram-worthy Peruvian Shrimp Ceviche Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Avocado (recipe here).

Melissa, Serendipity and Spice: “I love that there’s no searching for ingredients because they have EVERYTHING there [in the box]! If the recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, then there is a tiny bottle of balsamic vinegar in your baggie. If the recipe needs honey, then there’s a tiny jar of honey in the bag. HelloFresh makes sure that you have every ingredient and just the right amount so there’s no waste.”

Melissa-SNS Melissa with Serendipity and Spice recruited her little one to help stir up some delicious meals, including the Warm Spinach & Spicy Chorizo Salad with Blistered Tomatoes and Feta-Crusted Corn on the Cob.

If your appetite is whetted, remember that you can visit HelloFresh and enter promo code 40MTH at checkout or click on this link to get 40 percent off of your first delivery (new customers only; promotion ends 9/30/2015). Enjoy!

Featured image source: HelloFresh 

Blogger Spotlight Series: Lori, A Day in Motherhood

Blogger Spotlight

When asked how she would use social media if she could make a difference in just one way, Lori said she would “make every mother feel like she had a friend who supports her, especially on her hardest day.”

And that’s just one of the many reasons we love Lori, who blogs at A Day in Motherhood, and we know you will too! Read on to learn what advice she gives new bloggers, how she likes to spend her summer and her dream dinner party guest. Give Lori a shout out at @LoMargie.

 

 

A Day in Motherhood

Check out the most recent blogger spotlights from The Motherhood here.

Blogust 2015 is Here!

Blogust Helping kids get vaccines

The Motherhood is excited to announce that Blogust 2015 kicks off today!

Blogust is a month-long social media relay involving more than 50 of North America’s most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions. Also joining this year are Anne Geddes, one of the world’s most well-known photographers, and actress Jo Frost (SupernannyFamily Matters, Extreme Parental Guidance).

For the month of August, two to three bloggers will post each weekday. For every “like”, comment and social media share their posts receive during the month, Project Perpetual will donate one vaccine to a child around the world (up to 50,000 vaccines).

The Motherhood has had the great privilege of working with the UN Foundation and Shot@Life on Blogust every year since its inception in 2012.

To kick off #Blogust, the Shot@Life team will be hosting a Twitter party on August 3 (today!) from 1-2 p.m. ET. We would love to see you there – every tweet with #Blogust or @ShotAtLife during this hour equals one vaccine for a child around the world.

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Please visit Shot@Life every day to find the latest Blogust posts – and be sure to comment on, like and share them. Your actions matter. Together we will help 50,000 kids receive the vaccines they need the most.

Super Cute Crispy Treats: New Cookbook Sneak Peek

We have a guest post on the blog today, authored by Ashley Whipple over at Cute As A Fox. We’re so excited for her recent success in publishing a wonderful cookbook – congratulations and take it away, Ashley!

I am so thrilled to be posting on The Motherhood blog. The Motherhood is the very first blogger network I joined back in 2011. In fact, it was The Motherhood that helped ignite my love for food art, which set me on the path to publishing my first cookbook, Super Cute Crispy Treats. The book releases today, 7/28/15, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by sharing here on The Motherhood blog.

Super Cute Crispy Treats

As a mother and a food, craft, and party blogger, the amount of pressure I put on myself to throw the perfect birthday party can be intense. Frankly, it’s also excessive. I know that when my Type A takes over, I get stressed and sometimes the true purpose of the party is lost. Shouldn’t it be about celebrating and making lasting family memories? I have found the best way to tame the perfectionist mom-beast is to get the kids involved in all aspects of the party. Today I want to share my top 3 tips for planning a party with the kids, and not for the kids.

  1. Theme: Let them pick the theme. Give the kids some ownership right from the get-go. I think you’ll be surprised by how many fun details you can imagine for almost any theme. I once heard of someone throwing a Green Bay Packers My Little Pony party for their little girl. It was what she wanted and they made it work. Whether or not you let them have full control or rein it in a little is up to you. Half the fun is in planning the details.
  2. Decorations: Let the kids make the decorations. It may not end up looking like it came out of a magazine, but your kids are going to be so excited to show off the streamers they hung or the wall decorations they made. It’s also a great way to spend time together and make memories while you are making the decorations. You don’t have to leave all the decorations to the kids, either. Put them in charge of one area and you can take care of the rest.
  3. Food: I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but let the kids help with the food too. The food is my favorite part of a party. I am not a cake decorator, though. That’s one of the many reasons I wrote Super Cute Crispy Treats. It’s full of great treats ideas that would be perfect to make with the kids.

Let me show you what I mean. I’m sharing with you one of the 100 recipes in Super Cute Crispy Treats, Birthday Hat Treats. These are great for the kids to help make and they can definitely decorate them. These treats are so easy to customize to any party theme, just change up the treat colors and the decorations.

Birthday Hat Treats

Excerpted from Super Cute Crispy Treats by Ashley Whipple

Yield: 20 to 24 treats

Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level: Intermediate

3 tbsp margarine
1 10-ounce (280 g) bag mini marshmallows
6 cups (150 g) crisp rice cereal
8 ounces (225 g) white almond bark or candy melts
Sanding sugar, optional
24 Sixlets or gumballs
Jumbo quins

1 Melt margarine over low heat in a 5-quart or larger saucepan. Add marshmallows, and stir. Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Pour in crisp rice cereal and stir until completely incorporated.

2 Coat your hands and a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Take some cereal mixture and form a cone shape approximately 2 inches (5 cm) high. Repeat until all of mixture has been used. Let cones cool completely.

3 Using a microwave-safe dish, heat almond bark in microwave in 30-second increments until completely melted, stirring between each heating. (I recommend using High power level for first heating and switching to 50 percent power for subsequent heatings.) Dip the bottom of a birthday hat in almond bark and gently shake off any excess. Immediately dip bottom of hat into sanding sugar (if using) to create a colorful rim. Place on a greased baking sheet until set. Repeat for all hats.

4 Press a candy ball on the top of each hat, using melted almond bark to adhere ball to treat. Add polka dots to hats by affixing jumbo quins with almond bark. Let almond bark harden. Store in an airtight container on countertop and serve within 24 hours.

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The Birthday Hat Treats are just one of 100 no-bake crispy treats that can be found in Super Cute Crispy Treats. Today’s the big launch day so you can head over and order your copy now. Thanks so much to The Motherhood for having me on the blog today!

Ashley Fox Whipple is the creator of the blog Cute As a Fox. Her recipe and craft creations have been featured on Parade, Rice Krispies Facebook page, Michaels.com, Food Gawker, Craft Gawker, Tastespotting, Edible Crafts on Craft Gossip, as well as many blogs.

Ashley lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two children. You can find her standing under the nearest air conditioning vent sipping a Diet Coke.

Case Study: The Motherhood & the March of Dimes Reach 75 Million through imbornto Influencer Program

I'm Born To March of Dimes

Between April and June 2015, the March of Dimes engaged The Motherhood to raise awareness of imbornto® – the March of Dimes’ national cause marketing campaign that raises money for the organization’s vital research and programs that improve the lives of babies and families everywhere.

The Motherhood identified and engaged a team of 39 top social media moms – representing the number of weeks of a healthy full-term pregnancy – and 12 influential social media ​dads to become​ imbornto ambassadors for ​the three-month program. 

The campaign kicked off with a virtual briefing hosted by the March of Dimes and The Motherhood. The social media ambassadors heard directly from a March of Dimes senior executive about the organization’s history, the imbornto campaign and its partners, and ways to get involved. After the virtual presentation, the bloggers asked questions and shared their excitement for the program.

Following the briefing, The Motherhood hosted monthly Twitter parties for three months timed to the campaign’s launch, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. imbornto partners participated in the Twitter parties and shared information on their specially designed product offerings, all benefitting the March of Dimes.

In April and May, 20 mom influencers held intimate in-home gatherings to spread the word about the cause and the imbornto sponsor partnerships. At the events, friends and family received gift baskets from imbornto partners.

During the three-month blog tour, bloggers published information about the imbornto campaign, their role as #imbornto ambassadors, their in-home parties, partner promotions and the March of Dimes’ work. Campaign ambassadors also shared #ThrowbackThursday/#TBT photos on Thursdays throughout the campaign, celebrating what they and their own children were born to do.

In total, the program involved 51 bloggers, 20 in-home parties, three Twitter parties and a three-month blog and social media tour that garnered nearly 75 million blog and social media impressions.

 

Featured image source: Kayla, Kayla Aimee

How Balanced Are Your Meals?

California Pizza Kitchen Meals

Did you know that the average American meets the U.S. Dietary Guidelines only seven days out of the entire year?* It’s a shocking statistic, and one that the Balance Your Plate initiative is hoping to change.

As part of that initiative, The Motherhood recently worked with California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) and a team of amazing moms to share simple, convenient ways to make nutritious, balanced meals using CPK frozen pizzas (yes, pizzas!).

Read on for their recipes, timesaving strategies and tips on incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into their meals!

AmyAmy, Grinning Cheek to Cheek

  • Amy with Grinning Cheek to Cheek paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita with a friend’s Greek Barley Salad and raw sweet bell peppers.
  • A tip from Crystal, Simply Being Mommy: “Always check the serving size on the back of the box to ensure you are putting the proper portion size on your plate. A good rule of thumb is to fill half of your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables.”

AnneAnne, Upstate Ramblings

  • Anne with Upstate Ramblings whipped up a delicious Strawberry-Cranberry Salad to accompany her family’s CPK Crispy Thin Crust White pizza.
  • If your kids aren’t salad eaters, Jen at The Suburban Mom suggested including fruits and veggies they’ll happily eat. In her girls’ case, that’s tomatoes and peas!
  • Mariah, The Simple Parent, shared her easy tip for serving veggies to her kids without doing double the prep: “I throw together a quick salad for the adults and then I break out cut-up fruit and veggies for the kids! It’s easy and delicious! They love dipping so sometimes I had a bit of a dipping sauce and they are ready to eat!”
  • Brett from This Mama Loves shared her Raspberry Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing, which she drizzled on her salad of spinach, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries and walnuts.
  • Enza with Enza’s Bargains shared a fun idea of having an indoor picnic, where her family enjoyed pizza, salad, and some dried cranberries on the side!
  • Cherise with Mom and More showed how she fills half of her plate with fresh veggies to balance the two slices of CPK Hand-Tossed pizza.
  • Nicole with Mom Always Finds Out tried the BBQ Chopped Salad recipe from the back of her CPK Crispy Thin Crust BBQ Recipe Chicken box (you can find the salad recipe here, too: www.cpkfrozen.com).
  • If you’ve ever wondered if frozen is as good as fresh, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, shared this information: “As freezing is nature’s ‘pause’ button, vegetables that are picked at their peak of freshness retain the nutrients that are often lost by the time fresh produce is consumed. Many frozen options are also lower in sodium, saturated fat and calories than quick-service meals and national chain restaurants.”

JenniferMBTTJennifer, My Boys and Their Toys

  • Jennifer, My Boys and Their Toys, shared a rainbow-colored fruit salad and helpful budget tips: “Plan ahead and write it down. Stick to your list when shopping. Reuse ingredients throughout the week to eliminate waste. Balance your plate with produce in season, and stock up on frozen produce as well.”

JenniferMomSpottedJennifer, MomSpotted

  • Jennifer with MomSpotted paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita pizza with a gorgeous salad using fresh produce picked from her garden!
  • If you’re looking for balanced meal inspiration, head over to Life with Lisa, who shared some helpful meal plans like those from the Balance Your Plate site.
  • Did you know CPK has a line of gluten-free flavors? Mickey with A Helicopter Mom tried the gluten-free CPK Crispy Thin Crust Margherita, and shared an easy formula for pairing frozen with fresh for a balanced meal.

KendaKenda, Remaking June Cleaver

  • Kenda, Remaking June Cleaver, shared her recipe for Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette.
  • Ever had a frantic moment when you commit to making dinner for someone and it slips your mind that day? Mary with Giving Up on Perfect can relate! Read how CPK Frozen Pizza and a quick salad came to the rescue for her.
  • Mellisa, Mom Luck, paired her CPK Crispy Thin Crust Signature Pepperoni with a side salad and shares helpful tips on balancing her family’s plates.

*According to the NPD Group National Eating Trends Database

Summer of Social Media Trends: Live Video, Search & Explore and Project Lightning News

Social Media News

While summer is a time for relaxation and vacations, new social media trends continue to crop up, and activity isn’t slowing down! In fact, people share 22 percent more frequently during the summer than in any other season. It has been a big summer in the social media world. Read about latest updates and trends in The Motherhood’s Social Media Round-Up below!

Meerkat’s cameo feature is bringing new ways to unite brands and influencers through real-time video. This feature allows a user to invite watchers to take over his or her live stream for up to 60 seconds, then notify his or her Twitter followers and Facebook friends about the cameo.

Meerkat Cameo

Source: The Next Web

This has huge potential to get influencers and their followers involved in real-time conversations with brands, and provides a new interactive alternative to Twitter parties.

Did you know that 63 percent of Facebook and Twitter users turn to social media to stay current on live events and hot-button issues, outside those related to friends and family? That number is sure to grow with Twitter’s fresh news feature, Project Lightning (name subject to change). The new service will allow anyone (Twitter users or not) to view a feed of tweets, images and videos about live events as they happen, curated by employees with “newsroom experience.”

project lightning

Source: BuzzFeed

Project Lightning will unlock never-before-reached potential for brands, too. Users will potentially be able to follow events without following other users, allowing brand tweets to be blended into several timelines and, more importantly, reach those who aren’t Twitter users.

Instagram is changing the way people use the app by allowing users to step out of their bubble and into trending topics and places. In late June, Instagram rolled out features including a new Search & Explore feature, which makes finding interesting and trending photos from all over the world easier.

“The new Explore now surfaces trends as they emerge in real-time, connecting you to events and conversations both near you and around the globe,” the company wrote on its blog.

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Source: Fast Company

Brands can capitalize on these new features, and the massive (100 percent) organic reach and high engagement of Instagram by getting involved with the latest trends.

Which of these features do you think are here to stay? Let us know in the comments!

The Motherhood Recognizes Nelson Mandela International Day — #MandelaDay

Nelson Mandela

In honor of Nelson Mandela International Day tomorrow, July 18, we hope you’ll enjoy the below pictures and moving quotes The Motherhood Co-founder Cooper Munroe collected last month while visiting Mandela’s hometown of Soweto, a section of Johannesburg in South Africa.

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“Let your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela

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“It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela

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“Tread softly, breathe peacefully, laugh hysterically.” – Nelson Mandela

“Don’t judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela

Share your favorite Nelson Mandela quote today using the hashtag #MandelaDay! 

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