Here at Pigtails & Crewcuts, we love our animal crackers. We hand them out freely, because they make kids happy, and that makes moms happy and all of the above makes us happy.
Plus, they’re a tasty snack that’s not loaded with sugar, and who doesn’t love to nibble off an ear or two? Animal crackers encourage you to play with your food!
April 18 is National Animal Cracker Day, so we thought we’d do some detective work and learn about the history of the animal cracker. Here’s what we found:
- Barnum’s Animals, which later became Barnum’s Animal Crackers, were created by Nabisco in 1902. They were inspired by a British recipe and named after P.T. Barnum, founder of “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
- The nostalgic-looking Barnum’s Animal Crackers box, which was designed to resemble a circus wagon, doubled as a Christmas ornament during the holidays, hence, the string handle.
- 54 different animals have been featured as crackers in an array of different brands. Barnum’s Animals have included 37 different species.
- They’re famous! Shirley Temple sang “Animal Crackers in My Soup” in the 1937 film, Curly Top.
- 2002 was the 100th anniversary of Barnum’s Animals, and in honor of the occasion, Nabisco introduced a koala bear into the mix. That koala was voted in by fans, defeating its cobra, penguin and walrus challengers.
- You can make your own! Here’s a popular recipe for Animal Crackers from AllRecipes.com. Nabisco also offers a number of recipes that incorporate the crackers, including this adorable merry-go-round cake.
- More than 40 million packages are sold each year, and the U.S. exports them to 17 countries.
Spring is here! Every April, our thoughts turn a little bit greener, as Earth Day reminds us to embrace our beautiful planet and take care of it. From tweaks in your beauty regimen to adjustments around the house, here are some ways to celebrate the earth, every day.
Use chemical-free shampoos and conditioners. Avoid products with words you can’t pronounce—namely sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate and ammonium lauryl sulfate and formaldehyde (yes, formaldehyde!). Stick to natural shampoos and conditioners. It’s better for your health and the environment.
Make your own beauty products. Did you know you can blend your own conditioner and create your own face mask using products from your garden or pantry? Check out our blog on how to do it.
Leave the car in the garage. This week, make it a goal to walk or bike, rather than driving. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), by skipping two car trips a week you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by two tons per year.
Shop local. When you put your dollars into independently owned businesses, that cash is more likely to stay in the community. Plus, if those dollars happen to be going to a farm-to-table business, whether it’s a restaurant, dairy or garden, you’re enjoying local, seasonal food, rather than a meal that traveled hundreds of miles to get to your plate.
Watch your water consumption. Water has a sneaky way of adding up. For every 10 minutes in the shower, for example, you could be using up to 25 gallons of water. A leaky toilet could waste 200 gallons a year. Be mindful of the water in your house, and conserve it whenever you can.
The less packaging, the better. Our landfills are filled with plastic and cardboard waste. Try not to add to it! Opt for products with minimal packaging.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. You’ve heard it before. Now, make an effort to do it just a little bit better.
Having a frizzy day? Apply some avocado. Feeling oily? Sprinkle some cornstarch on your scalp. Spend too much time in the sun? Honey is the cure for dry and sun-damaged locks. While many of us have spent a fortune on hair and skin products over the years, it seems that most of the answers to our beauty questions are actually right at our fingertips—and in our gardens and pantries. Here are some recipes you can try at home.
Mix your own sugar scrub. All it takes is sugar, essential oils and scents that you and your kids love! Visit Wellness Mama for recipes that create pumpkin pie scrub, lemon hand scrub and lemon lavender facial scrub.
Create your own facemask. Facemasks you buy at the store are expensive and often filled with ingredients you can’t even pronounce. We found a variety of masks for all skin types at Stylemom.com, and learned a lot in the process. Did you know that turmeric and yogurt will help brighten your skin? Lemon, honey, milk and cucumber will soothe, and yogurt and oatmeal are great for sunburns. Dark chocolate, which is high in anti-oxidants, is even great for your skin!
Blend your own conditioner. Your refrigerator could actually be storing your next hair treatment. Avocado, mayonnaise, rosemary, coconut milk, soybean oil—they’re all ingredients (although not necessarily together!) in these DIY hair care products. The site EverydayRoots.com even offers recipes for homemade dandruff treatments.
Round up your own remedies. From conditioning dry and damaged hair to drying up that greasy sheen, Woman’s Day pulled together a number of home remedies to address the most common beauty challenges. Read more here.
We’ve all heard that natural ingredients are better for our hair. Items that aren’t natural often include chemicals that are potentially harmful. While Europe and other areas are stringent about banning potentially damaging chemicals in beauty and food products, the U.S. is far more lax in what’s allowed. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the following products, which are found commonly in hair items, could be associated with potential health risks.
Formaldehyde – Found in some shampoos and bleach, formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions and, according to the EPA, has been tied to cancer.
Lead – A common ingredient in hair dye, the EPA states that lead can be harmful. If you’re going to dye your hair, find a product that is non-toxic and chemical-free.
Sodium Hydroxide – Found in perms and relaxers, sodium hydroxide can be damaging to the skin and lungs if overexposure occurs.
Dibutyl Phthalates– Used as a fragrance in hair products, overexposure has been tied to digestive issues in humans, and has posed greater health risks, including cancer, in animals.
Hydantoin DMDM – Found in children’s conditioners and detanglers, this “antimicrobial formaldehyde releasing agent” can be damaging to kids’ developing systems.
DEA/MEA/TEA – These three-letter acronyms put the foam into many shampoos, and can be irritating to the eyes, skin, nose and throat.
To avoid exposure to unnecessary chemicals, we suggest that you always talk to your Pigtails & Crewcuts’ stylist about what products are best for your child’s hair. We’re constantly researching the latest items and are happy to share our expertise.
We got into the kids hair care business because we love kids—all kids, no matter how challenging their needs may seem. Before we became salon owners, we remember the frustration we went through when taking our own children, kicking and screaming, to get a haircut. Looking back, we, as parents, remember feeling helpless, judged and ashamed.
We opened our Pigtails & Crewcuts salon so that no parent, particularly parents of children with special needs, ever have to feel that way. Whether your kid is screaming his head off or howling with laughter, we’ve seen it all and we welcome everyone.
The talented Pigtails & Crewcuts staff has extensive experience working with children who have physical, medical and developmental challenges. We’ve handpicked each and every one of our stylists because they’re kind, patient and talented. Our staff will do just about anything to make your child’s haircut as easy and stress-free as possible. For some kids, that means cutting hair while the little one sits in mom’s lap, plays with trains or reads a book. We’ll put on a movie that he or she likes, blow bubbles, offer “quiet” appointments before we open or after we close, and do whatever it takes to give every child the wonderful haircutting experience he or she deserves.
Pigtails & Crewcuts puts the customer first, even if that customer is only knee high. Our goal is to work with kids within their world, not try and fit them into ours. And if there are tears the whole time? Well that’s completely normal, too. We’ve all been there, ourselves, and we’re here for you.
Please don’t hesitate to make suggestions to your stylist about how we can best work with your child in a way that makes him or her the most comfortable.
When the pumpkins leave the porches and begin making their way into pies, we know the holidays are upon us. First there’s turkey, then there are gifts and before we know it, a giant ball is dropping in Times Square. In the U.S., we have our own ways, both as a culture and within families, of celebrating the holidays, and those traditions are different than many other celebrations around the world.
Here are some fun holiday traditions that are happening right now, across the globe.
Chinese New Year. This 15-day holiday is filled with family, fireworks and food. January 31, 2014 begins the Year of the Horse. Families everywhere will put out oranges and tangerines to symbolize wealth and prosperity, make their own dumplings, light Chinese lanterns and more. “Gung hay fat choy!” (that means, “May you become prosperous!”).
Christmas. During Christmas, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Families decorate Christmas trees, bake cookies and spend time with their family. Children hear tales about Santa Claus, a jolly fat man in a red suit, who flies around the world on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Santa climbs down chimneys and places gifts below the tree.
Hanukkah. Hanukkah, which is known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish celebration. Children receive a gift each day, and each night, families light the candles of the menorah. Popular foods eaten during Hanukkah are potato pancakes (latkes) and delicious jelly donuts (sufganiyot).
Kwanzaa. This African harvest festival, celebrated Dec. 26 – Jan. 1, embraces family and unity. Each day, a different candle on a kinara is lighted to observe the seven principles of the holiday. Parents and children exchange gifts—often of an educational or artistic nature—on the last day.
Three Kings Day. As part of the 12 days of Christmas, Three Kings Day is observed as the day that the three wise men met Jesus, surrounding him with gifts. The day is celebrated differently in various regions. In Spain, children often get to open their Christmas gifts. In Puerto Rico, kids sleep with a box of hay under their beds, as a way to welcome the gifts. In France, they celebrate by eating King cake, which has a small toy or coin hidden within.
The Yule Lads of Iceland. According to Icelandic tradition, there is not one, not two, but 13 Santas, known as Yule Lads, and they place small gifts into children’s shoes. Starting on December 12, kids place their best shoe on the windowsill of their bedroom so the Yule Lads can fill it. The Yule Lads are also known for playing tricks, and are named accordingly: There’s Þvörusleikir the Spoon-licker, Gluggagægir the Peeper, Bjúgnakrækir the Sausage-pilfer, Hurðaskellir the Door-slammer, and the list goes on. Because there’s no coal in Iceland, children who misbehave will get a potato in their shoe.
Fall is in the air, and all of the little goblins and ghouls are getting ready for a hair-raising holiday!
Hair makes the outfit, whether it’s Halloween or any other day of the year, and our Pigtails & Crewcuts team of hair experts is filled with ideas for you and your little pumpkin. Whether you’re teasing yourself into a tizzy or rocking the faux hawk, get your scare on with our ideas for Halloween hair.
Tease it out. Ready for your hair to stand on end? Hold it straight up and then take a comb and gently tease it down until it stands on its own. Spray with hair spray (or, better, color spray) for staying power. Whether you’re teasing one section or all of the hair, this is a great way to turn heads on Halloween.
Spike it up. Want to look rough and tough? With Jacques’ Hair Jam, by Circle of Friends, you won’t get any funny business. This texturizing hair wax is perfect for creating high hair art, whether you want a faux hawk, spikes or just a wild, vertical ‘do.
Slick it back. Go greased lightening! Slick that hair back, with the best of ‘em. Whether you’re dressing as Superman, Dracula or even a slick politician, you need goo. We suggest Circle of Friends Luc’s Lemon Lime Shine Hair Slicker, which is also great for smoothing out or spiking up hair, year round.
Color, color and more color. Whether you’re a zombie or a clown, a monster, mermaid or minion, every costume is better with color. Consider using hair chalk, hair color spray, hair feathers or hair tinsel for an eye-catching splash of brightness.
Go beyond Pippi with pipe cleaners. Pipe cleaners are a Halloween hairdo’s best friend. Whether you’re looking to make sticky-outy braids like Pippi Longstocking, or something less extreme, these tools are inexpensive and easy to use. Simply section hair into pigtails or ponytails and braid or wrap the hair around the pipe cleaner. You can form them into simple cat ears, bumblebee antennas or other styles.
Twist those cinnamon rolls. Do you have a little Princess Leia? Those cinnamon roll buns are key! To form them, make pigtails above the ears. Braid both pigtails, placing a small rubber band at the end of each. Then twist them into buns, and use bobby pins or hairpins to hold them together. May the force be with you!
Add some flair to your hair. Look around you for inspiration. Flowers or leaves make beautiful accents. Going for a scary effect? A few plastic spiders will really ramp up the creep factor and make just about anyone’s skin crawl. With a supply of bobby pins in hand, you can attach just about anything to your hair.
Keep it simple. Sometimes, a little bit of Halloween goes a long way. A simple themed hair clip or headband is a great way to show off some Halloween spirit. Plus, you won’t have any arguments about washing it out.
Pigtails & Crewcuts works with parents and children to turn bad hair days into good hair days.
Atlanta, Georgia (August 06, 2013) — It happens more than you might think: Gum gets mysteriously stuck in Kennedy’s curls; marker makes its way into Louie’s locks; the ponytail on Eileen goes green from chlorine. Pigtails & Crewcuts, a children’s hair salon franchise with more than 35 locations across the nation, regularly turns bad hair days to good. In fact, the salon recently created a video series illustrating a good-humored dramatization of the challenges it regularly sees.
According to salon owners at Pigtails & Crewcuts, the following kid’s hair disasters are the most common:
- Sibling Cutlery. Brothers and sisters have a way with scissors, but their way is rarely considered “shear genius.” The stylists at Pigtails & Crewcuts regularly work with hair of all lengths (and angles) to return it to its photo-ready state. (Note: parents, while more skilled than siblings, have also been known to produce similar less-than-ideal haircuts).
- Foreign Invasion. While gum is the most common culprit, stylists across the country have seen their share of foreign objects lodged in hair, such as candy, paint, peanut butter, lotion and more. While moms and dads are often quick to hop on the internet to find a solution, this is a situation that’s often best left to the pros.
- Jamaican Me Crazy. Kids (and, often, their parents) love getting their hair braided on vacation. But what looked cute for a few days on the island has a way of getting matted and dirty on the mainland. Stylists are happy to help take the “dread” out of dreadlocks and return your child’s hair to its natural state.
Does your family have a hair disaster relief plan? If not, it’s time to get acquainted with your local Pigtails & Crewcuts, where stylists are adept at taking care of business, whether it’s gum, make-up, color, food, scissors or any other common kid-tastrophe — no questions asked. You never know when such services will come in handy.
About Pigtails & Crewcuts
Founded in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia, Pigtails & Crewcuts is a children’s hair salon franchise dedicated to making haircuts fun and stress-free for young patrons and their parents. With 32 locations across the nation, Pigtails & Crewcuts specializes in quality haircuts for boys and girls of all ages, and also hosts children’s parties. In 2010, Parents.com named Pigtails & Crewcuts one of the Top 10 Chains for Kid Birthday Parties. In addition, Entrepreneur Magazine has named Pigtails & Crewcuts to the “Franchise 500” list as a top franchise for five consecutive years. To learn more, go to pigtailsandcrewcuts.com.
Theresa Underwood, (877) 752-6800, email@example.com
Photos available upon request.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (March 1, 2013) — Brooke Watson, the manager of Pigtails & Crewcuts Baton Rouge, will be honored Monday, March 4 for her time volunteering to help sick children. For the last four years, Watson has spent her free time painting kids’ nails and styling their hair at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital. Now, WAFB 9 News is recognizing her impact in its “Hand It On” segment.
“I feel so blessed and loved,” said Watson. “I do this to help the kids out, and for them to honor me, it feels amazing. I’m so grateful for it.”
As the manager at Pigtails & Crewcuts, Watson’s job is to make kids happy. She works at a kid-centric salon, where children sit in airplane- and automobile-shaped chairs, watch movies and play with toys and video games during haircuts. Working in such a smile-filled environment, Watson decided she wanted to give back to the community, and help kids outside of the salon feel better about themselves. She began making occasional hospital visits to do just that. Before she knew it, she was going every month, and even responding to the hospital’s on-call requests for her help. Through it all, she says she’s met countless kids who inspire her with their strength and spirit.
“It’s the least I can do,” said Watson. “Every time I go in there, I see those little girls sitting on a hospital bed, knowing they don’t feel good at all. And yet, with some nail paint or a haircut, they’re smiling by the time I leave. It feels really good to know that I’m the one who put that smile on that child’s face.”
The weekly “Hand It On” segment relies on the community to nominate someone who has done a good deed. Watson’s nomination came from a nurse at the hospital, who is also a customer at Pigtails & Crewcuts. In addition to appearing on the news segment, Watson will receive $300.
“My volunteer experience has taught me a lot, and I’m forever grateful,” said Watson. “I hope that through this news segment, other people realize that little things can make a big difference. Something as small as painting a little girl’s nails can change her week.”
Watson’s “Hand It On” segment will air Monday, March 4 at 10 p.m. and Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m. on WAFB News 9.
About Pigtails & Crewcuts
Founded in 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia, Pigtails & Crewcuts is a children’s hair salon franchise dedicated to making haircuts fun and stress-free for young patrons and their parents. With more than 30 locations across the nation, Pigtails & Crewcuts specializes in quality haircuts for boys and girls of all ages, and also hosts children’s parties. In 2010, Parents Magazine named Pigtails & Crewcuts one of the Top 10 Chains for Kid Birthday Parties. In addition, Pigtails & Crewcuts has been named to the “Franchise 500” list as a top franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine for five consecutive years. To learn more, go to pigtailsandcrewcuts.com.