I recently donated several bins of my son’s clothing to a local charity. I held on to them for a long time, unable to bring myself to part with them, but finally realized it was time to see them go.
A few days later, The Patchwork Tree came into my life. The custom quilt site turns your bebe’s old blankets and clothes into an heirloom-quality quilt.
Choose from a patchwork or block design for a handmade small (36 X 36), medium (36 X 45), large (45 X 54) or twin (63 X 81) piece of your heart captured forever.
Do you love that or what? Does that make the best gift or what? Do I totally wish I had known about the site just a few days earlier? Can I get a what-what?
Sew, er, uh, so, that is, if you want to hang on to your memories, go to www.thepatchworktree.com.
If you’re like us, you still need to scoop up a few more things for the school year, despite the fact that it’s been in full swing for a few weeks now.
Whether it be more of something (like folders and erasers) or something new altogether (like a bigger backpack, which I had to buy for my 5 year old to fit all of her books), this back-to-school thing persists.
Fret not, school-weary ‘rents, just go to Cool 2 School. As the name promises, this site’s stocked to the hilt with cool school supplies and gear. They’ve got a big selection of backpacks (which also make great gifts, by the way) to eco-friendly lunch boxes (which, come to think of it, also make great gifts!).
But, the coolest thing about the site has got to be the Japanese erasers and stickers they offer. Don’t they look like so much fun? Don’t they just make you want to write in pencil and then erase it? And speaking of gifts, can you say stocking stuffers?
I so hope Santa reads this blog—or that he has a Google Alert for his name.
Get 10% off with code FGROOVE10. For more from Cool 2 School, go to www.cool2school.com.
This week’s WAHM Bam Thank You, Mom tip from Patty Hoffman of I Love 2 Be Home, a site dedicated to helping moms work from home, talks cold hard cash.
“When starting your own WAHM business, there are a lot of options from which you can choose. It’s often difficult to ascertain which company is legitimate and which one is a scam.
Here’s my rule of thumb: Never invest a large sum of money. If a company asks you to put up a lot of money to start your own business, then that’s a major red flag. Consider yourself lucky that this red flag was waved in front of you before you parted with your hard-earned money and then run for hills!”
For more from Patty, go to www.ILove2BeHome.com.
So just what toys are safe nowadays? It seems like every third week there’s a new study, a new warning or a new panic, sometimes founded and sometimes not.
If you want to know the real deal on the hazards of toys today (versus the misinformed derivative of a misinformed derivative comprises a lot of what you’ll find online), read this article by Ed Loewenton of Turner Toys.
He identifies the four main kinds of hazards in toys (mechanical, heat, electrical and chemical) and gives detailed explanations of each risk. He offers his well-researched opinion on what to be aware of, what to avoid altogether, as well as the safer alternatives on the market today.
This hazard exposé is information-dense but definitely worth reading. You may even want to print it out (along with the other pages it references) to go through at your own leisure.
Finding Safe Toys is a must for all parents of little ones. Being driven crazy by the half-truthed drivel propagated by Internet hearsay and conjuncture is not.
And when you’re done, you check out the wide range of safe (but still fun!) Seductive Vanilla Organic Body Cream on his site.
Peekaboo, I see you. And you look delicious.
As I type this, I am realizing that it wasn’t a smart idea for me to be blogging about Sweet Christine’s at night—because I promised myself I wouldn’t eat past 6:30 and I so want dessert.
All I want in life right now is one of those brownies that’s on the Sweet Christine’s website.
The fun part about being gluten-free (or whole heartedly doing my best to be gluten-free) is discovering all of the yummers gluten-free treats out there for me to sink my sweet-tooth into.
Okay, I am serious, go to the Sweet Christine site right now and check out the pics of the cupcake, cookies and brownies. Go. I’ll wait.
Do those brownies look good or what?
She also provides some helpful celiac resources on the site, from centers and experts to book recommendations to documents on the subject.
Okay, now back to me and my stalking of her brownies. Brownies, you will be mine. Oh yes, you will be.
For more stalk-worthy treats, go to www.sweetchristinesglutenfree.com.
This week’s WAHM Bam Thank You, Mom tip from WAHM expert Patty Hoffman of I Love To Be Home, is short and sweet but ever so crucial to the overall success of your next big thing.
“Before you choose what business opportunity is right for you, you must do your homework. Research is key! Find out as much information as you can about every business venture that you’re considering. Contact the Better Business Bureau, look into online company profiles, reports and even what people are saying on forums (though you’ll have to take that banter with a grain of salt). Talk to other people who are doing what you are considering and get their feedback on the business. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to make the right choices for yourself. Knowledge is power!”
For more from Patty, go to www.ilove2behome.com.
I just realized that I am sniffling—and my mind wanders, oh, just a month or two down to the road to the beginning of cold season and the inevitable round robin of colds that will settle in for the winter.
The day my daughter learned to (properly) blow her nose was a proud and relief-filled one for me. I loathed using a bulb aspirator and it really wasn’t super effective.
My son, who is two and a half, thinks he knows how to blow his nose but he really doesn’t so we’ve got one more season of sneezin’ assistance on our hands.
Lucky for us, I found out about BabyComfyNose, an ingenious nasal aspirator that easily, effectively and safely gets the boogies out, man.
How it works is, at first glance, a little off-putting. (You basically suck out, the—ugh—what’s the best word here?—snot. Yes, you suck out the snot but, not to worry, you don’t suck it in; it just goes into the bottom part of the contraption. Watch the tutorial.)
Truth is that, at the end of the day (or in the morning or the middle of the night), all you want is your baby to be able to breath easily and this gizmo does the trick.
It’s $14.95 at www.babycomfynose.com and it is a sanity-saver that’s definitely something to sneeze at.
It’s all just a little bit of history repeating.
Slings are the new de rigueur accessory.
Yes, everything is old is new again—but this go-around the new-mom staple has gotten a makeover. Yup! The former function-over-fashion, hippie-ish bit o’baby gear has arrived at a whole new level of it statement-piece.
We love that baby-wearing has become so en vogue; it has so many benefits for you and your babe—not the least of which is the whole free hands thing. (Read here for sling-wearing safety tips.)
And we love that Chic Papoose offers so many sexy, hip and cool slings to suit all of your baby-wearing and fashion needs.
Chic Papoose designer/founder Holly Nelson actually started the business because she wanted a sling for herself that spoke to her sense of style (read: one that wasn’t pink or blue with baby duckies on it.
So with her necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention gusto under her wings, she set out to create a series of slings that any mom would go ga-ga for.
And just how hot are her designs?
Her tattoo-inspired Celeste sling (pictured) makes an appearance in The Hangover. Sizzle!
Not only are the patterns totally hip but the slings are very well-made, reversible and easy to use.
Chic Papoose is taking practical and making it posh, proving, once and for all, that you do not have to give up your sense of style once you become a mom.
A modern concept indeed.
All slings ship for just $3! For more from Chic Papoose, go to www.chicpapoose.com
This week’s fertili-tip from TTC, pregnancy and nursing resource Fairhaven Health tells why all lubricants are not created equally when it comes to trying to conceive.
“What is Pre-Seed Lubricant and how can it increase your chances of conceiving? Well, first things first, were you aware that many lubricants on the market are not fertility-friendly? They actually hinder your chances of conceiving by acting as a barrier and preventing sperm from reaching their destination! Pre-Seed is a lubricant specifically designed for couples that are trying-to-conceive. The formula actually mimics your fertile quality cervical mucus to create a healthy environment for the sperm to travel. The applicator format is especially helpful for couples that are trying-to-conceive as it allows the lubricant to be inserted into the vaginal canal—coating the vaginal canal and cervical opening creating an optimal environment for conception.”
For more from Fairhaven Health, go to www.fairhavenhealth.com.
Our very own Cindy Orley, founder of AkronOhioMoms, one of our 2010 moms’ group partners, and blog of the same name, is one of four finalists (out of 3,600!) in the Pillsbury Crescent Wow Sweepstakes for her Perfect Potato Pockets, where she’s rallying to become a Pillsbury Brand Ambassador.
We’re blessed to know and work with Cindy. She’s always got our backs and always goes above and beyond the call of duty for us and her Akron Ohio moms. She’s a woman one who leads by example, does what she’s say she’s going to do and always does it with care, attention to detail and panache.
A mother of two, Cindy’s passion for cooking is palpable (she’s even had her recipes featured in Every Day with Rachael Ray and Taste of Home magazines) and we know she’ll make one heck of an ambassador.
Good karma bonus: Each time you vote, you’ll be eligible to win a cool $5,000.
I recently received a candle as thank-you gift.
And while it was such a lovely and considerate gesture, I got freaked out every time I used it.
Just what exactly am I burning here? What is wafting ever so fragrantly into my office and, as such, into my body?
After several failed attempts to let that thing burn, baby, burn, I gave up. The train of panicky thoughts in my oft fragile psyche can go from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye (or a sniff of a nose, in this case) and I know myself well enough to know when I’m better off hanging back at the station.
So, is this it? Like dairy, wheat, drugstore makeup, Manhattan and more than two drinks in one siting, are candles now on the do not call list of my life. Ugh.
No is the answer to that question. (Insert sigh of relief here—because I cannot give up one more thing, I tell ya.)
Now, I know what a stickler The Ultimate Green Store‘s owner Laura Meyer is for the real deal when it comes all things eco-friendly and eco-smart, so I completely trust her choices and I appreciate the fact that her finds are always on the cutting edge of green chic.
And green chic these candles are indeed! Touted as eco-luxury, they’re sophisticated, modern and even sensual. They are everything a woman wants in a candle.
Made from a signature EcoCouture botanical wax (a paraffin-free soy and palm blend) and EcoWood Wick, an all-organic wood wick that burns cleaner than regular cotton wicks, these luxurious candles (or Chandels, as the line refers to them) emit a soothing crackling sound, a seductive fragrance (like white tuberose, lavender, zingiber and more, depending on your selection) and, well, that’s about it, folks. No toxins, no carcinogens, no panic-inducing smells—just fresh, clean, green serenity now.
For more of Laura’s hot picks, go to www.theultimategreenstore.com.
Bread, I love you. I live for you. You make everything better. You color my world tasty. I really think you are the B-E-S-T.
White, wheat, ciabatta, rye, multi-grain, pita, focaccia, brioche, naan, corn, buns, biscuits, rolls, with cheese, with butter, with jam, with olive oil—whatever mood you’re in that day, I am down for it.
I swear that it could be you and me forever—just the two of us.
But Bread, why are you so mean to me when I love you so much? You make me puffy and lumpy and give me an almost-instant dull sinus headache.
Honestly, after every time we’re together, I regret it. I never told you that before, but I have to get it off of my chest finally.
And now since I did the 21-day Clean program, I realize now more than ever that I have to break up with you.
It’s so sad and so true.
But wait a minute, maybe I don’t have to fully give you up. Maybe I just have to change you a bit—get rid of some of your nastier tendencies like all that gluten.
Evil Gluten, it’s all your fault. Leave my Bread alone!
I’m going where you can’t get to me or him: GlutenSmart.com.
Yeah, baby! Check out this selection of breads that will make me feel good about myself, keep me healthy, fit and full of energy.
Plus, the site has a full (and yummy) selection of other gluten-free favorites (like pasta, cookies, candy and so much more!) as well as kosher, casein-free and low carb dietary solutions.
Wow! That was a close call. I was about to swear you off forever, Bread. Please forgive me.
I was recently at a birthday party, chatting to the other moms about how I’ve never had my kids professionally photographed, except for one fantastic shoot by the great Linda Rowe when my daughter was less than a year old.
She is five now. Five. And I have a two and a half year old son.
I also lamented about how I am getting better at remembering to take pictures but I am still really bad at setting aside time to download said pictures from the camera on to my computer.
And actually sending them to my family—well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
In a Judith -Warner-Perfect-Madness kind of way, the other moms shared about how stressful taking their kids for pictures is and how much preparation goes into it.
Phew, I thought, because there’s simply no way I’d have the time to deal with the preparation (or the wherewithal to handle the stress) so I guess it’s all for the best—or so I told myself to make myself feel better.
These moms also recounted stories of overzealous moms they knew who took their kids to have professional pics taken at every major holiday plus their birthdays and how one mom takes her kids monthly.
Well, obsessively pro-photoing your minis aside, if your little girl’s got a birthday coming up or if you’re prepping for holiday pics (we’ll get to the boys in another post) then I’ve got a place for you to shop where you can knock out your photo-opp outfits in a cinch sans the stress but avec the fabulosity that your pictures deserve: Stephanie’s Wonderland.
Mommy: One; Stress: Zero.
And I need
And I lust
Well, cutie pie animals on shirts with matching hats, that is.
Seriously, I cannot stand how cute this outfit from UK darling Olive & Moss is. I cannot get over it. I just keep looking at the picture and wishing my littles where little enough to wear it.
Available at the ultra hip baby and kid online boutique Poppy Clementine, Olive & Moss does other ferosh designs and styles, including bundlers and rompers, for boys and girls from newborn to age 2.
They are so worth looking at and so need to be given to every baby you know, just so you can fawn all over them in person.
Check them out here.
For more unique looks, go to www.poppyclementine.com. Get 15% off with code TFG15.
We have a new client called Turner Toys joining us for our soon-to-be-launched Kids’ Party shopping section.
The site’s owner Ed Loewenton is quite a prolific writer as well as an authority on Toys 3.0 (yes, that is Toys with a capital T).
Man, there is just so much navigate these days between the China incidences, everyone’s newfound fear of plastic, the push for all things nontoxic and the staggering amount of toys on the market from which parenting-weary moms and dads can choose.
Where the heck and how the heck does one begin to know what to buy?
This is where Ed comes in. He’s got a great piece on the nature of play and how understanding biology can help you select the right toy.
For more form Ed and his breadth of worthwhile toys, games and puzzles, go to www.turnertoys.com.