Sunday, December 2, 2007

My poor little smurf :(

To whom it may concern -

My 15 month old daughter wore a C.C. Clothing by Sami outfit yesterday. This outfit was purchased as a gift from Denny’s clothing in Long Island, NY. The outfit is turquoise, and by the end of the day so was my daughter. The outfit turned most of her skin blue and she has now broken out in hives everywhere her skin was touched by the clothes. I have bathed her thoroughly and she is still blue. I have had to give her Benadryl and am watching her closely for any additional reaction, per my pediatrician. I am very concerned that an outfit made for children would produce this type of problem. I expect that someone from your office will get back with me very quickly to let me know what type of dye is used in your clothing and to assure me that this will never happen to another child.

I have taken digital pictures of both the blue skin and the hives for my own records and would be happy to share, if you would care to see them.

Thank you,
Signed by me

The letter above is one I sent this morning to C.C. Clothing by Sami's ( email contact person. Of course, their website does not have an actual phone number or person to talk to. I also called the store where the outfit was purchased to see if they could provide me with a contact or phone number ( The manager said she'd get back to me tomorrow.

Keep in mind that this brand is carried at several high end kids boutiques as well as Nordstrom and many upscale kids clothes websites -, and to name a few. Please note that this is not a slam on these sites, all of which are great. I am listing them here merely to illustrate the quality of the clothing one would expect to find there and how wide the distribution of this brand is.

I wish I may, I wish I might...

As promised - our wish lists. Keep in mind that these were wants, not needs and sent to our families only as guides, not a hard and fast list.

4 year old girl

15 month old girl

Also, for both girls
  • any of the CD’s by Justin Roberts
  • they both REALLY need new bathing suits (2T and 4T, click below for one idea)

Me and my husband joint
  1. Portable Navigation System - any of the ones below
  • Garmin Street Pilot c340
  • Garmin Street Pilot c550
  • Garmin Nuvi 200
2. Gift card to Crate and Barrel so we can replace all of the broken dishes and glasses we got for our wedding
3. Self cleaning toaster oven - ours is from the year of the flood

  1. New Naots – brown suede, two strap sandal (Santa Barbara) Yes, my honey is a throw back.
  2. New Briefcase
  3. Knob Creek 9 years old 100 proof
  4. Bladerunner Box set

  1. Slippers – bootie or high sock type (gap and old navy have great ones)
  2. PJ Sets – Marshalls, Filenes, TJMax carry really nice ones and nicely marked down. Victoria’s Secret also has good ones.
  3. New laptop carrier

Thursday, November 15, 2007

More Gift Guides

I have added more gift guide buttons to the left column and will post soon with my very own wish list. Here is the link to another one I like too.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Look at her she's walking

Say it ain't so. My baby is walking. 14 months and she decided overnight to go from "I take one step, fall and get frustrated," to "I can walk the width of the deck." So of course right after getting video footage of it with my favorite point and shoot camcorder (you might recall from a post last spring The Pure Digital Point and Shoot Camcorder
and of course sending that out to all family and friends, all I could think about were the shoes I'd get to be buying for her delicious feet. The caveat (because there always has to be one) is that she is a size 4 extra wide. Therefore, I'll likely wind up at Stride Rite with the same UGLY ones her sister had. For some unfathomable reason shoemakers seem to think that if your baby has wide feet, you have no taste or style. Let's pretend for a moment that this was my fantasy and I was able to pick anything - these are some of my current favorites.
love the Sportie in Butterscotch and the Jakester in Watermelon. digging the X-bones and the red and orange Mary Janes in he upcoming styles
but not 100% sure about the squeaking in light rose in barollo in blush

AND MY FAVORITE - can't even deal with the cuteness factor of the Veggie Boots and the Orange Fun Dots.

My runner up - just LOVE the Riley boots, the April sneakers and the Stella mary janes. Karen Ann, Sadie and Neo from last season (and still available) are darn tootin too.

The season for want (but certainly not need)

My in-laws make a VERY big deal about the holiday's. Totally over the top! That and having two small kids makes this the time of year I begin to think about gifts. Anyone who knows me well would agree that I LOVE to give gifts, even more than I like to receive them (no worries I never turn down a gift). With that said, it seems the Holiday Catalogs starting coming this year at the end of summer. There is normally nothing more annoying, but now that my older daughter thinks she should sit down with a pen and "seriously" circle all of the things she "has to have", it's more tolerable. So I have begun a list (hopefully a lead free one) and will share all of the 1+ and 4+ recommendations. It will be complied from many other mom blogs as well as our own wants. I will also share best places to find them. Much of the list will veer from the traditional b/c quite frankly if I have to look at more toy with lights, music, bells and whistles I might just - well you know. I will also change the ad on the left column from "back to school" picks to "holiday picks" as soon as Cool Mom Picks updates theirs.

For now their "safer toy guide (i.e lead free)" button is on the left-hand column below the Blogher ads.

Here are a few other good guides to web shopping with coupons -

Anyone with a "must have" or a list of their own should feel free to share in the comment section and I will post it as part of my list (but with credit to the author).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

How to get LUCKY (virtually)

I'll admit that with little time in my day to sh*t in peace, leisure reading has gone almost out the window. I look forward to going to the doctors office b/c the waiting room affords me 15 minutes to catch up with some magazines I rarely see anymore. In weeding out the unnecessary reads, Lucky Magazine - home to hot fashion, makeup etc., went by the wayside long, long ago. My MIL who owns a very hip boutique still has a subscription and I peek at it at her house from time to time. It is because of that, I am confident that they are still the source of great finds. So (again from the NY Times Style Section) I was excited to see this article about their fashion sample sale of sorts, which has now gone online! Up to 70% off, over 50 designers.
For those of you who need the Cliff's Notes - go to
I have to say that this makes me long for my old home (8 long years ago) in NYC. But it also reminds me, for those of you who love to do the sample sale thing, no one beats for updates on all of the hottest sample sales virtual and brick and mortar. Just sign up for the city(s) of your choice and you'll be plugged in. Of course my favorite is that they now have a Daily Candy Kids too. How sweet is that?

Another coat in the litanny of coats

I'll admit that I got this idea straight out of the NY Times Style Section and that it is far outside the cost parameters of the original post of kids winter coats. But, there are caveats. If you like to match with you children (not my taste, but it must be someones), or if you like high fashion for your little ones - this might be the coat.
I will tell those of you who might want it, that it is available at multiple sites that allow you to order online. Space Kiddets has amazing (read - cost of food for a small country) kids stuff but you cannot order online. Try these instead.
The one above is a little different but equally cute by the same designer.
I was however, hard pressed to find a site that sold the adult sizes. I guess for that you'd have to go to the store or call and have it sent.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sometimes I feel like a sucker...

...and sometimes I still can't stand that folks here use that name for lollipops. Either way, as the wife of a dentist, whatever you call them they are generally a big NO-NO in my house. As most mom's (and dad's) know there are ALWAYS exceptions. At my daughter's 4th birthday party last weekend we broke our own rule...well...maybe more like bent it. We shared Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops with the kids (and parents). I recognize that "organic lollipops" is quite the oxymoron but trust me here and read on. Let's get the most important question covered first - they taste AMAZING! With flavors like Mango Tango, Pomegranate Pucker, Cheeky Lemon and Wet-Face Watermelon - what could be bad? Now the part you have all been waiting with baited breath for - what's in them? Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Tapioca, Non-GMO Citric Acid, Organic and Natural Flavors , Watermelon, Lemon Oil, Pomegranate, Mango, Organic and Natural Colors, Red Cabbage and Purple Carrots.

What's not in them? They are Allergen, GMO, Soy, Nut, Gluten, Wheat and Dairy free.

And like many of my latest posts (totally coincidentally) they are in some way related to me. They are made by my mom's dear friend's nephew in-law. I for one, am a fan. And I can tell you that all of the 18 kids and parents at my daughter's party agreed.

Shiny, Happy Hair

It is true that there are products for my kids that make me whoop for joy and some for me, as a mom that do the same. But, I can also admit that a new shampoo is often enough to get me to pop out of bed when the alarm goes off at 6:00 am. I know, I doesn't take much. I have to say though that it is hard to impress a product whore (like myself) who has little allegiance to a particular brand or type of shampoo and conditioner. I have straight, brown hair. I don't color it, or perm it, or straighten it, so all of those formulas are lost on me. What I do love though, is shiny and healthy looking hair. So imagine my excitement when the Bliss Shiny Hair shampoo I took from a friend's hotel room (thanks Jodi) made my hair just that! The fact that I was not staying at the hotel, but still pilfered the goods is sooo besides the point.

I used it for a while as my travel shampoo and the last time I went to visit my parents my mom even commented on my hair's glossy glow. But reality hit when I ran out and realized that to maintain such luster I'd have to spend $18 per bottle (shampoo and conditioner) for 8.5 ounces. Or the fabulous discount of buying them together for a whopping savings of $4. For those with money to burn click below for aforementioned fabulousness.

Being the ever consumer savvy girl that am (and a frequent CVS shopper) I stumbled upon Burt's Bee's version of Shiny Hair products. I was a bit skeptical, but the organic packaging and fantastic Grapefruit and Sugar Beet scent won me over (what the hell is a sugar beet?). I'll be honest, if the Bliss stuff was a 10, the Burt's Bee's was an 8. The hair was very shiny and smelled ever so fresh and garden like but not quite as amazing as the Bliss results. However, the price made it my new favorite product at $8 for 12 ounces (links for both shampoo and conditioner below). Unlike the Bliss products which could be found NOWHERE in Columbus, OH and required the added cost of shipping, the Burt's Bee's products are in your neighborhood CVS and other like stores. So, I am with Meatloaf on this one - 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The sitter who wasn't

The kids' school was closed and I had a sitter set up for the day so that I could go to work - no problem. But, (great for her, bad for me) she got a "real job" working at a bakery and had to cancel at the 11th hour. So what to do? Then, brilliant Em says to me "call the school and see if any of the teachers want to babysit" and I say "brilliant" and I do. And they do. So great for me again. I did not get to meet her in advance, normally a big no-no for me but, the school runs criminal background checks on everyone and checks their references so she was vetted and I felt OK. Until this morning (after I had cleaned my house - g-d forbid a sitter would think us messy - and typed out requisite do's and don'ts list and had gotten both kids fed and dressed) when I sat and watched at the clock roll right past 7:30 am when she was supposed to arrive, past 7:45 and even 8:00. She did not show up and she did not call and I made desperate fleeting attempts to find a way to reach her or anyone else for that matter who could watch my monkeys, but to no avail. So instead I did the one thing every working mom dreads, I took my kids to work. Let me tell you that this morning epitomizes why you just can't have it all. You can not be a 100% mom and a 100% worker bee professional. All I wanted to do was cry!! OK what I really wanted to do was sit down on the floor and drink but crying sounds less mommy dearest.

Instead I reminded myself that this is why I just took on a second job (no I did not check my sanity at the door, just the only 5 free minutes I had left in the day).

Insert shameless plug.

I just became the Columbus city manager for a Texas based company called Mommy Mixer
The idea is as follows "When you meet someone face-to-face, you know if they're a good fit - it's true in babysitting as well as dating! Our exclusive MommyMixers® give moms and babysitters the chance to scope each other out in person in a comfortable, fun environment. There's no better way to find a big selection of sitters or moms who are right for you. Mixers generally take place at high-end boutiques and hip spots around town and last about an hour. Each Mixer begins with the sitter candidates briefly introducing themselves and describing their experience, schedules and preferences. Then the moms do the same. After the introductions, moms and sitters are free to mingle and chat to find the best match for their needs. At the end of the Mixer, moms leave with a comprehensive copy of The Babysitter Book that includes each candidate's résumé, contact information and photo. When moms get home, they can contact their favorite sitters directly to establish an hourly rate, check references and set up in-home interviews to meet the kiddos."

As one newspaper who ran a story covering on of the mixers put it this way "it's like speed dating for moms and sitters." The idea is so hot that Mommy Mixer is already in over 18 cities and will be featured on Good Morning America within the next few weeks.

Apparently I have multiple motivations for doing this, not the least of which is to never be in this morning's situation again. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not down with that

I can't even imagine what moms in really cold places do. All I wanted were down jackets for my two girls for this winter. "No big deal" I figured. Oh, how wrong I was! I must have done three google searches, hit no less than 30 online stores and 10 brick and mortar. What is the brilliance behind a heavy down coat with NO HOOD (L.L Bean) or ones that are shiny gold (Gap) and filled not with down but polyester (Gap and Old Navy) or ones with the UGLIEST heart stitching reminiscent of 1975 (Old Navy)? Then there are the thousands of 4-in-one parkas (Children' Place). My first issue with that is that we will inevitably loose a part. Issue two is why pink and green camo?? Then there are a myriad of coats that would make my kids look like they belonged in the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue (not practical for the playground) or remind me more of a poodle than a coat. So I am left with Land's End (a place I normally find far to Pollyanna for me)
I like these because they have a good color pallatte and they are plain and simple - my issue is the price - $80 for a one year old that will have milk pored down it on day one feels a bit much, but I feel I am without other options.
There is also Company Store Kids
theses are cute and reversible which is a plus but the girl option are only ok.

Anybody else have more success before I place the order tomorrow?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Multiple choice

I always feel more pressure when buying a baby gift for multiples. I mean you can't get two of the exact same thing and I am not a registry person. So that leaves you with about 1 million t-shirts with cute twin sayings (2 peas in a pod, thing 1 and thing 2 etc.)
or trying to go for something more practical. I generally stay away from anything to do with pacifiers because some parents think they are the second coming and others feel they are more akin to the devil. However, I feel pretty confident that when you have twins all of that is out the window if it means that twin #1 is quiet while mom tries to feed twin #2. I also figured that the older they get the more likely you are to want to keep said binky's separate for fear that they would share any more germs than they already do. That's where Sassy Paci came in.
I just sent these to a friend in Minneapolis. They are adorable pacifier clips with each girls name on them and sooo stylin! I chose the pink and black toile and the pink and white toile each with the twins name on them. The owner emailed me minutes after I ordered to assure me that the receipt would go to me and a card (not part of the ordering process) could indeed be included. She actually mentioned something about scrapbooking a card for me. I can't even begin to discuss a woman who has three kids, a home based business and is going to scrapbook a card for me, a woman she has never met. But, great customer service none the less. One note for anyone who might order - when you type in the child's name it also defaults a phrase (in my case it was "sweetie), but Jesi assured me that once you put a name there they know that's all you want - that and the 9 letter maximum.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Turning the tables

OK, I am turning the tables on readers. I normally do the reviewing and opinion giving but I am turning the tables and asking a question. What is the one product for your kids you could not live without, or think is the best new product you got to use with baby #2 that was not around for baby #1? I have my own list (bumbo seat, sling, papasan etc.) but like to constantly add. Here is your shot to share. Just click below this post on "comments" and share away.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A good reason to get knocked up

I'll admit that I need no reason or excuse to have a third. I literally delivered my second (without drugs) and thought "that can not be the last time I do that" and exactly one year later I still feel the same way. The issue, it seems is that the husband feels 2 is the perfect number "man on man defense" he says. So I threaten to find a new husband who will fulfill my 3rd child desire but alas I kid (sort of). And today of all days is hard because my potential last baby is 1 and not so much a baby anymore. She is into everything and very opinionated, much more toddleresque then I remember my first being at 1. Then to add insult to injury, I saw this amazing babymoon idea on the Mommies With Style blog -

I mean - come on! Why is it always too little to late for me with these things? Why have I never heard of this before? More importantly why did I not think of it and sell the idea to a hotel chain? But, to fulfill my altruism for the day, I thought I'd pass it along to those who can still take advantage of said fabulousness. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Croc a doodle you

I like to consider myself open minded and easy going (a gasp from my mother’s mouth can be heard from here) but I’ll admit that I prefer when my kids clothes match, and or, coordinate. Which makes my daughter’s obsession with her purple crocs a bit hard to take. I think they are adorable and the fact that they can get wet and not stink like the locker rooms of a boys gym is a big plus as well. But really - they do not match her flower girl dress nor are they appropriate with winter clothes – until now. A total must have for kid's fall and winter feet - crocs mammoth for kids - (type in kids mammoth in the search at the top and then click the image to see color selection and description). So many colors and two choices for the fuzzies (oatmeal and black) what more could a mom ask for?
So super cute and the holes are faux so no wet or cold toesies. The best part is that the fuzzy stuff is removable so they can totally get thrown in the wash. She let me get them for her in a neutral brown, which will solve many a fashion faux paus. Life is good...for now.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More on obsession

I really try to put it in check, really I do. But, sometimes it is overwhelming because I just want things a certain way. So when it came to my older daughter's first birthday, my mom made a custom ladybug cake for her and we had sheet cake for the guests. This time I have to have a sheet cake from a particular bakery (it has to be kosher) so I am more limited. Still, I thought I'll go online and find some adorable ideas for 1st birthday cake designs and ask the bakery to try to match it. Well no such luck. I spent the better part of 2 days searching and let me assure you - there is little to be had. I wanted something that could be adapted to a sheet cake and nothing too too. I was hard pressed to even be able to find images, much less ideas. I was not only disappointed, but worried I'd have to ask them to write her name and "make it cute." Alas, I found a multi-tiered cake with polka dots in citrus colors that has some fondant flowers and butterflies. I asked the bewildered woman at the bakery to "use it as a guide." Keep your finger crossed for Sunday when I pick it up. Feel free to comment at the end of this with ideas I was unable to find for sites to view 1st birthday cake designs.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


For those of you who have asked how to subscribe to this so that you will get updates as they are posted - scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)
then follow the directions. let me know if it works.

Moderately obsessed

I guess it all depends on your personal definition of moderate. Mine includes 10-15 hours online, no less than 5 conversations with my mother and at least 2-3 emailed links to friends, just to find the PERFECT shirt for my 2nd daughter to wear to her 1st birthday. Seriously obsessed would have applied to my first daughter's, first birthday and the insane search for her dress (no dress for the 2nd one, I am more reasonable now). That entailed the PERFECT dress ordered months in advance from a local woman who (despite my deepest desire to smear her) will remain nameless. That dress arrived so totally different from what was promised that I refused to put it on my daughter (it had puffy sleeves for g-d sakes) and refused to pay for it. Which lead to much last minute insanity and an overnight package from my mother in NY. (thank g-d for overindulgent mothers) It contained no less than five dresses she hoped would fit and be acceptable to a - by then, insane me. I did at the time, try to convince myself that it was not for naught. She looked darling and if I had another girl, she too could wear it for her 1st birthday. I should have been right - their birthday's fall less than 1 month apart. However, I did not anticipate that #2 would outweigh #1 (now almost 4 years old) by many lbs at a year, and therefore the 6-12 month dress would not work.

Back to now. I have done my homework and am so much more the savvy mama than before. I knew the smorgasbord of choices that would be, but a google search away. But ahhhh - there in lies the problem. Who could dive into 24,453 (or so) hits to "birthday t-shirts"? It was overwhelming to say the least. So the aforementioned "moderate obsession" began. I did manage to narrow it down and found several great shares in the process. She will be wearing this
For the rest of you who might be looking, here are more. Note, that most of these are for birthdays beyond the first as well.

For reasonably priced, but different try
I love the cupcake, ladybugs and the fish for boys.

For the bling chick try
Look under birthday princess boutique.

For sweet and simple try
Look under Birthday Items.

For a little humor I LOVED
These have a farm animal for each year (so one for the 1st birthday and 4 for the 4th) and might be best for boys but are super different!

For those who prefer something more subtle. Something that speaks to your child's ability to show everyone how old they are all by him/herself
They also have these for boys and for multiple ages if you search the t-shirt section.

OK, while I could post 1,000 more, those were really my favorites and this is my site after all.

With a caveat

It was my intention when I started this blog to only review/discuss/praise/bash etc. products and services I had actually tried myself. However, that would sometimes require $$'s I don't have for things I LOVE the idea of, but might not need at this very moment. So I am going to pass along a few that have been sent to me by some savvy mom's. All of these would get an A+ from me in ingenuity, originality and usefulness. If anyone buys them, let me know if they lived up to their potential.

My oldest friend on the planet sent me these
They are described as stroller pillows, which to me would imply head only. I'd be more likely to call them stroller cushions as they are for the entire body much like a couch cushion. So cute! What a great way to jazz up an old stroller (like for #2 who never gets anything of her own), or just to pimp out a little one's ride.

The same friend sent me this one (less pimp daddy, more "why didn't I think of that" practical).
These are rubber bands (bearing a striking resemblance to the live strong bracelets) that wrap around your kids drinks (baby bottles, sippy cups and water bottles) so that they know (at school, camp or daycare) whose is whose. They are also available in braille for those who might need that.

Yet another friend turned me onto this catalog with unique clothes and gift items.
I recently re-found a catalog I liked a while back for their furniture and gifts.
Both super cute, but pricey.

Next up will have to be my endless quest for the perfect 1st birthday t-shirt for my daughter.

PS - No idea why the font size changes mid-post. I spent 20 minutes trying to fix it only to decide no one would care as much as me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Preventing drippage

Snaps (similar to a "shout out" for those not in sorority at one time or another) to my dear friend Caren in Atlanta who sent me to
(search under snack and sippy cups for Lil' Toppers - Spill Proof Water Bottle Tops)
and asked if these were the bottle toppers I was referring to in my "That person" post on June 3rd. They are - hurray! I have also now seen them in the One Step Ahead catalog

Those will come in handy to prevent drippage, but not as handy as these. By these I am referring to a product that my friend Emily thought of, but didn't (sadly) move on fast enough. A product, that funny enough was given to me by my MIL to try out (she carries them in her boutique). They too prevent drippage. Or, maybe not prevent it, but at least keep it your little secret.

I know you are intrigued now.

Let's be honest most of us do it from time to time and some of us do it more than that. Nope not THAT! I am referring to going commando. I mean really I love my Cosa Bella's and Hanky Panky's as much as the next girl...but nothing, really nothing feels right when you are working out. Gym pants look and feel better when I am free-girling it. And jeans...come on! Most jeans are too low cut for even the lowest of low riders. And that my friends (and perfect strangers reading this who now know about my lack of panties) is what "Commandos - the patch" is for. The packaging says - "soft cotton comfort without the panties." they are basically the crotch part of the panties that have an adhesive on the back to stick to your jeans/workout pants etc. There is even a testimonial from a gynecologist on the back (always makes me feel better). They come in a set of 8 and there are thicker one for jeans and thinner ones for other pants. The one I have are called light nude, so I assume they might also come in black.

I have to say, I was impressed. They were easy to apply to my jeans and quite comfy. And then there is the drippage we discussed. Or maybe...enough said with just a "this is a product you should try if you like me, like to go without." Now the only problem is that I cannot find a link to them - all of the websites that pop up are sketchy porn. So, I guess you will have to look for them at my MIL's store (shameless sales push) - in Bexley, OH.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

seriously loving this

My kids love to eat. Really love to eat. Lucky for me they will eat almost anything. My less than 4 year old will tell anyone who listens that her favorite food is sushi. My 10 1/2 month old has eaten pumpkin ravioli and pork loins. But, they would not eat one thing - baby food. They both went through all of the flavors just long enough to assure me that they did not have any food allergies and then moved onto table food at about 6 1/2 months. With all of that said, a mom is still at a loss for healthy (always a primary goal for us), portable, non-perishable snack food. And then Gerber came to the rescue. That says a lot from a mom who never really bought any of their products (too processed, too many preservatives, salt etc.). This one happens to be the exception. Gerber Graduates mini fruits. "Bite-size, healthy freeze-dried snack" is what it says on the packaging. It come is several flavors
  1. banana pineapple
  2. apple
  3. mango
  4. banana strawberry
  5. sweet corn
It says 12+ months, but that seems silly and likely just in terms of choking (which I can not imagine considering the pencil eraser size pieces).

My little one can not get enough of these. They are almost mess free, healthy (100% fruit, no preservatives, no artificial flavors, no sodium), easy for little fingers and need no refrigeration.
I am in love. To be honest, when I get the munchies, even I like them.

when the dog bites, when the bee stings...

when I'm feeling sad...I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel soooooo bad! And now as promised "THE LIST!"

Maternity Clothes and Items sites
3. (my favorite)

Baby Items
1. (peanut shell) – baby slings (baby wearing is very up my alley but not everyone’s)
1. - mei-tai carriers for those who loved baby weaing but need a new idea to lug a 24lb 10 1/2 month old who can yet walk
2. - great onezies, hats, burp cloths, pick your own design; peanut, sweet pea, princess etc
3. – baby boutique
4. – very LA, rock group tee’s
5. – baby boutique
6. – t-‘s in lollipop wrap, very sweet
7. – personalized line with swarovski crystals
8. – embroidered newborn stuff
9. – very trendy stuff – look for the baby section
10. – celeb favorite, cashmere booties
11. – all different items using vintage fabrics
12. – the softest blankets
13. – baby slings
14. – very expensive diaper bags
15. – fabulous case for a diaper bag to hold just diapers and wipes
16. – very modern baby gifts
17. – t’s, hats, onezies with cute sayings
18. – diaper bags with sweet fabrics
19. – lots of practical baby accessories
20. - t’s, hats, onezies with cute sayings
21. – personalized blankets – expensive but really nice
22. – just like bling baby but less clothes more accessories
23. - t’s, hats, onezies with cute sayings
24. – baby boutique
25. - t’s, hats, onezies with cute sayings
26. – great backpacks for toddlers (mine LOVES hers)
27. – really different blankets etc – hand made
28. – baby carrier more like the Bjorn
29. – antibacterial diaper bags
30. – organic baby clothes
31. – celeb favorite diaper bags
33. – baby boutique split by boy and girl
34. – “time out” mats for toddlers
35. – great baby shoes
36. – very hot pre-walking shoes
37. - swaddlers and kid bed rail wrappers
38. – LOVE their bibs and insulated bottle/cup totes, VERY practical
39. (dante beatrix) – boutique with a diaper bag line I liked
40. – wipes cases, changing mats, burp clothes and totes in GREAT vintage fabrics
41. – great boutique
42. – cute pacifier clips
43. – awesome diaper, wipes and etc’s baskets to keep at your changing station
44. – clear from the name
45. – hip, trendy clothes for kids
46. – bouquet of flowers (clothes)

Personalized Gifts
1. – personalized books about becoming a big sister etc
2. – stickers etc
3. – obvious by the name
4. – custom t’s for adults and kids with rhinestones (got my older daughters 2nd birthday t-shirt here)
5. – great pop art ideas for photos
6. – baby albums
7. – fabulous baby albums made by a girl I used to work with – they were featured at the Hollywood baby shower put on by Jayoni
8. – custom monogrammed shirts and hats make a great baby gift at a reasonable price
9. - quilt made from babies clothes, blankets etc. they have outgrown
10. - mom jewelry
11. – customizable gift baskets
12. – custom mom jewelry
13. - customized binkys with your kids name on them, great for those who are in daycare or with a sitter

Blogs I love

Birthday T’s
2. – under birthday t’s

8. (favorite!!)

Been a long time coming...

OK, get it over with so that we can be done. It has been far, far too long. So sue me. Two kids, a job, husband and house - a girl gets busy.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Something different

Because I just had a second baby and just about everyone I know is prego, or just added to their own brood; I am constantly searching for great gifts. I am a big believer in doing something different. Anyone can give a babyGap outfit. I like to give gifts that are products I loved and found handy or things that were really different. It is especially hard to buy gifts for families that have just had a 2nd of the same sex. They likely have almost everything they need. I also find it hard to buy gifts for people who's taste I don't know that well. So, what are some of my favorites when in this bind...

1. Family stationary - I got this when my 2nd was born and LOVED it (i.e stationary or pads of paper that say "The Smiths" at the top and then has each family members name John, Jane, Fred and Beth underneath)- A friend just introduced me to this website that I like a lot I like for a more formal friend or or for a more casual couple. If you'd like to spend a little less or think pads are more fun try for mom pads or of which can be customized with two line of text at the top and one at the bottom (for an address or saying, or left blank). I just ordered for a couple with a new baby girl. The green seemed to be good b/c it was gender neutral enough to include the dad. I had the text done like my "Smith" family example above and. I ordered the mini pads which came as a set of four (200 sheets total) but these are all available in several formats.

2. A gift card to a restaurant for the couple's first non-kids night post new baby.

3. Plants - any type that require little maintenance as most first, second time moms have little time to pee much less tend to a plant.

4. Mommy Jewelry - necklaces, bracelets etc that have the kids names and birthdays on them are a big hit. There are cheaper ones and moderate and then more expensive, or for these who love bling and then their is CRAZY There are about a million others as well, but these were some of the ones I like best. Red Envelope has a large selection as well. I also like the photo ones like she also sells a lot of mommy tag types too. I love these and think they are very different

5. Personalized burp cloths - even though they might have these from the first, the 2nd needs their own -, and have cute embroidered pictures and names has names and pretty fabrics, is cute too. For the largest selection of custom options try which also has GREAT bags. For more BLING try . Another great one more for monograms is

6. Monogrammed clothes - I am sure their are a million places for this but surprisingly one of the most reasonable ($40 or less) is you can customize hats, shirts (long and short sleeve) jackets etc. with baby's monogram - super preppy and cute!

That person

While in NY city for a wedding last weekend, I saw a friend who has known me for years. She made a point of noting that the blog had not been updated in some time now. She said "I knew you'd start out strong and then not keep it up." I don't want to be that person though. I worry that it is a sign of the person I am overall. That I go at things full gusto and then peter out. I don't generally think of myself that way but maybe since she was right, she was really making a statement about me and not about this blog. With that said she did share with me a great new gadget that I am now dying to have and can't find ANYWHERE. It is made by Gerber and it is just a little plastic top that can be popped onto any water bottle, juice etc. to make it into a sports like sippy cup - BRILLIANT! She got it in Duane Reade which did not have any when we looked. I have since done an extensive web search to no avail. So I am recommending this, but have no way to show it to you or to give purchasing info. In fact if anyone can tell me where to find it myself, I'd be grateful.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

No such thing as perfect

It's a shame that I can't seem to manage to post more than once a week. There is something about the insanity of my life that does not allow for more than that at this time. Which sounds a lot like an excuse when I was really just making an observation. Oh the endless guilt..........

So the green goblin (Tike Tech 360 double in Lime Green for those just tuning in) arrived in perfect time (read as the day before I was to be taking both kids to the zoo and panicking about how I was going to convince the older one that walking 5 miles was good for her mini-legs). Let's start with the good (because I like to think of my self as a "glass half full" type. Unless of course that glass contains Sangiovese Davinci Chianti, Tuscany -; in which case I am a "glass totally empty" type.)

1. It is cute. I might even venture to say hip and sleek. I had many a glance my way at the zoo (made me feel like the hot girl in the bar - something I NEVER was). A few daring moms even asked what it was and where I bought it.
2. It took no more than 20 minutes of my very non-technically inclined time to put together.
3. Both kids felt comfy and secure.
4. It has a HUGE storage basket.
5. It is easy to push and turn.
6. Did I mention it was cute??
7. The brake was easy to use.
8. It was easy to open and easy enough (once I got the hang of it) to close.
9. The only major issue I had (to be addressed in the "the bad" list) was quickly resolved by a call to the company. They offered to ship me a replacement part the next day.

1. A snap on the storage basket was broken. I rigged it fixed for now and they are shipping me a new one this week.
2. It is heavy. Not awful, but no Zooper Tango.
3. There is a five point harness where every piece has to be undone to get the kids in and out. This takes no less than a full minute each time.
4. The aforementioned harness has clips that are soooo hard to open and close (I assume they will loosen with time) that I hurt my fingers each time. Heaven forbid you were a mom with a manicure!
5. There is a clicking sound I can't get to the bottom of that is a bit concerning.
6. My parents are going to KILL me when I leave the kids with them in two weeks (for the weekend) and they have to figure it all out. I am prepared to give an on site tutorial at the airport before they take the kids and we (the husband and I) head into NYC for a kidless
weekend. More on that another time.

A- (might have been a B+ if it didn't make me look cooler than I am)

There is no such thing as a perfect double stroller. I'd like to make it my mission to design one, but I lack three essential things - a degree in industrial/product design, time, perfection.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Follow up

For those of you wondering (again not sure who "you" are) what I decided to do for a double stroller once I got past the Zooper Tango fiasco; I have ordered the Tike Tech 360 in Lime Green from Target and it should be here in the next few days. Yes I know the color is a bit bright, but I was hoping it would be blinding enough that passersby would notice the color and not the fact that a jogger stroller was NEVER being used to jog with. I'll be sure to post about it as soon as I have had a chance to test it out on the open road.

The A says aaaaaaaaaaaaa

The single best recommendation I ever received from another parent, I was lucky enough to receive early in the play date her daughter had with mine. We chatted over coffee about the kids and their progress etc. We were talking about her older daughter writing her own name and when she mentioned that though she did not really allow her kids to watch too much TV (bless her, she is a better parents than I) she believed that Leap Frog's Letter Factory
and Word Factory DVD's were responsible for both of her children's advanced knowledge of all of the letters and their sounds as well as how to recognize and spell several short words. Thank g-d I got this advise early on as I mentioned, because by the end of the play date my three year old decided to change her daughter's poopy diaper and her mother was left to pick up small doody balls from my Berber carpet.
With that said, since my daughter was the offender of the doody ball on carpet incident, I decided to heed her advise and ask for these DVDs for my older daughter (3 at the time) for the holiday's . Let's just say that this was the best $9.99 each (they were on sale at Target) my in-laws EVER spent. These DVDs are set up like movies (potentially to trick the little un's past the "this is actually educational " part). They are engaging, interesting, repetitive (yes, you too will know EVERY letter and it's sound, which is good for those of us suffering from 2nd child sleep deprivation who need the refresher).

I am not kidding within weeks my daughter who previously recognized all of the letters but not been able to correlate the sounds - knew them all. Then, soon after she could put them together to make small words. I was thrilled and amazed and so grateful for the doody balls on the Berber. By the way thanks to Katherine for the reminder on this one.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


I am a list maker. An obsessive list maker at that. Yes, thanks to my mom, it is ingrained in me and I don't feel fully accomplished unless I can physically cross it all off "the list." With that said, some of my lists are mundane for groceries, books etc, some are more personal like life goals, some for today's to do's. Others are could get me arrested like, how can I leave my kids in a store mid-tantrum and go for a massage. Then there are the running tab of favorites. These are the lists I referred to in my "about me" and the ones that have been repeatedly requested by friends. And now I will share a few of those favorites with you. Whoever "you" is. Not all at once, that's like finishing the entire milkshake. But rather one at a time so that you can have time to explore them and decide if they would make your list too.
So tonight's is - favorite guilty pleasure (the only kind worth their salt) blogs. Yes, I decided that I too wanted a piece of the action, only after becoming addicted through other peoples warped worlds. So have a look-see and let me know what you like or tell me about others you to are secretly (or not so) following. - it's like crack for those of us who like celebrity gossip and like it even more when it's pint sized! What a great way to not find baby names! - exactly what it sounds like 1/2 the fat and none of the calories. - much like the one above but a bit more fashonista - not sure if it's because I knew her when we were young, or because she is a Long Island JAP transplanted like me, or because I love her book Straight Up and Dirty, whatever the reason she tells it like it is and like few people have the balls to do - the original kind of like vanilla ice cream, very reliable

There are more, but this is a good taste.


It was fully my intention to try to remain positive and only really discuss products or services that I have had a good experience with, but of course that would be impossible. With that said, I loved my Zooper Tango (to view) and (to buy - if you feel so inclined even after reading this) every day until the last one we used it. I did a ridiculous amount of research before buying it. I mean friends and relatives (OK just my mom and husband) were tired of hearing that "there was no one double stroller out there that fit all of my criteria." Criteria being, it had to be cool looking, safe, have a five point harness, have a nap bar across both seats, fold easily, be light enough for me to lift but not so flimsy it might break easily, have a large storage basket, drink holder for parents, be well rated, under $500, fit through all doorways, etc. So, OK, I had more criteria for this than I did when choosing my husband or my car but come on this stroller was holding my kids it had to be perfect. Oh and it also had to be a side by side, because believe me after borrowing a friends' Graco Duoglide (thanks Catherine) for the first three months, I had put in my time pushing what I referred to as "the boat." I really had not wanted to spend over $300 originally but that left me with the Combi's which were awful to steer and felt flimsy and Peg Perego which I read one terrible review after another for. So I decided to raise my price point and see what was out there. Going over $300 allowed me to see the McClaren which had no nap bars and less than average storage, several Inglesia's which looked nice and were well rated but again no nap bars. For those of you wondering the nap bar is key for small kids (my little one is only 8 months) and allow a place to put drinks and snacks, key for both kids.

So there it was - the Zooper Tango. I literally could not find a bad review for this thing and it was a new model and came is such great colors. I was, well, let's just say - swept off of my feet. I was hard to swallow the price $406 with tax, but I felt confident that the Tango and I were going to do great things together. Let me also explain that though my older daughter is 3 1/2 she loves to have the stroller. She likes it as a place to rest when she is tired of walking and frankly she likes it b/c her little sister has it and though we have been relatively lucky so far with the sibling rivalry the idea of her sister getting pushed while she walked was more than this princess was willing to tolerate.

So of course as soon as I chose my new love, I encountered the first problem. It was not sold at any brick and mortar in all of Columbus (BIG surprise). So I found a well rated website (they are just a distributor, Zooper does not sell there own merchandise) and placed the order. Three days later the stroller was on my door step. I followed every direction and proudly showed off a fully assembled stroller to my husband when he got home that night.

And for 3 months or so this stroller was almost everything I dreamed of. Much like most relationships are in the "honeymoon phase" when no one has told the other about the number of partners they have had or about the places on their body that used to be pierced, or that they like to sh*t with the door open. Anyway, with the exception of being a bit hard to open and close, this was the real deal.

Then we decided to take a walk last wee. It was the first nice night in a while and I figured we could all use the fresh air. I still have no clue how is all happened but the next thing I knew the stroller had flipped over onto the sidewalk, the kids were headfirst on the concrete, I was stuck on top of the stroller and the front right wheel was 10 feet away on someones lawn.

I won't bore you with the details but needless to say we would up in the emergency room with the little one to check for a concussion and the big one looked like she'd had a round with Mike Tyson and the bruises I have on my legs better clear up before shorts season really arrives. In the end everyone was fine.

Let's just say I was on the phone with the company first thing the next morning. What made me soooo mad was not that they were blaming me (very indirectly) but that they wanted me to find a box and ship it back to them for testing. Only then would they decide if it could be fixed. Like I wanted it back. Almost as much as you'd want a guy back after you found out he'd given you herpes. COME ON. Well let's just say that at the end of it all, they sent me a box, paid for all of the shipping and refunded me the $406 dollars.

Then I realized the real drama of the situation - what the hell am I going to do for a stroller now. I am the newly single girl who thought she'd be marrying the guy so she forgot what it was that she was looking for in the first place - Grrrrrrrrrr!


Not that I am assuming that anyone is interesting in commenting. However, if you feel so moved it is super easy. Just click on the "comments" at the end of any post and then it will bring up a window that will allow you to write and post. No worries, I have full editing power, so if someone write something nasty, it won't be there long.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Housekeeping note

I signed up for Google's Adsense - allowing them to post ads on the site. I must not be doing something right b/c there is an ad at the top of this page that looks really weird. I am working on it - just an FYI.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I wanted to call this blog productwhore but

I wanted to call this blog productwhore, but it was taken. And of course a blog aimed at moms and future moms might not do well with whore in it. Plus, I guess there could be the whole porn site confusion as well. So productmom it is. But that does not mean I am not a whore. Well not in the traditional having sex with multiple partners definition. However, if we were using "not loyal to one, always looking for a new one" definition, I am a product whore. More specifically a kid and mom products whore. Even more specifically a diaper bag whore. I have owned no less than ten diaper bags since having my first daughter 3 1/3 years ago. The first was a Petunia Pickle Bottom gifted to me by my mother-in-law. Pretty and spacious but kind of bulky and yikes it needs to be dry cleaned so it was quickly moved to the top of the closet. Next was the Skip Hop Duo in Red Liked it a lot but it was a bit snug to get everything in there. Then there were several totes not intended to be diaper bags per se. Issues like - not the right pockets, unable to be wiped clean etc. But they did have so much more room. Then baby #2 came and I decided to go with Skip Hops' newer, bigger one, the Dash in Brown with Pink trim. And I loved it. Or so I thought. I always knew the messenger strap was not my favorite but it was so economical, so utilitarian, so well built. Then it happened - as innocently looking over one of my favorite mommy blogs and THERE IT WAS - Amy Kathryn's Gladiola diaper bag in Eggplant and Lime (it is sold out on her site so try they even throw in a free bib) and I was ga-ga in love. I sent it to my friends as a suggestion for them. They are all due with #2 in the next few months but more on that in another post. Really though in my heart of hearts I prayed that none of them would get it, because I was secretly coveting and trying to figure out how to justify its purchase all at once. And then my friend Emily (my soul sister) emails me casually asking if maybe it would be the perfect gift from my dear friends for my birthday. Did they read my secret covetous thoughts? No they are just the best and guess what - so is the bag. Earth friendly (read - the most supple, buttery pleather ever), gorgeous colors, four outside pockets, multiple inside pockets and a changing pad with a pocket for diapers and wipes. Oh yea and the pleather is totally wipeable. The best part...I look sooo totally hip, which for this girl is the be all and end all!

Because my kids really need more energy

I am pretty good about what I let my kids eat. Granted according to my mother I might as well be feeding them pure sugar and empty calories. As kids my brother and I did not have our first piece of candy until we were old enough to tie our own shoes and sugar cereal (as defined by my parents as anything other than Cheerios or Raisin Bran) is still not allowed in their house. Still, compared to other parents in Columbus (we are the 5th most obese city in the country according to the annual survey by Men's Health Magazine) I look like a saint. My kids have never eaten fast food - unless of course a meal I prepared in the microwave in under 5 minutes is considered fast food.

My kids are by any one's standards really good eaters. If asked what her favorite food is my 3 1/2 year old would likely answer sushi or Greek. She likes Indian, Chinese, Italian, etc. My seven month old did baby food ( made by me) for all of two weeks and now eats only table food. With her two teeth she has managed to eat corned beef, chicken and garlic ravioli, turkey, chicken etc. Yet, like all kids the older one likes snacks that look like kids snacks. So I compromise. My friends recently turned me onto Clif Bars, Clif Kids Organic Z Bars They are advertised as "baked whole grain energy bars for kids." And you know what they are good. Really good. Good enough that mommy eats them when she is in a rush. They are SB 19 compliant (California bill that ensure that kids snacks have no trans fats and low sugar content) and come in three flavors. Also, even though they say "energy" bar they just mean a healthy snack, there are no energy boosters in these. So there I was in Target looking to buy a whole box so that I would not run out at the worst possible moment (i.e. when she wants one and is on the verge of a meltdown). I found them on the shelf right next to another so called "healthy kids snack bar." I had to stop and compare, after all these were a little bigger (43g as opposed to 36g), cheaper, and their nutritional stats were better (1.5g less fat, 75mg less sodium, 3x the amount of protein, 2g less sugar etc), but would they taste as good? Guess what - just as good. So now what..well because kids will be kids she only wants the Clif bars. But that's OK b/c both make me feel like a good mommy - even if my mom would tell me to forget them both and pack a Ziploc full of carrot sticks.

A toy for mom and dad

No...not that type of of those is reserved for Mom's Night Out dinners. OK, so the husband LOVES toys. Man gadgets if you will. His birthday was last weekend and I was all about getting something he would like. Not just "great gift honey," but "wow where did you find this and how did you know about a gadget before me!" He happens to also regularly complain about our caveman video camera. In all fairness it is from the year of the flood (5 or so years old which is ancient these days). More importantly though, is that we have not taken video of our kids since the 3 1/2 year old was 2 or so and the little one (7 1/2 months) has never had a real video taken of her. I am not sure how this is possible but considering that the one we have requires those mini discs and a day to charge it, it collects serious dust.

With all of that said I found the PERFECT gift. Understand that by perfect, I mean it was a man gadget, it was fun, it filled a need we had and it was not going to break the bank. The Pure Digital Point and Shoot Camcorder This camcorder is the size of a deck of cards, holds 60 minutes (they also make a 30 minute version) of video and has a USB port that attaches directly to your computer to download. With all of four buttons and a 2X zoom this thing fits in my purse or the husbands pocket and the best part was the price - $175 (ours was on sale at Red Envelope for $135). No, I am not kidding. Tonight we downloaded the videos and it could not have been easier. All of the software and instructions pop up as soon as you plug in the USB port.

For those who are wondering about the quality of the video - I did a lot of research prior to purchase and many reviews talked about the video quality. I am THRILLED with the quality. I mean come on - for $135 my kids punims are crisp and clear and the sound is nice and it fits in my purse. I mean I am not expecting Spielberg quality here. More importantly though the husbands exact words were "this thing is great and really easy - I love it!" As for me - She shoots...she scores!

And so it begins

As the mother of two small kids I am always trying new products (OK I am slightly addicted). As a New Yorker transplanted to Ohio I needed a venue for my opinionated personality and figured that this was a harmless one. I am the friend who is constantly emailing new finds to all of my friends (most of whom appreciate it). I am the one who keeps a long list of categorized websites I like best for shopping, research and information on my desktop. I have been asked to share that list so often that I should be considered a paid advertiser by each site. I am also a frustrated novelist (OK, so I have only written and re-written the story in my head - it will get written one day - like a day when both of my kids have slept through the night and I am not working). Oh yeah and on top of all of that I am a working mom. I work part time in marketing the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Yes, I realize that is funny but how I wound up here is a story to long to bother...