Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thank You, Thank You Very Much!

If you knew me well, you'd know I am HUGE on thank you notes. No matter what you give me, my children, or my husband, whether it's material, mental or edible. You WILL receive a thank you note. My poor children have been signing thank you notes since they could hold a crayon. When I was a teacher, my students wrote thank yous for everything: guest speakers, guest art teachers, to classes that performed for us. You name it, we give thanks. Obviously manners are of huge importance to me. When I had the chance to try out the Made By Hands "Make Your Own Thank You Notes" kit, I said YES PLEASE! This wonderful kit comes with everything you need to create great thank you notes with your children. From paper cut outs, to cards, envelopes, and glue, your little ones can have fun making a special thank you for a special person. The kit also comes with a great "Thank You" manners book and has sample thank yous written by children ages 5-12. Visit the Made By Hands site and check out all of their great kits. I also love the Valentine kit as well as the make your own Games and Post Card sets. Very fun, Very Affordable!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pink Taffy Designs

Pink Taffy Designs is one of my fave go-to mom shops. They have everything you {never knew} you always wanted. Seriously the cutest accessories, gear, apparel and furniture for babies and kids. The e-boutique has a section just for cool mom & dad stuff. I love this pink Rock n Rule Mom tee, $38. It's made of 100% lightweight Jersey cotton, and it's ultra soft and touchable. The shirt is slightly sheer and tapered just a bit at the bottom for a hot mama fit. The company was started by two sisters and stay-at-home moms Aimee Pool and Rebecca Stocker. The swanky pair were looking for a creative outlet, and by golly they've found it!

Swanky Summertime Fun Series: Learning Resources

If you've never visited the Learning Resources site, it's a must shop for this summer's "edutainment" activities. Education and Entertainment all wrapped together! We don't have a swimming pool, so around here, summertime means breaking out the inflatable pool, which is pretty exciting if you're under 5! My boys love to bring out their bath toys and play with them in the pool. This summer we are playing with Learning Resource's Smart Splash toys and are having a blast. My favorites are the Shape Shell Turtles and the Letter Link Crabs. My 3 year old loves the Color Play Penguins, while my oldest also enjoys the Letter Link Crabs. He likes to find the letters of his name and link them together. Each set of Smart Splash toys is made of mold resistant plastic and comes with a great reusable mesh bag to store the items in. I love that they are durable, educational and well, just plain adorable (and some of them squirt water)! The learning opportunities are fantastic. You've got options for shape, color, letter, and number recognition along with fine motor skills and creative thinking. Visit the Learning Resources site today and have your kids partake in some Smart Splashing this summer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


If you are looking for unique clothing for kids, you must check out Skimbaco! They carry unique designs for boys, girls and even mom! This Riiminka Design puppy outfit is so adorable. It is handmade and even the prints are first hand drawn and then hand printed! My son wears his and looks so cute and comfy!

The "It Factor": If you don't have it how to get it.

Who has "It" and who doesn't? What is "It"? To me, having the "It Factor" is that thing that makes your eyes sparkle, makes people want to be around you, and makes all good things come to you. But having "It", that indescribable quality we all want to own is hard to put your finger on. It's difficult to accurately desribe the "It Factor" in a few words but these are some of the qualities "It" people ALWAYS have:

Sex appeal and they aren't afraid to let it show
Contagious passion and inspiration
The "I don't really give a F*&^ what people think of me I"m doing it anyway just because I want to" attitude.
Courage to take risks in work, love and life in general

I was at a conference yesterday with a group of very intelligent and accomplished women. Although many of the speakers were very informative and knowledgeable, I spent much of the afternoon studying the women around me. I noticed a certain amount of conformity in the room in the way people dressed, spoke and interacted with one another.

Since it's my job to notice posture and how people hold themselves, I would safely wager that the majority of the women there neglected themselves physically. Neglecting your body immediately diminishes the odds that you will have "It". I was dressed in tight jeans, trendy heels and a blouse that let a little bit of my tummy show. I definitely violated the dress code. In fact, some women were not happy with my brash disregard for the unspoken rules about sexuality in business environments. But hey, it's my job to help people look and feel good and if I can't do if for myself, how am I going to help other people do the same?
Just before the day ended, a woman who started an online magazine called came up to speak. She's over 50 and looked about 38 dressed in a hip summer outfit, blond hair and had a rockin' body. The "It Factor" oozed out of her and if anyone in the room had "It" she did. I immediately perked up and focused all my attention on her. The energy in the room shfited instantly almost as if a new weather system had entered. She had half the time she was supposed to have, announced she was throwing her notes out and off she went like a cannon ball out of a cannon. And man, did she impact me. And it's because she had "It". And of course she's going to be insanely successful in her business venture.

In my work I would say that 90% of my clients have "it". The other 10% are working on having "It". And when I venture out of the little bubble I've created for myself, my little room where I have amazing people visit me all day, I am astonished by the proportion of people outside my bubble who have "It".

The number one killer of the "It" factor is fear.
Fear of failure
Fear of being judged
Fear of taking what you need and feeling selfish
Fear of being too much of anything
Fear of appearing too confident
Fear of having to change your present circumstances and start being in control of your life
Fear of being the you that lives deep in your soul

If you want to live a life of abundance, joy, spiritual fulfillment, you've got to dig deep and find the courage to uncover the "It Factor" in you. If you don't know where to start, the best door to open first is to start respecting and loving your body. The joy your body can provide to you, the immediate satisfaction you get from working out will light a fire in your soul and help you develop all the other qualities that are necessary ingredients to having "It".

It's time to join the "It Factor" club. Let me know if I can help.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Swanky Summertime Fun: Crayola Outdoors!

Kick off the summer with fantastic new products made by an old favorite! Crayola has outdone themselves with a super fun outdoor line that will make kids of all ages (yes, adults too) smile. With everything from Giant Sidewalk Chalk, to Stencil Kits, Chalk Tools and even a Sidewalk Paint Sprayer, your family will have a blast turning the driveway into an art gallery. There's so much to do: teach your kids how to play hopscotch, have a family tic tac toe tournament, or brush up on those math facts and give your kids a big "driveway" quiz!

Got a budding artist? Be sure to enter your child's art in the "Crayola Outdoor Art Contest." Winners will receive a fabulous variety of Crayola Outdoor Products. The possibilities are endless with these products. I love that the whole family can be involved with the Crayola Outdoor line. We've been out of school a week already and have had some serious games of driveway tic tac toe. You can also find Rainbow Rake markings all along the sidewalk in front of our house!

Need to do some gardening? Break out the Crayola Outdoor products, the kids will stay busy, you can join in here and there, all the while getting your planters back in shape! Visit the Crayola site for tons of Outdoor Activities and lots of other super fun stuff. Crayola Outdoor products can be found at all major retailers, they are affordable, inspire creativity, and most importantly of all they'll keep everyone having fun!

Swanky Summertime Fun!

It's HERE! This week is the first "official" week of summer. You're probably busy thinking of ways to keep the kids busy, right? Well, look no further, the Swanky Summertime Fun series will provide you with some fantastic activities to keep everyone in the family smiling. We're talking good old fashioned family fun with some twists here and there. Check back frequently, you won't want to miss out!

Lilybugs: Bottle Fun & Learning Tool

Another one of those you never knew you needed it until you have it items! Lilybugs are a genius idea created by Swanky Mom Crystal Kane. While out driving one day, Crystal's daughter had a leaky bottle, with no wipes or napkins on hand she instinctively grabbed her daughter's blankie and tied it around the bottle. Watching her daughter Lily grab the blanket wrapped bottle and feed herself inspired her to create the Lilybug! These cute furry friends simply hug a bottle or sippy cup. Little ones can grab them by their floppy ears or wings (depending on the design) and easily fill their tummies! Lilybugs currently come in 13 different designs with several more in the works. My favorite design is the zebra, so cute! This great product is easy to use, has no removable parts, and is designed for little ones of all ages and stages. Visit the Lilybugs site today and join the "bug club." Don't forget to get a few extra, they make great gifts!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sponsor: Baby Bling by Belle Pearl

The Belle Pearl jewelry line offers chic and elegant pieces made especially for stylish babies and their fashion forward families. The collection includes a variety of custom styles perfect as keepsakes and made of the finest Fresh Water Pearls, Swarovski Crystals and Sterling Silver. Signature packaging also included with each purchase. Featured here is the "Pretty in Pink" bracelet.

Use coupon code: swankymoms10 and receive 10% off of your purchase! Click HERE to shop!

Focoloco: Cool Designs for Cool Kids

When I came across the Focoloco site, I knew my boys would love their designs. Designed by Swanky Mom Suzy Helme, her cool not cutesy, funky and offbeat designs are just what I look for in clothing. We have the Mini Matey pirate and the Robots Heart Dancing designs. Perfect picks for my own 3 year old swashbuckler and funky Beastie Boys lovin' five year old. Something else that I LOVE about Focoloco is the fact that you have lots of choices. Each design can be put on various garments. Everything from bibs, to onesies and tees ranging in sizes newborn to 6 years. You can also choose the color: white, fire engine red, plum blossom, grassy green, or electric blue. We have the grassy green and electric blue tees and even after several washes, the colors remain vibrant. As a child of the 80's I can especially appreciate their "Recycle it's Rad" tee. Any company that uses the word RAD, is, well, RAD! Visit the Focoloco site today and pick up some tees with style.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Olive Kids: Personalized Placemats with a BANG!

Your table will never be the same after ordering personalized place mats from Olive Kids. Their bright graphics and great fonts are combined with fantastic designs that will make your kids love their place at the table. Click over to the Olive Kids site right now to order one of their new 4th of July designs. Available in a Fireworks or Patriotic design, you'll have a hard time choosing which one you love the most. The place mats are made of heavy weight laminate, they don't bend easily, so your little ones won't destroy them! Another bonus, with the wipe of a damp cloth, clean up is super simple. I'm telling you, you'll be addicted, my boys love their place mats, and have a hard time choosing which one to "leave out." Olive Kids personalized place mats make fantastic gifts. Bring them to your next party or baby shower and I promise you'll have the hit gift of the event. All of their designs are irresistible, so don't be surprised when you order about 10 of them!

Halo SleepSack: The Wearable Blanket

Designed by a father who lost an infant to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), the Halo SleepSack is a wearable blanket that allows infants a safe way to stay warm. The SleepSack has been named the #1 Safe Sleep Product by First Candle/SIDS Alliance. This fantastic product is a must have for all moms. The SleepSack eliminates loose blankets, and keeps little ones cozy. SleepSacks come in sizes XXS to the 4T/5T Big Kid's version. They also come in various fabrics. The light weight cotton SleepSacks are great for summer, while the fleece will keep your cutie warm in winter. My son who is 5, has the Big Kid's SleepSack and LOVES it. He told me it's like "Wearing His Blankie to Bed." What I love is that it keeps him warm, but not hot. Halo products can be purchase directly on the Halo site. They have a great section with gift sets that will make new moms smile. Who wouldn't want something that's cozy, comfy, and most importantly SAFE. Visit Halo today and check out all of their fabulous products.

Uncommon Goods Recycled Jewelry

I have been searching for an edgy piece of handcrafted jewelry, either one that would hold my son's picture or one that was the first letter of his name. G for Gavin. I found the Personalized License Plate Charm Necklace, $40, from Uncommon Goods and fell instantly smitten. Designed by artist Allison Strine, the vintage charm is cut from an actual license plate and is encased with colorful fabric visible on both sides through a beautiful glass and silver box. The necklace is handmade in Georgia, but mine came with a darling little note stating that it was an old New Jersey plate. Just love the history and mystery of it all. The charm is heavy, so I replaced the standard ball chain with one I had in my jewelry box. I ordered mine online but later dealt with the sweetest customer service rep. Plus, the shipping was reasonable and it arrived overnight. They could sell these for A LOT more than they do. Enjoy!
Also from Uncommon Goods, the Personalized Letter Press Necklace, $62, was a happy find. The vintage wood character block designed by Ward Wallau is recycled and mounted on sterling silver. It still shows some of the original ink stains from its old printing days. Love it! (The letter appears backwards because printing transfers the mirror image of an object.) This necklace is available in all 26 letters, numbers 1-9, the dollar sign, question mark, ampersand, and exclamation point. It works equally for men or women, so I gifted this one to my husband for Father's Day. Just enough space on the back for engraving.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pokka Dots Maternity

I know it's summer, and it's scorching hot in most parts. But I couldn't resist featuring this No Name Yet maternity t-shirt, $30, from Pokka Dots. When I was pregnant with my son, I was hounded daily by women with only two things on the brain... "Do you know the sex?" and "Any names yet?" Seriously, it happened on the subway, while walking my dog, at the checkout counter. So anything I can do to help relieve this burden for other mamas-in-waiting, I'm happy to do it. Let the shirt do the talking. And stay cool!


Warm Biscuit Aprons

Whether feverishly entertaining a dozen dinner guests or just one picky child, you spend enough hours in the kitchen each week. You should feel pretty there. Now you can with the Spring Mom Aprons, $44 each, from Warm Biscuit. I fell in love with each of these darling designs (Yellow Floral, Posy, and Pink Polka Dot) the moment I set eyes on them. The apron is sure to spruce up any accidental ensemble you have on, even bringing a sense of old-fashioned charm and glamour to, say, cargo shorts and flip-flops. The company offers mother-daughter matching cotton aprons and several monogram styles and colors. Adult aprons are 60 inches long.

Rebecca Denny Designs

Rebecca Denny diaper bags are not only sophisticated and stylish but practical too! I love the RD line of bags as they are not your typical diaper bag. They look like a handbag or purse that you would actually pick out yourself and they have lots of room for stuff for baby and mom! You can use it as a stylish diaper bag and after you are done with the diaper bag stage, a tote or overnight bag! These bags are made of quality fabric and materials and have a repair or replace warranty to stand behind them! The bottom of the bag is made with waterproof material and the interior and pocket interiors are lined with Polyvinyl Nylon that is waterproof which makes it easy for cleaning up spills! And, each bag comes with an amazing matching padded change pad!


Thursday, June 14, 2007

ABC's Wife Swap

Danielle, the Casting Producer for ABC's Primetime show, "Wife Swap" contacted me and asked if I could be on the show, unfortunately for me I am in Canada and they are not able to shoot outside the continential US :( So, I was asked to pass on the invitation to my Swanky Mom readers!

Wife Swap is gearing up for a fourth season at the moment and they are currently looking for unique and out-going families with great personalities and a lot to say. Specifically, they are looking for a family that owns and runs a high fashion boutique. They are looking for families that live for fashion and have the best-dressed children in town!

In case you're unfamiliar with the show, the premise of "Wife Swap" is that one parent from each household swaps places for a week to experience how another family lives. It's an incredible family experience and opportunity to both learn and teach different ways of living.

Requirements: Each family must consist of two parents and at least one child between 7 and 17 and should reside in the continental U.S. (There may be other children living in the home who are older or younger than the required age as long as one child is in the required age range.)

Participating in the show is a very unique experience that can be life changing for everyone. In addition, each family that tapes an episode of Wife Swap receives $20,000 as compensation for their time!! Anyone who refers a family that appears on our program receives $1000 as a 'thank you’ from ABC, so if you apply, please let them know you heard about it from Swanky Moms!!!

If you think you're family would be perfect for the show or you know of another great family, please email,


Amber Hewitt
Owner & Editor of

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

No Cry Discipline Solution By Elizabeth Pantley

Elizabeth saved our household with her amazing No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers now she has published another amazing book!! I would definetly recommend her new book to all parents as well, it is the No Cry Discipline Solution. A truly fabulous and informative read! It makes you realize that all kids will disobey, all parents lose their temper, and that it’s ok. It’s a perfectly normal part of parenting! This book really makes you feel good about parenting and gives you tips and techniques to common behavior problems. Elizabeth Pantley is an experienced parent with 4 kids of her own and gives a warm and down-to-earth guide to discipline!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

B Glam Baby

If you looking for something hip for that little diva or dude in your life, you must check out B Glam Baby!! They have the most adorable glamorous gifts! I love the “Tutu Cute” tees and you can even get a matching tutu for the ultimate in fashion diva!! I LOVE this set! If I had a girl, she would have one of these for each day of the week!! They also cute tshirt designs for boys, like “grouchmeister” and “the paparazzi loves me” for mom, and they even have accessories and for your posh pet!! B Glam Baby definetly gets the swanky approval from Swanky Moms!

To check them out visit

Friday, June 01, 2007

Shutterfly for Father's Day: It's not too Late!

Looking for the ultimate Father's Day gift? Give Dad something he will treasure forever from Shutterfly. If you have not yet visited this amazing site, do so NOW. Just 2 days ago I placed an order for my husband and it has already arrived. The fantastic thing about Shutterfly is how simple it is to create an unbelievable gift. There are so many options; my boys and I had a ton of fun choosing photos and making some really great products. My 5 year old LOVES to play Go Fish, so he chose a photo of himself and his brother for a deck of cards. We then realized that we could add borders, text and pretty much anything we wanted. We also love to do puzzles, so we chose a picture from a recent baseball game, added a baseball border, and ordered a puzzle that comes in a tin with the chosen photo on the lid (Yes, that's them!) The quality of the products is amazing and I truly can not believe how fast the turn around is. I am currently working on a Father's Day photo album on the Shutterfly site, it's so easy and the possibilities are endless.

You may be thinking, "There's no way to get this done in time for Father's Day." FALSE, as long as you order by June 7th, you will have your gift on time. The puzzle and cards took just minutes to design and at under $20 the prices can't be beat. Even if you wait until the 11th, overnight shipping will bring Dad his gift on time.

Order by June 7th and receive 20% off of your order. No special code is needed, simply visit the Shutterfly site, create your masterpiece, and you're good to go! On top of the discount, Shutterfly is offering free shipping for the next 3 days, check the shipping schedule to make sure you'll get what you need on time!