Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Modern Tots: Lexington Bag

This snazzy Lexington bag, $150, from Modern Tots is almost too good to be true. Almost. As diaper bags go, this one has got it all. Looks, charm, a modern edge, and practicality. It's weatherproof, easy to wipe down, and the removable straps let it go from shoulder to handbag in an instant. There are 12 organizing pockets on the inside and a hard bottom for toting heavier objects. By the way, for you 24/7 wired moms, it fits a laptop perfectly! What more could you ask of a diaper bag? Visit: www.moderntots.com

Sweet Baby Jane

Lately I'm in LOVE with the all the sweet sweet offerings over at Sweet Baby Jane. Most of their goodies for hip kids are hand sewn or hand painted and personalized to your liking. This new shop was started by three artisans who share my passion for fabric and color! One of my fave items on the site are these fabric and ribbon covered wipes cases, $25 each. What a fantastic idea! I've been lugging around one of those unsightly plastic Huggies containers in my purse for over a year now. Not pretty at all! SBJ also makes these gorgeous matching nappy bags which hold the wipes container, 4-6 diapers, and even a portable changing pad. So easy to keep it all together and throw in your bag on the way out. Stylish AND smart. The set retails for $50.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Get the Crown

If you enjoy entering your baby in fun baby photo contests (I know I did) then you should enter the "Get the Crown" contest from August 1 -15 for only $1 per entry (mailing list members only)!!


Summer Sale @ Barefoot Books

There is a fantastic Summer Sale @ Barefoot Books!

Check it out now!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Swanky Summertime Fun: Outdoor Movie Night with Epson's MovieMate

If you ask either of my boys, last Saturday night was the best night of their Summer! We hosted a Star Wars themed outdoor movie night for 5 families and with the help of the best invention on the face of the earth, it went off without a hitch. The Epson MoiveMate is a portable high quality projector that can turn any wall into a SIMPLE "real life" movie theater experience. When the MovieMate first arrived, I thought it might be complicated to set up. Boy, was I completely wrong. You literally plug the cord into the system and plug it into an outlet. Voila! With two simple steps, you have your very own cinema with the comforts of home. What is truly amazing about the MovieMate is that you can adjust the picture size and level with a simple turn of a dial. The picture can adjust from 80" to a gigantic 12 foot image. This means the movie will look just as great on the living room wall as it will on the side of your house! Getting ready for the party, we experimented a ton. We decided that the back of our house would be the perfect spot. We played around with the sizing and seriously, no matter what the size, the picture was crystal clear. The sounds is also amazing. Our guests were just as impressed with the MovieMate as we were. Star Wars never looked or sounded so fantastic. The best part of the night was watching everyone curled up in blankets on their "lawn" chairs munching on snacks in our own backyard. The applause at the end of the movie said it all, I wonder what our neighbors were thinking when they heard the battling of X-Wings vs Tie Fighters? Wait, I know what they were thinking... How come we weren't invited!?!

The Epson MoiveMate can be purchased directly from the Epson Site. You can watch a great movie here, that shows you exactly how simple the MovieMate is to set up and enjoy. Epson is currently offering free shipping on the MovieMate, so purchase today to make sure you take advantage of this great offer. If you think the MovieMate is a bit out of your budget, find a few family members or good friends to go in on the unit and share. I'm telling you, it will be worth every penny. Think of the fun you can have at slumber parties, birthdays, family events, scouting activities, and much much more. The possibilities are truly endless. With the Epson MoiveMate, you will never have to go to the movies again. Your kitchen is your snack bar, and the restrooms are line free. Pure heaven.

About the theme: To make your outdoor movie night extra special, pick a theme that your children know and love. My boys are currently obsessed with Star Wars. So, we thought only fitting to make this our theme. We found the cookbook "Wookie Cookies" and planned our meal completely from the book. The main course was Crazy Cantina Chili and Tie Fighter Ties (pigs in a blanket made to look like Tie Fighters). We also served delicious Jabba Jiggle (the hit of the party-lime jello with pineapple and mandarin oranges), Yoda Soda, Tatooine Taters (tater tots), Wookie Cookies, and R2 D2 Treats (halved bananas dipped in white chocolate & peanuts with Kit Kat legs-YUM). If you are a Star Wars fan, this book is a must have. One of our guests brought "Light Sabers" for everyone. She cleverly cut "pool noodles" in half and taped a "handle" on one end with black duct tape. The kids had a blast safely battling each other with the super soft foam "Light Sabers." I also purchased "glow necklaces" for the kids to wear outside during the movie. Everyone brought their own movie snacks, blankets, and lawn chairs. We definitely created a memory that will last a lifetime.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Facebook Phenomenon

I don't know if you've discovered Facebook yet but I love it! It is a wonderful
networking site where you can reconnect with friends and family! It's basically a personal web page where you can upload photos, info about yourself and post what you are up to with your daily ramblings! There are also tonnes of fun applications you can add to your page! It is a great site and I spend many, many hours on it!

Also, another great feature on Facebook is you can create groups! I have created several. Feel free to check them out an join if they appeal to you!


Check it out!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Vintage Blankie: A Treasured Heirloom

With all of the blanket lines out there, I love to find really unique treasures that stand out from the rest. With My Vintage Blankie, I have done just that. Their beautiful designs are guaranteed to become a fast favorite of your little one and if they aren't loved to death (aka worn out until they can no longer be recognized as a blankie), they are sure to be passed on as a family heirloom. My Vintage Blankie offers 3 types of collections. Their beautiful Heirloom Collection consists of blankets, quilts, and accessories incorporating chenille and silk. This line is designed for special occasions such as "coming home," baptisms, or first photographs. The Vintage Inspired Collection is absolutely adorable. It includes blankets and accessories featuring hand embroidered vintage motifs. You must check out the duck pull toy and sleep sweet designs, so cute! My Vintage Blankie also has a Vintage Collection. These are true vintage blankies mint in the box from the 1950's. These items change on a regular basis, but what a fun idea! If you are looking for a shower gift that will steal the show, visit My Vintage Blankie. All of their items (minus the true "vintage") are hand made one at a time with lots of love. The quality is outstanding and fabrics are completely luxurious. Oh, and if you happen to know some one with a December due date, you must see the Baby Reindeer Christmas Stocking. It would make a fabulous gift.

Swanky Summertime Fun: A BIG Game of Go Fish

Who doesn't love a game of Go Fish? Well, how about a BIG game of Go Fish? With the Jumbo Playing Cards from Learning Resources, you can play your biggest game ever. My boys get such a kick out of playing with the Jumbo Cards. Each card measures 4.5" x 7" and is coated for durability. The cards are super sturdy and the graphics are adorable. Kings, Queens, and Jacks greet you with delightful expressions and easily hold the attention of their audience. The size of the cards helps little ones to organize more easily, plus it's just plain fun to play with giant cards! The deck is great for travel. I recently brought our deck on a train trip excursion and I had a line of kids waiting to play Go Fish with us. Even though they are "giant" they still fit well in the travel goody bag. Pick up a deck of Jumbo Playing Cards today, for $9.95 you can't go wrong. Surprise your little ones when you break out the giant deck while waiting to board the airplane, they will love it!

Hand Picked Pumpkin

Hand Picked Pumpkin is wonderful company specializing in custom clothing for fashionable babies and toddlers! Each item in the Hand Picked Pumpkin line is individually hand sewn in Chicago, IL from fashionable, cozy, premium quality fabrics. You are the designer and can customize your baby’s outfit with the fabrics of your choice or choose from ready made outfits if you want something in a hurry. Such a great idea! HPP’s designs are also becoming very popular with the celebrities! Check out the HPP press page!

Visit www.handpickedpumpkin.com/

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Swanky Summertime Fun: FREE Shutterfly ABC Video

Looking for a little something to cause some enormous belly laughs? Check out the FREE ABC Adventure feature on the Shutterfly site. By simply, and seriously, I mean simply, uploading a picture of your little one, your child can star in their own "Alphabet Adventure Video." After uploading and watching, the Shutterfly site provides you with a permanent link to your child's video. You can then e-mail it to friends and family. The program knows how to take the "face" of your child directly from the image you upload. Everyone will enjoy watching your cutie drive a car, fly a hot air balloon, scuba dive, build a sand castle and much more! My boys were hysterically laughing the whole time. I even made one of myself and my husband. Talk about a laugh. Watch mine for yourself. It's pretty hilarious how the program makes your eyes blink!

If you love the video, check out the books you can make just as easily. They have an Alphabet Adventure hardcover book as well as a Sesame Street Adventure book. What a fun and unique gift either of these would make!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Swanky Summertime Fun: GO HOG WILD!

Looking for some super fun kitchen activities to do with your little ones this summer? Visit Hog Wild Toys for all sorts of great accessories that your kids will have a blast with. My boys LOVE making cookies, so when I got out the Dino Puzzle Cookie Cutter, they could barely contain themselves. This giant plastic "puzzle" is simple to use, simply roll out some sugar cookie dough (we used pre-made dough found at the grocery store) and press the cutter into the dough. The size of the cutter is 13" x 8" which fits perfectly on a cookie sheet. What is super cool about the cutter is that the center is a removable little dino that can be used to make individual dino cookies. Also check out their one piece chopsticks, perfect for fine motor activities and a great trainer for the real thing! We have some of the Zoo Sticks and my boys love to use them at dinner time. It's actually quite motivating to use the sticks, they love the challenge of "cleaning their plates" with the Zoo Sticks. ON A SIDE NOTE: Both the Dino Puzzle Cookie Cutter and the Zoo Sticks can be used with Play-Doh for some craft time fun.

Hog Wild has fantastic products that are tons of fun, and very affordable. Visit their site today and be sure to check out EVERYTHING. Some must sees include the Supreme Moo Mixer, Temperature Controlled Faucet Light, Atomic Food Containers (very fun for school lunches), and their do it yourself Swan Ice Sculpture. The quality of Hog Wild's products is superb and the smiles you get during use will be priceless!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Good For The Sole

Fashion doesn't always have to cost a fortune. These delicious Skimmer & Ballet shoes from American Eagle are the swankiest, cheapest, most comfortable footwear finds of the summer. I've had them a little more than a week now. After less than a day break-in period (which is really good for me), I didn't even know I had shoes on my feet. The slip-on style is perfect for busy moms who spend all summer in and out. I keep one pair by the front door and one by the back. They are canvas with non-marking rubber soles and dry easily after a session of splashing in puddles. But back to the incredible pricing on these. The styles above (Collide, Chrissy, and Confess skimmers) are all at Payless right now for $14.99 to $19.99. American Eagle sells the styles below (Polka Dot and Plaid ballet) on their site for around $29.99... a steal in my book!! And the darker hues look fabulous with jeans and carry you right through the fall.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Swanky Summertime Fun: Clean and Polite, Now That's What I Like!

Looking for a great new placemat and good manners to go along with it? Check out the fabulous Piggy Platter by Smarty Parents. It's a placemat and a craft mat! What I love about the Piggy Platter is that fact that you can personalize it to your child's interest. Its clear surface allows you to slide pictures underneath. You can display your child's artwork, a favorite picture from a magazine, photographs, or, purchase the clever "Platter Pix" from the Smarty Parents site and help your child learn ABC's, 123's, Shapes, Geography and more! I LOVE the letter practice sheet. It comes with a child safe dry erase pen so your little one can practice writing letters and then you can just wipe it clean. Speaking of wiping it clean, the Piggy Platter is also dishwasher safe. Whether it's a messy spaghetti dinner or an afternoon of Play-Doh sculpting, the Piggy Platter keeps your table and your child clean! It also has a removable "gutter" to catch the spills or store the supplies. In addition to their Piggy Platters, Smarty Parents offers manners minded board books and music. Their adorable piggies, Penny and Perry, are toddler piglets who are learning the "proper" way to eat at the grown up table. Visit Smarty Parents today, and get your little piggy a platter! Summertime is the perfect time to get crafty, and why not brush up on manners while you're at it! I recommend the Gift Pack, you get a Piggy Platter, 3 Platter Pix, and the It's Neat to Eat board book for $32.95, a fantastic deal!

Be sure to check out their "Pig Slop" section for great family fun recipes that are easy to make and neat to eat! They also have a great section about teaching manners to little ones and parent resource articles on how to raise "polite little piggies."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Nanny Gram

If you’ve ever wished you could send a beautiful hand knit heirloom sweater for that special baby in your life but you can’t knit or don’t have the time to knit, then Nanny Gram is exactly what you need! Nanny Gram is a network of knitters that creates classic, handmade baby clothes using luxury wool. You place your order and it will be shipped within days to your gift recipient with a personal note and beautiful gift packaging! A truly classic gift!


Elemental Memories

What an incredible way to show off your loved ones! I have this Bead Dangle necklace and I absolutely LOVE it! It is SO gorgeous and I can show off my boys without saying a word! Elemental Memories has an incredibly stunning collection of jewelry that I would recommend to all the Swanky Moms out there! Not only is the jewelry very fashionable and funky but also a fabulous family heirloom!


Monday, July 09, 2007

Swanky Summertime Fun: Sand-Off, A Beach Must Have

Last week we took our first "summer" trip to the beach. It's always fun, until it's time to go home. That sandy mess that doesn't quite clean up even with a towel and lots of wipes of the hand. Well, sandy bodies be gone! I recently discovered Sand-Off Dry Bodywash. These powder filled "mitts" are a genius creation. Simple and super, all you have to do is clap to release the powder, wipe the sand off with the soft terrycloth and there you go, sand free and ready to hop cleanly into the car. Each mitt is good for 30-40 uses and the powder is all natural and unscented. The Sand-Off mitt also works with grass clippings and sawdust. So, after a serious afternoon of slip and sliding or playing in the blow up pool, use Sand-Off to get the grass off! Visit the Sand-Off site today, I highly recommend the "double" pack. This will get you up to 80 uses. The mitts come in sealable "zip" type bags and are easy to store in your beach bag. So, next time you hit the beach, make sure you have your Sand-Off to get the sand off!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Prissy Poofs

Every little girl NEEDS a tutu! You have to check out Prissy Poofs! They have THE cutest tutus and tutu sets! I love the spooky collection, which are tutus for Halloween (or anytime) - from the ladybug to the little devil, they have it all! So girly and so fun! A definite “must have” for your little princess!


Enter SWANKY01 at checkout to receive 20% off!

Monday, July 02, 2007

ducduc: It's Never Too Early to Learn Your ABC's

Looking for a blanket to wow the ladies at your next baby shower? ducduc of NYC makes a luxurious baby blanket that as a teacher, makes me very happy! My new favorite blanket is their Alphabet cotton knit blanket. It's generous size is 33 x 39 inches and it is made of super soft 100% cotton. The alphabet woven into the blanket is "Hand Drawn" and it comes in two fantastically bold color choices: orange and blue or brown and pink. It's practical and stylish (remember literacy is cool) combined with comfy and cozy. The ducduc site is a must visit. They have incredible nursery and children's furniture as well as adorable crib bedding sets: check out the ABC sets that match the blanket! ducduc has a beautiful company philosophy based on self expression, nurturing, versatility, and environment. Something else I love, clean and sleek with no cheesy characters!

Swanky Summertime Fun: No More Messy Squirts!

Summertime means lots of time playing outdoors. It also means lots of juice consumption. It also means, lots of unnecessary squeezes and squirts from favorites such as Capri Sun and Tree Top. An easy way to make drinking and playing mess free is with the No Squeeze Juice Box Holder. This handy device is designed to hold juice boxes, juice bags, and even those funky square shaped milks (my boys love the soy chocolate milk "boxes" from Costco). It looks like a cup and all you do is load the drink, open, and your little one is good to go! They can squeeze all they'd like and no messy squirts! The No Squeeze also fits in car seat cup holders, so if you're one of those nice mommies (not me, sorry) who allows beverages other than water in the car, this will help you tremendously. We use our No Squeeze cups daily. Especially for outside play, I love the fact that they provide more stability for drinks too, bags and boxes are always tipping over after a few sips have been taken, but the No Squeeze prevents toppling. Having a summertime BBQ or looking for a great party favor? Purchase their "Having A Party Special," and grab your Sharpie to write each child's name on their new No Squeeze. Visit the site today and put an end to messy squirts!