Archive for July, 2007

ICE – Now This Is A Good Idea!

I just saw this on the news tonight…

Rescue workers are encouraging everyone to program a phone number into their cell phone contact list and label it ICE. This stands for: In Case of Emergency. No, not the comedy on ABC of the same name. Apparantly this notion is spreading, and in theory, if you get yourself in a bind, emergency personnel have a starting point to get in touch with someone close to you.

What a great idea! I’m going to file ICE in my WDITOT (Why didn’t I think of that?) file…and I’m going to get my husband’s number programmed in my phone…ASAP!

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July 31, 2007 at 9:55 pm Leave a comment

See Kai Run have hip & comfy kicks for kids!

120x115_neo.jpgOn a recommendation from a fellow mom, I went and bought my daughter a pair of See Kai run shoes, and I am soooo happy with them!  Previously, my little lady kept tripping in her cheap-o sandals I bought her, so I thought that since she is still new to walking, I should go with something a little more ergonomic…functional AND ADORABLE!  These sure fit the bill!Great for your kids or as a gift for a tot you love!

July 29, 2007 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment

MomAppeal Alert…Cool Contest For Kids!

062707_gingerbread.jpgFor the second year in a row, retailer Lands’ End is sponsoring an art contest for kids between the ages of 1-12. It’s officially called The Lands’ End 2007 Kids Holiday Art Contest, and there are three great prizes (Lands’ End Gift Cards in very generous amounts!) in each age group.

Last year, Lands’ End received tons and tons of entries (nearly 5000), and in turn printed every single picture created for all of us to see and enjoy…so neat!

All of the rules and directions are listed on the Lands’ End web site (linked here) and you will note the deadline for submission is August 10…so get going kids…and good luck!

July 25, 2007 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Baby Jar plush baby and toddler blankets have us filled with delight!

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Wow….we found another fabulous company called Baby Jar with products you just MUST have for your little ones!

Baby Jar carries the most heavenly blankets I have ever come into contact with.  I have the Pink Polka Dot & Fuchsia crib blanket, and when it arrived for my daughter, I stole the first night to snuggle with it!!  Selfishness warmed over me at first touch of this thing… First of all, as the website claims, the blanket is big and scrumptious—so rare to find a large, ultra soft blanket for toddlers…toddlers need soft too!  This blanket is the absolute softest and most luxurious baby blanket ever—period! Whenever I go to check on my daughter while she is sleeping, she is cuddled up in such a way that her body is cuddled, and her face is ALWAYS on this blanket…sooooooo cuddly and soft!!

The other little treat that we have is the very brilliant and wonderfully styled Dot’olicious Snuggle-ette!  It combines super soft plush fabric on one side, and ultra-silky on the other—and it is all of 15” by 17.”  Fantastic for the babe who always wants a security item with them, and practical for the parent who only has so many places to stash the ever-so-important “lovey” while on the go!  The size is key here.

Baby Jar was created by sisters Jessica Shiffman and Racheal Shapiro for today’s “funky, fun and fabulous” babies and their fashion conscious parents.  In fact, some of the fashion conscious  celebrity parents who bought these amazing products are, Gwen Stefani, Tobey Maguire, Jamie Pressly, Adam Sandler and Tori Spelling.  Their swanky soft blankets and burpies don the shelves of ultra-hip Kitson Kids in Los Angeles as well as other uber-hip joints across the nation!

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July 24, 2007 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

Green Girl’s Guide offers green tips—from a Mom’s perspective!

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I am always looking for ways to incorporate “green” into our family life and home. When I stumbled upon Green Girl’s Guide, a site run by Laura Mount and Karen Mount, I got pretty excited! These two moms are full of great tips that fit well into family life including “green finds of the week,” recipes, lists of eco-boutiques etc—all done without wagging a finger at you for how green or not green you may be—it is wonderfully conversational with the idea that we’re all in this together, here are some great tips we’d like to share! Love it!!!

Check it out…particularly this recent post on the lead content in hoses—scary!!! Alternatives are given, so you aren’t left concerned and trying to figure out which product is a better choice. Thanks moms! You do the research so we can  be informed and zero in on what is safest for our families and environment!

Soon they will be carrying the wonderful reusable Envirosax! We’ll be sure to give you a run-down on this great product and let you know when you can get your hands on one of these hip, multi-purpose reusable bags. 

Mama Jen

July 22, 2007 at 2:35 pm 1 comment

Sittercity – A Helpful Babysitter Tool!

glowlogo.gifIf you haven’t researched babysitters in your area yet…lucky you! It’s a ton of work – as it should be – since you are finding someone you plan to trust with your children. The last time I babysat (I call it babysitting, many call it nannying) I was 16 years old…over 15 years ago…and boy has the cottage industry changed! When I babysat, I have no idea how much I made per hour…I never asked and no one ever put an offer out to me about it! Sometimes it was $2 an hour, sometimes $3 an hour. One time I think made $5 an hour and I was absolutely amazed. I asked my mom what she earned when she babysat and she remembers $.50/hour. Also, I never knew what time I would be home from a babysitting job. Never before midnight, sometimes 2am. I’m (truly) a stickler about coming home when we said we would because of this, and let this be a word to all of the parents out there…babysitters DO NOT appreciate unplanned tardiness!

Flash forward to now…I have hired and handful of sitters over the last 2 years and here is what I know…rate of pay is up! This makes sense for many reasons, and our kids are without any doubt priceless. But on the other hand, some of the going rates can make it cost prohibitive to work outside the home or go out for a much needed date night!

A helpful tool to navigate the babysitter research waters is Sittercity. Sittercity is a web site that lists babysitter (and petsitter) profiles according to zip code. This is a fee based service, but browsing the babysitters listed on the site is free. What I find to be a very helpful tool is the babysitter pay rate calculator. You enter your zip code, number of children, age and years of experience of the babysitter, and an average pay rate for your area is calculated. This amount may or may not work out for the babysitter of your dreams, but it’s a good place to start so you don’t sit down to conduct an interview under the impression that the going rate in your neighborhood is $2/hour…those days are LONG gone!

July 19, 2007 at 2:13 pm Leave a comment

Hip Bean Sprouts cafe opens today in Middleton, WI

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MomAppeal got a sneak peek at the hip and family friendly cafe Bean Sprouts that opens in Middleton—Money magazine’s number one city to live in— today!

This is something I have been waiting for—a local, chic, modern, healthy and FUN place to bring your family. I promise…no big mascot will chase you around while you listen to the beeping sounds of games that you still hear in your head long after you left what you thought would be a “family friendly” restaurant.

When you walk in, the modern and airy cafe greets you with a wonderful boutique retail section to fill your gift giving needs. The shining stars of this wonderfully put together retail area are soft and functional little luxuries by Baby Jar, aprons for your tot by Lucy and Michael, Magic Beans and much more.

There are two family restrooms, each containing a standard toilet and a tiny kids toilet next to it that looks and works the same, but is about half the size! I still can not get over that detail!!

There is also a kids bar where kids can eat with friends while they sit on tiny stools. The kid’s bar is situated next to a fun nook that has a huge chalk board and toys. There are also little steps up to a section of the cashier counter to get your kid in on the ordering of their meal. So much thought was put into this cafe—kids are sure to be just as wowed as you are!

Then…the menu…absolutely amazing and unlike any other menu I have seen. Don’t tell your kids, but when an * appears next to a food item, you can look and find out what healthy items such as cauliflower and zucchini purees, sweet potato, creamed spinach and white bean puree may be hidden in your own or your child’s foods…so smart, so healthy, and soooo delicious. With the help of Gale Gand who used to have a show on the food network, this healthy and interesting menu was conjured up with perfection.

For the baby section of their menu, they have itty (3oz) and bitty (5oz) which can be prepared smooth or chunky for those that have a texture preference—Love it!! The “Baby Dahl” which is a savory dahl with organic chicken, or the “Easy Cheesy” which is cauliflower and broccoli in a gruyere cheese sauce are sure to please your little baby, and that’s just the beginning! Oh yeah…their organic baby food can be delivered weekly to your home, so put away your blender, relax, and give your baby a healthy meal from Bean Sprouts! Good gift idea for a new mom by the way!!!

The main menu which allows kid portions or adult portions is full of healthy and fun items such as “Bunchkin Burgers” made with ground turkey and topped with lettuce and Roma tomato, “Wheat ‘Za” which is a pizza (available with a number of toppings) with a homeade sauce. Each have an * next to them which means they contain a combination of the healthy purees. Healthy sides with clever names such as “Melon Bisque,” “Edamame Snappers,” “Banana Octopus” and “Polenta Flower,” are available with the meals, and they are WONDERFUL!

An adorable addition to the events at Bean Sprouts, is that every Tuesday, you can dress up for tea with your little ones and enjoy an additional menu of tea and treats all day—so neat and unique!! You can also have you kid’s birthday parties hosted there as well…hmmm…I think I know what we’ll be doing next year!

For a treat, try the “Banana S’mores” or the Polenta Blueberry Muffins which are out of this world good!! Really, they have been haunting me since I left, and I am not a lover of sweets…

I could go on and on about this wonderful cafe, opened by fellow parents Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen of Cinematters, but you should go check it out for yourself! Enjoy! Mama Jen

July 18, 2007 at 7:52 pm 3 comments

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