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Thursday, October 30, 2008

I've been Boo-ed!!!

Jenn over at I Hate Whine! boo-ed me:

Here's how it works . Go to as many of your blog buddies as you want and tell them they have been boo-ed . Have them pick up this picture and add it to their blog and say with the link who boo-ed them . Put the picture in your sidebar if you want so then others know that you have already been boo-ed , if you post lots and it's not on the main page where everyone will see your boo-ed post!

Hostility in South Africa

Photo by Karin Brulliard-The Washington Post

As many of you know, South Africa is very special to me. My visit there two years ago really opened my eyes to that country and the issues that are plaguing them. When I open the paper I always look to see what is happening there politically and socially.

The following is based on a recent Washington Post article:

Recently there has been an influx of violence that has been directed towards immigrants. These immigrants come from other African countries such as Somalia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Congo, to name a few, to make better lives for themselves in South Africa. They have more opportunities than they did in the countries they left. Many of these immigrants were brutally attacked in South Africa’s slums this past spring.

Five months ago more than 60 people were killed in anti-foreigner beatings and burnings in South Africa. Immigrants have since sought refuge in government-run encampments to protect them after these brutal attacks spread through the slum areas where they lived. Many of the poorer people live in what are called townships, that we know as slums. Their homes are typically made from corrugated metal with tin roofs. They are lucky if they have electricity.

The refugee-style encampments where the immigrants sought refuge run contrary to Africa’s most developed country. Recently the government has torn down these encampments saying that neighborhoods are safe again. But many immigrants do not agree with that statement. They say that the South African government has done little tackle this long standing hostility towards immigrants.

Apparently the government has left the camps to civic groups to distribute aid and grants to help the displaced get back on their feet. But there are so many internal struggles going on with the government ruling party in South Africa that the plight of the foreigners has been virtually ignored. There has not been any type of investigation into the violence against these people. Of course there is great fear that this type of hostility and violence will happen again since it hasn’t been dealt with in the first place.

A majority of foreigners who are targeted are Somalis, legal refugees that run shops in townships. Many refuse to leave these encampments, even though they have been dismantled. They choose to stay even though the camps look like junkyards with mattresses and piles of clothing strewn about. They are afraid to go back to their homes saying they would rather be killed there than go back home and be killed.
Despite its wrenching poverty, South Africa is among Africa’s richest countries. Many immigrants, 3 million to 5 million, migrate there seeking jobs as mineworkers, or escaping conflict in their own countries. Many South Africans view these immigrants as competition for jobs.

It seems this issue is not high on the agenda of issues that the leadership has to deal with, so they are basically turning a blind eye.

I know that we have problems here in our own country, but I cannot comprehend living with this type of fear. Fear that my family will be killed, beaten or bludgeoned to death and nobody will do anything about it. How is that right and just? Who is going to help these poor people that just want to live and provide for their families?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

My brother and I - getting ready to go scare the neighbors!

My dad "dressing up" for the picture
Here are a couple of Halloween Memories that I came upon when looking through my parent's old photo album. I guess I'm showing my age by posting these pictures of us in our plastic masks. I remember how hot and sweaty it would get inside those masks. Combine that with a cold Halloween night and you have a very unpleasant combination!
My dad would usually be the one that took my brother and I around on Halloween night and mom would stay home to greet the trick-or-treaters and to hand out candy. Looking back I think it's kind of interesting that they both didn't come. Perhaps they did when we were younger. We would visit houses in our neighborhood and then I couldn't wait to get home to finish handing out the candy. I loved to see all the scary and fun Halloween costumes. I especially loved seeing the really little kiddles.
Both of my folk's have since passed away, so looking back on these photos brings back some bittersweet memories.
What special memories do you have of Halloween?
I hope you get a chuckle out of them and Happy Halloween to one and all!!

Check out more Wordful Wednesday's at

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Featured Clothing on Hippos Toes!!!

Boy's Quest Golfer Shirt

Girl's Wrap Top

I will be featuring different items on my website each week. This week I'm featuring the Girl's Wrap Top and the Boys Quest Golfer Shirt. Featured items will be on sale, so check out my site to see the great sale going on. Also use code HT15 for a 15% discount on your entire order.

A more feminine T-shirt look
Ruffles at sleeve openings.
Available in Pink or White print
Adorable flower print

For a cute matching outfit try the printed leggings

Collared long sleeve golfer shirt. Stone
Double layered look
Buttons in front. Bugs on their “quest” march across the bottom and onto the back.
100% Cotton

Looks really cute with the denim jeans or the Quest corduroy pants!!

Problems with Perfection.....

Okay, I know I have a problem. I have many problems :), but the one that I have been struggling with lately is that I am so hard on myself. I don't know where it stems from - I'm sure from my childhood. No matter what I do I always feel like I can't do something good enough. I get so frustrated with myself because of this issue. I know they always say that the first step is acknowledging that you have a problem. Allright, got that part down. Now I just need to learn how to fix it!!

I could do ten things really great in a day and accomplish a lot, but it's that one thing that I can't accomplish that kicks me in the tookus! My poor husband spent hours talking with me about this very topic on Sunday night, poor man. He had a bunch of work he had to do but he tried to help me instead. What does he SEE in me??

Let me give you an example. I teach design classes online for an art school. I have several students in each class that are obviously just there to get through the class and have no care whatsoever about learning the material. It's pretty obvious that they do not read my comments and are not trying to comprehend the course work. This really gets to me. I have tried everyway that I can think of to get them to care about their studies and to put forth effort but they just don't want to do it for whatever reason. I know this is my issue. Some people just don't have the same drive and determination. You think I would get that and just move on, but I can't. My husband says that my problem is that I expect a lot from myself and therefore, I expect a lot from them. I do and I do! I expect that if they are there to learn that they should try as hard as they can. Believe me when I say I KNOW they are not trying as hard as they could. Okay, I get it. But how do I stop letting this get to me and just accept it?

I don't have a problem if student's try to get the material and it isn't their forte. Sometimes that is certainly true. Not everyone is meant for a particular profession. But they could give it an honest try. Work at it, read the material, incorporate comments and feedback into their work and make an effort. That is all I'm asking for. But for those that don't - I need to get past it and move on. Otherwise it really stresses me out.

I am sorry to be such a downer today. I just had to vent a bit and get this off my chest. Sometimes working from home can be so isolating and you need to air some of that laundry. Whew......I do feel better just unloading some of this here.

Here's to a great Tuesday to everyone :).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What a Cute Hat!!!

Pink Cloche

My little guy loves his new hat. He's all smiles and giggles!!

I'm surprised he kept it on. Normally he yanks hats right off.

Look at this adorable hat I just got from Mimi & Boo! I love it. When I saw her fun hats on Etsy I knew I had to have one for my son. The best thing about it was I was able to choose the colors that I wanted. I just love the colors green and orange and she was able to put them together to create this cute hat for my little guy. I couldn't wait for it to get cold to slap it on his little head. My husband even told me it was too warm for it today but I put it on anyway. I think it makes him look so cute and so fall-like :).

Take a look at the other items she has on her site at Etsy. I've included a few more images here to give you a taste of her cute stuff.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Meet a Clothing Maker from South Africa....

Meet Miriam - a worker at Bug Zoo

Above is a picture of one of the areas (Townships) where the women live.
As many of you know the clothing that I sell on my website, Hippos Toes, is all made in South Africa. Not only are the clothes made there, but the cotton is also grown there. So the clothing is all 100% from South Africa. In addition to being unique and adorable, the best thing about the clothing is the ladies that make it.

As I've mentioned many times before :), the ladies that make the clothes all come from very disadvantaged areas in South Africa, called Townships. We would call them slums here in the US. There are very limited income opportunities for these sweet ladies, they are often relegated to being domestics (housekeepers) or nannies. They are oftentimes the sole means of support in their families as well. So it is important that they have reliable and steady income. Not to mention good paying work and good working conditions. That is where the clothing manufacturer comes in. Bug Zoo works with an organization in South Africa that locates these women in these areas and offers them employment at Bug Zoo. Many of them have many years of experience as sewers and seamstresses and they can put this talent to work at Bug Zoo making the children's clothing.

A majority of the women cannot read or write, but they can sew. And they can sew beautifully. Bug Zoo either brings them in to their facility to work or helps them purchase sewing machines and they work from a communal area in their Township. It is a beautiful story and the reason that I fell in love with Bug Zoo and why I am honored and priveleged to bring you these adorable fair trade children's clothes.

The US market allows them much more opportunities to sell their work, which allows more of them to be employed and that makes my heart happy. I hope you feel the same.

So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to our first featured worker at Bug Zoo: Miriam.

Miriam is divorced with 4 kids and lives in Mitchells Plein(a small community in Cape Town)- 3 son and 2 daughters. All her sons are out of the house and her daughter has started her first year of communication studies- she is very proud of her children. Miriam is the sole breadwinner.

Miriam started her career as a machinist in 1975 at a factory in Cape Town. She has been with Bug Zoo for 3 years.

She loves the working environment at Bug Zoo- although it can be pressurized, it is far better than being in a factory

Miriam enjoys sewing and even sews in her spare time- she also enjoys shopping and spending time with her family(she has 9 brothers and sisters)

A note from Bug Zoo: Miriam is one of the most dedicated employees we have and is an incredibly strong woman who has been through tough times- always positive and she has values that we all aspire to. A
ll Bug Zoo staff are dedicated staff who put in more that we ask for and we are very lucky to have them. We are a small team, but they are an incredible team that we are proud to have and proud to be able to give them employment as this is a very tough industry to be in as we compete with other countries like China, Bangladesh etc. We believe in the value of human rights and the right to earn an income that will enable them to support their families. It is important to remember that SA does not have a social security system and live is very hard for those who do not have a job.

I hope to feature different workers on my blog so you can get to know a little about them and why I feel so strongly in Bug Zoo and these unique children's clothes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

Our trip to the pumpkin patch. This is the first time my little guy enjoyed being up on my shoulders. Isn't that tree in the background gorgeous?

I think I found the perfect pumpkin over there. Off we go to take a peeksee. The gnats were just awful that day. I'm definitely not a country girl.

This shot reminds of of Little House on the Prairie (I know, I'm showing my age). Remember when Laura would run down the hill at the end of the show?

I think he found the perfect pumpkin. It was the perfect size and shape for his little hands. We had a wonderful day. There was even a creamery cart that offered ice cream so we had a wonderful treat after all the hard work of finding our pumpkins.

Join Angie for Wordful Wednesday

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Restaurant Lighting

Okay, I'm sure these pics don't really go on my blog, but I wanted to share them anyway as I am quite proud of them. As many of you know, I am also an architectural lighting designer (or if you don't know, you do now ;) ). My husband and I are both practicing lighting designers, I just chose to step back a bit once my son was born to focus on him. That didn't work either because I launched Hippos Toes, but life is a bit less hectic than it was as a full time lighting designer.

These are a couple of images of a relatively new restaurant here in DC that we did the lighting design for, Central. The owner of the restaurant is a pretty famous chef, Michel Richard. A fabulous man and a fabulous chef. We were thrilled to work on the project. We just got these pictures back from the photographer yesterday, so I wanted to share them with you. We are thinking about submitting for a design award. What do you think?

I hope you like them and you find them inspiring :).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Have to Comment on this Commercial.....

Okay, so how many of you have seen the Electrolux commercial with Kelly Ripa? I mean, Come On!!! Are you serious?? First of all, the fact that she is sashaying around in her heels doing laundry and flipping cookies to her kids while they are sitting on the couch is one thing that is beyond believable. But the fact that she is sashaying around and flipping just baked cookies to her three kids that are sitting on the sofa doing NOTHING but watching TV is something else!! WTH?? Are you kidding me. It would be a cold day in H-E-double toothpicks, if I was working my tookus off all day hosting a TV show and heaven knows how many other guest appearances and such, and then have to come home and do my own laundry and have to bake cookies for my three perfectly capable children while they sit on their rears and watch TV. Okay, I don't host a TV show and I don't do guest appearances, but that ain't happening at my house! I don't care if I wear my poochies (aka slippers) all day.

Am I the only old fashioned freak that thinks this is crazy? Maybe I'm getting old and crotchety, but I expect my little guy to start helping around the house as soon as he is able to hold a broom. He's getting pretty good at it now, as a matter of fact. What the H-E-double toothpicks is he waiting for? He already takes the hamper back to the laundy room. Tomorrow he's going to have a to-do list posted on the fridge and I better not hear any whining or complaining!! I don't care if he is only 20 months old!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Celebrate Fair Trade Month with Global Exchange

What’s the difference between people who choose Fair Trade certified chocolate to hand out to Trick-or-Treaters and those who hand out un-certified chocolate? Lipstick. Kidding of course, but in truth the cocoa industry is no laughing matter. Let’s face it. Chocolate that isn’t Certified Fair Trade is just plain scary. The US Department of State estimates that more than 109,000 children in the Ivory Coast’s cocoa industry work under “the worst forms of child labor,” while the International Labor Rights Forum claims 284,000 children toil in abusive labor conditions in West Africa’s cocoa fields.

October isn’t just about Halloween. October is also Fair Trade month, a time to celebrate the economic model guaranteeing fair wages and healthy, safe working conditions for artisans and farmers. Fair Trade encourages environmentally sustainable business practices and prohibits the abuse of child slave labor.

Luckily people who purchase Fair Trade Certified chocolate are making a positive difference in the world. For years now, the cocoa industry has been linked to child slavery in Africa, unsafe working conditions for cocoa farmers worldwide, and harmful chemical pesticides that diminish the health of our environment as well as workers in cocoa farms. Fair Trade Certified chocolate guarantees that these and other conditions are prohibited, so consumers can enjoy chocolate as it is meant to be; a tasty sweet experience.

Global Exchange is doing its part to ensure that Fair Trade becomes the norm for chocolate and other products, not the alternative. Here are a few ways we’re working to promote Fair Trade:

~ Our Sweet Smarts Fair Trade campaign is a national network of individuals, from young children to senior citizens, whose simple, creative actions to educate and advocate for Fair Trade certified products transform communities and corporations to support small farmers' efforts to build a better future for their families.
~In honor of Fair Trade month, our Online Store is giving out FREE Fair Trade chocolate with every order during October, while supplies last.
~Reverse Trick or Treating: A pleasant surprise will greet nearly a quarter million people distributing candy at their door, when youth reverse the Halloween tradition to hand adults a sample of Fair Trade chocolate.
~Fair Trade Trick or Treat Action Kit: The first of its kind, our Fair Trade Trick or Treat Kit has everything you need to make Halloween something special. It includes Fair Trade Trick-or-Treat chocolate to hand out, a Halloween decoration, a Fair Trade is Boo-tiful poster to hang in your window, and more!

credit info: Written by: Tex Dworkin, Global Exchange Director of Marketing,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I LOVE my new Totebag!!!

Isn't this totebag fabulous?? I just love it. I am planning to use it as a diaper bag. I've had my old diaper bag since my son was born, (20 months now), and I'm tired of it. While it's been great for his newborn years, I want something that is fun and funky, and I think this totebag is totally it!!!

If you love this tote too, you should definitely visit Apricot A Lot's website. This totebag is actually a custom design. So it's not something you will find anywhere else. I worked with Carissa and together we came up with the fabric combinations that I wanted for the tote. It was so easy and so fun! She showed me some pictures of different fabrics that she had and put them together and then she sent me the images so I could see the color combinations together. It really worked great and the bag is exactly like I imagined, but better! I think the colors are so unique and definitely not something that I've seen before. I fell in love with the giraffe pattern when I saw it and I knew that had to be the main fabric for the bag.

Check out her site, Apricot A Lot!, and see some other fabulous examples of hobos and totes that she has done for others. Let her do a bag for you or a loved one for the holidays. I promise, you will not be disappointed.

She also made me a toddler pod. It's for a couple diapers and wipes. Isn't it great? It's done in contrasting fabric to match the totebag. I can't wait to change my son's diaper in public now. I'll be so glad to ditch the ugly and boring diaper bag I've been using in favor of my funky new bag. After my son gets past the diaper stage (can't wait for that, btw), I plan to use it as a multi-functional bag. The quality is so good I'm sure it will last a good long time.
Head on over to Apricot A Lot's site and check out all the fun things their doing over there.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today is Blog Action Day!!!

On October 15th bloggers everywhere will publish posts that discuss poverty in some way. By all posting on the same day we aim to change the conversation that day, to raise awareness, start a global discussion and add momentum to an important cause.

Causes of Poverty – by Anup Shah:

· Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
· The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.
· Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
· Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
· 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).
Around the world, 27–30,000 children die every day. That is equivalent to 1 child dying every 3 seconds, 20 children dying every minute, a 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring almost every week, or 10–11 million children dying every year. Over 50 million children died between 2000 and 2005. The silent killers are poverty, easily preventable diseases and illnesses, and other related causes. In spite of the scale of this daily/ongoing catastrophe, it rarely manages to achieve, much less sustain, prime-time, headline coverage.

Read more:

Anup Shah, Causes of Poverty,, Last updated: Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Awareness is the first step to eradicating poverty. Please educate yourself on the issues of poverty and what you can do to make a difference. We should all be concerned about this issue. People should not have to suffer, especially if we can all help in some way. Together we CAN make a difference!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

HELP.....I've been tagged!!!

I've been tagged by Christie from Snappymom! I just love her. Wouldn't you know she knows that I'm no good at hiding!! This is my first game of tag, well, tag in blogland that is!!

This is very easy: share seven random things about yourself, then tag seven others. Here goes: Seven Random things about me:

1. I chew the skin on my nails. Gross, I know. I don't chew the nails, so give me some credit. But the skin, now that's a different story. Explains why I always have hangnails I guess.

2. My work shoes are poochies (okay, slippers!!), we my husband has called them poochies since he was a kid.

3. I am also a practicing architectural lighting designer. That's how I met my husband. I don't do as much as I used to since I've had my little guy, but I still dabble. (commercial design mostly).

4. My favorite food is Thai!! Love spicy.

5. The first time I saw the ocean I was 34.

6. I'd love to live in a lighthouse someday!

7. I went through five years of infertility treatments to have my son.
Let the tagging begin!
And then, link back to the person that tagged you. Have fun! :) And if this isn't your thing, I apologize! Thanks Christie. That was kind of fun! I hope I did this right. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Did I Say That????

I'm embarrassed to say, but I can really cuss like a sailor. You would think that as an educated woman I could find other words to use to get my point across. NOT! The fact is that sometimes nothing seems to fit a sentence better than a good cuss word. Of course, the F-bomb is my favorite word and, as I'm sure you know, can be used in many different types of situations. When your happy, sad, mad, excited, astounded, stupified, frustrated.......really just about anywhere it works quite well. But since having my son, who is now 20 months, it's amazing at how good I have become at spelling curse words instead of saying them. I must say that takes a good deal of self control to stop yourself in the middle of ranting to spell a cuss word when your little one is around. (even my ranting has gotten much more mild since he has appeared). I've even taken to a new word "blasted" instead of the F-word, which I am quite proud of. Somehow spelling curse words just seems to lose their appeal over actually saying them. There is nothing like really getting a good rant going and then stopping to spell S-H-I-(you know what's next, I don't want to type it in case my little one reads it, LOL). It's amazing how quickly my guy is picking up words. Yesterday I said "noisy" and he was using it all day. I have nightmares of him hearing momma say "crap" at Thanksgiving dinner at grandma and grandpa's house. So spelling is what we do. But he has even figured out what certain words are when we spell them. He knows that PC stands for pacifier and he can spell DOWN, as in downstairs - so now we have to come up with new words.

After he goes down for the night I feel so naughty. I can actually say the curse words and that makes me feel like a 10 year old again. Of course I have to look around to be sure that little ears aren't listening. Who knows, he may cure momma of her cussing disease after all!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


It's finally here! I can't believe that it's finally launch day!! It seems like we've all been waiting forever for it!!!

Please visit my website, Hippos Toes, to see the new fall children's clothing line. Hippos Toes features fair trade children’s clothing made in South Africa by Bug Zoo. I am passionate about the clothing the difference Hippos Toes/Bug Zoo is making in women’s lives. The women that make these unique and adorable children’s clothing are mom’s that have very limited income opportunities in South Africa. Typically the type of employment they find is as Domestics (housekeepers), or nannies. Making clothing for Bug Zoo allows them a new opportunity to use skills that they have and that they should be proud to offer. They very much enjoy the opportunity to use their skills to make these adorable, whimsical and fun children's clothes. They are paid fair wages and work under good working conditions, which are not easy to find in their country.

The clothing designs are typically nature inspired to bring awareness and love of our natural environment to your child. The designs change every season (spring and fall). I have already had the opportunity to preview the spring '09 line and it is just as adorable as the fall '08 line. I'm sure you won't be let down.
The quality of the garments is also top notch. Because they are made by hand, and with love, this is apparent in the clothing. Another reason why I am proud to bring this clothing line to you.

Also be sure to read my About Us page on my site so that you can learn a bit more about Hippos Toes, and why I feel so passionate about offering these adorable clothes to you!

Please have a look around Hippos Toes. I am sure you will be just as excited as I am. In honor of my kickoff, I am offering a 15% discount. Please use discount code HT15, good for the month of October! Start shopping and enjoy!!! :)

Wordful Wednesday

My son in his new Hippos Toes "Warrior Bug" shirt - and his favorite friend in the WHOLE world. Ugly Guy (or UG for short).

I got this great idea from Angie at:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Launch Day is Fast Approaching!!!

My official launch date is almost here. I will be launching my new website, Hippos Toes, on Thursday, October 9th. If you don't know about the clothing let me tell you a little something.

Hippos Toes features fair trade children’s clothing made in South Africa by Bug Zoo. I am passionate about the clothing the difference Hippos Toes/Bug Zoo is making in women’s lives. The women that make these unique and adorable children’s clothing are mom’s that have very limited income opportunities in South Africa. Typically the type of employment they find is as Domestics (housekeepers), or nannies. Making clothing for Bug Zoo allows them a new opportunity to use skills that they have and that they should be proud to offer. They very much enjoy the opportunity to use their skills to make these adorable, whimsical and fun children's clothes. They are paid fair wages and work under good working conditions, which are not easy to find in their country. I am hoping to feature some of these darling women on my blog so that you can get to know a little about them. They are very shy, many of them cannot read or write, so the fact that they are willing to allow me to ask them a few questions means a lot to me, and I'm honored if they will let me do this for them, and for you!
The clothing designs are typically nature inspired to bring awareness and love of our natural environment to your child. The designs change every season (spring and fall). I have already had the opportunity to preview the spring '09 line and it is just as adorable as the fall '08 line. I'm sure you won't be let down.
The quality of the garments is also top notch. Because they are made by hand, and with love, this is apparent in the clothing. Another reason why I am proud to bring this clothing line to you.
Also be sure to read my About Us page on my site so that you can learn a bit more about Hippos Toes, and why I feel so passionate about offering these adorable clothes to you!
Please have a look around Hippos Toes. I am sure you will be just as excited as I am. In honor of my kickoff, I will be offering a 15% discount on my blog. So please come back here on Thursday to get your code - and start shopping :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tired of losing those sippy cups??

If your baby or toddler is anything like my 1 1/2 year old, he or she is always flinging their sippy cup to the ground. My son does it in his high chair at home, in his stroller or in his high chair when we are out at a restaurant. All I can say is YUCK!!! The thought of it landing on the ground with all those cooties and heaven only knows what, really grosses me out. I really hate it when he does it when he is in his stroller and I don't realize it for several minutes and it's long gone. Sometimes I just know he does it because it's so much fun to see mommy or daddy have to retrieve it for him. UGH!! It's enough to drive me up a tree!!

Well fret no further, you've got to check out this great mom-made product, the Toss-Me-Not Sippy Cup Holder. Made by hand, in the USA, the Toss-Me-Not Sippy Cup Holder is a clever contraption that attaches to one end to your baby's stroller, high chair or car seat and the other end attaches to their bottle or sippy cup. And you can nip the "chase the sippy cup" game in it's tracks. My son can no longer play this game with mommy or daddy - Wow, I get the leg up on him with this great contraption!!! :) He's not to thrilled about it, but it sure makes our lives easier. He can still fling it all he wants but it won't hit the ground and he can pull it right back up with the Toss-Me-Not Sippy Cup Holder! It's pretty sad when I'm excited about outsmarting my 1 1/2 year old - LOL :)

The Toss-Me-Not Sippy Cup Holder comes in over 160 fabrics for you to choose from and is $10 at

Giveaway! The Pitter Patter Boutique, the online store also run by the creator of the Toss-Me-Not Sippy Cup Holder, is giving away one Toss-Me-Not Sippy Cup Holder to one lucky Ohana Mama reader! So head on over to my friend's blog, Ohana Mama, and sign up for a chance to win one of these clever devices so you can win the battle of the flinging sippy cup!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

More Hippos Toes Clothes

I often hear friends and family complaining that there are just no cute clothes available for little boys. Well here are some examples of some darling clothes for boys that I will be carrying on my eboutique, Hippos Toes, which will be launching on October 9th. Be sure to check back on my blog on that date as I will be offering a discount code in celebration of my Grand Opening!! Also be sure to read my About Us page on my site so that you get an idea of why I feel so passionate about offering these adorable clothes to you! The clothing is fair trade and exceptionally made, not to mention adorable as well. The clothing typically features nature themes to bring an awareness of the environment to your kiddles. The theme this fall for boys is Bug Quest. Wait until you see the spring/summer lines!!! Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself - it's only fall :).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Press and Blog Coverage

Press & Blog Coverage

· Gidget Goes Home Blog – “Blog Action Day & Hippos Toes Fair Trade Clothing”
· Boutique CafĂ© – featured week of Oct 9, 2008
· Savvy Business Moms – Interview “SBM of the Week” – Oct 13, 2008
· Twittermom of the Week – Twittermoms Social Network
· Mommy’s Idea Blog – interview on October 9, 2008
· MomCentral – interview on Oct 6, 2008
· Little Window Shoppe – review on Oct 9, 2008
· Not So Blog Blog – interview Oct 10, 2008
· Lil Mom That Could Blog – interview on Oct 8, 2008
· Dashin Fashion – Featured Oct 19, 2008
· Jen’s List – Jennifer – featured week of Oct 19, 2008
· Ohana Mama Blog – interview on Oct 9, 2008

· Mommy Millionaire Online Magazine– Dec 1, 2008
· Mom Central Holiday Guide 2008– Dec 1, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

This is about a year old, but I came across it this morning and thought it was a good pic of my little guy :).


About Carole

I am the mom of a toddler son and the wife of a great man-father. I was born in Omaha, Nebraska where I lived for 34 years. Right after high school I started working full time and really wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take with my work life. While working as an administrative assistant for 10 years, I also attended college part time and started my first business at the age of 24. My first business was modeled after a home party plan and it was called Country Accents. Initially everything was made and sold by me. Eventually things started taking off and I took on a business partner and we also proceeded to hire sales reps to book and hold shows. We had about 30 sales people at one time, in addition to wholesalers, since I couldn’t keep up with making the items any longer. Unfortunately our partnership didn’t go so well and we ended up closing the business. At this time I was also in a very bad marriage that I finally ended after nine years.

After the business ended I decided to pursue my education and eventually was able to attend school full time to fulfill my dream as an interior architect. It took me 12 years, but I finally received my BS in Architecture when I was 34. It was then that I discovered lighting and that there were actually careers as an architectural lighting designer. So I left Nebraska and moved to upstate New York to pursue my graduate education in Lighting. I received my MS two years later and began my career as an architectural lighting designer. That is how I met my husband and the father of my precious son. He is also a lighting designer and was actually on staff at the graduate school. We decided to go into business together and open our lighting practice. Needless to say, the architecture business isn’t necessarily booming in upstate New York so we decided to move to the DC area. We still have our lighting design practice but my goals have shifted a bit since having our son.

Once we finally decided to have a family, (I wasn’t necessarily the goo goo ga ga type), it took us five years to conceive. We went through several medical procedures, injections, traveling to the clinic that was over 4 hours away, sometimes every day, a few miscarriages and much heartache until we had our son. He is now the light of our lives. I have decided to focus on raising him and leave the lighting practice behind. That is where Hippos Toes comes in. On a recent trip to South Africa, I was deeply affected by the plight of the local women that live in the townships (what we often call slums in this country). They have very limited opportunities to support their families other than as domestics and nannies. I felt that my new mission was to do something to help if I could, but I didn’t know how. While we were in South Africa I discovered a children’s clothing store that employs the local women to make the clothing. They pay fair wages and offer very good working conditions for these ladies. I knew I had the answer to my question on how to help. So to make a long story somewhat short, I am now selling the clothing on my eboutique, Hippos Toes.

I’ve recently started a blog that follows my journey through not only starting my eboutique, but thoughts I have, friends I’ve met and just plain life along the way. From someone that could never have imagined themselves with a blog six months ago, I am now hopelessly addicted. I love the fact that it allows me to build some great relationships with some truly amazing people. I love to talk about my life experiences, products and places that I recommend, people that I’ve met along the way and life as a mom. I hope you follow me on my journey…….