HIPPOS TOES is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders of $50 or more!!!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Support these Mompreneurs!!!!

Ohana Mama Blog

I was visiting my friend over at Ohana Mama and she has an incredible list of mompreneurs that are offering discounts and sales now that wanted to share with you. What a great time to offer these great savings after Thanksgiving and in preparation for Christmas. There are some really great boutiques listed at Ohana Mama, so go take a peek at the stores and the savings!!!

Here is just a few examples:

Baby Fish Mouth: Free shipping with code FREE08 and $4 off when you pre-order our newest shirt "May the formula be with you." Sale good through December 5. All shirts come gift-ready in our Signature Movie Popcorn Box..

Paci-Plushies: 25% off ! Coupon code is: BLACKFRIDAY

The Apple Of My Eye: Offering free shipping on everything to all US and Canada orders!

And of course my store :) :

Hippos Toes Boutique: 15% discount (HT15) and Free Shipping on orders over $50, from now until January 1st.

Head on over now and see the other great boutiques and great savings just waiting for you!!! It's a great thing to support mom's with their own businesses!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving enjoying friends and family. This Thanksgiving I am so thankful for my precious son. He is the light of our lives. We tried for many years to have him and suffered many miscarriages and infertility treatments. It was all worth it and I would do it all again in the minute for my sweet little man. Thank you for the gift of my little boy that I get to raise and teach, nurture and love!! My life is blessed!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ugly Guy......

oh, not my son!!!! :) I like to think that I am my son's favorite thing in the whole world but I'd be fooling myself. I have resigned myself to the fact that Ugly Guy is his favoritist thing ever!!! It's actually called an Ugly Doll, but we have always called him Ugly Guy (or UG for short), and that is what my little guy calls him. He can't go anywhere without UG. He likes to stroke his ears and push his face into him. I think they are so ugly they're cute. My son also has two other Ugly Dolls. Ox and Big Toe. Life should always be so simple and sweet!!

Be sure to check out Wordful Wednesday at:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mompreneur's Marketplace for your Holiday Shopping!!

The predictions about this holiday retail season may be gloomy, but resourceful moms are banding together to buck the trend by selling their one-of-a kind gifts at the newly redesigned Mompreneurs Marketplace. This one-stop virtual mini-mall features an impressive array of mom-owned businesses, all offering unique products and services that will help spread the joy without ruining your budget.

Spearheaded by Ellen H. Parlapiano and Patricia Cobe, founders of the dynamic community at, the user-friendly e-commerce site provides a way for moms to cooperatively market their businesses while promoting the concept of work/family balance. And it offers consumers the opportunity to support mom-owned businesses, while shopping for unique and affordable gifts. Shoppers will find something special for everyone on their holiday list, from adorable baby and children’s gear to gourmet food treats, indulgent beauty gifts, artisanal jewelry and crafts, on-trend fashion accessories, inspirational books and CDs, and much, much more.

These are just a few of the treasures you’ll discover as you browse through the Mompreneurs Marketplace.

• Give the gift of endless summer with colorful beach-inspired clothing and shell jewelry courtesy of Salty Chix. The items at this breezy boutique will warm your recipient all winter long.

• Personalized note cards and stationery bow pads from Good Thoughts Paper come in trendy colors with coordinated patterned ribbons—packaged and ready to go for all those teachers and co-workers on your list.

• Pamper a deserving friend or relative with Flower Peddler natural bath and beauty products. Fragrant oils, clays, salts and lotions derived from plants and herbs soothe and refresh.

•For that new mom celebrating baby’s first Christmas, check out Stickee-Buns—tiny onesies with a cute non-slip design on the seat to prevent an infant from slumping or sliding down in a car seat or swing. Parents will also love the duds at Modern Munchkin, Hippos Toes and Lilypad Baby.

•The gift of knowledge is always appreciated. Introduce young children to a second language with interactive DVDs, toys and games from The Bilingual Fun Company or Boca Beth.

•Tempt chocoholics with artisan chocolates from Red Thread Confections. The sweets are handcrafted in small batches using fair trade organic single origin cocoa beans.

The entrepreneurial women who make up the Marketplace not only provide a stress-free shopping experience, many offer special holiday services, such as discount coupons, complimentary gift wrap and free shipping. It all adds up to a friendly, fun-filled holiday shopping experience that won’t break the bank.

Mompreneurs is a trademark of Ellen Parlapiano and Patricia Cobe, founders of the Mompreneurs® Marketplace and co-authors of Mompreneurs: A Mother’s Practical Guide to Work-at-Home Success and Mompreneurs Online: Using the Internet to Build Work@Home Success; both published by Perigee. Visit the website and message boards at

Monday, November 24, 2008

Looking for Flash Cards?

I have been looking for some flash cards for my 21 month old son. He is really starting to learn new words every day and I think that flash cards are a perfect way for him to visualize the words. However, I have not had very good luck in finding good flash cards. I have some that show A – Automobile, D – Dust, now please tell me what toddler is going to use Automobile to describe what we all call a car. How about Dust?? How do you explain this concept to a child with a developing vocabulary? They need nouns for these words, not verbs. Ugh, I think I spent around $30 for these flash cards and I am very upset with them. I have looked at many different stores both online and brick and mortar stores to find flash cards that I think will work well for him. Eureka, I have finally found them thanks to Goosie cards.

These are the most clever flash cards I have ever seen. I am planning on getting these for my little guy for Christmas. Goosie Cards are the first and only custom flash cards for children that can be personalized with photos and text! How awesome is that? Goosies are the ultimate flash card because they give parents the power to teach – their teaching possibilities are endless! Kids love them because they’re fun and parents love them because their educational! It’s a win-win situation.

Goosies can be created in 10, 20 and 26 card sets. What sets their flash cards apart from all the rest is that they are all created with beautiful, real life photos…not illustrations or icons.They allow you to create your own personal photos to aid your child in learning. For instance, I plan to use a photo of myself for ‘M’ - Mom. My son has a favorite ball that I plan to use for ‘B’, etc – you get the point. You can even have cards made up for members of your extended family in case your child doesn’t get to see them as often as you’d like. You can have cards made with your family’s pictures on them and teach your child that this is “grandma” or “Auntie Karen.” I think it is genius and I’m so glad that some smart person came up with this idea. Perhaps you want your child to learn about animals and they have favorite pictures from different books, etc. You can compile them all together and make Goosie cards of them so you can bring them everywhere you go. I just can’t say enough about how great I think this is.

With the holiday’s coming up, I think they are a fabulous gift for your own little one’s or a friend or relative’s child.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hats, hats and more hats....

Crocheted hat w/flower

Houndstooth hat


Felted Wide-brimmed hat

Baggy hat

Cloche hat

Now that it’s getting colder, or maybe it’s been cold for some of you for quite some time, it’s time to start breaking out the hats. I don’t know about you, but I love hats. They can really add a special flair to an outfit and really finish it off. I think they are a great accessory. I haven’t always liked hats. When I was younger I hated them because they always messed up my hair or gave me static cling, but now that I’m older I often use them to conceal a bad hair day. Hats have also come a long way as far as the cuteness factor. There are some really fabulous hats out there, especially if you like to buy handmade, which I love to do. You can find hats in all price ranges, shapes, colors and styles. I think they are a great gift too. I love to receive hats as gifts. Now that the holidays are almost upon us consider a hat for that hard to buy for friend or relative. Who can resist a handmade hat?

This crocheted hat w/flower has classic styling and is warm and easy to wear. The flower can be changed or removed depending upon your preference. It has a band crocheted around the inside to help the hat fit snug to the head.

How about this stylish Houndstooth hat! It would look perfect dressed up or dressed down with your denims and a sweater. It’s constructed of cotton canvas and features a taupe linen flower topped with a houndstooth covered button on the left side of the hat band. It’s also lined in 100% cotton. I think it’s just smashing – it’s very unique and sophisticated.

I think Tam’s are always a cute addition to any wardrobe. This wide-brimmed tam is crocheted and can be worn in several different ways, Tam, Beret or Snood), to give you a variety of different looks depending upon your mood or outfit. The wide brim can also be turned up to give a “cuffed” look. You can even tuck your hair up underneath on those bad hair days.

Here is an adorable Felted Wide Brimmed Hat that gives a classic and stylish accent to your wardrobe. This hat is felted and 100% wool, which is perfect to stave off winter’s chill, and it looks great! How can you go wrong with that combination?

This Baggy Hat is my absolute favorite and it’s definitely in my Wishpot for Christmas. It’s made from a green wool and cashmere blend with twill tape and a snap accent. It looks so comfy and cozy like it would really keep me warm, plus I think it is such a great look. Not your boring old winter hat for sure.

This Cloche Hat is another of my favorites in my Wishpot for Christmas. It definitely is a different look from the Baggy hat – has a more sophisticated and classic style, which would be perfect for those dressier occasions. Cloche means a bell-shaped, close fitting woman’s hat and is pronounced “klosh”. It is crocheted with a light-weight thick wool blend yarn. The flower has a button back attaching it to the hat and is removable so you can wear the hat plain, or you can use the flower to embellish the buttonhole of a jacket or blazer.

Just as scarves can accessorize an outfit, a hat can do the same! Hats can add pizzazz and excitement to an ordinary pair of jeans and sweater. They are relatively inexpensive, so hats aren’t a huge monetary commitment. For as little as $20 you can have a whole new look to your outfit. And you can change the hats without breaking the bank.
Maybe you’re afraid to stand out, is that it? Don’t be! Wearing a really fun and funky hat can become your signature fashion statement.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holiday Shopping Guide

It's that time of year again. Thanksgiving is almost here and you know what that means! Get a jump on your holiday shopping by checking out this great holiday shopping guide. You don't have to fight the crowds or the cold weather, just shop from the comforts of your own home - in your slippers if need be :). It takes some of the stress out of shopping. Now the stress is on your pocketbook. There are some great discounts being offered too, so take a looksee.

Please support these businesses by shopping their stores and websites!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

I don't know what to say about this one. This is my mom, second from right. I found this when I was going through an old photo album of hers that she left for me when she passed away. I believe it was taken sometime in the early '50's, but I'm not sure. She went on a trip with three of her friends from North Dakota to Florida. She talked about the trip quite a lot when I was younger. Looks like she is having a great time, doesn't it?

Be sure to check out Wordful Wednesday at:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Increasing Blog Traffic

I came across this great post over at Mom on the Run's blog and I thought it was so great I wanted to share it with you. Be sure to head over to her blog to read these tips more indepth, but I wanted to summarize them here.

All of us want to increase our blog traffic, right? I know I do. Of course I truly value my old reader's, but I also like to make new friends and discover new blogs. With new blogs comes new information and that is always welcome. Except I need more hours in the day to read them all, but that's another post :).

So here is the list of ways to increase blog traffice courtesy of
Mom on the Run.

1. RSS Feeds
2. Blog Ads - like entrecard
3. Site design/Site layout - having a nice looking site that attracts readers and is easy to navigate.
4. Blog Content - having things to say that interest your readers and bring them back for more.

Again, be sure to check out
Mom on the Run's blog for a more indepth discussion about these key points.

Do you have any tips that you would add to this list? Let me know, I'm always looking for ways to increase my readership.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meet a Clothing Maker from South Africa!!

Meet Stella - 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 second featured worker at Bug Zoo: Stella.

Stella is widowed with one daughter and her daughter is matriculating this year and is a talented artist. Stella lives with her sister in Cape Town during the week, but travels to her daughter and home in Wittewater on the weekends- small rural community 2 hours from Cape Town. Stella is our cutter and she is responsible for cutting all the garments from the patterns and then passed on to the machinists to be made. Stella started her career as a cutter 25 years ago- she used to be a machinist, but prefers the cutting.(she made her daughters matric farewell dress). Stella has been at Bug Zoo for 3 years. Stella loves the view from the building as it looks over the Cape Town harbour. Stella enjoys spending time with her daughter at home and loves working on her home inside and out.
A note from Bug Zoo: Stella is very energetic and never stops, she zips around Bug Zoo from the time she arrives to the time she leaves. She is also a very hard worker.
All 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.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Workout at Home

How many of you are like me and hate to workout at a gym? Come on, don't say you hate to workout at all ;). Let me just say that I would rather eat than workout, but I know that if I want to try some of those holiday cookies I know I will have to get my rear in gear in order to keep from gaining ten (or more!!!) pounds over the holidays. As someone that absolutely hated running when I was younger, and couldn't even do 5 minutes on a treadmill, I now have to say that I love running and try to get in 4 miles every day, if possible. I like to take my toddler along in a jogging stroller because he enjoys the fresh air and the scenery, and I get a good run in. It was easier in the summer months because it got darker later and I could squeeze in a run around 6pm or so, right before he went down for the night. Now that it is getting darker earlier and it's getting colder, I have to find alternate ways to get those workouts in. I do have a treadmill at home and I will do that on occasion, but I find the treadmill very boring. I do have a television set and that does help a bit, but I still hate the treadmill compared to running outside.

In place of the treadmill, one thing that I have discovered are fitness DVD's from gaiam. I love these tapes!! For about $15 per DVD, I can change up my routines every day so I get a bit of variety. I just got the Cardio Burn Yoga DVD and it is great. My tush was hurting in places that I never thought could hurt! I love that feeling - it makes me feel like I'm targeting other muscle groups and my tush will love me for it, so will my jeans! Gaiam has some great pilates DVDs, yoga, cardio, kickboxing and even walking DVDs. Walking in your home, you ask? Yes, they really are great if you find that you can't get outside and/or you don't want to take the time to go to the gym. They are also great if you have to take a trip and you don't or can't get to the gym at the hotel. They allow you to workout in the privacy of your own room.

Another great thing about the DVDs is that many of them have 30 minute express workouts and 60 minute workouts all on the one tape. So if you find that you only have a half an hour you can still work in a workout. Now there's no excuse for you not to squeeze in a few minutes if you have a DVD at home. So go ahead and eat that cookie. You can work it off!! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Christmas of Dreams Blog Party - Day 3

It's Day 3 of the Christmas of Dreams Blog Party. Today's blog topic is...

When do you start Christmas shopping? How do you budget for Christmas? Do you stick to your budget?

Well I typically pick things up through the year that I see that are on sale and I know my son or husband will like. We have an idea of how much we will spend and we try to stay within that limit. It's very important to us that we don't get too many things for our son. We hate to waste the money, and quite frankly, a lot of toys only hold their interest for a short time anyway and we just don't see the need to spend the money. Our son loves simple toys like blocks, balls, puzzles and crayons, so we try to stick with things that help him use his imagination. Oh, and of course his favorites are books. I try to pick up books throughout the year as well, and keep everything in a safe place that I know he can't get into. We want to stress to our son that Christmas isn't just about presents and how many he receives. Once he is a bit older we are planning to make a tradition of giving gifts to children that don't receive gifts, or volunteer at a food kitchen - but we want him to see that it isn't just about him. The media often makes us feel that if we don't get the latest and greatest toys for our children that we are depriving them, and that is simply not true. The most important gifts aren't material things :).

Sponsored by: Appledonia, Hippos Toes and My Bag. To read more Holiday budgeting visit: MomDot Day 3

Find your Big Idea!!!

I just completed a Ladies Who Launch Workshop, I'll blog about that a bit later. But let me just say it was fabulous, and I met some incredibly talented and visionary women that were very inspiring. One of the handouts we received was the following from Donny Deutsch of the hit show "The Big Idea" on CNBC. If you haven't had a chance to see the show you really should catch it sometime. There are some really talented people out there coming up with some great ideas. It is very inspiring. If you've ever had an idea that you think is the next big idea, you should catch the show.

So Donny Deutsch offers the following plan if you are trying to awaken your entrepreneurial spirit. Answer the following questions:

  • What did you love to do as a child?

  • What was your best day and what were you doing?

  • Who are you jealous of? (that is meant in a good way. Who did you emulate and want to be like)

  • What would you do if you weren't being paid?

  • How would your script read if you were its author - no holds barred?

Now I think these are fantastic questions, very simplified but they are so very telling. It really puts things into perspective about you and the direction you are taking with your life if you answer these as truthfully and honestly as possible. Maybe it's time to make a change?

Part Two: Deutsch's beliefs to overcome obstacles:

  • Realize that successful people are not afraid to fail. Failures should be viewed as springboards to even greater successes!! Turn your failures into opportunities. (I love this one. You never know if something is right for you unless you try. Even if it doesn't succeed, or you end up not liking it, it can lead you to a totally different direction you never would have gone if you hadn't failed).

  • Even if you don't always feel it to your core, decide to be confident. But remember to have a playful attitude. (no one likes a know it all, or someone who thinks they are better than everyone else).

  • Be passionate about what you do. It creates excitement, energy and motivation. (I firmly believe this. It is like an epidemic - people can't help but be swept up in your positive energies).

  • Discard your naive sense of entitlement. Instead of thinking you deserve something, develop humility and a genuine sense of appreciation for the opportunities you are given.

So don't be afraid to follow your dreams. Take baby steps if you need to, but start working towards that dream. Don't look back on your life and say "I had this great opportunity to do.....". It may never come around again, and life is way too short for regrets! What have you got to lose??

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Christmas of Dreams Blog Party - Day #2

It's Day #2 of the Christmas of Dreams blog party over at Mom Dot. If you haven't checked it out yet, head over there. There are some great prizes to be given away and lots of fun people to party with! Today's sponsors are: LaPlates, Lets Go Strolling and Natity's Design

Today's Question is:

Traditions, what are some of your favorite family traditions? What are some that you want to begin?

As a child we were always home with mom and dad for Christmas and New Year's. A few times we would visit Grandma and Grandpa in North Dakota, but the majority of the time it was just our small family. I liked that. We would go to early church on Christmas morning and then come home and open gifts. Mom would always make a delicious tea ring, filled with cinnamon and sugar, sort of like a giant cinnamon roll. After the gifts mom would usually start preparing an early Christmas dinner which was usually ham. I loved to help in the kitchen. My job was usually to peel and mash potatoes, make the gravy and set the table. Of course clean up was always part of my chores too :). But I loved that we didn't go anywhere, that we could just have a lazy day at home.

Now that I'm older and I have a family of my own, we tend to do the same thing. Even before my son came along it was always usually my husband and I. We typically visit my in-laws at Thanksgiving, and that is usually the entire clan on my husband's side. Since my folk's have both passed away it is usually my husband's family that we visit, and that is fine with me. Sometimes my sister-in-law (who I love dearly) will come down and visit us for Christmas and that is always fun too. But generally we like to have a more low key Christmas. That means more cookies and treats for us!! HA!

Add Some Punch to your Fall Wardrobe

Haute Collar

Tree Scarf


Grey Scarf

Crocheted Neck Warmer

As much as I don’t like to admit it, it’s getting cold outside, so I thought it was only fitting to discuss scarves and show you some really beautiful and fabulous handmade scarves that out there just waiting for you.

Scarves can be functional and fun at the same time! You know that suits you then, right? They are a great way to accessorize any outfit and can liven up jeans in one easy wrap around your neck. They have come a long way as far as styles, colors and designs. And I have found some really great ones to get you in the scarf mood. No one can have just one scarf anymore! I think I have about 15-20 scarves in my closet, and I’m always looking to add more. You can throw on a pair of jeans and a simple black T with a jacket and POW, a scarf can add interest and color to an otherwise boring outfit.

I just love this chic and functional haute collar from Haute Hooked Designs- $44.00. It is chic and functional at the same time. It’s made from high quality exotic yarns and looks fab under a coat to keep the chill out. If you are looking something that isn’t your traditional scarf, this may just be what fills the bill!

For the more traditional scarf look that you can wrap around your neck, how about this tree print scarf from Pretty Racoon for $21.00. It’s 100% sheer jersey cotton and it’s extra long with a tall tree design printed in silver metallic paint. It would look great with your jeans or corduroys and T-shirt on a cool, crisp fall or winter day.

How about this fun scarflette. It’s from Plenox and it’s $27.00. Think of it as a neckwarmer. It would look so fab with a pair of jeans or khakis and a cute jacket. It was handknit with two yarns, one a wool/acrylic blend and the other a wool/silk/mohair blend. It’s a great change from a typical scarf and gives a little polish to your denims.

Here’s another fun and fabulous take on the traditional scarf. This grey scarf from Victorian Bird is $23.00 and will definitely add a touch of class and sophistication to your wardrobe, yet it isn’t too stodgy to be considered traditional. It would look great paired with a red turtleneck and black or tweed trousers. It would even add a touch of class to your denims. It is made from grey sweatshirt material and is looped, not fleecy, so it won’t be too bulky. It has a funkly angled design that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

And if you want something really fun and funky than this crocheted neck warmer is what you’ve been looking for. This scarf is from Temptress Yarn $68.00. It is crocheted by hand from handspun 100% bamboo yarn in pinky-orange-green tones. There is a matching cotton/nylon ribbon yarn that creates a nice concave scalloped edge to give more texture and interest to the piece. The ribbon yarn is also used as a fringe on the edges. It can be worn open in a large loop, or doubled and slipped over the head for warmth. So it’s versatile, stylish and fun – and what could be more beautiful and fabulous than that? I could definitely see this fun scarf paired with your jeans and a jacket or a tunic and some leggings and boots for a funky, fun look.

Whether you are dressing up or dressing down, you can see that scarves can really provide that extra oomph that your wardrobe needs and they won’t break the bank. Start with a couple, and before long you will be addicted to scarves too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Christmas of Dreams Blog Party - Day 1

It's Day 1 of the Christmas of Dreams Blog Party over at MomDot. What an exciting start to the holiday season! The idea is to visit as many blogs as you can and get to know each other, share a bit about yourself and most importantly - WIN PRIZES!!! How cool is that?

Each day there will be a question to answer and there will be sponsors each day as well.

Day One Blog Party Question is Brought to you by La Belle Toile and This and That by Randi. Today's question is: Introduce us to your family and share Holiday pics from the past.

My family consists of my husband and my 21 month old son. I'm a WAHM, I am the founder of Hippos Toes. I also teach online for an art school. My husband and I have been together for 9 years.

Here are a few holiday pics. This was last year when my son was 10 months old, and the year prior, when I was 8 months pregnant.

Wordful Wednesday

Monday, November 10th was the 3rd anniversary of my dear mom's passing. I can't believe she has been gone now for three years. On one hand it seems like so long ago, on another it seems like just yesterday. I remember as a child telling my mom "I want you to live forever," and thinking that she would. I miss her so bad some times. Not a day goes by that I do not think of her. I see her in me when I look in the mirror, I hear her in me when I laugh out loud. Even though I'm not a child any longer I still feel like an orphan without my parents. The hardest thing is that she was never able to meet her grandson. I miss you mom, and I love you.

Be sure to check out Wordful Wednesday at:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Have you seen my sweet son????

Okay, I give up, where did my sweet son go? How could my little guy change from a sweet little boy into a little monster overnight? One minute he's looking at me with a sweet look on his face, obviously smitten with mommy, and the next I get this furrowed brow, and a sort of glare that scares the bejesus out of me. No kidding! If I didn't know better I would think he is plotting my demise! That chick from the Exorcist has nothing on him. When did that happen, and more importantly, HOW did that happen? Where do kids learn this stuff? I know it isn't the TV because he doesn't watch it. He doesn't really hang around with any other kids yet - it's usually just him and me and his dad. His dad and I work from home so we are pretty much the only ones he sees on a daily basis. We do have someone that comes in for a few hours a few days a week but I know it isn't from her. I mean, come on! I wish I could describe the look to you. It's like his head is down a bit and he looks up at me like "who the hell do you think you're talking to". If he could talk I KNOW he would say that to me. I try to ignore it because I just don't know what else to do. I'm afraid if I draw his attention to it, he'll really start laying it on, and I am NOT ready to handle that from a 21 month old.

Oh, and another thing the little monster has been doing lately is spitting out his food. This is totally something new. He always ate everything (pretty much), he was given. Loves all types of veggies, fruit, no problem with any of that stuff. Okay, he always had some issues with eggs and rice, I think it may be a texture thing, but other than a few items he would eat anything. Now I will give him a spoonful of soup or a cracker with cheese and out comes the tongue and all the contents of his mouth. Oh, and to really piss mommy off he also started wiping at his tongue and flinging it on the floor. Yay, that's the way to get that cookie that sometimes comes at the end of a meal - NOT! What is going on here. I'm thinking the "I" word. Is he trying to assert his independence? Well he just better stop it!! There will be no independence in this household. Even his father has no independence when it comes to mommy's rules! Obviously he isn't picking up on those important house rules too quickly.

Don't tell me the terrible two's have started already!! The only thing I can do to get the food down is sing, sing and sing. I don't know how many times I can sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Does anyone know if there is more than one verse to that song?

What do/did you do when you encountered your child trying to be independent? I told him to STOP IT but that doesn't seem to be working ;).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tents of Hope....

I am fortunate to live in the Washington DC area which allows me and my family to visit the National Mall for many different activities that includes national speakers, celebraties, entertainment, etc. This weekend Tents of Hope were on display. Tents of Hope came about when communities across the US and abroad were invited to transform refugee tents into unique works of art that express their compassion and desire for peace for the people of Darfur, Sudan.

The tents were on display this weekend as a journey of hope and compassion which displayed painted simulated refugee tents to create awareness and support for the people of Darfur, Sudan. It's the hope that these tents will help lead to the advocacy necessary to stop the genocide in Darfur.
"For refugees, the tent is a symbol of loss. Every time they come back to their tents, they are reminded of what they used to have, what was taken from them, and their longing to return home. Yet, even though the tent represents loss, [refugees] immediately humanize their situation by creating new life. In the camps in Chad, this is most obvious from the fences and screens they build around their tents with sticks and grass and the little plots they scratch out next to their tents to grow vegetables. Loss and hope exist side by side. This is not only true for uprooted people from Darfur: it is the human condition. Our ability to create and sustain hope in the presence of loss — even enormous loss — is one of humanity's most exalted characteristics."—Jerry Fowler, executive director, Save Darfur Coalition

The situation in Darfur is quite complex but basically it began in 2003, when two rebel organizations attacked a government installation in North Darfur. The rebels and their supporters main goal was to seek equal treatment for the people of Darfur, who have suffered many years of neglect and discrimination by the Sudanese government. The government responded by arming Arab militia groups, known as the Janjaweed, to attack civilians in a brutal scorched-earth campaign. Over 300,000 civilians were killed and 2 million were internally displaced, many people saw their villages burned, killing and raping, kidnapping and driving people out of their homes was commonplace.

You can read more about the challenge of Darfur here at:

Systematic rape and gender-based violence is being used in Darfur against women as a weapon of war. Armed groups attack women and girls when they leave their villages and internally displace persons (IDP) camps to search for firewood and other daily necessities. This is traditionally women's work and men have not taken on the role because, if found, they would be killed while the women are "only raped."

The Drumbeat for Darfur campaign was started by UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee), to call for constant action to raise awareness, urging the Bush administration, Congress, and other institutions to make ending the genocide one of their highest priorities.

Read more about Drumbeat for Darfur here:

What can you do?

Contact your legislators and policymakers and tell them you are concerned about the genocide in Darfur - especially the lack of protection for women and girls.

Educate your community by handing out fact sheets, fliers, poster, buttons and stickers.

Organize an event to raise awareness about the continuing crisis in Darfur.

Sign up to receive action alerts and information by visiting and joining their e-Community.

Anything you can do is important for these people. Talking about Darfur and educating your friends and families, blog about Darfur, contact your local representatives. We must unite to help our sisters and brothers in times of crisis. It's not right that these atrocities are happening in our world today. Whatever you can do is most appreciated.

Connect, take action, end the genocide!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mother's Poem.....

I came across this poem on Favor-It Party Ideas blog and I had to share it with you. I thought you might be able to use these uplifting words at the end of a tough week! I know it's the hardest job I have ever had - and the most fulfilling to be sure. :) Enjoy!!

Real Mothers

Real mothers don't eat quiche , they don't have time to make it.
Real mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.
Real mothers often have sticky floors , filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of shag carpet (what are you doing with shag carpet anyway?? LOL).
Real mothers sometimes ask "Why me?" and get their answer when a little voice says "because I love you best."
Real mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years or grade....It is measured by the progression of Mama to Mommy to Mother. - Unknown Author

Thursday, November 6, 2008

No More Cold Hands.....

Arm Warmers
Fun and funky scarf

Cute crocheted hat!
Okay, I don't know about you, but my hands get so cold in the winter. Even though it is warm enough in my house, my fingers/hands just freeze once the weather starts getting cold. I used to sit on my hands, stick them under my armpits :), you name it and I've tried it. But nothing keeps my hands warm. I tried wearing gloves but I just can't type or manipulate my mouse. I think I've finally found the answer to my problem. I found these great arm warmers on Etsy by Funkie Fresh, and I knew that I had to give them a try. They are like fingerless gloves and they go about half way up my forearm. I love them! They really do keep my hands warm, even my fingers aren't as cold anymore since most of my hand is covered. Plus they are so cute. I also have a problem with cold hands at night when I'm in bed reading a book. I can't stand to wear sleeves in bed so my arms are usually exposed. I've tried reading the book with my hands under the covers but then I have another problem - HA! So now that I have my funky and fun arm warmers I've started wearing them to bed to read!!

Check out Funkie Fresh at Etsy and see all the cute things she's got going on! She crochet's everything herself. I just love supporting people that make clever handmade items. I'm sure you know someone that could use one of her fun designs for the holidays!! Maybe you???

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wordful Wednesday!!!

We were going to take our little guy to a Halloween parade last Saturday. This is what we saw when we parked the car. Needless to say, we sat in the car and talked for about an hour while he slept.

Be sure to check out Wordful Wednesday at:

Monday, November 3, 2008


The produce is fabulous and the customer service is top notch!
Open Market - you can sit up above and look down on the market area.


Market Cafe

Okay, I said it....I love Wegman's!! Never thought I would say that about a grocery store before. You've never heard of Wegman's? Well, allow me to give you the scoop on the great store!
Wegman's just had their Grand Opening in our neighborhood a month or so ago. Don't ask me why it took us so long to get there. Many people have told us about Wegman's but we didn't think they were any different from other grocery stores, so we put it off. Boy, were we wrong. I just love this store. I'll probably say that several times in the post, so forgive me if I get redundant.
Let me just tell you some reasons why I love it:
First of all the store has a great feel. It is very well laid out. The interior design is very nice, with great materials and finishes. It has a very high end feel to it, unlike other big box grocery stores I've visited. And as a mom, I've seen my share. As a lighting designer, I have to say the lighting is also very nicely done. Not your typical fluorescent troffers in the ceiling. The luminaires are very nice and add a nice upscale feel to the space. And the lighting isn't cool as you often see with fluorescent lighting. Big points for the design aesthetic.
Another huge reason that I love Wegman's is that they carry a lot of organic foods. We try to eat organic as much as possible. They have organic meats and produce. Now that farmer's markets are coming to an end, I know that I will have to purchase my produce from the grocery store and knowing that they carry organic produce is huge to me. And it all looks great. Not whilted and brown the way many other grocery stores produce is, but vibrant and colorful, just the way fruits and veggies should look. Big points for organic!
Wegman's also has a Market Cafe, which is their dining area. Wow, do they have a selection of fantastic foods from all types of ethnicities! Bonus! They have Thai, Indian, Chinese, Sushi, salads, pizza, crab shack....I could go on and on....but their food looks fabulous. We have only been there for breakfast and coffee right now, but we are planning on having dinner there as well. Hubby will probably stop and pick it up and bring home many nights! I just can't say enough about this Market Cafe. The dining area is also very well designed. The particular one in our area has an upper level so you can eat and look down on the store. It's kind of neat. They have a sink and microwave so you can warm up your food, or bottle if you have a baby. And, frankly, the restroom is another one of the best features of the store. It's like a designer bathroom. From the materials and finishes to the size of the restroom. I could live in that store! The family stall where you can change your child is amazing. It is huge! A big plus for those of us with children. It has it's own sink and enough room to turn your stroller around. Plus a place to place your things while you are changing your child. It definitely earns huge points in this area with me!!
Another huge positive about Wegman's is the customer service. Everyone we talked to was so nice and friendly. They will take you to the item you are looking for, they won't just say, "Aisle 13". The meat guy actually stopped what he was doing and came out to walk us around and explain how and where we could find the organic meat. And he was so sweet to my little guy! The worker's will even say "hello" and "welcome" to you when you walk by! I mean, that earns a HUGE plus for points as far as I'm concerned. I don't know about you but I am so sick of other stores telling me they "think" I can find the item in a certain place but they could care less if I find it or not. Oh, and the bakery - let me just say - YUMMY! They will give you samples of bread and they are just as friendly and cordial as the rest of the employees we encountered.
And prices. I think they are very good on prices. Sure the organic items cost a bit more but they cost more everywhere. I never used store brand canned items before until Wegman's. This is a first for me. And I have been more than please. Their prices for their store brands are substantially less expensive than other store brands. I bought a can of black beans for $.60 a can. I think that's a great price, considering the name brand is appx $.99 a can. Now that times are getting a bit leaner, I'm trying to pinch pennies every way I can, and this is a huge help! I wouldn't consider it if I didn't think their brands were good!

Well, that is just a few of the reasons that I love Wegman's. Truly, I can't wait to go to the grocery store anymore. Oh, I almost forgot, they have a train that goes around a track on the ceiling!! It's a large train and my son just can't wait to see it. It blows it's whistle and he is just enamored. Another great feature of the store. Okay, now do you see why I love this store so much? If you have one in your area you really should pay a visit. You will see why I think it is such a great family grocery store. It's like a big small neighborhood store.

Check out my Interview!!!!

I'm touched that my friend Kristen over at Kristenandrewsonline would feature me on her blog today! Take a peek over there and learn a little something more about me, if you didn't know it already! She wrote such nice things about me. I just love her. You should also check out Kristen's Etsy site because she makes some fabulous jewelry. I love the personalized nature of her handstamped necklaces. I love her work so much that I have a chance to win a fabulous piece of jewelry!! I know you want to help me win it, right?? All you have to do is to post a comment on Kristen's blog on my behalf, that's it. I will be competing against 3 other readers so the more votes I have the better the chance I have to win. I would greatly appreciate your votes.

If you would like Kristen to feature you please email her at
Be sure to check out her sister site La Dolce Vita and Friends for some great holiday items. I am also a contributor there as well.

An Award.....for ME!!!!

Wow, I'm touched that Kate over at From a Desperate Housewife would bestow this Kreative Blogger award on me! What a great start to a Monday! Thank you Kate. I'm not worthy :)

As part of my acceptance speech (LOL), I will of course follow the rules for acceptance of this fabulous award. Here they are: Tell all of you, my fabulous readers, six things about me that make me happy, and make sure to pass on the love to six people.

Here's my list of things that make me happy. There are so many, whittling down to six isn't easy. But here goes:

1. my son - he is the light of my life

2. my husband - he puts up with me (and that is NOT easy). And he's a wonderful father.

3. Nature - trees, flowers, birds, animals, the ocean.

4. reading a good book - wish I had more time for that lately.

5. eating good food - chocolate definitely fits in that category

6. my friends (including you, all my blogging buddies).

And I now bestow this award on some of my Kreativ blogging friends.

1. Carissa at Good and Crazy People.

2. Deanna at Mommy's Idea.

3. Sarah at Ohana Mama

4. Kelly at The Neurotic Mom

5. Jenn at I hate Whine!

6. Kelly at Macaroni and Glue

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our First Official Trick or Treating!!!

My son last Halloween

Upclose and personal - last Halloween (he took his first steps that night)

Getting ready to go eat before trick-or-treating. Mom was throwing leaves into the air to get him to smile.

Here we are this year trick-or-treating.

We took the little guy out for his first trick-or-treating experience last night. I was not expecting it to be nearly as fun as it was. I'm not sure why, I thought he might not like it, might be too scared to go up to people's doors, try to run into the street....I don't know, but I was not sure how it was going to go. But it was such fun! We took him to an area where we used to live, about a half an hour drive from where we live now. We love this area because it has such a sense of community. People sit outside on their front porches to hand out treats and they really go all out decorating their houses. There are colored lights and jack-o-lanterns, graveyard scenes and strobe lights. Someone even had a cauldron with an actual fire burning!

Prior to the birth of our son, we used to walk around in the area at Halloween and hope that someday we would have a child of our own to take trick-or-treating. Having dealt with five years of infertility, we didn't think that it was ever going to become a reality. Lying in bed last night I was reflecting on these thoughts and how much of a gift my son is. That I was able to walk around that area with HIM is just beyond words. It's almost surreal the feelings I have. When he held my hand as we walked down the street I felt my heart swell with pride and joy that I am actually a mom!!! I never thought that day would ever come. But I have a son and I took him trick-or-treating for the first time last night. Lucky me!!!