Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Alessandra's Pick: Lamaze- Spin & Explore Garden Gym

Lamaze – Spin & Explore Garden Gym

When I was working full time in San Francisco I was given the advice to buy everything I can now while I am making money for my son so I can then have it for my 2nd child too. So that is how my addiction started to buying and researching everything when it came to babies. Some mothers love to buy clothes but I actually love buying developmental toys and also gadgets. So knowing this piece of information I made sure to shop for ALL the latest at the time (Maxx was born in January 2005). Funny thing is now that I have Alexa (Alexa was born November 2006) not a lot of new things have come out. So I was pretty proud of myself at the time. Well with a little more research though I have found a few things that weren’t available at the time and obviously I went out and bought :)

So the Spin & Explore Garden Gym is one of the things I bought. Alexa was 6 weeks premature (were blessed that she had no complications and was only in the NICU for 24 hours for observation) so I am determined to make sure she is developing properly (no different than any other mommy) and making sure she gets as much stimulation and exercise as possible.
When I first received the package I was so excited – a bit scared though that it would be huge and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t at all. The Matt is just a simple but colorful matt. The spinner is separated and just lies on top of the matt. No assemble needed either. It is really pretty and colorful, which made me feel that it would really be great for Alexa. Well Alexa so far has liked it for about 3 to 5 minutes at a time. She then gets super tired and starts crying. So its not one of those toys you can leave your kid on while you make and drink a cup of coffee. You have a limited time and I actually don’t feel like you can really walk away from your baby especially if they have started to roll. So overall I am pleased with it but know its limits. I also wish it had a little carrier so you can put it away nicely or take it with you to someone’s house. So as far as I am concerned this product gets a 4.2 rating out of a possible 5.

Friday, May 11, 2007

"Mommy and Me" sessions in honor of my mother

I am offering one full month of "Mommy and Me" sessions in honor of my mother. From May 14th to June 14th. You don't have to limit it to you and your kids. Think about your own mother or grandmother. Don't wait until you lose 10 pounds. Don't wait until your daughter gets her braces off. Capture the moments now because life is just not predictable.

**update** If the above dates do not work for you, let me know. I am willing to give a certificate that will be good for a future mom and me session that does work for you.

The cost of the "Mom and Me" sessions is a $100 donation/fee and includes a 30-minute session, an 8x10 portrait and your choice or a mounted mini 4x8 storyboard . Fifty 50% of the sitting fee will be donated to the Breast Cancer Association , the checks will be written directly to that so that part of your session is tax deductible!

If you would like to give this session to your mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, or hint around for your hubby to get it for you for Mother's Day, I will have gift certificates available.

If you still have your mom, give her a hug today and consider a gift that not only will last for generations to come but will aid the research of a disease that has affected us all on some level.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Work at Home Mom's Guide to Entertaining your Toddler

by Kristen Lemoine a.k.a Artsy Momma

When you work from home, keeping your toddlers entertained when business matters arise can
be a challenge. One of the reasons you chose to work from home was to be with your children,
but there are times that you need a few moments to concentrate on work. While we do have a
wide array of educational programming available to us today, TV isn’t always the answer to
keeping young ones occupied. This list of suggestions might help and if it doesn’t fit your
situation exactly, they will spark your creativity into tweaking it to suit your needs.
1. Set up a child-sized desk next to your own. By equipping it with some paper, crayons
and perhaps a toy telephone, this set-up will allow your daughter to work right by your
2. Bring your laptop to one end of the dining room table while creating a Play-doh station at
the other end. Your son will enjoy creating works to rival Michelangelo while you are able
to catch up on email.
3. Set up your shipping area in the kitchen. Serving up a healthy mid-morning snack to your
child will allow your hands to be free to package up your orders and get them ready for
the post office.
4. Grab your legal pad and head on out to the back yard. You can enjoy the outdoors, feel
your children’s joy as they explore nature and jot down your list of things to do for after
they have gone to bed for the evening.
5. When they are very young, you can read anything to your child. It doesn’t matter if it is
the phone book, because it is the tone of your voice that is important. So, print out that
marketing eBook you have been waiting to review and read it out loud while they
snuggle on your lap.
Multi-tasking is a key component to work from home success. You want your business to
succeed and that takes a lot of work. You also want to be there with your children, enjoying their
laughter and spending quality time with them. You can combine work with parenting when you
take a moment to apply creative solutions to your day to day challenges.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Shop Online

Written by:
Kristen a.k.a artsy momma

I remember when the whole .com thing started. Shopping online was supposed to be the "biggest thing". I don't know about you but quite frankly it freaked me out. It was just weird and I didn't want to trust these people you could not see to take my credit card information and do as they pleased with it. It was new and scary to me. I wasn't ready for it. So I waited and wondered, why would people buy on-line and give their information to a stranger and then pay shipping when they could just go to the store and get it right then and there and not have to pay shipping or wait or worry about their credit card information (as much). By the way I have no patience so the part about getting it "right now" is totally me. Yes it is a fault of mine. Well look at me now. How silly I was. Shopping online is the greatest thing! I mean who has time to go to the mall? They are only open from 10am - 8 or 9pm and after working all day that is the last place I want to go. Shopping online is fantastic! You can be in your p.j's at midnight and find the perfect dress or that funky pair of ballet flats you have been ogling. With so many companies offering free shipping or discounted shipping it is so worth it! Credit card security is almost guaranteed anywhere you would "want" to shop and with our busy life styles it just makes sense. If you have a friend or relative having a baby, but say they live like 5 states away you can just shop online at the A.B. Baby Boutique, have it gift wrapped and sent directly to them and you don't even have to do any of the work.
This last holiday season I did ALL of my shopping online. It was perfect, I was done in a day or so and I never fought the mad, crazy lines and pushy, ridiculous shoppers. You know the ones with that scary look in their eye pushing people around buying stupid things that nobody wants just because it is on sale. Not only did I find everything I was looking for, I also came across some great shops I never knew existed.
I love shopping on line. I am thankful to be able to do it. Not only is it great for my shopping splurges (much to the hubby's dislike hee hee hee) but hey, it is now my business; my source of income! Who would have thought the anti-online shopper I was a few years back would not only be shopping online but have her own shop on line boutique?
Crazy I know. Such is life!
So shop online, save gas, save your sanity and get exactly what you are looking for. Oh and do it in your pj's! It is more fun that way and you can shop on-line in my boutique with FREE SHIPPING! I hate paying shipping fees so why should you?