Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Commemorate Moments

I don't love the words push present but I like the idea, and beyond just the birth of your baby. I like to commemorate big and special moments in life with jewelry--not always uber-expensive, but special pieces for special moments. I have a diamond ring I wear on my right pinky, as did my mother and my grandmother. It's been passed down for three generations. I have gold hoops that a dear friend gave me when my life was confusing and she wanted me to feel special again. I have my first Tiffany piece (a silver necklace) that I bought myself when I finally got a promotion I had been gunning for. The list goes on, including this ring I just made from one of my grandmother's vintage earrings (more on that in a new post, coming soon).
My point is two-pronged: (a) as a stylist, I am always reminding clients that jewelry is a wonderful expression of who they are and a beautiful finishing touch to even the simplest outfits; and (b) jewelry with a story and a memory can be a powerful and uplifting little moment in your day. I like being reminded of the day my children were born (bracelet) and that my grandmother was a professional pianist (the right hand diamond ring) and of my wedding day (ring).

One of my favorite pieces was a gift when my twins turned one--that was a HUGE achievement! It was from Hot Mama Designs and has the kidlet's names stamped on two disks. I love it. And I like the real deal kind of stuff--hers are still custom and hand-made in Boulder, CO, not a machined version of her great idea.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Baby Shower Idea: A Sanctuary of Celebration

I just finished looking through the June/July FitPregnancy (the one with the gorgeous Jessica Alba on the cover--she's also a Bebe au Lait user!) and was really struck by a great idea on the last page (144)
"In: Birth Blessings. Out: Baby Showers"
Regardless of mom's religious beliefs, it offered the idea that the shower is really for mom, not just baby. They encouraged giving mom "offerings" of personal notes of advice, encouragement and quotes and explained that mom offers her guests a bracelet meant to be worn until the baby arrives. The mom they featured said, "A birth blessing really makes you stop and think about the fact that you are going to become a mother."

This gave me many ideas for a shower I'm planning. I'm going to meld a beautiful, traditional baby shower with this advice and create a sanctuary of celebration, so to say. Since my friend is a serious yoga-girl, I'm going to have the guests dress comfortably and bring in a yoga instructor to take us through a relaxation exercise instead of playing any shower games. I plan to decorate with oranges and cool blues (baby is TBD) and place white orchids throughout the setting. I'm going to provide healthy, organic snacks and cupcakes (ok, those aren't going to be healthy, found a great recipe from Sprinkles in LA) and have each guest read their blessing to the mom-to-be and then enclose them in a large envelope for her as a keepsake. I think we will all enjoy the chance to relax, reflect and celebrate in a modern, peaceful way.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Gifting Like a Pro

Three new babies in my circle of friends. It's time to shop for them, and for my 3-year old twins at the same time--it's only efficient to do so, right? When I am preparing a gift for a personal friend, or a client's, I always look for something with that special touch, something you can't just pick up easily from a chain store. Of course there's plenty a new mom needs from those big stores, but I always like to include something extra (and often not on the registry) and a bit unique that I discovered.

My gift formula takes into account what the mom's lifestyle is like + what's cool and hip right now + what she registered for + what worked really well for me as a mom and then I wrap it exceptionally well since half of the fun is receiving a gift that looks more like a couture piece of candy.

Here's a rundown of some fresh ideas.

As we're on the tail end of potty training (hip, hip, hooray! The "pee pee laser" metaphor is working!), My Wee Friend has been fantastic. It's a little sticker that goes at the bottom of the mini, plastic potty and a shape/face appears when they go pee on it. The kids can't wait to see the star show up. And for better, or worse, they like to use this travel potty more than a full-on restroom when we're out and about.

My kids are just getting into really singing actual as well as made up lyrics to their favorite songs. So, I picked up CDs that include their names in the lyrics from Name Your Tune. American Idol 2020, watch out.

For those of you looking to add a little style to you children's accessories, this company out of Sweden has some really cool stuff. I love, love their blankets and bibs--something really different but still simple and chic. Like nothing I've seen here in the States. It's worth the international shipping for a special occasion or gift. We just gave some friends the Golden Edition pacifier for their new baby and can't wait to buy more from Elodie Details.

The kids are getting into their book reading, or at least making up stories to go along with the pictures, these days and we found the perfect way to encourage it. A company called Bodemi sells the Reading Kaboodle and it is perfect for the kids to cuddle up on it with a pile of books and toys. It's also become our go-to for long car trips, they use it as a blanket and cuddle pillow in their car seats.

My two lived in Robeez until their +6'-parent-genes caught up and their feet got too big. They are one of my go-to gifts for friends having babies because they worked so well for me/mine. I'm sure you've seen them before but what I discovered is that they have some larger size runs and crafty new styles like penny loafers and mary janes coming out soon. I gave a pair that look like skateboarding shoes to a friend with a new baby boy. He's stylin now, can never start too early really.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Simple Bebe Shower

We celebrated a friend and colleagues pregnancy last weekend and the timing wasn’t bad at all – on Wednesday Jessica and her husband Jason welcomed a baby girl into the world. Congratulations guys – Ava Elizabeth is absolutely gorgeous!

Having moved house last weekend for the 5th time in 7 years, our house was still littered with boxes, so we needed to keep it simple. Most of the preparation went into getting the house straight and visitor ready and buying the baby shower necessities.

One of my favorite things to do is decorate a table for dinner, so this was an enjoyable task.
Our theme was ‘English Tea Party’ – we were going to hold the event outdoors but the Northern California weather for once let us down, so the party was moved indoors to the dining room. The gloomy outdoor weather only added to the coziness and we lit some candles to brighten things up and make things festive.

Here are some of the details:

The Invitations: Martha Stewart Crafts for Michaels The Menu: Tea Sandwiches from Whole Foods, A big salad and a gorgeous cake from Icing on the Cake - this place is a true treasure in Los Gatos.
The Drinks: Mimosa’s: Freshly squeezed orange juice (it makes a difference) and champagne
Non-alcoholic ‘Mimosa’s’ for the pregnant: Freshly squeezed orange juice and 7UP
The Decorations: Shabby Chic has to be the best way of authenticating the English Tea Party look.
I purchased bedding from the Simply Shabby Chic for Target range to use as the table linen and now I can use them on my little girls’ beds --multipurpose --yay!

The centerpiece - I visited a local flower store and purchased this cute baby carriage. It was originally black so we had it spray painted ivory – a bit more babyish. Then I lined the bottom with foil and placed some wet oasis in the bottom and inserted pink tea roses all around, along with some greenery from the garden.

Other Deco touches: I placed small vases (I used old glass yogurt pots!) with single Gerbera Daisies alternating down the center of the table in white and pink. Our plates from Ikea were perfect.

We chatted the afternoon away, talked baby names and children and had a very nice time indeed!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tales from the Pump

What a great headline! This month's Cookie magazine (one of my favorites) has an article about Pumping called "Express Yourself" (p.26) which lists some fantastic tips I only wish I had known while I was in the midst of all of this. And online they've got some stories (Tales from the Pump) you can relate to about pumping in public--good for a quick laugh. The one tip they're missing? A Bebe au Lait nursing cover is fantastic as a pumping-cover! We know this from the 100s of moms who have emailed us making sure we knew it could be used to create your own pumping-cocoon when a private place can't be found. According to the Cookie Magazine poll, 35% of their readers had to find a random, empty room to pump in--wouldn't that cocoon have been nice for them?! Enjoy. ARTICLE LINK