Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Secret to a Quick, Put-Together Look

Two things ladies. Sunglasses and a great, trench-length coat. My one purchase this year for Fall/Winter (I like to add in 2-3 pieces typically, but the r-word is in full effect) is this Trovata coat. Yes, it's cream colored. I coated it in Scotch Guard and carry a Tide Pen in my handbag + the kids know when mommy's wearing her "fancy coat". I love it because you slip it over whatever cozy clothes you may have, add in some boots and big sunglasses and then your lack of makeup and un-perfected hair stand a chance of going unnoticed! Here are two celeb moms and their go-to coats: one of Claudia Schiffer and the other is Salma Hayek--who both look outstanding.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Perfect Toddler-Friendly Halloween Craft: The Knife-Free Jack-O-Lantern

We wanted something fun for our Play Group to celebrate Halloween that would be interesting for us, fun for the kids, and easy to do so we could pass along the idea to our friends. Inspired by a Matthew Mead idea from his amazing book of Halloween ideas called Halloween Tricks and Treats, we created the Knife-Free Jack-O-Lantern Party.

The Prep: 3 days prior to event.
(1) Find small-medium sized pumpkins that don't have super deep grooves and still have some stem.
(2) Prop them up on rocks or wood on a newspaper-covered area and paint them with spray-on chalkboard paint in black (from Home Depot or other paint store). We used one spray paint can to cover our five pumpkins. Let dry for 36 hours.
(3) We made cookies (Banana-Chocolate Chip from Martha Stewart) and bought Halloween candy to create a happy, sugared frenzy for our craft. You can make the cookie dough ahead of time, freeze it, then thaw day-of and bake.

The Party:
(1) Cover the table with a drop cloth or machine washable tablecloth.
(2) We created a station of pumpkin, treats, and tools for each child and had them some to the Play Group already in their costumes (which they readily wore before Halloween!).
(3) Introduce them to the spooky black pumpkins and have one for yourself, &/or each mom and dad, and put chalk to pumpkin to create your own design. Note: you can erase and start over, but the black paint does chip off a bit, so you might want to have a chalkboard eraser handy. This can also be fun, letting the kids do more than one design if they don't like the first.

Success! We had a great time with kids ranging from age 2-8. And every neighbor has already stopped by to see if the black pumpkins on my front porch are real. Great fun.

Send us pictures of yours and we'll post some of them:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jolie Breastfeeding

As a mother of twins, I can tell you with 100% assurance that it is not easy to keep up with breast-fed babies who are on the same feeding schedules. And as a mother of now 3-year old twins who are so healthy in many ways, I can say with 100% assurance that it's worth it and I'm thankful (with extra thanks to Renee my post-natal doula) that I could make it all work for them because it was challenging in many ways. So here's kudos to Angelina Jolie who is apparently not only breastfeeding Knox and Vivienne but also promoting it.

March of Dimes Babies Love Soccer, Too!

If you've had the opportunity to check out our "about" page, you may have realized that we've got quite the talented international soccer player running the show here at Bebe au Lait.

Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, our CEO, Ronnie, began playing soccer when he was just six years old and ultimately played professionally for more than 18 years. Hard work and natural talent led him to win several notable awards with the teams he played for, including twice winning Major League Soccer's (MLS) Championship, being honored as an MLS Pepsie Best XI player, and a Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) Best XI Player. Ronnie also held coveted field positions for the Danish National Team and their Olympic Team. Today, in addition to overseeing the day-to-day finances, operations, and senior management of Bebe au Lait, Ronnie also holds the position of Technical Advisor of the San Jose Earthquakes for the 2008 season.

Coincidently, it just so happens that in addition to a genuine love for great design and our products, many of us here are also soccer enthusiasts and are loving the March of Dimes commercial below.

I actually spotted this ad for the first time over this past weekend. Clever and cute, I immediately thought it captures what Ronnie and Claire are all about: nurturing growing families, healthy babies, and playing soccer!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Flying with Children

For those parents out there who are getting ready for a flight, Bebe au Lait offers our list of considerations and tips for a low-stress trip.

Well Before the Flight:
Visit your airline's web page, and read about their policies for traveling with young children. Be sure you know what to expect from the airline and the flight staff before showing up at the terminal.

Read and tell stories to your kids about traveling by air. Also, tell them about the destination, and what makes it special and unique.

Plan For Comfort:

Flying causes a lot of anxiety for children who have little (or no) idea what is going on. In order to soothe some of this anxiety, smart parents bring along plenty of toys, goodies, food, drinks, activities, etc. to get the kid's mind off the flight, and onto something less stressful. In the case of babies, think comfort. Physical contact, rocking, bouncing, breastfeeding, and shiny objects will all calm the little one down making your life much easier.


Airports are very stressful places. Children (adults too!) are highly anxious in this environment.

First, cut out the stress of time. Leave for the airport allowing plenty of time for bad traffic, parking, checking bags, waiting in line, etc. Absolutely nothing is worse than feeling rushed at an airport. The tension is thick, and kids pick up on that from you, then broadcast it to everyone else at the airport.

Even taking time and stress into account, it's likely that your child will still feel nervous, and make it known. Be prepared to smile at a lot of dirty looks from strangers.

Checking In:

When it comes time for you to check in, ask if the flight is full. If not, see if you can get an empty seat next to you.

If you're traveling with really young children, you're often allowed to board before everyone else. Ask about this when you check in. When you board, get ready to stash one bag at your feet, and the other in the overhead compartment. Have a seat, and relax as quickly as possible.

Diaper Changing:

Be sure you pack an in-flight changing kit. Put some diapers, multi-purpose burp cloths, baby wipes, diaper cream, baby powder, and hand sanitizer in a small pouch.

When you board, ask the flight attendant where the best place to change the baby is. In some planes, there will be one larger bathroom on board with a changing table.

Eating and Feeding:

Bring your own food. It's better to be prepared with food that the child likes rather than chancing it with airplane food (or lack of it!)

If you're with a really young child, be ready for them to make a mess. Bring at least one bib that will help keep their clothes clean, and be ready with those all-important wipes!

If your child is breastfeeding (or you're pumping), bring a nursing cover for privacy. They are also great for creating a "cocoon" while the baby is sleeping.

If you're bottle feeding, be sure you have plenty of milk for the child ready to go. If you need the bottle warmed up, let a flight attendant know, but also understand that it takes time, so get your bottles heated up before you actually need them.

Keeping Children Entertained:

Flights are generally pretty boring. Even sophisticated adults feel stir crazy after just a few hours on a plane. Imagine that sensation times 10, and minus certain social boundaries, and you've got a good idea of what is going on inside your child's head! As you can imagine, boredom is the root of many in-flight irritants.

There are many things you can bring, but focus on the few items that are likely to distract the child for the longest time. Load up your iPods or iPhones with good programming like Sesame Street. You could also bring a laptop or portable DVD player. Some other ideas include coloring books, stories and puzzle books.

Sleeping on Board:

Bring a comfortable blanket or nursing cover. Airplane blankets tend to be scratchy and icky.

Good luck, and enjoy the trip!

Here are some fantastic resources where you can learn more:
There is also this short pamphlet published by the FAA.
Speaking of the FAA, they also have this great resource for travelers.

Fun Walk

Bebe au Lait sponsors and donates to many select causes throughout the year. Yesterday we were the proud sponsors of one particular cause that is close to my heart...our little girls' elementary school! The girls are always thrilled when i help out at school and to be selfish, i love the way they make me feel when I'm there :-)