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  • Archive for June, 2011

    Scratch Camping – Let’s Just Do Dinner

    Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

    Okay, so maybe when we said camping, a few of you got squeamish at the thought of the dirt, bugs and other things that go bump in the wild, outdoors night. Yes, we know that there are many out there that consider roughing it, picking up the phone and dialing room service at the local Motel 6. So what else are you up to for the long weekend then? There are parades everywhere, and fireworks at night, but perhaps something a little quieter is more up your alley. Have you thought about just inviting over some close friends for a simple backyard barbecue to celebrate the 4th of July? Or perhaps you have been invited over to those friend’s house already. If that is the case, what are you responsible to bring? You can’t show up empty handed!


    If you are going to grab a bottle of wine, why not add one of  these great wine bottle tags. These chic wine bottle tags will ensure that your thoughtfulness will never go unnoticed. Specify your message, write in the date, and check the appropriate box. Your hosts will appreciate knowing whether its a wine meant to be consumed sooner “to have” or later “to hold”. Especially perfect for marking a special occasion like an anniversary, birthday or wedding date. But it will do the trick for any old time!


    Or perhaps you are thinking more along the lines of your famous salad that everyone loves. Make the occasion more special, by including the recipe in this fantastic recipe box that your host will love. These personalized recipe cards & box by Dabney Lee makes any recipe taste better. The Set of 50 monogrammed cards are perfect for your home and make a fabulous hostess gift. Just select your color, monogram and style, to create a unique accessory for any kitchen.


    Maybe you were thinking more like a simple gift for the house though. What about a nice picture frame that  your gracious host can slip a picture into, from your afternoon spent together? The hand painted nantucket stripe picture frame is a bold, bright and decorative way to display your favorite photos. The frame has a New England feel and can be done in many color combinations including white/baby blue, white/baby pink, white/sand, white/black, white/navy, white/red, white/hot pink, white/lavender and white/brown — a perfect choice for any decor. A coordinating gingham ribbon on the side of the frame completes the wonderful design. Available in sizes 5×7, 4×6 and 3×3. Makes a great gift for any occasion. Perfect for a hostess present!


    And afterwards, you can send out a lovely thank you card, with a heartfelt message thanking your host for a wonderful afternoon spent celebrating the 4th of July festivities. This Posh peacock thank you card with a classic “Wine” bottle printed on it, is a very lovely and innovative way to coordinate with your invitations and announcements. It can also be used for everyday purposes to thank someone special. You can also choose your preferred Thank You wording from the text options. Thank you card sets are bound in a decorative paper wrap and ribbon and are packaged in a clear cellophane bag. These are the perfect way to top off any special occasion and will ensure that you get an invite back again in the future. Nice thinking!

    Making the Camping Check List

    Monday, June 27th, 2011

    Memorial day weekend is coming up fast! Do you know what you are doing this long weekend? For those of you going camping, have you started to pack yet? If not, why not pack a little bit every day this week, so that you can get away early next weekend. Let’s start by making a checklist. You will need;

    • a tent
    • children's waterproof ponchos

    • tarps in case it rains (but it won’t, think positive!)
    • ponchos and an umbrella (in case it does)
    • a dining tent, if you have one
    • roll mats or air mattresses to sleep on (unless you are hardy enough to sleep on the ground)
    • personalized knit name pillow 10x10 (optional matching blanket)

    • sleeping bags enough for everyone
    • pillows
    • mat for doorway of tent (I always forget that!)
    • hand broom to brush dirt out of the tent that will get in regardless of what you do
    • lanterns & flashlights
    • camp stove
    • personalized playing cards

    • dishes & cutlery
    • entertainment for around the campsite (ex. cards, books, balls, butterfly nets, whatever fun things your kids or you might be into)
    • food (think breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and don’t forget your condiments!)
    • either long skewers or an appropriate knife to whittle a marshmallow stick (it just isn’t camping without smores! – so bring graham crackers, plain chocolate & of course a bag of marshmallows too!)
    • uv50+ short sleeve sunsuit by snapper rock (pale blue/chocolate/white)

    • beach towels & bathing suits (you have to get to the beach at some point between all that food!)
    • beach toys
    • toiletries and sundry, ie. shampoo and soap to wash all the sand off at the end of the day
    • sunscreen for the beach and bug spray for the evenings
    • boys pima pocket short by bella bliss

    • clothing for all (think light long sleeves for when the bugs do arrive,  as well as all the shorts and t-shirts for daytime fun)
    • and just maybe a bigger vehicle to pack all that stuff in!

    It may seem like a lot of stuff and even more work to collect all the essentials for a weekend away, but once you can sit back and enjoy that special family time together in the great outdoors, you will remember why you love camping so much. So breathe deep, put your head down and dive into that checklist. You will be laughing on the beach with your kids before you know it!

    Fun Ideas for a Rainy Day

    Friday, June 24th, 2011

    Aw, its raining! What are we supposed to do now Mom?

    What indeed? When the rain keeps your little ones inside for the day, do you have any go-to items that help to pass the hours? Do you pull out the puzzles? Grab your apron and bake? Cuddle into a chair to read some of your favorite books? Or maybe you just go back to bed and pull the covers back over your head. Believe us, we’ve been there! We understand!

    So the next time you find that the sun has gone on hiatus and you aren’t sure what to do with the kids without going stircrazy, why not pick up a few of these activity ideas. has loads of ideas on how to keep sunny dispositions in your house, despite gray skies outside. Check out these Mommy sanity-saving ideas for your next wet day this summer;


    If it is too wet to go out, then it is a perfect day to work on puzzles! This pirate puzzle is perfect for your little buccaneer. Piece together the galleon, anchor, barrels, maps, a treasure chest, cannons, parrots, a skull and cross bones, shells. Watch out for crocodiles while you’re digging for treasure. You will be laughing before you know it, as you try to find that buried treasure of Family Time between you and your child.


    If you have a budding chef in your family, when not pull out the flour, corn starch, icing sugar and butter for shortbread cookies! All kids love to make these easy cookies and will clamor to put on their hot pink children’s sized chef apron and hat set.  You can even personalize it for the young chef! Who can resist a personalized apron and fancy hat to go with it? Not my kids!


    Once the flour has been swept off of every square inch of kitchen surface, take your plate of cookies and curl into your favorite chair for story time. The Super Incredible Big Brother book is the perfect choice to make your child feel special. Add to that that it makes for a great gift for a new brother and you will read this book over and over again.  The book comes personalized with the big brother’s name and the name of the new baby. The book reassures big brother that he is loved and appreciated… and it rewards him for helping out and being a “super star” with his new sibling. It comes with a coordinating Super Incredible Big Brother award medal with a place on the back of the medal to write the proud brother’s first name! When you take the time to read it to your little guy, he will know that he is loved and always will be.


    If you have done all that and it is only scratching 10 AM, it is time to slow down! While we have loads more ideas in the toys and book departments, you might want to check out our Big Brother & Big Sister gifts as well. Or you could always just hand them an umbrella and shoo them outside for a bit while you clean up and recover for round two in the afternoon!



    Barbecue Season Begins

    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

    Ah summer, how we love you! With your laid back ways and warm breezes, we can’t get enough. So much so that, who feels like cooking? How about a barbecue tonight? You fire up the barbecue and I’ll grab some of the things we will need;


    First lets grab the platter for food. Bon appetit with these personalized damask pattern platters beautifully designed by Clairebella. Add a sense of class with the damask design. They are ideal for serving appetizers, snacks or burgers at every outdoor or indoor party. These platters are stylish enough that you will never put them away! Keep glasses, jars, snacks, anything you want on display with the help of our platters. There are different patterns available with customized names, designs, fonts, and colors as per the owners choice and preference. Custom designed in any design or colorway with a monogram, name or cute phrase suited to taste. A perfect gift for weddings, bridal showers or the holidays.


    We’ll also need some plates. The Ladybug Baby Plate is an adorable gift for that special newborn girl in your life. The hand painted design features a bright red ladybug on a pink background in the center of the plate and is personalized with child’s first name and a sweet rhyme on the border. It reads, “Giggles, sweetness and love, that’s what little girls are made of”. Put a personal message on the back of the plate (eight words maximum) for the most perfect gift! All plates are dinnerware and dishwasher safe. They are hand painted by Kathleen Virtue and made in the USA.


    Perhaps a bowl for salad. This personalized kids bowl by designer Clairebella will guarantee that your children will finish their food just so that they can once again see the fun designs on the bottom. Each bowl can be designed with unique patterns and icons catering to any child’s tastes or interests. They will love having their own special, personalized bowl with their name to use for any and every meal. This is a fantastic gift for any parent or child. Makes a great first birthday gift.


    And don’t forget your appetite! I am as hungry as a lion. Roar! Well, maybe just a stuffed lion for a guest. This fun lion makes a fluffy soft addition to a child’s collection of plush toys. We love its sweet grin and floppy body. His fuzzy mane is especially cute. A perfect addition to the first barbecue of summer.

    Now dig in. Let’s eat!

    Its Official! Summer Has Arrived

    Monday, June 20th, 2011

    summer oasis wall art canvas reproduction by roger groth

    Summer has arrived! Summer solstice lands on  June 2oth-21st in the Northern hemisphere. This is the point when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer and we receive the longest hours of daylight for the year. Unless you are in the Arctic circle, the sun will still set at some point, but we can enjoy the sun’s rays even longer today and tomorrow. The summer solstice also marks the official beginning of summer, so if you don’t have your shorts pulled out already, now is the time. As the days are at their longest, we also need to be mindful of the effects of the sun as well. That means proper sun protection when you are outside. The first day of summer is a great time to reflect on proper sun safety. Let’s look at some tips to having fun in the sun safely;


      terry cover-up by bella bliss

    • The sun’s rays are at their strongest between 11 AM and 4PM. Try to minimize your sun exposure during those hours.
    • If you do go outside, make sure that you check the UV levels for the day. UV levels between 3 and 7 require protection, and over 8 require extra protection.
    • Use a sunscreen with an SPF factor of at least 15-30. Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. People with fair skin should use higher SPF levels to make sure that they minimize their UVA and UVB skin exposure.
    • sunhat by bella bliss

    • Don’t forget those sensitive ears when applying sunscreen!
    • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hrs, as well as after heavy sweating or swimming.
    • Never apply sunscreen to infants under 6 months of age. Babies’ sensitive skin is thinner and has less melanin, so be very mindful of their sun exposure. Minimize the amount of sun they get by dressing them in light-weight, long sleeved shirts & long pants.
    • Make sure to always wear a hat and sun glasses. Your eyes can be damaged by excess sun exposure as well, so protect them as well with sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.
    • kids water bottles by clairebella

    • Drink plenty of fluids to make sure that you stay hydrated throughout the day.
    • If your child does get a sunburn, give them a cool bath (not cold), and apply aloe vera gel to ease discomfort. Topical moisturizer will help to reduce the pain and itch from sunburn as well.
    • And most importantly, play safe and have fun! Have a great summer!

    Dear Daddy

    Friday, June 17th, 2011

    Dear Daddy;

    personalized baseball frame

    Happy Father’s Day!


    I love you so much. I love your hugs and all the smiles you share with me. I love the way you take time to play with me, especially when we toss the baseball back and forth. That is always fun! I can almost even catch the ball now. You keep telling me soon that I will be able to throw it even further. I can’t wait until we practice again.


    bait and tackle wall hanging

    When you take me fishing and show me how to put worms on the hook, I always feel so grown up and special. I remember how you even let me lift that little sunfish up in the net last time too. Super cool, Dad! Yeah, no one else makes me feel the way that you do. Those quiet times together are some of my favorite times with you. I love you soo much!


    my very own pirate tale book personalized children’s book


    I can’t forget all those nights that you have tucked me into bed and read me lots and lots of stories though. “My Very Own® Pirate Tale” is my bestest favorite one for you to read to me too!  Don’t tell Mommy, but you read it better than her. You get the pirate voices better than she does every time.


    doodlebugz kids personalized chef’s apron set-blue


    Mommy said that I was supposed to tell you that you are a great cook too.  She said that you barbeque the best hot dogs of anyone ever. She said that maybe one day you would even teach me how to cook too! I have my apron ready,  whenever you say I am big enough.


    You are an important part of our family and I am glad that you are my Dad. I love you lots and lots, forever and ever. Happy Father’s Day!




    Stepping Out

    Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

    Those little feet that so recently were pushing and kicking away in your belly, have now finally emerged as the beautiful child in front of you. The time between a stationary baby and adventuring toddler is short though. Before you know it, your little bundle of joy will be taking those first steps to explore their world. Make sure they put their best foot forward, with proper footwear this summer. Look no further than for your children’s feet’s needs. With many cute shoes and socks available, you will be tempted to buy one of each.


    Let’s start with these Sunny butterfly maryjanes shoes that will brighten your little girl’s day. Each shoe is handpainted cheerful yellow and decorated with beautiful butterflies at the toe and colorful flowers on the sides. Designed with a strong durable sole, these shoes are perfect for your active child. They also make a great baby gift and wonderful addition to any wardrobe.


    What about these fun baseball sneakers that are absolutely perfect for your little boy or girl. Each shoe is handpainted with little baseballs throughout. They are again designed with a strong durable sole, so that your active child can get wherever they want to go fast -whether you like it or not!


    Or why not a pair of moccasins? carries monogrammed moccasins by Little Raggio. Little Raggio is well known in the industry for manufacturing classic European-influenced handmade children’s shoes. The collection combines the fine art of shoe making with unique styling, craftsmanship, and the finest materials. Handmade of soft leather, in the baby sizes, these shoes have soft-knobbed soles and monogrammed grosgrain ribbon trim. The baby sizes with soft soles are suitable for newborn babies up to 24 months. Older sizes have a hard walking shoe bottom, for more active feet. Heck, we even have adult sizes, if you want a pair too!


    Don’t forget about some socks to prevent blisters on your child’s little heels! Pick up some Trumpette Days of the Week socks and watch your baby run in style. These baby socks come in a set for each day of the week. They are 100% cotton with a little bit of spandex, so your little one won’t lose their little socks. Each has a non skid bottom. Seven pairs of baby socks with each day of the week knitted into each sock. The perfect gift for the baby who has everything!


    Waving Proud on Flag Day

    Monday, June 13th, 2011

    Let’s all wave our flags, as June 14th is Flag Day! President Woodrow Wilson officially marked June 14th as a day to commemorate the American flag, way back in 1916. We have to mention that George Morris of Hartford, Connecticut (making all good Connecticut residents proud!) was the first to suggest it though in 1861. The history of the stars and stripes goes back further than that though, as the Second Continental Congress were the ones to adopt the flag on June 14th, 1777. A good decision, we think. So we are going to wave a few flags at today and hope you help us celebrate our American pride by waving yours too!


    For starters, let’s put that beautiful American flag right where everyone can see it – on your sweater! Celebrate America with this classic American Flag Sweater. Hand knit from 100% soft cotton, this pullover sweater is of excellent quality and workmanship. A classic American flag covers the front of this sweater, sure to look adorable on any baby. It makes a wonderful gift and is perfect for Flag Day parades.


    Where else can we find the stars and stripes? How about on this set of three personalized burp cloths. They are perfect for any new baby. And really, they are not only practical, but beautiful too! Each comes wrapped and tied with a coordinating bow and is finished with the baby’s name. If you are smart enough to think ahead, this is also the perfect gift for a July 4th baby.


    This cute bucket hat makes a great container for another patriotic option. While the Sweetheart style is shown here, you can order this gift set with a  patriotic flag (in pink) too. The baby girl gift basket bucket includes an extra soft short sleeve bodysuit made of 100% cotton interlock, 2 coordinating burp cloths beautifully wrapped and tied with a bow, an infant size pink twill bucket hat – to keep the sun off baby’s delicate skin and it can all be personalized with baby’s name  (up to 10 characters). All items are 100% cotton, machine washable and can tumble dry. A perfect patriotic package!


    And lastly,  what better way to celebrate the flag, than to celebrate the nation! This Oopsy Daisy “Oh Say Can You See” mural banner has a colorful and attractive map of America; a great educational tool for your little one’s room. This canvas mural banner is easily wiped clean with a soft, dry cloth. This is the ideal surface for kid’s room as there is no glass to break! This comes ready to hang with the decorative nails and grommets in four corners. You may also choose to decoratively display your Oopsy daisy canvas mural banner with our fun ball hooks (set of 4) available in blue, white or pink. The backplate mounts on the wall and ceramic knob unscrews to allow you to easily remove the art from the wall. Makes a wonderful addition to any child’s room or playroom. This mural banner is designed by Jill McDonald. The biography of the designer is included with each piece.


    Happy Flag Day to all of you and to everyone in the USA!

    Going Back to Bed

    Friday, June 10th, 2011

    With the heat waves, subsequent thunderstorms and wild changes in the weather, we are feeling in a tizzy at this week. How are you coping with all the weather fluctuations in your world? Watch out migraines! Our solution is to just go back to bed and wait for it all to blow over. Wake us when the sun can come out and play nice again!

    We are going to crawl into bed and let the world slip away, as this hypodown 700 down bed mattress enhancer by Ogallala is sure to reduce tossing and turning and add to a good nights rest. Simply putting one of these boxed down enhancers with your mattress will mean better sleep and happier mornings. The mattress enhancers conform to your body, so your muscles relax, your circulation improves, you toss and turn less. This luxury mattress enhancer is made with Ogallala’s Hypodown® 700 fill so you truly can be surrounded in comfort. It is sewn in a baffled box design in a 300 thread count. You will be amazed at how refreshing one night on our Hypodown beds makes you feel.


    We are also grabbing a pillow and putting it over our heads, so don’t bother knocking! The Pearl White pillows from Ogallala are our best selling collection. Bright white, with double outside shell and what comes to mind when you think luxury down pillows. Even without a case, these are simply beautiful. If you sleep on your stomach or back sinking into our soft pillow is like being cradled in a cloud; yet it is versatile enough to be scrunched and molded to fit you no matter how you sleep. The pillow is available in Hypodown 800 fill, Hypodown 700 fill or Hypodown 600 fill. The Pearl White pillow features a built in pillow protector and satin piping. Bye, bye red eye – not with Hypodown! Research has proven that Syriaca clusters trap and suppress allergens found in down that cause allergic reactions. So, even allergy sufferers can sleep comfortably with Hypodown.


    Not going to forget our duvet either. We’ve got our monarch comforter hypodown 700 southern twin by ogallala handy to pull over us. Regardless of the weather outside, it is perfect for all. We know that sometimes you’re just hot, whether it is your body or environment, with the right amount of Hypodown you can enjoy comfortable, tranquil sleep. Our Southern Monarch is filled with soft Hypodown 700 and is made of long staple cotton sateen bordered by a satin piping that brings you warmth anywhere you need to relax. Its classic box design is baffled for consistent appearance and warmth. And its 300 thread count cotton is a gentle nest that caresses a sleeping body from dusk until dawn. Available in twin, full, queen, super queen, king and super king sizes., so you can get one for the whole family.

    As summer break has officially begun, there might be a few more days where you get the chance to sleep in. Why not make it someplace where you want to stay forever? Ahhh…


    Beat the Heat!

    Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

    Was it really just a month ago that we were complaining about the rainy and cold spring? That is a distant memory now! Whew, there are heat waves and heat emergencies being declared all across the Mideast and Midwest this week. Time to cool off! Make sure you drink lots of water, stay cool and if you get the chance, why not hit the water? A beach or a pool is the perfect spot to beat the heat!

    So grab your swim trunks and let’s go! The Snapper Rock lime/brown/white Hawaiian uv50+ swim shorts are ultra cool board bottoms for boys and girls, babies to teens. The Hawaiian prints and solid colors mix and match with our swim shirts, and new bucket hats. Perfect for a day outside at the pool or the beach.

    And for the little girl in your group, try this uv 50+ new cap sleeve pink check swim set by snapper rock. It  is one of the hottest looking sets you can find. Cheerful pink check sleeves and water shorts compliments solid fronts. Cap Sleeve Rash tops and Water shorts block 98% of harmful rays, and have the same great features as solid color styles. Complete the look this summer with the super cute quick drying head bands that mix and match with our favorite swim sets.

    If you prefer a little more extensive coverage for your fair-skinned child, what about a one piece suit? This adorable riviera stripe girl sunsuit by Snapper Rock is a must have for all babies and toddlers outside. The adorable sun suit provides broad-spectrum sun protection, blocking 99% of all harmful rays. Front easy open zip allows for quick ‘take on and off” Protective zip flap prevents rubbing on delicate skin One piece prevents gaps, reduces sand from entering, holds diapers in place. Perfect for any day or any place in the sun!

    Or what about this cute little number? The perfect first bathing suit set for a baby girl. Classic swim bubble with happy candy dot print and the famous “Flap Happy” 100% cotton/polyurethane swim diaper liner, to keep accidents on the inside. The matching Floppy Hat (in classic white cotton) is designed to protect baby girls from the harmful rays of the sun. Fabric ties keep hat from blowing off on windy days. As each child grows differently, please use the following guidelines when purchasing these swim suits.

    And by all means, don’t forget your sunglasses and a hat! The navy and light blue Snapper Rock Hawaiian bucket hats not only mix and match with our board shorts and sunsuits, but they are quick drying, lightweight and have a pull toggle at the back to tighten or loosen. Flip the rim up or down, and protect faces from sunburn. Now you should be set to face the sun!

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