Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Warnings

No need to wait for Black Friday the holiday sales have already begun, but are they really a great deal? Just like your food, you have to read the labels. What can appear to be a great savings may not be as large of a saving as thought. 

Here are some items that I found that were well... a bit sneaky. The main place to watch for discrepancies is Amazon. The vendors can sell items for whatever they decide. So don't settle for the first item you see keep looking. 

Don't be quick to make a purchase. This Disney Glitter Glider Play set is only a $2 savings when you look at the fine print.

When you see any Frozen item you are quick to buy. What makes it more alluring is when it has the work SALE on it. Well, this Disney Princess Role Play dress when you look closely is only a $1 savings|. When you go on-line to look for another version of the Anna dress it can be about a $3 difference between two dresses. It all depends on the wording. 

Target's Disney Sofia the First Doll and Dress is a great saving of $25. You save $14. Now this is a Sale!

This one has to be my favorite "what were you thinking" sale signs. It looks like a great deal right, but if you look closer it's a $.90 savings. It caught my eyes and of many other people because it was sold out. 

Now I have found Amzaon really have vendors that more then double the savings. They've raised the prices on Amazon. You must be careful not to pick the rist item you see. The reason is that it may not be as great of a deal or worse it can cost you over twice of the original price. This Frozen Pinta alone at Party City cost $19.99 and the banner is under $6. The total for this on line ranges from $20-$55.99 they may include the banner and even the candy.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Power of The Ollie Swaddle

I thought a swaddle was just a swaddle. Then I learned that it's more then that... it's a life support. For me it was a way to help my daughters sleep through the night and to feel secure. I've come to learn that it can address emotional, physical, and neurodevelopmental needs. When I meet the makers of The Ollie Swaddle I learned all this and more.

"My story begins when I fell in love with an infant named Oliver. He was handsome, and yet on the verge of being labeled "failure to thrive." Other foster parents struggled with keeping Oliver because he was difficult, struggling to eat and sleep. But I was in love, and so I began my journey to help Oliver thrive." -Hindi 

The name of  The Ollie Swaddle came from a little boy named Oliver.  Oliver was in foster care and was dealing with many physical issues. Unfortunately, he was struggling to eat, sleep, and perform basic developmental milestones. Heidi was the foster parent for Oliver and had a background in infant mental health so she was awareness of the importance of swaddling. The current models of swaddles could not properly contain Oliver, so at that point she was inspired to create something that could meet his needs and contain him properly.

When I met Heidi I wished I had meet her when I had my first daughter. I briefly went back to work but, the issue of my daughter needing her mom was a key factor in our discussion for me to becoming a stay at home mother. During her time at day care, in 8 hours she maybe had 2-3 oz of milk and had little to no nap. She was as happy as could be, and she was cared by the best in my opinion. I was worried about the eating, but I nursed her on and off all night so that brought me comfort. A major worry was that she had little to no naps. I know how important a nap can be to a babies development. Once I became a stay at home mom she slept on me and was just so at peace. It took some doing and many months, but she was finally was able to nap on her own. I so wish I had an The Ollie Swaddle at that time.

 'Benefits of swaddling: Soothing pain and reducing crying among irritable infants' - The Ollie

Oliver is a testament that The Ollie Swaddle can make a difference in a infants life. In addition to comfort the quality of the fabric is fabulous. Unlike other swaddles this one allows you to change the diaper with just undoing the loop at the bottom. That is what I always dreaded, waking up the baby when doing a diaper check. With this loop at the bottom it gives more of a flexibility when it comes to the growth of a baby. So no need to worry that your little one will out grow this swaddle. It swaddles your baby and more.

I asked. Hindi some questions about how  The Ollie Swaddle came to be and her is what she told me:

1. What kind of research did you do for the Ollie Swaddle?
I worked closely with Dr. Kiti as well as occupational therapists, pediatricians, nurses, and caregivers to determine the best swaddle that would address emotional, physical, and neurodevelopmental needs. We evaluated all current research and directly addressed issues to ensure The Ollie would be of benefit to all infants. 

2. How did you meet Dr. Randell and what did she bring to the table?
I met Dr. Kiti several years ago when I was working for The Children's Network of San Bernardino county. We were working together to establish SART locations throughout San Bernardino county. SART specialized in working with drug-exposed and trauma-exposed infants and children from ages 0-5 years old. 
Dr. Kiti has a specialized expertise in the area of pre and post-natal substance exposure and trauma. She is an internationally know expert in both research and training related to high-risk prevention and intervention. She emphasizes and facilitates moving from understanding risk to promoting resiliency. 
Dr. Kiti truly brought an element of looking at all aspects of positive infant care and well-being. 

3. You mentioned that swaddling helps baby's grown and gain weight like Oliver did. How does that work?
The Ollie promotes self-calming, self-regulation, and improves quality and duration of sleep. An infant being able to achieve the needed amount of sleep is both crucial and essential to restoration and growth. 

4. Did you already have the idea in the back of your head that a better swaddle needed to be created?
Honestly, I did not have the idea in the back of my head. It was not until I was presented with the problem of not having a sufficient swaddle, that it occurred to me that something better needed to be created. 

5. What were the first steps that you took to create the Ollie Swaddle? 
The first steps I took were really evaluating the problems with the current swaddles and whether or not these issues could be addressed and resolved. 

6. How long did it take you to make create the swaddle?
The process of creating The Ollie took several years. We went through a couple different prototypes and evaluated many different fabrics in order to get exactly what we were looking for. 

As I look back , why didn't I think about swaddling my daughter so she could take a great nap on her own. I wish I had found The Ollie Swaddle then. It is amazing how something so simple can be your life line. Because, I could tell you when she didn't nap I went crazy. I am not saying that it will solve everything, but it is a great start.

Monday, November 17, 2014

2nd Annual Mothers of the Valley Holiday Boutique Event

Our 2nd Annual Mothers of the Valley Holiday Boutique event is only days away. Join is for some holiday shopping and kid indoor play at Kids Ahoy in Woodland Hills. Here are just a few of the items and vendors we will be having including a mini photo shoot session.

Mini Photo Shoot
$45 mini shoot
20 Minutes
15 high resolution images
RSVP at:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Naartjie is Closing it's Doors to the US

This will be Naartjie's last Black Friday in the USA! I am completely stunned to learn that not one, but all stores in the United States and website will be closing by the end of the year, if not sooner. You may not know how to pronounce the name Naartjie, but you know the clothing when you see it. It's bohemian, comfort style with a mix match of patterns and a flare that is hard to miss. It's a great time to stock up on the clothes and take advantage of up to 50% discounts the merchandise.

I was told by a sales person at the Topanga Mall, Woodland Hills that they are just as shocked about the closure as we are. It all happened very rapidly. The company went into talk about what was to be done and it was quickly agreed that Great American Group (financing service) would open up the company to major discounts and liquidate of all it's 56 US store and website.

It was only in 2001 that Naartjie made it's way to the U.S after being founded in Cape Town, South Africa. Naartjie is like one of those cult movie favorites not big in number at the box office, but huge in fans. There are Facebook pages devoted to it's fashion and some specifically for swapping Naartjie clothes. Therefore, I am taken back to learn that all the stores will be closing.

Stock up on your favorite styles, but be a smart shopper! Know your options. The best discount are online with up to 50% off. The flip side to that is that they didn't have a wide selection of items, but dollar wise it has the best deals. Now the stores still have a good selection and still have the holiday collection to come, if they aren't in stores now. The discounts are not as great as the online prices with a range of  20% to 30% off, but they have a larger selection. So, keep your eyes on the sales. As the stores come closer to an end so will the big discounts. Do keep in mind that once an item is gone that is the end of that stock. They will be here on Black Friday, but there is no guarantee that they will be here for the Christmas sales. So, lets prepare ourselves to saying goodbye to Naartjie Kids.