Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Any one else ready for Spring?

Wordless Wednesday

Taken last year during a trip to Myrtle Beach....I am ready for warm weather. This gray, sticky, slushy snow is getting old.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Quirky Burps

Introducing: Quirky Burps, new at MiniMeBabyGear. Fun and quirky, overloaded with ribbons, this burp cloth is fun to give as a gift or keep for yourself. They are colorful and unique so you will look good even when cleaning up after your baby! Embroidered with first name, or your choice of saying, five different ribbon options to choose from. Available in sets or alone. $12.95, or $19.95 per set


Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Golden Rule

Another wonderful article by Marina Westerdahl, of Comfy Crawlers:

“Treat others as you want to be treated.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Then, why is it so difficult for us to actually do it, to live it & to embrace it? When one stops to analyze the golden rule, initially the words strike you as fair and just, but not necessarily as earth moving words. Then, as one begins to let those words seep in, deep into our hearts, our minds and our every day living, we realize just how life changing these words can be.

Imagine, if we applied these words to our every day life, to every aspect of our lives, how life changing that would be! If one day we decided to treat our spouses, our children, our employees, our business partners, our customers, with undeniable dignity, respect, understanding and kindness…how would they react?

Awhile back, my husband complained to me that he didn’t feel appreciated and that I wasn’t grateful enough. I thought to my self, grateful about what? I work, I stay home to raise our kids, I clean the house, etc. In my mind I had a long list of things that I did that could show that I was just as busy as him and that he should be the grateful one! But I decided to keep all that to myself and instead began to say thank you for everything. My husband knew that I was mocking him, but he didn’t say anything. He let me go on for days, thanking him for everything he did, from picking up his clothes, walking the dogs, running the dishwasher, getting the mail, etc. Even though my intent was to infuriate him with my wit, it actually backfired! I actually started to feel thankful! And he actually felt appreciated! Now, what an experiment gone awry!! But…what a lesson!
Our basic desire as human beings is to be validated, to be treated with respect and integrity. In our lives, when we encounter people that follow the golden rule, we gravitate towards them, because we feel safe, we can let our guard down and form strong bonds of friendship. There are some that believe that following the golden rule is great in personal relationships, but ‘business is business’. Many of you have heard of the common saying ‘all’s fair in love and war’, now I don’t know who said it first, or in what exact context, but it seems to have taken a meaning of its own! All is NOT fair in love, war, or in business. In these situations is when we must embrace the golden rule not reject it! Many of you watched ‘The Secret’ on Oprah last week, I’m not sure if I completely understood what the secret is, but what I did understand is that in striving to live the golden rule, we begin to live a life that is bigger than ourselves. All parts of our lives are blessed because of it. Our relationships, our health, and our businesses…in becoming less, we become more; in serving others, we better ourselves; in helping others realize their potential, we surpass our own.

Monday, February 19, 2007


I have a confession. I adore Conan O'Brien. Even if I am exhausted, I stay up just to watch his monologue. I realize this has very little to do with business. I just love that he does not take his job seriously. When something goes wrong on his show, which it often does, he frequently says "this show is horrible" or "well, we are a low budget show". I love that he is willing to make fun of himself. He does not get all worked up, just moves on and we all laugh with him. I am more serious when things go wrong. I worry, I fret, I digest and turn it over and over in my mind. Then, after it all works itself out (which it always does), I have spent all that time worrying. I am a working on changing that.

"There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God whatsoever should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever." Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Are crawling pants necessary?

My name is Marina Westerdahl, I’m a full time mother of two young kids. Giselle is 4 years old and Ethan is 22 months. I’m the founder of Gissy Bella LLC and designer of the Comfy Crawlers, padded pants for crawling babies.

Like most moms, when my first baby was born, I went to Babies R Us in search of all the items that I thought I would need to help me in this new journey. I asked other more experienced mothers for advice, for recommendations, for brand preferences…it seemed that for every possible need there was a product that met that need. When my daughter began to crawl, I worried about what she might find that she could put in her mouth and cause her to choke, so I would crawl along side with her. My knees sure hurt, but I accepted it. After all, I wasn’t a youngun' anymore… Then my son was born. By this time we were living in a new place that had tile everywhere. I loved the tile and how easy it was to keep clean, but whenever I thought of my son crawling on the rough surface, or worse yet, falling and hurting himself it worried me a lot. I began to brainstorm, surely there had to be a solution. As my children grew, I spent a lot of time playing with my then 2 ½ year old daughter. Her favorite game was playing horsey. And you can guess who the horsey was! Boy! After 5 minutes of crawling on tile carrying my daughter my knees would be hurting! I thought for sure I was in the early stages of severe arthritis! But this experience only made me more determined to find a product that would help make my sons crawling less painful! First I thought I should buy lots and lots of foam padding and cover the entire house with it! But it didn’t seem too practical. I thought of buying several large rugs, but that seemed too costly. Umm…what to do! One day, when my son was six months I had one of those moments, when for a few seconds, my mind cleared and it all made perfect sense (sleep deprivation greatly decreases these moments!) I would sew pants for my son with foam padding in the front legs! The next day I went to Joann’s Fabrics and bought all the materials. I dusted my sewing machine off, and several hours later, my first pair of pants was complete. If he wasn’t sleeping, he was wearing those pants! And thus, we got through the crawling and early walking stages with a little more ease.

I wondered, why couldn’t I find something like this at any store? Was I the only mother that felt so strongly about my babies’ knees? Talking to other moms, I realized that most moms really care about keeping their babies knees soft and comfy during crawling. Some don’t really know what to do about it, and others figure that since babies have been crawling on rough surfaces for ages and survived, why change that now? Some moms have even said, ‘I crawled bared kneed on gravel and I did just fine, so can my baby!’ Well, I say, don’t you want better for your baby?

In writing this article, I decided to do a little online research, and guess what? There’s not much out there! All I found was an American Academy of Pediatrics research done in May 2000. You can read the entire research article here. An excerpt: “ The majority of normal children (after the age of 9 months) and adolescents, who do not consult for trauma, had 1 or more recent skin injuries. These injuries, mostly bruises, are more prevalent in the summer in a region with a temperate climate and can be present on all parts of the body, although they are most frequently observed on the limbs, especially on the shins and knees.” Aha! I knew that my mommy given instinct would not let me down.

Next, if you click on this link you can view a table that shows “Percentages of Children Presenting Injuries by Site and Age.” This table shows that in children between the ages of 9 months and 4 years of age, the legs and knees account for over 75% of injuries. Children under 9 months were not as likely to suffer from knee and leg injuries because typically they aren’t crawling yet, and children over the age of 4 years old are typically more coordinated and less likely to fall as younger children. Now, although I’m not an expert, I wanted to share with you my concerns as a mother through my online research.

When my son began to crawl, I just felt better knowing that he was wearing pants with built in foam pads. They were light pads, so he could crawl as fast as he wanted and not feel constrained in any way. The pads were built in so he couldn’t wiggle his way out of them. Other moms noticed them and fell in love with them. I had more orders than I could keep up with! I wasn’t looking for a business, but I knew that the necessity was there. Gissy Bella was born. Named after my daughter, Gissy Bella is an online store that sells Comfy Crawlers…you guessed it! Padded pants for crawling babies. We design them and manufacture them right here in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. My son is now almost two years old; with sadness I retired his comfy crawlers a few months ago…but it was a happy sadness…he won’t be little for ever, but while he is here with me (and he’ll let me take care of him) I will do the best I can to take care of him and all his little limbs!


"Discontent is a wide spread". Last week, my friend Dana wrote this wonderful post about wanting more. She lives in New York City, which invented the concept.

MiniMe BabyGear turned one this past week. Naturally, it has been a time of reflection. My goal with MiniMe BabyGear was to have a small business on the side that would bring in a little extra income and allow me to do what I love- sewing. Now that it is that, it is inevitable that new goals need to emerge. I have thought a lot about the concept of "wanting more" since StartUpPrincess featured this article a few months ago. I love Marielen's quote at the bottom "we should all just enjoy the early stages of where our businesses are at because in a lot of ways that was the best and her most favorite time".

With all the "bigger is better" attitudes I come into contact with, I do not want to be looking so far ahead that I miss how much fun this is right now.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Mom's Favorite Stuff

I have been behind on my blogging, and have been meaning for a while to thank Mom's Favorite stuff for the awesome review they did of the Zippered Wet Bag. Thanks again! Please click here for full review.

St Patty's Day

I love having decorations out for the holidays. I always remember my mom hauling boxes out as a child, full of new items to celebrate each season. The worst part about putting them up? Taking them down the day after. These few months move so quickly between Valentine's, St. Patty's, and Easter, but I feel it is worth it to have the house so festive.

St. Patrick's Day is my husband's favorite holiday, so we go all out. We have so many decorations and fun traditions we do only on St. Patty's day. Thought I would share my favorite green snack:

Start with green sugar cookies. If you are more like Martha, you can make the dough from scratch. I cheat and use sugar cookie mix from the store. Take some green food coloring and color them green. Cut into shamrock shape and bake according to directions.

Next, you will need ice cream. I like mint chocolate chip, but you could color vanilla ice cream green as well. Spread ice cream on the flat side of one cookie. Place the other cookie on top for a delicious ice cream sandwich. They are fun and easy, and your kids will love them!

Time to go pack up Valentine's and pull out the big green box! Even if you do not like to decorate your house, take a moment and start something fun with your kids to celebrate each little season. Traditions are the things kids will rmember long after the holiday is over.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Win a Dress Up Boa Robe!

Right now, over at Swanky Moms, enter to win one of MiniMe BabyGear's Personalized Boa Robes. Simply sign up, answer the question posed in this Friday's newsletter, and you will be entered to win!
They bring a new giveaway every week, so it is a great newsletter to sign up for.

MiniMe BabyGear will also be starting a quarterly newsletter. I am hoping to get the first one ready to send in April. If you are interested in receiving it, please e-mail me at Your information will never be shared. More information will come.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Want a rebate?

Are you thinking about buying at MiniMe BabyGear, but would like a little added incentive? Paypal is offering a $15 cash rebate when you spend $30. Sign up here, spend $30 at MiniMe BabyGear, and paypal will send you a cash rebate.
Here is how it works: Register first, then spend $30. Paypal will refund $15 back to your paypal account once the promotion is over. Happy Shopping!

Pink Olive Boutique

I wore one outfit religiously the summer I was six- a short set that had bright red cherries embroidered on the shorts and one big juicy cherry in the middle of the shirt. Even now, every time I see a cherry, it transports me to that summer and I can immediately see myself swinging high on a swing set, wind flowing through my hair, wearing bright red cherries. Isn’t it funny how those little snippets bring you back to a happy place?

Deliciously cute is how I would describe this tooth fairy pillow from the Pink Olive Boutique. How can I not love it when it has a cherry smack center? Vibrant lime piping, and a gingham cherry pouch just perfect for that first lost tooth. What I love about this tooth fairy pillow is that it is age appropriate. Still girly, yet not as baby-like as many other tooth fairy pillows I have seen. Your little girl will love placing her first tooth in the pouch waiting for the tooth fairy to come. It might even ignite a love of cherries.

The Pink Olive Boutique has many non-baby items as well. Under the section “Gifts: Candles and Soaps” are beautiful, creative soaps any woman would feel pampered to receive. It is hard not to find the perfect gift and easy to see why Grace has had so much success with her online boutique. Skip on over the Pink Olive Boutique and check out all the deliciously cute items offered for all ages.

Kids will humble you

After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys."

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Isn't that swell?

MiniMe BabyGear's two newest reviews-



Please click for full review. Thanks ladies, I appreciate it!

Yesterday, I brought you the picture of the Modern Mom. I admit that I have been struggling lately with balance. Playdates, MOPS, working out (OK, who am I kidding), Bible studies, a home-based business have taken their toll. All wonderful things, but lately they have felt more of a burden rather than the blessing they should be. So tonight, I took two hours for serious playtime with my son. It felt good. It reminded me of how much of a priority he is in my life, and also just how much fun it is to fling beads across the room at daddy.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Doesn't this sum up what being a mom is all about?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Boutique Mom

Thanks to Boutique Mom for the beautiful review they did of the Zippered Wet Bag. Candi writes the reviews and went above and beyond to make it perfect. Not only was her review beautifully written, she is incredibly nice to deal with and provides a wonderful service to mompreneurs that are looking for product exposure.

An excerpt: Mini Me Baby Gear sent us the large bag cotton candy dots bag with my name embroidered in pink. I put it to the test right away and am thrilled with the results! If you're not familiar with Baby Dry, it's a flexible fabric with a soft touch, unlike clear stiff vinyl. The possibilities are endless. Even better, they're washable and reusable. They are constructed with two layers sewn separately and finished with a coordinating zipper to keep the smells inside the bag. The liner is a waterproof fabric called Baby Dry and the outer layer is your choice several fun prints. Embroidery is FREE, and they offer a wonderful selection of thread colors to choose from.

Click Here to read the full review and a coupon code for an extra 10% off at MiniMe BabyGear.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


I am a sucker for personalized postcards, address labels, car bumper stickers- really anything with my name on it. I came across this great site that prints postcards- your first 100 are free (plus shipping).

The set up was easy to navigate, with many color and format options to choose from. I chose to add additional pictures-$4.99 per picture, so the one above cost me around $30 total for 250 cards. On the back, I included another picture and a message to my buyers. The quality is great, the price is right, and the shipping was super fast. I got them about three days after I ordered them. A perfect way to try out postcards for free to see if it is something that helps your business or event.

Surprise Cupcakes

I have to admit, I have never been a big fan of cupcakes. However, when I tasted these surprise cupcakes, my mind quickly changed as I grabbed my second helping. They taste great and they are super easy to make. Chocolate cake makes up most of the cupcake, with a little bit of a chocolate chip cheesecake to "surpise" at the bottom.
Here is what you need:

8oz package of Philidelphia cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
dash of salt
generous cup of chocolate chips
chocolate cake mix (plus whatever the cake mix calls for)
vanilla icing
Mix the cream cheese with the sugar, then add the egg and salt. Mix well, then add the chocolate chips. Make the chocolate cake mix according to directions. Drop 1 tsp of cream cheese mixture into bottom of each paper cupcake. Fill the rest with the chocolate cake mix and bake according to cake mix. I made these Monday to take to a party, and they never made it past the front door. They are delicious:-)
Hint: if you are looking for a baby shower idea, decorate them like little bluebirds. Thanks, Martha Stewart Living, for the awesome idea. For Valentine's Day, I colored the frosting pink and added conversation hearts. Still cute, and half the time. Enjoy!