Monthly Archives: December 2012

Mom of the Week: Amanda

Say hi to our new Mom of the Week, Amanda Vrtis.  She is a self described SAHM of three, with a fourth soon on its way (Major Congrats!).  If you haven’t read her blog, Saving 4 Five, then go check it out!  Need a heads up on a good shopping tip, where to find that week’s coupons, or an honest review of a product?  You will find it at Saving 4 Five where this Seattle, Washington native says, these allow “other moms like me [to] have somewhere to go to see if products are REALLY that cool”. 

Speaking of product reviews, during this past October, Amanda did a review of Stork Craft’s Carrara 4 in 1 Crib, Aspen Combo and Tuscany Glider for PTPA, and we are thrilled that one of our most popular nursery sets was met with approval from this savy mommy shopper.  Hopefully baby #4 will feel the same way too!


The 411:

-Name: Amanda Vrtis

-Children’s age: 10, 4, 18 months, and 33 weeks with number 4 (due Feb 1st)

-Location: Seattle, Washington

-Occupation: Mommy Blogger



The Low Down:


SC: What has been the biggest surprise about motherhood since you have become a mom?

Amanda: The biggest surprise about becoming a mother for me was how much love I have to give. It seems endless. You see this beautiful little face and you truly believe in love at first sight from that moment on.


SC: How has your life changed since you became a mom?

Amanada: I spend a lot more time at home now. My weekends aren’t spent getting ready to go out with friends. I’m lucky if I make it past 10 pm on a Saturday night. I’m not worried about the newest boots or sweater I wanted. Now I worry about doctor appointments and school functions.


SC: What has been the biggest challenge for you in motherhood?

Amanda: Letting my kids learn things for themselves. I want to protect them every moment of every day. I have to give them a little bit of lead way, or they wont ever figure out things on their own.


SC: How do you (or plan to) manage your work life balance?

Amanda: Being a Mommy Blogger lets me balance my work and kids really well.

Although there are times where I am writing a post up, and the kids just wont let me be. So there have been a few late nights. I wouldn’t trade it for the world though. Ive been able to be home when my eldest gets home from school and have dinner with my family every night.


SC: Any advice for moms-to-be or new moms?

Amanda: As a new mom 4 times over, I would have to say “It’s ok to ask for help!” As mush as you want to do everything on your own, let family and friends help you. They WANT to help. It’s ok to take a hour away for mommy time. A happy family starts with a happy mommy.


SC: Do you have any recommendations on any baby products that you can?t live without and that every mother should also have?

Amanda: I think as a first time mom you think you need all the latest and greatest baby products, but that just inst the case. Babies just want mommy close. I would say that baby wearing is a great way to get things done around the house. If you don’t like the idea of baby wearing, I find that a portable bassinet or Moses basket is great to be able to move baby from one room to another with you.


Fun Facts:


-My guilty pleasure is?

Reality TV


-My biggest influence as a mother is?

My own mother for sure! She did so much raising my brother and I on her own. She taught me so much about being a mom and life. If used a lot of what she taught me in raising my own children, as well as some things I’ve picked up along the way.


-My favourite beauty buy is…

Bubble bath! I love a good bubble bath and I like lots of it!


-If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would need to at least have?

Wifi lol


-Favourite restaurant:

Red Robin…yuuuuuum!


-Favourite place to take my child/children to:

I love taking the kids to the woodland park zoo. I love their faces as they see the animals. Plus it’s a great workout!


-Top children’s store:

For furniture, StorkCraft for sure! Their pieces are so well priced and look like the high end furniture!

For clothes, I love a sale. So I don’t really have a preference on where I get them as long as they are on sale. I’ve been known to pick stuff up from Value Village. Babies grow so fast, there is no reason to spend a whole pay check on cloth they will only fit in for a month.

Baby Wish List 2012

What’s on your Christmas wish list for your little one?  Here’s a list of items that I am hoping to snatch up for some of my friends’ children.


1) Infant Scout Moccasins by Manitobah Mukluks: Aren’t these the cutest things?  Made in Canada and proceeds from each sale goes to support The Centre for Aboriginal Human Resources Development.


2) Wheely Bug.  You have your choice of the lady bug, mouse, bumble bee, piggy, tiger, or cow!


3) 15pc Breakfast set & 14pc Vegetable Set: Don’t overlook your local Ikea for some creative toys that come with a good value price tag.  Cultivate that little chef early on!



4) Every little princess and cowboy needs a handsome mode of transportation.  We can’t help but include our Stork Craft Rocking Horse in this list!  I think just about every little child of my husband or my own friends have one of these from us.  Take your pick of espresso, natural, cherry, oak or cognac.


5) Need a stylish place to store all those toys that the kids will be receiving for the holiday?  Keep it organized in the Stork Craft Toy Box (Exclusive to Sears Canada).



6) Canada can’t wait for Target to cross the boarder and open up soon, but for those of you in the USA, hello to Target’s latest collaboration with Neiman Marcus!  This would be a great dress for the holidays and any special event.

Jason Wu Girl’s Solid Dress & Jason Wu Girl’s Printed Dress


7) Is your little one ready to welcome the new year in a “big kid” bed?  Get them started with a Stork Craft Toddler Bed.  It makes a great gift and gets the kids excited for the transition out of the crib.



8 ) Fisher Price has brought the 80’s back!  Remember the Chatter Phone?  I total do!  This is going to be a hit with the kids and the parents.

9)  Some classics just stay… well, classics! Golden Book’s reprint of I Am a Bunny will delight your child as Nicholas the rabbit takes them through the different seasons.


10) Looking for a plushie that is whimsicle and fun?  Check out Blabla Dolls in both their knit and cloth lines.


Happy Shopping!

Gift Giving: Count Down to Christmas

With the Christmas rush coming on and the overwhelming number of products to choose from, make your hunt for those family presents easier by looking no further than the Parent Tested Parent Approved’s Holiday 2012 list.  Tested and rated by everyday parents, and not as endoresments from the manufacturer, the PTPA awarded products make the cut only after being approved by real families that put the products through the rigours of day to day life with children.

Stork Craft had their Tuscany Gilder and Ottoman set, Carrara Crib and Aspen Combo Dresser rated just this year by PTPA!  Check it out on their blog!

So who are the PTPA?  They are “a community of parents across North America sharing valuable feedback about the products we bring into our homes and to our families.”  Their reviews and seals of approvals are not only limited to toys, but extend to a range of household and family products.  So the next time that you need to pick up something for that girlfriend who is expecting, or even simply thinking of switching to another household brand, check out the PTPA list of approved products before you head out to make a purchase.

No more fear of buyer’s remorse and the long trek back to make a return.  And definitely say goodbye to any disappointments on Christmas morning: Jimmy Kimmel’s I Gave My Kid’s a Terrible Christmas Present