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!
-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.
-My guilty pleasure is?
-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?
-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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
For all of you fellow Vancouverites who have not checked out the local toy shop, Dilly Dally (dillydallykids.ca), you need to make a trip over now! I first saw this store being mentioned in Today’s Parent‘s November issue and had take a peak for myself.
In a culture where kids are clocking more screen time than they are being out and about, Dilly Dally is the perfect place to find those classic toys, books, and activities to keep your little one’s active and imagination alive. They have a wonderful section of picture books that will make for a perfect bedtime story, and a toy selection that will delight any child and make adults feel nostalgic about their own childhood. Dilly Dally is also well known for “best selection of wood toys in the city”.
For those who cannot make it out all the way here to the west coast for a visit, Dilly Dally has a wonderful blog with a section devoted to crafts and activities that will get your child’s creative juices flowing.
Go check it out!
Speaking of great toys, StorkCraft loves a throw back to classic items and we will be giving a Rocking Horse sometime soon. Keep tabs on this give away on our Facebook page.
StorkCraft is thrilled to announce that it will be partnering with Zutano, the maker of vibrant and whimsical juvenile clothing and home products, to create a new line of furniture.
“We are very excited to create a line of nursery furniture with Zutano,” said Dwight Ifland, vice president of sales and marketing for Stork Craft. “Our commitment is to bring fresh, new designs to the marketplace at an affordable price. Uli’s design aesthetic applied to our furniture will no doubt produce amazing results. Today’s young families are searching for furniture that captures the sophistication and unique qualities of their lifestyle. Zutano is the ideal partner to assist in the development of modern, vividly colored furniture for baby that will capture the attention of new parents everywhere.”
If you are not familiar with Zutano already, go over and visit their site and blog. They make the most adorable clothing and accessories with vibrant colours, quality cotton fabric, and cuddly designs. With fall weather finally upon us and Halloween coming up, currently, I am loving their post on “Make Your Own Zutano Halloween Costume! ” with great, every day Zutano outfits. Check it out!
The tradeshow of all tradeshows for baby products is the ABC Kids Expo, and StorkCraft is excited to attend it as a exhibitor. Find us at booth #4455.
This show takes place Oct. 14 to Oct. 17 and features every new and upcoming baby item, from furiniture to toys, bedding to feeding supplies, and also the cutest decor ideas. StorkCraft will be showing brand new product for it’s StorkCraft, Status Furniture, and Ragazzi Fine Furniture lines. Once we get some images, we will definitely be posting them up!
In the meantime, here are some fun facts on Louisville, KY:
1. J. F. Hillerich opened his woodworking shop in Louisville in 1855 and is the maker of the famous “Louisville Sugger” baseball bat.
2. Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, Kentucky. Who’s Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.? It’s Muhammed Ali, the icon boxer!
3. Put on your finest hat and get ready to place your bets! Louisville is home of the Kentucky Derby.
4. MMMmmm! Colonal Sanders began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, a town outside of Louisville, during the Great Depression. It’s headquarters are now in Louisville, KY.
Nursery inspiriation image for the day from the blog, On to Baby.
The crib in the image below isn’t a StorkCraft crib (Please see the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recommendation for evaluating crib safety), but I can see this layering effect used on pretty much any piece in StorkCraft’s crib lineup. Who says nursery bedding has to be all matchy-matchy? By mixing up patterns and sets, what a great way to easily create texture, whimsy and add colour!
I love how the baby furniture of today is no longer limited to use only during those “baby years”. In a world of having too many things, and not enough time, having versatile items that can last you through the years is a money saving, ecofriendly and time reducing bonus. Here’s where the StorkCraft Beatrice 6 Cube Organizer is awesome in every way- After your baby has outgrown the need for a change table, just take that changing pad off the top and give it a new life. Here are some ideas that we love!
-A wine rack:
Wine bottles can be placed horizontal in the cubbies, while liquor bottles and accessories can safely sit on the top.
-Not a drinker and more a crafter? Get all your scrapbook materials and knick knacks organized in one place. We love how a few fabric bins can get everything neat a tidy and add a splash of colour.
What are some other ways that you have been able to repurpose your nursery items?
StorkCraft has been getting all its employees to bring in their baby pics and posting them up for a “Guess Who?” contest. In order to make the game a bit more challenging, the photographs were reprinted in black and white.
I already had a few coworkers guess that my picture “must be a boy”. Great.
I am definitely loving the infusion of colour that StorkCraft has been including in its products lately! We recently welcomed the Caribou and Longhorn bunks in the most adorable princess pink and ocean-sailing navy. Each style comes in both colours, as well as the classic white, cherry and espresso. While it’s easy to immediately draw towards gender specific themes when it comes to accessorizing these bunk beds, what do you think of the themes shown below for paring with either of the bed colours?