Archive | September, 2010

Encore

27 Sep

Confession: I could be the worst singer alive. In the BC (before children) era there were only approximately half a handful of times I ever sang in public. Two, of the two and a half times I sang in public were during my college years and included karaoke bars, way too much alcohol and all too eager “friends” coaxing me on stage. (You know who you are)

My AC (after having children) era has been filled with music. Thankfully, my music critics are a lot friendlier than the Simon Cowells of the world– and much cuter for that matter. My stage is often filled with other mothers, who also aren’t all too excited to be belting out Wheels on The Bus. My audience is my tiny little arm candies that can’t get enough of the off pitch vocals coming out of my mouth and those unlucky enough to be stuck in the car with me when an arm candy meltdown occurs. God bless you all.

Last night, was date night. My darling hubs and I had plans to see the gorgeous, hilarious and incredibly talented Harry Connick, Jr at a local winery. As I was trying to get my darling daughter to bed so we could head out to see Harry, I received an encore of my own. The encore included screams and tears, similar to that of a Justin Bieber concert. However, my darling daughter’s tears were easily soothed by my pitchy version of Twinkle, Twinkle and Favorite Things. My resume includes many titles, but as of today, I will be adding Rock Star to the list. Thanks to the incredible Connick for inspiring a new repertoire.

Rock on.

****Harry Connick, Jr= AMAZING! Definitely an Arm Candy Confessions must see!

Prepare to Swoon

22 Sep

Confession:  One of the smartest “mom moves” I ever made was having professional photos taken of my children. With my first-born, I went a little nuts.  I had professional photographs taken of my son at every month during his first year of life and now get them done yearly.  Yes, I might be a bit obsessive, but not compulsive.  I had a well thought out plan and it paid off.

The pictures are without a doubt, one of my favorite keepsakes. God forbid, we ever had a fire, my priority would be children, dog, pictures.  (No, I didn’t forget poor hubs, he would be working of course)

When my daughter was born, the photographer I had been using was booked for the holidays, so I had her first professional photos done at 3 months and then again at 6 months and will be having them taken next month for her 1 year birthday. I know, I know.  I already feel bad that I didn’t do darling daughters pictures every month, but I am beyond thrilled with the pictures I do have and am trying not to add any more guilt on my plate right now.  Not to mention, her pictures make my heart literally jump out of my chest every time I look at them.

Pictures are pricey.  However, another one of my smarter moves involved finding a fantastic photographer that offers free photo sessions monthly at a local baby boutique.  The sessions are typically fast and furious, but with an infant, five minutes might be pushing it some days, so twenty minutes is more than plenty.  Yes, sometimes I paid out the wazoo because I loved so many of the pictures, but other months I paid around $60 or purchased single digital images at a fraction of what it would cost at a larger studio. Where there’s a will, there is definitely a way.

In addition to swooning over my own children’s photographs, I have a new hobby of swooning over random newborn pics.  A local Seattle photographer is one of the most amazing newborn photographers I have ever seen.  I’m not being biased either, although, she did happen to take my daughter’s 6 month pictures and will be shooting my daughter’s 12 month pictures.

Keri Meyers has an amazing gift with newborns that gives Anne Geddes a run for her money.  Quite honestly, I have never seen more adorable, unique newborn photos.  I literally “ooh and ahhh” every time she updates her blog with new Arm Candy photographs.  Oh, and when the twin pics pop-up I literally could keel over and die from an overdose of sweetness.  In addition, she creates props, conducts mentor sessions and sells all kinds of photography stuff ( I have no idea what half the stuff is, but the other photographers appear to get really excited).  Check out her blog or her Facebook page and prepare to swoon.

All images courtesy of Keri Meyer Photography.

The Party Circuit

20 Sep

Just because you enter motherhood, doesn’t mean you have to retire the party dress.  It might be a good idea to layoff the beer bong and keg stands, but hey, to each her own.  Just because the push-up bras have been traded in for nursing bras doesn’t mean you can’t throw a fabulous party.  Granted, the audience might be a little younger, but my almost three year-old will give most college boys a run for their money.  (In regards to energy, of course.) Let the partying begin!

One of the wonderful perks of joining labor classes and mommy groups is that you tend to end up with children who have birthdays all around the same time.  Enter the party circuit.  For our family, the party circuit runs from mid-September through the end of October.  Each weekend is reserved for at least one, often times two, of our favorite tots.  It is crazy. It is exhausting.  It is, above all, fabulous! I love nothing more than getting together with family and amazing friends to celebrate! I especially love celebrating life’s most amazing milestones.  Birthdays and showers are definitely at the forefront of my favorite celebratory milestones.

I’m not going to pretend to be Martha Stewart, but I try.  I tend to start with an idea and research like crazy for inspiration and additional creative touches.  Below are a few amazing party websites that I frequent for ideas and inspiration! Some ideas, I down right steal.  No need to invent the party wheel.

  1. Chickabug– I recently used this site to order personalized favor tags and buffet cards! The owner/designer is absolutely amazing to work with and extremely creative! Her products definitely add a personalized touch to any party!
  2. Party Poms- I can’t get enough of these gorgeous poms! They brighten up any room and add pops of color! Love! I have also used this particular vendor and had a wonderful experience! They have a beautiful selection of poms, include clear fishing wire and ship promptly! Fabulous!!
  3. Kara’s Party Ideas- This is where the real Martha’s congregate! Check out this site for the most AMAZING parties! This is where I often borrow creative ideas and seek inspiration!
  4. Modern Hostess- This is another party site that I often visit.  The blogger and creative genius behind the scenes is a friend and I trust her completely for party tips and seek out her site for party basics like stocking the bar and setting the table.  Send her your party idea and she will design an inspiration board to help get your creative juices flowing.  No creative juices?  No worries, just leave it to Steph to send some of her creative juices your way!

There you have it party people! Just because summer is making its way out, doesn’t mean you have to turn into a hermit! Grab your Arm Candies and put on your party hats!

Cheers!

Burned The Floor

17 Sep

OMG.  No, I’m not referring to Usher and his 2010 tour.  I’m still a little red in the face after last night’s Burn the Floor Seattle performance.  Up until last week, I hadn’t even heard of Burn The Floor.  Yeah, sure I tune into a So You Think You Can Dance episode here and there and have cast a few votes for my favorite Dancing With The Stars performers, but neither hold a candle to the sexified, heart-pounding performance by the Burn The Floor crew.  The performance was hot, it was sweet, it was dirty, it was fabulous fun!

I’m telling you girls– grab your husband, a friend, your mom, whoever, and go! I was lucky enough to have a wonderful husband who offered to watch the candies while I took one of my besties, who is visiting from LA.  Drinks, sushi, dancing (and randomly being sat next to the adorable and sweet Arm Candy Confessions Burn The Floor contest winner at dinner) made for the perfect evening.  The performance itself lasted about two hours, which is perfect for a work or school night! Even if you are a sleep deprived mom, like myself, I guarantee you will not fall asleep during the show and you will leave feeling like somebody stuck a defibrillator to your heart and kick started your entire body.  The show will absolutely get your heart racing, feet moving and blood cooking! (Not to mention, inspire you to cut back on the potato chips and head to the nearest gym)

A HUGE thank you to Art Meets Commerce and Broadway Across America for generously hosting such a fabulous giveaway and spectacular evening!

Off to practice my Pasodoble!

Stick It To ’em

16 Sep

Worried about your arm candy not returning from school or day care with all the items they left home with? Worry no more!  Check out these lovely little labels to help all your child’s items find their way home.  I know what you are thinking….what’s the big deal about labels?  Well, these particular labels are dishwasher and laundry safe, PLUS printed with eco-friendly ink.  There you have it!! Order a bunch and stick it to your little loves and all their belongings! 

Image credit:  Name Bubbles

Punky

15 Sep

Growing up, we were a one television household.  DVR and TiVo had yet to arrive and cable television was a luxury only some could afford.  For the rest of us, there was one night a week that was worth fighting for:  Sunday night television.  The problem we had in our household was that I had parents that also enjoyed Sunday night television.  NFL football has always been a top priority for my father and Andy Rooney and the 60 minutes gang were also a parental favorite.  Sunday night competition was tough.  However, I did everything in my elementary age power to persuade a few minutes of Punky Brewster.  Sometimes I just had to hope and pray for 60 Minutes re-runs.  Other times, it came down to hoping and praying the Miami Dolphins didn’t go into overtime.  Then there were the times I settled for catching the 90 seconds slots while the other shows were on a commercial break.  Punky was a powerful force and I couldn’t wait to see what she and her faithful dog, Brandon, were up to each week.

I guess some things never change.  My inner six-year old heart skipped a beat when I saw Soleil and her new sidekicks on one of the covers of Baby Couture’s Magazine’s 10 year Anniversary edition.

Image credits: Wapedia & BC Magazine

My Mario Confession

14 Sep

Confession.  Anytime I think of Mario Lopez, my immediate next thought is this:

I can’t get past ol’ AC Slater cheating on his Dorito crunching, Miss America fiance the day before his wedding.  No wonder it only lasted two weeks.  The big bold question mark I have permanently imagined in my mind always seems to be looming over his forehead casting a gray haze over the adorable dimples and six-pack abs.  Oh, please tell me you haven’t forgotten.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for forgiveness.  I even casted a vote or two for the Dancing With The Stars spectacular.  His ex, Ali Landry, seems to have recovered nicely from the breakup as well.  Miss Dorito herself has remarried, has a beautiful baby girl and is launching her own children’s clothing line. Go girl!

Oh, and a heartfelt congrats to the Saved By The Bell alum and his baby mama on the birth of their baby girl.

Bump It Up

13 Sep

Pregnancy glam? Preggo Chic?  Is there such a thing? If you would have asked me a year ago, as I entered my ninth month of pregnancy, the answer would have surely been “no”.  Miroslova Duma preggers fashion has been nothing but a pipe dream.  However, with the help of career fashion gal, Amy Tara Koch (a trend reporter for NBC, contributor to Town & Country, American Way, The New York TimesThe Huffington PostThe New York Observer and Daily Candy, and style expert for iVillage, Inc.; Vogue and Twitter Moms.), I am starting to believe in the impossible.

Koch’s new book, Bump It Up, is chock full of preggers style tips for all stages of pregnancy, not to mention, it oozes wit and charm.  Maybe the third time really will be a fashion charm for this mother of two…..or maybe I’ll head to the gym and try to sweat myself free of the last few pregnancy pounds, while enjoying this polka-dotted, fun, fashionable read, of course.

Here is a preview from the Bump It Up Website

DELIV-A-CHIC: Ready, Get Set, Wax!

I don’t care what your friends have told you. The final month of pregnancy is not for counting contractions over a tray of Fannie May Mint Meltaways. Month nine is all about preparation to look thoroughly divine in the delivery room. With the proliferation of Skype You Tube, Facebook, all the world’s a stage. Even the birthing room. Do you want your gorgeous new baby overshadowed by your talons, unibrow and frizzy tresses?  Delivery pics will be posted moments after the cord is cut and sent to your on line address book.  Then, mom, grandma, sister and in laws will get to work forwarding images to your friends and colleagues until every last acquaintance until your sleepover camp bunkmate (whose bed you short sheeted) ends the cycle. Knowing that your image will live in perpetuity on the world wide web, a month nine rendevous with your glam squad about is essential.

Check out the Bump It Up website for additional tips.

*Adorable images borrowed from Bumpitupstyle.com

A Guest Confession

12 Sep

The following Guest Confession was submitted by Ginny.  She is a fabulous mother of two from Seattle!  Interested in submitting an Arm Candy Guest Confession? Send me an email!

My confession? I am a clean freak.  Surfaces, baseboards, door handles, etc., I want it all sparkling! Is this possible with two arm candies under the age of three?  Not so much….But I have discovered a few things to get me headed in the right direction. Prior to my little ones, I was happy to use whatever means necessary to get things clean, now I want to be conscious of their safety and well-being.  Enter two terrific Earth and kid-friendly products….Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Spray and Method Tub Tile Flushable Wipes.

Seventh Generation Disinfecting Spray is a fabulous product for the kitchen that uses Thymol, a component of thyme oil, to disinfect and kill nasty things like Staph and Salmonella.  It is an amazing alternative to cleaners with bleach.  For the bathroom I love the Method Tub Tile Flushable Wipes, so much so I buy them by the case delivered at regular intervals from Amazon.com.  These wipes clean everything streak free, counters, sinks, even mirrors and the best part is they are flushable! I use these wipes all over the house, not just in the bathroom.  They are SO versatile!

I will leave you with one more kid-friendly cleaning tip that requires no cleaner at all! We all know that microwaves can get gross and are a pain to clean.  Who wants to use smelly cleaners somewhere food is cooked?  My solution, fill a microwave safe bowl with one cup vinegar and a half cup of water, place in the microwave and turn it on for 2 minutes.  Wait about a minute after the timer dings, then take out the bowl and wipe down the inside of the oven.  Everything will come off like magic and you are literally using something edible to do it!

Amazon Mom

11 Sep

In case you haven’t noticed, I am a huge fan of Amazon.  (As mentioned here).  Just when I felt my love for the Seattle-based company was at full capacity, Amazon.com proved it was possible to squeeze a little more love out of this heart of mine.  The fabulous new program for parents, Amazon Mom definitely tugs at my heartstrings, not to mention helps pull in the purse strings.  The savings are insane! 30% off on diapers and wipes AND two-day free shipping with Amazon Prime?!  Need I say more?

Click here for details.

**Not a parent, but still want the perks? Check out Amazon for students.  Good lookin’ out Amazon!