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American Blogger April 17 2014, 0 Comments

We celebrate creativity, self-expression and reaching out as women, parents and humans to create a community for ourselves and welcome others to be a part. We celebrate many bloggers for telling their story and "shaping culture in a positive way."

This film sets out to introduce us to some of those bloggers and it makes us want to know others and more than anything, honor their stories and share our own voices. "If we're not sharing it, if we're just keeping it private, why are we experiencing it?" -American Blogger




bloom. April 17 2014, 0 Comments

Being 42 weeks pregnant with this one was not my favorite. But it sure makes me love her that much more. (These beautiful tulips are from the Holland America Bulb Farm in Woodland Washington)




children and allowances. April 17 2014, 0 Comments

Parents, do you have allowance figured out at your house? There are so many approaches and if you're like us and started this allowance journey with so many unanswered questions (when do you start? how much? is it tied to chores? what are the rules to saving and spending?), this article shares lots of great tips. The most helpful for us recently: "start when school starts." [For fun, 9 unique piggy banks right here.]

Did you grow up with an allowance? What's worked best for your family?

 

 




bunny pancakes. April 16 2014, 0 Comments

Order up! Begin the weekend egg-hunts with these bunny pancakes, decorated with fruit and yogurt. Wouldn't this would make such a fun family tradition! [Betty Crocker / Handmade Charlotte]




Spring Green. April 15 2014, 0 Comments

 

Inspired by Spring, we've rounded up our favorite baby items to help refresh and brighten your home and routine.

Bonus: For one full week, buy your Puj favorites for 15% off with code: SPRINGGREEN on puj.com. Offer expires 4/24.

1. neon yellow baby onesie / Hello Apparel

2. shapes book / Orla Kiely

3. glacier moccasins / Freshly Picked

4. kiwi puj snug / Puj

5. bunny bib / Oeuf

6. wooden teether fox / Little Sapling Toys

7. green bottle / Comotomo Baby

8. green puj flyte / Puj

9. themis mobile / Artecnica




time stands still... April 15 2014, 0 Comments

One of the most important lessons that motherhood has taught me is that joy comes from being around the people and doing the things I love. Even when are circumstances feel very ordinary. [image via]

 

Have you had one of these time-standing-still moments lately?




candy-less Easter egg fillers. April 13 2014, 0 Comments

A dozen thank you's to Melanie for these candy-less Easter egg filler ideas. (Also see her little boy and girl Easter basket fillers here.) Via You Are My Fave.




a happier mom. April 11 2014, 0 Comments

Lately I've been working on being a happier mom. I want so badly for my kids to learn the value of hard work, honesty, and responsibility. But some days I make the mistake of thinking those things must be done with my serious face. This week my family took a much needed Spring Break where we enjoyed some sun and the great outdoors. We all came back feeling more relaxed, happy, and much less serious. It made me realize how grouchy I have been lately. I decided I want my kids to remember having fun with me. It's okay to be silly while we mop the kitchen together. If fact it's better. Life is what we make of it and gosh darn I want to have some fun!




homemade sidewalk chalk. April 10 2014, 0 Comments

Here‘s a favorite spring & summer science project that becomes instant sunny day play: make your own sidewalk chalk! It’s a recipe for success: firm, but not brittle. And we are extra excited about mixing our own colors.

[via Playful Learning]




encouraging their dreams. April 10 2014, 0 Comments

The pretty toy display is inspiration enough, but the story behind it is so encouraging. Kaspian's room was created around his most fervent wish: to be a veterinarian. (Complete with an operating room, medical cabinet, x-rays and plenty of animals.) Rather than design, his parents focus is fostering his dream.

Do you have a child that knows what they want to be when they grow up? How do you encourage them?




toy stories. April 08 2014, 0 Comments

Photographer Gabriele Galimberti traveled the world to film children surrounded by their favorite toys. "Toy Stories." For children even worlds apart (from Italy to Iceland to Botswana), his conclusion was simple: "they just want to play." Although the article brings up fascinating points about how the children play and how their toys reflect the worlds they were born into, we love the important reminder that imagination and interaction and friendships are universal and defining parts of childhood. (Let them play!)




tips for an easier labor. April 06 2014, 1 Comment

We're believers that healthy habits can "improve your odds of having an easier, shorter labor." Although I was very active and fit during my first pregnancy, my labor was extremely drawn out and exhausting. It was stressful and I felt defeat and that recovery was slow and hard. (Of course the baby and experience, regardless, was a miracle!) As I was getting ready for my second labor/delivery experience years later, more than anything, I wanted to be more relaxed and mentally prepared and this made all the difference for me! Among knowing what to anticipate (the best and the worst), feeling more at-ease with my body and my abilities, I took nightly ginger scented baths during this second pregnancy of mine to help me physically relax and meditate. And for that smooth delivery, I remember feeling more ready, strong, peaceful... and the bath habit hasn't died over 5 years later!

 

While everyone has their own tips ("eat dates, sleep more, strengthen your legs"- Fit Pregnancy), we want to hear yours. How did you prepare for an easier labor?




countdown eggs. April 03 2014, 0 Comments

These painted eggs, filled with simple surprises, count down to Spring or Passover or Easter in 12 days. A perfect way to buffer so much anticipation. (We've gathered lots of other favorite spring crafts right here.)




teething chart. April 02 2014, 0 Comments

In our experience, teething can be a good time to turn to your supportive community (or the books) to have a better understanding of how to alleviate symptoms. This teething chart is a perfect reference. "File this under good to know!" [Hello Bee]




the Puj story. April 02 2014, 1 Comment

 
After we refined the design of the Puj Tub I decided we needed to take it to the largest Children's Products tradeshow in America. The ABC Expo in Las Vegas. We had 2 weeks to design, build, and ship a 20' x 10' booth. We decided we were going to go BOLD and do an ALL WHITE booth. While I was in the shower (that's where all the ideas come right?) I came up with the idea of building a wall with white shipping boxes. They ship flat, are affordable, and we could build the wall ourselves with no tools. We tested the idea in our garage and thought it just might work. I ordered 150 1' x 2' white boxes and shipped them directly to Vegas. We figured out a sink display with two pedestal sinks that were supported by a long narrow bookshelf Ben and the boys had already made me for Mother's Day. And most importantly, we designed the Puj logo to be suspended along the wall. After the booth was designed and shipped off, then all we had to do was get ourselves to the show, or so we thought. We missed our flight to Las Vegas, ALL of our Puj Tubs were stuck in customs, and the Fire Marshal said we had to take down our booth the night before the show started.
After a bit of searching we found another flight that was direct and had us getting into Vegas sooner. Because we missed our flight, I had 1 extra hour at the airport to get on the phone and get our tubs out of customs and on their way to Vegas. And by staying calm and talking it through with the Fire Marshal, we found a solution and our booth was approved. Phew. 
Along our journey in creating Puj, there have been so many opportunities to give up and throw in the towel. But I know when one door closes, another one opens. I have learned along this journey that roadblocks just mean there are other opportunities, probably even better ones. I just need to keep working, keep trying, and not give up.

The tradeshow was a major success. The booth was packed 4 solid days and we heard the words, "that's brilliant!" all day long. Our Puj Tub US distribution went from 21 stores to over 500. And we even picked up distribution in almost 20 countries. It would have been so easy to give up, but we believed in ourselves and we knew we could truly help parents all over the world.



style and children. April 01 2014, 0 Comments

We love the philosophy that style and children can mix. Here are some pretty ideas (like a mid-century sewing box book storage) of how to design for parents and children without the "primary colored plastics."




nursing Liberty. April 01 2014, 0 Comments

 

Deciding to nurse a baby is a big commitment. Tonight I left Liberty with Ben hoping she could make it for 2 hours without nursing. She sleeps a solid 12 hours at night and naps great during the day. But when she's awake, she wants to eat every hour on the hour. One hour after I left, Ben texted me with a "5 star red alert". He said he had never seen her frown until tonight. There are many days I think bottle feeding would be so much easier. But watching my baby grow and thrive on nature's nectar is an absolute miracle. And before I know it, she will be 1 year old and ready to wean. 

When did you wean your baby?




making bathtime with baby a breeze. March 31 2014, 0 Comments

Our friends at Giggle talk about how to make bath time with baby a breeze from easy tubs to must-haves to have close by to how to transition from wet baby to dry baby easily and hands-free. Straight from the experts right here.




Travel clean. March 31 2014, 0 Comments

 

Are you searching out sand and sun for Spring break? We know well that mess is part of the parenting package, but these Go Clean travel bags not only help organize that suitcase with loads of gear, but contain the sand and wet suits. Brilliant.

 

And our #1 travel product for baby that also fits in a suitcase and keeps baby clean? The Puj Flyte for comfortable sink baths away from home (in limited edition green, too).




stress. March 27 2014, 0 Comments

The other day Liberty was fussy and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. As Ben was rocking her he bounced over to me and said, “You’re stressed aren’t you?” After thinking a minute I said, “Yes! That must be what’s bothering her?” It always amazes me how in-tune babies are with the world around them. She can’t see or understand all of the responsibilities I have. But she can feel it. She can feel the weight and she’s only a baby. It’s moments like these that I have a chance to reflect on what is most important to me. Because I can’t do it all. So I want to focus on what matters most. She is my priority. Making sure she has enough milk. That she gets the sleep she needs. And most importantly, I want her to feel how much I love her.


As a parent, what are some of your best stress relievers?




ladder wall. March 27 2014, 0 Comments

Mother and architect, Yen, took her kids' request for a climbing wall and built this ladder in the guest room. (She says "they're jumpers-they jump off of everything!") How fun!




siblings and age gaps. March 27 2014, 0 Comments

We've likely all thought about SIBLINGS- if a second (or third or so on) child feels right for our family and what the best age gap is. While there are so many right answers, Joanna Goddard has a theory. How far apart do you want to have kids? How did you decide? [via A Cup of Jo]




the Puj story. March 27 2014, 0 Comments

Once we had tested and proven the Puj Tub concept (and filed for our patent) it was now time to show store buyers. We signed ourselves up for the New York Gift Fair and had one week to come up with a "finished" prototype. It was late winter and the garage was too cold for working in. So we cleared out the kitchen and started making dust. With a $4 table router I found at a garage sale we rounded the edges of the tub, giving it a more finished look. And it needed the subtle Puj logo in the middle. So with a Puj stencil I cut out of a brown grocery sack, we lightly sprayed some white on white paint, giving it a faint logo. Here I am drying the logo with my hair dryer. I couldn't wait to peal off the stencil to see our finished product.
I hopped onto a plane to NY, not knowing what people would think of our crazy concept. I started second guessing myself thinking I was going to make a fool of myself. There was a lot of interest from some big stores, but it was clear I still had many unanswered questions. How does it come packaged? How do you ship it? Up to what age can it be used? What is the wholesale price? Retail price? Where is it made? These were all the questions I was afraid of. But I faced my fears head on. I gave the buyers my best answers with as much confidence as I could muster. I learned a LOT from those 4 days of being on the hot seat. But more than anything, I learned the only way to make progress was to face my fears and not hide from them. This is a lesson I continue to learn everyday as we watch Puj grow into 1,000 stores in the USA and nearly 40 countries.



the 52 project. March 27 2014, 0 Comments

Mom and blogger, James, wanted to take “a portrait of [her] children, once a week, every week” for the sake of saving moments of her 4 children as she sees them, no rules attached. The collection shares a caption for each photo and they're all just beautiful and priceless.