Thursday, December 13, 2007

Easy Homemade Baby Shower Favors

It's so much fun getting together with friends and family, especially when it's a baby shower. Hearing your guests oohs and aah's when you are opening all of those adorable baby gifts. What better way to thank your guests than with homemade baby shower favors?

It's fun and easy to make your own baby shower favors. There are so many simple ideas that you can put together in a flash. If you need some inspiration, try looking at a few baby shower sites online.

Edible baby shower favors are one of my favorites. Everyone likes sweets and there are so many possibilities.

  • Purchase quality chocolate bars and wrap in personalized candy bar wrappers. All you need is a computer, printer, and a little bit of creativity.

  • Decorative boxes, like these take-out favor boxes filled with chocolates, mints, or hard candy makes a cute baby shower gift and it's easy to take home.

  • Fill small gift baskets with small packages of specialty cookies, mini bags of coffee or bunches of tea bags, wrap in cellophane and tie with decorative ribbon.

Other ideas for homemade baby shower favors are candles, gift baskets filled with a variety of items, and decorative soaps.

If you don't have the time to make your own favors you can still give your guests a thoughtful token of your appreciation. Personalized baby shower favors are a great way to thank your guests for all of the beautiful baby gifts.

Keep it fun and simple!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Choosing a Baby Shower Theme

Planning baby shower themes is my favorite part of planning a shower. There are so many different themes to choose from and a huge variety of available decorations.

If the parents know whether the baby is a boy or girl makes it really simple to select a theme. Even it if they don't know the baby's gender, there are plenty of themes to choose from besides the old standard of blue or pink.

Nursery colors make a great theme for a baby shower. Guests can bring color coordianted gifts, invitations and decorations can be choosen based on the nursery colors, and even the cake can be designed to match. Another great idea is a seasons theme. A beach baby shower for summer is a fun theme idea. You can decorate with pails, shovels, seashells, and neutral beach colors. Guests can come dressed in shorts and sandals.

One of my favorites is a frog prince or frog princess theme. You can decorate with little tiara's or crowns, wands, and cute frogs. A frog prince or frog princess diaper cake makes a great table centerpiece, as well as a gift.

The ideas can be endless for baby shower themes. All it takes is a little imagination!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Baby Shower Planning Do's and Don'ts

Planning a successful baby shower can be a huge a responsibility, especially if you have never planned one before. How do you know what is and isn't acceptable? When to throw the shower, who to invite, what to serve? All of these questions can make your head spin and give you a headache.

Make your party planning a little easier with our Baby Shower Planning Do's and Don'ts article. It's full of all the things you should and shouldn't do as well as basic baby shower planning, gift ideas, menu planning, and more.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Holiday Diaper Cakes & Baby Gifts

The holidays are almost upon us and soon it will be time to start your holiday shopping. Planning a baby shower and looking for the perfect holiday baby gift can add to the stress of the holiday season. Make your holiday shopping a little less stressful with one of our adorable holiday diaper cakes and baby gifts.

If you are having a holiday baby shower our Let It Snow or Merry Christmas diaper cakes will make the perfect addition to your table. They are all dressed up with an
adorable holiday bib, plush toy, and a decorative "snow" base.

Dress baby up in this adorable santa suit coverall and hat. The fabric is so soft and it has snaps from top to bottom for easy dressing and diaper changes.

Baby will look adorable in this 4 piece Santa's Little Helper Gift Set that includes a bib, hat, booties, and mittens. "I'm Santa's Little Helper" is embroidered on the bib and hat.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bath Time Fun for Baby

Bath time with Alexander can be a challenge. He is not an easy child to please, and it takes a lot to impress him. I have tried many different bath toys and games but have had little success. His favorite bath toys are the foam alphabet that sticks to the wall and bath paints.

I just recently found the cutest bath mitt sets. The fun characters make playing in the bath a creative learning experience. My favorite is the frog prince bath mitt. He is so cute with his little yellow crown and his mischievous expression. We really enjoy making up stories and games with the bath mitt characters. There is also a matching hooded bath towel for each character.
It's easy to make bath time fun with interesting baby bath accessories that not only entertain your baby and toddler but are also developmentally functional as well.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Personalized Baby Onesies

I don't know who invented onesies for babies but whoever came up with the idea is a genius. Not only are they comfortable for the baby but they are so convenient and versatile. I had tons of them when my son was a baby and they made up the bulk of his wardrobe. When it was hot I would dress him in just a onesie. When it started to get cool they were great under warmer clothes.

There are so many different varieties to choose from now with adorable sayings and designs. I recently added a selection of the most cutest onesies to my site. They come in adorable gift packaging and can be personalized with the baby's name.

You can create your own personalized onsie and choose from 30 different adorable designs.

Baby Royale is my favorite. It comes packaged in an elegant velvet green pouch and is personalized with baby's name under the royal crown. The backside is adorned with "His Royal Hind-ness". Too cute!

It's also available for Her Royal Hind-ness.

If you want to see others check out the baby clothing section.

If only Alexander were still small enough to fit in these. They grow up too fast!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Baby Play

Babies are like sponges, they absorb everything around them. Parents can help their babies learn through play. Offering educational toys can help baby develop their gross motor and fine motor skills. You can also stimulate baby with playful songs, exercise, and touch. Baby Play- Teach as you play can give you more ideas on how to stimulate your baby through play.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Baby Shower Planning Made Easy

I love planning parties, especially baby showers, but it can be stressful. I always find that I get more accomplished if I have a detailed list to follow. Not only am I a very methodical person, but I can get very "caught up" in what I am planning.

Sometimes I start planning parties months in advance. I keep copies of recipes I jotted down from a magazine or sites I bookmark online with recipes I like. I will start buying decorations and party supplies I need as I see them on sale. By the time it is a few weeks before the party I have gathered up so many recipes and supplies all I need to do is follow my party checklist.

I just added a baby shower planning checklist to my site if anyone needs a list to follow. It can also be used to plan any kind of party with a few minor revisions.

Well Christmas will be here before we know. I better start sorting through my collections!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Natural Baby Skincare

In today's world it is hard to know what skincare products are safe for your baby's delicate skin. Skincare products contain harsh chemicals, additives, preservatives, and fragrances that can damage your baby's skin and cause severe skin problems.

More parents are choosing to use natural skin care products on their baby's skin. But how do you know what is safe to use on your little bundle of joy?

Do your research on what is safe to use on your baby's skin before trying any products. Read product labels. If a skincare product contains more than 10 ingredients you probably don't want to use it. Just because a product is labeled natural doesn't mean it is safe to use (products only have to contain 1 natural ingredient for them to be labeled natural). Avoid products that contain fragrances, artificial colors, and preservatives. Use skincare products in small amounts for the first couple of months to make sure your baby's skin has no sensitivities to the ingredients.

There are lots of natural alternatives to use on your baby's skin, some of them right in your kitchen cabinet.

Olive oil makes a great moisturizer for your baby's delicate skin. If your baby develops diaper rash wash the area with warm water and leave baby without a diaper for as long as possible. Exposing baby's bottom to fresh air helps it heal quicker. Use 100% pure cornstarch to keep baby's bottom dry. Avoid using petroleum jelly which traps moisture against the skin and increases bacteria growth. You can also try an oatmeal bath for diaper rash and dry skin. Grind 1 cup of plain oatmeal until it is a powder. Add to running bath water and stir to dissolve.

You can find more information and tips for natural baby skin care here.

A little research and some common sense will help you choose the right natural skincare products for your precious baby.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More Optimizing and a Sick Baby

This has been a hectic few days. My poor little Alexander has been running a fever for a couple of days. We ended up taking him to the emergency room at 2:00 in the morning on Sunday because he woke up with a nasty, barking cough and his fever had spiked. Turns out he developed croup. You wouldn't have known he was sick except for the fever. He had no other symptoms and was as active as usual. Sometimes I wish I could bottle that energy and use it when mine was depleted.

I haven't been able to get much work done on the website with Alexander being sick. Google has been crawling my site every 5 days but there hasn't been much change in my rank. I just changed a few of my keywords and made a few changes to the homepage welcome to better optimize it with my title and meta description.

I have been trying to figure out how to add category links to the right side of my website. I want to add links for articles on my site, as well as posts from my blog. I use Miva Merchant 5 as a shopping cart and I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to do this.

What I really want to do is redesign the storefront using CSS style sheets to achieve this. I have been reading HTML Utopia: Designing Without Tables Using CSS to learn how to easily create style sheets. This is a great book and it is extremely easy to understand. I am not the most technical person in the world and have a very tight time schedule, so it is important to me to have things written in plain english.

Well, hopefully my sweet baby will be better soon and I will be able to get some rest so that I can have energy to stay up late and find better ways to optimize my site.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Optimizing My Site With Unique Content

I am really getting into this SEO stuff. There is so much to learn and so much information out there. Yesterday I was looking for some information on one of the forums I participate in and I found a thread with a great link to a free SEO book. It is called SEO Fast Start by Dan Thies.

I downloaded it and immediately started reading it. He offers a lot of great basic SEO information and all he asks in return is that you spread the word about his book and his website. His website has a lot of great articles and he offers to answer any questions that you might have about SEO. I definitely recommend SEO Fast Start for anyone that is new to SEO and needs real basic information without having to pay for it.

I have been trying to optimize my baby boutique for a few weeks now. When I first decided to start an ecommerce business I had no idea how involed it could be. It is really important to provide useful and unique content for your website to succeed. I originally made the mistake of buying content related articles from an ezine before I really starting digging into SEO. Then I found out that using these articles could do me more harm than good if they are duplicated on another site.

Now I am attempting to add unique content to my site. There is already so much information out there on baby showers and diaper cakes. It is really hard to come up with unique content. I started writing a few articles concerning baby showers. I posted my first one yesterday. It is called Baby Shower Food Ideas & Recipes. Like I said, there is already a lot of baby shower information out there already, so I tried to offer some really good and simple food ideas. Since I love to cook and previously worked as a chef at a catering company I had a few of my own recipes I included as well as links to a couple of recipe sites.

Hopefully someone will find my articles useful and informative. And, hopefully they will help me rank better.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Looking for New Products

I recently stumbled across a useful site in my quest for new products for my baby boutique.

Mom's Favorite Stuff offers reviews on new baby products by 3 experienced moms. I really like the unique and practical products they review.

There are 2 products in particular that I am interested in. The first is a baby blanket by Secure2Me that has useful clips on the blanket to safely attach the blanket to any baby gear. This is such a great idea. I don't know how many times I had to pick up Alexander's blanket when it fell from the stroller or he when he would throw it on the ground. I didn't see any option for wholesale on their site. I guess I will have to contact them.

The other baby product is Tiny Tales. This is a great gift idea for the busy mama's. You don't want to miss any of your baby's first achievmeants but sometimes there just isn't enough time. Tiny Tales comes with a set of 2-4x6 notepads and 4 time framed dividers for baby tales, toddler tales, and personalized tales. This all comes packaged in a handy acrylic box. The notepads are the perfect size to carry in a diaper bag and you could have one handy in a flash to jot down those memorable moments when your on the go with your baby or toddler. I checked there website for wholesale options but they are only selling to brick & mortor stores right now. Too bad.

Mom's Favortie Stuff has a great baby gift guide too with a nice selection of website links that offer high quality baby products.

I'll just have to keep looking for more new product resources. There is so much out there to sort through. The web is a much bigger world than I ever realized.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Joys of Living with a Toddler

Today started out good and then went downhill. How could that sweet little baby I once knew turn into this mini tyrant!

Every day is a battle. Getting up in the morning, mostly Alexander is in a great mood, but there are those mornings where everything upsets him. Getting up from nap time is a whole other story. He always gets up on the wrong side of the bed and is ornery for a good 30 minutes. He insists on me carrying him around like if he were a tiny baby. Really hard on the back!

As for food, he lives on pb&j sandwiches, yogurt, fruits (only bananas & oranges), pretzels, and french fries with tons of ketchup. He use to eat anything and was willing to try whatever I put in front of him. Then he hit that magical toddler age and everything changed. Sometimes I feel like I am hitting my head against a wall.

And what is the big deal with using the potty. We have been doing pretty good lately and have actually been able to go out in regular underwear. Today was our first accident outside of the house. We were at the mall. I tried to get him to use the bathroom but he wouldn't. He has this strange fascination with public restrooms. He loves to go in them but he won't use them. We were only there for about 10 minutes playing in the bookstore. Our bookstore has a great children's section with a train set for the kids to play with. Then I notice Alexander is standing very still in the corner. I go over to him hoping that it is not what I think it is but, of course it is. I snatch him up quickly before any other kids see that he wet himself and leave the store. There is nothing like a sopping wet toddler. We go to the car and I clean him up and put clean clothes on him. Of course he wants to go back to the mall and can not understand that mommy has a really wet shirt and doesn't want to walk around wet and smelling like pee pee. This causes a big fuss and I end up feeling horrible. From now own I will bring a change of clothes for myself too.

When will this all end? I thought by the time 3 rolled around he would be a little easier to handle but everyone tells me we still have a long way to go. Maybe someone will invent a new baby product that instantly makes your toddler agreeable no matter what. I will definitely carry that product in my baby boutique!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Starting a Blog

I don't know much about blogging but everyone is doing it, so I thought I would give it a try. I'm not exactly sure where my blog will lead me.

A year ago I decided to try my hand at running an internet business. Although I have tons of experience surfing the web, I have absolutely no experience at running an online business. I have a bad habit of rushing into things without fully researching them.

Silly of me to think that it would be so easy to run an online business. You know the saying, "If you build it they will come"? Well they won't! Not without a whole lot of work.

Of course being a partial stay at home mom, ( I only work 2 hours every morning as a bookkeeper), money is tight. So I can not afford to hire companies to build me the perfect website, make sure my SEO is just right to get me good rankings, or write good copy for my site. I have to do all of this myself. Here I am a year later learning everything I can about running an online business. I can't believe the amount of information out there.

What made me decide to start an ecommerce business? My beautiful son Alexander, who by the way my site is named after. I started selling some of his old things on ebay and then got the fever. It was like gambling. It was so exciting to watch people in a bidding war for my items. I started looking for bargains and scouring yard sales so that I could continue my ebay adventure.

Then one day I hosted a baby shower for a family member and made her a diaper cake for the centerpiece. It was so much fun and gave me a chance to be creative. I love to bake and decorate cakes and for a while I did it professionally. Unfortunately I am a perfectionist and would get so stressed about making the cake perfect. Then I thought, why not start my own business making diaper cakes. It would give me the opportunity to use my creative abilities making cakes, you just can't eat them. And that's exactly what I did.

Unfortunetly, I went off on a tangent and decided to include a lot more then diaper cakes on my site. I thought why not offer a variety of baby products and gifts. Products that I knew were not only practical but also quality made. To make a long story short, I got in way over my head.

I really am enjoying my new found occupation. I have learned so much but it has been a rocky road for the past year. My advice for anyone deciding to start an online business? Do your research first, find a niche market, and do more research. Now, if only I could rank higher in Google! I'll keep working on that.