Thursday, November 29, 2007

Taggee Blankee



My shipment of the minkee fabric arrived and I can't stop cuddling it! My poor husbands' "man room" has been overtaken with fabric!

I am finishing up a batch of "Taggee Blankee's" made with 2 layers of the highest quality of minkee fabric (example above). They are generously sized for a tag blanket (18" by 18") and are sure to be a favorite! I have top-stitched the blankees with a tight zig-zag stitch for extra security against pulling and tugging on the ribbons. You can also attach a plastic link to the ribbon so you can attach a toy as well!

I will have several color combos but there will be a limited number of each style so grab them up quickly! They should be up on the site by next week but feel free to email me to reserve one in advance!

Wordless Wednesday

Cooper just got his first two teeth last week! Here he is showing them off

Monday, November 26, 2007

Making Crayon Cookies



I must have Crayon's on my mind from sewing crayon caddies all weekend but here is a great way to recycle all of those broken crayons! I used to make these when I taught preschool and they are great for toddlers because of the size!


1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.


2. Remove all the paper labels from crayon pieces.


3. Use an old non-stick muffin pan or put ¼ teaspoon of vegetable oil into each muffin pan cup, no cup liners needed (If you are still worried about ruining your pan, line cups with foil)


4. Place broken crayons into the muffin pan. Mixing up the colors makes it fun, you can also use a lot of "like" colors for a neat effect (also try silver and gold hues)


5. Place into the preheated oven and watch carefully, they melt quickly!


6. Bake crayons for 8 minutes or so.


7. Let the crayons cool completely (recommend overnight).


8. Once cooled, pop the crayons out of the muffin pan by tapping on the backside of the pan. Crayons should fall right out.

Gifts For The Holidays


With all of the recent recalls and news coverage on lead and other safety hazards found in children's toys, it can be confusing to keep up and to find a toys that won't be effected! Our selection of toys are unique, educational and completely lead free and best of all, we have just added more toys to our store! Also, be sure to check out our superhero capes and reversible tutus, they make great gifts for your preschooler and I have several types of capes in stock if you are worried about the time frame. Just email me at debye@cberrybaby.com for more information!

Now is the time to place your order for you Julian & Co. "Little Jules" birth necklaces. This keepsake jewelry will be treasured forever. If you have any questions on ordering, please just ask and I will be happy to walk you through it!

HINT: Our laminated chalk mats, teething jewelry and crayon caddies make great stocking stuffers!

Friday, November 23, 2007

My New Sewing Endeavor-Mei Tai Baby Carriers


I wanted to be able to offer an affordable but unique and stylish Mei Tai Carrier in our store so I decided to make them myself. I have been working on a fully reversible style with an internal harness for extra security. This was my first "draft", look for them to be coming soon along with kimono style baby booties, crayon caddies and more!

Have any design ideas for these Mei Tai's while they are still in the design process? Feel free to email any suggestions to debye@cberrybaby.com or post your comment on this blog I would also love your input on what you love more, fully reversible or minky lined

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Product Spotlight of the Week

I had my eye on Smart Mom's Teething Bling for awhile. It seemed like such a great idea but I wasn't sure what type of stone was used or why it was truly unique from regular jewelry besides just be labeled as "teething".

I finally gave in to my curiosity, called them up and placed an order for myself. Boy, did I feel silly when I opened it up! It isn't a hard stone at all, it is a soft silicone material that is used in most teething toys. Even in person, I have to make people feel my pendant in order for them to realize it isn't real stone....why didn't I think of this?

Cooper (my 6 month-old) took to it immediately, especially the bangle. Within an hour I knew I had to carry these in our store and now they are here. They come packaged in jewelry gift boxes and will make a great stocking stuffer or baby shower gift (if you can part with it, I dare you to try). They are great for Grandma's and Caregivers and it gives baby something to chew on and entertain themselves with while you are at church, the store, or catching up with friends over a cup of coffee!

This Teething Jewelry is made with the highest-quality, phthalate-free, federally approved silicone. The material is non-toxic, latex-free, food–safe, even dishwasher-friendly! Best of all it is 100% Lead Free! These necklaces come in a variety of cool colors (I have jade but have my eye on the coral) and don't forget the matching bangle that you can take off and hand to baby!

Special Offer- Give-a-Way



From now until November 30th, get a FREE Hankee Blankee with each order over $50. Remember to check out our Contests and Special Offers Page and be sure to sign up for our VIP Newsletter for exclusive offers!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hand Made for the Holidays



Have you taken the handmade pledge for the holidays? At C Berry Baby, over 90% of our products are mom-made or invented and we also have a great selection of handmade items. So, if you are supporting local artists and taking the handmade pledge, we have compiled a list of some of our handmade products for you. Can't wait 2 weeks for a specialized item? I have stocked up on a wide selection to have at hand, ready for immediate shipment:

Hand-Knit Hats by Angie, a local SAHM. These hats are gorgeous in person and will make a great gift. You can purchase in infant, toddler and big kid sizes! Her Fuzzy Hats are plush and unlike anything you will find in a store.

The Hankee Blankee by Nana Bee Creations. This travel-sized blanket has all the luxury of a regular sized blanket with the convenience of a terry cloth backing for spit-up and drool. The key to the popularity of her "blankee" is the layer of padding that makes it so cuddly and soft.

Princess Monkey Bowtique Bows: I especially love the Marabou Puffs and the Cherry Surprise. Each bow is carefully handmade and her designs have been tested on Jane's two daughters.

Purses, Diaper Bags & Totes by Bella Boutique Creations: Suzanne cuts each of her designs freehand making them a one of a kind creation. I use the Full Moon Dahlia Tote and it is a great diaper bag "in disguise"

Embroidered Burp Cloths: Made by Melissa White, these burp cloths are simple and sweet, just like your little one!

Unique Baby Hats by Kensington Baby for Boys & Girls: These hats are sure to get attention everywhere you go!

Mommy & Me Nursing Necklaces: Beautiful for you and captivating for baby. Raelynn uses an assortment of sensory beads, which are designed to be both tactile and visually-stimulating. Packed with engaging beads, which are hand-selected by an early childhood educator, her nursing necklaces can help ease the stresses of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding and look great on mommies!

Reversible Tutus & Capes by Ellie Bellie Kids: They quality of these tutus and capes are impressive. My little superhero loves wearing his and the tutus have great color combinations and double sided ribbon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

WORD to your mom....

No More Time-Outs for Me, Mom!

As I am sure many of you have figured out by now, my four year-old is quite a character! He fills our lives with a lot of laughter but as you would expect with that much personality, he also has his challenging moments (to put it really mildly). Lately he has been an excellent helper and great big brother but he has been driving my eldest son intentionally crazy which has lead to some interesting tattle telling and a lot of sibling bickering.

I was very happy when he came to me the other day and told me he wasn't ever going to have any more time-outs! I loved that he was becoming so aware of his actions and was making a conscious effort to improve his behavior! Well, I should have realized something was up. I was cleaning the floors and found this under our dining room bench seat.......
He had hidden his time-out spot so he couldn't have any more time-outs! I have to give him credit for the creativity!


Reminder-Special Offer Ending



Just a quick reminder that our Featured Items Special Offer is about to expire on Thursday, November 15th (if you already have your 15% off voucher code, you can still use it through December 20th)!
Make sure to take advantage of the savings quickly and save money for your holiday shopping.......we have some great new items on the way!


Recipes for Family Fun

   
   

Homemade "Goo"

8 oz of white glue

Borax

Water

Food Coloring

Combine glue, food coloring and ¾ Cup of water in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix 1 tablespoon of borax and ¼ cup of water. Add this mixture into the glue mixture. Stir until a blob forms (will be pretty quickly). Remove the blob. Mix more Borax and water, repeat until glue mixture is all gone. Knead blobs. Tip: I knead my blobs over the glue mixture bowl so the excess water goes back in the bowl. Once kneaded, the mixture is more pliable and stretchy!

Kool-aid Playdough

1 c flour

1/2 c salt

3 T cooking oil

1 pkg. unsweetened Koolaid

1 c boiling water

Mix together flour, salt, oil, and Kool-aid. Add the cup of boiling water. Mix well. Knead the mixture until it forms a soft dough.

For a fun touch, add glitter to the finished playdough!


 

Monday, November 12, 2007

Midland Street Fair

Well, we survived our first Street Fair. Thanks to those who came to show their support (and shop), it was a long day but it was also a great success! I loved being able to talk with customers and get feedback on our line!

Some of my favorite moments were when a sweet girl who was 3 months pregnant, purchased her first items for her baby (a Mei Hip Carrier and a Diaper Clutch) and the sweet Schwans guy that snuck over to buy a Peanut Shell Sling that his fiancee had been wanting as a special surprise! I also got to see a lot of old friends, some old students (from when I was a preschool teacher) and I feel like I made a few new friends as well!

My mini "Cooper" is always my best advertising tool. He hung out in his Mei Hip Carrier for 5 hours (rocked out in his Buddah Belly Onesie, Fern Gully BabyLegs and his Football Kensington Baby Hat) and he never fussed.....he is such an angel! My 4 year old, Chase, definitely has a flare for sales as he asked everybody who walked by if they had a baby at their house because they needed BabyLegs. Jonas was a great help with handing out flyer's and setting up!

I always enjoy really getting to demonstrate and show off the great products we carry to people. There are certain things that need to be seen- like the Secure2Me Blankets. They are always such a huge hit in person but I have a hard time online truly portraying how useful, unique and luxurious they are. While other items, like the Vital ID wristbands, are better online where they are explained.

After 10 hours on my feet I was incredibly tired and lost my voice again but it was worth it, I had a great time! Thursday we will be at My Kids Clubhouse in Poway, Ca from 10 to 12 for a smaller holiday fair....hope to see some of you there!

SPECIAL THANKS to my BFF Trae, my niece Shea, and my trooper husband Shawn, for all their help! I could not have done it without you guys!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

C Berry Baby News



San Diego County Residents: You can come see our products "up close and personal" this Sunday at the Midland Street Fair in Poway, CA from 10am-4pm

On Thursday the 15th, My Kids Clubhouse (Poway, CA) will be hosting a holiday fair from 10-12, let the kids play while you shop!


We have added MORE new products!

SAM & BELLIE LAMINATED CHALKMATS


Hey kids, what's that? We love telling people about the original Sam & Bellie chalkmats. These unique mats are portable, practical but above all, chic and stylish. They are also coated and therefore, water resistant.

Roll it up, take it with you to restaurants so your little one can busy there self as you enjoy your food!(11 x 17) does not come with chalk. Age 3 and up.



TRENDY TADPOLE -Hip tops for trendy tots!

We have added 3 of their designs to our funny onesies and tee's collection!

Trendy Tadpoles brings pop culture, a hint of nostalgia, and a pinch of fun to the table in every tee shirt. My personal favorite is the Buddah Belly Shirt but The Oh Snap is a close second as this is my teenage nieces favorite phrase!



HANDMADE DIAPER BAGS-By Bella Boutique Creations

These handmade diaper bags, totes and purses are cut freehand making each one a one of a kind. They are created in a smoke and pet free environment and are made to order with customization requests!

We are working with fabrics to create an exclusive C Berry Baby Line, we will keep you posted on the progress!


THE BUNDLEBOO UNIQUE 10 in 1 CARRIER

This unique wrap style baby carrier has a built in safety seat for added ease, comfort and safety....want more info? You can read my review in the posting below!




THE PEANUT SHELL-Baby Wrap

The Peanut Shell has decided to expand their product range and have just released these appliqued baby wraps. The design is a long cascade of specialty stretchy fabric that you wrap around your body to create the perfect carry for you and your baby. Although this wrap can hold up to 36lbs, The Peanut Shell says it is best used as a front carrier with smaller babies.

Product Spotlight of the Week


I love getting feedback from our customers and serching for unique and innovative products to match your requests but I will be honest, wraps scare me. And I mean scare me to the point that I have added them to my shopping cart many times just to chicken out at the last minute in a panic not to think of them again for several weeks.

Finally, I came across the Bundleboo, a unique and trendy 10 in 1 baby carrier. What makes the Bundleboo so unique? It is a wrap style carrier with a safety seat! To me, that safety seat was what I needed to give me the confidence to finally purchase my first wrap-style baby carrier.
When my Bundleboo arrived, the panic set in again....what was I thinking? But I was determined to give it a try so I put the DVD on and picked the hold I wanted to try (front cross wrap). I watched the carry instructions 2 or 3 times and then tried it out. It took me 2 tries and we were in, well Cooper was "in". I could barely feel his weight in the carrier but I wanted to put it to the test and planned a trip to the zoo to see how it stood up to a long day of walking.

We got to the zoo and I was happily surprised that I was able to put him in the wrap pretty quickly in the parking lot without a mirror (I was already becoming a pro). Cooper loved the front carry and squealed the first 10 minutes in delight flapping his legs around and the wrap never needed readjusting. The safety seat gave me such peace of mind that I wasn't worried for a moment about his security and after a few hours of walking (only taking the wrap off for bathroom changes) my back felt fine, as if I hadn't been wearing a baby on me all day!

I am a Bundleboo believer now and will be adding this to my babywearing wardrobe...and to our C Berry Baby Stock! In these photos from our trip to the Zoo, I am wearing the Ivory Woodfern with Chocolate Side panel but I have my eye on the new Cleo design!

A Little Bit of Background:
The inventor, Rebekah, is a mother of two and former paramedic. She began making her own wraps as a way to supplement her income so she could stay home with her children. The most common things she heard from other mom's were: “I would be too afraid that my baby would fall out.” “It looks so complicated.” “I’m afraid that I wouldn't do it right.” She began working on a solution and one day she simply cut two roomy leg holes in the center of the fabric, put the wrap on and realized the profound difference that it made. That is how the Bundleboo was born!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Heiny Interview on KUSI


Today we joined Linda Byerline, creator of Happy Heiny's, for her interview on San Diego KUSI News. My youngest, Cooper, is the handsome little stud-muffin in the Skull Happy Heiny's. Click on the Photo of Linda below to see the live video.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I am not sure how wordless this is but, here we go with 2 of my boys version of the the worlds most annoying video clip/song ever.......I apologize in advance!

video

C Berry Baby of the Month

Announcing our November "C Berry Baby of the Month", 9 and 1/2 month old Ruby Lynn, isn't she adorable!


Ruby Lynn is featured on our main shopping page this month! If you would like your little one to be our next C Berry Baby, be sure to email a photo to info@cberrybaby.com

Monday, November 5, 2007

C Berry News


A lot of great New Products are being added this week........be sure to check them out! Today we added Peek-A-Boo Bags (ABC, Boy and Girl styles), a great educational toy.....as a former preschool teacher I am so excited about carrying these bags and using them with my 4 year-old and it is great for travel!

This week we are sponsoring the Swanky Mom New letter! We will be giving away one of our Rockin' Baby Gift Sets! Be sure to check out their site for great mom finds!


SwankyMomsGiveaway

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Accidental Babywearer

I remember quite well that when my first son was just two weeks old I told my pediatrician that I was apprehensive about breastfeeding in public. Quite matter-of-factly he explained how his wife wore a sling and breastfeed while shopping. The whole idea of wearing a sling was unthinkable to me at the time. I was not an overly "earthy" and "hippy-ish" person and the styles of slings back then were bulky and plain.

Flash forward 1o years later. It is my second son's birthday party and my childhood friend Jane shows up with her 2 girls and is using a funky patterned pouch sling. I had no idea that two days later I would find out that I was pregnant again. So for the first time I flirted with the idea of "babywearing" although, at that time, I did not know yet what babywearing was or the many benefits. What I did know was that I was clueless to how I was going to chase my rowdy 3 year-old (not so coincidentally named Chase) and hold onto a newborn baby.

So I bought my first pouch sling when I was five months pregnant because it looked like something I might actually be able to figure out and I loved the fabrics and designs. It arrived at my doorstep and then I waited. Finally Cooper was born and about one week later I decided it was time to try the sling. The first time I put him in it I kept my arm under him the whole time afraid he'd fall out...of course there wasn't any good reason for this fear, it just felt strange to hold your newborn baby without, well, actually holding your newborn baby. And then that was it......we both fell in love with babywearing! Cooper was soothed by the rocking motion of the sling and being held close to me and I loved the freedom to go about my normal day while holding my baby. The first 6 weeks of his life we flew to Michigan for a wedding, spent a week at the beach for Jonas' Surf Camp and then took a family vacation to Maui and I don't know if I could have done it without my sling.

As he has grown, so has our babywearing "know how" and comfort level. We soon branched out to a SlingEzee Ring Sling which was great for breastfeeding and longer trips! Once Cooper reached 4 months, I decided to try a hip carrier. At first it seemed foreign to have buckles after using a sling so often but it quickly became a favorite of ours! It provides great support and is really simple to use...no fuss at all once you adjust it to your size. In fact, I found that I loved the hip carry so much that I started using my slings in this carry style as well!

My newest favorite is the Ellaroo Ring Sling. It is more of a splurge but it is made from the softest organic cotton I have ever felt on a carrier and it is truly beautiful on. Definitely worth it once you find that a sling works well for you.

If you were to ask me what has changed my experience the most as a mother this time around, it is babywearing, no doubt about it. I never leave home without a carrier, I even keep a spare pouch sling in my car at all times! Once you are accustomed to babywearing, it becomes a part of your everyday life, and takes seconds to throw on. I use a sling just to run into Starbucks or the Post Office!
I actually almost feel sorry for my $500 stroller system that sits in my garage gathering dust. As much as I love it, I love being able to move through the aisles and through the crowds at the zoo even more! I also don't miss getting it in and out of my car and I can use the trunk space for more shopping bags!
So, that is how I became a babywearer...be sure to vote for your favorite type of baby carrier on the left. It is great for moms to see who are considering trying to wear their little one!

Special Offers



FREE SHIPPING is now in effect for ALL orders through December 20th! Be sure to subscribe to our store VIP newsletter for exclusive offers, coupons and give-a-ways!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Baby Food Recipes

I think it is safe to say that, as parents, we understand how important a healthy diet is and one of the easiest ways to ensure your babies are given the right start is by making your own baby food.

I love being able to say that my children have never had baby food from a jar! Now it may sound like a lot to take on but it is ridiculously simple! I started making baby food before I could make a pot roast (although my cooking skills have greatly improved since then). I thought it would be interesting to share some baby food recipes each week and perhaps get some tips and recipes back!

A few things to note....each baby is different and you should rely on your baby's' signals and your doctors advice on when to introduce solid foods. Additionally, in the beginning you want to introduce single ingredient purees to test for any possible allergies.

That being said, this is what you need:

a food processor or hand blender
ice cube trays (what I use) or freezer containers
steamer (helpful but not necessary, I just use an inexpensive collapsible one)
Large Freezer Ziplock Bags

After making the puree, simply scoop it into the ice cube trays and allow to cool. Write the name of the recipe and the date on the large Ziploc bag and put the tray inside. Once frozen, pop out the "baby food cubes" and you have perfect baby-sized portions to defrost as needed!

4-6 months -Butternut Squash
*all 3 of my boys loved this one
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and wrap each half in foil

Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours or until tender

Scoop out the "meat" and blend with a little water to your preferred consistency

hint: this recipe mixes great with homemade applesauce


6-12 months-Peach, Apple & Strawberry Puree
*yummy, try a taste...another benefit to making it yourself!

1 apple (peeled, cored and chopped)

1 ripe peach (peeled, pitted and chopped)

3 large strawberries (note, some kids have allergies to strawberry so be sure to watch closely after first introduction)

Steam the apple for about 6 minutes or until tender. Add the peach and strawberries to the steamer for about 3 more minutes. Blend to a smooth puree.