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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Diaper and Wipes Holder Voting Winners ~ is it You?!

We asked all our fans about a week ago to vote towards their favorite diaper and wipes holder design...the picture above was the three choice with the middle being our current design (Cushy Tushy Cases).

Over the past few months, we've realized that our current design was not only being used my boutiques and businesses across the US, but several people locally were making them as well. Our price point was average from our local sellers, but I have been on a mission this year to create new versions of some of our items that we've been selling since the beginning (almost 3 years ago now) or that just aren't selling like they used too.

This product concept is one we definitely need to keep and one the definitely is practical, so we just needed a new design idea.

We took a look at all the votes and it was easy to see that the design on the right is the most popular! So this will be our new diaper and wipes holder design! I am particularly happy with it because it will also be great for all our cloth diapering families out there as well, as I was struggling to make a great pattern based off our current design for cloth diapers and wipes.

So now the part you've all been waiting for right?! The part were we announce the three winners, just because they gave us their opinion. Easiest way to earn a free little something for your little one or even to use as a gift.

I chose the winners at random, using to generate the number of each winner. I did 1-22 taking out my comment and a two-part comment from a fan.

Winner #1 is: Barbara Divers Ross

Winner #2 is: Lara Tripp

Winner #3 is: Sarah Beck

Congratulations to all our winners!! You can choose the design and fabric pattern of choice for your diaper and wipes holder. Please message/e-mail me with your mailing address so I can ship them once complete.


Thank you to everyone who participated in casting their vote and be on the look-out for a name that product contest where you will have the chance to win one our diaper and wipes holders in this new pattern. We will be looking to name this item and if the name you suggest is the one we choose ~ then you win the item!

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend so far ~ it was a beautiful 60 degrees here today, but we will be getting snow tomorrow (amount uncertain that last time I looked)...which isn't a bad long as we don't lose power, because then I will have plenty of sewing time!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Goodbye Paper ~ Hello Cloth

After hundreds of paper towels later, I finally thought that it would be a great idea to cut on the waste of trees by cutting out the amount of paper towels we used.

The first of these ventures, was using baby wipes and clorox wipes and such and yet that tended to cost us more money in the long run than the paper towels did...ofcourse this was also when cold and flu season hot too.

So we went back to paper towels and decided to go with the 100% recycled ones ~ Small Steps...these are great, but still using paper towels. LOVE that they are made from recycled materials though!

And while this concept isn't our original idea, it is new to Baby-Bug Boutique. So welcoming into our All things cloth line is un"paper" towels!

Our un"paper" towels are made from flannel and terry cloth, they are the same size as standard store bought paper towels. They are double-stitched to maintain integrity. They are able to me hand or machine washed and dried.

Snaps can be added so if one wanted to purchase multiples, they could and roll them together like a roll of paper towels.

We have made some to be used by others who were interested, to get un-biased opinions in testing out this new item.

Those who are testing, will respond to this blog with their feedback ~ we want to know how they withstand to anything you would use a paper towel for, as well as, how they withstand washing.

We look forward to many more product testing opportunities in the future as we introduce new products.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Saturday, February 4, 2012

All things cloth and eco-friendly...

I am always looking for new adventures in all aspects of life, however, most of the new adventures tend to revolve around sewing and Baby-Bug Boutique.

The past year, as I participated in several craft shows in a variety of areas across our state (Virginia), I realized one thing. There weren't many (if any) products directed towards parenting/children/housekeeping that were eco-friendly. There were so many wonderful items and the quality is fantastic, but when it came to protecting our enviroment or making parenting easier in some ways, these items were rare. Or if there was an item, there were several vendors carrying the same item.

So, as in my nature, I want everyone to do well at a craft show, we all have a God-given talent and each person should be able to display that talent without having to worry about the pricing or the competition. This year, I am working in some different items into our display, and ofcourse keeping the majority we already make as well. I want to give my local area and the areas we travel too something new to look at, and even if it isn't a new concept, it is something new to the craft shows in our area.

That being said ~ we are launching an all things cloth line of products. This includes our mama cloths, cloth diapers, reusable wipes, un"paper" towels, reusable snack bags, organic boo boo and hot/cold packs and reusable nursing pads.

Now yes, some of those items we have been making since last year, but we are going to increase the quantity and the exposure they get. We feel this will not only help cut down on the amount of trash it household produces (even if it is a small impact), but it will help with the family budget too.

We strive to maintain our principles that if we destroy the earth, there will be nothing left to pass down to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. My desire is to pass down an earth worth keeping for years to come.

The movie "Wall-E" was a movie that really put things into perspective for both Brian and myself on how people take care of the Earth today and what the future could potentially hold. I always wonder how I would answer the question "Grandma, what is a tree?"

Now while we do see a huge impact being made by our business alone, we hope to educate, to provide these types of products to those willing to change their current habits and start a healthier lifestyle for their budgets and the environment.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

New Year and New Changes

As just about everyone does, we enter the new year with several fears, but also several hopes.

One of our biggest changes this year, is converting from our eCrater store to an etsy shop. This has been something I was fearful over for the past year, with the insane amount of competition, the repetition of product and fabrics and the pricing that is all over the place...I didn't think it was quite for us. After lots of contemplation, we finally decided to open a store, in hopes it will open a new market in e-commerce, but also allow us a feeback system, since Facebook has decided to take that away.

So here is our new etsy shop:

We are still loading products and rearranging the shop categories and such, I think every business continuously does this, but bear with us as we repicture all our items that are already made and upload them, in addition to, loading all our new items as they are made. This is our new purchasing format for our products and custom listings as well.

Another wonderful thing we finally signed up for was Pinterest ~ this was a BAD mistake...LOL. Really it is a wonderful site, but I tend to spend the waking hours of the night on there looking over all the wonderful recipes, ideas and projects and adding them to my boards.

We created a board for Baby-Bug Boutique and the plan for this board is to put one of each item we make on the board, and then our special/custom orders as well. This way we show a little of who we are and what we are capable of. Please feel free to follow our pin boards (any of them) and repin as you feel the need to!

Our pinterest board:

Just a few new ways you can follow and keep up-to-date with Baby-Bug Boutique, our products, capabilities and so much more. We'd love to just have a store and let everyone come in and out as they liked to, one day we will get there, but for now this is the best we can do :)

Hope everyone is having a great 2012 and is looking forward to all the new developments, products and dreams for Baby-Bug Boutique this year. We are celebrating our 3rd year in business this coming March (first official year of only "working" Baby-Bug Boutique, as I started as a WAHM last March).

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Our first Giveaway ~ Michelle's Handmade Boutique

   Our first giveaway this year, is actually a giveaway we are hosting, instead of one of our products. Typically, we don't host giveaways, since our blog is mostly directed to our own business, thoughts, ideas and changes, but hey I couldn't resist helping one of my fellow WAHMs.

   With every sewing related WAHM business, we always find someone who makes something that another business does. Sometimes, this can be very frustrating for new businesses or even friends who open up businesses. We have been right there and sometimes not so great of words are exchanged between the owners, because usually it has been "one of those days," where it is just one more thing to add to the list of hurt in our lives.

   That being said, my outlook for this year, since I do know so many people who sew and for the most part, sew the "same things," was to highlight the products that are DIFFERENT between each business and where their strong points are. That is also why this year we are taking on some different products, changing styles and venturing into unknown territories so to speak. I encourage everyone as a buyer when you go to your local craft shows, browse online through etsy or ecrater, etc and you keep seeing "all the same things," go back through those favorite shops of yours for those items, but then also look through those stores and see what's new and different between each of them, you will be surprised at what you can find!

    Now the giveaway right?!

    We have been graciously accepted to host a giveaway for Michelle's Handmade Boutique. Michelle is a wonderful WAHM (of several children in all ages of life) and make terrific items! I have known Michelle now for roughly 4 years and have enjoyed watching her business grow, as well as, her children. I met Michelle through an online mom's forum, which unfortunately has closed now. Anyway, you can find a wide range of products available through her FB page and eCrater store. Michelle has also recently added personalization capabilities on her items.

    One of my favorite items that Michelle makes is her pillowcase dresses! Michelle has a wonderful talent for coordinating fabrics, adding trim and ribbon and making sure each dress is as perfect as can be. So no better item to have as a giveaway than one of her pillowcase dresses. For this giveaway, the pillowcase dress that was offered is a ACU fabric pillowcase dress. This dress is 2T in size. The best part of the pillowcase dresses, in my opinion anyway, is that even when they can no longer be worn as a dress by itself (be it weather, outgrown, etc), you can also pair them with leggings, pants or even a long sleeve shirt...and they still look cute! They grow with your little girl and because of her quality, they look just as great over the years.

   Isn't that an adorable dress?! Perfect for that princess of yours to wear when Daddy or Mommy comes home from a deployment, or even just to show your support of our troops!

   To be eligible for this giveaway, you must be a follower on our blog, like our FB page, and like Michelle's Handmade Boutique on FB too. Comment to this blog posting once those items are done with how much you'd love to be chosen for this giveaway item. We will choose the winner at random, using and numbers will be assigned 1 through (x) for each comment, one entry per person.

   Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend and we look forward to more fun and exciting giveaways in the future.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 and Inside View of Baby-Bug Boutique

Thank you to everyone who is following us into 2012! We have lots of new items, goals and products we can't wait to introduce for this year. As we change the face of Baby-Bug Boutique, continue to improve our quality of products and work on increasing our exposure we appreciate your support each step of the way.

Some have been with us since day 1, and other since only yesterday, but we love each of you just the same.

Since this is our first posting for the 2012 year, and hopefully I can stick to my blogging schedule better this year (fall craft show season swept me up and away very quickly this year, in addition to our embroidery machine being down since mid-December and well, it still isn't that for another day), I will be sharing 12 little facts about me that some of you may or may not know.

1. My favorite flower, well flowers in the world are spray roses and calla lillies. The first time Brian ever bought me flowers, it was during a motorcycle ride from a little flower shop off the lake (which has unfortunately closed), and they were a very beautiful light pink bunch of spray roses...they are still hanging from the ceiling, next to my side of the bed.

2. I have an obsession with buying fabric. My goal for this year was to use more fabric that I already have here than far I have on succeeded in buying more fabric because it is cute, it is soft, it is pretty, or I just feel compelled to buy it.

3. One of my all time favorite things to do is sing and dance around my kitchen (without scissors in my hands I promise). I am a music fanatic and even more so when it comes to musicals, showtunes and Disney movie songs (the kids have taking a liking to these lately so we've watched a lot of the all time classics and ofcourse newer ones too). Being in my church's choir has only enhanced the singing part, my radio is always on downstairs when a movie isn't playing.

4. My biggest, most desired dream is to own a store that I can live above. You know the cute little stores you see in downtown areas...yep that's what I want.

5. I love eating chocolate (who doesn't right?), I recently signed up as an Independent Chocolatier with Dove Chocolate Discoveries, which has in fact helped me not eat near as much chocolate, but has allowed me to eat better chocolate and learn more about how to make great desserts that are also healthy. We have a weight watchers point list, which I am not enrolled in that program, but I like knowing there are ways I can still enjoy these great products in a healthy amount.

6. For the first time in 6 years ~ I have finally washed our clothes in our own washign machine! We have been going to the laundry mat for two years. This past Christmas, Brian made sure we had a washing machine hooked up and functioning! I can't tell you how domestic and how excited it makes me feel at times! No more creepy men looking to see what underwear I have...hahahaha!

7. This coming fall I will be looking into adding "home-schooling" to my collection of hats and jobs. We have some concerns with Aubrey and the education she will potentially have in our local school system. She will stay enrolled in pre-K this year, but we are serisouly researching and looking into home-school for the remainder of her schooling.

8. Two things I can't seem to comprehend sewing wise ~ sewing in zippers and making clothing items. This year I will attempt to make Aubrey a Cherokee Cloth Dress to wear to the Pow Wows we attend, but I can't totally understand how to make clothing items...and zippers terrify me!

9. Make favorite thing to make right now is birth record blankets ~ I love creating a little keepsake for us moms out there, who want to preserve the memories of the day we brought our little ones into this to formulate a plan to keep them that little right? But seriously, I love being a part in recording that special day!

10. When I need to take a break from sewing I using pull out my charocoals or pencils and sketch a drawing. My favorite medium is charcoal, but sometimes it is just too messy to get into.

11. 90% of our items come from patterns that I have personally made...the remaining 10% are from patterns we have bought and then altered to my personal style. Sometimes we all need a little guide and a start for a new idea. We only purchase patterns that allow us to sell the items we've made from it and until we develope our own pattern credit is given to the owner of the purchased pattern.

12. I would love to get rid of my baby bump...yet sometimes I am very PROUD to have it. I have carried 5 babies, 3 of which are here to tell of it. I don't want my bump to grow I am proud to be a mother and if it shows, that is more than fine.

Here is our family picture from the summer of 2011 ~ I don't have many great pictures from the beginning of this year, but this is our "little" family of 5. My inspirations, my best partners in crime and best supporters. Our business would not exist if it wasn't for them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Playtime Learning Better Than the Tube

Growing up in my parents' house we didn't have a t.v. in our rooms or even upstairs, we had a family computer that was downstairs, we were only allowed a radio and we didn't even have a phone jack...I felt like I was getting left out, especially once I was in high school.

However, I did excellent in school, was always at or above my reading level and above most of the students in my classes. I enjoyed school actually and worked extremely hard to stay where I was grade was.

Once I had children I started looking into the Baby Einstein, Your Baby Can Read and so many others. Instead of buying the DVDs, we bought the books and music CDs. We bought children's movies and "educational" DVDs, but until my son was born, Aubrey didn't watch much of it. She would rather sit on mylap with a book (and still to this day), than sit and watch a movie. I started letting her watch PBS Kids and things of the sort because I was nursing my son and then our youngest daughter as well, so it was the easiest form of entertainment every few hours for about a half hour or so at best. Now there are shows we love on PBS and mostly for the music, but they are fun and informing as well.

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) came out with a study that says children under 2 shouldn't be exposed to the television, internet, mobile media, etc. It doesn't help their learning one bit. Now I agree with this ~ but I also see the benefits of a little television (like described above). But with that I fell parents shouldn't RELY on the television to teach their children letters, numbers, shapes, etc. Parents should be doing this. It helps create that parent-child bond and they learn BETTER with interaction than they ever will from repiticious TV shows.

We reinforce what they see on TV, taking them to the zoo, a petting zoo, showing them the vegetables in the grocery store and telling them what they are and their colors, counting the eggs in a carton, picking up leaves and telling them why they fall, showing them the things they see on TV are REAL and making a connection in their life with them. Letting the kids use my sthescope to listen to their heart beat and having them point on my face where my nose, ears and eyes are...this is parenting...this is learning.

I think TV shows can help a child's learning, but only when it is reinforced by the parents and is used cautiously. Just my personal opinion on this subject, but I can tell you Aubrey at 4 years old and in preschool already knew her colors, shapes, numbers, the entire alphabet and even some of the letter sounds without having to have them taught to her by the teacher. She even knows what her name looks like, but just can't write it yet. She didn't learn this from tv, flash cards or anything like that...just simply taking her places and turnign our daily activities into learning experiences.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique