Tuesday, August 31, 2010

step up in style

When Katie O'Neil, president of KT Steppers, began customizing the perfect place for your little to step up in the world -- we don't think she realized what a business it would become. So, we sat down with her and got all the details behind KT Steppers.

What influenced KT Steppers?  
I began Kt Steppers 2years ago. Friends and family  were all having babies at the same time, so,  baby shower, birth, and Baptism gifts were in high demand and unique and personal ones especially. I had received a step stool from my sister in law and that ‘lightbulb’ went off.

I had been looking for a product or idea to create and build a company around and just having my second son and with a toddler, I realized so many functions for a simple, yet practical product for all households with kids. This was my ‘must-have’ product. Plus making it personalized and custom makes our steppers so much more than just a step stool.

My sister in law needed gift for her best friend, so I offered up a Kt Stepper and they were a hit from then on.

When you began your company did you ever realize the celebrity praise and love you would get?  
Not at all. It really never entered my mind until a year or so ago and was figuring out how to promote and market outside of my east coast network on a small budget.  So, reached out to some celeb mom icons to promote too and so far we have been well received and loved.  It has been a great honor and promotion for us.

What has been the hardest part of running your own business or so to say, your biggest challenge?  
My biggest challenge right now is figuring out how to ‘give up’ some responsibilities.  As an owner and proud ‘Master of Multitasking’ I need to really delegate and look for economical and useful ways to pass on some ‘jobs’.   It’s probably the hardest thing I am facing now, because this is my third baby and I do EVERYthing myself…. I know it’s more of a control thing, but I have realized if I want to continue on with the success path, I am going to need help and trust others I bring on with me.

Do you find it hard to balance your work and family being a WAHM?  
Of course.  I’m still trying to find that balance.  Moms struggle with the desire to be a ‘stay at home mom’ or hold a successful career and whichever path they choose, there is always some ‘mom guilt’.  The hardest job I’ve ever had is being a mom and my most favorite. My first priority will always be my family. 

What advice can you give to other MOMpreneurs? 
Believe in yourself and your product.

Is there a motto or mantra you live by?
I have two: "It's impossible to fail, as long as you never quit" and Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly.

When Katie sent us one of her uber-cute step stools we immediately realized why it was such a unique & special item to have in your home. KT Steppers also makes the perfect baby shower or birthday gift -- even Christmas too. These days it is hard to find that special something for little ones and this fills that void - it is special, thoughtful and best of all customized! What little doesn't love seeing their name as they step-up to brush their teeth or help you cook. It is the perfect little stepper (not to mention just the right size!) & everyone should get one or give one! 

Make sure you check out the newest stepper ($59) -- the Kidskreate line is perfect for kids to be "kreative" and design their own stepper for any room in the house. Write & erase!

{connect} with all things Katie

Monday, August 30, 2010

meet our latest {sprinkles} contributing writer!

Lisa LOVES fashion, shoes and jewelry.  And has an addiction to magazines!  Reading them is a must to keep her updated on the latest fashion fashion trends!  Knowing "what's in" and "what's out" is a must!

Looking back to when she was a kid, she can remember a time when her parent's used to dress her in tube socks, sandals and shorts! eeekkk!  A total fashion FAUX PAS! Since leaving NJ and moving to Louisiana, sadly her need for trendy dressing has diminished.  No longer does she have that 9-5 job where she can flex her fashionable instincts, but the PASSION is still there.  

These days you can find her at home, taking care of her daughter and working part-time job at a local church as a childcare provider.  Lisa is an amateur photographer, baker, writer and CONSTANT creator!  This creativeness is what brought out her entrepreneurial instincts and led her to start her company, Lehla Shop in 2009.

The need to create and constantly challenge herself arises daily, therefore Lehla Shop is constantly evolving.  
She is currently in the process of finishing up her first children's book and hopes to one day see it on bookstore shelves.  The urge to write is what led Lisa to start her blogs, creating outlets to share her thoughts, likes and dislikes!

She is married to Mark, her soulmate and hero.  And together they created the most amazing little girl, their daughter Gianna.  

Lisa is following new dreams and working hard to make them happen!

Friday, August 27, 2010

CRAZY 8 Helps Save the Music PLUS another giveaway!

Crazy 8, the newest brand to Gymboree is saving the music by donating $30,000 in support of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation! We are glad to see such a great brand helping the community! 

Crazy 8 will make a donation of $30,000 to support the Foundation and its work to ensure that no child be deprived of the opportunity to participate in instrumental music education programs.

The brand kicked off the back-to-school shopping season with their exciting online sweepstakes in celebration of music education for all students. On July 27th, the brand began promoting the chance to win one of 8 prize packages that includes a $1,000 back-to-school gift card, plus a kid’s electric Squier® by Fender® guitar and a rocker accessories kit valued at over $300 dollars. But hurry -- the sweepstakes end this Sunday, August 29th. 

This October, the Crazy 8 partnership will culminate with an in school instrument delivery event and check presentation in Nashville, TN. Since 1999, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has worked with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools to benefit students. To date, the Foundation has granted more than $950,000 worth of new musical instruments to 36 schools in Nashville.  Crazy 8’s donation of $30,000 will maximize the VH1 Save The Music Foundation’s  effort to restore instrumental music education programs in public schools.  
“We are so pleased to partner with Crazy 8. It is important for people to recognize the central role music education has in a student’s life and thanks to the generosity of Gymboree and the Crazy 8 brand we are one step closer to ensuring that no child goes without music education,” says Paul Cothran, Executive Director of the VH1’S Save The Music Foundation.  

To enter the sweepstakes please visit: http://www.crazy8.com/rocknsweeps and for more information about the foundation, visit: www.vh1savethemusic.com. 

While you help Save the Music & enter the Crazy 8 sweepstakes - Crazy 8 has given us a giveaway of our own to help with your back-to-school shopping with a $30 gift card! Ready to get shopping? Read on for more details and to enter now! 

current littles obsession -- snuggle bug kidz custom back-pack plus a giveaway!

When we go back-to-school shopping we are always looking for a back-pack that you won't see on someone else because well, we all like to be different.  This year, we set out to find one HANDmade and not so generic - our first stop Etsy! When Melena, the wonderful designer from Snuggle Bug Kidz told me she could do a custom back-pack we were beyond excited. Needless to say our littles are too! Knowing they are going back-to-school with something their very own, guaranteed not to be seen on someone else. We just adore the the flowers on the backpack with swarovski crystal centers, the NEW Snuggle Bug Kidz logo on the side & the crystal trim around the front pocket & down the "arm hole" sides -- it is all about the glam details we love! 

Lucky for you - we are giving ONE lucky reader their chance to win one -- the LAST one in the Snuggle Bug Kidz shopping - it is being held just for you! Read on to enter & for all the details on how to make it yours! 

And also -- you can win $50 to Snuggle Bug Kidz when you buy anything from August 27th through September 4th for their 100th Sale Celebration. They have tons of great new things for Fall! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

who doesn't love a sale plus a giveaway?

Everyone LOVES a sale so we were thrilled to find out about Gymboree's latest Fill-A-Bag Sale!  What's so great about it? The Fill-A-Bag Sale offers customers 30% off "everything you can fit in a Gymboree bag." Yep. That's right - everything! 

We suggest grabbing a Gymboree re-usable tote bag and get stuffing!  This is a great chance to stock up on all our holiday dressy, and holiday casual items just in time for celebrating the holidays. You receive 30% off everything you can fit in the bag! 

So, what are you waiting for -- mark your calenders for September 1st when the sale hits stores. In the meantime, let us help you get started! Gymboree is offering one of our readers a $50 gift card to get your shopping started!

Who can resist uber-cute outfits like these?

Keep reading to enter to win a $50 Gift Card from Gymboree to start your shopping off!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

we adore noodle & boo

There are many reasons why we love Noodle & Boo. Maybe it is the oh so chic packaging that we don't even want to open because it is just so classic & cute. The whole line is just brilliant for your littles skin from Play Day Sunscreen to Bouncing Baby Bubbles, we promise you will need to stock up.

We just love adding some fun to bath time with their Bouncing Baby Bubbles ($14/8oz.). For one, the bubble bath does not have harsh bubbling agents like other formulas so it is uber-gentle on the little buns. It is carefully formulated to minimize the risk of allergic reaction and perfect for babies over the age of six months. Your little babe will have extra soft & smooth skin with it's light moisturizers. It is also Dermatologist and Pediatrician tested.

Whatever you decide to grab from Noodle & Boo you won't be disappointed and it will soon be the one & only skin-care for your child.

Where can you find it? Get shopping now online or visit Neiman Marcus or Nordstrom!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bethenny Frankel -- Life as a Mom

Last time we spoke with Bethenny she was only a few months pregnant, had a new book out and just finished filming season 3 of RHONY. Since then, she has gotten married, written a third book, released Body by Bethenny, had a baby and a new show.  We all feel in love with Bethenny Frankel and her so sweet family all over again on Bethenny Getting Married. She is a true inspiration  - not just as a biz woman but as a super-momma. Bethenny does it at all as a wife, business maven, writer and now you can add super-mom to the top of her list.  

We really enjoyed Bethenny Getting Married? -- can we expect to see a second reality show focusing on your life as a mom or a return to The Real Housewives? We have are hopes set! 

I have to believe that there will be a second season. Tv shows are about supply and demand. BGM is a huge success, so if the viewers want it, they will get it.

From watching your new show, we can see that you are serious a pro a multi-tasking. How has your life changed since your welcomed Bryn?

Even though my schedule is crazed, I as a person have softened and slowed down. Bryn makes everything around me so quiet and simple. This is true love.

What challenges have you faced managing it all? 

I am painfully punctual and being on time is really challenging. This makes me crazy. I also have difficulty managing the equal distribution of love amongst Jason,Bryn and Cookie(dabooboo).

We know with kids you feel like your carrying everything. (I have 3 girls and feel like I carry everything plus the kitchen sink) What are your essentials when leaving the house with Bryn?

Omg the shlep factor is huge! Bottles, wipes, diapers, A&D ointment, a hat and a blanket are some of the basics.

You have a super-chic style and always so put together. Who is your favorite designer? What is your go-to outfit?  

I'm always in pajamas, but if I'm at a tv appearance or segment I wear Alice and Olivia, Michael Kors, Zac Posen. Truthfully, labels don't matter. Whatever fits well and is a bright color.

I am sure you have plans to make Bryn's baby food -- do you have any recipes in mind? Are you excited for the step? 

I'm excited to puree bright fruits and vegetables: peaches, butternut squash, peas. This will be the next best thing to breast feeding which is so rewarding. Only the best for Bryn.

As if you don't have enough going on....what is up next for you?

I'm really knee deep in my book "A Place of Yes" which will give women the rules to getting everything they want. It is what got me here.

While we wait for another season of The Real Housewives of New York or Bethenny Getting Married you can stay-up-to date with Bethenny on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Whirly Girlz puts the oomph & flair in TUTU!

A few months ago we came across some super cute tutus and just couldn't wait to share! Whirly Girlz tutus is all about giving your tutu some oomph & flair! You can also custom make you own tutu that fits your little ones needs. We absolutely adore the Wild at Heart Tutu. The quality of the tulle and ribbon is perfection. They also make great birthday presents for that special someone!

Team colors, custom tutus - whatever you want, Whirly Girlz has it!
Check the out {here}

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back-to-School in STYLE

By Shasta Moszulski, Contributing Writer

Finding back to school clothes and supplies at great prices can very tricky and time consumming.  I know from my own shopping experiences as a mother of three, that the entire BTS shopping experience can be not only overwhelming, but exhausting.  Many of you are also trying to get your shopping done, so I thought that I would show you all of the great stuff that I found on Target.com, many of the items are available in stores too.  Target has great stuff, for all age groups.   Not only did I find great stuff for my kids, (and all of their school supplies) I also found fantastic stuff for myself and my husband!  Take a look below to see just what we found - whether it is a boy or girl, tween or pre-schooler - even in uniform - you can get it all covered at Target. 

Read on to get all the details on our back to school finds below. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

currently obsessed with....

The Olivia headband by CurlyBirdie!

For only $9 you can put your little one in her very first HANDmade accessory! The sweet crochet flowers are just perfect to wear for any season. We just can't get enough of theses crocheted headbands. 
Grab one today because CurlyBirdie will be taking a break on Etsy until October! Hurry up - its the Fall must-have for your little fashionista.

Friday, August 13, 2010

what?! summer is almost over?

As you can see some of us are very ready for school and most likely its us mommas who are ready to get back into the swing of things. Yes, can you believe it. The end of August will be here before we know it and all of our littles will be headed back to school.The ever so long back-to-school lists are arriving, clothes shopping has begun so let the chaos begin! Have a little one starting pre-school? Well, we have the perfect Ivy League meets Rocker Chic look that will just totally rock the class. 


Want the look? You got it! We mixed it up - from Walmart to Gymboree - its the perfect back-to-school look for your preschooler. 

Sequin Shoes ($8), Walmart. Girls Rule Knee Socks ($6), Gymboree.com, Coloring Wallet ($14) Bits & Pieces, Etc on Etsy. Dante Beatrix Backpack ($42), Oompa. Plaid Bow Headband ($7), Gymborre.com. Patchwork Belt Jean Skirt (onsale for $20), Gymboree.com. Plaid Blazer (Special Offer for $25), Gymboree.com. Silver Sequin Peace Tank ($28), Cutie & Patootie. 

Stay tuned for the rest of our back-to-school guides and must-have class act attire! And also for our feature on a great Etsy shop, Bits & Pieces, Etc along with Cutie and Patootie for your chance to win something for your little!  


Thursday, August 12, 2010

current momma obsession -- the wiggyroll -- giving away one too!

By Jenny Ford, Contributing Writer 

So I don’t have a lot of time anymore.  This mama’s kid is on the MOVE.  No time for installing things, plugging things in, backing things up, brushing my hair (oops, I let that one slip).  When I am trying to do these things my little guy is climbing all over me (Mama Mountain, I call myself) or getting into something else – so I instantly throw anything aside that has instructions.  When the WiggyRoll arrived, I seriously thought, Ohhh Mmmm Geeee, I am going to have to find the time to “install” this too – ugh!  Not so fast…as Oscar was climbing all over me and his car seat I decided to grab the new WiggyRoll and try it on for size. 

So simple I could’ve installed it while I had twins, or triplets even, crawling all over me.  And enough about the installation of the WiggyRoll, can I tell you that it’s so super soft that I kinda (secretly) want one for my car seat?  Even though we received the roll during one of the hottest days of the summer I know everyone will be looking for the perfect car seat blanket coming up in a few short months.  And one of my thoughts is - it’s not going to fall off at the most inopportune time as your crossing a giant puddle during those blustery months of winter.  Check out my little guy with it on…He looks so snuggly.

Ingenious design actually stays put on your kiddos car seat.  Some kids like to chuck things from their car seat (not mine, he’s perfect).

Built in storage – the WiggyRoll simply rolls right up and contains itself.  Ah, no last minute running through the house wondering where a clean blanket is.

The WiggyRoll is made of 100% anti-pill fleece.  Folks, they didn’t skimp on this fabric. It’s soft and it’s nice and thick, something I totally want in an outdoor blanket.

The blanket is cut precisely to a car seats measurements, which keeps it from hanging over the sides.  You can just tuck your little dumpling in and away you go.

I would totally go get one NOW before the fall and winter months creep up on you!  Or know someone with a baby due in the winter months, this would be a great gift for them too (I wish I had one when O was born last December, brrr.).

PS – they’ve got the cutest little matching hats too!

So, lucky for you, The WiggyRoll wants to share our current obsession with one of you! Just tell us which color WiggyRoll you need for the cold months! This comment is mandatory! And as always you must be a follower of cupcakeMAG and sprinkles. 

For extra entries, please leave a separate comment for each entry letting us know. The more you comment the better chance you have to WIN!

1. Follow cupcakeMAG on Twitter
2. Make sure you "LIKE" us on our NEW Facebook page.
3. Make sure you "LIKE" The Wiggy Roll on Facebook.

4. Subscribe to our updates (top right corner above) - just sign up with your email!
5.VOTE for us on Top Mommy Blogs here -- just select "click to vote" -- you don't have to register - just a simple click.

6. Tweet about this giveaway and include @cupcakemag -- you must tweet, not just follow. Also, make sure you tell us YOUR twitter name.

7. Write a blog post about this giveaway on your blog and send us the link.

The winner will be selected by random.org on Wed, August 18th after 11pm. Please make sure you live us your email in one of the comments as well! 

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