29 March 2007

Copy Cat Kiddos

Mama’s who love the famed “fast fashion” house, Zara, will be thrilled to know that their little tots (both guys and dolls) can be just as fashionable with Zara’s children’s line now at the Dallas Galleria store. Cheap and chic, the Spanish-based Zara is known for their ability to produce merchandise quickly, and restocking according to each stores’ clientele preferences. No matter if you’re pairing a Zara tee with a Seven jeans for boys, or one of their dresses with a denim jacket from Gap Kids for girls, it’s the perfect addition to any closet - big or small.


28 March 2007

O, My!

Big news! Huge news in fact! The ladies from IntelliGender (I first mentioned this mom-founded company on Oct. 30 in my blog Boy or Girl?) have been wooed by none other than the queen of the talk-show circuit herself, Ms. Oprah Winfrey!

(I wrote about my experiences with the at-home gender detection test in our February issue, so, um, yeah, we scooped O … oh, yeah! Lol.)

One of the co-founders, Rebecca, contacted me earlier this month to let me know that she and her business partner, Teresa, were going to be filmed for a segment dubbed “Moms with the Next Big Idea.” A fantastic opportunity for the company and I am so thrilled for them, but in my tiny, little corner of the world, you know what the best part is? The ladies asked if they could have a “sample of my solution” to use during the taping to show how the test works. Odd request, I know … but for me, it was thrilling … this may be the closest I ever get to being on Oprah, lol.

Since my test on Halloween determined I was carrying a boy (and several sonos and another IntelliGender test have confirmed), the ladies also needed “girl solution.” The only girl mommy-to-be I could think of was the wife of one of my husband Chris’ coworkers (she’s due the same time I am).

Having only met Tonya once, I knew asking her for such an offbeat thing would be a stretch, but I wanted to give it a shot. In the nicest, most politically correct way I could (is that even possible when you’re asking a stranger for a sample of urine?), I e-mailed Tonya and explained my — ahem — needs.

She was a total trooper! By the next day Tonya had agreed (she must share my same affinity for Oprah — that or it makes a great story to tell). Our husband’s joked that their wives were going to have “famous pee pee” — boys, what can you say? =) And last Friday Rebecca and Teresa collected our donations.

Armed with the Aquafina bottle sample (that would be mine) and the Gatorade jug (Tonya’s), the IntelliGender chicas were set — well, sort of. Rebecca e-mailed on Saturday to let me know that they (thankfully) had the forethought to each take half of the samples … just in case (you know the whole flying with “liquids” thing). Turns out Rebecca’s set of samples were confiscated by security!

She wrote: “Teresa made it with both solutions safely tucked away and double bagged in her luggage. Boy, that was a learning experience. The security guys told me I couldn’t travel with a baby bottle of apple juice without the baby. I informed him it wasn’t apple juice. =) That created quite a bit of curiosity! I’m usually pretty persuasive, but I didn’t win that battle!”

The ladies made it to the Oprah taping and now it’s a waiting game … the “winners” of the Moms With the Next Big Idea won’t be announced until April 27.

Stay tuned!


27 March 2007

Sugar Rush

Here’s a great Easter event coming up in Richland Hills. The 5th Annual Special Bunnies Easter Egg Hunt will take place Sat., March 31 from 10 am-12 pm at Creek Trail Park (corner of Glenview and Airline Drives).

For the past few years, AT&T employees have hosted this event for special needs children and their families. There is sure to be an appearance by the Easter Bunny, face painting, and even an egg hunt with beeping eggs for the visually impaired. Call 817/690-3362 for further info.

On another sweet note, our office is buzzing about a new Dallas bakery. (It’s probably just a massive sugar high). Sprinkles, an import from Beverly Hills, is now open in Preston Center, and offers the sweetest, most adorable cupcakes. At yesterday’s low-key grand opening, lines were out the door and wrapped around the building for hours. I braved the crowds for two little cakes (I don’t mess around when it comes to my baked goods!), and it was worth every minute in line. Forty-five, to be exact.

A source in L.A. tells me the Beverly Hills location is just as busy…all the time, leading me to believe there is definitely a cupcake craze in Dallas’ future. Just don't eat too many.


Baby Loot I’m Loving

The final countdown to “Peanut’s Debut” is on and I can hardly stand it! But I have found one fun way to make the days fly by … bulking up on baby gear. There are so many great new items available on the web for tots so I thought I’d share a few of my favs.

The folks at Saracina Designs have created a wonderful line of onesies and tees that boast fun, kid-friendly designs with simple artwork and catchy phrases. I can’t wait to see Peanut in the one I nabbed: it has the word “dream” with a graphic of a boat beneath … aww, be still a mommy’s heart.

Like most of the women I know, I’m OBSESSED with Grey’s Anatomy, so when I saw a company, Doodle Doo Designs, that had the genius forethought to emblazon a onesie with the word “McCutie,” how could I not fall in love!

During my “infertile myrtle” phase, I received a sample of a pink pacifier with my name stamped on the front. I thought it was a cute idea (I could just imagine the accidental binky swapping at daycare) and took it as “a sign” of things to come. Well, look at me now, lol. I ordered three pacifiers from My Pacifier with Peanut’s name on them and am counting down the days until I get to put them to good use.

I remember my mom making pallets on the floor of the living room when my younger sister was a baby so she could wiggle around. Well, welcome to the 21st century. The Floor Nanny Floor Nanny is like the “pallets” of yesterday, but it has a great, sewn-in cushion all the way around to keep Baby from rolling out of his play space. Also, great for getting in some much-needed tummy time.

Like any gal, I love shoes and make those in “kid” size and well, I’m in shopper’s heaven. Two of the cutest collections I’ve seen are the design-your-own Preschoolians (I custom-ordered some Dallas Cowboy inspired kicks, per Daddy’s request, for next football season) and the rain boot selection from Vincent Shoes Vincent Shoes. Though Peanut will be wearing his Preschoolians way before his Vincent’s (preschoolians start at tike size and Vincent’s at toddler), I love knowing I have great foot gear waiting for my little guy.

See some other great baby items I should check out? Shoot me an e-mail at senior.editor@dallaschild.com.

Happy hunting!


22 March 2007

Celebs say the darndest things!

Just read on a celebrity blog that Brooke Shields gave an interesting interview to LIFE, which will hit the streets tomorrow, March 23rd. Here's a quote from the story:

"24/7 with the kids? I don't know how people do it. If my main job was just to be with the two of them, I would not be as effective. I would be short-tempered; I would be less appreciative. Some people just revel in it, and that's beautiful. I revel in a different way."

Thoughts from some "real life" mommies out there (the ones who don't have a private staff at their disposal)? Comment or email us.--shelley

16 March 2007

Another Mommy-2-Be Moment

I’m quickly learning that as my pregnancy progresses, so do my paranoid tendencies. I had another “peanut” scare this week that quickly found me in the waiting room, the examination room and the sonogram room of my doctor’s office. Just before I left for my appointment, I checked my e-mail and found this message waiting for me from my mom, soon-to-be “Mimi”:

“I prayed in my grandbaby room for health, safety and peace last night. I talked to “Peanut” like he was already in the baby bed. After that I felt at peace — walk on faith baby, walk on faith.”

After reading her encouraging words, I knew in my heart that everything was going to be OK.

And it was.


For A Good Time, Call....

Today, Community Partners of Dallas and Tenet Healthcare launched StoryLine, a local number kids can call to hear a story, anytime, from anywhere.

Initially, StoryLine was conceived as entertainment for children in protective custody. But why not open it to the public, they thought, and let anyone enjoy being read to?

Four different stories are available, and they are read by some local personalities like WFAA's Gary Cogill and Brenda Teele. I called in and heard a snippet of “Is This a House for Hermit Crab?” by Megan McDonald.

The line is especially cool for kids in the hospital (it's like having Reading Rainbow OnDemand!), but I imagine there are many times when this service might come in handy.

Enjoy: 214/446-2222


14 March 2007

Fashion's Day in the Park

Last week NorthPark held it’s very own version of “Fashion Week” in tents outside the infamous white building (FYI – Mr. Ray Nasher, the catalyst of NorthPark Center, had the shopping center built in all white brick because according to him, all great buildings are white, and he has a point), hosting dozens of fashion shows. I attended many of them, taking notes on Spring’s saucy styles and must haves. Look for my tips and notes on last week’s shows in the upcoming issues of DallasChild – for both mom and child.

As for my favorite show, it’s hard to beat Barney’s
Simon Doonan, Creative Director of Barney’s New York, and his hilarious commentary on the show’s looks and fashion overall. CH Carolina Herrera had great and easy looks for moms for work, or those days out with the girls. But I can’t not mention Vilebrequin (look for a mention in DC April’s new style section). No surprise that it was about 98% women in that show, and over half of them resorted to fanning themselves (the AC apparently was not working…), and I’ve never heard such loud cheering for models as I did for the little guys that walked the runway. They couldn’t have been more than 5 years old, but they stole the shows from their much older fellow models.

Keep your eyes open for more stories from the fashionable first for Dallas in the months to come!


12 March 2007

Save Dallas Water!

Back in January, we wanted to tell you about 10-year-old DISD student Helanna Padgitt-Clark. Helanna won a cartoon-drawing contest sponsored by Dallas Water Utilities in which she designed an ad to encourage Dallasites to conserve water.

If you're familiar with our little Instant Messenger section in the magazine, you'll know that it's a short feature where we list community events, charitable endeavors or special kudos. As sometimes happens though, we had to cut our shout-out to Helanna at the last minute, due to space issues.

Since then, though, DWU has made an animated commercial based on Helanna's design. It will air on local and cable TV in April as part of DWU's 2007 "Save Dallas Water" campaign.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, a special preview, featuring the work of Helanna Padgitt-Clark.

Good job, Helanna!


09 March 2007

Monday, Bloody Monday

Monday, March 19 marks the four-year anniversary of the Iraq war. It's a somber anniversary to be sure, but the Dallas Peace Center is planning something poignant and supportive to mark this passage of (too much) time. The center will host a "Blood For Oil" blood drive from 11 am to 2 pm at 4301 Bryan Street in Dallas.

Donations will go to the Dallas Veterans Administraion Hospital, and donors will be given a quart of oil (and probably a cookie, for nourishment). It's a very pointed message, but a very positive gesture. Just think: war is costly, but the gift of blood is free, and you can't argue with that.

On a sweeter note, you can also show support for U.S. soldiers the Girl Scout way...with cookies! If you think you need a cookie after giving blood, just imagine how satisfying a box of Thin Mints will be to a guy driving a tank through Baghdad all day. Give a box or a case at Troop To Troop.com, a project sponsored by the North Central and East Texas Girl Scouts.

Have a great weekend!


06 March 2007

A Rasberry Worth Reading About

I just spent the afternoon chatting with a woman who gets paid to chat for a living … except this time she was on the receiving end of the interview. I met with Kellie Rasberry, the sassy, sarcastic, South Carolina native who wakes up the metroplex each day as co-host of the radio show Kidd Kraddick in the Morning.

Along with an entorage of players (our art director, a photographer, the photog’s assistant and Kellie’s nanny) prepping for a photo shoot, I sat down with the new mom (her daughter Emma Kelly is 4 months old) to discuss the highs (and lows) of single parenthood for the April edition of the Mom Next Door. Disarmingly honest, Kellie dished on everything from her battle with infertility to her infamous divorce to what it’s truly like to be a mom whose life is shared on-air (and online) with millions of fans.

This is a mommy profile you won’t want to miss.


p.s. Just before Emma Kelly gave in to the demands of heavy eyelids and a late afternoon nap, she graciously allowed Mom and me to get one quick group shot; pictured above.

05 March 2007

I Heart Harry's

It is no lie that girls love their ice cream. One of my favorite late night treats is Wild About Harry’s frozen custard, and after dinner (but before our favorite 9 o’clock show starts), Liz and I will make a Harry’s run to get our sweet fix for the evening. Their frozen custard is undeniably delicious to all ages (and lower fat than real ice cream!!!).

Now Harry is doing more than just making sweets (and his award-winning hot dogs). From now until March 17, you can vote on a new flavor to be added to Harry’s already extensive flavor repertoire, will all proceeds of the new flavor going to the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children right here in Dallas.

You can vote one of three ways: dropping by Wild About Harry’s store on Knox, calling them, or emailing them your pick for the new flavor. One thing’s for sure, you’ll heart Harry’s too after you try one of his frozen custard creations (my favorite is the coffee with Reese’s peanut butter cups on top)!

Wild About Harry’s
3113 Knox St. (Knox & US 75), Dallas 75205


PS - that's Harry standing next to their signature hot dog.

04 March 2007

So Long, Nashville (Day Four)

Last night was the PPA awards banquet and just before we were seated, I caught something out of the corner of my eye … it was a BABY BUMP!

But it wasn’t mine.

Since I’m in awe of women who actually look preggers, I made Shelley introduce us. I was dying to know how far along the mommy-to-be was. Turns out, this rounded woman’s due date was one day before mine (what are the chances)! We chatted about being exhausted, our ability to slip into a decent pair of heels (at least for a few hours anyway) and being the only water-drinking ladies in a room full of wine and whiskey. She was too sweet (wish my pregnancy brain would allow me to recall her name, uugghh) and it was nice to mix and mingle with a like-minded chica, if only for a minute.

During the awards dinner (we had mushy steak, instead of the highly anticipated rubber chicken) I found myself seated at a table with ANOTHER pregnant woman … the final day of the conference and “we” (baby-bearing babes) were coming out of the woodworks, lol.

While finding a couple of other women who were sharing my woes (my feet are still swollen from all the traipsing around) was a treat, I have to say the highlight of the evening was that DallasChild took home a whopping 12 awards and Shelley and I had some great laughs along the way.

Now back in Big D (I just woke from a nice 3-hour nap … I’m not proud, lol), I’m beginning to unpack and reflect on my first business trip. While I learned a lot that I plan to take back to the office, the most important lessons weren’t the ones being doled out in hotel seminar rooms, they were the ones I learned from a fantastic mom I met along the way.

Thank you, Shelley, for sharing your parenting advice, your wisdom, your spirit and your friendship. Because of you I feel more prepared and more confident to step into the greatest role of my life: Mom.


03 March 2007

"I'm With Preggers" (Nashville, Day Three)

I feel like I should be wearing a shirt that announces Tessa's delicate condition. Even though she is like 28 weeks pregnant, she is barely showing (go ahead, other mommies, insert bad word). Of course she makes sure she reminds me constantly that she is expecting ... i.e. she always gets the good end seat, while I, err, gracefully, take the middle seat. We walk slow everywhere (sort of) - lest she'll start muttering something about "braxton hicks." She can't get too hot or we'll both be fanning her. (Could the Nashville Frist Center for the Visual Arts please turn up the a/c?) She refuses to accompany me to a Nashville "honky tonk" ("the smoke bothers me") and all dining must have chocolate, Pee-can pie (she IS from Abilene, people) or French fries as menu options. And, for those hormonal moments, the only answer I can give is "yes," when she looks at me forlornly and asks if we can buy the cheesy $12.99 picture of us in front of the Grand Ole Opry (that's a work expense, right?).

But, I adore her. The trip would be a total bummer without her. Work conferences are great for a lot of things ... you get a break from the routine, you meet your colleagues from around the country who totally get your everyday dilemmas, you learn something new and meet some pretty innovative thinkers who make you want to run back to the office and re-do EVERYTHING (or just get a new desk calendar), you eat and drink WAY too much (unless your Tessa - relax Chris!) and you spend 80 percent of the time wishing you could just sleep more. But, best of all, you get to bond with your co-worker(s) and share a bottle of aerosol hairspray - well, we ARE Texas chicks - back and forth between two floors on the hotel, as well as cultivate a friendship the extends beyond the office corridors. And that, my friends, is worth the rubber chicken we're about to consume tonight.

Awards will be announced tonight and we'll try to post.

Happy Saturday --shelley

02 March 2007

Nashville, Day Two

It's day two in Nashville and I have to say that Shelley and I are learning quite a bit - like how to dodge the homeless gentlemen hanging out downtown who have a tendency to yell at you as you pass by. How to jaywalk successfully while narrowly missing being hit by a speeding bus and how to avoid getting locked into a staring contest with the odd passerby peering into the Hooter's restaurant window (What can I say, we had a hankering for wings and the dining options downtown are minimal at best). But all this hub bub aside, we are getting great info about how to better our publications ... but I'll keep those fun tidbits under wraps for now. =)

Shelley and I rubbed elbows with magazine hobnobbers from across the state last night at a reception and even befriended three Bostonians and one mild-mannered New Hampshirite (all of which, including Shelley, chastized me, lovingly of course, for my West Texas accent). Noshing on steak and a desert tray to die for, Shelley and I were shocked to learn that Boston, unlike Dallas, doesn't support breastfeeding. (Our mouths dropped!) Maybe we should paper their city with our extensive collection of "breast is best" articles. =)

It's about 15 minutes until we have to catch the shuttle for our evening activities (a Carrie Underwood concert at the Grand Old Opry, baby!), can't wait to see what new secrets and insider tips we uncover. (Let's hope the peeping tom doesn't reveal too much, lol!)


p.s. The photo is us dining out last night with the Boston and New Hampshire crew.

01 March 2007

Nashville, Live!

It's Thursday afternoon and Shelley, our editorial director, and I are in Nashville, TN for the annual Parenting Publications of America (PPA) conference. In fact, I'm blogging LIVE right now (in front of a room full of other magazine gurus, can you say "pressure," LOL) as part of a demonstration for a presentation Shelley's giving on what else, The Top 9 Reasons to Blog.

We'll be blogging throughout the weekend in Nashville, so be sure to check back with us and check often!


Clean Up Your Act

Spring-cleaning is in full swing, and we at DallasChild know how to do it right. For the last 3-4 weeks, we’ve had new carpet installed; attempted and subsequently botched a paint job (we’re writers, not painters!); corrected the damage with a professional paint job; and trashed years-worth of old magazines, papers and general junk. Our “new” digs are a lot calmer, definitely a lot cleaner, and free from clutter. Well, all except for Lauren’s desk and mine.

The Plano Area Mothers of Multiples have the same idea. They will hold their annual spring garage sale March 24, from 8am to noon at Fairview Farms in Plano.

Admission is $1, and inside promises to be full of children’s clothes, toys and accessories. Visit PAMOM's website for a map and details. Hey, everyone needs to clean house, and everyone loves a good find!

In other news, Shelley and Tessa arrived in Nashville today for the annual Parenting Publications of America convention. They'll be blogging live from the convention to let us all know what's new in the parenting publishing industry (and all the awards they've scooped up!) Don't worry, Lauren and I are holding down the editorial fort until they return :)