Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kentucky, how I love thee...

We just got home from the ABC Kids Show, which is the largest babies/children's product trade show in the US. All the big boys are there - Boon, Graco, Ergo, Moby, Safety 1st, Sassy, Britax, the list goes on & on. So wonderful to meet with other company owners & creative types, see all the new products out there, & meet our retailers in person. We had a great show!

This year the show was in Louisville, Kentucky. Now many exhibitors were not happy about this. We, on the other hand, were very excited since neither Amy or I had ever been there. I mean, horses, bourbon & bluegrass, what's not to love? Here's some pics from our trip...
Street Art, Banksy style

Me & Amy with Sarah the Panda
Amy, Doc Crow's. Yum!

Hammerheads, amazing food.
 The people in Kentucky were so unbelievably nice. The type of niceness you can't be irritated at, but actually have to match with your own kindness. Contagious I tell you. It's a beautiful thing. The one thing we now know that Kentucky does not focus on is coffee. The coffee at the hotel & convention center could make my toes curl. Now, I'm an addict so I can tolerate A LOT when I need my fix. But even I threw this coffee out. Everything else, roses!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SWOOP, I love!

Sorry for the lame job posting. The office is in crazy town getting ready for the ABC Kids Show in Kentucky taking place later this week. We're very excited to have the RoSK booth there (#529 for those attending) & SUPER excited to be introducing our new Pouch carrier cover & new fall colors...we also have new pricing people:)

So I've got to get back to packing, BUT I met with this great Seattle mom/designer last week and I am IN LOVE with her product - SWOOP bags. Seriously crazy for the bright, rich colors Sarah has chosen and literally my girls put everything in them. Dress up clothes, stuffed animals, I hear they're great for logo's, & my personal favorite - the endless supply of library books! Stuff the bags full & cinch them up. Now I don't mind having the girls things in the living room...I actually prefer it:) Check 'em out. Another smart product from another smart mom.

Have some great products you love? Tell us, please.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Report: 15 Minutes Outside

The Book: 15 Minutes Outside, 365 ways to get out of the house and connect with your kids, by Rebecca P. Cohen  

The premise: A mom makes a New Year's resolution to get outside every day for 15 minutes with her two young boys. 

Things I liked:
  • The month-by-month format, and corresponding seasonal summaries are a great way to organize the 365 activities.  You can just skip to the pertinent season, without needing to read the whole book.
  • She left her corporate job to start a landscaping consulting business, and there are a number of activities in the book that incorporate gardening with kids according to the seasons. 
  • There is a good range of activities, from free stuff in your backyard , to small investments (magnifying glass or hula hoops) to activities in your area (find a marina, pick apples or pumpkins) to more involved options (make a birdhouse). 

Honestly, I could really only see myself doing 1 in 5 or so of the activities.  If my math is right, I guess that's still 73 actionable ideas so maybe I shouldn't complain!  My favorites were the gentle reminders to just do what you were going to do anyway, just outside.  For example, picnic or study outside in the fall or spring when it is nice weather, or have cocoa or play a game outside in the winter. 

Rebecca's website has a free download of 50 things you can do outside with your kids as well as a guide for starting an outdoor classroom (garden) at your child's school.

What will you do with 15 minutes outside with your kiddo today?


Thursday, September 8, 2011


Although you can't see me, I am actually doing a 'school's back in session' dance. Don't get me wrong, I love a good lazy summer of sleeping in, camping, & playing in the water. The reality is I own a small company so my summers aren't so lazy & although we had a great summer, I scrambled to squeeze time in between work hours so we can have some fun. Moving on to Fall!

How do the girls & I find time to appreciate the outdoors during the school week? Well we're lucky, my girls go to school about 5 blocks away from our house. We have a nice walk (or jog depending on how smoothly the morning went) which allows us time to breathe some fresh air, make observations about our surroundings & just enjoy moving around. We have a beautiful view of the Olympic Mountains on a clear day. That always leads to excellent conversation.

Anyone else doing the back-to-school dance? How do you incorporate the outdoors into school days? Really, I want to know.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where's My Space?

Well, I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful end of summer! I had meant to post an entry while away but between the late morning starts, activities to prepare for, & general  chaos, the days just flew by. We joined friends at their farm in Hood River, OR along with an ebb & flow of numerous other families.

Now 12 adults & 13 kids makes for crazy amounts of fun, but this type of stimulation can also drive my kids to go into a tail spin. When we go on extended holidays with groups we take extra measures to provide the girls with some Crazy Town coping skills. Here's the 3 ways we try to help them stay civil:

1. Provide a place to call their own. This may be a bedroom, or if the house is crowded we choose to stay in our tent. Whatever the space looks like we make sure it's off limits to others.
2. It's okay to take some quiet time. If they are feeling tired or grumpy we encourage them to say "I'm going to have a quiet time". Then they can retreat to their tent/room to read/play & get themselves together. This time does not include others & not a time to sneak 1 favorite friend away from the group. It's a solo act.
3. If you don't like the game, don't play it. When a large group of kids are all playing a game we encourage the girls to find a way participate (which is usually not a problem), but if the game is stressing them out they can quietly take a breather. This is not to be a way to manipulate the game in their favor. Just away to exit the game gracefully.

What did you do for Labor Day weekend? Anything super fun? Do you have ways to help your kids manage chaotic situations while on holiday?

School starts tomorrow! I'm SAVED!