For years, friends have been telling me how much they LOVE the bi-annual Just Between Friends Sale, or JBF Sale for short. They pack up all their used baby and kid stuff, drop it off to be sold over the weekend, AND gain early access to get the best deals on the things their kids need now. I've always thought about doing it, so this year I've finally taken the plunge.
Just Between Friends Sale
Kids need so much stuff, and they grow up fast. We're all left with piles of super-cute baby things in the end, and much of it still in near-perfect condition. So what do we do with it all? It's a question that faces all moms at some point. We might save it for younger siblings, donate it to younger cousins or friends with kids a little younger, but maybe you don't know anybody who needs it. Some of us just donate it to a good cause, while others would prefer to try to sell it. But where are you going to sell it and get a good enough price to make it worth your time? At garage sales, things go for pennies. Craig's list is better for bigger items. You really need somewhere you can reach a bunch of moms at once so the person who really loves what you have can find it, and you can get a better price.
That's exactly what Just Between Friends provides. It's an amazing opportunity to get all the moms and all our used stuff in one place, so you get to sell your stuff, and other moms get great deals on just what they're looking for!
There are a lot of ins and outs to making the whole process run smoothly, and I have to say the Just Between Friends crew have done a great job of listing tons of information on their website, plus adding some helpful videos on how to get your items ready. Even with all that, I would recommend either shopping the sale yourself first, or finding a trusted helper who's done this before. While I haven't even been to a sale yet, I did enlist a helper who's a seasoned JBFer! She helped me decide which items they would accept or not - apparently they're very picky (which means you'll only get good stuff when you shop there!). She also helped make sure I was prepared, like getting things like cardstock and safety pins in advance.
There are four sales in the Sacramento area, so you can shop in Sacramento this weekend to see how it all works, then get your things together to sell at the next upcoming sale. Here are the dates:
If you're not in Sacramento, don't worry! They've got JBF Sales all over the country. Just visit www.jbfsale.com to find a sale near you! Don't see anything in your area? Start one yourself - maybe this is just the right franchise opportunity you've been looking for.
Today is Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day, and I was invited to show our unique mis-matched pj's on the local Fox News affiliate in Sacramento. It was a lot of fun being in the newsroom and meeting the anchor, Rosemary Orozco. Check our our clip and let me know what you think!
Looking for something fun to do with your kids today? The Satin Button is sponsoring an exciting event taking place today at Art Beast Studio in Midtown Sacramento. If your kids love art and you love fashion, this is the place to be! Sessions will be held from 1 to 6 PM where your kids will create their own wearable art! Want to encourage your young artists but don't like the mess at home? Art Beast Studio is a place you can take kids for art classes or open studio time. They are a non-profit organization, with all proceeds benefitting the Tubman House. Tubman House is an inspirational program that transforms young, homeless parents and their kids into strong, self-sufficient families.
Retail Therapy has partnered with Art Beast Studio to bring in Los Angeles designer I Dream of Johnny to share his love of art with your kids. He'll have lots of fun with the kids while mom gets to shop! Retail Therapy is a traveling boutique for the whole family. They will have their inventory of designer clothes available at unbeatable discounts during the event.
Prizes will be raffled off during the day, including an Emily Green gift set from The Satin Button. Emily Green Imagination Mats are a great way to encourage your kids to be artistic all the time. One side of the mat features a colorful child's painting, while the other is a blank tableau for your little ones to create their own masterpieces. These interactive placemats are laminated for easy clean-up - use washable markers such as Emily Green's Doodle Sticks, or try them out with dry-erase markers. In conjunction with the Art Therapy event, we're offering 20% off all Emily Green products (we've got matching cups and plates, too!). Use coupon code "egreen" at checkout. Offer is good through next weekend - Sunday, March 7.
If you've never seen a Harmony Kingdom Box Figurine in person, you don't know what you're missing! When people pick them up for the first time, they often ask, "What's it made of?" At first glance, it may seem like a ceramic figurine. When you read that it's a box, you don't know what to think. Actually, these intricate pieces of art are cast out of a blend of crushed marble and resin, giving them a look and feel that resemble ivory, with a durability a bit less fragile than ceramic. The original design is carved by the artist, then used to create a mold. The crushed marble compound is poured into the mold and set, then the boxes are tinted and painted by hand. The result is a unique creation every time with incredible attention to detail.
"So how could that little carving be a box?," you may ask. Sometimes a lid is disguised so well you really can't tell where it is! Don't tip your piece over, though, because the lid will undoubtedly go tumbling to the ground! Still wondering where the lid is? Gently pull up on top and something will lift up - just be sure to hold the parts really carefully so nothing falls! When you look in your box, you'll discover secret carvings inside.
In the mid-1990's, Harmony Kingdom released a series called Lord Byron's Harmony Garden. Lord Byron is a ladybug who lives in the garden. Inside each plant or flower, you'll see Lord Byron going about his day. Later on, when the Harmony Ball Company decided to honor a new child's significant firsts, they decided Lord Byron would make a perfect dad! Since it's almost Valentine's Day, I chose to feature the First Valentine's Day box figurine, pictured above. Inside, Lord Byron sits with his wife and new child, watching an airplane streaming the message, "I love you." This series was named Byron's Bouquets. We also have the First Mother's Day Bouquet and the First Christmas Bouquet in still available. If you have a new baby in your family, consider our Baby's First series of boxed figurines to make the perfect new baby keepsake collection.
Many of our customers enjoy decorating for the holidays. Christmas has always been the biggest, but, when it's all over and put away, we're left feeling empty. Luckily, our designers feel the same way! They generally get their starts by creating unique Christmas decorations. As their creations become popular, they expand to include Halloween, the second biggest holiday for decorating. When we get really lucky, our favorite artist will create a new collection for every season of the year. Mark Roberts is one of those artists who doesn't just wait for another Christmas to roll around.
Our Mark Roberts Spring Fairies include all the holidays and seasons that fit after Christmas and before Harvest time. The first holiday to come around after New Year's Day is Valentine's Day. Mark Roberts brings us the Valentine Rose Fairy to put some love in the air. If you're not familiar with Mark Roberts Fairies, be careful! They're easily addicting, as many of our collectors would be sure to tell you. I had a customer call me on Friday who had recently purchased her first Mark Roberts Fairy - the Baby Shower Fairy. She loved it so much she called to tell me she couldn't wait to order more.
Mark Roberts Fairies were originally fashioned after Santa Claus, with delicate wings added to the back. As he's branched out to different seasons, Mark's maintained the 'Santa' look in his fairies. While they don't necessarily sport the big belly, the face and beard always resemble Santa Claus. And these are the best-dressed Santas you'll ever meet! In addition to the quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, one of the things that makes Mark Roberts Fairies so popular is their ability to rest in different poses. The fairies are wired inside, so you can bend the legs, arms and wings. You can make them climb on the banister, fly through the air, or sit on a shelf. Last year he added the Mark Roberts Fairy Stand to help them stand up a little better.
If you've never purchased a Mark Roberts Fairy, this may be a perfect time to try them out. We're featuring the Valentine Rose Fairy this week, and we've got Mark Roberts Patriotic Fairies for President's Day coming up. If you're already a collector, what's your favorite fairy? Share your comments below.
When we talk about Valentine's Day, we're usually thinking about our romantic Valentine. But what about all those other people who are special in our lives? Our love stretches way beyond our romantic interests - you may have a dear friend, a sister, a child or a grandchild you want to share your sentiments and best wishes with as well. At school, our children usually exchange Valentines with the entire class, and sometimes they want to do a little something extra for their teachers as well.
As parents, we can use Valentine's Day to set an example for our kids - to show our love and appreciation to all those who are significant in our lives. In our house, we don't make Valentine's Day something just for Mommy and Daddy. We follow a tradition my mom started when I was a kid, and share it with the whole family. We cook a nice dinner to enjoy at home, and the fun begins when the kids are allowed to go to the table. They know it'll be decorated with a Valentine's Day theme, and they'll find little hidden treasures around their seats. They might find their card under the placemat, and a small gift hidden in their cup or wrapped up in a napkin. We get so much more satisfaction out of making the day special for them than just thinking about ourselves. (Of course, Mommies and Daddies do need some time to themselves, so we usually try to go out on another night around Valentine's Day!)
It's easy for us to share Valentine's Day with our kids, but you probably have people you really care about who you won't see every day. Invite your kids to share in picking out a small gift to send to Grandma & Grandpa, or to get something special for their teachers. Our handmade gift pillows from Taylor and Coultas make long-lasting gifts, and the Crazy About You theme makes them a great choice for Valentine's Day. Whatever your tradition, make it a happy Valentine's Day!
Young moms often get so busy taking care of our kids that we're too tired or distracted to take care of our husbands. Maybe you've been married for a number of years, and you're just so used to each other you take each other for granted. Maybe you're a husband who's so stressed out at work, you come home exhausted and don't really show your wife how much you appreciate her. So many of us are guilty in one way or another of not making our partners feel as loved and appreciated as they really are.
Valentine's Day is a reminder, a wake-up call. It's not just a single day where we all-of-a-sudden express our love and then we're good for another year; it's more like a reset button. It helps bring our focus back where it should be - on our relationships that are the foundation of a loving home. It can help us kick the monotony of our daily routine, and pull our minds away from the latest stress.
We've talked about Valentine's Day gift ideas for moms and for dads, but this one can be for anyone. I've always loved the simple yet meaningful messages found in the pages our our Eat Your Peas gift book collection. Now they've created a new Eat Your Peas for Sweethearts gift book, and we got it in just in time for Valentine's Day. This adorable little book helps us express the sentiments we might not speak up about on our own. Instead of buying an expensive gift or going out to a fancy dinner this year, maybe the simple thoughts in the pages of this book are just the thing for you've been looking for.
When our first baby was born, my husband and I went back and forth over which diaper bag to get. Eight years ago, we didn't have nearly the options we have today, and it was difficult to find something we both liked. We eventually settled on an army-green backpack diaper bag. We were having a boy, and I wanted my husband to be able to carry the bag, so I was outnumbered by the y chromosomes.
In most families it doesn't work that way. Dad usually get stuck toting around some flowery thing that Mom picked out, and he does so obediently, even if it cramps his style. We spend so much time talking about what moms want, sometimes we forget about dads. This Valentine's Day, show him you care by surprising him with his very own daddy diaper bag!
The JJB Messenger bag has all the style and durability you've come to expect from Ju-Ju-Be, without the girly prints. Even the features are a bit more manly! In place of the mommy-pocket and photo holders, the JJB comes equipped with a pocket for his iPhone or Blackberry, as well as a row of pen holders. When baby's not using the bag, remove the center pocket and, voila, it's a nicely padded laptop bag!
New moms are really, really busy. We've got this tiny little life so totally and utterly dependent on us. The baby needs to be fed every couple of hours, then burped, then changed, then it all starts over again. You hardly get a minute to throw in a load of laundry (it's amazing how much a tiny person can generate!), much less clean the house, prepare a meal or take care of yourself.
When your baby goes to sleep, you think of the million things you should get done and try to cram them into that precious time before baby wakes up to be fed or changed again. The routine goes right on through the night, with short naps squeezed in between baby's feeding, burping, changing, soothing schedule. New moms never get enough sleep at night, but we often feel guilty sleeping during the day. We really need to give ourselves permission that it's OK to sleep when baby sleeps, even when it's light out.
Once we've gotten over the guilt, it's still not easy. How do you sleep when it's bright and sunny out?? I'm one of those people who can sleep any time, but many moms are not so lucky. Our lavender sleep mask is just the answer! Not only do these luxurious eye masks shut out the light, but the soothing lavender seeds help you relax when your mind or body may feel like racing. A soothing aromatherapy nap for a tired mom might be even better than a warm bath!
Did sleeping during the day work for you? Do you have other tips to help moms get their much-needed rest? Leave a comment below to share what worked for you!
How often do you stop to appreciate the people who really mean the most to you? For most of us, it's not enough. So many of us go through life taking care of day to day business, having fun when we get the chance, and taking the people around us for granted. One of the most important people in my life was my mom, and she's not here anymore for me to tell her how much she meant to me, how much I appreciated her. I'm sure I never truly expressed how much she meant to me while she was here with us.
Sometimes it's hard to put your feelings into words. Cheryl Karpen, author of our 'Eat Your Peas' giftbooks, has an incredible way with words. She expresses love, support and appreciation in a simple and elegant way. What I love about her books is that they aren't too mushy. Not like some of those card you see in the drugstore. The messages found in the pages of Eat Your Peas books are meaningful, yet simple and from the heart. Whether you're looking for a stocking stuffer or birthday present, or there's no special occasion at all.
When I learned I was pregnant for the first time, one of my close girlfriends gave me a little pair of baby socks. It was the first thing I owned that was so tiny, and I was in awe that I would soon have a little person who would fit into those little booties. You might think I'm a bit jaded by now, but I still love baby booties. There's just something about tiny newborn feet that is so adorable.
As babies get to be a couple of months old, they start to notice more of their environment, including toys and their little feet! That's when it gets fun, and our Rich Frog Booties are perfect for this stage. These little animal booties have a rattle in the toe to catch baby's attention. They also have parts such as ears, beaks or the lion's mane that offer all kinds of exploratory possibilities.
Not only are these guys lots of fun for baby, they're practical for mom as well. Rich Frog Booties have a gentle velcro closure around the ankle to help them stay on longer. (I won't say they'll never fall off, because I'm a mom, too, and it just happens!) Of course, they're easy to wash, too. You can just toss them in the washer with the rest of baby's laundry and they're ready to go!
If you've been decorating for the holidays, you've probably picked up a hammer once or twice. Whether you're hanging lights outside you house, suspending a Mark Roberts Fairy from above, or building a new platform for your Dept. 56 Villages. So why do all the tools look like they're made just for guys? Just because a girl can be handy doesn't mean she needs those masculine tools, right? But that doesn't mean we need little mini versions, either. You've seen the ones - so light you can barely hammer in a thumbtack!
I was excited when I found Cute Tools because they are hand-painted to add fun and a feminine touch, yet they're the real deal. Yep, that's a full heavy duty 8-ounce hammer - drop forged, perfectly balanced... You get the idea. If you've got a woman in your life who loves gardening, we've got a matching garden rake and trowel as well!
One more thing I should mention about Cute Tools is that they've teamed up with Art for a Cause. They work together on the manufacturing process of the tools to provide a teaching environment for kids with developmental disabilities to learn real-life skills. How cool is that?
It's hard to realize just how great these snack containers are. I'm a mom, so I know what it's like to carry around a bunch of little containers or plastic baggies with finger foods or other odds and ends. I've been through the messes when a bag has popped or a lid's come off, the panic when my kid gets into something he shouldn't, the frustration when I'm digging through the diaper bag for the right snack...
The Packin' SMART Snack Container is designed by moms - moms just like us who know what we go through! They're more than just a cute container. When they stack together, they lock in place, so they won't get scattered around your diaper bag. They're made to be easy for grown-ups to snap open, but are challenging for little hands that can't reach around both ends of the oval shape. With the lids locked firmly in place, you won't have any messes in your bag, and the solid construction won't let the contents get smashed. While these snack containers keep everything handily in one place, they can still be easily separated to let you toddler eat right out of the stacker - you don't need to carry around extra bowls.
The Packin' SMART comes in a stack of six containers, but you don't need to carry the whole thing around if you don't want to. All you need is the base and the top, and any number of containers in between you want to use that day. When you're done, toss all the pieces in the dish washer for tomorrow. You can even get an extra single container, which gives you two bases and two lids - essentially two snack stackers!
Do you ever give up looking for matching socks and just go with what you've got? Well, now you can! I just fell in love with this line when I found it - Little Miss Matched. C'mon girls, it doesn't always have to match. :-) Little Miss Matched has taken the concept of miss-matched socks to a whole new level. Socks are sold in sets of three, and, no, they don't match!
Of course, her socks were such a hit she had to expand. Socks, leg warmers, shoe laces. I've pictured her pajamas here because I always love getting a new pair of pj's for Christmas (hint, hint). Comfy cotton sets in a bag with Little Miss Matched's signature wild, zany style.
These wacky designs make great mother-daughter gifts, too! Everything is available in both women's and girls' sizes. I've got boys, so I don't get to do the mother-daughter thing, but if I did, I'd have some pics of us together in these for sure!
Have you ever heard a guy tell you, "Just take a chill pill, OK?" That can come across a bit harsh sometimes, but now you've got a perfect answer. "No problem. You watch the kids while I enjoy my Chill Pill." Whether or not you like the name (I thought it was cute), you're going to love the idea, especially during this stressful holiday season. In the end, they're right. We do need some time to just chill, don't we?
So, what is a Chill Pill? It's an effervescent bath ball that fizzes when you put it in the tub. All that fizzing releases some great stuff into your bath water. In addition to the soothing aromatherapy, you'll discover the amazing moisturizing and water-softeneing qualities of our Chill Pill Bath Balls.
Each gift set comes with four Chill Pill Bath Fizzies focussed on a certain theme. The picture here shows the box of Flowers, but my favorite is Fantasy in a Box. Fantasy comes with Chocolate Decadence (enjoy the aroma without taking in the calories), Dreams bath salt in a soft vanilla scent, Paradise with the scents of a tropical island, and Waterfall.
When I first opened The Satin Button and started shopping for baby gifts, I found a line I just fell in love with called Kaloo. This group was filled with pudgy teddy bears and fun toys in a soft yet colorful pallet.
What really caught my attention was the faces. As simple as they are, the little bears and bunnies just seemed to come alive. Some looked like they were playing while others were dozing off. When I learned these guys came from France, I was sold. I lived in Paris for a few months during college, so France is still a little part of me.
At the time, I was mother to a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old baby. My baby got to come shopping with me, so we picked things out together. One of our favorites was the Kaloo 123 Sofa Chair. We knew his older brother would love it too. We started out with the Bear, then later added the Cat. This is a child's beanbag chair where they get to sit in their animal friend's lap. The filling is soft and provides just the right amount of cushion. My youngest is almost five now and he still loves these guys. As a baby, he learned to climb on them, as a two-year-old he was proud to have his own seat to sit on. At four, he loves to lay down and use it as a pillow.
If you are looking for a truly unique gift for a baby or toddler, Kaloo style, quality and integrity cannot be beaten. Read more about Kaloo's commitment to impeccable quality and safety.
How often do you get to tell your kids that!? With these traditional Italian money pots, you're actually supposed to break them! That's right - there's no other way to get the money out. No rubber stopper on the bottom, no cheating. But that doesn't mean you're supposed to leave the money in there until you turn gray.
According to tradition, once you put your first coins in a Terramundi Money Pot, you're supposed to continue to fill it until it is full. Once full, it's not meant to sit around. It's time to break it open and collect your savings. It is customary to spend the money on 'good things' to bring good fortune. You'll even find a fortune card hidden inside your pot when you break it. Once opened, the pot is replaced with a new one to start the process over.
If you just can't bear to see this beautiful pot be destroyed, you can gently break it open by inserting a chisel in the money slot and prying off the top. This leaves you with the base of the decorated pot in tact. Use it as a flower pot, make a candle in it, store pens and pencils or other knick knacks.
I'm always looking for something unique and a little different than the standard gift. If you found me here, you're probably that type of gift-giver as well!
I'm not sure why all boys seem to love cars, but they just do. Automoblox wooden cars are my favorite toy to give when my boys have a birthday party to go to. They usually get a new one each Christmas to add to their own collection. It's a classic toy that transcends all ages, combined with a sleek look and modern technology. Tired of all the battery-operated toys with flashing lights and beeping noises? Leave all that behind and let your child's imagination run wild. (Of course, girls love these cars, too - I'm just usually in the market for boys.)
Automoblox are more than just wooden cars to roll around. Oh, they roll, alright. They'll roll fast and far. But they also come apart into pieces, can be assembled in different ways, and even have a shape sorting activity build in! The people inside come out of their seats, and only fit back in when each base matches the right hole - star, square, triangle, or diamond. The body of the car pops apart into sections, and they have connectors in between that can be switched out, allowing the car to be reassembled in a different fashion. These connectors also feature the shapes to match up. Of course, the roof pops up and the wheels come off as well. My son just gave the Automoblox S9-R Sports Sedan to his buddy for his 5th birthday. He described the car as, "a wooden Lego car." (There are some little parts, so you'll need to be careful around kids under 3 years.)
Automoblox cars are a perfect toy to collect and grow with over time. Once your child has two or three, the pieces can be interchanged and the possibities for unique creations grows exponentially.
Here in Northern California, we've had record-breaking frigid temperatures the past few days. Those of you who live in colder parts of the country are going to laugh at me when I say, "frigid." We hit 27 degrees last night. I know, it may not seem so bad to you, but around here, people just aren't used to this!
So, all this cold weather got me thinking about our Hot Hugs Dolls. These little guys may look like regular plush dolls in cute packaging, but there's a lot more to them! They've got a hidden velcro flap on their bellies that contains a re-heatable aromatherapy pouch. It's filled with natural wheat grain along with lavender and cammomile pure essential oils. You can warm the pouch up in the microwave, put it back inside your doll, then you've got a warm, soothing pal to snuggle with.
Women are always faced with the decision of where to put their purses. In a restaurant, I always like to have an extra seat next to me to set my things on, but that's a luxury I can't expect every day. On the table? It gets in the way, and may get food on it. Hanging over the back of my chair? Gosh, who's walking by back there? I feel a little uneasy if I can't keep my eye on it. On the floor? Yuck. That's not an option any of us really look forward to. Wouldn't it be easier if you always had the perfect place? Just reach inside your purse, pull out your little pouch and voila! Your own purse hook to hang it right off the table next to you!
If you're looking for a perfect holiday gift for the woman who has everything, if you need a special stocking stuffer, if you want a unique gift for your girlfriends, every woman needs a folding purse hanger to keep on hand!
Several of our manufacturers make regular donations to support Breast Cancer research each time certain products are purchased. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we will match our manufacturers' donations on these select products for the month of October.
Ju Ju Be, our premier diaper bag line, is a huge supporter of breast cancer research, donating a portion of the proceeds from every diaper bag sale to the Susan G. Komen Foundation throughout the year. For any Ju Ju Be Diaper Bag sales during the month of October, we will match their donation.
Mark Roberts, creator of our exquisite collectible Mark Roberts Fairies, lost his mother to breast cancer. He created the Spirit of Hope Fairy in her honor. He is donating 10% of the proceeds from this Fairy to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
To view all our products that support charities, visit our Shop for a Cause page.
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