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We are so excited to share that Jody, our Virtual Baby Shower winner, has received and opened her gifts… and she loves them!

Read on for the latest update from this glowing mama-to-be (due in July)!

“Hello Pinks and Blues Ladies!!!

As I said in my previous email, I am overjoyed with all of the gifts I have received!!! I knew I would be getting some awesome prizes but what I got exceeded my wildest dreams!! Seriously, when when family, friends and coworkers ask what I received I almost cannot put it into words as it is all so amazing!!!

As I already mentioned I received all of the goodies on Tuesday, May 13 but had to wait until my friend Heidi returned home from a business trip on Thursday to open everything since she made this all possible.

We had such a good time opening everything. Jeremy got a kick out of the Nipple Nurture cream. He really likes his Dad Gear bag. He mentioned it would be great to use for fishing as well but I told him to dream on. I am attaching a photo of Jeremy with his Dad Gear bag.

Charlie loved the purple tutu from Miss Priss Tutus (perhaps we need to enroll him in dance), the animal ABC book from Barefoot Books and “his own t-shirt” from Baby Candy. He thought it was so cool that he got one and so does the baby.

I loved everything!! The Toro stroller (from Tots On-the-Go and euro-baby) is to die for!! It is so smooth and I can’t wait to use it with the new baby. I immediately had to order the infant carrier attachment, as this is the only stroller I want to use. It is then compatible with my Graco infant seat!! I really like the neutral tan color too.

Some friends have asked me what my favorite thing is and I have a hard time picking. I have had a great time going through all of it and showing it to loved ones. My in-laws
are coming tomorrow for show and tell. My Aunties are all coming in a week to see everything as they do not live close by. I love showing friends and family all of the loot and telling them about the company who gave it to me. It is truly incredible!!

I mean all of the pampering products for me and baby, the blankets, onesies and t-shirts for baby and even one for me, the diaper cakes, the great note cards, the diaper changing pads, the unique baby items, the baby book and photo book, the burp cloths, bibs, nesting pillow, custom wall art, cookbook, sassy flip flops for me, a Strollometer, baby shoes, delivery bag, baby announcements, all of the gift certificates, etc. and the STROLLER….all of these items are awesome!!!

I am full of gratitude to every vendor who was gracious to donate these items to our family. I want to thank each one of them from the bottom of my heart. You have made my day, my week, my month and my year more than you will every know.

I feel very blessed by all of these gifts. My mom said, “I just have to smile when I think of all of the gifts, Pinks & Blues for making this shower possible and the giving companies who participated by “showering” Jody.” I have to believe that Adeline is looking down at us smiling knowing some joy is being restored in our lives. I think she knew the Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower was exactly what I needed as a positive distraction during my high risk pregnancy to take my mind off of it all for a little while and bring more joy into our lives.

It is hard to comprehend that Adeline would be turning one on June 19 if she was still with us and not in heaven with our Heavenly Father. I know that day will be difficult but we will celebrate her short life and the memories she left us in the 20 hours she was with us. I hope she feels the intense love we have for her and how much we miss her every day.

I have to say the three of you out did yourselves. I mean the individual tags on every item (too cute) and the care you took in packing/wrapping everything, it must have taken you forever!! Heidi and I had to laugh as we were on box three before we found the master list of all the prizes. I was trying to keep the tags with every item so I would not mix anything up when Heidi and I decided we better write it all down as well for thank you purposes. So Heidi began to write it down and then we found the awesome list you all prepared and we said screw the list, Jane, Sharon and Audrey are on top of this!!! I was very impressed. Thanks for taking the time to do that. The three of you are smart cookies. 🙂 (a lot smarter than Heidi and I since we did not realize the boxes were numbered) Audrey and Sharon, thank you for the book too.

Audrey, I can’t wait to hear the news of Henry’s arrival in just a few weeks. I have 7 weeks to go before we meet this little one or should I say big one as I have big babies! I have to tell you that the name Henry is on our boy name list too, as I think I mentioned to you earlier that was the runner up name when we had Charlie. We are more set which names for a girl but are struggling with a boy name which probably means we will have a boy without a name for a few days!!

Here are some photos from our “shower” that I thought I would share with you. Heidi and I are both kicking ourselves that we did not get one of her and I together that night.

Again, THANK YOU for everything from the bottom of my heart. I am truly in awe of the three of you!

Much love,
Jody”


Jody poses with a gift from Heidi at 787 Baby, who nominated Jody for the Virtual Baby Shower!

Once again, a HUGE thank you to all the companies who sponsored the Virtual Baby Shower! You are amazing!

2 chix
787 Baby
ABCakes
aden + anais
AirCrib
Apples’n’Oranges
Baby Candy
Baby Cha-Cha Boutique
Bambina Ballerina
Barefoot Books
Be So Beautiful Baby
Bella B Bodycare
b.glam baby
Blessed Nest
BlueZoo Boutique
BruzWear
BurpCatcher
The Cubbyhole
Czela Bellies CesareanWear
DadGear
Deadly Girl Couture
Diaper Cakewalk
Doodlebug Prints
Dr. Moz
Emily Allyn
Essere Organics
euro-baby
For Your Bug-A-Boo
Hanes
H A P P Y B A B Y
Happy Panda Baby
The Hole Thing
Hot Moms Club
ll Cocco di Mamma
In The Pink Designs
Jaime Zollars
Kidoinfo
Ladybugs and Lilypads
Liliputians NYC
Little Stork
Mabel’s Labels
Made by Angie
Made for Mommy
Mama Rose’s Naturals
Miss Priss Tutus
My Miracle Baby
Natural Pod
Olive Kids
“The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler”
Pixie Dust Décor
Posh Peacock
The Queen Bee Paper Company
Queenie by Design
Rag & Bone
Resa Design
Robeez
Rock Star Moms
Secure2Me Blanket
Sherri Blum Designs
Skimbaco
SnappyBaby
Sofia Bean
Stacie Dale Designs
Strollometer
Sunflower Hill
Susan Brown’s Baby
Tatutina
Tiptoe Bows
Tots On-the-Go
Violet Gumdrop
Welcome Baby

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I hate to admit this, but if something happened to the files on my computer, either through the hands of a hacker or through a computer virus, it would be a tragedy.

Yes, I’m that dependent on it.

But even people who use their PCs on a much more recreational level (read: are not borderline obsessive) need protection, too. Protection for their family photos, their documents… and, of course, for people who purchase things online, protection of their identities.

Luckily for all of us, there is Norton 360 Version 2.0 all-in-one security by Symantec.

This new version provides automated, comprehensive protection for your PC, your online activities and your important information in a single, easy to use solution.

Here are some of the awesome features:

* Defends your PC against a broad range of threats
* Safeguards against online identity theft
* Protects important files from loss
* Keeps your PC tuned up for peak performance
* Provides a hassle-free user experience
* Protects against the latest online threats
* One-click access to expert support right from your Norton 360 product
* 1 year protection for up to 3 PCs

In layman’s terms, Norton 360 Version 2.0 is peace of mind in a box. Peace of mind that is pretty darn simple to install (that’s an important part for me!).

And with all the things stored on our computers, peace of mind + simplicity when it comes to protection = fabulous in my book.

In the interest in full disclosure, this review item is courtesy of Mom Central. (Bloggers can sign up here to participate in product testing/writing reviews for Mom Central!)

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I have a bone to pick with this guy:

You know him, he’s the Dyson Vacuum inventor. Sir James Dyson, to be exact.

But I like to call him Sir D, because it makes him sound like a rapper, and that’s cool.

Not so cool? Sir D has led me astray in my domestic duties.

I first started to hear a lot of good things about the Dyson about 4 years ago, right around the time I got engaged and was starting to think about my our wedding registry.

I’ll admit that I was wooed by the hoopla surrounding the whole “no bag” thing. I would always forget to replace the bag of my old vacuum, and by the time I remembered, it just wasn’t a good scene.

Besides that, I would always forget to buy new vacuum bags (things like food and other basic human necessities were at the top of my shopping list, shockingly) so if I actually did remember to change it, I would be out of luck (well, more so my dirty rugs than me, I guess).

In the commercials, Sir D would say that sure, the current vacuum models were great and all, but (and this was the important thing) they had ONE design flaw – they lost suction.

But because of his innovation – the bagless vacuum – all would now be right in the world.

Plus, he had a British accent, which automatically meant he knew what he was talking about. And that Sir title didn’t hurt his credibility. (I’m easily impressed like that.)

So, pretty much convinced that Sir D had solved the world’s big puzzle – and already addicted to registering for just about anything and everything at Target – I put the Dyson on my our registry.

I mean, he had solved THE vacuum design flaw, right?

And I we did receive the Dyson as a shower gift, thanks to my mother-in-law. I was all gung-ho about using it at first, and I was pleased with how it worked, although carrying that heavy sucker up and down the stairs was no easy task.

However, with two big dogs, which equaled big time shedding, which equaled increased amount of vacuuming, I started to notice that it just wasn’t living up to its suctioning promises when it came to the dog hair.

Lo and behold, around that same time, they released a Dyson specifically created for use on pet hair. Unwilling to shell out $500 for a new vacuum when I we had just received one, I sucked it up (as it were) and only cursed Sir D internally for not coming out with the pet hair model before I we registered for our wedding.

But hey, if they already mastered that ONE design flaw, I thought, why would they even need a whole ‘nother vacuum just for pet hair?

Just sayin’.

OK, so a few years have gone by now and I’ve been mildly happy with my Dyson.

My husband and I did have to send it back to Dyson once because it wasn’t picking anything up… when it came back, it worked better for a few weeks, and then went to being so-so. Which was better than picking up nothing, but not great.

Honestly, though, it was too much of a hassle to get people back on the phone and have to send it back/wait for its return again.

I had just kind of resigned myself to the fact that it seemed everyone else loved their Dyson but me. But what could I do? Sir D had made THE FLAWLESS vacuum!

So imagine my surprise when I heard Sir D’s voice from my television the other day, talking about how for hundreds of years, vacuum cleaners have had, “ONE fundamental design flaw.”

Old news! I thought.

But nooooo! He was talking about a NEW fundamental design flaw… the fixed axle that only allows vacuums to go in a straight line. So he has now created the Dyson Ball vacuum, which operates with one big ball – no wheels – allowing the vacuum to “pivot on the spot.”

He compares it to a computer mouse, which has a ball on the bottom so it can easily travel anywhere.

OK, I get that. But the absolute kicker in this commercial is when he says this line: “I mean, you wouldn’t make a computer mouse with wheels, would you?”

Of course I wouldn’t, Sir D. That would be silly!

But YOU DID make a vacuum with wheels. Remember that one!? The one that was supposed to be the be-all-end-all of vacuums.

I mean, I understand that things evolve and the need for new things comes about… but I remember in one of his original commercials, he said that he had gone through about 5,000 vacuum prototypes before he finally cracked the code in creating the perfect cyclone for his bagless vacuum.

Never once during those 5,000 failures did his team think, “Hey! Maybe there isn’t just ONE design flaw to be working on?”

I mean, going through 5,000 prototypes must have taken awhile.

I’m just thinking that maybe a light bulb could have gone off in someone’s head a little sooner.

OK, end rant. Consider bone picked.

Thanks for listening. I’m off to vacuum some dog hair.

– Jane

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In two days I’m heading down to New Jersey for Johnson & Johnson’s Camp Baby.

Kind of wishing J&J had decided to plop down their headquarters somewhere with weather more akin to, oh I don’t know, Bermuda… but I suppose New Brunswick, NJ will do.

I’m most excited about meeting some of the Mommy bloggers I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know through the written word over the past year or so.

(Oh yes, dinnah at the swanky restaurant, The Frog and the Peach, and having a wine social with Ted Allen from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Top Chef” will be pretty cool, too.)

Now, I’m not going to even get into the whole PR/marketing fiasco that has erupted around Camp Baby here in the blogosphere. (Although, if one would like to read up on it, a simple Google search of – “camp baby” j&j – will do the trick.)

My whole cause for concern is this: I’m going to Camp Baby with a bunch of Mommy bloggers. And yet… I’m not a Mom.

So, this is what went down. When “we” at Pinks & Blues were invited to Camp Baby, we really were under the impression that “we” would all be going – Mom (a mom to 4, grandmother to 7, soon-to-be 9), Audrey (a mom to 3, soon-to-be 4) and me (my doggies are my babies, but I know that most people don’t consider them “kids”… for the record, though, I do.)

In fact, the original email we received regarding Camp Baby was addressed to the “Pinks & Blues Ladies” at our general P&B email address. But by the time we realized that each of us would need to be sent a separate email invite in order to register, and the invites were sent to Mom and Audrey, the event was full (we also didn’t realize that there was such a limited number of spaces).

And so it’s up to me, the married-but-childless one to represent Pinks & Blues at Camp Baby.

But before you brand me with a “C” for “Childless” a la Hester Prynne, I will tell you that I am about as close to being a Mom as someone who is not a Mom can get (follow that?).

Recently, my girl Melanie at SavvyAuntie introduced me to a word that sums me up perfectly.

I am a PANK.

Got that? I’m a Professional Auntie – No Kids.

I spend a lot of time with my 9 (soon-to-be 11) nieces and nephews. I am very, very close to them. And since I work with Audrey at Pinks & Blues (office space is currently Mom’s house), I am even lucky enough to see her three boys – my nephews – every day.

That means that every day I get to hug and kiss and tickle and chase my little nephews. I sit on the couch and read with them. I build towers and bridges out of blocks with them. I build wooden tracks and play trains with them. I make snacks for them. I hold them after their naps. I kiss their boo boos. I teach them how to be gentle with my doggies. I change their diapers. I color with them.

They know my “look” – the one that all parents have – the one that says, “Oh no you didn’t” or, better yet, “Oh no you don’t.”

As a PANK, you know what it’s like to find yourself in CVS with baby vomit down your sleeve, only to realize it’s there when you’re in line with 10 people behind you.

And let me tell you, as a PANK, you totally feel a sense of protection for your little ones. You don’t want them to ever know any sadness, hurt or pain.

When your sister points out the bully in your nephew’s preschool class, you suddenly find yourself giving some random 4-year-old the evil eye. (Or so I’ve heard. Oh no, I’ve never done anything like this. Never…)

As a PANK, you understand what your parents meant when they said, “No matter what, nothing can ever take away the amount of love I have for you.”

My nieces and nephews can be upset at me for telling them, “No.” They can glare at me, turn their backs to me, tell me they’re mad at me. Nothing will ever change the love I have in my heart for them.

As for when I’ll have two-legged kiddos of my own, I’m really not sure (Mom just loves that answer, by the way). Steve and I are still fairly newly married (just over 3 years) and between my doggies, my role as a PANK and building my business, I feel like my plate is already pretty full.

Of course, there’s always room for a little more, and when the time is right, I think we’ll know.

Luckily, I am literally surrounded by mama-to-be, mama, baby and kid products every day here at Pinks & Blues. So I know I’ll be prepared when the time comes.

So although at Camp Baby I won’t be able to contribute to the conversations about up-in-the-night feedings, child-induced lack of sleep, or when to wean a breastfeeding baby, I know I will be able to hold my own when it comes to gushing about “our” little ones.

Between being a PANK and a doggy mama, there’s always something for me to gush about.

I just hope I don’t stick out too much with my Scarlet Letter.

– Jane

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Are you familiar with the Shining Stars friends from RUSS?

William absolutely loves his Shining Stars Snowy Owl (or as he says, “All-wol”)!

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What’s cool about the Shining Stars friends is that when you buy one you can register and name a star with the International Star Registry.

I know that I named my own star back in the day (I think a boyfriend bought it for me as a birthday gift!), and now William has his own star, too.

I want to get Alex and Benjamin (and Henry, when he arrives!) their own Shining Stars friends, and I just learned that RUSS came out with Shining Stars Easter Friends. So cute. There’s a Lamb, Chick, Dark Brown Bunny, and Light Brown Bunny. Check out the adorable lamb:

sstars-easter-lambsmall.jpg

Kids can go to www.shiningstars.com and play games, chat, and donate their ‘glow points’, the official currency of the site, to the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation to help seriously ill children and their families.

It’s a really great thing!

– Audrey

*By the way, this is not a sponsored post!*

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The Phil&Teds Vibes have hit water and we can release their pictures! How cool are they!?

Remember, you have ten more days to enter to be among the FIRST to stroll your baby in the NEW Phil&Teds Vibe, courtesy of
Tots on-the-go!

And the winner will get to choose between either the red or the black Phil&Teds Vibe!

Decisions, decisions!

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ENTER TO WIN HERE!

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Our Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower is up and running!

We have had a ton of women enter themselves or enter someone special to them.

All of the stories have been wonderful. Some are very inspiring. Some are so fun to read. Some bring so much emotion.

It’s been very exciting getting such a great response.

But… we KNOW there are more pregnant mamas out there!!

Enter yourself.

Nominate your sister. Best friend. Cousin. Co-worker.

As long as you or your nominee is pregnant and due this spring/summer… send us your story.

The outreach from vendors has been amazing!! To name some vendors who will be participating in the Virtual Baby ShowerSkimbaco Boutique, The Hole Thing Sweater, 787 Baby, Air Crib, Posh Peacock, Made By Angie, Bambina Ballerina, Strollometer, Tots On The Go… and more!

So come on over! And don’t forget… we will narrow it down to 10 women, and then YOU get to vote on the winner!!!!!

So start your email chains and get yourself and others, well… showered!

– Audrey
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