Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Is How I Roll

Is it extreme to say I love my stroller?  I mean, I know that material possessions shouldn't define our lives, but I don't know what I'd do without this stroller.  The benefit of living in the beautiful , temperate city of Santa Monica is that everything is in walking distance and the weather is usually perfect for walking.  I don't have a car of my own, which is probably a good thing- I couldn't imagine driving the 405 with my children in the car- so I walk a lot.  Having a double stroller was a must!  

There are so many brands out there that first I had to decide between the tandem (inline) or the side by side strollers.  Tandems just weren't for me- way too long and I feel like one kid gets jipped on their view. Next came function.  The stroller had to be comfortable for a toddler and safe for a newborn.  I needed a car seat attachment (preferably one that wasn't an extra $80 on top of the stroller price).  I had to have a big storage basket so that I could tote all the diapers, wipes, toys and changes of clothing along with my purse and sometimes groceries.  It also had to be easy for me to push as well as my husband.  There is about a foot difference in our heights, so an adjustable handle was key.  The most neccessary thing for me though- it fits through standard doors- I really can go anywhere with this stroller!!! 

And then came fashion.  OK, I felt a little vain wanting a "pretty" stroller- but if you read my post All Wrapped Up you will see my need for my world to be aesthetically pleasing.  Basically, all my choices were big, clunky, ugly strollers that would just be a joke to maneuver through town or sleek, futuristic NASA moon unit type strollers- so not me!  After months and months of searching (I found out I was pregnant @ 5 weeks, so I pretty much had a full 9 months to figure this out) I found my now most prized possession:

The canopies zip open in the back to pivot even further forward.  Asher loves this because he can reach his little arms out and give mommy high fives and hold my hand- such a lover.  I love it because no matter which angle the sun comes at us, the canopy can be moved to block the sun.  There are also large pockets on the back of the canopies that I can put my wallet and phone in for easy accessibility.  If I need more room in the storage basket I can put diaper bag stuff in the pockets as well- diapers, wipes and a change of clothes for both boys will fit.  If the seats are not fully reclined I can stuff a sweatshirt or jacket under the hood too. 

Gavan loves his stroller because he gets a front row seat to all of the action.  He can comfortably sleep when he's away from home.  He likes the padded lap and shoulder straps and the padded head rest.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Home Town Tourists

 I'm back- I promise.  I took a small, unintentional break from blogging due to life interfering with my new and most favorite hobby.  We had colds that lingered (I spent over 2 weeks covered in snot) and I've been busy getting back on track at work. So, if you can forgive me, please read on and look for updates!

The Santa Monica Pier

You never think to stop and do the things the tourists do when you're in your own home town.  I would never go out to Hollywood just to check out the Walk of Fame or photograph the Hollywood sign.  But, I love going to the Santa Monica Pier!  It's definitely on the tourist list of things to do.  The weekend is crazy out there!  I like to go mid-week and off season.  We recently went and rode the vintage 1922 Carousel.  It is so beautiful and the boys enjoy the ride.  It costs $1 for adults to ride and because of their ages the boys ride free. I think it's under 12 is $0.50.  It's a great deal compared to the $5 Ferris Wheel price we've paid.

They have a great arcade for older kids and $0.50 rides for the younger kids on the north and south sides of the arcade.  Asher likes the race car and Tonka Truck the best, but for about $3 we kept him entertained and happy.  Definitely don't eat on the pier- over priced pre-made frozen burger patty kind of fare! Not my thing!  Instead, check out Big Deans at the base of the pier.  Great burgers!  Secret tip- if you're a fan of grilled onions they'll gladly do it.  So yummy with their secret sauce.

Asher picked out a new hat last time we were there.  The child has eagle eyes.  All of a sudden he starting saying "Lightning McQueen Hat" my aunt and I looked at each other like "what"?  Sure enough, on one of the vending carts was a Lightning McQueen* hat, which we bought him- have you seen his face?  We're suckers!!

We had a great lazy afternoon in the sunshine and sea air.  It's a calming adventure close to home.  The kids have fun, the atmosphere is pretty stress free and we didn't spend a lot of money.  All in all, I enjoyed being a tourist in my own town!

*(for anyone who doesn't know= Lightning McQueen is a race car and main character in Disney's Cars movie.  If you haven't seen it- do!  We love Paul Newman as Doc Hudson and Asher quotes the tow truck named Mater- voiced by Larry the Cable Guy)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Helping out the Me and Three Challenge

Always willing to help friends and family out- please check out the email below and take the 'Me and Three' networking challenge.
much love- B

Michael Madden here. My company was just awarded a
$5000 small business grant by Intuit for my true
story on networking and its importance in business.
My entry was one of 50 finalists selected out of
over 2000 entries, so I'm pleased they saw value for
small business owners in what was submitted.
As a finalist, I have decided to ‘practice what I
preach' and network with those whom I know - and may
not know - to earn ratings for my grand prize
submission, which is a $25,000 small business grant.
I have named this my "Me and Three" networking
challenge, which is to ask the receiver of this
email (me) to evaluate and rate my networking
submission, and pass this same email along to 
 or family members to do the same.
With your cooperation, I believe small and large
businesses will benefit by discovering the power of
tapping into their own networks network.
If you are willing to take part in this networking
challenge, here is all you'll need to do, which will
take less than 2 minutes:
Click this link:
You will then see a video of my networking story to
watch, or you can scroll down and read it if you're
in a hurry.
To the right the video, you will see the words "Rate
this video" with little buttons next to the words
‘Inspiring' Useful' ‘Funny'. You can click all 3 of
those, which serve as rating points.
You will then be taken to a screen to sign in to
your Intuit account. If you don't have one, you will
see the box that says: 
New? Create Account...which
will ask for your e-mail address, 
to prevent against
voter fraud.
NOTE:Intuit will allow you to unsubscribe
immediately after casting your vote, and they 
 spam you or sell your email.
If you would like, you can then leave a comment
under the video, or simply click submit. It's that
painless and quick.
After that, please forward this e-mail to three
friends or family members
, and include a little note
at the top asking for their participation, much like
you received from the sender of this e-mail.
I will be writing a case study on this challenge
when voting has concluded May 29th. If you would be
interested in receiving a report, please send me an
e-mail to the following:
Thank you, in advance, for taking time out of your
busy day and participating in my "Me and Three"
Networking challenge.
All the best,

Friday, May 1, 2009