Tuesday, 14 October 2014

5 Ways to Use the Joovy Foocot

On your parenting journey, you’ll discover some pieces of gear are way overrated and some, you truly couldn’t live without.

Since I get the opportunity to review many manufacturer-supplied products at no cost, like the Joovy Foocot, I truly get to see some great products that I would have never known about, as well as some doozies that make me question how they got to market at all.

For our family, the Joovy Foocot has been one of those accidental discoveries that, like a carpet cleaner when you have a sick kid, you may not realize you need it, but once you do, you’ll never want to go without.

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In our family, we have many uses for the Joovy Foocot, but these are our 5 favorite.

The Joovy Foocot easily becomes:

  1. The Sick Bed. Once of my children suffers from febrile seizures, so whenever he is sick, I want him close by. With the Joovy Foocot in two seconds, he has a separate, safe sleep space that is close enough for me to monitor him, but far enough apart so that he doesn’t overheat and we can still all sleep comfortably. Since a fitted crib mattress protector pad fits it perfectly, we put that on for added comfort and protection, should  a middle of the night mess occur.
  1. The Guest Bed. When my niece and nephew are visiting, no problem! With more kids than we have beds, the Joovy Foocot comes to the rescue. With a small footprint, it sets up  easily in one of the kids rooms and everyone is happy to be together.
  1. The Vacation Bed. When we take our annual trip to New Hampshire with our family friends, the youngest non-crib sleeping child gets to sleep at the foot of their parents bed in the Joovy Foocot. We couldn’t fit two extra twin mattress on the floor, as there wouldn’t be room, but with the Joovy Foocot, my family of four can bunk in one room easily and comfortably.
  1. The Travel Bed. Grandparents tend to think bed sharing with a toddler or preschooler will be fine; until they’ve experienced it firsthand and ended up with a foot in the stomach at 2 am. The Joovy Foocot is so easy to set up and is lightweight so grandma  can give junior his own safe and separate sleep space right next to hers in a flash.
  1. The Camping Bed. While we haven’t made it out of the backyard yet, during our practice runs at home, the kids have loved being off the floor of the tent and up on the Joovy Foocot. The comfortable and familiar sleep space makes tackling the outdoors a little easier for our little ones, and as a result, everyone gets a better rest.

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The Joovy Foocot supports children up to 48 inches and 75 pounds.  For the price of renting a rolling cot for your hotel room during  a vacation, you can have a Joovy Foocot on hand to use anytime, anywhere.

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Michelle LaRowe is a mom, award-winning nanny, parenting author and executive director of

Morningside Nannies, a Houston based nanny referral agency, and editor in chief of eNannysource.com.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Check out this Hip ‘Thirty Mommy’ a.k.a Joovy Mom & Blogger

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We are continuing our series {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} featuring Joovy Moms and Joovy Bloggers.  This month, we are featuring Scherrie from the cool mom blog, Thirty Mommy.  Read on to learn about Scherriewho has been a Joovy Mom for about three years and be sure to check out Thirty Mommy!

Joovy: To begin, how did you get started blogging?  What was the overriding reason you started blogging?
TM:     I started blogging after I had my first son in 2009. I basically
started because I attended a number if prenatal & new parent events where
I was overloaded with lots of great information & introduced to lots of
amazing brands/products. Friends, family and even
strangers would constantly ask me about new products or for
suggestions so I decided up start a blog.

Joovy: How did you come to name your blog?  What significance does this have in your life?
TM: I came up with the name, Thirtymommy, for my blog because I became a mother at 30 years old.

Joovy: How does your blog differ from others?
TM: My blog differs from others because I focus on educational family
friendly events, activities & products  home preschooling as well as the
whole parenting lifestyle.

Joovy:  How do you balance parenting and blogging?  Is there a secret?
TM:   I attempt to balance parenting & blogging by creating calendars with
goals & deadlines in order to keep up with the demands of my blog. Also,
as a stay at home mother, it is important to set aside a block of time to
get “work” done. The secret is to also make time for yourself to relax & recharge.

Joovy:  What is your current computer?
TM:  I am currently using a PINK Sony Vaio as my laptop & my iPad for
blogging.

Joovy:  When you’re not blogging, where do you escape to on the web?
TM:  I escape on Twitter, I love attending & hosting twitter parties!

Joovy:  What’s been your most popular post or topic?
TM:  My most popular topic is usually my home preschooling projects &
activities I create for my boys.

Joovy: How do you involve your kids and family in your blog?
TM:   My blog is all about my kids & family, so they are almost always the
subjects of my posts.

Joovy:  What kind of camera do you use?
TM:  Currently, I solely use the camera on my Nokia 1020 or my iPad. I am
searching for a professional camera and am open to reccomendations.

Joovy:  How do you like to spend active time with your family?  What is your favorite family outing?
TM: I like to spend active time with my family exploring the various New
York City museums. We love a good educational adventure and usually we all learn a few new things from each outing.

Joovy:  What’s the coolest parenting tip you’ve learned from blogging?
TM:  The coolest parenting tip I’ve learned from blogging is that there is
always someone else dealing with a similar parenting dilemma as I am & I
am not alone.

Joovy:  Tell us about your ‘perfect’ day?
TM:    My one reflect day would be spent on a beach searching for seashells, building sand castles with my boys after we gave buried daddy in the sand.

Joovy:  What 5 blogs do you read daily?
TM:  Daily I check out Momtrends, So Family Online, a Brooklyn Active Mama,


Joovy: So, you’re a Joovy Blogger, right?  What’s your favorite thing about
Joovy? 
TM: I love everything about Joovy & Joovy products especially their
whimsical names that sort of show each products personality!

Joovy: Anything else you want to share about you or your blog?
TM: Through blogging, I learned that my oldest son loves cooking & I
created him his own blog called Playground Chefs where he creates his own
recipes & reviews food related products.

-Scherrie, Thirty Mommy

http://www.thirtymommy.com
http://www.twitter.com/thirtymommy
http://www.facebook.com/thirtymommy
http://www.pinterest.com/thirtymommy

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

10 Ways Motherhood Has Changed Me

This guest post is brought to you by Jenny Schafer, senior editor of HerScoop and Celebrity Baby Scoop!  Jenny is mom of 3 and well, please read on and see if you can relate even slightly to the way motherhood has changed her!

Since welcoming my first child in 2006, it seems I’ve morphed nicely into mommyhood.

I’m not one of those moms that talks about my children non-stop — not that my three kids (aged 3, 5 & 8) aren’t the cutest and most special humans on the planet!

But there is no question that my life has taken on new meaning – and I’ve developed some strange new habits – since becoming a mother.

So let’s take a look at the top 10 ways motherhood has changed me.

10. I am always at the grocery store.

The amount of milk I have purchased in the past eight years is alarming — I should’ve bought shares in our local dairy farm. Not only that, it’s pretty bad when you are always at the supermarket and know the employees by their first name, according to their specific departments. (By the way, what’s with all the hot guys working in the produce section?) Seriously though, sometimes just blasting the tunes while driving to the grocery store – sans kids – is the highlight of my week.

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9. I drink copious amounts of coffee (errr, and wine).

I fancy myself a bit of a “mombie” these days. Sadly, the rigors of motherhood cause many of us to de-stress with copious amounts of caffeine during the day, followed by an evening glass of vino. Is this really healthy, amidst our kale smoothies and high-protein diets, fellow mombies?

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MORE: Do Moms Drink Too Much? Are We A Culture Of Mombies?

8. I’d rather get a good night’s sleep than stay out late.

Lord knows I love my GNOs, but these days I’m just as happy to stay home, change into my PJs by 7 p.m., and hit the sack by 9 – 9:30 at the latest. Sexy, I know! As it turns out, motherhood and maintaining everyday life (work, meal prep, cleaning, keeping the marriage strong, and everything else in between) is simply exhausting.

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MORE: The Top 5 Mom Excuses…Redefined

7. My hair is a mess most of the time.

There’s nothing like ‘embracing’ the aging process, eh ladies! Thanks to years of over-processing, my hair is a frizzy mess, making it easier to put back into a ponytail or messy bun most days. Pre-motherhood, I had the best hair on the block. I would simply factor in the time it took to work out the frizz before stepping out in style. Sigh…

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6. I sing made-up songs all day long.

As it turns out, I truly am turning into my mother. Whether I’m toasting a bagel, sweeping up the floor, or watching my kids run in the backyard you will hear me belt out an impromptu song about the occasion. Although practically tone deaf, my family has yet to abandon me for this newfound habit.

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MORE: 10 Signs You Are Turning Into Your Mother

5. I believe strongly in self-care.

Since welcoming my babies and being faced with the hard work of motherhood, I’ve learned to take care of myself. Although a debated topic by some, I put myself first above the kids and the marriage. While some say I’m being selfish, it’s actually all about self-preservation. While completing my bachelor or social work in my university days, the concept of “self-care” was drilled into our heads. I am putting those valuable lessons into practice now that I’m a mother, with regular exercise, clean eating and at least 5 minutes of meditation every day. Not only that, I’m sure to keep my expectations at a minimum — as it turns out, life is not a Ryan Gosling movie.

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MORE: Got Guilt? 4 Ways to Conquer Mommy Guilt

4. I realize how difficult it is to make new (& quality) friends.

Is it just me, or is it damn near impossible to find quality friendships these days? I have a dozen BFFs from my childhood and high school, but when it comes to making new mommy friends, I haven’t been so fortunate. With two of my kids in school, you’d think I’d be fighting off the mommy friends with a stick. Not quite, even though I wear the required Luluemon uniform of overpriced yoga pants and uncomfortable hoodies. (I sense another blog/rant on this topic coming your way soon….)

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3. I don’t try so hard to be perfect.

Before I became a mother, I was the perfect parent. Truth is, I make mistakes, my house is a mess most of the time, and I always seem to be pissing someone off. And regardless of not being the coolest mommy on the block, my husband and kids think I’m pretty neat — frizzy bun-head and all. While there’s a fine line between letting yourself go and simplifying your look, there’s also a balance between striving to be the ‘perfect’ wife/mother/friend and just trying to do your best. Although I never want to quit learning and reaching for new goals, I’ve stopped trying to please everyone and comparing myself to other women and their seemingly perfect lives.

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2. I have a newfound sense of purpose.

Sure I felt somewhat useful prior to welcoming my babies. But since motherhood, I’ve felt a deep sense of purpose and meaning. I really need to stay alive – and healthy – for my three kids. Some people might like reading my articles, and there are those who enjoy my company, but my kids literally need me in every sense.

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1. I know the true meaning of unconditional love.

As it turns out, those twangy country music songs had it right all along! There’s nothing quite like the love between a mother and child. If any of my kids were to do unthinkable acts (yes, even the most heinous of crimes), I would still love them without a doubt. While I’ve felt deep love for others, all three of my kids have expanded my heart and my capacity to love in ways I had not known.

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Can you relate to my list? How has motherhood changed you?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Winter doesn’t mean you have to stay inside!

This is the time of year when it is so tempting to hibernate and stay inside as much

as possible, especially if you live somewhere “north” (AKA Cold) and are a parent of

small children.

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The enormous task of wrestling toddlers into winter clothing is enough to make any

sane person think carefully about how often they want to bother with the hassle.

But, despite all the trouble, getting outside in the winter is good for your kids,

yourselves AND (believe it or not) your sanity! Here are a few benefits of getting

outside at least 15 minutes every day:

  •  Encourages active movement
  •  Promotes creative play with natural objects (sticks, rocks, dirt, snow or ice)
  •  Boosts moods
  •  Helps increase immunity
  •  Provides a change of pace and scenery
  •  Makes it easier to unplug and focus primarily on your family

We are firm believers in the fact that good gear and smart layering also helps

tremendously with making sure everyone is staying happy outside. Some of our

best tips for winter warmth include:

    •  Start with a wool or polypro base layer
    •  Stay away from cotton, especially for socks and base layers – they trap body moisture and result in being colder faster
    •  On really cold days, double up on mittens (use a liner + a waterproof shell) and stick a hand warmer between the layers if you need to.
    •  Be aware that sedentary children (in strollers or carriers) need to be dressed warmer than active children or yourself. Check hands and feet often for warmth. Use extra blankets (fleece is great) over kids in strollers and wearbabies in carriers close to your own body heat.

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Finally, the most important part of getting outside as a family is to remain positive.

Kids are keenly aware of your own attitude, so stay upbeat and make it as fun as

possible.

  • Play games – engage with them instead of just sending them out to play on
  • their own
  • Look online for great winter back yard games. A few inches of snow is just as
  • much fun as a sandbox (and much bigger too!)
  • Go sledding, snowshoeing or on walks (all of which require no special skills)
  • Be silly. Laugh, run, jump and enjoy snow (or whatever you have in your
  • own back yard.)
  • Try a new skill as a family – Ski, ice skate, build snow forts, etc. You may be
  • surprised with what your own family members end up loving.
  • Come inside to hot drinks to warm up little bodies again.

Kids of all ages (that means you too, parents!) need fresh air to clear their minds,

boost endorphins and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Embrace it this winter and get

out there!

Contributed by Amelia Mayer of Tales of a Mountain Mamajoovy3

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} June 2013

This month, we are proud to present Sarah from In The Know Mom.  Mom, wife, best friend and product pro, we think Sarah is pretty hip and Groovy!  Read on to get to know her a bit more and be sure to visit, In The Know Mom dot net for a look at her style, passions and cool outlook on life.

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From Sarah’s bio on the blog: Sarah (Co-Founder) Born on the East coast, transplanted to the West coast (California), I understand what the modern mom wants and needs.  We have a beautiful little girl, born in 2007, who is witty and kind, and a lover of pretty much everything.  We also welcomed our baby boy into the world early 2013.  We find it important that we surround our children with only safe, modern and eco-friendly products, as well as those to encourage their expanding minds.  Equally important to me is my need to maintain my own self… in style and health.

Joovy:  Sarah, to begin, how did you get started blogging?

Sarah:  I first started a family blog to document our lives in California.  Both my and my husband’s families live on the East Coast and the blog was a way to keep everyone updated.  At the same time my best friend, Erin, and I started a group on Cafemom called Fendi Moms.  The idea was to gather together a group of moms who didn’t want to just talk coupons.   It was a sanctuary for moms who were judged for preferring high-end baby products, over-spenders and dreamers both welcome!  It was so popular by 2009 we decided to take it to a new level where we could be seen by people beyond Cafemom, and In The Know Mom was born.

Joovy: How did you come to name your blog In The Know Mom?

Sarah:  My husband and I have always looked for friends who are “in the know”.   To us, it basically describes people who are passionate about life, are unique and true to themselves and look at every area with intelligence and criticism.  So when Erin and I were brainstorming a blog title, I could not even entertain anything other than In The Know Mom, so much so, I stubbornly went with a name that had already been taken, hence intheknowmom.net.

Joovy:  How does your blog differ from others?

Sarah: We pride ourselves on finding products others can’t, which is why we tend to have a lot of international companies featured.  We also aim to keep a high-end feel, staying true to our roots, whereas many other blogs go the frugal or couponing route.

Joovy:  How do you balance parenting and blogging?

Sarah:  I have a really supportive husband who knows my blog is important to me. When I have a deadline or am behind, he takes the kids somewhere far away from my ears.  I do my best blogging during those crunch times.  That can’t always happen though, so when life gets in the way, multitask!  I write my most creative blog posts walking around, wearing my youngest in a Babasling, speaking into a dictation app while also cleaning the house.  I’ll also dictate blog posts while driving in the car!  Hands free, of course.

Joovy:  What has been the most rewarding part of blogging?

Sarah:  The smile my daughter gets when the UPS man is at our door.  Fun mail surprises are part of her daily life.

Joovy:  When you’re not blogging, where do you escape to on the web?

Sarah:  I try to step away from the computer if I’m not blogging, but I do tend to drift over to Pinterest and other blogs.  If I’m on my phone, I’m in Instagram.  It seems I’m a very visual person!

Joovy: What’s been your most popular post or topic or favorite thing to share?

Sarah: Our most popular post is a DIY for postpartum pain, Padsicles.  This post went absolutely viral on Pinterest and, as a mom who recently put them to the test , they work wonders!

Joovy:  Can you tell us a bit about your family? How do you involve your kids and family in your blog?

Sarah: Well my blog and my family intertwine quite a bit, which makes it a family affair.  I’m married to the aforementioned supportive man, Neil, and we have two really special children.  Everyone plays a part in the blog.  My husband is the photographer for my posts, which I’m really proud of.  He’s amazing *gush*  Our six year old, Savannah, has proven to be crucial!  She gives me smart feedback on every kid product, and she is also a fabulous and often-featured model.  We have a four month old son, Gabriel, as well.  He’s not good for much at this point besides looking cute… really cute!  We are a fun-loving, outdoorsy, always up for a new adventure kind of family, and you will see that reflected in the blog.

Joovy:  The photographs on your blog are really good.  What kind of camera do you use and are you a professional photographer?

Sarah:  Lucky me, I have a professional photographer as a husband, but you don’t have to be a pro to shoot like one.  We use a Nikon D600 for most blog posts but also sometimes use our old Nikon D90.  Sometimes I can’t tell the difference!  Just as important as your camera choice is your lens choice (maybe more so).  I guess we are extremists because we most often reach for a macro (micro) lens or wide angle lens.  I tend to be my husband’s counterpart in the post-processing.  How you handle post-processing is key — here you can really make or break a photo!  I use Lightroom 4 for 90% of my editing.  Photoshop CS6 for the other 10% (the fancy things).

Joovy:  Tell us something random about yourself (- what did you want to be when you were a child or what did you study in college?)

Sarah:  I went to college (Virginia Tech) with a major in Human Nutrition Food and Exercise because of my passion for health and fitness, but I ended up in Los Angeles casting TV shows and movies for NBCUniversal.  You just never know!

Joovy:  Summer plans? Travel, stacation?

Sarah:  The only mandatory travel for this summer is to Arizona to see my BFF, and ITKM co-founder, Erin.  We both have new babies the other hasn’t met yet, and that is unacceptable!  My family tends to be spontaneous in travel, so we shall see where else the summer will take us.

Joovy:  So, you’re a Joovy Blogger, right? What’s your favorite thing about Joovy?

Sarah:  I respect Joovy,  not just because of the stellar products they create, but for how they raise the bar.  Every product that comes from Joovy challenges the rest of the industry to be better.  There is no status quo at Joovy, just ingenuity, skill and a lot of passion.  I’ve never met a brand more excited about what they do.  That is truly unique and inspiring.

Joovy:  One more question Sarah, as a mom, what one thing do you want to instill in your children as they grow up?

Sarah:  Wow, big question. I have to say confidence. When you love and believe in yourself you can do anything.

Joovy: Thanks Sarah! And, we invite you to read Sarah’s blog post, The Other Boob to get some more insight into her precious family as well as her style of writing.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} May 2013 The Mama Maven

This month we are thrilled to introduce one of the original Joovy Moms, Nancy Horn of The Mama Maven. Nancy has been a friend and advocate of Joovy from the very beginning and we love that her family has grown along side ours.  Mom of three, baby gear expert, foodie and all around cool mama, read on to learn more about Nancy!

The Mama Maven, Nancy Horn and her daughter.

The Mama Maven, Nancy Horn and her daughter.

Joovy:  Nancy, to begin, how did you get started blogging? 

Nancy: I started blogging for The Celebrity Baby Blog (now People.com’s Moms and Babies) in February of 2007. Basically, I had been in a playgroup with the publisher, Danielle Tropea and we had been discussing strollers and baby gear for over a year when she asked if I wanted to review a stroller for her. It kind of snowballed from there and I worked for her and added Mommies With Style in June of 2007. I started freelancing other places and finally I started my own blog in the fall of 2011, while still continuing to work with other brands and sites.

Joovy: How did you come to name your blog The Mama Maven? What significance does this have in your life?

Nancy: Esti Berkowitz of Primetime Parenting helped me to come up with it. I know too much about strollers, baby gear, pickyeaters, etc – hence the mama maven name.

Joovy:  How does your blog differ from others?

Nancy: I think it’s different because I try to give news about baby gear, brand events and tackle how to get kids to eat. As a new mom and a mom to older kids, you want to know what the latest and best gear is – and also know how to feed the toddler that throws EVERYthing on the floor. I’ve also added NYC experiences and fun places to travel with your children.

Joovy:  How do you balance parenting and blogging? Is there a secret?

Nancy: I don’t sleep much. The fact is, they come first. But they’re in school and I work when they aren’t home and when the are asleep. I try to cook every other night and luckily can pay someone to help me keep the house clean (because I truly stink at housekeeping). We all have our strengths and I’d rather be a good cook than a good cleaner.

Joovy:  Your current computer???

Nancy: A Macbook Pro.

Joovy:  When you’re not blogging, where do you escape to on the web?

Nancy:  I love to check out what’s new on Joovy.com, of course. I’m also hanging out on facebook and twitter, instagram, Vine,reading my friends’ blogs, pinterest.

Joovy: What’s been your most popular post or topic?

Nancy: Probably the post about not wanting to give my daughter the human growth hormone (she’s very petite for her 5 years). I also get a lot of hits on stroller and gear reviews, the Joovy Room review (http://www.themamamaven.com/2012/09/28/review-joovy-room-playard/) was one of our site’s biggest traffic getters.

Joovy:  How do you involve your kids and family in your blog?

Nancy: Yes, my kids help me test products and come with me to events.

Joovy: . What kind of camera do you use?

Nancy: I use my iPhone5, until I can get a better camera (though it’s pretty good and is better than 3 year old Canon Elph we have).

Joovy:  In your opinion, what is the best kids/gear flash site?

Nancy: I’m addicted to Zulily.

Joovy:  What’s the coolest parenting tip you’ve learned from blogging?

Nancy: You can’t do it all, but you can let a few things slide and still be a great parent (which is why I outsource my cleaning and have my husband help with laundry).

Joovy:  Can you share your 3 favorite apps?

Nancy: Zulily, PBSKids App (so my toddler can watch episodes on the go) and Disney Publishing’s Storytime (so my 5 year oldcan listen and look at ebooks). 

Joovy:  So, you’re a Joovy Blogger, right? What’s your favorite thing about Joovy?

Nancy: The products are very durable, yet stylish. Anything that I’ve ever tested (and I’ve tested Joovy products since 2007) has always held up so well!

Joovy:  One more question Nancy: what is your favorite summer meal for your kids?

Nancy: My favorite summer meal for kids is mini turkey burgers (I cut the buns in half) and serve with cut up veggies, organic corn on the cob and organic baked beans.

Joovy: Thanks Nancy!

Credit: Nancy Johnson Horn

Blog: TheMamaMaven.com &

Founding Mother: TrumpetingMedia.com

@nancyjhorn on Twitter TheMamaMaven on Facebook

Recently quoted in Business Week, NBC’s The Today Show’s website, Today Moms, featured in iVillage in 2011 and 2012, and Red Tricycle, where she was described as “Former Food Network Producer, elementary school teacher and mother of three, Nancy Horn, has a serious knack for baby and kids product reviews and 5 years of experience to prove it”.

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Nancy and her older son at a Met’s game!

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Nancy’s youngest son in the Joovy Groove


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} April 2013

Whitney Jordan is in our Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} this month!  We are thrilled to introduce you to her and hope you enjoy learning a little more about her growing family and blog, Momma Knows Best.

To begin, we asked Whitney to share a little bit about her family:

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Whitney: My husband Luke and I were married in 2007. At the time he was still on active duty with the army so we lived the military life together before moving back to our hometown in 2008. In August of 2010 we welcomed our first child, our daughter, Kynlee. From that moment on, our lives were forever changed. We just welcomed our second child in March of this year, our son, Greyson. Life is more hectic than ever but we wouldn’t have it any other way! We are adjusting to life with two kids and we’re excited about what’s to come!

Here’s a picture of new ‘big sister’ Kynlee and newest family member, Greyson!

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Joovy: Whitney, how did you get started blogging?

Whitney: I started blogging in January of 2010 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, Kynlee. I wanted a place to keep track of all the things that happened during my pregnancy. After she was born, I continued to blog about life as a new mom and all that that entails.

Joovy:  How did you come to name your blog Momma Knows Best? Does it have special meaning?

Whitney: My original blog name was “Awaiting Kynlee’s Arrival.” After she was born I created a new
blog titled, “Keeping up with Kynlee.” In October of 2011, I decided that I needed a blog name that
would grow with me as our family continued to grow, and decided on “Momma Knows Best.” This
blog name stuck out to me and seemed to fit the best.

Joovy:  How does your blog differ from others?

Whitney:  I, like many others, do product reviews and giveaways.I think they are fun and informative, and I love seeing products being used by real people who share their real experiences with them. I hope that my readers are able to get that from my product reviews. However, I also include other postings such as personal updates, favorite finds on Pinterest, and the occasional recipe. I don’t post every day (though I’d like to!) but I do try to keep my readers intrigued when I do have a new post.

Joovy:  How do you balance parenting and blogging? Is there a secret?

Whitney: I’m still trying to figure this one out, so if there’s a secret to it, no one’s shared it with me yet! ;)

Joovy:  What is your choice in computer?

Whitney:  My current computer is a Lenovo laptop.

Joovy:  When you’re not blogging, where do you escape to on the web?

Whitney: Facebook, Pinterest, and Gmail are the sites I frequent the most.

Joovy:  What’s been your most popular post or topic?

Whitney:  Well, I don’t consider myself a food blogger by
any means, but surprisingly enough one of my most popular posts for incoming traffic has been
a crockpot recipe: http://mommaknowsbestblog.com/2012/06/crockpot-roast-carrots-potatoes-
recipe/

Joovy: How do you involve your kids and family in your blog?

Whitney: My husband and children are often involved in the personal posts that I do, as well as the product reviews that I post. All of the products that I review are family-friendly and I enjoy getting the family involved to put the products to the test!

Joovy:  What kind of camera do you use?

Whitney: I use a DSLR – a Canon Rebel T1i. I love it, but I really need to
spend a little more time figuring it out. There are more updated versions of this camera available
now, and I’d love to get my hands on one of them!

Joovy: In your opinion, what is the best kids/gear flash site?

Whitney: I’ve ordered from Zulily several times and it seems to be the best one that I’ve experienced, so far. With my last purchase, there was a problem with the product that I ordered when it arrived and Zulily’s customer service handled it quickly and efficiently. They do not accept returns, but they were able to refund me for the product and I appreciate that they were willing to make it right.

Joovy:  What’s the coolest parenting tip you’ve learned from blogging?

Whitney: Blogging has brought on so many relationships with other moms that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Only three of my “in real life” friends have children and each of them live in a different town (or state) so we don’t get to interact as much as I’d like. Sharing and receiving tips from other moms who are going through similar circumstances has been a saving grace for me. I can’t say that any one tip stands out, but I am grateful for the exchanges made when advice is needed.

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Joovy: Can you share your 3 favorite apps?

Whitney: I love finding new apps! The three that I use daily are Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. I also really like the game app, Ruzzle. Since I have a new little one that I’m breastfeeding, these apps come in handy quite often for those late night feedings!

Joovy: What 5 blogs do you read daily?

Whitney: Since I’ve just recently had a new baby, I have been rather busy
lately and don’t get to read blogs as much as I used to. However, when I get the chance there are
several that I love to read so it’s hard to choose just 5! Happenings of the Harper Household, I
Love You More Than Carrots, The Bloggess, Kelly Mom, and The Everyday Joys are ones that I
frequently read.

Joovy:  So, you’re a Joovy Blogger, right? What’s your favorite thing about Joovy?

Whitney: Yes, I am a Joovy Blogger and SO excited to be! I love that Joovy is a family-run business who truly cares about their customers and products! It is evident in their customer service and the quality of products that they produce.

Thanks to Whitney and her family for their service to our country, for being great parents and for taking the time to share with us today!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} March 2013

This month, we are delighted to introduce Ellen Peppercorn in the Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight.}  Ellen has been a Joovy Blogger since the program began in 2011.  We had the great pleasure of chatting with Ellen and are super excited to share some interesting facts about her, her family and her blog here today.  Take a peak inside the Thrifty and Chic Mom with us!

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Joovy:  Ellen, share a little bit about yourself personally before we ask about the blog.

Ellen:  I am 30 years old and have been married to the love of my life for almost 8 years now. We met at 17 years old at a church camp  and a few months later after repeatedly running into each other started dating. Six months later I knew he was the love of my life and 6 years later we got married. Our oldest was almost a honey moon baby born 10 months after getting married from there we kept being blessed with little girls at a rapid rate and we were thrilled. Now we have 4 little girls Mia almost 7, Abbey 5, Colette 3.5 and Genevieve 14 months and our life is girly, pink, crazy and wonderful. We live with our girls about 5 minutes from where our parents live and all but one of our siblings is close by making for very large and fun family holidays. As duelling alumni of The Ohio State University we are Buckeyes through and through and love our hometown!

Joovy:  With a growing family, how did you get started blogging?  What was the overriding reason you started blogging?

Ellen: Almost 5 years ago I found myself needing something to do at night while my kids slept. My husband was beginning his own side business out of our home and I had more time on my hands without his company. A friend sent me a link to a blog and I discovered a whole new world and a new outlet and my blog was born!

 Joovy:  How did you come to name your blog Thrifty and Chic Mom?  What significance does this have in your life?

Ellen: I felt like it kind of represented me in a way at the time. When I started the blog we were on a really tight budget so I had to watch every penny, but even a tight budget will never make me sacrifice my style. I started my blog doing deals on clothing, then it evolved to couponing and then it evolved to what it is today a mom blog focused on product reviews and mommy fashion!

Joovy:  How does your blog differ from others? 

Ellen:  My blog is me and since I am a 30 year old mom of 4 girls who loves fashion I think I am pretty unique plus I bring the eye of a big family of all girls to my product reviews.

Joovy:   How do you balance parenting and blogging?  Is there a secret?

Ellen: If there is a secret I want to know it. I try having set blogging times. I am a stay at home mom and I homeschool preschool so 3 of my 4 girls are with me at all times and I try to be present for them. All that to say I blog at nap time and late into the night!

Joovy:   What current computer do you use for blogging?

Ellen:  an HP Envy touchscreen and I LOVE it!.

Joovy:  When you’re not blogging, where do you escape to on the web? 

Ellen:  I escape to other blogs and I love to shop, online shopping is like window shopping from home! Plus I love Twitter and Facebook those two tabs are always open if I am online.

Joovy:  Has there been a most popular post or topic on Thrifty and Chic Mom?

Ellen:  I wrote a post about car seat expiration dates that is still very popular 2 years later. My Spring and Fall fashion events are really popular too, the spring event is coming up in March!

Joovy:  Do you involve your kids and family in your blog?  If so, how?

Ellen:  My kids are my product testers and models and my husband is my camera man, it’s a family effort at our house!

 

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Joovy: What kind of camera do you use?

Ellen:  I have a Nikon D5100 I just upgraded to it at Christmas and I am loving it!

Joovy:    Do you have a favorite kids/gear flash site?

Ellen:  I adore Zulily and spend too much money on it so for me Zulily wins!

Joovy:   What’s the coolest parenting tip you’ve learned from blogging?

Ellen:  I have learned that I am not alone so matter what I do I have support an I love that!

Joovy:    Can you share your 3 favorite apps?

Ellen:  Zulily, Vine and Instagram

Joovy:   Are there favorite blogs that you follow?

Ellen:  There are so many blogs I love but from the beginning I have been a reader of The Shopping Mama, Go Graham Go, Momma in Flip Flops 2, Two of a Kind Working on a Full House, Baby Loving Mama

Joovy:   So Ellen, you’re a Joovy Blogger, right?  What’s your favorite thing about Joovy?

Ellen:  I love all things Joovy the brand, the people behind the brand and the overall spiirt of the company. I love that they are family owned and operated and that they make gorgeous looking products that meet a real need for example the Joovy moonRoom… need I say more?

joovy ultralight caboose

 

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Joovy:    Thanks Ellen for sharing with us today.  Anything else you want to share about you or your blog?

Ellen:  Be sure to keep an eye out in March for some great Spring fashion for the whole family and some fun giveaways too!

Ellen Peppercorn is the blogger/reviewer/entrepreneur behind Thrifty and Chic Mom.  Please visit her site and share with your friends!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} for February!

Joovy is excited to introduce a new element to Joovy Tuesday, our Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} series. Each month, we will profile one of our Joovy Mom’s and active bloggers, share a bit about them, their passions, family, blog amongst other fun and groovy things!

This month, our Groovy {Joovy Blogger} is none other than, Kate Marsh Lord of The Shopping Mama.

We had the great pleasure of visiting with Kate for an enlightening and fun discussion. We hope you’ll enjoy this introduction to Kate, The Shopping Mama and one GROOVY Joovy Mom, for sure!

1. Kate, to begin, how did you get started blogging? What was the overriding reason you started blogging?

My first blog was a small family blog that we used to keep family up to date with our adventures. As a military family we move often and don’t live near family so it was a great way to share photos and stories with relatives.

A few months after my daughter was born, after hearing the question, “Where did you get that?” nearly every day I decided to start a blog to show exactly where I got “that”! The blog evolved into so much more and it’s been an amazing creative outlet for me and has provided some great friends and unique opportunities.

2. How did you come to name your blog The Shopping Mama? What significance does this have in your life?

At the time, it was just a cute little name to describe exactly what I was doing: shopping for my kids. Now, years later, and as my “brand” the name seems a little silly, to be honest. But, it still describes the mission of the blog: to save time for busy moms by doing the “shopping” for them and sharing the best products for families.

3. How does your blog differ from others?

At the moment, the most unique thing about The Shopping Mama is that my family is living in Germany. So, in addition to traditional reviews and fun giveaways, we also document lots of European family adventures and travels.

4. How do you balance parenting and blogging? Is there a secret?

If there’s a secret, I’d love to hear it! I get most of my of my work done after the kids are asleep. Luckily my kids go to bed early, but it does mean many late nights for me. During the day I get things done while the older kids are at school and my little guy is napping.

5. Your current computer is a ________.

MacBook Pro. I made the switch from PC about a year ago. I’m still getting used to it!

6. When you’re not blogging, where do you escape to on the web?

I always get a good laugh reading Suri’s Burn Book and The Honest Toddler. And, of course, I catch up on gossip on Us Magazine and People!

7. What’s been your most popular post or topic?

Many posts seem to ebb and flow depending on what’s hot on search engines and Pinterest. Recently my son’s modern nursery has been popular as has a tutorial for a DIY mei tai doll carrier.

8. How do you involve your kids and family in your blog?

I’ve blogged the most about my son Max, including documenting my pregnancy and writing about his milestones every month. My older kids (4 and 6) know that I write a blog and that they are a big help in telling moms on the internet about toys and clothes. They love the testing and talking about things, but not so much the photo shoots. Not gonna lie: there is sometimes bribing involved in getting good photos.

9. What kind of camera do you use?

I have a Nikon D90, which I love, but found it to be cumbersome and too big for traveling and carrying around every day (in addition to all the other things I tote along with 3 kids!). I switched to a smaller mirrorless “mircro four thirds” camera which still takes amazing photos but is much smaller and easier to take everywhere with me. My Olympus PEN EPM-1 has served me well!

10. In your opinion, what is the best kids/gear flash site?

My favorite flash site is zulily. They have an amazing selection, good customer service and relatively quick shipping. I also really like Gilt Groupe for higher end brands.

11. Can you share your 3 favorite apps?

I’m addicted to Instagram! Follow me! I use Facebook all the time, of course, and when we’re traveling I always download an app of the area’s public transportation. Finally, I love ArtKive for storing my kids’ artwork.

12. What 5 blogs do you read daily?

  1. Baby Loving Mama
  2. MomTrends
  3. Thrifty & Chic Mom
  4. Momma’s Gone City
  5. Girl’s Gone Child

13. What is your favorite Joovy product and why?

Oh, that is a tough question! Honestly, we’ve had a great experience with every Joovy product we’ve used for our family so it’s hard to pick a favorite. Let’s see, my husband’s favorite is the Joovy Zoom 360 Jogging Stroller, my daughter’s favorite is the Joovy Toy Room² Playard, and I think recent my favorite is the theBabaSling from Joovy. I wouldn’t have survived Max’s babydom without it.

14. Anything else you want to share about you or your blog?

The Shopping Mama is always evolving and growing; it’s a new challenge every day to create engaging content that I’m proud to share. Even with all the great products and trips and opportunities (and my family has been very fortunate), the best part of blogging is the people I’ve met and connected with online. Staying home with kids – especially when we move every year or two – can be very isolating but the internet connects us, and for that I’m very thankful.

Joovy wants to personally thank Kate and her family for their service to our country. We are proud to have them as a Joovy family. Also, a big thank you for sharing your story about The Shopping Mama! It was a treat to learn about you!

If you would like to be considered for Joovy’s Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight}, please join our Joovy Blogger Program.

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Monday, 4 February 2013

Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight}

News, news, NEWS!!! We are so grateful for our awesome bloggers that we what to introduce a new featured monthly column that is exclusively about them! Every month we will be profiling one of our bloggers in the Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight}. We want to boast and brag about each and every one of our Joovy Bloggers, their great efforts and their awesome sites!

Tomorrow, Joovy Tuesday, we will launch our February Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight}. This inaugural post will profile one of our Grooviest Bloggers and we know you’ll enjoy learning more about this amazing person.

Would you like to be featured? If so, get your groove on and enter our raffle to be featured in the Spotlight! Next week, we will roll out the blogger contest for all to enter for a chance to be featured in March. We invite you to enter if you are currently a Joovy Blogger or have applied to our blogger program in the past.

So, sit back and enjoy our first featured Groovy {Joovy Blogger Spotlight} tomorrow!