Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kooky Holiday Cards

Shocking my family members has been a past time of mine since I was born. My first Christmas as a wife and mom meant my first family holiday card.

We are a mix breed family; my husband is an atheist, but comes from an Orthodox family and I am a Catholic Jew that practices both when appropriate. Many of my more religious family members know this about me and have accepted my unconventional ideas. However, when I put my daughter on our Christmas themed card holding Christopher Hitchens’ book The Portable Atheist with the caption, “Will you just look at what my parents consider bed time stories!” I received frantic phone calls worried about my daughter’s welfare. For my Hanukkah card I featured my daughter flashing her red panties wishing everyone a little silliness for the holidays.

My cards have become so infamous I have already received cards from friends and relatives that can’t wait to see what I come up with next. I haven’t mailed all my cards because I haven’t received them from so they are a little late.

I have wrestled with card companies for the past three years. I was excited to be ahead of the game until I made the unfortunate decision to try new card company My Publisher that sold a Living Social coupon. When constructing the cards the image and choices kept changing when I proofed them. I called to find out why when I learned that I would have to pay separate shipping fees for every card and I make at least four every year. In the end their designs were not more clever and cost more to ship. The representative who was unhelpful and rude said that while their company is not more convenient, creative, or cost effective, they had better paper quality. I canceled the coupon and when back to
The best bang for your buck is and I really appreciate that they save jpeg files of my past orders that I can download. The only drawback is that Vistaprint’s regular paper stock is not as nice as Shutterfly, which is a little more costly if you don’t use promo and coupon codes.

I ordered photo mugs this year from Shutterfly and they sent me an extra one and didn’t honor my discounts. I called expecting another face-off between me and a representative, but they actually fixed the charges and told me to keep the extra mug. I didn’t get the same treatment from who argued with me to the point I almost went into labor. The tracking for a purchase claimed to have been delivered, but was not so I asked them to look into it. I had already discovered that they had delivered a package to an old address in Kentucky that had been deleted from my account so it was conceivable that there was another mistake made. Serves me right, I should buy my gifts from companies that support American manufacturing.

I hope I never have to call Customer Service again at least for the rest of the year. I have been getting super contractions in my big holiday turkey in my belly from trying to reason with telephone reps that turn conversations into a personal battle. I hate it when they say, “I wish there was something I could do, but it’s our policy to ignore reason and keep you on hold for half an hour for us to tell you this.”

Here are a few Crazy Christmas Cards I found online that tickled my beard.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shopping for Mama

When you are as stuffed as a Thanksgiving Turkey 11-24-11

These are a few of my favorite places to shop when feeling like a stuffed turkey. This is my third pregnancy and I thought I was done at two so I gave away many items that I now can’t remember who I gave too. Luckily, in the past year new sites have hatched to give me better options to buying items that I can continue to use after pregnancy.

I found that I needed house dresses and lounge wear that looked presentable but could withstand being washed frequently. I will have three little snotty-nosed, sticky-handed, and poop-making podlings by January that will challenge my presentation.

Here are a few chic places to shop when you are expecting a life change, like say turning into a stuffed turkey, or for the stuffed turkey in your life. Word to the wise: the best gift to give a pregnant woman is a massage every day, but if you are looking for something you can wrap…..

1) Green Dragon
Many of their designs are suitable for growing pouches and made of the softest, durable cotton. I first started buying Green Dragon when I found they sold pieces a Pea in the Pod. I kept buying the collections after the second pregnancy and found they were suitable for my third pregnancy.

2) Rosie Pope Maternity
Because nothing is more aggravating than being hugely pregnant and in New York, Rosie Pope opened a boutique for the women who wanted comfort and chic clothes to drape over their life-bearing bosom. Rosie scored a reality show called “Pregnant in Heels” on Bravo. Notice that some of the pieces are very New England chic like the Montauk Dress. It would take a New Yorker.

3) Mine for Nine (
What a great idea! Rent your maternity wardrobe. You need a whole new one anyway and as soon as you don’t need it you give it away, like me. Then, if you are also like me, you need it all over again. Recently I couldn’t remember who I gave my maternity coat to and had to go sniffing around friends for a new one that I could button. At Mine for Nine you can rent a coat or a gown, perfect for the holiday season, for a month or longer. The rate decreases the longer you have the garment. For example a Shabby Apple dress would rent for $20/month or $79 to buy. For a Jules & Jim coat that to buy would cost $303 you can rent for $79.

4) Hatch by Two Birds
Previously launched in September the 12 pieces collection created a stir in socialite circles in New York and was passed onto me by a non-pregnant/ non-mom friend who loved the pieces because there was little not to love. The owner Goldman released Two Birds Bridesmaid when she couldn’t find gowns that suited her discernible taste. So when she got pregnant she did the same and made clothes that she and her friends would wear if they happened to turn into a pumpkin for some months. All I have to say is, ‘Can I be your friend?’

5) Destination Maternity
They partnered with Motherhood and A Pea In The Pod to offer a full range of affordable pieces along with investment pieces. They also have Heidi Klum’s collection along with some of my favorite non-pregnancy brands that have come out with maternity lines - Ella Moss, Velvet, Graham & Spencer, Hale Bob, and Bailey 44. It’s definitely more commercial than my other picks but sometimes you need a place to see lots of variety.