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Archive for the ‘Baby Shower Gifts’ Category

My best friend just had her baby on Saturday and I am over the MOON! I wondered for the first time what is proper etiquette in visiting a new mom (especially a first time new mom) in the hospital with a baby. As close as her and I are, I wanted to be conscious of how long I stayed, made sure I put hand sanitizer on my hands and made her feel comfortable without asking her the usual questions people were asking all day.

I thought I would give some of the tips I went by since my visit went pretty well today and I was asked to come back the next day! Woo! Hoo!

It’s always best to call first and ask if visitors are welcome. Some new moms prefer to use the time to rest and learn all they can about caring for the new baby. Others welcome numerous and frequent visitors toting food, flowers, or balloons. Call your friend; see how she’s feeling. Ask her if she’s up for a visit or if she’d rather have you come by at home in a few weeks, then respect her wishes.

Also, if you are bringing a gift, remember she is going to have a lot to bring home with her already, so try to buy something that is easy to take home. Other than that, just remember to congratulate her!

Another idea is to wait until Mom and baby come home from the hospital. Then stop by with a meal that the family can enjoy (who wants to cook after giving birth!?) and get your baby fix then!

Here are some basic Do’s and Don’t’s while the new mama is in the hospital:

  • Don’t snap mad photos without permission.
  • Don’t stare or ask to touch her brand-new boobs.
  • Don’t ask if there’s any way the baby’s conehead can be molded.
  • No matter how big the baby’s head is, don’t speculate about the size of her pelvis or hips.
  • Don’t refer to the child as having “elf ears.”
  • Don’t attribute every baby smile to gas.
  • Don’t ask when they are going to try for another one!
  • Don’t try to persuade the parents to change the baby’s name by coming up with all the awful nicknames you think the child faces.
  • Don’t talk about everything that is wrong with the world.
  • Unless she offers, don’t ask the degree of her tear.
  • Don’t “drop by” the hospital. It doesn’t matter who you are. This is not a “drop in” event.
  • Don’t put anything on the new parent’s facebook wall. Give the parents a chance to announce the arrival of their baby.
  • Do send a private message congratulating the new parents and sending well wishes.
  • Don’t come into the hospital room smelling like you just took a bath in perfume.
  • Do not complain about anything or start drama. Do be positive. Tell the mother she did a great job and that the new baby is adorable, wonderful, a miracle and all that fun stuff. That is all you need to say.
  • Do not say “ew what is wrong with the baby’s face/ears/eyes/legs.” In real life babies do not come out looking like they are ready for a “cute baby contest” Their skin may have an odd tinge to it due to jaundice or other complications. Do say that the baby is beautiful. And that is all. Anything else WILL offend the new parents.

 CHECK OUT LE TOP BABY AND KID’S CLOTHES AT www.letop-usa.com

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Photo: Pedro Andrade/Pacific Coast News

Today is the day fraternal twins Eden and Savannah Mahoney turn 5 years-old! I’m sure mom, Marcia Cross, will have something fabulous in store for such a big birthday! With nicer weather just around the corner we think the girls would look great in outfits from our Spring collections. Savannah would be stylish in Le Top’s “Tiny Bubbles” sleeveless apron suntop and capri pants while Eden would look sweet in Le Top “Cherry Hearts” stretch cotton cherry and heart country print top & boy shorts. Congrats girls on your big milestone!

(left) Le Top "Tiny Bubbles" Suntop and Capri Pants (right) Le Top "Cherry Hearts" Print Top and Boy Shorts

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We wanted to “loop” you into our favorite boutique in Lodi, California this week – Zoop a Loop! Not only is it the cutest for its fabulous fashion finds, cute jeggings, upscale Melissa & Doug toys and the best baby shower gifts in town…it is the “go-to” children’s boutique for many local Californians in the Lodi area! We interviewed boutique owner Tricia Monahan on the history of her store, the hottest toddler trends, what she swore she would never do as a parent, and her favorite Le Top spring collection! 

Zoop a Loop

Children’s Boutique & Party Place
21 Downtown Mall
Lodi, CA 95240
209.367.1444

 www.zoopaloop.com

 CHECK-IN and JOIN Zoop a Loop Facebook page and click HERE


1.    Tell us the inspiration behind the name Zoop a Loop? How long has your store been around?
We’ve been a children’s store in Lodi, California for 20 years now. Unfortunately, I don’t know the story behind Zoop a Loop because it was founded many owners ago, but I absolutely love the name. It evokes animals, fun, a little craziness and whimsy and is the perfect name for a children’s boutique!

2.    Spring 2012 styles are coming into stores and brightening up any family’s winter wardrobe. What are your top 3 items (clothes, toys, giftables, etc.) for any parent shopping for warm weather items for a nice holiday vacation this winter?
Melissa & Doug have the most fabulous outdoor toys…butterfly nets, bug catchers, indoor/outdoor hopscotch games, and now they’ve added some great pool toys. Roxy and Quiksilver have the best hats every spring for boys and girls, and we love Le Top…the outfits are so fun, colorful and whimsical-perfect for spring!

3.    Any special events that you have planned at your store for spring? Tell us the inside scoop about any special events and especially the fun deals we can expect!
We often partner with nearby merchants for “tent sales” in the alley, we’ll have the Easter Bunny next month for several visits, and we always have great deals for the annual Lodi Street Faire in May!

4.    What is your “go-to” baby shower gift in your store for boys and girls?
My favorites are the handmade “Memory Books” that document all the milestones in the first five years. These beautiful albums are handmade by a local woman and the most unique that I have come across.

5.    What are your top 3 favorite baby or children books and why?
The very Hungry Caterpillar for the beautiful, colorful illustrations, Good Night Moon, because it was one of my daughter’s favorites and The Little House on the Prairie series because my mother read them to me as a child, and then I read them to my daughter…such good memories!

6.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”  Say?  “Because I said so”!
I thought it would be so much better to just explain things to my daughter, but I quickly found out you can’t reason with a toddler and they can outlast you!

7.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Lodi, California? Did you grow up in the local area?
The store is located in the Historic Downtown area of Lodi, with several blocks of boutiques, restaurants and antique shops. It’s a great place to stroll in the afternoon. I didn’t grow up here, but my sister moved here 20 years ago, and I followed her 7 years ago. I love the small town feel, and it really does fell like everyone knows everyone else.

8.    What are the hottest trends for kid’s clothes right now?
Skinny jeans and jeggings, but I am seeing a big turn back to skirts with leggings, especially for the older girls. Bright, fun colors and patterns with and anything with embellishments-lace, glitter, jewels, etc.

9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
We have a movie theater down the street in one direction, a pottery arts painting place on the other side, and a Children’s Science Museum 2 blocks away, so families can spend a whole day downtown!

10.   What Le Top or Rabbitmoon Spring 2012 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
We love the Sun & Sea Collection with the bright colors, fish cut-out on the the back of the Capri set and tulle embellishments on the dress and bikini…so cute!



Zoop a Loop

Children’s Boutique & Party Place
21 Downtown Mall
Lodi, CA 95240
209.367.1444

 www.zoopaloop.com

CHECK-IN and JOIN
Zoop a Loop
Facebook page and click HERE

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Credit: Pixplanete / PR Photos

Jason Bateman and wife Amanda Anka (both 43) welcomed baby girl Maple Sylvie Bateman, on Friday, Feb. 10 in Los Angeles. She joins big sister Francesca Nora, 5.

Congratulations on the new addition to your family. We think Maple would look as sweet as her name in Le Top Baby’s “Forever Lovely” collection double layer skirted dress and ruffle panty.

Le Top Baby "Forever Lovely" Double Layer Skirted Dress & Ruffle Panty

Anka’s father, singer Paul Anka, spilled the beans in August saying, “I’m going to be a grandfather again!”

It was reported in October that the Arrested Development series (2003-2006) will be filming new episodes and there is even a movie in the works. On October 2nd Bateman posted the following on Twitter: “It’s true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited!”

We can’t wait!

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As much as I am a big fan of only homemade bread, cupcakes, dessert, well…anything that goes in your mouth or your child’s mouth, I am a BIG sucker for funfetti. I saw this recipe and it looks AHHHH-MAAA-ZZZING. It is ridiculously easy to make, and your kids will be all smiles this morning over having sprinkles baked right into their slices.

Funfetti Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 (18.25 oz) boxes Funfetti cake
  • Mix 
6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut or canola oil melted
  • 12 very ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl blend together the cake mix, eggs, oil, and bananas in a stand mixer for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour batter into three 5.25 x 9 x 2.75 loaf pans which have been sprayed with nonstick baking spray (the sort with flour added).
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.
  6. Makes 3 large loaves.

CHECK OUT THE LE TOP HOME PAGE AT www.letop-usa.com

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Here is a precious picture of today’s darlings, Benjamin (1-1/2 years-old) and Olivia (4-1/2 years-old). We’re told that despite Olivia’s best efforts Benjamin decided he wasn’t interested in sitting on Santa’s lap. Isn’t that always the way it works out! Never fear Olivia, we still think you two look as cute-as-can-be in your Le Top holiday outfits. Benjamin is sporting a shirt from the “Santa’s Best Friend” collection and Olivia is the perfect model for our “Reindeer Games” collection dress and polka dot tights.

Congratulations to this pair on being named the Le Top Darlings of the Day!

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This week we interviewed Adrian Anderson of the cutest children’s boutique in Conover, North Carolina – Polka Dots & Patticakes. She was sweeter than sweet, and definitely knows what her customers love and what’s hot for kid’s style and gear. As a mom herself, she knows exactly what must-have items any mom needs this spring, the fab town hangouts, and even admits to what she swore she would never do as a parent. She is as down to earth as it gets and the products in her store are the best of the best. Read more about one of Le Top’s favorite retailers! Check it out.

Polka Dots & Patticakes

111 1st Avenue South, Suite A
Conover, NC 28613
828.292.9882

 www.polkadotsandpatticakes.com

 CHECK-IN and JOIN
Polka Dots & Patticakes
Facebook page and click HERE



1.    Tell us the inspiration behind the name Polka Dots & Patticakes? How long has your store been around?
Every time that I think of children, I think of Polka Dots. I knew that I wanted to do something with this name. I told my husband that I needed to come up with something to go along with Polka Dots & he said what about Patticakes? Perfect!Patty Cake is a childhood game that we all remember from our childhood. My special spelling is just to make the name unique. I started my business in October 2010.

2.    Spring 2012 styles are coming into stores and brightening up any family’s winter wardrobe. What are your top 3 items (clothes, toys, giftables, etc.) for any parent shopping for warm weather items for a nice holiday vacation this winter?
Ju Ju Be Diaper BagsJu Ju Be bags are always great for trips or for a mom-on-the-go. With all of their compartments and pockets, you have a place for everything you will need. They even have a Mommy pocket to keep your personal things separate! I also have Stack n’ Seals from Innobaby that make carrying a snack with you while on the go a breeze. I would also pick up some great cotton styles to keep your little one stylish yet comfortable on the trip.

3.    Any special events that you have planned at your store for Valentine’s Day? Tell us the inside scoop about any special events and especially the fun deals we can expect!
I plan on having a Grandmother’s night at the store when more of my spring product comes in. I will have tea and cookies and show my collections to them and give them the opportunity to purchase outfits for their little ones with a discount. I also plan on having a few specials throughout the spring season online and in store.

4.    What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy and why?
Conversation Hearts—I love to pick out little messages to give my Valentine, my husband John.

5.    What are a few common baby names that you have seen trending for the new moms that come to your store?
Emma, Grace and Olivia for little girls; Aiden and Jackson for little boys.

Adrian and her beautiful daughter Logan (who is wearing an outfit from the Le Top Spring 2011 "Daisy" collection)

6.    Tell us…before you “had kids or grandkids, what is one thing you swore you’d never…?”
I swore that I wouldn’t talk about her all the time, but how can you help it? She is my world and I love her so much! She is our pride and joy.

7.    Describe the neighborhood of your store location in Conover, North Carolina? Did you grow up in the local area?
I grew up in a town about thirty minutes away from Conover called Lenoir.  Conover is a quaint town in the Western Piedmont area of NC. Everyone knows everyone and people are nice and friendly.

8.    What are the hottest trends for kids clothes right now?
With warmer weather on its way, tunics and capris for girls will be popular in the spring and fun skirts with tops for summer.  One-pieces are always great for infant and toddler boys during the summer.

9.    Where are the best/essential family hangouts and places to go around your store location?
If you are looking for a fun family day outing, you could visit the Catawba Science CenterThey have tons of activities and fun things for the kids to do. For soft play, go-carts, putt putt, lazer tag, and arcade games you could take the kids to Hickory Dickory Dock. It is also great for birthday parties too.

10.    What Le Top or Rabbitmoon Spring 2012 collection is your store’s favorite and why?
My favorite collection from Le Top is “Sun and Sea”.  When it starts to warm up, I want to be at the beach and this collection would look so cute on my tan little girl after a fun day at the beach.  All the bright colors are so beautiful.  Makes me look forward to those long summer days filled with sunshine and sand.

Polka Dots & Patticakes

111 1st Avenue South, Suite A
Conover, NC 28613
828.292.9882

www.polkadotsandpatticakes.com

 CHECK-IN and JOIN Polka Dots & Patticakes
Facebook page and click HERE

Tunic and stripe capri with ruffle cuff from the Le Top “Sun and Sea" collection

 

 

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Many times we sing to our children to pass the time, stop them from crying, make a car trip go a little more smoothly, etc. But do our kids know the meaning behind many of the songs we sing? Probably not. We’ve all grown up with similar variations of the same nursery rhymes and children’s songs. Many of us don’t realize is that there is generally an extensive history, as well as a surprising past, behind most of these popular songs. Reading, songs and rhymes are a very important for the development of your child.  They not only help with using and understanding words, but give you child and interest in these areas.

This post has been moved to our website. Please visit it at http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=23647

CHECK OUT LE TOP CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT
www.letop-usa.com

 

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…how to make your kiddo’s morning complete with sweet love? Are you feeling “soft-hearted” (ha ha)? Make hot cocoa for your little one this Valentine’s Day with cute heart marshmallows.

Reach for some marshmallows and transform them into confections of affection. Start by greasing a heart-shaped petit four cutter or aspic cutter with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Cut several marshmallows in half horizontally, and then press the cutter into the center of each one. Float the marshmallows and the cutouts on hot chocolate.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped or shaved semi-sweet chocolate

 DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until chocolate has melted (do not let boil).
  2. Pour into mugs, and serve.

CHECK OUT LE TOP CHILDREN’S CLOTHING AT
www.letop-usa.com

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This handsome little guy, Nate (5-months-old), is today’s Darling. We’re told he is very easy going and quite the charmer. Nate is always full of smiles and laughs easily. Watch out little girls! Congratulations to Nate on you title of Le Top Darling of the Day

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