Monthly Archives: August 2008

Enter for a chance to win Free stuff for end of summer back to school celebration tees worn by Nicole Richie and Jennifer Garner

As a thank you and a launch for our new Puppies and Worms store we are giving away (1) a back to school pack to one of you lucky moms or newlyweds out there.

Enter for your chance to win the $120 prize pack – 1 of these packages will be given away to 1 winner.

Click here to see what we have for sale in our new store.

http://stores.ebay.com/Puppies-and-Worms?refid=puppiesandworms

One lucky winner will win the following:

We will be giving away the following items in the end of summer package:

1 Cherry Tees Tank as worn by many celebrities and seen in Oprah’s O Magazine, Redbook, on Jennifer Garner, Nicole Richie, and more celebs as seen also in US Magazine and People Magazine.

1 Cherry Tees Long Sleeve tissue tee

1 Eco friendly steel Water Bottle by Ecowaterbottles

1 Thomas the Tank Engine Lunchbox with the thermos and sandwich holder inside

1 Giant Pen that is about 13 inches long really works and fun to use

Retail value for this giftback is $120

Please leave your comments and subscribe to our blog newsletter to be eligible

for the giveaway. You can enter as many times as you like. Winner will be picked in a blind drawing in the Puppies and Worms offices. There will be 1 winner picked. Colors of items for winning package will be based on availability. 1 winning package will be given away. Drawing will be held in Puppies and Worms offices on Sept 30th, 2008. Please email any questions to us at puppiesandworms@gmail.com.

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Hangin’ with the in laws – how often? – Newlywed Girl

What is the right amount of time to spend with your in laws? Am I supposed to see them once a week, bi-weekly, monthly, or something else? My in laws actually live within driving distance so the excuse for being too far is out of the question. My husband doesn’t see my parents often because they still live on the other side of the US, and they don’t often come for visits.

I don’t want to seem like I’m feeling obligated to see my in laws or anything. The question is more really about, how often is the right formula between too seldom and too frequently. Everytime we go down to the OC to see my in laws – hubby’s mom will make an elaborate meal with many courses to stuff us silly. I feel a little badly for making her go through all that work just because we are going there for a quick visit. For example, one time we drove down for a lunch and turns out she had been slaving away for hours to make some of my hubby’s favorite dishes from childhood. Then, after the meal is over, she cleans all the dishes and everything! She doesn’t want anyone in the kitchen but her, so I can’t even help her if I tried.

Lately more often than not, I try to suggest that we go out for the meal instead of going to their home for a homecooked meal. I hate thinking about how she puts in all that work to make the meal, and then the clean up. When I cook a lot – my husband helps with clean up, thats just how we operate. Maybe old school moms are different from our generation, but I am not going to be the only royalty in the kitchen domain.

What do you think about how often to see the in laws? Do you newlyweds out there deal with a similar scenario? Also, what do you think about my guilt on mom in law cooking and cleaning?

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Birthday parties to do or not to do that is the question

When I was a kid, my mom would make a cake / buy a cake, buy paper Raggedy Ann plates and a tablecloth and get some streamers, some chips, order some pizzas and call a few relatives and it would be a big birthday party. Nowadays a birthday party is not a birthday party unless you have it at your house with a balloon guy, some sort of entertainment, a jumping thing, an arts and crafts area, salads and food for the adults, plus food for the kids. What ever happened to the home party that most of us had when growing up?

You may think this is a USA phenomenon but it is not – it is happening all over the world. I have been speaking to friends from Canada to Europe and beyond at it is true for everyone. Along with our designer purse prices going from $400 for a Chanel clutch in 1985 to $2,000 and up now, birthday party for kids are no longer just kiddie parties anymore. Bling is everywhere as they say. From watching the hills to even the Disney channel to going to the Barnum and  Bailey circus life has become like Vegas.

So the reason I am complaining is because going to Chuckie cheese used to be a big deal – go to the party – eat pizza get lots of tokens from the birthday kids family and go home with some prizes. Super fun right? What happened to just plain fun- kids run around – eat some cake- go home?

Recently, I went to a party that was more like a debutant ball. No joke. My daughter was invited to a 4 year old’s birthday party where there was valet parking, a theme, a chocolate fountain, a full kids buffet, a popcorn machine, a petting zoo, and a show. And on the way out, she  got a huge goody bag filled with a t shirt from Kitson – a very well known celebrity store in LA- lots of candy and a skateboard with her name on it. I know…this is not like all the other birthday parties my daughter normally attends, but the others are not that low key either.

This year I decided to do a birthday party for B at a kids restaurant so that it would be easy for me. The place would just provide the food and the kids get to play in the play area while the adults mingled. Of course they tried to pile it on once I signed up for the date of the party.

The manager of the kids restaurant asked if I wanted goody bags for $10 like Adam Sandler had he said, a balloon guy for $150 like another celeb did for her child’s party ( this is LA so this happens a lot in many places in LA- this place is not fancy it just so happens celebs have to do their kids parties somewhere and this is what happens in LA if there are only 7 kids party places in the area), a themed birthday cake for $119, and more.I said no thanks to all the extras and just decided to have the food for the kids and the adults and let them play.

I think sometimes people worry too much about what others have done- keeping up with the Joneses etc and then it becomes a little bit of a crazy competition.

I heard from a friend who lives in Australia who told me the same thing- she said that she had been to parties in LA and thought that some of the parties in Australia were even more over the top and that it is happening all over now.

It must be the media or something. We watch the Hills and the Simple Life and think everyone lives this way. Must also be the economy a few years back when everyone had a house that was worth double what they bought it for…well things are changing…and maybe birthday parties will change too now…

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Playdates – mommy or nanny when it is right and not right even Angelina Jolie spends a lot of time with her kids

I live in Los Angeles and this is the land of people with nannies and stay at home moms. I happen to one of those moms without a nanny but I stay at home and work from home. In Los Angeles, many moms that work have nannies to help them pick up the children from school at 3p and get them settled daily since they cannot get home from their jobs usually until 7P.

There are also that rare breed in the world in Los Angeles and in New York City that have nannies and they don’t work but they are very busy doing charity work or sometimes just shopping with friends. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that. That is another conversation on another blog…I was just pointing out the differences.

Anyhow, my whole issue is the playdates and who attends them. It is now playdate time because it is summer vacation and summer camp is usually done because we are only a few weeks away from school starting again. So playdates or family vacation is what is occupying our little ones who are full of energy now. So in a normal place like a Boston suburb, a mom would call another mom and at 2P the one mom with her child or children would show up at the other’s house or a park and the kids would play and the moms would chat.

In Los Angeles, it is a more complicated matter …for example, last week a mom emailed me and said, my son would love to hang out with B, can we set up a playdate. I answered sure what day? She emailed back how about anytime this week? So I thought ok great Wed? She answered no, they have a tennis lesson, how about Thursday, I said sure what time. She answers Thursday at 1:30P? I said ok great.

I get there with B and the nanny is there but the mom is not. No explanation no email no call. So irritating. The Nanny is clearly expecting me and the kids play nicely. I like the child and it is fine. Just strange that I am having a playdate with a child and the nanny is there when the mom does not work and could not be there to be with her child and an invited playdate.

Could she have let me know at least that she was not going to be there? That would have been nice right? Anyhow, the question is: Is the playdate for the child and the mom? Or is the playdate for the child only? Should I have been offended or should I have just asked if the nanny could stay with my daughter too for the playdate while I sat in the living room to make some phone calls for my work?  What is the right behavior for this situation? Was I wrong to feel offended?

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The kid talk ~ Newlywed Girl

I’m back and ready to blog about my next topic!

Last weekend the hubby and I went to a kiddie birthday party for his close friend’s daughter’s second birthday. When we arrived we realized we were one of two couples who were without child. It didnt’ feel awkward or anything, but we knew we were going to start getting the usual questions.

Sure enough…I don’t think nearly an hour passed by before we were asked when we were going to have little ones running around. My husband and I had decided before we got married that we were going to wait a number of years before starting a family. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with waiting a bit, since we are only just approaching our 1 year anniversary; its just others just don’t think the same way. There was the look of horror as my husband explains to his friends that we are not planning a family in the very near future.

I do hope that one day we do have our own little family. I just want us to enjoy our lives together before the new chapter starts. The funny part is that its not our parents who want to pressure us, its all of our friends!

What do you other newlyweds out there think? Have you experienced this as well? How do you respond?

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Making baby food from scratch and cooking for your child

When my daughter was born I made everything from scratch… I made her vegetables and her applesauce…her soups…you name it, I did it. Finally I was so tired and bent out of shape grouchy from waking up at all hours of the night, cleaning the house, picking up after my husband, and making food from scratch, I went cold turkey and bought everything. I know…I know…why did I have to scrap it all? Well I am just that kind of person. All or nothing. Anyhow, I went to Whole Foods constantly and spent $1.50 a jar on these little 3 oz jars of peas, carrots, apples, bananas, oatmeal…I bought it in bulk. I filled up and used it all and went back for more. It was a never ending cycle and I was too tired to really think about it.

One day, after 4 hours of sleep, I felt refreshed and started to think about  what was happening. I looked at my receipts and realized just how much money I was spending on all this so called “natural” foods for my child. Holy Crap I spent about $6-$9 a day on jars of bits of food for my kid and it was not even that good for her.

At the same time, I was also starting to gain weight again…after I stopped  breastfeeding and just buying her food from the market…it all started to happen at once…I will talk about that next time…it was a cycle, I got lazy and my body started to show it.

So I started to research what to do…I found all these books from Seinfeld’s wife’s book to a few other gourmet versions. Seinfeld’s wife wanted me to hide mashed sweet potatoes in whole wheat batter and make donuts out of them to give to my kid…not good training I thought…and the gourmands wanting me to make Beef Wellington and grind it up in the cuisinart and store it in little ice cube trays and give it to my kid…

I finally found something in between…a book on how to make healthy foods “look” interesting so that your child will eat the food because it looks fun but not altering any of the natural ingredients. I started to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that looked like butterflies, and white fish with veggies in a fish shape with breadcrumbs on top. My then 1 year old lapped it all up and happily ate more. Instead of wasting jars, I started buying food containers that I could use to store the food and then re use.

I was ecstatic and started to introduce more interesting foods such as caterpiller meatballs which are meatballs strung together with sauce on top laying on a bed of spaghetti with clovers as eyes. Meal times became fun for mom and child and I did not spend all my time running back and forth to the market to buy jars of food and recycling too many glass jars.

I felt better as a mother because I was able to do this for my child with very little time and effort.  What I realized was the effort I could put in with just some simple ingredients and creativity made amazing food for my daughter and it was actually more convenient than a jar of food. I could not believe it, the satisfaction of creating something good for my family was actually rewarding to me as a person and everything else started falling into place again…the confusion of being a new mother and growing into a person who now had a child was no longer this whirlwind…I was starting to enjoy my time with her.

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Turn off the Computer and Talk – Newlywed Girl

Hi, I am newlywed girl, and I’m addicted to the internet. I enjoy chatting with friends, checking my email, writing my blogs, checking my ebay store, and basically sit in front of my laptop for many hours a night.

My friend told me during my wedding planning that its healthy to take at least a couple nights a week away from the computer to keep my relationship going with my fiance (now husband). I really have a hard time doing that because all day long at work, I have no sneaky little times in the day to do some of the internet surfing. When I get home I have tons of things to catch up on and lets face it – I’m just addicted to the computer and the internet. I think during the wedding planning it was really bad – my husband was so irritated with the long hours I’d spend looking at the knot, wedding bee, vendor websites and blogs.

I think its time to make that conscious decision to step away from the computer for a couple nights a week. I’ll have to pick which days I’ll be taking my small breaks. Its probably good to not ignore my husband and give ourselves some time to chat and catch up with the day.

Don’t worry Internet, same to you blog readers – I won’t be gone from you too long…

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