Cyber Monday Shopping Guide for Moms

It’s Cyber Monday—time to scoop up deals on designer baby gear at the best possible prices. Smart moms have a game plan for tackling the holiday shopping season. Here are a few tips for managing your time and money while shopping online for the best gear for baby.

Set a budget:

  • Make a list of every one on your list.
  • Work out a total budget for the holiday.
  • Allocate a set amount on each gift
  • Write down a budget before you start clicking and getting excited about deals.

Get Insider Scoop

  • Private sale sites, like Totsy.com, can provide steep discounts on high end baby gear. They make agreements with brands (such as Dwell Bedding, Cariboo or Hape) to hold short-term sales at discount prices. Join up to these groups and you’ll get insider prices.
  • Follow your favorite brands on Facebook and Twitter today for special deals and price alerts.
  • Give out your email when you shop and sign up for newsletters—but be smart about it. Use a designated shopping email and only check it when you are ready to shop. This keeps your inbox nice and clean.
  • Michelle Madhok, Founder of SheFinds.com Momfinds.com has a calendar of sample sale sites and a “Deal of the Day” listing.

Making the Purchase

  • Don’t be afraid to call customer service and ask for an even better deal.
  • Use the credit card that gives you the most cash back and the best return protection. Bank of America has a Power Rewards program that lets you earn points for travel or get cash back.
  • Use a credit card—when you shop online you are protected by a federal law that covers you for purchases over $50.
  • Before you click buy, check retailmenot.com and other coupon code sites to search for more coupon codes.
  • Freeshipping.org has a host of shipping codes.

Play it Safe

  • Before you start shopping, make sure you’re running the latest and greatest technology and have current anti-viral software running.
  • Never reply to an email inquiry asking for your credit card. If something seems like a phishing scam DO NO REPLY. Call the company and ask for a service rep.
  • Safety Tips from Microsofts’s Tech Mama, Sarah Keeling: When you’re shopping online, make sure your payment websites uses encryption. Look for an “s” after http in the Web address – it should read https: and a tiny closed padlock in the address bar, or at the lower right corner of the window.

Happy shopping!

Meet Whitney Wingerd Editor Mommies with Style

Need honest reviews on the best baby gear, tips about managing motherhood and a life? Meet Whitney—Editor of Mommies With Style. We love that she’s generous with her tips and advice and has gathered a talented team of mom writers on MWS. Her blog, MommiesWithStyle.com was one of the first on the scene in 2004. In the past five years, she and her team have made a name for themselves staying on top of news in the parenting world. Whitney lives and works in the Philadelphia area but you can find her all over the blogosphere, traditional paper and on the tube. She’s a global brand!

1. What one word best describes your current state of mind?
Happy – it’s Thanksgiving Week! Family, good food, what can be better than that?

2. What TV household does your family most resemble?
a. Brady Bunch
b. All in the Family
c. Brothers & Sisters
d. Army Wives
e. The Good Wife
f. Wife Swap
a. Brady Bunch

3. What term or phrase do you most overuse?
“Totally”

4. What are the five things/items you think that new moms (parents) can’t do without (sanity savers)?

  • MomAgenda or other scheduler
  • A good swaddling blanket
  • A Hooter Hider or other decent nursing cover
  • Tivo/DVR
  • Glamourmom Nursing Tank

5. Holiday pictures – your best tips for getting kids to pose vs. fighting, making funny faces, running away?


I’m sure it must depend on the age of the kids, but I like to use a little reverse psychology with my boys (ages 6 & 3). When they are putting up a fight, I challenge them not to smile, not sit still and certainly above all, not to laugh! 9 out of 10 times, it works for us, no matter how many times we do it.


And when all else fails, there’s always toy bribery.

6. What songs and/or books have worked best for bedtime?
For books, you just can’t go wrong with Goodnight Moon. It’s a timeless classic that always helps to wind my kids down. One more obscure favorite of ours is from Barefoot Books – it’s called Cleo the Cat. It’s a sweet story that always seems to lull my youngest into a more restful state at the end of the day.


7. How many miles (of driving duty) have you logged in the past week?
Thus far, around 500. Gotta love the minivan, the miles don’t phase us at all anymore!

8. One thing you want for yourself this holiday season?
It’s cheesy but all I really want is some downtime for myself! I know that doesn’t get wrap up well but it’s truly what I (and so many Moms I know) would love to get.

9. What celebrity best describes your personal style?
a. Jennifer Garner
b. Sarah Jessica Parker

c. Nicole Richie

d. Gwen Stefani

e. Angelina Jolie
f. Victoria Beckman

a. Jennifer Garner


10. Best parenting resource you would recommend?
For websites: The Cradle, Hot Moms Club, She Knows… there’s just so many great sites out there, it’s hard to only list a few! For a first time Mom book-wise, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and the Mayo Clinic Pregnancy Book are great first time parent books.

11. Current projects?
We’re always busy with reviews on MommieswithStyle.com. Plenty of holiday picks being posted daily on our site. I’ve also been writing as a Parenting Expert on AOL Shopping so you can catch me over there as well!

12. Follow me on twitter at: @mommieswstyle

Ger Her Look

I have always admired Kate Hudson’s style. She can pull anything off… not many women can do that. I was pregnant with one of my William when she was pregnant with her Ryder. I used to look to her for some fabulous maternity-style tips. Even now… 5 years later – I have just truly enjoyed seeing her boho fashions, her classic fashions, her true-fashionista fashions, her girl-next-door fashions and her casually chicness. This look right here – for me – is the epitome of casually chic. I love it.

So how can you “Get Her Look?”

Fedora Hat: Check out White House Black Market
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Black Tuxedo Coat: Check out White House Black Market
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Darkwash Denim: Check out 7 For All Mankind
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Gray Camisole: Check out Old Navy
Black Chunky Heels: Check out Piperlime

Wordless Wednesday: Business Chic for the Working Mom

Model: Isabel Kallman
Blog/Business: Alpha Mom—an essential online resource for moms and moms-to-be. Isabel is marketing maven and a generous conduit for ideas and people. Isabel blogs here: Minding My Business. Follow her on twitter @alphamom
Location: Alphamom networking lunch in NYC. Isabel brought together a room of power bloggers, PR pros and marketing gurus for the first of her lunchtime networking events in NYC.  The presentation was done by Tina Roth Eisenberg of SwissMiss.com

What Isabel’s wearing: Let’s take it from the top! Robert Marc glasses, twitter id necklace from Survivalofthehippest.comTori Burch top, Hermes belt, Banana Republic gray pants, and Manolos.

Why I loved it: This confident fashionista knows how to mix and match her brands. Who wants to be a slave to one designer! I say spread the wealth. Isabel always looks pulled together and professional. She seems comfortable in her clothes which puts people at ease and helps her get her message across loud and clear.  Working moms take note!

Totsy Holiday Gift Guide for Girls

Savvy moms know this is the week to start making a holiday list and checking it twice.  The best bargains are found by shopping early and staying alert for deals.  When it comes to putting together a list for the little girls in your life, I’ve got plenty of suggestions. We all know no two kids enjoy the same types of toys so here are some categories:

Sporty
Go!Go! Sports Dolls--these active girls play tennis, basketball and more.  Nothing wimpy about these plush pals. ($22.99)
SwimOutlet.com—an incredible assortment of fun swim caps (fish, kitties, sharks) makes splash time more fun. ($4.99 and up)
Kickboard Usa-Girls can start scooting at age 2!  The Mini Kick Micro scooter is outfitted with three wheels and incredibly easy to steer. ($79.99)

Preppy
A.Tierney headbands-perfect for the girl who likes to be coordinated. ($18)
Charm it!--this cupcake bracelet will be a 100% hit. ($16)
Vineyard Vines Flannel Lounge pant-so cozy for after school or a pj party. 2T and up ($32)

The Environmentalist

Sand Sac—this two-in-one gift is a canvas tote and an art project. Perfect for exploring beaches and collecting shells. 2 and up. ($11.95)
Paper Recycling Studio-this kit allows you to recycle old paper into a new craft project. 5 and up. ($17.99)
Green Toys Cookware set—She’ll love knowing that her yogurt containers went into the creation of this gorgeous tea set. 3 and up. ($30.99)

Artist
Pollopo Tees—turn your daughter’s art into fashion.  These kits are offered as DIY or you can scan and send an image.  Any age.($21.99 and up)
Kids Busy Box-15 complete crafts in one kit. Ideal for ages 3 and up. ($21.99)
Art on a Roll-this carrying case is the perfect place to store supplies. 2 and up. ($12)

Performer
Belle Ame pettiskirts-twirl and bounce in these incredibly full skirts. Newborn and up. ($42 and up)
Disney Karoke-Have your daughter sing along to all her favorite Disney tunes.  The songs come with music only and with lyrics. 3 and up. ($8.99 and up)
Sound Shapes-little rockers will adore experimenting with these Remo sound shapes. Newborn and up. ($69.99)

Holiday Gift Guide for BOYS

It’s Holiday time! This is for me, hands down… the best time of year! I love the Holiday music playing. I love seeing the beautiful decorations throughout our home. I love the deliciousness of sweets and treats. And I love Holiday shopping…especially for my sons! Each of them have their own personality… likes and dislikes… and wish lists. I’ve come to know BOY gifts very well over the last 5 years.

Yesterday Nicole gave you her Top Picks for GIRL gifts… they were all fabulous and oh-so-precious. She definitely knows girls!

Today it’s all about the BOYS. Here are some suggestions for the boys in your life:

Sporty:
Eli’s Lids – I am absolutely in love with these hats. They are super-cute for your little “men!” The different styles are essential – surfer, rocker, snowboarder. Your son will be “rocking” in these amazing hats. A surf-boarding rocker! ($19.99)
Spider-Man Bike – Nothing will have your son more excited! Spider-Man is the “man”… so imagine a bike with webs and decals all over it! ($69.99)
Kids Samba Sneakers – My sons can’t get enough of Samba sneakers. All the boys are wearing them to kids soccer and kids t-ball. They look so precious in the KID sizes. Total must-have for the sporty boy. ($47.99)

Preppy:
Crew Cuts. A classic cable knit sweater is essential for any boy. Crew Cuts has the most stunning and luxurious cashmere cable knit sweaters. They come in a variety of colors… and truly last and last and last. For the little “fashionto” in your life, bring on the cable knit! ($68.00)
Myself Belts – Every little boy wants a belt, it makes them feel like big boys. I love the belts at Myself Belts because they’re easy and “doable” for your little man. They come in so many different designs – flags, dinosaurs, cars, construction, even personalized! My sons LOVE these! ($14.95)
Suspenders – The cutest little manly trend around! Paired with a button-down, the most edible outfit in the world. ($10.50)

The Environmentalist:
Simple Shoes, Noodle. There’s nothing better than eco-friendly and washable shoes! I absolutely love Simple Shoes… but I just cannot get over the cuteness of the Noodle! ($40.00)
Natural Wooden Bi-Plane – Your son will love flying this exquisite plane from The Playstore around the house. Durable, fabulous quality, made of maple. Hours of imagination play with this plane! ($64.95)
Natural Playful World Finger Puppets
– Let your son’s playtime be filled with wonder and delight! These finger puppets are so much fun (and so adorable!) from Land of Nod. ($8.95/each)

Artist:
Playkraft Activity Center – Every artist needs a workstation. This Activity Center has 3 stools, 3 storage buckets and plenty of “desk” space. Let their artistic abilities soar here! ($229.99)
Play-Doh Super Craft Caddy – This is the ultimate in Play-Doh! Create, sculpt, mold, cut and roll Play-Doh! The artist within “you” will love this one, too! ($19.99)
Crayon Maker – Turn crayons bits and pieces into “new” crayons in crazy color combinations! ($32.99)

Performer:
Super Hero CapesStringbean Company offers the most adorable Super Hero Capes for boys! Let them run and be the “hero” they want to be! ($29.50)
Black Baby Grand Piano by Schoehut – Music loving kids!? Unite! This baby piano is the best of the best! Sing and create some beautiful music. ($149.99)
Magician Costume – Let the inner magician perform some amazing tricks for the whole family! You’ll be amazed as to the power of this costume! ($29.99)

Meet Beth Feldman – Role Mommy


Meet the amazing Beth Feldman… founder of Role Mommy, an online community and events company created to inspire, entertain and inform today’s busy moms. The mission of Role Mommy is simple: Helping your children realize their hopes and dreams doesn’t mean you have to give up on your own. Beth is one of the busiest working moms we know! She is also the President of BeyondPR, an entertainment public relations agency representing television and Internet projects as well as best-selling authors. She’s Lifetime Digital’s Lifetime Moms “Just for Fun” Editor. And, Beth is the co-author of Peeing in Peace: Tales & Tips for Type A Moms and author of See Mom Run.

1. What one word best describes your current state of mind?
Harried

2. What TV household does your family most resemble?
a. Brady Bunch
b. All in the Family

c. Brothers & Sisters

d. Army Wives

e. The Good Wife

f. Wife Swap

I guess Brothers & Sisters – this is a tough one since we don’t really match any of the families.

3. What term or phrase do you most overuse?
Absolutely. I am a yes person and when someone asks me to do something, I usually say yes whole heartedly. However, now that I’m stretched a bit too thin I’m starting to feel more comfortable saying no.

4. What are the five things/items you think that new moms (parents) can’t do without (sanity savers)?
1. A pacifier 2. sling or baby carrier 3. the ultimate umbrella stroller 4. food for baby – from formula to cheerios 5. diapers & wipes!!!

5. Holiday pictures – your best tips for getting kids to pose vs. fighting, making funny faces, running away?
Funny you should ask but we actually never pose for holiday photos. My best advice is to use your favorite vacation photo and ditch the sit on Santa’s lap frustration.

6. What songs and/or books have worked best for bedtime?
Books for little ones: Good Night Moon, The Giving Tree, I Love You Forever. For older kids: Diary of a Wimpy Kid; a Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket) Music: There’s a great new CD series that just came out for babies-toddlers called Little Music Lovers – it’s classical music for bedtime, storytime and playtime and it’s receiving rave reviews.

7. How many miles (of driving duty) have you logged in the past week?
Well, if you count last week, I probably logged about 500 miles since I was on tour for my new book “See Mom Run” and traveled to several cities including Philadelphia, New York City, Ridgewood, New Jersey and Larchmont, NY.

8. One thing you want for yourself this holiday season?
I would love a “Heavenly Bed” and five days straight of 10 hours sleep.

9. What celebrity best describes your personal style?
a. Jennifer Garner
b. Sarah Jessica Parker

c. Nicole Richie

d. Gwen Stefani

e. Angelina Jolie
f. Victoria Beckman

I’m totally casual and conservative so Jessica Garner all the way

10. Best parenting resource you would recommend?
RoleMommy.com of course and LifetimeMoms.com where I’m one of the Just for Fun channel leaders.

11. Follow me on Twitter:
@rolemommy

12. Current projects that have you engaged and excited:
My new book, See Mom Run. I’m thrilled to be traveling across the country and meeting the moms who have contributed to the book. And, I’m loving that audiences are laughing and loving the book! It’s been a lot of fun connecting with moms and sharing stories of our most harried moments. It’s time to put the “me” back in “mommy” this holiday season and thanks to Swiffer WetJet who is sponsoring our cross country tour we’re awarding the most harried moms with a Peace of Mind gift basket filled with tons of items to make their lives easier. Our next stop is Chicago on December 3, then Los Angeles and Seattle. Check out RoleMommy.com and SeeMomRunBook.com for tour details!