Yesterday was Small Business Saturday, so I feel like I missed the boat by posting about one of my favorite small business today. BUT! Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, and there’s no rule that you can’t shop all the great deals from those same small businesses you checked out yesterday! And I’ve got a great coupon code for you at the end of this post!

I’ve been a pretty big fan of BePe Baby for years. Their slippers have been a staple in Jackson’s wardrobe for most of his 4 years. We started out with the super cool baby slippers with flames on the sides, which you can see in this classic itty bitty Jax photo:

bepe baby slippers

Then we graduated to sports slippers, featuring baseballs, soccer balls, footballs, and more. And now we’ve made it to the largest size, with the crossbones slippers, which we like to refer to as the “pirate slippers.” (We watch a lot of Jake & The Never Land Pirates in my house.)

Jax was happy to model his new slippers:

bepe baby slippers

And a little more closely:

bepe baby slippers

All the things I’ve raved about previously still apply now, years later: Jax loves them because they’re soft, comfortable, “really cool,” and easy to put on and take off without any help. What I love about BePe Baby slippers is that they have non-skid soles, they’re inexpensive, and they’re durable and washable. We’ve only needed to replace these slippers because Jax outgrows them.

For you, friends, BePe Baby is offering a 25% off coupon code that’s good all week (valid through December 8, 2013): JAMESJAX

So stuff your kid’s stocking with some slippers that will make you both happy & check out BePe Baby. They offer more than slippers, too! Check out some of these adorable hats & leg warmers! Oh, and they’re also on Amazon now.

 

Earlier this year, I wrote about one of my biggest pregnancy regrets–foregoing the opportunity to bank placenta blood cells, cord blood cells, and tissue because I thought we couldn’t afford it. Since my pregnancy 4+ years ago, the cost and application of this innovative technology has improved. And things will only get better going forward.

The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has already proven successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. In fact, since 1988, stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases.

Through cord blood banking, you can collect and preserve potentially lifesaving stem cells, and doing so could one day save the life of your child or a blood relative. You can bank even more stem cells by collecting them from 2 usable sources of stem cell-rich blood: the umbilical cord and the placenta. This service is called Placental and Cord Blood Banking, and it’s available only from LifebankUSA. Whether you choose Placental and Cord Blood Banking or Cord Blood Banking alone, there are many important reasons to choose LifebankUSA.

When you bank with LifebankUSA, tissue banking (tissue from the placenta) is included for free.* Placental tissue contains mesenchymal cells (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for stem cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifebankUSA’s parent company is actively involved in their development.

LifebankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of its complete banking package using their cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby’s tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at that time.†  Tissue banking is just one more layer of protection and peace of mind offered by LifebankUSA.

I will always regret not finding the means to take advantage of this service when I could. I urge those of you who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant to research more about LifebankUSA.

LifebankUSA is having another awesome contest on their Facebook page. They’re giving away three top-rated and highly desirable Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seats (value $260 each) in a random drawing from entrants in the Facebook contest. You can learn more about & enter the contest here.

FB-image-post-for-contest

*Storage fees apply after the first year
†Clients will be responsible for the cost of shipping the tissue and any culturing or expansion of the cells.

I’ve been a BoyMom for over 4 years now and I’m still not sick of playing cars on the floor, Lego (disclaimer: I haven’t  stepped on yet barefoot yet, so talk to me after that happens), and all-things-Superhero.

Amy from BoyMom Designs sent me a shirt that reminds me of all the hours spent helping Jax determine which car is the fastest, rolling cars through each room of our house to see which floor surface is best for races, and choosing which car Jax might someday own from among the 50 or 60 cars he has collected so far (the purple one, of course).

boymomshirt

This was the best pic I could get today. We parents know how challenging it can sometimes be to get everyone to remain calm enough to snap a non-blurry pic!

My new BoyMom t-shirt features 5 rows of fast toy cars, from red to orange to yellow. The logo across the top made me smile and think of Jax. I threw a cardi over it, paired it with some skinny jeans & Uggs, and I’m referring to it as my “mom uniform” on this chilly & chill Saturday afternoon. There’s a turkey roasting in the oven and a Disney movie on the tv. No, it isn’t Cars, but good idea!

Amy & I are offering one of these cute cars t-shirts to one of you and a 20% discount code for the entire site to all of you. You can enter up to 3 times to win the cars t-shirt shown above:

  1. Follow @boymomdesigns on Twitter. Come back to this post & comment to let us know you’ve followed. Leave your twitter name.
  2. Like BOTH James & Jax and BoyMom on Facebook. Comment below to let us know you’ve done this.
  3. Tell us about any one of your favorite parenting moments in a comment below.

One winner will be selected at random on Monday, December 2. In the meantime, please head over to BoyMom to check out all Amy has to offer–her store isn’t just for moms of boys! While you’re there, read her story; she is an inspiration!

Yes, my boys can be dangerous, destructive, messy, exasperating, and smelly — but the good news is that they are only that way some of the time. The rest of the time they are superheroes in the making; respectful and honest do-gooders, defenders of the universe, and best of all always loving. The kind of boys that will grow up to be good men. Of all the jobs in the world, being a boymom might be the most challenging and the most fulfilling. ~ Amy

Don’t forget to use your 20% discount code: U9X5JC.

UPDATE: Angela, you’re the winner of the BoyMom Cars t-shirt! I’ll be in touch with you soon!

This is a sponsored post.

What people prepare you for as a new parent is the prospect of sleepless nights, vast expenses, limited to no social time, your house being taken over by all things baby and the next 18 years plus of your life being dedicated to looking after someone else and always putting them first.

Of course, we all know fine well that having a baby brings an enormous amount of joy and a love that was previously unknown in to play and this obviously is what spurs procreation on. That, and the un-manageable biological impulses!

Regardless of the love you gush with for your wee bairn, being a new parent is tough and a lot to have to deal with initially, especially if it’s your first. But in retrospect, as a lot of parents whose kids have grown up will tell you, these are the best days! Something in the same vicinity as having a puppy turn in to an old dog!

As parents who have had the experience (with humans, not animals), they will tell you that they miss their children being babies in one form or another. When you have your baby, they don’t answer you back, you always know where they are so don’t have to worry about that, they can’t tell you that they hate you or don’t like everything you cook, puberty is a long way in to the future and their clothes will never be cuter. Once they get old enough, they end up wearing all sorts of crazy things, just like you did when you were younger. Terrifying right!

The best of the best to cling on to for as long as possible are the baby’s shoes from George at ASDA. The cutest little booties, sandals and pop-ons that will make you coo in the future. When you’re baby is all grown up and a person in themselves, you will miss them being so cute and innocent and small!

George at ASDA offers you a range of adorable foot wear that will make you wish your little bundle of joy never grows up and out of them, even if that does mean you are always that little bit shattered for the rest of your life. It would be totally worth it if they could just always look so cute! In twelve years time, you’ll be digging out every pair they owned making wishes for them to get younger again, like the opposite of the movie Big with Tom Hanks. All the more reason to stock up on as many little pairs as you can, ‘because magic is hard to come by out of Hogwarts!

 

Update: Contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Raine. Your comment was randomly selected via Random.org as the winner! I’ll be in touch with you via email later today.

 

Wisdom journal from MintedHow cute is my new, custom journal from Minted?! I’m almost intimidated to write in it because it’s too adorable—how will my words compare?

In case you haven’t heard about Minted yet, let me explain who they are. Minted is a global community of independent graphic designers and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs in the form of paper goods. Brides, Minted makes killer wedding invitations, too!

But my favorite products on their site are the journals, because you know I’m a written word junky. Few things excite me more than the clean, fresh first page of a brand new journal. So many possibilities for writing! Typically, I start out a new journal optimistically, writing about the joys of life, the things I appreciate, all the good times and happy memories. Slowly I can see my negative thoughts creeping in there toward the middle pages. Then I decide I need to buy a new journal to start over again once my writing turns to the dark side in the second half. It is rare I finish writing all the way to the final page! Therefore, I have a collection of unfinished journals and diaries that go back to age 8. But none of them are as cute as my Minted journal.

What I particularly love about Minted is that the journals are designed by independent artists, yet each one can be personalized by you.  I ordered and personalized this cutie. I’m considering holding off on writing in it until I’m done my Positivity Notebook and then using my Minted journal for Positivity, Part II.

What do you think I should use my new journal for?

Leave a comment telling me what you would use your shiny new Minted journal for, and your comment will serve as your entry to win the journal of your choice! For one additional entry, leave a second comment indicating which Minted journal is your favorite.

One winner will be selected one week from today, on Wednesday, June 12, and will be notified via email.

Disclaimer: I received no financial compensation for hosting this giveaway; However, I did receive one gorgeous, personalized Minted journal. The views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.