December 30, 2009

2009 In 5 Simple Questions

[ Full disclosure: I totally stole these questions from NerdGirl.]

Q: Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn't live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.

Oh, I've tried a lot of different web tools this year: Plinky, Whrrl, iGoogle, DropSend, Evernote, Springpad,, Posterous, HootSuite (which I hate), Cozi, Slide, BigTent and a host of others. But I'd have to say my favorite is TweetDeck, with Cozi Family running a close second.

Q: Project. What did you start this year that you're proud of?

I'm so proud of us, ladies!!

Q: New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

Now this is a hard one! What I really want to do is cheat and say that L'il Buddy turned my life upside down. But, since he was born in 2008, that wouldn't count. So. I will choose Kathryn Stockett and Emily Giffin. They came into my life by way of their books which I devoured this year and can't wait for their next offerings. Two very different, but captivating, writers.

And of course, Barack Obama.

Q: Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?

I spent most (all?) of my mad money at the outlet shops in Bethany Beach, DE during my yearly girls' trip. Buying myself a new designer handbag is quickly becoming an October tradition.

Thanks for the good times girls!

Q: Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. "2009 was: a blessing."

In these times when swine flu is lurking, the economy is languishing, jobs are dwindling, national security is threatened, and the constant news reports of philandering husbands, I thank God for my sweet little family and our fortunate life.

Happy New Year! May 2010 be all that you want it to be and more.

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December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

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December 23, 2009

Sex and The City 2- Movie Trailer

I know everyone is finalizing their holiday to do lists but I had to stop and take a moment to share the news. Hot off the press- it's the official trailer for the Sex and the City 2 movie!! I can't wait until next summer to see this!!!
The trailer is such a teaser, I can't take it!! And the song-- perfect!
Check out the movie trailer here.

(I would post the video but YouTube restricted it.)

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December 17, 2009

Smart Cookie Tip Exchange #3 - $hop $mart

I love nice things - who doesn't, right. Christmas time is especially difficult because I want to get nice gifts for everyone (and myself too) but after I make a list, I'm broke.

So, here are a couple tips that may work for you:

1. Give presents to families rather than individuals. You may find it much smarter to give a present that the entire family can enjoy rather than buying 4 or 5 separate gifts for kids and parents (if you're so inclined). So maybe give your family friends a dvd pack of family movies or large basket of goodies.

2. Save for yourself while shopping for others. This is a great strategy for kids shopping. I buy most of Princess' clothes at Gymboree and for most of the month of December a member can earn Gymbucks - a program whereby every $50 spent entitles you to a certificate worth $25 which is redeemable at a specified time in January. So, I don't get any clothes for princess in November or December and buy clothes as Christmas presents for the kids on my list, and then I return in January to get stuff for princess. So, I get a savings for stuff I would have had to get anyway. (BTW, to all my personal friends, your kids are getting clothes from me AGAIN this year).

What are your shopping tips or strategy?

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December 16, 2009


Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Hubby and I had the rare opportunity to go on a trip together, sans kids. The last time we did that was in 2007 for my 30th birthday when we went to New Orleans. For a couple that has 3 kids 5 years old and younger, 2 full-time jobs and 2 side companies, we were long overdue for a break! My mom (who flew in from Miami) and sister offered to babysit for 4 days and off we went!

A fun fact about me: I love planning trips. Just give me your vision and a budget, and I'll make it happen. So the challenge for me this time was to find a destination that wouldn't break the bank, that was a reasonable flying distance and that would allow us to relax. Seeing as how we chose the busiest travel season of the year to plan our little getaway, the options were pretty scarce. But! I settled on Arizona fairly quickly (I had always been wanting to go) and thanks to several amazing recommendations from Travel Jonez, we booked a fantastic hotel and even got a free night!

Let me digress for a moment to tell you about how awesome Travel Jonez was: she's one of my sister's best friends and is a travel agent who....happens to live in Phoenix. Were the stars aligned or what? She put together an oh-so-fabulous itinerary for us; complete with weather forecasts, travel directions, restaurant recommendations - she hooked us up! So if you're in need of some help with your next trip, give her a holler. You'll be thrilled.

Ok, back to AZ. It was wonderful. We stayed at the Intercontinental Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, right next to Camelback Mountain. OMG. As Hubby said: "this is one of those rare occasions where the hotel looks exactly like the website." And that's saying a whole lot. Take a peek.
Our suite was in the couples only section of the resort and was just perfect. We had a huge balcony that overlooked the pools and the mountains. The staff was great, the amenities were great - I can't say enough. Most of all, the place was just gorgeous. The spa was out of this world - I had a body scrub and mud wrap and Hubby and I met up for a couples' massage. Throw in a sauna, steam room, cold deluge and hot whirpool and this lady was in heaven.

Onto the food. I had heard that AZ's cuisine was on point and boy, was it ever. We started off with Thanksgiving dinner at The Mission. AM.A.ZING. No words. Next.

Each place we went to was a winner: Lon's at the Hermosa; White Chocolate Grill; Prado; La Grande Orange; Kaz Wine Bar; even Lolo's Chicken and Waffles. Seriously - Phoenix does not play.

I have to say the one of the most fun parts of our trip was hiking Camelback Mountain. Of course I didn't think it was so much fun about an hour into it (when we were only halfway to the top!), but making it to the top was totally worth it. The worst part of the 4-hour hike was that I turned both my ankles on the way down. Note to self: don't go hiking in cute sneakers.

We also managed to squeeze in some excellent shopping. The mall there was insane! And we even checked out Old Town Scottsdale which looked like an old western flick. They had the coolest artwork and jewelry made the by local Native Americans.

And that was our trip. Of course we missed The Crew like crazy, but they had a blast wearing out Grandma and Auntie and before we knew it, we were right back in the chaos.

Home sweet home.

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December 15, 2009

Wednesday Special Event! Nickelodeon's ParentConnect Online Baby Shower

What are you doing tomorrow between 10am and 8pm? Nothing? Well, now you have plans. You're officially invited to attend the World's Biggest Online Baby Shower!

All day, from 10am - 8pm, this interactive online event will have shower games, parenting advice and a huge treasure trove of fabulous prizes. You can come and go from party throughout your day as you please - the prize giveaways will be going on all day.

Take a look at the stuff they'll be giving away - an UppaVista Baby Stroller ($699 retail), a bloom fresco loft highchair ($500 retail), a Medela Freestyle breast pump ($379 retail) - this one weighs less than one pound! (where was that when I was nursing!?), $300 gift certificate , Britax car seats and tons of stuff more like bouncy seats, jewelry, edible treats, baby monitors, kids' books, baby carriers...the list goes on.

The online party will be hosted by The Shower Diva Susan Newton, the guru of baby and bridal showers that are actually a blast...because you know we've all been to some stinkers.

So my Mamalaw friends, here's how you join the par-tay:
1) Log In or Register for ParentsConnect.

2) Head over to Pingg, RSVP "Yes!" and then use the "Share Invite" feature to invite everyone you know! The person with the most guests wins a $650 stroller!
RSVP here.

3) Come to on December 16th anytime between 10am - 8pm ET for all the fun stuff about baby showers - the gifts! the games! - without any of the suck!
Click here.

Get your party on!

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December 14, 2009

Christmas at The White House

I have so much to say and not enough time, so I won't say anything today other than I absolutely LOVE them! What did you think about the Oprah special last night?

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December 10, 2009

Smart Cookie Tip Exchange #2: Holiday Cards

Ah the Holiday Card. They mean so many different things to different people. To some they are the ultimate excuse to show off their precious families - smiling in matching sweaters - and to also show off how capable and organized they are by sending their cards out the day after Thanksgiving. To others, the Holiday Card symbolizes oppression, stress, another expense and yet another opportunity to feel like a Beta Mom for getting their cards in the mail just before New Year's. Count me in the latter category.

But this year I have it all figured out. Instead of the yearly expedition to the photography studio where we shell out too much money for photos that take way too long to process, we are headed one of 2 places: my living room or the mall. Yes, I said it. If you're on our mailing list, you can expect a happy photo of the Fergies in front of our very own tree or in the very festive Santa sleigh at the mall. Christmas backdrop? Check.

I also stumbled across a very lucrative clearance rack at Gymboree last weekend. I was able to scoop up holiday outfits for the kiddies for a steal of a price. Seasonal ensembles? Check.

Finally, Justice Ny put me on to a little known gem called the Costco Photo Center. I knew you could get your photos developed at Costco, but the discount store never came to mind when I was ordering holiday cards in past years. For $0.13 a card and turnaround time less than 1 hour, you can't beat it! Cute and Fast Card Design? Check.

Wahla! Just like that, my holiday cards will be ready to go by Sunday. An entire 11 days before Christmas. How's that for a Smart Cookie?

Do you have any tips for simplifying your holiday card process?

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The Power of Partnerships (It's a Giveaway!)

Whenever Jonesie, Ny and I are together and we meet someone new, the first question we are usually asked is "How did you all meet?" and "What gave you the idea to create Blogalicious?" The truth is that we started off as friends who met in college (Jonesie and I) and then law school (Ny). After graduation, real life quickly set in and we found ourselves consulting each other daily - even multiple times a day - on issues relating to marriage and motherhood. The questions we bombarded each other with over email ranged from: Am I making enough milk? How did you find your nanny? When on earth do you guys have time to fit in Date Night? to What's your favorite brand of diapers? Are Gymboree classes really worth the money? And so on and so on. Then, one day I came across this thing called a "blog." I loved that it was an interactive and fun way to share information with friends and before we knew it, Mamalaw was born.

Partnerships That Strengthen Friendships
The blog has really been evidence of the powerful partnership that is friendship. We counsel, support and lean on each other here for all that life throws our way. serves as a launching pad for other adventures, namely Blogalicious. Hardly a day goes by without someone wondering how we managed to plan and host a conference, while working and raising families. The answer is simple: we had a partnership. I'm sure any one of us would say that we would not have been able to pull anything off (except for our hair) had we been doing it alone. The beauty of our partnership is that there are three sets of shoulders to carry the load; three great minds that come up with all sorts of crazy ideas; three sets of eyes to go over everything; but most of all three good hearts that dream big. It's the power of that partnership that fueled Blogalicious 2009 and that is fueling the great projects that are to come.

Partnerships That Feed The Soul
There is one other partnership that I cannot neglect to acknowledge. If you attended the conference in October, then you got to see first hand the most important partners in our lives: our husbands. As Jonesie said, we really and truly would never have been able to juggle it all without having fantastic life partners holding down the homefront. Whether it was putting up with our myriad late-night conference calls, taking care of the kids so Mommy could go to a "meeting," or understanding that mom was preoccupied and that's why we were having spaghetti again for dinner, our hubbies weathered the storm and gave us tremendous support. It's the power of that partnership that fuels our spirits and inspires our kids.

Take a moment to reflect on all of your major accomplishments. I'm willing to bet that you didn't achieve those on your own. Was a study partner involved? A mentor? An editor? Somewhere, some kind of partnership was at play.

Partnerships That Cross Continents
A perfect example of a powerful partnership is one spearheaded three years ago by Willa Shalit and her company Fair Winds Trading. It's called "Path to Peace" and it developed an American market for Rwandan women’s crafts. It creates trade partnerships with artisans in recovering regions to bring the power of change to Rwanda and Indonesia. Shalit believes that women helping each other can change how Rwanda rebuilds its society, empowers women and sustains economic development beyond traditional development assistance. Earning, on average, nearly 14 times the national per capita income, the women are now able to feed their families and send their children to school. Through the Path to Peace project, the wonderful women of Rwanda fashion one-of-a-kind jewelry such as The O Bracelet. The bracelet, recently featured in O Magazine, is hand-made by two women--a weaver in Rwanda and a jewelry artist in New Orleans. Besides being a beautiful accessory, the message is all about partnership and the possibilities which occur when we work together.

Would you like to win your very own O Bracelet? Just leave us a comment describing a meaningful partnership in your life. A winner will be chosen on Wednesday, December 16.

Thanks to The BlogRollers Media for offering us this great giveaway!

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December 09, 2009

The Oven's Preheating!

Holiday Baking Days in the Fergie Household are underway! No, I don't have time for this! No, I don't need to be eating desserts! But it's Christmas, people! The girls and I are going to be making holiday treats every few days from now until Christmas. I'm in a Southern state of mind these days, so most of our confections are gonna be tried and true recipes from the South. First up is...Chocolate Pie! [Ok, wow there is an entire website devoted to Chocolate Pie recipes.] Next on the menu is White Chocolate Bread Pudding - a special request from Hubby. After that we're gonna tackle a Layered Caramel Cake and I can't wait. If you have any secret, scrumptious family recipes for any of these or if there's something that I absolutely must try, let me know and we'll add 'em to the list. I will make sure to post pictures of our masterpieces before they're devoured.

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December 06, 2009

2009 Holiday Gift Guide & Giveaway Event!

Hopefully most of you are doing better than me and are well on your way to having shopped for your entire holiday list. Somehow, December snuck up on me this year and I've done absolutely nothing to prepare for all that it brings. Tonight, we put the tree up and decorated the house. Even still, it doesn't feel like Christmas is just three weeks away! And so I'd better get a move on and come up with this year's gift list for my close friends and family. I'm keeping it simple this year, but still - I want to make sure that I give great gifts to the people that I hold near and dear. If you're still looking for some neat gift ideas, check out these unique and fun items that I've (mostly) had the pleasure of sampling for free...and enter to win a gift of your own. After all, 'tis the season!

For the Geeky Chick in Your Life: Best Buy Private Label Products.

Keep tabs on your child at all times with this small but sophisticated device that combines GPS and cellular technology to provide you with real-time location updates. The small and lightweight Little Buddy transmitter fits easily into a backpack, lunchbox or other receptacle, making it easy for your child to carry so you can check his or her location at any time using a smartphone or computer. Customizable safety checks allow you to establish specific times and locations where your child is supposed to be — for example, in school — causing the device to alert you with a text message if your child leaves the designated area during that time. View the Product Demo here. Retails for $99.99

Rocketfish Mobile Laptop Desk.

Work comfortably on your laptop with this laptop desk that features a pull-out tray for accessories and a pull-out tray for a mouse pad that features a support structure for stability.

- Holds most laptops with up to a 16" display
- Pull-out tray holds mouse pad and features a support structure for stability.
- Pull-out accessory trayStore your iPod, cell phone and camera while you work. The insert can be removed to hold a beverage. Soda can adapter and paper cup hole fit multiple cup sizes.
- Soft foam bottomFor comfortable use.
- Slim designFor easy portability.

Retails for $41.99. Currently on sale for $29.99.

Protect and carry your laptop safely with this mobility bag that features stowable handles for convenient portability of most laptops with up to a 15.4" display.

- Protective accessory tube reduces clutter and stores your accessories while you're on the go.
- Store tube can also raise your laptop or angle your keyboard.
- Stowable rubber handles make carrying easy.
- Easy-to-use straps hold your laptop securely in place during transport.
- Hard surface lapdesk: The case can be propped open to instantly give you a place to work.
- Foam and rubber materials for long-lasting use and lightweight portability.

Retails for $69.99. Currently on sale for $49.99.

WIN IT! Leave a comment to win your very own Rocketfish Mobile Laptop Case.

I don't know about you, but it's going to be a very long time before I get sick seeing Princess Tiana on things! Pamper your little princess with this trio of genuinely natural hair and bath treats that gently clean, condition and soothe. This little loving magic is sure to bring out her inner shine.

Gift Set Includes:
Shampoo "The Beauty Within" - 8 fl. oz.
Conditioner "Inner Shine" - 8 fl. oz.
Bubble Bath "Sharing Means Caring" - 8 fl. oz.

Retails for $24.00.

WIN IT! Leave a comment to win your very own Carol's Daughter Princess and the Frog products (selection may vary).

For the Budding Bookworm:

Disney Digital Books.

Just when you thought the Mouse couldn't possibly get any more magical...Now your little reader can enjoy 500+ new and classic Disney books! Features:

- Click to hear words pronounced.
- See definitions using the built-in dictionary.
- Be immersed in Look and Listen stories with voices and sound effects.
- Use Story-Builder to create Disney stories.

Full membership with access to over 500 books retails for $8.95/month for family membership (up to 3 children); $79.95/year. Free registration gives access to limited selection of books.

WIN IT! Leave a comment below to win a hardcopy of National Treasure: A Gates Family Mystery #1: Changing Tides (Volume 1).

For the Fashionista:

IMAN Global Chic Collection for HSN. Think globally. Live fashionably. Glamorous and affordable luxuries empower you to be gorgeous. With her collection, Iman takes the hottest trends in accessories and beauty from around the world and brings them to HSN. She wants to give her customer access to global luxury at an affordable price everyone can enjoy. Just take a look at this fabulous Teardrop Necklace and Earrings. Retail price is $54.95 and $59.95, respectively.

WIN IT! Leave a comment below to win a Sequined Knit Wrap - color may vary. Retails for $54.95.

For the Gourmet:

Mrs. Prindables Gourmet Caramel Apples.

Are you looking for an upscale, last-minute, holiday gift for out-of-town family or friends? Teachers? Co-workers? Here's an idea: the gift of Mrs. Prindable’s, the #1 maker of gourmet caramel apples and confections. Swirling, homemade caramel; melted dark, white and milk chocolate; crushed peppermint candy and imported nuts; crisp Granny Smith apples …. these mouth-watering ingredients are used in Mrs. Prindable’s Handmade Confections workshop to create gourmet apples and other tasty treats for the holidays. This year, Mrs. Prindable's has created new Christmas and Hanukkah gifts that out-of-town families will love. (Perfect for last-minute shopping!) Retails for $22.95.

WIN IT! Leave a comment below to win a delicious Mrs. Prindable's handmade confection.

For the Smart Mama:

Mamalaw T-Shirts!

Last but not least! If you're a friend of our blog, you know that we are constantly in search of ways to navigate this crazy journey called motherhood. As we grow along our journey we've realized that there should be laws to govern our universe and we've coined these as "Mamalaws." We are excited to announce the re-opening of our boutique, which offers items based on these laws; so if you agree (and we know that you will) feel free to try one of these on for size. Retails for $23.80.

WIN IT! Leave a comment below to win one of our sassy t-shirts.

Giveaways end Sunday, December 13th at midnight! Winners will be selected at random. Note: by leaving a comment, you will be entering to win one of any of these prizes (not a particular one).

Happy Holidays!

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4th Milestone in our relationship

We celebrated Princess' 4th birthday a couple weekends ago and I feel like it was a turning point in my relationship with my only child. My fairy godmother (really my fairy grandmother) wove her wand and changed the child that I've come to know.

I've previously posted about her little 'isms and the difficulties that I have had thus far in striking the right balance between being the disciplinarian and a loving mother. Often times I've felt like a complete failure because she often expressed her dislike of me. I rationalized that in my attempt to make sure that she had the structure that I did as a child that I have forgotten to have fun with her. There are times that I'm totally fine with the relationship and then there are many times that I cry myself to sleep in prayer that things will get better. How could my only child, my daughter, have so much disdain for me. What have I done? What haven't I done? I felt like I was destined to have a purely contentious relationship with her forever.
But, then things changed completely. She turned 4 and she turned into a "big kid" - she is more rational and reasonable, she is fully expressive of her reasons for things, she's more sensitive to how her behavior impacts others and she's been super loving toward me. I know it's only been 2 weeks; but if your knew what our days were like, you would triumph in this small victory too.

Here's to being a big kid! I love you Princess and I pray that our relationship continues down this path.

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