2013 Mom-Owned Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guide pic

Bear Haven Mama has been in search of great gift ideas for everyone on your list, and while you can go to the mall and find something that is run-of-the-mill, I invite you to kick back, grab a cup of cocoa, and check out these fantastic businesses for your holiday needs! The best part: they are all Mom-Owned Businesses!

In addition, Bear Haven Mama will be offering you the chance to win a few items from some of these great businesses! So keep checking back during the month of December for your chance to win!

Monkeys and Stuff

monkeysandstuff

Monkeys and Stuff makes custom sock monkeys, sock critters, bags, and other creations. Owner Jenny Plassio started this business after making her sons sock monkeys for Christmas one year. She started thinking of other animals she could make for gifts for her family. From there, she began making pillowcase and placemat bags. She has been doing craft fairs and sells things online too. You can check her out on Facebook to see what she has available and to place an order! We will also be having a giveaway from Monkeys and Stuff in December!

Layla Ann Boutique

laylaannboutiqueLayla Ann Boutique carries a variety of headbands, headband holders, and bracelet sets for mommies, daddies, and their special little ones! Owner Brenna Good got her start from creating tutus, headbands, and other accessories for her daughter. Then she began making them for friends as well. Now she is creating headbands and headband holders for her online store.

You can find Layla Ann Boutique on Etsy, as well as Facebook. Be sure to check out her new parent/child matching bracelets! They make great holiday gifts!

Chloe + Isabel: Barefoot Boutique

chloe and isabelChloe and Isabel offers high-quality fashion jewelry. All products are nickel and lead free, hypoallergenic, and come with a lifetime replacement policy. Independent Consultant Jen Rumbalski offers Chloe and Isabel’s jewelry through her website and through pop-up shop hostessing. Right now, you can shop online and get free shipping with orders over $100! For more information, check out the website and also follow Jen’s consultant Facebook page for information about upcoming specials.

Playtime and Parties

playtimeandparties

Playtime and Parties is located at 25 West Main St. in Schuylkill Haven, PA. If you are in Eastern Pennsylvania, it is worth the trip to take your kids for a visit! Let your children use their imaginations in the climbing structure, ball pit, crooked house, bounce house, and play areas while you sit and relax. Playtime and Parties is also available for Birthday parties and other events!

Owner Janet Hooper’s vision for the indoor play place began when she was planning a birthday party for her then 4 year-old grandson. After paying for a rental hall, a bounce house, decorations, goody bags, and more, she realized she had spent over $800! She didn’t think a party should have to be so expensive, nor should it require two days of work to set up the party. Her idea was to provide a place for a party that provided a fun, safe, and clean space for kids to play no matter what the weather and where parents could relax and enjoy the party as well! Playtime and Parties opened September 1, 2012 and is a place where kids can play and have a party.

For the month of December, Playtime and Parties is offering 10% off day and monthly passes. Great for Stocking Stuffers. You can find Playtime and Parties on the web and on Facebook!

The Painted Home

painted homeThe Painted Home is owned by Denise Sabia and features hand-painted furniture, vintage goods, and handmade accessories. While she doesn’t have her own website for selling, she does sell her creations in the greater Philadelphia area at the Serendipity Shops of Doylestown and at Main Street Vintage in Ambler,PA.  You can also find her at local vintage markets like Clover Market in Ardmore and Chestnut Hill. To check out her portfolio, design services, or to be inspired by her posts, be sure to visit The Painted Home online. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Chesapeake Ribbons

chesapeake ribbonsChesapeake Ribbons is an online boutique owned and operated out of Exton, PA. Chesapeake Ribbons was founded by Margie Gunn, a Maryland native, over four years ago to provide high quality, stylish hair accessories to infant and toddler girls. What started out as a boutique hair accessory company has now grown into an accessory source for the whole family. Families who desire unique, quality pieces for gift-giving, holidays, weddings, reunions, team sports and other special events turn to Chesapeake Ribbons. A mother of two, Margie has creatively grown her online boutique from the ground up with the help of trusted advisors and networks. While she now calls Chester County her home, Margie is a Marylander through and through, hence the name “Chesapeake Ribbons” for her boutique.

Margie believes in giving back and shares this philosophy by donating a portion of proceeds from specific products to the following organizations – Devereux Kanner CARES, Autism Speaks, and the Fox Chase Cancer Center, as well as local charity events in her community. Chesapeake Ribbons also cares about the environment, thus the concept “weeCycle”…taking unwanted materials into upCylced hair accessories, ribbon belts, dog collars and more.”

For Small Business Saturday on 11/30, customers can receive 35% off entire purchase by using code SHOPSMALL

Be sure to check out Chesapeake Ribbons’ website and find Chesapeake Ribbons on Facebook and Twitter as well!

New Earth Independent Representative- Patti Quinn

new earthPatti Quinn is a representative for New Earth, formerly known as Simplexity Health. They just re-launched in September 2013 and have been in business for over 30 years.

New Earth provides whole-food supplements and digestive support products using the most ancient and powerful foods on the planet, including wild blue-green algaes and tonic mushrooms. To find out how to order and give the gift of good health this holiday season, please visit Patti’s blog and find her on Facebook and Pinterest!

Scentsy/Velata Independent Consultant Loretta Hartman

scentsyScentsy features wick-less candles, bath and body products, and other great gifts for the home! It’s sister company, Velata, offers premium fondue warmers and everything you need to have a great fondue party! They make great gifts for any occasion!

For the month of November, Velata is offering many of its products for up to 75% off.

Independent Consultant Loretta Hartman began selling Scentsy/Velata to make extra money but continues to sell it because she loves and believes in the products!

To order, check out her Scentsy website and her Velata website. You can also find her on Facebook!

Park Lane Jewelry- Independent Representative Samantha Palmer

parklane jewelryPark Lane Jewelry has been around since 1955 and offers a line of high-quality jewelry in a wide range of prices. Samantha Palmer began selling the jewelry because she loves the jewelry, plus the company offers its representatives lots of incentives, including the opportunity to win a Mercedes-Benz. They also provide a lot of fashion tips to share with the customers!

To shop online with Samantha, please visit her website! You can also find her page on Facebook for information about specials and deals!

Elf Outfitters

elf outfitters“Elf Outfitters is for every parent who has a Family Elf. You know- those elves that come to your house sometime after Thanksgiving. Those elves whose sole purpose is to remind your son that “Santa’s Watching” and he should stop running around the house naked, threaten your daughter that if she doesn’t eat her broccoli Santa won’t come, bewilder children with the magic of Santa Claus and spread holiday JOY! And in order to maintain the magic of your Family Elf, you have to remember to move it every night, all while coming up with fun hiding spots, and keeping your kids in awe of the tiny squatter visitor. Those 25-35 long days when you without fail wake up at 2am at least once a week with fear that “Buddy” has been left in the same spot.  You start to question – “is it all worth it?” or “what did I get myself into”, or “surely there must be some elf adoption agency that I can send “Elfy” to next year.”  But every morning when our kids squeal with excitement that “Frosty” is hanging from a chandelier or has scaled to the top of the Christmas tree you see the wonder and joy and wish that your children will always be that young and innocent.

Did you know that for every creative person, there are 1,000 people who are not*, or don’t have the time, or wish they were. Websites like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and amazingly written mommy blogs have all upped the ante when it comes to showing off your creative flair. And when it comes to your elf…forget about simply sitting it up on the mantle. You feel the pressure to keep up with all the elves who make flour snow angels. So that’s why we’re here. We came up with a fun collection of Elf Kits that you can use to create fun and easy elf scenes. Our collections are made to look “Elf Made” and all the more believable to young elf enthusiasts. Elf Outfitters will help inspire you and bring your Family Elf to life**!
* This statistic is what the Head Elf told us, but we caught him dipping into the egg nog and his numbers might be off.
** Your elf is not really alive – but your kids think it’s real so let’s just go with that.

How did this get started?  
Sarah: SO… I need your crafty help.
I need Elf clothes for our Elf…

Stop laughing at me! I have problems.. I know!
Can you whip up some elf clothes and mail to me?…
Just some vests, a shirt or two… Holiday like material.

STOP Laughing! I am SURE there are more people like me that would buy Elf gear…. just sayin’.
K.C.: you are insane but i can make some things for you…
(thanks to chat we have the entire conversation documented for all time)

We launched in 2012 with 5 Elf Kits, all containing themed accessories and an inspiration card to help you find your “inner elf”. We added 10 new kits for 2013, and printables on Official Elf Letterhead to help bail you out of trouble when you do things like forget to move your elf.
Who’s in charge at Elf Outfitters?
Elf Outfitters is a division of The Diaper Bag Wrangler, which is owned by K.C. She’s a designer extraordinaire and sewing maven who has been nicknamed  the “Head Crafty Elf”.  Sarah is owner of Suburban Social Media and is a social media diva and marketing guru who has been nicknamed the “Head Business Elf”. “

You can find Elf Outfitters on their website as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Maura Jean & Co

maurajeanandco

Maura Jean & Co is a partnership of two friends that grew up together in a small Navy town in the middle of the desert, that were then separated by the fates of life only to find themselves brought back together by the Navy itself. The Navy and life once again separated the two friends only to bring them back together years later. They have both re-discovered a love of sewing and creating beautiful items for those they cherish. Through this love, and under the support of their families, these two friends have joined together to form what is now Maura Jean & Co. They lovingly construct custom children’s clothing and hair accessories.

To place an order, please visit their website or check them out on Facebook!

Nai’a’s Knits By The Sea

naia knits by the seaLover of nature, photography, Hawaiian culture, and everything creative! I started knitting these treasures at the beach to bring joy to all that wear them. Each scarf is created with the spirit of aloha, and blessed with the salt air of Long Beach Island, NJ. Our scarves are a tribute to the beautiful leis of Hawaii. While spending time on Kauai learning to make leis from a special Aunty, I wanted to carry on the spirit that encompasses the lei at home. The Jersey shore is not the best area for tropical flowers, so a knit “lei” is the next best thing. We also carry aloha slippers or as we say here- flip flops. In keeping with Hawaiian tradition, be sure you take them off before entering indoors I hope all that wear my products can feel the sense of Aloha that I felt while wearing one of the beautiful floral leis of the Hawaiian culture.

Website (soon to be a blog too!) www.naiasknitsbythesea.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/naiasknitsbythesea

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/NaiasKnitsByTheSea

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NaiasKnits

pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/naiasknits/

email: dawn@naiasknitsbythesea.com

Crocheted Cuties and Tutus

Crocheted Cuties and Tutus

Crocheted Cuties and Tutus provides customizable baby accessories and newborn photo outfits. Owner Brittany brings your ideas to life and provides fun pieces for all occasions! While she is only available through Facebook at this time, you can visit her page, check out her gallery and find out what she already has made or can make for you!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccutiesandtutus

Bear Haven Boutique

bhbiconBear Haven Boutique is a unique party kit, toy store, and children’s boutique. Bear Haven Boutique has a brick and mortar location inside the Lewis General Store in Schuylkill Haven, PA and also has an online store servicing the United States and Canada!

Mission

To help ease the stress of party planning, whether planning  locally or utilizing the online DIY kits and party how to posts on the blog
In the online store, you can find party kits, great customer support, party supplies, and great gifts for the whole family. Bear Haven Boutique specializes in Stuffable Animal Party kits, outfits for your stuffed animals, toys, and clothing for 18 inch dolls!
Visit Bear Haven Boutique on their website and also be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Introducing Beary Grams at Bear Haven Boutique!

Need a gift ASAP that comes from the heart? Well Bear Haven Boutique has the solution for you! A Beary Gram!

Each Beary Gram includes a 16″ unstuffed bear, fluff, birth certificate, heart insert, “I love you” sound chip, and a red t-shirt all for $16 plus $5.00 shipping online!

When you order, you will receive a follow up email with a printable document to give to your loved one telling him/her about their special gift that will arrive in 5-7 business days!

Beary Grams are great for Birthday Presents, Valentine’s Gifts, Easter Basket Starters, Get Well Gifts, or just because everyone needs a soft cuddly bear! For more information, go to www.bearhavenboutique.com

Don't you just wanna give him a big squeeze?

Don’t you just wanna give him a big squeeze?

Beat the Winter Blahs with an Easy Homemade Sugar Scrub!

I have been under the weather for the past few days, so I am just feeling kind of blah. Because I have been abusing the hand sanitizer to keep from spreading germs, my hands are really dry, so I thought it might be a good time to make this really easy homemade sugar scrub!

Here is what you need:

1/4 cup Olive Oil. I used extra virgin so my scrub is a little on the green side

1/2 cup sugar

4-5 drops essential oil (optional). I used Eucalyptus oil because it was handy, and I have a cold.

Pour the sugar into a bowl, add the Olive Oil and mix. Then add the essential oil. It feels so good. Your hands and other dry parts will thank you!

Here is what mine looks like, it is not pretty, but it works. It also makes a great gift. All you need is some ribbon and empty baby food jars!

easy homemade sugar scrub

Have a Blast with Pinypon!

Recently I was selected to host a party by Mommy Parties for Pinypon. If you haven’t heard of Pinypon, let me tell you all about them! Pinypon dolls are awesome interchangeable dolls created by the European toy company Famosa which has been manufacturing toys for over 50 years. Every part about the doll is interchangeable with the other dolls. You can swap heads, facial expressions, hair, bodies, clothing, and accessories. They are very affordable, and the girls at our party had lots of fun with them!

Here is what our party kit contained:

Our kit included 6 Pinypon dolls for my daughter and 6 to give to her friends. It also included a caravan for her and one to share!

We also received this really cute doll from Nenuco to play with at the party and one to send home with one of Sissy Girl’s friends!

The baby from Nenuco is well-made and came with a pacifier, bottle, and potty

Once our guests arrived, the girls went straight for the toys and began creating their own Pinypon dolls. Here is one of the creations:

The boy Pinypon was quite popular that day!

Since Pinypons can change their fashions, we thought it was only appropriate to have a fashion show for the girls too!

“Tutu” Fabulous!

While some of the girls participated in the fashion show and playing with the Pinypon dolls, some of the other girls enjoyed the Nenuco Doll.

However, we couldn’t have a party without food, so we decorated some cupcakes, had some Pinypon Punch (made with Ginger Ale and Sherbet),  and some fun snack mix!

The girls had the most fun though playing with the Pinypon Dolls!

 

The verdict on the dolls: The girls loved them! Not only did they love them, but their parents liked them as well. Even my husband, who is very picky about toys, thought they were well-made and gave the girls a chance to show off their creativity.

Since the party, I found out that a few of the girls, including my Sissy Girl, put these dolls and their accessories on their Christmas lists. In fact, I helped a friend today by locating the hotel and shopping center for her daughter. These dolls were certainly a big hit! My daughter has been playing with her Pinypon Dolls constantly, and I sometimes sit with her and create my own dolls. We currently have one that she says is “The Mommy Doll.” It has glasses and blonde hair like me. She also loves her Nenuco Makes Bubbles Doll. This doll is great for anyone who is potty training their child and would like to use a doll as an aid. However, the size and the fact that the doll is so well-made also makes it a great doll to use to teach children about caring for babies. Since I am pregnant, it has been a great tool for me and my daughter. She is so proud that she can take care of her own baby.

The Pinypon dolls are meant for ages 4-7. However, we did have two girls at the party who were 9, and they absolutely loved them. From some of the reviews I read about them on shopping sites, many other older girls love them as well. They are well-made, come with lots of accessories, and really do inspire children to be imaginative. With just a couple dolls, your child can create many different looks!

I hope you enjoyed my review of Pinypon Dolls and the Nenuco Makes Bubbles Doll. For more information, as well as coupons and special offers, please check out Pinypon and Nenuco on Facebook!

*Disclosure: By publishing this post, I did receive free products as part of a promotion from MomSelect. All opinions though are entirely my own.