Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vendor Spotlight: Sparkles and Fluff

As you all know, we loooooove our local creative and crafty mamas Incorporating locally made products into the store inventory has been a central focus since early on in the store's formation and the fabulous experience we have had with our vendors has only solidified that this is a cause we want to stick with. Since opening the store in its new location at the end of April, we have added several vendors to our awesome lineup of local products and we now carry local products from babywearing wraps to spy bags, wool, baby blankets and hair bows. The last of these products, hair bows, is one of our newest additions. With the opening of the store, Sparkles and Fluff came on board. This week, Sparkles and Fluff is our vendor spotlight, our attempt to share with you who our vendors are and how fabulous their products are.

Sparkles and Fluff is a WAHM business owned by Amy Pugh. Amy started Sparkles and Fluff while pregnant with her {newly two year old} daughter Audrey. For anyone who knows Amy, she is quite a girly girl and wanted nothing less for Audrey. As a result, Amy experimented with making tutus for her soon to be born daughter and had soon perfected her skills. After Audrey's birth, Amy began making them for other little girls (mine included...Peyton has gone to many a dance class in her Sparkles and Fluff tutu and Mara has had S&F tutus as part of her 1st and 2nd birthday outfits) and she soon expanded into making other products for little girls.

Amy now makes everything and anything from tutus, hair bows, necklaces, pins, earrings, rings, wreaths---you name it. They are all wonderful. I must admit, we have quite the collection between the three girls with her zebra print themed bows as our favorite!! Top to Bottom Baby carries her hair bows, headbands, and tutus in store. You can also find them at the online store. Be sure to stop in and check them out and while you are at it, go like her on Facebook and tell her where you heard about her fabulous products!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Foibles in Choosing A Carrier: One Mom’s Suggestions

Before our first little one arrives, we excitedly register for (or order) what we think our bouncing baby will need. Many parents, looking toward natural parenting and bonding with their infant, consider different types of baby wearing options such as slings, wrap carriers, and soft carriers. They may choose one and register for it (because that’s part of the fun of “about to be a new parent”) or they order it for themselves. They wash it and prepare it and get excited to use it. Then someone disagrees; that someone’s opinion is way more important than your thoughts that the carrier is cute or looks easy to use.
When we registered, I didn’t know much of anything about baby wearing, so I registered for a sling carrier that they sold in Target. I washed it, and it shrank. I was forlorn. My sister bought me another one. When my son arrived I had a cute (line-dried) sling waiting for him. My husband and I struggled to put him into it, and he fell asleep after some crying. I figured he would get used to it and it would all work out. Sadly, newborns just do that – they sleep anywhere. But when he got bigger, the sling was just not for him. He flat out refused to hang out in it. Plus it wasn’t padded, and it cut into my shoulders. So I sold it on eBay and went on a hunt.
I found a mei tai type wrap at a used baby store, and wrestled my son into it. He was ok with it for a few days, but it seemed to cut into his chunky monkey legs. I didn’t like that it left red marks on his thighs, so I sold it to fund my next purchase.
Next up, the Moby wrap. The yards of fabric looked daunting, but it was pretty easy to figure out. My husband watched me put it on in wonder (“How will THAT hold him?”), but for a while it worked for us. He preferred sitting facing forward in the “lotus” position, but eventually he didn’t like having his feet and legs all scrunched up. And he wanted to be on my hip rather than facing forward.
We went to a friend’s house and my son was cranky, so she pulled out a larger (and padded!) ring sing carrier and put him in it. He calmed quickly. I wanted it. I borrowed her sling until I found one used on eBay (for $9.99). He enjoyed that one until he could crawl – then any sort of carrier was not his friend because he just wanted to move. I let a friend borrow it and told her it didn’t need to come back. By this point I almost gave up. Heck, he didn’t take a pacifier so maybe he didn’t like carriers either.
Finally I tried the carrier I wanted to try originally (but balked at the price) – an Ergo Baby Carrier. He enjoyed chewing on the straps (made me wish I had bought the sucking pads which I had thought were a silly idea), seemed comfortable, and it didn’t leave marks on his legs. When he got a little bigger he enjoyed the hip and back carrys, both of which the Ergo can do. Now that he’s walking, he prefers to be on his own, but the Ergo is still what I use if I want him to be able to check out what I’m doing but can’t hold him and he can’t walk it.
There are multiple lessons learned here. First, while your comfort (and fashion) are factors in choosing a carrier, your little one’s preference is what’s going to keep them in it (or let them allow you to keep putting them in it). My advice – don’t pre-buy. I know it’s hard. I know. I’ve been there. But the best advice I can give anyone when choosing a carrier is to try it out with your little one before you buy. Go to a store that sells multiple types (if you can) and let your little one’s comfort be the deciding factor. Second lesson learned – your kiddo’s preference for carriers may change based on their age and abilities. Once they start moving on their own, it’s a completely different world and they may not be into a carrier even. It may be a good idea to go in with some friends and rotate around the carriers that are working for your different age groups. Third – some kiddos really just don’t want the carrier. Just as some don’t like to be swaddled, some want to sleep on their bellies from day 1, and some don’t take a pacifier, some simply want the freedom to move and thus don’t want to be confined to your carrier. Don’t feel badly; it’s nothing that you did! And don’t let other “natural mommas” make you feel badly. Fourth – padding is your friend. The more padding something has around the points that it touches your skin, the more comfortable it will be for you.
Each kid’s an individual. They have their own preferences for comfort. That is the main lesson I learned. The choice is their choice, not your choice. Let them show you what works for them.

Liz Wright is a Momma to Silas (14 months), wife to Mike, psychology professor, and doctoral candidate. She lives in San Antonio with her family and their two dogs. She writes about parenting and household issues in her blog Mama Around The House (

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Upcoming attractions!

I am hoping to interrupt the program for a brief update!

We realized with our post last week that we didn't tell you about our plans for the upcoming months. We have decided that we will be hosting a guest blogger every Monday on a Natural Parenting Topic. We have had some great submissions already and hope you enjoy them. If you are interested in Guest Blogging, please don't hesitate to email Jess ( with your ideas.

Also, on Wednesdays we will be discussing products. We are hoping this will be a great way to learn about new products that are available and there may even be some giveaways.

We are super excited to share our newest addition, the Affiliate Program, with you. We hope that you have loved our services and share us with friends and family, so we decided that we would love to give back to you when you do. If you visit Top to Bottom Baby, you will see a "Become an Affiliate" link at the bottom of the page (or click HERE). When you sign up, you will receive an Affiliate Program link in your My Account area at the bottom of the page. This will link you to the stats for who has clicked on your link. Additionally, you will receive 5% of all sales that were generated by your link in store credit. The "Helpful Link" is your affiliate link. You are welcome to use this banner to link to your blog or other pages. We've found it works best to embed your specific link into the icon.
Finally, the winner of our $20 Gift Card to T2B is #43: My Life with Boys! Thanks to everyone for such great ideas!

With Love and Fluff~Jess and Robyn

Monday, June 20, 2011

All new T2B Baby

Wow, there have been a lot of changes around Top to Bottom in the last couple of months. Unfortunately, our blog has been a little neglected during the transition, and for that, we are truly sorry.

Change is never easy, but it can be great in the end. In February, we were lucky enough to have Robyn join us as a co-owner of Top to Bottom Baby. We also began working on the pieces to open the new bricks and mortar store. With the new store, came a little bit easier of a name: T2B Baby. Don't worry, we are still Top to Bottom at heart! And finally, Justin took over as the Store Manager on a permanent basis! Don't worry ladies, he has lots of good answers for the really juicy mom questions. Several of our friends love to stop in just to see what questions they can stump him with!

April 30th we were lucky enough to celebrate our grand opening at the New Omaha Location (2928 S 132nd St, Omaha). As you can see, it was quite a success. In addition to the new store, we have added tons of new products and had a lot of fun meeting our customers. If you are in Omaha, don't hesitate to stop by and say hi. And feel free to bring the kids, because there are tons of toys to play with!

Over the next couple of months we hope to get the blog running in full swing with some great product giveaways, guest bloggers, and all around fun! So, stay tuned and feel free to share us with your friends.

And, just because you stayed (and actually kept reading) I would love to share some of the T2B love! We are going to giveaway a $20 gift card to Top to Bottom, good online or in store. All you have to do to enter is post below. We'd love to hear ideas for blog posts you would like to see, products we should carry (please check to make sure we don't already carry it), or random fun you think we should have! Only one entry please! Ends June 25th at midnight cst.

Finally, we'd love to hear from you. If you have an idea for a blog, would like to guest blog, or just have a diaper question feel free to email or! We absolutely can't wait to spend the next months working on making natural parenting a little more fun!

With Love and Fluff~Jess and Robyn