Wait! Where is Mom's Costume?

Happy Halloween, Moms!

I just realized that I do not have a costume. Normally I don't wear a costume, but we have a "grown-ups only" Halloween party at our neighbor's house tomorrow night.

I am at a loss for what to wear. Can I be "Sleep-Deprived Mom" or "Drinks Too Much Diet Coke Mom"? Those may work, but I'm still trying to figure out how to pull that all together.

What about a 70's Prom Queen or Pageant Queen? It only requires an old dress that you KNOW you still have in your closet, some ugly shoes and teased up hair and maybe your daughter's plastic princess tiara? Wait, that means my old prom dress has to FIT. Bummer.

I am laughing out loud at this post on TastyBaby.com for Five Innovative Costumes for Mom. You have to read this. I really may try one of these costume ideas:
  • Pregnant Mom - So funny! You get to carry a What To Expect When Your Expecting book, a bag of typical pregnancy snacks, a big shirt stuffed with a play ball and leggings. I can pull this one off for sure!
  • Perfect Mom - Picture Martha Stewart. Perfectly pressed shirt, pastel sweater, pearls and your perfectly organized family calendar and notebook of your charity work.
  • The New Infant Mom (hilarious!) - All you need is a spit-up rag on your shoulder, a breast pump in one hand, a GIANT diaper bag, a stroller and dark circles under your eyes.
  • Soccer Mom - You can just picture it. Tasty Baby suggests carrying a six-pack of electrolyte juice with you.
  • Busy Mom on the Edge - All you need is your Blackberry, your power suit and "The Look"
I am laughing while writing this. We've spent all our energy getting our kids' costumes ready now we have five minutes (literally) to throw something together for ourselves. Isn't it great being a mom? Yes, it is.

Hope these get your creative gotta-get-my-costume-together ideas a-flowing!

P.S. - Thanks to all of the crafty moms who have written me this month for a feature spot. I am working as fast as I can to promote each of you - thanks for sticking with us!

Halloween Night Soups for Busy Moms

Leigh Anne has posted her super-easy Halloween Night Taco Soup recipe over on her blog, Your Home Based Mom. She has lots of great recipes and home business articles over there too.

Just reading her recipe for this Taco Soup is making me hungry! (Is it lunch time yet?)

I found a few more easy and delicious soup recipes for your family too. We are planning a post-trick-or-treating gathering with our neighbors so the kids can cover the floor with candy and make candy trades like stock brokers.

I cannot decide which soup to make, but here is the short list:

Obviously I have warm and hearty soups on the brain since I'm expecting to be very cold after trick-or-treating with my two little girls this Friday night.

Do you have a favorite Halloween night dinner or tradition? I'm trying my hardest to NOT call the pizza guy this year. I think this is Dominoe's BUSIEST night of the year (not kidding)!

I know we are all busy with our businesses, but let's "carve" (pumpkin joke) a little time on Friday to clean up the toys, hide the laundry piles in our bedroom and lock the doors, then make some soup for your neighbors to come over and enjoy after trick-or-treating.

That's my plan!

We Love Sweet Pickles!

Welcome crafty mom in business, Melanie of Sweet Pickles Pottery!

She has new holiday ornaments, Santa cookie plates and personalized tea sets now available in her shop.

Melanie writes, "I think almost everything I paint ends up with polka dots somewhere by the time I am finished with it!" She paints ceramics in a variety of shapes and colors and sizes. All of her pieces area lead free & food safe.

Melanie is a work-at-home-mom of two and lives with her family in Louisiana. She paints and fires each piece herself in her home studio. She sells to boutiques in various and all of her pieces are available on Etsy, as well as on a popular tea party online website. She has been approved to join the new Lollishops as a vendor.

Her favorite piece in her shop? Her "Create-Your-Own Tea Set for a Princess".

Reader Discount
Mention "Polka Dot Mom" in the comments box at check-out to receive 20% off in-stock merchandise or 10% off custom orders. Melanie will refund your discount via PayPal once your order is complete.

Thanks, Sweet Pickles!

Remember Bermuda Bags?

Today's Monday Mom is a fabulous handbag designer!

Owner Jesse Mayer of the Jesse B Collection has brought back the Bermuda Bag (and so many other cute handbags) in a big and oh so fashionable way.

Jesse is a designer, business owner and work-at-home-mom. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two-year-old son.

The Jesse B Collection opened five years ago and she's still a one-woman show. She designs every product from start to finish including patterns, prototypes and some inventory. She has added local expert sewers to her staff as her cottage industry business has grown. Local craftsmen also make the wooden handles for her popular Bermuda Bags. Proud of her "Handmade in the U.S.A." quality, Jesse also designs and sews custom clutches for brides and bridal parties too.

Each item is sewn in very limited editions and available for immediate shipment.

Her newest product is her original DBOS (Diaper Bag Organizational System) that coordinates with her handy polka dot diaper bag, shown below:

The Jesse B. Diaper Bag Organizational System (DBOS) is her newest product that was inspired from necessity!

Jesse and her husband developed this new system of organizing baby's things when on the go. Their patent-pending set of seven clear bags with zippered tops allow you to see the contents quickly.

Each bag is labeled with a different colored "J.B. Baby" signature label stating the contents ("Toiletries", "Clothing", "Toys", "Diapers", "Feedings", "Dirties", and "Burps & Bibs"). Each includes a grosgrain ribbon zipper pull that matches the label.

This system serves as a simple way to remember to pack everything too. Great for dads since the bags can easily be tossed into a backpack or the "daddy diaper bag". Just running to the store? Then grab the "Diapers" bag and leave the rest behind!

Jesse would like to offer our readers FREE Priority Shipping at http://www.thejessebcollection.com/ as many times as they like until the end of December on orders over $20.00. Just enter code "POLKADOTMOM" at check-out. Thanks, Jesse!

All About Tissues

So I've been away from blogging this week doing one thing. One thing all day long. Wiping noses with tissues, tissues, tissues.

Both of my little girls have their first big cold of the season. They are in good spirits but their little noses are red (and really tired of me wiping them). I think I will make one more trip to the grocery store today for our last round of tissues with lotion. I hope!

Here are some fun crafts to make with all these empty tissue boxes around my house:

Then I remembered that our crafty friend and Polka Dot Mom, Pam, of Sew Gracious makes the BEST boutique tissue holders for our purses and diaper bags:

I could go on and on about tissues, but I think I will stop this silliness right now (for your sake).

One last tidbit: You can design-your-own Kleenex box for the holidays or special events too!

I hope your kids (and YOU) are healthy and well. If you happen to be surrounded with tissue boxes like me, maybe this post will come in handy after all.

And I wouldn't be a mom without reminding you to take your Vitamin C, drink your orange juice and sip this homemade chicken soup I made you too.

Paper Bag Pumpkins Craft for Kids

I saw the link to this great Halloween craft project for kids on Aimee's HomeSpun Threads blog this morning and wanted to share it with you.

(Aimee is one of the crafty moms I'll be featuring this week - get a sneak peak into her Etsy shop.)

This Paper Bag Pumpkins project is by Kaboose.com and I know my two little girls will love making these decorations. They love anything that involves PAINT! (I love Crayola Washable Paints.)

Okay, back to sewing for me! I'll be crafting with my kids this Thursday...a whole day off from work for me to spend with my girls. I can't wait!

Polka Dot Pumpkin Decor

Decorating my porch with painted polka dot pumpkins has been on my to-do list for weeks! Now that Halloween is almost here and soon all of my neighbors will be coming to my front door for trick-or-treating, I have to bump this to the TOP of my list this week.

I found these GREAT polka dot pumpkins and monogrammed pumpkin ideas around the web this weekend and wanted to share with you.

I hope this inspires you to make your front porch look great for Halloween too!

The top photo is from Holly Mathis Interiors article on "Pumpkin Chic" found here:


These preppy and trendy Curlz monogrammed polka dot pumpkins are made by Jennifer of Half Full Martini (she has an Etsy shop too). Read how she made her pumpkins here:

This is one of my favorites, can you say WOW?!
Designed by Better Homes & Gardens, I think this is totally doable and what a statement this will make on your porch. Find directions and even MORE Halloween crafts here:

Send photos or links to your front porch decorating ideas on your blog to me at polkadotmom@gmail.com.

Happy Halloween Decorating, Moms!

Baby K Polka Dot Bow Clips

These adorable itty bitty polka dot hair clippies are made by Veronica of Baby K Designs. Aren't they the sweetest little bows? So tiny and precious!

Veronica was born and raised in the Bay Area and calls herself a true "California Girl". She now lives in Northern California with her husband, two beautiful children and a dog and a cat. Her company, Baby K Designs, is named after her daughter and it was her son who picked the name which makes it even more special for her.

Baby K Designs opened its doors two years ago and specializes in custom tutus, clippies, bows, and flower hats and headbands.

Veronica writes, "One of my best selling items are the Itty Bitty Baby Snap Clips. I have many repeat customs that LOVE these clips. They only need a very small amount of hair to stay in and they are very petite, which makes them perfect for newborns."

You can read more about Veronica and sign up for her newsletter on her blog.

We love these polka dot ribbon clippies for toddlers too:

Now through November 15th, enjoy 15% off your purchase from http://babykdesigns.etsy.com/. Thanks, Veronica!

New Friends Open House

Come on in! We are having an open house this week to introduce you to our new friends.

You may have noticed them, hanging out over there on the right side of our "living room".

They are new here and it is high time I properly introduced them to you.

Meet our newest crafty mom advertisers:

So please stay a while at our open house today and visit with each of our new friends and see all of the great products they are making every single day. Stroll through their shops, drop them a line to welcome them and come back here for more virtual desserts and tea sandwiches (the best kind, right?).

Look for fun specials, sales and Christmas promotions coming soon from all of our advertising friends.

See you at our next open house where you'll meet more great crafty moms in business!

(Want to teach your kids how to say hello in every language? I just bookmarked this page!)

Monday Moms - Free Business Course

I know it is a little late today and we are all done with our morning coffee, but the "Monday Moms" segment must go on! Think of this as your little pick-me-up before you put your nightly pot of coffee on....

When I was in the very beginning stages of starting my online business, I found Alice Seba and her site Internet Based Moms (which she has since sold, but still a GREAT resource).

Alice now calls herself a "sweetie" - meaning you just have to be nice to get ahead with your online business. I am a member of nearly all of her mailing lists and have downloaded way too many of her e-books and instructional reports. She is just an all-around good person and VERY knowledgeable when it comes to internet marketing, public relations, e-books, affiliates...the list goes on an on.

Added - Offer now extended until Tuesday 10/14 at midnight PST!

Today only, Alice Seba is offering all of us a chance to read, digest, print, soak-in and implement one of her amazing instructional courses. These sell everyday for big bucks, but today she is being a true "sweetie" and giving you ONE course for FREE.

I already left my comment on her "sweetie blog" and she sent me the instructions on how-to download my free course in my inbox. This is a great opportunity (that expires tonight)!

She has a list of about ten free courses to choose from. All of them will help your business in some way. Be sure to bookmark Alice's websites and join her mailing list while you are there.

Click to sign-up for your own free business course from Alice Seba.

Polka Dot Monogram Shoes by AlyDots

Can you believe these over-the-top CUTE monogram polka dot painted shoes?

Alyson Tunnell is the guilty party. She is the owner/designer of alydots (www.alydots.com). Based in Ringgold, Georgia near Chattanooga, Tennessee, her family moved there from Texas five years ago. She is the mother of two boys, Camden, age 5 and Cooper, age 18 months. Alyson and her husband Chase have been married for eight years.

Alyson writes that she has been doing "crafty stuff" for as long as she can remember and somewhere along the way, her hobby turned into a business!

She writes, "Painting is a great way for me to express my creativity and enjoy some “me time”. When I was pregnant with my first son I couldn’t find any accessories to match his bedding (I am quite obsessive about matching), so I decided to take matters into my own hands and created some canvases and picture frames for his room. That lead to creating many special gifts for friends and family. The rest is history and alydots was born!"

You can find Alyson's hand-painted canvases, picture frames, door/wall signs, bow holders and many more items inside her online store or in many area Chattanooga boutiques. She accepts orders via e-mail and custom work is welcome.

See you over at alydots - don't take all the pink polka dot monogram shoes before I get there!

Polka Dots and Football?

College football is in full swing and so is the tailgating! Artist Tracy Bond has managed to combine polka dots and footballs in this GAME DAY ceramic tray. We love it!

Bring this hand-painted football tray to your next party filled with your favorite deviled eggs, sub-sandwiches or brownies!

Made by Tracy Bond, owner of Whimsies and What-Nots, her shop is filled with the coolest ceramic gifts (at great prices)!

Her shop is divided into easy-to-browse sections to help you find the perfect gift. I love to browse ALL the sections to see what new pieces Tracy has come up with, but you can stick to your favorites. Check out her hand-painted trays, tiles, plates, frames and more in these cute categories:
  • Step Up to the Bar

  • At the Beach

  • Personalized Me

  • Kid's Corner

  • Holiday Cheer

  • Jewelry

  • Four-Legged Friends

  • Party On

  • Bathroom Fun

  • Tee Time

  • Bag Lady

  • Words of Wisdom

You'll love every category!

Tracy's experience as an elementary art teacher has inspired her use of bright colors and whimsical designs and of course, lots of polka dots!

Tracy grew up in Virginia and inherited much of her talent from her grandfather whose popular folk art continues to delight his family and friends. She graduated from Mary Baldwin College with an art/graphic design degree and teaching certification. She recently resigned from her teaching job to be home with her baby and to run her business.

Tracy's art and design have been featured in several national decorating magazines. Her tiles, ornaments, crosses and jewelry are hand-cut, slowly dried, sanded and kiln-fired. They are then glazed and fired a second time. Bright colors, meaningful words and phrases and images make any piece a super, unique gift for anyone!

All products are lead free and food safe. Custom orders are welcome too!

Visit Tracy today and be sure to bookmark her site. She can help make your party table ready for ANY party!


My Little Polka Dot Secret

You know when you find a new shop or boutique that is SO fabulous that you don't even want to tell your friends about it? When you want to just keep it all to yourself? (Am I the only one?)

Okay, I'm spilling the beans on my new favorite little personalized polka dot gift shop.

I found her shop, clicked around and made a purchase in like one minute. I usually click around, leave the shop, come back, click some more, leave, come back, etc.....

Her personalized polka dot gifts for moms, babies and kids were just too cute to leave her shop without buying anything.

So I've been wanting a new personalized baby wipes case since our 4-year-old's red wipes case is still in use and has seen better days. Really, it is not fun to look at OR to carry in my purse.

I spotted a lime green wipes case that could be customized with any name (or names) in any color! I clicked "Add to Cart", typed my colors and personalization, talked with the owner and she shipped my wipes case that afternoon! Holy cow!

My new coveted-by-all-moms-who-see-it lime green and hot pink "Mia & Lauren" wipes case is to die for. I love it!

Okay, okay. My little polka dot secret is...

The Preppy Polka Dot!

Go now. You'll love it too.

http://thepreppypolkadot.etsy.com or www.thepreppypolkadot.com

Help Santa Find You

Santa needs help finding the BEST handmade polka dot gifts for all the good little boys and girls (and mommies too) for this upcoming holiday season.

To do our part, we have made room for a few new advertising spots for crafty mom businesses. Book now for October, November and December so Santa and his helpers can quickly and easily find your shop on the top of every page here on Polka Dot Mom.

Send a message to polkadotmom@gmail.com for consideration. Spots are only $30 each. This opportunity closes on Sunday.

Here's to a busy holiday season for your business!

Here Comes the Polka Dot Moving Truck

Isn't this how all moms feel on moving day? Home Studio has put it into words for us. Wear this "Do I Have To Do Everything Around Here?" scrabble pendant around your neck and wave it at your kids and husband to signal when it is time for them to get up and help!
(I'm thinking I need to wear this necklace every day....)

Amy from Giggleberry has graciously written this fabulous "Moving Day" inspired article as today's guest blogger. She is the owner of a fabulous fabric pennant banner company. Thank you for this article, Amy!

"Moving? Just writing it I feel overwhelmed with all the jobs and tasks that are involved in such a HUGE event.

The best advice I have ever been given when it comes to moving would absolutely be - the very first thing you need to do at your new home is make your bed. That way no matter where you stop in the cleaning, sorting or unpacking stage, you will have somewhere comfy and familiar ready to lie your head when the day comes to an end or you have just had enough!

There is always a great long list of things to do when it comes to moving homes so I have searched and found a bunch of handmade items, with polka dots of course, that can make this transition just a little easier and stylish.

If you are anything like me you just wouldn't be able to get through the day or a task like moving house without a to do list! I love how rewarding it is to cross things off my to do list as the tasks are finished. I found this fun Orange and Pink Polka Dots Journal from, bindagirl32, a clever mom who has found a great way to cover binders, folders, journals, notebooks, albums - you name it!
One of the tasks on that to do list would be changing your address and contact details. That job can now be crossed off with these groovy Retro Moving Announcement Cards hand made from the mother and daughter team at Dialogue.

Or from another mom owned shop, Bohtieque Design has designed these great It's All Dotty Circle Address Stickers are perfect for letting your family and friends know all your new details.

If you have kids old enough why not get them involved with the packing and unpacking and take 'happy snaps' through out the day to make it a little bit of fun and a great way to remember the change. In my searching I came across this gorgeous Moving Day Scrapbook Page from a mom who says she 'loves to scrapbook' and has many many other scrapbooking bits and pieces in her shop stampingirl2. After all the boxes are empty and the new home feels comfy, you can use the pictures from the move and create a page for the family album that will bring back great memories.

Last but not least how much fun would it be to receive this New Home Moving Card hand made by mom of two and owner of Pacokeco's Scribbles in your new post box?

Even if you are not moving, you can send these great handmade-by-moms gifts to a friend. Visit these great shops today for even more products inside their shops."
Thanks for a great article, Amy! Visit Amy at http://giggleberry.etsy.com.