Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meet Ups

Sooo overdue for a blog post! My excuse is that my new venture, Peek-a-Belly, is just about to launch and I've been working every minute that I can. I've still been making sure to get out and about with Mia, but lately we've been hitting our favorite local spots and not venturing too far.

There's a resource that I've been using for the past year that I feel most moms must know about - but I'm realizing that this isn't the case. It's Meetup.com - a web site where you can find thousands of groups with common interests that schedule meet-ups.

There are many of these groups for moms, themed by geographical location, interests and even by religion. Some groups are more active than others, but the gist of it is that there's a main organizer that heads up the group, and that organizer and other members offer to host meet-ups.

A few of the first groups I joined were the "New Mom Network Chicago Meetup Group", the "Chicago Stay at Home Moms Meetup Group," and most recently, "Bucktown Babies Playgroup." Events have included meetups in the park with dozens of moms and babes, small playdates hosted in private homes, field trips to the Nature Museum or other family locations, strolls in the park, storytimes, and even moms-night-outs with game nights, potlucks and dinners out.

One of the most active groups that has a really great calendar is the Stay at Home Moms group - I'm embarrassed to say that I check the calendar all the time, but haven't been taking full advantage because so many of the wonderful events occur during Mia's naptime or on my work days. I'm hoping to do more of these events in the summer, as Mia is 1 now and needs some play buddies besides our cat Chloe!

And aside from mom groups, you can find other groups for whatever your special interests may be. Check it out and if you ever see that I'm attended an event you're at, be sure to say Hello!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Birthday in a Box

We had our family first birthday party for Mia on Saturday, and I finally placed an order with Birthday in a Box to get the party decorations that we needed. I've been an affiliate of Birthday in a Box on the ChicagoKids.com web site for years, but had never actually used the web site myself.

Mia loves Baby Einstein characters, so we decided to do a Baby Einstein themed party. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, so I needed to get as many party accessories as possible on a budget. I found that Birthday in a Box had a ton of great, affordable party items, and we ended up getting plates, utensils, napkins, a big Happy Birthday party banner, and a really cute little Baby Einstein caterpillar candle, all for under $50! They also have party favors, balloons, pinatas, invitations/thank you notes, crafts and activities and more.

Check out this article for great tips on how you can save money on your children's birthday parties.

Full disclosure is that I get a percentage from anything purchased thru my links to this site - but I am writing about it because I really loved it!!