November 21, 2016 12:25:45 PM EST
Ah, that magical time is upon us. Holiday shopping. This weekend is the biggest shopping weekend of the year., and Black Friday is followed immediately with Small Business Saturday.
Last year, my family abided by two guidelines for our holiday shopping: we followed the rule of “something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read” for each kid, and we bought everything we possibly could from a small and/or local business. This year, while we are not following the same quota guidelines, we are continuing to shop from small businesses for absolutely everything that we can.
I know that I am spoiled by my geographical location; Bloomington has an incredible selection of local stores, from which I can find pretty much anything that I would want or need (gifts or otherwise). But that only means that I have the added luxury of getting a good walk in with my small business shopping. You can still support small businesses from the comfort of your own home by shopping online.
The benefits of shopping from a small business are numerous, for you and for the business. When you buy from a small business, you are truly supporting people. Your business feeds a family, and if that family hires staff, then your purchase feeds their staff’s families, too. You support local economies, and economic growth for anyone who works for a small business.
You also receive a higher level of personalized customer service. I know from working behind the desk at TGN’s brick and mortar store that I don’t just want to sell you baby products, I want to get to know you and your family. We really care about the products that make your experience as a parent easier and more enjoyable. I have found that same attitude to be true for other small businesses as well; my business matters to them, and they take my satisifaction to heart.
We are so proud to be a small business, and so thankful for our wonderful and kind customers who support us. We encourage you to try to shop from more small businesses this year. TGN will have great sales online extending through and past Small Business Saturday, with some amazing exclusives for our brick and mortar store on Saturday.
And, always, we at TGN wish you a safe and happy holiday season. Thank you for being a part of our community!
November 14, 2016 2:01:43 PM EST
November 9, 2016 1:38:31 PM EST
November 4, 2016 10:53:38 AM EDT
September 21, 2016 11:05:03 AM EDT
July 13, 2016 12:49:53 PM EDT
Recently I had the opportunity to visit a local establishment for the most relaxing hour ever. I received a prenatal massage from Linnea at Sweetroot Massage Therapy. Let me tell you, it was aahhhh-mazing! I left feeling loose, relaxed, calm and refreshed.Read More
April 18, 2016 8:46:08 AM EDT
Hi, readers! This week on the blog, we are sitting down for a nice little Q+A with local customer, friend, and celebrity cat mom, Stacy Bridavsky. Stacy is the mom of nearly-one-year-old Rosco, the human, and internet sensation Lil Bub, the cat. We talk babies, Bub, and cloth diapers. Let's get to it!
Hi Stacy! We are so glad to get to pick your brain. How old is your sweet little guy now?
Hi Hanna! Rosco is eleven months old; I really can’t believe he’s almost one!
What is your favorite part about being a mom?
Being a mom is awesome, but really hard. My house is dirtier than I’ve ever thought possible and my car is much worse. Sometimes I just close doors so I don’t have to see the mess. If I get a few uninterrupted hours of sleep, that’s a good day. I operate on far less than my former self would think is possible. More often than not I haven’t showered and my shirts are covered in drool, dirt and whatever else Rosco’s been into. I’m also guilty of wearing the same outfit days in a row and not being able to remember if I’ve put on deodorant. But, the beautiful thing about being a mom, for me, is that I couldn’t care less. I feel stronger than I ever have. I’ve learned to trust myself and really listen to my intuition. I’ve learned I’m more resilient than I thought and I can draw on reserves of patience I didn’t know I had. And, there’s that moment when you realize your baby is really looking at you, recognizing you and smiling, and that is something very powerful.
Tell us, is Bub a good big sister?
Bub is a very tolerant big sister. I think part of the reason Rosco crawled so early was to get to her. He really loves her. I’m not sure if the feeling is mutual just yet, but she’s putting up with him learning to pet her gently.
How is it, juggling being a mom, being Bub’s mom, and being a new business owner? Do you have any tips for other busy moms and entrepreneurs out there?
People often say to me, you’re doing too much, or, you’ve got to take time for yourself. I think this is something parents, especially moms, hear a lot, and we know it. If only it were that easy! What’s worked for me is not comparing myself to others and not worrying about what other people think. Having a newborn while opening a new store, traveling a lot, and taking care of all of our pets, two of which are special needs, can feel really overwhelming. When you’re juggling a lot, you’re tested. There will be moments when you feel like you’re at the edge of your sanity, but these moments will pass. And, when you get right back to it the next morning, or whenever you do, you should feel very, very proud. Also, for really tough days, I never underestimate the power of brownies and white wine.
Let’s talk cloth: What made you decide to use cloth diapers?
We used disposables when Rosco was first born, and as a new mom that was the easiest thing for me. But, we went through so many diapers and I didn’t like producing all the trash that comes along with that. Seeing friends and family use cloth made it feel a lot more accessible to me.
What has surprised you most about cloth diapers?
Cloth diapering is so much easier than I thought it would be. I imagined there would be endless amounts of laundry and that it would be just another thing I wouldn’t be able to keep up with, but it’s not! The cloth diapers my mom used are not the cloth diapers of today. Today, they’re intuitive, simple and really easy to use.
Is there a brand or style that you have had great success with?
My go to brand is definitely Tots Bots.
What is it that you like most about this brand/style?
I really like the PeeNut style because it couldn’t make things any easier. It’s a one-size, hook and loop, waterproof wrap with a 3 in 1 bamboo liner. It’s perfect for daytime and overnights and so easy to use.
I’m also a huge fan of wool. It’s magic. I’ll often put Rosco in Sloomb basewoolies or playwoolies because they’re super absorbent, breathe well, are naturally antibacterial.
What is one piece of advice that you would share with a friend about using cloth diapers?
Don’t be afraid! If you want to try cloth but don’t know where to start, buy used or borrow from a friend. That way you can figure out what’s going to work for you and then invest in the styles that are going to last for your family.
Thank you so much for joining us on the TGN Blog! Let us promote you:! Locals may know that they can find Lil Bub merch for babies at TGN and your new Lil Shop, but where can our favorite local and not-so-local friends find Bub merch?
Our new shop recently opened at 236 N Morton, the former home of AZ Vintage. We’re right between Bloomington Bagel Company and Know Yoga, Know Peace. We’re open 11-6 Monday through Saturday and 12-5 Sundays. We’ve always got a friendly shop cat, so come say hello! You can also always shop online at: http://store.lilbub.com
February 16, 2016 12:18:38 PM EST
Geez, is it seriously mid-February already? I’ve been thinking a lot about the New Year’s resolutions that we set for ourselves, and how easy it is to fall OUT of those good habits. How are you doing with yours?
For me, it has been more successes than failures, so I call that a win! One area that I’m still not rocking is being gracious with myself about how much I accomplish in a day. It is SUCH a hard habit to learn – to be forgiving to ourselves. It has been especially difficult for me with my husband taking on a new work schedule and having to tackle bedtime by myself. This mom thing can be so hard! I have had to leave dishes in the sink in favor of getting to bed at a semi-decent hour. THE HORROR. So, I will continue to try to make this resolution a reality. Day by day.
In contrast, I am still kickin’ booty at getting MY booty in to the gym! This is a HUGE personal achievement. I have never, ever, ever stayed with a fitness routine for so long. I am seeing the results of my hard work manifest in many ways. I have never been tethered to my scale or my measurements, but I have lost a few pounds and inches, and gained muscle mass! I have also done things that I would have never thought I could do. I did TWO unassisted chin-ups. TWO. I had joked with my coach, Rodney, that the only way I could do one unassisted chin-ups was if there was a pit of fire beneath me and my life depended on it. But TWO?? Sans fire?! Guys, this feels huge! I’m lifting heavy weights and jumping giant (literal) hurdles, and I have never felt so strong or so physically capable in my life. And, yeah, my clothes are suddenly a little too big, and that’s hard to be sad about. I credit a lot to the coaches at Teamwork Bloomington. They know how to make our time and the workouts count, and push me farther than I thought I could go. As proof, here are some pictures of myself, fellow blogger and bestie Jordan, and co-owner of TGN Abby, up in the gym, just workin’ on our fitness. (Real talk, am I the only one who cannot work out without singing this line from Fergalicious?)
Here is another local mama and TGN customer, getting her fitness on with her sweet baby at the gym.
And, just for fun, here’s one of the husband and wife owner’s cutie cute baby girls. Look at that form!
Keep it up with your resolutions. And if you’ve fallen off the wagon, have no shame. Take it a day at a time, and keep working at it. You are awesome!
February 11, 2016 11:35:06 AM EST
Just in time for Valentine's Day, I bring to you: a not-totally-difficult-nor-time-consuming craft! It involves painting baby hands, how can you beat that, right?
I am not usually the Pinterest-crafty mama. I *want* to be. But, life's been so busy lately, and baby Bear is just not sleeping, and so my ability to make the Pinterest crafts happen has been nonexistent. But I love homemade valentines, and painting my baby and kiddo's hands and/or feet just sends me over the edge of the cute threshold. While scouring Pinterest, I came across a great idea, and thought I'd share it here!Read More
February 3, 2016 8:00:00 AM EST
Win it Wednesday Winner!Read More