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Saturday, October 11, 2008

An Extraordinary Baby Gift

You know how easy it is to find baby gifts for first-time parents. Between the registry, and the adorable clothes in such teensie tiny sizes, and the desire to help in practical ways, there are so many things to buy for baby #1 that it's hard to narrow down the options.

Well, I'm about to make it a little harder -- or a little easier, depending on your perspective.

If you want to stand out from a sea of diaper bags and burp cloths, or you favor gifts of a more crafted and heirloom quality, or you need something to give a mother of a second child, or you have your very own little one who just keeps dashing off in a store, look no further than this great idea:

Bumble Bells.

These beautiful, adjustable, sterling silver baby anklets are hung with little silver bells that tinkle softly when baby wiggles, kicks, or walks. They come in two sizes, for babies and toddlers. They would make a gorgeous and unique gift for a friend.

Or, if your children are anything like mine were as younger toddlers, they would be a very practical gift for yourself. If I'd had Bumble Bells on Daughter the day she ran away from me in Kohl's, I certainly would not have severely sprained my ankle trying to dash after her between the racks. I wouldn't have had to keep her in sight, you see, only within earshot. And I would have caught up to her just the same. Except without the week of being on crutches afterwards.

Those of you who are concerned about safety (aren't we all?) will be glad to know that Bumble Bells are ASTM certified. For you who don't click outbound links, that means that THE international organization that regulates product standards attests to the fact that these bells cannot be removed by a curious child and swallowed. Now that is peace of mind.

The main site for Bumble Bells has more information, photographs, and testimonials from other mothers who have fallen in love with Bumble Bells. You can buy them right now on the Bumble Bells Etsy shop, and in select retail stores, although the small company is expanding and soon will offer more purchase options.

One of the reasons I agreed to review Bumble Bells is that I prefer to support local business whenever I can. Bumble Bells is a Chicago-based company owned by a mother whose own daughter wears Bumble Bells, and as soon as I started talking to her, it became clear that she not only offers a great product but cares about children everywhere. After I'd already agreed to write the review, I asked Jill from Bumble Bells if she would be interested in making a donation to the Literacy Funding Challenge as part of Help Our Schools Saturdays; she responded right away by telling me that a portion of their profits already goes directly to Head Start and that she would be very happy to consider making another education-based donation as well. The goodness and integrity of small businesses in this country never fails to inspire me. All I had to do was explain the project to her, and within a few hours, I had this email response from Jill,

"I have donated! And man does that always feel good."

What a fantastic company to give your business to, if you're in the market for a unique and beautiful baby gift! I only wish I'd known about Bumble Bells before my children were too old for them.

* * * * *

In the spirit of celebrating the goodness of people and the power of generosity, I'm hosting a giveaway. The prize is this cozy, lovely pale pink scarf from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, in honor of national breast cancer awareness month. To win, leave me a comment mentioning a charitable act you've undertaken in the last month for someone you were not related to by blood or marriage. It might be a monetary contribution, a donation of time, or anything else you can think of that shows you reaching out to a larger community. Can't think of anything you've done in the last month? Longing to capture that feeling that you're doing good? May I suggest following Jill's lead and donating to a valuable educational project for a needy school. It's easy, and you are assured that your money is going straight to a really valuable project of increasing children's access to books. Then come back and leave me a comment saying you've donated (no need to say how much; every $5 makes a difference).

Entries accepted for until Friday, October 17th at midnight EST. Winner will be announced on the follow day's Help Our Schools Saturdays post.

* * * * *

And now, the winner of the Tiny Prints $75 to spend on gorgeous custom holiday cards or stationery:

(comment left on Oct 5 at 3:33pm)
email me for details on how to claim your prize.

Please note: some people chose to leave two comments mentioning their two favorite cards, while others put both card names into one comment, which meant I couldn't just number the comments and fairly ensure that people who deserved two entries got them both. So, I typed out a list of everyone who entered, in order, including your name twice if you named two cards. Then I numbered the list -- all 185 names -- and I used those numbers as your official entry numbers for the Random.org drawing.


KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

Congrats to the winner!

The scarf is lovely, but the anklets....OH MY WORD! Gorgeous! I wish I could have had these for my children!!

Aimeepalooza said...

Yes, the anklets are beautiful. And probably a much nicer sound than those shoes that sound like a dog toy.
I am tired so I don't know if I put it here...but this month I donated money to a boy that B played football with last year. he was injured in a 7th grade game and had to be life flighted to a hospital. We raised $1000 toward his medical expenses in one day.

angie said...

Thanks Mommytime. I can't wait to use the tiny prints gift card for our baby announcements--20 days and counting.

Obviously, I don't want to win 2 prizes in a row and we haven't donated anything amazing in the last month. But we did do something a few months ago that was amazing. We had some good friends who were struggling financially. She stays at home, he's an asst prof at a small college. They only had one car and he took it to work, so she was alone with 2 kids all day with no car. They had cut out everything in their life except for the internet (no cable, no landline, no going out for dinner, no netflix, no extras of any kind). So we sent them a check for $2000 to help go towards a new (used) car. We told them that when they get on their feet financially...whether it's a year or 20 years from now to do the same...to give some other family struggling $2000. A close friend of mine from grad school has done this for years and I loved the idea.

Chrissy said...

This wasn't a very big donation, but I donated money to a local high school soccer team. They were raising money by having a car wash and I didn't have time to stop and gave them some cash instead. Thanks :-)

IRISHKAT said...

Wow aren't you the generous soul! My girlfriend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had her right breast removed two weeks ago. I organized a bunch of friends and coworkers to donate so e could provide them with dinners for a month. We had enough money donates that I can save some of the money for when she has her left breast removed next summer. Did I mention she found out she was pregnant and had cancer in the same day? Yeah, it sucked. So she had one removed now and the other after the baby is done nursing. The last thing she feels like doing is cooking for her family so I know how much she appreciated my gift :)

LaskiGal said...

This is so cool that you are doing this. I love that you are supporting a local business. I am definitely checking this out.

As for a charitable act . . . I tutor kids in the district for free. The district cut funding for paid tutors, so I've agreed to pick up some slack. I LOVE it. It makes missing teaching a little easier to deal with.

Momo Fali said...

Those are just lovely! What a perfect gift idea!

Mrs F with 4 said...

Congratulations to Angie... I'm envious!

I love the Bumble Bells - but chez Mrs F, it could sound like an entire orchestra!

Generosity..... without sounding all prissy and Little-Miss-Perfect, I try as a rule to act generously - not necessarily financially. I mind a friend's children one day a week so she can work an extra shift... cook an extra meal every couple of weeks for my newly widowed neighbour and her (small) children.... paid a struggling friend's Hydro bill (anonymously!). I try to be a listening ear and just be 'there'. But isn't that what friendship is about?

It's amazing what a smile, a hug, or a bunch of flowers from your garden can do to lighten a grey day.

bejewell said...

We donate regularly to several organizations, including the Humane Society, the Red Cross, Salvation Army and our local Public Television station. Plus, I serve as a Trustee on the board of our local neighborhood library. (Sadly, though, it looks like I'll have to give that up soon because of time issues.). Nothing feels better than giving your money or your time to a worthy cause!!

Kimmylyn said...

That scarf is beautiful.. I am not even sure to begin to where I have donated.. I just donated to the March of Dimes for a blog I read.. or to Breast Cancer awareness..

And that ankle bracelet is just divine.. what a great idea!!!

And Congrats to Angie!!

brandy said...

Oh I love that idea for a baby gift! So original! As for my 'good deed', I made an extra lasagna and took it over to my friend who had just had a baby. Knowing that she's swamped with first time jitters (as a childless chick, I can't even begin to imagine everything she's learning about), I thought sending over a meal would be a great way to reduce stress!

MIQuilter said...

I have agreed to be part of a traveling shawl project to raise money for the SBK Breast Cancer Foundation. I haven't gotten the project yet to start the knitting, but I'm in queue. I'm really hoping that we raise a ton of money this way - I know so many people who have been touched by cancer.

MIQuilter said...

Follow up - I just went to the site I linked to and it doesn't say much about the project, so I'll add that here: a single project is traveling to 1 knitter in each of the 50 states in the US. We each knit a portion of it. When the shawl is complete it will be raffled off, with all of the proceeds from the raffle going to the Susan B Komen Breast Foundation. Progress can be followed on the blog linked above. When we are closer to completing the project there will be a link to purchase raffle tickets.

E... said...

What have I done for anyone else lately? Definitely not as much as I would like, but I did donate to a local children's hospital walk, watched my friend's daughter for the day last week so she could work an extra day, and made soup for a friend who just had a baby.
This has reminded me I need to make dinner for a former colleague whose wife is in chemotherapy -- I'll do it this week!

Ree said...

Wait. How do I help? Every Saturday...come by to see.

We're up to $72 X 2 = $144 for the BCRF! Yay me (and Andy, but he wouldn't look good in that scarf at all)

mcarstens said...

Anklets- SO nice.

I designed and made wedding invitations for a friend of mine and because I know she couldn't afford to pay me, I did them for free. And I still plan on giving her a gift off her registry.

angelin said...

Bumble Bells are adorable and practical baby anklets that make great gifts and even greater baby pictures. Makes a great baby shower gift. As your baby grows, so do the anklets, making them not just beautiful and practical but also a marker of just how much your little one has grown.

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