How to Celebrate the Sisterhood of Mommy-hood

The Holding Hands Bracelet Collection
The Holding Hands bracelet is an exclusive My Mommy Manual piece, representing the strength moms source from each other. Each hand-crafted glass bead bears the symbol of two hands clasping. It’s a reminder that life is more fun when we’re holding hands!

It is a touching shower gift for an expecting mom because the charm bracelet is designed for each guest to add their own symbolic wishes for the celebrant as she crosses the threshold into mommy-hood.

It is also a wonderful gift for any mom — gift it to your friends who drove your older kids to school after your youngest was born, or to the best friend who takes your kids when the babysitter cancels at the last minute. This bracelet is forever a tangible reminder of the strength in our shared experiences as moms.

The bracelets are sterling silver bangle or silver-plated or snake chain.

Now only $27-39

A portion of your purchase benefits our woman- and child-focused non-profit partners.

Watch the broadcast from A Mom Is Born, the virtual baby shower in which as we hosted a Holding Hands Ceremony for KMOV news anchor and expecting mom, Virginia Kerr. We shared Holding Hands bracelets and wishes. We chatted live with 1,198 viewers AND we raised over $6500 for the March of Dimes.

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The Holding Hands Ceremony
You can host your own Holding Hands Ceremony! It is a powerful, tangible ritual, representing our bond as moms — but as you can see in the video, be prepared with tissues!

A. When to Celebrate a Holding Hands Ceremony
Baby Showers
Christenings and Namings
Mothers Day
Valentine’s Day
Any joyful or challenging milestones/events

Long before baby showers, from the Celts to the Navajos, a common ritual took place that honors a mother-to-be. Commonly called a Blessingway, it is a gathering of women who support each other, not just during birth but also through the natural transitions of life, who believe in a woman’s innate strength as a mom, and keeps her in their thoughts and prayers.

We believe that birth signifies new life, not just for the baby but for the woman. Just as a baby is crossing a threshold from the warm and secure womb into the great unknown, a woman crosses from the life she has known thus far to a whole new world. The circle of women that surround her, many  who have gone before her — give her community, a sense of connection to other women, and the strength that comes when we hold hands.

B. Who Can Participate
Anyone who is important to the celebrant can be included — especially her women friends.

Convenient Supplies
• pens
• ribbon
• a printout of the Holding Hands Gift Card (comes with purchase of bracelet)
• as many printouts of  the WISHES printable file as there are guests (free download with purchase)
• cameras and video recorders
• lots o’ tissue!

C. What to Do
1) Buy a Holding Hands bracelet.
A portion of your $27 purchase will go to one of our woman- and child-focused charity partners. Please allow 2-5 days for delivery within the continental U.S.

2) Invitations
Invite each guest to bring a bead and their wish for the celebrant. If invitations are being sent in the mail, include a printout of WISHES that each guest can fill out beforehand and bring to the event.

Also include this convenient list of online retailers that carry Pandora-style (large, 4-5mm hole size) beads and charms. Many national jewelers carry them too, like Helzberg and Hannoush. You may wish to add stores in your area.

St. Louis Beads on Etsy


Goody Beads

Clotho Charm Club


If you are sending electronic invitations, include the links to retailers in your message and add the WISHES file as an attachment.

4) Ceremony

• Plan about 5 minutes during your gathering for each person to present their Wish.
• Make sure that each guest signs the gift card.
• Find an area where everyone can assemble and be comfortable. Have lots of tissues handy! 🙂
• The host(s) can gather the party together and explain what will happen next.
• Each guest will now present their bead and the significance of why she chose it for her friend.

For an expecting mom, each bead will remind her of the woman who gave it to her, and who holds her in thoughts during labor and delivery.

• As each guest presents her bead and wish, it is added to the Holding Hands bracelet.
• After all the wishes are read out loud, the collection of wishes can be rolled and tied with ribbon as a keepsake for the celebrant.

How to Bathe Your Baby

Admittedly, Zen Mommy is super mommy as seen in this VIDEO! *wink* But there are a few handy items that make bathing baby easy. The Puj tub is one, which is why I chose it as Practical Mommy pick for NEW MOM gifts on my segment on Great Day St. Louis. That segment is posted here.

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Mindful Parents, Mindful Kids

What does “mindfulness” mean? As developmental psychologist, Dr. Sophia Pierroutsakos explains, it is a conscious relationship that we have with all the people and circumstances happening around us.

How can mindfulness help us and our children? We produced an hour-long documentary on the subject. The video is available for immediate download for $19.95. Watch this 2-minute trailer for a preview.

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Mindful Parents, Mindful Kids offers wonderful ideas for stepping back and focusing on what is important in life. From managing the screens in your household to managing relationships to managing yourself, the wisdom of Dr. Pierroutsakos is relevant and helpful. Too often we find ourselves pushing back against the “givens” when, in fact, they don’t need to be a given at all. Her thoughts were helpful and inspiring.

Tom Hoerr, Ph.D.
Educator and Author
on Multiple Intelligences (MI) and School Leadership

What a refreshing perspective on parenting! Instead of the usual discipline-focused lecture, this video gives parents power and wisdom.

In her soft and calm way, Sophia helps parents realize their role in raising children with a mindful attitude towards life. In this presentation, Sophia teaches simple and practical techniques to empower parents to take charge over their emotions and shift from reactive parenting to mindful parenting.  With wonderful explanations backed by research, she helps parents identify the obstacles that get in the way of parents and children building their emotional intelligence.

I believe that watching Mindful Parents, Mindful Kids will start every parent on a new path in parenting where being mindful is a basic tool to raising great kids.

Ronit Baras
Parenting Coach, Speaker, Autho

Thumbs up for this educational and informative video for parents! It teaches the practice, skills and benefits of mindfulness which is an important resource tool for parenting all ages. Being simply present in each moment helps kids and adults to better relate and learn.

Beck Brittain, Ph.D.
The Mothering Coach

Immediate access via .mp4 download or streaming, after confirming purchase. PayPal or credit card payment accepted through PayPal.


How to Have Some Virtual, Kid-Friendly Fun

As you well know, I’ve been very interested about how we guide our children to be good online citizens. Even though I spend countless hours engaging with people on Twitter and Facebook and here, I haven’t really figured it out how to parent the next gen digital native, which is why I’m very slowly and carefully introducing them to the online world.

One of our regular guests, Youthologist Vanessa Van Petten had some great advice in our interview on internet safety. That is, treat the online world just like the real world! Duh! Ease your kids into online participation, giving them more and more freedom and responsibility as they get older. Now that my kids are 8 and 6, I take them to the playground and let them play relatively freely, but I don’t leave them there!!!

Likewise, I’m starting to let them play on ONE safe site:

The reason I picked BABV is because I had the chance to hear from the people responsible for their digital operations and it was comforting to hear that every chat is monitored and every questionable incident gets investigated. They take this issue very seriously and are committed to working with online moms to ensure the safety of our kids. Not only that but the site content, totally in line with the Build-A-Bear brand, is all about “edutainment.” They’ve built in lessons on good cyber citizenship into the games and incentives in BABV. Is that how Club Penguin and Webkinz are too? Don’t know since I’ve never spent anytime there so if so, clue me in.

You can buy 15 Bearville Outfitters Credits here.

One of the things that piqued my interest while visiting at our friends at Build-A-Bear last week was their virtual summer camp, Camp Happy Heart. I even asked for more information from my new friend, Shannon. If you are looking for good, clean online fun that you could supervise with your kids as Vanessa recommended, here’s a great option! It starts on Friday, to coincide with the release of their ice cream bear collection (see fun pics below).

From Shannon:
Beginning July 2, Build-A-Bearville will host the third annual Camp Happy Heart, the largest summer camp in the virtual world.  Last year, over 400,000 campers participated in the online activities at  This year, Camp Happy Heart is expecting even more campers to its exciting camp program. Campers can play special online games and quests including:
·         Marshmallow roasting
·         Jump rope
·         Bear-2-Bear Tug-A-Hug

Guests will enjoy exploring Camp Happy Heart which is lead by a counselor bear from the Ice Cream Bear Collection. Once registered to join the camp, individuals will be put on a team and given daily tasks to complete in order to earn team points. Guests can also write their own camp- themed story featuring their favorite Ice Cream Bear. At the end of camp, each participant will receive a team poster for their virtual Cub Condo and the winning team will receive a 2010 Camp Happy Heart trophy, interactive camp fire and camp bed for their Cub Condo house.

So I’ve been enjoying observing how my kids explore the ‘ville! Yes, my daughter and I have been shopping in Furbulous Fashion District and I, er, I mean Zia Adventure has been helping them furnish their Cub Condos. Okay, it’s a little surreal but at least on BABV, they can actually afford bunk beds.

I’d love your thoughts on this virtual kid world. Where do you go with your kids? What sites do you recommend?

3 Month V.I.B. Subscription at®

How to Build-A-Business

Practical Mommy (Ria) and I spent two days at Bear Headquarters for Build-A-Bear in St. Louis (our own backyard!) with nearly 20 of the hippest online moms/bloggers from across the United States. The event was a Brand Building Workshop hosted by Build-A-Bear called Connecting in the CyBear Century.

It took Ria and I all of about 10 minutes to have our first “OMG” moment. How was #babwconnect? In a word, it was:

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How To Choose The Right Sunscreen

Summer is in full force. Are you wondering how you are going to survive? Keep your family safe and healthy by using the right sunscreen. Here are the key ingredients to look for. Happy summer!

by our Style Expert, Catherine Horgan

How Does Baby Einstein Help/Hurt Your Baby?

Our Expert Mommy talks about this controversial topic. I will admit, my babies watched Baby Einstein and I may have even given Baby Einstein DVDs as gifts! But I love how Dr. Sophia positions her point of view on baby “learning” videos and screen time in general.

What do you think? [Read more…]

Sleep Secrets

A veteran mom, I know better than to brag on what good sleepers my little ones are. There is no surer way to reverse one’s good fortune and you AIN’T gonna hear these words coming from me… not even followed by “knock on wood!” But what I will do is share nearly a dozen sleep secrets with you that are sure to help both you and your sweet babies get some much needed zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

And BTW, the reason I videoed these tips as opposed to writing them out is because my three week old twins are actually napping at the same time right this moment… and I knew I could get all this info to you if I sat for a minute and just told them to you. (Work smarter not harder, right?) Hope they help. [Read more…]

How Relationships Go the Distance

When we got married, our dear friends and officiants gave us this great little sign that reads, “Kiss slowly, forgive quickly.”  I literally look at this sign every day, but didn’t get the depth of its instruction until reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.

I’m talking about forgiveness, as in your ‘daily bread’ variety.  People talk about it all the time like it’s the key to everlasting relationships, but I never understood what the big deal was. (Sometimes, I can be a little thick-headed.  I like to think that I’m not, but yeah, I can be.) [Read more…]

How to Celebrate Mom for Mother’s Day

Hannah Keeley is the mom of 7 and host of public TV show, Hannah Help Me! She’s got some tips for you on how you have a great Mother’s Day and empower your kids at the same time.

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