Thursday, August 30, 2007

Throwback Thursday: Canada Day

Canada Day 1999 - when we were still young and wanting to party enough to go downtown and take part in the festivities. Here we're on the porch of a friend of a friend of a friend's house having drinks (red drinks for Canada day ;) before heading to a parking lot party in the evening. It poured rain and we continued to dance and drink (the drinks were pretty watered down to begin with anyways ;) and have a crazy ol' time!

I'm not sure we ever had that crazy a Canada Day again. That summer Vicky met the man she is now married to, and I made the decision to move to Korea to teach English for awhile (where I got myself fairly partied out ;). I think after that we decided we wanted calmer lives and started a tradition of camping for Canada Day - one that lasted until this past year when the bebes made that no longer seem like an attractive way to celebrate anymore either.

Perhaps we'll start heading downtown again in the years to come so the boys can experience the family-fun that our capital city has to offer on our country's birthday. But we'll see, I'm not so big on crowds (How DID this happen???!! :)
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Monday, August 27, 2007

When work isn't work any longer

Well, today is a sad day. Lara has gone back to work, and with that comes the end of our days hanging out with Joel and Kiernan, working on the business. I have to say, it's been a lot of fun! The past 4-5 months especially, since we started working on the business, I've seen Lara and Kiernan almost daily.

As I was trying to fall asleep last night, I started thinking about how much Lara and I have been working on Apples'n'Oranges, especially over the past couple of weeks as we got the site up and running. We've been putting in hours upon hours inputting stock, updating images, writing text and organizing inventory. I know I've worked much longer hours than I ever did at a job (with the exception of the 5 months I spent as a grunt working for a PR firm!)

Working on Apples'n'Oranges just doesn't feel like work. I don't have to force myself to turn on the computer in the morning. Poor Mitch has to fight me for the laptop so he can check the sports highlights! I've been pushing bed time later and later and now it's almost midnight every night when I get to bed.

Over the past 8 years working in Communications/PR, I have NEVER had a job that I felt this way about. I feel even more sure that being an entrepreneur is exactly the right fit for me. I've never been happier at 'work'!
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Friday, August 24, 2007

It's all about learning as you go

Today Lara and I met a rep that sells quite a few different lines of clothing for kids, including the Peekaboo Beans line. We got to preview the Spring line, and let me tell you, I have one word - WOW! It feels so strange picking out items for Spring when we haven't even hit Fall yet! It was so much fun picking out pieces, and the rep was pretty helpful too in terms of suggesting different combinations of things we might like to carry. The one thing Lara and I learned is that you need to have more tops than you have bottoms.

I love deliveries, and today we got a BIG box from Peekaboo Beans with our second order. It's like Christmas every time something arrives! So check out our site, we just posted the Pixie Dress, and the Patches Hoodie, two very very cute items for your little girl. You'll love them.

For boys, we just got the Arrow Vest, and the Mischevious Hoodie.

Ok, so I have to tell you all what my husband told me this afternoon: "You know what? I think Peekaboo Beans should make a line of Maternity wear!" My husband is a genius (Traci I'm sure you've already thought it), but I have to agree. How I would have loved a pair of Flutter Pants when I was pregnant!
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Thursday, August 23, 2007

A winner and a group!

Congratulations to our winner - Lace - from Keeping my fingers crossed. We're going to be having regular contests so everyone should keep checking back regularly.

Also keep checking the Apples'n'Oranges site because we're adding new merchandise daily!

And we created a Facebook group! Come join us!
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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Throwback Thursday: the photobooth

I remember being a teenager and giving in to the impulse to jump into a photobooth with friends far more often than I do nowadays - which is too bad, because photobooth photos are always fun :)

If I remember correctly, this photo of Vicky and I was taken in 1995 and we'd just had makeovers done. We loved the photo so much we brought it to a film developing place where they took a photo of the image and printed them as 5x7s for us.

I still love this photo - despite the over-exposed faces and the fact that my glasses cover half my face. hehe

Don't miss out on more Throwback Thursday stories over at the Pinks and Blues girls' blog.

And don't forget to enter our contest for a Babes in Black onesie - contest closes tonight (Wednesday - I'm a little eager for throwback thursday I guess. hehe) Good luck!
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We're off to a great start!

We hosted our first in-home sales party on Sunday and it went really well! We had about 15 people or so attend (including my mom and Lara's mother in law- two of our best customers!)

Lara and I spent a lot of time folding and organizing clothes, and I guess we must have made some really impressive stacks of clothing because none of our guests wanted to mess up the piles! The clothing rack was a great idea, and people liked being able to sort through the clothes that way. Lara and I are going to invest in a bigger one that collapses so we can bring it with us to parties.

I think the parties work really well for people to touch the clothing, and even try things on their kids. You get a completely difference sense of what the items are like in person.

Let me see, what else did we learn... People really loved the Peekaboo Beans lines, and were looking for more 'playwear' type clothing (translation= fancy sweatpants!) Infant shoes have also been a really big seller so far, so we'll have to make sure we order more sizes.

Now we just need people to start booking parties! Anyone from Ottawa who is reading this- we are offering an additional $15 toward the purchase of products if you host a party before Thanksgiving (and your party earns $250 or more).
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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Babes in black - another contest!

**Congratulations to our winner - Lace - from Keeping my fingers crossed. Enjoy the onesie! And check back for more contests soon!***

When I was pregnant, I went for lunch with a friend who had recently had a baby and I distinctly remember her telling me how her husband really wanted their daughter to have some black clothing, but that it was nearly impossible to find.

It didn't take me long to realize how true that was - there just isn't a lot of black clothing for babies and small children! And I think they look good in black! That's one of the reasons we really loved Babes in Black and took them on as a supplier for Apples'n'Oranges.

Our first official giveaway after the launch of Apples'n'Oranges is for a Babes in Black belly onesie. Babes in Black is a company from Toronto and their clothing is all 100% cotton. I think the belly line of shirts is completely adorable and love that if you were pregnant with another you could buy matching shirts!

Win a 12-18 month longsleeve belly onesie from Babes in Black by adding our button to your site (in a post or on your sidebar) and then signing the Mr Linky. You'll get a bonus entry for writing about the contest on your blog. If you already have our button on your blog, can you update to the new button as this new one now links to the online store instead of to the blog. If you don't have a blog, just email us at and spread the love and tell someone about our contest and blog :) Contest closes Wednesday August 22 at midnight.

White Background:
Apples'n'Oranges - clothing for kids

Brown Background:
Apples'n'Oranges - clothing for kids

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Pricing, tagging, sorting, lather, rinse, repeat

My living room is starting to look more and more like a shop! Our first home party is coming up on Sunday so Lara and I set everything up a bit early (I think partially out of sheer excitement, and partially out of wanting to test it out before we actually set up on Sunday). I have to say, I looks pretty darn awesome! We have coordinating table clothes on my dining room table and sideboard,(actually they are really some green and orange sheets Lara picked up for a good deal at the Superstore), and wooden crates stacked on top of the tables. We even have a small clothes rack from IKEA to hang up some of the samples.

The past couple of days, Lara and I have done nothing put print price labels, stick them on tags, sort clothes, fold clothes, stack clothes, and use our new Swiftach to tag everything. It's tough work! And I don't know if it's the stress, the excitement, a combination of both, or just some kind of weird bug, but both Lara and I experienced these weird bouts of feeling really hot and flushed, and slightly queasy! I hope we aren't coming down with something!

I have to say, I have never worked in a job where I had to literally pry myself away from what I was doing at 11:30 every night and force myself to go to bed- not because I had to get it done, but because I was so excited TO get it done!
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: shameless plug

We launched! We launched! So exciting!
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Dirty little secret

Apples'n'Oranges test party is this coming Sunday and we were hoping that we might be able to get the site up in time for the party. It'd be pretty hectic but, we thought we could do it.

After six relaxing days at the cottage, we were just packing up to come home last Thursday when I got a call from Vicky, squealing with delight because she'd just talked to one of our suppliers, Peekaboo Beans, and had gotten some good news. Savvy Mom, a major national web site that sends out newsletters, was going to be featuring their clothing line. And not just any of our suppliers, one of the ones that doesn't sell online yet and who asked us to be their official online distributor!!

Only catch? The newsletter went out yesterday. We had 4 days to get the site up and running and it pretty much wasn't started. Thanks to emergency babysitting by grandparents,Vicky, Eric and I spent practically 4 days solid to get the site up!!

And that's where I feel guilty. Because I wanted all the people who read our blog to see the site first, but we barely were ready in time for Savvy Mom and we needed to start slow.
But we made it through our first day with no major glitches and we couldn't wait an instant longer to say "WE'VE LAUNCHED!" And we think it looks pretty good and you should check it out ;)

Let us know what you think and stay tuned as we tell you a bit more about some of our suppliers.

Peekaboo Beans, by the way, is the most fabulously whimsical line I've ever seen. The fabrics are not only fabulous, they're fun and different from other things. I've been thinking there must be a way I can fit into the size 5 purple petalbottom skant if I just tried hard enough ;)
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Friday, August 10, 2007

Are you sure he's safe in there? Isn't he going to fall out?

Before having my son, I never knew much about baby wearing. I had a friend who swore by her Baby Bjorn, but that was the first I'd really heard about the whole wearing your baby thing. I now have a Baby Bjorn of my own (sadly an expensive purchase that was rarely used), a MamaKangaroo pouch, and my all time favourite Baby Hawk. When I bought the Baby Hawk, my husband said "ANOTHER carrier?!?! Don't we have enough?" The answer is NO, we don't have enough! In fact, I would love a ring sling! And maybe another Baby Hawk in a different colour! Baby wearing seems to be the fashionable thing to do if you are a new mom these days, so why not have a closet full of slings to suit your mood, or your outfit!

Baby wearing makes sense to new moms today. It's easy to do, it's such a nice feeling having your baby close to you, it lets you have a free hand or two, you don't need to lug a stroller around with you, and really I could go on but you get the idea. Most of my mom friends in their 30s are wearing their babies. Even celebs in Hollywood are wearing their babies. But you know, I really think women in my mother's generation, and even the one before that don't seem to get it. I was stopped recently at the grocery store by an elderly woman concerned that my son was going to fall out of the Baby Hawk he was strapped into on my back. I've also received a lot of inquisitive looks as I carried Joel in the pouch sling.

Apples'n'Oranges is considering carrying a couple of varieties of baby carriers, but we'd like to know what you think! What's your favourite brand of carrier? Do you prefer a pouch, a ring sling, or a Mei Tei? And hey, while your at it share some of your baby wearing experiences with us! I'd love to hear other gems like "are you sure he's safe in there"?
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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Throwback Thursday

For our first Throwback Thursday we thought we'd start with something appropriately fruity ;)

We are both fruitcake lovers and I know what you're thinking - what? that cakey brick that gets passed around from family member to family member each Christmas? The stuff with an expiry date of December 12th, 2012? To that we say: No. Not that stuff. This is the REAL fruitcake, where practically every ingredient in the recipe is listed in the amount of one pound: Sugar, 1lb! Flour, 1lb! Butter, 1lb! Candied Cherries, 1lb! ... basically you end up with about ten pounds of cake batter poured into three tins and baked for a pound- I mean a few hours. And it's delish!

Hey, check out those aprons! Usually there's about TWO pounds of flour on Lara's. This particular fruitcake making shot was taken in 2004.

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Friday, August 3, 2007

Organic clothing - part deux

Your responses to my previous post inspired me to delve a little bit further into the 'organic clothing' issue - to figure out what the arguments were for them. As I had previously mentioned, I was really uneducated as to why I would want to spend more money to buy organic clothing. So I googled it. And I found a bunch of links (I'll reference some at the end of this post). I couldn't really find anything when I searched for things like "is organic clothing a waste of money" or "is the need for organic clothing a hoax" but the hits for organic clothing might be stronger and I have to admit I didn't look THAT long and hard.

Here, in a nutshell, is what I gathered from what I read are the main reasons for buying organic clothing:

1) It takes a lot of chemicals to make a shirt with non organic cotton. A lot of chemicals = bad
2) Chemicals in your clothing can harm you (I have a bit of a hard time believing those chemicals don't wash out so this definitely isn't the strongest argument for me)
3) Buying organic, in any capacity, is good for the environment because it means less chemicals and pesticides being used. By buying organic you are helping lift the people who are trying to do our world better. They are having a hard time affording to do what they're doing and need support to be able to keep doing it.

So my personal interpretation is that more than a healthy living issue, buying organic clothing is a eco-friendly thing to do. It's a lot more expensive, but that seems to often be the case with being socially responsible. Has it made me want to go out and buy organic clothing? I might consider paying the cost for an item or two if it were something I really liked.

Here are some of the links I found - some are of course written by people selling organic clothing ;) I love to hear more on your views on this :)
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Organic clothing worth the extra cost?

Everywhere I look lately you can find an organic section - people are going out of their ways to find products that are better and healthier for them, and they're willing to pay a premium price to get them. The organic grocery sections have grown, seemingly exponentially, in the last couple of years, and more and more I'm now noticing organic clothing to be rising in popularity.

What do you think about the trend towards organic? Do you shop organic? Does that include more than food? Would you pay extra to put your baby in clothing that is organic?

I have to admit to still being on the fence on the organic issue, not truly convinced of either side, but would love to find out more about the benefits people have seen, noticed, heard of, for eating and wearing organic!
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