Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sales tax holiday in Connecticut

It's that time of year where the kids are going back to school and your little ones are in need of a new wardrobe ready for Fall. If the idea of cost brings you out in cold sweats, don't panic. This week is Connecticut's annual sales tax holiday on clothing costing under $300!

For this week only, sales tax is omitted from shoe and clothing purchases providing the total bill comes to less than $300. This also includes 'Layaway' items, but only if you put your items on layaway during that week. Unfortunately, the tax holiday does not apply to those items that you are waiting to purchase and pick up. Other exclusions from the tax holiday include purchases made by phone, mail-order and internet.

It's the perfect excuse for a trip to the mall and, who knows, you may even find a little something for yourself! There are plenty of great shopping malls to choose from, such as the Crystal Mall in Waterford, West Farms Mall in Hartford, Evergreen Walk in South Windsor etc.

For more information, please visit


Friday, August 14, 2009

Watercolor paints

The Dude had his weekly toddler class today. We experimented with watercolor paints. I have to say I admire his ambition for not getting it on his clothing. I wasn't too happy about the fact that he didn't give a tiny rats ass about mine.

Still, he made his first masterpiece and it has pride of place on my fridge next to his Crayola efforts. At the rate he's knocking them out I think I'm going to need two fridges!

Does your child like to draw or paint? If so tell me about it! Just post a comment below.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

When Perseverance pays off

It's been a tough couple of months for me and I was starting to feel very despondent. But as my Dad always taught me, when the going gets tough, work harder and you'll get there in the end.

I'm pleased to report that he's right. I landed two regular jobs this month for two wonderful websites. I've never felt more confident about myself and my ability to succeed. I knew the motivation would get me places in the end, I just wasn't sure how far the end was from where I was standing.

Do you have any good news you'd like to share? If so, post a comment below or come say on Twitter to @ExpatMama!


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our Favourite Hobby

The Dude and I love visiting the library. He enjoys choosing books for Mommy to read to him and I love watching him make his selections. It's so funny to watch him pull books off of the shelf and discard the ones that don't interest him, while he holds on for dear life to the ones that do. He's only 15 months old.

It reminds me of the visits my Mom and I used to make to the library in London. It was a huge old place, full to bursting with every book imaginable. It was always such a treat when we went with Mom, but now I'd like it to become a habit for our family. It's so much fun to browse the shelves and choose a book that you can't wait to get your teeth into. I could get lost for hours in a good book and not notice where the time has gone. I've always been the same, especially when it comes to library books.

We're a bunch of book worms in our house and it looks as though Little one is following in our footsteps. He loves a certain book called 'Dear Zoo' which funnily enough, I owned when I was a kid. We've already taken it out of the library twice and over the course of a day, he'll bring it to me at least 6 times for me to read with him and each sitting requires us to look through it about 8 or 9 times before he's willing to look at a different book.

What I also think is fab about the library is that there are so many free programs available throughout the year like foreign movie nights and Q&A sessions with local authors. Our local library hosts a kids story time once a week which is followed by a free craft, and in some libraries in the area they host a story time for babies and toddlers too.

Do you enjoy visiting your library? Are there any books in particular that your kids tend to gravitate toward? Share your experiences here and post a comment!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!

Since I've come into my second trimester I've found that I have more energy to burn in the mornings than I have done for weeks - that's right folks, I'm due again in January!

So when my little guy takes his nap, I sit at my computer and get writing. I've never been more motivated and I just hope that it stays with me well into my parenting career. Obviously there will days where it will be more difficult to juggle my two jobs than others, but I'm determined to give it my best shot. Heck, when I first went into labour with The Dude, I beckoned my husband to get me laptop so that I could finish an essay that I was writing before I went into hospital to give birth!

So to all those pregnant Mamas out there: If you have a career goal and the motivation to achieve it, go for it. Don't stress yourself out over it, but don't give up. We Mamas can do anything we put our minds to, so keep going. And remember, don't let anybody tell you that you can't because your pregnant. You have as much right to reach your dreams and fulfill your potential as any other person out there.

Are you a pregnant Mama and have a goal or two you'd like to share? Post a comment and let us know!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Follow me on Twitter

I did it. I finally broke into the world of social media. It was a long time coming, but I'm ready for it. And so far, I've really enjoyed it.

It's a new approach to self-promotion which I've felt my writing has needed for a long time. But for me, it's also a way of connecting with other parents, Mama's, writers, and friendly faces in general.

So, if you can't get enough of Expat Mama, come follow me on Twitter too! Just look up ExpatMama and I'll be there, ready to say hi!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Forever Blowing Bubbles

Little Dude has been attending some toddler classes recently at the Children's Museum of South Eastern Connecticut. (Fabulous place if ever you get the chance to visit!) Every week they have an activity to do such as playing with felt shapes. This week, we played with bubbles and I have to say I've never seen a child so transfixed. He was so in awe of the delicate balls of soapy water floating through the air that he couldn't move. So after class, I bought him a bottle of bubbles to take home.

He still doesn't quite know how they work or where they come from, but I've found that it helps to soothe his tantrums, they help him to relax him before bed and generally keeps him out of trouble.

So to all you Mamas out there who are searching for that one thing that will help distract your little one's and keep them calm and quiet, I recommend blowing a few bubbles. And don't forget to let me know how you get on with it! Just post a comment below.