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Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Children's Apparel, Children's Literature, Product Review, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ants In The Pants

Ants In The Pants

Our youngest loves Georgie! {She is wearing a rainbow romper from Lookie Loo Loo & hair bow from Lennon & Co.}

One can never have too many books. As a homeschooling family, we’re always on the lookout for a good book. Thanks to author, musician, and designer Jolie Della Valle, we have found a great book and brand in Ants In The Pants! Not only did Jolie write the book featuring her own creation, Georgie The Ant & friends, she also makes appearances where she hosts Storytime Dance Parties at schools and events. In addition, you will find Ants In The Pants apparel in the shop from bloomers to leggings and tees, all made in the USA by Jolie, herself. Crawl over to the website & print some free coloring pages with Georgie & his friends!

Summer Feature 3

 

Summer Feature 1

Most importantly, Jolie gives back in a big way! In addition to volunteering a live performance and donating a copy of her book to every child at the hospital, twenty percent of every book sale through July is donated to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital! This way, parents have the opportunity to purchase a special book for their child that also gives back. Her mission is to encourage the “ants” in the pants of children everywhere, and to also give back to this amazing foundation.Ants in the Pants, 1We are in awe of Jolie’s inspirational journey and think you will be, too! The book is fun and colorful which draws the attention of all ages. All three of our children – ages 6, 5, & 3 – enjoy reading the story and acting out the pages. We love that the book is so interactive & encourages children to participate in it’s imaginative dance while speaking directly to the child with questions. There is a fun surprise at the end of the book, too! We can only imagine how much fun it would be to have Jolie singing and reading her book in person. Jolie is a tiny ball of happy energy which must be so entertaining for little ones!

Summer Feature 2

As part of our new Q&A Sessions with handmade entrepreneurs, we’ve asked Jolie to answer some questions we find to be important in our lives. Here are her answers:

•What motivated you to become a handmade shop owner and when did you open/launch?

When I got the idea for making Ants in the Pants, it sparked me with so much excitement, that I had to follow through with it! For a few years I was selling my creations at craft shows only, but then I finally I launched my website in November of 2013.

•Where do you source your materials?

I order all of my fabric and trims online through various websites. I love Timeless Treasures Fabric and Spoonflower. In regards to my recently published children’s book, I used a printing company in the United States.

•What’s your favorite part about being a handmade shop owner?

My favorite part is receiving a picture of a child in a outfit that I made or reading my book! It fills me up with so much happiness to know that I created something with loving energy that is now being transferred into that child’s life!

•Who inspires you?

I am inspired by almost everyone and everything. I am always observing! However, my niece Sloane is my ultimate inspiration! She is the reason Ants in the Pants went from a  hobby into a viable business. I choose to let go of my fears and follow my dreams because I want to encourage her to do that. I’m just trying to lead by example and be an amazing role model to her!

•What do you see your business becoming in the next 5/10 years?

Ants in the Pants began as baby and toddler clothing, and then last year I published my first children’s book, Georgie and the Ants in the Pants. At this time I also started writing kids music and playing the ukulele! The past few months I’ve been touring schools, stores, and libraries with my book and entertaining children, and this turned into my #1 passion and priority. I would have never imagined I would be doing this! My business has evolved so much and I know it will continue to evolve more over the next 5/10 years. I try to focus on each day as it comes- to do my best, to stay inspired and productive, to have faith, and to let life unfold!

•Favorite fellow handmade shops?

I love Little Macks @Little.Macks (media inspired shirts). So cute and funny!

•What is your favorite creation?

My favorite creation is Georgie and the Ants in the Pants! It was the most challenging one by far, but the tougher the challenge, the greater the reward!

•What’s your most important piece of wisdom you think has made you &/or your business who/what you are today?

When there is something major you want to accomplish, understand that it will not happen over night. Be patient, and just do your best to continue to move forward everyday. It is a marathon, not a race, and NEVER compare your business or progress to anyone else’s. Have a reason – something that’s bigger then you, and bigger then the products that you create, that pushes you to keep on each day! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

•What do you wish customers purchased more of?

I will usually get orders of the book alone, or the apparel alone, and I just think it’s so cute for a child to receive both the book and a t-shirt (because the characters in the book are wearing the “I have Ants in my Pants” shirts!).

•Business-wise, why do you do what you do day in & day out?

Every day is so different! Depending upon if I have a school visit or not, or what I feel inspired to do that day! Typically I am writing, brainstorming, sewing, playing the ukulele, making calls, shipping orders, working on marketing initiatives. I also run a completely different business as a personal trainer, fitness instructor. So in between all my Ants in the Pantsing’ I am training clients, or teaching classes. I find that the busier I am, the more I get done! I wake up super early, and it allows to me to get a head start on the day. I prioritize and always get the urgent things done first, knowing that tomorrow will be a bright new beautiful day to continue on this journey!

Wonderful words and advice from Jolie Della Valle! Thank you, Jolie, for sharing your imagination and a little of your world with us! We are ever-inspired by your creativity and lust for life!

 

NOW THROUGH 7/17/15 on @WeAreHandmade, purchase Georgie and the Ants In The Pants at a discounted price of $15 (includes shipping) & receive a FREE Logo Tee (a $23 value)!! 

 

***And don’t forget that Jolie is donating 20% of all purchases to

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital!!

 

 

FIND MORE ANTS IN THE PANTS:

Ants In The Pants on Facebook – InstagramBlog – Shop

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Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Children's Literature, Kindergarten, Library, Preschool | 0 comments

Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books, Volume Three

Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books, Volume Three

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Books are something you can never have too many of. We love books. We have LOTS of books, whether from birthday & Christmas gifts or hand-me-downs. Our collection is growing as our children grow and we couldn’t be happier!

When I started the Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books series, you can see we were in a different place in our parenthood. We were reading board books to please our eager toddler. Now that our children are older, they naturally enjoy more advanced books.

1. Press Here by Herve Tullet (all ages)

We love this book so much, we purchased the iPad app! Press Here will hold a child’s attention through the entire book. It’s so captivating and, more importantly, FUN! The website even offers activities related to the book. Enjoy!!

Press Here

Photo Copyright Chronicle Books

2. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (ages 3+)

Though this book may not be appropriate for the much younger crowd, it’s very amusing. Our kids really enjoy the humor involved and get a laugh each and every time it is read in our house.

I Want My Hat Back

Photo Copyright Candlewick Press

3. The Fantastic Flying Books Of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (ages 4+)

This is another book geared toward preschoolers and up. Morris Lessmore is full of imagination. Our oldest daughter can relate to the idea of getting lost in a book. The illustrations are wonderful and story line clever. And, by golly,there is a short film. Little did we know the film came first, then the book. Of course, there is also an app. We added the film & the app to our wish list – more on that later!

Morris Lessmore

Photo Copyright Moonbot Studios

4. Journey by Aaron Becker

Winner of a 2014 Caldecott Honor Award, Journey is unlike any other book we own, quite unlike any other book I’ve seen. There is no text, simply beautiful illustrations covering the pages of this lovely book. A young girl guides us though the creative world in which she lives to let our minds wander. I highly recommend this book for children who love storytell, or for those who haven’t yet tapped into their imaginations.

Photo Copyright Aaron Becker

Photo Copyright Aaron Becker 

5. Can You Find It? by The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Our kids LOVE finding objects in real life so why wouldn’t they love them in books?! They have always been keen on finding Waldo and his friends, so we branched out into the world of seek & find books and found this gem. Each set of pages has a pretty scene of famous art in which they search to find items listed. I love the art, of course, and think they do, too!

Photo Copyright The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Photo Copyright The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

 

 

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Posted by on Apr 29, 2011 in Children, Children's Literature, Family, Kids Activities, Library, Natural Parenting, Save money, Stay At Home Mom | 1 comment

Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books, Volume Two

Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books, Volume Two

Hello blogging world!  It has been a while since my last post, and for legitimate reason.  Our sweet one year-old was hospitalized for a terrible case of roseola.  We are grateful and ever-so-thankful that he is home now, recovering quite well and regaining his immunity.  I am glad to be back to writing.  I will certainly attempt to find the time to jump back in full-throttle!  Thanks for being patient readers!

Today is Friday & you know what that means!  FAB FIVE FRIDAYS!!  I have chosen to continue with “Children’s Books” since we all know there is an extensive & e’er-growing list!  As always, I would LOVE to hear your favorites!  Keep reading 🙂

1.  “I Love You Through and Through”  by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak, Illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church

2.  “ABC’s”  by Charlie Harper

3.  “Jamberry”  by Bruce Degen

4.  “Feed Matisse’s Fish” by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo

5.  “Millie Moo”  by Camilla Moody

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Posted by on Mar 15, 2011 in Children, Children's Literature, Creative, Family, Fancy Nancy, Library, Save money, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Fancy Nancy Pajama Party

Fancy Nancy Pajama Party

We attended a Fancy Nancy Pajama Party at our local library recently.  When we registered, we didn’t realize the party was intended for older children from 2nd grade up.  Our little girl is 2. Well, she couldn’t have cared less that she was the tiniest toddler in her pj’s.

The morning was spent dressing up, a new fave, and she was thrilled!  A local girl scout troup was there to greet us and they helped to throw a cute and fun time!  Miss J (our library teacher) read some Fancy Nancy books as the girls (& one brave boy!) sat on the red carpet, listening intently. 

The kids had a chance to decorate some scrapbooks with pretty papers, ribbons and colorful glitter & markers afterward.  Of course, it wouldn’t have been a party if it didn’t end with some tasty treats.  A fancy party indeed!

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Posted by on Mar 11, 2011 in Children, Children's Literature, Family, Library, Stay At Home Mom | 6 comments

Fab Five Fridays:  Children’s Books

Fab Five Fridays: Children’s Books

One thing a child can never have too many of:  BOOKS.  Children’s books are taking over our space.  They are invading every crevice in the house and we couldn’t be happier!  Today, our list of five children’s books will most likely be different than tomorrow’s list.  Here they are anyway:

1. “Goodnight Moon”

by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

My forever favorite.  Now one of Tavia & Marsden’s favorites too :D.  This bedtime classic is a lovely end to a busy day.  We’d like to have a copy for every room.  I’d recommend the sturdy board book as it lasts for years to come.

2. Anything by Eric Carle

by Eric Carle

Colorful illustrations, witty tales.  We are gaining quite the collection thanks to the hand-me-downs of our beloved cousins!  “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, “The Very Quiet Cricket”, “The Very Busy Spider”, “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?”, “My Very First…” series, et cetera, et cetera.  Usually these books are the perfect length so your little ones will be able to sit through the entire book.

3.  “On The Day You Were Born”

by Debra Frasier

I was given this book as a gift when my first child was born.  Since then I have given it as a gift in return to new mothers, for it is a beautiful story to share with mothers- and fathers-to-be as well as well as after the baby arrives.  Sit and read it together in a quiet, peaceful setting and it may bring tears to your eyes!

4.  Anything by Sandra Boynton

by…well, Sandra Boynton

Our go-to silly stories.  Sandra Boynton writes and illustrates her own zany collection of children’s board books.   Some of our faves include “Blue Hat, Green Hat”, “Moo, Baa, La La La!” and “But Not The Hippopotamus”.  A must-have for any family!

5.  “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”

by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Careful, the words to this book are easily memorized.  You will find yourself chanting “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” all day long!  Trust me, your toddler sponge will LOVE this book.  He/she may even learn the alphabet just a tad faster.

I wish Fridays came every day, not only because, heck – IT’S FRIDAY, but then I could write more Fab Five lists!  I’m just getting warmed up!  Stay tuned for many more children’s book top fives to come. We have a plethora.  What is your Fab Five?  We’d love to hear!

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Posted by on Feb 18, 2011 in Children, Children's Literature, Library, Stay At Home Mom | 0 comments

Check Your Local Library

Check Your Local Library

Our local library is the greatest. It’s open every day throughout every season. Before I was married with children, I would frequent the library to use the computer, grab resources for my teaching, and make copies, things like that. They have ongoing programs for everything from book groups & travel discussions to driving courses & bridge. You can go to the library for some free and entertaining socializing! It’s not the stark building it used to be where you sit and read in silence.

With children, the library is a whole new place. My husband and I grew up loving books. We both read at an early age & intend on teaching our children the same. Literacy is an extremely valuable tool. We go quite a bit to attend their baby & toddler classes and while we’re there, we always check out a pile of books, DVDs & CDs. They have so many programs for children. It’s just an awesome place.

If you have never been, shame on you! There is much fun to be had at your local library. Check it out! www.publiclibraries.com or http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/libraries/librarysearch/.

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