First internet and nowadays varying outlets of social media changed how we [mothers] make our decisions. I don't want to dwell on how internet changed our decision processes or our lives for that matter, but I want to talk about social media a little bit.

Social media has become a tool for us consumers to be influenced by others. "Others" call themselves influencers. Their most powerful tools to influence us are blogs and twitter, to name just two. We read influencers' blogs and follow their tweets because we relate to them. They are moms, too. Most of the time stay-at-home ones, trying to be frugal, juggling more than one kid at a time. The influencers regularly bring us product endorsements and product reviews on blogs and on twitter. Let's start with product endorsements.

I am constantly seeing tweets like "I'm having [X brand] lasagna tonight" or "I tweet from [Y brand of notebook]." There is no indication of being sponsored or not. Thousands of followers receive this tweet. The problem is: when we watch a commercial on TV, we know it's brought to us by the manufacturers, the brand. And we know it's not objective. It's a candy-coated, a catchy jingle inserted piece of portrayal of our could-be experience with the product/service. When it comes to tweets, the line between objectivity-subjectivity becomes totally unclear. We know these bloggers/tweeters take samples from companies to try new products and services and blog about it. But when they tweet about a brand or service, should we assume that they are objective? Is the tweet an expression of their mom/consumer advocate personas to which we relate? Or is this just a tweet that they are paid for and are not open about it. If this is true, aren't some influencers deceiving us?

What about product reviews? Companies send lots and lots of product samples to influencers. Their objective is, of course, get good reviews published on blogs and positive tweets to reach thousands of precisely targeted audience. Some bloggers say [please READ this article on New York Times] if they don't like the product they don't blog about it. Why? Does this sound fair to you? She doesn't blog about a product that I can purchase and don't like. She does not want to severe ties with her benefactors yet she foresakes my trust in her. She does not share her true experience about the product, which I expect her to do. But I understand influencers objective is to make me buy the products, even if they don't like it and they don't thoroughly review it. Read on...

Couple months back, I am reading review blog. This blogger had been asked to review [let's say] a drink, which she openly admits finding disgusting. She also admits [let's say] because of sharing the product sample with too many samplers, she only has a few sips. The conclusion, she might actually like the product, and it's great! Does this sound right and fair?

Certainly I acknowledge that not all the bloggers are "ethically challenged," but some are and I'm writing about them.

I think this article outlines my principles on product endorsements and reviews. I can and will review any kind of product that is of use and relevance to me and people like me: moms, mid-20-30 young women, etc... But the essential principle of this blog will be openness and honesty.

Next post: Maxi-Cosi Mico car seat review, and how a product can make you want to turn back in time.
Thursday, July 9, 2009 Experience

I have shopped from on a few occasions and I had two problems that required communication with their customer service. I would definitely order from them again, but I am so stocked up on every baby item you can imagine!

Let's start with prices. On diapers don't search a lot, they have the best prices. I have bought from supermarkets and club stores and seen that their prices are the same or better. prices are almost the same but don't forget you get 2nd day shipping with UPS when you buy from (orders over $49). Do you have coupons? You can use them, too. Mail them the coupons and they will put it in your account. Then, go ahead and shop. has been expanding the baby product line aggressively. You can now buy everything on from bottles to cribs.

When it comes to wipes and formulas, the prices can be a little higher. You might want to check you local grocery shop for deals, loyalty card savings etc. They have price match guarantee if you want to take advantage.

I had a problem with the diapers I bought from It was a bad batch from the factory that they had no fault. I wrote to customer service and in a couple of hours I received a "your order has been shipped" message! Then came the "we're sorry" message. They are this fast! Needless to say the diapers were delivered to me the next day before noon.

I have nothing but good experiences with on a few occasions. They are very responsive to customer emails, fast, always stocked up and have huge semi-annual sale. I would suggest you pay a visit to -especially- if you have an infant and constantly run out of stuff (and time) that you can't do without... Like diapers!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bugaboo Cameleon Review

I thought it is a great idea to start my product reviews with Bugaboo review. Usually stroller and furniture are the two big chunks of money you spend in preparation for your bundle of joy. I spent a lot of time searching for these items, I mean a LOT!

Now, I might not be the most impartial person to review Bugaboo Cameleon because I absolutely love it! Don't worry. though, I will be very objective.

Let's start with pros. It's really really lightweight. When we were buying bugaboo we considered Quinny Buzz 3 and 4 (which I really liked) and Uppababy Vista (which I hated but hubby insisted). Bugaboo was the lightest one. It folds very easily, but I wish it can be folded with seat attached. The arched push handle is a big plus, because it makes bugaboo very easy to steer with one hand while you sip your coffee. Big basket is great. Adjustable suspension helps a lot when you stroll on uneven surfaces. Compared to other strollers Bugaboo is way easier to maneveur around tight corners.

First disadvantage: Bugaboo Cameleon is one of the most pricey strollers in the market. Usually you are looking at a price tag about $800+. But, this is obvious to prospective bugaboo buyers. what is not obvious is that you should be aware of other expenses, too. First off, during summer the tailored fabric, where baby puts her head, makes the baby sweat like crazy! So, you probably want to invest in breezy canopy ($40)- no universals for this one. Also, a sunshade (25) and maybe a footmuff for winter ($130).

Second disadvantage: The need for adapters to put a car seat on the chassis and I gotta tell you it's not the easiest task to do. I really really hope Bugaboo is working to design its own car seat that can be clicked directly on the chasis. We have a Maxi-Cosi car seat. You have to put adapters on car seat first to put it on the chassis. Imagine: baby is sleeping in the car seat, you take the car seat out of the base. Try to hold still car seat with one hand (about 15 pounds min.) and click the adapters!!! It's impossible. You can suggest clicking the adapters just once and using the car seat with adapters on. But, no that's impossible, too. With adapters on you can't use the car seat with its base. And it's not safe, so you should not do it. If you are buying bugaboo, research the car seat that is easiest to use. Maxi Cosi is not the one. Oh, by the way, your baby is awake and crying her eyes out by now. I wonder if Bugaboo works better with other car seats such as Peg Perego and Graco.

Aside from the price tag, and the car seat problem, I love my Bugaboo. I take every chance to get my baby out with it. My baby enjoys it, and it has been very easy to put her to sleep. I just lay the seat flat with one move and there you go, she is as comfortable as sleeping in her bed. Also, I love the colors and new pattern tailored fabrics ($150). If you don't mind spending more money you can change the color of your stroller whenever you want, just buy another tailored fabric set.