Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's Time to go Royal Street Strollin!

Some people are Jazz Festers, some French Quarter Festers, but to each his own. My favorite NOLA event is the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience’s Royal Street Stroll. There is nothing more relaxing then browsing through million dollar jewels, art and antiques at M.S. Rau or visiting the Historic New Orleans Collection with a glass of wine in your hand. Galleries and shops in the 300-900 blocks of Royal Street stay open late to host the strollers.

Get a babysitter and enjoy a night out with an endless glass of wines from around the world. The event is from 5:30 – 8:30PM and covers the 300 – 900 Blocks of Royal Street. Tickets are $75 a person in advance.
The event will feature food samples from Antoine’s, Drago’s, Bourbon House, Cuco’s, GW Fins, NOLA Restaurant and the Pelican Club.

Anchoring the Royal Street Stroll and will be the Hotel Montelone’s Rock the Block. In celebration of the 125th anniversary of the hotel, music by the Bag of Donuts from 5:30 – 8:30 will play in the 200 block of Royal Street in front of the hotel. Republic National Beverage will provide Margueritas, Firefly Vodka and Bacardi Hurricane.

No children are welcome so take advantage of it! Put down the bottles and the diapers and enjoy a night out!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fighting Hunger is a Family Event

I work with Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana to lead the fight against hunger in 23 Louisiana Parishes.

Louisiana tops the nation with one in four children ages 0-5 who are at risk for hunger. As a new mom, knowing that 1 in 5 kids under 18 struggle with hunger every day just in my own community is devastating. I can’t even imagine putting Baby Crawfish to bed at night knowing that she is hungry or deciding to buy gas to get to work instead of putting dinner on the table.

Good nutrition has such an important role on a child’s physical, behavioral and mental health. For just $5 you can join the fight.  Second Harvest Food Bank is hosting the second annual Rubber Duck Derby on Sunday, May 22 on Bayou St. John at 3:45PM.

10,000 rubber ducks will race to the finish line to help battle the everyday disaster of hunger in our community.  The derby is a fun day for the family and quite a spectacle to see!

Right now as the price of gas rises and as kids who usually receive free and reduced lunch are getting out of school, additional strains are being placed on families already struggling to meet daily needs.

Those families as well as the families facing the flooding from the Mississippi River will turn to Second Harvest Food Bank. Please help Second Harvest by participating in the Rubber Duck Derby. Ducks can be purchased for just $5 online at

And the winner is…

And the winner for the Lead in Battling the Stomach Flu goes to…Mommy!

I am so honored to receive this award. There were times when I didn’t think I was going to be able to pull through, but after loads of laundry, nights without sleep and even the cat throwing up…I did it!

First of all, I want to thank my mom. She taught me, by example, how to care for a sick family. No matter how sick mom is she can power through to care for the rest of the family.

I would like to thank my supporting cast including Pedialyte, Gatorade, Pepto Bismol, Clorox, Lysol, and Tide. Without such a great supporting cast I couldn't have risen to the challenge.

WebMd, Google and the 24 hour hotline at Ochsner were my inspiration for this role. The information that you shared with me was invaluable and armed me with the resources to get the job done.

Lastly, I want to thank my fans Hubby and Baby Crawfish. This was a challenging role but was great experience in helping me to prepare for the next.

(Elevator music begins)
(Exit stage left)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First Time For Everything

Since I first found out I was pregnant it has been a snowball of firsts. First time hearing the heartbeat, first ultrasound and first birth and now we are on to Baby Crawfish’s first tooth, first crawl and first time pulling up in her crib. This past weekend was my first Mother’s Day.

Of course Hubby did a wonderful job making it special but for me it was a strange day filled with emotion. There has always been the marketing push of get your mom flowers or card for Mother’s Day and honestly I have never thought twice about it. I always got my mom a present and showed up for the family function.

Now that I am a mom it was a day that really made me think about my responsibility as a parent. My mother-in-law gave be the Jose Balli Mother's Heart Hollow Pendant to commemorate my first Mother’s Day. The pendent is covered with images representing the roles that a mother plays.  A safety pin as a caregiver, chef's hat as a cook, taxi as a chauffeur, band-aid as a nurse, apple as a teacher, and a mop as a housekeeper. The back of the charm "Thanks Mom for everything". It was amazing how this one little charm summarized my emotions.

Mother’s Day highlighted for me the role that I have in Baby Crawfish’s life and that I accepted, with enthusiasm, such an important job.

There are so many things about my mom that I remember from my childhood and so many things that I want Baby Crawfish to have, do, see, experience, and learn. It is a huge responsibility to be able to shape someone’s life the way a mother can. It stopped me dead in my tracks. Of course I knew this but for some reason Mother’s Day made that connection for me on a deeper level.

I always thought Mother’s Day was about thanking mom for everything she did for me. But on my first Mother’s Day, I found myself reflecting on how important it is to be a mom. It is a job that I am proud to have and even though some days are more challenging than others, it is a job I will never give up on.
Happy Mother’s Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Marketing insights into the journey of motherhood

By Lori Luechtefeld
If you want to connect with moms, you must understand what drives their activities in the mobile and social spheres. Consider the marketing implications revealed by BabyCenter's Tina Sharkey as she takes a look at the daily life of the modern mom.

When a woman becomes a mom, her daily schedule dramatically changes. She has less time for consuming media. Thus, marketers who want to reach this valued demographic must understand what drives a mom at every stage of her journey through motherhood.

During her keynote address at this week's iMoms iMedia Summit, Tina Sharkey, chairman and global president of BabyCenter LLC, shared insights into the daily life of the modern mom, including her increasing dependency on mobile and what drives her in the social sphere.

The motherhood journey beginsA new mom is born every seven seconds, Sharkey pointed out. And when a woman becomes a mom, she takes on many new roles -- all of which are relevant to how marketers interact with her. Consider these roles:
Dr. Moms: As Sharkey pointed out, 15 minutes with a doctor is not enough for a mom. Thus, given that nearly all moms are managing the health and well-being of their households, 84 percent say they use the web to learn about children's health, and nearly the same percentage say they would go online for a second opinion.
Mealtime moms: About 85 of moms do most of the mealtime preparation in their households. Thus, most are using the internet to look up kid-friendly food recipes.
Green moms: New moms are looking to protect more than just the polar bears, Sharkey said. Their No. 1 reason for making environmentally conscious decisions is the well-being of their children. More than 90 percent of moms say their concern for their children inspires them to be eco-friendly, and nine out of 10 moms buy green products at least sometimes.
Gadget moms: Moms want tools, not toys. About 55 percent say that simplicity, multi-use, and convenience are their priorities when purchasing new technology and electronics -- not feature richness.
What does this mean for marketers?
Sharkey noted:
  • Motherhood is a profound transformation. Life transitions open up customers to marketing messages.
  • A mom becomes a new kind of consumer. The decisions she makes when she becomes a mom influence her brand choices for years.
  • Her time matters more when she becomes a mom. Thus, be engaging and stand out.
How social plays into the mixSocial media is mass media for all moms, Sharkey said. And when a woman becomes a mother, she goes about creating new social circles. That said, a small percentage of moms do the vast majority of the sharing via social media. So who is it that brands want to reach? Consider these three groups of influencers:
Field experts: These expert influencers are passionate on very specific mom-centric topics. They draw on their personal opinions and are driven to share because they've faced certain challenges as mothers.
Lifecasters: These women are living in public and will tell you everything about anything. They are always connected, and although they don't take deep dives into any one topic, you never know when they'll throw out a useful piece of advice. They love to share, and that includes bargains and deals.
Pros: These are the mom bloggers who have turned their passion into a profession. They take social media seriously, and they tend to build vast Twitter networks as a means of distributing their information.
What does this mean for marketers?
Sharkey noted:
  • Mindset matters. Marketers should build social strategies around inflection points at which consumers are seeking new relationships and information.
  • Context frames the conversation. Moms use different social sites to fulfill different needs.
  • The 80/20 rule applies. About 18 percent of social moms wield 78 percent of the influence.
How mobile supports a mom's new roleMoms are more mobile than the rest of us, Sharkey said. About 53 percent of moms purchased a smartphone as a result of becoming a mom, and their phones serve many purposes. They are a helping hand, serving as a means of entertaining kids when moms need a few moments. They connect moms with the information they need to make decisions for their families. They serve as a source of relaxation as well; apps such as Facebook and Angry Birds become guilty pleasures for moms. And unlike other consumer groups, many moms are happy to engage with mobile ads when they offer value -- particularly in the form of coupons.
What does this mean for marketers?
Sharkey noted:
  • Mobile gives moms super powers. They feel empowered, connected, and more confident.
  • No social strategy is complete without mobile. Moms are using social via mobile to achieve different goals throughout their days.
  • Mobile creates limitless new ways to engage. This includes new ways to learn, share, and act -- not to mention connect with brands.
Lori Luechtefeld is senior editor of iMedia Connection.
On Twitter? Follow Luechtefeld at @loriluechtefeld. Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet, and stay up to date on happenings at this week's iMoms summit through the hashtag #iMediaSummit.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bottles Up!

So Brett Anderson at the Times Picayune has red beans and Tom Fitzmorris has stars, but Crawfish Tales has bottles!

As one of the most popular posts so far on Crawfish Tales, Are You or Aren't You, has prompted me to keep a log of the most baby friendly places in the Greater New Orleans area. Tell me where are your favorite places and why, or who needs a little improvement to make baby the most comfortable there.

Rankings will be listed by bottles, four bottles is the top score meaning that the welcome mat is out for baby. Let's give credit where credit is due.

When you are out and about check out the place. Is there a kids menu, highchairs, a changing table, can you fit a stroller through the aisles, what is that key element that makes it baby friendly for you.

Email your rankings and comments to