Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Teaching Gratitude in the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a wonderful time to be with family and friends, and the perfect time to teach your child gratitude for all that your family is blessed with. Whether your family celebrates Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or all of the above, the holiday season is filled with joy, cheer and warmth and teaching your child to appreciate all they have is one of the best gifts you can give to them.

This holiday season, take time to stop with your children, and help them think about all they have to be thankful for. Family members, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents. Good food, friends, a roof over their heads, holiday traditions, and that new game or toy. And most importantly, be sure to tell your children how grateful you are for them! 

Merry Christmas from the Keiki Sitters Ohana!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Keiki Sitters owner hopes to send kids to college with OBAMA Hawaii license plate proceeds

Keiki Sitters owner Kathy Custer has come up with a creative way to help fund college educations for two students. She's auctioning off the world's only car with an OBAMA Hawaii license plate!

The world's only OBAMA Hawaii license plate.

As the owner of a babysitting business, helping children is always Kathy's first priority. The proceeds from the purchase of Kathy's Obama car will pay for the college education of brother and sister Katie Garren and Logan Garren.

Katie, 20 years old, is attending community college, working on a business degree and is an aspiring entrepreneur. Logan, 17 years old, is in his senior year of high school, looking forward to graduating in the spring. He aspires to be an electrical engineer, working for NASA JPL.

Kathy Custer

When Kathy heard that Katie, Logan and the Garren family are no longer able to afford their continuing education, she wanted to help. She had no intention of selling her OBAMA car, but other than her business, it's her most valuable asset, and she really wanted to help Katie and Logan. So she's auctioning her truck and transferring the world's only state of Hawaii OBAMA license plate to the highest bidder.

The highest bidder will win the car and the OBAMA Hawaii license plate. Kathy's starting the eBay auction at only 99 cents, but of course hopes to raise enough money to send Katie and Logan to college. The auction will go live on Sunday, Oct. 28 and will close on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

More photos and details about the car are available on www.obamacarhawaii.com.

Kathy's OBAMA car has been making headlines. Read the coverage in the local media:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Caring for keiki with patience and kindness

The sitters who work for Keiki Sitters know that each child is different in his or her own way, requiring special care and attention.

One of our sitters, Priscilla McClellan, learned a lot about this while nannying for the keiki of her childhood friend. The keiki required extra special care and attention; the boy, 4 years old at the time, is deaf and blind, and the girl, then 8 years old, is blind.

Priscilla McClellan

“It was a very challenging experience in the fact that I was constantly alert and that I had to use hands-on to teach the children,” Priscilla said, adding that it’s important to stay alert at all times when babysitting, but even more so when sitting for a child with disabilities.

She taught the girl a hula for a luau they were going to by holding her hands and body to help her understand. “She did well,” Priscilla said.

Priscilla, who has worked for Keiki Sitters for close to a year, has been caring for children since she was 6 years old. She helped out with her brother and sisters, giving her mother time to sew so she could put food on the table for her family.

“I take it all in stride. I’ve experienced anything and everything. There is no challenge I will not take,” Priscilla said.

Now a grandmother, Priscilla has years of experience caring for keiki, and it’s natural for her. She treats keiki as if they are her own.

“They respond in kind and before I’m done, it’s like we’re grandma and grandchild. I ask them to call me Tutu, which is the respectful Hawaiian way to address a grandmother,” she said.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Say aloha to Keiki Sitters at upcoming events

September was a busy month for Keiki Sitters, and October is off to an eventful start, as well! We have lots of exciting events coming up that we’d love to see you at. It’s always fun to meet new moms, sitters and families!

Keiki Sitters owner Kathy Custer at the air show on the Marine Corps Base in Kaneohe.
Keiki Sitters will have a booth at the Windward Community College Fair on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are 15,000 people expected to attend – be sure to be one of them! Stop by and say aloha to Kathy Custer, the owner of Keiki Sitters, and learn what makes our sitters qualified to care for your keiki. It’s going to be a fun-filled day at Windward Community College – the Windward Ho‘olaule‘a 2012 will be taking place, a homegrown celebration with food, entertainment and crafts. It’s a great cause, too, because all proceeds from the Ho‘olaule‘a are going to fund Windward Community College scholarships and programs.

Then on Sunday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Keiki Sitters will have a booth at Hawaii’s Children and Youth Day at the State Capitol! This free annual event honors keiki and the contributions they make to our community.

We hope to meet you at one of these events, and mahalo nui loa to all of those who have stopped by the Keiki Sitters booth at the September events and in the past. Be sure to connect with Keiki Sitters on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on our website, www.KeikiSitters.com. Aloha!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hawaii state assistance for childcare costs

The cost of childcare can be very expensive and a large part of a family’s budget – especially for single working parents. There are programs offered by the state to help cover the cost of childcare to those who qualify.

Child Care Connection Hawaii, a program run by the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services, provides families with:

  • Subsidies to help with childcare expenses
  • Guidance in selecting a provider
  • Information about programs
  • Referrals to community resources

Child Care Connection Hawaii will pay a subsidy for childcare by providers approved by the Department of Human Services. By participating in the program, parents can remain working while an approved provider is looking after their keiki.

There are some requirements for eligibility in the program, unless the childcare is provided for protective reasons and the family is referred for assistance. The general eligibility requirements are:  

  • Children must be up to 13 years old, or between 13 and 18 years old and can’t do self-care
  • Parents or caregivers must be employed, in school, or in a job training program
  • Gross monthly income can’t exceed 85 percent of the state median income for a family of the same size

For more information about Child Care Connection Hawaii, visit the state’s Department of Human Services website.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Keiki-friendly staycations on Oahu

Oahu is a playground for keiki and adults of all ages. Why travel when we can look no further than our own backyards for fun with the family?

If you’re here visiting Oahu on vacation, welcome! Be sure to visit Keiki Sitters’ sister company, Aloha Sitters, to have a sitter come to your hotel. Our sitters can talk with you ahead of time about bringing your keiki on one of these fun activities.

Whether you live here or are visiting, these activities are sure to provide a fun day for keiki!

Hit the beach
Oahu’s beautiful beaches provide us with an endless amount of fun activities for keiki. Whether you’re watching surfers catch a wave, building castles in the sand, looking for sea creatures in the ocean or splashing on the shoreline, keiki are sure to have a fun time. Just be sure to keep them safe by applying and reapplying sunscreen, and always stay with them when they’re near or in the water.

Hike a trail
There are numerous hiking trails on Oahu that are appropriate for keiki, whether they’re little and you’re carrying them on your back or they’re a little bigger and are hiking with you. When choosing a trail, check the conditions ahead of time. If it’s an area that’s had rain, the trail may become muddy and slippery, which is not ideal for children. Trails with paved walkways, such as Makapu‘u Point Lighthouse Trail and Diamond Head Summit Trail, may be better choices. Both provide spectacular views, too.

Visit a museum
Rainy day? No problem! Even if it’s sunny out, spend some time visiting one of the island’s many museums. They’re a goldmine of information about culture, history, the environment and much, much more. Many will provide kama‘aina admission rates, so be sure to ask before you buy your ticket.

What are your favorite ways to have a staycation on Oahu? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below. For more information about Keiki Sitters, visit www.KeikiSitters.com and for more information about Aloha Sitters, visit www.AlohaSitters.com.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Love for the work makes for an outstanding sitter

Families all over the world are talking about Debbie. Visitors she’s babysat for recommend her to their friends who will be vacationing on Oahu, and request her for their return trips to paradise.

“I love my job,” Debbie said. And the families she sits for love her, too!

Debbie has been working for Keiki Sitters for about a year. Most of the families she babysits for are visitors; her Waikiki location makes it convenient for her to get to the hotels where they’re staying so the parents can get out and enjoy the island together.

“I love going to all the hotels. I love the families, I love the kids. It’s the perfect job,” Debbie said. “I really like the fact that I get to interact with people from other countries and I like the fact there’s all ages of children that I sit. I like that it’s always different.”

Before arriving for a babysitting job, Debbie does her homework. She prepares for the job by learning the ages of the children and if they’re boys or girls so she can fill her small suitcase with the appropriate activities. She always makes sure she looks neat and clean, wearing her Keiki Sitters shirt and a flower in her hair, which the kids and parents love to see.

Understanding that every parent has their own style of parenting, Debbie takes the time to talk with and listen to the parents. “I follow all their instructions to the T,” Debbie said. She also always makes sure she has a phone number available and tells the parents to feel welcome to call or text her. “A lot of parents do check,” Debbie said. “I make sure I’m always accessible.”

She also writes down what the keiki did while she was sitting for them, so when the parents return they know how much the kids ate, or napped, and of course, all the fun they had together! No matter what the age of the child or children she’s babysitting for, Debbie reminds herself that it’s their vacation, too. “They need to be safe, number one, but they need to be comfortable and they need to be having fun,” she said.

Debbie loves her job, which is what makes her such an outstanding sitter.

“It’s a gratification knowing that the families can enjoy themselves and also, it’s gratifying to me that I know the child – whether it’s a 2-month-old baby or a 12-year-old boy or girl – I know they’re having fun,” she said.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to interview your sitter

The interview is an important step in finding the right sitter for your ohana. Keiki Sitters makes the process easier by vetting potential sitters for you to choose from, but it’s important for you to meet with and interview a sitter to ensure you find the one that’s perfect for your family.

We recruit our sitters from the local universities and community colleges. We specifically visit the classrooms of students majoring in early childhood development, education and nursing. These sitters have a passion for caring for others and plan on making a life-long commitment to it.

Keiki Sitters has two requirements for someone interested in joining our services:
  1. The sitter must be at least 18 years old.
  2. The sitter must return a clean background check.

The background check is a national criminal search that checks all 50 states for felonies and misdemeanors. It is so thorough that we can even sometimes see minor traffic violations.

Once the sitter has returned a clean background check and her age is verified, she can then log onto www.KeikiSitters.com and upload her photo, fill out her profile, resume, references and availability calendar.

Because we are an online service, anyone can sign up. It is very important that parents conduct interviews to ensure the sitter has the qualifications they are seeking (CPR/First Aid, a certain number of years of experience, etc.) and that the sitter's personality is a good match for their family.

Sitter interview questions
To help ensure you find the right sitter for your ohana, ask these interview questions:
  • What do you like and dislike about babysitting?
  • What would you do if a babysitting job lasts longer than expected?
  • Would you have a backup ride home in case we could not drive you home?
  • What is your past childcare experience?
  • How old are the children you’ve babysat for in the past?
  • Do you have any allergies to or are you uncomfortable with cats, dogs or other pets? (Tailor this question to the pets in your home)
  • Can you drive in the case of an emergency?
  • What do you do when a child won’t go to sleep?
  • What is your proudest babysitting moment?

It is very important that you speak with parents who employed this sitter in the past. Ask them questions such as:
  • Did she ever cancel or not show?
  • Was she ever late?
  • Did she ever bring crafts or toys from her home?
  • Does she do light house keeping while the children are sleeping, without being asked?
  • Does she dress conservatively?
  • Did your children ask for her when she was not there?
  • Do you trust her with the valuables in your home?

One important question to ask toward the end of your conversation is:
“I understand that this sitter has done a fabulous job caring for your children and that you strongly recommend her, but if there was just one thing that you could change about her, what would it be?”
Past employers who have had a good experience with their sitter will often share the positive things and neglect to tell you the little things that bothered them. Using this question will show them that they can open up to you, because you understand how wonderful this sitter is. If the parent still has nothing that they would change about her, then you know you have found a keeper!

Find the perfect sitter for your family; join us online at http://KeikiSitters.com.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

From Keiki Sitter to Mom, Valuable Experiences Benefit Both Roles

Being a Keiki Sitter has helped prepare Danielle Guthrie for motherhood, and now the experience she is gaining as a Mom is having a positive influence on her role as a sitter.

Danielle works for Keiki Sitters between three and seven times each week, and has done so since she became a Keiki Sitter just over 2 years ago. The experience she gained from Keiki Sitters has given her cultural insights and continuous improvement on childcare techniques as she meets people from all over the world.

“I learn new things all the time from the children and parents I interact with,” Danielle said.

Danielle and her son spending quality time together in a swimming pool.

As a Keiki Sitter, Danielle learned that every parent wants to be the best parent they can possibly be – a feeling she could certainly relate to as a new Mom. “Working as a Keiki Sitter creates a network of parenting information among parents and sitters. I have learned many soothing techniques for young babies, I’ve gained enhanced nutritional knowledge from other moms, and confidence in my ability to make sound decisions about the health, safety, well-being, and mental development of children,” she said.

Being a Mom has enhanced the way she cares for children – and not just because she’s more comfortable singing songs and acting silly in an effort to make them smile. “I feel like being a mother has opened up a part of my heart that naturally makes me feel like a warmer, more loving person, and I feel like children pick up on that,” she said.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How to handle an overactive child

Whether you’re a sitter or a Mom, you’ve probably been faced with an overactive child. There are safe and productive ways that you can help an overactive child to release their energy and remain in control.

Safety steps
It is important to childproof the home and to use products that will promote safety, both inside and outside. High-energy children tend to run or sprint, which can be dangerous, especially when turning corners or walking (or running!) close to the street. They may look a little funny, but children’s backpacks with a “leash” are an effective way to ensure a child is secure, walking within a safe distance from the parent or sitter. They’re available in fun designs, too!

Caring communication
It may sound simple, but using kind words is important to do when communicating with all children, and overactive children are no different. Typically overactive children get into more trouble than others, and it is very important for the child to still feel loved and cared about while being guided and mentored.

Bounce it out!
You have an overactive keiki – don’t let him or her bottle all that energy up – let your keiki bounce it out! 808 Bounce has an Indoor Fun Center at the Windward Mall and Pearlridge Center that lets keiki run wild and bounce out their energy for less than $10 all day long. Keiki will have a blast while you get a little time to relax!

What are some of your ideas for how to deal with overactive keiki? Please share them with us!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kathy Custer named ‘Forty Under 40’ finalist

Kathy Custer, owner of Keiki Sitters & Ohana Helpers, has been named a Pacific Business News Forty Under 40 finalist.  

“Few things make parents prouder than watching their kids grow to adulthood and amount to something,” wrote Pacific Business News Managing Editor Jim George in his column “Forty Under 40 class is truly best of the best.” It’s a statement Kathy and her clients can certainly relate to, always putting keiki and their ‘ohana first. 

In his column, Jim wrote, “At PBN, we like to think of the members of our annual Forty Under 40 class as our kids. No, we didn’t raise them, or even select them for the class. But we’re proud of them, and we take great honor in recognizing them and their achievements.”

Kathy is one of 40 businesswomen and businessmen who will be recognized and honored at the Forty Under 40 event on June 21 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Of the finalists, one will be named the 2012 American Savings Bank Community Leader of the Year and one will be named the 2012 Pacific Business News Young Business Leader of the Year, and it could be Kathy!

More information about the event and ticket purchasing are available from Pacific Business News.

Please join us in congratulating Kathy on the Keiki Sitters Facebook page!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to ease separation anxiety

When you’re ready for a day or night out of the house, the last thing you need is to feel guilty for leaving your little one home alone. When your Keiki Sitters childcare expert has arrived and you are heading out the door, don’t let your child’s separation anxiety hold you back. There are several techniques you can use to make saying goodbye to your keiki a smoother experience.

Have an adjustment period
Giving your keiki time to adjust to the sitter can be a wonderful transition from spending time with you to spending time with the sitter. Arrange for the sitter to arrive 1 hour early and play with your child while you are home. Your keiki will see that you are comfortable with and trusting of the sitter, so they will see the sitter as a fun playmate that can be trusted, rather than as a stranger.

Don’t say goodbye
Rather than saying goodbye and drawing your child’s attention to the fact that you’re leaving, slip out the door while the sitter distracts your child in another room. Your child will not noticed you left when he or she is happily busy with the fun activity the sitter has planned.

Sitter on stand-by
If you prefer to say goodbye, have the sitter be prepared with books, music, and something your child is easily entertained by ready for when your keiki begins to cry. This approach usually calms keiki in only 5 minutes.

What other ideas do you have to ease separation anxiety? Share them with us, and we’ll pass them along to our sitters!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the Moms and Moms-to-be,

Keiki Sitters wishes all of you a very happy and loving Mother’s Day with your family!

What are you doing to celebrate? Whatever it may be, we hope you are having a lovely day. You deserve it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The business side of Keiki Sitters

Have you ever wondered what it takes to run a business? Tune your radio to 760 AM this afternoon at 2 p.m. to hear Kathy Custer, founder of Keiki Sitters, discuss the business side of Keiki Sitters. It's more than fun, games, and caring for keiki but Keiki Sitters includes plenty of that, too!

Be sure to give Keiki Sitters a call at 808-861-7294 the next time you need a sitter.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Win a Sephora gift card from Keiki Sitters!

Our sitters are awesome and we know it! We want the world to know it, too. Our reach is expanding on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, and we’re looking to grow it even further. To help spread the word about how awesome our sitters are, we’re raffling off a pretty little incentive.

All new Facebook likes and Twitter followers will be entered in a drawing to win a $25 Sephora gift card! Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter before the April 19 deadline. Oh, and we’ll follow you back, too!

There’s more to Keiki Sitters on Facebook and Twitter than winning a Sephora gift card (but that’s pretty nice, too!). We share photos and news about our current and upcoming events, expert childcare advice including tips for sitters and moms, activity ideas and events for keiki, and much, much more.

See you on Facebook and Twitter! Mahalo and good luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hop or swim to “sea” Keiki Sitters at the Waikiki Aquarium’s SeaHunt!

Hop – or swim – with the keiki down to the Waikiki Aquarium for SeaHunt, a splashing Easter celebration!

Join Keiki Sitters this Saturday morning, March 31, for SeaHunt, a fun-filled Easter celebration event for keiki at the Waikiki Aquarium. There’ll be free crafts and activities, a fish pond game, food and soft drinks, and, of course, the Easter Bunny! While SeaHunt is designed for keiki ages 2 to 7 years old, there will be plenty of other fun activities for keiki of all ages. Bring the whole family!

Keiki Sitters will have a fun activities booth – be sure to hop over to “sea” what fun, fishy activity we have planned! Look for us at the Moms in Hawaii tent. There’ll be a prize drawing sponsored by Meadow Gold (you could win a three-month supply of milk!) and an appearance by Lani Moo!

Waikiki Aquarium’s SeaHunt doors will open at 8:30 a.m. to Friends of Waikiki Aquarium members; doors will open at 9 a.m. to the public. Keiki are welcome to visit with the Easter Bunny until 11:30 a.m. and participate in free crafts and activities and play a game at the fish pond until noon. SeaHunt will take place between 9:15 and 11:30 a.m., and Hawaiian Monk Seal and shark presentations will be held throughout the day.

While many activities at SeaHunt are free, there is a cost associated with some of the events. If you’d like more information about SeaHunt, contact the Waikiki Events & Membership Office at 808-440-9015 or email membership@waquarium.org.

After spending the morning at the aquarium, you may want to go out Saturday night! If you need a sitter, give Keiki Sitters a call at 808-861-7294.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a pot of gold

Let’s face it: March is a long month. There are no days off for holidays, and with all the rain we’ve been having, keiki have been stuck inside after school and on weekends. Luckily, after all of this rain, there will be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow on Saturday as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

There are plenty of ways to share in the luck of the Irish and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the kids. Be sure you’re all wearing green on Saturday while you try one or two of these desserts and games!

St. Patrick’s Day is a great day to try out some Irish cooking. After a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, have some St. Patrick’s Day dessert with the keiki. These Little Lucky Whoopie Pies, a recipe of Betty Crocker’s, may not be an Irish tradition, but they sure look like fun to make! 

Leprechauns love a taste of the rainbow, so if you don’t like chocolate, try making these Taste a Rainbow creations from FamilyFun Magazine:

DLTK offers many St. Patrick’s Day game ideas for kids. We like this maze, which challenges kids to help “Sean” navigate through the maze to find the pot of gold! Print one copy of the maze for each little leprechaun who wants to play.

Disney FamilyFun shares a great idea for a St. Patrick’s Day scavenger hunt that you can organize in or outside of your home. Let’s hope for good weather on Saturday so you can play the game outside! The scavenger hunt is simple; you just need a few basic items from home:
  • Paper
  • Marker
  • Black pot
  • Chocolate gold coins or other prize item
  • Scissors
  • Green paper

To get started, fill the pot with the chocolate gold coins or another prize item somewhere in your home or outside in a safe place, such as next to a tree trunk or under a bush in your yard. Using the green paper, cut out several four leaf clovers. Write clues that’ll lead your little leprechaun to the hidden pot of “gold,” and give the first clue to your keiki to get the game started. Good luck!

Do you know of a great St. Patrick’s Day game or recipe we didn’t include? Please share it in the comments section.

Need a sitter for the evening while you paint the town green? Give us a call at 808-861-7294 to schedule a sitter or check out the Keiki Sitters website!

Mahalo and happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Hawaiian Humane Society

Kathy and Kiwi
Always passionate about animals, the owner of Keiki Sitters, Kathy Kuster, recently added a new addition to her life: she adopted an eight-year-old toy Fox Terrier named Kiwi from the Hawaiian Humane Society.

"I recently took the dogs sailing, and Kiwi, who loves the ocean, ran right off the deck and jumped in the water," says Kathy. "Captain Dave had to jump overboard to help us lift her back into the boat!" Kathy's other dog, Ipo, a two-year-old Chihuahua, is terrified of the water and stayed safely on board.

Kathy is an ardent supporter of the Humane Society and recommends to families that they look there first, when choosing a new family pet.

In 1883 the Hawaiian Humane Society opened its doors to abused and abandoned animals. With a long history as advocates for our furry friends, the Humane Society champions humane animal laws and cares for upwards of 30,000 animals a year.

Serving as a community hub, the organization is dedicated to finding loving homes for animals and educating the public on how to properly care for their pets. The Humane Society offers a robust volunteer program (children as young as eight years old may volunteer with a responsible adult), stays active in the state legislature, hosts adoption programs and events, and has an island-friendly pet surrender policy.

Many are pleasantly surprised to learn that Keiki Sitters extends its services to care for dogs, cats, and the occasional goldfish. Pet owners may request a sitter to stop by or stay in the home with their animals. Additional services run the gamut from walking, grooming, socializing, feeding, and transporting. Want to schedule a pet or home sitter on Oahu? Call: 808-861-7294.

(Get to Know Us: Hawaiian Humane Society)

Monday, February 6, 2012

7 Valentine's Day Treats Not To Miss

Valentine's Day is upon us! Get inspired with our roundup of adorable treats for your keiki! 

Win over keiki hearts with pink-centered Woopie Pies or Raspberry Tarts:
Whoopie Pies  Raspberry Tarts

The Mad Baker brings us her rendition of the macaroon that looks as sweet as it tastes:Heart Shaped Ispahan

Toaster pastry-inspired Heart Tarts are sure to be crowd pleasers:
Heart Tarts

Are you ready for this? Red Velvet Cheesecake Milkshake and Valentine's Day Confetti. Enough said. 

For emphasis, collect your cookies in a tin (from Tiny Pink Elephants):

May your Valentine's Day be full of the sweets, people, and keiki that you love!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Best Birthday Swag for Moms: 2012

There's nothing like free birthday swag to help a mama relax. No matter when your birthday is in 2012, bookmark this page and check back to make sure you're taking full advantage of your celebration month. Then, hire a sitter (ahem, may we recommend Keiki Sitters?), grab a girlfriend, and make an afternoon of it!

Though we do prefer the free stuff, Anthropologie sends out a 15% off coupon that can be used in their online store. Want more? Sign up for DSW's Member Rewards program and you'll get a $5 online credit for shoes on your special day. 

Become a member of Aveda.com and receive an exclusive offer or gift on your birthday each year. In previous years, this has been a full-sized product.

What's a birthday without ice cream? Baskin Robbins offers a free birthday scoop when you sign up for their mailing list; they'll send you the e-coupon five days before your birthday. 

Benihana spots you with a $30 gift certificate on your birthday. Sign up for The Chef's Table at least a week before your birthday to ensure you get the e-certificate on time.

Blank Angus, a cowboy's favorite steakhouse, ups the birthday ante by offering a free steak on your birthday with the purchase of an equally priced entree. It makes the drive to Pearl City worth it. 

At Buca di Beppo you'll receive a coupon for a free appetizer or specailty bread when you sign up for their e-club, and then on your birthday you'll get another coupon for a free dessert. 

Denny's gives you a free Grand Slam on the day of your birthday. You just need to show your drivers license; no need to sign up for anything. 

Join the IHOP Pancake Revolution (their online mailing list) and you'll recieve a free meal on your birthday (rumored to be the Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity breakfast: two eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes). 

Red Robin rewards birthday boys and girls with a free burger by signing up for their mailing list. 

Sign up for Sephora's Beauty Insider and then stop by the store during your birthday month for a free gift: last year's gift was a bottle of Philosophy body wash. Bliss. 

Get your favorite Starbucks drink free on your birthday. Just register your Starbucks card and they'll mail you a birthday postcard a week or so before your big day. (Make sure you register a couple weeks in advance.)

The Children's Place offers a coupon on both yours and your child's birthday. 

Know of more? Please post in the comments below!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Announcing Our Winners

Aloha Mamas! We were thrilled to partner with Baby Banz for our holiday giveaway for not one, but TWO, $30 gift certificates to their online store. 

And the winners are...Camille Clements & Jean Qiua (both won by LIKING our Facebook page)