Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our Name Bubbles Contest – Where Do You Bubble?

When we sat down to write our mission and core values, we kept coming back to “Your happiness as a customer is our promise to you”. The words best expressed how we felt and from that day on it just stuck.  But, how could we know if our promise was being delivered to you, our customer? Well, you let us know.

Every Tuesday morning in our weekly meeting, our customer service manager shares your comments and suggestions with the rest of the Name Bubbles Team. Everyone looks forward to hearing from you – our customer, and we all get pretty excited when we know we’re doing a good job.
Many of your comments and suggestions are new and inventive places you stick your labels. Because of your enthusiasm for creative Bubbling, we’re happy to announce that we’ve redesigned our weekly contest so that you’re in the driver’s seat!
So what’s new?
Now when you upload an image of how you use your personalized Bubbles, you’ll also have the opportunity to vote for your photo and invite friends and family members to vote, too.  It’s easy, simply ‘Like’ your favorite, share with friends, and watch in real time as the votes are tallied.  The entry with the most votes wins and all other entries stay in the running.   So, if you don’t win this week, you’ll still get your chance to be a winner.  Each winning entry is added to our Winner’s Circle, given a FREE order of our Fun Bubbles (a $18.88 USD value, plus free shipping) and also gets posted on our Facebook page.  
We love seeing the creative places and spaces where you Bubble Up!
Come check it out: visit or click the contest button on our Facebook page, 

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Father’s Day Gift – A Pocket of Time

As Father’s Day approached this year, I found myself struggling with a gift for my husband, David. He is not a tech-head; any device starting with an “i” is a lost cause and may never find its way out of the box. He prefers his old records, because to him, they sound better and he likes the nostalgia. I have faced the fact that my husband would have been happy if all technology stopped advancing in the last millennium and I am just happy that we don’t have a rotary phone for our landline. He hates cologne, doesn’t wear jewelry, not even a wrist watch - he can’t stand the feeling and it’s taken years of ongoing reminders for his wedding band to get slipped on in the morning.
So you can see why stink sticks (cigars) and a good bottle of scotch have been my go-to-gifts for most occasions. This year I wanted to do something special, our five year old son, Cooper, seeks out his Dad much more than he did as a toddler. David has a great way of balancing fun and authority, I’ve often been amazed at how he can discipline Cooper and the two are joking around shortly after the time out or tantrum. The boys, my boys, are much closer now; I wanted to find a special keepsake that they both could share throughout their lives. When David and I were first dating, I asked him the question “What is the one thing you would save if there was a fire?” After a little consideration he said he’d grab the antique pocket watch his dad had given him for his high school graduation.  So, for his Father’s Day gift I wanted to have this special keepsake fixed and cleaned, actually working again.  Unfortunately, the watch is very old and the necessary parts to fix it can no longer be found.
In keeping with my initial intention to make this Father’s Day really special, I was fortunate enough to find out that the antique watch repairman happens to also be a collector.  He brought out a case of antique pocket watches for me to look at. I chose an antique conductor’s watch from 1919, they’ve become collectible because they are so well made and parts can still be found. Between my son’s obsession with trains and my husband’s fondness of history and tradition, it felt like the perfect fit. It is a charming piece, both sides can be opened, one to set the time and the other to view the delicate gears shift and swing. My husband will need to wind it 20 times a day but I know he will find a little satisfaction in this ritual. Cooper, I hope, will enjoy seeing David with his special “Conductor’s Watch” and will think of his Dad when he is able to put it in his own pocket later in life.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~ Carl Sandburg

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stylish Must Haves For Camp

Camp Essentials

The time you spend preparing your little ones for camp can be a great opportunity to spend quality time together before they go. We put together this list of a few special items that can go along on the journey.  

Camp List

A great backpack

While Dakine backpacks may be a bit more pricey than the average sack, the quality and construction makes this bag last and last. I bought my Dakine years ago and it still looks brand new. Like the boy’s pack featured below, my pack has two adjustable straps on the front which are designed to hold a skateboard. I actually use them to strap in my towel after a day at the beach, that way no sand gets inside my bag! 

1.      Boy: Dakine Point Wet/Dry: This pack is equipped with a waterproof pocket designed for a wetsuit, but is perfect for a camper’s soggy swimsuit. We like it in the Fremont print.

2.      Girl: Dakine Prom 25L: Comes complete with insulated cooler and deployable water bottle pockets perfect when hunger strikes on the trail. The Lolani print is our favorite. 


Back in the day, my water shoes were not only a style nightmare but also offered about as much foot protection as a sock. These new shoes are quick drying, with strong rubber soles. So feel free to skip through a stream and run up rocky terrain with no worries.

3.      Boy: Columbia Youth Drainmaker, a quick-dry shoe perfect for running or puddle jumping

4.      Girl: Adidas Kids Boat Lace, Breathable open mesh shoe to eliminate soggy steps


Bobble water bottles filter water in every sip with a replaceable carbon filter. “Every filter equates to 300 single-serve bottles. After a year, you’ve removed thousands of bottles from the environment.”

5.      Bobble Water Bottle, Stay hydrated with this BPA, PVC free bottle

Name Bubbles

Of course you want everything you send off to camp actually making its way back home. Label your camp gear, toiletries, and backpack with our waterproof, weatherproof labels. They even stand up to sun block and bug repellent!

6.      Name Bubbles Camp Pack, 108 waterproof press-and-stick labels

Parent Tip!

Mail a letter the day before your camper heads out so it arrives on his/her first full day of camp.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial Day – A Time To Remember

Two weeks ago, my husband and I took our son, Cooper, down to Washington DC. We were visiting family and friends and spent a day walking the mall and seeing as many of our national monuments as our five year old could handle. As we approached the memorials and statues, Cooper would grow quiet and ask very pointed questions, he wanted to understand the meaning and history engraved on the walls.

Outside of the Lincoln Memorial, I explained the Civil War and the reasons why our country fractured and countrymen fought countrymen. I did not discuss the amount of suffering that took place, but explained that both sides lost people whom they loved and many soldiers came home with serious injuries. The room with the Gettysburg Address was just as crowded as the room with the giant statue of Lincoln. I was eight years old when I saw the Lincoln Memorial for the first time, and it still takes my breath away.  I could tell it had the same impact on my family as well, especially Cooper.

This Memorial Day weekend, in addition to hanging our flag and lighting the BBQ, my son and I are planning to do a report about his day in DC. In preparing for this project, I discovered that the history of this national holiday dates back to 1866; the Civil War was over but our country was still recovering. On May 5th, in Waterloo, New York, the townsfolk and veterans began to honor comrades and those who had died during the war by decorating their graves with flowers, crosses, and flags. This ceremony was called Decoration Day.

In 1882, the name of the holiday was changed to Memorial Day and the day was made to be a remembrance to all soldiers who had died fighting for this country. Later, in 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday and would always take place on the last Monday in the month of May.
I’d like to wish all of our US Bubble Families a wonderful holiday weekend. If you’re not able to spend the weekend with the ones you love, perhaps you’ll find a Memorial Day event in your community or take part in a moment of silence at 3:00 PM Monday in honor of the heroes of the past.
Please share your holiday plans with other Bubble Families on our Facebook wall.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Mother's Day Declaration

A few weeks ago Name Bubbles posted a news link on our Facebook page from Why Stay-At-Home Moms Should Earn A $115,000 Salary. The story explained how much stay at home moms should make if you calculate the various duties and responsibilities they have.  The purpose of the story was to put a number on the modern stay at home mom’s day-to-day deliverables. As you may be aware, the Working Mom vs. Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) debate has been widely publicized recently, but we didn’t anticipate that sharing the link to the Forbes story would start a spirited debate between our working mom and stay at home mom Facebook fans. It was a “Hot Button and a few dads left comments as well.
I’ve personally lived both sides of the issue and found that being a parent  is never easy; you take the bad with the good and do your best in raising your child/children. I have one five year old son and can say without a doubt,  mothering or being a good parent is the most challenging and rewarding part of my life. So, why am I pushing the “Hot Button” again? Because our special day is coming up, Mother’s Day, and it is the one day I have no guilt or problem asking for help and taking a little time for myself. Of course, I do plan something with my husband and son but I love sneaking away for “Me Time”. I think all Moms everywhere deserve “Me Time” a little more often.
This Sunday, let’s make a promise to each other as mothers: kick the guilt trips and do something special for ourselves (or a fellow mom!) once a week for the entire year. Whether it be, reading on a sunny park bench for an hour, seeing friends for lunch or coffee, or dropping the laundry off to be washed and folded (I really like that one).
Make this Mother’s Day a day to declare, “A happy mommy makes a happy home”. 
Comment below for your chance to win our Mother’s Day Prize Pack, including an Eight (8) piece Garden Tool Set, Massaging Neck Cozy, and Write On! Labels from Name Bubbles.  One winner will be randomly selected on Friday, May 18, 2012.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Name Bubbles Supports Literacy Across America

Though I live thousands of miles from my hometown, I make a point to visit once or twice a year and to catch up with dear friends and family members. It is during these precious moments that I hear about their lives, children and very often, their work.  For many years, one of the amazing women in my circle of friends, Lisa, has been the Principal of a public elementary school in a pretty rough part of town. She has talked about the challenges that her students face and how she and her team of teachers have worked to overcome budget shortages, foster care placements, and have helped students’ families during difficult financial and emotional times. To her students, she is Principal Hall at Bell Avenue Elementary School; to me she is Lisa from the dorm room down the hall and I am very proud of her.

During my visit home last fall, she mentioned a reading program she and the teachers at her school wanted to implement. She’d lined up volunteers and the city was helping but she needed money to buy the books. My wheels started turning; I had not identified a non-profit or cause for the Name Bubbles Giving Program for 2012 – in my mind, literacy or more specifically, raising awareness and helping to provide books for underserved children would be a wonderful commitment from Name Bubbles. That’s how it started.

I’m pleased to say that my friend Lisa, or Principal Hall, will be launching her school-wide reading program today – just in time for Read Across America Day.  She told me that she is holding an assembly, a kickoff party of sorts, and she will be presenting an over-sized $5,000 dollar check from Name Bubbles for the purchase of the new books. We are both very excited and believe the school's new books and help from the volunteers will have a positive, lasting impact on the students lives.
In addition to the reading program beginning at Bell Avenue Elementary School in Sacramento today, Name Bubbles has launched its Giving Program for 2012. We have committed an initial $10,000 dollar donation to a national organization dedicated to delivering free books and literacy resources to children and families who need them most. Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States.

In our own effort to raise awareness about literacy and the fundamentals of reading, the company created a sheet of eight (8) personalized learning-themed labels for young children that are available for purchase with every label order. We know that building awareness makes a difference and are very excited about our Giving Program and RIF’s mission, to motivate young children to read. By working with children, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life, RIF can address the organization’s highest priority; reaching underserved children from birth to age 8.

Be sure to stay tuned and watch for the many wonderful programs Reading Is Fundamental has planned for 2012.   
Michelle Brandriss

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Close Call With Food Allergies

Cooper has grown up with Name Bubbles Allergy Alert Labels.
His medical information stays with him, from his cubby at daycare
to his backpack and ski gear, keeping caregivers informed.
In the winter of 2008, my husband and I began to understand the extent of our son’s (Cooper) food allergies. We had seen several indicators that he might be allergic to peanuts, but the symptoms were somewhat mild so we decided to keep him away from peanuts and tree nuts as a precaution.  I look back and cringe at how naive we were. 

The severity of his food allergy became crystal clear during a weekend morning play date at a friend’s house. Cooper had found a Reese’s Pieces on the floor and, thinking it was an M & M, he popped it in his mouth. Several of the moms were talking and sipping coffee when he came over to me holding his tongue, scratching it. It all happened so fast, he was gagging and tears were running down his cheeks. I couldn’t quite figure out what he was trying to scrape off his tongue until the hostess said he must have discovered a piece of candy her kids had been eating earlier that day. I had never seen him have an acute reaction like this before, and I didn’t have any medication with me. As I share this, I realize how incredibly lucky we were that day. My mom friend had Benadryl handy and we were able to stop the reaction.  With the incident fresh on my mind and heavy on my heart, I made an appointment with an Allergy Specialist as soon their office opened that following Monday. Life for the Brandriss Family would never be the same again.
The doctor made it painfully clear how lucky we are to have our son alive today. She didn’t pull any punches and the more I learn about allergies, the more I appreciate why she was so tough on us. After the first reaction, we should have immediately had him tested with an allergist. Cooper’s allergies now have the potential to send him into anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, the primary treatment being an injection of epinephrine or the Epi-Pen Jr.
My husband and I do our best to teach our son to be independent, outgoing and try new things. Because we’re unable to have a watchful eye over him at all times, we use the Allergy Alert Labels for his school backpack, weekend ski gear, and Epi-Pen; which is with him at all times. Having his medical information front-and-center reminds his teachers, caregivers, and fellow parents that my little guy might need their help in an emergency. It puts me at ease to know Cooper has a constant reminder not only letting others know of his allergies, but reminding him to always ask an adult to read the ingredient label if he is going to have a snack that was not packed by Mom or Dad.
As the CEO and Founder of Name Bubbles, I hear from moms all over the world who order NameBubbles Allergy Labels, and know that so many families are coping with food allergies; many with multiple allergies and reaction variables beyond what our family has to deal with. Some kids can’t come into contact with their allergens; while our son can be in the same room with his and will only have a reaction if he ingests them.
To our allergy families: we would love to hear any ideas that you might have in modifying our Allergy Alert Bubbles to better suite your needs. We understand how important it is to inform our children, their friends, and caregivers. If you feel there are changes or improvements that could be made, we encourage you to send an e-mail to or call 866-797-Name (6263).

Michelle Brandriss