In The District:
We have some ideas about how you can add a little sparkle to Mother's Day brunch!
May 11th, 2012 | 12:13 PM
Maria Oakes is a mother, wife, and writer living and loving in Las Vegas. She is also currently penning a children’s book. Today she is sharing her Sparkling Jewels Cocktails recipe that’s sure to class up any brunch or event.
Some people say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but as an on-the-go mom I respectfully disagree. Brunch, my friends, is where it’s at! What’s not to love about a dining experience that can only take place after sleeping in past breakfast? More importantly, hosting a brunch gives you and your gal pals the chance to start the day off with a tasty glass of bubbly! From the sweet peachy Bellini to the classic Mimosa, a sparkly champagne cocktail adds a hint of elegance to any gathering. That’s why I’m sharing my Bubbly Jewels recipes for your Mother’s Day brunch.
Start with the bubbles. Some people say to use the cheapest stuff you can find as you’re going to mix it anyway. I find that good ingredients make for good cocktails, but don’t go popping that bottle of Cristal either. I like Moet & Chandon Champagne or good old Yellow Tail Sparkling White, and don’t be afraid to add a twist with some Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava as well – sparkling wine is tasty in any language. Whatever wine you use, be sure to choose “Dry” or “Extra Dry”. “Brut” is sweeter and adding juice or liqeurs to it makes it too sweet.
- Chill your bottle or bottles of bubbly (who’s counting anyway?)
- Then gather:
A small bottle of Midori (melon-flavored liqueur)
A small bottle of Chambord (raspberry-flavored liqueur)
A small bottle of Curacao (orange-flavored liqueur – you can get blue-tinted Blue Curacao, too!)
A bottle of club soda
- Pour 4-5 oz of the bubbly into each champagne flute
- Add about 1 oz of your desired liqueur to each glass
- Add a splash of soda water (you can never have too much sparkle in you cocktails!)
Display your Sparkling Jewel cocktails on a table or platter and tell guests they have their choice of the Emerald, Ruby, or Sapphire!
We can’t wait for you to add some bling to your brunch this Sunday!
Growing up you promised yourself you'd never say some of the things your mom did because it drove you nuts. Then you had kids and — oh no! — you started saying the things you swore you never would.
May 10th, 2012 | 10:40 AM
In honor of the Month of Mom, we asked you what are some “Mom-isms” you’ve caught yourself saying now that you have kids of your own. Here are your hilarious answers. Have your own “mom-ism” you’d like to share? Leave it in the comment section.
“’Do it again and you’ll be sorry!” and “Did you go potty?’ Why does becoming a mom mean you use potty and not bathroom!” — District Consultant Helen C.
“I can’t wait until you have your own kids, they’re gonna do the exact same thing to you!” — Kathy via Facebook
“I don’t care who made the mess; I’m asking you to clean it up!” — Jennifer via Facebook
“You better eat that broccoli if you want dessert!” —Thien-Kim via Facebook
“Ask your father!” — Martha via Facebook
“There’s nothing you can even think about doing that I haven’t already done. I’m always one step ahead of you …” Tammy via Facebook
“’Let me smell your hands!’ Gross right? “— District Consultant Laura O.
“’You get what you get and you don’t get upset’ and ‘Don’t make me come in here one more time’ at bedtime. Not sure what I’ll say if they start saying, ‘or what?’” — Regional Manager Jessica D.
“My personal favorite is, ‘Don’t tell Dad,’ also known as ‘DTD.’” Division Director Tori M.
“’Santa is watching you and if you are not good you will not get anything on Christmas morning.’ I said this in March.” — Jennifer via Facebook
“Singing ‘It’s time to get up,’ to the tune of a trumpet reveille. Drove me crazy at the time!” — Brittany via Facebook
Grab your girlfriends and take a well-deserved night off or grab a glass of vino and join Plum District for a fun hour-long MOM Twitter party.
May 8th, 2012 | 9:43 PM
For those of you who may not know, Thursday, May 10th is National Mom’s Nite Out. This is not a Hallmark-created event, but rather one that began five years ago after a simple tweet from Maria Baily – host of Mom Talk Radio – who said, “Mother’s Day is a lot of work for me. Anyone want to join me for a National Mom’s Nite Out?” The response was immediate and tremendous, and now, thousands of media groups, companies, malls, mommy bloggers, and social networks have come together to create events, discounts, and more, in effort to give moms a well-deserved night off.
What’s the difference between National Mom’s Nite Out and Mother’s Day, you ask? Well, on Mother’s Day, between the cooking and dinner planning and the visits to mothers-in-law and grandmothers, not that much relaxation happens! National Mom’s Nite Out, however, is meant to be a task-free evening.
So this Thursday, look out for local events and discounts from great brands, who are all looking to reach those of you who know you deserve an actual break. Grab your girlfriends and go have some fun.
For more information on National Mom’s Nite Out – and to view a list of local and online events, mom discounts, and giveaways – visit www.momsniteout.com.
Can’t get out of the house for a nite out? How about a Twitter party with @plumdistrict?! Join us from 5:30-6:30pm PT for an hour of all girl fun and prizes hosted by Plum District moms. Be sure to RSVP to be eligible for prizes! (Follow #MomMonth to join the party)
Find great offers to help plan Mother's Day. Spas, Sweet Treats, Family Fun and more!
May 6th, 2012 | 12:06 PM
Just in case you missed it the email from Bethenny Friday – here is her note to you! Be sure to tune in Monday for great offers all week that are just for MOM!
Want to know how she balances motherhood, a career, and marriage? Or maybe you just want to know what her favorite Skinnygirl cocktail is ... ask away!
May 3rd, 2012 | 7:18 PM
Almost 20,000 moms told Plum District what they want for Mother's Day and we listened!
April 26th, 2012 | 12:01 AM
Last month we launched a campaign to unravel the mysteries of Mom and her feelings about Mother’s Day. Our mission was to know more about what she really wanted on her special day – and if it really did feel “special.” We revealed that Mom is looking for the perfect blend of time for herself and time with her brood on Mother’s Day.
Among the findings:
- 75 percent claim they would prefer a handmade card over a necklace from Tiffany & Co.®
- Two thirds prefer to not pick out their own gift
- 54 percent would choose to spend quality time with their own mother versus 46 percent who would have her babysit the kids
“Some of the things we discovered in our survey were pretty surprising to us, like the fact that only 56 percent of husbands/significant others always remember Mother’s Day,” says Megan Gardner, CEO of Plum District. “What didn’t surprise us is that at the end of the day, moms might crave some ‘me’ time, but their families will always rank first.”
What sort of “me” time is Mom after?
- Eight out of ten moms would choose to sleep in versus a sunrise breakfast with the kids
- One third of moms secretly want the day to themselves
- 52 percent would use an hour to themselves for a massage, while the other 48 percent would go on a bike ride
Plum District didn’t just learn – we’ve listened! We have decided that you deserve more than a day – so we’re dedicating all of May to the “Month of Mom,” or M.O.M.. Moms across the country should expect to find offers that are just for them to enjoy and indulge in, as well as fun activities for the whole family! And to really make things exciting we have partnered with Bethenny Frankel to help make your day! From Monday, May 7, through May 13, you’ll find offers in your local city that will quite literally help you plan the “Perfect Day!” Be sure to check your inbox on Friday, May 4, for a special note and video from Bethenny just to you!
We all know the earth feeds our families, but we can feed the earth too. Read today's post to learn how!
April 22nd, 2012 | 10:35 AM
We chatted with two Plum District Moms to see how they incorporated composting in their homes.
Ginger, of Los Angeles, says ever since installing the compost bin and utilizing a “food scraps” container (a small metal bin right near the sink), she’s amazed at how much less trash she’s producing and how good it feels to re-cycle. Her family’s daily routine includes a trip to the backyard with their food-scrap-filled canister to “feed” the compost bin.
Liz, of Denver, recommends a simple black trash can ($12) with the bottom cut out and air holes punched in the sides. You can also Google the word “composting” to see if your city offers free containers. The Department of Sanitation in your town just may surprise you!
Here’s what to put in your new compost bin (it’s an easy equation):
Half green, half brown, a little water, a little air flow, and heat.
- Green is your vegetable and green plant scraps, or your nitrogen: carrot peels, apple cores, lettuce scraps, pepper cores, orange peels, potato skins, celery tops, grass clippings.
- Brown is your dead plant matter, or carbon: last fall’s leaves, deadheads and old twigs from your bushes, grass clippings that you let dry in the sun for a day or two.
The key is getting the mix right. Water the bin until the mix is moist like a sponge. Then make sure there are some air holes, put the lid on and let it heat up! If you have the mix right (the 50/50 split) it shouldn’t smell at all. If it does start to smell like ammonia, you’ve got too much green stuff. Add some brown.
(Note! Here’s what you should not put in the bin: No meat, no fats. No steak bones, or cheese rinds, or leftover bacon, or last night’s salad with blue cheese dressing).
Now that you’ve collected your bin, you can keep it right in your garden. The sun heats it up, and the good compost-making worms and bugs will crawl right in. When it’s time to harvest, just lift up the trash can, and that handy hole in the bottom lets the rich brown compost fall out! You can distribute the compost through your soil to increase its richness and feed our earth!
Composting is a great daily activity for you and the kids. It teaches the whole gang to be conscious of the earth and reinforces how even the littlest effort makes the biggest difference.
Liz Easterly writes StapletonMoms.com in Denver, where she keeps a little backyard garden and a $12 trash can compost bin that her two boys help care for. Ginger lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles, CA and loves working for Plum District. Since starting composting a year ago, she feels a little better about doing her small part to leave a healthier planet behind for the next generation.
Sustainable fashion designers to watch in 2012!
April 18th, 2012 | 2:28 PM
“Earth-friendly fashion” isn’t just about hemp pants and organic cotton T-shirts. In fact, you can make a big impact on your wardrobe while minimizing your carbon footprint – and still be the chicest chick in town. Sustainable practices like recycling, composting, and energy conservation have become easier to implement in the average American household, and sustainability can be fashion-forward, too. Apparel and accessory designers have caught “green fever”, and some of the hottest fashion trends of 2012 exhibit conscientious design.
The clothing of Indigenous is a beautiful blend of form and eco-friendly function. It’s made with fair-trade materials that are hand knit or hand woven by artisan workers in South America. Materials include organic cotton, natural fibers like Merino wool, and dyes that are free of harmful chemicals. From flowing drape dresses to intricately detailed pullovers and coats, the clothing from Indigenous is naturally chic!
Ever stare into the cluttered backseat of your car or the void of crumpled paper that is your giant Mom purse and just sigh, defeated by your accidental collection of stray receipts, candy wrappers, and to-do lists? Ecoist has majorly upgraded that trash into treasure, with their line of adorably quirky jewelry and handbags that are made from recycled materials like food packages, newspapers, and soda tabs. Their soda tab jewelry looks like modern chain mail, perfect for Moms who love a little cosmopolitan polish. Colorful candy wrapper clutches add a rainbow burst to any outfit!
Designer Jeff Garner is blending old-world aesthetic and modern sensibilities with his line, Prophetik. Inspired by the fiercely feminine gowns of the Civil War era, Garner creates flirty dresses with sleek lines and billowing accents, contradictory details that just…work. Even better? All materials and processes are eco-friendly, from the organic dyes to the fleece made from recycled bottles. Celebs are scrambling to get their hands on one of Garner’s gowns, and it’s no wonder – slip one over your head and you’ll truly feel like a natural woman.
Go Green and Clean!
April 14th, 2012 | 9:25 AM
Deb Clem offers her advise and easy recipes for keeping your home dirt and germ free using eco-friendly cleaners.
A few years ago in a bold and crazy move, I got rid of all the toxic cleaning products in my home. My motivation to go green was prompted by the knowledge that we were breathing chemicals all day long and it wasn’t good for me or my daughter Rosie’s asthma. I fondly said goodbye to the scrubbing bubbles and set out to find a better way to clean.
I’ve probably tried every “Green” cleaner out there (and yes, I put that in quotes for a reason. Some aren’t good for the environment at all). I really like the Seventh Generation line and some of the Melaleuca products, but at the end of the day, many green products are pretty pricey. Once I discovered that most have one magic ingredient, I decided to make my own.
Essentially, it’s easy (and cheap) to make an effective hard surface cleaner. Vinegar is the base, and no, it doesn’t smell great, but with a little essential oil you can customize your cleaner and mask the smell of vinegar. Here’s the recipe:
2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups water
20-30 or more drops of essential oil (I like lemon but rosemary is delightful too).
You can also make your own furniture polish that’s 100% safe for the environment – no more toxic fumes from the Pledge bottle.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
20-30 drops lemon essential oil
Because this mixture contains oil, you have to be sure to shake it before using.
I will confess that I still have some store-bought products around. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to make it all! Two of my favorites that work well are the Method scrub and Simple Green all-purpose cleaner. Both clean well, smell great and are better for the environment.
The one thing I can’t give up? Toilet cleaner. I still haven’t found a way to get the bowls sparkly bright without a few toxins. Oh well. I’m trying!
Family vacations don't have to be super stressful. In fact they can actually be fun!
April 7th, 2012 | 12:42 AM
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” — Henry Miller
It’s spring break season and for many of us that means it’s time for a family road trip. Whether you’re packing up the mini-van and heading cross country to visit Grandma and Grandpa or finally taking that trip to Hawaii, traveling with little ones can be a challenge. To keep them from shouting, “Are we there yet?” every two minutes and actually using travel time to bond with your family, we’ve asked some of our road trip all-stars how they make it work.
Jill – San Diego
2 kids ages 10 and 13
”We took a two day road trip to Baja, Mexico, it was off-road for most of it! Six months later we did two and half days of airport travel from San Diego to Montevideo, Uruguay!”
Heather – Fishers, Indiana
4 kids – Kaitlyn (8), Sadie (6), Porter (4), and Logan (16 months)
Bag of Tricks
“We went 1,500 miles in three days once for a family reunion. I packed a Mary Poppins bag to take in the car. I bought two huge reusable bags and filled them with all kinds of activities — in gallon-sized Ziploc bags — to pull out every couple of hours!”
Heather’s ‘Mary Poppins’ Bag of Fun:
- dry erase board and dry erase markers
- pipe cleaners & instruction book
- chalk and construction paper
- Bingo sheets w/ stickers to mark them
- brand-new spiral notebook and crayons/colored pencils
- mazes, dot-to-dots
- joke books
- new coloring book & crayons
- “how to draw” books & blank paper
- Custom CD mixes
- Portioned out snacks (goldfish, granola bars, juice boxes, suckers, etc.)
Tara — Atlanta, Georgia
3 kids ages 2,7 and 8
American Idol Car Edition
“To keep everyone entertained I sing. I’ll sing Lionel Richie, Green Day, Coldplay, Katy Perry, cartoon theme songs, show tunes — even The Brady Bunch! The kids like to ask questions about whether or not the song is ‘old people’s music.’ It works every time!
Shannon — Frederick, Maryland
3 kids ages 5, 7, and 10
Making Something Old New Again
“I pack each of the kids a bag of things that I have either purchased for the trip or things from the house that I don’t think they have played with in quite some time. These include books from under their beds, games from the basement closet, a few easy crafts that I find in the dollar bins, snacks and drinks, car game books that I make from online printables and magazines to cut up. They also LOVE to write on index cards so I buy a pack or two for them to use.”