In The District:

Keeping It Chic While Raising a Family

Lindsay Espinoza of LULU DESIGNS shares her tips on creating a stylish (and functional) space!

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As a mother of two busy boys under the age of 5, my reality is tripping over toys strewn about, eating while standing over high chairs instead of in my dining room chairs, and stepping in sticky floors – all as everyday occurrences. My lifestyle needs are continually changing to accommodate toddler schedules, nap time and play dates and so naturally, my home must too.

As an interior designer, my home grows with my family’s needs through each stepping stone and right of passage, sticky floors or not. Why not look chic and put together at all times?

Here are some helpful tips on how to make those crazy days and all-too-often long nights not wreak havoc on your home.

The “5-second rule”: When in doubt, throw it out… of your home, that is, and donate to a day care or school in the area. With budget cuts and the economy, teachers are so excited when I greet them with my Santa sacks of toys and grown-out clothes. It is literally “Christmas in August.”

It makes me feel good too when I brighten a single mom’s day by bringing her old clothes that my youngest has grown out of; I am so thrilled when a child starts playing with a toy that has been hanging around my house a little too long. I recommend cleaning out toys and clothes every 4 – 6 months or sooner depending on their growth rate. Don’t forget to tell your tax guy about your new seasonal donations!

“Put your toys away!” – Dedicate one particular room or space in the house where all of the toys and games reside. It makes clean up a breeze since they are all in the same vicinity. I live in a not-so-big house, so don’t have the luxury of a Play Room. Instead, I found a vintage steamer trunk, which hides all of the toys in one spot. Bungalow 5 makes a hip studded storage ottoman for those misshapen toys we are all wondering where to hide. No matter what your aesthetic, there are creative storage options out there for all (or I can think of something for you: www.luludesignsonline.com).


“Where are my keys?” – My house multi-tasks as much as I do, so it must have smart storage – meaning everything has its place. It should do the thinking for me. Choose storage that has open and closed components. This way it serves as organization, displays all of the priceless Mother’s and Father’s Day gifts for years to come and is inherent in the architecture. Be creative on where you put your storage; any blank wall is a perfect place to multi-task.


“Sofas are for sitting not standing.” With 529 plans and college tuition, 401K’s and coupon clipping, saving is foremost on each parents’ to-do list. There are times to save…but your sofa is not one of them. Plan on spending a little more on the items that get every day use and need to last ‘til they are off to college. I am all for saving on accessories and even artwork, but the old saying is true: you get what you pay for. A good sofa should last you 15 – 20 years. Make sure:

1.) It’s 8-way hand tied
2.) It’s made of kiln-dried hard wood such as alder or maple.
3.) It has the highest quality of foam.
4.) It’s upholstered in stain resistant and/or can be scotch guarded.

And the next money you’ll put into it, is for upholstery when you are sick of its color not because it broke. Pottery Barn doesn’t count as a high quality sofa manufacturer. LULU DESIGNS sells the 7’ sofa below in custom fabric for $1850.


“Cheese!” Pick 5 (odd numbers preferred) of your favorite pieces of art or photos in all shapes and sizes, and frame them. Not all of the frames have to match. Not all of the art has to match. Just pick what you like to look at and what makes you feel good. They can be black and white candid shots of the kids, or pictures you cut out of a cocktail table book, or from your old school textbooks. The point is to frame what you like to look at all day, every day. The more personal and meaningful to you, the more of a statement it will make on any wall. Ikea sells amazingly inexpensive museum gallery frames for $9.99.


“What’s you name?” Personalize your space. Subway art is a modern way to update an old tired pillow. Try stenciling your name on it and sticking it on the sofa or chair. It instantly updates the room and is the next conversation topic when entering the room. Michael’s has the stencils, brushes and paint. Do-it-yourself my way!

 

 

About Lindsay Espinoza, the interior designer/owner of LULU DESIGNS:
Lindsay is always here to help you with all of your interior design needs. She blogs weekly and is always interested in hearing what you want to read about. Check out my blog and comment today at www.luludesignsonline.com. Hourly consultations begin at $150 per hour.

LULU DESIGNS sculpts space that inspires. The firm believes that design is a human experience, and each space we create to evoke the exact emotion our client desires.
LULU DESIGNS is practical. Functionality, comfort, and budget are crucial elements of design, and the firm embraces the opportunity to excel in forming the perfect fit for each client.
Founded in 2003, LULU DESIGNS, a full-service design firm based in Costa Mesa, Calif., caters to the distinct needs of a wide array of markets, from high-end, residential custom homes to retail boutiques and commercial healthcare office space.

Mom’s Fashion File & Plum District Bring Sassy Style to BlogHer

The Secret Style Suite comes to BlogHer!

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The Mom’s Fashion File team (Nicole of Momtrends, Andrea of Savvy Sassy Moms, Alison of Sassy Moms in the City and Brooke Stewart of Power Moms Media) are taking San Diego by storm. The team is bringing their fashion talents to BlogHer, where 12 lucky bloggers have been hand-picked for a very special opportunity to receive a MFF style session in the Secret Style Suite.

During this exclusive style session, the winning bloggers will receive:
Hair styling by top San Diego hair salon, Detour Salon, courtesy of BlogHer’s Title Sponsor, Plum District
Make-Up by celebrity make-up artist, Tia Dantzler, courtesy of JOHNSON’S® Brand
Manicures by Scotch Naturals
Fashion Apparel and Accessories by LOFT and Kiyonna
Shoes by Dr Scholl’s Shoes and Payless
Handbags by Namaste Bags
Gift Bags courtesy of Lands’ End

The MFF Secret Style Suite is being touted as the hottest ticket in town. That evening, over one-hundred of the top bloggers in the fashion, beauty, lifestyle, & travel will join the MFF team to celebrate style, in style, with a reveal of our winning bloggers’ new looks with a Style Showcase.

“Teaming up with Mom’s Fashion File for the Secret Style Suite event was a no-brainer for us. With our new site re-launch we are more about style and fashion for moms now than ever before. We are so happy to have one of our favorite salons, Detour Salon right here in San Diego, join us tonight to help the MFF team style our special guests”, says Melissa Shymko of Plum District.

Ciao Bella Gelato brings their talent of gelato and sorbet creation to cocktails with mouth-watering options such as the Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini, Prickly Pear Sorbet Bellinis and Sangria. “Ciao Bella brings style to everything they do, so we are thrilled to have them in our Secret Style Suite mixing up stylish cocktails that are delicious too”, says Andrea Fellman of Mom’s Fashion File and Savvy Sassy Moms.

Tia Dantzler, celebrity make-up artist to Jennifer Hudson, is excited to join the MFF team: “I am thrilled to take part in such an exciting event on behalf of JOHNSON’S® Brand. I’m so passionate about helping others look and feel great, so this is a wonderful opportunity.” Tia will be on-hand to give JOHNSON’S® Brand beauty tips to the guests throughout the night.

“Incorporating a charity component to the Secret Style Suite was very important to us”, says Nicole Feliciano of Mom’s Fashion File and Momtrends. “When Trop50 approached us with their charity partner, Dress for Success, I knew this was the perfect fit for our event.” The Moms Fashion File team is asking each guest to bring a new or gently used handbag to the event to benefit Trop50’s charity partner, Dress for Success, which promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and life. Guests can feel good about supporting other women.

About Mom’s Fashion File
Mom’s Fashion File (MFF) is the premiere source of fashion news and trend advice for modern moms. It is a resource for moms when it comes to the how, where and what to buy. Mom’s Fashion File hosts monthly Twitter parties as well as off-line events that partner great brands with true leaders and influencers in the blogging world.

Plum District Sassy Deals for Savvy Moms and Families

A Special Guest Post from Sassy Moms in the City!

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Sassy Moms in the City gives the scoop on Chicago local happenings, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Be sure to check out the blog here!

 

The Moms Fashion File team is partnering with Plum District to host our Swanky Style Suite at BlogHer in San Diego.  A daily deal site geared towards smart, savvy moms, Plum District’s mission is to make moms lives easier.

Members gain access to daily deals locally and nationally on everything from beauty, fashion, restaurants, event tickets, kid’s activities, home and spa treatments to family outings. What makes Plum District so unique is they are focused solely on moms and the deals are sourced by local moms from partners they respect and trust.

I was given a special assignment to experience a service from a Plum District partner – Lisa Mattoni Miller, a local Nail Stylist. Lisa provides in home nail services, spa parties, bachelorette parties and corporate events. Imagine our surprise when we realized this was not our first encounter. Learn more about Lisa by watching a preview of our nail service!

Sassy lil sister wants in on the action!

The Drying Chair

To book an in home nail service, spa party or corporate event with Lisa Mattoni-Miller visit www.lisamattonimiller.com.

Daily Deals for Moms from Plum District

The Plum District adventures of Savvy Sassy Moms' Andrea Fellman

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Andrea Fellman is an LA-based mom who is the blogger behind Sassy Savvy Moms. Be sure to check out Savvy Sassy Moms here for more savvy style tips and fun family ideas!

I went on a Savvy Sassy mission with my kids over the weekend to the Little Rockstars Salon, where my kids got the VIP treatment!

It’s places like this fun salon that Plum District offers exclusive daily deals for savvy Moms!   Plum District is a great resource for moms that want to take advantage of all the fun things to do and see in their cities but for a fraction of the cost.  It not only has super kid-friendly deals but ones just for Moms too, because they know we need our ME time!

You can buy deals on everything from jewelry, yoga classes, to wine bars, and special events. It makes it really easy to plan where to go for a Mom’s night out or what to do on a Saturday with the family!  It’s a great tool that helps me with the never ending question “What should we do or where should we go?”

SIGN UP:  Start getting Plum District deals near you!

LA MOMS:  By clicking my Savvy Sassy Moms’ special link http://bit.ly/savvysassy you’ll be entered to win a  FREE HAIRCUT or KIDS MANICURE from Little Rockstar Salon!

*You’ll also want to sign up so you get invitations to Plum District’s Los Angeles Mom Meet Ups, the next one will be a Red Carpet Event in the Valley at Sweetharts for FREE frozen yogurt, Balloon Animals, games and more!

Plum District Insider Savings For Moms

I am beyond thrilled that Plum District has partnered with me and the ladies at MomsFashionFile.com to put on the swank Style Suite at BlogHer this year.

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Nicole Feliciano is the Editor and Founder of the popular blog Momtrends. Momtrends is a fashion and lifestyle blog for hip moms who want to do parenthood in style.

I am beyond thrilled that Plum District has partnered with me and the ladies at MomsFashionFile.com to put on the swank Style Suite at BlogHer this year. Most likely you already know about this community, but for the newbies, here’s the scoop: Plum District is a daily deal site geared towards smart, savvy moms.

Each day, Plum District sends in-the-know moms a deal that relates to them and their busy lives and it’s all local. In NYC Plum moms get insider deals on everything from spa treatments and restaurants to family outings and kids’ activities–perfect for summer. Plum District is unique in that it is solely focused on moms and deals are sourced by moms that will make their lives easier or more enjoyable.

The team at Plum sent me on assignment to Appleseed’s–one of their deal partners. One great deal offered to NYC moms included a discounted set of play passes to Appleseed’s glorious air-conditioned and exquisitely clean indoor playground (for more information on Appleseed’s visit www.appleseedsnyc.com).

Find out more at www.plumdistrict.com

This is a sponsored post.

Check out Momtrends here!

Vendor Spotlight: Verde Salon

I value honesty, integrity and a general sense of happiness...those are the watch-words for my life both personally and professionally.

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I may be crazy, but I decided to open a business in this stormy economic climate! When I opened Verde Salon last April I knew I would really need to “bring it” and somehow rise above the sea of full service salons clamoring for the opportunity to win you (and your hard earned bucks) over. I, however, like you, am discerning in my choices today when it comes to where I spend my time and what I truly place at high “value”.

I value honesty, integrity and a general sense of happiness…those are the watch-words for my life both personally and professionally. It may sound odd to say this considering the competition in my industry, but I don’t just want to get as many people in the door every day and live and breathe for the “bottom line” (the daily totals). I sincerely care about the quality of clients I serve, not the quantity.

And with all of the online daily deals magically arriving in your inbox every day, I would imagine a clever person could pretty much pay next to nothing for salon services for the rest of their life! Honestly, that is not the client for me.

When it came to getting my name out there, I wanted to be work with a company whose platform I could align myself with on every level. So, I asked myself these questions before ultimately choosing Plum District amidst the many advertisers clamoring for my business:

Have I myself purchased a “Daily Deal” from this company?  My Answer: “YES!”

Do they have a simple, realistic and desirable product?  My Answer :”YES!”

Do they attract Sensible, Savvy, Loyal and Respecting customers? My answer: “YES!”

Fast forward 3 months… I have just finished my 2nd “Daily Deal” with two markets with Plum District and have a 3rd which will be running next week (watch for it!).

If I do say so myself, I too am one of Plum District’s Sensible, Savvy, Loyal and Respecting customers because I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

The customers we have had the pleasure of serving through our Plum District offers are exactly what we were looking for… Not folks only looking out to save a buck, but rather, women looking for unique experiences, quality services and long-lasting relationships with the businesses they use.

Thank you Plum District for attracting a high level of target followers, for being so easy to work with and for… promising what can realistically deliver and delivering what you promised! You really do rock!!!

In gratitude.

Gigirenee Heredia / Colorist & Salon Director

VERDE SALON – An Aveda Concept Salon

Why Women Rule the Internet

Aileen Lee, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Plum District Board Member, wrote an outstanding guest post this past weekend on TechCrunch entitled “Why Women Rule the Internet.” Aileen focuses on investing in early stage consumer Internet companies (like Plum District), and in this post she shares a wealth of insight and knowledge about rising trends on the Internet. Most importantly, she discusses why “girl power” is fueling the unprecedented growth of today’s social Web.

Read her excellent post and get to know another member of Plum District.

Thanks for your questions and comments

Hi, folks.

We’ve been quiet on the blog today, but we’ve been resolving the kinks from yesterday’s Plum Reward and keeping our ears open to your comments and thoughts. If you have questions about yesterday’s deal, please bring them to our attention at help@plumdistrict.com, and we’ll be happy to address them with you directly. Thanks again for communicating with us, and for your patience as we work to address your concerns!