Affordable pieces that'll have you looking effortlessly gorgeous!
August 7th, 2012 | 11:52 AM
Ahh, those flowy, breezy, summer dresses. They’re lovely, so comfortable to wear, and signify our favorite warm-weather, vacation season. You probably have at least one more getaway planned before the busy school year kicks in, and I’ve done a little research to help you find a couple more chic pieces for your summer wardrobe. When it’s vacation time, we like to simplify our routines; throw on one of these dresses in the morning and you’re set to go! No need to spend time piecing together an ensemble when you could be relaxing with your family.
Here are five classic, practical dresses – all under $100, I might add – to meet your getaway fashion needs:
Heather Maxi Tube Skirt/Dress by Splendid: $88 at ShopBop.com.
Simple, convertible, and can be worn with a favorite top!
Highline Strip Blouson Maxi Dress: $98 at Piperlime.Gap.com.
Look elegant and comfortable during the day, straight through the night.
Ruched Tie-Waist Dress by Old Navy: $24.94 at OldNavy.Gap.com.
Available in classic navy and a fun, bright orange for a price that can’t be beat.
Ponte Shift Dress by Tinley Road: $59 at Piperlime.Gap.com.
Such a lovely, chic piece for the evening. Comes in three colors! Spice it up with a favorite piece of jewelry.
Zig Zag Print Asymmetrical Dress by Mossimo: $22 at Target.com.
Flirty, fun, and berry-colored! Huge plus: it won’t break the bank.
Enjoy these wonderful dresses while the weather’s warm, and feel good knowing that you don’t need to spend an arm and leg to expand your wardrobe with great options.
We have some creative ways to cool down when temperatures outside are soaring.
August 3rd, 2012 | 2:41 PM
Summer makes us think of one thing – hot, hot, hot weather! This year has been exceptionally warm and toasty for certain parts of the United States and you’re running out of creative ways to beat the beat! You can’t control Mother Nature, but you can control how you chill out. Here are some tips and ideas to enjoy cooler, more fun summer days without everyone melting!
- Fill water balloons and chill them in the fridge for a few minutes before breaking into teams for a friendly water fight in the back yard.
- Turn on the sprinklers and play favorite outdoor games while getting soaked – tag, red rover, soccer and touch football are a few!
- Tackle those chores! Wash the car and let the kids manage the hose. Everyone is sure to get sprayed!
- Put your favorite yogurt in the freezer for an hour, then voila! Icy, tasty frozen yogurt. Even yummier – sprinkle dark chocolate chips on top.
- Fill a pitcher with water and slices of your favorite fruit. Sweet, refreshing and hydrating – the kids will gulp it up like juice, but it doesn’t have all that sugar!
- On warm nights, set up the tent and have a good old fashioned camp out.
- Most local ice rinks stay open year-round. Dig out the long sleeve shirts and go for an afternoon or arctic fun!
- When you go to the beach, station your chair in the surf so the water washes up to your feet every time.
- Inflate the baby pools and unfold the slip and slides. Gather with neighbors and dump bath toys in each pool, so all the kids can play and splash.
- Instead of cranking up your A/C at home, stroll through the mall or catch the hot new summer flick at the theater.
- And last, but definitely not least, nothing beats a cannonball or diving competition in the neighborhood pool!
We’d love to know how your family creatively beats the heat. Let us know!
In honor the London 2012 Olympics, here's some tasty (and healthy) snacks to nosh on while you watch world-class athletes compete over the next two weeks.
July 30th, 2012 | 5:05 PM
As the Olympics open we are all prompted to reflect on our own athletic pasts; however embarrassing or glorified. Like many kids, my professional athletic career started with soccer at the age of five. I took to the field ready to obliterate my opponents, or at least remember not to pick the ball up. Soccer is a wonderful sport, and in my time I think I was successful at missing every finer point of the sport. But I was always focused on the chief aspect of the game – half-time snacks.
Whether your little one is swimming lengths or hitting the links; they need fuel. And no self-respecting mom wants to have “the bad snack” when it’s their turn to feed the Olympic hopefuls. Here are some new spins on those tried and true snacks, along with simple switches to make your version truly tournament-worthy.
Having a hard time convincing the kiddos that fruit is fun? They’ll be coming back for seconds when you make snacks interactive. Cut up strawberries, kiwis, apple slices, pineapple, watermelon, and grapes — then throw in some marshmallows all into different bowls. Then have everyone pick out their favorites and make color patterns. Put them on a wooden kabob stick and – voila! – fruit is suddenly a little more tasty. To discourage browning on the apples, apply lemon or lime juice to the slices. The acid dispels the browning enzyme and you can dilute it 3 parts water to 1 part juice to avoid the acidic flavor.
Ants on a Log
This snack has been a way to trick children into eating celery for years and with so many different spreads to choose from you can really mix it up. Put out peanut butter, cream cheese and Nutella along with a variety of toppings like raisins, cranberries, or chocolate chips. Mix and match accordingly!
For a refreshing dessert that is also healthy whip up some Yogurt Delights. It’s easy — take some Greek yogurt and make a base in a small cup, then layer it with fruits like oranges or raspberries. After each layer add another layer of yogurt. Add a garnish to the top (chocolate shavings round it out nicely) then settle in to watch some gymnastics or swimming!
What are some of your favorite go to healthy snacks? We’d love to know!
The award-winning actress’s organization, The Honest Company, helps mothers find the perfect products for their little bundles of joy.
July 26th, 2012 | 10:22 AM
Superstar Jessica Alba has successfully found a way to balance the demands of Hollywood with motherhood (she’s mom to Honor, 4, and Haven, 1), charity work, and starting her own business, The Honest Company.
Like the superheroes she’s played in blockbuster films (she totally rocks in family-fave The Fantastic Four), The Honest Company is to the rescue — helping take some of the daily stresses of mommyhood off your shoulders. Alba created the company to help simplify your life with everything from bundle and save monthly subscriptions to diapers and wipes to the most useful personal care and home cleaning products. They really thought of everything!
An added bonus: The Honest Company prides itself on being an active member of the B Corp community, which is “dedicated to making a profound social difference, safeguarding people and the planet, and making efforts to be better business.” Plus, a portion of every dollar earned goes to their charitable partner Baby2Baby.org, a non-profit that supplies local families in need of assistance.
Click here to purchase this amazing Honest Company offer.
Here are some products we are going crazy over:
- Honest Diapers Bundle: They’ll ship a full month’s supply (based on average usage) of ultra-premium Honest Diapers & Wipes—never do a late night diaper run again!
- Family Essentials Bundle: Enjoy a monthly shipment of the personal care & home cleaning products you need and use most — all of which are derived from natural and organic ingredients.
- Honest Healing Balm: Filled with USDA certified organic essential oils, this healing balm soothes delicate skin, while helping to prevent future diaper rash, and is versatile and safe to use on minor cuts and scrapes, Mom’s dry skin, and Dad’s razor burns.
- Honest Hand Sanitizer: Anywhere, anytime sanitize and moisturize your hands on contact without drying out your skin with our formula that naturally uses wood cellulose and vegetable glycerin to thicken 62% alcohol into a gel (regular application provides continual antimicrobial protection). Available in 2 oz. bottles too!
- Honest Laundry Detergent: Our advanced plant-based detergent cleans stubborn stains, dirt, food, and life’s unexpected messes – all with a neutral pH — so it’s perfect for babies and sensitive skin and is suitable for all your family’s laundry.
- Honest Multi-Surface Cleaner: This advanced plant-based cleaner is great at eliminating dirt, grime, and tiny fingerprints without leaving behind a toxic residue, making it prefect for cleaning kitchen countertops, bathroom fixtures, high chairs, toys, and more!
Not making the school sports team can feel like the end of the world to a child. Here are some tips on how to deal if they don't make the cut.
July 25th, 2012 | 5:32 PM
When Raleigh team member Leslie P’s daughter, Hayley, didn’t make the cheer squad in 7th grade, they were both devastated. But instead of giving up, Leslie encouraged her daughter to not lose sight of her pom-pom dreams.
“She got to be an alternate,” Leslie explains. “She did not have a uniform, but was allowed to attend all games in her middle school T-shirt and Soffe shorts. Hayley worked so hard to get better that by the end of the season she had mastered her round off double back handspring!
“I was so proud of her that she was not ashamed to be on the sidelines and was just happy to be a part of the team! She was team captain the following year and received an award for Best All Around! She learned a great lesson and is never afraid to give it her all now win or lose!”
While athletics come naturally to some kids, many struggle to make the cut. With so much pressure to excel at a sport, it’s important to remind your kid that winning isn’t everything and their time to shine will come no matter what happens during tryouts.
With the school year right around the corner, many youngsters are eagerly playing catch in the backyard or shooting hoops with the hopes of becoming the next Kobe Bryant. Whether your kid is just starting out with Tee Ball, active in high school sports, or aiming for a college sports scholarship, here are some key things to remember if they don’t make the team.
1. Listen and Encourage
It’s normal for your child to feel bummed after getting the news, but don’t let them dwell on it for too long. Instead, talk about the bright side of things. Encourage them to explore other hobbies or, in Hayley’s case, encourage them to keep practicing and supporting the team.
2. Help Them Embrace Their Strengths
Not every child is going to be the next David Beckham and that’s okay. Help your child embrace other areas they are strong in – maybe they love hamming it up and would be perfect in the school play or maybe they’re really meant to be the star player on the Mathaletes. They can always join a club team or take a class to improve their skills and gain confidence.
3. Don’t Let Them See Your Disappointment
As a parent it’s always hard to see your child unhappy, but don’t let them see you down. They might take your sadness for disappointment which is the last thing you want to convey. Instead, tell them how proud you are of them for being brave enough to try out for the team in the first place! It’s tough showing coaches what you’re made of!
4. Practice Makes Perfect!
Practice! Practice! Practice! Encourage your budding sports star to practice their skills. Offer to play catch with them after school or challenge them to a game of H-O-R-S-E on the weekends. In Hayley’s case, determination and practice helped seal her spot on the squad!
Behind every great athlete is someone who believes in them.
July 23rd, 2012 | 2:43 PM
Being a Mom is truly the best job. It’s hardly the most glamorous, but it’s always the most rewarding. So when Proctor and Gamble led a “Best Job” campaign in collaboration with the 2012 Summer Olympics that showcased the powerhouse behind each Olympic athlete, we were thrilled here at Plum District.
We always love sharing the power of the Mom. Now it’s your turn to share the power of the individual with your children as the countdown to the 2012 Summer Olympics begins. As the world’s best athletes parade this summer on screen, now is the time to teach them about endurance, strength, fortitude, and passion.
With the backbone of a great Mom like you, children can learn successful characteristics of a determined, dedicated, and powerful athlete — Olympic material or not. Lead a discussion in your house as you catch gymnasts, swimmers, runners, cyclists and others perform.
It’s not hard to get excited about the Summer Olympics — whether your family has decided to make a nightly ritual of watching the athletes perform or you’re planning on throwing a party for the kickoff event on July 27 – the world stage is set for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Go get ‘em, Mom!
We look back on some of our favorite school supplies and share some of new finds!
July 20th, 2012 | 3:30 PM
A lot has changed about school since we were there. But one steadfast stumbling block is the need to possess cool school supplies. We polled our staff and found that every Plum person either had a joyous memory of school supplies past or was surprisingly still bitter about a dorky lunch box. We put out heads together and came up with the school supplies that most stood out to us as indisputably cool. Then we found a few of our own deals, which are guaranteed to be a hit with your kids!
Our office was very accepting of the idea that there are many “really cute” non-JanSport bags out there. But JanSport was easily the crowd-favorite. JanSport bags have evolved pretty nimbly over time and they seem to still have a chokehold on the kids backpack market. (They’ve been producing backpacks since 1967.) So I was not surprised to see the expansion of their brand into messenger bags, totes and purses. It’s not a backpack it’s a JanSport.
Go to this website. Go to this website right now and try not to say “awwww” because we couldn’t. Every kid needs a great first day outfit, but Kitsel can keep that stylish impression going every day following.
Trapper Keepers and Folders
It’s possible that many of the world’s pack rats got their start with Trapper Keepers. These glossy gems could pocket, store and, well, trap every piece of paper you had been given that year. The look of trapper keepers and folders has evolved, but I’m sure all of us remember images of deep space, paint splattered abstractions or fuzzy kittens looking up at us during class. Trapper Keepers are still very much around, but they’ve adapted a cleaner, less 80’s music video look.
With kids, personalization is always cool. With moms, organization is always cool. These two qualities hit a happy cross roads with our offer from Label Daddy.
We’ve saved the most prominent for last. Not only did those polled remember their Lisa Frank items, they still felt a swelling of rainbow-colored pride when detailing exactly how many unicorns were on their favorite folders. While many school supply brands have evolved. Lisa Frank has remained steadfast in its mission to paint the world with as many colors as possible. There is even a Lisa Frank mobile app, which allows you to place the brand’s bold stickers on your own photos. The app does not allow you to ride a winged horse across the sky and slide down rainbow waterfalls, but we all need our dreams.
So what are your favorite school supplies memories? Is there anything you HAD to have? We’d love to hear about best (or worst) back to school buys. And don’t forget to check out all the A+ Back to School offers at Plum District!
Plum District moms speak out about getting ready for the big first day!
July 18th, 2012 | 10:47 PM
We’ve been all about “Back to School” at Plum District lately, and we’ve come up with some amazing offers for savvy school shoppers. But all this school talk has led to some really interesting discussions about what it means to start a new school year. It seems that across our office, everyone has experienced really different emotions towards going back to school. So we decided to consult the experts—our moms–and get the full report on how everyone feels about the big day.
You and your child are probably equally concerned about the social scene. Nervousness about making friends, being picked on, and fitting in transcends all ages. In fact, 46% of our moms were the most concerned with their student making friends or being bullied. But the largest single concern, coming in at 28%, was whether or not the kids would have a good teacher. Your kid, on the other hand, probably just wants her/him to be “nice.”
Each year of school is a huge step for you and your little ones; it involves a lot of planning and a lot of emotions. We’ve been working just as hard to drum up the best offers to make your life a little easier. But all of our brainstorming begins with what our mothers need. Read below to see the rest of our moms’ report on that big first day. Then let us know what you’re worried about or share some back to school stories! You know we love to hear them.
It's easy! Just share an offer you love and if they buy you get $5 off.
July 6th, 2012 | 4:10 PM
Share the Plum District love with your friends and earn discounts for doing it! All you have to do is share a Plum District deal that you love using our social share buttons on the deal page (see below image). If one of your friends comes to the site and purchases any of our deals you will earn a $5 off* reward from Plum District. Once your friend has completed a transaction you will receive a reward notification and within 24 hours Plum District will contact you via email with your unique $5 off promotion code.
- Individuals are only eligible for one $5 reward per day throughout the promotional period (July 8th 2012 9pm PT through July 22nd 2012, 11:59pm PT)
- All referred purchases must be made by July 22nd 2012 11:59pm PT – promo codes will expire on July 30th, 2012.
- Promotional $5 discounts may not be combined or stacked with other offers, discounts, or promotion codes
- $5 referral credit can only be earned by sharing through social sharing buttons on a Plum District deal page
- Referred purchases will only be counted if they purchase via the unique referral link
You don't have to venture far to experience the best of summer vacations with your loved ones.
July 1st, 2012 | 1:11 PM
By Heidi Ongman, guest blogger
A staycation is the art of staying local but acting like you are on a vacation. It is a great way to have some quality family time without the hassle and expense of a traditional vacation. The possibilities of things to do are endless and with some planning and preparation you are sure to create some amazing family memories.
First, suffer the typical pre-vacation stress that you would if you were actually going away. Clean your house, “pack” your clothes, pay bills, stock up on food, and let the office know you are on vacation. Being prepared is the most important part! You don’t want to spend your entire staycation looking for matching socks and running errands.
Also, decide as a family what everyone would enjoy doing and come up with a plan beforehand. Water parks, amusements parks, museums, and movies are all great places to spend time together as a family. The summer months are also full of free concerts, outdoor movies, festivals, and farmers markets. Decide before what you are going to do each day to avoid confusion and arguing. Here are a few more unique and creative ideas to make your staycation a success.
- Go back to school. Spend a day exploring a local college campus. College campuses have such a fun and exciting feel. Find a sporting event, check out the football stadium, buy some souvenirs at the bookstore, and eat some grub at the local hot spot.
- Visit some horses. Go out for a horseback ride, enjoy a local rodeo, or go and watch the horse races. You can’t go wrong with any of these ideas – kids love animals and cowboys.
- Turn your yard into a fun zone. Get out the slip ‘n’ slide, play your favorite music, BBQ, make s’mores, and end the night with an outdoor movie while sleeping under the stars. You could even splurge and rent an inflatable waterslide, with all the money you’re saving by not traveling.
- Find a last minute deal on a hotel room in your city. Stay the night, enjoy the pool, and let the kids eat room service in bed. You may only be a few miles from home, but you will feel like you are a thousand miles away.
- Learn about your local history. Do some research and learn about the unique and historical landmarks in your area and go visit them. You might be surprised!
- Experience a new adventure as a family. There is not much better for family bonding then doing something new for everyone together. Go zip lining, rafting, water skiing, rock climbing, indoor skydiving, or anything else that is out of the ordinary for your family.
Most importantly, just spend time together connecting and bonding as a family. Let the chores wait, turn off the phones, and have fun!
Our guest blogger is an active mom to four kids. She strives to inspire others to get out and explore this amazing world we all share through her blog at MyBlissfulBrood.com. With her passion for travel and adventure, she hopes to encourage other families to do the same!