How To Cope When Your Kid Doesn’t Make the Team

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.


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!


School Cool: Get Prepped for the First Day Now!

We look back on some of our favorite school supplies and share some of new finds!


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!

JanSport Backpacks

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.

Plum Deal: Kitsel Kids Clothing

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.

Plum Deal: Label Daddy

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.

Lisa Frank

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!

Earn $5 for Referring your Friends!

It's easy! Just share an offer you love and if they buy you get $5 off.


Find these buttons on any Plum District deal page and click to start sharing.

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
  • *$5 Promotion Code Disclaimer: Plum District, Inc., values its customers and respects their privacy. Please review our privacy policy for more information. If you have any questions about this promotion, contact Customer Loyalty via email at, or write us at Plum District, Attn: Customer Loyalty, 225 Bush St. Suite 1100 San Francisco, CA 94104. Offer valid only July 08, 2012,12:00am PDT to July 30, 2012, 11:59pm PDT at only. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Discount applies to Eligible Purchases (“Eligible Purchases”) which are active Plum District Offers only – not available toward Plum Steals and not applicable towards taxes or shipping. Not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Offers cannot be put on hold during offer period. All sales are final. Promotion is not transferable or valid for resale. No price adjustments are allowed on previous purchases or on purchases made with this discount. Promotion code is only valid for a single purchase per person. Code is only valid for one time use and b y a single user. Have a question? Email us at

Plum District Summer Fun Sweepstakes

Win $1000 Plum Dollars - and earn more entries by referring your friends!


Summer is here! Enter our Summer Fun Sweepstakes to Win $1000 Plum Dollars – and earn more entries when you refer your friends!



No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase of any kind will not increase your chances of winning. Void where prohibited.


  1. Sweepstakes Period: The Plum SUMMER FUN Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) begins at 12:00 am Pacific Time (“PT”) on 6/22/12 and ends at 11:59 pm PT on 7/08/12 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). Following the Sweepstakes Period, at 11:00 am PT on 7/9/12, there will be one prize drawing (the “Drawing”), as detailed in Section 5 below.


  1. Eligibility: The Sweepstakes is open only to permanent legal US residents residing in one (1) of the fifty (50) United States (including the District of Columbia), who are eighteen (18) years of age or older, or the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence, whichever is greater, as of the date of their entry. Employees, non-employee workers, directors and officers of Plum District Inc. (the “Sponsor”) and/or any of its parents and advertising and promotion agencies, and members of the immediate families (spouses, parents, children, and siblings), and/or those living in the same household of each of any of the foregoing are ineligible. Void wherever prohibited or restricted by law. The Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws.


  1. Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Sweepstakes is Plum District Inc., 225 Bush St., Suite 1100, San Francisco, CA 94104.


  1. How To Enter: Internet access is required to enter. Each person is allowed one entry into the Sweepstakes during the Sweepstakes Period, but is eligible for 3 additional entries per referred new entrant. To enter, during the Sweepstakes Period, visit and enter your own, valid, monitored e-mail address. Each such registered email address constitutes one (1) entry into The Sweepstakes.


All entries must comply with these Official Rules to be eligible. Proof of submission of entry does not constitute proof of delivery or entry during the Sweepstakes Period. All entries must be received during the Sweepstakes Period to be eligible. The computer clock of the Webmaster hosting the Sweepstakes is the official timekeeping device. Sponsor will not verify receipt of entries.


  1. Drawing/Prizes and Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”)


  • Drawing: Following the conclusion of the Sweepstakes Period, at 10:00 am PT on 7/9/12, there will be one (1) Drawing. This Drawing will randomly select one (1) potential Prize winner from among all eligible entries received by 11:59 pm PT on 7/8/12. The decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding on all matters relating to this Sweepstakes. Odds of winning a Prize are dependent upon the total number of eligible entries received during the Sweepstakes Period. Specific Prizes are outlined below. No substitution or exchange of Prizes will be allowed by any winner.


  • Prizes and Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): A maximum of one (1) Prize will be awarded. A Prize consists of:


  1. .        $1000 Plum Dollars for purchase of Plum Deals on


  1. Winner Notification/Acceptance: All potential winners must comply with these Official Rules as published in order to accept a Prize and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth in these Official Rules. Within one (1) business day after the Drawing, Sponsor will notify the potential Prize winners via email to the potential prize winners’ email addresses used to enter the Sweepstakes. Upon notification or notification attempt, the potential winner(s) will be required to respond to such email accepting the Prize, and providing their full name, physical mailing address, and email address, within one (1) calendar day of such notification or notification attempt. If the potential winner(s) cannot be contacted or fails to respond within these one (1) calendar days, the potential winner(s) will be disqualified and forfeit any potential Prize, and an alternate potential Prize winner will be selected and notified. If in any instance, notification attempt(s) for the potential prize winner(s) fail for any reason, or if a potential Prize winner is found to have not complied with these Official Rules, such Prize will be forfeited and an alternate potential winner will be selected from among remaining eligible entries, if any. If all potential alternate winners are disqualified for a Prize, no further drawings will take place and that prize will not be awarded.


  1. Publicity: Acceptance of a Prize constitutes permission for the Sponsor and its designees to use the name, actual or simulated likenesses, biographical information, city, state, opinions, and prize information of Prize winner(s) in connection with the Sweepstakes and the exploitation thereof (including, without limitation, for advertising and promotional purposes), in perpetuity, throughout the universe, in all media, without additional compensation, unless prohibited by law. Further, winners shall indemnify the Released Parties from any claims, damages, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable legal fees) arising from breach of these Official Rules. In the event of a dispute as to any Account, the authorized account holder of the email address used to register at The Website will be deemed to be the entrant. The “authorized account holder” is the natural person assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address.


  1. General: By participating in the Sweepstakes, participants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects.


  1. Limitations of Liability: Participants, by participating in the Sweepstakes, release and agree to hold the Released Parties harmless from and against any and all liability, claims or action of any kind whatsoever, for any injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons, including death and bodily injury, and property, arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize and/or participating in this Sweepstakes or in any Sweepstakes-related activity, whether sponsored, held by or paid for by a third party or by Sponsor. Additionally, the Released Parties are not responsible for late, misdirected, or incomplete entries, or for any virus contracted by an entrant’s computer through participation in the Sweepstakes or viewing the rules, for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by a human or by a computer or Internet malfunction or interference, tampering, manipulation, weather or natural disaster, acts of war, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes, and assume no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect or delay in operation; or for failed computer, satellite, telephone, wireless or cable transmissions, lines or technical failure. Released Parties are not responsible for any errors or difficulties of any kind whether human, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing, administrative or otherwise relating to or in connection with the Sweepstakes, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the Sweepstakes, the verification of the participant or prize or in any Sweepstakes-related activity or materials. The Released Parties are not responsible for lost, interrupted or inaccessible or unavailable network, server, wireless service, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections or any combination thereof. Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual it suspects of tampering with the participation process or the operation of the Sweepstakes, to be acting in violation of the Official Rules, or to be acting in a unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. Any use of any devices which subvert the participation process will void all participation by such methods, and disqualify any entrant using such methods. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES OR OTHER REMEDIES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTEMPT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. If, for any reason, the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of, but not limited to, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, virus, bug, worms, unauthorized human intervention or any other causes which Sponsor, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, deems could corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes and post notice of the action where they deem fit. If Sponsor terminates the Sweepstakes prior to the end of the Sweepstakes Period, Sponsor may elect to award the prizes from a random drawing from among all eligible entries received prior to the termination.  




11. Privacy Policy: Any personally identifiable information collected during this Sweepstakes will be collected by Sponsor and used by Sponsor, its affiliates, agents and marketers for purposes of the proper administration and fulfillment of the Sweepstakes as described in these Official Rules and in accordance with Sponsor’s Privacy Policy as stated at and as allowed by law.


12. List of Winners: For a list of winners, available after the Sweepstakes Period has ended, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope by 7/10/12 to: Plum District Summer Fun Winners, c/o Plum District, 225 Bush St., Suite 1100, San Francisco, CA 94104.

How Does Your Garden Grow? Composting Can Be Fun!

Blogger OC Garden Jen shares her secret on getting rid of pesky weeds for good!


“Judge every day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow.”

As a busy, working mother of two girls, I am constantly challenged with ways to sow the seeds of a healthy lifestyle and for our family that means growing our own food whenever possible.  While I enjoy it, my daughter’s still regard gardening as somewhat of a chore. They certainly enjoy cutting flowers and arranging them for the house, picking vegetables, and playing with our flock of chickens — they don’t, however, seem to enjoy weeding.  (I know, I know, my kids are the ONLY kids that don’t enjoy weeding, right?!)

So that’s why when I discovered the Lasagna Gardening Technique, also known as, Sheet Composting I was in LOVE!  Lasagna Gardening doesn’t grow lasagna’s or even the ingredients for making lasagna (unless you want it to), rather, Lasagna Gardening is a technique of layering easily sourced organic materials, such as grass clippings, manure, and more until you have created a new no-dig planting bed!  No digging, no weeding, seriously!  It’s a very fun family activity and a great science lesson as well.

To begin, lay down a layer of cardboard or newspaper wherever you want your new planting bed to be.  Let your kids help you ‘litter.’ I promise they’ll be interested for at least five minutes.  Then, give them the hose and let them wet down the cardboard/newspaper layer.  This important first step smothers the grass and weeds below and then breaks down after a year or so.

Next, start layering your ingredients (click here for a list of commonly available ingredients) and the kids can help with this as well.  Let them help you find the ingredients around town, too! This is a great opportunity to explain how composting materials turns them into soil known in the garden world as ‘Black Gold’ and keeps them out of our landfills.

Once you have finished your Lasagna Garden, cover it with black plastic and let it bake in the sun for a few weeks or months, dependent upon your patience.  Or just top off yours with a few inches of good quality soil and plant your new bed.

Purchase today’s deal from Armstrong Garden Centers and head on out to find a great selection of fruit trees, vegetables and flowers for your new bed all at a huge savings.  Armstrong Garden Centers offers a great selection and their website is chock full of inspiration and information.  Let your kids do this research if they’re old enough —  it’s internet time for them and a secret learning session for you! Tell them it’s like playing  a real life Farmville game!

OC Garden Jen started her blog as an online garden diary. She loves to talk all thinks flora and fauna on her blog or you can follower her on Twitter, Pinterest, Innstagram and Facebook @OCGardenJen.

Dad’s Perfect Father’s Day Meal

The Day of Dad is this Sunday (June 17) and the Plum District team can't wait to celebrate this special moment with their own families.


This Sunday it’s all about showing the dad(s) in your life how much you appreciate them! And nothing shows how much you care quite like whipping up his favorite meal and spending some quality family time together. Have the kids help you prepare a special meal that he won’t soon forget and enjoy!

Here’s what some of the Plum District team members are prepping for their own pops.

Regional site manager Brenna’s dad is all about Italian. “I’m doing the works: lasagna, garlic bread, and rounding it out with a beet and goat cheese salad,” she says. Bon appetit indeed!

Check out a super tasty lasagna menu to try with your family here.

When she’s not closing awesome deals in Orange County, sales extrodinaire and mom Stephanie Graney is making a delicious feast for her family. “I’m making baby back ribs, French potato salad and grilled artichokes. Yum!”

We’re in love with this take on baby back ribs from

“My dad’s absolute favorite is leg of lamb with mint jelly,” says site manager Maggie. “It’s a family tradition. Top it off with a chocolate sundae and you have a perfect meal!”

Feeling ambitious? Make mint jelly from scratch with this recipe from!

Stacy at the home office is all about grilling it up. “You can’t go wrong with anything from the grill, corn on the cob, and homemade potato salad,” she explains.

Need some tips before you fire up the grill? can help you make a mouthwatering meal.

Desiree in Seattle has her Father’s Day meal down to a science. “I’m making meatloaf!” she explains. “I am not a fan so I never make it, but this is always his request for holidays.  Well, meatloaf or corned beef!”

We are totally in love with this idea: meatloaf cupcakes from Have the kiddos help you prepare this tasty meal!

Our Bay Area rep Lisa not only whips up her hubby’s favorite dish once a year, but also his favorite dessert. “I’m making Chicken Paprikash and black bottom banana cream pie  — that’s his once-a-year request!” she smiles.

For those moms looking to spice things up in the kitchen. has a delicious (and easy) Chicken Paprikash recipe for you.


Plum’s Family Summer Reading List

Cuddle up with your kids and share in the magic of a good book this summer!


FAMILY FAVES — Here’s our list of some tried-and-true classics and a few new books that will delight your kids all summer long. 

Matilda, by Ronald Dahl

This classic children’s book about a little bookworm who overcomes bullies (including her own parents!) will not only have the entire family in stitches, but teaches children about perseverance and overcoming obstacles.


Junie B. Jones series, by Barbara Park

Your kids will fall in love with precocious first grader Junie B. Jones after reading the first page. Good thing there are dozens of other books in this beloved series to keep everyone entertained until school starts up again!

The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

Sure, we’re all familiar (and love) the 1939 film version starring Judy Garland, but the Hollywood flick just touches on all the magical creatures found in the land of Oz. See your child’s imagination soar as they are first introduced to Dorothy, Toto, and everyone else in this quintessential children’s book.

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

This book about loving the planet recently got a big screen overhaul. Share the original story in all its vibrant glory this summer then brainstorm with your children ways you can help protect the environment. It will spark a spirited conversation and teach them the importance of preserving the earth’s resources.

Hattie and the Wild Waves, by Barbara Cooney

Barbara Cooney’s detailed illustrations have enchanted generations of boys and girls in more than 200 picture books. In this book, young Hattie dreams of being a painter, but has to overcome people’s disapproval to achieve her passion. This book inspires you to follow your dreams no matter what life presents you.

Little House on the Prairie series, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Introduce your family to life on the prairie with Laura, Mary, and their family. Learn about life on the range in the not-so-distant past as they face harsh winters, wild animals, and family tragedies. Rich in history, you will devour the entire series.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney

Modeled after a kid’s diary, this popular book series follows Greg Heffley as he deals with that confusing time in adolescence known as middle school. You and your kids will relate to his adventures, struggles, and triumphs.

Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson

Harold lets his imagination run wild when he finds a purple crayon one day in this 1955 classic.

Monsters Eat Whiny Children, by Bruce Eric Kaplan

Show your kids what happens to kids who whine too much in this cautionary tale. Will the monsters get them before they can escape? Important life lessons can be found in this page-turner.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Everyone will be laughing over the adventures of an unlikely, winged bus driver! It also teaches your kiddos the importance of following directions and not to give in to peer pressure.

Happy reading!