Easy ways to look chic while you're covered up poolside this summer!
June 6th, 2012 | 5:12 PM
Summer is upon us and that means there are all sorts of fun in the sun activities on the horizon that require a bathing suit. That’s why I’m always in search of the perfect beach cover-up to complete my summer wardrobe. What most people don’t realize is that cover-ups don’t have to cost much – if anything – and many can be altered from items already in your closet! Below are a few of my favorite creative and chic ways to cover all of your assets while lounging poolside this season.
- The Boyfriend Shirt: I use my hubby’s retired work shirts and they are perfect for an effortless and stylish look at the pool! Take an oversized, cotton flannel, button it halfway. roll up the sleeves three-quarters and voila! This is a fantastic way to look relaxed – covered – and most of us have a few of these lying around the house.
- Oversized Tee: An off-the-shoulder T-shirt, especially with a vintage feel, is a perfect cover for the mom who likes a little edge. Note: For people needing more bottom coverage, be sure to start with a T-shirt that is long enough to cover target areas.
- Cute Skirts: A skirt is a perfect cover-up for the hips, thighs, and butt. It looks especially great with a super-cute bikini top! Find one in a bright color that matches your suit or throw on a denim one. Jeans make everything look chic!
- Scarf Vest: The scarf vest is a fun way to incorporate your favorite scarf into your summer wardrobe. And, as an added bonus, the scarf vest can be used all year – synch it at the waist with a belt over a knit top with jeans for a great fall look! For step-by-step instructions on how to make your scarf vest coverup check out this link.
- Summer Dress: Your favorite sundress can also be your favorite cover-up! There are styles to fit all body types and tastes and it is perfect when you need to make a quick conversion if you have plans for dinner or something more formal post-beach.
Gigi G. is a district consultant in the San Francisco Bay area. When she’s not sourcing great deals, you’ll find her in a stylish cover-up enjoying the California sun.
You think the terrible twos are nerve-wracking? Just wait until your kid hits their teens. Lisa B. shares her story with fellow Plum moms.
June 4th, 2012 | 3:27 PM
My 14 year-old daughter is a hoarder. I am not sure where it came from because I am the complete OCD opposite, but when the mouse who had been surviving on four years worth of Halloween candy made a home in her UGGs, I decided it was time to go in and take control of the situation. Armed with black trash bags and Lysol, I went in.
I methodically made my way through her room. After filling four trash bags full of clothing, trash, and food that was beyond recognizable, I started toward her dresser drawers. She started going completely crazy, standing in front of them and forbidding me to look inside. As a mother, your first instinct is fear. Fear that your teenager has drugs, or other substances in her possession. I move her aside and force my way into her drawer.
What do I find? Drugs? Condoms? Inappropriate magazines? No. I find MY bras — four of them! Since I have lost track of most of my life since becoming a mother, I chalked four missing bras to just that – I had no idea she would have them. I look at her with a confused expression and she just shrugs her shoulders and responds: “They don’t fit me anyway.”
I am overwhelmed with more emotions than I have wits to sort out. I am angry, relieved, and so very humiliated. At 14, my daughter is more buxom than I was or ever will be without silicone. This is a parenting situation no book can ever prepare you for!
I stand up and try to appear taller than her, grab my bras, and say, “Nothing about this is okay. We do not share underwear. We will go shopping and buy you bras that fit.”
I then retreat out of her room and think to myself, “Thank goodness it was just bras. I wonder how much a boob job costs?”
Lisa B. is a district consultant in Marin, San Francisco, who has been working for Plum District for almost two years. She is mother to Mia (14), Kyra (11), and Wyatt (8), and has been married to her husband Kent for 16 years.
Celebrate Dad this summer with a cool $1,000 to use at Best Buy or Restaurant.com and StubHub.com!
June 3rd, 2012 | 11:00 PM
Take dad to dinner and a ballgame, or help him score a brand new TV and other electronic toys at Best Buy with Plum District’s Make Dad’s Day Sweepstakes! Enter to win $1,000 in Best Buy e-gift cards or a $250 Restaurant.com eGift card AND $750 in StubHub.com gift certificates.
Here’s how to enter:
- If you’re already a member:
Simply purchase one of our daily Plum Deals! We’re recording every single purchase made between June 4th and June 8th and automatically entering those purchasers into the sweepstakes.
- If you’re not yet a member:
It’s easy, all you have to do is join Plum District! The e-mail address you sign up with will automatically be entered into the sweepstakes as your chance to win. After that, get excited for our daily offers to hit your inbox – they’ll make your day, Mom, we’re sure of it.
It doesn’t make a difference which option you go through to enter – five winners will be randomly selected after the sweepstakes period. Good Luck!
*Note: No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase of any kind will not increase your chances of winning. Void where prohibited. For full contest rules and terms visit our Terms page: http://www.plumdistrict.com/p/terms
Beautify your tresses and help a child get the hair he or she deserves
May 31st, 2012 | 11:08 AM
You’ve heard of Locks of Love. It’s a not-for-profit organization that provides the highest quality wigs to children with medical hair loss. These children do not have the money to spend $3,500-$6,000 on a wig (the normal retail price), and Locks of Loves gives them custom-made, incredibly natural-looking hairpieces for free. The majority of recipients have hair loss due to an auto-immune condition known as Alopecia Areata, and others suffer from severe burns, radiation treatment, and other dermatological conditions. Locks of Love hairpieces are in high demand, and each takes four months to make.
Today, 10% of the proceeds from your purchase of our Friday Fundraiser offers will go to to Locks of Love to help a child in need. The following local and national deals have partnered with us to support this great cause. Be sure to buy in the next few days so that your $$ benefits a child who needs it.
NuMeStyle.com (online – available in all regions) – Plum District Offer: $30 for $130 Worth of Hair Styling Tools and Hair Extensions from NuMe
Elaine’s Salon, Fishers, IN — Plum District Offer: $35 for a Haircut from Expert Stylist Mark Starnes – $75 Value
Plum Studios Salon, Burlingame, CA – Plum District Offers: $50 for $100 Worth of Hair Services from Stylist Showkat Fallahi OR $70 for Full Highlights ($140 Value) or $150 for a Brazilian Blowout (a $300 Value) with Kate Lawson
Green Alley Salon, Austin, TX – Plum District Offer: $15 for a Blowout, $35 Deva Curl Cut, or $70 for Partial Highlights – Up to $170 Value
Studio 4 Salon, Newport Beach, CA – Plum District Offer: $45 for a Shampoo, Haircut, Kerastase Treatment, and a Blow + Style from Eddie- a $120 Value
Bang Salon, Denver, CO – Plum District Offer: $20 for $40 OR $35 for $70 Toward Salon Hair Services from Bang Salon
P2 Studios, Highlands Ranch, CO – Plum District Offer: 50% Off Hair Services for Men and Women (a great Father’s Day gift)
Keep Austin Gorgeous, Austin, TX — Plum District Offer: $30 for a Shampoo, Haircut and Style – a $60 Value
This recipe is easy, healthy, and is great for reheating!
May 31st, 2012 | 1:01 AM
Who doesn’t love a decadent quiche?! This recipe will help you cut calories without sacrificing on flavor. And for the girl on-the-go it is quick, easy, and can be your ready-made breakfast all week!
Here are a few other ideas for changing up this recipe:
- Like a little spice? Mix a teaspoon or two of hot sauce in the egg mixture.
- Give your quiche a little extra color and put a dollop of salsa on top.
- Add other veggies like zucchini, asparagus, or eggplant or try other cheeses like goat or feta to mix things up.
Boxes are for far more than just packing and organizing
May 30th, 2012 | 12:32 AM
Special occasion or not, I love giving my three nieces gifts, wrapped in a box with decorative paper and a big bow. Watching them unwrap presents, it’s never ceased to make me laugh at the way children sometimes like playing with the packaging more than the gift itself. But as I’ve watched them outgrow their curious toddler tendencies – now 4, 6, and 8 years old – their interest in playing with the boxes has dwindled, making me nostalgic for the days when I, too, used boxes to build my own Barbie dream houses. It’s inevitable that growing up leads to losing our youthfully active imaginations. When we’re faced with the real world and responsibilities, it becomes difficult to pretend. Which is why I cherish and encourage them to play in whatever make-believe world they can imagine as often as possible, and to build it with boxes.
With imagination, a box can become anything. Like the book, “Not a Box“ by Antoinette Portis, such a simple thing like a cardboard cube can make playtime a lot more exciting.
Some of our District Consultants shared the ways they or their kids utilize boxes:
Samantha Weld, Boston: ”When I get shipments, my kids get in the boxes with the packing peanuts and pretend they’re taking a bath!”
Shannon Vetter, Washington DC: ”My son made a road for his cars. We also made a cityscape for Lego creations. Their latest invention was box races. They would have to race one another, wearing a box, collecting various items from the ground. It was hilarious … they could hardly bend over to pick things up!”
Betsy Larson, San Diego: My daughter makes robots from old boxes.
Amy Rucker, Raleigh: We had an entire box birthday party one year. We got huge refrigerator and appliance boxes from the store and let the kids create a fort and maze out of them in our basement for a rainy party. We cut windows and doors, and gave them markers to decorate the outside and inside. They LOVED it!
Here are 32 more box ideas from Tip Junkie!
Crunchy, perfectly sweetened granola that can be modified to include your favorite ingredients!
May 28th, 2012 | 9:39 PM
It’s hard to find a great-tasting granola that isn’t loaded with fat and sugar. And often times, the good stuff costs an arm and leg.
Here’s an easy recipe that’ll leave you with a batch that’s full of flavor, crunchy, clumpy, perfectly sweetened, and low in fat. I made it the other day and my family loved it (it hardly lasted three days).
- 4 cups of rolled oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup of dried cherries
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- Spray two baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the rolled oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, oil, honey, and vanilla for about 45 seconds. Pour mixture on top of the dry ingredients.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients together until the wet evenly coats the dry.
- Split the granola evenly between two baking sheets, making a doughnut shape with no granola in the center (this shape allows the granola to bake evenly). Pat down the granola with your hands or the back of a spatula.
- Bake granola in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating the baking sheets about halfway through the baking time.
- Let granola sit for about 35-40 minutes, or until room temperature, before breaking into clumps. Gently mix in the dried cherries (adding the dried fruit after baking prevents it from becoming hard and too dry).
- Store in an airtight container.
Other dried fruits to consider: raisins, dried blueberries, dried raspberries, and dried cranberries.
Other nuts to consider: cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts.
Other spices and extracts to consider: nutmeg, cardamom, and maple extract.
You can also add seeds, like flax or sesame!
Bake your own batch of granola so that you can control everything that goes in it. You just might start a new family tradition! I suggest you make it over the weekend so that you can enjoy it throughout the week. This is a great activity for your kids to be a part of, and it can even be used as a gift for your neighbor! Sprinkle it on top of greek yogurt for a healthy breakfast or great snack.
(The original Have-It-Your-Way Granola recipe was found online at Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker – www.brighteyedbaker.com)
Style is about a lot more than just a wardrobe, but in this case, we'd love to raid their closets!
May 24th, 2012 | 11:30 PM
Mom bloggers are engaged in their communities, seeking useful, fun, and trendy information to share with the world. These particular mom bloggers have style (and brains!) that we absolutely adore!
Nicole Feliciano – Mom Trends
Some fashionistas refuse to give up high heels even after the kids come along. You’ll find regular tips for living well and making the most out of motherhood, profiles of inspiring Momtrenpreneurs, fashion trends, reviews and more.
Audrey Couto McClelland – Mom Generations
Audrey Couto McClelland left the fashion world of Donna Karan International in NYC to raise her brood of four boys. She’s learned that you can take the girl out of the Fashion District, but you can’t take the Fashion District out of the girl.
James Kicinski-McCoy – Bleu Bird Vintage
James encourages other moms to get up and get dressed every day. When you take a little bit of time for yourself each morning, you feel better physically and emotionally. There’s no need to give up your style just because you had a baby!
Nina – Momma Go Round
Nina offers style, on a real budget, for real women. Join her as she tackles the latest fashions, discovers what works, and what doesn’t, craft new styles and accesories, while making it all toddler-friendly!
Andrea Fellman – Savvy Sassy Moms
Andrea Fellman is a mom who hasn’t lost her style to motherhood! Savvy is to be experienced, well-informed, intelligent. Sassy is to be lively, spirited, stylish and chic.
Becki Crosby – Whippy Cake
Becki Crosby is the mom in the grocery store sporting the just-rolled-out-of-bed look with a posh twist to make you think she did it on purpose. She wears stripes with polka dots and white after Labor Day!
Motherhood comes in all different forms, as one Plum District staffer shares.
May 23rd, 2012 | 10:57 PM
As a new stepmom to a 14-year old girl, Chandler, I approached this new title with serious trepidation. I mean, I never thought I would even have children. But immediately after getting engaged last year, I felt the weight and responsibility of this new title and took action. I was determined that EVERY time Chandler came to visit would be a great one! My San Francisco apartment was suddenly full of snacks, magazines, and beauty products fit for teen consumption. She happened to mention in passing her penchant for gummy worms. A five-pound bag awaited her every weekend. A balmy SF October weekend happened to have a “icy tinge” to it in the evening? A shopping excursion for winter clothes was in the works. School shoes have a minor discoloration on the toe? She got two new ones to replace them. My husband would go along with it, (admittedly with a bit of an eye-roll), but he also knew that I was developing my nurturing side and he didn’t want to stifle my determined preparations for every single visit.
One weekend, I KNEW would be a great one — shopping for 8th grade graduation dance dress. I did some reconnaissance missions at about a dozen outlets and shops in the city and had created a list, complete with names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the stylish dress shops within a 20 mile radius. I was ready.
But when the weekend came, I had to meet my own mom and get fitted for my own wedding dress. Not a big problem – my thoroughly vetted list went to my husband, and off I went to prepare for my own nuptials. As I was in the fitting room, I received two texts in rapid succession:
Greg: ”I don’t think this was a good idea.”
Chandler: ”When will you be back?”
Five minutes later, another set:
Greg: “We’re going home. Chandler is being impossible.”
Chandler: ”I just want to go with you.”
I was needed! And badly, from the looks of it. Off I went to pick up Chandler and search for a dress. Only one shop and five dresses later, we found it — an ethereal concoction of blue satin with a delicate tulle overlay. I will always remember the smile she had when she tried on that dress — the bright blue satin matched only by the bright blue of her eyes. And I think my heart was close to bursting when she hugged me and whispered, “I love you. Thank you for caring about me.” I held it together then, but burst into tears when I told my husband about it later as he cradled me in his arms. “Being a parent has great moments, doesn’t it?” he asked.
It sure does. I can’t wait for more.
Chi Le is the Market Research Manager at the Plum District home office. She recently got married and is enjoying every minute with her extended family.
The things we inherit from Mom - besides her mannerisms, her nose, and her favorite phrases.
May 22nd, 2012 | 9:11 PM
As I was frantically trying to decide what to get my mom for Mother’s Day (ended up going with a set of lobster crackers – known to fellow New Englanders as ‘lobstah crackahs.’), I started thinking about the things that she’s given to me.
For my 30th birthday, my mom gave me her red leather jewelry box, embossed with her initials. I have so many memories of scrambling underneath her bed to pull out this box so I could pile on all of the ‘sparklies’ inside of it and parade around the house, feeling like a princess. Now, it sits on top of the vanity table in my bedroom – which was once my grandmother’s! – and is filled with jewelry that I’ve acquired from varying family members over the years.
That box also contains my mother’s pearls, which she gave to me when I got engaged. I wore them on my wedding day, carefully removing them after our photos were taken so there was no chance of the string breaking. I’m clumsy like that.
It goes without saying that my most treasured possessions are items that once belonged to my mother, and when I started asking around the office, I discovered that plenty of other Plum District ladies feel the same way. From Louis Vuitton bags that are timeless tributes to your family’s stylish lineage (Anna Lipshaw: Lead District Consultant, Bay Area) to custom capes that Mom meticulously designed and created as 4-H projects (Kate Goepferd – Site Manager, Midwest Region), the most special gifts from Mom are ones that once belonged to her.
GALLERY: Treasures passed from Mom to Mom [click on photos to enlarge]:
Shannon Vetter – District Consultant, Maryland:
“My grandmother, mother and I were all married using the same ring. When my mother was married, her mom gave it to her and she decided to use it for the ceremony. When I was married, my mom then offered it to me. How could I turn it down? It already carried 79 years of marriage in it!
It’s a simple gold band but it means more to me than anything. Its inscription, J.B.C. to P.J.A. 6-16-45, also means C.S.N. to S.J.C 12/31/66 and F.J.V. to S.C.N 5/27/95.
When my beloved grandmother passed away in 1999, as the oldest grandchild I inherited her mother’s wedding ring. My grandmother wore that ring for as long as I can remember and it is so special to me to wear it now. Its inscription is J.B.C. to A.W. Sept. 26, 1889.
When I think about the hands on which these rings were worn, all the places they have been, all the meals they have prepared, all the children’s backs they have rubbed, all the words they have written, all the music they have played, all the gardens they have tended, all the toys they have put away and all the faces they have held, I am inspired to live up to their legacy and make these rings and their owners proud.”
Helen Connor – Regional Manager, Boston:
“I have several pairs of my mom’s high heeled shoes from when she was my age. Now that I’m a mom I realize what big shoes I have to fill!”
Lisa Barnes – District Consultant, San Francisco Bay Area:
“I wear my grandmother’s diamond on a chain around my neck 24/7. My grandma was one of the most important women in my life. She treated me like I was the most amazing person in the world. Always complimented me and made me feel so loved and important. Any time I was down and needed to talk to someone, I would call her. She always know the right thing to say. She always told me that I was her “diamond” (I was born in April, and that is my birthstone) and that when she died, she wanted me to have her diamond.
She passed away four years ago, and her funeral was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. After the service, my sisters, my daughter, my cousins, and my mom all went back to her house and sat on her bed with all of her jewelry boxes. We sat there for over three hours laughing, crying and sorting out all of the “treasures” she had saved over her lifetime. She saved everything, included all the notes that accompanied the jewelry. Going through all of her jewelry that day is a memory I will never forget – it helped ease the pain of the funeral. We all choice pieces that held important, strong memories for us. Her diamond, stays on me 24 hours a day. It’s a reminder that I was so loved by such an amazing woman, and I can hear her little words of encouragement and praise still.”
Marie Kagay – Sales Operations Coordinator – San Francisco:
“I love wearing my moms old clothes, especially her summer dresses. They have an authentic vintage feel, and are a great reminder of how cool my mom used to be!”
What are your favorite gifts from your Mom?