Products that take care of your skin - and the planet!
April 6th, 2012 | 12:26 AM
Author Melissa Carlisle writes the blog www.MelissaStuff.com and is the mother to three boys who keep her constantly guessing about what new trouble they have discovered.
It’s that time of year . . . time to break your body out of hiding and to reintroduce your skin to the sun (and to everyone else!) But your skin isn’t ready for its close-up. Want to whip it into shape as quickly as possible but also use products that are easy on your skin and the environment? Check out some of our favorite skin care products!
Kiss My Face is one of the more established natural beauty product lines. The company creates products which are healthy, effective, environmentally friendly and economically friendly. They come in a variety of scents and products to pamper you from head to toe.
The Cream Perfume Company is known for using pure and naturally-derived oils and extracts in combination with French essential oils to combat dehydrated, sore, inflamed and damaged skin. Their products are certified to be vegan, wheat and gluten free, with no glycol and no animal testing. In addition, they smell great and don’t fade easily.
Nature’s Baby Organics products come in various scents to keep you and baby calm and happy. Made with the highest quality natural and organic ingredients to create a clean, soothing and luxurious experience, all products are allergist-approved. They contain no paraben, propylene glycol, sodium laureth sulfate or synthetic fragrance. This company was started by a work-at-home-mom and all of her products are family-tested.
Earth Mama, Angel Baby uses only the highest-quality Certified Organic or organically-grown herbs and oils in their teas, bath herbs, gentle handmade soaps, salves, lotions and massage oils. Their products are 100% toxin-free, cruelty-free, and vegan, as well as free from all artificial preservatives, fragrances and dyes. These products smell great, but you do need to note that they are not tear free.
Don’t let Easter brunch take a bite out of your budget
April 5th, 2012 | 12:12 AM
There are endless wallet-friendly recipes you could make for Easter brunch, and the most befitting ingredient is obviously eggs. You need a solid meal between tearing through the Easter egg baskets and waiting for the Easter egg hunt to begin. Have some fun by making dishes that the kids can pitch in with, but keep the cleanup minimal by going for a “one pot” approach. Forget made-to-order eggs, here is an easy family-style brunch for under $30.
The Main Dish: Egg & Chorizo (or Soyrizo) Casserole
Cost of ingredients: $12
- 1 dozen eggs
- 12 oz chorizo or Soyrizo, crumbled
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 12 oz pre-shredded hash browns
- 1 small container of sour cream
- Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat eggs in large bowl and combine with bell pepper (or any vegetable you like), milk, pepper jack cheese and Soyrizo or chorizo. (Soyrizo is a delicious vegetarian alternative to chorizo available at all Trader Joe’s for about $4.) Evenly scatter hash browns in bottom of greased 9×13-inch rectangular casserole dish and pour egg mixture over them. Bake for 45 minutes until eggs are set and sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top. Bake for additional 15 minutes or until cheese has melted. Great garnished with a dollop of sour cream or your favorite hot sauce. You’ll love the crispy potato crust on the bottom.
Something Sweet: Ooey Gooey Monkey … err … Bunny Bread
Cost of ingredients: $10
- 2 cans of pre-made buttermilk biscuits
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour the granulated sugar and cinnamon into a large bowl and remove the biscuit dough from the cans. Separate each biscuit into four pieces and roll into balls (this is a great job for the kids). Place all of the dough balls in the bowl and use your hands to coat them in sugar. Add more granulated sugar if necessary. Arrange the dough balls and pecans in a greased Bundt pan, making sure nuts are evenly distributed. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a bowl and pour mixture over the dough. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool. Remove from pan and place in center of table. Kids have so much fun pulling apart the sticky sweet monkey bread.
*This meal is about 8 adult servings.
TIp: Use your remaining budget to buy some fresh fruit to slice up, or sneak a bottle of champagne for the grownups!
Avoid extra hyper kiddos and sugar surges with these tips for a sweet tooth free good time!
April 4th, 2012 | 7:05 AM
Sometimes it feels like the holidays have become synonymous with candy. Every month there’s a new celebration that leaves your overflowing pantry with chocolates, lollipops, and other irresistible treats. With Easter Sunday comes jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and Cadbury eggs (not to mention Grandma’s famous sugar cookies)!
Our Indiana-based District Consultant Heather has some great ideas on keeping the cavities at bay, but still keeping the festivities fun during your family’s annual Easter egg hunt.
“I color-code some of the eggs so each child gets their designated surprises,” she explains. “ For example, my daughter Kaitlyn gets to find all of the purple eggs this year!”
This tactic helps keep things fair on the playing field and lets you plan out appropriate surprises for each age group.
Trying to cut out some of the sugar-crashes and chocolate smudges this year? Well just say “no” to the traditional Bunny delivery, and say “hello” to candy-free Easter egg hunt. Here are some fun, non-candy items to hide inside plastic Easter eggs for all ages. Bonus tip: Have your kids help decorate the plastic eggs with colorful markers or puff paint before you stuff them with goodies.
For Baby Hunters under the age of 3:
- Cheerios/Fruit Loops
- Animal Crackers
- Mini-plush animals
For Little Bunnies ages 3-6:
- Pennies and coins
- Bouncy balls
- Puzzle pieces hidden among a bunch of different eggs
- Character Band-Aids
- Mini bubble bottles
For Big Kids:
- Lego pieces
- Hair accessories
- Dollar bills
- Inflatable beach balls
- Temporary tattoos
- Family coupons which can be redeemed for bigger prizes (like a family night out to the movies, a book, or a Barbie)
- Real eggs – Hard boil and decorate some real eggs the night before and have everyone help paint them. The kids will love finding the eggs they helped decorate.
What non-candy items do you plan on including in your Easter egg hunt this year? Let us know.
Orange County District Consultant Stephanie shares three great arts and crafts projects using Peeps
April 3rd, 2012 | 6:00 AM
A note from Stephanie: Peeps are the delicious and absolutely adorable marshmallow candies! You’ll be thrilled to create these easy crafts with your kids. I have surrounded my home with these tasty delights and I actually enjoy Peeps even more once they’ve sat out for a while, rather than fresh out of the box!
Peep Wine Charms
- Tie a colorful string or thin ribbon onto the middle of a toothpick and insert through the center of a Peep chick or bunny.
- Pull string through to the other side and tie a bow around the base of a wine or champagne glass.
- Choose different shapes and colors for the most variety, depending on how many guests you will be entertaining.
- Keep your eye on your Peep charm during your special celebration and never lose your glass!
Easter Tree decorated with Yellow Peeps
- Find some dried branches on the ground around your neighborhood, or your own backyard.
- Spray paint and let dry overnight, or keep au natural.
- Arrange branches in a tall vase.
- Prop colorful Peeps on the branches and decorate the table for added festive flair.
- Grab a box of Peep chicks or bunnies and insert a festive plastic straw through the center of the Peep – then wipe the straw clean with a damp paper towel.
- Decorate your favorite plastic cups with these playful straws and set the kids table for sweet fun!
Stephanie is a Huntington Beach native and mother of two. She enjoys jazz music, wine, food, writing, reading, good times, and anything creative.
Check out these stories from moms who have been down that dirty diaper road and have lived to tell the tale!
April 1st, 2012 | 10:25 PM
Like the children’s book proudly proclaims, “Everybody poops!” It just takes a lot of patience, smooth negotiating skills, and sometimes flat out bribery to get your little one to do it in the big kid toilet. Shannon Vetter, one of our moms in Washington, D.C. and Dallas momma, Melissa Carlisle, share their stories from the toilet trenches.
Shannon lives in Washington, D.C. and is mom to three kiddos.
I joke to friends and family that my greatest success as a parent has been potty training my children. We’re still working on putting our shoes away, not interrupting one another at the dinner table, and getting to bed on time, but potty training was a breeze!
Consistency is the key to potty training success. My first daughter was nearly two when we began training her and I was blessed to have a daycare provider who maintained the same routine during the day that I was following at home. She was trained in about two weeks.
My youngest, our only son, was born when my younger daughter was 21 months old. During my pregnancy, everyone, friends and strangers alike, would say that I was going to have such a time with two in diapers. I took my daughter shopping for big girl panties when she was 18 months old one morning while her big sister was in preschool. She was so proud of them that she carried them into school to show her sister. Once we got home, she put them on and wore them for the rest of the afternoon. I had her sit on the potty, the actual toilet with a child’s seat, every thirty minutes just to be safe. We had books to read, a magnetic board to write on, and lots of stickers. We also had a line of M&Ms on the windowsill. Every three stickers earned an M&M. At naptime, I did insist that she wear a diaper and so we put the underwear over the diaper. We did this for a week and she never looked back. She was completely trained, nighttime too, at nineteen months.
My son and I followed the same routine. He and I bought his “big boy underwears” while the middle one was in preschool. He couldn’t wait to open the packaging and he couldn’t wait to carry them into school when we picked his sister. He immediately put them on and we started the cycle of trying every thirty minutes. He insisted on standing right from the start so that is what he did, on a stool, just like a big boy. He proudly put his stickers on everything he owned, his shirt, his cars, his swing set in the back yard and even his closet door. The M&Ms worked like a charm and even let us practice counting to three. He was 28 months old when I changed his last diaper.
Melissa lives in Dallas and is mom to three boys.
Potty training in my house has been a challenge for both of my oldest boys (in completely different ways!) and we haven’t even started with the youngest one.
My oldest had constipation issues. I went through all kinds of craziness trying to help him, like literally laying him down in the floor and pushing his legs back to try to help him go! (Crazy stuff you never think you’ll do until you’re actually a moms and doing them!) We finally discovered that milk and dairy were huge contributing factors and we cut them out until AFTER he went poop. It was like magic. He wanted his milk so badly he was willing to sit and try as long as needed just so he could have them.
The second child is only 17 months younger and was the polar opposite. I though he would be a breeze because he would want to be just like his brother but NO WAY! He didn’t care about being wet or poopy. He didn’t want to sit on the toilet, and no reward made him feel differently. Even when we were on a roll and he had pottied successfully several times in a row, we would go to someone else’s house or he would stay with my parents and completely revert. I can’t begin to tell you how many accidents we had with him. Finally, I just had to bite the bullet and put him in underwear all the time and just clean up after him. He didn’t like making a mess of his clothes so it was the only motivation we could find that worked for him.
I’m a bit afraid at this point of starting with my third, but in the end the other two did successfully potty train – and honestly those diapers get so gross that potty training is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity.
Now we're sharing our inspirations on Pinterest too
February 19th, 2012 | 2:37 PM
We decided at Plum District that it was time for us to get in on the action at Pinterest. This week we are kicking off our Celebrations theme on plumdistrict.com – great local offers that will help you plan any event. Our mom salesforce are now not only bringing you the best deals, but now they are sharing their online finds and creativity. Check out our party inspiration boards to find ideas for boys’ and girls’ birthday parties, gifts, adult dinner parties, and more!
We are giving back 10% of deals to organizations in your community
February 10th, 2012 | 5:07 PM
As a mom of three kids, I know first hand how important Moms are in the community – especially when it comes to fundraising for all of the organizations our kids and families are involved with. Moms are the glue that holds communities together.
I also know that being able to multi task is key to my survival. Now Plum District is offering me an opportunity to not only treat myself, with great products and inspirations I want, but an easy way to give back to my local community.
Coming soon, every Friday Plum District local markets are going to feature amazing deals at local businesses that give 10% of the net proceeds to a school, non-profit, or organization in your local community.
It’s easy for you to participate –as a mom, business, or organization. If you are interested in getting involved just email us at email@example.com and we will put you in touch with a District Consultant in your local market that will help pair your organization with a local business (or vice versa). She will even provide you the tools needed to spread the word about the fundraising effort!
Our goal at Plum District is to make Mom’s day by offering great values for you and your family. And now we are helping you make the day for those in your community!
January 7th, 2012 | 9:34 AM
As many of you know, Digital Doorstep, our merchant for our recent Starbucks/Fandango offer, had technical complications with providing e-gift card codes for Plum District customers. I want to start by apologizing for any inconvenience or disappointment this has caused you. Plum District’s goal as a company, and mine as CEO, is to always “Make Mom’s Day.” Clearly this offer has fallen short for our customers, and for that I am sincerely sorry.
As a result, we have worked tirelessly with the Digital Doorstep team to resolve the problem and we are relieved to report that there is a resolution. As of this evening, Digital Doorstep has assured us that all codes that have not yet been redeemed should be working now. This includes the codes that showed an “invalid code” error message or showed “already redeemed” when they were not. We have tested codes to verify this is in fact true. You should receive your e-gift cards as promised. We ask that if you are still experiencing an issue with your code, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can report any outstanding code issues to Digital Doorstep and provide you with a quick resolution.
We realize this is an inconvenience for our customers and for that we sincerely apologize. We have learned through this experience that we need to better qualify our merchant partners to ensure their ability to fully deliver a customer experience that meets our standards. At Plum District, we truly strive to delight each and every one of our customers. We take it personally when we do not meet that standard. It is our commitment to you that we will continue to strive to bring you great offers every day.
CEO, Plum District
Last minute shopping has never been so easy
December 21st, 2011 | 9:57 AM
The hustle and bustle of the holidays has a certain charm, but it can also be annoying … finding a decent parking spot at the mall … wedging your way through isles at Target … waiting outside a store at 4am to get that in-demand gift … and finally running to Walgreens at midnight on Christmas Eve because you ran out of tape while wrapping the stocking stuffers. Oh, and who can forget that pesky budget you promised to stick to, but somehow those dollars just don’t go far enough.
Plum District gets it, because we have all been there. Our lists our expanding, our budgets are tightening, and the mall is just not seeming all that appealing when you have to load and unload three kids. So we present you with our solution to last minute shopping on a budget - Print n’ Go gifts! We are totally serious – just pick out a local experience, an online deal, or a much needed vacay, and 3 clicks later you can print out a giftable voucher. Stick your voucher in an envelope, attach a bow, and you are good to go! You look like a total champ, gave someone twice the value of what you spent, saved a bundle doing it, and never had to leave the house. Take that Santa!
Our challenge to you – shop last minute … it’s easy!
Check out this adorable comic strip series that Colleen from the Web Production team created!
December 4th, 2011 | 11:37 PM
Like your local Plum District Facebook page and claim a $5 promo code now and all week. Grab a new code every day Monday 12/4/11 through Friday 12/9/11. Just click on your city below to get started. Don’t see your city? Then click Everywhere to like our national Plum District page!
Here are the rules for using your code:
Offer valid until December 11th, 2011, 11:59p at plumdistrict.com only. Limited quantities available. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Discount applies to Eligible Purchases (“Eligible Purchases”) which are active deals only; not applicable towards taxes or shipping. Not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Deals cannot be put on hold during offer period. All sales are final. Offer is not transferable or valid for resale. No price adjustments are allowed on previous purchases or on purchases made with this discount. Promotion code cannot be used by multiple people and is only valid for a single purchase per person. User may claim one code per day. Promo codes may not be stacked or combined. Only 1 promo code can be used per transaction.