You conquered the back-to-school rush, so we're helping you give yourself a fabulous fall
September 8th, 2011 | 2:43 PM
With summer ending, most moms’ attentions are focused (where else?) on their kids. Sometimes I think my life as a startup CEO is busy, but at this time of year, mom’s job as “Chief Everything Officer” really hits a new level of hectic. The rush of finishing up summer activities and winding down vacations led right into preparing for back-to-school: shopping … clothes … school supplies … haircuts … doctors’ appointments … and more. Now, school is finally here. Before you get caught up in the routines of carpool and after-school activities and sports and playdates, we’d like to help you think about someone you’ve probably been ignoring — yourself!
Plum District is really excited to celebrate the coming of autumn with a whole week of deals, from Sept. 12 – 18, focused on pampering yourself and making your day a little easier. During Fall Into Fabulous week, you’ll find great deals on ways to treat yourself, including spas, salons, yoga classes, and clothing boutiques, to name a few. Nationally, we’ll be offering discounts on Ice, Cilea, JustFabulous shoes, Beyond the Rack, WorldwideFlowers.com, and more.
You deserve to make fall a fabulous time. You’ve planned and prepared for everyone else, Chief Everything Officer. It’s time to take a moment for yourself!
LA's Lora shines on television and showcases some of her favorite deals
August 31st, 2011 | 6:32 PM
On Thursday, August 25, 2011, Good Day LA, one of the highest-rated morning shows in Los Angeles, featured Plum District’s best deals. A bare-footed reporter Bob DeCastro played in the newly renovated sandbox at Gladstones, a landmark beachfront restaurant, while kids tumbled with LA Gymnastics and painted with Santa Monica’s Art Lab in the background.
This was my first time on television and I was really excited to share tips on how save money through Plum District on kids’ classes, cupcakes, exercise, and pampering. As a mom there is something so gratifying about introducing other moms to businesses I love.
I sometimes call our LA team the “army of moms,” because we are out there scouring all of the hidden corners of Los Angeles from the South Bay to North Hills, and from the beach cities past downtown. If it is a great place for kids or something a mom wants; we know about it, we have a deal for it, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
Check out Lora on Good Day LA!
(Thanks to Lily Chan Photography for the photo of Coach Derek and kids!)
We’re donating 10% of every purchase to one of our favorite local nonprofits, Schoolhouse Supplies
August 26th, 2011 | 11:32 AM
We have always loved the start of the school year. All that excitement, potential, and creativity, those new ideas, revived friendships, inspiring teachers, and much much more. It’s also a time to reflect, and, if possible, give something back to underserved communities and struggling families.
Plum District Portland wants to do our part. We’re donating 10% of every purchase during Back to School Week (August 29 – September 4, 2011) to one of our favorite local nonprofits, Schoolhouse Supplies. This dedicated, amazing organization ensures that Portland-area students and schools receive essential supplies like pencils, paper, backpacks, glue sticks, scissors, markers, crayons, and more – the tools kids need to excel in the classroom.
Helping Portland school children is an investment in our collective futures, and we here at Plum District see this as part of our mission. Join us and enjoy a fabulous deal while knowing you also did a fabulous deed!
The Back to School week offers are to some of our favorite local businesses: Pump it Up, the Portland Timbers, Mamas & Papas, Opaline Spa, and Westside Gymnastics.
Help us support our local schools and schoolchildren.
Healthy Eyes Mean a Healthy Body
August 22nd, 2011 | 4:43 PM
In today’s day and age, essential educational tools such as new textbooks are expensive luxuries for educators. It’s easy to forget that when we parents were in school these items were something that we took for granted. School textbook prices have risen alarmingly in recent years; depending on the subject, a single elementary school textbook can range in price anywhere from $30 to $100.
Want another alarming statistic? Childhood obesity rates are on the rise in the US. Today, nearly one in three children in America is overweight or obese. The sad truth is that obesity affects a child’s overall health. In fact, if this trend continues, one third of all children born in 2000 or later will suffer from diabetes at some point in their lives which can lead to vision loss.
So what’s the connection?
In response to these both of these national epidemics, the Museum of Vision, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, has teamed up with the Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama’s national initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. One of the objectives of the campaign is to ensure that every family has access to affordable health education. The Museum of Vision supports and encourages teaching children about living a healthy lifestyle. To that end, the national non-profit program has composed a curriculum guide for both parents and teachers to use in order to teach children the connection between healthy eyes and a healthy body.
The Healthy Eyes, Healthy Body curriculum is designed for multiple uses, including classrooms and home schools. While the concepts in this curriculum can be appreciated by children of all ages, it is targeted to students in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
The first chapter of this curriculum, an introduction to the eye and the human visual system, will teach children about the parts of the eye and how they function together to allow it to see. The following two chapters focus on eating right and exercise. In these chapters, students will learn about the important vitamins and minerals in eye-healthy foods like strawberries, sunflower seeds, and of course, carrots! Each chapter contains fun demonstrations and activities designed to help students understand these concepts with hands-on learning. The curriculum guide, Healthy Eyes, Healthy Body, is FREE and can be downloaded here.
For more than 30 years, the Museum of Vision has provided educational materials for physicians, teachers, and parents interested in teaching children about eye health and the science of vision. It is their hope to get their curriculum guides in the hands of educators across the country. Please join us in being part of the solution by providing your child’s school with this free curriculum.
Lindsay Espinoza of LULU DESIGNS shares her tips on creating a stylish (and functional) space!
August 19th, 2011 | 4:50 PM
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.
An inside look at some of World Vision's work
August 10th, 2011 | 3:40 PM
I was the wise age of 16 when I decided to bring World Vision’s “30-Hour Famine” to Millbrook High School in Raleigh, NC. I asked a fabulous counselor at the YMCA to be my “adult sponsor” and organized about 50 kids to sleepover at the YMCA for 1 night and – you guessed it – not eat for a full 30 hours in order to raise money and shed some light on what it feels like to go hungry. I then wrote an essay and eventually won a contest sponsored by World Vision where they brought three teenagers to Mozambique, Africa for 10 days to see the type of work our efforts helped and to get a glimpse of what life was like outside of the “white house with a picket fence, dog and 2.5 kids” with which we were raised.
The experience was life-changing to say the very least. I arrived as a smug 16-year-old who thought “roughing it” entailed eating McDonald’s while camping. I left a young woman with a bigger heart and a better understanding of the word “empathy” than I could ever hope to comprehend. World Vision took us to various hospitals, schools, farms and living communities to give us a glimpse of daily life for the people they were helping. We saw a food distribution take place that will forever be seared in my memory…families lining up for a liter of oil, a gallon of rice and two cups of beans. This food was to sustain them for an entire month, though the lesson that World Vision taught me at such a young age was not how to feed people, but how to teach people to feed themselves. For a country that was ravaged in a 16-year civil war that left their lands and their people profusely maimed, World Vision provided farming equipment and training on how to get back on their feet and start holding their heads high once again.
I could go on and on about the amazing changes World Vision has made over the last 60+ years since it was founded by a doctor who was heartbroken over one particular orphan he encountered in China. His message and determination brings us here today…it’s far too overwhelming to consider helping the entire world with one donation…but just think about the one child…the one family…the one meal you can provide to someone in need. I love that Plum District has made such a grand commitment to helping us help others. I hope you will do the same.
See what World Vision is doing now: http://www.worldvision.org/
Want to give the gift education to a child in need? Plum District will match your donation here.
Exercise doesn't always have to be easier said than done
August 10th, 2011 | 3:39 PM
I’m a mom of four young kids, so there are very few minutes to myself in the day. Yet I’m told I’m supposed to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Great! I’d love to! But first I have to wipe my two-year-old’s bottom, wash hands, cut up apples, yell at the kids to pick up laundry, grab water bottles, “Did you grab your bathing suits?!”, put on my on own clothes (always important and usually the last to get done), brush my teeth, “Did you brush your teeth?!”, grab my purse, check to see if I have money, go to the bathroom, clean up the sink, shoes, “Put on your shoes!!”, sunscreen–we’ll put it on there, get in the car, forgot my keys, forgot my phone, forgot to feed the dogs, lock the door, let’s go!
OK, so now I have four somewhat-dressed kids, we’re in the car, it’s already hot by the time we get out of the house, and we’re going to exercise. But did I mention I have four kids? So, we go to the park.
I should mention I was an athlete in a highly-ranked Division I volleyball program (Go Irish!). But I’m old now, a little saggier. A little rounder. I know what it means to be in really good shape. One year after college, I started having heart problems. My heart would start racing while just lying in bed. I would lose my breath doing the simplest things. My heart was racing all the time. I could feel my heart skip a beat every once-in-a-while so I knew there was a problem. I went to the heart hospital. They were convinced something was wrong because of my horrific descriptions. They put me through all sorts of tests. Took a couples stress tests, told them every bit of my history and my family’s history. I think the final quote was, “Uh, you are just really out of shape. You need to, I don’t know, exercise a little.” Huh?! (I really wanted to say something else but I was too embarrassed already — I didn’t need to make the situation worse).
So, here I am 10 years later with that still stinging in my ears, but now I’m even more removed and my body is more….different. We go to the park. This is what I do: I play with my kids. Way easier said than done, let me tell you. I’m sure you’re thinking “Duh, I play with my kids all the time.” OK. But do you really play with them and try to keep up with them? Honestly, I have given up even trying to keep up with them. I just try to stay active and chase them half the distance, do my little shake move to coax them back to me, and then run the other way, both out of fear and blind hope that they’ll still turn around and follow me. I play Boogie Man from under the slide. I push them on the swings. More than push them – I push them hard, do under-dogs, and chase them back and forth. Bottom line, I’m exhausted by the end and totally drenched. I certainly don’t look as good as the moms who sit on the side and talk on their cell phones, but I took maybe my only opportunity all day to get some exercise and also bond with my kids.
Like I said, easier said than done. I had a mom once tell me how great it is that I get out there with my kids and really dig in the dirt with them and act like a kid. I wanted to say, “Lady, don’t you think I’d much rather sit back in silence and read that trashy magazine you have so I can escape this crazy life for a while! I don’t do this because I like it! I do this because I already spend 23.5 hours a day devoted to other people–I might as well do something for myself!”
I, of course, did not say that. I laughed, “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,’ smiled, turned around and rolled my eyes. Off to throw my kid in the air for my arm lifts for the day.
Lindsay Rosenthal is the owner of 1379 Sports, a family sports shop. Check out her site here.
Austin moms, get $20 for $40 worth of back-to-school gear at 1379 Sports with Plum District’s deal here!
August 5th, 2011 | 10:25 AM
We are thrilled to announce that on Sunday, August 7, Plum District will be launching a dollar-for-dollar matching fundraiser with World Vision to build a school for children in need. As a site dedicated to serving moms and families, this cause is especially important to us. We believe that all children deserve educational opportunities.
In honor of Plum District’s “Back to School Week,” subscribers will have the opportunity to donate $5 or more toward the goal of $22,000, and we will match every dollar pledged until we reach our goal! This is our first major give-back partnership, and we are so excited to be working with an incredible organization like World Vision!
World Vision is a humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. The millions of people World Vision serves include earthquake and hurricane survivors, abandoned and exploited children, survivors of famine and civil war, refugees, and children and families in communities devastated by AIDS in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. World Vision’s work has earned the trust of more than 1 million donors, thousands of churches, and hundreds of corporations in the United States alone.
Be sure to look for an email from Plum District on Sunday, August 7, announcing the launch of our fundraising campaign!
Check out what World Vision is doing globally.
The Secret Style Suite comes to BlogHer!
August 4th, 2011 | 9:44 AM
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.
A Special Guest Post from Sassy Moms in the City!
July 28th, 2011 | 2:55 PM
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!
To book an in home nail service, spa party or corporate event with Lisa Mattoni-Miller visit www.lisamattonimiller.com.