September 21st, 2011 | 4:29 PM
At Plum we’re all about finding the best deals for you, your family, and, of course, your girlfriends. Right now, for a limited time, we’re making it easy for you give those friends a great little gift when you share Plum District with them. Refer your besties and they’ll receive $10 Plum Dollars just for signing up — twice our usual referral gift! That’s 10 free bucks to spend toward one of our fabulous spa, beauty, restaurant, fitness, and family Plum Deals! And as always, you’ll get $5 Plum Dollars after your friend makes her first Plum Deal purchase.
Here’s how to get gifting:
Step 1: Log into plumdistrict.com. At the bottom of any page, go to “Refer a Friend.”
Step 2: Invite Your Friends!
Enter your friends’ email addresses and include the attached message.
You can also share referral gifts on Facebook and Twitter, or copy and paste your unique referral link.
Step 3: Enjoy!
Once the friends you’ve referred have signed up for a new Plum District account through your unique link, they will instantly get their Plum Dollars in their account. You will enjoy $5 Plum Dollars when each new friend has made her first Plum Deal purchase. It’s a win-win! You can check your Plum Dollar balance at any time in the My Account section.
What's more fabulous than getting free stuff?!
September 9th, 2011 | 4:38 PM
We have decided to celebrate Fall into Fabulous week with some seriously amazing prizes. What’s more fabulous than getting free stuff?! Each day from Monday through Sunday (9/12/11 – 9/18/11) we are giving a virtual gift basket of deals to one lucky purchaser.* How are you eligible for this gift? Just purchase a deal on our site and you have a chance at being selected for this insane gift! Virtual gift baskets are worth $230 and include the following vouchers: $50 for Ice, $70 for Cilea, $40 for JustFabulous, $20 for Beyond the Rack, and a bonus 50 Plum Dollars to purchase any deal of your choosing! So just sit back, shop, and let us do the rest.
*Recipient of gift will be notified the following day by email.
Monday 9/12/11 7p PDT we are hosting a fabulous Twitter Party just for you
September 8th, 2011 | 4:49 PM
Join us Monday 9/12/2011 7-8p PDT for a Twitter party chalked full of exciting tips and questions on fall beauty, fashion, and accessories. Hear from ice.com about the hottest colors and accessories this season, fashionista and blogger Andrea Fellman aka Savvy Sassy Mom about fashion trends, and beauty blogger Shannon Nelson from A Girl’s Gotta Spa about all-weather skincare. This party is sure to be fun, fabulous, and we are giving away great prizes!
To join the party you can go to TweetGrid and enter the party hashtag Fall2Fab. You’ve been busy taking care of everyone else, now it is time to enjoy a little “me time!”
To RSVP for this party visit our Facebook invite!
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!