We couldn’t help but notice…

Natalie Portman on the red carpet at the Oscars, Feb 27, 2011

Natalie Portman in our favorite color (AP photo)

That mom-to-be Natalie Portman wore plum to the Oscars last night. Could it have been a coincidence that she chose to swathe herself in the new official color of savvy moms everywhere (and looked damn good doing it) on the night she took home the statue for Best Actress? Sure, anything’s possible. But we’d like to think that she did so because she knows where it’s all happening.

Congrats from all of us, Natalie, on your win, and best wishes for a happy, healthy motherhood! If you want an in on the stuff that’ll make your life as a mom a little easier and more enjoyable, come on by the website. We’ll hook you up.

The right way to get your Plum Reward for CPK

Hi everyone! We’re really psyched that so many people across the country are excited by today’s Plum Reward for a CPK Gift Card, but we’ve noticed that a few people are trying to grab more than their share. This opportunity is limited to one per person and one per household. We want everyone to earn a gift card, but please respect our community and follow the rules of the deal. Even if you figure out how to game our site to snag more than one card for this Plum Reward, we have multiple mechanisms in place to eliminate duplicate recipients before we fulfill our deals, and you will only receive one in the mail.

We’ve had some questions from users regarding referrals for this Plum Reward. Plum Reward referrals are separate from other Plum District referral bonuses (like Plum Dollars). To refer friends for this Reward, you must use the email form or links that you’re presented after you click “Get It” on the deal page. Don’t use the “Refer a Friend and Get $10″ link in the top page navigation to refer friends to get your gift card –those count as separate referrals.

Thanks to everybody who’s been spreading the word about this great Plum Reward. If you’re new to our site, welcome. If you’ve already earned your gift card, way to go! If not … good luck. We’re rooting for you!

Los autobuses, Cervezas, y Burritos. Translation: Buses, Beers, and Burritos

What started off as your typical night on the Mexican Bus (www.mexicanbus.net) evolved into the most exciting Thirsty Thursday to date. The office was elated all day with visions of shots of tequila and bottomless cervezas. Getting to the Mexican bus with our supplies of beer, booze, snacks, ice (the essentials really) was an exercise in team building in itself. As the clock neared 6PM, we all scrambled to load up our goodies and carry them a block away to where our Mexican chariot awaited us. Smiling and excited for our adventure around SF, we all pitched in (except Mike) to carry bags, a cooler, and a highjacked recycling bin that we MacGyvered into an ice chest. It was a thing of beauty.

As we approached our colorful bus “Lola” we were greeted by our driver Richard. The bus was perfectly bare-bones for our journey – benches, an Ipod jack, and a communal shot glass that dangled from the ceiling. It was everything we dreamed it would be. Instantly we began celebrating with Coronas, margaritas, and of course Patron. We arrived at the Ramp, the perfect place to chill outside on an unseasonably warm SF evening. We sipped our drinks, took in the bay, and had a great time. But by 8P we were ready for food, so it was off to La Taqueria. By the time we got there we were getting low on our beer supplies, so once again we worked as a team. Divide and conquer – “ok you guys go get beer and we’ll go get the food, meet back at the bus hasta la pronto!”

Everyone returned to the bus to enjoy their burritos and Tecate. And just as the party was getting started again … our bus Lola broke down! And what do you think we did? We did what any group of thinkers would do … we finished our food, grabbed the beer, and hit the road. It was like a fire drill- what would you grab? Cookies, snacks, and coolers were left behind, but not the Tecate! While some people might have been discouraged by this misfortune, we interpreted it as part of the experience. Perhaps divine intervention even. Everyone got out their bus passes, we jumped on Muni and headed to Double Dutch. From there we all gradually dispersed and called it a night. This was one night this Plum gal will never forget!

Welcome Ben & Audrey: Our First Plum Babies

Welcome the first Plum babies!  Ben (7lbs 1oz) and Audrey (6lbs 4oz) were born Monday, January 24, 2011 to Carrie Barley from our Chicago sales team. Carrie reports that she and babies are doing well, and that she’s loving every minute of it! Congratulations, Carrie!

Monkeying around: Your kids have more in common with chimps than you think

Ever watched your toddlers tumble and play and thought they weren’t all that different from the chimps you watch frolic at the zoo? Turns out there’s some evolutionary biology at work. We sat down with two chimp researchers from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, both parents, to talk about how having kids has opened up new avenues of their research with great apes.

Read more…

Mom the CEO (Chief Everything Officer)

These days, there isn’t a mother who’s not juggling an endless list of responsibilities. Besides “mom,” many of you take on the titles of “Mom the Social Coordinator,” “Mom the Professional,” “Mom the Nurse,” “Mom the Cheerleader,” and the list goes on and on. But in my opinion, one of the most important titles that moms hold is that of household Chief Financial Officer. You are not only buying for your children and for your home, but also for yourself. There are actually more than 50 million moms in the US, and on average moms are in charge of 85% of household spending. Did you know that, collectively, moms spend $2.1 trillion annually, and that number may reach $3 trillion by next year? Even so, recent studies show that nearly three quarters of you feel that advertisers don’t get you, or even worse, more than half of you simply feel ignored by advertisers (according to Marketing to Moms Coalition Survey 2010).

That’s where Plum District comes in. Plum District has been built on the idea that moms trust moms and moms get moms. Whether you are asking about the latest safety products for your kids or great deals on pampering yourself, you’re hearing it from your play groups, your mom network and through your mom discussion groups and social networks online. So it only makes sense that we’ve created a community of in-the-know moms to bring you daily deals on everything from restaurants and spas, to kids and family events, to hotels and weekend getaways and other great products and services.

Since we first launched in San Francisco back in May, we’ve been growing our service to reach the moms and families across the U.S. in Southern California, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, and more through our mom sales network. Even with our growth to over 20 cities, we’re still constantly hearing from moms who are asking for us to bring them Plum deals or from moms who want to join our sales team and help build out new local districts. Today we are sharing the news that we’ve received funding by Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers and General Catalyst Partners to do just that. Their investment of $8.5 million will allow us to expand our reach into more local districts such as Portland, Dallas, and Raleigh-Durham in the coming year.

In addition to this investment, we’re excited that Aileen Lee, partner at KPCB, will join our board of directors. Aileen brings to us a wealth of expertise and experience with well-known consumer brands like GAP and Odwalla, and digital and e-commerce companies like One Kings Lane and Shopkick. Not to mention, as a mom of three herself, Aileen has a special interest in Plum District and can identify with the many moms on our team and in our membership at Plum.

And last but not least, we’re thrilled to give you a preview of some great deals to come. Best Buy Geek Squad, Drugstore.com, and eBags.com will join our list of vendors for the first time in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout!

Thanks again to all of our members and team members at Plum District. We are excited about joining the Kleiner family and about the road ahead. The full press release is below.

Plum District Raises $8.5 Million in Funding Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – January 26, 2011 – Plum District, (www.PlumDistrict.com), the daily deal website devoted to savvy moms and their families, today announced that it has received $8.5 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation by General Catalyst Partners. KPCB partner, Aileen Lee, will also join the Plum District board.

Now spanning more than twenty metro areas or “Districts” in the U.S., including various cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Minneapolis, Plum District’s multi-level marketing sales approach– for moms, by moms–allows the company to bring members the best local and national deals on groceries, family outings, children’s classes, restaurants, spa treatments, fashion, travel, etc. The moms that make up Plum District’s sales force find highly targeted promotions and discounts for moms and families and also network within mom communities to build viral buzz and awareness.

“The early response from our members has far exceeded our expectations,” said Megan Gardner, Plum District CEO. “The investment by Kleiner Perkins and General Catalyst Partners will allow Plum District to grow our sales network of moms and meet the demand of our members by expanding our reach beyond the twenty districts we currently serve.”

Aileen Lee, KPCB partner, added, “We are excited about Plum District’s focus on the highly valuable consumer segment of moms and families. By leveraging their large and growing network of connected and trusted moms across the country, Plum District offers the best local services and national brands that are most relevant to moms.”

About Plum District

Plum District is a daily deal Web site geared towards smart, savvy moms. Each day, Plum District sends members a deal that relates to them and their busy lives – everything from spa treatments and restaurants to family outings and kids’ activities. Plum District is unique in that it is solely focused on moms and deals are sourced by moms that will make their lives easier or more enjoyable. For more information, visit www.PlumDistrict.com.

About Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Since its founding in 1972, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in over 500 ventures, including AOL, Amazon.com, Citrix, Compaq Computer, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Genomic Health, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Lotus, Sun Microsystems, Symantec, Verisign, and Xilinx. KPCB portfolio companies employ more than 250,000 people. More than 150 of the firm’s portfolio companies have gone public. Many other ventures have achieved success through mergers and acquisitions.

See the press release on Plum District.

Monday Sneak Peek

It’s coming, it’s going to be huge, and you head it here first.  Monday we are partnering with Papa Murphy’s to offer you a great deal for Papa Murphy’s nation wide.  Living in San Francisco, is a foodie’s paradise where many a good pizza can be found, but I must say I still think that Bacon Artichoke deLite from Papa Murphy’s is my favorite pizza.  So visit the district on Monday, because quantities are limited!

Plum Party!!!

Socrates (or maybe it was Prince) once said, “Two thousand zero zero, party over … oops, out of time.” Not wanting the clock to run out on our fun, last week the denizens of Plum District HQ partied like it was 1999 December 2011.

We’d been so busy last month — moving offices, forging new relationships with vendors, inventing squishy, new phases of matter — that we couldn’t corral everyone long enough for a holiday party. So we made up for it with our Holidays in January party (perhaps the first of a new annual tradition?), at Laszlo in the Mission. Hard to sum up in words, but it was a night full of this:

Margaret goes to town

and this:

VP Product Micki toasts our year

aaaand some of this:

The web production team

and oh yeah, a bow tie:

Dave outstyles us all

And did we get Megan a gift?

Rewarding our CEO

Yes. And was it a purple kimono?

The CEO costume

Good guess.

Our web producer Melissa gets a special shout-out for organizing the shindig. Thanks, Melissa! So while it’s a little belated, the PD office toasts everyone in The District, wishing you a belated Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. Are we ready for 2011?

Cheers!

Oh yes. Stay tuned!

First Time Buyers: Get an Additional 25% Off Thru January 17

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, first-time buyers can get an additional 25% off your purchase now through January 17. Just enter promo code plumMLK at checkout! Tell all of your friends!

The slippery slope of sledding safety: What parents need to know

Few joys are purer than the free-wheeling fun of a good sled ride, but more than 200,000 kids end up in the emergency room every year with sledding-related injuries. Keep your winter wonderland worry-free with these tips for sled safety.

Read more from our partners at Chicago Parent Magazine…