Author Archive

April Showers

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I know, I know—it isn’t April anymore. But the baby shower I attended in Arlington, VA. this past Saturday was on April 30, so I feel this title still applies.

I have to preface this post by saying I had only been to one baby shower before this past weekend, so admittedly I have very little expertise in the field. Still, I feel pretty confident in saying that this one was fabulously fun. The party throwers (sister of the Mom-to-be, Lisa, and best friend of the Mom-to-be, Bailey) made sure to add plenty of personal touches and surprises for Alison, so that the day really felt special, and not generic.

Another post preface—I am not now, nor have I ever been, a crafty person. However, this past weekend I crafted like my life depended on it. And let me tell you, I feel quite ready should another baby shower appear on the horizon (I’m talking to you, sister!).

Read on to see some of the personal touches Lisa and Bailey came up with, and feel free to steal them for your own party planning.

And check out the Etsy shop that created the banner above here.


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Chic Decorating Ideas for Baby

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

pink_cupcake_feetThe next time you’re looking for something a little different to decorate baby’s room (or for a fabulous new gift idea for an upcoming shower), why not think fabric? New company abbyabby has super-cute options from acorns and bottles to trucks and cupcakes. I’m quite partial to the cupcake fabric (right), actually. Who says you have to be in diapers to have tasty treats adorn your walls?

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Tags: | Categories: Shopping & Gear

Want to do some good? Shop at H&M

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

From now through February 9, H&M is helping you do a little good along with your shopping. The fashion retailer recently announced its new “Great Futures Start Here” initiative with their on-going charity partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The next time you make a pit stop at H&M, make a donation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and you will receive a coupon for 20% off one item from the H&M kid’s collection.

Your kid sure would look cute in that graphic tee, and the Boys & Girls Club will definitely appreciate your support.

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Tags: | Categories: Doing Good, News

New FLEX Spending Rules

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

I’m a big fan of the Flex Spending Account (and the tax money that it saves me). For those of you not familiar with them, Flex Spending Accounts, or FSAs, are offered by most employers as a way to help their employees save a little money by putting pre-tax dollars into a fund specifically to be used for medical purposes (doctor office co-pays, medications, glasses, etc) within one year. The catch: if you don’t use up all the money in that special account by December 31, you forfeit the remaining cash.

Still, it’s always been a helpful plan for me. And then this year, as of Jan. 1, the rules changed. Whereas before you could use your FSA dollars to purchase over-the-counter meds (you know, the Claritins, Benadryls, Robitussins, etc, that keep a family running) you will now need a prescription for the medicine to be eligible for FSA payment (which means more paperwork, more doctor visits for prescriptions, and potentially more co-pays).

Despite the changes, I’m still a fan of FSA. Will you continue to use your account as much as you did before all these new rules made it harder to get meds covered?

For more information on changes, click here.

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Tags: , | Categories: News

Tony Hawk Talks Video Games

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Tony_Grind 3I have a confession to make. When I sat down to chat with Tony a few weeks ago about  Shred, I wasn’t convinced that a video game revolving around skateboarding and snowboarding would be able to capture my attention. I mean, I didn’t know much about the sport, so what would I have to say?

I was wrong. Not only was the game itself challenging and super-easy to play all at the same time,  but Tony was so obviously passionate about it that his love of skateboarding sort of rubbed off on me. I mean, I’m no pro, but let’s just say that at the next family get-together, my younger cousins should definitely watch their backs—cause I’ve been practicing…

What age-range is best for this game?
I really think it’s an all-ages game. I think kids sort of go to it quicker and with less trepidation because they just get on and hop around. Some parents think somehow this game is as hard as real skateboarding, but it’s not. And adults think they’re going to get on and the board is going to shoot out from under them, but it’s not. And so I think the kids, they just love trying it—they’re down for anything. If I had to make a guess at an age range, I’d say 4 to 14 would be who would get it the most, get it quickly.

Have your kids played it?
Yeah, they like it. It’s funny, my 9-year-old doesn’t skate very much, and when he gets on he has his own take on it, and he has tricks that none of us use, I think because he doesn’t come from that mindset that he has to do it like a professional skateboarder. He’s just having fun.

What would you say the best part of skateboarding is in terms of what kids can learn from it?
I think it really teaches you a lot about self-confidence and self-motivation, because it’s not someone telling you that you have to go and do these drills and try these specific things. You can go at your own pace, and if you want to get better at it, it’s all about you setting those challenges for yourself. I feel like kids are capable of anything that they want to do, and they don’t have to have someone drilling ideas into them and telling them how to do it.

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Cute Christmas Cookies Made Easy

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

smallIf you haven’t already, check out the December issue of Parents for some fabulous Christmas/holiday cookie ideas by Karen Tack (who never ceases to amaze us). We’ve made it easy for you to get all the goodies you need to make the cute cookies, as well. Head on over to to purchase the entire cookie kit with all the cookie cutters, stencils, icing and sprinkles you’ll need to make all the different types of cookies in the story.

Even better news—for every kit sold, we’ll donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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Tags: | Categories: Entertainment, Food, Shopping & Gear

It’s free shipping day!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Okay, okay, so Christmas is ONE WEEK AWAY! But you’re busy, we get it. If you still have tons of shopping to do, hop online today to take part of Free Shipping Day. Some 1700+ merchants are taking part in this blessing, offering free shipping on any orders placed today (with more than half offering free shipping with no minimum purchases) and guaranteed by Christmas Eve delivery.

What are you waiting for? Click away!

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Tags: | Categories: Holidays

Ingrid Hoffmann wants to give you $10,000

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Ingrid pic 1And who couldn’t use a little extra cash around the holidays, right?

From now through Jan. 10, 2011, Hoffmann (host of “Simply Delicioso” on the Food Network) is teaming up with Eagle Brand for their Signature Recipe Search contest. Entrants can submit their own signature recipe here for a chance to win the grand prize. The top five recipes in each category—fudge, cheesecake, pie, cookie bar, or other—will be judged to determine a final recipe for each. The finalists will then be judged by a qualified panel of judges. Four runners-up will each receive $2,500.

For more info on the contest, click here. Now go get baking!

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Tags: | Categories: Food