Posts Tagged ‘ gifts ’

Hey, Bargain Hunters! Three Websites To Thrill You

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

As fun as it is to shop till you drop, being a mom means that other endeavors often take priority (someone has to buy all those groceries!). While online shopping is super simple, it can still be just as expensive as heading to the mall (we’ve all thought, “I’ll just add one more item to my cart to reach the free shipping mark,” haven’t we?) However, several sites make shopping for clothing and gifts easy and inexpensive…what could be better?!

Poshmark This is one of the many buy-and-sell sites that allows individuals to list items from their own closet and shop others’ wardrobes. It’s easy to search by brand, size, style, price, you name it–whether you’re looking for an outfit for an upcoming baby shower or bridal brunch or just need some new day-to-day wear, it’s likely you’ll find what you need on the site! I’ve purchased items from brands including Ann Taylor LOFT, J.Crew, and Francesca’s Collections at much cheaper than retail price–and you can always try to bargain with a seller to further reduce a listing. Bonus: Poshmark offers kids clothes, too.

Etsy You’re probably familiar with the site in some form, but the next time you’re shopping for a great teacher gift or holiday accessory, look no further! Etsy offers tons of customizable options (perfect for that monogram-obsessed friend), and it’s also a great place to purchase affordable, clever art prints without scrolling from one website to another. You know that gallery wall has been calling your name for months!

Goodwill Did you know the famous secondhand store has a website? Of course, the shopping experience will be a little different than your normal on-site treasure-hunting expeditions, but you can still purchase items across a variety of categories. Bonus: no need to lug everything home as you would in person! This is a great site to check out if you’re searching for a vintage product or home good.

Shopping for a wee one? We have tips for buying baby clothes on a budget?

How to Buy Baby Clothes on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Clothes on a Budget
How to Buy Baby Clothes on a Budget

 

 

 

 

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Shop Away! These Companies are Donating Proceeds to Address Childhood Cancer

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

It always feels better to shop when you know you’re giving back. Right now, a variety of companies are donating proceeds to benefit kids with cancer. Check out a few of our picks below—you’ll feel great donating to a good cause and getting a jump start on your holiday to-dos!

As you may know from years past, St. Jude has an expansive gift shop full of products that give back: 100 percent of proceeds from your purchase will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital! Their tote bag was an American Baby pick, but we’re also partial to the cozy sweatshirt and container of hot chocolate mix. There’s something for everyone on your list. And, if you’re shopping for a star-struck family member, check out the St. Jude celebrity collection.

Have a teething baby? We love Chewbeads, and half the proceeds from this creamsicle-colored Perry Necklace goes to Cookies for Kids with Cancer. Check out the Cookies website for more of their retail partners plus information about events they hold nationwide.

Donating to a charity in a loved one’s name is a great way to express gratitude while benefiting an individual in need. Maybe Grandma has all the jewelry she could ever want, but we bet she’d love to provide a special necklace to a mother who lost her child to cancer. By donating $40 to the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation, a mother will anonymously receive a locket complete with a photo of her child and E.E. Cummings’ poem, “I carry your heart with me.” In return, donors will receive a special letter, information about the recipient, and a gift from the PRET*TY store, which was founded by Cindy Campbell, who lost her own son, Ty, to childhood cancer.

Have a turtle lover in your house? Cloud b is creating Super Max the Turtle for 2015, inspired by 7-year-old Max Wilford, a young cancer patient. Max was calmed by the Twilight Turtle while he was healing. The product comes with a special book telling the story of Max the Turtle, who turns into a superhero, in order to help kids feel at ease before bed. A portion of proceeds from the $23 turtle will go to the MaxLove Project.

Watch one family’s experience with childhood cancer:

One Family's Experience with Childhood Cancer
One Family's Experience with Childhood Cancer
One Family's Experience with Childhood Cancer

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Show Baby’s Aunts and Uncles Some Love July 26!

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

There’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even Grandparents’ Day (it’s September 7, if you were wondering!), but did you know there’s a special day (July 26) devoted to aunts and uncles, too? These individuals likely play a significant role your child’s life, and they certainly deserve some love. The best present of all? Knowing how much Baby cares for them. Shop these cute aunt- and uncle-themed products, then dress up your kiddo and snap a picture, if you can’t actually visit those important relatives. Click the images to shop.

For the Aunts…

Baby has a bestie! We bet your sis will be thrilled to take on the role! (Carter’s one-piece, $5, Sears)

An animal-loving aunt will get a kick out of this adorable bib. ($5, Babies R Us)

This tee is perfect for the sweetie who has multiple aunts in her life–no playing favorites here! ($10, The Children’s Place)

The message is plain and simple–it’s amour! ($5, Target)

For the Uncles…

 

Good looks really do run in the family. Our guess is everyone thinks Baby’s adorable, so his uncle should be prepared for lots of attention! ($5, Babies R Us)

This one-piece is graced with positive adjectives (hip, funny, and hot, to name a few) describing Baby’s uncle, who, apparently, is flawless! ($15, Bed, Bath and Beyond)

Babes who are past the bodysuit stage can sport this bold tee. ($12, Kohl’s)

Who else lets Baby stay up past her bedtime and watch all the Dora she wants? That guy. ($10, The Children’s Place)

Should you hire your sister-in-law to babysit? Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

Child Care: Should You Hire a Family Member?
Child Care: Should You Hire a Family Member?
Child Care: Should You Hire a Family Member?

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Rosie to the Rescue!: The Do’s of Throwing a Second (or Third, or Fourth…) Baby Shower

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

I must admit, I haven’t had a baby shower since my first son was born, but I often get asked questions about the etiquette surrounding showers for 2nd, 3rd and 4th babies. My response is always the same: There is no reason you shouldn’t have a party to celebrate this wonderful occasion, but don’t ask for gifts or create a registry. We simply can’t expect our friends to keep forking over money and gifts so that we can have the latest and greatest baby gear. Clearly there are exceptions to this rule (hello, unexpected triplets!), and, as friends, it is our job to throw showers for our friends that need them for one reason or another—they shouldn’t have to ask!

These most tasteful of second showers are aptly dubbed a “sprinkle,” which always makes me think of someone tossing sprinkles all over me in some extravagant version of the wedding rice-throwing tradition! (So far however, it hasn’t happened.) So with baby #4 on the way, I was delighted that my friends at Hot Moms Club and Belly Bandit decided to get in on my “sprinkle”-throwing action. Here are the do’s of throwing one yourself:

*Choose a fun location. Look for something that’s more reminiscent of the margarita-drinking, disco-dancing, pre-baby you, and shy away from the traditional tea rooms that you may have picked for your first shower. Those are wonderful for baby #1 and completely appropriate when your great aunt needs to attend, but this one should be a smaller affair, and more for you and your friends than for your granny’s bingo crowd. Mine was held at the newly-opened Herringbone restaurant at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, which provided a chic party environment as opposed to a ladies luncheon vibe. Tea cups were replaced with cocktail glasses (or mocktail glasses for mommies-to-be) because after all: “sprinkles” are parties.

*Serve sweet eats. Or, if you’re more of a pastry trend-setter, cronuts. Delicious, sugary treats never go out of style and much more aptly fit the party environment than fruit plates and finger sandwiches.

*Choose the yummiest of foods on the menu. After your “sprinkle,” you aren’t likely to have another party where you eat French fries with reckless abandon, so now is the time. We served French fry salad—such a great way to wreak havoc on a salad—topped with guac, bacon bits, cheese, and crisp lettuce.

*Ask for modest donations. Consider asking guests to bring diapers for a diaper drive or to donate gently used gear of their own to wonderful charities, like Baby Buggy.

*Assemble thoughtful goody bags. If there are some new moms amongst your bunch, considering including one of your favorite mommy tools in your goody bags. Mine included the tummy-shrinking Belly Bandit and some pieces from my new baby line. While I don’t expect you to go out and start making baby clothes, do include that special something you have so appreciated knowing about in your gift bag so you can share it with your friends.

Once the location, the gifts, and the refreshments are taken care of, be sure to relax and have fun. Your sprinkle is your party, your time with you and your friends, and a chance to celebrate one of the most amazing things in life. A new baby is on its way, so “sprinkle” away!

Get started planning your “sprinkle” with our Baby Shower Planner tool.

 

What You Need to Know About Birth Order
What You Need to Know About Birth Order
What You Need to Know About Birth Order

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A Gift Guide From Someone Who Really Knows Kids

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

We at Parents put together a great toy guide every year–and you’ll find our latest here–but I admit I’m partial to this one because it comes from my sister, Meghan, a pediatric occupational therapist who works with young children of various abilities. A large part of her job is to engage her kids and help them reach their therapeutic goals by using toys, games, and apps. She is forever on the lookout for the best items, and when she finds them, she enthusiastically writes all about them on her blog, MAC&Toys. (Bookmark it!) And once a year, she pulls together an extravaganza of recommendations, including links to buy and the skills each item addresses (fine motor, visual perception, sensory processing, social, and so on), and sends it to all of the parents of the children she works with. I am making this bold statement: I guarantee you’ll find something on this list you’ll be tempted to buy or know from experience is awesome. I’ll give you a taste with a couple of the items I’m getting for my children.

From Meghan’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide:

Lazoo drawing books  There are nine different books to choose from and I can’t say one is better than the other. I adore all of these and each one is so unique and different from other coloring and activity books. My first book was the Holes book and my kids couldn’t get enough.  I quickly picked up the Squiggles and Stickers/Incredible Stickers books. Perfect for preschoolers who may not always love coloring and drawing books because the pictures are motivating and exciting for them to complete. Many of the kids I work with get stressed with coloring books because the pictures are too big and their hands get tired. With drawing, they avoid this task because they aren’t quite sure where to start the picture. These books are great because they give you something concrete to begin with and then you can allow your imagination to run wild. These books allow for success and the more successful they are, the more likely they will be to try coloring and drawing activities outside of their comfort zone. Here is a link to the Lazoo Store….warning, you may not be able to stop yourself! (Improves fine motor grasping skills and in-hand manipulation skills; visual motor skills; eye-hand coordination skills; fine motor skills)

Stack Up  A great cooperative game perfect for preschoolers or young school age children.  The purpose of the game is to work as a team to build a stack of blocks using sticks (the blocks have a hole on either side and children must work together to put their stick in the hole and place it on top of the other blocks).  There are challenges as well that keep the kids on their feet and moving around.  I love watching the kids figure out how to work together to make the tower. Cooperative games are great for teaching kids the importance of team work and that sometimes winning is not the most important part of a game! (Improves bilateral coordination/using two hands at the same time; sensory processing skills, such as attention and focus; improves gross motor skills, such as jumping or whole body movements)

Go to Meghan’s list for dozens more suggestions for toys, games, apps, and independent toy stores around the country. Happy shopping!

Image: Gift boxes on a colorful background via Shutterstock.

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Faves of 2012: Holiday Helpers

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

If you’re hosting any holiday parties this year, you know how much work can go into a “fun” evening with family and friends. The good news is help is right around the corner…if you’re willing to splurge on it. We’ve compiled our wish-list of our dream party products.

Cool Cleaner: Dyson’s Animal Complete (DC41) is a dream machine for vacuuming up before and after your big shindig. The unit comes with a genius tangle-free turbine tool that sucks up pet (and guest) hair out of the carpet. It’s also awesome for parents who have kids kids with long, vac-killing locks (sorry, Mom). While Dyson is the designer vacuum, it does all the dirty work…and makes tons of accessories for just about any hairy situation. Click here for details.

Easy Bake: Bread, desserts, cookies for Santa–keep them all yummy for your party go-ers with NewMetro Design’s Dome Savers. The containers vacuum seal at the press of a button, so your fruitcake can stay fresh into the new year. Click here for details.

Live Entertainment: Get a big show from a little box with 3M’s innovative Streaming Projector. The portable device uses Roku to project TV shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, HBO GO, and more. Or you can just wow your guests with a screening of a life-size home movie on your living room wall. Click here for details.

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Faves of 2012: Cool Tablet Keyboards

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

During the holiday season, there are gadgets and gizmos a plenty, but the tech that caught our eye this year is the key to an great gift for that special someone (or yourself). These cases, stands, and tablets come with awesome keyboards to make typing on a device a breeze. Check them out.

For the iPad owner: Cygnett’s Lavish Connect has a Bluetooth keyboard cleverly attached to the protective case through built-in magnets. It tucks inside for easy storage and travel. Plus, the space-saver also has a kickstand on the back for instant movie night. Click here for details.

For the multi-device owner: If your husband, dad, or friend is one of those guys who has so many devices you (and probably he) can’t keep track of them all, Brookstone’s Tablet Station and Keyboard is a smart solution. The universal stand works with most tablets, comes with a detachable Bluetooth keyboard, and has two USB ports to charge multiple gadgets at once. Click here for details.

For the laptop lover: Of all the new gadgets that could be under our tree this year, we’re hoping Microsoft’s new Surface is wrapped and waiting. The nifty device combines what’s best about tablets (touch screen, apps, user-friendliness, portability) with what we love about laptops. The attention-grabber is the flashy removable keyboard (available in different colors) that clicks into the bottom of the device. But it also comes loaded with Windows 8, Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and other laptop favorites. Click here for details.

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Faves of 2012: Angry Jedi!?!

Monday, December 17th, 2012

If you’re an Angry Birds AND Star Wars fan, you’re in luck this year! Now your family can shoot for the stars with Angry Birds’ new line of movie-themed toys, games, and an app, of course. We particularly liked Hasbro’s play sets for little jedi and princesses, which include the awesome Death Star version of the game Jenga, complete with a piggy Darth Vader. May the anger be with you!

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