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Thursday, November 7th, 2013
If you’re a Harry Potter geek like me, you’ll recognize Mary GrandPré as the illustrator of the famous U.S. book covers and chapter art. So when I got the chance to meet and interview her yesterday, I felt like a bona fide fangirl.
GrandPré was in New York with children’s book writer Jennifer Dewing to talk about their new book, Goodnight Little Me, a dreamy bedtime book that can be personalized with your children’s names, ages, and birthdays.
The book, out later this month, is the newest title from I See Me, a line of personalized children’s books. What makes I See Me truly special is the unique way they integrate a child’s name and photo into the illustrations on each page. For Goodnight Little Me in particular, your child’s name can be seamlessly woven into a starry sky and the socks of dancing dogs.
Take a virtual tour of Goodnight Little Me — you’ll see how Dewing’s lyrical rhymes dance and propel the story forward and how GrandPré’s whimsical illustrations saturate and pop off the page. And note all the places where “Elizabeth” can be replaced with a different name.
Can’t wait for the book to come out? You’re in luck! You can now purchase the Goodnight Little Me book or Goodnight Little Me gift set (which includes a plush lamb). Even better, ISeeMe.com has provided Parents.com readers with an exclusive discount code that gives you 15% off your total order. So you can add Goodnight Little Me and other titles to your shopping cart.
Starting today, use the coupon code PARENTS during checkout to receive the 15% discount. The code expires on Sunday, December 15, 2013.
And stay tuned for my full interview with Mary GrandPré and Jennifer Dewing in the coming weeks!
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children's book, children's books, goodnight little me, harry potter, I See Me, mary grandpre, online shopping, personalized books, shopping | Categories:
Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
Halloween is just one of those holidays that creeps up on you. While it’s fun to plan costumes and treats with the kids, it’s easy to put off buying these items until you need them most. If you’ve yet to figure out a Halloween game plan, we’ve scouted some awesome finds to make your day a little less frightening.
Alex and Alexa’s Halloween shop offers cool updates on traditional ghoulish wear and décor. Use this fun, $24 pumpkin storage head from Lego to hold Halloween treats now, and those stray Lego pieces down the road. It also comes in a cute skeleton face. Don’t forget to check out the clothes, too, featuring offbeat prints, like a Stella McCartney Glow in the Dark tee, on sale for $34.50.
Online costume retailers have scores for under-the-wire shoppers. Costume Express’s Pumpkin Busters start around $10. That’s where we found this undeniably adorable lady bug outfit for $20 for Baby. Buy Costumes also has Grave Busters lasting until this Friday; our favorite is this $17 red dragon get-up for toddlers. With attached wings and a one-piece body suit, it’s easy to put on and entertaining. Both sites feature clearance up to 60 percent off as well.
For more bargains, check out Walmart’s Halloween store, where children’s costumes start at $6.97 and candy packs at $2. Beyond the savings, you’ll find guides for easy crafts and recipes, such as carving the perfect pumpkin.
Just remember, if you want your loot by the 31st, you’ll need to order online sooner rather than later. With seven days left until the big day, procrastination is not your friend at the moment.
Up for some old-fashioned in-store shopping? Old Navy announced an exclusive deal; For today only, and only in stores, all baby costumes are $5, and all other Halloween items are 50 percent off. Now, that’s a good reason to get your feet moving.
Finally, if you’re looking more for craft ideas than costumes, don’t forget our awesome 100 Days of Holidays section on our Web site. We’ll take you through Halloween and on to Thanksgiving and Christmas!
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Alex and Alexa, Babies, baby costumes, Buy Costumes, Costume Express, Halloween, halloween 2013, Halloween candy, Halloween costumes, Halloween plans, kids, kids costumes, Lego, Old Navy, pumpkin, shopping, stella mccartney kids, toddler costumes, toddlers, Walmart | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Holidays, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
Summertime and the living is easy…unless you have a house full of children on summer vacation, that is. Ply them away from the PlayStation with these outdoor sports toys, currently up to half off on our e-retail site, Shop Parents:
• Keep big kids busy with Radio Flyer’s EZ Rider scooter or with a game of kickball using Melissa & Doug’s rubber bollie.
• Toddlers will clamor all over Step2′s Double-Slide Climber, while Pacific Play’s multipurpose Circus of Fun tent is a choice venue for both pretend play and sleepovers in the backyard.
• And for those headed to the pool or beach: Check out these snorkel swim trunks, made of fabric that blocks UV rays, and this ruffled Finding Nemo one-piece for a little fashion inspiration.
These deals will move quickly, so get them while they last!
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50% off, discount, GoodyBlog, health, kids, outdoor sports toys, outdoors, Shop Parents, shopping, Sports, toys | Categories:
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
I might be obsessed with baby feet. Especially my own kids’ feet. I had a friend once exclaim “ew!” when she watched my son put his feet up by my face, but I assured her that it’s entirely different if they are tiny feet and, what’s more, feet you managed to make yourself! They are delicious. Not that I bite my kids’ feet (often).
What are also adorable are the baby shoes that are for such tiny feet, they barely look like shoes at all, but more like leather socks. Robeez are a prime example. Because they don’t need laces or straps and all that, they can be decorated in what seems like a bazillion variations. We have the star ones, below, coming out later this spring, sitting in our office right now.
Infants don’t, strictly speaking, need shoes, but they do help keep their feet warm. If your baby is up and cruising, he’ll do best barefoot, but if you need to protect his tootsies, something flexible like Robeez are best. And yay: Robeez is giving away five pairs of shoes! Leave a comment below, up to one a day, to be eligible to win. (If you win, we’ll ask you for your baby’s age before we send a pair.) You can comment each day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, January 16th. If you have a funny story about your baby trying to learn to walk, I’d love to hear it! If you’re still pregnant or have a newborn, tell me what baby products are on your radar…I would love to hear that too. Read all the official rules here. Goody luck!
PS If you’re shoe-shopping for a baby who is fully walking, I love this video, explaining what to look for in a pair of “real” shoes!
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Friday, December 21st, 2012
There’s only one doll my 7-year-old daughter wants for Christmas: McKenna, the determined gymnast who’s American Girl’s 2012 Girl of the Year. On a sunny December day, I took a walk from Parents’ midtown office to the Fifth Avenue flagship store, and weaved my way past groups of mothers and grandmothers, and adorable little girls in white tights and black patent-leather Mary Janes, clutching their Rebeccas, their Julies, and their Carolines to their pretty coats.
I asked a clerk stacking red boxes where I could find McKenna.
“That’s the question of the day,” he said. “She’s sold out.” Uh-oh.
Back at my desk, I called American Girl’s catalogue number and a customer-service rep confirmed the news: “McKenna is completely sold out, in stores, online, and in the catalogue.”
This isn’t the first time a Girl of the Year doll has vanished from shelves before the holiday season’s end (note to self: heed the fine print that items are available “while supplies last”). But the folks at American Girl headquarters tell me that McKenna was an especially popular doll, thanks to the boost she got from the Summer Olympic Games, a hit DVD movie, and even the appealing “playability” of her long locks.
So what’s a parent of a girl with her heart set on McKenna to do? AG has a lookalike doll, from its “My American Girl” line, also with bright blue eyes and long caramel-colored hair, if you think your child would go for a substitute. I checked out the doll (product code: F1251), and she could indeed be McKenna’s twin.
Also sold out are most of McKenna’s accoutrements, from her floor-beam-and-bar set to her goldendoodle Cooper. Unlike the doll, you can backorder many of these, though you’ll need to wait. American Girl’s providing frustrated customers who call (800-360-1861) with substitute suggestions for these hot McKenna items as well. I was denied McKenna’s cast and crutches, but I think my daughter will be pleased with a very similar set I spotted in the store.
If substitutes just won’t do, this might help: American Girl will be unveiling its 2013 Girl of the Year on December 28th. I’m not allowed to say who she is, but if your girl’s got a creative streak and loves art, this one’s bound to please.
As for what I did about McKenna: My story has a happy ending. My Christmas wasn’t saved by Santa but by—what else?—eBay.
Image via American Girl
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Thursday, November 29th, 2012
If you love Etsy.com and you live in the New York area, stop by the Etsy Holiday Shop in SoHo. Your favorite online marketplace has become a pop-up store featuring a well-curated and wide selection of artisanal and vintage gifts: art, clothes, jewelry, home decor, and paper goods.
You’ll discover thoughtfully displayed items, meet shop owners giving demonstrations of their handmade products, and also learn what unique gifts certain tastemakers (like Martha Stewart and teen blogger Tavi Gevinson) love. You can also RSVP to free daily events and workshops with limited seating.
Parents.com attended a press preview this morning and couldn’t help falling in love with a variety of baby and kids items: tongue-in-cheek onesies from The Wishing Elephant, Gnome baby dolls from Warm Sugar, fox and bear jumpers from Wild Things Dresses, canvas teepees from House Inhabit, paper mobiles from Gosh & Golly, face pillows from Vintage Jane, and colorful ties and bow ties from Handmade By Emy. (We even met Emy and learned how she got started making matching tie and and bow tie sets for adults and kids.)
The store lasts for 10 days only, running from Thursday, November 29 through Saturday, December 8. Hours are 10 am – 10 pm. Even if you’re not in the New York area, visit Etsy.com/HolidayShop to see a list of featured of shops and items to inspire your holiday shopping. (And even if you don’t know what to choose, Etsy gift cards are always available!)
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etsy, etsy holiday shop, etsy.com, handmade, holiday, holiday shopping, Holidays, online shopping, shopping | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Holidays, Shopping & Gear
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, the holiday shopping season is still upon us.
For the past year, Parents.com has partnered with LearnVest.com to bring you resources on managing your family budget. To help you figure out how much you should spend, how much you can save, and how to utilize your credit score, LearnVest.com brings you these four helpful tools and calculators.
What to Buy When – a month-by-month tool that shows you the best items to buy (at a discount!) each month
The Purchase Appraiser – a rating tool that helps you determine whether purchases you have made (or are consideration) are worth the money
What Your Credit Score Can Save You – a tool that shows what your mortgage, car loan, or credit card interest would be depending on your credit score
What’s Your Mom Salary? - a fun calculator to determine how much money you would make if being a mom was a full-time job
Plus: Don’t forget to also sign up for the Baby on Board Bootcamp newsletter, a free newsletter that helps moms budget and manage family finances better over a course of 10 days.
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buying, family finances, finances, holiday shopping, LearnVest, LearnVest.com, money, money management, online shopping, save money, shopping | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear
Monday, November 19th, 2012
Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by Cheryl Lock, the personal finance blogger for Savings.com. Her features have also appeared on LearnVest and in Parents magazine. Visit her personal blog about travel at wearywanderer.wordpress.com.
With Halloween behind us, most people have moved on to planning for the next big holiday to hit us—Thanksgiving.
Although, let’s be honest, for savvy shoppers it’s the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, that really brings the thrills. With its promise of super savings and credit card friendly deals, Black Friday is a budget shopper’s dream.
Still, no matter how many times you’ve been through it before, there’s always something new to learn to get the most savings out of the day. “People are shopping on Black Friday for multiple items, typically, and it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of getting all the deals,” says Andrea Deckard, author of SavingLifestyle.com.
To keep from getting caught up in the frenzy yourself, follow Deckard’s preparation suggestions to get the most out of the biggest savings day of the year.
Your wallet will thank you.
1. Start your research online. Deckard suggests signing up for email newsletters from your favorite retailers now so you’ll be privy to the types of sales they’ll be offering on Black Friday. “When you’re on the retailer emails, you’ll learn about the sales and deals before the rest of the public,” she said. “This gives you a little more time to plan your strategy.
2. Make a strategic plan. It’s important to know which stores you want to visit ahead of time, as well as what items you want to purchase at each store. “This will ensure you are focusing on things you actually need, and saving the most,” Deckard said. “Savings Lifestyle even has a Black Friday price database that you can search quickly to find the best price on all Black Friday sale items as you create a shopping list.”
3. Scope the store out ahead of time. Deckard suggests doing a run-through of the stores you plan to visit on Black Friday before the day actually arrives. “Walk through and find the special Black Friday display sections for the items you want to purchase. Many times people make a mad dash for these areas because the most inventory is placed there. Don’t forget to check where the merchandise normally resides in the store, as well.”
4. Conduct price comparison searches. While Black Friday historically has the best prices, consider doing a quick online search to see if you can find the item priced the same, or lower, than the Black Friday sale price being offered. “Knowing who has the best price will help you determine if the trip out is worth it,” says Deckard. Similarly, when considering what you’d like to actually purchase on Black Friday, think about the items that are offering the biggest potential savings and get to those first. “Would you rather save $100 on a gaming system, or $20 on the blender,” says Deckard. “Only spend your time in line, and online, waiting to get those items that can help you save the most.”
5. Don’t forget online shopping. “I’m a big online Black Friday shopper,” says Deckard. “Several years ago we contemplated going out for one of the doorbusters on Black Friday, but when we passed the store at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the line was already entirely too long. I was willing to give up the $200 savings to not camp out the night before.” It’s important to consider the value of your time over money when it comes to these deals as well, and shopping online can be an excellent alternative to going in-person. Plus, as an added bonus, Savings.com can help you find exclusive coupon codes for retailers so you can save even more.
6. Stock up on discount gift cards ahead of time. If you know you’d like to shop at certain stores this season, consider purchasing discounted gift cards in advance from places like eBay Auctions, Plastic Jungle and Gift Card Rescue. Sites like these allow you to purchase the gift cards at anywhere from 5%-25% off the value of the card. Just check ahead of time that you can use the card on already on-sale items before planning to use them all up on Black Friday.
This post originally appeared on Savings.com.
Image: Crowd in the mall via Shutterstock
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