Posts Tagged ‘ shopping ’

American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win One of Five Pairs of Robeez!

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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The Most Popular Girl This Holiday Season

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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Find Handmade Gifts at the Etsy Holiday Shop

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Etsy Holiday Shop - Kids sectionIf 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!)

Etsy Holiday Shop - Wild Things Dresses

Etsy Holiday Shop - The Wishing Elephant onesie

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4 Helpful Money Tools from LearnVest.com

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.

LearnVest What to Buy When tool

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6 Ways to Prepare for Black Friday

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Shopping mall crowdsEditor’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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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win a Diaper Dude Boba Baby Carrier!

Friday, June 1st, 2012

June brings us Father’s Day, which leads us to…gear that guys love! That’s the specialty of Diaper Dude, a company founded by a dad, Chris Pegula, in LA (that’s him below!). He’s got three kids, and didn’t want to carry a diaper bag with, say, flowers or bears on it. When he began selling his cool, more manly diaper bags, he got a lot of gratitude from fathers everywhere. Celebrity dads, including Brad Pitt, have been photographed with his designs.

This month brings an exciting partnership between Diaper Dude and Boba, the baby-carrier company. They’ve created a Special Edition Diaper Dude Boba Carrier that will have Dad still looking like a dude when he carries around his little one. It’s a limited edition, so to get the word out, and to help get someone a cool Father’s Day gift, they’ll give away one $125 camo carrier to someone who posts a comment here. You have until the end of the day on Wednesday, June 6th to tell us what makes the dad in your life so cool! For the full rules, check here. And if you’re looking to buy the camo carrier, it goes on sale June 11th at Bobafamily.com and at some select retailers. Goody luck!

PS after you leave a comment for this giveaway, check out our other huge contest: Poshtots is giving away a $10,000 shopping spree here

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win $100 for BabySteals.com!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Baby stuff is expensive. Maybe not each individual piece of gear, necessarily, but by the time you get a crib and car seat and diapers and clothes, you’re already kind of financially in over your head. I have a lot of people trying to convince me that parents will pay more for something if it’s really better for their baby, and that parents are paying more these days for stuff that’s got great design, but you know, we all only have so much cash to throw around. We can’t keep paying more and more and more when salaries are not going up and up.

Dang kids are cute...but expensive! I bought Joe's star coat a few sizes too big to try to get a few years out of it!

I think that’s why flash-sale sites and all their various dot-com cousins are breeding like bunnies. We need discounts! I’m not a flash-sale addict myself, but I’ve scored a couple of good deals on those kinds of sites. I’ve recently revised one of the original sale sites, called BabySteals.com, that posts two sales a day, one in the morning (right when you get to work and can be “checking your email”) and one in the evening (after the kiddos are, hopefully, asleep). And good news! To help initiate more parents into the e-sale world, the folks at BabySteals will give $100 giftcards to four folks who post a comment right here!

Some rules: You can post up to once a day, from now until midnight on Wednesday, May 30th. You can leave any comment you’d like, but maybe tell me what you’d most like to find on sale for your baby! You can read the complete rules here. Goody luck!

 

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American Baby’s Baby Booty: Win a Pack ‘n Play!

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Super useful!

This sweet Pack ‘n Play is sitting here next to me and bringing back so many memories. Mostly I think of traveling, and how I took my first child, Grace, on probably a trip a month during her first two years of life. Our Pack ‘n Play saw a lot of use! It came as a shock when she turned 2 and cost a full plane ticket. That slowed our travel for sure. Then her brother was born and we were really grounded. But I still kept a Pack ‘n Play at Neenup’s house (you have to visit grandma!) and at Madama’s house (you have to visit both grandmas!). As a travel crib, the thing is a lifesaver.

The one shown here, the newest collaboration between Graco and Disney Baby, is especially tricked-out. It’s Minnie-Moused themed, but not with Minnie all over it or anything. It’s just inspired by Minnie’s girlishness, with flowers and such. I’ve gone on before about my family’s love for Disney, so I won’t go into it now, I’ll just take the opportunity to post a picture of my own Minnie!

My favorite Minnie!

Back to the Pack ‘n Play: It’s got a changing pad and bassinet built in. This makes it a portable nursery. Seriously. It can be a second nursery setup in your living room, or be pretty much all you need in your baby’s bedroom until she’s ready to graduate to a crib. (Side note: My coworker next to me kept her son in a Pack ‘n Play until he was 18 months old, so I’m just saying, you can make one of these your baby’s sleepspot for quite a while!)

Readers who vote in our American Baby Bests contest love the Pack ‘n Play; most use it as the changer and as a playpen in some area of the house aside from the nursery, so they’re not always running back in forth to their baby’s room. And hey, if you love this or any baby product and want to tell new moms, please vote at our polls right here! They’re fun, I promise you.

And good news: Graco and Disney will mail this same $220 Pack ‘n Play Premiere (or I’m sure they could substitute some boy-appropriate gear if necessary!) to one lucky person who leaves a comment at this post between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, May 16.  That’s right, we’re running this contest over Mother’s Day! And as a salute to all mommies or mommies-to-be, I’m linking to Disney’s tear-inducing tribute to moms here. (Or am I the only person who cries when I see Dumbo’s mom?!)

Leave a comment, as many as one a day. Maybe tell me who your favorite Disney mom character is! (There aren’t a whole ton to choose from, right? But the mom in the Mary Poppins movie cracks me up, personally.) Read the Official Rules here. And as always, goody luck!

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