Friday, August 29, 2008
Lamenting how you'd like to have more room for your life? Perhaps you'd like to entertain spontaneously or actually enjoy a weekend without thinking about how much you need to get organized or even find everything you want with out frustration. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Catalog by catalog and shoe by shoe, your clutter is stealing your space from you. Want to let your life back in? Then lighten your load!
When you're trying to trim your stuff, instead of thinking of it as "letting your things go", think of it as "letting your life in".
With every square foot of stuff you move out, there is the possibility for more breathing room. You'll have easier access to the things you really love and efficient use of the things you need.
New York Magazine's 2008 choice for BEST SPACE ORGANIZER!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Now that the kids are back in school, packing lunches has probably become part of your daily routine. Jazz things up a bit for your kids with a fun lunchbox from
Chocolate Cake Club. Featuring a great selection of insulated lunch boxes and bags from Crocodile Creek, Four Peas and Sugarbooger (priced from 415.95 - $22), these are bound to get your kids excited about taking their lunch to school.
Made from quality materials, these lunc boxes and bags are designed to stand up to rigorous testing by the kiddos. My kids have sure put theirs to the test, and it passed with flying colors! Plus, they're easy to clean - just rinse or wipe out and let air dry. And with such adorable designs as fire trucks, monkeys, polka dots and motorcycles, your kids will love them as much as you do.
Packing lunches is important, but can sure be a source of stress. When you're not sure know how to pack food hot or cold, whether your kids are getting the nutrients they need or just plain run out of ideas for packing a lunch,
ilunchbox.com comes to your rescue. With recipes-of-the-day, shopping lists and information on nutrition, ilunchbox.com offers up tons of useful information to help make packing lunches a more enjoyable experience.
While you're at it, throw a hug in the lunchbox along with the carrots and ranch. How? With Kids Lunch Box Cards, kids are bound to have a smile on their face when they open up their lunchbox. It's the next best thing to having you there for lunch with them. With kid-tested topics, these cards are sure to make your child the center of attention and keep them laughing while they nosh.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
If you're like me, you love the show What Not to Wear. Although Stacy and Clinton can be a little harsh, their snide comments and criticism always result in a stunning and confident "after". As an image consultant, I am often asked if my Closet Clarity sessions are like they are on the show. They are a little bit, but I'm much nicer - and I get results, too!
Someone else on the show who really gets some great results (besides the hunky hair guru, Nick!) is Carmindy. She can make over a face and make it look amazing, while still looking very natural.
Apparently Sally Hansen has also been inspired by Carmindy. In a partnership with CVS, they have launched a line of products under the "Sally Hansen Inspired by Carmindy" name. With everything from hair wax to nail polish, this extensive line boasts over 300 products, all at prices that are bedget-friendly. Some of Carmindy's faves include Always Perfect Liquid Liner in Pure Plum, Instant Definition Eye Shadow Palette in Earth, Moisture Plump Lip Balm in Nude Shimmer and Comfort Lip Color in Berry Wine. With her experise, I'm sure you can't miss!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
We all love a good sample sale, don't we? But as much as we enjoy walking away with phenomenal bargains, standing in line to try on clothing in a group dressing room just isn't quite our cup of tea. So we're loving the online samples sales from two fabulous boutiques, Rue La La and Gilt Groupe. They offer all the fabulousness of a sample sale (including the bargain basement prices!) without all the hassles. You can buy designer handbags, clothing, sunglasses, lingerie and more from the comfort of your own home - in your pj's, if you like.
This week Rue La La is featuring items from Frette (think luxury hotel linens for your home), Vera Bradley and Cosabella. Membership is free, but you must be invited. We have an exclusive invitation code for our readers to allow you easy access: VIP@ruelala.com.
Gilt Groupe is also offering some fabulous sales with items from Benhaz Sarafpour, Ralph Lauren and Eberjey (for your daughters). If you'd like entrance to this great shopping experience, send me an email to michele[at]onechicmama[dot]com and I'll get you in.
So logon and start shopping- each sale only lasts between 24 and 48 hours, and as you might guess, many items sell out quickly. But shop smart, too - items are final sales!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Denise Richards, Tori Spelling and Joely Fisher know a good thing when they see it. That's why they've all snatched up the adorable designs of Milkshaxs Baby Gear for their little ones. With fresh and contemporary designs ranging from sweet, fluttery butterflies to rugged mountain bikers, all adorning onesies, tees, tanks and more, Milkshaxs' designs are a breath of fresh air.
Made from the most indulgent and eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, Milkshaxs Baby Gear will shake it up for your baby and keep her looking great while being kind to the planet.
While you're stocking up on sweet tees for your baby, take a moment to enjoy a shake made just for mama. Bellybar Shakes are delicious, creamy goodness in a portable drink box, and offer new moms and moms-to-be the DHA, fiber, protein and calcium they need. Bellybar Shakes will curb your thirst on the go, while satisfying your taste buds with a smooth and frothy drink that's good for you. Now you can have your shake and drink it, too! For a limited time, when you buy one four-pack for $9.99, you can get one free.
Ran out of coffee, breakfast is burning, and you're running late. What a way to start your week!
Squeeze out some extra time in the morning by picking out your week's wardrobe in advance. Sunday night, go on-line, check out the weather for the upcoming week and plan your wardrobe accordingly. Go to your closet and line up your outfits for Monday through Friday, left to right along the hanging rod. Attach under-garments to the hangers as well so each hanger has the whole days ensemble. You can also use a shelf arranging clothes there left to right. Stand the corresponding shoes below on the floor with socks tucked inside.
Side Dish: If you have kids, do the same for them and experience a mellow morning. Kick it up a notch by sticking Monday through Friday labels on the side of the shelf.
New York Magazine's 2008 choice for BEST SPACE ORGANIZER!
Great press is hard to find, yet we have been blessed by two amazing stories, both coming out this week! Today you can read our article in our local newspaper, the News and Observer. Tomorrow, the magazine NC Signature hits the stands. The writer happens to be a great friend of mine, and a guest blogger here from time to time, Ellen Willson Hoover.
So take a peek, read about how I got my start in the world of design and showed my sense of style at a young age (hint: my mom wasn't too happy with the outcome). Thanks to all you wonderful readers for all your support! It's been such a wonderful journey!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I'm a big fan of yogurt, so when I was strolling the aisles of Whole Foods yesterday, I was excited to see a new brand on the shelves. Rachel's makes delicious yogurt, but this ain't your mama's yogurt, that's for sure. Created, seemingly, with the modern woman in mind, this stuff really packs in the good stuff.
A premium brand of lowfat yogurt, Rachel's is chock full of probiotics to help with digestion, as well as added Omega-3 DHA. But what makes Rachel's stand in a class of its own is it's vast array of intriguing flavors.
The Essence line offers blissfully blended mood-inspiring yogurt. The essence of scrumptious satisfaction includes these sensual flavors:
Vitality - Pomegranate Açai
Revive - Peach Green Tea
Glow - Berry Jasmine
Relax - Vanilla Chai
Calm - Plum Honey Lavender
Refresh - Pink Grapefruit Lychee
The Exotic line offers luscious blended yogurt inspired by the planet's most alluring fruits and flavors:
Orange Strawberry Mango
Mango Pineapple Passion Fruit
Kiwi Passion Fruit Lime
Cherry Black Currant
On sale right now at our Whole Foods for just $.69 each, I highly recommend that you stock up! I know I'm going to.
On Moms Buzz: Back to School Spending Tips. Here are some tips to spend less when going out shopping for Back-to-School necessities so that you "hit the books and not your wallet."
On Mom Finds: Win a $100 giggle Shopping Spree. The first giggle giveaway was such a big hit, we decided to give our readers another chance to win big..$100 big.
On Modern Mom:Modern Mom Groups Have Launched! Meet other moms at exclusive Moms Night Out events, play dates and more.
On Clever Parents: Clever Ideas for Healthy School Lunches. Juggling the lure of the vending machines with good nutrition.
On Boston Mamas: Lunch Lures. Check out these back to school lunch tips that no doubt will lure your child in to enjoy a healthy meal.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
If you're familiar with the botanically-based skincare products from Origins, you may already be their biggest fan. If you're not, now's your chance to try them for FREE!
Between August 24 and September 3 (yes, that's this Sunday!), anytime you stop by an Origins counter and participate in a relaxing two-minute skin care consultation, you'll be treated to one of the following sample sets of your choice: A Perfect World™ White Tea, Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins™ Plantidote™ Mega-Mushroom Skin Care or Origins Organics™. It's a great opportunity to try some fabulous products, at no cost to you. Although you may feel obligated to purchase something after participating, just remember that politely declining is perfectly acceptable!
Can't make it into a store? Then shop online and receive a free sample set. Shipping on orders of $75 or more is free, too!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Don’t you just love products that do double-duty? As multi-taskers ourselves, I think moms in particular love it when a product can perform more than one function. That is why we love the Align Choker from Twisted Silver. Created in antique brass and copper, this piece converts from belt to bracelet and back to a choker in no time flat. The adjusts from 34” – 40” and fits a wide range of sizes.
At $100, the Align Choker offers a lot of bang for the buck. Add the Align Earrings ($30) to complete the look and take you right into fall with style.
With school having started, or just on the horizon, a little back-to-school shopping is probably on your to-do list. If you have daughters, by now you've probably found a gazillion options for her, and the hardest part is narrowing down your choices. But shopping for boys may be more than a little disappointing. Boys' clothing has gotten better overall, but by no means do they have the vast (and chic) selection that their sisters do.
Oh, well. At least there's Gimos Kidswear, the Argentenian line of clothing designed to keep both boys and girls looking hip while rocking the schoolyard. Created to fit kids from infants to age 14, Gimos Kidswear offers a wide selection of clothing that's made to move the way kids do. More than just screen-printed tees, these clever designs offer up a variety of dinosaurs, cars and stripes to keep the little guys well dressed, and happy with their selections.
With a wide variety of styles, Gimos Kidswear offers up the kind of uber-cool clothes you'd expect to see on Maddox or Kingston, but at prices you can actually afford. Available online, Gimos Kidswear can also be found in select boutiques nationwide.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Now that summer is coming to a close, you may be noticing a few more wrinkles around your eye area. Fight the effects of sun, fun and aging with The Eye Concentrate ($160) from La Mer. The Eye Concentrate is formulated to significantly reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness, lines and wrinkles. Infused with its proprietary, sea-kelp infused formula called Miracle Broth, it encourages the eye area to look and feel healthy, supple and luminous as never before. Working in tandem with its specially-engineered, silver-tipped applicator to help cool the skin, The Eye Concentrate immediately improves micro-circulation and helps your skin look more healthy and vital. It may be a bit on the pricey side, but The Eye Concentrate from Crème de La Mer is the crème de La Crème.
Did you know that August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month? I'm glad to know that there's an entire month dedicated to this wonderful art. But no matter what month it is, it's always a good time to help educate women on breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to feed your baby, yet sometimes moms feel like they do all the work. Why not pump and let Dad or another caregiver share in the bonding that occurs during feeding? Here are a couple of great finds designed to make pumping a little easier on a mama:
When it comes to breast pumps, they are not all created equally. Some are more comfortable and efficient than others. PJ's Comfort Breast Pump ($525 - $725) is a hospital grade pump designed by women, for women. Weighing in at just a pound and a half, this comfortable and portable pump includes such great features as a filter between the kit and pump to prevent bacteria, viruses and milk from entering the pump (thus preventing cross contamination, Sof touch(tm) silicone collapsible cups with self-adjusting vacuum and cycle knobs, and a built-in timer to track elapsed time helps a mother relax while pumping.
PJ's Comfort Breast Pump comes with either a versatile tote that quickly converts from over-the-shoulder bag to backpack or an executive tote with many extra accessories.
Pump Ease is a clever contraption designed to let you pump from both sides at once, while freeing up your hands (oh, the many things you could do...). Pump Ease ($29 - $34) is a support band that you wear over your nursing bra (or go au naturel) and ensures proper alignment for ease of milk flow. It's comfortable and easy to use, and fastens with a hook that adjusts to your changing breast size. Designed to work with all single or double breast pumps with no attachments necessary.
Monday, August 18, 2008
With school back in session, organization is key for busy mamas. Making lists can be an important part of staying organized, yet keeping track of all your lists can be a feat in itself. Why not let ListPlanIt.com come to the rescue?
Created by a busy mom who loves lists, ListPlanIt.com offers up a solution for organizing your lists. With over 300 pre-made lists to choose from, you can customize your lists and then follow their suggestions for personalizing a binder that can be your “Life Manual” (Business Manual, Kitchen Manual, Memories Manual or Finance Manual). You can print out the lists and then write in your own additions. Start with the basics such as grocery lists. You can then add school lunch menus, takeout menus, library storytime calendars, brochures from local contractors - whatever will make your life easier!
With lists made to help you keep track of everything from groceries to gifts received, even a blogpost schedule, ListPlanIt.com can help you keep your life a little more organized. A 3-month membership to ListPlanIt.com is $9.95.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The decision to go back to work is one many moms grapple with. Sure, it may make financial sense to work, as well as help to fulfill a moms' own needs, but stress and guilt can also accompany your choice. You may have a job you'll return to, or your choice may mean beefing up your resume and going on interviews. Either way, a little insight from someone who's been there sure would help.
Diane Lang, M.A., life coach, therapist and author, realizes how difficult the transition from staying at home with baby to re-entering the workplace can be. After experiencing this firsthand, she wanted to offer advice to moms facing the same decision. In her book, Babysteps: The Path from Motherhood to Career ($13.35), Lang provides guidance and coaching to make this step as easy as possible. In an easy to read handbook there is advice on updating skills, dressing for success, brushing up on interviewing skills, and creating a winning resume, cover letter, and thank you note. Babysteps also includes templates and additional resources to help get new job searchers started, as well as an appendix at the back of the book with employment ideas and opportunities for mothers who want to reenter the workplace.
Getting back out there can be challenging from many perspectives. Let Babysteps guide you through the process with ease.
Once you've decided to return to the workplace, you may realize your skills could use some brushing up on. BizyMoms is a resource for moms and they have just announced free e-courses just for moms. For more information please view the BizyMoms e-course brochure. With classes on writing a business plan, networking and effective selling, you just may be inspired to start a business of your very own.
Exclusive for One Chic Mama Readers
Win a copy of Babysteps: The Path from Motherhood to Career ($13.35 value). Just leave us a comment and tell us what you're biggest challenge is with going back to work. Don't forget to leave your email. The deadline is Midnight, EST, August 22. Please note, all comments are moderated and may not appear immediately.
With the economy in its, uh, tenuous state, shopping smart has become more than just a fun game - it's become essential. With more and more of our formerly disposable income going for food and gas, bargain shopping may be the only way we can afford to treat ourselves to something special.
I have to admit, I love the thrill of a great bargain. I guess I get it from my family. When I was growing up, I was among a clan of stylish and very well-dressed women who took shopping seriously. We would delight in telling each other how much we paid for something, or rather, how little, when we were complimented. It went something like this:" Oh, Aunt Teena, I just love your blouse - it's gorgeous!" She would reply, "Anne Klein - $9.99 from Steinmart!" (or Century 21, TJ Maxx, etc) with the pride one would normally reserve for a worthy accomplishment. We made a game to see who could find the best bargain. In the end, I learned some great tips and how to elevate shopping to a sport!
I recently scored a great pair of Farylrobin shoes in a lovely salmon pink snakeskin with sage green suede heels ($169 retail) for $15.00. I had a $5 credit, so I ended up paying just $10.99 at Rugged Warehouse. I'll warn you, shoppers. While there can be some great bargains to be found at Rugged Warehouse, it takes some patience and perseverence to really find anything. It's not a glamorous store by any stretch of the imagination, but I have found some real gems here!
After finding these shoes, I was on a mission to find a green dress the color of those suede heels (turns out it's one of my best colors). After just one stop (while visualizing this green dress for several days), I came across a Max Studio dress that fit me well and was the exact color as the shoes! The dress retailed for $188, but I picked it up for $20 at Marshall's, and it matched perfectly! Beware when buying knits at discount stores, though. Somehow, many of them end up with a sensor stuck right in the middle of the back, causing an irrepairable hole that will get worse with wear (why don't they realize this??) My outfit was complete when I added the pefect necklace I had hanging on my hook at home.
I'll be honest - there's a lot to be said for building a wardrobe full of core pieces that you pay full price for to get the exact size, color and fit that you need. Yet adding in a few fun items that can make you sparkle at your next event, or give you a lift for everyday, is a great way to indulge in some good bargain shopping. You can find some great places to shop for bargains at Couponers to keep your budget in check.
You never know, you just may find a real gem yourself!
This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network.
Friday, August 15, 2008
The other night I hosted a workshop (called Enhance Your Image) and treated my guests to a special dessert. I had been wanting to make these Chocolate-Mint Bars from Cooking Light for quite some time, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Well, let me just tell you that these were a big hit, and that I have enjoyed them each and every day since Tuesday with sheer delight! These are my new favorite. Rather easy to make, these do need time to chill in the fridge to set the chocolate glaze. But this means they can be stored in the fridge for a cool, chocolately-mint treat. The base is a light, chocolate sponge that is the perfect foil for the mint layer, and the chocolate on top hardens to form a crisp shell. Just right as an afternoon pick-me-up, these are kid-friendly as well as a decadent grown-up indulgence (try using darker chocolate for an even more grown-up friendly flavor). Highly recommended!
Last week I was on Martha Stewart Radio sharing tips for organizing collections. So this week I thought I'd share some tips on that topic today.
I'm always trying to get inside the mind of the collector and what I often hear from them is that that being a collector defines who they are… they are Collectors. Which I find fascinating as I'm not much of a collector myself (big shocker). Their collections tell stories of not only the history of the item itself but also of the experience of acquiring it.
I have however had 2 collections. As a kid I collected what I thought at the time were unique pens and pencils. I picked them up from my travels to places like the Grand Canyon, the Smithsonian or even a state's trinket shop along the Highway. It was an affordable collection for a 9 year old as well as easy to transport while traveling. Already organizing at a young age, I categorized them by size and color, then displayed them in cylindrical glass vases on shelves in my room. Every once in a while I would empty one out and stroll down memory lane.
When it came time to dismantle my collection as an adult I tossed all the pens when I discovered that they had dried out and then I donated the entire pencil collection to Good Will. It stung for a few minutes to do this but I figured what were my options. I wasn't going to display the pencils in my current home and what was the point of packing them up and storing them in the basement to only find them again years later. I figured it might be fun for some little kid wandering the local thrift shop to find this whole collection in tact for them to use.
My other collection is bottle caps from soda bottles (no diet sodas or beer). This collection I do keep rather accessible as I'm contributing to it almost weekly. I have some grand vision for these caps but for now I just accumulate them in a box inside a closet.
But enough about me, let's talk about you and your collections. Below are bullet points that cover a variety of aspects relating to organizing your collections big or small.
· Have a collection of small molded plastic figures? If they are out of their original packaging, tuck them in random places around the house. What a surprise to open the freezer and see Spiderman in there guarding the frozen blueberries. Reach for a drinking glass and find Mr. Incredible. Grab a q-tip out of your medicine cabinet and be greeted by Godzilla. These are especially good crowd pleasers when your crowd is kids (or husbands who came to the relationship with a sizeable collection of Bart Simpson figures).
· Got a comic book collection worthy of display? Try these cases from Wizard Universe. They're recloseable and reuseable. Prop them up on a shelf or use an adhesive velcro dot to stick up on the wall.
· Not quite ready to toss your T-shirt collection but need the extra drawer space for shirts you really wear? Frame it. A row of these in your garage or laundry room are bound to make you smile every time you walk in and see them.
· Are you vinyl records collecting dust in the attic? Pull out a few of your favorite covers and frame them for display. Urban Outfitters sells metal or natural wood.
· While surfing the web I found the most unusual collection… The Moist Towelette collection. It gave me a chuckle. I'm not judging, it's just so fascinating what makes people tick. Maybe I should have been an anthropologist or archaeologist.
New York Magazine's 2008 choice for BEST SPACE ORGANIZER!
On Modern Mom: Win a Kids Summer Gear Set from Target. Target's giving away loads of summer gear to Modern Mom readers. Enter today!
On Mom Finds: Win a $50 Shopping Spree at Mom4Life. We're giving away $50 for you to spend at Mom4Life, a site stocked with everything a mom needs to make life easier from pregnancy and beyond.
On Moms Buzz: Safety Tips When Riding with a Child on an Adult's Bicycle. Riding a bike with our child on a sunny and dry day is a fun experience that both the adults and children enjoy just as much. Read about some safety tips to make your ride more enjoyable and safer.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Good snacks are hard to find. Not that there aren't some tasty treats out there, but I'm talking about snacks that are not only great tasting, but good fuel for your body too. As a busy mama, I'm on the go and quickly tire of the same old energy bars, but need something to keep my energy level up. So when my package of Peeled Snacks arrived, I knew I had found a solution!
Dried fruit is a wonderful snack, and a longtime favorite of mine. While we eat it at home, I don't always go to the trouble of packaging it up to keep in the car or for the kids' lunchboxes. And now I don't have to. Peeled Snacks are delicious, pre-packaged snacks that are simple and delicious. Plus, they're organic to boot!
My husband, eyeing them before dinner, tore into a bag of the Cherry-Go-Round, and before we knew it, he and the kids had scarfed these down. Many dried cherries can be a bit sour, but these were nice and sweet - and with no added sugar. They came begging for more!
Peeled snacks make perfect lunchtime treats (steer clear of the trail mixes that include nuts, though) for the kids and handy snacks for busy mamas-on-the-go! Peeled Snacks are loved by Oprah, and now by moms around the world. Stock up at your local Whole Foods, or order a box to keep your family snack happy! There's even an option to receive monthly shipments to keep you stocked with healthy snacks at all times.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Fall is on the horizon, and fall fashions are starting to make their appearance in stores. It makes me wistful for cooler weather and adding a few layers when I walk out the door. For now, I'll just have to satisfy my fall cravings by indulging in some fabulous accessories. After all, when we have a good core wardrobe, it's really the accessories that pull our look into each season and anchor it there until it's time to move on, isn't it?
Ready for another shot of color? After the brightly-hued summer, it's fitting that a few key shades will linger into fall and turn our dark neutrals into something far more multidimensional. Purple is a great example. A key color going into fall, shades of purple vary from lavender to violet to eggplant and give a modern update to all your blacks, browns, grays and caramels.
Try slipping on a great pair of purple boots with a black dress and tights for a fun look. Or pair purple flats with your favorite pair of jeans and a pretty sweater for a casual, yet chic look. Purples are everywhere, and you're bound to find accessories in your favorite shade this fall!
Monday, August 11, 2008
Heavy metal hits the nurseries...in the form of cut steel wall hooks, wall panels and wall decor from Crib Rock Couture. It's what all the cool kids have on their walls.
Give your kids a reason to stop and hang up their things with these hip new Metal Mania Hooks from Crib Rock! Perfect for the bedroom, the playroom and even the bathroom, these painted steel wall hooks are great decor as well as room organizers. This adorable Octopus Hook ($49.99) would give any young child incentive to stop and hang their bath towel, with his outstretched tentacles just waiting to take it from him. How can he resist?
Get your kids in on the clean up and help make it fun with alien spaceships, drumming monkeys, flying hearts or a skill and cross bones (perfect for your future rocker!) from Crib Rock Couture. Your nursery will never be the same!
Friday, August 08, 2008
On Moms Buzz: Bone Comic Book Giveaway (Kids Pack). Start the new school year with brand new stories to read to your children. In the Bone Comic Book Giveaway, there are 5 prizes of the comic book BONES! The grand winner gets a pack of Bone comic books #1-3 plus other goodies, and the other 4 winners get one book, the "Out from Boneville."
On MomFinds: Two Readers Will Win a Pair of Robeez Baby Shoes. Baby will be marching—er, crawling—to the beat of his or her own drum in these comfy, stay-put shoes from Robeez. Just tell us what size you want, and these rock ‘n roll shoes can be yours!
On Clever Parents: Planes, Trains and Small Children. I’m wondering if you have some sage advice about dealing with our rambunctious 2 year old on a transatlantic flight in a week. My son is very physical and very loud in his crying, and I’m dreading the potential tantrums and inevitable shorter crying in such a small space!
On Boston Mamas: Fun & Simple Explorer Party Got curious kids? Check out this how-to on throwing fun and simple Explorer Party.
It's back to school and if you have little kids, that means the art work is going to start piling up soon.
Here are some tips for corralling the artwork before it becomes an avalanche!
1 - Install magnetic strips or an art cable in the kitchen, hall way or your child's bedroom. These allow you to create a mini-gallery to display the art and make it easy to replace it with fresh art as it comes in.
2 - For art that doesn't make it to the mini-gallery but seems too precious to toss, pick one central spot to accumulate the entire year's worth. This spot should be as close to the front door or kitchen as possible as that's where most of the art tends to make it's first stop. I've had clients use a kitchen drawer, a shelf in the coat closet with a bin on it, even a medium sized rectangular garbage can inside the closet makes a super receptacle.
3 - When June rolls around you'll have the entire unedited collection in front of you. Each piece won't seem as precious as the very first day you set eyes on it which will make differentiating between the scribbles and the masterpieces a snap! Toss the scribbles, use them as wrapping paper or send them on to friends and family. At the end of the year roll up all the primo pieces and store them in a large mailing tube which makes for easier long term storage than a big box. Put a label on it: Hank's Artwork - Age 6 and stash it in a far away place like the attic.
Flash forward 40 years… now your adult kids discover these treasures! What a find!
New York Magazine's 2008 choice for BEST SPACE ORGANIZER!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Being a kid just means being active. Running, jumping, doing crazy dance moves at the drop of a hat...My daughter is a great example of this. At five, she's got more energy than anyone I know. So when it comes to what kind of panties she wears, I want her to put them on in the morning and not have to think about them during the day. That's why we prefer Hanes. There's no riding up, no shifting, NO WEDGIES! They have a Comfort Fit Promise - if the undies are not comfortable, you can get your money back. These are engineered to simply stay in place - I wish I had had these when I was growing up!
I love that Hanes undies fit my kids to a T. What my daughter loves is that they're "just so pretty". She has even resorted to wearing her brand new ones, which are a size too-big, just because she likes the pretty florals. This isn't the best way to keep 'em wedgie-free, though. Good fit is essential. But the panties that do fit her now have upheld their end of the bargain, that's for sure!
We've been buying Hanes panties since my daughter was potty trained, and we haven't been disappointed yet. These folks really know their underwear. Turns out they really know their socks, too. Comfortable, with a great fit, their socks are made for walking...and jumping, running or dancing!
With the school year getting cranked back up, socks and undies are probably on your list of back-to-school items. Make sure you pick up a pack of Hanes for your daughters and your sons and you can feel good knowing your kids will be comfortable all day, wedgie-free! Available at your local Wal-Mart, Target or Hanes.com.
We reviewed Hanes for Parent Bloggers
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
As your schedule quickly fills up and you’re on the move with carpool, soccer, dance lessons, errands, work and more, finding time to get to the gym can become next to impossible. Try sneaking a little exercise into your day with FitFlops ($50 - $60).
Developed by the founder of Bliss Spa founder (also a busy mom), these comfortable sandals are engineered to stimulate your leg muscles while you're wearing them, helping to trim and tone your legs. Just by wearing a pair of FitFlops, your lower body gets a great workout just doing what you normally do. Loved by Oprah, as well as moms worldwide, FitFlops are perfect to wear during the day to give you a workout when you’re too busy to set foot inside a gym.
Being eco-minded is chic. But it hasn't always looked that way. Thanks to a fabulous new crop of manufacturers dedicated to the planet, as well as to fashion, being well dressed doesn't have to mean harming the environment. Elwood Clothing is following in the footsteps of a small and growing group of clothing designers who want to keep us looking good, while minding our planet, too.
With their line of classically stylish clothing for women (men, too!) Elwood Clothing offers casual, comfortable and chic cotton tanks, dresses and denim, made from organic and sustainable materials. The tanks are pefect for layering, the dresses can go from daytime with flipflops to evening with dressy sandals, and the denim, ah, the denim...let me just say, tres chic! These are items you'll add to your wardrobe and want to keep for quite some time. Which is good, because they're built to last. And if, for some reason, they don't - just send them back and they will be repaired or replaced for free. Forget disposable clothing - your Elwood Clothing will be with you for quite some time!
Size-wise, Elwood Clothing is designed to fit smaller women. This is good news for those who are on the lookout for extra smalls and have a hard time finding stylish clothing in your size. The sizing runs from XS - M, with an occasional XM (extra medium) added for good measure. Basically, these pieces are designed for those who wear a size 10 and under. For someone like myself, with broad shoulders and an Amazonian build, this means Elwood Clothing is not made for me. But I can ooh and ahh over it, and am happy to spread the word.
Exclusive for One Chic Mama Readers
Win a Simone hooded V-neck poncho ($99) made from the softest pima cotton, perfect to throw over your swimsuit these last few days of summer, a tank and capris or a cute dress. This is a one size fits all (fits up to a 10 or 12). Simply leave us a comment and tell us what you like about Elwood Clothing (don't forget your email). The deadline is Midnight, EST, August 10, 2008. Please note, all comments are moderated and may not appear immediately.
Monday, August 04, 2008
School is about to start full speed ahead, if it hasn't already. Piles of backpacks, lunchboxes, notebooks and more abound. Yet how do your kids' tell theirs apart from all the others? One great way is to customize them with PakNaks. These cute charms add a little flair to everything they get stuck to. Simply attach them using Velcro. Then when you want to swap out your cupcakesfor a butterfly, just pull one off and stick the other on. It's that simple. Plus, PakNaks are weather-resistant, which means they won't fall off and get soggy when it rains. Made from a flexible 3-D rubbery material, your kids will have fun personalizing their things with PakNaks.
Exclusive for One Chic Mama Readers
Two winners will receive a set of 5 Pak Naks. Just visit the site, then leave us a comment and tell us your favorite design - don't forget your email. The deadline is Midnight, EST, August 9.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Originality is what makes us unique. So wearing a piece of original artwork is bound to make a statement about your individuality. Why not try one of the adorable, handcrafted original pendants from Buster and Boo to express yourself? Crafted from old wooden Scrabble tiles and typewriter keys, these clever designs feature everything from cupcakes to Asian florals to Peter Rabbit, and come on a pretty organza ribbon ready for you to wear.
Not only are Buster and Boo items handcrafted and original, they're quite affordable, too! With everything priced between $4.50 and $26, these start at barely more than a tank of gas! And right now, when you buy two Scrabble tile pendants, you'll get one free! Why not stock up now for holiday gifts, birthday presents or yourself?
Saturday, August 02, 2008
As fall draws near and you begin to think about the prospect of stocking your closet with new clothes for the season, you may begin to realize how cluttered your closet currently is. Will there be room for anything else? And what's even in there, anyway?
Why not take an afternoon or weekend and organize your closet. If you need a guide to walk you through the process, pick up a copy of Melanie Charlton Fascitelli's Shop Your Closet: The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Closet with Style. She gives you a system for sorting, and helps you have the courage to tackle this task with style! Before you go shopping, shop your closet and see what new outfits you can come up with. When things are clean, neat and in order, you'll see them in a whole new light!
In Shop Your Closet, you'll learn how to:
Face your inner packrat and clean out your closet
Shop for and pick items that flatter your body
Craft the best wardrobe for your lifestyle
Create space in your closet by reworking it logistically
Store your clothes and shoes so they last longer
Keep your items clean and in top repair, with a few ironing tricks
Pack for your next vacation in a neat and organized way
Shop Your Closet is about much more than organizing your closet, though. Fascitelli draws from her experience working with clients through her business, Clos-ette, and brings all her knowledge to us in an easy-to-use reference guide for creating the most beautiful closet possible!
Friday, August 01, 2008
Pick up a few business card boxes from the Container Store. If you've got a knack for remembering names then organize alphabetically, otherwise organize by the event or place you would associate the contact with such as "Betty's Business BBQ" on 7/26/08. Use one box for personal contacts, one for professional, and one for lifestyle. Each box comes with dividers.
Ready to go electronic? This is my personal favorite because it saves so much space and finding any name is a snap with a quick word search! Also when you have some kind of hand-held device, your contacts are always with you. Microsoft's Entourage, Mac's Address Book or Palm Desktop will all do the trick. Categorize and color-code to your heart's content.
For me, the best option is not to take the card at all; after all I don't want the clutter and will just toss it once the information has been entered into my computer. When I meet someone I just enter their information directly into my Palm Centro. It doesn't take long, gives me a few more minutes to chat with my new friend and I impress them with my efficiency (wink, wink). When their website is a specific business website and not a general one like AOL or Yahoo, I'll just enter their name, the event/date and email. This way when I actually need their phone number or mailing address, I can just get it directly from the website which I know from their email.
If for some reason I've collected a slew of cards at one event then I quickly jot the event name and date on it, then I pawn them off on my assistant to enter into the computer. No assistant? Accumulate a bunch and hire your kids or neighbor's kids do them all for a few bucks in an hour or two.
New York Magazine's 2008 choice for BEST SPACE ORGANIZER!
On MomFinds: Win a $100 giggle Shopping Spree. Win a $100 giggle gift card and stock up on the best baby and toddler essentials.
On Coochicoos: Children's Murals by Ami Suma. Japanese artist Ami Suma's murals driven by her "childhood imaginations".
On Clever Parents: Coping with a StepDad. Dear Mr. Dad: Six months ago, my wife and I divorced because she was having an affair. After our divorce, she remarried and my 3-year old son has become attached to her new husband, who showers him with expensive presents.
On Car and Caboodle: 5 Essentials for Overnights with Grandparents. What every kid needs for spending the night at Grandma's.
On Boston Mamas: Fostering Acceptance & Awareness. It's never too early to start teaching your kids to treat everyone with dignity and respect. Check out these resources and guidelines on how to start the conversation.