Month: January 2010

Pepsi wants to give you their Superbowl commercial money

As a former ad agency madman, I fully admit that I watch the Superbowl for the commercials. And to consume unhealthy snacks. But this year, it isn’t the little 30-second snippets that have me excited, it’s Pepsi’s decision to break a 23-year Superbowl streak, take their $20 million, and give it away. Yes, Give. It. Away. And some of it could be yours if you have one good idea that could make the U.S., or even just your corner of it, a better place. For all the deets go to refresheverything.com but here is the basic scoop: Every month...

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Some British oi and American folk helps us Rise and Shine

I require a vat of coffee and some peppy tunes to get me going in the morning, and my kids are turning out to be just like me, minus the java infusion. The aptly named Rise and Shine kids’ music album by Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke has the kind of jumpy beat, quick-as-a-whip lyrics and LOL surprises to get our day started on the right foot as we pogo through the morning routine. Starting off with a bang (or really, a rooster), the quick-tempo Rise and Shine catches my kids’ attention with Mr. Clarke’s strong English accent singing,...

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Fancy pants kids clothes for up to 70% off.

When one of my favorite local shops is having a 20-70% off clearance sale, I’d be remiss if I didn’t drop everything I’m doing, head to the website, and click on every single category immediately. You know, just to see. In this case it’s Estella NYC. The great thing is, it’s not just clearance on fall/winter items. This cute Saomini sundress is now $25 down from $62 and the boys’ clothes section is stocked with everything from cool hoodies (love this one!) to designer jeans. There’s also baby clothes galore, and stuff for swanky moms, like Issey Miyake Pleats...

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Argh, Pirate’s Booty goes New York

As the New York City taxpayer amongst us, I felt it my sworn duty (so help me Bloomberg) to try the New York Pizza flavor Pirate’s Booty recently introduced by Robert’s Gourmet. You know, the beloved makers of all-natural treats for parents looking to justify the snacks in the house. I’m happy to say that the flavor of these baked corn and rice puffs does taste like pizza, more than say, pizza-flavored Combos. (So now you know my guilty pleasure airplane snack.) I was quite surprised that you can actually taste real tomato and oregano, and paprika gives it...

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Baby clothes as cute as the baby (or maybe even cuter)

I’m a total sucker for baby clothes — so tiny! so cute! — but my standards are pretty high. When I saw what San Francisco-based Speesees had to offer, I started wishing I were still in the baby-making business. Speesees pieces (fun to say) are everything you want for your precious new baby. Made of super-soft organic cotton, each piece is also fair-trade certified, which means that every time you wriggle those little hands through the sleeves, you’ve made the world a slightly better place. And on top of all that, these are about the cutest darn baby clothes...

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Parenting tips from the (cool, funny) mom next door

I used to love reading parenting guides. My oldest child was an overachiever from the start, and the guides served as affirmation that she was a prodigy and I was a model parent. Then my middle child – my obstinate, tantrum-throwing, speech-delayed middle child – was born, and I chucked all those parenting books in the garbage. I really wish I’d had Jen Singer’s “Stop Second-Guessing Yourself” books back then. Creator of the much-lauded virtual community MommaSaid.net, Jen is the kind of mom we all wish lived next door. Her trademark candor and cheeky humor elevates these parenting guides...

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Heart in the right place

If you’ve been following the news, or at least this website, then you’re probably not going to be poking around your favorite big box store over the next few weeks, looking for some little inexpensive heart-shaped metal charms for the kids. Cadmium is so very 2009. At The Silly Wagon, I stumbled on this sweet mini heart necklace from Julie the Fish Designs. The modern heart design is hand stamped onto a disc-shaped pendant made of solid sterling silver, which last I heard is not a banned substance. Even the ball chain is real silver. For just under $25,...

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Loloko is Japanese for oh-so-cute

I confessed my serious addiction to Japanese cute when I told you about Momiji dolls, so please cut me some slack if I seem a little gushy when talking about Loloko Shop. This little Northern California shop does cute right with little trinkets, home items and office supplies. And the frugalista in me loves that nothing in the shop costs more than $12, meaning things are priced right for kids–and for adults who could do without a credit card hangover. Opened back in 2006, owner Laura (“Lolo”) fell in love with Japanese kawaii during her two years spent living...

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A pocket full of books

Games on the iPhone are nice, having books on hand make you feel a little less guilty about trying to keep the kid occupied on mile-long supermarket checkout lines. Now you can always have books on hand without carting around pounds of hardbacks: PicPocket Books adapts great kids’ books for the iPhone, and they start at just a buck apiece in iTunes. You can read the stories aloud or turn on the built-in narration, and kids can learn along as each spoken word is highlighted, too. Sure, there’s a little bit of (subtle) animation, in some stories, and sometimes...

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Project Night Night helps a homeless child sleep a little better

My sons are 7 and 9, but every night, the snuggle up in bed with their favorite stuffed friends. Those “stufties,” as my little son calls them, are just one more layer of familiarity and comfort in their lives. Not every child has that though — that warm bed in a safe house to curl up in every night. And that’s where Project Night Night comes in. Project Night Night provides that little bit of comfort and security for homeless children, in the form of a Night Night Package which includes a security blanket, a stuffed friend, and a...

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