Bargain Alert: Old Navy Pineapple Umbrella

IMG_6954I spotted this cute umbrella with a trendy pineapple pattern at Old Navy near the checkout line two weeks ago. They cost just $10. I scooped one up for myself and wish I’d bought a few more as summer hostess gifts. Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen this umbrella appear on the Old Navy website, but check for it if you’re in an Old Navy store anytime soon.  It’s a cute gift for a ‘tween or teen girl, too!

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Hanna Andersson: A New Website and 20% Off Select Fall Arrivals

Hanna AnderssonIt seems that kids’ clothing websites are inching up their Fall arrivals earlier and earlier–many of them debuted Fall collections today.  Since it’s so hot outside right now, I don’t actually mind thinking of Fall.  And I enjoyed taking a peek at Hanna Andersson’s newly revamped website.  While I’m not crazy about the redesign yet (I’m a creature of habit and liked the old look better), I was impressed with some of the new clothing, such as (not shown above) the unisex Supercozy Fleece Lined Hoodie ($45) and girls’ Stripey A-Line Dress ($39).  And, of course, as always, there are new color combinations for this fabulous striped organic PJs.  Lots of the new arrivals are 20% off (no coded needed)–check them all out at Hanna Andersson.

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If You Like Someone Enough to Send a Card

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As a fervent supporter of snail mail, these I Like You Enough Ombre Boxed Notecards caught my eye in Barnes & Noble recently.  I love the sentiment, the color (more blue-ish teal than appears in the photo), and the ombre color gradations.  Designed by Punch Studios, these are perfect cards to let special someones know they’re a cut above the rest.  Each boxed set includes12 cards and 12 envelopes; buy them for $9.95 at Barnes & Noble.

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Donna and Kelly are now Mystery Girls

IMG_6935Like many other young women in the early 1990s, I was a loyal Beverly Hills 90210 viewer, and thus began my fascination with Tori Spelling (longtime readers of this blog may recall that I met her in 2009 and 2012).  So I jumped at the invitation extended to me by The Moms to attend a private NYC screening of “Mystery Girls,” Tori’s new ABC Family show co-starring her 90210 co-star Jennie Garth. We got to see the 1st two episodes of the series, and while my expectations weren’t too high originally, the show was indeed very campy (there are many many nods to 90210 and other 1990s pop culture) and funny (the writing is pretty sharp). However, note that some of the content is rather risqué (the episodes we saw had some language, content, and double entrendres that were definitely R-rated; i.e. this is not a show I would even let my 10-year-old daughter watch). But for moms–especially moms of a certain age who remember Dylan’s moodiness, meals at the Peach Pit, and the infamous Shannon Doherty vs. everyone rift–it is a good laugh.

One of the best parts of this event was the Q&A afterwards with Spelling and Garth (photo above). They talked about everything from their kids (who have become friendly with each other–Tori’s older two had a sleepover at Jennie’s house recently) to the work/family balance (nearly impossible) to growing into middle age (they both say they are both more comfortable in their own skin than they ever have been). The two women have a great rapport with each other–you can tell they are really good friends in real life, too. As someone who grew up watching them on the TV screen every week as Donna and Kelly, I enjoyed seeing them as friends in real life two decades later.

Thank you to The Moms for inviting me to this event! I was not compensated for this post (though I did receive a Skinnygirl Sparkler water which was quite delicious), and all opinions are, as always, entirely my own.

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Check Out My Etsy Shop

il_570xN.152776033If you’re a newer reader to this blog, you may not know that I have an Etsy shop called Brown Eye Blue (check out the shop’s About section for info. on that name). I sell my original photography notecards including the one shown above, July 4th Flag Photo Notecard which sells for $3.95 with free shipping in the U.S. I make lots of other fun seasonal cards, too (and if love Autumn, check back in late summer because I have pumpkin and foliage photography galore…).

Special offer for MyMomShops readers: Tell me you read about BrownEyeBlue from MyMomShops blog in the “Notes to Seller” section when you check out, and I’ll add an extra surprise to your delivery. Valid through 7/31.

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Stick with the World Cup

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world-cup-stickersEven though our team lost yesterday (waaaaah), my 7-year-old son is still qiote interested in his new Panini FIFA World Cup 2014 Brasil Sticker Album that I bought at a local card store this week. They were selling like hotcakes. This album is chock full of photos and info on all of the participating teams, plus includes stickers of stars (from favorite teams including USA, Mexico, Argentina,Brazil, Germany, Spain, and France) that can be matched on each country’s page of the album. He’s learned a lot and, frankly, so have I! Buy it for $4.78 at Amazon.com.

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7 Ways to Glam Up Your Desk with Gold Accessories

If you’re on Pinterest or read home design magazines, you know that gold accents are on-trend right now.  They are especially popular in home offices because, let’s face it, everyone wants to make their desk look more glamorous.  With some carefully chosen accessories, you too can add a touch of gold to your home office.  I did this for my own desk area–take a look:

1) Gold dot decals.  Add gold dot decals to your desk wall.  I bought mine on Etsy from a seller who’s since closed shop, but the Land of Nod’s Lottie Dots Decals ($24.95) are very similar. I bunched them closely at top towards one side, and then spaced them out going down in a cascading effect:

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2) Gold handset phone.  When I make calls on my iPhone from home, I use this limited edition Native Union retro gold handset (now discontinued, but a similar model available at Amazon.com) for $9.95).  It makes me feel extra fancy.

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3) Gold foil wall art.  To the left on the wall over my desk, right above my Brocade Stacklable Letter Tray (Container Store, $15), is this “Je Ne Regrette Rien” gold foil print ($25) from Etsy, inside a 9 x 12″ brass frame purchased from a local stationery shop.  Want a different print/quote?  Search “gold foil print” on Etsy and you’ll find dozens.

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4) Gold ghost chair.  Have you seen these clear “ghost chairs” all over the blogosphere too?  They’re inspired by Kartell’s famous Louis Ghost Chairs ($450, Wayfair.com) and are a classy, modern, and space-savvy way to add glamour to any office area. I was lucky enough to score one at a moving sale, but if you, too, can’t spend the $450 on Wayfair.com, check out the more affordable Casper Dining Armchair in Yellow ($115, Amazon.com).

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5) Framed cards.  An inspirational quote in a pretty frame is a nice touch at your desk, too.  I love this card by Quotable Cards ($3.50 per 5″ square card)…and it happened to fit perfectly inside a silver-plated square frame I got as a wedding gift years ago.   If you’d like to find a gold-hued frame in this hard-to-size frame, here’s a pretty one ($22) from Etsy.

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6) Gold office supplies.  And, two of my very favorite desk accessories in glorious gold: these limited edition Gold Scissors ($16.99) and Swingline Stapler in Gold ($15.99), both by Nate Berkus for Target, in-store only. I was lucky enough to snag them in-store before they sold out.  Now you can get them on Ebay (if you’re willing to pay a little more).

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7) Gold shelf accents.  And, last, a “shelfie” of three shelves near my desk, which I’ve carefully put together.  From top shelf: Semikolon Pink Document Box ($19.99, Container Store), gold pig bookends ($29.95, CB2), teal vase by West Elm (similar modernist vases by West Elm, $29-$49), vintage gold wood Pottery Barn initial “J” (similar one at Etsy for $48).

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And don’t forget other office must-haves that you can find in gold, too, such as paper clips ($5.59, Staples) and pencils ($8, Etsy).  Have fun decorating!
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Go USA!!!

IMG_6978I’m thrilled to see that my 7-year-old son–who hasn’t been much of a sports fan–has taken a keen interest in this year’s World Cup. In fact, he and I watched the whole U.S. vs Portugal match on Sunday night; this was the first time he had watched an entire sports game on TV. Today at day camp he’ll be cheering again for the U.S. versus Germany, while wearing his World Cup T-shirt that I nabbed for ten bucks at Old Navy last week. It’s no longer available online, but you can get a ringer tank version for $14.94 (plus, if you’re buying online, use code “ONSAVENOW” for an additional 15% off). Enjoy the game!

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Artistic Board Books for Early Readers

homegrownbooksI first discovered Home Grown Books when I judged the Baby & Child division of the NY Now trade show, and I was pleased to meet its founders at another show recently. This little company makes “art-based eco-friendly books” for beginning readers. Think board books, but more artistic and original, and grouped in soft-bound sets of 9 volumes.  The content of each book set–whether “City & Country,” “Environment,” or “Play,”–is simple but child-friendly, catching the attention of the youngest readers.

We got a sample “Play” set for seven-year-old S. to check out, and even though he has advanced beyond this reading level (thanks to his excellent special education school, he is reading at an age-appropriate level!) he definitely enjoyed them and even offered this review:  ”These are good for kids who just started reading. I like the pictures.” There you have it.  I’d add that I think these typically would be good for kids ages 2-6, i.e. kids who won’t rip up a softcover book!

Plus, something else for moms to love–the books are entirely eco-friendly. The printing process used by Home Grown Books is green from start to finish, using wind power, recycled paper, and no-VOC vegetable inks.

Browse all of the titles and buy a set for $19 at Home Grown Books.

I received a sample book set for purposes of this review. All opinions are, as always, entirely my own.

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