Boxed Water is Better: Giveaway

12.7.14

My friend Stephanie is working with the folks from Boxed Water and asked me if I like it. Could she send me some water?

Well, I do like it. In fact I buy it every time I’m at Bloomingdales and my friends like it too but I couldn’t really bring myself to work for water even if it came in a box. I don’t feel like “reviewing” water that I’ve been buying for ages anyhow so I’ll just tell you why it is that I buy it, get it on your radar a little and then do a giveaway so that you too can make the switch from a bottle to a box.
boxed water is better at bloomingdales

I keep a good amount of water in the trunk of my car in case there’s an earthquake which means that the water in my trunk is constantly heating up and cooling down. If it was in a plastic bottle that would nicely infuse the water with eau de plastic, not my favorite flavor. Also, like every earthquake kit everywhere it gets cannibalized. I forgot the reusable water bottle for the tennis match… again, so instead I just grab a box from the trunk. If this was a case of bottles we all know what happens next: 23 rogue water bottles now roll around the trunk every time you take a corner. Boxes are just better.

Also they’re attractive. If you’ve got to have things around you it’s nice to have them be pleasing to the eye. Apparently there are a zillion green initiatives around Boxed Water, not the least of which involves shipping so if you’re curious look for that here.

The folks at Boxed Water is Better will be giving away a case of 24 boxes of water or three 8 packs, whichever you prefer. Good luck! And if you don’t win it’s not super spendy to grab your own.

Boxed Water

Monday Envelope is Going to Give You a Million Dollars – or a Hundred. Same Diff, Right?

09.4.14

I’ve been completely ignoring my blog and focusing on everyone else’s because, well, I don’t know. Because it’s more interesting for me to work with brands and bloggers and play matchmaker. The last couple of weeks I’ve been working with Monday Envelope and the timing is perfect. It’s a website that allows team and room parents to send group alerts, manage calendars, collect money and basically get some of your life back after you’ve made the mistake of volunteering to be room mom again, thinking you have the time and talent to get things done and then finding out that you don’t. Rather, you still don’t.

In any event, if you want to read up on Monday Envelope the best thing to do is just go to their homepage. It’s surprisingly straightforward for a site that does so much. Or, if you want to you can read what Trudi or Sondra had to say because they’re both better writers than I am, also those are blogs you might want to subscribe to. They’re kind of rad and they’re both women who I love to hang out with.

I’ve decided to use rad as much as possible this week because it irritates my kids and my friend Mike.

Back to Monday Envelope. I thought the site was a good match for Word of Mouth Women because I’m room parent in two schools now. I’ve been room parent in one class or another and most often both for 10 years. Because room parenting requires you to send mass cc emails I’ve had to set up a zillion different email addresses or risk having my work email blocked as spam. If you try bcc’ing 70 email addresses you’re doomed and it will absolutely land in spam. If you don’t bcc you end up with a disaster that every mom is familiar with.

Getting ready for the year

Getting ready for the year

I’ve used a lot of different things. Once upon a time I used big tent and they pretty good but then sort of changed direction and became more community and less communication. I sometimes use mail chimp because it lets me know if emails have been read or bounced.

This year we’re using Monday Envelope because when you’re in a K-8 school a lot happens in 8th grade and we need a robust calendar, we need a way to share and store documents and we need to be able to get our volunteers in motion.

The folks at Monday Envelope are giving away $200. $100 to a blog reader, anyone who enters this contest really and $100 to the PTA/PTO/sports league that the winner chooses. They only requirement is that everything is in the US and that there’s a non profit that Monday Envelope can send the $100 to. It’s super easy to enter and if you love the idea of your school getting a cash infusion here in the first weeks of the year be sure to tell your friends to enter.

And then next week I promise to write about my new obsession. Dog blood. I cannot stop thinking about it and I think you’ll be interested too.

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Swap.com For Expecting and New(ish) Moms

07.11.14

Every year my friend Rachel does this 30 day no shop challenge in January. The thinking is that in December we’ve all bought enough items to top off a dozen landfills and at some point we all have to look at the amount of things we’re buying and put the brakes on. Because of Rachel this year I joined a local swap shop and I pop in there every few weeks, drop off some old clothes and pick up new ones. The idea of “thrifting” makes me shudder so understand that I’m not suggesting anyone dive head first into the piles at Salvation Army (unless that makes you happy – my kooky kid likes it) but I am suggesting that we all take a look at swapping out some of the mountains of goods instead of buying new all the time.

Well, this whole notion of less shopping is easier said than done particularly if you’re a mother, even more so if you’re the mother of a pre school aged child because developmental phases seem to last approximately 37.5 minutes. There are needs (both real and imagined) for new sets of toys, clothes and accessories. You buy an infant carrier and the baby hates it. At your mommy and me class you try a friend’s carrier and find out that your kid loooooovvvveeees theirs. Oh hey, who doesn’t have $40 to fling into the ether for yet another baby carrier? Spending money on buying five versions of the same item is super fun, right?

Pop over to Swap.com and buy a new one for cash if you like.

swap.com baby carriers

The products are photographed and posted, you buy with a credit card, Amazon payments, or PayPal and the product is shipped to you. There’s a money back guarantee on everything and it’s all pretty straightforward.

Until….

buy without money

You see that little Buy without money? underneath the shopping cart logo? That’s where Swap get interesting and different from anyone else out there. You can trade on Swap.com without having to negotiate with anyone. The most difficult part of trading is taken out of the equation.

You can just send in items from your house. You don’t have to photograph them, describe them, market them or anything, just price them and send them to Swap.com. If you have a printer at home (you do, don’t you?) just print out a shipping label, slap it on a box or a bag and send in your unused items anywhere from maternity clothes to teenage items. If you need a bag or a box sent from them to you it’s $3. But really? You don’t have a box or a bag?

Once you’ve sent your products in they have technology they call “trade ring” and in it’s essence it’s an algorithm that creates trades with multiple people. This way you don’t have to find the one person who wants maternity dress your Aunt Sally sent you knowing that you hate dresses but she’s convinced your career will never more forward without wearing one. Your maternity dress can get swapped with someone’s Gymboree Outfit even though they wanted a baby swing from someone else. It all just sort of sifts out in a way that we can’t make happen efficiently in our personal lives.

swap.com buy without money

Of note: when you ship items to Swap.com they do not own them. You still own the items and control the pricing. If the items don’t sell you can have them sent back to you or you can donate them to charity. It’s just like a local consignment store without the limitations of a local market.

Like I said I’m recently converted to swapping in my personal life but I think that a third party like Swap.com is essential if you’re going to enjoy it. They make sure that everything is clean and in good condition with no missing parts. It’s expensive having kids and it’s fun to watch them discover a new toy and charming to put them in cute outfits. If you’re using Swap it’s a little less upsetting if they outgrow that outfit or toy before it’s used much at all, you can just buy something else with it.

As an added incentive the folks at Swap.com wanted to give one reader $50 to try the site. Good luck! I’ll announce a winner on the 22nd.

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Trunx Free Photo Storage Offer & Giveaway

01.22.14

I’m looking at pictures of my kids from 2008 on my cell phone right now. I’d forgotten about these quick pictures that I took, uploaded to Facebook and then ignored for the past 6 or so years. I’ve just imported them to Trunx and in a few minutes my Instagram photos will be there too.

trunx instagram api

trunx instagram upload

I’m maniacal about backing up photos of my family. Some of them live on the hard drive of my computer and they are all copied onto two standalone hard drives (in case one fails), further I have quite a few photos and videos saved to flickr and an account with Carbonite that I will never let expire. I don’t have a huge selections of photos on Flickr because it takes me a minute to remember the privacy settings and anything that takes extra time from me is not something I’ll use by default.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine that’s working with Trunx asked me to download the app and take a look at what it does. She said we’d get together and talk about it after the fact. So I downloaded Trunx, gave it permission to store my photos and sat back in delight and watched the past 7 years appear in a beautiful timeline organized by date. I was able to scroll through and delete a few photos (how many pictures of my car’s thermometer reading “perfect weather” have I taken?). I can even delete them by group.

trunx tag photos

I can also tag my photos so that I can find all my car thermometers in one place or (perhaps more importantly) so I can find all my photos of Jane, Alexander, Mr. G or the four of us easily. This can be handy when it’s time for class projects (notice how “adult” I am for not railing against class projects that require photo printing?).

Perhaps most importantly for the bulk of parents out there is that Trunx is private by default. We are all guilty of oversharing (myself included) and with Trunx every image is private by default but you can easily share with friends and family without worrying about their friends and family seeing your babies on their social networks.

trunx app timeline

I get that not everyone is thinking much about privacy (waving hello to the NSA! It’s boring over here) but our kids are. At Jane’s high school when kids are accepted to college they do two things: first off they wear jeans to school (it’s against dress code but when you’ve scored early admissions they let it slide for a day) and second off they put their names on Facebook. Yes, really. When kids are Juniors in High School one of the first things they do is take their names off of all the social networks because they know that normal teen antics may hurt them.

While my community has learned to make baby videos go viral my children have learned to shut down their sharing. 

Privacy is the new black.

Until the end of February Trunx is running a promotion where everything you upload is stored free (like forever). There is no limit to the storage you can get for photos uploaded before the end of next month. Now, with that being said some of you will wait until March and then be all “Wah! Where’s my free storage???” And I’ll put my hand on my hip and be all, “I told you so.” But of course one of you will be able to add free photos for a full year, you just need to enter this giveaway.

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Shopetti: A New Gig

08.16.13

Okay it’s not so much a “gig” as it is a massive gamble and even larger expenditure of time and energy. I’ve recently accepted a position on Shopetti’s advisory board.

Shopetti is a site (and an add on at the chrome store) which enables you to shop at a bunch of different stores and then pay for it in all one cart.

The pink S on the right is the shopetti plugin

The pink S on the right is the shopetti plugin

I love this. I shop for four people, a cat and dog. Being able to dump crap…. I mean treasures into one cart and then to pay once is incredibly helpful particularly around holidays and back to school. You know how you’re like “I’m only going over by $12 on her..” and then all of a sudden you’re $100 over budget because it was a bunch of little things that you bought at different stores and are redundant? Yeah, that.

One of the newest features (and everything is new because Shopetti is a very young company) is that when you leave things in your shopping basket and they go on sale you’ll get an email. Like this one.

shopetti sale alert

I’ve actually decided that as cute as the Manii shoes are they’re probably not going to do my RA any good…

There’s a quick and easy sign up with Shopetti, you can link it to Facebook or G+ in one click. The site is fun, if pinterest appeals to you, you’ll love Shopetti.

You should also know that it’s in an early beta and because of that new features will be rolling out pretty regularly.

If you want to give Shopetti a try I’ve got an added incentive for you. Money. Here’s a giveaway of $125 shopping spree. Someone is going to get  a $125 AMEX gift card (they should totally use it on shopetti). Enter the contest, refer a friend…. show me some love because I’m putting heart and soul into this new venture and I want to bring y’all there with me.

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