Rock a Clutch Casually

 I’m guilty of lugging around a handbag big enough to hold a newborn baby. The bigger the bag, the more junk I seem to throw in it. Although I never want to be caught without something (say, a bottle of water or a good book to pass the time), sometimes it’s just not necessary to carry around so much junk! Fear not! That is why the clutch was invented. It holds all your essentials and comes in a variety of colors and styles that could be perfect for a day at work or even a night on the town.

 

A black clutch will add flair to any jeans and T-shirt combo. Plus, you can rock this go-with-everything clutch with evening wear for a big party.

Bright clutches will add a pop of color to your ordinary work wear. There’s no easier way to update your closet full of black skirts and blazers than with a bright accessory. If you’re feeling bold, throw on matching heels or bracelets.

Envelope style clutches are extra professional –perfect for that midday meeting or lunch with the boss.

Break out the patterned, sequined, or animal print clutches for a day at the office or out with the kids, but just remember: keep the rest of your outfit basic so your clutch can take center stage.

Totsy’s sale event, Chez Bags, features functional and fashionable clutches for a day of running errands or a night out with the hubby!

Chez bags – UP TO 67% OFF!! SALE ENDS 9/2!!  http://bit.ly/nImbnQ

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun, follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan, @mytotsy) or Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan).

How To: Develop Fine Motor Skills for Preschoolers

As children ages 3-5 enter preschool, their interest in drawing and coloring begins. In order to promote the effective and efficient development of fine motor skills, parents should encourage children to participate in upright tasks with their arms and hands positioned to work against gravity. Gravity will increase the stability and strength of the torso, shoulder, arm and wrist, which ultimately promotes the precision and refinement of hand and finger movements. Here are some tips:

  • Wall-mounted chalkboard or dry erase board
  • Standing or table-top easel
  • Adjustable, commercial slant board
  • Slanted desk
  • Paper taped to window/wall
  • Playing in the sand on all four limbs
  • Paper towel with window cleaner to make designs on mirror or window

Manipulative activities foster the development and strength of the fine motor muscles of the hand that are needed for precision in handwriting and cutting skills. It also encourages use of both hands for the development of hand-eye and bilateral coordination. Some of these activities include:

  • Stickers
  • Putty, clay, Play Doh
  • Felt boards
  • Spray bottles, squirt toys
  • Stamping activities
  • Lacing cards
  • Stringing beads
  • Squeezing bubble wrap
  • Measuring/pouring ingredients
  • Tearing lettuce

Grasping patterns are important for proper manipulation of writing tools. These items force children to utilize only their index and middle fingers to correctly grasp, support and manipulate the writing tool:

  • Broken (thick and short) crayons
  • Thick paint brushes
  • Broken pieces of sidewalk chalk
  • Short and thick markers

When a child expresses an interest in writing letters, first encourage them to draw vertical and horizontal lines, circles, shapes, and people. This will help them learn to orient the things they draw from top to bottom and left to right. As they begin to understand the concepts of directionality, they will be on their way to learning how to correctly form letters.  Have your child use their index finger to practice writing in/on:

  • The air (large movements)
  • Sand or dirt
  • Finger paint
  • Play doh
  • Shaving cream in the tub/shower
  • Chalk boards

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You can also check out the TOY TESTER APPAREL sale event here: http://bit.ly/peivWT – items ar eup to 61% off and event ends 9/1. Happy shopping!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun, follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan, @mytotsy) or Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan).

Football Season Fashion!

NFL season starts on September 8 – that’s NEXT Thursday!! We are super-psyched! While your hubby might be happy throwing on his team jersey and a pair of sweats he finds lying around, we know you’ll be putting a bit more thought into your gear. And with vibrant colors being a huge hit this fall, it has become easier than ever to root for your favorite team in style. Whether you’re at work, on a date, or on the playground with the little ones, here are four outfit options that exude team spirit!

We tried to cover all the colors of the rainbow with select teams. But here are some ideas!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Green Bay Packers:

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Chicago Bears:

 

Baltimore Ravens:

 

By the way, the first game of the season features the Saints v. the Packers on 9/8! Check your local listings!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun, follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan, @mytotsy) or Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan).

Dine with Autumn – From Cali!

Hey Totsy moms, it’s Autumn coming to you from Totsy in California, with this week’s recipe tip. Out here we’re big on sunshine, swimsuits, and salads – year-round. Well the salad part at least. This one was my favorite as a little girl, and even now my 43 year-old foodie brother still asks for it by name. So you know it’s tasty. More importantly, it’s super easy and your kids will love it.

Taco Salad

Time: 30 min,  Serves: 3-4

  • Ground Beef or Turkey – cook a half-pound or so of your favorite ground meat. Season to taste, and set aside to cool.
  • Organic tomatoes (any variety) – two medium-sized, diced
  • Avocado – one medium sized, cubed
  • Cheddar cheese – 1 cup grated
  • Green onion – one stalk, finely chopped
  • Romaine lettuce – one head, washed and chopped
  • Garbanzo or kidney beans – half to whole can
  • Corn – 1 cup frozen & defrosted
  • Tortilla chips or strips*

Dressing: Mayo, salsa, ketchup, rice wine vinegar, olive oil. Use the ketchup and mayo sparingly, just enough to make it slightly creamy and sweet. The vinegar, oil and salsa comprise the majority of this dressing. Sounds crazy, but trust. It’s deelish.

Assembly is simple. Once the ground meat has been cooked and cooled:

  1. Combine all of your ingredients (besides the chips) together in a bowl.
  2. Toss with your dressing, starting small and adding as you need.
  3. Crush the tortilla chips* and sprinkle on top of each plate as you serve.

*For an extra special treat, sub out the tortilla chips for Doritos. Oh yeah, I said it. Even us health freaks in Cali love the Doritos every now and again.

Enjoy!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun, follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan, @mytotsy) or Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan).

How to Save On School Supplies

There are several ways to save on school supplies. If you are a smart shopper, who plans ahead, keep your eyes open and stay organized, you’ll be able to save hundreds this school year. Did you know that the average family will spend $606.40 on electronics, school supplies, clothing and shoes this school year? Yeah, that’s a little ridiculous and in this economy, who has that type of money to be throwing away?

– By registering with Upromise.com and purchasing through the site you’ll be able to start saving for your children’s college tuition. Even if you don’t have children you can create a account to go to a child you are close with. You can even attach your Upromise.com account to your Kroger Plus & CVS ExtraCare cards. Just another great way to save!

– For many of us, online shopping has become a way of life. When using sites like ShopAtHome.com and Ebates.com you’ll earn cash back on your online purchases. If you are a new member to both of these sites, they are offering you a $5 sign on bonus if you make a qualifying purchase within 60 days. So be sure to take advantage of the FREE $5. This is a great way to pay less out of pocket for the upcoming Holiday Shopping season! To maximize your online shopping savings, both of these sites also offer coupon codes. If there is a coupon to be used at a store, these sites will have it!

– Did you know that when you use your Staples Rewards you will receive $2 back by recycling ink cartridges or toner? That’s right! Just so happens that I have 6 Epson ink cartridges that need to be recycled! Be sure to check with your local office supply store to find out if they offer a ink cartridge credit.

Walgreens has probably got to be one of my top ways of saving on ink. If you watch their weekly ads they will often run a special for $10 ink refill (color or black). They also tend to run a really good deal around Earth Day every year. If you get your photos printed at Walgreens there are often coupons for ink refills on them as well. For more ways to save on ink, be sure to read the 7 Ways to Save on Printer Ink article.

– One of the easiest ways to purchase FREE school supplies is by rolling your Extra Bucks at CVS. Every week from here until the end of September you’ll be able to make a purchase of an item and receive the purchase price back in Extra Bucks. You can then purchase a different item with your Extra Bucks and receive it for FREE! Be careful as the limit is usually 1. You can do this every week to receive FREE school supplies. Last year I did this and stocked up on mechanic pencils, scissors, pens, copy paper, rulers, notebooks and folders. This was an easy way to donate to a local family who was unable to purchase school supplies.

Target is another great store to shop at for school supplies. Last year I was able to pick up the Embark Lunch Tote for $3.99 at Target. Then submit for a rebate and receive $4.29 back! There’s plenty of writing utensils that have been FREE the past few weeks along with Scotch Magic tape. Be sure to check out the Target Deals at CincinnatiCoupons.net.

– Don’t purchase book covers, instead reuse those brown bags from the grocery store. I always loved making my own book covers because it let me be creative. Plus after a few months of the books being thrown around in the lockers and bookbags you can easily change out the book cover.

– When I got to high school, I was always losing my pens and pencils. Can anyone else relate? Have your teens decorate a clean soup can to stick into their locker. That way they can put extra pens and pencils into their locker that they can grab quickly. I wish I would’ve done that back in the day!

– Clothing can be a bit expensive. Especially when you have “tweens” who gotta be stylish. Consider a Clothing Swap with other friends, family and neighbors and be sure to check out ThredUp. In the meantime, browse Kohls, JcPenney, The Children’s Place and Target for some great deals on clearance items. Be sure to give these companies your email address because all of these stores have great coupons and sales that can be used on clearance clothing.

– Try to steer clear of the outlet malls. Yes, we have some really great stores, but, there are better options. For example, head down to Hebron, KY to the Gap Outlet. You’ll be able to score 3-5 pair of jeans at the Gap Outlet vs. the price it is for 1 pair at the outlet malls. I was just at the new Premium Outlets in Monroe this past weekend and there were not many great deals. However, if you must go be sure to sign up for the VIP Club at Premium Outlets. You will receive a coupon and then you’ll redeem that coupon at the Information desk located in the food court. There are some decent coupons.

Cincinnati Coupons

About: Marci is a 28 year old Stay at Home Mom to a beautiful two year old girl. Marci married the love of her life, Jason, on October 10, 2009. Marci lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and loves helping individuals save as much money as possible.

Marci starting saving money in the summer of 2008. After doing some research she became addicted to saving money. Marci believes there is a coupon and/or a discount for everything.

On December 7, 2009, Marci launched her own site at CincinnatiCoupons.net. Her site is growing rapidly and has now set another set of goals to accomplish!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun, follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan, @mytotsy) or Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan).

 

The 7 Trendy Fall Pieces We Love

Here at Totsy, we didn’t exactly rush to the salon for blue hair streaks or invest in neck-enveloping feather earrings. But this fall, we’ll see a spike in ladylike apparel we can actually feel cool and confident about.

While your tween daughter might still be obsessing over peace signs and neon tees, you can revamp your wardrobe with these seven season essentials.

1.      Chunky Sweater

Cozy has never been so chic! Knitted sweaters will keep you toasty as temperatures fall, but will look totally pulled together with a classic pair of trousers and pumps.

2.      Straight Leg Trousers

Pants have never looked so runway worthy. More sophisticated than skinny jeans and just as flattering, a straight leg will highlight your curves and make legs look sky high.

3.      Leather Jacket

Treat yourself to a badass jacket in buttery leather (you deserve it!). Not only will it last for eons, but it can make a laid back t-shirt and jeans combo ten times classier. Plus, who would dare bully your tot on the playground once they’ve learned mom is fabulously fierce?

4.      Leopard Flats

Flats are a must-have this fall and we couldn’t be happier: no more aching feet for us! Animal prints will be all the roar rage as soon as the heat wave ends, so invest in some trendy leopard print flats.

5.      Red Carryall

Cherry red will make any outfit a sure standout, so stash your gloss, magazine, and wallet in a yummy carryall.

6.      Pleated Skirt

 Pleated skirts are so of-the-moment and can be worn with everything from a silk blouse to a fitted tank.

7.      Fitted Blazer

A clean, fitted blazer will dress up any outfit. Just slip one on and marvel at how your tanks and striped tees become ready for a night on the town.

-Diana Denza

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun, follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan, @mytotsy) or Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan).

 

How to: 5 Ways to Add Color to Your Wardrobe

Fall is quickly approaching, and along with the cooling temperatures, we’re in store for quite the colorful surprise. If you’ve been limiting your palette to black, brown, and grey as soon as the first leaves hit the ground, you might want to update your look with a pop (or two!) of bright hues.

Renowned designers like Moschino and Michael Kors have been sending their models down the runways in everything from red suits to fuchsia and orange frocks.

So, here’s how you can brighten up your ensembles yet still look office/date with the hubby appropriate.

 

Step Out in a Colored Coat

Trench coats will be all the rage come fall, so make sure you scoop one up before the masses catch on. A coat in cherry red, emerald green, or deep purple will add color to your look again and again.

Invest in Heels…

We know you’ve become attached to your trusty black pumps, but let’s face it: so has just about every other woman! Stand out in the crowd with metallic kitten heels or wedge booties in an eye-catching shade.

…and a Vibrant Wardrobe Staple

You don’t have to OD on color to rock this trend, so splurge on a key piece you’ll wear dozens of times like a maroon blazer or lilac pleated skirt. Incorporating a few new key pieces into your wardrobe will save you from looking like a Rainbow Brite impersonator, not to mention a hefty credit card bill.

Accessorize in Brights 

Swap your gold hoops for oversize studs in red, pink, yellow, or any other color of the rainbow. If you’re not one to ditch your fine jewelry in favor of going costume for a season, trade your usual belt for a bright braided one. For an additional topper, slip a painted wooden bangle onto your wrist.

Paint in Color

For a super simple way to give your ensemble a dose of color, treat yourself to a bright mani-pedi. For the faint of heart, remember: red nails are timeless and totally ladylike.

-Diana Denza

 

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun, follow us on Twitter (@totsyfan, @mytotsy) or Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsyfan).