Thursday, May 30, 2013

Instructions for my Husband: We're Still Not Buying Sketchy Skechers

Remember how back in 2011 I told you we were not buying their shoes because of sketchy Skechers ridiculous, insulting, hideous campaign to get pre-teen girls to wear shape-up sneakers, to look good for the boys in class?

Well, we still aren't buying Skechers. Sure, the shape-ups are off the market (not because Skechers saw the error of their ways) because the FTC made them stop selling them for false claims that could not be substantiated.

And yet, while you might think this is the year you could make your daughters' dreams of owning twinkle toes shoes be realized: it is not.

Because now Skechers has managed to find something arguably even more offensive than fucking shape-up sneakers for first-graders.

It's a line of shoes for teen and pre-teen girls called... DADDY'S MONEY.

Wait, sorry, that's not quite right it's DADDY'$ MONEY. Apparently Skechers is too cla$$y for a regular ol' S when they can plop a $ in there instead and make it like they're all cool to the kid$.

Ironically, after the shape-up bullshit these new shoes have a "hidden 2-inch wedge." Because you can't start too early teaching girls their body isn't thin enough, tall enough or good enough.

I don't even know where to start to explain the outrage and revulsion I feel that from all of the clever names they could have picked, Skechers chose Daddy'$ Money. Apparently this was the best they could come up with after deciding Shoes for Your Whore Daughters was just going too far.

Also, I'm going to guess Mommy's Money didn't have the same ring, nor did Shoes I Bought with Own Damn Money.

I want to think that it doesn't matter. Who cares if some stupid over-priced garish shoes are called Daddy'$ Money or any other dumb name. But I think it really does matter. These aren't shoes being marketed in a kitschy way to grown-ups. These are shoes - with a hidden heel! - being marketed to teens and tweens, specifically teen and tween girls - there are (surprisingly!) no shoes for boys in the Daddy'$ Money line.
And that's why it matters. We don't want our daughters, and girls everywhere to think that Daddy's Money is the answer, literally or figuratively to get shoes, or anything else in life. And it's never too early to teach girls that they matter, their choices matter, and that when companies make bad choices we need to show them that that matters, too.... by not buying their crap.
So when this family spends Daddy's money - and Mommy's money - it's going to be on shoes with names like Free Run and Jazz, and the shoes we buy won't have any hidden heels, or hidden messages.

And in case you're wondering if it's just me, it's not. I'm not the only one that thinks these shoes suck. So do a lot of other people, you can read why they're outraged here.

So to sum up: Do not come home with Skechers for the girls no matter how much they want them. They'll thank you later, I'm sure.

This is my thirty-third instruction in my ongoing series Instructions for my Husband.

Follow along on Facebook on the Instructions to my Husband page where there's always something funny (or frustrating) going on.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Week in Review: Gun Sense Advocacy and Nostalgia for the Nursery School Days

Last week I was a little lazy - both with writing here on my blog and with writing elsewhere. I think it's a trend that will carry from today - Memorial Day, and the unofficial start of summer - through Labor Day.

While I'm a pretty dedicated writer for nine months of the year, these three months of summer are oh-so-fleeting, and as much as I like the tappity-tapping of my fingers on the keyboard, I find it oh-so-easy to say goodbye when the weather turns nice. And of course, my three favorite little people are also underfoot, so even if the mood to tappity-tap did strike me, it's unlikely I could indulge it with mini-golf to be played, snacks to be fetched and books about pigeons to be read, only to be read again.

I've also started spending more of my time working as a volunteer for Moms Demand Action, a non-partisan group that demands action from legislators, companies, and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms.

Last week I attended a forum to discuss gun safety and gun sense advocacy, and I urge others to learn more about what the gun laws are where you live. Is it legal to carry a concealed weapon? Do your neighbors who own guns, and purchase them from a licensed dealer, undergo background checks - and if so, what are the extent of these checks?

The speaker at the event I attended, Robert Tessaro, shared many eye-opening statistics and information, much of it which I did not know prior to hearing him talk. For example, did you know that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives hasn't had a permanent director since 2006 - the same time that due to NRA efforts it became necessary for a Senate confirmation of the director, one that in the seven years since has never been secured. You can read more about it on the Wikipedia page, but here's a short except:
“The bottom line is the gun lobby will oppose any nominee who promises to be a strong and effective director of the ATF,” said Dennis Henigan, vice president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Indeed, it was persistent lobbying by the NRA. that helped to get the confirmation requirement instated. In 2007, Bush nominated Mike Sullivan for the position, a U.S. Attorney from Boston with a good reputation, but Republican Sens. Larry Craig and Michael D. Crapo, both from Idaho, blocked his confirmation after complaints from an Idaho gun dealer."

I don't know about you, but when one in six of all accidental deaths of children is from guns, I think it's time for everyone to take action - not just me and other concerned parents, but legislators, responsible gun-owners, and anyone who thinks it's absolutely unacceptable that eight kids die from guns every single day.

I also urge anyone with children who are old enough to go unaccompanied to friends' homes to find out if there is a gun in the home, and if there is, if it is secured safely. Parents magazine has a very helpful article about how to ask about gun safety in the other homes, Guns Within Reach, as well as a Gun-Safety Pledge, which is also an important read.

The forum I attended also displayed an incredibly moving exhibit, Silent March, with shoes representing each person killed by gun violence in New Jersey since Newtown.

It's a lot of shoes.


I only wrote one piece last week, which was Nursery School Relics for The Huffington Post. It's a story from five years ago, about my oldest daughter's last day of nursery school. My littlest is going into his last year of nursery school next year, and then it's on to Kindergarten and bigger and better things for him. They really do grow-up so fast.

And while I may be sad and sappy about my children growing-up, the fact that they are growing-up is all that matters to me and my heart breaks each and every day for the mothers who are not given this joy because a gun shot and killed their child. And of course, my own heart worries each and every day that one day this sadness I feel for other mothers might not be so abstract.

So tomorrow I will call and write and email and read the nasty comments people leave on my Facebook and Instagram accounts and anywhere else I dare to express that I think gun regulation would mean good things for all of us, because it really does matter that much.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hilarious! Have you seen the "Convos With My 2 Year Old" film yet?

I could watch these all day long. I hope the next one is out soon!

If you haven't watched "Convos With my 2 Year Old," you must. Seriously, like right now.

Note: Saw this originally on Barista Kids.

Also: Kids' conversations are funny. Here are films of my daughters' ridiculous conversations about rhinestone spaghetti that my brother animated.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Duane Reade "Happy & Healthy!" #cbias #DRHappyHealthy

It's no surprise to regular readers that I'm a big fan of the drugstore Duane Reade.

Even though I live in New Jersey, I love to shop at this New York City chain, and I'm looking forward to the day -- hopefully soon -- when there are more than just a handful of locations here in the Garden State.

I took the train from New Jersey into the Big City all by my lonesome, which is always a treat, to do some summer clothes shopping and to stop by Duane Reade.

I took a few minutes to check out on my phone which items were being featured, in the latest issue of  Duane Reade's Healthy & Happy newsletter, which is available both online and in stores.

The latest Happy & Healthy features lots of great deals and a very glam Fergie on its cover:

I immediately spotted a few Ology good deals, which has become one of my favorite brands since being introduced to the laundry detergent and fabric softener on a previous Duane Reade trip.

We had just run out of dish soap at our house, so I was glad to see that was one of the items on sale ($3.99 with card).


After a quick debate over whether I wanted fragrance free (my usual default), I chose a bottle of citrus scented liquid dish detergent with the feeling this may be my new go-to dish soap of choice.

I also picked up three bottles of seltzer (99 cents each) for the price of two which was a total score because my daughters and I drink seltzer like it's well uh water. Super-yummy orange and lemon flavored carbonated water.

Of course, I used my Balance Rewards card, and now I'm soooo close to my next 5,000 point award.

So with a nice collection of new summer clothes, as well as a stash of dish soap and seltzer, I headed back home to Jersey, another successful trip to Duane Reade and a great day in my favorite city.

And of course, immediately did the dishes, because that is my glamorous suburban life.

I've got lots more photos from my trip over in my Google+ Album, check them out here.

You can also learn more about Happy and Healthy by following the hashtag: #DRHappyHealthy on Twitter, as well as @DuaneReade on Twitter.

You can also find Duane Reade on Facebook and YouTube.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Week in Review: Sea Lion Exhibit at Turtle Back Zoo, A Book Signing in Princeton and A New Facebook Page!

This was a fun week.

For Barista Kids I covered Blueprint Studio, a new place for kids fashion design and photography classes, camps and parties in Millburn, as well as the new Sea Lion Sound Exhibit at Turtle Back Zoo:

For New Jersey Family, I covered clever temporary tattoos, a whimsical children's book, ideas for old-fashioned picnics, how to have a fancy day with your daughter, and more. You can read about it all here.

Thursday night I met up with two of my co-authors from I Just Want to Pee Alone to sign books and talk motherhood and mayhem as part of Girls Night Out in Princeton, NJ. The Farmhouse Store was gracious enough to host us, and we had a fantastic time.


I'm above in the middle, with Amy of Funny is Family on the left and Kim of The Fordeville Diaries on the right.

And last but not least, I've started a new Facebook page.

It's called Instructions for My Husband, and it's a place not only to lovingly mock our husbands, but to poke fun at children, pets and roommates of all kinds. Come say hi at and share your stories!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm at My Life and Kids today!

If you're reading this, you're probably here because you just read my guest post at My Life and Kids.

Hello and Welcome!

Anna is one of my most favorite bloggers and people, and I love reading her blog because she always finds the happy, fun, hilarious, laugh-worthy side of the things - even if  she finds it covered in mud, vomit and/or tears.

So if you haven't gone over to My Life and Kids yet, head there and read my tale of toddlers and bunnies in The Bunny-Bait Incident.

Then read every single one of Anna's most popular posts, all of which will have you laughing 'til you cry. Oh, and then read her post from yesterday, Feeling Like an Amateur, which will not only have you laughing some more, it will (win-win!) have you feeling much better about your own day.

And if you're new here at Random Handprints, here are a few posts that might be worth a click:

The Top Ten Reasons We ALL Need a Mom - I wrote this after an afternoon of waiting on my kids when I realized all of my helpful mom-ing was being totally wasted on the young. Us moms need someone to do our laundry and cook our dinner, too!

A Cool Project for Toddlers on a Hot Day - This is a really easy project with ice that little kids love - perfect for summer!

Instructions for My Husband - Perhaps my favorite series on my blog, I leave instructions for my husband on everything from fashion to food. And I love guest posts, so if you would like to share a message for your better half just email me at anna (at) randomhandprints (dot) com. I also have an Instructions for my Husband Facebook page, so come say hi, it's lots of fun.

I also host Finding the Funny with Anna and lots of other funny folks on the first Wednesday of every month, so I hope to see you back here for the next one, if not before!

Thanks for coming by and thank you Anna so, so much for having me over to your place!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Week in Review - Gun Sense, Mother's Day and a Book Signing on Thursday

I'm not gonna lie, it was nice this week returning to my social social media using ways. If you want to hear about my week (semi) unplugged, I wrote about it for Barista Kids: Reflections on a Week Spent (Semi) Screen-Free.

On Saturday, I joined gun sense advocates for a march in Verona Park. (You can read more about it on the The Alternative Press - West Essex.) It was by far the most meaningful part of  my Mother's Day weekend. Participants carried eight flowers, representing the eight children who die every single day from guns and gun violence.

I urge anyone who believes in enacting common sense gun laws, to go from just thinking yes, I support that! to yes, I will volunteer, write letters to the local papers, and email my elected officials!

I do all of those things through the group Moms Demand Action, and I feel like my contribution is making a difference. But we could make a much bigger impact with your voice.

So please, if you have time, or can make time, join a group in your area or participate in the national campaigns sponsored by Moms Demand Action.

If you're here in New Jersey, consider following the Moms Demand Action -  New Jersey Facebook page to stay up to date with events, legislative updates and other campaigns for gun sense in New Jersey.

And last, I'll be at Princeton Girls Night Out with two of my co-authors from I Just Want To Pee Alone: Kim Forde of The Fordeville Diaries and Amy of Funny is Family. We'll be signing books and reading at The Farmhouse Store, as well as sharing laughs and exchanging our best tales of modern motherhood. Oh, and there will be wine.

Here are all the details:

Hope to see you there!

What are your plans this week?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

My mom has given me a lot of great advice over the years.

Here are a few of my favorites.

This one always makes me feel better when everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. My mom is a scientist, and apparently this was what they would say in the Lab when experiments didn't turn-out the way they expected.

She also, for reasons I don't know, is completely adamant that we fill-out the census:

She is also always very strict on pedestrian safety, as was her mother. To this day, after two generations of reminders not to, I never jaywalk.

And the only piece of advice from her that I don't follow:

My mom never has been a big crafter, and she is continually shocked that I am. So, of course, she was overjoyed when her grandson said, "I don't like arts & crap either, Gramma."

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Thanks for all the great advice over the years.

What's some of the best advice your mom has given you?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Top Ten Reasons We ALL Need A Mom

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and it got me thinking... moms are just another thing that are totally wasted on the young.

Kids don't appreciate at all how great it is to have someone working around the clock to make sure you have nutritional food to eat and weather-appropriate clothing to wear.

Kids don't appreciate even a little bit a mom's 24/7 attention to detail, whether it's inspecting small lacerations to the skin, detecting possible sadness in a tone of voice, or discovering hidden candy stashes before every rodent in the neighborhood takes up residence in the family home.
From nurse-duty, chauffeuring and a range of personal assistant duties, moms have an amazing skill-set. I say quit wasting moms on kids who don't appreciate all the services they provide, and let's start getting a mom for every grown-up. Especially all us moms, we need a mom the most.
Here are my Top Ten Reasons We ALL Need A Mom:
10. Moms tell you when you've watched enough TV, surfed the Internet long enough, and played enough video games and that it's TIME TO GO TO BED. This is especially important when you have a big day tomorrow!
9. Moms prepare three (semi) healthy meals a day, and are willing to cut-up fruit at a moment's notice. Moms will remember your favorites, and make them as often as possible. And moms will cook food to your specifications, plate it according to your whims, and even clean-up afterwards. All you have to do is sit still and eat your vegetables once in awhile.
8. Moms keep track of your nutrition and make sure you take your vitamins, eat enough vegetables, and drink plenty of water. They also make sure doctors are seen annually, and that any health problems that arise are taken care of without delay.
7. Moms manage your social calendar and schedule playdates at regular intervals to make sure you get to see all of our friends at least a few times a month. Moms also plan and throw the best birthday parties, and get you that just-what-you-wanted present.
6. Moms schedule your days to make sure there is time allotted for outdoor time, free play, exercise, as well as the all important quiet time -- and if desired, alone time. Moms also allow more than enough time to arrive at important appointments on time, and moms will usually even factor in traffic, a delayed start, or an unexpected bathroom or food break into the trip.
5. Moms help make important wardrobe decisions. Whether it's too much, too little, too seasonally inappropriate, or just not right for you, dear - mom always makes sure you look your best. Also? Mom will sometimes even pay for that new outfit.
4. Moms always make sure there is time to read everyday, as well as regular trips to the library and book stores for new reading material. If there's an author you really like, she'll often surprise you and come home with the latest book.
3. Moms make hot drinks when you come in on cold days, and cold drinks when you go out on hot days. Often with fun straws and pretty cups. They will also make these same drinks for all your friends, if you just say please.
2. Moms encourage you to say you're sorry when you really should, even if you really, really don't want to.
... and last but not least, the #1 reason we all need a mom is to:
1. Tell you when to knock it off and stop fighting with the people you love the most.

Happy Mother's Day!

What other reasons do you have for why we ALL need a mom?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Instructions for My Husband: Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream are Not "the Same Thing"

I know I refer to going to the frozen yogurt place as "getting ice cream," but that is because I am talking to the kids, and frankly (no offense kids!) they're too young and stupid to know the difference.

So I will admit that I was surprised when you told me you thought frozen yogurt and ice cream are -- and I quote -- "the same thing."

There is a difference, because frozen yogurt is not actually ice cream -- it's frozen yogurt.

And while sure, I remember that Seinfeld episode where the whole gang got fat from eating too much frozen yogurt that claimed to be fat-free, and I'm the first to admit that frozen yogurt may not be nearly as good for you as they claim it is, but it still isn't nearly as as bad for you as ice cream.

Just one example:

8 oz from Red Mango: 200 calories

8 oz from Carvel: 410 calories

Ice cream is about twice as bad for you as frozen yogurt. And while I only felt like Googling one example, feel free to google as many other combinations as you would like.

As this photo shows, kids are equally happy with frozen yogurt (top) or ice cream (bottom).

In fact, one of the kids seems okay just eating a shoe (calorie count unavailable):

And while the kids might want to junk up the frozen yogurt with Fruity Pebbles and Gummy Bears, you can just quietly steer them towards the blueberries and pineapple, and call it a healthy outing.

Or,as the kids call it, getting ice cream.

This is the thirty-second instruction in my ongoing series of Instructions for My Husband.

I've also just made Instructions for my Husband its very own Facebook page. Go be an early adapter and like it, please?!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Win Two Tickets to Listen to Your Mother in New York City! {Giveaway Now Closed}

Giveaway is now closed.
Congrats to the winner, Quiana!
This Sunday is Mother's Day.

This Sunday is also the Listen to Your Mother Show at Symphony Space in New York City.

The show, which also takes place in 23 other locations across the country, is a collection of stories about motherhood, read by the women who wrote them. What better way could there be to celebrate Mother's Day?

There's an amazing line-up of women reading including some of my favorite Jersey girls:
- The hilarious and inspiring Kim Forde of The Fordeville Diaires
-  Playwright Sandy Rustin of the musical Rated P for Parenthood
-  Writer Tracy Beckerman, who just released her new book, Lost in Suburbia

And.... I have two tickets to Listen to Your Mother to giveaway to one lucky winner!

To enter just leave a comment with what you think moms should get on Mother's Day.

For me, sleeping late and not cleaning-up anything that came out of my offspring top my list!

For additional entries:
- like Random Handprints on Facebook
- follow Anna_Sandler on Twitter
- follow Anna Sandler on Pinterest

Good luck! Enter now - giveaway ends at 11:59EST on Wednesday, May 8.

The Listen To Your Mother Reading Series NYC Show will take place on Mother’s Day, Sunday, 5/12 at 5pm at Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street).Tickets are $25 (advance), $30 (at the door) and can be purchased in advance online at

For more information on the Listen To Your Mother Reading Series please visit

Disclosure: I received two tickets to giveaway to the show as well as two tickets to attend the show myself.

Contest small print:
Contest open to U.S. residents age 18 and over. Contest ends at 11:00pm EST, Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Winners will be randomly selected and announced here as well as emailed with the good news. Entrants must provide contact information in their comment. If winner does not respond within twenty-four hours, a new winner will be selected.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Week In Review: Other Stuff I Wrote and Reflections on Being (Semi) Screen-Free for Seven Days

Last week I went (semi) screen-free as part of Screen-Free Week, presented by Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, which is one of my very most favorite organizations.

And while I didn't spend the week completely screen-free, it was 100% Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram free, which alone is a pretty big accomplishment for someone like me who (I now realize) spends a lot of time on social media.

I did keep-up with my writing day job, which was part of why I didn't go completely screen-free.

For New Jersey Family, I wrote Seven Cinco de Mayo Activities for Kids. I found a bunch of unique ideas, like build-your-on Mayan pyramids, so if you're looking for some inspiration check it out

For Barista Kids I shared Five Great Books for Mother's Day -- and we're giving away copies of all of them, so go enter!

For Wonders of Westfield, my son and I went on assignment and covered 6 Great Playgrounds in Westfield.

As for this week, I think I'm going to take what I learned from my (semi) screen-free week and remember the world really does keep going just fine even if I'm not photographing what I ate for lunch on Instagram or sharing my latest ridiculous story about my kids on Facebook. That being said, I'm also pretty excited to go back to my old ways this week. Get ready for a photo retrospective of my garden!.

Have a great week everyone! Who has good plans?

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