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Devon’s Discoveries: Energetic Toys

In our efforts to keep Bean from destroying the house with her creativity and energy, we’ve been looking for products to channel her energies appropriately.

Bean loves to color and she is a vigorous colorer, as you can see here:

The only problem was that her coloring was starting to make it’s way off of the coloring book pages and onto whatever surface she was coloring on: the table, the floor and the high chair tray, to name a few. The P’kolino easel has been the perfect solution! It looks great, and it provides three coloring surfaces: a white board for dry-erase markers, paper for crayons and regular markers, and a chalkboard. Bean spends hours each day creating beautiful masterpieces!

She has also been jumping in her crib for quite some time now. But I really want to make sure she sees bed as a place for sleep, not for wide-awake fun… so we needed a jumping solution.

Enter the Galt folding trampoline. The trampoline is compact and securely constructed, so it doesn’t take up too much space in our house and, more important, I know it’s a safe surface for Bean to work on her bouncing, stomping and jumping. Her bedsprings are thanking us!

Now if we could only figure out a way to channel her exuberant and sticky mealtime habits…

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother two, former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Time to Embrace the Hue of the Season-White on White

With the passing of Memorial Day, it’s time to user in the haute-white hue of the season. Known for its versatility and contemporary style association, white is quickly becoming the new must-have for your summer wardrobe.

You can go soft and simple with a snow white eyelet sundress.

Or edge it up with a structured blazer or dress that boasts modern notes.

We suggest doubling up with your accessories for white on white accents. Block out sun rays with a pair of pearlescent mod-shape sunnies.

 

When paired with an ultrasoft infinity scarf and ivory satchel, you have a Jackie-O inspired look just ready to take on trendy city scenes.

Shop our White On White accessories event on Tuesday, May 27th.

Q&A with Shark Tank Judge and Entrepreneur Mark Cuban

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Whether you know him as the wheeling and dealing judge on NBC’s “Shark Tank” or the boisterous owner of the Dallas Mavericks, we can all agree that Mark Cuban has a sharp instinct when it comes to investing in companies. And lucky for us, he’s introducing zulily customers to many of his most favorite companies. From bikes to beauty to healthy bites, we’re featuring 14 of Mark’s unique and innovative companies in our very special Shark Tank events. And for a special treat, we sat down with Mark to ask him a few questions.

What are the top three things you look for when selecting companies to back?

Intelligence, Commitment, Knowledge.

Define the qualities that make a solid entrepreneur in one sentence?

Ability to grind on A B and C  while preparing for D E and F and strategizing on G through Z.

When choosing Shark Tank companies geared for kids, how much do your own kids have a say in what you back?

They don’t have any say because we have to make a decision on the spot but I’m always considering  whether it’s a product or service they would use.

How do you balance being an entrepreneur, investor, reality TV personality, husband and father of three?

I don’t.  There really is no balance in my life. It’s family, and then a daily battle for my time between everything else.

Is Mark Cuban, entrepreneur on Shark Tank, anything like Mark Cuban, dad at home?
Yes . Other than during a Mavs game I’m the same person everywhere  all the time. During games I tend to be a lot more boisterous :)

Did your parents have any advice for you growing up that you instill in your kids?

Yes.  Definitely.  To treat all people the same.  With respect.  With consideration.  And to recognize that you can’t take life for granted. 

Flaunt Your Bump: Maternity Style Picks from Robin Otto

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As resident maternity fashion expert at zulily, Robin Otto knows a thing or two about helping women look and feel wonderful at this special time in their lives. Robin’s advice? “Don’t hide it! Flaunt your bump with side ruching and horizontal stripes!”

Check out Robin’s picks this week for getting the look:

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Breton Stripe Wrap Top from JoJo Maman Bébé, $34.99 (zulily); $64 (retail)

“The low wrap matched with the stripes gives this top some extra style and accentuates the bump in all the right ways.”

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Halterneck Swimsuit from JoJo Maman Bébé, $32.99 (zulily); $64.00 (retail)

“Horizontal stripes are also great in a swimsuit, making the bump pop with some nautical style.”

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Navy & White Stripe Maternity Crewneck Tunic & Belt, Can’t Wait Maternity, $32.99 (zulily) $50.00 (retail)

“I love matching tunics with tights for a comfortable maternity look that’s ready to go pretty much anywhere. Get this look in stripes with a belt that ties it all together.”

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Coral Tie-Dye Maternity Sleeveless Top, Anticipation, $17.99 (zulily), $34.00 (retail)

“This tank is perfect for summer with a bright coral color, and the side ruching pulls everything together around the belly.”

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Ocean Gathered Maternity Faux Wrap Dress, $109.99 (zulily) $175.00 (retail)

 “This dress is perfect for a spring soiree or work wear. The faux wrap creates a ruching effect that’s flattering and sophisticated.”

Tips on the Best Gifts For Dad

Scott Ruf, Merchandising Manager

Stuck in a Father’s Day gifting rut? One too many ties gifted, then never to be worn again? Well we’ve got some ideas! Hooray! With Father’s Day a month away, we sat down with Merchandising Manager Scott Ruf to get the scoop on what men really want—as gifts.

Finding gifts for men can be so hard, what makes you so qualified to give us advice?

I work with our teams to find great deals on products to deliver to mom every day. My specialty is finding footwear and apparel that our moms buy for the men in their life. And, I’m a father of two—a girl and a boy.

So, let’s get down to it, what do guys really want for Father’s Day?

Hobby-based gifts. Barbeque sets. Entertaining gifts. We want stuff that we can use and that has a purpose — stuff that does things.

And for the man who has everything?
He can always use an extra pair of sneakers.

What are your top five picks for Father’s Day gifts?

For the entertainer, either something for the bar or BBQ.

For the gadget head, a nice tablet cover or other tech accessory.

For the athlete, a new pair of sneakers, of course.

For the sport-enthusiast, anything from his favorite sports team.

And for the family man, plan an experience that he can enjoy with the whole family like a day out on a boat. 

Slumber Party Essentials

 

After making it through the initial anxiety of leaving your family for a whole night, you enter into a world where there is no bedtime, no limit to the amount of popcorn and Pringles you can consume, and no end to the hysteric giggling. Slumber parties are pretty much the best part about being a kid. Whether it’s getting the family together for a living room sleep-out or having girlfriends over for pampering and a chick flick, these picks will help create the perfect magical night.

Have a primp and pamper party with these delights.


Bring the magic of movies into playtime with this make-believe Mickey Mouse Clubhouse book.

 

Whether wrangling stallions in the Wild West or opening off-limits doors to the land of monsters, there’s an array of slipper selections to help set the stage.

 

And Help little ones get in the movie mood with supersoft superhero character-inspired pjs.

Build a nest in the living room with cuddle-worthy sleeping bags, blankets and more.

 

Snuggle up in intimate fashion inside this Monster University-themed tent of dreams.

And when it’s all over, don’t forget to tuck them in and turn on a warm-glowing night light for sweet dreams.

Summer Wedding Essentials

While summer is about to be in full swing, wedding season is already well underway. Today we’ve got a few of our favorite picks to help you out—whether you’re shopping for a few last-minute touches, going to a wedding or preparing for next year’s nuptials. One last thing—do you have your ‘something blue’?

Reception

Create the perfect atmosphere with rustic accents and décor that sets a homey, celebratory mood. This vintage-inspired Cotton Muslin Pennant Banner is ready to hang up as-is, but can also be easily personalized with a few dabs of fabric paint.

Beauty

If you’re looking for a sun-kissed glow without trips to the tanning bed, sweep on bareMinerals Faux Tan All-Over Face Color to highlight your natural radiance.

Accessories

Channel vintage-chic with these Crystal & Silver Teardrop Earrings showcasing a stunning cubic zirconia stone and swirling silver embellishments worthy of a bride.

 

Apparel –Women’s & Plus

Whether you’re an attendee or actually in the wedding (lucky you!) we’ve got some fabulous apparel choices. This Caribbean Strapless Empire-Waist Dress has a streamlined silhouette, while the lovely Dusty Pink Ruffle Strapless Dress flaunts some playful texture.

 

 

Shoes

Neutrals are in, and this pump proves it. The classic Nude Bow Kentia Slingback features a flirty peep toe to show off your fresh pedicure in a shade that complements wedding colors of any kind.

 

Kids

Find the perfect outfit and accessories for the flower girl, ring bearer and other tiny wedding attendees. This White Tier Dress & Shawl is a perfect all-in-one ensemble for the little petal-pusher. 

Last Minute Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother’s Day is this Sunday and there’s no time to buy something on zulily, so we asked around the office to get some creative ideas of what you could do for your Mom this Mother’s Day. 

Frame your "My Mom Is…" photo. It’s the best way to your mother’s heart (and to one-up your siblings, if you have any.)

Bake her a cake. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love cake? It’s a thoughtful gift for her and a treat that you and everyone else can also enjoy… talk about a win/win.

Huge balloons. I’m talking HUGE, like borderline ridiculous. These will last weeks, if not months, so it will be a constant reminder of how big your love is for her.

A puppy or kitten. Because… why not? “You’re welcome/sorry, Mom!”

A coupon book. She loves spending time with you, right? Make a book with coupons for free breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, movie night, a foot rub or maybe do her laundry for a change.

A portrait. She loved your artwork when you were younger… channel your inner Picasso and draw or paint something, anything! Maybe she will even hang it on the fridge.

Do an activity together. Paint pottery, go kayaking, check out the Tulip Fields, get manicures and pedicures, have a picnic, get ice cream or froyo, get professional photos on the beach in matching outfits, rent a tandem bike, go rock climbing or check out a spa. So many options out there…

Put your phone down. Just… put it away while you are spending time with her. Give her the gift of time. Unless you’re taking a photo with or of her and uploading it to our “My Mom Is…” page. Then, that’s okay.

Flowers and a card. Obviously. Don’t forget about those “Bacon Bouquets…”

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you Mother’s out there and thanks for all that you do.

Devon’s Discoveries: Nursing Gear

Now that Baby G has been here for a whole month (!), we’re finally settling into our routines. We’ve figured out our wake-up routine with two kids, who gets the night shift and who gets the morning shift, how to do one-on-one activities with each girl, how to get Baby G to take a nap… you get the picture.  

One thing I was worried about was how nursing would go with our almost-two year old running around. There were times that I nursed Bean for hours on end—but I knew that wasn’t going to fly this time around.  Luckily, Baby G is a great nurser and we didn’t have any of the issues we had with Bean when it came to latch and let-down.  But it’s still not easy to keep track of Bean or to keep her occupied while I’m feeding her sister… so convenience has become the key.  

I just bought three nursing tops made by Momzelle that I absolutely love!  The material is so soft and strong, it seems to hold in all of the new lumps and bumps I’ve acquired, and the tops make nursing a cinch.  Unlike the nursing tanks with the strap clasps and built-in bras, you can wear your own bra underneath these shirts (I recommend the Le Mystere nursing bras—pretty and functional!), which seems to work better for my new-mom body.  


Next challenge: getting Baby G to sleep better at night.  Wish us luck!

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Devon is a wife (of “DA”), mother two, former History professor, and lifelong shopper.  She grew up with a self-proclaimed shop-aholic and sale-aholic mom, so she’s been in training for discovering cool stuff and great deals since she can remember.  Devon lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is mostly okay with the rain but sometimes pines for her hometown in Southern California.  With a little one at home and a crazy life, Devon is all about doing her shopping on the internet and zulily has been a dream come true for her with its variety, value, and quality.

Meet the zulily Buyers: Toys, Spring Style, Home Decor Trends and More!

Trying to find that perfect toy that will keep your kids entertained all summer long? At a loss when it comes to keeping your little guy stylish? Our buyers are here with some answers including the must-have item for spring fashion. Meet some of our fabulous zulily buyers: Lindsey Michael (toys), Leah Ochoa (kids’ apparel), Briana Fletcher (women’s apparel) and Amanda Christie (home).

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Lindsey Michael, Toy Buyer

What makes a good toy design? 

For me, good design is eye-catching and engaging in a way that allows a person to envision that product in their lives. That combination of quality, functionality and timelessness ensures that the product will last and is worth bringing into your home. For toys specifically, the product must be safe and offer hours of play value.     

What are the top toys this season? 

Right now, it is all about encouraging kids to be active and play outside. Gardening toys like pint-sized wheelbarrows and creature catchers have been popular.  They allows kids to participate and play outside while their parents are gardening next to them. 

What is the new and upcoming product that I should look out for? 

Lottie is an amazing line of 8 ½” dolls that are designed to be anatomically similar to the average nine-year-old girl. Teaching girls to have a healthy body image is front and center on the minds of parents and teachers – now there is finally a doll to model that during playtime.  The dolls are designed in the United Kingdom and just hit the US market this year!

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Leah Ochoa, Kids’ Apparel Buyer

Who is your style icon and why? 

I take my inspiration from many different people in my life, my boys being at the top of that list. My 16-year-old came out of his room the other morning with his polo pj bottoms, camo bucket hat and a galaxy-print hoodie and he was ready to go to school. Anyone looking at him would think he just rolled out of bed and threw that together, but he really took the time to put all of these crazy prints together and at the end of the day it worked. He is breaking all the rules and I am loving it. 

How do you buy to please two people: parents and kids?

I am a mother of three unique boys. When I buy for zulily I always think of my boys and ask myself: would my kids wear this? Then I try to offer a happy medium so moms can feel confident buying themand at the same time I try to introduce them to some of the trends that are out there. 

What trends should I look out for?

You will see more and more bright florals and jogger pants for boys. Just like harem pants were hot for girls in spring now it’s come around to boys and it’s a huge trend for the fall season. Bieber watch out! 

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Briana Fletcher, Apparel Buyer

What catches your eye when you’re looking for new items or labels? 

When I am looking for new labels, I look for quality combined with originality. That’s something our customers can’t find everywhere else.

What is the new and upcoming trend that I should look out for?  

A trend you can’t miss for spring is a pair of wide-leg trousers/pants. You don’t have to be tall to pull these off, there are so many cute styles out there for all heights. Throw these on with a pair of sandals and  a lightweight sweater or tank and you are all set!

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Amanda Christie, Home Buyer

What is the top item for home goods this season?

Box signs with personality and vintage marquee lights continue to be top items in home décor. Small pieces that make a big impact are also a must. For example, a new vase to display your bright, colorful bouquet or a fun throw pillow to add a pop of color to your living room.

What is the new and upcoming trend that I should look out for?

The biggest trends to look out for in home décor are vintage chic, geometrics and bright patterns and mixing and matching material & textures.

Check out our Buyer’s Picks events running May 4-7 with our top picks for everything from baby gear to home decor.