Review: The Pack Sack #playPackSack

The worst kind of reviews are the ones that make products sound like they are going to revolutionize your life and let you retire now, while also giving you a side of lunchtime liposuction and, if you act now, they’ll even throw in a free cookie cutter shaped like a moose.

This review of the PackSack will not make hollow promises like that. I will just offer you the facts.

Fact the first being that my wonderful student Ashley is interning for the PackSack in California and she asked me, in exchange for a free Pack Sack, if I wouldn’t share my thoughts on it.

Happily, I will, Ashley!

Being that I am the mother of two active kids, I am a fan of products that are both affordable, especially since I lose things fail to remember my possessions everywhere and end up replacing many of them. So first of all, the PackSack retails for $3.99 or 3 for $10.99. Won’t break the bank, players.

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The PackSack will carry up to 45 lbs. which, in case you were wondering, is probably the heaviest grocery bag you are going to be hauling anyway, or the heaviest 4 y.o. you are going to be–I mean. The sack should not be used to transport toddlers. It is made of polyester so, much like your dad’s leisure suit from 1972, you will not be able to destroy it, ever.

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Another merit of the PackSack is that it has this handy drawstring closure device. I am sure there is a more technical name for it, but you can go ahead and stuff that in your PackSack. I can see my kids being able to wad up their wet swimsuits in the bag and drawstring shut it so it won’t get our car all damp on the way home from the pool, versus tucking their soggy swimwear into their towels which they will allow to unravel 232849038423 times before we get from the pool locker room to the car. In this way, I am playing the #playPackSack game for the month of June, which you can learn more about here.

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You can also read all about Lauren Cannon, the woman entrepreneur (womanpreneur, to be sure) whose idea for the bag came whilst surfing. Gnarly. Lauren, Ashley and their team want to eliminate the use of plastic bags. A noble mission and one that I support when I do not forget or lose my PackSack. PackSacks, plural, since for $4 a pop, I can afford to buy more. Yay, PackSack.

If you would like to purchase a PackSack, you can order through the site or check out the retail partners. Or, if you’d like to review one on your blog, get in touch with the PackSack Posse!

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Evil Cookies

On Friday, we made good on a promise to Baby Girl to visit American Girl (AG) in Atlanta. It is good that we have to drive 2 hours to AG because I am all in favor of the way AG encourages girls to be active and pursue hobbies, but the fact that the doll hair salon was booked solid during a weekday and the doll hairstyles at the doll salon were $25 (which is more than I pay for my real breathing human being kids whose hair actually grows to get their hairs cut) just doesn’t sort of sit well with me. Millions of kids won’t have enough for dinner tonight but Fancy Nancy’s doll got a new tiara.

Alas, this is neither here nor there.

The real thrust of this story is how we went to Atlanta on Friday and en route, we stopped at McDonald’s drive-thru for an orange juice. I know. Very tall order. I felt pangs of mom guilt for not ordering something for the kids in the backseat, however, and the thought occurred to me that those boxes of McD’s cookies that I remember from my childhood would not be the worst car snack ever.

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I asked the drive-thru attendant if they still sold those boxes of cookies.

“Yes we sell them. Totes,” he said, which I thought was an uncharacteristically casual answer, even for a drive-thru operator at McDonald’s. It tickled me so. “Totes,” he said. Like Totes Magotes.

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But then my tab came to $6 and I was all Blue Ivy with my hands. Like, no sir. An OJ and a box of cookies DO NOT cost six moneys.

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At the first window, I saw my receipt and I saw that Totes was actually referring to the receptacle in which the cookies would be delivered. Okay. So I suppose I should be used to the rate of inflation and the space age packaging, seeing as the last time I bought these cookies was clearly 1989, using a variety of dimes and pennies from my grandpa’s ashtray.

The second window attendant asked me if I could pull over to the parking space #1 because the cookies weren’t quite ready yet. And I was all, what is going on here? Do you have to hand-select them for the totes? What is fast about this fast food?!

Ding went the bell, though, and the 2nd window attendant said, “Oh, they’re done. Do you want 13 or 14 cookies?”

This was a HUGE question of economy here. I mean, do I go with the lucky 13 or the pleasantly even cookie census? Wait, who chooses LESS cookies when given an option by Ronald??

Then the attendant handed me the most geometrically pleasing tote full of warm, ooey-McGooey chocolate chip goodness.

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I ate 2.

The kids each at 3.

I then got my first speeding ticket in the South.

I ate the rest of the cookies. Those cookies are pure evil.

Glad we got that extra one.

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Don’t be a retail putz. All year long! #thanksmas #blackfriday

The righteous remnant is already waving its mighty stick. “Keep stores closed on Thanksgiving!” the remnant cries, “Let those poor people be with their families!” They rail against the opening of stores on the holiest of holy day of Thanksmas. They stand in staunch opposition to it and advertise their vehemence all over the social media, and then a mere hours later they are Instagramming the heck out of the Black Friday mayhem. Because forcing a man to work for double overtime on Thursday night is radically different from forcing a man to work on Black Friday at a regular hourly wage?

Unidentified young women window shopping at Turner's store in Tallahassee, Florida

I don’t dedicate a whole lot of bandwidth to pondering whether or not we should open or close stores on certain days. What I do care a great deal about are fair wages, equal employment opportunities, consumer protections. Which is why, having worked plenty of retail (shout-out to Ann Taylor, Paper Source, Copley Flair to name a few), I’d like to speak to a few more values that transcend the Christmas retail blitz.

[showmyads]

Here is some food-for-thought on the retail life all year long:

1. You are a VIP customer. Just like everybody else.
Although the retail associates are trained to make you believe otherwise, exercise a little common courtesy, especially as the holidays approach. If your cashmere sweater cannot be found at Gap North, and the associate offers to call Gap West to see if it’s in supply, this is a kind gesture, and exceedingly helpful since the retail associate probably knows the personnel at the other store. But if there are heaps of other customers waiting to be rung up, perhaps you can offer to wait until there is a lull in the store to make that call. Or! Perhaps consider making the call yourself on your handy cordless calling device right there in your pocket!

Huntington Soda Shop: Miami, Florida

2. Bob Barker is dead. Now it’s your job to hand out hugs and prizes.
Growing old is hard, y’all. Your sight goes, your memory goes, even your tastebuds start to fade. Let’s be kind to our elder customers who may need a hand with a door, who might not be able to carry all their parcels, who might look confused as to where they parked the Buick in the parking lot. Bob Barker is no longer there to hug little old ladies and make their days with his tanned, pristine persona. So be a Bob Barker to your elders at the mall, even if it’s not your paid job to do so, and maybe someday someone will be one to you.

Mary H. Nye, Dry and Fancy Goods Shop

3. There are freeways and there are shoulders to every road.
Even if stores are not clearly marked with passing lanes and exit ramps, there are places where the taking of a selfie or the sending of a text message are only acceptable if you are an aboriginal from the Australian Bush country who has never been inside a Target before. Otherwise, you are likely causing a shopping cart traffic jam or just being a total retail putz. So pull your cart off the main artery and into the pet food aisle or a dressing room and complete your e-gram.

Four calling birds (three callers only)

And you? What are your Retail Absolutes?

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