Monkey Business

July 29, 2009

Julius Goes Mainstream

Julius Goes Mainstream

It’s hard to find cute characters for kids to wear that aren’t related to some billion-dollar money sucking machine. My kids aren’t really that into the Disney characters or the Sesame Street crew, and even if they were, I don’t think I could stomach them walking around with them on everything they were wearing. So then there’s Julius, a lovable monkey created by the illustrator Paul Frank. Because the stuff was sold mainly in Paul Frank stores (of which there aren’t many) and some department stores, the character hasn’t been ubiquitous. He has a whole posse of cutely illustrated friends, and he does cool things like drive race cars, skateboard, and generally retain his street cred. My kids have t-shirts, pajamas, socks, underwear, even belts. The only drawback has been the price, which while not crazy, wasn’t cheap. T-shirts trended toward $26, pajamas $45, and everything else was around there or in-between.

But now, you could say, Julius has sold out. But his loss is hopefully your gain. Paul Frank for Target has made its debut, and early signs are a big thumbs up. There’s not so much in the stores yet: raingear (Addison got herself a cute umbrella for $6.99), and my sister found some boys t-shirts ($7.99). Online I found socks for Addison ($9.99), and pajamas for me ($19.99), which I got in the mail yesterday and they’re very soft and wearable.

Online seems to be adding new stuff all the time (there are hoodies and tees now), so check it out. Will this flood the market with what was a cool niche icon? Probably. So be it. The only sad part is that when I did a little research online, it seems the licensing only came about when Paul Frank himself sold his stake and walked away from the company he created. Hopefully, Julius and friends are in good hands.

Check it out online here.

Really Isaac?

I love Isaac Mizrahi, but yesterday there was an article in the Journal that made me feel like he is spreading his talents too thin. Apparently he’s joining with Junior’s to launch a line of couture cheesecakes, to be sold on QVC. Really? Is this the best use of his design talents? According to the article, he’s thinking “tartan.” Plaid cheesecakes? No thanks. If his customers go too far down that road, they won’t be able to fit into his clothes, which would be sad indeed!

A Mad, Mad World

To promote the upcoming new season of Mad Men (premieres August 16th), AMC is pulling out all the stops — including a web site that lets you build an avatar of yourself in the Mad Men world. It’s so great! Check it out here.

That's me in the green dress...hilarious!

That's me in the green dress...hilarious!


I had one of those go, go, go days from the minute Addison woke me up (6:02!)…I just got home at 9:30pm after meeting up with a friend for dinner. Ken is resisting putting on the air conditioner — I am all for fresh air but I can’t deal with sweating while I sleep. I need to be cool when my daughter wakes me up at the crack of dawn!

Hope you’re gettin’ jiggy with it!


In the Bag

March 17, 2009

It's easy being green!

It's easy being green!

When our Whole Foods announced several months ago that they were going to stop using plastic bags, we were mildly outraged. Who were these people who were ruining it for the rest of us and just throwing out these bags? We reused every one. They were the perfect size for our garbage can, they were better quality than your average plastic bag (so less leakage) and because we grocery shop weekly, we had a steady supply. But not anymore. So we begrudgingly ponied up the $1 to get a reusable bag.

However many months later, the truth is, it’s better. For the most part we’ve gotten by with the plastic bags we get everywhere else (Target, Duane Reade, etc.). And the reusable bags from Whole Foods have nice designs, you get a 10 cent refund every time you use it, and, we recently found out that if it breaks, they’ll replace it, free of charge. One bag holds about 2 plastic grocery bags worth of stuff.

We’re doing our small part for the environment. And if you’re one of those people who just tosses plastic bags, then you’re really doing your part to make the world a cleaner place. Even if you don’t shop at Whole Foods, why not bring your own bags to the market? It’s an easy way to “go green”!

Make it Stop

I don’t profess to understand all of the ins and outs of the financial mess we’re in, mainly because the more I learn, the angrier I get. But the latest news about AIG paying $165 million in bonuses to its senior level employees — remember, we taxpayers have given them $170 billion so far to keep them afloat — seems to me to be not only irresponsible but just plain wrong on so many levels. Aren’t bonuses on Wall Street tied to performance? At my company, our bonuses are based on an individual’s performance and the company’s financial performance. If either (or both) of those are bad, you get a low bonus. Hasn’t AIG performed ABYSMALLY? Shouldn’t their bonus checks reflect that? Sign me up for one of these jobs where apparently no matter how crappy you or your business unit performs, you can still go buy that house in the Hamptons. With taxpayer money.

Hi Isaac

Austin and I went to get bagels early yesterday and we ran into Isaac Mizrahi. I wanted to tell him that I had been looking at the ads for Liz Claiborne last week in In Style and I was thinking that I want to check out the line now that Isaac is their new head designer. But being that I had just rolled out of bed, I just smiled and said “hi.” I have to say he looked good, especially for 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday. Or maybe I just have low standards at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday. In any event, I am going to check out Liz Claiborne the next time I’m in a department store. I like that Isaac, like Michael Kors and Donna Karan, designs for real women instead of mannequins, so the clothes actually fit and look good.

Hope your Monday was bearable! Keep it real…

And happy St. Patrick’s Day! Enjoy — but don’t go and get all sloppy on me…