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Friday, January 23, 2009

Graduate In Style

She’s figured out Geometry, analyzed Statistics and her History final is a thing of the past. Celebrate her accomplishments with a graduation gift as smart and stylish as she is.

Whether your graduate is moving up to high school, moving out to college or moving on to the “real world” of the work force, See Jane Work has the organizational tools and supplies that will help get her prepared for the next step.

Junior High or Middle School Graduate Going to High School

OMG! Pink backpacks, and notebooks with pictures of puppies on them are so 8th grade! Your Teen Queen needs school supplies that reflect her emerging sense of style, and organizational tools that will help her make the transition from the playground to the senior quad.
  • From Intro to Lit to Biology Lab, composition books are essential high school supplies. Let her express her individuality even when she’s working on group projects with colorful Composition Books from See Jane Work.

  • The My Agenda planner has a week-at-a-view calendar format to help her keep track of daily appointments and due dates, as well as four extra rows at the bottom of each week for filling in class schedules, practices, meetings and study groups.

  • While odds are her cell-phone is never far from her ear, she might need help keeping track of little things like her house keys, student ID, and library card. The Do Not Forget door hanger has pockets to hold her wallet, sunglasses, and iPod, and a strip on the back helps keep homework assignments from being “eaten by the dog.”

  • While high school may seem like it lasts forever, the next step is really only a few years away. Get started on the college application process early with the AppliCase from Captio. With comprehensive lists, forms, and instructions, as well as pre-screened resources for everything from college selection to finding financial aid, the AppliCase will give your college-bound student a leg up on the arduous task of selecting a suitable school.

High School Graduate Going to College

It seems like only yesterday you were wiping a tear off her cheek as you dropped her off on her first day of kindergarten. Now you’re wiping the tears off your own cheeks as you realize your little girl is going away to college.

Don’t worry, you’ll get over your weepiness when you start making plans for the home office/den/guest room you’ll have once you get all her junk boxed-up and moved to the attic. But before you start ripping out the carpet, get her a gift that encourages her independence while at the same time letting her know you’re always there for her.

  • She’s getting an advanced education and you’re getting an advanced migraine trying to get her to keep track of the receipts for tuition and other educational expenses that you’ll need to provide to your accountant in order to get any kind of tax break for this little investment. Help her help you with the CollegeCase from Captio. The handy ‘In Box’ keeps receipts and documents from getting lost and the included tips and resources will help her plan ahead for financial self-reliance.

  • College dorm rooms are notorious for many things, but tons of storage space isn’t one of them. Give your college student someplace to keep her paperwork, catalogs and mail with coordinating pieces from the See Jane Work Basics Collection. Magazine Files hold periodicals, catalogs, and class lists, upright on bookshelves or desk tops, and stackable Letter Trays will give her a neat and tidy place to keep mail, schedules and reports.

  • It’s not that you don’t love to hear from her, but her cell phone bill is eating into your retirement savings. Cut down on the number of “411” calls she makes to you by giving her a planner with the ‘contacts’ pages filled-in with the physical and e-mail addresses of friends and family, as well as emergency numbers. The next time she needs to send Aunt Rose a “thank you” card, it won’t cost you forty-five daytime minutes.

  • While you’re at it…give her some note cards and a nice pen or pencil. Tuck some postage stamps in the box so she can’t use that as another excuse to “just call.”

  • Now that you’re not waiting up for her every Saturday night, how will you know that she’s safe? Give yourself a little peace of mind by sending her off with the Collision Kit from Buttoned Up. With a flash camera and pockets for her insurance info, road service card and registration she’ll be as prepared as possible in the event of an accident or roadside emergency.

  • Give her a head start towards that A+ in English 101 with a Leather Bound Dictionary and Thesaurus. One of the most frequently used reference sources of all time, the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is a staple in classrooms and libraries.

College Graduate Going into the Work Force

It’s that moment that every parent dreams of…the moment when their little girl becomes a financially independent adult. Never mind the fact you’re still paying for her car loan, her auto insurance, and her gas. She’s got a college degree and that’s a step in the right direction.

Congratulate her for all her hard work and give her an edge during job interviews with a gift that says she’s young, she’s fresh, and she’s got style.

  • A laptop case protects her computer (which you probably paid for) and gives her a polished, professional look whether she’s going to interviews or starting her new career.

  • Help her get through those first few weeks at her new job when she doesn’t know anyone and can’t seem to make it out of the elevator without snagging her stocking. The Working Girl’s Survival Kit includes a bottle of clear nail polish, deodorant and twenty more essential health and beauty items that she’ll stash in her desk drawer as soon as she knows which desk will be hers.

  • She may have a long way to go to reach the top of the ladder, but she’s meeting people and making contacts along the way. A card case filled with her own business cards shows she’s got…well at least a name and a phone number. If her company doesn’t provide new-hires with cards right away, order some for her from the local print shop with her name and contact info printed on them. Tuck them in a Leather Business Card Holder, so she’ll have them ready whenever she meets a new associate or potential client.

  • A nice pencil cup and desk pad will make even the desk next to the janitor’s closet look dressed up and professional. Include a set of Fashion Color Pencils to give her first workspace flair.

  • Being an adult means having adult responsibilities. Help her keep track of insurance policies, bank accounts and even emergency plans with the Life.doc Organizing Binder from Buttoned Up.

If your graduation gift is a financial contribution, or maybe even a trip abroad, think about giving her something to open besides an envelope. Luggage Tags from Pamela Barsky will help her find her suitcase if she’s planning a trip, or going to school far from home. A blank journal gives her a place to record her thoughts, dreams and aspirations as she moves on to the next chapter in her life.

If one of our ideas or products works for you, or if you have a solution you’d like to share, please let us know at

ideas@seejanework.com.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Managing Kids' Activities

It starts out simple enough. Hoping to encourage your child to make new friends (maybe even some whose mother’s won’t mistake an invitation for an afternoon play date for foster care), you sign him up for Scouts. The next thing you know he wants to play Little League baseball, then soccer, and then your other child wants to take piano lessons, and cheerleading, and before you know it, you’re spending 2-3 hours every afternoon driving in what seems like a endless loop from one activity to the next.

When your neighbor down the street discovers your kids are on the same soccer team, she suggests carpooling. That sounds like good idea, but for some reason she never seems to be able to do her share of the driving due to some kind of ‘personal emergency’. You’re a good sport, but the last time you agreed to do both the drop-off AND the pick-up you couldn’t help but notice her car parked out in front of the nail salon.

While nothing short of full-time limousine service can completely eliminate the hassle of kid’s activities, you can reduce your risk of having a nervous breakdown on a crowded soccer field by keeping an organized schedule, having everything you need in the car, and by being prepared for minor emergencies (or even sometimes major ones) with a few helpful items from
See Jane Work.

GET IT IN WRITING
If you decide to carpool, or even if you’re just transporting your own kids, make sure that you have everybody’s schedules and contact info written down to avoid conflicts and overbooking.


  • The Mom Agenda has spaces for your own schedule as well as for up to four others, and includes a transferable Mom Essentials booklet that makes it easy to move contact info from one year’s agenda to the next.
  • Zip Pouches from Jane Marvel can keep game schedules, flyers and hand-outs neat in the car or in your tote bag, and a Big Clipboard keeps the snack list and team roster where you can find it.
  • Post the family’s weekly schedule on the fridge or file cabinet with a magnet-backed Family Planner.

GATHER THE GEAR
If you’ve got kids under 7-years-old you might as well just resign yourself to the fact that you will spend most of your time finding, packing, re-finding and re-packing their little gear. That whole, “You’re a big boy, you need to remember your own stuff” line doesn’t get you very far when your tiny T-ball player is in tears because he forgot his mitt.With older kids, consider making a “point of no return” rule. If you’re more than halfway to ballet lessons and she just remembered she left her leotard at home, she will be dancing in her jeans this week.

  • A Storage Box from Hable Construction keeps equipment corralled, and the cut-out handles make it easy to carry it from the house, to the car, to the field. The open top allows you to do a quick spot check before you close the trunk or leave the park and it folds flat when you’re not using it.
  • The Jane Marvel Carry All is a stylish way to tote dance shoes, swimsuits, or extra clothes for after practice.
  • The Instant Carryall stores in a neat nylon pouch that fits in your glove compartment, then opens up to a full-sized tote perfect for carrying crafts made at scout meetings or snacks for the team.

MAKE ‘BE PREPARED’ YOUR MOTTO TOO
Skinned knees, stubbed toes, bruised shins and that’s just walking from the car to the playing field. Keep first aid supplies in the trunk and a small kit in your handbag so that you don’t have to walk back to the car every time someone slides into home.

  • Minor Emergency Kits are small enough to fit in your bag, tote or jacket pocket. Keep the First Aid Kit for minor injuries and the Sewing Kit for split seams and lost buttons.
  • Loaded with all of those ‘just in case’ items we keep stashed in our desk drawer at the office, the Working Girl’s Survival Kit is also a must-have for the car. From headache pain to mustard stains you’ll have everything you need to handle a minor crisis.
  • There’s nothing like a busy parking lot full of stressed-out Mommy’s driving ginormous SUVs to bring about a fender bender. Whether you bump someone or you were bumped, you’ll want to make sure to get contact info, as well as some photos for the claims adjuster. The Collision Kit from Buttoned Up has forms for writing in insurance information and accident details as well as a disposable camera with flash.
REMEMBER IT’S ALL ABOUT HAVING FUN
It may not seem like it now but, someday you’ll miss the practices and games, lessons and recitals, meetings and campouts. While it lasts, make driving to away games or weekend tournaments more fun by popping some Beach Boys tunes in the CD player, or sing along with songs they learned at camp. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and be sure to order extra prints to send to Grandma in Texas.
  • The Vintage Record CD Sleeves/Labels are a fun way to add something special to your custom made CDs.
  • The Built NY Camera Case protects your digital camera from sideline slams and backseat bumps, and the detachable wrist strap makes it easy to hang onto even when you’ve got a folding chair in one hand and a cooler full of juice boxes in the other.

Although it’s a huge hassle (actually it’s a huge hassle piled on top of a huge hassle), if you can possibly swing it, consider becoming a team parent, den leader, coach or assistant. Even full-time working parents can usually find a little time to contribute to the team or troop, and while your child will probably never remember to tell you, he or she is sure to appreciate your commitment and support.

If one of our ideas or products works for you, or if you have a solution you’d like to share, please let us know at

ideas@seejanework.com.