Support the Special Olympics (and save $$$): You know that P&G brandSAVER coupon booklet you find in your newspaper every weekend? Tomorrow, Sunday, there's a Special Olympics edition. In honor of Special Olympics moms, P&G will make a donation to the Special Olympics for every BrandSAVER coupon redeemed. Oh, and for every new fan for P&G's Thank You, Mom Facebook page, P&G will donate one dollar to the Special Olympics—up to $100,000. Nice!
A shoe club! A shoe club! Sole Society is a new members-only club that sends you a pair of shoes—based on your style preferences—every month, for fees starting at $49.95. You get to pick your favorite heel, wedge, flat or bootie, styles available only through the society (you're free to defer months). I am a total flats girl; if I ever showed up in the booties at left, from the December collection, Dave would be all WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY WIFE?! Perhaps I should surprise him. Although I received a pair of shoes at a Sole Society event and I chose... flats.
Worth seeing on the big screen: I tend to like movies about war; horses, eh. But War Horse is compelling on both fronts. I saw it in preview a few weeks ago through Moms and The City, and got sucked in. It's about a British boy—played by Jeremy Irvine—whose beloved horse gets sold off to soldiers at the start of World War 1. The film, which follows the two of them throughout many travails, is beautifully shot (hello, it's Steven Spielberg) and the war scenes, powerful. I'm a longtime fan of Emily Watson, who plays his mom. One particularly awesome line from the movie, spoken to her husband who has mentioned doing something unthinkable: "I may hate you more, but I'll never love you less." During the Q&A after the screening, Watson revealed there were actually 14 horses starring in the film (those horse unions are tough!) and shared tidbits about motherhood, like the fact that her kids—Juliet, 6 and Dylan, 2—don't watch TV, only DVDs, and the day her daughter projectile-vomited in business class on a plane. I asked who she found easier to work with: horses or actors. She smiled and said, "The horses."
Way to get kids to eat their veggies: Give them a choice, says food psychologist Brian Wansink, Ph.D., who's partnered with the Birds Eye people to get kids to down more of the green goodies. When kids were offered a choice of celery or carrots, they ate 18 percent more carrots than when carrots were the only option. Another good tip: give veggies funny names, like "x-ray vision carrots" or "broccoli bites." Create a virtual veggie plate on Birds Eye's Facebook page and they'll donate veggies for 10 meals to Share Our Strength, a nonprofit devoted to ending hunger among kids in this country.
Sign the petition: Earlier this month, a nine-year-old with autism in Mercer County, Kentucky, made headlines when his mom reported that his special ed aide had made him climb inside a gym bag for punishment to "control his autistic behavior." Now an 18-year-old college girl with autism, Lydia Brown, has created a petition on Change.org to end the abuse of students with autism in the area. You can sign the petition here.
Socially-responsible shopping: Deals site Treehouse Tykes sells high-end kid gear and clothes from brands including Le Petit Bateau, Nursery Works and Mod Mom Furniture at up to 70 percent off. Even better: Ten percent of each sale is donated to a charity or school of the buyer's choice.
Veggie face/Mirlande Jean-Gilles