Your Go-to Winter Guide

February 16th, 2014

By Sareena Denis, Community Manager at ShopYourWay

Move over Polar Vortex, winter storms are making their way across the US. Leon, Pax, and now Quintus are steeling the spotlight as they forge their own icy paths.

In preparation for Quintus (this week’s big winter storm), and future wintry days, we put together a mid-winter go-to guide for you. So grab your blanket, put on your jammies, get a snuggle buddy, and buckle down for more snow.

The Best Ideas for Any Snow Day

Need some ideas for what to do while stuck inside? We have a whole list, and a whole lot more to keep you prepared for winter.

Check out these fantastic winter catalog ideas below. From what you need to outlast the winter (Let There Be Spring!), to how to prepare your family for a big winter storm (Winter Storm Preparedness), to what to do with the kids on their snow day at home (Stuck Inside: Kid’s Crafts), we’ve got what you need.

Let there be springwinter storm prepits all about me

eskimocozy eveningsnow removal

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7 Ways in 7 Days to the Beat the Winter Blues

We know that by now, like most of us, you’re probably feeling the winter blues. Will spring ever come? Or will it be winter forever? Hang in there! Spring is around the corner and will be here before you know it.

Now is the time to take advantage of getting cozy, hot meals, and fun in the snow. Check out our calender below for a week’s long activity guide for winter fun and enjoyment.


Snow Day Calender

 

 

Date Night Is Happening

January 28th, 2014

By Sareena Denis, Community Manager at ShopYourWay

Who wouldn’t love to execute a perfectly planned date night for Valentine’s Day? Flower petals strewn around the home, a dozen fresh roses, chocolates, a fancy homemade dinner…the list goes on.

This year, if you don’t have time for an elaborate setup, we’ve got options to either head out for a romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant or stay in and snuggle. Put your effort into finding what works for you and finding the perfect present.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s our go-to-guide for making date night happen.

  1. Pick a Gift that Counts. Avoid splurging on a last minute gift by planning ahead. Decide on a price range and then look for gifts that fit your budget. Shop Your Way’s Gift Finder lets you select various criterion to find the perfect gift. You can also check out our $30 & Under gift guides for cute ideas.

Last Minute Gifts for Her

Last Minute Gifts for Him

  1. Dress the Part.  When getting ready for date night, look for key pieces and accessories that can take your outfit from meh… to Wow! For guys, a buttoned-down shirt tucked in with a sleek belt can turn your look into a class act. For the ladies, a slick of lipstick and a printed blouse is just the lift you need at the end of the day to take your outfit to the next level.

What to Wear Her

What to Wear Him

  1. It’s All about the Atmosphere. Your last step for pulling off a romantic date night is to find a place with the right atmosphere.  Are you looking for fancy? Chillaxed? Casual? Über romantic? Make sure to choose a place and something to do that you feel comfortable with, can relax, and have fun. This loveflow will help you decide:

v-day flowchart

Have a great Valentine’s Day and make sure to check out our Valentine’s Day Loveboard for great gift ideas and the best way to say “I love you!”

This is Halloween! Everybody Make a Scream!

October 24th, 2013

By Sareena Denis, Community Manager at ShopYourWay

Halloween will soon be upon us, and with it, ghouls, witches, and zombies will be roaming the streets.

Whatever the kids in your neighborhood choose to wear, (i.e. hopefully they’ll lean towards the government shutdown instead of Miley Cyrus), we’ve got tons of ideas to make your Halloween fun.

Check out our ideas for last minute costumes, how to set the mood for trick-or-treaters, and how to give your neighbors a good scare.

Don’t Settle for the Toilet-Paper Mummymummy

Whether you are spending the next week putting your Halloween costume together, or need a last minute fix, we’ve got some great ideas for you.

The best way to come up with a costume is to scour through what you’ve already got. Look in your closet, what do you see? Do you have a suit? What about something colorful? Some retro-inspired clothes? If you have craft paper, tape, scissors, glue, and some old wire hangers lying around, you’ve got endless possibilities. Here are some ideas to get you started.

piczshallIf You’ve Got a Suit…

Clark Kent/Superman 

What you’ll need: A suit, glasses, a blue t-shirt, red and yellow construction paper, scissors, glue, tape.

How to: Create Superman’s “S” emblem with red and yellow construction paper using a print out from the internet (here’s one to make with construction paper, here’s the full emblem to print out). Tape the emblem to the blue shirt, and wear the blue shirt under the full suit. Unbutton the top four buttons in the suit to reveal the blue superman shirt underneath. Voila! You’ve got yourself a super costume.

Jack Skeleton

What you’ll need: A black suit, white t-shirt, black construction paper, tape, scissors, black and white face paint.

How to: If you’ve got a black suit, you’ve got yourself more than half of the Jack Skeleton costume. All you have to do to finish it is to create a “Bat” collar using construction paper, scissors, and glue (here’s a print out). Put final touches on by painting your face white with black makeup detailing. You’re ready! Now go steal Christmas.

Wendy Davis, the Filibuster Superstar

What you’ll need: A suit, sneakers, big pearls, stack of papers, black and grey construction paper, cardboard cylinder (use the inside of a paper towel roll), tape, scissors, tinfoil.

How To: The actual costume is pretty self-explanatory, but you’ll have to create a microphone. To do this, cover the cardboard cylinder in black construction paper. Then, create the top of the microphone out of a ball of tinfoil. Stick the end of the tinfoil into the cylinder “handle” that you’ve already created and secure with tape. Put your running shoes on an you’re ready to go.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis

What you’ll need: A suit, pink lipstick, pearls, a lot of hairspray, big sunglasses, gloves, a dainty purse.

How To: Make sure to get the big bouffant in your hair by slicking it back and backcombing the bottom layer.

tchsirtsIf You’ve Got Something Colorful…

Captain Kirk from Star Trek

What you’ll need: A long sleeved v-neck red shirt, a black under shirt, black pants, construction paper, tape, scissors, colored pencils.

How to: Look online for a printout of the star trek emblem (you can find one here). Cut it out and color it in gold. Then take the black under shirt and layer it under the red shirt you have – just make sure the collar of the black shirt sticks out a bit. Put on black pants, attach your “pin” and you are ready to go!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

What you’ll need: A green shirt, yellow construction paper, a cardboard box, 5 strips of red/purple/blue/orange cloth (choose one color), tape, glue, and scissors.

How to: Take a piece of yellow construction paper, and with a marker, draw a “six-pack” on the yellow paper. Take the paper and turn it into a soft-rectangle/oval shape by rounding off the corners. Stick this to the green shirt and you have half your costume ready.

Next, cut eye holes into one of the pieces of colorful fabric for the eye mask, tie another two pieces to your left and right upper arms, and another two pieces to your left and right wrists.

For the shell, take the cardboard box and cut out a round-rectangular shape. Secure the “shell” with string so that you can wear it like a backpack.

A Ladybug

What you’ll need: red top/dress, black leggings, black construction paper, tape, scissors, a headband, two black pipe cleaners.

How to: Take the two black pipe cleaners and twist them around the headband to create antennas. Take the black construction paper and cut out small circles for the “spots.” Stick the spots to the dress with tape, pull on your tights, and you are ready to hit up the town.

A Crayon

What you’ll need: A single color dress or shirt, black leggings, black construction paper, tape, glue, and scissors.

How to: Look online for crayon stencils; use the stencils to draw on the black construction paper. Cut out the pieces and stick them to the colorful shirt or dress with tape. To finish, create a crayon-point hat by rolling construction paper into a cone shape and tape shut. Tie a string to two ends of the pointed hat to secure it around your chin.

A Spooky House for Trick-or-Treaters

Want your house to have some spook, but you don’t have time to set up a whole elaborate theme?

No problem, you can still let trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood know that your house wants in on the fun with these last-minute decoration ideas.

Set the Mood with Music

Thanks to the invention of YouTube, you don’t need to buy spooky music. To keep from getting bored with howls and cackles on repeat, try playing these scary soundtracks. They are a lot spookier and are sure to give you goosebumps!

scarymovie

The Shining

Rosemary’s Baby

The Omen

The Exorcist

Jaws

Halloween

Psycho

Nightmare Before Christmas

 

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Give Your House the Creeps without Breaking the Bank

There’s no need to go to extremes when simple scaries will do the trick.

Outdoors

Light up the Way: Line the path to your door with paper bagged candles. What you’ll need: Paper lunch bags, sand, tea light candles.

Ghost Shadows: TPing your own house? This is just pure fun! What you’ll need: double ply toilet paper

Leave the Leaves: An unkempt yard screams spooky! What you’ll need: Relaxation! Don’t bother cleaning up your yard leaves for a couple days before Halloween and let the grass grow a bit taller. Just make sure to turn on a light outside and inside your house so it still looks inviting for trick-or-treaters.

Spook them Yourself: Want to scare the wits out of your trick-or-treaters? Dress up as a scarecrow and sit outside your house with a bowl of candy and a sign that reads “We’re not home, but help yourself to candy.” Remain very still, and then when the trick-or-treaters put their hand in the bowl to grab candy, move slightly. This always gets them!

Indoors

Shut the Lights: Keep the lights in your house on so that it will be inviting for trick-or-treaters. When they ring the bell, shut off all the lights, open the door, and talk in a creepy voice. The kids will go running!

Black Bats: Do you have black construction paper? Triple up on the paper and cut out some bat shapes to paste to the walls and hang from the ceiling. You can also do the same with orange paper for pumpkins, and white paper for ghosts.

HELP!!!! Do you have red paint at home? Paint “HELP” on your door with some “blood” smeared around it for ticker-or-treaters to see as they approach your house.

 

Want more ideas and inspiration for Halloween? Check out our Shop Your Way Halloween page!

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New Features at Your Fingertips

September 23rd, 2013

By Sareena Denis, Community Manager at ShopYourWay

streamsProfile Page Enhancements

We wanted to make your profile page dynamic while at the same time giving you the flexibility to choose what you want to see and interact with. So, with this as our mission, that’s exactly what we’ve done.

You’ll now see some new feature strips on your profile page that aggregate your recent actions into one place.

  • An interest strip based on your recent searches displays items we think you might like.
  • A reviews strip shows all of your reviews in one convenient place.
  • A Shop’in history strip let’s you keep track of which stores you’ve Shoped’in at the most.
  • A Questions & Answers strip helps you track and organize your ongoing discussions.

Community Courier – A Newspaper Boy for Shop Your Way

community courierThe new “Community Courier” app gathers the latest news from across the web, extracts novel content from Shop Your Way, and then uses the information to tag and publish content on relevant Shop Your Way pages.

You can visit the Community Courier page to see the latest trending stories across the net, or browse the many articles that are dispersed across topic, brand, and public figure pages.

Keep a lookout for the Community Courier symbol across the site to enjoy some light reading.

Introducing Leaderboards for the Best Catalogs

Lately you might have noticed something called “Catalog Leaderboards.” These leaderboards, just like sports leaderboards, surface the top of the crop to help you discover interesting content on Shop Your Way.

The top catalogs are based on views, likes, follows, and comments. You can access the Catalogs Leaderboards directly from catalogs and on your newsfeed’s right rail on the homepage.

catalogs leaderboard

Each Catalog Leaderboard is based on your recent activity so that you only see leaderboards that will be of interest to you.

helpmechoose

Revamped Help Me Choose

Help Me Choose is now better than ever with some vast improvements that will get you excited about shopping!

Help Me Choose enables you to create polls with 2 – 6 products or images, and then publish the polls to the community so that others can vote and help you to choose the best one.

We’ve implemented a new story design with bigger images, clear calls for actions, and the ability to open the polls within a quick-view.

The new-quick view design helps you to stay in the moment and within the context of what you are exploring. In addition, votes and comments appear next to the options so that you can see what others have said.

New Features, More Fun!

July 9th, 2013

By Sareena Denis, Community Manager at ShopYourWay

Wow! We’ve got so many new features coming out that they are nearly coming out at the seams screens! Every direction, everywhere, we’ve got a whole lot of new features to share!

Don’t Lose Out on Potential Purchases

We want you to make the most of your coupons and always save on every purchase.

To ensure you get the best deals, we’ve put up a notification on your profile to alert you when your coupons are about to expire, giving you ample time to use your coupons and still save on all of your purchases.

couponsexpire

Pictionary Your Products

Show off your most recent purchases by uploading a photo and then tagging the product’s you’ve purchased.

The new automatic quick window for images gives you an easy opportunity to tag products in your pics. Just view—add products—and share. It’s that easy!

ritaora

Spread the Love with Share

share button

ShopYourWay is all about social sharing – sending your friends and family what you think is great via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

With new external share buttons easily accessible on all catalog, question, product, category, topic, brand, public figure, store, and venue pages, it’s easy and fun to connect with your friends on other social networks via the Share buttons.

regisdtration

Register to ShopYourWay in One Easy Step

One step—four fields—it’s easy, short, and intuitive.

We’ve created a customized and shortened registration process for those of you entering from other sites.

Quickly connect via Facebook and Twitter, and get down to having fun on ShopYourWay!

Track Your Poll Progress

Ever wonder what happened to those eight polls you answered about how to make the best BBQ? No more wondering—we’re keeping track of your polls for you.

They are now all easily accessible on your profile page.

To see how you compared in the rankings, hit up your profile page, and click on the new tab dedicated to Topical Polls. You can filter polls by department, answer additional questions, and remove past answers.

regisdtration

On the Mobile Front

mweb

Member Assist

Need help after store hours? Don’t get frustrated – get Member Assist! A new tweak gives you a call history and details page right at your fingertips, letting you get the assistance you need any time of day.

You can send offline message requests after store hours for store and product pages, allowing you to make choice purchases at all hours of the night.

Coupons, Coupons, and More Coupons

Another mobile innovation to get excited about: more Coupons! Yes, you read correctly, we are giving you a chance to access even more coupons with a special Shop’in mode.

These unique coupons are for use only when you Shop’in, so make sure to download the app and save on the go!

Sneak a Peek at Shop’in

Don’t have Shop’in? We’d ask what you’re waiting for, but…instead we’ve giving you a sneak peek at what you’re missing out on.

We’re making our fabulous topic pages available to you on the go no matter what. Check out topic pages on your mobile device with web pages made just for mobile browsing.

We are also giving those of you who don’t know what ShopYourWay is (what rock have you been living under?) a sneak peek at what you are missing out on. Easy access to mobile tag pages will show you the most recent activity and catalogs that everyone’s talking about.

So go ahead, check it out, but don’t wait too long – you don’t want to miss a thing!

Fun, Fresh, and New

May 23rd, 2013

By Sareena Denis, Community Manager at ShopYourWay

Thousands of New Videos!

Videos are one of the most engaging and visual types of content. As part of our efforts to make the site even more fun to use, we are bringing in videos from interesting channels on AOL On, including sports, food, health, autos, pets, video games, style videos, and more!

With 5,000 videos soon to be available at your fingertips, we’re sure you’ll be watching ShopYourWay just as much as to Downton Abbey.

Got a Question? Ask Directly

There’s a new way to ask a question, and it’s directly from your profile page.

questionstab

If you have a question you need answered, you can now ask it, comment on it, or answer another question by clicking on the “Questions” tab on your profile.

Create a Catalog on Your Android

We know how much you love creating catalogs – a lot! We’re now bringing this feature to mobile devices so you can create catalogs on the go.

That’s right, we’re giving you the capability to create and display catalogs directly from your Android device. You’ll also be able to easily explore other catalogs while you create, edit, and add items to your own.

android catalog

It’s fun, super easy, and impossible to stop once you start (but then again, why would you want to?).

Access Your Audience Faster

May 6th, 2013

Toggle to Your Tag

In our efforts to enhance ShopYourWay as a place to build community, we are connecting the pages you manage to your page followers’ recent activity.

toggle2tag1

Now when you toggle between your profile and different pages, your page’s top navigation bar is streamlined specifically for that page. We’ve gotten rid of individual Messages, Rewards, and Cart tabs, and left what’s really important—Notifications.

When you switch page identities, you’ll now see that at the top menu bar, the only thing that’s on your menu is your page and Notifications.

toggle2tag2

Go ahead, click on the notifications button. You’ll be directed to your entire page’s recent activity, which is listed by date, and broken further down into follows, likes, and comments.  You can then click on the recent activity to see details, and even find out more info about what’s going on by clicking on “More Details.”

toggle2tag3

The new notifications is built for responsiveness, and so that you can easily see and access new activity on your page. What’s more is that you’ll even get a little notification about notifications to always keep you updated!

360° Stories in 5 Minutes

May 6th, 2013

Rotary View is now on ShopYourWay!

Rotary View is the ultimate tool for showcasing new products. By installing the app on your smartphone, you can easily capture photos of the product from all angles, and then post it on your page as a 360° story.

rotary1

It’s a great way to engage your customers, and get them excited about new products, allowing you to show more and sell more.

To get Rotary View, click here to access the app’s ShopYourWay page, then click on “get it!” to download the app.

rotary2

World’s Largest Bake Sale

April 29th, 2013

By Sareena Denis, Community Manager at ShopYourWay

ShopYourWay and Kmart are joining forces with Sandra Lee to support Share Our Strength’s Bake Sale for the No Kid Hungry campaign, a national fundraising initiative that encourages people to host bake sales in their communities to help end childhood hunger in America.

everydishdelivers

To raise awareness and money for the program, Kmart and ShopYourWay are sponsoring Sandra Lee’s World’s Largest Bake Sale, from 10 AM – 7 PM, May 1 in Vanderbilt Hall of Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

The Bake Sale will feature co-chairs Ty Pennington, Martha Stewart, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Dylan Lauren, Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Buddy Valastro, Wendy Williams, and Rosanna Scotto. Over 30 popular restaurants from New York City will also be joining to help co-host the event and to shed light on the cause.

bakesalepage

SHOP YOUR WAY REWARDS Members will receive special offers for participating in the bake sale when you Shop’in at the May 1 event. The first 100 members who Shop’in will be eligible to receive a signed copy of Sandra Lee ’s new book, Every Dish Delivers.

For those that don’t live in the tri-state area, create your own bake sale at home as part of the campaign that runs from now until October 31, 2013.

Proceeds from bake sales will benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the Food Bank for New York City.

Post-event activities will feature an auction with items signed by the celeb chairs including a one of a kind “Bake Sale Stand” designed and created by Ty Pennington. Participants who register online to host their own Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry receive a free participant kit, and if they raise $250 or more they will be rewarded with select items from the Kmart’s exclusive Sandra by Sandra Lee collection.

chocolate biscottipoundcakeFor more information and tips on hosting your own bake sale, visit the Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Bake Sale page.