The Celebrity Caf

Sep 5, 2006

Ann Tancio


Back-to-School Products

Nobody likes to go back to school, yet the adventures of learning is just so attractive.

This has got to be one of the most mixed emotional series that we have done. Nobody likes to go back-to-school, yet the adventure of learning is just so attractive; or is it the curiosity of what everyone else looks like, or wears and how was their summer? Here are some products that will enhance social standing without too much of the Hollywood flash n’ trash. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. Many of these sites have a full array of suggestions for students and teachers that can help with class presentations and homework.

Pendaflex Products

These are hanging files that attach to the locker door. This adds more space to the locker and starts the student on the road to organizing their schoolwork without being a pain. Of course, in those cities where it’s common to tape over the vent holes for safety the Locker File can be hung first then the plastic hook covered with the tape. Pendaflex made a miniature one that can serve the same purpose when organizing index cards for a speech or research project. Perhaps of equal value is the Pendaflex Web site with its suggestions for workflow and projects presentation. Easy, quick and look like a million bucks.

Dayrunner Student Assignment Book

It’s a portable calendar that helps the kids remember when the last minute will occur so they can run around screaming, upset everybody and then get the job done. In fact if they get a passing grade, it was worth it. It can easily also convert to a party planner and that’s why you need one: to never be late to a party. These skills must be nurtured at the early ages so when they enter the business world planning is converted into being on time for the job and delivering the work on schedule. Just don’t tell the kids.


The Hybrid NoteBinder is made of plastic, cloth and tough enough to stand up to high school. It has tabbed note protectors so it’s a notebook and a binder, hence the name hybrid. The LAX is a notebook designed with its own elastic band to hold all the papers you can stuff into it. Mead Advance stay-put folders come in a variety of colors to brighten up any locker. Term papers never looked so good. They even have a small pocket in the folder for index cards but I don’t think I would ever do that much work.

Sumo Omni

If you have to go away to school, I suggest you leave the unsanitary crap home and take a space age beanbag called Omni. It can’t stain, smell or rip. It’s a chair for corners and a guest bed when needed. Although why is your date sleeping in the guest bed? It comes in various personality colors including hot pink and tangerine. The bag is filled with little tiny foam balls so this means it would be a super cooler for a cold drink by adding a plastic bag of ice. Just don’t jump on it since I wouldn’t want to explain to the hospital how you got injured laying on a beanbag. Idiot!

Office Depot

Our friends at Office Depot have assembled a back-to-school kit suggesting many products to make a student’s life easier. They started with a TUG backpack that is ergonomically designed so as not to hurt the students back when they carry books. First carry a reasonable amount, and then use the backpack. It has strong zippers, padded straps and pockets for everything, including a neat little “earphone hole” for the headset so the pod doesn’t warp. Little cutesy covered notepads are a must, but back them up with a paper wristband that you can write reminder notes on. Add a class notebook made from recycled paper and you’re bound to get extra points in earth science. Finally the “Case it” three-ring strap closed binder insures no handout will be lost.unless you want it lost.

Dove Chocolates

Happy Birthday to Dovebar! It’s their 50th birthday but we get the gifts. Dove has come out with three new chocolate ideas that your children will absolutely love, if they love chocolate. If they don’t then there’s more for you. Dove Chocolate Covered Almonds. On a cold day slip one of these bars into a binder with a note that says “I love you”. While the note may embarrass the child, they will love the good eating. In fact, I’d put a couple of the small Dove Chocolate Bars right in their pockets. (At the same time, you’re checking for taboo items.) That will let the kids know you have done your parental job and that they are still within inheritance range of the family fortune. Of course if you prefer a sugar free reward, Dove has the Sugar Free Chocolate with only 38 calories. Just try holding one of these in your mouth without chewing! I’d come home for more.

Staples “Back to School”

Back-to-school celebrations at Staples center around the themes of organization, planning and fashion. To organize in the home and in the school will allow the child to have the optimum learning environment; however if it doesn’t look good then it won’t be used.

From locker shelves, to locker locks with alphabet keys, to classroom notebooks and geometry tools, Staples seems to have read the book on organization. The fact that the products look good implies they asked the kids their opinion and listened. So here is the total idea. Go to Staples early, take a lot of time to figure out what you need and how you’re going to use it, then buy it. Don’t, don’t, don’t, rush out at the last minute and get things that ultimately you won’t use after the first month. This year try a weekly planner to keep your own calendar of events and stop depending on your mommy! Know what’s due when, and get it in. Just start out right and right is in the planning.

WaterField Designs

The little cell phone/camera case with extra padding and a “carabiner-isc” belt hook caught my interest. Small but protective of the camera meant I could carry it anywhere with minimal attention to breakage. The first rule in photography is “you have to have the camera”. But a quick stop at the Web site revealed a bigger surprise: the “Cargo Bag.” The pictures look great, the description seems true with only kept promises made. It carries a laptop and a whole lot of crap each with its own crap pocket. Sturdy rings attach the bag to the shoulder strap that say non-slip. This I have got to see: water resistant, strong zippers, padded and looks good. This bag was born in the streets and climbed the wall on Wall Street.

Royal “Info to go”

When I was young I walked two miles to school, uphill both ways, in the rain and sleet while doing extra homework. I never had a PDA all we had was a PEN. Today, the kids can start with the Extreme 6 PDA that is more powerful than fingers and toes and can hold more notes than a shirt sleeve. It has an address book, class and homework scheduler, to-do list maker, all in 7 different languages. The ezVue6 PDA can even do financial calculations for mortgages, loan saving accounts and IRA values. This is in addition to an address book, spell checker, thesaurus and calendar/planner. These things do so much you’ll have no excuse for not getting an A+. And if all those functions are too much to cope with info overload), Royal has broken them down into a thesaurus/dictionary/speller and a personal organizer. Both have a three language translator to prevent things like “I didn’t understand the teacher”. It’s all good. X Rocker

This is a highly designed gaming, video or just listening to CDs chair. The chair really does put you in the experiential sound aura of the game. The next time Phantazma-what’s-face shoots, you can hear and almost “feel” the photon torpedo hit your ship and hear the screams of the crew. Maybe it’s almost a bit too realistic. As for movies, why put all those sound system speakers around the room for your Buds to enjoy when they don’t contribute to the eats. This chair has it all. Use the packaging’s industrial plastic garbage bag and you’ll have some isolationist privacy too.

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