Phone on? off? covered up?

Cellphone bans, once the norm in high schools, are being challenged this fall.

Although the ban in New York City has generated the most attention, it’s emerged as a major headache in many areas.

In some schools, students with phones face detention. At other schools, students pay food truck employees to hold their phones during the school day. Some say cell phones are a safety issue – ie. parents should be able to reach children at any time during the day.

No quick or easy answers.

Lego at the top

Mattel and Hasbro have been surpassed by Lego as the top toy company.

Thanks to the incredible success of The Lego Movie, revenue and profits propelled the Danish brick maker to the top of the toy world…and holiday shopping hasn’t even started!

Hello Kitty. Let’s read.

Hello Kitty is 40 years old.

To celebrate, licensor Sanrio has planned a variety of events for tomorrow’s first “Hello Kitty Reading Day.” Check local calendars for library and bookstore-based events.

Stand against bullying

The ebola situation has muted voices usually heard during this National Bullying Prevention Month.

Even though the ebola conversation continues, now that we’re nearing the end of October, perhaps media will pick up on bullying. Knowing the lifelong emotional damage bullying can cause, the topic is too important to miss.

The Boo Bounce

Have you caught Boo Fever?

With Halloween falling on a Friday next week, we’re experiencing a major bounce in “Boo” everything, from dressing in costume (pets, too) to spending on decorations.

Remember how uncomplicated trick-or-treat used to be?

Impulse buys

Moms overspend.

That headline from recent research caught my eye. According to the data, moms spend thousands of dollars on unplanned purchases. They also tend to overlook discounts.

However, moms are more likely than women without children to look for phone coupons while in-store grocery shopping.

Smart shopping hasn’t changed with the Smartphone: impulse spending can sneak onto even the best organized shopping list.

Reducing shopping frustration?

Kids are so excited about Halloween, that few are compiling holiday wish lists. However, a recent Walmart pledge is a reminder that Christmas is coming.

The “Checkout Promise,” posted on the public relations section of Walmart’s website, pledges to keep every register open for all supercenters and larger-box locations.

Walmart says every register will be staffed on weekends between Black Friday and Christmas, in addition to the final days before December 25.

Will other retailers follow?