1) Chips Not Hips
Loving Lay’s doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. But a close bond with flavors such as Cheddar & Sour Cream/Chile Limon/Spaghetti N Meatball (OK, we made the last one up) means you might be a heavier one. Pampered Chef’s Microwave Chip Maker ($26.50, Pamperedchef.com) lets you create virtuous potato rounds and dress them with your own crazy seasonings. Simply slice spuds thin, place them in one layer on the hole-filled plates and zap. The result: crispy, fresh-tasting chips.
2) Printing, Pressed
The environmentally conscious child does not waste paper on perfecting penmanship. That mode of practice is as passe as cursive. (RIP, thank-you notes.) This kid, armed with an A to Z Magna-Tab ($20, Home Rule, 1807 14th St. NW; 202-797-5544) can practice lowercase letters without killing trees. Magnetic beads move as he or she traces them, helping those itsy-bitsy fingers learn fonts. (Which, we may add, is a better use for their digits than, say, assembling machine parts or littering.)
3) Mane Element
Don’t bother memorizing what your stylist did to give your hair that shiny-Duchess-y bounce; you’ll never re-create it. But to give it a just-out-of-the-salon shine, try Andre Walker Total Keratin Obsession Deep Conditioner (three for $45, Andrewalkerhair.com). A weekly use pampers locks with argan oil, adding moisture for a fraction of salon prices.
4) Good Jeans
Ralph Lauren’s daughter is a new wife; his son is set to wed another famous Lauren (of the Bush family variety). In between designing bridal couture, Mr. Lauren stuck to his standards, creating a new line, Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply, available at Macy’s (Macys.com/DenimandSupply). The heritage label stars wide-legged Barack trousers (shown, $145), print totes ($90) and gingham scarves ($60) fit for a hipper new generation of RL heads.
5) Thrift Scores
Decorating your pad on a budget of zero doesn’t mean you have to shoplift or visit Ikea. In “Found, Free and Flea” ($33, Clarkson-Potter), Tereasa Surratt reveals how she filled her retro-cool weekend place with repurposed vintage finds: milk bottles turned vases, old skates as art, hose spigot hooks. Tips on good flea markets mean you may never buy a bookcase named Billy again.