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‘Til DIY Do Us Part!

Posted by alissa on March 20th, 2018

Last week, we got to work (work, work) running a press event for Cricut, our lovely client, where we showed reporters just how much this smart cutting machine can do. It’s about so much more than vinyl decals and iron-on apparel; Cricut Maker also cuts leather, fabric, clear plastic (in case you haven’t noticed, that PVC trend is back), and many, many other materials.

Our showcase at the Bryant Park Hotel displayed how items made and embellished with Cricut can be at the center of any home or wedding decor, from intricate paper flowers and table settings, to statement jewelry and leather clutches, to nursery quilts & stuffed animals. Take a scroll and check out some of the things we showed off last week that were made with Cricut, to everyone’s amazement!

This clutch, featuring a leaf pattern designed by Saumya Sharma, the winner of an accessories contest Cricut held for FIT students:

The moccasin-like addition to these oxfords & the bold decal on these heels:

These PVC pouches, along with their felt floral accents, designed by FIT contest runner-up Chloe Kang:

These fun leather earrings, designed by FIT contest finalist Maggi Feldman:

The menus, table numbers, paper flowers (how gorgeous are those anemones?!), agate coaster place cards, and gold-speckled plastic treat boxes in this wedding table setting:

The personalization on this white pillow, plus a spotted pillow, stuffed animal, and nursery quilt based on jungle-inspired designs by FIT contest runner-up Cat Clock:

These similarly-inspired votive holders:

And so much more!

The flu is really, really bad this year — but GoodRx can at least save your wallet

Posted by alissa on February 8th, 2018

You probably know that 2018 has seen the worst flu epidemic in a decade, whether you’re just keeping up with the news, or had to take some extra sick days this winter. But just how much worse off are we, compared to previous years?

A strong indicator of the severity of the flu is the volume of prescriptions for Tamiflu, the drug used to treat the virus. And this year, Tamiflu fills are “ soaring – outpacing last year’s prescriptions by a factor of 10 or even 20 times higher this year in some states, with a nationwide rate that is more than 6 times higher than last year.”

This data comes from our client GoodRx, which helps people save on their prescription drugs, and researches trends in drug prices across the United States. This year, as the flu worsened nationwide, our friends at GoodRx put together a helpful diagram that shows just how bad things are, in certain states in particular:

According to a GoodRx analysis of a nationally representative sample of US prescriptions, pharmacy fills for Tamiflu, the most popular medication to treat the flu, are increasing, with some notable geographic variations. In Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, and Arkansas, prescriptions are up over 20-fold from last year, and other parts of the south and midwest are likewise seeing an exceptionally high prescription volume.

Whether you’re in one of the states that’s experiencing a particularly high uptick in flu cases, or anywhere else, you can use GoodRx to find out which pharmacies are offering the lowest prices on Tamiflu. (Few people know that the same drug could cost vastly different prices, just across the street!)

Just head to the GoodRx page for Tamiflu, plug in your zip code, and see where you’ll save the most: For example, in New York City, the cash price of Tamiflu (without insurance) will set you back an estimated $108 at Walgreens, but with a free coupon from GoodRx you’ll be on the road to wellness for just $58.46. At Rite Aid, the estimated cash price is up to $150, but a free coupon will get you Tamiflu for $63.40.

If you or a family member comes down with the flu this year, you deserve to treat it without overspending, and GoodRx can help!

These Are A Few of Our Favorite Things!

Posted by alissa on December 5th, 2017

Here at ANPR, we’re always sharing recommendations of articles, podcasts, TV, music, and more with each other. Now, we bring those recommendations to you: Here are a few of our favorite things right now.

Jocelyn: I think most of us would agree that this year was STRESSFUL (CAPS necessary). So while I patiently wait for the dumpster fire that was 2017 to extinguish itself, I’ve been reading “Declutter Your Mind—How to stop worrying, relieve anxiety, and eliminate negative thinking,” by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport. I appreciate the useful, tactical advice for taking a more positive attitude. Being down never helped advance any cause, so here’s to bringing better vibes to 2018.

Anu: I recently listened to this episode of the podcast Reply All, titled “Is Facebook Spying on you?” In it, an expert tries (rather unsuccessfully) to explain away the growing suspicion that Facebook is listening to your conversations through your phone to serve you specific ads. My friend has been trying to convince me that Facebook does this this for 6 months, and I think this put her case over the edge!

Alissa: Since, like everyone else, I’ve been steeped in the thick of what has been so much miserable news, I find myself in need of outlets to escape. Lately, I’ve been perusing design blogs and while I’ve always appreciated textiles, I’ve found one designer who I’ve become utterly obsessed with: Seema Krish! I was drawn into this textile designer because of the block print and embroidery technique as well as her colors. But the icing on the cake is that she supports women weavers and workers in India. And I love the studio’s mission: “We design fabrics that are simple and beautiful, with the mission to enhance the lives of both the users and makers of our products.” Can’t wait to have my home adorned with Seema’s beautiful textiles.

Katie: When you think of Willow Smith, you probably think “Whip My Hair.” So I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover that the now-17-year-old’s new album, The 1st, is much more reminiscent of Lorde and Florence and the Machine than the fun but slightly grating 2010 bop. I’ve been greatly enjoying Willow’s unique voice, interesting melodies, and profound-diary-of-a-teen-girl lyrics (they were called juvenile by the Rolling Stone, to which I say, why is that bad?). Standout songs include Israel, Lonely Road, And Consideration, and Warm Honey.

Stephanie: I’ve been enjoying Search Party on TBS. It pokes smart fun at “millennial” narcissism, and now, in Season 2, it’s also a psychological thriller. Imagine Crime & Punishment or The Tell-Tale Heart, staged among rich kids in Brooklyn. And with a female protagonist, which is cool.

Fall news from ANPR

Posted by Stephanie on November 6th, 2017

We couldn’t resist. Over at The Wirecutter, Cricut got top marks in a review of the best electronic cutting machines, being named the best for beginners and the best upgrade pick. You can thank the machines’ speed, quiet, and intuitiveness. If that weren’t enough, Cricut earned a spot in the New York Times’ holiday gift guide. Above, see how Latina magazine used Cricut to customize a totally succulent Friendsgiving!

Jamelle Bouie & Rebecca Onion are back with a sequel to their Slate Academy on the History of American Slavery: Reconstruction. The new podcast series finds the seeds of our present politics in the period after the Civil War — so it sounds like required listening for the White House (looking at you, John Kelly and Sarah Huckabee Sanders). The program is for Slate Plus members, but if you’re not ready to join up, the first episode — on how freedpeople ended up owning land parcels, and then losing them — is free. Listen here:

We learned something new: Before Alissa put the A in ANPR or began her career, she was an intern — at Ruder Finn, Ketchum, and AT&T. While creating FedEx labels for a shipment this week, she admitted missing the joys of admin work. Whatever floats your boat, Alissa! (And thanks for the labels. You did us a solid.)

DIY Halloween Costumes with Cricut (& BuzzFeed!)

Posted by stephanie on October 13th, 2017

October is here (well, halfway over!), and we’ve been getting into the autumn spirit by crafting up a storm with one of our newer clients, Cricut. Cricut makes smart cutting machines that let you design professional-quality products with ease, from the comfort of your desk (or anywhere, really). With Halloween around the corner, DIY costumes are a no-brainer.

Grab some (pretty brilliant) ideas from BuzzFeed, which published a list of must-try options today: “17 Clever Halloween Costumes For Anyone With A Prime Account And A Dream.”

Rachel Wilkerson Miller used her Cricut for many of the costumes on the list, to embellish clothing with pop-culture-inspired text and designs. We’re kind of obsessed with the La Croix costumes — not to mention Cards Against Humanity and Buzzfeed Badges as easy ways to make comfortable dresses totally pop (and not get chastised for not wearing a costume to your friend’s Halloween party).

Which are your favorites?

(Photos from BuzzFeed!)

Free Every Wednesday: Remembering the Village Voice

Posted by stephanie on September 20th, 2017


We won’t soon forget the thrill of picking up the Village Voice on Wednesdays after work, before settling into our commute home. Sometimes, we’d be lucky enough to pass one of those telltale red sidewalk dispensers early in the morning, and get our fill of investigative takedowns and new restaurant reviews before even arriving at the office, trying to shield our keen interest in “Savage Love” from the eyes of passengers riding next to us. Either way, we’ll sorely miss the physical version of the Voice, which published its final print edition today, and will live on in digital-only form.

But the alt-weekly has special significance for another reason, too: it’s where Alissa got her start in PR for media, as Public Relations Director from 1996-1999. Alissa’s photo appeared in the final print edition of the paper among other Voice alums from over the years, including celebrated feminist writer Susan Brownmiller, New York Times critic Guy Trebay, and Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter Mark Schoofs. On the cover? None other than Bob Dylan.

A good thing doesn’t always last forever, but we’re happy to have the memories — and the memento!