You might qualify for refunds on your Skechers toning shoes

Idaho and other states, along with the federal government, announced a $45 million settlement of allegations that Skechers toning shoes were improperly marketed as weight-dropping, muscle-toning, fat-burning footwear.

I called around to some local retailers and confirmed that the shoes — Shape-Ups, Tone-Ups and Skechers Resistance Runners — have been sold at Treasure Valley stores. The FTC says the shoes, introduced in 2009 and 2010, sold for $60 to $100 a pair. If you want to apply for a refund, go to www.ftc.gov/skechers for more info.

The FTC says Skechers USA Inc. advertised Shape-ups using celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Brooke Burke. A commercial that aired during the 2011 Super Bowl showed Kardashian firing her personal trainer in favor of the shoes. The Burke commercial "told consumers that the newest way to burn calories and tone and strengthen muscles was to tie their Shape-ups shoe laces," says the FTC.

Again Consignment has a new juniors shop

We reported this in Business Insider magazine but I wanted to do a quick blog post about it.

The popular upscale resale shop at 222 E. State St. in Eagle has opened a second store down the block for juniors (that means mostly teen guys and girls). It's called Again 2, and they're carrying brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and American Eagle.

Rediscovered Books, Basque Market host book and wine night Friday

The Downtown shops joined forces to pair wine and literature from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 18. Tickets are $50 and buy you appetizers, wine tastings, a bottle of vino and a book.

The books and wine bottles will be sort of pre-selected. After tasting all the wines they're pouring, you'll pick one to take home. Same goes for books. After hearing about several different books, you'll pick one.

Click their flyer to buy tickets:

Portland authors Alexis M. Smith and Evan Schneider will be there. Smith will feature her debut novel Glaciers. Evan Schneider wrote A Simple Machine: Like the Lever.

While we're on the topic, the Statesman has a new feature for bibliophiles: the Book Addicts. You'll notice their columns in your Sunday paper, but they also have a new blog. Click here to read it. They should become your go-to source for book info and reviews.

Have a book addiction you need to feed this spring? Click here for a list of upcoming book events.

Old Spaghetti Factory in Boise open for lunch

The Downtown Boise restaurant, one in a national Old Spaghetti Factory chain, is now serving lunch Thursday through Sunday. According to the Downtown Boise Association, the restaurant resumed those two weekday lunch hours May 11.

For hours, location and free parking info, click here.

Attention procrastinators: Mother's Day ideas around the Valley

The day of the mother is just around the corner. Here's a roundup of some sales and events (keep an eye on this post for updates) and gifts you can buy locally.

Dana Oland gave us a slew of places for the time-honored Mother's Day brunch and less-time-honored local wine tasting. If you're brunching, make reservations; it's the busiest brunch day of the year, and you don't want to make Mom wait for two hours.

Is your Ma up for a visual treat? Take her on a helicopter tour. You might wanna feel that one out first, though. Something tells me that "Surprise! Let's test your fear of heights!" won't be a gift slam-dunk for everyone.

(Click "Read more" below for more ideas.)

National Scrapbooking Day: It's a thing.

In honor of National Scrapbooking Day — which coincides this year with Cinco de Mayo — the Craft Warehouse in Meridian will have specials this weekend, starting Friday. The store manager says they'll have door prizes, make-it-and-take-it projects and items on sale, with 40 percent off coupons for the weekend. The main event is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with drawings that will include a $100 gift card.

Click here for more info.

The store is at 1160 N. Eagle Road in Meridian. Hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Gordmans department store party Saturday in Nampa

The Gordmans department store in Nampa will have a party Saturday with food, giveaways and drawings.

The store opened in March at 16740 N. Marketplace Blvd., off I-84 and Midland Blvd. It's the first Idaho store for the Nebraska-based company.

Here's what they're planning for Saturday:

  • Two drawings for $250 to spend at the store
  • Ticket giveaways for the July 7 Boise Music Festival (giveaways between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.)
  • Balloons and temporary tattoos for kids
  • Cupcakes, and chicken nachos served by Qdoba (noon to 3 p.m.)
  • Visits from the Nampa Fire Department, with truck and firefighters (from noon to 2 p.m.)

Gordmans will be opening its second Idaho store, in Meridian, this July.

Metro Express giving away car washes Wednesday

Metro Express car washes in Boise, Meridian and Nampa are giving away car washes Wednesday (today) to benefit domestic violence shelters in Ada and Canyon counties.

They're asking for $3 suggested donations that will go to the Women and Children's Alliance in Boise and Advocates Against Family Violence in Caldwell.

Metro Express has raised about $16,000 for local charities — art education, health clinics, homeless shelter and domestic violence — in the past two years. The company held a similar domestic-violence fundraiser in March, but it was hampered by rainy weather.

Locations for the car washes:

  • 13th and Front streets in Downtown Boise
  • Eagle Road and Pine Street in Meridian
  • Nampa-Caldwell Boulevard and Karcher Road in Nampa

Hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What you can eat at the new Pacific Rim in Boise

The restaurant and wine shop is going into the former Amigo's Mexican Restaurant space. It will have the same fusion cuisine it served when Pacific Rim was in the North End in the 1990s. Customers can "grab and go" or call ahead to pick up food.

Pacific Rim logo

Owner Janet Weston gave me a (still in development) menu. "We plan to start small with the food menu and let the public dictate what they want us to offer," she said.

Now, the menu is not what I'd call small. They have more than 50 dishes, sides and desserts in the rotation. Here are some cherry-picked selections:

  • Bay shrimp and romaine salad with poppy seed dressing and toasted cashews
  • Baja pasta salad with crisp tortilla ribbons, manchego cheese and cilantro
  • Blue cheese mashed potatoes
  • Vietnamese pasta salad
  • Salmon skewers with mango salsa and port wine reduction
  • Sonoran-style relleno wraps with chili verde and sharp cheddar
  • Sonoran-style egg rolls with chicken, jack cheese, mild Anaheim chilis, served with spicy chili verde
  • Calamari breaded and fried with lemon-plum dipping sauce
  • Pacific snapper baked with tomato, black olive, onion and garlic

Click here for their Facebook page.

Dutch Bros. doing another charity drive this Friday

The Oregon-based company will donate all proceeds from sales in the Treasure Valley this Friday, May 4, to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The drive-thru coffee shops will also give away MDA stickers.

The company donated $137,000 to the MDA last year. Co-founder Dane Boersma died of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, which is a disease targeted by the MDA. Dutch Bros. donates 1 percent of annual gross sales to local communities. Last year, that amounted to about $1 million.

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