BECKY SHER | Hype In-demand school supplies

It's been a very long time since we got excited about school supplies. After all, it can be tough to conjure up a lot of enthusiasm for pencils and file folders. (Though there was a time when finding the perfect Trapper Keeper made us giddy.)
But there's finally a line of office and school supplies worth talking about, so here goes: Minnesota-based Russell+Hazel has designed binders, comp books and paper pads that actually make getting organized fun. The company has reinvented the basics: We love the three-ring binder, which is seriously crammable (it holds 275+ pages!), and features an erasable white board on its inside covers.
The line also features tons of quirky products to dress up your ho-hum school supplies. A "binder belt" (made of the same elastic as men's underwear!) clips around your notebook to hold all the pages in. A Snifferific air freshener keeps your locker smelling sweet. And cute minierasers actually make it fun to make mistakes.
Check out Russell+Hazel's whole collection at Products range from a few bucks for pencils, erasers, notebooks and binder belts to as much as $70 for a year's worth of school supplies.
Piercing for the impatient
Whoever said "patience is a virtue" obviously never had pierced ears (or other body parts). Because if she had, she would know there's nothing worse than the excruciating wait until you can start experimenting with all the cool things the piercing world has to offer.
But there's a new kid on the piercing block -- a system called Klikxx. The concept is so simple, it's kind of amazing no one thought of it before: You get your ears pierced with the Klikxx earring, which is a post with a tiny magnet attached. Then you can buy dozens of cute little magnetic ornaments that attach to the post. Get it? The post never leaves your ear, so there's little chance of a nasty infection. But you still get the style benefits of changing your jewelry to match your mood (and your favorite sweater). Klikxx ornaments come in all kinds of styles, from tiny flowers and butterflies to hoops and gemstones. And since you can change the look of your earrings within minutes of getting your ears pierced, the whole "patience is a virtue" thing is pretty much obsolete.
Still can't picture it? Head to for details and to find a store that uses the Klikxx system. The initial kit (posts and one set of ornaments) ranges in price from $22 to $29; additional ornaments are $7 to $39.
XBecky Sher writes Hype for Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. You can write to her at

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