Sunday, November 30, 2008

More holiday Decor

Today I decorated my house for the holiday's! I just love it being so Christmasy (and clean)! Anyway, I will post some pics later but I have not had time to take pics yet. So, I will post some fun decorating ideas sent to me by Emily B. I have posted several times about wall vinyls and how great they are for decorating. Well, Kohl's now has an affordable option for holiday wall decor. See here:




At only $12, what a steal! And, a fun way to personalize!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Inexpensive Holiday Decorating Ideas

Last night I was up after midnight (I know, Tommy couldn't believe it either) and caught a holiday special on HGTV called "25 Great Holiday Ideas." I only caught probably the first 10 ideas because I fell asleep but it airs again tomorrow at 4 PM CST on HGTV. So, I have it set to my TIVO. But, I did get some really great ideas!

They have all of their ideas featured here and I,unfortunately, cannot copy the videos to place here on my blog. But, check out:

1- Decorating with Ice
2- Making Candy Trees
3- Nontraditional Place settings

Enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Zappos Rave

I have to say I am not often "wowed" by customer service. But, the hype about Zappos is true. They are fabulous. I have seen the CEO, Tony Hsieh, on my favorite program The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and read about him in Inc. (Yes, I know I am a huge nerd.) I found his story to be very good and inspiring but I have not had to see him "walk the talk," if you will. Now, I have ordered several items from Zappos (including shoes for my wedding) and have always been pleased with everything. But, I have never had to return anything.

Let's be honest, returns are always a hassle. You have to find the receipt, make sure you are in the return window of 30-90 days, hope you didn't buy a final clearance item that cannot be returned. All annoying. Also, all leading to me not purchasing items due to the fact that it may not work for me.

So, here is my story. My mom ordered Tommy some shoes last year for Christmas. Well, they have been sitting in the closet since then, as they were too narrow. Well, the holidays are rolling around again and I remember that Zappos has a 365 day return policy for unworn shoes. Well, these fit the bill as we still have 8 days left (they were ordered 12/7)!!! The more difficult part of this is that my mom ordered these on her credit card, not me AND Tommy wants to exchange them. So, I emailed Zappos and I got a personal, not canned response on what to do. Easy enough. All I had to do was call and give them my mom's phone # (have that) and they could pull up the order. They found the order with no problem, waived the five cent price difference (you guys know some companies would NEVER do that), upgraded me to next day shipping AND sent me a free mailing label to return the shoes that didn't work. It was so pleasant it really made my day. I was very interested to see if this was as hassle free as advertised. I give them an A+ in customer service.

So, this holiday, definitely check out Zappos for all of your clothing, shoe and accessory needs. Shipping is free and returns are easy! Just reread this....must say, I should get a gift card for this testimonial : ). Have a good one you guys! XOXO

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Beginning of the Holiday Season!!!

I hope you all had a great day full of great food and good company! And, now the holiday chaos starts! Fun! I have ideas for everyone, so I am excited to shop, buy and wrap. I will come back with some fun gift ideas tomorrow. Unfortunately, I have some really good ones that I cannot share until after Christmas because I am giving these to my regular readers. But, I promise I will share the love later!

Happy Thanksgiving! XOXO

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Doggy DNA Test


Is it bad I want to get a doggy DNA test for my little man? Apparently Amazon is having a black Friday sale and it includes a $20 discount on these. Tommy and I have always been intrigued to see what breed Carter is. I know for one, he is breed perfect angel : )!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Full Disclosure

I stole this from Barum & Bailey's blog, but I know Laura would want to share the wealth because this is just too good not to pass on! Check out the Walmart specials...10 mp digital cameras for $79- wow! Also, sister, check out the deal on the digital picture frames for Kyle's mom.

Black Friday
This blog is dedicated to all of the Christmas Gift Deal Seekers in my life. I am by NO means an authority subject but I ran across a few gems that could be potentially helpful.
Official site for all 2008 Black Friday Ads
A little history on the madness.
Google. For real! Every decent plan begins with a google search!!
Amazon. Prime Shipping cannot be BEAT!!!
Good luck you bloodhounds!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fall Flower Party

I have been looking forward to today for awhile now! My former flower partner, Brenna, and I had thrown a fall party for people who had helped us in our flower business a few years back and she asked if I would be interesting in throwing a party again this fall! Of course I was in! So, today we got together at her house and had so much fun! Brenna had awesome appetizers, a fire going and Christmas music playing. It was perfect for a little fall decorating! The picture below is all of our creations together!
One of the fun things about doing these parties is that you really get to see the creativity of the group. You all start with the same flowers but to see how people use their imagination is so fun.
My mother-in-law did the arrangement below. She did an awesome job and I think had a lot of fun! She had never done anything like this before. I was really impressed with her final product.
Brenna was nice enough to donate a fall arrangement created by her to a United Way auction. So, she did this really cute arrangement for the lucky recipient. She is so talented. Whoever got this definitely got an awesome deal. One down...only three more for her to do : ).

Brenna's mother-in-law did this fabulous arrangement. She is really a natural and I love how she used a hollowed out baking pumpkin. So cute!


Okay, I look like I just woke up. But, I did an arrangement for Megan's first Thanksgiving at her house. She had a birthday party and couldn't make it. The other arrangement I did for my coffee table. I love having fresh flowers around. It really does make your house feel more homey.
Iris had NEVER done a flower arrangement in foam and I swear her arrangement looked like it was done by a professional. She is so talented and has such an eye for design!!!
My mom was so funny, she kept wanting to add more to her arrangement. I kept telling her to stop. : ) I love her final product. It is so clean and professional. She also took quite a bit of floral design and is just really good at this kind of stuff. Her flowers will be the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving table. Look how pretty they look in the picture!
My sister is also very creative. She did a great job with her arrangement. It was perfectly balanced and turned out really cute. I am so glad she got to come!

All of our flowers came from Sam's and were super simple to do. The fun part is many of the guests had never made a flower arrangement before and they all turned out amazing. And, Brenna is an awesome host, so hopefully she will be up for this again next year!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cutest Cake!

A coworker of mine today told me about this new cake pan she got and I love it! It is sooo, cute! And, it looks totally easy and doable. As you guys know, my brush with cake decorating was a disaster. Basically, the finished cake product looks like a giant cupcake. Can it get any cuter??

So, I have searched the world wide web (well, she actually did it) and have some options for you.

First, as you may know, Linens n Things is is going out of business, but that is where she got her pan and it is currently on sale for $22.49.

Williams Sonoma also sells the pan in a similar design for $36. So, I would get it there if you have a gift card and nothing else to spend it on ; ).



I just love these! Hmmm....maybe a good potential Christmas gift : ). And, they would be sooo cute for a kids party too!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sooo....

What are you guys asking for for Christmas? Anything fun??

Cake Balls

I came across the blog site of Bakerella recently and she had the cutest and most festive cake balls on her site!

Aren't these adorable? She takes you step-by-step through how to make these cute desserts! Can you believe Thanksgiving is already next week? Wow!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Too cute!

My cousin's daughter is a little toddler model and is featured in the Dillards holiday catalog! Click here and here to see her picture! She is on page 93, in the sleigh on the left and on page 161. She is so cute!!

Etsy Sites...

I meant to tell you guys, Jackie from Hide & Seek Boutique has set up an etsy site. View it here. And, while you are at it, go check out Allison Rose's items from her etsy store here!

Drop by HWTM Today


On Hostess with the Mostess today she is featuring all things pumpkin!! YUM!! Funny, I love pumpkin flavored things but I don't like pumpkin pie...hmm... I am so ready for a fun day of feasting next week! More to come later! : ) XOXO

Monday, November 17, 2008

Max and Bella

I found this etsy site, Max & Bella, awhile ago and have been trying to decide how I can use these adorable business cards:




First, we have the bird thing going on and I am totally in love with them! Second, they are just so miniature. Any ideas? I already have business cards...hmmm.....

Here are some other super cute items on her site and they are all really well priced! And, she will customize these however you like, so if you would prefer it to have your return address, she can do it. So cute!



Um, how cute are these? You know how I love a cupcake!! Iris, I saw these and thought of you! These would make really cute return address labels to go with the cards you got from Hope!

Enjoy and if you have a clever idea on how I can use those super cute business cards - let me know!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What's New?

Today I was online and accidentally clicked on Spoon Sisters, which is saved to my favorites. I am glad I did because they have updated their site with some new stuff since the last time I visited!

Here are some fab finds I thought I would pass on:

These pens cracked me up. They will definitely keep people from accidentally stealing your pen! They come in a pack of six with saying such as: Stuffed with Love Taxidermy (ask about our goldfish and turtle discount; website is: http://www.fluffy4ever.com/). Aren't those terribly funny???


Now, my husband would probably not like to play this game but it comes as a set and I thought it would be a fun "getting to know you better" game. Some sample questions include: Sure you know her wife’s favorite color, but do you know: If she closes the bathroom door if no one is home? What side she parts her hair on? Sure you know your husband hates broccoli, but Do you know if he can juggle three oranges? In which pocket does he carry his wallet?

This is one of my favorites. They are "finger foods" - carriers for appetizers. First, clever. Second, a miniature!!! Love it!!

Also, be sure to check out the Stocking Stuffers section. They have some really fun gifts!

I am twittering...

So, I have decided to become even more of a social networker. I am now twittering. I have no idea really what this is, but I guess it allows you to be an even bigger voyeur into my very, very exciting life. : ) But, the fun thing is that you can read what I am up to on the right hand side of the page. And, if I am really lucky and get the iphone I am begging Tommy for for Christmas I can really keep you abreast of my comings and goings! Exciting!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Early Christmas Shopping

I had a lovely day with Iris today! She called me this morning and we went to Utica and we got some awesome deals! Just wanted to share!

1- This weekend Restoration Hardware has everything in the store for 20% off. I found some super cute stuff! But, wanted to do a little comparison shopping for you all!

They have this blanket at Restoration Hardware for $49 + 20% off = $39. But, they have virtually the same blanket at Pottery Barn for $79. So, if you are in the market for a warm blanket, definitely got to RH first!

2- Not to knock Pottery Barn because I do love them but they have these cute little woodland creature ornaments/decor items. But, they have the same ones at Target for less! I could only find the owls in a grouping, but this little porcupine has a similar look to what is available in the store.


3- Iris and I both saved a ton at Bath & Body Works. She had a $10 coupon for any purchase of $30 and you just had to mention a friends and family discount of 20% and they applied that to our order too. So, just ask at the register and you may get a great deal!

4- Gap is having a friends and family weekend this weekend, as well. If you have the email they sent you can save 30% off your total purchase! I saved $25 today! Yay!

5- Also, wanted to let you guys know, if you are ever purchasing anything online always visit Coupon Cabin. They have all the discount source codes available for Free Shipping, %'s off, etc...!

Happy Early Christmas!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The internet is a black hole

As I do everyday, I get home and I go through all of my "daily" sites. It is amazing how you can get sucked in online for hours. Well, today I got sucked in. First, I went to my old roommate (she is not old, she just was my roommate several years ago) Laura's blog. She has a really cute writing style, but she got me to click on Tangarang. Um, can you say cute?? I love the way she writes!
And, she has really cute downloads, like this one!

From there, I clicked on Let's Entertain's website where I found this really cute Thanksgiving centerpiece idea from Good Housekeeping. Super cute!

Next, I linked to All Things Lovely. Who wouldn't want to go somewhere where everything is lovely?? Look how cute this Amy Butler everyday wear is!!


Next I went to Paper*Cakes. She makes custom paper products. And, the fun thing is she always has a contest!! Who wouldn't want to win something??
After that I landed on the Tip Junkie. Tons of giveaways! Fun! These are some stamps she was giving away earlier this week!



Okay, I must stop now. I am spiraling into the black hole and Tommy is finally home! Yay! Have a great night!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I cannot believe I haven't shared this with you yet...

You know those cute fonts that you see and you wonder where people get them? Well, some get them from a disk that they buy from a store, but Dafont.com has some super cute fonts and they are free!

I will admit, the download process is a little tricky but once you get it down, the fonts will show up in all of your Microsoft products (and Adobe ones). Quick instructions....download the zip file to your desktop. Open up the fonts folder from your hard drive (can be found under the Control Panel). Then, open up the fonts file on your desktop and drag and drop the .ttf file from the zip file into the fonts folder. Got that?

Here are some fonts you can download. Some of them are a little "alt" but I couldn't put the "fonts" in here because blogger does not support that file type. But, this should give you an idea of all of the offerings! Fun stuff!





Have fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gotta love it

So, I have been mulling over what to blog about today. For some reason I have not been so inspired lately. But, no worries, I know I have some VERY diligent readers, so I could not let you down. In my daily blog checking ritual I was lucky enough to come across a blogging gem! A whole website devoted to stupidity ; ) that I found thanks to a post on Cake Wrecks (another gem if you do not check it regularly). See the below and you will see what I mean. Some made me literally laugh out loud. Gotta love it.








I actually feel smarter and dumber at the same time....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Everyone needs to be pampered

So, I am in the mood for reviews and I wanted to introduce some of you guys to a little gem! Today I had a massage at Clary Sage College. For those of you who like a massage but hesitate to pay the full price, I would recommend trying Clary Sage. The building is really nice, new and clean and you cannot beat the price! For a 1-hour massage it is only $30. I guess since their massage prices are so successful they actually have certified therapists who work in there too. (Well, that is what my masseuse told me today.)

There are some areas that are not so spa like, such as, there is not a bench to set your clothes on (odd) and you never know who you are going to get. But, I have been getting massages here for quite some time and I have always been very pleased. I would say your experience would be somewhere in between high end salon and nail place in the mall. Got that?

Anyway, I wanted to pass this little gem on to you guys. I think you would be pleased with the experience and definitely the price! Here is a link to their spa menu. Now, I have only had a massage there so I cannot attest to the other services. But, I would definitely be open to trying their manicure, pedicure, etc...services. Also, the inside is super modern and cool. They have done really well with their branding. If you guys try it let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Review - Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

So, a couple of weeks ago Kelsey told me about a new delicious drink at Starbucks: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. As a huge fan of sweet and salty I was intrigued. However, I was a little worried about the sweet and salty in a cup. Kelsey's description of the drink was first that it is AWESOME. Second, that it is hot chocolate, layered with whipped cream, layered with caramel with a sprinkle of sea salt. I was sold up until the sea salt....not sure about what I thought about that.

So, last week I went to Starbucks, asked the barista for her opinion. Again, the review was AWESOME. Tastes like a Snickers bar. I thought to myself, "I like Snickers Bars." But, I ordered my usual White Chocolate Mocha. I wanted to stay safe.

Today my mom wanted to treat my mil and me to Starbucks and since someone else was buying (thanks mom!) and since the barista reminded me he would make me another drink if I didn't like it, I decided to go for it. Review #3, again, AWESOME. Reminded him of a chocolate caramel covered pretzel. Like those too.

So, I finally got my cup of deliciousness and I will attest it is AWESOME!! The salt is sooo subtle you would not even know it was on there. It just brings out the caramel perfectly. I think of the snickers and pretzel associations, I would say it tastes more like a chocolate caramel pretzel. My mom and mil also agreed that they would get it again. So, thanks to Kelsey for my new favorite Starbucks treat!!!

For more information, here is the description from Starbucks' website:

This delicious sweet and salty combination brings together our rich, indulgent Signature Hot Chocolate and the flavors of buttery caramel and smoked sea salt. It is topped with whipped cream, a swirl of caramel and a sprinkle of our sea salt topping - a combination of artisan sea salt and Turbinado sugar from Hawaii.

If you guys decide to try, let me know what you think! If you are a sweet/salty fan you will not be disappointed!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Best Gifts Ever

Also, this week I took Iris and Aja with me to Hope's for her Holiday Open House. She has some of the best personalized gifts! I got so much cute stuff but I can't post what I got because some of my recipients read here ; ). Check out her blog for pics of her party. She is such a fabulous hostess and her house is adorable. (You can kind of catch a glimpse of it from her pics.) Seriously, you guys, she has awesome taste!! All of her items would make great hostess gifts or stocking stuffers this holiday season! Just wanted to let you know!

Cute as Can Be

Awhile back I posted about books I loved as a kid where my mom had my name, my cousin's name and maybe even my sister's name included in the book. They were so cute! Well, Snapfish now has a cool product where you can include your child's picture in the book! They are only $16.99 and I can only imagine how much these would encourage them to read!





I am thinking about getting one of these for little Max but I am not sure if I should wait another year until he can recognize himself in the story. He is only 7 months old...do kids recognize themselves at that age? Seriously, I have NO clue about child development....

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Pick Me Up

I think the time change has everyone down. So, I popped over to Cute Overload for some pictures to melt your heart and put a smile one your face!!












Enjoy! And, bring a smile to someone today!!
 
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