Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Preview - Pear Tree Greetings

Pear Tree Greetings is doing so much this holiday season to help others around the country and overseas! With Operation Gratitude, Pear Tree Greetings is sending coloring cards to teachers all across the country for their students to color, write messages on and send to soldiers serving overseas. If you are a teacher, or know one, who'd like to participate, sign up! Help Pear Tree and Operation Gratitude put a smile on the faces of our military's men and women this holiday season!

Pear Tree Greetings has also partnered with the American Cancer Society to help fight cancer! They have designed 6 exclusive Christmas cards and when you purchase one of these cards, 100% of the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. They're really great designs too, so you'll be proud to send these cards to your loved ones AND help fight for a cure for cancer!

And as if Pear Tree isn't being generous enough this season, they are also sponsoring me in the Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop! They are donating a giftcard to help one of my readers with their holiday shopping this year!!

If you aren't familiar with Pear Tree Greetings please go check out their site. They have everything you could need to fill your stationary needs -- everything from cards and invitations to labels and announcements. They have designs for all occasions and make a beautiful product! I have purchased cards for myself and as gifts and they're always gorgeous. So go take a look around, fall in love with all of their fabulous designs and then come back here tomorrow to enter to win a giftcard!

Candy Cane for Christmas?

Candy Cane Sterling Silver Necklace - $12
We're smack dab in the middle of the holidays. This is the time for gift-exchanges, parties, fancy dinners and sparkle. I like sparkle as much as the next girl, but sometimes you want subtle accessories. When I saw this sterling silver candy cane necklace from Charm Star by freshie & zero, I knew it was perfect. It's festive without being too over-the-top for daytime. There are other holiday and non-holiday sterling silver items too at really great prices. (I know a 13 year old girl who would love this Running Horse charm necklace too.) All of their items come gift-ready in a gift box with an anti-tarnish cotton pad to keep your sterling silver jewelry shiny when you aren't wearing it!

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop Preview -- CSN Stores

The Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop starts tomorrow and I'm thrilled to have CSN Stores as a sponsor for the event! CSN Stores is a wonderful one-stop-shop for gift-giving! They are committed to helping you have a stress-free holiday! With 200+ stores to choose from all in one place, you're sure to find something unique and affordable for everyone on your list.

Whether you're looking for toys for your kids, cookware for your favorite hostess or tools for the guy in your life, you'll find it all here. They also offer tons of stuff to buy for yourself -- everything from shoes to bathroom furniture. (If you're anything like me, you tend to shop for yourself a little bit while you're shopping for your friends and family too. And if there's a good deal to be had on something I want for myself all the better.) There are also a ton of items that come with free shipping, and to me, that's a big plus!

There are some great deals right now, so go check out the site for yourself (Give yourself some time though! There's a lot to look at!) and come back here tomorrow to participate in the hop and enter to win a CSN Stores giftcard. While you're window shopping, think about what you might get if you win! I'm sure you'll have no problem spending it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Green Christmas

Mountain Dew Christmas Tree Earrings $4
Aren't these festive? They'd be really fun for a holiday party! They're made from recycled Mountain Dew cans and recycling is a good thing! How great is it that you can even feel good about your earrings being green!! I love the embossed ornament details and the red sequins star on top. So cute! Gergeex on Etsy also has really great holly leaf earrings too. I still can't decide which pair I like better. They're both adorable and they come at a fabulous price!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I'm on my way out for the weekend, but I wanted to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! I spent most of yesterday baking and now I'm heading out to visit family and friends all over the state. It'll be a busy weekend, but it's well worth it to spend time with the people we love!

I hope you all get to spend some time with your families tomorrow and enjoy some fabulous food! I know many of us are going through some tough times, but I hope we take time tomorrow to really appreciate the gifts we do have. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

CardsDirect Winner!

There were 62 entries and Random.org chose #24....

Congrats to Cheeky Momma of Being Frugal & Making it Work! I'll be contacting you via email today. Thanks to everyone who entered! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's In the Details

Maya's Earrings with Gray Pearls $15
These earrings from Beads Story are gorgeous. They're simple enough to look great with jeans, but also great to mix with fancier clothes for a night out. I love the look of the silver lace-like dangles with the dark gray pearls. So pretty! My mother has always loved marcasite and I think she'd love these. They have a similar look, full of intricate details, and at $15 with free shipping, you can't pass up the price!

Some Green From Loda

When I was a kid, I loved those plastic magnetic letters on the fridge. I loved standing in the kitchen while my mom cooked and putting words together to make "my stories". These days there are still many kitchens across America with plastic magnet letters on the refrigerator, but I found a great company that's making those letters in an eco-friendly way!

Loda is making these fantastic magnetic alphabets from recycled soda cans! How cool! These letters are backed with a foam backing to help hold their shape and there are no sharp edges! These letters are not recommended for small children, but I think they'd be a great way to reinforce the importance of recycling with older children! I think they're so smart and really cool looking at a great price!

Recycled Coke Can Alphabet - Magnetic from Loda - $10

Loda makes other magnets and ornaments from the recycled cans as well! I think they'd give a really cool, retro look to your tree this year. There are single ornaments and sets of 10 available in different shapes and can colors.

The sets are $20 for 10 ornaments and some of the designs are available individually for $2 each. Put a little extra green on your tree this year with recycled ornaments from Loda!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lovely Ladybugs from Stella & Dot!

Ladybug Stud Earrings $24
I realized that my blog, that's supposed to have a substantial focus on jewelry, wasn't so focused on jewelry. So I gave myself a goal to feature a great piece of jewelry everyday. I love this goal because I love jewelry, so shopping online for jewelry is really fun for me! However, I do find myself wanting to spend more and more money every day, which could become a problem...

I found this charming pair of Ladybug Stud Earrings from Stella & Dot and I fell in love! They aren't your typical, cutesy ladybugs either! They're really elegant and sparkly! Perfect for the holidays. (Have I told you how much I love sparkly jewelry at Christmas?) I love that crystals form the spots on the ladybugs' backs. So pretty! Stella & Dot have some beautiful pieces in their shop, so if ladybugs aren't your style, go find something you do like!

Carmex Skin Care Winner!

Random.org chose comment #38 as the winner.

So Congrats to...

Congrats SAPsMaMa!! I'll email you shortly for your address! Thanks to everyone for entering! Stay tuned! There will be another Carmex giveaway here next week! :)


So every year, around the season changes, my allergies get bad. It's worse in the spring, but this fall, my sinuses have been seriously angry. I feel like I've have had a sinus headache every day for like 2 weeks! I've had sinus infections, so I know this isn't one, but the achy head is really annoying! I feel like I've been spacey too...like the headache is putting my whole day off-kilter. If my posts seem a little off, don't be too concerned. It's hard to completely concentrate when your head is pounding...lol

I don't mean to sound like a whiner. I know some people have allergies that are way worse mine. It doesn't mean I have to like them though! :)

Are any of you having sinus issues these days? What do you do to feel better?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley Necklace - $38
Growing up, in the backyard next to the patio, my mother always had Lilies of the Valley growing. They smelled delicious and the scent now always reminds me of home. The tiny white flowers had a beautiful shape. Such a delicate presence. When I first saw Hoshika Design's Lily of the Valley Fine Silver Necklace, it immediately made me smile, thinking of home. I love the intricate, cut-out details and the 1 inch square shape isn't too big or overpowering. I think it's really lovely.

New Norah Jones Album!

Norah Jones' new album, "...Featuring" hits stores today! When I heard about this album, I was really excited about it. I love Norah Jones. Her smooth voice is so gorgeous and I've really enjoyed her past albums. When the One2One Network gave me the chance to listen to and review her new album, I was thrilled.

The new album, "...Featuring" from Norah Jones is an album of collaborations and duets with some of music's most celebrated and iconic artists. It is also a very eclectic album. Norah Jones really shows her versatility here, across musical genres from country to hiphop and rock to jazz. This album also spans her career featuring recordings and collaborations over the last decade.

You are going to be really surprised when I show you this album's track listing. I know I said the album really shows Norah's versatility as an artist, but you have no idea! Check it out!

...Featuring Track Listing:
1. Love Me – The Little Willies
2. Virginia Moon – The Foo Fighters featuring Norah Jones
3. Turn Them – Sean Bones featuring Norah Jones
4. Baby It's Cold Outside – Willie Nelson featuring Norah Jones
5. Bull Rider – Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson
6. Ruler Of My Heart – Dirty Dozen Brass Band featuring Norah Jones
7. The Best Part – El Madmo  
8. Take Off Your Cool – OutKast featuring Norah Jones
9. Life Is Better – Q-Tip featuring Norah Jones
10. Soon The New Day – Talib Kweli featuring Norah Jones
11. Little Lou, Prophet Jack, Ugly John – Belle & Sebastian featuring Norah Jones
12. Here We Go Again – Ray Charles featuring Norah Jones
13. Loretta – Norah Jones featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
14. Dear John – Ryan Adams featuring Norah Jones
15. Creepin' In – Norah Jones featuring Dolly Parton
16. Court & Spark – Herbie Hancock featuring Norah Jones
17. More Than This – Charlie Hunter featuring Norah Jones
18. Blue Bayou – Norah Jones featuring M. Ward

I was really impressed when I saw that track list. Norah Jones with Dolly Parton and Outkast on the same album?! But it really works. I really enjoyed the tracks on this album. My favorite track is the opening track, "Love Me" with Norah's band, The Little Willies. It's a really soulful, beautiful song. Other gems include "Dear John" with Ryan Adams and "Blue Bayou" with M. Ward. This album covers a ton of genres and it's still pretty cohesive, surprisingly. I do think that this album lends better to a shuffle, rather than a straight listen, so listeners can really savor and enjoy each song on its own. It's a really wonderful collection of songs.

You can also check out Norah on YouTube or on Facebook to learn more!

The album is in stores today. If you have a music fan in the family, I think this would be a fabulous holiday gift!

Disclosure: One2One Network sent me a copy of this album to facilitate this review and I will be entered to win a giftcard for posting. I was not compensated any further and the opinions here are solely mine. This review has not been influenced or edited by the sponsor.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dandelion Jewelry

I was looking for a great pair of Fall earrings this morning and thought these Red Maple Earrings from Shari Dixon at Dandelion were gorgeous! I love the intricate leaf design and the deep red color! They are so unique! Dandelion Jewelry always offers free shipping too, so you don't have to spend more than you would in one of their stores, and that's always a bonus! For only $22, these would be a wonderful, simple addition to any jewelry collection. They'd also make a fabulous gift, don't you think?!

A Shutterfly Holiday

I've been using Shutterfly to make photo gifts for my friends and family for years. I've always been impressed with their quality, selection and customer service. I've ordered Christmas cards from them in the past and always been satisfied. This year, Shutterfly has some really beautiful holiday cards! If you're looking for great looking holiday photo cards, you've come to the right place. There are a ton to choose from. Whether you're working with just one photo or a few, you'll have great design options.

Here's how I made my selection! I am partial to a folded card over a flat card, to start. I like being able to write a greeting inside, so I started mt search in the Folded Greeting Card section. I also think I'll be working with a few photos this year, so I refined my search to those designs for 3+ cards. With those search parameters, Shutterfly brought back over 80 cards options! And there are cards for every taste! Modern, classic, or retro -- there's a card for everyone!

I especially loved the Lovingly Wrapped American Lung Association Holiday 5x7 folded card. I love the classic simple layout of the photos and the bow detail just brought the card to life for me. So cute! Plus, 10% of the proceeds of the sale of this card goes to the American Lung Association. You can't go wrong!

Shutterfly also has a selection of Christmas gift tags that are adorable!

I think the designs are really adorable! If you're looking for a fun, personalized way to dress up your gifts, this would be a great option!

Right now, Shutterfly is offering 20% cards and gift tags until Nov 17! Visit here to see details! They are also offering free standard shipping  on orders $30+ when you enter code: SHIP30, so now is definitely the time to shop if you're interested!

Disclosure: I posted this blog post in collaboration with Shutterfly to receive 50 free cards. I was not compensated any further. The opinions here are solely mine and were not influenced by the sponsor in any way. Bloggers: Come see how you can qualify to receive 50 free cards from Shutterfly!

Carmex Skin Care Review & Giveaway

 *Giveaway is closed! Stay tuned for winner announcement!*

I was recently chosen to be a part of the Carmex Blog Squad! I've used Carmex lip balm for years and was thrilled to learn more about their line of products. I already love their strawberry and cherry lip balms, so I was really interested in all of the new products in their line. 

Carmex has a fantastic new line of skincare too! I can't say enough about their new Healing Cream and Healing Lotion. This time of year, my skin gets so dry and these products are really helping! Both products smell wonderful, though it's not a strong, overwhelming scent. My sinuses have been pretty sensitive to smells lately, but these products don't aggravate my allergies. It's a light, yummy scent that reminds me of vanilla sugar cookies. The products also absorb quickly into your skin, so there's no sticky feeling. Even the cream, which is thicker and heavier, soaked right into my hands, leaving them soft without being greasy!

I have been using the Healing Lotion daily after showering and it's been wonderful. My skin is so happy! 

Before using these products, the skin on my hands was super dry. Have you ever had dry skin so bad that handling knitted sweaters or blankets was difficult? Yarn pieces were actually catching on the skin of my fingers! Not fun! These Carmex products are making my skin feel wonderful and really healing it! My hands are definitely softer and happier. Even my boyfriend commented this past weekend on how soft my hands feel. Isn't it wonderful to get a compliment like that from a loved one?!

Last night, I also gave my feet a little pampering treatment. I slathered my feet with the New Carmex Healing Cream and then put on a pair of cotton socks and slept overnight. This morning, my feet were super soft and moisturized! They feel great! What a nice way to pamper your feet after a long week. I think this is going to be a weekly tradition from now on! This cream will also help when summer comes around again to get your feet ready for sandal-wearing! (I know, I have a lot of nerve mentioning summer right before winter, but we really need to remember to take care of our feet year round!)

So Carmex generously sent me a Carmex Kit to let me try the products to facilitate this review. The kit is a wonderful travel bag with a ton of products in it! The kit includes 1 Carmex Healing Lotion, 1 Carmex Healing Cream, as well as the Carmex Moisture Plus sticks and a flavored collection of their core lip balm products in tube, stick and jar.

There are a ton of products in this kit and Carmex is offering 1 kit, just like I received, to one of my readers!!


One reader will win this fabulous Carmex Kit! (a value of $52.32!!)

Mandatory Entry:

Leave me a comment telling me why you'd love to win this kit! (Please leave your email address in your comment if it's not public in your profile)

Extra Entries: (Once you do the mandatory entry, you can do any or all of these. Leave a separate comment for each one you do.)

That's it! Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents and will end on November 17th at 12 noon est. Since this is a quick giveaway, I will choose one winner via random.org right away and email the winner. That winner will have 12 hours to respond or I'll have to choose another winner.

Good luck!

Disclosure: Carmex sent me 1 Kit to facilitate this review. I was not compensated in any other way for my post. They are also supplying 1 kit for my giveaway winner. The opinions here are mine and I was not in any way influenced or edited by the sponsor.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Lovelies For Less Than $20 Shipped

Aren't these pretty? I saw them on Target.com today while I was shopping for sweaters. (Did you see the Target Daily Deal today? 2 sweaters for under $20 shipped for me this morning! Check out Jessica's Coupons for the deal breakdown!) I thought the Round Button Earrings in Gold were so pretty and perfect for holiday parties. And they're only $9.99! (Check online to see if they're available in a store near you too, so you can avoid shipping costs. They're unavailable in my area, but definitely check yours!) Shipping is about $5, but even with shipping, they're under $20! Not too shabby!

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Would Your Cuff Say?

Custom Cuff from Spiffing Jewelry
Do you have a favorite quote or song lyric? Wouldn't it be wonderful to personalize a bracelet with that favorite quote?! If it's 80 characters or less (for lowercase, 40 for uppercase), Spiffing Jewelry has the solution for you! Their Custom Hand Stamped Cuff Bracelet in Copper (at left) is beautiful. It's simple, elegant and really meaningful when you choose what it will say! This bracelet in copper is only $18 plus $1 shipping! For under $20 you can treat yourself or buy your loved one a very special gift! These cuffs are also available in sterling silver, brass and aluminum. Spiffing Jewelry also makes gorgeous leather and ID bracelets as well as earrings and necklaces. You're definitely going to want to check out this shop before the holidays this year!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

10 Holiday Survival Tips

Believe it or not, last year was the first year ever that I was ready for Christmas before Christmas Eve. (Ok, it was the first time since I was 14. Wasn't it nice to be a kid and not have a ton to do for the holidays!)  But let me tell you, it felt sooooo good to be ready a little early last year. Now granted, I was still out shopping  December 23rd, but being done by Christmas Eve was the goal and I was finished before midnight!

It was so nice to be able to enjoy Christmas Eve. We go to church services at 9 that night, so getting things done and also going to church was always a bit stressful. So last year was very nice and I am determined to be ready early this year so Christmas Eve is stress-free again!

Here's my plan to meet my goal. If you tend to be a procrastinator too, I hope these tips help you organize your to-do-list so you can have a less-stressed holiday!

10 Holiday Survival Tips

1.) If you'll be cooking for the holiday or for holiday parties, be sure to write a list before going shopping. It sounds silly, but that list will help you stay on budget and keep you from forgetting any needed ingredients.

2.) If you're planning on trying a new recipe this year, use your family as a guinea pig at least two weeks before and do a test run. Chances are, it will turn out delicious and your family won't mind testing it for you. And if by chance, it doesn't work, you have time to try it again or look for a new recipe to use instead.

3.) Shop with a recipient in mind. I love a bargain. So sometimes, I find myself stocking up on items that "would make a great gift" without having a specific recipient in mind. Great deals are great, but not if you buy more than you need. Then you just end up spending more than you meant and the savings is lost.

4.) Remember that gifts from the heart mean the most. Homemade gifts will always make someone smile. A tin of homemade cookies, a set of hand-stamped stationary, or a simple beaded bracelet will make fabulous gifts for friends and family. This year I plan on making a lot of cookies to give as gifts. I know my family loves when I bake and cookies will also make great host/hostess gifts.

5.) Buying gifts for a lot of people is going to be costly. Coupons and sales help, but it still gets expensive. If you have a large family, consider having everyone choose a name to buy for this year.
Pollyannas can be a ton of fun. And with so many of us watching our budgets this year, it might be time to save a little money. You can also set a price limit on gifts with your family.

6.) Don't overlook online shopping because you're wary of shipping charges. There are always deals to be found online through sales and coupons and many online shopping sites offer very reasonable shipping. Many stores also offer store pick up as a delivery option that allows you to purchase online (using an online coupon code) and then pick up at your local store. You don't have to pay shipping and most times you can cut your shopping time in half because your item is waiting for you at customer service. Customer service lines are always shorter during the holidays.

6.) Many online card and stationary companies offer inexpensive return address labels for your holiday card envelopes! This can save you a ton of time addressing your envelopes and make your cards look extra festive! (Tiny Prints Christmas cards are super cute and affordable. Their return address labels are only $7 for 24 labels too. Definitely worth the money to save you a little time!) If you have a lot of cards to send, get your family's best printer (child or adult) to help you. Don't feel like you need to do everything yourself!

7.) Wrapping is another task you can be time consuming. If you can, wrap as you buy. This way you won't have to spend a whole evening cooped up in the office or bedroom wrapping gifts. If you're worried about remembering what you've wrapped and who you still need to buy for, keep a notebook. Writing down the gift, recipient and paper color will help you keep track of each gift. Organizing the lists by recipient will also let you easily see who you still need gifts for!

8.) Get your family to help with the cleaning before holiday get togethers. We all want our homes to look perfect for the family celebrations, but sometimes doing the cleaning and the shopping and the cooking makes us feel spread thin. This is where you need to delegate. Get your family involved. Remind them that unhappy mom/wife/girlfriend (or dad/husband/boyfriend) will make the holidays less joyful. And everyone wants a joyful holiday! Ask for help when you need it!!

9.) Decorate as early as possible. I'm not advocating decorating before Halloween, but decorate early enough that you have time to really enjoy the lights and ornaments. The festive atmosphere will also help get you into the spirit and make all of the wrapping, baking, cooking, card-writing much more fun!

10.) Take joy in the season. In all of the hustle and bustle, don't lose sight of what the holidays really mean. Remember to savor every moment and enjoy the time with your family and friends!

Feel free to share your tips too! I'd love to hear how you make holiday preparations even easier!

About Tiny Prints:

"Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable."

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Water Horse Studios

Gossamer Wood Earrings - Hoot $16.75
I love the look of these wooden owl earrings from Water Horse Studios! They are such a statement piece, yet still really sweet and playful too. Water Horse Studios on Etsy has a huge selection of beautiful jewelry, but I especially love their wooden earrings. They're fabulous! And they look so light and comfortable to wear! I don't know how you could possibly resist these owls, but if birds hanging from your ears isn't your thing, check out the other items in the shop. There are some really beautiful pieces in there you won't want to miss! Check out the shop's Wish Bracelets too. They are so simple and elegant. And I love the sentiment behind them. You tie one on, don't take it off until it falls off and then you make a wish! What a nice gift that would make for a dear friend?!