Monday, October 19, 2009

Taking a Break

I'm sorry I've been MIA on the blog. I've been so busy and am super busy this week too so I've decided to take a mini-break from the blogging world this week so I can focus on my real life. :)

I will be updating my Twitter so follow me there and keep checking back to my blog because I will update the giveaway section on my side bar. While I'm on this mini hiatus check out the fabulous ladies that I love on my blog roll (recently updated).

Also, check out my friend's ebay auctions. They end tonight.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weekend Recap

Sorry I've been MIA for the past few days. Hubby and I went out of town with his family to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. We had a great time. The weather was great, the fall foliage was in peak, and we had so much fun playing with our niece and nephew. My niece is turning one this month and is starting to talk. She can't say can't say my name yet but she did start calling me Een. :) Here are some pictures from the weekend.

Here's where we stayed and our gorgeous view...

We did some fishing. I had never been...

And there was lots of quality family time...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gift Idea Friday - Bliss Cakes Boutique

My neighbor just started her own business making "cakes" for babies and bridal and they are the perfect gift. Her bridal cakes are called "Tie the Knot" cakes and they contain bath, hand and face towels wrapped in satin ribbons and topped with an artificial flower arrangement.

The diaper cakes are called "Tushie Cakes and they have everything you can imagine in it...tons of diapers, onesies, wash cloths, burp cloths, pacis, paci clips, hooded towel, socks, mittens, caps, travel size baby lotion, powder, shampoo, body wash, diaper cream, and a plush/toy, wrapped with super cute ribbons.

All cakes are made to order, so you can pick and choose what "ingredients" you would like in the cake and the total cost depends on what's included. I've seen these in person and they are amazing! She's just getting her business up and running so the website isn't up yet but if you are interested please contact Sandy at 301-442-7870 or Tell her you are a follower of Christina's blog! There is also a Bliss Cakes Facebook page. Check it out!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Coupons!

In the past year or so I've become a coupon clipper. I simply subscribe to the paper on the weekends just so I can get the coupons at home. I clip them every Saturday morning before I go grocery shopping. I have a little file (picture/favorite thing to come) that I keep all the coupons in (it fits nicely in my purse) and before I grocery shop I look through the coupons and see what I have. It really only takes 10-15 minutes for the whole process and it's well worth it. I save soo much more money on things that I would have bought anyway. The key is not buying just because you have a coupon. Now that I've become a "pro" coupon clipper, I've realized there are a some things that I should NEVER buy without a coupon -

Laundry stuff - Tide Detergent, Bounce Dryer Sheets, Stain Remover Stuff
Cleaning products - Dish soap, Dishwasher tabs
Chex Mix Bars - love these for breakfast
Hubby's Body Wash, Deodorant, Shaving Cream
Contact Solution

I also love when your grocery double or triples your coupons. I know that Giant doubles coupons (anything under $1). Also check to see if your grocery store gives you a credit for bringing your own shopping bags. Again, Giant gives 5 cents off each bag. Doesn't seem like a lot but it adds up.

What are some of your helpful grocery shopping/coupon tips?

Beauty at Rue La La

Today at Rue La La there is a Bare Escentuals boutique. I've been wanting to try this stuff because so many people rave about it. If the price is right, I might just pull the trigger. If you haven't already signed up for Rue La La, you must (see below) because right now you get a $10 credit just for signing up.

Rue La La is a By-Invitation-Only Sample Sale site. Click Here to sign up using my personal invitation link. This link will grant you immediate access to the site after you sign up. (FYI - If you just sign up the regular way you will just be put on the waiting list.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Shoe Purchase

I bought my first pair of Tory Burch flats and I'm sooo happy!!! They came the other day and you better believe I'm gonna wear them A LOT! I went back and forth on whether to get the gold or silver logo. I ended up getting the silver because I wear a lot more silver jewelry. And thanks to the advice of my friend Robin I got a half size bigger and they fit perfectly!

You know me I'm always looking for a good deal. I knew these were going to go on sale so I tried to be a little creative in my deal hunting. I waited till Nordstrom's offered free shipping (and they were offering it on shoe purchases) and of course I shopped through Ebates and got $9.75 in cash back because of the 3% cash back they were offering.

Another great shopping site

Row Nine is another sale site like RueLaLa. I just signed up for this site today. It looks like it works just like the other sites except it gives you $50 for each referral purchase! Unfortunately you can't preview the week's worth of boutiques but hopefully they have good stuff. I will be sure to report back on any purchases. Click here for an invite.

Fabulous Etsy Find

Thanks to Bright, Bold and Beautiful for featuring Kyle Ann Metals in her Fall Accessories Under $100 post. There are some GORGEOUS handmade pieces in this etsy shop. I have my eye on the earrings. I can't decide between the Vanilla Ice or Rose. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oh Anthropologie how I love you!

Here are some of the things I've been lusting after -

Book Review: Up for Renewal

I was excited to read this book because Cathy Alter is a local DC author. Up for Renewal is a memoir which details the author's determination to change her life for the better. She did this by taking the advice of magazines for one year. Each month she would focus on a different aspect of her life - fashion, cooking, relationships, fitness - and would consult the advice of a dozen magazines. This was an entertaining read and I actually got through the book in two pool visits. (I actually finished this book a couple months ago but I kept forgetting to post the review). I couldn't relate to all of her behaviors (I think partially because she's ten years older than me) but definitely enjoy reading about her scandalousness. I definitely recommend and I haven't lent this out to anyone yet so let me know if you want to do a book swap.

Next book - The Lovely Bones. Hoping to read it all on vacation this weekend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A very boring Menu Monday

Not a very exciting Menu Monday. This week is going to be easy dinners week because we have a lot going on and then we leave Friday after work for a family weekend vacation. I didn't have a chance to go through my file of "recipes to try", hopefully next week I will have a new recipe for you.

Monday - Shredded Chicken Tacos
Tuesday - Sauteed Halibut w/ twice stuffed baked potato and salad
Wednesday - Turkey Club Sandwiches
Thursday - French's Crunchy Onion Chicken and side salad
Friday - Heading to Deep Creek Maryland for a family weekend not sure what's on the menu for dinner

Weekend Recap

My weekend technically started on Thursday afternoon. Thursday my friend Lisa and I headed to Morgantown, WV for the WVU vs. Colorado game. We had sooo much fun (and I probably had more fun because WVU won)!!!! We decided to drive back that night because we were both wide awake. I got home around 3:30 in the morning (thankfully I had that day off). Here are some pictures from the game.

The band outlining the state of WV

Lisa and I

The lone WVU fan

Reunited with Annia!

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key. Friday night we "stayed in" and had dinner and a movie at my friend Robin's place. We watched The Wrestler. I wasn't a big fan of the movie but Hubby liked it. Saturday was spent cleaning and organizing our garage. It took most of the day but it was worth it.

Saturday night we had a nice dinner at Tragara in Bethesda and then headed to Eleventh Street Lounge in Arlington for a few drinks to celebrate our friend's birthday. I had a very yummy fresh Pear martini. Sunday was a lay low day at the house. Friends came over and we watched football.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

And the winner is...

Mrs. Eye Can See at The juice is worth the squeeze. Congrats to you! Please email me ( with your address and ring size and I will get that ring out to you.

I've been soo lucky!

I've been very lucky with giveaways. A few weeks ago I won a giveawy from Molly Lou Gifts. Here's the stationary I won. I love it!

I also won this gorgeous necklace from Mrs. Eye Can See at The Juice is Worth the Squeeze. I'm definitely going to wear it to work tomorrow!

Thank you to you both for these fabulous giveaways!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rue La La is giving back.

If you haven't already signed up for Rue La La then you need to by Oct. 10 for a $10 credit! Anyone who signs up using this link gets $10 towards your first purchase. Make sure you sign up by Oct. 10!

My DVR is working overtime

I have entirely TOO MANY TV shows on my "watch" list this season. I rarely watch any of these shows live (unless I have to because the DVR is already set to tape two other programs). I really need to cut some of these out. What shows do I cut out of my life?

Desperate Housewives (buy the season on iTunes and watch episodes at the gym)
Brothers & Sisters

How I Met Your Mother
Gossip Girl
The Rachel Zoe Project

The Biggest Loser
Flipping Out

Modern Family
Law & Order SVU
Top Chef

Parks and Recreation
The Office
Grey's Anatomy
Project Runway
Real Housewives

Ugly Betty (buy the season on iTunes and watch episodes at the gym)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm heading to Morgantown

I am so excited because I'm heading back to my alma mater, West Virginia University, for my first football game since I graduated (2004). The game is tonight around 7pm and they play Colorado University. I can't wait to cheer on the Mountaineers in person. My friend Lisa and I are going because she is a Colorado fan. Lisa and I have enjoyed many, many sporting events together like when WVU upset Duke in the NCAA tournament a couple years ago.

WVU played Colorado and sadly lost. I hope tonight we can pull out a victory! Should be a fun night!!! Let's goooooooooooooo Mountaineers!!!!!

Thrifty Thursday from Real Simple

Last month I got this email from Real Simple that would be perfect for Thrifty Thursday. Here's their 15 Easy Energy Savers.

- Line-dry clothes whenever possible. An average household does seven loads of laundry a week; a dryer load costs about 34 cents in energy. So, according to these figures from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), if you line-dry all your laundry, you could save $10 or so a month, depending on where you live.

- Unplug items like TVs and chargers for cell phones and PDAs (which draw small amounts of energy 24-7) when you’re not using them. Studies by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory show that standby power accounts for 5 to 10 percent of home energy use, so unplugging can cut that amount from your bill. (Consolidate several standby plugs on a power strip.) - I started doing this with my cell phone charger, lap top, and guest room electronics (fan/light). I hope it makes a difference.

Air Vents - Moving furniture and drapes away from vents may amount to only $20 or so in annual savings, says Charlie Szoradi, founder of, a home-efficiency consultancy in Philadelphia. “But improving airflow,” he adds, “makes incremental improvements to the whole heating and cooling system.”

Computer - Set yours to enter sleep mode after 30 to 60 minutes of inactivity and your monitor after 10 to 20 minutes, suggests Bruce Nordman of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Most computers less than five years old use about 95 percent less power in sleep mode than when they are on, he says. Should you shut down at night? The savings versus using sleep mode is minuscule, says Nordman.

Water Heater - Lowering the setting from the usual 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 (the minimum to guard against bacterial growth) is sufficient and safer, as 140 can scald. And for every 10 degrees the temperature is lowered, you save 3 to 5 percent in energy costs, says Lynn Clement of Focus on Energy, a Wisconsin efficiency program.


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