Monday, June 22, 2009

Back to M*A*C

Yesterday I ventured over to Nordstrom for my weekly dose of heaven in a store and to pick up some makeup for an upcoming wedding this weekend. A few weeks ago my little sister came to visit and while in the bathroom one morning getting ready, I happened to peruse through her cosmetic bag to see what the hot, new cosmetics were. She's the makeup girl in the family. I'm so not, my daily makeup routine consists of mascara and eyeliner and if it's a really good day maybe some lip gloss. So I always look up to my little sister for makeup ideas, advice, how to's, etc. Pretty pathetic and certainly not the way it typically is. Usually the little sister is learning the tricks of the cosmetic world from her big sister but not here, it's the other way around. I stumbled across some fabulous MAC Mineralize Skinfinish blush. So I decided to test it out. I really liked it although according to my sister I was supposed to put bronzer on before the blush in order to really make it pop and get the full effect! Needless to say for the rest of the week each morning I had added bronzer and this MAC blush to my makeup routine. I was incredibly sad when she left and my makeup collection dwindled back down to 3 items!

Needless to say this is when the trip to Nordy's was a must! I ended up walking out w. bronzer, the mineralize skinfinish blush, makeup brushes (because apparently a blush brush and an eye shadow brush doesn't cut it) and some fabu makeup wipes that can be used to completely clean your face and remove makeup.

As I was checking out the cute MAC girl asked me if I knew about the "Back to MAC" program. If this poor girl knew the slightest thing about me she'd have known the answer was NO! So she gave me the details. Here's the low down:

Because we share your commitment to the environment, M·A·C accepts returns of its primary packaging through the Back to M·A·C Program. By returning six [6] M·A·C primary packaging containers to a M·A·C counter or M·A·C Cosmetics online, you’ll receive a free M·A·C lipstick of your choice as our thanks to you. (via

It doesn't get any better than that! Even for a girl like me who owns less make up than a tomboy, I can certainly benefit! Click here for more details.

P.S. - the wipeys also count too, so don't throw away the plastic!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Entertaining Bar...long time in the making

When you live in a metropolitan city you immediately give up your need and desire for space. That goes for EVERYTHING! From finding a parking spot that you can easily park anything bigger than a Mini Cooper in, to closet space, cabinet space, FORGET a laundry room, you're lucky to have some room at the top of the washer to put your laundry detergent and fabric softner!

So since moving into our teeny tiny condo in 2007, furniture shopping has been quite an ordeal! As if it's not hard enough to find the perfect piece that so non-chalantly boasts your amazing style, I now have to fight with space limitations too! This little detail, which is a major detail when furnishing any city pad, is the death of me! Right when I find that perfect piece to coordinate with that other perfect piece I learn its 1 INCH too big to fit!!!

We've been in search of the "perfect" bar that meets both requirements since we moved in. And I'm so excited to say that I'm 99.9% sure I finally found furniture that is not only the right SIZE but the right color, style, etc. and is actually functional, because when space is lacking, you have to get creative and incorporate storage into e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

So this is what I've discovered...

Great shelves that hold 8 wine bottles and 10 or 12 wine glasses courtesy of Pottery Barn. Only $134 for the set.

This console has 3 drawers for linens, cocktail napkins, bar accessories, etc.
Obviously the shelves will hang centered above the console. This entire bar only costs $264!!! You can't even get an chair for that these days! I'm psyched about my find. Now I just have to re-measure the wall it's going on and order it and pray it's not backordered or discontinued -- a major phobia I have, given 3 different pieces we've ordered and put deposits on were discontinued after waiting the 6-8 weeks for arrival!!!
I'll let you know how it goes once it's in my posession, safe and sound, and all set up and decorated!! And, I'll also reveal my secret store that I found the console at for only $130!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy National Doughnut Day!!

Today couldn't get any better; 1. it's Friday and 2. it's National Doughnut Day which means that in honor of this glorious holiday Krispy Kreme is giving each customer 1 FREE donut of their choice (no purchase necessary)!

I know a lot of us are on diets, including me, but we have 2 good excuses; 1. it's Friday and 2. this holiday only comes around once a year! So head on day to your local Krispy Kreme and enjoy!

Happy Splurging!

P.S. - If all goes well, I'll be posting a normal second post today!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

An overlooked obsession...Coupons!

Coupons! Pre-recession I delved into the wide world of coupons. I'm not exactly sure how this came to be, but it happened about a year ago. Ever since then I've been slightly obsessed. I'm not normally a penny-pincher but there's something fun about my semi-new hobby. I've always been a sale shopper when it comes to groceries. This started back in college when I had an apartment off campus w. a roomie and my parents would give me my monthly stipend. This stipend paid for my rent (I have very giving parents), utilities, gas and groceries/food. I've always been good at managing my money, as my parents instilled that in me and my sister from an early age starting w. an allowance. However, being a girl that shares a love for food AND clothes, I quickly realized that I'd rather save money and buy groceries that were on sale and have extra money to spend on new shoes, purses, clothes, belts, accessories, home decor; the list could go on and on. So I started planning meals and eating whatever was on sale. I wasn't frugal to the point of eating ramen noodles and cereal for dinner; I'd still eat a steak and plenty of meats and good stuff, just only when it was on sale!

Anyways, the coupon hobby has become a regular slight obsession that I devote time to anywhere from one day a week to a couple of days a week depending on my social life! I read the paper online so I don't get the Sunday coupons, so one day I randomly googled grocery coupons and voila...lots and lots of coupons available online to print (all you need is to download the magic coupon printer)! Now not all of them are for things I buy, eat or use but I do end up finding a decent amount that are worthwhile and a good savings. In addition to food coupons, I keep a separate email address strictly for store and company emails, sales and coupons. I end up getting lots of great steals at many of my favorite stores and restaurants from New York and Company, Ann Taylor, Gap, Express to Borders, Gymboree (for my spoiled little niece!), Pottery Barn, Papyrus, Red Lobster, Melting Pot, Let's Dish -- the list goes on and on.

So in addition to buying bulk (compliments of my BJ's membership), my VIP/VIC cards at the grocery store and then my coupons I end up saving on average between $20 and $35 a WEEK on groceries!! And that adds up to a brand new shirt, skirt, belt or whatever I'm in the mood to buy!

It's fun to share coupons w. friends and family and to see just how much you can really save from one little slip of paper! I have a group of "coupon" friends that I love to share coupons with. We'll email them back and forth for great restaurants, shoes, whatever the savings may be.

A few of my favorite coupon websites to get coupons from is, and

So don't diss it before you try it, coupons really aren't just for the stereotypical "old maid", you may just get hooked and find yourself with quite a few new outfits in your closet thanks to those coupons!

Happy Clipping!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 of life's most overlooked treasures!

One thing you'll learn from reading my blog is that I'm random; completely random. So random in fact that when I bring up a topic of conversation or ask about something that is completely unrelated to the current conversation at hand, my husband insists on pointing out my randomness. Thus, today's topic, stationery. One of my all time favorite, completely taken for granted, simple pleasures in life. I really am unsure as to how my love of stationery, penmanship, personal notes and cards came to be; my best guess is that growing up my wonderful mother always made my sister and I write thank you cards, make birthday cards, get well cards for even the smallest occasions. I vividly remember that just as please and thank you were staples in my vocabulary, a thank you card was just as essential. Now I completely agree and understand with my mom's reasons for a thank you card for a gift, but a thank you card for a sleep over, a ride home, or lunch at a friend's house because I refused to interrupt our tea party? Whatever my mom's justifications for writing and sending a card, and no, not an e-card or email or text, an actual handwritten card, I love it because it's blessed me with one of my favorite activities, things to shop for and collect. From sending photo Christmas cards, to spending hours in my favorite stationery shop to pick the perfect invitation to a crab feast, to calling cards, I love it all!

Perhaps stationery became the topic of the day because this morning I made a list of 4 cards I need to buy this afternoon, the email I received this afternoon from my favorite stationery store for 20% off my purchase in June (hello early Christmas Card shopping) along with the wedding response card I need to send and the Father's Day card I need to buy.

Perhaps my love of stationery also blossomed from two of the most important relationships that I've been blessed with in life; my papa, who is no longer here, but I know he is watching down over me each and everyday and my grandma Bea who God brought into my life almost 4 1/2 years ago.

My papa is one of the sweetest and kindest gentlemen I ever knew. Growing up and living six hours away didn't afford us the opportunities to see each other and spend as much time together as I would have liked but nevertheless I have fond memories of the times I did spend with him and the memories that were made. O.T., as he came to be known, short for Otha Titus, was much like a cat, in that God gave him more than nine lives. From triple heart bypasses, to diabetes, to pacemakers, he was a strong willed man with one amazing fight to not only live, but to live each and every day to its fullest. In the last two or three years of his life and as his health was steadily dwindling, after my grandmother passed away, I began sending him cards. Not always nice cards, sometimes the 46 and 94 cents cards you can find at Wal-Mart. Regardless of the price, he loved and adored them. As his health was failing I made every attempt to send at least one card a week. I would write about recent things I had done the previous week, ask him how he was doing, if he had played any music lately, had any friends come by to visit, etc. etc. Anything and everything to bring a bit of cheer into his day and to take his mind off his ailing body. I never knew how much those cheap, little cards really meant to him until after he died. Of course he would always thank me for sending them when I'd talk to him or see him, but I really never fully got just how much they meant. I was shocked to learn at his funeral while speaking to family, friends and even one of his nurses, all the people that he had mentioned my cards to or shown them to. Perfect strangers were telling me how much "your papa loved those cards you'd send him". For me, it was a silver lining, I realized just how happy I had been able to make him once or twice a week when a simple piece of paper would be delivered to his room or to his house. I'll never forget my last visit to the Veterans nursing home to see my papa; I walked into a room full of cards I had sent him. I was taken aback at how many there were and how he had taken the time to make sure they were all on display. Perhaps that's why I cling to stationery and love it so much. Such a little thing that brings so much happiness, and one of my fondest memories of my papa.

Now that I've nearly caused a rushing river to flow from my eyes I'll end on a happy note by sharing some of my favorite places, sites, stationery designers and pieces of stationery to buy with you.
For high quality note cards at a cheap price check out They have amazing embossed and personalized folded and flat notes uber cheap! And they frequently run specials. A couple of months ago they were offering free return addresses, so I was able to get these classic and wonderful notes in baby pink for under $40 for 50! And to top it off, most everything ships within 24 hours! These make great gifts as well!

Boatman Gellar is another favorite of mine! Their designs scream preppy, summer, fun and classic all in one. Last summer I found these madras flat notes for our crabfeast and they turned out adorable. I ended up finding a small wooden red crab to adhesive on the corner of the cards to give it the ultimate crab feast theme! Boatman Gellar is a favorite of many stationery stores and can also be ordered online at

When it's time to choose my annual Christmas photo card, the first place I look is Sweet Pea Designs. From traditional to fun and creative, her line covers it all. The first year we were married, I sent out the traditional card with a picture of us on the front (this isn't really me or my husband, and I don't have a kid!). However, after having professional pictures taken at the beach for our 2nd anniversary, I decided to veer away from traditional and send a more laid back and photo fitting card . I could sit here and go on an on about stationery lines and designers. Papyrus and the Papery are two of my local go-to stores for amazing cards. And the fun doesn't end there, stationery encompasses much more than cards -- think wrapping paper, bows, gift bags, tags and last but not least, one of my favorite Christmas presents of all times; my return address stamper. These are so convenient and fun to use. Mine came from "Santa" who ordered it from the Stationery Studio and they have lots of fun accessories to go w. them from double ink pads to stickers.
Happy writing!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

There's a first time for everything...

So after months of reading friends', colleagues' and random strangers' blogs a few have been so humorous and intriguing that I've decided to start my own babble blog. I'll warn you now, this blog has no specific subject and may end up being nothing more than a catch all for random thoughts instead of a literary masterpiece, so for that, I apologize. I'll attempt to inject a morsel of humor into the majority of these posts for the simple fact that life is too short not to laugh. Until then I'll sit at my desk and ponder what the next post should encompass.