Tuesday, August 18

Online sample sales

If you like nabbing up good buys on high-end brands, you're going to love the new online sample sale craze! I'm completely addicted to these little gems and check many of them every weekday for new sales on brands like Puma, Gucci, Vera Wang, and more (they also carry children's and men's brand as well as home decor)! Could I ever afford most of these brands without a little help? No. Would I be willing to try them with a little discount? Of course! Here are the main sites I check out each day:

HauteLook (click on the name to visit their site)
My favorite online sample sale spot! I’ve now made two purchases with them and am very happy with the company.

GoMatta Girls
Great finds, usually under $50!

GiltGroupe and GiltFuse
Gilt Groupe itself is a little too pricey for me. I just can't get excited about a Prada dress that normally retail for $1,500 and is now available for a mere $600! However, they have a new site, GiltFuse, that carries only items less than $150. Recent brands included Juicy Couture.

Not related to this great stores is the fact that I haven't exactly been posting on a regular schedule since the spring. This is not an accident. Mr. Bean and I moved cross country. He started studying for the bar exam and I started looking for a job, and now we're both working new jobs that keep us happy but busy. I had a lot of fun creating The Sweet Jelly Bean blog this spring and hope that you had just as good of a time reading it. I hope we can meet again before too long.

Monday, April 27

And the winner of the boardgame giveaway is...

Homemaker!! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone for playing. :-)

Tuesday, April 21

Huephoria - hand painted stemware and glass

HuePhoria artists Jen and Lisa first met at their daughters' preschool "Mom's Coffee" in 1998. They quickly found common interests: throwing parties (fun & spontaneous), painting everything (even toilet seats), and wanting to make some extra pocket change. After selling their hand painted goods at local fundraisers and through word of mouth, they were no longer able to keep up with demand.

In Fall of 2004, HuePhoria and has been having a "ball" ever since! Check out their website for some deliciously girly glasses, salt and pepper shakers, and ornaments!

Monday, April 20

GIVEAWAY: What's a Dame to Do? boardgame


Last week I reviewed my last board game obsession, What's a Dame to Do? The mastermind behind this game, Games for Dames, has generously agreed to give away a copy of What’s a Dame to Do to one lucky reader! Here’s how to enter:

NOTE: You can enter multiple times using the methods below and will only have to post once. Just be sure and mention everything and don’t forget to leave a way for me to contact you if I can’t do so through your Blogger profile!

1 ENTRY: Leave a comment.

1 EXTRA ENTRY: Begin following this blog or mention that you already do so.

1 EXTRA ENTRY: Join The Sweet Jelly Bean’s page on Facebook. Please let me know if you do so by commenting on this post!

2 EXTRA ENTRIES: Mention this giveaway on your own blog and link baack to this post. Please let me know if you do so by commenting on this post!

This giveaway ends Monday, April 27, 2009, at 7pm PST. All eligible entries will be thrown into a bowl and a winner will be drawn. The winner will be announced here and contacted following the close of the contest. Good luck everyone!

Friday, April 17

PlumParty.com - gift ideas galore!

Whenever I'm stumped on what to get a friend, I head over to a site like Plum Party for some inspiration. They actually tout themselves as a party supply webstore, but I have found so many good ideas for stocking stuffers and last minute hostess gifts! Some of my favorites:

Thursday, April 16

AskGinka.com - your theme finder for parties, weddings, and more!

AskGinka.com includes hundreds of themes and ideas for just about any kind of shindig you can come up with, including weddings, bridal showers, birthday parties, showers, holiday parties, reunions, retirements, and more! Simply browse through her list of themes or select by topic (animals, flowers, historical eras, careers, etc.) and pick out something you’re interested in! Once you click on a theme, the site takes you to either a list of ideas relating to that theme or to at least one website that might provide you with party goods or thoughts.

Some of my favorites:

1920s/Art Deco/Roaring 20s Theme Wedding & Party Guide – complete with costume ideas, cake designs, and d├ęcor!

Fishing Party Guide – perfect for a guy’s birthday or retirement! Love the fishy string of lights!

Hydrangea Theme Wedding & Party Guide – great for wedding or shower ideas and more! The hydrangea themed little girl dresses are adorable!

What is your favorite theme?

Tuesday, April 14

Why moms are at risk for Internet addiction

By Rachel Mosteller, found on CNN.com (link below)

I was scrolling through family photos on my computer, admiring my two beautiful babies, when I spotted a disturbing trend: My laptop was open in almost all of the pictures. There's my daughter, at 8 months, playing at my feet while I typed away on the couch. There's me and my son, a year later, with the laptop at my side as I held him in my arms.

I'd heard about Internet addiction before, but always assumed it was something limited to socially challenged guys who played too much World of Warcraft. Now it seemed my Internet "habit" was slowly but surely crossing the line. Sometimes I found myself up into the wee hours of the morning, surfing the Web while my family slept. I read the news, kept up with friends, and looked up answers to endless questions. I wrote my personal blog and read dozens of others, just for something to do...

Continue reading this article on CNN.com here.

My $0.02: I'm not even a mother yet and I do feel that I have a mild addiction to the Internet. I've never done anything really crazy like call in sick so I could stay online for eight extra hours, but I do start getting antsy if I can't check my email, etc. What are your thoughts?

Monday, April 13

What's a Dame to Do?!

During my time here in sunny California, I’ve been so fortunate to meet a great group of girlfriends that I can hang out with and just be silly. Friday night I hosted a board game night where I got to try out a new board gave called What’s a Dame to Do?!

Think of the game Apples to Apples but with a feminine twist. Each player (2-8 players can participate) takes a turn and reads a dilemma card out loud (“I’m doing yoga and my pants split. What’s a dame to do?!”) The other players each contribute a reaction card that can range from practical response (“Hide in the bathroom.) to silly (“Blame it on shrinkage.”). The person who drew the dilemma card awards points for her favorite answer, whether it’s the most realistic or it makes her laugh the most.

We were laughing so hard the whole time, and we played much longer than we intended to (board game night turned into this board game only night). The printed directions were a little confusing, but you can see a quick video on GamesforDames.com that explains the game play in less than 5 minutes. You can pick up the game at GamesforDames.com OR visit The Bean again next week to enter a giveaway to win a copy of your own!

Thursday, April 9


Geek Week here at The Bean continues with a truly nerdy (but in a good way) website: ThinkGeek.com. I continue to see items from this little web shop highlighted again and again in magazines and online resources, so I thought I'd share with you. As for how it go started, the website explains:

ThinkGeek started as an idea. A simple idea to create and sell stuff that would appeal to the thousands of people out there who were on the front line and in the trenches as the Internet was forged. ThinkGeek started as a way to serve a market that was passionate about technology, from programmers, engineers, students, lovers of open source, to the masses that helped create the behind-the-scenes Internet culture.

This website has a little bit of everything. From beaker shaped coffee mugs to runaway alarm clocks, you can pretty much find anything here you never knew you needed. Some of my personal favorites:

Super Mario Bros. Wall Graphics, $69. Oh Lord, please do not let me ever have a son. If I do, Mr. Bean will probably insist we nerdify him early by decorating his nursery in this!
Titanium Spork, $8.99. When a white plastic just won't do for all those sporking wars you are busy with during office hours.
Monty Python Holy Grail Killer Rabbit Slippers, $34.99. Sometimes Isotoners just won't cut it.

Wednesday, April 8


It pays to be thrifty, and usually half the fun of getting a great deal on an item is waiting until the perfect sale comes around. Thankfully you can now stop going to GAP obsessively 3x every day to see if that hoodie has made it to the clearance rack by using ShoppingNotes.com, a free service that will email you if a price drops on a certain product. Just enter the URL for the item you want to watch, provide an email to receive price alerts, and you're good to go!

Tuesday, April 7

SwitchFlops giveaway winner

So my SwitchFlops giveaway ended last night and I’ve only now gotten around to announcing a winner. 45 of you gorgeous ladies entered the contest for a total of 74 entries! I only wish that I had the opportunity to give you each a pair of these fantastic floppies for your tired tootsies. Okay, enough alliteration. The winner is….

Bee and Rose

Well, she certainly deserves it! This girl was one of my very first followers and always leaves such thoughtful comments! Congratulations to her, and thank you to SwitchFlops for agreeing to let me host the giveaway. And to all of you – try, try again! I’ll have another giveaway coming up soon, so stay tuned.

Monday, April 6

Geek Week and DigMyPics.com

Ah, workweek. How I missed you over the weekend. Ok wait, no, I didn’t. At all. To celebrate all things Monday (paper clips, copier jams, broken fax machines, that overly perky coworker), I’d like to officially declare April 6-10 as The Bean’s geek week. I’ll be covering a few nerdy things that I find extra useful and or entertaining.

Let’s start with a handy service – as a child of the 1980s, my parents have a ton of tiny camcorder cassettes lying around their house with no way to play them. Some made it to the VHS, but I don’t know if they even still have a VCR with which to play them. One of my goals this year is to secretly gather them all up and send them out to DigMyPics.com, a service that will put all of your old home movies onto DVDs.

Basically it works like this: DigMyPics takes your old films (VHS, VHS-C, Super VHS, 8mm Tape (Hi8), Digital 8, and Mini DV) and puts them onto cds for $14.95 (per 2 hours tape). Want to play them on a DVD player? Only $6 more per tape – not bad for preserving your personal history.
I know there are lots of other services out there that do this sort of thing. Have you used DigMyPics.com or any others? If so, let me know how it went!

Friday, April 3

InStyle.com's Virtual Makeover Studio

Hey, it's Friday. Let's just be ridiculously silly and conclude this hellish workweek by playing with InStyle.com's Virtual Makeover Studio. I only discovered it last night, and instead of using it as it probably is intended, I made myself into a 1980s chic/drag queen. Oh, and Eva Longoria Parker (below).

This post concludes The Bean's Go Glam Week. Join us on Monday for the SwitchFlops giveaway wrapup and the start of Geek Week! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 1

Emitations Jewelry

Go Glam Week continues here at The Sweet Jelly Bean with the introduction of an online jewelry shop I’ve had my eye on for a while. I possess neither the money nor the desire (aka I am lazy) to try and imitate celebrity style very often. However, every now and then I’ll run across a pair of earrings a movie star is wearing that make me want to say, “Hey, I want those!”

Enter Emitations Jewelry, a place for cubic zirconia and sterling silver jewelry for those of us who haven’t quite made our first $10M just yet. This shop boasts affordable versions of the latest celebrity and movie trends along with rings, earrings, necklaces, and men’s jewelry in just about any color or style! Some of my favorites:

Star Necklace, $34.95 (inspired by The Hills) - I can’t say I ever have watched this show, but I love this little starfish!

Mother of Pearl Ring, $99.00 (inspired by Alice on Twilight) – I try to keep my mostly-in-the-past Twilight obsession to myself, but this ring sure brings back the memories!

Dogwood Flower Earrings, $54.95 (inspired by Hayden Panettiere, Kate Winslet, and Penelope Cruz) – Adorable yet elegant little studs would perk up any outfit!

Emitations is featuring a couple of deals to help your wallet out. Get $0.99 shipping on any order through 12pm on Thursday, April 2, by entering coupon code M991.

Not ready to buy just yet? Join Emitations’ email list and get $5 off your first order (to do so, scroll down to the bottom of their website home page and jot down your email address).

Happy shopping! We are all movie stars at heart, right? :-)

Tuesday, March 31

And the winner of the Timid Monster is...

Congratulations! Be sure and take good care of Joel! :-)

SwitchFlops Review and Giveaway


Back when I first started this blog in January, I’d mentioned a cool new concept in footwear I’d recently stumbled across called SwitchFlops. As the name applies, SwitchFlops have the style and build of a typical pair of flip-flops, but features a piece of Velcro along the strap. When you’re ready to change your style, whether its from polka dots to skulls or a solid color to preppy stripes, just peel off the current fabric strips you’re sporting and replace them with a totally different design!

The 411
Shoe Styles and Colors:
LuLu Flat ($32): available in black, tan, brown, navy, pink, and white
Taylor Wedge ($36): available in black, brown, white
Lilly Kitten Heel ($48): cork and black

SwitchFlops straps are undeniably stylish and affordably priced! At only $12 per strap set, you can create an endless shoe wardrobe with over 70 strap choices from six different collections!

My Review
I was fortunate enough to be able to try these lovelies out for myself! I have a pair of the LuLu flats in brown and 3 sets of straps. My take on these:

Comfort – I was worried that the Velcro would rub against my feet and blister, but they did not! Also, I was afraid that the sole itself wouldn’t be as cushy as the Reef flipflops I consider my staple, but they were just as comfortable – if not more!

Ease – The straps are very easy to change – it took me a total of about 2 minutes (probably less) to change both of the straps out, and only that long because I couldn’t decide which design I wanted to try out next!

Price – For $12, you can get a new set of straps to add to your collection and it really does look like a totally different shoe!

Variety – With over 70 straps to choose from, I bet you can’t find some that you love! My next purchase will be the Kitten heels, which I think will be perfect with pants or capris for work!

Seriously, I can’t think of any at this point. Maybe availability? Currently most of the straps and shoe styles are available through the SwitchFlops website and a few select boutiques across the United States. For their store locator, click here.

The Giveaway
SwitchFlops has generously offered to give away one pair of their flops to a lucky reader! To enter: Visit the SwitchFlops website and pick our your favorite style of straps. Return to The Bean and leave a comment on this entry telling me which strap is your favorite. If you do not do this, your entries will not count!

For more entries:
1 EXTRA ENTRY: Begin following this blog. Let me know if you already do so!

2 EXTRA ENTRIES: Mention this giveaway on your own blog and link baack to this post. Please let me know if you do so!

3 EXTRA ENTRIES: Make a purchase from SwitchFlops during this giveaway and let me know about it. I’ll ask you to forward me your order confirmation!

This giveaway ends Monday, April 6, 2009, at 9pm PST. All eligible entries will be thrown into a bowl and a winner will be drawn. The winner will be announced here and contacted following the close of the contest. Be sure to check out info on The Bean’s upcoming giveaways - look over to the right hand column near the top of the page and you'll see links to them. Good luck everyone!

Monday, March 30

Free haircut

I’ve decided to try something a little different for the next month of so: themed weeks. This week’s theme will be “Go Glam,” and will feature a daily post on something to do with beauty, jewelry, clothes, or anything else girly I happen across. To begin Go Glam Week, I’d like to share something that we can all use in this current economic climate: a free haircut.

What could you save by getting a free haircut? $30? $40? $50+? If this sounds like something you might be interested in doing, pop on over to your local Craiglist and search for “free hair cut” or “free haircut” under Services to see what’s available in your area. Search terms like these will pull up a hodge-podge of listings ranging from truly free cuts to deeply discounted services from new salons or established places looking for new clients.

A lot of salons may have junior stylists who have completed school and just want a little more experience to hone their skills. A new stylist will probably do the cut while being supervised by a senior stylist, so there is little risk that you’ll come out looking like a poodle. Some may want to take a photo of the completed work when finished, but most are just looking for someone to practice on. Nervous about what salon you’ll be going to? Google the salon’s name for reviews, or check out what people have said about them on Yelp.com. After all, what is there to lose (aside from dead ends)?

Not sure about plucking a mystery salon out of online ether? Trying searching for local cosmetology schools. Many offer haircuts (or other services such as manicures) for $10 or less!

Sunday, March 29

Seventh Generation Review

Recently I was the very lucky winner of the Seventh Generation giveaway over at Mad Boastings of a Cheapskate Mom. The prize was a complete starter kit featuring a fantastic selection of Seventh Generation products, and I've now had the chance to try them all. Here are some thoughts on each of the different cleaners:

Natural Paper Towels - These arrived just in time! We were down to our last roll of paper towels from the Jumbotron-sized package we'd bought from Costco in 2002. :-) The towels are thinner than the ones we normally purchase, but when I used them to clean the kitchen counters, they held up perfectly. I've seen these in some supermarkets, but have never really looked at their prices, so I'm not sure if I will buy them once I finish these two rolls.

Ruby Grapefruit & Herb Natural Glass & Surface Cleaner - I had to work with this one a bit more than I might normally have to when using Windex (Mr. Bean splashes as much water on the mirror as his face when he's washing up, so there's always smudges). However, I was grateful that it didn't make my nose itch like Windex always does.

Green Mandarin & Leaf Natural All-Purpose Cleaner - This one might just be enough to handle most of my day-to-day cleaning. I used it to clean the sink, wipe down counters, and pick up a small spill off the kitchen floor.

Green Mandarin & Leaf Shower Cleaner - I haven't used this very much as we just have a bathtub, but it smells good and I plan to alternate it with the Tub & Tile Cleaner.

Emerald Cypress & Fir Tub & Tile Cleaner -I was amazed at how powerful this stuff was. The smell was very subtle, and yet the formula managed to pick up all of that icky soap scum left over from my bubble bath.

Wild Orange & Cedar Spice Kitchen Cleaner - This one smells fantastic! It makes cleaning up after meal preparation super easy.

Summary: Although I am having a hard time finding a place to store all of these cleaners, my house is clean and smells fantastic. No more "chemical clean" smells. Seventh Generation is available at a number of chain supermarkets, including Whole Foods. For a store locator, visit Seventh Generation here. Special thanks to Seventh Generation and Cheapskate Mom!

Friday, March 27

Crack pudding

Run, don't walk, to your nearest supermarket and pick up a 4-pack of Hunt's Snack Pack Pudding Cups in Chocolate Caramel. If eaten cold they taste just like cake batter! If you prefer to eat them at room temp, they taste like a Java Chip Frappucino!

Thursday, March 26

Heart shaped tea from SBS Teas

I've recently fallen in love with a unique concept from SBS Teas, an online company that specializes in custom blended loose leaf teas, coffee, and accessories. Introducing the heart formed tea, a loose leaf tea pressed into the shape of a heart. These tiny hearts are adorable and each one makes enough for one delicious cup of your choice of green or black tea. They would make an excellent gift for a tea lover, and could even serve as adorable favors for a wedding or bridal/baby shower. Try these little hearts out today! $2.95/5 hearts.

Wednesday, March 25

Musical workout motivations

I am always looking for new ways to motivate myself when it comes to working out. I've just never really liked getting sweaty, and I'm pasty like a vampire, so I'm not so much into swimming in front of other people. One thing that does help is a fresh set of music on my iPod. I'm always hunting new playlists that other gym gals are listening to, and managed to find a few cool programs/sites in the process. Some are free, others cost a bit. Check these out:

Marina's Audio Workout Center allows you to mix and match over 400 exercise/workout components to create your very own workout.

NextFitness combines your existing music with professional fitness training audio clips to create a new workout.

Best Workout Music converts your existing music in a slower or faster paced song to better match your workouts.

ITrain combines personal training with music delivered to your Mp3 player. Each workout has the trainer's voice providing step by step instructions and motivating you with music in the background. PDF format instructions can be downloaded to your computer to display the positions and directions on how to perform the exercises.

Tuesday, March 24

GIVEAWAY: Timid Monster


In a recent post I highlighted the very talented Trish over at Trupinys, an Etsy shop that sells jewelry and monsters made of clay that are absolutely adorable! I’d had Trish commission a “British Lawyer” monster in honor of my hubby being an almost law school graduate, and her work is fabulous. Trish has agree to give away the following Timid Monster to one lucky reader of The Sweet Jelly Bean!

Here is his story: Joel enjoys fashioning sandals out of corn husks and sleeping bags out of candy wrappers. He loves to keep pet balloon animals, but they scare easily and run away when they hear loud pops, leaving behind their rubbery droppings. Left alone, Joel tends to be afraid of sandcastles, labyrinths and kittens. Each Monster comes initialed and dated on the bottom and with a little card with their mini-biography written on it.

For this contest you can get up to eight entries! To enter: Visit Trupinys over at Etsy and pick out your favorite monster. Return to The Bean and leave a comment telling me your favorite. If you do not do this, your entries will not count!

For more entries:
1 EXTRA ENTRY: Begin following this blog. Let me know if you already do so!

1 MORE ENTRY: Begin following Trish's blog – please mention in a comment to this post if you are already doing so or if you begin to do so.

2 BONUS ENTRIES: Mention this giveaway on your own blog and link back to this post or Trish's blog. Please comment on this post to let me know you've done so!

3 BONUS ENTRIES: Make a purchase from Trupinys during this giveaway (her items start under $5). Post a link to the sale page once you've purchased!

This giveaway ends Monday, March 30, 2009 at 9pm PST. All eligible entries will be thrown into a bowl and Mr. Bean will draw a winner. The winner will be announced here and contacted following the close of the contest. Be sure to check out info on The Bean’s upcoming giveaways - look over to the right hand column near the top of the page and you'll see links to them. Good luck everyone!

Thursday, March 19

Wedding cake replicas

I am not sure if I mentioned that we had our second wedding anniversary last week. In honor of this occasion, I want to share a very talented Etsy shop with you. Pretty Girl Things created a replica of our wedding cake out of clay and made it into an ornament for our first Christmas!
Here is a picture of our cake:

All I had to do was give the shop owner, Camille, these images (along with a few more detailed shots), and she was able to make this!

Other examples of her custom cake replica work:

Camille is very talented and can make practically anything that you ask! She also will do replicas of cakes from baby showers, birthday parties, etc. Additionally, she makes fantastic jewelry! Here is a necklace that I bought from her in fall 2007 - I just couldn't live without it!

Wednesday, March 18

Sula Beauty Paint & Peel Nail Polish

When I was in college, Cover Girl came out with a nail polish that you could apply to your nails, let dry, then peel off when you were tired of it. The formula was never perfected, I guess, because it was discontinued after a few months. I'd tried a couple of colors out before they all went on clearance - one worked great, and the other one peeled off on its own accord. Very frustrating.

Sula Beauty has now reinvented this wheel by releasing a line of nail polished called Paint & Peel that doesn't require polish remover. As the product's name implies, simply paint your nails, then peel off once you're ready to start over with a new color or go bare. Based on the FAQs found on the site, it sounds like you can expect each coat to last at least full day. To keep it going beyond that, apply Sula's Clear or Metallic top coat for extra durability.

The polish is "free from gormaldehyde, toluene and phthalates and is also free of the remaining cancer-linked ingredients still found in standard polish." Sounds like you can't lose with this polish!

Paint & Peel comes in two collections: the Sula Collection, which includes four colors that are more traditional for the nails, and the Trend Collection, which offers users a few more "out there" colors including Dove/grey and Crush/dark purple. Currently you can buy them through Sula's website or at a few locations through the US and Canada. Each bottle is $9-$10 - I just might have to try these!

Tuesday, March 17

IsABelt Giveaway: We have a winner!

Congratulations to Heather for winning the IsABelt giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered. A new giveaway is coming up next week, so stick around...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm sure I'm not the only one wishing you a Happy Leprechaun Day on this March 17th, but who cares?! Have a great day! Drinks lots of Guinness, wear lots of green, and pinch lots of non-believers! Here's a Polyvore collage of my favorite green finds for your viewing pleasure. Click on the image for more info on any of the items.

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day - by thesweetjellybean on Polyvore.com

Monday, March 16

Lend a hand and fight diabetes for free

I stumbled across this and wanted to pass it along to all of you - it's a free way to help diabetes charities, and could serve as a great interactive way of getting your kids involved in a cause!

The Global Diabetes Handprint project is a worldwide project that lets anyone join the fight against diabetes. By writing a word on your hand expressing your feelings about diabetes, and sharing the story behind it, you’ll become part of a global community that puts a human face
on diabetes for all the world to see. For every hand picture that is uploaded (or created online using their virtual hand maker), OneTouch will donate $5 to a charity (either Diabetes Education and Camping Association OR Taking Control of Your Diabetes). Their goal is to donate $250,000 by the end of June 2009.

Mr. Bean and I each took a picture of our hand (notice I used tape on my hand since I could only find a permanet marker). On my hand I wrote FIGHT and Mr. Bean chose FIERCE (this picture is of my hand against the backdrop of an incoming rainstorm). My grandfather, who passed away in 2007, had diabetes for years and never complained. I ached for him watching him prick his fingers 10, 12, 15 times a day, and yet he always kept going. When I go to donate blood and they use the finger prick syringe to check my iron levels, I think of him. I think that's more painful than the donation itself, but I remember how dutiful he was about his sugar level and his diet, and I try to remain strong.

If you want to upload an image of your own hand (or of your children, spouse, etc), visit Global Diabetes Handprint today! You do not have to have diabetes to participate. Feel free to let me know if you do so!

Friday, March 13

Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry, a site to seek vengeance..and pretty things

Happy Friday! What a quick workweek it's been! I feel like the days have really flown by - I haven't really had a chance to post anything aside from giveaway results since Wednesday!

I have a site to share with you today that I find a little tongue-in-cheek, a little sad, and a little vengeful! It's called Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry, and is an online marketplace where you call sell old jewelry and trinkets from your exes: ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, ex-husbands, same sex-ex, etc. As the site explains:

Welcome to EXBOYFRIENDJEWELRY.COM - a site where you can buy/sell/trade and blog about all of those little reminders in your jewelry box that make you wonder “what did I ever see in him?”, or “where have all the cowboys gone?” You set your own price. You get it off your chest and out of your sight. Just because you don’t want it, doesn’t mean somebody else isn’t dying for it. Everyone’s a winner! Maybe you love him, maybe you never want to speak to him again, but either way, you’re ready to move on and make a little rent money in the process.

Here's an example of what you might find on the site. A girl is selling a pair of diamond earrings given to her by an ex-boyfriend. Her husband (yes, she's now happily married) doesn't like her wearing them and now is willing to buy her a new pair if she'll get rid of the ones the ex gave her! Valued at $1,800 by a jeweler, you can buy them through this site for $400! Even if you're not in the mood to buy some new sparklies, stop by sometime. It's a cute, perky site and a lot of the sellers on there are really positive!

Thursday, March 12

And the winner is...

Tonight Mr. Bean helped me to draw a winner for the "$10 to the Charity of Your Choice" giveaway that's been going on here this week as part of the SITS Spring Fling. There so many of you who entered with such worth causes - I only wish that I could support them all! Here is a picture of the action from my camera phone:

Isn't my Mr. Bean talented? And the winner is...

shortmama (her blog is Family of Shorts) said:
I love this idea!!! I would donate to our local Humane Society because so many pets are being left behind due to the current economic and foreclosure crisis. www.azhumane.org
12:04 PM, March 10, 2009

As requested by her entry, I have donated $10 to shortmama's charity of choice, the Arizona Humane Society.

Congratulations, shortmama, and thank you so much to everyone who entered. If you get a chance, stop by the comments to this contest and check out all of the amazing charities that people highlighted.

Wednesday, March 11

Hot Rock - would you like some volcano to go with your steak?

Yesterday was our second wedding anniversary! Mr. Bean snuck out of class a bit early and we went to dinner at a place called Rok Bistro (near San Jose, CA for you locals). It was so much fun! Think of a fondue restaurant but with a twist. You get a salad to start with and then a cheese fondue to share. But then your main entree comes out on a square volcanic rock that has been heated to 700 degrees. You cut your meat into small pieces and let it cook to your liking on the rock, then move it to your plate and enjoy. Mr. Bean had lamb and I had a buffalo steak (I'd only ever had a buffalo burger). Both were delicious!

Today I found out that you can get a consumer/at-home version of these rocks to use on your own! They are made a company called Hot Rock (Rok Bistro gets the commercial version of these from there, too). As the website says:

Discover the speed, ease, sensational taste, uniqueness and healthy aspects of Hot Rock meals. Any meat tastes better when cooked on a Hot Rock. Cater to the health conscious by creating low-fat, low-carb meals with “sizzle.“ Amaze your family and guests with fun, festive, and delicious meals they will never forget. Preparation time is minimal. Simply heat a rock for several minutes on the stove and take it to the table where the diner grills their own meat on a volcanic rock—an unbelievable experience. Side dishes can be prepared in advance or simply purchased ready-made from your local delicatessen. Preparing and enjoying meals has never been easier or more fun. Hot Rock gets hotter and retains its heat longer than other products and does not require messy or dangerous heating sources at the table. The rock maintains effective cooking temperature for approximately 25 minutes.

Hot Rock is the perfect solution for …..

  • Health conscious diners who don’t want to sacrifice time, taste or quality

  • People who entertain but don’t have time to prepare fancy meals

  • People on the go who don’t have time to cook

  • Children who complain about dinner—they won’t complain about Hot Rock!

  • Year round dining—Hot Rock can be served in the dining room or on the patio The home, office or dormitory—all you need is a Hot Rock cooking set and portable stovetop
Hot Rocks for the home come in two price levels: the $49.99 rock and the $79.99 rock. You'd need one for each person eating, so Mr. Bean and I would have to get two. This is actually a pretty good idea for us to buy (if it weren't for that pesky recession) because he likes his steak one way and I like mine a totally different way.

Not related to the volcanic rock components, but I love chocolate and have to share: we concluded the meal with a to-die-for dark chocolate coconut almond dessert fondue with lots of little treats to dip. It was spectacular! We had a great time, and hadn't eaten outside of the house for 10 days to save money, so this was a real treat!

Tuesday, March 10


As I mentioned in a previous post, there is an amazing new product known as IsABelt that is specifically designed to help eliminate the creeping, crawling, sagging, butt crackag-ing, and other wardrobe malfunctions associated with today's jeans styles. To use it:

• Hold belt in front of you so logo is facing you.
• Go to one side of the belt and separate into two straps.
• Hold belt above rough textured area close to adjuster with thumb & forefinger. • With other hand, gently pull top strap at a downward angle to lengthen or shorten the belt.
• Adjust both sides until desired support is reached.
• Put through belt loops, clasp belt together & push belt down to base of waistband.
• If possible, notch belt strap under button to secure placement.

The IsABelt is available in multiple colors and sizes suitable for children, misses, plus sizes, and even styles for men. Although it retails at many stores (both brick-and-mortar and online), you can order an IsABelt directly from the company for $16.95+$5.95 shipping. Better yet, enter The Bean's giveaway to win an IsABelt of your choice (the company has agreed to give a belt to one lucky winner)!

1. FOR ONE ENTRY: Simply make a comment on this post. If you're not logged in, be sure to leave your email address instead of commenting anonymously so I can contact you if you win.

2. FOR A BONUS ENTRY: Begin following this blog – please mention in a comment if you are already doing so or if you begin to do so.

3. FOR 2 BONUS ENTRIES: Mention this giveaway on your own blog and link back to The Sweet Jelly Bean. Please comment on this post to let me know you've done so!

This giveaway ends Monday, March 17, 2009 at 7PM PST. All eligible entries will be thrown into a hat (well, probably a water glass around our apartment), and a winner will be drawn by Mr. Bean. The winner will be announced here and contacted following the close of the contest. Good luck everyone, and be sure to enter my other giveaways - look over to the right hand column near the top of the page and you'll see links to them.

Monday, March 9

SITS Spring Fling: $10 Charity Giveaway


I've been itching to join the Spring Fling led by The Secret is in the Sauce (SITS), and the day to begin is finally here! In case you haven't heard, Spring Fling includes a number of sponsored giveaways over at SITS, but it also includes giveaways all across the blogosphere. So once you're done entering this giveaway, please visit Spring Fling to enter some of the others!

Okay, let's get down to business: the Bean's giveaway. I've been thinking long and hard about what to give away for this event, and the thing that kept on popping into my head was that I need to give more. I know, you're thinking, "Damn girl, you're hosting a giveaway. What more can you do?" My thoughts exactly. In economic times like these, I can't give much, but I can give a little. So here's the giveaway prize:

$10 donation by me to a charity chosen by the winner
Whether you're an animal right crusader, a soldier in the fight against breast cancer, or an environment advocate, I want to hear about it! To enter:
1. FOR ONE ENTRY: Comment on this post telling me which charity you would want the contribution to go to if you win. If you're not logged in, be sure to leave your email address instead of commenting anonymously so I can contact you if you win.

2. FOR A BONUS ENTRY: Begin following this blog – please mention in a comment if you are already doing so or if you begin to do so.

3. FOR 2 BONUS ENTRIES: Mention this giveaway on your own blog and link back to The Sweet Jelly Bean. Please comment on this post to let me know you've done so!

RULES: The winner must be a US resident, and the charity of their choice must be a US 501(c)(3) organization (if you're not sure if yours is, ask me and I can look it up for you. I work for a nonprofit).

This giveaway ends Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 7pm PST. All eligible entries will be thrown into a hat (well, probably a water glass around our apartment), and a winner will be drawn by Mr. Bean. The winner will be announced here and contacted following the close of the contest - they can then let me know for sure what charity they'd like the donation to go to, and in whose name (if applicable). Good luck everyone, and be sure to enter my other giveaways - look over to the right hand column near the top of the page and you'll see links to them.

And the winners are...

And the winners of the Colorado Catnip Toys Giveaway are...

Congratulations to you both! Thanks to everyone for playing, and a special thank you to Jana at Colorado Catnip Toys for sponsoring such a fun giveaway!
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