Friday, February 27
Thursday, February 26
Kindergarten - Grade 3
Grade 4 - Grade 6
Grade 7 - Grade 9
Grade 10 - Grade 12
Wednesday, February 25
And then I started blogging and reading everyone's blogs obsessively and entered several of your giveaways. This year I have won three (3!) contests! As an additional way of saying thank you to both the blog owners and the shops that sponsored the giveaways, here is a lineup of the treats I've won:
Truffle Button Magnets from Etsy seller Romantic Treasures, giveaway hosted by Simple Finds - these are adorable (they help keep me from caving into real chocolate ALL THE TIME and I like that they help me organize my scatterbrained fridge)!
Sweetheart Orange Apron from Carolyn's Kitchen, giveaway hosted by Cookie Girl Creations - somehow this apron manages to look sweet and sexy! I like to wear it when I'm making sweet treats for my Etsy shop.
Amethyst and Sterling Earrings from Etsy seller Oh2122, giveaway hosted on Oh2122's blog - I just found out that I won these earlier this week. I love purple and cannot wait to show them off to the other ladies at work - hopefully I can send them to Oh's shop.
Please visit these fantastic shops and blogs, and many thanks to you all for your generosity!
Tuesday, February 24
Java Juice is a triple coffee concentrate that is extracted straight from the bean and combined with a bit of triple filtered water. It was created in Venice, California to solve the problem of weakening espresso by icing it. It’s coffee extract that to me resembles mud and comes in quart-sized bottles and a more portable 0.5 ounce package. For people who don’t want to brew coffee, Java Juice is a single serving coffee miracle and comes in Original, Decaf, French Vanilla, and Hazelnut. You can find these packets on Amazon.com - each serving ends up costing about $2.20.
I like their slogan: Simply Rip it, Drip it, and Sip it. And I was also highly entertained (and shocked) by the following info I found in their media kit:
Java Juice could save you money. Consider this:
If you spend $3.75 per day (the average cost of a commercially produced espresso drink)
Multiply that times 7 days = $26.25 per week
$ 26.25 per week = $105.00 per month.
Check out the savings over the course of a coffee drinking career.
$105.00 x per month invested at a rate of 10% annual return =
1 year = $ 1,260.00
2 years = $2,526.00
5 years = $ 6,300
10 years = $12,600
15 years = $ 18,900
30 years = $37,800
40 years = $50,400
Wow, now I will feel VERY ashamed of my meager savings account when I next run to Starbucks for their oh-so-delicious chai lattes!
Monday, February 23
Last night I found that I had all of the ingredients to make the Honey Oatmeal Facial, which includes buttermilk, ground oatmeal, and honey. I decided to make 1/2 of the recipe and then followed the instructions and found that I had made a paste that resembled...well, oatmeal. Yet I bravely smeared the mixture across my face and neck, thereby earning the name "Oatmeal Face" from Mr. Bean. I left it on for 15 minutes, then rinsed it off using a warm washcloth. The results? Nothing spectacular so far. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be moisturizing or help your skin look brighter, etc. but it was kind of fun to do something at home using things I already keep around. Let me know if any of you decide to try any of these recipes. I'd really like to try the Bath Cookies recipe sometime soon!
Saturday, February 21
From CrisisofCredit.com - this helped me understand the economic crisis SO much! Hit play - you will not regret it!
My pick for today is Figments Studio, an online shop that specializes in "Enchanted Handcrafted Journals for collecting your thoughts, memories, hopes, and dreams." As the website states, The Figments Studio Collection is designed by Jill Marie Crvich. Inspired by medieval books, Grimm's fairy tales and antique toys, Jill sculpts each original design. Fascinated by the aged leather covers of old books, Jill developed a sculpting and painting process to simulate just that. Her vintage journals and accessories have the rich, luxurious look and feel of old, gilded leather. She hopes her unique collection inspires you and kindles your figments of imagination.
I kept a few journals and diaries here and there as a child, but really never got into it on a regular basis and really wish I had. Nowadays I am too lazy to keep up with writing in a treasure such as one of these, but I do know people who commit to doing it and I envy them. I think that these would make a beautiful gift for a mom-to-be (a journal for her future child), a new graduate, or maybe just a (slightly expensive) conversation piece. For $60, I better have some REALLY good thoughts to put in there!
Thursday, February 19
I had a very humorous experience at McDonald’s last night. First of all, I don’t want any smack talk about my occasional partaking of a McDonald’s cheeseburger. They are $0.99 and are so good. I don’t care if they’re partly made of plastic or include cat meat, etc. They are delicious. I actually prefer to eat two of them rather than one Big Mac. Secondly, it’s my first burger since I’ve had since my wisdom teeth and every bite was worth the careful chewing I had to focus on. Here is what happened in a script format:
Tori approaches the counter. She scans the menu board and spots Cheeseburger for $0.99. She turns to the lady behind the counter and begins to order.
Tori: Hi, I would like a cheeseburger.
Counter Lady: Cheeseburger?
Tori: Yes, just one.
Counter Lady: OK. (she taps various buttons on her register) $2.47.
Tori: (confused, looks up at menu, where it still reads Cheeseburger, $0.99) Um, I’m sorry, it says your cheeseburger is $0.99. I just want one.
Counter Lady: Cheeseburger?
Tori: Yes, one cheeseburger (gestures at menu).
Counter Lady: (hits more register buttons) OK, $2.18.
Tori: (gives up, hands the lady a five dollar bill and gets her change)
5 Minutes Later…Tori’s order is ready. On the tray are two cheeseburgers…two double cheeseburgers!
So what can you do? I’m really a huge pushover and didn’t want to embarrass this lady for not understanding me. I took the tray back to where Mr. Bean and I were sitting, and opened one cheeseburger. I peeled off the extra patty, which Mr. Bean ate, and now we have a Double Cheeseburger sitting in our fridge.
As a sidenote: I realize that I can get a double cheeseburger for $0.01 more than a regular cheeseburger, but I personally believe the regular has the perfect ratio of bread, cheese, and meat. So there!
Wednesday, February 18
Tuesday, February 17
You can think of Shop It To Me as your free personal online shopper. Select your favorite apparel brands (such as Theory, Prada, Armani, Ella Moss, Juicy Couture, Seven Jeans, DKNY, or BCBG) and sizes. We'll scour the websites of leading retailers like Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Banana Republic, Gap, Zappos and Bluefly and send you a Salemail™ - a daily or weekly email summary of which new items go on sale in your size.
Monday, February 16
Take 10 minutes - Buy small river-rock stones at a florist (I found mine at a dollar store) and a silky synthetic paintbrush at a craft stores. Apply a serum to your face and use the brush to work it into your skin, making circular, upward motions. Then take a cool stone and place it under your eye at the inner corner; slowly push toward the outer corner. Repeat on the upper eye area and, with another stone, on the other eye.
Take 15 minutes – Create an energizing scrub to use in your shower. Crush a sprig of rosemary and sage into 4 ounces of Epsom salts and 1 oz of unscented body oil. Shower off, then apply a rosemary-enhanced body lotion.
Take 30 minutes - Run the water in your bathtub at about 82 degrees (think comfortable heated-pool temperature) to stimulate microcirculation. Then add 1 cup of Dead Sea salts and soak for 15 minutes. Rest afterwards for 15 minutes.
Take 30 minutes – Whip up your own body mask by mixing jojoba cream and shea butter with grapefruit and jasmine essential oils. Apply after a shower, then “cocoon” your body in plastic wrap and snuggle under a blanket for 20 minutes.
Instead of a $500 oxygen facial…Use a cleanser with 2% salicylic acid; leave on for 30 seconds before rinsing so the ingredient can do its job. Then apply a pore mask (such as Biore). Remove it like a pro by pressing and rolling a warm, damp washcloth from your chin up.
Instead of a $700 peel…Empty a bag of green tea and a bag of chamomile into a bowl. Mix in two tablespoons of flaxseed, a teaspoon of white vinegar, and two tablespoons of honey. Massage into skin for two minutes and rinse. Then apply a moisturizer with Vitamin C.
Instead of spending $3,000 for body microdermabrasion…In the shower, rub an exfoliator all over and rinse. Once out of the shower, knead cellulite cream into thighs (new kinds have caffeine for tightening). Wrap thighs in plastic wrap for 10 minutes to intensify the effect.
I came up with the Dirt and Worms design after eating a cake with a similar theme over the holidays. My version includes a chocolate covered Oreo cookie topped with crushed Oreo crumbles to simulate dirt and a neon sour gummy worm. I officially got the thumbs up on this one from some kids in my neighborhood!
My other new design is called Under the Sea. It starts out with a chocolate covered Oreo and is then topped with azure blue sugar and 2 red Swedish fish.
I've also introduced several new toppings for my chocolate covered Oreos including St. Patrick's day sprinkles and spring pastels, so please stop by my Etsy shop and check things out! Mention that you read this blog post and I'll include a free gift with your order!
Saturday, February 14
Friday, February 13
NOTE: At 11am PST today, I'm having my wisdom teeth out (boo, hiss), so if I don't respond to comments, etc., please forgive me! Until I'm back on my feet, please enjoy this tidbit:
I feel like I've found a treasure! lobotoME is an online company specializes in simple ways to keep yourself sane including calendars and notepads, including themed pads for meal planning, packing for vacation, workout tracking, and more. They only have a few products right now, but their line is expanding and has recently become available at mass retailers like The Container Store. BONUS: The products are printed on 100% recycled paper with soy inks! The notepads are currently $10 each, and if you spend $20 or more, you'll get free shipping!
Thursday, February 12
Wednesday, February 11
1. I would go out to eat every night if I could. It’s not that I don’t know how to cook. I actually love to bake and make sweets (hence my Etsy shop), but I love the idea of going out and having food prepared for me, being waited on, and not having to do dirty dishes. Restaurant.com has done wonders to support this obsession – they offer $25 gift cards to restaurants everywhere for huge discounts!
2. I am in love with sampler boxes. In the last week I have received one from Out of the Box Sampler (I’m one of this month’s sellers and had to buy one for myself!), Get Eurofied, and a pet-themed sampler box from Pets Jubilee. If you know of other places to get sampler boxes, please let me know!
3. I tend to get sucked into almost buying a lot of those cheesy “not available in stores” products advertised on TV, but then I go read reviews at this site and almost always come to my senses.
4. My parents first got dial-up in December 1995 when I was 13, so I’ve been online for a while. If I Google my original email address, there are still traces of me out there. Spooky!
5. Mr. Bean and I got married in March 2007, and Bridal Bargains was our Godsend. My parents paid for the majority of the wedding and although I think they would have given me more if I had asked for it, I was determined not to go over budget. With the help of this book, I didn’t. Check it out – a new edition was recently published.
6. I would end up spending…oh, about a million dollars on all of the things that I almost must have. It amazes me what’s available online!
7. I am easily entertained, including by sites such as Where's George, where you enter the serial number off of the cash you’re carrying to see where it’s been.
And now for mis victimas!!:
Tuesday, February 10
Anyway, in the bag was my very own Abima, an Ugly Doll whose tag reads, "Abima is out of control! He's got his hand in the cookie jar, and his mind on the next adventure, which is probably going to involve bouncing off the walls and knocking over expensive stuff. He only knocks over the expensive stuff. Not to worry though. Abima is very protective and would always watch out for you. Are you scared of the dark? So is Abima! Oh. Anyway, Abima loves to visit his favorite cousin Wage. They look like they could be related, right? Maybe he's your cousin too."
(photo: Abima watching TV and drinking all of my Diet 7-Up) Ugly Dolls were born from the minds of two artists in love, David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, as a drawing of a playful orange character known as Wage. In 2001, when David's soon-to-be wife and creative partner Sun-Min had to return to Korea, he sent her many "I miss you" letters with his little Wage character drawn at the bottom. Sun-Min sewed Wage into a plush doll and sent him to David as a surprise gift. David asked Sun-Min to sew a couple more for the Giant Robot store in Los Angeles and they sold out in one day! A very excited Sun-Min sewed many more and those sold just as fast! Sun-Min and David then began to pull more characters from the Uglyverse, and today these award-winning characters are available in a variety of sizes and styles!
I am not the only one taken with Ugly Dolls. One of America's First Daughters, Sasha Obama, also likes her Uglies! To learn more about these lovelies, visit their website.
Monday, February 9
Although I consider myself to be a cheesy person full of cheesy sentiments for Mr. Bean (and equally cheesy tastes for the ways he spoils me), I also have a great appreciation for all things sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek. In celebration of this streak and of anti-Valentine's Day, I give you Bittersweets, a new product from Depair, Inc. Their description was so on the mark that I have shared it word-for-word below. Enjoy (and click the photos to enlarge)!
For most, there is no crueler day of the calendar year than that of Valentine's Day. While a tiny fraction of the population can look forward to a holiday of wine and roses, poetry and song, the vast majority of us can anticipate a day of nausea and grimacing, trauma and grief. A day in which minutes seem like hours, and hours like days, as we reflect sorrowfully on yesteryear's romantic indignities, today's loneliness, and the unknowable but certain heartbreak that will be visited upon us repeatedly in the years to come.
Friday, February 6
I recently located something that can help gents decipher some of the so-called pseudo-hints that we females so delicately drop (apparently they prefer that we just write what we want in Sharpie marker across our foreheads). It is called GetinHerHead.com, a free online service designed to take the guesswork out of gift giving, and includes:
The List - Keep a running gift wish list for them to view any time.
This provides a look into your partner's brain so that you can instantly know what they want and where to get it. Now you can get the perfect gift without having to pry. It doesn't take the fun out of romance or gift giving, it just makes it better.
The Cheat Sheet - Spa treatments to sleeve length, everything they need to know when doing something for you.
The Cheat Sheet puts an end to guesswork on the little details by letting you and your partner list everything from clothing sizes and favorite brands, to favored flowers and sports teams. Fill it out and throw away the receipt, we guarantee you won’t have to visit the Return Counter again. Includes everything from your shoe size to your favorite flower to your favorite place to buy jeans
Heads Up! email reminders - Receive email reminders when you want them and never forget an important date.
Get your black belt in remembering by creating a shared calendar with important dates such as anniversaries, birthdays, and more. We’ll send each of you email reminders as frequently or infrequently as you would like. You’ll never forget a meaningful date again. a reminder service for upcoming anniversaries, birthdays, and more.
Out of the Blue - Act spontaneous, even if you're not. It's the unexpected things that go a long way.
Sign up to receive random “Out of the Blue” emails with suggestions on the little things you can do for your other half. Whether it’s sending her flowers for no reason or picking up his favorite microbrew, you don’t always need a reason to show your partner that you care.
The great thing about this service is that it still allows your significant other to be spontaneous without you having to return the gifts he chooses. Mr. Bean tries so hard, but until now how was he supposed to know my pajama bottom size unless he went pilfering through my panty drawer?
So...results in my experience? None yet, but V-Day is only a week away, so we'll see. There is also a GetinHisHead.com, which is where you can get guys to fill out things that they want - this, however, has not yet happened in my household yet.
Frozen Smiles Ice Cube Tray, $10 - My question: Whose teeth did they use as a model?
Pickle Bandages, $9 - also available in steak, pirate flags, and more!
Bacon Floss, $9 - YUM?
They also have a few pseudo-normal items that are worth taking a look at, including an extensively quirky gift selection. This weekend Fred Flare is having a free shipping sale on any size purchase (normally $7.95 unless you're spending $75+), so stop by their store and check it out!
Thursday, February 5
Wednesday, February 4
So why is it now just either baseball caps or beanies? Why do most women today think Blossom (and hot pink lipstick, shoulder pads, blue eyeshadow, hair bands, etc.) when they think of hats rather than of realizing they could be so stylish? At least a flower up in there or something?!
Additional benefits of hats I’ve come up with (some more original than others):
1. They keep your head warm.
2. They protect you from bird poo.
3. They counteract all variations on “bad hair day.”
4. They probably make you look taller.
5. You can keep mace and other weapons in them.
I found lots of hats at mainstream online stores, so I can’t be too off base, can I? Check out these stores for some great hats:
Hats in the Belfry (the name itself deserves a mention!)