Friday, March 19, 2010

What I Bought and Contest Winner Announcement

Hi Everyone!

It's been Spring Break here and the weather has been pretty for the most part, which makes the itch for Spring clothes shopping hard to resist. Especially since the three women in the house need some new things.

I've been prepping for this time of year since last fall when I asked my parents for a gift card to JCrew for Christmas. I didn't need anything for Winter, but I did for Spring/Summer.

So I recently used my gift card to get a few things for us. I bought them online, so some things worked and some didn't.

What worked:

The Saturday Twist dress in Orchid Shadow.  The color is gray with a purple tone, or is it the other way around?  Anyway, it is a very comfy dress to wear on casual days and it is on sale this weekend for $54.40.

The Cafe Capri in British Khaki.  I have these already in black and they fit like a dream.  The only thing I suggest someone considering buying these is to try them on in the store and buy the pair that fits snug on.  They stretch out a bit and even though they seem too tight, they will look perfect in about a half an hour of wear. 

For the girls, I got them both the Tulle Plie Skirt in Sheer Lilac and Jungle Jane leggings in Shell.  I had a coupon code or I wouldn't have bought the skirts when I did because the normal price is $32.50.  But they are really cute and the girls loved the color.  The leggings are a basic and look cute under skirts and dresses. 

What didn't work:

The Jersey Promenade Gown in Shadow.  I knew it was a risk ordering this, and I  am disappointed it didn't work out.  I ordered up a size from what I normally wear to try and create enough room in the top, but that didn't work.  I probably should have ordered up two sizes and I may try reordering it to see if that does work, but I am not sure I should even bother.  There are other styles they have that would be more likely to work and I will probably go that route since I now have a credit.

The Pique Polo shirt in Navy.  I love polo shirts and dresses in navy..  They seem crisp and classic and they are a great basic with white or khaki bottoms and this shirt had a nice weight to it and overall look.  The problem was in the length of the shirt.  It was much too long for my body and they don't have it in petite sizes, so it is going back. 

Now for the winner of the Jeff Daman book giveaway. 

Step 6: Drawing Completed

The winner of your drawing is...

So that means that the winner is:   Teresa of Teresa's Random Thoughts!

Congrats, Teresa and be sure to contact me with your info so I can get the book to you!

That just about does it for now.  Don't forget to use your Gap Give and Get codes if you have them this weekend.  Also dresses are 20% off at JCrew through Sunday tonight and triple points going on now at Nordstrom.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Easy Crockpot Soup

THIS is the easiest soup that tastes like you spent lots of time making it. If you keep your mouth shut, no one will know that you just used a can opener and a fry pan.

In my family circle, we actually call this Aunt Carolyn's Soup because she was the one who gave us the recipe, but for the sake of those who don't have an aunt named Carolyn, we'll just call it Easy Crockpot Soup.

This is so easy to make, you can make it first thing in the morning and come home to dinner, or you could prepare the mixture the night before then place it in the crockpot in the morning.

This is it. Nothing more, nothing less.

1 lb Ground Round, browned
Add: 2 cans Veg-All (or a bag of frozen soup veggies like I did)
2 cans of Ranch Style Beans (I used one can of Red Kidney beans and one Black Beans
2 cans Campbell Minestrone Soup concentrate
1 can Rotel, diced (We use regular and I find that it isn't hot but flavorful)
Salt/Pepper and Garlic Salt to taste
Enough water to just cover the ingredients

Simmer all day and serve with corn bread!

Some photo highlights of the mixing/making process.

Ummmm, ummm, good!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Are You Happy?

Good morning all and happy Spring Break!

Thanks so much for all of the entries for the Daman book giveaway! We have a couple of days left before it is over, so if you haven't entered yet, get cracking!

We got so much done this weekend. I started off Saturday by weed whacking the yard and then fixing the gate to my garden. I then went to Home Depot and bought lots of plants for the garden. I bought: Sweet Basil, Cinnamon Basil, Yellow Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, three different varieties of Tomatoes, Zucchini, Lavender, and Jalapenos.

Working in the garden with all of those sweet smelling plants (Lavender, Basil, Rosemary...) just made me feel so good and calm. It was therapeutic to work in the dirt and see progress in my effort.

This morning I saw this article about how fragrance can help make you happy. By now, most of us if not all, have heard or used aromatherapy to elevate our spirits or calm our senses, but I thought the refresher was a great idea as well as timely.

According to the article, the sense of smell has the shortest pathway to the brain and can affect mood very quickly. Yes! So taking care of your skin, putting on your makeup, perfume, doing your hair, all of that can really affect your mood due to the pleasurable experience of application as well as the use of fragrance in those products to elevate mood. Now we have even more reason to primp and preen!

So, what is a happy scent? Here are a few:

Lavender aids relaxation
Roses and heliotrope have a sedative affect (I have to remember this for the next time I take a flight)
Cucumber and green apple help with claustrophobia
Citrus has been shown to have invigorating properties that aid concentration and boost spirits

Did you know that part of the benefits of some anti-aging products is that they use fragrance to calm and relax? They help us to be less stressed and therefore we are less likely to make expressions that make us look older? Who knew? I've also noticed that some of them use citrus fragrances. It would seem to give the impression that they are "working" because they smell "invigorating."

But the best way to make an instant "boost" to ones demeanor is to use perfume.

I have to confess that I haven't bought any new perfume, or had any given to me in a very long time. That isn't to say I don't use perfume, I just don't use it that often since I had small children. Now that the rascals are getting bigger, I find that I do wear perfume more often. Which brings me to this story:

6 years ago when I was planning our wedding, I read an article about a perfume called Child. Actress Jennie Garth raved that every time she wore it, men would go crazy or some similar response. So, on a whim, I ordered a small rollerball of it. It is rather pricey perfume and I didn't want to pay a fortune for something that I may not like. I did like it and I do get compliments when I wear it. Recently I had not worn it for a while, so I put some on for a trip to Wal-mart with the family. (Insert Wal-mart joke here!) As I was at the pharmacy counter, the young (in high school) man behind the counter looked up and said, "Wow, you smell great!" I sheepishly thanked him and told him that I hadn't worn perfume in a while. He then told me I need to wear it all of the time. Later my husband asked me about the guy "flirting" with me at the pharmacy. I told him about our conversation and he agreed that I should wear it more often.

Anyway, I guess my point is that fragrance is a part of our lives and affects us in ways we may not be aware of. Whether it is the subliminal impression a beauty company wants us to have about the products we use, or how others may perceive or appreciate us, fragrance is everywhere and can be a morale boost.

Out of curiosity, what fragrance do you wear? What products do you love that have a fragrance and how do they make you feel?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Giveaway Inspired by Gossip Girl

photo from

Hi Everyone!

In celebration of GG being back with new episodes, I thought I would give away a copy of the book You Know You Want It by GG's costume designer, Eric Daman.

See a preview here:

It has sections on...

  • how to edit your closet
  • what key pieces everyone needs to own
  • what styles look best on each body type
  • how to accessorize to stand out and define your own style
  • how to pick your best colors

  • and much more!

    Loaded with illustrations and pictures, it is a fun informative read as well as something to glance at for inspiration. In my opinion it isn't the first or last book that helps you create a wardrobe you love, but it is a perky one!

    The Contest Rules are:

    1. You must be a subscriber/blog follower. Please enter one time only.

    2. You must comment. You can write anything. It could be what your favorite thing or character from GG is or it could be the ever popular "enter me", but try to have fun with it!

    3. You must enter your comment with a valid name/login. No anonymous entries will be accepted.

    4. The contest ends on Wednesday, March 17th at midnight CST. No entries will be accepted after that time.

    5. I will use to pick the winning entry and the winner will be announced on Friday, March 19th.

    6. If you are the lucky winner, you must contact me with your mailing address so that I can send you your prize.

    It's as easy as that.

    So be sure to enter and good luck!

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    My 2010 Academy Awards Best and Worst Dressed Picks and the Return of Gossip Girl

    I'm Baaaaack!

    I have a lot to focus on today with the Oscars and GG returning tonight!!!! So, let's get going!

    The word of the day is Redundant.

    How many of us who watched the Oscars or the Red Carpet shows are feeling the same way? The fashion was kind of boring. Sure there were some great dresses, but how many metallic/silver/white dresses can there be award season after award season and show after show? And good ol' Penelope Cruz wore the same silhouette as she usually does; it was a toss up if she was going to wear red OR nude? Red it is. *Snore*

    I really feel it is time for designers and their patrons to step it up a bit and try some color and texture that isn't the same as last years.

    With all of that said, there were some who did take risks and some paid off and some didn't. Some of my fav dresses were:

    Sarah Jessica Parker in Chanel. There was really only one person who could pull this dress off and that person was SJP. It was unusual and chic and I really appreciate her for wearing it!!!

    Elizabeth Banks in Versace. I loved this color on her with her light features. The fit of the dress was perfect compared to others who wore the same type of bodice. (More on this subject later in this post.)

    Demi Moore looked fresh in Versace Atelier. The color was perfect for her skin tone and the fit was dead on! Congrats, Rachel Zoe for another great job!

    Anna Kendrick in Ellie Saab Couture. How sweet she looked. It was her first Oscar appearance and she did great by following her instincts, although I think her shoes look a bit casual in this picture. I'm not sure if they are satin or leather. Hmmmm...

    Zoe Saldana in Givenchy. I'm so torn with this dress. I give her HUGE kudos for not being boring and taking a big risk, but I'm not sure the dress is that flattering in fit. I can't wait to see what she wears to her next award show!

    Now for the Worst:

    Charlize Theron just missed having a best dressed next to her name because of those whackadoo rosettes on her bodice. What was she and Christian Dior thinking? The color was outstanding though.

    Lord have mercy! Who ever thought that putting that waterfall of fabric on the hip of a very hippy girl was a good idea, needs to have their stylist license revoked. The Armani Prive would have been better on someone statuesque, and not short and voluptuous. Better luck next time.

    Tina Fey... boring and unflattering. I don't even care who designed it. Moving on....

    Oh, Miley. This Jenny Packham was a bit sophisticated for a 17 year old. It was elegant... too bad it was too short in the bodice so that the poor thing couldn't stand up straight without worrying about her "girls" making a special appearance. Here is your fashion mantra, Miley... Fit is everything!!!!

    All photo credits belong to the New York Daily News.

    On to more pressing matters.

    Gossip Girl returns tonight!!! I've watched some of the reruns because I have to have my Chuck Bass fix, but I'm ready for some new episodes and tonight is the night!!! Will Chuck find out who that woman by daddy's grave was? (Mommy, is that you?) Will Serena and Pretty Boy hook up? Will Lily and Rufus talk about what was in the letter and did Lily "hook-up" with Serena's father? Will Dan and Vanessa move to being more than friends? Will Jenny get caught selling drugs? I literally can't wait!

    In honor of the new episode, I'll have my first ever giveaway tomorrow. Be sure to check back then to see what it is and to have a chance at winning!

    That just about does it for this morning. I need another cup of coffee and than I'm trying out a gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread mix. In closing, who were your picks for the best/worst dressed last night? Also, which story line are you dying to see play out on GG?