Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowy Day

My dear buddies in Boston are enduring a recent blizzard...I am blissfully in New Orleans while the storm hit (whew!) but I am thinking about the snow gear that is ESSENTIAL when this happens.

  1. Waterproof coat: I am a fan of something that gives you warmth and keeps you dry. My favorite is Lands' End's commuter coat: great colors, terrific lengths, and some key features that protect things like your hands: it has a sweater like sleeve at the cuff that prevents snow and water from draining in (you know how irritating that can be!)

  2. Mittens: I have learned these are the only way to keep your hands warm. Gloves are fine, but the key is that your fingers touch to foster warmth. Look for dry wick ones with fleece or shearling inside for optimal warmth. I am a fan of these from LLBean.

  3. Tall snow boots: I am 100% a supporter of Hunter boots. They are terrific as rain boots and then with the fleece inserts, they become PERFECT snow boots. Totally worth the money and you can mix and match colors to suit your preferences.

If any kind readers want to go by my casa and dig out my car, I'd be very grateful :) Until then, happy snow day!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ho Ho Hope

'Tis the Season.
Happy Holidays.
Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Shopping at the holidays is a favorite of mine. I love the hustle and bustle of busy malls. I enjoy the holiday decor. I crave the smell of pine and winter berry. It's definitely the most wonderful time of the year.

Of course, there's gift giving, parties, gatherings among families and friends. My childhood friends gather annually for our "midnight madness" which in our younger days, was a fabulous breakfast at midnight where we swapped gifts and played games together. As we aged a bit, we moved it to our "Christmas brunch" in the morning. But the tradition stayed the same: good women, celebrating life and Jesus' birthday.

But this year, my holidays have taken a bit of a twist- and with a new perspective on what's really valuable, I have noticed my gift giving also changed. I shopped this year with a little more attention to why I was shopping for people. And it boiled down to one word: Hope. That was the gift I received this year, and somehow wanted to pay that back to the many who love me.

So, while I can't give you a link to buy HOPE, per se- but this little treasure (which I both gave and received recently, thanks Allie!) reminds me to keep my head up and smile.

Pottery Barn's "Hello Gorgeous!" pocket mirror

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Habits

It's been far too long since my last blog! So instead of focusing on one story since November 15th, I am offering a few holiday habits that have served me well. And perhaps you, too: 11 shopping days left till Christmas!

  1. Free Shipping Day: December 17th. This will guarantee you to receive your order in time for the holidays from a host of different merchants. Although this year, I am noticing a significant increase in merchants offering free shipping throughout this month. Always do a Google search for deals before you place your order!
  2. Pay attention to what your gift recipients SAY they would always like throughout the year. In conversations, over dinner, while shopping- you will notice loved ones make note of things they desire, and often say, "Oh, just don't have the money for that right now." I have an on-going list of these comments from my personal list. It makes shopping WAY easy when gift giving comes around. (Also remember birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
  3. Gift wrap in my book is VERY important. A well wrapped gift shows care. I stock up for next season December 26th and beyond...the deals are often 75% off, and you simply find a Rubbermaid storage bin and be delighted when you discover it next year!
  4. Shop with coupons. I have been interested in the "power lunch hour" online shopping deals that have surfaced recently. Banana Republic and Talbots have both been offering special daily deals from 11am-3pm online for select merchandise. Shop while you have a break- brilliant idea!
And for those who are interested, I did venture out on Black Friday at 4am. Target truly had the BEST pre-Black Friday advertising. (Did you see the fit blonde woman in a red track suit training for the 4am sale?? Made me laugh every time) And not only did they market well, they were organized (with cashiers and shopping carts) and offered $10 gift cards for every $100 you spent. While lines were long, people were fun to watch. My sister and I witnessed the craziest swarm around $3 kitchen appliances....who knew people needed hand mixers so badly??

Happy Holidays everyone. More good things to come as I prep for 2011.