Friday, August 3, 2012

Random Friday

1. It's a mystery!

     I know, I know. "Shut up about the nail polishes, Jessica!" But wait, one of the coolest things about Julep is available right now. A mystery box! Mystery boxes cost $19.99 and contain between $60 and $200 worth of nail polishes and products. You never know what you're going to get and the surprise is so much fun. And this month as a twist, Julep is offering five different types of mystery box based on their style profiles. That way, you know that the polishes in your box will fit your style and you will like them most likely. I think it's a cool idea, but I'm having trouble deciding which one I want to get. 

2. What's on my Nook. 

     I am currently reading "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare. It is the first book in the Mortal Instruments series and is categorized as an urban fantasy novel. I bought it on a whim when I found it on my Nook for 99 cents. Here the synopsis: "When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Clary knows she should call the police, but it's hard to explain a murder when the body disappears into thin air and the murderers are invisible to everyone but Clary. Equally startled by her ability to see them, the murderers explain themselves as Shadowhunters: a secret tribe of warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. Within twenty-four hours, Clary's mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a grotesque demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...." The book will be made into a movie that releases in 2013. If you're interested in some book recommendations, the last books that I've read - "The Next Best Thing" by Jennifer Weiner and "Where We Belong" by Emily Giffin - were both really good. P.S. Don't mind the cheesy cover of this book, it's actually pretty good. I don't know what the deal is with the glowy half-naked man. 

3. Fail to plan or plan to fail. 

  •     I received my Erin Condren planner in the mail the other day and I am so happy with it. I really love the design of the planner, including the thick cover and the wire spiral binding so that the planner can lay flat when I fill it out. I love having the laminated tabs so I can easily find the month that I'm looking for and I also like the labeled stickers in the back that I can use to mark birthdays, weddings, and other events on my monthly calendars. The designs and colors are one of my favorite things about the planner. It is just so pretty and the colorful quotes throughout are great too. The planner portion divides the day into three sections: morning, day and evening, which is nice and I also like that along the side of each week is a place to list Goals and To-Dos. I like being able to keep track of things I want to accomplish during the week and reminders for things I need to do, like pick up a wedding gift or mail a birthday card. If you're interested in buying an Erin Condren planner, I highly recommend them, but make sure you search for a coupon code online before you buy one. I found one and it helped make the price a little more reasonable. Currently, you can use 2012OFF to receive $5 off your order. I have also heard that you can use WELCOME10 to get $10 off your order. 
Even the box is cute. 
My planner also came with bonus personalized adhesive gift tags.  The planner has some inside and they also sent this green envelope with even more. What a great extra!
Here's my personalized cover. I love the gray with the little pops of color. 
Personalization is free!
I love the stickers for events.
A pocket in the back holds extras.
And another pouch can hold even more! (You can see my gift tags too).

4. Thank you, Moms.

    I don't know if you've noticed the Proctor & Gamble commercials during the Olympics, but they are part of the current Thank You, Mom promotion. Proctor & Gamble are the proud sponsors of moms and all the support they give to their Olympic athlete children. I want to cry every time I see one of these commercials imagining Owen as a grown man doing something so amazing. Anyway, I know that there are some people who complain about leaving out dads and other relatives, but honestly I think people are being a bit nit-picky and should just appreciate them for what they are. Plus, I am the one who does most of our grocery shopping anyway. And speaking of, after I paid and got my groceries home on Monday, I realized that I had qualified for the Thank You, Mom promotion with the products that I bought and that after sending in my coupon and receipt, I will be getting a $10 VISA giftcard in the mail. Hooray!

5.  Get crafty.

       I finally got my July For the Makers box. The company was really great though because they sent me a little extra this month because my box arrived so late. Here's the description for the box this month: "July is always about slowing down and this month For the Makers is all about keeping it cool by the shore. The box was Inspired by summer adventures on rocky coasts, ice cream on the boardwalk and the allure of sailing." The supplies in the box are for a camera strap, earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet. I haven't started any of my crafts yet, but they look pretty cool. I really like this subscription box, but I don't think that it is one that I will continue strictly for monetary reasons. I think $29 is a little much to spend each month on craft supplies. I do think that it makes a great gift though or a fun treat every once in a while.
Love this little brown box.
Here's my handwritten note from the founders of the company after my box was late.
The box that the supplies comes in is such a great size. I've already kept one because it's the perfect size to hold thank you cards. 
And here are all my supplies. 

6. My Citrus Lane prize. 

     I received my prize from the Citrus Lane Summer Photo Sweepstakes this week. I am really happy with the box that won. We really love the stainless steel tray shaped like a bus and the book with the finger puppet mouse. The socks are also super cute and look like little old man argyle. The hand sanitizer is great too. The only thing I don't really care about is the squeezie pack of baby food because Owen doesn't eat pureed meat dinners anymore. But considering it was all free, I don't really have anything to complain about. 

7. Ready to decorate!

    We are making progress on the kitchen this week and have finished painting all the wainscoting and trim and the doors in the kitchen (back door and pantry) so that they match the white cabinets. It looks so much better. The difference between the old almost dirty-looking cream color and the bright white is amazing. And we've bought the paint for the walls of the kitchen/dining room (and the hallway) too and just need to tape off the room and get started. I have already begun planning what I'm going to hang on the walls too and I'm really excited. One wall will have family photos, similar to the picture below. The frames that I have are black, but if they don't look good on the wall, I plan to paint them white. The wall next to our dining room table will be a collage of art, plates, and any other goodies that call to me. I have already bought four plates from Belk and Pier 1 Imports and have sketched out a tentative layout for the collage wall. My inspiration is below as well.

Yeah, that's a screen capture from Phil and Claire's house on Modern Family.  

8. A winning manicure. 

      Have you noticed that most of the woman swimmers (and other athletes) are rocking some crazy awesome manicures? I just love trying to see what designs and colors they are sporting. Below is a photo of Britain's Rebecca Adlington (with Union Jack nails), who won the bronze medal in the 400 meter freestyle. It turns out that there is a London-based nail artist named Sophy Robson whose team is doing the nails of all the Olympic athletes. There are a total of 214 different designs for the countries participating in the Olympics and at least 18 nail artists on hand at a time to do manicures. Their pop-up nail salon is available to all the athletes and visitors to the Olympic Village in Stratford. How cool would it be to have your nails done there?

9. Honest Company. 

     Co-founded by Christopher Gavigan, former CEO of Healthy Child, Healthy World and actress Jessica Alba, The Honest Company is a company that equips customers with the essentials needed to care for baby and home. The products are all organic, hypoallergenic, non-animal tested, environmentally friendly, and, as if that wasn’t enough, the company even donates baby essentials to families in need every time someone makes a purchase. I recently ordered a free trial pack (called a discovery pack) of their diapers and wipes along with five household products from hand soap to laundry detergent. I am excited to try the diapers on Owen because they are free of chemicals, 100% non-toxic, chlorine-free, sustainable, and made of plant-based materials. Plus they have super cute patterns. The company offers a monthly delivery service to receive a month's supply of diapers and wipes and also a family essentials subscription where you can choose five beauty and household products to get each month. I will post a review after I've tried the products to let you know what I think. 

10. You're invited...

    Well, now that I've sent out invitations and they have been received by the guests to my cousin's bridal shower (plus Johanna peeked), I can post the design on here. I worked with a designer on Etsy to make the invitations, tweaking the colors and design a bit here and there. The designer (whose name is Victoria) has a shop called Something Printable on Etsy. She was really great to work with and e-mailed me my designs within 24 hours of my ordering them. She was super fast. And she even designed an insert for my invitation for just a few dollars extra. I highly recommend working with her if you are in the market for invitations for a bridal or baby shower or a wedding. 

11. It's in the bag.

     So in my last Citrus Lane box I received a Baggu nylon reusable shopping bag. It comes in a tiny five by five inch pouch, but unfolds into a giant bag that can hold up to 50 pounds. I used it the other day when Owen and I went to the library and loved it. So when Citrus Lane offered some of their favorite items from the past box for sale on their site at discounted prices, I decided to buy a few more and use them for everything. I am particularly hopeful that I can use them when I'm grocery shopping because I hate coming home with a ton of plastic bags that I then have to throw away. (Recycling isn't offered out where we live.) I ordered two of each of the different styles they had available: navy sailor stripe and neon fox. 

12. 25 Things - No. 13 (Go to storytime at the library)

      Owen and I went to the library here on Wednesday morning for babies and tots storytime. We sang songs, played lap games, and read stories. Owen seemed a bit overwhelmed due the huge number of babies and parents in such a small room, but he seemed to have a fun time. My favorite part was when the lady leading the group was reading one of those books with the flaps and Owen was practically trying to crawl on top of her trying to turn the pages. Then they had an open playtime, but it was just a little too crazy with the number of babies in there (particularly the older babies that were pushing the little babies out of the way and stomping on top of them and stuff) so Owen and I left and went to find some books in the children's section to check out. It's great to have some new books to read. I'm about to tear my hair out if I have to read Fox in Socks one more time. I don't have any pictures from the library because it just seemed weird to take pictures during the event and because I was trying to wrangle Owen the whole time. He's not much for sitting still. The library is taking a three week break from babies and tots storytime, but I think we will go again when they start back up at the end of August. 

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