Thursday, October 18, 2007

Retail Therapy, Deals & Steals, and Lovin' Etsy

I don't know about you guys, but for me there is something so incredibly rewarding about bargain shopping! Not only is it retail therapy, but you feel awesome just for having gotten such great deals. :) For example, last night my mom and I met up at the Nordstrom Rack by South Coast Plaza, as I had a few things I've been looking for and mom is (still) trying to find something to wear for my uncle's wedding next month. [Just a note for the ladies - could it be any harder to find something appropriate for a plus-size woman? It's a daytime wedding, but super casual because it's both their second time around and it's a fall wedding. Poor mom. We're open for suggestions!] We even went through the designer racks in the hopes of finding something really cool for her that she could wear again, but no luck. And I consider myself a pretty savvy shopper, but jeez! Nothing to be found - and we went over to Talbots and Chico's too!

However, I did manage to snag a few things for myself at the Rack - a cute black dress from Calvin Klein ($35!) that I can even wear to work, a cozy green & black houndstooth-type coat, a bra and some undies. At full price it all would have cost me about $300, but I only paid $120. Woooo! :)

Ahhh, Artistry

I'm pretty sure I've gushed about this website to some of you, but it's about time I linked y'all up! It's called Etsy, and it's basically a place where people can sell their handmade stuff - whether its paintings, jewelry, dog clothes, handbags, etc. So if you love unique pieces like me but get tired of trolling through vintage/thrift stores, I think you'll love this site as much as I do. :) And the best part? Most items are super affordable, because they're by people that only sell their things part time, or are just starting out. And a lot of them offer to make you custom versions of their items! I'm definitely planning on doing a bunch of my Christmas shopping there! And maybe a few things for me... ;)

For example, here's a few things that are on my faves list right now:

"Vanessa Lace Clutch" by Madison Gre:

"Sexy Brown Pleats Bag" by Daphnenen:

"Captured Pearl Earrings" by Precious Meshes:

And, last but not least, this stunning "Tell Your Story" print by the talented Kelly Rae Roberts:
Isn't that stunning?? I'm going to have to exercise serious self-control when I finally go to make my purchases!

I think that's enough about retail therapy (for the time being, anyways!). In other news, a pretty quiet week, just getting ready for a busy next couple of weeks: first our old family friend Cheryl is coming to visit next weekend, then a 4-day trip to Vegas the first weekend in November, then the weekend after that is my uncle's wedding. And then it's all downhill into the holidays from there!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Birthday Wrap-Up

I can't believe I went so long without a single, solitary post! Bad blogger, bad, bad blogger! But I suppose with my birthday last weekend and everything I got a little distracted. :)

I Have the Power of Touch

In deference to a recent post, the first order of business is definitely: I GOT AN IPOD TOUCH FOR MY BIRTHDAY!! Aaaaahhhhhhh!!! :D

Of all people, the guys at work gave it to me! It was such a surprise, I was totally content with nothing at all; a card, maybe. But they took me to lunch and everything. It was so touching. :) (No pun intended!) I guess my boss was actually listening when I wouldn't stop raving about it! And they even had it engraved with my name and number, just in cases. Now I can't stop playing with it! I'm constantly checking for a wi-fi connection everywhere I addicted. It even kept me distracted from the cold last night at the dog park. [I don't know what it is about that place, but with the open area and grass it seems 15 degrees colder than everywhere around it!]

24th Birthday Weekend

Y'know, its funny, I've kinda gotten over birthdays since high school - only one real party since I turned 17. As I see it, the best part about a birthday is that it's a really good excuse to get all my friends and all my family together - doesn't really matter what we do, or if I get gifts or whatever. Although I have to admit I don't mind milking it in order to go eat somewhere we normally wouldn't! (Like the Mission Inn's Sunday brunch last year.) :)

The previous weekend we had gone to dinner with Chris' family in order to celebrate my and Hillary's birthdays, since we were so close together. His grandma made her Texas sheetcake...mmm....and his parents got me a lovely bag and bracelets. :)

So that yummy work lunch last Friday kicked off my birthday weekend (and it didn't hurt my mood that I got off work at 4!). That night "the gang" took me out (meaning Chris, Mindy, Nikki, Katie, Colby, Nancy and Kris) to the Commonwealth Lounge for dinner and drinks. It was all going pretty well (except our terrible waitress), and they had a great 3 piece jazz band that played a set, but after that they changed the music to 70s disco! And beforehand it had been the Rat Pack! Kinda ruined the mood, especially since in downtown Fullerton it's de rigeur to play the music really loud no matter what, so ignoring the background music isn't an option. Thus, we decided to head back to our apartment, and wound up having a really nice time just hanging out with everyone.

Saturday morning we actually got up at a decent hour and Chris and I went to old towne Orange so that I could pick out my gift - a potentially wallet-deadly idea on his part! I'm still kicking myself for not bringing my parents' camera that I was borrowing for the week, as it was gorgeous that day. About 73 degrees, not a cloud in the sky, light breeze...perfect. I dragged Chris through three vintage warehouses (they can't possibly count as stores with that much square footage!) before I finally found just the right thing. Good thing too, because we were starting to go cross-eyed from all the stuff they manage to cram in those stores!

Turns out that a lovely vintage pearl necklace from The Antique Mall was just what I've been looking for! I've been meaning to replace an old fake strand that I wore out, and this one said hello. (See further down for a photo.) The coolest part (I think) is that the pearls have that lovely off-white, aged color to them, and they're natural so they're just slightly misshapen, which I prefer anyways. :) I think they're quite the find, considering what he paid for them. But it was really fun going together - it took out the guesswork for him, let me find exactly what I wanted, and also made us take some alone time away from the apartment and the pup (and we weren't running errands!).

Saturday night we packed ourselves and the pup into the car and headed up to my parents house for dinner. While we were waiting for Eirik to drive over from work (picking up his awesome girlfriend on the way) we had some yummy pink champagne and my aunties called to sing to me, as per usual. Here's me opening their card (click for larger):

Even though I seriously despise the birthday song, I tolerate it from them because it's tradition, especially because Grandma isn't around to sing it anymore. You can see my new necklace in the photo - and this awesome dress from the Gap, of all places, that I couldn't resist getting myself. So cute, and it has pockets! I actually wore it to work today too. :D

Once everyone was present we headed over to the local Mexican place called the Whole Enchilada that I love. Even though they don't take reservations, my mom convinced them to set up a table for us, since we were 7 people and the place isn't all that big. So delicious, and I had a strawberry pina colada too. Yum! Then it was back to the house for my birthday cake that I've been dreaming about for the last two months - mom bakes it for me special. It's a torte with fresh dream mixed with orange liquer in between the layers, with a thick layer of marzipan over the whole thing. SO good!! It's a pretty complicated cake to make, so she usually only does it for my birthday. :)

Then Sunday was a nice lazy day, which I really needed too. All in all a really fantastic weekend!

More Pages

I was incredibly inspired the past couple of weeks, so here's a few of the results (if you want more, check out the gallery links to the right):

"To Me, From Me"
For credits and info, click here.

"Take Along A Friend"
Again, for credits click here.

"Daily Dose of Love"
I know, I know, yet another pup-photo layout, but I can't help myself! The dare was about something you do every day, so don't blame me. ;) Credits can be found here.

"Summer Girls"Aren't my cousin and her friend so cute? Been meaning to work with this photo for long time. Go here for more info.

And last but not least, this one -
Definitely one of my new favorites! Credits are here.

Now we're getting ready for Halloween and the rest of the holidays - just got Jacopo's costume tonight, but I'm not going to tell what it is until I have a photo! :) Hope everyone else is doing well!


Quote of the moment (a fun one!): "Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand." ~Kurt Vonnegut